The Lightbringer

The Lightbringer
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Symbol A blue eagle with wings spread out, superimposed on the sun, and carrying the scales of justice in its claws.
Home Plane The Exalted Throne
Alignment Lawful Good
Portfolio compassion, courage, healing, justice, law, sun
Worshippers healers, judges, lawyers, paladins, philanthropists
Cleric Alignment LG, NG, LN
Domains Glory (Heroism), Good (Redemption), Healing (Restoration, Resurrection), Law (Judgment), Nobility, Sun (Day, Light), War
Favored Weapon Radiant Gavel (warhammer)

The Breath of Life. The Soul Forger. The Great Dreamer. The Mother of Illumination. The Sun Father.
Greater Deity

The Lightbringer, who is commonly named Kaï-den, is believed to be one of the three Creator Gods. According to myth, they were the one who breathed life into the universe, and created the first souls. It was their dream that elevated the universe from a barren, stale reality, to an ever growing existence worth living in. For as long as there has been life in the universe, the Lightbringer has been worshiped.

The Lightbringer is the perfect parent. They are always patient and willing to teach, and stern only as a last resort. They treat others with compassion and fairness. Despite their importance, they remain humble and understanding. When the need arises, they step up and accept the responsibility of leadership, but always only with the consent of those they are to lead. They act with careful consideration, and accepts the ideas and opinions over their allies. They accept responsibility for all the missteps of those who follow them, while praising them for their accomplishments and rewarding them fairly.

The Lightbringer has been portrayed as all genders over their long history. Their boundless love and empathy for their children allows them to adopt whatever form that is most comfortable for them. Some common portrayals shared across all cultures and time are blue skin, golen eyes and hair, and simple, while clothing.

The Lightbringer was so named by mortals for not just the belief that they brought light literally into the dark void, but also spiritually when they gave birth to all of life. On Celesia, the Lightbringer became synonymous with the sun, the brightest light in the sky, present since the creature on the world open their eyes. It is also appropriate that, were it not for the sun, hardly any life would exist on Celesia. And as the source of life, the Lightbringer has also become the source of healing and the patron of healers.

The Lightbringer brings courage and hope by being the light in the darkness of the night, the dawn that brings a new day. Under their light, the peoples of Celesia could build a society that went beyond just surviving. However, the more people there are, the greater chance for conflict to occur. The Lightbringer wishes for all of their children to live happily with each, and so taught them how to discuss, negotiate, and adhere to agreements between themselves. It was this act that elevated the Lightbringer as the mother of civilization and the father of laws.

However, there will always be those who fall to temptation, and transgress against their fellows, and the Lightbringer feels responsible for those wayward souls. The Lightbringer teaches that the purpose of laws is to benefit everyone. The penalties for transgressing these laws are not for fulfilling revenge or inflicting fear, but to teach the transgressors why their actions were wrong and how to be better people, while also protecting and comforting those who were harmed by the transgression. This is perhaps the hardest set of tenets that followers of the Lightbringer try to believe in and adhere to.

Images of the sun, candles, gavels, and scales are used as the Lightbringer's symbols. White and gold are the colours most commonly associated to them. Eagles, griffons, and phoenixes are often used in their heraldry.

Relations with Other Faiths

In general, the Lightbringer works well, and even seeks cooperation, with other deities that do not actively promote criminal behaviour, although the 5th Age was the time this was at its lowest.

The Lightbringer has always had a particular closeness to the Moonseer. Some believe this relationship to be that of a parent to their child. Other myths say that the Lightbringer and the Moonseer are lovers. Some even claim both. Regardless, the fact that moonlight is derived from sunlight reflecting off the moon, and that stars are suns themselves, makes the Lightbringer and the Moonseer intimately linked.

The Lightbringer is also very close to nature deities. The sun is an important part of life growing upon Celesia. The Hearthkeeper and the Greenheart rely on sunlight to grow plantlife. The sun itself is intrinsically linked with the Elemental Plane of Fire.

The Lightbringer's relationship with the Prime Sage and the Exalted Tyrant is complicated. The latter two are considered to be the other Creator Gods, and peers to the Lightbringer. The primary creation myth speaks of these three entities working together to create all of reality. The stories speak of a deep bond and closeness akin to siblings between the three of them. However, over time, whatever the three had together seems to have dramatically changed over time to the modern day.

Roles Within the Faith

Followers of the Lightbringer belong to one of the largest religious groups. They have significantly impacted the course of history on Celesia, having been present since the beginning of memory. It is believed that the faithful started out predominantly as sun worshippers, interpreting the sun's behaviours with the Lightbringer's will, a source of both life, hope, and harshness. However, the healing aspect of the Lightbringer quickly rose to popularity. With healers being a vital component to a society's survival, worship of the Lightbringer cemented itself as a core to growing civilization. Sun worshiping still remains prominent, especially in regions around the equator, leaning to varying degrees between being a source of life and a stern watcher.

In modern times, healers and servants of the law are the most prominent members of the Lightbringer's faithful. Healers are very popular for obvious reasons. To emulate the Lightbringer's compassion, Kaïdenite healers offer their services freely and unreservedly, leading to the anointed of other faiths to follow suite lest they let potential followers flock to the Lightbringer. Beyond providing healing, the Lightbringer's followers work to advance the healing arts, developing new techniques and medecines so that everyone may benefit freely.

Many judges, barristers, and officers of the law learned their craft from Kaïdenite institutions, and are themselves worshipers of the Lightbringer. However, this is not a general assumption as what is legal versus what is moral and ethical varies on the aims of the dominant social order. True adherents to the Lightbringer's teachings believe that laws, their systems and their agents, serve to protect and guide all people to a happier and prosperous life. They deny the thought of a "greater good" or the sacrifice of a few for the majority. The Light protects all, or it protects none. It is a path not easily followed by mortals with limited power and prone to anger and temptation.

Beyond these more specialised roles, the general layperson performs acts of charity to express their faith to the Lightbringer. It is not uncommon for whole swathes of followers to volunteer their time and effort at clinics, shelters, food drives, and disaster relief. Meanwhile, the more wealthier followers help fund these efforts, and try to provide means for the less fortunate to build better lives.

A Priest's Role

Priests of the Lightbringer are known to be experts in healing and in the adminstration of law and justice. In addition to providing magical healing, they help research new medicines and new methods of healing. They regularly aid or actually run clinics and hospitals, and teach medical classes to the layfolk.

On the law aspect, the Lightbringer's priests study laws and theories, picking at them and analyzing them to see if they truly serve the good of all. With this knowledge, they would go on to serve as advisors to leaders and judges. Many would formally train to become both defenders and prosecutors of the law. Many politicians seek their counsel in matters of law. In smaller, looser communities, these priests would often assume the role as the highest adjudicator of justice.

The Lightbringer's priests are heavily involved in charity work. When not preaching, healing, or advising, they can be most often found running shelters and kitchens for the less fortunate. Many orphanages are run by a priest of the Lightbringer. Many priests volunteer their time to prison to provide spiritual succor and moral guidance to those serving their penance in hopes to fully rehabilitate them, as well as ensure that they are treated fairly and not abused by the authorities.

A Paladin's Role

The ideals and teachings of the Lightbringer fit perfectly with those courageous souls willing to bear the burdens of being a paladin. Paladins are the vanguard of the faith's defenders, for both their martial prowess and being living exemplars of the Lightbringer's virtues. Their general duties involve escorting the faithful on their pilgrimage, and protecting temples and other sites of worship, especially in far-flung or isolated regions.

In grave times, paladins are best known as the champions of the faith. They both volunteer and are chosen to take up the most dangerous of tasks to protect the faith and uphold its ideals. The Lightbringer's paladins can be found either at the head of its forces, or as individuals with perhaps some close companions. When these paladins venture out on their own or as part of a group, they strive to serve as an example of the faith. They may do some preaching or conversion, but only to those who are interested. Instead, they prefer to let their actions demonstrate the Lightbringer's values.

Outside of church duties, the Lightbringer's paladins make for excellent soldiers, guards, and police. However, such paladins only do so if those organisations act and uphold policies that do not violate the Lightbringer's code of morality. They view their role as protectors of the innocent, guards against harm, and when needed, hunters of the wicked. In the course of their duties, these paladin never willingly violate their ethics, preferring to resign from their position than making an immoral act.

When not employing their martial skills, Lightbringer paladins are often volunteering their physical might to provide labour to whatever services the faithful, or just the public at large, need.

Religious Orders

The Lightbringer's teachings, and the deity's extensive history, have led their followers to organise themselves into structured hierarchies. How strict the faithful adheres to those hierarchies varies from region to region. Because the Lightbringer's faith established itself long before people around the world could interact with each other, many churches emerged. While they all worshiped the same ideals, customs and traditions vary between each of them, as well do emphasis on different aspects of the Lightbringer, all of which stem from the unique environment each church developed from.

Each continent is dominated by their very own church organization. They may have some presence on other continents, and coexist with other minor sects, but when people of a continent think of the Lightbringer's church, they think of their respective continental organization. The many churches of the Lightbringer did initially have rivalries with each other upon first contact, but cooler heads prevailed before they exploded into religious war. These calmer leaders reminded their fellows that each church had more in common than differences, and that the core of the Lightbringer's teaching is about peace and cooperation.

The Lightbringer's faith is less organized in the oceanic and underground societies. The sun does not easily reach, or at all, these places, but that only strengthens the light's importance. Because of the more isolated nature of underground and underwater communities, the Lightbriner's faith is organized more locally, with each pocket having their own customs and emphases. The most common link is that these localised sects speak of the holy light that brings guidance and bravery in the darkness.

Temples and Shrines

The Lightbringer's temples regularly include facilities that serve as hospitals or courtrooms. In the first case, the temples staff specialise in healing and medical care. In the latter case, the staff are trained to provide legal aid or adjudicate legal disputes.

Shrines serve as beacons, capable of hosting a large bonfire capable of guiding travelers in the dark. These shrines are often set up along long stretches of roads. Others are located in lighthouses and watchtowers.

Smaller shrines can often be found in clinics, hospitals, courthouses, and guardhouses.

Holy Texts

Veddha Contemplations—A collection of aphorisms, ideas, and advice recorded from the Veddha's teachings that ushered the current Reformed Path of Light.

Asterlux Gospels

Ravshani Sutras

Kinkital Codex

Harmonies of the Light—A collection of hymns and songs of elven origin that all contain their version of the Lightbringer's philosophies and teachings.

Soulforger Stelae—The collected transcripts of giant stone steles that ancient dwarven anointed inscribed their interpretations of the Lightbringer's will.

Relics of the Faith

The Aegis Testament—A Third Age adamantine tower shield with some of the Lightbringer's earliest teachings inscribed both on its outer and inner surfaces.

Holidays

The first month of the year of the Argent calendar, Kaïshan, is named in honour of the Lightbringer.

High Sun—The summer solstice is Midsummer, the longest day where the sun is at its zenith. The faithful have naturally come to celebrate this day as proof of the Lightbringer's power.

New Dawn—The first dawn after the winter equinox is celebrated as surviving the Longest Night, and welcoming the beginning of the Lightbringer's ascendency.

Night's Solace—The night of the winter solstice is the Longest Night. The Lightbringer's followers eventually saw this as a great test to their faith, and it soon became tradition to hold great masses in prayer throughout the darkness until the New Dawn arrives.

Aphorisms

Choosing justice is easy; practicing it is hard.—The choice to do the morally and ethically right action is a simple and easy choice that anyone can make. However, the true trial is whether or not to accept the cost and unforseen consequences that result from it. While some may take this as a reason not to do good, its true purpose is to incite forethought and judgment, a step forward towards enlightenment.

Strength without justice is tyranny; justice without strength is useless.

Three Myths

Birth of the Multiverse—How the Lightbringer and their fellow Creator Gods created the current reality.


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