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Imperial Hospitaliersby James Ruhland
Interests: The Hospitaliers are a quasi-governmental organisation led by Breindel Tzuriel, a Wizard of Alphatian origin. They are in charge of investigating outbreaks of disease, education regarding sanitation and disease prevention, and research to discover the causes, treatments, and cures for disease. They are also involved in biological research, training/schooling of members, and investigating abuses of magic.
Requirements: Members must be Clerics serving appropriate Immortals, Magic Users, or Paladins. Rakes are accepted into the order's investigatory arm. Members may be of any alignment but no one with a history of evil actions can be a member. They must be Thyatian Citizens of 5th level or higher and they may not be a member of any other order.
Annual Fee: None. Members are supported by the Order with an income of 100gp/month and free lodging in the Hospition, the order's headquarters in Thyatis City. Higher ranking members receive correspondingly greater pay, of course. Similar lodgings are available in Hospitiums established in other Thyatian cities as well. The Imperial Hospitaliers are supported by government grants and rents from property granted to it by the government and wealthy patrons. Many members also have outside sources of income as their duties as a Hospitalier do not take up all their time (this is especially true for members who are adventurers); those with outside income sources customarily tithe 10% of their income to the Order.
Benefits: In addition to free lodging members have access to the order's research library and labs and receive free training. Special equipment may be available for order-related missions and may be purchased at reduced prices otherwise. Members are also part of a special law-enforcement arm of the government, which gives them latitude in investigating and reporting criminal activities. As such their actions, if justified, are more likely to be rewarded than punished.
Problems: As members and government agents they will have a duty to put Hospitalier missions ahead of any other activities. They will often be given difficult missions which must be carried out discretely so as not to panic the population, but will be allowed to use their discretion in achieving the order's goals (which is why only people of sound judgement are permitted to be members of the Imperial Hospitaliers). Achieving high rank in the order requires the member to devote more time, eventually full-time, to Hospitalier duties, so adventurers who want to undertake other, non-Hospitalier activities will find it undesirable to be promoted in the order's ranks.