Court of Gods

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Court of Gods
First Glimpse of the God King by Howard Lyon.jpg
Usage Government, Palace
City T'Telir
Nation Hallandren
World Nalthis
Universe Cosmere

They hold every single pass to the northern kingdoms! Every workable copper mine! They have military garrisons within striking distance of T’Telir! And they still claim to be ruled by the rightful kings of Hallandren!

Blushweaver's priestess to the Court of Gods[1]

The Court of Gods is the home and parliament of the Returned in Hallandren.[2] While the Returned effectively rule the nation, they are confined inside the walls of this complex in T'Telir, the capital of Hallandren.

Appearance[edit]

God king’s palace[edit]

The palace of the God King is located at the far side of the Court of Gods,[3] directly opposite to the court’s gates. It is large, far larger then the other palaces[3] and is pyramidal in shape. The Palace is made of large blocks,[4] approximately 10 feet high.[4] The first few levels are formed of square blocks, though the rest of the levels are steeper and closer to a traditional fortress.[5] The palace has four floors,[6] and the fourth floor has a stairway[7] to the flat palace roof.[7] The outer walls of the palace are adorned with decorations.[5]

Because the God king represents all colors, the rooms where the God King stays are each coloured differently.[8] The stone walls are still black however, so coloring is achieved by filling the room with silks and tiles of a specific color.[8] The palace is divided into two area’s, the inner part, where the God king resides, in this area the rooms are all coloured,[9]and the outer part, this is the servants area, inside this area the rooms are all black.[9] Some rooms have windows to the outside.[10] Most rooms in the palace don’t have a dedicated purpose, instead the servants bring in furniture when it is needed.[10] Because of this most things in the palace are portable, like for example bathtubs.[10]

An exception to this is the conception chamber, this room technically lies in the servants part of the palace, with a window to the outside, from which a person can see the sea.[11] The room has a large imposing door, which is completely plated with gold.[8] The hallway in front of the door has four lamps without coloured glass.[8] There are lots of storage rooms in the palace.[10] There is also a large library.[12][9] The God Kings palace is attached to the tunnel complex beneath the Court.[6]

There is always food available, so that when the God King asks for it, he doesn’t have to wait.[13]

The Palace was first created by the shipmates of Vo, as a residence for their Queen. Before the Manywar the fortress was stark,[14] built with odd twists and turns to confuse an invading foe.[14] After the Manywar, while the stonework remained the same, The open dining halls or garrison rooms were split into many, smaller rooms,[14] colorfully decorated in the mode of the Hallandren upper class.

Returned palaces[edit]

Additionally all the Returned have their own palace in the Court.[2] These palaces are arranged in a ring. While the palaces are the same color as the Returned who inhabits it, they are painted with many different hues, only visible for someone of the third heightening.[15] The palaces have two stories, although the second story is little more then a roof, with no walls.[16] The palaces contain dozens of rooms. These rooms are filled with the finest decorations imaginable.[2] While the palaces do have hallways, these are for the servants.[2] At the center of a palace is a small room, in this room the residing Returned feasts on the breath of a child.[2]

Each red was different, like notes on a musical scale. The walls were of pure red. The roof tiles, side columns, and other ornamentations were of slightly different shades, each distinct and intentional. The columns, for instance, formed stepping fifths of color, harmonizing with the base tint of the walls.

—Vivenna describing a Returned palace

Another room is the offering room, this room is long and thin and is completely white,[2] something very unusual in Hallandren. This room is used to show the offerings which were made to a Returned,[2] these will in turn rate the paintings.[2] Petitions are heard in the petition hall, this room is often open to the outside and contains a throne for the residing Returned.[11] All the palaces are lit by torches and lanterns with the same colours as their gods.[16] Most palaces are connected to the large tunnel complex beneath the Court.[17]

Due to Hallandren’s climate the palaces don’t have actual walls, and are separated by little more then cloth. The Returned do employ guards, however these aren’t meant to actually protect the palaces, and are unarmed.[4] The guards instead prevent people from entering the palaces without a reason.[4]

Arena[edit]

Just outside of the ring of palaces, at the back of the Court, is an arena.[15] This arena has a circular shape and is very ornate, although not to large.[15] The Arena lacks a roof and its floor is made out of sand.[15] There are four rows of benches for the common people to sit on, while the gods enjoy clefts carved into the building.[15] These boxes are located at the tops of the arena, so everyone have to look up at them, they also have holes in them for the canopy of a God.[15] The God King also has a box, and on top of this box is a golden throne.[18] this box is located at the very top of the arena.[18] The arena has a stone pathway running in a circle around it.[19]

The arena is a source of entertainment for the Returned, but the priests debate here as well, informing the Returned about the current political situation.[18] A lot of the larger events are held here.[15] It also allows the common people to see the Returned.[15] The floor of the arena can be furnished as needed, in the case of a debate for example a number of pedestals would be put down.[18]

The Court’s arena is often used as a location for athletic individuals to engage in contests of physical prowess.[12] Some arena competitions mentioned are shot put, javelin toss, archery, leaping contests, and races.[12] The Returned often watch these events.[12]

Common people can enter the arena through a couple of different ways. They can simply buy their way in, or possess enough breath to be let in without issue.[15] They can also win a lottery and be allowed into the Court.[12]

Gardens and Walls[edit]

The Court is essentially a giant lawn.[15] There are no true gardens in the Court, however the Returned may summon gardeners, these then bring out many different types of plants, going so far as to create temporary flower beds.[20]

The Court of Gods has a wall running around it,[3] although just behind the gate there is a second wall to stop people from looking into the Court.[3] This second wall doesn’t fully run around the Court.[3] The walls are hung by large tapestries,[16] these tapestries are replaced often enough to not have a single scratch.[16]

These walls are protected by human soldiers.[5]

Common people can enter the Court through a couple of different ways. They can simply buy their way in, or possess enough breath to be let in without issue.[15] They can also win a lottery and be allowed into the Court.[12]

Near the gates are a number of shelters where people can stay for the night.[4]

Lifeless Enclave[edit]

The lifeless barracks are located at the bottom of the Court.[16] The building is gigantic[16] and has a covered walkway leading to it.[16] There are multiple guard posts on the walkway from the Court to the Enclave.[16] This walkway also contains several twisting passages, designed to confuse and disorganise enemies trying to strike at the lifeless.[16] The lifeless are kept in the dark.[16]

The compound is made up of four warehouse like storage areas for the different groups of lifeless[16] There is also a track for them to run around[16] and a room with various stones and blocks of metal for them to lift.[16] There is also a medical area where their [[ichor-alcohol is tested and refreshed.[16] There is also a viewing platform, allowing a person to get a good overview of the lifeless.[16] The barracks are connected to the large tunnel complex underneath the Court.[17]

Functions[edit]

Politics[edit]

The Court of Gods is the political heart of Hallandren. The Returned, who make the decisions, reside here. The Returned aren’t allowed to leave the Court however, so the priests convey the will of the common people through debates in the large arena.[1]

As part of the government, each Returned is assigned specific administrative duties, such as maintaining the city sewers or commanding part of the army.[16] The God King can nominally make any decision he pleases, but in reality much of the day-to-day government decisions are made by the priests of the various gods.

The Court Assembly is a standing commission of the Court of Gods that provides decisions to Hallandren's citizens.[10] It meets daily to make small judgments. The Assembly is made up primarily of priests and priestesses. The Returned do not sit on the Assembly, but many of them regularly attend the weekly meetings to watch.[10] During Assembly meetings, arguments are brought forth regarding various topics. The Assembly's discussions are often full of rhetoric and politically savvy Returned try to influence the direction of the Assembly.[1]

The regular Court Assembly is not empowered to make major decisions such as a declaration of war; instead, all of the Returned must attend a gathering known as a "main" or "general" assembly so they can all cast a vote.[21]

Bluefingers is the head scribe and keeps the Court running.[8]

Religious[edit]

The Court of Gods exists to protect and nurture the Returned. The Hallandren believe that the Returned come back to help the people, and therefore keep them alive.[11]

The Returned have at least somewhat prophetic dreams,[2] and this is one of the reasons the Returned are so valuable, Hallandren priests write them down each morning.[2] Another reason is because of their goal, all Returned come back to achieve something.[11] The petitions are used to help gods remember what they returned for, although some gods do actually help the people.[22]

The Hallandren send offerings to one of the gods when they need something, an attribute like courage or boldness.[2] These offerings are often paintings or other works of art.[2] It is the work of the priests to record what the gods say and think of these paintings.[2] Furthermore, the priests need to arrange breaths so that their gods can continue to live and bless humanity.[2]

Staff[edit]

Priesthood[edit]

The Court is the religious center of Hallandren, therefore it has a large amount of priests, while these priests have religious responsibilities they also rule the empire in the name of their King. Priests wear intricate robes[2] and some priests, likely the more important ones, wear miters.[2] It seems the more important one is the more intricate ones robe and miter become. The robes of the priests are the colors of their god,[2] with the God King’s priests wearing different colours everyday[9]

The main job of the priests is to care for the Returned.[2] This includes making sure that the Returned have enough food and drinks to enjoy, dressing then etc. The more important priests have jobs like writing down the dreams of a Returned or writing down their review.[2] Each high priest also argues in the arena in order to keep the gods informed of the common people’s opinions.[1]

There seems to be a clear ranking system in the Priesthood, at the top is the High priest of the God King[3] below him or her are probably the high priests of the Returned.

Priests aren’t paid for their services.[23]

Servants[edit]

There are two kinds of servants in the Court of Gods.[8]

The first type are the Hallandren servants.[3] The God King’s servants are all Hallandren,[3] these servants are dressed in different colors each day,[9] likely because the God King represents all colors. Servants are responsible for many things, from opening doors to delivering food and washing the God King and Queen.[8] It seems the Returned also employ Hallandren servants, these servants dress in the colours of their god and seem to have much of the same jobs.[2] The servants duty is to be as efficient as possible without being distracting,[8] therefore they rarely speak while working.

The second type are the Pahn Kahl servants.[8] These servants are considered second class by most. They aren’t allowed to serve the god king, and most of them have worse jobs then the Hallandren. The Pahn Kahl servants have to wear brown.[8]

Havarseth manages all servants in the Court.[8]

Soldiers and Awakeners[edit]

Both of the walls are patrolled by soldiers.[5] The Returned palaces are also guarded by soldiers,[24] though these do not have weapons.[4]

The priests have access to many lifeless[16][2]

Some of the priests are awakeners and there are some very skilled awakeners among them.[18]

History[edit]

The God Kings[edit]

After Peacegiver stopped the war he gave his Breaths to a priest in T’Telir,[7] this priest would go on and become the first God king. With the Royals driven out, the Cult of the Returned took over and the Court of Gods was formed.[25]

Four more children would become God kings, all of them would be called Susebron. Susebron the third died giving away his breath to save the children in a raided village[12] while Susebron the fourth died to heal a plague of Distrentia.[12] Eventually Susebron the fifth returned and became king.

Treaty with Idris[edit]

The Court of Gods formed a treaty with Idris in approximately the year 307, in which was written that King Dedelin of Idris would send his daughter to be married to Susebron the fifth, the God King of Hallandren. This treaty would further legitimize the Court’s claim to rule in Hallandren, as an heir would have the royal blood and presumably Royal Locks (something the people of Hallandren desired).[26]

Rebellion[edit]

In the year 327, the Court of Gods was challenged by the Pahn Kahl rebellion. The people of Hallandren were mad at the Gods, who had become complacent and apathetic towards the needs of the people. It had been 3 years since a God had sacrificed their divine Breath to heal someone.[11] This rebellion was supported by Idris via their spy Lemex, along with several slumlords.[27]

The rebellion was quelled when Bluefingers informed the court of Vahr's location, after which he was captured and tortured in one of their dungeons. He was kept alive as the court desired his breath.[28] His capture and eventual death at the hands of Vasher effectively ended the rebellion.

A new Queen[edit]

Around this time, Dedelin decided to send his youngest daughter, Siri, instead of his oldest daughter Vivenna, as the treaty had not stipulated which daughter would be married to Susebron. This agitated the court, spurring more talk of war.[29]

Had Idris sent nobody, it would have meant all out war.[8] The argument against the war was the lands held by the Idrians was undesirable and cold. The main argument for the war was to claim and protect the trade routes, as being cut off from them would lead to full economic collapse in T'Telir.[30]

Siri's arrival started the Wedding Jubilation within the court, which was a weeklong celebration. This marked the first time they'd had a queen in thirty years.[10]

Members[edit]

The court holds around two dozen gods, including the God King.[2] The Court Assembly has room for around fifty gods.[15]

God Focus Responsibilities Colors
Allmother Matrons and Families Held one fourth of the Lifeless Army (unknown)
Brightvision Truth Copper & Aqua
Blushweaver Honesty and (self-proclaimed)Beauty Council of social ills Green and Silver
Giftbeacon (unknown) (unknown) (unknown)
Hopefinder Matrons and Families Held one fourth of the Lifeless Army Violet and Silver
Kindwinds Honesty (unknown) (unknown)
Lifeblesser Healing (unknown) Blue and Silver
Lightsong Bravery Held one fourth of the Lifeless Army Red and Gold
Mercystar Kindness and Benevolence Held one fourth of the Lifeless Army Orange and Gold
Mirthgiver Laughter (unknown) (unknown)
Peaceyearning (unknown) (unknown) (unknown)
Stillmark Nobility (unknown) Blue and Gold
Susebron God King King All Colors
Truthcall Nature (unknown) Maroon and Silver
Weatherlove Storms (unknown) Green and Gold

Various past members of the Court of Gods are known.

God Focus Responsibilities Colors
Calmseer (unknown) (unknown) (unknown)
Brighthue (unknown) (unknown) (unknown)
Susebron the Fourth God King King All Colors
Susebron The Third God King King All Colors

Notes[edit]

  1. a b c d Warbreaker chapter 16#
  2. a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v Warbreaker chapter 3#
  3. a b c d e f g h Warbreaker chapter 4#
  4. a b c d e f Warbreaker chapter 21#
  5. a b c d Warbreaker chapter 55#
  6. a b Warbreaker chapter 57#
  7. a b c Warbreaker chapter 58#
  8. a b c d e f g h i j k l Warbreaker chapter 6#
  9. a b c d e Warbreaker chapter 24#
  10. a b c d e f g Warbreaker chapter 8#
  11. a b c d e Warbreaker chapter 12#
  12. a b c d e f g h Warbreaker chapter 27#
  13. Warbreaker chapter 36#
  14. a b c Warbreaker chapter 51#
  15. a b c d e f g h i j k l Warbreaker chapter 14#
  16. a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q Warbreaker chapter 47#
  17. a b Warbreaker chapter 52#
  18. a b c d e Warbreaker chapter 15#
  19. Warbreaker chapter 50#
  20. Warbreaker chapter 23#
  21. Warbreaker chapter 34#
  22. Warbreaker chapter 42#
  23. Warbreaker chapter 49#
  24. Warbreaker chapter 29#
  25. Warbreaker chapter 7#
  26. Warbreaker chapter 2#
  27. Warbreaker chapter 31#
  28. Warbreaker prologue#
  29. Warbreaker chapter 1#
  30. Warbreaker chapter 5#
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