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Shemhazai Library   Content managed by our Librarian, member       Damiane de Mereliot

TdA Member Contributed Articles
The Cassiline Brotherhood

by Lady Calarriel Nevone
Peer of the Realm





The Cassiline Brotherhood is an order of priests who swear allegiance to the Precepts of Cassiel. Cassilines share an affinity with the Yeshuites, still worshipping the One God but believing also in Elua and his companions. Cassiel didn’t break faith with the One God, but only turned away in shame. The Cassilines believe Cassiel took up the duty the One God neglected: loving the son of Yeshua’s blood. Cassiel, alone among the eight compainions, took no province of Terre d’Ange as his own, choosing instead to remain at Elua’s side as he traversed the world, a choice for which Cassiel believed himself eternally damned. Cassiel has no temples, but the Cassiline Brotherhood was founded for him.

The Cassiline Brotherhood is highly respected and held in deep regard. The Brotherhood is so respected that, for many years, the ruler of Terre D’Ange was guarded and protected by Cassiline Brothers. To be a Cassiline means to protect and serve, a philosophy that is ingrained in all members of the brotherhood. The Cassiline Brotherhood traditionally encompassed only men; however, in the last several decades women have been allowed admittance to its halls. The life of a Cassiline is hard and rigorous, requiring intensive training.

The Cassiline Order is a harsh one, far more rigorous and stern than that of Naamah. Training for the Cassiline Brotherhood takes ten years. After training is complete, the apprentice takes vows to become a Brother. As a Cassiline Brother, members are sworn to only draw their weapons to defend their lives or to protect their companions or wards. Cassiline Brothers are also only allowed to draw their sword to kill and thus fight using only daggers. Cassilines also protect themselves with steel vambraces. Serving as a shield, the vambraces are used to deflect blades and even arrows. Cassilines also take a vow of celibacy upon joining the order, an oath that, if broken, will result in expulsion from the Brotherhood. As a Brother, Cassilines must perform their duties for five years and have the duities judged exemplary by the Prefect, the head of the Cassiline Brotherhood, before newly pledged brothers are given permission to visit family.

The Cassiline fighting style is graceful and fluid, taking years to master. All Cassiline forms, barring one, have names drawn from nature. Forms include Birds on the Wing, Mountain Streams, and Trees Bending in the Wind, each a description of what the Cassiline does while in the form. Members of the Cassiline Brotherhood practice training forms every day to continue to hone their fighting skills. The fighting style is centered on symmetry and balance and designed for efficiency in tight quarters. The Cassiline fighting style is a circular one which requires Brothers to visualize their fighting space in spheres. The inner sphere is known as a Cassiline’s own space and the outer sphere is an opponent’s. If there are multiple opponents, there are multiple spheres. Each sphere is defined by its own quadrants which are marked and measured like hours on a sundial. The final sphere is that of the Cassiline’s ward. It is the Cassiline’s duty to protect their ward at all costs. The final strike the Cassiline Brothers are taught is to be used as a last resort. The move named the Terminus is performed by the Cassiline throwing his right-hand dagger to slay his ward, while slitting his own throat with the left-hand dagger.

* The above mentioned history and explanation of the Cassiline Brotherhood is drawn from information provided in the Kushiel series by Jacqueline Carey. The history does include the decision to bring women into the Brotherhood which is not in the series, however, is described through our community site.

Learn more about our own Cassilines.

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