Temple of the Dawn
Creed of the Ishtarian Paladins of Dawn
Be it a small insect crawling along the ground beneath our feet, or a majestic dragon soaring above us in the skies, all are blessed with the greatest of Ishtar's gifts.
The gift of life itself.
Those who heed the words of our Goddess, know well the value of life. It is a powerful, yet fragile gift. When a life comes to an end, such a life will never be again. As Her devoted followers, it is our duty to protect it. All life deserves a chance to exist, to experience all the joy and wonder of existance, before it inevitably must come to an end.
However, not all share our devotion to life. There are many who take great pleasure in destroying life, for their own selfish ends. Or far worse, there are those who corrupt and distort Her gift, into something unnatural and horrible. For these individuals, neither reason nor conscience will disuade them from their abuse of life.
They are why we exist. They are why we serve the Mother of all life with blades in hand. Though we are sworn to protect life, there are times we must ourselves bring a lift to its end. It is a difficult choice to make, and not one to make frivolously. But it is a choice we must be prepared to make. To refuse such a choice, would condemn many lives to an early, unjust end. All to protect a life that holds no other as sacred.
So be wary, those who needlessly destroy life. For we shall not hold your life sacred either, when we come for you...
Founding and History
Due to Baron's close proximity to the temple, and the country's rich military history, a majority of the temple's residents tend to be from that nation. Dwarves are also a frequent sight, with many youth from Karaz Azghak spending time at the temple. They are sent by their clan elders, to become familiar with the temple and its teachings. They also learn of the long history of friendship between the temple and their homeland.
To ensure the temple maintains a rich and diverse culture, the priests and paladins often make trips to other lands and nations. They watch for any who share their faith, and desire to protect life by force if needed. This activity is met with mixed reaction in certain areas, particularly those where another deity is worshipped primarily.
One area of particular interest to the temple is the lands of Riva. They are saddened at the Rivan Ishtarian's teachings, justifying horrible acts against innocent life. The majority feel it is their duty to travel to these lands, and show Riva the true light of Ishtar's teachings. Fortunately, they are not alone in their desire to turn Riva away from hatred. This view is shared by the Dragoons of Cain Citadel, a training facility in Baron devoted to the Dragon Goddess, Ryuugami. Due to their mutual interest in helping the nation, the two often work together when planning trips to Riva.
Over the centuries, the number of individuals travelling to the temple has steadily increased. When the temple itself could no longer support the vast number of visitors, the temple priests and paladins began to construct additional buildings. However, as time went on and more buildings were added, they soon realized they had a growing, bustling town forming on their doorstep. Deciding such a town should have a name, the temple priests and paladins eventually settled on the name Ishtorna. The town name is a merger of Ishtar's name, and the name of the Paladin who founded the temple.
More information on the town itself can be found here
The Dwarves of Karaz Azghak
Since the founding of Baron centuries ago, Fort Lancet has served as the nation's premier military training facility. Its construction was one of the final decrees by Odin, deity and founder of Baron, before his departure from the nation. As such, members of the facility take great pride in their rich history, and the importance of their training to the nation's defense.
Unfortunately, said pride is usually the source of much tension as well.
When the first paladins began to travel back to Baron, seeking others in need of guidance from the Goddess, they were met with hostility and mistrust by the military. How dare these people, who abandoned Odin and left their countrymen, simply walk right back in and threaten to take more with them? Many felt Odin trusted them to be strong on their own. They needed no deity to use as a crutch, like these paladins. These people had no place in Baron, as far as they were concerned. They wished the paladins driven from the country, or killed if they refused.
Fortunately, for all involved, the King at that time saw no reason to deny them entry into Baron. He could find no wrong in people willing to take up arms in defense of another. His decision angered many in the armed services, who made no effort to hide their contempt for the paladins. This would lead to strained relations between the Soldiers of Lancet and Paladins of Dawn for generations to come.
Today, the soldiers of Lancet are not as hostile as times past. None, save the borderline neurotic, actually wish harm to the paladins. However, the feeling of superiority remains strong, and open deity worship is still frowned upon within the facility.
By not relying on a deity directly, and only using their own abilities, many at Lancet believe they are the superior warriors. And they are more than willing to prove their point, usually with crossed blades.
Compared to the temple and fort, the citadel is the 'younger' of the training facilities in the area of Baron. Once a part of Fort Lancet, the dragoons of the citadel splintered off generations ago, in order to worship Ryuugami in peace.
Unlike the previous rivalry, the one between the citadel and temple is primarly good-natured. Both facilities respect the faith and dediction the other shows to their patron deity. There is even a program in place to exchange students every few months. Unfortunately for the individuals involved, well known hazing rituals are known to exist for such occasions, at both facilities.
(WIP, need to speak with Dia on the Dragoon's views when it comes to combat)
Scabbard of the Dawn
An ancient scabbard, bearing elaborate imagery of sunlight and blades. The primary image is that of a longsword, embedded into a hill top with rays of a rising sun shining from behind. It was forged by Jevon Copperbeard, a renouned dwarven blacksmith from Karaz Azghak. The scabbard is said to be one of his finest creations, incorporating traditional dwarven design with the religious imagery of the Ishtarian church. Jevon gave the scabbard to Torna Swiftblade, as a gift for aiding Jevon's clan and countrymen.
Temple lore claims the night after receiving his gift, the Goddess spoke to Torna in a dream. She was moved by his selflessness, in saving Jevon and his people. She was also touched by the dwarf's gift, designed with her imagery in mind. She wished to give her own gift to Torna, through this gift for defending lives. When Torna woke the next day, he found the scabbard now possessed a holy power of its own. Any weapon brought into contact with the scabbard, became blessed with a portion of that holy power. For years to come, as part of their rite of passage, paladins and priests would bless their favored weapons with the scabbard. In this way, one could say the Goddess is always with them.
In recent times, there has been growing concern over the scabbard. It is no longer as public as it was in the past, sealed off deep within the temple walls. There is also concerned about the power of the holy relic, some observing that recently blessed weapons are not as strong as weapons blessed in the past. Many harbor some concern, but few seem willing to call the actions of their brethren into question.