The Twelfth Relic
The Swift Sword
NAME:KNIGHT OF THE GODS, THE VALIANT, THE SWIFT SWORD, CHAMPION OF TELLENE, EVIL SLAYER
REGIONAL NAMES (HUMAN): Brovadol (Brandobian), Dejfo (Dejy), Vorr (Fhokki), Deb’fo (Kalamaran), Naemae (Reanaarese), Whenhesh (Svimohzish)
RACIAL NAMES (HUMANOID): Lusurk (Dwarven), Berereldar (Elven), Mirazi (Gnomish), Adaran (Halfling), Thargaz-Tuborg (Hobgoblin), Rorg (Orc)
SPHERES OF INFLUENCE: The Knight of the Gods is the god of chivalry and valor.
ALIGNMENT: Lawful good.
APPEARANCE: The Knight of the Gods appears as a muscular, golden-eyed being with long, wavy, white hair streaked with gold. He wears blue clothing with gold full plate armor, and wields either a greatsword (known as “Valiant”) or a lance (named “Evil Slayer”).
NAME: Servants of the Swift Sword
WORSHIP: The Halls of the Valiant keep temples and altars in many cities, towns or villages. Weekly worship includes a short sermon, usually centered on a heroic deed, and a ceremonial destruction of an orc double axe or other common weapon associated with evil. Clerics urge worshippers to act according to their abilities. They ask large, strong men to fight evil with sword and spear, but ask other folk to give aid in whatever capacity they best meet. The innkeeper who offers free bed and board to questing holy men is no less worthy of praise than the one who kills the dragon.
The faith has suffered a gradual decline in active members of the church over the last few years. While theories abound as to the cause, church leaders all over the world are encouraging the more energetic pursuit of new converts. Fortunately, the situation has not reached a crisis level as of yet, and there is still no lack of disciples willing to lay down their lives in the service of the Knight of the Gods – though the numbers of average followers in the worship services has been noticeably dropping.
HOLY SYMBOL: The symbol of the Halls of the Valiant is a golden eye on a blue and white diamond pattern.
HOLY DAYS: High Holy days occur on the spring and fall equinox, the latter during the new moon of Veshemo. Services on these days begin at dawn. They include sermons, hymns, and sacrifices. The church calls these events Marshalings. Vigilance Day falls on the 12th of Arid, and its celebration is quite festive. Worshippers usually make paper monsters and bash them to bits with sticks in grand public scenes.
HOLY COLORS: Blue, gold, and white.
HOLY ANIMAL: White stallions are revered by the Halls of the Valiant, and to own and care for such an animal is a worthy act indeed.
RAIMENT: The Servants of the Swift Sword wear simple robes, dyed in the holy colors according to their rank in the church. It is very common for Servants to wear either ceremonial or actual weapons at their belt, as well as their visible holy symbol.
MAJOR TEMPLES: Important centers of worship for the Servants of the Swift Sword can be found in Crandolen, Bet Kalamar, Bet Urala, Bet Dodera, Kaleta, Baneta and Gaketa.
Many temples of this faith are like miniature fortresses. The goal is to make even the meanest and most common worshipper feel like nobility. The temple’s windows are arrow slits. Temples usually have a gated wall and an area dedicated to a moat, which the followers might excavate in time of need. The temples always have a stable attached. If possible, their followers breed and train warhorses. Temples often have a kennel with a pack of hunting dogs.
Cathedrals often have a full moat with a drawbridge. Cathedrals sport a mews and several expensive trained raptors(peregrines are a favorite). A nearby tilting field serves for jousting tournaments, although the field might exist outside of the city that houses the cathedral.
The holy seat in Sobeteta boasts tested and secure fortifications. Its great hall is 300 feet long by 240 feet wide, with an upper balcony for up to 800 noble (and royal) worshippers. Its stable holds 30 pure white heavy warhorses. Its kennel holds only a few well-bred hunting dogs that rarely get a chance to hunt, since the island is entirely settled. One sign of prestige within the faith comes from its imperial gyrfalcon that rules its mews as certainly as Vanamir rules the faith.
Vanamir became the faith’s Valiant in 552 IR. His rise to power began when he was 10 and rushed to defend his home village of Sossin from a kobold attack, killing five before the villagers secured the area. He confessed to a wandering Servant of the Swift Sword that he was thinking only of his younger sister and not of the safety of the whole village.
Vanamir’s life has since been one heroic feat after another, although he still chastises himself for placing personal friendships and attachments over the safety of others. His friends say it makes him a hero, and even his rivals within the faith cannot deny his prowess in battle.
Winning fights is commonplace in the Halls of the Valiant. What makes Vanamir stand out is his Common Doctrine, an argument he made and defended in temple after temple for the last 20 years. Worship of the Knight of the Gods has increased from the lowest point in centuries to one of the most popular faiths on Tellene since he began his personal crusade.