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Thread: Proposal: Some Sword Saints
Monday, 11th June, 2012, 01:52 PM #1
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Proposal: Some Sword Saints
So far as I have seen, there is not much detail available on the Sword Saints. The proposal below attempts to flesh them out a bit, and includes a description of the temple of the Sword Saints in Venza.
The Sword Saints:
There are dozens, perhaps hundreds of figures worshipped as Sword Saints. An exact count is impossible, because different regions worship similar beings by different names, and the legends surrounding each are still more scattered. Well-established orders of priests have official histories, but families and villages often tell their own stories. Below are a few of the more popular figures, with notes corresponding to their most widely-accepted histories.
Andren Karev: After a distinguished career as a soldier, Andren Karev became the High Marshal's swordmaster, training two generations of officers in the martial arts. His skill was unsurpassed, and even when age took his eyesight it is said that he could continue to train his students by listening to the sound of their bodies move and feeling the breeze from their blades. He is associated with martial skill, though he is reported to have valued training in dance and music and so is revered by Rornish artists as well.
Darya Firecast: The woman who became known as Darya Firecast began from humble origins, though the details vary from legend to legend. By dint of a keen mind and tireless study, she rose to become Rorn's high magus and advisor to the high marshal. Legends of her battles with demons, necromancers, and other creatures of madness abound. She is associated with knowledge, the arcane arts, and discipline.
Durbin the Strong: A Dwarven blacksmith. Legend says that a dragon came to his village and demanded tribute, promising to return in three days to claim it. Durbin is said to have stood by his forge without rest for those three days, crafting armor and a hammer so heavy no other mortal could lift it. When the dragon returned, Durbin faced him, his magic armor resisting the creature's claws and fiery breath and his hammer crushing the beast's skull. Durbin is associated with strength and courage. He is a particular favorite of craftsmen.
Lady Kamara: An old woman, driven from her keep by brigands, she organized an army of local commoners and took back the keep. She is associated with community and the individual heroism of the commoner. She is most popular in rural Rorn, but some families in urban areas maintain a special reverence for her.
Baron Kennan: A general charged with defeating a horde of barbarians from Heth, Baron Kennan found himself outnumbered three to one by the lizardfolk. By dint of clever tactics, Kennan gained the advantage over the advancing lizardfolk, in the end cornering them in a small village. Confronted with threats that they would kill their 50 human hostages if they were not allowed to retreat, Kennan offered himself as a hostage in exchange for the 50. The lizardfolk agreed to the exchange. But when the exchange was complete, Kennan announced he would never allow himself to be used as a pawn against his homeland. He swallowed poison he had secreted on his person, dying at the feet of his captors, and his army took the village and slaughtered the lizardfolk to a man. Kennan is associated with leadership and self-sacrifice, in particular the obligations of the nobility.
The Temple of the Sword Saints in Venza
The Sword Saints have relatively few followers in Venza, and worship in a small temple in the Incudine. While large Rornish cities have temples dedicated to individual saints, Venza's temple -- like most of those in foreign lands -- is organized around a large circular space with alcoves dedicated to individual saints lining the edges. The alcoves generally have some form of sculpture or image of the saint, a small altar for offerings, and space for half a dozen worshippers to kneel and meditate. Most Rornish worshippers actively worship only a few of the deities, and so will "tread their path" between the appropriate alcoves when they come to worship. On the feast days of individual saints, images may be pulled from their alcoves and put on display in the center of the temple for a larger celebration.
The temple supports no full-time priests, and duties are shared by part-time clerics who make their living at other occupations in the city, often martial ones. The politics can be fractious, but the temple is sufficiently poor that there is little for them to fight over.
Rornish temples are usually designed with some form of practice ring; the high price of land in Venza forced the temple to put its on the roof. In keeping with Rornish tradition, the temple does have a small bath house attached to it, with separate, heated bathing areas for men and women. The temple's part-time handyman lights the fires to warm the baths several nights a week, though cold baths are always available to worshippers whose ablutions call for such cleansing.
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