Deity names and inspiration have been taken from Forgotten Realms, they were modified to suit the campaign world.
The Order of Yavnathr, also known as The Yavnathr.
Side Note (wait to read this paragraph until you’ve read the rest)
[details=Naming Origins]yavnathr is the phonetic spelling of jafnaðr which is old Norse for justice. Voastri is the phonetic spelling for fóstri which means foster-son. Sahtt is the phonetic spelling for sætt which means reconciliation or settlement of suits. Thruma is the phonetic spelling for þruma meaning stand motionless, hover; remain silent. Lesta is the old Norse word for the verb injure. Oal is the phonetic spelling for the Icelandic word ól which means strap. Eir is the Old Norse word for mercy. Refsa is the Icelandic word for punish. Var’Athra is a combination of the phonetic spelling of the Old Norse words varða, to guard against, and æðra, despair. Yarnhofn is Old Norse for Iron Harbour. Prestari is a derivative of the Old Norse word prestr meaning priest with the incorrect suffix -ari added to change the sound. Eythari is the phonetic spelling derivative of the word eiðr which means oath and has the added suffix -ari which is meant to make an agent noun from a verb, it is not correct but is meant to signify “oath taker”. Opnaskari is the Old Norse word opnask, “be opened”, with the -ari prefix to convert it from verb to agent noun, intended as awakening or freeing. Vitta bani are the Old Norse words Vitta is the phonetic derivative for vita which means “know of” and bani means “death”. Hlyota domari, hlyota is the phonetic for the Old Norse word hljóta meaning “be obliged to”, domari is the Old Norse word for judge.
Followers of the order worship one of three patron deities.
The Brother Gods
Realm: Martyrdom and long suffering
Realm: Courage and self-sacrifice
Clerics: Are referred to as Prestari.
Paladin: Are referred to as Eythari.
Banner: A right handed gauntlet clutching a balanced scale both bound together with crimson cord.
The Flock: consist of the public, it is open to the public without discrimination. Those of the flock tend to hold one of The Three as a patron deity and attempts to follow that patron’s specific teachings. They have access to any public works offered by their local temple of Yavnathr.
The Members: consist of the clerics, paladins, and acolytes. Each hold one of The Three as their patron deity. They are required to hold to core tenants in order to retain their status as a member of the order. They have access to all private works that are not restricted to a specific patronage.
The core history
There was a time when the world was young and the universe was filled with chaos, when gods and creatures of great power roamed the universe. In that time there were three brothers, their names were Tyr, Torm, and Ilmater. The eldest, most intelligent and clever was Tyr, he embodied judgement and perfection. The Second was Torm, the strongest and most honorable, he embodied honor. The youngest was Ilmater, the most kind hearted and merciful, he embodied mercy and long suffering. Together they fought the creatures and gods of chaos and evil. Their battles were as great as they were many, they shook the heavens tearing them asunder.
After one such battle Tyr found they had torn a rift from their existence into the mortal realm, spilling chaos into the world. The races of our world recoiled from the horrors that fell upon them, they stood for a time but slowly they began to wither away into the flood of chaos.
Tyr, Torm, Ilmater and some of the other gods gathered their power to seal the rift, but the damage was already done. This era is called Atall’Daga the terrible dawn.
The gods began to reach down to the world, some to heal, some to destroy, some because they had found a new toy. The three brothers reached out to mend and restore the order they had disrupted. They raised mighty champions, whose names are lost to the ages, to fight the horrors that had been unleashed upon the planet and to protect the few races that remained unsullied.
After a time Tyr began to see their champions and followers fall, one by one, to the corruption that they fought. The number of the devoted dwindled to just a few hundred. Tyr began to despair, and in his grief and rage he descended to the Nirath intending to purge the world, thinking nothing good remained. His voice leveled mountains, his foot steps sundered the earth and his presence set the forests ablaze.
In the mountains of Nalouran he was met by Torm and Ilmater who demanded he see reason, that the world was not beyond saving. But Tyr did not believe them and pushed past Ilmater, however Torm stood his ground and blocked Tyr’s passing. Tyr demanded that Torm step aside and allow justice be brought to this world but Torm would not.
Tyr became blinded by rage at this perceived betrayal and drew his blade Refsa and struck at Torm. Fire spewed from the blade and the blow shattered nearby mountains, turning them to glass, but the blow did not strike Torm, for Ilmater had thrown himself between them and the blade had nearly cut him in two.
As Ilmater fell to the earth Tyr let out a cry of grief at his misdeed. Acting quickly Tyr used Refsa to slash out his eyes, sacrificing his all-sight, using his this sacrifice and his power to bring new life to Ilmater. The youngest brother stood to his feet once again, but death is an injury from which no god can fully recover. Ilmater is forever maimed because of the deeds of that day.
Tyr charged Ilmater to bind and restrain him for his crime and to prevent him from falling to despair ever again. Ilmater stretched out his hand and called his divine blood from the earth, with it he fashioned a crimson cord and used it to bind Tyr. The fortress valley of Kelda is the site of this holy battle, to this day vegetation will not grow among the glassed rock of that valley except where Ilmater’s blood graced the ground.
Tyr then charged Torm to shatter Refsa so he could never again raise sword against the innocent. As Torm shattered the sword Ilmater drew forth the Hitissal, the sacred flame of Torm. Ilmater entrusted the remains of Refsa to his followers. Torm swore an oath that from that day forth he would protect Tyr and Ilmater in their debilitated states.
After this Ilmater forged the Hitissal into two items which he gave to Torm. The first, a mighty burning glaive which could take the form of any weapon, on which Torm bestowed the name Enda. The second, a burning shield which no weapon could pierce, on which Torm bestowed the name Sefask.
In agreement the three brothers ascended back to the heavenly realms, but as they did Ilmater perceived a village, set upon by horrible creatures that still remained free of corruption. Ilmater pointed to the village, the small mining village of Lagita, and said “There, we shall make a home for our chosen, this will be their seat of justice and mercy on this world, they shall be a light piercing from the mountains and no darkness shall stand before it.”
The brothers sent their followers to Lagita where they battled for 40 years a time we call the Battle of the First Age. After that battle the town welcomed the followers of the brothers calling them Yavnathr, the simple town Lagita was no longer, in it’s place stood a mighty fortress city, the city Var’Athra.
And so it stands to this day, as the Yavnathr keep watch on the world, driving back evil and chaos wherever it is found.
Core History OLD
When the world was young three god brothers took an interest in the races of the world. The youngest, Ilmater, sought to care for the world and those who exist in it, seeking peace and tranquility. The Second brother, Torm, sought to protect the world and everything in it, seeking to drive the shadows and evil from the lands. The eldest, Tyr, sought justice above all else, seeking an equal and perfect world. With these things in mind they reached into the world and spoke to those who would listen. Through their followers they reached for their desires.
As the races of the world aged Tyr looked upon the world and found that corruption had spread to all but a few. He could not remain idle while evil and chaos so easily corrupted the hearts of the races of Nirath. And so he descended to Nirath, taking the form of a man whose passing sundered the earth. As he approached the city of Roheim he was stopped by Torm and Ilmater. They exchanged heated words, Tyr pushed past Ilmater but Torm stood fast in his path. Tyr commanded Torm to step aside but he did not, stating that the denizens of this world were lost but not beyond saving. Tyr, blind with rage at this perceived betrayal against justice, drew steel against Torm, but when he struck Ilmater threw himself between them and was struck down by the blow.
Tyr, stricken with grief at his misdeed, sacrificed his eyes and power of all-sight to pull Ilmater from death’s gate. Though Ilmater stood to his feet once again, he was maimed, for death is an injury from which no god can full heal.
Tyr charged Ilmater to bind and restrain him for his crime. Ilmater drew his divine blood from the earth and fashioned it into a crimson cord which he used to bind Tyr. Tyr then charged Torm to shatter his sword, Refsa, so that he could never again wield his sword against an innocent. Torm shattered the sword, entrusting its pieces to his followers, and swore an oath on his own life to protect the two from those who would use Tyr’s binding and Ilmater’s injuries against them.
Thus the three brothers set out to bring Justice, peace, and equality to the world.
Core Oaths: These must be kept.
I will repay life taken with forgiveness, blood with pardon, wrong with forgetfulness. All life is sacred, I will not take it or harm it. Riches corrupt, there for I swear an oath of poverty. I will live on the grace of the temple and the lord Ilmater. I will bear no weapons, I am a servant, just as Ilmater before me. I will uphold the law and my oath, if I fail I will surrender my life to the Voastri.
Ilmater: Paladins and Clerics:
Death begets death, I shall not take life. I will care for the poor and sick, I shall feed the hungry and shelter the weak. I will protect those who cannot protect themselves. If duty demands my life I will give it freely. Riches will corrupt, I shall put away treasure from myself and give it to the needy. I will uphold the law for it protects the weak. I will not harm those who do good. I will forgive those who do evil, offer redemption to those who accept it. Should I be found in neglect of these things I will surrender my life to the Voastri.
Torm: Paladins and Clerics:
I have learned to value all life above my own, so that I may know the cost of taking it. I have fed the poor and given to the needy. I know what it is to be poor. I have protected the weak with my own flesh. I now take up the sword that I may continue to be vigilant. I will protect the good, I will protect the law, I will protect those who cannot protect themselves. In mercy I will judge those who break the law, in mercy I will judge those who do evil. If I should be found in neglect of these things I will surrender my life to the Voastri.
Tyr: Paladins and Clerics:
I have learned to value life above my own and I have learned the cost of taking it. I have upheld the law and my oaths. I have protected the weak and cared for the needy, I have judged those who break the law and do evil. To judge without bias I have cast aside all worldly attachments. I shall be a light of justice and incorruptibility to my brethren and the world. I shall judge evil and lawlessness with impartiality. If I am found wanting in these things I shall surrender my life to the Voastri.
I am the sword of Tyr, I will do his bidding. I will uphold the law and will uphold justice without question or reservation. I am incorruptible and will not suffer iniquity nor will I suffer evil, I shall hunt evil and chaos to the ends of the earth. All will see me and will fear lord Tyr for he has blessed me with great power. The scales will be balanced.
Groups within the Yavnathr:
Any individual in these groups typically is advancing to the next group as soon as they are deemed ready by the next group. Oaths are taken when entering into a given group, at that time the old oaths are considered fulfilled and no longer subject to punishment.
These individuals consist of npcs for the most part, though any former pc running a redemption arch can join this group. Criminals, and those seeking asylum from any group, are welcome to become an Acolyte provided that they uphold their oath and the law once they join. Becoming an acolyte requires an alignment change, they must become lawful and must become either good or neutral. Those who are of evil alignment can join but must adhere to the alignment change. The Acolytes are the first who are initiated into the order, all cleric and paladin must first be an Acolyte. The Acolytes are the workforce that drives all aspects of the order, they are the ones that reach out to the public and care for the needy and see to the sick. They may not take life or harm any living being, nor may they wield weapons. The clerics and paladins of Ilmater are their leadership.
The Acolytes are also tasked with caring for the Voastri (see below for more on the Voastri). The oath of the Acolytes is strict for two reasons, to prepare them for the higher ranks of the order, and second to keep the Voastri from killing them. If an Acolyte is found to be in err they are brought before the highest ranking cleric of Ilmater at the given temple, if the sin is redeemable then they are assigned an atonement, after which they return to their duties. If their sin is ambiguous, found to be too great, or many, they are submitted to the Voastri, who will either subject them to an atonement that is equal to the crime or kill them outright if such atonement is not possible.
These are the most senior of the Acolytes. They are responsible for overseeing the daily activities of the temples and for judging the Acolytes when they are found in violation of their oaths. They are allowed to wield weapons and may act in self defense or in defense of others, but they cannot take life. Clerics of Ilmater are responsible for healing the sick and injured that cannot be cared for by normal means. Any cleric found in violation of his oath or duties is judged by the clerics of Torm. If their sin is beyond mercy and atonement, or is ambiguous, then they are given to the Voastri who will kill them if an atonement equal to the crime cannot be found.
[details=Ilmater: Paladin]These are the last line of defense for the Acolytes and the inner sanctums of the temples. They may wield weapons and may attack those who are evil or chaotic as long as they are breaking the law. However they may not take a life, even at the expense of their own. They are subject to the same rules as clerics out side of the additions and changes in this paragraph.
[details=Torm: Clerics]These clerics are former clerics of Ilmater that have continued their path from learning to value life to learning to judge with mercy. They must confront evil and those who break the law of the land. If they must fight an evil or chaotic being and cannot turn those they fight from their wicked ways they must kill that being. They must protect the good and lawful provided they do not break the law. Those who are good and break the law must be brought to justice, with mercy. The clerics of Torm are responsible for performing rites of passage from the ranks of Ilmater to the ranks of Torm for both paladin and cleric alike. Clerics of Torm are battlefield support when the order has military engagements. If a cleric of Torm is found to be in sin he is judged by a cleric of Tyr who will assign an atonement. If an appropriate atonement cannot be found, or the sin ambiguous, the cleric is submitted to the Voastri, and if they cannot find an atonement equal to the crime the cleric is killed.
[details=Torm: Paladin]These paladin are former paladin of Ilmater who have continued on their path from learning to value life to learning to judge with mercy. They are subject to the same rules as clerics of Torm with two exceptions. They do not judge the paladins of Ilmater, that is left for the clerics of Torm. The paladins of Torm are soldiers, they guard temples, cities, and places that must be protected from threats normal men cannot face. They are lead by the clerics of Torm and are the hard outer shell that protects the order from all threats.
[details=Tyr: Clerics]These clerics have continued on their path to learn what true justice is. They are cold, unforgiving, and fair. Knowing that they cannot exist in the world without much bloodshed they have cloistered themselves within the temples of Yavnathr. Their needs are seen to by the Acolytes. They are used for senior battlefield support in engagements that the paladins and clerics of Torm have deemed too difficult to fight alone. These clerics will always be level 15 or higher. They are also responsible for performing the Sahtt, the ritual of initiation for the Voastri. If a cleric of Tyr is found to be in be in violation of his oath he is executed by the Voastri.
[details=Tyr: Paladins]These paladin have continued on their path to learn what true justice is. They are cold, unforgiving, and fair. They have also cloistered themselves within the temples of Yavnathr to be called upon in times of great need. They are the guards of the inner sanctums of the Yavnathr temples and stand guard over the Sahtt ritual and Sahtt Oal. These paladin will always be level 15 or higher. A paladin of Tyr found in violation of his oaths is executed by the Voastri.
[details=Voastri]These are paladin and clerics who have finished their journey and have become avatars of blind justice. They are, at most, myths to the common people. See “Knowledge Voastri” for knowledge information. They are not spoken of outside of the temple inner courts where common folk are not permitted. Those who become Voastri are recorded in the order’s histories as having been swept home by Tyr but not dead. Many of the tales that do involve them describe angels setting foot on the battle field to aid the forces of Torm and Tyr, few scripts mention them by name. They have survived the Sahtt and are left blind as a result. They cover their eyes with cloths bearing the account of the Core History, so that all who look upon them will know who they serve.
These cannot be played by PCs without DM permission. The following abilities are given to the Voastri because of the Sahtt. They have darksight allowing for sight in pitch black for 60 feet as though it were day and an additional 60 feet as though it were low light. They can sense evil/chaos alignments up to 500 feet and can identify evil or chaotic beings up to 60 feet away. Their presence has a fear affect on evil and chaotic beings up to 120 feet with a DC15 will save. They are a moving Hallowed center point, 60 feet around them is subjected to the Hallowed spell. When encountering another Hallowed spell the Voastri’s affect will cause the other Hallow spell to fail. Other Voastri’s abilities are not affected by this, the ability does not stack but can exist within eachother, so two Voastri standing 60 feet apart will affect a 120x180 square foot area. The Hallow affect also has the courage affect for anyone following the Yavnathr order. All non-evil/chaotic aligned weapons that a Voastri uses gains the Sacred Weapon paladin ability affect as long as the weapon is drawn, this does stack with other Sacred Weapon affects. All other paladin and cleric abilities and spells are also available to the Voastri. No Voastri has failed their oath.
Battlefields are generally prepared for the Voastri, civilian population is completely removed, if possible. Releasing the Voastri on the battlefield and giving them marching orders is much like loosing a vicious dog, they will pursue any evil or chaos they see until it is dead or they are killed.
[details=Master Cleric/Paladin]There is one Master Cleric and one Master Paladin for each sect at every temple. Generally the Master Cleric/Paladin is the eldest member of that class at the temple and is in charge of governing that class’ actions at the temple and acting as local leadership. The Master Paladin serves as a military commander and handles the military aspects of the temple for their sect. The Master Cleric sees to general administration, ministerial, and religious aspects of the temple for their sect. Together the Masters of each class and sect form a counsel. In cases of shrines there is typically not the full compliment of Masters present due to the size of the shrine and it not having enough staff.
[details=Grand Master Cleric/Paladin]There is one Grand Master Cleric and one Grand Master Paladin for each sect, they all reside in Var’Athra. The Grand Masters form a counsel, they dictate policy for the Yavnathr and lead the order as a whole. The function of Grand Masters is very similar to Master Cleric/Paladin, but their duties cover the entirety of the Yavnathr. Var’Athra is left to Master Cleric/Paladin for it’s day to day management.
Roll Failure/Common Knowledge: Anyone who has spent more than a few days in a major human city know of the Yavnathr.
Anyone with this proficiency would know that the Yavnathr order is a war/law based religion with strong altruistic tendencies. They would know that they care for the poor and destitute. They would know that the order has a very strong military presence in human cities and places where magic and the supernatural have scarred the world. They would know the history of the order and their symbols and temples. They would know that the order is made up of three sects and a rumored fourth. They would know that three sects are of the three deities that the order follows. A high roll would know the name of the rumored fourth sect. At DM discretion high level rolls would have basic knowledge of the oaths and tenants of the three sects, as well as some of the items used in Acolyte, Ilmater, and Torm related rituals. Higher rolls would reveal some specifics of the outer rooms of the temple, such as which areas are affected by the Hallow spells that are used to ward the temple from evil.
Anyone with this proficiency would know that the Yavnathr order is a war/law based religion with strong altruistic tendencies. They would know that they care for the poor and destitute. They would know that the order has a very strong military presence in human cities and places where magic and the supernatural have scarred the world. They would know the history of the religion and its involvement in major battles. They would have a basic knowledge of the lore of the order and that it has three sects. They would have knowledge of the public functions of the order.
Roll Failure/Common Knowledge: Anyone who has spent more than a few days in a major human city knows of the Acolytes of the order and that they care for the needy.
Anyone with this proficiency would know that the Acolytes have taken oaths of poverty and non-violence. They would know that the Acolytes are the workforce of the Yavnathr and that anyone is welcome regardless of their history. Higher rolls would reveal the existence of the Oal and the Eir as well as The Lesta and that they are used in the initiation of Acolytes but nothing more specific other than rumors. They would know any public information about the Acolytes.
Anyone with this proficiency would know that the Acolytes have always been the caretakers of the poor in human cities and at their temples. They would also know that Acolytes have taken vows of poverty and non-violence. They would know that they wear red cords that they call Oal as a sign of their station. They would also know that the Acolytes are care takers of the temples and the workforce of the order. They would also know that the Acolytes can be anyone willing to take the oath.
Clerics and Paladin of Ilmater
Roll Failure/Common Knowledge: Anyone who has spent more than a few days in a major human city knows of them and that the Clerics are who you can go to to receive healing. They would know that the Paladin seem to be guards in very specific areas of the temples.
Religion Checks Anyone with this proficiency would know that the Clerics and Paladin of Ilmater have taken an oath not to take a life. They would know that the Clerics are the healers and ritualists of the sect within the Yavnathr. They would know that the Paladin are in charge of keeping order and protecting the Acolytes and Clerics as well as the common folk. They would know that these Clerics and Paladin are the last line of defense before attackers reach the inner sanctums of a temple. They would know that these Clerics and Paladin were once Acolytes. They would know any public information about these Clerics and Paladin.
Anyone with this proficiency would know that the Clerics and Paladin of Ilmater have taken an oath not to take a life. They would know that the Clerics are the healers within the Yavnathr. Higher rolls would know that the Paladin are known for being a form of riot control during unrest in cities where temples are present.
Clerics and Paladin of Torm
Roll Failure/Common Knowledge: They are the guards of the temples of the Yavnathr and make up the bulk of their military force. They are known as being akin to guards but less corrupt and more prone to kinder punishments.
Anyone with this proficiency would know that these Clerics and Paladin make up the bulk of the Yavnathr military force and serve as guards of their temples. They would know that they are the first of the sects that are allowed to take a life and are also bound to punish those who break the law or do evil. Higher rolls would know that this sect of the Yavnathr also are those who respond to and try to heal the areas of the world that have been scarred by magic.
Anyone with this proficiency would know that these Clerics and Paladin make up the bulk of the Yavnathr military force and serve as guards for their temples. They would know that the Clerics and Paladin of Torm took part in several major battles of history and that they are rumored to hunt dark creatures that harm the innocent. Much of what is known of them outside of this is legend and myth and is greatly exaggerated.
Clerics and Paladin of Tyr
Roll Failure/Common Knowledge: The most the common people would know of this group is a “oh yeah I heard that name somewhere” or possibly rumors of a group of “high priests” that stay hidden in their temples.
Anyone with this proficiency would know that these Clerics and Paladin are dedicated to justice. They would know that they are cold and merciless, that they follow the law to the letter. They would also know that this sect secludes them selves. A high roll would reveal that they leave their seclusion when they are called into service by the sect of Torm to fight against evil or to help expel wild or chaotic magic that the sect of Torm cannot handle themselves. A high roll would also know that this sect has been present at nearly every major historical battle in which the Yavnathr took part.
Anyone with this proficiency would know that this sect of Yavnathr secludes themselves. Much of who they are and what they do is shrouded in myth and rumors. The popular theory is that they are elite commanders deployed in major military confrontations. High rolls would allow one to recall historical accounts of cold and calculated members of the Yavnathr who lead troops into battle in several of the great battles of old. The before mentioned accounts would describe them as being treated as superiors by the other Yavnathr and that they did not have a reputation for mercy.
Roll Failure/Common Knowledge: None, all knowledge of this group is lost to wildly fantastic rumors of angelic beings come to the aid of the Yavnathr troops. No one without an education would draw the lines between these accounts and the name Voastri.
Anyone with this proficiency would know of whispers of the name and that it is connected with the Yavnathr somehow. High rolls would know that this name is connected to angelic beings in accounts of ancient battles that came to the aid of the Yavnathr in times of great need. No one outside of the order would know that the Voastri are human and that they reside in the temples of the Yavnathr.
Anyone with this proficiency would not have any recollection of this name. High rolls would remember seeing the name mentioned in a manuscript they red once long ago about an account of an ancient battle where the forces of gods and men united to defeat evil. Beyond that they would not know any more.
The Lesta: This is the ritual of initiation into the ranks of the Acolytes. The ritual is performed by swearing the Acolyte’s oath. After which the initiate uses the temple’s Eir to cut into their inner forearm deep enough to sever the tendons. This is so they may know what it is to be maimed. After this they are healed by the cleric of Ilmater that is performing the ritual. Their blood is used to dye their Oal, and some of the blood is collected for making and maintaining the Sahtt Oal. The Oal and the scar from the Lesta are the proof of rank for Acolytes.
The Sahtt: The ritual that makes a paladin or cleric of Tyr a Voastri and gives them their power. It is performed by either the highest ranking Voastri or the highest ranking cleric of Tyr at the temple. The Voastri initiate must kneel in the entrance hall of the temple’s inner sanctum, where the Voastri reside, and is bound with the temple’s Sahtt Oal for 30 days without food, water, and sleep. During this time they are to repeat the oath of the Voastri repeatedly until the end of the ritual, if they stop they are killed by the Voastri. Their survival is dependent on the grace of Tyr. The initiate must stay kneeling during the entire time. Their survival is an indication of the ritual’s success or failure, not all survive. Each day the Hallow spell is cast on the initiate. At the end of the 30 days the Voastri or cleric that is performing the Sahtt uses the Eir to slash out the eyes of the Voastri initiate. This marks the end of the ritual, at this point the initiate is considered a Voastri and is taken into the temple’s inner sanctum. There have only been a handful of recorded attempts to cheat this ritual by providing food to the initiate, the Voastri killed the initiate and hunted down those involved in the plot.
Thruma: The ritual that the Voastri undergo when they are called into service in the outside world. They are bound with a blessed cord called Sahtt Oal, which is dyed with the blood of those who undergo the Lesta. When the Voastri submit to the binding of the Thruma their powers are sealed and they are blinded and deafened until the binding is removed. This is to prevent the Voastri from attacking the public while they are moved to a battle field.
Opnaskari: The Ritual in which an Acolite becomes a cleric or paladin of Ilmater. They take their oath, receive their robes of office, paladin receive their bowstaff. This ritual lasts a year, in which the initiate trains in combat and priestly duties. At the end of which they return to the temple that the ritual started in and are tested, paladin in combat and priests in healing abilities. The paladin must fight the highest ranking paladin of Ilmater present, the fight is till unconsciousness, if he is deemed worthy then he is accepted as a paladin of Ilmater. The Cleric is subjected to a beating in which bones are broken and must heal them selves. If they are able to heal themselves then they are accepted as a cleric of Ilmater. If either fail they remain an Acolyte for a year, at which time they may try again.
Vitta Bani: The Ritual in which a cleric or paladin of Ilmater becomes a cleric/paladin of Torm and receives their weapons, armor, and take their oath. They are also given a mild amount of money and orders to go out alone into the world for one year to serve at a shrine. After the one year is up they return and are given a more permanent assignment. The Vitta Bani lasts until the initiate dies or returns after the year is up. Any who do not come back are listed as dead.
Hlyota Domari: The ritual in which a cleric or paladin of Torm become a cleric/paladin of Tyr. The initiate must gather all of their personal possessions into the great hall of the temple, after speaking their oath they must set their worldly things ablaze. Their sword is shattered and armor is melted down and sold. They then denounce their family name and lineage, taking the surname of Tyrson. Any marriage is dissolved and children remain with the un-initiated spouse. Money and property are either given to the spouse/children or are sold and given to the poor. After this they are given a simple linen robe and are titled as a cleric/paladin of Torm.
Oal (common sacred item): A white linen cord dyed with the blood worn by all initiated members of Yavnathr. It is created during The Lesta using the blood of the Acolyte who it belongs to. It is the only possession allowed to Acolytes, Clerics of Ilmater, and Paladin of Ilmater. It is typically worn as a belt though how it is worn is up to the wearer, it must be worn at all times in public.
Sahtt Oal (sacred item, one per temple): A white linen cord dyed in the blood of every Acolite that has been initiated at the temple that houses it. Each temple posses a Sahtt Oal and blood is added to it with each new Acolyte. The Sahtt Oal is used in the Voastri initiation ritual to bind the Voastri initiate. The Sahtt Oal is also used in the Thruma ritual to seal the powers of the Voastri as well as blind and deafen them while they are moved from one location to another.
Eir (sacred item, one per temple): A cold iron dagger used in the temple’s Lesta and Sahtt rituals. Each temple’s Eir is rumored to have a tiny fragment of Refsa forged into it.
Refsa (relic, one of a kind, destroyed): The sword of Tyr, which he used to cut out his own eyes after his conflict with Torm and Ilmater. The sword was shattered by Torm and the pieces entrusted to Ilmater’s followers and are still venerated in the grand temple to this day.
Enda (wondrous item): The shape shifting glaive wielded by Torm. It can cut through or shatter all mortal made weapons and armor. It also deals fire damage with each strike. It was forged by Ilmater from the Hitissal
Sefask (wondrous item): The impenetrable burning shield of Torm. No mortal made weapon can sunder or break it. It was forged by Ilmater from the Hitissal.
Hitissal (wondrous item): The burning essence of the soul of Refsa, Tyr’s shattered sword. It is wielded by Torm and small portions of it are gifted to all of his followers. It was used by Ilmater to forge Enda and Sefask, the glaive and shield of Torm.
Sites of Interest
Var’Athra: The seat of power for Yavnathr, it is both city and temple. It was a mining town, called Lagita, located in a small, inhospitable valley, in the mountains of the Nalouran Territory on Feldour. There was a time that the Yavnathr were nomadic, however they settled in this city and it was renamed to Var’Athra after what the Yavnathr call the Battle of the First Age. Through unknown causes magic began to run wild in the world and terrible creatures began to appear near the city of Var’Athra and hunt the people foolish enough to stray too far from it’s walls. After a time the creatures began to attack even the walls of the city itself. The Yavnathr began to hunt and exterminate these creatures while they also hunted for the source of the magic that was bringing them into being. After 40 years the source of the magic was found and destroyed and the last of the creatures were hunted down. However due to the time that the Yavnathr had spent in the city the city had turned into a veritable fortress, so they decided to stay and use the city as their base of operations. The citizens did not begrudge this, the mountains are still a dangerous place and the Yavnathr provide a great deal of protection. The city is a center of mining commerce in the region, it provides ore and high quality alloys to many places. Merchants from the city would claim that the quality of it’s metals is rivaled only by the dwarves and elves. Backed by this wealth the Yavnathr have spread throughout the world.
Temples: Temples of the Yavnathr are signified by the existence of a council of six Masters, three Clerics and three Paladin, one of each sect. Additionally there will be at least one Voastri at a given temple. Temples are typically only found in cities, or places of great religious significance. Temples will also have a Sahtt Oal as well as the facilities for initiating all sects of the order and the creation of Oal and Sahtt Oal. They will also have a chapel and out buildings to house public works such as housing and mess halls for the poor as well as a hospital.
Shrine: Shrines are buildings dedicated to one or more of the Yavnathr patron gods. There will be at least one cleric or paladin present of each deity that the shrine is dedicated to. Most often shrines are dedicated to Ilmater, Shrines to Torm are not uncommon but Shrines to Tyr are few and far between. Most often a shrine that is dedicated to Torm and/or Tyr is also dedicated to Ilmater. Shrines do not have few, if any, public works and no ritual facilities to speak of. Shrines are normally built at minor sacred places or as a place of prayer and rest on pilgrimage routes. The services of a shrine is available to all who enter with good intent. Shrines, like temples, provide asylum to any who seek it, however since they will enforce the law if it is broken within their shrine. Shrines in villages or towns too small to have a temple will often have chapels.
Yarnhofn: The port city through which all the trade goods going to and from Var’Athra pass. It was established after the Battle of the First Age as a means of quickly moving trade goods and people to and from the city. It is connected to Var’Athra via the Martyr’s road.
The Martyr’s Road: A road cut into the mountains that connects Var’Athra to Yarnhofn. It is a long winding road but allows large wagons and caravans to travel quickly without issue. The sides of the road that are cut from the mountains are carved to depict the sagas of the martyrs of the Yavnathr. After the great hunt which exterminated the last of the unnatural creatures the Yavnathr were left with a large force of zealous followers with little to do. Knowing idle hands lead to destruction the Grand Masters turned their followers to building up the city they defended and to building the Martyr’s Road. It took 83 years for the road to be finished. In places the road was cut as deep as 307 feet into the bones of the mountains to allow for a tolerable inclination and to avoid taking overly long routes.
The Fortress Valley of Kelda: The supposed site of the conflict between Tyr, Torm, and Ilmater where Tyr spilled Ilmater’s blood on the earth. The fortress is a very thick wall that follows the mountain peaks surrounding the valley. From the outside it appears lifeless, no movement would be seen except by those unlucky enough to try to enter the valley. All intruders are killed, regardless of their reason for being there. No one is permitted to enter the valley except for a number of Voastri and Master Prestari of Ilmater who have dedicated themselves to the valley’s care and the upkeep of the fortress. Those who enter do not leave, when a caretaker dies their remains are interred in the valley. The valley is made entirely of melted stone, as if there was once a blast of immeasurable heat that once emanated from within the valley. The only vegetation that grows in the valley is in a small oasis at the bottom of the valley. The oasis is the source of water and food for those who maintain Kelda, no cultivation is performed, the oasis just provides. Outsiders may know of it, the most they would know is that it is a place that the Yavnathr speak of quietly and with awe filled reverence. Those who are proficient with history or religion may be able to glean that it is likely the place that the gods of the Yavnathr fought. Members of the order would know of it as it is one of the center pieces of their history.
Generally the eldest member of a given sect is the highest ranking, with some exceptions (generally among paladin).
Below is the order of command, from lowest to highest.
- Ilmater Paladin
- Ilmater Cleric
- Torm Paladin
- Torm Cleric
- Tyr Paladin
- Tyr Cleric
- Master Paladin of Ilmater
- Master Paladin of Torm
- Master Paladin of Tyr
- Master Cleric of Ilmater
- Master Cleric of Torm
- Master Cleric of Ilmater
- Grand Master Paladin of Ilmater
- Grand Master Paladin of Torm
- Grand Master Paladin of Tyr
- Grand Master Cleric of Ilmater
- Grand Master Cleric of Torm
- Grand Master Cleric of Tyr
As a rule of courtesy the paladin generally do not give orders to clerics outside of the battlefield regardless of their ranking. As a rule of courtesy cleric generally do not give orders to paladin on the battlefield regardless of their ranking. It is except-able to break these two rules of courtesy should the paladin or cleric feel it is needed for the greater good. Generally the Clerics listen to the Paladin when it comes to military matters as they are generally more experienced. Likewise Paladin listen to Clerics in matters of their religion, lore, and doctrine as they are more versed. Listen does not mean obey.
The Voastri are treated somewhere between secret weapon and treasured athlete. They are given the utmost respect, if they give an order their order is obeyed, however they rarely give orders and even then it is usually only on the battlefield. Their authority is seconded by Master Cleric/Paladin. Typically the only Master Cleric/Paladin that give the Voastri orders are either from the sect of Torm or Tyr.
Because of the different oaths of the sects, and their division of duties, the paladin and cleric of each sect generally manage themselves with little interference from other sects outside of disciplinary action. The order of authority is largely to prevent confusion of authority during critical situations where more than one of the sects is present.
Doctrine Outside of Oaths
[details=Info]Followers of Ilmater are instructed to give to those who steal, to forgive those who take life, to forget wrongs done against you and to pardon those who hurt you. They are to give to the poor and needy and taught that worldly wealth is a hindrance to their spiritual well being. They are taught that to kill or harm any intelligent being is wrong and that even to bear weapons is straying dangerously close to sin. They are taught to follow the law to the letter and to be fair in all their dealings even if they know they are being taken advantage of. Very few merchants hold to these teachings. Healers and philanthropists most often follow these teachings.
Followers of Torm are instructed to judge in mercy and kindness, death or harm should never be dealt out as a first option to those who might be turned to good. They are taught to be kind and to give to the needy and poor. They are taught to follow the law to the letter and be fair in all dealings but to be wary of deception. They are taught to be shrewd but kind. Many of the followers of these teachings are merchants and law makers of small towns as well as honorable warriors.
Followers of Tyr are instructed to judge to the letter of the law, that the punishment must fit the crime or justice is not served. They are taught that they must set aside their feelings and wants so that they can judge all things without bias. They are taught to be wary of deception because the world is corrupt and to be fair in all their dealings. Any merchant that truly follows these teachings will always be fair but never give a discount without services rendered. Law makers, executioners, and guards are the most common among the followers of these teachings.
This is my first time designing something like this, I’m also not amazing with grammar despite my trying.