As with all other areas of The Rising of Chaos: What is known, what is true and what is propoganda are three very different things. If you have chosen to follow Focus Magic in the Royal Basin what follows is a brief overview of how it is perceived, what it is for and how it is used depending on where you were trained.
Faith, Divinity, Belief
From the Magic of The Source was born the power of the Focus which draws its name from the method in which the power is drawn and changed. At a time of great need Sourcerers rose to prominence who pushed the convictions of people and instilled in them the power of belief. This belief focussed their power into what is now called Grace or Focus and through actions involving the species known as Fae, practitioners of the Source were drawn into a state of Divinity. Concepts of Heavens and afterlives, Deities and Hells were discussed among their followers and the ideals of Clergies and Synods were born in the Royal Basin. As their power grew the Abomination found its way into the Faith as Heresy or Apostasy which gave birth to creatures seeking faith as a power feed itself for dark and blasphemous purposes.
From this point onwards mortals began to understand that faith, true belief in the Divine, had gained power and had become like a commodity that could be traded to these new beings of power, these Deities. The most faithful that acted as Focuses for the lesser became like brokers passing on that power for the Divine and in return were granted the right to perform miracle for their followers. Those deities with more followers had more faith and grew more powerful, others rose and fell but were governed by their followers by the belief of what they thought they were until they had become little more than concepts. Now their worship is universal, religion is organised and a power within most countries.
Everything in the Royal Basin begins in the Academy and grows out into the Guilds and from there into the Tables of Governance. The AzureTable represents the power that is at the Core of Faith and its flock is made up by the Churches of the Eleven although the articles of faith are taught elsewhere to a specialised level. We recommend that you examine the Churches where faith is taught to give yourself greater depth and understanding. Each Church is dedicated to one of the Eleven Gods of the Royal Basin that have been recently unified, once again, by the Azure Table:
There are a number of deities which is constantly in flux as the Pantheon grows or shrinks dependent on the situation of the day. Each deity prescribes or describes their Priests in different ways however there is, fundamentally only the Concept of Priests.
All the deities of one people collectively is called a Pantheon In the Royal Basin a Pantheon is broken down into the deities of the Dawn, the Day and the Dusk. This is designed to represent the passage of time: The Deities of Dawn are seen as young and virile, The Day as growing in wisdom and working and the Dusk as venerable, facing death but learned.
Yarrianne – The Gentle Hand: Yarriannites are charged to help all those who are in pain and are suffering, offering mercy and taking the burdens of these ills upon themselves where necessary. Yarriannites often stick to the doctrine of diplomacy and pacifism as part of their code when faced with any hostile situation.
Tiberius – The Mailed fist: Tiberius is one of the most ethically pure of the all faiths in that it is devoted to obedience and loyalty. This is not to say that this is a Blind obedience; Tiberiusites are as guided by their own actions as they are by the loyalty that they serve. For a Tiberiusite salvation may be found through their adherence to duty and honour and their day to day actions are guided by such thoughts.
Naed – The Kind Hand: Naed’ doctrine is quite specific about the responsibilities placed upon those with power and as far as he is concerned all of the Priests within his faith are considered to be those with power. It is difficult for any Priest of Naed to truly grasp the overall message that Naed is sending to his people, Naed encourages individuality and his Priests have embraced this concept with open arms. Whilst there are only four recognised Churches of Naed there are hundreds of tiny schism factions within that hierarchy that have slightly different dogmas of their own.
Pracalam – Lord of the Harvest: Pracalam is husband to Yarrianne. His faith are hard working folk who mostly hail from the ranks of the smallfolk. Far from cities his priests roam the trade roads keeping them safe as they travel from farmstead to inn to charcoal burners camp. They ensure that people are fed, supplied and safe and that they are not being prayed upon economically. They will pitch in during harvests and bless the ceremonies of those times ensuring that food goes further than one would suspect.
The Corrigun – Traitors Bane: The Corriguns followers are almost explicitly soldiers, chaplains and other types found on the Battlefield. They hold the words of Oaths dear holding those words in their very souls to ensure their sanctity. They specialise in helping people begin new lives, especially after wars and are usually skilled Chirurgeon’s and diplomats, seeking peaceful solutions where possible.
Ekimelahw – The Incorruptible: The Ekimelahwians are charged to uphold the law, keep order and to dispense Justice where possible in an impartial and reasonable manner. They are to obey the law of the land in all things in so much as it is supported by an ordered, balanced and properly appointed authority. They are to maintain the balance of the light and the dark and ensure that the two co-exist without any transgression of mortal or divine law or edict. In times of war the Ekimelahwian church acts as a buffer between the people of Vaklam and the battles that are taking place ensuring that dangers do not spill over into civilian areas. They also police the armies and navies enforcing wartime laws as rigidly as peacetime ones.
Bethylak – The One: Knowledge is the most powerful thing that any person can own, knowledge is formed of ideas and ideas are dangerous. An idea can kill a man, though it has no edge, it can topple buildings though it has no weight, it has no mass but can sweep aside kingdoms and one idea can dominate an empire. Most important of all an idea cannot be seen though it can be heard and even if it is killed it can be rekindled and returned to life once more. Knowledge is the most powerful thing that any person can own but before anything can exist the idea must exist.
Terref – The Charmed: Terref teaches that mercantile trade is the best road to enrichment. Increasing the general prosperity of all, buys ever-greater civilisation and happiness for all intelligent folk bringing everyone closer to a Golden Age of peace, music, laughter and joy. Terref is the merchant’s friend and bids that those that follower her shall destroy no trade goods in either deed nor word. To say that all grapes from The Ferns are poisoned is to blaspheme in the eyes of the Goddess. The faithful should give money freely to beggars and to business alike to demonstrate the bounty of the Goddess and the wealth to be gained through service to her and to increase the free coin in everyone’s hands.
Rayvahn – The End of hope: Clergy of Rayvahn have a difficult task with the skills at their disposal; Rayvahn commands that all of her gifts are brought to the deserving, but establishing the deserving from the innocent is a difficult task. Many believe that her Priests simply mete out her gifts to all and sundry, those that do are not part of her clergy, to most priests the gifts of Rayvahn are precious. Misery, pain and suffering are things that come at as a response to an action. For most people these things come naturally and the cause of such pain is often unjust or untimely. For others, actions go unpunished and crimes and sins that deserve the gifts of the mistress are the food of the Clergy
Notelexus – The Coldest Fear: The Clergy of Notelexus have a great deal of directives; their main priority is to deal with the dead and see to the passing over of the spirit to the next realm. All spirits that wish to travel to the side of a Deity must first travel to the realm of Notelexus before they move onto the Halls of Justice and Ekimelahw and be judged. Most folk of the Basin would prefer a Notelexian to preside over their death rites; it lends a certainty to the proceedings and most small folk believe that their passage to the afterlife will not be pleasant or successful. As such the Notelexian faith are held in incredibly high esteem despite prior transgressions and most noble families have reinstated the family Notelexian that serves to guide all of their line into the afterlife and remain in communication with them.
The Kraken – The Oblivion of the Deep: To say that the sea is the be all and end all of the Krakenite faith would be very misleading, there are certainly two sides of the coin at work here. The Priesthood takes the role of burdens very seriously and with it hidden things. Since becoming part of the Clergy of the Royal Basin they have chosen to embrace the nations burdens as best they can, ostensibly so that they can better fit into the society that they have come to belong to. They have become part of the world that seeks for that which is lost, takes up the burdens of others and fights for the overall good of the Clergy and ergo the Royal Basin, it is fast becoming part of the mantra of the Church.
Beyond the Churches there is training for Pilgrims, usually for those that don't fit in with the rigid demands of the Clergy or its fluctuating leadership.
A Guild for those that fight that which cannot be fought, stop that which cannot be stopped.
A Guild for Doctors, Professors and all interested in Academia
Controlled by a stringent set of beliefs and rules that if worshipped correctly allows Priests (the Focus) to draw power from their parent deity to provide miracles.
Based on the purity of the Soul and intolerant of Heresies against it.
The second form of magic to come from the Nexus with that power separated from that Source, being autonomous and held under the Auspice of Divine beings.
Unified magic working more powerfully when performed in groups through the action of group prayer to a flock.
Humble Magic: Priests serve the people that are their flock and they take the doctrines of their patron deity and enforce that in the world. In all matters they are servants although with responsibilities and duty. Adaptable: The Deities attitudes and doctrines change as the world and their followers change: They owe their power to the people who effectively own shares in them. They listen to their shareholders.
Ordered: The structure of faith is an ordered thing, run from on high by the Clergy and following set, interpreted guidance from the Deities via the Heads of their Faiths. Representative: The Priests believe that their flock, their deities and urgo their churches represent the people and that they should, therefore, be at the heart of political affairs in the Royal Basin.
Obeying the direct will of mad Gods so inflexible in their outlook that their Priests are considered mad.
A gang of Zealots: Priests of the Royal Basin are open to each others beliefs and work for the betterment of the Pantheon. People that fall on their knees before their Deities: The situation is one of mutual respect from Priest to Deity and Deity to Priest.
Now that you either have an in depth understanding or a shallow understanding of what The Focus is and what it does you have some choices to make that will direct which words you start with as a caster. These will need to be relayed to the system after character creation and will be how you cast from now on.
Were you trained with the Clergy?
Were you trained with The Oath or the Univesity?
Once you have this choice you may follow the next few choices specifically along the path of Either Clergy or Independant as follows
You have chosen to be a follower of the Divine and commit your soul to the cause of those imbued with Faith. Despite debate between the powers of the Azure Table the Deities sit in one of three Pantheons and your first choice becomes The Dawn, The Day or The Dusk:
You have chosen your Pantheon and now dedicate your faith and soul to a Divinity that will guide your path and how you interact with your flock. Choose one of the following Deities.
Having chosen the patron that will guide your actions in the coming days your final step is to associate yourself to an order of the Church. All churches follow the same format and have similar orders locked into them. It is to this order that you will report and through their duties that you will serve and build the power of your Church and your deity.
Here the members of the Church that will serve as warriors of their deity are prepared for that duty. These soldiers are expected to serve their deity in the field, acting to defend the faithful and protect the priests and those that travel with them. They are also expected to guard the temples in their times of garrison and of course to take arms and do battle when those that oppose the will of the divine strike against the land.
Bonus Transcendental Word: Proficiency
Here the members of the Church will train to do battle of a different sort, in the political arena. To strengthen the ties between the churches and to gain favour in court so that they may call upon the power of the nobility to assist their agenda and the agenda of the Church itself.
Bonus Transcendental Word: Reasoning
Here the members of the Church are prepared for their journeys and sojourns across the world. The order of pilgrims find their duties being to spread the word of the divine across the land and to perform the duties that their God has given them. The order of pilgrims fulfils the largest section of the Church and is the backbone of the organisation. Without the order of Pilgrims the Church would falter and they are made welcome in all towns, villages and homesteads.
Bonus Transcendental Word: Journeys
Here the members of the clergy that are skilled in the arts of potion brewing, the scribing of scrolls and indeed, who hope to become skilled in the arts of artificery one day, train and work. Whenever potions and scrolls are collected from a church it is gathered from these brave individuals who spend much of their time locked away in laboratories.
Bonus Transcendental Word: Crafting
The Deities do not differentiate in how they grant their power to a follower of their faith, whilst the ethos of how you operate may be different the power that you represent is identical to that of the churches Step 1 and Step 2 are the same. Ony Step three is different:
Oath of the Dawn - To guide the young and bring forth Joy:
Add the Transcendental word: Teaching
Oath of the Day - To aid those that seek to bring stability to the world:
Add the Transcendental word: Arbitration
Oath of the Dusk - To bring the wisdom of the old to the young and keep their wisdom alive:
Add the Transcendental word: Remembrance
Professor of The Focus and add the Transcendental word: Study
To represent and control the political and magical expansion of power in and beyond the Royal Basin.
The Clergy were born from a war between the faiths and has been, through the actions of heretical faiths, in a state of civil war on many occasions throughout the centuries of its existence. It has become wary and distrustful of those that would speak against the clergy and understanding that the organisation itself is riddled with corruption and secrets. The Deities are born of us and were once mortal and as such know the heart of we who serve them. Their power is to be embraced, accepted and spread with balance and harmony to all those that bear a soul. Any governance needs the words of the Deities within its heart, the clergy must be those words and encompass that heart. The Clergy must never be allowed to fall into darkness again. Unity in Faith.
Casting is through prayers that follow the doctrine of your deity Words should be big, slow and powerful – you are looking at 4 words per second. Your Holy symbology should be involved The Royal Basin is all about intoning prayer. A prayer of thanks at the end of casting is standard.