The history of the Elfin Legal Defense as a society is so secret that its own members do not seem to know--or care--how it was founded. Theories abound purporting to explain the inception and structure of the sect, but none of them have gained any credence among scholars. It just seems to have been there, as if founded millennia ago before the existence of written records.
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Fortunately, its structure is clear, as is its intent. Elves devoted to law and good, having reached as full a stature as they may in their chosen professions, may become initiates. It was open to all professions normally practiced by elves with the obvious exceptions of thieves and assassins--clerics and fighters and magic users of the highest levels known among elves, as well as combinations of these groups. The one member of each profession deemed to have the most experience is appointed to "council"; the appointment is made every third year, so as to avoid constant flux between candidates who are very close in experience. The henchmen and hirelings of the council members form its principle staff. Since the council is so frequently in session, and since its members are generally very old and venerable, there was usually a new council every six years.
Admission to the sect was apparently quite simple. Elves of lawful good alignment at the top of their profession merely declared themselves initiates, and began to pursue the goals of the sect. During this period of initiation, the initiate is usually contacted by a Minor Council and given and Elven Cloak and Boots. As they continued to gain experience, they advanced within the sect, passing successively through Fourth, Third, Second, and First Classes, Single, Double, and Triple Stars, Minor and Major Constellators, Minor and Major Council, Captain and Major of Elves, Minor and Major Generals, Elfin Commander, Elfin Lord, Elfin Prince, and Elfin Defender. With each step in advancement, the elf is given progressively more powerful items, although it appears that they were required to return items which were redundant. For example, the four Classes were given progressively more powerful rings of protection, but as each ring was received, the lesser ring was returned. Also, fighters at the Single Star received plus one swords; Major Constellators carried Vorpal Swords, but had returned the plus one swords (and plus two and plus three swords and swords of sharpness) previously held.
Each member also wore a badge signifying membership and rank; there was a presumed chain of command of higher ranks over lower.
For more information on this group, see the excellent monograph by the elfin sage El-nana'd, "Hope of the Lawful Elves". Briefly stated, the sect is dedicated to the preservation and improvement of the current system, working outside to uphold the law, while at the same time exercising such influence as they may gain to change those laws to promote the general well-being of all. Sometimes that is defined by the council; often it is determined by the judgment of its members.
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