Speakers of Truth
Prior to the founding of the Amarr Empire, individual Holders were considered the highest authority in their domains. When Amash-Akura rose from their ranks to unite the Amarr under one religious banner, the Holders realized that they had both gained a figurehead to appease the masses and acquired a potential threat to their own power base. A group of Holders with particularly strong ties to the church used their influence to found the Speakers of Truth as a trap door in the event the Emperor attempted to spread his authority too strictly.
The original Speakers were hand-picked from theologians known for their piety and love of their fellow man. The order was carefully crafted, with their public intent to serve as mediators in religious disputes. Hidden in labyrinthine wording and confusing bits of Scripture, however, was the total power of the Speakers. They were not only mediators in religious disputes, but the final arbitrators of these disputes. Further still, their word was higher than any other in the Empire; even that of the Emperor himself.
In addition to this hidden aspect, the Speakers were developed as an educational institution for select Holders' children and gifted commoners. Openly, this was to assist in offsetting the operational costs of the order, though it also served to make the Speakers appear apolitical and ingratiate them to the people at large.
The sudden expansion of the Emperor's power feared by the Holders never arose, leaving the Speakers of Truth to continue on as religious adjudicators and teachers. The Speakers developed a reputation as just but highly stern judges, causing them to only be brought into situations as a last resort.
It was their educational programs that sustained the order and ingrained it into a part of Amarr society. Nobles schooled by the order proved to be adept and quickly rose to positions of power, giving the order strong political backing. Commoners, with their focus on being taught Scripture, were properly obedient and pious, drawing even more support from Holders who desired a placated populace.
By the time of the Moral Reforms, the Speakers of Truth were known almost entirely as an educational institution. Their role as religious mediators was still used on rare occasions, albeit on a much smaller scale than originally envisioned. As teachers, however, they were regarded as an irreplaceable part of Amarr society.
When the Theology Council rose to prominence after the Reforms, the Speakers of Truth were one of the orders allowed to remain functioning, unlike organizations such as the Order of St. Tetrimon. Though the Theology Council assumed much of the Speakers' functions as judges and magistrates, the Speakers continued on as a source of high-quality private education.
The Speakers of Truth rarely involve themselves in the administration or running of the Empire, content to remain as religious teachers. Because of their broad powers of arbitration, the order has frequently been considered a potential thorn in the side of the Privy Council. However, the order remains mostly clear of political entanglements, allowing them to retain their powers.
Many high ranking members of the Amarr bureaucracy have been educated by the Speakers of Truth. Yonis Ardishapur, in his younger years, spent a decade studying with them. For this, the majority of the Empire views them as little more than an educational institution, with little comprehension of their vast judicial powers.
Brother Joshua and Aritcio Kor-Azor
The order reemerged into the public consciousness when Brother Joshua publicly judged Aritcio Kor-Azor. The Speaker of Truth had been requested by aggrieved Holders in the Kor-Azor region, who felt their Heir had done much harm during his brief reign. Brother Joshua toured the Kor-Azor region, hearing stories of Aritcio's capricious tyranny and, with the assistance of loyalist capsuleers, entered the royal court of Ariticio publicly.
Brother Joshua publicly condemned Aritcio Kor-Azor and demanded restitution in the form of a pound of flesh for each injustice Aritcio had committed. The gruesome punishment inflamed public imagination, sparking debates as to the need for the Speakers. Those Holders who had suffered under Aritcio's rule, however, all spoke in favor of Brother Joshua's decision. 
Indeed, following the amazing rehabilitation of Aritcio Kor-Azor's public image and subsequent rise to the post of Imperial Chancellor, public favor has fallen heavily with the Speakers of Truth. A sharp rise in requests for their judgment has emerged, though the Speakers have mostly taken a passive role since then.
The Speakers of Truth primarily operate as a religious educational institution within the Empire. The order accepts two types of students; those children of Holders who can pay a steep tuition, and select commoners who display high piety and acumen.
The nature of the education depends heavily on the student. Because the number of students is so small, the Speakers act more as personal tutors than traditional educators, and are able to tailor their lessons specifically to their charges. A Holder's son in line to inherit his title, for instance, would receive lessons on history, politics, negotiations, and leadership. Conversely, a poor commoner selected for the program would primarily study religious texts and law, with an aim at becoming a civil servant.
The Speakers' role as judges is rarely used these days. However, each Speaker is still trained for the purpose, should the need arise. Individual Speakers are given a wide latitude on how to conduct their investigations and issue their decisions. Despite this, there has never been a case where a Speaker's will has been overturned or questioned by the order itself.
Petitioners to the Speakers' must normally have exhausted all normal avenues of justice before the order will agree to send a moderator. Even still, the order holds the right to refuse any request. Following the highly publicized Aritcio Kor-Azor ruling, the order was flooded with petty requests, the majority of which were turned away.
Even if a Speaker agrees to hear a case, there is no guarantee the petitioner will receive an answer he desires. Often times, the Speaker will review the case and decide that the original rulings were just. In rare cases, the Speaker will decide that the petitioner deserves punishment, making a request of the Speakers a dangerous affair.
Regardless of the Speaker's decision, it is final and cannot be overturned even by the Emperor himself. The Speaker acts as judge and jury, both deciding guilt and assigning punishment. The Speakers have a reputation of inflicting stern punishment, such that even the threat of their involvement in a case can cause conflicting sides to come to an agreement.
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