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The Kruskiev Order

by Ville Lähde

Kruskiev Order might descend from a Traladaran bard-cleric who kept up the oral traditions that were lost during the Thyatian translation. For ages they gathered in secret to pass on the old songs, believing that committing them to writing weakened the original truths - and in fact, Thyatian and other influences surely changed many things in the Traladaran lore. (I'm basing this on Giampaolo's Religions of Karameikos article). The Kruskiev Order managed to stay alive during the centuries of schism within the church, as all the sects drew from their teachings. Heresy has never been so much an issue of dogma in Traladaran religious life, rather than part of political alliances and conflicts. As the Kruskiev order never aspired to leadership, they escaped the sect conflicts. (The point about heresy comes from the nature of Church of Traladara: the general acceptance of fortune-telling, personal interpretation of the Song etc. I would think that only the most radical deviation would be considered truly heretical - Cult of Halav is an obvious example.)

It was only in the last two centuries that the order has began to commit the oral tradition to writing. One of their leaders devised a new form of writing that combined the musical and emotional elements of the songs, so as not to empty them of their true value. It relies partly on sense of touch, as patterns are woven into the scrolls by thread. The meditations of the monks are actually silent recitations of the songs by running their hands over the writings. One of their sacred duties is to make special candles that allow the reader to appreciate the living shadows that form upon the song-writing.

It is said that Patriarch Sergeyev studied Kruskievite scrolls intensely in the years before slipping into madness and heresy.