Order of the Blessed Mother
The Order that upholds the Blessed Mother’s wish that the dead be led unto the afterlife.
They are all but unknown to the world, and they live in their holy land, an unknown island far in the Aestsea, that they call Quietus (a word that means the release of life, but it has an archaic meaning of something calming or soothing), which straddles the Obsidian Band, from which they watch down and attempt to divine the mysteries below.
Since the early days of the fourth era, they have been the protectors of the remaining Gold Dragons, who also serve as head priests of the Order. They also have the most clear and accurate history of the war in the first age, unclouded by ancient champions that were elevated to god-hood; however, they do not know of how the war ended (the Blessed Mother informed them that they had won the war), nor the occurrences in the world since.
They know nothing of the true nature of Auolun and of the mysteries the Obsidian Band hints to.
The Order of the Blessed Mother was founded in the early years of the Second Age, although it’s history goes as far back as Saurivorel and Versvesheixen’s deaths in the First Age. The Blessed Mother took the last three gold dragon eggs, the same of Saurivorel and Versveshixen’s nest, and entrusted their flight and custody to 30 trustworthy warriors of every race of the mortal rebellion (mind you, this was before Eldaremiir’s transformation, so there are no orcs in the order’s number). The Order’s Holy Texts recant that they navigated the ocean by following one of her silk-scarfs that she left to dance on the whims of the wind in front of the ship. In the end, it brought them to the most remote island in Aestsea, which straddles the equator (and the obsidian band continues here as well). The Blessed Mother told these islands were the place of quietus, and so the men called the island: Quietus. The warriors’ numbers had dwindled to 12 in the long journey, but they were still able to establish themselves as a small community of monks that gave equal devotion to prayer, mastery of the body, and tending the Gold eggs.
In time, the eggs hatched three healthy gold dragons. They hatched and were named thusly: Koorkrein (male), Yuvonbrii (female) and Draaldrun (male). Koorkrein and Yuvonbrii eventually became a mating pair, but even from his days as a wyrmling, Draaldrun showed an affinity for clerical devotion.
By the time Koorkrein and Yuvonbrii were beginning their mating flight, Draaldrun had already developed a unique relationship with the Blessed Mother, and was known to go on month-long flights to go converse with her. One time he was even gone the better half of a year. The priests were not pleased with him for that one, but what could they do? Because of these outtings, he became the mouth-piece of the Blessed Mother for the Order. And a short half-century later, he was already the Head Priest of the Order. It was through him that the Blessed Mother taught the dragons and monks to pray for the wandering dead (no, not the undead) to find the place of wholeness in the afterlife, how to divine the signs and omens visible in the obsidian band, and how those signs should influence their prayers.
Koorkrein and Yuvonbrii mated once (they agreed it was awkward to copulate with one’s sibling) and laid a clutch of 3, who hatched and were named thusly: Aurixdun (male), Dremverthicha (male) and Klovorel (female). Aurixdun had a propensity for compelling speeches and riddles from a very young age. Dremverthicha suffered from middle-child syndrom throughout his life, and found some solace under his uncle Draaldrun’s wings (pardon the pun, but it’s fitting). Klovorel was said to be the spitting image of her mother.
One day, Draaldrun flew out into a hurricane. It was suicide even for a dragon of his abilities. But shortly after the abrupt end of the storm, he returned with a greatsword in his claws. He recanted the tale of the storm.
The storm was utter chaos, but I could hear Her voice calling to me. I flew around it, trying to find the best place to enter the storm, but the safest looking places had powerful, chaotic gusts that could have torn my wings apart. The Mother’s voice was playfully mocking me now, so I flew straight into the chaos. After a while, I thought could I avoid the whole mess by flying above the storm, but I only found layer upon layer of madness. Up there I became lost. Her voice, however, seemed to come from one direction – the innards of the storm. So I set that as my compass, and the closer I got, the more the winds beat me down. Exhausted physically and mentally, I could not maintain fight and dove into the water. The waters were marginally more manageable. Finally, I saw a beam of light break through the clouds in the distance, highlighting an island I had never seen before. The Blessed Mother, clothed in many layers of silks, scarfs and veils, was there, but she was not alone. In fact, she was strewn across and caressing a tall man with two sets of arms who sat on a throne. I approached them with my neck and belly scraping the earth.
“Young Dragon,” said the man, “why doth you set your claw on this plot of earth? Sad thing, go off and find another patch of land to rest your head. See you not that mine wife dotes on me?”
“I’ve come, O Great One, for the woman.” I responded.
“Then you have come to be slain!” He stood up and unsheathed a Ruby Sword, large by small-mortals’ standards, but in his hands, it was of appropriate proportions. “Of all the hubris conceived of mortals, this hath summoned my rancor most swiftly.”
I shrank back, my neck still in the sand. “The woman harkened me, O Righteous One. I bear my head low for I know I am in the grandeur of thine eminence. I pray thee stay thy hand, for I hath borne no injustice!”
“Justice?” The man echoed, lowering his sword. Looking unto his wife he said “Just and even headed, indeed.” His face smiled. “My wife has spoken fair of thou, Draaldrun,” to have a god address you by name innately carries a sense of soul-euphoria, “andst thou mirror her words true as your own tongue. Which is why we give thee mine sword, which is great and mighty in destroying evil in the world. Our eye’s see far, and there will be a day beyond your days where this sword will be needed to resume it’s ancient work.” He extended it’s hilt toward my beak. “Take it and guard it, that mortals might have a fighting chance, and so your siblings’ children might have a future. Pass it down to none but the one who is worthy.”
“My lord is gracious.” As I clasped the sword in my mouth, everything disappeared, and I went splashing into the ocean. The storm quickly dissipated thereafter, and a lone shawl, carried on the wind, led me home.
He guarded the Ruby Greatsword all his days, and brought it out only on festival days or whenever everyone in the community (himself included) got a little tipsy (but for a dragon, that takes a lot of strong drink, so that didn’t happen often).
Aurixdun and Dremverthicha vied for Klovorel’s affections once the three of them came of age. After a short tiff that left the monk’s bath house in ruins, Koorkrein was quick to lay the law that his sons were not to fight, and Draaldrun’s input was that the three of them should abstain from the flight until they were adults. However, Aurixdun approached Klovorel one night with smooth speech, and in due time she laid a clutch of four eggs. Dremverthicha was enraged, and the ensuing brawl with his brother spread into the nest, leaving all but one egg destroyed.
Dremverthicha was put on time out for 100 years, to live on the sparse islands, where his uncle attended to his needs and counseled him. Upon one of these days, Dremverthicha swore to follow in his uncle’s footsteps, and so Draaldrun took Dremverthicha as his understudy. After the 100 years, Draaldrun was satisfied that Dremverthicha had served due sentence and that his repentance was true, so he brought him back to the island.
It was then he met his niece Kiirogaan. She developed a quick wit, and could be somewhat spoiled from time to time – but so often she topped it off with that wit and charm, that it mattered little.
A couple hundred years after the birth of Kiirogan, the monks were getting crowded on this single island, so many of them migrated into boats that kept a comfortable distance from the island and each other respectively. Gnomes made for themselves Ironwhales to live in, while Dwarves toughed it out on the island. Some of these aquatic residences grew quite large or were tied together, and were minor towns in their own right.
Aurixdun and Klovorel had their second flight. This time the pair had timed their flight to right before the Firewall, so that once the eggs were laid, they simply left them in the heat of the Firewall until they hatched. And with a clutch of four, they named their children as they came out of the Firewall: Ixendos (female), Aurixhesjing (female), Saurivim (female) and Levexaustrat (male). These wyrmlings were pranksters from the start, and so the monks called them “The Children of Copper” and the rumor was spread that they had a touch of Copper in them.
Kookrein and Yuvonbrii could sense their Twilight on the horizon one evening. And after openly discussing the matter for a couple years, they decided that in their death, they would create two sizable islands nearby for their grandchildren to run, play and raise wyrmlings on (also to give some relief to the monks on the overpopulated island). The islands with gold mountains are there to this day, and bear Koorkrein and Yuvonbrii’s names.
Then Draaldrun sensed his Twilight, and he prayerfully considered the matter by himself. Even Dremverthicha, who was tempted to prod a question on several occasions, was left in the dark to his musings. But one year during a festival, Draaldrun brought out the Ruby Greatsword as he did every year. At the end of the service, he gave a speech, speaking at length of the revelations he had received while it had been in his care. Many of the monks fell asleep, as I am sure you can imagine a thousand year-old dragon speaking at length can “drag-on,” or so the monks used to jest. But everyone awoke to the snap of arcane magic activating, not a hint of Draaldrun remained, and in his place at the front of the sanctuary was the Ruby Greatsword with a gold and silver statue of a dragon coiled around it. None but Dremverthicha had heard the entirety of Draaldrun’s speech, detailing how his final act was to seal the sword until the one destined to resume it’s ancient work drew it.
Along the flanks of the seal, Draaldrun had inscribed the words:
Mortal of destiny, harken,
O’ one with eyes not darken’
Draw nigh unto this Claymore,
and make our enemy nevermore.
Dremverthicha inherited the position of Head Priest as was expected of him. His first official act was to establish a week of observation, where individuals were encouraged to reflect on history and their destiny, to be summed up in a service where prayerful individuals were to attempt to draw the sword. And there the sword remained for centuries.
Dremverthica coveted the Ruby Greatsword even when it was in Draaldrun’s care. He teaches lessons out of Draaldrun’s final speech, leaving certain parts out, b/c he wants the sword for himself someday.
Dremverthica shacks up with Kiirogaan. Makes wyrmlings.
Wadsworth mistakenly draws the sword in front of Dremverthica. Dremverthica attacks Wadsworth, and is slain in the act.
The Children of Copper give sanctuary to Wadsworth (they were never crazy about their over-bearing uncle), and set up a scenario for him to escape, flying him in a small boat to the limits of the ocean that they can fly to (He eventually makes it to Rhyparia).