The Custodians – 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.
One of these powers was known among the mortality of the world as Notelexus; representing the serenity of death, the inevitability of entropy and the fear that comes from such eternal finalities. There are many legends of the birth of the God Notelexus but the truth is still very much unknown. In the aftermath of the Pantheonic Wars there was so much death across the world, the fallen littered the battlefield awaiting the Elysium halls of their afterlife. Here the first priests of Notelexus became aware of his presence and began the first ceremonies that would become embedded in Basanic society for all time. Those first spirits that passed over experienced the ritual that would become the dogma of the priesthood and grant it its exulted place in Basanic society; the litany of the dead and the rules that governed their passing, that without the written record of their passing they could not stand among their ancestors. But the Church would not rise without adversity.
In the early days, with the Church under the leadership of Carowld Wells, Notelexus guided the priesthood to a unity with the other Churches of the Royal Basin. Through the alliances with the Church of Yarrianne and the Church of Bethylak the Custodians gathered much political strength within the Six Duchies. There were many spirits and powers, that have been called, most commonly, Undead or Ancestors, allied to various faiths. Velmourne, Ghuls, Remnants and the Awakened were not common but had some presence throughout. Where once they had been given remit to govern their own existence through contract with Malice now they were without such freedoms. Equally the manipulations placed into those contracts by Malice were still lingering and they had come to be considered a threat by most of the Faiths. Their divinity, however, was without question which led to difficult decisions for the Clergy and ones that led the path of the Notelexian development in clear directions.
Notelexus was handed the contracts of many of the Undead that were allied to Temples, Colleges and, equally, many independent Undead came forward rather than face long term persecution. These Malician contracts were undone by his Divine Power and whole orders of, newly trained, Notelexian Priests were tasked with creating new contracts for them. With these powerful ancestors came the powers over the returned, lesser walking dead and spirits that could be called upon to give insight, perform tasks or fight if necessary for Notelexus. They operated under a global contract that prevented the misuse of their spirits and gave them a reverential status among the Priesthood. At this time the Goddesses Ekimelahw and Rayvahn were creating the Hells and the journeys to them and so it was that Notelexus was given a Hell for those that could be summoned back as punishment to serve without contract or hope. Sadly the dead were already feared and many had fought against them in the Pantheonic Wars, despite Notelexus being seen as a deity of passing over and of leading through old age the addition of the ancestors to his portfolio led to a great fear in the hearts of the people.
Many see this as the time that led the Church into corruptive darkness; many of the powerful Undead that came to Notelexus were strongly behind the power of Malice and carried many of his old policies. Lurking in the semi shadows and forming alliances with these Undead and the priests that had shifted from Malice to Notelexus were those followers of the Devourer who sought dominance in the Basin and beyond. Once the final transitions from old to new were over these whispers were fully entrenched and as the Church began its reign under the leadership of the Ahmeker Del who, unbeknownst to all at the time, was a Devourite. Ahmeker went to great lengths to forge alliances with the Church of Rayvahn and the, trusted at the time, Church of the Devourer whilst planting seeds of hatred among the Tiberiusite and Naedite faith towards the Ancestor Spirits. Seemingly the Notelexian faith fostered a great strength within the community, many were led to trust in the Notelexian way and to allow the God of the Dead to see to the deceased. The traditions of marking graves and keeping records of the dead became sacrosanct to such belief that even to this day if there is no marking of the passing of life that soul will not fade nor join the heavens.
So as the traditions grew so too did the legends and the power of our people grow; Death were not the only reigns that Notelexus held; the armies of the Royal Basin called firmly to us and many of our Priests joined their ranks giving strength to the troops and weakness to our enemies. Debilitation and control of the battlefield are the gifts of our Lord although the presence of the Faithful among the combatants did little to suppress the jealousy felt by the Tiberiusite and their God of Righteous Battle. Seats upon the Generals Council, the Iron Table, The Azure Table were all won by the Church but this, again, was all part of the plan placed down by the Devourer to plant trust and then to shear it from us when it was most required. Ashamedly we were the first to fall to them; as the power of Malice spread through the Church of the Devourer they set their sights on the throne through the power of other churches that they were seeding with their influence. The Undead 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. In the end our betrayal was complete and we believed that the trust of the people would never be returned to us. So began the Age of Darkness.
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 Ubern Von Geth 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. We operated, again, as soldiers for the armies although this time it was the armies of Gabrak Shadowmane, the most feared General of all time and it was the army of the Dead that walked with us. City after City, including the great capitol of Maryat were marched through in Victory with the banner of the great skull of Notelexus fluttering overhead as our enemies were crushed underfoot. Our crimes were many and to be open the majority were against our God, our disrespect for his traditions hurt him and turned him into a monster, a reflection of his people; the Children of Notelexus became prevalent during this time and St Lucien was born. It can never be allowed to happen again, that beast, that drinker of life must not be left to return to the heavens let alone the world for he will herald the end of days.
When Gabrak fell and the Dark Alliance collapsed, 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 our own Venn-Ra of the Church of Notelexus, Sebastian Blackthorne and Seth Karshish of Rayvahn. 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 of our records, relics and what once was 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 Venn Ra, the Church has undergone many changes recently. The role of Notelexus has definitely changed, he seems likely to have made an alliance with Ekimelahw and Yarrianne; he becomes the Yang to Yarriannes Ying and provides Ekimelahw with a vital part of her duties. He also has tenuous links to Rayvahn although an alliance seems unlikely at this time, too much happened in their wilderness years to allow them to come together too openly. However the old enmity between Notelexus and Tiberius has lessened as these two old foes gain common ground in the Undead. The addition of Spirits, Ancestors, Ravens, Perpetuity and Blood are all new aspects of the game for Notelexus. The fact that he now has access to those that have passed over shows that his role as a guardian of the dead now allows him access to the heavens of each particular deity, presumably to facilitate communication between mortals and their ancestral dead. It can also be presumed that he has the ability to drag them from such celestial courts and bring them once more before Ekimelahw should a scenario occur where this is useful.
His power over the realm of Ravens and blood is an unusual combination; Ravens, traditionally guide the dead to their resting places, so they become his creatures, seeing with his eyes. They also share a cross over with the wild realm and this smacks of some agreement made between two supernatural powers. With regards to Blood this is clearly another aspect of power that the shares with Yarrianne, where she is the power of life’s blood so he is the power of the last moments of blood dripping from the veins of the wounded. With the portfolio of Undeath gone from their manifesto the face of the Notelexian Church is changing. Many of the old guard tried to turn their hearts to the power of Krannix and with ascendance of the Kraken there is a case for other followers to step in that direction. As Notelexus steps into his new role of custodian of the dead and voice peace of the ancestors his anthromorphic abilities change to match his deific attitudes. Regardless of the changes we as a Priesthood are to stand in the light of the Great and Mighty Clergy and to never turn our backs upon the Royal Basin.
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.