Legion Lore Introduction

When the gods happened upon Estrom'Ir, each of them saw great potential in the planet. It was a rich, untapped resource of divine fuel. This fuel came in the form of worship from the land's Races. The way in which each of the gods went about harvesting this worship was different, however, and conflict amongst the deities was inevitable. One of the first such conflicts arose between Odros, the God of Law, and Y'tia, the Goddess of Tranquility.

Y'tia inspired worship in her followers by bestowing upon them as much peace and comfort as she could. Mild weather graced the lands under her care, food was abundant, and the Races were content and free to pursue interests that made them happy. They worshiped her freely, lavishing praise upon her for giving them such an easy life. Laughter rang through the glades, and it was not uncommon to see groups of people lounging in the shade, playing instruments and telling stories to pass the time.

In the meantime, Odros was looking to add more adherents to his worship coffers. Being the God of Law, he despised inefficiency and unproductive uses of time. When he saw how lazy the disciples of Ytia had become, he saw an opportunity. There was so much wasted potential for efficient worship amongst Y'tia's followers; why not speak with her about shaping up her acolytes, giving them some structure, and splitting the rewards?

When Odros approached Y'tia with his idea, she became enraged and refused to submit her followers to the iron rules he proposed. While the arguments between the two deities started out in a civil manner, it didn't take long for things to progress into something much more volatile. When the gods themselves are fraught with emotion, the toll taken on those living beneath them is high.

Meanwhile, Geldir - the God of War - saw an opening to further his own agenda, for to him the best way to gain worship was by creating an atmosphere of fear and chaos, and the best way to do this was to incite a war. Quietly, he began to draw other deities into his web, sending them out to instigate both Y'tia and Odros against one another. While the two deities were busy fighting one another, Geldir slipped in and began stealing worshipers for himself, telling them that only he had the power to end the wars that ravaged the planet. The result was a time of great confusion and suffering for all the Races of Estrom'Ir.

When Odros and Y'tia realized what was happening all around them, they decided that something must be done to restore balance. Banding together for a greater cause, they approached Geldir and tried to reason with him. If he were to continue unchecked, they explained, the Races would destroy one another and there would be no worshippers left to fuel any of them.

Geldir saw the logic of this, and the three sat down to discuss the best course of action. Despite many weeks of discourse, none could agree on a single course of action, so they decided to take a more democratic approach. The three would campaign for the other 18 deities, and the majority vote would decide how they would go about collecting the worship they were due. A date was chosen, and the campaigns began.

When the time came to count the votes, something happened which none of them had foreseen: the vote was an even split. Each of the deities were adamantly opposed to changing their vote, and so the gods had reached an impasse. More fighting ensued, but all eventually agreed that there would be no backing down, and they went their separate ways, forming three Legions, each of which harvested worship in their own way.

Y'tia became the leader of the Aequalis Legion. She and her devotees were committed to giving their worshippers all that they wanted out of life. Each worked toward this goal in their own way. Odros took charge of the Imperium Legion, a decidedly militaristic group of deities who ruled their acolytes with iron restraints. Cruel they were not, but strict they most definitely were. The Tenebris Legion, lead by Geldir, wreaked havoc on the lives of those who worshipped them, using deceptive tactics to win them to their side, and fear to keep them there.

For the most part, the Legions leave one another alone, giving the Races themselves free choice to worship who they please. There are times, however, when a deity collects so much divine power that they take a corporeal form and descend to Estrom'Ir, determined to weaken an opposing Legion by wiping out its followers. Occasionally, members of that opposing Legion will rally and summon forth one of their own deities, and the two will throw themselves at one another in an awe-inspiring battle of power, with adherents from both helping to sway the tide of battle in either direction. It is a wondrous sight to behold, and even more thrilling to participate in.

When the event that led to the creation of the Legions - which later became known by the Races as the Schism - drew to a close, those who aligned most closely with the ideals of Odros formed themselves into a militaristic group: the Imperium Legion. This order of gods and goddesses places extremely high value on law and order... no surprise, given that the God of Law himself acts as the head of the pantheon.

The deities of the Imperium Legion harvest worship in the most efficient means possible. Adherents are expected to perform certain tasks at certain times. The laws of the Races must be followed, and the laws passed down from Odros must be followed as well, or acolytes risk the ire of the greatest judge. He is not known for his mercy. Places of worship for Imperium disciples are distinctly barracks-like, and the order itself is split into ranks of respectability and responsibility, based upon the amount of Favor gained for the Legion as a whole.

Each deity contributes to the success of the Legion in his or her own way and for their own reasons. Byros - the God of Fire - and Atamcia - the Goddess of Wind - work together to control the growth of plant life and forests, burning off large swathes of land to make way for adherents to build structured cities in which children are taught from a young age the ways of Imperium. Karvur, the God of the Hunt, protects and rations out the wildlife of the Imperium region, ensuring that no resources are used inefficiently and that no one being becomes too greedy or rich from the land.

The God of Lightning, Uhdore, can often be found teaming up with Lelthar, the God of Shadows, to discourage those in their thrall from seeing the peaceful pastures of the Aequalis territory and being tempted to defect. Idara, the Goddess of Schemes, serves as the right hand of Odros. Utilizing a network of carefully placed spies and informants, she sees all and knows all. If you're considering crossing the Imperium, you'd better proceed with extreme caution or risk catching Idara's eye... and possibly losing your own.

Fire: it burns, it destroys, it chars, it disintegrates. Most people understand this, but only the followers of Byros understand that fire also cleanses, breathes, and lives. It's far more than just a means to provide warmth and protection or to cook our food. Fire is a tool. A master smith may create fine items with their hammers and forge, but fire is Byros’ tool, and he mastered it long before the first mortals existed. Few fires burn as hotly as this god’s righteous flames. Those who cross him quickly learn that his temper has made volcanic eruptions look like a wayward campfire spark in comparison.

Those who worship him as they should get to know the true warmth of a home in his temples, and the true flames of passion. Byros himself prefers to focus on the rebirth and cleansing that fire represents. He has been known to visit certain disciples and some have claimed he has appeared as gentle and polite - the epitome of refinement. Others have claimed he came to them in a burst of heat and sulfur - instilling a pure ravenous passion that could not be quenched. As for those who crossed him, well... there haven’t been any reports from those individuals.

It is known that he works closely with Atamcia, the Goddess of Wind, and that his fires have spread with the help of her wind. The true nature of the relationship between these two cannot be understood - nor even guessed - by mere mortals. Byros’ followers worship him with a true fervor and have been known to start a pyre fueled with non-believers - both living and dead. Some have gone so far as to then walk into those pyres in an attempt to be closer to their chosen god, believing that the rebirth of fire is the ultimate proof of their devotion and the power of the flames of Byros. Truth be told, only one of these has ever survived, and that priest is quick to give Byros the credit for his survival.

As a wildfire marches through a forest, the believers of Byros march across Estrom’Ir. He is often seen in colors of ash itself, accompanied by a phoenix: the only creature who can stand nearby in the spontaneous combustion of his temper.

"Turn your face not away from the heat of the flame, but toward it, for in those flames dance the hope of the future." ~Excerpt from "Holy Inferno," the preeminent work on the tenets of Byros

Uhdore controls the lightning and the accompanying thunder, and those who are his followers follow largely out of fear of this rancorous deity. His followers believe they are immortal, and that when their physical bodies die they do not truly die but will ascend into the sky to assist Uhdore in terrorizing those below. Every four years, the priests of Uhdore send one of their own, chosen by lot to a shrine of Uhdore, located on a high mountain. The envoy's job is to tell Uhdore what they want on that occasion. The envoy is accompanied by twelve soldiers of the temple, nine of whom hold their spears pointing upward. The other three take the envoy and fling him in the air above the spears. If he falls onto the spears and dies pierced, they believe Uhdore is going to help them. If he does not die, he is accused of thwarting the will of Udhore, and is left chained to a metal rod on the peak of the mountain to be struck by Uhdore's lightning. Uhdore is amused by these games and will sometimes allow decades go by with no sign of his presence to his followers. Occasionally, however, he will appear suddenly to his followers and has been known to stop their hearts from fear. If he chooses, he can shock life back into one of them if it suits his fancy. Sometimes he does this to demonstrate his power, though he could really care less if a single follower of his lives or dies. On the other hand, he has been known to strike down his inquisitors if they become too zealous in killing, as the fewer followers he has the more his power decreases.

Uhdore has been known by several other names, though over time most have come to know him as Uhdore. He can take many forms also. To some of the humans of his realm, he is called Bazios and appears as an old, but muscular, white haired man, albeit one who can fling bolts of lightning from his hands. To others he has appeared as a giant bird called Nootwak'Yan, which is capable of creating storms and thundering while it flies, while shooting lightning out of its eyes. The Dwarves of his realm have often been visited by Uhdore under the name Thunraz. As Thunraz, he looks like a giant dwarf with a red beard and a ruddy countenance. In this guise, he rides a large chariot pulled by a goat, and swings a great miner's axe called Ēnlo at the sides of mountains. With each blow from Ēnlo, lighting shoots out from the sparks, as thunder rolls from the sound of the blow. Another weapon he likes to use is a red pear. These pears, which his priests teach he cultivates in his garden, are enchanted and when he throws them into the air they rain down lightning over a large area. He once punished an entire city by throwing an exceptionally large enchanted red pear over the city, which was reduced to nothing but ash.

Compared to some, Uhdore might seem a cruel god, and it is true that he does not care for his followers in an individual sense. At the same time, the best way to get on his badside is to attack or persecute his followers, and he will attack without mercy anyone who does so, as the victims of his pear attack discovered.

He grabbed a bright red pear, and threw it to the sky Then lightning split the air, burning the men of Elai.

~Excerpt from "The Doom of Elai" a poem about the destruction of the city of Elai after they had executed the followers of Uhdore living within the city.

Long before the laws of man came into being, there existed the laws of gods. Presiding over his heavenly courtroom with an iron fist, the God of Law struck fear into the hearts of subjects and contemporaries alike. For Odros, there was no moral ambiguity, no grey area. Either the law was followed, or it was not, and justice was doled out swiftly to those who found themselves in the latter group.

When the gods discovered Estrom'Ir, Odros found the planet rife with criminals. Beings from all Races disregarded the laws of their own making, and little was done to thwart them. This was unacceptable. Without law, there was no order... without order, no structure. Without structure, utter chaos reigned. Odros knew that within chaos lay inefficiency, the antithesis to orderliness.

To receive his due worship, Odros set out to enforce both the laws of heaven and the laws of mortals on the citizens of Estrom'Ir. While many hailed him as a just god, caring about the security of his adherents, others knew the truth, that Odros cared nothing for the comfort of the masses, but only that they worshipped him in an orderly fashion. In this way he could ensure an effective and lasting source of fuel for his divine power.

Loyal followers of Odros act as his judicial squad on Estrom'Ir. When Odros does deign to involve himself in the affairs of the Races, he appears as a hooded figure. Only glimpses can be caught of his ever-changing face. For Odros, the law holds no single visage, but is representative of all beings. The only time his true face is shown is in the sentencing of those brought directly before him in court, and it has been said that the sight drives men mad. Anyone who attracts the personal attention of Odros should wish for a swift death, as he has been known to mete out punishments far worse.

“Those who presume to deceive the ultimate judge should avoid looking up to the skies; for once they do, they'll be quick to find his gavel unravels their lies.” ~ Castrum of Odros chant

Lelthar controls all that lies in shadow and is associated with the night and the underworld. His followers see him as the god who takes away both light and life. Therefore, they believe he rules the afterlife, and judges the deeds of those who have died. That is possibly the brightest aspect of Lelthar worship. Lelthar is often associated with the star Sholem, which is the evening and morning star for those who live on Estrom'Ir. The ancients saw the appearance of this star as signaling the beginning and ending of his period of dominance over the light. In some areas, he has even been called by the name of this star.

Like most of the other gods and goddesses from his realm, he enjoys taking many forms and going by many names. Among the humans of the realm he goes by the name Hregwesos. His human followers have been led to believe that he split his essence into two parts, one male and one female. The male part, Hregwesos, then mated with the female part, Nykteli, who then gave birth to Tonat, their name for the god of the suns and of fire. Tonat is interpreted by them as being synonymous with Byros, the god of fire. This is a bone of contention between Byros and Lelthar, as Byros resents Lelthar placing him in a subordinate position among his followers. Lelthar does not care what Byros thinks, however, and continues to promote this view.

In retaliation for Lelthar's pretensions, Byros has incorporated Lelthar into the beliefs of his own followers. Among his Lizar followers, Byros goes by the name Saryū. One of the beliefs of these Saryū worshippers is that Aʼpāpī, an evil serpent who rules the night, attempts to consume the golden galley of Saryū as he travels through the realms of night. The priests teach that Aʼpāpī is then slain each night, and his skin is turned into a sail that catches the wind and brings the galley of Saryū back into the realms of day.

Lelthar, far from being perturbed by being cast in the role of a serpent, has embraced the symbol and even has some of his own followers among the Orcs believing that 'Ahukal, which is their name for him, takes the form of a serpent's head each night to swallow the suns. In the morning he spits them out. In so doing, he keeps the suns from completely consuming Estrom'Ir.

Among the Dwarves, Byros' followers also cast Lelthar, whom they call Fenskö, in a negative light, believing that when he swallows the sun it will herald the end of the world.

Men's life's blood is spent,
No reason given;
Age of the serpent,
All shall be riven.

Winters proceeding,
No warmth left in store;
Stars no more being,
We hope nevermore
.

~Excerpt from "Narthök" a poem about the coming end of the world, written by an unknown Dwarven bard.

There was one deity among the many who came to love the animals of the planet. Creatures great and small responded to his voice, and he deemed himself their protector. When storms raged in the skies, Karvur gave the animals shelter, and when the seas grew dangerously deep, he held them aloft. For many years, Karvur served as guardian to the beasts of land, air, and sea. While he did not interfere in the natural order of predator and prey, he allowed no outside force to lay a hand upon his charges, including the greedy hands of the planet's sentient Races.

Time marched inexorably on, and the animal kingdom thrived under the care of its ruler. Karvur grew comfortable, and his vigilance over animalkind grew lax. His attention was brought forcefully back with the decimation of an entire pride of drascoon. Being a beast both slow to mate and quite susceptible to disease - something over which Karvur had little control - the drascoon young were revered and carefully protected to ensure survival of the species. The number of natural predators of the drascoon were few, but their numbers had swollen under Karvur's protection. The wyvern and bear were forced to take more drasco cublings to feed their own young.

Karvur saw this and knew that he must do something, lest the drascoon be gone forever. Having seen the arrogance and error of his ways, he decided to champion the cause of his animals in a new way. He sent edicts to the population of Estrom'Ir that they be allowed to hunt the animals of all of the realms, but only in such numbers that the species never be threatened with extinction, and only for the use of their bodies. Stripping the meat, skin, and other useable materials from the body of beasts was encouraged, and leaving a whole animal to decay was seen as wasteful and evil.

Karvur gave to the world the understanding that respectful hunting is a boon to both the hunter and the hunted. He remains a stalwart defender of all animalkind and is not a friend to the Races, but will allow his charges to be hunted so long as his commandments are followed. He is said to be brash but fair by those who have spoken with him, who number very few, as Karvur prefers to live apart, both from the realms of men and the company of his fellow deities.

He most often appears in the form of a satyr, with great horns covered in ornate carvings. He carries a carved wooden bow, and arrows fletched with feathers freely given from the wings of Atamcia, the Goddess of Wind. Those who choose to ignore the nobility of the hunt, those who choose to hunt for sport, those who choose willingly to decimate entire species of animals, and those who hunt the rarest of creatures soon find themselves the prey of the ultimate Hunter.

“Culling of the herd is sometimes required. The god Karvur sees all creatures, including the intelligent races, as part of a herd.” ~ Scripture of the Hunt.

Overview and Description

Atamcia, goddess of the wind, is both loved and feared by her worshippers. Sailors seek her blessings when they want favorable winds and call out in terror to her when they are in the midst of stormy seas. She can be both a comfort and a terror to those who look to her, often at the same time. Atamcia can best be described as having the appearance of an elegant lady. This is not, however, a cool elegance. She does not exude a sense of being unobtainable, but on the other hand is casually sensual without appearing to be conscious of this. She tends to dress in ethereal flowing garments that others might view as a display of immodest ostentation, but which she manages to wear with casual grace.

Interaction with other deities

Atamcia is often closely associated with Byros, God of Fire, who is also associated with the sun, especially by farmers. Those who cultivate the soil seek the favors of Byros and Atamcia as a matter of course, seeing as good sun and wind are necessary for the growing of their crops. Although she and Byros have not always got along, but have been on again/off again allies (and, as some rumors suggest, lovers), they have generally been on good terms. Due to her close association with Byros, this has led to more strained relations with Lelthar, who, while not an outright enemy, has long been a rival of Byros. While Atamcia and Idara have never had a real falling-out, the latter did involve Atamcia in one of her schemes, which backfired horribly for Idara. Wanting Atamcia out of the way before an important meeting of the Imperium legion, Idara invited Atamcia to a remote location, where she used trickery to surprise Atamcia. She stripped her of her garments and chained her to a rock, with a giant bird set guard over her. Atamcia, rather than being humiliated by her position, charmed the bird into breaking her chains. She then arrived at the meeting on the back of the bird, alighting off its back and calmly walking to her seat to take her place, all while completely naked and without a hint of being inconvenienced. She even went so far as to thank Idara sweetly for giving her the opportunity for an adventure. Idara, her scheme backfiring on her, was confined by the others for a time.

Interaction with her followers

When she is not taking on some other form, which she does not find as desirable as do some of her fellow deities, she will appear to her followers in her own natural form, often in the guise of a queen with a scepter and crown. She keeps her visible appearances few, however, and uses them primarily to ensure that her followers see the movement of the winds as the sign that she is moving among them. Although many fear her cool wrath, which they see as coming with the storms, they generally view her more positively, as she prefers to use more positive reinforcement to keep her worshippers in line.

Atamcia blows where she wishes, and you hear the sound of her,
But do not know where she comes from or where she is going.
The tempest moves aside for the sailor who remembers the name of Atamcia.
The storm becomes a sweet breeze for those who invoke her name...
Atamcia is more effective than millions for those who place her in their hearts.
Thanks to her, the single man becomes stronger than a crowd.

~Anonymous hymn to Atamcia

Overview and Description

The beauty of the world, in the eyes of Idara, lies in its inner machinations. How each small piece is the part of a larger puzzle is fascinating to her, and she often takes apart these grand plans to examine them, much like a child who disassembles a timepiece only to put it back together again. However, like the timepiece, the whole doesn't always work as intended once it is reassembled. In fact, Idara does more harm than good for the population of Estrom'Ir. She is oblivious to this, as the actual lives involved in the grand plans of the world matter less to her than the plans themselves. This fascination with the inner workings of the world led Idara down a darker path. If these processes were so interesting now, how much more interesting might it be to set her own schemes in place and examine the results? As a result, a series of divine experiments led to much suffering on Estrom'Ir.

Interaction with other deities

Gaining the trust of other deities was child's play for Idara, as she could easily determine what drove them. She used this trust to her advantage, convincing other gods to commit acts of devastation in the name of progress. In reality, however, these acts were nothing but cogs in her grand machine... a machine that served only her own purpose. As more and more deities discovered that she had used them, they turned from her and refused to aid her any longer. This pushed Idara even farther into her own mind, and she now spends much of her time alone, doing what she came to be named for... scheming. While she is usually adept at her scheming, she once went too far, incurring the wrath of some of her fellow gods and goddesses. The occasion was one on which a council of the seven gods and goddesses of the Imperium Legion were meeting to decide on a course of action that had a bearing on one of her schemes. She decided that if Atamcia were out of the way the vote might go her way, so she used trickery to chain Atamcia to a rock, while stripping her of her clothing and setting a giant bird over her as a guard. She incorrectly assumed that even if Atamcia escaped the chain and defeated the bird, she would be delayed in returning to the meeting until she could find more clothing. Atamcia, however, charmed the bird into breaking her chains and flying her to the meeting, into which she walked completely naked, taking her seat without seeming to be bothered in the slightest. Once Idara's scheme was revealed, the others joined together to confine her in a special box for a time, from which she was released eventually when a curious child opened the box to release her on the world for more mischief. She later learned that the child had actually been Odros in disguise and in return for his having set her free he asked that she serve as his right hand and turn her schemes to his purposes. This she did, though she continued also with her own scheming.

Methods

Idara uses a variety of methods to further her schemes. These include numerous disguises, but she also excels in using poison, plagues, and pestilences. She occasionally experiments on live subjects, and records the outcomes of these experiments with her bizarre compendium of gadgets. She also is fascinated by an experiment whereby she will appear to common people, seemingly at random (though in reality she only appears to those she knows have a weak heart), writing down what their response is in a notebook. She is especially curious about the human heart, and some of her experiments in this regard involve her taking note of how often or how quickly a subject's heart fails them in response to a sudden shock. One of her other schemes involves creating inanimate objects and animating them to serve her purposes. She will often create statues of clay in the likenesses of those she wishes to bring low. When she then brings them to life, these living statues are so convincingly alike in appearance to those they mean to copy. She will have these statues behave badly to injure the reputation of those she means to destroy, which are chosen when they have become an obstacle to one of her schemes. Is there a man who impedes her schemes who is known as a paragon of virtue and marital fidelity? She will ensure that his double is publicly seen entering a brothel. Is there a woman who is outspoken against a rise in murders in her city? She will have that woman's double publicly attack and kill innocent people in the streets. Idara will also have her clay statues seduce and make love to those who are susceptible, if doing so will further her goals and bring down those who have proved themselves an impediment to her schemes.

"Ah, I see you've discovered my ruse... clever girl."
~Idara

Seeing the first Legion form, that being Imperium, and accepting it as a sign of open warfare, Geldir, the God of War, stepped up and pulled together allies that he felt could aid him. He sought to counter the schemes and plans of the Imperium Legion by creating the true chaos and unpredictability that makes up the Tenebris Legion. There was only one rule set forth by Geldir to those who accepted his calling: do for the Legion.

Those who worship one of the seven deities of the Tenebris Legion do so with open scorn for all other deities. They believe that of all worshipers, they are the only ones who are truly aware of their parasitic relationships with their deities. While the gods of Tenebris do provide rewards to their worshipers, they have made it abundantly clear that everything is ultimately done for the growth of power of Tenebris Legion.

Vela, Goddess of Nightmares and twin to Zela, uses hellish dreams to embody the driving force of fear among her warriors. Melous pushes this power further as the God of Hate by filling the very souls of his followers with a passion that is insurmountable, making them the fiercest of all the Legions. For those warriors that would attempt to leave the Legion for any reason to fight for another, the Goddess of Insanity, Kaldumia, strikes hard and fast leaving them a pile of babbling nonsense to be mocked and ridiculed.

When the Legion gods find their people on the defensive, Cahldir, the God of Sorrow, will strike opposing forces that have overreached the protection of their own deities. For those that sack and take any lands producing livestock and other food supplies, Ireus, the God of Disease, will rain down plagues to destroy those who partake in the stolen goods. Rathar, God of Death, stands watch over all of those within the Tenebris Legion’s lands, granting a peaceful afterlife to those that died fighting for the Tenebris banner and a horribly stale existence to those who fought against it.

Overview and Description

Rathar, the god of death, uses the fear of death and disease to control his followers. Rathar's priests and priestesses have been known to practice human sacrifice, taking war captives and flaying them alive. They then make robes of these flayed skins, and wear them as their priestly garments. Rathar is amused by this, and encourages the practice.

Powers and Identifying Features

Rathar is known to travel on a death stallion. This horse is literally an animated corpse he has brought back to life, and to which he has granted wraith-like powers. He can move across land or water with this mount, as the stallion's powers allow it to canter across the surface of seas, rivers, and lakes just as easily as land. As he travels, Rathar often appears as a simple traveler, and there is a legend that those who meet a traveler on the road may actually have met death himself. Rathar's robes, which hide his features, appear at first glance to be the simple dark robes of a traveler. They are, however, made of human skin, just like the robes of his priests and priestesses. He will blacken the skin by charring it, or by coating it with ash, but will also charm the robes to give him complete invisibility when desired. If he wishes to frighten those to whom he appears he will remove his robes and appear to them without clothing, and also without skin, in the form of a flayed man.

Rathar is also known to cast a shroud of darkness about him. This shroud takes away not only the light, it imbues those it touches with a sense of despair. He also amuses himself at times by imbuing his shroud with deadly diseases, which infect all who breath the air within the shroud.

Interaction with other deities

Rathar does not have any true friends, as is also true of the other deities in the Tenebris Legion. He does, however, cooperate with others to increase his own power and influence. The two with which he cooperates most closely are Ireus, god of Disease, and Kaldumia, the goddess of Insanity.

Ireus, who is often trying out new diseases, often gives them to Rathar. Rathar then incorporates them in his shroud to test their effectiveness. This cooperation has not always been on the best of terms. Ireus often creates diseases that are more about prolonging suffering, but Rathar is more concerned with the effectiveness of how they kill.

Rathar gets along better with Kaldumia, since he sees insanity as an effective tool for those who are to spread his cult of death. Rathar and Kaldumia, therefore, often work hand in hand to spread madness and death.

Interaction with his followers

Rathar enjoys spreading death, however he realizes that it would not be wise to kill many of his own followers, who are the source of his power. He therefore prefers to instill fear and madness in those followers. Since spreading madness is one of the goals of Kaldumia, Rathar allows his own followers to be targeted by Kaldumia and then molds that madness to his purposes. These followers are then encouraged to spread death among the followers of the deities in other legions.

Some chosen followers are granted a special power by Rathar, which allows them to blend into the shadows to infiltrate the strongholds of his enemies. They then release a disease, to which they are themselves made immune, which becomes airborne and causes those it infects to wish to kill themselves in any way possible. In this manner, whole fortresses have sometimes become depopulated, with the defenders throwing themselves from the high walls or burning the fortress down with themselves still inside.

While killing of his own followers is rare, and most of those sacrificed are war captives, there is one time each year when a ritual sacrifice of his own followers occurs. A single male follower and a single female follower, chosen from among volunteers, strip off their clothing and perform a mating ritual on the high altar of Rathar in a public ceremony. After they mate, Rathar accelerates the cycle of pregnancy and the mother gives birth within the hour. Once the child is born, the parents are flayed alive by the priests and priestesses of the temple, who then proceed to cut their throats and drink their blood. This ritual is said to represent the cycle of birth and death. The children born of these rituals are raised in the temples and become the next generation of priests and priestesses of Rathar. Those who are killed in the rituals know what is to happen, but see it as a great honor and believe they will have a higher place in the afterlife as a result.

In return for serving Rathar faithfully, most of his followers are given immunities from various diseases, granted longer lives, and promised a peaceful afterlife. In addition, Rathar will sometimes grant life to one who has just died if enough of their loved ones are requesting this. This restored life is just a half-life, however, and there are those among the other Legions who believe these people who are "alive again" are simply walking corpses that have been re-animated to serve Rathar's purposes.

"If all things in the world, alive or dead, weep for him, then he will be allowed to return to the land of the living. If anyone speaks against him or refuses to cry, then he will remain in the land of the dead."
~The Resurrection of Rathar, written by an anonymous poet

Overview and Description

Ireus, the god of disease, has a fascination for contagions and controls his followers with fear, lest they be struck down by a foe too small to see. The priests and priestesses of Ireus are known as 'Vectors,' and are often given immunity to the diseases they carry for the glory of their god.

Powers and Identifying Features

Ireus is known to ride on giant insect mounts, closely resembling the fleas and mosquitoes he likes to use to spread his plagues. He often appears in the guise of an emaciated corpse with insect bites covering his body and only a simple loincloth covering his nakedness, although he is also known to wear a ragged cape and a mask with a long beak and large goggles. When he removes the mask and his face is revealed, one can see the visage of a turkey vulture.

Interaction with other deities

Ireus is known to cooperate on occasion with Rathar, the god of death, and with Kaldumia, the goddess of insanity. While he has been known to provide diseases to both for their help in testing the illnesses, his relationship with Rathar has at times been strained since Rathar wishes efficient means of dealing death, while to Ireus the infectiousness and spread of his diseases is of more importance than their immediate lethality. Kaldumia, on the other hand, is happy to receive any gifts from Ireus if they lead to spreading chaos and insanity in the realm. As a result, Ireus gets along better with Kaldumia, which is ironic since Kaldumia is also on good terms with Rathar.

Interaction with his followers

The interactions of Ireus with his followers is built on fear, but they are also fed with the hopes that good service will allow them to be immune to the effects of the ravaging diseases they spread. This is often a false hope, since when a follower's usefulness has reached an end, Ireus has no qualms about withdrawing his protection and allowing them to succumb to disease. He will even give followers who have displeased him over to Rathar to be subjected the tender mercies of that god's priests and priestesses, although Ireus will only do this when he needs to mend fences. He prefers to use his own diseases to punish those who have displeased him. In return for serving Ireus faithfully, most of his followers are given immunities from various diseases, granted longer lives, and promised a peaceful afterlife. If this sounds similar to what Rathar promises his own followers, this is not just in the imagination of the reader for the two often 'borrow' ideas from one another when they don't steal ideas outright. The only major difference is that Ireus prefers to draw out the suffering of his victims, while Rathar is more interested in efficient and swift killing. The followers of Ireus are told that he will absolve them of the guilt of their unbelief by faithful service as his vectors in spreading plague. Ironically, to his followers Ireus is also seen as the god of medicine, for without a disease there can be no cure. His followers beseech him for good health and long life, while serving his ambitions to spread sickness and death.

To Ireus, lord of health, of song and sweet medicine,
We pray for happiness, health and strength.
He shines in glory like the stars,
Glorious and best among the gods.

~A Hymn to Ireus

Melous Concept Art

Overview and Description

Melous is the god of hate, and relishes the sowing of animosity. The priests and priestesses of Melous spread hatred by taking both sides in a conflict and working behind the scenes to spread hatred and discord. Oftentimes this can take the form of working both sides up to frenzy during a war, but this can also mean breaking up friendships, marriages, and other bonds of amity. A particularly successful mission by a priest of Melous might be to influence diplomats to become intractable, and thereby cause a war. Gossip is also a powerful tool for this god, and he relishes using words to destroy good leaders, replacing them with vain demagogues who will further the spread of hatred.

Powers and Identifying Features

Melous is often called “the whisperer of secrets,” and can take many forms. His natural form is that of a dark wraith, which can blend into shadows to remain hidden. He slips into homes, palaces, places of trade, and anywhere else he feels the need. He has the power of whispering secrets and suggestions in the ears of his targets, urging them into hateful actions. More frightening, he often gives suggestions that seem to be reasonable and measured, but these can be calculated to engender hate from the opposite side, even if the actions suggested are not hateful in and of themselves. He relishes discord, and loves to start wars and conflicts by influencing those on both sides of a given conflict. He, and in some cases his followers, will act to thwart efforts at making peace, since the longer a war drags on, the more hatred it will engender.

Interaction with other deities

Melous often takes on tasks for Geldir, Ireus, and Kaldumia, the god of war, god of disease, and goddess of insanity, respectively. He does not feel particularly beholden to any of them, and acts according to his own designs, but if the task they ask of him will further his own plans to spread hatred and discord he will gladly take on the task. The goals of Geldir, especially, often line up with sowing hatred, and he works more closely with Geldir than perhaps any other deity. Some have made the mistake of seeing Melous as simply a proxy for Geldir. While there can be some truth in this, in the sense that Geldir does sometimes use Melous this way, Melous would not see himself in this light, as he considers himself to be his own master.

Interaction with his followers

Melous influences his followers through various means, most of which are shrouded in secrecy. He loves using secrets and hierarchy to control his followers, many of whom don’t even know they are serving him until they reach the upper echelons of the religious orders he controls. He uses numerous names of imagined deities, including deities whose followers are opponents in war and peace, to control many. Many of these religions are structured in such a way that only those in the highest ranks finally learn that it is Melous whom they serve- whom they have always served. By that point, it is too late for them to change their mind and turn their back on their religion. Many at that point turn to self-loathing, but this also follows the intent of Melous.

And hateful Melous bore painful hardship,
Forgetfulness, starvation and pain;
Battle, war, and murder, and;
Quarrels, lies, and disputes;
Anarchy and ruin, near one another;
And false oaths are sworn;
With treacherous betrayal, to afflict all.

~The Theogony of Doise

Kaldumia Concept Art

Overview and Description

Kaldumia is the goddess of insanity. Instead of controlling her followers, she prefers them to be outside of the control of anyone, since madness and chaos are, by definition, the absence of control. Kaldumia’s priests and priestesses have been known to run ‘hospitals’ for the mentally ill, however the true interests of these facilities are not the curing of the mentally ill, but the spreading of madness. Therefore, most of the ‘treatments’ used in these facilities are meant to intensify the madness of the individual. Additionally, Kaldumia has worked out deals with Ireus, the god of disease, to use the patients in these facilities as carriers for diseases that cause insanity.

Powers and Identifying Features

Kaldumia has dark hair that is wild and matted with forest material. She runs with a pack of rabid wolves, whose bite spreads the madness she desires to inflict on the whole world. The largest wolf in the pack is ridden by Kaldumia.

There are three main parts to Kaldumia’s outfit. She wears fur boots that come to just below the knee. At her waist she has two metal rings on the sides that form part of a triangular loincloth of fur. Lastly, she wears a small fur halter-top.

Interaction with other deities

Kaldumia often works with Rathar, the god of death, to spread madness among his death cults. She is also on good terms with Ireus, and often obtains his aid to develop diseases of the mind with which to spread madness. She also works closely with Vela, the goddess of nightmares, since terror and madness often go hand in hand. She is not truly a friend to any of these, however she seems to get along with most of them, and would not count any of them to be an enemy or rival. This is likely due to the fact that madness goes together well with war, nightmares, hate, sorrow, disease, and death. Therefore, none of those deities have ultimate goals that are in conflict with those of Kaldumia.

Interaction with her followers

While Kaldumia has legions of animals at her bidding, including her rabid wolves, she always desires human followers as well. As stated above, some of her priests and priestesses operate in secret as those who run hospitals for the mentally ill. Additionally, in collusion with Ireus, she has followers who serve as vectors to spread disease through various means, including sexual contact. Many a revel at one of her temples will end with the revelers infected with a disease that will ravage their mind. Additionally, various sexual ceremonies are used to induct new priests and priestesses into the ranks of her vectors. Like other deities who will grant their followers immunity from death and disease, Kaldumia grants these as well. However, she does not grant her followers immunity from insanity, for madness is desired for her followers. What she will grant is the ability to appear sane to others, since this will allow her followers to more effectively spread the madness she desires.

Go to the mountain, go,
Forgetfulness, starvation and pain;
Fleet wolves of madness,
Where Kaldumia holds court,
And raving, as the madness spreads,
For she was not born from a woman's blood,
But is the offspring of some lioness…

~The Wolves of Kaldumia, by Eurideaon of Gorgola

Vela Concept Art

Overview and Description

Vela is the Goddess of Nightmares, and controls her followers by sparing them from nightmares as long as they worship her. With those who withhold worship, however, she is not sparing. She is a twin of Zela, the goddess of dreams, but they parted ways eons ago, and are no longer on speaking terms. Many mortals believe that both Zela and Vela are daughters of the goddess Rhella and of the god Uhdore, though none can say how the story got started. Although all the deities know this is not true, none have seen fit to correct this misconception, especially since many of them find amusement in the superstitions of mortals. Some even go so far as to lend credence to falsehoods such as this, as denying truth to their worshipers gives them even more power over them.

Powers and Identifying Features

Zela has long blonde hair, and wears a slinky dress of the deepest red. She also wears high sandals, gold wristbands, and carries a dark violet shawl. Most of her victims never see her true appearance, since she sends forth manifestations of nightmare creatures into their subconscious, but she always chooses to appear beautiful to her followers. This is partly due to her vanity, but her desire to inspire fear overwhelms her vanity when it comes to how she appears to non-followers.

Interaction with other deities

Vela often works with Kaldumia, the goddess of insanity, since terror and madness often go hand in hand. She rarely deals with Rathar, since her nightmares don’t mesh well with death, and her victims need to be alive and not dead. She will occasionally do a favor for Geldir, Cahldir, or Melous, since spreading war, sorrow, and hate can often be done much easier if nightmares are part of the mix. With Ireus she has an arrangement where they assist each other from time to time, since some of his favorite diseases are diseases of the mind, and these make one more susceptible to Vela’s nightmares. She will therefore sometimes help Ireus spread certain diseases.

Interaction with her followers

Vela often uses nightmares as a tool to keep the loyalty of her followers by giving them horrifying images of what their life would be like without her, under the control of another god or goddess who would brutalize them even worse. This terrorism is how she controls her followers, and is also how she gains new followers, since in the nightmares she sends to new victims she makes it clear that relief will only come through surrender to her will, and complete worship. She will have her followers grind up a hallucinogenic mushroom known as the yeghasu into a powder, and add it to the drinks of unsuspecting victims. This hallucinogen makes the victims more susceptible to her nightmares. These followers, whom she calls her instruments of terror, will also put other items into the food or drink of victims that cause diseases of the mind, due to Vela’s agreement with Ireus.

I call upon Vela, crimson-clad goddess of the night,
To whom august Rhella gave birth by the mouth of the river of wailing,
Upon the sacred bed of Uhdore
She drives mortals to madness with her airy phantoms,
As she appears in uncanny shapes and forms,
Now simple to the eye, now murky, now immaculate in the shadows,
And all this in hostile encounters in the dreariness of nighttime.
But, goddess and queen of those below, I beseech you,
To banish the soul's passion to the ends of Estom’Ir,
And show a benevolent and consecrated countenance to the initiates.
~Hymn to Vela, by Sakis Athapolo

Overview and Description

Cahldir is the god of sorrow, and uses sorrow and despair to control his followers and to gain new ones. He enjoys using fear as a tool, and will cause such terror in the minds of those who behold him that they will be filled with sorrow and despair. He is the closest ally of Geldir, the god of war, but has been known to work with most of the other deities in the Tenebris Legion.

Powers and Identifying Features

Cahldir can take many forms. Unlike some other deities, he does not have a single appearance he prefers over all others, but one constant is that he takes forms that are terrifying, since his goal is to cause sorrow and despair in those who see him. The most common variants to his look involve slimy skin of a dark green or grayish color and an impressive musculature. Added to this are either tentacles or horns, and eyes that bore into the soul. He can appear to be the size of a human, or he can appear in a giant form that looms over cities, though he is limited in the latter by how much power he has accumulated.

Interaction with other deities

As stated previously, Cahldir is most closely associated with Geldir, the god of war, as war often leads to sorrow among those who experience it. He is also close with Vela, since nightmares lend well to spreading sorrow and despair. He also takes advantage of the activities of Rathar, Ireus, Melous, and Kaldumia, since death, disease, hate, and insanity often lead to despair. Some of these deities resent Cahldir, seeing him as a parasite, since he spreads sorrow among those affected by their activities and they don’t receive any benefit from the sorrow he spreads. The exception is Kaldumia, who sees despair as a viable ingredient for insanity. Indeed, many who see Cahldir are immediately driven to madness from the horror of his visage. Also, while Rathar does not like Cahldir, he does see sorrow as useful in spreading death, since sorrow can sometimes lead to suicide.

Interaction with his followers

Cahldir enjoys spreading sorrow, and he does so using fear as a tool. Pure fear, however, is not his goal, since some fear can lead to anger or even to acts of courage. He therefore uses fear as a bludgeon, trying to frighten people to such an extent that they lose all hope and surrender to the sorrow upon which he gets his kicks. Once they surrender to that sorrow, they are told that sorrow is a constant and will be much worse if they fail in their worship of Cahldir. The priests of Cahldir are encouraged to cultivate the poppy plant, from which they produce a drug they call Nāvanī, which is both a powerful depressant and a hallucinogenic. This drug is given daily to the followers of Cahldir, hidden in the wine of which they partake as part of their daily worship rituals at the temples to Cahldir. This keeps his followers in a constant state of despair. Punishment for perceived apostasy among followers of Cahldir is forced castration for males and forced hysterectomy for females. In return for serving Cahldir faithfully, he will occasionally give his followers brief respites from sorrow by rewarding them with a dose of another drug, an acidic liquid that is administered by a drop placed under the tongue. This drug is a strong hallucinogenic that leads to what some refer to as an ‘oceanic experience.’

Father of all Sorrow,
Cahldir of many names,
For your sake men forsake all,
And descend into Despair.
~‘Father of Sorrow,’ by Darpin of Eotiabo- an excerpt from his ‘Ode of the Ninth Cape’

Overview and Description

Geldir is the god of war, and is also the undisputed leader of the Tenebris Legion. He formed the Legion after seeing the Imperium Legion form, seeing this as a sign of open warfare. There was only one rule set forth by Geldir to those who accepted his calling, and this was to put the Legion first in all things. Despite the less unified approach of his legion, Geldir has been a master of keeping the peace among his own followers while waging war with everyone else.

Powers and Identifying Features

Geldir can take many forms, like other deities, but usually takes the appearance of a human-like tribal warrior. Depending on his mood, it may be one with horns or sometimes antlers growing out of his head. He often carries a bow, and is sometimes accompanied by a stag and a bull. Geldir rejects all traditional clothing. When interacting with other deities or appearing before trusted followers or priests, he often remains nude, as he sees his body as glorious and says that any who look upon it are blessed. He can cloak parts of his body in shadow at will, though, and will use this ability when he is appearing to a follower who is not used to seeing him in his usual manner and would be distracted from his words by his unclothed majesty.

Interaction with other deities

As the leader of the Tenebris Legion, Geldir interacts closely with all his followers, since all benefit from war. War often leads to sorrow, so Cahldir will spread his woe to the war zones of Geldir. Geldir will also use the sorrow of Cahldir’s followers to start wars. There is also mutual benefits shared between Geldir and Rathar, Ireus, Melous, Vela and Kaldumia, since death, disease, hate, nightmares and insanity are complementary with warfare. While these deities gain advantage from Geldir’s wars, he is also able to use the activities of each to foment those wars.

Interaction with his followers

While total war is the ultimate goal of Geldir and his followers, any conflict they can cause is welcome, since smaller conflicts and disagreements often lead to war. Geldir uses his priests and priestesses as agent provocateurs for warfare by insinuating them into positions of influence in governments on both sides of a potential conflict. By giving advice designed to fan the flames of animosity, they can keep cooler heads from prevailing and cause minor disagreements, slights, or trade disputes to turn into full scale war. One of the chief tools of these priests and priestesses is pride, which they stoke in the leaders they advise. If appealing to the pride or ego of a leader is not working, these priests or priestesses are not above using seduction as a tool to achieve their means.

Unlike some other gods or goddesses, Geldir is not quick to punish his followers for failure, especially if he can see effort on their part to succeed. One the other hand, if he feels there is a lack of sincerity in the part of the follower, he will not hesitate to punish them severely. The ultimate failure for one of Geldir’s followers is not a botched attempt to start a war, but an action that could actually lead to peace. If a follower of Geldir becomes responsible for peace due to their actions, or takes actions that are those of a peacemaker rather than those of a warmonger, they are punished at one of the spectacles of the temple. In these spectacles, the offender is stripped and tied to a stake in the center of an arena. Two large carnivorous beasts, usually a type of wildcat, are then unleashed into the arena, and they then fight each other over who gets to eat the offender. The conflict ends when one of the beasts is dead and the offender is eaten by the victorious beast.

Come, blessed Geldir,
Whom pastoral scenes delight,
Come, bounding, nimble, by Orthir’s light;
The generations and epochs wait thy high command,
Encompassing thy throne, in polished order they stand.
~ Hymn to Geldir, by Sakis Athapolo

Unlike the other two Legions, the Aequalis Legion has no single leader. Instead, the seven deities believed that in order to obtain the worship they truly desired, they’d have to collectively go about it and so they are all seven a part of the Legion Council. The primary focus of the Aequalis Legion is promoting peace among its peoples, except when defending one’s self or eliminating a threat before it can strike.

While the other two Legions see the Aequalis Legion as a weak and naive collection of deities, their method of harvesting worship has kept them as a strong force in the war. The few laws presented by the deities that the people are required to follow are simple and efficient, allowing for the feeling of true freedom and happiness. Murder another member of the Aequalis Legion, however, and you might find the wrath of the peaceful to be far greater than that of the militaristic. Peaceful should never be confused with pacifist.

Life in the Aequalis Legion’s lands is abundant and cooperative. Ellissia, Goddess of Nature, and Nysák, God of Life, work hand in hand to produce and encourage life to grow with no limitations. They even work with Rhella, the Goddess of the Harvest, to bring peace and comfort to creatures when it is time to reap both sentient and non-sentient life for food goods and other needs.

Meanwhile, Shamner, the God of Music, provides the inspiration that fills the musical accolades that spur the spirit of the southwest region. For those whose minds have been ravaged by war the Goddess of Tranquility, Y’tia, provides much relief as a favor for honoring her Legion with their worship. Zela, the Goddess of Dreams and twin of Vela, uses the dream state to send messages to many followers at the same time when certain tasks need to be started immediately.

Overview and Description

Zela is the goddess of dreams, and uses dreams to forge deep connections with her followers. Unlike some of her counterparts in the Imperium and Tenebris Legions, Zela and her fellow deities prefer to use positive reinforcement with their followers, although they still do this for their own benefit.

Powers and Identifying Features

Zela has hair of a raven black hue, and is also accompanied by a raven in the world of dreams. Zela uses this dream world to connect and interact with her followers, making initial contact with dreamers, giving them pleasant experiences, and then instructing them on how to enter the world of dreams in a lucid state. She exudes an air of otherworldliness, and one can often tell when they are in the world of dreams due to the bluish hue that permeates everything. Zela prefers to dress in sheer garments that leave little to the imagination, as she sees the dream state as one of pure imagination.

Interaction with other deities

Zela is on good terms with most of her fellow deities in her legion, but her interactions with them tend to be minimal, as they work primarily in the physical realm, and she deals more in the world of dreams. She will occasionally work with another deity who wishes to communicate with their follower in the dream world, but this is rare. If it serves her purpose to work with other deities she will, but mostly she is cordial and polite, yet distant.

Interaction with her followers

Zela loves men and uses seduction as a tool to entice them back to the dream state on a regular basis. She has the power to appear male to female would-be followers, but chooses instead to use male followers who have followed her into the dream state if she feels seduction is the proper tool. While many of her human, nymph, or fae followers are swayed by this, seduction is far from the only tool in her repertoire, as many are swayed by other things, such as hidden knowledge, or by feelings of power. Zela gives tastes of this in the dream world, but only sparingly, so that her followers will always be thirsty for more. For goblins or gnomes, knowledge is often the greatest enticement. Her priests and priestesses teach that the physical world is profane, and that the world of dreams is pure holiness. Therefore, those that follow Zela often shun the trappings of the physical world to focus on dreams. Many of her priests and priestesses are so focused on this that in the physical realm they will neglect their personal hygiene and spend time smoking a variety of plants that heighten their dream state. Within the dream world, her followers will engage in acts they would consider unacceptable in the physical world, believing that the dream state makes profane acts holy.

Hail to the vision, ye sons of the spirit!
Ye followers of the dream!
With docile eyes, consider us here,
And here convening gives us victory.
Hail to Zela! Hail to the Thinker!
Hail to the bounteous world of Dreams!
Words and wisdom, give us righteous together,
And curing hands, while we live!
~ Ode to a Dream, by Sigrdríf of Alvíss

Overview and Description

Shamner is the god of music, and sees beautiful harmonies as the ultimate expression of worship. He therefore sees music as being inseparable from other aspects of life, and his priests and priestesses are all musicians. Unlike some of his counterparts in the Imperium and Tenebris Legions, Shamner and his fellow deities prefer to use positive reinforcement with their followers, although they still do this for their own benefit.

Powers and Identifying Features

Shamner has a head of curly hair, a powerful lean physique, and a very human look, except that when he appears to his followers he towers head and shoulders over them and possesses two extra arms. He prefers simplicity in dress, usually wearing nothing more than a simple white cloak. He usually carries two musical instruments. In his upper arms he carries an instrument with golden strings known as a Ţambal, which he holds by his left shoulder and plays with his right hand. Below his lower right arm he carries a simple drum, which he plays with his left hand at the same time.

Interaction with other deities

Shamner is on good terms with all of his fellow deities in his Legion, and has a special relationship with some of them. He tends to spend more time with the goddesses in his legion than with the other gods, and enjoys being flirtatious with them. Zela is polite with him, as is Y’tia, but Ellissia and Rhella have both encouraged his flirtations and have even given the impression to others in the legion that they are romantically involved with him. This is likely not the case, however, and they are probably all just friends, but there has been a great deal of speculation otherwise. Although, this is further complicated by the relationship those two appear to have with Nysák as well. In ancient times, Shamner was more interested in diseases and plagues. He was a good friend of Ireus then. Over time, however, he became more interested in the positive feelings of music, and by the time of the Legion Wars he had disassociated himself from Ireus.

Interaction with his followers

Shamner loves music above all else, and it is possible he enjoys hearing music from his followers as much as he enjoys the power he receives from their worship of him. Worship ceremonies in his temples will always involve music, and, while there is a great deal of variety in the music he enjoys, he tends to prefer music that swells and uplifts, and also has a distinct harmony. He dislikes discordant or atonal music, but loves music that has a beat to which he can dance. While he is not known for punishing followers in an obvious way, he has on occasion arranged for the death of followers whom he feels are following the wrong path in their music, usually by having his priests and priestesses infiltrate the following of that musician and influence them in self-destructive habits. On rare occasions, he has used his Ţambal as a weapon, using one of the strings to fire darts that bring disease to those whom they pierce.

Hear me, O god of the golden strings,
That protects the priests and your holy city,
And rules Nedho with thy might,
Hear me oh thou of Şobo,
If I have ever decked your temple with wreaths,
Or burned the fat of boars,
Grant my prayer, and let your arrows avenge,
These, my tears, upon the Anaoi.
~ Prayer to Shamner, from Lay of ‘Utet

Overview and Description

Ellissia is the goddess of nature, and her primary focus is to inculcate a love of nature and the natural environment in her followers. Unlike some of her counterparts in the Imperium and Tenebris Legions, Ellissia and her fellow deities prefer to use positive reinforcement with their followers, although they still do this for their own benefit.

Powers and Identifying Features

Ellissia has light wavy hair, light green skin, bright blue eyes, and freckles on her face. She is accompanied by wildcats of various types, usually a tiger. Ellissia wears no clothing, and prefers to walk the woods and wilderness areas completely bare. She loves the feel of the breezes that pass through the trees on her bare skin. She does have the ability to grow leaves and vines out of her body to use as coverings if she feels in the mood, though she is rarely in the mood to cover much. What little coverings she does use can be grown or retracted at will.

Interaction with other deities

Ellissia is on good terms with most of her fellow deities in her legion, although there does appear to be some mild rivalry between her and Rhella. This is because Ellissia and Rhella have both encouraged the flirtations of Shamner, the god of music, and have even given others the impression that they are both romantically involved with him. There is some speculation that the rivalry is completely feigned and that Ellissia and Rhella only encourage Shamner because they are amused by his flirtations. Then again, at least two other deities in the legion have witnessed both Ellissia and Rhella go beyond mere glances and actually allow Shamner to kiss and caress them, and return his kisses. This is further complicated by the fact that Rhella has definitely been romantically involved with Nysák, the god of life. Since there is often tension between Nysák and Shamner, there has been speculation that Rhella has actually been a full-fledged lover of both, although a relationship between Rhella and Shamner has not been proven. If one of them is involved with Shamner it is more likely Ellissia, since she actually claims to have bedded him and Rhella has made no such claim, only hinting that there might be something there. Shamner has also done nothing to discourage the idea that either or both are involved with him. Shamner is not the only deity in which Ellissia has shown an interest, although most of the others were long ago. In an earlier era, it is believed she also had previous relationships with Byros, Karvur, Annánac, and Nysák. She once tried to seduce Geldir, but he rejected her, telling her that he could never take a lover who was as fickle as she.

Interaction with her followers

Ellissia is all about complete harmony with the natural environment, to such an extent that she encourages a very simple lifestyle among her followers. Her conservatories are either caves or simple burrows in the earth, the better to blend into the local environment wherever they are located. Her priests and priestesses refuse to kill any animal life, and will only eat what plant life they need for their sustenance. They refuse to kill plant life for what they see as superfluous reasons, therefore the only clothing they wear are simple loincloths made from dead mosses they find in the woods. Some of the most extreme sects among her followers even go so far as to reject all clothing, live in natural caves, and eat only wild mushrooms.

Approaching Geldir, Ellissia grabbed his member.
"Come," she whispered, “Fill me and remember.”
"But how could I repay you?” he replied,
and still avoid the bitterness and strife?
If I offer my sweet nuts or grapes?
Are those for gods or for the savage apes?
Ellissia's tomb is like the hearth gone cold,
A broken door, a chest without the gold;
A fort shut up that keeps its soldiers out,
A water well that's filled with tears of doubt;
A sticky tar that can't be washed away,
A broken cup, polluted, stained and gray;
A weakened rock that shatters to dust and sand,
A useless weapon, floppy in the hand;
And worse than all before or even this,
A god's own boot filled to the brim with piss.
You've had your share of men, I know ‘tis true,
But which of them, say true, came twice for you?
You fondled once a lonely shepherd boy,
Then, in return, you lupinized his toy,
And when his brothers and sisters saw his penis,
They knew at once you'd done a thing so heinous.
And that is how, my dear, you'd deal with me
If you and I got friendly, warm, and free."

~ Epic of Geldir, by an Anonymous bard of the first age

Overview and Description

Nysák is the god of life, and his primary focus is to promote a love of life and living life to the fullest among his followers. Nysák is the life of the party, and doesn’t appear to take much seriously. Unlike some of his counterparts in the Imperium and Tenebris Legions, Nysák and his fellow deities prefer to use positive reinforcement with their followers, although they still do this for their own benefit.

Powers and Identifying Features

Nysák could best be described as the ultimate ‘party animal,’ and is often engaged in some form of festivities. He often appears in a drunken state, drinks from a large goblet of wine, carries bunches of grapes with him as a snack, and often rides around on the back of a small donkey or large goat. Other than occasionally wearing a crown or garland, Nysák shuns all clothing, as he doesn’t see the point in getting dressed for his parties, and instead prefers to always be completely naked. While he doesn’t go out of his way to flaunt his nudity, Nysák makes no effort to obscure any part of his body when appearing to followers, as he could care less if his followers are distracted by this when he appears to them. To him, everything is one big party, and distractions are a big part of parties.

Interaction with other deities

While Nysák has had dozens of human lovers over the millennia, among his fellow deities he has long been in a relationship with Rhella, the goddess of the harvest. Due to this relationship there is often tension between Nysák and Shamner, and this is due to speculation that Rhella is also a lover of Shamner. This speculation is fueled by Rhella’s flirtations with Shamner, and her allowing him to kiss and caress her in public. Shamner has done nothing to discourage the rumors Rhella has spread about the two of them, and, while Nysák could really care less if Rhella is involved with someone else he has often felt compelled to act as though there has been a major affront. While this has led to some tension between the followers of these two deities, the truth is that neither is really interested in open conflict with the other and only goes along with it to humor Rhella.

Interaction with his followers

Nysák sees himself as the life of the party, and worship of Nysák appeals to those who wish to throw off all restraints of society and live in a constant state of being in a wild party. Nysák teaches his followers that the complete abandonment of social norms and surrender to their baser urges will lead to ultimate fulfillment. To Nysák, however, this does not translate into any spiritual fulfillment, but only to the satisfying of physical urges. This has led him to promote attitudes among his followers that tend to be self-destructive, and many of his followers end up becoming addicted to various drugs or to Nysák’s favorite vice, which is alcohol. Nysák’s priests serve as hosts for the wild parties of his followers, and his conservatories are seen by outsiders as centers of debauchery, where his priests and followers emulate the worst excesses of Nysák’s lifestyle. While Nysák sees his role as positive and does not like to be seen by his followers in the role of a feared god meting out punishment, he will not hesitate to punish those who offend him. Usually he does this by forcing them to drink a wine that is laced with a strong hallucinogenic just before one of the celebrations. The one being punished will then be induced to dance with a poisonous snake during the height of the party. The snake is trained to bite the one being punished during this dance. If the offending party is a female they are bitten on the breast, and if they are male they are bitten on the penis. The offending party dies horribly, but the other followers see their death as a result of the deceased person’s choice to dance with a snake, and do not realize that it was punishment for offending Nysák.

I call upon boisterous Nysák,
Primal lord of the festival,
Celebrator of flesh, decked in naught but flesh,
Holding cluster of grape and flagon of wine,
Mate of Rhella, the union of harvest.
Hearken to my voice, O blessed one,
And breathe on me in a spirit of perfect pleasure.

~ Invocation from the Nysákic Hymns

Overview and Description

Annánac is the god of ice and of water, and his primary focus is on promoting anything related to being in the water or moving across the ice. Annánac prefers liquid water over ice, but will use ice if he feels the need or desire to do so. Unlike some of his counterparts in the Imperium and Tenebris Legions, Annánac and his fellow deities prefer to use positive reinforcement with their followers, although they still do this for their own benefit.

Powers and Identifying Features

Annánac can take many forms depending on his mood. He can appear at times to be made from the very waves in which he travels, or as a creature of ice. He does not often take these forms, though. Instead he will usually take on a corporeal form as he travels through the waves on a sea chariot of waves, pulled by horses that also take the form of the waves. In his hand, he carries a trident made of coral. Annánac has long hair of a reddish hue, a long flowing beard, and much of his pale and grayish body is covered with scales. Like some of his fellow deities in the Aequalis Legion he generally does not wear clothing. Usually when out of the water, however, he will cover himself in a limited capacity by means of a large shell that grows out of his skin and covers his penis. He may also wear an open robe of sea moss if he feels in the mood, and he can envelop himself and others around him in a concealing mist.

Interaction with other deities

While Annánac has had a few lovers in the past, including Ellissia for a brief time, he tends to be more of a loner, even among members of the Aequalis Legion. He is not anti-social, and can be friendly toward them, but he prefers long periods of solitude. Breaking his solitude unexpectedly is the quickest way to unleash his anger. Even his fellow deities prefer to avoid this, as he is more than a match for most of them. The closest any other deity came to outright conflict with him was Odros, who once interrupted his solitude to complain about how Annánac’s followers saw him as a lawgiver. The storm that erupted lasted weeks, and, though Odros was able to weather it, it was an unpleasant experience. He never bothered Annánac again, and other deities who saw the exchange chose to leave him be in the future as well.

Interaction with his followers

Annánac gives his followers fair seas, and advantageous currents in return for their worship. He is also seen as a lawgiver by his followers. His followers will call upon him for aid when they need wind or a current while at sea, or when they need a concealing mist to hide from enemies. Of the deities in the three legions, he is also the only one to use his power to resurrect or heal certain followers. In some cases, when a devoted follower has died or is near death, he will channel some energy he has gained from worship into the devotee and heal them. He only does this, however, when he can make it a public spectacle, thereby resulting in increased worship and an even greater return on his power.

His conservatories also serve as lighthouses along the shores of major lakes, seas, and oceans. His priests and priestesses serve as keepers of the lights in these conservatories, and they also instruct his followers in how to swim, among other things. Those who call upon him must truly be in need, however, as the penalty for disturbing him needlessly could literally bring down a destructive storm on the worshipper, as well as all those around them. As destructive as that punishment is, turning away from worshipping Annánac brings the greatest penalty, at least on an individual basis. The one who has turned away is brought to the conservatory by the priests and priestesses, who also summon all those in the vicinity that have remained faithful so they might observe the punishment. The one being punished is stripped of all clothing and tied to a horizontal board, with their head slightly lower than their feet. A cloth is placed over their face, and water is slowly poured over the cloth, making the victim feel like they are drowning. This is done repeatedly over the course of hours or days until the victim finally dies of exhaustion brought on by the repeated instances of oxygen deprivation.

Hear, Annánac, potentate of water,
Who interweaves the land, thou father;
Who, at the depths of the stormy head,
In dusk, deep-bosom'd, thy wat'ry bed;
Thy awful hand the coral trident bears,
The edges of the sea, hold thy resplendent lairs:
Thee I beseech, whose chargers the waves divide,
From whose red locks the salty waters glide;
Whose speech, booming through the deep,
Drives all its swells, in a violent heap;
When sternly riding the searing sea in your way,
Thy gruff command the tremulous sprays obey.
Give placid Concord, and fair Vigor bide,
And pour abundance in untarnished tide.

~ Hymn to Annánac, from an ancient Knossonian tablet

Overview and Description

Rhella is the goddess of the harvest, and her primary focus is on things that grow, specifically on grains, fruits, and vegetables. Unlike some of her counterparts in the Imperium and Tenebris Legions, Rhella and her fellow deities prefer to use positive reinforcement with their followers, although they still do this for their own benefit.

Powers and Identifying Features

Rhella can take many forms, but the form for which she is most known is that of a simple maiden with dark hair and dark skin. She dresses simply, yet seductively, in a simple dress made of supple animal skins. Sometimes, though not always, one breast will be bared. While she is by no means bashful, she is not as keen as some of her fellow deities in her legion to walk about in the nude, and will usually only shed her clothing in its entirety when swimming with her lover, Nysák.

Interaction with other deities

Rhella has long been in a sexual relationship with Nysák, and this is one of the most important things to her. She is extremely jealous of Nysák’s time and attention, and will sometimes flirt and even make out with Shamner in an attempt to make Nysák jealous. Nysák plays along with this, as does Shamner. The reality, however, is that while Nysák cares for her, he really has no quarrel with Shamner. They only play along with the charade of being rivals to humor her.

Interaction with her followers

Rhella craves love, even above worship, and the love of her followers is like a drug to her. To get her followers to not only worship her, but to love her as well, Rhella will often give exceptionally good harvests. One would think that, based on this, there would be no downside to worshiping Rhella, but they would be wrong. Rhella is jealous of the love and attention of her followers, and if she feels she is not getting their full and undivided love and attention she will often assume, usually incorrectly, that they do not truly love her. When this occurs, she will send famine and blight upon the followers whom she feels have not shown true fawning devotion to her. In some extreme cases, if she is in a truly bad mood and a worshiper has not been sufficiently fawning toward her, she will take the unfortunate follower, strip them of all clothing, personally place them in a cage in one of her conservatories, and leave them there until they starve to death while wallowing in their own filth.

The rivers swell for you,
Without a year of lack,
The plants bring your due.
The earth and soil, so hearty and black,
The fields, they shine, with wheat so gold,
Thy wondrous favor, they have, to hold.

~ Hymn of Rhella, from an ancient unknown source