|Clergy of Hephaestus|
|Title of leader||High Cleric|
|Member races||Humans, Elves, Dwarves|
|Enemies||Clergy of Nergal|
The Clergy of Hephaestus consists of a bunch of worshippers of Hephaestus, the God of Smithing. The first incarnation of the clergy was slaughtered on Falgorn Island in Yamato in 1000 AE, but the clergy was revived in 1017 AE when Hephaestus made Axikasha Keiran and Marcus Sarillius his first clerics in over a decade. Twenty years later, in the Fourth Age, the clergy has reformed and rebuilt, its most populous temple found in Valencia's capital city.
Hephaestus, like many other gods, formed a clergy which would carry on his teachings in the First Age. The Clergy of Hephaestus focused on blacksmithing, creating and reshaping something from what already existed. The clerics saw the Clergy of Nergal as its antithesis, and conflicts often arose between the two factions. Matters remained thus throughout the First and Second Age as kingdoms rose and fell.
In the Third Age, the power of Nergal and Mardük was growing slowly but surely. After a few centuries had passed, Hephaestus's temples lay in ruin in kingdoms such as Libaterra and Remon with only an elven temple thriving with a handful of followers on Falgorn Island.
By 1000 AE, Distreyd Thanadar XII began a campaign to purge the remaining followers of Hephaestus from Yamato. He planned a Raid on the Temple of Hephaestus during which the elven high cleric Niswath Dorlian and the majority of Hephaestus's followers were killed. Only Schuldich Cedheros managed to escape from the carnage with the twin blades Dawn and Dusk which had been blessed by Hephaestus himself and which would carry a destiny with them--a destiny to save the world from the machinations of the dark gods. When Schuldich perished, the faith of Hephaestus died with him...or so it seemed.
Over a decade passed after the Great War had ended, and the faith of Hephaestus seemed to be limited to only a few blacksmiths who worshipped him privately. After the temple on Falgorn had been ravaged, new followers hadn't showed up, and it seemed like the faith of Hephaestus would be lost forever.
After the Second Battle of Dar'Cenrath had concluded, Hephaestus decided to take action. He appeared in the flesh and talked to Axikasha Keiran and Marcus Sarillius, the wielders of Dawn and Dusk who had aided him in the battle against Nergal, and asked them to restore his clergy. Both agreed and swore to help spread Hephaestus's faith.
Ax became a temporary high cleric to the faith until she could locate the intended high cleric who was said to be somewhere in Libaterra although as time passed, she became more and more cynical of her mission until Hephaestus appeared to her again to give her much needed faith to finish her mission.
Under the guidance of Jumahn DeColann, the newly re-formed clergy prospered, especially when they found a home in the kingdom of Valencia. That their faith is endorsed by the king is part of the reason for their popularity, as well as having a new god of light to replace fallen Cardia. The fortune of the capital's location, being built into a mountainside, allows the clerics to mine ore and immediately smelt it into the materials to be used by the Clergy.
Armor and EmblemsEdit
Clerics of Hephaestus are often dressed in plain robes of brown when they are not working with metal, sometimes donning finely crafted armors of steel or mithril. When metalworking, they wear tunics with tight sleeves, leather aprons, and masks in order to prevent their clothes from getting set on fire.
A hammer and an anvil are used as emblems of the clergy, and sometimes both at once.
The clergy believes that they are meant to forge a path towards Light that others can follow, to mold something that exists into something that is new for the betterment of the world. The hammer and the anvil are symbols of this belief and this need to create and rebuild.
In the beginning we lived as thieves,
Stealing fur and fang of beasts for survival.
Then came the Smith who brought us the Hammer,
And with it we forged a path from Darkness to Light.
To reject the Hammer is to denounce the Smith.
To denounce the Smith is to forsake the Forge.
To forsake the Forge is to extinguish the Flame of Life.
To extinguish the Flame of Life is to bring ruin upon all of Creation.
–From the Book of Creation
I pledge myself to Thy Hammer and Anvil as a Builder.
I shall go forth with all the strength of Thy Forge behind me
For I am a champion of the Light,
A protector of those in need,
A beacon of hope amidst the darkness of War and Chaos.
I shall bend but not break like Thy iron which I turn into steel.
My faith shall shield me like Thy mithril which I shape into armor.
I shall stand tall and rebuild my realm to honor Thy name until my watch is ended.
I am born anew from the Flame of Life with this sacred vow.
I am Thine to forge as Thou seest fit, Hephaestus, my Smith, my Creator.
If the foundation be weak,
Dost thou wail and gnash thy teeth?
Dost thou ask it to repoureth itself?
Nay, thou tearest it down and beginnest anew.
So shall it be with all My Children,
Whether they be Stone or Flesh,
of Mountain or Forest.
–Words inscribed into the Forge of Creation
- Temple of Hephaestus on Falgorn
- Temple of Hephaestus at Reign
- Temple of Hephaestus at Valencia