The Scholar

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The Scholar

God of wisdom, learning, and truth. Illumitas’ Shard of Knowledge
Dominion:The Compulsion School of Magic
Precepts:Emotions mask facts, so be dispassionate and patient; all problems disappear if understood; the mind controls the body.

Known as the Master Planner, the Great Painter, or by a number of other colorful sobriquets, the Scholar is the divine insistence that reason and research alone can find the solution to any question of chaos or uncertainty. While the Craftsman may have the raw skill to build, it is the mind of the Scholar that plans for the finished product. While the Knight may be the insistent heart of the Sept, it is the Scholar that finds the path to success. The Scholar is a patient god, and often seems to suffer defeat in the short term only to achieve a greater victory (decades later) because of that initial defeat. The Scholar moves slowly, but with great deliberation. Often, those that follow the Scholar will appear erratic or touched, only to have their actions make sense years later when those strange actions put them in an advantageous position. The Scholar has no jealousies, and is content to let the Knight be regarded as the leader of the Sept. The Scholar is the keeper of all secrets known and unknown, and he alone decides which mortal to enkindle with the spark of discovery or inspiration. His secrets, great mysteries of science and history, are kept in a single volume that never leaves his side. It is suspected that with the absence of the Elemental, it is the Scholar who paints the skies at sunsets. The Scholar is fallen Illumitas’ intellect made manifest, and is thought to have been the first such shard to become a god in its own right.

Following the destruction of Vargainen, it was the Scholar who led the reconstruction of civilizations on Novitas. Remembering both the societies of Vargainen, and the intent of Illumitas, the Scholar worked with the all his kin to establish civilization for the sept-faithful. Indeed, language, mathematics, and the principles of engineering and alchemy were passed directly from the Scholar to the races of Novitas.

Worshippers of the Scholar often obsessively pursue a certain academic question. Be they Seekers of Art, Seekers of Numbers, Seekers of Truth, or even Seekers of Power, these are the Scholar’s faithful. The great Universities of Evenandra, of Civenopolis, and the Learning Halls of Terra serve as temples, and the thinkers, philosophers, researchers, professors, and doctors serve as the Scholar’s priesthood. For his followers, study in search of understanding is worship, examinations and inventions are rites of passage, and the spread of new understandings to those who seek them constitute good works. There are few portrayals of the Scholar directly, though when embodied he is usually sculpted as a wizened old man with his book, the Libri Exemplar, gripped tightly in his hands.

One of the few secrets carried from long lost Vargainen is the Scholar’s gift of palaver, or Compulsion, as it is now known. Through this path of sorcery, Seekers may achieve their goals without base conflict or insulting coin. Additionally, this school embodies the Scholar’s favorite methodologies of planning, observation, deception, and struggles of mind over contests of flesh. Originally intended as a teaching tool for mortals, they have since adopted Compulsion into a tool for their own uses, which pleases the Scholar. Thus, the Scholar is not only the god of wise academics, but also careful diplomats, cunning courtiers, and deceptive grifters. Any who would succeed through skill of mind, rather than application of force, falls into the Scholar’s good graces whether they worship him formally or not.

The great failings of the Scholar are his lack of swiftness and his mistrust. As a divinity of long, careful planning, a sudden need or change cannot be addressed by the Scholar until all aspects of the crisis have been researched, tested, studied, catalogued, and contemplated. The Scholar is loath to change plans once they have been precisely formed. Immediate demands will often go unattended by the Scholar while he studies. Evidence will not be admissible by Seekers until it has been confirmed to be trustworthy, rather than a dupe or a lie. Dramatic change, or a disruption of long and elaborate plans, will often frustrate the Scholar and will force him back to his studies, leaving the matter to twist and fester as it will. It is thought that the absence of the Elemental, who herself relished wreaking these changes in the direct path of the Scholar, is the result of a scheme by the Scholar to remove her pranks from his work.

Prayers to the Scholar by the uninitiated are often ignored, and the burning of libraries and sacking of laboratories almost assuredly result in some calamitous injury to the vandals… though usually not until years later. Prayers by students, scholars, artists, researchers, and engineers often are composed as poetry. Clever rhymes, mathematically balanced stanzas, and obscure diction reveal the strength of the applicant’s mind to the Scholar. If pleased, he will act. If not, the applicant is ignored.

The Scholar stands against everything barbarian and base, which always puts him at odds against Grak and Nox. Sometimes he is pleased by Darkness’ labyrinthine plots, and will allow them to persist longer as a matter of study, though the Scholar keeps this fact hidden from his fellow Sept kin. Only an active assault on learning or understanding can earn the Scholar’s reprisal. Academics who abandon their research are still considered Seekers to the Scholar. The deity is a patient one, and so when the wayward academic returns to his work she is once again an active member of the Scholar’s demesne. Thus do most modern academies support the notion of tenure, in deference to the Scholar’s own policies.

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