A First Look: The Anointed
The Anointed: the lines of the first kings of men, the most ancient ruling order in all of Althas. The Anointed have ruled over their kingdoms and much of Althas for over a thousand years and though they have faltered in recent centuries, they remain very powerful and influential.
In the earliest years of Althas, as evil threatened to overwhelm the world with chaos, Driomi, The One, worked to prepare men for the darkness to come. He sent the first Diasair, Losdejim, to Althas in order to establish the first kingdoms of men and to call out from the seven peoples the first kings. These kings were the first Anointed and established the kingdoms of Anorthile, Gorandel, Narthendar, Lamniemalos, Driesefair, Nosmalos, and Vishethas. To rule their kingdoms and to combat the dark powers that were rising, the Anointed were blessed with long life, strength, and resistance to the dark influences of the Night Stones. These gifts continue in the surviving lines to this day.
The banner of the Anointed contains seven crowns around a set of golden scales and a blue circle. This symbolized the values of the Anointed: honor, strength, purity, order, loyalty, and wisdom.
Under Losdejim's guidance, the Kingdoms were established and the rule of the Anointed solidified. In the years that followed, the Anointed Kingdoms provided the stability and order needed for orders such as the Temple and Academy to arise.
At first, the Anointed were united with only small controversies arising in the first century. However, after the first war, the War of Men and Beasts, which caused great destruction to Althas, King Thrandole of Narthendar betrayed his fellow Anointed in the second war, the War of Kings. He took for himself a night stone, using its power at first for good, but became twisted and corrupted in the end. For while the Anointed were sheltered from their oppressive influence,Thrandole willingly took the power and thus surrendered himself to its corrupting influence. In the end, the Anointed defeated Thrandole, but the line of Narthendar's Kings was ended.
This was not the end of divisions between the Anointed. As the centuries continued, ever greater tension arose among the Anointed. After the rise of magic and the Jevrethor Controversy, the Schism divided them. The Anointed Kings of Gorandel, Lamniemalos, and Driesefair became arrogant and forceful. They exerted their influence on the Temple and Academy, presuming to know better than the Daisairos that had been sent to them to teach them concerning the issues of magic. In the end their pride brought them great turmoil in the Ironrend Massacre and the jevrethor uprising led by Unrád that followed.
While the uprising did force the Anointed to unite once again, the consequences of their arrogance were already spiraling out of control. Prejudice against jevrethor was rampant in the North, and groups began to splinter off from the Temple and Academy as they professed false teachings. Some taught that magic and especially jevrethor were evil; others taught that they were like gods. Against these beliefs the Anointed struggled for many years. However, in the end the consequences of the Anointed's arrogance centuries before could not be overcome. The War of Calamities brought great destruction to Althas but also nearly destroyed the Anointed. Many of the Kings and Queens of the Anointed Kingdoms died in that war, whether at home or on the field of battle. In the end only three lines were restored: Anorthile, Nosmalos, and Vishethas. There are many who wonder if it is mere coincidence that the kingdoms of Gorandel, Lamniemalos, and Driesefair were the ones to fall.
History Since the War
In the more than three hundred years that have followed the War of Calamities, the Anointed have had many troubles. At first, they were united in their efforts to bring Althas back to order. However, over time, corruption, greed, and ambition eroded their unity.
In Vishethas, the rulers became complacent. Rather than obey their moral obligations, they catered to the will of nobles. At the same time their focus became increasingly selfish, with the Kings spreading the power of their influence where it did not belong, taking ever greater control over the Temple and Academy and other organizations that were meant to be independent of the royal power. Now, King Zomar rules as a passive king, his advisers running the government and controlling many in the Temple and Academy as puppets.
In Nosmalos, greed and corruption ran rampant. Crooked merchants bought their way into noble authority, establishing an extensive black market whilst bribing guards and judges. Illegal trade went unchecked, as did oppression. The Kings became opulent and turned a blind eye to the growing problems. Those who threatened the nobles or the King were crushed, even those of the Temple and Academy. Now King Modelli rules a gilded kingdom, its opulent surface hiding a corrupt and oppressive regime, where the merchant nobles have free reign and the King rules with fear.
In Anorthile, ambition brought division among the people and was eventually the undoing of the great King Dithair. The War of Attainment, a civil war between the usurper Etallethor and the rightful heir Thrûdre, followed after his death. This war nearly brought Anorthile and Nosmalos into open conflict. After obtaining victory, Thrûdre took the name Falos and ascended the throne as the King of Anorthile. There was great tension between Anorthile and Nosmalos, and for a time Falos worked to interfere with their spread of influence wherever he could. His son, King Falos II, is a combination of philosopher and king, a ruler who strives to be fair in his dealings. But he now rules a kingdom entangled in a war that is both political and personal which threatens to reawaken many old rivalries and conflicts.
With the Anointed now more fractured than ever, war is gathering on the horizon and the kingdoms brace themselves for what is to come. Yet, there may be hope that the war might be a purifying fire, and so it may come to pass that the kingdoms may again be united. For The One has not forgotten his promises nor left the Anointed to struggle alone.