Wednesday, August 21, 2013

A Place to Call their Own - The Adherents of Aliyah

Brother Malakai moved about the claustrophobic shelves of the ancient library at Westyn Priory. The Golem's heavy step rang from the worn, polished stone tiles and echoed high in the vaulted ceiling. His work in the library was a great comfort to him. The solitude, the smell of old leather and parchment, the faint echo of plainchant from the far-off chapel – all helped to soothe his troubled mind and, at least temporarily, insulate him from the horror of his existence. As he plodded through a dimly lit intersection between shelves, a figure stepped from the shadow and laid a light hand on the Golem's forearm. With all the frightening, deceptive speed of an avalanche, Brother Malakai pushed his attacker away with one broad hand while the other went reflexively for the heavy, broad-bladed cutlass that no longer hung from his belt. He relaxed at once as he saw the short, swarthy form step more fully into the light and smile.
“Lidiah.” Rumbled the Golem, straightening and trying to regain his composure.
“Malakai.” Replied the Vargr. “I have come to hear your decision.”
Malakai shook his head.“I'm staying, Lidiah. Westyn is my home now. Yours too, if you'd only accept it.”
“Bah!” Lidiah spat. “You and I, we are nothing to these priests. Pawns and muscle, nothing more. We are being used drugar. The humans will never accept us, no matter what they say.”
The golem shook his head once more.“I have to believe they will, and I'm staying to see that they do.”
The Vargr smiled a toothy, lopsided smile. “Fine, I leave you to your books. You know where to find me when you finally come to your senses.” She embraced him, then faded into the shadows of the library as quick as she'd come, leaving Malakai alone.

To the casual observer, the Order of the Penitent appears as a monolithic structure within which its members, the Accursed, walk in lockstep with one another toward some common goal. This could not be further from the truth. Within the Order of the Penitent are countless cliques, factions, and sub-groups all vying for power, members, and prestige within the larger Enochian hierarchy. Some break down along lines of Witchbreeds, others along political, social, or culture lines. There are groups trying to get more rights for the Accursed within the Church and Morden society at large, while others seek to isolate and repatriate the Accursed to distant lands. One of the most vocal is a group that calls themselves the Adherents of Aliyah.

The Aliyahans are a group of Accursed who work toward the creation of an independent Accursed state, a place of and for the cast-off children of the Grand Coven. Named for their leader, a charismatic Damphir from the south of Manreia, this group has been slowly gathering resources and supporters over the past decade. Members scour the shattered remains of Morden and even cross back into the Outlands in search of the perfect place to build a new Accursed homeland. They hope to build a place free of human bigotry and interference, a land in which they can live out the remains of their days in relative peace and, hopefully, some semblance of comfort. Not every Accursed agrees with their quest, and most Enochian officials who have heard of the movement give it no countenance whatsoever.

The final outcome, whether the Aliyahans succeed in their quest to create a new Accursed homeland or fail spectacularly, remains to be seen. The idea of a place to settle and distance themselves from the horrors of the past is incredibly attractive to many Accursed however. More and more of the Accursed join the Adherents every day.

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