NOTE:* Reference The Garden of the Flowers of Dreaming under The Pantheon.
Many years ago during the reign of High Priests, Sa chose two brothers to be his priests. Morinod and Parinar, representing order and chaos respectively, were very wise and all who met them loved both dearly, all but one. This one who wished he could himself become the High Priest was Kralen. Sa would not allow Kralen to become such, enraging Kralen to no end, and his anger led Sa to fear for the lives of his beloved priests. To protect them he gave each a sword to rule with. A black to represent Chaos and the white Order. In defiance, he who dreamed of being the High Priest forged his own sword, made of the powers of Entropy and crafted from the magick of the world. Kralen had a strong following among the followers of Sa, and carefully learned the ways of Sa's magick well. Through the strength of his knowledge of magick and the faith of his followers, the sword Kralen created was powerful indeed.
With each passing day Kralen became more obsessed with wresting control of Sa's temple. His desire for ultimate power gradually overcame him, and he vowed to destroy the brothers. Claiming to wish to apologize for his behavior, Kralen invited the brothers to his home. The brothers, confident in their safety thanks to Sa's swords and oblivious to the existance of the Grey, came to Kralen's home. While they were both unguarded, Kralen used the grey to imprison their souls into the swords they carried, though how he did it remains a mystery to this day. Kralen then returned the swords to Sa, but Sa would not have Kralen, taking only the swords and sending Kralen away.
Sa took the swords and searched the lands high and low to find ones worthy of bearing the swords and hopefully freeing the brothers trapped within. The first Sa came upon were Belefix and Desiree; they were given the swords and united in brother and sisterhood to defend one another always. They soon found out that the swords could communicate between one another and seemed almost alive. The swords were very intelligent indeed. Kralen sent his minions out across the world to try and find the swords and capture them, hoping that by again holding all three Sa would finally show favor upon him. Kralen would never find Belefix or Desiree. He would, however, find the next bearers of the swords.
Glen and Smash, residents of Spur, were the next to wield the Swords of Sa, and Kralen himself came to battle them for control of Sa's temple. Kralen proved too skilled for the swordbearers, and he managed to trick them into dropping the swords, quickly he took the swords and disappeared. Weeks after his disappearance, a clue appeared in Spur that read only, "The path is left, the order is right, and the chaos is wrong. The order is wrong, the path is right, and the chaos is left". Kralen returned a final time to Spur before disappearing some thought for good. To spite Sa he drove the grey sword in the very center of the Town Square in Spur, though no sign of the other two swords could be seen. With the sword in the center of the city, Kralen began to fade away into a grey mist, vowing to all he would return to draw the sword when redemption was at hand.
Later, the swords would return to the city of Spur, in the hands of Kalys and Jinko the Hithuals, and after them Anvil the Hithual and Panick the Drag-al though Kralen did not return with them. The legacy of Kralen the grey lasts on, though the brother swords of Sa have returned, the souls of the two brothers are still trapped within their swords, and Sa still seeks a way to free them.
(Editors note-Kralen would later return some 200+ years later, more information on this story can be found in the story of Aiena the 8th God, located elsewhere in the history volumes. However, the souls of the brothers remain trapped within the swords to this day.)
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The Sons of Sa ...
[Note: This article appeared in the 13th DFC dated Oct. 7th, 1992. Titled THE SONS OF SA by Henrietta Riviera.]
The Sons of SA are once again among us!
Recently SA informed his followers that he was to choose among them to find those who were worthy to wield his sons in battle. At sundown that same day the Temple of Sa lit up in a golden display. Those who came to the Temple to investigate found a vision of two swords above the altar.
SA himself then spoke, asking those of his followers who were Orderly or Chaotic to step forward to be judged. Many did so, eager to be judged worthy in the eyes of their god. SA asked each why they felt themselves worthy to hold his sons.
Very quickly he deemed Smash Oakbreaker worthy of holding his son, Parinar, Sword of Chaos. However, SA found it a much more difficult task to find a wielder for Morinod, Sword of Order. Each of his Orderly followers had many points in their favour; finally he choose Freelorn Herewiss, charging him to learn the ways of the sword to better use Morinod.
Once he had chosen, SA announced that Smash and Freelorn were now brothers, that their lives were intertwined now and forever and that they should embrace each other and swear brotherhood. To the applause of the crowd they did so, and as the vision of Swords and SA's holy presence faded, they left to begin the work of SA in Spur.
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Notes from a Journal : 7/1/01 ...
Tears & a Chipped Sword:
Before Kralen’s redemption and the defeat of the Taathian Priestess Aiena who wished to be a Goddess, the grey broadsword that Kralen crafted was in the square, driven into the top of the old fountain. While the Taathian witch was plotting to usurp Sa, eight tears fell from the sword, seven of which were housed in the Saian artifact chest until some infidel stole them soon before the chaos storm raged through Aradath.
There was a misty grey pearl teardrop, sparkling pale green crystal tear, ice blue ruby teardrop, ethereal grey pearl teardrop, pure white pearl teardrop, glistening crimson crystal tear of blood, and delicate iridescent crystal teardrop. I cannot recall the eighth, which upsets me, but I am hopeful that someone will remember it.
Also retained in the chest was a chipped sword used by Kralen during the release of Sa's new Magick. I often pray that someday these important relics will be recovered.
The Black and the White:
Before the chaos storm, Anvil spoke about the two remaining swords of Sa, the grey having been destroyed by Kralen during the defeat of Aiena. "After the freeing of magick by Kralen, I became aware of the true purpose behind the gift of the swords to Lady Panick and myself. It appears as if our quest is to free the brothers from their bondage within the swords. All other bearers were given the same task—Kralen thwarted them all. But that is past now. He has been redeemed. So now should the brothers return. Kralen breaking the grey was symbolic of his willingness—to give up what was precious to him. I have always been willing to give up Parinor if it was Sa's will. But I cannot. If I left the sword in town square, I would awake with it in my possession later."
When I read those words I wondered if those two swords, which disappeared after the chaos storm, might once again find hands to wield them or if the two brothers will find release—and when. All we can do is wait and be ready for whatever challenges Sa brings our way.
Because of the sighting of a spider casting magick, there was some discussion during the last meeting regarding the relationship between secians and arachnians. Unmagick brought many changes to this land, including transforming some frontacians into different races. If you wish to better understand the changes Unmagick brought to Aradath, please read the Chronicles of Pel in the Spurian Archives.
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Power and Passion: The Turbulent Saians...
By Scruple Tamarind
NOTE: * Reference Saian Bladesman Elegrian under the Frontacians.
This is the fifth in a series of articles on the religions of Aradath. I hope to present each religion evenhandedly, focusing on the beliefs that define it and on its effects on the lives of its followers. I must state here that I am myself Saian and have done my best at objectivity, though I feel deeply about the subject matter. I invite any readers to rebut this or any of my articles, and hope anyone wishing to speak to me of their religion for future articles will contact me. S.T.
The Saian faith, like that of Elindale, is deceptively simple on the surface. What could be plainer than the worship of a single thing like nature or magick? It's not a philosophy or even an abstract concept like knowledge, ignorance, balance, or even kindness to your fellow sentients.
Below the surface, the Saian temple is a labyrinth of opposing beliefs, ambitions, hopes and fears. Like nature, magick is universal, its effect inescapable. You can embrace it, breathing it like air every day as the mages do, but those who are not students of the runes find its effects touching their lives daily. Even those bereft of magick bear the indelible mark of its absence like a battle standard.
The structure of the Temple of Sa reveals the multifaceted nature of the faith. Three sects comprise the temple: the Orderly, the Entropic, and the Chaotic. An Advocate leads each sect, and a Regent leads all ... or tries to. A buzzword in the Saian temple for years has been "Unity." This is more of a wistful dream than a reality, as the broad and far-reaching nature of magick has ensured that those of almost every race, temperment and philosophy have gathered beneath its banner. It is not always a harmonious family.
Advocate Kruses of the Entropic sect admits, "Diversity is a double edged sword at times of course ... but our diversity is a blessing." Gossamer the Drag-al mage told me, "I've always seen us as a three headed dog ... as one head does well for itself, the Temple as a whole benefits. But each of the heads is always barking at each other. But Sa help the one that tries to take a bone away from those three heads."
The greatest strain on the temple unity in recent memory was the destruction of Treehaven by the forces of Emjedah. Saians were on both sides of the battle. The thinly veiled antagonisms between the Emjedah- based Chaotic sect and the Entropic and Orderly sects erupted into a dangerous rift. Some rejoiced in the display of magick that exposed the tree city to its ruin. Some denounced the act as heinous. The Saian temple of Treehaven seceded from the Regency. Though I've been reluctant to include politics in these religion articles, this schism illustrates all too well a central truth of the Saian faith: Sa does not dictate morality to His followers.
Kyrinne the Secian had been Regent for so long that few Saians thought much about the moral stance of the Temple. Chaotic Advocate Anvil Bloodbaine's elevation to Regent marked the beginning of a painful period of self-examination by many Saians. It suddenly became obvious that the Saians' capacity for destruction and chaos was not an aberration. It was as legitimate a part of the temple's legacy as the long sunny afternoon of Kyrinne's regency had been. It is not an exaggeration to say many Saians were shaken to their cores. Some did not remain in the temple.
If Sa does not require any particular moral stance of His followers, what does He require? What does Sa expect of us? What does He give in return? The Frontacians I spoke with had a distinctly different relationship with Sa than most of the other races. Kreston told me, "On the Isle it is the One Religion...Frontacians should not follow lesser gods." He continued, "For a Frontacian there is of course great respect toward Sa, who supplies all runes, and therefor the basis of our Power. But...there is an understanding... Frontacians will "follow" Sa, or more accurately enter into a spiritual alliance with him, so long as the arrangement is beneficial to us." Other Frontacians I spoke with echoed this sentiment.
Sanene Advocate Renalk of the Chaotic sect has been steeped in duty to Sa since before his birth. He spoke of his own home. "These mage orders thus arrange marriages, arrange breeding, with the only goal in mind being to produce Magi in the next generation. Thus was I born. Born to be a Mage, born to follow Sa."
Gossamer expressed another belief when he said, "Magick is a destination. A thing to be had and hoarded. But for me, and many others, it is more of a journey." For others, simple gratitude for the gift of Sa is enough to enter His service.
Weldoian told me, "I had been readin' a bit, and I had read about the fact that Secians were magickal. Sa be the God of Magick...Secians are magickal....I'm magickal...so, if I'm not following Sa, it'd almost be like I was denyin' the very thing I be."
Power is an obvious reward of worshipping Sa. Magick is Power, and the temple has more than its share of those who enjoy power for its own sake. Paradoxically, one does not need to be Saian to take advantage of His gifts, just as one does not need to be Elindalian to receive the bounties of nature. "There you touch on the uniqueness of his gifts," Kruses said. "It does not take divine intervention to utilize the blessings of Sa." Regent Anvil Bloodbaine told me, "Even the mages of Taath and Odarous do homage to our Lord." Their deeds are, he said, "The work of Saians who have yet to see their true master, their true benefactor." Gossamer claims to see a bit of the divine with every spell, no matter who wove the invocation.
Kreston told me, "Knowledge is power which Sa has in abundance. Magick is Power, of which Sa is the source. Conflict is Power, which the nature of Sa provides. Unity is Power, which Sa demands." Whether Saians come for the power, the conflict, the runes, or a hundred other reasons, they certainly come in large numbers. The temple is in flux, as it always has been and probably always will be, as myriad races and personalities each come and leave their mark and are marked themselves. Despite its 3 heads and dubious success with unity, the Temple has had a lasting impact throughout history and will probably continue to do so. Every age in the Othello Museum's Hall of Ages has been an Age of Sa. It's an impressive track record.
Anvil says, "It is my belief that only through the worship of Sa that this world will survive and flourish, that all the lands of Aradath, and beyond, shall one day pay homage to Sa. That the empire of Sa will stretch across this continent and beyond and that through the teachings and prosperity of this empire, the lives of all will flourish. One world, one empire, one god."
I am reminded of a spirited disagreement I had with the Regent some months ago. An oil painting of a thunderstorm above the altar flashed and rumbled in response to our rising voices. The temple shook from the sound. I cowered from what I assumed was a stern warning. When I looked up, Anvil smiling broadly at the painting, graciously accepting its endorsement of his vision.
I still don't know which of us was right.
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The Tears of Sa ...
After years of continued patience on the part of Kyrinne, Panick, Anvil, and Lester alike, I was finally able to speak freely around the temple leadership. I've never felt completely at ease with anyone other then those of Anthians blood but at last, I felt comfortable enough to speak my mind in the temple. "The Tears of Sa!" I exclaimed, "They are holy relics of the Sa'aian temple. The physical manifestations of Sa himself, in fact." I believe they knew this already but were allowing me the time to make the discovery on my own.
It began several weeks before when the Sa'aian priest, Kralen, arrived in Spur. Understanding the history of Kralen is a story in and of itself. For me, it was difficult to even fathom his continued existence in this world. But there he was, standing right in the center of town, some 200 years after history first spoke of his existence. Kralen was the one who forged the Gray so many moons ago. In truth, I questioned if it was actually Kralen at first and still do at times. Regardless of who he really was, the intimate connection between this human, who called himself Kralen, and gray pearl broadsword in the center of town was undeniable.
On several occasions, during or near the times when Kralen was with the sword, the Gray would cry. From the sword, small tears for would form and fall on to the ground. They were beautiful and original. I believed that Sa himself touched them. They were truly blessed.
This is when I became involved in all of this. The citizens of Spur collected these tears. Sa'ians held some of them but not all. A Frontacian of Arioch named Alya held one of the tears. A Drag-al thief named Albiez held another. A powerful Monitanian named Jazbo held yet another, a Taathian cleric named Sormin had another one, and list went on and on. Our Regent and the temple leadership gave me this quest: seek out the Tears of Sa and claim them in the name of temple. Considering how much I enjoyed dealing with others, this was about the most horrible thing they could have asked me to do.
Regardless, when a group of Sa'aian leaders representing all each and every Sect of our temple charges a junior priest with a task, he does not deny it or question it, he simply accepts his duty and works for the glory of Sa. This is the way of the Sa'aian priest.
And so I moved forward, but thankfully not alone. There were many in the temple who aided me in my quest. Panick, Jocelyn, Lorianna, and many others supported me and stood with me. Together, we, the clergy of Sa, claimed the Tears, every single one of them. After this was done, my life changed drastically. I was no longer the junior priest of little power. I had become Rayner, Seeker of the Tears and Guardian of Sa's holy relics. My position in the temple increased and so did my power. Thinking back upon now, I was foolish to consider it a success, for it was just the beginning.
Together, we the temple procured a large display case and placed it in our library. We placed the tears within, along with a chipped sword that was used by Kralen to release Sa's new magick and a holy scroll that was discovered by Lester in Aerhauven. The case was locked tight but not for long. A thief, whose identity was never discovered, broke into the case. We never knew if it was a thief acting on his or her own or another temple seeking to steal our Power. All we knew was that every one of Sa's holy relics had been stolen.
This was the beginning of the end of my time in Spur for I had failed in my duty to protect that which my Lord asked me to. I understood the importance of the tears all too well. I still do. The tears were of the Gray. They came from the Gray. The Gray, with the release of new magick, was destroyed but the tears had remained. I knew exactly what could be done with the tears if they were recovered. My hope and my dream is that someday, it will happen.
It will have to be someone else, however. For many moons ago, I began a journey from my homelands. That journey led me Sa's Temple in Spur. The loss of the tears, along with many other reasons, demanded that I take to the sky and continue that very same journey. My time in Spur was complete. My voice is now a silent one.
I hope and pray to our Lord Sa every single day that the Tears of Sa will someday be recovered. I ache in my heart for it. I hope, that if and when they are, that those who remain in Sa's temple will understand what must be done with them.
By my word…
Anthian Hand of Sa
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A Telling of the Great Magick Change ...
Thinking back onto my childhood days in Spur many old memories came back to me. So many things have changed since I walked those streets and called that city my home. Some things for good, and others for ill. While Spur is no longer my home I shall never forget what happened there. Here is a piece from my old journal, a piece of history that none should forget. May we learn from it and use it to grow.
Written in Spur, many years ago..
A great change has befallen our land, and I, a humble cleric of the Lady Elindale was blessed to see the event as it happened. Here I give you the story, as I saw it unfold, of the battle that forever changed our world....
The day started as it had for a while now; quiet, empty and barren, a land stripped of the vary thing that once made it so special, the magick of the golden dragon Sa. I had ventured into the old crypt to release some of the undead for my lady, when I noticed a brilliant explosion of red and golden lights up in the heavens. Immediately concerned for the safety of those within our Town's Square, I made haste to the grand fountain. I was shaken when yet again a violent explosion crashed high above.
Upon entering the center of the square I saw a large crowd gathered around the old fountain. All eyes were up to the heavens and upon the old grey sword that stood so tall. I pushed my way close to the fountains edge, where I saw the human Kralen standing, his eyes fixed upon the sword and his fingers caressing a magnificent ring of Sa.
Curious as to what the bustle was about, I reached up to touch the sword but was pulled quickly away by my mother. Confused and frustrated I turned to ask her what was going on, but was startled by a loud and hideous cackling coming from the skies. I quickly glanced over at Kralen and heard him whisper, "the prophecy is complete, what was taken he now gives back..." I could not hear more, as yet another violent explosion rocked the heavens.
Frightened as to what he might have meant and by the terrible explosions, I was surprised when I saw Kralen pull the sword from the fountain and yell to the dark witch herself, that he was here to restore what was taken and her time had come. I shrieked as Aiena appeared and said, "You fool! Feel what it is like to die at the hands of a God!"
Afraid for his life I started towards him but stopped as he did something no one would have ever thought him to do. I blinked in shock as Kralen bent his knee and broke the grey sword upon it! I faintly remember hearing the dark witch scream a pleading No! before she aged and withered to dust right before my eyes.
It was not long afterwards a triumphant and loud roar of a great dragon rang across the land, and shook the very ground beneath me. As I struggled to make sense of all that had happened I noticed Kralen's lifeless form and his ghostly presence near the broken sword. Gently he spoke and told all how the great dragon prevailed and returns his great gift to the people of this land.
As his body rose into the heavens, finally free of his torture, golden light poured down upon us and out of the broken sword itself. Where the grey had been torn, golden light seeped slowly out and into each of us as the dragon roared yet again. I blinked and noticed a large blue orb had appeared where the grey had once stood so mournfully. And a giant statue, with each of our god's and goddess upon it, stood high and proudly for all to see. The eighth side of the statue was blank, and all were elated to see it as such.
I smiled and took my mother in my arms and danced with her around the fountain, as golden lights began to shine in the skies. We laughed and gave thanks to our lords and lady's. We hugged and embraced, all the while the golden light shone brighter and brighter. At last the light shone so bright I could not see, and I remember not what happened next, but I do remember waking to a new land. The runes once embedded upon my arms, no longer there; a new set of arcane runes in their place.
Thus is how our world was reborn. A new gift given to us. A new age begun. The age of the great dragon Sa and his defeat of the dark witch Aiena.
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Missing Information ...
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