Faith and Soul (book)

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Faith and Soul

There are many legends never formally passed down the generations. There are others that remain alive through stories and songs of valor. Other legends are piecemeal on parchment. After twenty years of research, I have decided to finally put pen to paper on one aspect of Paladin legends and songs that I have compiled in my job as Guild Chronicler: lost rituals and ceremonies of faith and soul.

I hope you enjoy these favorites of mine.

Oane
Paladin Guild Chronicler

Ritual of Renewal

Because this ritual seems linked with the glyph of renewal, I have titled it thus. Its original name is unknown to me.

I began piecing this particular ritual together after the gods re-blessed our guild with holy weapons. There were so many nuances to the glyph of renewal and the altars at which we must pray and meditate. Oddly enough, my findings of the old ways revealed that there were no altars before the gods first pro- vided this enlightenment. There have been references to holy symbols and icons that the holy warrior held close.

These symbols and icons, though not as precious as a soulstone, were dearly protected and revered. Actions such as keeping it in good shape and honoring it as if it were an altar were deemed second nature. This revering of the symbols and icons appears to have provided a feeling of warmth in the soul.

In my studies, there are no references to how these symbols and icons reveal themselves. I can only hope that our guild will again prove that we are worthy, and the gods will bless us again with such a gift.

Ritual of Hearth

There are many references to this ritual, but with no consistent name. I have seen Hearth of Light, Hearth of Life, and Hearth of Lye. It may have changed over time due to miscommunication, or it may have been referred to by all these names.

My findings have shown that this ritual is related to home and family, but how it specifically relates is not fully clear. My best theory is that it simply provides a personal blessing to the home and family of the Paladin. Some documents indicate that the Paladin performs this ritual before or even after a house is built, but before it is entered for the first time. There are other references that suggest that it may also bless a new spouse or offspring of a Paladin. While my findings on this ritual do imply blessings most of the time, I have found at least three documented accounts where the Paladin performed the ritual after the destruction of family or home (this may explain why someone might have called it Hearth of Lye intent- ionally or by accident). There is no further documentation on the outcome. While I do not think I have the entire ritual, this is what I was able to piece together:

The Paladin would bow down in prayer in front of the dwelling or site of the dwelling. Wrapped bundles of blessed lavender and sage (some references add rosemary) are placed on the ground, and the Paladin bends to touch his forehead to the ground. In addition, there are references to a Cleric with the Paladin -- and another document references an Empath. I suspect this is due to their attunement to life.

Thirteen Voices

I decided to include this particular entry because I kept find- ing random references to a possible ancient ritual (or at least of one). A number of years ago, I witnessed a ceremony incor- porating the Thirteen Voices, which represent the thirteen im- mortals of Elanthia. To portray the gods, thirteen Paladins took the part of those immortals in their song. While singing a harmonious song, they stood apart from each other but together formed the shape of an "S." While I wish I were able to capture on paper the song that was sung, it was difficult to feel any- thing beyond the awe-struck holiness I was experiencing. There were certain lines that did stay in my mind after I left, and I jotted them down quickly before I lost them:

Chadatru

Believe in me as I believe in you
I watch you through blind eyes
You follow me on blind faith
Together, we are twicefold wise
Separated, I am but a wraith

Faenella

Soothing and comfort, laughter and joy,
Sorrow and tears my everyday toy.
Notes in the air, the sigh of the breeze,
Each tune I pluck, emotion to seize,
Wrung from my hands, wrung from your heart,
Until your soul and your body shall part.
For wherever in life the brown wrens wing
Your mistress of music a song will bring

Meraud

I am the teacher in your temple
Sa ama li alreid ve kilth teman.
I am the old man on the road
Sa ama li dennat feir kus li hen
I am the bright star in your gloom
Sa ama li autai anlora ve elba teman.

Later, I did approach one of the Paladins of the Thirteen Voices about the ceremony and the holy song that enlightened the audi- ence, and I asked if I could share this wondrous song with the world. However, I was informed that the song was not static, and the words change every time. The song was not their own, but the gods singing their words through the Paladins. While I am rather skeptical that this is the case, the ceremony and song are both aesthetically beautiful and at the very least provide homage to the gods.

Fete of Banishment

Although not truly a ritual or ceremony, I included this entry, as I did with the Thirteen Voices, primarily because there were ritualistic or ceremonial aspects to it. When I dug up the notes on the Fete of Banishment about ten years ago, I remember asking a fellow historian if there was a link with Asketi's Ride. He felt that the thinking behind the festival might have originated from it, but that the current notes did not specifically indicate that it was performed because of a Ride.

I have two accounts of the Fete of Banishment and both were per- formed extraordinarily differently. They were held on different dates and in strikingly different locations: one was held at a chapel and the other occurred in a tomb infested by undead.

The notes on the chapel site show that it was privately held, and that some well known guild members attended and even organized the event. The event lasted for one week in which the Paladins fasted and prayed. The squires of these Paladins guarded the chapel, fetched fresh water, and delivered clothing each day for their mentors. It is not clear what the Paladins prayed about, but the other account of the fete indicates that the Paladins probably prayed for peace and defense against evil.

The Fete of Banishment that took place in the tomb was more active than the chapel version. A large group of Paladins and anyone from a local town who wanted to join in headed down into the depths of a tomb with hordes of undead. There, the large party struck back at the root of the local town's evil scourge. Where this particular event differed from just fighting a mob was that the townspeople had prepared special foods for the partici- pants to take with them. The menu consisted of rabbit meat boiled in holy water and then baked inside a hot cross bun, raw carrot sticks tied with sage, and lemon infused water. In addition, the account made references to a fireworks display every night until the tomb was empty.

Purification of Life, Mind, and Soul

There are a number of accounts of Paladins repenting and puri- fying themselves. These are regularly practiced today in the form of tithing, tending the wounds of others, and many more. However, there are documents that reveal the radical lengths to which some have gone.

One such archive documents the story of two brothers who learned about a ritual called the Faith of Fostramor. They were told almost nothing except that only a Paladin who has purified him- self in mind, body, and soul could even begin to understand the meaning behind this ritual.

Purification of Body (also known as Purification of Life)

One brother had taken one extreme by cleansing body with water and smoke, fasting until he was too weak, and avoiding all physical contact with other persons. The other one felt that he owed his life and body to all that is good and to the destruction of evil. In his pursuit, he would quest through the realms to fight all that is unjust and unholy. Neither attained the anticipated purification.

Purification of Mind

The same two brothers tried to reach a different level of consciousness to purify the mind. The first brother spent three years meditating and praying while in complete seclusion. The second brother believed that the gods did not wish life to be wasted in such a way; therefore, he used outside forces to alter his mind. Again, neither succeeded.

Purification of the Soul

In their final attempt to purify some part of themselves, they felt that the soul might be the easiest. The first brother tithed himself into poverty and sacrificed himself until he was physically broken. The second brother felt that in order to purify the soul, it must first become corrupt. He allowed his mind to decline onto a dark path before following his brother into poverty and illness. For the final time, neither brother succeeded.