The Ordo Canisque travels the length and breadth of the empire, upholding and enforcing their three-fold mandate.
- The Imperial Peace (Pax Imperialis). To uphold the law, preserve the peace, and serve justice where it is needed. This duty can take many forms, from mediating disputes between nobles or settlements, to hunting down villains wherever they may be found. For this, they are embraced by the common folk as heroes, the Hound a symbol of loyalty and service.
- The Imperial Faith (Fidei Imperialis). To preserve the faith from distortion and false teachings. This includes both resolving issues and disputes that may occur within the church, as well as keeping watch for subversion or heresy. In more remote regions, a traveling Hound may also be called upon to perform the functions of priest, officiating weddings, anointing children, and laying the dead to rest. For this, they are seen by the devout as shepherds, the Hound a symbol of purity preserving the faith.
- The Imperial Eye (Oculus Imperialis). To be the eyes and ears of the emperor, wherever they may go. The least known among the common folk, this is the duty most important to the throne. They serve as imperial intelligence and investigation, rooting out any trace of civil unrest, corruption, or foreign influence. For this, they are viewed by both the wicked and the wise as a threat, knowing full well the danger of a sniffing Hound.
Making of a Hound
Hounds are recruited from many walks of life. Some are awarded the position for deeds performed in imperial service. Others are brought up by the church and raised for the position. The Order makes no distinction between noble or peasant, nor from what province or family a candidate my be found. All that matters is the potential of the individual, and their ability to handle the rigorous training required of them.
Before such training can even begin, candidates must swear an oath upon the throne itself, pledging their lives and loyalty in its service. This is not an oath to be taken lightly, for the words require that the Hound renounce all other ties and loyalties.
Before such a training can even begin, candidates must swear an oath binding themselves to the order. This is not a thing to be taken lightly, for the words require that the potential hound renounce all other ties and forsake any future outside of the emperor's service.
The training of a Hound is a process requiring years of dedication. When a candidate is chosen, they are sent to the ancient monastery fortress broadly known as Castle Canis. They will spend several years here, undergoing the physical and mental training required to perform their duty. The core of this centers around classical education with a particular focus on history. Other core subjects include diplomacy, espionage, military strategy, statecraft, personal combat, and the faith. From here, individuals may expand into other areas or specialize further, inevitably gravitating towards areas that suit their particular strengths.I, (Candidate's Name), swear myself to the Imperial Throne and the Order of the Hound. I renounce all worldly claims, I sever all ties of blood and fealty. I shall have no family, take no wife, father no children. I will inherent no lands, earn no titles, and win no personal glories.
I am the emperor's eyes, that nothing may escape his notice. I am the emperor's hands, that my shield may protect the righteous, and that my sword may punish the wicked. I am the emperor's voice, carrying his word to the furthest regions of his domain.
From this breath until my last, I am and shall remain an imperial Hound. My life is pledged to the Throne, that it may be sacrificed in His service, or taken should I fail.
During this period, they are not only evaluated for their mastery of the subject matter but for their personal character in turn. While the psychological arts are not widely known in the empire at large, they are keenly practiced by those charged with the sacred duty of training future hounds.
Should a candidate pass, they are granted the rank of Acolyte and placed beneath a senior member of the Order to finish their training. When their master considers them ready, they will be taken back to the capital and presented before the Throne. Emperor Willing, they will receive an Imperial Seal and begin their own journey through the land.
Once the oath has been taken, there is no hope of returning to civilian life. Those who fail to earn their seal and become full Hounds generally remain in service to the organization in other, lesser capacities. Others have the final clause in their oaths fulfilled, either due to mishap during training or intentional dismissal. It is an expected duty of a senior hound to put an end to the acolyte in their training, if it is shown that they cannot be trusted with the duties of the office.