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    Falan [fal-on]

(Bladelord, Necromaster)

Falan is a deity caught between two existences.  He is worshipped by both the undead and those who control them and by those who would destroy the undead.  These two groups are generally diametrically opposed to one another.

           

In his mortal life, which ended when he ascended during the return of Amat, Falan was a friend to Stasis and Mouser, who were also mortals at the time.  His ascension came with the rare blessing of the Oldest Orc, a fact that none have ever explained.

           

His religion is split. Although most of the faithful fall into the category of fearing and wanting to destroy the undead, many clerics use the undead, or are themselves undead.

           

The race of Sakoríakai also worships Falan.  The first of their kind appeared on Habololy shortly after the ascension of Falan, and claimed that he had created them.  Falan has never admitted to doing so to the Counsil or to his clerics, but the belief persists.

           

Falan favors the methods used by the Counsil, but disagrees with their decisions on many occasions.  He often falls into the minority when choices are made.  He allies himself with Tfop on most decisions.

           

Most of the Counsil disliked Falan and his religion, as do all of the cults.  If it were not for the blessing of the Oldest Orc, he would most likely not be in the position he is.

 

Power:  Lesser God

Symbol: The wheel of eight swords.

Alignment:  Chaotic Good (Neutral)

Aspects:  Necromancy, Swords, Sakoríakai, Undead, Innovation

Plane of Existence:  Prime Material

 

Domains:  Innovation, Magic, Repose/Undeath, Weapon

Prayer Time: Any time, but only once in 24 hours

Favored Weapon:  Long Sword

Turn Undead:  Turn or Control Undead (choose at 1st level)

Back from the Dead:  Any

Favored Class:  Wizard (Necromancer)

 

High TempleDethembrais

High Cleric:  Temmley Bladelore

Number of Faithful:  500,000

Associated Groups:  The Bladelords

 

            Dogma:  Existence on the material plane is change.  From the time you arrive to the time you leave you change.  Death is the ultimate change and must be understood.  Its study yields insights that guide us through life.  It guides what we believe, how we act and what we fear.  Those who understand death live without fear of it.  The study of swordplay can help overcome fears.  Death is not evil; those who worship it as a force of darkness or seek to bring it to the innocent must be opposed.  At death, life is defined; it is the reward of mortals but should be forestalled or even conquered by those with work left to do.

            Feast Day: 8th Trest (Birthday of the Mortal Falan)

 

 

 

The Church

The church of Falan is a divided faith, with an orthodox following and a heretical splinter group that still draws its power from Falan and claims to represent his true nature.  The orthodox have no name for themselves, but are frequently referred to by outsiders as white necromancers.  The heretics refer to themselves as the Eternal.  The two factions are constantly at war for the soul of the church and some say Falan himself.

The orthodox branch of Falanís church is among the least hierarchical of the Counsil faiths.  There is virtually no bureaucracy, with the exception of the Ordo Sanctus discussed below, and no meaningful system of rank.  The church has no regional organization to speak of but the wandering clerics and shrine priests tend to report when necessary to the closest temple.  Falan appoints the high priest of the church himself but beyond that has no control over the day to day operation of the church.  Past high priests have made major changes to the religion; the high temple was moved from Messada to Dethembrais, clerics have been required to study at one of the worldís institutions of higher learning, the Ordo Sanctus was founded and  the practice of creating free willed undead (other than revenants) was abolished.  Many of these changes are related to the heretical activities of the Eternal as the church has struggled with how to deal with them.

The leaders of the church are usually the high priests of Falanís nine temples.  However, as will be discussed below, prominent individuals that are either not attached to a temple, or are not high priests, are almost as common.  High priests may come to power by any honest means.  Murder, extortion and trickery are not allowed and many clerics who have used these methods have found themselves face to face with a member of the Ordo Sanctus or worse yet Grave or Nemesis.  Falan prevents such clerics from rising through the ranks by very direct means.  He requires all clerics of a certain rank, or who are in line to become a high priest, to report to the high priest at the high temple in Dethembrais.  There they are subjected to a ritual of purification and inquisition overseen by the Ordo Sanctus.  Those that fail are never seen again, though passing only requires that the cleric be true to the orthodox faith.  Aside from this limited safeguard, clerics and worshippers of Falan are free to observe their faith in whatever way seems best to them.  Some have little or no interest in necromancy, instead pursuing the art of swordsmithing or the path of the Bladelords.  Others devote their lives to the study of anatomy, as the magic of necromancy lends itself to that scientific approach to healing.  Besides Hemator, Falan easily has the most non-spellcasting healers among his faithful.  Finally, there are those that devote themselves to some other form of study or experimentation, as Falan is the patron of innovators of all types.  His clerics, however, are primarily devoted to Falan as the power of necromancy and draw their power from that aspect.

Each temple is staffed by one or more priests, led by the temple priest.  Beyond that maxim, no other universal commonality exists.  Some temples will have a community of priests while others will be run by a lone cleric who prefers solitude.  Obviously the larger temples will have more staff possibly including a Feyalin, wizards, bards and servants.  Even the smallest shrines have a small library and laboratory for research.  While the clerics tend to be self-centered and self-reliant, Falan expects them to act for the common good by offering healing, both magical and mundane especially in areas where the cult of Hemator is absent or underground.  The clerics are always expected to aid in battles against the undead, to show the people that they are not in league with such creatures.  The temple will aid those seeking refuge from evil or tyranny, even at risk to the temple itself.  Temples rely upon their community members for most of their revenue as the clerics spend most of their time in study.  Some temples produce goods of some type, usually mundane cures or books.  Clerics often hire themselves out as scribes or translators as well.  For the largest temples where a Bladelord is a member of the community there will be a forge for the production of swords, which will be sold to select buyers.  The temples stockpile wealth only to assist their research and purchase books and materials, though Falan does not require his clerics to take any sort of vow of poverty and the temples are usually very comfortable places.

Within the orthodox church there is one organized group based at the high temple in Dethembrais: The Ordo Sanctus.  The Ordo Sanctus is composed of men and women, primarily human, though many Sakoríakai are drawn to it as well, whose primary task is to purge the church of the Eternal and act as Falanís agents against other evil organizations as well.  The members of the organization are answerable to the head of the order, who is elected from among their ranks and answers only to Falan, and the high priest.  The membership roll of the order is kept secret but members identify themselves as sanctifiers and typically wear a silver version Falanís holy symbol.  The order includes all of Falanís few inquisitors as well as many of his Feyalin.  Almost all members of the order are good-aligned, with a much higher percentage of Neutral Good compared to the rest of the church.  Disciples are rare among the order but are among its most zealous members.  They are potent hunters of the undead and the Eternal that consort with them. Psions and Psionic Warriors are recruited into the order for their ability to uncover evil that is operating behind closed doors and pleasant faces.  As the only true bureaucracy within the church the order is also responsible for maintaining the library of the church.  Scribes have over the centuries completed four copies of the library and new work is duplicated three times as well.  All of the original works are stored at the first temple in Messada, a structure that is reputed to have some of the most formidable magical safeguards available.  Copies used and expounded upon by church researchers are kept at the high temple in Dethembrais.  Finally copies are kept for teaching purposes at both the Bardic College of Icefia and the Trueheart Academy in Yellowia, where most of Falanís Feyalin are trained.  The order maintains good relations with the faculties of both of those institutions as well as other groups discussed below.  The order has a specific mandate that has been passed down for the last three hundred years Ė eliminate the Eternal and their undead allies.  The members of the order tend to be serious and somber individuals, acutely aware of their responsibility and willing to do anything to carry it out, even to the detriment of Falan himself.  The order includes many members who are members of other organizations, such as the Knights of the White Sword and the Order of the Banished Hero.  The members work primarily in secret but do so in concert with other goodly organizations and governments and are quick to volunteer their services when a threat from the undead is discovered.

The Church tries to maintain good relations with all the churches of the good and neutral deities of the Counsil, as well as the Cult of Hemator and the faithful of Mouser and Allanda.  The Church tends to be on excellent terms with the churches of Arsuríanyodel, Gnarion, Stasis, Tfop, Tommimao and Treetop.  Stasis, Tfop and Arsuríanyodel are Falanís closest allies on the Counsil and he expects his clerics to work with these faiths whenever it is necessary.  The Church of Stasis and Falan work together to combat evil, especially fiends and undead.  However, the centuries long friendship between Stasis and Falan does not easily translate to their followers and the two groups have very little in common.  On the other hand Falanís followers mix easily with those of Arsuríanyodel and Tfop.

Sutyr and Dresta have no illusions that Falan is their enemy and would gladly see them adrift on the Astral Plane.  Fortunately for Falanís followers and clerics, most people treat them with a mixture of caution and detachment, leaving them to their own devices until needed for some urgent task.  Falan and his church oppose the cults with the exceptions of Allanda, Mouser and Hemator.  Falan has nothing but hatred for the powers of evil and generally includes both Drunnbar and Arsenal among their ranks.

Falanís church maintains close relations with only one outside organization: the Guardian sect based at the Guardian Temple in central Icefia.  The Guardians dedicate their live to defending Habololy from the forces of the lower planes.  Falan has fought numerous battles against the powers and deities of the lower planes throughout his existence and has advocated for the sect along with Stasis to the Counsil.  His clerics are expected to aid the Guardians whenever the need arises. 

 

       

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