User:Truthwatch3r/Iridescent Tones and related info
Hallandren is a theocracy ruled by the Pantheon of the Returned, headed by the God King. The Iridescent Tones, which grew out of the Cult of the Returned, is the religion behind this theocracy, and is responsible for the worship and care of the Hallandren Returned. Each Returned is given a palace in the Court of Gods in T'Telir, and served by a group of attendants and priests. The priests organize the interactions between the Returned and the citizens, including the weekly offering of Breath that the Returned require to survive and the daily hearing of petitions.
As part of the government, each Returned is assigned specific administrative duties, such as maintaining the city sewers or commanding part of the army. 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.
Write-up from WB 12:
Each Returned has a purpose, an objective which they knew about when deciding to come back "and offer blessings and knowledge." On the other side, one can see into the future; something that they see convinces them to return. When they cross the Iridescent Wave, though, this memory fragments. The process of hearing petitions is a way of helping the Returned to remember their purpose. Their objective may be: to heal one person, to share information regarding something, to participate in a certain event, to fix a problem. Their followers provide them with Breath to keep them alive until they fulfill their purpose. "In the meantime, we pry for auguries and blessings, which can be gleaned only from one who has touched the future as you have." (This is all from Llarimar's convo w Lightsong)
Vivenna, ch 13: "Regular people can’t just walk into the Court of Gods. If you want to watch the judgments at the Court Assembly, you either have to be favored of one of the gods, be extremely inﬂuential, or you have to draw and win the lottery."
Siri's view, ch 15: "Austre was the true God of men, the one who sent the Returned. The Hallandren had worshipped him too, before the Manywar and the exile of the royal family. Only after that had they fallen, becoming pagans, worshipping the Iridescent Tones: BioChromatic Breath, the Returned, and art in general."
Jewels, ch 25: At age 11, willingly gave Breath directly to God King; family received enough money to live for a year. "I was proud to sell my Breath! I still am. A part of me lives inside the God King. Because of me, he continues to live. I’m part of this kingdom in a way that few others are." "If your god asked you to give up your Breath—or even the Breath of your child—wouldn’t you do it? You give up your children to become monks, forcing them into a life of servitude, don’t you? That’s seen as a sign of faith. Yet when we do something to serve our gods, you twist your lips at us and call us blasphemers"
Annotations from ch 26: A well crafted piece of art, made by a person channeling the Tones and connected to them via Breath, can speak to a Returned. Now, in this case, it doesn’t work quite like Llarimar says it does—Lightsong doesn’t actually prophesy about the black sword in the way the priest thinks. In other words, Lightsong isn’t prophesying that he’ll see the Black Sword (Nightblood) in the day’s activities. Instead, Lightsong is seeing an image of a previous war, which is prophetic in that another Manywar is brewing—and in both cases, Nightblood will be important to the outcome of the battle.
Lightsong, ch 30: "Some things survived the transformation. Language. Skills. And, as he thought about it, social competence. Considering the fact that the gods spent their lives locked up atop a plateau, they probably should have been far less well adjusted than they were. At the very least, they should have been ignorant and naive. Yet most of them were consummate schemers, sophisticates with a surprisingly good grasp of what happened in the outside world. Memory itself didn’t survive. Why?"
Treledees, ch 40: He feels Austre "abandoned" them to Kalad the Destroyer, so he feels no loyalty towards Austre. Instead, he follows the Returned because he sees Peacegiver as the god who arrived to help them.