The Silver Flame
Every child in Thrane knows the story of Tira Miron. Centuries ago, one of the ancient and powerful demons chained within the world broke free from its bonds, unleashing terrible suffering on the people of Thrane. The nation would have been destroyed if not for Tira Miron. This paladin was called by the Silver Flame and battled the mighty fiend. When it became clear that the overlord couldn’t be destroyed, Tira gave her life, combining her spirit with the light of the Silver Flame to bind the demon once more. Now Tira serves as the Voice of the Flame, helping others find the light. Anyone who seeks to protect the innocent and battle evil can draw on the power of the Silver Flame to aid them, but they must beware of the Shadow in the Flame, the demon that still lingers and yearns to trick good people into evil.
Unlike the Sovereign Host or the Dark Six, followers of the Silver Flame have no arguments over whether their chosen deity is the creator, if it better represents the intrinsic nature of the world, or any other such theological esoterica. The Silver Flame acknowledges that it is post-creation, a divine presence whose origin places it apart from the Nine-and-Six. Born when the couatls collectively sacrificed most of their race to create a force that could imprison the overlords within Khyber. Their essences formed the Silver Flame, an eternal force of goodness that empowers mortal champions against the darkness. The Flame was mysterious and unapproachable for thousands of years. Finally, the paladin Tira Miron joined with the Flame and became its voice and semi divine representative.
A pillar of argent fire marks the point of Tira’s sacrifice, the center of the modern church. This pillar, located in Flamekeep, is a manifestation of the Silver Flame, not the source of its power.
Church of the Silver Flame
The Church of the Silver Flame is a religion that is most dominant in the nation of Thrane. The followers of the religion are called the Purified. The church’s templars stand ready to protect the innocent from supernatural threats, battling undead, fiends, and aberrations. Friars and ministers fight evil by doing good, performing acts of compassion and charity across Khorvaire. In contrast to the Sovereign Host, the church maintains a defined structure and creed. Archbishops monitor regions; cardinals lead the church; and the ultimate authority is the Keeper of the Flame, who maintains the font in Flamekeep and communes with Tira Miron.
The Church of the Silver Flame is divided into the church militant and the church ministry. The ministry oversees the administrative functions of the church. The members of the ministry are also responsible for providing spiritual guidance to the followers of the church. They are shepherds rather than soldiers, and they battle evil by nurturing good. Each kingdom is overseen by a network of priests and bishops; this chain of command continues up to the Council of Flamekeep and the Keeper of the Flame. The current Keeper is a girl named Jaela Daran, who was appointed in 995 YK .
The church militant is comprised of warriors, paladins, clerics, and exorcists. Where the ministry attempts to kindle a spark of good in the human spirit, the church militant battles the forces of evil wherever they appear. Members of this spiritual army live ascetic lives in monastic fortresses, alternating periods of devotion and training with circular patrols across the territory protected by the Flame. The church militant has its own internal hierarchy, but it is under the rule of the Keeper of the Flame, and the rank and file of the army are expected to defer to the ministry. The church militant is the sword of the Flame; the ministry is the mind that guides it.
Within both the ministry and the church militant, a promising initiate is often sent on an extended and unstructured pilgrimage, charged to discover the true nature of good and evil by walking in the world and to try to make a difference as an individual. These pilgrims are expected to respond to the needs of the church in the communities they pass through.
The Pure Flame
In the wake of the Silver Crusade that purged most lycanthropes to save the world from the curse’s threat, some citizens took their reasonable fear too far. The Pure Flame sect of the Church of the Silver Flame emerged as a radicalized sect focused more on “justice” than mercy. The Servants of the Pure Flame have a following to this day, with a fanatical devotion to cleansing the world from evil, regardless of the cost. Their intolerant views are vastly different than the values of the traditionally accepting and merciful Church of the Silver Flame. Servants are most common in western Aundair, along with a notable stronghold of the sect in Thaliost.
The Shadow in the Flame
Tira Miron’s sacrifice bound the overlord Bel Shalor, but it could not end his influence. His whispers echo quietly in the Flame, ensnaring the minds of the corrupt and gullible. His followers, some unwitting, others more than willing, form cults that seek to corrupt the Church of the Silver Flame from within. 500 years ago, Bel Shalor empowered his own Keeper of the Flame, Melysse Miron, and she contested the claim of the current Keeper, channeling the same power only a true Keeper could. Horrified at the implications and worried about the Shadow in the Flame finding a new Keeper should Melysse be slain, the Church had her petrified and stored in the deepest vaults of Dreadhold.
Said to be descended from an ancient group of Sarlonan humans that followed the will of the couatl, these feathered serpentfolk worshiped the Silver Flame for many thousands of years before the Church of the Silver Flame was founded. They consider themselves sacred guards of couatl ruins scattered around the world, and fiercely fight the forces of evil. The shulassakar do not concern themselves with the tenets of compassion and cooperation the Church of the Silver Flame holds central; their focus is on the fight against darkness, and though they will save innocents when possible, those lost in the battle are a cost worth paying. Shulassakar view the Church of the Silver Flame and its adherents as children in the matter of faith, but children on the right track, whereas they are disdainful of all others.
Kalok Shash, the Binding Flame
The Ghaash’kala tribes—primarily orcs, but including half-orcs and humans—worship a force known to them as Kalok Shash, “the Binding Flame,” which they believe holds the souls of noble warriors from time immemorial who have died fighting the corruption of the Wastes. Most theologians agree that Kalok Shash is in fact the same force as the Silver Flame, though the two faiths have many differences.