The Book of Records is the largest part of the Amarr Scriptures and is an all-encompassing work that contains the name and genealogical records of nearly every citizen of the Empire stretching back to antiquity. Being listed in the Book of Records is equivalent to being a full-fledged citizen of the Empire, but is only offered to those who have converted to its religion. Being struck from the Book of Records is a grave threat, equivalent to loss of all rights, titles, property, and hope of redemption. Only high-ranking members of the clergy may strike a person's name from the Book of Records.
The Book of Records predates the founding of the Amarr Empire. Ancient pieces of Scripture speak of the Book in the resolution of disputes of parentage, titles, and land tenure. Even in these days, being struck from the Book of Records was a serious threat. However, few actual pieces of the Book of Records from this time survive to the present day, with those that do being mostly restricted to the upper echelons of society. Few commoner names are recorded, leading many to suppose that the early Book of Records was used for important members of society only.
The Book took its modern form with the establishment of the Amarr Empire. Following Amarr Island, the newly-crowned Emperor ordered a census of all his people. Each person was to be recorded in the Book of Records, along with their (supposed) dates of birth, the names of their children, and the dates of death of any relatives. The census was conducted every five years after, with few interruptions.conquest of
The early Book of Records is rife with errors, either from sloppy census takers or simple failures in reporting. Many individuals are listed with no dates of birth or no dates of death, while others appear to be listed multiple times (a particular vagrant appears to be present in the 17020 AD census no less than a dozen times). However, as the census continued and technology advanced, record keeping became clearer and the Book began to take far more importance.
Over time, the Book became much more than a mere list of names. This started with the Emperor, who received a biography. Soon, important Holders were also given biographies, then even low-ranking Holders were accorded expanded entries. In time, the Book of Records became closer to a living history of the Amarr Empire.
With the advent of electronic record keeping, maintaining the Book of Records became a simple matter. Individuals were registered in the Book at birth, while their dates of death were entered upon its discovery. Other updates, such as gained or lost titles of nobility, are made as needed by record keepers.
The Book of Records is both an electronic database and a physical, hand-recorded collection of tomes. The electronic Book of Records is publicly accessible within the Empire, though it contains little in the way of interesting information except for genealogists and historians. Even the earliest entries in the Book have been digitized, enabling those interested the ability to look up the names of the first members of the Amarr Empire.
The physical Book of Records, however, is a different matter. Comprising millions of individual volumes, the actual Book of Records is stored in the Imperial City of Dam-Torsad. Only the newest volumes are kept in the open; typically those accounting for the previous 200 years and the book of the current Emperor and Heirs (which can sometimes be several centuries old). All others are kept in a massive vault that is hardened against assault and under heavy guard.
Entries into the physical Book of Records are done by hand, by specially trained members of the clergy. The entries are done in a flowing, beautiful script. Individuals are accorded space in the Book based on their position at birth. Commoners are given no more than a single line, usually to record dates of birth and death, occupation, identification code, and parentage and children. Nobles are afforded a page or more, with important Holders given several pages to record title changes, the legal heirs to their titles and lands, as well as brief biographies. Heirs are given entire chapters, with their accomplishments and failures recorded in detail, and even bits of minutia included depending on the predilections of their biographers.
Emperors receive an entire tome in the Book, sometimes several for long-lived rulers. Heideran VII's entry notably took up six individually-bound tomes, one for each half-century of his reign. Their lives are recorded in meticulous detail by official chroniclers, and usually serve as the first reference point for historians. These tomes can have intricate illustrations and flourishes added by the record keeper.
On rare occasions, an individual will have their name moved within the Book. This most often occurs when a new Heir is named, or when a new Emperor is crowned. On the rare occurrence of a commoner being made a Holder, they may be moved as well, depending on the space available.
What happens when a person is struck from the book depends on their station. Commoners simply have their names blacked out with ink. Higher ranking individuals have their sections removed and physically destroyed.
Being Struck from the Book
The greatest religious punishment in the Empire is being struck from the Book of Records, surpassing even enslavement. Only high ranking members of the clergy can inflict this punishment; theare afforded this power, which is also given to Theology Council justices and leaders of powerful religious orders. In theory, the Emperor could strike a name from the Book of Records as well; in practice, they usually have others do the proclamation on their behalf.
Being struck from the Book of Records is tantamount to being declared a non-entity. Those stuck immediately forfeit everything but their life, though in some cases they must forfeit that as well. They are excommunicated from the church and are considered eternally damned, unable to ever regain favorable standing in God's eyes, no matter how much they repent. Their very name becomes forbidden within the Empire; to speak it is considered a sin (though except in the case of unique names, this is only considered applicable when speaking directly about the person struck from the Book).
Those struck from the Book of Records are infrequently enslaved; as slavery is considered a road of redemption by the Amarr and those struck from the Book are beyond any redemption, it is thought that enslavement will only offer an opportunity for those struck to corrupt other slaves. It is more common for the struck to be exiled or permanently held in dungeons beneath Dam-Torsad, forever cut off from others. When an individual might prove dangerous after being struck, they are often executed.
Because of its severity, the threat of being struck is often enough. Even Heirs can be pacified by invoking the possibility. Because of this, it is rare that individuals are actually struck from the Book.
However, it has happened several times in recent memory. One notable case involved an entire cult being struck following their assault on Excena Foer, the woman better known as Aura. Arzad Hamri was posthumously struck from the Book of Records after his spirit reportedly visited a slave and incited them into the Starkmanir Rebellion. More recently, Court Chamberlain Dochuta Karsoth was struck from the Book of Records following his execution, though this event, as with the execution, was not highly publicized.
Only one Emperor has ever been struck from the Book of Records. Zaragram II, only rarely spoken of among the Amarr, and then only by the epithet "the Mad Emperor", was struck from the Book of Records following his assassination. His tome was burned and all records of his existence were eradicated from the Empire, with even the years of his reign transferred to another emperor.