The Order was an ancient magocratic civilization founded by Surgicus, Panthea and Elysiar after discovering the Mantle. Based upon the principles of the Divine Cycle, the Order grew exponentially, coming to dominate seven galaxies and nearly 5 million different races. At its height, the Order was a powerful military, scientific and economic superpower the likes of which has never been seen again.
The Order grew from the Elysian Empire, led by Surgicus Freeman. After coming to dominate much of their native galaxy in the Wars of Conquest, the Empire entered into a bloody feud with the Yiodhar, resulting in a truce and the creation of the Order. The subsequent Ordo Paxus was a golden era of peace and prosperity that led the Order to achieving the status of superpower.
After accidently discovering the Rubicon of Night, Panthea unknowingly began the Order Civil War, leading the civilization to its destruction. The war ultimately ended with the Great Battle of the Elysian Fields, which marked the end of the Order and the rise of the League Of Diabolus led by the demon Polaris.
The Order's legacy has continued to linger through time, playing a big role in early Milky Way politics.
The Order's political structure consisted of two primary bodies. The High Council served as the de facto highest political organ and was made up of the Order's founders. It was headed by Surgicus.
The Council Grandeur was the lower body and was made up of members known as Prophets. The Council Grandeur's role was to maintain and administer peace, justice and order within the nation. The Council's last leader (known as a Legate) was Ashiroth.
The Order of the Occult Rangers served as the Order's elite military unit which served different roles. Although serving as its own organisation, the Occult Rangers were loyal solely to Surgicus and served as his bodyguards as well as military police (only in some cases.
The Order had no formal military or armed forces, partly due to the Divine Cycle's anti-imperialistic doctrines. Instead, peace and order was upkept by local civil police, while matters of extreme military significance were handled by the Occult Rangers.
Sometime around 30000 BC, three treasure hunters hailing from the planet of Elysia ventured out into the unexplored regions in search of money and ancient relics. These three were known as Surgicus, Panthea and Elysiar. In their journey they came across an ancient structure floating in deep space, which came to be known as the Mantle.
Upon entering the monolithic construction, they discovered an ultimate legacy left behind by a powerful civilization known as the Ascendants; thousands of texts, dusty tomes and scrolls which spoke of a combined universal system known as the Divine Cycle. By following the Cycle, their civilization would be led to godhood through something known as the Divine Pass, a step-by- step guide encoded within the Divine Texts. The Ascendants referred to godhood as the ability to escape the third dimension and the very grasp of time and gravity itself.
Inspired by their discovery and intoxicated by the knowledge, the three learnt from these texts the ability to use magic. By harnessing cosmic energy, they could do things that transcended any weapon, machine or mechanical system that had yet been conceived. The three returned to Elysia, armed with their new magical abilities and spread the word of the Divine Cycle. As the Elysian population bowed down to the Cycle's grace, from the grand towers that spiked out of the ground rose a new era. Armed with powers and a young enlightened civilization, Surgicus founded the Order, a nation on the path to godhood. Consumed by the idea, Surgicus put Elysiar in charge of looking after and decoding the Divine Texts. Elysiar spent his entire life decoding and studying every inch of every text, gathering all the information they contained. Together, they founded the Elysian Empire.
The Wars of Conquest
The subsequent wars that followed the rise of the Empire ended with decisive Elysian victory. The Wars of Conquest were fought primarily by Magicers trained by Surgicus and Panthea. Using these abilities, the Elysian armies conquered entire worlds and star systems, sweeping away the primitive weapons of lesser beings. Eventually, these races bowed down to the Elysians. The Elysian military would later serve as the predecessor to the Order of the Occult Rangers, the latter adopting many Elysian military traditions including rank titles and traditions.
The Elysian Empire grew to conquer much of the galaxy with relative ease. However, the long continious string of victories came to an end with the discovery of the Yiodhar, a powerful race who, although lacking the touch of magic, possessed advanced weapon systems and technology that rivaled or even outclassed Elysian tech, making them a formidable enemy. The final war of conquest led to untold death and destruction, eventually leading both sides to lower their weapons. Ultimately, the two races decide to join one another for the good of the galaxy. The Elysian Empire was reformed into the Order, and all the previously conquered races became equal under the new regime.
In order to appease the Yiodhar, Surgicus formed a bicameral legislative system designed to share power among the members of the new government. The High Council was to serve as the highest legislative body of the realm, sat only by a select number of members while the Council Grandeur guaranteed a seat for every race, in order to give them a voice. In reality, Surgicus continued to wield most executive power, choosing instead to use the new political structure to spread the illusion of democracy when in reality, the Order retained its autocratic system from the Elysian Empire.
The Ordo Paxus
What resulted in this new system was an era of untold prosperity for the Order. So great became this civilization that they outgrew the boundaries of their galaxy and developed new technology to travel through the planes of black space between the galaxies. Soon, whole dyson spheres were built with ease to power entire sectors. Life expectancy grew as medical technology became highly advanced and more and more efficient. Culture and science were at the forefront of the Order’s society. Soon, whole galaxies fell to the Order, absorbing new species and cultures into the melting pot.
The stability of the realm relied on the existence of the two Councils, the famous heroic reputation of the Occult Rangers and even belief in Surgicus himself, despite his own secluded lifestyle far from the public eye.
Conflicts of Interests
While Elysiar was busy studying the texts and Surgicus was building an empire, Panthea watched Surgicus inch closer towards godhood, expanding the Order's borders with every planet, every star system and every quadrant. Despite her powerful magical abilities, she remained skeptical of the Cycle and the Pass. Her criticism and skepticism created a deep rift between her and Surgicus, a figure she had always looked up to and wanted to be with. Irritated with her ignorance, Surgicus slowly isolated her from the Order's inner circle and made her an outsider. Cracks began to appear in the social aspects of The Order. Rifts began to open between the different magic type users. Materra, Situlis, Potentia and Occultis nations began to drift further away, eyeing each other suspiciously and insulting each other. However Surgicus was blind to such small matters. He became so dedicated to the idea of becoming a god that he did not realise he had caused the Order to deviate from the Divine Pass, choosing expansion and conquest over advancement.
The rate in which Elysiar decoded the texts was not fast enough to keep up with the progress of the civilization and as such, he only realised this mistake when it was too late. With the vast population focused on achieving enlightenment through the Cycle, Panthea was the only one who saw the cracks begin to appear. When she confronted Surgicus, he threatened to banish her for her blindness and disrespect. Lastly, Panthea went to Elysiar. However, eons of studying and sitting still made his body degenerate, his brain was scarred by flows of psychic energy and his own conscious was eroded. He was unable to help her.
The Rubicon of Night
Frustrated, angered and alone, Panthea ventured out into the dark spaces between the galaxies. Her magical abilities made her immune to the destructive effects of dark energy, and the quietness far away from civilization calmed her. However as she drifted in the dark winds, contemplating, she heard a voice eminating from somewhere beyond the black clouds. When she followed the sound to its source, she found a monolith, similar to the one she found hundreds of millions years ago. However inside she found just one book, a black tome with the inscriptions and insignia of the Ascendants. When she unclasped the book and opened it to reveal its dusty contents, she unleashed a demon bound within the book. Unknowingly Panthea just released a daemon of immense magical power created by the Ascendants themselves to punish transgressors who deviated from the path they left behind.
The Daemon was designed to destroy or corrupt those who were tainted by the Mark of Magic. However the daemon was very weak due to eons of remaining trapped in the book. When it recognised the mark of magic on Panthea, it told her to return the book to the Order, tricking her into believing that the book was the key to snapping Surgicus out of his conquest to Godhood and make him normal again. When Panthea brought the book through into the borders of the Order, the daemon fled. When she opened its pages, she realised that the book itself was a physical manifestation of her own doubts of the Divine Cycle. The Rubicon of Night as it is known is a criticism of the Cycle, and a guide that explained the consequences of becoming a god, such as losing touch with reality, spirituality and mentality. (Traits that Surgicus was beginning to show.)
Unbeknownst to Panthea or anybody else at that time, the Ascendants countered Polaris by creating another being to balance the scales. In order to stop Polaris from becoming too powerful and eventually consuming the entire universe, this being had the ability to destroy Polaris once and for all. It is a spirit of immense power that would arise when the ultimate truth behind the doomed civilization was revealed (in this case, the Order.) When the seal binding the daemon to the Rubicon was broken, this spirit was also released. Known as the Great One, this spirit resided in the Fifth Dimension, and as such sensed a champion. Being able to see time as a physical entity, the spirit headed to the Milky Way, arriving on Earth in 1997.
Civil War and Fall of the Order
Meanwhile, Panthea took the book to Orcus, the Order's most powerful Occulti mage and asked him if he could decipher the book further. However its influence and knowledge caused him to go insane. All the while, Polaris waited in the distance, watching for a crack. It sensed Orcus' madness through the cosmic plane and took over his body. With Orcus now Polaris' puppet, it granted Orcus powerful abilities which far exceeded anything the Order had yet to see. With his powers and directions from Polaris, Orcus went from planet to planet, corrupting beings and killing those who opposed. These corrupted beings became the beginnings of the Apocalyptar, Polaris' physical army. When the news of the genocide spread, it caused the cracks in the social hierarchy to rip open. Within a short timespan, a civilization on the brink of a technological singularity descended into chaos. With Polaris growing stronger, and the Order's most powerful races turning against each other, Surgicus was near powerless to stop the disintegration of the civilization he worked so hard to build. At a fateful meeting, Surgicus, Elysiar and Panthea met. Elysiar warned Surgicus that they had deviated from the Pass, and Panthea showed him the Rubicon of Night, which she stole from Orcus previously. Angered, Surgicus banned them both. Unbeknownst to Surgicus, Elysiar fled to the Milky Way and vanished. Panthea's offers to help save Surgicus; collapsing empire were rejected.
Ultimately, Surgicus decided to read the Rubicon, reading through half of it before the book disappeared. The information made him realise that his efforts were a mistake. Hoping to buy himself time, he organised a last ditch attempt to retake Elysia from Polaris' forces, which captured the planet following intense siege. Although the Order was now unable to defeat Polaris, the Order's time in the Divine Pass granted it the use of psychic shields, which stop anybody who is not magically pure (such as Polaris' corrupted forces) from passing through its shield. The Order's central system was defended by such a shield, and Polaris nor its forces was able to gain access. Known as the Great Battle of the Elysian Fields, Surgicus launched his attack, managing to gain access to the central controls at the cost of nearly all his most powerful Occult Rangers. With the controls, he raised the Quantum Shields around the Andromeda Galaxy, trapping Polaris and the Apocalyptar within it. After doing so, Surgicus and Orcus dueled each other. As the Apocalyptar barrelled down on Surgicus, all seemed lost. However Panthea came down and rescued him just in time. She took him to the quantum gateway linking the Milky Way with Andromeda. However just as she was about to go through, he pushed her back, stunning her with a magic attack. He went through the gate and destroyed it, ending up in the Milky Way galaxy just as the quantum gateway collapsed. In order to stop any future attacks, Surgicus destroyed the power system on the Milky Way's quantum gate (located in the center of the galaxy.)
Following the destruction of the Occult Rangers, the Apocalyptar continued to stamp out pockets of resistance spread out across the six galaxies. Meanwhile, Polaris formed the League of Diabolus and initiated a plan to invade the Milky Way and destroy the final vestiges of the Order.