The Loyalty of the People
— Treasury and Merchants
— Maritime and Seafarers
— The Athenian Guard
— The Cypress Sisterhood
— The Order of Vasiliádon
— The Creed
The world of Aeipathy and the loyalties of its people are not solely bound to the House or family that they are born into. There are other alliances and loyalties that the people of our realms and kingdoms can form based on their own choices, occupations or beliefs. Read below to learn more about each of the Guilds, Orders and Factions of our world to see which your character might be interested in becoming a part of.
Please read the below information carefully before joining a group. While some are an addition to a character and add complexity, identity or plot potential, there are others that are all encompassing ways of life, which means they can also be limiting to your character's geographical travel or personal beliefs.
Bound by Law
Guilds are legal groups and alliances that certain characters will be forced to make if they intend to work under certain professions or in certain industries. They are not groups of people who are formed under an alliance or ethical code and are unlikely to even have people within the same Guild who know each other. Think of these groups more like the tax office or union: they are designed to monitor and handle the interactions (financial and legal) of workman and business owners within certain industries and ensure the correct payment of tax and suitable resolutions to any disputes or accusations of untrustworthy business practices. Joining a Guild is not voluntary and must be carried out by businessmen in the appropriate sectors, in the same way that one must pay their taxes.
The Merchants Guild is a system that must be signed up to by all business owners. It monitors the income of all traders and ensures that the correct taxes are being paid into the appropriate treasuries. Some traders, if their business involves multiple kingdoms or transporting goods overseas, will pay different taxes to different royal treasuries for the privilege. This is why the Merchant's Guild is an inter-kingdom guild and is organised and run by representatives from every realm and kingdom to ensure fairness across the known world.
The Maritime Guild is the organisation that monitors the use of the seas by anyone who transports goods, people or animals, builds ships or fishes in the waters around the realms. The Maritime Guild works closely with any sea-focused politicians in the realms (e.g. the Master of Sea in the Greek kingdoms) and is run by ambassadors from every kingdom, to ensure that the waters are not over-used or the sea-life over-fished.
Bound by Oath
Orders are organised groups of individuals, usually with a hierarchy or internal structure and an overarching code of conduct. They can be groups to which one dedicates their entire life and existence to or simply be an additional alliance of people to which one person belongs. But, they always have a strong ethical and moral code, the breaking of which causes severe action or punishment, including but not limited to the exile of that individual from the Order. Orders are always a voluntary group to join and must be done so of an individuals own volition or choice. Different Orders have different criteria and ceremonies to allow newcomers into the fold. While some of Orders can be militant in nature, or have a combat element to them, all are dedicated to living harmoniously within their world or culture. They are not groups that look to disrupt the status quo but instead aid in the development of man. This most commonly leads to Orders being exceptionally long-standing and having just as much history, culture and honour bound to their name as any House or Dynasty.
A military group like no other, the Athenian Guard is a unit of soldiers sworn to the monarch, the city and each other. These men are tasked with the protection of the city they live and serve in whether that be manning the city walls in case of an attack or simply clearing the streets of drunkards after a rowdy night. They are the ones who keep the peace and ensure that all are secure under their protective vigil, day and night. The Athenian Guards are the chief policing force in the kingdom and in addition to running the city’s fylaki, it is not uncommon to see men from its ranks patrolling the street with their signature blue sashes that mark them as a member of this order.
Although the protection of the capital city is their chief priority, the Athenian Guard is especially noteworthy for their dedication to the crown and whoever wears it. They will protect the monarch at any cost but they will not involve themselves in the petty disputes between the Dynasteías as to who should be wearing it. After all, they are above the messy business of politics and are under the firm belief that it will bring nothing but chaos into their ranks. With that being said, noblemen are not required to forgo any titles in order to join the Guard’s ranks but they will be expected to remain silent of any family loyalties whilst on active duty. If they cannot do so, they will be sent home in disgrace.
Valuing a man’s talents over any other quality, the Athenian Guard only allows those of an adequate skill level into their active ranks. However, they allow any citizen of the city, noble-born or common, into its barracks and are one of the few units in Greece that spend years training new recruits until they reach said level of expertise. This high standard and dedication to filling their ranks with skilled fighters is what distinguishes them from other similar Orders and encourages a level of camaraderie between the men and respect between them and the people of the city. In exchange, though, all those within the unit are expected to dedicate their lives to their service and retiring from the guard is rare before the grip of old age.
Diomedes of Nikolaos
Therastus of Arcana
The origins of the Athenian Guard can be found several hundred years ago, back before Athenia was the shining gem that it is today. Back then the city was known as a dangerous place, especially at night where crime ruled the streets and people cowered in their homes. For years, it had been this way with tensions between the people and the nobility, who blamed each other for the crime, until the final straw came when one morning Nicon of Anagnostou, the eldest son of one of the King’s barons, was found dead in the street.
It was clear that his passing was not peaceful by any means. Shards of terra cotta were scattered on the ground surrounding him and were also found in the gaping wounds, indicating that someone had used a piece of pottery to attack him. (To this day, it is not known if this is what had caused his death.) However, the true horror came with what had happened throughout the night before had been found. The dogs and rats had found him and scavenged from the body. Other lowlifes of the city had stripped the corpse of anything valuable, including the coloured cloth that the man had been adorned with. It was also clear from dirt found on the body that several of these thieves had stepped on the corpse as they committed their crime. It was truly an undignified end for any man, let alone a respected member of the nobility and for once the whole city, from the noble ladies in the palaces to the fishermen on the docks, was in agreement.
Whoever had done this must be brought to justice.
The King himself offered a handsome reward for whoever found who was responsible. With the promise of gold shining in the eyes of desperate men, many flocked to the palace gates with every voice proclaiming that they knew who had done the terrible deed, but none could provide proof so the prize went unclaimed. The people, having grown frustrated by this development and all the attention on this man when their loved ones often met similar fates without any care by the city, began to hound the members of the Anagnostou family in public, demanding that they stop hoarding the reward money. It all came to a head when two siblings of a lesser branch, Lagos and Arisbe, were accosted while attempting to visit the market. After their identities were revealed, nearby patrons harassed them with one man going so far to grab Arisbe’s arm and pulled it roughly so that she may pay attention to him. Enraged, her older brother had pushed him away and quickly escorted her home, vowing that enough was enough.
That very evening, Lagos went to the king and demanded that a military unit be utilized to bring order to the chaotic city. The monarch believed this plan was a foolish one and that it would never work; that it would escalate crime to war, but Lagos was insistent on bringing about justice for his dead kin. After an hour, the king relented and allowed the man to bring his idea to fruition, just as long as Lagos was the one to organise it in its entirety. Being a captain for his home unit, The Crimson Blades, the man rose to the task and within a fortnight he was able to scrabble together a temporary unit of a few hundred men. Comprised of experienced soldiers, this unit came from many different corners of Athenia who were now all united in the common goal of bringing peace to the streets; even if it was only for one night.
As the sun set over the city, this new brigade was dispersed into the streets in small groups of heavily armored men all under the orders to put a stop to any deviance they came across. There was only one rule: they were not to kill anyone, regardless of crime committed. Drunkards were escorted to their homes, brawlers were incapacitated on the spot, and any thief to be found was immediately hauled to makeshift jails throughout the city to await punishment for their crime. When the dawn came the next morning, there were no reports of the usual crimes that had become commonplace throughout the night. Thanks to Lagos’s leadership, the city had been trouble free for the first time in living memory.
Commoner and Noblefolk alike could breathe a sigh of relief as night after night this task force descended on the streets and went about their duty. Within a few weeks, the atmosphere of the whole city had changed. People felt safe once again when needing to leave their homes and the soldiers were welcomed, as well as honoured, at every turn. However, Lagos was quickly running into a problem that could very well bring this peaceful new Athenia crashing down around them; he didn’t have the supplies to carry on this venture indefinitely. The King's suspicions had led to the agreement that Lagos would be permitted to bring his soldiers to the capital for the experiment but that the treasury would not support him in his efforts. With no additional support, Lagos would, eventually, have to send his men home. He could only afford to feed, clothe, and shelter the men for a few weeks. Lagos went to the king for aid but the King refused to agree to a change of terms, despite the success of Lagos' efforts. It was clear that the monarch was one of the few men left in the city who was taking what the nobleman had done for granted and failed to understand that once the men left Athenia, the temporary peace they had brought would be taken with it.
One of those who could see the devastating effect the dwindling supplies would have was Lagos’s own sister Arisbe, who had easily recovered from her previous experience in the market. Not wanting to see her brother’s efforts be for nothing, the young girl called upon her close friend, Ianeira of Marikas, the King’s youngest daughter for help. During a court event, Arisbe was able to convince the princess to speak to her father and have him understand how dire the situation truly was. Remembering the horrible fate that Nicon - her intended at the time of his death - had met, Ianeira agreed.
How she managed to convince her father, no one knows for sure as the man was known to be cold-hearted and stubborn, but either way, Lagos was called back to the king’s council room within a few days’ time. There, the King finally agreed to fully support the project with funding from the crown, on the agreement that the guard remain fully loyal to the Monarch, whoever that may be, and the city, but to no one else. Every man who joined the force would have to take a blood oath in front of the gods with the understanding that any sort of ill-will sentiment towards either entity would be grounds for extreme punishment in both this life and the next. They must be ready at any moment to be called upon to protect the Crown and Capital without question. In exchange for this, the King promised full autonomy for the group and funding from the royal treasury, if they were successful at keeping the peace. These supplies would be guaranteed and only subject to the Senate reallocating them so that no paranoid leader could ever undermine them.
Finding these to be better terms than Lagos could have ever previously hoped for, he readily agreed and thus officially the Athenian Guard was born. With support from the crown, the group easily rose to become one of the most prestigious fighting groups within the country as a strict training period that was based on skill, not time served, ensured that the men were the best the city had to offer even though any man could partake in the glory that was this unit. This and the blood pact is how the Guard has been impervious to the follies of ambitious men throughout the years and how they continue to remain strong - even today.
Currently, the Athenia Guard work on rotation, protecting the city walls, the docklands and the Inner Circle, as well as organising patrols through the city day and night. They also supply the Royal Palace's guards which are maintained under a Captain who reports to the Commander of the Guard. These men have their own rotations and shifts that are appropriately matched to the royal they are protecting.
Joining the Order
Any trainees or initiatives that are interested in joining the Guard are required to move into the Guard's barracks, done a simplified version of the Guard's uniform and armour (but with a white sash instead of a blue one) and must perform the menial and maintenance tasks of the barracks. Every month, an Initiation Test day is help and all trainees currently living within the barracks have the choice of taking the exam. On this day they are required to beat in one-on-one combat, an existing member of the Guard. An unsuccessful participant is not rejected from the barracks but, instead, allowed to remain inside the Guard's home, continuing their menial tasks until the next testing day. They can continue to do this as many times as they like or need. There is a certain level of pride and fame in passing the Guard's Initiation Day first time. However, there is also a level of respect for a man determined to keep trying. A trainee who has failed many times might be met with ridicule and begrudging respect in equal measure. Once the initiate has passed their Testing Day, they offer their blood oath of loyalty to the Guard and become a fully-fledged member of the Guard, are factored into duty rotation and are permitted to live outside of the barracks. They must, however, live within the city.
Practices and Rituals
Born a son, the first of several children from Stavros and Myrine, Diomedes' birth was heralded as a great fortune. A male heir to continue the family business whilst his cousins in the capitol maintained the Nikolaos family's name in the political sphere. Diomedes was taught, as a child, the way of business and the way of trade. He developed a sharp and calculating mind, as well as a head for numbers. As he grew and younger siblings were born, a natural protectiveness developed within Diomedes' psyche and many a time, when his brothers and sister were being picked on in their youth did Diomedes storm in with a stick sword, swatting away the cruel local children. A vigilant defender of his family, Diomedes was hit hardest when he did not stop his younger brother Lander from going out to play one day with children who pretended to be his friend. Due to a lazy eye he had had since birth, Lander was often the main target of childhood attack and on this particular day the taunts grew too strong and Lander attempted to prove himself by enacting daredevil antics at the docks. With his lack of depth perception, it wasn't long before he fell into the water and became ensnared on netting left beneath the tides. Lander of Nikolaos drowned when he was eight years old. Diomedes, aged thirteen and just recently considered a man; a man charged with the protection of his family, punishes himself still for never noticing that the children that came to collect Lander for "play" that day held taunting ambitions.
Striving to, from that moment on, never allow anything to happen to his family again, Diomedes turned his back on the business and trade side of his family's aspirations for him. As far as he was concerned, he could learn numbers all day long, but it wouldn’t keep his family safe. Instead, he begged and pleaded until his father relented to send him to the capitol - to his cousins - where he could then enlist in the Athenian Guard. It was during the first few years of his training that Diomedes' mother passed away. Tragedy was a solid motivation for Diomedes and he continued to work harder than those around him, quickly garnering the Guard's respect and completing all training and rising to the highest standards by the time he was seventeen. In that time, as well as moving into the Guard barracks with the other soldiers, Diomedes found that his mind - trained in trading and systems - turned itself easily to tactics and plans. He was a shrewd negotiator, organiser and leader. He rose in the ranks of the Guard quickly and found himself to truly love his profession. Instead of only protecting his family and bringing honour to their name, he now protected the entire Athenian capitol.
In recent months, Diomedes' confidence has been shaken again and his love for his family and their tragedies tested. During the King of the Waves event this past year, Diomedes was instrumental, as now Commander of the Athenian Guard, in carrying out safety protocols. Unable to personally see to his relatives' safety, Diomedes was angry to discover that Thalia had been injured in the earthquake that shook the shoreline. Even more so when he discovered that Dysmas had been there with her and had somehow failed to keep her safe. This tension developed into a stronger wedge between the two brothers when, two weeks later, Thalia was found dead in her bed one morning. Born of his era, Diomedes is not to know that a blood clot from her broken wrist was released in the night and caused her heart to stop. But he is smart enough to know that a perfectly healthy woman does not simply die without cause and that injuries are normally connected. If only Thalia had been kept safe that day... she might have been given the opportunity to reclaim her reputation and good name.
A workaholic by trade and a dedicated man by nature, Diomedes is a man plagued by tragedy who uses self-admonishment as a driving motivational force. At some point, this man is going to have to learn to love, to laugh and to live...
The Sisterhood of Artemis is an order of women who swear their lives in the devotion of their preferred Goddess Artemis and to her teachings of how to live in subservient aid to the people of the world. Being a priestess of the Order is a lifelong commitment and requires full and total devotion of one's mind, body and life. These women vow to uphold the two sides/facets of the great Virgin Goddess: the Protector of Women and the Huntress. The first, they honour in their work as travelling midwives and healersl; the second in their skills in archery and hunting that make them self-sustaining on their journey and fearsome in defence of their faith. The key beliefs in the Order are that of modesty, humility, inner-strength and to live a life in service of mortal women that, in turn, honours Artemis, the Goddess of the Hunt.
Women of this Sisterhood are easy to spot. Dressed always in the palest of whites to symbolise their purity and belted and girdled in gold in honour of the Goddess they so faithfully follow, the women of the Order take great care in their appearance believing that they are the living followers of Artemis herself and therefore should look as respectable and beautiful as said Goddess may have, were she to walk amongst the mortal world. This is not to say that the priestesses are vain or arrogant. But that they take pride in their roles as priestesses and are humble in their own self-worth and assured in the greatness of the divine being they follow. Initiates of the Order are garbed in white tunics, belted in bronze, and retire this kind of dress for the full chiton raiment of a fully-fledged priestess after they pass their initiation exams.
To become a priestess with the Order, one must complete training in both medical skill and in the art of hunting. On top of this, they must master the ideals, bylaws and manner of thought and being that all priestesses are held to. Once a part of the Order, they are considered with the same affection and love as a blooded relative and whilst there are some within the Order who were born of the same family, all priestesses are referred to as "Sister", barring the High-Priestess who is address by her full title. The bond of sisterhood within the Order is strong and any breaking of the Order's bylaws (such as through theft, misogyny, misrepresentation, sexual conduct or blasphemy) is seen as a horrendous insult to both the Order and the women themselves; a personal affront from a woman that was considered to be family. A woman who is seen to break such laws is excommunicated from the Order by the performance of "The Shunning" in which they are stripped of their title of Sister and Priestess and banned from any sacred ground devoted to Artemis - not just the White Temple itself.
The Order now stand as perhaps the most respected voices and executors of Artemis' Will in the known Grecian lands. They operate as midwives and healers but also as seekers of lost family members, recruiters for the Order and as the perveyors of a sanctuary (the White Temple) that is often sought and used by those that suffer at the hands of abusive partners or fathers. The Order consider themselves to be independent, courageous, devout and modest followers of the Goddess and live their lives in the full service of others: most particularly, women.
Calliope of Oreboea
Calypsa of Megaris
Eoia of Midas
Gygaea of Megaris
Hesione of Athenia
Kallista of Dolomesa
Merope of Magnemea
Phaia of Argothia
Semele of Elimea
The Cypress Sisterhood was founded in 920 BC after the wife of a healer had a dream that compelled her to find others of the skills she had learnt from her husband. As a woman of medical knowledge and practical skill but also a Grecian of great faith in the Olympians, this woman in question - who later took the name of Artemisa - had dream involving the Ceryneian Hind - the animal most sacred to Artemis - kissing the pregnant bellies of women. Such kisses seemed to offer protection and Artemisa took such a dream as a message from the Virgin Goddess herself. She was to create these Hinds. To offer protection towards the women of the world in their most weakened and dangerous state - that of pregnancy and labour. Enlisting her blooded sisters three, the four women set out to offer medical aid to just such women, initially working alongside the husbands and partners they had at the time. As their skills and abilities grew to beyond that of their menfolk - for who could understand the female body better than another woman - they were forced to choose between remaining domestically docile to their husbands or reaching further in their quest to honour the Goddess Artemis. They soon left to take their skills atravelling, finding others who might need their aid.
Whilst prenatal and labour care was the first calling of these women who would one day become the Cypress Sisterhood, it soon became apparent that four women living, eating and consuming resources of the small and poor families they intended to help was to make themselves a burden; even if the medical care they were administery was so desperately needed. They simply solved one issue of the family while creating another. As such, the women turned to Artemis once more. The Goddess had started them on their journey; surely she would, therefore, have the answer to how they could help without hindering. Looking to the second side of their Goddess - the huntress within - Artemisa and her sisters took up the bow and started to become self-sufficient. Able to hunt and cook their own food and able to sell the skins for coin that could pay for their board, suddenly they were now healers that offered only goodness and advantage. It is these ideals and behaviours that the women of the Order attempt to eminate to this day.
Women started to join the sisters. Some would be mothers who had lost their children and sought comfort in the following of Artemis. Others were servants, slaves or assistants or sought a better life. Some women came to the sisters in order to learn from them; their skills in midwifery and medical practices becoming a common source of talk amongst the Colchian provinces. In short, the band of four grew quickly into larger numbers. With larger numbers, the Sisterhood were able to spread out, to send small groups of women in different directions to help more people. Whilst this worked for the most part, instances where women would make the wrong medical decisions or would get into fights or archery contests led to issues in reputation for the Sisterhood. By giving these women liberation from their lives, husbands and roles in the world, they had made them over confident and, in some cases, arrogant. A small number of their group were not operating in the selfless manner of helping others that the four Elder Sisters had started the Order with. Organisation and bylaws needed to be put in place and soon a hierarchy was settled. After sending out messages to all of their calling and returning them to their birthplace - a spot in the Illythia hillsides - Artemisa and her sisters were shocked to find more women than they had even been aware of, return. Order was established. Artemisa took her chosen name and became the first leader of the group. The women who followed her set up into some sort of training system where knowledge and skill was passed down from those already capable. A basic infrastructure and organisation was established. Along with the bylaws of the Order that now hang in the White Temple: Honour the Goddess Every Day, Never Place Your Own Needs Over Others, Wisdom Is Greater Than Strength. Such beliefs are carried on to this day by the Order.
It wasn't until several decades later that the Sisterhood began calling themselves Priestesses, their leader the High-Priestess and their group a full religious Order. As time went on and devotion to the Goddess became a stronger influence in the group, and as medical knowledge progressed to the point of requiring years of training before a woman could be accepted as a full member of the Sisterhood; as the group became something one dedicated their entire life to - they were eventually established as a religious Order.
When a battle was waged to the south of Colchis by invading Athenian forces in 815 BC and the Crown Prince of Colchis mortally wounded on the battlefield, a travelling party of the Sisterhood were able to help - through their archery - turn the tide of the battle in question and - through their skills as physicians - save the life of the King's only son. In recognition of this great boon, the King ordered a new temple to be built in the foothills of Illythia. To honour the Sisterhood, he would give them their official status as an Order and give them a home. The White Temple became the centre of the Sisterhood's operations, the home of their Initiate training, the sanctuary of women who are fearful of their partners or fathers. Within its walls, only divine law and the law of the Order is respected. This is their home and where new Priestesses live and are educated every day.
Joining the Order
To become a Priestess, you can only do one of the two things. Either come to the temple and request an audience with the High-Priestess or be invited by a Priestess to join the Sisterhood. If you are requesting the audience of a High-Priestess, then you will need to explain your reasonings and intent on joining the Sisterhood. Knowledge of Artemis is not a requirement, though it is a benefit, but the High-Priestess will want to know more about the woman in question. This is more of an interview, so the High-Priestess could keep an eye on those who may not appeal to her – by no means would this disqualify an initiate. The training itself is what weeds out women from the process. Women who are brought in by Priestesses will go through the same questioning process, though it differs if Priestesses witness what is considered worthy to initiate. Upon reaching the temple, all initiated will go through something called ‘The Phase’. This is the beginning of an initiate’s training. The training will consist of tests of knowledge, resilience, prowess, trust, and skill. Midwifery and hunting will be a requirement in passing the Phase. Soon after completion, initiates will take part in the Praise of the Virgin Lady and the Cresence.
As Initiates become fully-fledged members of the Sisterhood, they take on a specialised preference. Whilst they are trained in all areas of being a priestess: being a devout follower within the temple walls (a Priestess), being a healer who travels throughout the lands (a Midwife) and being a skilled archer who seeks to unite families, offer the midwives extra defense or focus on Order recruitment (a Huntress); it is to one of these three particular paths that an Initiate must walk. After that, experience continues to be your tutor.
Roles and Titles
Ypsilí ieríThe High-Priestess is the teacher and is the connection to the goddess. She works more as a Prophet to the members of the Sisterhood, often asking guidance from the goddess to further the progress of the order
LereíaAll Priestesses have been inducted into the sisterhood by completion of the Cresence. Priestesses do a lot of the groundwork outside of temple grounds, they go all over Greece spreading the word of the virgin lady taking in initiates as they come. Below are two different roles available for Priestesses.
MaíesMidwifery is skill taught to all Priestesses among the Sisterhood but those who wish to become Midwives are more specialised in this field of work. Often, Huntresses will accompany Midwives into the world; their knowledge of herbs and forestry able to be used for medicinal purposes. Midwives, primarily, take care of pregnant women, visiting throughout her entire pregnancy. Many nobles and royals call upon them for assistance during gestation and when the baby arrives.
KynigósHunting and archery are all skills most priestesses of the sisterhood have experience, but there are Priestesses who wish to specialize as Huntresses. The Huntresses are some of the best archers in Colchis. Although, primarily, their job is to accompany Midwives on their journeys, to complete seeking missions to unite family members and to assist in recruitment to the Order. These women are the ones most often away from the White Temple. They also like to take on the title of ‘Protectors of Women’, in other words the huntresses are trained combatants and know how to use their weapons but also walk the careful line of ensuring never to allow violence to break their Vows to the Order. They must walk the path of humble and selfless behaviour, whilst also being confident fighters.
Practices and Rituals
Gift of Artemis
Pilgrimage to IllythiaThis the biggest and well received festival to date for members of the Sisterhood; it is a homecoming for all sisters under their banner. Artemísia was named after the Cypress Sisterhood’s first High-Priestess. This tradition is a pilgrimage of all priestesses of Artemis to return to the White Temple and worship the Virgin Lady, Artemis, renewing their connections to their foundation. Upon reaching Illythia, Priestesses must remove their garments and rejoice their goddess in nude. The High-Priestess will lead the song and the priestesses then join in. After two hours of vocal aspirations, the sisterhood would join in a great feast, and all scraps would be burned in fire to satisfy their goddess. This is also the time at which new recruits are brought to the Temple. Anyone picked up by a Priestess travels with them until the next Artemísia.
Wake of the Moon
Evening HymnThe Wake of the Moon is an evening hymn all priestesses within the White Temple at the time will sing towards the rising of the moon. It is done every day, beginning at sun set and will finish once the moon is at its highest peak. The hymn is another form of respect and dedication shown to the goddess Artemis, though it has always been a good tool in disciplining the priestesses. All initiates learn the hymns and prayers during their early years and it is a test to see if they are capable of keeping up.
Praise the Virgin LadyThis form of prayer is conducted at the foot of the Cypress tree that stands tall in the direct centre of the White Temple. It is conducted in the morning, as the moon sets. Generally, if this prayer lands prior to the Cresence, towards the end of the prayer the High-Priestess will open the floor for Initiates to accept their vows as chaste Priestesses.
The CrescenceThe Cresence is an important ritual that secures the vows of initiate priestesses by bathing in water blessed by Artemis, doused in the lunar light of the crescent moon. Immediately after the water is touched by the Crescent Moon, a haze will form over the cool pool, protecting the nude form of the woman as she bathes. This signifies the initiate’s protection of her chastity and purity as a virgin, forever protected by the wrath of the Goddess if there was ever a soul to harm them. After the baths, new initiates will take part in a Hunt that is in the likeliness of their Goddess. Every initiate will be given a silver bow with a single arrow and are ushered into the wilderness of Illythia to only return with a stag. Upon success of the hunt, the new initiates feast on their kill.
TakenAedea’s first memories were of the wild wildernesses of Colchis. Whilst she cannot confirm or deny that she was born there, most assume her to be from another land due to her flaming red hair. When first discovered by the women of the Temple of Artemis, Aedea was already sixteen years of age and entirely feral. She had grown into adulthood without aid or help, scraping by for food and shelter that she could secure with only her own hands. Some consider her to be a strange beast for managing to survive while others would say she was clearly chosen by the Gods to live.
When Aedea was taken in by the temple as an acolyte, she was at a clear disadvantage to others her own age. Though, within the temple, there is no set standard per age of priestess (as women came to the temple at different stages in their lives) is was thought by many that she was too far gone to be given any useable help by her mentors. Her speech was lacking, her coordination was not normal, and any form of social civility was far outside her grasp. The entire purpose in bringing Aedea back to order was to receive healing and a new start as a woman before being released into a new and safer life but her continuation within the safe walls of temple has led her into her decision to become a Priestess.
It took time but Aedea possessed a strong set of survival skills that slowly enabled her to become a valued Huntress of the Sisterhood. Her social skills had developed to a workable level, despite developing the nicknamed of ‘Lone Wolf’ as she still prefers to conduct business on her own; relying on only her own wits to fulfil her duties. Aedea is now a seasoned Huntress, very well respected and valued because of her tenacious spirit and desire to honor Artemis, because she believes it was the goddess of the wild and hunt that led her to survive and receives only the occasional strange look at some of her old habits or rough-around-the-edges mannerisms.
Women join the Cypress Sisterhood for all reasons. Some come with a history of horror and tragedy. Others join through a belief in the priestesses’ cause and lives’ work. For Calliope it was a little of both. Born to a lower-born family in the rural lands of Oreboea, Calliope and her siblings were the children of a widowed man, physically ill from years of manual labour. Her and her two brothers quickly became the breadwinners of the family. Skilled and trained by their father in the farm work, the tending to the small stock of goats and pigs that they kept on the patch of land they called home, as well as hunting in the nearby forests for both food and product (the animal skins were a good item for market) the three children supporting one another. Despite the boys’ egos disliking it, there was nothing to repudiate that Calliope was the best hunter of the three of them. With a sharp eye and a step quieter than either of her heavy-footed siblings, tending the farm was left to the men and Calliope naturally fell into the role of provider amongst the trees.
From birth, all three children were taught to worship and honour the Virgin Goddess Artemis – for it was she who gave them good hunting grounds, ample livestock and a means with which to survive. The worship of the goddess was not something Calliope had ever been unfamiliar with. Therefore, when her family was hit with tragedy, it was towards Artemis and the teachings in which the Sisterhood believe that she turned to for strength.
After going out to hunt one day, Calliope was caught in a storm. Finding sanctuary within a hollowed at tree, so deeply buried in the ground that she was kept safe from the powerful and destructive winds, Calliope had later returned home to find… nothing. The wooden house within which they had lived was gone, the animals blown away, the lands upheaved. She found the remains of her father, buried in the rubble but her brothers she has assumed to be lost to the winds.
Turning to trust in the Goddess was Calliope’s only option and she spent her time over the next few years travelling, supporting herself. It was only when she reached Illytia that she discovered the Sisterhood. Drawn to their love for the goddess and their love for one another; the offer a family once more, Calliope joined their ranks and quickly became an accomplished Huntress within the Order.
Half-sister of Gygaea, Calypsa joined the temple much later in her life and it later became the reason she joined the Sisterhood. Before joining the sisterhood, Calypsa did not live a life of Chasity as she was actively having sex with men her age in the town they were from. Calypsa and Gygaea do not have the same father because their mother murdered their father after he tried to beat on her. Eventually their mother was able to find another man that satisfies her as a partner and later came Calypsa. She was raised with love and had a very different upbringing than her sister and it was not until much later in her life did her mother tell her that she had a half-sister. Calypsa was a grown woman in her twenties, when she learned of her sister’s identity and location. Calypsa’s mother did not know where Gygaea was taken all those years ago, but she said it was by women of Artemis – she could tell by the symbol of the Crescent Moon etched on a bow. It took Calypsa’s own research to find Gygaea’s whereabout, though it was not long before she found information on a grew of women who matched the description.
Calypsa did travel to Illytia to find her sister and at first Gygaea was not very receptive of her because it reminded her too much of her own father – until Calypsa returned to tell her what happened to the man that abused her. Gygaea was able to open herself to Calypsa, embracing her as her own sister, despite having different fathers – knowing that they were blood was enough for Gygaea to accept her love and to also return it. After reuniting with her sister, Calypsa convinced herself that she wanted to become a Priestess of Artemis to remain closer to her sister, saying that it was the will of the goddess to reunite them. In this moment, Calypsa was not understanding everything that the Sisterhood asked of her and if it was something she could really do; although, she felt that this was her only chance to be with her sister. Indeed, it was the will of the goddess to reunite the sisters, but it will be by Calypsa’s will power would she be able to stay as a Priestess or to leave to whence she came.
After making her vows and committing to a chaste lifestyle, Calypsa believed she was ready for the life she chose to have. Which is why, she believed the goddess placed it in her heart to become a Huntress to test her loyalty of her vows. On the road, it was as if Tantalus was creeping upon her shoulders as the temptation of flesh was so strong for Calypsa. It was important that she kept her composure because their goddess was always watching, and she did not want to become like Callista of Arcadia. Above anything else, Calyspa wants to remain near her sister in some compacity, if she could pass her own test, in a few years she would remain a Temple Priestess alongside her sister. Calypsa believes she can live a life of chastity, but every day is a test. It is up to her if she wants to continue this path of not, but failure in her commitment will mean he would be forbidden from Temple grounds.
Born to a family of middle stature in the capitol of Colchis, Eoia was the only daughter to a merchant and his home-maker wife. When hard times fell upon the family, however, and debts could not be paid, the young Eoia was forced to take up work. As it was with the Kotas family that the merchant had first taken out the loans for his business, it was to them that Eoia went. Taking pity on the merchant, whose debts were unable to be paid due to natural disaster destroying a year’s worth of produce at sea (hardly something that was forced upon him through his own incompetence) the Kotas family refused to sell Eoia into general slavery, without knowledge of where it was she would end up. Instead, they took her in a nexus slave within their own household. She was used as a simple scullery maid, cleaning floors, handling laundry and occasionally tending to the stables.
Upon attending to the temple of the Cypress Sisterhood with the Lady Yanni (Eoia was taken to manage the horses as the Queen did not wish to take male servants to the sanctuary) the young girl fell in love with the women, the Order and its ways of life. Whilst she still had time left on her servitude, in order to pay off the owings of her family, the Queen was kind hearted and saw no great harm in surrendering a slave in order to offer worship to the Goddess of motherhood.
An agreement was worked out. Eoia would send a little of the living allowance she received as an Initiative and then Priestess to the House of Kotas until the date that had been set for the end of her period of servitude. This amount would go towards the cost of a replacement slave. In return, she was given her freedom from slavery and encouraged to join the Temple. If she is ever to leave the temple, she must return to continue her duties as a nexus slave with the House of Kotas.
Indebted to the Kotas family and adoring of their matriarch, Eoia works hard as an Initiative in the temple in order to show that their charity and kindness has not been wasted. She finds herself drawn to the calling of midwifery; an occupation where she can help the most people, for Eoia has grown to be a kindly and compassionate young girl with a diligent work ethic and an optimistic view on life.
The elder sister of Calypsa, Gygaea joined the temple at a very young age… She was saved by Priestesses after suffering several beatings from her father… At the age of nine, a particular attack outside of her family home was witnessed by a duo of priestesses, in the area to assist with a delivery. Unable to secure the permission to take Gygaea into the sanctuary of the temple immediately, the priestesses were forced to leave her with her father for one more night. In the early hours of the morning, Gygaea was rescued by the priestesses, who kept their promise to return for her, as soon as their charge had delivered their baby and permission could be sought from the temple. Gygaea was taken back with them, never to return.
Gygaea would never forget how her rescuers had saved her in the darkened hours that day; entering her father’s home as a unit, a priestess keeping her father pinned to a wall by a readied arrow pointing straight at his throat. One of the other women had placed a hand around the young Gygaea’s shoulders, ushering her out the home with three other warrior women (as she perceived them) trailing behind them – forever leaving her homeland.
Gygaea would grow up to become one of the temple’s eldest and most esteemed Priestesses, mentoring many sisters along the way. She is the only one amongst them to have lived to see the reign of three High-priestesses. In each case, she was a valued friend as well as a keeper of sorts. Gygaea is an Elder, meaning that, before one speaks to the High-Priestess it is to Gygaea that the women will first seek advice and knowledge from. Gygaea and the other Elders of the Temple those who elected Kallista to the position of High-Priestess after the death of their last, despite many believing that it should have been Gygaea to take on the role. Gygaea is historical within the Sisterhood as she was the only Priestess currently living to excel in all her roles – she was a Maiden, Huntress, and a Temple priestess for several years before becoming the Temple’s most valued asset.
Gygaea was considered for many years as due to become the next High-Priestess, though she has turned it down explaining that it was not her calling. Gygaea is a dutiful woman, she is loyal to the cause and has little mercy or recognition for men. The Priestesses of the Temple would detail Gygaea as being very humble, though she is quick like a whip and does not tolerate dissonance of any kind. She is strict as well as compassionate, many are able to get along with this Priestess, though she has a reputation of making sure young acolytes are held accountable for their actions. As an instructor, Gygaea pushes initiates and Priestesses as she will not give information but will encourage others to discover Artemis on their own. She is a gem found in the Cypress Sisterhood; her loyalty to the goddess only rivalled by the priestesses’ loyalty to her.
Hesione is a niece of the late High-Priestess Hyacinith. Sister Hyacinith belonged to an Athenian noble family, who were heavy politicians. Before the late High-Priestess joined the temple in Colchis, she was forcibly married to an Athenian politician, which ended terribly. The High-Priestess was pregnant with his child, before eventually escaping him and was picked up by the Priestesses of the Sisterhood – together Hyacinith was able to change her entire identity and live a completely new life as a Priestess of Artemis.
Hesione’s mother is Hyacinith’s sister, who knew Hyacinith’s location for years though she never told anyone, because she had a secret of her own. Hyacinith and Hesione’s mother remained in contact for a long while, keeping each other abreast of one another. Hesione’s mother was also unhappy with her life and she did not want to raise a child in her own House. Hyacinith received word of her sister’s pregnancy, through a letter and the delivery of the physical babe. The only request was that little Hesione would live unknowingly of her parentage and that she would be an orphan raised in the temple.
Hesione became a skilful huntress for the priesthood, once she completed the processes of becoming a Priestess. She has grown with a natural strength and a sharp eye but there is also an elegance about her handling of the bow that feels almost otherworldly to some. Her presence is a calm and delicate one that hides a capable tracker and fighter beneath. It was not preferred by the late High-Priestess that Hesione would become a huntress, because, with such travel involved, there is a chance she might discover her old past. Still, without reason, Sister Hyacinith could not sway Hesione from becoming that which she was so skilled in and serving their goddess to her highest function. The High-Priestess never revealed herself as being Hesione’s aunt – protecting her from learning about her family – and kept the secret onto her grave.
TakenKallista is the daughter of a Miner and Prostitute, she came from a family of a low-income as well as status. A life she has left all behind without turning back, after going through a life-changing experience. At sixteen yearsold she made a decision to leave her family behind, after going through a traumatic experience that changed her life. Although, it was the intervention of the divine did she decide to leave and pursue the faith of Artemis. All her life she has served her Lady and womenkind, and for six years she has served as the High-Priestess of her temple. Kallista has created a space where women can be protected as well as choose to make a different life with or without the guidance of Artemis. Anyone who wishes to challenge their beliefs would be challenging the goddess herself - neither wrath are something worth catching.
Merope was orphaned at a young age when a thief attempted to raid her father’s home. The robbery was interrupted by Merope’s mother who had heard a noise and, frightened out of his wits, the young thief attacked her to keep her from screaming. Failing to silence her in time, the woman’s cry woke the rest of the house and, finding his wife dead, Merope’s father attempted to seek justice but fell at the thief’s hand also. The entire event happened within seconds and, whilst the robber was no skilled killer nor fighter, his own desperation for a little coin had led to him surviving the engagement. He did not see the little Merope watching from the top of the stairs before he ran from the home, not even thinking straight enough to pick up that which he had come for.
Merope had a brother – a boy several years older than her who had been away at sea during the attack. He was unreachable for many years and Merope was left to fend for herself, falling into prostitution as soon as she was old enough. Via this line of work, Merope became pregnant by a client and, terrified that a pregnancy would result in her being unable to continue her role in the brothel – and therefore lose her her means of food and shelter, Merope sort the answer in a back-alley abortion tonic.
The product she purchased, however, was cheaply made and not fit for purpose and not only resulted in her pregnancy ending but also put her life at risk. It was during this time that Merope’s brother Alexi finally tracked her down, finding her ill and bleeding out. Going to the best source he could think of, Alexi took Merope to the Cypress Sisterhood, braving the arrows trained in his direction at the assumption that he had been the one to cause Merope’s suffering and ensuring that she was safe within the walls of the temple before he consented to letting her go.
Having since recovered from her tragedy, Merope has entered into the Priesthood with the intention of becoming a midwife. Whilst she might not have been able to see the joy in her own pregnancy and lost child, she hopes to find it in the lives she brings into the world with the help of the Virgin Goddesses’ guiding hand.
Phaia was born a sweet and kindly girl with a natural shyness and propensity for books and learning. Growing from girl to woman, she reached into the world and society only a little, for it was all she needed to be socially sated and not breach into the sort of communal setting that set her nerves aflutter. It, therefore, took her several years longer than most before she was starting to attract the attention of potential unions and marriages.
After an assault only a few years ago, Phaia awoke from the event to find her body damaged to the point that physicians confirmed she would be unable to bear children. At the time, she was the daughter of a wealthy trader and had been engaged to be married to a man whom she knew and cared for but did not love. Ashamed of her body and of a crime she felt was her own fault, Phaia had refused the marriage and suffered the rumours and gossip that she had backed down from the arrangement (for being considered tricksome and untrustworthy was far better than the truth becoming common knowledge).
Phaia lived for a few years in her solitude and grief. Shy of strangers she may have always been, but Phaia had always loved the idea of one day producing a family. The loss of that potential hit her hard and became a hole in her heart that seemed never to heal. Her only solace was the reading of every medical book she could find, learning about the female form and hoping that she might find an answer to correcting the damage done by one cruel stranger who had never been caught.
Instead, what she found, was information regarding the Cypress Sisterhood and the connected rumour that the priestesses, with the divine power of the Goddess could repair the bodies of women. Believing that such a gift would be able to heal the damage done to her own, Phaia has recently travelled to Colchis and sought answers from the Sisters. Realising that rumours had been exaggerated – as they so often are – it was made clear that, while the Sisters could not return to her the ability to bear children, they could offer her the return of her virginity; through the religious ceremony that takes place when a woman joined their ranks.
Staying with the Sisterhood for a few days before intending to travel back to Taengea, Phaia was with the sisters when the fires of Midas started. The Sisterhood had travelled to the capitol in order to help those injured and Phaia – with her medical knowledge and research – went with them. It was there that she found her desire to be a physician. Most specifically, to be a healer with the Sisterhood. She has since taken her first indoctrination ceremonies, reaffirmed her virginity and is now working as an Initiate within the Order, hoping to one day be one of the midwives devoted to the Goddess Artemis.
Semele was born to a family of no fortune and no future. Despite this, however, it was the only family and life Semele had ever known. As such, she grew up happy. Her appearance was that uncommon for her birth; decidedly pretty with waiflike features and a graceful carriage. Even with her low-born standing and hand-me-down clothing, Semele was gazed upon by many with adoration or desire.
One day, when she was seventeen, that desire proved too strong for a family friend who had gained Semele’s trust and initiated her into the world of love-making. Whilst the night had not been excessively violent, it had been an experience that Semele had tried to back out of when discomfort and fear had taken hold of her teenaged heart. The man had not consented to let her return to her rooms, finishing the act in the stables out behind her home.
Whilst the action might not have been the most horrific that some can attest to within the Cypress Sisterhood, the rape that night left a harsh and devastating effect on Semele’s heart due to the breaking of trust by someone that had been close with her and her family. Somehow, the fact that this had been no stranger, no drunken encounter and no simple crime of passion, but a calculated taking of the advantage presented by her youth and inexperience, made the action so much worse.
Still further heartbreak was designed upon Semele, however, as the encounter with this man left the young girl pregnant. As the father of her child was both many years older, married and had made it perfectly clear that his desire for her was both only physical and fleeting – not to mention the dark look to his eye that sent jolts of fear through her person – Semele feared for her life at this new development. A pregnant rape victim was not the kind of addition a successful man wanted in his life.
When her parents refused to believe her tale of tragedy, Semele was heartbroken all over again; convinced the world had turned its back on her and desperate to find somewhere that she could land and mend the pieces of her soul back together. It was to the Sisterhood that she went. There she arranged a change of name (for Semele was not her birth name), allowed her parents and any who had previously known her to believe she had run away or died and turned to the Order for help. The sisters of the priestesshood arranged for Semele’s baby to be adopted by a family on the other side of Colchis where it could not be traced back to her and she herself became an Initiative of the Order. Both the loss of her family’s trust and that of her child weigh heavily on Semele’s heart as she now moves forward to try and start her life anew…
These men are an elite and, more importantly, separate set of soldiers that are beholden to no crown, no prince, and no lord. They are a unique unit unto themselves and exist specifically to serve the city of Vasiliádon and its people. These men do not go to war abroad, nor do they leave their city to fight in someone else’s war. They are dedicated to service any and every need of the people. This includes, but is not limited to - policing and guarding the streets and docks, helping to put out fires, settling street brawls, and lending aid in times of crises. What they are also good at, and train nearly tirelessly for, is against invasion, specifically against the Creed.
While they do train in units, with shields and spears and swords, they also train to fight their most ghostly enemy - The Creed - and have been incorporating the guerrilla warfare tactics that the enemy uses. This means that the soldiers who swear allegiance to the Order of Vasiliádon gain unique and unseen fighting style than the rest of Greece uses. Since the Creed fight like ghosts, use throwing weapons like stars and knives, this means that the Order of Vasiliádon does as well.
Any and every man from any walk of life and station, even from any part of Greece, may join this Order. Everyone who joins starts out the same, whether they be Prince or beggar. All that a man needs to be able to join this order is an unwavering loyalty to Vasiliádon, a lion’s heart, and the willingness to lay down his life for that of one of his brothers. Because this Order is not beholden to the king, this means that if he calls upon them, they have the freedom not to take up his banner if they feel that his cause is not in the best interests of the people.
Thankfully, Taengea has been lucky that its kings are not usually tyrants and that the interests of both Order and crown are aligned. This means that, currently at least, the Order and the crown are of one accord, for two reasons. King Stephanos used to be part of the Order but had to step out of his role in the Order due to donning the crown. The king’s hatred of the Creed for assassinating both the old king and the crown prince aligns perfectly for the Order’s need for revenge. The Creed burned the Order House. Construction is underway to rebuild but the clear stab in the Order’s face is not easily forgotten. Neither is the Creed’s wanton violence against the noble and wealthy of Vasiliádon.
Emilios of Mikaelidas
Fotios of Leventi
Georgios of Leventi
Irakles of Mikaelidas
The Order of Vasiliádon was started soon after the city itself came to be. Taengea was not always the prosperous, beautiful capital of the country. Before Taengea was unified by a single king, the city had its own army that would one day become known as The Order. Because there was no single king, the Order was dedicated specifically to guarding Vasiliádon. The first king of Taengea, a powerful general, invaded Vasiliádon and took it over as his capital city. The Order were defeated, but not decimated and when called upon by the new King Aganon to kneel and accept his absolute rule, they accepted surrender on one condition; that the king allow them to remain as city guardians and not dismantle them.
This he agreed to. After all, if they would recognize his right to kingship, and guard his city diligently, then he would be a fool to anger them and possibly cause a revolt. What the king did not understand was that these men were not ‘his soldiers’. They were a separate entity entirely. They existed peacefully for a few years before he called them up to battle against the nation of Colchis. The Order refused and the king ordered his guards to destroy both the Order house, and the Order leader; the Grand Master.
What King Aganon did not understand was that his guards were sons of Vasiliádon. They would no sooner strike the real hand that fed them than cut off their own feet. When these guards did not return to him, and instead joined the Order immediately, the king sent more guards, which only did the same. After his second attempt failed, the king himself went down to the Order house. The Grand Master, a man named Aeson of Vasiliádon came out to meet with the king. He explained that the deal the king had struck was being upheld on the Order’s end: the city’s crime was low, its people safe, and its port kept clear, but that the king would also abide by his agreement and not weaken the city by taking away its primary army.
Aganon - an old yet inexperienced monarch, used to battle and not politics - frothed in rage at being told what to do. He grabbed a javelin from one of the guards he’d brought with him and threw it straight into Aeson’s chest, killing him instantly. Chaos ensued. The king was also immediately assassinated in retaliation. The people of Vasiliádon took to the streets, both to mourn and protest the killing of their fearless Aeson and wanted to unseat the the king’s heir, who was but a youth of six years old at the time.
King Aganonson’s mother came onto the city steps and vowed that her son would not touch the Order, nor would this war with Colchis continue. They would send peace emissaries instead, and the Crown would make amends to the Order and never force their hand again. The new leader of the Order of Vasiliádon, Aeson’s own son, demanded that this promise from the Queen and her son, the new king, be sworn before the gods and the people and that it would be sealed in blood. When the Queen agreed, and the ritual was done, both the king’s son and Aeson’s son returned to their separate places and never once spoke to each other.
Aganonson died young but his son made the same pact with the Order. A blood oath not to force them outside of the interests of Vasiliádon. The oath became a tradition that spanned dynasties and is still carried on to this day. Though, through the generations, the kings have grown to respect the Order, and oftentimes have family in it as well. The sons of nobles come to join the Order, to become fierce warriors, and to guard Taengea’s capital and it’s people.
As the threat of war dimmed, the Order grew more altruistic in its pursuits. They are well loved by the people and there is a feast day dedicated in honour of them and their service. Not only are they soldiers, but most also have other skills, such as masonry and woodworking. They are blacksmiths and carpenters. The Order is the heart of the city and are as involved in its daily turnings as they are to protecting it.
Joining the Order
A man does not have to be born of the city limits, but he must prove himself a true citizen. The skills to be a soldier are taught by the Order, as their fighting style is extremely specific to their unit. What they do require, is for their soldiers to humble themselves to be servants. A man must spend time scrubbing the stones of the streets for the whole of the populace to see. He must assist in the building of homes or businesses, he must have a thorough knowledge, or at least gain it, of the lay of the land. This means that he joins patrols who go around the city to its surrounding fields and farms. This is done for at least half a year, until he knows every blade of grass and hidden place within forest and field. The men of the Order are not boastful, proud, arrogant drunkards. They are men of valour and men of loyalty.
They train daily with sword and shield, they train with javelin, and spear, and like all Taengeans, they are expert riders and are competent with a chariot. Beggars who do not bring their own sword earn it through service and proving their longevity. The nobles who join and already have armour and a sword are not required to give up their possessions but they are required to earn them back, after turning them into the Order house’s armoury.
Moving up the ranks of the order requires dedication and more than just the recommendation of peers. It requires time spent in the Order and is not limited to acts of bravery and courage.
Practices and Rituals
Current leader of The Order of Vasiliádon, Krateros has had quite the shoes to fill. Though the line of succession doesn’t necessarily run in families, Krateros took the mantle from his grandfather thirty years ago. His own father hadn’t been in the Order. Instead he’d been a blacksmith and taught Krateros to do the same. It was a valuable skill to learn and one that his grandfather often utilized. As a young man, Krateros had no wish to join the Order. He had dreams of proving himself in glorious battles but his father fell ill and it was up to him to provide for his family. At first, he grew resentful and was a bear to live with. His grandfather, however, would not stand for this.
Taking Krateros aside, he asked for his help for the day. Krateros agreed. His grandfather took him to one of the poorest areas in the city and had Krateros help to construct a small dwelling for a family who’d lost their house due to a storm. Krateros was profusely thanked for his assistance by the family.
The next day his grandfather took him out again and asked for his help to patch part of the city’s wall that was crumbling away. The Order held a small feast that night which Krateros was invited to partake in.
The next day his grandfather took him to help a few fishermen, then another needy family, then patrolling, and before Krateros quite knew what was happening, his friends and neighbors were bringing gifts of food or small coins to his family’s home in thanks and repayment for his efforts for them.
It was through his grandfather that he learned that glory does not come from killing men, but from building them up. And his grandfather never said one ill word about the king’s army. Rather, he showed Krateros the value of his community, right there in the city.
Shortly thereafter, Krateros joined The Order of Vasiliádon and became one of its more diligent members. He learned that the bonds he forged in the Order house rivaled the blood bonds of family. These were men who would lay down their lives for him and he for them. This way of life also answered the soldier’s calling he harbored, teaching him the tactical and practical skills of a soldier that he wouldn’t have learned by simply being part of a phalanx.
When his grandfather grew too old to continue with his duties, Krateros was asked, by both grandfather and the others of his order to take up the position of leader, as he had proven himself both capable and willing.
Currently, Krateros has been having to deal with the digging of graves for the dead the Creed left behind, and has been going through the archives in the palati, searching for any clues as to the true identity of the Creed leader. Though the deaths of the former monarch and crown prince are sad, and they were the family of a former member of the Order, the now king of Vasiliádon, that’s not the reason that Krateros wants this threat wiped out.
He suspects that some of his own order might be working with the Creed. This thought scares him and keeps him up at night. He’s not used to not trusting his own brethren and is seeking both to protect the city and restore the reputation of the Order that failed to protect its citizens in a time of chaos and crises.
Bound by Cause
Factions are groups that are formed through a common belief or cause. But this belief or cause must be in direct opposition to the current ruling status or classes. Factions operate outside the legal system and are generally anarchical in nature. They are often opposed to the way the world is in some way and are determined to ignore the recognised legal system or social mores in favour of their own belief system. Joining Factions is normally voluntary (though abductions, kidnaps and initiations are possible common practices within some Factions) but leaving a Faction more often than not impossible. Due to the illegal nature of Factions and their behaviours, it is important to note that the leaving of such a group is often mete with assassination by the group itself in order to protect their own secrets. Factions tend to be incredibly private, inclusive and highly secretive. They are often small in comparison to their legal counterparts or the nations they hide within, so self-reliance and skills in intimidation and subterfuge are highly necessary. Those who are members of Factions are often incredibly loyal to their cause - to the point of fanaticism - and consider the Faction their family and home.
The Creed is a faction of rebels bent on simple revenge. While no-one has ever managed to establish their purpose or end goals, their manner and target of terrorism is clear - they hunt, attack and publicly disgrace the upper circles of Taengean nobility as effectively as they can.
The Drowned - as the individual followers of the Creed are known - are named such because people believe that they are dead souls who have never crossed the River Styx. The souls of ancient warriors made corporeal by Hades himself, the drowned fight and move with an almost unnatural speed and grace. Flexible, deadly and lethal fast in hand to hand combat, the Drowned favour projectiles and hidden blades over swords or more obvious weapons. While no member of the Creed is ever dressed the same, all share the singular aesthetic of wearing a hood and mask, comprised of fabric mummified around their heads. While some claim the material thin enough to see through, others rumour that the Drowned are blind and simply follow the path that Hades whispers to them...
Forged many years ago in rebellion against the trading of mainland Taengean provinces in a peace settlement with Egypt, the Creed are Greek by blood and Egyptian by servitude. Refusing to bow, the original freedom fighters of the cult who stood against the Taengean nobility were famed across Greece for acts of arson and terror committed in the capital of Vasiliádon. After eight years of dangerous times, the Creed were ousted and their leader - the Shade - killed by soldiers of the city's esteemed Order. It has been nearly fifty years since a member of the Creed - known as the Drowned Ones have been seen on Taengean land...
Joining the OrderWhilst most believe that there must be some form of Initiation to the Creed, no-one knows any specifics, nor how the Creed recruit or take on new members; especially and no-one knows who the current members are.
Roles and Titles
Practices and RitualsThere are no known practices or rituals of the Creed. All that is known of them is that it appears entirely required to keep face and voice hidden as they operate in complete silence.
This "Drowned" account is utilised by our Head Admin JD. Whilst all posts are actively posted by JD, they are not all written by her. Each character who is secretly a member of the Drowned sends any posts of them acting as a cultist to JD and they are posted through this account, thereby keeping the identity of who they are without the mask, hidden from everyone else.