The Artifex
The Eternal Dragons
The Old Ones
The Giant Kings
The Tutelars
The Elders
The Ministers

The Artifex

Known by many names, “Eältar, Wisest” in the elvish, “Oroth, World-Shaper” in the dwarvish, or just “The Artifex” in the tongue of Men, the Artifex is a being or entity of strange aspect said to dwell in the Citadel of Eternity. The Artifex is credited with shaping the World Stone, the great condensation of matter that hovers at the center of the Plane of Time, in a region called Echolost. With each reduction of the World Stone by the Artifex, shard stones are cast down to the base of Mount Istalion and new continents arise from the Encircling Sea. There have been three such events in the history of the known universe, resulting in the continent-worlds Phandiom, Thariom, and the current world Edion.

While not directly worshipped as a deity by any known race, the Artifex is indirectly revered by druids and rangers following the path of Tamylt. The shape of the World Stone at any given time determines the underlying structure of reality for the current universe. From darkest seabeds to the winds whistling in highest heavens, all the elements, all the planes, are manifest by the World Stone and revealed continuously in all landscapes. As such, by venerating reality and the power of nature, druids and rangers exalt Creation, and by extension the Creator.

Primitive clerics may also draw power from the veneration of nature. The Artifex may be represented by any number of idols and personifications among cultures, but the worship of nature is one-sided. The Artifex is faceless and uncaring, remote, unaffected by the needs of mortals. The Creator stubbornly resists classification by scholars, and never appears to followers (except possibly through agents, see The Tutelars). Domains associated with “worship” of the Artifex are Air, Balance, Creation, Destruction, Destiny, Earth, Fate, Fire, Moon, Sun, Time, and Water.

"Are you so deeply read in nature that you understand the philosophy of the Creator?"
—Grandal to Talqavist, “The Golden Key”

"Are you?"
—Talqavist to Grandal, “The Golden Key”

The Eternal Dragons

Native to Mount Istalion, the eternal dragons are as ancient as the mountain itself. Predating even Phandiom, these are creatures of immense physical and deific power. Four in number, the eternal dragons are bringers of seasonal change in Tamylt. When seated upon Mount Istalion, the so-called “Dragon Throne,” the world-continents experience seasonal variation in climate and temperature, according to the dragon currently installed: During the rest of the year, the eternal dragons are prone to wandering the world(s). Some (like Praxis) intermingle with the ancient races, others (like Yvoosl) hide among them, rarely interfering. They are fickle beings, driven by ancient urges and a cyclical calling to return to Mount Istalion each year. Never in all the ages of three worlds has a dragon failed to return each year at the prescribed time.

Some druidic groups, elven mystics, and strange cults worship the dragons as arbiters of the seasons. Most cultures and races revere the seasons in some way, for their coming is abrupt and magical. The dragons take clerics, but any power derived from their worship results from communion with the prevailing energy of the season, not from direct interaction with the source of that power. Conversely, the dragons derive no personal satisfaction (or even awareness) from being venerated. The domains granted to dragon-worshipping clerics are given below.

Dragon Season Domains
Praxis Summer Dragon, Fey, Fire, Summer
Yvalril Autumn Dragon, Storm, Water, Windstorm
Yvoosl Winter Cold, Dragon, Endurance, Winter
Aerdrie Spring Dragon, Earth, Plant, Renewal

Some cults whisper of a fifth eternal dragon, Auserth the Brass Dragon, but little is known of this creature’s existence. The elves report that no such creature has ever certified itself upon the Dragon Throne during the days of Edion.

The Old Ones

Interlopers and renegades from a shattered world, the so-called “Old Ones” are refugees from Phandiom. The inhabitants of that first world were a mix of perfect creations (called Archetypes) and flawed creations (called Travesties). While most of these beings were destroyed by Tharthammon or subsequently during the unmaking of Phandiom, a few yet remain.

Most prominent of these is the aforementioned Tharthammon, whose scrape with the Artifex resulted in the annihilation of Phandiom, the subsequent enslavement of Thariom, and the current threat of extinction on Edion.

"We are each all-knowing, all-powerful, but in one regard. Syngyn could read the design of the Artifex, could see into the meaning of the future. Mine is a simple brawn and woodcraft: to order the earth and mind the animals. It is the power of Tharthammon to wither and fray all things that go down into nothingness... We are pleasantly conscious of the fact that we are perfect, in the manner of our design."
—Azandoraft (Ole’ Zandor), SOT 4

Though few remain, the Old Ones are wondrously variable, each unique, and dangerously potent. All of them can license their power to mortal worshippers, in the manner of gods. But they are more than mere gods; each Archetype is a perfect conception, a singular example of autonomous Creation that endures in spite of Creation. And each Travesty is a blasphemous failure that defies Creation by its very existence.

Not all Old Ones take followers in the classic sense. Some, like Syngyn, prefer to live as sages, dolling out wisdom and prophecy, but a cleric-deity relationship can be made with each of them in their own manner. Domains granted by Old Ones are given below.

Old One Domains
Tharthammon Chaos, Destruction, Entropy, Sand
Thameera Portal, Spider, Tyranny
Azandoraft Animal, Joy
Syngyn Mysticism, Oracle
Fyth ?

The table above is not exhaustive. Other Old Ones may yet exist, lurking in the waste-spaces of the universe. Still others have lost their true identity and search for new ones.

The Giant Kings

The first inhabitants of Edion were the giants, simple creatures created by the Artifex to shape the continent and make it ready for the coming of the ancient races. The giants “opened” the elemental nodes and lit the world-fires. They piled up mountains, filled the bellies of volcanoes, patterned the winds, and moved all the ice and frost to the Northlands. Rivers were shaped and guided along their courses, valleys were excavated, and clouds set adrift. When their duties were finished, the giants retired to a simple existence tending nature and living in recluse. Most voluntarily immured themselves in caves, for Edion was their world to make, but not to live in. (Many are the stories of giants unearthed from mountain caves with ancient bones intact, buried with fabled implements of world construction.)

But not every giant abided by this policy of self-interment, and some stayed in the hills, atop clouds, at the bottoms of lakes, watching and waiting. As the elves spread life and wonderment through the world, many giants resented the intrusion, and a jealousy took hold. They watched in addle fury as the dwarves sank mines into their carefully sculpted mountains, and gnawing wrath as the orcs defaced the earth. A few giants responded in violence, and leaders arose among their kind. Legendary were the old battles (though few were the victories), and the vanquishers inherited considerable power. These heroes became known as the Giant Kings, great warlords of giant-kind, who vowed to dominate the world and take it back from the interloping ancients. In time, these beings became nigh immortal, sustained by their eternal valor and conquest. Even today, many millennia since their creation, these so-called Giant Kings endure among their kin, often in the far corners of the world, just beyond the reach of civilization.

Many worship these beings as gods, including several human populations. Foremost among their followers are the giants themselves, but many other races find leadership in the Giant Kings, from trolls to ogres to certain goblinoids. Fascination with the Giant Kings reaches beyond the monstrous races. Some humans view the giants as champions of nature and punishers of those who defile it. Still others regard them as the ultimate champions of valor and fury (particularly the Idreshim, who maintain a rich giant culture). The Giant Kings are prone to keeping slaves, and many worship the giants out of fear and the promise of mercy.

Domains granted by the Giant Kings to their followers are given below.

Giant King Typical Worshippers Domains
Ixilak Cloud giants, giant eagles, air creatures Air, Sky, Windstorm
Akerbelz Fire giants, fire creatures Greed, Fire, Tyranny
Kjord Frost giants, ice trolls, cold creatures Cold, Fury, Wrath
Snigeus Hill giants, ogres, trolls, some goblinoids Earth, Gluttony, Hatred
Polos Mountain giants, earth creatures Destruction, Earth, Strength
Patuek Ocean giants, sahuagin, sea creatures Ocean, Seafolk, Water
Iada Stone giants, hill dwarves Cavern, Earth, Endurance
Ilophos Storm giants, warlords Air, Nobility, Storm

The Tutelars

Three “ancient races” were created at the dawn of Edion—elves, dwarves, and orcs—and each of these were given a mentor by the Artifex to guide them in the new world. The so-called Tutelars oversaw the initial creation of each race and provided for their early development. Some consider these beings to be manifestations of the Artifex, others believe they are autonomous, themselves created by the Artifex to function as parents.

The ancient races derive considerable power from the Tutelars. Each tutelar is greatly revered by its children, and through this paternal link a kind of divine magic is shared by the race. While it is unusual for a tutelar to receive “worship” in the normal sense, especially from beings other than their own children, it is possible. Many fey-kind work divine magic through Grandal, for instance, and many goblinoids channel the odious tempers of Magrud.

Domains granted by the Tutelars to their followers are given below.

Tutelar Typical Worshippers Domains
Grandal the Deeprooted Elves, good fey Elf, Fey, Healing, Magic, Plant, Renewal
Grima the Timewarder Dwarves, neutral fey Craft, Dwarf, Force, Metal, Rune, Time
Magrud the Swollen Orcs, goblinoids, evil fey Cavern, Corruption, Death, Entropy, Ooze, Orc

The ancient races partake in many other forms of veneration. The elves, for instance, revere their ancestors and the constellations of the heavens. In the night sky, the elf Cimestil is greatly loathed in elven culture as an icon of betrayal (it was she who slew the Everqueen Nematranée in the Wych Wood during the Sundering War), while the elf Minaith is revered as the aspect of elven valor. There are many such examples among elves and dwarves, with varied domains and powers granted to followers, but the orcs are too simple and only worship Magrud and those strong enough to dominate her (namely Tharthammon and Thameera).

It is worth mentioning that hill dwarves, half-elves, and other splinter groups tend to worship human divinities, rather than tutelars. The hill dwarves of the Empire, for instance, adhere most willingly to the state religion of Azalan, and some groups revere Iada the Stone Giant King.

The Elders

The tale of the elf Anadrieldur and his intimacy with the Doombrammor is legendary in Edion (see War of Sundering). It was Anadrieldur who awoke the divine planes to sentience, causing the eight realms of divinity to transform into godly beings, called Eäril by the elves, or “Elder Gods.” For much of the great history of Men, the Elder gods were the driving force behind human ambition, faith, and conquest. The eight “tribes” of the Cáladain grew apart during their tenure, until the tribes (and deities) fought openly during the cataclysmic Godswar. It was during this time that the eight nodes of divinity were transfigured into devices of war (e.g., Sword of Elai, Hammer of Decretal, etc.); these forms are retained in the present day.

Following the recent destruction of the Tower of Llómydien on 6 Soldai 1191 AL (Age of Light), the elder gods entered a state of torpor (SOT 2, their influence over the affairs of Men suddenly impeded. Now ostensibly free of their tribal compulsions, the Cáladain struggle to unite in defense of Edion, to hold back the tide of orcs that threaten to overwhelm the civilized realms and pave the way for Tharthammon’s coming. All divine ties between the Elder Gods and the Cáladain are suspended. The Ministers retain their powers, however, acting as intermediaries between the slumbering Elders and their mortal worshipers.

The eight elder gods, their planar and tribal affiliations, Doombrammor, and the domains once available to their clerics are given below. All divine powers are now provided by proxy, via the Ministering Spirits. Direct veneration of an elder god is unavailing and one-sided.

Elder Plane Tribe Doombrammon Domains*
Virtus (LG) Anavare Mulcibim Crucible of Virtue Endurance, Fire, Good, Law
Elai (NG) Solaris Fatarim Sword of Elai Celestial, Creation, Good, Sun
Ozian (CG) Hibernus Erroim Feather of Ozian Air, Chaos, Good, Luck
Felish (LN) Palatum Azalim Hammer of Decretal City, Law, Nobility
Furis (CN) Vastare Idreshim Crow FatherChaos, Fury, Liberation
Nilzabar (LE) Carceri Abishaim Iron Scepter Death, Earth, Evil, Law
Majubastis (NE) Pernoctare Barathrim Ark of Eldest Night Cold, Darkness, Domination, Evil
Yôzar (CE) Pandesmos Hezroim Chamber of Unwisdom Chaos, Evil, Ocean, Water

* In addition to the domains listed above, all elders grant access to the Mysticism and Summoner domains.

The elder god Furis has been severed from Edion for some time. The deity’s Doombrammon, a living beast called the Crow Father, was destroyed in combat by the Emperor Toum of Azalan on 1013 AL, some 178 years before present. The jawbone of the slain beast hangs on display in the Fane of Furis in the Imperial Capital. Its teeth were scattered by Toum and claimed by the Idreshim clans, but were later acquired by the Frost Giant King Kjord (who pursued the beast for centuries).

The ninth tribe of the Cáladain, the Abnoctim, venerate the “elder god” Esus (or “Spirit of the Tower of Llómydien”). It is unclear whether Esus represents a true elder god or some other divinity, though it is argued by scholars that the “plane” of Cordis Pondus (Concordant Opposition) only existed at a confluence of planes created by the Tower of Llómydien. If true, Esus may be destroyed along with the tower. The goddess formerly granted access to the Knowledge, Magic, and Moon domains.

The Ministers

Before the destruction of the Tower of Llómydien, the Elder Gods were attended by numerous spirits, beings worshipped as proxies and ambassadors to the elders. These ministering spirits, as they were called, were drawn from the many hearth traditions that existed in Edion over the centuries. Although the practice of minister-worship did not originate exclusively among the Azalim, it was the imperials—under governance of the Cult of Felish—who first codified the fragmented rituals, taboos, and traditions which thrived amid their expanding realm and incorporated them into a state-sponsored hierarchy. These practices lent sanctity and credibility to the ministers and their cults, who were admitted into the temples of the elders and worshipped as saints and paragons of elder virtues.

Following the destruction of the Tower of Llómydien on 6 Soldai 1191 AL (SOT2), the elder gods entered a state of torpor. Minister-reverence flourished in Edion as worshipers sought to nurture their divine commitments, especially in the civilized realms of Azalan and Sol-Fatara (a dependency of Azalan) where the ministers were already well known.

Six months later, on the date 29 Sirrimont 1191 AL, the minister Geyon began an apotheosis in Torand (through the mortal vessel Narntay of Adelland), heralding the return of all ministering spirits to the Material Plane. The Inn of the Cáladain was formed atop Mount Avarence on the Isle of Aitos, and thereto Geyon called all ministering spirits to the Material Plane to join the Cáladain resistance against Tharthammon and Thameera. This event was prophesied in 707 AL by the theosophist Sibrua, who wrote,

“The Ministers, who toil for their appointed term, like steeds are stayed and constrained by the reigns of the living, who withhold them from the brink of oblivion. We are a shore unto them, and they are restrained thereby as the sea. And by their toil we are sustained, and do not perish from the ways.

“…and it is the fable of Lord Geyon, who walks among mortalkind as a man bewildered, that he shall herald a coming of all Ministers, when the Elders slumber helpless. And the Ministers shall be a refuge and salvation to Men from the wider desert of existence."

—Sibrua, “The Recent Attributes of the Divine”

The following day, 30 Sirrimont 1191 AL, seven of the thirty-nine documented Ministers of Edion appeared at the Inn of the Cáladain and articulated a “New Contract” with humanity.

“It is the reckoning of Men and Ministers, the accounting of things received and things done, and the articulation of our oaths to each other. The Elder Gods are no more. Their existence was transitory, and coincided precisely with the existence of the Elven Tower. Men were born of the Elders and now survive them, but retain a consumptive need for divinity, a divinity that they created independent of the Elders... a true divinity, one forged by Men, not for them.

“The Ministers are not false-deities, but the embodiments of human ideals, given power by the collective hopes and fears of the human psyche. These characteristics do not spring from the Azalim soul, or the Idreshim soul, but from the shared soul of all Cáladain.

“…All one must do to appease me is care for a child, selflessly, or nurture a plant. This self-sacrifice, alone, satisfies my inexplicable need for ritual. If you revere me, your children will grow strong of limb, and your trees will bear fruit. If you do not revere me, your children may still grow healthy, and your trees may still bear fruit. That outcome is left to the vagaries of chance in a world dictated by the chaos of Artificial Law [rules of nature as dictated by the Artifex]. But the relationship between worshiper and Minister is not a system of enslavement. It is a system of mutual benefit and redistribution of spiritual power for all Cáladain who choose to participate. The more who adhere to the Ministry, the more fruitful the wedlock.”

—Mestarine to the People at the Inn of the Cáladain (SOT5/6 Interim)

“Men did not create Edion, but they have achieved with it a state of essential fusion. The Ministry is the divine anchor, connecting Men to Edion as purposefully as if the Artifex had intended it for us all along, but without His consent.”
—Calmcacil to the People at the Inn of the Cáladain (SOT5/6 Interim)

Shortly after the convocation of 30 Sirrimont, on 4 Deepkolt, the Shards of Thariom were destroyed atop the Anvil of Creation at Karak-Anar. Following this event, the mortal Narntay of Adelland shed the Aspect of Geyon, and the apotheosis of Geyon was complete. Henceforth Geyon was acknowledged as a full minister of Edion.

The deities of the Ministry are given on the table below.

Minister Portfolio Domains
of Anavare (LG)...
Anon Most Perfect Temperance, achievement, perfection Fire, Glory, Purification
Gestus the Cup Wielder Athleticism, competitiveness Competition, Mysticism, Strength
Hathor the Guardian at the Gate Vigilance, prudence, heedfulness, integrity Force, Law, Protection
Nurtia the Hearthkeeper Hearth, home, family, charity Community, Family, Good
of Solaris (NG)...
Calmcacil the White Shadow † Wisdom, possibility, light, truth Oracle, Sky, Sun
Lior the Huntsman Hunting, valor, satisfaction Courage, Pride
Marvalen the Oddly Familiar Wine, poetry, festivity, male fertility Creation, Joy, Pleasure
Mestarine the Tender † Motherhood, harvest, medicine, succor Good, Healing, Plant
Naneshar the Avenger Wrath, doom, reckoning, honor Celestial, Retribution, Wrath
of Hibernus (CG)...
Arval the Deer Maiden Abandon, innocence, nature Fey, Luck, Renewal
Falane the Lovetalker Love, song, revelry, gentle breezes Charm, Good, Song
Geyon the Wanderer † Horizons, journeys, roads, adventure Celerity, Destiny, Roads
Undine the Crow of Hibernus Fortuity, chance, bringer of rain Air, Chaos, Windstorm
of Palatum (LN)...
Forculus the Door Opener Thresholds, beginnings Fate, Portal
Glanis the Decisive † Oaths, trust, commerce, merchantry Law, Pact, Trade
Han the Tamer † Animals, husbandry, composure Animal, Summoner
Novia the Garmenter of Words Eloquence, literacy, declaration, storytelling Herald, Knowledge, Rune
Patrius the Wielder Industry, smithing, cities City, Craft, Metal
Rimelm the Gray-Faced † Judgment, scrutiny, strategy, discipline Inquisition, Nobility, Planning
of Vastare (CN)...
Cor the Warmonger Strife, war, rapine, aggression, militarism Destruction, War
Dorgal the Lurker Mischief, vigilantism, deception, falsehood Liberation, Trickery
Paravardan the Stormcaller Storms, drought, natural hazards, upheaval Fury, Storm
Yudratl the Wild Crouch Beasts, savagery, fierceness Chaos, Scalykind
of Carceri (LE)...
Idon Most Unsalubrious Undeath, longevity Deathbound, Evil, Undeath
Mammetu of the Shroud Sepulchers, dust, disintegration Death, Repose, Sand
Matravus the Hooded Collector Avarice, measurement, strict business Greed, Law, Wealth
Sif the Soulshrinker † Tyranny, cruelty, punishment, mercy Domination, Suffering, Tyranny
Vernos the Weed King Plague, putrescence, disease, vermin Corruption, Earth, Pestilence
of Pernoctare (NE)...
Averna the Blue-Faced Jealousy, covetousness, solitude Cold, Envy, Mind
Badbash the Contempter Spitefulness, lies, betrayal, antagonism Evil, Hatred, Spite
Cemylon the Dark Seductress Prostitution, temptation, lust Lust, Moon, Temptation
Faron the RavenerVoracity, hedonism, addiction, sloth Gluttony, Sloth
Haron the FaintStarvation, desperation, perseverance Endurance, Hunger
Mithaque the Night Whisperer Nightmares, mysteries, secrets, assassins Darkness, Dream, Illusion
Shaledaggum the Welldigger † Caves, wells, terrestrial waters Cavern, Thirst
of Pandesmos (CE)...
Daskaandolon the Torn Depravity, obscenity, mutilation, oblivion Demonic, Entropy, Evil
Molush Rust-Spotted Filth, pollution, decay, swamps Ooze, Slime, Water
Quempel the Tangler of Tongues Madness, senility, riddles, paranoia Chaos, Madness, Mentalism
Septych the Bottom-Dweller † Navigation, currents, marine life, fishing Blackwater, Ocean, Seafolk

† Indicates full participant in the Material war against Thameera, as of SOT7.

The ministers of Furis are powerless in Edion, like the elder they serve. Faron and Haron are manifestations of the same dual-natured entity, one the contented glutton, the other the starving indigent.

Each of these deities figures into the state observances of Azalan, and each is deemed beneficial to human society. Temples abound throughout the Empire, either as hallowed places within elder temples, or as discreet shrines. Many temples have dual, practical functions. Within the Empire, temples of Cemylon, for instance, are state-controlled brothels and pleasure dens, regulated by high priestesses of the goddess of lust. Temples of Molush are underground sewage facilities, where the treatment of waste becomes a divine affair. Civic mausolea are stately temples of Mammetu, who shepherds departed spirits across the Astral Plane to their final plane of rest, avoiding such terrors as the Noisome Vale and other obstacles. And so on.