Worship of Justari in Rhiassa
The worship of The Just God in Rhiassa is recent compared to the nation’s more historic religions. In its earliest incarnations, Rhiassa was the home of Kethrellen, the High Priest of Aurora, and Lord Sir Duncan was one of her faithful paladins. After Da’oud broke the sword Dalindanna, Duncan was forced to become one of Garm’s paladins instead and built a cathedral to honor him in Cold Springs. During the Third Age of Rhiassa, however, with the onset of the plague of Bedlam across the Realms, the worship of Justari became a central part of Rhiassan culture. Below is the history of those times and that change.
In October of 1011, High Priest Slaader returned from the years-long war on the Illinarian front. Though he was weary from many long months of making war, his voyage back to the Realms was not destined to be a respite from battle. He journeyed back in order to deliver a message from The Just God.
On that evening, at the Black & White Ball and before the assembled crowds, he called forth Lord Aeston and delivered to him the words of The Just God... that Bedlam would consume Rhiassa. This warning, however, was not a portent of doom but rather a chance of Salvation. The Just God had declared his intention to become an active part in the war against the Infinite Dark, and He chose Rhiassa as the place to make His first stand.
Yet The Just God could not intervene in the war without aid. In order to bring to bare His full might against Bedlam, His influence over the lands of Rhiassa would need to be increased. Aeston, therefore, was given a task of great import. In a distant past, when worship of The Just God was widespread and common, seven great scriptures were written about seven saints who epitomized His worship. Those scriptures had been scattered by time, and it fell to Lord Aeston to gather them again, and upon doing so, to build a place of worship worthy to house their divinity. All before the next Feast of the Leviathan.
And so, over the course of the next months, the heroes of the Realms aided Aeston in gathering the scriptures, each in their wooden reliquaries. Meanwhile, in Southland, a small town in southern Rhiassa, construction of a great temple began which would be the new home of these holy documents. As the year drew to a close, the new building, which would be named The Great Parthenon of The Just God, was completed and the last of the scriptures was gifted to Aeston by Father Yule.
True to the prediction of The Just God, Bedlam did erupt into Rhiassa. On the very morning of the Feast of Leviathan, a rift appeared in the farmlands next to the new temple. The darkness of Bedlam spilled out and denizens of that dark place lurked around the opening. Yet, with the scriptures sitting on their altars and through the power of The Just God and the Holy Trinity formed with Aurora and Vandor, the monsters seemed unable or unwilling to approach the Parthenon.
As the heroes of the Realms arrived to render their aid and take part in the feasting, Aeston called them together to witness High Priest Slaader sanctify the temple. Along with the blessings of Faelinn and Avendar each at the altars to Aurora and Vandor, Sladder began his benediction. As he finished his prayers, however, both he and Aeston were struck with the divine influence of The Just God. They stood up and spoke His words with their voices.
The Just God revealed that the temple had yet to be completed. That each of the saints spoken of in each of the scriptures had left behind on this plane an artifact important to their stories. That He could provide the heroes access to the locations where those artifacts now rested. And that those artifacts must be laid on the altars in the temple to further His influence over the lands, and to give the heroes a new tool that they could bring to bare against the Infinite Dark.
The heroes divided themselves into questing parties and dove through the rifts provided by The Just God. In each of them they found the lands spoken of in the scriptures, many years after their original telling. In each of them they harnessed their might and their magic, their wit and their wisdom, to recover each of the seven artifacts of the saints. The Cudgel of Legor, the Cane of Worden, the Trowel of Gothen, the Horn of Yanok, the Gavel of Taggart, the Chisel of Petra, and the Spoon of Matram. As they returned to the Parthenon, each of the artifacts was placed on their altars.
As the final artifact was placed in the Great Parthenon, The Just God's voice again echoed through High Priest Slaader. Through his mortal coil, The Just God delivered into Slaader's keeping seven blessings. Mirrors shaped as octagons, bearing the cross of Justari etched upon them, these were the Seven Seals of Justari, and within them they held the power to Judge Bedlam and drive back it's intrusion onto our world.
Bearing one of the seals in his hand, unafraid of the terrors that lay before him, High Priest Slaadar led the charge across the farmlands toward the Bedlam Rift. The heroes of the realms fought back after waive and waive of bois, pusing closer and closer to their goal. When they had pressed far enough forward and the blackness was at his feet, Slaader held aloft the Seal and cried down for The Just God to give the heroes the power to mete out Justice towards Bedlam. In answer to the prayer, The Just God's power surged down around the heroes, and from the Bedlam gate spilled an enormous form, a great wyrm rippling with the blackness of the Infinate Dark.
The Just God had given the Bedlam rift physical form that it might be tried by combat and brought to Justice, yet defeating such a beast would take the combined efforts of all the assembled heroes. Soaring above the battlefield, the dragon breathed fire, and swung its mighty limbs with awesome force, and heroes fell before it as they tore apart its scaly hide and made it vulnerable to damage. Over an impossibly long battle, through nothing other than shear determination, the heroes through attrition wore the beast down and exposed it's tender hide.
Countless sword blows fell upon the wyrm and little by little its body broke away. When it was finally defeated it fell to the ground back upon the pool of Bedlam, and the dragon's serpentine body, as well as the blackness of Bedlam itself, melted away into the Earth. The Bedlam seed that was left behind was quickly destroyed by the heroes. Through the effort of all assembled, and with the influence and aid of The Just God, the heroes of the Realms had done something previously thought impossible. The tide of Bedlam had been turned around. At least, for that moment.
For their aid and because they are the other faiths of the Holy Trinity, High Priest Slaader gave to the Church of Vandor and the Church of Aurora each two seals. The two others have been kept in the possession of High Priest Slaader for the the time being. Below lists fate of each of the seals and where they have been untilized to battle the darkness.
Seal the First: Used by High Priest Slaader to call forth the Bedlam Serpent and close the rift in Southland, Rhiassa.
Seal the Second: Used by Priest Johan to concecrate the walls of Cold Springs, Rhiassa, and aid in holding back the forces of Bedlam that were attempting to raze the city.
Seal the Third: Used by Sir Aeston and Balthazar to forge a clear path through Bedlam from Rhiassa to the capital city of Ashenmark, Hart's Hallow, and then to clear the approaching darkness from around the city.
Seal the Fourth: Used by Magus Faelinn to call forth the Bedlam Slug and to banish Bedlam from the capital city of Chimeron.
Seal the Fifth: Used by Priest Johan to call forth the Bedlam Gemini and to halt the flow of Bedlam into the Southern Wastes.
Seal the Sixth: Faded away after Mad Tom of Beldam was defeated and its purpose was fulfilled.
Seal the Seventh: Faded away after Mad Tom of Beldam was defeated and its purpose was fulfilled.