Kalboras, Accursed of Glory

Other Titles: The Lost Son, Battlemaster, The Firebrand

Alignment: CG

Weapon: Warhammer (Blackfang)

Major Domains: Glory, Triumph, Victory

Minor Domains:  Champions, Conquest, Arrogance

Totem Animal: Ram

Holy Symbol: A full face view of a Ram, with heavy, broad horns curling to the side. In the center of the forehead there is a 10 pointed orange star. The Ram tends to be black, red or purple, with variations depending on locale. While it is oftentimes a simple three dimensional representation, if painted it tends to be on a dark slate-gray background

Favored Appearances: Kalboras, like all of the Accursed, tends to walk the world very rarely in aspect form. However, when he does, he generally takes the visage very similar to his Father, Takannas. He is large, burly, and covered in hair. His full, red beard and long red hair flame in the sun, as if he is on fire himself. He is muscle bound, almost to the point of fable, wearing his breastplate as armor, with nothing else to protect himself. His clothing tends to be black, red and grey, and moderately tight in order to be ready for combat at any time. When he feels the need to be represented by a woman, his choice is that of a gruff dwarven woman. She, too, has red hair, strong muscles, and wears only a breastplate. She is modest in both dress and form, with her hair generally wrapped around the top of her head in a braid.

Warform: The Warform of Kalboras is that of a great, fiery ram. Its body is purest fire, while its horns, hooves and teeth are razor sharp obsidian.  The Ram can breath fire, and uses its great bulk and power to bully around others on the battlefield.

Personality: Kalboras is introspective and contemplating most of the time, but when roused to battle or brought to a cause, he is dedicated and completely absorbed by it. Son of Takannas by an unknown entity he is the eldest child of the Fire family.  Arrogant to a fault, he was one of the first of the lesser gods turned by Ferosh against his fathers family, and was the first to fall in line when the Black Pact was suggested. He was completely committed and believes event to this day in the cause of the rebels and the Tyranny of the Paltonarchs

Teachings: Kalboras Teaches a simple philosophy of warfare, conflict and self confidence. He is the Patron of many warriors who have fallen on hard times, and has a very strong cult following. The main tenants of his cult teach that you must rely only on yourself, and sometimes on subordinates who have proven their worth, lest you fail in an action. Nothing is greater than completing a task, preferably during a conflict, and doing it singlehandedly for all to see. Nothing is worse than failure. Unlike many deities who look at failure as a chance to learn, Kalboras teaches that failure is, at its heart, not trying hard enough to achieve that goal. Quitting is committing the greatest sin against the cause of Kalboras, and is punishable from within the faithful by death.

Abode: Kalboras lives in a megalithic structure from before even the Demon Queen came to the Iron Marches. Called the Champions hold, it is the farthest point on which the Accursed can call the Iron Marches their territory. Made of huge blocks of nickel, with what seems to be no mortar or cement of any type, the hold stretches almost 100′ in to the sky to be the watchtower of the Accursed forces, and the bastion that the retreating forces come to receive Succor and rest.

Cultists: Different from many of the Accursed, Kalboras has few priests and clerics, and many less cultists overall. Though he reaches out to many minds that will let him explain his position, few believe or take him up on his offer. Those few that do roam the land looking for disenfranchised, down on their luck warriors to convert to the Horned Companions. They teach that their god will bring unmitigated glory, victory unending and triumph over all those who have committed wrongs against them.

Knightly Orders: The main order of knights dedicated to Kalboras is the Horned Companions, though there is also a suitable number of warriors in the Order of Victory as well. The Horned Companions are a group of covert and discreet champions who wander the land looking for causes to champion, rebels to aid, and establishments to destroy. Many of them have headed out from Killbar in recent years, looking to destabilize the government of Tyndaria and hopefully destroy it in that weakened state. The Order of Victory is the known militant arm of Kalboras’ religion, and is known to reside on an island in the middle of the sea, and is used to send soilders and champions to lost causes, hoping to aid them in turning the tide to victory, but knowing that all to often that is not the possible case.

Clerical Attire/colors: Cultists of Kalboras wear little different do make themselves known, other than their secreted away holy symbol, but many of them tend to lean towards cream or white  clothing with red or maroon accents. Even this, though, has been taken by some towns to mean that a hero of the Accursed Kelboras is there to be rooted out and slain.  Both the Order of Victory and the Horned companions wear unadorned Tabards, with the Order of Victory tending to Purple-Red and the Horned Companions wearing a deep earthy red.
Followers: Followers tend to be Arrogant clerics, shamed offenders, dishonored Knights and these bent on personal gain above all else. His cultists tend to be people how would lead their communities, who believe in nothing short of Victory or Death. Warriors, Monks, Bards and Sorcerers are drawn to the reverence of Kalboras as well, hoping for redemption once they die.

Kalboras: The basic concept for Kalboras was an Accursed that could have easily swapped sides at one point, but choose not to. I wanted a stubborn, callous god that give the other godes a run for their money when he gets a good mind to it. 

Retren is a god close to my heart. where there are many gods of suffering, pain and other related maladies are represented as purely evil,  there is also an aspect of pain that can be beneficial.  There is pain in many natural things, as well as what each person puts themselves through. There is pain in testing your limits, there is suffering through adversity and coming out the other side better, and then their is the pain of physical improvement. There is suffering in knowledge, in learning, and in life itself. I want him to be a complex god that is neither god nor evil, but what you make of him.

Retren, God of Pain

Other Titles: The Scourge, Barbed Lord, Proctor of Trials, Breaker of Wills

Alignment: CN

Weapon: Scourge (Peeler)

Major Domains: Suffering, Pain, Endurance, Wisdom

Minor Domains:  Grit, Toughness, Spite, Birth, Trials

Totem Animal: Wasp

Holy Symbol: A blackened and gnarled hand wrapped in brambles  with long, red claws.

Favored Appearances: While Retren rarely walks the earth itself, when he does he takes very little care to disguise himself. His two favorite forms are that of a wild, unkempt male elf, with Hair untamed in all direction. He wears no armor, covering his body with torn and ripped clothing stained in all sorts of blood, enough so that it simply looks brown. His teeth are filed and constantly cut his tongue when he speaks. His eyes are bloodshot and extremely intense. His female form is that of a pain woman heavily pregnant, with long disheveled hair and the most threadbare of wrappings for her feet and body. her blue eyes are extremely lucid, however,  and she speaks from the wisdom of a woman who has suffered much and learned much as well.

Warform: One of the few gods of three elements, Retrens WarForm is also of three elements. A Gigantic wasp of stone and iron, held aloft by wings made of Thunderheads. It eyes, mandibles and stinger are made of ice and frozen lightning.  Retren does not enjoy leading men and battle itself, but he is at home there, and with three elements, he is afield more than most.

Personality: Retren is a striking dual personality. His is at once unforgiving and compassionate, and both a stern teacher and an uncompromising taskmaster. His greatest derision is for lessons learned without suffering, but also for those who have innate knowledge and ability. He is the champion of those who have had to break their backs to learn, achieve and succeed.  He tests those under him, and those who would seek to learn from him, but only as much as he feels that they can take. His leadership on the battlefield is of the same mannor, though it gives some of the other gods pause.

Teachings: Retren teaches that pain is the basis of all knowledge, and that pain is the only way that one knows that you are learning. Pain without reason is torture, and that is the realm of Telaxus. Seek out painful revelations, grueling tasks and singular moments of enlightenment through pain, and you will be one with the greatest knowledge of the universe. Additionally, no pain exists which cannot be learned from. Teach others, and learn yourself. Life is nothing but a series of painful events, leading, eventually, to death.

Abode:Retren lives in the Palace of Thorns, an enormous building of silver and bronze brambles that sits on the front line of the Paltonarch controlled area of the Iron Marches. Though he is home less often than he would wish,  he knows that if the Accursed ever attack, they will be in for some very serious and painful lessons.

Clergy:  The Clergy of Retren are a dark and brooding people, having suffered their lives for the enlightenment and information that they have attained. They tend to be headmasters of large schools, where they inflict tedious, monotonous study rituals and long, grueling physical tests for even the most basic of educations. These church-schools are in direct conflict many times with the schools of Farlorn, a god who’s belief in the power of study and education by itself is directly antithetical to the teachings and blessings of Retren.

Knightly Orders: The Greatest knightly order of Retren are the Lonesome Teachers. Greatly skilled warriors and weaponmasters, they travel the land seeking the best and most powerful fighters, challenging them to duels to learn, or be killed. Many of these duels are to the death, though if the challenged balk at that ending, the stakes can be lowered, though never to less than first blood. 

Clerical Attire/colors: Clerics and Lonesome Teachers both where a singularly vibrant yellow color known only to the priests of Retren. While the Clerics use this color as their main palette, accenting it with black, green, blue and brown, the Lonesome Teachers trim their olive green Tabards in it, symbolizing both their attachment to, and their separation from, the Church of Retren.

Followers: The followers of Retren tend to be warriors, Teachers, humans and anyone willing to sacrifice a little of their personal comfort to learn. While they may not be popular, the priests of Retren, no matter their temperament, have always been proven to be good teachers. 

I again have a request, this time for Nera, God of Oceans.

 

Nera, God of the Oceans

Other Titles: Queen of the Tides, Lady of Fortune

Alignment: Lawful Good

Weapon:Trident (Sailors Doom)

Clerical Attire/colors: 

The Sea Priests of Nera wear loose blouses and Pants so that they are generally unhindered both in and on the seas. These clothes tend to be the colors of the sea, with light greens, pale blues and bright grays most common. These same clothes tend to be relatively unadorned and easily replaceable,  as months at a time at sea can build up quite a crust.  If there is any adornment, it tends to be white, symbolizing both salt and the tips of rough waves, with Gauntlets being the most often accented items. Priests of Nera that stick to the land prefer white cloaks to denote their devotions.

The Order of Knights dedicated to Nera called the  Sons of the Discovery wear simple dark grey trousers and shirts accented in a pale blue, if desired, most often with the simple wave of her holy symbol upon their chests.

Major Domains: Water, Wandering, Exploration, Discovery

Minor Domains:  Simple Solutions, Travelers, Caregivers, Fortune at Sea

Totem Animal: Snapping Turtle: The Snapping Turtles of Kasan live in both salt and sea water and aggressively defend their territories and their families. They may seem slow, ponderous and inevitable, but they will be deadly in a fight.

Holy Symbol: An Aquamarine wave set in silver or platinum

Favored Appearances: Nera seems to favor her female form more than her male, and in many cases appears as a tall, voluptuous woman with long, blue-green hair. She seems to flow as she walks, with every move deliberate and meaningful. Her face is long and drawn, with deep blue eyes that seem to go on forever and a sing-song voice that can entrance even the most dour.

The Male form tends to take the view of an old, crusted man, bend over a stout driftwood staff and mumbling to himself. Wispy White hair flies in every direction from his face and head, with little rhyme or reason to its nature. He constantly talks to himself, asking questions and receiving answers from unknown sources

Warform: When Nera takes to the battlefield leading the troops of the Water Family, she does so as an enormous snapping turtle composed mostly of water, but with a beak and claws made of salt and a shell made of Ice. Little can penetrate that shell and she wades into combat with a single minded devotion to destruction.

Personality: Nera may seem capricious to some, but she is governed by strict rules. Homage to her is honored, and disrespect is punished. she is jovial and life giving most of the time, but when set loose or angered she can be as destructive as fire and as merciless as the earth itself. It is dangerous to cross her, but it is just as dangerous to ignore her. She is happy, melancholy, and always a force to be reckoned with.  She feels a deep attachment to many of the creatures of Kasan, and can be found many times aiding them and attempting to save their lives in dire times.

Teachings: Nera teaches that respect of water, the life giving essence of all things, is the most appropriate respect that can be had. Be firm in your stances and decisions, and follow through on any consequences that you either promise or deserve. She also encourages wandering and exploration, as only through new experiences and places can one truly find the means and knowledge to both teach others and be reach true enlightenment.

Clergy: The Clergy and churches of Nera tend to be places of rules and laws, where those who have committed wrongs come to seek justice for their crimes. They will be forgiven of them, but they will also pay a strong penance. In addition, they tend to the young of those away on trips, no mater what the reason. Discovery and exploration are the largest reasons, but there are also merchants and kings who will leave their children in the care of Nera’s faithful when they must wander abroad.

Knightly Orders: The Sons of the Ocean are the most prolific and strongest of the Knightly orders pledged to Nera. They have taken upon themselves to protect, with magic and strength of arms, the ships of all waterways and oceans. They make the appropriate sacrifices, homages and prayers to Nera to ensure speedy travel, safe passage and beautiful sails. Nera’s sacrifices require a strict following of specific procedures, and a Son of the Ocean will ensure that your ship is safely on their way.

Second in scale and power are he Wavebrothers, a small but powerful sect of he dedicated hat are used to guard, defend, and educate the sons and daughters of explorers, merchants and kings, treating all equally and training them all to a high standard.

Followers: Sailors, orphans, Sea Mages, Witches, and Pirates

Let me know what you think, and what suggestions you’d make.

Thanks for reading!

As I move forward with each god, I’m hopefully going to do more discussion and theorizing about them. Takannas is one of the gods I have the firmest and best grasp on, but I still have questions, and I might change what goes on with each god, but I’ll make sure to keep a running tally. In addition, keep in mind that the world I am originally looking to explain the gods for is slightly colder than normal. Warforms are hard for those creatures that wouldn’t generally live in that environment or directly south of it. Of course, things like Elephant/Mammoth or Rhino/Woolly Rhino can be justified, animals that cannot live in cold environment will get a thorough looking at first.

As the gods killed each other, some of them would have happened to kill gods that don’t necessarily align with their original portfolio, and will have some strange contradictions or dichotomies. If you think of any, let me know!

I’ve also added Knightly Orders to the descriptions, as well, as in my world almost every god has one or more order dedicated directly to their teachings.

Farlorn, God of Knowledge

Rank: Minor Younger

Other Titles: Father of Writing, The Old Man, Lorekeeper

Alignment: Lawful Neutral

Weapon: Maul (The Historian)

Clerical Attire/Colors: 

Clerics and Priests of Farlorn tend to wear long, hooded, gray robes with voluminous sleeves and great pockets within. The robes will generally have green stripes running along the seams and trim. A holy symbol is generally not displayed predominately, as Farlorns faithful tend to be the subdued type.

The Monastic order of Khelm, or the Khelmik Monks, are the martial arm of the church. They Wear loose-fitting grey clothing, with bands of green showing their dedication and training. They wield both the immense Mauls and can attack with their bodies, and tend to be completely shorn, like their patron

Major Domains: Knowledge, Learning, Writing, Magical Information

Minor Domains:  Clarity of Mind, Knowledge over Power, Commitment, Dedication, Logic

Totem Animal: Crow: The Crow is wise and smart, depending on the flock for survival while also innovating and remembering deeds, both good and Ill

Holy Symbol: An Open book with a bookmark in the center. On the bookmark is written Victory, while on the left page is written Knowledge, and on the right is Understanding

Favored Appearances: Farlorn is one of the great wanderers of the material plane through one of his aspects. He is known to have two or even three of them on the material hunting information and gathering lost bits of knowledge. His male favored form is a small but sturdy, though not dwarfish, individual wearing a green toga and a gray belt. He is hairless and smiles both disarmingly and widely and carries himself with a regal bearing.

The favored female form is that of an ageless elf, tall and regal, with the same wide smile and quick wit. This form tends towards long, conservative green dresses, using a gray ribbon to tie back her long black hair. She is neither beautiful nor ugly, and tends to pass unnoticed until she wishes you to see her.

Warform: Though rarely personally involved, the Warform of Farlorn is an immense crow of mist and steam. Its beak and claws are of pure ice as well as the razor sharp tips of his wings. He can, and will, fight, but prefers to lead Nera’s troops to battle as a general and a leader

Personality: Farlorn is generally stoic, measured, and polite. He listens to those around him, and speaks only after having thought over all the possible angles and ideas that he has been exposed to. He is a consummate tactician and historian, and studies war constantly looking for the edge with which to defeat the Accursed and return to his desired studies of creation, the world, and its people. While he can seem dour and direct, he is simply speaking form the vast wealth of knowledge he has accumulated.

Teachings: Farlorn teaches that the quickest way to a solution is often not only the wrong one, but the most damaging outcome as well. Instead, one should search for the correct answer throughout their life experiences and what they have learned from others. Inaction, however, is also a damaging decision. When given no way out, Try and make a logical assumption based on the information at hand. He also teaches about the preservation and accumulation of knowledge, the value of both learning and teaching. Finally, writing down information is the most sacred and valuable task that can be given or accomplished, and each written letter is proof of your dedication.

Clergy: The Clergy of Farlorn tend to run schools and academies for both Magical and sectarian studies, teaching that reliance on one’s self for judgment and decision making is the way to hubris and folly. One can only come to the correct conclusion through study, reflection and application of Logic

Knightly Orders: There is but a single order dedicated to Farlorn, and it’s the Khelmick monks. Founded by the late Chosen of Farlorn, Khelm, this monastic order is dedicated to the defense of the sacred texts, sites and schools of Farlorn. Thought they generally act only as guards, they are required to study an equal amount to their martial training every day. In addition to being trained and having studied almost every martial and weapon technique that they have record of, they have been imparted the knowledge of how to turn your body into a weapon when all else fails. Many warlords, kings and sorcerers have looked to plunder the wealth of the undefended Farlorn Temples only to learn to late that some of the studious individuals within are also the most deadly.

Followers: The Followers of Farlorn tend to be librarians, mages, tacticians, dwarves, and scholars, but he can also count among his faithful warrior-philosophers, bards, students and teachers.

Concept of the God

The concept of this god is to be a more active god of knowledge. He is meant not to be like Vecna, the god of secrets, or a god of learning and study, but a god that makes informed or logic based decisions. He encourages study, but not paralysis in the face of danger. Most often the knowledge gods are boring or uneventful, but like all the gods I have, I wanted this one to be capable and meaningful in combat and in standard life. 

First a quick note: Updates will come and kinda change whats going on with the pantheon, because as I dig deeper I am bound to encounter things I’d not thought about.

Quickly, though, a topic I somehow missed.

The Nature and Power of a God.

Many people transport over the concept of a christian God to the pantheons of fantasy worlds when discussing them. They are all powerful and all knowing, which cannot be so accurate in a world where there are more than one god. The god of a pantheon will be vastly more powerful than the mortals in their world, and more powerful than most celestial or diabolic creations, but they are not unlimitedly powerful. They may seem so from the point of view of the mortals, but they are simply extremely powerful. They also know some of the deepest secrets of the universe, but they do not know everything. They are some of the most powerful, knowledgeable beings in the universe, but they are still fallible, and can still die.

I mentioned earlier that when gods kill other gods, they absorb their portfolio. This is known as consumption. However, when two gods birth a child, which was fairly common ages ago, they loose a portion of their powers, which are divested into the child. Most often, this is in the form of decoupling specific aspects of the god or goddesses main portfolio and giving the new being a portion. For example, Marija, the Late god of wild beasts, grain, wilderness and plants was the son of Takannas and Khami. Takannas is god of strength, ferocity, battle and fire. Khami was god of wilderness, reproduction and wild passion. At birth, he was divested plants and wild beasts, each being a portion of his parents: plants from Khami’s domain of wilderness, and wild beasts from Takannas’ wild ferocity. Sadly, Khami would eventually be turned to the side of the Accursed, and her son was forced to slay her in battle, thus absorbing her domains.

Also, a god has the ability to split themselves into fractions, called avatars. These avatars are portions of the gods sent to do a specific task, rule a particular area, or lead a given army. These avatars are a fraction of the strength of a true god, though being a fragment, but retain all this knowledge and powers. The avatar is not an independent split, but an actual chunk of the god, so the god knows what the avatar knows up to this very second, and the avatar is fully apprised of the gods goings on. Both the god and the avatar have the ability to coalesce into on at the others location at a moments notice. An avatar on Kasan cannot call upon the full powers of a god on Kasan, but the other way is possible.

But, enough of that. Onto the Gods.

Takannas, God of Fire. 

Other Titles: Baron of Flames, Iron Duke, The Great Liar, Father of Tales
Alignment: Chaotic Good.
Weapon: Twin-Headed Battleaxe
Clerical Attire/colors:
Clerics generally wear black robes trimmed with thread of gold, emblazoned in various places with the outline of their holy symbol. They also tend to go unshorn on head and face, imitating his male favored form while women tend to wear their hair in a single three strand braid starting at their brow line.

Templars wield great, double bladed axes and dress in black lacquered plate or mail with gold trim and tend to fight on foot. Depending on the climate and weather, it is not uncommon to see different variations on the armor types, though most skew towards the heaviest that can be tolerated for the area. 

Major Domains: Strength, Fire, Ferocity, War

Minor Domains:  Fortune in Battle, Self Reliance, Drunkenness, Braggarts, Bards and Stories

Totem Animal: Bear

Holy Symbol: 
A double-bladed battle axe, the head wreathed in flames. The axe is always face-up and silver, with the flames are orange.

Favored Appearances: Takannas, as all the other gods, is naturally of no gender. That being said, he vastly prefers his male, human form over all other. That form is just a shade over 6′ tall, with a great, manicured grey beard and long, flowing hair to match. He sports hundreds of scars on all of his exposed flesh, though most of his face maintains its youth. It is clearly a well-used form. His shoulders are broad, and his arms and legs are well muscled and toned. He is pale, though not overly so, and weathered, and seems in his early 50’s though he swings his axe easily.

His female form is little different, with fiery red hair in a braid starting at her brow, broad shoulders and scarred skin. She is handsome, though not beautiful or ugly, with limbs used to the rigors of battle. Her eyes, like his, are black, cold, distant and often haunted.

Warform: one of the strongest and mightiest creatures in all the realms, the great brown bear is the warform and totem spirit of Takannas. The warform, like all of them, is larger than a building, made of crackling fire with blue-flame eyes and coals as hard and sharp as swords for teeth and claws. The bear is strong, fierce, and self reliant, able to thrive alone but also able to come together in times of great need.

Personality: Takannas is a loud, boisterous, bombastic warrior and drunk. His personal fighting ability is second to none in the whole of the Pantheon, and has only been bested in battle once: by the Scion of Blood and Thunder, the firstborn of the Demon Queen. He fights, he drinks and he tells fantastic tales of the wars with the Accursed. He also suffers greatly from the losses of the Godswar having many thousands of friends and relatives, those he had fostered and those he had grown with, slain. As such, he is a grim fighter in combat, giving little quarter and expecting none. He tends to favor the side of freedom and liberty in combat, and given a choice, he will side with the rabble rousers and the troublemakers, giving the established system hell for squeezing the common man to hard.

Teachings: Takannas main teachings are Battle from strength, Strength from power, power from self reliance. What little that cannot be solved through brute force isn’t worth devoting time to, but may better be served discussing over a number of beers. Stories exist to enhance the strength and prestige of a person, who while may not have done the exact deed as explained, probably would have if given the chance.

Clergy: His followers preach self reliance and personal strength, but that is not to the detriment of others. Instead, his clergy lead by example, showing what each person could have if only their lead was followed. While many of the Clergy are warriors as well, some are not. These few choose to focus on sports, competition, and storytelling as their main vocations.

Next to the sworn clergy of his temples are his Templars. Guardians of the sites sacred to Takannas, they are also superb warriors who are eager to join the right causes. Each Templar must Quest for the first 10 years of service, before they are assigned a site to guard and are given a grand retirement of drinking, bragging, and telling stories of their exploits. This questing time is where they prove their mettle, earn their scars, and demonstrate their devotion to the god of battles through invocations to him during the inevitable combats that they enter.

Followers: His followers tend to be orcs, dwarves, warriors, fighters, and athletes, as well as bards, liars, cheats and scam artists.

 

 

This should be the last of the large updates to get everything ready to go.Next week I’ll put out a god/goddess and see what I can come up for them.

The Cosmology of my world is fairly simple, but I don’t have any artistic skill or talent, so we’re going to have to go with my descriptions.

  • There are a few types of planes
  • Elemental – Fire, Air, Earth (Stone) and Water (Cold)
  • The Prime Material Plane – Kasan
  • The Outer Plane – The Iron Marches
  • and the Shadow Plane

Kasan and the Iron Marches occupy, simultaneously, the center of the cosmos. Around the Iron Marches/Kasan orbits the Elemental Planes. Surrounding them all is the plane of shadow, used to travel between each plane.

The Elemental Planes

Thanks to Sae-Oon the great chaos that was the universe was separated  into the three realms. The Elemental Planes, The first of these realms, are spheres of pure Fire, Ice(Water), Air and Stone (Earth) of tremendous size. They are separated from one another physically, but bleed into each other, The Iron Marches and the Prime through vortexes of pure elemental matter. These spheres are finite in size, though of an unknowable proportion. Each is as inhospitable to life and terrifying as the next. Fire is a land of condensed soot and ash, awash in flame and choking debris. Stone is an orb of ever-shifting mountains and avalanches riddled with caves and canyons. Water is a globe of choppy seas and roiling oceans covered in colliding icebergs and vest glaciers. Air is a sky full of clouds and razor winds with powerful cyclones of air ripping through it. Very few beings can survive here, but those that do are extremely suited for the task.

The Elemental planes orbit the Iron Marches vertically, across the Known Width, each in their own orbit, which is crucially important. Each god, and each Accursed is connected to one or more elemental plane, having a conduit them from which they draw some part of their powers. With the rising and falling of each orb, the strength of the related Paltonarchs and Accursed also waxes and wanes, providing for literal tides of war on the Marches.  In addition, their orbit  also provide the seasons for the Kasan: when fire is in apex, Summer  comes, which while rare and quick here, is long and drawn in the Iron Marches and by contrast, when cold is close to Kasan, winter reigns.

The Iron Marches

The Iron Marches is a plane of fierce warfare and bitter conflict between the gods and the accursed. It is the plane which was created by the will of the gods as a prison to for the Demon Queen, the plane to which the Accursed fled to hide from the armies of the Paltonarchs, and where the Paltonarchs made a pact to hunt the Accursed for what they had done, remaining there until the deed is done. With great forests and deep oceans, jagged mountains and unruly bogs, every type of terrain is represented in the Marches. It all suffer a slight change, however. Here, the primary mediums of creation are metal. There are rivers of molten bronze and trees of iron growing on rusting mountains and fields of golden flowers. The Marches themselves, however, are bitterly divided. The Accursed control one edge, and the Paltonarchs control the other.  The thousands of miles of contested land between each edge is a gradual gradient of the influence of the respective powers. the center of the plane houses giant forests of iron trees, and great plains of gold grasses, but as you approach the Accursed lands the mountains start to rust, and the clouds howl in silver fury while drops of mercury falling from the sky to form great silver rivers raging to the edge of the corroded plains to plummet infinitely into the world of Shadow. There the trees grow leaden, blackened with the soot of a thousand molten furnaces forging the weapons of warfare from the vile tainted metals of the land. Conversely, the landscape glows and shimmers as it approaches the land of the Paltonarchs. Iron trees become great Brasswoods, and the golden grasses flow into adamant shrubs and great, shining platinum tundra’s with towering blue hued fortresses of Cobalt dominating the land. Deep within the recesses of the plane, close to the edges of their respective sides, the Accursed and the Paltonarches make their homes in vast fortresses of precious and corroded metals. Every home is always in jeopardy here, in the Iron Marches as the constant war threatens to consume everything. When there is not immediate warfare, there is the constant threat and the preparation for it. Where there is rest, there is also readiness. The war here is eternal, the struggle between the Demon Queen, and her brothers and sisters the Elder Paltonarchs, and can only end with the complete genocide of one side or the other. Armies march across the plane in constant flux dictated by the primacy of the nearby elemental planes, each side trying to take advantage of waning powers by countering with their own waxing forces.

The Plane of Shadow

The Shadow Plane is the strangest to an outside observer. Where the other planes are either hostile, or slightly changed from the basic concepts of reality, the shadow plane is a shifting, ever shifting semi-representation of the other planes. When you exit Kasan into the shadow, you will come upon a warped, twisted version of were you left. Trees will be cut or warped, buildings may be ruined or simply missing, and roads may be overgrown or paved in completely different stones. It even shifts as you look, with living objects dying or vanishing and buildings crumbling to ruin before your eyes. The same is for the Iron Marches, which resembles Kasan closely. The Elemental planes are even less stable in the plane of shadow, simply because the elemental  planes themselves are constantly shifting, making it  extremely hard to represent them in even a decayed form. This plane was the original habitat of the Demon Queen, after her birth and the creation of Kasan and the elemental planes. Within it lives shifting, terrifying alternate versions of many creatures.

Belief, The Soul, and the Armies of the Dead

The gods and accursed reside on the Iron Marches, and there they absorb the worship of their followers. While followers do not directly create power, it is through them that the domain of a god is expanded, and therefore their base power grows. Due to the Black Pact, this is a beneficial relationship for both parties. Gods gain power through the deeds of their followers, and the souls of the followers are preserved from the clutches of the Demon Queen. What is so insidious about the Black Pact is that it blocks the gods knowledge of the death an individual who does not worship them. This allows, if the person worships no god, or worship is significantly minimal so as to not heavily alert the god, the Demon Queen to use the body, and its soul, for her own purposes. Because of this, each god has their own cadre of attendants that have the sole job of collecting the souls that the god, or accursed, dictates should be brought to them. Rarely two gods will claim the same soul, and often it comes to an accord between the gods.

The soul, once freed of its mortal shell, is then able to follow these attendants to the Iron Marches to begin their eternal servitude to the god of their choice. For some this will be on the front lines leading armies, and for others it will be logistics to supply the armies or tactics to maneuver them. Each soul is put to use to support the eternal war in the heavens. One of the things that perplexes even the gods, though, is the duration of a soul on the Iron Marches. some souls are reincarnated death after death for a thousand years, yet others vanish after a single death, never to return. Piety, devotion and personal prowess seem to have some sway, but even then there have been exceptions.

The Iron Marches are huge and war torn, with massive armies of soul-soldiers tied to their patron god marching to and from war as they follow the elemental connections. its a bleak, perilous and violent life for many, but it beats an eternity of slavery to the Demon Queen, unable to make even the most simple choice.

The Goal 

Remember the goal here is to have gods that are undeniable, distant and yet still matter. It took a lot of work over many years to get this mythology to the state it is now, and I think even that can be improved. What comes next will be a look at each of the gods, goddesses, and accursed that embody the pantheon, and showing how they are involved both in the Godswar and the mortal realms. I don’t know who is next week, but we’ll get there.

Make sure to ask questions if you have any, both for clarification and for edification if necessary.

Thanks for bearing with my absence! Though it was longer than I thought, NOVA was a ton harder on me than I’d anticipated. It was an amazing time, and I’ll talk about it tomorrow, but I really needed a day of recovery, which meant that I wasn’t going to be writing last night for any reason. Instead, I’ll get it going today, and move to on to the Godswar and general Cosmology, because they are connected together.

After the creation of the earth, the death of Sae-Oon, and the birth of the Demon Queen, the cosmology was set. There was the earth, Kasan, the body of Sae-Oon covered in the four elements. Around it orbited the four elemental planes, the pools of pure elements that the gods had saved for themselves from the coalescence. Between each of these, surrounding each individual plane in a dark mockery of itself, is the plane of Shadow. Each of the four gods built palaces on the newly formed world, as they could not survive in each others planar homes. The orbits of the elemental planes caused the seasons to emerge on Kasan, which caused curious events to arise. Rain fell onto the earth, and with it came the god of rain. Grass, trees and other plants arose, and with them as well, came gods. What Sae-Oons death had brought was the gift of primal essence. Each new event, each new creation brought with it its own god or goddess. Kasan was to be populated with his children. Thousands of gods were born in those years, and made their homes on Kasan as well. There were gods for each color, and for every animal, though none of the animals were sentient yet: That was a gift only for the gods. There were gods for every thought process, concepts place. Their numbers were as grains of sand upon a shore. While these spontaneous gods were many, there were also the birthed gods, the sons and daughters of passion among the gods themselves. These gods were granted domains upon their birth, and were generally powerful, wide domains under which several other gods fell. Marija, for example, was given the wilderness, and Gestril weather and storms.

The gods also had needs that must be met. Castles must be built and food must be served and palaces cleaned. While gods are powerful, their power was based on the quantity and abundance of their domain. The god of green was extremely powerful, while the god of exotic birds was quite weak, but they all had tasks they could not accomplish by themselves, and most were to vain to get their hands dirty with these simple tasks. To this end, they pooled their considerable powers and created, for the first time, a being. Perfectly suited to the tasks they needed, they created Humans. Short life spans, strong backs and a rabid desire to reproduce, they became the perfect servants.

But even this was not enough to quell the growing resentment in the younger gods, especially those created inadvertently from the creation of humans. The god of ambition, Ferosh, was the first to speak out against the greater gods, and Siaron, the god of invention, was the first to be seduced by his words. It was not long before they had gathered a great host, and in an incident of violence unparalleled prior to this time, ambushed and murdered several gods in their homes. There were two consequences of this horrific event. The first, and intended consequence, was the sparking off of war between the gods. The second was completely unknown and unexpected: The death of a god bestowed upon its killer the domain and powers associated with the now-dead god. This was revolutionary and escalated the conflict swifter than anyone had expected.

The war, however, drug on. Gods killed each other, and gained powers doing it, until it seemed that each side was unassailable to the other. There seemed to be no end in sight, and no solution. The Rebel gods – who by now had recruited to their side a number of elder gods, though none of the Primal – were the first to arm their attendants, the races of the world, with powerful godslaying weapons and march them to war alongside the gods themselves against their stronger and more plentiful opponents. The Primal gods responded in kind, and soon the struggle reached even greater heights, with millions and millions of lives being spent attacking and slaying single gods on both sides.

Even this, though, was not enough to turn the tide.  One god, though which one has been lost to time, looked at his armies and thought that they could be even greater. He granted them great strength and size, and martial prowess to kill a hundred human servants, and created giants. Soon, his idea was taken farther and farther, granting scales and teeth to make lizardmen; wings and elemental breath for dragons; stout fearlessness for dwarves and wild, ferocious abandon for Orcs. The world became populated with living weapons off all sorts created for all sorts of specific purposes.

This was enough to turn the favor of war towards the rebel gods, and they pushed forward, slaying hundreds of gods, and getting even more killed from their own side. The brutality was unhindered in every way, and the armies destroyed great swaths of Kasan in their quest to rid the world of their hated oppressors. The rebels finally trapped the Primal gods and their most trusted friends and allies in the Fortress of the Dawn, the sun gods own palace at the edge of the world. Here, the rebels were unable to enter the fortress. It was as old as the Primal gods and as strong as their combined might. Here, truly, the war ground to a halt.

Some of the rebels wanted to end the war, leave the Primal gods holed up in their fotress, sealed off from the rest of the world, but the leaders of the rebels were not content to have almost the entire world to themselves, instead they wanted to eradicate the Primal gods from existence. And Ferosh, now the god of Ambition, Deception and Trickery, thought he knew the way. He had contacted the Demon Queen out in the Plane of Shadow and she had convinced him that she could give them all powers unmatched by the Primal gods, and could enable their victory. He shared his plan with a select few, and contact was initiated. No one knows what the powers that were granted to the rebel leaders was specifically, but it had a cost, one that the rebels agreed to for generations unto eternity – any soul not claimed by a god was to be given to the Demon Queen a night and a day after their death. Their bodies, as well, belonged to her.

Now, with the power of the Demon Queen and the Black Pact made, they prepared for the final assault against the Primal gods. What had happened, though, was spread among the Rebel gods, and very few were pleased at the turn of events, and especially with the concession and signing of the Black Pact. In an event that Ferosh and the others had blindly ignored could happen, many of the Rebel gods rebelled once again, attacking the group that would forever more be called Accursed. The Primal gods saw the chaos in the camp around the Fortress of Dawn, and sortied out into the rebel camp, and with the assistance of their newly allied gods, pushed the rebels out.

When the Primal gods were told what had happened, and of the Black Pact, they sent a party out to find the Demon Queen, while others created a great prison for here where  she would be unable to aid the rebels. She was swiftly hunted down, though being the child of both the Proginetors, was unable to be destroyed and was cast into the prison created for her: The Iron Marches. Shortly thereafter, as the Accursed were being hunted down, they managed to feel the pull of the Iron Marches and they escaped the wrath of the Primal Gods by fleeing there as well, leaving their armies of hundreds of millions behind, abandoned in their hour of greatest need. The Primal gods knew there was no choice, now, and followed the Accursed into the Iron Marches, where even today the war still rages on. The accursed are assisted by the Legions of the Demon Queen in defending against, and occasionally attacking, the Primal gods.

What had made the prison so enticing was now the cause for eternal struggle, as very few of the beings created on Kasan could transition to the Iron Marches. Many would have their souls torn apart in the attempt, and others would simply vanish from reality. However, each side could recover their great champions and their hallowed dead from the realm of mortality to the iron marches, though they would only slowly regain their memories and skills. It is through this capacity that the Godswar is still fought with massive armies of soldiers lead by gods in their Warforms and the greatest champions of the ages.

 

I know this isn’t as complete, and doesn’t contain the cosmology, but this took way longer than I thought. Next week, I promise, we’ll get Cosmology! Also remember: This is meant to be a discussion, please comment and let me know what you think, and if you have any ideas, though don’t be insulted if I don’t use them!

The Monday Mythology series is meant to be a discussion about what I have in my head and how to best portray it on paper and in game. If you have any comments or critiques, please feel free to leave them

I originally was going to discuss both the creation myth and the Godswar here, but I was not quite as happy with the creation myth as I originally thought. It took me a while to re-write it because I was unhappy with my original portray of Akos, the female embodiment of chaos. I kept, in my head, revolving around two terrible archetypes for her: The raped victim and the treacherous seductress. Neither were ideas which conveyed what I really wanted to have happen in my world.

Instead, I have created this:

In the beginning, there was a twisted sea of four elements, neither separate from each other nor a single whole. There was only chaos.  Fire was not separate from Earth and Water was no different from Air.
The rolling elements, after a time, gave forth a son and a daughter.
The daughter was named Akos. She was mistress of Chaos, born of the universes primal destruction
The son was called Sae-Oon, and he was the master of Peace, born to sort the universe into its separate components.
Where Sae-Oon walked, the chaos separated and organized.
The Earth formed under his feet so he would have land to tread on. The Air coalesced above and around him so he would have a place to move.
Fire, his sword, to his right, and the water, his shield, to his left.
Akos only brought destruction where she went. The roads that Sae-Oon tread were torn apart, the sky filled with fire and waters sunk away. Akos, seeing all that Sae-Oon was, desired him.
But Sae-Oon treasured his creations, and was enraged at the destruction that Akos caused. When Akos approached him, he rebuked her
“Why do you come, Akos, destroyer of all I create”
“I desire your company, Sae-Oon. I am alone in the universe, without equal, Save for you. I would give all of creation for your company! There is only us! You are my match!
“It cannot be, Akos. You destroy all that I create. You cannot keep yourself in check. I will be alone, and you will be alone. I despise you! ”
Akos, spurned, and dejected, walked back alone into the Maelstrom.
But Sae-Oon soon felt the truth of Akos’ words. He created vast mountain ranges, deep seas, and clear skies. He created too, rivers of fire, flying icebergs and great clouds of ash. Nothing, however, appeased his loneliness. He desired company.
So he created from the primal elements the first Gods, his children. Evalrun, from cold logic of stone
Takkannas, from burning wrath of the fire
Nera, the capricious desires of the cold
a
nd Conadral, the silent expanses of air
These four beings, though, were reverent to him, and though they gave him respect and love, they were not his equals. Whatever they could do, he could also do. He felt no kinship to his creations. The loneliness only amplified itself, compounded by the absence of Akos, who he had started to long himself. On a particularly terrible bout of loneliness, Sae-Oon drank himself into a stupor, though it took precious little of the Godsmead to do it. It was a concoction created by all his children together, and he very much enjoyed it. With ferocious vigor he set into the Maelstrom, calling out for Akos, over and over. His children had never seen him this way.  Akos heard his calls, however, and came out. She took him in, and they lay together. Throughout the night, there was much commotion, and the Gods were terrified. The next day, Sae-Oon woke alone, deep in the wilds of the Maelstrom. When he returned to his children, they would not look him in the eyes. They would not tell him what his night had contained. The months passed, and while Sae-Oon was curious what had happened that night, he did not press his children. Life returned, and while he wondered what had happened to the vanished Akos, he was not disappointed she was gone. His world was orderly and he was happy.
Akos, however, did not stay away forever. One day, she returned, large with child.
“Sae-Oon!, “ she shouted, “look what we have made! A true child of the universe!”
Sae-Oon was wracked with shame, his shame. It bit to the core that he had allowed such a thing to happen, and asked his children if all was true, and as they told him everything, tears rolled down his eyes.
 He fled without a word, deep into the Maelstrom, never looking back. Eventually, alone in the mire of fire and earth, the mix of air and fire, Sae-Oon curled up in shame and slept. The Maelstrom around him  solidified and ordered itself without his conscious direction.
First came fire, his rage, to surround him.
Then, Much later came earth, enclosing his rage in defeat.
Then, shortly after, as he grew to accept it, he became calm and the waters pooled, cooling his defeat.
Finally, he was blanketed in the silence of death, and the air filled the space around him, cushioning the blows what was left of the Chaos. An enormous plane of earth, water, fire and sky now existed where there had once been only chaos. The gods, though, had saved a small bit of their connected element,  infinitely large as they were, to dwell in and on. They set these bits in motion around the  body of Sae-Oon, their father, so they may watch over him.
As all of this happened, Akos was forced to retreat into the world of shadows that was left between the planes. Here, in the darkest recesses of the universe, she gave birth to the greatest evil. Born of lust and failure, of desire and weakness, the Demon Queen ripped herself out of her mother’s womb fully formed. The experience was traumatic in the extreme for Akos, who bleed out her life as her daughter watched unconcerned.
Thus was the world, and its greatest foe, created. 

What I wanted here was a Father earth, created in shame of his part in birthing the great evil on the world, though he never saw it to fruition. His literal body was to be the world, much in the manner of Tiamat of Mesopotamian myth.

Let me know what you think of the creation story, this is the first time I’ve ever shared it with anyone, so I’m eager to see what people think!

 

So, that’s it until after NOVA! I’ll see you again for another Mythology Monday on Sept. 1!

The fifth edition of D&D has released the first of the three core books, the Players Handbook,  to WPN retailers and the Gencon audience, with a full release to come tomorrow, 8/19. Picking this book up on Friday has really rekindled my interest in filling out my world, and I think putting it out here for suggestions and comments will be extremely helpful.

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