|The Seer, Eyes of the Multiverse
|The Library of the Ancients
|An hourglass, a lemniscate
|Knowledge, precognition, revelation, history, diligence, continuity
|Bards, advisers, librarians, spies, historians
The oldest caladaran deity, the distant Chadraln was instrumental in both their intellectual and magical development. His desire for accessible, unfettered knowledge is paramount, and He relishes Avendar’s most interesting possibilities.
After the Sundering, magical storms swirled over the surface of Avendar, destroying or warping the creatures and civilizations that covered it. It was then that the early creations of Jolinn transmuted into the progenitors of the plethora of races of ages to come. It also was the dawn of newer, divine attention to the canvas of the Overgods. One such entity was drawn to the splendid multitude of potential futures that such a tapestry offered; divining their destiny as the sages of this world, this being centered its attention on the forefathers of the tree-like caladaran. As their faculty for language rapidly matured, a name emerged for this new deity: Chadraln.
In the glades of what is now the Rirro Jagka, the caladaran aptitudes for wisdom, enlightenment, and magic blossomed under the tutelage of Chadraln and His companion, Jalassa. Much like their deific parents, the caladaran found intense interest in knowledge, and by extension, that which preceded them. This curiosity was tempered by Jalassa’s discipline, ensuring that the young race did not repeat the spectacular and destructive fall of the alatharya. However, this did not hinder a distant speculation on the aims of the First Race; it merely transformed it into a potent object-lesson as to the fruits of hubris.
Chadraln revealed to His children the existence of the Overgods and their creation. Their racial state lending itself to order and justice, they took prodigiously to the study of Iandir and His divine nature. Their command of the magics of Earth grew tremendously, and this power to give form emboldened the caladaran to spread from their distant glades and seek out other children of the Sundering. Chadraln Himself encouraged this, as He had foreseen the results of the War of Fire and the intellectual fruit its aftermath would bear. Additionally, He knew that in time, the caladaran would bring to the wartorn humans the order they so desperately desired.
Much as the Seer had predicted, the caladaran encountered humans on the cusp of the founding of the Republic. From them, the caladaran discovered their aptitude for the magics of Water and Fire; in return, the humans learned of Iandir the Crown of Law and His magics of Earth. At the time, many humans dismissed tales of Chadraln and Jalassa. They believed them merely the great king and queen of the caladaran, much in line with the human empires that preceded the Republic. As law flourished and the Republic grew, Chadraln took great pleasure in watching from afar the ripple-effect of His children’s actions on the events to come.
With the coming of the War of Night, followers of Chadraln quickly found themselves enmeshed with the growing study of Void. This, too, did the caladaran find talent in, although their natural wisdom disinclined them from siding with the shuddeni in their campaign of terror. However, the pursuit of knowledge and the association with the dark practices that brought such suffering stigmatized Chadralnite beliefs outside of caladaran circles. This was mitigated, in time, by the vigorous pursuit of the magics of Spirit, and later, Air. In the modern era, Chadraln and His followers find themselves in the same position as they have always been: distant, but interested, observers of the dramas yet to be.
Goals and Methods
Chadraln covets both limitless knowledge and thorough understanding, leading many of His chosen to assert that His primary goal is a complete record of the world created by the Compact. Others among His following might suggest that His role is far more subtle: an observer whose dalliances in mortal affairs are to guide Avendar to its most interesting of conclusions. Those who favor more traditional caladaran roles have grown somewhat standoffish of Chadraln’s embrace of all things, instead choosing to venerate other caladaran or like-minded deities. This is not a loss to the likes of Chadraln, who would prefer His seekers to be unencumbered by moralisms which would limit the collective advancement of academia. Truly, Chadraln desires knowledge for its own sake, in addition to the illumination it brings.
In the pursuit of new forms of understanding, Chadraln encourages His following to take up a number of intellectual endeavors. These include research into the historical, the magical, and the mundane. As a result, His following tends to be well-respected among fellow academics, as their methods and motives are generally scholarly, rather than political. Generally, Chadraln does not appreciate those self-styled seekers who investigate greater mysteries and limit to whom that knowledge might be shared. To Him, all that can be learned by mortals is therefore the providence of all mortalkind, and those who would use such insight as leverage over others are not welcomed warmly. That said, Chadraln is appreciative of choosing the right time and setting to relay the fruits of particularly stigmatized labor.
Chadraln’s following is primarily composed of researchers and travelers separated by great distance or time. As they are inspired by the caladaran traditions of old, their numbers are thin and rarely centralized unless circumstances require it, and they are rarely, if ever, militant. As such, the categories described are not factional; instead, they more a delineation of the common types of individuals who follow the path of the Seer. They are as follows:
The Researchers of Avendar
- “Come! We will unravel the mysteries of this place!”
The most well-known of Chadraln’s following, the Researchers of Avendar are comprised of a diverse array of the individually curious, intrepid adventurers, and historians. They seek out new research to better illuminate the tapestry of the world, be it through scouring the parchment accounts for secondary insights or their own firsthand accounts. They are often found prompting other travelers to visit dangerous locales, to increase their collective knowledge of both persons and places. Frequently allying with others who share their interests, Researchers fluidly cross the traditional boundaries of good and evil when particularly tantalizing knowledge is at stake. As longevity is necessary for the expansive collection of new knowledge, caladaran scholars are foremost among the Researchers of Avendar, often far more renowned than their brethren of other races.
The Wardens of the Hourglass
- “This tome should preserve what I’ve uncovered from the ravages of time.”
The Wardens of the Hourglass are both the revealers and preservers of history, providing written accounts on the persons and traditions they encounter. This can be as simple as writing personal memoirs, and as complex as infiltrating a particular cultural group and exposing their beliefs and rituals. While they are not necessarily seeking to reveal secrets, such things are often brought to light in the course of retrospection or investigation. As a result, the Coven of the Shunned has a particularly sharp love/hate relationship with the Wardens. When turned, they are an invaluable source of privileged information; otherwise, their studies make them exceptionally threatening to Serachelian designs. It goes without saying that the Asur-Rjakket despise all Wardens. However, the feeling is mutual, as the intent to destroy such knowledge is as unconscionable as it is dangerous. Because their nature is the most autobiographical, and often requires a measure of duplicity, the Wardens of the Hourglass attract primarily watchers and bards.
The Keepers of the Lemniscate
- “Be aware and prepare yourself, Priestess, for what is to come.”
Much as the Seer Himself, the Keepers of the Lemniscate seek to reveal future events before they arrive. Consequently, they serve as advisers and sages, in both the mundane and the dire. With a keen sense of history, sociology, and psychology, a Keeper often can apply this knowledge to predict what is to come with eerie accuracy. However, their methods differ from mystics and doomsayers, such as those of Rystaia or Ashur, as this knowledge is rarely rooted in dreams, divine inspiration, or philosophical introspection; instead, it is the fruit yielded by experience, study, and diligence. Politically, self-styled Keepers find themselves in positions of power or respect only when their predictions consistently come true. Unlike the warrior-prophets of the Aetei-Lm’qua, Keepers often wish to remain at least partially removed from the locus of world events. Caladaran find themselves most suited to the Keepers of the Lemniscate, but it is not uncommon to see humans or aelin amidst their numbers.
Followers of Chadraln seek to surround themselves with mysteries waiting to be unraveled. Because of this, they find themselves alongside all walks, from the anointed of the light to the vilest of evil. This makes their position a particularly tenuous one, as it is upon them to maintain their own neutrality while unswervingly pursuing new knowledge. This sort of self-grounding disenchants many allies, especially those who favor loyalty. As such, it is usually worthwhile even for the most scholarly of supplicants to possess at least some measure of power, be it martially or otherwise. A follower of Chadraln accepts the inevitability of changing alliances, and the fleeting approval of others. Ultimately, those things are temporary, while the enlightenment they seek to impart will resonate for eternity.
Chadraln’s worship can be noted in academic circles, and most visibly in libraries the world over. The library of Gaald, in particular, has special interest to followers of Chadraln, as it is far enough from war and struggle to be largely uninterrupted by world events. His researchers, however, know no bounds as to where their paths might lead them, giving His chosen more the flair of wandering sages than cloistered monks. Outside of those circles, Chadraln is venerated privately as well, mostly by individuals praying as they seek to learn a new skill or trade. In feral lifestyles, Chadraln is all but nonexistent.
Those who find favor with the Seer are marked with the Sigil of the Hourglass.
Chadraln is an observer within the deific pantheon. He is regarded with mild suspicion by gods of the light, because He accepts tainted or corrupting influences in the pursuit of new knowledge. He receives little sympathy from the goddesses of the ch'taren in particular, as He disapproves of their militant zeal as much as They reject His impartiality. Gods of darkness have no unified stance on the Seer. Followers of Ashur, for example, revile the Chadralnite obsession with preserving what was; conversely, Serachelian demagogues often consider Chadraln and His researchers willing tools to some diabolic end. Chaotic deities are predictably mixed on the Seer. Tzajai, for instance, has little patience for Chadraln’s plodding intellectual endeavors, while Girikha appreciates His reverence for storytelling. Chadraln’s neutral peers consider Him a grudging ally. While Dolgrael abhors the Seer’s lack of honor, He recognizes the roles of Chadralnite scholars in the craft of war. Meanwhile, Enirra covets the Seer’s legendary foresight for Herself, but accepts His researchers’ role in the preservation of balance.
Chadraln is most closely linked with the other deities of the caladaran, although even among Them, He is known for His distance. His longstanding association with Jalassa is obvious, although the relationship has strained as Their respective traditions have diverged. He is understanding of Her sagacity and the rightness of Her goals, but believes Her harsh discipline precludes too many possibilities. While Chadraln is ostensibly the father of Alajial, Jolinn acts as more of a direct father-figure to Her. Although They have a shared optimism about the future, the Seer perceives it generations– even millennia– at a time, rather than Alajial’s dedication to more immediate tomorrows.