Caln Codex Sorrith: Bio of Sorrith including his reanimated devotees, the Elisted By S.

Lei Pyke *note: this replaces what is written about Sorrith in Maestros and Other things Sorrith: (pronounced sor-ITH) Sorrith is the maestro of Death, Justice, and War. He sits in judgment over all the spirits of the dead. He is a rational Maestro with a highly structured system of worship. His temples are a combination of a court of law, a mortuary, and a military stronghold. Human temples to Sorrith also have a dividing wall: a magical wall dividing the temple into the places where the living can go, and the places that are set aside for the those who are already part of his Army. At the end of mortal life, the dead pass through his court where their souls are judged. If they are found worthy, they continue on to the Feasthall if they are human, or into the Retinue if they are Calnese. If they are not, then they are sent to Kohlerir if they fail but are human, or consumed and wiped from existence if they are of the Calnese races. The following of Sorrith is the practice of warriors, professional militaries, judges, and battlefield medics. His living priesthood devotes itself to these tasks. Sorrith is also known as the patron Maestro of humans, mostly because he was the first to provide for the disposition of human faithful into the system of salvation. He was the one who encouraged his fellow Maestros to create their own paths so that all the Maestros could enjoy the company of faithful human souls. Sorith handles the processing all mortal souls, having been appointed to that task so that all the other maestros could go about the business of caring and watching over their creation. He used to be an outer council maestro, but his dedication to Caius and his defense of humanity prompted his ascension to the inner circle. In the civilizations of the three races, he took over the temples of Ixah, the only inner council maestro to rebel. In Arynstar, he built the first temple of his own design. He is currently the lord over all of Insir’s armies.

In regards to Lemari, he doesn’t understand her rage. He does not hate her. He simply can’t comprehend her behavior. Understanding insanity is not in his nature. He simply and calmly cares for her devotees out of respect for her. Sorrith’s army is made of three groups: the conscripts, who consist of every mortal who has died outside the path of salvation, the enlisted, who are on his path of Salvation, and the officers, who are entirely made up of immortals. Priests who die without joining the path of salvation also join the enlisted in death, but only the enlisted from the path of salvation and select groups of Officers get to wage war on the material plane. Sorrith has two appearances. His true appearance is of a tall, dark haired, blackeyed muscular warrior with his armor, shield, and his long sword, called “Judgment”. He also has a cloak of crimson silk. He has a huge masyth named Atrix, a creature twice the size of a rysyth, and from its back, he issues his commands on the battlefield. The same masyth also consumes the souls of those Calnese natives who fail their judgment. His second form is that of a skeletal humanoid, wrapped a crimson cloak. His eye sockets are filled with a white light. His face is horrid and half eaten by decay, and he smells of embalming spices and blood. Not many have seen his face in this form and lived. He usually only reveals his face to the dying, but if he must reveal himself to the living before their time is done, he wears a platinum death mask with the eyes carefully cut out. In this form, he carries the sickle called “Harvest”, which continuously drips blood. In both forms, his seal is of an eagle with its wings and legs outstretched. In one clawed foot, it holds the sword, and in the other, the sickle. There are three stars above its head, representing humankind, immortals, and the Calnese Master Races, or Rysyth Linyth, and Esyth, or even Humans, Maestros, Creator, depending on who looks at it depending on culture and status in the Cosmic order. Spanning from wingtip to wingtip above the stars is a banner, known as the banner of rank, and is only present on the seals of his immortals. Only the living, mortal devotees carry a holy symbol, and it never bears this banner. On the manufactured holy symbol, the symbol is set in a gold disk, representing Sorrith’s vows to Caius. The Enlisted also have this disk instead of the banner, but it is

tattooed into their flesh by Sorrith or by his immortals. Only members of Sorrith’s church can see this tattoo. The ascended humans of Sorrith’s Army bear the banner on their seal, which denotes their rank among his officers. It is also pressed into their flesh, as with the Enlisted, but instead of the sun disk, they have a badge of rank. Upon closer inspection, the sigil is not tattoos on. It appears to be made of a mosaic of tiny, iridescent scales that reflect the sunlight. Living priests of Sorrith tend to be as rational as their Maestro, but tend to be very impatient. They know and accept as a tenant of faith that they will die, and that their day of death is uncertain. If something must be done, it must be done with expediency and so procrastination, for a living Sorrithian priest, is one of the greatest sins. Priests of Sorrith are all trained in the art of war. They take their role very seriously as protectors and defenders of the upright, stalwart defenders against temptation and the denizens of Pathir, and judges and warriors on the material plane. The final interesting thing about Sorrith is that all of his immortals are ascended humans. Like Lemari, he rejected the true immortals. Since he is the judge of the council, he cannot accept them into his service until their sentence is complete. Humans who earned their immortality and have been patroned by him have made it into his service, filling the ranks of Officers in his army. Sorrithians reanimated, alive, or immortal are not all dour, however. They readily enjoy a good joke. They take their play as seriously as their work, and hold it sacred as a rare treat on the material plane. Almost all mortals, both living and on the path of salvation know that there is a feast waiting for them when their service on the material is complete. Sorrith’s plan of Salvation: Sorrith remembered how humans helped him when he lost his body to Ixah. He remembered his new tasks and his role and came up with his plan. Since all human dead who pass the test of judgment remain in his realm, he had to think of a different way to separate those who had dedicated themselves from the rest of the mortals who went to his domain by default. He also needed a way to seek out the dead whose spirits remained on the material plane for one reason or another. His immortals could do it, but they were continually wrapped up in the war against demons. His solution was simple. He created gems, very similar to the soul gems of three races,

which a human soul could be contained in. Caius blessed his plan to do this because he had not participated in the creation of the three races, and he believed that whatever he would do with these human souls, even if a little strange, would be essentially good. In a very somber ceremony, a willing human could be killed as a sacrifice. At this point in time, its soul would be contained in the gem even as the blood was offered before the Maesro’s idol. Usually following this event, the soul is educated by the officers of Sorrith on everything they will need to serve him. Then, when they are suitably prepared, they return to their bodies but not to life. The gem they inhabit is pressed into their corpse right at the solar plexus. No matter what time the ritual is performed, the individual always rises before dawn at the same hour that soldiers begin their day. The Enlisted: People on the path of salvation are collectively known as The Enlisted, but individually known as Sacred Watchers to the living. Reanimated daitari are known as Karlinyi. In Sorrith’s army, the enlisted occupy the ranks of non-commissioned officers. People in this condition are referred to as reanimated rather than undead since it is not a cursed or evil state. Their souls in their gems are granted the magic to animate their corpses and maintain them, but to remove the gem from one will cause the body to cease movement, though the body is preserved until the gem is destroyed. Destroying a body will force the watcher into a long process of regeneration. Their gems, if found, are dropped into a tomb filled with water from one of Caln’s magic springs. In about a decade, it will emerge as a whole creature. Destroying a gem is the only way to end the corporeal service of an enlisted. Being essentially dead, they never need to breathe more than to speak, they never sleep, and they can’t eat solid food. As for why Sorrith chose to create this special condition, the enlisted will say that their body is merely a vessel and the most convenient method of conveyance. They wouldn’t have it any other way. Inhabiting a dead body mimics the trial of Sorrith following his defeat and they consider it the highest form of blessing to be like their Maestro. Compare them to Ixcara or Thrass’s minions, and watch out for a fight. That is a sure way to get them into a rage. There are other reasons for this condition. Besides mimicking his own state and trial, Sorrith, as the Maestro of death, wanted to give people a walking reminder of their

mortal destiny. Since they are technically dead, they can affect the incorporeal as well as the corporeal. This means that they can see, hear, and touch spirits. One of their tasks is to seek out the spirits that get lost on the way to judgment and to show them the way to Sorrith’s courtroom. There are some things that are particular to them. From the time they die, they begin to dehydrate and emaciate until they look like terrible, mummified husks of humans. They do not feel this process. They no longer feel pain, because physical pain is a privilege of the living. They do not stiffen as long as they inhabit their body. They have a fluid grace that belies their condition and even the weakest of them has the strength to match ten humans—they are stronger than even Caius’s devotees. Unlike cursed undead, who are the products of demon influence, the Enlisted can walk in the day or night. They are also incapable of healing naturally. In return for this disability, Sorrith allows them to drink blood. It is only necessary for two things: healing of their wounds and maintaining a freshly dead appearance. They can get it from three sources: their enemies, the dead who are brought into the temple for processing, and from a person willingly presenting a small amount as a gift. The last option gives them the best benefit for the least amount. Given a great deal, they can even regenerate, though it is usually easier to stick a severed limb back on. They do not have their own blood, though. Instead of blood, their veins are filed with a somewhat sticky, mucous-like endoplasmic substance that becomes redder or clearer depending on how much blood they have imbibed within a month. The enlisted do not smell like decay, nor do they decay—they merely appear to dry out. After they have initially dried out for the first time, they smell like Sorrith in his second form: of embalming spices and fresh blood. It seems like a situation that has more advantages than disadvantages, but it is a very difficult path with a great deal of responsibility. They have a very clear purpose and a series of tasks they must do. They also must obey their superiors as if the orders came from Sorrith himself. If an enlisted of Sorrith disobeys, it is immediately pulled up to Sorrith's court for questioning. If it is found guilty of sin against Sorrith, it is

immediately sent to the lower level of Kohlerir. Second, not everyone who wants to follow the path of salvation can actually do it. Sorrith actually judges a soul during the ceremony. If the gem does not take on its own color when it is placed into the candidate’s hands, the candidate is simply slaughtered as unworthy. Most of the time, the ceremony is performed in a temple and once a mortal passes behind the dividing wall, unless they are consecrated by Sorrith himself, must die to leave. To become reanimated is to forfeit all hope of becoming immortal. In return, though they don’t know it, they will be the last to leave Caln at the end of time, having helped Sorrith gather the humans, both living and dead, so that they can be sent onward. The enlisted can exist without their body, but they cannot interact with the material plane other than being able to speak to the minds of telepathically sensitive people and they can project a vaporous spirit form in a limited radius from their gem, but this vapor can only make “physical” contact with the incorporeal or with immortals. This could be potentially dangerous, since a gem without its body there to protect it is very vulnerable. The only definite way to kill an Enlisted is to shatter its gem when it is exposed. The enlisted have knowledge of the Feasthall, having been shown it, but they are not allowed to partake in the feast until their service is concluded—which could potentially be milennia. During their long service, an enlisted can only own a few things: Its clothes, which is usually one set of Sorrithian robes, one set of armor, and one set of funerary attire. It usually has all of the gear necessary to do battle on the material. All of them also carry a tiny stiletto, which they use to open wounds and to do rituals. This tiny dagger is blessed to bless the willing with health, or cause decay in their enemies. Every enlisted is a member of the clergy, but not every Sorrithian clergyman is a member of the Enlisted. In the ranks of the enlisted, Sorrith actually has priestesses, but all of his living clergy are male. Enlisted Rank: White: Enlisted with white gems are of the highest rank. They are the only ones who can hold the title of High Priest. Sorrith accepts the members of the three Calnese races into

his service at this rank only. Their ceremony is always done by Sorrith himself, but the result is the same. White gem enlisted are called Scout Majors on the field of battle, High Priests within the temple, and emissaries if they are seen in any other capacity. Humans that receive this rank are the most trusted of Sorrith’s humans, and are usually responsible for one of his temples. Gold: Daitari that choose the path of Sorrith are called Karlinyi, or more commonly, runners. Rainbow: The seven colors of the rainbow signify the rank and file of the reanimated. A rainbow hued enlisted carries one color, beginning with red. For each century that the enlisted lives, it changes down the spectrum to violet before resetting. When it resets, the center of the gem turns black, and a solid wedge of red is made permanent. In the second 700 years, the enlisted receives an orange wedge, and so on until 4900 years have passed. The enlisted then has 100 years until Sorrith calls them into a review, at which point they are given the option to either end their service or continue. Ending their service means death, while a continuation allows the enlisted to return to its body. These ancient ones have a white gem with a black center, signifying their age. The reward for all this is that Sorrith’s domain becomes a vacation for the enlisted, while to normal humans it is merely a resting place before the battles. Calnese adherents to Sorrith join his Vanguard where they serve him in death until they are destroyed and returned to the essences of the Maestros. The Souls of the Dead: Sorrith commands the Feasthall, the place where all dead, having passed the test of judgment, go to unwind from the arduous task of living before going on to their chosen deity. Normal humans, if they did not choose a specific path of salvation, go on to battle demons on the eternal battlefield. Human Priests of Sorrith who die outside the path go to the battlefield to become the commanders over these dead. Calnese natives do not have an afterlife as an entity. Normally, if it passes judgment, its essence separates and their collective experiences return to the maestros. Only under certain conditions does a Calnese native retain a spirit beyond judgment.

These special ones form the Entourage, which go to specific maestros depending on who they served in life. Sorrith’s entourage is called the Vanguard. The enlisted do not go to battle when they are called home. Having died already, they go directly to the Feasthall or the Vanguard, where they are given lauds, riches, their own quarters, and the knowledge that they never need to do battle again until the great melee at the end of time. Eventually, they grow bored of retirement and begin to spar with each other, and so the grand lists were formed in the afterlife for the entertainment of those who are feasting, or visit the sections of Sorrith’s domain to greet the followers of other Maestros. They are not forbidden from battle on the field, though. They can go if they choose, but it is never for eternity. Some even go to help train the conscripted, or go when the itch to do battle takes them. Only the Karlinyi do not get to retire from service. Regardless of species, Sorrith’s human enlisted are only honored by the church of Sorrith. Most humans tend to view this arrangement as disgusting and unnatural. Other races view them as blessed and worthy of respect, knowing that a Calnese enlisted has actually been in contact directly with Sorrith.

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