The Path of Light

Adherents of the Path of Light first laid out by the quori Taratai and her kalashtar host, the Adaran monk, Haztaratai, are mostly kalashtar and Adaran humans. They believe that Dal Quor’s Quor Tarai, the Dream of the Age, has actually been reborn three times — with the most recent occurring after the Quori-Giant War when the Dreaming Heart became the Dreaming Dark — and will continue to pass away and be reborn for millennia to come. Each rebirth destroys the living quori of that time and gives rise to an entirely new race of these alien beings from the Plane of Dreams.

Taratai found that those rebirths actually swung between two moral poles. The current incarnation of the Quor Tarai contains a heart of darkness, but the next should be one of infinite light. Taratai became the speaker for those few quori who rejected the Dreaming Dark and she urged them to work toward that blessed transformation of the Plane of Dreams. But the servants of the Dark had no desire to see an end of their world (and their own existence) and set about eliminating all the rebel quori, eventually forcing them into the exile to Eberron that created the kalashtar race. Today, every one of Taratai’s kalashtar hosts has perished, though the ultimate fate of her spirit is unknown. The kalashtar mourn her as dead, but most followers of the Path of Light believe that she is still bound somehow to the Quor Tarai and can help to affect its rebirth. Believers have continued to practice and spread her teachings from Adar to the rest of Sarlona and on to Khorvaire.

Only through cultivating the emergence of what Taratai saw as the Dreaming Dark’s antithesis and ultimate replacement — the Great Light or il-Yannah in the Quori language — can the adherents to the Path save the world from the eternity of nightmare and evil that the Inspired and the Dreaming Dark hope to impose on both Dal Quor and Eberron. In Khorvaire, those who hope to bring forth il-Yannah are almost entirely kalashtar, although a few other beings are also drawn to the idea of promoting and spreading a universal force of radiant energy and purity of spirit.

In Adar, most people show at least some respect to the Path of Light, though Adaran humans also traditionally worship several of the Sovereigns dedicated to the natural world like Aarakti (Arawai) and Braahyn (Balinor). The kalashtar race was born of the exiled quori’s quest for the Light and they remain devoted to this principle with every fiber of their being. Many of the followers of il-Yannah are known as lightbringers (yannahsur in Quori) and these individuals spend much of their time meditating and taking small but positive actions to reinforce the strength of the Light across all of Creation. Others not only meditate but also train within the fortress-monasteries of Adar for the ongoing battle with the Inspired of Riedra, or actively seek out agents of the Dreaming Dark operating in Khorvaire. These lightbringers are called the shadow watchers (sheshantol). Those of the lightbringers with the strongest personalities and the finest talents often become leaders in the quest for the Light. They become priests known as yannahilath — “lightspeakers.” Some of these priests are actually clerics, but most are gifted psions with great psychic power.

All kalashtar seem unnaturally beautiful to normal humans. They radiate a sense of grace and calm, particularly the lightbringers, who reflect the Light within. Path of Light priests are as far beyond the other faithful as ordinary kalashtar are beyond humans, fairly glowing with their dedication and powerful psionic abilities. Many devotees of the Path of Light carry a small quartz crystal, usually on a fine chain about the neck. Among psions, this often doubles as a psicrystal. The priests bear distinctive, swooping headbands studded with crystals, which are often power crystals made from Siberys shards and they might have other crystalline adornments on their clothing. These visible tokens of the Light are openly displayed only among kalashtar or within a protected area such as Adar. Followers who mingle with nonbelievers take great care to blend in, even as they promote the Light, lest they be noticed and captured or killed by the agents of the Dreaming Dark.

The most powerful lightspeakers all dwell within Adar, protected by its natural fortifications, capricious storms and well-defended fortress-monasteries. There they lead the war against darkness through regular meditation. They focus their energies together on establishing a zone of peace and harmony right at the heart of Riedra. As this “bubble” of Light grows, it saps the current Quor Tarai of strength and begins to transform it for the next incarnation. The lightbringers believe this is the most direct, effective attack against their enemies. It has the additional benefit of counteracting the Riedran hanbalani monoliths’ tightening of the connection between Eberron and Dal Quor.

Kalashtar do not usually speak to other races about their ancient, secret war. They can even be arrogant, believing that such “lesser” people cannot understand the enormity of their struggle. The practical needs of survival dictate silence as well. The arcane authorities of the Arcane Congress in Aundair and the Twelve in Karrnath distrust the kalashtar and their alien psychic powers. If they knew the truth, they would fear the Inspired far more. Kalashtar and the lightspeakers prefer to conduct their war in their own way, but they value informed allies. Occasionally, this means the lightspeakers or shadow watchers provide information to other forces for good in Khorvaire. Such information is reliable and discreet and it can rarely be traced to its source among Khorvaire’s kalashtar community.

The Path of Light

Odd-jobs Incorporated adventuresineberron adventuresineberron