The Long Road Home
The Brotherhood of Origin and Giant Faith
The Brotherhood of Origin:
The Founding of the Brotherhood of Origin:
The brotherhood of Origin was initially created by Origin himself to uphold the virtues that he held most sacred. In his life the brotherhood served as scholars and healers, and in many of the capacities that it does today. But the most important aspect of the Order was it’s charge of keeping track of giantkind and the lineage and bloodlines that sprang forth from Origin himself. He was aided not only by his chosen children, but by those who also valued the 10 virtues of Origin. The brotherhood’s was responsible for healing the wounds and scars left behind by Chimera’s Legions. They were not only his friends and allies, but they served in times as most trusted advisors. They stood with him in battle, and helped command his armies in his absence.
Once their leader had fallen there were many years of doubt and frustration that wracked the order and nearly tore them apart. Despot and disheveled the order sat in ruins. Though some true believers remained, many went back to their families and began to rebuild their lives and homes. But it was the reappearance of the Legions of Chimera that drew back together those most loyal to Origin and the 10 virtues. In that time of War not much done to restructure, but once the threat had been quelled the Brotherhod underwent a massive re-organization. Books were written, posts were created, and the Circles of Origin were formed. Even, the first Prelletis of the Brotherhood was named. For this one who committed his life to all 10 virtues and was a giant by the name of Varen. He was elected by unanimous decision by all 9 ranks below him. Before he was named Prelletis, he was known as Varen the Honorable. He was a wise old Stone Giant of noble birthing, whose father and fathers father, and his father before him had served Origin. Under his steady hand the brotherhood grew and prospered and formed the basis for what it still is today. Many scholars have remarked that Prelletis Varen was almost as the second coming of Origin, for he so loved his people that he spent his entire life in serving them.
Central Sites are the areas that Origin frequented. Most important of these is where he initially fell from the sky lands, known as Crater of the of Falling Star. Other Sites of note are the Hills of Gespalderand, where he met his love Demetra, The Slopes of Mount Septuvane, where he found his half of the lens, The Trekbol Mountains, where he established the Brotherhood of Origin, and the valley of Umbrack, where he and his brother were slain. These sites and many more serve as waypoints throughout the giant world. There are some that cannot be accessed during certain months, and others that can only be visited when certain very specific conditions are met. At each location at least a single Brother is left to stand guard and welcome travelers and pilgrims to the central site. Their names are recorded and often this is a path taken by those of the brotherhood that seek repentance for transgressions against their own vows. It is also important to note that these sites are the meeting places for the Giant Council, and never do they meet in the same site twice in a row. In this way the locations are secure and invulnerable to attack, as well as providing a change of venue to put each of the Clanheads on even footing in regard to their homeland. At most of the site vast collections of books and higher learning have been collected to form some of the greatest libraries throughout the land. These hidden libraries are often found in and amongst the burial grounds of the order. Some even sit beneath the ground in large catacombs, and it is almost certainly necessary to be accompanied by a brother at all times, else one might find themselves lost amongst the bones.
The Alliance Between the Brotherhood of Origin and the Council:
During the Giant and Dwarven wars, when the council was first formed, the Brotherhood was highly active in the giant population. Working as healers and scholars they helped to unite the common giant and keep the people healthy and in this great time of need. Caring little for their own safety members of the Brotherhood of Origin protected peasants and farmers from the devastations of war both abroad and at home. They donated money to local villages and helped mend injured beasts of burden. As scholars they helped farmers during droughts to grow more hardy crops that would bear food to feed their families. In many ways they were the saviors of the giant race, in a time where giants were nearly wiped from existence. It is speculated that the concept of Jalah was actually first developed by the Brotherhood, and later shared with the stone giants who brought it to the council’s attention. Because this period lasted so long the Brotherhood nearly exhausted it’s coffers. Seeing an opportunity to strike a mutually beneficial agreement the council approached the Brotherhood and offered the following alliance. After so much warring the Council was not necessarily popular amongst all giants, especially peasants. They needed the endorsement of the Brotherhood of Origin so that the people would accept their leadership and not challenge their decisions.
In return for that support the Council offered to fund the endeavors of the Brotherhood, paying for hospitals, schools, and libraries in many giant towns. Also, the Council offered a roof to any and all Brotherhood of Origin who might visit them in their lands. Though not all Clans are as friendly as others, a brother can expect to have a warm bed, a meal and be protected while under the roof of a clanhead they are visiting. The other major benefit of the brotherhood is that they provide medical care and spiritual leadership for the whole of the giant society. While the different Clans all have warriors and military trained men from the many wars over the years, the brotherhood is comprised of a high number of specialists when it comes to the art of war; whether it be the most gifted field surgeons and medics, or some of the most accomplish siege warfare architects and craftsman of all the giant race. Ideally the brotherhood simply fills in with different local militias amongst the clans as needed, even though there has not been as great a need as of late.
The Brotherhood of Origin’s Role in Giant Society:
Ever since the alliance between the brotherhood and the Giant council, the brotherhood has served as a multi-jurisdictional entity capable of handling sticky giant disputes. Though most of these ultimately come down to either bloodshed and require the brotherhood’s direct hand, or they come down to a game of Jalah that is adjudicated by a sanctioned overseer from amongst the ranks of the brotherhood. For the most part the brotherhood is revered both as an ancient and mystical order, but also as a friend of the people. In times of need, all giants know that if they turn to the brotherhood that they will be taken care of and their pains alleviated. As the keeper’s of knowledge and higher learning the brotherhood also serve as teachers and scribes, and the testament to their abilities are a nearly 85% literacy amongst adolescent to adult giants. They are also doctors and guardians for the giant race. It is difficult to find anyone (other than disavowed/former members of the brotherhood) who do not consider the brotherhood a blessing amongst giant society. The sliver of giants who oppose the order are those who follow more closely in the footsteps of Chimera. Many have tried to master his ability to enter dreams, but to date none have been able to repeat this feat. Though it is hard to believe there are giants out there that wish to bring about the end of days and can’t wait for Chimera to complete his bridge of souls and take his vengeance upon his father and brother.
Vows of Origin:
The brother vows to abstain from sexual intercourse before or outside of marriage, and adheres to a strict adherence of sexual sin, and maintains the virtue of being chaste.
The brother vows to meet fear head on, and must not turn back in the face of danger, nor fear death
The brother vows to place the order higher than all other things. And serve the council
(Let all your things have their places; let each part have its own time)
The brother vows to observe a life of non violence, and a repression of one’s own inner rage.
(Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty)
The brother vows to recognize the power granted to him thru Origin, and seek to use it carefully and well.
The brother vows to seek to resolve all conflict for others in a just and righteous manner.
(Resolve to perform what you ought; without fail what you resolve in the name of justice)
The brother vows to maintain no personal wealth or holdings. All worldly wealth becomes property of the order.
The brother vows to imbibe no drink or substance that leads him from the path of Origin.
(Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.)
The brother vows not to speak or openly converse with others outside the order.
(Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation)
The brother vows to uphold truth in all words, deeds, and actions.
(Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly)
Circles of Origin:
1st Circle: A brother who has taken all 10 Vows aka. the Prelletis (clergy)
2nd Circle: A brother who has taken 9 Vows aka. the Elder (clergy)
3rd Circle: A brother who has taken 8 Vows aka. the Devout (clergy)
4th Circle: A brother who has taken 7 Vows aka. the Archon (clergy)
5th Circle: A brother who has taken 6 Vows aka. the Champion
6th Circle: A brother who has taken 5 Vows aka. the Guardian
7th Circle: A brother who has taken 4 Vows aka. the Knight
8th Circle: A brother who has taken 3 Vows aka. the Scholar
9th Circle: A brother who has taken 2 Vows aka. the Herald
10th Circle: A brother who has taken 1 Vow aka. the Squire
The Tears of Origin and other Religious Artifacts:
The Tears of Origin:
The Tears of Origin began when Origin was lifted unto the heavens by the valkyries, and when he looked down he saw his brother writhing, cursing, and dying that he shed but a few tears for his passing, and these tears streaked down from the Sky Lands in a blue=firey blaze. Many also believe that as the tears fall that is as if the Sky Lands themselves shake and that it nearly crumbles their very foundation, showering the lands below with the rubble from their violent eruption. What is known as the tears of Origin are actually small meteorites that fall from the sky every year at summer or winter solstice. This annual event marks the beginning of the Ja’la dih Jin Grand Tournament. The brotherhood holds the fruit of these meteorites as a sacred and holy material, for what can be harvested is a fine star metal, the likes of which they fashion holy symbols and the most sacred of their ceremonial objects from. The metal is rich light blue in hue, and at its core it becomes almost white in sheen. When polished it produces a near mirror like surface, though it not a metal that dulls or rusts. Typically items crafted from star metal weigh about half as much as their normal counterparts.
The Books of Origin:
Each Origenic brother carries with him at all times a Book of Origin. This book is a copy of the of the original book of Origin written by Origin himself detailing the Virtues and giving hints at the locations of key central sites and grand historical events. As a part of their training each brother must complete a pilgrimage to the Crater of the Falling Star where it believed that the original text resides. Here he/she must pen with their own hand the entire book for themselves. There have even been a few so devout that they inscribe the very pages of the book upon their own flesh, and still others that committed the entire volume to memory. Often times this scripture is used by the brotherhood to determine who is or not actually a part of the brotherhood of Origin.
The Holy Symbol of the Origenic Brotherhood:
The Origenic Cross is a symbol created by Origin that is used exclusively in the Brotherhood of Origin. It is a sign of all 10 virtues existing in harmony. It also represents the many layers of the world and of existence, and the separation that is necessary for all to exist at once. Their used in prayer, and occasionally they are marked to denote the particular circle for which the brother belongs.