User:Daveoten/The Order of the Scarab
The Order of the Scarab has survived the many years of turmoil and tumultuous change associated with the growth of the Empire, and has resisted the powerful lure of growth and expansion. Throughout it all, the Order has preserved its values, the principals upon which it was founded, and has succeeded in defending the interests of the Empire. The spirit of the Dwemer culture, which was lost to fate years ago innumerable, has been carried on by the Scarab Knights, and now rests in their vast libraries and within the very halls they dwell. Their lives are dedicated to the preservation of peace in Cyrodiil and the safeguarding of the knowledge passed on by the extinct Dwemer race.
The Order was founded originally by the lone adventurer Thon Ravqel along with his close companion Rail Keton and some eight-hundred adventurous souls in search of a fabled facility known as the Valley of Arkay, which supposedly lay hidden in the crutch of the Valus Mountains. One night, Thon was approached by Rail, a fellow warrior and adventurer, and beseeched him, asking him to meet him at a cabin outside the city of Chorrol. Although Thon was currently engaged with his own affair, he accepted the offer and travelled to the cabin. There, Rail presented Thon with a scroll he had received as a life-debt from an old Kajiit, within which lay some of the most descriptive texts ever to survive concerning the Dwemeri civilization, which had been lost for some time after the conflict of Red Mountain. Seeing the wisdom within the text, Thon resolved to join Rail's troupe, which had recently been joined by companies from Vvardenfell and Hammerfell, swelling its numbers to roughly eight-hundred. After weeks of combing the Valus Mountains for the Valley, the scouts finally discovered an enclave, which the groups reconnoitered immediately. Upon arriving, the leaderships of the respective parties met in an effort to decide their next course of action. The leader of the Hammerfell group wished to bestow full leadership to Thon, who being the most experienced and immersed in Dwemer lore would be most fit to run the prospective guild. While Rail also agreed to this proposal, the Dunmeri leader from Vvardenfell was wont to surrender his position to a "newcome Brother" to the guild. Through persuasion he was convinced by the other two to step down and accept Thon as the guild's master, but not until he was guarunteed a position on the soon-to-be Advisor Council. Thus, Thon graciously accepted the title of Grandmaster of the newly-formed Order of the Scarab (so named after the Order of the Scarab of Stros M'kai), which would come to develop into a secretive but influential guild that would endure the changes in history. The Order of the Scarab was created with the intention of preserving the natural balance of peace within Tamriel, for due to the migration of Redguards into what would become the Hammerfell region, the Akaviri warriors had no place in their old ally’s land. They remained a secretive order above all, and made themselves available only in times of strict need. For the most part, they honed their skills and expanded their knowledge within the Frostcrag with the intention of keeping the spirit of the Dwemer alive. They were actively involved in the Oblivion Crisis, when they fought beside the Blades and allied soldiers at the Battle of Bruma and helped Martin and Rail defeat Mehrunes Dagon in the Imperial City itself. They were also closely connected with the activities of the Elder Council, and attended meetings in times of need and when their strength might be required.
Guild Combat and Worship
Because the Scarab Knights were followers of the Dwemer ideology, they naturally mirrored many aspects of Dwemer culture, especially in worship and in combat. With respect to religion, the Order acknowledged the ten Divines much like the rest of Cyrodiilic culture; however, they paid special reverence to the specifically-Dwemeri god Lorkhan, who is widely recognized as the Creation deity. This set them apart from any other Order, because nowhere else was Lorkhan openly revered. With respect to combat and weaponry, the Scarab Knights were also set apart. By studying Dwemer records, schematics, and texts, they learned the fighting styles and secrets of the long-dead Deep Elves and adopted it as their own. They made great strides in the fields of forging and smithing, for the Dwemer were unmatched in the skill of making superior weapons and armor. They discovered the special alloy used by the Dwemer to make armor and weapons, which was both more malleable and stronger than conventional materials. The Scarab Knights bore on their armor, weapons, and the runes of the lost Dwemeri language and fashioned both in the manner befitting their ancient counterparts. In both technique and supply, the Order of the Scarab was considered some of the best soldiers and mages in Cyrodiil.
The Cradle of Arkay
The Scarab Knights called one place home, which much resembled the mannerism of the Blades and their Cloud Ruler Temple. The Knights resided in the Cradle of Arkay, a secret enclave nestled between the Valus Mountains approximately Northwest of Chorrol. Within the lush Valley of Arkay, the facility stretched over a quarter-mile expanse. It was made up of a series of smaller dormitories and shops built within the perimeter of four larger structures, each housing a component of the enclave. The Librarium housed the extensive library dedicated to the extinct Dwemer culture and to various other schools of knowledge; the Arenium housed the numerous training halls, sparring rooms, and armories required for the many Scarab Knights to hone their fighting skills; the Deitium was the single chapel within the complex and could hold many hundreds of worshippers; and the Conclavium served as the great meeting-hall for the Order and held meetings concerning events within the Order or those abroad. Within the center of the Cradle, however, stood the majestic Frostcrag itself, a tower built of the mysterious dark Dwemer metal that served to house the many artifacts and precious pieces of Dwemer history, including such things as Chrysamere, the Arm of Lorkhan and the armor of Alessia herself. Its most distinctive features included its Grand Arbitrarium, the vast main hall; the Dormitory Wings, which held the quarters of all high-ranking Order members; the Lorkhanian Expanse, a display hall extending dozens upon dozens of feet within the building that held all of the Order’s most prized and revered artifacts; and the Orrery, an remarkable Dwemeri solarium that charted and predicted all the star patterns of Nirn.
The Dwemeri Influence
The Order of the Scarab was founded upon the principals of the ancient Dwemer, who at the time had become immersed in the conflict of Red Mountain. In order to protect their crumbling civilization, the ancient Dwemer, or “Deep Elves”, formed a conclave of their finest warriors, mages, and scholars so that they could actively begin to prepare for their final days. In those waning days of their culture, the Dwemer had in fact come to master all sorts of fascinating technologies, especially which of arcamechanical engineering, in which they had begun to dabble in the divine, even arcane arts. They hoped to achieve the perfection that they sought so readily in their chief deity, Lorkhan. Using the mythical Heart of Lorkhan, they filled their cities with walking enchanted mechanisms and other such arcane constructs up until the mysterious departure of the entire Dwemer culture. The event itself remains a mystery, but is thought to have followed their attempt to use the Heart of Lorkhan to make their own mechanical gods and simply coincided with the war. It appeared that all members of the Dwemer culture were simply removed from Tamriel; some speculate that they were punished for their arrogance concerning overstepping the trust bestowed upon them by Lorkhan. Some scholars contradict this proposition, venturing that since they had been gifted with the Heart of Lorkhan, the Dwemer were meant to use it to further their earthly ambitions, and that Lorkhan would not have allowed his beloved gift to be used with intentions of insubordination. For whatever reason, the Dwemer disappeared from Tamriel: their cities were abandoned, their projects and ambitions forgotten, and even the Cradle left silent. The legacy of the Dwemer was carried on only by the knowledge still retained within the sleeping mountain stronghold of the Cradle, and it was not until centuries later, when wayward adventurers led by the intrepid Thon Ravqel happened upon its silent halls that it was uncovered. There, they committed themselves to the study of their ancient bretheren, as well as the preservation of the peace and order under which they had strived. Therefore, they survived even unto the present day.
The Order of the Scarab functions much like any other mainstream guild, such as the Fighter's Guild, in regards to ranking. The Order draws in new recruits during annual periods known as Drovings, during which recruiters travel to the provinces of Tamriel to find new, raw, but able guild members. From there, the new recruits are taken to the Cradle of Arkay and take the Vow of Allegiance, a statement which solidifies their place in the guild as a Brother of the Order of the Scarab. From there, they may make themseves at home and eventually begin their training. Many recruits take different paths down the road of the Order, such as becoming a mage or a scholar, or even a trained assassin as well as the traditional soldier. All styles of guild members, however, pass through the same manner of ranking: Brother, Acolyte, Scarab Knight, Myrmidon, Centurion, and Grandmaster. The Guild itself functioned much as any other Guild has through the years, although perhaps quite a bit more unconventional. It functioned more as a collective society than an assembly of likeminded people, with an active social balance associated with each guild rank.
Armor and Weapons
The arms and armor of the Order have taken on their own distinctive appearance and functionality over the time of the Order's existence, but in terms of fundamentalities they resemble those of the ancient Dwemeri race. They are all forged specially by the guild's trained forgemasters in the mode of the ancient Dwemer arms, which incorporated (for strictly perspective's sake) a Romanesque-style feel. Pronounced lines, fullers, and runes that often adorned their arms, giving them a precise feel - much like the ideology of the ancient Dwemer, who focused entirely on perfection and precision. All of the Order's weapons and armor were constructed of a metal known as "Lorkhanium" by guild scholars and blacksmiths, which proved to be both more malleable during forging and tougher and lighter during combat than conventional materials. Although the original origins of the metal are still unknown, it IS known that through alchemy and arcane forge spells, this alloy may be artificially produced, and has been produced by the Order since its founding. Although virtually black in hue, the segmented-armor and weapons of the Scarab Knights are majestic to behold and are both efficient and durable.