Yesterday I mentioned the first two of the Paladin disciplines explored in my novel, The Paladin. Anti-Freak and Anti-Heretic are looked at as the physical disciplines within the Order, as Paladins specializing in these disciplines tend to focus on combat, both armed and unarmed. Today I'm looking at the last two disciplines, Anti-Specter and Anti-Demon, the spiritual disciplines.
The group of priests and monks that formed the early Order dedicated to fighting demons has been around nearly as long as the Church itself. Paladins in this specialty are skilled at detecting, assessing, and exorcising demons. While exorcism can take many forms in the world of The Paladin, the Order itself focuses on modern takes of traditional methods.
Hell exists as a separate plane from Earth, one that demons can traverse, but only with extreme difficulty. Taking a host on Earth allows them to remain here indefinitely, so a Paladin's job is to sever the connection a demon has with their host and with this plane. This can be done a number of ways, and it's arguable about which ones are the most effective, but the Vatican sanctioned method of the Paladins is to utilize the spiritual energy within oneself and use it to sever a demon's connection, to their host if they have one, and to this plane of existence. There are lots of tools and tricks that can make this easier for any would-be exorcist, but you'll have to read the novel to learn more about those!
The last arm of the Paladin Order is the Anti-Specters. Within the world of the novel, they were the most recently added discipline, Anti-Demon paladins having taken on this role previously. Around the time of Vatican II (an ecumenical council held by the Vatican in 1959) the Church's clandestine arm decided there was a significant difference between helping the souls of deceased humans (specters) move on and dislodging the denizens of hell. While both specters and demons can possess people, the process in moving them out is different.
Paladins skilled in this discipline tend to be the most spiritually inclined, usually able to not only sense the presence of ghosts, but of certain people, too! While the process of exorcising a demon is akin to ripping a parasite from it's host, Anti-Specters tend to take a much softer approach, reasoning, coaxing, and easing a spirit into compliance. In much the same way that Anti-Freaks deal with a myriad of different monsters, Anti-Specters have several types of spirits they deal with, ranging from manifestations of emotional distress and to fully formed and sentient beings.
Well, I hope you enjoyed this look into The Paladin. What class of Paladin is your favorite? Let me know down in the comments below!
Keep your eyes open for my debut novel, The Paladin.