Belief Systems of the Sundered Spheres©
These are the religions and philosophies I created for the Sundered Spheres. No doubt you'll recognize some similarities with real-world religions. However I combined lots of different elements so that I can irritate everyone equally, mostly because I believe real religions shouldn't be used in a fantasy setting, though I make exception for Katherine Kurtz. The first religion, Tranism, may seem at first like plain old Medieval Christianity, but if you look at it you'll see Islamic, Hindu, Classical Greek, and Zoroastrian elements as well, with a few fairly original ideas mixed in. This document is written as if it were compiled by a committee of Tranic scholars (and one Methodist from Earth) trying to be fair to all the other religions and philsophies, but it is definitely written from their perspective, mostly because their ethical system is the closest to what is generally known as Judeo-Christian, and so will be easily recognizable.
This entire document is ©2013 by James Wilson.
Origin of the Sundered Spheres
Long ago, though how long nobody knows, an enterprising rebellious spirit found a rift in the fabric of reality. He passed through and found an empty space that did not belong to the universe he came from. He had rebelled against his God, and longed for escape, but a small area of utter darkness didn't seem like much of an escape. He stayed near the rift for an unknown age, and eventually learned how to move it not only within the universe of his origin, but to others of the infinite universes as well. Then he learned how to draw parts of those universes into his little pocket of nothingness, and so he became the Thief of Worlds. He stole a star here, a planet there, and built a miniature universe for himself to rule.
For a time that sufficed, but he became lonely, and invited other wicked spirits like himself to come into his little universe and there gain bodies he had built for them. Thus was born the race that we today call the Darrows. They lived for a long time in dissipation and hedonistic abandon, but this became dull over time, and all of them had rebelled because they desired to rule over others, not serve the God of their own or any other universe. So they convinced the Thief of Worlds to steal not just worlds and stars, but peoples.
So the Thief of Worlds became the Cosmic Kidnapper. First he stole more worlds that living beings could live upon, but this proved to be an error, for these worlds brought powerful spirits into his secret universe, and they resisted his rule. Some protected only a single planet or star, but others ranged through the many stars and worlds and sought to overturn the rule of the Thief and return the stolen worlds, and others served him, calling themselves Darrows. Then 104,831 years before the Prophet, or 106,690 years ago, the Thief revealed his rift to a race of great explorers who traveled through the stars. He tricked them into entering his little universe and did not reveal that he had blocked the way back out. These we call the Ancient Immortals, and they were first to come to our world of Minanorash, more often called Amelek or the Crown. They built many cities and spread out all over our world, studying the strange workings of the world, for the Thief of Worlds was no God, and did not understand what he had stolen, so the fabric of reality within the rift was incomplete, even partially broken, and the strange interaction of energies and spirits fascinated the Ancient Immortals, and they spent many thousands of years in study.
In secret the Thief and his Darrows corrupted many of the Ancient Immortals, until many served the Thief while pretending to remain true to the original purpose of the Ancient Immortals, which was to learn and explore all the universe. And they reveled in secret works of darkness, until they were discovered about 70,000 before the Prophet, and then began the most terrible war in the history of our world.
For thirty thousand years the war dragged on, and slowly the Darrows were driven back and pushed into what we now call the Hot Hell, though they still held a small part of Amelek, in Cojorh in the far north, and there they stood, and kept back the Ancient Immortals. And finally the Thief himself took the field, forming for himself a mighty body tall and strong and beautiful. He took upon himself the name Orashek, the Darrow-Prince, and through his prowess the borders of Cojorh were secured, and for a small space there was peace, but his Darrows and those of the Ancient Immortals who allied with them were not content, and sought always to breach the boundaries and rule the world. So at last Orashek challenged Melhekormath Martheone, King of the Ancient Immortals, to single combat, which would decide the fate of the world.
You may read of that combat in the Gospel of Coram Archangel, and read Saint Coram's own poetry regarding the fighting ability of his father Martheone. For seven months the fight raged, and in those days our world had a longer year, and so seven months to the Ancient Immortals would be three years to us. At last Martheone had the victory, and threw down the Darrow-Prince, and cut out the heart still beating, thus trapping the spirit of the Thief of Worlds within it. And so the Darrows and their allies were driven back into the Hot Hell, and the Hell-gate in Cojorh was closed, and the Ancient Immortals ruled over Amelek and all the creatures the Thief had stolen to populate it. And for many years they healed the world, and its beauty is a thing of legend. Saint Coram himself wrote that his poetry can call forth only a dim echo of the beauty of that brief golden age when the Ancient Immortals ruled in love and kindness over our world, and the Ancients themselves named it the Crown of Heaven.
All that came to an end. For the eldest son of Martheone was not content to leave the Heart of Darkness locked in a vault, but convinced this father that even the wicked spirit within could be changed and healed. So Uthender removed the Heart from its vault, and sought to shape and change the heart, which had hardened into a strange metal lump about the size of a large melon. Uthender was the greatest of smiths, and had forged the armor and weapons for his father's great battle. Then Uthender's brother Korsylm, who we call today Saint Coram, came to his brother and argued with him, expounding the truths of free will that we believe still to this day. But Uthender would not listen. Then the wife of Korsylm, Kamza the beautiful, who in our time we call Saint Dhamar, went to Uthender and wept, and told him that his wife (who we do not name, nor even know her right name, for she is now Majis the Accuser) suffered for want of him, and had promised and received payment for his skills and works, which he had not fulfilled. He listened to Kamza no more than he had Korsylm. Then his mother came and mocked him, and demanded that he surrender the heart to her, that she might lock it away again. And threw her from his house, and cursed her, and never knew that she had already been corrupted by the spirit of the heart, and today she is Mioxis the Corrupter.
For many months Uthender strove to change the Heart, and knew not that the Heart changed him, and all those around him. For his servants and many of his kin became corrupt and depraved, and he noticed nothing. At last he tried to commune with the spirit within the Heart, still thinking it could be saved or converted to right ways. And slowly the Heart formed a plan within Uthender's mind, and without wondering whence the ideas came, he at once began to fulfill the wishes of the Heart of Darkness.
We do not know how Uthender made the Anvil of Fate, nor the chamber where he put that anvil. It is said that the essences of all the planes we now know were used to make that chamber, a perfect fire to heat the Heart, perfect water to quench it, a bellows that blew perfect air upon the fire, and the purest of earth to make a hammer to beat it. The chamber itself focussed magic in a way that we cannot understand, and that even the Angels and Divines themselves do not know, for no being in our world, in our little universe, knows but the Thief of Worlds himself.
His preparations complete, Uthender heated the Heart of Darkness until it glowed white like a star of heaven. Then he laid it upon the anvil and struck it with his hammer, and in that moment the little universe tore in pieces, and we call that hour the Sundering, for in it all things changed forever. The hammer Uthender had made fused with the Heart and became the Hammer of the Netherworld. And spikes grew out from it and pierced the hand of Uthender, using the blood of an Ancient Immortal as part of the spell that gave the Heart of Darkness great power.
Our world rocked to and fro, and volcanoes spat out smoke and flame in many places. Seas vanished, and others formed, and the face of the world changed so completely that almost nothing remained recognizable save the islands of Danwi. What changed most of all were the Ancient Immortals themselves. Instead of one people, they became many. We call them the 21 Kindreds today, but there are many more than 21 types. Each Kindred consists of several groups, though the First Kindred, who we call the Great Elves, are closest to the Ancient Immortals of that time.
This occurred exactly 40,000 years before the Prophet, and even as the world trembled, and the Planes of Existence separated and shredded, Korsylm fell into a deep sleep, and dreamed that the stolen worlds would someday be healed, and returned to their places of origin. And he spoke while he dreamed, and Kamza his wife wrote his words even as she wept for the Sundering, but when she finished writing she danced for joy, knowing that even the horrors that would follow would eventually end in justice.
For Korsylm prophesied that the Gods of the universes from which the Thief had taken little bits and pieces would someday reclaim their own, and to that end they would send three messengers to build up righteousness and repair the damage done by the Thief and his followers, and in time lead all the souls lost in our Externity back to their true homes.
Yet that remained many millennia in the future, and when Korsylm woke, he gathered together his wife and family. Then Korsylm spoke to Inkar, who we call Saint Huuric, and Inkar brought his wife and family and they joined with Korsylm. And Korsylm took the epithet Eshalkom, meaning 'holy word of the Three,' for he swore that he would prepare the way of Those Who Shall Come, and do what he could to heal the Sundering until that time. Inkar and all his family swore to do the same, and so did the wife and children of Korsylm.
So while the world still trembled, and the Sundered Kindreds still wept for what they had lost, Korsylm and Kamza, and Inkar and his wife Delama, who we call Saint Eranne, and their many children set forth to repair what they could.
First they built a new world they called Calnos, and they warded it about and made it a safe place for the spirits of those who lived and died well. Their own residence they called the Davalond the Hall of Heroes, and peopled it with those who died nobly, in defense of or on behalf of others. All the other spirits they brought to wander the Fields of Peace all around the Hall, and many of the spirits of the Ancient Immortals who had died at the Sundering came and dwelt in Calnos.
Then they bound the broken five planes together, and created a sixth plane, which we call the Volutial, and set three daughters of Korsylm and Kamza to rule it. These we call the Talvasi, the Fates, and they strive always to keep the strands or trilixes of fate untangled and whole. For the world had been rent into five pieces, and only through the Talvasi could those planes be bound back together. The five planes were these: the Physical, the Astral, the Spiritual, the Elemental, and the Ethereal. With the sixth plane they rejoined, or at least were no longer separate, but many creatures were caught in only one of those planes, including two of the 21 Kindreds, and while they are to this day creatures of their plane, they are bound to many other creatures of the other planes through the trilixes of the Volutial Plane. And the Six Planes are known as the Sundered Spheres, for though they have been bound back together again they remain apart in many ways, and a human being cannot see any but the Physical Plane unless he learns strong magic.
These works required centuries, and while they worked others worked against them. For among the 21 Kindreds some became dark and horrible, the Yaskul or Undead, and among them also rose leaders, and these became known as the Four Malices: Mijax the Slanderer, Maxar the Assailer, Mioxis the Corrupter, once wife of Martheone, and Majis the Accuser, once wife of Uthender. And some believe that Mijax the Slanderer was also the Hammer of the Netherwold, and Maxar wielded the Hammer and built the Cold Hell for the others of the Undead. But others believe that the Slanderer is another being entirely, and used his own power to create the Cold Hell. It is certainly true that the Hammer of the Netherworld resides in the Six Planes, and seems generally to be opposed to the Yaskul and the Malices. In the Cold Hell the Malices kept the ghosts of the wicked, and sought to overturn all that Korsylm and his comrades had wrought.
In the struggles between them, three of Korsylm's children were foremost in the fray, and joined their parents in leading the fight to heal the Externity. These were Kozith, eldest daughter of Korsylm and Kamza, who we call Saint Eryx, and Koga, his youngest daughter, who we call Saint Arya. And the only son of Korsylm too became a great light, and his name is Ankaskal, who we call Saint Ithos. And these together became the Seven Lights, though today we call them the Seven Archangels, or the Paryazathi. And all the other children of Korsylm and Inkar we call Saints and Angels, or the Yazathi. The Seven and the Angels had the victory over the Four and their Undead, and the world brightened and became more fair and friendly to life, and the 21 Kindreds spread once more across the world, because many of the Kindreds could not bear to be near either the Great Elves or the Lichelords, and struggled to find their own places in the world.
And though the power of the Hammer of the Netherworld was great, the spirit within no longer had the ability to control the rift, and so at the Sundering the way out was shut forever, to the Thief of Worlds as well as every other thing within the Externity. But still the Thief could take small parts of other universes, though his vision remained blurred, and he could no longer steal anything so large as a world. So he learned to steal single beasts, or tribes of sentient beings, and slowly filled up the worlds with creatures of many universes.
Many of these beings were far more powerful than the Thief could've desired. And the Seven Lights befriended many of them, and set them over parts of their dominion. Tuteri the Magus they set to rule the Astral Plane, and the Twelve Lords of Light to govern the good spirits of the the Spiritual Plane. And they made peace with Theosk the Old, and did not contest his desire to build his own place in the Cold Between the Stars, and helped Dhatabana to create Exigentia for the spirits of beasts and those who love necessity above goodness. The Seven Lights too created Alvinyos, the High Heaven, in preparation for the coming of the Three Divines, and Alvinyos remained empty for untold millennia while they waited.
Then in the eastern sea near Danwi, the Hammer of the Netherworld caused three great horns to rise from the sea. These horns were originally four, but the Seven Lights contested his power and only three arose, in a perfect triangle, a reminder of Those Who Shall Come. And between those horns the Hammer made a portal to other worlds, but in one direction only; nothing could return from that place. And 1,709 years before the Prophet, the first humans came into Amelek through that gate. First were the Valans, who soon broke into three peoples, the Kavons, the Kythons, and the Thells. And later came the Yerra, then the Xadochaim, and many others. And still other creatures appeared at random all over the world through the power of the Hammer, and every soul of them is trapped in this World Between Worlds, this Universe Between Universes, this Externity, this Exile, and all of us yearn, even though many of us don't know why, to return to our home universe and world, and to the Gods that made us.
But it is unknown to us whether there is one God or many ruling the other universes. Still we who follow the voice of the Prophet yearn towards our Maker, be He One or Many, because to each soul, there is only one Maker.
Uthender alone was not changed by the Sundering but is Ancient and Immortal still. The Great Elves do not use the letter u in their language, removing it as a rebuke to Uthender, and to this day he is not named among them. And we know all these things to be true, for there are many of the Great Elves of Boa and Darok and Danwi that were alive when they happened, and who speak to the Seven Lights when they wish, as one man visits his friend. But these things are not accepted among all the races of humankind, for there are many more than one religion in Amelek the Crown of Worlds.
Note from the Authors:
We generally use the term aeons to refer to what some might consider gods or goddesses. This name is one stolen from ancient Greece on Earth, and means, roughly, an eternal power. One of the authors is from Earth, and was Christian before coming to the Sundered Spheres via a plane crash, but please don't ask him what a plane crash might be. Suffice it to say that it has nothing to do with the Six Planes. In his opinion, he is still a Christian, and believes in the doctrines of Christ, but because he is no longer in his own universe he sees it as compatible with his faith to honor and follow the Three Divines because it is only through them that he hopes to return to his own universe and give his soul to his Christ. In addition, despite the differences between his beliefs and those taught by the Prophet, they are in the main quite compatible. Indeed, it is the opinion of the committee that good and evil are the same throughout all the universes. In deference to the honored Willard von Adler, who has been the principle force behind the creation of these works, we will hew to the customs of his home world, which is after all the destination of these works through the kind intervention of Prince Istalgondwr and a noble magician with the strange title 'Wizard of the Chasm.'
Aeons in the Sundered Spheres are real beings that are immortal as far as we know, and which have powers far beyond those of the greatest of the Great Elves, but none of them is the God of this Externity, which would include the right to command our worship.
Major Religions & Philosophies of Amelek
There are many different belief systems in the Sundered Spheres, and only the most prominent are delineated below. The story of the advent of the Prophet and the Three Divines is covered under their religion, known as Tranism.
A question of some importance is this: do the Three have the right to govern the Sundered Spheres? This is a question asked even by some who have been staunch and pious Tranics, because this small universe of ours, with only 118,000 stars and perhaps two or three times that number of planets, does not by right belong to any being within it. Some of the powers that came into the Externity resist the Three, some have joined with them, and some are indifferent to them. Some have joined the Malices of the Cold Hell or the Dayebim who rule the Darrows in the Hot Hell. Some infest the Six Planes and attempt to form their own areas to rule, or form alliances with the beings of those Planes, good or evil. Each of those powers has the right to question the right of the Three, and many do. Tranics, of course, accept the right of the Three to govern the Sundered Spheres until the Externity is broken up and returned to the places whence each piece and soul came. But even among Tranics, many believe that the Three are not rulers, but healers; that they volunteered to come into this Externity from their own places of origin to help those of us trapped here, and so deserve honor, even worship. This seems a small difference, but it is important, because the Three are not all-powerful. Besides the Malices and the Dayebim there are many powers that fight against them, and they do not always win. They need the help of the Seven Lights still, and even of poor mortal men and women, otherwise they will not be able to heal the Sundered Spheres and bring us all home.
So we Tranics do not condemn all those who worship other aeons and powers. We work by persuasion and conversion, and by good works. Those who turn to the dark powers of the Five Hells we condemn and fight against them always. This is not merely a matter of taste but of self-defense, for those who serve the Hells are murderous and wicked, and do harm not only to declared enemies, but to anyone and everyone. They are enemies not only of humankind, but of all thinking beings, and even beasts. We stand against their intolerable wickedness as the Three Divines and all the Angels stand against the Malices and Dayebim.
While we describe Tranism first, and all the other religions in alphabetic order, do not infer that we therefore have no respect for other beliefs. Many are noble and good, particularly Monotheism and Serpentism, however we must give pride of place to Tranism not only because it is the most widespread of religions in Amelek, but also because it is the most ancient religion; the Great Elves and the Noble Kindreds are all Tranic, though they do not use that term. In all other matters the Great Elves consider humans of little account, but they have always loved and served the Prophet and his Successors, and even as we compile this record for your edification seven Great Elven Wain Lords who hold power beyond the dreams of any human being guard the current Successor Saint Erlisle in the Tower Profane. With them are seven Augurs of the Grim Dwarves and seven Sky Knights of the Light Elves. That, we deem, is proof enough.
Official Name: The Holy Faith of the Three Divines
Other Names: Church of the Three, the Faith of the Prophet, the Hopefuls, the Lightbearers, Threeism, Trinism, Drannism/Drannics, Tranists, Trinitants, the Sworn
Symbols: The symbol most often used by the Elves before the coming of the Prophet was the torch or lamp, or indeed any fire, signifying illumination. Such symbols are still used and almost any temple of the Three will have torches or lamps carved into stone, and then enchanted so that they seem to burn. The Tower Profane, center of the religion, has a great white beacon at the top, which serves both as a lighthouse for ships and as a symbol of the power of light and enlightenment. Since the coming of the three, three torches or lamps are sometimes used, but also various versions of the triskele, trisketra, or even a simple triangle. Some use three wings in a circle, others, more abstract forms, and others use a stylized representation of the symbols of the Three themselves worked into a triangle or triskele.
Description: The Church that follows the Three Divines is hierarchal and very structured. It centers around the Jeweled Sea, and the titular leader is the Successor and Archimagus Saint Erlisle, who has held that title since 1582 S.R., nearly 300 years. Despite all accepting that Saint Erlisle is the mouthpiece of the Three and the rightful Successor of the Prophet, his teachings are not heeded everywhere, and even some high officials of the church ignore his instructions. This has given rise to a number of new saints that are not condoned by the Successor, but are venerated only locally or in some nations, and that is a throwback to the idolatry so detested by the Prophet himself.
The Holy Faith of the Three Divines enjoins all thinking beings to be kind and considerate of each other, to fulfill oaths and promises, to be faithful in marriage and friendship, and to avoid slavery of every kind, especially spiritual slavery. For the Three Divines call sin slavery, and their purpose is to promote and protect freedom in all intelligent things, as far as that intelligence extends. For the Three are the Judge, who decides how best to help us all choose the right, and whether rewards or punishments will be most effective. The second of the Three is the Rewarder, who gives gifts and helps those in need according to the judgements of the Judge. And the third of the Three is the Avenger, who metes out punishment to the guilty, but only in hope of curbing their wickedness and turning them towards the light. The Three work together as equals to none but each other, striving against the wicked powers of the Sundered Spheres to give all humankind and every other thinking being the right to choose each one his or her own course.
Slavery of every kind is hated by the Three, and all beings are considered of equal worth. To the Three, the Seven Souls of a chindle or even a chiffa are as valuable as the Seven Souls of a Great Elf who has lived 100,000 years and done endless good deeds. They desire for all to be free and filled with joy, and that is why they came into the Sundered Spheres.
Now the Church and the Faith are not always indistinguishable, though they should be. We know that many times leaders of the Church in many nations have become corrupt, and taken power that should not belong to them. We know that some leaders have even condoned slavery, despite the teachings of the Prophet and the Successors. But the Faith is always renewed, and eventually is restored to leadership of the Church. Worst of all, we know that we are in a time when the Church has broken from the Faith in many parts of the world, and despite all that Saint Erlisle can do, not every Ecclesiarch and Archbishop hews to the true Faith. But in time these errors will cease, and righteous striving will become again the purpose of the Church as well as the Faith.
Origins: Tranism existed long before the Prophet himself lived, but came into its present form when the Three Divines revealed themselves to the Prophet Drann. Drann, which means 'first' in ancient Valannic, is still used as a name in many parts of the world, but other forms are used, and generally Tran is considered the ritual name, and is not used as a name for children. Drann himself lived in the Ithelic kingdom of Zorzanquel in present-day Jebbanne. His father was a prosperous chief of a tribe of shepherds, and Drann, born to the name of Tirion, did little to distinguish himself in his early years. Little is known of those years, and when asked Drann would always say that they didn't matter, because he had not yet been enlightened.
Drann's father sent him into Theljakun to the mighty city of Thelja to sell a flock of sheep, and Drann became appalled at the child sacrifices and many other perversions practiced in Thelja, and the horror stayed with him. On the way home he left the others of his tribe and wandered into the Adazyre Mountains, and there he sought to commune with the tribal deities of his people, some of which had the same names as the gods of the cities. He never said exactly how many days he remained in the mountains, and he would not reveal where exactly he prayed. At last he gave up on his tribal gods and pleaded with the Seven Lights to bring him enlightenment. He knew nothing about them, only the name he had heard as a weird religion of the Elves and Dwarves, but he felt great desperation to understand, and so violated his own beliefs to go outside in search of the truth. Instead of the Seven Lights, the Three Divines answered him, and made him the Truth-bringer, the first Prophet of the Three. He remained under their tutelage for many days, and during the course of his enlightenment saw and spoke with every one of the Angels and Archangels. The Three changed his name to Drann, the First, and sent him back to Thelja, where he began to preach the new religion, which of course really was the same religion as that of the Seven Lights, but endowed with greater hope, for the Three were Those Who Shall Come, and all the Angels of Calnos rejoiced after the long years of waiting.
Drann's preaching proved to be extremely effective, and within a few days thousands of Theljans had taken the Oaths of the Second Birth and become Aspirants of the new faith. This did not sit well with the Priest-King of Theljakun, nor with the priests of the many gods of Thelja. They arrested and imprisoned Drann, and he did not resist, but waited for many days in prison while his new followers were harassed and mocked. At last they brought Drann before the Priest-King and his council of High Priests, and tried Drann for his life. He answered their questions and confounded their lies, and some among them began to believe, and were slain on the spot by the Priest-King's warriors. These three, Korus, Sean and Voyante, became the first martyrs of the new faith. Drann bowed his head in sorrow, and laid the blood of the martyrs upon the Priest-King and his High Priests, and promised them that they would soon follow the martyrs unless they repented and turned away from their evil deeds. Instead they condemned Drann to death, and in the morning they gathered all the people and cast Drann into the fiery belly of Grwr, a great brass idol of the Demon of Storms, where usually children died to appease the false god and slake the lusts of the perfidious priests. For many minutes nothing could be seen, but then a white flame grew within the idol, and all the people could see Drann standing unharmed in the midst of a fire so hot it slew some of the stokers.
The white flame grew until the idol melted quite suddenly and the molten brass rushed out to consume the Priest-King and most of the High Priests. When the brass cooled Drann walked out among the people and so the religion of the Three had its start.
Drann preached for 44 years, and most of the world heeded his call. In the south the Kavons rejected him, and he prophesied that they would soon be replaced by another race as cruel as themselves. To the surprise of the Sea Elves many of the Yerra would not heed the Prophet either, and the easterly kingdoms of Eryth and Thaar would not even allow him to enter their borders. In Iyarre only a few accepted his teachings, though the Prophet warned them that the same race that would conquer the Kavons would conquer them as well.
After his 44 years, the Prophet went to Adarr, which had been the most enthusiastic of all the converted nations, having followed the Seven Lights for many centuries, and there he gathered bishops and ecclesiarchs from all around the Jeweled Sea. He spoke for many hours, and then the heavens opened, and the Three Divines appeared before all the congregation. They called Drann blessed, and took him into the heavens. This we call the Year of the Prophet, and count the years since as Years of the Prophet. It has been 1859 years since the Prophet went into the High Heaven, and his words remain with us still in the holy Song of Praise.
All men know that a century after the Prophet's assumption the Etriquínes came, and destroyed Eryth and Thaar, decimated Iyarre, and conquered all the kingdoms of the Kavons. And the Kavons, who had loved slavery and enslaved countless others, became instead a race of slaves, and the sons and daughters of their kings stood naked on the auction block beside those they had once scorned. So the prophecies of Drann were fulfilled, and from that time even those who do not follow the Three Divines take heed of every word he wrote.
The Three Divines, also known as Aesquis (Trin), Ashal, Elshal, El'Shal, Eshgal (Elvish), Astry (Banelow), Das Dry (Ayronner-Ffolkspraka), Di Trijan (Ayronner-Kjenninksbilesna), Halithreo (Gyrson), Les Tress (Lan d'Nor), Pachai (Thellic), eda Thrael (Thellarnish), eda Thrayol (Kythonic), Trias (Kavonic), Triwyr (Albaen).
Melrimon the Judge
Alternate Names & Titles: Ahu’abthar (Thellarnish: “Lord of the Scales”), Anisen the Sun (Elvish: “Lord of the Heaven-fire”), Arthos (Trin: “Divides the Dead”), Dathvan (Ithelic: “Judge”), Galdian (Elvish: “Great Judge of Heaven”), Hbar (Ithelic: “Sun-god”), Kosmukrytus (Kavonic: “Universal Judge”), Mithrus (Brevic: “contract, promise”), Rashnaw (Kythonic: “Justice”)
Description: The Judge is depicted as a stern patriarch, bearded and keen-eyed, with golden eyes, hair, and skin, bearing a golden balance. His robe is golden white like the noon-day sun, and shimmers like flame. He judges every being (living or dead) continually, while the rewards or punishments come at the hands of the other two of the Three. Both rewards and punishments are not intended as anything due or owed to the mortal in question, but are a means of teaching and guiding that mortal to a better life. Sometimes suffering teaches best, while ease destroys the soul, and the Judge is the one who determines which will work best in each individual life. It is his task to balance justice and mercy in every life, the combination of which is what Tranics call goodness or righteousness. He is associated with the Sun and Light, and is considered by some the chief of the Three.
Symbol: The Sun, a simple golden balance, or ornate golden scales. Gold and electrum are the metals of the Judge.
Myrra the Rewarder
Alternate Names & Titles: Ankili (Elvish: “Totality of Stars in Heaven”), Arani (Trin: “Dances and Gives”), Anayitha (Kythonic: “the Immaculate One”), Azashi (Thellarnish: “Goddess of Rewards”), Dasuar (Brevic: “Rewards”), Dorodoteira (Kavonic: “Giver of Gifts”), Roshanan (Elvish: “Queen of the Gifts of Heaven”), Steydihar (Ithelic: “Lady of Gifts”)
Description: Myrra the Rewarder is depicted as a supremely beautiful woman with silvery hair, eyes, and skin, though many other colors flicker within, as if all the stars were gathered and made into flesh. Her robe is a shimmering glitter of diamonds of every hue. In her hand she carries a silver chalice or pitcher, symbolizing the rewards she gives to all beings in the Sundered Spheres. She represents mercy, and is kindness personified, and longs to give only gifts, but knows that too much kindness can destroy and so gives only what the Judge deems proper. She grieves whenever foolish mortals require chastisement, and exults when they require gifts. She is associated with the stars because of the myriad gifts she gives.
Symbol: The Stars, a Silver Chalice or a Silver Pitcher. Platinum or white gold and silver are considered the metals of the Rewarder.
Marchial the Avenger
Alternate Names & Titles: Ahu’verdraga (Thellarnish: “Lord of Victory”), Anitinen (Elvish: “Lord of the Heavenly Moons”), Arnos (Trin: “Afflicts the Dead”), Inyaith (Elvish: Lord of the Five Moons), Kshathra Vairya (Kythonic: “Desireable Dominion”), Khueynexuey (Ithelic: “Avenger”), Padasen (Brevic: “Retribution”), Sherdaan (Elvish: “Retribution of Heaven”), Timoreter (Kavonic: “Avenger”)
Description: Marchial the Avenger is not a devil or an accuser, but represents justice. He is depicted as a great warrior with reddish golden hair, eyes, and skin, and bears a great sword with a scarlet blade in his hand. His armor is a blend of the colors of the Moons, and changes constantly as do their phases. He metes out the chastisements required to school and discipline thinking beings, and balances justice against mercy at the direction of the Judge. He does not particularly enjoy his task, and for that reason he is considered an exemplar of duty and order. He is also the patron of Just War, and explained to the Prophet very particularly how to know when a war is just and when it is not. His wrath upon those who wage unjust wars is terrible, and may exceed simple defeat, according to the judgement of the Judge. The most painful of his duties is the meeting out of punishment to those who the Judge has determined cannot be turned back to good. The Marchial does not have the power to universally destroy such, as most, indeed nearly all such are protected by other powers, and so he must work indirectly to bring about their downfall. In the end, the Avenger always wins, but often it requires many helpers from the Six Spheres, especially when the lost one holds terrible powers, such as Zoragas being defeated at the Battle of Ten Thousand Ships. The Avenger is associated with the Five Moons because they divide and order the seasons of the world.
Symbols: The Five Moons, a Golden Sword with a red-gold or flaming blade. Red gold and strong bronze (also known as kerez) are the metals of the Avenger.
The Seven Archangels, also known as the Aliskimsianim (Elvish), Paryazathi (Kythonic), Berezspaani (Brevic), Rewsrondari (Ithelic), the Seven Lights.
Note: The Seven Archangels are opposed in the Hot Hell by the Seven Dayebim or Archdevils. Each has a particular archenemy among the Dayebim. They have the power to transform themselves into almost any shape, and on many occasions have disguised themselves to help the cause of enlightenment. The other Saints and Angels also have this ability and may be found almost anywhere when the cause is in doubt, and after the Battle of Ten Thousand Ships King Aengan-Rhys learned to his astonishment that nearly all of his closest councilors and advisers, and many of his bodyguard, were in fact angels. All of the powers except the Three are given the honorific 'saint,' which is amashe/amashi in Thellarnish.
Alternate Names & Titles: Bardhmor (Albaen: "Great Poet"), Great Cor (Odonner), Guthhafoc (Gyrisc: "War-hawk"), Defender of Right, Koramha Thraylmanthre (Kythonic: "Peacemaker Holy-Word-of-the-Three"), Kirdanaysh Karseyak (Ithelic: "Peacemaker Holy-Word-of-the-Three"), Korsylm Eshalkom (Elvish: "Peacemaker Holy-Word-of-the-Three"), Peace-bringer; also the Hawk, or the Poet.
Description: Saint Coram appears much as he did before the Sundering, standing almost eight feet tall, with a strong, muscular form that is somewhat lean to human eyes. He has black hair that he wears short, and white skin. He no longer has the golden eyes of the Ancient Immortals, but instead of the blue of the Great Elves he has green eyes that are almost yellow. He has grown far more powerful than any of the Ancient Immortals before him, despite the slight change wrought in him by the Sundering. In his poetry he attributes his great power to exercise, that in struggling to contain and alleviate the terrible horrors of the Sundering he grew into his present role. For thousands of years Coram led the fight against evil in the world, and when the Three arrived to take up the torch, he didn't not hesitate for a moment to take second place to them. He is a great musician and poet, though his poetry is hard to translate and often only makes sense in the original Elvish. He wears the same armor as a Great Elven Wain-lord when he must fight, and each piece of his armor and weapons has its own name. Coram is both honored and beloved, and is seen as the perfect example of the warrior-poet. His consort is Dhamar Vyesa, and together they have 18 children, three of whom are counted among the Archangels. His special enemy among the Dayebim is Indhrah.
Symbol: Golden Hawk
Alternate Names & Titles: Dahmaar Visyashe (Kythonic: "His Guardian Angel"), the Dancing Lady, Persilansi Parzarinji (Ithelic: "Pious-Dancer She-Guards-the-Home"), Dancing Tmar (Odonner), Dancing Vyesa, Kamza Ilatassah (Elvish: Holy-Dancer Spirit-of-the-Home), Leothides (Gyrisc: "Singing Lady"), the Smiling One,Vasha (Albaen: "Noble"); also the Dancer, the Dove, the Singer.
Description: Dhamar is reckoned the most beautiful of all the Elves and the Ancient Immortals both, and that is saying quite a bit. She has the midnight hair and fair skin of the Great Elves, but her eyes are, like Coram's, between yellow and green. She stands six inches over seven feet, and her slender body is so perfectly graceful that it does not seem too thin even to human eyes. Dhamar was the chief of the sacred dancers of the Ancient Immortals, and dances she designed remain part of the rites of the Three to this day. She detests combat, but is not backward when the time comes, and uses a style of unarmed fighting known as kamzamei which uses the grace and control of a dancer to turn the strength of enemies into weakness. This style is taught to all priestesses of the Tranic faith, though only a few become very skilled in its application, for it requires a good deal of talent as well as knowledge. Dhamar is the consort of Coram Thalmont, and mother of many children. She is considered the ideal of motherhood, and is the archenemy of the Dayeb Zawrich.
Symbol: Golden Dove
Alternate Names & Titles: Ahuraocah Baratdaena (Kythonic: "Bright-lord Faith-bearer"), Beyrash Byredin (Ithelic: "Bright-lord Faith-bearer"), Strong Huhr (Odonner), Inkar Ganse (Elvish: "Light-lord Faith-bearer"), Randbeorn (Gyrisc: "Shield-bearer"), Traysach (Albaen: "Stronger"); also the Falcon, the Shield, the Squire.
Description: Huuric is shield-bearer to Coram, and they have fought side-by-side down through the ages. Huuric is slightly taller than Coram, a full eight feet, with the same black hair and fair skin, but with dark green eyes that appear more like the sea than the jewel-like eyes of Great Elves. He is by far the most skillful warrior in the world, surpassing even Coram, and his sword and spear are feared by all the enemies of righteousness. Huuric is lieutenant to Coram, but he is not subservient, being rather a friend and comrade who makes the vision of his leader come to fruition. Coram originally designed the concept of the Volutial Plane, but Huuric brought it into being. The relationship between Coram and Huuric is used by many military orders and several military traditions as a perfect example of how a leadership team ought to behave, and the positions of aide and adjutant and esquire came into being to help mere mortals follow in the footsteps of the great. Huuric is the particular enemy of the Dayeb Aka Manah.
Symbol: Golden Falcon
Alternate Names & Titles: Delama Zyorah (Elvish: "Spirit Courage-of-Truth"), Brave Ern (Odonner), Havili Hynaraki (Ithelic: "Spiritual Brave-Truth[teller]"), Huntaides (Gyrisc: "Hunting Lady"), Mistress of the Fields, Rana (Albaen: "battle cry"), Uruna Suraasha (Kythonic: "Spirit Courage-of-Truth"); also the Froward, the Rider.
Description: Most of those who have seen Eranne consider her only very slightly less beautiful than Dhamar, but as always that depends somewhat on preference. Eranne is shorter and slighter than Dhamar, standing just seven feet, and she wears her jet-black hair short, only a little longer than her ears. She has amber eyes with a little green, almost the exact shade of yellow autumn leaves, and she has a more upturned nose and an eternally impish expression. Eranne loves to ride and hunt, and a whole herd of winged unicorns and spirit horses live only to server her. She is the greatest of all hunters, but she hunts only the servants of evil and their fell beasts. The consort of Huuric, her skill in fighting is much greater than Dhamar's, and her bow and javelins are deadly accurate. She is mother to nine sons and one daughter, and while she is no less a good mother than Dhamar, she tends to be more often venerated by wild young girls than sedate mothers of many children. Eranne is the archenemy of the Dayeb Sawra.
Symbol: Golden Horse
Alternate Names & Titles: Bold Erx (Odonner), Damenyni Dakreni (Ithelic: "Just-and-True Soul-Companion"), Eresh Urunashya (Kythonic: "Just-and-True Soul-Companion"), Gliscin (Albaen: "wise"), Kozith Orsayntah (Elvish: "Pure-truth Soul-guardian")
Description: Eryx is the eldest child of Coram and Dhamar. She stands 7'9" and has black hair, silvery blue eyes, and has a body almost as muscular as her father's. Her valiant skill in battle is renowned all over the Planes, as is her wisdom and upright honor. She alone can spar with her father and Huuric and give both pause, and her abilities actually exceed her father's in some areas, especially with the spear and longsword. She is the day-to-day leader of the Host of Calnos, and continually prepares her heavenly warriors to do battle with the forces of the Hells. She captured the materials used to make the silver trilixes of the Volutial Plane, and fought off many attacks while the other angels built that Sphere to bind all the others together. For her great courage and tireless devotion she is ranked among the Archangels even though she is a child of two of them. Tranic armies traditionally invoke Eryx before battle by crying "Eryx guide our spears!"
Symbol: Golden Thunderbird or Golden Owl
Alternate Names & Titles: Wise Ahur (Odonner), Airya Amadvahathre (Kythonic: "Noble-one Strength-of-Two-United"), Banbry (Albaen: "lady of power"), Kalshi Kowekidi (Ithelic: "Noble-one Strength-of-Two-United"), Koga Osmentah (Elvish: "Noble-one Strength-of-Two-United")
Description: Arya is no longer the youngest of the daughters of Coram and Dhamar, as she was actually born tenth and there are now seventeen daughters, known collectively as the Viashas or Dhamaselles. She is called the youngest, however, because she long was, and because unlike all her sisters except for Eryx, she was not born a twin or triplet. Arya has black hair and green-golden eyes, and is the smallest of the Dhamaselles, standing only six feet tall. Her beauty is often thought second only to her mother's, even though she pays little heed to such things. She is consumed with curiosity about the interworking of the Planes, and designed the trilixes based on her father's plans. She is the greatest of all magicians with the possibility of Tuteri the Magus, and yet she is also very skilled with the sword. Arya's abilities make her a natural addition to the Archangels, and she has proven her skill and strength on many occasions. Her particular enemy among the Dayebim is Tawrich.
Symbol: Golden Phoenix
Alternate Names & Titles: Ankaskal Mengepir (Elvish: He-travels-the-Sky-swiftly Lion-Eyes"), Aithrashiste Arshandoithre (Kythonic: "He-travels-straightest Lion-eye"), Duzran Dashak (Ithelic: "He-travels-straightest Lion-eyes"), Geabech (Albaen: 'shaggy'), Wandering Iath (Odonner)
Description: Ithos is the only son of Coram and Dhamar. Born just after Eryx, he did not at first seem interested in his father's plans to heal the world, wandering all over seemingly for the joy of it. However when he returned the knowledge he brought with him of the breadth of the devastation, not only upon Amelek but many other worlds in the Externity, made it possible for Coram to devise his plans and create the Volutial Plane. Ithos looks exactly like his father, and they are even of the same height, but Ithos has the eyes of a lion, both in color and with slit irises. He sees danger before it arises, and is the most savvy of the Archangels at discerning the patterns of the Volutial Plane. He selected the Talvasi from among many thousands of Great Elves, for he met them during his travels and knew they had already begun to help heal the world, even though they knew nothing of Coram's plans. Ithos prefers to fight with weapons that don't shed blood, though he is an awesome combatant nonetheless. His archenemy among the Dayebim is Aeshmah.
Symbol: Golden Lion
Angels and Demons:
The Angels, also known as the Iskimsianim (Elvish), Yazathi (Kythonic), Spaani (Brevic), Rondari (Ithelic), the Host of Light. There are several classes of angel that serve the Three. The first are the Heavenborn, children of Coram and Dhamar as well as Huuric and Eranne. These are further divided by their descent. The daughters of Coram and Dhamar are known as the Dhamaselles as homage to their mother, and Ithos their only brother is called the Corion. Eryx, Arya and Ithos will not be listed below because they became Archangels, but all of their sisters are listed under Dhamaselles. Huuric and Eranne had nine sons, known as the Braddions for their father, and one daughter, called the Sudhasa for her mother.
The second class of angel are those chosen by the Seven Archangels or the Three to govern a particular place and time. Those who are also worshipped as deities in other religions will not be listed below, but are still honored by all Tranics. These are known as the Chosen.
The third class of angel are the Saints, or mortals who were raised to the heavens to serve as exemplars for other mortals. Foremost of these was of course Drann the Prophet, but there have been many more, including his Successors.
The fourth class of angel are known as supernals or amashans, blazing servants of the Three or the Archangels, who are the brave and good that may be sent as messengers into the world. These are not listed individually, as there are far too many.
The Damasals or Dhamaselles or Viashas are listed in the order they were born. Eryx is the eldest, and Arya was born after Adraya and Aubraya, but is still called the youngest.
Lahyaza or Liessa
Alternate Names & Titles: Lissa, Lyza, the Wanderer
Description: Born after Ithos as a triplet, Lahyaza loves to travel like her bother, and created all the duties and obligations of a guest who receives hospitality. She stands about 7' tall, has black hair and blue eyes with golden flecks, and prefers to wear her hair in a simple braid or pony-tail to make travel easy. She bears only a walking stick and a short bow for weapons, and prefers never to fight, but she loves to show up in unlikely places to test the hospitality of great lords and kings, and will fight for her hosts, as the rules she devised require. Lahyaza is a good companion, as many have learned, for she will take the guise of an ordinary person and travel the roads, making conversation and brightening the day of any traveler. Any wanderer who seems to be unusually educated and insightful may be mistaken for Lahyaza, or perhaps might actually be the Dhamaselle of Traveling.
Symbol: Bronze Walking Stick
Tanyaza or Tanza
Alternate Names & Titles: Tiezza, Tyza, the Hostess, the Reveler
Description: Born as a triplet with Lahyaza and Raeyaza, Tanyaza is in appearance exactly like them: about 7' tall, with black hair and blue eyes with prominent golden flecks. She is stately and serene, and devised the rules governing the giving of hospitality in counterpoint to the rules created for the guest by her sister. She is gracious and generous, and enjoins all to provide hospitality and treat a guest as a member of the family while hospitality rights last. She hates fighting, and uses a bow when she must in defense of guests. Tanyaza seldom disguises herself as an actual hostess, but instead may play governess or lady-in-waiting to a great lady or queen who needs to be taught the proper forms of hospitality. It is not always the wealthy that she teaches, however, but sometimes appears as a particularly competent and helpful maid-of-all-work at an inn, or a long lost aunt helping a yeoman's family learn to be kind to weary travelers.
Symbol: Silver Goblet
Raeyaza or Rayza
Alternate Names & Titles: Roxan, Ryza, the Merry One
Description: Born as a triplet with Layaza and Tanyaza, Raeyaza is a bit more frivolous than her sisters, caring less for the rules of guest and host and more for entertainment. She loves to jest and make merry, and her favorite sacrament is a good joke. She looks just like her sisters, 7' tall with black hair and gold-flecked blue eyes, but she has a jovial expression that never dims. She is happy, even bubbly, at all times, and even when she must take up her bow and fight, she will jest and joke the while. Jesters, harlequins and fools take Raeyaza for their patron, and she helps such to learn the art of good humor. She seldom appears for long anywhere, and most often as an extra in a large party of ladies, who goads the entertainment on and helps them win the crowd. Anybody who guess her identity she rewards with a kiss and a week's worth of especially good luck, though the rewards of that luck are likely to be more humorous than helpful. She has appeared in every court and fair in the world at some time or other, and every jester hopes someday to win her kiss.
Symbol: Silver Feather
Garaya or Gianne
Alternate Names & Titles: Jynna, Dour-hand, the Defender
Description: The twin of Vanaya, Garaya stands 7'9" and has jet black hair and blue-gray eyes that appear to be steel. She is muscular and strong, with broader shoulders than would be considered classically beautiful but with a stern, somewhat grim expression. She wears an armor of esmeraodd and bears a great shield and spear in combat, and her fighting style is defensive, for she designed many of the defenses used against the Darrows before the Sundering, and her skill in holding a narrow place is legendary. Architects pray for her guidance when designing castles or city walls, and she has been known to suddenly appear in to an architect's study and offer advice in person. Garaya never attacks, loving peace, but she believes that being prepared for war is the duty of all who desire peace and freedom.
Symbol: Crossed Silver Spear and Shield
Vanaya or Vianne
Alternate Names & Titles: Vynna, Slit-eyes, Twin-hands
Description: The twin of Garaya, Vanaya looks very similar, standing 7'9" with ebon hair and steely blue-gray eyes. She too tends to have a grim expression, but she has a much different disposition than her twin. While Garaya longs to defend, Vanaya desires to be always on the offensive, seeking out and destroying enemies in their strongholds or hideaways. She carries two long, curved swords, both of which can be used with one hand or two, and her skill in the offensive is greater than any other power that serves the Three. She is somewhat blind to defense, however, and so cannot be considered the greatest among the many great warriors of Calnos. Even so, if the Three or Saint Coram decide a particular foe must be dealt with by the warriors of heaven, Vanaya is very likely to lead the attack. Vanaya also has devised most of the means of destroying fortifications, and certainly inspired the dire horn, recently invented in Tharquín. She prefers trickery and stratagem, however, and has occasionally appeared in the tents of an attacking general and helped him devise plans to take a strong place.
Symbol: Crossed, Curved Silver Swords
Erelana or Erilynne
Alternate Names & Titles: Erene, the Jaunty
Description: Erelana is the twin of Orilana, and she stands, 7' tall, and has golden hair that is truly golden, appearing like spun gold, and blue eyes with golden flecks. Golden hair was practically unknown among the Ancient Immortals, and Erelana and Orilana are the only ones of all the Heavenborn to have hair of their particular color. Erelana is a poet like her father, and particularly loves spontaneous verse. She both creates it herself and inspires it in others. Heralds and entertainers revere her, and try their best to create poetry without forethought in her honor. Erelana chants or sings in rhyme at all times, so continually practices what she preaches. She has a love of words and song that is unrivaled, and scholars who are unskilled in rhyme and meter will still honor her, because after all, even writing books about the religions of the world requires inspiration. In addition to words, she is a superlative musician, second only to her father, and often extemporizes music to go with her spontaneous poetry. She is known to appear on occasion when a herald or harper has invented a particularly good poem or song, and her reward is a kiss that loosens the tongue and gives the recipient an even greater talent with words and music. Though she detests fighting, Erilana is skilled with spear and javelin, and invents martial poetry even as she fights, describing the battle even as it occurs in perfectly rhyme and rhythm.
Symbol: Silver Harp
Orilana or Orlinne
Alternate Names & Titles: Orene, the Provoker, the Dancer
Description: The twin of Erelana, Orilana stands 7' tall, has golden hair and gold-flecked blue eyes. She is beautiful and winsome, with a perfectly formed body that holds a grace far beyond anything mortals can describe, much less rival. She is the most perfect dancer, more skilled even than her mother Dhamar, not least because she throws her whole being into dance. She sometimes appears at the springtime revels of the Elves or Deerkin, and all other dancers cease at first, watching her with astonished joy, but then her own joy draws them all into a kind of abandoned revery where the world becomes nothing but the dance. When this happens the area around the place of her dancing becomes brighter and greener, and if there are fields nearby they become more fertile. Orilana does not create dances in the way her mother Dhamar does, but invents them as she dances, and never repeats any except those religious dances her mother designed. Her love of dance does not mean she will not fight when necessary, and her skill with spear and javelin is very great, not least because she dances even as she fights, using her grace and dexterity to dodge her enemies and pierce their defenses.
Symbol: Silver Shoes
Adraya or Adbaraya
Alternate Names & Titles: Adriya, Adrii, Drie, the Steadfast
Description: Adraya is the twin of Aubraya, and has silver hair that glitters and sparkles like real silver, and emerald green eyes that remain unchanged since before the Sundering. She stands 7'2" and has a lithe, lean body. She is great friends with her elder sister Garaya, and fights defensively but with different weapons. Adraya is an archer, and bears a great longbow. Her accuracy is about perfect, as she has never been known to miss any target. She does not shoot from horseback, but prefers to be behind fortifications, defending those who are helpless. She has appeared at many a siege, helping the defenders by shooting down a particularly evil foe at just the right moment, and most archers venerate her and hope for her blessing as they work to improve their marksmanship. Adraya has also occasionally appeared at archery tournaments, and rewarded the victor with a kiss and a silver arrow that never breaks and seldom misses, and which returns to the quiver of its owner when all other arrows are spent. These magical arrows vanish at the death of each recipient, and cannot be sold or traded. Those who try find their bows breaking at the worst possible moment, for Adraya despises those who despise her gifts.
Symbol: Silver Bundle of Arrows
Aubraya or Aurvaraya
Alternate Names & Titles: Abriya, Abrii, Brie, the Bravest, Last-to-Flee
Description: Aubraya is Adraya's twin, and like her has silver hair that seems to be actual spun silver, stands 7'2", and has emerald green eyes. Silver hair is unique to the twins Adraya and Aubraya. Like Adraya, Aubraya is an archer and carries a huge longbow. She is nearly as good as her twin, but her temperament is different. She too fights defensively, but she is stubborn and will not budge. Whether she's standing in a field or behind castle walls, she unwraps a sash she always wears and pins it to the ground with a dagger, and there she fights and will not retreat even an inch. She carries a sword and dagger as well as a bow, and when her foes come too close for archery she continues to fight. She is known as Last-to-Flee, but it is a misnomer--she never flees. On those few occasions where the Heavenborn have lost a battle, she had to be carried unconscious from the field. Aubraya does not have the many followers of her twin, but she has a few, and they too will not budge. Aubraya will sometimes appear beside such an archer, who stands fast when all his friends have run away, and shoots beside him, usually providing the margin of victory. She too offers a kiss as a reward, and gives these heroic archers a silver short sword which can be held while shooting, and which can deflect incoming arrows. Those she kisses are always known, because a streak of silver appears in their hair, and it is not common white or gray, but truly silver, glittering like Aubraya's own hair. Any archer who receives Aubraya's kiss traditionally also receives knighthood, for even the most traditional will grant that no matter how common the birth, the kiss of an angel makes a man worthy.
Symbol: Silver Fist Holding a Broken Dagger
Ameala or Amahva
Alternate Names & Titles: Melaini, the Festal, the Temperate
Description: Ameala is the twin of Azaela, and has coppery red hair and silvery gray eyes, stands about 6'6" tall, and has a figure that is almost plump compared to most Great Elves or Heavenborn. She is the mistress of festivals, and designed or at least inspired all the festivals in the calendar, both religious and traditional. Some of the Heavenborn find festivals irritating, even frivolous, but Ameala knows that those with short lives need the release of such gatherings to recharge and renew their spirits. She is no friend of drunkenness, and her strictures on how exactly to mix water and wine are in fact quite healthful. Only recent has humanity learned that water carries many dangers, and that wine or ale mixed with water kills those infectious mites. Now, of course, it is possible for almost anyone to purify a single cup of water through magic, but for long ages nobody even knew it might be necessary, and had their lives saved by Ameala's judicious proportions of wine to water. Ameala blesses wine dedicated to her, and keeps it rich and full, but she is no friend of some of the stronger drink that has recently become more common. Her festivities should be lively and enjoyable, but in her most recent message to Saint Erlisle, she says that a deadened mind reduces enjoyment, and only one with his or her mind awake can truly appreciate the fulness of any festival, religious or otherwise. She too recommends some of the stronger spirits be used for washing wounds, and the hands of surgeons, and this has become more common in recent days when magic is spent and surgery is all that is left to save the wounded. Ameala will sometimes appear at a festival as a gracious, smiling guest, thanking an excellent host or hostess with a kiss to the palm of the hand that leaves a little silver heart at the center of the palm. Those so marked are honored and ennobled, whatever their birth. In the Empire of the Jeweled Sea it means elevation to the Hidalgos, unless one is already of noble birth. Those who use magic or cosmetics to pretend to have the mark find themselves becoming drunk on a thimbleful of wine, and grow ever more muddle-headed and dull-witted until they remove the mark, repent, and publish to all their perfidy at counterfeiting the blessings of heaven.
Symbol: Silver Wine-bottle
Azaela or Ashva
Alternate Names & Titles: Zelaini, the Temptress
Description: Like her twin Ameala, Azaela has coppery red hair and silver eyes, and stands 6'6" with a figure that is voluptuous and womanly; it is only her great height that makes her Elvish heritage apparent. She is flirtatious and coquettish, using eyes, words, expressions, and gestures to entice and enchant both males and females. She does this not because her offers are genuine; she tests the commitment of those engaged to be married, or the loyalty of husbands and wives, and revels especially when her wiles fail. Those who emulate her too often place themselves in danger, but Azaela herself is strong and powerful, so has no such fear. She does not advocate that anyone follow her example, as they are not competent to judge who ought to be tested, but she is likely to appear at any festivities in human form, either male or female, and many of her flirtations have become legendary. Those who resist her without really paying attention delight her, but those she seriously tempts, but cannot move from their love and loyalty, she rewards with a kiss on the cheek, leaving behind a little silver heart like that of her twin. Those marked are consequently more desired by the opposite sex, but the mark is also a protection, giving the recipient insight into the wiles of the opposite sex and making them even harder to seduce. Those who have succumbed after receiving her kiss are cursed to never find love ever again, and live out their days in misery. Those who counterfeit her mark find themselves clumsy and foolish in their decisions, and are far more likely to be seduced and abandoned, and so learn the hard way that flirtation requires moderation and control like every other ability in the world. Azaela detests combat, but when the need arises she uses a pair of tomahawks like her twin.
Symbol: Silver Female Eye
Hivaria or Ivary
Alternate Names & Titles: Iwyna, Wyn, the Hidden
Description: Hivaria is the twin of Nivaria, and has black hair, hazel, catlike eyes, and stands only 6'3", almost as short as Arya Induath. She is catlike in more ways than one, for she is stealthy and secretive, and has a terrible curiosity about every secret. She is the spy of the Heavenborn, using disguise and stealth to find the secrets hidden even in the very Hells. She carries a pair of short swords for weapons, but eschews armor, preferring to strike from hiding, reasoning rightly that anything she attacks is likely to be so evil that there is no reason to declare enmity. She strikes but rarely, however, because she doesn't wish her foes to know she ever entered their secret places, and usually escapes to tell her father all her findings rather than reveal her presence by violence. She also inspires lock-makers and trap-builders, and sometimes tests those traps or locks. No mortal has ever seen her, but occasionally her sign will appear on a shop of a particularly good locksmith or trap-maker, sometimes even clock-makers, and it is not something that can be counterfeited. Her symbol is of course used by all such, but when it begins to glow with an otherworldly shimmer, all know that Hivaria approves of the artisan's skills. Hivaria is honored and supplicated by the Spy-masters of every Tranic nation, and her influence is sometimes felt when a sudden series of discoveries help make a pattern suddenly clear that nobody knew existed before. This is the greatest wish of every spy or Spy-master in the world, and those that wish to be granted such a benison must follow the rules for spies set down in the Codex of the Key-hole, revealed to Saint Coriel many centuries ago. Hivaria uses a pair of silver tomahawks in combat, but more often uses her short swords when ambushing a foe.
Symbol: Silver Lock with a Key-hole
Nivaria or Nivay
Alternate Names & Titles: Ilyna, Lyn, the Winnower
Description: Like her twin Hivaria, Nivaria is small, only 6'3", and has black hair and catlike eyes of hazel. She is as secretive as her twin, and likewise can hide in plain sight with ease. Instead of spying on cities and strongholds, Nivaria loves the wild lands, and learns the ways of animal and wilderness instead. She is the perfect scout in the desolate places, find the right paths, knowing where water and food may be found, and skirting those territorial beasts that are too dangerous. She knows how the balance of nature works, and helps those who try to keep that balance. Though she uses a bow, her main weapons are a pair of silver tomahawks, and she is skilled both at wielding and throwing them. She is rarely seen by humans, though occasionally she will appear when a particularly worthy army is lost in the wilderness, and she has been known to succor scouts and sentinels who find themselves in more danger than they can handle. She is very friendly with the Kindred of the Pale Sorrow, more commonly known as Cobgoblins or White Elves, and tries to convert them from their false ways, and is the particular protector of the Adah-eryni, also known as the Redeemed. White Elves are territorial, and never attack outside their territories, but those who seek them out to exterminate them are cursed by Nivaria, and soon discover they grow lost walking from their bedroom to the kitchen. Nivaria's abilities have failed in one supreme test, however; neither she nor her twin Hivaria have ever been able to find the resting place of the Hammer of the Netherworld.
Symbol: Silver Tomahawk
Ximena or Xamazia
Alternate Names & Titles: Xima, Tall-spear, the Cold
Description: Twin of Yamina, Ximena stand's 8' tall, taller even than her father, and has pure white hair and icy pale blue eyes. She wears a cold, calculating expression, and though she has great beauty, her aspect is forbidding. Ximena appointed herself bodyguard to her own father, and accompanies him everywhere, and even sleeps outside his door. She will not be moved from this duty, and her skills are all designed to protect him from all dangers. She is superbly skilled with the Elvish great spear, and her large shield is designed more to protect her father than herself. She rides beside him in battle, and ensures that the leader of the Seven Archangels will never need replacing. Ximena rarely smiles, but sometimes her sisters can goad her to it, and she wears her armor at all times, only removing it to bathe, and she only bathes when her father is at home in Dalavond, protected by countless others. Ximena has great skill in magic, almost as great as that of Saint Arya, and she uses those spells to guard all approaches to her father, so that nobody and nothing can get near to Saint Coram without her knowledge. Ximena never visits the Six Planes unless she accompanies her father, but she still knows when a bodyguard crosses the boundary from employee to guardian, and she rewards those with a silver mark of her own symbol on the forehead. Such are the most highly coveted of all bodyguards, but cannot be hired away from the one who earned their loyalty and made them into guardians. At best if their former employer died of old age, a marked guardian might agree to serve a close friend or family member for a seven-year contract. The same symbol is often used by professional bodyguards but tattooed in black; none dares counterfeit her mark, so nobody knows what would happen if anyone ever did. Ximena and Yamina are the only Dhamaselles who were born after the Sundering, and so are considered practically children by most of the other Heavenborn and even many Great Elves, but their power is far mightier than any Great Elf that lives in the Sundered Spheres instead of the Heavens.
Symbol: Silver Crossed Spears (pointing up)
Yamina or Yamazia
Alternate Names & Titles: Ymina, Bloody-spear, the Cruel
Description: Like her twin Ximena, Yamina is tall, standing 8', and has pure white hair and cruel, icy blue eyes. She is the bodyguard of her mother Saint Dhamar, and her aspect is not only forbidding, but frightening. It is said that no man, not even her father, can look her in the eyes without feeling a tremor of fear. Yamina is perfectly friendly to all her family and every inhabitant of the Heavens, but she never stops looking for danger to her mother, and her eyes are always cold, even when she smiles. Like Ximena, she is superbly skilled with the great spear and shield. She stays beside her mother at all times, sleeping outside her parent's door with her twin, and wearing her armor at all times. She and her sister always bathe together, because they only leave their parents for a few minutes in any given day when they are certain of safety, but they grudge every second of it. Yamina is much more dangerous than Ximena, for she guards not only her mother's person, but her dignity. Any being in the Six Spheres who makes a ribald joke about Dhamar will suddenly have an accident that results in maiming, and many have died of their wounds. Such jokes are extremely rare, and Yamina has also given instruction to the Prophet and all his Successors that cruel jokes about particular women are her especial hate. She inspires those who avenge women of slanders, and sometimes marks successful duelists with her symbol. Most are not marked on the forehead, however, but on their sword-arm, usually on the shoulder so that it will not be easily seen. She wants those who slander women to die, not to surrender or apologize before the fight begins. Though she is often called Yamina the Cruel, women never use that epithet. Like her twin, Yamina was born after the Sundering, but her power exceeds all of the Great Elves outside of the Heavens.
Symbol: Silver Crossed Spears (pointing down)
The Sudhasa is the sole daughter of Huuric and Eranne
Valarey of the Heart
Alternate Names & Titles: Bfalaray, Hvalarae, the Maiden, the Immaculate
Description: The only daughter of Saint Hurric and Saint Eranne, Valarey is unlike both her parents. She is gentle and meek, filled with love for all things, including those that don't deserve it in any way. Among the Heavenborn she alone will not fight, for any reason, but would rather die herself than shed blood or harm another being, even one of the Lichelords. Valarey of the Heart stands about 7' tall, has hair of midnight black and eyes of clear, pale violet. She is chaste and pure, and the patron of maidens everywhere, for her love is too great to focus on a single person, not even Saint Ithos, who wanders not only from a love of traveling, but because his love for Valarey of the Heart has been unrequited these fifty thousand years. She loves him, of course, but not in the right way to become his bride. She weeps for him, and wishes she could become his wife, but she cannot and still be true to her nature, and so they remain apart. Valarey of the Heart blesses those maidens who are true and virtuous and extend their influence over all those around them. The bright eyes of a maiden who expects the best from men has a power all its own, and Valarey enhances that power to make even cynics soften under that delicate influence. Valarey of the Heart has seen combat, and one of her brothers is sure to guard her whenever conflict arises, and Saint Ithos has on several occasions taken that duty instead, accepting her maidenly kiss when the fighting is over with, no doubt, a heavy heart. Valarey of the Heart also is a superb healer, and despite her soft heart is unflinching in dealing with wounds and diseases. She blesses healers of every kind with insight and wisdom, helping them to cure whatever they must, and granting them additional stamina when using the healing magic of the Spiritual Plane. She loves to visit the Spiritual Plane and dance with the Unicorns that live there, and when a Unicorn grants its life to save a maiden who gave her life healing a loved one, an action known as the Unicorn's Kiss, that Unicorn goes to the heaven of Calnos to live with Valarey of the Heart. Those who receive the Unicorn's Kiss are marked with Valarey of the Heart's symbol just above the heart.
Symbol: Silver Heart Surrounded by Thorns
The Braddions are listed in the order they were born
Alternate Names & Titles: the Brawler
Description: Brall is the eldest of the sons of Huuric and Eranne, and his skill in combat is superb, though he is considered too brash and reckless to make a perfect warrior. He is content to be led by his father, or even some of his younger brothers, in war, but in single combat he is supreme. He particularly loves wrestling and unarmed combat, but is also extremely skilled with a sword and axe, which he wields together. Brall is the tallest of the Heavenborn, standing 9'6" tall, and has black hair, blue eyes that are little different from those of an ordinary Great Elf, but a hulking, muscular figure that is far more brawny than is usual among the Elves. He is reckoned the strongest of all the Angels and Archangels, and has to have his weapons specially made so that they can withstand his might. Once he left his axe lying on a battlefield and it could not be lifted by ten men. Brall often joins in battles while disguised, always on the right side and always in the forefront, but only when the right side is at a disadvantage due to magic, or more especially sorcery and witchcraft. He has little skill in magic himself, but is immune to most spells and shrugs aside powers that would kill any other Angel. Those who distinguish themselves in unarmed combat are blessed by Brall with luck in battle, and Brall-lucky remains a compliment of the highest order.
Symbol: Silver Crossed Sword & Axe
Alternate Names & Titles: the Acrobat
Description: Indal is the smallest of the Braddions, standing only 6'6" and having a thin, wiry frame as befits an acrobat. He has the black hair and blue eyes usual to a Great Elf, and his skill in feats of agility is unparalleled in all the Spheres. He fights with a staff or pair of staves, preferring not to shed blood, and he has never been touched by the weapons of any foe, so great is his dexterity. Indal is also a performer, and loves to juggle, jump and flip, walk roof-beams and tight-ropes, and any other performance that requires great agility. Jugglers, tumblers and acrobats all call him their patron, and he sometimes appears and performs with those who show themselves both honest and talented in their particular field. He is very fond of pretty girls, and young women who become tumblers sometimes find him appearing to help them learn new feats of agility, in exchange for seven kisses. Those who pay Indal's fee find themselves learning far more quickly than usual, and some of the best performers in the arts beloved by Indal are female. Indal also loves quarterstaff bouts, and often joins the crowds watching such bouts and even bets on the outcome. He often steps in and demonstrates his skills and those who manage to block even one of his attacks he blesses both with greater talent in quarterstaff fighting and with tips on the best tricks. Indal is beloved by the common people of Amelek, and many girls dream of becoming jugglers or tumblers just so they can one day pay Indal his seven kisses.
Symbol: Silver Crossed Staves
Alternate Names & Titles: the Metal-worker
Description: Meduran forged all the armor and weapons used by the Angels down through the ages, and is the greatest of all metal-smiths. Meduran has black hair and steely blue eyes, and tends to frown a lot, but from concentration. He is 8'10" tall, and more burly even that Brall, though not quite as strong. He is absorbed in his work, loving the shaping and forging of every kind of metal except iron and steel. Iron is poison to the Great Elves and almost all of the 21 Kindreds, but Meduran can work it if need be, and will when a particularly deserving mortal needs something made of steel, yet generally he prefers to reward mortals with weapons or armor of kerez or esmeraodd, both superior to steel in every way. Meduran's most common gift to deserving and superlatively skilled mortal metal-workers is a hammer of kerez or strong bronze with his silver hammer carved into both sides in silvery-green heiji. These gifts just appear in the workshop of the smith in question, and cannot be lifted from the anvil by any except the rightful owner. They cannot be stolen or sold, or even moved by any but the owner himself, though in an extremity, his or her spouse or child may move it, but not use it. Any metalworker who receives a Hammer of Meduran is instantly proclaimed a master of the Hammermen's Guild, and if he or she was already a master, receives the special rank of high master or an equivalent title. Grand masters of guilds are usually managers and diplomats, rather than particularly skilled artificers, and the intermediate rank accorded to a holder of a Hammer of Meduran carries more prestige, even if it is not the highest elected rank of a guild. Meduran inspires excellence in metal-working, and sometimes visits promising youngsters in their dreams, extolling the virtues of hard work, patience, and the slow building of knowledge and skill. He helps rune-carvers create new runes to strengthen weapons, and inspires the savvy required to feel rather than know when to quench and when to keep hammering. He carries his four hammers into battle when battle he must, but he prefers the creation of weapons and armor to their use.
Symbol: Silver Hammer
Alternate Names & Titles: the Duelist, Champion of Eryx
Description: The most deadly warrior of the Braddions, Goldun often accompanies Eryx wherever she goes, and excels even her skill in single combat. He is a surgeon with a sword or spear, able to hit exactly what he wants with a precision that is quite literally supernatural. Goldun's skill is not in regular combat, though he remains an excellent warrior in the melee. Instead he can outfight almost any being in the Externity one on one, with any weapon and with any rules. Dueling was always very rare among the Ancient Immortals and the 21 Kindreds they became, but occasionally there were single combats between Darrow and Ancient Immortal, and Goldun won at least seven such duels before the Sundering. He devised rules for dueling, known as the Strictures of Goldun, that remain in force among Tranics to this day. They are designed to ensure a fair combat, where skill and passion decide the contest and avoid judicial murder. Goldun's title as Champion of Eryx is one he takes very seriously; anyone who slanders Eryx in the Six Spheres is likely to find himself facing Goldun himself in single combat. Goldun has a special hatred for those who mistreat or slander women, and it is rumored that he has avenged some of the Dhamaselles before the Sundering, but what exactly that means remains a mystery. He has never said, nor has any of the Dhamaselles, though some believe that Goldun is married to either or both Ximena and Yamina. This has never been confirmed, but it is widely believed among Tranics, and it is certainly true that he shares Yamina's hatred for any who slander women. However Goldun desires for even duels with such cowards to be judicial and fair, so that the victor may never be accused of murder. He strengthens and inspires those who are less skilled in judicial combat but in the right, and inspires those who have superlative skills in duels to share his disgust with those who slander the opposite sex. On very rare occasions Goldun will mark a duelist on the off-hand with his symbol, usually after at least 21 successful duels in which the duelist never fought on the wrong side. Such are known as Goldun's Chosen, and in most cases never have to fight a duel again.
Symbol: Crossed Black and Silver Spears
Alternate Names & Titles: the Great Captain, Marshal of Saint Coram
Description: Harlox is the twin of Kozox, and the two are great friends, even though to mortal eyes they seem very little alike. Harlox stands 8' tall, has black hair and one eye of hazel, the other of blue. He wears his hair very short, and is a solid, formidable warrior who is considered the most perfect of soldiers. Harlox is very skilled with weapons, but only those used en masse; he is almost the opposite of Goldun, for he uses a weapon in the thick of the melee with great ability, but is an indifferent opponent in single combat. Harlox is a superb captain, understanding the art of war better than any other in the Heavens. He provided a short work, known as The Righteous Art of War, that details everything a captain must know to be successful. His desire is to save the lives of soldiers, and good captains are chary with their soldiers. His book includes many details on nutrition and sanitation, logistics and protecting supply lines, and the care and feeding of common soldiers. Much of his work does not really apply to short-lived human soldiers, but there are numerous adaptations for humans, including one considered authoritative by Saint Jason. In any event, following The Righteous Art of War has saved the lives of countless soldiers from disease and starvation, and Harlox is seen as the patron saint of every professional soldier, even those who are not Tranics. Harlox leads the hosts of Calnos whenever they go to battle against the Darrows of the Hot Hell or the Lichelords of the Cold. This happens rarely enough, and has not happened since humans have lived in the Sundered Spheres, but he is always ready, and keeps dead soldiers on active duty for whenever they'll be needed again. Whenever a captain displays a particular genius for the art of war, combined with an unusual compassion for his (and in one historical case her) soldiers, Harlox rewards that captain with a Marshal's Baton made of esmeraodd and heiji. This silvery baton gives the leader actual powers, such as being able to see details many miles distant, hear the words of any of his subordinates in the heat of battle, and know almost instinctively when any of his soldiers are in danger. In the Empire of the Jeweled Sea, any captain who receives the Baton of Saint Harlox is immediately granted the rank of Knight Grand Consul, jumping him over every other rank even if was not even a knight when Harlox gave him the baton. Other nations award similar titles, but it is a rare enough event that only a few have ever been awarded in the last few centuries. Some notable historical figures who received these batons were the King Aegan-Rhys, Khen-Rhys the Black Prince and Saint James the Bold, and most rarely of all, both Saint Gidgidoni and Saint John of Ghendd recieved them at the same time they jointly led the fight against the Kaydars in Chaldham. These batons may be passed down as heirlooms, but their powers do not work for any except one who merits the baton, and some families actually have had several generations who could justly claim that virtue.
Symbol: Silver Baton
Alternate Names & Titles: the Farmer
Description: Kozox is the twin of Harlox, and while they look very similar they seem very different. Kozox is 8' tall, with short black hair and one eye of blue, the other of hazel. He is known as the Farmer because tilling the earth is what he loves, and he excelled at it before the Sundering. Without Kozox most of the knowledge of farming would've been lost, but he recorded everything and his book, The Righteous Art of Farming and Husbandry, is still used to this day by all wise farmers. This work is about three times longer than the book written by Harlox about war, but it includes a lot of the same information about sanitation and nutrition, but including additional information about caring for animals. Without Kozox farmers wouldn't know how to use irrigation and fertilizer, when to leave fields fallow, and how to keep animals both useful and content. Many have tried to build model farms based on the works of Kozox, and it is much harder than it sounds, for it requires an attention to detail and a superb skill in management which is not unlike marshaling and leading an army. In this way it was learned that the twins Kozox and Harlox are not so different, except in the focus of their powers. Kozox understands that perfection is a thing unknown among humans and other farmers, and so he helps and inspires them to know what's best for their particular situation, and to improvise in ways that improve their lands and herds. Those farmers who create an entirely new method or implement that helps other farmers Kozox rewards with a silver plowshare, that when mounted to a wooden frame, can plow while only pushed gently as if it were drawn by eight oxen. The most recent of these plowshares was given to Ethan MacMullach of the Highlands, who invented a method of making the wheels of a plow independent so that they could plow on varying slope with much greater efficiency. Indeed, wheeled plows before 1813 S.R. could not be used on a slope, and Ethan's invention has helped the poorest farmers everywhere to become better able to plow their lands. Kozox is beloved by farmers, and he loves them in return, sometimes even visiting sick farmers, bringing healthful food and healing magic, but more often helping in other ways, such as plowing a field by night or bringing lost livestock back to the herd. Many farmers have seen Kozox and received his help, and every farm bears his symbol over gate and door frame, even in Anjalakh where they do not follow the Three.
Symbol: Silver Plow
Alternate Names & Titles: the Great Craftsman, the Architect, the Designer
Description: As Meduran is for metalworkers Urdovan is for every other kind of craftsman. Urdovan is 7'6" tall and has a wiry frame, thin even to Elvish eyes. He has black hair shot through with red, and silvery gray eyes. Urdovan loves crafts of every sort except metalwork. He is superlatively skilled with tools and can create almost anything he wants of almost any material. He began as a mason, designing and building many of the fortifications used against the Darrows before the Sundering. He worked closely with Saint Garaya in preparing defenses, but he allowed her to design the outer defenses and killing grounds, while he turned his mind to making these castles and towers livable. He learned carpentry to make the buildings within, and furnishings for the rooms. He learned weaving to make tapestries for the walls, curtains for the windows, and carpets for the floors. He learned pottery to make vessels for food and drink, and later for clay pipes to bring water to every room and to take waste water out again. He learned woodcarving to beautify his carpentry, stone-carving to make statuary, tailoring and embroidery to make clothes more comfortable and beautiful, glazing to cover the windows and make bottles, and cookery to prepare and preserve food. He invented many of the trades that now exist; he first used slate to cover roofs, invented the spoked wheel for chariots, and designed dozens of new forms of pottery. His skill is legend, but he does not hoard his knowledge. Urdovan also invented the codex, and wrote dozens of books about the various crafts. These books are still used as guides to learning any craft, and those who follow Urdovan's instructions can become very able indeed. One area that Urdovan detests in modern craftsmen is their penchant for trade secrets. Guilds are notoriously secretive, and try to keep new inventions and processes from getting out to protect their competitiveness. Urdovan disagrees, decreeing through Saint Rriestan of Gwynn many centuries ago that knowledge should be shared, and new knowledge especially. The guilds mostly ignore Urdovan in this matter, but sometimes a clever and dedicated journeyman or master will create a new process or invention and publish it despite the rules of the guild. If these revelations advance the craft, Urdovan marks the one who invented and revealed it with his symbol, usually on the right cheek but sometimes on the forehead. This exonerates the craftsman with his guild, and the guild masters are forced to agree with the disclosure that violates their bylaws. However sometimes the guild refuses, casting out the member despite the Mark of Urdovan, and this is a very bad idea. None of the guild houses that exiled a Chosen of Urdovan survived a decade after, and today no guild or guild house would dream of doing such a thing, though they still cling to secrecy as much as possible. Craftsmen love Urdovan the way farmers love Kozox and smiths love Meduran, and they often pray for inspiration on their craft from the great Craftsman.
Symbol: Silver Chisel
Alternate Names & Titles: the Townsman
Description: Laydon stands 7' tall, and is somewhat plump for a Great Elf, seeming almost of human stockiness. He has sandy brown hair, which no other Great Elf can boast (as if they would), and his eyes are pale blue. He is a great friend of Ameala, and some claim they are married, though this has never been confirmed. Laydon became fascinated with the growth and design of towns and cities, and studied the cities of the Ancient Immortals for long millennia before the Sundering. After the Sundering he helped many of the 21 Kindreds design their new towns and cities, working out the best ways to dispose of sewage, to keep the streets clean, to make them convenient and functional, and to help traffic flow smoothly. He also designed houses that use limited space efficiently, and always stressed that form and function should be in harmony, so that towns could be beautiful as well as organized. When humans came into the Sundered Spheres Laydon actually taught the Valans how to build towns and cities, for they were a nomadic people who had no idea how to make anything of the sort. Whenever they settled, Laydon would appear and give them advice, and for this reason many of the most ancient cities are the best-designed. As more and more humans entered the Sundered Spheres Laydon could not longer teach all directly, so he took to inspiring good ideas instead, and wrote down all of the best ways to make a village, town and city work in his codex, The Structure of a Town. Wise builders still follow his precepts, but many different traditions came to the Sundered Spheres and some cities are cesspools with houses. Most towns and cities are laid out with at least some reference to Laydon's wisdom, but it is rare indeed that any follows his plan with any exactness. Laydon's work includes the way to build a village that can grow into a town and even a city, so there is really no excuse for poorly designed settlements. Some do indeed plan their village in such a way as to allow it to grow, and these are rewarded by Laydon with a silver disc that can measure any distance within sight exactly. Known as Laydon's Surveyors, these discs work for the heir of the recipient, and will continue to work so long as Laydon's precepts are followed by each generation. Laydon's Surveyor's are part of the mayoral treasures in many cities, and those families descended from the original recipient hope one of each generation will be able to use the Surveyor, and the rivalry between siblings and cousins often brings great improvements to their city. This makes Laydon truly happy, and he can be found betimes looking on while some great improvement is made, complimenting the designer and handing out heavenly bread to each of the workers. Almost every city and town has a silver seal above each gate with Laydon's symbol upon it, but those who ignore his precepts while displaying his symbol often find that luck is against them, and such settlements tend to fail and slowly decline.
Symbol: Silver Gate
Alternate Names & Titles: the Horseman
Description: Sonjai was born after the Sundering, and seems a dashing and reckless youth even though he has lived for twenty millennia. He stands 7' tall, has long black hair and fiery green eyes, and spends every possible moment in the saddle. Sonjai loves horses like no other, more even than his mother Eranne. He calls horses his children, and blesses those who are kind to them, and curses those who are cruel. Sonjai inspired the breeding program in the Rythe among the various Moradi tribes, and the quality of Rythi horses remains unsurpassed to this day. Sonjai has never written any book, but his instructions on how to love and care for horses are well known and passed from rider to groom and back all over the world. Sonjai's own horses are as immortal as himself, and he rides each for different moods, but all have magical powers and are larger and more intelligent than any horse found in the Six Planes. Sonjai is the patron of horse-racing, and often rewards the winners of such events with a silver mark of his symbol on the flank of the winning horse; he ignores the rider and the owner, whether they are one person or two. Such horses command astonishing prices, and have greater speed, wind, and strength than is normal for their breed. Sonjai also occasionally marks a particularly clever breeder of horses, especially those that breed for intelligence, and a man with a magical silvery tattoo of seven silver horses on his cheek will find himself wealthy beyond his dreams. Sonjay hates warfare, because horses die so frequently in combat, but when he must fight, he uses a horse-bow as well as his month, and he never aims at the mount.
Symbol: Seven Silver Horses in a circle
The Chosen are listed in alphabetical order
The Guardian of the Bridge protects the Radiant Bridge that connects the Planes to the Heavens of Calnos and Alvinyos.
Zronya the Shieldmaiden
Alternate Names & Titles: the Radian Guardian, the Vigilant Shield
Description: Zronya was once an ordinary Great Elf who guarded the tombs of her family and friends who died during the wars before the Sundering. She dedicated herself to ensuring that none of the terrible spells that woke the dead into ravening monsters happened to anyone buried in her cemetery, and fought darrows on many occasions to keep such a terrible thing from happening. The Sundering did not change her dedication, though the cemetery itself ended up at the bottom of the Great Sea. Saint Coram personally asked her to guard the Radiant Bridge and ensure that no evil thing could enter the Heavens, and she accepted that responsibility with customary diligence. Zronya commands ten legions of Amashans to prevent any unclean spirit from even setting foot on the Radiant Bridge, and has personally fought and killed over a dozen Lichelords who made the attempt. She has black hair like other Great Elves, but her eyes are brown and hawklike, and she can see farther and more clearly than any other angel. She stands 8' tall and bears a great golden shield and a silver spear, and remains ever vigilant to keep the paths to the Heavens clear for the spirits of those who lived and died well.
Symbol: Golden Shield on a Silver Rainbow
The Guardian of the River protects the Rivers of Sorrow that connects the Planes to the Hells, ensuring that the damned cannot return to the land of the living.
Turris the Dreadful
Alternate Names & Titles: the Dreadful Guardian, the Ghost-slayer
Description: Turris is among the most ancient of the Ancient Immortals. He had already lived for centuries before they found the rift and came into the Sundered Spheres. He fought against the darrows with grim dedication, and when the Sundering occurred, his diminished powers did not stop him from using his skills in magic to block the dead from returning to the then Five Planes. Saint Huuric found Turris struggling to keep the souls of the dead from returning to haunt the living and fought beside him, calling others of the angels to help until the many gates into the Five Planes had been blocked. After the Volutial Plane was formed to hold the now Six Planes together, the route of dead spirits into the hells became more ordered, and came to be called the Rivers of Sorrow. Turris volunteered to police the Rivers, and ensure that no ghost returns to the land of the living. He wears his black hair in a long ponytail and has eyes of midnight unlike all other Great Elves. He wears black armor shot through with silver, and stands 8'6" tall, one of the tallest of the angels. He sails upon the rivers in a long, narrow boat rowed by magic, and he alone ensures that nothing flows against the stream of the Rivers of Sorrow. He is called the Ghost-slayer because his great black sword can destroy six of the seven souls, so that only the immortal soul that came from outside the Externity survives. Many Lichelords have attempted to return themselves to life, but all have been either turned back or killed by Turris. On rare occasions ghosts manage to keep themselves from entering upon the stream of the Rivers of Sorrows, and haunt some place in the Six Planes, often causing great fear and sometimes even murder. Turris inspires priests or priestesses to seek out those ghosts and sent them into the Rivers, where Turris destroys them, thus ensuring that no wicked spirit ever escapes justice. Those priests or priestesses that prove skilled at exorcizing ghosts Turris marks with his symbol on the left hand, making them official Ghost-hunters and requiring each to dedicate his or her time to finding and removing wicked ghosts from the living world.
Symbol: Silver Shield above a Black River
The Lords of Light or Ishedi govern the planets around Amelek's sun, and are dedicated to fighting evil in the Spiritual Plane.
Description: The Ishedi came into the Sundered Spheres in their present form, with great powers already. They were recruited to help govern the Spiritual Plane, and also to keep the planets around the sun of Amelek in their orbits, for in the Externity such matters are not always reliably certain. An Ishedu looks like a multicolored lion with a man's head and eagle's wings, but appears so only in the Spiritual Plane. When visiting other plans an Ishedu may appear as anything he likes, but strange as it seems, the partially animal body is his true form. The Ishedi have immense powers, and keep the bright spirits of the Spiritual Plane busy helping mortals understand how to be good. They come to battle when great evil spirits come into a fight, and bless mortals with wisdom and insight when they consider it necessary. Though they serve the Three and served the Archangels long before the Three entered the Externity, the Ishedi are for the most part independent, and the Three trust them to do right at all times. While many good spirits choose to adopt mortals with particularly bright spirits, the greater spirits only attach themselves to a mortal spirit at the direction of the Ishedi, so anyone with an Ahabenyo or other greater spirit as their guardian has earned the direct attention of one or more of the Ishedi.
Symbol: Golden star with twelve points
The Twelve Lords of Light are:
Enanobhol of the Solstice Star
Enozalmash of the Dawn Twins
Nerzalmash of the Dawn Twins
Enniniol of the Sister
Ensheshol of the Brother
Enisagha of the Fiery Crown
Enizkimol of the Star of Omens
Enamanol of the Wanderer
Entinam of the Purple Guardians
Entinormah of the Purple Guardians
Entinanshe of the Purple Guardians
Nertinmaro of the Purple Guardians
The Simurghs govern the Five Moons of Amelek and fight alongside the Lords of Light in the Spiritual Plane
Description: The Simurghs come from the same world or universe as the Ishedi, and appear to be female counterparts in every way. They too help govern the Spiritual Plane, and are keep the five moons of Amelek in their proper orbits. A Simurgh appears to be a great bird of prey with the head of a woman and multicolored feathers, and unlike the harpies that were created by wicked magicians in the Six Planes, they appear beautiful and complete, designed that way from the beginning, rather than cobbled together from different pieces. The Simurghs inspire good thoughts, especially in young maidens, and strive continually to help mortals be worthy and righteous. They do not generally fight in the wars between good and evil spirits, but stay in the background singing with haunting voices that inspire courage and greater skill in combat. The Simurghs are always accompanied by unicorns, and any unicorn assigned to be the guardian of a mortal's spirit must be assigned to such duty by one of the Simurghs. The Simurghs are reputed to be the wisest of all the beings of the Spiritual Plane, and many magicians and priests strive to become worthy to ask them a question, though most, when they reach such a sublime state, no longer need to ask. Those favored of the Simurghs are often granted a vision of a unicorn in the moonlight, and any who has seen such will become even more patient and kind in a way that others can easily notice. Whenever all five moons are full at once, which occurs only a few times in a decade, most young women will sit through the night, hoping to see a unicorn, and without fail many do, and often end up doing great deeds afterwards.
Symbol: Five discs colored like the moons in a circle.
Nenmehosh of the Red Moon
Nenshaozal of the Blue Moon
Nensiarah of the Green Moon
Nenbarzigol of the Yellow Moon
Nenimosse of the Spirit Moon
The Three Talvasi govern the Volutial Plane, and are responsible for keeping chance, opportunity and necessity balanced in every life. They are also known as the Namyesh or "threefold fates" in Elvish, the Vasufyami or "desire weavers" in Brevic, and the Taleydotae or "fate ladies" in Ithelic, the Norns in Gyrsons, the Destís or "fates" in Noraine, and in the vernacular the Fates, the Luck-weavers, the Weirds, or the Weird Sisters.
Nenaamkin "lady fate tester"
Alternate Names & Titles: Lady Fate, Champion of Need
Description: Nenaamkin was once a Great Elf who spend all her strength trying to help after the devastation of the Sundering. She organized many into finding food and shelter, created refugee cities of tents, and helped those changed by the Sundering to reconcile themselves to their fate. Her skill in determined what was necessary and then coming up with a way to make it happen, endeared her to the Archangels and they asked her to take the position of Lady Fate when they formed the Volutial Plane. She accepted and has served there for millennia. She has silvery hair and golden eyes like the eyes of the Ancient Immortals, and sees through the Planes, understanding with her special powers the needs of each life. She commands the Skein-spinners that create the necessity skein of each trilix, and and orders the necessary components of each new life in the Six Planes. She does not pay much heed to anything but her task, even being fed and bathed by servants so that she will not lose sight of her task, and she is protected by the Silver Guardians of the Volutial Plane from those beings who seek to destroy the combination of need, chance and choice in favor of only one of those components of life. Though she too serves necessity, she is particularly detested by Dhatabana of Exigentia, who thinks need is everything, and seeks to remove choice and chance from all lives. Though Nenaamkin sees and adds need to each trilix, she is fully aware that the other components are just as necessary for there to be any justice in life, and so works with continual dedication to ensure that her part is always ready for each new being that enters the Sundered Spheres, either through birth or by a random gate from another world. She sometimes worries that she has not added enough need to a particular life, and in those instances she frowns and will give something essential to that mortal, deserving or not, at the moment it is most needed.
Symbol: Golden Arrow, pointing up
Nenkaekin "lady luck tester"
Alternate Names & Titles: Lady Luck, Champion of Chance
Description: Nenkaekin was once a Great Elf who took daring chances to help those in need after the Sundering. She put herself at risk so many times, trusting to luck, that eventually her luck failed and she was mortally wounded. Found by Saint Eranne, she received healing moments before death, and when Saint Coram asked if she would take the position of Lady Luck she didn't hesitate. Nenkaekin is 7'6" tall, has golden red hair and golden eyes like those of the Ancient Immortals. Luck or chance is something humans in particular dislike; most of us prefer things to be more ordered. However the Archangels understood that chance is as necessary in life as need, and Nenkaekin herself calls it Opportunity instead of Luck. For what seems random to a mortal eye may be nothing of the kind, but without the ability to trust to luck, and the hope that comes with it, most of the good things in life would not be possible. So Nenkaekin adds the skein of chance to each trilix through her skein-spinners, always ensuring a judicious mix so that luck plays a balance role in each life. She pays no mind to herself, constantly watching the raveling and unraveling of the patterns of the Volutial Plane, and rooting for those who trust to luck. She is fed and bathed by special servants like her two companions, and guarded by the Silver Guardians, but on occasion she will smile and give a special blessing of luck to a particularly deserving mortal.
Symbol: Golden Coin, at an angle as if spinning
Nentahankin "lady freedom tester"
Alternate Names & Titles: Lady Liberty, Champion of Choice
Description: Nentahankin also became a Great Elf at the Sundering, and while Nenaamkin worked to fill the needs of those who survived the Sundering and Nenkaekin took great risks to help them, Nentahankin worked with those most changed by the Sundering to help them find new life and meaning despite the terrible differences. The Bodaken particularly remember her with fondness, for the they are the least changed mentally from their days as Ancient Immortals, but their bodies, lifespans, and powers were tremendously altered. Nentahankin helped them realize that despite the changes they still had their free will, that they could choose to move forward, live well and fully, despite being, as they felt, entirely crippled. The Wood Dwarves and Deep Dwarves she likewise helped to become the cheerful peoples they now are, and her influence of her words over the Faeries of the Ethereal Plane remains in force to this day. For her wisdom and compassion she received the hardest and most important of the tasks given to the Talvasi: she is the guardian of free will. She knows that there is no virtue without choice, and works to maintain free will in every trilix. Like the other Talvasi she is fed and bathed and taken care of physically, and guarded by the Silver Guardians, but she is more aware than the others, and routinely ensures that both servants and Silver Guardians remain willing to fulfill their tasks. Her belief in free will is unshakeable, and she sometimes rewards those who free slaves, or promote freedom in some particular way, with a mark between the shoulder blades with her symbol. These find themselves very often required to make difficult choices, but she rewards them by making their choices work for their good more than is usual. While all the followers of the Three Divines are aware of the essential nature of free will, it is Nentahankin that ensures it remains in place in every life, and for this she is revered almost as much as the Three and the Archangels. Of course she is perfectly indifferent to reverence, caring only that all beings have the ability to choose good or evil so far as their intelligence and understanding allows. It is free will that balances need and chance, and all three together are called fate, though without Nentahankin destiny might be a chain instead of an opportunity.
Symbol: Two Golden Doors in a Silver Wall
The Prophet and his Successors are listed in historical order
Drann the Prophet
Alternate Names & Titles: The Prophet, Chosen of the Judge, the Archimagus
Description: The story of the revelations and prophesies of Drann appear above. Drann himself was a tall, slender man, about 6'2" according to most accounts, and with the dark brown skin and blond hair of the Ithells. His blue eyes were unusually pale, and many describe his expression as being an unusual mixture of surprise and kindliness. On many occasions he expressed his surprise that the Three should choose him as a prophet, and his humility and dedication to the cause of enlightening the world awakened comment even from his enemies. He sorrowed that he had any enemies at all, and desired all thinking beings should be as joyful as he was. And happiness was indeed how he was most often described. Even his prophecies did not dim his happiness. He knew that many terrible things lay in store, and that many millions would suffer terribly before the Three would be able to bring any of us home again. Yet that ultimate hope filled him with unquenchable joy, and even when he remonstrated or prophesied destruction he did it kindly, as a warning between friends, rather than a threat or curse. The Prophet wore a beard as an older man, and allowed his hair to reach his shoulders. When he rose into the Heavens in the Rasekor, or Year of the Prophet, his hair had already turned white, but his face still seemed youthful at the age of seventy.
Symbol: Golden Torch, Golden Lamp, Candle, or any flame
Rriestan of Gwynn
Alternate Names & Titles: Chosen of the Avenger, 1st Successor, the Archimagus
Description: Born in 187, Saint Rriestan was always a priest, and in 199 ascended to the seat of Bishop-Prince of Gwynn, which was the seat of the newly renamed realm of Falmadar. Like the Prophet he came of Ithelic extraction, but he was a small man, standing only about 5'8." He spread peace about the Jeweled Sea, and when El’Shal’Thyre was destroyed in 201 he pursued and destroyed the raiders and learned of a secret kingdom in the north called Karamank. Nothing more was learned at that time, but when he returned to Gwynn he was declared the Successor to the Prophet by the people of Gwynn. While he stood before the altar and explained to the people that he was not the Successor, Saint Drann and the Archangels appeared over the altar and declared that he was indeed the Successor, specially chosen of the Judge to hunt out the land of Karamank and render justice for the slain of El’Shal’Thyre. Saint Rriestan sought more knowledge of it for years, and in the process amassed a huge amount of geographical and cultural information about the world of his day. While he was trying to discover Karamank he also learned of Zoragas, who with the Kumanites and Witchlord planned to conquer the world. Saint Rriestan warned every realm of the coming of Zoragas, but few heeded his warning and Zoragas came close to conquering the world. Saint Rriestan organized the mighty fleet that defeated Zoragas and was present when King Aengan-Rhys killed Zoragas. Years later he was captured by the Ambarine pirates and told them what he had learned, and with their aid he discovered the whereabouts of Karamank. The Ambarines were descended from El’Shal’Thyre, and when they learned that the Kythons had not been their destroyers they joined Saint Rriestan in his venture against Karamank in 421. Karamank was destroyed, and the Yaskul driven back into the hidden dark, and Saint Rriestan lived years more guiding the Church in peace.
Symbol: Golden Compass
Alternate Names & Titles: Chose of the Archangels, 2nd Successor, the Archimagus
Description: In 487 Saint Rriestan anointed his secretary, Coriel, to be Successor in his stead. The heavens then opened and the Archangels came and blessed Saint Coriel, and they took Saint Rriestan back into heaven with them. Saint Coriel became the chosen of the Archangels, and he led the Church in a time of healing and rebuilding. He was a great artist, in paint and sculpture as well as architecture, and many examples of his work still exist all around Melek. The destructions of Zoragas were repaired in his time, and his example led to great advances in art and architecture. Like the Prophet he also came of Ithelic blood, with the brown skin and blond hair of that people. He had pale gray eyes that all said made his gaze piercing and difficult to meet. He anointed Llylor, Bishop of Medras, to be the next Successor in 651, and was assumed into heaven accompanied by the Archangels and Saint Rriestan.
Symbol: Silvery Key
Alternate Names & Titles: Chosen of the Dhamaselles, 3rd Successor, the Archimagus
Description: Born in 613, Llylor was a pious man and priest who became Bishop of Medras in 647. He was the first successor of non-Ithelic blood, but few felt much surprise that the first non-Ithelic Successor would be Yerra. He was tall for the Yerra, standing a full six feet, with the black hair, eyes, and the dark red skin of his race. A good friend of Saint Coriel, he was less interested in art and more in prosperity, and so was chosen to be Successor. In a strange twist he was Chosen by the Dhamaselles, the angelic daughters of the Archangels Coram Thalmont and Dhamar Vyesa. He spent his whole life working to maintain the peace, and through his efforts a great prosperity existed all through the lands. The century that he lived and worked has ever since been looked on as a golden model for all other times, for everything was perfectly balanced, wealth, peace, enjoyments, and righteousness. For love of Saint Llylor many nobles and kings ceded land to the Church to be used in the care of the poor. Saint Llylor’s time was almost as wonderful as the first few years after the Prophet. Assumed into heaven in 766, he left no further Successor, but the Dhamaselles who drew him into heaven promised that another Successor would come when he was needed.
Symbol: Silver Seventeen-pointed Star
Alternate Names & Titles: Chosen of the Judge, 4th Successor, the Archimagus
Description: Born in 868, Guiliam was chosen to be Successor on his first visit to the Temple of the Three in Kithion in 881 when only a boy of 12. The Archangels descended and called him Chosen of the Judge and Successor to the Prophet. Saint Guiliam’s interest was in medicine, and he learned much and taught much in the years that preceded the Great Plague in 901. Many lands lost thousands, and some were depopulated, but without Saint Guiliam the Plague would’ve been much worse. Through his efforts Kithion, Valania and several smaller realms were saved. He struggled against the plague his whole life, never complaining and always preaching and displaying his faith in the Three. In 977 he died of the Plague, first of the Successors to die, but at his funeral the Archangels appeared and assured the people that he had been Successor and was Chosen of the Judge. They showed a vision of the Successors sitting at the right hand of the Judge, and many were astonished at the power of the vision. The Archangels promised another Successor in the days to come.
Symbol: Silver Mortar & Pestle
Alternate Names & Titles: Chosen of the Dhamaselles, 5th Successor, the Archimagus
Description: In the chaos and war that surrounded the destruction of the Valan Empire and the creation of Thellarne, Jason kept his people aloof. He was the Bishop of Wyrra, Yerra by birth, and he became the most respected of Church leaders that still existed. In 1119 the seventeen Dhamaselles appeared and called him their Chosen, and declared him the Successor to the Prophet. They gave him a mission, to convert the Brevics of Thellarne to the Three Gods. Saint Jason did just that, arriving in Thellarne that same year and showing forth the power of the Three with his miraculous ability to find the truth. In a few short years Thellarne was converted, from Kenn-Rhys the King to the least of his subjects.
The Brevics were hard-put to keep the faith, however, for they had fought long and much and were great warriors. Saint Jason prayed to the Three and was inspired with the concept of Errantry, and soon there were Errants in every land where the Brevics lived. Though Errantry was very helpful, it could not wholly curb the Brevics, and Saint Jason labored long among them to help them overcome their bloodlust. In gratitude they built a great tower which they called the Tower Profane, as it was not holy enough for the Successor. Saint Jason lived there for many years, and gradually Thellarne learned the will of the Three. In his later years, however, he left Thellarne, for the Brevic Kings would not listen to him, and preached the word of the Three in many lands. Saint Jason lived for centuries, and it was he who converted many of the newcomers in the Age of Influx. The Noraines in particular received his blessing, and through him their concepts of chivalry were brought to other lands. They were just as hard to convert as had been the Brevics, but he was successful at last. In 1582 he returned to Thellarne and chose an acolyte priest to be Successor. Only a half-dozen other acolytes were there to witness the choice and assumption of Saint Jason into heaven.
Symbol: Golden Saddle
Alternate Names & Titles: Chosen of the Judge, 6th Successor, the Archimagus
Description: Erlisle was chosen as Successor in 1582 while still a student uncertain whether he wished even to be a priest. When Saint Jason anointed him Successor and the Archangels appeared and called him the Chosen of the Judge, he accepted the calling without a qualm, and set out almost alone to reclaim Thellarne for the Three. Four of the six witnesses to his ascension joined him, and for many years he preached the word of the Three with little success. At last he traveled to the Sacred Isles and succeeded in restoring the heads of the church there, and when he returned to Thellarne he had many missionaries with him. The years of civil war had at last made the people receptive, and before long Saint Erlisle was given the keys of the Tower Profane by King Rhenand III, called the Magnificent. From that time Saint Erlisle guided the church from the Tower Profane, and great was the prosperity of the world while his wisdom was followed. In recent years many have begun to think that his age has dimmed his vision, and that he no longer understands the modern world. Ironically Saint Erlisle's enthusiastic promotion of the magical manufactories devised by David MacY are partially the reason this is so; magic solves so many old problems that many believe that it is no longer necessary to bother with the Three or any other deities, and so the world has come into a time that Erlisle himself calls a Failing. We all eagerly await the next Awakening.
Symbol: Golden Scroll
The Saints are listed in alphabetical order
Alternate Names & Titles: Heaven's Quiver
Description: Antom is a great bowyer and fletcher, and both designed and made most of the bows used by the Ancient Immortals against the Darrows. After the Sundering he continued to use his skills to create bows and arrows, and when he learned of Saint Coram's work in trying to bind the broken spheres back together, he set about making seven perfect bows for the Seven Archangels. He worked for many years and at last succeeded, but he did not immediately give them to the Archangels, for perfect bows require perfect arrows. He spent nearly a century perfecting the right arrows to use with those bows, and only then did he contact Saint Coram and present his gifts to the Seven. So superb were his creations that they brought him to live in Calnos, where he continues to create bows and arrows for all the hosts of heaven. Antom occasionally gives one of his bows to a particularly skillful mortal archer, usually just dropping it on the archer's bed one night with a quiver full of arrows. Such bows cannot be strung by any but the chosen archer, and cannot be sold or stolen. They can be passed down to a son or daughter who has the requisite skill as an archer, and some have been kept as heirlooms waiting for a grandchild or great grandchild to be able to string the bow.
Symbol: Silver Quiver of Arrows
Alternate Names & Titles: the Great Missionary, the Far Traveler
Description: Geoffrey Kyle of March was of Brevic descent, and decided to follow in the tradition of Saint John of Ghendd, he gave up his claim to the County of March and traveled west to find the Kaydars. He originally intended to fight them, all by himself, and after years of traveling he finally found a tribe of Kaydars in 1397 S.R. Instead of the horrible barbarians he expects, he finds they are not so different, but have strange, evil beliefs mixed in with their more noble and generous beliefs. He impressed the Qagan of the Chavhyr tribe, and later saved the lives of several young women nearly at the cost of his own. He was made a member of the tribe in time to champion them against another tribe that used magic to weaken the greatest warriors of the Chavhyr, and impresses that other tribe as well by killing the wrathmage who enslaved their Qagan and used magic to weaken the Chavhyr. After the magic sickness vanished, the king of New Kithion sent the Qagan of the Chavhyr an ultimatum, clearly believing he was still weak along with is best warriors. Geoffrey insulted the kings herald and tricked him into allowing Geoffrey to meet the king. When they meet Geoffrey goads the king into a fight and kills him, giving the Queen of New Kithion back her power, but found that by tradition he was required to then give the Queen a child as well, since her husband was dead leaving her childless. Geoffrey eventually agreed, and the royal line of New Kithion is descended from him to this day. These events brought many of both the Chavhyr and the New Kithionites to believe in the Three, and when he rode away all of the Chavhyr and most of New Kithion were Tranic. He felt a call to continue south, however, and rode through what is now Anjalakh and Chai'ia far to the south, where he is known to have converted the King of the South in a land called Barrivor. Little is known of his doings there, but in 1451 S.R. his name was added to the rolls of saints by the command of Saint Coram himself, who called Geoffrey the greatest missionary since the Prophet himself. Saint Jason of course obeyed Saint Coram, and Saint Geoffrey is the patron of Knights Errant, missionaries, and explorers. His descendants in Barrivor are numerous, and there are Kyles serving many of the kings and princes of that mighty realm.
Symbol: Silver Hoof
Alternate Names & Titles: Breaker of Fortresses
Description: Gidgidoni was a third generation Great Elf, born only a few years before the first humans came into Amelek. He was fairly small for a Great Elf, as is often the case with the third generation, standing only 6'9" tall, but he had the black hair and sapphire eyes of the his kindred. While still very young he joined the army of Priam, trying to stop Rasham from overturning all religions among the Kythons, and found to his disgust that Priam wasn't much better than his younger brother. For many years Gidgidoni lived in Boa, avoiding humans altogether, and even advocating that the Great Elves should conquer and subjugate humans to keep them from fighting. Many years later in 1137 S.R. his father ordered him to go to Chaldham and help repel the Kaydars from that beleaguered land. Gidgidoni found only a few Brevics still in Chaldham, holding out on the peninsula of Ghennd. Their leader was Hvan, now known as John of Ghendd, who welcomed Gidgidoni with open arms. They successfully defended Ghendd for several years, and a great friendship sprang up between them. With the border secure, they became what we would now call Knights Errant, for they traveled around Chaldham and fought the Kaydars to protect any remnants of the Brevics they found still living in Chaldham. For over a decade they continued their lonely fight, and then in 1154 Lamesh the Cruel of Thellarne arrived with a large army and defeated the Kaydars at Carnosen. Gidgidoni and John of Ghendd fought beside Lamesh with a few hundred men from Ghendd, and after the victory tried to keep Lamesh from burning all the Kaydars alive. They failed, though Gidgidoni felt a sore temptation to simply force his will on the Thellarnish King. Gidgidoni and John of Ghendd went back to Ghendd, and spent the next few years helping Brevic settlers in Chaldham get their towns and cities laid out and built. Both were present for the laying of the keystone in Chaldham City. Then in 1166 while Lamesh the Cruel fought a protracted campaign in Shallon, another Kaydar horde attacked Chaldham. Gidgidoni and John of Ghendd fought valiantly to keep the Kaydars back, and John of Ghendd was killed in 1167 during the tremendous Battle of Casra Hills. Gidgidoni kept fighting, and led the Brevics of Chaldham for another year, successfully keeping the Kaydars from passing the Thalmian Mountains. In 1168 word came that Lamesh the Cruel would soon be landing with a fresh army to fight the Kaydars, so the Kaydars redoubled their efforts and pushed Gidgidoni back into the Breviste Grasslands. Another great battle occurred in the northern part of the plains, and Gidgidoni was forced back into the hills of the Ghendd Peninsula. Then John of Ghendd appeared to help Gidgidoni as an Amashan sent from Calnos, and between them they held back the Kaydars long enough for Lamesh and his army to arrive. Gidgidoni died in the fighting, and joined his friend in Calnos as a Saint and an Amashan. In addition to his fighting ability, Gidgidoni was a great smith, and made weapons an armor for many of the Ghenddish as they fought the Kaydars. He forged the holy sword of Saint John of Ghendd, called Thalmifieur, which resides to this day in the cathedral at Traws in Thellarne.
Symbol: Crimson War-club
James the Bold
Alternate Names & Titles: King James the Bold, James the Hammer
Description: James the Bold started life with the name of Xemes in Gwynn of Falmadar. He was a precocious child, a genius in many ways, and learned so quickly that the Successor Saint Jason heard of him and brought him to the Tower Profane in 1416. Xemes became a priest and the first Agent Sacrosanct in 1418, and later that year Saint Jason sent him to Noréske, the most powerful of the Noraine kingdoms. Xemes met the King Rogier very quickly, but was ignored after the first burst of curiosity. The Noraines called him James instead of Xemes, so he accepted that name and has been known by it every since. After spending a few months at court, James finally had an opportunity to fulfill Saint Jason's directions. The Comte of Astolat invited him to spend a few weeks at Castel Astolat, and while there James learned a great deal about the Noraines, more than several months at court had taught him. Most importantly, he rescued the eldest daughter of the Comte from a kidnapper from Saillot, and earned the girl's gratitude. She explained to him the Noraine custom of kidnapping and raping young ladies, which of course rendered them useless unless they married their abductor, which they usually did. This lady detested the practice, and felt so grateful that James ended up marrying her. He was also knighted by her father for his heroic rescue, and so became a trusted member of Noraine society. He began to inject Tranic beliefs and ethics into the doings of Rogier's court, and proved extremely useful as the king tried to unify all the Noraines into one realm. James knew far more about warfare in general from his intensive studies, and not only helped Rogier win battles, but showed him many ways to win decisively with a minimal loss of life. This endeared him not only to the king, but to even the defeated enemy. The ideal of Noraine chivalry was more fancy than reality, but James made them feel ashamed if they did not uphold their ideals. He so constantly admired the excellence of chivalry and its laws that those who had ignored those laws could not bear to be seen to flout them by the admiring outsider. So well did his influence work that when Saint Jason arrived in 1431 many Noraines were ready to accept the Three right away, especially James' own wife and her family. The first cathedral of Agezaine rose in Castel Astolat in 1433, and James laid the cornerstone with the blessing of Saint Jason. This did not end James' involvement with the Noraines, for despite the conversion of some, many more retained the old beliefs and the constant wars before unification became endless civil wars. James spoke forcefully against the Agezainer adventure against Thellarne in 1469, but despite his long service and many victories he was ignored. After the ignominious defeat in 1474 James found himself banished from Agezaine, and returned to the Tower Profane after an absence of almost sixty years. His wife and much of her family went with him, and cut a great dash among the young people of Thellarne. By the early 1480s chivalry had come into fashion in Thellarne, and it has never gone out since. James found himself declared a saint by Saint Jason before he died, and is considered to this day the patron saint of both Agezaine and chivalry. He died in 1501 S.R. at the ripe old age of 99.
Symbol: Silver Lance with Golden Banner
Alternate Names & Titles: Healer of Ascalon
Description: Jilias Konyara was the daughter of Aram Konyara, first Cid of Ascalon. Aram escaped from the Citadel along with many thousands of others in 1483 S.R. and established the realm of Ascalon in 1485. Jilias and her twin, Marjehre were born in 1490, and grew up while the escapes of the Citadel still struggled to build a life in their new lands. Though most of those who escaped with Aram were marginally Tranic, having learned of the 'Seven Lights' in the Citadel, there was much confusion, and they had nobody to teach them the proper forms. Escaped slaves, who all had only childhood memories of Tranism, were welcomed among the early Asgaladanes and a version of Tranism sprang up in Asgalun, their roughly-built town. Jilias and Marjehre loved the stories they heard from the slaves, and dreamed of being Hospiciers, but they knew very little about how such things worked. At the age of 17 they founded the Order of the Healers in Asgalun, and learned most of what they knew of healing directly from the good spirits. They also learned about battle surgery and the rules of sanitation laid down by Saint Harlox, and used their knowledge to help reorganize Asgalun with better waste disposal and a clean water supply. The twins were beloved by all the Asgaladanes, and by the time they died in 1584, within a few hours of each other, Ascalon was one of the healthiest realms in the world. Jilias was known for experimentation, and created many new medicines and cures that are still used to this day. She wrote down everything she and her sister learned, and her books on medicine and healing magic remain in use. What's more, many of the things she and Marjehre learned were unknown in other parts of the world, and even a visiting Sea Elven healer discovered that the twins had learned things unknown even to the Great Elves. Considered the greatest of healers, Jilias and Marjehre's original order is now known as the Order of Saints Jilias and Marjehre, though its adherents are still known as the Healers.
Symbol: Silver Basin
Hvan (John) of Ghendd
Alternate Names & Titles:
Description: Hvan, later called John by the Thellarnish who had already begun to change their language after only a few years in Thellarne, was born in 1112 as a slave to the Kaydars who had conquered Chaldham. His parents soon escaped from the village where they toiled as slaves and into the hills of the Ghendd Peninsula, which today we call the Hills of Saint John. In a hidden valley of those hills a few dozen families eked out a living, free from the Kaydars but hemmed in on all sides. John grew into a strapping young man, standing 6'6" tall with black hair and blue eyes that many said seemed to smolder with an inner fire. John soon explored all the hills that would one day bear his name, and he found several other secret enclaves of Brevics living free. A natural leader, he made many friends and soon collected a band of bold young men who wanted to take Chaldham back from the Kaydars. When John was only 17 years old he and his fellows came out of the hills and defeated the Kaydars in Ghendd, rescuing thousands of slaves and forming a small, independent state on the Ghendd Peninsula. They fortified the hills and lived free for some years, though the Kaydars attacked on several occasions, and John came to be called the Cid of Ghendd. The Great Elf Gidgidoni arrived in 1137 S.R. to help the Brevics defeat the Kaydars, and he joined the Ghenddish in their fight. John and Gidgidoni became fast friends, and together they led the small army of Ghendd against an attacking Kaydar horde in 1139, defeating the much larger force and wringing concessions from all the local Kaydar warlords. Gidgidoni forged a holy sword for John, called Thalimifieur, the Peace-bringer, and John carried it with him for the rest of his life. From 1141 to 1154 the two friends rode across Ghendd, which then included what is now Rastling, Aesffin and Odonne, killing particularly cruel Kaydar warlords, rescuing slaves and bringing them back to Ghendd, and generally fighting against every injustice. In later years they were called the first Knights Errant, though of course that term didn't exist in their time. In 1154 John and Gidgidoni joined Lamesh the Cruel of Thellarne in his drive to push the Kaydars out of Chaldham. John opposed the policy of Lamesh in burning any captive Kaydars, but the Thellarnish king would not listen so John and Gidgidoni returned to Ghendd. Many of those who had fled to Ghendd went back into other parts of Chaldham, and John helped many of them establish new settlements, and he also kept the roads clear along with Gidgidoni and many other followers. His original brotherhood was not specifically a religious order, but when the Order of the Chapel of Saint John of Ghendd was founded, they used John's companions as a model. The Kaydars returned to Chaldham in 1166, while Lamesh was engaged in fighting the Shallonites, and so it fell to John and Gidgidoni to defend Chaldham. They fought several successful battles, but in 1167 a large Kaydar horde broke through their defenses and ravaged a large part of southern Chaldham. John and Gidgidoni gathered their forces and brought the Kaydars to battle at the Casra Hills. The battle raged for two days, and on the second John smashed through the Kaydar lines and killed the Kaydar War-king. He fell soon after to the vengeful swords of the War-king's bodyguard, but his attack won the day. Gidgidoni rescued John's body and drove back the Kaydars, chasing them across Chaldham to their hold in what is now Rastling. He created a tomb with magic somewhere in the Thalmian Range, and there John lies to this day. Nobody has ever found the tomb. In 1168 John returned from heaven to help his friend Gidgidoni defeat the Kaydars near the borders of Ghendd. He was immediately proclaimed a Saint, not least because he carried his dead friend Gidgidoni away from the battle and strode up into the sky as if climbing a mountain. Some claim that he buried Gidgidoni in the Hills of Saint John, other that he brought his friend's body to Calnos. The holy sword Thalmifieur went to Thellarne with Lamesh the Cruel, but the brutal king could not wield it, and in time a shrine was made to contain it in Traws. Nyonn III built a castle nearby, and created the Duchy of Traws to have an office and title for anyone who could wield the holy sword, but thus far, anyone who has tried has been stung, even maimed by Thalmifieur. Two were killed when they dared to touch the hilt. So the sword waits for another like John before it once again fights against evil.
Symbol: Silver Armored Hand holding a golden representation of Thalmifieur
Alternate Names & Titles: Lucky Kimbry
Description: It might seem strange to have a saint associated with luck and gambling, when Tranism generally does not hold with gambling at all, but the life of Kimbryne was indeed strange. Kimbryne was born in Sennia while it remained independent of Thellarne. Her father was the famous Innoch of Emeraldene, and such was the respect he earned that Kenn-Rhys renounced his attacks on Sennia and made an eternal peace between them. Innoch and his children attended the Thellarnish court for the first time in 1115 S.R., and two of his daughters stayed there for many months. At that time the Brevics had not even heard of the Three, and as the Sennians were all Tranics, Kimbryne and Ines attempted to explain with little success. Saint Jason's mission to the Brevics came some years later, but meanwhile Kimbryne and her sister found themselves awash in a sea of different religions, for the Brevics, having rejected Rasham as their god, held a wide variety of beliefs. One of the few things the Brevics universally enjoyed was horse-racing, and gambling on the outcome. This had been one of the few enjoyment they'd had in their journey across the deserts and wild lands from Oljou to Chaldham, and what's more, it had been the only area they use while in captivity to compete with their captors. The Black Prince himself had won a horse race in Oljou that had humiliated and enraged several Kaydar leaders, but because the Kaydars held gambling to be sacred, they could not renege on their bets, giving Khen-Rhys, then called Jonas, the money, horses and weapons he needed to lead his people across the deserts to the east. Kimbryne, as a good Tranic, at first would not indulge in gambling, though she enjoyed watching the races, but when Kenn-Rhys himself offered her a wager, she decided she should not refuse, and won the bet. Kimbryne had a talent for seeing the Volutial Plane, and she decided that one way she could teach Tranism would be through the use of that talent. Soon nobody would bet with her on anything, because she always won, and many Brevics listened when she explained how she knew what would happen. Kenn-Rhys called her Lucky Kimbry, and delighted in her company. Though she had not yet reached the age of twenty, Kimbryne prepared the way for Saint Jason and helped bring the Brevics into the Tranic Faith. She married Kenn-Rhys in 1117 S.R., though she was only eighteen and he forty-nine. Such was her influence that when Saint Jason arrived in 1119, Kenn-Rhys was ready to accept the Tranic religion after only one meeting with the holy Successor. By 1126 all the Brevics were Tranics, save a few holdouts, and Kimbryne became a beloved queen. Kenn-Rhys died in 1129, and Kimbryne lived for many years after, serving her adopted people by gathering and copying thousands of books to help the Brevics learn about building and farming and many other things they knew little about because of their history in the Citadel. When she died in 1163 the Brevics had not yet finished the Tower Profane, but they petitioned at once that she be declared a Saint by Saint Jason. He felt skeptical at first, but asked the Three and to his surprise found that she had already taken her place in Alvinyos. So he published that she had indeed been raised to sainthood by the Three, and would always watch over Thellarne and especially Sennia, which on her death became part of the crown lands of the Thellarnish Kings. But the Brevics never forgot that she first taught them of the Three through gambling, and so she remains the patron of gambling and good luck to this day.
Symbol: Three Silver Lots
Alternate Names & Titles: Healer of Ascalon
Description: Marjerhre Konyara was the daughter of Aram Konyara, first Cid of Ascalon. Aram escaped from the Citadel along with many thousands of others in 1483 S.R. and established the realm of Ascalon in 1485. Marjehre and her twin, Jilias were born in 1490, and grew up while the escapes of the Citadel still struggled to build a life in their new lands. Though most of those who escaped with Aram were marginally Tranic, having learned of the 'Seven Lights' in the Citadel, there was much confusion, and they had nobody to teach them the proper forms. Escaped slaves, who all had only childhood memories of Tranism, were welcomed among the early Asgaladanes and a version of Tranism sprang up in Asgalun, their roughly-built town. Jilias and Marjehre loved the stories they heard from the slaves, and dreamed of being Hospiciers, but they knew very little about how such things worked. At the age of 17 they founded the Order of the Healers in Asgalun, and learned most of what they knew of healing directly from the good spirits. They also learned about battle surgery and the rules of sanitation laid down by Saint Harlox, and used their knowledge to help reorganize Asgalun with better waste disposal and a clean water supply. The twins were beloved by all the Asgaladanes, and by the time they died in 1584, within a few hours of each other, Ascalon was one of the healthiest realms in the world. Marjerhre had a much closer relationship with the good spirits than her sister, and learned a great deal of healing magic from them, while Jilias tended more towards herbs and elixirs. By communing directly with the good spirits, Marjerhre learned things unknown to most other healers in the world; her lack of training actually proved a boon, for she had no received knowledge that had to be unlearned, so could effect cures that were miraculous for her time. Today her knowledge has been handed down to us through the pen of her sister Jilias, and between them the twins have saved hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of lives. They are still considered the greatest of all healers, and their original order is now known as the Order of Saints Jilias and Marjehre, though its adherents are still known as the Healers.
Symbol: Silver Winged Serpent
Alternate Names & Titles: Honest Markey
Description: There is no doubt that Mark (originally Marcne) never considered himself in the running for sainthood. He was born to a wealthy Tranic family in Domabar, soon after that city-state rebelled against the Empire of Tharquín. The Aesithors did not take kindly to the rebellion and attempted to strangle the city by siege and blockade. Mark grew up in those desperate times, and first made a name for himself for running the blockade and bringing desperately needed supplies into the city. He won the praise and gratitude of the populace by giving away these supplies to everyone, and then accepted donations to buy more supplies for the next run. He ran the blockade successfully twenty times, and the last few times brought back supplies of iron to build up the military power of Domabar. Soon the fleet built within the city went out and broke the blockade, and many thousands of the Aesithor's soldiers found themselves stranded on the isle of Domabar with the vengeful populace. Mark pleaded with the city senate to send the soldiers home, and do them no harm, so that when next the Aesithor decided to invade, he wouldn't have nearly as many willing soldiers. Such was Mark's popularity and prestige that he persuaded them all, and personally led the fleet that brought al the soldiers back to Tharquín, every one unharmed. He even personally returned the imperial badges and banners to the Aesithor, who was so impressed by Mark that he swore to leave Domabar in peace for twenty-nine years. Mark returned to Domabar and joined the city senate, where he worked tirelessly to bring in laws that would leave people free to pursue their own dreams and keep their own profits. Many of the senators wanted to raise taxes to pay for all the damage of the war, but Mark convinced them to instead lower taxes and to remove all trading tariffs for a year, the better to attract tradesmen from all over the Jeweled Sea and the Tharquinet isles. Mark's mercantile ventures were all tremendously successful, and he made a gigantic fortune. He actually paid to build one of the harbors in Domabar, and expanded the city defenses to include several coastal fortifications at every good landing on the island. Mark also built schools in the poorest neighborhoods, usually staffed by Tranic priests, and so helped many of the poor bring themselves out of poverty and at the same time converted about half the city to Tranism. When the 29-year peace ran out, the navy of Domabar had grown so powerful that new Aesithor made a permanent peace with Domabar in perpetuity, and the city has remained independent ever since. Of the sixty ships of the Domabarine fleet, Mark paid for the building of eighteen, demonstrating once again his desire to serve his people. In 1170 D.R. Mark attended the dedication of the new Temple of the Three in Domabar, and to his astonishment Saint Jason embraced him and called him Saint Mark. Everyone there said that the only one surprised was Mark himself. Mark did not die, but that very day rose to Alvinyos, conducted there by Saint Coriel. He has always been considered the patron saint of merchants, and his example of extreme honesty, open-handed generosity, and dedicated patriotism remain a model every Tranic merchant at least pretends to follow.
Symbol: Brown & Silver Purse
Alternate Names & Titles: Mother of Mothers
Description: Mimne was born very soon after the Etriquínes first entered the Sundered Spheres. She was one of the sixty daughters of the Aesithor of Etrinka, and felt extremely irritated at her lot in life. As she waited to be given to one of her father's generals, she visited many of her married sisters, and watched in horrified disbelief as three of them died in childbirth. She was not a Tranic, nor had even heard of Tranism at the time, as Etriquín women of the day were very sheltered and knew nothing of the world other than what their men told them. One thing she had heard about, however, was the might Great Elves of Boa and Darok, for tales of those mighty beings were very popular among the Etriquínes, particularly because only the Etriquínes had been brave enough (and stupid enough) to attack the Great Elves when arriving in Amelek. Mimne became determined to see the Great Elves, and find if they had knowledge that Etriquín women might use in healing and childbirth. She practiced madly to become a better dancer, and danced often for her father and his generals, and each time her father rewarded her with jewelry. She used that jewelry to corrupt a few of her father's officers, bribing them to teach her to sail a small boat, and when but sixteen years of age she stole a fishing smack and sailed out into the Sea of Faerie, not knowing her way but only that she must sail southwards. She ran out of food and water, and while she lay dying of thirst an Elvish ship of Danwi found her and its crew nursed her back to health. To her astonishment she found that they spoke her language perfectly, and their kindness surprised her even more. They would not take her jewelry as payment, but offered to bring her to Danwi and teach her everything she wanted to know. She accepted, and was the first non-Yerra human to set foot on Danwi. She spent six years in Danwi, and learned everything the Elves could teach about medicine and healing magic. Mimne could not help but absorb to the religious beliefs of the Elves, and before she left she became a communicant of the Tranic Faith. She returned to Etrinika aboard an Elvish ship, and walked straight past the guards into her father's throne-room. She explained the reason for her absence, and promised that if she were allowed to teach what she had learned, no Etriquín woman would again die in childbirth. Her father knew little about the mechanics of childbirth, but he knew that it had claimed the lives of many women, including eight of his own daughters and three of his wives, and too their children usually died as well. He granted her petition, and she opened a school on the palace grounds, calling in every midwife in the city. For years she traveled across the whole Empire of Etrinika, and even when it began to fray and crumble, she could go safely anywhere, for all Etriquínes knew that she had saved the lives of many thousands of women and children. She taught anyone who wished to learn, and at the same time taught the Tranic faith, so that many women became converted, even though they had to worship in secret for decades to follow. When Mimne died in 190 S.R., she had prepared the way for the missionaries of Adarr to convert many thousands of the Tharquinets to the religion of the Three, and when those missionaries carried word of her deeds to Saint Rriestan of Gwynn, he immediately enquired of the Three and learned that she had indeed taken a place in Alvinyos as a saint of the Three. Saint Mimne is the patroness of mothers and childbirth and every new mother prays for her aid and guidance before giving birth throughout the Tranic world.
Symbol: Silver Distaff
Alternate Names & Titles: the Cloaked One
Description: Morana was born daughter of the Leith Clan Chief-of-Chiefs in about 973 S.R. She grew up in that turbulent clan as a secret Tranic, for her mother had abandoned the Leith worship of the Liche-lords long before. Morana saw the evils of the Leiths from up close. It is not really known, but some of those she helped escape from the Leiths believed that she was raped at the age of twelve or thirteen, but that somehow she weathered that horror and became ever more determined to overturn the wicked ways of her people. She learned that a sub-clan of the Leiths had been condemned to extermination and contrived to warn them without being discovered herself. That sub-clan fled south and founded Gwyld Huanleith in what is now the Highlands and Three Kingdoms. The Huanleiths carried Morana's warning to many that the Leiths planned a terrible attack on many realms, but few heeded that message except in Medras and Falmadar. Morana continued to send those who did not share the genocidal hatred of the Leiths to join the Huanleiths, and sent messengers to every crowned head in the world that the Accursed War would soon be upon them. Fortunately many Banelow clans believed her, and prepared themselves to help the nations where they lived against their own kind. Morana did not succeed in preventing the Accursed War, which began as planned by the Liche-lords in 999 S.R., but she certainly made it far less terrible than it might have been. Only a few nations were conquered, and while most suffered, the Leiths suffered still more. While they managed to murder several hundred thousands in the areas they conquered, they were driven back within a few short years and lost everything they had gained. What's more, they caused Banelow to be known as the Accursed People, and to this day there are many who will not trust any Banelow person, even though almost as many of them fought against the Leiths as fought for them. What became of Morana is unknown, save that she died soon after the Leith defeat. When Saint Jason became Successor part of the ceremony includes listing and thanking each of the Saints, and when he had finished with the known Saints he stopped and stood there perplexed for a moment. Then Saint Hivaria appeared and declared that Saint Morana must be added to the list, and so Saint Jason dutifully thanked her as well, though he had no idea who she was. His first order of business was to find out her identity, and he did at last learn that she had been the spy who warned the world of the Accursed War. So Saint Morana became the patron of those who must stay silent to do right, and also of heralds and messengers who must carry warnings around their nations.
Symbol: Silver and Black Cloak
Alternate Names & Titles: the Hunter of the Horned Lords
Description: Omniel was a Great Elf born just after the Sundering, one of the first of the first generation. His mother and father tried very hard to be the very first to have a child, the better to demonstrate their hope in the future despite the Sundering. Omniel grew up in this atmosphere of hope and love, and when still a youth, he lost his parents to a Horned Lord and a pack of death hounds. Omniel survived nobody knows how, including him, but he was the very first to ever survive the attack of a Horned Lord. He spent the next three centuries preparing himself, learning every trick of hunting, tracking, and archery, and then he tracked down and destroyed the very Horned Lord that killed his parents. He chased down several more, killing in his lifetime fourteen of the sixty-three that are known to have been destroyed up to the present. He died fighting the last of them, overwhelmed by Dirge-dogs after he killed their Horned Lord. Saint Coram immediately made him an Amashan and for many centuries Saint Omniel would appear to help anyone who fought a Horned Lord. In later times he has many additional duties, helping scouts and rangers track down and destroy fell beasts of every kind, and when he especially favors a particular hunter that hunter will find a quiver full of arrows at the foot of his bed, each fletched with silver leaves. These arrows flight straighter than any made by human hand, and are unbreakable, but they all vanish at the death of the hunter who received them. Any hunter who carries a quiver of silver leaf arrows at his belt is a formidable opponent indeed.
Symbol: Silver Leaf and Arrow
Alternate Names & Titles: the Diplomat, the Peaceable
Description: Rhinward Aylworth was a born to a Gyrson general in the late 13th century, as the Farath was still taking steps toward becoming a nation. He was a young man when the new nation was declared in 1291 S.R., and became involved in the controversy regarding the Old Gods that happened almost immediately after. Rhinward was a devout Tranic, and struggled hard to convince those who later became the Uorings and Fjordings to give up their desire to hew to the old Gyrson ways, but when they would not, he convinced the other Tranics to avoid fighting, and to send the dissenters on their way. He negotiated with both groups, and gathered donations to give them enough provisions to keep them wherever they desired to go. Then he went to Falmadar and explained the situation to the Falmadane king, and so headed off a four-cornered war that could've caused immense destruction, and all this before the age of 30. Rhinward then helped his own nation of the Farath grow into a successful state. He refused any office of his own, but in gratitude to Rhinward his brother was declared the first Mykelheretoga of the Farath. The Aylworths ruled the Farath until 1713, when the direct line died out, but the present queen is still a descendant of Rhinward's younger brother Adelward. Rhinward helped design the mercenary companies that became the Farath's primary export, and he wrote the code that Farathi mercenaries still follow to this day, making them dependable and trustworthy as mercenaries so rarely prove. In addition he created an international Law of War, gaining support from many nations around the Jeweled Sea, with laws against burning farms and murdering unarmed peasants, killing or enslaving prisoners of war, and particularly bloodthirsty laws outlawing rapine. Many of those laws remain in force to this day, though some nations that pretend to honor the Laws of War in reality ignore them at will. Rhinward died in 1373 S.R., one of the most respected and honored men of his era. Saint Jason declared him a saint in 1379, having learned that Rhinward's diplomatic endeavors were greatly appreciated by the Rewarder in particular. It cannot be be doubted that Rhinward prevented several wars, and made those he could not prevent less horrific, and diplomats to this day honor him as their patron saint.
Symbol: Silver Hand making the sign of peace
Alternate Names & Titles: Open-handed Rhys, the Rewarder's Helper
Description: Rhys was born to a Wayfarer Banelow Clan in the early 16th century. His clan, the Newliogau, wandered from the Hamavosk across the Great Peaks into the northern steppes and the Deep, and then back again, and Rhys, who had early training in Tranic beliefs, became the a Friar General of the Order of the Travelers. He stayed with his clan in their wanderings, and served as their chief priest, and eventually he was made an Bishop Itinerant by the Order of the Travelers. During his early years he felt content to simply perform his duties and continue his studies, but as his clan traveled he saw much suffering in all over the lands. About 1550 he conceived a plan, and convinced his clan to implement it. Newliogau means the 'foggy ones,' and his clan had a great ability to vanish like mist, hence the name. They used all sorts of magic and mechanical devices to hide their movements, and even invented floating caravans that left no tracks. So Rhys determined to use those abilities, and wherever the Newliogau went, barns were mysteriously repaired, lost sheep or cattle appeared safe in their pens, and roofs were re-thatched in the middle of the night. As time went by, many suspected that the Newliogau were responsible for the kind deeds, but none would ever admit to it. Other Wayfaring clans began doing the same thing, and some were caught at it, and the reputation of the Banelow, and especially the Wayfarers, which had been terrible since the Accursed War, began to revive, and instead of being cursed and barely tolerated, Banelow Wayfarers began to get discounts in some towns, and most strangely of all, would be offered drinks when they passed through a tavern. Wayfarer entertainments became more popular and profitable, and everybody benefitted, both Wayfarers and the peoples they visited. The Newliogau continued to secretly help everyone they passed, and grew very wealthy, so much so that they began to make donations in every church they passed as well, so helping the poor even more. Rhys felt so pleased by the success of his idea that he wrote a book, which he called The Golden Horn of Plenty. His book was published anonymously, and worked its way all over the world, advocating the sharing of kindness in secret, so that everybody benefitted. He expanded on the idea and showed how low taxes, low prices, and reasonable profits benefitted everyone as well, and that prosperity came from a peculiar mixture of self-interest and selflessness. Many nations implemented some of his ideas, and those nations prospered greatly. Rhys also advocated a peaceful posture in foreign affairs, which fewer attempted, but Falmadar embraced his work completely, and to this day there is no more peaceful and prosperous a place. Rhys died without being known, but Saint Erlisle declared Rhys a saint on the first day he took possession of the Tower Profane in 1599, and all current copies of The Golden Horn of Plenty bear his name.
Symbol: Golden Horn of Plenty
Alternate Names & Titles: the Beautiful Maid, the Virtuous Rose, the Rewarder's Handmaiden, Blóuma (Valenzion), Blydd (Gyrson), Furawze (Koine), Girime (Elvish), Guolin (Ithelic), Makylla (Brevic), Sernehem (Zidu), Rossy (Kynt), Rosa (Trin), Rhosyn (Caneuon)
Description: Rose was born in the midst of the terrors of the Etriquín invasion. Her father was the Yerra King of Eryth, and she was the sole member of her father's court who had accepted the Prophet's preaching, even though she herself had only heard it third hand. She never had the opportunity in her life to meet another Tranic, but her courage in the face of her terrible fate has endeared her to all, so that her name has been translated into most other languages. Rose survived the downfall of Eryth and was taken as a slave by the Aesithor of the new Empire of Etrinika. She was only a child at the time, and was not mistreated until she grew into a young lady. At the age of fourteen her beauty surpassed that of any other maiden among all the slaves of the Aesithor, and anyone who knows the current customs of the Etriquínes towards slave-girls may be astonished to know that then those rules were even worse. Rose had the black hair and red skin of the Yerra, but her eyes were amber, almost golden, a thing vanishingly rare among the Yerra. She won great admiration and love among the slaves and others of the household because of her unfailing kindness and gentle ways. They would not mistreat her even at the behest of their master the Aesithor, and instead of dragging her into his chambers by force, as he commanded, they begged her to go so that they would not all be flayed alive. She went to the Aesithor's bedchamber all alone and then simply stood there, looking sad and forlorn, while the Aesithor looked on. Some may wonder that a man who had ravished a thousand women could be cowed by innocence and beauty, but Rose was so kind, so gentle, and so pious, that the good spirits gathered around her in vast numbers and even such a vile man as the first Aesithor of Etrinika felt unmanned, and sent her away. Soon, however his anger grew, and he sent for her again. She came again, and once more he could not bear to look at her. He left her alone for two years, but the memory of his humiliation grew, and at last he summoned her a final time, swearing that he would have her or she would die. Three new servants who did not know her dragged Rose to him, stripping her and casting her into his bedchamber naked while the other servants and slaves wept in horror. Even naked her dignity unmanned the Aesithor, and he could not rape her, but his rage grew so hot that he could not send her away either. Instead he killed her, and had his servants drag her away and feed her body to his dogs. Her fate did not relieve the Aesithor as he had expected; his own servants rose up and murdered him the very next day and he too was fed to the very same dogs. So Rose became a beloved martyr and a symbol of virtue and chastity coupled with great beauty. Saint Rriestan of Gwynn was so moved by her story that he asked the Three to bring her from Calnos to Alvinyos, but found that it had already been done, and Rose sat beside the Rewarder. Rose is a favorite saint among young maidens, and gives blessings of strength and comfort in dire situations. She particularly loves young women who show great courage when confronted by savage men, and will sometimes cause strange slips in time that allow a rescuer to arrive impossibly quickly, and makes would-be ravishers slow and torpid. Her power is not great enough to remove rapine from the world, and her influence does not extend over those who embrace the Hells, but she works as best she can to save as many as possible from a fate like hers.
Symbol: Silver Hand-mirror or Silver Rose
Alternate Names & Titles: The Red Comet, the Flaming Star
Description: Torranis was a Great Elf of the second generation born a few millennia after the Sundering. She longed to return to the stars, but that power had been lost with the Sundering, and she spent centuries trying to find a way to travel among the few thousand stars of the Externity in safety. She never did find a way to make that possible, but she had her opportunity anyway. In 6,700 B.R. a comet came into the Externity and threatened to smash into Amelek. The Seven Archangels turned it aside, but the comet came with no spirit to guide it, unlike many other planets and moons and stars in the Externity. They asked for a volunteer to become the spirit of the comet, and Torranis volunteered. Using powerful magic the Archangels gave her the power to travel to the comet and take control of it, and she merged with the fiery star and guides it through the sky. Every 33 years the comet returns and makes its way across the sky, and every Tranic thanks Torranis for keeping it on course and away from their world. Torranis has little to do with any of the people of Amelek, but they honor her still, and many little girls are named for her to this day.
Symbol: Scarlet Comet
Alternate Names & Titles: the Halfen Smith
Description: Trreddan was born in 716 S.R., fourth son of Ballon of Caslon and his queen, Ashtaroth, a Great Elf of the third Generation. Trreddan learned much from his mother, and became one of the greatest smiths of all time. His human blood allowed him to work in iron, and he used that ability to make armor and weapons that made Caslon among the greatest powers of its day. His father Ballon created a special title for him, Lord Armorer of Caslon, and he kept that title and post for seven centuries. His skill and wisdom he imparted freely, and many came from all over the world to learn at his feet. Trreddan advanced the craft of blacksmithing more than any before or since, and invented the method of folding steel to make sword blades. He fought many times alongside his mother to defend Caslon, and when the prince of the Gunns married his great niece, he defended Caslonwy with as great a dedication. Trreddan came to be revered in his own time, and was often worshipped by those who came from far away. He would not allow it, however, and preached the Tranic religion to any who attempted to take him or his mother for gods. Caslonwy came under attack in 1474 by the newly revealed kingdom of Gwyreney, and Trreddan died at the hands of a band of wrathmages who secretly aided Gwyreney. All but one of those died from the power of Queen Ashtaroth, but that one later became the Warlock of Dun Heath. Trreddan was unknown in the east, but Saint Jason received his name and the story of his deeds directly from Saint Meduran and declared him Saint Trreddan in 1480 S.R.
1474 S.R. Trreddan dies defending Caslonwy from the Gwyrenets.
Symbol: Silver Tongs
Valarey of the Shield
Alternate Names & Titles: the Uniter
Description: Valarey Mithrade began her journey to fame and holiness as the very first female Knight Errant. Of course at the time she could not be a knight, as there were no female knights, but she came from a noble family of Eiwyrr and learned her skills in the Sisterhood of Saint Eranne. Even the Erannines did not have anything like a Knight Errant at the time, and Valarey hid the fact that she was a woman for years while she rode about the Highlands righting wrongs, fighting bandits and fell beasts, and freeing slaves. She hated slavery above all things, and fought against it every chance she got. In 1494 she heard a story of Three Witches in the Cleith Fens, and after staying a few days with the O'Heinreichs, she learned that many knights had been slain by the Witches, and many girls had been kidnapped and never seen again. The O'Heinreichs and their Bodaken allies had even sent a raid into the Cleith Fens and none ever returned. Valarey rode alone into the fens, and fought Liche-kin and Darrows before finally cornering the four witches and killing them one by one. She was sorely wounded, and returned to the O'Heinreichs half dead. They learned very quickly her sex, and more that her hair had turned pure white. Instead of being insulted by her sex, the O'Heinreichs lauded her, and published her great deed all over the Highlands. Several great clan lords asked her to form a Sisterhood in the Highlands, and in 1498 S.R. she organized the Sisterhood of the Shield with the blessing of the Sisterhood of Saint Eranne. The Shields did an astonishing amount of good in a short time, quelling feuds, brow-beating clan lords into making peace with their neighbors, and popularizing tournaments to give the hot-heads a chance to fight without starting an serious wars. In 1502 Valarey organized the greatest tourney of all, and traveled all over the Highlands to get each and every clan lord to agree that the winner would be High King of the Highland Kingdom of Gwyrelyss. The tournament took place in 1503, and lasted for three months, but on Saint Coram's Day Ian MacFaeren defeated his last opponent and was proclaimed champion and High King that very day. Naturally many of the other clans objected, but it only took a few years for the High King to make good his claim with the Sisters of the Shield to help him. When Valarey died in 1537 all of the Highlands except for Brudeland in the far north had sworn fealty to the MacFaeren High King, and in a real sense she founded that kingdom. After her death she was proclaimed a Saint almost immediately, and her Sisterhood was renamed the Sisterhood of Saint Valarey of the Shield, though they are usually called 'Shields' or 'Shield-sisters' to this day.
Symbol: Silver and Crimson Shield
Alternate Names & Titles: the Cunning One, the Lord of Intrigue
Description: Named for the first Tranic martyr, Voyante was a servant of Saint Rriestan of Gwynn, and served as the 1st Successor's adjutant for many years. As the Age of Skulls began, Voyante traveled all over the world, trying to gather support against Zoragas and the northern hordes. Where he couldn't win friends he hampered enemies by intrigue and trickery, ensuring that if the nation in question wouldn't fight to stop Zoragas, they wouldn't help him either. He helped Rriestan gather many nations together, and it was Voyante's scheming that made Aengan-Rhys the leader of the fleet that sailed to the Crossings and the Battle of Ten Thousand Ships. Voyante died in the battle, but nobody forgot his part in creating the great alliance, and his master Saint Rriestan announced even before the battle had ended that Voyante had risen to be the first saint to sit beside the Prophet himself in the high heaven of Alvinyos.
Symbol: Silver Curved Dagger
The Demons of the Tranic religion are covered under several of the other religions listed below. The Dayebs and Darrows of the Hot Hell are covered under Dayebism, the Fiendish Kindreds or Yaskul of the Cold Hell are covered under Kumaanism, Gaueko of the Dream Prison under Astralism, Kaike of the Spiritual Plane under Serpentism, Zur of the Elemental Plane is described in Rimmonism, and and the Guld of Limbo you will find listed in the section about Guldism. In this section are included only those demons not covered under other religions.
Dogai the Ruiner
Alternate Names & Titles: Lord of Ill Luck, Fate-stealer,
Description: The origin of Dogai is unknown, as he appeared about the same time the Hell of Nodosus came into being. Some believe he is an emissary of Orashek, or of the Four Malices, but he certainly goes his own way, and is just as pleased to ruin the destinies of evil people as well as good. Dogai is a strange looking creature, humanoid in general but shaggy and monstrous, with four arms, a great ruff of fur over his shoulders and head and a somewhat canine face. He is not pleasant, even his voice is scratchy and irritating, and he loves nothing more than to ruin the plans of the Talvasi. His realm is Nodosus, the Hell of Knots, where the trilixes made from chance, need and will are tangled into loops and knots that stop all progress and doom people to failure and tragedy. Nobody can be entangled in Nodosus without helping the process; bad choices give Dogai the chance to pull an individual trilix into his hell and then he tangles it with as many others of like kind as possible, making feedback loops that are almost impossible to break. Why he does it is as unknown as his origin, for Dogai gains nothing from ruining the lives of others. He is miserable and howls out his misery constantly, not least because his former lover has rebelled against him and works to untangle his knots, even though she does not follow the Three and has no patience with the Talvasi, being dedicated to the primacy of good luck as Dogai is to bad luck. Dogai is served by his sons the Maruthim, also known as Stormshadows, and they help him create the tangles of fate until only bad luck is left to their victims. The Maruthim look exactly like their father, and can sometimes be summoned to the Physical Plane by Wrathmages for some terrible spells indeed.
Symbol: Gray Tangled Knot
Laome the Rebel
Alternate Names & Titles: Luck-lady, Serendipity
Description: Laome is as beautiful as Dogai is ugly. She is tall and slender, with golden hair and pale gray eyes, and she is more likely to appear nude than clothed. She is not a demoness exactly, because she does work against the ruler of Nodosus as much as she can, but she could not be called an angel either, for she doesn't work to help the mission of the Three, and she damages trilixes too. She has carved out a section of Nodosus for herself, where she lives in a a great bath-house with hundreds of luck-maidens or Bagakaynei. Why exactly she and her luck-maidens bathe so much is a mystery, but frequent bathing is about the only thing she cares about in those few mortals who honor her, and she will indeed improve the luck of anyone who bathes at least once a day, and will give extremely good luck to those who bathe even more often. She and her luck-maidens untangle the knots of Nodosus one at a time, but in doing so they weaken the strands of need and will while strengthening the skein of chance, which does give good luck to those they aid, but weakens free will and may leave them necessitous. Laome occasionally appears to humans in the Six Spheres, and enjoins them to bathe as often as possible, and preaches that especially in a bath house the normal rules between men and women should be relaxed. She has several times appeared in male bath-houses with a dozen or so of her luck-maidens to entice the patrons, and has often enough succeeded. Her motives remain as much a mystery as those of Dogai, but though she is sometimes a temptress and sometimes a seductress she is not hated the same way as her former lord and lover. In some parts of the world men swear by Laome, and usually grab their crotch while doing so, which is for mysterious reasons pleasing to her.
Symbol: Two Red Dice reading Eleven
Carisse (false saint)
Alternate Names & Titles: The Seductress
Description: It pains the authors to even mention this farce in a work of this kind, but the popularity of this false saint requires us to mention her. Carisse de Aex was born a noble lady, daughter of the Dugas de Aex, and grew up loving the Noraine Heresy more than the pure religion of the Three. She married the King of Agezaine at the age of fourteen in 1677, and almost immediately found herself neglected as the King busied himself the the wars within and on the borders of his kingdom. He returned to visit her bed once or twice a year, and left her without employment of any kind, but with a large number of ladies-in-waiting and an even larger number of courtiers and minstrels. Queen Carisse started living vicariously through her ladies, inspiring or even tricking them into taking lovers from among the soft courtiers and honey-tongued troubadours, and even by some reports watching the excitement. When one of these ladies became pregnant from such a liaison Carisse watched in horror as her friend's reputation was ruined, and realized that pregnancy had to be avoided at all costs. She devised what she called the Rules for Lovers, and commanded all the court to obey them. They reserve some actions for husbands, but list many other activities that are lawful for lovers. In one sense her rules were good; they kept a foolish woman from ruining herself and forced a foolish young man to realize that love did not include endangering his lover. This popular set of rules led to much greater licentiousness in her court while the knights fought each other, and many of her parties became almost Kavon celebrations, but the rules were observed and no more ladies were ruined. Carisse herself is believed to have taken at least a hundred lovers over her lifetime, but her unsuspecting husband the king never knew and after all if she followed her own rules there would be no chance that his sons would belong to another man. There are many around the world that secretly obtain copies of Carisse's Rules for Lovers and practice their precepts in secret, and the movement to make her a saint of course began in Agezaine. Several Ecclesiarchs in Agezaine, two Thearchs in Albar, and all eight Metropolitans in Sabarra have recognized Carisse as a saint, however Saint Erlisle has denounced her, though with sympathy for her plight. The Successor says that greater equality between the sexes would preclude the sort of life Carisse led, and but that no young woman should follow in her footsteps, especially when there is no inequality that makes it so tempting.
Symbol: Silver Broken Heart
Vuto (false saint)
Alternate Names & Titles: The Libertine
Description: Saint Erlisle has said that the Church has entered a time of Failing, as many of the leaders of the Church around the world no longer follow his guidance, though he is guided directly by the Three. 'Saint' Vuto is a case in point. Vuto lived in Beskke in the late eighteenth century, and advocated many of the same things as Carisse de Aex. He preached in the streets that kissing was sacred, and that all greetings should be kisses. He had little success in Beskke, but in other towns and cities were more relaxed and his ideas became somewhat common through most of Tharquín. Once he had broken the ice, he began to advocate embraces and other very familiar touching that is inappropriate between strangers, much less neighbors not married to each other. His preaching gained quite a following in several Tharquinet cities, and to this day you will find very intimate hugging and kissing going on in the streets of those cities, often between neighbors or even those of the same sex. It is hardly surprising that such intimacy in public often leads to more private escalations than is normal. It remains a mystery how Vuto's ideas gained currency, but they have been denounced by the Successor in no uncertain terms. Despite this fact, several Tharquinet Ecclesiarchs have declared Vuto a Saint, as if anybody but the Three themselves can make such a decision. The fact that Vuto vanished without a trace adds credence to their belief that he was assumed into heaven, but since the Three have not mentioned it to Saint Erlisle, the real explanation is probably rather squalid.
Symbol: Silver Clasped Hands
Principles and Holy Books:
The most important principles of the Three are Order, Mercy, and Justice, represented by the Judge, the Rewarder, and the Avenger. The Seven Virtues represented by the Seven Archangels were used as guides fore behavior long before the Three arrived, and they were adopted by the Three without alteration. The Prophet listed these virtues in his Song of Praise:
"There are Seven Virtues, said the Three,
Like Coram, first Nobility,
As Dhamar dance with Charity,
Be Huuric in Faith and Loyalty,
Like Eranne ride with Integrity,
With Eryx stand Courageously,
As Arya speak with Modesty,
And like Ithos ever Kindly be."
So the Seven Great Virtues are:
Nobility: of high and virtuous character, worthy of honor and emulation; magnanimous, ethical and honorable.
Charity: demonstrating pure love for others; benevolent, unselfish.
Faith: belief in higher causes and powers; loyal, hopeful
Integrity: honest in word and deed, without hypocrisy; truthful, trustworthy, chaste
Courage: valiant both morally and personally, able to control fears and passions; gallant, intrepid, valorous
Humility: moderate in the desire for recognition and glory; modest, respectful
Kindness: consideration for the feelings of others; caring, cordial, companionable.
There are many additional virtues, most of which are considered components of the Seven Great Virtues. There are also many additional rules regarding each virtue. For example, Integrity requires that one keep oaths, promises and contracts; breaking a promise is considered a violation of the virtue, and egregious examples may require excommunication.
Sexual matters among the Tranics are treated in a way that seems unusual to many other religions. The act itself, even the lesser sexual acts advocated by 'Saint' Carisse, are not considered bad in and of themselves. The wickedness in sexual matters comes from deceit, broken promises, and disloyalty. A man or woman who has sexual relations before marriage is seen as being disloyal to a future spouse, even if, or perhaps especially if they marry their partner in sin. A man or woman who has sexual relations while married is obviously betraying both marriage vows and spouse, and that is considered far more grievous than the simple sexual act itself. Any potential children are considered as being betrayed as well as existing children. Then in addition to breaking the oaths regarding integrity and faith, the virtue of nobility is broken because of a ruined character, it is selfish instead of loving, breaking the oaths on charity, it demonstrates pride instead of humility, and it is cruel instead of kind. Last of all it is considered moral cowardice particularly in men, because in most societies women suffer far more damage to character and reputation because of sexual impropriety. A man who accepts sexual favors from one not his wife risks little compared to the woman in nearly all cultures in Amelek, and so is regarded as a coward. And the woman too is considered a coward, for she risks the lives and fortunes of her children born and unborn, though in Tranism the man is regarded with more harshness, because of his relative safety. That has been changing over time in some cultures, as the increasing popularity of dueling has brought cads actual physical danger, but it remains true that women take much more risk in illicit sexual relations than men, and any man who puts a woman in such danger by definition breaks his oath to be courageous.
Most other sins are regarded in similar ways. Each action is considered in light of how it affects the virtues in question, though certain acts are considered evil in an of themselves, such as rape or murder. Murder is defined as shedding innocent blood, in other words killing without just cause. Most of the things considered sins (i.e. oath-breaking) among the Tranics are also civil crimes, but the law does not cover all things and all Tranics consider their oaths to the Three as superior to any worldly laws.
The most important Holy Book of Tranism is the The Song of Praise by Saint Drann the Prophet. It's name is known in most languages, listed here: the Giedlof (Gyrson), Hazjanspel (Valenzion), eda Iestigath (Brevic), Inyo Elodeo (Seibarino), Peyleylan (Ithelic), La Pregarilai (Lang d'Nor), Moliangerdd (Banelow), Oranaoth (Albaen), Rithnaclytra (Trin), Shirkogara (Elvish), Utuatenze (Dal Chai), Yeshtigathre (Kythonic), Zamy (Wood Dwarf/Elvish)
Other Important books in the Tranic Canon:
The Poems of Saint Coram by Saint Coram Thalmont
The Gospel of Saint Coram Archangel by Saint Coram Thalmont
The Strictures of Saint Goldun by Saint Goldun
The Righteous Art of War by Saint Harlox
The Righteous Art of Farming and Husbandry by Saint Kozox
Commentary on the Righteous Art of War by Saint Jason
Codex of Saint Jason by Saint Jason
Collected Epistles of Saint Erlisle by Saint Erlisle
Collected Works of Saint Urdovan by Saint Urdovan
Lament of El'Shal'Thyre by Saint Rriestan of Gwynn
The Scroll of Martheone and the Betrayer by Unknown, but probably written by Uthender
Prophecies of the Great Elves collected by Saint Arya Induath
The History of My Friend Saint John of Ghendd by Saint Gidgidoni
Rites, Rituals & Customs:
The principle rites of the Tranic faith are the Oaths of the Second and Third Births. When a child reaches the age of 7 (for humans, the age varies for other races), he or she undergoes a three-part ritual known as the Second Birth. First the child bathes and dons a fresh robe of pure white, symbolizing innocence. Then a priest anoints the head of the child with three sacred oils, one for each of the Three Divines. The priest then administers the Oaths, which amount to promising to learn about and follow the Seven Virtues. For seven years the child is a postulant and learns each Threeday about applying the Seven Virtues to his or her life, and is expected to uphold them, though at such a tender age mistakes and errors are easily forgiven and do not require the child to be cast out as an oath-breaker. At the age of fourteen the child renews the oaths, and becomes an aspirant, and is expected to understand and follow the Second Birth Oaths, though again it is much easier to repent and obtain forgiveness for violating those vows. Each time any of the oaths are broken, however, six months is added to the time when the child can take the Oaths of the Third Birth, and some intentionally delay that time so they can fulfill a few childish fancies. A priest who believes the oaths are being violated for that reason may bring the aspirant before a panel of priests, and if he or she has already reached the appropriate age to be a full communicant, and yet continues to violate his or her vows, they may excommunicate that person and require a new Second Birth before they are allowed to continue. The Second Birth is also known as the Bitahum (Kythonic), Bithymn (Thellarnish), Duemzayne (Ithelic) and Mientiela (Elvish).
At the age of twenty-one, the now grown child may take the Oaths of the Third Birth by repeating the three rites and taking permanent oaths to always uphold the Seven Virtues. After the Third Birth the oath-taker becomes a full communicant of the Tranic faith, and if any oath is violated, will be excommunicated from the body of the church. In practice it is not always so cut and dried, and many who have violated their oaths continue to behave as if they are full communicants, but if it becomes well known that any person is breaking his or her oaths, then a quorum of priests may cast that person out for oath-breaking. Anyone who is cast out must take the Second Birth Oaths again, and it requires seven years of maintaining the oaths before the Third Birth Oaths may be administered. The Third Birth is also known as the Eishtiela (Elvish), Seyemzayne (Ithelic), Thrishvahum (Kythonic) and Trishymn (Thellarnish).
To remind everyone of their oaths, songs are sung and poems are chanted every Threeday at a ceremony known as the Cantata. Each meeting includes songs by choirs and by the congregation, and often with individuals singing or reciting particularly popular songs on their own. There are usually several prayers, some given by priests, and others by laymen, asking for particular blessings, usually for the sick and hungry, but often for more general things like rainfall or peace. At the end of the Cantata the priest leading the meeting asks, "Why have ye come this day?" And the congregation makes the sign of the Three by holding three fingers over the heart and replies: "I have sworn." Some other names for the Cantata are: Ag Shiraha (Elvish), Fragatham (Kythonic), Eda Gathram (Thellarnish), eda Kavagath, (Brevic) and Pachorane (Ithelic).
Another important ritual is oath-witnessing, which includes marriage. A marriage is a covenant, mutually exchanged oaths that are usually accompanied by a feast, but for the vows to be valid, seven witnesses must be present. In emergencies this requirement is waived, because there are many places in the world even today that don't allow Tranic rituals to be practiced openly. In the Citadel, for example, no witnesses were required in most cases, though on some occasions full oath-takings were possible. Many other oaths and vows also require witnesses; becoming a priest requires oaths witnessed by seven other priests. Even a legal contract for a business arrangement can be oath-witnessed instead of written, and even if it is written, it is considered more binding if signed by seven witnesses.
There are many holidays in the Calendar for Tranics, most notably the Days of Worship, the three days not counted part of any month, which round out the 399 day year. Those days are for worship, and the Cantata is sung all three of those days, but for the most part worship includes song, dance, poetry, and feasting. The same goes for the four mid-point days of the seasons: Midsummer for Coram, Mid-autumn for Eranne, Midwinter for Huuric, and Mid-spring for Dhamar. These days are devoted to poetry for Coram, riding and racing for Eranne, story-telling and contests of strength for Huuric, and dancing for Dhamar. There are also days set aside for Eryx, Arya and Ithos, as well as feast days for many other saints and angels. What Tranics call worship, some might call a party, and that does not bother anyone.
One of the most important concepts in Tranism is the just war. Generally Tranism considers war to be a necessary evil at best, despite the fact that warfare does indeed bring out the best in some people. As it also brings out the worst, it is considered unreliable at best. The rules for engaging in warfare are clear but somewhat difficult to judge properly, as cases often seem very different. In general, it is required to fight only when attacked, or when an attack is known to be imminent. Warfare against pirates, bandits, and unclean beasts or monsters is considered unrestricted, but fighting against humans or other intelligent non-fiendish beings should only be engaged upon when necessary for the protection of the nation and the preservation of life and liberty. In some cases a holy war must be declared against an enemy that threatens extermination. Tranic holy wars are very rare, but there have been a few examples, such as the the invasion of Karamank by Saint Rriestan of Gwynn and the great alliance against Zoragas. In general getting a holy war declared is an extremely difficult business, and it is almost never allowed unless some truly existential threat to multiple nations exists. Holy war is known as Chebath (Ithelic), Eshalnoch (Elvish), Peshanaspentha (Kythonic), or Thraelvare (Thellarnish), but the most modern version of the word is Tralvara, also of Thellarnish origin.
Major Centers of Worship:
Tower Profane Vala, Empire of the Jeweled Sea
Temple Cathedral of the Three Vala, Empire of the Jeweled Sea
Sanctum of the Three and Archangels Sacred Isles, Empire of the Jeweled Sea
Temple of the Three and Archangels Gwynn, Falmadar
Temple of Saint Coram Coramberg, Coramtur
Temple of Saint Huuros (Huuric) Huurosfaste, Coramtur
Temple of Saint Arya Aryaberg, Coramtur
Temple of Saint Dhamar Vyasabuchd, Coramtur
Temple of Saint Ithos Ithosruhe, Coramtur
Temple of Saint Eryx Eryxflutt, Coramtur
Temple of Saint Eranne Suddastrang, Coramtur
Basilica of Saint Coram Annoln, Albar
Cathedral of All Yazathi Trijankirka, Albar
Temple-Cathedral of Sybaria Seibiaro, Sabarra
Temple of Saint Ithos Wyrra, Agezaine
Temple of the Three Beskke, Tharquin
Temple of Saint Eryx Asgalun, Ascalon
High Temple of Saint Huuric Gaard
Temple of the Light Sohosh er Aaim, Sohosh
Temple of the Three and Seven Lights Risanthe, Risantia
Cathedral of the Three Divines Valaravans, Chai'ia
Temple-Cathedral of the Three Valenz, Chai'ia
The center of the Tranic faith has always been the Jeweled Sea, though the precise location has changed often, sometimes in Gwynn, or Thellarne, or the Sacred Isles. In the late 1600s some of the Ecclesiarchs of Sabarra started calling themselves Metropolitans and elected a Grand Metropolitan to govern them. The fact that the then current Successor, Saint Erlisle, did not condemn this was an oblique criticism of the Thellarnish-centered Church, but even when he turned away from hints and said it openly it was not heeded. When the Alameins arrived they became enthusiast converts to Tranism but refused to follow the lead of the Thellarnish Grand Ecclesiarch. They likewise refused to follow the Grand Metropolitan, and elected their own Grand Thearch, and called their Ecclesiarchs by the name of Thearchs. This condition existed for many years, and Saint Erlisle tried earnestly to stop the bickerings of the rival church factions, but despite his calling as the Successor, they would not listen.
The upper ranks are available only to men. There has been no reason given why the Archimagus could not be a woman--the Three simply have never chosen one.
Archimagus The Successor to the Prophet
Grand Ecclesiarch Primate of the Church in all other nations
Grand Metropolitan Primate of the Seibarino Faction
Grand Thearch Primate of the Albaring Faction
Ecclesiarch Provincial Primate in all other nations
Metropolitan Provincial Primate in Sabarra
Thearch Provincial Primate in Albar
Male Offices: Female Offices:
Archdiocese: a large temple or cathedral
National representative to the Primate
Electors of the Grand Thearch in Albar
Agent Sacrosanct Grand Empyrean
Herald of an Archbishop or higher
Lord Justiciar Lady Justiciar
Justice of the eccesiastical courts in a Primacy
Bishop High Priestess
Diocese: basilica or cathedral in a town or city
Inquisitor General Inquisitor General
Chief of investigations in a Primacy
Abbey: large monastery, often near a town
High Constable High Constable
Abbey-of-War: large monastery of a military order
Bishop's Assistant Indómante
Assists bishop or archbishop
Justiciar Madam Justiciar
Justice of the religious courts in an archdiocese
Special Inquisitor Special Inquisitor
Independent investigator for a bishop or higher
Preceptor General Empyrean General
Leader of a military order
Priory: monastery of a non-military order
Priory of War: monastery of a military order
Leader of a military basilica
Vicar General High Empyrean
Leader of a military chapter
Leader of a non-military chapter
Justice of the eccesiastical courts in a diocese
Leader of a military chapter house
Father General Mother Superior
Leader of a non-military chapter house
Second in command of an order
Grand Inquisitor Grand Inquisitor
Investigator for an order, temple or cathedral
Friar General Soror General
Wandering priest in charge of many friars or wanderers
Canon/Curate Canoness/ Confident
Manager of a basilica or temple in a city
Investigator for a chapel or basilica
Vicar or Chief Priest Chief Priestess
Manager of a chapel in a town or small city
Rector or Deacon Over-priestess
Manager of a chapel in a village or castle
Knight of a military order
Manager of a chapel in a small village
Sworn Man Bellicose
Sergeant of a military order
Any member of any order, chapel, or temple
Priest-in-training with semi-permanent vows
Priest-in-training with temporary vows
40,000 B.R. The Sundering. The Seven Archangels begin their quest to heal the Five Spheres.
39,901 B.R. The lower heaven, Calnos, is completed and the Angels begin gathering the souls of the righteous dead.
39,783 B.R. The Volutial Plane is completed, and the Six Planes are bound together though they are still called the Sundered Spheres.
1403 B.R. Kumaan is recruited by the Yaskul and administered the oaths of the secret. His secret brotherhood begins to work its way into the Kavonic kingdoms of the south.
1277 B.R. Year of the Walls. The beginning of the Great Siege. The war between Rasham and Priam becomes a siege when Rasham raises massive barriers around his city of Kyzhan, causing a cascade effect across the Six Planes.
1143 B.R. Year of the Cataclysm. The strain put upon the world by the changes wrought by Rasham finally caused several volcanoes to erupt with dire consequences. Five years passed without summer, and many lands were dry that had once been green, and mountains rose where once there had been plains. The whole face of Valansaw changes, though the coastlines remain fairly stable.
64 B.R. Birth of the Prophet Drann.
44 B.R. Year of the Revelation. The Three reveal themselves to the Prophet and the preparatory religion of the Seven Archangels becomes Tranism.
Ø- Rasekor, or Year of the Prophet. In this year, Drann was assumed into heaven, in the sight of many. The Three Gods all appeared before the congregation and declared his sanctity. From this time on, Saints were venerated along with the Gods, but only those Saints who were declared so by the Three. From this year time was kept as from the year of the Prophet; B.R. ‘Brathe’ska Rasek’ or before the Prophet, and S.R. ‘Sraso’ska Rasek’ after the Prophet.
119 S.R. Year of the Scales; Kavonya and the eastern Yerra kingdoms, who did not accept the Three, are conquered by the Etriquín invaders, fulfilling the first of the Prophet's predictions.
192 S.R. Missionaries from Adarr entered the Etriquín realm of Tharquín and converted many Kings and much of the populace. Tharquín became an ally of the northerly races.
201 S.R. Destruction of El’shal’thyre; Rriestan of Gwynn is chosen as Successor and writes his classic ‘Elvish Lament.’
260 S.R. Zoragas, Archpriest of the Temple of Orashek-Rasham in the Old Citadel began a long quest to find the Hellsheart and master it’s power. He was received among the Yaskul that lived close to his fortress, and led in underground caves for hundreds of miles to the north, until he reached the Land of Cojorh. With magic and unholy prayers he gained access to the resting place of the Hammer, and when he received the Hellsheart Hammer he in his turn became the Avatar of Evil
271 S.R. Year of the Skull; Zoragas built his power among the nomads of Grwr and the fell creatures that were once Danoel, then with fire and sword he assailed the lands of Amelek, slaying thousands upon thousands of its inhabitants. Kithion was consumed entirely, and the Yerra and Etriquínes were pushed into the wastes, while the Kavon slaves in Mozquín welcomed his coming and worshipped him as the Deliverer. The realms of Etrinika and Abbezar were depopulated completely, and Zoragas’s fleet collected millions of skulls from the dead. He built a gigantic fortress in the far north from the Yerra and Etriquínes skulls, and called his castle Länkhôr the Black. The years between 271 S.R. and 281 S.R. are called the Wars of the Skull.
281 S.R. Year of the Endless Wails; for ten years Zoragas ruled the mightiest kingdom of Amelek, and none could stand against him. But though alone they could not stand, the kingdoms of the east and south banded together and formed a mighty fleet off of Danwi. Ten thousand ships were gathered for the greatest naval battle that has ever taken place in all the history of Amelek. And Zoragas took his mighty Hellsheart and built even more ships, and with thirteen thousand ships he came to assail their fleet. At the Battle of the Dragon Crossing in the north more than a million men died, together with their evil enemies. Only two thousand of the Allied ships came through the battle, and none of those of Zoragas. Zoragas himself was slain as he fought with the Thellians, and it was the Hero-King Aengan-Rhydd of Thellia who drove his sword through Zoragas’s gigantic body. Zoragas fell into the murky, bloody waters and was never seen again. The Hellsheart did not sink with him. Four black dragons caught it up and carried it far away, to what resting place no man knows.
300 S.R. Year of the Horn; the Realm of Zoragas was destroyed completely, and the allies of Amelek rejoiced. The Castle of Skulls called Länkhôr was burned, and the people were enslaved or slain. The lands were from hence called the Grey Wastes of Zoragas.
414 S.R. Saint Rriestan of Gwynn is captured by Ambarine pirates. While being held he informs them of his long quest to find the destroyers of El’shal’thyre and learns that the Ambarines are descended from the survivors. He engages their help in locating the still hidden enemy.
419 S.R. Saint Rriestan of Gwynn and four Ambarine ships at last discover the kingdom of Karamank and learn that many Banelow have become corrupted along with the original Kythic and Thellic inhabitants. They return to the Jeweled Sea and begin preparations to sail against Karamank.
421 S.R. Saint Rriestan of Gwynn leads a large navy to Karamank and destroys all the coastal cities, carrying many back to be saved from corruption. Those who could not be saved were sent to the prison camps in the Farath to live out their lives in comfortable incarceration.
487 S.R. Saint Coriel chosen as the 2nd Successor
651 S.R. Saint Llylor chosen as the 3rd Successor
881 S.R. Saint Guiliam chosen as the 4th Successor
1119 S.R. Saint Jason chosen as the 5th Successor
1582 S.R. Saint Erlisle chosen as the 6th Successor
Official Name: The Regulum of the Magus or the Church of Reason
Symbol(s): Golden Dragon with four wings
Description: Though it is in reality a philosophy, the veneration of the ruler of the Astral Plane makes Astralism a de facto religion. Astralists believe in the primacy of the mind over the other Seven Souls, and strive for reason, order, and logical consistency. It is no coincidence that Astralist means both and adherent of this philosophical religion and a practicioner of magic, as magic is the method by which the mind is improved. Study and learning form the basis of worship for the Astralist, and all members of the faith are considered students first and foremost, no matter how far they have progressed. Nearly all Astralists are magicians of varying power, and the line between the Astralist religion and the Tuterian Regulum School of Magic is very blurry. In addition, it is possible to be a Tranic priest and an Astralist at the same time; the Lord of Reason is an ally of the Three, and has been an ally of the Seven Archangels since the Sundering. Some call Astralism a heresy against Tranism, but the Lord of Reason rules the Astral Plane in accord with the wishes and goals of the Three, and neither the Prophet nor any of the Successors has ever called Astralists heretics.
Origins: Tuteri Lord of Reason arrived in the Sundered Spheres before the Sundering, and at the Sundering was trapped in the Astral Plane. He has no existence outside the realm of the mind, and it was he who separated the Dream Prison and exiled its lord, Gaueko Lord of Madness. He joined with the Seven Archangels as soon as they appealed to him, and has been a trusted ally from that time to this. Tuteri works with the Talvasi to bring precognitive dreams to the minds of mortal and immortal alike, and though seemingly far separated, is far more in sync with the Volutial Plane than any other. Tuteri lost part of himself at the Sundering, and is ruthlessly reasonable and logical, but part of his reasoning ability allows him to understand that though he no longer has any emotions, they are important to humans and other sentient peoples and therefore must be taken into account. He divided the creatures of the Astral Plane into two types, the Kathars and the Genials. The Kathars bring uncomfortable dreams and nightmares to sleeping minds, in an attempt to frighten dreamers into good behavior. Genials push fantastic and comforting dreams to entice those same dreamers to behave themselves. A kind of friendly competition exists between the two groups, and their push-pull technique improves many a mind, and more importantly armors minds against the depredations of the Lord of Madness.
All of the Astral beings who would not conform to the rule of the Lord of Reason in accord with the Seven Archangels he pushed into the Dream Prison, the third of the Five Hells. There insanity rules, everything that is the opposite of logic and reason. Tuteri governs the Astral Plane completely, making it the least discordant of all the realms, but because of that, the Dream Prison is also homogenous; there is no sanity in it at all, while there is no insanity in the Astral Plane.
Those who follow the Lord of Reason do so because they wish to improve their minds and skills in magic, and often because they wish to avoid some of the more emotion-based duties of other religions. The first Chartom of the Tuterian Regulum was also the first leader of the Church of Reason, and he established the simple rules of the religion, which make it compatible with most other faiths.
Tuteri the Magus
Alternate Names & Titles: Lord of Reason, Lord of Wisdom, Master of the Minds
Description: Tuteri is usually depicted as a tall man with glowing eyes and a dreamy look on his face, or a four-winged golden dragon about five hundred feet long. This second depiction is more accurate, as that is how he appears in the Astral Plane, though in dreams he may take many different forms. Tuteri is a superb magician, and uses magic through the power of his mind instead of through incantations or runes. He is also logical and emotionless, able to puzzle out many mysteries with only a few clues. He occasionally leaves the Astral Plane and visits Calnos, where he is often peppered with questions, a pastime he enjoys, to judge by the slight smile he always wears when sitting between Saint Coram and Saint Dhamar. Tranics call Tuteri a saint, and account him an angel, but he is in truth and loyal ally rather than an actual angel. Tuteri loves order and reason, and governs the Astral Plane accordingly. He detests the Lord of Madness and every sort of insanity, and strives to his utmost to prevent the delusions of the Dream Prison from invading the minds of anyone in the mortal realm.
Symbol: Golden Four-winged Dragon on a field of cerulean blue
Gaueko the Maniac
Alternate Names & Titles: Lord of Madness
Description: Originally a rival with Tuteri for mastery of the Astral Plane, Gaueko lost that war and kept only a small part of the plane, which he turned into the Dream Prison. Nobody knows what Gaueko really looks like except for Tuteri, as he changes form almost continually, and even to look upon any of his forms is to court insanity. Several arrogant magicians have suffered just that fate. Gaueko loves disorder and madness, and revels in inflicting such maladies upon living beings. His minions in the Dream Prison come in many kinds, but all are called Delusions as they trick the mind and continually attempt to substitute lies for truth. Gaueko sends his Delusions into the Astral Plane continually, and while most are immediately sent packing, his occasional successes bring trapped minds back to the Dream Prison while on the Physical Plane the owner of that mind suffers from insanity. Gaueko desires all minds to be his slaves, and revels in inflicting every terrible vision he can, feeding off the fear and confusion he creates. Gaueko is considered a demon by the Tranics and most other religions as well as by Astralists, and he has no church and no followers in the Six Spheres, though he retains a great deal of influence through his delusions.
Symbol: Black Spiked Collar
Principles and Holy Books:
The most important principles of Astralism are self-discipline and logical consistency, followed closely by learning. Knowledge of every sort is considered useful in expanding and improving the mind, even if it is not related to magic.
Tuteri has not written any holy books, but several great magicians compiled much of his wisdom into the Book of Reason. That book contains the Six Reasonable Virtues, which are:
Restraint - practice self-restraint and do not allow emotions to control the mind
Moderation - all things in moderation, even study. While the mind is the most important of the Seven Souls, the others must also be nourished, even the emotions.
Tradition - tradition is the result of collective wisdom gathered over time; conformity with tradition is in general good, but one should oppose bad traditions.
Sobriety - keep the mind healthy; anything that affects the mind, such as strong drink or drugs, should be avoided. One should serious, as the serious mind learns best.
Logic - learning should be step by step, and follow a consistent pattern. Logic is applied reason,
and affects all aspects of life.
Objectivity - look at each thing separately from the self; remain cool and unemotional in unfamiliar situations and never judge subjectively.
Rites, Rituals & Customs:
At the most basic level, Astralism came into being to aid in the interpretation of dreams. Astralists strive to remember and record their dreams, and then compare them to others. While this might seem frivolous, the close relationship between the Astral and Volutial Planes means that many dreams do indeed portend the future, and Astralists, though no prophets, often have a much better idea of how major events will unfold. There are no organized rituals in Astralism; the primary method of worship is meditation. Informal gatherings for dream interpretation are common, but may include non-Astralists as well. An Astralist may belong to any religion compatible with the Six Reasonable Virtues, and often spends much more time at the rites of that religion.
Study is also considered a form of worship, and the most studious are reckoned the most pious. This often leads to intellectual arrogance, which is antithetical to Astralism, as it is a minor form of madness and can lead to imprisonment in the Dream Prison if allowed to grow strong. Despite this fact, and though it is excoriated in the Book of Reason, it is quite common among Astralists.
There is no membership rite, or any form of excommunication in Astralism; one may join or withdraw freely many times. However Astralists are opposed to any who worship any of the beings of the Hells, and all are expected to denounce, or even kill, any wrathmage or Kumaanite who manages to infiltrate either Temple or informal study group.
Major Centers of Worship:
Temple of Thotha Thotha
The Great Library Vala, Empire of the Jeweled Sea
The Library of Kjuskswen Dij Kichim, Falmadar
The Library of Nwy Nwy, Medras
Temple of Logic Sohosh er Aaim, Sohosh
Temple of Reason Caer Anwar, Agezaine
School of Reason Aryaberg, Coramtur
Temple of Wisdom Agia Anna
Temple of Tuteri Magus Ahajep Tanis
There is no hierarchy per se in Astralism, but magicians of the Tuterian Regulum are considered de facto priests, even if they never officially called themselves Astralists. In addition there are a few special positions at the Astralist Temples and Libraries.
Librarian Leader of a Temple or Library
Lector Servant of a Librarian, cares for and repairs books
Interpreter An interpreter of dreams, attached to a temple or library
Translater A translater of books into different language
Transcriber A copier of books
146 S.R. The Temple of Thotha built on the isle of Ashdod. The several magicians formed the Temple as a school, and rejected the teachings of Rimmon the Lawgiver in favor of the Six Reasonable Virtues. A city grew up around the temple, and Thotha became a city-state where Tuteri was the sole Aeon. This did not last, however, because it is not reasonable to force people to worship an Aeon. The many different creeds that grew up in the city made it a very chaotic place, though within the Temple itself and the Palace of the Kasday-Rabh, order always ruled.
920 S.R. Temple of Tuteri Magus formed in Ahajep Tanis. This became one of the most famous schools of magic in Amelek. This temple survived every trouble, and some of the most famous Tuterian mages in history came from Tanis.
Official Name: The Glorious Cult of the Hammer of the Netherworld
Other Names: Devil-worshippers, Darrow-worshippers, Cult of the Hot Hell
Symbol(s): Black Mallet with spikes jutting from every part (a representation of the Hammer of the Netherworld)
Description: This is possibly the least common of the major religions of Amelek, and though in numbers it is even smaller than many minor cults to a local tree, Dayebists have power that gives it them an importance they truly do not deserve. Dayebism is the opposite of Tranism in as many ways as possible. There are two Dukes and one Duchess of Hell who lead the Seven Dayebim or Archdarrows, each of whom has an opposite among the Seven Archangels. Dayebists have their versions of saints as well, humans given power among them. They preach beliefs opposite to those of the Three, and strive to destroy both all living things and the Externity itself, hating everything that lives without the continual pain of the denizens of the Hot Hell. At least the Dayebists are enemies of the Kumaanites, though at times there seem to be some temporary alliances between them.
Dayebism is not the same thing as the Renegade School of the Black Arts. Dayebists are true-believers, not mere seekers of power. How they come to believe in the terrible evils they perpetrate and advocate is a mystery, but they are far more powerful than mere wrathmages. There have only been a few known Dayebists, and many more suspected, but they were enough.
Origins: Though it beggars belief, this foul religion began in the age before the Sundering. The first Dayebists were Ancient Immortals in the fulness of their power. They secretly sided with the Darrows, and betrayed and murdered their own kind. There are some clues to the origins of their decision; some of them believed that the Ancient Immortals were invaders and interlopers, and had no right to the worlds of the Externity, despite the foulness of the Darrows. The Darrows might be the aggressors in the war, and desired to enslave and exploit the Ancient Immortals, but that too was immaterial. How such powerful and wise beings could've come to such a conclusion is a mystery that none, not even the Three, can understand. However their beliefs survived the Sundering, and remain in place even to this day.
Orashek the Devil-Prince
Alternate Names & Titles: Prince of the Hot Hell, the Blasphemer, the Thief of Worlds, the Hammer of the Netherworld, the Heartless Heart, the Burner
Description: Once Orashek had a body and form, and could appear beautiful even to the Ancient Immortals. After his defeat and death, his heart became the Hammer of the Netherworld through the corruption and foolishness of Uthender, and so he is to this day. His spirit survives, and retains great influence over the whole Externity, but slowly his will is crumbling and being beaten back the the Three and their followers. Orashek was once a noble spirit in a faraway universe, and it was his discovery of the rift in space that became the Sundered Spheres that trapped us all here with him. How any could come to worship him is unfathomable, but the known examples were all hardened in evil, often wrathmages or Kumaanites, before they converted to his worship, so it is perhaps not so strange. Orashek desires that all things be his slaves. He hates freedom, and after his own death he hates life, desiring to pull all things in the Externity to his Hot Hell and there be master over the despairing, suffering dead. He is consumed by hate and resentment, and inspires the same in all his followers. He alone among the Dayebim has a physical body, though his is only a hammer that cannot even move itself. The other Dayebim do not exist in the Physical Plane at all, and if they are summoned substance must be given to them, either a corpse or a constructed body. Orashek is no kinder to his slaves than to his enemies, but their will has been consumed, so that they do not believe they have the ability to disobey their master.
Symbol: Black Hammer covered in spikes with a scarlet eye on the side.
The False Three are the survivors of the Council of Thirteen Generals who led the darrows in the war against the Ancient Immortals. They were driven into the Hot Hell after the fall of Orashek, and rule there in his name to this day.
Druj the Deceiver
Alternate Names & Titles: Lady of Deceit, Mistress of Liars, Duchess of Hell
Description: The weakest and least competent of all Orashek's generals had one ability that none of the others could claim--she was and remains the best liar in the Externity. Druj loes lying, and does it constantly, for any reason. Nothing she says can be depended upon, even though she often tells the truth when telling it will deceive those who don't trust her. Trusted by none, she roams the Hot Hell whispering comforting or terrifying lies to the damned, and does her best to influence those in the Six Spheres to lie as often as possible too. Nobody knows what Druj originally looked like, as she changes her appearance very often, and loves to appear as a dead loved one or a lost lover. Druj can be very persuasive, and her lies are often seeded judiciously with truth the better to corrupt and deceive, and it is thought that she is the principal missionary of the False Three, convincing those who are already wrapped in sin and evil to become Dayebists and gain the truly amazing powers that come with it. Naturally she leaves out the part about burning forever in the Hot Hell.
Symbol: Scarlet Broken Scroll
Taghut the False One
Alternate Names & Titles: Lord of Sin, Lord of Vice, 2nd Duke of Hell
Description: Once the deputy of Orashek, Taghut also served as the Herald of the Darrowish army when it fought the Ancient Immortals, and he once had a shapely form, and seduced several Ancient Immortals of either sex, including the wife of Martheone who we now call Mioxis the Corrupter. Taghut's remains the chief spokesman and messenger of the Hot Hell, and as he is quick to tell anyone who asks, speaks with Orashek's voice. He sometimes plays his own game, and is never wholly trusted by anyone, not least because he will betray anyone and do anything for another chance at vice. Taghut particularly loves drugs, especially those like deesheq, that enslave the will and act as a kind of forced aphrodisiac. He has no physical body now, but whenever he appears he will as closely as possible mirror the most secret desire of the person to whom he shows himself, and revels most in seduction and corruption. It was he who first whispered the ideals of the Sisters of Love for this reason is particularly hated by all Nishgays.
Symbol: Scarlet Smile with Fangs
Vidhatu the Slayer
Alternate Names & Titles: Lord of Death, Lord of Murder, the Warmonger, First Duke of Hell.
Description: The ultimate serial killer, Vidhatu is a cold, calculating murderer, and committed many terrible atrocities against the Ancient Immortals in the dawn of time. He was killed by Uthender only minutes after Orashek died at the hands of Martheone, but Vidhatu had long prepared for death, and had another body prepared and waiting. He alone of of the False Three can possess a human body, and he has done so on many occasions, reveling in murder whenever he can. The Elves never say his name without spitting, and consider him the most monstrous of the False Three. He is Orashek's favorite, for both desire most the death of all living things, and Vidhatu will kill anything. He has even been found to possess a cat so that he can kill rats en masse.
Symbol: Scarlet Curved Sword
Angels and Demons:
The Dayebs or Archdarrows are seven in number, and were chosen after the Sundering from among the other Darrows to oppose the Seven Archangels. They were all champions against the Ancient Immortals.
Alternate Names & Titles: Lord of Fury
Description: Aeshmah is a demonic figure, with six arms, each bearing a sword with a jagged blade, and a face similar to that of a baboon mixed with a lion. He fights naked, the better to be prepared for rape should the opportunity arise. The Lord of Fury is continually enraged, and even over the millennia since the Sundering his wrath has not abated even a little. He lusts for combat and fighting, yet is a coward, and prefers only to fight when he is sure of winning, and large numbers of dead. He has been opposed by Ithos on several occasions, and if he ever tries to enter the Physical Plane to slake his rage, Ithos will be there to fight him.
Symbol: Crimson Fanged Open Mouth
Alternate Names & Titles: Lord of Envy
Description: Akyu Manah is the most covetous of the Darrows, and for no known reason. He is rumored to have a great flaming palace in the Hot Hell where he has vats of molten gold and silver, but what good those substances do for him is a mystery. He lusts for wealth, but not because of what he can purchase or any power he might gain, but because it denies wealth to others. He only wants what is taken from others, never what is earned. He envies others their talents as well, even their friendships. Most of all he envies Huuric's friendship with Coram, and has attempted to kill Coram on several occasions just to destroy that friendship. Huuric of course is his particular enemy, and they have faced each other in the wars between heavens and hells many times. Akyu Manah is a tall, sickly green darrow, with horns on his head and and claws on his fingers. He wears armor of molten gold, which continually runs down his body and then somehow recycles back up again.
Symbol: Green Hand grasping gold coins
Alternate Names & Titles: Lord of Heresy
Description: Indhrah is an insidious darrow, capable of appearing fair and noble, though at heart he is full of hate and envy. Indhrah's purpose is to corrupt the beliefs of others, drawing them away from the truth even as he leaves them in place to corrupt others. He is the tallest of the Dayebim, standing 11 feet and having an extremely muscular physique. He has many horns on his head and red eyes that shine with disdain for all living things. He is a coward in every sense of the world, and has never stood to fight Coram in all the battles where they have met. Instead he prefers the indirect approach, preaching small lies buried in larger truths, introducing minor heresies in hopes of bringing in larger, and never standing up to those who speak the truth. He is particularly despised by Coram, but has never actually stayed to fight the mighty Archangel.
Symbol: Crimson Spoon
Alternate Names & Titles: Lady of Discontent
Description: Nanghaithya is the most miserable of darrows, and that is saying a lot. She is tall and beautiful, horns that curve back from her head in a strangely attractive fashion. She has violet blue skin and glowing red eyes, but she weeps constantly, unless she is whining or complaining. Nanghaithya is never content, not even for an instant, and she strives to fill the hearts of mortals with the same constant discontent. Nothing is ever enough, or ever just right, and even the other Dayebim grow weary of her endless complaints. Nanghaithya never wears clothing because it is never good enough, and fights only with her hands because no weapon will suit her. She is a skilled fighter despite her never-ending dissatisfaction, and uses a style that is not far removed from the weaponless style of Dhamar, though less graceful and more brutal. Nanghaithya hates Eryx above all of the angels, and has attacked her whenever the heavens and hells clash, not least because Eryx is confident and wise, and not only content at her fate, but joyful. Their personalities are opposites, and Nanghaithya does not want anyone to be happy, but miserable like herself. It is said that whenever you feel that some gift is not quite what you wanted, or some praise falls on pained ears, that is Nanghaithya whispering in your ear. Whether true or not, anyone who follows Nanghaithya's example is doomed to misery too.
Symbol: Crimson Heart pierced by three black daggers
Alternate Names & Titles: Lady of Tyranny, Empress of the Dayebim
Description: Leader of the Seven Dayebim is Sawra, the perfect Tyrant. She appears as a tall, beautiful female with horns like a crown, rich purple skin, and golden eyes not unlike those of the Ancient Immortals. She lives only to command others, and lords it over the other Dayebim continually. She exemplifies tyranny, being arbitrary and cruel, a cowardly bully, and an oppressor of anyone and anything weaker than herself. She is quite powerful, and always fights nude, because her skin is the perfect shade of purple for an empress. Her favorite weapon is a bow, and she rides upon a flaming hellsteed, always attacking the weakest of her foes. She also loves to hunt, especially recently arrived spirits, particularly when they are relatively innocent. It's not easy matter to get into the Hot Hell, it requires pretty terrible deeds, but there are always some who do those deeds without having hardened to evil, and it is these she loves to hunt, over and over again, filling them with arrows until they break to pieces and have to slowly grow back again of the ensuing years. For this reason she is furiously hated by Eranne the Huntress, who enjoins hunting only for food or for protection, and requires her followers to be respectful even of fell beasts when they hunt. The enmity between Sawra and Eranne exceeds that of any of the other hatreds between Dayeb and Archangel, and both have sworn to kill the other someday. Unfortunately for Eranne, Sawra runs away the moment things aren't going her way, so Eranne has never had the chance to do more than shoot her a few times, but arrows, even the arrows of an Archangel, aren't enough to kill Sawra.
Symbol: Crimson Crown
Alternate Names & Titles: Lady of Hunger
Description: Tawrich is a thin, emaciated Darrow with sad eyes, gray-green skin, and only four horns on her head. She always goes nude so that everyone can see her gaunt, hungry body. Her hunger can never be satiated, and she causes hunger in anyone who sees her. A mortal who is cursed by her will be hungry every hour of every day, and will never be filled. Gluttony as well as starvation delights Tawrich, and she particularly loves to see them side by side. Nothing pleases her more than to see fat, greedy rich people lording it over starving peasants. She is the most skilled in magic of all the Dayebim, and uses her powers to cause famine and starvation whenever she can. In this she is opposed by Arya of the Archangels, who strives constantly to weaken or repulse the killing spells of Tawrich. Tawrich hates Arya passionately, and often attempts to curse any town or village named for the Archangel, but Arya almost always deflects such spells by having protections already in place. Tawrich has a body of worshippers apart from Dayebists, namely the Iron-skin Trolls, often called Greed Ogres. These beings are walking appetites, and their endless hunger pleases Tawrich, and she aids them and strengthens them in every way she can. In return they sometimes leave humans alive to starve, eating everything that can be eaten around a village and leaving a few survivors without help or hope, usually children. This is a major sacrifice for an Iron-skin, and Tawrich enjoys it to the full.
Enemy of Arya
Symbol: Empty Crimson Bowl
Alternate Names & Titles: Lady of Decay
Description: Zawrich is the ugliest of the Dayebim. She looks like a corpse, rotting and corrupt, with gray, scaly skin, sunken, watery eyes, and broken horns on her head. She loves decay and rot, and especially diseases that cause bodies to deteriorate prematurely. She caused the Evil Plague of 901 S.R., but her attempts at reproducing the terrible results of that plague have all been thwarted. Zawrich strives always to promote death in childbirth, because renewal is the opposite of her desire for all things to decay into dust, and so Dhamar is her particular foe, and when they have met Zawrich proves suprisingly tough and agile, and most strange of all, almost courageous compared to the other Dayebim. Dhamar has beaten her several times, and came within moments of killing her four times, for Zawrich stands and fights after all the other Dayebim have fled, and runs away last of all, often terribly wounded. Some believe that Zawrich revels in her wounds, allowing them to putrefy in a way that ought to be impossible for a being that is more spirit than flesh, but she is the Lady of Decay after all.
Enmy of Dhamar
Symbol: Black and Crimson Bone
Damned Lords are those who wielded the Hammer of the Underworld or worshipped it, and are themselves worshipped as gods somewhere in the world, though in reality they are mortals who have been given continued power by Orashek.
Alternate Names & Titles: the Storminglord, the Master of Winds
Description: The first Avatar of Evil, Grwr was a Deceiver or False Elf, who looked exactly like a Great Elf but had not the power or ability or righteousness that goes with that name. Like all False Elves, he craved respect and adoration, and could not get it from any of the Twenty-One Kindreds, especially not his own kind. Humans were not yet in the world, and he felt frustrated and empty and filled with a lust for power and glory. So much is known because he related these feelings to several other False Elves, and once even a sympathetic Great Elf. Instead of trying to overcome his weaknesses, he instead turned to Dayebism, and was led by the whisperings of Orashek to find the Hammer of the Netherworld in the ruins of Uthender's house. He took up the Hammer and flew to the north, setting up a great castle in the icy wastes, and there he slowly gathered as many of the Fiendish Kindreds as he could, setting himself up as a rival to the Four Malices. He used the power of the Hammer to create great storms and send them across the world, and through them killed many of the Twenty-one Kindreds that would not accept his rule. At last the Seven Archangels gathered the host of Calnos and descended upon his castle of Länkhôr, and destroyed Grwr and all those who served him. The Hammer of the Netherworld vanished from the ruin and from all knowledge, and remained hidden until Zoragas took it up many millennia later. Grwr himself returned from the Hot Hell to plague the north, and he howls out furious storms like the damned soul he is to this very day, though he does not have the power he once did, and his storms are rarely more than local phenomena. Grwr and Zoragas are often confused with each other, because Zoragas took Grwr as his title, calling himself Zoragas the Grwr of the Northern Plains, and too named his castle Länkhôr, though he differentiated slightly by calling it Länkhôr the Black.
Symbol: Black Cloud with four Golden Lightning Bolts emerging
Alternate Names & Titles: Eternal King of Kyzhan, the Barrier-maker, the World-breaker
Description: The story of Rasham and the Great Siege is well-known, and we will only describe it briefly here. Rasham was the rightful king of Kytheday, kingdom of the Kythons, only a few hundred years after the three Valan tribes first came to Amelek. For a few years he seemed a good choice, and Kythonic tradition gave the throne to the youngest son before the father had died, so his father had ample time to approve of Rasham's works. Unknown to any at the time, Rasham was a Brother of the Secrets, and at some point after being crowned, he turned away from Kumaanism and became a Dayebist. He began to curtail the rights of the people to worship as they would, and built a temple with a statue of himself as God of Gods. His father renounced him, and anointed his brother Priam to be king instead, and a terrible civil war ensued. Millions died on both sides, but Priam had the upper hand and drove Rasham and his adherents back. Rasham called upon his new allies and offered a sacrifice of horrific size to bring up barriers around his city of Kyzhan, forming what we call the Old Citadel. Priam laid siege to the Citadel, and so began the Great Siege. Rasham did not live nearly as long as he had been promised, but once he died, he spent only a few years in the Hot Hell. He was sent back, probably around 1240 B.R., and became the supernatural ruler of the Citadel, though we of course would never refer to him as a god. He forced the people in the Citadel to worship him as the God of Gods, and slew any who mentioned Those Who Shall Come, and in after years, the Three Divines. Within the Citadel he had great power, and made enslaved his people in fear and hate, even though the Great Siege had long since ended. Many escaped from the Citadel; the Brevics, who we now call the Thellarnish, the Asgaladanes and Jebbannites, the Berrani, and many smaller tribes. Very few remain in the Citadel today, and all four of the gates are open, so that it is no longer closed to the world. Still, we believe that Rasham survives there still, preferring to rule over a broken and empty ruin than to return to the Hot Hell which he deserves as much from his deeds in life as in death.
Symbol: Two Red Hands grasping a Golden Crown
Alternate Names & Titles:
Description: Zoragas was born in the Citadel, and became the Hierophant of Rasham at an unusually early age. He achieved this early preferment by joining with the Kumaanites in the Citadel, but once he became Hierophant he betrayed the Kumaanites and became a Dayebist. The Dayebim told him where he could find the Hammer of the Netherworld and he left the Citadel to find it. Nothing is known of his history while he sought the Hammer, but once he had it he became the Avatar of Evil and went among the barbarian Kaydars in the northern steppes, making himself their master. He taught them to build ships for raiding the coasts and sending them galloping across the world in vast hordes. That time is known as the Age of Skulls, for Zoragas destroyed many nations, and took the skulls of all the dead to build his castle of Länkhôr the Black. He named himself the Grwr of the North, using the ancient Dayebist Storminglord's name as if it meant Emperor, and he built a great fleet to attack the remaining realms of Amelek. A great alliance formed to oppose him, including for the first time Great Elven ships. The two fleets met at the Crossings, present day Gaard, and there was fought the Battle of Ten Thousand Ships. Zoragas died in the fighting, and all of his ships were sunk, but the Hammer once again escaped, carried away by four giant crows. Zoragas also returned from the Hot Hell, and lurks in the waters around Gaard to this day, causing whirlpools and freak storms to sink the ships of the unwary and unworthy.
Symbol: Four Silver Skulls on Blue
Principles and Holy Books:
It is hard to call the beliefs of Dayebism principles at all, and their own term calls them paths, as detailed in the book The Paths of Darkness:
Brutality - give in to the animal drives, whether a lust for blood or sexual release
Carnality - everything is physical, believe only what is seen, desire only what can be touched
Trickery - anyone fool enough to be tricked deserves to be exploited
Guile - lying is a good and glorious art, and the best liars deceive even themselves
Self-preservation - nothing is worth dying for, and life is all about survival
Self-salvation - being true to one's carnal and wicked nature is the ultimate salvation
The authors believe these 'principles' speak for themselves, and no elaboration is needed. The only book known to exist that expresses these beliefs is The Paths of Darkness, by an unknown author. There are only a few copies in existence, and the gruesome detail given in this book makes it a difficult thing to read, even for a highly enlightened mind. We do not recommend it to anyone, as it adds nothing to scholarship, and serves only to pollute the mind.
Rites, Rituals & Customs:
It is difficult to know the activities considered 'holy' by Dayebists, as all known believers were either Kumaanite or wrathmages too, and those belief systems include some very terrible rites. Some few rites are specific to Dayebism, but much of the religion remains cloaked in mystery. Torture is considered a sacred recreation among the Dayebists. The best known, Zoragas, used to torture two or three people every day, usually captives from other tribes or nations, but sometimes when none were available he would call for volunteers from among his own, and at least one or two would respond and willingly die for his amusement. It is known that this torture serves a purpose, for when the proper spells are used, it siphons portions of the energy from five of the Seven Souls and gives that power to the torturer, so it is not purely enjoyment.
It is speculated that there are many more secret Dayebists than anyone realizes, those mad killers who kidnap and torture their victims may not be insane, but rather Dayebists. It is impossible to be certain, as few of these monsters disguised as men or women are ever captured alive, and those that have been captured are either insane, or cunning enough to pretend insanity.
There is a secret ritual, which we know almost nothing about, that is used to initiate a new Dayebist into the cult. It certainly involves murder and torture, but from the remains that have been found of such rituals, it appears to be something of a mad frenzy of bloodlust, but what exactly they do at these rites remains unknown. It is very different from the 'virgin sacrifice' of the Kumaanites, in that it may involve many victims, and they may be of any age or state. In some cases, it has involved whole families--three, even four generations murdered together in an orgy of slaughter. Naturally no worthy Tranic would stop to watch such a horror unfolding, and would intervene rather than wait to discover how the rite is performed, and no Dayebist has ever divulged the secret, so it remains something of a mystery.
Major Centers of Worship:
Avatar of Evil Holder of the Hammer of the Netherworld; all Dayebists must acknowledge his rule.
Dark Vicar A priest of the Dayebim who slyly preaches the religion and often seeks the Hammer to become the Avatar.
Dark Disciple Any follower of the Dayebim, usually a torturer or mass murderer
c.27,000 OR Grwr finds the Hammer of the Netherworld and becomes the Avatar of Evil
25,481 OR Downfall of Grwr, the Hammer of the Netherworld vanishes.
1281 OR Rasham, King of Kython, abandoned Kumaanism and became a Dayebist in quest of immortality and godhood. This led directly to the downfall of Kytheday and the Great Siege.
261 DR Zoragas became the Avatar of Evil and names himself Grwr of the Northern Steppes.
271 DR Year of the Skull. Zoragas conquered many lands and built Länkhôr the Black from human skulls.
281 DR Year of the Endless Wails. Zoragas is defeated in the Battle of Ten Thousand Ships. The Hammer of the Netherworld vanishes.
Official Name: The Alogy of Chaos
Other Names: Church of the Laughing Guld, Church Without a Church, Madakists
Symbol(s): The symbol constantly changes, but the thunderbolt appears frequently.
Description: It is surprising that any should choose to believe in the randomness of all things, but that is the essential belief of Guldism. Chaos rules all, and all things are meaningless and accidental. Guldists don't believe in the Thief of World, or even in the Externity; they believe that peoples purportedly from other world simply pop into existence as part of the great chaotic dance, and that everything that happens to any of them has no more meaning than what happens to a raindrop on its way down from the clouds. There are no constants but Chaos, and whim should be our only guide. With such beliefs it is even more surprising that there could be any kind of organized religion worshipping the Guld. And indeed, it is impossible to call the Alogy of Chaos organized. At times many hundreds of believers will coalesce and create a church, as a sort of mass whim. These churches never last long, and the followers of the Guld worship him with the example of their lives, living 'honestly' as they term it. The hierarchy of the 'church' varies widely, and sometimes it groans with Archbishops, while other times not even an acolyte can be found.
Origins: Nobody is certain who began worshipping the Guld, but most believe that his first adherents were the Shadow Elves in the years soon after the Sundering. Many among the Etriquínes too gave up their own Lord of Chaos, Zur, and embraced instead the much more powerful Guld, but there have always been a few who love change and spontaneity above all things, and many of these worship the Guld in deed, even if they don't profess their adherence. The benefit to anyone who follows the Guld is also a mystery; most lead fairly tragic lives, and few gain the things considered valuable by most peoples. A Guldist never keeps anything for long, but like people of many religions, most Guldists don't necessarily follow the precepts they profess. Saint Erlisle, in his study on Guldism, opined that the beliefs espoused in Guldism are generally just an excuse for bad behavior, and so it is often taken up by those who desire to do something they believe to be wrong, and require a way to justify their behavior to themselves. And so we often find supposed Guldists living almost normal lives, but with some aberrant activity they use Guldism to justify. However this is not universal, and there are some who live the largely insane lives required by the teachings of Madak the Guld.
Madak the Guld
Alternate Names & Titles: Laughing One, Lord of Limbo, Roeggus, the Wild God
Description: By all accounts Madak the Guld changes appearance several times a day, but he does tend to use one form with some frequency: that of a chubby, smiling young boy of about 11 or 12 years of age, with curly blond hair and ruddy skin. The only thing consistent about the appearance of the Guld is that his eyes never have irises. Madak is more changeable than the wind, both emotionally and intellectually. He may be filled with wrath and stupid as a stump one moment, and mirthfully intelligent the next. He loves jokes, and they range from stupid practical jokes to very witty and clever extractions. He rules over the Hell of Limbo, and the chaotic lords of the Elemental Plane answer to him, if he ever took the trouble to rule them. The Guld changes according to whim, and those who follow him may find themselves suddenly rewarded, killed, or ignored at any time. There is no way to ensure his favor, because it changes constantly, and even those who serve him in Limbo are never certain of their positions. The souls that end up in Limbo are relatively few, and they spend all the ages after death in a constant state of flux, and may be deliriously happy, mournful, and screaming in agony all within a moment. The Guld is the only one who really lives his precepts, as he is the only being in the Externity with the power to do so. Whether he came from another universe, or is a personification of chaos that grew from Limbo the way Limbo grew from the Elemental Plane remains unknown.
Symbol: Like his religion, the Guld frequently uses a thunderbolt as his symbol
Principles and Holy Books:
There is only one holy book for the Guldists, and it changes very often. It is The Sayings of the Guld, and is sometimes only a pamphlet, and sometimes multiple volumes. However after studying many of the versions, we have extracted the following beliefs, which are called the Six Discords.
Anarchy - Rules should not exist, but if they do, they should be broken
Passion - Go wherever emotion leads, think as little as possible, except when the whim takes you
Spontaneous - Do not plan, but do whatever whim suggests in the moment it comes to mind
Incoherence - Be unreasonable and illogical, use words as you will, ignore grammar
Inconstancy - Be inconsistent and capricious, and make no promises, but if you do, break them whenever you wish
Uncertainty - believe nothing, expect nothing, for everything is random and accidental
These principles are surprisingly attractive to many people, though as mentioned before, most of the time one or other of them is used as an excuse for behavior a person might others consider shameful.
Rites, Rituals & Customs:
There are of course no standard rites or rituals for the Guldists, and customs are anathema. Guldist gatherings tend to be like a crowd of confused children, wandering around in circles until a sudden whim grabs several people all at once. As might be expected by a religion that enshrines every passion as legitimate, wild behavior of every kind often follows. Guldist music is weird and atonal, and includes a lot of drums with an irregular beat, but somehow Guldists dance to it, usually in a frenzied style, but sometimes they'll be more measured, as the whim takes them. Feasting or drinking excessively, fiery arguments or songs, and various sexual perversions generally are included in any Guldist meeting, though at the least nobody is required to do anything they don't wish to, unless some other Guldist whimsically decide to force them.
The closest thing Guldists have to a ritual is the prayer to the Guld, intoned before and after any gathering of Guldists. There are no set words, and it might be shrieked or reverently voiced, but it is always given at any meeting by at least one of his followers.
Major Centers of Worship:
Temple of Madak the Guld Amaz
Temple of Great Madak Cartaggo
Shrine of the Wild God Dis
Temple of the Guld Hotep
Great Temple of the Wild God Lakish
Shrine of the Laughing One Phariq
Theatre of the Wild God Pontep
Temple of Roeggus Pretosh
Temple of the Wild Guld Sippar
Temple of the Laughing Guld Spina
Temple of Discord Zyhah
Sanctum of the Wild God Citadel
While there is no standard hierarchy, at times Guldism copies other religions and so any sort of title is possible. The only lasting office is 'Friend of the Guld,' which almost any of his followers can attain. Occasionally there arises a 'fellowship' which is almost like a religious order, and then there are a few titles which sometimes last a few years.
134 DR A Guldist movement in the mighty Empire of Mozquinuzh comes to great power and causes the breakup of the Empire. The many city-states of the Etriquins became independent directly as a result of the 'Alogy' of Chaos, and some become Guldists in gratitude.
201 DR The realm of Zyhah founded on a plateau in the far south. So well did the Zyhaim follow the teachins of the Guld that it became known as the 'Chosen Land of the Guld.'
240 DR The city of Spina is founded, and the Temple of the Laughing Guld is built to honor the Guld. The Spinoi intend to be perfectly chaotic, though a few customs do become ingrained. Over the years Spina became known for both ferocity and licentiousness.
607 DR Spina conquered by Falerii. The Temple of the Laughing Guld is burned, but the people do not give up their allegiance to chaos. Falerii abandons Spina in disgust in 608.
1002 DR Tranism begins to wane in the Valan Empire, and the Alogy of Chaos suddenly comes in to takes it's place. As has often happened, Kumaanites infiltrated the Alogy and taught many of their beliefs instead of the Guld's, and by 1019 the Valan Empire broke up into many little realms. The Yerrans of the Isles reject both the Guldism and Kumaanism.
Official Name: The Divine Brotherhood of the Secrets
Other Names: Brotherhood of Kumaan, the Robbers of Kumaan
Symbol(s): Black Flame
Description: While all Tranics hate Dayebism, it is a minor matter compared to the religion of Kumaaan. Without a doubt Kumanism is the most pernicious and evil that the world has ever known. Despite endless defeats and setbacks somehow the Secrets always reemerge, sometimes with new permutations, and even in groups that have no connection or ties to any of the other versions of the Brotherhood. Kumaanites belief themselves to be the rightful rulers of the world, and that all others should be their slaves. They believe that men only are worthy of the Secrets, and women should be nothing but sexual slaves with no will of their own. It is even forbidden for any Brother of the Secrets to have a concubine, must less a wife. Women ought to be used and discarded, or better yet shared with the other Brothers. To become a Brother of the Secrets it is necessary to sacrifice an innocent to prove that the terrible bloodthirsty oaths required of a Brother are not false. Kumaanites are robbers indeed, believing in secret murders, banditry and thievery, and are among the most accomplished assassins in the world. They worship the Four Malices, who set themselves up in rivalry to the Three, and are allied with the Yaskul and other Fiendish Kindreds.
Origins: The full history of the Kumaanites is unknown, as their Secrets are carefully guarded, but many things are known. Kumaan himself learned the Secrets from the Malices in 1403 S.R. and immediately began to make converts. By 1397 most of Kavonica had fallen to Kumaan and his followers, but in 1381 Kumaan himself was killed, though it took days for his hanged body to die. His Brotherhood didn't die with him, however, and it became the de facto religion of all the Kavons for many centuries. The insidious doctrines worked their way into the lands of the Kythons and Thells too, and the terrible bloodshed that followed revealed to all except the Kumaanites themselves the true nature of their religion. The Yaskul will not fulfill their promises to the Kumaanites, but merely desire the death of all humans, and of all living things that will not acknowledge their rulership. Humans, however, they utterly despise, and if ever the Kumaanites were to destroy all except themselves, the Yaskul would then make short work of their supposed allies. This is the tragic secret at the heart of Kumaanism, but the Kumaanites themselves are utterly deluded and will not see the truth no matter how eloquently explained.
Mijax the Slanderer
Alternate Names & Titles: The Abhomination, the Hammer of Night, the Heart of the Darkness, the Lord of the Cold Hell
Description: The origin of Mijax the Slanderer is unknown and a matter of much debate. Some believe he is an emanation of the Thief of Worlds and secretly allied with the Dayebim of the Hot Hell, though he rules the Yaskul and the Cold Hell. Some believe he is an entity that betrayed Orashek to gain rulership over the Darrows. Some say that Mijax is in fact the Thief of Worlds, and that his person divided when he was slain by Martheone. The truth is that nobody really knows, and all these matters are speculation. What is known is that Mijax the Slanderer appears to be the greatest of the Liche-lords, with the look of a dead Great Elf, his skin chalky white, with black hair and golden eyes. He usually cloaks himself in illusion, appearing as an Ancient Immortal, and only the Great Elves themselves can easily see him for what he is, as they see all the Planes at once, and the Slanderer cannot hide his great malice in all the Planes at once. Mijax is the ruler of the Malices and the Cold Hell, and uses manipulation, lies, and hatred to maintain his place. He loves war and destruction, especially when brother fights brother, and his power whispers betrayal and resentment throughout the world. Mijax is aptly named the Slanderer, because that is what he does, making everyone in the world seem unworthy and wicked to anyone who will listen, no matter what their actual deeds. He does not stay in the Cold Hell, but wanders through the Six Planes in secret, a dark shadow that rarely appears at all, and whispers lies and slanders everywhere he goes.
Symbol: Black War-hammer
Maxar the Assailer
Alternate Names & Titles: Lord of Slaughter, the Fallen Captain
Description: Before the Sundering Maxar was among the Chief Captains of the host of the Ancient Immortals, and some few suspected him of loving war and slaughter before the Sundering made it clear forever. Maxar appears as others of the Liche-lords, like a dead Ancient Immortal or Great Elf, but Maxar has a powerful physique and seems to be more alive than any other Liche-kin. He loves to spill blood, and grafted two orn arms into his side to give him more weapons to wield. It is hard to tell Maxar and Aeshma apart, because they are so similar, and while they both serve evil, they fought against each other before the Sundering and hate each other still. Maxar prefers to wield two spears and two axes, and is adept with all of them at once. He wears black armor and is almost the only Liche-lord who will hold his ground for more than a few minutes, but he prefers to overpower his enemies and will not stand once the Archangels come to fight. Maxar wears only armor or nothing, and when he is not fighting, he tortures the souls of all who merit the Cold Hell, especially female spirits, who he gives temporary bodies so that he can ravish them properly. He keeps a large harem of such spirits, but his particular lust is for Mioxis the Corrupter. He does not make love, but she is so corrupted that she prefers to be raped as well, and will often arrange to be raped by mortals.
Symbol: Black War-axe crossed with a Black War-spear
Mioxis the Corrupter
Alternate Names & Titles: The First Betrayer
Description: Once the wife of Martheone and the Mother of Uthender, Mioxis fell under the influence of the Taghut the False One, and after being seduced by him became a seductress herself, seducing Maxar long before the Sundering. Mioxis is beautiful still, and the only thing about her that makes her seem of Liche kind is her pale skin, too dull to belong to a living being, but that is no impediment as she uses illusion to make her skin seem to sparkle like alabaster or marble. She has seduced even some angels, who were lost in the early days after the Sundering, and now their names are no longer remembered. She glories in perversion and rape, and arranges to be raped by mortals, hiding herself among captive girls and enjoining them to accept their destinies and learn to enjoy what cannot be stopped. Her 'lover' Maxar rapes her often as well, and particularly enjoys making her cavort with his captive souls, demeaning and degrading her in every manner possible. Mioxis revels in such treatment, and whispers to females of the Six Planes the wonder and pleasure of debasement and disgrace. She is considered the patroness of prostitution as well as rape and seduction, and everything Mioxis stands for is reducing women to playthings, a doctrine followed faithfully by the Brotherhood of Kumaan.
Symbol: Black Manacle
Majis the Accuser
Alternate Names & Titles: Knife of the Night, Mother of Robbers, Mother of Assassins
Description: Once wife of Uthender, Majis the Accuser became consumed with avarice and collected gold and silver and precious stones in return for promises that her husband would make them into jewelry, but just before the Sundering she fled with all her booty and vanished into the South. The Sundering froze her into a Liche-lady, and so she remains. She looks like a dead version of herself, more gaunt and skeletal than is normal for Liche-kind, but her eyes are still golden, and it is said are able to see veins of gold through the ground. She joined Maxar in the Cold Hell as his chief assassin, and he paid her for each assassination, so that she amassed an ever greater store of treasure. The oaths of the Kumaanites came from the mind of Majis, and her lust for money and love of secret murders has guided the religion since before any humans lived in Amelek. She is considered the cleverest of the Malics, and governs the plots of both Malices and Kumaanites with cold, passionless precision. Her only lust is for wealth, but on occasion she has entertained Kumaanites as a prostitute in exchange for gold, thus giving them a foretaste of what they are promised if they maintain their oaths. It is rumored that she also created a paradise garden somewhere in the world where Kumaanite initiates are shown what to expect if they take and keep their oaths, and the garden (or perhaps gardens) are places of unearthly beauty, with streams of wine, hundreds of naked and willing girls (and boys, often enough), with fruit trees and meat trees and every kind of pleasure imaginable. A few days in these gardens is often enough to harden the will of a doubting Nephew, and steels him to murder an innocent and become a Brother.
Symbol: Black Padlock
The Five Great Lords of the Earth
Alternate Names & Titles: the Lord of Betrayers
Description: Gzalm was once the chief assistant of Uthender, and spent many years working for the Darrows instead, using his influence and connections to trick Uthender into believing the Hellsheart could be redeemed. He is a master of betrayal and trickery, and teaches the same to the Kumaanites. He helped Uthender build the Anvil of Fate, and it is not known how he learned many of the things necessary to do it, whether it was the Heart of Orashek itself, or the Slanderer whispering in his ear, but he made the Sundering possible. He then immediately betrayed the Darrows again, and joined the Malices, not least because he became undead and could never again look on the sun. He is said to have stabbed Uthender in the back literally as well as figuratively, but Uthender survived and still lives. Gzalm has a secret fastness somewhere in the Physical Plane, and does not actually live in the Cold Hell, though he has a gate by which he can escape there if necessary. He is rumored to be the organizer of the various Kumaanite factions that have arisen over the years, but because he is the perfect betrayer, he is trusted by none of the other Liche-lords. This distrust translates into the Brotherhood as well, for despite all the oaths of loyalty and obedience Kumaanites are very likely to murder their leaders when an opportunity arises.
Symbol: Black Dagger
Alternate Names & Titles: The Torturer
Description: Hiurtax was a jailer for the Ancient Immortals, and nobody knew that he secretly tortured the Darrows and traitorous Ancient Immortals in his charge. After the Sundering his skill as a torturer and natural sadism were useful to the Malices, and they made him the chief torturer of the Cold Hell. He visits the Physical Plane often and teaches Kumaanite torturers their trade, and has been known to appear suddenly to any torturer and offer professional advice, which makes torturing a very rare profession indeed. Nobody wants to meet Hiurtax, not least because he is wont to become irritated by poorly skilled torturers and demonstrate on them what they should've done.
Symbol: Black Thumbscrew
Alternate Names & Titles: Lord of Fools
Description: This strange Liche-lord loves to dance and sing and tell jokes, but he is cruel and merciless despite his smiling face. He appears as other Liche-lords, though he is smaller in stature, scarcely taller than six feet. He wears motley at all times, and a jester's cap with barbed bells on four tassels. He loves practical jokes, particularly those which cause physical and especially moral harm. He plays jokes on other Liche-lords as well as upon mortals, and is hated by everyone. Even so, he teaches Kumaanites how to appear harmless, and devised the spells that allow them to hide their true spirits in the Spiritual Plane, so that not even the Successor himself might know a Brother of the Secrets sat beside him. The mad laughter of Jarwyu is irritating and grating, and there are always a few of his pupils that not only fail, but are driven mad by the Lord of Fools.
Symbol: Black Jester's Cap
Alternate Names & Titles: Lord of Greed
Description: Deputy of Majis the Accuser, Muracz is in charge of all the money-making schemes of the Kumaanites, and instructs them in illicit businesses such as drug-dealing and extortion. He also controls a network of fences and money-lenders who deal with the bandits and thieves of the Kumaanites, and collects money from all of these ventures for his mistress Majis. He longs to keep some for himself, but thus far he has been granted only a small portion, which over the millennia amounts to a vast fortune, but which is never quite enough. Muracz occasionally allows an aspiring Brother to visit his secret underground residence, and the opulence is enough to turn even the most ascetic head. Muracz inspires avarice as much as he can, and is a very important part of Majis' operations, which is the only reason he's allowed anything for himself at all.
Symbol: Black Ring
Alternate Names & Titles: the Ruler, the Tyrant
Description: Zhorkas is the titular ruler of all the Kumaanites, and part of their oaths require obedience to him as well as to the Malices themselves. Zhorkas is the physical representative of the Malices, and lives somewhere in Kavonsaw in a great fortress that only the greatest Kumaanites know about. Zhorkas is tall for a Liche-lord, standing over 8' tall, and is thin and angular, and wears enough wealth on his body to pay for a small kingdom. He is the Kumaanite model of kingship, tyrannical, domineering, cruel, and brutal. He was once in charge of prisoners like Hiurtax, but his prisoners were all Ancient Immortals and used in work-gangs to clear away the damage of battle. He treated them like slaves, and slavery is his passion. He preaches slavery both on his own and through Kumaanite Brothers, and loves nothing better than when a slave is mistreated.
Symbol: Black Flaming Crown
Angels and Demons:
The Ten Deceivers
Alternate Names & Titles: Queen of Vampyres
Description: The most beautiful of all Lichekin, Astrefroinet appears almost exactly as she did when she was an Ancient Immortal, but with deathly pale skin. She appears more as if she is likely to faint rather than undead. She is not a Thirst-fiend herself, but she has adopted all their ways the better to rule over them. She is subtle and clever, and never uses violence when she can instead use seduction or trickery. She does not need to feed on blood as actual vampires must, but drinks blood for pleasure. She and her consort Palanieau have a secret kingdom of vampires somewhere in the world, and arrange hunts and raids for their bands of thirst-fiends.
Symbol: Fanged Lips Smiling
Alternate Names & Titles: the Elfslayer, the Lord of the Hunt
Description: Ghazt was a hunter of Darrows for the Ancient Immortals, and used to turn himself into a giant wolf even then, the better to hunt them effectively. His savage love for hunting allowed him to subvert many of the Chase-fiends that early after the Sundering allied with the Darrows. None of the Kumaanites know just how many Horned Lords work for Ghazt instead of the Darrows, but they know that in an extremity they can call upon a Horned Lord to help them find particularly elusive prey, and in some cases Ghazt himself may leave the Cold Hell to run with the hunting packs. Ghazt normally appears as an ordinary Liche-lord, with dead white skin, black hair and golden eyes, but he is more muscular, and very often prefers to change into the shape of a great black wolf with red eyes, not unlike a Black Shuck except a little larger. He is shadowy and sneaky, more cunning as any wolf, and when he hunts, he never relents, even if he is halted for centuries by a power greater than his own. If he cannot get his prey because of the intervention of the Archangels, for example, he'll wait and get the great grandchild instead.
Symbol: Red Eyed Black Wolf
Alternate Names & Titles: Prince of Oathbreakers, Prince of Warlocks
Description: The greatest magician of the Liche-lords, Hochalder is extremely dangerous, able to withstand even Arya's spells, though he hasn't the ability to do her much harm in return. He always wears a white hat, often made of cloth-of-silver, and uses some kind of marker to count how many he has slain though magic while wearing that hat. He has used many different hats over the millennia, and each is a magical artifact of immense and evil power. A wrathmage who wears one of Hochalder's hats, if he survives putting it on, will have his power greatly enhanced, and won't have to wear it at all times once the transfer is complete. The Warlock of Koshey Knocks had one of Hochalder's hats, and Sir Hegrald had to bring it all the way to the Tower Profane to have it destroyed. Hochalder is tall and stately, looking more like a living statue than an undead Liche-lord, and usually wears black robes written with thousands of runes in cloth-of gold, and only his hat is white. He carries a magical sword and buckler as well, and is a better warrior than most Liche-lords despite his focus on magic. Oathbreaker is a euphemism for a warlock, and those few wrathmages who turn their coat to work for the Kumaanites are usually persuaded to do so by Hochalder himself.
Symbol: White Hat
Alternate Names & Titles: Queen of Discord
Description: The cleverest of the Liche-lords is Kirisan, who is persuasive and eloquent, and well able to make evil seem good to the weak-minded or ignorant. Kirisan stands 7' tall and has the chalky white skin of the Liche-kind, but it makes her seem weak and vulnerable instead of frightening. She sometimes intervenes directly to try and bring about clashes between friends or allies, sewing discord and disunion with clever lies and judicious truths. She is the spy-master of the Malices, and teaches promising young Kumaanite Brothers how to infiltrate courts and camps, and how to spread the poison of their religion slowly and insidiously. She has been known to recruit some of those leaning towards Kumaanism by appearing in person and seducing the person in question, using her soft-seeming appearance to persuade the wavering recruit that Kumaanites aren't as bad as they might have heard. Spies for the Kumaanites also are sometimes favored with her company, usually those who have been secretly embedded in an enemy court for a long time and may be feeling the strain. Though women are not allowed in the Brotherhood, Kirisan is very popular among Kumaanite spies, and many actually adore her more than the Malices.
Symbol: Black Sword
Alternate Names & Titles: King of Ghosts
Description: Motzorghi is a necromancer, or perhaps we might say the necromancer. He has more knowledge of death and undeath than any other being save the Three themselves, and has many powers and abilities the Three would never condescend to use. He rules the ghosts of the dead in the Cold Hell, and has the ability to bring them to the Physical Plane to inhabit dead bodies for a short time. On a few occasions he has used armies of ghosts, or ghost-fueled zombies, to overwhelm armies opposed to the Kumaanites, and more commonly he uses small numbers of his undead host to overwhelm heroes or small outposts dangerous to the Brotherhood. He looks quite corpselike, gaunt and skeletal, and when he closes his eyes and stays still, it is impossible to tell he is undead and not merely a body. Motzorghi helped Zoragas conquer all the tribes of the Northern Steppes, and the similarity between their names is not coincidental. Indeed Zoragas has been called Zorghi as well, and what his name was in the Citadel remains a mystery. Motzorghi took it personally that Zoragas betrayed the Malices for Dayebism, and used ghosts to baffle many of the ships of Zoragas at the Battle of Ten Thousand Ships, helping the allies win the victory.
Symbol: Crowned Skull
Alternate Names & Titles: King of Vampyres
Description: Consort of Astrefroinet, Palanieau too looks almost alive, and appears like a Great Elf who has lost blood but has not yet died. He is just as tricky as his consort, and prefers stratagem to actual fighting at all times. He too pretends to be a vampire, and drinks blood for the pleasure of it, but he is more direct and less subtle than is usual for vampires. The secret kingdom he rules with Astrefroinet is known to be somewhere in Kavonsaw, but where exactly is a great secret. Palanieau and a band of vampires have been known to raid all the way into the Hamavosk, and it is a mystery how beings that are instantly killed by sunlight manage to make such a journey.
Symbol: White Eye on Black
Alternate Names & Titles: War-prince
Description: A superb warrior, Rreak wields two double-headed axes and loves slaughter and war as much as Maxar, and acts as Maxar's lieutenant when the Assailer goes to war, but most often Rreak is sent to instigate a war on his own, without even a squire or aide. Rreak appears like a muscular Liche-lord, but with flaming red hair, the only one of the Liche-kind with hair of that color. He wears it long, and wears armor that appears to be flaming as well, though his axes are black. When a war is desired, he visits remote villages and commits a few atrocities, and then kills whatever force is sent to stop his atrocities, and then using magic to frame a bordering nation as the perpetrators. He has done this countless times, and started any number of wars, but in modern times it is harder for him to get away with it, as magical communications are much better than in former times. Even more importantly, whenever he appears on the Physical Plane, Saint Goldun or Saint Vanaya is sent to oppose him, so he rarely has the chance to even start his atrocities before he must flee back to the Cold Hell. He has been frustrated many times, and some fear that someday soon he will find a way to hide his presence and commit a truly terrible atrocity and bring about a terrible war.
Symbol: Black Pelekus
Alternate Names & Titles: Horned King
Description: Originally a Horned Lord, Ukurn was turned by Gzalm and proved so much more powerful than other Horned Lords that he was called the Horned King, and given Frost Hounds from the Cold Hell to thicken his packs. In addition, instead of ordinary Pack-masters Ukurn is served by Liche-lords, and his Wild Hunt is by far the most dangerous of any in existence. He rarely hunts himself, only once ever few centuries, and so far no prey has ever escaped. His pack-leaders are so powerful compared to Pack-masters, that they are often mistaken for Horned Lords themselves, and they hunt far more often, always bringing a few victims back for Ukurn to torture and murder. When on the hunt he is focussed and remorseless, and his success has caused Saint Eranne to vow that she will oppose him the next time he dares hunt. Ukurn appears like other Horned Lords, 9' tall with bulging muscles and a great crowned helm set with antlers.
Symbol: Crown with Antlers
Alternate Names & Titles: Queen of Illusions
Description: Second only to Hochalder as a magician, Verisa specializes in illusions. Her true appearance is unknown, as she always cloaks herself in glamors, and not even the Malices have ever seen her without them. She was an illusionist even before the Sundering, and some think she spent so much time lying through her spells that she came to believe her own lies. Whatever the case is, she has extraordinary skill in illusion, and teaches Kumaanite magicians how to use illusory spells to baffle and bemuse their enemies. She herself never fights, and any enemy, even an Archangel, who closes on her will find so many illusions that even seeing them all is hard, and she will flee in the confusion. She is one of only a few magicians in all of history that can make permanent illusions, and it is she that hides the Kumaanite enclaves in the South.
Symbol: Gray Serpent
Alternate Names & Titles: The Prince of Assassins
Description: There is no greater poisoner and assassin than Zaif, who has greater skill even than Majis the Accuser. His true appearance is unknown, for he used magic to permanently change himself into a shadowy figure that simply vanishes into any background, and he has been in the assassination business since long before the Sundering. Whether he is truly undead or not remains unknown, but he certainly never appears in bright daylight. He first mixed or distilled many of the drugs and poisons that have plagued the world ever since, and he has a really uncanny ability with poison. He also uses a wavy-bladed knife in assassination, but really prefers a garrote. He is the teacher of Kumaanite assassins, who nickname themselves 'Zaif's boys.' He also teaches the art of camouflage and misdirection, which knowledge has spread much wider than he intended, as it is now used by many other than just assassins. Unlike Majis Zaif doesn't care whether he gets paid for any assassination, so long as he gets the chance to come up with a clever and inventive way to murder somebody.
Symbol: Black Flame-bladed Knife
Principles and Holy Books:
There is only one book accepted by all the Kumaanites: the Unholy Codex. This books extols the Seven Vices that are the opposite of the Seven Virtues.
Avarice - accumulating money and possessions is a good in itself, no matter what method is needed to acquire these things.
Ruthlessness - never show mercy or pity, achieve your goals without squeamishness.
Cruelty - alway be ready to hurt anyone who would stop you, and to cause them as much pain as possible. Always treat women with callousness, and never with gentleness.
Deceit - lies are useful to manipulate others, and help one achieve greatness
Lust - never restrain your passion, unless it is to achieve the consummation of a greater desire
Malice - hate makes one powerful, and resentment fuels hatred; anyone who would deny you anything you wish is worthy of your hatred.
Pride - you are the center of the universe, and though it may be necessary to wait your turn to climb the ladder for a while, you deserve to be at the top and to have anything you desire.
Rites, Rituals & Customs:
Becoming a Kumaanite is relatively easy. The lowest levels require a few oaths of obedience to full Brothers, and that is all. Taking these oaths makes one a Nephew, and most Kumaanites are Nephews, and they may not be particularly evil, in fact there are many examples, especially in the Citadel, where Nephews turned out very well, and some became great heroes. Kumaanism is a religion of gradual steps, drawing one slowly into acts of progressively great evil, until the most important of rituals: the Virgin Sacrifice.
The Virgin Sacrifice is how a Nephew becomes a Brother of the Secrets. The rite varies somewhat from place to place, but some elements remain static. A Nephew must kidnap a virgin, usually fairly young, twelve to fourteen years old, and bring her to a Kumaanite altar. There he must murder her by cutting out her heart and sucking blood directly from the heart. This proves his commitment, and he then takes greater and more binding oaths. In some cases rape or torture is included with the murder, but this is inconsistent, and in some situation it is possible to murder any innocent, rather than a maiden. It is easy to see that a man who has committed such a dreadful deed will consider himself lost and doomed to the Cold Hell no matter what, so the hope offered by the Kumaanites becomes even more attractive. Naturally many Nephews have committed many murders before, and the Virgin Sacrifice is no great escalation, and in some cases murdering a child is accounted as a Virgin Sacrifice, even if there is no ritual about it and no blood is drunk. In any case, any person of good heart may kill any Kumaanite Brother in good conscience, because it is certain that he has murdered an innocent at the very least.
Most of the Kumaanite oaths regard obedience to their superiors, but in a religion that preaches pride and selfishness, acting selflessly for another is rare enough. Nephews are the only sword-fodder, while everyone else is out for his own advancement. A Brother will murder an Uncle or a Father or Grandfather if he thinks it will help him, and so being a Kumaanite requires a lot of looking over the shoulder. Nobody disobeys openly, but if the right opportunity arises, no Kumaanite can trust any other.
Kumaanites may not marry, and rarely have any children. If they do have children they are not allowed to raise them, and in only a few cases have any children been raised as Kumaanites. Most become Kumaanites as adults, because children are hindrances and may divide loyalties, so Kumaanites are alone in a way that is really quite horrific. Their relations with women are at best with prostitutes, and they are most likely to kidnap and rape women rather than pay them.
The only loyalty among the Kumaanites comes from the Tetraedros. This group of four Brothers swear loyalty to each other in addition to their other oaths, and these small bands are usually the only way Kumaanites may have friends instead of rivals. Tetraedroi are usually sent on dangerous missions or to infiltrate enemy courts or camps, and this shared peril binds them as close together as they can be. Often all four in a Tetraedros are lovers, and always share their women with each other. This brotherhood within a Brotherhood is the only way for a Kumaanite to have anything like a family.
Kumaanites lead lonely, horrible lives, and their only hope is the promise of the Malices. A Brother who fulfills his oaths to the death will go to a sensual paradise where every passion may be slaked, every desire fulfilled. Many are given a foretaste of this paradise though drugs or spells, though rumors abound that there are actual paradise gardens in the world. One side effect of this belief is that any Brother who loses his manhood through castration or even accident will be unable to participate in the orgies of the paradise, and will be frustrated forevermore. This has proven to be the one effective way to interrogate a Brother when captured, for the threat of removing his manhood may cause him to divulge some information, though he will always try to skirt the edge of his oaths to avoid losing his place in paradise.
Major Centers of Worship :
Temples of the Righteous Four Somewhere in Agezaine
Shrine of the Four Somewhere in the Fell Coast
Temple of the True Four Somewhere in Tharquín
Temple of Darkness Baenare
Shrine of Malice Irich, somewhere in the Fell Coast
Temple of Megan Megannd
The All-father Kumaan the Blessed; an empty seat is placed at every council for his presence
Archpriest Leader of 13 Sects--chief servant of one of the Five Great Lords or
10 Deceivers (28,561 Brothers & 57,122 Nephews/57,122 Cousins)
Prelate Leader of 3 Hierophants: a Tetrum/ (group of 4)
Hierophant Special secret agent who works alone or in a group of 4
Grandfather Leader of 13 Cults: a Sect (2,197 Brothers & 4,394 Nephews/4,394 Cousins)
Great Uncle Leader of 13 Gangs: a Cult (169 Brothers & 338 Nephews/338 Cousins)
Uncle Leader of 13 Brothers or 3 Tetraedroi: a Gang (3 sets of 4 Brothers plus the Uncle, may include 26 Nephews and 26 Cousins)
Dark Brother Lesser Yaskul who aids the Kumaanites
Brother Full Brother with requirement of virgin sacrifice; can command up to 13
Nephews or any number of Cousins
Nephew Associate who has taken basic oaths of obedience
Cousin Servant but not a slave who serves willingly but without oaths
1403 B.R. The Malices reveal their existence and many secrets to Kumaan the "All-Father."
1397 B.R. All of Kavonja is conquered by Kumaan and his followers. Their "missionaries" find little success in the northern kingdoms of Thellja and Kython.
1381 B.R. Kumaan is hanged, and after several days is consumed by the Malices and becomes a spirit-wraith subservient to them.
1380 B.R. First Brotherhood after Kumaan arises, called the Oecumenicon or the "Civilized World," which was an extension of Kumaan's original Brotherhood.
1303 B.R. The Oecumenicon is destroyed by a combination of Kythonic mages and Kavonic warlords.
1284 B.R. Thellian Kumaanites found the realm of Berinolar.
1279 B.R. Kumaanite doctrine starts a civil war in Kython, and general war leads to millions of deaths. The Great Siege begins, and Kumaanites are both within and without.
1268 B.R. The Second Brotherhood arises, known as the Sunaphsis Kumaanos or League of Kumaan.
1187 B.R. The Sunaphsis Kumaanos is destroyed and all Kumaanites outside of the Citadel are killed. Rasham subverted those inside the Citadel into becoming a sort of organized syndicate that worked to uphold order. These are called the Kumani, and remained virtually unchanged up to the last report out of the Citadel.
982 B.R. The Third Brotherhood is founded, called simply Hethayrea, the Brotherhood. It ruled all the lands of Kavonica and Kavonja for centuries.
119 S.R. Kavonja and Kavonica are destroyed, and the all the surviving Kavons and their slaves fled south or were enslaved by the Etriquínes. In every land from that time on the Kumaanites were hunted and killed upon sight. The secrets of Kumaan became secrets indeed, whispered only in the dark. The Hethayrea is never heard of again.
172 S.R. The Fourth Brotherhood arises, though the world did not know they were Kumaanite for many years. They called themselves the Pirateis or wandering pirates.
261 S.R. The Fifth Brotherhood of Zoragas arises, called the Phratron Kakorhaister or Brotherhood of Crushers. Such was their loyalty to Zoragas that they stood by him even when he became a Dayebist.
300 S.R. The Phratron Kakorhaister is exterminated along with Zoragas.
623 S.R. The Sixth Brotherhood is established, known as the Sodalitas Chorus or Brotherhood of Choirs.
1007 S.R. The Sodalitas Chorus are hunted down and only few survive to form a new extremely secretive Brotherhood in about 1009, though little is known about them. They are generally known as the Seventh Brotherhood but nobody knows their correct name or if they even existed at all, and likewise they might still exist.
1019 S.R. The Pirateis are exterminated.
1109 S.R. The Eight Brotherhood (counted by some as the Seventh) arise in several nations simultaneously. Known as the Sunomosia or Oathbrothers they were not first recognized as Kumaanites. They were behind the revival of the slave trade in the Thousand Kingdoms.
1446 S.R. The Sunomosia were exposed and almost eradicated, but some belief they later formed the Tiger Brotherhood.
1497 S.R. The Ninth (or Eighth?) Brotherhood, known as the Stremma or Conspiracy, is founded in the Highlands and interfered in the affairs of many different realms, ending up in Sabarra.
1640 S.R. The Stremma is destroyed, most of its adherents burnt at the stake, but a few escape and are rumored to have founded secret enclaves in Albar and Agezaine.
1750 S.R. The Tigris Kasioi or Tiger Brotherhood arises in the Blackguard Isles east of Tharquín. It is unknown whether they are in fact Kumaanite, but they are by some accounted the Tenth, and by others the Ninth Brotherhood. The Kumaanites themselves of course know the truth.
1859 S.R. The Present Day. There are no known Kumaanites at work anywhere in the Eastern World, but it is possible one or more Brotherhoods are behind many of the troubles of our day. Most historians and scholars believe the Tiger Brotherhood to be Kumaanite, but thus far nobody has been able to prove it. Saint Erlisle has been asked, but even he cannot say for certain, as the cloak of their evil magic is enough to defeat even his vision and acumen.
Official Name: Academy of the Art of War
Other Names: Church of War, the Battle-Creed
Symbol(s): Crossed Sword and Axe
Description: Martialism is a more philosophy than religion, and is much more pragmatic than is usual for either religion or philosophy, considering that it is entirely concerned with the rules and art of war. Martialists see war as a natural part of human existence, and call it the Teacher of Humanity. Martial virtues are prized above all, and military necessity is enshrined in a way that makes some of other faiths cringe. This does not mean that other religions do not recognize the ranks and titles of those of the Martialist faith; indeed it is the only religion with a ranking system that is universally accepted by all religions. To the Martialist the camp is a temple, the Academy is the cloister, the regiment is a family, the rattle of the drum is a hymn, and the regimental flag is a sacred icon. This love for all things military is not common, but everywhere in the world on can find a few dedicated Martialists, and they may belong to other faiths as well, for the Lord and Lady of War are not jealous and care only about their own area of influence. Every other faith tolerates Martialists because of their utility, and almost any nation will hire a Martialist mercenary regiment because they can be depended upon to do fulfill their contracts.
Origins: This unusual religion came to Amelek with the Valenzions or Walisen in 832 S.R., and is their traditional religion, though over time Martialism became ever more rare among them. The Valenzions who came to Amelek were all warriors or at least the wives of warriors, but as they settled and multiplied many other professions became necessary. The number of full-time warriors grew ever smaller, and those who remained maintained their discipline through the Martialist faith. It is a matter of some debate whether the Aeons Martialists revere came into the Externity with the Valenzions. Some believe they are in the Sundered Spheres and are invisible to the other powers that exist here, while others believe they are philosophical constructs designed to personify the ideals of Martialism. Whichever is true, the Aeons of Martialism have not been acknowledged as either allies or enemies of the Three. Indeed, when Saint Erlisle was if they were real beings, he said only 'decide for yourselves.'
Alternate Names & Titles: the Warlord, Decider-of-Battles, Lord of Honor and Courage, the Highest Captain, the Sky Marshal
Description: Draúhtinassus or "warfare," is depicted as a twenty-foot warrior with a sword in one hand and an axe in the other, clad head to foot in armor. No man or woman has ever seen his face, and what he looks like under his helm and armor is unknown. He is the rule of law in the chaos of war, the lord of discipline and courage, who loves soldiers who stand in their place and die in their tracks for the honor of their flag. The Decider-of-Battles desires for every soldier to bear burdens without complaint and remain calm in danger. Draúhtinassus is not bloodthirsty and loves best the captain who has the courage to spend the lives of his soldiers when he must, but otherwise will die to keep them safe. He approves of the exigencies of war, but teaches a judicious mixture of honor and expediency.
Symbol: Silver Sword of any style
Alternate Names & Titles: Dame of Loyalty and Perseverance, the Battle-queen, Shield-of-Victory, the Peerless Lady
Description: Arbsduthi of "strong lady" is the consort of Draúhtinassus, and as much a warrior as himself. She is depicted much as he, as a twenty-foot warrior with an axe in her left hand and a shield in her right, covered head-to-toe in armor, but her armor hugs her body so that she is visibly female, and a braid of her flaming red hair escapes her helm. Martialism does not discriminate by sex, and those women who dedicate themselves to Arbsduthi are known as Daughters-of-War and may gain any of the ranks available to men, but only if able to best the same tests. Arbsduthi also protects those who are married to soldiers, helping them endure long separations and offering consolation in loss. She is the exemplar of loyalty and tenacity, never giving up, fighting when hope is gone, as women often must when the men have fallen. She is less pleased by expediency, but in the extremity of a terrible defeat she turns ruthless, and expects her followers to do the same, persevering through blood-loss and despair to sometime snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, but if not, to die well, for a good death is something everyone can afford, rich and poor alike.
Symbol: Silver Axe of any style
Principles and Holy Books:
The most important principles of Martialism are gathered in the Warrior Scrolls. In addition there are a great many military histories and commentaries that are considered just short of holy writ. The principles of Martialism are known as the Five Honors of War:
Discipline - a warrior must control himself and his body, and know his place in the line
Duty - a warrior does what must be done, even at the cost of his life
Courage - a warrior sets aside his fear and fights as if fearless
Loyalty - a warrior obeys his commanders, fulfills his oaths, and guards the lives of his comrades
even to the cost of his own life
Perseverance - a warrior never gives up, surrenders only to save the lives of others, and holds
honor higher than life
Rites, Rituals & Customs:
There is only one common rite for all Martialists. Before battle a Martialist crosses his arms across his or her chest and intones a prayer:
"I honor the Decider-of-Battles and the Shield-of-Victory. By my honor I swear to their honor: Discipline, Duty, Courage, Loyalty, Perseverance. I ask their strength to fill me, and may my Just Cause please them."
After a victory, they recite this prayer:
"My thanks to the Decider-of-Battles and the Shield-of-Victory! May my victorious Just Cause please them! My Discipline is strong, my Duty is done, my Courage did not break, I betrayed not my commander or my comrades, and I did not surrender."
After a defeat, they recite a very similar prayer:
"My thanks to the Decider-of-Battles and the Shield-of-Victory! I am defeated, yet I honor them! My Discipline is strong, my Duty is done, my Courage did not break, I betrayed not my commander or my comrades, and I fought until ordered to cease. I am content that I have done all that could be done. May the Decider-of-Battles and the Shield-of-Victory keep my family and regiment safe from harm."
There are other prayers, but and one idiosyncrasy is that in all prayers Draúhtinassus and Arbsduthi must be addressed in the third person. There are prayers for fallen soldiers, for the wounded and captives, but they vary widely and are largely created individually. Only the three prayers above are universal and constant to all Martialists.
Martialists call their military companies regiments. In other military traditions a company may be anything from twenty to five hundred, and a battle might be two-hundred or five thousand. The Martialists consider one thousand to be the proper size of a regiment, and their regiment is like a family, with many more officers than usual in other military systems, and in most cases an actual regimental town where the regiment winters or rests when not campaigning. Martialist military ranks are all centered around the regiment, and they sometimes have a hard time fitting into other military traditions, which seem very ill-disciplined to any Martialist.
Martialism is thought to be compatible with most other religions, and a there are many Tranics who are also Martialists, or who have at least been trained by Martialists. The question of whether the Aeons of Martialism actually exist is set aside as unimportant, and the strict discipline and military acumen of Martialist training is seen as very good and useful, even if Tranics do not regard war the way a true Martialist should.
Major Centers of Worship:
Temple of War Valenzia, Chai'ia
Temple of the Battle-Gods Anstandan, Chai'ia
Academy of War Arvad
Academy of the Military Arts Hurroslich, Coramtur
There are no priests in the Martialist faith; the closest thing they have are retired captains who teach in the various academies. The academies give ranks to those who deserve them, and these ranks are recognized as valid by every nation and religion in the world. These ranks are given in the original Valenzion tongue with a translation, and also the more modern equivalents.
Ancient Rank Modern Rank Command
Drowkindins “War-earl” High Marshal 10,000 men or more
Harisfaths “Army-master” Marshal 8 regiments or 8,000 men
Drowfaths “War-master” Captain General 4 regiments or 4,000 men
Drowwaldands “War-leader” High Captain 2 regiments or 2,000 men
Thusundafaths “Thousand-master” Captain-Major Regiment or 1,000 men
Drowfaurstass “War-chief” Captain Band or 240 men
Hundafaths “Hundred-master” Centenar Double-banner or 120 men
Banduanmann “Banner-man” Lieutenant Banner or 60 men
Wairtaikans “Token-man” Vintenar Double-file or 20 men
Frumists “Foremost” Prime File or 10 men
Official Name: Congregation of the Faithful
Other Names: Church of the One, Community of Believers
Symbol(s): Silver Twelve-pointed Starburst, often covered with geometric or serpentine designs
Description: Monotheism is an import to the Sundered Spheres. It is one of the very few that remains almost intact since arriving in Amelek, probably because its adherents are extremely faithful and devout and accept no changes to their primary beliefs. Monotheism controls most aspects of an adherent's life, yet there are no priests in the usual sense; what passes for priests among them are really just scholars of the religion. It is possible for anyone to become a great scholar and thus a leader in the faith, or even the Imbiarakh, leader of the whole congregation. This focus on scholarship leaves the Monotheists without many of the priestly blessings available to Tranics, for a Tranic priest must know the magic of the Spiritual Plane to advance, and the most powerful priestly ranks are also the most powerful of spiritual magicians. Magic was considered purely evil by Monotheists when they arrived in the Externity, but that is one area where their religion has changed. Their hierarchy does not utilize magic at all, but many of the congregation do, and reason good; otherwise they would be easy prey for other nations, or even pirates and bandits. Even so, lands ruled by Monotheists tend to have far less magic than other nations, and many of the common people don't even know household cantrips that are ubiquitous around the rest of the world.
Origins: Monotheism is the religion of the Halaadin, and their devotedness is not surprising considering that they arrived in Amelek as an intact pilgrim fleet on their way to the 'Mountain of Holiness' in the world of their origin. They ignored the Great Elves who greeted them at the Triad, and sailed on west through the many islands into the Ivory Sea, and at last landed on the deserted shores of ruined Thellade and realized they were lost to their own world. They settled what is now Anjalakh and implored their lost deity to speak to them, but they received no message, and their Imbiarakh or religious leader came very close to being lynched. He convinced his people to instead convert others to the worship of the One by persuasion or force, and a series of holy wars followed. The Great Elves sent a small flotilla to convince them to stop in 1462 S.R., and since that time there have been no more holy wars. The Halaadin instead began to implore their lost deity to speak to them again, and at last the Three Divines found a way to let that happen. A magician on a far world discovered a way back into another universe, though it is very small and lasts only seconds. By using his discovery the Three found a way to speak to the el-Kadair, Aeon of the Monotheists, and in 1522 S.R. the Halaadin at last heard the voice of their deity again. Once a year the miracle is repeated for less than an hour, but such was the joy of all the Monotheists that the Three were very well pleased. el-Kadair instructed the Monotheists to respect and honor the Three, and from that time the relationship between Tranism and Monotheism has been very cordial, though the authors must admit that Monotheism seems very odd to us at times.
el-Kadair the One
Alternate Names & Titles: Akkerum, Mythros, the Bounteous One, the Fear-taker, the Highest
Description: Though he is never drawn or painted, the Monotheists describe el-Kadair as a silver-robed man with skin and hair of pure white. He bears a balance in one hand like the Judge, but a curved sword in the other. He has of course never been seen in the Externity, and Saint Erlisle has been informed that if he were to enter the Externity, it would instantly be destroyed along with every soul within, including even the Three Divines. If any more evidence were necessary, this proves that whatever he is, el-Kadair is a good and just being, for he will not enter the Sundered Spheres and is in accord with the mission of the Three Divines. He is somewhat stern and demanding, and the rules of his faith are strict and very specific in many areas, but he is kindly and compassionate as well. He speaks each year and remonstrates or praises as the Monotheists require, and such is the love of his followers that they are content to fulfill all of his commands the rest of each year without needing to hear anything more.
Symbol: Silver Twelve-pointed Starburst, often covered with geometric or serpentine designs
None of the demons of the Monotheist faith came into the Externity with them, but they regard the denizens of the various hells as demons just as do Tranics. Monotheists and Tranics are certainly allies against the Hells, and so have become ever more friendly over the centuries.
Principles and Holy Books:
The most important principle of the Monotheist faith is obedience. Every Monotheist is required to obey el-Kadair implicitly, for this is the sign of trust; they obey because they believe. The holy book of Monotheism is The Book of Eight Virtues, known in the Halaadin tongue as Kitaph el-Seqiz Gohay. The Eight Virtues are:
Duty - obedience to el-Kadair is the first duty, but almost as important is fidelity to nation, family, and friends.
Honor - obedience to el-Kadair is the most honorable of actions, but we must also obey those in authority, and honor our parents and loved ones
Impassivity - keep your feelings in check, and do not display them; quell bad feelings, and offer
good feelings up to el-Kadair
Intrepidity - be bold in obeying el-Kadair, and be brave in defending family and nation
Justice - obedience to el-Kadair makes all things just; do not deviate from the law and be impartial in your private actions
Loyalty - be faithful to el-Kadair, but also to your family and nation
Order - maintain all things in peace and tranquility; boisterousness and enthusiasm are harbingers of disorder.
Strength - be powerful in your obedience to el-Kadair, be vigorous in resisting temptation, and be strong for your family and nation
One aspect of the Monotheist faith that many other religions find admirable is the selection of their heroes or tarkans. A tarkan is never born that way; he or she must accomplish one of the 22 Heroic Deeds, as listed in The Book of Eight Virtues. Anyone of any class or background who achieves one of these deeds automatically becomes a tarkan and enters a brotherhood and separate class that is equal to nobody but each other. Even kings and princes may give place to a tarkan in battle. Some feel that is closer in spirit to the ideal of chivalry than most knights ever achieve, and any Monotheist tarkan who visits other nations is accorded the respect he or she has earned, though we must admit that female tarkanas are rare indeed.
One principle of Monotheism that is not highly regarded by other faiths, and particularly by Tranics, is the idea that women are inferior and should be subservient to men. This is a cultural tradition among many peoples who profess Tranism, but is not in accord with the teachings of the Three. Women are not treated badly by Monotheists, at least they are not beaten or brutalized, but they are considered weaker than men in mind and spirit as well as in body, and hence are incapable of being responsible for themselves. Treating women as perpetual children is better than treating them as playthings as do wicked religions, but it is still most unjust according to the precepts of the Three Divines. It is to be hoped that el-Kadair will at some point revisit this point and make some changes, but until and unless that happens Monotheists will continue to follow the law of el-Kadair as written, no matter how self-evidently unjust it might be.
Rites, Rituals & Customs:
Monotheists consider study to be religious service, and most of their gatherings are readings or explanations of different parts of The Book of Eight Virtues or the many commentaries upon it. A Monotheist becomes a learner at the age of seven, and learns about the eight virtues and the complicated social interactions of Monotheist doctrine. Tranics are used to thinking of religious and worldly concerns as somewhat separate, but they are intimately intertwined for the Monotheist. It is hard to know where religion ends and culture begins. Boys are taught separately from girls, and are given greater leeway in their learning; girls are simply told their duties and not given much of the theory. No Monotheist is considered a full member of the congregation until he or she marries and becomes Whole. Girls may marry at the age of sixteen, while boys must wait until the age of twenty-one, with the exception of tarkans, who may marry at age eighteen. A boy who has accomplished one of the 22 Heroic Deeds is considered already an adult.
Polygamy is known and practiced by many peoples, but only among the Monotheists is it a religious obligation. A young man is supposed to marry at the age of twenty-one, and then must marry a second wife before the age of thirty, and two more before the age of forty. If he cannot afford so many wives, or if he loves one so much that he won't take another, he is considered of weak moral fiber and is somewhat ostracized from better Monotheist society. While more wives are allowed, four is considered the minimum any righteous man should have, and if he is wise he should marry them first one wife, and then three more before the age of thirty so that he will always have an even number of wives. It is seen as a sin, almost a crime, to have an odd number of wives for more than a year, other than the first wife. Tarkans may marry two wives at the age of eighteen. One advantage to women who accomplish one of the 22 Heroic Deeds is that they may have only one husband; a tarkana is seen as wife enough for any man, and it is up to her whether she allows her husband to have more wives at a later age. Generally a tarkan is encouraged not to marry a tarkana and vice versa, but it is allowable and there have been some famous exceptions to the rule.
There is no set time for study or worship for the followers of el-Kadair, and every Monotheist is expected to pray often, many times each day, before every meal, and even when transacting business. It is not uncommon to see two men haggling over a carpet or jar of figs suddenly stop and pray together that both may be satisfied with the deal, and then start haggling again. To a Monotheist religion is part of every hour of every day, and it is something that Saint Erlisle admires greatly, and mentioned in several of his works that Tranics ought to take notice and be more mindful of their beliefs throughout the day.
Some other ceremonies of Monotheism are births, marriages and burials, all of which are presided over by a scholar who recites passages of The Book of Eight Virtues and enjoins the newborn, the married couple, or the dead to always obey el-Kadair. Compared with the many ceremonies of other religions Monotheism seems somewhat lacking in that area, but it is not difficulty for Monotheists themselves. The Halaadin especially are content that things should remain as they are.
Major Centers of Worship:
Toubrey ta Kennet (Temple of Heaven) el-Musela, Anjalakh
Temple of the Akkerum the One Wekaar, Chai'ia
Temple of the Highest el-Derd, Kupsela
Toubrey ta el-Kadair el-Kuthsel (Temple of el-Kadair the Holy) el-Edessa, Anjalakh
Toubrey ta el-Kadair el-Mythras (Temple of el-Kadair the Just) el-Druuri, Anjalakh
Toubrey ta el-Kadair el-Uyannech (Temple of el-Kadair the Vigilant) el-Elath, Anjalakh
Toubrey ta el-Mythras (Temple of the Just) Buland
All scholars with the exception of tarkans are male.
Imbiarakh Seer of el-Kadair, religious leader of Anjalakh and primate of Monotheism, holds the city of el-Musela and the Imbiarakhat
Imhalef (pl. Imhalafa) "Judge of the Law;" governs a large Temple and school for Kussusa
Kassas (pl. Kussusa) "Learned Scholar;" governs a Temple and school for Okyima
Okyin (pl. Okyima) "Reader;" an expert who governs a small Temple, teaches Ulhama
Alham (pl. Ulhama) "Scholar of the Law;" governs a small school, teaches Wakyala
Wakil (pl. Wakyala) "Advocate;" low level scholar, knows enough to argue
Tarkan (fem. Tarkana) "Hero;" a doer of any of the 22 Heroic Deeds.
1319 S.R. The Halaadin arrive in Amelek and refuse to listen to the Great Elves or acknowledge the existence of the Three Divines.
1451 S.R. The Halaadin conquer most of the Justene Empire.
1462 S.R. The Great Elves intervene and halt Halaadin attempts to conquer the world and convert everyone to the worship of el-Kadair by force.
1522 S.R. The Three bring a message from el-Kadair who instructs Monotheists to live peaceably with their neighbors and to respect the Three. The Imbiarakh is deposed by the word of el-Kadair and the Halaadin become among the most peaceful of peoples.
1650 S.R. Many of the Dal Chai are converted to the worship of el-Kadair because of the good example of Monotheist merchants.
1797 S.R. Slavery is abolished in all Monotheist lands.
Official Name: Philosophy of Paradoxy
Other Names: Church of Disbelief, the Madmen
Symbol(s): Silver Mirror
Description: Paradoxy is a philosophy based on a specific style of logic that claims to replace all religions and creeds. Created by Sepune of Ahajep-Tanis in 366 S.R., this philosophy was greeted with jeers from all over the educated world, because many of its tenets are plainly untrue, as any magician, or indeed anyone somewhat sensitive to the other Planes certainly knows. The essential belief of Paradoxy is the Physical Plane is not the focus of the others, but that it is the only reality. Paradoxicals believe that there is nothing else, that the other Planes are mere delusions created by the false gods to deceive humanity. The philosophy exists to 'free' humanity from Aeons of every sort by denying their existence, thus allowing humankind to ignore fate and the virtues espoused by any Aeon and choose their own way of living.
Origins: Sepune the Unbeliever was the born in 307 S.R., the 41st son of the Lauxon of Ahajep Tanis, and grew up mired, as he later wrote, in the bonds of Rimmonism. He hated the Church of the Lawgiver, and longed to be free of it, but at that time few of the Etriquínes had accepted the Three, and most had not even heard much about other religions. Sepune rejected his father's religion in secret, and studied many ancient texts brought to the Sundered Spheres by the Etriquínes at treasures, deriving from them and his own observations what he later distilled into a philosophy. He worked for many years as the Chief Librarian of the Great Library of Ahajep Tanis, and was indeed a great scholar, but he rejected most of what he learned, denying many things that are to almost anyone self-evident. When he finished his manuscript he was already sixty years old, and ready to risk his life for his beliefs, as he had no wife or children to worry about. He sent copies of his work, Paradigms of Paradoxy, to many leading scholars of his time and then openly published it in Ahajep Tanis knowing full well that the Rimmonite priests would probably have him killed as a heretic. His expectation was fulfilled, but not for several years. He started a major debate in Ahajep Tanis, for many groaned under the laws of Rimmon, and secretly worshipped Zar, but others hated Rimmon and Zar equally and longed most to be free from either, and Paradoxy gave them a way out. Eventually Sepune was denounced as a Zarite, and beaten to death by a mob in 381 S.R., but though many copies of his work were burned, it lived on, and to this day there are many who follow his philosophy around the world, though most of them live still in Ahajep Tanis.
Angels and Demons:
Principles and Holy Books:
The 'holy' book of the Unbelievers is Paradigms of Paradoxy, but there have been many additional works written since that are accounted useful to an Unbeliever. Study is considered the replacement for worship in this philosophy, and many Paradoxicals are very learned. Unfortunately that doesn't necessarily make them wise, but some really are, despite the weirdness of some of their false beliefs. Please note that this is not mere prejudice on the part of the authors. In the Sundered Spheres the Aeons and their influence cannot be overstated; the marks of the Saints appear all the time, and the greatest magicians can commune even with the Three Divines if they learn how. Our scholar from Earth, Willard von Adler, has noted that philosophies similar to that of Paradoxy are common in the world of his origin, but that it is much harder to see the influence of deity, and much easier to believe such philosophies. Indeed, without his influence we would not have included Paradoxy in this work, but though he opposed such beliefs in his home world, he feels more sympathy towards them than most of us.
The most important idea in Paradoxy is doublethought, which is accepting truths that are self-evidently false, or holding two mutually exclusive beliefs. This manner of thinking is very difficult to maintain, and most Unbelievers don't really bother much with it; they're looking for an excuse to run riot, and Paradoxy gives that to them. Those who really struggle to understand and practice Paradoxy the way Sepune intended must be very self-honest in some ways, but deceive themselves in many others, and the balance is not an easy one to maintain. In general this produces two main sorts of Unbelievers: reasonable, temperate, strict-thinking atheists, and mad hedonists. Nearly all Unbelievers of the first sort are men, though there have been a few women among them throughout history. The second sort are more common, and tend to be of both sexes, and women actually slightly outnumber men. While Sepune rejected all Aeons, and claimed to be creating a philosophy that would be original and had nothing to do with Rimmonism per se, his work has a list of Seven Thought-crimes that are really just opposites of the Seven Laws of Rimmonism.
The Seven Thought-Crimes are:
Ambivalence - accept nothing as truth, not even Paradoxy; question everything
Disobedience - do nothing you do not wish to do, and never bow to authority of any kind
Disorder - order is just a chain to shackle the human spirit; let chaos rule
Extravagance - excess is good, moderation is a waste; whatever you do, do it to the extreme
Flexibility - adapt whenever you must, pretend whatever beliefs you must to survive
Impropriety - overturn the conventions of your culture and race, good manners are shackles
Impudence - treat everyone as they deserve in your personal opinion, never bow to mere rank
This list will make the appeal of Paradoxy clear, as it can be taken as a license to do anything at all, though that is not the purpose in the context created by the Paradigms of Paradoxy. However, like all religions and philosophies, adherents don't necessarily follow their professed precepts with any faithfulness. For example in the explanation of extravagance by Sepune he recommends slow and careful methods, testing each thing to excess, but being careful to remain safe, because according to Sepune, death is the end. There are no Seven Souls, and the Heavens and Hells are mere delusions. Try telling that to a visiting Amashan or Darrow.
Rites, Rituals & Customs:
Study and experimentation are the rituals of Paradoxy, and indeed, taken as a whole, Paradoxy is supposed to be a grand experiment, breaking the mores and conventions of Rimmonite thought to create a new and better society that is based on self-honesty rather than endlessly bending the neck to the ideas of the past. There have been several attempts to set up a Paradoxical society, several of the ruins in the Thousand Deserts once held hundreds or thousands of such experimenters. However humans can't really live together in disorder and continual disrespect, and all of those experiments failed. Willard von Adler notes that in forming a new paradigm for a civilization it is a good idea to first set aside all preconceptions, but that reality must be taken into account, and that is the principle failing of Paradoxy, the rejection of reality as it is. The others of the committee agree with that thought completely.
Major Centers of Worship:
Great Library Ahajep Tanis
Library of Paradoxy Ahajep Tanis
There are no priests nor ranks among the Paradoxicals, except the office of Chief Librarian of the Library of Paradoxy. All others are called Unbelievers. The term Paradoxical is never used by the followers of Paradoxy, it is a somewhat derisive term used by everybody else.
307 S.R. Birth of Sepune
366 S.R. Paradigms of Paradoxy is first published
381 S.R. Sepune of Ahajep Tanis dies at the hands of a mob
726 S.R. Library of Paradoxy established in Ahajep Tanis and Paradoxy accepted officially as a legal philosophy in the city-state.
Official Name: Church of Theosk the Old
Other Names: Cold Comfort, Theoskism
Symbol(s): Two Eyes with Stars for Irises
Description: Rigidism is one of the oldest religions in the Externity, for the Theosk was the first power to come into the Externity after the Thief of Worlds. It is not the oldest, however, because the Theosk had little interest in any but his own doings for most of the time he has been trapped in the Externity, and only the importunities of some of the Ancient Immortals brought him to care about other beings at all. These first believers he gave great power, but expected great obedience in return, and all of them died during the wars with the Darrows, though they did great deeds with the powers they had been given. Rigidism remains based on that essential dynamic; the Theosk gives power and requires strict adherence to his dogmas. He does not brook any deviation, as every power comes from a specific rule that has been obeyed. If one ceases to obey, the power ceases instantly. This is not to say that the Theosk is rigid without cause, and some believe that the powers are simply the natural results of his instructions. However it works, the control and power of Rigidists cannot be denied, and in general they are a force for good in the world, though from the Tranic perspective, their lives are cheerless and grim, and the heaven of the Theosk is a place to be avoided rather than sought. That 'heaven' is called the Cold Between the Stars, and it is simply the empty darkness that surrounds the stars of the Externity. It is believed to be very beautiful, but that is the sole attractions; from the reports of those Great Elves who remember wandering between the stars as Ancient Immortals, it is cold enough to freeze a human being in less than a second, and the force that holds us to the ground does not exist, so one cannot even move without some external force to provide pressure. Floating in the emptiness contemplating the beauty of the stars for many millennia seems to hold little appeal, but there are many Rigidists in the world, by some estimates it is the fourth, or perhaps the fifth largest religion in the world. Why that is so is a mystery to all except the followers of the Theosk. Some posit that it is similar to the pull of Daybebism or Kumaanism, that some desire power and gain it by becoming Rigidists. However the difference is that Rigidism is no easy path, it requires discipline beyond anything any other religion asks.
Origins: Their writings of the first Rigidists survived the Sundering, and were rediscovered many years later after the first humans came into Amelek. A group of Kythonic magi found the ancient tomes and soon deciphered them, as at that time all the Noble Kindreds were eager to help the humans adapt to their new world and were quick to teach anyone who asked how to read and write Elvish. Only a few of the magi desired to follow the disciplines of the Theosk, and they formed the first Church of Theosk the Old in about 1600 B.R. They opposed Rasham's self-declaration of godhood, and fought beside Priam in the early years of the terrible war and Great Siege. Without a doubt it was Rigidism that made Priam successful, and Rasham allowed Rigidism to continue inside the Citadel for the same reason. Everyone who has escaped from the Citadel reports that Rigidism is the only legal religion in the Citadel besides Rasham's own cult, and almost certainly because of the utility of Rigidists to their allies. Rigidists have proven helpful to the cause of the Three on many occasions, and while there is no known alliance between the Theosk and the Three, it is certain that at least there is peace between them. Rigidists go their own way, but rarely are found fighting on the side of evil.
Alternate Names & Titles: Theosk the Old, Bakha, the Cold One, the Firm One, Madhin, the Old One.
Description: The Theosk does not have a body in the normal sense, and his symbol and form is the All-seeing Eye. He is sometimes depicted as a grim face, but it is certainly not his true form. He rules the emptiness between the stars, and regulates the forces that stars exert upon each other, never allowing any to encroach on the others. In a vast universe his actions might not be necessary, but in the tiny Externity, he is essential. The Theosk does not really concern himself with mortals, and his precepts are more self-help than commandments, but he will occasionally answer the prayers of one who has a achieved a state of perfectly emotionless self-control. The Theosk's self-appointed task is sustaining and maintaining that which is, and those who follow his path must do the same on whatever scale they are capable. The Theosk is opposed to the Darrows and the Malices because they seek destruction, and he is the master of preservation, but he is indifferent to whether the Externity ever returns to the universe(s) of origin, instead focussing on his own duty to maintain the order of the Cold Between the Stars.
Symbol: Silver Eye with a Golden Star for the iris on Black
Principles and Holy Books:
The most important of all Rigidist principles is self-mastery. This means ruling oneself by will; emotions, body, souls, etc. Everything commanded by willpower alone. This is not an easy matter, especially for humans, and the original writings of the first followers of the Theosk were rewritten to make them easier for humans to understand by the first Rigidists magi in ancient Kytheday. These are known as the Iron Tables, and they are actual iron plates upon which the rules of the Theosk are written in ancient Kythonic. These plates are still in existence, and the first twenty copies, all written on iron and sealed by magic, rest in the Koromkor Mountains far to the west in Rigidist monasteries.
The Iron Tables teach the Rule of Six:
Dogma - The principles of Rigidism may not be questioned or altered
Endurance - A Rigidist should bear any non-lethal trial without complaint or distress
Pragmatism - What works and is functional is what is important, abstraction is waste
Obduracy - No Rigidist will bend a principle for expediency or accommodation of others.
Obstinacy - A Rigidist does not compromise, relent, and is unshakeable
Tenacity - A Rigidist is resolute, patient, and purposeful, and does not surrender
These rules may seem very difficult to maintain, and so they are, but those who live by them become almost inhumanly strong and learn to bear with terrible pain and discomfort without complaining, even mentally. It requires years of practice and focus, and so committed Rigidists remove themselves from the world to better put the principles of the Theosk into practice.
Learning these rules is the primary focus of a Rigidist--not learning how to live with them, but literally learning them by heart and reducing the needs of the body by focussing entirely on the principles of Rigidism.
Rites, Rituals & Customs:
Despite the fact that the Theosk offers very little by way of reward, there are literally thousands of rites within his religion. There are two levels for adherents of the Theosk: they are Listeners and Perfects. The Listeners can be very similar to normal people, working their land or their shops, or fighting in wars, or sailing in ships, but they must visit a monastery of the Theosk as often as possible to hear the teaching of their cold Aeon. Perfects are Monks, living in the monastery and spending all of their time attempting to overcome their emotions. Listeners have only a few daily rites , while Monks hardly do anything else but perform rituals.
The main rites of the Listeners are: one hour of meditation per day, fasting once per week, and a series of chants before sleeping. All of this is designed to gain control over one's body, and any Listener may become a Perfect by merely joining a monastery and taking the elaborate yet temporary vows of an Initiate.
The Perfects, or monks, live in the monastery and gradually take more and more vows till they never leave. The Initiate is still considered to be part of the world, and therefore they do most of the chores, preparing the food and working the lands around the monastery. After 6 years with no more than 6 mistakes per year, an Initiate becomes an Accepted, and learns more and works less. Another full year passes, and if no mistakes of ritual are made, the Accepted becomes a Monk or Perfect. At that point his (or her) entire life is devoted to overcoming emotion and passion. From time to time a Monk might be sent out into the world to preach, or sometimes to fulfill a mission given by the Ptaron, or Father of the Monastery. After a number of years, the Monk may attempt to become a Chantor. It is merely necessary to chant perfectly all of the Chants of the Rule of Six, which takes a full month, since each there is a cycle every six days that is repeated six times in a row as often as possible through the year. The upper hierarchy no longer chant each day, but they are very dangerous and deadly fighters, their self-control almost inhuman. In a very few cases they will get involved in politics, almost always on a local level, but usually they are devoted to the 'higher' purposes of the Theosk.
Major Centers of Worship:
Great Monasteries of the Old One Somewhere in the Koromkor Mountains
Great Monastery of the Theosk Zhar, New Kizhon
Great Monastery of the Theoskines Asgalun, Ascalon
Great Monastery of the Great Theosk Citadel
Monastery of the Six Stones Kalyan
Monastery of the Bakha Rhagandas
Monastery of Ancient Madhin Priamas
Ptaron Leader of a Great Monastery or an Order
Rathun Lieutenant of a Great Monastery or Leader of a Monastery
Zaotar Governor of men of any Monastery
Dahma Governor of women of any Monastery
Chantor Chanter (Sings the daily Chants)
Perfect Full Monk of a Monastery
Accepted Probationary Monk
Initiate Novice with temporary vows
1197 B.R. Rashine, Queen of the Citadel, utilized the techniques of the monks to train her warriors and so defeated the armies of Priam son of Nhasher and threw back the Great Siege for a short time. By blending the philsophy and religion of the Theosk with magic, she created the Four Orders within the Citadel who magically sealed the Four Gates and became part of the nobility of the city. This was one of the reasons that Rigidism always retained some honor within the Citadel, even when it was hardly known anywhere else.
846 B.R. The division of the Kyths outside of the Citadel was in part because of a religious dispute. The realm of Khen was devoutly Rigidist, and fought mightily against the secrets of Kumaan, which had infested all of the other realms of their day. Khen was eventually destroyed by the other realms, but the enormity of their struggle exhausted their enemies. Khen was destroyed in 617, and by 593 the other realms were destroyed as well. The Kyths lived in little kingdoms ruled by petty kings, and Rigidism survived among them, though Kumaanites were always burnt at the stake.
1032 S.R. Prince Zetonas, one of the two Princes of Kithion, converted to Rigidism and led his people north to found the realm of New Kizhon. Rigidism became the primary religion in the cold lands of New Kizhon, for it is a hard land and Rigidists must learn to endure hardship.
Official Name: Church of the Lawgiver
Other Names: Rimmonite Faith, Creed of Law
Symbol(s): Golden Shield with Four Silver Wings
Description: Rimmonism is in some ways a noble religion, and its concepts of good and evil are not far from those of Tranism or Monotheism. It is more similar to Monotheism, however, and shares many of conventions of that religion. The primary difference comes from motivation. The Halaadin love el-Kadair, and obey him because they adore him. The average Rimmonist fears Rimmon, and keeps his laws because of that fear. Rimmon was the ancient deity of the Etriquínes, and there was a tribal deity by the same name among the Yerra. It is believed that Rimmon and his coterie, even his enemy Zur, followed the Etriquínes from their world of origin, though it was not the same world as that from whence came the Yerra. The similar name is coincidence, but it has been enough to lead some Yerra to become Rimmonist instead of Tranic, though they are very few.
Rimmonism is the native faith of most of the Etriquínes, has gained little following anywhere else. It is a strict, hierarchal, patriarchal religion, with a large number of laws and commandments, and a hatred for change and innovation that make the most devout Rimmonists the most backward of peoples, and those Etriquín cities who are the most precise tend to become backwaters. Though Rimmon himself took control of the Lawful Elements in the Elemental Plane, and so has a real and useful part in the Externity, Rimmonists believe him to be the universal creator and deny the existence of the Thief of Worlds, or that the Externity exists at all, calling it instead the Universe and believing it is the only one. Everything about the Planes is considered to be part of Rimmon, and even the lesser powers of his coterie are reckoned by some as part of his own essence, mere emanations that make worship easier to human beings. Rimmonists tend to be somewhat racist, considering Etriquínes to be the chosen people and fully human, while all others are sub-human, especially those with dark skin, and those human-like beings of other races, such as the animal-like sentient species and the Twenty-one Kindreds, are aberrations created by Rimmon's opposite, Zur Lord of Confusion. This naturally does not endear them to most other human and all non-human races, of which there are many besides the Twenty-one Kindreds. Fortunately this racism is not so poisonous as that of the Banelow Leiths, and they have no desire to exterminate any other humans or non-humans. To Tranic thinking, the worst part of Rimmonism is the inclusion of slavery, which though governed by many laws laid out by Rimmon, remains a wicked and vile institution, no matter what religion espouses it. Rimmonite slavery is particularly brutal compared with the Thralldom of the Gyrsons and even the Kavonic version of slavery that originated with Kumaan. Most Etriquínes are now Tranic, and those cities that practice Rimmonism are becoming ever more isolated, so slavery is in decline, not least because of the Slavery Wars. However those slaves unlucky enough to live in the isolated city-states have a very bad time of it.
The better parts of Rimmonism are the bedrock laws of the Plates of Bronze, which, if followed, would tend to elevate and ennoble almost anyone. The practice of Rimmonism is somewhat afield from its stated precepts, and it causes many to wonder whether Rimmon himself pays any attention to the followers of his faith at all. The strictest of Rimmonists seems to flout the spirit of the Plates of Bronze more than adhere to them, and Rimmon himself has plenty of business in governing the lawful elements of the Elemental Plane and may simply not have the ability to handle both jobs. Whatever kind of spirit he was in the universe of his origin, it is very certain that he does not have the power and ability of the Three Divines, and it appears not even that of the Seven Archangels.
Origins: Rimmonism is an import to the Sundered Spheres, and has not changed at all since its arrival. The powers of this faith came with the Etriquínes in 109 S.R. and have incorporated themselves into the Externity very well, though the religion itself remains somewhat outside, and is considered by many to be a false or at the very least mistaken religion. As there are many false religions, though none very widespread, it seems strange that there would be a religion with real powers to follow but with precepts that seem severed from those powers, but such is Rimmonism.
Rimmon the Lawgiver
Alternate Names & Titles: Aesar, the Stern One, the Lord of the Sun, Lord of Earth and Fire, Lord of Stone, Unchanging One, Sky Traveler, Lord of the Law
Description: Rimmon is described as a mighty warrior sixteen feet tall with four fiery wings and eyes brighter than stars. His shield is the sun, and his spear is a line of stars that stretches across the sky. His skin is of living gold, his hair flames of fed, and his face is calm, stern, and noble. He is the lord of the lawful elements of the Elemental Plane, Earth and Fire, and to a lesser extent the rebel elements of Ice and Gas. He is considered by some to be a personification of all the Rimmonite powers in one, and his title Aesar actually means 'the gods.' He certainly loves law and order, and is a very powerful being and works to maintain what order he can in the Elemental Plane. His chief servants are the Atar the Fire Dragon and Mantus the Earth Dragon, and his court is made up of the Lasas, the Gallas, and the Versaracs. Though he seems to serve the Three Divines by his work as lord of the Elemental Plane, he is more closely allied with Dhatabana and the souls of those who are true Rimmonists go to her heaven of Exigentia. Rimmon's creed can be summed up by the first words of the Plates of Bronze: "All Things as the Were in the Beginning."
Symbol: Golden Shield with Four Flaming Wings
Alternate Names & Titles: The Fire Dragon, the Dragon King, the Flame of Law
Description: The Fire Dragon is long and thin, with skin that appears to be molten lava and flaming scales which change to every color of fire. His eyes are pits of flame, and change color according to mood. Anyone who sees Atar's eyes turn incandescent white had better run away, because that is the sign that he is enraged. Atar lives deep in the earth, and works closely with Mantus to keep the lava in balance with earth, but he can erupt from the earth and fly if necessary. He follows his mandate without question, burning whatever must burn without regard to what might be hurt by it, though on rare occasions he has been known to show mercy and allow fire to pass someone by that probably should've been burned to death. He loves to send smoke and ash into the air, disrupting the chaos of the air elementals, and anyone who has seen an exploding volcano (and lived) knows just how much ash a volcano can spew into the sky.
Symbol: Multicolored Flame
Alternate Names & Titles: Consort of Rimmon, the Hunter of Iniquity
Description: Atava is the chief of the Lasas described below, and is consort of Rimmon the Lawgiver. She is a little over twelve feet tall, appearing as a stunningly beautiful woman with coppery hair that seems to burn like fire. Her skin is golden with hints of copper, appearing like molten gold, as it seems to be moving at all times, and is burning to the touch. Her eyes are green flame, and she bears a silver bow as she hunts down those lawful elements who have betrayed her lord and begun to serve chaos instead. She has multicolored wings of flame, and can fly at will, though she is an enemy of the element of Air. She generally is depicted naked, though she will wear an illusion of clothing if she deems it appropriate. Actual clothing would of course burst into flames if she tried to put it on.
Symbol: Silver Bow
Alternate Names & Titles: the Earth Dragon, Keeper of the Dead, Lord of Darkness, Lord of the Tomb
Description: The true form of Mantus is unknown, for he always appears as a cloud of inky darkness, though it is assumed he is a dragon like the other four prime elemental lords. He represents the darkness of the tomb and personifies the fear of death, which after all is returning the body to the earth. He has no agenda of his own, but does what is required of him in maintaining the order of the element of earth, and guarding the spirits of the dead that reside in the earth because they will not or cannot move up the Radiant Bridge or down the Rivers of Sorrow, and through his servants guides many to the heaven of Exigentia. Mantus does not seem to hate chaotic elements, but struggles against them dispassionately because he must.
Symbol: Black Skull
Angels and Demons:
Halux "marker stone"
Alternate Names & Titles: Sandstone Dragon, Naroad (Elvish)
Description: Halux is a great wingless dragon with six legs, about 150 feet in length, and appears to be made of sandstone of many colors, coal and shale. Like all Gallas he can move through any form of earth or stone as if it were air. Halux has a particular affinity for sedimentary rock, and works to reclaim earth stolen by water, reforming it into stone. He hates water elementals, and does everything he can to trap water from moving in its normal way, working to form sandbanks and always trying to remove the sediment he regards as stolen from water, and hopefully in the process changing river-courses and even better, trapping water so that it becomes stagnant and eventually dries up. He has little interest in anything that has to do with mortals, but has been known to answer questions on occasion about the ways of his particular form of stone.
Symbol: Yellow Mountain
Klapex "mountain stone"
Alternate Names & Titles: Granite Dragon, Nakiord (Elvish)
Description: Klapex is a twelve-legged wingless dragon, with a 150-foot body that appears to be granite set with crystals. He can move through earth and stone like his brothers, but his particular affinity is for lava and the igneous stone formed from it. He works mostly near the surface of the earth, and works closely with Atar and the Versaracs, providing them with the earth required to form lava, and then channeling those streams of molten rock into the places he wishes and forming it into igneous rock. He continually works against volcanic explosions, preferring that everything remain orderly, but sometimes the pressures of the Air Elementals is too much for him to contain, and the thing he hates the most, a paraclastic cloud, forms from a great explosion of a volcano. Scattering earth all over is disorderly and irritates Klapex, but he does his best to make sure that his volcanic ash will eventually make the earth it settles upon more fertile in the future.
Symbol: Gray Mountain
Marrax "weapon stone"
Alternate Names & Titles: Onyx Dragon, Nazagein (Elvish)
Description: Marrax is a long, thin dragon, at 170 feet a bit longer than his brothers, with eight legs and no wings, and seems to be formed of onyx and gray marble. He works deep within the earth, forming metamorphic rock and sometimes infusing it with magic. He sometimes comes near the surface and works with his brothers to form gemstones, and it is Marrax who makes the link between the faeries of the Ethereal Plane and the gems work properly. He is indifferent as to what is done either by the faeries themselves or by those who use the gems to power magical items, merely doing his work as well and precisely as possible, and maintaining the order of his domain.
Symbol: Black Mountain
Alternate Names & Titles: the Bright Ones, the Fires of Beauty
Description: The Lasas are important members of Rimmon's court, seven female demigoddesses of ancient Etriquín legend that somehow came to life in the Sundered Spheres. They are in a sense Fire Elementals, but they are more powerful than any ordinary elementals, and serve purposes that have little to do with the pressures and energies of the Elemental Plane, but a great deal to do with the passions and emotions of human and other sentient beings.
Alternate Names & Titles: The Flame of Mourning
Description: Ancaru is the consort of Mantus the Earth Dragon, and mother of the Gallas. She appears very human, though twelve feet tall, with golden skin that is searing to the touch, hair of yellow and red flames, and green eyes that waver with heat. She bears a great urn of oil upon her shoulder, moving gracefully among the tombs to light the lamps so that the dead will be remembered. She is seen more often than any others of the Lasas in the Physical Plane, and has been known to offer words of comfort to many mourners. She is the most likely of the Lasas to use an illusion of clothing when she is seen, because she considers it rude to appear in her true form to mourners. She motivates grief and sorrow in mortals, but because she is lawful like Rimmon, she strives to keep these emotions within limits, so that they do not overwhelm other emotions and cause despair or anguish.
Symbol: Silver Axe
Alternate Names & Titles: The Flame of Love
Description: Alpan is the most beautiful of the Lasas, with red-highlighted golden skin that while burning to the touch will not cause harm unless she wants it to. She has hair of white and golden flames, and green eyes that burn brightest when she sees anyone in love. Alpan is often frivolous and flighty, but also deeply passionate about true love and fierce desire. She hates violence, and carries no weapons at any time. She is represents love in all its forms, but also lust and other forms of desire, and is less lawful than Rimmon would like. She has been described by some as seeming like a curious young teen-aged human, ever eager to try new things, even though none of it is new to her, as she has lived for many centuries already and has, according to rumor, dallied with nearly every earth and fire elemental in the Elemental Plane. Such salacious tales cannot be substantiated, but on several occasions when asked, her only answer is a naughty smile. She is a graceful dancer and a charming conversationalist, and sometimes appears to mortals for no other reason than to awaken desire in them. Many men and women have touched her skin, as she loves to invite such caresses, but no mortal could survive her heat if she allowed them any greater favors.
Symbol: Silver Mirror
Alternate Names & Titles: The Flame of Wisdom
Description: Artam carries a silver staff and a large codex of iron plates that are rumored to contain every secret of magic that exists. She has the same burning golden skin and flaming hair and green eyes as the other Lasas, but her hair is white and blue flame, and her eyes seem to burn less fiercely. She works with Marrax to infuse gemstones with magic, and represents the passion for learning, wisdom and magic among the Lasas. She does her best to inspire such passions in the Physical Plane, and is surprisingly approachable and willing to answer questions. Most elementalists must eventually commune with her if they wish to advance any further in understanding the Elemental Plane, and the most important rule in dealing with Artam is to be polite and courteous, for she has no patience with rudeness. Only Tuteri the Magus and Arya Induath have greater understanding of magic, and Artam's method of applying law to passions works very well for any who wish to undestand elemental magic.
Symbol: Silver Staff
Alternate Names & Titles: The Flame of Eternity
Description: Like the other Lasas, Evan has golden skin with hints of red and blue, flaming hair, that in her case is golden, and fiery green eyes. She stands 13 feet tall, so is the tallest of the Lasas, and she bears a golden apple in her hand. She represents permanence, immortality and the eternal passions, including eternal love and friendship. Evan is rarely seen by anyone, even the other Lasas, but her influence affects many, for she strives always to take lawful passions and extend them into constancy. In many ways Evan is the best of the Lasas, for her influence is for good, not only law, and she is only just tolerated by Rimmon because after all he wants things to be unchanging. Evan doesn't really work to prevent change, however, but to take passion, no matter the object, and help it grow and develop into permanent, endless and eternal desire. It must be added that she does not help evil passions at all, instead inspiring the good passions to become greater and more enduring. In this she is an ally of the Three Divines, and some Tranics consider her an angel, and call her Saint Evan.
Symbol: Golden Apple
Alternate Names & Titles: The Flame of Dawn
Description: Thesan is the most human-seeming of the Lasas, though she too is twelve feet tall. Her skin is golden, but has many highlights of pink, red and orange, that make it seem almost like a particularly rose human skin, though it remains searing to the touch. Her hair is orange and red and pink fire, and her green eyes flame with hope. She is often seen dancing in the light of the rising sun, and represents the hope that springs from a new beginning. She works to inspire hope and faith in the future, and most often appears just before the dawn, brightening the thickest darkness before the sun appears above the horizon. She is tolerated by Rimmon despite her penchant to inspire mortals to hope for better things, because in his view, better things are always returned to the original perfection and then maintained so forever. She is not quite in line with the desire of her leader, and many Tranics consider her an angel like Evan, and call her Saint Thesan. It is certainly true that she has been treated with warm regard in the teachings of many of the Successors.
Symbol: Golden Half-sun
Alternate Names & Titles: The Flame of Heaven
Description: Vecunia is whimsical and flighty, ill-suited to the unchanging perfection of Rimmon's court, but she appears much like the other Lasas, with golden, searing skin, hair of white and blue fire, and burning green eyes. She loves lightning, and can sometimes be seen riding the lightnings as they flash from the earth to the sky. Lightning is a rebellious part of the element of fire, but it can be channeled and turned to obey Rimmon's laws, and so Vecunia is tolerated. She represents the fear of the unknown among mortals, the bolt out of the blue that changes everything in an instant. This fear often induces people to avoid change and try to create a safe and unchanging environment, and so has the opposite effect that Vecunia might wish, but is exactly what Rimmon desires, and so he not only tolerates her whimsy and randomness, but her relationship with the Lightning Serpent who rebels against him and Atar the Fire Dragon. It is not really known whether Vecunia and the Lightning Serpent are lovers or consorts, but they spend a great deal of time in each other's company, despite being technically enemies.
Symbol: Silver Thunderbolt
Alternate Names & Titles: the Fiery Ones, the Firebirds, the Sons of Atar
Description: The sons of the Fire Dragon love lava and the heat of the earth, and continually plot against the air and water elementals. They are allied with the Gallas and work with them to accomplish their combined goals.
Alternate Names & Titles: Geyser-maker, Komidim (Elvish)
Description: Kavtha appears as a long serpent of multicolored flaming scales, with a head that resembles that of a falcon, with great flaming wings. He prefers to work near the surface, riding the flows of lava close below the ground, and loves nothing more than to heat water to steam, turning it into a lawful element of gas, though unfortunately (from his perspective) it never lasts. He works especially with Halux, striving to slow water-courses by boiling off water and replacing it with mud that turns into land and eventually stone. He heats all geysers and hot springs, and does not care whether these things harm humans; they should know better than to get in his way.
Symbol: Silver Waterspout
Amurcaz "oil burner"
Alternate Names & Titles: Water-burner, Abbil (Elvish)
Description: Amurcaz looks very similar to his brother Kavtha, with a serpentine body of multicolored flame, a falcon-like head, and fiery wings. He infuses coal and oil, and all other carbon-based substances, with their fiery energy. He works with Halux and Marrax to make oil seep to the surface, and loves to set fire to oil floating on water, which disrupts both the water and the air. He also sometimes sets fire to veins of coal, and some of those fires may burn for decades, even centuries. Humans have little use for oil or coal so far, but some believe that Amurcaz will eventually become very important indeed.
Symbol: Red Flame on Blue
Ontrepu "island builder"
Alternate Names & Titles: Land-maker, Ghanbad (Elvish)
Description: Ontrepu is slightly larger than his brothers, but similar in appearance, being a long serpent-like being of over 100 feet in length, with multicolored flaming scales and fiery wings. His head is more like an eagle than a falcon, and he never flies, even though he can. He is the fire of the deep volcanoes, working with Klapex to slowly push underwater volcanoes upward until they become islands. He has created many volcanic islands, and is gleefully aware of how fertile those islands become, loving the green in a way his brothers do not. He would love to obliterate the seas and make everything land, but he is constrained by Rimmon, his father, and the Earth Dragon, who wish to maintain and unchanging balance while only weakening the other elements so that they don't upset that balance. Ontrepu disagrees, but he follows Rimmon anyway, because if he did not he wouldn't be able to make any islands at all.
Symbol: Silver Island on Blue
Alternate Names & Titles: Varhuns "agitator," the Anarch, Lord of the Void, Chaos-lord, Lord of Nothingness.
Description: The devil of Rimmonism, Zur followed Rimmon and the Etriquínes from their world of origin, and took charge of the chaotic elements of the Elemental Plane with scarcely any opposition, possibly because the chaotic elements are, well, chaotic, and could not form an alliance long enough to stop him. He is firmly in charge now, and has a few loyal followers that allow him to retain power. Zur is not truly chaotic himself; he is closer to pure evil than any other being of the Elemental Plane, for his desire is destruction and death. Zur has never been seen, he is tricky and slippery, and while he is not particularly power, especially compared to Angels of Darrows, he is very persuasive and has a knack for making chaos sound like freedom, and nihilism sound like wisdom. For he is indeed a nihilist, desiring the destruction of all things into nothingness, which means that ultimately he is the antithesis of chaos. However at present he has not the power to bring his plans to fruition, and has Rimmon to contend with, and also the ever-changing chaotic elements of water and air. He is not allied with the Guld of Limbo, even though the spirits of his followers end up there in death. He prefers to remain hidden, and only speaks on occasion, giving his orders to the chaotic elementals though his 'daughters' the Pennaids.
Symbol: Black Disk
Agasaya "queen wind"
Alternate Names & Titles: the Wind Dragon, the Queen of the Winds, Nuth the Swift
Description: Agasaya is long and thin, about 200 feet in length, with four wings but no legs. She has never touched the ground, living always in the winds and clouds of the sky. She has silvery-gray scales, that change constantly like moving clouds. When she is angry she turns gray and black like thunderclouds, and when she is amused they are white and fluffy. Agasaya does not always appear in her natural form, being perhaps the most accomplished shape-shifter in the Externity, being able to turn into literally anything, but in all shapes her skin will seem to have cloudy shapes moving across it. Agasaya obeys Zur when she must, but otherwise goes her own way. She is moody and tempestuous, but tends to be playful most of the time, enjoying jokes and teasing, and any elementalist who wishes to learn anything from her had been know many jokes and be able to endure serious teasing. She is whimsical and changeable, and her mood may go from playful to cruel and furious in a moment. She is an odd mixture of cruelty and kindness, selfishness and generosity, and some believe she is essentially an innocent, for she seems not unlike a little child who can change mood in a heartbeat. That form of innocence is even named 'agasayic' by those who study children. No child ever threw a tantrum like Agasaya, however, for when she is in a killing rage she causes tornados, or combines with the water dragon to form hurricanes. And what's more, it's impossible to know what causes her rages. Some elementalists believe she is essentially insane, but they would never say so to her face.
Symbol: White Wheel of Four Wings
Alternate Names & Titles: the Sea Dragon, the Shony, the Lord of the Waters
Description: Nereus is chaotic and loves change and randomness, but he is almost a rebel against Zur, obeying only when he must. Nereus is fully aware that without water there is no life, and the seeming inherent chaos is necessary to all living things. While Rimmon and Zur strive to overcome each other, Nereus recognizes the necessary balance between the elements, that they are all necessary to each other. He does not return the hatred of the Gallas, believing that water and earth work together, not against each other, and that law needs chaos, and chaos needs law. Which is not to say that he is himself lawful; he his whimsical and somewhat moody, but he understands that even his own character is necessary to maintain the balance, and does what he must, rather than desiring to cover everything with water. He appears as a great snake-like dragon, with two large flippers instead of wings or legs, and like Agasaya he can change his form at will. His skin is silvery green, but is often almost translucent in any form he takes. He can sometimes be seen in the Physical Plane far beneath the waves, and inspires the joy of discovery and the desire for travel and adventure. Sailors tend to honor Nereus no matter their religion, and while Nereus mostly ignores them, he will sometimes stay his hand and help those who have shown him particular reverence.
Symbol: Blue Wave
Alternate Names & Titles: Daughters of the Sea, Wave-daughters, Wave-dancers, the Rain Dancers; sometimes called "the Four Rains and Three floods."
Description: The seven daughters of Nereus are powerful elementals who appear as beautiful women from the waist up, but as silver-green serpents below the waist. The serpent part of their bodies has several sets of flippers besides the powerful tail, and they also have translucent, flexible wings that extend from their hips to their shoulders. The skin of the human-like parts of their bodies is a slightly greenish golden color, an their hair appears like green and brown seaweed. They have dark blue eyes like deep pools of water. They love rain and waves, and are able to fly into the air, and may be found dancing with the air elementals to form clouds and rain. While each has an area of influence in the waters and seas, they sometimes swim or fly together when great storms arise. They do not desire to kill or destroy anyone, but get caught up in the terror and wild exhilaration of a mighty combination of air and water like a hurricane. The Nuvathis are wild, and cannot be bought or appeased, but some magicians have befriended one or more of them, and through friendship learned much of how rains and waves work. They are dangerous, but inconsistent; most often gentle, but sometimes cruel. They serve their father rather than Zur, but they will obey an order from Zur if they must.
Sorsage "pleasant rain"
Alternate Names & Titles: Mist-maker
Sorashte "desirable rain"
Alternate Names & Titles: Rain-giver
Sorlho "troubling rain"
Alternate Names & Titles: Hail-slinger
Sorini "storm rain"
Alternate Names & Titles: Storm Rider
Alternate Names & Titles: Izzi (Elvish, "current"), Flood-maiden
Aheyalat "overflowing water"
Alternate Names & Titles: Wave-walker
Rhoggal "great inundation"
Alternate Names & Titles: "Tide-breaker"
Alternate Names & Titles: Daughters of Zur, the Mad Queens
Description: It is unknown how the Pennaids came into existence. They may be actual daughters of Zur, but likely are not, but they could be the offspring of his desire for destruction. They are his agents in the Elemental Plane, and their influence is very often felt in the Physical Plane as well. They are twins, and work together to cause as much destruction as they can.
Lupvaina "corpse goddess"
Alternate Names & Titles: Wrath-queen, Rage-maker, the Fury
Description: Lupvaina appears as a Great Elf female, though taller than usual, standing about 9 feet. She is extremely beautiful, but vaporous, with huge misty wings and skin that seems to be the roiling of white fog. She has midnight hair and eyes that are completely black and empty, like a pools of ink, and her expression is always one of furious rage. She spends most of her time invisible, whispering of past wrongs and stirring up anger wherever she can, either among the elementals or the elemental spirits of mortals. She can, however, change her form to anything she wishes, and most often appears as the ghost of a murdered loved one, begging for vengeance. She does this at the behest of Zur, striving to create chaos within hearts as well as in the Six Spheres, but she also enjoys it, reveling in anger and the violence it creates. She tends to work among the air elementals the most, and at times allies with the Wind Dragon when a great storm needs to be created.
Symbol: Silver Clenched Fist
Alternate Names & Titles: Spite-queen, Envy-maker, the Rancor
Description: Vahanth appears very like her twin sister, about 9 feet tall, but her hair is white instead of black, and her skin seems more like a gray fog. Her eyes are just as black, empty of expression, though her face is always resentful and irritated. She too prefers invisibility, and instead of appearing as a single ghost, will appear as several, reenacting a scene resented by her target, bringing to memory all the wrongs of that moment. She loves to stir up turmoil and acrimony, and destroying friendships gives her the greatest delight. She whispers of all the petty little wrongs that exist in every relationship, wearing away at love and affection with a steady drip drip drip like water until only resentment remains. She is detested by the Sea Dragon, yet spends a lot of time near him, regaling him with all the wrongs the earth elementals do to his waters, and even attempting to drive a wedge between Nereus and Agasaya. While she does as Zur wishes, she enjoys her work, for she too is filled with resentment, though nobody knows how exactly she was wronged, nor by whom.
Symbol: Silver Heart cut into four pieces
Principles and Holy Books:
The most important of all principles in Rimmonism is order, followed closely by obedience. Those who follow Rimmon must do as he says and promote law and order in every way, but particularly in their own lives. The Plates of Bronze are a set of commandments that were brought to the Sundered Spheres by the Etriquínes, and contain the most important ideas of Rimmonism, but it is often ignored today even by the most ardent Rimmonists. However one concept that is constantly repeated is that every promise of Rimmon is matched to a law; follow the the law, and the blessing must be given, because Rimmon follows his own laws. Even though Rimmon doesn't seem very attached to human followers, and doesn't much interfere with their doings, he does fulfill his end of the covenants in the Plates of Bronze, so that many Rimmonists receive very specific blessings when they follow his commandments.
The Seven Laws of the Plates of Bronze
Austerity - Nobody would believe this is part of Rimmon's creed to judge by the present-day opulence of some of his followers. However displays of wealth are specifically forbidden in the Plates of Bronze.
Decorum - Good manners, modesty and courtesy are expected of all Rimmonists.
Fortitude - A Rimmonist should be bold and brave in fulfilling the commandments of Rimmon,
and be willing to suffer any difficulty or agony for the law.
Obedience - The commandments of Rimmon may not be questioned, and should be followed exactly and to the letter. There is no spirit of the law, only the letter.
Order - The goal of Rimmonism is to preserve all things unchanging, but not until they are restored to the way they were at the beginning.
Propriety - Each Rimmonist should know his or her place and not seek to change it for better or worse. Each should know the proper forms of respectful address and the standards of behavior required of their position, whether slave or Lauxon.
Resolution - A Rimmonist should not be doubtful or uncertain, but make decisions clearly and
stick to them come what may, in accord with the laws of Rimmon.
There are hundreds of laws listed in the Plates of Bronze, and also the blessings that can be expected from adherence to each law. Few Rimmonists follow them all, choosing instead those they prefer, but the class system enforces some of Rimmon's decrees whether the lower classes like it or not.
Rites, Rituals & Customs:
There are Seven Rites which every Rimmonite must go through during his (or her) lifetime. Each of these rites is attached to one of the Seven Laws and may be completed any time after the fifteenth birthday. For Austerity it is necessary to go through a seven day fast, followed by an anointing with blessed oil and a then a small meal, in which every morsel is blessed before consumed. The rite for Decorum is the creation of some beautiful thing, which must be approved by a Selu and then added to the collection of the local temple or shrine. The rite for Obedience is a series of oaths, taken twice each day at dawn and dusk for seven days. For Order a year of military service is required for men, and a year of Temple service for women. Marriage is the rite of Propriety, and the promises made for marriage are considered to be oaths to Rimmon, the Church of Rimmon, and the respective spouses. The rite of Resolution is a quest. A goal must be chosen, then accomplished, though it take many years. It is not necessary that the quest require travel, but it must be approved by a Selu. The last rite is for Fortitude. It is the rearing of at least one child to the age of fifteen.
Priests must also complete the Seven Rites. In order to reach the rank of Selu they must complete all but the rites of Resolution and Fortitude. They then cannot advance above the rank of Selu until their first child has reached the age of fifteen and their quest is completed.
An additional Seven High Rites are performed by the Selus. Essentially they are supervising the Seven Rites of other Rimmonites, but they also include fasting one day per week and chanting a prayer at sunrise and sunset.
Some priests become Elementalists as well, able to use earth and fire magics. This is allowed only to those of the rank of Santi or higher.
Major Centers of Worship:
Chief Temple of Rimmon Chiusi
Temple of the Lawgiver at Ahajep Tanis Ahajep Tanis
Temple of Rimmon at Azotus Azotus
Temple of Stern Rimmon Bari
Temple of Rimmon at Madina Madina
Temple of the Lawgiver at Tzu Tzu
Temple of the Lawgiver at Uraeus Uraeus
Temple of the Lawgiver at Veii Veii
Marunu "Magister" Primate of the Faith at the Temple of Chiusi
Arcasep "High Priest" Leader of a Greater Temple
Arcasanti "Great Holy One" Leader of a Lesser Temple
Apaselu "Father-Priest" Leader of a Rural Temple
Apasanti "Holy Father" Leader of a Major Shrine
Santi "Holy (one)" Leader of a Minor Shrine or Upper-priest
Selu "Priest" Leader of a Rural Shrine, or a priest in any
other Temple or Shrine; 'standard' rank.
Sepen "Little Priest" One who desires to be a priest but has not
completed the first five of the Seven Rites
Female Hierarchy: (for the Lasas only)
Atiselu "Mother-priest" Leader of a Great Lasa Shrine
Sexselu "Sister-priest" Leader of a Rural Lasa Shrine
Sexsepen"Little sister-priest" Neophyte
Official Name: The Criminal Code
Other Names: Criminalism
Symbol(s): Gold Coin bearing either an eye or a stylized "I"
Description: Selfish was formed by a splinter group of the Kumaanites. They rejected the harsh leadership and self-sacrifice required by the Malices and denied the existence of all Aeons and Devils alike. The core of Selfist thought is that each person has only one life and there is no life after death, therefore whatever that individual desires is the essence of good. If it harms others it is no matter, since their lives are of no value. This belief system has never been hugely popular, but elements find their way into every other religion, for there are plenty of committed preachers who infiltrate schools and churches around the world.
Origins: It is not certain when exactly a large number of Kumaanite nephews suddenly decided they didn't want to become Brothers of the Secret, but the book they followed appeared in 822 B.R., written by Ar Khalba of Anath. This tome, the Book of One, came under immediately condemnation in the Kavonica realms of the south, but this only sparked some interest in other kingdoms, though once studied, most Thells and Kythons condemned it as well. It remained mainly an academic interest throughout history, but there are always a few corrupted priests and renegade philosophers that utilize the contents to create their own sects of thieves or robbers to enrich themselves and gain power. It is not a rival to Kumaanism, however, because it is too selfish; a Selfist will not sacrifice himself for the cause. It is listed here only because many of its tenets manage to surface in many religious traditions, so though it has few serious adherents, the influence of Selfism is very widespread.
Principles and Holy Books:
There are no principles in Selfism, as the essential ethic is self-aggrandizement. Anything that makes life better for the individual is good, anything that makes it worse is bad. So far that doesn't seem too far from Tranism, as all the beliefs and commandments of Tranism are intended to promote the happiness and good of all adherents in the here-and-now as well as in the future in Heavens or Hells. Selfism denies the existence of all powers, good and evil alike, and pretends that there is only the physical being, not unlike Paradoxy. However it is cynical in the extreme, making no effort to argue that its tenets are in themselves good. Instead Selfism denies the existence of good and evil, and even law and chaos, labeling them all arbitrary falsehoods made up by priests or philosophers to shackle human behavior. So the Selfist has no principles, and the Book of One promotes instead the Six Indulgences:
Amorality - There is no morality except that imposed by those who have no right to do so;
nothing is forbidden to those with the will to act. Crime is freedom.
Dissipation - There is no future, no afterlife, therefore there is no point in saving or preparing.
Indulge every desire the moment it can be afforded.
Extravagance - Too much is never enough, everything to excess, nothing is too lavish or expensive.
Perversion - Follow your proclivities, no matter where they lead. Aversion to unusual desires is merely the tyranny of convention
Pleasure - Anything that gives pleasure or gratification is good and worthwhile. Do not deny yourself any pleasure for any reason, there may be no tomorrow
Wariness - Nothing is worth dying for, so be cautious and protect yourself. Your life is all you
get, there is no afterlife or heaven or hell, so don't do anything to shorten it.
Criminals often utilize Selfism to justify their wicked ways, and most Selfists who actually believe the philosophy tend to be criminals too, simply because self-indulgence on such a scale eventually leads one to illegal activities.
Rites, Rituals & Customs:
There is only one ritual in Selfism, and it can be presided over by any Selfist or none--the ritual requires no supervision. A new convert makes a solemn oath, rejecting the Aeons, the virtues of all religions, and his family, culture, society and nation, and declares himself a kingdom of one. Once that is done he is a Selfist, and though Selfists are somewhat friendly with each other they are likely to cheat each other as well.
There are a few additional customs. A true Selfist usually starts big, indulging whatever forbidden desire that drove him to embrace the philosophy in the first place. This is known as embracing freedom by the Selfists. The problem with 'everything to excess' is that every kind of pleasure palls relatively quickly, and those who survive call the next stage 'the Test of Freedom.' Many Selfists give up their philosophy at this point, and return to whatever religion or belief system they came from. Those who persevere become an 'Enlightened Self-Ruler,' and instead of simply moving from one riotous style of living to another, they indulge in many different pleasures, trying them out, finding what is most pleasurable to the individual. This often takes years, and then the Selfist tries to create a way to indulge his favorite pleasures without risking his life or freedom. Once he achieves this state of wealth or discovers the best lifestyle to match his pleasure, he becomes a Sensualist. These customary levels of 'enlightenment' are of course elastic, and any Selfist may call himself anything he chooses.
Note: there are very few female Selfists. Nobody knows why precisely, but though many women are led astray by clever Selfists, in generally the don't seem eager to accept the precepts of Selfism.
Major Centers of Worship:
Temple of Selfism Ahajep Tanis
There is of course no hierarchy among the Selfists. Anyone can become a Selfist and declare himself a priest if he likes, but there is no rank and no standards.
Official Name: Community of the Good Serpent
Other Names: the Yerran Heresy
Symbol(s): A Black Mountain embraced by a Silver Serpent, with a Red Sunrise behind both
Description: While some call this a heresy, it is really something of an adjunct of Tranism. The Good Serpent, also known as Tente, rules the good spirits of the Spiritual Plane, and is fully aligned with the Three Divines. Serpentism is not a separate religion, nor is it a heresy in any meaningful way. It is a folk belief of the Yerra, that many Tranics consider unnecessary, and some few consider sacrilegious. The Yerra came into this world because the Good Serpent brought them to escape from the Evil Serpent, and that they honor and venerate her for that salvation is not only justified but righteous. Indeed, practically all Yerra could be considered Serpentist, but if one asks their religion, they will say Tranic. In addition to the Yerra, many Light Elves, Wood Dwarves, and even some of the Bodaken undertake the journey to the Monument of Arwan to honor the Good Serpent, and so has almost every Emperor and Empress of the Jeweled Sea.
Origins: The Yerra came from another world with Tente the Good Serpent, and pursued by Kaike the Evil Serpent. They were an expedition from their new nation to find and rescue many slaves of their own blood, and after rescuing them came under attack by the Evil Serpent. Because the Good Serpent couldn't save them by fighting the Evil Serpent, she carried them instead to the Sundered Spheres in 1111 B.R. Once here, she immediately joined the cause of the Seven Archangels, and they gave her charge of the Spiritual Plane, where she resides to this day, fighting beside the Twelve Ishedi and the Five Simurghs against the Evil Serpent Kaike. The Yerra accepted the religion of the Great Elves without a qualm, but they insisted that they should also honor Tente as well. To this the Elves agreed, and the Bodaken actually built the Monument of Arwan which remains a holy place to the Yerra (and the Noble Kindreds) to this very day.
Tente the Good Serpent
Alternate Names & Titles: Defender of the Isles and the People, Guardian of the Good Spirits, Queen of the Spiritual Plane.
Description: Tente is a gigantic serpent, at least 500 feet long, with a kindly, benevolent face and scales of gray, white and silver. She rarely visits the Physical Plane, and when she does, she usually appears high in the sky, like a cloud rather than a serpent. She governs the good spirits and helps them protect the bright spirits of sentient beings from evil spirits. She rarely takes place in any combat herself, though she has on occasion fought against the Evil Serpent directly. In most cases, her power is felt through other spirits, and while the Spiritual Plane remains fairly balanced, it has slowly grown slightly brighter than it was for millennia. She encourages and inspires the good spirits, and slowly extends her influence over mortal spirits, and little by little has chipped away at the hold the Evil Serpent early gained over the Spiritual Plane.
Symbol: Silver and white serpent coiled around a green mountain
Kaike the Evil Serpent
Alternate Names & Titles: Serpent of Darkness, Demoness of Storms
Description: Kaike is a serpent of equal size to Tente, but with black and gray scales. She once lived in the sea, and brought storms to try and destroy the Yerra, but now she lives in the Spiritual Plane and rules all the evil spirits there. When she first entered the Spiritual Plane her own thought was to defeat Tente, and her rage gained her much ground, but because evil will oft evil harms, she has slowly lost territory and there are more and brighter spirits than ever before. She has lost a good deal of her power by forcing herself into the Spiritual Plane, and her actual physical body is there, so it is technically possible to kill her there. This is something many of her own subjects have done, and so far she has been victorious, but that weakens her power as well, for only the most powerful of the evil spirits have dared challenge her. She cannot reenter the Physical Plane at all, and so she has built a prison for herself, and rules over the evil spirits with arbitrary tyranny that is often exacerbate by fits of impotent rage.
Symbol: Gray Serpent coiled like a four-leaf clover with the head facing down
Principles and Holy Books:
There is only one additional holy book for Serpentists, and it is simply the history of the Yerra and their salvation by Tente. This book is called The Memories, and has very little of doctrine in it. Serpentists do tend to restate the Seven Virtues of Tranism, giving a little more emphasis to mercy instead of justice. The Serpentist Seven Virtues are:
Audacity - have the courage to dare the needful deed, and to champion right no matter the odds
Compassion - pity weakness, never take advantage, and remember the weakness of the Yerra forefathers when the Good Serpent took pity on them.
Courtesy - every word and deed should be considerate and kind; never give offense if possible
Honesty - deception is always wrong, even kind lies; if kind words are inappropriate, keep silent
Liberality - give what you have without thought of reward, for what did the Yerra forefathers have to offer the Good Serpent save gratitude?
Gratitude - all happiness comes from being thankful; always remember the good things that have been done for you, by countless people, spirits, and heavenly beings.
Tenderness - soft words, gentle hands, and loving hearts make the world a gentler place
It is obvious that these virtues are almost identical to those that are officially Tranic, the difference primarily being emphasis. The Prophet and all the Successors have said that there is nothing that prevents both versions of the Seven Virtues from being followed simultaneously.
Rites, Rituals & Customs:
There is only one ritual of Serpentism. The Monument of Arwan is a vast stone likeness of the Good Serpent carved from a pillar of stone in the midst of the Jeweled Sea. It is not permitted to land on the very small rocky beaches and both Yerra ships and strong magic are ever ready to repulse anyone who would desecrate the Monument. At the age of fourteen every Yerra sails to the Monument and halts few hundred yards offshore to make this vow: "Before the likeness of the Good Serpent I make this vow: I will aid the helpless, I will defend the defenseless, I will show kindness without hope of gain, for so did the Good Serpent for the fathers of my fathers, and by this vow I thank her. I make sacrifice of this thing of the world in token of the sacrifices I will make to maintain this vow." Then an object of value, which can be anything from a favorite shirt to a handful of coins, is tossed into the sea. Usually nothing happens, and the young person goes home with the memory of the great statue to awaken their sense of duty. Sometimes, however, the great obsidian eyes of the Serpent flash, and the person making the vow is called a Chosen of the Serpent. There are no particular duties or requirements, but in every case, the Chosen have done some remarkable thing, anything from discovering a new type of sail to saving a village from destruction. The Chosen of the Serpent bring great prestige to their homes and families, but otherwise they live normal lives, until they meet their moment of destiny.
It is hard to ascertain for certain when anyone who makes the Vows of Arwan breaks those vows, but there are some actions that are considered unpardonable. Becoming a robber or pirate, for example, is seen as so obvious a violation that it warrants a special execution. Pirates are always hanged by the Yerra as well as the Sea Elves, but if a Yerra is taken as an active pirate (not as a slave, as pirates keep slaves on their ships to help with skilled labor), instead of being hanged, he tied to a heavy object and cast overboard with a 10 minute underwater breathing spell on him, so that he'll get deep enough in the water to be crushed. In shallow waters the same punishment is used, and lying on the bottom waiting to die is seen as punishment enough. In the almost 3,000 years since the Yerra came to the Sundered Spheres, this penalty has only been applied about a dozen times, so it is a very rare thing indeed.
Major Centers of Worship:
Monument of Arwan Jeweled Sea, in Yerrawan but almost midway between Yerrawan
Minor Religions & Philosophies of Amelek:
The following are merely particularly interesting former or current belief systems that still retain some influence in other religions.
Official Name: Het-Khenti (House of the Governor)
Symbol(s): Crossed Gold Scepter and Gold Shepherd's Crook
Description: Khentiism is the ancient religion of the Yerra, and there are few enough now who still adhere to it. It was the reason Eryth and Thaar refused to become Tranic, though in later times Khenti became conflated with the Judge, and most Khentiist have given up their religion for Tranism. Khentiism is similar to Rimmonism in many ways, with a lot of strict rules, but it is a softer, allowing more leeway to its believers and considering Khenti himself less rigid. It is not known whether any such being as Khenti actually entered the Sundered Spheres, but those who still believe reckon him the same as the Judge, and ignore the actual teachings of the Judge in favor of the ancient beliefs and customs reportedly given by Khenti to the Yerra long before they met the Good Serpent.
Khenti the Governor
Description: Depicted as a great king and warrior wearing a crown-like helm, and bearing a scepter that doubles as a mace and a shepherd's crook. Khenti is the King and Judge, and rules all things. He is often confused with Tuteri the Magus, and some follow Tuteri but call him Khenti, especially in Sohosh.
Principles and Holy Books:
No copy of it survived, but the laws of Khenti were originally written on sixteen clay tablets. The exact contents are unknown, but those who still follow Khenti use the same Seven Virtues as are used in Serpentism, so are not really very far afield from Tranic beliefs.
Major Centers of Worship:
Temple of Khenti the Governor Sohosh
Hierarch Governs Large Temple, judges religious matters
High Priest Governs Temple or Shrine
Priest Member of any above community
Official Name: Credo des Llibertins
Symbol(s): Golden Heart encased in Silver Chains
Description: The philosophy of Libertinism has cropped up many times throughout history, though the current permutation might be considered a perversion of Noraine Romanticism, which is bad enough in itself from the Tranic perspective. Also called the Creed of Free Love, it is anything but; it would be better named the Creed of Lust. Saint Erlisle documented at least thirty different versions of this philosophy that routinely appears in history, each one believing that somehow the errors and problem with the last version will somehow vanish with the newest. Libertines believe that sexual relations are intrinsically holy, but rather than something to be treated as sacred, it should be "openly and honestly" explored with many different people and partners. It is not a philosophy of pleasure per se, but solely of sexual pleasure that the Libertines claim will lead them to a higher plane of existence, higher even than the Heavens. There are not very many Libertines in the world, but they are becoming more prevalent in recent days, as this promise of a higher form of enlightenment to be gained by behavior that is only too human gives those looking for an excuse cover for their broken promises.
Description: Donessa Aimar, or Lady Love, may be nothing but a figment of the imagination, or she may indeed exist. It remains unknown, but some of the activities of the Libertines are definitely aided by some supernatural power that does not seem to be aligned with any of the Heavens or Hells. Donessa Aimar is reputed to be a fantastically beautiful woman, with golden red hair and milk-white skin, a tall, slender figure, and large blue eyes, which is in fact the Noraine ideal. She usually wears a gorgeous Noraine gown of the latest fashion, but even more often she appears at Libertine parties in a skimpy kirtle, and leads the entire group in casting away their fears and inhibitions, which is of course the most important of all things to Libertines. Sometimes she will appear entirely nude, and demonstrates the best and most satisfying ways of slaking their lusts. It is hard to believe that such a being exists, but so many Libertines have seen her, and have passed the truth tests administered by Inquisitors and other investigators, that we must presume that there is a Donessa Aimar, though what exactly she might be remains a mystery even to her followers.
Symbol: Female Eye with blue iris
Principles and Holy Books:
There are no holy books among the Libertines, and the only principle is that sexual pleasure is the ultimate good, and that keeping it between a husband and wife is sacrilegious.
Major Centers of Worship:
Noraine Romanticism/Noraine Romantic
Official Name: Le Credu del Sirvente
Symbol(s): Silver Lute
Description: It may be going a bit far to call Noraine Romanticism a philosophy, as it is really a cultural legacy of their ancient religion, and is not really a system of beliefs, but rather a collection of disparate beliefs that are labeled romanticism for convenience. The official name, Le Credu del Sirvente, means the Creed of the Romance, and is very apt. The Noraines had many different kinds of story when they came to the Sundered Spheres, but the most popular were the sirvente and the conte. Originally sirventes were political in nature, but they became increasingly fantastic and fictitious, until the original meaning became somewhat muddled. Also known as romances, sirventes are still the standard form of poetic story in Agezaine and wherever Noraines live, while the conte, or tale, has become far less popular. Noraine Romances are stories where every woman is beautiful and seductive, even man is either a brutal villain or gallant knight, and the events that take place are unlikely to the point of ridiculousness. However unrealistic these stories might be, they have real consequences in the world. For example, one Noraine tradition that grew out of sirventes is the 'kidnapped bride.' Even today, Noraine knights will kidnap a young lady, hold her for several days or even weeks, wearing down her will to resist, rape her, and then marry her. How this is in any way a suitable method of courtship is a mystery to anyone who is not a Noraine, and it has become much less popular in recent years. However there are still plenty of Noraine ladies who not only long for such an 'adventure,' but actively hint to young knights that such a step might be the only way to succeed.
Besides this odious practice, Noraine Romanticism preaches many of the same ideas as those of 'Saint' Carisse, such as free love, but including only activities that will not cause pregnancy. Pretty words hide betrayal and deception, and this is considered perfectly proper. While this philosophy is more popular among women than men, many young men are of course eager to take advantage of the sweets offered by those who adhere to it, and so are willing to at least pretend to believe. Fortunately it mostly belongs to the young and foolish, and those young ladies who dream of being abducted are not so keen when their abductor turns out to be 45 and ugly, instead of the 17-year-old beautiful boy of imagination.
This philosophy has even infiltrated Tranism to a degree, and is known by Tranics as the Noraine Heresy. Some of its ideas have become widespread, however, and the term 'romantic' has come to represent the sophisticated and courtly manners described in the sirventes.
Pairecél "father sky"
Description: There are very few Noraines who believe that Pairecél actually exists in the Externity, but they use him as the excuse for their behavior, citing his ancient laws as the source of their beliefs. He appears as a manlike figure about 500 feet tall, formed from wisps of cloud and lightning. He is kind and gentle, the epitome of a courteous knight, and rules the sky and the stars with wisdom and justice. The original laws he laid down in Noreval for the ancient Noraines are lost, but the spirit is said to continue in what is called Noraine Romanticism.
Symbol: Cerulean Disk
Principles and Holy Books:
There are no holy books for Noraine Romanticism, but there are many hundreds of romances, sirventes, and ballads that are considered part of the canon. Some of the most popular are:
Romanza de Comtessa Elionor de Quinault (Romance of Countess Elionor of Quinault)
Romanza de l'Orbe Dauratze (Romance of the Golden Orb)
Romanzas des Bòsquos Salvatjes (Romances of the Wild Forests)
Sirventes de Don Llatzer de Zar
Sirventes de Donessa Violante de Sadurni
Baladas de Valent Robertz (Bold Robert's Ballads)
Balada de Senhor Gallant de Leonés (Ballad of Sir Gallant of Leonés)
And of course many Noraine Romantics love the Rules for Lovers by Carisse de Aex.
Major Centers of Worship:
Odonner Heresy/Odonner Heretics
Official Name: Church of Odonne
Symbol(s): Seven-pointed Golden Star
Description: The Church of Odonne is a throwback to the religion practiced in the Citadel, where the Three Divines could not be mentioned because of the power of Rasham over that place. The Seven Archangels were referred to as the Seven Lights, and relatively little of the beliefs found in the holy books of the Archangels were known in the Citadel, so a very basic version was long practiced there. After the escape of Brevis, this became the default religion of the Brevics, and it was adopted by many others who didn't know the Tranism, and among them were the Seven Knights of Donne. These young Gyrson warriors rebelled against the Uoring faith, and while wandering came upon a group that had escaped from the Citadel. These taught the young men about the Seven Lights, and when they reached Chaldham, the Seven Knights separated and convinced several bands of wandering Gyrsons to join them and embrace their new faith. They settled first in what we now call Dun Heath, but which was then called the Forests of Donne. They lived peacefully for some time, but a band of Uoring raiders attacked and though they were defeated and driven away, all seven of the Knights of Donne died in the fighting. They became the founders of Odonne, and their religion became the official religion of Odonne. The Odonner Heresy denies the existence of the Three Divines, but is otherwise almost entirely compatible with Tranism. Odonner priests learn magic of the Spiritual Plane, and can heal the sick and do all the things Tranic priests can do. However in the 1500s they became suspicious of other kinds of magic, and adopted the Doctrine of Mystical Purity, allowing only Spiritual magic in Odonne. Despite endless attempts to convert them, the Odonner church remains recalcitrant, deeming they do not need the Three, and ignoring any evidence that the Seven Lights, as they call the Archangels, are in fact valued allies and servants of the Three Divines.
The Seven Lights
Description: The Seven Lights are the Seven Archangels of the Tranic Faith. They are no different in any way, and the descriptions listed under Tranism are precisely how the Odonners see them. The Odonner names for the 'Seven Lights' are:
Mighty Cor Coram Thalmont
Dancing Tmar Dhamar Vyesa
Loyal Huhr Huuric Braddon
Great Ern Eranne Sudha
Bold Erx Eryx Oryniel
Noble Ahar Arya Induath
Far-wandering Iath Ithos Arshandor
Principles and Holy Books:
The Church of Odonne uses many of the same books as the Tranics, especially those written by the Archangels. They deny the Prophet, however, and do not recognize any writings of any of the Saints since his time. In general the believe the same principles as Tranics, though they place a greater emphasis on courtesy, and are widely known to be the most courteous of peoples.
There is only one area where they have gone badly astray. The Doctrine of Mystic Purity allows faithful Odonners only to practice magic based in the Spiritual Plane, and because they deny the use of the other Planes, even there they are weak. The Warlock of Dun Heath, who took the area and sucked all the life out of it beginning around 1554 S.R., and some wonder if he didn't trick the Synod of Odonne to embrace that doctrine a few years earlier to give himself an easy target. The Warlock remains there to this day, or so it is believed, as he has not been active for many years. However the Dun Heath remains dead, and those who enter do not return. The Odonners will not allow any great magician into their territory, so in effect the Church of Odonne and their Doctrine of Mystical Purity are protecting the Warlock, who would otherwise have been destroyed long ago. While it is certainly true that a great magician could of course violate Odonner law and territory to defeat the Warlock, such a step would be rife with danger for all involved, especially the Odonners, so the situation remains a stalemate.
Major Centers of Worship:
Cathedral of the Seven Lights Tweathe, Odonne
Archbishop Head of the Church of Odonne
Bishop Leader of the Church of Odonne in an Earldom
Presbyter Priest of a chapel or temple
Deacon Priest who assists a Presbyter
Acolyte Priest in training
Official Name: Se Holden æt Gamol Uor ac Uthun (The Faithful of Old Uor and Uthun)
Symbol(s): Red, Forked Lightning Bolt
Description: Uorism is an ancient religion of the Gyrsons, brought from their home world. Most of the Gyrsons had other beliefs, including the New God, Frithwine, but among them were always some who worshiped the Old Gods, the twins Uor and Uthun, Lighting and Thunder. This religion regards everyone who is not Gyrson as subhuman, the lawful prey of the brave and the doughty. War is everything to the Uoring, and death in battle is preferred above any other death. Uorings raid their neighbors incessantly, needing no excuse, but loving war and slaughter for its own sake. Every Uoring raid includes looting and pillaging, rapine and slave-taking, and only those who kill an enemy are allowed any of the spoils. Those who follow Uor and Uthun are known by a different name: Grimgyrsons, meaning the Fierce Sons of the Gyrfalcon. Even though Aeric Gyrfalcon himself was a follower of Frithwine, the Uorings honor him as the first great king of the Gyrsons in the Sundered Spheres. Uorism is not a normal religion, in the sense that it has a set of commandments and instructions for righteous living. It is really more a philosophy of murder and rage, dressed up as a religion. It is unknown whether the Aeons the Uorings worship have any reality in the Sundered Spheres, but Uoring priests do seem to have powers of an unknown source that appears to come from somewhere besides the Heavens or Hells.
Description: Uor is the twin brother of Uthun, and appears as a perfect Gyrson, 7'6" tall, with reddish blond hair, gray eyes, and a muscular frame. He wears a beard that he tucks into his waist, and carries the sword Blacuor, or 'lightning flash.' He is a great warrior, and loves to fight, and sometimes joins in any great battle as a shimmering ghost, reveling in blood and slaughter. His sword can throw lightning at any time, and Uor cannot be appeased or befriended; his lightning may strike anyone at any time. He is crafty and wily, and inspires clever plans in the leaders of raids. Uor and Uthun are referred to as the Storm Brothers or the Storm Kings.
Symbol: Red Lightning Bolt
Description: Like his twin, Uthun appears as a perfect Gyrson archetype, 7/6" tall, with the same red-blond hair and gray eyes, but with a massive frame even larger than Uor's. He wears a beard that is always wild and his hair sticks out at all angles. He bears a great two-handed hammer that he uses to smash the clouds and cause rolls of thunder. He loves battle as much as his brother, but is not very bright and does whatever Uor says, always following the lightning and never leading. He is more frightening than his brother in battle, being a berserker who fights with a terrible rage that none can withstand. Only Uor can calm Uthun once the rage takes him. Uthun loves rape as much as battle, and has been known to visit the camps after a battle and take his share of women along with the rest.
Symbol: Red Hammer
Frithwine "peace friend"
Description: Frithwine revealed himself to the Gyrsons only about fifty years before they came into the Sundered Spheres, and had not yet changed their ways. He was the reason they came to Amelek, however, because it was his teaching that made them compete peacefully with the Albwyne instead of fighting them. Frithwine appears as a Gyrson chief, with golden hair and pale blue eyes, a tall, muscular frame, and a kind smile always on his lips. He carries a pair of axes that he wears at his belt, and he created the custom of burying an axe to create peace between two tribes or peoples. He taught the Gyrsons to be brave still, but to love peace instead of war, and to treat other tribes as humans rather than animals. While most Gyrsons are Tranic today, they remember Frithwine with affection, and some call him Saint Frithwine. Many children are named for him, and stories of his kindness and courage in the face of evil are still told in Gyrson halls to this day.
Symbol: Crossed Golden Axes
Principles and Holy Books:
Uorings do not have principles in the normal sense; not even courage is held as a good thing in all cases. A Uoring will raid and fight when he has the advantage, but if he loses the advantage he sees it as no cowardice to run away, even leaving his own children behind to be enslaved. Women are seen as nothing but baby-factories by the Uorings, though some few have managed to become warriors and won honor and glory along with the men. The most important principle of the Uorings is a kind of religious chauvinism; every man who does not worship Uor and Uthun is subhuman and may be slain or tortured at will. Every woman who does not worship Uor or Uthun is prey, to be raped and mistreated in any way a Uoring desires, and the best she can hope for is to become a valued chattel that will not be shared around among the Uoring shield-brothers. Uoring women have slightly better lives, but they are little more than chattels too, belonging first to their father or brother, and once given away, belonging to her husband. She does not make vows, and there is no marriage among the Uorings, her 'husband' is called so by courtesy. In fact he is her owner, and while he may not kill her, he can abuse her in any other way he chooses, legally. Rapine is not called so among the Uorings. They call it 'wenching,' which is usually a term for philandering among other cultures and faiths. Whether the woman in question is a Uoring's erstwhile wife, his slave, or a girl taken only temporarily in a raid, it is uniformly known as 'wenching.'
The goal of every Uoring is to die in battle, but preferably after a long life of raiding and wenching and feasting. Uorings prefer clever and crafty leaders for their raids, and hate battles where they die heroically. They wish to be the victors, and while they enjoy fighting, they don't want to ever be at a disadvantage.
The only real principle among the Uorings is the loyalty of shield-brothers. These are warriors who swear to guard each other's back in battle, and they do. A Uoring will leave his newborn son to die at the hands of a foe, but he won't retreat so long as his shield-brother is in danger. Some claim that shield-brothers are sexually involved with each other as well, and this has certainly been true in a few known cases, but it doesn't appear to be normal among them, merely tolerated. In any event, shield-brothers share their women, even their 'wives,' and always split their spoils between them exactly. A Uoring can have a dozen shield-brothers, or fifty, but we have found that most have no more than five shield-brothers, and the vast majority have just one. Shield-brothers never raid without each other, and often live in the same halls together. They are the closest thing to a family Uorings have, and a successful band of shield-brothers is always welcome on any ship and any raid.
Major Centers of Worship:
Herigmære æt Uor ac Uthun Marcoul, Uorhold
Herig æt Gamol Uor ac Uthun Fjordingland, Hamavosk
Herigwid æt Uor ac Uthun Asmundgrod, Realn
Fhaleod (blood-stained prince) Leader of a major temple
Fhapreost (blood-stained priest) Leader of a minor temple
Segnpreost (war priest) Priest that accompanies major raids (at least 20 ships)
Sacerdbana (slayer priest) Priest that accompanies minor raids (fewer than 20 ships)
Cwalubodianar (death preacher) Priest recruits warriors for shipboard duty
Randbrottar (shield brother) Warrior who has sworn brotherhood with another warrior
General Note: Though there are many different types of Religious Orders, this section will only deal with those that either gained some notoriety or grew to more than 500 members. There are countless other orders with tiny memberships, often with a single location. These orders may have very strict or very lax rules, but they are so small that their impact on civilization in general is negligible. The larger orders and brotherhoods are more important, in some cases changing the course of civilization itself. Though many of the orders listed below had little or no effect on the large scale, their home nations might be impacted for better or worse.
Most orders have some form of a military wing. Though many are not "militant," they often have to defend themselves, since pirates and bandits are common all through Amelek. Only in the interior of very settled and peaceful nations or in a large city can a religious order of any description do without protectors.
Symbol: Perfect Circle
Description: Founded as a group of magical monasteries, the Regulum began the moment the Etriquines learned to use Ameleki magic. They designed their own School of Magic, which mirrors the beliefs of Astralism in general. The Regulum itself effectively functions as the hierarchy of the Astralist church, though there are several outside colleges that do not accept Regulum authority. Founded in 208 S.R., the Regulum is relatively small, but produce some of the finest mages in the world.
Symbol: Six-pointed Star
Description: Lesser rival of the Regulum, the Vuka was founded at the Colleges of Magic in Albar. Differing only slightly from the Regulum, it places more emphasis on worship and less on magic, making its member very powerful Astralians but less powerful in the other branches of magic. Though the Vuka uses the same hierarchy as other Astralists, their emphasis on Astral magic gives them a rank of their own that of the Meta-Astralian. The few who ever reach this rank are considered almost prophets of Tuteri Lord of Reason.
There are many different permutations of Kumaanites, and afterwards many different factions. Only a few are delineated below. A Black Fire was the symbol of all Kumaanite permutations until 1913 S.R..
Oecumenicon “The Civilized World”
First Brotherhood (1380-1303 B.R.)
Description: For centuries after humans came to Amelek the Yaskul were nothing but a bad dream, a tale told by the Elves. Many humans did not believe in any such creatures, deeming them a myth to scare children. In 1381, however, the Yaskul came among humans, but not as destroyers. Instead three of them, guided by the Slanderer, whispered their secrets of dark magic to a disillusioned and rebellious priest That priest was called Kumaan (Arises like the waves) after that day. He embraced the Yaskul, and began to secretly preach their dark secrets to other priests. Though he was hanged by his Archpriest, the Yaskul 'saved' him and he became a vessel for the darrow allies of the Yaskul. Arising as the Avatar of Darkness, he conquered his city and sent his followers to deceive, seduce, and slay. From a mountain castle he guided the fate of all the kings of Kavon, but his secrets were not wanted in Thelja and Kython. They rejected his messengers and the ‘Great Cause.’ They rescued slaves from his slave-ships, and at last leagued against the Universal Brotherhood or Oecumenicon and conquered his cities one by one. At last the people sued for peace, and Kumaan was destroyed by the 49 Magi of Kython. All were slain to destroy him, but they accounted themselves blessed nevertheless. For some years there was no more hint of the secrets of the Yaskul, but it would not last for long.
Sunaphsis Kumaanos “Leage of Kumaan”
Second Brotherhood (1268-1187 B.R. )
Description: Rasham perhaps was not a Kumaanite when he first declared himself a god, but he certainly initiated many priests and warriors into his new Sunaphsis Kumaanos (League of Kumaan). The Great Siege was the direct result of his dabbling with the Yaskul, and it was for this reason, even more than his self-deification, that his father annointed his brother king in his stead. The war that raged lasted a long time, and those inside the Citadel suffered greatly. Eventually the secrets were had among those outside the Citadel, but Rashine, granddaugher of Rasham, forsook the oaths of Kumaan and stamped out the brotherhood within the Citadel. She set up the Great Gates, and outside the League of Kumaan died out, because the land became depopulated from the ceaseless wars.
Third Brotherhood (982 B.R.-119 S.R.)
Description: The third brotherhood was very simply called Hethayrea, 'the Brotherhood.' These 'brothers' caused the breakup of Kython, and in Kavonya they enslaved many thousands of the other races to work their plantations and mines. They seemed irresistible, and for centuries they operated openly and secretly. In Kython and Thelja only the influence of the Brotherhood was felt after 593 B.R., but in Kavonya the Brotherhood ruled openly. The religions preached by Brotherhood-controlled agents were bestial and horrible, and it was in this climate that the Prophet appeared. He confounded the priests, destroyed the idols, and brought light to shine upon the works of darkness. In the north no Kumaanites ever operated openly again, and in the south they defied the Prophet and his prophecies of the destruction of Kavonya. In 119 S.R. that prophecy was fulfilled, and for a few years there were no Kumaanites at large in the world.
Note: After the Hethayrea there might be two or three groups of Kumaanites working simultaneously, but they were not factions, merely divisions designed for a multi-pronged attack.
Pirateis “wandering pirates”
Fourth Brotherhood (172-1019 S.R.)
Description: For many years there was no known connection between the pirates that suddenly infested the seas and the Pirateis or 'Wanderers' who preached a religion of peace and free love. The pirates preyed upon those who let down their guard, while the Wanderers appeared suddenly and disappeared suddenly. Despite the warnings of Saint Rriestan, Successor to the Prophet, many heeded the weird teachings of the Wanderers. Even after the destruction of El'Shal'Thyre and the subsequent punitive raid on Karamek, the Wanderers would suddenly appear and their preaching was occasionally effective. The pirates who worked as part of the Wanderers had many secret bases in the Blackguard Sea, which was named in their honor in 276. At last the Wanderers succeeded in dismantling the Valan Empire in 1019, and from that time on they were hanged on sight. No Wanderer was seen from that time on, and pirates became much less effective without them.
Phratron Kakorhaister “Crushers”
Description: Fifth Brotherhood (261-300 S.R.)
More open than the Wanderers was the Phrartron Kakorhaister, originally founded in the Citadel. Zoragas (or Zamanes) was a priest of Rasham, and he heeded the call of the Yaskul and eventually found his way north to the place where the Hammer of Destiny (or Hammer of the Underworld) was kept. He took up that Hammer and formed a kingdom in the far north, assailing many realms and destroying literally millions. Though officially Kumaanites, the Brotherhood of the Wicked Hammer did not work in concert with the Wanderers, though many thousands of pirates joined his navy at the Battle of Ten Thousand Ships. When he was defeated and his realm of Grwr destroyed, Zoragas was taken among the Yaskul and elevated to one of them. He is now known as Motzorghi the Licheking, and his name is a hiss and a byword throughout the world.
Sodalitas Chorus “brotherhood of choirs”
Sixth Brotherhood (623-1007DR)
Description: There were three divisions of the Brotherhood of Choirs, each set a different task. The 1st Choir took root in Thelia, operating in utmost secrecy. They managed to actually subvert the kings of Thellia, but their plans were set at nought when the Plague broke out in 901 S.R.. Thellia was nearly depopulated, and none of the First Choir survived into the new Thelic realm of Valania. The Second Choir was tasked with creating problems within the many realms of Mozquinia, and the Second Choir was very successful. War marched across the land, and it looked as if the Second Choir would create a new Kavonya for some years. Unfortunately the wars grew too harsh, and their fledgling Garoch Empire was defeated on many fronts. The last Pharoah (who claimed the Chalcedony Throne of all Mozquinia) killed every one of the Second Choir he could find and staked them out in the deserts to die of thirst in 987 S.R.. The Third Choir worked among the wandering Banelow, seeding envy and lust wherever they went, always using music as their medium. Eventually they were successful in bringing about a sudden war between the Banelow and almost everyone else. Surprise was not enough, however, and their proxies the Banelow were defeated and nearly destroyed in 999 S.R.. The Banelow hunted down the last of the Third Choir in 1007 S.R.. Those few who survived were formed into the Puradelphia and a much more cautious approach was created.
There is a postulated 7th Brotherhood but its name and specific plans remain unknown.
Eighth (Seventh?) Brotherhood (1109-1446 S.R.)
Description: The Sunomosia worked in secret in many different nations, often urging war against each other and in many cases fighting or killing each other in the Great Cause. They were certainly behind the slave-trade that sprang up in the Thousand Kingdoms, but in almost no case did they exist openly. Many were pirates, and used the slave-trade to dispose of their captives. One of their principle errors was the destruction of Grayen. The refugees of Grayen went to Branark’s Isle in the Blackguard Sea and were prepared when an expedition of Sunomosia came to make a secret base there. That expedition perished to a man, and the mystery of Branark’s Isle deepened until the Branarks themselves emerged and became pirate-hunters. Through the efforts of the Branarks the Sunomosia were exposed, and Kumaanites don’t do well in the open. They were hanged, harried and harrassed until those that were left vanished into Tiger Isles. Their descendants became the Tiger Brotherhood (See Below).
Ninth (Eighth?) Brotherhood (1497-1640 S.R.)
Description: The Stremma, or Conspiracy, were a branch of the Puradelphia set to start a war in the Highlands. They existed both secretly and openly, and they succeeded in creating a large war between many different clans. Unfortunately Saint Valarey of the Shield settled the wars and actually made the Highlands into a Kingdom. Nothing daunted, the Stremma then started factional wars in the Jeweled Sea, but only succeeded in keeping the true Successor from being accepted in the Thellarnish Church. Though strife followed, it ended when the Empire of the Jeweled Sea was founded, with Saint Erlisle as the Successor and Archimagus in 1602. The Stremma could not continue in Thellarne, so they traveled to the new lands of Sabarra, and there turned the prosperity into a decades-long civil war. When they were found out, they were mostly burnt at the stake. Those left founded a new portion of the Secret Realm in Albar.
Tigris Kasioi “Tiger Brotherhood”
Description: Formed among the pirate "clans" in the Blackguard Isles, this Tiger Brotherhood is believed to be the ninth Brotherhood, though this has yet to be verified. They are very dangerous pirates and have become the scourge of not only the Blackguard Sea, but most of the seas around.
Gamainduths “the Community”
gamainduths Gothic: "the community"
Symbol: Silver crossed Sword and Axe on black.
Description: Sometimes called the Brotherhood of Warriors, the Gamanen have only four monasteries where they teach the art of war. They accept only proven warriors and teach them how to become great captains and generals. Their headquarters is in Valenz in Chai'ia, and most of the hierarchy is either Valenzian or Dal Chai. Their order and religion survived from the homeworld of the Valenzians, and they are the first and foremost of the Orders of War.
Phratron Polemos “Combat Fellowship”
Symbol: Red crossed Sword and Axe on gray.
Description: Based out of Risante, the Polemons were formed to change the fate of the Justenes in Amelek. Early on the Justenes lost many wars and so they stole a number of scrolls from the Valenzians and built their own school and order and dedicated that order to the Gods of War. The Polemons are almost as good as the Gamenen, but they are neither so numerous nor so expert. There is only one school of the Polemons, and though there are many hundreds within that school they do not have access to all the works of the Warrior Scrolls. Though they chafe at their inferiority, they have also kept Risante free and independent.
In general Monotheists don't go in for Orders, but two became significant in later times.
Agha Esgerin “War-brothers”
Symbol: White circle charged with a black shield with three red spears behind it
Description: Created in 1670 S.R. to protect the northern lands of Edesa and Elath from the Kaydar hordes. The War-brothers are a copy of Tranic chivalric orders, with the difference that they are armed Halaadin-fashion. They use lances but have curved swords, and most if not all carry bows. Their armor is also lighter, and their horses are somewhat smaller but much faster and hardier. The wide plains around Elath and Edesa made for excellent pasturage and huge herds of horses. The friendship between the War-brothers and the Chavhyr grew very great during the long war with the Kaydars, and they became more and more like the Chavhyr Kerchen. When Elath fell to the Kaydars many thousands of the War-brothers were killed, and the Chavhyr were driven far away. The War-brothers vowed revenge seek to push the Kaydars out of Anjalakh.
Gyzin Halaad “Daughters of the Halaadin”
Symbol: Silver Scimetar, Spear and Bow in triangle on violet
Description: The Daughters don't fit anywhere. They are mainly Monotheist, but there are some Tranics among them. They are centered in Chai'ia, but they have many Valenzian and Halaadin members. Their founder was Halaadin, and Monotheist, but she added many of the customs of the Tranic Sisterhoods. The Daughters are very similar to the Sisters in terms of arms and equipment, but they are much less friendly, and fight more rarely. They are not well accepted in the western lands, though they have many times proven themselves worthy.
Symbol: Brown Folded Hands on white.
Description: The Surgeons are the Monotheist version of the Hospitalers. They are doctors, surgeons and healers, and they build and maintain hospitals wherever they can. Their medical and magical healing schools are excellent, easily the equal of any Tranic facility. The Surgeons always wear white and have specially made gloves that have the ability to immediate dampen pain or put a patient to sleep. The Surgeons are welcomed wherever they go, and not even pirates will dare to harm them.
Theoska Vathwa “Order of Theosk”
Symbol: Silver eye in a Right Angle on brown
Description: Centered in the Citadel, the Theoskines are a very small order, rarely reaching five hundred monks. They are very much involved in politics, however, and on several occasions have led coups within the Citadel. They are practically unknown in the outside world, but they have sent a few monks out as explorers. The "Father" of the Theoskines is among the greatest wizards and priests in the world, though he wields very little of his power.
Ukhra Vathwa “Firm Order”
Symbol: Golden Eye on black
Description: The first of all the Rigidist order, the Ukhras have maintained their monasteries for thousands of years. They follow the code of the Theosk without variation, and live in almost total isolation. The membership of those monasteries rarely grows, but there are occasional converts who wander in. The central monastery is in the mountains west of Anjalakh, and they all keep in touch via magic. One of the few times they entered into history is when eight thousand monks suddenly joined the War-brothers in the attempt to retake Elath from the Kaydars. Why they did it is unknown, but they didn't wait to be thanked, but retreated again into their monasteries.
Shon-Ziosh “Chosen of the Serpent”
Symbol: Silver serpent coiled around a green mountain
Description: Among the most ancient of any orders, the Chosen have existed since the Elves built the Monument of Arwan for the Yerra. All of the Yerra, even those who are Tranics, make an oath and a sacrifice at the Monument of Arwan at the age of 15, and anyone can do the same at any age. On occasion the black eyes of the Serpent's statue flash, signaling that the sacrificer is chosen, and he (or she) becomes a protector of the people. Though there is no hierarchy and no priesthood, the Chosen recognize each other almost telepathically, and always work together to achieve good deeds. The Chosen are not well known outside of Gayenne and Yerrawan.
Oror-Ziosh “Serpent’s Servants”
Symbol: White serpent coiled around a green mountain
Description: Though they are not necessarily Chosen, some of the Yerra choose to defend and maintain the Monument of Arwan, and they keep a strong fleet to prevent desecration or anyone landing on the narrow gravel beaches of the island. They are strong and fierce, and use the best of ships and arms, but they rarely need to fight.
Tranic Orders Chivalric
After the introduction of chivalry by the Noraines, many chivalric orders arose, and some more ancient military orders changed their rule to accommodate knighthood.
Brotherhood of the Hawk “Hawk-knights”
Founded 1700 in Annoln, Albar.
Symbol: Golden hawk on purple
Description: The Hawk-knights were formed to stop the piracy of the Sea of Bones. With that ends in mind, they conquered the isle of Hadaras from Realn and built several fortresses there. They destroyed many Realner towns and in alliance with Albar and Dilgal kept Sea of Bones free from pirates for many years.
Brotherhood of the Lane “Errants”
Founded 1172 in Thellarne
Symbol: Gray hoof on green
Description: The Errants were created by Saint Jason through inspiration. At first they were confined to Thellarne, but eventually they spread out all around the Jeweled Sea. They were not chivalric at first, but after the coming of the Noraines they began to use chivalric titles and usages. The Errants have never swerved from their original purpose, and but their numbers have never been many. Sir Gallant FitzGilbert was one of their most famous examples, though he did not join until later in life.
Brotherhood of the Knights Sacrosanct “Sacreds”
Founded 1680 at the Tower Profane, Thellarne
Symbol: Black Tower and golden Triskele on white.
Description: Founded to protect the Tower Profane, the Sacreds the personal Guard of the Successer, and are chosen from other Orders from around the Jeweled Sea. Sacreds are always among the greatest, for their service in the capital of Thellarne is very trying. They patrol the streets near the Tower Profane, and on several occasions have thwarted attacks on the palace.
Chapel-Knights of Saint John “Chapelines”
Founded 1311 in Ghendd, Chaldham.
Symbol: Stylized golden Thalmifieur on white
Description: Saint John of Ghendd was literally the first of the Brevics to become a Tranic, and he was also among the foremost in defending the nascent realm of Chaldham against the Kaydars. When the Black Prince sailed for Thellarne, Saint John resisted with a small remnant on the peninsula of Ghendd. Beside him fought the Elf-warrior Gidgidoni, who also made the great sword Thalmifieur. Saint John fell in battle eventually, but Ghendd survived, and was the base used by the Brevics who later conquered back all of Chaldham. The Chapelines came into being just before the reconquest, because the chapel where Thalmifieur rested was several times threatened by the Kaydars. Reverence for their patron has given the Chapelines a skill and ability far beyond that of most warriors, and they accepted the Noraine ideal of chivalry most enthusiastically. They eventually moved to Traws and Thalmifieur moved with them, but they always retained a strong presence at Chapelinton, Ghendd.
Hammer-Knight of Saint John “Martelines”
Founded 1343 in Carnosen, Chaldham
Symbol: Silver mace on White
Description: After the reconquest of Chaldham another order was established to protect the western frontier. Their founder had been called the "Hammer of the Kaydars" by King Raymond the Bold, and so they took the name of Hammerers. Fifty years later they adopted many Noraine traditions and the current form of their name, the Martelines.
Founded 627 S.R. in Chavhyristan
Symbol: Black Hawk on steel gray
Description: Many of the Chavhyr were converted to Tranism by the visits of Saint Geoffrey, and when their Kaydar brethren discovered this "betrayal" the other tribes attacked them. One of the five Chavhyr tribes formed a rearguard and was killed to the last man. Their women and children joined other clans out of grief, but the Chavhyr resurrected the name by creating a new tribe of warriors that studied nothing but war. The Kerchen are stupendous fighters, feared wherever they're found. Despite the differences of religion they were very close to the War-brothers. The Kerchen are very unusual among all orders, because they permit both men and women to be "knights." They are still armed differently but they fight as one body. The men are armed as a hadir, or lance, sabre and bow, with a relatively heavy armor. The women are armed as a janad, which is bow and sabre and a chain-mail tabard. The Kerchen are all married, and may have four wives (or husbands) apiece. There is no lack of volunteers for such positions, for those not skilled enough to be Kerchen warriors can still be Kerchen through marriage.
Knights of Nine “Bradionites”
Founded 1500 in Cwyndd.
Symbol: Nine silver shields in a circle on blue.
Description: Though technically a chivalric order, the Bradionites are much more varied in their approach to war. They allow knighthood to any who prove brave enough, and do not care what weapons they use. That is not surprising considering the variations of skills that the Nine Bradions patronize. Additionally they allow any race into their ranks, including two or three Half-Trolls in the past. The Bradionites eventually spread from Cwyndd, but only to establish a chapter in Hamavost in the Great Wood.
Knights of Saint Cor “Corites”
Founded 1471 in Farbroa, Agezaine
Symbol: Golden hawk on purple
Description: The first of the Noraines to be converted to the Three formed a religious order to defend themselves against their outraged king. They fought on the side of the Empire when Farbroa was conquered, and maintained several castles to defend their lands from their former king. These few castles are known as the Iron Frontier, so well do are they defended.
Knights of Saint Coram Thalmont “Thalmifants”
Founded 1471 in Falmadar
Symbol: Golden Hawk on sky blue
Description: Originally a branch of the Coramites, the Thalmifants broke away in 1471 to form their own entirely chivalric order. They quickly became one of the most famous and popular of all chivalric orders, and chapters appeared in many nations. The headquarters eventually moved to their greatest castle in Coramtur. The ships of the Thalmifants are feared by pirates everywhere, and their banners are carried alongside many a royal banner in Amelek.
Knights of the Sanctuary “Sanctuarines”
Founded 1750 in Seibiario, Sabarra.
Symbol: Silver tower & Triskele on gray
Description: The first Sabarrans to become Tranics were much persecuted throughout Sabarra. A group of knights built a church and castle which became a haven for all Tranics. in 1750 the King granted them a charter, and their hold came to be called the Sanctuary. Over the years their simple order took on all the usual trappings of a chivalric order, and they established several more chapters around Sabarra. The Sanctuary is the one place in Sabarra that has never been corrupted. The Sanctuarines are such ferocious fighters that the Metropolitans have never tried to attack them, though some of the other heretical orders in Sabarra have done so.
Knights of Saint Jason and Saint James “James & Jasons”
Founded 1577 in Norick, Thellarne.
Symbol: Golden Triskele & Balance on crimson
Description: The James & Jasons were founded by Sir Walther Roo of Norrick in Hallidonia. Unlike other orders, the goal of the James & Jasons is missionary. Their headquarters is mainly a training center, and their ships, loaded with knights and priests, travel to the far reaches of Amelek. They help and defend the poor and downtrodden wherever they go, and their red and gold banners are feared all over Amelek. No king can ever be certain that a shipful of James & Jasons won't suddenly appear and ruin one of their unjust wars. There is an alliance between the Academy of War on Arvad and the James & Jasons, and soldiers of either use the same ranking scheme. Though neither Arvad nor the James & Jasons are Martialists, they use their ranks and many of their precepts. The Vicar-Generals or Warlords of the James & Jasons are considered some of the finest generals in Amelek.
Knights of the Staff “Staffs”
Founded 1548 Beskke, Tharquin.
Symbol: Crossed silver staffs & Triskele on brown.
Description: The Lauxon of Beskke grew jealous of the other orders that sprang up around the Jeweled Sea. He waited some years for some priest to found a chivalric order, but since none did, he eventually did it himself. The Staffs were his brainchild, and he based them both on the Errants and the Corites. The Staffs walk the lands in brown cassocks, carrying iron-shod staffs. When danger threatons a blade springs from their staves and under their cassocks they wear armor and carry swords. In war they ride horses and carry lances as other knights, but otherwise they secretly protect Tharquin from robbers.
Knights of the Stars “Stars”
Founded 1503 in Fayne, Fayne-Ambar.
Symbol: 17 (later 20) silver stars on cobalt blue
Description: The Noraines that settled on the isle of Fayne were converted to the Three by the Ambarians, and from thence were part of Ambar. They formed the Knights of the Stars together with many of the Halfen of Ambar. The Stars are sea-based, and like the James & Jasons are capable of putting many knights in very far climes with little warning. They built the first taridae in the Jeweled Sea and used them to good effect against several Etriquin pirate strongholds. Their taridae were built to allow mounted knights to ride straight onto shore, and this changed warfare in the Jeweled Sea. They fought against all of the different forms of Kumaanites pirates throughout the centuries.
Knights of the Sun “Suns”
Founded 1507 in Coventry, Shallezay.
Symbol: Golden Sun and Triskele on cerulean
Description: The first Shallezane chivalric order was founded to keep the peace in Shallezay, and over time they came to be the principle imperial loyalists in Shallezay. The many rebellions of various pretenders to the Shallezane throne met a summary fate from the Suns until the Empire itself began to decay.
Meresine Knights “Meresines”
Founded 1420 in Meresey, Thellarne.
Symbol: Golden Triskele & Sword on cerulean
Description: There is no more feared order than the Meresines. Though they are extraordinarily pious, they are ruthless fighters, and have been rebuked for it several times by Ecclesiarchs or even Successors. Their skills and knighthood are very impressive, and they are the best-disciplined of any knights anywhere in Amelek. They obey their orders so precisely that it seems a gift from heaven. Since most of the time they fight bandits or marauders their ruthlessness is often warranted.
Solerian Knights “Solerians”
Founded 1660 in Bledastowe, Thellarne.
Symbol: Golden Sun & Scales on dark green
Description: Formed originally to assuage the jealousy of the Duke of Bledastowe for the Duke of Hallidonia's "ownership" of the James & Jasons. The Solerians are built on the same lines and have the same purpose as the James & Jasons but have never been able to gain the same fame. The principle reason is that on a few occasions they were misled and fought on the wrong side of several wars. The Solerians became only nominally chivalric in makeup, though they still call their brothers knights.
Tranic Orders General & Militant
There have been many orders dedicated to the various facets of the Tranic religion. Those orders not specifically military or female are listed below.
Order Heraldic of Saint Huur Braddon
Founded 1481 S.R. in Agezaine
Symbol: Golden falcon on purple
Description: With the advent of chivalry and the sudden taking of family blazons by thousands of new knights, the few Tranic clerics in Agezaine banded together and learned the laws of Heraldry from the Noraines. They founded the Order Heraldic to preserve that knowledge, and within a century there was a chapter-house in every nation around the Jeweled Sea. Genealogy soon joined heraldry in their interests, and the records of all people who lived and died was recorded by the Heralds. Several secular associations sprang up as well, but the universally acknowledged experts are the Huur Braddonites, as they are often called.
Order of the Avenger “Wardens”
Founded 206 S.R. in Falmadar
Symbol: Golden Sword on white
Description: The Order of the Avenger was established by Saint Rriestan of Gwynn to avenge the destruction of El'shal'thyre. First of militant orders, none of its members were originally priests. That changed in the years that followed, but by the Year of Endless Wails only twenty percent of the Order were priests. The Wardens organized the resistance against Grwr, and the King of Thellia, Aengan Rhys, was their Preceptor General. The destruction that followed the Battle of Ten Thousands Ships made the Wardens less needful, but they continued nonetheless, guarding against times of war. The three principal centers of the Wardens are Coramtur, Falmadar, and Gaard.
Order of the Judge “Advocates”
Founded 206 S.R. in Falmadar
Symbol: Golden Balance on white
Description: The Order of the Judge was established by Saint Rriestan of Gwynn to establish an independent judiciary. Since he also wished the priesthood not to have the authority to order punishment, especially execution. The Advocates instead ensure that fair trials are carried out. In every nation where they have a presence they make it known among the populace that they will represent anyone accused of any crime. They are dangerous, however, to the guilty, for they care only about truth. They use magic, both planar and holy, to ascertain the truth, both as a counselor to the accused and an aid to the courts. They have been outlawed in many nations over time, and their expulsion is a sure sign of tyrrany. There are few orders more beloved by the common people.
Order of the Rewarder “Hospiciers”
Founded 206 S.R. in Falmadar
Symbol: Golden Chalice on white
Description: The Order of the Rewarder was established by Saint Rriestan of Gwynn to heal the hurts of war. They established hospitals all over Amelek, and their priests and priestesses accompanied every army to heal the wounded of both sides. Very rarely the Hospiciers will withdraw their support from one particularly evil contestant, denying aid even to the dying.
Order of Saint Coram “Coramites”
Founded 500 S.R. in Falmadar.
Symbol: Golden Hawk on white
Description: Established by Saint Coriel's as part of the rebuilding after the horrors of the War of Grwr. The ideal of the Coramites was the Warrior-poet, and that became the ideal of all warriors before the advent of chivalry. Indeed it was the similarity between the ideals of the Coramites and the ideals of Noraine chivalry that made chivalry so popular. Though 'chivalric' orders arose, the Coramites have remained the same, and their warrior-poet priests are welcomed among knights everywhere.
Order of Saint Dhamar Vyesa “Dhamarites”
Founded 500 S.R. in Falmadar.
Symbol: Golden Dove on white
Description: Founded by Saint Coriel to promote art and culture throughout the lands. Dance, etiquette and love of beauty were taught by many chapters around the Jeweled Sea, and art grew and flourished, right in the middle of the Age of Skulls. Much that had been destroyed was improved as well as rebuilt, in large part due to the priests and priestesses of the Dhamarites.
Order of Saint Eranne Suda “Erannites”
Founded 500 S.R. in Falmadar.
Symbol: Golden Horse on white
Description: Founded by Saint Coriel to promote more equality between the sexes. The wars had left many thousands of women without husbands, and by means of the Erannites women were taught a degree of self-sufficiency. Often considered the model upon which all of the Sisterhoods was based, the Erannites are not exclusively female. Indeed, many of the best hunters have been men, and they use their skill to provide meat to many families. The Erannites became less prominent after the creation of the Sisterhoods.
Order of Saint Huuric Braddon “Huurites”
Founded 500 S.R. in Falmadar.
Symbol: Golden falcon on white
Description: The Huurites were founded in conjuction with the Coramites, as brother-orders. While the Coramites were warrior-poets who sought and fought evil, the Huurites were defenders, designing and building great towers and castles to defend the people from war. Most of the great buildings of the realms around the Jeweled Sea were made by the Huurites, whose legendary skill at military architecture is to this day the finest in Amelek. Their headquarters is in Agezaine, though at first it was in Falmadar. They spent a great deal of time building new castles for the Agezainer kings, which pacified the country and eventually made Agezaine relatively peaceful. Their mighty castle at Aix-la-Chapelle houses the chief cathedral of Agezaine, and the Huurites are very well respected by all Agezainers.
Order of the Inquisition “Inquisitors”
Founded in 1103 in Wyrra, Eiwyrr.
Symbol: Golden Key on white
Description: Created as an adjuct of the Order of the Judge by Saint Jason. While the Advocates tried to discover the truth in the courts, the Inquisitors investigated crimes and brought the guilty for punishment. The skills and abilities they learned were first discovered by Saint Jason, and he later became their patron Saint. The Inquisitors were often corrupted by the times they lived in, and so other similar orders were created, but the best and original they remain.
Order of Saint Ithos “Travelers”
Founded 500 S.R. in Falmadar.
Symbol: Golden lion on brown
Description: The Travelers were called by Saint Coriel to wander the world preaching the religion of the Three. They carry no money and live from the charity of others, and their own lives are spent wholly in service. Sometimes this has changed, and indeed on occasion a Traveler may be appointed bishop, but generally speaking the glory of a Traveler is in preaching and conversion. Most of those who accompanied Saint Jason on his missions were Travelers. Despite changes, the Travelers alone have never been corrupted.
Order of Saint Jason “Jasonites”
Founded 1677 in the Sacred Isles.
Symbol: Golden scroll on crimson
Description: Created by Saint Erlisle to normalize legal traditions between nations. Around the Jeweled Sea there were many different traditions, and some of them allowed for piracy. The Order of Saint Jason brought about international agreements to contain piracy, and it was a good thing, since the Tiger Brotherhood arose only a few years thereafter. A small order, the Jasonites teach legal theory to judges and justiciars all around the Jeweled Sea. Chapters also exist in Sabarra, Ayron and Coramtur.
Order of Saint Marjehre and Saint Jilias “Healers”
Founded 1507 in Ascalon.
Symbol: Cerulean chalice on white
Description: There were no Hospiciers in Ascalon after it was founded, and the twin daughters of Aram Konyara created their own version after they learned of Tranism from Traveler missionaries. They formed their order based on the recollections of those missionaries, and set about healing all through Ascalon, which had no respite from war. They taught both preventive and curative healing, and by the time they died in 1584, Ascalon was among the healthiest realms in the world. Their teachings were spread by the Travelers, and were adopted whole by the Hospiciers. Though the Healers only exist as an order in Ascalon, they are revered wherever they might travel.
Order of Saint Rriestan of Gwynn “Gwynnites”
Founded 500 in Gwynn, Falmadar
Symbol: Silver triskele on black
Description: The Gwynnites are great sailors, explorers, and missionaries. They often work in conjunction with the Travelers, but they do not stay long ashore, working always to push back the frontiers of the known world and discover who else has come to Amelek. The Gwynnites have many Sea Elves among their priests.
Order of the Seventeen “Brydes”
Founded 500 S.R. in Falmadar.
Symbol: 17 silver arrows in a circle on yellow
Description: The most varied of all the orders, the Brydes are mostly teachers. Since the Viashas have seventeen different interests, their followers likewise have different things to teach. The schools of the Brydes are seventeen-part colleges, and there are only a few, for it is very difficult to find the necessary expertise in some of the subjects taught. The main schools are at Gwynn in Falmadar, Hallowedd in the Sacred Isles, and the latest established at Annoln in Ayron.
Order of Saint Valarey of the Heart “Valarenes”
Founded 704 S.R. in Falmadar.
Symbol: Stylized scarlet heart on white
Description: Named for the daughter of Saint Huuric and Saint Eranne, the Valarenes run schools for girls. In these schools girls and young women learn all of the feminine arts; many indeed which remain a mystery to any outside the Order. Saint Valarey of the Heart is the patroness of Love and Chastity, and so the Valarenes teach the very same things. Wives who come from the Valarenes are particularly knowledgeable of all the wifely duties, and their houses are better run and kept than any others.
Aranine Sisterhood “Aranines”
Founded 537 S.R. in Kithion.
Symbol: Golden Chalice on cerulean
Description: The Aranine Sisterhood is the oldest order of all, founded to help the male defenders of Kithion against the barbarians that assailed the northern plains of that ill-fated kingdom. Over the years they learned and adopted the mode of combat best for women; horsed archery. Aranines became most proficient, until they could rival many men at this art. Visitors from other realms admired the Aranines so that they were copied in many other realms.
Myrrantine Sisterhood “Myrrantines”
Founded 627 S.R. in Thellia.
Symbol: Golden chalice on midnight blue
Description: Modeled on the Aranines, the Myrrantines learned to shoot from ship-deck as well as horse-back, because the lands of Thellia encompassed much of the Jeweled Sea. Only a few ships of the Myrrantines survived the conquest of Thellarne by the Brevics. They settled in the Sacred Isles and their headquarters remains there to this day.
Sisterhood of Courage “Arwrys”
Founded 982 in Abbazar.
Symbol: Silver fist on black
Description: The Arwrys were created among the Banelow to defend against their own people. The Tranics in the Kingdom of Abbazar learned of the planned attack and banded together to prevent it. The attack occurred anyway in 999, but without the Arwrys and the Coramites of Abbazar, that attack might have been far worse. The Banelow came to be called the Accursed Folk, but all remembered the deeds of the Arwrys. After the destruction of Abbazar in 1395, the Arwrys were revived and became the first 'chivalric' sisterhood in Agezaine.
Sisterhood of Saint Arya Induath “Arians”
Founded 1077 S.R. in Medras
Symbol: Golden Phoenix on pale green
Description: Though the Arians were designed upon the same model as the Aranines, they added somewhat to the plans. Training in magic was added to the skills of combat, and they became the next paradigm for the Sisterhoods. After the Arians formed almost every Sister was schooled in magic. The Arians still call Medras their home, though there are chapters all through the Empire of the Jeweled Sea to this day.
Sisterhood of Saint Eranne “Erannines”
Founded 721 S.R. in Medras.
Symbol: Golden Horse on forest green
Description: Modeled on the Aranines, the Erannines followed more closely the style of their chosen Saint. They became hunters of bandits, keeping the borders of Medras free from those bandits who are the worst of scourges to rural women. They were slow to learn magic when it became fashionable, but their marksmanship was always hard to match. The Erannines favor crossbows, which is unusual for the Sisterhoods.
Sisterhood of Saint Eryx Oryniel “Eryxions”
Founded 1507 S.R. in Eiwyrr.
Symbol: Golden Thunderbird on orange
Description: Formed in admiration of Saint Valarey of the Shield in Eiwyrr. The Eryxions were more lightly armed than the Shields, but that was because of the different nature of warfare in Gwyrelyss. Instead of lances they use javelins, but they use the same long swords as the Shields. They joined with the Shields in the creation of the Highland Kingdom, and though they never won as much fame as the Shields, they were always greatly honored in Eiwyrr.
Sisterhood of Saint Valarey of the Shield “Shields”
Founded 1497 S.R. in the Highland Kingdom.
Symbol: Silver shield on lincoln green
Description: Saint Valarey of the Shield never intended to be a Saint, but she did intend to form a Sisterhood that was the equal to those of any of the chivalric orders. She was herself a famous Errant, able to match any man with lance or sword. She made an arrangement with the other existing Sisterhoods, and those women who had the skill to meet men in battle joined the Sisters of the Shield, as it was called during her lifetime. It was not just the creation of the Highland Kingdom that brought the Shields honor. Their courage and sacrifice in the defense of Bledastowe from the Tiger Brotherhood brought Saint Valarey her sainthood and her order great fame. The Shields are the most famous of the Sisterhoods..
Sisterhood of the Bright Shield “Bright Shields”
Founded 1121 S.R. in Shallon
Symbol: Golden shield on white
Description: Like the Aranines, the Bright Shields were formed to help in the defense of their realm. Shallon was hard beset when Thellarne was conquered by the Brevics, and for many years the Bright Shields fought beside the soldiers and sailors of Shallon. Like the Erannines they use crossbows instead of bows, and they also favor javelins.
Sisterhood of the Bright Sword “Bright Swords”
Founded 1121 S.R. in Shallezay
Symbol: Golden sword on violet
Description: While Shallon was beset by sea, Shallezay was beset by land, but not by Brevics. The Kaydars pushed the borders of Shallezay far to the south, until only the peninsula of Shallezay was in Shallezane hands. With the help of the Bright Swords Shallezay survived, and when it was conquered by Thellarne many years later the Bright Swords became popular all around the Jeweled Sea.
Sisterhood of the Sanctum “Sanctumites”
Founded 642 S.R. in Tharquin.
Symbol: Silver tower on midnight blue
Description: Modeled on the Myrrantines, the Sanctumites built seaward fortresses and small, fast ships to stop the depredations of pirates. They were superb archers with the double curved Tharquinet bow, and fought from shipboard or castle wall for the most part. In this way Tharquin became a more settled place, and the Sanctumites became steadily less popular until the coming of the Tiger Brotherhood. They take their name from the Sanctum of Spaan Adriya and Abriya which lies on a stony peninsula north of Beskke in Tharquin, which remains their headquarters.
Sisterhood of the Sentinelles “Sentinelles”
Founded 1650 in Agezaine.
Symbol: Crossed silver arrows on light brown
Description: Agezaine was one of the last nations to accept Sisters, but when they did their enthusiasm was such that their usages were adopted by many other Sisterhoods. Very decentralized in organization, their chapter-houses are like tiny castles. They fight bandits as do the Myrrantines, and though some among them are capable of fighting with knights, most are archers. Those archers they named martielles, and every other Sisterhood used the same designation by 1750. Their titles of rank also took root as have most Noraine ranks, and are used by most Sisterhoods to this day.