The Black Order, traditionally the Black Robes, is the Order of life and joy. If one wishes to moralize, it is traditionally the order of good. Its members are devoted to helping others, protecting all life, and enjoying life. Many are, ostensibly, pacifists, although that does not, usually, apply to the Great Conflict. The Black Order is the primary reason that the Arcanum engaged the Ravagers on behalf of Humanity, to protect the innocent. As such, the order only accepts those applicants who are willing, and are judged willing, to uphold life, loyalty, and a sincere devotion to the well-being of others.
The Black Order is led by a council of nine members, all master sorcerers. Each member is chosen and groomed or trained by their predecessor. According to the order’s council, prospective council members are usually the up and coming figures in the order. Most members have a significant voice in the order’s operation and direction, through petitions and meetings with the members of the council.
As one might expect, the Black Order largely opposes the White Order in most things. As polar opposites, this occurs in the majority of cases and White Order members are forbidden from Black Order schools and facilities. That said, they agree on opposition to the Ravagers, just not the exact methods. The order’s relationship, both politically and otherwise, with the Grey Order is more rocky. Of all the orders, the Blue is probably the closest in alliance and philosophy to the Black. But, even that is often fraught with problems.
Black Order Sects
The Black Order’s three most well known sects are the Flamen Cabal, Greensward, and the Serpent Circle. There are others, but these are the largest or most well known, and we have limited space.
The Flamen Cabal is one of the oldest sects in the order. It is more of a club than a political or philosophical sect. Members tend to engage more in socializing and discussion of their experimentation. They share an interest in the art of alchemy. According to the cabal, the practice of alchemy was once common among sorcerers. Somewhere in history, it disappeared, whether it fell out of fashion or stopped working is unclear. Regardless, few outside the cabal have bothered trying to practice, study, or reconstruct it.
Greensward is a growing element of the Black Order. They have grown enough that they are beginning to petition the Council to break away and become an independent order unto themselves. Greensward is a very nature oriented sect, focused on conservation, protection, and growth of the natural, non-urban world. They strongly favor wood and water sorceries, for various reasons. In some ways, they strongly resemble the modern world’s view of druids, based as it is on video games and other entertainment media.
The Serpent Circle is a collective of healers, specialists in the healing aspects of water and wood, as well as, often, mundane methods. They meet locally, regionally, and even globally to exchange information, discuss epidemics and other issues, and teach each other various techniques and spells to better treat their patients. Members of the sect are sworn to treat and help anyone in need of medical attention, regardless of order, sect, or species. They make a single exception for the Ravagers, a compromise to the Great Conflict and Arcanum law.