The Order of Paragons was founded in the Hurvan Year 242 by St. Enjolras, perhaps the greatest Paladin to have ever fought for the causes of good. The Order was founded for a single purpose, protect the King. Over the years, as the ranks of these noble fighters swelled, the mission of the Order grew: Safeguarding of the royal family, safety of the lesser nobility, protecting the countryside, sending out groups of knights or even individuals on quests to root out evil at the source.
There are two distinct coats of arms borne by the Paragons. The majority of Paladins in the Order bear the lesser coat. Its blazoning is Frost Argent a Lion Anaraji (A Sun Gold Lion on a field of Ivory). The lion being the symbol for the Royal House that ruled when the Order was founded, sun gold being the color of the light which always shows the true and the pure and ivory being a shade away from white, for a Paladin still trying to prove his mettle and purity. The greater coat is worn by Paladins who have proven themselves to stand out amongst their peers. Its blazon is Gules a Shining Diamond Argent (a Shining White Diamond on a field of Red). The diamond representing perfection, its radiant beams proudly showing its inner light to the world, white the color of purity and red a reminder of the blood that has been spilt by one of this station.
Over the years the Order has undergone many changes. It originated as a very small, very elite, royal guard. At its peak, nearly every Paladin in the realm was a member. After the Days of Disgrace, which saw most of the Paragons lynched, executed or excommunicated, and reduced the number of honored to a mere handful, the ranks have been increased today to almost two hundred.
Important dates in their history include: 349 - Paladins were permitted to display their Churches colors alongside the Orders Coat of Arms; 782 - Due to the insistence of the clerics of Soltana, the Order first allowed female Paladins; 851 - the Order recognizes two factions, Esterealian and Soltanian as each promotes a member of their church to the top position of leadership of the Paragons; 1038 - The Days of Disgrace; 1086 - Phaedythro, a Paladin of the Esterealian faction, was killed by the treachery of another contestant while representing the Order in the Great Hurvan Games. This act of foul play was uncovered by the eventual champion and indeed, noblest of the land.
The Days of Disgrace
The Days of Disgrace almost meant the end of the Order. On a cold, drizzling, early spring day in the year 1038, the Paladins of the Order of Paragons managed to wipe out almost eight centuries of great deeds. King Calin II´s eldest son and heir to the Hurvan throne, Prince Coyle, had come to the rescue of the tiny logging community of White Pines in the Palim mountains of Fyd. The Prince had ridden into rugged terrain and destroyed the great red Fiend, Argrahezzia-ak, who had been terrorizing the local countryside. The small community was giving Prince Coyle a joyous victory parade when the unimaginable happened. From the woods and behind buildings, under cloaks and in wagons, sprang forth at least three and a half score of the Paragons. Led by the leaders of both factions, they attacked the Prince and his entourage. Coyle and his men fought valiantly, but were heavily outnumbered. After believing they assassinated the crown prince, the remaining Paragons massacred the townsfolk and razed the village.
News of the Paladin´s treachery soon reached Geston and the halls of the royal palace. A begreived Calin was furious. He ordered his honored guard disbanded and named most of its ranks outlaws. Many of the Paragons turned themselves in, expecting just treatment. Instead, they were executed as conspirators without trial. Bounties were placed on the heads of those who were still at large. Only by the intervention of the churches was the carnage of the holy warriors ceased before they were wiped out entirely.
Nearly all of the Paladin´s in the kingdom were in the Order of Paragons, and neither the priests of Estereal nor Soltana wanted to see all of their holy warriors eliminated. Generally speaking, the Soltanian have been quicker to forgive than the clerics of Estereal. But both have been far kinder than the government and the people.
Ten days later, dwarven lumberjacks came across an almost dead, yet miraculously alive Prince Coyle. He somehow had survived the battle and had crawled deep into the woods. The people of Hurva were overwhelmed with joy. The following spring, when Calin´s health failed him and he passed from this world, Coyle was crowned king. Young King Coyle refused to hear any explanation or apology of the the Paragons and barred them from the Royal Grounds. He founded a new Royal Guard and for the first time in nearly three centuries, struck a deal with the Affiliates Amagigo to provide for his personal protection a Royal Mage.
Almost fifty years and three monarchs have passed since the Days of Disgrace. Commoners memories are short. Now, rather than fear and loathe the Paragons, many snicker and ridicule them. Most see the Order as a bastion for mediocrity - a mere shadow of what it once was - as the Paragons have not been able to attract the same caliber of hero that they were able to before that fateful spring day. But as is the case with most stories, this one is still not complete. Sages whisper that perhaps there is something more to the Days of Disgrace than meets the eye. Leaders of the Paragons and the Churches refuse to talk about that event anymore. They claim that they are simply trying to put the past behind them and rebuild, but me thinks that they dost protest too much.
Algernon, Arch-Diviner and Master Bard
Loremaster, Affiliates Amagigo