Enirra the Lady of Balance, Herald of Reversal
|Home(s)||A White Plain|
|Symbol||A triangled eye|
|Portfolio||Balance, stability, defiance, endurance, intervention, monotheism|
|Worshippers||Alatharya, the disenfranchised, minorities, firebrands|
History in Avendar
In the age after the Sundering, magical storms scoured the surface of Avendar and released powerful elemental entities onto the Prime. For the battered alatharya, these beings posed a greater threat than the storms themselves, as they hunted or enslaved the survivors. Desperate and alone, the alatharya cried out to the heavens for succor, and their prayers were answered by Elarandan, an entity whose name was derived from pre-Sundering religious monikers. She became their protector, and acted in defiance of the Overgods by steeling them to endure. They enshrined the notion of apotechta, Elarandan's balance between natural and supernatural, into their dogma, and in Her name, carved paths through the wild. They founded numerous enclaves under Her protection, and within a few generations, the alatharya had secured enough territory to establish their first lasting peace since the fall.
While the War of Fire ravaged the kingdoms of humanity and the cities of the aelin, the alatharya continued to huddle in secluded sanctuaries, scattered from the Brintors, to the Mlejin Range, to the Rirro Jagka. Their role in the conflict is largely unknown; however, some historians suggest that they fought Bayyal's long tail of followers during the march across what is now the Crimson Sands. After the War, their connection to recorded history becomes far less tenuous. With the rise of the Republic, class disparity became a driving factor in the lives of human refugees. Many poor migrants set out as explorers, settlers, and mercenaries, following the draw of the moons to the uncharted beyond. Ancient texts describe contact between humanity and the sundered alatharya, enmeshing the former's dreams of conquest and security with the latter's belief in apotechta. Elarandan became known as Aninsta, whose expression took on a decidedly more mercenary flair.
The cult of Kelaith, which carried the banner of the Platinum Scales, borrowed its fundamentals from the far-flung Aninstans. Taking inspiration from Thales, Lord of Balance, the cult focused on transforming Her apotechta into a creed which carried "equal and substantive" weight within Republican theology. They cherished debate, expanding the prior definition of Aninsta's ideal to balance itself, spanning from societal to personal. Their most influential argument was contextualizing the War of Fire as a near-apocalyptic upset of cosmic forces. At their height, they constructed a temple in Earendam the Grand, but the horrors of the War of Night put an abrupt end to their parlor intellectualism. Conscription, cowardice, and fear caused their coalition to swiftly unravel. With the coming of the ch'taren, the cult was all but decimated, overshadowed by the growing faiths of powerful deities such as Rystaia Lightbringer.
Within a few centuries, magical advancement had brought an uneasy detente between the spheres, and the rise of the Great Houses lent a similarly precarious balance to the realm. This time, it was adventurers who resurrected and synthesized Aninsta's martial legacy with the broad extrapolation of the Kelaitans. They championed a deity called Enaerai, who acted as a permanent intersection between good, evil, law, and chaos, and sought to balance the ambitions of all who did not serve Her. They established a renowned order, The Knights of Enaerai, during the Third Kankoran War, operating out of the crumbling Kelaitan temple. Within a century, they built a keep at the foot of the Brintors. This fortress became their stronghold for a millennium, and from it, they waged a tireless military and philosophical campaign. They absorbed and appropriated the artifacts and ideas of their historical forebears until their dominance over conceptual balance was all but undisputed. Over their long tenure, the pronunciation of Enaerai shifted, settling on Her current name: Enirra.
With the coming of the modern age and the end of the Fortress of the Eye, Enirra's worship has loosened, again scattered in diaspora. Some of its ancient threads have revived, lending renewed vigor to the dissection of balance and the best path to Her enigmatic favor.
Goals and Methods
Enirra seeks stability between mortals, gods, and events. She believes that maintaining a functional, predictable balance supercedes the individual concerns being weighed against one another. Over the millennia, this has taken many forms-- it was the foundation of the alatharyan apotechta, the dream of the Aninstan settlers, the spark of the Kelaitan moralists, and the motivation of Enaerai's original military order. She is positioned so securely offset from all other deities' ambitions that She considers herself an important (and perhaps the most important) consenting party to any major cosmic or societal shift. This has fueled her followers' belief in Enirra as the only "true" god, and the core of their argument for Her necessary supremacy. However, this assertion has made both She, and Her following, anathema to the established political and religious hierarchies within Avendar's major cities.
Balance has been used as shorthand for Enirra's ideals, and as such, almost all of her followers' actions are in some way tied to it. Many mythical or historical figures have brought their own spin to the concept, including the like of Thales and Kelaith, who are far removed from the earliest devoted of Elarandan. As modern Enirrans have consumed expressions, arguments, and legitimacy from a multitude of sources, the ways in which the faith express itself are similarly numerous. Given the historical proximity to the heyday of the Knights of Enaerai, many who serve Her adopt their artifice, be it in their manner of dress, or their preoccupation with the dire consequences of unbridled change. That said, Enirra does not require a powerful following to make Her desires known; She, on multiple occasions, has intervened in mortal affairs, prompting even those who do not venerate Her to serve Her cause.
Organizations and Followings
Like other religions, many different groups have organized in the name of Enirra, spanning the ages. Each represents a different, and not necessarily compatible, vision of balance. They are as follows:
"Death to the false gods!"
The Apotechta are descended from the oldest alatharyan Enirrans. Taking their name from Elarandan's balance between the natural and supernatural, the Apotechta are trained for battle with sapient magical creatures, including but not limited to elementals, djinn, seraphim, and demons. They are known to hunt such beings with expert proficiency, as they believe they are too dangerous to be left alive. The most radical of the Apotechta consider the branded followers of other deities to be of similar cast, touched as they are by extraplanar forces. While they do not necessarily hate or fear magic (as it is as fundamental to mortals as death), the Apotechta are wary of arcanists who manipulate the spheres of Spirit and Void; they are, after all, the most likely to conjure the entities they are driven to kill. Alatharya warriors and naturalists are the most common of the Apotechta, but they rarely dismiss those who are willing to fight at their side.
The Heralds of Rebellion
"You didn't think I'd let you have your way, did you?"
Drawing inspiration from the class struggles that colored the ancient Aninstans, Heralds of Rebellion are keenly attuned to the ideas of social leveling and revolution. They often seek out whatever power structure is readily available and thwart it, usually whichever hegemony is strongest. However, their scope is broader, including a manner of social justice by exclusively championing the underclass of a given region. In the absence of an institutional structure to battle, this may manifest itself in an obsession with striking down the most threatening individuals, and dispersing their monies and possessions as they see fit. Balance, to a Herald, is maintained by never allowing any one person to become too powerful; in effect, imitating the aims of Enirra within the pantheon in the mortal world. Rogues often find this path to be one of the simplest, as many of them have faced poverty or injustice firsthand.
The Knights of Enaerai
"Surrender the Stones or we will take them by force."
The Knights of Enaerai are the most well-known of Enirra's representatives, whose stated aim is to preserve balance throughout Avendar. With the loss of their stronghold, the Knights no longer cling to their traditional hierarchy; instead, they congregate in secret, and regard their fellows as equals. Their foremost concerns are the Stones of Power and the interplay of the Great Houses, as Knights tend to regard both as highly volatile representations of the cosmic balance. They frequently will ally themselves with a weak House to oppose more dominant ones, seeking to disperse that strength to other factions or individuals. However, the ease with which those alliances end can (and do) make Knights seem hypocritical to their former compatriots. Alatharya are the race most likely to find themselves among the Knights, their physical prowess and neutral bent making them well-suited to a soldier's life.
The life of an Enirran is often a difficult one, as their physical and emotional resolve are often tested to their limits. Their allies are few and their enemies numerous; popularly tolerated religions of every persuasion view them as anything from an annoyance to a threat. Their ability to function with little or no support is vital, as they will often act and fight alone. In their persistent struggles, they may come to imagine themselves a lone, sane voice in a world poised precariously over a final and terrible ledge. This can lead to an obsession with what others are doing, to both their advantage and detriment. Enirra requires action from Her warriors, meaning that they must be (and remain) active in pursuing Her goals to maintain Her blessings.
Enirra's primary worship is found in rural alatharyan sanctuaries, and within the brotherhood of Her following. Major cosmopolitan cities reject Enirran values, which conflict with the natural progress of their social expansions and contractions. This is exacerbated by the animosity of politically powerful priests, who consider the assertion that Enirra has the right to weigh the actions of the Overgods the direst of blasphemies. Between these pressures and the destruction of the Fortress of the Eye, altars venerating Her are found in hidden refuges rather than in centralized temples.
Those who find favor with the Lady of Balance are marked with the Eye of Enirra.
Enirra is an outsider within the pantheon, first for Her defiance of divine edict in sheltering the alatharya, and second for the bold claim that She has authority to preserve the status quo as it stands. Her insistence on the ineffable value of relational stability is disruptive to virtually all of what other deities attempt to individually do. That said, some of Her relationships are simply strained, rather than antagonistic. For example, Girikha may at times be stymied by the actions of Enirra or Her followers, but it is to Enirra that She owes Her release and subsequent prominence in modern kankoran religious thought. Chadraln is fascinated by the long and varied historical lineage of Her devoted, but chafes at Her aversion to the most interesting future He so desires. Dolgrael respects the martial pedigree of Enirran warriors, in that they are willing to die for their cause, sometimes countless times over. Yet, He dismays at their lack of honor and dearth of discipline.
Enirra's most important relationship is with Lielqan, whom She views as paradoxically the greatest proponent of stability, and the most significant threat to it. Lielqan's indiscriminate resurrection of the dead maddens Enirra, who is pleased when that halts the most dreaded of change, and angered when it prevents disruptions to the cosmic order from being neatly resolved. Most infuriating of all, Lielqan ignores any who claim Her actions are harmful, and refuses to alter Her behavior to accommodate Enirran balance. Ultimately, Enirra's warriors must embody Her displeasure, and frequently put those who serve the Sunset to the sword.