Malevolence is not a disease that fades away over time. It is persistent, settling in the soul like sediment and just slowly accumulating until it reaches a point of no return. One can mitigate the effects to avoid Hellionization, but once Malevolence is present in a person, it will not dissipate. Only a method known as Purification may truly remove the taint from a person or thing.
While originally there was only one known way to purify someone of Malevolence and reverse Hellionization, since Malevolence's introduction to Filgaia, several new methods have come to be. The following is true of all forms of Purification:
- It cleans away the energies accumulated by the contradictions, potentially showing flashes of what led the purified individual to Hellionization.
- Purification requires a strong spirit; it is not for the faint of heart, lest they be dragged into the very morass they seek to cleanse.
- Purification cannot be done alone; it requires channeling of a spiritual entity's power. It requires a contract between two or more beings.
Purification cannot be brute forced, and if the Hellion is unwilling to change their ways, acknowledge their problems or simply want to be free of Malevolence, their will always supersedes any and all attempts at Purification. Thus, Purification is as much a process of reaching the person beneath the Hellion as it is overpowering the Malevolence possessing them. Fell Dragons, due to their nature, are impossible to purify, making them particularly dangerous.
Currently, the following avenues of Purification exist:
Shepherds and The Silver Flame
Originally the only method of purifying Malevolence, the system of the Shepherds has existed on Lunar for countless centuries, maybe even longer; the exact origins of the Shepherd are lost to time, but the Church of Althena claims that the Shepherd rises to avert calamity and support the people in the absence of a Dragonmaster, acting as a guide to the children of Althena in their time of need. By channeling the blessings of Althena's chosen servants, the Seraphim, the Shepherd was able to cleanse impurity from the world, and drive back its herald, the Lord of Calamity.
It is said there used to be many Shepherds; but with dwindling faith, so too did the Shepherds' numbers, until they seemed to all but disappear from the world. There are some, even, who regard Shepherds as more a myth than a real thing, thanks to Lunar's generally poor record keeping of their existence and the fact that most cannot see the Seraphim a Shepherd claims to channel.
Shepherds, however, are real; in simplest terms, a Shepherd is a mortal who has made a specific pact -- the Shepherd's Pact -- with a Seraph. This Seraph becomes known as a Prime Lord, and any Seraphim who the Shepherd makes their pact with after becomes a Sub Lord beholden to the Prime Lord.
Normally, this Pact alone would not allow for Purification. But when a Seraphim possesses a unique, mysterious talent known as the Silver Flame, this gift, much like the rest of their abilities, are shared with the Shepherd. This largely unknown phenomenon manifests directly as a bluish-silver flame that literally burns away Malevolence. Its power is tied to the spiritual strength (often called Resonance) of the Shepherd, and shared with the Sub Lords.
While Prime and Sub Lords may only be contracted to one Shepherd, a Shepherd can form a pact with other mortals -- known as the Shepherd's Squires -- to share their gift. The same rules apply to a Squire as to their Shepherd. Shepherds, Squires, and sworn Seraphim are all placed in great danger by Malevolence that afflicts one, and more so because of Fell Dragons.
Presently, the only known Seraphim with the gift of the Silver Flame is the Seraph Lailah by way of an Oath; while originally the Silver Flame was a boon of the Empyrean Maotelus that was shared to any bound to him, he has long gone silent for reasons unknown and most are not even aware of his existence. As such, there is currently no one else capable of wielding the Silver Flame other than Lailah, her current Shepherd, Sorey, and their associated Sub Lords and Squires.
Armatization is a power used by Shepherds and Squires, though not strictly exclusive to them. It is a merging of human and Seraph, through a specially designed weapon from ancient Lunar, known as a Divine Artifact. This allows human and Seraph to share a body, granting them powers beyond what they might do independently. Armatization is an entirely separate power from Purification; the Shepherd combines Purification with the ability to Armatize with multiple Seraphim.
Shamans and Guardians
A Shaman of the Guardians can learn to purify Malevolence by conducting a variant of a long-lost ritual, which was first taught to Cecilia Adlehyde. The nature of the ritual depends heavily on the Guardian patron of the Shaman in question, but always involves elemental manifestations of that Guardian's power. As the Guardians' ability to manifest directly is limited, this is the most limited form of Purification; it was born of desperation and, in a spiritual sense, it's like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. For the purposes of this method of Purification, a Shaman is defined as someone who has wholly sworn themselves to the Guardians, and may invoke their power directly. Simply having a Medium is not sufficient to invoke the power of Purification.
Typically, Shamanic Purification will only work on Hellions that have exhausted most of their power. Shaman's Purification will typically only work on the direly injured. Someone must be beaten within an inch of their life for this method to work. A Shaman may, through swearing further Oaths and reinforcing their relationship, make this method more effective... but it lags behind the power of other methods, as this remains a secondary boon to an already astounding power meant to address other ills upon Filgaia. Oracles are a better avenue, as the Guardians' ability to manifest directly in the world has been limited, but this was a recent development, as outlined in the next section.
A Guardian that has manifested directly on Filgaia or Lunar is capable of instantaneous, high-level Purification. Only truly powerful Hellions, Fell Dragons, and the unwilling are immune. However, direct manifestations of Guardians on Filgaia are exceptionally rare.
Oracles and Seers
A wholly new method of Purification, the system of Oracles and Seers was brought about through a pact formed between Guardians and Seraphim during an hour of great need -- and with it, a new relationship between the two spiritual entities.
At its very base, Oracles and Seers is a two-fold method of Purification tied directly to the Guardians. Named after a much older and esoteric system of pledging oneself to a higher power, Oracles refer to any Seraphim who have entered a Pact with a Guardian, thus turning them into a sort of medium for the Guardian's power. Through this connection, an Oracle is able to channel the purifying power of their Guardian through the weapons or tools of mortals who have pledged themselves to the Oracle. These mortals contracted to Oracles are known as Seers.
Though comparison is far from perfect, the relationship between Guardian, Oracle and Seer is roughly analogous to the relationship between Prime Lords, Sub Lords and Shepherds. This is mostly truest in the relationship between Guardian and Oracle, wherein the Oracle inherits the purifying gifts of the Guardian much like a Sub Lord does with Prime Lord they are bound to. There are, however, differences; key amongst these is the simple fact that the Guardians are - by dint of their very nature - a much more passive component in this equation, and have no direct connection to the Seer. Instead, the Oracle acts as an intermediary between Guardian and Seer, providing the Seer with the enchantment necessary to purify Malevolence through communion with and channeling of the Guardian they are bound to.
The method of purification varies from Oracle to Oracle, and tends to be flavored by the Guardian with which they have formed their Pact. Purification via enchantments of Aru Solatu's Oracle, for example, may involve ice in some fashion, whereas Ione Paua's might be something considerably more abstract. Thus Oracle and Seer purification is impossible to define in general terms; how it manifests depends entirely on the Oracle, and thus the Guardian, one is bound to.
There can be multiple Seers contracted with a single Oracle, but because of the unique dynamic of their relationship and -- especially -- how new and taxing this system is, there can only be one Oracle bound to a particular Guardian at any time. This connection between Guardian and Seraph is an intimate thing; thanks to their mutually spiritual natures, aspects of the Guardian's purview may influence the elemental Blessing of the Seraph in unusual ways, similar to how a Shepherd channeling the powers of a Seraph they have formed a pact with may express that Seraph's elemental leanings. It can also, however, be a taxing process; despite their similarly spiritual natures, after all, Guardians and Seraphim are still fundamentally very different entities. Similarly, much like with Shepherds and their Prime and Sub Lords, these connections are two way streets, and one part being spiritually compromised can potentially endanger the whole; thus, Oracles must be very careful about who they choose to make their Seers, and Guardians in turn are very exacting about who they allow to forge a pact with them.
OOCly, Seraphim can request to become Oracles, and other characters may in turn become their Seers. The following stipulations apply, however:
- There can only be one Oracle per Guardian at a time. If, for example, Ge Ramtos already has an Oracle doing their best Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy impression, another Seraph cannot become the Oracle of Death.
- There can be multiple Seers for a single Oracle, but please try to keep it within reason.
- Seers are not Shepherds. They can Purify, and are bound to their Seraph, but it is a process unto itself and does not come with things like Armatization.
- A Seraph who becomes an Oracle may have unique changes to their magic and elemental leanings if they choose, depending on which Guardian they hold a pact with. This is mostly to give Oracles something beyond being a spiritual middle man, and is subject to staff scrutiny and approval.
- A Seraph cannot start out as an Oracle. We ask that if you are apping a fresh Seraph and would like to be an Oracle, that you RP into it.
|Schturdark, Guardian of Water
|Moor Gault, Guardian of Fire