Category:Order Of The Hallowed Garden
"Life should be approached as a garden. sometimes, that means protecting a delicate flower. Sometimes, it means pruning weeds."
The Order of the Hallowed Garden is an old one, its roots stretching back centuries to the dawn of the seasonal Courts. As the Courts first spread across the world, many of the Gentry noticed that their former slaves were creating places of safety, regions where they could live safely without fear of being snatched away at any moment. One of these Keepers, whose name has been lost to history, sought to duplicate the feat, but in reverse. He theorized that if he could send a group of loyalists to Earth, they could create an area that would welcome and support him, instead of turning him aside. Teaching five of his slaves the arts they would need, he sent them through the Hedge, promising them great rewards if they succeeded, and terrible punishments for failure.
Over a period of several years, the slaves toiled, secretly inserting themselves into a local freehold as they prepared the nearby area for their master's approach. As time went on, however, they grew increasingly distraught over their plans. Without discussing their plans with one another, each began to secretly sabotage the project. Instead of forming a land friendly to the Keepers, they forged it as a trap to destroy him. When the day came for him to come, each of them launched a sneak attack simultaneously, prepared to die fighting the monster, only to be surprised and encouraged by each others' treachery. At the end of the furious battle, their Keeper was destroyed, and the former slaves agreed to use the gifts they had learned to create new safe havens for mortals and changelings alike.
In modern times, the mission of the Hallowed Garden continues. Their nature is to reform and change populated areas, making new "gardens" in which certain ideas can grow and flourish, and preventing dangerous ideas from taking root. As a rule, the order prefers to work to create quiet, peaceful communities -- places where those who have suffered can rest, and find new things to live for. They are architects of urban renewal and change, careful guardians of whatever ideals they believe in.
There are those who mistake the Gardeners for simple philosophers, but this order was formed in violence and death, and the keepers of the Hallowed Garden know that action is required to make their desires a reality. They form neighborhood watches, look after their fellow citizens, and do whatever needs to be done when their new friends are threatened. They stand on the front lines, leading by example, and their purpose and activities are clearly visible. The Gardeners are not secret benefactors -- they are proud of what they are, and inspire others to follow in their footsteps.
On the other hand, the Gardeners are an intensely political group. They have the power to change society to match their ideals, and not everyone agrees with those goals. In plenty of freeholds, there are running rivalries between a congregation of Gardeners and any number of other forces that have different ideas about what the world should look like.
Characters might hear the following rumors regarding this entitlement:
- When someone starts causing particular trouble for a domain, the order is not above using immoral or flatly illegal methods to remove them. Mortals who have tried to interfere in the societies that the order builds have been known to vanish, never seen again. Whispers abound that the order's more fanatical members kill such problem-people -- or even sell them to hobgoblins in exchange for help in other areas.
- In the fateful battle that founded the order, one of the Gentry's slaves did not revolt. He escaped the death of his former master, and formed his own Entitlement with other loyalists -- one that seeks to reproduce the effect their master worked towards. These dark Gardeners are not always recognizable as different from their counterparts, but the two groups have been fighting a shadowy war for centuries.
- Occasionally, the Gardeners will gather to create traps -- by forming areas that are safe for a group that they hate or are opposed to. After some time has passed, and only those they hate remain, they spring the trap, letting their oaths to the region lapse upon expiry to remove the benefits from which the newly-assembled miscreants were benefiting, and then entering the area to end them. There have been stories of dangerous gatherings of hobgoblins wiped out in this manner, after careful planning with the Summer Court.