After trying a number of ways to breakdown the Pantheon into families, especially given that many of the gods are spontaneous creations that aren’t tied to a given bloodline, I think that moving in that direction is an error. While I figure out how to explain how I wish to convey the elemental strength of the gods in a manner that isn’t familial, I’m going to move over to a second primal god and her direct surviving progeny: Nera, Oranna and AmaraanContinue reading
NAME: Hedima, Accursed of The Lost
Other Titles: Queen of Traps, The Lure, Beguiler, The Mad Accursed
Weapon: Mace (Discorder)
Major Domains: The Lost, Chaos, Confusion
Minor Domains: Mazes, Traps, Curiosity
Totem Animal: Toad
Holy Symbol: As one of gods of Chaos, Hedima’s holy symbol has many variations. Her most common is a pounded silver medallion with a maze either engraved or painted into it. Each of these mazes has three exits: one at the top, and two at either side, symbolizing Chaos, Confusion, and Curiosity, the three main reasons people and things become lost.
Favored Appearances:Hedima tends to walk the world as a female, though her form is easily confused for a male. Androgynous, with a sharp jawline, wide eyes, and a high forehead. She wears black trousers almost without exception, and a loose, white shirt. Her hair rests easily on her shoulders, but is sometimes worn pulled back into a ponytail to place emphasis on her jaw and forehead. In this shape, she will respond to both male and female forms of address and seems to revel in confusing and deceiving whoever addresses her.
Hedima’s Male form is the complete opposite, a definitive man, with a large barrel chest, broad shoulders, and limbs the size of tree trunks. His beard is a singular brown expanse that is the envy of many. However, he is a terrified being, scared of the smallest animal, afraid to confront those who threaten him, and dismissive of anything that isn’t immediately a threat to his person. He will also wander off at the worst time in a conversation and has been known to interrupt people just to make a nonsensical comment.
Warform: When Hedima Marches to war, its in the form of a gigantic toad. Its eyes, tongue and mount are all pure flame, while her body is riled water riddled with Ice-warts. Its legs, too, are ash and coals compressed into muscles and sinew built to propel around her massive girth. In battle, she seeks out enemy commanders and consumes them whole, hoping to sow confusion and discord among the ranks and therefore cause a rout.
Personality: Hedima is, like many of the gods of chaos, a being with many facets. Though many of her actions concern chaos and confusion, her true dedication is to the lost. This concept of lost encompasses all aspects of the term. Under her ward are those who have become lost, those who have lost their way, and even those who have lost their mind, though this can sometimes lead to conflict with Woan. Additionally, it also encompasses lost knowledge, missing bits of lore and civilizations that have ceased to be entirely. To this end, she seeks to, as befits her nature, either continue or abate that condition as she seeks fit. She is the patron of people looking for something they have lost, seeking to have something become lost, and those we are lost themselves. Though all pray to her to their own ends, they know that they are simply at her mercy. With her mercy, however, she is mercurial and volatile. Those who please her only know a short spat of bountiful attention and adoration before her attention turns else where. Likewise, she is also quick to forget past grievances and cannot hold a grudge long.
She loves tricks and traps, and enjoys seeing her quarry both elude and succumb to her deadly attention.
Teachings: With such conflicting ideals, it is hard for any solid teachings to come from Hedima. She teaches that those who are, or that which is, lost are there for a reason. Diving that reason is the province of Hedima alone, though her acolytes are encouraged to work towards assisting the lost with their purpose, whichever end that is that they see fit. They are also taught that in a straight up fight, the winner is the one who can cause the most confusion. Therefore, make the enemy come to you, through a maze of traps and tricks meant to kill, maim and disable even before the battle begins. Fighting in a forest or out on the plains, chaos is your most valuable resource.
Abode: as befits the Queen of Mazes, Hedima lives in an enormous labyrinth deep within the accursed side of the Iron Marches. Built of Lead and rusted iron, its sharp edges and lead-lined pools of water are traps in themselves. In addition to stocking The Warren with captured souls from the battles in the Iron Marches, she enjoys wandering it in person when her powers wane and she is no longer needed preparing ambushes and leading trappers in war on the plane.
Cultists: The cultists of Hedima are a confused bunch, rarely gathering together in a single group long enough to make decisions. However, there are many that operate individually throughout the world, doing what they can to sow chaos and confusion. There are some few, however, that maintain lodges and libraries in the most remote of places, seeking knowledge and people lost to both time and the world. When encoutnered or found they offer hospitable exchange of supplies and information at the cost either information of your own, or memories you hold dear. These crazy, deranged hermits are not to be messed with.
Clerical Attire/colors: Hedima’s followers tend towards clashing colors of purples, greens and pinks. Though most of the time they do not flaunt it, if you find all three colors on the same person its very likely that they follow the Mad Accursed. Those high ranking cultists of Hedima wear, as a badge of office to other followers, a broad, dyed pink, belt made of some sort of skin. The material is left to that of the creator, and it is not polite to ask what ones belt is made of.
Followers: The Followers of Hedima count among their numbers barbarians, tricksters, assassins, strategists and thieves.The worship of this particular accursed is fairly popular with Elves, though Dwarves and humans have only a passing relationship with her.
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)
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)
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
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.
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.
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
and 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!