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Thoughts on the Ruthinian Faith

by James Mishler

The Ruthinian Faith is (as of 1000 AC in my campaign) still a dream in the mind of a priest of Solarios (Ixion), one named Rufinio diAmbrosi, an Amancerian of the Shadow Coast. Rufinio believes in a more structured, Lawful based faith than the more Neutral-oriented Temple of Solarios of Thyatis, of which he used to be a member. He has been much affected by the dogma upon which the Temple of the Sun in Narvaez (Savage Coast) is based, though he is much gentler than the proponents of that faith. His differences of faith caused him to have a falling out with his own temple in 990 AC (at the age of 30); he then took to wandering and preaching his own faith throughout Thyatis and beyond. On the Isle of Dawn he became known as Ruthin (a corruption of Rufinio); he is making a good number of converts among the lesser nobility of the Dunael, Helska and Daumancer, and he has founded his own temple with their support (the nobility has begun to unite under the Ruthinian Faith as a means to unite against the Thyatians and Alphatians, whom they all see as interlopers).

The Ruthinian Faith, at the time of Ruthin's "Ascension" (in1040 AC), will be firmly based among the nobility of the Isle of Dawn and will have spread to the nobility of other regions, including the Northern Reaches and the (then) remains of the Thyatian Empire. In form the Ruthinian Faith will have much in common with the Church of Karameikos (and will, in fact, be it's major competitor in the Thyatian City States), in that it does not directly revere any one single Immortal; the major "Patron Immortal" of the Faith will be Solarios (the Patron of the new Immortal Ruthin); Vanya will also be a major influence, as will Forsetta, the Patron Immortal of the Helska and of Justice; and Finnegar, the Patron Immortal of the Dunael.

The focus of the Ruthinian Faith will be on Macro- Theological standings (concepts of Sin and Redemption, Following the Good Path, etc); mostly, however, it will be used as a vehicle for members of the faithful (mostly nobility) to validate their position in society, as it will be an Article of Faith among the Ruthinians that one's place in society is ordained by the Immortals; however, it will also be an Article of Faith that only the "Truly Noble" may rule (as in the concept of "Mandate from Heaven", if rebel nobles won their revolution, obviously the deposed rulers were not "meant" to rule). Hence, there is plenty of room for revolution and intrigue amongst the nobility and even amongst the nobility vis a vis the commoners.

At the time of the Ascension of Ruthin, the Kingdom of Vestland will be in a state of civil war; the last of the primary line of King Ottar the Just will have been killed in battle with the Ostlanders; the Vestlander Jarls will battle with one another for supremacy; the Ostlander King will claim the Vestland Throne; and the Ethengar, Trolls and Heldannic Knights would take the opportunity to raid and pillage the countryside. Into this chaos will go Hamund, a Vestlander Disciple of Ruthin who founds a Ruthinian Monastery in Vestland in 1030 AC. Abhorring the chaos about him, Hamund would set his faith in the Way of Ruthin and seek out a man who was "Truly Noble"; he would find Gunnar Hrolfson, the youngest son of the Jarl of Norrland. Gunnar will have already been converted to the Ruthinian Faith by his Daumancer mother (against the wishes of his Pagan father).

Together, young Gunnar and Hamund would reunite Vestland under Gunnar's leadership (by Right of Might). In 1050 AC Gunnar will be crowned High King of Vestland in a solemn ceremony by the First Patriarch of Ruthin, Hamund, at the Ruthinian Monastery in Vestland. Vestland would become the first ostensible Ruthinian Kingdom, though most of the common folk would remain faithful to Frey and Freyja; disgruntled nobles will turn to the "Old Gods", mostly Loki and Hel, in order to regain their power. The power of the clans will wane as the kingdom enters a more "civilised" era of enlightenment, under the rulership of the High Kings and their nobles, advised by the Priests of Ruthin and guided by the power of the Sorona...

Note: The Ruthinian Faith was first introduced in the module X13, "Crown of Ancient Glory", by Stephen Bourne; I have changed the names of the High King and the First Patriarch to fit into the definitively Norse feel of the Northern Reaches as established in GAZ 7 (Hamund = Haymin, Gunnar = Gendar). The sketch of the history of the faith, and it's teachings are my own. Also note that in X13, the High Kings have ruled for "centuries", but as that didn't really fit in too well with established Known World history, I moved the death of High King Maramet back to 1250 AC, rather than 1150 AC as proposed in GAZ 7.

Thus, TY, the Ruthinians would fit in quite well as a "Protestant" form of faith (even in their belief system, in some ways), esp. as it is only a growing faith as of 1000 AC through ~ 1050 AC, when the nobility and royalty of Vestland become openly Ruthinian...