--Bona al la encycla lorica.
Order of Keepers
The Order of Keepers, also known with the guilds as the Proliferation Suppression Order or (PSO), is charged with suppressing any individuals and organizations that have uncovered any guilds' secret spells. It is a standard operations military division of the United Guilds and is comprised of members from all of the guilds.
PSO associates, Keepers, are well versed in the versatility of magic and have demonstrated an ability to utilize spells. As associates, they have already spent at least a decade progressing up the guild's spellshaper professional track, and have each created a great many spells. Hence they are already familiar with the spells that members of rogue sects will have at their disposal, and thus be ready to counter them. Keepers will have the arsenal of the guilds to work with. Hence, a single Keeper will usually be more than a match for an entire sect (unless the sect has matured with some very knowledgeable spellshapers of its own).
The PSO is considered the second line of defense the guilds have against secretstealing. Its members are usually only dispatched after interventions by a task force of Holders from the Order of Holders has failed to eliminate the rogue sect. Because they are only uncommonly dispatched for such purposes, not everyone in the maging community is aware of the PSO's existence (whereas they are practically all aware of the Order of Holders). The actual abilities of the Keepers are thus shrouded from the wary eyes of rogue sects.
The PSO is also deployed against any nations that have done so as well - where, after one or two confrontations, those nations' leaders "realize" the error of their ways and quickly take action to root out the secretstealers within the organization, for fear of further reprisal from the PSO.
The organization that would eventually become the Order of Keepers was the Ordera Purgatoria. The Ordera was formed as the suppressive arm of the Order of the Concord (now known as the United Guilds), upon the urging of Myrn (of) Mercadia, the Concord's Hara Syndica, in 2799 AL, roughly a thousand years before the present day. Under the leadership of the Maestra Granda de Ordera Purgatoria, Lucenus (of) Mercadia, the Ordera destroyed over three dozen competing, "heterodox" sects within the span of two decades.
The organization was dissolved and replaced, thrice in its long history; in its most recent and most long-lasting reincarnation it is named the Order of Keepers in 3259 AL, as (re-)founded by Archmage Trevelian the Elder of Aeutaril. The organization was later officially renamed the Proliferation Suppression Order in 3625 AL, though in deference to its long and glorious history and its significance in shaping Ethayan society, in common discourse it is still called the Order of Keepers.
Involvement after the Third Detariyan War
The Order of Keepers was reassigned after the end of the Third Detariyan War in 3840 AL, to suppress the burst of sects arising in the aftermath of the end of the manasapper scourge. These new sects had only weaker, cruder spells at their disposal. Thus the Order was very successful, annihilating all these heterodox sects within a single year, the revelationist Altariya College among them (destroyed 3841 AL). Thereafter some of the Order went on to help found new guild holds in now-conquered Detariya, while the rest returned to Ethaya.
Involvement in the Siege of Altariya
With the founding of Altariya University - the second reiteration of the college - in 3842 AL, local Order members were called back into action as it became immediately obvious that the Order of Holders could not subjugate the revelationist school. At first only a few Keepers were sent.
This time however the University's leaders, Altair and Qura, had drawn upon their knowledge to build up a sphere shield with many wards to protect the university grounds, and a new form of mana generation that could generate tremendous amounts of energy. The Order's mages were not able to negate the wards and had to work on developing new spells to counter those particular wards. The Altariya sect however worked diligently to craft additional wards, layering them one after another upon the university's grounds, thereby resulting in a technological stalemate. Over the course of the next few years, the Order drew more and more of their members to participate in the siege as Altariya continued to thwart the Order.
The continued siege by the Order and the presence of the guild mages offered the Altariyan sect many chances to steal guild secrets - either by observing the effects of the guild spells or by using their own spells to analyze the guild mages' spells. As the siege progressed, the guilds were not able to overcome the University's head start in warding spells, but the University certainly was able to catch up to the guilds across many other types of spells, so that by the time the siege ended, guild mages and Altariyan mages fought on approximately equal terms.
The suppressed Detariyan kingdoms, after their humiliating defeat by the guild mages, saw in Altariya a common hope: that of overthrowing the guilds, as they had done the Second Detariyan War several centuries ago. Only this time, they would do it with the aid of powerful mages of their own, rather than with the manasappers. As the University continued to withstand the onslaught of the Order of Keepers, the kingdoms began to secretly subvert guild activities - such as by destroying guild-owned leys, severing leylines, and downing leyline towers. As a result the Order began to run mana and moieta shortages in the later years of the siege. When the Order of Holders was dispatched to hunt down the troublemakers, they were sent running by Altariyan mages, forcing the Order of Keepers to dispatch their own mages, as only the Keepers could face Altariyan mages at that point.
Involvement in the Fourth Detariyan War
The collaboration between the Detariyan kingdoms and the University continued until in 3852 AL, they joined together to form an outright alliance against the guilds in 3852 AL. Hundreds of Altariyan mages escaped from the Order's siege and joined forces with the armies of the Detariyan kingdoms, which had been replenished in the twelve years since the previous war. At this point the guilds called out to a majority of all their capable spellshapers from throughout Ethaya to come to the assistance of their colleagues in Detariya - as well as calling out to their Alliance of guilded states for mundane military support.
The Fourth Detariyan War saw an all-out war between large mundane armies with magical support on both sides. The guilds had the advantage of numbers (of spellshapers), as well as certain kinds of technology; while the Altariyan mages had the advantage of nigh-impenetrable ward spells, which allowed them to wreak havoc for as long as they did not run out of mana and moieta.
Since at this point the Altariyan mages were operating throughout the continent, this was at first a major problem for them. Even as the Altariyan mages subverted the guild war effort by destroying leyline towers, the Order members destroyed the Altariyans' own leyline towers, for once their connection with the university's mana was cut off, the leyline towers could be attacked with a barrage of spells until their shielding was depleted of mana. The spellshaper prodigy, Zenithor of Altariya, resolved this problem in 3856 AL by launching the leyline relays into geostationary orbit, where they could not be intercepted or shot down by guild mages, and from which they could relay mana and moieta across much of the continent without obstruction, thus rendering the guilds' leyline technology obsolete.
The Fourth Detariyan War ended in 3857 AL with the retreat of the Order of Keepers and all other guild mages back to Ethaya. By this time the Order of Keepers was but a shadow of its former glory, and laughingstock of an entire continent.