Church Of The Dioune

The chief faith of Ahlonia Isle is the Church of the Dioune, a faith devoted to the worship of the so-called Dioune of the divh Aliel and Koroth.The Church of the Dioune rule the nation of Southaven, and are the official state faith of all of the four landsmen nations of Ahlonia. Highly formalized, membership is limited to initiates and priests while faithful laymen receive guidance and benefit from the charitable ventures of the priests they have no formal place within the church, and nor do the ruling bodies of the nations of Ahlonia have any position within the church or claim to divine right to rule, though the Baldardun line of Highdunn certainly did at least on a mythological level.

The Dioune

The Dioune is a term used in Ahlonia to refer to the two divh Aliel and Koroth. There are two competing opinions about what the Doiune represents, the traditional view is that these divh are brother and sister who ascended to divinity after slaying the legendary giant Ettin and driving his evil followers below the ground, to become the patrons of the Ahlonian landsmen. The so-called dissidents however claim that Aliel and Koroth represent two faces of the same diving being, mercy and wroth, female and male, day and night. To the dissidents the Dioune embodies the dichotomy of a single divhi. In either case both divh are venerated together, and very occasionally one is given preference over another, such as in the case of Koroth-worshiping warrior order the Warriors of the Church. The Dioune is unknown outside the Ahlonian church, though Koroth and Aliel seem to appear under differing names in separate faiths, Koroth as the Silent One in some obscure warrior cults of Haeliard in Ralstaa, and Aliel as Alla in the old Kelorn Pantheon.

The Church of the Dioune

The Church of the Dioune is the only major faith devoted to the divh Aliel and Koroth. The church is heavily structured, all devotees to the dioune are members of the church, and have either studied at Southaven, or under another priest who has ordained them. It is generally considered desirable that each settlement have a priest to guide its people, preferably at least one per stead, and the church is heavily structured to ensure that a group of priests has a ranking priest to whom to defer. To each shrine there is a curator who is an ordained adept, to every town a Brother who is initiated into one of the orders, and to every city and major settlement a Prelate, as does each of the eight church orders. Each nation has its own High Prelate for a total of five High Prelates in the Order of the Garden, all answering to the Grand High Prelate in Southaven. The priesthood do not deliver sermons or lectures, but rather they are available, for a modest donation to the upkeep of the church, to advise people on their relationships with the Dioune, either by officiating ceremonies around birth, death, marriage and holy celebrations to ensure that the eyes of the Dioune fall upon them, or by performing palmistry and other simple divination, or by offering their own prayers as people that the Dioune already watch closely for individuals who are perhaps not so in the eyes of the twin divh. Priests are all considered freemen, and have the freedom to move about as they wish. In addition the vast majority are literate, numerate and in small communities usually the best educated individual around, so their secular advice is also invaluable. Finally the church also owns a great deal of property throughout Reddown, Sigard and Highdunn all acquired via the vast coffers that Southaven's tariffs and taxes generate, meaning that the church as a body is easily the wealthiest organization on Ahlonia.


There are eight orders in the priests of the Church of the Dioune. The Order of the Hands of Aliel are specifically devoted to understanding and serving Aliel, while similarly The Order of the Fists of Koroth serve Koroth. The Order of the Warriors of the Church are the militant arm of the church, and defend its strongholds and its riches, and route out heretics from the Cult of Gruna and the Order of the Black Sarith. The Order of the Blessed Remembrance are those of the rank of Brother and above who go out into the world to guide the people. The Order of the Living Heart devote themselves to the study of healing the sick, and the The Order of the Sanctuary are scribes, scholars and keepers of ancient lore. The Order of the Sixth Oracle is charged with seeking the sixth oracle, and knowing what signs to expect when this oracle arrives, and the inner circle of the Church of the Dioune is formed by the thirteen members of the The Order of the Garden, including the the five High Prelates, the Grand High Prelate, and the seven Prelates of all of the other orders.


While the Church of the Dioune encompasses both the conventional and dissident faiths, there is a distinct division between the religion practised in northern Reddown and Highdunn to the religion of old Sigard and Southaven. Doctrinally those who deviate from traditional, classical teachings are known as Dissidents, and these dissidents are further separated into eastern and western philosophies. The fundamental difference between traditionalists and dissidents is the belief that the Dioune is not in fact two separate brother and sister divhi, but rather two unique distinctions of the dame divhi. Dissidents claim that the original Books of Algomar, before being translated into the single new text that it is now, never made reference to the Dioune as separate beings, but rather as aggression and mercy of the same divine being. The also claim that to believe that a man is a representation of both divh, the left and the right hand, that this implies that the divh are imperfect. If a mere man has the capacity for both traits surely a divine being must.

  • The Orthodox Church of the Dioune, the official canon of the church prevails in Southaven, the Tresser Veldt, and Sigard. They believe that Aliel and Koroth are fraternal twins. Born of the same divine source, but different as day and night. Neither one whole without the other.
  • The Western Dissident Church of the Dioune have their powerbase in northern Reddown. However their primary difference is that the Western Dissidents believe that the Dioune are not two divine beings, but two faces of a single divhi.
  • The Eastern Dissident Church of the Dioune, prevalent in Highdunn and the Roughlands, also argue that the dioune must be two parts of the same divhi. However they differ from their western brethren in that they believe that their nation's founder Martel Baldardun was also the vaunted sixth Oracle.

While the church at Southaven is unflinchingly of the Orthodox philosophy, as are all of its officers, specifically its High Prelates, the Dissidents are not ejected from the church proper. In order to rise to the Order of the Garden a priest must reject dissidency, but prior to this rank he is unpunished (but dissuaded) from such blasphemies. The difference, by and large, is seen by the church as a minor folly and not worth the loss of worldly influence that splintering the church in three would cost.

Teachings and Scripture

The Church of the Dioune teaches based on the holy books written by their Oracles, the first of these, known as the The Book of Hanna penned by the Oracle Hanna has been lost since the early days of settlement of Ahlonia, but the The Book of Ahlana survives as the eldest mention of the Dioune, and contains some references to the contents of the Book of Hanna. Oracle Ahlana's work is largely an early history of her spreading the faith of the Dioune amongst the people of fledgling Reddown, but does open with the history of the Dioune's coming to Ahlonia, and Koroth's defeat of the monster Ettin. The The Book of Algomar is made of the compilation of three books, each of which is a compilation of quotes and psalms from Oracles August, Vone and Derian. These relate more to the behaviours that the Dioune reward, however these are also summarized in more accessible language in the The Book of Endings, The Book of Truths and The Book of Tasks, which are the basic tenets expressed as commands. The Book of Endings details the ceremonies that must be performed around births and death, specifically the consecration tow the divh by the ringing of blessed bells and the lighting of blessed candles. The Book of Truths details how men must oppose the machinations of the giants and do well by the fellow man, and is largely composed of the proverbs of Vone. The Book of Tasks details the strictures of the church to the priests.


To the devotees of the Church of the Dioune the hands are extremely important representations of the will of the divh in an individual, and this has led to two distinct practices by the priests of the church; Psalmistry and Palmistry. The hands are representative of the potency of the divh in landsmen, and so the examination of the details of the hands can tell a great deal about the contents and fate of a man's heart and soul. Usually the left hand is associated with passivity, femininity, mercy and Aliel. It is the hand that is stayed rather than wielded. The right hand is one of action, aggression and fecundity and Koroth. So simple a distinction as a person's handedness says a lot about their character, and even laymen know this much.

The lines of the hand can be used to predict future events in an individual's life, their 'fate', but the way hands are used changes the lines, showing that man has some agency over his fate. This is generally the information people seek, but the hand can also reveal a lot about character and attitude to a skilled reader, which he need not reveal during the reading. Particularly the peak of Koroth on the right hand and mirroring peak of Aliel on the left, when absent, show a troubling lack of faith in the Dioune.


Psalmistry is the name given to the practice where Ahlonian priests inscribe prayers on the palms of their hands to cause their hands to become the instruments of their own prayer through divine guidance. The hands are the instruments through which landsmen enact the work of the divh, and because of this some priests inscribe prayers upon their palms, in order to make their own hands the agents of fulfilling those prayers. The left hand, associated with Aliel, is closely tied to passive prayers for well being and health, while the right hand associated with Koroth seeks success or blessing in an action. Many of the Warriors of the Church are known for inscribing prayers for victory on their right hands to guide their weapons.

Holy Days

The Day of Victory falls in the middle of spring, and commemorates Koroth's victory over Ettin. The Day of Ascension falls on the last three days of spring, the largest festival on the calendar remembers the day that the Dioune left the world for the sky. Kormar marks the last day of summer and of harvest and The Day of Remonstration falls in mid-winter, and asks penance for the sins of the Black Sarith. Arimar falls on the last day of winter, and the coming rebirth of the land.


Priests of the Dioune must surrender all of their worldly goods to the church, though they are given the use of most of them, and usually of much much more. They must oppose the heretic with words, or force if need be. They must guide those who are destined to become Sarith to their destiny, and try tho change the destiny of those who are not. They must suffer not goblyn nor siele nor giant in a holy place. They must never taste the bounty of the sea, taken to mean that the eating of seafood is forbidden, and they must devote their firstborn to the service of the church. They must never bear false witness nor speak a lie to the faithful follower of the Dioune who is destined for Sarithdom. They must bare their scalps to the Dioune above, and never conceal themselves beneath the earth, nor in structures that the gaze of the Diounce could not penetrate.


The fundamental belief of the Church of the Dioune is that the divh are very earthly creatures, certainly all powerful, but very present in the world. Diounic doctrine states that the divh 'ascended to the sky', and the people take this quite literally, believing that the Dioune literally live in the skies above them. Whether this implies that they are able to fly or that there is some large structure in the sky is debated between theologians. However what is agreed upon is that the divh are able to perceive the world below them in a way that mortals cannot perceive them. In this manner there is a belief that they can look down and actually observe the piety or lack of piety of their faithful. For this reason religious festivals and occasions usually consist of making as much noise and light as possible to attract the attention of the divh. Priests also keep their heads shaved and wear a common colour to ensure that the divh can find them, and see their thoughts through their skulls more regularly. This is also why religious activities are normally performed outside, and basilicas all have an opening at the center of their great domes for the divh to peer in through.

Similarly the men believe that below the earth toil the enemies of the Dioune, the true giants, of whom the giants of the Roughlands are mere children, and the siele and goblyns are mere servants. These giants dare not appear above ground, for their sheer size would attract the attention and vengeance of the Dioune instantly, so they hide beneath the earth. This is why men fear to delve into the earth to mine, and largely rely on goblyns for this purpose, or else quarry rather than tunnel to form their mines, hence the presence of features such as the eastern and western escarpment, though some histories suggest these were raised by siele magic during the siele wars.

The Dioune can guide the fates of men, drive off evil spirits merely by casting their eyes upon them, and sometimes drop gifts from the sky. Occasionally they do descend to earth to speak directly with men, but only five to date, these people are known as Oracles, and carry important messages directly to the church. However the greatest reward offered by the Dioune comes after death. When one has been faithful in life he will be guided by a Sarith to the halls of Paras where the divh dwell, here they will themselves become Sarith, to live eternally with the Dioune. The Sarith are occasionally sent to holy men with messages, sometimes in dreams or sometimes in person, and it is said that some Sarith have interceded in the real world to save the life of faithful servants, or lead them on holy quests, most famously in the case of Adima or Martel Baldardun.