Rank Structure Details
The Disciples of Light offers a simple structure that divides its members in three groups:
- Officers with ranks Master Chaplain, High Chaplain and Chaplain in descending order for the chain of command.
- Members, with ranks Knight, Deacon and Devout which form the bulk of the guild's troops and from which junior officers are selected.
- Trainees, with ranks Squire, Adept and Initiate.
In parallel with the chain of command, the guild adapts a management chain, placing Devouts directly under the management of the chaplains, and placing Squires under the leadership of their respective knights.
List of Ranks
This flow chart shows how the ranks are connected to each other in paths of promotion, hierarchy, chain of command and management chain.
Lay members can be new recruits pending an interview to join the order, but also civilian personnel such as blacksmiths, cooks, town criers or retired Disciples of Light.
Disciples that have joined the Order are assigned the rank Initiate. It is a sign they have embarked on a journey to become full fledged members of the Order. Their duty binds them to learning the origins and principles of the Order, its code, its beliefs and structure.
When the duties of the initiate have been completed, an initiate can progress to become a Squire or Adept.
Adepts choose to follow the path of a cleric, or scout. Their studies focus on methods to support military operations, in the ways of reconnaissance, field-specific knowledge and methods of healing.
In peace, or during civilian operations, they can train in preaching, diplomacy, supply management, intelligence gathering and resource gathering.
The end of their training is marked by a promotion to Devout.
Disciples can subject themselves to the mentoring of Knights by choosing the rank of Squire. They become duty-bound to the Knights of the Order whom they'll serve before, during and after combat. In return, the Knights of the Order will teach them their wisdom and experience in combat, in the uses of heavy armor and cavalry, in the ways of war and knightly behavior.
Squires are released from these duties towards their mentors upon promotion to become a Devout.
Devout is a rank given to all Disciples who have finished their training. They are considered a full fledged Disciple of Light in all respects, and expected to radiate exemplorary behavior to its ideals, code and honor. Devouts may be tasked with missions or quests, and be expected to finish them without further guidance from a junior or senior officer.
Devouts may be assigned temporary leadership of a patrol or a team, should the need arise or more senior have other priorities. These tests of leadership can both be expected from Devouts as well as serve to train their leadership.
While continued training is not demanded of Devouts, they are permitted to pursue the ambition of becoming a Knight or Deacon. This is a challenging path placed before them, but the title of Knight or Deacon bestows great responsibilities upon those who carry it.
Disciples who serve the order far above the norm and expectations of the Devout may be granted the title of Deacon. A Deacon can be granted great responsibilities, including the management of important diplomatic relations, missions of intelligence gathering, politics and civilian duties. Deacons enjoy a broad domain in which they can operate, ranging from clerical duties to specialized military. The title is granted to scouts, rangers, reconnaissance teams, military support units and civilian workers. For this reason, the rank of Deacon knows further divisions into Clerics and Scouts.
Deacons hold an honored position in the Order, equal to a Knight in times of peace and in civilian matters. Only in times of war do Deacons answer to Knights who are trained specifically for their leadership on the field of battle.
The clerics of the order may include all who focus on gathering knowledge, healing techniques, meditation and preaching. Usually, the clerics include priests, monks and magi.
Their chief duties include investigations for civilian matters, politics, medicine, preaching, gathering and preserving knowledge of all kinds that may serve the Order's purpose.
Among the Clerics, one may be appointed as High Cleric. It is considered an officer's position and as such places the High Cleric higher in the chain of Command. The High Cleric's primary duty involves the management of the Clerics and overseeing all duties the clerics are to carry out, stepping in as required.
The scouts of the Order are specialized military personnel, including reconnaissance troops and rangers. They are specialized in light armored military combat and supporting roles in the field of battle. With armor taking up a smaller role in their protection, these troops often rely on stealth, tactics and exceptional skills to ensure their survival and obtain the upper hand in combat. A considerable effort and time is invested in their training, to keep their mind and skills sharper than a Paladin's blade.
During both military operations and civilian operations, the Order can call upon the scouts' special skills to gather intelligence, explore regions or scout enemy troops. They can be deployed as mobile unit in matters of security and can be employed as guards of extended regions, where their light step gives them the edge over the armor burdened Knights.
Among the Scouts, one may be appointed as Scout-Captain. The Scout-Captain is considered an officer, and as such is moved higher up in the chain of command, above other Clerics and even Knights. It is the duty of the Scout-Captain to not only manage the training and oversee the duties of the Scouts, but also to step in as leader of the Scouts in specialized military operations.
Disciples who have gone above and beyond to prove their Valor, Courage, Strength, Wisdom and Ability to lead. To be shining beacons of our Order, trusted by all members of the Order and the society. Knights are military leaders of high moral standard and combat skills. Note that any class can be knighted if it fits with the requirements. Knights have the possibility of becoming Chaplains.
The group leader of all the Knights and Squires in the Order, areas of responsibility would be Armory, Training Grounds and Relics. Required to be a Knight.
The assistant leaders to the High Chaplain, to assist with the IC and OOC running of the Order. Chaplains are chosen among the Deacons and Knights.
Acting leader of the Order and IC second in command to Lord Aarian Northlight, the founder of the Disciples of Light. The High Chaplain is the spokesperson of his fellow Deacons and Knights, guiding the whole of the Order, be it on the battlefield or in the serenity of Northshire Abbey.
Chain of Command
Chain of command functions as in any militant, holy order. As members all are brothers and sisters, but it's important to maintain the difference of rank. Lower ranks are to obey orders of any rank higher, officers first hand. The chain of command looks like this, starting with the most superior:
- High Chaplain
- Knight-Captain and Scout-Captain and High Cleric
- Squire and Adept
The ranks that are answering directly to one of the three Knight-Captain, Scout-Captain or High Cleric, can be ordered by any of the three, but their assigned junior officer will always be listened to above the other two if there is a conflict of command.
Disciples of Light is an Order of Knights and Clerics in the fashion of the Knights of the Silver Hand. And as such there are many roles that can be filled. For all these roles to work properly there are certain groups in the guild to which you belong as a member, depending on what type your character is.
The High Chaplain has, as the leader of the Order, the biggest responsibility and the highest command. His Chaplains are assistant guild leaders, helping out with the running of the Order. The Chaplains also have the responsibility over the newest members of the Order, the initiates, and the rank of Devout. This doesn't mean the Chaplains have deal with them all the time, but they need to make sure every initiate are getting along with the Guild and that the Devouts are doing alright. Any available Devout would be a natural choice for helping initiates in their first period of time in the Order.
As the initiate either becomes a squire or adept, they get placed into new groups with fellow Squires and Adepts and get new superiors appointed to them. Chaplains will always be able to command lower ranks, but as they are not initiates anymore, the trainee will not be the responsibility of the Chaplains.
For squires the Knight-Captain will be their closest superior, but some or most of the squires will also be appointed a Knight as a personal mentor if available. Knights are rather independent but will coordinate under the Knight-Captain as well.
For adepts there are two superiors that matters. Adepts that fits into the Cleric part of the Order will be the direct responsibility of the High Cleric. For adepts that fits as scouts and the like, the Scout-Captain will be directly responsible. The same division applies to Deacons as well, and just as with Knights they are fairly independent in their work but will still coordinate under respectively junior officer. Personal mentoring is of course possible within these ranks too.
The Devout rank is a mixed one, where all classes and roles will share the same rank. Differences to function or role will be marked with a colour, symbolizing the choice the Devout is able to make regarding his or hers specification, one "path" out of seven. And even though Knights, Deacons and their superiors are above and therefore able to command Devouts, especially since many Devouts would train with either of the groups, the Chaplains themselves are their direct superiors as with the initiates. Devouts are expected to assist the Chaplains in taking care of the initiates, guiding them into the Order.