Ironclaw: Lord of the Endless Void
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The pre-history of the Church is hotly debated among scholars and theologians. There is ample evidence that the ways of White Magic existed before the Church formalized its structure into the ranks of Apprentice, Journeyman, and Master, with its rigors of study, its powers of Privilege, and the other trappings of modern magic theory and practice. Throughout Calabria, religious beliefs varied from place to place. Without standards of worship, the devotions and practices of a town depended on the whims and the personality of whoever the local priests and priestesses were.
Over eight hundred years ago, when the Rinaldi were considered unrivaled throughout Calabria (and the Avoirdupois were but one minor house fighting among many), the unpopular Don Rafael eli Rinaldi died, to be succeeded by his son Constantin. The misrule of the Don had left the landscape easy prey to bandits. In addition, a plague was sweeping the land – some villages were wiped off the map. As more and more people were killed by the disease, the city of Triskellian became packed with refugees. The young heir to the Rinaldi throne, the boy Constantin, was an invalid racked with the same fever that was killing his subjects – no doctor could find a cure. Many feared the end of the world had come.
According to Church doctrine, it was on the night of Don Rafael’s death that Helloise, one of Constantin’s nurses, experienced a holy manifestation, which took the form of a glowing, white light that surrounded her body accompanied by a chorus of voices singing a message of peace, love, and freedom that was beyond the understanding of most folk, who have their minds clouded by their own worldly misfortunes, appetites, and ignorance.
Helloise then entered Constantin’s bedchamber, took the boy up in her arms, whereupon both were consumed in the same shining light Helloise saw before, and Constantin was cured of his illness. After this miracle, Helloise then wandered the streets of Triskellia, and each person she laid her hands upon was instantly cured of illness. She walked from house to house for four days, healing all whom she could, but each day she felt her own Strength ebb. On the fifth day, she collapsed from exhaustion. When she awoke, she started again, knowing that every moment more people were dying from this plague that only she could stop.
That evening, she sank to her knees in sorrow and enervation, sick with the knowledge that every moment she rested, people were dying. Consumed by compassion and selflessness, she prayed that this glowing white light should take her life in exchange for all the innocents who would perish by the plague. With that act her body was wreathed in "a flame that did not burn’’ which spread from where she knelt throughout the entire city. All who were touched by this miraculous flame were saved from the plague. Once all were saved, Helloise collapsed and perished, happy knowing that her death allowed others to live.
It was this selfless act that ignited the worship of s’Allumer, the life-giving luminance. All who had been touched by the altruistic Helloise began to come together under the banner of the young Don. The Don commanded that a great Cathédrale be built upon the spot of Helloise’s ultimate sacrifice, the construction of which is the most ambitious engineering project in all of Calabria , far beyond anything undertaken by the Rinaldi before or since. To support the Cathédrale’s great dome, a great spell was woven by the first apostles of the church, the power of which lasts to this day.
Today, the Church of s’Allumer is the dominant religion in Calabria, with numerous cathedrals and other establishments. Every year, missionaries go abroad to spread word of the miracle, and to teach how the Light of Ascension may save all those who follow in its steps.