A Sermon Regarding the Merciful Lord Kharach
I am only too glad to speak to you about My Lord. As we respect Vleybor, who gives us life, so must there be death. Life without death is meaningless, as death gives life meaning, and vice versa. Therefore, to fully understand the Ever Merciful Lord of the Dead, one must first understand the place his worship takes in the Pantheon.
The Pantheon of the Seven
The Seven Gods of life exist as a Pantheon, and their Worship strives to aid and guide us throughout our lives, from birth to death and beyond. Each one of the Seven is important to each one of us, and some of us choose to follow one aspect of the Seven beyond others, one which fits with their views as to the most important aspect of our lives. This does not mean that we should ignore the others, however.
The very act of Life is a gift from Lady Vleybor, as is the strength to make us grow. It is also the beginning of the journey of our lives.
Once alive, we are given free choice by The All Father, so that our actions, and their consequences be ours alone. The Seven do not wish for automata, nor playthings. They wish for us to follow their ways out of choice.
On our journey, we are all influenced by:
Lady Crowa, who acts as a shield between those who would do us harm. Her followers stand with bared swords, and use them to keep away those with Murder and Heresy in their hearts, as well as sending the Denizens of Sharda back to where they belong, and destroying the filth that is undead.
Lord Rolbor shares with us his thirst for knowledge, and his generosity and willingness to Trade. With him, we learn strange and wonderful things, we trade with those who have what we do not, and we give to those who have less then us.
Lord Longstor teaches that we are a part of the Greater Cycle, that to live in balance with our surroundings we must respect the wild places of the world, and the creatures living within it.
Lady Tralda shows us fate, and luck, both good and bad. She also acts as the patron of the downtrodden, of those with no-where else to turn. Thieves, truly, but also circus performers, lawyers and courtesans all worship her.
Lastly, My Lord Kharach reigns over the death of us mere mortals. It is his will, and the duty of those who follow him, to ensure that when someone dies, and we all die sooner or later, it is done with as much dignity, and done with as little pain, as possible. He also asks that deaths be quick, which is one reason why the church frowns upon blade venom, but encourages the use of Swiftdeath, for example.
My Lord Kharach
A consequence of this is our Lord’s decree that the use of non-lethal weapons are not to be permitted. A lethal wound on the arm or leg is surely painful, but our Lord understands this and allows us the personal choice to heal these limbs. He does, after all, not wish for us suffer needlessly, nor to travel to his domain in parts. When we die, it is best that this is done whole.
Lethal wounds to the chest and head, whilst perhaps painful for a few seconds, ensure that the wounded quickly pass on to the Halls of My Lord. Any interference in this matter will quickly suffer the swift wrath of Kharach, for one of his followers stopping a soul from travelling onwards is a grievous sin.
Non-lethal wounds, however, are often just as painful, but do not start the Journey of that Soul onwards to the Halls of My Lord, and thus is deemed needless suffering. Thus any use of a non-lethal weapon by a member of the Church will again invoke the wrath of Kharach.
But death, and it’s swiftness and painlessness is only one aspect of My Lord’s Work.
The Priests of the God of Death are shepherds to the Soul, and whilst we are perhaps rightly considered frightening or morbid, our duty to Lord Kharach and the Seven is to ensure that a Soul, once freed from the chains of the flesh, is passed on to the Halls of the Dead where they are safe. Most followers of My Lord would put themselves at great risk to ensure the safety of the Souls of the people around them.
Lord Kharach is responsible for that Soul, that spark of Self that endures beyond death, to carry on to it’s just rewards in the heavens. It is within his halls that those who hold no faith above others finally rest, and the place that the devoted followers of the Seven are greeted before their journey takes them to the Halls of their Deity.
It is because of this reason that My Lord asks that we not interfere with the bodies of the Slain, at least not before their souls have moved onwards to the Halls. Any desecration would fill the Soul with fear and pain, and as such would go against the teachings of My Lord Kharach, again causing suffering.
Of course, once the Soul has moved on, the priests of My Lord often ensure that the bodies of the Dead are treated with the respect that will ensure that the Souls in the Heavens can rest easily. I myself work most days in the Mortuary in Brisel, preparing the bodies of those who have passed on. And My Lord’s command that his faithful are unable to touch a member of the faithful of Vleybor, at this point is rescinded.
As Lord Kharach is the end of the journey of our lives, so Lady Vleybor is the beginning. The End of the journey should not touch the Beginning. Lady Vleybor allows her followers to touch the followers of My Lord Kharach, to allow the healing of wounds in accordance to her wishes as the Lady of Life and Healing. In return, Lord Kharach allows his followers to ensure that the bodies of the dead, regardless of religious belief, are treated with respect, once the soul of that person has moved onto his Halls.
It is this reason that the act of resurrection, so cherished by the Church of Vleybor, is deeply frowned upon by both my Church, and Lord Kharach himself. However, Lord Kharach and Lady Vleybor have come to an agreement, thus the limit on possible returns from the dead being just one. Followers of My Lord will not choose to come back from the Halls, and anyone attempting this act on a follower of Lord Kharach would find themselves invoking the fearful Wrath of the Lord of the Dead.
It is the followers of the Lord of the Dead who, in death, travel out of the Halls of the Dead, and out into the Utterdark, a wild and untamed area outside of Kharach’s direct control filled with the souls of those who have not been laid to rest by a Member of the Church. It is also infested with the Plague that is Undead, and as such dangerous to those souls who remain as yet uncorrupted. Thus the Souls of My Lord’s fallen followers try to shepherd those fragile souls back to the Halls of the Dead to reach safety and peace.
The souls of the dead can be corrupted by the rites of the Filth of Undead, especially the unholy powerful ones, such as Vampires and Liches. However, the biggest culprit in the continued desecration of the souls of the fallen is the Filthy Necromancers who corrupt the souls of the fallen, thus animating the bodies into the crude mockery of life which offends all of the Gods, both Dark and Light, so.
But it is damage and irreparable corruption to the Soul which saddens and angers Kharach most, which is why his devoted followers are bent on the destruction of the Abomination that is Undead with such fury. All of us would rather lay down our lives for our Lord than allow the Filth that is Undead or Necromancers to continue their works.
Certainly, the worship of My Lord Kharach is different to the worship of the other deities of the Seven. Kharach’s miracles available to us include many spells capable of destroying Undead creatures, or avoiding the filthy magical or unnatural powers that these creatures employ. It also includes the power to free the soul from the chains of the flesh and to shepherd it onto the Halls.
Thus our primary duties as Priests and Followers of His is to destroy the Undead and ensure the souls of the fallen are sent on to the Halls. Our other duties are more similar, as we are expected to preach the word of the Lord Kharach and the Seven. It may interest you that in my first three months of adventuring I have introduced two of my closest friends to faith, one to the Worship of Longstor, and one of the Worship of the Lady Vleybor.
Whilst I myself do not agree with many of the commands of the Lady Vleybor, I am aware that Faith in one of the Seven often suits different people, and that it is better for one to have faith than not. Not everyone is suited to the Worship of the Lord of the Dead, especially given my friend’s occupation as a member of the Guild of Physicians.
I hope that this has been useful to you. Whilst some faiths are at the opposite ends of the Journey of Life, I think that our devotion to our Gods and Goddesses bring us together, and that worship and respect of all of the Seven allow us to celebrate our similarities rather than concentrate on our differences. For down that road lie the selfish Heresy of the Dark Six.
My you walk in Kharach’s Shadow,
Father Colton of Lord Kharach
2nd Thawing MIX