Imperatry Temple
The Imperatry Temple is the single largest, and most powerful organization ever to have existed. The Earthly Divhi Haederas chose to stay, when his brother and sister divh left the world, and his continued presence has had an undeniable impact on Allornus that will likely have implications that will echoes down through eternity. The massive empire of the Haedrasians, the Imperatry Templarate of Haedrasia, is ruled by the divhi Haederas, and the agents of the temple hold all of the power, military, political, and economic, over that massive expanse, and reaching beyond into the borders of many of its neighbours.


The last of the earthly divhi, there are no theological arguments over the nature of Haederas, for he sits on a great throne in the Unchallenged City, and any who wish to understand his nature need only consult the templars who have been honoured with an audience. Haederas himself is head of state and temple in the warrior-theocracy, but in practical terms he delegates all of his powers of rule to the Imperators of Haedrasia, who are his direct descendants. Very very few are granted the honour of an audience with Haederas, and he hasn't left the Eternal Palace in generations. He sits, in deep contemplation, unaware of the passage of time in the outside world, but vaguely aware of the greater flow of the world around him. His servants come to advise him of those events that interest him - which are esoteric and cryptic - and occasionally matters of the faith must be settled, and matters of war judged. One day out of every month the Imperator is to present himself, and spend the entire day in supplication before the eternal trone, communing with Haederas, and sharing his will. For their blood is one, and so must their will be one.


The Imperatry Temple gladly tolerates other faiths, on the condition that they be recognized as directly subservient to Haederas. While all citizens of Haedrasia must be members of the Temple, and worship none but Haederas, the temple officially recognizes that there are many other divh in the world, and so subject peoples in Haedrasia are free to worship as they choose, excluding the worship of Daak, the Baalfr, Elementals, or any cult that uses anything even remotely resembling magic (punishable by death in Haedrasia). Essentially any cult must apply to the Templarate for sanction, and will be reviewed and then allowed or outlawed. However the Imperatry Temple insists that Haederas was the lord of the divh - he who chose the race of men, and led his brethren to join them in the mortal world, and gave up much of his divinity to remain with his chosen people in the world - the noblest of sacrifices. And so no other faith is permitted to depict their divh as anything but inferior and subservient to Haederas, and must make mention of Haederas' place as the lord of the divh, but not any direct influence or relationship. Of course, this freedom of worship is likely because no non-Haedrasian can be initiated into the Imperatry Temple, though they can worship in the outer chambers of the temples, and most do.

Imperator Worship

The only divine beings that are not divh that Haedrasia encourages the worship of are the Imperators - earthly embodiments of his divine power, and direct descendants of his bloodline, are the Imperators of Haedrasia. In order to truly rule in the stead of an earthly divhi, the Imperitors must be something greater than merely mortal, and so they are imbued with divine power by the Divh-Imperator himself when they are crowned. Imperators do not live forever, but they do not age the same way as normal men, remaining strong and vital for the entire length of their reigns, and it is said that no man can overcome an Imperator of Haedrasia in single combat, nor best him on the battlefield. Of course, this could as easily have to do with the stringent training that the Imperator undergoes. Because he must truly be at least partially divine, cults within the Temple devoted to the worship of the reigning Imperator, and his predecessors are permitted, and even encouraged. People might join these to garner political favour, or simply to venerate an individual they deeply admire, and wish to emulate. The added advantage for a member of an Imperator cult is that members of the citizen-laity can be initiated without seeking elevation through the ranks of the Templarate, or spending a life in honoured military service.

The Clergy

The clergy of Haederas are formally called templars, because they were once expected to be capable warriors (though most are not, and such training is not offered them), though some do serve in a legion before they become priests. They are the spiritual and political leaders of Haedrasia. Not only do they run the temples, lead services, and advise on spiritual matters, they also operate the courts of law, enforce the law, collect the taxes, command the legions, and initiate all civic projects. They speak the law in this world and the next.


Templars wear a sleeveless white coat, belted at the waist with a coloured sash indicating their rank. The coat is split at the front, back, and both sides below the waist. Under this they wear grey tunic and trousers, usually tucked into calf boots. Bracers often anchor the sleeve and a weapon, more symbolic than practical, usually hangs at the waist, or on a baldric over the shoulder. Even in the most peaceful lands the ceremonial weapons of a templar are always in the best of repair, but ironically few know how to use them. On their heads, templars all wear white hooded mantles, with peaks over the brow that give them the impression of a glower. Many priests will wear a long, open vest of black or brown over this attire that reaches almost to the bottom of their coat. Usually a ranking templar will wear a sash of cloth of gold, while lesser templars will wear mustard yellow, red, and finally dun for junior templars and initiates. In cooler climes a dark grey cloak and scarf might be added.

The Imperatry Templarate as Theocracy

Not only does the temple have the honour of guiding the spiritual well-being of its followers, it is also expected to administer the Imperator's law, and enforce it. As a result a temple not only has a hall for gathering and worship, cells to house priests, selected (if highly restricted) reading materials, and places of seclusion for parishioners who seek purification or purge, but the rear of a temple must also contain courts of law. While a priest sits in judgement in the court, and consults on legal affairs, such as the division of goods and other such legal conflict, clerks and watchmen, need not be members of the clergy. Often watchmen are drawn from retired legionnaires, while junior priests or great-house outcasts make up the clerks. At any time this court can be seized by a lictor or paladin for their own purposes, and the presiding clergy will only be welcome by invitation.

The Young-Boys: The Imperatry Temple practices a unique form of indoctrination. Boys as young as five or six can apply to any temple in the templarate for asylum. They will be taken in, fed, sheltered, and educated in return for their service. Young-boys serve as servants to the priests, in whatever capacity their masters choose, from assistants to scullions, stable hands, or footmen. Their period of service must exceed eight years if they are taken in thus, and often leads to these boys becoming priests themselves in adulthood. Initially intended to house orphans, and other unfortunates, it became proud tradition for any family wanting their son to enter the temple to give him up to the temple to learn humility, service, and the ways of the temple as well as study at the feet of a ranking priest.

The Augars: The earthly Divhi-Imperator Haederas might spend much of his time - sometimes years on end - sitting in silent contemplation. But on occasion he does speak, and when he does he has no regard for who is about to hear him. So as not to waste Haederas' wisdom, he is surrounded at all time by a special group of priests called the Augars. Raised from infancy, the Augars have their tongues removed as children so that they cannot speak Haederas' secrets. They are taught to write in a complex and arcane code only as few can read, and are then blinded to better their hearing, and to stop them learning other writing, before entering service. At any time perhaps eight-dozen augars sit in niches, like tense gargoyles, around Haederas' rotunda, scribbling His every muttering no matter how obscure. They have the reputation of inheriting some trace of His divinity over years of such unprecedented proximity. Indeed, most augars see their hundredth year, and some questionable records even mention one who lived into a second century!


Only a citizen, that is to say a Haedrasian born in Haedrasia, or in a formal enclave, can worship or receive trial within the temple, and all citizens are required to cleave to the Imperatry temple and to the Imperator's law. Subject peoples who worship Haederas are welcomed to the broad plaza outside the temple for their worship, and the priest will meet them in a special anteroom by the door to guide or advise them. They must make their purifications at home, but will otherwise find themselves welcome and well treated. They will receive trial within the court of law, but will not be permitted to enter until they have purified themselves through some form of forbearance task. Of course, if they pursue any charge against a true citizen they will almost undoubtedly find their lesser rights make it impossible to be found in the right.

The Primacy

The temple is governed by primates, each region has a primate, and they serve an arch-primate for the entire province, who in turn gathers with other arch primates in council with the Imperator himself! The gathering of all of the primates and arch-primates is known as the Primacy, and it is they who make most decisions about the practical running of the faith, the allotment of assets and funds, and the enforcing and subtleties of the law. If a citizen is powerful enough he can address the primacy of a given province if he feels some judgement (spiritual or legal) wronged him, to have it overturned or prejudged. The Primacy, on a provincial level, also appoints all primates and consuls, and has the power to petition the Imperator on any matter of state or faith in which they would like his input, intervention, or permission.


Aside from maintaining a strict level of purity, proven with acts of tolerance for suffering, acts of toil, and acts of excessive contrition when wrong is done, little truly limits the priests of Haederas. They are expected to carry their ceremonial weapon at all times, and to devote a hour every day to the Hedara - a form of unarmed combat practices for meditative purposes - but when they do this is up the the individual. They must serve in a legion if summoned to, but can seldom if ever expect such a summons, and must swear to seek to instil purity and strength in all men and women who follow the earthly divhi, especially those who share his blood. Of course they are also required always meet any direct challenge to the faith with equal force, but this can be achieved in the form of a legion of warriors as much as by their own hand.

"Speak no Untrue Word"

The one overriding stricture is that they must never lie. Haedrasian priests have become masters of subterfuge, careful wording, and double-talk so as to say much without ever directly speaking an untrue word. The rule is followed to the letter, rather than in nature, allowing most to carefully, and often in extreme detail, mislead without lying, and making for a fascinating exercise in verbal sparring and rhetoric when two opposed priests meet. However in sight of an altar of Haederas even such games cease, and a priest will either speak the whole truth, or else elect not to speak at all.

"Pay Thy Life's Debt in Blood"

Haedrasians have a near-obsession with blood. The temple teaches that all of the Haedrasians were given a drop of Haederas' own blood to make them like him, resulting in their darker caste. Therefore, all of the blood in their bodies is seen as the literal property of Haederas, to be reclaimed at his pleasure. Shedding blood is a profoundly symbolic act to the initiates and laity of the Imperatry Temple. Since Haederas gave up his blood, in prayer they replenish their patron's blood by shedding their own upon the alters and battlefields of the empire. Simple benediction involved the cutting of the forehead or palms, while particular devotion might involve the cutting of the soles of the feet, or even the wrists or throat (with a priest present to ensure the supplicant's survival, of course). The lauded legions consider the shedding of the blood of their enemies a form of devotion. Even the constant pricking of the many-bladed world-crown reminds the Imperator himself of the blood he must shed to rule.


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Teachings and Scripture

Of the Seventeen Scrolls of the Covenant of the Haedar, only six remain, and Haederas has neglected to dictate those lost to his followers again. These have been compiled, along with a brief history of Haederas' bloodline and quotations from various Imperators, into a single text called The Ana, upon which the Haedrasian faith is built. Literacy is generally high in Haedrasia, but the only reading material an individual might reasonably have access to is a meticulously hand-copied version of The Ana, made as a task of forbearance by some family member long ago, as few other writings escape examination for heretical content, and as such many Haedrasians know the whole text by rote. It focuses heavily on the importance of duty and loyalty to divhi, kin, race, nation, and cause, in that order, and on how important it is to foster resilience and willpower through constant testing, toil, and enduring lest one become soft and weak. Strength is a paramount virtue, only when it adds to the collective strength of the Haedar, and especially when its contribution is greater than that of one's neighbour.

The Power of Prayer

With Haederas sitting firmly upon a throne in the Unchallenged City, many might ask why Haedrasians pray, but Haederas is a part of all true sons and daughters of the Haedar, and while they value their own strength, and that afforded them by their community, in times when they are tested and they fear their strength or resolve may fail, they call to Haederas to lend them a mere fraction of his endurance, courage and restraint, to bolster their own. Haederas is also a source of great purity, and there is little the Haedrasians fear more than spiritual corruption. When they believe that they are spiritually tainted, by contact with magic, sedition, or non-landsmen, they will immediately seek out priest, to be set what is known as a task of forbearance to test their will. If they remain pure then they will be strong enough to resist whatever temptation is put before them. If not, then they must purge impurity from themselves by force and test again.

The Afterlife

Those who have served Haederas well and loyally are promised an odd afterlife. While many faiths say that at the end a divhi will arrange for their souls to have safe passage to join them in whatever realm they rule over, Haedrasians believe that death is no more than a deep sleep, that will end in the end of days, when Haederas will call upon his chosen people to rise up and march again with him to one final battle, and they will have the greatest glory any have ever enjoyed. Great warriors are mummified and entombed to ensure that their bodies are fit for such service, but others will return in spirit only, or will claim a new body from amongst the unbelievers. Until then they sleep and dream under Haederas's protection. For Haedrasians, even in death, their duty to the empire does not end. And while outsiders look upon this with horror, to the Haedrasians it is a great comfort.

Warrior Cults

Outside of Haedrasia many peoples venerate the War Divh, especially warriors seeking his favour in battle, but because citizenship and being of Haedrasian blood is so central to the temple, it has developed into distinct, satellite cults, cleaving firmly to the tenets and scripture of the Imperatry Temple, and even loosely allied to it, but outside of its political jurisdiction.

Holy Days

Haedrasians are not the sort to celebrate very often, tending to prefer religion to be a grim and stern thing about duty, purity, and restraint. However their do mark certain occasions, generally major victories, with the more recent or historic ones being more vigorously observed, and with special holy days from province to province to mark local victories, but most of these only require an extended visit to the temple, where a historian or honoured legionnaire will lecture upon the history of the battle in question. They do mark the summer and winter solstice, as most landsman faiths do, and Haedrasians mark these with fasts and ceasing trade. No coin may pass hands or food pass lips at such times.

The Black Cirq

One day out of every four years the divhi Haderas is blindfolded for exactly the length of the day, and massive black drapes are lowered over both Haderas’s Palace and all of the religious institutions in the Templarate. No clergyman may wear his vestments, and if he does so he must also be blindfolded. The rest of Haedrasia is allowed, for one day, to relax the strict discipline in which they usually live their lives and indulge in whatever they wish. This takes very very different forms depending upon location, some cities burst into spontaneous celebration, with dancing in the streets, music, performances and the like, but some smaller towns have been reputed to burst into mass orgies or go on campaigns of torturing prisoners, or gorging themselves on months worth of fine food and wine. Most claim such excesses are the result of urban legend more the truth however. While the laws of the nation are upheld the actual judicial system tends to grind to a halt, and criminals can usually make good an escape should they need to. Of course non-haedrasians are forbidden from participating, and are forced to stay in their homes all day, and often victimized by cruel pranks for the entire day.