Order of the Sentinel
The Order of the Sentinel is old enough that only the clerics and paladins of Avandra who are members know the date of the founding.
Perhaps the only known temples to Avandra in the entire world are maintained by the Order, and they are almost always found in unusual locations: deep beneath the sea, on tiny outposts in the floating isles, or in a long forgotten cavern in the Southlands. No formal structures of Avandra are allowed to exist in cities, for building such things is an affront to the goddess of change. Instead, her locations are places that are themselves evidence of change through time, and places that will play a role in the fate of the world in the future, even if such a purpose has not yet been revealed.
The Order does not share the location of such places with any outsiders.
Similarly, they are close-lipped about their own purpose, other than to promote the agenda of Avandra herself as they stand watch over the fate of the world. Change is a constant for the world, and the Order attempts to guide the sentient races through these times, giving subtle nudges, influencing certain events, and providing the occasional spark to start a fire in order to instigate such events. Always, the process is chaotic and disruptive, but always, the end result will push the world towards a better state. Hopefully.
The Order is notoriously difficult to pin down and diffuse, for as with the Goddess herself, any permanent structure is considered to be too fragile to withstand the winds of change. Members of the Order are encouraged to organize whenever a cause great enough to justify their involvement arises, or when the dictates of the Goddess push them into close contact. Similarly, they are permitted to work at cross purposes at times, or even directly oppose each other, so long as such events do not lead to bloodshed between members of the Order.
A small council governs the Order, as much as such a thing can be governed, from a constantly moving location that is kept as a closely guarded secret. Only code words and a demonstration of the blessing of Avandra herself will permit a member of the Order to reveal the location, and even then, such a thing is done carefully.
Even with such a structure, each member of the Order is ultimately expected to be both self-sufficient and capable of taking control of groups whenever such a thing is necessary. De-centralization and the ability of the individual to respond rapidly to information on the ground is emphasized, so that the lack of numbers and direct resources can be overcome through speed, abrupt concentrations of force, and trickery.
Each member of the Order is expected to act as the direct hand of Avandra in the world. Often, they are spoken of as the agents of fate itself, even though they are not always fully aware of the role they play. Fate, in the eyes of the order, is a complex web being woven by the gods, and Avandra is responsible for the shape of the weave. Each member, then, is a tool to adjust small faults, implement tiny changes of direction, and to shape the future in such a way that change becomes a force for fortune, good, and enlightenment, even if the direct results of any such action are not obvious in their impact.
Clerics of Avandra have a checkered reputation throughout the realm. Their arrival often heralds upheaval, unrest, and disorder. However, where there is chaos, there is opportunity, and despite the pain caused by such events, the end result is often better for the people of the land. Of course, not everyone benefits from such changes, and it is whispered that members of the Order were present at the fall of the old empire in the South, at the founding of some of the Free Cities, during the Westwind Rebellion in the floating isles, and even during the destruction of the White Crystal Tower in the North.
Thus, they are looked upon with an equal measure of hope and dread when they arrive, and mistrusted by those in power and commoners alike. At the same time, the desperate, the ambitious, the creative, the weak, and any who seek to better their lot understand that change can be the key to unlock new paths. Merchant houses both court and revile them, and their reputation in the Free Cities is such that associating with a member of the Order is a dangerous but potentially profitable gamble, and one not to be undertaken lightly.