Calaera the Ishia, Blade of Righteousness
|Home(s)||An Island of Calm Amidst a Battlefield|
|Symbol||A four-winged seraph|
|Portfolio||Truth, judgment, devotion, command, righteousness, valor|
|Worshippers||Spirit templars, good-aligned combatants, strategists, evangelists|
History in Avendar
Calaera's first mention in the annals of history is during the War of Night. Historians cite her as one of the vast legion of ch'taren who arrived on the Prime through the inadvertent summoning of the shuddeni. Although the early ch'taren warriors largely required no ranks, scholars suggest she acted as a trusted lieutenant to Saint Chalane Tyra. Much of her early fame stems from her remarkable prowess in both the magics of spirit and martial technique. With little more than a small warband and the fervor of righteousness, Calaera cut a bloody path through the shuddeni ranks.
With the help of the grateful peoples of Avendar, the ch'taren havens were fashioned as a place for ch'taren to congregate and to protect what few artifacts remained from the ch'taren home plane. It was during this period that Calaera and her warband helped to develop the rudiments of the modern spirit templar creed. A discerning eye and powerful voice cemented Calaera as a heroine worthy of her reputation among the ch'taren Aiveh Lm'keh. Many of Calaera's students found themselves among the guardians of these havens, with Calaera and her warband protecting the Haven of Ice, Avayn.
The renowned hero, Saint Chalane, was martyred in defense of the Haven of Wind, Ad'masteisa. With the destruction of that city by the final remnants of the shuddeni war machine, Calaera found herself again in a position of command. Her now-famous warband prepared itself for battle, and through dogged determination, hunted down all who were responsible for the atrocity. The shuddeni found no compassion at the hands of the warband, and were swiftly put to the sword. By her direction, the remaining havens erected Sy'ceera to ward off other such attacks. Stories of her valor spread throughout the native armies of the Prime, and with it, her influence blossomed throughout Avendar.
When Calaera's mortal body finally failed, the goddess Rystaia recognized her years of service to all good-hearted peoples. Calaera was transformed into the four-winged seraph now recognized by many, and she took her place in the pantheon as a demi-goddess. Many of her warband would later be elevated as well, comprising many of the seraphim known as the Convocation of the Nine. Together, they seek to marshal the forces of light in times of need. It is rumored that at the close of the Eyeblight War, Calaera Herself appeared to shield those who stood against the Lord of Fear, Arkhural.
Goals and Methods
Having battled the shuddeni forces during and after the War of Night, Calaera gives no quarter to the wicked. She prefers to see those who perform evil deeds judged for their actions swiftly to prevent corruption from spreading. Those who follow Calaera often seek not only to eradicate the legions of their enemies, but also to strike down the ideologies that gave them rise. She seeks to reveal, and then undo the machinations of evil, hoping to seed a purer truth in the hearts that remain.
Those who follow Calaera recognize, as She did, that the young must be trained to recognize threats to everyone's safety. As Calaera's warband instructed early ch'taren in the ways of the spirit templar, so do her followers also instruct good-hearted travelers in the methods of war. This may manifest itself most overtly in guild progression, although it is more likely to be expressed through individual teaching. Although Calaera Herself is not a patron of the Champions of Avendar, its structure lends itself to rearing and honing new heroes for yet-unimagined wars.
Organizations and Followings
Many of Calaera's devoted are organized militarily because of their aggressive focus. However, her individual followers do not necessarily require such structure, and at times, eschew it for the freedom to act unhindered. Those who act in her name often affiliate themselves with one of the following sects, although this affiliation may be in deed alone.
The Exalted of Calaera
"One must know the sword before he may put it down."
Those who draw particular inspiration from Calaera's personal acts of heroism often find themselves called to the Exalted. While they have a great deal of respect for the more organized methodology of others of the faith, Calaera's Exalted feel it is their calling to take the battle against evil directly to those who perpetuate it. Favoring focused, precise targets, they typically fight with a small band of trusted allies. Confident in the righteousness of their cause, they battle even if it means they stand alone against the darkness. While all hope one day for the promise of peace, they know all too well that as long as evil exists, peace can only be found at the end of the sword. Those who fight alone, such as assassins or spirit templars, are often called to the Exalted.
The Legion of Dawn
"One sword is good. One hundred is better."
Students of the art of war, the Legion of Dawn devote themselves to larger scales of combat than simple one-on-one skirmishes. While not discounting the import of smaller battles, a true decisive stroke against evil often requires the talents of many working in concert. Members of the Legion can often be found leading groups of their allies into places where evil has taken hold, seeking a way to drive it back. Even if their individual talent is not as a war-leader, members of the Legion will frequently assist more experienced commanders in whatever way they can, furthering their own knowledge of how best to hold their people true when times look grim. Because of its split-role between leadership and advisory, water templars are among the most likely to take up this creed.
The Speakers of Truth
"The sword resides in my heart; with it alone, I can slay my enemy from a hundred paces."
Not all evil is immediately visible to the naked eye. Speakers of Truth know this keenly, and bend their efforts towards ferreting out those who would conceal their evils behind facades and smiles. Teaching the virtues of truth and righteousness to those who do not already walk the path of goodness, the Speakers of Truth name their words as their first and greatest weapon. They know above all else that the battle is won when the enemy seeks to fight no further. However, they show no mercy to those inexorably bound to evil, such as the shuddeni, and are often at the forefront to stand against the poisons that vile race sows. Spirit scholars and templars are the most likely to be Speakers, although many who put philosophy before combat are well-suited to its ideology.
The followers of Calaera favor pragmatism and effectiveness over the broad visions of Rystaia and the harsh protection of Jolinn. Those who serve under Her banner frequently organize to better achieve their goals, but are more than willing to act rashly if the situation requires. Because of their versatility and generally martial bent, Calaera followers often are or assist the Champions of Avendar in their fight against evil. It is uncommon for Calaera's soldiers to publicly undermine others who serve in the name of the light, as to do so often alienates the very truth that She seeks from taking hold. Like the Ishia herself, individual followers do not shrink from the battle against corruption and fear, be it verbally or physically.
Much like Rystaia and Vaialos, Calaera's worship is often among the ch'taren. Her legendary defeat of the shuddeni who destroyed the Haven of Wind has made Her one of the race's greatest heroines, and an inspiration to many young warriors. In the native cities of Avendar, Calaera's worship is far less common, almost to the point of non-existence; they instead venerate their own heroes. Although not a patron of the Champions of Avendar, respect for Her among them is high, as Her methods and ideals often mesh with their own. As with most good-aligned deities, Calaera has little to no representation in feral cultures.
Those who find favor with the Ishia are marked with a four-winged seraph.
Calaera is a zealous opponent of evil, in the form of gods and demons alike. As such, She is considered a strong ally among the more martial deities of the Light. Enirra has little use for the Ishia because Her truth is not one that includes typical Enirran beliefs. Others in the neutral pantheon, such as Dolgrael, appreciate Calaera's combative stance. The gods of law have no use for Calaera, as Her followers often have few reservations about disrupting law and order in the pursuit of their foes. It goes without saying that all gods of darkness hate Calaera, as it is Her mission to see to their destruction through direct confrontation. Arkhural the Darkheart is counted among Calaera's primary foes, as their ongoing battle remains unsettled so long as the other lives.
The worship of Rystaia and Vaialos are closely linked with that of Calaera, as they not only share similar inclinations, but also a long shared history. In this triumvirate, Calaera represents a sort of "new school" of philosophy, as it integrates concepts from the Prime with typical ch'taren beliefs. Tasked with the preservation of the ch'taren Havens, the Warband has no lack of battles to fight. In conjunction with the Society of the Shelratha, the Warband and its parent religions preserve the ch'taren race for time immemorial.