Acolytes of Vorak

“the Bloodfaith”

General

The Acolytes of Vorak and are the Priests and Priestesses of Vorak, the God of War. Not all worshippers of Vorak are Acolytes.

Devices and Uniforms

Each Acolyte wears a red bishop’s mantle. The mantle is adorned on the front center with a golden sword point down. Acolytes only carry melee weapons. Due to their religious beliefs regarding combat, they will not use distance weapons such as bows, crossbows, darts, javelins, etc. They are encouraged to wear armor and bear shields.

Deity

The Bloodfaith worships Vorak the Conqueror, the God of war. Vorak is said to be an imposing God, standing taller than two men, wearing full field plate armor colored blood red and wielding a golden two-handed sword. His eyes glow like fire through the visor of his helm. He is said to have a hand in all the battles that wage on the lands of Xaria and beyond. He knows all tactics, weapons, strategies, and plans. His favor can be the deciding factor of a battle. The Bloodfaith worships conflict in all its forms. Their faith tells them that combat is worship in its purest form. When combat is unavailable, then practice is a lesser form of worship.

Goal

The main goal of the Bloodfaith is to spread the word of Vorak and increase his following. They believe that through conflict you grow strong, and only the strong can survive in the world. It is the goal of every Acolyte to live honorably and die valiantly.

Territory

The Bloodfaith is not specifically located in any one place. It is a religion that is practiced in many lands. Most Acolytes hail from Icara, though Vorak has been known to choose followers from other lands of Xaria. The group is concentrated in the nation of Icara, where they serve as clerics and warriors in the ongoing struggle against Karandia and any other enemies. Acolytes are also known to travel the world and spread the word of Vorak and the worship of combat. They have been seen on specific quests and missions throughout Xaria. Wherever there is conflict, battle, fighting, or war, the Acolytes consider it their domain. They are often seen participating in battles throughout the lands. Vorak’s temples are called ARMORIES. These Armories can be found outside the borders of Icara, though they are uncommon. Each Armory is a stark marble temple with a raised altar in the center. The altar is a plain square pedestal as tall as a man, with a golden sword embedded point down in its top. There are no other features noticeable within a temple to Vorak. All Acolytes and worshippers of Vorak are welcomed into the Armories. It is said the Vorak will allow no harm to come to his disciples while in his Armories. Those who do not worship the God of War are not allowed in the Armory.

Typical Member

Acolytes hail from all races and all walks of life. Whoever receives the call to battle from Vorak is accepted. There is no common appearance. The commonly shared traits are an eagerness for combat and ferocity in battle. Though most Acolytes are Icaran Humans, no race or homeland is prohibited from joining the order. Acolytes are bloodthirsty, crazed and stoutly devoted to their faith in Vorak. Their method of worship to Vorak is in the form of Battle. Practicing combat is a lesser form of worship that must be done when there are no enemies to fight. The Acolytes are eventually proficient in all melee weapons. Followers of Vorak will not use any ranged weapons, preferring to kill their enemies eye-to-eye, as distance weapons and sneak attacks are considered cowardly. Once they have been accepted into the order, they consider themselves to have died already; their lives belong to Vorak now. Their time on Xaria will end when Vorak says the time is right. If they do not perish on the field of battle, it is because they must learn more of the lessons of combat, spread the word of Vorak still, and earn more tales to tell when they reach the “Shield Hall.” When Acolytes (and all honorable warriors) die, they “join Vorak in his Shield Hall” to sit by his side, feast and drink and tell tales of battle.

Recruitment and Training

All walks of life and all races are welcomed to worship Vorak, for there are no races or classes that know no conflict. Recruitment in the order comes to those that Vorak chooses. Often, these are warriors who come close to death on the battlefield. Many and various are those whom Vorak has called to his service in the order of the Bloodfaith. Initiation into the order is trying. Each neophyte is subject to a trial by combat. The hopefuls are placed in an arena and face off against opponents in grueling tests of strength, endurance and battle. They must survive long enough and earn acceptance by the higher member of the order. They must prove their worth to Vorak. Training is even more painful and arduous than the initiation. An entire year of painstaking torturous training in the forms of combat and discipline must be completed before the new Acolytes are given the mantle of the lowest rank. From that point on, they must earn their promotions through victories.

Code & Conduct

Acolytes are Fighters or Fighter/Mages only. No other class of Character may become an Acolyte of Vorak. Though any character class may worship him, Vorak does not give his favor to those who do not revel in the glory of combat. Acolytes also have a strict code of honor. They do not lie, cheat or steal. Such acts are considered cowardly an unworthy of Vorak. To do so would be to renounce Vorak. If an Acolyte is challenged to combat, he must accept. If an enemy challenges him to honorable combat, he will face the enemy on equal terms. If an enemy does not challenge him, or if an enemy deceives him, the Acolytes will use any method, weapon, spell, or means they can to defeat his enemy. An Acolyte will NEVER resurrect another Acolyte who has fallen during combat. They will refuse any attempt at resurrection, preferring to die in battle. If the Acolyte were slain through deceptive means or under circumstances other than combat, the acolyte may be resurrected.

Past

In the year 250, the month of June was beholden to a spectacular sight. The sky turned blood red for weeks. Prophets and holy men of the time called this the “Blood Sky Omen.” They claimed that this sight was the first sign of the end of all things. A great deal of speculation has occurred as to what it meant. A few Xarians saw it as a sign from Vorak to uphold his honor and faith. From these few, the Bloodfaith and Acolytes of Vorak were formed. Throughout the years, the Acolytes have served Icara in its defense and in its offense against Karandia. Those that have opposed them have feared them. Their zeal and fervor to serve Vorak means an abandon and single-mindedness on the field of battle. A combination of destructive magik, defensive magik and aptitude with weapons has made them fearsome. Both the Icaran Army and the Karandian Mage Talons are somewhat cautious with them around. Though they are not unbeatable, they have been a decisive factor in several battles between Icara and Karandia. Several years ago, the Acolytes have been seen both hindering and aiding a quest to stop the Consortium Judgment against all of Xaria. At first the Acolytes were given to believe that this quest would bring about the end of all civilization and therefore all wars. They sought to prevent this. At some point a critical moment was passed and visions from Vorak told the Acolytes that the quest must succeed. From that point, they aided the quest and were instrumental in rescuing the quest’s leader.

Present

Currently, the order continues as it always has, fighting in every battle that they can, learning and practicing the ways or warfare. It is not uncommon to see Acolytes traveling the lands on their way to add their swords to new wars.

Alliances

The Icaran Army has a long-standing alliance with the Acolytes. Their working relationship has been in place for more than a hundred years. Both organizations are very fierce and warlike. The Acolytes serve as holy men for the Icaran Army. Even so, the Icaran Army is wary and a little scared of the Acolytes because of their zeal for combat and their ferocity in battle.

Enemies

Traditionally, the Acolytes oppose any who are opposed to War. For the past century, the Acolytes have been allied to the Icaran Army in their continual conflict against the Kingdom of Karandia. Specifically, the Acolytes are enemies of the Karandian Mage Soldiers, otherwise known as “Talons.” There is one group that is diametrically opposed to the Bloodfaith: The Brotherhood of Tranquility. The Brotherhood is an order that is strictly opposed to violence and preaches peace and harmony through the laying down of arms and understanding your enemies. The Acolytes feel that the Brothers of Tranquility are the disciples of the enemies and hindrances in their greater path.

Leadership

Decisions come from Vorak himself. Occasionally, orders are received from the higher-ranking Acolytes. Acolytes are also known to receive “blood visions” from Vorak. His divine guidance, only given when the Acolyte is bleeding, can instruct them on a new course of action. Acolytes have been seen using blades to cut open their own palms, wipe the blood across their forehead and eyes and go into a trance. They wake having received direction and visions from Vorak himself.

Divisions

The titles used by the order are DAGGER (new acolytes), MACE (ranking acolytes), and SWORD (highest order of Acolytes). Their rank is easily discernible by the red bishop’s mantles they wear. DAGGERS have no gold stripe, MACES have one gold stripe, and SWORDS have two gold stripes. Two Acolytes, the Right and Left Hand of Vorak staff the Armories. The “Right Hand” is the weaponsmith and the “Left Hand” is the armorsmith. These Acolytes are the highest rank an Acolyte can achieve. On the mantle of the RIGHT HAND there is three stripes and an anvil, and the mantle of the LEFT HAND has three stripes and a gauntlet adorning it.
Acolyte_Mantles.JPG
Acolyte of Vorak Mantles

Tavern Talk and Scuttlebutt

The Acolytes of Vorak are crazed and bloodthirsty zealots, looking for a fight. They will cross swords with anyone and anything for no reasons at all. They are a bunch of crazy priests that enjoy death and combat.

In-Character Quote

Said by one Acolyte to other Acolytes while running into a raging battle: “Come brothers, let us pray.”

Necessary Game Mechanics

Only Fighters or Fighter/Mages. No Mages, no Thief classes of any variation, no others. Any class or type can worship Vorak as a follower, as long as they stay true to the tenets of the faith. No ranged weapons. For suggested Spell lists, see contact info. Skill choices are limited to the Combat and Generic categories.

Contact

Please direct your questions to Andrew Gaughen or Dave Miner

Red File

There is a small Red File regarding the Bloodfaith and the Acolytes. There are also existing suggested spell lists for Fighter/Mages. To accurately play an Acolyte, the Red File should be read.