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DARIAN    ISTORY


TEMPLE ODAROUS HISTORY

~ TABLE OF CONTENTS ~
:: :: The Odarian Code ::
:: The Code of the Knights of Odarous ::
:: The High Plains War Song ::
:: The Order of the Eagle ::
:: The Cassiline Order ::
:: The Island of Saldaea ::
:: The High Plains War Song ::
:: How the Temple Champions Came to Be in Spur ::
:: Please submit Temple Odarous History ::

The Odarian Code ...

The Odarian Code defines our attitudes, shapes our actions and serves to remind us of who we are and what we believe in. It is intended to provide a basis for conduct, so that, in spite of our being many, we may live according to one rule, with one soul and one heart.

The Odarian Code is uncompromising, there is no gray area, only black and white, right and wrong. Violations have severe consequences, ranging from reprimands to excommunication. Still, we consider the Code a privilege, not a burden. Every action is a choice between right and wrong. With justifiable pride, we consider ourselves the embodiment of the highest standards of honor, courage, and duty.

The Code embodies the following principles:

Valor: An Odarian demonstrates unyielding courage in the face of adversity. No danger is too great to prevent us from fulfilling a promise or completing a mission. Our commitment is stronger than fear of pain, hardship, or even death. An Odarian's valor is particularly evident on the battlefield. We regard war as a noble enterprise, and combat as an opportunity to worship our god. Odarians will attack an enemy without hesitation, continuing to fight until the enemy is slain, withdraws, or we are seriously wounded or killed. Whenever possible, we choose the most formidable enemy as our primary target. We defend those that cannot defend themselves.

Honor: We conduct ourselves with integrity regardless of circumstance. We strive to avoid even the appearance of impropriety, remaining pure in word, deed, and thought. We behave in a morally sound manner even when alone or when no one else will know of our actions. We accept all challenges to duel or fight given by those of comparable status and power. (A challenge from an arrogant youngster or a drunken warrior may go unheeded). In a duel, we fight within the terms stated before the match. Once a duel is finished, if we have lost we behave graciously and do not challenge again if the duel was a fair one.

An Odarian will die before compromising our principles, betraying our vows, the God we represent; or abandoning a protected charge. We acknowledge the dignity of all people, regardless of their race, sex, class, or economic status, by treating them with courtesy and respect. We show mercy to the repentant, and refuse to inflict undue suffering, even on the vilest evildoer. (It is an admirable act to comfort a dying friend, but an act of honor to comfort a dying enemy).

Loyalty: Once an Odarian pledges loyalty to a cause or a person, we are bound indefinitely, until released or the cause/person proves to be unworthy of our service. The responsibilities associated with fealty include, but are not limited to:

Faithfully serving regardless of personal adversity.

Honoring and respecting symbols and representatives of the charge.

Sacrificing his or her life for the cause if necessary.

Honesty: An Odarian will always speak the truth as we know it. We may decline to speak or choose to withhold information, but we will never intentionally mislead anyone, even our enemies. We may however, frame answers in such a way as to withhold vital information. An Odarian does not make promises lightly; once our word is given, we always keep it. An Odarian's word is his/her bond. Once given, it cannot be taken back.

Courtesy: Courtesy involves more than merely following the rules of etiquette. It is also an attitude, the way we present ourselves to the world. An Odarian carries himself or herself proudly, maintains self-control, and accepts ill-mannered behavior with grace.

We follow social customs to the best of our ability.

We are polite and deferential to all. We speak tactfully and kindly. We behave with dignity. We attempt to remain free of emotional outbursts, foul language, and other boorish acts. We consider the feelings of others and take care not to offend them. Odarians always demonstrate proper manners.

Chivalry And the Chivalric Code

Throughout history Odarians have been known for their ferocity in battle, but also for the courtesy and sense of fair play they show their enemies. Tales abound of an Odarian disarming a foe, only to step aside whilst they recover their weapon or offering a weapon of their own so as not to take advantage. Ramon Lull, a Cleric of the Sword, was known to say "Battle is the true test of our faith and skill, to take unfair advantage of the enemy tests nothing but our cowardice and lack of faith in ourselves." There is no honor to be gained from killing an unarmed foe, in doing so we dishonor ourselves and our opponent by denying them the right to die with honor in battle.

Chivalry teaches us to behave with courtesy and dignity, to speak honestly and forthrightly. In practicing chivalry, we learn to give respect where it is due and defend the weak. The Chivalric Code teaches us to be more than warriors, to think not only of the battle but what we fight for. A battle with no cause is a battle not to be fought.

The Chivalric Code

Courage: An Odarian often must make personal sacrifices in upholding the principles and defending the people they value and believe in. The path we choose is the difficult one, remaining true to it has its cost. Courage also means defending the truth in all things, rather than looking the other way or using the convenient lie. Seek truth at all times, but remember to temper it with mercy lest the pure truth bring grief.

 

Defense: Odarians are sworn to defend the weak, to protect the innocent and those that depend on them. Strive always to defend your home, your temple, your family and friends when they are in peril. Shield the innocent from the wicked, defend the weak from the oppressor.

Justice: Seek always the path of 'right,' strive to be unfettered by bias and personal interest. Know that the Sword of Justice can be a fearful thing in the wrong hands, temper it with compassion and mercy. If the justice you do rings true with others, and you met it out without being swayed by the temptation for expediency, honor will be yours.

Loyalty: Learn to be unflinching in your duty to the people and ideals you hold dear. There are places where compromise is expected; loyalty is not one of them.

Faith: An Odarian must have faith in his beliefs, for faith gives hope against despair and bolsters not only ourselves, but those we protect.

Humility: Speak of the contributions of others; do not speak of your accomplishments. Know the value in retelling the tale of another's valor and in according them the honor they rightfully earned instead of boasting of your own.

Prowess: Strive to excel in all things, martial and otherwise. Use that prowess in the service of justice, rather than in personal gain.

Nobility: Find honor in seeking to remain true to the beliefs you choose to live by, but know that the ideal can never be reached. It is the struggle to attain the ideal that ennobles us, gaining us honor and nobility.

In being chivalrous, we offer an example of what a just life can accomplish and attain. In doing so, we influence those around us to follow our path; thereby ensuring the weak and the innocent will be defended from injustice. In doing so we find our cause and our honor.

I thank those that lent their words to this document and spoke through me. Ramon Lull, Chretien de Troyes, Jonkirk Bayard and others. I can only pray I have done their teachings justice.

-Khatmandu Snaggletooth

Khat'sara of Kassandra

Leuian and Odarian

The Code of the Knights of Odarous ...

The knightly virtues:

Courage-

Knights must know when to choose the more difficult, and more personally expensive path. They must be ready to make personal sacrifices in order to serve the ideals and people that they cherish. It involves choosing to uphold truth at all costs, rather than allowing a lie to pass. Courage does not mean being stupidly arrogant, but having the will to do what is right.

Courtesy-

A knight is curtious to all. And expects nothing in return. Favor instead of rights.

Defense-

A knight is sworn to defend their lords and ladies, their families, their nation, widows and orphans, and the church. In defense of these ideals and individuals, there can be no compromise.

Faith-

A knight will hold strong faith in the Gods, giving them strong roots and hope against the evil tidings of the world.

Generosity-

A knight is generous to the point of poverty. The needs of others outweigh the personal needs outside life.

Good faith-

A knight believes in the word of others alone, only when deeds show malice is good faith lost.

Honor-

A knight must have a good sense of what is just and right and be able to apply it to one’s own conduct in relation to others.

Humility-

Humble knights are the first to tell of another's deeds before their own, giving them them the honor they deserved from their good deeds. They let others proclaim their own deeds. Knighthood is glorified by the humility of its members.

Justice-

In courageously seeking the truth, and the path of righteousness, knights strove to escape their own bias or personal gain and instead be just. Justice untempered by mercy can bring grief, however. A valorous knights will seek out justice without bending to temptation or expediency.

 

Nobility-

Nobility is the beginning of courtesy, and thus knights are to be polite and equitable to all as they develop and maintain a noble character through the ideals of chivalry. A knight is forever an example of what it is to serve righteousness.

 

Pride-

A knight has a proper feeling of esteem for one's own qualities or achievements. But does not boast of those accomplishments.

The code of conduct:

-A knight shall never brandish their weapon in anger or for evil purposes.

-A knight shall never lie and shall always stay true to their sworn word; to break an oath is to order one self to death.

-A knight is sworn to protect all those who are weak, poor and innocent. If a knight fails to do so they not only fail themselves, they fail that person as well, a crime twice as horrible.

-A knight is sworn to protect any charge unto death.

-A knight will always be noble in service.

-A knight shall find death before dishonor.

-A knight will honor all those above them in station or rank.

-A knight shall command obedience through respect.

-A knight shall scorn all those who are ignoble.

-A knight shall always punish the guilty in a form fitting their crime.

-A knight shall show courtesy to all ladies.

-A knight shall always work with a cool head, anger blinds the eyes.

The code of battle:

-A knight shall show courtesy to their foe at all times.

-A knight shall never let anger control their actions.

-A knight will not let the lack of chivalry in others cause themselves to become unchivalrous.

-If your opponent is your lesser, practice chivalry, if your opponent is your better do so as well, but grant no quarter.

-A knight will never attack an unarmed foe, if an enemy is without a weapon the knight will provide them one if battle is required. To face a foe who is an act of cowardice deserving of the highest forms of punishment the order can hand down.

-A knight shall never battle against odds that are unfairly in their advantage, such as joining a battle to make it a battle of two on one. To do such is an act of cowardice, there is no honor battling in an unfair way.

-A knight shall always fight battle fairly and honorably, to cheat is to be worse than the evils the knighthood is sworn to battle.

-A knight shall always remember their actions speak louder than words, and their example in the world is an example of the entire knighthood.

The High Plains War Song ...

As recorded by Sordum Corinth

Towards certain death they boldly marched

Stomachs all rumbling, throats all parched

On foot strode the soldiers

On horse rode the knights

For this mighty army marched all day and all night

Driven only, their hearts, by Odarous' might

For glory they searched, for honor they stood

And told them Odarous, this day die, they all would

But they came not afraid for their God filled their minds

Forever, eternal, his loving grasp binds.

Two-hundred in all, their tiny force stood

And laugh towards their folly, the enemy would

For honor, for glory, for Odarous they cried!

Battling the darkness, as promised they died

But in death eternal, a peace they all found

Regardless of how their corpse fell to the ground.

For high in the heavens, they sang his war song

Weapons struck on shields, and the heavens sang along:

"In the name of Odarous, for all honorable and true

Our lives are devoted in service of you

In glory of battle, with weapons held high

We know that you bless us lord, lest we live or we die."

As promised, united, all of them fell

But their story however we continue to tell

In the end, though dead ,and beaten in defeat

The enemy army, lay dead next their feet

For the might of Odarous, not the mace or the sword

Was the truly unstoppable love for their lord.

The Order of the Eagle ...

Researched and complied by Valoria Sworddancer

Priestess of Odarous

The facts in this document were gathered from several sources, namely the Temple Libraries of Temple Odarous in Saldea and Spur, as well as the extensive personal collection of Lord Maloveous, which I accessed while guesting in his home during the 12th month of the year 312. Blachard Carrlsbane, Knight Theologian of the Saldean Order, assisted me in my research. There are gaps in the history, as the origins of the Order are ancient indeed, and much was lost when the Order vanished from Spur during the events of the Conflagration in the year 0, and the ensuing temple fire. To date, this is the information available.

The first official mention of the Order, was the 'Encarta Dominiea' dated 1110 BC, an ancient tome containing the collected writings of a religious theorist named Thaddeus Morehaven. Written from the perspective of a scholar, it detailed the indoctrination of a Cavalier, a term derived from the human word 'Chevalier ', into the office of knighthood. The ceremonies for each stage of Candidacy will be detailed much more specifically in another paper.

There is no official date of inception, though the above is the first documented mention of the Order in its present form. It is believed the Order was founded some time in the last years of the Frontacian empire, and grew in size and strength in the years ensuing, fostered in no small part from the dangers posed by the crumbling of civilization, and the growing presence of the Gods amongst the peoples of Aradath.

The Order of the Eagle was founded under the precepts of the Odarian Code, and its knights were specially schooled in the arts of war and honor, protectors of the women, children, aged, and less skilled of the Temple, as well as serving as the First Warder's personal guard, and provisoners of Temple resources.

Upon being dubbed into the order, a Knight swore to protect and defend God, First Warder, Order, and Code. The format of the official structure specifically excluded clergy, and was incorporated by simple warriors of the faith alone. The ranks of the order contained individuals distinguished by loyalty, wisdom, courtesy, and exemplary dedication to Temple and Odarian Code. Strength of arms was also evidenced, but proved to be of secondary importance, as the order served to incarnate the truest ideals of Odarous by example of behavior rather than feat of arms alone.

In the tradition of the Champions of Odarous, the order is divided into three parts: the Fellowship of the Sword, Fellowship of the Heart, and Fellowship of the Hand. Throughout history, the strength of each order, and the number of Knight Candidates in each sect, have invariably reflected the flavor of the Era. At times, one Sect may be reduced to its singular Knight Marshal and one Candidate in each stage of training. At the most, the position of Knight being a rare one of high achievement, even a large Temple had no more than a dozen of each Fellowship at a time. The number of candidates in each Fellowship, however, has never had any limits set to it.

By way of example, in times of war, the Fellowship of the Sword held sway in the Order, and the First Knight Protector, head of the order, would be from these ranks. However in times of peace, the Fellowship of the Heart had preeminence, as it heeded the needs of the people most closely. In this state of peace, their Knight Marshal would ascend to the position of First Knight Protector. Finally, when great mysteries were predominant in the lands, the Fellowship of the Hand held sway, those knights famous for their quests for artifacts of power and mysticism.

The hierarchy of the Order consisted of four primary positions, three secondary positions, and one priest of Odarous who served as liaison and advisor.

The head of the Order was titled First Knight Protector, and by tradition was chosen by either First Warder or Odarous Himself, depending on need. It was his duty to convene and organize assemblies of the order, prioritize resources, strategize battles, and decide the overall direction of the Order.

Secondary to him are the Knights High Marshals- One of the Sword, one of the Heart, and one of the Hand. These knights headed their various Fellowships, overseeing the function and management of each.

Finally a Knight Armorer, Knight Huntsman, and a Knight Theologian staffed the Order's Council. The first of these organized training schedules for pages and squires and equipped those of the order. The second was responsible for Temple hunts and overall procurement to enrich temple coffers, and in so doing, provide funds for the Order itself. The last kept record of Assemblies, member listings, rank, and duty rosters, historical events, as well as being responsible to research Law to determine legality of the Order's endeavors, and to thusly advise the First Knight Protector.

There are several steps required in the training of a Knight of the Order of the Eagle. The first is that of Squire. During this period the arts of war, strategy, and chivalry are indoctrinated in the candidate. Weekly, the Squire is required to attend a religious studies course taught by a regularly rotated Temple Champion, in addition to his or her regular duties. When it is thought the candidate ready, a Temple Champion and the head of the three sects test the candidate for basic skill in weapon, as well as knowledge of Odarian Code. Familiarity with the Order itself is also tested.

Upon successful completion of the testing, the Squire is titled 'Cavalier ' and traditionally set to the task of finding a suitable mount and learning the ways of mounted warfare. The Cavalier is no longer required to attend the weekly classes of instruction on faith. At this point, his or her knowledge should encompass the specifics of Odarous' laws and requirements. The Cavalier will now choose which sect of the Order to follow. Traditionally, the choice is made after a day of fasting and praying within the temple as a means to seek the guidance of Odarous. At the completion of this meditation, the Cavalier will report to the Knight High Marshall of their chosen path. This is a most important choosing, and switching to another Fellowship is frowned upon and rarely if ever accepted. At this point, weekly meetings with the particular Knight High Marshal of that Fellowship will then replace those the candidate undertook with clergy, and he or she is further encouraged in the arts of battle, and the more specific tasks of their chosen sect. Each Fellowship has specific Duties and strengths:

Fellowship of the Sword : known as the fiercest of all warriors, dedicated to the study of weaponry and battle far above their brother sects. It is said an insult to a Knight of the Sword is never forgotten and never forgiven. Their war banner bears a single blazing sword standing upright, rays of light issuing from the blade on a black background. Their pennons are black and white.

Fellowship of the Heart : though skilled warriors in their own right, these Knights are most frequently the ones to listen to the people of the city and are famous for engaging in charitable acts that benefit the poor, hungry, and sick. They demonstrate the gentler side of knighthood, and have been famous musicians and poets. It is this order that developed the intricate rules of chivalry in regards to the fair sex. They are also the diplomats of the Knighthood. Their war banner bears a golden heart with platinum eagle wings on a blue field. Their pennons are blue and gold.

Fellowship of the Hand : The mystical fellowship, keepers of the secrets of the faith and protectors in life and death of those artifacts of Odarous that must needs be kept from evil use. These are the Knights that answer the call when a quest is undertaken. They are scholars, anthropologists, and historians. It is from this order that the Knight Theologian is most often titled. Often those of this sect are observant, quiet spoken, spiritual individuals, who watch events from the background. They are masters of tracking, mapping, and detailed recorders of events within the temple and without. Sir Bazil, whose crypt lies in Aurhaven, was of this Fellowship. Their war banner bears an open hand in grey with an eagle eye in the center of the palm on a red field. Their pennons are red and gray.

When and IF it is deemed the Cavalier is ready, the final step of Knighthood is taken. Not all candidates will accomplish this final designation, and there is no dishonor in serving the Temple and the Order in the status of Cavalier for the duration of the warrior's career.

This is a ceremony of great spiritual significance, where the Candidate will be rededicated to Odarous, and become fully indoctrinated into the Order. Again the Candidate fasts and meditates. He or she is given a symbolic bath of purification, after which they don unadorned robes of raw white silk. The Candidate is paraded through the Temple and shown to those to whom he or she will pledge his or her service. The Cavalier will be brought before the altar, and attended by the First Warder, the temple Champions, the Knights High Marshals of all three Fellowships, and the First Knight Protector.

At this point is the "Pontifical Aradathanum" is given by the Knight Marshal of his Fellowship, consisting of a light slap to either cheek in the name of Odarous and the Order, symbolic of the humility required in a Knight of the Eagle. The First Knight Protector will then tap the shoulders of the kneeling candidate with the flat of his blade while the First Warder reads the from the Odarian Code of Knighthood. The touch of the blade to either shoulder represents the Candidate accepting the burden of his Knighthood, all the duties therein with no flinching or swerving, despite possible pain of death. The Candidate then takes the vows of Knighthood, and donates something of great personal value to Odarous. In return, the First Warder, representing the people of the Temple, invests the Candidate with the uniform of a Knight of the Order- A blessed weapon, most usually a sword, ceremonial armor, a white tabard emblazoned with the Orders sigil, and a white cape lined in the color of their fellowship and embroidered with an eagle. This symbolizes the people of the faith giving their knights support, and a vow on their part to provide for the knight, as he or she provides for them. One may not exist without the other; honor is answered with honor. The Candidate will stand then, a Cavalier no more, but a Knight of the Eagle.

On a final note, a smudged, largely unreadable document in the possession of the Temple in Saldea is the only reference I could find thus far on the disappearance of the Order from Spur. According to the document, The Order in its entirety went to the aid of the First Warder when treachery broke out in the Council of Clerics in the year 0. To the last squire, they vanished along with the various leaders of the faiths in that mysterious event. Faithful to their vows to the end, it seems they gave their lives in an effort to protect him.

It is in their memory that I hope to bring back their noble Order.

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The Cassiline Order ...

Well, Madam Valoria requested information of me to display for the Temple on my background with the Cassilines.

It's a complicated Order and a bit hard to understand, but if you have any questions on the information I am about to write of, feel free to ask when you see me around. Some questions however, I cannot answer because certain things are meant only for those who follow St. Cassiel.

The Cassilines take in young men from the lands north of Aradath, particularly the area of Euskarria. The young men who are ingrained in the order are the middle sons of families, rich or poor. They are given up by the family at the age of nine and are adopted by the Cassiline monks who raise them until the age of nineteen. At this time they are sent out to a specific assignment in a specific region in our world. It can be far across the seas, in a local area, or they might stay on at the monastery to teach the younger ones or perfect themselves in dedication to Odarous.

All Cassilines are clerics of Odarous. Most, about ninety percent, are sword clerics, the others, orders of the hand and heart, are the ones who stay on to perfect their skills and teach the upcoming sword clerics. It is not an easy life, similar to that of legion of troops in a monastery that was built solidly as a fortress.

Upon arrival as a nine year old boy, each has his head shaved to have a number tattooed on the back of their skull. This number designates the identification of that Cassiline. There are 25 boys brought in each year and the numbers are reset to zero every one hundred years. The Cassilines while in the monastery have a specific uniform consisting of a grey cloak, gauntlets, a mask, and weaponry. Each weapon is hand crafted for the individual. Thus, Cassilines prefer customed weapons but when forced to, will result to mass productions.

The Cassilines are so named after St. Cassiel, a great sword cleric of Odarous who raised an army of all peoples regardless of social stature and defended the lands against invading armies of Arachnians. He decided that no more should the land have to fear against such an onslaught and built a mighty fortress to train future defenders of Euskerria. He thought that his warriors did not need to have noble blood and should spread across the lands to deliver his message and fight for the innocent. Some things have changed since then, and now, Cassilines are sent away to further the aims of the Cassiline High Templars.

A Cassiline brother holds fast to certain principles, he cannot imbibe alcoholic beverages, to keep his mind sound in a sound body. He cannot engage in intimate relations with others until he has found his Perfect Chosen. The Perfect Chosen is a person that a Cassiline protects utterly with his life, male or female. Failure to do so, if able, is considered completely disgraceful. After finding a Perfect Chosen, the Cassiline is allowed to marry and start a family.

The Cassiline Oath

Defiantly facing insurmountable odds
Burning with righteous spirit as the sun
Courage like forged iron
Character as strong as steel
With a mind a hundred thousand feet wide
With vision ten thousand miles long
I vow to uphold the code of St. Cassiel

I am a man of strength and determination
I will be as a pillar to Odarous
My skill will ignite my spirit
And I will shine outwards like a thousand souls
I shall be a noble Cassiline
And my destiny shall be my own.

If you happen to hear a prayer of mine that seems to be in a different language, it is a Euskarrian dialect of Human. The monks of St. Cassiel teach all classes except those of the language of Secti, in Euskerrian. If you have questions on this, see me in person. It's hard enough to explain on paper.

By the way here are some runes that will change the paper into a vision of the monastery.
Enjoy it.

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The Holy City - The Island of Saldaea ...

What follows is a detailed account of the current internal structure of the Odarian leadership, and a brief history of how it came to be what we recognize today.

Organizing into orderly groups beyond the status of clans and incorporating a varied membership of several different races, the first actual Odarian Congregations formed during the Age of Darkness, in approximately 41000 after the fall of the Dragon Imperium.

Each Community operated independently of the other, with no central leadership for many centuries. In what scholar/theologian Marxus Travelier described as the process of 'seeding', each Odarian settlement would grow to a certain point of membership, then fraction off, sending the landless, less established parishioners off to begin another community in an area distant from the original. There they would spread the Word of Faith and succeed or fail as their luck or skill would have it.

Though the teachings of the faith remained largely recognizable from place to place, each successful community would adapt the customs and traditions of the land and people they had rooted in, incorporating local legend and lore in the teaching of the faith, and thus drawing a more diverse following from the local inhabitants. In the year 258 BC, after many other unsuccessful attempts, the Council of Barrek formed and began the work of organizing and defining a central leadership to which all Odarian Temples would subscribe. Comprised primarily of the founding communities, each tenant of the faith was defined and written down. An official set of rules and bylaws were also incorporated, as well as a complete and detailed history of each Temple, its location, membership, and leadership.

It was at this time that the hierarchy of each temple was defined, and these things set to order in one Community after another, through the supervision and tutelage of representatives of the Central Council. This action has been referred by various scholars of the faith as, "The Purification", the point at which the Odarian faith first experienced recognition as a powerful political and military force. No longer did one temple stand alone in the face of adversity: even small congregations knew that they would be supported by the undivided might of every Odarian Temple in the lands.

Even at this point however, there was still no singular governing body for what had in fact become a theocratic empire. Though there was a central fully described and defined set of laws, as well as a clear definition of power and duties within each Temple, there was no head for what had become a vast body. Several Temples in any defined area would often band together and pool resources, but the government within the Church as we see it today was yet to come.

In 25TA, a particular movement within the faith gathered together motivated by a vision sent by Odarous. Knights of the Order of the Eagle, Clergy, as well as many faithful from various Odarian temples, landed on what became known as the Island of Saldea, an archaic word in Secti roughly interpreted in common as 'Consecrated by the Eagle'. Of note, however, is that it has always retained its original name in the servants tongue, and never been known by its common interpretation.

On this forested island, they built a keep and established a port city, a utopian society that extended secular traditions to the governorship of the city as a whole. Though open to people of all faiths, Odarian ideals were the guidelines of all city functions and practices.

Within thirty years, the efforts of the leaders of the day finally brought about the official establishment of the Temple of Saldea as the highest authority in all the lands. The Odarian Church finally had a head and an officially recognized seat of power.

As it stands today, no Odarian temple in the lands is autonomous. While Saldea supports a temple like many other cities, it has in addition a sacred and mystical place known as the Aerie. It is here the highest-ranking priests and knights are assigned, and the place to which all Odarian servitors aspire.

Today, Saldea is the seat of Odarian power, and it is here that all formal issues are decided. Each Temple owes fealty to the Cathedral of Honor in Saldea, or more particularly, to those who have been named to its structure, and expected to operate according to the direction of those named to the Aerie.

The Great Cathedral in Saldea is often host to celebrations and parades the like of which have been unseen anywhere in the world since the height of the Frontacian Empire.

Great pomp and ceremony are typical of any festival or holiday, and the beauty and magesty of the elite Odarian Paladin and Knightly regiments are often showcased in a stirring display of flashing armor, weapons, and exquisite military precision.

Tournies and jousts to honor an occasion are said to be so magnificent, the gods themselves pause to watch the contests.

In contrast to the momumental, orderly edifices of the city above, the coastline of Saldaea is wild and rugged, untamed and untouched by mortal design.

With shoals and reefs said to be unnavigateable even by a leuian sailor, the island bristles with a ring of outer defenses provided by nature, and capitalized upon by the war savvy citizens of the Odarian city.

The main channel is the only sure way to the shipyards, a well guarded mooring watched over by graceful white light towers.

LORD PRIEST MALOVEOUS TAZANDA'AR

Though claimed by the followers of Odarous as the seat of organized Odarian religion, the island harbors a dark enemy and his corrupt creations:

A Muatana-al named Maloveous resides in the dark heart of lightless forests, surrounded by the perversion of undead Wyverns and giant Weresids, accompanied by all manner of dangerous guardians. A devoted follower of the Lords of Chaos, the ageless Muat is a sinister threat to the devout followers of order that have made their home there.

Unassailable in his Keep, protected by ancient magicks, the people of Saldaea live their lives in constant readiness, awaiting the moment of battle that will finally decide the fate of the island.

Until that day, the youth of the religion are sent out into the uncivilized lands to test themselves and grow strong in both battle and faith, returning only when they have achieved the pinacle of both....

The Dark Shadow in Saldaea The lord priest of Evoloch, the Muatana-al Maloveous is one of the strangest priests to have ever followed the Lords in their storied history. Self proclaimed Lord Priest of Evoloch, none have dared challenged his claim for fear of his strange creations. At just over one thousand years old, Maloveous is a relatively young Muatana-al, scoffed at by the rest of his race for his strange creations and odd devotion to Evoloch. Maloveous has all but locked himself and his wife Aermerie Tazanda'ar from the rest of the world in his massive keep in Saldaea. A scientific genius, Maloveous is responsible for the creation of wersids, a massive walking weasel like creature and tiers, the re-animated corpses of long dead wyverns. He is also credited with distributing the drug for Frontacians and Psycians after the main stock had been lost to the world. Married to Aermerie Corey Tazanda'ar, sister of the High Lord Merlin Corey who is Governor of Spur, Maloveous carefully plans his new experiments and strange plots from the safety of the walls of his giant keep in Saldaea. The few Elves living in Saldaea who are old enough to remember the early years of the founding of the city claim that Maloveous has slowly shaped even the forest that covers the island and hides his keep. They claimed the forest and those creatures living within have been twisted and mutated to help please Evoloch and his lust for change.

HISTORY OF CONFLICT

In approximently the year 250 TA (TA refers to "this age", as all that comes before the year 0 are marked with other ages), a small party of Odarian knights landed on the beaches of the uncharted Isle of Saldaea. There they founded the port city and keep of Saldaea, stronghold of the Odarian faith. For a period of near 30 years the Odarians and their new city flourished. It became the trading center for the entire northern region of the continent as well as the northern island kingdoms.

The immense isle proved ideal, as only the large area upon which the city was built and a small area to the north where a tribe of Arachnians had settled existed upon the island. The rest of the isle was covered in a thick mass of forest, making it nearly impenetrable from attacks by raiding armies. The Odarians, who eventually grew tired of simply ruling their city and keeping the order within it, longed for adventure and battle to help further their reputations and honorable history. Thus it was, that a large party of young knights rode into the strange forest to test themselves, intent upon defeating whatever foe lay within its seemingly endless green mass.

For near three months the adventurous contigent of youthful explorers did not return. Then early one morning, on the first day of the Odarian holiday known as the Week of Might, a massive army of San Elves emerged from the forest and surrounded the city. The great army was led by a pair of Muatana-al who announced themselves to be the Lord Priest Maloveous and his wife, the Lady Aeremerie. The Muatana-al motioned to the forest and ten carts were pulled out by a number of massive walking weasels, foul creations of the Lord Priest Maloveous known as wersids.

Within the carts lay the shattered corpses of what had once been the missing knights. The Muatana-al simply smiled and waved his troops back into the forest. They melted into the darkness of the unnatural wood, leaving only the carts piled high with the broken corpses of over a hundred young knights and their retainers. It was then that the Odarians realized that they had discovered the hiding place of the Lords of Chaos Cult, and that their followers were very much alive and building in number.

For 49 years after this encounter, the Saldaean people lived in a state of uneasy truce with the LoC Cult that inhabited the endless leagues of dark forest beyond their city perimeter. The knights had no interest in sending more troops into the forest to be slaughtered, and the LoC had no interest in attacking the powerful Odarians in their fortress city. This 'peace' continued to last until a small group of adventurers, following the directions of a strange magical artifact "borrowed" from the Arachnian matron of Saldaea, arrived from Spur and traveled safely through the forest to find the keep of the Lord Priest of Evoloch.

From this time forward, a blood feud between the Lord Priest Maloveous, and his brother in law, High Lord Merlin of Spur, has resulted in numerous skirmishes, and one even all out occupation of Spur. The two continue their battles for control over one another in vain, as Merlin's cunning alone seems to win him every war in the end, though he tends to lose many of the battles.

The Re-emergence of the LoC
The Second Uprising

About 100 years before the discovery of the LoC followers in Saldaea, they were discovered in the far southern reaches of the main continent by Taathian scouts. Using ancient artifacts known as the rings of Arioch, entire villages were converted to the LoC against their will. While Evoloch made a slow comeback in Saldaea, Arioch made a fast return to the world with a massive firestorm invasion of the far southlands of the continent. After converting numerous small villages with the rings, Arioch and his remaining followers conquered the spread out barbarian clans and fishing villages of the coastal southlands, beyond the Odarian Highlands. The Taathians, learning of the Lords of Chaos return and fearing for their own survival, moved the entire focus of their armies from wars with the Odarians across the highlands to Arioch. What followed was over a century of stalemate battles where both sides traded blows and neither was able to gain any ground, until early in the year 308.

Aiena, high sorceress of Taath and general of the Taathian armies for well over 300 years, watched in vain as her entire army was crushed by a massive mysterious tidal wave. Aiena proved to be the only survivor of the near ten thousand troops camped on the plains.

The Lords of Chaos saw their chance and struck out at the Taathians then slowly battled their way north, hoping to reclaim their stolen homelands once again. Fearing a coming disaster, the Imperial Dragon Council, for the first time in all recorded history since the Age of Darkness, came together and formed an alliance of Dragons which battled and drove back the followers of Arioch towards the coast.

With the triumph of the great Dragons, the chaotic hordes of Arioch were driven into total confusion, and most left the religion entirely as they feared greatly for their lives from local militias.

Valoria Braq,
Heart Cleric of Odarous

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The High Plains War Song ... As recorded by Sordum Corinth

Towards certain death they boldly marched

Stomachs all rumbling, throats all parched

On foot strode the soldiers

On horse rode the knights

For this mighty army marched all day and all night

Driven only, their hearts, by Odarous' might

For glory they searched, for honor they stood

And told them Odarous, this day die, they all would

But they came not afraid for their God filled their minds

Forever, eternal, his loving grasp binds.

Two-hundred in all, their tiny force stood

And laugh towards their folly, the enemy would

For honor, for glory, for Odarous they cried!

Battling the darkness, as promised they died

But in death eternal, a peace they all found

Regardless of how their corpse fell to the ground.

For high in the heavens, they sang his war song

Weapons struck on shields, and the heavens sang along:

"In the name of Odarous, for all honorable and true

Our lives are devoted in service of you

In glory of battle, with weapons held high

We know that you bless us lord, lest we live or we die."

As promised, united, all of them fell

But their story however we continue to tell

In the end, though dead ,and beaten in defeat

The enemy army, lay dead next their feet

For the might of Odarous, not the mace or the sword

Was the truly unstoppable love for their lord.

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How the Temple Champions Came to Be in Spur

I have recently read certain statements or accusations about how our Champions came to be, how they are elected, why they are elected, and their duties. As one of the few (perhaps the last) of those temple members who was here 14 years ago when we created the present system, I'd like to make some corrections.

I'm not a clerical historian, so I won't claim to know if the idea 14 years ago came from earlier scrolls. But I do know how the positions have served us since.

Spur was a different place then. New adventurers were arriving daily. Townsquare sometimes had 20, 30, or even 40 people walking through it at once.

The number of Odarians was growing rapidly, but the position of First Warder had long been vacent. Some leading clerics called a few meetings with the specific purpose of creating internal temple organization. Again, I won't claim what the origins of the idea were, but we chose to have three Champions and that they would be elected by the members of the temple. They would instruct the young (new rune combinations, good hunting grounds, etc.) and protect the young (chasing down those who killed temple members in cold blood, etc.).

Now, some may be shocked and say How dare we elect temple officers, but that is how we did it 14 years ago. Spurians have always *created* internal temple organization. The gods appoint their high priests but rarely dabble in internal matters. In some temples, the high priest appoints his or her subordinates. In temple Rinnani, one gains the rank of Searcher, I believe, by fullfilling quests. In our temple, we have elected champions for years. We elect them, to be frank, because we *trust* each other to choose the most worthy. There is no shame in that.

Some also may be shocked to know that the duties of the Champions have changed through time, so descriptions have always been general and flexible. 14 years ago, the three champions were of Sword, Hand, and Sphere. Those were the days when a mighty sword cleric could cast a large fire sphere that could fry anyone. Times have changed. Eventually, the position of Champion of the Sphere was replaced by Champion of the Heart. Also I believe that we considered the position of Champion of the Sword to be open to fighters as well. Rev can correct me on this, but I am fairly sure that Meqetlh and other fighters have served in that position in the past. I regret that we live in an age, in which there are fewer younger immigrants, so the duty of teacher champions has become less important.

I want to stress this: Odarous has never punished the temple for having elected Champions. In fact, most of the First Warders that I have known had served as Champions. Our first Champion of the Sphere was Khain who soon was recognized by Odarous as First Warder. Khain was replaced with Khatmandu, who I believe had served as Champion of the Hand. Rev eventually replaced Khatmandu, and I believe Rev had been Champion of the Sword. Rev, please correct me on this if needed. Jurix served as Champion of the Sword before Odarous called upon him for higher duties.

When our lord chooses another, we will all know of it. And I expect our next First Warder will have served as a Champion.

Kraggon Rockhard
Odarian for 160 years and not going anywhere

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Missing Information ...

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