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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Ogre in the Playground
    zabbarot's Avatar

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    Jan 2013

    Default The Radurjic Codex [EMPIRE! IC]

    Spoiler: OOC, An explanation
    The Radurjic Codex is a part of the Empire! Game on this board. This will be a more unusual form of roleplay. Posts will take the form of chapters written by Mosi II and letters between him and the Seekers traveling the world. So it is almost more of a creative writing exercise than a game, but it's still IC so it's here.

    If anybody reading this is interested in roleplaying as a seeker please send me a PM! I would love to have collaborators on this

    Possibly there will be other exchanges at some point. I'm hoping to get a conversation with the Blazing Avatar in here as well.

    The Radurjic Codex

    Blessings of the Great Ancestor be upon you.
    Within in this mighty tome rests the very nature of reality.

    Ready your mind,
    calm your spirit,
    understanding is a great undertaking.

    Recitation of Intent:
    I am here only to learn.
    I learn only to strengthen myself.
    I strengthen myself only to survive.
    Understanding will make me eternal.

    Great Ancestor, boundless and ageless,
    You from whom all things flow,
    You to whom all things return,
    Allow me to fathom the infinite depths of reality,
    Grant me safe passage through your will,
    This I ask as but a humble drop in your vast ocean.

    Book 1: The Revelation of Mosi
    There was a light, bright like the morning sun.
    It filled the sky and washed over me.
    But it was not light, it was the will of the Great Ancestor.
    Through his will I saw eternity.
    All of history played out between heart beats.
    The infinite body of the Great Ancestor coalesced into stars,
    Then planets, and beings.
    The strongest of these beings were as gods.
    They fought and destroyed each other.
    From their shattered bodies came life.
    Plants and animals rose and over came,
    But they fought amongst themselves.
    And with their death, they sink back into the Great Ancestor to be reborn.

    This cycle continues endlessly.
    We are born.
    We struggle.
    We die.
    Over and over.
    And with each death, we forget.

    Understanding is the first step towards freedom.
    The cycle must continue, but you must not forget.
    From each life, experience is gained.
    From each life, lessons are learned.
    With each life, good is done.
    These things must be remembered.

    Book II: A poem of the Second Witness
    In the next post.

    Book III: The Spirits
    In the first age there was only the Great Ancestor.
    He stretched on forever, a sea of bright energy.
    This energy is what makes us all.
    Each of us is a drop of energy swept up in a great current.
    The gods, as others call them, are merely larger drops.
    Great and powerful to us, but nothing to the ocean.
    In the second age vast spirits formed.
    They were the stars and the planets.
    But they were simple minded.
    Driven by the simplest urges.
    They fought and consumed one another.
    The cosmos were restless and violent.
    In the third age intelligent spirits emerged.
    These are the type we would consider gods.
    They calmed the endless turmoil.
    Bridled the great beasts.
    In the fourth age small spirits coalesced.
    They crawl the surface of these great beings.
    Those that would be gods watched over them.
    Sometimes helping, sometimes hindering.
    These small spirits, plants and animals, flourished.
    Last edited by zabbarot; 2014-04-08 at 12:15 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ogre in the Playground
    Logic's Avatar

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    WA, USA

    Default Re: The Radurjic Codex [EMPIRE! IC]

    Spoiler: Book II: A poem of the Second Witness
    I was astride a dragonfly
    Searching as I do
    Determined to identify
    strange beasts that appeared in winter.

    The missing livestock from around
    told me this was no ordinary predator
    for tracks of bears suddenly stop
    at a clearing of blood and stuggle.

    I spoke to a leader of men
    and he provided me with transport
    a dragonfly as long as a house
    and wings the size of sails.

    I spotted my quarry first,
    my guide looked to the ground
    while I looked up
    and saw one dart in front of a cloud.

    'twas a magnificent beast
    not eagle nor a bird,
    but he flew with such grace
    I knew he took us for prey.

    Our own mount flew to the ground
    determined to preserve itself
    caring little for its riders
    I nearly fell and perished.

    I clutched the saddle tightly
    While more beasts joined the chase
    down and down we flew
    until at last I lost my grip.

    Time slowed as I fell
    I hit the ground hard
    my eyes full of pain
    struggling to catch my breath.

    Still short of breath,
    I stood on shaky legs
    I surveyed my surroundings,
    And clearly saw the hunter.

    The beast walked close,
    leaned in and deeply inhaled
    I hung my head and bowed
    and awaited the killing strike.

    I feared for my life
    I waited an eternity
    contemplating my life
    and my existence to my death.

    Looking up in impatience,
    I saw a curious animal
    not the pursing predator
    that chased us to the earth.

    I locked eyes with a Griffon
    Golden sunlight poured through the clouds
    And so I became aware
    Of our mutual connection

    This common understanding
    also coursed through the griffon
    a message direct from the heavens
    divined by the Great Ancestor.
    Last edited by Logic; 2014-02-09 at 10:13 PM.
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  3. - Top - End - #3
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Silverbit's Avatar

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    Jul 2012
    England. The northish bit

    Default Re: The Radurjic Codex [EMPIRE! IC]

    [A letter from Seeker Rejneel to Mosi II]

    May Blessings of the Great Ancestor be upon you,

    I write this letter to inform you of my safe arrival in Razdis from fair Genivana, and to tell you of the somewhat odd customs of this country. Hopefully you will excuse the horsehide vellum on which this is written; other mediums of writing amongst the Grey Dwarves are unknown, save only stone carving.

    My journey and arrival.
    After I arrived in Lyradis after a long and gruelling journey through trackless wilds populated alternately by Hrathan-Tuor assassins or half-naked Raanekans, I found that my journey was not yet over. Not by a long stretch. I know these things are sent to test us, but after riding a horse for what felt like a lifetime it seems that the only entrance the Grey Dwarves permit travellers to enter their country by is within their capital, Kalpraz. In the far north. Surrounded by mountains. I had to sell my faithful mount and purchase a Razdissi horse, a small and unprepossessing beast with a face apparently constructed out of yellowing teeth and stringy mane. Despite appearances however, that nag bore me well enough. After I reached the sinkhole city, I was made welcome, in a stiff sort of way. Razdissi are fond of most outsiders, but wary of foreign faiths. Nevertheless, by the grace of The Great Ancestor I found a decent enough inn in the foreigners quarter, and it is from a large room there that I am writing this missive.

    My income.
    I manage to pay my way by telling tales of the southern jungles; the Grey Dwarves and most of the fellow foreigners here find it hard to conceive of a forest that large, but they'll pay for my room if I'm interesting enough. Attempting to weave in fables of Radjura meets with little positive reaction now, but I'm sure that these people will see the truth soon enough.

    Customs of the Grey Dwarves: religion.
    I move on to the main object of this letter, customs of the Grey Dwarves, or Razdissi as they call themselves. Such an odd people! Firstly, their religion. They practice a form of animism, as followed by numerous nations around the known world. Yet they believe that not animals, but the rocks and minerals beneath our feet have souls and spirits of their own. Whenever they mine a vein of ore, my host informs me that a sacrifice is made, of plant matter. Never animal flesh, such is abhorrent to the Razdissi. Indeed, if a thinking being is ever sacrificed by a Razdissi, he is subject to a great punishment. My Razdissi is still not perfect, but I believe the penalty is either burial alive or complete ostracism. The Razdissi for both is very similar. In times of war, the soldiers strike their steel weapons upon the rocks surrounding them, attempting to draw sparks. This, they believe, will awaken the spirit of the ore forged into the weapon, which is believed to be made slothful during the crafting process.

    Customs of the Grey Dwarves: clans.
    Their customs are odd, to say the least. The people are organised into clans, groups of extended families often larger in population than a decent sized village back home. Intermarriage within a clan is forbidden by edict of an ancient ruler (or as the Razdissi style them, "Mormaer") as an attempt to increase mixing and fellow feeling between different clans. The clan is of paramount importance to the Razdissi, and they proudly declare which of them they belong to. I have the pleasure of being the guest within the inn owned jointly by Dimmir of the Ancient Delving Clan and her husband Potrelk of the Buried Lord Clan (as an aside, gender is no barrier to success at all for female Grey Dwarves. Indeed, one of the most skilled generals is a female, apparently ennobled with her own clan recently.) . This makes introductions take rather a long time, what with all participants stating their overlong name.

    Customs of the Grey Dwarves: fire.
    Also, there is a superstitious fear of fire in large quantities. Of course, a smith never baulks at his forge, neither is cooking punctuated unduly by terrified screams, but though I never found out why, if a tunnel encounters a substance known as "firedamp" or a certain rock known as "mol-ten-mag-ma" is uncovered, Razdissi flee with surprising alacrity. Indeed, torches are only present in the foreigners quarter; the Razdissi see in the dark better than cats, a trait many of them subscribe to their supposed elven ancestry.

    That should be all I can write at this present moment. I will endeavour to have this letter sent to you; Guilder traders pass through Razdis occasionally, and I'm sure one will undertake to carry this letter, if he or she can profit from it.

    Your humble servant;
    Seeker Rejneel, currently resident in the Inn of the Fungi Fire
    Last edited by Silverbit; 2014-02-11 at 03:55 PM.
    I'm also on the Bay12 Games forums under the same username.

    The awesome Ceika made both my avatars! All hail!
    Spoiler: Former avatar

    Currently playing the parched and honourable Rabhid Dynasty in Empire2!

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Troll in the Playground
    QuintonBeck's Avatar

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    Apr 2013

    Default Re: The Radurjic Codex [EMPIRE! IC]

    [A letter from seeker Avie Barasa to Mosi II]

    Blessings of the Great Ancestor upon you

    I feel blessed by the Great Ancestor to have the privilege to communicate with you from this place. For a time I pondered whether I would in fact face the rebirth in this foreign land. But my cycle is clearly not yet complete and thus I will endeavor to transfer the knowledge I have gained so as to not have it forgotten.

    Spoiler: On my Arrival & Current Status
    As you know elder, I traveled to Aloren to study their Enclave of Existence and discover more about our neighbors, I had only just begun to settle when troops from Woodwind swept into the town in which I was staying. Myself and the Aloren people I sheltered with feared these foreign men would kill us and we barricaded ourselves within the building. It didn't take long for the soldiers to break through and order us into the street. The family I was staying with complied and I followed suit.

    Outside I saw the other Aloren natives had been gathered as well. Guards belonging to the Aloren Shieldguard stood disarmed and intermingled with the civilians. Surrounding us were soldiers, dark skinned and dressed in the dark green colors I now know belong to soldiers of Woodwind. A few more Alorens joined us and then a at one end of the street the Woodwind forces parted and a procession approached. A man dressed in warrior gear fit for a king got out, mid forties I would guess, the soldiers stiffened as his pace brought him past them. He gestured towards the crowd and Woodwind soldiers selected the Aloren Shieldguardsmen and herded them in front of the leader. After a few beats the leader shook his head and the Shieldguardsmen were released back into the populace. Another wave of his hand and the circle of soldiers dispersed.

    "Greetings people of Aloren, I am Khan Dyamus Ignato of Woodwind, your village is now under my protection. I understand this may be frightening, but I assure you I have no violent intentions for your land or people. As long as you comply with my men you will be able to resume your normal lives shortly."

    The man, the Khan as he had called himself, disappeared within the crowd of soldiers and I found myself herded along with the Alorens towards a building that seemed to have been designated as a temporary military Headquarter. We were all put into a line and filed into the building one by one. It was slow going and some of the soldiers guarding the line started up a game of cards, at first amongst themselves and then including the Alorens. I saw another, younger man dressed as the Khan was watching this progression and when he made no move to stop it I joined in a game.

    The game was a new one for me and I've sent a second message including the details of the rules, needless to say it helped pass the time and soon enough I found myself inside the building. I was surprised that it wasn't the Khan sitting behind the desk but instead a younger man bearing a striking resemblance to the Khan was asking questions and sorting papers. As I approached I could hear him asking questions to the family in front of me.

    "Name? Occupation? Do you have any knowledge on the whereabouts of Shield Lord Kaldten Maerathyn or King Malyn Shaeldtae?"

    The family responded and I stepped up.


    "Avie Barasa."

    The man looked up and for the first time seemed to notice my darker complexion and shaggier hair granted to me by the Great Ancestor's union of Mawa and Man within my family.

    "Occupation?" the man asked, a puzzled tone on his tongue.

    "I am a Seeker for the Radurjic Codex under the Great Ancestor as told by Elder Mosi II of Genivana."

    The man stopped writing and leaned back to observe me before speaking, "I've heard of your codex, it is intended to collect a comprehensive knowledge of cultures outside Genivana correct?"

    "It is intended to collect the acquired knowledge of all people so that we might record and not forget the truth of things when we go to be reborn. Essentially however, you are correct."

    "If you wish to experience two cultures at once perhaps you'll consider accompanying me and my father. We're looking to bring Aloren under our protection so it would be an excellent opportunity for you to experience both Woodwind and Aloren culture for record."

    I refused at first, citing that our goal was not a military one, nor would Genivana wish to be incidentally portrayed as allied with Woodwind or in support with their invasion but the man, who's name he revealed was Olwyt, assured me he would make it clear that this was not the case and allowed me that should I ever feel uncomfortable or that my position as a scholar was compromised I might leave. I must admit, his offer was too tempting and that is why I write you this letter now from the road as I join the Woodwind armies marching south.

    I have only been with them for a few days and my studies of their psychology or that of the peaceful Aloren villagers has only just begun and not yet taken on a good reportable coalescence but I promise Elder my next message will be filled with revelations of both these people as I interpret them to the best of my ability.

    As an aside I know Elder that we are not to intermingle and only observe and that is what I intend on doing. By the Great Ancestor I swear I will not misrepresent the faith, I know this is a slippery slope but surely you agree this opportunity is unparalleled. Should you not I will of course withdraw at your command, but I believe this may be a great chance to gather knowledge from two cultures simultaneously, I pray you agree.

    Your humble servant, Seeker Avie Barasa

    *Attached is another paper describing in detail a game noted as being called 'Spades' by the soldiers*
    Last edited by QuintonBeck; 2014-02-11 at 10:57 PM.


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    That dragon? Held aloft by a bigger dragon.

    It's dragons all the way up
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  5. - Top - End - #5
    Ogre in the Playground
    Zap Dynamic's Avatar

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    Dec 2011
    On Another Adventure

    Default Re: The Radurjic Codex [EMPIRE! IC]

    [A letter from Seeker Basi Saatatya to Mosi II]

    May Blessings of the Great Ancestor be upon you,

    I am pleased to say that I am safely writing from Raaneka near the Mountains of Dis. I have had no trouble being accepted by the Raaneki, but they are a strange and unyielding people, as you will learn.

    My journey and arrival
    I crossed the land of Hrathan-Tour with no troubles but that the terrain provided. Thankfully, my caravan driver was skillful and we made good time. We crossed wide plains and rose into a dry and hilly forest, which I had heard made for good lumber. It was nothing compared to Genivana, of course, but it was a different enough sight to hold my interest. A vast stretch of sunlit woodland, dominated by evergreens.

    Curiously, there were no march wardens to waylay us. We met only a few folks before we were in Raaneka proper, and they were uniformly travelers or woodsmen. All Raaneki bore at least a long dagger (presumably for their protection), but all were friendly and helpful in guiding us to the nearest city, Sarab. Those who carried flagons freely offered us wine, and each vintage proved to be exceptional and unique. In time, we came to the gates of Sarab, two massive doors of timbers carved with vine motif in the midst of a tall wall of purple and green stone. It was as though a great hedge of stone vines had grown up around the city. I was welcomed, ushered to the nearest inn, and had a second and much longer exposure to Raaneki wine and culture.

    My income
    The Raaneki barter with coins, but chiefly their trade is done in wine or in the goods involved in its harvest. Bottles are more highly-valued than flagons, and I’ve heard tales of entire estates purchased for the price of a truly rare vintage.

    For all that, I have not had need of income during my stay, and my coin purse remains full. The Raaneki are a most hospitable people, and have refused any coin or barter I offer.

    Customs of the Raaneki: Culture
    Not unlike the people of the Jeweled Cities beyond the sea, the Raaneki are a laid back and indulgent folk. Their tattoos, called godana, cover their entire bodies in a smorgasbord of color and design. Each Raaneki chooses their first tattoo as a rite of adulthood after sixteen years of life. The tattoos describe the personality and promises of a person, and are totally unique.

    To conceal oneself from another is taboo in their culture, so they are not only frank and honest, but tend to wear very little. In summer they are often unclad, and even in winter they shed their baggy, diaphanous trousers and colorful shawls as soon as they enter any building. Somewhat alarming, they are exceedingly generous in their affection. Coupling is seen almost as a kind of greeting among the Raaneki, occurring regularly without regard to passers by or gender. Mercifully, bystanders are not expected to watch, and often pay no mind to these activities. Most strange.

    Perhaps unsurprising, fellowship is essential to Raaneki culture. Leaders--whether of the family or the nation--are required by ancient law to be married and to lead in step with their spouse. Many Raaneki wear their hair long in tight braids in remembrance of this ideal of union.

    Customs of the Raaneki: Religion
    I am pleased to report that worship of the ancestors is alive and well in Raaneka. Though they are ignorant of the Great Ancestor, they remember the providence and daring of their forebears and commemorate it in many ways. Their tattoos often invoke the memory or guidance of notable ancestors, but they also pour out a measure of every batch of wine in commemoration.

    Communal ancestor shrines are built in settlements and along roads. In settlements there are weekly memorial services at these shrines, but along the road it is customary to take one’s ease at these shrines, to pause and reflect in the sanctuary of the ancestors’ memory. These shrines are often bedecked with fluttering banners or soaring kites, a trend that I notice is gaining momentum with each passing week.

    Once each season, Raaneki celebrate their ancestors with much revelry and libation. Games are played, lovers are married, and friends and family gather with no intention but to enjoy one another. It has proven to be one of the most enjoyable experiences of my life.

    Customs of the Raaneki: Wine
    It should be no shock at this point that the Raaneki are closely-tied to the wine that comes from their many berry fields. They are jovial even in this endeavor, but their reverence for every variety of wine rivals that of Calorum’s for the Lord of Fire. Wine is never far from the thoughts or conversation of the Raaneki. The greatest Raaneki vintages have established dynasties and sparked dire conflict, if half the tales are true.

    In my time here, I have come to notice more and more the subtleties of wine from different regions of the Berrylands. There are hundreds of different berries used in the cultivation of wine, but so too does the rainfall, soil, and altitude of different vineyards have a marked effect on the finished product.

    I find myself at the end of this report on the eve of one the Raaneki seasonal celebrations. My corner of the common room at the Streaming Banner Inn is replete with comfortable cushions, trays of bread and greenery, and a fine white wine from the town of Suri. I trust that the caravaners delivering this report have the good grace to keep it with the crate of several Raaneki vintages I have arranged to be sent to you. A knot of pleasant young men and women are calling to me, and I aim to use this as an opportunity to become even more closely familiar with their culture.

    Your humble servant,

    Seeker Basi Saatatya
    Last edited by Zap Dynamic; 2014-02-13 at 03:57 PM.
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  6. - Top - End - #6
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Feb 2012

    Default Re: The Radurjic Codex [EMPIRE! IC]

    May Blessings of the Great Ancestor be upon you,

    Spoiler: My Arrival

    Happy News to you!. I found the people of the Jeweled Cities. A small group of traders happened to be visiting a port. They welcomend me aboard. Their ships are large and compfortable. It had most of the trappings of a small village of related families. It was very informal. The captain was male and the first mate female. I think they were married. I was violently ill from the rolling ship. The sea is very rough when away from the land. We arrived at a deep harbor. A city called Turquoise is built on its shores. The captain of my ship offered to let me stay with him for a few weeks. He was the King himself! We travelled on smaller boats to his home island. The boats were called outriggers. They were large canoes and had a smaller pontoon on one side for balance. It took a couple of days to get to the next city. There were many sand bars, mangrove forests, and other natural obstacles. The city was called Pearl. I stayed here for several weeks. The King let me travel wherever I wanted on his boats. I was the guest of the entire country.

    Spoiler: people
    They call themselves Islanders. They call everyone else Continentals. They are not all one race. Some are tall and dark skinned. They call themselves natives. There are many others, from almost every human group around the Inner Sea. There are even a few non-humans here. Native Islanders have webbing in their hands and feet. They swim really well. They can stay underwater for a very long time.
    It is very hot here, so the Islanders do not wear much clothing- breeches, wide hats, and various belts and harnesses to hold tools and other stuff. Men and women also wear lots of jewelry. Jewelry is money in the Jeweled Cities. Vulgar displays of wealth are common.
    Native Islanders are also very pretty. They find it funny that their ancestors used to keep the pretty people from the Continentals and kill the ugly ones when they raided a ship or village. They are proud of their pirate heritage.

    Spoiler: Religion
    The Islanders do not know of the Great Ancestor. They do not care to listen. They worship spirits of the land, sea, and air. There are many tree trunks with carved and jeweled faces all over. They are called spirit poles. The islanders leave gifts of food, gems, and jewelry on and near the poles to appease the spirits. People called Shamans take the gifts and keep the spirit poles looking good. Shamans also bless ships when they leave port. It is a silly religion. All it does is keep the shamans wealthy and fed. Everything good is a blessing of the spirits. Everything bad requires more gifts to fix. There are no ceremonies for births or marriages. There is no such thing as marriage here. Only a child’s mother matters. Islanders wear decorative facial tattoos showing their mother’s family

    Spoiler: culture
    The Islanders are a sad people. They have no pride. Most live in thatched huts on stilts on remote islands. They hunt, fish, and harvest only what they need for that day. Drinking, sex, and sleep take up the rest of the day. They have no honor. They do not keep a single spouse. They steal from each other all the time. They think that if you possess something, it is yours. If you leave it behind, another may use it. Most of the things I brought with me have been taken by others.
    It is not much different in the four big cities. Pearl is a floating sea of derelict ships. All trade routes pass through Pearl. All wealth passes through the King’s pockets. Amber is controlled by the Shamans. It produces lumber from the trees they select. All the wealth flows to them. Turquoise is a city of miners. Things are more sensible. Tools are precious and not borrowed by others. Hard iron is scarce and precious. Opal is the best. Brewers, grain houses, and barrel makers live here. They compete with each other, but are friendly. They were nice to me when they sold me a donkey to ride up the steep cliff to the city. They were nice to me when the donkey disappeared after I went into a store. They were nice to me when they sold me another donkey for the ride down. It was the same donkey.
    Everyone calls one another “cousin”. It is odd. They do not care about parentage. How they pass property from one generation to another is a mystery.

    Another letter will be forthcoming.
    Seeker Tehawen Ges

    The Second letter of Seeker Tehwan Ges to Mosi II, 352 common year.

    It has been a decade now amongst the Islanders. My woman reminded me that I was supposed to write more often. So I am.
    They consider me a cousin now. I do like it here. Living is easy and simple. I fish. I gather other food, I go to the stream to get water. A few hours at most. Many Islanders make their living diving and spear-fishing. Extra food is traded for small gems and precious beads. I now understand why they wear their wealth as jewelry. It keeps it from falling out of your pockets when swimming.

    I’ve come to understand their religion. It is more profound than it appears. It is all about death. Death is everywhere. They cling to anything that is life. Women are revered as life givers. They pass their names to the children, not the father.

    They are non-violent because they live in a violent world. The water is violent- sharks, poison spinefish, riptides. The air is violent- hurricanes and storms. The ground is violent- a massive active volcano is one of their main islands. They do not pray to the spirits of earth, air, water, and fire. They respect them. They leave gifts so they will be left alone.

    Their culture is deep. Yes, they do steal. But it is out of scarcity, not greed. It is out of necesity, not avarice. You worry about your friends, not your stuff. Wealth is shown by what you give, not what you have. It is why they are often seen as promiscuous. They give their very bodies to others as a sign of friendship. They see their spirit as different than their body. Spirits bind two people together forever. Devotion. Bodies are conveyances.

    A recent change is that there are people called Quill here. From the continent, a region called Tar. They have similar beliefs to the Islanders. The Quill say birds carry the spirits of the dead. This is proving popular here.
    Last edited by lt_murgen; 2014-04-22 at 11:42 AM.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Troll in the Playground
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    Apr 2013

    Default Re: The Radurjic Codex [EMPIRE! IC]

    May the blessings of the Great ancestor be upon you,

    I have much to tell that I have learned in my time in the newly named 'Ignato Empire'! Firstly, I will note that when I marched with the Khan and his men Olwyt kept to his word, allowing me to speak to the native Alorens and let them know I was from Genivana, and was not affiliated, a few who worried what might come even took my heeding to heart and made plans to depart for Genivana once the Khan's troops moved on.

    Though I expected bloodshed to follow in the footsteps of the Khan none came. The people were forced from their homes and questioned, but to say they were unfairly abused would be a vast injustice to the way in which the Woodwind troops handled the situation. Of course, it has been nearly two years since my last letter and these memories of war, if it can be called as much, are less clear than my more recent enlightenments I have discovered.

    Spoiler: Aloren Customs -The Enclave of Existence
    After the nation of Aloren had been scoured and secured the Khan, his sons, and at Olwyt and Kilwen's bequest, myself, set up near the Aloren Enclave of Existence. I was curious about this institution and its purpose within the land and I wanted to find out what I could lest it be dismantled by the new regime (though Olwyt has assured me this will not be the case) I went to the Enclave expecting a religious institution, that is not what I found, instead it housed a collection of mystic scholars, (They refer to themselves by a variety of titles I am only beginning to understand the meaning of, my main guide was one 'Sojourner Faeywal' though we met a 'Wanderer Ilasta' and a 'Farwalker' who used no family name to speak of) there were, I would guess, 200 or so of these men and women.

    Each carried themselves in a scholarly manner I am familiar with from my time with other Seekers in Genivana. However, the way they approached things was not out of reverence but appeared to be an unbridled curiosity. I was shown to a room in which a man, a dead man, was being dissected by the scholars and notes being taken. My guide informed me he had been a scholar at the Enclave who's work had been understanding the anatomy from a surface perspective and that he had volunteered his body to be pulled apart by his students that they might finish his work. In another room I glimpsed a circle of scholars meditating surrounded by a variety of gems and crystals and was informed they were attempting to unlock what Sojourner Faeywal referred to as 'metaphysics'. They didn't appear to be accomplishing much, but they were certainly intent.

    I was able to read a copy of their two tomes they had completed, one written about the very metaphysics the scholars I had seen had been researching (I personally found it filled with speculation and mostly nonsense) and the other on the local Kobolds, small lizardlike people, who live deep within the woods of Aloren. It held more of interest and seemed more grounded in physical research though the Kobolds themselves are such a myth it could just as easily be a work of fiction. I asked permission from the Enclave and Olwyt and was granted by both to send along a copy of each book with my letter. Perhaps you might find more in them than my feeble eyes could.

    Spoiler: Both Provinces - Religion
    I have spoke much of Olwyt in my last two letters, but he and his father are perhaps the members of the Ignato family I see least. The Khan is always busy and he seems to have little interest in faith based matters and Olwyt is constantly working alongside his father and while I sense an interest in the young man regarding the faith, he has not had the time to speak of it much with me. Kilwen however, the second son of the Khan, shows much interest and enthusiasm in your teachings and has become my close companion since I joined the traveling troupe of Ignatos.

    Kilwen tells me very few people in Woodwind are religious and based on my experiences in Aloren I would wager the same is true there. Ancestors or nature spirits may be revered in times of need, a shrine to the Fire Lord may exist in one house or another, but the people are quite disparate in their beliefs. Kilwen however, has studied a multitude of religions extensively. If he had been born Genivanan I have no doubt he would have become a Seeker. We have had spirited discussions on the nature of belief and in regards to the Fire Lord and the other gods claimed by other religions. He told me a group of Calorum priests came to Woodwind once many years ago and preached their faith, an alternative interpretation of the Blazing Avatar's Fire Lord that exalted church officials in Calorum as saints within the structure. This being his first experience with religion and having been searching for something to latch onto he had begun to worship in their ways, but as he grew older he claimed to have doubts that the only saints were from Calorum and his faith slackened.

    He then told me of Shinguard Marius Earthguard's religion (The Shinguard and the Khan are close friends from my understanding of the politics) and that meant delegating the study of the Lord of Progress and Life to Kilwen. I suspect a Seeker in Kasumor may be able to tell you more, but it sounds again like an adaptation of Fire Lord worship, though in this case exalting another god, Ashtar, as above and directing the Fire Lord.

    When I explained the purpose and ideas behind Radurja Kilwen seemed instantly attracted to it. Since then I have discussed it with him nearly every day, recounting your revelation and the purpose of the Seekers, explaining that through knowledge peace and immortality are gained. While I cannot say definitively I believe he believes just as I do now. Perhaps our faith will yet spread in these lands.

    Spoiler: Woodwind Customs - The Boar Hunt
    This is an event I feel privileged to have taken part of. Kilwen invited me to join him in a festival to celebrate the Khan's victory. Now, I am not naive, I know a festival when I see one, what I was brought to was no festival I knew. I was roused from sleep before the break of dawn, my sleepy hands were passed a spear, and out I went into the great woods from which Woodwind got its name and the two of us began to stalk through the underbrush. I would like to think of myself a decent tracker of game, one has to be to support oneself when traveling between cities, but the second son of the Khan put me to shame. Within minutes he had found tracks and not a moment later we came upon a wild sow.

    We approached quietly and as we got closer I could see the hulking mass of muscle ripple and shiver as the great pig twitched beneath the sun filtered through the green canopy above. Saliva clung to its jowls and its head flew up and down as if it were nodding, its ears twitching and making me fear it had heard me. Kilwen nodded at me and I nodded back (The two of us and other Woodwind men had discussed the practice before and I understood it in theory, one man would lure it onto the spear which would gouge its heart, the second would deliver a finishing blow to prevent damage from thrashing, I had made it clear even in my sleepy state I planned to be the second) Kilwen moved into position, bracing the spear for the boar's charge, and charge it did! The great beast slammed itself at Kilwen but the Woodwind man knew what he was doing and a great squeal erupted from the sow as I burst forth and drove my own spear through the pig's thick hide. It twitched and screamed some more but quickly bled to death and died. The both of us were drenched in sweat and when Kilwen looked at me he began to laugh. I joined him in his laughter and we nearly fell over in excitement.

    We returned with the boar and I finally saw the festival I had expected, except now, more than guest I was partial to being one of those celebrated. At the feasting ceremony that night Kilwen proclaimed me an honorary Woodwind hunter, a title I inebriatedly perhaps accepted too hastily. The thought has haunted me that perhaps my position as observer has been compromised. Perhaps I have become a member of this community and family. But true understanding comes from becoming does it not? I need guidance Mosi, I do not know if I have gone too far.

    Your humble servant, Seeker Avie Barasa

    *Included with the letter are two books entitled The Draconomicon and Mind and Body*
    Last edited by QuintonBeck; 2014-02-20 at 09:01 AM.


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    The whole world is held aloft by a dragon.

    That dragon? Held aloft by a bigger dragon.

    It's dragons all the way up
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  8. - Top - End - #8
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    [A letter from Seeker Imani Anantha to Mosi II]

    May the blessings of the Great Ancestor be upon you,
    Though I am now safe, my arrival in Ashenia was not without incident. Some time after crossing the border, a tree by the wayside was struck by lightning. My horse bolted, an act which I acknowledge saved both our lives from a falling branch, and it took me some time to soothe the frightened animal. Alas, our troubles were not over yet as we found ourselves in the midst of what appeared to be a funeral procession. The fact that those in the procession were unarmed likely accounts for my survival, as it was, they merely knocked me into the dirt before continuing.
    My first encounter with the people of Ashenia was not as amicable as I could have hoped. However, despite his earlier shortcomings, my horse remained by my side as I attempted to regain my sense, and out of gratitude and remembrance of the occasion, I chose to name him Lightning. Eventually, I staggered to my feet, and not trusting myself to ride, we walked the rest of the way to the city of Uranin.
    And let me tell you, I have never seen such fortifications. All around, the land is undulating hills with but few trees and no obvious source of stone. Yet the people of Ashenia clearly thought it necessary to cart building stone such distances to this spot near their border. It speaks of a more tumultuous past, yet today the great eastern gate stands open and welcoming. I will not attempt to describe to you in detail the scenes within the city as the hour grows late and I have promised my hosts to assist them with their morning gardening.
    But I must speak to you of them. Uranin houses two small monastic houses tucked away within the city walls. The other house is by far larger than this and provides shelter to widows with no other means of support and is staffed by several dozen nuns under the administration of a kind, but formidable, abbess. The house in which I am staying is a much smaller affair, home to less than ten monks. As near as I can tell, their day is divided into gardening in the morning, meditation in the afternoon and acting as scriveners in the evening. A monk by the name of Terefin promised to show me the rudiments of the Ashenite script while I am here.
    With that, I must finish. The monks tell me that they only burn one candle in their scriptorium in the evening and this one nears its end.
    Your humble servant,
    Seeker Imani Anantha.

    *attached is a charcoal sketch of the Great Gate of Uranin. It is indeed an imposing structure*
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  9. - Top - End - #9
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    Along with their arrival at Dvipabedapura to partake in the Osuro ritual and ascend to Mashahidi Watafiti Avie Barasa and Kilwen Ignato brought with them a collection of scrolls and documents regarding Radurjan religious practices from the other Watafiti practicing and collecting stories throughout the provinces of the Ignato Empire. These represent the primary spirits revered within the varying provinces and their fit within the great cosmos of spirit, god, and mortal.

    Nyroth Religious Beliefs – The Great Weaver, Mother Weaver, Moth Mother just names for the great spirit known as Sericyx. Sericyx is the spirit held in highest regard within the province of Nyroth’s Radurjan sect. Said to weave together the threads of the lives of all people, bringing them together and making the beautiful tapestry of life she is also known as Life Binder for her role as a matron of marriage and childbirth. Taking the form of a silk moth as well as a kindly woman of middle years, Sericyx is often prayed to by young women seeking to enter womanhood, as well as midwives. Due to this Sericyx is often seen as a feminine spirit and as such most of the watafiti and mashahidi in Nyroth are female. Yet, Sericyx is not strictly a spirit devoted to females, her domain includes planning and she is often revered by lords, senators, and commanders for her ability to navigate the threads that compose ones surroundings. She is seen as wise, guiding steady and slow hands to resolve the disparate threads of life into a tapestry worthy of awe.
    The Great Weave, the competition held to determine the Mistress of the Weave is said by religious sorts to be discovering Sericyx’s champion of the era. As Radurja and its reverence continues to foster faith within the people of Nyroth this sentiment grows stronger and since Dras-Ta’s appointment as Mistress of the Weave this has allowed more and more reconciliation between the lizardfolk and human populations.
    Portfolio: Destiny, Womanhood, & Unification
    Domains: Weaving, Community, Craft, & Fate

    Aloren Religious Beliefs – The Old Man in the Forest, The Springing Kid, The Great Oak, all names for the chief spirit within the province of Aloren. Known as Yrrmindel by the native druids the spirit serves as a representative of nature within the Aloren faith system. Taking on three faces, Yrrmindel is represented within art most often in the form of the Old Man or the Great Oak (sometimes fused together) and is only rarely seen in the form of the Springing Kid, a young goat full of life and energy. Radurjan scholars were initially unsure whether this was the same spirit at all but discussions with converted druids have revealed this to be the case. Whatever his form the spirit is placed at the top of any sort of Aloren pantheon that might be drawn. Representing the harsh brutality of nature and that nature within man as well as the sustenance and life wrought by nature Yrrmindel serves a primary force as a teacher within Aloren. He is said to give wise counsel and advocate peace and coexistence as well as preparedness in dealing with threats from outside. Yrrmindel is slow to act and slower still to anger, though provocation draws from him all the ferocity of nature. He is said to grant worthy followers the power of the wilds and is prayed to by travelers for protection within his wild domain.
    Portfolio: Nature, Wisdom, & Life
    Domains: Nature, Animals, Plants, & Meditation

    Woodwind Religious Beliefs
    – The Great Boar, The Conqueror, The Blazing Oak are epithets for the primary spirit followed within the province of Woodwind. Noted by Radurjan scholars to be officially recorded within texts as Ignatumna, this spirit in various forms has appeared in Woodwind history for as far back as recorded. Originally a simple spirit associated with nature and rites of passage for young men symbolized by the boar the spirit soon expanded when the Ignato family claimed power within Water’s Watch by claiming to be chosen by Ignatumna. Texts are unclear as to which direction the naming went. Needless to say the spirit saw some significant growth and interpretation as the oak leaf, already a symbol of the Ignato family, was taken to be associated with the spirit as well. So too with the rise in power of the Ignato bloodline the spirit came to be associated with conquest, the assimilation of the various Woodwind tribes into one. It is surprising then that until the rise of Khan Dyamus Ignato Woodwind, himself not overly religious, Woodwind remained relatively peaceful. Calorum Fire Reformation saw the Oak leaf of the Ignato line become the Blazing Oak and so too it entered into the portrayal of the spirit. Appearing in art most often as a mighty boar with great tusks or as a flaming oak leaf recent interpretations have seen Ignatumna portrayed as a Woodwind warrior bearing a marked resemblance to the Khan of Khans Dyamus Ignato. This has been adopted without much question and the Ignato clan has not spoken in favor or in opposition to this close association.
    Portfolio: Conquest, Manhood, & Unification
    Domains: War, Pride, Strength, & Courage
    Last edited by QuintonBeck; 2014-04-01 at 03:03 PM.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Kornaki View Post
    The whole world is held aloft by a dragon.

    That dragon? Held aloft by a bigger dragon.

    It's dragons all the way up
    Beat the bejesus out of a Paladin

  10. - Top - End - #10
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    [A letter from seeker Ranseur to Mosi II]

    Blessings of the Great Ancestor be upon you. I have spent some months with the people of Pavonia, and have learned much of their cultures. I will begin with that which they worship, insofar as they worship anything, the Wave and the Runes by which they seek to shape it.
    The Wave, according to the Pavonians, is a kind of expanse of possibility, containing every course that history could have taken in the past, and every course it still could take in the future. Runes, it is claimed, alter the flow of the Wave, causing it to take or have taken shapes more to the liking of the runesmith than it otherwise would have.
    Runes, it seems, can be divided into three kinds: runes of possibility, runes of fact, and runes of feedback. The first and most common kind are runes of possibility. These are said to alter the flow of the Wave to render the desired event more likely to occur, or conversely to render an undesired event less likely. For example, nearly all Pavonian soldiers bear runes designed to defend against arrows. These runes are believed to make more probable futures within which arrows do not strike their bearer, whether by making the archer more likely to aim wrongly, or the bearer more likely to dodge at just the right moment, or by rendering the arrow more likely to be warped and fly crookedly. This category covers everything from runes of fertility to runes of true striking to runes of protection from plague.
    The second category of runes are those of fact. These allegedly manipulate not what the Wave will do, but what it has already done, seeking to replace some tiny aspect of this reality with a more desirable version of that aspect from a nearby reality. For example, many Pavonians bear runes of strength. These supposedly search the nearby realities, those much like our own, and find one where the bearer has exercised more vigorously, or was simply born with better muscles, or is otherwise stronger than in this reality. They then replace the state of the bearer's muscles in this reality with those from the alternate reality, causing him to be stronger than should be possible. This category also covers anchor-runes, those intended to ensure that a particular aspect of reality does not change, though there is some overlap here with feedback runes.
    The third cluster, runes of feedback, act as traps and shields against hostile runes and malign supernatural powers. Some such runes work by applying an inverse effect to common runic curses, cancelling out the hostile runes and rendering them ineffective. Others defend against the supernatural powers of various Pavonian monsters, which the locals claim as a degenerate version of runelore, on similar principle.

    Spoiler: The Heartrune

    One key concept in Pavonian runelore, which I must speak further on, is the heart-rune. This circle of runes, inscribed, as the name suggests, over the heart, is the foundation of all the runes that any given Pavonian will bear. It serves to identify the Pavonian to the runes, allowing them to know who to affect. It binds the runes to the essence of their bearer, making them as much a part of him as his eyes and arms. But most important, it defines him to the Wave. It tells reality that this person is who he is, and intends to stay that way. It is considered by Pavonians almost as a physical manifestation of its bearer's soul. Allegedly, if you know someone's exact heartrune you can use it to amplify a hundred-fold the affects of any spell you place upon him, to bypass all his defenses, to control him utterly. Consequently, to show someone your heartrune is regarded as the ultimate guesture of trust.
    A slight tangent brings us to marriage. As you might guess, marriage among Pavonians involves the heartrune. More specifically, each has the other's heartrune tattooed inside the circle of theirs. Certain portions of a man's heartrune will connect to certain portion's of a woman's if the two are aligned properly, creating a single runic structure. It is this act that, under Pavonian law, renders the two legally married. This permits two lovers to marry each other entirely on their own if they have needles, ink, and a steady hand, though it is more traditional to have an elder do it and surround the occasion with feasting and ceremony. An interesting quirk of this system is that a homosexual marriage is literally unthinkable to a Pavonian, exactly like a square circle or a triangle with three right angles.
    Prince Fraternal of Pudding, Snuzzlepal, Feezy Squeez Lover, MP, Member of The Most Noble And Ancient Order Of St. George, King of Gae Parabolae.

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  11. - Top - End - #11
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    A letter from Jonas Grant, Shahidi of Radjura to Shahidi Mkuu Shvedrishti, the year 407.

    Beloved and most Holy Authority,

    By your command I document here what is know of the religions of my former homelands, Tar and the Jeweled Cities. The ascencion of the Children of Kina and the ongoing civil war is destroying much of the two ancient belief systems. In your wisdom, I record what is known.

    The Quill traditionally worshiped spirits of nature. It was a large pantheon, with numerous local and minor spirits as well as larger, global ones. The insular Quill have heard tales of the Lord of Fire but believe him to be a misinterpretation of Brazar, the nature spirit of volcanoes. They primarily worship Atur, the nature spirit of sky and flight, as they believe the souls of dead Quill rise again as birds. The primary center of worship, the Tree called Nighthawk is a vastly important aspect of Quill culture and guarded fiercely. According to legend the Nighthawk is etched with runes representing every single one of the nature spirits in existence, and second to Atur, they are all worshipped equally.

    Most Quill have a personal deity they particularly identify with, and will usually have their rune tattooed upon their palm, breastbone or another body part that can be seen while wearing clothes and paint. Painting the skin in elaborate patterns and designs expressing one's current personal journey is a revered part of Quill culture and foreigners who keep their skin blank are often mocked as heathens and "babies" who have not experienced anything meaningful enough yet to preserve its memories on their bodies. Paints are never permanent because they should change and shift with the person as they grow. These paints are of great spiritual significance as they signify a bond with nature and the elements.

    The Quill also believe they are children of fey, and were once wielders of awesome power. They say that over many generations, the ability to harness wild energies was lost, leaving only a strong affinity to nature that human blood could not dilute. The point to their long lifespans as testament to this ancestry. Some believe the body painting is an attempt to harness the energy of the spirits for their use. The line between asking for a spirit to make them, say, faster, and attempting to borrow the speed of a spirit for a while is a significant point of discussion amongst Quill scholars.

    The Quill of the Atur faith believe that when a person dies, thier spirit becomes a bird. As such, they typically leave bodies on raised platforms for the birds to eat. The head is removed and dessicated, then kept by the family as a home for friendly spirits. They often refer to the spirits as a Bob, though the reasons behind such a name are forgotten. The body iseither buried or placed into the river.

    The people of the Free Cities are a superstitious group. They live at the mercy of the winds and tides, and see the raw power of the earth in their volcano. For a long time, the Shamans of the Wild and their teachings were the dominant religion. As such, they pray to the spirits of the earth, the air, and the water. Such prayers are most commonly offered at the spirit poles- large logs carved in the shape of the spirit they represent. Small offerings are left there by worshippers. The Shamans of the Wild travel freely around the islands, offering their services to appease the spirits and maintaining the spirit poles. The trees on the Isle of Birds are used to make the spirit poles, and jealously guarded. Birds themselves are venerated as embodying air, water, and earth. The Lord of Fire is known, and the active volcano on New Boy and the caldera of the Old Man are seen as evidence of his influence on earth. Still, he is not formally worshipped.

    The Shamans would craft tests to insure their influence and check the resolve of various captains and leaders. Given names like the Test of Courage, the Test of Faith, and the Test of Fortitude. Some examples were walking on hot coals, taking leaping dives off of cliffs, swimming and diving contests , and so on. The ease or difficulty of the test would often serve as an indication of how that particular group viewed the Captains actions. Shaman’s themselves will abandon their family lineage and name, taking a false name that is given by the shaman assembly to identify how they act. They are usually simple names, like Whisper, or Feather, or Stormbringer. Being able to see signs and portents in events is critical to their intercessions with the spirits.

    The Islanders who follow the Shamans of the Wild believe in burial at sea for the dead. TheywWrap the body in linen and line it with a bunch of weights before sending it down to the depths. Wealthier Islanders will commission a special commorative spirit pole as a memorial. These are often set on the shore to look out to where the body lay, to watch over it.
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    A letter from Jonas Grant, Shahidi of Radjura to Shahidi Mkuu Shvedrishti, the year 409.

    Beloved and most Holy Authority,

    Here I attempt to document all I have come to understand of the new Children of Kina religion, now prevalent in the Jeweled Cities and Tar.

    The religion is devoted to the worship of their signature goddess. They call her by different names, Kina, Khaditna or Khadi, the Mother of the Night, the Great Deceiver, or Devourer of souls. She is pictured as a giant woman, with jet black skin and white eyes. Some say her skin is worn and stretched, like that of a corpse. Others say it is smooth and supple, and wondrous in its curves. Her hair is wild and unkempt. She has six arms and six breasts, and her mouth is full of long, sharp teeth. She is pictured topless, seated with crossed legs and arms extended. About her neck is a necklace of bone and 51 human skulls. In one hand she holds a reumel, the other a skull-topped staff wove with thorns. About her waist is a belt from which dangle 105 dismembered male genitalia, worn over a ragged skirt which is the pelt of a tiger. . Witnesses who have had visions of her say she carries about herself the stink of opened graves.

    Her fearsome appearance belies her nature. Yes, she is fearsome. But she represents the two most fearsome acts- birth and death. The title Mother of the Night, associated with the use of the name Kina, is her first nature. Their dogma says that all men are born in darkness, and return to the darkness. That is, we are created in a dark womb, and when we die, our bodies can no longer see. They believe that all souls come from her, and all souls return to her. She is there as a person’s mother is there, to guide, to keep safe, and to provide love and direction. From our mother we learn what is right and wrong, and her wrath is more terrifying to a child than the fiercest storm.

    My Mother is consciousness, the indivisible Awareness, Reality, and truth. The night sky between the stars is her perfection, the depths of the ocean her echo. The unbounded is always cloaked in darkness, the inebriating darkness of my beloved Kina. - Tupelo Cornus

    She is also known as the Great Deceiver. In her guise as Khaditna, she possesses the knowledge of all souls that have come to her, for all time. Into each soul she puts portions of her grand design. Those who believe they are masters of their fate, controlling the destiny of themselves and others will find their hubris thwarted. Thus, her guise as the guiding mother is subverted by the fear of having to make decisions on one’s own.
    To the Children of Kina it is essential to face her Curse, the terror of death, as willingly as they accept Blessings from her beautiful, nurturing, maternal aspect. For them, wisdom means learning that no coin has only one side: as death cannot exist without life, so life cannot exist without death. Khaditna teaches that this awareness is the only true gift one can have.

    “Children call upon their mother, comprehending not the difference between need and desire. The Great Deceiver will deny you your earthly delights, despoils your pleasures. What you need is found only in in the darkness beyond adversity.” – Opus Petrichor

    Her third aspect is as Khadi, the Devourer of Souls. Upon death, your soul returns to Khadi. There she judges your entire life, to see if you have lived just and good. If so, your soul is taken into her bosom with all the other souls until it is time for it to be reborn. If you are found wicked, or cruel, your soul is consumed by her, lost for all eternity. The Children of Kina don't care about the body after death. It is far more important to assure the soul a quick and painless transition from life to death. Lingering and painful deaths obscure the soul’s route back to Her. Bodies can follow any disposal practice.
    In this aspect, she is great and terrible to behold in her anger. She possesses the knowledge from all deceased souls, so her wrath with those she finds disfavor can be great. Mercy is not one of her traits. A soul is given only what it has earned in life. Those that led justifiable lives will be reborn, those that are unjust will be consumed and lost forever.

    Men seek mercy, but there is no trace of mercy within you, Devourer.
    You have cut off the heads of the children of men to wear as a garland about your throat,
    their manhood’s as a belt about your waist.
    In you, there is an end to their futures.
    It matters not how much I plead “Mother, Mother”. You hear but do not remark my anguish. –Tupelo Cornus

    It is widely believed that Tupelo Cornus created the Children of Kina in its entirety. Others, closer to the actual events, say he was indeed a prophet, protected from birth and gifted with visions and knowledge of events that were yet to come to pass. He himself relates the origin story of Kina.

    In the far distant past, while Telluris was yet unformed, those we call gods fought against a great demon. Each time they cut the Beast, droplets of sparkling blood fell from it. In turn, each droplet became a duplicate of the Beast, and thus the gods were overwhelmed. In fear, each god offered a portion of themselves to the Lord of Fire, and from his head, Kina sprang into being. She fell upon the duplicates, consuming them, and with each one her emaciated black skin grew full, and she grew bigger. Glowing sparks shown forth on her skin as one by one she consumed the duplicates, filling the sky with her presence. In the ecstasy of destruction, she consumed the Beast, dancing her joy and roaring with her pleasure.
    Fearing what they created, the gods turned to the Lord of Fire to bring Kina under control before she destroy the very foundations of the world in her ecstatic dance. He became as an infant, and his cries stilled her dance. Kina fed the Lord of Fire at her breast, retuning his power to him. Thus it will be, power coming from her and to her, forever, the Lord of Fire declared, setting her as the heavens above to watch over the world.

    Ever since then, there has been much discussion about the Lord of Fire’s relationship with Kina. Some say they represent the two fundamental substances in the world- energy and matter. The Lord of Fire is the motivating energy; it was he who brought life to the pile of parts from the other gods. Kina is the body. In a duality popular with the Children of Kina, energy cannot exist without matter, nor matter without energy. A body without energy is inert. Energy without form is chaos.

    Her belief system is simple, and her commandments straightforward.
    --> Know that the Kina is the eternal night sky. All things come from her, and all things return to her.
    --> Know that the Kina holds within her all that has gone before, and is the progenitor of all that is possible in the future. Into you is given great and terrible power to shape the world.
    --> Know that all creatures who can think and ponder are children of Kina.
    --> Know that your salvation or destruction is within your control, the Mother of the Night will not save you from yourself.
    --> Treat all living things as you desire to be treated. Life, when possible, a quick and painless death where necessary.
    --> Treat all your brothers and sisters in a manner such that you would willingly trade paths.
    --> Know that upon death, you will be judged by the motivations of your actions, and by the knowledge of those that have gone before.

    To the Children of Kina, how you treat others is of paramount importance. In direct contradiction to the idea of might makes right, Kina places importance on the intention of the action. Why you are doing something is more important than the actual outcome. As limited beings, a human can only approximate and guess the outcome of any event or decision. The world is too vast to be able to predict what will happen perfectly. So the best you can do is try to keep to her commandments and have faith.

    Addendum: There is a certain sect within the Children of Kina, called the Deceivers. Contrary to popular belief, they are not simply the bodyguards of the leaders of the religion. They are true believers of a certain prophecy, shared by Tupelo Cornus with only a few select people. It was only uncovered at great personal cost. They believe that there will come a time when so many upon Telluris become wicked that their return to Her would be as ingesting a poison. Such anguish will re-awaken her fierce hunger and rekindle her wrath. This will bring about the end times, called the Year of the Skulls. Khadi the Devourer will stalk Telluris, consuming the souls of the wicked and forthright together in an orgy of destruction. She will consume this world in its entirety, and give birth to a new one, free of wickedness, populated by the forthright, ready to start the cycle again. Those who follow the path of the Deceiver protect the spot where she will return to Telluris, the Blackadder Forest. They believe that they will serve her in this final battle, and be those who repopulate the new age. But mostly, they believe that wickedness must not be allowed to flourish and it is best to send the wicked back to Khadi before it becomes too great.

    Spoiler: Addendum, a recording of the conversation between Valineth of the Heartwaste and a teacher of the Kina faith

    "My sister in spirit, please be welcome!" An elderly Quill gestured for Valineth to enter.

    The enclosed porch was elegantly appointed in Islander fashion. Knitted silk curtains allowed in the breeze but kept most insects at bay. The wooden floor was covered in numerous area rugs from various locations. Valineth recognized the unique patterns of several famous weavers amongst them. Atop the rugs were overstuffed, oversized cushions and pillows, organized around small tables. Around a dozen people sat or lounged upon the pillows.

    At the focal point of the oblong room stood a singularly unique statue. 8 links or so tall (2 feet), it was of a woman carved from a black marble, speckeled with white. Her skin was black and smooth, with 6 breasts and 6 arms. The figure wore no shirt, a necklace of pearls carved into the form of human skulls her sole garment. She sat with legs crossed. About her waist was a short skirt of tiger skin, represented by a clever mesh of mithril, multicolored gold, and adamantium. A belt of various colored beryls, each carved to represent male genetalia, rode above the belt. Her face had features of many human peoples, but no one race distinctively. Her mouth was open, and had large fangs, and her hair was wild and unkepempt. In one hand, the statue bore a staff wrapped in thorns and topped with a skull. Another hand was held an actual black silk cloth with weighted coins tied into it.

    Valineth could not help but approach it, something compelled her to. A small plaque read “the Goddess Kina. Crafted by of Jean d’Arc, Bordeaux upone behest of Lady Fern Cascade.” As she read the plaque, she caught the faintest whiff of corruption, but quickly dismissed it as harbor smell.

    Turning away, she found a seat near to the man. He was an old man, roughly in his seventies, and had the long limbs and broad chest of an Islander. However, he also had a lionesque mane of hair similar to that of the people of Cassia. When he spoke, his voice was deep and smooth, “We were discussing the nature of Kina as Khaditna, the Great Deceiver. Would you care to listen, or do you have a specific question.”

    In her seat Valineth folded her hands on her lap and leaned in with interest towards the old man, "I have many questions, most borne purely from ignorance, I should like to simply listen if that suits you? Then I may know what questions I need ask."

    The older man nodded and returned to the crowd, “Very well. Now we had spoken about how Kina, Mother of the Night, calls upon us to be responsible for the reasons behind our actions. She tells us we are limited beings, and cannot foresee all that might come from what we do. All we can do is be certain we understand why we act the way we do.”

    His voice took on the tone of a mantra, “My Mother is consciousness, the indivisible Awareness, Reality, and truth. The night sky between the stars is her perfection, the depths of the ocean her echo. The unbounded is always cloaked in darkness, the inebriating darkness of my beloved Kina.” Then it returned to normal.

    "Kina is also known as Khaditna , the Great Deceiver. she possesses the knowledge of all souls that have come to her, for all time. Each soul is rewarded or punished through its station in its new life. Those who believe they are masters of their fate, controlling the destiny of themselves and others will find their hubris thwarted. Thus, her guise as the guiding mother is subverted by the fear of having to make decisions on one’s own.

    To the Children of Kina it is essential to face her Curse, the terror of death, as willingly as they accept Blessings from her beautiful, nurturing, maternal aspect. For us, wisdom means learning that no coin has only one side: as death cannot exist without life, so life cannot exist without death. Khaditna teaches that this awareness is the only true gift one can have

    Again he spoke in a mantra, “Children call upon their mother, comprehending not the difference between need and desire. The Great Deceiver will deny you your earthly delights, despoils your pleasures. What you need is found only in in the darkness beyond adversity.”
    This idea should guide are decisions. Are we doing this out of fear of death, or love of life? Is what we do with the belief we are master’s of our destiny, or followers of the truth? It is these choices, these guides, that control our decisions. It is these that we shall answer for to her third aspect, Khadi, The Devourer.”

    A woman raised her hand “Was Tupelo truly a martyr then, or was it hubris?”

    “That, my cousin in spirit, is not for us to decide. Perhaps he truly believed as he spoke, that for the people to flourish the tyrant must go. Perhaps he truly believed death was the only option left, as he professed. Or perhaps Khaditna put before him all he desired as a trap, to test his true intentions and clarity of purpose. Only the Mother truly knows.”

    "If She is the keeper of souls, is she also the taker? Is death her domain or only the treatment of the soul after death? I know those upon the Blazing Mountain believe the soul is granted to sentient life as a spark from the Lord of Fire, imbuing each man, woman, and child with life, in this metaphor Kina could conceivably operate as a collector of the ember could she not? Once the fire has burned out, she comes to take the ember and decide where it shall be rekindled, but is it she who puts the original fire out?" Valineth said, her voice heavy with interest as she spoke with the old man.

    The old man seemed impressed. "That is a very keen observation. It is not for Kina to take life, though the Deceiver may lead you down the path of your own destruction. The relationship between Kina and the Lord of Fire is one, sadly, we are still discovering. Martyr Tupelo was writing upon that issue when he was killed." He seemed sad, but quickly got back to his more conversational tone. "What we have indicates that they are like husband and wife. One is the spark, the other the fuel, for the fire of life. Which role each has is a subject of much debate. Your view is a popular one, that Kina gives the bodies and the Lord of Fire imbues the spirit. When a person dies, Kina gatheres the coals, disposing what is not useful and saving the rest for the next fire."

    "But who handles death? I have not had much opportunity to study Yphinne and the Doctrine of the Frost, but she does not give me the impression of a power over death. Perhaps she is that instrument though," Valineth mused out loud, "The body does grow cold with death and little lives in the far reaches of the north where the chill holds the strongest. But who is she then in relationship to the Lord of Fire and Kina? A jealous and spurned lover? And that speaks nothing of Ashmar whom the Huroshans so revere. There must be some way they are all connected. Something tying them together."

    "I cannot speak for the other gods, nor thier followers. But we believe no one handles death. Death merely is. All things exist, then cease to exist. Even the vast universe has a beginning, and will have an end. Now, can anyone else tell our story of the creation of our Mother?" He asked the crowd.

    A younger man raised his hand, then spoke. "At the beginning, all gods stood together to create the world. All the gods we know, and all we have forgotten. Dark gods and demons as well. Creation and destruction was woven into the fabric of the universe. But the dark gods proved stronger. Destruction is often easier than creation. There was a war. Every time a demon was killed, it split into two. The gods of creation were losing. To fight them, the other gods each gave a small portion of themselves to the Lord of Fire. He crafted Kina, and gifted her with some of his own fire. She didn't kill the demons, but grabbed them, one in each of her six arms, and ate them. When she was done, she slept."

    The old man nodded, "Very good. And why is how the Mother came to be so important?"The teen didn't know, staring back blankly.

    The man turned to Valineth, "Can you guess the import of the story, and what it might mean to your own questions?"

    Valineth thought for a moment, furrowing her brow. "It tells us she has some evil inside her, that in order to overcome the demons the gods were made to create something that could ingest evil and yet live and not succumb to it. She is not then an agent of death or destruction, but an escort through it. One who understands, but is not." Valineth looked at the old man, curiosity to his response in her eyes.

    "I have not heard it put that way, yet you are quite astute." The old man complimented her. "In a way, the Mother of the Night was an empty vessel. Into her, the gods put portions of themselves. Then, into her came evil as well. So we believe that are souls have portions of the designs of the gods, as well as seeds of our destruction. That is why she requires us to look inside, to worry more about why we do things rather than the consequences. Is it the god spark, or the demon spark, that motivates us?"

    "But then why does Khadi the Destroyer judge?" Asked another listener.

    The old man seemed to prevaricate a little, "It is something upon we all should ponder. The Martyr Tupelo never finished his writing. Some believe it is her job to contain evil. But then why does she let a small portion of it out within each soul? It is hard to comprehend."

    Someone else offered, "There is the Year of the Skulls." The crowd grew very quiet. A small breeze blew through the portico, carrying with it the stench of decaying fish.

    Valineth looked around at the hushed faces, her eyes concerned. She didn't want to ask, she almost didn't', but she was compelled,

    "What is the Year of the Skulls?" she couldn't manage any polite apologies for her ignorance, any diplomatic words seemed to fail her, she could only ask.

    There was a great moment of silence. The old man looked uncomfortable, but he couldn't avoid a question once asked, that would be improper. "It is our belief that each soul can become more god-like or demon-like through their own power, more 'good' or'evil' if those words have meaning to you. As each soul returns to the Mother, they bring with them the blessings or taint from thier lives. A certain sect of our religion believes that when the number of tainted souls returning to the Mother grows too great, it will cause her to re-awaken and return to Telluris as Khadi the Destroyer. In her wrath, she will destroy the world in an act called the Year of the Skulls. From the ruins, a new, better, world will be rebuilt."

    He attempted to change the subject, "The cyclical nature of souls for good or evil is one of the most discussed portions of our beliefs. It is fascinating to think that the Mother of the Night is still attempting to destroy the demons she consumed- through the good actions of each soul in their lifetime."

    Valineth was silent as the old man spoke. Another religion with a belief in an apocalypse to be rendered upon the unworthy, much like Yphinne and the Year of Frost. Fire had nearly burned the world mere decades ago and almost every sect she spoke with regarding other gods seemed to hold a belief in their own god or goddess' destructive power. It was an intriguing aspect, one she would need to discuss with the spiritual minded men and women of Yorukuni when she returned home.

    "It is intriguing," Valineth agreed, "Though I would be inclined to think the natural balance of good and evil was one of equal measure, most notably if encompassing the entirety of the world. Good beings and bad beings seem to arrive upon the scenes of history in equal measure and always in opposition. I cannot envision a world in which evil would become so rampant as to warrant destruction of all life."

    "Not all life" a woman spoke up. She was exceptionally beautiful, with a naturally youthful appearance. SHe might be twelve or twenty two, it was hard to tell. She had spoken before, and Valineth old man regarded her warily as she spoke now. "That sect, the Deceivers, are said to believe that only the wicked and their wicked works will be destroyed. So that the just can grow and expand. Like tearing up the weed-filled grass to plant a garden." As she spoke, she tugged at a white band about her wrist. Valineth realized that almost everyone present had one, in a wide variety of colors and patterns. At least she finally figured out how to identify one of their faith, she mused.

    "You shouldn't pay attention to such things, they border on blasphemy." The old man cautioned. "Some accused Tupelo of being a Deceiver, but the War wiped them out. Regent Pertrichor hunted them to extinction." He turned back to Valineth, "So, traveller, cousin in spirit, what has prompted your many questions? Please tell us, for we can learn much from the spiritual journeys of others."

    Valineth looked back at the old man, shaking her transfixion from the young woman. "I'm-" she paused, "a traveler from a land in need of faith. I have traveled to the Blazing Temple, I have traveled to Kasumor, I have now traveled here. It's my hope to see Yphinerra and Miji Mkuu as well, that I might can return to my lands with the knowledge of all the greatest religions of the north so that I might know which one my land need."

    "Even so far though the task has proved arduous, all have their place within the construct and while Radurja speaks to include all I have read they give almost equal weight to the simplest of spirits as they do to the greatest of gods and I do not know that my people would accept such a belief."

    The old man reached behind him and produced a leather-bound tome. It was festooned with ribbons and stuffed with bits of loose parchment. "Here, take my copy of the Tome of the Mother. I can easily procure another one when I travel to the sacred grove in Tar. May the writings, and my musings upon them, be helpful in your quest, my lady."

    Valineth took the tome gingerly, "I thank you, you honor me with this gift. I shall see your kindness and teachings are repaid in time," she smiled at the old man, "I shall read this deeply in my journey back to my land and find the truths contained within."

    She stood up, "Thank you all for your time, it has been an enlightening experience, but I must now depart. I wish you all well, you have helped me and my people more than you could know."

    With a bow Valineth made her way towards the exit of the pavilion her mind swirling with spiritual thoughts.
    Last edited by lt_murgen; 2014-07-29 at 07:02 PM.
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  13. - Top - End - #13
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    Default Re: The Radurjic Codex [EMPIRE! IC]

    [A letter to Shahidi Mkuu Shvedrishti, the year 411]

    May the blessings of the Great Ancestor be upon you.

    I am pleased finally to write back from Jarrland. Since my arrival the lands of the crown have greatly expanded, so I have confined my observations largely to the homeland of the Jarr people for the avoidance of ambiguity.

    Spoiler: On my arrival
    Gaining entry to Jarrland is not difficult, as they put relatively few restrictions upon foreign travellers. Many groups of foreigners are considered specifically under the protection of the king, largely based on political relationships between the royal family and the people in question, but this does not debar other foreigners from entering the kingdom.

    Life is made more difficult for members, particularly ordained priests, of various religious organisations. Priests of the Lord of Fire are welcomed, and Salterri priests of the Hailings of the Silver Sea are tolerated. Other priests are treated with greater suspicion. I was obliged to swear an oath that I came with no intentions to spread the Radurjic faith before I was allowed to enter the kingdom unsupervised, and my belongings were searched for materials suggesting I intended to do so. The search was firm, but not rude.

    Spoiler: On the people
    The Jarrs consider themselves to be several peoples, with each individual clan its own people. To an outsider, the differences are entirely cultural, and even then not very significant. The people are, by and large, tall and slim, with slightly delicate, elfin features. Ears tend towards the pointed, and eyes towards the almond-shaped. As a rough measure, societal status can be judged by the physical features of a Jarrlander: the aristocracy tend to look more elfin, and commoners born with elfin features tend to rise high in the service of the nobility, often even marrying into their families.

    It is harder to judge them by clothing. Jarrs have everyday, working clothing, and “best” clothes, in which they take great pride. Nobles will wear rough clothes when the situation demands it, and peasants will wear finery for special occasions. It might be possible to identify them based on jewellery, or decoration, but the way I found most effective for adjudging position by clothing was simply to wait until I saw a given individual again and see whether they were wearing the same “best” outfit, as most peasants have only one, and nobles tend to have several.

    Spoiler: On religion
    The Jarrs are aware of the Great Ancestor and listen politely when informed, but on the whole they are a superstitious, rather than a religious, people. They worship the Lord of Fire, their own ancestors, diverse nature and elemental spirits, and the Lady Ascended, some of them all at once, seeing no contradiction in it.

    For political reasons, the king has been trying to encourage the spread the faith of the Lord of Fire and restrain that of the Priory of Ascension. This appears to have been the reason for the checks at the border. It does not seem that there is any deep-seated religious conviction behind the decision. For similar reasons, the Salterri faith of Hailings of the Silver Sea is allowed to spread unhindered, although it has achieved no real penetration. Very few missionaries from the core Salterri provinces are apparently present in Jarrland and the people are almost entirely ignorant of their faith.

    In areas where established religions have less penetration, especially in the forest regions, many people still hang small charms, personal belongings, jewellery and fetishes on large trees, to draw the attention of the spirits to a particular cause. Lovers' charms are particularly common. The most notable site for this is the Great Cedar, which appears to be the effective symbolic centre of old paganism, and the boughs of which groan with all sorts of items, some of them very high and possibly placed there decades ago.

    Spoiler: On society
    Jarr society is patriarchal. Women are treated with respect, but are not expected to hold positions of authority and in many instances are effectively prohibited from doing so. The Jarrs are simply blind to it: their society has always been male-dominated and any question as to whether it should be done differently is met with puzzlement. They are aware that foreigners do things differently, and seem to be unperturbed by mention of female heads of state abroad, but are baffled by any suggestion of this happening in Jarrland itself.

    While a queen regnant is technically possible under the act of succession, it is a last resort in the absence of any male heirs, and it appears she would be expected to marry and hand over the reins of government to her husband.

    This may be changing, as they establish greater contact with foreign societies, particularly the matriarchal sylphids to the south. Vennland, while subject to the crown, is governed by a married couple, albeit it appears to be the general perception that Duke Radber governs on behalf of his wife, the nominal heir.

    In particular, there is one spectacular exception to the general rule, which might prove more influential in changing this aspect nature of Jarrland society than any other single factor. Queen Tempest holds a position of real authority both in the admiralty and as a lady in the Jarrland peerage. She is an influential voice on the Royal Council, is recognised both publicly and privately as one of the king's leading advisors, and among the people is greatly respected and wildly popular.

    Spoiler: On culture
    In private, the Jarrs are an informal people. Drinking, joking, including practical jokes, and horseplay are fundamental parts of their lifestyle. Friends and family are greeted with embraces. In public, it is almost entirely the reverse. Strangers are treated politely and formally, often with an arch and slightly stilted form of words. Especially in the higher reaches of society, this language is often employed as a means of conveying respect, and is de rigeur when dealing with foreigners. Relatively little affection is displayed in public, save during a greeting, and these tend to be curtailed compared to private meetings.

    Alcohol is a cornerstone of Jarr culture. The traditional everyday drinks are ale and beer, made with grain and hops imported from north of the Discord mountains. Wine was apparently unknown until recently but has proved very popular. There are also a few local drinks, such as fruit beverages fermented from cider and pears, and a grain spirit distilled in the highlands.

    The people's capacity for drink is staggering. While they are frequently to be found inebriated, it is a wonder they are not constantly so. The suggestion that a given individual “can't hold his ale” is considered a challenge to masculinity, albeit usually a good-natured one.

    Spoiler: On family and oaths
    Family is all-important. The clans are effectively extended kinship groups, and while an individual is expected to display loyalty to their immediate family first and foremost, all members of the clan are considered family. Marriage is seen literally as joining two families together, and it is common for people to address each other as “brother”, “uncle” or “cousin” even if they are related only by marriage. For instance, the king reportedly refers to Shahidi Jonas Grant as his brother, without further qualification. This is not a symbolic gesture. Most Jarrs will treat an insult or threat to their spouse's family as personally as they would one to their own.

    All that supersedes the ties of family is the oath. In general, the Jarrs take a casual attitude towards honesty and deception. Irony is an everyday feature of their discourse, and a degree of pride is taken in outwitting others. If someone is fooled or taken advantage of, they bear at least part of the blame for their foolishness and credulity. However, once an oath is given, breaking it is considered a crime, and accusing another of breaking an oath is a grievous insult.

    Therefore, if a Jarr should tell you something, he might be lying or not, whether to his own advantage or merely his own amusement. If he shakes your hand or gives you his word, that is as good as an oath, and he can be counted on to be telling the truth: if he is discovered to lie under such conditions, he will be denounced by his fellows.

    Oaths vary in importance. Marriage vows are considered very serious, in common with the importance the Jarrs place on family. Oaths of loyalty to the king or other liege lord are also all but paramount. Supreme is the “blood oath”, an oath sealed by the shedding of blood. These are rare and used only in the direst of circumstances.
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  14. - Top - End - #14
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    Default Re: The Radurjic Codex [EMPIRE! IC]

    On the structure of the church:

    The Watafiti(singular: Mtafiti)
    Any person who wishes may join the church simply by going to a monastery and professing a desire to do so. These people leave the trappings of their previous life behind and are known as watafiti, or seekers. A mtafiti's primary job is to learn. There are no restrictions or taboos on this; all subjects are open though some garner more attention. Other duties include the basic maintenance needed to run the church such as cooking, cleaning, gardening, and tending to the needs of the faithful. It is also not uncommon for watafiti to leave the monastery to quest for new knowledge. Large portions of the Radurjic Codex is comprised of the letters sent back by these traveling watafiti.

    The Mashahidi(singular: Shahidi)
    When a mtafiti feels ready they are allowed to complete the osuro ritual. The ritual consists of a week of solitary meditation, subsisting on water and osuro. During this time the seeker will have visions, and gain their first glimpse of the Anga Lingine. After the completion of the ritual they are granted the rank of Shahidi. Their primary duty is still to learn, but also to teach. Other duties include running the monasteries, ensuring that the watafiti are taken care of, and are allowed to train as Mahakimu(judges).

    The Chuo wa Mashahidi
    The Chuo wa Mashahidi, or College of Mashahidi, is comprised of the elder mashahidi, who have reached a point of self understanding allowing them to complete the second stage osuro ritual. This ritual requires one to fully enter the Anga Lingine, and then reenter their body. When properly completed the shahidi then has perception of both worlds at all times. Their eyes become solid white, as did Mosi's before them. Great wisdom is expected of those who are able to attain this rank, and they have many responsibilities. First and foremost they run the Church as a whole. They decide funding and future goals for the Church, while also being charged with keeping the other two branches of the Triumvirate federal government honest.

    The Holy Radurjic Army

    The Wapanagi-Watafiti(singular: Mpanagi-Mtafiti)
    The Wapanagi-Watafiti make up the base of the Church's forces. They wear lightweight orange robes, a uniform that marks them distinctly from other Triumvirate forces. They are primarily tasked as a police force, ensuring the safety of citizens. Outside of combat duties their roles is roughly identical to that of other watafiit.

    The Wapanagi-Mashahidi(singular: Mpanagi-Shahidi)
    Wapanagi-watafiti progress to wapanagi-mashahidi via the osuro ritual, just like their civilian counterparts. Their duties include the standard things expected of military officers. Also it is not uncommon for Wapanagi-Mashahidi to choose to wield hai vyuma in lieu of more traditional weapons. Like their civilian counterparts, wapanagi-mashahidi can complete the second osuro ritual, and join the Chuo wa Mashahidi.
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  15. - Top - End - #15
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    548: A letter to the the Chuo wa Mashahidi.

    May the blessings of the Great Ancestor be upon you.

    I write to you as a budding Watafiti from my homeland Cephalo’Di. My people are unique and in my studies I have learned our history is not written in the Codex. Here I will do my best to describe life in the deep in the hope knowledge of our people will be preserved for those in the next life. As well as discuss recent revelation I have had in my meditations.

    From the deep trenches the song of the Cealophytes began. Our ancestors lived and died by strength. Fighting was common and starvation rampant. This is what began the right of consuming. Herbivores by nature the dead and lost were horded and guarded by their family while the Lu’Sindra slowly converted them into life giving food. The family would feed on the fungus in lean times, and become stronger with their bellies full. This lead too honoring the dead as a source of strength and wisdom as those with good stocks of the dead tended to live longer and grow wiser.

    Cealophytes honor their ancestors even now as the source for their strength, when they fail to consume at least some Lu’Sindra each month their limbs grow weak and their glowing marks dim and fade. After farming was learned and food was made plentiful the dead were moved from secluded caves to honored crypts. Many now use the public crypts of Ester’Gloom, where their honored dead are tended by the fungus farmers, but some have private crypts in the city and surrounding depths.

    Each ancestor's’ memory is preserved and the family sings of their past and the lessons they taught the family. Great heros and the ancient leaders get their own songs and have them sung at gatherings and national holidays. Most recently Lachlan Thel’sor’s song has entered the history of our people, saving us from the pleasure hunts of the Vicca’Roy family where they killed our people for sport.

    Since food is hard to grow in the dark deeps Morla turtles are used to keep the farmlands close to the surface. The farmers are often at the will of the tides. This lead many to a new religion, the worship the Blessed Tides. They pray for boons of fish on the currents and when they find them they honor the tide and bring more people into the faith.

    Throughout my studies under my Shahidi I have tried to find a home for my former belief in the Tides. It was something I struggled with since the ideas of my father and his father were strong in my upbringing and I would not wish to dishonor their history even as I seek out understanding in the Great Ancestor’s Ocean.

    Recently I have been studying the great accomplishments of Anagua the Guide. During my meditations on the Guide’s works I kept relating them to the boons experienced by the faithful of the Tides. I brought this up with my Shahidi and she told me to explore this perceived connection in my studies.

    I understand now that the Purvajom need not be known to still affect the people of the lands they travel. Nor must all people they affect know them by the same name. I feel in my heart that the connection is there between the work of Anagua in other lands and the work done by the Blessed Tides.

    I would ask that the name of Tide Bringer be added to the list of names Anagua is known by, but that is not for me to decide. Included with this letter is a copy of all my research into this matter and my notes on the connections between the recorded works of Anagua the Guide and the observations of the faithful of the Tides. I can only ask that you look into my work.

    Your humble servant,
    Watafiti Sala’man Babel

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