The Order of Branu is one of three main surviving monotheisms based around a god later incorporated into Phaelism. The Order reveres Branu alone, and has a moral mandate to always be at war or in preparation of war.
Soft Monotheism Edit
The Order of Branu is considered a "soft monotheism" by modern students of comparative religion. In the Order's case, what this means is that they acknowledge the existence of other gods, specifically the Phaelist pantheon, but only follow one god. The Order is welcomed within Orthodox Phaelism, of which it now considers itself a sect, and allows all Orthodox teachings within their own practices. However, adherents swear fealty to Branu and only to Branu, and only aid or serve other gods indirectly. As they do not believe that Branu is the king god, or even that he has much authority over the daily lives of most people, they do not shun the requests of other gods within the pantheon as long as the request itself lines up with the general mission of the Order and that they do not believe themselves under contradicting orders from Branu.
Orthodox Phaelism Edit
During the First Schism War, the Order of Branu sided with Vorell. This was largely a political decision, as the Order already had an established hatred for Enrelisha and was under a constant declaration of war with the nation. When approached about joining the battle, they were morally forbidden from refusing, and morally forbidden from aiding the Enrelisha. The religious aspect was largely incidental, as there are records from before this period of teachers within the Order taking an ambivalent view toward the so-called heretical texts that sparked the war. However, having sided with Vorell, the Order continued aiding in the establishment of the True Phaelist Council and the reclaimed city of Erstarwyn, and found itself deeply entrenched in Orthodox Phaelism before it seemed to quite know what was happening. The Order has, however, embraced this affiliation entirely. Aside from the deviations listed here, adherents to the Order can be assumed to hold all the same views as mainline Orthodox Phaelism.
Branu, as the god of war, has steep demands for his committed followers. The Order of Branu is required to always be at war or in the process of preparing for a war. This cannot be an abstract concept, either - they must, at all times, be preparing for a specific war or be actively involved in one. This is all an attempt to be prepared always for the Endwar, a final conflict between the gods that they believe will tear the world asunder and leave the victors as lords over the age to come. While the Book of Lophael does include this conflict in its pages, the details differ somewhat from the official Branu teachings, which predate Lophael by at least seven centuries. In keeping with their affiliation to Orthodox Phaelism, the Order prefers to view them both as interpretations of the same, somewhat unknowable, event. They do not, however, actually teach Lophael's version, and unlike Lophael, they believe that the conclusion of the Endwar is not yet determined and that they, through proper preparation, will be able to sway it in their favor.
While their affiliation with Phaelism ensures that they belief in Raeshi as queen of the dead and in her realm, Raeshnacht, as the home of all souls, the Order of Branu also believes that this realm includes a massive fortress where they, and other warriors who seek admittance after death, can continue to train and prepare for the Endwar. This is the Tower of Branu, and it is inaccessible through mundane forms of travel within Raeshnacht, only accessible through a portal hidden by Raeshi and possibly by a method known only to the Lord Commander of the Order of Branu.
The Order of Branu is as much a military organization as it is a religious sect, and as such, it has a strict order of command.
Lord Commander Edit
The Lord Commander of the Order of Branu is the highest mortal office within the Order, and also serves as the head of state for the nation of Pran.