Ashes of War
The Blood of Vol
The Blood of Vol is perhaps the most misunderstood religion in Eberron. Seekers, as the followers of the Blood call themselves, don’t follow an otherworldly deity, or the ancestors or beings of great power. Instead, Seekers follow a philosophy of “The Divinity Within.”
Look not to the skies, nor to the depths below, nor even to the distant past or future. Seek the divine within, for the blood is the life, and in its call can be heard the promise of eternal life. One has but to listen.
Rather than external entities or foci, Seekers “worship” the blood within their own veins. This blood is the source of all power and the root of all life. Seekers refuse to acknowledge the gods of the other religions as a core concept of their faith. A seeker will quickly point out that there is no proof that the gods even exist, and will further indicate that any god that presents Dolurrh as the soul’s final reward deserves contempt, not worship.
When Seekers pray for spells, they are not praying to the gods but are in effect praying to themselves. The power of the divine lies within them, and deities are simply a conceit invented by the small minded. The fact that Seekers receive spells and can turn/rebuke undead is further proof of the false path of the “established” religions.
The only true hope for mortals lies within their very bodies. Their blood is their soul, and by focusing and drawing strength from the Divinity Within, Seekers hope to escape the emptiness of the Plane of Dolurrh.
The champions of the Blood of Vol, are those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. They have surrendered their chance at divinity by becoming intelligent undead. Vampires, mummies, liches and other intelligent undead protect the church from the misguided harassment of the false religions and are respected for their eternal sacrifice. Seekers willingly offer these undead martyrs their own blood in order to bolster their strength and protect the church.
In its earliest form, the religion that would one day become The Blood of Vol stretches back to the giants of ancient Xen’drik. It was the giants who first came to recognize the power of the “Divinity Within” but it was not until the Mark of Death manifested among the line of Vol in Aerenal that the religion first came into its own.
After escaping Xen’drik for the subcontinent of Aerenal, the Aereni elves broke into two camps on the best means of extending the lives & wisdom of their ancestors. The negative energy (necromancy) researched by the Line of Vol and the positive energy of the Priests of Transition. Over time, the Priests came to represent the ‘best’ way of preserving the worshipped ancestors of Aerenal. The necromantic arts of Vol were set aside, and while not actively shunned, the majority of Aereni Elves viewed Vols teachings with unease.
Following 22,000 years of intermittent wars between the Aereni elves and the dragons of Argonnessen, the matriarch of house Vol, Minara d’Vol, and a great green dragon known as The Emerald Claw siezed upon a plan to end millenia of conflict. The two merged their blood creating a child that bore the qualities of both elf and dragon. it is believed that the Emerald Claw announced the successful union of the two races, but to disasterous results.
When the elves and dragons learned of the half-dragon child Erandis they united together to annihilate the Line of Vol from Eberron. In her last moments, in order to save her daughters life, Minara transformed her daughter into a lich, thus preserving the family line, and the Mark of Death. The Emerald Claw disappeared from history, some claim he died preserving the new-born race of half-dragons, others claim he withdrew in shame. Regardless, the only survivor of the affair was Erandis d’Vol, last scion of the Mark of Death.
Becoming A Priest
In a sense, becoming a priest of the Blood of Vol is as simple as having the desire to bring others into the faith. Once an individual has an understanding of the Divinity Within, he or she may go out to proselyte within the larger community. As the Blood of Vol is often misunderstood by the masses, such actions are not without their risk.
The truth, however, is more complex…