“Quote here!” — A follower
Blurb here! Who does this guy think he is? He’s a mean one, and his followers kick puppies. Make this an evocative summary that gets people excited to read this very long page, while also being a quick reference for those who need a tl;dr.
|Title||The Crown of Law, Guardsman of Avendar|
|Portfolio||Earth, order, law, leadership, honesty, creation|
|Worshippers||Guardians, Earth magi, rulers, sculptors, architects|
In the beginning, there was nothing. It was in this primal Void that Iandir created the first matter. In His quest to create a new state of order, He cordoned off a fragment of the multiverse and began the slow process of fashioning a world. In time, the mountains would rise, the seas would form, and wind would carry dust and vapor throughout. When the innate laws governing the natural world were complete, Iandir delighted in watching the clockwork of this perfect machine.
His work attracted Jolinn, who took great interest in Iandir’s creation. It was He who proposed a new addition, and a further layer of complexity: life. Iandir agreed, interested by the interplay of this new layer and His natural laws. Jolinn set Himself to designing life and its mechanisms, which rapidly swept across Iandir’s world; the plains greened, the great forests rose, and in time, sentient creatures would follow. Iandir was not so fascinated as Jolinn with the multitude of life’s permutations. Rather, He wondered if His creation would buckle under the weight of this sweeping and unchecked growth.
It was then that Ashur, the Great Dragon of the Void, came. It despised this fledgling world’s existence, but realized that It was not powerful enough to oppose both Iandir and Jolinn. The Dragon was cunning, and instead offered Its own new law: death. Iandir accepted this, as it offered the potential to enforce a necessary, natural order. However, Jolinn was angered by Ashur’s interference, unwilling to accept the death of His precious creations. The Two quarreled, and this early disagreement threatened the world Iandir had created. As a result, He proposed a solution known as the Compact. The gods would no longer act directly upon the Prime Material, preventing an otherwise imminent divine war. To seal their agreement, the world was infused with magic in its pure form.
Ashur, still seeking to despoil the life Jolinn had created, was the first to realize that the Compact did not forbid swaying mortal life indirectly. Scholars suggest that Its influence was both powerful and insidious, ultimately leading the ancient alatharya to their fall. This mortal rebellion was quashed by the Sundering, which both smote the First Race and divided magic into elemental spheres. Storms scoured Avendar, warping and destroying Jolinn’s fragile creations. The Father of the Seas expended great power to preserve them, fearful that life itself would not survive. However, to act so directly was a violation of the Compact. Iandir thus demanded that, for this transgression, Jolinn should bear no influence on the Prime. Knowing that He could not defy both Iandir and the Dragon, Jolinn conceded, and fell into a slumber which lasted for millennia.
Iandir’s influence grew, as the edict of impartial law spread throughout two quite different races: the aelin, and the caladaran. The former embraced the necessity of law to anchor their many passions. The latter, biased toward wisdom, embraced the natural law of Iandir after being illuminated to His presence by the Seer, Chadraln. Iandir’s religion spread rapidly and thoroughly, its nuances explored by both races, and later, other races as well. To establish and maintain order, the Guardians of Law emerged early in Avendar’s cities, and their growth has paralleled the cities in which they inhabit. In the modern age, Iandir remains ever-vigilant, preserving the law of both men and gods.
Goals and Methods
Iandir, having created the rudiments which compose all things, thoroughly embraces the concept of law. His notion of law operates on many levels; it can be as specific as the code of the Guardians of Law, or as broad as fundamental, physical laws. Iandir Himself often views things on a systemic level. A system with enough complexity, such as the mind-boggling sweep of the Prime, can encompass elements which appear to be chaotic. They, as well, are rules applied to the system as a whole. Even typically chaotic-seeming functions, such as destruction and death, can be understood as a part of the greater systemic narrative. Still, Iandir has no desire to see such functions move unchecked. If they did, that single pulled thread could begin to undo the tapestry of creation. Iandir’s most well-known laws, those of the city, are themselves a construct to assist sapients in maintaining order amongst themselves. It should be noted that this is in contrast to Jolinnite harmony, which is predicated upon compassion, rather than the recognition of order’s inherent value.
Additionally, Iandir respects honesty, and demands that His followers speak the truth as they know it. Although He does not expect a given disciple to know all things, He does expect them not to make a willing effort to deceive. To Iandir, dishonesty is an ill-formed cog in the grand machine of creation; it disallows others to follow their necessary and orderly path as a part of the world at large. However, to maintain such rigorous honesty can cause strife, albeit necessary. As a result, those who follow Iandir must demonstrate leadership to others. In effect, they must prove themselves not only trustworthy, but of sound judgment and reasonable action. This trust is what ultimately grants Him, and His following, the necessary authority to enforce rules, offer solutions, and ensure unbiased action. Without it, the Crown would possess neither the power to govern, nor the power to defend.
Organizations and Followings
The organizations of Iandir are well-known, and in many cases, highly organized. They can be found throughout the civilized world, among home guards, governments, and institutions of learning. For adventurers, the following sects are among the most common:
The Soldiers of the Crown
“The laws shall be upheld! To arms!”
The Soldiers of the Crown are likely the most common of Iandir’s following, especially amongst the adventurer class. These warriors uphold the law of the cities with force, in both pursuing criminals and asserting the primacy of said laws. The Soldier of the Crown, therefore, is also likely to be a Guardian of Law, as it is a part of that House’s mandate to do such things. They often are unconcerned with matters of good and evil, instead focusing themselves on if the law is being obeyed. Unsurprisingly, the Soldier of the Crown can seem a fickle ally except in the matters of his interest. He will often not be swayed by emotional appeals, nor corrupted by the will to terrorize his foes. Soldiers of the Crown are found among all races, but particularly humans, aelin, caladaran, and srryn.
The Artisans of the Crown
“With patience, one can create perfection.”
Significantly less martial than their Soldier brethren, the Artisans of the Crown venerate Iandir as creator. They are most often sculptors or gem cutters, using their art or craft as an expression of their devotion. It should be noted that to an Artisan, the creation of art or the fashioning of jewelry is as much an exercise in perfection as it is beauty. Their creations, much as the world Iandir created, have multiple levels of elegance, from aesthetic to mathematic. Somewhat secondarily, an Artisan may or may not militantly enforce city law; such duties do not necessarily overlap with the will to create, but are not discouraged. The Glallian School in Earendam represents an example of this cross-over between the martial and artistic applications of Earth magic, and has nurtured many Artisans over its long tenure.
The Architects of the Crown
“Follow me. There is a better way to live.”
One of the more atypical followers of Iandir, the Architect of the Crown is focused on creating his own order, internal or external. This can manifest itself in the creation of a personal code, to which the Architect adheres with absolute strictness, or more broadly, in the creation of new or expansions of extant organizations with rigid hierarchies. However, for an Architect’s code to be respected by the Crown of Law, it must also remain compatible with the laws of the cities. Some examples of an Architect’s mission might be to establish a settlement in the wild, to steel his own ideal of pure order, or to engage himself in an existing political system. This path is often lonely, tread by the Architect himself; if he is particularly persuasive, others may follow under his banner. Caladaran and aelin are the most likely to be Architects, either by merit of their philosophical wisdom, or their innate charisma.
Iandir is among the most commonly venerated gods in cities, His worship especially prevalent among caladaran, humans, aelin, and lawful srryn. The city of Earendam, in particular, has strong Iandiric ties, as it houses both His Shrine and many politicians who serve in His name. The Guardians of Law, established by Iandir to enforce the law among the adventurer class, has offices the world over, with their central Hall being located within the trade city of Var Bandor. Those who give offerings to Iandir do so in the hope that their actions will please the Crown, and in turn ensure relative peace and due process amongst the populace.
Many followers of Iandir find themselves as members of the Guardians of Law, as their vigor for city law is typically paramount. However, Iandir does not necessarily require that His followers kill in the service of city law. Instead, He expects that these individuals will seek honesty even at the price of popularity; leadership even at the price of kindness; and adherence to the law even at the price of personal happiness. To follow Iandir is to believe deeply in the necessity of order and to appreciate the artful expression of systemic logic. The way in which a follower does this, be it in art, word, or war, is up to the follower themselves. Iandir, in turn, asks only that they abide by their choices as absolute.
Those who find favor with the Crown of Law are marked with the Sigil of the Iron Crown.
The Iron Crown
Iandir is among the most respected of Avendar’s deities, even amongst the pantheon. Jolinn appreciates Iandir’s actions and vast power, although the two differ on what constitutes the appropriate mechanism of order. Ashur covets the power of Iandir, but It sees Him as both shield and sword to bear against Its only true rival, Jolinn. The gods of the aelin, save Alil, generally respect Iandir and His methods, as they are deeply aware of how mighty His influence has been upon their collective children. As well, the gods of the caladaran respect Iandir’s intentions, while their own methods supplement His goals, bridging some of the ideological difference between He and Jolinn. Other gods of the light, namely the deities of the ch’taren, generally have little use for Iandir and His laws, as He is often an impediment to the righteous smiting They so savor. Lawful deities, such as Rveyelhi, see Iandir as both a staunch companion and an object of envy; after all, a tyrant is only as empowered as the law allows them to be, and Iandir’s law is all but immutable.
It goes without saying that chaotic deities, especially those of evil, seek to undo all that Iandir has wrought. This can be as benign as the naturalist deities such as Girikha, or as destructive as the will to undo creation itself, such as Bayyal. Iandir, as an Overgod, is powerful enough that such upstarts have little true power to oppose Him. Even if They did, to run afoul of the Compact is to run afoul of many powerful and wrathful deities. Enirra has a special dislike of Iandir, as His existence is the most potent proof of the fallacy of Her philosophy. As both creator and bringer of law, His ability to maintain order between disparate gods has vastly weakened Her claim as balance-keeper. However, Iandir considers Enirra as no different than other deities, remaining an aloof enforcer within the pantheon.
The deities of Avendar are immortal beings of great power, each with their own interests, purposes, and plans. Most take an active interest in mortalkind, and are even known to appear in avatar form and grant special sigils to reward dedicated followers. Other deities are disinterested in mortal affairs.