The Toll of the Deep – History
The writings of the Royal Basin will teach you that 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.
This is the religious rhetoric that those Churches, The Clergy and the Pantheon of the last era’s faiths are founded and provides a baptism of fire for eight of the nine faiths that walk the common path. Things are not so simple for we of the Church of the Kraken, a God who has been part of the pantheon for no longer than a handful of years, a God not risen by the hand of his followers. The story of the Kraken is not found in the Royal Basin, nor are his histories readily available to the burgeoning faith that is establishing its power along the Coasts of Iron Stone Bay. The truth of the origins of our powers are difficult to divine but fragments of our history do exist and it is through the knowledge of what has been passed down by our predecessors that we are able to continue with any direction during the infancy of our faith.
According to the teachings passed down from the Zoranethi the power of the Kraken was born into the world before the coming of the comet when the land was only human and they were divided into the Clans they call Earth Tribes. There were seven Tribes that lived upon the land but there was also one that lived upon the sea and they were the mightiest of the Tribes for they had mastered the brutality of the Sea and risen above the petty squabbles that followed the way of life on the land. This tribe were called the Zoranethi and even then in the days before the Gods the name that they gave to their Chieftain was Kraken, those that served the Kraken and had mastered the magics and the skill at arms were Reaper Seers, those that could glimpse the future through magics were the seers and the Krakens greatest warriors were Reapers. Already, through the teachings, we can see that in truth, the formation of the Church can be found thousands of years ago in a wisdom that has been lain down and never refuted.
The Zoranethi had called upon forces that were ancient to other worlds but new and proud and powerful in this and having seen their diligence and their purity the powers chose to teach the Kraken their arts and in turn he would teach them to his followers. The Lady of the Deep Blue Ocean taught the Zoranethi how to brew the most powerful potions that could heal the most horrific wounds or transform a dying body into a new and virile one. From the Angelus the Kraken received the Eye of Fate that allowed him to see great swathes of the future and guide his people fairly and accurately to greater things. The Zoranethi decided that it would be best if it shared this power with the Earth Tribes of the Land and came to the shores of these people to bring its gifts to those that dwelt there but in sorrow this almost led to their destruction.
The Earth Tribes were led by the blood fuelled and insane clan called the Skagriagaard. This group of chosen soldiers were owed a great debt by the people of the land for they had gone forth and battled a great enemy for them that could have destroyed their leader Skagridd but he had prevailed. The Skagriagaard, upon their return from battle, had seen that they were now the most powerful of the Tribes and had chosen to enslave the others; any who opposed their rules were mercilessly slain. When the Kraken bought his people to the shores of the land he saw the plight of the people and tried to aid and assist them but the wicked Skagriagaard brought their dark Blood Magics against the Zoranethi and there was a mighty battle. Whilst the Skagriagaard were victorious upon the land the Kraken bought the Oblivion of the Deep to their warriors that dared the Sea.
The Years passed and the Kraken came to ponder whether he would at any time be able to save the people of the land from themselves, for he had taken this burden upon his shoulders. Using the Eye of Fate he sought the moments that were to come and the outcome of his actions. According to the writings that we have discovered in ancient temples it is now that many of the scrolls of The Moon were written regarding the future of not only our people but also the outcomes of those that populate all of Daer Akmir. The futures that he saw wreathed devastation across the land; they prophesied the coming of the Comet, the rise of the Gods and the many wars that were to come but in none of them did he see the Zoranethi overcoming the ignorance of the folk of the land, at least not for many millennia. What afeared him the most was the coming great change that he saw among the mortals of the world, one that would see them changed into strange subservient beasts that would go on to serve the arrogant Skagriagaard in their feasting halls. Although, despite his power, he could not prevent what was to come he could, he decided, protect his people to an extent and so he put into action a plan that would see them come to greatness one day in the distant future.
As the Skagriagaard fled to their safe havens in the coming face of the Cataclysm that was to come so the Kraken placed many of his followers, those that are now us, safe below the world, a slumber until such time as he was ready to awaken. To those ready to carry their own burdens he offered a choice; remain unchanged by the coming darkness, become my followers truly, be as the drowned, undying, eternal and watch over your brethren the sleepers and when the time comes return to the deep and give them grace to awaken. So it was that the most faithful of the Reapers and the Seers and the Reaper Seers came together in one great ceremony under the Moon and gave the sleepers to the Mists and prepared themselves for eternity. It was in that night that the Zoranethi became the legend that they are now as, during the ceremony, they were betrayed by an unknown power from the beings called the House of the Moon and as the Comet came streaking through the sky they were transformed into not the heroes that would save us but the Undead Eaölfs that the histories revile.
Here the histories of the world must be consulted for we know little of the time of the Zoranethi any longer, we the writers of these words have slept through their corruption and we emerged untouched by their taint. The Zoranethi are known to have worked to help create the Daemons that we all fear so alongside the Kaytaar of legend. And yet it is known that they were forced and that their actions eventually led to the fall of that group. It is known that they worked alongside the Challengers of the Codex of War to bring a death to the world but that they eventually betrayed them causing its collapse. Their plan all along? It is known that they worked alongside the most wicked of the Fae in the form of the Gloamings but led them to their demise. Much of what they did may seem wicked and brutal but they were for sure lingering under a great curse and perhaps were at all times fighting that corruption. In truth they should be hailed as heroes for if they had not chosen to be eternal we would all have been as touched as they were and out fate sealed. Did the Kraken see that future but choose to keep it hidden? We can only assume that he did for the good of us all.
Throughout this time the Kraken was worshipped by the Zoranethi and his faith travelled to the Greater Teeth and to the shores of the Eastern Coast of Daer Akmir and perhaps as far North as Helgath. This preparation involved the building of many great temples to aspects of the world itself (Time, Fate and Knowledge for example), places that we still seek to this day. However we often clashed with what are now the Churches of the Day as our Undead Counterparts were persecuted, sought out and cut down. Indeed many of the floating islands that we used for transport were destroyed and all seemed lost. Then one day, when the world was ready the last of the Zoranethi were awoken from their slumber during the Tharinos of 2011ppw called from their rest by the Great and revered Fae Lord Plaguemantle. This is one of our Holiest Days and marks the rebirth of the faith that we now hold dear as the humans of that first tribe stepped into the light and received the gifts of the comet and became the Codex Eaölfs. It was here that the Kraken was first summoned to the assembly of the Gods at Tharinos and made his legendary address to the peoples of the lands, the Archangels of Soul Anchor and the Gods of Tharinos.
The Kraken was accepted, although the control of Fate was disputed by Bethylak and the mastery of the Sea by Terref. In the end she agreed to what was below the waves to fall to him and Bethylak agreed to moments to come if he gave up the Eye of fate an action that he agreed to. The Kraken accepted all restrictions placed upon him by the powers of the heavens, as one would expect and finally made his way into the Basanic Pantheon replacing the Devourer as the last of the Dusk Pantheon. This was the first day that the Toll of the Deep was recognised as an establishment and the offer made by the Silverlight family to build our first temple in the Port that was under their construction in the Ironstone Bay shelter of Silver Quays. From here the Faith has spread across the Royal Basin although it has not been without the burdens that are to be expected as much as the success that were foreseen.
In the early years of the Church the Zoranethi that had followed the Kraken for so long refused to end their watch and attempted to join the forming Clergy. For reasons that we can only presume are for their failure to comply to his wishes they were excommunicated and cast from their faith. Despite their removal and consequent declaration of hatred to the Toll the dogma of hatred towards the Kraken that they have instilled over the years is found in most societies, guilds and churches; something that we have yet to overcome. We have also had to battle against the jealousy of many of the followers of the faiths as they attempt to overcome the anger that they feel as we create new opportunities for ourselves and begin to spread our belief into areas that they control. Poverty, limited access to property, persecution and limited impact at Clergy meetings have been problematic however we have been accepted as the final Church of the Dusk and we have the power to go forward.
The more mainstream Churches have, over the years, 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.
Despite adversity the Church has developed well enough in a short time and has formed under the leadership of our first Drowned Priest; Canoth. The mainstay of the Church remains Codex Eaölfs but the other races of the Basin are gathering to join them after many positive actions taken in the past few years: The Church of the Kraken has proven pivotal in the recent crisis that the Torakaylins put in place in Karrid Ren, as is rumoured to be the new home of the Clergy, providing assistance by one of our first Holy Warriors Strom Lowinbrow. Through the power of the faith thousands of souls were saved and returned to their rightful place. Equally that same worthy was responsible for the rise of our Angels and Archangels who have now processed in front to the Clergy and made their way to Soul Anchor to join the battle of the banners and properly administer the actions of the God and his followers. These are truly times of burden, hidden things and above all progress for the flock that serve the Oblivion of the Deep.
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.