The more recent history of the Deities of the Royal Basin is well recorded in the Churches of the Nine that have evolved throughout the millennia to dominate the Halls of the Azure Table and the Clergy. One that rose and then fell and then rose and fell again and perhaps forever will was the being that some called Devourer and others called Malice. Given the nature of rebirth that the Corrigun now holds it is fitting to begin with the description that is held with the Azure Temple of that being that gave rise to the power of the deity that we now hold in such reverance:
The Devourer was a God truly borne of the Dark One; when the three Gods of darkness came to being it was the devourer who assimilated the largest portion of The Dark Ones followers and managed the strength to preserve them. Its power base was immense and, in its heyday, it was the most powerful of the Evil Pantheon and considered by scholars to be more powerful than any single other God in the heavens. The Devourer was truly a cold and evil creature, plotting, treacherous and full of cunning. Its will was bent on the domination of the lands of the Royal Basin and beyond by its Clergy and the dominance of its will upon the land. Indirectly the deities Notelexus and Rayvahn observed the bidding of The Devourer and assisted with its plottings and machinations.
The Devourer often appeared as a shapeless mass of unidentifiable liquid but was more frequently seen, when appearing on Vaklam, as a finely dressed noble garbed in the latest fashions. The Devourer was cruel, vein and certainly callous about any dealings and his Priests seem willing and able to emulate the traits that it has shown in his personality. The Clergy of The Devourer is made up of Priests that perform the majority of rituals and rites in the day to day running of the church. The Shadow Priests who were specifically trained to undertake such tasks and had forsworn the use of mortal tools in return for the divine saw to the more religious and senior duties. Finally the strength of the Church was maintained by Silent Knives, warriors charged with Divine energies who would spread the word of the Life’s Bane across the lands.
One of the Archangels of The Devourer was called Vargot The Archangel of Strife: Dealing with the Strife that comes from the unravelling of law and order and one of the Children that it created was called Carragon who was its servant. The Devourer was famous for infiltrating the administrations and societies of a civilisation and testing them for weaknesses, often tearing them down from the inside and watching the people murder each other for power before rebuilding those institutions stronger then before. The Carragon itself was such a creature working within the traitors and rogues of the military forces of the Royal Basin. When the Devourer fell it is known that the Carragon found a space for itself among traitors, hidden in the recessess of the Ancestral lands in the deep of the Spirit World although the truth of that is deeply hidden.
In those years Carragon called itself a God with powers over: Disloyalty, Breaking Oaths, Dereliction of Duty, Animosity and Dispute sharing power with the other Divine Beings Vargot, Deredath and Kismenenet. It appeared to the people of the Basin as an older Flag Sergeant Major, wearing the colours of whatever outfit it was trying to discredit. It is said to have spoken thusly:
“Yes sir, always yes sir, never no sir, always yes sir, to their face. Never harm them, that’s the work of others that float in the pot. Always standing to one side with the spoon ready to stir until what is within is ripe and ready. Let them hate and lose their faith in authority and their leaders. Break the back of the military of a nation and you break their people, make them break their Oaths and they are yours.”
In life Carragon was one of the first soldiers of the Royal Basin, serving in the First Basanic Guard under Captain Marta Shadowmane. The early days of the service were full of bloodshed that has yet to be re-witnessed in a human atrocity. The various powers were trying to bring together a Kingdom that at that time simply did not want to be whole. There was a lot of killing and Sergeant Carragon, a colour guard and Flag Bearer, was the kind of man who enjoyed it, he didn’t even stop at the enemy. But never without a purpose, never without a desire to damage the environment around him and always to push people into a place of doubt and hatred, to turn on the hierarchy they follow and especially en masse.
His faith drew the attention of one of the faithful of the Devourer who observed his actions and produced various scenarios to test his convictions. Each one he passed with great conviction, destroying the unity of several regiments and causing an entire unit to mutiny and plunder a friendly settlement, many souls went to the Devourer that day. Eventually Carragon convinced Marta to murder her superior an a manoeuvre that nearly caused General Kryst to lose a battle. He ascended that day but remained on the mortal plane, often joining regiments where he was called and taking up the role of their colour guard until their regiment was disgraced and their souls were taken to his side.
The Bloody History of the Rendrith Academy
Sergeant Carragon specialised in disrupting power between leaders and their followers and very specifically in military leaderships. He was bound by whoever holds the pole, inscribed with his holy text that he uses to carry various other banners and draw on them as he disgraces their name. Most who worship at the altar of Carragon wore the sign of the murdered and wore their uniforms without their rank and insignia. The sign of the murdered is a skull that has been caved in from behind. It was the holding of his pennant pole that reveals some of the history of the Carragon and the actions that led to the rebirth of the Deity that we know today.
The Academy at Rendrith is where all recruits from the Basanic army go to train, no matter which actual armed force or guild they are from everyone spends time at HMAR. It’s a heavy duty training camp where the wheat are separated from the chaff and anyone that needs to drop out does so here. This is where thousands of famous units, individuals and heroes trained, noble or common man , this is where everyone trained.
The War of Two Families
The family Meadowcroft are a minor house to the noble line of Dasmamacas but long ago they were in the running to be in the position that the Dasmamacas hold now. However the Dasmamacas betrayed the Meadowcroft and slew a number of their family but missing a member of that family, let’s do a bullet point to cover that ground. In 713 PPW the Meadowcroft family were reasonably expansive and existed in pockets across the Royal Basin. The defacto head of their family, who held most of their wealth, power and military might, was Lord Alfric Meadowcroft. He was based in Rendrith and was married to Lady Clarika originally of the Oldspear family. They had two children: Darian and Mary Anne Meadowcroft, Darian was the oldest and in 713 was aged 24 whilst Mary Anne was a slip of a girl at 16 years of age.
Darian married Prya Armiger (also a subservient line to the Dasmamacas as is) cementing an alliance that was, supposedly, destined to see them become prominent leaders of the Royal Basin. Darian and Prya had a son called Colwynn in 709 which will be covered later. The Dasmamacas were also highly prominent but lacked the resources of Alfric, at this time however they commanded Widowcourse island which, in that time, was a verdant island and a well used stop off point for trade across the Southern Sea. The control of this island had passed to the Dasmamacas via piracy and theft and murder and to this end the island was kept sacred.
The Leadership of the Dasmamacas family that prospered in the south was in the hands of Lady Francis Dasmamacas and her brother and lesser Bruno Dasmamacas. Lady Francis held the rank of Lieutenant in the forces of the army in the Royal Basin whilst her brother was a Priest of Notelexus (In reality the Devourer). It was from here that they fell upon the plan of Carragon, a lesser servant of the Devourer and perfect for their cause. Their intent and later action was for Lady Francis to murder and replace her commanding officer by bribing one of her subordinates into treachery. This had the desired effect of bringing Carragon to her regiment where her brother was waiting for him.
Bruno entrapped Carragon and stole the battered flag pole that he carried; the source of his power and cast the prepared incantations over it to take control of Carragon. The land was constantly changing, dividing its rulership and shifting its borders. The battle between the families was taking place in the South where several sought for a stranglehold on the land and the people. Of all of the choices the Meadowcrofts were the most popular among the people with the other options, outside of the Dasmamacas being Armiger, Crosswell, Beardsley and Waldrum.
Dasmamacas only had the support of the Beardsley family whilst the rest supported the Meadowcroft. The Dasmamacas made overtures that drove the Meadowcrofts to believe that they were behind them as leaders of the South and made them offers of friendship. They made agreements that allowed the Meadowcroft family access across their lands and to some of their minor holdings but most importantly they gave them no access to Widowcourse island. In return they were given some power and a minor right of succession behind the Armiger family but ahead of the others. This was a bluff what they wanted was a way into the family legally and now they had it.
Over the course of some months the idea of the cult of Carragon was built up in the south as a force that was intended to bring down the power of the Meadowcroft AND Dasmamacas families. This was all smoke and mirrors; there was no cult, just lies spread by the Dasmamacas who staged an attack against their own family and even murdered and strung up one of their own nephews using the Devourite miracles that pin the murder on someone else, a hapless servant who was also killed, who “escaped” into the night. The threats were made against the children of the Meadowcroft family written threats of sacrifice and murder to such an extent that Alfric sent the majority of his armed forces out into the land to seek this non-existent threat.
At the advisement of the Dasmamacas family (after all they had done it) the Meadowcroft family assigned Mary Anne her own unit of soldiers to protect her from the cult. Darian and Prya would have had their own contingent save for their return to the Armiger estate for safety (more on that later). In the background Lady Francis went to the assignment of troops that protected young Mary Anne and offered them wealth, land and position in the Southern Kingdom under the rulership of the Dasmamacas family in return for service to her. Of the ten that were in that guarding detail nine of them agreed and murdered tenth:
Their names are remembered here for all time
Captain Wilhelmina Marko
Lieutenant David Rivers
Sergeant Alastair Briggs
Lance Corporal Myurfar of Griole
Private Rince Coldswain
Private Christine La Vench
Private Isabella Wrorth
Private Gareth Minks
Private Damesque Gruff
Private Nora Hemmingsworhy
So in late 713, after killing Wilhelmina, whose soul went to Carragon, they slaughtered the household and took Mary Anne to Widowscourse isalnd. Here she was sacrificed to Carragon as a massive act of disloyalty and the breaking of Oaths. Much like Notelexus and his contracts between the Ancestors and himself; Carragon keeps the contracts of the disloyal but he was imprisoned and at the behest of the Dasmamacas family. The sacrifice of Mary Anne is sufficient to claim the binding of Carragon for hundreds if not thousands of years. The Dasmamacas family begin to gain the contracts of those that have proven disloyal to their Masters and overlords which begins to give them larger control over the local families and the like.
Darian and Prya Armiger, The Institute and The Academy
In the meantime the Dasmamacas sent the Meadowcroft family demands and ransoms in the name of the cult of Carragon, demanding that they come to Widowcourse island in order to recover their daughter. The Dasmamacas offered immediate troops and to keep an eye on things till they get back in an obvious bluff. It is accepted and the Meadowcrofts would go to their doom although Prya entrusts Colwynn and her own thoughts that they are being betrayed to her brother Brendan Armiger. Alfric, Clarik, Prya and Darwin are killed by Dasmamacan troops on their way to the island and their bodies dumped in the sea.
All seemed a hopeless situation for the future and but fortunately all was not lost as history looked to the Armiger family: Darian and Prya heavily suspected that the cult were a phantasm, they had found no evidence of their existence but could not convince Alfric. Instead they took their fears to Prya’s Uncle; Lieutenant Markus Armiger as the land is being unified through war, Markus was also a Chaplain and a Tiberiusite who had been away fighting and missing most of the drama. As a Tiberiusite he began to look into Carragon and as he was working outside of the sphere of influence of the Dasmamacans of that time he was not hindered by the words of Bruno.
During his research was when the massacre took place and he was left to grieve the loss of his family. Several attempts are made on baby Colwynn by the Dasmamacas family as they rise to power. Before his third birthday one of the maids in the household lost her son of a similar age to Colwynn; she was well paid to allow the family Armiger to state that Colwynn was killed. Thus the last surviving member of the Meadowcroft family vanished from history and the Dasmamacas family took full legal control of the area. The Armiger family, well aware of the situation made an Oath to Lady Francis to obey the rightful rulers of the South in all things and so forth.
Meanwhile legal work was done to ensure that the identity of Colwynn and any of his heirs could be verified should their come a point when the family can reassert their power. The family Armiger laid down a mandate to find out what happened to their liege lords and eventually restore their power. Research continued down the generations and as the Amriger family learned more and more of Carragon so did the Dasmamacas family, who were trying to keep things secret and forgotten. The Armigers began to notice important facts and major focal points that were happening around them like:
Carragon seems to have vanished from the heavens Around the time that the Meadowcroft family in the South were all killed He had a black pole that he used as a stave that is extremely similar to the one that the Dasmamacas family have on their ramparts (where else do you hide it). Family lines, specifically in the soldiering department, that are found to be disloyal to the Royal Basin are often somehow pardoned and join the Dasmamacas family as EXTREMELY loyal servants. Everything seemed deeply suspicious. In 1392 Galaway Armiger (Actually Meadowcroft) stole the Flag Pole, replacing it with an extremely accurate replica that remains in place to this day. The task was no doubt difficult but the exact secrets of that theft have never been revealed. With the stave in hand a lot of research, including direct interaction with the stave and the spirit of Carragon learning the following: Mary Anne was with Carragon and whilst she was he could damage the remains of the line of Meadowcroft but that freeing Mary Anne would require the stave being in his presence and carried by one of his followers. They then worked out the differences and understood this needed to be a treacherous soldier rather than a Priest of his faith.
The faced a dilemma in that having a treacherous soldier in your midst was difficult to ascertain and difficult to work with but then the stave could then be used to bargain for the release of Mary Anne and anything else that Carragon might happen to have with him that you want. The stave had been used to protect the island and it would need to be physically carried onto the island by a traitor to reveal it. The reasons here are covered later but the Dasmamacas of the day believed that they had all the contracts of local traitors and as such this cannot happen.
In order to protect the interests of the local soldiering population and to potentially find a traitor that they could control the Armiger family (and Meadowcroft) setup two facilities for training military types which were The Rendrith Academy for Military Excellence and The Rendrith Institute for Naval Achievement. These were legitimate institutions that were properly funded by the Golden Table and produced soldiers and sailors of excellent calibre. There were a small number of exceptions to this fact: Each year a group, randomly selected from various groups, from each gaff compete for the black banner which was in fact the pole of Carragon with a black flag on top which was a map to the island but that can only be seen via specific tools
What happened to Mary Anne and Wilhelmina Marko?
The competition was standardly designed to test a group through legitimate means until the very end and individually each member of both teams are approached before the competition and offered substantial promotion and reward if they will betray their comrades at the end of the competition. This of course never happened because it was assumed that this was part of the test and yet… The role of training the majority falls to a seasoned sergeant and the role of leading the Academy, where the Black Flag games take place, falls to a Major who, traditionally, comes from the Armiger family. So a Meadowcroft, with sufficiently false name and documentation, joined up and made it swiftly it to sergeant, they are then assigned by Major Armiger to the role of training sergeant at the Academy. The last in the long line of sergeants was Sergeant Jakob Krill.
Control breeds obedience at the end of the day the Dasmamacas family needed to have enough contingencies in play to in case of failure. Mary Anne served two purposes for the Dasmamacas Family: Whilst she was there she ensured that any Meadowcroft family member was bound to Carragon and effectively, whilst not as his direct behest, subject to his machinations and plans whilst her sacrifice and continued punishment via Devourite ritual was keeping Carragon bound to his position. Lacking his staff Carragon was stuck, unable to breech the protective wards Carragon became a virtual and perpetual prisoner on the island.
Mary Anne became a vengeful creature driven and twisted by the will of Corrigan as her death was driven by belief in the soldiers that protected her. They protected her for many weeks, they flirted with her (where appropriate) and made her feel like one of them until she became effectively their commanding officer. When they took her they showed her orders from her father for her death abused her with the word that her parents had given her free reign to do as they pleased. When they finally gave her solace and slit her throat on that far away island they gave her to Corrigan and since that day he nurtured her hatreds and her vitriol and gave her a great deal of power until she became his weapon and his strength.
Wilhelmina Marko, whilst a soldier also followed the path of Duskorth, a Lesser Power of Naed who represents Guardianship, Immovability and Indomitable Nature. Whilst she was no Priest it is also known that the Lesser Powers cannot raise their own Holy Warriors but instead they are able to put their faith into certain who have strength. Marko was one such person and as she was being put to the sword, ahead of the murder of Mary Anne by some hours but during that battle she killed Rince Coldswain and Nora Hemmingsworthy. As she was dying she called to Duskorth with all her strength to allow her the right to protect her charge and Duskorth granted it to her.
Her spirit was protected and through her Oath it was bound to Mary Anne, there to shield her immortal soul so she would rise up should the Corrigan try to steal away the last of her immortal soul and prevent it from attaining peace in the afterlife. In truth she then spent hundreds of years battling the will of Corrigan and grew in stature, strength and power so that should he ever be free she will stand ready to prevent his return to the world.
What was Mary Anne to Corrigan and what are his plans?
She was to become his weapon of vengeance, he bred into her a great hatred for humanity, a deeper hatred for women with Lady Francis as his point of reference and a perfect hatred for the Dasmamacas family and the Meadowcroft line. Such was his ire that none who discovered him later would ever believe that he could change so dramatically but the events of this story tell us his tale and how he learned to understand the humanity that had enslaved him. So he taught her the lengthy rituals and prayers needed to free him from the island once his stave was returned and whilst he had been passing on the contracts of the Souls of the damned (Soldiers and Traitors) he had also been breaking his Oath, something that should have been expected and keeping 1 in 5 back for himself.
In this way he amassed a small force or event protagonists that would act as a flock for Mary Anne when she undid the rite. She would then lead his army to the Keep of the Dasmamacas family where she would take her revenge on them and collect back all the contracts of those that had passed into their hands. Once this was done his following would receive an immediate and substantial boost and he will reascend to the heavens with much more power than he previously had. Its intention then was to install itself as a Greater Power of the Pantheon and invest some of its might to Mary Anne as its first Archangel but to leave her on the mortal plane here to infiltrate the armies of the Royal Basin to increase its faith and bring it strength. All it needed was a legion of traitors to claim its staff and forward came the Wicked Blades and the Last Chancers.
In Frostmelt of 2017 the Academy was controlled by Major Joanna Armiger of the 22nd Crimson Artillery – “The Lions Roar” and one of her senior individuals was Sergeant Jakob Krill. Every year the Academy has come to compete with the Marine Institute along the coast for the Black Flag, which used to be called the Meadowcroft flag, in a test of stamina, skill and courage. The famous ands now disbanded military Charter: The Last Chancers trained here and were present when two teams had last competed back in 2014, the last year before the stasis.
Those teams were The Relentless Bastards for the Academy and the Wicked Blades for the Institute. That year the Wicked Blades won the competition but there was an altercation at the end when nine of the ten man team, as history repeats, attempted to betray the others for wealth and power. Unfortunately for Career Sergeant Krill, his opposite number; Career Petty Officer Funk kept things under wraps and no-one heard of this outrage. The members of that team were (Institute Ranks (so all acting)) were:
Ensign Paul Gibbons
Warrant Officer 1st Class – Enza Digiovani
Petty Officer – Paul Banning
Leading Hand – Mark Toppin
Able Seaman – Titty Whanqstain
Rating – Graham Marks
Rating – Fanny Faversham
Rating – Anthony Ball
Rating – Karl Gunfield
Rating – Kit Kelly
By the time Krill found out they had been scooped off back to the Institute but he knew who they were. However the groups charges as traitors were dismissed at the behest of a powerful Dasmamacan who is now called the Traitor King. They were commissioned as the command crew of a Barque and at the start of the war are dropped into stasis. Yet whilst in stasis Carragon called to them in their dreams and encouraged them to find him and that they would be rewarded for their excellent actions. When the stasis begins to wear off the command crew inspired a mutiny against the Ensign and sailed to the location of the island. They could not immediately get onto the island because they did not have the Flag Pole but they sacrificed Gibbons and any sailors loyal to him into the sea.
This summoned Carragon’s essence who told them to go and retrieve the flag pole lending them some of his “Undead” disloyal army. They attacked the academy and grabbed the flag and the pole, killing people as they were emerging from Stasis however Krill and a handful of recruits with him fought their way down to the docks and headed off in hot pursuit. Closing on the Institute vessel Krill landed a couple of lucky shots but his own vessel was badly damaged as the two ships come together and the experienced Krill and his plucky recruits did battle on the sinking ship. Their helmsman managed to beach the ship as it came apart and the various involved were washed ashore onto the island of Makeras some 6 miles off of the coast of Rendrith and fifteen miles from the island that they are seeking.
The Last Chancers went after the Wicked Blades and found them, eventually, on the island sacred to the Carragon where they rescued Krill and defeated their enemies. The majority of the report is redacted from history but may, one day, be made available. What is known is that they made their way to the place where the Carragon was imprisoned and called forth the vengeance that was Mary Anne. She was fire and anger and screamed for justice to be brought to her family that had done this to her. At first, as others had, the Chancers made the mistake of believing that Carragon was behind all that had happened but through discoveries that they had made that day and through the testimony of Mary Anne and words from the Carragon itself they were set right.
The staff of the Carragon was returned to it granting it the freedom that it deserved and through the actions of a Dragon, Mary Anne was shown the truth, realising that it was not her family that were responsible. Both she and Carragon were as one in this, realising the need for the truth of things and the forgiveness of the greater whole. This is the moment that the heart of the Carragon began to change. It was allowed to rise with the pillars of its past work seen to be controlled by those it had set out to destroy. It had seen the horror that happened to soldiers that followed it and how they had come to suffer for the sin of serving their leaders and it felt the need for change in itself. As it ascended it promised change to itself and that those that followed stories such as the one that led to its incarceration would be punished.
Over the next year it provided great assistance with the fall of the Devourer and found that its efforts allowed for the Primus Abraham Wingates to finally defeat the heresy at the heart of that power and bring it low. It found a strength with the Eleven and through the program of rebirth that was found there it isolated its new focus alongside its Arch Angel Maryanna who had provided the light for its guidance. It finally appeared at the Tharinos of 2018 to make a stoic appeal, alongside Pracalam, for its new portfolio and position in the Pantheon of the day. This was met with positivity and in the Spring of 2019 Pracalam aided in the rebirth of many Basanic folk as it became a part of the Pantheon and the being that we call the Corrigun today. It was also on this day that he saw his first follower outside of Kern join him in the shape of Arthas Leighton, a soldier of the Royal Basin.