"Blessed Witchhunters have seen the face of the Paladin. In person. Right up close. Nothing of doubt remains." - Blessed Witchhunter Grand Inquisitor known as the Fox of the West
Above the rank of Clerics Witchhunters collectively hold the title "blessed." Beginning at this rank Witchhunters are considered officers of the army. They generally have command over all Witchhunters of lower ranks and non-Witchhunter citizens within an assigned physical space, with increasing spaces and soldiers corresponding to rank. As in lower ranks these regions frequently change, but in terms of years rather than months. In agreement with the merchant families of the central and western grasslands these positions do not entail ownership of the spaces themselves aside from operational churches, watchtowers, and cathedrals.
Blessed make up less than one percent of the Witchhunter Army's three million members. They can summon demons of their own will, practice divination, use ferromancy, and shadow walk despite prohibitions on these acts throughout Witchhunter lands.
The blessed are divided into subcategories based on their respective paths within the army:
Campaigners are army officers that direct the movement of troops in the field. Their duties range from organizing large constructions to organizing sieges and they are expected to excel in both physical combat and military tactics. Low-ranked campaigners may command between one-hundred and three thousand Witchhunters and typically operate alone out of a church or as several officers living in a watchtower or cathedral. Mid-ranked campaigners oversee between three and twenty thousand troops out of regional watchtowers. Entire regions and hundreds of thousands of Witchhunters may be overseen by the highest ranked campaigners. Campaigner over-robes are dyed red by a third, two thirds, and entirely as they progress through the ranks and maintain the traditional sunrise hem throughout.
Priests conduct the theological lifting of the Witchhunter Army: interpreting scripture, meting out punishment or grace, and conducting rites for the faithful. While a single Cleric is often sufficient for a smaller village Blessed Priests oversee whole cities, with higher ranks presiding over regions from watchtowers or governing cathedrals. While the three ranks roughly correspond among Blessed, Priests are able to enact judgement against Blessed of the same rank or lower that violate religious laws. Their over-robes are dyed in a larger image of the dawn pattern with additional colors sewn into subsequent ranks.
Inquisitors are responsible for expanding the borders of the Witchhunter lands and exposing internal heresy. They function as a sort of secret operations for the army and so unlike other Witchhunters they are not required to wear a uniform (though one exists, showing the pattern of the sunrise on increasingly dark-purple over-robes). Rather than controlling a specific area or group of Witchhunters, Inquisitors are sent on particular missions as requires them and allowed to take command of up to campaigners of the rank above them (with their actions later being judged by higher ranked members of the inquisition and potentially the priesthood). Theoretically an Inquisitor could command each Witchhunter in a legion in the same manner as a campaigner provided they could justify the troop movements later.
A simplified way to look at the ranks so far would be Recruit>Witchhunter>Initiate>Cleric>Blessed Campaigner 1> Blessed Inquisitor 1> Blessed Priest 1> Campaigner 2> Inquisitor 2> Priest 2, Campaigner 3> Inquisitor 3> Priest 3
All of these then fall under the highest rank of the Witchhunter Army: Crusader. I'll be bringing you some highlights of the Crusaders rank including your first look at *the Paladin* in part 3. Hopefully along with a writing update.