Character 5: Soulburnt Saint
Diametrically opposed to the nation of Elsrelm in almost every way possible is the Theocratic Confederacy of Niahm, ruled by the ‘unbending and incorruptible’ Church Hierarchy. Government and Church are the same in nations that worship Niahm, and Niahm’s control is pure and absolute – and frequently merciless. The Hierarchy is insular and defensive, shunning ties and treaties with any nearby nations that does not follow the worship the one god and submit to Hierarchy Rule. Indeed, many Alignment nations believed that the Confederacy would have stayed out of the War if not for the involvement of Elsrelm, as the Hierarchy’s intense hatred of Elsrelm far outweighed its distaste for their heretic neihbours.
Nations in the Confederacy use very little magic outside of their rituals and prayers to Niahm and his servants. These servants – the Celestials – are understood to judge the purity of belief and the cleanliness of a worshiper’s soul before granting any prayers. Only the purest can beg the attention of the more powerful Celestial, and if you fail their judgment then the penalty is swift and brutal. In times of war the Hierarchy forms the Martyrs – a handful of the purest and most powerful warriors are bonded with Celestials in a process called Soul-Riding – and together the bonded soldier and angel become a powerful combination, capable of taking on whole armies on their own.
A patriot, a warrior, three times Martyr. She has responded to the call of war three times and been the sole survivor of the Martyrs each time. A woman, young looking and strong, is actually nearly 200 years old. At the end of the prior wars she has unbonded with her Celestial, and retired, aging naturally. But when war came anew, she felt her duty was to bond again, and the her body was restored to youth and power. She is proud of her service, but after the war she decided determined that enough was enough – she was sick of the bloodshed.
This time however she has been asked to not unbond, but rather to remain with the Celestial ‘until the world settles’, to protect the Confederacy’s interests. Dutiful, she did so, but she has started struggling with this request recently, as the Celestial’s influence over her is increasing as her soul is consumed in the angel’s purifying holiness. Her view of her fellow citizens is becoming increasingly negative as she sees sin and corruption and weakness everywhere, even in the holy Hierarchy itself. The purity expected by the Celestial is unachievable for humans, and she fears that she will one day take action to purge the church of impurity, and baptize the nations of Niahm in blood.
What does she want?
She wants to unbond with the Celestial before she loses her humanity. She wants to put down the sword and get away from the blood. But she is also mad at the corruption she sees in the Church, as every lie told by a politicking priest is a spit on the grave of one of the Martyrs who died in Niahm’s name.
Thanks folks, let me know what you think.