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The True

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Azure's picture

Faith is for the barbarians. We have no use for faith. We are the True, and we have seen the proof with our own eyes. The Liberator has returned. She has come in our hour of need.

Many quailed at the loss of Vlaakith the Lich Queen. Many thought it was a sign of doom that would result in a resurgence of our Enemies. What githyanki fears death and forgets the sacred hatreds? What son of the Liberated shrinks from the tentacled touch? What daughter of freedom fears the King of the Grey Traitors? Let them cast off their weakness and seek Her, for She has returned; Gith's soul reborn.

-Warlock Sch'kr of Lapis, preaching to the streets of Git'riban.

It was at the Battle of the Darkfields when the Enemy tried to seize back that which our Incursion sought, the very first silver sword forged, Gith's own blade. The enemy surged forward, burying us under a tide of soldier-thralls and their vile illithid drivers. True loyal children of the Liberator, many gave their lives. Then, just as all hope was lost, The Sword of Gith flashed forth in light, and we saw, we felt, we *knew* Gith returned to us. Her silver light carved a vorpal path through the foe and slew its brine-soaked black center.

Afterward, we found that it was at the time that Vlaakith had fallen, but the news did not shake us, for She, our true leader, had come.

-Gish K'schoth of the Band of Lead.

Come to us, children of Gith. Join The True and find true purpose again. Ar-Gish herself has returned and even now builds a great fortress in the Astral that will one day surpass the power and glory of Tu'narath! We are united, for we have seen the truth. Gith's soul once more rules and protects her people, and together we will purge the treason of the Sons of Zerthimon, and watch the last of the foul ghaik die on our blades.

-Knight K'or'r Shuum, formerly of the Diamond Blades of Vlaakith.

********

When Vlaakith CLVII fell at the end of the Incursion, the Dragon Staff, symbol of the red dragon pact, was destroyed. Tiamat's hold over the soul of Gith was released, and her freed essence streaked across the planes seeking her people. She was drawn to the only item that she once possessed which was in the hands of her children, her sword. Gith's soul entered into the mid-ranked officer honored with carrying it*, to be witnessed by all.

This is the story The True tell, anyway.

In the Battle of the Darkfields* the Githyanki managed to sieze the first silver sword forged on the Astral, Gith's own blade, from the Loretakers of Oryndoll. The effort was so extreme that the survivors were no match for the illithids' reinforcements and were unable to escape with the blade. Then, something did happen. Almost all of the actual witnesses to the event all claim they witnessed Gith's soul return, spiritually, psionicly as well as physically.

The principal warbands involved, the bands of Lapis, Lead, and Diamond*, have become the core of the growing Power Bloc of True believers. The young warrior, now called Ar-Gish, was whisked away to the Astral plane quickly. She travels randomly with bodyguards between strong holdings of the three warbands to keep her safe. Few pilgrims are actually allowed to see her, but almost all that do repeat the dogma of the The True.

Detractors from other Power Blocs point out that few actually do ever see her, and so far almost none save her original followers have actually conversed with Ar-Gish. Her former identity and warband affiliation are closely guarded secrets. It may be that Gith's soul inhabits the blade, not the person, or that, being hers, it merely resonates with some of her power. Preachers of her return are all original witnesses, members of the The True who have sought her out on the Astral plane are under strict orders not to push their faith in the face of other Power Blocs, but to quietly and proudly live up to Gith's teachings. This is, of course, to keep other Power Blocs guessing as to who among them might be a secret follower of The True.

The True's closest allies among the other power blocs are the Cult of Tiamat and the Silver Eyes. The Silver Eyes confirm that it was truly Gith's own sword that was taken at the Darkfields. The intelligence operatives and scholars that make up the Silver Eyes had been seeking Gith's regalia on Vlaakith CLVII's behalf for centuries. The cult of Tiamat is the True's closest ally, implying not only that the original dragon pact was actually Gith's doing, not Vlaakith's, but also that no ill will exists between her and Tiamat.

The True reject the Ascendancy of a new Queen Vlaakith, saying that a new time is upon the githyanki people. They are also opposed by the Heartforce, who fear their growing influence as a threat to their own powerbase. Apart from occasionally expressing opposition to Vlaakith, their reaction to these two Blocs are cautious and of quiet opposition. Not so with the Reconciliation. The True often come away the most fervent foes of the githzerai. True dogma rejects any opposition to the War of Two Skies, and calls those wavering or calling for relations with the Zerth, base traitors and heretics.

The last Power Bloc in direct opposition to The True are the Apocalytes. In actuality, many of the die-hard dead-enders trapped on the Incursion worlds subscribe to the notion that Gith's soul has returned, but see it as a sign of the end of the People. The more optimistic Apocalytes (a rare gith indeed) believe that with Gith's return, their own efforts against the illithid and the graith are not in vain. A far greater majority, however, reject the True. Among them are a very few githyanki who were also at the Darkfields but disagree on particulars of their story. Most believe that Gith's soul resides in the sword, not Ar-Gish, and that The True are trying to contain and control her power for their own ends.

{Notes}

* Important items that need guarding are often given to junior officers, freeing the hands and blades of more veteran githyanki to better defend the item and its bearer.

* A Battle is considered any action against a single illithid sept, region, or for a major objective. In githyanki language, a 'War' is reserved for long-lasting and ongoing conflicts. Currently the githyanki are engaged in only two 'Wars', the War of Two Skies against the githzerai and the War of Anihlation against the illithid. There may be, however, hundreds of ongoing 'Battles', 'Raids', 'Recons', 'Incursions', and various other military actions for which the militant githyanki have literally dozens of terms.

* Githyanki warbands are named for gemstones, metals, minerals, and other types of rocks. Smaller sub-sects derive their names from the larger warband. It is not particularly difficult for a githyanki to switch warbands, particularly if recruited into a training academy or knightly order. The ranking officers of the new warband must agree to accept the warrior, and the warriors commander must agree to let him or her go. There is a short but solemn ceremony, and the warrior dons the gear of the new warband.

Burning Spear's picture
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Factol
Joined: 2007-12-02
Interesting..

Interesting..

Dunamin's picture
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Factor
Joined: 2006-06-13
Brilliant work as usual,

Brilliant work as usual, Azure.

I like how the article discusses relations to other power blocs in detail, and the subtle conspiracy theories that can be played up. Isn't the supposed reincarnated Gith called Ar-Gith rather than Ar-Gish, though?

Azure's picture
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Factol
Joined: 2006-05-17
[quote=Dunamin] Brilliant

Dunamin wrote:

Brilliant work as usual, Azure.

I like how the article discusses relations to other power blocs in detail, and the subtle conspiracy theories that can be played up. Isn't the supposed reincarnated Gith called Ar-Gith rather than Ar-Gish, though?

1) Thank You!

2) Yea, I changed it.  I think "Ar-Gish" sounds better, both phonicly and as a representation of the meaning, "The Great Gish", rather than using Gith's name directly.

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