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Eléyr Fásamár
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« on: 21 May 2008, 21:05:07 »

~Overview~
Overpopulated with commoners, the Cult of Fire has always been the most popular sect for worshipers of Mari. The members view Mari as an eerie, red headed woman, with wings made of flame. Being one of the largest cults, about half of their people inhabit the immense Drak in Dasans, while the other half lives in the southern section of the Burning Mountains that provide the region its name. Lava flows down the rocks; this cult has settled in a place that all of the others have deemed inhospitable, yet they continue to thrive there, having found that the destructive nature of the volcanoes is made up for by the lush, fertile soil that remains after the occasional eruption.

One of the very first cults established, around the same period of time as the Arkhaeon's Guild, House Pheronn, the original noble family, has provided the Kunran of the sect since the founding. They are certainly one of the most influential cults, as their massive numbers allow them to delegate a lot of representatives when choosing the king, and they almost always set up trusted members as his advisors.

~People~
The members of the cult consist of the Murmillion men that inhabit all of the Ehebion Peninsula that is north of the Moon Hills. Thus, their appearance and style of living is nigh identical, with a few minor variations. First and foremost, the Cult of Fire is known to be the most warlike of the cults, and willingly provides a profusion of soldiers for the king, and often establishes some of their members as his 'councilors' only to whisper warlike ideas in his ear. They are known for being much more brutal than other cults, punishing prisoners of war by sacrificing them to Mari in Mt. Memflaynna, with a cunning savagery that few can rival.

In addition, the Cult of Fire has a sort of alliance with the Arkhaeon’s Guild, forged centuries ago in order to surreptitiously benefit both organizations. With the Cult of Fire having such a deluge of soldiers, the Guild felt that they would like to have these forces behind their backs, and thus may tinker with discussions to be in favor of the Cult of Fire at meetings of the Council of Cults. In addition the Cult seems to have members of their sect put on the throne more often than the other Cults, as if the Moderation of the meetings had altered the decisions a bit.

~Territory~
The Cult of Fire established themselves in a realm deemed inhospitable by nearly all other people, and have continued to thrive there since the founding of the Arkhaeon's Guild, after discovering how the ashes actually fertilized their valley. Unlike most cults, they inhabit their Drak in Dasans, yet have had to relocate half of their members to a new settlement, due to their numbers being so massive. They named this city Flaynna, after its founding in 2224 b.S. For the most part, the Burning Mountains do not keep to their namesake. However, a few of the peaks around the city are indeed active volcanoes, which the members see as indicative of the fiery powers of their Mistress.

Flaynna is located beneath the shadow of Mt. Memflaynna, the tallest volcano in the Burning Mountains range, but miraculously, its non-explosive lava flows are located entirely on the side that spews away from the city. However, a few vents were once active on the other side, they became dormant after nearly destroying the city,  as if Mari had sealed them for her Cult’s benefit. With their city being located in the deepest stretches of Murmillion land, they face no immediate threat of being attacked by Aca-Santerra, however, they provide the king with the majority of his Drakkars for his personal army, and are always willing to help in any battle that may threaten the safety of any of the other Cults of Mari.

~Coat of Arms~
Being Murmillions, their traditional banner is a purple banner, with the Glyph of Dreams painted on it. Often times the Glyph will be painted in black, but as a symbol of the fires of their Goddess, they paint the sylable in bright red. House Pheronn, the sponsor of the cult, applies their personal motto to any of the banners: Only the Flames can make Shadows. The rise of the Fire will evoke the third rise of the Shadow. This is displayed in glyph-writing upon the vertical margins of the banner, and suggests that the cult considers themselves to be the only ones who can restore the Shadow Realm to its former glory.

~Trade & Products~
Like most Murmillions, the Cult itself is a religious function, but House Pheronn, that dominates over the group’s common folk, maintains trade under the name of the Cult, as the members consider the weapons they make to be holy to Mari, and trading is thus almost a religious function. The volcanoes about them contain exceedingly rare materials, although the mithril sources have run dry from overuse of the hallowed product, they still manage to produce an immense amount of opals and amber, the likes of which they often implant in their swords for decorative purposes.

In addition, they craft some of the finest blades in Nybelmar, though those are sold exclusively to other Murmillions with no exceptions, as having all of their soldiers' finely crafted weapons pitted against the Santerran's, for example, lesser means of offense, provides a considerable military advantage. Perhaps the reason they are so adept at the art of metal crafting is their close proximity to such immense, natural furnaces; that burns hotter than any man-made fire. These natural fires are certainly holy to Mari, and using them for their benefit is an example of their dominance over their nature, yet another of their many religious beliefs. In addition, they provide the other cults with quite a few vegetables and produce that they grow in their lush valley, the ashes from the volcanoes having fertilized the area many years ago.

~Worshipping Practices/Beliefs~

-Interpretation of Mari
In the heart of the city of Flaynna, there is a great library, with one scroll cherished by the Master Librarian above all else. If one were to unfold the musty paper, they would reveal an ancient depiction, drawn by Pheronn, the founder of the Cult of Fire himself. Intricate details give one a very accurate idea of what the Mistress looks like, making her appearance consistent and decisive between members. Other scrolls in the library contain other versions of the deity, but all of them share many base traits, and vary only in the style of the artist.

A cascade of crimson lava runs down about her shoulders, her tresses appearing to be one smooth river of the fiery substance. The tips of two distinctly elven ears poke out from the silky stream, like two slender stones peaking over the surface of a babbling brook. Chiseled cheekbones, placed at a precarious loft, lend a greater sense of majesty to the alluring Goddess. Atop her perfectly angled cheeks, set two fierce eyes, a hue reminiscent of blood mingling with fire. Such a distant, brooding gaze is quite frankly disturbing, as there is no doubt that the ethereal, eerie deity is plotting other’s demise. Her angular chin, and long, thin nose are also blatantly of the elven variety, probably due to the Murmillions admiring the portion of elven blood that flows through their arrogant veins.

Her supple shoulders careen gracefully into a slender frame, the dancing ends of her seemingly animated hair twirling about her lissome waistline. Though her locks extend all the way to her rear, about midway through the stream of red, a grand spectacle protrudes from her lithe shoulder blades. Magnificent wings, made literally of great, blazing fire, add a final, radiant touch to her already fierce, yet oh so beautiful looks. They extend outwards a little over two fore, making them not quite immense, but still formidable. It is said that at times when her morbid passions burn the fiercest, her entire body becomes encased in flame, a glorious sight indeed, if not a bit morbid to see such a ghastly, yet beautiful woman licked by the scalding caress.

While all but one depiction of the Mistress show a radiant woman immersed in flame, myth tells of an alternate look that occurs when Mari loses followers. As long as she has a large amount of followers, their spirits will act as fuel for her incinerating regalia, but should she lack the support of the cult, her power dwindles. At times like this, her searing wings completely vanish, without a trace of the majesty they once displayed. The fiery hues of her locks fade to a smoldering, ashen gray. The skin that had remained taught over her angular visage droops loose and flabby from the bones. Only a single, indication of such an event exists in the sect's records, so ancient that it is considered nothing more than a myth, but it remains in the Master Librarian's possession as a reminder to all of the duty they show to Mari, lest a stellar opposite of the deity they loved take her place.

Although the Goddess of Dreams is certainly a lurid, ethereal sort of Goddess, in order to match the entities she represents, the majority of the Murmillion cults keep to that definition, but all of the sects have certain areas where they stray from the common definition. The Cult of Fire has mingled the mysterious nature of their Goddess with a zesty ferocity, making her the embodiment of both dreams and fire. In addition, the members believe that Mari revels in human sacrifice, and are have a much shorter temper than their peers. At meetings of the Council of Cults, the representatives of this sect are always the first ones to arouse discrepancy, especially if one were to insult their volatile interpretation of the Mistress. Most of the affiliates agree that it is their duty to defend the Mari they know, but that it is inappropriate for a cult to discredit another depiction of the deity.

- Important Symbols
As the sect's name suggests, the rivers of fire that flow down their mountainous landscape are certainly considered to be gifts from Mari. The amount of ash produced by the flaming liquid helps to fertilize the growth in the area, thus they also recognize fire as being an element of rebirth. The largest volcano, Mt. Memflaynna, which towers above the northeastern corner of the immense city, is thought to be Mari's abode in Caelereth. Therefore, the crater at its pinnacle is the venue they use to channel sacrifices to her. The rituals for such a slaughtering are complex, intricate, and various depending on the current interpretation of glyphs, and the number of days before the next eclipse.

Unlike the volcano, located in their immediate proximity, the other symbol they revere as holy, the Haloen Bird, must be imported from the Sarvonian continent. As a result, the Cult of Fire was the first, and currently the only group of Murmillions who maintain contact with the Santharians. The methods by which the traders catch the elusive fowl are not always righteous, as the birds are known for being against capture. Whether they steal the eggs, or temporarily decapitate the full-grown birds, perhaps by a fast-acting sedative, or something of that sort, they never tell the Cult that catching the bird required them to harm it, for fear that the members shall refuse to purchase it, or even punish them for desecrating the Mistress' bird. After they have imported the flamboyant fowl, the nobility will keep them as pets, being careful to be a master over them, as they are nature, but be reverent at the same time, as they are holy. This can be a difficult endeavor, but the Murmillions have always been known for their ridiculously impossible tasks to please Mari.

- Worshipping Practices
All Murmillions believe that ironworking is a special route to reach Mari's essence, but the Cult of Fire truly hallows the art above other forms of worship. They see it as a mingling of nature and civilization. Both the flames in the forge and the metals which are molded come from Mt. Memflaynna, and are therefore considered to be gifts from Mari. By taking these presents and transforming them into something amazing, they have given a gift back to the Mistress. In addition, the Cult is much more warlike than its various counterparts, and so extra metallurgy is certainly not looked down upon. In fact, they believe it the will of their Goddess to conquer, and crafting the objects necessary to achieve her desires is a great honor. Although, orders from the Murmillion King are the only thing that can officially declare war on another culture, but when the need to fight does arise, it is the Cult of Fire who sends out their soldiers.

Although the practices of smithery are quite common amongst the people, this sect has established a unique tradition, which makes them one of the more fearsome groups in the area. Despite their ruthless cunning in military matters, the cult prefers to take prisoners rather than slaughter on the battlefield. After returning to Flaynna with the enemy, they are thrown into the flaming heart of Mt. Memflaynna, as a sacrifice to the flaming Dreamer. When the Murmillions are not actively in war with the Santerrans, and for the most part there are small skirmishes, it is not unusual for the Cult to call upon their own subjects or to demand tribute from a neighboring cult. Although these practices aren't officially legal as per the rules decided at the Arkhaeon's Guild, no one mentions the incidents. For the Cult of Fire outnumbers all of the other cults put together, and its people are certainly better trained. The only sect who could help them could easily vanquish any of the cults single-handedly, despite them being the smallest, as the Cult of Dreams' clerics wield an immense power from their Goddess. Unfortunately, they no longer attend meetings of the Arkhaeon's Guild, and even a sole member is rarely seen.

~Temples/Housing~
The Cult of Fire's homes vary slightly from the average Murmillions, as the northern half of their city’s mountains are filled with lava, making them inhospitable when building Draks. Therefore, all of the tunnels have been carefully placed amidst the mountains of the southern side, but not quite all of the members can fit in the space comfortably. If the city were under attack, or one of the Volcanoes erupted, flooding the valley, there is enough room for every citizen to withdraw into the Drak, temporarily, though they would feel a bit crowded.

Ordinarily, the commoners build small huts of wood, which they gather from the forests outside the valley. The city of the Cult of Fire is lush and vibrant, due to volcanic eruptions that had actually flowed into the city, rather than outside of it, in the distant past. The fertility has reached a culmination, so that it is nearly equal in profusion to the rainforests that thrive upon the western half of Nybelmar. Each home has a miniature garden, where the Murmillions have 'dominated' over nature, as the men believe to be their holy duty, yet other cult’s think them insane for risking the endeavor, despite the possible benefits.

The largest of the rooms inside either of their drak is their main temple. The two places of worship, one in Dasans and one in Flaynna, are identical in layout. As can be expected from all Murmillion houses of worship, most all decorations inside the room are abyssal blacks and purples, creating an eerie feel when mingled with the dancing shadows about the room. Obviously enough, these flickering traces of darkness originate from the massive flames that glow about the room. Every wall is lined with candles, and a massive fire burns on a vertical block of wood, during sermons, just behind the alter where the Kunran stands.

~Myth/Lore~
Like all Murmillions, the Cult of Fire enjoys their role as extremists, and are known for being willing to act in ways that appear both stubborn and arrogant in order to please their dream-like deity. Perhaps the most notable of the cult's odd practices, is that of human sacrifice, which they extract from the skirmishes with Aca-Santerra upon the southern border. Surrounding nations of Nybelmar know of the group's relentless ferocity, and there are myths that their weapons appear to set ablaze with the fires of Mari when they fight, though whether this is a poetic metaphor for the crimson blood that oozes from their fine blades, or truth, is unknown for sure.

~Importance~
Being one of the most influential cults of the Murmillions, their noble family surreptitiously intertwined with the manipulative dealings of the Arkhaeon's Guild. In addition, the interpretation of Mari they revere is quite popular amongst most of the people, thus making it a sect of massive numbers. Although the Murmillions themselves are a relatively feeble nation in modern Nybelmar, they are one of the three ancient tribes, and their history is a glorious one. With the Cult of Fire having such a high level of participation in the numerous battles that forged the ancient empire, the group is known for being one of the leading factors in the rise of the Shadow, and they remain influential to this day.

~History~

3525 b.S. ~ The Rise of the Cult of Fire ~ During these years the majority of the cults were founded, including the notorious Arkhaeon's Guild. A man with a dream, Pheronn Kunran founded a noble household, and settled himself in a comfotable drak in the capital city. One night, while scribbling in his Glyphic language, a page of his notes fell into the fire. Devastated, as they were licked up by the greedy flames, he quickly pulled the burning sheet out, and stamped out the scalding tongues. Although what he had written was contorted, the singe marks on the paper had formed the shape of two glyphs, or so it is told. The Glyph of Fire and the Glyph of Dreams, linked together by the curls of a flourish, immediately gave Pheronn the idea that he had just been given a divine message, and began garnering follows for the fiery version of Mari.

3199 b.S. ~ The Reign of Theodunn ~ Although the Cult of Fire had already been growing in popularity, due to commoners simply fancying the depiction of Mari, the rise of a celebrity from their own ranks only heightened this social status. Although his being the youngest of all Captains of the Drakkars had originally made him very famous, his (and the Cult's) popularity reached their culmination when he was put on to the throne, the first member of the Cult of Fire to be made king. It seemed that a deluge of valuable members joined during this era, and the Cut flourished.

2224 b.S.~ The Founding of Flaynna ~ After many centuries, the group continued to expand, while new cults formed, but none had overtaken the massive numbers of the Cult of Fire. Their personal drak had been under close quarters for many years, but eventually they could stand it no longer. As a result, the leader at the time, Lhinras Kunran, led an expedition with half the cult behind him, while appointing a temporary leader to rule the remaining people. After wandering for many months, they finally witnessed great rivers of fire flowing down rocks, and saw the holy element as a sign from Mari that this was their new home. It took them a while to adapt to the ways of life in the valley, but eventually they had constructed a fine settlement, which they named Flaynna. From then on, the Kunrans moved back and forth between Dasans and Flaynna, every half year.

2200 b.S. to 1800 b.S. ~ Rare Metals and Stones Discovered ~ At this point in time the Murmillions were at the peak of their power, and controlled much land outside of the small peninsula which was the center of their home. The Cult of Fire, too, culminated, especially when they discovered several rare gemstones and metals within the slopes of the volcanoes that surrounded their home. Mithril, amber, and opals were all in abundance, however the first mentioned quickly ran out due to its popularity. Amber and opal, however, can still be found in the mountains today.

1793 b.S. ~ Transported to Lhindal ~ Now, the Murmillions had originally had their cults living in their own drak within the capital of Dasans, and a few of the larger cults having some members in other cities. When the city of Lhindal was founded in 1793, all cults were forced to relocate in the city, and build their temple there, making it an immense religious center. Some tensions sparked between opposing cultures that had been forced to live in the same city, but it made the Murmillions more connected as a people. However, it also detracted from the wide range of resources that had once been available to them, as the Cult of Fire could no longer harvest their ores and gems, due to their new territory.

1649 b.S. ~ Brutal Losses & the Scattering ~ During the invasion threat from the Santerrans, the Cult had commissioned at least one quarter of their entire army to be sent to the king to fend their borders, only for the entire force to be mercilessly mauled. When Asthalon the Black finally fought his way to Menemronn's ancient throne in the heart of the Murmillion capital, Dasans, the Cult no longer held back any men, sending their entire army in conjunction with those of the other various sects to usurp the foreign leader. After attempting to remove the ruler from the throne for one and a half years, they finally removed the man from power, regaining the Murmillion capital. Nearly three quarters of the Cult's soldiers were lost in the vicious war, but in the end they received compensation for their heavy losses. The next king that the council of representatives from the various cults selected was a famed general from the Cult of Fire, giving the Cult even greater influence in royal decisions.

Although the Murmillions had successfully regained their capital, their border had receded to include the Silver Forest, just north of the Moon Hills, and back onto the Ehebion Peninsula, all of the way to the Burning Mountains. The City of Lhindal, where all of the cults had long thrived together, had been taken when the Oberion Thaleseth was, and thus all of the cults returned to the capital, and the larger ones reclaimed their personal cities. The plethora of resources that the distant cities collected was recovered, and they weren't quite as crowded into one city. Most members of the Cult of Fire were much happier to return to their original way of life, and had a great animosity towards the 'Fallen Families' in the Cult of Santerran Mari.

298 a.S. to 1668 a.S. ~ Holding Steady ~ At the beginning of this era armies to the south made a pact against the Murmillions and the Korweynites, but the Murmillion were obstinate in not allowing their borders to recede past Oberion Thaleseth. The mountain range provided them with excellent fortification against the onslaught, because their treacherous terrain made it extremely difficult to march an army through quickly and unscathed. The King sent out a plea to help defend Dasans, the capital, and it's two bridges with their roads, the only safe entrance to the peninsula. In the end, they were successful in holding the border.

The Cult of Fire had risked the greatest amount of soldiers (and civilians) in the attack, suffering the heaviest losses of all the cults, but in the end they benefited once more. After securing the border, and ensuring that it had enough defenses to not waver past the Moon Hills mountain range, the sect had become renowned as one of the favorite cults of the majority of the Murmillion people, due to their reinforcements saving the war effort numerous times, and their numbers of members were quickly replenished. The border remains in the same place to this day, with the Cult of Fire providing whatever forces are needed to prevent the threat to their lands.
« Last Edit: 14 September 2008, 01:57:53 by Artimidor Federkiel » Logged

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Eléyr Fásamár
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« Reply #1 on: 19 June 2008, 11:32:54 »

Bumped and finished...

~wanders off to ring Smith's bell~
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Mannix
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« Reply #2 on: 22 June 2008, 20:18:06 »

I don't know too much about his so I hope you'll settle for a spelling and grammar check.

~Territory~
The Cult of Fire established themselves in a realm deemed inhospitable by all other people, and have continued to thrive there since the founding of the Arkhaeon's Guild. Like all cults, they inhabit a single city, all residents of which belong to the cult, which is known as Flaynna. For the most part, the Burning Mountains do not keep to their namesake. However, a few of the peaks around the city are indeed active volcanoes, which the members see as indicative of the fiery powers of their Mistress. With their city being located in the deepest stretches of Murmillion land, they face no immediate threat of being attacked by Aca-Santerra, however, they provide the king with the majority of his Drakkars for his personal army, and are always willing to help in any battle that may threaten the safety of any of the other Cults of Mari.

~Trade & Products~
Like most Murmillions, the Cult prefers to trade with other cults, rather than selling their goods outside of the empire. The volcanoes about them contain exceedingly rare materials, although the mithril sources have run dry from overuse of the hallowed product, they still manage to produce an immense amount of opals and amber, the likes of which they often implant in their swords for decorative purposes. In addition, they craft some of the finest blades in Nybelmar, though those are sold exclusively to other Murmillions with no exceptions, as having all of their soldiers' finely crafted weapons pitted against the Empire of Korweyn's, for example, lesser means of offense, provides a considerable military advantage. In addition, they provide the other cults with quite a few vegetables and produce that they grow in their lush valley, the ashes from the volcanoes having fertilized the area many years ago.

~Interpretation of Mari~
Most would expect that the Goddess of Dreams would be a lurid, ethereal sort of Goddess, in order to match the entities she represents. Likewise, the majority of the Murmillion cults keep to that definition, but all of the sects have certain areas where they stray from the common definition. The Cult of Fire has mingled the mysterious nature of their Goddess with a zesty ferocity, making her the embodiment of both dreams and fire. In addition, the members believe that Mari revels in human sacrifice, and are have a much shorter temper than their peers. At meetings of the Arkhaeon's Guild, the representatives of this sect are always the first ones to arouse discrepancy, especially if one were to insult their volatile interpretation of the Mistress. Most of the affiliates agree that it is their duty to defend the Mari they know, but that it is inappropriate for a cult to discredit another depiction of the deity.

~Important Symbols~
As the name suggests, the rivers of fire that flow down their mountainous landscape are certainly considered to be gifts from Mari. The amount of ash produced by the flaming liquid helps to fertilize the growth in the area, thus they also recognize fire as being an element of rebirth. The largest volcano, Mt. Memflaynna, which towers above the northeastern corner of the immense city, is thought to be Mari's abode in Caelereth. Therefore, the crater at its pinnacle is the venue they use to channel sacrifices to her. The rituals for such a slaughtering are complex, intricate, and various depending on the current interpretation of glyphs, and the number of days before the next eclipse.

Unlike the volcano, located in their immediate proximity, the other symbol they revere as holy, the Haloen Bird, must be imported from the Sarvonian continent. As a result, the Cult of Fire was the first, and currently the only group of Murmillions who maintain contact with the Santharians. The methods by which the traders catch the elusive fowl are not always righteous, as the birds are known for being against capture. Whether they steal the eggs, or temporarily decapacitate (decapitate?) the full-grown birds, they never tell the Cult that catching the bird required them to harm it, for fear that the members shall refuse to purchase it, or even punish them for desecrating the Mistress' bird.

~Religious Emphasis~
All Murmillions believe that ironworking is a special route to reach Mari's essence, but the Cult of Fire truly hallows the art above other forms of worship. They see it as a mingling of nature and civilization. Both the flames in the forge and the metals which are molded come from Mt. Memflaynna, and are therefore considered to be gifts from Mari. By taking these presents and transforming them into something amazing, they have given a gift back to the Mistress. In addition, the Cult is much more warlike than its various counterparts, and so extra metallurgy is certainly not looked down upon. In fact, they believe it the will of their Goddess to conquer, and crafting the objects necessary to achieve her desires is a great honor. Meetings of the Arkhaeon Guild, with representatives of each cult, are the only things that can officially declare war on another culture, but when the need to fight does arise, it is the Cult of Fire who sends out their soldiers.

Although the practices of smithery are quite common amongst the people, this sect has established a unique tradition, which makes them one of the more fiercesome(don’t think that’s a word) groups in the area. Despite their ruthless cunning in military matters, the cult prefers to take prisoners rather than slaughter on the battlefield. After returning to Flaynna with the enemy, they are thrown into the flaming heart of Mt. Memflaynna, as a sacrifice to the flaming Dreamer. When the Murmillions are not actively in war with the Santerrans, and for the most part there are small skirmishes, it is not unusual for the Cult to call (delete second space) upon their own subjects or to demand tribute from a neighboring cult. Although these practices aren't officially legal as per the rules decided at the Arkhaeon's Guild, no one mentions the incidents. For the Cult of Fire outnumbers all of the other cults put together, and its people are certainly better trained. The only sect who could help them could easily vanquish any of the cults single-handedly, despite them being the smallest, as the Cult of Dreams' clerics wield an immense power from their Goddess. Unfortunately, they no longer attend meetings of the Arkhaeon's Guild, and even a sole member is rarely seen.

~History~
1649 b.S. ~ Brutal Losses ~ During the invasion threat from the Santerrans, the Cult had commissioned at least one quarter of their entire army to be sent to the king to fend their borders, only for the entire force to be mercilessly mauled. When Asthalon the Black finally fought his way to Menemronn's ancient throne in the heart of the Murmillion capital, Dassan, the Cult no longer held back any men, sending their entire army in conjunction with those of the other various sects to usurp the foreign leader. After attempting to remove the ruler from the throne for one and a half years, they finally removed the man from power, regaining the Murmillion capital. Nearly three quarters of the Cult's soldiers were lost in the vicious war, but in the end they received compensation for their heavy losses. The next king that the council of representatives from the various cults selected was a famed general from the Cult of Fire, giving the Cult even greater influence in royal decisions.

298 a.S. to 1668 a.S. ~ Holding Steady ~ At the beginning of this era armies to the south made a pact against the Murmillions and the Korweynites, and much land that had once belonged to the empire was lost. After allowing the borderline to recede to the Moon Hills, the Cult of Fire would tolerate no more losses, and once again sent forth every member of their cult, taking very little regard to age, gender, or military training. Once again, the Cult had risked the greatest amount of soldiers (and civilians) in the attack, suffering the heaviest losses of all the cults, but in the end they benefited once more. After securing the border, and ensuring that it had enough defenses to (delete second space) not waver past the Moon Hills mountain range, the sect had become renowned as one of the favorite cults of the majority of the Murmillion people, due to their reinforcements saving the war effort numerous times, and their numbers of members were quickly replenished, as many converted from their old cults. The border remains in the same place to this day, with the Cult of Fire providing whatever forces are needed to prevent the threat to their lands.

Hope it helped!

Mannix
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« Reply #3 on: 23 June 2008, 07:50:33 »

Thank you for checking this, Mannix! I believe I have edited everything. Hopefully this will make it more presentable when the experts come around. :)
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« Reply #4 on: 23 June 2008, 07:53:06 »

Bell-ring or e-mail the Nybelmarian!
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« Reply #5 on: 23 June 2008, 09:56:20 »

I have rung Smith's bell already, Talia, as he was the former developer of the people, as indicated in my post. Thanks for the hint, however. :)

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« Reply #6 on: 07 July 2008, 04:10:07 »

I fear I can be of no help in this regard. I suggest emailing Smith instead of ringing his bell.
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« Reply #7 on: 21 July 2008, 02:08:35 »

Seems Smith is not available?

If you wish I have a look at it, but I'm no Nybelmar expert, nor very familiar with your tribe. It might be take some while though.
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« Reply #8 on: 21 July 2008, 02:19:05 »

If you want to and think you have the time, feel free, Talia. And I don't mind if it takes too long, as there's nothing coming any sooner, I suppose. :) So, yes, I can be pretty patient with this, if need be.

I have bell-rung and emailed Smith, so I don't know when/if he'll show up. But, yes, things are fairly stagnant here, until the information's accuracy in ensured, I guess. Based on the multiple entries I've read about them, and the info. I've garnered in the process, I obviously wrote them with constant checking of the other entries on them, and so from what I know about the people, it 'seems' correct, but it's possible I've mistaken some things. ~shrugs~
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« Reply #9 on: 21 July 2008, 06:26:19 »

Eléyr, I have had only a very short look at your submission and the picture will surely not fit exactly to your description, but have a look at Koldar's Cherubderin, maybe you could use it as one of many depictions .
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« Reply #10 on: 21 July 2008, 09:23:52 »

AHHH! This has been sitting ten minutes from finished on my hard drive for atleast 2 days. Forgot to finish reading through last section. You'll see my comments below, but from the get-go: Nice work. This showed meticulous if not always 100% perfect research, though it never is. I have never been as successful with integrating as you have here, though I've tried.

NYER Talia I beat you to it. So there.  :D

~Overview~
Overpopulated with commoners, the Cult of Fire has always been the most popular sect for worshipers. The first few sentences may have to be mixed around a little bit, because the end of the first sentence really leaves you hanging. Most popular sect of worshippers for what? Need to have Mari in there. The members view Mari as a red headed woman, with wings made of flame. They have established their cult in the cavernous city of Flaynna, located near the southeastern point of Ehebion, in the section of the Burning Mountains that provided the region its name. Lava flows down the rocks; this cult has settled in a place that all of the others have deemed inhospitable, yet they continue to thrive there, showing their incredible ability to adapt. One of the very first cults established, around the same period of time as the Arkhaeon's Guild, House An-oross, the original noble family, has provided the Kunran of the sect since the founding. They are certainly one of the most influential cults, as their massive numbers allow them to delegate a lot of representatives when choosing the king, and they almost always set up trusted members as his advisors.

~People~
The members of the cult consist of the Murmillion men that inhabit all of the Ehebion Peninsula that is north of the Moon Hills. Thus, their appearance and style of living is nigh identical, with a few minor variations. First and foremost, the Cult of Fire is known to be the most warlike of the cults, and willingly provides a profusion of soldiers for the king, and often establishes some of their members as his 'councilors' only to whisper warlike ideas in his ear. They are known for being much more brutal than other cults, punishing prisoners of war by sacrificing them to Mari in Mt. Memflaynna, with a cunning savagery that few can rival. I checked the history, and you do not ever mention King Theodunn, who was at one point a member of the organization apparently. He should most likely get some mention here. Also, while the Cult of Fire was obviously one of the more powerful sects of the time, they, like every other cult, had to bow to the Arkhaeon Guild in some respects, no? Just make sure that your fiery cult doesn’t gain too much relative influence. As of yet, they are the only cult to have a king elected from their ranks, right?

~Territory~
The Cult of Fire established themselves in a realm deemed inhospitable by all other people, and have continued to thrive there since the founding of the Arkhaeon's Guild. Like most cults, they inhabit a single city, all residents of which belong to the cult, which is known as Flaynna. Make sure to clarify that it is the city, not the cult, known as Flaynna. The sentence is not clear on that point. For the most part, the Burning Mountains do not keep to their namesake. However, a few of the peaks around the city are indeed active volcanoes, which the members see as indicative of the fiery powers of their Mistress. You said above that lava flows down the rocks around them. Seems to me more than a few must be pretty active. Flaynna is located beneath the shadow of Mt. Memflaynna, the tallest volcano in the Burning Mountains range, but miraculously, its non-explosive lava flows are located entirely on the side that spews away from the city. With their city being located in the deepest stretches of Murmillion land, they face no immediate threat of being attacked by Aca-Santerra, however, they provide the king with the majority of his Drakkars for his personal army, and are always willing to help in any battle that may threaten the safety of any of the other Cults of Mari.

~Trade & Products~
Like most Murmillions, the Cult prefers to trade with other cults, rather than selling their goods outside of the empire. The volcanoes about them contain exceedingly rare materials, although the mithril sources have run dry from overuse of the hallowed product, they still manage to produce an immense amount of opals and amber, the likes of which they often implant in their swords for decorative purposes. In addition, they craft some of the finest blades in Nybelmar, though those are sold exclusively to other Murmillions with no exceptions, as having all of their soldiers' finely crafted weapons pitted against the Santerran's, for example, lesser means of offense, provides a considerable military advantage. The trade that the empire gets from the 'Fallen Families' in Lhindal is looked upon with undisguised contempt by the Cult, and they assured that the Cult of Santerran Mari was never allowed to attend meetings of the Council of Cults again. In addition, they provide the other cults with quite a few vegetables and produce that they grow in their lush valley, the ashes from the volcanoes having fertilized the area many years ago. If the area is so lush, why have others declared it “inhospitable” as you say above? Also, correct me if I am wrong, but this cult is religious. Do Murmillion cults double as trade groups? Because while this section is nice, it seems more appropriate for the actual Flaynna entry, or something of the kind. Also I had an idea if you decide to keep the section. Perhaps the reason they have such good blades is because they have such good nearby furnaces. Nice volcanoes eh?

~Housing~
The Cult of Fire's homes vary slightly from the average Murmillions, due to a practicality stand point, due the magma that runs beneath the surface of the mountains that ring the northern edge of the valley. Therefore, a few tunnels have been carefully placed amidst the mountains of the southern side, but only members of House An-oross inhabit the fortified manor, as it is often only the nobles who have the privilege of living in Draks amongst any cult's society. If the city were to be under attack, which is very unlikely because of its location in the deepest part of Murmillion domain, there is room inside the Drak for all the citizens to withdraw into its fortifications.

Ordinarily, the commoners build small huts of wood, which they gather from the forests outside the valley. The vale of the Cult of Fire is lush and vibrant, due to volcanic eruptions that had actually flowed into the city, rather than outside of it, in the distant path. The fertility has reached a culmination, so that it is nearly equal in profusion to the rainforests that thrive upon the western half of Nybelmar. Each home has a miniature garden, where the Murmillions have 'dominated' over nature, as the men believe to be their holy duty. See comment on trade above.

~Interpretation of Mari~
In the heart of the city of Flaynna, there is a great library, with one scroll cherished by the Master Librarian above all else. If one were to unfold the musty paper, they would reveal an ancient depiction, drawn by An-oross, the founder of the Cult of Fire himself. Intricate details give one a very accurate idea of what the Mistress looks like, making her appearance consistent and decisive between members. Other scrolls in the library contain other versions of the deity, but all of them share many base traits, and vary only in the style of the artist.

A cascade of crimson lava runs down about her shoulders, her tresses appearing to be one smooth river of the fiery substance. The tips of two distinctly elven ears poke out from the silky stream, like two slender stones peaking over the surface of a babbling brook. Chiseled cheekbones, placed at a precarious loft, lend a greater sense of majesty to the alluring Goddess. Atop her perfectly angled cheeks, set two fierce eyes, a hue reminiscent of blood mingling with fire. Her angular chin, and long, thin nose are also blatantly of the elven variety, probably due to the Murmillions admiring the portion of elven blood that flows through their arrogant veins.

Her supple shoulders careen gracefully into a slender frame, the dancing ends of her seemingly animated hair twirling about her lissome waistline. Though her locks extend all the way to her rear, about midway through the stream of red, a grand spectacle protrudes from her lithe shoulder blades. Magnificent wings, made literally of great, blazing fire, add a final touch to her already fierce, yet oh so beautiful looks. They extend outwards a little over two fore, making them not quite immense, but still formidable. It is said that at times when her passions burn the fiercest, her entire body becomes encased in flame, a glorious sight indeed. In the actual Mari entry, she is described as being viewed in an “eerie” way by the cult of fire. I must say, while the picture described above sounds very beautiful and more than a little risqué, the word eerie does not come to mind.

While all but one depiction of the Mistress show a radiant woman immersed in flame, myth tells of an alternate look that occurs when Mari loses followers. As long as she has a large amount of followers, their spirits will act as fuel for her incinerating regalia, but should she lack the support of the cult, her power dwindles. At times like this, her searing wings completely vanish, without a trace of the majesty they once displayed. The fiery hues of her locks fade to a smoldering, ashen gray. The skin that had remained taught over her angular visage droops loose and flabby from the bones. Only a single indication of such an event exists in the sect's records, but it remains in the Master Librarian's possession as a reminder to all of the duty they show to the Mari, lest a stellar opposite of the deity they loved take her place. So if I understand this, there was one event where Mari lost support of her followers, excluding when the Murmillion empire fell. Or was this “single indication” merely mythical?

Most would expect that the Goddess of Dreams would be a lurid, ethereal sort of Goddess, in order to match the entities she represents. Likewise, the majority of the Murmillion cults keep to that definition, but all of the sects have certain areas where they stray from the common definition. The Cult of Fire has mingled the mysterious nature of their Goddess with a zesty ferocity, making her the embodiment of both dreams and fire. In addition, the members believe that Mari revels in human sacrifice, and are have a much shorter temper than their peers. At meetings of the Arkhaeon's Guild, the representatives of this sect are always the first ones to arouse discrepancy, especially if one were to insult their volatile interpretation of the Mistress. Most of the affiliates agree that it is their duty to defend the Mari they know, but that it is inappropriate for a cult to discredit another depiction of the deity.

~Important Symbols~
As the name suggests, the rivers of fire that flow down their mountainous landscape are certainly considered to be gifts from Mari. The amount of ash produced by the flaming liquid helps to fertilize the growth in the area, thus they also recognize fire as being an element of rebirth. The largest volcano, Mt. Memflaynna, which towers above the northeastern corner of the immense city, is thought to be Mari's abode in Caelereth. Therefore, the crater at its pinnacle is the venue they use to channel sacrifices to her. The rituals for such a slaughtering are complex, intricate, and various depending on the current interpretation of glyphs, and the number of days before the next eclipse.

Unlike the volcano, located in their immediate proximity, the other symbol they revere as holy, the Haloen Bird, must be imported from the Sarvonian continent. As a result, the Cult of Fire was the first, and currently the only group of Murmillions who maintain contact with the Santharians. The methods by which the traders catch the elusive fowl are not always righteous, as the birds are known for being against capture. Whether they steal the eggs, or temporarily decapitate the full-grown birds, they never tell the Cult that catching the bird required them to harm it, for fear that the members shall refuse to purchase it, or even punish them for desecrating the Mistress' bird. Out of curiosity, how do you temporarily decapitate a bird? Also, what do they with it? Are they sacrifices, tamed pets, imported just for kicks? For a creature so beautiful and loyal if tamed, perhaps they are kept? Just random thoughts.

~Religious Emphasis~
All Murmillions believe that ironworking is a special route to reach Mari's essence, but the Cult of Fire truly hallows the art above other forms of worship. They see it as a mingling of nature and civilization. Both the flames in the forge and the metals which are molded come from Mt. Memflaynna, and are therefore considered to be gifts from Mari. By taking these presents and transforming them into something amazing, they have given a gift back to the Mistress. In addition, the Cult is much more warlike than its various counterparts, and so extra metallurgy is certainly not looked down upon. In fact, they believe it the will of their Goddess to conquer, and crafting the objects necessary to achieve her desires is a great honor. Although, orders from the Murmillion King are the only thing that can officially declare war on another culture, but when the need to fight does arise, it is the Cult of Fire who sends out their soldiers.

Although the practices of smithery are quite common amongst the people, this sect has established a unique tradition, which makes them one of the more fearsome groups in the area. Despite their ruthless cunning in military matters, the cult prefers to take prisoners rather than slaughter on the battlefield. After returning to Flaynna with the enemy, they are thrown into the flaming heart of Mt. Memflaynna, as a sacrifice to the flaming Dreamer. When the Murmillions are not actively in war with the Santerrans, and for the most part there are small skirmishes, it is not unusual for the Cult to call upon their own subjects or to demand tribute from a neighboring cult. Although these practices aren't officially legal as per the rules decided at the Arkhaeon's Guild, no one mentions the incidents. For the Cult of Fire outnumbers all of the other cults put together, and its people are certainly better trained. The only sect who could help them could easily vanquish any of the cults single-handedly, despite them being the smallest, as the Cult of Dreams' clerics wield an immense power from their Goddess. Unfortunately, they no longer attend meetings of the Arkhaeon's Guild, and even a sole member is rarely seen.




Okay, I confess I didn’t go through the history section because I felt a check from me would be superfluous; Smith is eventually going need to look through this no matter what. So anyway, not bad at all! You made me do LOTS of research, and it was a good exercise for me atleast. :P Remember to add in king Theodunn, and just truss up these edits and you’re well on your way to a blarrow. Well done Eleyr. Me like this entry. :)
PS: Sorry for taking so long :D I really did forget. How scary is that. I’m getting old…
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Then take me disappearin' through the smoke rings of my mind,
Down the foggy ruins of time, far past the frozen leaves,
The haunted, frightened trees, out to the windy beach,
Far from the twisted reach of crazy sorrow.
Yes, to dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free,
Silhouetted by the sea, circled by the circus sands,
With all memory and fate driven deep beneath the waves,
Let me forget about today until tomorrow.


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« Reply #11 on: 22 July 2008, 13:10:18 »

"Thanks a lot for those comments, Dru. I've got them all integrated now." ~nods and smiles~ "And thanks again for all the compliments, I do my best, but I do need people like you to point out some inconsitincies for me, thanks." ~nods humbly~

Quote
Also, while the Cult of Fire was obviously one of the more powerful sects of the time, they, like every other cult, had to bow to the Arkhaeon Guild in some respects, no? Just make sure that your fiery cult doesn’t gain too much relative influence.

"While, the Cult of Fire did have to bow to the Arkhaeons' Guild, there are hints in several entries, and a flat out statement in King Theodunn's that they have formed an unfair alliance with the Guild that moderates over said meetings, as the Guild thought their large amount of soldier's would be good to back them up. With them being in cahoots with those in charge allows them to control the government like puppets, essentially. So the Guild could make them bow down, but they have no desire to, as they have a clandestine operation functioning with them, that well suits them. I hadn't directly mentioned the alliance here, though, so I have done so." ~smiles gratefully~

Quote
As of yet, they are the only cult to have a king elected from their ranks, right?

"...No? Essentially, *all* of the citizens belong to a Cult, be it a normal one or the Guild, so it would be natural that at least most of the cults would have gotten at least one of their members made king over the 6600 years the the Murmillions had been around. If each reign lasts 40-60 years that's a lot of kings on the throne, so a lot of opportunities to have one selected. They just use their alliance with the Moderator's Guild to 'rig' the system and put themselves on the throne more often. With such a powerful noble family and the main governmental power at their back, they can do such a thing, I think." ~arches skeptical eyebrow~

"I have made a few edits of my own accord, based on sifting through an entry again, and catching a sentence that will have me alter their territory slightly. I had not seen the fact that every cult lives, at least in part, in Dassan, explicitly stated, so I assumed I could not abide by that, but I have altered it so that half of their cult remains in the capital, but half lives in Flaynna, due to the the sheer mass of their numbers. Hopefully this is a good alternative solution." ~smiles broadly, tempting all to roll with the suggestion~
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« Reply #12 on: 27 August 2008, 00:57:06 »

I see Smith has not commented yet, but from my limited Nybelar experience, I'd say that this entry is well done and quite comprehensive. You'd defined the religious significance well, which is most important in a cult entry, and have some nice details.  :D  thumbup

1. What does the cult think of death? Any special beliefs about it?

2. Would this be defined as a cult? A cult is defined as a "cohesive social group devoted to beliefs or practices that the surrounding population considers to be outside the mainstream." But, since the worship of Mari is common among the Murmillions, the cult of fire would be defined as sub-sect of the main religion anyway. The cult of fire is not outside the mainstream as the members worship Mari like everyone else...unless I've missed the point entirely...

3. Depending on how the finalized cult template is done, you may have to tweak a bit here and there to fit this entry with the template. For example, the template has no Trade/Products section, but I see no reason not to put it there. However, none of the current cults produce much of anything...maybe this should be defined as under a clan/tribe template?
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« Reply #13 on: 27 August 2008, 02:50:25 »

The older meaning of the word 'cult' is just 'religion (of)'
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« Reply #14 on: 27 August 2008, 11:11:37 »

Ok Mira. Makes more sense to me to call it a sect, not a cult. But, again, I stand rooted in contemporary terminology and forget to keep with the medieval terms... :P
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No, I would not want to live in a world without dragons, as I would not want to live in a world without magic, for that is a world without mystery, and that is a world without faith. And that, I fear, for any reasoning, conscious being, would be the cruelest trick of all.
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