The Zealots of Aetolia
The Daru Monastery was founded in year 94 MA by a group of Sentaari monks who wished to walk a path of righteousness in the Light, and was formally recognized as a guild in the year 98 MA, following conflict with and division from more moderate Sentaari elements. Finding strength in the heat and light of holy fire, they followed Lord Rahn's tenet of Perfection until His demise. With the subsequent genesis of Lady Auresae, the guild refocused itself on the path of Purity, which became its highest ideal, and the Zealots looked to banish their Corruption from within. Devout seekers of self-improvement, they likewise strove to perfect themselves in Mind, Body, and Will.
Sharing a common tradition with both Sentaari and Illuminai, the Daru - now Zealots - had retained the skills of Tekura and Telepathy - the former a martial art, rendering its practitioner a deadly weapon. The latter, honing the mind to a precision instrument, capable of striking at enemies from a distance. Finally, the ancient art of Illumination expressed the will of the Zealot, allowing them to channel their Inner Spark, unleashing fire and light as both an awesome weapon and a formidable defense.
On 13th Khepary, of the year 452 MA, the prophet Kayalenki, condemning the leadership of the guild, ordered the Daru dissolved as an independent monastery. Those loyal to their Illuminai heritage were bid to join with the Luminaries under a new Illuminai order. The Daru legacy is that of a structured, disciplined approach; one in which the Light is found by the slow and careful elimination of flaws. Though the guild itself is ended, the teachings live on within the Illuminai.
Part Tekura, part Duamvi martial arts, the Zealots make use of hands, feet, and chain, each complementing the other aspects of Zeal. It is an efficient and uncompromising style of violence, unhindered by notions of mercy or fairness. The Zealot's enemies have eschewed these things; so, too, does the Zealot in hunting them.
Ready to play a Zealot?
Create your character and play for free today - no download required!
Roleplaying a Zealot
Zealots are martial artists, emerging from the mainline of the Sentaari and journeying southeast in the year of Sahmie Rhashye's Revelation, 97 MA. Forsaking the spirit-based arts of Kaido in favor of Illumination, the Zealots first organized into a guild known as the Daru before later, in the year 452 MA, joining with the Luminaries to form the Illuminai reborn. Over time, their arts have evolved into a tradition that is noticeably distinct from its Sentaari and Luminary forebears, fusing internal and external disciplines into one unified whole.
Who were the first Illuminai?
The Illuminai first emerged in the epoch prior to the Midnight Age, a southeastern movement founded in Shallam - the city that is now Enorian. Their monolatrous faith was one of fire, centered upon the Goddess Mebrene, though they also drew inspiration from Idar Karif and his warriors of Light. As the first practitioners of Illumination, they succeeded in overthrowing the Sultan's corrupt rule and instituting spiritual and political reforms under the governance of Kayalenki, their leader and high priestess. Eventually, however, a combination of internal dispute and outside threats crushed the Illuminai and their temple, and the sultanate was restored.
What is the Spirit Plane?
Rewh'va, the Plane of Spirit, is the source of the element of spirit, which is an essential component of the Zealot's arts. The element of spirit crosses into the Prime through the sun, which is itself an immense portal connecting the two planes, and is found in all living beings - from the smallest grasses to the mightiest beasts. Without the Spirit Plane, neither life nor the Zealot's discipline of Purification would be possible. The Duamvi, a symbiotic race created by the Triad of Angels, originate from the Spirit Plane.
The sources of the Zealot's arts include:
Martial tradition, consisting of training in punches, kicks, and the use of a chain. The chain is made from silver, in spite of its low durability, because of its superior ability to conduct the element of spirit.
Mental conditioning to develop willpower, psionic might, and extrasensory perception.
The manipulation and structuring of ambient spirit in the world around them.
The Inner Spark, a wellspring of elemental spirit and fire possessed by all living, sentient beings, and its expression through the focalmarks they wear on their hands and feet.
The Grand Flame, a sacred fire within Enorian which serves as a point of communion between mortality and the Gods of Spirit.
Visual style of the class
The Zealot's martial arts are characterized by powerful, precise strikes, augmented by their Inner Spark and spirit to enact brilliant displays of white fire from their focalmarks. By contrast, their psionic manifestations are deceptively subtle, consisting in self-defense techniques, telekinetic movement, various forms of extrasensory perception, and - at the higher levels of the art - the ability to shrive off their physical bodies and project their wills into an astral form.
Light and sparks often linger about them during, as well as after, enacting the disciplines of fire and spirit characteristic of Purification.
Side effects of the class
Spirit, being the most lively and energetic of the elements, may, over time, shift the personality of any practitioner who draws upon it frequently - and Zealots are no exception. Even calm personalities may be rendered more excitable, extreme, or volatile by its influence, a quality which often exists in tension with their highly structured arts.
Owing to the discipline, repetition, and conditioning the Zealot practices to master their techniques, there is a strong tendency to ritualize everyday behavior. Whether this manifests more usually, as in speaking a blessing before meals, or extends to particular ways of washing hands, walking home, or preparing for bed, Zealots often rely upon these routines in order to remain grounded.
Roleplaying the class
Zealots are martial artists, defined as much by the ceaseless mastery of their skills as their alignment with the Light. Their arts have been honed to oppose the enemies of Spirit, particularly undead and vampires, to such an extent that an unfocused or careless Zealot is capable of injuring themselves with the power of Purification and Psionics.
The exacting attention which their path demands produces focused, determined warriors, who are often alienated from the people they defend. The art of Purification in particular is tied to Enorian and its Grand Flame, meaning that Zealots are universally devoted to the Light, seeking to bring about the end of the Midnight Age and usher in the prophesized Age of Dawn.