A little over a month ago, I released First Moon, the first book of my new contemporary paranormal fantasy series, the Ternion Order. This article is for readers who are interested in knowing more about the Ternion Order than I reveal in First Moon.
One of my reviewers was kind enough to say, “I loved how the idea of the Ternion Order left so many options open for more to come.” You probably won’t be surprised to learn that was the plan all along. Although the first story focuses on the adventures of programmer Kyle Nelson, the Ternion Order will be the glue that binds all of the series books together.
The Order by Any Other Name
The name for the Ternion Order came from an email discussion I had with an author friend of mine. I complained that I was having trouble coming up with a relatively unique name for my secret society of paranormal investigators/enforcers. Most of the names I had thought of were already used for other books, movies, or games. When she learned that the number three had significance (more on that later), she suggested ternion, which was a new word to me. (Most spell checkers are unaware of it, too, I later discovered.) Ternion is an archaic term that means a set or group of three.
We can all thank Becca Mills, author of the Emanations series, for her contribution to my series name. (Becca also writes contemporary fantasy. If you haven’t read her stories, consider trying Nolander, which is free. I’ll bet you like it and immediately want to read the sequel, Solatium.)
The Ternion Order Defined
The Ternion Order is an international organization of mostly human members who are sworn to protect humanity from hostile paranormal beings and activities. In essence, they are the paranormal police. They operate in secret, history having adequately demonstrated that humanity reacts to any hint of the paranormal with hysteria and violence.
Likewise, most paranormal beings believe that keeping their existence a secret is critical to their long-term survival among “normals.” Consequently, the majority of them cooperate with the Ternion Order. Establishing a treaty with the Ternion Order offers additional benefits, such as mediation of disputes between the various paranormal societies.
Origins of the Ternion Order
The Ternion Order was established in 1695 New England in response to the Salem Witch Trial atrocities. Originally known simply as “the Order,” its mission was essentially the same as it is today. The first members called themselves hunters, for their job was to track rogue paranormals using physical evidence, rather than accepting the testimony of religious hysterics (do a Google search on the term spectral evidence, and you’ll quickly understand what I mean).
As the Order spread across the continents, it reorganized multiple times to accommodate the growth of its membership and to modernize its practices. Today, the Order divides the world’s continents into protectorates, the borders of which do not necessarily match up with current country borders. For example, the Protectorate of North America includes the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. The Order further subdivides each protectorate into regions.
Ternion Order Organization
Hunters remain the Order’s principal agents. Collectively known as the League of Hunters, they come from many walks of life and often work in teams. A Director of the Hunt manages the hunters of each region. Directors report to a Protector, who represents the entire protectorate of regions at the Protector Assembly. The Protector Assembly is a body of delegates who define Order priorities and policy. At the top of the hierarchy is the Grand Advocate, who is the ultimate authority for the Order.
During the course of its history, the League of Hunters evolved into a cooperative of three core disciplines: tactical, transcendental, and technological. These three disciplines inspired the Ternion Order’s current name. Technological hunters monitor banking, medical, and government computer systems. Tactical hunters often have military or law enforcement background and are trained in strategy and weapons. Transcendental hunters include all practitioners of the spiritual and metaphysical arts.
Within each discipline, hunters progress from apprentice to journeyman to master. To be accepted as an apprentice, a prospective hunter must: be aware of paranormal forces, agree to preserve the secrecy of the Order, agree to preserve human ignorance of the paranormal, and agree to protect human government from paranormal influence. Apprentices qualify as journeymen when a master deems them capable of leading a team and of acting independently to represent the interests of the Order. Journeymen qualify as master hunters when the regional director deems them capable of training other hunters.
A Secret Society
The Order has made secrecy a priority since its inception. In First Moon, Kyle Nelson doesn’t initially get much information about the Order. Even deep into the story, he only learns what the hunters decide he needs to know.
The “need to know” policy carries through all ranks of the Order. Few hunters below master level meet their director. In turn, directors have contact only with the protector who oversees their region.
When a Director of the Hunt becomes aware of a paranormal crisis situation, he assembles a crisis team with a master from each discipline. He selects one of the masters as the team leader, based on the nature of the crisis. The other two masters each select one journeyman under their supervision who has the best experience for the task at hand.
The team leader and supporting journeymen from the other disciplines are the command staff for the team. The command staff rounds out the team with additional journeymen and apprentices as needed. This practice creates a crisis team with an undisputed leader and the best field talent available in the region.
More to Come
I hope you enjoyed learning about the Ternion Order. It was fun to organize my notes into this summary for you. One of the frustrating things about writing fantasy is that the stories often reveal only a fraction of the world-building that really goes on behind the scenes. Fortunately, I have this blog to give you glimpses into the true depths of the worlds you visit when you read my books.
As my reviewer surmised, there’s more to come. I’m planning the next installment of the Ternion Order series right now, and I’m looking forward to sharing the story with you.