The gods of Hyraeth are magical beings that symbolize fundamental paths of ethics, morality, and even the mortality of their followers. Some claim they are the creators of all things capable of hearing your thoughts and attending to the needs of their most devout.
Stories tell of a time when the gods often intervened in the affairs of mortals. They would send avatars and messengers to their most devout followers. Then they fell silent. Some believe the gods are dead – slain in a battle against a powerful evil. Others claim they are simply asleep or are no longer concerned with what mortals do. Fewer still say they are still in communication with the gods and hope to rekindle the fire and bring them actively back to the world.
Deities and Spell Casting
The ability to cast a spell in Myth is not affected by the gods unless you, as a player, so choose it to be for roleplaying purposes. It is up to you if those powers are regained by completing a certain task such as righting a wrong. Maybe you need to acquire a certain number of followers to redeem yourself in the eyes of your god? Perhaps you follow one of the more aggressive gods and must commit atrocities to appease them and reactive your powers? Maybe there is an item you must acquire and while you possess it your powers are restored?
Feel free to be creative and add interesting hooks like this to your character history. Just be sure to make it easy enough to restore your powers down the road.
Goddess of Law
- Holy Symbol: A golden disc emblazoned with the sun.
Some say Adara is the image of mercy, others see her as cold, unwavering justice. The goddess of judgement has many faces. Some encourage repentance and charity, while others focus on discipline and and punishment. Represented by a blazing sun on a gold coin, Adara’s justice lights even the darkest and most distant of places.
The Adaran religions can be split into those who view Adara as a savior, and those who view her as their final judge.
Tenderhearts are the former, and make up about half of Adaran followers. Nobles, judges, and those seeking repentance often join this sect. They are known for their kindness, leniency, and focus on community growth. When sentencing the guilty, Tenderhearts are mindful of the community. An individual may be tasked with fixing a problem, guarding the town, or paying a fine. These judges often sympathize with the defendant, and are lenient with rules. This merciful nature rubs off onto those who have been charged, and many find their path to Adara through repentance and giving.
Those who view Adara as a judge often reflect these traits- cold, calculating, and pragmatic.
These individuals form two groups: Discipline and Punishment.
Disciples aim to live as Adara would want. They obey every law and avoid indulgence.
Punishers pursue the paths of espionage and assassination- whether to find the truth or to punish those who evade proper judgement. Those who do not live in the darkness of society live as detectives or as honorable members of the punisher’s guild. Nenya followers always pursue the truth, the whole truth, and may continue to investigate even after a criminal is behind bars.
Discipline focuses on honing oneself to become emotionally pure and level-headed. They believe that in order to judge others, one must be free of sin and immoral thoughts. Instead of repentance, the Discipline sect begins young and raises moral adults. This group is known for taking in orphans and reforming troubled youth. Most training is done at their headquarters in Griffinwick. Discipline has taken up residence in the old fortress, as they find the cold of the stone halls to keep their minds sharp and free of desire. When Discipline members go out into the world, many find themselves in order-driven roles, such as the militia.
Known politically as “The Punisher’s Guild”
Half-political, half-worship based, this guild seeks truth and justice. Accepted and supported by an inter-country alliance, the Punisher’s guild ensures rules are obeyed. They create bounties, hunt down those convicts, and execute justice.
Contrasting Discipline, Punishment is not concerned with morals and will use any means to get the job done. Cutthroat and secretive, they infiltrate their own supporters to root out corruption. While they do not have political backing in the freelands, they have been known to hunt criminals there.
Unlike the other Adaran sects, the Punisher’s Guild has a solid leadership dynamic. Among those, there are:
Swallows – Informants to the punisher’s guild. Homeless people, vagabonds, and servants make excellent swallows.
Bounty Hunters – Individuals who are assigned bounties from Magistrates or from wanted posters. They may act alone or in groups.
Infiltrators – Spies who are specifically located in large organizations (governments, religious sects, even large businesses). They specialize in espionage, diplomacy, and forgery. Unlike bounty hunters, they do not act on bounties and they are not given permission to kill.
Magistrates – judges who do not go out into the field, but spend their days determining the fate of criminals. They deal with higher-leveled bounties.
Justicars – Those who go out and execute the will of the Punisher’s guild in the field, enacting judgement. They wield the power of a magistrate in the field- meaning they can condemn
God of Aether Magic, Rituals, and Knowledge
- Holy Symbol: A white disc with blue and purple swirl of Aether in the center.
Amitel is studious and introspective. He seeks to discover the secrets of the Aether; those tenuous magics that permeate our world, the flowing power that he himself was born from. Prone to talking to himself, and to suddenly shouting out revelations, Amitel bends the Aether to his will – allowing him to blink between planes of existence and instantly appear wherever he has opened a door.
Path of Aether Magic: Aether Weavers of Amitel
- Virtues: Dynamic, Quick Thinking, Tactical
- People drawn to the Path of Aether Magic: Battle Mages, Spell Casters, Rangers
Do you want to feel the Aether flex around your fingers? Can you feel words of power welling up in your throat? Do you throw yourself into battle in a flurry of magical bolts, picking your targets off with deadly aim? Then you may find your place along the Path of Aetheric Magic, a path that leads to adventures ending in brawls, and knowledge gained by the skin of one’s teeth in daring escapes. The Aether Weavers are quick on their feet and even quicker on the draw, proving that even the bookworms have teeth.
Path of Knowledge: Scholars of Amitel
- Virtues: Calm, Dedicated, Wise
- People drawn to the Path of Knowledge: Priests, Mentalists, Tinkerers
Are you curious? Are you dedicated? Do you long to see what you could do if just given the chance… and the power? The Path of Knowledge weaves through forgotten catacombs, dips into hidden memories, bringing you ever closer to the secrets of existence. Are you strong enough to grasp the truths of this world and bend that power into fruition? Scholars of Amitel find themselves face to face with the deepest truths of this universe while immersed in the Aether, and must decide just what to do with that knowledge.
Heretical Path of Undoing: Amitel’s Destroyers
You thirst for power. You want to bend others to your will just as you do the Aether. You collect secrets, and spells, and knowledge, destroying the source so that you alone hold all the cards. You do not wish to create neat and orderly magic – you want to tear the Aether with your bare hands with no thought to the rules of rituals and rites – those rules which only hamper your power, tie you down.
Those with chaos in their hearts are drawn to the Path of Undoing, and through their worship Amitel comes to know the smell of burning libraries, the feel of fraying Aether, and the heady rush of unchecked power.
Relationship with Other Gods:
Adara: Truth and Justice are interesting bedfellows, sometimes needed for one another… other times in direct odds against each other. Dumb luck on the other hand, can usurp even the most carefully laid plans and this … vexes Amitel at times.
Nenya: Amitel bows his head to Nenya, as well as Dedrot, because all the knowledge and insight in the world cannot overcome the simple turning of the wheel of life. Sickness will come, night will fall, bad times will cause suffering. Amitel can only prepare his followers.
Enoon: Amitel, when he can be pried away from his books and experiments, can often be found admiring Enoon’s work in the natural world. He would say that it’s merely a good place to observe the Aether unhindered, but Ixbus would hint that there is more to the reasoning.
Ixbus: Followers of Ixbus will pay handsomely for whatever new trinket or curiosity Amitel’s favored discover, which gives them the means and incentive to delve deeper into their studies. It is a mutually fond relationship.
Ororo: Amitel will never admit that the one thing he cannot predict, cannot account for… the one thing that is too deviant and erratic and wild… is Ororo. Amitel is in awe of Ororo’s roiling nature, seeks to understand it, a goal that is surely as unattainable as defying the elements.
Scandelen: Amitel regards Scandelen with the fond exasperation that an older sibling might extend toward their younger, more wild family members.
Dedrot: Death is not the end to the cycle of Aether, but one cannot fight against the natural end, one cannot fully be prepared for that last slumber… and no amount of research can defeat fate.
Ryknos: War destroys so much, so many archives lost, so many wise minds wasted in bloodshed. But Amitel knows that strategy, tactics, preparation, can all mean the difference between victory and defeat.
God of Death
Holy Symbol – A skull on a black field.
Those who follow Dedrot can be split up into 5 sects, or the Five Fingers of Dedrot. These are:
- Reapers are death’s scythes. Through rituals, their leaders commune with Dedrot and are tasked with bringing down whomever he mentions. They do not question orders, only act.
- Sowers emphasize quality of life. They heal those who they deem unfit for death, and ease the passing of those unfit for life. If there happens to be a weed among the crops, they will cut it.
- Speakers can hear the whispering of the dead and are easily possessed. They act out the will of the spirits who have passed beyond, whether by choice or by force.
- Hounds are in charge of culling Reapers, Speakers, and undertakers who get out of control, as well as protecting Death’s realm.
- Undertakers are necromancers who choose to serve Dedrot. They must have a license from the government, whether local or overarching, to use their powers in public.
Each worship in a different way, and through all, balance is achieved.
An illegal sect, reapers tend to be very violent. Whomever dies at their hands is considered to be “picked by Death”, and they assume that Death encourages these actions since they still live. Some jump from war to war, and are seen as harbingers of death.
Other sects have culled battlefield reapers. The more intelligent ones now act from the shadows, performing rituals to commune with Dedrot, to learn who he would like to join his realm.
Sowers value quality of life, and often take on roles as village healers. They are well versed in pregnancy, elderly care, child care, and especially diseases. When people wish to pass on, Tenders assist them with final rites. Those who are migratory are attracted to blights, impoverished areas, and warzones.
Tenders do not have an organization, but there are enough Dedrot followers who choose this path that it has been named.
Speaker doesn’t just refer to the sect, it refers to individuals born with the ability to commune with the dead. Those without proper training attract spirits, perform actions while possessed, and may run off into the woods, to never be seen again. To avoid this, monks from the Speaker sect roam, searching for untrained speakers to teach or bring back to their Headquarters.
Hounds, getting their name for church grims who guard graveyards, attempt to preserve the cycle of life. They physically guard graveyards, along with Undertakers who ward against raising. Day to day, they are kept busy hunting down mad or possessed Speakers or necromancers.
Their relationships with other sects can be tense at times, since they are the group that purges corruption in the others. Due to recent events, Hounds and Speakers travel together, and Undertakers are starting to as well.
Only recently recognized, Undertakers came about to fight necromancers with a “fire fights fire” approach. To deal with waves of mindless undead that pour out where veils are thin, and to manage graveyards where undead raise, undertakers take control of undead and use them to fight other undead.
Interacting with undead can touch the mind, so many Undertakers work with the Speaker Sect to maintain control of themselves. Even with these precautions, it takes a lot of service and diplomacy to wield this power legally.
Heretics & Politics
Hunters – A spin-off from Hounds, a group called Hunters now roams. They hunt down young and untrained Speakers. This group argues that Speakers are corruptible, due to their close tie with spirits, and should be put down before they accidentally kill someone.
The official statement on Speakers is that if a Hound finds someone with that calling, they are to bring them to the Monastery at once. Oftentimes Hounds are too heavy-handed with this tactic and kidnap those they suspect to be Speakers.
While Hunters have officially been kicked out and are regarded as heretics, this was not always the case. The previous head of the Hounds, Enzo Reems, considered Speakers dangerous unless they bore the marks of the Monastery. Suspicious, a member of his counsel launched an internal investigation that found many responsible or tied to the murder of Speaker disciples. Enzo was deposed and Hunters were purged from the organization. Relations with the Speaker sect have since improved, and interaction between Hounds and Speakers is now encouraged. Those who harbor sentiments against Speakers remain silent.
Goddess of Nature; Patron to Druids and Rangers
- Holy Symbol: Depending on the season the follower answered their calling, either a green or red leaf as appropriate.
“From the ground emerged Enoon, eyes peaceful”
All that flourishes in nature is a gift from Enoon. When most think of nature they think of deep forests lush with foliage, and wilds of wonder waiting to be explored; but Enoon nourishes far more than just the woodlands. Even within the sands of The Scorched Wastes, succulents and desert vegetation thrive because of her. Ororo may provide the element of water, but Enoon breathes life into the rivers and streams to which they are a part of, as well as into the surrounding land that these elements call home.
It is another easy mistake to see Enoon as a symbol only of life and flourishing. However, those who follow Enoon know that she is far more. She is life, but also death. The first breath and the last. Summer and winter, rapid change and unyielding steadfastness, sharp tooth and soft flesh. All that is nature is Enoon, and she encompasses all of it with a subtle grace which grants her an eye of abject neutrality in the affairs of all living things.
There are extremists, as with any worship, which look down upon civilized establishments. They believe the “civilized man” is wrong to take a creature from nature, in order to breed it for meat or work. To them, nature should take its course. The strong will hunt the weak in proper hierarchical structure, not cage a beast and force it to ease their labor. Nature- and all that is in it- is sacred, and breaking the natural order is considered a vile misdeed by members of extremist groups. Such groups will stop at nothing to restore the unsullied way of nature, removing the ‘corrupting’ influence of sentient races.
Many followers of Enoon find themselves close to nature and walking the path of the Druid and Rangers, but not all. They wear the colors of their favored terrain; greens and browns for those who call the forest their home, while tribes of the sand prefer tans and greys. The more that they can blend into their surroundings, the closer they are to their goddess of Nature.
The Nature of Nature
If Enoon has a strong personality, she keeps it well hidden from mortals. She presents herself as whatever it is her follower needs her to be- a gentle mother, a brutal warrior, a wise guide, an aloof goddess. Still, mysterious as her true sentiments may be, she does conform to certain guidelines and tenets with unerring consistency.
At the heart of Enoon’s way is the idea that all life is equal, and all death is equal. She has love in her for every little thing, but does not defend any of them against the cycle of life and death. She is the sort who dotes on a fawn- raises it, gives it a mother to love it and instinct to show it where the best foods are- but does not interfere when the bear attacks and eats it, because she raised the bear as well, and gave it a hunger for deer. She will care endlessly for each follower, give them what they need, provide for and love them, but she will not intercede for them against their inevitable fates, against the way of things. They will be injured, they will die. They are her followers, but she cares for the beast that kills them as much as she cares for them.
There are four tenets which describe nature, and as a result, Enoon. They are broad in application and meaning, and their interpretation is a subject of frequent discussion and debate among her followers as they try to live by them.
Laws of Nature: Enoon’s Tenets
- Time leads to growth – Nature always reclaims.
- The balance of all is key – Nature always keeps itself in balance.
- Life and death are inevitable and equal – Neither is good or evil.
- All beings are bearers of life and death, and as such, are equal – Plants and worms are as important as wolves and bears
Paths of Worship
Enoon’s worshipers are as varied as nature itself, but most choose to tie themselves to one of three paths, based on the apparent paradoxes presented by nature. These paths are outlined below
The Paradoxes of Nature:
- Ploverian (ploh-VEER-ee-ahn) – Fragility versus raw power.
Those who follow this path look to nature and see an intricate dance between weakness and strength, fragility and power. Tiny creatures clean the teeth of beasts, and water that can be dispersed by a fist still wears away mountains. Ploverians see the world by way of who has power and who does not, who should have power and who should not, and when to step in and influence the balance. They are good organizers, capable of seeing people’s strengths and weaknesses and using that information to create groups that work well together. They form and strengthen governments and other such structures, and operate well within political arenas of any nature. Often strategists, leaders, merchants, and those who give wise counsel.
- Phyllotak (f-EYE-low-tack)- Order versus chaos
Those who follow this path understand that nature is an intricate combination of rigid order and tumbling chaos. The fern grows its leaves at precise intervals, whose spacing can be flawlessly charted with arithmetic. Yet the same fern grows in a field with other ferns and plants, and their spacing and arrangement in the field is governed by randomness of a purity only produced by Enoon herself. They look to find the balance in life between that which can or should be controlled, and that which can or should not. They are good managers of stress and mental health, as well as inventors and innovators, looking to fix problems where they can, and ease sorrow and pain where they cannot. Often mages, scholars, explorers, and innovators.
- Pyrophyte (PIE-row-fight) Growth versus choking out
The followers of this path look to the balance of growth versus overgrowth, and the idea that sometimes destruction is necessary for new growth. A forest which grows too dense will kill itself for want of sunlight at its ground floor, unless it is burned and pruned back to allow growth to continue. A tree which has grown for many years must die in order for the vine which climbs up it, choking it out, to prosper. Those who walk this path are often very pragmatic, looking to life and death as natural and necessary. Often warriors, healers, farmers, and those of the law.
The Ploverians act as organizers for the festivals, ensuring that everything is prepared and runs smoothly, and leaving the rites and rituals to the other paths.
- The Day of Growth. A day in the beginning of spring where all the plants and animals are returning to their full glory and life. To honor the ideals that even after the cold death of winter, nature rises up from its sleep and the cycle continues. The Phyllotaks perform the rites for this festival. It is a day for presenting inventions and new solutions to problems, large and small.
- The Night of Clearing. A winter night full of Music and fire. Pyrophytes perform the rites. It is day for embracing the necessity of death in the continuation of life. Branches and old growth are burned in controlled fires. Followers of Enoon consider their lives and look for what may need to be given up or change.
Relations with Other Gods
Adara: While Enoon appreciates Adara’s adherence to justice, she is less fond of her tendency to be merciful, believing that true justice, meted out fairly, will bring the best result for all.
Nenya: Enoon does not agree with many ideas that Nenya supports however, there is no real like or dislike of her.
Amitel: It’s knowledge. Whoop.
Ororo: Ororo is master of the elements, and works closely with Enoon. The two get along well, with Enoon acting as the restraint to Ororo’s eccentricities, and he as the chaotic spark to her sometimes too-comfortable balance.
Scandelen: She likes him well enough, but feels that his parties are often far too wild and hectic. Though he does make good wine.
Dedrot: Enoon feels that Dedrot helps keep the balance and performs good, and often underappreciated, work.
Ryknos: Enoon does not like him. His antics often throw the natural balance off.
Ixbus: Enoon is mostly confused by Ixbus’s particular fondness for very specific shiny rocks and minerals. She has tried to give him other beautiful things, such as fish scales and bird feathers, but he does not seem to appreciate them as much.
God of Crafting, Commerce, Wealth, and Prosperity
- Holy Symbol: A metal disc emblazoned with a bag spilling over with currency
Ixbus is competitive, ambitious, and intelligent, but they also take great joy in spreading their gifts to their followers. The devout show their homage in many different ways, but most followers will have a shrine to them in their home and a representation of them in their place of work. A follower throwing a coin into a well will catch Ixbus’s attention, helping ensure that the prayer will be heard.
Path of Crafting: The Creators of Ixbus
Virtues: Creative, Empathetic, Resilient
People Drawn to the Path of Crafting: Crafters, Bards, Artisans
Those that follow the Path of Crafting chanel their Faith into creative outlets, striving to hone their abilities until they too can share in the Divine ability of Creation – that power which both mortals and gods share. Ixbus smiles on those that use their imagination to bring beautiful creations into the world – though Ixbus’s definition of beauty is not always the same as his subjects’.
Path of Commerce: The Dispersers of Ixbus
Virtues: Shrewd, Eloquent, Adaptable
People Drawn to the Path of Commerce: Merchants, Traders, Adventurers
Devotees of Ixbus with gilded tongues who use their sharp minds and charismatic ways to barter and trade wares near and far. If you are enchanted by the thrill of making a deal, of finding exotic curiosities in far off dusty corners of the world, or if you see yourself as an ever evolving player in the game of life you will feel the call of Ixbus and the Path of Commerce.
Path of Wealth: The Builders of Ixbus
Virtues: Relentless, Driven, Aggressive
People Drawn to the Path of Wealth: Guild Masters, Magnates, Politicians
Those that aspire to greatness, those that strive to have power over their own lives, those that are intent on climbing toward success, are those that are drawn to the Path of Wealth. They are the Guild Masters, the Shipping Magnates, the Heads of Household who cut deals and make alliances with quick decisions, all the while weighing the pros and cons in the blink of an eye.
Path of Prosperity: The Sharers of Ixbus
Virtues: Humility, Modest, Peaceful
People Drawn to the Path of Prosperity: Monks, Healers, Teachers
It may at first seem strange that these devout worshipers of Ixbus would take a vow of poverty, but those that follow the Path of Prosperity do just that. They make sure that their communities will never know an empty stomach nor grain silo, that children nor the elderly will ever suffer the cold while there is clothing to give them. They make sure to spread that which Ixbus has gifted them believing that Prosperity is the flourishing success of all people.
Heretical Path of Avarice: The Dragons of Ixbus
Heretics of Ixbus do not create, do not share, do not earn. They Take. And they Hoard. And they hurt others with no twinge of conscious as they amass power and things. These followers of Ixbus worship coins, and things, and the false power they wield. They would value personal gain well and truly above the misfortune of even their dearest loved ones, and will not part with even a single scrap unless what they gain in return is tenfold the value.
It is frightfully easy to stray to the path of Avarice, and once turned toward it one can become blinded to the pain they cause in the world. It is even easier to believe that you are the hero of your story when you’ve been blinded by Avarice.
Relationship with other Gods
Adara: Ixbus learned the concept of mercy from Adara; and for as many condemned souls flock to Adara in their hour of need, desperate others turn to Ixbus when they are low. The two have a tenuous relationship; Adara not liking the lengths Ixbus’s ambition will drive them to, Ixbus disliking the black and white morality of Adara, but both of them standing in arms together against injustice.
Nenya: Nenya introduced Ixbus to deceit and ill fortune, showed them how to strike a deal and come out on top. Ixbus fears what Nenya has to teach them, and how tempting it is to find out.
Enoon: Ixbus and Enoon seldom see Eye to Eye, as progress of civilization often comes at the cost of the natural world. Ore stripped from the earth to become ingots, deforestation in the name of expansion, the ignorance and egotism needed to think one can mold the landscape to their whims.
Amitel: Ixbus and Amitel get along as well as any, for in the neverending pursuit of honing Aetheric knowledge followers of Amitel find and create some of the most fascinating things.
Ororo: Ixbus and Ororo have little to do with one another, and Ixbus will generally avoid the thunderous personality that is Ororo because one never knows if he blows hot or cold any given day.
Scandelen: Ixbus adores Scandelen, favoring their company above anyone else’s. “Let the wine and gold flow”.
Dedrot: Death will come to all, and Death does not care for material things. But that is no reason to not strive, and create, and DO. Ixbus knows that eventually even memories fade, but things that were made well, made strong, and made with heart will outlive even their own meaning and that… that is worth striving for.
Ryknos: Ixbus and Ryknos have a tumultuous relationship. War costs nations untold amounts – in life, in land, and yes, in money. But it also stirs the hearts of men and women, giving birth to art filled with passions and desperations that peacetime cannot know. Wars can be profitable for some, those with the stomach to bear dealing in arms and lives. Warfare, fighting, gruesome it may be is still an art.
“Even the most base lichen can propagate, even a rock can kill; wielding life and death does not make you special. But Creation… to create is to know the power of the Gods like no other”
“Ixbusssss, my IxBUD!”
“You are of no help to others if you cannot help yourself”
“Change can start with a single action, a fortune with a single coin. Do not disparage the smallest dream”
“The fine art of making a deal… it is not so different than pulling gold from slag”
“There is beauty in all skills”
“There is worth in all things”
“You have taken that which is not yours… I will take that which I deem an equal value”
God of Elemental Storms
- Holy symbol: A wooden disc with the symbols of the four elements emblazoned upon it.
At the creation of the world, Ororo was born, sleeping beneath the ocean. In his dreams, the world was shaped over the millennia into the world we see today. When other gods first laid their feet upon his land, Ororo awoke, furious that anyone would play with his creation. From the ocean, he sprang, still roiling with emotions, to look at the damage they had caused. Ororo looked to his mountains and saw trees and wildlife; he looked to his lakes and rivers and saw budding civilizations. Enoon, the goddess of Nature, greeted him warmly, and in time, Ororo stopped looking at life as an atrocity and instead as a thing of beauty. But until that time, Ororo caused much conflict amongst the gods and mortals. His emotions would change direction like the wind; some days, he’d be as callous as a blizzard, and others as nurturing as sunlight, and even still on other days as stubborn as a mountain. Ororo refused to be bound by the worldly laws that some other gods would make; he would lash out whenever his territory was threatened. Over time, the other gods learned, more or less, how to handle Ororo’s temperamental nature, usually by first appeasing him and then having him listen to reason.
Nowadays, many devout followers of Ororo exist. Their temples are often constructed in places of great elemental power: valleys, mountaintops, volcanoes, deep within jungles and forests, on islands, and throughout deserts. Most followers devote themselves to one of Ororo’s primary aspects, being the elements of Earth, Fire, Wind, Water, and Wood, but some follow multiple paths, and some even follow the heretical teachings of Balance. While followers are primarily rangers and elemental mages, many others have good reason to follow Ororo. Some druids feel more connected to the raw elements than directly to nature, seeing the elements as fundamental to nature’s prosperity. Those with occupations that rely on weather, such as sailors and farmers, often pray that Ororo will grant them calm weather for safe travel or rainstorms to water their crops.
The Path of Earth
- Virtues: Strength, Timelessness
- Weapon: Hammer
- Colors: Grey and Copper
The Path of Earth is a simple one. Many of these priests do as much manual labor as any other laborer, as they value strength of character as much as strength of self. As the earth is unmoving and unchanging, the followers of Earth are often slow to come to decisions, and stubborn when they arrive to a conclusion. They believe that being as close as one can be to the earth will let you hear Ororo’s wisdom.
The Path of Fire
- Virtues: Passion, Ferocity
- Weapon: Staff or Club
- Colors: Orange and Black
The sun burns bright, and so, too, do those who walk the Path of Fire. These priests tend to act first and think later. Never strike a conflict with these priests, as they will burn until they are put out. Their philosophy is that Ororo wants his will done NOW.
The Path of Wind
- Virtues: Creativity, Agility
- Weapon: Sword
- Colors: Sky Blue and Silver
Carefree and often thought as careless, those who walk the Path of Wind value the freedom to think and act as they will, when they will. They hate any and all restrictions, and they encourage others to move around “rules and regulations”. Many of these priests also become singers, dancers, and instrumentalists.
The Path of Water
- Virtues: Wisdom, Secrets
- Weapon: Dagger
- Colors: Deep Blue and White
Those who follow the Path of Water tend to be as still as water one moment, but if they are disturbed, they may be as fierce as whitewater rapids. Their goal is to listen to Ororo’s voice through the sound of streams flowing, ice cracking, and water dripping. While sometimes considered the most selfish and callous of the followers of Ororo, some feel that water’s wisdom should be shared with all, as all life needs water.
The Path of Wood
- Virtues: Nurturing, Sturdy
- Weapon: Axe
- Colors: Brown and Green
Forests provide shelter and food, and so those who follow the Path of Wood provide nourishment and protection to those in need. Woods provide lumber and other resources, and so these priests help to manage resources amongst their peoples. These helpful priests are always ready to defend nature in times of need.
The Heretical Path of Balance
- Virtues: Utter Chaos
- Weapon: Sickle
- Colors: Varies
Those who follow the Heretical Path of Balance seek to make all the elements as one. In practice, these priests take elemental power from one place and channel it into opposing elements. Often, this causes great catastrophe. Legends from long ago tell of Priests of Elemental Balance turning frozen mountains into volcanoes, ruining ecosystems and civilizations, and turning lush forests into dead, flooded bogs. The priests of the various elements agree that there is no place for this Balance; Ororo’s creations were not meant to be wielded in this way.
Relationship with other Gods
Adara: Adara’s followers make and uphold laws. Laws are too restrictive for the elements; the world should be free to shape itself as it will.
Nenya: Unconcerned, unless misfortune and sickness directly affects Ororo’s followers, and then retribution is swift and decisive.
Enoon: Time and time again, Enoon has calmed Ororo, preventing tragedy. Ororo respects her because she takes care of the world, preserving elemental balance. This allows Ororo to act more freely, except when reined in by Enoon.
Amitel: Unconcerned; their domains don’t touch at all. Ororo is prepared to defend against Amitel, should he ever try to manipulate elemental magics.
Ixbus: Unconcerned. Ororo was never one for material things; the world is enough for him and his followers.
Scandelen: Entertainment is always welcome…when in a good mood.
Dedrot: Unconcerned; creatures die; it is the way of things.
Ryknos: Ororo and Ryknos have fought together as allies, and they have fought with each other numerous times. They have great mutual respect for each other, and they recognize when action must be taken. Any fights between them are considered “necessity”; they do not hold grudges against each other. They are glad to be allies when their goals are in alignment, knowing that they are the best gods to get things done without silly restrictions like laws.
God of War
- Holy Symbol: A sword, axe and hammer crossed against a lightning bolt
In some cultures war is looked upon distastefully, however to the
followers of Ryknos it is seen as a means to an end to get what one desires. It is believed that Nenya, one of the twin goddesses, created Ryknos to watch over Hyreath and bring about war to prevent undying peace from upsetting the natural balance of life.
The Church of Ryknos’ teaches that there are four aspects of war: Justice, Strength, Valor and Tactics. These four aspects are the pillars and foundation of which Ryknos expects his true followers to live by.
Where Ryknos is the god of war, not many practice or follow his teachings daily. There are many who will invoke his name when readying for battle. They pray to Ryknos to gain his favor and to ensure he supports their side of the battle. This is one of the more common practices for many who fight without truly worshiping Ryknos. However, there are some whose main desire is to fight for glory, strength, or to wage war in the name of justice. Beings like this are known to follow and worship Ryknos on a daily basis.
Where many only pray on a per need basis, those who do worship daily tend to follow one of the four teachings of Ryknos, though some follow multiple or all aspects of the church. Ryknos finds it amusing if not
delightful how righteous some of his followers can be.
Each of the churches follow one of the four teachings of Ryknos.
The Church of Justice
The followers of the Church of Justice believe that any battle should be fought on the grounds of justice, righting a wrong done to someone or something. These followers tend to be very zealous in their actions, believing their cause is just and any other is wrong. Be it for the good or the bad, they will fight for the justice they feel is needed. They will travel the country looking for injustices or tyranny to fight against, often working in tandem with followers of Adara.
The Church of Valor
The followers of the Church of Valor are those who seek glory through battle. These followers will fight in any battle that will earn glory, honor or recognition. Most followers of Valor will swear fealty to someone of power who can grant them that recognition, though there are those who will go out and be a champion for the common people.
The Church of Strength
The followers of the Church of Strength are those who seek to fight at any time or place to prove they are the strongest of fighters. These followers do not follow any rules or moral code. They are always ready for a fight and when someone appears to be as strong or stronger, they will taunt them in the hopes of provoking a fight to prove their superiority.
The Church of Tactics
The followers of the Church of Tactics are those who study and practice the use of tactics and strategy to win their battles. They research previous battles to understand what tactics and strategies were used to win as well as what was used on the side that lost. This gives them the knowledge to better understand both sides so they can improve upon the plans that caused the loss as well as taking a plan that worked and changing it to fit their needs. These followers can be found both on the field of battle to ensure their plan goes as they intended or, they can be found in a war room instructing a battle leader how the fight will need to go to be successful. Many generals and battle leaders will be part of the Church of Tactics.
In his teachings, Ryknos does not have any set way to worship. The only thing he demands is that, when you prepare for or engage in battle, you do it in his name!
God of Music, Festivals, and Beauty
- Holy Symbol: A bottle of wine with grapes to the side.
Some say that Scandelen was born when the first smile reached the face of a mortal. Others say that he was merely in hiding, waiting for the first song to be sung. Rumors even suggest that perhaps he was the first god, but he spent many millennia thinking of how he would first show himself. Whichever way he came to this world, the other gods were all surprised and confused by his first appearance. This new god didn’t want to take anyone’s magic, nor he didn’t care about life or death, nature or raw elemental power, order or chaos. Instead, Scandelen cared about mortals, an aspect of the world that most of the gods merely used as a tool to enact their divine will. The other gods think him weak, as he only has an eye for mortals. Thus, for the most part, the gods ignored Scandelen’s presence and left him to his work.
Theologists suggest that every festival, every work of art, and every song bring him power. Scandelen is often depicted as a youthful man wearing a mask, though in some cultures, he’s considered a burly man balancing three kegs of fine wine. He has been known to dissolve rivalries between the gods by simply telling jokes or playing pranks upon them. Sometimes this causes the gods to get angry at Scandelen, but the gods would not want to risk harming “their precious mortal tools” in the process. Scandelen is said to be in the heart of every breathing person who walks the world; if any other god were to attempt to sway a mortal, Scandelen could easily inspire them to overcome his opponent’s hold. Some of the more cautious or calculating gods have taken note of this, thinking that, with the power of the majority of mortals on his side, Scandelen could steal power from the other gods, if he was so motivated. But Scandelen seems focused on inspiring mortals to be creative and joyful…and wasted beyond comprehension…
Many people follow Scandelen, even if he isn’t their primary god of worship. But those who are performers and entertainers, like Bards, find him to be more than suitable as a patron. Vintners and drunkards are also common worshippers. Followers of Scandelen often wear festive, rich clothing and elaborate masks in honor of their god frequently throughout the year. The more ornate and elaborate the mask, the more devoted you are considered. In some places in Hyraeth, the residents wear these masks as a symbol of station at all times. Visitors without masks are loaned a cheap lace mask for their stay. Walking without a mask in these places is akin to walking in public without your clothes. People in these places often wear one mask, or one style of mask, and since everyone’s face is constantly hidden, those without masks may not be recognized at all.
Followers of Scandelen generally follow one of three “Casks”; it is said that their faith flows primarily from the Cask that they chose when first entering his service. Each of Scandelen’s Casks offer a different perspective on how joy and beauty should be spread. When followers drink from their Cask, they often take a new name relating to the values of the Cask.
The Cask of Cheer
- Common Cask Names: Joy, Mirth, Bliss
Those who drink from the Cask of Cheer are rarely ever seen without a smile upon their face. When they see a frown on someone’s face, it is their divine mission to turn it into a smile. Many Cheerful Ones are well-known for their skill at counsel to those who have fallen upon hard times, and they are often gregarious.
The Cask of Capers
- Common Cask Names: Jinks, Spoof, Trick
Scandelen loves to play pranks, and so, too, do those who drink from the Cask of Capers. Their goal is to play pranks on those who are either deserving or are otherwise in need of a lesson in awareness. Some wait in the shadows and giggle as their targets meet a hilarious fate, while others perform elaborate schemes to humorously insult nobles that have done their kingdoms a wrong.
The Cask of Courage
- Common Cask Names: Brave, Valor, Gallant
Some people just need that push to conquer their fears, and those who drink from the Cask of Courage are excited to assist. These followers take it upon themselves to show people their true potential. They never give up on their charges, and they aim to inspire everyone to be a better person.
Relationship with other Gods
Adara: Needs to “lighten” up, ha! Laws are too restrictive; just have fun and don’t kill people. Do you need any more rules than that?
Nenya: If Scandelen had the desire to fight anything, it would be Nenya. Taking away others’ joy and hope is lame.
Ororo: He’s all sorts of pretty colors and is very dramatic.
Enoon: Without her, there wouldn’t be wine.
Amitel: Really boring and studious. Needs to get wasted.
Ixbus: Best drinking buddy.
Dedrot: Followers of Dedrot are really creepy, but at least their presence means that we get to celebrate someone’s life. Thus…more parties!
Ryknos: Be careful what parties you invite him to; there will almost definitely be a fight.
THE BEAST CULTS
“Ever their praises to the beasts of the wood. Ehah! Shun-negratta! Shun-negratta! The beasts of the wood with a thousand young!”
Their cultists indulge without restraint. They have greed without guilt. There is no limit to their debauchery. They are chaos beyond the restraint of order gathering knowledge without fearing to embrace madness. They do all this in the name of the great beasts they follow.
There are many types of beast cults, but the most commonly known are the serpent, spider, and Verminax (rat). The beasts themselves are rumored to be possessed and somehow empowered with an uncanny intelligence. They are capable of communicating with their high priests and followers.
The beasts of these cults are worshipped out of ambition, desperation, or madness. Often it is all three of these things that drive cultists to do what they do. The beast cults are often without order following as individuals, in small gatherings, or in larger groups when drawn to a righteous leader with a purpose. That purpose is usually unknown to outsiders and rarely shared by cult members.