The Order of Skodanov, also known as Tetnaziwyn's Acolytes, is a cult founded by Tetnaziwyn Gonzo in attempt to counter an uprising within the House of Gonzo. Using the Lassar Grottoes as his lair, Tetnaziwyn travelled across the land of Gielinor to find individuals who he saw needed salvation and "saved" them. He trained each of his apprentices individually, his first and favorite being Evelyn, until the point where they all became powerful enough to be worthy of induction to the House of Gonzo. After each member became a Gonzo, all members had relocated to the Lassar Grottoes, also known as the Cave of Darkness, and continued their learning from there.
Based on the idea that channeling one's rage into their combat would greatly enhance their performance, members of the order use this ideology in training and in practice on the field. After the beginning of the Second Gonzo Civil War, which led to the creation of the orders counterpart, the Order of Altus, a divide was also created in the Aztarwynian religion. The Skodanov and Altus have different views on Aztarwynianism and both are usually found in conflict with each other.
While Tetnaziwyn assumes the role of Dark Haerus of Skodanov, controlling his puppets, Evelyn Gonzo is also considered a leader as she maintains the order while he is away.
The history of the Skodanov. The sections will be divided by the Dark Haerus of the time of the event.
Dark Haerus Tetnaziwyn
The teachings of Skodanov.
|“||Clear your mind, now search your feelings. Know your anger to be true. Find your inner rage, your hatred, your passion. Allow it to flow through your body and empower you. Let the Darkness take control.||”|
–Skodanov teaching of thought
The Skodanov are taught at the stage of Underling to search for their darkest feelings to empower them, often being the defining moment of ones staying in the order. Using this method of self-empowerment, the following teachings often call back to this in order to perform tasks with greater strength and precision.
|“||Channel your rage and hatred to your arm and your blade, using the darkness as a guide for the clean kill.||”|
–Skodanov teaching of melee
Using the initial teaching of thought, in a trial of melee combat, Underlings and Acolytes are forced to show their skill against several creatures, including humans, captured by the Dux. These are often to show improvement and provide a chance for said trainee to improve on anything they may be lacking. This teaching trains one to use their emotions to strengthen them in combat, often allowing for harder hits and successful chains of strikes, often leading to the defeat of their foe.
|“||Allow the Darkness to take control of your staff and fuse it with your building anger, strengthening the strike. Then use your anger to release the power, using the darkness to concentrate on one thing. The enemy.||”|
–Skodanov teaching of magic
One of the favored styles of combat aside from melee, magic is taught to all Underlings and Acolytes if they wish for any sort of success in the order. The idea behind this is to call back on your stronger emotions to power a spell of shadow, then release it with great force. With a great focus on shadow magic, this portion of the training usually takes the better part of years in order for one to fully master it, unless one has a special talent in which allows them to breeze through this.
|“||Use the Darkness and your anger to give you focus. Let it guide your bow, and as you prepare your shot, allow the Darkness to cloud your mind to give you clear sight of your target.||”|
–Skodanov teaching of archery
Although Archery is a very non-desirable skill within the order and is very seldom used by members, it is still a good technique to possess in order to thrive in all aspects of combat. Using the idea that the Darkness will cloud everything but your target, you will have the perfect aim and all your shots will land a critical hit. This is often used with a regular, long or shortbow over a crossbow.
It is also very common for those who do practice archery to fuse it with Magic, such as flaming arrows or mixing shadow magic with their arrows, causing each hit to deal damage and to blind their opponent temporarily.
|“||The Darkness is your ally, your guide and will empower you along with your anger. Allow it to take control of your body, let it guide you to salvation.||”|
–Skodanov's theoretical "Darkness"
Within the order, members believe in a mystical power known as the Darkness, giving into evil. As opposed to the Light, the Darkness enhances the powerful emotions of oneself to be even greater, also guiding them towards victory. This concept is a very mythical teaching of the Skodanov, nobody knowing what this Darkness truly is. One may assume it is only named as such because of Tetnaziwyn's preferred use of Shadow Magic.
|“||Your journey is complete. Allow the Darkness to guide your sword, give you precise aim, empower you spells with pure hatred and dominate your enemy. Become a Fearful Master of Darkness.||”|
–All Skodanov teachings thrown into one
This is somewhat a summary of all the Skodanov teachings, fusing all teachings together into one powerful being. This is usually taught to Acolytes on the cusp of Dux, to complete their training and allow them to move on.
The Skodanov are divided among ranks for future members aside from the original eight. Each rank also brings a new level of respect and power each member is allowed to have.
Each member is recognized by the title of their rank and their name, such as Acolyte Marek or Dux Hekzian. As well, members have an option to change their name for a new Skodanovian name to abandon their past and embrace their new selves.
A Skodanov Underling is the lowest of the food chain and is where most would be cut off from the order. These are the discoveries of the Dux, those who show great potential however do not capitalize on it. They are often either convinced or forced to go under the apprenticeship of a Dux.
An Underling is usually removed of any unwanted clothing that is deemed unfit by their master, thus leaving them bare naked in most occasions. However, if the master feels generous, they may be awarded some piece of clothing. Underlings will need to prove that they are worthy of the order, by displaying a high skill or potential in magic or sometimes melee. If an Underling does not make the cut, the most merciful banishment would be amputation of a limb. As the Dux may see them as a waste of space, they normally would take to killing them to conserve the air they breath.
Members of the order who currently hold this rank:
The Acolytes are the next step from Underling, those who have been awarded the honor of apprenticeship in the order. From here, they will learn the ways of the Skodanov, memorize all their teachings and improve their power. They will only take orders from their master, and if need be, the Dark Haerus himself.
Acolytes are respected to varying degrees. They earn some due to making it past Underling, showing off their power and being deemed worthy of the order, however they are still treated differently as they are lower than the Dux. However, Acolytes who are close to achieving the next rank are often respected more than others.
If an Acolyte shows next to no improvement after their promotion of sorts, their master has the right to get rid of them. The most merciful punishment is to be treated as an Underling until you improve, however none shall want to fall so far.
Members of the Skodanov who currently hold this rank,
The highest honor aside from Dark Haerus, the Dux is the final step for a member of the Skodanov. Once they are named Dux, they are inducted into the House of Gonzo and from here they continue their learnings through the Dark Haerus himself. They are awarded black robes to signify their rank of Dux, and they are also allowed to have one Acolyte or Underling for an apprentice.
Skodanov Dux are normally moderated in power by the Dark Haerus, in attempt to counter any sort of coup within the order.
Members of the order who currently hold this rank:
Dark Haerus of Skodanov
The Dark Haerus of Skodanov is the highest rank within the order, only achieved by those who surpass all and lay down their command among all the other Dux. To achieve such an honor, one must be cunning, powerful, and extremely witted as one would need to extremely harm or kill the Haerus already in power. A system implanted in the order to continue to flush out those who are weak enough to fall to those who have seen through their flaws. Due to this system, it is very well possible that an Acolyte or even Underling who are not watched as much as others could ascend to such a rank and skip the honor of Dux.
The Dark Haerus is the overseeing master of all members of the order, including Dux. Dux are considered as a higher level Acolyte in this case, as they are the apprentice of the Dark Haerus, as well as being the master of all other Acolytes and Underlings and has the ability to intervene in one's training in this stage of their ascension to Dux. Due to this, there can only be one in place, with the system in place to replace any who are deemed unfit by the order.
Although that there is normally one Dark Haerus, currently being Tetnaziwyn, Dux Evelyn is also cosidered as Dark Haerus of Skodanov as she is very heavily favored above all and is trusted to instruct the order in the absence of Tetnaziwyn. However, she has yet to attempt to take this role for herself only.
The Skodanov do not have a complex wardrobe, however each rank wears something different.
The Underling do not have a very specific uniform. Underlings are usually left with whatever they have upon being discovered, and often are stripped of any clothing to mark their inferiority to their masters.
Acolytes are normally never given a specific uniform either. Normally, they would be left with their Underling uniform, however if an Acolyte has gained enough respect from their master, then they would be allowed to wear any "dark" attire they desire as long as it does not infringe upon the attire of the Dux. On most occasions, a black shirt and a pair of black slacks would be worn.
Dux and Above
Upon the promotion of Dux, members will be gifted with black robes to signify their embrace with the Darkness. Dux will normally appear hooded, covering the majority of their face and change the coloration of their eyes to yellow to mark their loyalty to Tetnaziwyn. As well as robes, Dux are normally gifted with a black sword crafted of either steel or mithril, and they may keep whatever secondary weapon they choose. If one chooses a sword for their secondary weapon, it must be black as well.
The Dark Haerus of Skodanov often has free reign of their uniform, however it is normally also black robes. To signify their higher status, the Dark Haerus will often use a different weapon that the Dux do not currently wield, normally wielding the Sword of Skodanov, which is wielded by only the Dark Haerus. Tetnaziwyn also further signifies his placement of power by wielding the Legendary Sword of Gonzo in contrast to a normal black blade.
Differences in Aztarwynianism
The differences between Skodanov Aztarwynianism and traditional Aztarwynianism.
- While traditional Aztarwynianism doesn't address homosexuality, in Skodanov Aztarwynianism it is shamed and is punishable by death.
- Aztarwyn is often viewed as a harbringer of vengeance, killing those who deserve nothing more than death and won't stop at one, while the traditional doesn't view him as such.
- Horrendous crimes such as assault, defiling and the likes are promoted heavily, especially if used in ones training to break their will. In the traditional religion, this is only promoted if one deserves such an act done to them, often having committed it themselves.
- Tetnaziwyn is viewed as the Chosen Son and ultimately the Sucessor, who will rise to the power of Aztarwyn and even greater than him and any other god on Gielinor. In the traditional religion, he is only viewed as the Chosen Son in terms of a prophet, carrying out Aztarwyn's deeds for him and communicating with him in the afterlife.
Pictures and shit that don't fit the above sections.
- The order had been originally loosely based off of the Sith from Star Wars, connecting with the idea of using powerful emotions to enhance one’s power.
- It also happens to be that a rank within one of the orders of the Sith is Acolyte, however the connection is in no way intentional. Acolyte is used as a better wording than "Disciple," the latter of which has a more "good morality" connected to its name.
- Skodanov is a very powerful race in the lore of Aztarwyn’s novelizations, much like Mahjarrat, who were created by Skodna to wreak havoc on Frixion.
- Dux Christopher is a reference/tribute to Sir Christopher Lee, who had passed on the day of Aztarwyn’s IRL high school graduation.
- The order can also be considered somewhat of a reference to Death Eaters from the Harry Potter series, with Tetnaziwyn playing the role of Voldemort and the Dux as the other members. However, this is not intentional.
- The symbol of the order is the original Seal of Gonzo, prior to Aztarwyn's reign.
- A few names of other members are also based off of either Madden Connected Franchise or real life NFL players, with a WWE reference as well.