The Paladins are servants of the Sun who have descended from Mount Genosus after death, no longer mortal. They are paragons of the Genosian faith and answer to their god directly - not to the church, or the Pontifatrix, or any secular authority.
They're a secretive but very influential group that has two duties, and two duties only.
- Service the Temple. Guard it, protect it, test those who desire entry.
- Crush Witches. A "Witch" is defined as anyone whose actions undermine construction of the Ziggurat, or upset their God. The use of certain magics in certain ways, certain practices, even certain races, all can constitute witchcraft. The Paladins find the offending people, and purge them with extreme prejudice.
Many extend their sweep to include villains, criminals, and more mundane infidels and heretics. The Paladins are from diverse backgrounds, and define things differently. To imitate a Paladin is also considered a terrible crime, though it is difficult to do so, as when in direct sunlight, they produce a corona of light around their heads. Many Paladins wear hats or helmets to prevent this as it can be distracting to others.
Some Paladins prefer to work as part of a group or a system. Some gather armies of militant warrior monks, who dedicate their lives to serving the Paladins in battle. These orders can become very powerful, and can effect politics and the affairs of nations, such as the White Company, led by Grandmaster Gnaeus, who has fought in thousands of wars across history, serving the will of Genosus and the needs of his worshippers against all enemies within and without. Others prefer to ride alone, like Victor Slate, known to some as The Fist of God.
When Paladins are killed, they rarely stay dead for long. It is known that they have the ability to return through the Solar Gate, but some of them take longer doing it than others, and a few simply elect not to. They are forbidden from holding noble title.
Within the annals of Ruvian Genosism, there are recorded a great number of Solar Paragons. Solar Paragons, more commonly known as Saints, are individuals who perfectly embody some element of the Genosian Creed, and are considered heroes of the religion and all of its practitioners.
It should be no surprise then that a great number of Paragons return as Paladins; since they were the finest followers of Genosus in life, the trend continues after death. Those who return through the gates are immediately canonized, if they were not already, and Paragons who do not return as Paladins are assumed to have some important duty within the Solar Realm.
What is extremely unusual, however, is for an individual to clearly be a Paladin, but for his origins not to be recorded in the Solar Scriptures or the Catechism of Dawn. This would imply that either they emerged in secret, unnoticed, or that they predate the religion at large, both of which are nearly heresy to insinuate openly.
The children of Paladins often rise high socially simply because of the prestige of their family line, but aside from almost always being very healthy, handsome individuals, there is nothing innately special about them. There is also no guarantee that they are pure of heart – a great many of them turn out to be assholes simply because they feel entitled to more because of their lineage.
Sulla himself had several children, at various incarnations in his time as Paladin. One, Bacchus Sulla, was the former head of the Sugilite Order, and was executed for treason after disobeying direct orders from the Pontifatrix by butchering tens of thousands of infidels in Pomerija. Sulla was present for his son's execution, but did nothing to stop it.
That man's daughter, Jinit "Salteyes" Sulla, is now the head of the Sugilite Order, and has supposedly never met her Grandfather. She is said to be six and a half feet tall, and wields a montante with one hand. Her name was given to her by her men, because she tears up constantly due to allergies, and a whitish crusting tends to form around her eyes.