|The Everpresent Shield
||Adventurers, Healing, Protection
The Church of Ballast
Long have I traveled from city to town,
mending and dancing in flowing, blue gowns.
But woe to the creature that provokes my ire,
for with blade and great fury it's they I'll retire.
- Cha'thu Rethick, Bladesinger of Ballast
The great fortress-churches of Ballast that dot the surface of Enos
are unmistakable in their design. Uniform and often out-of-place in their architecture, these great, reinforced, and marble-edificed monoliths, called Standards, serve as a beacon of stability and monuments of protection. World-class healers serve in each of the temples, which are always well-staffed hubs containing military garrisons and adventurer's guilds. Every church in every city is the same blueprint, built from a document called The Cornerstone.
The church is led by a tribunal of clergy consisting of a cleric or priest, called the Mender Eternal; a paladin, called the Aegis Eternal; and a storied adventurer, called the Traveler Eternal. The tribunal usually travels together with excessive armed guard, and makes a trip to every church on Enos once every two years. The Mender Eternal carries with them the original copy of the holy book of the faith, a small, clothbound copy of Ballast's personal journal from before their ascension dubbed The Securement.
The Ascension Story
A bounty hunter of considerable renown in life, Davosha Ballast lived in the early 2400s, Queen's Era. Her focus mostly rested on the cultists of The Red King
, who ascended during her childhood and was responsible for the death of her entire family. Her early life saw her work in field hospitals in war-torn areas of Enos that The Red King constantly skirmished in and around. After losing a few too many close friends, she took up her double-bladed scimitar Marrod, the Sharpened Aegis and began joining the soldiers on the field.
It wasn't long after she met the Dwarven Runegeneral Bellum Scarlethammer that she realized her life's purpose was in the field of battle, serving as a front-line of defense against the evils and chaos of the world. The two were married soon after, and some records indicate may have had children, though the topic is still hotly debated.
What isn't of debate is that the pair made brilliant military strategists, and wrested great, pyrrhic victories all across what is now modern-day Estell. Ballast's final victory would be won in an event known as The Battle of the Blood, an event that gave The Red Sands of Estell their name, and propelled Ballast to godhood after the last of The Red King's army, along with his personal aspect, was defeated there.
Marked on 11 Octa of each year, this is the day in which the bounty hunter Davosha Ballast ascended to godhood after defeating the last of The Red King's army in an event known as the Battle of the Blood. This day commemorates all those conscripted into military service that lost their lives.
This holiday, celebrated all around Enos one month after Drafting Day each year, is marked by tournaments of a sport of the same name is played. Two teams of five people each are given shields and an array of nonlethal projectiles, and must defend themselves and other key targets on a battlefield while taking those of the other teams.
Clergy and warpriests of Ballast traditionally wear well-maintained, trim-fitted clothing of navy blues and golds. When at formal events, various signifying medals and ribbons of different colors serve to mark various achievements and accomplishments each clergyperson has earned during their time with the church.
The Shield Protects - the Blade Defends:
Often said as a call-and-response, this aphorism states that while high walls and well-maintained guard posts may be a solid defense, active fieldwork to root out evil and chaos is often the better way.
The Lighter the Scar, the Deeper the Wound:
While injuries are common for the church to treat, the most painful wounds are often not physical in nature, but rather a psychic and calloused sort-of mental trauma that can accumulate over years of repeated exposure to the heinous and unforgivable.
I, While Being Mortal, Am Eternal:
Often being misunderstood to mean that the pain of combat is temporary, yet the glory of building a legend is forever, this saying is actually meant to mean that care should be taken in every action, as history has a long memory.