The Halls of Justice – 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.
Ekimelahw was a dedicated Cavalier appointed by King Fasteron before the rise of the original Gods, many believe that the comet shaped her as an Eaölf or Kuldisar. It is possible and fervently believed in some quarters, that she was born before the comet in the time of the clans and was the equivalent of today’s Ele-Strom. Either way she survived the birth of the first Gods and formed a firm relationship between herself, Imravin and a sequence of other Cavaliers which, sadly, included Gabrak. Choosing to follow Kalarin she dispensed justice across the three old Kingdoms bringing an completely uncompromising and brutal approach to justice and punishment. There were no grey areas in her world and together with Imaris she hunted down the corrupt, the wicked and the vile and sent their souls heavenwards. According to fragments of the Redion Texts she fought alongside Kalarin in the Pantheonic wars and as soon as the Goddess fell so Ekimelahw rose.
In those fragile times beyond the Pantheonic wars the Church struggled for stability: Whilst the land was calling out for help and assistance with the rising of chaos that came after the wars but the land was so chaotic that establishing any real hold of law was almost impossible. It took almost a century before the first true temples of Ekimelahw took root in the places of Basanic strength and only then because they were supported by the College of Controlling Power as that edifice itself rose to strength slowly off of the back of order returning to the world. The faith spread swiftly however as the march of government and bureaucracy was heard across the Royal Basin. As each city was taken up by nobility and militias and the like flourished so too did the power of the Incorruptible, her churches becoming the cornerstones of the cities in the early days and being used to anchor the leadership and eventually the lawful control of those settlements. Other churches would come later and would all appreciate the protection that the Halls of Justice would bring.
The early leadership of the Churches was not made up of heroes or exemplars just a lot of faithful, dedicated and above all law abiding Priests. Organisation and structure came before the thought of rising up champions and the councils led each city well whilst the Judges of the Clergy governed the overall Church from Maryat. However they did so with an Iron Fist causing the Priesthood has suffered for their faith over the years; there is no grey for it to hide in. If a person of any standing fell into the light of Ekimelahw’s judgement then they were pursued until they were judged and faced punishment. Peasant, noble, fellow clergyman or King all were subject to her will. This dogma caused several incidents through the early years in which the Church was ostracised by various quarters of Basanic society and indeed went to war with other clergy factions, several noble houses and two merchant groups. Whilst the Church may have been in the right and succeeded legally they were not prepared for the level of disinterest in their own disasters that such action has bred.
As we know the souls of the loyal of the Royal Basin travel to Soul Anchor when they die. Nowadays they are judged by the Archangel Kortanagry, a great honour, but that was not always the case. The principal has always stood that Soul Anchor is where you are judged and that if you are worthy you will go to the side of your God and that if you are not you will be sent to Rayvahn’s Hell for a length of punishment that will go on until they have served their term. However those that are criminals and accused of such crimes so heinous that they deserve no right to return nor to go to the side of any God are marked as hanged men, their souls bound to Soul Anchor. It is also worth noting that at the time of these laws so to was there a law that, to prevent the Pantheonic wars occurring again, prevented the Gods from returning to world and specifically for propagating with the mortal folk. A law that had been flaunted by all the Gods save Ekimelahw and Notelexus which led to a situation in which the Children of the Gods arose one of whom, a child of the Devourer, took control of Soul Anchor and the Hanged Men and caused all hell for the Church of Ekimelahw and the people of the Royal Basin. His name was K’Kegnihothe.
During his reign he saw to it that any who called upon the miracle of re-awakening summoned forward not the soul that they wanted but instead the soul of a Hanged Man who would masquerade as the true individual. The Church of Ekimelahw was not long after to suffer a series of High profile assassinations and the replacement of prolific figures in their hierarchy. From here K’Kegnihothe utilised the power of the so called Incorruptible Church to spread the will of the Devourer and a drug distilled from the souls of those who had been replaced called Xectross. It instilled a longer lifespan in the imbibers but equally it stripped away the morality of those who took it and caused lasting damage across the hierarchy of the Clergy and many of the guilds. When the situation was known the Ekimelahwian Church came under great scrutiny, perseverance through the hierarchy and an extremely dogmatic approach to the persecution of the followers of K’Kegnihothe eventually saw the Church through to safety. The reputation of the Church has remained somewhat tarnished despite the face of resilience shown by the Inquisitors there present.
However through all of the horrors of the K’Kegnihothe and the insular nature that the Church took over the Children of Gods incident it was their dogged adherence to the law in the part of the latter that saw the judgement of their fellow Gods fall favourably upon them. Rather than face rebuke for her stance regarding the return of the Gods to their place in the heavens after their transgressions they called upon the Arch Angel Kortanagry to be placed as custodian of Soul Anchor and the judger of Souls to ensure that such a situation never occurred again. A role that Kortanagry has filled well even down to his recent battles against the Red Sultan and the return of K’Kegnihothe in 2013 who, despite their superior power and strength, failed to overcome the Angel and instead died at the hands of those that came to his assistance. Indeed as the Churches have changed it is Ekimelahw that has remained constant despite the new outlooks of the faiths.
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.
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.