The Order of Altus is an order made to counteract Tetnaziwyn's harsh declaration of war against the Clough. Feeling cheated out of the role as the next leader, Zephon had began to develop a plan to overthrow Tetnaziwyn after the death of his father, however he would be too late to do so as Tetnaziwyn killed Setomus and the war had begun. After the death of Adolf Gonzo, their brother, Zephon had gathered several Gonzo who also shared the same lack of confidence in Tetnaziwyn and together they swore they would bring back the old ways of the Gonzo and had then sided with the Clough in the war. Arrondal, having being part of this group, went to the Lassar Grottoes and encountered Tetnaziwyn, however he would not go without some men of the Clough. After Tetnaziwyn had become enraged, the two began to battle which caused Zephon and Xetron to teleport to the area and confront the Sith along with the Clough. After the inconclusive battle, members of the battle had met together to form the Order of Altus, set on destroying the Order of the Skodanov and restoring balance to the Aztarwynian religion.
The order is also another splinter in Aztarwynianism, its counterpart being the Skodanov, and Altusian Aztarwynians have very different beliefs in some aspects of the religion and can be considered "morally good." However, their morals can often be called to question as they still support much of the religion, recognizing Aztarwyn as a God and do not have a define alignment, although they claim to be Lawful Good. As an addition to this, members of the House of Gonzo that are as well members of the Order will continue their use of shadow magic for a preferred style, despite that the order promotes light magic over shadow. Despite this, the order is based off the Guthixian belief that balance is necessary and the Skodanov have upset that balance.
Ranks in the Altus are much more straight-forward, and frankly, is a wider variety. As with the Skodanov, all members are called by their first name and their title preceeding it, such as Grandmaster Zephon or Master Cade.
An Altusian Initiate is the first step within the Order of Altus. Often introduced as a young child or a beginning rank for older members who climb the ladder rather quickly, Initiates will learn the very basics of the teachings of the Altus, basic swordsplay and very basic magic. Due to this, being a young age, such as six or seven, is very desireable for members that are fully committed to the Order of Altus. An Initiate will be promoted to Squire when they are of at least twelve years of age should they be young, or until they have shown enough progress to be promoted if they have not by the twelth birthday.
Members of the order who currently hold this rank:
Being the next rank from Initiate, Squires are typically younger in age as well, the minimum being twelve. They will earn a basic sword as a reward for their promotion and begin to develop more skills in melee over magic for the beginning years of this rank. Typically lasting seven years before the next promotion is considered, Squires will often stay back in the headquarters of the Altus, very rarely seeing the battlefield. In the latter years of their training, Squires will begin to develop on their magical abilities, with a heavy empthasis on light magic and their preferred secondary. After their training as a Squire is complete, they will receive a white sword of mithril as a gift of promotion, and a set of combat robes for the battlefield.
Members who currently hold this rank:
The Knight, a more common ranking within the order, is an intermediate stage of ones training. With a good understanding of the magics and how to use a sword and perhaps even a bow, the Knights will serve the order as its guardians. Usually on missions with their master, Knights will taste the battlefield to further enhance their skills and gain some experience before going into further ranks. Due to this, this stage of the training can last for even a decade, and can end very shortly as a fatal blow could end it all. Knights will also learn from their master the ways of an ambassador, perhaps viewing a negotiation between their master and an outside party and when they become comfortable with it, perhaps conduct one themselves.
In addition to all of this, a Knight will also have the time to begin honing his skills with magic, preferably light and ones preferred secondary. However, it is very strongly recommended for them to also expand their knowledge into the rest of the elemental and other forms of magic. It is also recommended for Knights to begin expanding their knowledge of archery a little so it could come in handy for a certain situation.
By the time a Knight reaches the age range of 23-35, they will be considered for a promotion. The rank of Sentinel can be skipped if a Knight chooses to do so though, at the cost of being a Knight for a longer period of time. However, if a Knight chooses to remain a Knight until he is declared a Master, it is possible for a Knight of an older age to have an apprentice of their own under the supervision of his master. By the time their apprentice reaches the level of Knight, they should have achieved the rank of Master long before then.
Members of the order who currently hold this rank:
- It's gonna be a big list.
Altusian Sentinels are higher classed Knights, however they have shown enough skill and have given consent to a promotion. A Sentinel can have an apprentice of their own, as an older Knight may have, while being supervised by their master. In this stage of training, Sentinels may be sent on missions by themselves to gain some experience without their master and improve on their knowledge. However, the rank is not much different from a Knight and is often considered as a buffer rank. Although, Sentinels are usually granted the task of protecting Blakan Estate from enemies.
Current members of the order that hold this rank:
- Slightly less longer list
The rank of Master is the final rank for one to achieve that isn't the Grandmaster of the Order. Knights and Sentinels will be granted this rank once their master has deemed their training fully complete and the Grandmaster approves such a notion. After a ceremony in which makes the promotion official, a Master will begin ones journey to becoming respected and very influential within the order. A Master may also befriend other Masters as they had been former apprentices. However, newly ranked masters will not be as influential in decisions or even commanding the battlefield as other experienced ones. This will depend on when one was promoted, the age, how long they have been a master, and even if they had an apprentice during their stages as a Knight or Sentinel.
It is very often that the age of a Master shall be around their late thirties to their mid-forties due to the responsibility of this role, the wisdom that it requires and all the years of training one must go through to achieve this rank. From here, the wisest, most influential, respected and powerful Master will be able to take the mantle of Grandmaster should the occupation be available.
Members of the order who hold this rank:
- Decent list.
The true final rank within the order, the rank of Grandmaster is achieved by those who have excelled beyond others in wisdom, strength and leadership. Only the most respected of Masters will be honored with the role of leading their order towards enlightenment.
Once one has ascended to this rank, the Grandmaster of Altus has all commanding power within the order and is also considered the Master of all members. In addition, the Grandmaster is allowed to help train or even have himself many Initiates and Squires, and may also aid in the training of a Knight. Although not often, the Grandmaster may also take a Knight for his own apprentice. Initiates gain a head start in their training if they begin in group sessions with the Grandmaster, as they will have had a year or so to get use to the ways of the Altus at this early stage before being assigned to a Master.
There is no way to successfully become Grandmaster should there be one in power already, not alone anyways. Unlike the Skodanov, there is no cleansing system of some sorts in the ways of death. If a Grandmaster is disliked enough, highly respected Masters will call for a vote of no confidence and will vote upon a new Grandmaster to take the way. Additionally, a Grandmaster who is favored may also retire from his position and if approved by the other Masters, will choose his successor, otherwise voted upon. Once retired, the Grandmaster may take to either leaving the Altus to live the rest of ones life in peace or retain the rank of Master with a high amount of respect and influence. Due to this, Grandmasters typically tend to be either old as they are promoted and eventually retire, and perhaps tend to reign for a longer period of time.
Currently, Zephon Altus Gonzo is the Grandmaster of Altus.
Differences in Aztarwynianism
- Like how the Skodanov are based off of the Star Wars version of the Sith, the Altus are based off of the Jedi in the same universe. However, they are not as heavily influenced by their original inspiration as the Sith are.
- The order was named after Zephon's middle name, Altus.
- Not too different from the Jedi, the Altus use a mixture of both light and darkness in their magic as some Jedi had used both sides of the Force.
- The symbol of the Order of Altus is the same pentagram from the Seal of Gonzo, however turned white to show that they are considered "the good guys" and to show opposition against the Skodanov.
- In addition to this, in previous incarnations of the physical Seal of Gonzo during the era of Aztarwyn, the seal had a white aura when summoned while Tetnaziwyn's has a red aura.
- The theme of questioning who the good guys really are is also taken from the idea that the Jedi are evil.
- Like the Skodanov, there are references in the naming of few characters of members in their respective orders.
- While the Skodanov is composed of all Gonzo, the Altus are also composed of Clough, thus mixing the houses even further.
- This is also accurate, as the Clough were originally idealized as the Jedi while the Gonzo were idealized as the Sith prior to their mixing.