Faith had also marched across the Royal Basin and was blotting out the reverence and harmony that the Tao represented, a move that lent strength to the Torakaylin and denuded the Natheron of physical presence in the land. Lord Hanly Reynold Lionsgold was commissioning families based on the wealth that they could give to the Crown and were far outstripping the ability of the Torakaylin to keep up with the nobility rush that was going on. The Aristocracy was a booming industry! It was at this time that further Torakaylin influence also introduced the tenure of Faith to every Noble line.
The concept that the people and the Deities were one was underlined and orated well in court, the blooming power of the heavens was in demand, a vital commodity to both the state and the people that served it. The idea that the Lionsgold would shepherd the bodies of the living was good but the Torakaylin injected the concept that a member of the Aristocracy (originally controlled by the Lionsgold) would be guided by a family of faith. Unbeknownst to anyone at the time, as far as history tells us, the Torakaylins were manipulating bloodlines which were invested in the Lionspride, which controlled the Lionsgold line for many years in that very way.
The notion of religious families was introduced by them in “The Founding of Aristocracy” and many of them were seeded with the wickedness of Torakaylin intent. Some slipped through the intended net but the majority have their roots in vivimancy, blood corruption and heresy, being spliced beings and souls. It was here that the idea of “Tenured Holy Families” were born in names like the Flametowers, who have absolutely no rhyme or reason to be enshrined in the aristocracy, but have found their way by dint of the fact that the Lionsgold were so proud that they would not be lectured to by peasants. Hence ennoblement occurred.
Records state there were created five families of each of the initial faiths (Kalarin, Malice and Tremalian) who were called the fifteen, The Ferryman, or the Faithstocracy among the smallfolk of the world. This knowledge exists, although the number is guesswork based on the phrase “The Fifteen”. The names of these families were either expunged or never recorded by the Torakaylin. To this day there are many families that are considered Tenured Holy families and some are old enough to tie to this time, but their origin is shrouded. This move was not responded to by the Natheron family who preferred to keep the concept of their guardianship of the land out of the hands of the courts and politics.
Regardless, the Faithstocracy was a double down (or even a triple down) by the Torakaylin, who now possessed the following avenues of power: Their presence as one of the big three that would go on to become one of the Houses of power, rather than the families which gave them a sizeable presence in court as “The Torakaylins”. The succession of noble families that followed them such as Zodin which gave them back up to their position and a majority of land dominance in Ironstone Bay. The Faithstocracy existed inside all of the big and major families “serving” them but effectively giving them more voice and power within the courts.
Further to this the Lionsgold relied heavily on the power of their name, their land and families, and most importantly their wealth. Whilst the latter was an untouchable asset that the Torakaylin could not assail or leverage, everything else was due to their final power play. Churches were built on the land that was owned by every noble, including the Lionsgold and their vassals, and through those Churches the influence of the Torakaylin machination was felt. This was not an absolute. Very few priests were directly tied to the family but they played their game in a completely different way.
They had allowed the Faiths to develop in a way that they wanted them to and any beliefs and therefore doctrine that the churches preached, it could be argued, was an extension of the will of the Torakaylin. Their power over the people, from that ancient and unspoken pact, was also imperilled. The Lionsgold had the power over the physical presence of the people and the Torakaylin were supposed to guide their souls. However, again, the Torakaylins were purposefully doing things wrong. From the offset, they were attempting to unite the powers that had been given to them as demonstrated in the Sekorva Texts.
Fortunately for them the Lionsgold proved malleable enough that they could work on their actual bloodline through the actions of the Lionspride. They could also work directly on their influence on the people through articles of faith. The guiding of souls was supposed to be a purely spiritual method that married together the people and the land. The Torakaylin turned that into the terse and rigid formation of the Clergy and the need for Priests, which was the antithesis of the guidance that the Gillieabad had laid before them.
More information follows in The Growth of Noble Lines.
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