The Cult of Two Brothers

Brastalyos and Denxon

“Once upon a time, in a year as far before us, as the Godtime was before them, there lived two brothers. Each believed in Truth, but they argued about how best to serve Her.”

The Older picked up the sword with the Y shaped hilt, and followed the stark-limbed truth, as seen by the God of Death.

(They were born rich, in a rich city, but the elder of them, Brastalyos, saw the corruption and refused it.)

The Younger wanted to save what there was that was True, and hold it protected by the Shield of Stasis, and he served the Sage God.

(The younger was Denxon, and he loved the good life, and would find truth in places where Brastalyos refused to go.)

In bedchambers or battlefields, the brothers became famous for finding out what was true, and often what was uncomfortable.

But one day a relative both loved was slain in secret murder.

Brastalyos could learn when it happened, but only Denxon could learn and cast the magic that proved the facts.

(Denxon could not defend himself for the time it took to learn the magic, but Brastalyos could stand by him.)

Denxon could confront the murderer, but only Brastalyos could subdue him

(Brastalyos could capture the murderer, but needed Denxon’s friends to press the case in court, against the great power of the man they accused.)

Brastalyos lost an eye in defending his brother, but the blood that fell from both gives us our magic that no others have.

They came to realise that apart, each could achieve only a fraction of the Truth, but together they could see more of her.

In speaking the Truth they made no friends, but Brastalyos could tell that assassins meant them harm, and Denxon knew who could help them.

They thrived on the attention, and the need of the community to see Truth, but as time passed, the city became more and more Truthful, and needed the Brothers less and less. Until one day, they were sought to be given a reward for their service, and they were not to be found.

(I heard that the assassins won in the end, but the bodies were never found, and could not be burned.)

They might have become Heroes, or they might be spirits who refuse to go on, ghosts bound to an ideal, and not to a place.

A Humakti would be ideal to ask, but none of them will tell you.

(I heard that they became Humakt’s Sword and Shield.)

I hear, even now, that if a city is more than usually corrupt, so that bribery is more common than wages paid, and the guards are in the pouches of secret masters, they will visit their Temples and be found praying.

Cult Description

The Cult of Two Brothers is a subcult shared by Humakt and Lhankor Mhy, following in the path of two men of Truth in a city of corruption. Sometimes celebrated, often stamped out, it appears again and again in history, wherever corruption or secret murder prevail. Membership is usually small and politically helpless, but sometimes a Rune Sword or Sage will rise and attempt to clean up the city, calling together the scattered initiates.

There are several ways to become an initiate of this sub-cult, identical for either cult, but it is not one that can be joined simply by wishing it. An initiate who goes to the altar of Humakt for the first time may be visited and tested by the brothers, and if they pass, will know their secrets, and be marked as one of the Brotherhood. It is also possible for this test to appear to someone who is already an initiate, if they solve a secret crime or remove corruption, with the aid of another in the other cult. In this case, the test is put to both, but neither needs the other to initiate, to be able to do so.

Finally, any member of the two cults who calls out to their god for Truth in a moment of crisis may be answered by one of the brothers, who will reveal what is needed. This is the most usual way in which a Sword or Sage of the brotherhood is created, as a Rune master is most likely to be able to call on their deity successfully. For an initiate to survive to become a Rune master without the aid of others is rare, as most younger members die from assassination, or are politically unable to advance within their organisations.

While the word Brother is used for a fellow cult member, they can be of any sex and gender.

Benefits

On their own holy days, a Brother can use the Hero altar of any of the brotherhood to worship and replenish Rune Points. However, such an altar may only be dedicated by a Sword or Sage of the subcult.

Help in Crisis

Brothers may always sleep by the altar of another of the Brotherhood, which is usually but not always extended to a bed within the Temple, as a guest. Lhankor Mhy Brothers generally help with social introductions for their Humakti brethren, and if a sage or a scribe is in need of a Champion, this relationship allows for the Humakti to put himself in danger for his Hero-kin, even if other calls of duty would prevent him.

Mutual Spellcasting

The Brothers may call on each other for Truth-based spells, with a ritual request to help deal with corruption, or aid in finding out a secret killing. A Humakti must cast Detect Truth if he has it and is asked to help, and Lhankor Mhy brothers can always see the results of such a casting. Lhankor Mhy brothers must cast True Speak on request. In both cases, this is a magical binding, but often other spells are requested, and paid for. According to tradition, the price is one amphora of wine per Rune Point for Lhankor Mhy spells, and one dagger or healing potion per Rune Point for Humakti. However, any mutually agreed-upon price is allowed.

Magic

Rune Magic:

Both brothers give their followers the spell of True Torch [Truth] (1pt, Temporal, Non-stackable). This allows initiates to use their Truth Rune instead of their Scan or Search skills, for the duration of the spell.

Spirit Magic

The cult has access to Detect (Specific Blood) which it teaches for free to initiates, or at a cost decided by the teacher to Lay Members.

Gifts

Humakti initiates who have or gain Sense Assassin takes a +10% to their score.

Responsibilities

All initiates must take Loyalty (Brotherhood), and are forbidden to lie. Any who breaks an oath will be visited by the main cult’s Spirits of Reprisal. A Rune master must never take refuge in silence, although he may choose when and how to reveal the Truth. Brothers must sacrifice for the spells that may be called on within a year of initiation into the Cult.