The Word Bearers - Guardians of the Holy Scripture Military Formation in A Shattered Empire - Vardania | World Anvil
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The Word Bearers - Guardians of the Holy Scripture

Words are not invincible. They can be forgotten, destroyed and corrupted. Guard them well. Guard them with your life.
— Unknown
The Word Bearers are the most ancient order of the Feran faith. Having fought since the very dawn of the faith, the Word Bearers are tasked with protecting the most important of Feran relics: the Holy Scripture of the Trinity.  


  Back in the days when the Prophet wandered the lands of the south, the first people to join his cause were not the great warlords and priests of the land. Instead, it was the beggars, whores and thieves that flocked to his banner. They formed the core of the new faith, made up its soldiers and priests. The most fervent among them served as his guard and protected both his person and his message. Even after the Prophet died in 853 DA, they continued in this purpose. Like the church itself, the order known as the Word Bearers has survived calamity and genocide and fulfilled their task for over two-and-a-half thousand years.  

Structure and Purpose

  The Word Bearers have three main purposes. They guard both the birthplace and resting place of the Prophet, his tomb in the city of Verdal and the house of his birth in Illigara, as well as the original copies of his scripture in the great city of Anrak. But while these purposes seem rather normal for a Feran holy order, the structure is not:  

While most other orders tend to recruit among the best of the best in both skill and class, the Word Bearers stay true to their origins and seek members among the lowest ranks of society. Street urchins, beggars, prostitutes, not part of society is off limits for the recruiters who seek not merely strenght or skill, but a similar spirit.

True to the spirit of the first faithful, the Word Bearers order is not a strict hierarchy. Everyone can have a say and decisions are made in a communal manner. Leaders are elected and only for a set period of time. And while the order is nominally under the control of both Elder King and Thane, in practice it acts more independent than most.
Code of Honour

Word Bearers forsake everything bar their new purpose. Be it family, trade, future advancement, it all is cast aside in the name of faith. Word Bearers live and die protecting the Prophet's body and work. Nothing else matters. That does not mean that they are without a social life, however, as the order acts as a surrogate family of sorts.
  Unlike other holy orders, Word Bearers are not heavily armed or armoured. They wear simple grey cloaks, bands of paper on which the scripture is written out, known as Vivecta, their only accessory. For every three years a Word Bearer serves their Vivecta grows three psalms longer and the most veteran may wield entire belts of it.   While less impressive than the plated knights of other orders, the Word Bearers are no less deadly. Each is an expert in fighting with spears, short spears, daggers and slings, their wide cloaks hiding entire arsenals of weaponry ready to be unleashed at a moments notice. Men act as the frontline fighters while women serve as healers and slingers.   As final proof of their dedication, the Word Bearers do their name literal justice by carving the entirety of the Prophet's scripture into their skin. The process continues their entire life, each verse and psalm carved into flesh with great care and in silver ink.
You know the worst part? Ink mixed with Keldin neutralizes any anesthetic. They feel every single letter as it is carved into their flesh. There is nothing sane about this group.
— Valeria Amenras, Vardanian Archivar and Medic (3111-3162 DA)
Special Forces
833 DA
Overall training Level
Elder King (nominal)
the Thane   Parent Organisation
Vodarian Church
Symbol of Defiance  
It is said that in the early days, a great knight of the south tried to kill the Prophet. His followers, still few in number and of supposedly low character, fought him off a great cost themselves. Dozens died before the heavily armoured killer could be brought down. Since then, the unknown man's helmet, taken as a trophy after the fight, has served as the order's symbol.   It is kept together with the other trophies the order has gathered over the years. Hidden in a safe part of their fortress monastery in the city of Anrak. Said fortress is off limits to everyone not part of the order. Even the Thane, the head of the Vodarian Church and Feran faith as a whole, is not allowed in.

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Cover image: by Dominik Mayer
Character flag image: by Farrokh Irani


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Dec 27, 2023 17:58 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

These guys seemed like a pretty normal religious order until I got to the carving. XD Interesting group of people.

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
Jan 20, 2024 00:33

Quite the interesting group of religious fanatics you have here, they were probably the terror back in there day.

May you forever find your way on the journey you set out on and make yourself greater.
The Sagas world cover
Jan 27, 2024 14:40 by Darren McHaffie

I shiver every time I hear of the Word Bearers. Must be the Warhammer 40k player in me.