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 The Korppikultti

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PostSubject: The Korppikultti   Wed Feb 22, 2012 11:56 am

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Originally for Aeria by Markka and Thoro.
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Overview
    The Korppikultti is a large cult worshipping their raven god, called Korppi. The cult's primary bastion resides within a large mountain in the frozen reaches of Ara'ki where it breeds and trains the children of Korppi, countless or ravens. The cult has been estimated to have several hundred thousand ravens in its command at any given time, majority of which have been trained to at least some extent. The ravens serve as scouts and spies as well as guards and soldiers working with the worshippers of Korppi.

    The cult has exited for roughly 1000 years, with the construction of the Rampion and breending a viable army taking majority of the time. The last 200 years they have spent overtaking the island and upgrading their arsenal with considerable success. Only a few independant tribes and towns remain.
    Information travels quickly between the outposts and the main cathedral of the cult, thanks to the countless of ravens in their command, which makes up a reliable communication network for the entirety of the cult. Despite the great network, arrival of human replacements or reinforcements from the cathedral could take days due to the size of Ara'ki. Some of the elite cultists are known to be able to turn into ravens themselves which ables them to move nearly as fast as the raven messengers. Majority of the cult however does not have this ability and they instead ride their twisted mounts. The mounts the cult uses are an abominable cross of a raven and a horse: instead of fur they have sleek feathers, instead of mouths they have beaks, their hooves are replaced by raven-like talons. The mounts themselves do not have wings, however, and are unable to fly.

    Korppi has blessed his cult by granting the most faithful, the Höyhenmaagit, a powerful boon by "stitching" raven souls attuned to certain spells to the soul of the recipient, granting them a way of spellcasting referred to as Höyhenmagia; this allows the cultist to use the power of the raven's soul to cast any attuned spell instantaneously with no cost to themselves. The cultists with Korppi's boon have the ability to make manifest ethereal ravens, reflections of the raven souls that reside alongside theirs. The ethereal ravens are far more dangerous than their physical counterparts. The spirit ravens have far greater abilities over the physical ones, such as shielding their master from magical harm, temporarily draining the strenght and magical powers of their foes, healing their master and their allies, granting their master far sight and more.


    Spoiler:
     



Origins

    The Korppikultti were originally settlers and plunderers from the great nation of Occitan seeking to establish colonies in the rich island of Ara'ki and claim its resources before any other nation, to give them a great edge. Needless to say, majority of the attempts to reach the island were in vain due to the raging storms surrounding it. The few that made it found themselves stranded on the island they were seeking to plunder. Isolated in the hostile island, they retreated to the mostly desolate, snowy mountains of Ara'ki. As they were beginning to set up a colony camp for themselves, hoping that more settlers would arrive soon, they discovered an artifact of great power: a feather of Korppi. The raven god whispered to them of his ancient plight, asking for the colonists' aid to take care of his many offspring, offering his blessings in return for them. The desperate colonists had very little room for choice at their current condition and found themselves to agree to the old raven lord.

    The cultists began their long and exhausting work to carve out the mountain to live in so they would not succumb to the harsh weather of the mountains. Korppi granted them strenght and aid during their desperate times as they dug into the iron-hard ground and the old, strong mountain. From the minerals and other materials they found, the colonists would eventually shape a grander cathedral for themselves and the raven lord, their hearts turning more and more devoted to the cause of their new god as the exhausting work continued for years, during which no Occitan ship ever entered the island to save the stranded people. They would often recruit any willing wandered to join their cause, passing the knowledge of caretaking the children of Korppi down to the new members of their forming religious society.



Rituals

    The Korppikultti started practicing sacrificial rituals when a Kirkkoherra held the feather of Korppi and heard a whisper in the back of his head say these words. "My children grow hungry, and become weak. They must be offered a meal fit for gods." And then a poem, or chant, started echoing in the man's head, and he couldn't release the chant no matter how hard he tried. Eventually he felt he was going mad, as he felt compelled to walk into the raven's holding area and let them feast upon his flesh. He gave in though, as he started hearing whispers from Korppi every time he held the feather, telling him to feed the ravens. He entered the pen and fell upon his knees, quietly chanting the poem as the ravens started feeding upon him while he prayed to Korppi. When the Rovasti entered the holding area to feed the ravens, they found that they were not eager for food, and instead seemed content. And on the floor of the roost, in a pool of blood, was bones, and what remained of the Kirkkoherra's robes. The Piispa immediately saw what this meant. Someone had to be sacrificed to the children of Korppi in order to please them, someone had to strengthen the ravens with their blood, and flesh and so the sacrificial rituals began.

    It soon escalated though. A few years after the Kirkkoherra sacrificed himself, the new Kirkkoherra was hearing whispers as well. But she heard differently. She heard the whispers saying, "My servants grow weak, they must be empowered by a meal fit for my children." And soon she too was driven mad, she eventually forced one of the Piispa to kill themselves, and then felt a great power enter her body as she feasted upon his flesh and blood. She heard another whisper, "My servants grow stronger, but stronger they can become." And so, the cannibalistic meals became a ritual.

    Korppi continued his dark whispers to his worshippers, promising them his untold strenght and powers. Once the cannibalistic and sacrificial rituals had strenghtened his servants enough, he would teach them to tap into the power of his dark soul. His raven priests and priestesses would be granted power over the magic powered by the souls of his children and the most revered of his worshippers he would grant his greatest blessing: to be able to turn into ravens and avatars of Korppi himself.


    Spoiler:
     



Hierachy

    Kirkkoherra
    The true leader of their cause. His or her heart is purely devoted to Korppi and serving his cause. He is an avatar of the raven god, possessing several characteristics of the bird of death. They have incredible control over their flock and wield great power at their fingertips.


    Piispa
    The second-in-command of the entire cult, the right taloned hand of the Kirkkoherra. They will serve without doubt or question, cherishing the blessings of the raven god. They posses several characteristics of a raven and wield tremendous powers that are only second to the Kirkkoherra and Korppi themselves.


    Kirjastonhoitaja
    The loremaster of the cult, the ones who keep track of Korppi's teachings, take care of their scriptures and other texts. They also work as advisors for the council and their superiors. They usually start as Piispas and are given the position by the Kirkkoherra, based on their knowledge of Korppi and their ability to retain information. More often than not, they are senior members of the cult and utterly devoted to their cause.


    Apotti
    The ones who form majority of the higher council of the cult. They are the first ones to achieve the priviledge to transform into ravens and manifestations of Korppi. They oversee the breeding of ravens and the transformation of their steeds and are often the ones who directly confront lower ranking cultists with pressing matters for the ones above them.


    Rovasti
    The ones who take full responsibility in nurturing the offspring of the raven god. They are the elite of the cult, strong willed and adepts in combat. They wield great blades, scythes and sickles, their sleek bodies adorned with copper-obsidian armor that inspires both fear and awe, their mantles, wings and robes consisting of the most prized of feathers, directly after the ones adorning the overlords of the cult. They also serve as the instructors and teachers for the lower ranking members.


    Kardinaali
    The advanced members of the cult, the backbone of their society consists of the students who were granted the honor of greater blessings of the raven god. They have nearly full priviledges within the society. Here the ones who made it this far are taught greater secrets of their avian lord.


    Pappi/Papitar
    The ones who proved to be worthy during their initiation period are given several more priviledges as they reach priesthood. It is here when the students choose whether to specialize in directly instilling the wish of their god to their adversaries or to wield the very essence of Korppi and take care of his offspring.


    Akolyytti
    They are the lowest ranking, initiates of the cult whom are just fresh from conversion, starting the jorney of their dark path covered with the obsidian feathers of the raven god. They are responsible for most of the dirty work within the cult and are granted with little priviledges.

    Spoiler:
     




Equipment


    The cult's signature weapons have always been blades of all kinds made out of obsidian, meant to be especially lethal against un- or lightly armored opponents. Obsidian is both extremely sharp and brittle, which cuts through skin, flesh and leather effortlessly, and in case the blade shatters or snaps, the enemy is forced to remove the obsidian shards before healing is possible

    However, with the expansion of the cult, they saw the need to upgrade their arsenal to combat the better equipped opponents of theirs. For this purpose, with the aid of Korppi, they began to mine and refine a type of dark blue-ish copper called Tenorite, readily available in the island of Ara'ki due to the constant presence of magical storms. The more durable and stronger armor and weapons allowed the Korppikultti to overcome the larger tribes and Occitan and Scantimonian colonies without too many casualties of their own.

    The Korppikultti still embraces the use of their signature obsidian but its use is more complimentary and decorative these days, rather than being the primary material their equipment is made out of. As Tenorite is dark blue in coloration, it also pleased the aesthetic eye of Korppi's in addition to the greatly enhanced defensive and offensive capabilities it granted his followers.




    Location


    The Rampion is located high on the snowy mountains of Ara'ki, carved deep into the very heart of one particularly large one. A very small portion of the cathedral is located on the outside of the mountain. The true cathedral is hidden in the belly of the mountain; dozens of tall, obsidian hallways stretch into the farthest reaches of the mountain, each leading to dozens more great halls, nests for the countless children of Korppi and living quarters for the cult. The mountain houses several very large rooms devoted solely for the training of their students and ravens.
    The cult has built several smaller chapels to the southern reaches of Ara'ki to serve as outposts for their cause. Majority of the conversions and initiations happens within these very chapels, from which the fresh members of the cult are sent to the main cathedral for training. The outposts are all kept up to date by messenger ravens, ensuring little disturbance in their activities.


    Spoiler:
     






Holy hell it was hard to find somewhat consistent color scheme.
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Markka
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PostSubject: Re: The Korppikultti   Wed Aug 22, 2012 11:34 pm

Updated! Edited Overview and added Equipment.
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