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The Second Edict

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The Second Edict is a choice made by a small faction of people in Nyka. Rather than a concrete organization with leaders and members, the Second Edict is a piece of life in which a person may or may not partake. Participants cross the lines between man and woman, monk and civilian, rich and poor. Most worship the Four Celestials above all and the rest claim to, but all acknowledge that there are more divinities that need to be appeased. Those who follow the Second Edict seek to commune with the gods of Mizahar in the only way they know how: pain.

Beliefs and Practice

The First Edict is to worship and revere the Celestials for all they do for the Mother City. The Second is to bring the rest of the pantheon close, through blood and suffering.

Members and participants may use ceremonial blades, whips, or clubs for the purpose of self-mutilation. Every moment of pain is thought to be one step closer, every drop of blood an offering. Suffering is not penance or punishment, but rather the height of physical sensation, and the closest thing to the manifestation of the divine outside of their actual appearance. (Some would argue that the rush of a risk-taker or the arrival of a love-maker also fulfills the doctrine of the Second Edict, but that has never been officially accepted as standard.) The infliction of pain is often followed by a meditation on its persistence.

The exact details of the ritual are subject to the practitioner’s preferences. It can take any amount of time, but is usually done in private; it can be performed individually or in groups, by those who trust each other with their pain. The headquarters is where the most drastic measures are taken, said to create the most powerful connection. Few have the strength or volition to join, but all who do must have proven themselves with the Mark of the Second Edict and are lifetime practitioners.


Since Nyka was first raised from the ashes, her people have lived close to their ruling Alvina. They see their faces, hear their voices, and see their powers manifest. Early Nykans worshipped them exclusively, whether out of ignorance or devotion. But soon enough, they began to recognize the domains of other gods. Greater divinities spoke to them in Lances and marked them for their deeds, and they easily took to worship of these powers alongside their ruling Four. Nevertheless, with the Celestials so close and tangible, the others always seemed distant and evasive to their prayers. Disillusioned by the absence of some gods in the shadow of others, a group of Nykans developed the Second Edict as a means to connect spiritually with the so-called Outer Gods.

Though never officially condoned by the Celestials, those who partook in the Second Edict grew quickly in number. Some sought knowledge of the gods though bringing them close, some used it to complement prayer to individual deities with its practice, and others hoped to earn their blessing. While the effectiveness of the Edict in actually calling on the gods is debatable, many swear to the feeling on communion it gives them. Despite some incredulity, the Second Edict has earned a certain respect even among Nykans who do not partake. Whatever the means, the end is honorable enough and the scars it leaves are impressive. Followers and non-followers tend to share a mutual respect, if not an excuse for a healthy debate.


There is no formal initiation or hierarchy to the Second Edict. A headquarters and leadership exists, but only to keep its members constant and true. Participation is more of a lifestyle choice than an obligation to a group, with few rules as to the timing and structure of rituals. It is not uncommon for a citizen to try a few times and ultimately renege on the practice; those who partake may never meet the Edict’s leaders or even identify themselves. Still, many who hope to devote themselves to the cause carve the Mark of the Second Edict into their own flesh: a number 2 that is typically located on some part of the arm. It is far easier to make the mark than to wear it for the rest of your life, however. Once it is made, it cannot be erased, and those who see it may invite you to a ritual that is difficult to refuse.