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.Hope explains the Order to Lightning
The Order of Salvation is a religious organization based in the holy 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 God's teachings and spread the word of the coming of a new world. While based in Luxerion, they have influence across most of Nova Chrysalia, only the Wildlands being outside their purview. Under the high priestess, the Order clergy consists of disciples whose positions include clerics, inquisitors, pilgrims, and those who act as servants to Oerba Dia Vanille, their designated saint.
- High Priestess (leader)
- Aremiah (Vanille's servant)
- Carla (deceased)
- Cathedral Sentries
- Grand Inquisitor
- Pious Cleric
- Personal Guards
- Priest Madya
- Priest Menot
- Lady Vanille (saint)
- Zandra (deceased)
Administration and hierarchy
The high priestess wears a red and yellow ensemble with a faint yellow chequered pattern, and golden accessories: a backpack, a mask, and a 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 a gold or a black mask covering the upper half of the wearer's face. While male disciples wear colored wigs that frame their faces, some female disciples wear black berets, simple headpieces, or have highlights in their hair. 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 dressed 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 and 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!Cleric
Members and followers pray by crossing their left hand over their right, so their fingers rest on each other, and their hands form the shape of an 'X'. A person can hold their thumbs against the edge of their hand or extend them out as seen with Vanille. One can also either have 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 his will is the only way for everyone to achieve salvation in the new world. They believe salvation is a privilege given to the chosen few, and that the dead are impure and thus unworthy of joining them in the new world. To ensure their own salvation, the Order acts on Bhunivelze's beckoning to destroy the dead as not to be burdened by their memories of them when beginning anew by carrying out the Soulsong. A sacrifice who can hear the dead will perform the Soulsong on the world's final day using a divine relic said to summon souls, called the holy clavis.
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 High Priestess announces the beginning of the end on the final day
The Order of Salvation was established in the aftermath of Nova Chrysalia's creation to keep the people from breaking down when Hope Estheim disappeared, restoring some sense of society in Luxerion. In truth, Bhunivelze abducted Hope. In Final Fantasy XIII: Reminiscence -tracer of memories-, Snow Villiers posits that Bhunivelze masterminded the Order's rise to power; Hope's unrelenting resolve 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 disputes over the supply plant by becoming Yusnaan's Patron and feigning compliance with the Order's authority.
Thirteen years ago, the Order took Vanille and Fang into their custody when the pair awoke from crystal stasis. The Order came to believe Vanille is the "sacred one" they need for the Soulsong, and the elders deemed her a saint. The Order holds her within the Luxerion Cathedral under their constant watch, claiming it to be for her safety and protection. They hide the full truth of the Soulsong from Vanille and make her believe the ritual will save the dead from their suffering within the Chaos. Fang did not trust them, believing the Order were only interested in Vanille for her newfound ability to hear the dead. 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 will end in 13 days, Bhunivelze's chosen savior, Lightning, travels to Luxerion. She finds the city terrorized by the Children of Etro who kill pink-haired women that resemble her. Their latest victim was Clara, an Order clergy member who was to become the next high priestess. After an Order inquisitor asks Lightning to investigate the murders, the Children of Etro begin to target her. The mysterious "Shadow Hunter" stalks her until revealing himself as Noel Kreiss. Lightning puts an end to the Children of Etro's murders, and Vanille requests to meet her after hearing of her exploits in the city. After saving Noel's soul, Lightning heads for Cathedral Plaza, where Vanille's servant, Aremiah, tells Lightning that someone stole a precious crystal shard belonging to Vanille.
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. 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. Lightning reunites with Vanille and her new friend, Lumina. Vanille leads Lightning to God's Sanctum, a chamber beneath the cathedral where millions of souls trapped in the Chaos have gathered over the centuries. Lumina explains the Order plans to free 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, calling for the people to gather on the cathedral steps and pray to Bhunivelze for salvation in the new world. Vanille 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 goal is to destroy the dead even if they could also be reborn in the new world. 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 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. She chooses to guide the dead to the Ark, so they can be reborn in the new world. Outraged by Vanille's defiance, 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, he destroys the clavis and obliterates the high priestess. The final day passes, and humanity begins anew in the new world after Lightning defeats Bhunivelze.
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. Many of the Order's followers were decent people who treated them well, but Fang describes those in the upper ranks as "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 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.
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.
Behind the scenes
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.
A secutor was a gladiator class in ancient Rome; the word " secutor means "follower" or "chaser" in Latin.
- Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII Collector's Edition Guide p.349