Enirra the Lady of Balance, Herald of Reversal
|Home(s)||A White Plain|
|Symbol||A triangled eye|
|Portfolio||Balance, equality, rebellion, obsession, monotheism, lost causes|
|Worshippers||Alatharya, the disenfranchised, minorities, the paranoid|
History in Avendar
In the age after the Sundering, the alatharya faced extinction. Their great empires obliterated and their collective intellect destroyed, the First Race was quickly reduced to living as animals. The magical storms which scoured the surface of Avendar greatly thinned their already anemic ranks, further instilling fear into the primitives. Although the precise details of their fall have been forgotten amidst feral living, the terror of divine wrath haunted them. Older alatharya who had first grown attuned to the wild formed the basis of a shaman-caste which preserved the race, living in tribes scattered throughout the wilderness. Scholars suggest that these shaman put forth the idea of a lone protector-deity that had not forsaken them. They called this deity Elarandan, which is believed to be an amalgamation of religious names used by their pre-Sundering forefathers.
While the War of Fire ravaged the cities of the aelin, the alatharya continued to carve out a lonely existence. Centered on the southern edge of the Crimson Sands and the Rirro Jagka, they played little role in the conflict. This may be in part because of their fear of again being punished by the gods, or that they were simply too divorced from younger races to grasp the greater picture of the world. With the War's end and the creation of the Republic, class disparity became a fact of many human lives. While it flourished, lower class adventurers set out for distant lands where they might make their own mark. Ancient texts mark the contact between humans and the sundered alatharya, enmeshing their dreams of equality and classist anger with alatharyan tribal beliefs. Elarandan became known as Aninsta, and Her worship took on a decidedly more civilized flair.
The cult of Kelaith, which carried the banner of the Platinum Scales, flourished during the post-War period and continued to do so until the dark days of the War of Night. Taking inspiration from Thales, Lord of Balance, the cult focused itself on the philosophy of balance and its necessity. They frequently pointed to the War of Fire as an example of what happens when balance is not maintained. For a time, their following was substantive, their famous priests known for their ceremonial darkened platinum arms and armor. With the defeat of the shuddeni and the coming of the ch'taren, Kelaith's numbers rapidly and sharply diminished. In time, his following would collapse all but completely; casualties during the war, and the growing faiths of new, powerful deities such as Rystaia Lightbringer, took a heavy toll.
The modern era brought an uneasy peace to Avendar, with no magical bias left unhindered. As researchers again resumed their studies of the world that had preceded them, ideas of the Kelaitan cult again spread. However, unlike in the previous age, adventurers seeking balance in the struggle of the Great Houses championed these beliefs in the name of Enaerai. This iteration depicted Her as a goddess who appeared human and represented a permanent intersection between good, evil, law, and chaos. Many of the classist struggles of the Aninstan following resurfaced under Enaerai's banner, giving further momentum to Her rise. Additionally, the Kelaitan moralists found shelter with Her, and reinforced the philosophical underpinnings of Her fight. With the establishment of the Fortress of the Eye, Enaerai became known as Enirra, the fluid representation of all previous balance-keepers. Even with its fall, She occupies a permanent niche within the deific pantheon.
Goals and Methods
Enirra seeks equality between both mortalkind and gods alike. Some of Her followers suggest that it is because She sees intrinsic value in individuals of all walks, including those that despise each other. Skeptics assert that Enirra's focus on equality is a method by which to weaken other gods and elevate Herself as arbiter of what should and should not be. The former argument sees Her as liberator of the alatharya from their everlasting burden, while the latter sees Her actions as a power-grab rooted in the Compact. It is undeniable that many of Her more ardent followers assert Enirra as the only "true god", and is thus allowed to balance the rest of the pantheon's actions. The truth of the matter is far more difficult to discern, as Her following is as diverse as the multitude of beliefs that comprise it. Regardless, where there is an establishment to fight, Enirra's warriors fight for Her will even when they will surely be defeated.
The philosophical idea of balance as a moral code predate Enirra's modern identity. Although current scholars of Enirra would disassociate Her with previous deities and demigods (such as Thales and Kelaith), popular interpretation links the three because of the similarities of their following. It is more accurate to state that Enirra's religion has taken on aspects of these cults as Her influence has grown, empowering Her and Her chosen further within world affairs. Enirra's primary work is done through the Knights that bear Her name, and She has been known to prompt them to action if She feels balance has been disrupted too greatly.
Organizations and Followings
Like other religions, many different groups have organized in the name of Enirra. The most prominent by far is the Knights of Enaerai, who have gained world-renown with their many exploits. However, other factions exist as well, who take the maintenance of balance in different directions. They are as follows:
The Knights of Enaerai
"Surrender the Stones or we will take them by force."
The Knights of Enaerai are the most well-known of Her representatives, whose stated aim is to preserve balance throughout Avendar. With the destruction of their stronghold, the Knights no longer cling to their traditional, complex hierarchy; instead, they congregate in secret, and regard their fellows as equals. Their foremost concern is 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 one the Great Houses 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 Heralds of Rebellion
"You didn't think I'd let you have your way, did you?"
Drawing inspiration from the class struggles prevalent in the great cities, 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. This may also manifest itself in an obsession with finding the wealthiest of travelers and striking them down, dispersing their monies and possessions as they see fit. Balance, to a Herald, is maintained by never allowing any individual 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 Thalean Speakers
"Through balance do we live; by balance is the world sustained."
The Thalean Speakers are wandering philosophers, devoted to changing the world through the spread of Enirra's religion. Much of their inspiration is derived from the tale of Grujnah, who, after thirty years of debate, admitted the error of his beliefs and became known as Thales. They seek to change both individual and public opinion on religious matters regarding Enirra, and do so through oratory, one-on-one discussion, and when possible, public debate with believers of other faiths. A major point of religious contention is their assertion that Enirra is foremost among, and fundamental to, the greater pantheon. This ensures that personal charisma is as important, if not moreso, than actual debating prowess. The personal maintenance of balance of action is a primary motivator of a Speaker, as to not live the tenets they preach harms their goals more thoroughly than any battle. Thalean Speakers are most likely to be human, as it is they who feel most keenly the necessity of balance within and without.
The life of a follower of Enirra is often a difficult one, as their mental and physical fortitude are often tested to the limits. Many who follow more popularly tolerated religions mock followers of Enirra and proclaim them both intellectual and military pariahs. A strong heart and the ability to function with little support are vital, as is the knowledge that most adventurers, save other Knights, regard Enirra's soldiery as pawns. Often, a follower of Enirra will imagine themselves as a lone, sane voice in an insane world, spiraling ever closer to ultimate destruction. This leads to an obsession with what others are doing and innately divisive interactions with potential allies. Regardless, Enirra requires balance within Her warriors and their actions, meaning that only those who are true neutral may receive Her blessings.
Enirra's worship is not conducted in any major city to any significant degree. Earendam at one time housed the Temple of Enaerai, but it was razed after the removal of the Knights' building charter. As such, Earendam in particular harbors no love for Enirra's followers, who have often sided with those attempting to destroy the city one way or another. Her acceptance is further hindered by the assertion that Her power rivals that of the Overgods, which many of their politically powerful devoted consider the direst of blasphemies.
Those who find favor with the Lady of Balance are marked with the Eye of Enirra.
Enirra is not well-regarded by many deities across the spectrum of the pantheon, as Her assertion of the necessity of balance disrupts virtually all of what they attempt to individually do. Her aid is fleeting and Her actions temporary, serving largely as a stumbling block for those who encounter it. However, some deities have substantial affinity for the Herald. Girikha, for example, owes much to Enirra, as it was through Enirra's followers that Her religion was brought to prominence. Chadraln finds Enirra a fascinating historical curiosity, as Her support has wider roots than much of the pantheon at large. Dolgrael's warriors often find at least some common ground with Enirra's Knights, as they often share the same battlefields. Yet, their varied methods inevitably prevent a permanent alliance.
Enirra's most important relationship is with Lielqan, whom She views as the most significant threat to ideological balance. Lielqan's indiscriminate resurrection of the dead is maddening to Enirra, who chafes at the knowledge that even great disruptions to the balance of power cannot be stopped for long. Perhaps more infuriating is that Lielqan ignores any who would suggest Her actions are harmful. Ultimately, Enirra's following must embody Her anger, putting all who serve the Sunset to the sword.