The Free Inquisitors of Sharn
Blood of Vol
“Look not to the skies, nor the depths below, nor even the distant past or future. Seek the divine within, for the blood is the life, and in its call can be heard the promise of eternal life. One has but to listen.”
The Blood of Vol is a religious cult fascinated with blood and power of the Divinity Within. At its highest level the religion is an organization under the direction of Lady Vol, the Queen of the Dead, however many of the worshippers of the Blood of Vol know nothing of the Queen of the Dead’s existence.
The Roots of the Faith date back thousands of years to the age of giants in Xen’drik and when the elves fled the land they took the faith with them. It wasn’t until the Mark of Death started to appear on the flesh of the bloodline of the Vol house of elves that the religion took the shape we now know.
The end of the House was Lady Vol herself, the half-dragon whose very existence, considered an abomination by both races, was enough for elves and dragons to set aside their centuries long conflict and unite under the common goal of destroying the Mark of Death 3000 years ago. It was because of this imminent destruction that young Erandis Vol was transformed into a powerful lich.
Eventually every member of the House of Vol was destroyed, save for Vol herself, who was saved by being transformed into a lich and spirited to safety. Those other great houses that had aligned themselves with House Vol were spared the same wrath and were instead banished. They kept their faith in the Divinity Within and spread it to the lands they fled to. Erandis Vol eventually reconnected with the followers and took her place as their faith’s greatest champion, leading and directing their goals as well as her own.
The Blood of Vol is centered on the belief of Divinity Within, which means that the Blood of Vol does not revere any deity but the blood that courses though their own veins. Only by embracing the potential power of their blood may they avoid Dolurrh’s gray wasteland and live in an afterlife crafted by the individuals own abilities, a place of eternal happiness.
Followers of the Blood of Vol
Followers of the Blood of Vol are called Seekers and come from all walks of life. The Blood of Vol is expansive and maintains positions throughout Khorvaire though not as wealthy or powerful as the churches of The Sovereign Host.
The Hierarchy of the Blood of Vol is much like the Church of the Silver Flame but the members of the church knows who leads them but the followers of the Blood of Vol do not know of her at all.
Lady Vol, Queen of the Dead: Erandis d’Vol is the head of the Blood of Vol which she created after the fall of the House of Vol and her subsequent rise to lichdom. From Illmarrow Castle Erandis controls a vast network of spies and priests. The few people that know that Vol is the head of the faith know that they need to follow her order to a letter.
The Crimson Covenant is a group of thirteen individuals mostly comprised of intelligent undead and long-lived mortals each of which has a direct line of communication with Vol herself. The Covenant has kept link between Vol and the day-to-day operations of the faith for many years. Unlike most of the faith, the members of the Covenant know each other and they are protected by Vol’s powerful magic.
Abectors are Seekers chosen by The Crimson Covenant to be the head of operations over a temple and sizable community of the Blood of Vol. Some of the numbers of the Crimson Covenant are themselves Abectors, though most are simply Seekers who have proven themselves worthy.
The lowest rung of the hierarchy of the Blood of Vol is the clergy. These are priests and other temple officials that follow the directions of the Abectors and most of these know nothing of the influence of Vol or her true machinations.
The Order of the Emerald Claw is the paramilitary arm of the Blood of Vol and maintains a position equal to that of the Abectors. Their connection to the Blood of Vol is only known by highest ranking members of the Order due to their public profile in Karrnath.
The Blood of Vol and Other Faiths
Much like the Silver Flame, the Blood of Vol believe that all other religions are simply distorted aspects of their own religion, seeing other faiths as misguided fools, who hopefully will come to see the error of their ways and convert.
The Silver Flame: The Blood of Vol sees the Silver Flame as fanatical zealots, from whom one can only learn how destructive faith can become when dictated by another.
The Sovereign Host: A faith one could almost begin to understand, if it was not for the reliance on “gods” that have clearly forsaken their worshipers.
The Dark Six: Suffering from the same faults as the Sovereign Host, though at least the worshipers of the Dark Six admit to it. If nothing else, they make useful allies against the Church of the Silver Flame.
Druidic Sects: We both venerate nature, but the druids look to the natural world beyond, while we look to the natural force within ourselves.
As of Fourth Edition’s Eberron Player’s Guide
While the followers of The Blood of Vol are often distrusted by members of other faiths because of rumors that they worship the dead, the members are not evil. This is widely misunderstood due to the fact that the teachings are dark and driven. While no longer evil presumed evil, the members of The Blood of Vol are unaligned and follow these exhortations:
Believe in yourself: “As the blood is the power, and the blood flows through me, the power is mine.”
Work to improve yourself and your capabilities. A complete understanding of divinity within opens the door to immortality.
Meet with others of The Blood of Vol to share in the power of each other’s blood.
Those of The Blood of Vol are entranced by the meaning of blood, both literal and figurative, as well as heredity. To them, blood is the source of power and the divine, and only through understanding that power is within and not without or through an illusionary otherworldly power can one focus on day-to-day activities and self-improve and ultimately obtain immortality. For if one is strong enough, he may be able to master the source of life and abilities that come from within him and his blood.