|The Sanguine Violence
||Bloodlust, Cruelty, War
The Church of The Red King
There is an art to bloodshed that few truly understand.
- High Heretic Veshar Cagan
Followers of The Red King live amongst the harshest of violence where only the strong survive. Long forced underground and out of sight by more polite society, these often-cannibalistic hedonists live in conclaves made of flesh and bone. From the few successfully raids by paladins of Ballast
, the larger and more 'blessed' of the conclaves are said to have walls that pulse with a sickening life and heat, and the constant sounds of metal sinking into flesh permeate every inch of the space in a sickening symphony of carnal chaos. Fitting for The Sanguine Violence, who no doubt enjoys such a perversion of things.
While the church has no central leadership, the High Heretic issues edicts from The Scarlet Fane in northeastern Estell in The Fraisian Grand Alliance
. Once a year, a tournament is held at that unholy place simply called The Conflict in which the High Heretic and all challengers fight until there is only one left standing. While Veshar Cagan, the half-elf, half-orc current High Heretic has won the last eleven such tournaments in a row, he is getting on in years. Dying in The Conflict is one of the highest honors one can achieve in the eyes of The Red King, second only to killing a follower of Ballast in the open air.
The Ascension Story
The Red King, unlike most of the Ascended, was never mortal. If the story is to be believed, they were an ascended vampire with an unyielding appetite for flesh and blood made from the nascent and terrible energies from the recently-banished Apotheotheticals. This kind of power is said to have drawn the attentions of several potential allies, most notable among them Ylsitrixx, the Red Horror, an ancient red dragon and father of Ovidian, the latter of which was responsible for much of the caverns of Dagenpeak
Ylsitrixx, eager to be among the first chromatic greatwyrms, made a pact with The Sanguine Violence to gather up mortals and set glyphs designed to drain the blood from entire population centers at once, whereupon the spoils would be divided equally. When the time came to execute the plan, The Red King double-crossed Ylsitrixx, who in his arrogance believed himself unassailable, and drained the dragon along with the tens of thousands of mortals.
This began a series of escalated conflicts that ended at the unimaginatively-named Battle of the Blood in what was the Estell Expanse. This battle was the single deadliest ever recorded in Enosian history, and saw nearly eighty-percent of the world's standing armies defeated. To this day, the Estell Expanse bears the name The Red Sands, soaked with blood as it is. This event, though with a death count hyperbolically-inflated by The Red King's followers, did seem to result in the vampire's apotheosis.
This day marks when the vampiric barbarian bloodlord cannibal known only as The Red King ascended to godhood after bathing in a pool of blood five feet deep and a square half-mile across, magically exsanguinated from an alleged one-hundred million creatures. It is celebrated among warmongering cultures with blood-painting ceremonies, in which rags are dipped in blood and used to decorate the tribe's most fierce warriors, which compete to the death in the honor of The Red King.
The Red Raid.
While this day has no set date, the High Heretic will sporadically call for a "Red Raid", in which warbands in the Red King's name will go about to nearby settlements to slaughter and capture victims, which are returned to camp for what they call a 'blood party.'
Clergy of The Red King, known as Sanguinites, wear blood-red masks made from skulls of slain people and animals, along with tattered white robes. The whiter the robe, the more junior the clergy, for the eldest among them wear robes of deepened scarlet-brown.
Go Where the Blood Runs Thickest.
A benediction to take on challenges, for the more the challenge, the greater the glory.
The Deeper the Wound, the Sweeter the Pain.
While the pain is not at all sweet to the victim, The Red King is said to personally feel each wound inflicted in their name.