Submitted by Brian L. (He/Him) on Wed, 3/15/2023 at 8:43pm

The souls of mortals may end up in any number of places after their death; even the Gates of Judgement are but one stop on their journey. For those souls who have proven their worth the Shining Redoubt awaits. Istensia maintains this grand alabaster castle on the shores of the Golden Ocean and within its hallowed halls dwell the living souls of mortals who have died valiantly in service to the people of Orn. Its members are sometimes allowed to return to aid innocent mortals and combat great evil in the Realms. They are the embodiment of the Prime and carry Istensia’s radiance with them: they are the Lightborne.


Lightborne are required to wear a golden sunburst crown and must paint their cheeks a shining golden color. They may also exhibit other features, such as: their exposed skin may also carry a golden hue, or they may manifest visible light (such lights should be of low enough intensity to not impact other player’s ability to see).

In addition, Lightborne may wear the racial costuming requirements of their once mortal race, though gain no mechanical benefit for doing so.

As Lightborne are the living souls of mortals, they wear attire familiar to their mortal life; though sometimes centuries or ages out of style. They also tend to maintain their equipment in excellent condition, and it is not uncommon for them to reclaim and carry some of the objects they wielded in life.


While only brought together after death, Lightborne still exhibit similar traits. Above all, Lightborne are committed to bettering innocent mortals and combating evil. They continue in the same acts that exalted them Istensia’s attention in life, and see things to their end - regardless of the outcome.

Lightborne rarely abandon their duty, but they are still mortal souls. A Lightborne that commits evil acts is not only likely to become the target of other members of the Company, but also stands the risk of being cut off from the Prime and suffering a true death rather than returning to the Shining Redoubt. If renounced by Istensia in such a way, they also attract the attention of the Reapers, as they are now a soul past its natural life.


As Istensia has existed since the Dawning, she has ever called the Lightborne to her side. An individual Lightborne still retains all the memories of their mortal life, but frequently centuries or ages have passed from the time they entered the Shining Redoubt and their return to the other Realms.


Lightborne don’t have specific bloodlines, but will sometimes form bonds with others who were the same race in their mortal life as they share cultural heritage. They do, however, recognize a definite shift in Lightborne who have returned to the Shining Redoubt.

First Light – The first few times a living soul becomes a Lightborne they are most like their mortal self: they remember their life, they may even still appear as their mortal race (albeit with a golden sunburst crown and gold cheeks). They still enjoy the things they enjoyed in life and in most ways seem mortal.

Heliotrope – After several iterations, which may take centuries or ages, a Lightborne begins to have difficulty remembering parts of their mortal life and are more likely to identify as a Lightborne than they are the race they were in their mortal life.

Zenith – After a dozen iterations, Lightborne no longer remember their mortal life. While they still retain their name, some choose to adopt new names as they simply have no connection to their old name any longer. They are Lightborne, champions of the light, tasked with bringing Istensia's radiance to all corners of Orn.


Lightborne are all members of the Company of the Shining Maiden, who maintain a hierarchy that helps to determine which Lightborne may best serve a given task when they are called upon.


The Lightborne typically maintain the same culture they were a part of in life, largely out of familiarity. Some choose to adopt the customs of an entirely different mortal race, either out of an affinity for that race’s culture, or to expand their own horizons. While residing in the Shining Redoubt they hold glorious tournaments and feasts in the grandest courtly style.


Lightborne get along best with races or peoples who share their same ideals of aiding others and combating evil. They frequently get along well with Ixifar and Yteyra, who share an affinity with the Prime. Likewise they are often eager to join ranks with Hierophants and Paladins. They view Forbidden as their equivalent within the Nether, where they serve the Great Shade. They have somewhat tenuous relations with Graefward, Riven, and other forms of undead. They frequently find themselves at odds with Uordeq and Diaboli, who tend to dabble in the dark arts and generally be the source of problems for other mortals.


Lightborne hold Istensia in the highest esteem, having been chosen by the Radiant Maiden for their actions in their mortal lives. They also frequently exalt Avaren, who shares a strong connection the Prime. They favor the Paladin Immortals Lemesin and Thareon, though can be at odds with Ressik; while the order the Supreme lawgiver brings has its advantages, it frequently comes at the cost of all compassion for demihumans. As they seek to aid mortals, Drelani is also a popular immortal. Some also still follow Mynra, who some worshipped or met in their mortal lives.


Lightborne are sent out from the Shining Redoubt in times of great need, and some continue to look for further deeds once their initial task is complete. Rarely compelled by baser rewards like treasure or glory, the Lightborne seek to help all of Orn and bring Istensia’s light to all the shards. When not confronting a danger directly they will often get involved in charitable works, either in a local community or at large.


“From dawns light” – Always, forever.

“Their sun has set” – Used in reference to another Lightborne that has fallen and gone to rejoin the Company.

“A tarnished soul” – Used specifically to refer to a Lightborne that has abandoned their duty.