A crying whelp laid in front of a set of large iron doors, the flickering flames of an ever burning fire illuminating the lines of guilt of their maker as they turn to leave. The doors are promptly opened, the child taken into the warmth. They grow up knowing the heat of the forge, the wonder of creation and the wisdom of the Smith. They grow up strong, fervent, their skin slowly turning to silver as the years go by, and one day, they hold a child in their metal arms, crying pitifully with a hunger that its new carer can no longer feel. Burning eyes scan the night, watching the figures who abandoned innocence at their door, and a quiet prayer for their souls is lost in the still air.
Apprentices were charged with looking after children that came under the Forgesworns care; it was common for children to be abandoned at their churches, their parents safe with the knowledge they would be looked after. They would also be tasked with cleaning and maintaining their holy buildings, though they were forbidden to change anything within it, that job was left to the Journeymen.
Journeymen were those who displayed talent for smithing and other types of craft. It was their job to construct holy buildings and weapons, as well as travel as missionaries to other lands to spread the teachings of The Smith. They would also sell their crafts to raise money for the organisation as a whole, and were known as some of the best craftsmen in the whole of Atena.
The Masters were those who blessed the weapons that would be used in holy crusades, as well as run The Black Knights. They could perform great miracles, including curing the sick, walking through fires unharmed and bending metal with just the force of their will.
A variety of churches and craftshops across the globe, mainly in Atema, the continent where the religion seemingly originated from. Troops of Black Knights are deployed across the world, sitting at sites of great supernatural strife.
In the beginning, there was nothing but the molten potential of life, and a Man who wished to create. With Hand and Hammer, Tong and Water, He forged first the world, and then all life upon it.
When the first souls returned to His Forge, they were unclean from their own choices, and so they were cleansed of their sin in the fires of the forge, ready to be Remade.
Those whose sins burn too deep are never Remade, and burn for all eternity as demons at the pit of the Smelt.
Those who carry deeds so great their souls cannot be reshaped are taken from the Forge and placed onto a Shelf, where they remain perfect and eternal in bliss as great heroes.
There are other unspeakables, from the depths of the Quench, life that should not be given and rarely talked about. Remnants of life metal twisted and unshapely, and we pray the Quench may never fall.
He first took magma from the Smelt and fashioned the worlds, and when He dipped it in His water bucket, filled the oceans and the lakes. He then created all the plants and animals, all the races we know, and put them into this world.
When a creature's time upon the earth is nigh, the Smith shall take His Hammer and strike them formless back into the magma. In this natural death, their soul returns to the magma that He uses to create more life. In this magma, we suffer as the sins of our past life are burnt away, and we are purified in this way so that everything He makes is innocent and absolved of sin. If a soul is so pure that the magma of His Forge cannot touch it, and so strong that the blows from His hammer cannot reshape you, you are placed in another world of His making, one where you cannot die, and you will live forever in bliss in your perfect form.
However, there are souls that are so impure by their deeds that the magma of His Forge cannot burn their sins away, and it is their fate to fall to the bottom of the pool where they shall suffer in fiery torment for all eternity. It is said that the demons of the world come from this Hell, that they escape from the bottom of Hell and wreak havoc upon His Great Workshop.
In this way, it is every followers duty to reject such demons, and if they are of strong body and soul, seek out them, and destroy them. The Black Knights were created to do such things, as well as spread the word of The Great Smith.
1) A babe, no matter to who it is born, is made fresh, its soul clean. To kill a babe is the ultimate sin, and the perpetrator shall be sent straight to the bottom of the Forge, the weight of their sin keeping their soul forever submerged in the fires to never be Forged again.
2) To accept life in all its forms, as everything you see is of The Great Smith’s creation
3) To destroy those who seek to pervert the Smith’s work
4) To send back to Hell any demons you may encounter
5) To spread the teachings of The Great Smith
6) To remain strong of soul and principle in times of strife.
Those truly gifted by The Smith will display a variety of characteristics, including eyes that gleam like hot coals in the dark, a warmer body temperature, steamy breath, silver skin or hair and forgoing the need to eat or drink. With each gift, they appear more and more metallic, the highest in the order appearing to be perfect, moving statues made of pure, untarnished metal. The most powerful gifted have been known to bend metal to their will, fashioning great creations with only their faith and mind.
The warriors of the Smith, The Black Knights, are imbued with similar gifts, but their strikes are imbued with holy fires, and rather than silver skin, their skin turns to cold iron that cannot be penetrated by unblessed metals, and burns the fiends that try to rend the flesh from their bodies.
The Black Knights are a separate sect of the religion, the holy crusaders and missionaries tasked with fighting back the scourges of demons and fiends that seek to destroy The Smiths perfect creations.
"Each we are made by His Hammer, and each we return to the Forge of Life, bearing our deeds upon our soul like a shield bears the marks of battle."
Military, Knightly Order
The Children of the Great Smith