A disbanded occultist religion originating in Melesh, Anvil.
During the long forgotten histories of Melesh, the nomadic hill farmers of the cool, temperate island worshipped the god of beasts - The Shepherd. Earning his favour granted them a deep affinity with nature and the connection to commune directly with their animals, but gained them a widely unfavourable reputation that lead them to becoming the scapegoats of The Vile Plague that devastated many regions of Anvil. The Ranmilists believed that The Shepherd did not create the world, but he was made a guardian of it to protect all living creatures. In their faith they simply wished to live a shepherd's life and to care for all beasts and keep them fed.
Ways of the BeastThe herders were known for their "wild ways" of farming and were stereotypically associated with unsanitary rituals and living conditions. They treated all animals equally and even protected wild predators like foxes, wolves, hawks, and bears, even so much as to fight back against local hunting parties trying to eradicate them. Whether or not they were truly able to speak with their animals was unknown, but it was widely speculated and many Ranmilites boasted of such abilities. Along with their nomadic lifestyle, the Ranmilites were often called beastfolk, and many myths spread about them becoming shapeshifters, or becoming hybrids of half folk, half animal.
PlaguebringersWhen the Vile Plague struck Melesh starting in Seedfall -493 F everyone pointed the blame at the Ranmilists, claiming that they had been "talking with their animals and teaching them to spread their filth and bile amongst the civilized and proper". Their nomadic lifestyle meant that very few of them actually got sick with the plague, and only those who visited towns and cities fell ill. This of course only solidified the theory which led frenzied folk-hunts against the Ranmilists, with many people believeing that eradicating them would bring an end to the plague. It didn't.
BanishmentSeeking to stand up for their injustice, The Ranmilites banded together and attacked the town of Crestford, torching the homes of those who spoke out against them (especially the upper class). The attack known as The Ranmilite's Revenge burned long in the memories of the Meleshian people and sporadic skirmishes with the nomadic group continued well into the beginning of the First Age until forces from The Originator's Order took hold in the island and earnt the people's trust by promising to sort out the Ranmilites for good. In a final stand, the banished Ranmilites prayed to The Shepherd in a communal chant before marching to attack the capital city, Capstone, with a coordinated attack of fires that surrounded the city and spread faster than anyone could have ever anticipated. Thus began the Ranmilite War, a brutal religious conflict between the contrast of order and chaos.
by TJ Trewin
Be they wolves, sharks, mice or birds, they should be fed.
Character | Jul 3, 2022
The Shepherd is a deity worshipped by many nomadic farmers, and tends to his herd in the realm of The Blooming Pastures.