Aeon, the Balance
“The Balance is inscrutable. He is that which never changes, and that which is never the same.” -Kamesha, High Priest of the Order of the Rose
The principle god of Soulforge is Aeon, also called the Balance. He is the lord of peace, order, institutions, and equilibrium. His followers often use a parable about a gardener and a rose. The rose is an incredibly difficult flower to grow, highly sensitive to changes in environment. If it receives too little rain, it must be given water. Too much and it must be drained. If ivy threatens to choke it, the ivy must be burned. If the rose becomes overabundant, it must be pruned. Aeon is the gardener, a tender caretaker, and the rose is Soulforge. In real terms, the Balance consists of putting down revolts, ending wars, smothering anarchy, and promoting the spread of civilization. It also means waging war against Kalphazor, the Imprisoned and his followers, who are the very antithesis of what the Balance stands for. Some followers of Aeon hold that he is the creator of Soulforge, though he remains cryptic about whether or not this is true, or whether or not Soulforge was actually “created.” He does, however, acknowledge his presence in Soulforge’s beginning, and that some cataclysm led to the breaking of a primordial spirit, creating Kalphazor. Aeon took on the task of chaining the insane beast.
When the Balance manifests physical presence in Stormbow, he appears as a ten-foot knight, clad in pristine armor with a waving crimson cape. He has no face, but rather two masks, one white and one red through which he speaks. Each mask has a distinct personality. The white mask is called Zariah, the red Zava. Zariah’s aspect is preservation, Zava’s is extinguishing. This two-fold structure is reflected in his temples, which feature halves dedicated to each personality, and in his angels, which have faces on the front and back of their heads. Audience with Aeon himself can be a disorienting affair, as each half takes its own wildly different approach at inquisition. The scrutinizing and cryptic glare of the masks is physically draining to most mortals.
His stronghold is the Eternal Citadel, a glittering collection of ivory spires on the edge of the Falling Sea. Though he sometimes suddenly vanishes, he can often be found here, offering guidance to his greatest servants, issuing commands in the various campaigns his troops are fighting in. His servants are known as the Order of the Rose.
Aeon is not without earthly opposition, however. Over the past twenty years, a string of cults have secretly united, forming a group that the Order has labelled the Heretics. This organization has been making plays against the Order, causing riots and political unease in much of Soulforge. These conflicts have earned the name the Heretics’ War.