Tales of Bravery and Parables of Wisdom
as Taught by the Holy Laranian Church.
By Aaron Kavli
The Tale of St. Lucidin and the Battle of
Sir Lucidin was the manorial lord of a small village in Trierzon called
Armain. Strange happenings began to occur in and about his village;
the well froze solid that summer, the village studding bull began to speak,
and strange lights were reported dancing dancing around the edge of the
forest. Sir Lucidin sent his oldest son Lagin and a yeoman to investigate.
They returned with reports of a small band of men performing strange rites
at the nearby barrows of Cercin valley.
Sir Lucidin summoned forth friends and family and rode out to the barrows. Lucidin left his manor with five knights (two were his sons Lagin and Theodus), six squires, and eight yeomen. They fell upon the dark practitioners. The leader was an Amorvrus, and
the rest of his followers were Gulmorvrin, numbering about fifteen in all. Theodus, two squires, and three yeomen fled at the first touch of the shadow. The battle was frightening, fell powers were unleashed and more than one of Lucidin's fellows succumbed to the shadow, rising to fight their former lord. The rest, including his son Lagin, were slain. Finding himself alone, Sir Lucidin gave a cry to Larani and charged in to face the remaining foes alone. When all was done, Lucidin stood alone, having slain all the enemies. Even more impressive was his resolve against the Shadow of Bukrai. Grievously wounded, he rode back alone, leading a caravan of wounded
horses carrying the bodies of the dead warriors.
Lucidin felt no ill will towards those that fled, as he had delved deep into the folds of the shadow himself, and knew the terror that had touched them. He and his son traveled to Areshomes to tell his tale to the church. He petitioned the clergy about the danger of organized undead and then returned home. Lucidin died a year later due to complications from the wounds received in the battle. Later, Theodus met with the Pontiff himself and they formed the groundwork of the Argent Order (below). Though asked, Theodus turned down the offer to be the first master of the order. Theodus felt he had no right, since he had fled. But he left his father's sword used in
the battle and returned home, leaving the order to the graces of the church. The Pontiff soon after raised Sir Lucidin of Armain to the status of Saint of the Church. The sword still hangs in the office of the order's master, passed down from master to master. It is
the order's most prized relic.
See The Argent Order
Parable's of Larani.
By Aaron Kavli
Most religions have a long history of parables and tales the clergy use to impart divine lessons in real world terms. The morals of all these stories will usually revolve around a particular important aspect of that religion. In the case of Larani, most tend to focus on honor and chivalry. The most popular are of course are those about brave warriors who kept their honor and bravery in the face of overwhelming odds, often ending in their deaths. The laity usually believe these to be historically accurate or to be divine stories from the original holy texts. The clergy do little to dissuade this idea, regardless of the origins of the story. The clergy may in fact not know the origins of these tales, also believing them true or holy. Who knows for sure, maybe they are.
The most holy tale to the Laranian church is that of Saint Ambrathas. This tale is covered in full detail in Gods of Harn and HarnMaster Religion.
tales of Saints are included in the Argent Order (above) and the Laranian
The Tale of Fidinus of Kokina.
was the lowest born son of the Lord of Kokina, a small village in the lands
now known as Trierzon. His brothers Fordun and Fidcus were both knights
who had earned a reputation for their martial skills. In the family
they were both also known for their cruelty to their younger brother.
All were devout Laranians, especially Fidinus. But his brothers cruelly
mocked him as was no warrior and had no inclination to the arts of war.
Oft they called him Fidi the Fearful.
One particularly drought cursed year, the local tribesmen had begun to raid the lands of Fidinus's father in search of food. As food became more and more scarce, the tribesman become more and more bold. During the course of the year many battles were fought. Fidinus's family drove the tribals off, but at the cost of much of their forces.
A particular opposing knight took this time to besiege Kokina. While the fighting was fierce, Fidinus's family was defeated and the enemy breached the manor. Finally it was just Fidinus and his brothers facing a large troop of enemies.
Fidinus's brothers who had lived the life of victorious warriors, were humbled and lost their courage having never been defeated. They had also never seen Fidinus dressed in armor wielding a sword.
"We are defeated!" they cried. Fidinus but shook his head. He then addressed the enemy knight.
"Good day to you sir. Would you care to settle this man to man? The victor shall win the day." Sneering at the soft looking youth, the knight sneered and accepted. They clashed, and everyone but Fidinus was surprised as he struck the knight to his knees.
Putting his sword to the knight's throat, Fidinus asked if the man would yield, having lost an honorable duel. To this he said...
"You are a fool young man. You must kill me. If you show mercy, my men shall kill you all!" His brother's both pleaded with Fidinus to kill the man right there. Instead Fidinus looked down at the knight.
"Shall you yield sir?" The knight nodded and Fidinus moved his sword away. The knight and his men immediately slaughtered Fidinus and his brothers, and destroyed the manor.
Fordun and Fidcus were granted high places in Larani's armies. But to their surprise, Fidinus was raised on high to take his place in the ranks of the Knights of Dolithor.
"But why!" his brothers cried in dismay. "We have been mighty warriors since we could hold the lance! Fidinus did naught but hide in the manor!"
To this Mendez flew to them and answered.
"Fidinus has displayed greater courage in his gentleman's defeat than the two of you did in all of your victories. Anyone can be brave when they are winning."
True courage is to keep one's faith in the face of certain death or catastrophe.
The Tale of Sir Higgin of Portest.
was a valiant knight in lands long forgotten. His bravery and skill
at arms were well renown. In this land, once called Borea, a gentleborn
lady by the name of Melina called all the knights of the land to a great
tournament to find a champion.
Higgin of course answered the call as he did to all challenges as such. Though he was well respected Higgin was not a conceited man and he had no expectation to win such a large tournament. Riding to the tournament with his squire Legan, they set up their camp and entered the lyst.
The tourney lasted for three days, each day Higgin won the day. After the final battle, Higgin was declared the champion of the tournament and was awarded the position of Melina's champion, pledging his life and service to her. He took his place as chief defender of her lands and commander of her forces. In all things he praised Larani for her gifts of his skill and bravery.
Soon though he found his new mistress to be a cruel lord and taskmaster. She was not compationate to her vassals and serfs. She did not act in good faith or with honor in the affairs of her court, often using blackmail and seduction to get her ways. Her tithe to the church was niggardly for her wealth. In these things he counseled her, for he was wise in the ways of the Lady of Dolithor. But to each injustice he protested, for each sin he tried to prevent, she but said "To me you have sworn yes? Then on your honor do my bidding." He had indeed sworn and had no choice but to honorably obey his liege.
During these times Legan often questioned, but never disobeyed his knight. But Higgin said only unto him "It is but ours to do our duty unto our deaths, and then as well for Larani. Trust in the ways of the Lady, for hers is true wisdom."
During the course of Melina's reign, she had made an enemy of a powerful Laranian lord. Failing to resolve the issue through secular courts (mainly due to Milina corrupting the officiators) this lord demanded a trial by combat. Higgin knowing this lord to be devout, accepted the challenge. He knew that despite his ladies' corruption, that Larani would settle the matter in her way. So the duel was fought and Larani favored Higgin that day. The other lord asked for quarter as he knew he was defeated. The fight was honorable and Higgin granted quarter to his opponent.
This brought about a rage from Melina, who demanded that Higgin slay the lord that would dare challenge her right.
"My lady," Higgin replied "Tho I am your servant, I am foremost the servant of Larani and he has yielded to me in honorable combat. We have won the day in honor. To slay this worthy would surely be the act of a coward."
Despite her insistence, she could not make Higgin slay the lord. She grew bitter to Higgin, who she found to be a traitor. After the lord left, Melina began to plot the end of her champion. She wanted to have a champion more malleable to her own ends.
To this end she arranged for a band of mercenaries to enter her hold. She was not satisfied to just have Higgin killed. She also needed to assert her power over the "treacherous, arrogant knight". When the mercenaries assembled in her hall, she summoned Higgin and Legan.
"Champion," she sneered "you must defend me from these attackers."
With dismay, Legan turned to his knight. "Sir, surely you can see the treachery at work here!"
"Yes brave squire, but trust in the ways of Larani and eternal shall ye serve here in Dolithor," was his reply. With Melina grinning on, the two warriors of Larani drew their weapons and charged the company of mercenaries. Though they fought bravely and slew many of the enemy, ultimately the numbers were too great for even these worthies and they were felled.
Larani would see justice done however. The mercenaries then "turned their foul rapine upon the lady, sacked her hold and murdered her."
One's duty and word is utmost, and must be upheld even in the face of doubt
or perceived misdeed. One's ultimate duty is to Larani. The
second point may or may not be imparted, depending on the influence of
the secular lords in the area. The point would never be argued against
of course by the devout, but some may prefer the idea to not be so emphasized.
Tale of Magis of Tenpil.
semi legendary figure in Laranian folklore, Magis of Tenpil was the leader
of a small village in a land known as Garideen. Garideen was a mostly
agrarian land, made up loosely organized farming communities. There
came a time when a savage people known as the Ynarri (Ee-nar-ee) took to
raiding Garideen's fertile lands. The people of Garideen were a rugged
lot, and highly individualistic. This independence was a bane to
them however, as it prevented them from banding together effectively against
the attacking Ynarri.
The Ynarri eventually made it to Tenpil. Though Magis was a brave warrior of Larani and dutiful to his people, he could not stay the attack. Many of people in Tenpil were killed, including his wife Lynna. Struck with grief after the battle, Magis cried to Larani in his grief for the power to rally his people and stop the Ynarri hordes. Touched by his cry, Larani dispatched Mendez to Tenpil with a gift. To Magis the champion of Larani gifted a fine broadsword of gleaming gold with a ruby jeweled pommel.
Mendez spoke. "This Larani has gifted thee, Akadisha. With it all worthy warriors will come to you in worthy cause. Use this wisely and ye can save your folk and see justice prevail." With this Mendez flew away.
Magis was astounded, as word of his quest to unite the people of Garideen spread, more and more warriors flocked to his banner. Finally Magis had raised an army of sizable number and took the war to the Ynarri. During the course of the campaign, Magis began to become bitter over the death of Lynna and grew to be a cruel warlord to the Ynarri who soon named him "Blood Stormer". The war
was concluded with a large battle "where the two sisters meet." The remaining Ynarri horde was destroyed and the Garideens celebrated and praised on high the justice of Larani. But Magis had grown hateful of the Ynarri and persuaded his army that only the total destruction of the Ynarri people would ensure their safety.
Magis would soon learn to late that only one Ynarri warlord had been attacking Garideen. Magis encountered a large army of other Ynarri that had no interest in attacking Garideen before the slaughter. But Magis had invaded their lands and they would not let the matter lie so easily. The battle, later called Magis's Mistake, saw the victorious Garideens slain to the man. It is said that the last thing Magis saw was Mendez descending from the sky. Mendez looked with pity upon Magis and gingerly lifted Akadisha from his grasp.
"Thou art a brave warrior for certain Magis. But alas you lost the wisdom that I warned you would bring you victory. Your heart has turned bitter and you have killed your men for it. I shall take Akadisha and secret it from man until a worthy can claim it for a good need. Only one brave in the eyes of Larani may find this blade." With this Mendez flew to the corners of Kethira and somewhere along the way hid the holy blade for the right person to claim it in a time of need.
Historians feel the land of Garideen was a small kingdom in the area that is now part of the northern lands of the Azeryani Empire. Common theory (of those not affiliated with the church) tells that Garideen was actually a small area and the numbers and the Ynarri that attacked were but a small familial tribe. And that Magis was little more than a local chief himself.
Popular belief holds that Akadisha was hidden deep in an abandoned city named Lidinic. Some claim Lidinic is guarded by an army of statues of Laranian heroes that will attack those not worthy to gain the sword. A hidden island on the lake of Porosua, and beneath the plains of Gothmir are the most common places this city is rumored to be. Another popular belief is that Mendez secreted the sword in the halls of Alamire, and he who should find it shall be king of Larani's most holy lands on Kethira.