The Holy Order of St Francis Xavier
Scholars may debate the origins of this race of men, but it is widely agreed that these mages hold uncanny powers of perception and adeption. They are widely feared and persecuted by the human majority in the Eleven Kingdoms.
Deryni were key in establishing the Kingdom of Gwynedd and an independent Church of Valoret, and they were rewarded for this with titles and lands in the new Kingdom. However, some of this race began to stray from the righteous path, dedicating themselves to the pursuit of pleasure and personal power. Although other Deryni policed their own people, some escaped.
Persecution of the Deryni dramatically increased through the reign of King Cinhil I due to the political issues of the time, and after his death the Regents for his sons instigated a programme to exterminate the race from the Kingdom, man, woman and child. During the centuries of the Holocaust tens of thousands of people died, some by some of the most excruciating torture ever devised, many of them innocents, condemned by peers or followers merely to obtain titles or lands they held.
Outside of Gwynedd, Deryni survived but not in the numbers they had used to. The only place that they could thrive was in Torenth, where the Deryni Lords held onto power by dint of fair and honourable rule.
In these latter days, anti-Deryni sentiment has reduced but still rumbles on amongst the peasantry and the right-wing nobility and Church. Official policy and attitudes are changing to reflect the changing nature of the Court, where King Kelson is surrounded by Deryni advisors, and the Church, where the first officially recognised Deryni priest has recently been spotted – Duncan McLain, Auxiliary Bishop of Rhemuth.