The Church of The Ten Travellers – History
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.
Through the wilderness of the pantheonic wars many individuals vied to step up the chain of power to replace the falling three. Our Goddess was no Priestess or warrior of the faith, her path had led her to the Colleges, as they were in the days after the comet, to train there as a Sourcerer. The faiths of old had branded her as a follower of daemons, particularly the Kalarinite faith as her heart was closest to the teachings of Tremalian, but that was not the truth. With the transition of the clans to that of the Basanic lands and government that was forming Terref had become involved in the infrastructure of our land; in her eyes the “righteous war” that was laying waste to a burgeoning way of life was missing the true point of what was to come. The power that the Gods sought would come through their people and through the temples that they would build and the celebrations that would some with prosperity and success. A Marriage of the old ways and the new in that harvest festivals, the stories of old and the dirges for the dead would keep the populace strong, happy and prepared but also that the flow of wealth, moneys and the control of the people through their own governance would bring true victory.
A huge proportion of the Church believe the early ideas that Terref rode to power through a pre-prepared plan, that she was in union with Bethylak and that her portfolio was carefully sought after. In this version of her rise her supporters from the Colleges travelled the expanse of the Royal Basin and further beyond at great danger to themselves. Many were Sourcerers, many were Priests of Tremalian but even more were bards or skalds and it was from their lips that the story of Terref was told. Of a great healer of the land and the people, of she who would bring wealth and unity to the cultures and communities so damaged by war and how she would achieve this when, with certain finality she would rise to the heavens and be worshipped by the people. This, coupled with the gifts of food, healing and wealth to areas that needed them almost insured the story as fact to the future and when the Gods fell Terref rose on through the story that she had told to take her place among the Powers of the Day.
After the wars many of the Gods sought the temples of their prior Gods as new homes for their power and tried to build their powers through the conversion of followers of those faiths to their own. Many of those faiths struggled to establish themselves, not so the Church of Terref, their way was already prepared in the form of Taverns, Banks, Theatres and other such municipal locations in which the words of Trade, Luck and Storytelling were preached and these words were embraced in those early days by a huge base of followers; merchants, adventurers, nobles; all found the Goddess to be a stabilising factor in a time of a Rising of Chaos. It is in these moments, lost to the haze of history, that the path that she and her clergy would take. Ten travellers, it is whispered, travelled the longest roads with her litany and though none returned their actions brought us the peace and prosperity that was to follow and that should any return it will spell the end of the edifice of the Church of Terref.
Unlike the other deities Terref did not attempt to make alliances with her fellow Gods and Goddesses. She was certainly approached and even extended her courtesy and will to other priesthoods but these were not of her making. Instead her followers were instructed through the divine will to make mortal alliances, ignoring the deific powerbases of the other Gods and allowing them to make their plans adrift of Terref. The Oath, The Academy, some of the groves, the merchant and noble houses and many more guilds and groups were given the blessings of Terref and reciprocated as the Church instructed. The power that the church gathered was not pious in nature but benefited the clergy none the less. It was in this early environment that the heart of the Church was formed, its leadership reflected this unconventional view on its clergies makeup: The first councils of the Church were made up of a handful of the faithful but also leading merchants, bards, guildsmen and even gamblers.
Before the turn of the first millennia the Church had become firmly established in the political, mercantile and social climates of the Basin and whilst the purse strings of the Royal Coffers were firmly in the hands of the nobility the flow of wealth was clearly controlled by the Priests. Wealth flowed through the doors of the Temples as the various powers clamoured for the favour of the Goddess of Luck. Despite the treachery of the Churches of the Dusk and the ensuing war between the faiths trade routes, lands and buildings of power were owned by the Terrefians in such number that is was estimated that they controlled at least twenty percent of the Basins wealth by the late 14th Century. But wealth was not enough, favours from the greatest noble houses, Lionsgolds and Silverlights and contacts and allies in most of the major guilds working for and alongside them gave them even more power. The Oath is said to have been formed under Terrefian direction and that they, even to this day, take order and report back to the Church of the Ten Travellers.
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.
There have been so many calamities that have affected the Clergy, the aforementioned betrayal by the Churches of Notelexus, Rayvahn and the now defunct Devourite (although they have since returned to the fold), the time of K’Kegnihothe, infiltration by Daemonic forces and the Days of Remembrance. However the Church of Terref have not been affected by any of these concerns, remaining supportive of Basanic Churches but at the same time without the need to directly interfere with any of the dangers. The Church is governed by the Supremacy, the triumvirate of Faith, Wealth and the Nobility, which is led by Angharrad Pietys. The direction of the Church remains in line as it always has done; stability first then expansion. With the burgeoning days of war before the Basin once again the armies will be looking to Terref’s Wealth again and through war will they find prosperity anew.
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 Yarrianne’s 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.