Vormundism is a religious group established in the country of Apicarta in 162 AYZ by the self-proclaimed prophet Dagda Vormund. The Temple considers it a heretical cult, and it is widely condemned throughout Apicarta by both religious and secular institutions.
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 reactionary movement to the loosening hold of religion on society, as well as the decadence of the Temple, corruption of the state, and the threat posed by Iskirra.
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 Kemet, an Exekian hunyadi.
The religion achieved some initial popularity among those who were disillusioned with the Temple 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. Public opinion of Vormund and his "cult" was generally divided however, with some seeing no harm in the religious "revival" he spread, and others feeling threatened by his conservatism and anti-magic stance.
The Guardians launched at least two concurrent investigations into the cult, using secret Inquisitors posing as pilgrims and disciples. Among these were the sorcerer Adrian Vandiir (disguised as "Drusus Rolfe"), who was hired by Guardian Balthasar Krezt of Hiberia, and the novice monk Leonard Gorrister, who was sent by Guardian Julianna Morrow of Bodai. Leonard believed his mission was to discover the truth about the cult's claims; when he found evidence that there really was an ancient copy of the Mandorlin in their possession, however, he was ignored. Adrian meanwhile was ordered by Balthasar to sabotage the cult "by any means necessary".
Adrian laced Vormund's food with a drug intended to cause madness, but Vormund's adopted son Ethan accidentally consumed the drug instead. Ethan went insane and murdered Sophie Rolfe, another member of Vormund's cult. Attempting to keep the situation under control, Adrian convinced Leonard to report the cult to the local authorities. The cult were then violently apprehended by the police, resulting in the death of Kirk Callow. Ethan was executed and Vormund was put on trial, but 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 wandering minstrel. He never married and had no children.
At the age of thirty-four, 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 Antrea.
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 called the Eclipse. 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.