Born in the tumult that followed the Turning, the Church of the Cleansing Flame has grown throughout the Age of Strife, and few are left untouched by its endless crusade for Justice and Righteousness. Fire creates light and warmth, and thus the Confessors of the Flame seek to illuminate the innocent, drive away all shadow, and expose the taint of evil. But to effect real change in the World, the Fire must burn all that is impure. The Templars, fanatical soldier-priests of the Cleansing Flame, have pledged themselves to this end. Templars are the strength of the Temple, enforcing its will in the World and smiting any who oppose the cause of Righteousness.
Blessed by the touch of the Cleansing Flame, Templars are immune to fire, and their devotion to the All-Father makes them fearless in battle. Their duties to the Temple are many: Templars detain and hold suspected heretics, mete out punishment as the Confessors demand, and serve as shock troops in the Temple's ongoing war against those whose who stand outside the Light. Orcs, Elves, Irekei, pagans, and many others have felt the wrath of the Firebrands, wandering bands of Templars charged with seeking out and destroying evil wherever it may lie. Their devotion to the cause is unwavering, their commitment absolute, and their battle unending.
Every Templar must live according to a precise and exacting code of conduct, living to the exact measure of the Twelve Articles of Faith. While most Templars are called to the service of the Flame by their faith, some are former heretics who, upon renunciation of their sinful ways, were reborn in the crucible of the Flame. These purified converts are just as devoted as any other Templar, and even more ferocious in battle. Like the Confessors they serve, Templars can invoke the blessings of the Flame and the Holy Saints, calling upon their power to bolster their might and confound their enemies in battle. Every Templar lives for the chance to bring the Flame's wrath to the wicked, for only when all of the impure have been destroyed will the All-Father return, and reward His loyal servants.
The aspirant will come forward. You have done well, and the time of your testing is nearly finished. If you pass your ordeal today, you shall take up the Armor of Virtue and the Sword of Justice and join the ranks of the Holy Templars of the Cleansing Flame, becoming an instrument of righteousness and purity. If you fail, you die, and your ashes will help rejuvenate this broken world.
Turn, now, and look out upon the world beyond. It is a world of sin, of vice, of madness. Beasts born of chaos and foul sorcery ravage the land, sowing once abundant fields with blood and misery. The Sons of Men accepted the All-Father's Chosen Champion, the High King Cambruin, but then betrayed and murdered him, bringing on the Turning, the death of the World that Was. Since that woeful stroke, the All-Father's voice has been silent, and wickedness has spread unchecked. The sundered World groans and bleeds like a dying beast, overrun with hideous creatures, unclean savages, and the tyranny of evil men. Look long. This is the Darkness every Templar must fight. This is the world we will send you into, if you live.
Know this: a Light endures, even in the very heart of darkness. Turn now, and behold the Cleansing Flame, symbol of our Order and our most sacred duty! As a surgeon must sometimes cut away diseased flesh to save the whole man, so shall you strike down the unbeliever, the heretic, and the unrepentant sinner. As red hot iron sears a wound closed, staunching the flow of blood, so will your efforts close the wounds of the world, bringing recovery through pain. As a Templar, you shall serve as a soldier of Justice and a beacon of Righteousness. Your Faith will make miracles if your Spirit be strong enough. Your must tend to the needs and well being of the righteous, and smite the wicked and unworthy. Your conscience and your Brother Confessors will show you which is which.
Your road will never be an easy one: some men will fear you, and agents of Chaos will fall on you as their direst enemy. You must keep true to your vows, no matter the hardship. Cling to the Articles of Faith, and the All-Father's grace shall shine upon you. If you keep the Flame kindled brightly within your heart, you shall join the ranks of the Blessed, and mount up with wings as an angel of retribution, and the sacred Flame will spring forth from your righteous blade. When all the sick, weak, and impure parts of the World have been burned away, only then shall the All-Father rejoice, and turn his countenance back upon us, and open the gates of Heaven so that we, his chosen avengers, can receive our just reward.
Look to your faith, aspirant, for the time of your final test has come. I hold in my hand the Brand of Duty, heated to a white radiance in the Sacred Flame that ever burns in the heart of our temple. I shall touch it to your breast, over your heart, and you shall be marked forever with the Sign of the Burning Sword, symbol of our order. If the heart beneath the brand is true, the heat of the flame shall run riot through your blood, and you will never need fear any lesser flame again. If your heart is false you shall be consumed by the very Flame you sought, wrongfully, to serve. Stand still, and do not cry out - any sign of weakness now will seal your doom. May the All-Father, Saint Malorn the Just, and all the angels of Heaven watch over your soulâ€¦