Mandorlin numai așa Akhen. ("Only the Mandorlin speaks Akhen's will.")
Defined by its "originalist" dogma, adherents to the faith are dedicated to fulfilling the ancient laws established in the Mandorlin, which they believe to be divinely inspired. Outsiders often see it as a reaction to the loosening hold of religion on society, as well as the decadence of the nobility, corruption of the state, and amorality in social life.
While he did not proclaim himself to be divine, Vormund professed to be the "mouthpiece of Akhen". He sanctioned a new translation of the Mandorlin based on ancient copies written in Old Exekian, with the aid of the Exekian hunyadi Kemet.
The religion achieved some initial popularity among disillusioned Temple supporters and pacifists who were tired of the constant, costly wars with the Exekians. Many were drawn to Vormund's emphasis on peace, love, and brotherhood, as well as his upholding of the old laws and traditions.
Temple clergy and the media were largely against the movement. They depicted Vormund was a madman imposing his own sense of justice on his ignorant disciples. Public opinion of Vormund and his "cult" was divided, with some seeing no harm in the religious "revival" he spread, and others feeling threatened by his conservatism.
However, when it was discovered that Vormund's "adopted son" and follower Ethan was in fact the notorious murderer Daniel Zuse, public opinion of the cult soured. Vormund was charged with harboring a fugitive and found guilty by association in the murder of Clara Rolfe. A trial for heresy was prepared by the Temple, but Vormund died in prison shortly after the initial hearings for the case were conducted.
Vormund was born a commoner of unknown parentage. In adulthood he was a migrant worker, traveling constantly and working odd jobs as an unskilled laborer. He never married and had no children.
At the age of thirty-five, he began experiencing divine visions in which the god Akhen ordered him to preach a new faith of peace, compassion, and love for all creatures. Vormund initially ignored the visions, believing the people would not accept such teachings. The visions persisted, becoming more vivid and frequent, until Vormund was no longer able to work. He fled into the wilderness, where he claimed to feel the presence of Akhen. The encounter left him visibly aged, but he still retained his youthful health and strength.
While he was ridiculed at first by the crowds he ministered to, a few humans began to follow him. Eventually a small group of his followers began living with him in a cave near the river Antoi.
Vormund's reputation was damaged when it was discovered one of his closest followers, Ethan, was in fact an infamous serial killer. Stricken with amnesia, Ethan had encountered Vormund early in the prophet's career. After an encounter with the ranger Drusus Rolfe, who was pursuing Ethan, Vormund learned of Ethan's true identity. However, the prophet convinced Drusus to give Ethan a second chance, believing he could reform the man through faith. Vormund even went so far as to adopt Ethan as his son. However, Ethan gradually regained his memories and killed again, murdering Drusus' sister Clara. Ethan, Vormund, and Drusus were arrested for the crime.
Word of this event spread rapidly, and higher courts became involved. Vormund was put on trial for accessory after the fact and obstruction of the law, being found guilty and sentenced to whippings. Ethan was punished with beatings and lashings, doled out by the family members of his victims, before he was hanged. As a form of psychological torture, Vormund and Drusus were forced to watch.
The Temple then arranged for a heresy trial to be conducted against Vormund. Less than an hour after the initial hearings, Vormund was found dead in his cell, having apparently suffered a heart attack.
Drusus Rolfe was later released, primarily due to the efforts of fellow cultist Lord Gavin Zosimus. He has since disappeared from the public eye.
Despite the harrowing circumstances surrounding his death, Vormund's influence began to grow at an even more rapid rate. His followers eventually became known as "Vormundists"; today they number in the tens of thousands.
Due to persecution by King Tristan, a Vormundist terrorist group developed, founded by one of his original followers, Drusus Rolfe. They believed the Stirling family line was cursed and that as long as a Stirling was on the throne, the Vormundists would never be safe and peace was impossible. They gained notoriety when a few of their members managed to assassinate Tristan.
King Aldous' wife, Queen Laura, was the daughter of Gavin and a prominent member of the Zosimus family. Her faith was believed to be the inspiration for her efforts to end the disastrous Fifth Exekian War.