In the world of Alteris there are many groups people choose to align themselves with. These groups are often referred to collectively as societies. Some societies have incredible influence in their regions. Others are more secretive. Every nation of Alteris, including the territory of Tandavar, is home to hosts of societies, each fulfilling different roles in their respective niches.
In Mul Debbon, the most prominent society is the Order of Elken. They are a religious conclave of warrior monks, often referred to collectively as Elkenhammers. They follow the teachings of the god of nature, Elken, which is called called the El Kund. While the members of this society are often referred to as Elkenhammers, there are in fact three distinct castes with their own roles to play within the Order.
The first caste within the Order of Elken is the Tavors. Becoming a Tavor is no small feat. One must first pledge themselves to the service of Elken by releasing all their attachments to property; they may own no land, or any possessions other than their clothes. Then, they must begin their education in the rites and rituals of the Order. This process can take decades. When they are not memorizing their sacred texts, or training in the arts of self defense, they act as merchants throughout Mul Debbon, managing the trade goods of farmers and artisans to sell on their behalf.
Tavors are trusted with this duty to ensure that precious commodities, such as food and clothing, are never sold at costs that would put undo burden on the people of Mul Debbon. Finer items such as jewelry are not under the purview of Tavors. Tavors may marry, and have children. Some members of the Order of Elken choose to be Tavors for the remainder of their lives, marrying and raising a family of their own.
Tavors become Elkenhammers once they have completed all the initiate rites of the Order of Elken. With the transition from Tavor to Elkenhammer, members make another sacrifice: a life long vow of celebacy. Any marriage they were part of before transitioning from Tavor to Elkenhammer is at that time dissolved. At this point, they complete the Warriors Rite: creating their weapon. Every Elkenhammer carries with them a short handled war hammer, etched with runes from the Bibila El Kund, their book of sacred scripture. These war hammers are powerfully enchanted, and are said to be vessels for the magical essence of the owners soul.
Elkenhammers are the most recognized caste among the citizenry of Mul Debbon. Elkenhammers act as a police force in the nation of Mul Debbon. They are also frequently called upon for matters regarding the execution of religious rites among the citizenry of Mul Debbon. Elkenhammers are both priests and patrolmen, their sole purpose to protect the freedom of the people, according to their belief in the balance of nature.
Elkenhammers spend their lives continuing their education in the finer arts of magic, traveling the countryside as wandering arbiters. Many Elkenhammers find townships to call home, where they act as law enforcement or judges. Most who become Elkenhammers remain in this position until the end of their lives.
However, there are some few Elkenhammers who transition into another stage of leadership within the Order. These venerable elders are called Parriarhks. The process of becoming a Parriarhk is called the Final Rite, and it involves letting go of the last of their earthly attachments; namely eating and sleeping. Parriarhks enter a new state of being as they transition from life to death. Some Parriarhks have been known to live as long as ten years without eating or sleeping in that entire time, sustaining themselves only through their connection to the magic of nature.
Parriarhks act as the ruling council among the Order, and although most Elkenhammers are given autonomy to do as they please within the confines of their duty, occasionally specific assignments are divined by the Parriarhks as they commune with nature. Parriarhks act as oracles, providing spiritual guidance for the members of the Orde as well as the people of Mul Debbon.
Citizens of Mul Debbon are free to believe whatever they choose, and are not compelled to worship Elken. However, most citizens of Mul Debbon choose to either out of a sense of family tradition, or their own conviction toward the god of nature. Either way, the nation of Mul Debbon remains an Egalitarian Theocracy centered around the practices safeguarded by the Order of Elken.
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