The Raijoneen are a samthô-wide religious order or cult. Their name belongs to an unknown language, probably taught to them by Hurrya - goddess of fury and rage - herself. They live a monastic life, always far away from settlements or routes and often in the desolate wilderness like deep primeval forests, isolated islands or deep in the mountains. Members can be recruited from all races, though they are predominantly Men and Len. Their cult revolves around a variety of war gods, depending on where they live. Another important aspect is the cultivation of the element of Growth. What sets them apart from any other religious practise, is the special bond they share with spirits subordinate to Hurrya. These are manifestations of rage, fury, wrath, frenzy and various other extreme feelings stirring up the hearts of warriors. This bond is made with the initiation into the order and though individuals may chose to leave the monasteries and live a life outside, this bond can never be cut. This can lead and has often lead to horrible incidents.
Organisation, way of life and education
Translated in Tamôl, the communal language of all Len, the monasteries of the Raijonneen are called Nuguladolil, a rather obscure term that means something like 'fortress, that contains rage-filled hearts'. This is also supposed to be the meaning of the name the Raijonneen give their monasteries: Tettunsena. In most cases orphaned children find their way into the order, which is not surprising because of the regular involvement of the order in armed conflicts. Even if not involved in such conflicts, the inner circle holds periodic rituals to scan the surroundings for potential new initiates.
The organisation of the Tettunsena is the same everywhere: There is a 'High Priest to the Left', who is directly linked to and communes with the respective war god, that is the main god of the monastery and there is a 'High Priest to the Right', who is linked to and communing with Hurrya. Three additional priests, called 'Spirit Caller', are integral to the administration of the monastery. Their religious responsibility is, among others, the attraction of Hurryas subordinate spirits during the initiation of new members. These five form the inner circle, the leading institution of the monastery.
The mid-level members of the order are also called the outer circle. They play no special role in regard to religious matters but are vital for the upringing of the third group - the younglings. These are the mostly orphaned children entering the monastery life. They count as younglings either until they turn seventeen or, if they entered the order at an older age, after they have been in the order for at least three years.
Before someone gets initiated, they are first examined for their fitness by the two High Priests. They are then taken to a isolated cell in the courtyard of the monastery. The High Priests invoke Hurrya and the war god, while circling the cell. The Spirit Callers then enter the cell and conduct a ritual to have a spirit associated with Hurrya possess the initiate. This possession enables the individual to gain unnatural strength, stamina and bloodlust in exchange for their self-control and awareness.
Life in the order consists of a tight training schedule and intermittent meditations. Every eight days is a day off, which is used to leave the monastery to hunt or fish. This is supposed to be the only outside activity as all other chores are performed in special time slots during the higly organised and uniform daily routines. These chores contain cleaning of personal and communal spaces, food preparation, laundry and maintenance of equipment and weapons, garden work and so on. Every chore is organised and assigned by the two High Priests. The members of the outer circle share the task of combat training for the younglings. For their education in the doctrine every youngling is assigned a outer circle member. They are taught the meditative mantras and the chants to honour the war gods and Hurrya.
Most of the time they are hired as mercenaries. Their powers are formidable because of the spiritual possession. Their battle gear consists of boots and bracers, shields and mostly two handed swords for weapons. They do not wear other armour or helmet, but paint their bodies, heads and faces with war paint, which often gives them the appearance of already being blood covered when entering the battle, striking fear in the hearts of their enemies.
Role in history
The Raijonneen have often greatly influenced the fates of those they were involved with. Despite their reclusive lifestyle, they practise the cultivation of war and their bond with war gods not only in theory, but also actively engage in conflicts. Sometimes they seem to act on their own agenda and to direct aggressions on parties posing a potential threat to them, but mostly work by order of someone hiring their skills.
One noteable battle they participated in were the resistance battles of the Thujha against the Empire of Asargam during the Era of the Trees, when they tried to subdue the whole continent of Auchulpa. In the preceding battles against the Vayazza, which Asargam successfully conquered over the course of only twelve years, a huge number of Vayazza's and their client states' people where slaughtered, leaving many orphaned children. Not only did Asargam abduct a huge number of children and adolescents to their home continent Ayemniyama to enslave them, but likewise could the local Raijonneen recruit huge amounts of new members. Later on, when Asargam pressed further inland, the Thujha paid huge sums to recruit the Raijonneen to aid them in battle. This ultimately slowed the advance of Asargam forces down so much, that they could not completely conquer the Thujha, but only the eastern half of their domain, as the Raijonneen entered the Battle at Ningmutt from the south, completely obliterating the unprotected left flank of the Asargam army, which was deployed in a wedge formation to effectively meet the Thujha army to the west.
Ironically the Raijonneen were for the most part Vayazza orphans which, now in far smaller numbers than the original Vayazza armies, destroyed the enemies that had cost them their homelands and families. This battle effectively stopped the advance of Asargam for 28 years, before they could muster another army big enough to try to push their borders on Auchulpa further forward. The ripple effect of this defeat also stymied Asargams conquests to the east, as troops had the be withdrawn from the continent of Murahisi to keep the conquered areas of Auchulpa under control.
Religious, Monastic Order