In Loskalm, Malkionism developed a strong current of dualism, positing that the Invisible God’s awareness of itself created a lesser (and flawed) demiurge that in turn created lesser emanations – powers, elements – which in turn multiplied and combined, which resulted in the gods. The gods were flawed and self-willed and fought among themselves, bringing Chaos into the world. All of material reality is thus tainted with entropy and corruption. Ideals became associated with light and the good; matter became associated with darkness and evil.
Now this dualism also placed a great value on a type of elite horse-riding warrior that wandered around the countryside to right the wrongs done to the common people by the powers that be – called “men-of-all”, but you can imagine them as knight-errants, youxia, bogatyrs, etc. They followed the Code of Hrestol and were expected to be equally skilled with sword, horse, spear, poem, lore, and courtesy.
For ten years I have been polishing this sword; Its frosty edge has never been put to the test. Now I am holding it and showing it to you: Is there anyone suffering from injustice?
The most famous of these wandering heroes, Prince Snodal, saved Loskalm from its doom when he organised the conspiracy that slew the God of the Silver Feet and instituted the Syndics Ban. The Ban cut Loskalm off from the corrupt world and allowed Prince Snodal’s son Siglat the Wise to radically reform Loskalmi society and institutions.
Everyone in Loskalm is taught agriculture. Every person is taught it and must live in the countryside, farming for two years at a time, with women doing the same work as men. Parallelly, every citizen must learn at least one of the other essential trades: weaving (mainly done by the women), carpentry, metalsmithing and masonry. Those who display the appropriate spiritual, mental, and physical virtues are trained as Guardians. Successful Guardians may be selected to become Men-of-All and become elite errant wanderers who right wrongs, bring justice, and defend the common people.
A very few Men-of-All are selected to become Wizards, and allowed to dedicate themselves to fully to spiritual and philosophical matters. And of those Wizards, a very few are selected by the King to join him as a Noble and to aid him in ruling Loskalm. The Ruling Council is led by a King – when the old king dies or retires, a new King is selected by the Ruling Council from among the Nobles and is adopted by the old King (sometimes posthumously). By this means, all Wizards and Nobles are bound by the Code of Hrestol and have proven their commitment to Justice.
Some quick numbers (crude approximations):
- Total population 3.2 million
- Adult population: 2.15 million
- Workers: 2 million
- Guardians 120,000
- Men-of-All: 25,000
- Wizards: 5000
- Nobles: 500
Within Loskalm, ALL citizens worship the Invisible God and the Ascended Masters (Malkioni hero cults) exclusively. Other schools of Malkionism are not legally tolerated, and the Guardians watch out for heresies.
For me, New Hrestolism is Plato’s Republic meets More’s Utopia and Campanella’s City of the Sun. It is a radical utopian society made possible by Syndic’s Ban.
Although during the Ban, it worked. This isn’t Pol Pot’s Cambodia – more Lycurgus or Solon gathering folk together and convincing them. Remember, the Ban was a magical time where such things actually worked.
According to the tales, King Siglat gathered people together in assemblies, presented his reforms rationally and logically, and everyone agreed with them.
The only one who disagreed with Siglat’s self-evidently true logic was Hythlodaeus, whose disagreements reassured everyone that Siglat was right! Hythlodaeus suffered no repercussions and was brought around to every meeting!
I am perfectly happy with the Loskalmi genuinely being the folk of More’s Utopia, although now the grubby material world is introducing flaws, imperfections, and corruption – exactly as their world view says it would!
Snodal’s whereabouts after the Ban is a mystery. I personally think he was too flawed to be part of his son’s Utopia. He was a sacrificial hero who helped make a Brave New World that would have no need of men like him!
You likely start learning sorcery as a Guardian. Fortunately, a lot of these old school Loskalmi live a long time! Those that become Wizards are very much the cream of the crop in Loskalm, with the full support of a kingdom with over 3 million people and all the resources they can muster.
As an aside, I doubt very many Lhankor Mhy cultists are particularly impressive sorcerers. More like hobbyists than professionals – they are scribes, and largely self-taught as sorcerers. They learn a few fundamentals, and that’s the end of it.