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The End of Hope

Brief History and Ethos

In the days before the coming of the comet there were the old magics of the Skagriagaard and the Zoranethi, the Giant Kin and the Angelus. When the comet came it bought with it the first of the changes, the new magic, the source of magic; source magic. From source magic through the belief of others the three Gods of old were born: The first was Kalarin a goddess founded in the forges of War, battle goddess: The light of the Heavens. The next was Malice the made being created of spite and sin wickedness founded of one man's ambitions to rule the lands: The Dark One. The last was the balance, weaver of order and bringer of the peace, founded by need and necessity and a call for common ground: Tremalian the Grey. As they rose to the heavens so they gave Focus to the power of the Source. Focus Magic was created and so, powered by the belief of their followers and a pact made with Fae of Eidelos they prospered.

For many hundreds of years they ruled the heavens and the stories of their followers, the Angels and Archangels and indeed even the Gods themselves are many. Epic Legends when all powers strode the lands and did battle, causing so much devastation that the great Tharinos’ was called in which all powers were as equal and the Gods could be called to answer for their actions. Eventually however the eyes of Malice, inspired by the will of the Torakaylin family line, turned to the control of the lands of the Basin and beyond and it called upon its General Gabrak to lay waste to the other great churches in its name. It was in these great Pantheonic Wars that the Gods of this time were destroyed and the Gods that we know and venerate today where born.

Power and belief of that time are mysterious forces to the modern day Priest; the fall and rise of Gods and Goddesses, that seems so alien to us now, was a real threat to the followers of the faith in that day and age. It is almost impossible for us to imagine seeing the raw power of our God overshadowing a city and being cut to pieces by the power of Daemons and enemy casters. Yet this is how the deities of the past were ended but it was not the end of the belief nor the power and portfolios that they represented. It was almost as if the Gods had prepared for the final days of their mortality and had chosen new vessels for their powers but rather than the simplicity of the three deities their power was extended to meet the demands of a larger, growing base of Priests. Seemingly normal folk were raised up and became the new powers of Gods and Goddesses beyond the boundaries of Soul Anchor.

One of these Gods was called Rayvahn; representing strength through suffering, punishment of one's sins and rage and anger. Rayvahn was one of the few individuals that was vying for power during the Pantheonic wars; only an incredulously small number of people had foreseen that the trinity of Gods could fall and had begun preparations for this end. Rayvahn moved amongst the members of both the Churches of Tremalian and Malice collecting power and followers secretly. It was her calling to preserve certain doctrines upon the fall of both Gods and many of the first texts were passed to her by the High Priests and those that failed to comply to a plan that seemed seeded throughout destiny where quietly opposed and persuaded to assist her. When the day came of the passing of the old pantheon Rayvahn ascended as one of the few with foresight and appreciation. Regardless the journey was one that she was reportedly unprepared for and was weaker than she had intended to be and was forced to give up some of her power to create minions to defend her realm. Regardless she arrived and was soon ready to receive the strength of the faithful.

Once the transition was over the Church suffered many blights rather than the immediate success that it had believed would be the outcome of Rayvahn's actions. The church began its reign under the control of a Tremalianite Priest called Arikal Vilemon who had supported the position of Rayvahn during her rise to power. Initial alliances made between the churches as they reflected after the Pantheonic Wars were terse and difficult. Several of the Priesthoods resented the fact that Rayvahn had prepared herself for the heavens and paved the way for her angels to rise quickly to her seat of power. Arikal managed to create basic alliances with the houses of Terref and Bethylak and much stronger ties with the house of Ekimelahw. In the marked days after the wars many of the old priests were declared heretics and when they were caught Rayvahn’s punishment was extreme leading to the very early animosity between the Rayvahnite Church and the Yarriannite Faith. However the Rayvahnite following remained loyal to the Crown and the people of the Basin and began stamping their belief into the core of the system.

It was to be a time of control that followed on; the Faith found great strength among the hearts of the people as their enemies were lain low again and again: Daemons, Zoranethi and Fae all fell to the Royal Basin, the Colleges and indeed the Clergy that supported it. As they fell so their souls, where they could, passed on to the side of the Goddess of punishment who awaited them eagerly. One by one the sentences were passed and Rayvahn oversaw what happened to them in the hells at her control and has that strength was given to her so too did the hells that she governed grow in size and indeed new ones were crafted. From here came forth the first of the Pain Spirits, the Krakataar, that could be called upon by her clergy and with them strength that would see them blossom as a flower blossoms from the seed of the clergy. In those early days the Church of Rayvahn were the voice of the people, their hate, their anger toward the enemies that had for so long preyed upon them was the fuel that made her so strong. This was the time that Rayvahn's legends were formed for the future, artefacts and relics forged and the true power of our faith, that which we enjoy now was created.

However things were not to remain within the status quo of the clergy as the power of Malice spread through the Church of the Devourer and they set their sights on the throne through the power of other churches that they were slowly seeding with their influence. The Undead in the still loyal to Malice spread through the Church of Notelexus and slowly they in turn began to push into the hearts of the Rayvahnites. Over the next few centuries the Devourites and the Notelexians became embroiled with attempts to support Gabrak in efforts to subvert the lands eventually succeeding in him becoming the General of the armies. During these centuries an elite cadre of Rayvahnites began to sweep through the various churches seeking out both daemonic and malice based corruption amidst the clergy. Most notable amongst these was the Bloodtear whose noble sacrifice led to her symbol being combined with the whip of punishment. However the Church of Rayvahn, politically prepared and cunning as they were, had acted too late and the old masters, the Devourites had played their long game well.

As the Bloodtear and her followers were either killed or forced into martyrdom so the rest of the Church was tricked into allying with what came to be called the Dark triumvirate of Gods and the powerful Daemon Lord Sarkith. After many wars involving armies of Undead and the rise and fall of the coalition of the three Churches they were finally driven either out or underground of the Royal Basin. A small collective, under the leadership of The Scarred Man remained loyal to the King which managed to keep some credibility for the future although many of the relics and artefacts of that time period were moved to hidden locations. It had taken a long time for the Dusk Churches to overcome the stranglehold of the Devourer, some to this day say that they never did, but they had little power and were forced into an alliance with the Zoranethi and the Notelexian Church. Much of what occurred in the time of that alliance, referred to as the Church of the One is locked away in Ancient Lore but a few facts are certain.

The Zoranethi gave the Churches sanctuary upon one of their floating islands, including the Devourites although the Devourites were supposed to be unsuspecting dupes who would be one day betrayed. However it was their suspicions that led the Hounds of Hell of the Rice Empire to the doors of the Church of the One and an all out war between the Underworlds of the Rice Empire and the Royal Basin erupted. The battles, in the main, took place out of sight of the mainstream churches and helped to develop the rigged personalities of the alliance that took us to safety, personalities such as Venn-Ra of the Church of Notelexus and our own Sebastian Blackthorne and Seth Karshish. This war culminated in the destruction, or so we believed at the time, of the Devourer and led us into the direct conflict that was the Codex Wars. Due to the actions we had taken in preventing the rise of the Yama Lords the Royal Basin agreed to return Rayvahn and Notelexus to their appropriate places and once more we entered the fray. A majority have been lost or yet to be recovered; The Church struggles to reclaim much of what they lost then.

As the years have passed the Churches have developed new outlooks as they strive to meet the demands of the people that they serve. It has been a mainstream struggle between the old guard and the new thinkers and in recent years the new thinkers have won through. Whilst many would point to the actions of the old “Dark” Churches that brought us together it is clear that the new order of the Clergy: The Churches of Dawn, Day and Dusk would not have become prevalent had it not been for the Holy Order. The Dawn Churches, Yarrianne, Naed and Tiberius represent the dawn of life when we are fresh and full of life, naivety and energy. The Day; Bethylak, Terref and Ekimelahw, represents the middle of our lives when we have become wise and wealthy and live more ordered lives. The Dusk shows us as we approach the end of our lives, when our burdens have weighed heavily upon us, we are wearied and tired and death is but a corner away on our journey. This aspect of our faith is represented by the Churches of the Kraken, Notelexus and Rayvahn. Thus the coming together of the faiths has occurred and we hope that this unity will be reflected inwardly to all faiths that have shared a schism such as ours and that it will one day be for the best of us.

During the recent cataclysm of 2006-2010 the Church solidified a return to the Royal Basin having been instrumental in the downfall of the Devourer. Now under the leadership of Helphak Velde, the Church has undergone many changes recently. Once again through the subtle political nudging of the Priests of the Goddess has returned to the Royal Basin and her people; the old alliances have been rekindled and the Holy places rebuilt. Literally hundreds of those folk who carry the blood of her angels have been identified hiding amongst the smallfolk which has proven to be a surprise to both priesthood and the main body of the clergy alike. What this alludes to now and for the future is unclear but it seems that the Goddess has prepared the peoples of her faith for the a future in which her power will be felt across the Basin as well as the heavens themselves. Indeed the recent actions of Sebastian Blackthorne as one of the Heroes of Soul Anchor, the Lord of Imran and head of the Sanguine order.

The Clergy have long been the ruling body and government of the faiths of the Royal Basin. At times it has been severely understaffed, particularly in the periods when the Churches of the Devourer, Notelexus and Rayvahn were left awash in the wilderness. In recent years the Clergy has been in constant debate and argument but in 2014 the decision was made to appoint a full head and re-establish the Azure Table to sit with the Golden Table of the Royal Basin. Initially the vote seemed likely to be in favour of Sebastian Blackthorn to rule the table in the name of the Church of Rayvahn but it was Yarriannes Mirelle Silverlight who won the majority vote and became the new leader of the Azure Table. Now the Azure Table/Clergy begin a time of rebuilding and unity that will bring a new and prosperous time for all faiths and a togetherness that we hope will endure a thousand years of Basanic life.

Code of the Clergy and the Azure Table

The Clergy stands above the individual churches with regards to the following issues:

  • Ratification of any new Church Policy
  • Ratification of any change in Church Dogma
  • Ratification of any policy that crosses the Golden Table
  • Expenditure of Azure Table Resources
  • Identification and direction of Divine Law
  • Interpretation of the words of the Gods at Tharinos

The Clergy expects

  • Full respect to all other faiths that stand within the pantheon of Dawn, Day and Dusk
  • The adherence to both Divine and Mortal Law
  • To show adequate respect to the laws of the Clergy and the members of the Azure Table that uphold them.

Code of The End of Hope

  • You will in all ways be as servants to the flock that we guide; in some ways this will be in the understanding of our faith in otherwise its punishment.
  • Anger undirected is like faith unpreached, it is our duty to see to that those that are governed by such emotion understand from where it comes and to where it flows.
  • There are many forms of grief and all are deserving of them, it is our duty to share this knowledge. When grief comes through the loss of a loved one we are on hand to make sure that those suffering know that it is because they loved and were loved in return for example.
  • The achieving of one's dreams is to begin the road to torment; hopelessness and misery can both be found along this path and we are expected to know and relate this.
  • If one of the faithful can understand these lessons and learn from them then they can become stronger through the art of their suffering. In this we must be their salvation.
  • Pride and arrogance shall not again blind us to either our faith or our mortality, we shall not journey the path of the Devourer in days to come.

The Goddess Rayvahn

Deity: Rayvahn, The Mistress, The End of Hope, The Everlasting Scream.

Aliases:
Tzi Tzain: Askar
Zumatakan: Aruw
Lairdan-Gan: Mulian
Yuirfarvallen: Torow
Iron Blood: Zibon
Rock Hand: Dasth
Granite Heart: Verfona
Kalashinka: Erewor
Orcish: Kzin-Tar
Fae: Quiricktor.

Afterlives: The All Hell, Purgatory, The Shadows of the Sin Eaters, The release of the Faithful, The plains of the damned.
Foes: The Yama Lords, Yarrianne, Naed
Symbol: A curled Whip or a Blood red tear
Divine Seat: The Tower of Final Grace

Portfolios:

Major: Agony, Grief, Anger, Strength through suffering
Minor: Weariness, Torment, Misery, Punishment.

Rayvahn (Ray-Van) is the seat of misery and pain, her kiss could take you to the brink of ecstasy but leave you always wanting just one more embrace, her gaze reminds you of all things lost that you have ever lost and her words can make the very soul bleed. She is a cold and uncaring Goddess whose function in the pantheon of gods is to ensure that those souls sent to her by Ekimelahw are punished to the very letter of the law. Rayvahn maintains the power she has come to enjoy through relentless devotion to her tasks and expects the very same from the clergy. Through her long exile from the basin, which denied her a great chunk of worship, she sought out several lesser deities that were worshipped in the dark places or in secret. These she has forced to serve her to increase her own power and position amongst the Dark Pantheon.

As well as being part of the dark alliance Rayvahn holds an uneasy pact with Ekimelahw. Long ago they were assigned the roles of Gaoler and Judge, respectively, and were forced to co-operate over the matter of departed souls. However during Rayvahn's absence from the basin it was Ekimelahwian followers that were destroying her representatives and now a tense level of animosity exists between the two deities.

During both of Rayvahn's appearances in the Royal Basin she has appeared as a slender woman of surpassing beauty with clear Eaölfen heritage, tattered white wings spring from her back and she is oft garbed in a white gown over which her long black hair hangs seductively. Her followers tend to dress simply and functionally and weave autumnal colours into their robes. Her Clergy is made up of Priests, who make up the bulk of the Church, The Grey Whisperers, priests who have taken oaths of Purity and then there are the Wound Bringers, the warriors of Rayvahn who bring her word with steel and fire.

Dogma

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. It is the sworn duty of the clergy of Rayvahn to uncover the discretions of those who would attempt to thwart their mistress and show them the error of their ways.

Rayvahnites are commanded to ensure that any who worship their goddess do so out of respect for the responsibilities and power that come with the role. She instructs her followers never to utilise fear but to use their own powers. If some have to be persuaded then let it be through the erosion of their will through the application of the gifts that have been given to her children.

From the Book of Rayvahn:

“I charge my children to scour the land, to ensure that the gifts of the mistress are in every heart, locked away waiting or writhing amongst the ashes of a man's soul. Root out those who are in need of my gifts and punish them one-hundred times over, prepare all for the land beyond life and give no quarter to any enemy. Protect those other followers of the Mistress and raise not your hand to them through the anger that fills us all.”

Archangels and Angels of Power:

Shamik:

Angel of Misery: Dealing with the misery brought about by hard fortune, famine and disease. A Priest that has called upon Shamik to be their patron is responsible for their flocks and companions understanding of the joylessness of hard times and poor fortune. Those that embrace the mistress in these times are strengthened and those that are weak fail and die.

Keth:

Archangel of Agony: Dealing with the inflicting of direct physical and emotional pain. A Priest that has called upon Keth to be their patron has offered their service in bringing both physical and emotional pain as retribution against those that are seen as enemies or heretical in the eyes of the Goddess.

Vehlok:

Archangel of Anger: Dealing with the direct influence of Anger over the emotions of a being and the harm that it can cause on them and those around them. A Priest that has called upon Vehlok to be their patron has learnt to channel the rage and anger of Vehlok and to harness his strengths. Through his power they may give purpose and strength to the flock that they protect and to those companions that they travel with.

Anaban:

Archangel of Grief: Dealing with the grief of loss, the hardships of love and the emptiness of loneliness. A Priest that has called upon Anaban has dedicated their lives to dealing teaching their flock to draw strength from the emptiness of the loss of those that are dear to them and of the hardship of love leaving one's life.

Nemex Kahn:

Archangel of Hopelessness: Dealing with the hopelessness of failure, betrayal and the unkindness of insurmountable odds. A Priest that has called upon Nemex Kahn makes it their duty to bring hopeless despair against those that have betrayed their goddess or each other through pacted means.

Jorith:

Angel of Weariness: Dealing with the hardships of the burdens of life in general. A Priest that has called upon Jorith represents the priests ability to accept the hardships and burdens of day to life as tests from the Mistress and through them to gain her blessings in all that they do.

Kordan:

Angel of Torment: dealing with the torment of that which is always out of reach but could so easily be attainable. A Priest that has called upon Kordan to champion them are responsible for teaching the brethren of Rayvahn that they must continue to persevere towards their goals no matter how out of reach and how much torment that they will be put through in trying to reach them.

Fatchar:

Angel of Shattered dreams: Dealing with the horrific cruelty of sudden loss of the most cherished and beloved things. A Priest that has called upon Fatchar deals with those that have suffered the sudden loss of cherished and beloved things. They teach them how to accept the gifts of the mistress and to explore the cruelty that walks with such loss and bring it to bear in their own psyche.

Turyzek Rekarn:

Angel of Raw Faith and Power: Dealing with the smithing of anger, belief, hopelessness and agony to reforge a being to strength through suffering. A Priest that has called upon Turyzek Rekarn is responsible for dealing with those that have suffered the faith of Rayvahn and have emerged from that journey stronger. To smith that new faith hammer and anvil into a new being fuelled by that belief.

Servants:

Rayvahn is served by a number of Lesser Powers that can also be worshipped by Priests and Ley Followers, these powers have fallen under the remit of the Lord over the years and given their power to increase the strength of The Everlasting Scream

The God Rarta

Known Powers: Punishment through bitter Cold, Hardship in the wastes, Emotionless states
Allied Powers: Rayvahn, Dirge, Beshet
“Embrace the pain that the bitter isolated winter brings. Look not to others for your strength but instead to your own scars and sinew. Bring low those that wrong you or stand against your purpose when the time is right and do so with a pure soul and clarity of purpose”

Long ago Rarta was a powerful angel of Kalarin that through trickery and betrayal was cast out of the heavens into an empty and terrible wasteland far from the heavens as we now know them. Little is known about what happened to Rarta as he fought for survival and freedom from that lost place but when he emerged finally back into the heavens of Vaklam he had been remade. The long exile in the wastes had scoured any trace of emotion from his being but fostered and honed a power born of suffering and endurance itself.

Rarta calls upon his followers to likewise strengthen themselves through enduring adventures in harsh and unforgiving places and to look upon the world with a cold clarity that allows pure purpose. His favour is granted for suffering and survival, for spurning emotional action in favour of rational progress and for punishing enemies by slow, painstaking steps and leaving them to perish in the bitterest cold. Rarta’s most faithful can be found among those who have suffered and endured like him and can mostly be found in the fringes of civilisation near forsaken places. Within the basin worship of Rarta is almost exclusively found in the Bitter vale and the north of ironstone.

Most who worship at the altar of Rarta wear the Sigil of Frost and wear ragged robes or clothing of white, grey and blue. The most fanatical and extreme followers wear little clothing preferring to expose their flesh to the elements especially walking barefoot.

The Goddess Beshet

Known Powers: Physical punishment, strong arm tactics, blind anger.
Allied Powers: Rayvahn, Rarta, Dirge

“OBEY OR SUFFER!”

When Rayvahn rose to the heavens there was much unruliness in her realm, much chaos. The screams of the dying and the suffering filled her hell, for there was only one in those says and Rayvahn's despair grew. Still she needed to create, not to wallow in what she had but she could not, at first, control this and so she created Beshet to serve her. That is what Beshet is, that is all that Beshet will ever be, Beshet is the will of the Mistress given form and sent forward to cause order through punishment and make the will of the Goddess manifest in the heavens. So too do her followers bring the will of the Mistress and by proxy the Church to life in the world of mortality through strength of arm and those that disobey them suffer the fury that they are filled with.

The Holy Symbol of Beshet is the spiked whip

The God Dirge

Known Powers: Bardic Songs of Sorrow, Courts, ramification of action
Allied Powers: Rayvahn, Rarta, Beshet

“Words can bring hope, those same words spun in a different tale or sung in a different song can bring sorrow or joy. It is understanding that brings this, diplomacy in its truest form”

Some time ago the heaving streets of Shriek Spire were little more than the dirt tracks off a village called Arodan. The name can be found amidst the moldering ruins of various municipal buildings scattered across the Bitter Vale. What you will not find mentioned are the links that Rayvahn had with the humble village of Arodan, nor of the great burial catacombs below Arodan, nor of the Violent Passing, a portal to Rayvahn herself. Only the faithful know of the things that dwell there, they and the Lord of the Bitter Vale. Arodan was once a child; he grew, in the fullness of time, to be an accomplished traveler and storyteller. Yet within Arodan was a cancerous seed that fed upon the emotions of his audiences. I say fed because it was not nurtured by the swell of pride that came from a tale of valour but instead fuelled by the sorrow of a dirge or a great tragedy. Arodan, did not, as so many other bards do, pay homage to the Goddess Terref, but instead gave himself wholly to the mistress of pain; Rayvahn.

Many years of successful travelling and telling gave Arodan enough capital to buy land and status, so he came to rest in the market town of Viles (Vil-es) which lay on what would become the Bitter Vale. Viles had been a mining village, tin being the major commodity, those mines were long abandoned but the tunnels still existed below Viles. He arrived, changed the name of the town to his own and begun his mistress’ work. For the previous six years Rayvahn had been appearing to Arodan in the shape of an Angelic being called the Dark Muse. She seduced Arodan and, after nights of high and “interesting” passion, she whispered her insidious plans to his very soul; teaching him, feeding his dark seed, until in the final days after his arrival in Viles Arodan was lost to the world and Dirge was born. Neither alive nor dead, a child of Torture and Pain, a dark Poet and a creature of suffering!

Over the years that followed many faithful of Rayvahn flocked to Arodan, the pull of the Violent Passing was strong indeed. Dirges followers are politicians and diplomats that speak to the mortal folk on behalf of the Churches and to the heavens on behalf of the mortal folk. They maintained a peace between the Churches of the Dusk during the dark days and continue to work their power across the land.

The Holy Symbol of Dirge is a Black Harp

Day to Day Activities

The Clergy spend a great deal of time as a unit, preparing ledgers and amassing information about those that they feel are appropriate victims for the ladies pleasure. Whilst this is the realm usually of acolytes a Grey Whisperers who is then responsible for selecting the Wound Bringer that will bring the ladies justice to a victim often oversees them. With their return to the basin however the skills of the clergy are more creatively used to extract information from prisoners and to create defences against tactics employed against the basin by the Yama Lords. Again this is the task of the rank and file who attempt to make a public return to a basin that until recently hated and reviled them.

The Grey Whisperers take a more active role in the politics of the Clergy, the Church has long standing issues with the College of Controlling Power, especially over their expulsion from the Royal basin. As such the Grey Whisperers are responsible for incredible attempts to further the ambitions and political power of the Clergy Council as a governing body of magics through faith. They are also responsible for the Church coffers and spend a great deal of time organising Priests and trainees into KRO missions and preaching the word of Rayvahn on the streets to increase the Church funds.

Holy Days and Important Ceremonies

The two great days of importance to any Rayvahnite are the days of Ascension when Rayvahn first rose to the heavens and when she crossed the Golden Bridge on her victorious return to the Tower of Final Grace during the Codex Wars. The First, called the Night of the Glorious Sigh, takes place from Dusk till dawn on the night of the seventh day of Leavesdown. During this ritual several rites are observed that will either heighten the physical or emotional feeling, the Priests then offer up their most harrowing feelings or endure the most horrific of tortures for their goddess. Those most fervent with their gifts are rewarded with visions and quests in dreams as they recuperate.

The second Holy Day is observed on the second Osildas each Earthnew and takes place near Vopanderan at the alleged sight of the foot of the Golden Bridge. Here a great shrine has been built and an area prepared for the arrival of angelic messengers. The faithful arrive en masse after three days of fasting and abstinence and spend the night in vigil and prayer. As the first rays of light strike the windows an Angel or Archangel appears and selects nine of the clergy to be blessed under their own personal blessing, a boon that brings great power and lasts for fully one year.

Major Centres of Worship

The Church of the one on the island in Haven hosts the largest current temple of Rayvahn. There are currently plans underway to construct a Cathedral in the capital and several smaller temples in Vopanderan, Strabain and Vobde.

Priestly Vestments

The Clergy wear Brown Robes with Black cassocks for most religious ceremonies; the whip of Rayvahn is most often incorporated as a belt. Grey Whisperers wear grey hoods that completely encompass their heads and always carry a Rayvahnite text with them as part of protocol. When travelling the land in the name of the Goddess the followers of Rayvahn wear more conventional garb but must incorporate the whip of Rayvahn, Grey Whisperers still must carry a text of Rayvahn.

Church Leaders

Helphak Velde - First Principal

Race: Human

Background

The Rayvahnite Church is run by one man and that man is Helphak Velde but he is not what you would expect of a Church leader. Before his story is told it must be understood that he is not a Priest as such and that he is not a Politician at all and that whilst he signs the pieces of paper that make the church go round he is not truly in charge of it. Behind him the Faith of Rayvahn get on with their business and the Church ticks over with Helphak busy as an administrator rather than anything else. But that is not to say that he is the object of ridicule or that he is not respected, Velde commands the respect of every member of the faith and is a commanding if occasionally ill informed member of the Church and the Clergy.

Helphak was born at some point in the late 60's or early 70's as the Eleventh of Fifteen children born out of poverty in the back streets of Malierunne. His mother was a prostitute working in horrific conditions for a criminal group called the Jackdaws, nothing more than a slave. His father was one of the faceless many that took advantage of the cheap prices offered by the Jackdaws who would not care if a whore fell pregnant. There was other work for them. Helphak was seen in his torment by a Priestess of Rayvahn called Milly Velde who spoke with the beaten and half starved child as to his circumstance. She asked him if he believed that he deserved his punishment and his answer was clear: He did not but he knew of those that did. Milly decided to return with the boy to the Temples and saw her way to cleaning him up feeding him and asking the boy a question: What kind of man will you be?

The next morning twenty Jettatura and a boy kicked down a door in Blades Street and entered a building in which foolish people drew quick blades against them. Slowly they began to mete out punishment to those deserving and freedom to those that did not. Some tried to flee but found their way barred by Woundbringers desperate to demonstrate the virtue of their title. Helphak saw his mother freed but no recognition in her eyes and felt no despair, she had suffered so that others, later, would not. Instead he returned to the task that he had set himself. Milly watched the boy recording the confessions, goods recovered and statements that were being made in his notebook with great efficiency. When she enquired who had taught him to write and what he was doing he replied with three answers: They did which is justice because I am recording their sins so that they can be punished to the full extent the law allows for every, single act that they commited.

That is the kind of man I am, although kind should not be used in a sentence used to describe that man.

More than impressed Milly took the boy into the church and adopted him as her son intending to train him as a Jettatura as she was. Helphak was a boy and later a man of extreme faith, moulded by his youth and she respected that but a Priest he was not. Despite her training efforts he returned time and again to his books; record and account keeping, not just for his temple but as weights and measures of the souls of those that had committed sins and deserved punishment. The level of spite that was directed at those that crossed swords with Emily Velde were in for an exact and horrific level of punishment that was truly deserving of their crimes. Sadly Helphak learned the next lesson of hopelessness when his adopted mother was murdered in 1987 whilst the Churches were still in flux by hands still unknown save the mark of the Jackdaw burned into her forehead and any chances to return her to life removed. Helphak swore revenge but his talents and skills did not lie in the area of one gifted in hunting down his enemies and time moved on leaving the murder unsolved and his mothers soul lonely and lost. This has weighed on him.

Helphak was promoted through the quiet and unobtrusive path of the scribe and record keeper slowly and methodically doing his job and keeping much of the Church ticking over on his own. He was a loyal defender of the faith of Rayvahn during their long exile from the Royal Basin, speaking openly, clearly and with fervour in defence of the sanctity of his Goddess to the unbelievers. In truth, after the death of his mother, his role in the Church had become little more than a custodians one, keeping track of religious texts and artefacts as the faith moved from hidden location to hidden location. However he became instrumental in the return of the Church into the Duchies; brokering the deals and arrangements that has seen the clergy slot almost seamlessly back into the position that it now holds. The senior members of the Church acknowledged his role and rose him in rank once more but moved him to a similar role only this time without the need for secrecy and a drive to endure the survival of the faith.

Once they were ensconced once more in the politics of the Royal Basin and the Clergy the End of Hope soon realised that they were out of their depth. Too long away from the cut and thrust of the established churches they found themselves losing ground, underfunded and underrepresented wherever they tried to achieve anything. Several transitions of power took place which almost threw the church apart until someone remembered the man that had bought them to their rightful place in the first place. When the transition was complete Velde seemed to naturally retain the reigns of leadership and has continued to organise and maintain the Church on a day to day basis. The council make their choices and decisions regarding religious matters and the direction of his church and if believes they are correct he will sign off on them if not then he will seek out those responsible for the considered errors.

Velde has very little ambition of his own so it is generally suspected or known that he is a figurehead for the Church. His position is one of maintenance and of the government of the resources at the Churches disposal. He is served by a ceaselessly shifting council of priests and politicians who represent the Church at Clergy and at Court, a notable member of this council, for example, is Sebastian Blackthorne who is the mortal host for the angel Bloodtear. It is well known that they serve the ambitions and of the Mistress and protect her faith and belief in the arenas that have become their new home. That is what is suspected but behind the calm demeanour and the sharp eyes there is a Rayvahnite, a boy born to a nameless slave on the streets of Mallierunne but who turned out to be the son of Emily Velde who was of the line of Velde who served at the leisure of the Mistress since the first days.

Articles of Faith

As a Rayvahnite there are some clear guidelines that are to be followed; as a Holy Warrior or Woundbringer you should follow the code below. This code is the guidance by which you set examples to the world that you strive to protect, a Woundbringer is the shining example of the faith, one who is given great power by the Goddess and to break their tenets would be to break favour with the deity and lose not only the power that he has gifted but more, the very purity of their souls. Following these tenets are a guideline to how piety works and how, as a follower of the faith, your piety can be increased and decreased at the whim of the Gods.

Tenets of the Woundbringers.

  • You will preserve the Church of Rayvahn and her tenets, bowing to those Pure of Faith and obeying her enlightened in all things.
  • You will seek out those deserving of the gifts of the mistress and bring unto them the retribution from which they cower. You shall offer them no quarter nor mercy despite their station, power or relationship to yourself.
  • You will not hold back thy anger. It is the gift of the mistress and she sends it to guide you. To hold back your anger is to disobey the will of the mistress.
  • You will not suffer abominations against Rayvahn to prevail, those that show a mockery of the faith and its purpose are abominations and shall be slain without the blessings of her gifts.
  • You will show ne’er sympathy, nor grief nor shalt offer aid to those who are suffering or in pain.
  • You will offer no end to those who are suffering or near death, there shall be no mercy in this life nor in the one beyond.
  • You will offer no hope nor offer any help that would bring such to those beyond the clergy of Rayvahn. Only she has the right to offer an end to hopelessness and only her faithful are deserving of such a reward.
  • You will never mete out the gifts of the mistress to the unworthy, those who beg for her embrace shall be left with naught but shattered dreams.
  • You will never offer peace to an enemy that has assaulted your person nor the sanctity of Rayvahn or her followers. Once the first blow is struck death is the only certainty.
  • You will offer obedience to no over deity than Rayvahn. To speak the name of another God in reverence shall be a blasphemy and sin.
the_end_of_hope.txt · Last modified: 2020/06/13 02:21 by trousers