Sir Ethilrist was the descendant of a long line of mercenary captains in Ralios. After a series of defeats, he led his Troop across the great mountains, through the Syndics Ban. To avoid the Ban, he led his troop through Hell. When they left Ralios they were the White Horse Troop. When they emerged on the western borders of the Lunar Empire they were the Black Horse Troop, and Ethilrist was a Hero.
Ethilrist was a Hrestoli, but he encountered Hrestol himself in the middle of Hrestol’s own quest, ravaged Hell, and Ethilrist gained great loot. Ethilrist is sometimes thought to be an incarnation of Hrestol.
And yet. Ethilrist’s followers worship Hrestol as a god and Ethilrist as demigod. And somehow gain Rune magic from Hrestol (!). And the magic includes such strange things as Shield, Darksword and Control Demon (and I’ve seen rumours of Command Chaos!). And yet, Ethilrist is known to offer worship to the Invisible God, and trains a few sorcerers to serve him.
Some think there are deeper secrets known only to the inner circles of the cult. That Ethilrist worships the Eternal Hero, or even the Anti-Hero or the Hero’s Shadow. Others claim he is a secret Arkat and that his cult is an Arkati fraud. Ethilrist knows the Red Emperor well (and personally dislikes him, although often serves him), many of the Feathered Horse Queens, and many others. He has likely long since transcended anything resembling Malkionism, but it is known that his runes are Man, Mastery, and Darkness. However, the Troop as a whole is commonly identified with Darkness and Harmony.
19 March 2020
Ethilrist and the Black Horse Troop
For those who aren't on Facebook... Jeff has posted this today: