Equilibrium, Perfection, Transcendence.
THE WEB OF REALITY
The Divine Essence
Holy Colour: None
Domains: Any four chosen by the follower.
Favoured Weapon: None
Centers of Worship: The principles of Ki are followed all over the world; from the psychological standpoint in Enotia, the spiritualistic teachings of Kajir, the disciplinarian regimes of Midian and the perfected tranquility of Omishuru.
The only member of The Twelve which is not actually a God, Ki is the essence of all things, the stuff that reality itself is made up of. All things which exist, living or dead, are made of the same raw semi-magical matter known as Ki, whether it is a stone, a human baby, a column of fire, a zombie or a God. As such Ki is abstract, but makes up the building blocks of everything. It is a force rather than an entity, has no sentience and can be used by any who have the ability to manipulate it. While the use of magic stems from the manipulation of raw Ki energies, this can also be seen in many other ways: the elements that make up the world are all forged from Ki, which allowed life on the planet, in turn allowing life to evolve and grow. Humanoids learned to create, and the weapons of war they wield and the vehicles they travel vast distances on all began as nothingness in the form of Ki. Though most who wield such weapons or ride such vehicles would not see the connection, those who teach the ways of Ki recognize it none the less.
Among mortal Ki workers perhaps the most well known (who refer to the force directly as Ki) are Monks, who use the direct manipulation of Ki to subtly alter reality to create seemingly miraculous results. Their combat training is coupled with the philosophies of Ki, and the two work simultaneously to create their unique way of life.
Ki also makes for an unknowable, undefinable force of nature, fate or even destiny, something which has always been needed in the sentient mind to explain away that which cannot be rationalized or simply understood. In this time of Gods walking among men, it is needed perhaps more than ever.
Due to its connection to all things, including the holiness of the Gods themselves (who coincidentally have never confirmed or denied the existence of Ki), it has been given the same reverence as the holy belief set aside for Gods and is considered “The Twelfth God”, making up the final part of the The Pantheon of The Twelve and a combining force holding together the eleven Gods in the Church of the Twelve.
Ki is more than an unknowable, malleable force however; it is also a philosophy and way of life promoting cosmic balance and personal perfection. In this manner it is incredibly popular in the eastern Kingdom of Omishuru where the teachings first began, and is still practiced to this day rather than the tenets of the Church of Twelve.
If the Gods represent semi-real deities to be appeased and worshiped, Ki is more like a set of beliefs one chooses to live by, a personal code to live up to or an ideal to reach for.
It is popular among the religious and non-religious for entirely different reasons, and is understood to be the most ancient of all things, surpassing even the Gods in its timelessness. (After all if Gods and Titans and anything that came before it were also made up of Ki at their original inception and as such it makes logical sense that Ki pre-dates even them).
Priests, Temples & the Church:
Ki is not an organized religion as such, but does have temples dedicated to the exploration and understanding of the forces that make up Ki. Most are in secluded or remote areas and maintained by small groups of balance-seeking individuals. Though Monks are the largest group associated with Ki (in fact, most consider them a monastic order), outside of Omishuru exist individuals who have dedicated their lives to understanding Ki and are able to draw upon it to create magical effects that are identical to divine magical spells, the only difference being that rather than praying to a God, they search their inner beings for the strength of will to alter reality. To all intents and purposes however, these individuals are identical to Clerics, Paladins, and Antipaladins. An usual quirk of fate is that many who delve into the inner truths of Ki become Oracles] as well, with their connection being to the universe at large.
Priests of Ki are treated with reverence and respect by most they meet, often offered hospitality which they usually politely decline due to their reluctance to rely on anyone other than themselves for support.