Order of the Stone
Of all the life stones in Scarterra, the most famous, if not the most powerful life stone is the Great Stone of Meckelorn. While the Great Stone is the proverbial bread basket for the nation of Meckelorn it's cultural and spiritual significance is far greater than the food it provides. When Mordock the Destroyer led a massive army and conquered Meckelorn, the surviving Stahlheimer dwarves were driven into exile. A great many Meckelorner dwarves opted to maintain a guerilla war footing and harry their would-be conquerors rather than settle a new homeland. The rest of the exiles settled in the formerly small and unimportant dwarf colony of Stahlheim. The Meckelorner guerilla soldiers were able to take back parts of their homeland by themselves but they were only able to reclaim the Great Stone itself with the assistance of an army raised by Stahlheim. Most dwarves believe the Great Stone is the very rock from which Hallisan crafted the first dwarves. The Meckelorners felt they had the best ancestral claim and they resented the Stahlheimers for sitting out of most of the war and then riding in triumphantly in the eleventh hour. The Stahlheimers thought the Meckelorners were ingrates and fools who could have taken back the Great Stone if they were more pragmatic and rebuilt their strength abroad rather than waste generations of lives in pointless guerilla attacks. The two groups were on the verge of fighting each other for control of the Great Stone when the Guardians of Hallisan stepped in. The Guardians convinced the kings of Meckelorn and Stahlheim to both forsake their claims on the Great Stone. The Temple of the Great Stone and the land immediately around it is technically it's own tiny theocratic nation (similar to the real world Vatican within Rome). Meckelorn and Stahlheim dwarves alike regularly make pilgrimages to visit the Great Stone. While rare, it is not unheard for dwarves to make the pilgrimage all the way from Mondert and Mondarians are always warmly welcomed when they go through the effort to make the trek. The Guardians of the Stone are a dwarven knightly order that not only protects the Great Stone directly but they also protect pilgrims on route to and from the Great Stone. Despite the similar name, the Guardians are a separate organization from Hallisan's Guardians of Valor. It is not required for a Guardian of the Stone to be a Hallisan worshiper. Guardians of the Great Stone can swear their oath to any deity or the Nine collectively, but the vast majority of the Guardians of the Stone are affiliated with Hallisan. it is common for Guardians of the Stone to also officially be Guardians of Valor.
Order of the Stone on the OthersHear the words of Brother Nozeth of the Order of the Stone Greystone Clan: They pretend otherwise and cover their true feelings with pretty words, but they believe they should be administering the Great Stone. Their turn towards Phidas will be their downfall. Red Shaft Clan: They support enthusiastically because their piety is strong. Red Scales Clan: They keep their ancestors close to their hearts which I respect. Dragonbane Clan: They give our temple generous donations but only when lots of people are looking. Heart's Fire Clan: They are little closer to Phidas than I would prefer, but they seem to have their honor intact. Priesthood of Mera: Mera’s hearth always has required Hallisan’s protection and always will but few Tenders admit to this. The Sóleið: They are honorable and trustworthy but sometimes I wish they would wield their hammers more and wield their quills less. Priesthood of Phidas: The Masks are working on corrupting Stahlheim. They may even corrupt Meckelorn, but they will never touch the Great Stone. Rangers : They are unorthodox but they are brave and honorable, though often less pious than I prefer. Maiden Guard: These honorable women are a pillar of dwarven kind as much as we Guardians are. Armorers Guild of Meckelorn: They profane Hallisan’s noble gift parleying their trade for profit rather than service. It is also foolish because all dwarves are blacksmiths at heart so the armorer’s guild is easily replaceable should they overstep their bounds. Kalazotz : Honor demands we respect our allies and repay our debts. Honor does not demand I need to let the bats into my temple or my home. Stahlheim : Even with the geographic distance to the Great Stone, Stahlheimers make the pilgrimage to visit the Great Stone often which speaks well of them and gives me hope for the future despite their growing tendency towards profane commerce. Mondert : It is always a cause for celebration when one of the Mondarian goes through the extreme effort to make a pilgrimage to the Great Stone. Kantoca: It is good that these humans venerate Hallisan with the credit he is due. It is not good that Hallisan’s human Guardians try to have oversight over us. Borderlanders : The safest way to traverse the Borderlands is along ide one of our patrol caravans, but our patrols cannot be everywhere at once. We are well aware that the local humans are not always trustworthy and there goblins and fouler things about this land, but keep in mind that most dwarves that die in the Borderlands are brought down of drowning, exposure, falling, or simply getting lost. Too many travelers overestimate the threat of brigands and carry too many weapons and not enough survival gear. Fumayans: One of our pilgrimage routes runs through Fumaya. It is the longest and the slowest, but it is also the safest. The Fumayans are very cooperative with us and keep order in their lands. Swynfaredians : The Nation of the Dragon is strong now, but we dwarves have seen strong human nations rise and fall before. When the Dragon’s breath burns out, we will still be here. Codenya : They understand that the Great Stone is not a tourist site for Rumspring elves. The wood elves are welcome to visit anywhere else they want. Uskalans: Theirs is a land with an evil king is an evil land, but it is an evil land that shares no borders with us, so they are not our concern. Orcs : Orcs and dwarves cannot share Scarterra. Sooner or later, we will be at full scale war with them again. Goblins : Much like mosquitos, I would like to see them eradicated but it would take more effort than it’s worth. Kobolds : They are a very ancient people but they are also a very irrelevant people.
Military, Knightly Order