|Site Index | > Setting Information | > Religion | > The Soldier|
|God of strength and survival, Illumitas’ Shard of Will|
|Dominion:||The School of Battle Magic|
|Precepts:||Sacrifice for total victory; cunning is a form of strength; accept the leadership of others.|
After the Mother, the Soldier is the next most widely invoked god of the Sept. The Soldier is the god of the foot soldier in the field, of the thief evading capture, of the sailor braving a storm, of the general planning a devious battle plan, of the prisoner struggling to turn the wheel. The Soldier concerns himself with the raw application of will and determination to accomplish great tasks and overcome terrible odds. Those that follow the Soldier follow a simple principle: Do what must be done. Though a warrior like the Knight, the Soldier has a more pragmatic view of conflict and resolution. The Soldier knows that if victory changes things for the better, then all impediments to victory must be abandoned. Ethics, chivalry, fair play, and the bonds of friendship and family must sometimes be abandoned if they interfere with serving victory and the greater good. The Soldier values will, strength, and cunning. When Illumitas was shattered, his will resolved into the Soldier.
The Soldier has many names, and many faces. Bold Tidings, Victory, the Resolved Sneer are some of his names though ‘Luck’ is his most frequent pseudonym. During times of war, Civenopolis will issue pay to their Legionnaires that is minted with the Soldier’s likeness. Of all the Sept gods, only the Soldier may find safe passage through the lands held by Grak, as his cunning and defiance are well esteemed by those who serve Glory. The Soldier is always regarded as a male, and never regaled in finery.
The Soldier allies himself with the rest of the Sept, out of kinship and ethos, though his favor sometimes falls on those that the rest of the Sept may regard as heretical or evil. A thief stealing from a well-guarded castle would invoke the ire of the Knight, but would also invoke the praise and attention of the Soldier for his audacity, cunning, and strength of will. Slaying a pregnant mother would violate the precepts of the Mother, but if the babe was destined to become a tyrant the Soldier might grant the murderer strength. While sometimes in opposition to his brothers and sisters in the Sept, there can be no doubt of the aid the Soldier brings to the forces of good when rallied by his kin against true evil.
The paradox of the Soldier is a complicated one. Briefly put, the Soldier’s cunning, wits, tenacity, and boldness allow his followers to overcome many obstacles others could not. However, faithful followers of the Soldier soon uncover the central mystery of the deity: His gifts could serve good or evil equally well, for there is little inherently good in the Soldier by himself. Instead, the Soldier must be led by the wiser gods of the Sept. Should there come a day when the Soldier must be unleashed, and forced to lead, one can expect a great contest of dubious result. Thus, devout worshippers of the Soldier tend to keep themselves in check, advancing only to the penultimate level in whatever arena they visit. Civen worshippers of the Soldier may climb to be a General, but they are commanded by a Senate; a sailor may be the best man at the tiller, knowing he would be a useless captain; the Soldier’s lot in life is to always be led. The cunning and gifts bestowed by the Soldier usually makes his Destriants the right person in the right place at the right time, provided someone else leads them there.
Prayers to the Soldier are usually short, and may be confused for curses. Spoken in haste at the imminent moment of need, off-color language is forgiven by the Soldier. Some claim that clever uses of profanity speed the prayer to his ears faster. Temples to the Soldier are found where outnumbered defenders man the parapets above a dread besieging host, or where desperate men form audacious plans. Small shrines consecrated in the moment of need, with each fighting man donating a candle, a coin, incense, or a dagger are the most holy to the Soldier, despite their imperfections and impermanence.
The Soldier stands against all enemies of the Sept, but only when roused either by his kin or by immediate threat. To fail the Soldier, a Destriant must choose defeat over doing what must be done. To date, those that fail the Soldier either are recruited by the powers of Darkness (mainly Grak) or fade away un-absolved into obscurity.