Nothing is real, everything is permitted
Uber von Rakmon
Two men in the year 1413 stood on the ramparts of a
mighty fortress- the Black Mountain - perched high upon the crags of the Ralian mountains:
the personal representative of Bailifes the Hammer and the veiled figure who claimed to be
the representative of God on earth. Uber von Rakmon, Amman of the Mountains and leader of
the Assassins, spoke: "You see that devotee standing guard on yonder turret-top?
He made a signal. Instantly the white-robed figure threw up his hands in salutation, and
cast himself two thousand feet into the foaming torrent which surrounded the fortress.
"I have seventy thousand men - and women - throughout the west, each one of them
ready to do my bidding. Can your master, Bailifies, say the same? And he asks me to
surrender to his sovereignty! This is your answer. Go!"
From The Book of Revealed Truths
- Important Saints
- Attitudes to other Sects:
- The Place of the True Church in the world
The Church of the Revealed Truth was founded during the chaos and
strife that accompanied Arkat's crusade against Gbaji. Uber von Rakmon was one of Arkat's
followers during those dark times having left the Seshnelan army to follow Arkat east.
While in Seshnela he had studied at a no longer existing school
known as the Abode of Learning. The teachers there were organized in what were known as
the Assemblies of Wisdom. They practised and taught a no longer existant branch of
Malkionism known as Isbillah, named after it's founder. The Isbillah faith was based on a
concept known as loral or "spiritual hermeneutics". Loral actually means
"to take something back to its source or deepest significance". The Isbillah had
always read certain verses of the The
Abiding Book (the Malkioni Bible) as being veiled or symbolic allusions to some deeper
meaning about their dead founder Isbilla. The Abode taught that a perfect ruler would come
who would have perfect understanding, the Amman. This leader would guide the Isbillahs to
perfect Malkionism and on to Solace. Once the Amman was realized, the strictures of
Law and Path would fall away naturally like split husks. Knowledge of inner meaning frees
one from adherence to outer form: the ultimate victory of the esoteric over the exoteric.
The Amman would be able to lead the loyal to Solace directly.
The practices of the Isbillah were considered heretical by their
fellow Malkioni so their followers were allowed to practice "permissable
dissimulation" or Concealment, and pretend to be orthodox
to escape death or punishment. Isbillahis could pretend to be of whatever church they
wanted, whichever was most advantageous.
For the Isbillahis, to practise Concealment
was to practise the Law; in other words, pretending to be orthodox meant obeying the
During a power struggle von Rakmon was ousted from the Abode of
Learning by two of his enemies, a Brithni renegade and one of the peasant caste (Isbillah
practised abrogation of the caste system) and left to follow Arkat. During a great battle
von Rakmon was wounded unto death and as he lay dying he had a revelation. He realized
that the he, himself was the Amman. He left Arkat's service saying, "If I had
two, just two, devotees who would stand by me, then I would cause the downfall of that
Brithni and peasant"
By preaching and proving that he could take followers to Solace in
this life von Rakmon found his two devotees and many more and he managed to take control
of a fortress in Telmoria that Arkat had built called the Black Mountain. Perched on
a rocky hill high above the waters of the Tanier river (which flow around the base of the
hill) the fortress is considered by many to be impregnable. Rather than using the
overt instruments of worldly power von Rakmon decided to use some covert mechanisms to
work his will. To show their loyalty to the Church the lowest level of initiate were
sent abroad to practise Concealment and infiltrate society
everywhere. von Rakmon spun his web quietly and secretly and before any hint of
danger was known the killings began. von Rakmon's followers, or Assassins (an
ancient Seshnegi word meaning guardians of secrets) began slaying his opponents and
enemies. The Brithini and the peasant were among the first to die and when Old
Seshnela was later destroyed by the Luatha von Rakmon took credit for that as well!
This wave of assassinations set the tone for later relations between the
Assassins and the rest of the West. Relations have always been bad but no one has
yet managed to bring enough force to bear on the Black Mountain to crush the True Church
though this has not stopped sermons against them. One theologian was first
threatened with a knife (left by his pillow as he slept), then bribed with gold. When his
disciples asked him why he had ceased to fulminate against the Black Mountain from his
pulpit he answered that True Church arguments were "both pointed and weighty".
The writings of Uber von Rakmon have been collected in a tome called
The Book of Revealed Truths. No copy of this work has ever left the Black Mountain.
The central beliefs of the Malkioni can be condensed to the words of
the full Credo:
"I believe in the One God, Invisible, Creator of the Universe.
He separated Matter from Energy and Nature from Divinity. He made the Kingdom for the
Chosen People and lived among them called Malkion. Malkion suffered, failed, was murdered
by Zzabur, rotted. Through separation He opened Solace and released the resurrection of
the world. Malkion protected the Secret Keepers to the Witnesses of the Abiding Book. He
revealed the Tests of Faith, the Mastery of Will, Solace through
Obedience, and the Paternal Keepers. He promises that through my repentance and His Grace
I shall rise above this mortal world to perfect life in the paradise of the Invisible God.
There is also a shortened version that the Malkioni use
as their central tenet.
"I believe there is no God except the Invisible
God, in the True Prophets, the Holy Books, and the Sanctified Legacy."
from The Abiding Book
The Church of the Revealed Truth (aka the True Church)
teaches that all of the above credo is true, BUT by following the will of the Amman one
can learn the truth about Faith and the hollow shells the Tests are, the true Mastery of
Will, how to attain Solace in this life and that all the true Keepers (i.e. clergy) are
within the True Church.
There are seven degrees of initiation within The True
Church. In the first the pupils are thrown into a state of doubt
about all conventional ideas, religious and political. The initiates are taught that
everything they had previously learned was prejudiced and capable of being challenged.
Their teachers hint continually that formal knowledge is merely the cloak for
hidden, inner and powerful truth, whose secrets would be imparted when the youth was ready
to receive it. This teaching was carried out until the student reached the stage where he
was prepared to swear a vow of blind allegiance to one or other of his teachers.
Initiates of the first degree, known as Assassins are normally the
only degree of inititiation found outside of the Black Mountain. After being
initiated into the first degree they are sent out to infiltrate some society and to wait
for a target or for orders to return to the Black Mountain, neither of which may ever
come. Their holy garb (always donned for an assassination) is a white robe with a
red sash and they always use a dagger as their weapon. Having performed their duty
the Assassin then plunges his own dagger into his breast being guaranteed immediate
entrance into Solace through his devotion.
The head of the True Church is the Amman who claims to be the same
Uber von Rakmon whjo founded the Church. Critics ask why if he is able to lead his
people directly to Solace why he has not done so already. Very vocal critics tend to
have accidents or leave town.
The True Church does not have any saints itself but through the
practise of Concealment any of its initiates can follow any saint they want or need to
follow to keep up their disguise.
Attitudes to other Sects:
All other sects are wrong in some things and right in others.
Only the True Church has correct knowledge and only the Amman has perfect knowledge as
revealed to him by the Invisible God. All other sects consider the Assassins to the
darkest, most vile sort of heretics and always burn them at the stake when they are
The pagan so-called gods are nothing more than large spirits.
The practise of Concelament does not work in pagan cults so Assassins have a hard time
The Place of the True Church in the world
The True Church plays a strange part in the modern world. They
have little true temporal power (though the followers at the Black Mountain and its
impregnable nature make it a powerful fortress). The Old Man, (the Amman) claims to
have followers everywhere on Glorantha but this is doubtful. Even in Ralios where it
is believed that every level of society is infiltrated by assassins there don't seem to be
all that many assassinations committed by the true Assassins. They can be hired by
outsiders but anyone targeted has to be someone the Old Man wants dead or doesn't mind
having killed anyway.
The practise of Concealment is made possible by the teachings the
first degree initiate is given. First degree and higher initiates can embrace all
sorts of Malkioni faith and can truthfully claim to follow any tenets of the sect they are
pretending to be a member of. They can only follow one sect at a time and it is very
rare that a First Degree initiate will ever change sects in his lifetime. The only way a
initiate practising Concealment can be uncovered is to get them to confess to their
deceit. This will require extreme torture as the initiates can actually feign belief
in any Malkioni belief. This ability does not work with pagan sects (though it does
work with the Henotheist sect).
The True Church practises total equality between the sexes and
Assassins can and have been of both sexes.
Non-humans are not the chosen race and can never achieve Solace.
They are to be used, pitied or destroyed depending on their specific nature.