The Dovan Quor
And for the wisest of us, the rhythmic Tide holds deeper secrets. The Heart Unceasing speaks to us even still; the echo of the will that drives all can be known to whosoever has the ears to hear it.
The influence of the Dovan Quor is staggering, having been spread first by the imperialistic ambition of the Empire of the Sea, and then by the mercantile weight of the Dokhar League. The core of the Dovan Quor is ancient, having been written as the villages of Lo Dokh, farming or fishing, were coalescing into its fabled Seven Cities, and the true capabilities of the andokh ren were being fully realized. It was a time of spiritual exploration, as practitioners devoted themselves, body and mind, to understanding the nature of the tide. They found it to be the foundation of all motion, from the flick of the smallest finger, to roaring winds. In turn, they found motion to be the foundation of the very passage of time, and thus the capacity for that which exists within the world to change. Behind it all, they saw the hand of a designer, who they called the Heart Unceasing.
The Dovan Quor is a collection of religious literature judged, over the years, by a convention of the abbots of the Order of the Unceasing Tide to contain spiritual wisdom. It serves as a guide to all peoople—lay and clerical—when seeking a deeper understanding of the world and deciding on matters of import.
The core of the scripture, that upon which all else is built, is known as the "Quom Vor"—or, "First Wisdom"—and consists of its oldest parts. The Quom Vor are the discoveries and teachings of the first of the Andokh Renar, who are revered, because they were said to have been guided by the will of the Heart Unceasing, and thus to have achieved greater wisdom than any who came before, and many who came after. They relate the story of the creation of the Ocean by the Heart, how the Heart took its place at the ocean's deepest point to beat out the Tide for eternity. They relate how the waves, all motion, and the flow of time, are built upon the Tide. They relate how the Tide, and all built upon it, might be felt, read, and shifted by mortals. Everything after the Quom Vor is known as the Quom Ro—or, "Second Wisdom." The Quom Ro is divided into multiple parts, the first of which are the "Kha Vor"—or, "First Law." The Kha Vor are a set of laws meant to guide religious and secular life, derived from the Quom Vor by those they personally instructed. The Kha Vor are followed by the "Ngong Vor"—or, "First Words." The Ngong Vor are a commentaries and essays written by priests and religious scholars, based chiefly upon the Quom Vor, and secondarily upon the Kha Vor. Following the restructuring of the Order of the Unceasing Tide in the aftermath of the War of Shadow, and partially in response to the deeds of Dorakh Mul, a convention of the Order's living abbots gathered and issued a new set of religious laws, the Kha Ro—"Second Law." These were similar to the Kha Vor in many ways, but placed greater restriction upon the use of the andokh ren, forbidding its use in war, and dramatically limiting its use in interacting with sea monsters. The Kha Ro is followed by the Ngong Ro—"Second Words"—which were commentaries upon the preceding elements of the Dovan Quor, with especial emphasis in reflecting upon the re-contextualization of the older sections in light of the Kha Ro.
The authors of the Quom Vor wrote in a context of excitement and discovery. They were exploring uncharted waters—spiritually and physically—as their people began to grow prosperous because of their endeavors, and they believed themselves the heralds of a new age in spiritual enlightenment and wisdom. Their immediate successors, who wrote the Kha Vor, did so in a similar, but slightly different, context. The Empire of the Sea was beginning to take shape, and the culture of the Lo Dokhar people was beginning to take on a more aggressive bent, as the Seven Cities of Lo Dokh were coalescing into a unified society, and seeking to bring the other Dokhar peoples in as well. The many essays and letters of the Ngong Vor were written throughout the history of the Empire of the Sea, known for its aggression and militarism. When the Kha Ro was written, there was still a great deal of anxiety in the air, as even thought he Enthroned Shadow has been destroyed and the War won, Darokh Mul was still at large, and his deeds and ambition were in the authors' thoughts. They believed that the power fo the andokh renar should be restricted, so as to prevent any like Darokh Mul from arising again, which is why they were more restrictive. Similarly, it focused almost entirely on religious law, as the idea of them—andokh renar all, as all priests of the Order of the Unceasing Tide were and are—deciding upon civil law was not aligned to their goal of restriction. The Ngong Ro, written over the centuries which followed, often emphasized the importance over those restrictions, as the deeds and character of Darokh Mul were warped and exaggerated by the development of myth and legend, painting him as an inhumane monster.