Oh, My Gods! Inter-sect Conflict in Midkemia!
Just a week gone, my brother and I had a fight. Not an argument, a fight; nose-to-nose followed by some wrestling, as only brothers can wrestle. It wasn't about money or family squabbles. Not even about the results of the latest football match. No, this was about a book. You may laugh, but it's strange how different folks can read the same book and form such strikingly different opinions, eh?
What does this have to do with Midkemia Online (MKO) you ask? Well, unlike the other Iron Realms MMO games, MKO adds a delicious new dimension to the system of religion. You see, in the MUDworld of Triagia, the Gods each have two Sects - essentially two Orders that each follow the same God. And just as in real life, where there are over 34,000 sects of Christianity(!), all reading from the same book, the differences between MKO MUD Sects can be most profound. Interestingly, the Sects merely started as geographic clusters of worshippers, with the only difference between each paired Order being that one was in the North and one in the South. Now, doctrinal differences are beginning to really surface, and some sister-Sects have actually gone to war with one another.
So, let's get real specific, and take a look at MKO MUD's Lims-Kragma, the Goddess of Death, as our example. The Judger of Souls (as She is also known) receives the dead into the Halls of Death, where She judges their deeds in life. Depending on their behaviour, She chooses at which point of the Wheel of Life to return their souls for the next stage of their existence. Some few truly irredeemable folks may find themselves destroyed, but most people will move up or down on the Wheel for one more spin. Simple, eh? Enter the Sects:
The Order of the Veil
In the South, Lims-Kragma is tended to by the Order of the Veil. With shrines fashioned after marble yew trees, the Veil tends to focus on the cycle of life, which culminates each time in death. Theirs is a life of constant refinement, of learning about Lims-Kragma that they may better teach the masses Her wishes and (ultimately) to improve all people in Her sight in time for their next judgment. Another important facet of the Veil's operations is the rooting out of enemies of Death - particularly those few vampires that continue to pervert the proper cycle and refuse to be cleansed by Death's Mistress. The Veil is led by the High Priest, its spiritual leader, and beside him sit the High Paladin (who heads the Sect's militant functions) and the High Scholar (in charge of the Sect's artists, teachers and philosophers)
The Order of Death
North of the cities of Elvandar and Krondor, past the treacherous mountains known as the Teeth of the World, there lies the fortress-city of Sar-Sargoth. Amongst these folks, Lims-Kragma is worshipped as Khali-shi, a Goddess of power and fear. The structure of Death is similar to the Veil; it is headed up by the High Necromancer, and below her sits her Council of Death, comprising the Voice of Death, the Necrologue, the Reaper and the Grand Marshal. This Sect sees Death as a route to great power, either by understanding the nature of the Wheel (and what lies behind it) or better learning how to deal death to their its foes. Interestingly, given the Mistress' very clear stance against vampirism, the Order of Death has never come out and clearly fought against those with the curse. Whether this is due to a difference in its core values and beliefs, or merely a facet of politics between the Order and the iron rule of the Witch-King of Sar-Sargoth is a matter of fierce debate.
Currently, the Sects are fairly peaceful towards one another, although the Sectarian War that once took place between them still remains fresh in the memories of their members. But with the sudden withdrawal of their goddess, Lims-Kragma, from direct intervention in the affairs of mortals, how much longer will such a peace last? What does the future hold for these Sects, who even now are being forced to share a temple due to the circumstances of the Lady's leaving? Some hazard that the Order of Death will slowly descend into a dark, bloody cult, arcane cult, even as many watch to see if the Order of the Veil will begin to spiral into an orgy of firebrand zealotry. And most smart money would predict that the fighting of the past (which was always overseen by Lims-Kragma) will pale into insignificance before the conflicts that must surely come in the future.
Yes, this is an exciting time to be a part of Lims-Kragma's Orders, so will you rise to the challenge? Will you take your place in history as a great leader or warrior of one of these Sects? Or perhaps death doesn't do it for you; if that's the case then come and join one of the other Sects (perhaps Prandur, God of Fire, or Silban, the Earth Mother to name just two more of the pantheon). Get to the MKO MUD right away and prepare to immerse yourself in the hottest new free-to-play MUD game on the market. Fame and fortune await you, adventurer!
If you like what you have read, try out some great text adventure games.
Zhade Barnet is an avid text game enthusiast and currently enjoys games from www.IronRealms.com.