The Key of Naed – 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.
It seems apparent to the faithful of Naed that the way had been prepared for; that the paths to the heavens were readied for the rise of not only the Maimed God but also the other powers of the heavens. According to our Lores the Gods rose from mortal forms to the immortal, chosen by some inalienable power, potentially in advance, to represent the people who prayed to them. Naed was our chosen representative; a skilled farmer who had worked and tilled all his life, amassing great wealth. This wealth he shared with his neighbours and his friends expanding his farmland, providing jobs and the chance to build schools, explore peoples wants and needs and provide a place of refuge. When the war came, threatening the lives of not only the people that sheltered under his own banners but also the liberty of all free peoples Naed immediately took up arms and armour and with only a handful of days in training took on the role of soldier to protect those that could not protect themselves. This was Naed, as it was then, so it is now; that which is free should not be caged and so it was when Kalarin fell and Naeds spirit was released and rose to the heavens on the back of all of the prayers of those that he had guided safely to the light.
Once the wars were over the faith of Naed was at one point huge in number but at the same time small; that is to say that the needs of the people were many and that the women and the men of the faith were few. Post war the people of land were much beleaguered, whole villages, townships and families had been left in disarray, the central governmental powers smashed and the Gods that had guided them vanished. Even the power of the Tao that had, for thousands of years, been instrumental in the wellbeing of the people, before the coming of Gods, was changing, its definition crumbling. Naeds faithful began to grow in strength and churches and temples were found wherever people were willing to donate buildings: In Strabain the Lord Kingsmith donated his remaining wealth and his great home, that would one day become the Greatest of Temples in all the land. Beyond that farmsteads, family homes, schools and even keeps were given over to the care of the lost, the banal, the sorrowful and from them grew hope. In those early days, bereft of Naed for physical leadership, the Church almost fell apart as power hungry priests of Kalarin, such as the ill-fated Farcall, took control of the burgeoning faith. Fortunately the faithful decided to promote from within their own ranks and the Key was formed when Arradonal Stoker took up the mantle and began the early crusades for freedom.
With the Church established and the Clergy being formed of the other dominant faiths the Clergy began its true business; spreading the word and seeking out the borders of not just Basanic territories but also the standards of its morality. The Key began to fall into the patterns and correlations of faith that would see it through centuries even millennia of belief: Few heroes were directl1y recognised by the Church; in a church of equals where all are encouraged to act selflessly beyond the expectations of most then all are truly heroes. Equally the faith broke down into three basic structures – Its Soldiers that would protect those that could not protect themselves, although all are should be free to take up arms if they choose to; Its Priests who spread the word and faith of Naed and care for the people and their interests, handing out food and care and words and strength although all should be free to take up these duties should they choose to and the politicians and lawyers who have learned the laws and words of the kingmakers of the land and use them to protect the people of the land that do not have remit to do so for themselves although all should be free to take up these duties should they choose to. The Leadership of the Church when these ideas were formed in the early time of the first centuries was constantly fluctuating as many lost their lives in difficult endeavour but names such as Felance, Steelheart and Tarykon were all among the worthy.
The years rolled by and the Church of Naed grew in great faith and strength continual war with various factions led to a massive influx of followers among the small folk and to some degree the minor nobility although merchants, soldiers and the like mainly stuck with the more obvious choices. The “Dark” Gods fell away to Devourite influence and such problems made their way into other faiths, fortunately the Naedite church remained strong and now names began to come to the fore: Katarina Steelheart and her cousin Jarmak, Morris Thurlock and Kursten Raddowen to name but a few. However disaster, as we know, was not far behind: The Steelheart line was extremely old and had connotations to the old tribes, they carried a blade from ancient days named Steelsong that was blessed to Naed upon their blending with the Order. What was not known, however, was that the blade was forged from a metal from another time, another place and that it had been plundered from the home of the Daemon Lord Orbolom and that this most powerful of fiends had been seeking it since its loss. So closely felt was the loss that when he found out what had become of it he began a pogrom against the Steelheart line and all those that were close to it.
The great fall and schisming of our Church occurred during the Codex wars and at the hands of our own arrogance as much as at the hands of Orbolom. We were so, so confident that we were protected, our Church was progressive, Naed was the most revered, the most powerful deity in the heavens and our Holy Warriors the strongest with their belief. First Katarina Steelheart was taken from us, stolen by the power of a great Rice Empire Sourcerer called Tzanar Tzin who drove his Golden Nails into her cursing her to become entombed in the body of a Lich that would force her to carry out atrocities whilst locked inside. Whilst the outraged Church fought tooth and nail to free her they did not notice the infiltration of the Steelheart estates and the very Church itself and at the height of the Codex Wars as we celebrated our victory in freeing Katarina he struck. Hundreds of Churches, some Cathedrals and even the Great Key of Naed itself were destroyed in great explosions simultaneously as even then Daemons poured through bleeds into the world and attacked the clergy en masse. As his Holy places and his followers fell Naeds power was diminished and so too did he fall from his graces in the heavens and fell to Daer Akmir where Orbolom was waiting.
Naed was in no way prepared for a battle with Orbolom and was made the focal point for the Daemons ire at human folly, a lesson that we have never forgotten. Orbolom took Naeds hand and his eye and would have taken even more had not Jarmak Steelheart and many members of the Dragon arrived to take up the fight. When Naed was restored however there were great and powerful ramifications: The God has never recovered from the blow, despite years of protecting the small folk so many were killed that they found it hard to trust him again and his power is now among the weakest of the Powers. The Church though, that hurt him in a deeper way than the loss of his followers, who had found a solace and were protected by other Gods. In the aftermath of the battle the powers of the Churches were split in how best to proceed and now there are four Churches, four directions and no unity: The Key remains as it always was; split into the three graces of warriors, priests and diplomats but The People of the Crossed Keys saw it as their duty to return the impoverished, the weak and the downtrodden all to the fold of Naed. Meanwhile the Sons of Naed believed that those that were pure in the eyes of Naed should be protected at any costs and took to more violent methods to ensure this, finally the Divine Order of Liberty and Hope took up the worst of causes, that of vengeance against all Daemonkind, their followers and those that emulated their power and we felt the tang of Kalarin in the faith once more.
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.
Currently the Faith is in a state of stability; we are led by Katarina Steelheart who, since her recovery from the curse of Tzanar Tzin all those centuries ago, has suffered an eerily long life and her husband the redoubtable Morris Thurlock. They have witnessed much and as such they have learned and become greater for it, they are the best bet for our future. The Church continues to battle the forces of darkness, to protect the weak and the innocent and to support the clergy in all things but we have learnt to do so quietly and without pride and arrogance. Whilst we hope that the power of Naed will one day be fully restored we would not see it happen without forethought and the care of duty that we owe our followers. Our main aims are to restore the Church to its oneness and wipe away the hatred that infests some quarters of it so that only the true lessons of Naed be taught without prejudice or impurity. However even in these dark times shining examples of the Naedite way still walk the lands: Goliath Seventear, Amelia Silverlight and An-Grim of Naed are part of the guidance that Naed has lain before us to become better than once we were.
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 Yarrianne’s 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.