The Reign of the Demon King – Part 2
We continue our discussion about the Reign of the Demon King. In our last lecture, we talked about the fate of the Kingdoms, during this thirty year period. This week, we look at some of the major organizations in Elhal, and how they fared under the rule of the Demon King.
In all the Demon King, and by extension, the Demons were mostly hostile to any organized group of humans. As a student of humanity, the Demon King was fully aware of the power of human organizations, and their ability to create change. Thus in order to keep humanity under his rule, the Demon King sent out edicts to disband all the major human organizations, in most cases by hunting and killing their members.
The Church of the All Father
Highest on the list of outlawed organizations was the Church of the All-Father. For reasons which not everyone is fully aware, the Demon King, personally despised the Church. He was not content disbanding this organization, he wanted to make humanity shun or fear its worship. He wanted to steal their faith in hope in the All-Father.
Many scholars attribute this strong reaction to jealously, but I have suspect that from my dealings with some of my friends, those close to the King, that there is more involved than something simple as feelings.
As soon as he took the Imperial throne, the Demon King banned all worship of the All-Father. In Demon controlled areas, churches were destroyed, including the great cathedrals of Inkala and those in Arelean. All of the worship days and festivals were also banned. Wearing of any clothing or jewelry bearing the symbol of the All-Father was also banned. All sacred scrolls were confiscated and destroyed. Finally, any recitation of prayers of the All-Father was also banned. Breaking any of these laws injured strong, public punishment, often leading to death.
In the Demon controlled lands, the result was mostly successful, public worship or acknowledgement of the All-Father vanished. Though, the more faithful members ran underground churches hidden in the basements of homes or businesses, and relying on memorization of the Sacred Scrolls. They operated in small unconnected pockets for the duration of the Demon Kings’ reign.
The underground church of Inkala would be a key factor in its liberation by King Airon. This is for a much later lecture.
In the more remote lands, the ban on the All-Father was not as rigidly enforced. The churches remained, but should a demon patrol or a Harvest came by, the decorations of the church were hidden. In many cases, the Priests and Priestesses traveled town-to-town, performing services and them moving on to the next town.
A number of sacred scrolls were rescued and hidden in churches in remote areas of Vaasari and Kotkala. These remote areas were also where new Priests and Priestesses were trained by the Church. These remote areas became the backbone of the Church. Even in exile, the Church was lead by the First Father, who would write messages which would be thrown over the wall where the faithful would brave the Ebon Flower fields to recover the messages.
The Demons continued to keep Ceredome walled off. Despite the wall, the city of Ceredome survived and flourished. The citizens tore down some of the buildings and turned it over to farmland. The All-Father provided for in Ceredome, and the city survived and the population grew. The First Father remained the spiritual leader and lead the people, until The Vessel arrived, to lead the people out of Ceredome and to a new land.
That will also be the topic for a future lecture.
The Brotherhood of Steel
With the falling of the Kotkalan Rebellion the Brotherhood’s formal military operations against the Demons ceased. The Brothers broke up into smaller cells and scattered through Elhal. In most cases the Brothers took on the guise of traveling craftsmen, going from town-to-town to help fix farm equipment, and engage in trade. All the while, they were scouting, looking for injustice that they could correct. When they could not find injustice, they would find a lone Demon patrol, and dispatch them.
The Brotherhood became a source of justice in the remote regions, outside of the Demon’s control. As we have talked about, these regions were prone to lawlessness or tyranny. The Brothers helped balance this out by performing their harsh brand of justice. For the innocent who were in these areas, the Brotherhood were the only protection these people had, and they did what they could to assist the Brothers’ survival. This often came in the form of supplies, or a place to camp during the winter months.
Over the years, a second generation of Brothers rose up, the children of the original Imperial soldiers. These children grew up on the road, and when old enough were taught to be squires for the Brothers, and became apprentices to learn the blacksmith trade. Eventually these children would be given their parents armor, and become new Brothers. Their parents would retire from combat, and remain as master craftsmen and mentors.
During the Reign of the Demon King, the Brothers never lost their signature armor, though it became more battered and weathered with each passing year. The second generation Brothers forged more of their own armor, but always incorporated a piece of the original Imperial armor, as a symbol of office.
During the rise of King Airon, the Brothers would reunite and form the first fighting force under the King’s command. They would take place in a number of key battles against the Demons.
The Curved Daggers
Much like the Brotherhood, the Curved Daggers went underground at the fall of Inkala. Following his King’s orders, Morganis went into hiding. He retreated into a remote section of Stammiglin and set up a fortress and training camp. There he gathered all the remaining Daggers, and organized them into a spy network, once again. Daggers traveled throughout Elhal observing and collecting intelligence and reporting back to Morganis.
At the same time, Morgans began to raise and train a new group of Daggers in the mountain fortress. This new generation of Daggers were trained using the the traditional methods. In addition, the new generation became well versed in Demon physiology, to make them more efficient killers. Among this new generation of Daggers, were several of Morgans’ grandchildren, who were groomed for a very special mission, the one that King Therion outlined before his death.
That mission will be discussed in upcoming lectures, when we talk about The Great Heroes.
Overall the Daggers remained in the shadows during this time, continuing to engage in the Shadow War with their demonic counterparts, the Ebon Blades. Unlike the Brothers who were dispensing justice in the remote towns, the Daggers mostly watched from the shadows. They would not move force, until the rise of King Airon.
The Guild Arcanis
The Guild was second to the Church in the Demon’s persecution. This was for the more obvious reason of the power they wielded. Mages were executed by the Demons without hesitation. Any human capable of wielding magic, was a criminal. Many Mages died during the Fall of Inkala, attempting to hold the School of Arcanis from the Demons. During that siege, the Demons were able to capture the Archmage Shankar. He was taken to the Demon Lands were he was imprisoned in the Demon Prince, Suldar’s ensho.
We will find out later that Shankar allowed himself to be captured, as part of King Theron’s plan. What Shankar learned, would be instrumental in the fall of the Demon King.
Those Mages that survived Inkala, fled into the remote areas and went to hiding. Many became hermits, while some hid their Arcane talents and moved into towns pretending to be normal people. Over time, Mages became so rare, that any display of Arcane powers in public caused panic. In some of the more remote areas of Stammiglin, the practice of Magic was a crime punishable by death.
The mages remaned in hiding untl the rise of King Airon and the liberation of Shankar. Then they flocked to Airon’s banner, where they were welcomed and played a vital role in the Fall of the Demon King.
The Cult of Humanis
Of all the groups of humans the Cult of Humanis fared better than the others. The Demons seemed indifferent to the cult, allowing them to operate freely in central Monatobe and areas of Stammiglin. In some areas, the Cult operated in the open, ruling over towns.
The Demons liked the way the Cult ruled over humans, providing order. In turn the leaders of the Cult recognized the authority of the Demons, and provided the Demons with members for the Harvest. Because of this arrangement, the Cult was allowed to flourish, especially in the remote regions, where the Demon’s control was thin or non-existent.
Even today, the Cult operates in within Central Monatobe and Central Stammiglin, though King Airon has taken steps to remove the Cult when they are discovered.
The reign of the Demon King was a challenging time for the established organizations of Elhal. Each, group took a different route to survival, and was changed during the reign. In the end, what was most important was that they survived, and they would be there when the tide turned against the Demon King.
In our next lecture we will discuss the Great Heroes, the group who would eventually lead to the Fall of the Demon King. This is a lengthy topic, and will span multiple lectures. We will start simply by introducing the heroes and discussing how they met.