The Empire of Ilshar and the Caliphate of Trusk share a common religion, a monotheistic faith oriented around a multifaceted and almost contradictory deity known as ‘Bala’ A masculine personification of strength, might, and uncompromising righteousness who is a stern law giver, yet merciful and fair.
A thousand years ago, give or take, Bala selected three brothers, Truel, Jhidda and Fahrn, and revealed himself and gave to them his Laws, his wisdom and his power. This comprised a golden tablet engraved with the Thirty Three Laws of Bala. A golden crown of wisdom. And a stone of Power. The brothers were given the task of converting all the world’s people and spreading the Law. Unfortunately this was not an easy task. In the course of their efforts one of the brothers, Fahrn, who possessed the Crown of Wisdom, was slain. When he ascended to Bala he took with him the Crown. Now Fahrn serves as Bala’s Judge and determines if a follower is worthy of paradise.
The surviving brothers continued to spread the Law and so have their descendants. (Jhidda was the Keeper of the Laws, Truel wielded the Stone of Power) In the centuries since their deaths and ascensions there have been troubles for the followers of Bala. About three hundred years ago a schism developed between the descendants of Jhidda and those of Truel. (There are no descendants of Fahrn, it is this fact that ensures his impartiality as Judge.) The Empire of Ilshar is composed of mostly (80%) descendants of Jhidda while Trusk is composed of descendants of Truel. There has been much blood shed between the two groups and there seems to be no reconciling them.
In the holy city of Balaghad (One time capital of the Empire’s predecessor) is the Temple of Law where the Golden tablet is kept.
In Trusk is a Shrine to the Stone, but the shrine is empty because it was taken by Bala, some six hundred years ago, and put in a secret place against a time yet to be determined. (The powers of the stone seem to be primarily destructive. It can call lightning from the sky to strike at will. It can cause the earth to shake and spew forth molten rock.) The stone was used to destroy the cities and temples of the Unbelievers.
Bala is common in Palador, but in Solista it is most widely practiced in Tarpia (long under Ilshar control) and to a lesser degree in the coastal cities of some of the southern nations. (A fact that drives Kostrin Clerics mad!)
Balan Clerics, known to the believers by the title ‘Teacher’ wear black robes, if from the ‘Truel Tradition’ (Trusk) and ash gray if they are of the ‘Jhidda Tradition’ (Ilshar.)
There is no prohibition on blood letting in the Balan Faith, so clerics generally use a Kiliga. However, Bala taught that for one of his clerics to slay an enemy from a distance is ‘Forbidden’ for the cleric must be close enough to hear the dying unbeliever’s conversion. So NO MISSILE WEAPONS.
The Balan Missals are similar (though philosophically different) to the Kostrin ones. (They ARE NOT interchangeable.) A Balan cleric heads out into the world with his robe (only one) his Missal and a holy symbol. Either a representation of the Stone of Power (a consecrated piece of rock said to be the type The Stone was formed from.) Or a gold (plated) miniature of The Tablet.