Guide to Cedrism
Greetings all! This is the promised explanation of all the things our Prophet was too busy to explain (he DOES have a ton of things to do...). So here goes. Keep in mind, please, that this is all straight from Brappa’s hollowed lips, and when it become my own “speculation”, I’ll tell you so. Enjoy. All texts already released by Brappa are in green. If something I state as fact is indeed wrong, correct me. I’m just doing this to help keep all the stories correct, and because there has been a lot of demand for this. - Cedris
- 1 The Good
- 2 The Bad
- 3 The Ugly
- 4 The End Times
- 5 Rrakanychan
- 6 Concepts
- 7 The Swords
- 8 The Great Swords
- 9 The Realms
- 10 The Mortal Realm
- 11 The Dæmonic Realm
- 12 The Divine Realm
- 13 Mythology of the Gods and other stories
- 14 The Planes of Order, Chaos and Balance
- 15 Stories of People
- 16 The Revenants
Mortals who do enough honorable things in their lives transcend the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth and enter the Celestial Temple. (presumably to do god-like things and tasks.)
This is all speculation, but I believe the gods are those who were once mortal and then became gods through the Path of Transcendence.
The Celestial Temple
The Celestial Temple is the realm of the gods themselves, home of the Transcendi. Residing in the Realm of the Divine, the Celestial Temple consists of Great Halls in which the different Gods and Transcendi go about their business. The Celestial Temple has no set form, instead it takes on the form desired or envisioned by its occupants. Due to being governed by the Plane of Order the differing visions of people never conflict, instead the differing visions reconcile themselves and mesh in perfect harmony.
Valhalla is one of the individual Great Halls of the Celestial Temple and is the home of great warriors and tacticians. When a great and honorable warrior dies the Gods retrieve their soul and place it in Valhalla awaiting The End Times, when they shall be called upon. No soul is kept in Valhalla against its will and may leave at any time to reenter the Mortal Realm and continue the Path of Transcendence.
The total opposite of the Transcendi. Those who do so much evil in their lives that it is conjectured that the demon-fish of Balgurd, believed to be an astral projection of daemonic creatures on another plane of existence, are lured by the 'scent' of moral corruption up to the mortal realm to claim their souls and twist them into pure evil. Curiously this phenomenon never troubled the Babkhans or Atterans in their home countries, nor have instances of such occurrences been reliably recorded beyond the confines of the continent of Benacia and the islands once under the sway of the Empire of Khaz Modan. Suggesting either a cultural factor in the belief or a territorial range for the daemonic predators.
The souls ensnared in this manner are categorically beyond hope of redemption, and even the gods are loathe to step foot in Balgurd.
Once believed to be Mortals who were so evil that they were beyond salvation, it was subsequently determined that they were in fact the subterranean inhabitants of the chthonic realm of Balgurd. The existence of these creatures was confirmed by the explorations of Aiomide Octavian in the year 15xx.xxxx AN.ASC. Dæmons are tormentors of human souls, devourers of human flesh and the inveterate enemies of humanity. It is strongly suspected that they bare some relation to the extinct Ohl'tar.
The exact mechanism by which these creatures are capable of intruding into the mortal realm by both astral projection, and physical intrusion, is not fully understood but instances of both have been attested through out the history of the Imperial Republic and its preceding Empires.
The realm of the dæmons. This is where the Descendi, the fish of Balgurd, and the Dæmons spend their free time, training and waiting for the time they may invade Micras.
Dæmon Fish of Balgurd
Where the fish of Balgurd came from is a complete mystery. What IS known though, is that one touch is all it takes for one to steal your soul and drag you down into Balgurd. Avoid them at all costs.
Legions of Balgurd
This is, in speculation, the legion of the Descendi that have accumulated in Balgurd. They are to be released at the end of the world to destroy the realm of man.
The End Times
As recalled by the Great Prophet, Brrapa Lu'Eraro.
I saw before me a great gate, massive in structure yet plain in appearance. Its doors had neither handles, nor hinges, nor lock; seeming simply to hang there in midair, baring the way. I sense immense darkness beyond the gate but when I tried to sense further I was overwhelmed by the sure power of the evil and feared for my vary soul should I seek further. I looked about me and found I was in a blackened cave, dark, cold, yet dry as a desert. Not a drop of moisture could be felt within the recesses of this cavern, Should I have spit upon the ground it would have seemed a flood to this place. I saw than in the dim torches, the source of the light that let me see anything, but they lacked fire. Instead, they glowed as if by magik, lighting the tunnel with a faint orange and purple glow. It was then that I saw it, a creature red in appearance crouching silently in a corner studying me closely. As I looked upon it its eye lit up red as if set ablaze within its skull, and slowly the creature rose before me. What a massive creature it was when fully erect before me, what an awesome brute. I could sense a Dæmonic air about it and began to fear that I was seeing before me a full fledge Dæmon of Balgurd. Feeling the growing fear within my mind, the creature laughed a deep, bellowing laugh, which seemed to cause the entire tunnel to shake. It spoke:
Why are you here old man? Why do you now stand there with a God thing at your side? Why has it brought you?
I looked to my left and felt the presence of the God Hasan standing at my side. Hasan was silent or at least spoke in no sense I could hear, but the dæmon seemed to become humbled before the God. It spoke:
I am the dæmon Rrakanychan, bested by your Kaiser millennia ago and cursed to wait in this cave till the End Times. Here I must remain until the day when the Legions of Balgurd spring forth from this gate to make war upon Mortal Man and the Gods.
I watched the creature as it spoke and sensed in it immense rage and anger as it recounted its roll to me. And yet, I pitied it, cursed for all time to remain in this cave, only to leave to warn the world of impending doom. The creature returned to its seat in the corner of the cave and paid me no more heed. It was now that Hasan turned and spake unto me:
Come O' Prophet, O' Voice of the Gods. I have more to show you.
Suddenly I stood upon the rampart of a mightily fortified wall, and quickly recognized it as the great capital of Shirekeep. I looked back, down into the city and saw that it was ablaze, bodies littering the streets and allies. Among the bodies ran and moved soldiers of the empire and peasant baring arms. There was a mighty crash as a ball of flame came down upon the city, landing on a building. I saw the smoke billowing up from the city, countless columns of black smoke licked the sky; the sun was obscured from sight by the thick black gasses. I looked to the keep itself and saw that it to was ablaze in sections; the roof of the great hall was collapsed. I looked to the troops in the street; their uniforms tattered and raged, their armor covered in mud and blood. As I looked, my eyes followed a company of cavalry move through the city and through the now destroyed city gate. I watched them, and as I watch, I saw a great army of men before the city wall. They marched in rank and file away from the city. As I looked out over the plain before the city, I saw it, and a mighty host it was. Thousands upon thousands of creatures marched recklessly toward the city. Hideous in appearance they were, bodies mangled and deformed but with no seeable loss of ability. They looked to have once been Mortal Men, but now, their skin was stark black and many seemed not to even have he slightest semblance of clothing or armor upon them. Hasan spoke to me:
These are the Legions of Balgurd; the twisted and mutilated souls of once Mortal Men. They serve the Dæmons now, but not by original choice. They were, many of them, once might soldiers in the Mortal Realm who has their souls forcibly removed by the Dæmon Fish. Once stolen their souls are brought back through the Gate of Balgurd where they are twisted, tortured and mutilated till they lose all traces of their humanity. They are minions of darkness now, but are not past redemption should their soul ever be freed and allowed back into the Mortal Realm their Karma could be cleansed in time.
I beseeched the God:
When did this begin?
The legions have been upon the land for one full year. The world of Mortal Man has been utterly destroyed; all but a few strongholds of man have fallen to the Legions. This city represents one of the last strongholds of the world, yet should it fall there will be no hope for Mortal Man. Nay! Even the Gods are threatened by the advancing hordes. Should the Realm of Mortal Men fall the way shall be open for the Dæmons to make war directly upon the Realm of the Divine. Man must not fall. See now.
The Last Stand:
Something flashed before my eyes; bright white was all I could see before me, than black. The world faded back into my vision. I saw before me once again the field of battle; four days had past. The bodies of the dead covered the ground before the city walls, rivers of blood now ran were streams and brooks once ran. I saw the shattered remains of the army of Mortal Men. Across the field, much closer than when I last saw them, was the Legions of Balgurd. But they were not alone, behind them, at there back like slave drivers stood massive dæmons and other spawn of Balgurd. They were numerous and armed with weapons of great potency. I now feared for Mortal Man, and for the Gods, but as my fear began to grow, I saw figured moving among the army of man. The Gods themselves, accompanied by warriors of ages long past, prepared for the final onslaught. I saw there Mors and Tempus side by side, wielding The Sword of Death and the Sword of Tempus. I saw then Kaisers, warriors and nobles of ages past preparing for war. I saw moving among the wounded the Goddesses Viviantia and Breiza healing the wounded and dying. There too I saw all the other Gods of the Celestial Temple preparing for war, arming themselves with divine weapons and armor.
Soon the time of battle was upon them, the final battle which in essence determined the fate of the world was soon to begin. Man versus Monster, God versus Dæmon. It was now that Hasan turned to me again:
The Gods have been preparing for this time since the beginning times and even we do not know the outcome. We have saved all the great warriors and tacticians of ages past in the Hall of Valhalla in preparation for this day. We have forged the Great Swords and armor divine for this battle and even that may not stop the Legions and their Dæmon masters. Remember what you have seen here.
As he finished speaking, the two armies marched swiftly toward each other and as the two forces began to clash, something flashed before my eyes and I awoke.
Rrakanychan was once a cunning and extremely savage dæmon of Balgurd who would routinely terrorize the denizens of Shireroth. He was a large brutish looking creature when he was materialized in this world, red in color with eyes of fire.
During the early years of the Shirerithian Empire, he became particularly active ravaging the countryside. No man was ever able to stand his ground against the hideous creature and live to tell the tale; it was usually on lookers who told others how he died. Neither peasant nor soldier nor knight or noble could withstand the dæmon; all faltered.
It is unknown how the creature came to being as a dæmon, some figure it was once a man whose soul became so black and corrupt that it was past the point of redemption or salvation—A pure black Karma. Others however believe that the creature was spawn of Balgurd itself and had always been a dæmon.
Legend has it that during the later days of Raynor I —- or perhaps during the reign of some other early Kaiser -- Rrakanychan became so despised that the Kaiser himself decided to take up the Sword of Vengeance and make war upon the dæmon. By this time, the creature had actually amassed a small mortal following who worshiped the dæmon as a god of destruction. The Kaiser left the capital city of the time with near 5,000 infantrymen.
The army met the dæmon and his forces in the mountains in what is now western Goldshire and made war upon them. The Followers of Rrakanychan put up a valiant fight as they fought for both ideology and their lives, for they knew their god would smite all who failed him. When the Followers had been bested or otherwise subdued, the Kaiser met the creature in Single Combat at the mouth of the cave that led to the Gate of Balgurd.
The battle was hard fought. The mighty Sword of Vengeance, sword of the Kaisers, symbol of the Throne and dealer of death, met the dæmon's Sword of Fire. The magicks of the two great swords clashed and fought each other as the two combatants raged on. In the end, although grievously but not mortally wounded, the Kaiser bested the creature. Removing the dæmon's sword from its possession the Kaiser prepared to banish the dæmon from existence. It was at this instant that the dæmon creature, Rrakanychan, bane of mortal man and wielder of the Sword of Fire, threw himself before the mighty Kaiser and sought mercy. The once fierce dæmon cast itself before the Kaiser's mercy, offering himself and his freedom, as prize to the victor. The Kaiser said onto the dæmon: "You are a traitorous creature and dæmon of the nether realms, your honor is non-existence and you have caused more harm upon this world than I care to recall. Your death shall be justice upon those you have killed!" As the Kaiser prepared to strike the dæmon made one last argument onto the Kaiser: "But m'lord you are but mortal man and must die in your time of age. I am dæmon and immortal, never to die of age or ill. I could serve your kingdom for all time, even after you have died nobly in your time." The Kaiser paused and spoke onto the creature: "Your honor is questionable but logic and cunning are without doubt. I shall spare your life, and you shall serve me and mine heirs. I shall bind your soul to your very sword so that you may never betray me and mine." The Creature rose: "M'lord Kaiser I submit to your will and your blood for all time…" The Kaiser stopped him: "Silence servant! You serve me now and shall be silent until I speak to your cretin. I have not spared your place in this world out of mercy or compassion; I look upon you with distain and contempt. I have spared you so that you may serve those who you have ravaged, so that you may forever be punished for your crimes against mortal man. I command you to go back to the Gate of Balgurd and wait there until the End Times. When the End Times comes and the legions spring forth from that gate and prepare their assault, you are to come to the heir of my line and warn them. Do you understand slave?" With rage in his eyes: "I understand master." Holding the Sword of Fire before the dæmon: "I have bound your soul to this sword and cursed you with it. Never shall you be able to touch it nor instruct another to touch it for you. It shall know your every thought as it knows your very soul. If you ever betray my blood or people, it shall know and strike you dead. Never again shall you plague this world."
Since that day the dæmon creature, Rrakanychan has resided in the cave, before the Gate of Balgurd, awaiting the End Times.
Cedrism holds that all forms of mortal life are trapped into an ever perpetuating cycle of death and re-birth, the so-called Wheel of Life. It is held that the two ways of quitting the cycle are through transcendence to the realms of the divine, or descent into the accursed netherworld of Balgurd.
Reincarnation is the process in which you live multiple lives, one after the other, in the hopes that the good deeds you do in them will earn you transcendence.
Good or bad, what you do effects you on a much more cosmic level than you probably realise. The better the deed, the closer to Transcendence you get. The worse the deed, the closer you get to Balgurd.
Transcendence and the Path of Transcendence
Little is known about how you do this, but the why is clear. To transcend is to earn admittance (in some shape or fashion) into the Celestial Temple. To be with the gods is said to be the best accomplishment one can ever have.
The Great Swords
The Sword of Fire: Forged by Agni in the Celestial Temple, the Sword of Fire was gifted to the Mortal realm long before the fall of the Khaz Modanian Empire, and the rise of Shireroth. The sword belonged to the Line of Emperors who ruled the Khaz Modanian Empire and was seen as a sign of the royal throne of Khaz Modan. Legend tells that the sword was lost several centuries before the fall of the Empire and was not found again until Kaiser Raynor I vanquished the dæmon creature, Rrakanychan and reclaimed the sword for Mortal Man.
It is said that the wielder of this Great Sword would have the power to command flame and bend it to their will. Under the control of the dæmon creature, Rrakanychan the sword was used to set ablaze entire villages, forests and plains, reducing even the strongest fortified walls to rubble.
The Sword of Death: Forged by the great god Mors in the Celestial Temple, the Sword of Death was bestowed upon the ancestors of what is now the Line of Mortis and has been passed through the ages from heir to heir. The Sword of Death comes with both great powers and a great curse placed upon it by the Death God. The wielder of the sword is able to strike dead, instantly, any whom the sword's wielder chooses; save those protected by another Great Sword. The curse upon the Great Sword prohibits its wielder from ever striking the innocent and the meek.
Should the wielder attempt to strike the innocent or the meek than the sword would consume the dishonorable wielder's soul and reduce them to ashes to be blown to the four winds.
The Sword of Life: Radiating a faint white glow the Sword of Life was forged by the Goddess Lumina for the Goddess Viviantia as a gift of friendship. To this day, the Great Sword remains in the Celestial Temple in the ownership of Viviantia, awaiting the day when it is needed in the Mortal Realm. It is fabled that the sword has the miraculous ability to return to life any freshly slain body it pierces and is removed from. Should the Sword strike a dæmon or undead minion of a dæmon, the victim's soul shall be removed and stored within the blade until the Goddess herself releases it.
The Sword of Light: forged by Lumina in the Celestial Temple for her own amusement the Sword of Light is one of the lesser of the Greatswords. Its only power is that of illuminating at the will of its wielder. The sword can illuminate to any brightness, intensity or color.
The Sword of Madness: Forged either by or for the God Loki; the sword has the ability to drive its wielder to the edge of insanity, yet never fully drive them mad. It is said that some of the greatest prophets, oracles and men of wisdom throughout history have possessed this Sword.
The Sword of Chaos: This great sword was forged by the God Loki as a joke upon the Death God, Mors. The exact powers of this sword are unknown to mortal man, but it is said that upon using the sword and seeing its powers, the God of Death actually laughed with such power that his laughter could be heard even in the Mortal Realm.
The Sword of Wisdom: Created by the god Hasan, the Sword of Wisdom grants upon its wielder the wisdom to understand the deeper secrets of life and the universe. It is legend that the great prophet Brrapa Lu'Eraro is in possession of this sword and even given it directly from Hasan himself.
The Sword of Vengeance: This is the sword that is passed on to every kaiser. Little is known about it, sadly. It is said to be a secret, known only to a select few in the heirarchy of the government.
The Mortal Realm
The realm we mortals, are said, to live in. Not much is known about the mystical side of this realm, but those brave enough to delve into this side of the Mortal Realm are said to posess magical powers.
The Dæmonic Realm
It is speculated by many religious scholars that The Dæmonic Realm is Balgurd.
The Divine Realm
The realm of the gods and the Transcendi.
Mythology of the Gods and other stories
The Planes of Order, Chaos and Balance
This is one secret Brappa has not told anyone of. Even in my private meetings with him, he has said nothing. It is up to the Prophet to tell the masses what the real explanation is, but it is speculated by religious scholars that the three planes coincide with the three realms (of mortal, dæmonic, and divine respectively).
Stories of People
See Article: Liches
Once again, this is a subject that was not explained to the original author of the guide. Only time will tell what significance this has on the end of the world. Nonetheless, the original author fully believed it would prove to have something to do with exiting the cycle of reincarnation without either descending or transcending. In this he was essentially correct, even if he did mislabel the revenants as Vampires. An unfortunate error which has since been remedied.
The pursuit of this path was actively forbidden in ancient times but the rule was unwisely neglected, leading to a vast and far reaching heresy gripping southern and western Benacia with catastrophic consequences once the reasons for the ancient prohibition became manifest.