The Custodians – Guild Buildings & Deity
Major Centres of Worship
The majority of the temples of Notelexus were destroyed during the Gabrak wars when the clergy turned them to nothing but dust. Many would argue that Maryat itself is a masterpiece of the faith: A necropolis to thousands created by Notelexian hands and risen in his glory. Even to this day an untold amount of the Dead wander the city and what lies below could be the remnants of the most powerful army of ancestors that was ever assembled. However such worship would be blasphemous and focus is instead kept pointed towards the reclamation of Maryat for the good of all of the folk of the Basin.
Instead the Church of Notelexus hold to the great and obvious places of the world: The main centre of their worship is within the great clergy buildings of the Capital where their faith keeps themselves to themselves. Equally they have a presence of the great and powerful New Karrid Ren, Strabain and Shriekspire. Contrary to popular belief Graveyards and Cemeteries are not central to Notelexian worship; by the time a body reaches such a place a Notelexian Priest has said the last rites over them and the soul has moved on.
The Deity: Notelexus
Grim, The Night Terror, The Coldest Fear
A Skinless Skull
Death, The Realm Beyond, Decay, and Terror
Sickness, Ancestors, Spirits, Ravens, Perpetuity and Blood
The Yama Lords, The Maltel Tekrom and any remnants of The Devourer
The Silent Keep
The Final Rest, The Realm of the Dead, Graveborn, The Vault of Sighs
Notelexus (Not-E-Lex-Us) appears in most religious iconography as a human skeleton shrouded in shadow carrying a bone white blade. He is venerated by a variety of followers including warlords and gravediggers. Notelexus fills a very pivotal role within the divine hierarchy of the Gods; whilst he is the master of terror and decay, both tools that his followers use to great effect against their enemies, he is also the keeper of the dead. All souls that die come to Notelexus first, he holds them in care until it is the time of their judgement, however in the godless of Vaklam that have chosen not to venerate any deity we find Notelexus true role. Those souls are taken to The Realm of the Dead to be prepared for return to the world of Vaklam as the servants of Notelexus. This aside many of his followers choose to enter The Realm of the Dead quite willingly in order to serve their deity better.
None are truly sure of the origins of Notelexus, there are a great many rumours that include; All the bones of Gabraks army rising up to form the new God of the Dead, infused with the power of the Dark One, A great Priest of the Dark One who, by manner of fear, caused the death of a great warrior of Kalarin and used the power of their soul as a stepping stone to the power of the Dark One and Godhood. Most likely however is the belief that the Undead known as Rathanor, an extremely powerful Vampire who was present at the time of the Dark Ones death drew the power into himself to go forward and become the being that is now Notelexus.
Notelexus’ clergy is made up of Priests who form the backbone of the church and make up most of the clergy, Deathspeakers who have taken specific pledges to the Church and now make up the senior ranks of the Clergy. They are supported by the Barrowsouls, the militant arm of the Church.
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 God or Goddess 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.
Notelexus was formed of the Dark One’s fascination with the art of death and Unlife, as such Notelexus became, for many years, the ultimate concept of Undeath. Since the separation of the Undead that came with the Maltel Tekrom the creation of Undead has become more to do with the reverence of Undead and the calling forth of ancestral dead from long ago. The responsibilities of the Priesthood now entail the summoning of the dead to guide the living; often embodying them and allowing them to speak through them to give advice to their living descendants. This is an intensely spiritual and personal affair and only the Priest in question and one or two of the people that wish to hear the words of the dead are involved in the ceremony. Again noble lines have specifically family Priests who are solely called upon to speak to their line and family.
Finally despite the years of tension between the Churches of Tiberius and Notelexus the post cataclysm environment has bought about a truce between them. Equally the recent alliance with Ekimelahw and Yarrianne has underlined this peace and given it the credibility it needs to succeed.
“Know me and be in Terror of me. My arms open for all and my patience will outlast time. The dead will always find you. My hand is everywhere. There is no door I cannot pass nor is there any guardian who can withstand me.”Words of Notelexus
Mularsh, Archangel of Decay
Dealing with rot and the eventual toll of entropy upon all things. A Priest that has called upon Mularsh to be their patron is responsible for their flocks and companions understanding that entropy and the finite nature of all things is part of the natural order of the world of Notelexus.
Quroth, Archangel of Terror
Dealing with the deepest fears and nightmares of people and cultures. A Priest that has called upon Quroth to be their patron has offered their service in bringing forth of the deepest terrors of the minds and thoughts of their flock and companions that they might better understand and conjure those fears into the palpable being of the world around them.
Oliargis, Archangel of Death
Dealing with the Dead and the taking of life. A Priest that has called upon Oliargis to be their patron is now responsible for the act that ends the life of others. They are the bringers of Notelexus final gift, ensuring that it reaches only those worthy and that those suffering are given such a gift at the earliest opportunity.
Remstant, Archangel of The Realm Beyond
Dealing with the souls beyond, their powers and their return to the mortal world. A Priest that has called upon Remstant has dedicated their lives to dealing with those Undead still loyal to Notelexus and the contracts and agreements that have been made between them; their maintenance and the fulfilment of any contractual obligations between two parties.
Angels of Power
Devortis, Angel of Sickness
Dealing with disease, famine, plague and illness. A Priest that has called upon Devortis makes it their duty to learn of and categorise every disease, famine, plague and illness that they encounter. These pestilence of the mortal frame are given to this world by Notelexus to provide another end to suffering. These priests cultivate such sickness for times of war when the enemy powers arise.
Kuldash, Angel of Blood
Dealing with the power that blood holds in the moments before the power of life flows from it; the person it was. A Priest that has called upon Kuldash represents the priests power to draw in the power of a recently dead individual allowing them to achieve that which they did not in life before they pass over completely.
Suvastis, Angel of Spirits
Dealing with the dead after their demise but before they go to be judged, holder of souls. A Priest that has called upon Suvastis to champion them are responsible for committing the rites of the dead on the recently fallen and sending them onto Notelexus before they make their way to the Halls of Justice and their afterlife.
Cariis, Angel of Perpetuity
Dealing with the weakness of fatigue and old age, the near dead. A Priest that has called upon Cariis deals with administering to their flock and to their companions as they experience the frailty and weakness that comes with both old age, over exertion and fatigue. All must learn to understand that the age is just another aspect of the Lord.
Kasajen, Angel of Ancestors
Dealing with those spirits that have entered into their afterlife and of communication with them. A Priest that has called upon Kasajen deals with calling to those spirits that have entered the afterlife of their chosen deity. Even if they have passed beyond the point of returning to their bodies, a follower of Kasajen can call them back to speak to the living.
Kyaleesi, Angel of Ravens
Dealing with seeing with the eyes of Notelexus’ creatures and the guidance of the living into the realm of the dead. A Priest that has called upon Kyaleesi deals with walking the paths of the dead, ushering the living along the path should they need to make that journey and guarding them from those not worthy. Equally they may call upon the holy power of the Raven to aid and assist them in their duty.
Notelexus 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 Coldest Fear over the years and given their power to increase his strength.
The Demi Power Malakith
Parasites, Rot and Decay
“Everything does end, as is the word of Notelexus, but when the spirit is gone from a form that form becomes a place ready to breed new life through the act of decay is a new habitat born.”
According to the legends of the wicked and the witless there was once a necromancer of the Lord of Death who was given a reason to love. In that love she was betrayed and in the shuddering anguish that came after her loss there came the desire for revenge. It is spoken, by the foolish and the footling that she called down the power of her patron and smote her once lover dead in a fit of rage. These wordsmiths then go on to say that she cast her Jettatura upon his remains and bought his spirit back to the place where his body lay and kept it for hundred years and that as the body withered and rotted and decayed so too did she until she was the most hideous of things, a Lich that Notelexus claimed as his own.
Whether you believe these tales or not Malakith is the power that Notelexus rose to the heavens to represent his power there and it is to her that we pray when we wish to give his gifts to our enemies. Through her will do forests fall and civilisations fall and through faith to her strength.
The Holy symbol of Malakith is a Circle with four rotted scythe blades protruding from it
The Demi Power Vorkeela
Sickness and Weakening
“There are many paths to the door of our Master although few lead from it again. Some arrive in good health with a moment of life still trapped inside them but through our touch and mastery shall come the enemies so gifted by our touch.”
Vorkeela was a Priest of Notelexus who spent much of his time in the Church mastering the power of Notelexus until such time as he was able to cast the power of Notelexus with but the cast of a hand or head. However the exchange for such mastery left Vorkeela a wreck of humanity; his eyesight failed him before he was thirty, his hair greyed and receded before even that, his strength was such that even heavy robes mired him and he was prone to bouts of sickness that left him partially deaf and damaged his mind leaving him slurring and barely capable of speech. Despite this all feared his power and he soon learnt that the weakening of his body meant nothing compared to the power that he had and the fact that he could leave others in conditions far worse than he.
His followers understand what he understood; that to know weakness is to have mastered power and that to place that weakness, unbidden, on others is share that strength with the unprepared. In that way you control not only a battlefield but the hearts and minds of others. Through Weakness, through sickness you spread the gifts of Terror and Fear; all are afraid of the gifts that come with old age, poverty or the trenches of battle. If controlled well you are their master or mistress and your enemies will be powerless to stand against you.
Vorkeela’s Holy Symbol is a Skull gripped by the black claws of debilitation.