The Bleak Heralding
The heralding is a warlike and terrifying faith that concerns itself with trying to bring about the end of the world in order to save it. Followers of the Heralding are referred to as Bleaklings. For their doomful outlooks, and history of terrorism they are feared and despised the world over.
In Hackmaster, Bleaklings use the cleric template for the Temple of Strife.
The driving concept behind the Bleak Heralding is that of fate. At the top of the belief structure are three goddess figures responsible for weaving the Tapestry of Time, akin to the Norns, the Fates or the Moirai. It is said that if the events of the world should be unworthy of having their story written, the Weavers would cease weaving the tapestry, and Time would come to an end. Others say that the weavers are not the ones who would end time, but create the tapestry to appease some unknown power, who would end time if not appeased.
Every living being is represented in the tapestry as a single thread, its length determined when it is first spun on the wheel of life. The day of a person’s Birth and Death are forever more sealed in fate, and cannot be changed. What happens over that lifetime is whatever a person chooses to make of it, and should be lived without fear of death.
Champions of the Apocalypse
Bleaklings often speak of eleven heroic figures that represent their beliefs. However, they are never described as any kind of heavenly figures, or virtuous benevolent protectors that vie for worshippers. There are no formalized churches to any one of the eleven Heralds, and while they seem to simply characters for stories to inspire them, there are some who maintain that they are real figures who actually walk the earth. Sometimes there are rumors, in the heart of some horrible event, of a mysterious figure who instigated the tragedy.
These arguably deified characters are what predominantly drives the Heralding. Knowing that time will come to the end if the world is not worth written about, they understand reality for what it is; a Story. Every story needs a setting, some chaos or calamity or tragedy from the ashes of which a hero will rise to make it right again. They see tragedies as beginnings, conflicts as chapters, and the death of the innocent as the life of a hero. So they fight to bring chaos, tragedy and strife, just so that there will be something for someone to have to mend again. All so that the Norns have a worthy story, to keep time being woven.
The Eleven Heralds
The Eleven heralds are a curious case when it comes to gods, if that really is what they are. Many scholarly interpretations label them merely as folktales. When it comes to recorded history about them, their characteristics seem inconsistent. You might hear in one telling that the Master of Acedia is a young prince, while records from a hundred years ago claim he is an aged peasant, and the people in the next valley over say that Acedia is a woman. But they always align to the eleven basic archetypes, who antagonize the world with the malady of their title. There are four more distinct lords of the Apocalypse, and seven Warriors of Malady
- The Lord of Death
- The Lord of War
- The Lord of Pestilence
- The Lord of Famine
- The Master of Envy
- The Master of Greed
- The Master of Gluttony
- The Master of Lust
- The Master of Wrath
- The Master of Acedia
- The Master of Pride