Exalted: The Black Heart of the Isles
The Coming of the Spiritchildren
Less than two generations after the forming of the Pact and the peace among the island people the Children of Kraken still rose from the deep to terrorize the fishermen of the Vikiari. One of Kraken’s greatest children was Jaggara The Shipwreck Queen, she was hard as dead coral and thrice as sharp, her very gaze could rend a man asunder.
The cunning Jitari was the only man to ever gain entrance to her deep abode. Disguising himself as a son of Damiat himself Jitari pompously strode past her terrible guards as a suitor paying call. Behind his magic mask Jitari wore a thin slice of mirrored metal, mined from the magma-blood of Lotros himself, still newly passed. With this potent charm he could weather the gaze of terrible Jaggara, but he could not see. Any lesser man would have tripped and fell, but Jitari had called upon the spirit of the bat to grant him sight without sight.
And so he charmed the Shipwreck Queen, who invited him to her bed chamber. When her back was turned Jitari pulled from a hidden sheath his lucky knife, the piece of flint he used to escape from the Cora’ai prison at Hoju, and plunged it into her back. But his masterful hand slid through Jaggara’s form as if she were naught but mist. And Jitari threw down the magic mask and magic mirrored metal and ran from the bedchamber. So distraught at losing such a fine suitor as a son of Damiat, The Shipwreck Queen wept over the fallen mask rather than pursue the Trickster.
Then as now Outsiders were confined to the island of Roal, as set forth in the Pact by the High Priest of Lotros, the First Iudex. The Outsiders and their loud God Immacualti were not welcome upon the sand of Vikiari.
After his failed assassination attempt Jitari returned to his native Roal to drink away his pain, and it was there that he met two unusual Outsiders. They introduced themselves as Son of Sand and Daughter of Sky. Jitari related his woes and told them of the terrible Shipwreck Queen, they in turn told him that they had been cast out by the priests of Immacualti and were even now hunted. No one knows who voiced the plan first, but these Outsiders were formidable warriors and cunning like Jitari, and the three of them hatched a plan to trade a life in the island nations for their help defeating the Shipwreck Queen.
So Jitari set out to convince the Iudex, but he didn’t go to talk to him directly, instead he went to one of each of the lowliest Bailis and Billanka on the island of Vikiari. To the Bailis he said “Are you tasked with the protection of this island?” and the Bailis answered “Yes” and Jitari asked “Then why haven’t you defeated all of Kraken’s children? Do they not threaten the Vikiari?” “Well of course they do, but I am just a Bailis, that would be a job for an Arkon.” and Jitari smiled “Very well then, come with me to talk to your Arkon.”
And then to the Billanka he said “Are you tasked to administer this island, to mantain trade?” and the Billanka answered “Yes” and Jitari asked “Then why have you not used your knowledge of the Laws of Things to make the children of Kraken no more? Do they not disrupt trade and foment conflict?” “Well of course they do, but I am just a Billanka, that is a job for an Akontas.” and Jitari simled “Very well then, come with me and talk to your Akontas.”
And thus did Jitari sway every Bailis and Billanka, and with this throng at his back he posed the same questions to each Arkon and Akontas. Who in turn laid the responsibility at the feet of the Strategos and the Sakellarios. Who when confronted by Jitari and the Arkon and Akontas and the Bailis and the Billanka, said that only the Iudex could remedy this problem. And it was only then that Jitari and the two Outsiders spoke with the Iudex, shouting to be heard over the clamoring throng of the entire Priesthood.
Jitari spoke “The whole island asks that you banish the children of Kraken, especially the Shipwreck Queen, back to the depths from whence they came.” and the Iudex responded “I can see that, but even I cannot do this, did not even you fail to slay the terrible Queen? Only a true scion of the gods could match her power.” “How fortunate then that I have with me two amazing persons, Son of Sand, the flesh of the Flame Ender, and Daughter of Sky, the breath of Illejien . It is truly a shame though that their mortal parents were born far to the Rosul on an island not of the Pact!”
The Iudex paused for he could see that the Outsiders were indeed potent, but the Pact was still young and to break it’s tenets so soon might annul it entirely. As usual Jitari had not lied, but had stretched the truth, for while it was true that Son of Sand and Daughter of Sky had the powers of the land and air in their blood, and brought with them the secret of Movement-Magic, they were not the recognized heirs of the Gods. Whether or not they were children of Gods none-the-less is a question for another time.
The Iudex said “To not break the tenets of the Pact these two godlings must become one of the island peoples.” and the three agreed. But the Iudex worried about the Outsiders tainting the ways of Lotros and so he also said “Like Fishermen, Hunters, Craftsmen, Merchants and Priests they shall become a new caste, as shall their children. As the newest of the castes they shall be the least of them.” And finally Daughter of Sky spoke, for she and her brother had been silent until now and she said “The least of the castes must be the most constrained correct.” “Yes” said the Iudex, and Jitari smiled as he sensed in her a kindred spirit. “Then we shall be like unto the priests, for while I see Fishermen, Hunters, Craftsmen and Merchants going about their business without a care, the Priests are subject to a rigid hierarchy and must obey many more laws.” And the Iudex was forced to agree, but only upon the condition that Jaggara and all of her kin were bested.
Daughter of Sky called to the spirits of the cloud and storm and shook the very island with the force of a great hurricane. Son of Sand performed a great dance and infused himself and Jitari and the three greatest fisher-warriors of the Vikiari with the strength of the roots of the island. Jaggara rose up from the sea, disturbed by the titanic storm, and dove toward the warriors. The battle raged for a day and a night, but the power of the two Outsiders allowed Jitari’s lucky knife to find purchase on the flesh of the Shipwreck Queen and the warriors bested the kin of Kraken.
And thus the Iudex declared that the Sons of Sand and the Daughters of Sky should be as Priests, and their children should be as Priests, and thus was made a sixth caste, the Spiritchildren. Today the Spiritchildren are still this way with their leadership taken by the most Venerable of their children, who commands the Hand of Sky and the Hand of the Sand, who in turn instruct the Proctors, who in turn are as like fathers and mothers to the many Acolytes.