Radiance

Borders: Fire Order

 Radiance is neutral, understanding the need for both direction and randomness, but preferring creation to destruction, for only in creation can Radiance be reflected and thereby increased.  Natives of the realm are formless in their natural state, giving the realm an all-pervading pearlescence, but may choose to take form and/or give form to their surroundings.  Most often this means simply that they coalesce into a ball of multi-colored light.  Less frequently they may take the form of a creature that will be known in the Material world, but their radiance will always shine through whatever form they take.


The fadon, as it shall exist in the Material realm, is *extremely rare and shall never be larger than a 50gp diamond, though its worth shall be a hundred times that. Each one occurs naturally in a multi-faceted form, glowing from within with the same blue light as their parent stone. No force known in the material realm, either natural or magical, can alter a fadon in any way, though they are not inherently magical as denizens of the material realm understand it. They can refract prisms and are used in alchemy and as engineering tools.

Origin of the Order of the Sisterhood of the Revealing Light:

      A small fadon is found by a knight errant who has it set in a mithril circlet to make it easier to wear as a head-lamp while exploring dark dungeons.  He makes quite a name for himself and befriends the king of the realm, is given land to rule and settles down.  The circlet becomes his symbol of office and is passed down to each successor in a ceremony whereby the successor renews their oaths of fealty and the king re-invests the new ruler with the powers of his/her office.  Three or four generations later his descendant, a generally well-liked leader who has only a 16 year old daughter for his heir, is treacherously murdered by his second wife (the only mother his daughter has ever known, but not actually her mother) and his seneschal.  The two pay a guardsman to make the death look like a training accident during their ruler’s daily exercise.  The captain of the king’s personal guard, into whose keeping the circlet was given while the king was in his battle gear, spirits both the circlet and the heir out of the city and to the capital, where the investment ceremony is carried out.  

      The girl is sensitive in ways that no previous wearer of the circlet has been and when it is placed on her head she receives a vision of the guardsman being paid by the seneschal and then killing her father.  She confides in the captain and the two return to their city intending to seek out the guardsman and confront the seneschal with evidence of his treachery.  Meanwhile, the traitors get rid of their assassin in a staged bar brawl, eliminating the only link between them and the murder.  However, when the girl first encounters her supposed mother while wearing the circlet she receives a second vision, this time of her mother and the seneschal in a passionate embrace, and realizes that he is not alone in his treachery.  Thus her first duty as ruler must be to condemn to death two individuals who should have been her closest advisers.

      As her rule continues, she seeks to oust all deception from her realm, creating an order of clerics and judges, most of them women, to act as impartial arbiters, uncovering the truth in all disputes.  Her subjects associate her uncanny ability to discern truth with the light of the fadon and the order becomes known as the Sisterhood of the Revealing Light.  The Order also attracts and trains those of a more martial bent, again mostly women, who ensure that the judgments handed down are followed.  As the Order grows in an area, this martial arm often becomes a force for policing and defense.

Thoughts about the Order:

      All members of the order, priestess and lay brother alike, are granted the Rite of Undying light allowing them to, once a day, imbue any inanimate object with the light of their home realm; that light shall never dim nor fade thereafter, but shall always glow strongly as a torch in the night
    *The snowy egret and the mongoose are sacred to the Order
    *Laymembers may come from any walk of life, but evil in all its forms is reviled and driven forth from the temple grounds
    *The Order recognizes the Sons of the Eternal Flame as a sibling and there is much cooperation when they come into contact, despite the rarity of the gem that is their common symbol



Origin of the Order of the Sons of the Eternal Flame:

The facts: a meteorite with a small fadon at its core strikes ground near a shepherd and his flock.  The shockwave knocks the shepherd off his feet and terrifies his herd, scattering them to the four winds.  The impact blows a 4’ hole in solid rock, briefly igniting trace elements in it, but the flame dies quickly, leaving only the glow of the fadon.  Being inert, the fadon retains no heat and his cool to the touch when the shepherd retrieves it.  Through an unknowable mechanism the fadon is connected with the Great Fadon in the realm of Radiance and the touch transfers to the shepherd an image of the temple surrounding that mystical gem and an emotional sense of the impetus behind its creation, imparting a desire to build a temple in that image to capture and revere that emotion.

The tale: In the early hours of the morning, as I sat dozing amid my flock, the gods cast down a star from the heavens.  It burned through the sky, roaring like all the dragons of the world at once and crashed to earth not a thousand steps from where I sat.  Its mighty blast flung me to the ground, showering me with pebbles and dust and driving my flock away in a fit of terror.  

      A great flame rose up from where the star struck, but not like any flame of this world.  It burned blue, blue like the sky as the sun climbs over the mountain top; blue like the deepest lake you’ve ever seen.  The flame stood like a pillar until I approached it, higher than my head, straight and unwavering.  As I drew near, though, it bent towards me as one bows to one’s lord, but as it bowed it shrank and fell in on itself and was gone.  Only the light remained; clear, blue, brilliant light, illuminating all around me for a hundred steps.  The light drew me like a moth to its flame; I could not resist it!  Though I felt the heat of the rocks through the soles of my sandals as I stepped into the crater the star had made, I had to get to the light.  

      At the center of the crater lay a tiny gem and from it came the light, as if a small piece of the sun lay there shining from beneath deep water.  I reached toward it slowly, thinking to have my skin seared from my bones, but it was cool to the touch, each facet perfectly smooth and without mar or scratch.  As my fingers clasped it the world went away and I saw, as if from a great height, a mighty temple set upon a mountain top.  The temple had five sides but no walls, only columns arched over with soaring vaults and no roof covering them.  And at the center of this temple, upon a pedestal in the shape of an arm holding aloft a torch, was the very gem I held in my hand only thousands of times greater and more awesome and I knew that it was called the Great Fadon, the Eternal Flame.  And I understood that from that stone came the light of this stone and I knew that I must build that temple and place this stone at its center that all might know its Light.

The legend: The Founder was a simple shepherd tending his flocks, but fate smiled upon him.  The gods cast from the heavens a mighty star bearing the Eternal Flame, the fadon.  The star smote the earth with the might of a hundred giants and rent it asunder, swallowing the Founder’s flocks and flinging him hundreds of miles.  A pillar of flame towered into the sky from where the star fell and the Founder sought it out, walking across the burning rock that separated him from it, determined to know the Flame’s source and meaning.  As he drew near to it, the Flame paid homage to him and then withdrew, its light drawn into the Fadon, the Eternal Flame.  The Founder took the Flame into his hand and was not burned, but his sight dimmed and there came into his mind the great Temple, exactly as you see it around you.  And at the center of the Temple stands the Eternal Flame, forever brightening the world with its undying Light.

Thoughts about the Order:

    *All creatures of fire are sacred to the Order, but the Phoenix is the most exalted
    *Members of the order are all granted the ability to produce normal fire at will, whether it be through a small mechanical device or a spoken cantrip.  This ability is not intended as a weapon, though the flame will do 1d4 damage and can certainly ignite flammable materials
    *Men and women are accepted equally into the layity, but only men are accepted into Orders
    *Shepherds are held in particular regard, because of the founder’s story
    *Temples of the Order are rare, because each must contain a Fadon
    *The Sons of the Eternal Flame recognize the Sisterhood of Revealing Light as a sibling – there are minor rivalries, but not great conflict and cooperation is common,  despite the rarity of the gem which is their shared symbol

Radiance

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