This might be something that I revisit later, but I realized recently that I never brought up this anomaly in War of Nytefall. For some quick background, the Garians are a holy order who follow Gar the God of Knowledge. Those who read Legends of Windemere might remember seeing him show up in a pantheon meeting scene or how his great library was visited by Trinity. I find myself using them a lot lately, which is what made me realize that they are fairly unique among the temples. This deals entirely with the Dawn Fangs and their origins.
If you pay any attention to fantasy where holy magic and undead are involved, you would know that these don’t mix. Priests, priestesses, druids, and paladins are all trained to destroy such creatures. It’s one of their most important tasks aside from healing and, if the author does so, convert people to the faith. This is where your battle-oriented priests tend to shine because it raises them above the role of healer. Of course, this is fairly nuanced since you need undead for the powers to be of use. In a world like Windemere, you don’t have to worry because there are skeletons, zombies, ghouls, ghasts, ghosts, vampires, liches, and all manner of undead wandering about. So, I always used priests and priestesses from the more ‘anti-monster’ orders like Durag the Sun God and Zaria the Purity Goddess.
Then, I reached the Dawn Fangs who can be affected by holy magic, but they can recover from it faster. It still hurts because they have some undead nature, especially with their magical auras. As I was preparing the books, I thought they would always have a problem with priests. Loyalty even had a big focus on the Duragians, who returned to be a threat in Eradication. This was how I thought it would be until I reached a point in Loyalty where Clyde and Mab had to infiltrate a temple. This was a tiny footnote and supposed to be a section that shows off their thief skills and teamwork. I didn’t have a plan to reveal much information beyond something to send them in a direction for the rest of the plot. Made perfect sense for the book.
Instead, something went sideways in the form of High Priest Huntley Pyodorus.
I think this happened because I felt like I couldn’t just call this guy they ran into the ‘priest’. Once he had a name, he needed a personality and then I had him be friends with Gregorio Roman. This introduced the concept of species tomes and turned the Garian order into more than a collection of libraries. I mean, I always knew I’d make them bigger because Gar is an ascended who played a major role in the ‘Tears of Gola’ trilogy that I want to do at some point. This managed to push the evolution a lot quicker and in a different direction. Not only the Garian order, but the Dawn Fangs and the whole of Windemere in general got a new facet.
Under the new perspective, I saw that Garians wouldn’t set out to destroy undead or any other creature. They are gatherers of knowledge and educators, which doesn’t fit with the more warrior types. Even healing is secondary to cataloging history and teaching people about it, especially after the Great Cataclysm. They do know how to defeat undead and will do so if they find themselves in a dangerous situation, but they won’t go out of their way like other orders. This makes them a stranger, pseudo-ally of the Dawn Fangs at times. They would see these new vampires as something to be observed and studied instead of erased. It would become even more apparent that they will change Windemere when they learn of Clyde’s dream of unity. At times, I felt like I was going borderline pacifist with the order too. It really made them stand out among the other orders that acted fairly uniformly in regards to undead.
I’m starting to think about other orders that will be turning up down the road. In the next series, I have conjoined twins with each one being a priestess to a different order. One follows the Goddess of Pain and the other follows the Goddess of Joy. It’s from the game that the main character originated in and a big part of it is them wanting to get separated because they don’t really get along. Anyway, that’s a story for another time. The point is that I’m not trying to think of how those orders work in a unique way. They won’t all have the Dawn Fangs or Huntley Pyodorus to act as catalysts though, so I might have gotten lucky with how the Garians worked out. Only time will tell.