The Adherent

“Adherent” is a term referring to those who follow the edicts recorded on the CIty of Light, generally Halflings. These edicts are written in absolute terms, with direct instruction repeated over and over and over: protect the City of Light, serve Aenor and his clerics, and destroy all evil. None but the Adherent may enter the desert. No exceptions. A command to fight and kill, unflinching faith in their creed, and absolute obedience to their superiors has resulted in a culture of violence without regret. Death and destruction have always been the wake of the Adherent.
Among all the religions that exist in Alsara, this one is the oldest, supposedly stretching back into the depths of the Dragon Age. How they managed it is a mystery, but of all the races and faiths of the North, the Halflings alone remain unbowed, and have never knelt before the throne of a Dragon.

Recently, however, an unprecedented event has occurred: the texts on the walls of the City of Light have changed. Tyr Aenor is no longer the God of the Adherent, and another now stands guard over the City of Light: Solarion.

Styles of Worship

Being one of the Adherent means following three basic rules:

  1. Obey the priests and leaders in your community.
  2. Hunt or guard against Demons, and other creatures of darkness.
  3. In the affairs of the world, you are a neutral party.

The other aspects of the faith that have grown around it are forms of execution of these three basic laws. The Adherent have a strong tradition of martial prowess, as a logical extension of the second law. The faithful are known to tattoo their bodies, both as an expression of their commitment to Solarion and his Edicts, and as an easy way for Adherent in leadership positions to identify their soldiers in times of sudden need.
There are shrines to Solarion scattered around Adherent communities, but of course being Adherent isn’t about kneeling in a temple only when you need divine intervention. Adherence is expressed through community service, through martial skill, through an unrelenting search for evil. You worship Solarion when you pick up a sword in the defense of another, when you give up your home or food to aid your neighbor, as you die having fought your hardest. The temples and shrines are for those who are not Adherent, so they see something they can understand; for Adherent, every day is mass, and every action is prayer.

Solarion

Title The Authority, The Light, God
Totem The Sun, Glass
Portfolio Duty, Purpose, Life, Death, Light, Community
Typical Worshippers Halflings, demon hunters, those seeking purpose
Worshipper Alignment Lawful Good
Domains Protection, Law, Good, Sun
Subdomains Defense, Loyalty, Redemption, Day, Light
Favored Weapon Staff
Favored Animal(s) N/A

Tyr Aenor was abrasive and restrictive to the point of cruelty. He cared nothing for the lives of his followers or their happiness, only that they served, only that they obeyed his commands. That the Halflings embraced this life speaks more to their culture than it does to Aenor; few people found his edicts very appealing.

Solarion is entirely different in that regard. The Desert remains sacred, but it is not the only land worth protecting. This change is supported by recent events: since The Neverwar, Demons have entered the world in numbers for the first time in history, and the lands of the North are falling into chaos and despair. Now, more than ever before, has it become apparent that the traditional hands-off approach to geopolitics has been a mistake, and may yet spell disaster.

The new edicts have been shifted, if slightly, to be more accepting of the world beyond. Halflings and the Adherent are no longer restricted to the desert, allowing them to set up communities in foreign cities. They are encouraged to obey local authorities if they do not contradict the edicts, and even supporting law enforcement under certain circumstances. The trials and demands on non-halfling Adherent are now more lax, as are the sacrifices of turning away from Solarion. The demands made on the everyday citizen are still high, but the level of acceptance and camaraderie is stronger than before.

The end result has been the creation of many enclaves inside other cities, dedicated to the Adherent and their followers. These enclaves act almost as embassies to the halflings in the desert, and can be so radically different from the city beyond their walls that certain people walking into them briefly believe they have been magically transported to a distant land.

So far there have been few major incidents resulting from the Adherent’s expansion into the north, but in some places the beliefs of the Adherent and the state religion are dangerously different, and it could only be a matter of time before the tension breaks.

Tyr Aenor

Title The Authority, The Light, God
Totem The Sun, Glass
Portfolio Duty, Law, Purpose, Life, Death, Light, Halflings
Typical Worshippers Halflings, other desert nomads
Worshipper Alignment Lawful Neutral
Domains Protection, Law, Good, Sun
Subdomains Defense, Loyalty, Slavery, Tyranny, Redemption, Day, Light
Favored Weapon Scimitar
Favored Animal(s) N/A

In the north he is known as simply Aenor, but Tyr Aenor is a very different god. As the god of the Halflings, he is worshipped exclusively; while the Halflings do concede that the other gods exist, it is their quite thorough opinion that other gods do not matter. Tyr Aenor affords himself this much importance by (according to the Halfling clerics) having commanded the entire Halfling race to protect a legendary city in the middle of the Endless Desert for all time, against any and all who would attempt to reach it.

This duty would consume their entire race—every member—until the end of the world.
The Halflings take this duty very seriously.

It is this religion that has resulted in the intensely violent nature of the Halfling culture. When you are a people who must kill anyone who tries to travel too deeply into the desert, you begin to see outsiders as enemies rather than potential allies. Tyr Aenor offers absolutely no exceptions, and his orders are absolute. Halflings are not a friendly bunch.

The Adherent

Alsara: Requiem and Revolution Serathen Serathen