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The Shadow Protector


Subtleknifewielder
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It was inevitible really. Considering the method with which Promised Land was governed, it was only a matter of time before someone hit on the idea that perhaps Subtleknifewielder was more than a mere man. Or perhaps he was, but he served a power even greater than himself? No other explanation seemed to fit the fact that this man, despite being an unknown, still managed to rule a nation.

At first, it was just a few, isolated individuals, maybe a dozen at most, despite efforts to tell the message to others. But then, then they found another member, and their numbers began multiplying...

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The place was dark, but not lightless. The believers knew that without at least a little light, shadows could not exist. Shadows and light...the two needed each other to survive, though most in the world seemed to be willfully ignorant of the fact.

The light came from a small fire inside a cave--to all appearances a simple campfire.

Until the two indviduals came closer, it was not apparent that that was not a completely accurate assumption.

One of the individuals sitting around the fire were bound and gagged.

A third individual stood from his place among his fellows. The cloak and hood obscured everything but his silhouette.

"Welcome, initiates. Have you been prepared for what you must do? Ar you ready?"

The approaching figures withdrew their hoods, revealing one man and one woman. They exchanged glances, then nods, before turning to the one who had addressed them. "We have," they answered in unison. "We are."

The silhouette tossed something on the dusty ground in front of their feet. "Do not be fooled by this person's age. Despite it, Dunstan Wrigley was responsible for no less than three murders, and countless people, from children to adults, felt the results of his drugs."

The initiates bent to pick up the objects--a dagger for each of them. Silently, they moved to stand next to the bound figure of Dunstan, he on the left, she on the right. Dunstan's eyes were like saucers, and he whimnpered through his gag. He was clearly no more than eighteen, but that evoked no sympathy. With what he had done, he had forfeited his right as a human being.

"Lord Umbra," they intoned, "we serve thee in this sacrifice. Please ensure this man meets an appropriate punishment in your realm..."

The knives glinted in the firelight as they drew up; his almost silent scream was cut off abruptly as one knife lodged in his eye, the other slashing across his throat...

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Some basic information on the Shadow Cult

Name: The name itself, for one, is taken not as an insult, but a matter of some pride. They are not offended at the use of the word 'cult,' rather embracing it.

Primary Deity: Their god, Lord Umbra, known alternately as the Shadow Protector, is a master of seeing through treachery and deceit, and preys on those who would prey on the weak. While he does not enjoy killing, he realizes that sometimes an innocent has to die to see justice done to those who deserve it. However, if an innocent does die in his service, he ensures they are rewarded in the afterlife. Anyone who deliberately targets an innocent will face his wrath.

His animal avatar is, appropriately enough, the Eurasian Eagle-owl, a nocturnal predator capable of taking down animals significantly larger than itself.

Other Significant Figures:

Subtleknifewielder: The shadow leader is, due to his very nature, seen as Lord Umbra's ultimate servant.

Sarah Tintagyl: It is recognized that without light, Shadows cannot exist. Sarah Tintagyl, in her time as the Lady Protector of the Hanseatic Commonwealth, was often seen as an almost religious icon, a representation of all that was good and bright in this world.

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OOC: Cool look forward to seeing more of them. Though whats with all the god like intervention happening on poor god. Its almost turning into a ring side match with humans as the pawns of the gods. Either way its all turning out to be a good read and fun to boot.

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OOC: Yeah, state-oriented religions are popular here, aren't they? :D

Glad you're enjoying it. :)

IC: Cult Heierarchy

The Shadow's Talon: This is the person that would be deemed the high priest or priestess in other pagan religions. He or she is seen as the Shadow Protector's human voice in the Mortal Realm, but unless he or she is standing directly underneath a statue representation of him, they are not considered to be speaking with his voice, and their words are to be considered as coming from their fallible human self.

The current Talon, though this is currently known only to the innermost circle of members, is Sharleyan Johnson.

Holy Assassins: The innermost ring of the Cult Heierarchy, they are the council that determines what the god's words mean before passing them on to the rest of the members. When not acting in his or her role as the voice of the god, the Talon is considered part of this circle. There are seven members at any given time.

Messengers: These are the 'missionaries,' the ones charged with spreading the word to those who need to hear it. They are also the ones who carry out assassinations and raids against traitors of the realm.

Initiates: Those who have heard the word, and believe, but have yet to fully decide how they wish to serve the Shadow Protector. They may decide to remain initiates if they believe their service is best in that capacity. They are, what would be called in Christianity, the 'congregation.'

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  • 2 weeks later...

Basic Tenets and Beliefs

The tenets of the Shadow Cult are fairly straightforward. Murder or any other act which results in great harm, emotionally or physically, to the victim of the crime is punisheable by death. Treason to the state is considered the worst of these. Killing criminals who engage in these activities is actively encouraged.

If an innocent dies in the crossfire between members of the Cult and those they have been sent to execute, a hearing is to be held to determine, first, who, if any, is responsible, and second, if the act was intentional or unintentional. Should it prove unintentional, the person or persons responsible are let go with no harm done to them to continue the work to which they have been assigned. Should they prove guilty, they are put to death.

The wicked, when they die, are sent to the underworld where they find no rest until they have experienced the pain of their victims and are genuinely remorseful for their crimes.

Upon death, the righteous are given two options by the Soul Keeper (the figure responsible for juding the dead)--they are permitted to either move on to complete rest, or return to the mortal realm to live another life.

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