Hrestol was the Ascended Man, son of Froalar, last of the Secret Keepers, and of Xemela, He is the great hero of the West and was born during the God Time. During the Great Darkness, Hrestol prayed to the Unknown God, who sent the gods to destroy the Devil and bring forth the Dawn. A year after the Dawn of Time, Malkion appeared to Hrestol, then a noble warrior of Seshnela in the service of his father. With the wisdom he gained, Hrestol killed the goddess Ifttala, the daughter of Seshna Likita and mother of the Pendali people. Hrestoli died, was judged in the Underworld, and made his way back to the world of the living. He was banished from Seshnela for his crimes but accompanied in exile by the best of his people. Hrestol traveled to Brithos, Akem, and the Vadeli islands, teaching his insights to all who would listen.Hrestol taught that the old Malkioni philosophies were destructive to man’s eternal soul and happiness. He taught how to achieve eternal Joy through unity with the Invisible God. Hrestol shook off the old limitations of caste that Zzabur demanded, in favor of the deeper truths of the world, and became the first Man of All. All modern sects of the Malkioni stem from Hrestol’s original contact with the Eternal World.Most modern Malkioni are lay members of Hrestol’s cults; comparatively few initiate to his cult, even in Loskalm. The cult imposes a stringent code on its initiates and demands that they:
- Uphold justice and fight injustice. The Hrestoli ultimately must determine what is Just and what is Unjust, and fight for what is Just. This includes an obligation to protect the weak (especially women and children) from the strong, but generally excludes barbarians and the Elder Races; indeed this obligation is often celebrated by fighting monsters or Krjalk. Justice is considered more important than such virtues as Loyalty.
- Sacrifice oneself for the good of others. A Hrestoli is expected to sacrifice themselves to uphold Justice.
- It is the responsibility of mortals to make a world they can live in.
This creed was formed in the early Dawn Ages when humans were weak and few. Its focus is always towards humans, their survival and later their dominance, rather than on co-existence or cooperation with the rest of the cosmos.Initiates of Hrestol do not lose RIGHTNESS when they violate caste restrictions in the service of Justice. Hrestol is associated with Runes of Man and Magic.
Initiates may sacrifice POW for Rune Points. Hrestol provides the special Rune spells of Dismiss Magic, Shield, and Spirit Block.
This is not for the cults book but for later.
Ultimately, the reason people follow Hrestol’s path is the same reason Hrestol himself did – in order to make sure Justice is not sacrificed to Caste.
Initiation into the Invisible God cult is a prerequisite for full membership in Malkioni society. Initiation follows several years of caste education and training. Each caste has their own set of rituals,Once a person initiates into a given caste, they cannot join a different caste – except by means of the Hrestol cult.
Each caste has duties and restrictions which must be maintained to remain a member of the caste. This is represented by the RIGHTNESS characteristic for Malkioni initiates. Initiates start with a RIGHTNESS of one. RIGHTNESS may have a score greater than one, representing the initiate’s reserve of righteousness. If a character’s RIGHTNESS is less than zero, that character may no longer use any caste magic or special abilities and risks being thrown out of their caste and exiled from Malkioni society.RIGHTNESS may be increased by adherence to caste duties and restrictions in adversity in ways that create difficulties for the character and make the game more entertaining. Examples include a talar refusing to perform menial labor even though their survival might depend on it, or a dronar refusing to touch a weapon even in self-defense. The gamemaster should not award RIGHTNESS for good dice rolling, simple puzzle solving, ordinary combat successes or any other of the minor accomplishments that might occur during the course of a session.
RIGHTNESS should be reduced by the gamemaster for transgressions against any caste duties and restrictions.
For each circumstance, the gamemaster should warn the player that a given action will result in an increase or decrease in RIGHTNESS. If the player insists, then RIGHTNESS should be adjusted accordingly.
Initiation into the cult of Hrestol can mitigate this, as a Hrestoli initiate does not lose RIGHTNESS for any action that upholds the Hrestoli code. However, if they violate their caste restrictions in a way that does not uphold the Hrestoli code, they still lose RIGHTNESS.
Expulsion From Caste
A character with a zero RIGHTNESS characteristic is no longer in good standing with their caste and cannot use any caste special abilities (such as a talar’s Forced Command ability or a zzaburi’s ability to store magic points in the Spirit World) until their RIGHTNESS is positive.A character with a negative RIGHTNESS may be expelled from their caste by their elders. If this happens they are no longer accepted as members of Malkioni society. If they can get their RIGHTNESS back to positive, they can submit themselves to caste elders to be brought back (this is often called “Return to Rightness”). The elders may impose penances, fines, and other punishments as a condition for return. Until then they are viewed as outlaws, barbarians, or even krjalki (monsters) by other Malkioni.
Some sects do not permit a character to return to their caste once expelled. For the Brithini, expulsion is permanent and always results in death.
Caste Restrictions and Special Abilities
Each caste has restrictions which must be followed to maintain their RIGHTNESS. Some castes have special abilities – magical abilities of the caste members. If they are expelled from the caste for any reason, they lose all special abilities of that caste.
Rune Spells and Divine Intervention
Unlike other cults, the Invisible God does not provide Rune spells, Divine Intervention, or allied spirits.