A Contest of Nisse and Release
Their official name is the Order of the Immaculate Dragons, but they are commonly just called the Immaculate Order. It is a monastic order composed of both Terrestrial Exalted and mortal acolytes of various abilities. Both a tool for peace and a weapon of war, the Immaculate Order works to shape subject territories to liking of the leadership of the Realm.
Most of the Exalted monks are Dynasts seeking refuge from politics or who simply desire enlightenment. The mortals, on the other hand, rarely attain any position of true power in the Order and can come from any walk of life.
Hierarchy of the Order
The head of the Order bears the title the Mouth of Peace, which is derived from her traditional counsel against warfare. Her power is such that when she speaks against an official or military officer, even Exalted ones, they are disgraced. However, excepting high-ranking Exalts of the Order and the elders of House Iselsi, few ever see her. But there is a tendency that most Mouths of Peace have held to wander the Blessed Isle in disguise to get a feel for the spiritual state of the Realm. Her official residence is the vast and looming manse called the Palace Sublime.
Beneath he Mouth of Peace are the Five Most Righteous Paragons, each representing one of the Five Immaculate Dragons. The Paragons are the members of the Order who have most rightly and faithfully emulated their chosen Immaculate Dragon. Beneath the Mouth and the Paragons is a confusing hierarchy of abbots, vartabeds and sybils, but few outside the Order can even begin to understand it, for it wanders almost as much as the Immaculate Texts, which are the Order’s scriptures.
Duties of the Order
The recovery of new Immaculate Texts and the teaching of the Immaculate Philosophy are the core of the Order’s work in its own opinion. Since the Immaculate Texts are drawn from larger First Age documents, the Order has built up the largest library of knowledge about the First Age outside of Heaven. Due to this, the order has great influence over education on the Blessed Isle and serves as a body of advisers to the Realm on many areas of knowledge.
While the Order sees itself as an independend body, above the petty concerns of the Realm it looks suspiciously like a tool of the Realm to people in independent parts of the Threshold. For example, the Order will often establish a mission in an area that the Realm has plans to conquer (by whatever means) or will attempt to convert the inhabitants of a region that the Realm has previously conquered. The two go hand in hand. Additionally, their operations rarely follow patterns that are aimed for finding new Immaculate Texts. Instead, after a new monastery has been established, the mortal monks will start teaching the local inhabitants about the Immaculate Philosophy while the Exalted abbot and his allies will be challenging the local Gods and Spirits to Martial Arts duels in order to force them to conform to the Order’s expectations of divine behavior.
The Origin and True Function of the Order
After the Usurpation most minor Gods and Spirits saw the regicide of the Solars as an insult, and outright refused to cooperate with the new Shogunate. In order to maintain the hold of their new Terrestrial lords, the Bronze Faction gave the Dragon Blooded Celestial Martial Arts powerful enough to subdue both minor Gods and the few remaining stray Solars. All this combined with a religious mandate of conquest sent a powerful message to Creation, the people heard: “Your new lords have arrived,” the spirits heard: “Obey us or get hurt.”