The Eternal Dragons
The Old Ones
The Giant Kings
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”|
|Talqavist to Grandal, “The Golden Key”|
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.
|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.
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.
|Tharthammon||Chaos, Destruction, Entropy, Sand|
|Thameera||Portal, Spider, Tyranny|
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.
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 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.
|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.
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.
|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 Father|
|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|
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.
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.
|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|
|Dorgal the Lurker||Mischief, vigilantism, deception, falsehood|
|Paravardan the Stormcaller||Storms, drought, natural hazards, upheaval|
|Yudratl the Wild Crouch||Beasts, savagery, fierceness|
|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 Ravener||Voracity, hedonism, addiction, sloth||Gluttony, Sloth|
|Haron the Faint||Starvation, 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.