From Unofficial Handbook of the Virtue Universe
The Millennium Paladins are a medium/heavy roleplaying group on the blueside of Virtue. They are focused on character-driven, small-group roleplaying (albeit with an emphasis on mission-running). While not exactly 'themed', the MPs are based around a central storyline and dedicated to a specific code of conduct.
IN THE BEGINNING...
It all started with a dream.
Mykal Tannan, a native of Galaxy City, had been having disturbing dreams which he later found were a foreshadow of events that would soon be unfolding.
This was only a piece to a larger picture where he would gather a team of chosen people, handpicked by God Almighty Himself, to be beacons of hope, goodness, and truth, marked by their character as well as their abilities. A hero's heroes.
Of these, there will be found those that have the special star-shaped mark of The Twelve; men and women prophesied to have key roles in a cataclysmic event called The Unknown Certainty, which is said will change the world forever.
They are a new order of knights standing on the virtues of honor, courage, commitment, and purity. Heroes for a new age. A new era. A new millennium.
We are the Millennium Paladins.
The Millennium Paladins are one of the oldest Supergroups in City of Heroes. We pride ourselves on our cooperation and dedication; despite going through numerous periods of inactivity and reduction, we always manage to bounce back. Regardless of setbacks, we keep our gaze focused on our goal of becoming one of the most respected and recognized forces in Paragon City. We are focused on roleplaying and it is a requirement to be a part of the team. Promotion and advancement is based upon being in character, among other things.
We are always looking for the right people to join our modern order. We are not necessarily sword-wielding, chain mail-wearing, horseback riding warriors of old ... unless that is what you look like. We are defined by our conduct and character, not by what we wear. A Millennium Paladin is a hero's hero. Our in-game lives and actions serve to uphold these tenets. This doesn't mean we are perfect; far from it. It means that even when we are wrong, our motives are plainly seen through our actions.
The Millennium Paladins has always been a small SG. Initially, it was intended by Servant 12 to be nothing more than himself and the chosen Twelve that he was determined to find. As time passed, however, the decision was made to begin actively recruiting other heroes. These were not necessarily people marked with the sign of the Twelve, but those who shared similar core values and beliefs.
As a heavy RPSG, the Millennium Paladins maintain some specific requirements that must be met in order to join. We don't have a lot of restrictions, but the ones we do have are enforced fairly rigidly. As we are a medium/heavy RPSG, being in character is a requirement. While we do communicate out-of-character fairly frequently, it is done either in our OOC channel or in double parentheses (( )) as defined by standard RP rules. The reason for this is that we want to constantly spark everyone's imagination and have new and different things always happening outside of just going on missions and beating up bad guys. We feel that RP fosters an atmosphere of creativity and collaboration, and therefore, more fun. We encourage all of our members to come up with bios and (if possible) VirtueVerse pages.
While we are not technically 'themed' and do not limit our membership to a specific character background or type, there are certain race/class combinations that we do not accept for membership. This includes demonic, fallen angel, witch, warlock, or anti-hero characters. We may not all be saints, but the heart of who and what we are should line up with our basic mission and message.
Finally, all of our members are expected to read, understand, and adhere to the Code of the Millennium Paladins.
While we have historically undertaken monthly recruitment drives, the MPs are almost always looking for new potential members, and we rarely miss an opportunity to scout out a promising, SG-less role-player for potential recruitment. On rarer occasions, interested individuals will contact us. When an interesting potential comes to our attention, we will do what we can to feel out their role-playing chops, usually by first checking out the quality of their bio. We will approach the person and strike up a conversation, usually (though not necessarily) for the purpose of asking them to join up; we will normally role-play this interaction.
If you would like to know more about the Millennium Paladins, you can contact Servant 12, Magnus Angelus, or Redshift Steel in-game and we will be more than happy to talk about who we are. Or you can check out the Millennium Paladin website for more information. Whichever of the three chief officers is contacted will make an initial evaluation regarding the potential recruit, then send them to the other two supervising officers to be interviewed. Once all three officers are satisfied that they are familiar enough with the potential recruit's background and roleplaying ability, they will make a decision about inviting that person into the supergroup. We like to make sure that we know as much as possible about each new recruit before we make them an MP, in order to avoid potential problems later.
The Millennium Paladins come from all kinds of places and walks of life. Our ranks include corporate businessmen, scientists, holy men, vigilantes, supersoldiers, mutants, aliens, warriors, inventors, rogues, crusaders, and secret agents. However, despite our differences, we are all united in our dedication to Servant 12's cause and ideals. As heroes, we share in the belief that our extraordinary powers require us to be held to a higher standard of behavior and conduct. We are all Paladins in motive and deed, if not in form and spirit, determined to hold ourselves up as an example of what true heroes can be.
We patrol vigilantly and continuously. Paragon City is our home, and we are not discriminating in choosing which agents of evil we fight against. There is no shortage of gangs and organizations that serve to threaten the safety and security of the city and those who dwell in it. One day we may be fighting against Arachnos or Malta Group; another mission may find us infiltrating Oranbega or the Shadow Shard. However, we are always on the lookout for information that may lead us to the various scattered pieces of the Eleazar Prophecy. It is only by collecting and studying this ancient document that we can attempt to ascertain the nature of the Unknown Certainty. The threat of this mysterious and supposedly cataclysmic event was the impetus that led Servant 12 to begin gathering the Paladins.
This is not a religious supergroup, but it is a spiritual one. Our leader, Servant 12, is a devout Christian and he makes no effort to hide that. His faith in God is what led him to create the MPs in the first place and is at the core of who and what he is. While not all of us in the MPs may agree with his beliefs, we do respect and tolerate them, and they are not and never have been a valid reason for us to ever question his leadership or integrity. We will not deny that this focus on God and spirituality has caused relational problems for the Millennium Paladins in the past; however, it is not the true focus of our supergroup. We are not evangelicals and we do not proselytize. What we do believe in is our Code; it is what gives us our strength and focus and is what separates us from many other hero groups who are simply interested in glory, power, or merely 'getting the job done'. We have our standards of heroic behavior and integrity and we do our mortal best to stick to them. For those heroes and hero groups who are truly open-minded and have similar attitudes and beliefs, we believe that our Code speaks for itself and should be all that really matters as far as interactions go with others of a like mind.
Who We Are
In order to better explain the ideas and motivations behind the Millennium Paladins, here are a few words from the man himself, Servant 12:
"I feel that this needs to be laid out for those who need clarity about what the Millennium Paladins are about."
"The term "millennium" has a twofold meaning."
"In one sense, it is speaking about the 1000 days that is coming during the Unknown Certainty. In another broader sense, it's talking about the new millennium that we've just entered into and how we represent a new kind of paladin for this millennium."
"The term paladin has been extended to be applied to any medieval champion or knight of distinctive virtue. In the strict historical sense, a paladin was a high-level official in numerous countries of medieval and early modern Europe serving the Roman Empire in the Middle Ages."
"However, since we're dealing with the term paladin from the fictional sense, this is where the idea for the Millennium Paladins originates. On this level, they have come to be known as holy warriors, symbols of righteousness, light, and truth. Most of it is taken from the Twelve Peers of Charlemagne and Knights of the Round Table, i.e King Arthur and Lancelot, with a biblical context thrown in which is the new twist."
"When we look at the background of both Charlemagne and King Arthur, we find that some of them converted to Christianity. In the story of Charlemagne, it's Ferumbras (also known as Fierabras), and Otuel. In the Arthurian account, King Arthur himself was a Christian. One account of him puts it this way:
"Arthur was a Christian, and was pushing the Christian cause. Nennius says that Arthur went into battle "Wearing the image of the Holy Virgin Mary on his shield." Ambrosius was a Roman, and sought Roman values and Roman gods. Vortigern was a pagan, and sought to restore Pagan values to Britain. Arthur was the Christian champion; his victory was seen as a victory of the Christian god over godless heathens, and helped spread the cause of Christianity in Britain. He possibly recognized that if Roman qualities were to survive in Europe, they had to be identified with the Christian cause, and that the barbarians had to be conquered not only because they were seizing the island from the citizens, but quite simply because they were heathens. He was fighting not only for the land of Britain, but for civilization. His motives and greatness could thus be recognized by Christian elements throughout Europe. The ages that followed were Christian, and the acts of Arthur the Christian champion acquired a significance and permanence that were denied to the more ancient virtues of Ambrosius."
"So when we look at the term paladin, we are referring to that holy warrior of benevolence and goodness, holding up a standard of truth and righteousness."
"As with the Peers and the Knights of the Round Table, everyone is not a Christian. Far from it. Many are a part of the Millennium Paladins because they strongly believe in the ideal that they stand for, as with the Peers and the Knights. So your character doesn't have to be a Christian or even to believe in God. But they have to believe in the virtues we stand for."
"The spiritual aspect behind the Paladins is similar to the exploits of King Arthur and the Holy Grail, Excalibur, and the sort. Ours is simply taken from a biblical context."
"Now, if it makes you feel uncomfortable because God is the motivating force behind our theme, this is not the SG for you. But if that doesn't bother you and you dig what we stand for and wish to try to attain that standard (though in all likelihood, we won't attain it fully - simply because that bar is raised WAY up there and we're human, which makes for excellent RP opportunities), then apply and we'll set up an interview."
"Thanks for your time."
Honor (Doxa) - An MP carries their own weight and is aware that their actions are a reflection on the entire order. If a person or group is not playing well or having trouble, they should try to help them out. Should an MP find themselves in a situation where other heroes are being difficult, then they should discretely and politely remove themselves from the group. How an MP interacts in teams affects other heroes' views of the supergroup.
If an MP sees another 'hero' bullying someone, then they should stand up for that person with dignity. There are many so-called 'heroes' who don't act like it. Millennium Paladins stand up for the innocent. If they see another hero in trouble, they should assist them; taking down a villain that's beating the snot out of them, give them a heal, an inspiration, or an escort or emergency teleport out of a dangerous zone.
MPs do not whine or beg others for influence, inspirations, or enhancements (not even an Awaken if they fall), ask to be power leveled, or leave sidekicks stranded. If there is a need to leave, a mentor makes sure that there is someone else available to cover them or make sure they can exit the mission safely.
Courage (Tharsos) - MPs do not abandon their missions. This includes task forces, trials, timed missions, and SG missions. An MP needs to make sure that they have the time and focus available to successfully complete the mission - OR inform the rest of the team that their time is limited and may not be able to do so. Difficulty and risk are an MP's constant companions, ones that are accepted despite one's feelings of fear and trepidation. It does not make us foolhardy or reckless, but we are constantly being tested and pitted against the greatest and most dangerous threats in Paragon. When we are teamed, our missions are always set to Invincible, and while in that group, everyone is encouraged to set theirs to the same level.
Commitment (Admitta) - MPs must be committed to the cause and to each other. Loyalty is a high priority. Characters that are inactive for more than thirty days without prior notice will be removed from the roster. If a character has a personal issue that prevents them from maintaining their activity level, then the rest of the group must be informed.
An MP must be willing to be part of the order. This means teaming with other MPs and assisting them with missions, as well as wearing supergroup colors while on an MP team. An MP team is any team where the majority of team members are MPs, no matter what their number is. This says a lot of things about us to others. It will begin to identify our team to other heroes simply by our look. Beyond that, it is imperative that we team together whenever we can; it truly does help to build an atmosphere of camaraderie within the order.
The first order of business when beginning a patrol period is to investigate which other MPs are currently active. Greet them through the SG comm channel and then ask if there is anything they need help with. If group members are involved in a mission with another (non-MP) team, then they should leave as soon as that mission is over. When leaving for this reason, simply inform them that your SG needs you. If it's a good team, then try to get some or all of them on board our MP team. If another MP is within three Security Levels of you, then it is expected that you will work out an arrangement that will benefit the both of you. Whether one of you wants to be SKed or Exemped, or it is enough to simply be available to help a lower-leveled member, the important thing is to make the arrangement. Communication is key; no one can be helped unless both MPs are clear on what steps need to be taken.
Since each person's time is valuable, we want to make sure that it is used productively. That should mean that your endeavors are, first and foremost, fun, and secondly, that you are getting the best possible benefit from them. SKing or exemplaring doesn't always provide the best possible experience rewards, but is sometimes necessary. Being committed, however, is going to take work. That may mean SKing one minute and exemplaring the next. So, to reiterate, we should look to team with each other whenever possible. If an MP is not teamed, they should check with the other active members regularly to see who needs help.
Another measurement of commitment is earning prestige and salvage for the team. This will be checked and noted regularly, as we have developed a system for promotion based on this and other factors.
Purity (Sanctitas) - MPs are examples of goodness and righteousness. We do not allow serious profanity and/or use of explicit words, coarse joking, insults, vulgarity, or harsh language within the group. The repeated use of such will result in a one-time private warning followed by removal if the behavior is repeated. The MPs are a 'PG-13' rated SG (despite the modern trend of ratings moving steadily UP towards their hypothetically acceptable limits); as such, MPs are expected to exercise the proper restraint with regards to their vocabulary.
If another person is giving you a hard time or being annoying, there are two options. Either ignore them and leave, or, by private arrangement, take it to a PvP zone. In this case, if you win, do not gloat. Let your actions speak for themselves. Stay in character, but do not be a snob about it; unless, of course, that's part of your character. But you must have this established ahead of time.
Your character must be good; or, at the very least, not evil. This does not mean that we will not work with you if your character has dark powers, but we do not negotiate with or tolerate evil, and we avoid the very appearance of it.
The Millennium Paladins are all about service, both to the people of Paragon City and each other. Each and every one of us, from Servant 12 and the high officers to the newest recruit, is dedicated to helping any member of the group with whatever problem or challenge they may be faced with. Any hero can gain Security Levels and increase their personal power; however, it takes a truly dedicated and selfless individual to rise through the ranks from recruit to officer.
As a Paladin grows in the use of their abilities and the knowledge of their destiny, they should become more mature. With this maturity and molding is the potential reward of 'servant leadership'. That is, as we progress upwards, we serve the brethren more. This is quite dissimilar from what is exemplified in most of the world today, where leaders expect (and are even expected) to be served by those beneath them. As a paladin climbs in rank, they take on more responsibility. This can come in many forms; leading mission and patrol teams, organizing task forces, supervising trials, helping in personal pursuits (creating and RPing in subplots), scheduling and hosting Paragon City tours (badge hunting), mentoring lesser rank characters, and more.
The MPs have five ranks. To achieve these ranks, there are certain minimum requirements that must be met. Prestige is only one marker used to gauge an MP's advancement, as are Security Level and number of Badges earned. In addition, Servant 12 has devised a system of Roleplaying Points (RPs) and Activity Points (APs) that are awarded upon a Paladin's participation in certain SG-related activities. All of these factors are taken into consideration when deciding whether a specific MP should be promoted or not.
Soldiers are the new recruits. They are individuals that have been enlisted into the service of the MP cause. This tends to act as a probationary rank, intended to weed out those who are truly dedicated to the group's mission from those who are not truly active or involved. Typically, Soldiers have a month to demonstrate their understanding of and dedication to the Code of the Millennium Paladins. Whenever new Soldiers are invited into the order, they are assigned a higher-ranking officer to supervise their training and acclimation period. At the end of their first month, their supervisor is tasked with deciding if they are truly worthy of remaining a servant to the cause.
Commanders have proven themselves to be strong supporters of the order. These are individuals who have taken on the responsibility of leadership on teams. They are also noteworthy for their attention to the lesser Soldiers under their supervision, in addition to their own personal development and advancement as Millennium Paladins. Requirements for consideration for Promotion: 50,000 Prestige, Level 15+, 25 Badges, 55 AP/50 RP
Captains have shown exemplary service in many areas, beyond simply leading teams in the field. They may organize and lead Task Forces or Trials, coordinating heroes over multiple missions as opposed to simply supervising a single engagement. They have demonstrated their aptitude for leadership and cooperation and are selfless in support of their brethren. They have also begun to contribute significant amounts of time and effort to the supergroup as a whole, in addition to what they give to individuals. Captains are often given the responsibility of supervising the training of newly-recruited Soldiers. Requirements for consideration for Promotion: 125,000 Prestige, Level 25+, 50 Badges, 100 AP/125 RP
Marshals have earned their rank with service that goes further than what is needed; they have begun to go above and beyond the call of duty. Giving more than they take, they are shining examples of sacrifice and dedication. They may be called upon to take on administrative duties within the supergroup, beyond field command, supervision, or training. Requirements for consideration for Promotion: 175,000 Prestige, Level 35+, 100 Badges, 150 AP/210 RP
Crusaders obviate description. Their title says it all. These are people who eat, sleep, and breathe the way of the Millennium Paladin - not because they try, but because it is what they have become. Their unwavering allegiance to the order is unmatched as they continue to serve Paragon and, ultimately, the world around them. Crusaders make up the upper echelon of the MPs command structure, forming an inner council of advisors that assist Servant 12 directly with whatever he may need help with. Since they are trusted with the most vitally important missions and tasks, they are often charged with carrying out high-level administrative tasks and escort Servant 12 on his diplomatic missions. Requirements for consideration for Promotion: 300,000 Prestige, Level 45+, 200 Badges, 250 AP/400 RP
To be ambitious and seek the offices listed above is admirable, but ambition alone is not the true mark of a Millennium Paladin. The decision to bestow each rank is considered carefully between each and all of the highest ranking MPs (Marshals and Crusaders). Ultimately, it is an MP's value as a person that decides whether they warrant advancement. Meeting the necessary prestige, level, badge, and point requirements only qualifies them for consideration; it does not automatically guarantee them a promotion. The leadership of the MPs must agree that a member possesses the necessary strength of character that will allow them to better serve their fellow Paladins before they can be put in a position to do so.
The Millennium Paladins do not have a specific uniform per se; members are free to wear whatever type or style of clothing or costume that they wish. We have had many members over the years; all of them came in various shapes, sizes, and colors, and most of them had a variety of interesting and impressive suits and outfits. However, the MPs do have a specific set of supergroup colors and emblem. These are typically pure white laid over bright gold; our emblem, easily recognizable to most group members, is the 'tailed star' or 'inverted comet', closely resembling a firework spark being shot into the sky. Perhaps considered to be an ostentatious choice by some, this bright color pattern was, in fact, chosen deliberately by Servant 12 as a means to make us highly visible and recognizable to non-MPs while we are engaged in battle. It is an effective but very simple color/emblem configuration and is very easy to apply to almost any costume or suit. Wearing SG colors is highly encouraged while pursuing MP business or while on another hero's team; in this way, people outside of the supergroup will hopefully begin to recognize Millennium Paladins by the bright white and gold colors that they wear.
Servant 12 - Founder, Chief Diplomat & Chief Inventor
Vic Furious - 2nd in Command & Covert Operations Specialist
Kuragari Umbra - Chief Researcher & Base Engineer
The Aegirian Templar - Training Officer & SG Information Officer
Despite their rather lengthy place in the recent history of Paragon City, the MPs have never been a high-profile group. Part of this is due to their small size; however, there have at times been other factors that have prevented them from gaining notoriety and allies. While they are usually willing to enter into coalitions (presuming of course that the right kind of group is found) their prior experiences with inter-SG diplomacy have left them cautious. Currently, however, the Millennium Paladins are seeking coalitions with up to three role-playing supergroups.
A.E.G.I.S. Project (group defunct)
Mighty Men of Valor (group defunct)
Shield of Paragon (Closed Coalition)
Villains of Paragon City
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