The Halls of Justice – Guild Leaders, Buildings & Deity
High Inquisitor – Abefire Sphering
(Granite Heart Kuldisar)
Abefire Sphering is recently returned from Soul Anchor where he ended up during the Shadow War hunting heretics in the name of his Goddess. This was nearly an end for the legendary figure at the heart of the Church of Ekimelahw but fortunately this was not to be. He is, however, an ancient being who is, undoubtedly, nearing the end of his natural span and has begun the search for a successor which progresses slowly. Whoever is chosen or steps forward to take his place is going to be replacing a man who has lived a long life and committed many deeds in the name of Justice and despite the actions of folk like Inquisitor Frost the shoes that they will be filling are undoubtedly bigger than many imagine.
Sphering was born in 1790 in a village called Kursk in the North of the Western Marches at the foothills of the Razorback Mountains. His family had come down from the Mountains two generations earlier as outcasts and pariahs for standing against the Five Rings , and organisation that plays a heavy role in the government of the Low Kingdom. They were well received by the villagers and settled well despite the suspected curse that soon fell on them. Breshik Sphering, who had taken the name Sphering from the name of a woodland that his family had travelled through when completing their exile had become deeply sick. His wife did not show signs of the aberrations that he had developed; milky eyes and spasms in his limbs that none from the local area could identify or cure.
Several generations passed between Breshik and Abefire and along that line several were born with stunted limbs, poor vision or damaged organs. The community continued to support them but could still find no reason behind the families continuing illness and degeneration down the lines. Then in the 1500’s a powerful young man was born who was named Henghist after one of the human villagers who had shown much kindness to the family. He grew rapidly and fervently and had a great wanderlust to leave the village which he did around his 30th year making the journey to Haven over the course of several weeks. Here he became the first of the Sphering family to enrol in the Academy where he excelled in physical combat and the doctrines of the faithful, passing out in the early 1600’s into the Church of Ekimelahw.
Henghist would go onto become one of the Legendary three Judges of Greenlakes who preserved the reputation of Ian Stone and returned the Knifespire Amulet to the Elestrom of The Deep Woods. Eventually he gathered the name of Henghist Souleye, for no truth could be hidden from him: He literally had the ability to see the truth of a persons soul. So honoured was he that the Goddess herself guided him on a spiritual quest through the Mountains back towards his spiritual home in the Mountains where he recovered his families Ancestral Weapon. From that day onwards he carried the weapon, whose name was the forgotten and unspeakable name of his family, against those that were enemies of the faith and became perhaps the greatest Cavalier of all time living well into the late 1700’s before he passed on to continue his work in Soul Anchor.
But he was not the last Sphering to walk the halls of Ekimelahw and in the final days of his life he heard of his nephews birth to the family. His Sister was over a hundred years his junior and had finally sired a child after many years of trying naming that child Abefire and calling on her brothers blessing. Too weak to return home he left a will for his nephew that he should take up the legacy that he left behind, axe and role as a Cavalier included when he made his way down from Kursk. When this news reached his Sister she despaired for his death and for the request that he had made for Abefire was born with but one eye and his left arm was slightly deformed, his hand nothing more than a ruin and as with the rest of his family he was unable to be cured, the curse striking again. It seemed that the legacy of Henghist Soul Eye would end with his death but as with the rest of his family and the continued love and support of the people of Kursk Abefire was to prove them wrong.
Abefire entered into the Academy with some very big shoes to fill and a great desire, need and with the ability to do so. The Academy gave him no quarter for the position of his Uncle leaving him two years past the point of usual entry into a guild and still unable to pass the combat instruction that would allow him to go on to become a Cavalier. His faith was never in question nor his dedication, he had few friends save his instructors and they only because they helped him further his ambition and convictions. Eventually however he had to admit that he could never be a Cavalier but with the results that he had achieved in combat he could scrape through as a Peacekeeper and as such he entered the Church of Ekimelahw to much applause, which he cared nothing for and stoically ignored as he prepared for his first missions.
For the first decade of his time as a Peacekeeper he served under Inquisitor Adam Grace, later High Inquisitor, who was one of the few PSI Judges to serve the Halls of Justice. Effectively Abefire was Grace’s rookie who then became a full time Peacekeeper and later attained the position of District Judge to the Bitter Vale. His progression as a Peacekeeper was slow but persistent, he was not the most effective combatant lacking natural aptitude as well as the limitations presented by the curse to his family line. Despite spending much of his time recovering from wounds sustained in the field he gained a reputation for perception, information gathering and most importantly an unwavering ability to hold and stick to the law of the land and of Ekimelahw. Indeed during only his 10th year of service he was awarded the honouree rank of Eye of Ekimelahw according to his work with uncovering the three “Slave Lord” barons of the Bitter Vale.
In that tenth year Grace was made up to High Inquisitor and their partnership was dissolved but only after Sphering was killed in combat during the Slave Lords encounter. Despite his resurrection the order came down from on high that he was to be suspended from his duties as Peacekeeper, this not being his first death and that he was instead being moved into the echelons of the Inquisitorial ranks with the rank of Lord taking him from Priest in one swift step. So Abefire left the field of battle and felt a deep sense of shame at having completely failed his Uncles legacy and the name of Souleye that he would now never truly inherit. By his own request he became a member of the secretarial division following the direction of the Arch Angel Desallian through Bureaucracy and paperwork his name all but forgotten.
It was almost 50 years later that the concerns of Xectros struck the Church of Ekimelahw and a now aging Grace called his once companion out of retirement. Long had he tried to bring him back to the fold and failed but everything that he had tried to combat K’Kegnihothe and failed and now called upon his old friend. It took Abefire a few days to get up to speed but once he rejoined the game he felt the old desire for justice burn in his blood. He was instrumental in bringing down the first infiltration of the church and this spurred him into new action, within days he was back in the field and moving unseen through the streets and bringing the scourge of the Underworld to heel but this was not enough to slake his thirst to serve his mistress and soon he took up the mantle of Faith for Grace seeking combat against more supernatural threats that challenged the Divinity of Ekimelahw and the other powers of the heavens.
By the time Grace passed from the world in reverence Sphering had defeated creatures such as K’Kegnihothe, Wishspring and several Devourite Angels alongside instilling a wave of terror through the criminal organisations of the Royal Basin and beyond. Still he could not bring the full bearing of his brilliance against the enemies of the faith, the wicked and the corrupt, this was apparent to all within the echelons of the Church and it was an easy decision for the Inquisitors to make. Abefire was given full control of the Church giving it new life and new direction as his beliefs and his drive pulled the Ekimelahwians back from a damaged reputation after the time of the Xectros incidents and the corruption that had bled into their facilities.
Abefire has cut an impressive figure since that time and has become, like Soulfire, an extension of the Goddess upon the land. During the Shadow War he discovered that his Uncles Soul had been working in Soul Anchor to track down rogue Soul Traders and other creatures but had been missing for many years. He took the step to pass into the world of the dead to seek and aid the Cavalier of days gone by; there he encountered many evils, more than he would have imagined and witnessed the birth of the Mountain. His Uncle however could not be recovered and he was returned to the world unsuccessful and full of fear for what existed in the afterlife and combating it and finding his Uncle and what he knows have become his priorities as he himself comes to final tenure of his many years of life.
Major Centres of Worship
The Halls of Justice in Haven are the largest of the temples to Ekimelahw in the basin although the identically named buildings on the isle of Calvarg, that once served as a home for the legendary Kimon the Lawbringer is now a vassilitude to Ekimelahw of immense proportion.
The Deity: Ekimelahw
The Untouchable Lady, The Incorruptible, The Lady of Law
Scales of Balance
Justice, Law and Order, Truth, and Perception
Obedience, Balance, Punishment, Bureaucracy and Contracts
Naed, The Devourer, The Yama Lords, some Tiberiusite factions
The Halls of Justice
None (Ekimelahw sends souls onto their righteous reward)
Ekimelahw (E-Kim-A-Law) is the Keeper of the Laws and Justice throughout the lands of Vaklam. She is the absolute, the unbendable, she is the very spirit of Judge and Jury and her presence both terrifies and calms those who feel it. During her tenure over her portfolios she has never swayed from the path ahead of her and as such has become the only deity to purely hold to their tenets, the incorruptible, the untouchable. But such devotion, adherence and zeal to her task has left her devoid of emotion and understanding, she is a cold, harsh, unrelenting deity who allows no quarter or remittance.
The Lady of Law is considered to be the centre, the hub of the grey pantheon, presiding over Bethylak and Terref with a stern hand. She entreats often with both Notelexus and Rayvahn as they both provide her with the souls of the dead to be judged and provide her with the Hells of punishment. Her relations with the Pantheon of light have become strained in recent years, it was her judgement that caused the long exile for Naed and he has not forgotten the treatment that he received at her hands. Tiberius himself has no qualm or issue with the Lady but several factions of the Church have schismed away from the Council and are openly aggressive towards Justice, so it is most often through Yarrianne that she speaks with that court. In her own domain she often tires of the actions of her siblings Terref and Bethylak, Terref is a chaotic being, often fickle and flirting with the boundaries of divine law. Bethylak on the other hand is a wilful creature who has spent far too much time interacting with the mortal folk of Vaklam and has perhaps forgotten his place and the edict that holds him there.
Ekimelahw has never visited the mortal plane but is represented in iconography as a stern woman in her middle years with iron-grey hair and a mouth that never smiles. She is often blindfolded and carrying the scales of Ekimelahw, although whether she is supposed to be blind or not is a matter of dogma. In some, more modern, depictions she is seen carrying quill and parchment, presumably to represent her latest portfolio of Bureaucracy and contracts. In all depictions her garb is the grey robe of balance. Her followers dress in similar greys, without adornment or the need for superficial; the symbol of law and order is emblazoned about the garb giving the air of that ultimate authority. The Clergy is made up mainly of Inquisitors and Peace Keepers, who form the investigative and militant arm of the Church respectively, however it is the Cavaliers that have the real power, able to dispense justice in the name of their Goddess and wielding her supreme authority.
The Ekimelahwians are charged to uphold the law, keep order and to dispense Justice where possible in an impartial and reasonable manner. They are to obey the law of the land in all things in so much as it is supported by an ordered, balanced and properly appointed authority. They are to maintain the balance of the light and the dark and ensure that the two co-exist without any transgression of mortal or divine law or edict. This is an extremely difficult dogma for most mortals to uphold and the history of the church is littered with failed Priests and cavaliers and in some of the extreme cases corrupted and fallen individuals that have collapsed from the path set them. In times of war the Ekimelahwian church acts as a buffer between the people of Vaklam and the battles that are taking place ensuring that dangers do not spill over into civilian areas. They also police the armies and navies enforcing wartime laws as rigidly as peacetime ones. The Priests often consider it their duty to lecture those of other faiths, guildsmen, nobility et al regarding their shortcomings with regard to law and order and to bring them up to speed on the current climates of regulations.
They also strive to ensure that all laws that are passed by the committees that serve the legal system are just and that they do not contradict current rules set and that no precedents that are unlawful can be set via their implementation. Fairness is not what is a concern to the Church of Ekimelahw; Unfair holds no weight Unjust is the word that the priesthood seek to battle. This is outlined by the principals and definitions of the legal doctrine of the land in which the Ekimelahwian finds itself.
“The shield of the people from corruption comes from the adherence to the strictures of law and order and the punishment that comes from the justice that should be meted out to those that would break that law. It is the ultimate deterrent to tyranny and those that would utilise their strength over those that are weaker. If properly maintained a legal system can either be used to control a society in the name of a ruler or to rule a society and guide the actions and morality of a people.”From the Redion Texts
Ishulpin, Archangel of Justice
Dealing with the moral principal determining just conduct and the conformity to this principal as manifested in conduct, just conduct, dealing or treatment. A Priest that has called upon Ishulpin to be their patron is responsible the conduct and integrity of their flock and those that they travel with. It is their duty to ensure that these individuals are aware of the laws of the places that they enter and that they abide by them. Failure to do so would be a dereliction of their duty.
Kortanagry, Archangel of Law and Order
Dealing with the strict control of crime and repression of violence, sometimes involving the possible restriction of civil rights. A Priest that has called upon Kortanagry to be their patron has offered their service in the pursuit of criminal activity and the safety of their flock or travelling companions against such action. This resolution of action must be adhered to even it is perceived to restrict the civil liberties of the small folk they are to be protecting.
Ellurra, Archangel of Truth
Dealing with the concentration on and proving of verified or indisputable facts, propositions or principals. A Priest that has called upon Ellurra to be their patron is now responsible for the sifting of facts and evidence to provide clear tenets and direction got their flock or companions to follow. They are an epitome of the teachings of Ekimelahw and strive to bring her ways forward.
Poritamalos, Archangel of Perception
Dealing with the ability to see and understand something clearly and without prejudice. A Priest that has called upon Poritamalos has dedicated their lives to becoming perspicacious. They must work tirelessly for their flock and companions to see through the illusions and disguises that conceal the truth and provide them for the understanding that comes with it.
Angels of Power
Tordian, Angel of Obedience
Dealing with the absolute conformity to a properly appointed rule or the authority of an appointed superior, specifically on the part of one who has vowed to afore mentioned authority. A Priest that has called upon Tordian makes it their duty to impose the order of the chain of command, the respect that title and office should bring and the insurance that those that hold that office fulfil their responsibilities to the letter of the rules lain down for them.
Shymar, Angel of Balance
Dealing with the maintenance of equilibrium in all things once due consideration has been given to all aspects of any given situation. Priest that has called upon Shymar represents either side of the argument, the coin and the equilibrium in arguments and aggressive situations. They are required to arbitrate between two groups that are incapable of finding a resolution to their conflict within their flock or their travelling companions.
Cordorian, Angel of Punishment
Dealing with the application of a penalty imposed upon an offender through a judicial and especially criminal process of the law. A Priest that has called upon Cordorian to champion them they become responsible for the administration of punishment within their flock and the companions that they choose to travel with. Their duties are to complete any given punishment given out by a duly appointed officer of the law.
Desallian, Angel of Bureaucracy and Contracts
Dealing with the management of administration marked by hierarchical authority among numerous offices and by fixed procedures. A Priest that has called upon Desallian to be their patron has taken up their duty to create official documents and to act as a witness to various pacts and agreements that are made. They should act a mediators and negotiators for their flock and companions.
Ekimelahw 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 Lady over the years and given their power to increase the strength of The Lady of Law.
The Demi Power Misholo
Ethics, Philosophy, Morales
Ekimelahw, Aret Norf, Vallow
“You have chosen to follow me Mortal. Interesting. Why might I ask? Some come to me seeking hidden knowledge. It is within my gifts to grant you such, but why do you seek such things? I seek what lies in your heart and mind. What governs them? What drives you? Think on these things till you are certain of your soul. Only then shall I be certain of you.”
It is the responsibility of Gods to guide their followers down what they deem to be the correct path in day to day life. Often they do this by laying down codes, laws and tenets that they demand their followers adhere to. Not so with Misholo. She does not force scripture and doctrine on them. She prefers to watch and judge those who claim to work in her name and give rewards if they are true to her without the need to be forced into doing so. Ethical dilemmas, opposed philosophies and situations that might call upon them to break their own morale code; these are the times she tries to aid her followers. She wishes them to stay to the true path, not only because it is the morally high path, the righteous and thoughtful, but also because that path is true to their own nature. If they find themselves swaying from it, she understands her ways are not theirs and shall cease to watch over them. Whilst she has never said to her followers what the true path is those with good intentions and an immovable moral compass are those most favoured by her. In exchange for this mystery and secrecy in regards to her own workings she blesses those who follow her with secrets of the world that might otherwise remain unknown to them; The followers of Misholo wear her sacred symbol without fear in the Basin; a woman of great balance blessed with an air of divinity. On Watersdown 1st her worshippers gather together to have great ethical debates across the country. Those observing would view it as a gathering of philosophers rather than believers of a deity.
The Demi Power Imaris
Cavaliers, Watchfolk, Investigators
Ekimelahw, Aret Norf, Misholo
“Justice springs not from a sense of purpose; the right and the wrong, the black and the white but from the careful investigation of a crime. Truth is in the detail, ignore it at the peril of due process, only facts checked, verified and re-verified will lead you away from corruption. Those folk who follow my path follow the path of the sleuth, the analyst, the detective until the truth is unveiled.”
In the earliest days of the Royal Basin the land was split into three warring Kingdoms and all was in a state of confusion and anarchy. This was a time before Gods, before the powers that we know now when people were still getting used to the power of the comet. A King, Fasteron, created a powerful group of warriors who dabbled in some of that power but were in truth a group of folk dedicated to bringing justice and law to a lawless land. One of that number was a woman called Imaris, often called the True and she saw the path to justice in a different way.
Imaris was a leader but a difficult one to follow. Her ideas where excellent, well thought out and analytical of the problems placed in front of her but she was cold, distant and aloof. Nothing escaped her notice however, no clue, no fact, no minor point of interest and enigma remained unsolved before her. Her regime was difficult to follow and only her most focussed followers were able to master her techniques and earn her respect. Needless to say that she had few friends but many enemies however one of her only compassions came with her great, almost childish, affection for the burgeoning watch communities, militia men and investigators of her age. Followers of Imaris face a difficult task; whilst Ekimelahw herself is greatly revered her Priesthood in general are much less popular. The followers of Imaris are required to interfere in the affairs of any that they consider to be guilty in anyway. To follow up leads, work through facts and figures, read every report a thousand times, interview the witnesses and pursue all lines of investigation until they have drawn a satisfactory conclusion to a crime, investigation or enigma and then they may rest. They are also expected to support, to the best of their abilities those that follow such a profession, to protect them and to see them home safe. The followers of Imaris wear the symbol of her own choice when she was still a Cavalier, a stylised eye.
The Demi Power Aret-Norf
Hunting, Cities, Relentless Pursuit
Ekimelahw, Imaris, Vallow
“There is a darkness hiding in the places we call home, vile scavengers and predators which rot the very fabric of our society. Let those who fear them and those who hunt them call out in faithful prayer to Aret-Norf. He is the scourge of darkness and the bright light which reveals the rot. He is our saviour!”
Aret-Norf was once a mortal cavalier turned bounty hunter and following his ascension to the ranks of the minor powers his worship can be found in towns and cities throughout the Royal basin, Ironstone bay and the great dessert. He is especially strong where corruption takes root for it is here that he is needed most. Aret-Norf calls for those with the skill to hunt the dark places and drive out corruption, he also calls upon the strong to protect those who fear the predations of the corrupt and the criminal. Though still considered a lawful power Aret-Norf condones more direct justice far more than obeying the letter of mortal law and his favour can be gained by driving out or destroying social corruption wherever it may be found. Such pogroms against corruption are common among the justice seekers of the followers of Aret Norf directed not at the supernatural but at the mortal at the boundaries of civilisation and the higher ups in political and social circles. Many such individuals in those groupings have come to fear the name of Aret Norf. Many Militia members, bounty hunters and vigilantes are drawn to the worship of Aret-Norf. Those who follow Aret-Norf wear the symbol of the chain and dagger to signify their faith and most attire themselves in practical clothing of grey, black or brown.