Long ago, when the island of Jemstone was first discovered and colonised, the immigrants settled at the base of the Moonstone Mountains, on the outskirts of the Serpentine Forest. These settlers were cultist followers of a religion called the Path of Shadows. The fundamentals of the religion were very simple, and are, in fact, recorded on the very first page of the memoirs of one of the early settlers:
- Hail, Knight of Shadows, for showing us the way.
- He is all-powerful, and thinks nothing of slaughtering those who do not obey His will.
- We are his willing slaves, and we exist only to obey and worship.
- If our lives become too vibrant or enjoyable, the mighty Knight will smite us from the earth.
- Eat gruel. Sleep on stone. Worship the Knight. Repeat.
- Eat. Sleep. Worship. Repeat.
- Eat. Sleep. Worship. Repeat.
It’s no wonder, therefore, that in the third century of Jemstone’s colonisation, a group of settlers realised how hideously depressing their lives were and decided to break away to start their own religion. This tribe of people, who called themselves The Progressive, migrated far away from where the majority of the cultists lived and traversed the entire island before discovering the unchartered waters of the Variscite Lagoon. One founding member of The Progressive wrote about their new home in his journal:
When I first turned the corner and saw the water glittering in the golden sunlight, I became forced to shield my eyes. Never before had I seen water of such a vibrant colour; nay, never before had I seen such a vibrant colour! My fellow explorers and I have decided to name this place ‘The Isle of Rainbows’ and it is here that we will begin to create our new religion. We hope that, one day, our descendants will view life as a bright new opportunity, not a dark existence of enslavement. We want every aspect of our new lives to be as colourful as our new home, and that is why we have started a brand new religion that we shall call the Rainbow Religion.
The ideas of these first explorers are how the island got its name. Contrary to the founders’ wishes, the religion they created became known as the Way of Seven; it was named for the seven new goddesses, each one representing a different colour of the rainbow. As primitive people with only a basic understanding of colours, due to the vast proportions of their lives spent labouring under a veil of grey and black, it was the best they could come up with.
The seven goddesses are named Vermella, Laranxa, Rumena, Zelena, Peruzea, Plava and Roxa, and they were created as kind and loving queens that would assist and encourage, rather than smite and ravage. There is very little mythology citing evidence for the existence of these goddesses, but most people of that time, and therefore of this time, just wanted something to believe in. They wanted to believe that some divine being had a plan for them, and that this plan involved something other than blind obedience and torturous slavery.
Seven hundred years have passed since the island of Jemstone was first colonised, and as of yet, no follower of the so-called Shadow Knight has ever been smote in their sleep. The dark, primitive religion of the first settlers does still exist, in less developed parts of the country (most notably the Serpentine Forest and the Moonstone Mountains) but those communities exist very much in the shadow of followers of the Way of Seven. To be fair, they did say that their only wish was to live in the shadows.