Way of the Warrior Saints
The Way of The Warrior Saints was founded in ages past by great folk who found glory on the battlefield, and became as gods. Their wisdom was recorded in a series of Prognostocese, and passed down into obscurity.
In ancient days, the dusty tomes containing the wisdom of the Saints were known to few High Families, who had small shrines in their keeps, and kept to themselves, reverently and silently doing the good work of the Faith. Many long years hence, the teachings of the Holy Saints came back into favour with the nobility, and eventually new Grand Temples having been built by Autarch Maximus Montague, of House Galantos (He has since vanished, leaving the position of Autarch Maximus open. It is presumed he has died, but infrequently hedge-priests will claim to spot him in the countryside.)
For Twenty-seven cycles of the Celestial Oxen he spread the word, with more priests and nobles learning of the great Faith. Now the Way of the Warrior Saints is one of the most vibrant and strong Religions on Atamara.
The Way of the Warrior Saints teaches that the Great Father, who made all that is, created Man to rule over the world. When he saw that men were wicked, he gave power to those who would watch over his world, and revere the Holy Earth and Stones, and maintain The Order of All Things. These were the Warrior Saints, Gods among us. The Father now sleeps, and the Saints abound, preserving righteousness for those who seek it.
- 1 The Saints
- 2 Beliefs
- 3 Rites and Ceremonies
- 4 Clergy and Temples
- 5 Awards and Decorations
The Saints are those Men and Women of yore who transcended the flesh through diligence, valour, and wisdom. They know the wishes of the Father, and saw His Holy Mountain at World's End. Their words have been recorded and should be studied by the faithful.
The Saints still roam the Earth, granting blessings and protecting the faithful. They preserve the Earth and Stones so that the Father may sleep inside his Holy Mountain. In the spiritual hierarchy, The father is the Creator above all, and the Saints are his pantheon of lesser Gods. All men (and women) have the capacity to transcend the flesh to divine Sainthood, through diligent study, courage in battle, and walking along the Righteous Way of the Saints-Who-Went-Before.
Out of the hundreds of Saints, only a few are still remembered, although through the diligent studies of the clergy, many are being uncovered anew.
The Saints, their Patronages, and their Writings:
- Saint Leonidas (Leohampton, Minas Leon, courage and defiance) Three Heads of Courage, Balance and Counterbalance
- Saint Nycticorax (Silnaria and lands surrounding, the night time and dusk, The Central Lake of Atamara and those who Fish Upon It) Meditations at Nightfall
- Saint Argustain (Saint of Archery, Exploration, & Self-Sacrifice) The Arrow's Path
- Saint Haral (Melias and lands surrounding, plains and flatlands, Cavalry) The Endless Horizon, The Drumming Hooves of Glory
- Saint Lansel (Falasan, Speedy travels, Tactics) Around Atamara in Eight Days, On the Wisdom of the Noble Hare
- Saint Valmyre (Eston, storms, knights) Song of Kingly Honors, The Quill and The Axe
- Saint Conraed (Abington, justice, valor) Idylls of the Southern Seas, Psalms of Glory and Duty
- Saint Morugan (fate, wind, crows, carrion, looting) Dirge of the Doomed
- Saint Rifkin (night, espionage, sly trickery) Poetry in a Poisoned Blade, Noble Duty, Dirty Deeds
- Saint Beornic (The Lakelands, fishermen, weather) Verses of the Storms, Carp and Trout
- Saint Hubbins (worked leather, sturdy boots, travel) The Prognostocese of St. Hubbins, The Book of Leathers
- Saint Jaynke (death, doomsaying, the Great Abyss) Visions of Madness from Beyond, The Cold Embrace
- Saint Kraymyr (exploration, remote lands, Suville) Travels of Kraymyr, Salt, Sea, and Swords
- Saint Kostansa (oceans, the South, sailing) Prognostocese of the Coast
- Saint Segarre (feasts, wine and ale, knaves) The Thousand Sleepless Nights Abroad, Prognostocese from the Vine
- Saint Ephrahm (quests, horsemanship) Holy Visions of the Equine Saint, The Bloody Path of Holy Pilgrims
- Saint Bael (hunting, archery, night) The Darkness Without Dawn, Purity from the Slain
- Saint Bear (animals, mindless rage, berserkers) A King that isn't a Lion
- Uhrht (gardening, farming, hospitalers) The Father Comforts None, Humble Prognosteces of St. Uhrht (Prognostocese missing)
- Gemihna ("the Lady of Swords") Martial Exercises of Faith, The Book of Noble Talents (Prognostocese missing)
- Saint Procyon (stoicism, tenacity, furs) The Importance of Deep Burrows, On the Subject of Insulating Animals, The Stone and the Stoat
- Saint Cissa (nature, woodfolk) The Green Prognostocese, Whispers in the Forest
- Saint Wodin (Norland, Makar, knowledge, wanderers) Hugin and Munin, Runes of Yggsdrsdill
- Saint Artyr (jousting, dueling, feats of honor) Prognostocese from a Table Round, Songs of the Sporting Lance
- Saint Issik (The Jug, poverty, martyrdom) My Days on The Rack, Meditations On the Jug
- Saint Reegyn (warfare, holy quests) Victory and Struggle, The Reegynomicon
- Saint Saephyna (Warrior Women, Tara, childbirth) The Amplest Bosom, Peace by Righteous Violence
- Saint Isa (winter, storytelling, lost travellers) Isa & Iobhar
- Saint Egravail (Beluaterra, slaying abominations, single combat) 748 Instructions in Martial Exercise. Psalms of Rage and Righteousness
- Saint Laybeck (the sword, family and loyalty) Injured but still a fighter
- Saint Maggus (Hero Class, daring or dangerous adventure, Good Deaths) Audiology of Mono-auricles, and The Correct Weights and Measures of a Man in place of a Stone for use on a Catapult.
- The Imperceptible Saint (Saint of Long Living Kings, Patient Faith, Mystery, and the Second Awakening) Oral wisdow by followers of the Cult of Occultation
- Saints Segomo and Codidius (Saints of the Downhearted, instilling the virtues of Diligence and Patience) No known prognostocese
- Saint Welby (Saints of Buildings, Architecture and Hand Tools) No known prognostocese
- Saint Samuel (Saint of Debauchery and Hedonism) Traditional histories from the nothern peasants
- Saint Maemora (Saint of Literature, Diplomacy and Wives) Marriage and Sainthood
- Saint Ucdauh (Saint of battlefield tactics, wisdom and justice) Ucdauh's Book of the Damned, Ucdauh's Book of Necromancy and many more
- Saint Einar (Protector of the oppressed, the poor and those of common birth, reliever of suffering and patron of martyrdom). Titles: The Martyr, The Crying One, The Sufferer) No known prognostocese
- Saint Ricarius (Saint of Literature & Writing, Statesmanship and Oratory, and of the Rights of the Nobility) The Bravery behind Speechs
- Saint Legionas of Arelien (chivalry, honour and sun) No known prognostocese
- Saint Nathanial (Barad Lacirith, still waters, cattle and livestock) The Silver of the Soul. 50 Devotions to the Crucible.
There are many more Saints, one for almost every profession. They often disagree on articles of faith and doctrine. Due to the scholarly work of the clergy, these doctrinal disagreements rarely fester into schismatic arguments; the faith is one of many respected Saints, all who follow the same Way in the end, after all.
(OOC: Part of the roleplay of this religion is the creation of new Saints. Any player whose character belongs to this church is Strongly Encouraged to create a Patron Saint that fits the flavour of their character.)
The Creation of All That Is
On the First Day The Father of Earth and Stone made the world and all in it. He created a wealth of animals, trying to build one that would rule the others, and maintain order. As he made the animals of the world, he gave life to the creatures, and sent them into the wild. At long last, he settled on a form that could dominate all the lesser forms he had made before, and then removed himself unto the bowels of a great mountain on the far side of the world. This last animal was Man. He gave Men courage and strength, and put in place a Holy Order of Kings, and then He was done with Man, and heard no prayers.
For many lifetimes The Father sat sleeping in the deep stone, resting after giving life to the world. His favourite children, the Earth and the Stones, whispered to him as he slept, and were as his eyes and ears as he rested. With the rise of Man and the world of Kings, the Earth and the Stones grew wary. They saw as man learned of treachery, and corruption. Man trod upon the earth, and the earth felt his steps grow mad. Despite the Holy Order of Kings, men overthrew one another, and mocked the righteous ways, and forsook chivalry and honour. The Earth and Stones warned the Father of coming treachery. They knew that the folly of men would breed horrors and pain.
Angry with being awoken, the Father caused a Great Quake in the lands (The Holy Cataclysm), and sent forth Glory and Power to those who would take it. The Father of Earth and Stones left it to Man to once again bring order to his world, and left His Majesty and Wisdom gathered on battlefields, to wait for mighty warriors to claim it. He then returned to sleep in His Holy Mountain, and there he remains.
Those who would claim the Divine Wisdom of the Holy Cataclysm were the Warrior Saints, and they would be well-known in song and story as Gods among men. Paragons of Earth and Stone, they found divinity and Righteousness through Valour, and then left the hard-earned blessings of the Father in their steps, for those that would follow them.
The End of Days
It is said that when madness, treachery, and wickedness rule the world, the Earth and the Stones will once again whisper to the Sleeping Father, and awaken Him from His slumber. His rage will be be unprecedented, and He will stride across the earth unmaking all that he has made. There will be no pity or mercy, and the wicked shall be eaten by the Rocks, and the Anarchists will be purged in despair at the sight of the Father they have forsaken. "The Second Awakening" (or Great Tribulation) shall be a time of immense calamity and suffering, and those who served the Way of the Warrior Saints with honour will rise from the soil where they rest, wreathed in armour of Holy Stone, and once again fight the wicked. The Warrior Saints will march behind the Father, leading the Risen Faithful, and fighting in their final battle for the preservation of Order. At the End of All Days, the wicked shall be rended from the world, and given no rest. The righteous and the faithful will sleep forever, one with the dirt and the earth, slumbering in harmony alongside the Saints and the Father, at long last in peace.
Some say that the encroaching Glacier of Atamara is a harbinger of this Doom. (It probably is. REPENT!)
The Prognosteces tend to agree on the following basic tenets:
- The Father of Earth and Stone has planted Valour and Glory in the bones of all men. The wicked must have this gift rended from them by the faithful, lest they use their Holy Power for the subjugation of the righteous.
- Diligence, Valour, and Prudence are holy traits, and should be revered above all.
- Order is preserved when Ignorance, Cowardice, and Anarchy are eradicated by the Righteous. Those are the ways of the wicked, and if they ruled the earth, madness would prevail, waking the Sleeping Father, and bringing his purging wrath.
- Loyalty is the chain that binds us to salvation. The Saints sit only one step beyond Kings, and the proximity of Kings to the Most Holy is providence. Respect them and bow to them always.
- Death is a return to the Earth and the Stones. It is solemn, but ultimately the fate of all who walk. Fear it not.
- In death, the wicked will rot and be eaten by carrion birds and forgotten.
- In death, the faithful will return to the earth and stones, loved by the rich soil and welcomed back into the Mountain, to be tilled anew. They will be at peace, and at one with their brothers.
- In death, those who surpass their brothers in Valour, and Honour, and Courage; they will roam the earth as Warrior Saints, giving order and guidance to the people who survive them. This is a great honour, and reserved only for the most Holy, and Wise, and Righteous.
- Have few enemies, but if your brother would harm you or your Lord, make him regret your wrath. Put your enemies to the sword and return them to the soil from whence they came.
- The weak have forgotten the strength of Stone and the Glory in their bones. They ignore the greatest gifts of the Sleeping Father. Regard them not.
- The steel in your hand is like unto your brother, your other self, a soul it's own. Respect it, and it will find salvation for you in the blood of the slain.
- Man exists solely to exert order and vigilance over the earth, and preserve the sleep of the Great Father. Anarchy, madness, and all that would upset a realm are to be fought, lest the Father Awaken again, and end all things forever.
Blood, Iron, Earth, and Stone
Sacred to those who follow the Saints, are the four elements of Blood, Iron, Earth, and Stone. All things are born of these, and they are held as blessed by the Great Father and the Host of Saints.
The blood is the water of living things. Water is the blood of the earth. Blood must spill to make Warriors mighty. Water must spill to grow new crops and continue all things. All men need blood and water to survive, and the Earth and Stones provide this nourishment, and reclaim it in the end. Oaths are made in Blood, blood bonds men together, and blood connects Families, the most sacred of ties.
Iron is the strongest of all the soil of the Earth. Buried deep in the stones, Iron is the bones of the world, and when used by man, a metal most strong, and much loved by warriors. It is said that the strongest men are "Ironborn", and they are bred of those veins in the Earth where the stones turn into sacred Iron. Chains are made of Iron, and Chains bind us to the Order of Kings, the holy Chain of Command that creates Order.
- Earth and Stone
The Holy Soil is where all life springs. When life dies, it returns to the Earth, and is renewed in the cyclical Way Of All Things. Earth and Stone were the first creations of the great father, as he made a world to trod upon. Life springs from the Holy Soil, and is given strength and resolve by the Rock which is eternal upon it. The Holy Power of the Great Father that makes Saints of the Righteous resides in the Earth and Stones. The Earth and the Stones are ever steadfast, and reclaim all things.
When all men and madness are washed in the Cataclysm to come, the Earth, Stones, Blood, and Iron will remain, ever-living without life, dead and dreaming always. For in the Earth is Stone, and in the Stone is Iron, the Iron is in the Blood, and the Blood flows into the Earth, and all are connected in the Holy Quartet.
Every family Saint has a different set of rites and observances, and they are as varied as the Saints themselves. The only ritual that is observed by most followers is the practice of praying by kneeling in the dirt, and bowing until the head rests on a half-buried stone. Followers are encouraged to meditate in this manner at least twice a week. It is considered a great honour to the Sleeping Father if a warrior holds his weapon against the earth while he prays.
Intensive study of the ancient texts and prowess in battle are considered holy pursuits. Because of this, religious education and combat training are as important to the faithful as prayer.
Certain traditions tend to be established in history with the same essential practices, although there are variations depending on the Saint each family worships. The basic traditions are outlined below:
Among nobles, a priest is generally called to witness the naming of a child, and call upon the family's Patron Saint for guidance and preservation. In elder days, the newborn child was laid in tilled dirt, and made to hold a small stone, so that it would know the Holy Brothers (Earth and Stone) before all else.
Upon reaching their sixteenth year, many of the faithful maintain a vigil overnight between the three rock altars in the nearest temple.
The Way of the warrior Saints has no traditions for marriage. It is seen as an inconsequential act, although those who make vows are expected to keep them.
Those who died with honour are buried in the Holy Earth, with a large stone placed above them on the ground. Often, people are buried with weapons or tools that served them well in life. The truly valiant are laid in caves, under a cairn of heavy stones, with their weapon placed in a temple, to be honoured by all.
Priests of the Warrior Saints are trained in battle, and do not shy from personal combat (although they are never called to join in battles, they often fight blasphemers with their bare fists behind taverns where no one will see them. Th Fight is the most glorious manifestation of His Power, after all.)
The typical priest wears simple robes, topped with a heavy, woollen stole. Around the neck, they wear a length of cord beaded with three stones, symbolizing a constant devotion to Prudence, Diligence, and Valour. At their waist, a totem or fetish associated with their patron Saint is worn, and a heavy cudgel is carried at the side, so they might protect themselves from heathens and other violent pagans. Priests shave their heads, go bare-foot (so they always feel the holy earth beneath them) and forsake adornment. Days are typically spent studying the ancient texts, tilling and working the soil, and meditating.
Across the continent, a quarterly conclave of "Archon Majors" (head priests) meets in an ever-changing location to discuss the the teachings of the Saints. What little Church Policy there is is set at these conclaves.
It should be noted that there are two types of priests: Priests of The Way (those who study all Prognostocese and the works of all the Saints, and whose goal is finding the true nature of the Father and earth and Stones, through the veneration of every Saint), and Priests of individual Saints, who have duties in accordance to the Saint they follow. For example, a Priest of Bael will pray exclusively to that Saint, and officiate the dark, blood-ritual practices of Bael's followers, while the priests of the Hubbine Order spend their days crafting strong boots for armies on the march.
Warrior Saint Temples are hard, utilitarian places, and weapons that have served well in famous battles adorn the walls. Every temple has an adjoined library that houses holy texts.
In the center of each temple there are three altars, made of rough hewn stone, set in a great circle of tilled soil. They are there to be groomed and tended, and serve as a reminder of the Order of Things. Nobles are allowed to pray at them, kneeling in the freshly raked soil, and leaning against the magnificent stones.
The largest (and most magnificent) temples are a veritable museum of famous arms. In the center of these temples, the stone altars are more akin to standing stones, and the dirt circle is surrounded by enormous topiaries and gardens. (The Old Temple at Barad Lacirith had a hedge maze surrounding three stones that were said to be twenty feet tall.)
Like priests, there are two types of temples. General Warrior Saint temples (described above) for the veneration of all saints, and the encompassing worship of the Father, and individual temples, that vary according to the Saint they honor. (For example, temples of Uhrht are houses of healing, with gardens of curative herbs, while temples of Segarre often house brewers, and have ample wine cellars.)
- Cardinal Elders of the Holy Conclave
Priest of The Way
Acolyte of Stone
- Layfolk and Worshippers
Grand Elder Templar
Priests, Current, and of Old
- Autarch Maximus Montague of Galantos VANISHED: PRESUMED DEAD.
- Archon Pontifex Maximus Ham Hormondson VANISHED: PRESUMED DEAD.
- Archon Major Pious Toff
- Holy Templar Alejandro Hurlant VANISHED: PRESUMED DEAD.
- Carnifex Templar Maladek of Arn VANISHED: PRESUMED DEAD.
- Righteous Inquisitor Angel Castelli VANISHED: PRESUMED DEAD.
- Archon Major Procius Hurth VANISHED: PRESUMED DEAD.
- Brother Tarkas Galantos VANISHED: PRESUMED DEAD.
- Diodorus Exiled VANISHED: PRESUMED EXILED.
- Her Holiness, Holly Astragal VANISHED: PRESUMED DEAD.
- His Holiness, Crip Grindle, VANISHED: PRESUMED DEAD.
- Elder Brother Hades Ironsides VANISHED: PRESUMED DEAD.
- Brother Plad Soares VANISHED: PRESUMED DEAD.
- Brother Jordan Slaadslayer VANISHED: PRESUMED DEAD.
- Brother Johann VANISHED: PRESUMED DEAD.
York, magnificent temple - DESTROYED WHEN ATAMARA SANK
Moramroth, large temple - DESTROYED WHEN ATAMARA SANK
Barad Lacirith, large temple - DESTROYED WHEN ATAMARA SANK
Belegrond, large temple - DESTROYED WHEN ATAMARA SANK
Barad Riel, large temple - DESTROYED WHEN ATAMARA SANK
Amdor, medium temple - DESTROYED WHEN ATAMARA SANK
Belegmon, medium temple - DESTROYED WHEN ATAMARA SANK
Rauxod, medium temple - DESTROYED WHEN ATAMARA SANK
Hawthorne, medium temple - DESTROYED WHEN ATAMARA SANK
Winwich, medium temple - DESTROYED WHEN ATAMARA SANK
Leohampton, medium temple - DESTROYED WHEN ATAMARA SANK
Lyton, medium temple - DESTROYED WHEN ATAMARA SANK
Hernepoole, small temple - DESTROYED WHEN ATAMARA SANK
Galadia, small temple - DESTROYED WHEN ATAMARA SANK
Nazamroth, small temple - DESTROYED WHEN ATAMARA SANK
Beleriel, small temple- DESTROYED WHEN ATAMARA SANK
Alimonne, small temple - DESTROYED WHEN ATAMARA SANK
Elroth, small temple - DESTROYED WHEN ATAMARA SANK
Cheltenborne, small temple - DESTROYED WHEN ATAMARA SANK
Winham, small temple - DESTROYED WHEN ATAMARA SANK
Anfalas, small temple - DESTROYED WHEN ATAMARA SANK
Barad Gardor, small temple- DESTROYED WHEN ATAMARA SANK
Ser'quea, small temple- DESTROYED WHEN ATAMARA SANK
Amriel, small temple - DESTROYED WHEN ATAMARA SANK
Washford, small temple - DESTROYED WHEN ATAMARA SANK
Hegado, small temple - DESTROYED WHEN ATAMARA SANK
Dondor, primitive temple - DESTROYED WHEN ATAMARA SANK
Menedor, primitive temple - DESTROYED WHEN ATAMARA SANK
Crahandan, primitive temple - DESTROYED WHEN ATAMARA SANK
Loratil, primitive temple - DESTROYED WHEN ATAMARA SANK
Eagle's Glen, small shack - DESTROYED WHEN ATAMARA SANK
Nemaha, small shack- DESTROYED WHEN ATAMARA SANK
Melias, small shack - DESTROYED WHEN ATAMARA SANK
Northhill, small shack- DESTROYED WHEN ATAMARA SANK
Rotherthorpe, small shack - DESTROYED WHEN ATAMARA SANK
Ravening, small shack - DESTROYED WHEN ATAMARA SANK
Axzaloc, small shack - DESTROYED WHEN ATAMARA SANK
Alaise - DESTROYED WHEN ATAMARA SANK
Sauvia - DESTROYED WHEN ATAMARA SANK
Nazia - DESTROYED WHEN ATAMARA SANK
Anost - DESTROYED WHEN ATAMARA SANK
Cantervern - DESTROYED WHEN ATAMARA SANK
Barad Falas - DESTROYED WHEN ATAMARA SANK
Eaglin - DESTROYED WHEN ATAMARA SANK
Avrende - DESTROYED WHEN ATAMARA SANK
Dunstoke - DESTROYED WHEN ATAMARA SANK
Lothruin - DESTROYED WHEN ATAMARA SANK
Elost - DESTROYED WHEN ATAMARA SANK
Meneriel - DESTROYED WHEN ATAMARA SANK
Cantril- DESTROYED WHEN ATAMARA SANK
(Those Faithful awarded these recognitions are encouraged to post them on Ye Olde Wiki Page.)
This award is given to non-follower layfolk who have proven themselves Righteous and Holy nobles, through service to Realm and Temple. Usually given as a token of gratitude for those who do not worship the Saints, it is awarded for work that serves to benefit the Church, and for execution of worthy duties. It is the highest honor that can be bestowed from the Church to other nobles.
Recipients are given a ceremonial axe, a ribbon that can be worn with armor or jerkin, and a small medal for formal wear.
King Andrew McKay of Eston, for extensive support in constructing the Grand Temple of Amdor.
Lord Torik Dom, Arch Priest and High Judge of Eston, for creation of the Religious Affiliations Act of Eston, a law that protects local churches while encouraging religious freedoms.
This honor is given to followers of the Saints for diligent and exemplary service to the Church.
Recipients sometimes wear a sash that identifies them as members of the Order.
Count Kealan Emarama of Eston, for laying the foundation for the Grand Temple in Melias.
Marquis Willem Tinsley of Falasan, for his support of the Amdor Temple, and righteous protection of Temple Priests on his lands.
Duke Arthur Darkhallen, for construction of a new Grand Temple.
Raoul De La Fere, King of Minas Leon, for service to the Holy Church above and beyond the norms of piety
Christopher Kane II, King of Rieleston, for service to the Holy Church above and beyond the norms of piet
Archon Major Pious Toff, for service to the church following the Hormondson schism
Silnarian Order of the Pious and Righteous of Earth and Stone
From a vision of Saint Nycticorax: "THIS LAND OF SILNARIA IS HOLY UNTO THE SAINTS OF OLD, AND THE LAKE ON WHICH IT'S BANKS CIRCLE IS ELDRITCH IN IMPORT. THE EARTH AND STONE OF SILNARIA MUST NE KEPT RIGHT WITH THE TEACHINGS OF THE SAINTS. MAKE KNOWN BY ALL THAT THE LANDS OF THIS REALM ARE BLESSED, AND ITS' KING IS OF THE RIGHTEOUS IN OUR EYES."
After studying tomes of old, an orthodox noble found lore of Ancient Orders and good-men, societies and brotherhoods united in saintly endeavour.
This noble reformed one of these Ancient Orders, and smelt the requisite recognition.
Leonian Order of the Valor and Righteousness of All Saints (Leonian All-Saints Medal)
The Leonian Order of the Valor and Righteousness of All Saints, was commonly known in times long gone as the "Leonian All-Saints Medal". It was given to the holy among the Ranks of the Leonian tribal hordes, in the days before the Ithilians took their lands, and awarded by Saint Gardus to Leoni heroes for Bravery, Piety, and Exemplary Service to Church and Nation.
Archon Pontifex Maximus Ham Hormondson Raoul De La Fere, King of Minas Leon