The End of Hope – 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 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.