Claws of the Dragon
Barsaivians worship twelve Passions, living, physical embodiments of their wishes, hopes, beliefs, and strongest emotions. A Passion is summoned wherever its ideals are strongly felt, grievously violated, or aggressively defended.
Some say the Passions are mysterious magical beings given control over pieces of people’s lives by the universe. Some say they are the people’s hopes given form by the patterns that spring from the Namegivers’ collective thoughts. Some say the Passions are created spontaneously by powerful emotions and exist only for a moment. Whatever the truth, it cannot be denied that the Passions exist, wandering the roads, visiting Barsaive’s towns, and touching people’s hearts and minds and, sometimes, helping lift their burdens through gifts of healing, comfort, or strength.
The Passions do not appear in any single place or in any one form. Rather, they shape their surroundings and likenesses in a fashion that gives either slight clues or absolute certainty about their identity—the former when they set a test, the latter when they bring a message.
They are Named…
Astendar – Passion of Love, Art, and Music
Chorrolis – Passion of Wealth, Trade, Jealous, Desire
Floranuus – Passion of Revelry, Energy, Victory, Motion
Garlen – Passion of Hearth and Healing
Jaspree – Passion of Growth, Care of the Land, Love of the Wilderness
Lochost – Passion of Rebellion, Change, Freedom
Mynbruje – Passion of Justice, Compassion, Empathy, Truth
Thystonius – Passion of Physical Conflict, Valor
Upandal – Passion of Building, Construction, Planning
Even the Passions cannot be everywhere, tackling every task, healing every sick person, and inspiring every man to chop wood with renewed energy so he will have fuel to keep warm in winter. For this, they have their questors, Namegivers who exemplify and teach the ideals of the Passions. Questors serve to bridge the gap between their patron and the denizens of the world. To be a questor means to regard all of the Passions, but to quest for the ideals of one. The Passions grant magical powers to the questors, with which they inspire and help Barsaive’s people
Of the twelve Passions, only nine survived the Scourge intact, the other three, Dis, Raggok, and Vestrial, were driven insane. Where once the Passions lived peacefully side-by-side, the three Mad Passions now work to destroy the others, sowing discord and forcing the remaining Passions to fight off these attacks. This threat led questors to create the first formal organizations devoted to the ideals of the individual Passions, so that they may defend and instruct their followers. In turn, the desire of the Mad Passions to conquer and destroy prompted their questors to create hierarchies within the ranks of devotees, the better to serve their crazed masters’ purposes.