Most of the people who live here worship the almighty Bhunivelze. The city is governed in his name by a powerful religious sect known as the Order of Salvation. God's followers believe in ultimate redemption, and their faith keeps the fires of hope burning.
The Order of Salvation is a religious organization based in the divine city of Luxerion in Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. Led by a High Priestess, the Order is charged with not only keeping the peace in Luxerion, but preaching the worship of its patron god, Bhunivelze, and teachings of salvation in the coming of a new world.
- Nova Chrysalia's past
The history of Nova Chrysalia began 500 years ago, when the walls between this world and the next broke, allowing Chaos to flood the dimension in which humanity lives.
The influx of Chaos slowly covered the lands, leaving only small tracts still inhabitable by man. The people stood strong in the face of this disaster thanks to the strength of their leader, Hope Estheim. But when he disappeared without warning 169 years ago, the bonds that had held society together began to dissolve. After many years of living with the Chaos, a church that preached of God's salvation appeared and quickly grew to power, capturing faltering hearts. This was the Order of Salvation. It brought about the great changes in the lives of the people, and returned a sense of stability of society. The people of this dying world largely chose the path of faith: bowing to the God in hope of salvation.
- The Order of Salvation
The Order now governs much of human society from its seat of power in the grand cathedral in Luxerion.
Believe in the coming of the new world, entrust yourself and all you are to God on high—this is the teaching that has won over the majority of humanity. It is a message of hope in a world with no future, a balm for those suffering under the burden of overlong lives.
In the past, the Order also led the suppression of 'heretics' who did not accept its principles, but that is no longer official policy. This is part of the reason why so many people are perplexed by the one-sided violence being displayed by some heretic groups.
The Order of Salvation was established in the aftermath of Nova Chrysalia's creation and Bhunivelze's awakening to preach the teachings of God and spread the word of the coming of a new world. While the Order is based in Luxerion, they have influence across the whole of Nova Chrysalia, with the exception of the Wildlands. Under the high priestess, the Order clergy consists of disciples whose positions include clerics, inquisitors, pilgrims, and those who act as servants to Vanille.
- High Priestess (leader)
- Aremiah (Vanille's servant)
- Carla (deceased)
- Cathedral Sentries
- Grand Inquisitor
- Pious Cleric
- Personal Guards
- Priest Madya
- Priest Menot
- Vanille (saint)
- Zandra (deceased)
Administration and hierarchyEdit
The high priestess wears a red and yellow ensemble with a faint yellow chequered pattern, a gold backpack, a golden mask, and a gold crown-like headdress. It is said that Bhunivelze speaks directly to the high priestess, who then communicates his wishes to the disciples and the general public.
Members of the clergy wear long garments adorned with a dark or light gray chequered pattern and Bhunivelze's crest. Uniform colors range from black to light gray, with crisscrossed belts at the waist, unknown devices akin to mechanical backpacks, and gold or black masks that cover the upper half of the wearer's face. While male disciples wear colored wigs that frame their faces, some female disciples wear black beret caps, simple headpieces, or have hair highlights. The garments of the high priestess and female disciples have a plunging neckline covered by sheer black mesh.
The Order of Salvation's military force is known as the Secutors. The group consists of sentries and guards who dress in fitted gray uniforms with golden/dark gray pauldrons and either a dark gray or golden headpiece with a large red or orange crystal. They act as the Order's security unit but also carry out missions for the organization in areas outside of Luxerion.
Trust in our god, Bhunivelze, for he will never let us stray from the divine path of salvation. Come all! Join us in prayer!
Prayer is performed by members and followers through the gesture of crossing their left hand over their right, so their fingers rest on each other and their hands form the shape of an 'X'. When praying, a person can hold their thumbs against the edge of their hand or extend them out as seen with Vanille. One can also either hold their crossed hands close to their chest or raise them up and down in a bowing fashion.
As followers of Bhunivelze, the Order of Salvation preaches that carrying out God's will is the only way for everyone to achieve salvation in the new world, but they are under the impression that salvation is a privilege given to the chosen few, and that the dead are impure and thus unworthy to join them in the new world. To ensure their own salvation, the Order acts on Bhunivelze's beckoning to destroy the dead so they will not be burdened by their memories of them when they begin anew. This culminates in the Soulsong, a ritual that can only be performed on the world's final day through the use of a divine relic called the holy clavis, which is said to summon souls, by a sacrificial offering who can hear the dead.
Lift your voices in prayer, children of the light! Come gather ye to the final place! Pray to the savior, she heralds the end! Pray to God in all his great glory, for he builds a paradise anew!
The Order of Salvation was established in the aftermath of Nova Chrysalia's creation to keep the people from breaking down when Hope Estheim was abducted by Bhunivelze, restoring some sense of society in Luxerion. In Final Fantasy XIII: Reminiscence -tracer of memories-, Snow Villiers posits that the Order's rise to power was masterminded by Bhunivelze because Hope's unrelenting resolve had made him a beacon of hope for the people; thus Bhunivelze removed him to make humanity accept him and the Order's teachings as their new hope. Gaining ground in Luxerion, the Order intended to take control of the supply plant in Yusnaan operated by the world's last fal'Cie, Pandaemonium. Snow quelled the squabbles over the plant by becoming the Patron of Yusnaan and pretending acquiescence to the Order's authority.
Thirteen years ago, taking her and Fang into their custody when they awoke from crystal stasis, the Order learned that Vanille is the "sacred one" they need for the Soulsong and the elders deemed her a saint. The Order keeps her within the cathedral under their constant watch, claiming it to be for her own safety and protection, all the while hiding the full truth of the Soulsong from her and making her believe the ritual will save the dead from their suffering within the Chaos. Despite the Order sheltering her and Vanille, Fang didn't trust them, believing they were only interested in Vanille for her newfound ability. When Fang learned the part of the Soulsong that involves Vanille's death, she left for the Dead Dunes to find the clavis needed for the ritual, as Vanille chose to stay behind under the Order's "protection" and prepare for the Soulsong.
As the world is set to end in thirteen days, Bhunivelze's chosen savior, Lightning, travels to Luxerion. She finds the city terrorized by the Children of Etro, who are killing pink-haired women who resemble her, with the latest victim being a clergy member named Carla, who was to become the next high priestess of the Order. Asked to investigate the murders by an Order inquisitor, Lightning falls under threat from the Children of Etro and is stalked by the "Shadow Hunter," who turns out to be Noel Kreiss. Lightning puts an end to the Children of Etro's murders and Vanille hears of her exploits in the city and requests to meet her. After saving Noel's soul, Lightning heads for Cathedral Plaza where Vanille's servant, Aremiah, tells Lightning that a precious crystal shard belonging to Vanille has been stolen.
When Vanille awoke from crystal stasis, she found herself grasping a piece of crystal and it has been her precious possession ever since as it lets her glimpse the estranged Fang. Lightning finds the crystal with a delivery company employee who claims someone high up in the Order gave it to them with no receiver's address, and Lightning theorizes someone from the Order wanted to steal it from Vanille. Lightning returns the crystal to Aremiah and is granted passage into the cathedral at night time. In the Hall of Devotion, Lightning reunites with Vanille, who is joined by her new friend Lumina. Vanille leads Lightning to a chamber underneath the cathedral called God's Sanctum, where millions of souls trapped within the Chaos have gathered over the centuries. Lumina explains the Order plans to free the souls of the dead from their suffering and needs Vanille to call out to them.
When Lightning and Fang find the clavis in the Temple Ruins, the Order's Secutors steal it and take it to Luxerion. On the eve of the Apocalypse, the high priestess announces the beginning of the end and calls for the people to gather on the cathedral steps and pray to Bhunivelze for salvation in the new world. Once preparations are complete, Vanille faces the clavis and begins the Soulsong in God's Sanctum as sentries stand guard with the high priestess and several disciples in attendance. Lightning and Fang interfere and reveal the Order's true goals the former learned from Lumina. The high priestess defends their resolve by explaining that those who failed to survive the centuries are not part of God's plan as he demands pure and untainted souls for his new world. As Vanille listens to the dead and a pair of Sets appear, the high priestess calls them proof of the dead conjuring lies and hate due to their corruption by the Chaos to convince Vanille to sacrifice herself and "free them from their torment."
After listening to the dead, Vanille discovers they carry hope despite their suffering and stops the Soulsong, deciding to guide the dead to the Ark so they can be reborn in the new world. Outraged by Vanille's defiance against God, the high priestess uses the clavis's energy to strike her down and has it begin to drain her life to complete the ritual. With Snow's timely arrival, the clavis is destroyed and the high priestess obliterated. The Order of Salvation ceases to be once the final day passes and humanity begins anew in the new world.
As Aoede interviews Fang and Vanille on her quest to uncover the truth behind people's latent memories of another world, they talk about their interactions with the Order. Fang says the few years she and Vanille lived together under the Order's care were "the easiest days of their lives" compared to living on Gran Pulse. Then Fang says that a number of the Order's followers were decent people who treated them well, but those in the upper ranks were rotten garbage. As Vanille saw the Order's teachings act as a lifeline for the suffering populace after Hope's disappearance, she wanted to help the organization as their saint, unaware they were manipulating her and using her as a means to an end. Fang says the Order exploited Vanille's feelings and used her desires to help the suffering populace and atone for the past to control her. The Order told Vanille what she wanted to hear, fed her lies that she took at face value, and made her believe that she could help everyone by doing whatever the Order of Salvation wanted.
Creation and developmentEdit
The Order of Salvation's soldiers are fought in Yusnaan during the prologue and main quest, and in the Luxerion Cathedral on the final day. They are also faced in the Slaughterhouse under different names.
Salvation is being saved or protected from harm or being saved or delivered from some dire situation. In religion, salvation is stated as the saving of the soul from sin and its consequences.
- Lightning can obtain Order of Salvation Cap as an adornment.
- The high priestess can sometimes be seen and heard giving sermons in the cathedral's Hall of Devotion.
- ↑ Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII Collector's Edition Guide p.349