TheoriTeraphim Communities in the Vale
"As is well known, following the wars of the mid-18th century, the race of peoples known as 'Teraphim' almost wholly vanished into the Spirit Realm, sealing the Vale behind them. However, something less well known is that not all of them in fact left. Of the remnants, two particular groups have been documented; the Circle of Blackcloaks and the Enclave of Olinaith. While it is of course possible -and even probable- that more Teraphim communities exist within the Vale, details on them remain scarce."
-Ellard Dumoix, Magnolian Exile and famed Explorer
The Circle of Blackcloaks
An order of Teraphim fanatics founded in the mid-18th century by then Greycloak, future High Lord Finn Ghede to protect the Vale above all else, the Circle of Blackcloaks are now led by a small council of between three to five elder Teraphim, the three most noteworthy being Kiastara and Lumin Hargrave, and the Archdruid Myrin. Their numbers are largely unknown but speculated to number in, at most, the low hundreds.

These Teraphim are hyper-aggressive to intruders in the Vale, known to attack the rare travellers who gain entrance to the spiritual forest if at any point they are determined to be in some way defiling the place. Wearing -unsurprisingly- black cloaks, some made of a rare variant of spectral thread, almost all are bound to spirits of some sort, and thus tend to be exceptionally well informed of event within the forest. Blackcloaks take a vow to protect the Vale until death, and it is believed that this is why they did not follow the rest of their kind into the Spirit Realm fully -to do so would be a violation of those oaths.

The Circle of Blackcloaks follow a highly individualistic interpretation of Ascheaism that highly encourages an adherent to follow their own personal beliefs in terms of balance, something often shaped by the spirit they bind to.

Any person, Teraphim or otherwise, who binds with a spirit is welcome in the Blackcloak's village.

The Enclave of Olinaith
A splinter group of Teraphim numbering about two hundred members who rejected the exodus of their fellows due to a belief the Teraphim still had an important role to play in the Material Realm, the Enclave of Olinaith are led by a group of thirteen Teraphim Elders, several of whom have left behind their physical forms. Unlike the Circle of Blackcloak, who mostly hold to Myllenoran tradition, albeit somewhat modified, the people of Olinaith have an almost entirely different culture.

They practice Olinaithean Ascheaism, a variant of the Aschean faith that holds that the world is weighed more towards evil on the proverbial scales, and it is thus the role of the Teraphim to act as the counterbalance of good, until such a time as the world falls entirely into evil and is thus destroyed. To this end, the Enclave of Olinaith sends out its youths on a spiritual journey known as Sehana. On Sehana, a Teraphim wanders the world, doing good where they can. It is a very individualistic journey -some settle in places while others are constantly on the move, may be on Sehana for months or decades, and may interpret what a good act is very differently -from planting trees to murdering criminals.

The Olinatheans have also put a focus on the arts; Artificery is often practised through 'Craftsinging', a form of artificery in which an item is made through a temporary pact between an Artificer and Spirit expressed through song, whilst magi may cast through a mixture of song and dance movements.

Unlike the Circle of Blackcloaks, the Enclave of Olinaith is open to any capable of entering the Vale, so long as they do so through honest means and hold good intentions.

Interestingly, the Olinatheans have a tendency to refer to members of the Circle of Blackcloaks by the aspects of their spirits rather than their actual names; Rebirth, Destruction, Compassion and the like.
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