The Spring of Ardoc
Myth and Religion
Wandering in the nothing and the everything was Osimoneus, master of the flow of time and all the myriad energies that were, are, or will be. For all that he was, he was alone. Bending his will, Osimoneus rent the flow of time to create an eddy. Within this stillness gathered lost fragments of things forgotten. Breathing onto it, the pieces took form and Attiphae came to be. With a companion at his side, the combining of their wills, the world came to be. As the complexity of time and space grew, they set the children they bore the task of tempering as caretakers many of the spheres that had been made real. One for each: Abacca (Energy), Sylvamond (Air), Honrar and Danar (Earth), Saulen (Fire), Ota-ord (Darkness), Wyntakai (mind) and Marival (Water). As each went their way, many were the creatures and places that came to be.
In time, jealousy grew between the twins Honrar and Danar. No longer able to work together, their disagreements rose to open war. Both recruited amongst their siblings splitting the children of Osimoneus and Attiphae into two camps as the first war of the gods. Great was carnage and death amongst the many creatures and the oldest races as the gods actively led them to battle. No longer able to stand for the destruction that their children were bringing upon all creation, Osimoneus called them all together to settle before creation was laid to ruin. With Attiphae at his side, the negotiations began. In a momentary fit during the discussions, Danar’s anger bubbled to uncontrollable rage at his twins words. Lashing out with his will and might, he sought to strike Honrar down. Honrar, anticipating the move was braced and ready. The resulting energies of the attack and defense were deflected. When the dust had settled and energies faded, the favored daughter of Attiphae, Marival, lay dead. Unprepared and unable to react, the sudden release of violent energies was too much for even a goddess to withstand. In blind rage, Attiphae turned on all that she and Osimoneous had created bent on destroying it and their remaining children with it.
Where the wars destruction had previously been contained to the world of the mortals, now nothing was to be spared. Attiphae first ripped the heart out of the continent Ostival where the council and murder had occurred flooding it with the waters of the surrounding seas and hurling the torn pieces across the face of the world. Drawing deeper on her will, the stars began to darken and the sun to dim. The deep chill gave even her children pause as her wrath began to manifest like ice on the darkest of winter nights. Knowing time was short, Osimoneous set his children the task of gathering all the shards of Ostival and bringing them into the heavens. As they did his bidding, with great sorrow he bent his will to counter that of his former companion. What had once been a single land was further fractured into a multitude of islands and continents. Fires from the heart of the world rose up to counter the chill of Attiphae. Time slowed as the essence of creation was locked into the wills of the former lovers.
With the thwarting of her will Attiphae’s anger grew and reason fled till nothing but the desire to destroy all remained. Deep in her madness, she knew only in destroying Osimoneous could she satisfy her desires. Convincing Wyntekai she would raise him up above all others and playing on his own anger at the death of his twin, Marival, he aided her in luring Osimoneous into a trap. Within the deep ice of the northern reaches, she hoped to shackle him and drain Osimoneous, to gain his power and end what she had begun. Osimoneous went knowing full well her subterfuge and intent with a plan of his own. With her sons help, Attiphae broke through Osimoneous defenses. Helpless and grief stricken before her, she began to draw his will into her own while Wyntekai watched with glee. Forgetting himself, Wyntekai stepped forth to share in the “feast”. No longer needing his aid and angered by the affront, Attiphae locked him into crystalline ice bowed before her. Seizing the moment of distraction, Osimoneous broke from his restraints and fled to the moon Pashtor. Shrieking with rage and bubbling with the added strength she took from her husband, Attiphae gave pursuit.
Confronting Osimoneous on Pashtor, she only wanted him gone. In her focused rage, she did not notice the changes wrought on Pashtor nor her remaining six children gathering around. She only had eyes for the one creature who’s will had slowed her from her revenge. It was at this moment that Osimoneous reached out to that part of him that he had freely given to bring Attiphae forth. The recent stealing of his will and essence had awoken in Attiphae the memory of its origin. Having made it her own, Osimoneous did not have the strength to easily draw it back nor did he want to see any more his works destroyed. Instead, he locked the strength of that stolen and freely given essence into a stasis, trapping Attiphae within her own mind. With her mind locked by their father, the six children carried Attiphae deep into the heart of Pashtor to the stone bed Osimoneous had instructed they make. Upon leaving, the living tomb created, Osimoneous, Saulen, Abacca, Ota-ord, Danar, Honrar and Sylvamond sealed the rocks and dust closing for all time the resting place of Attiphae.
Weakened and grieving, Osimoneous looked at his children one last time. Turning his back on them, the tomb of his wife and all he had wrought, he simply disappeared, leaving it all behind. The six gods present tired and lessened by all that had occurred agreed to a pact. None would again seek sole dominion through direct action on the mortal plains. Pashtor would be neutral ground sacred to none and inviolate. That none would be set above another in order to rule all. While mortal wars were still to wind down as the races sought new homelands and safety , this effectively ended the first war of the gods.
After many score of centuries, a new balance was reached amongst the original children of the creators and the sphere’s they were granted dominion over evolved. Other creatures rose to sit beside them in the struggle to gain advantage over the other. The names of the creators faded into dim memory for even their children leaving the world with only vague stories that they had ever been.
• The Ondo and Y’este were once one race created by Marival in the beginning of the ages. When she was struck down during the first war of the gods, the ensuing anger and grief split the elves in twain. Those that went on to become the Ondo followed Tenebis Consila into the depths of the earth to start anew far from the prying eyes of the elder gods. The Y’este followed Laula Tekija and remained on the surface attempting to repair the damages done by Marival’s loss. In every hallowed place of ancestors, both races dedicate a single marker in memory of their dead goddess, one of the only ties they still share.
• Scattered throughout the seas are rumored to be cults of the dead goddess Marival. Small groups of sorceress women reported to have the blood of the dead goddess in their veins. It is their belief that in the downfall of the twins Honrar and Danar lie’s the rebirth of Marival. To this end, they worship at the shrines of their “mother” and work to bring down the houses of the twins.
o Artifact: Blood of Marival
Marival was known to wear a small crown of silver inset with 14 beautiful blue gemstones about the size of a halflings fist. Each stone shifted with the reflection of all the colors of open water from the clearest lightest blue to the rich near black of a polar night. Upon her death, the circlet was destroyed and the stones scattered or lost among creation. Highly sought by the cult of Marival.
• The Shi’ven elves are the only race to have not lost memory of Attiphae. With the sundering of her prison, they again openly worship and work toward serving her goals of destruction. No known temples or cults exist outside of the deepest fastness of the southern ice fields where the Shi’ven dwell.
• The ongoing struggle between Honrar and Danar continues into current times. The only exception being the short truce to deal with Tekenall. It is not uncommon for open conflict to erupt when the twins are involved.
• The followers of Saulen rightfully believe that as the eldest of the remaining gods, he is the nominal chief deity. When looking at the other deities though, this is a slight thing at best. For all the good intended, it is hard to escape the implied arrogance of the most devout of his followers.
DEITIES: Players must choose from the Good/Neutral for characters. The lesser gods are associated with a greater god for sphere of influence/working together. Percentages reflect commonality of worship.
Abacca (ah-bah-cah) N (Mind) – “Knowledge is a path, not a destination” One of the elder gods, it is with great reluctance that Abacca is drawn into the conflict of his brethren preferring to continue his studies of the cosmos. He is revered by wizards and many who try to remove themselves from the strife of the world. Domain: Magic, Knowledge, Protection Weapon: Quarterstaff
Attiphae (Aht-tee-fay) CE (Energy) – Ancient Goddess of balance, with former dominion over spheres of creation, destruction and magic. Long imprisoned by her children, the eldest gods, she is again free. Her only remembered purpose is to destroy what is so a new cycle can begin. Seeks to create the “Winter of Oblivion” to carry this out. Her will first defined flow of magic in the world. Few know her existence and fewer still worship her. Not available for player characters at outset. Domain: Madness, Destruction, Winter Weapon: Spear
Calcorrum (cal-cohr-ruhm) CG (air) – “The wind at your back and family at your side, the world is your home” During the wars in the time of dust, Calcorrum’s homeland was made barren. His friends and family were turned away from everywhere they sought refuge. In desparation, Calcorrum challenged the goddess Phiana to a riddle contest to change the luck of his people to the better. The contest lasted for a fortnight taking a toll on Cal. In the end his cunning prevailed and his people were saved. Phiana was so pleased by the game she petittioned the other gods and Calcorrum was granted godhood in his own right. He is still revered by the halflings in honor of his courage and cleverness. Domain: Trickery, Good, Luck Weapon: cudgel
Danar (day-nahr) LE (metal) – “The oath twister” God of War and Law, Danar uses laws as an iron fist to rule and dominate. Refusing to ever lose to his twin again, his followers fight a constant struggle to undermine Honrar and destroy St. Antenious. Known as “Drusus the Betrayer” in human lands and “Duraz Thag (stone traitor)” in dwarven. Domain: Law, War, Evil Weapon: Dire Flail
Finnith LG (earth) – “The Master Mason” Revered by the dwarves, Finnith has dominion over the very bones of the earth. Deliberate in action and demeanor, his strength capable of rising up or shattering mountains, he is one of the first to emerge of the younger gods. Many other earth dwelling and delving creatures of good intent look to Finnith for protection and guidance. High level clerics are known as anointed masons while lower are journeymen of Finnith or Apprentice to Finnith. He is known simply as Finnith by all the races. Domain: Earth, Strength, Good Weapon: Heavy stone topped war hammer
Honrar (ohn-rahr) LG (metal) – “The oath keeper” God of honor and war, Honrar and his twin Danar were set as guardians of creation at the beginnings of time. The strife that grew between them pushed the downfall of the first house of the gods. Honrar is dedicated still to guarding creation set against those who would twist or destroy it for their own ends. Known as “Atius” in human lands and “Gomthi Az (Axe ancestor)” in dwarven. Domains: Law, Good, War Weapon: Steel War axe
Izaeren (its-ay-wren) CN (water) – “Nature is meant to unpredictable, not corralled” “Let nature take its course”, Held responsible for the vagaries of weather and the creatures of nature, he prefers to all the natural world to its own devices. Izaeren only becomes actively involved when the natural order is forcibly altered to its detriment. Domains: Animal, Plant, Water Weapon: Long bow
Kalean (kay-lee-ahn) NG (air) – “The Watcher”, Kalean is the newest of the Gods ruling the realms of truth, magic and knowledge. Kalean was a sorceress who first called out Tekenal for the threat he had become. She died with the effort of splitting Pashtor to expose the hidden places. In light of her deeds, she was raised to godhood. Wizards, sorcerers, monks and commoners alike pay her homage. Domain: Magic, Knowledge, Air Weapon: Quarterstaff
Laula Tekija (lah-oo-lah teh-kee-jah) NG (mind) – “The singer of the ways” With the death of Marival, Laula determined her people, the Y’este, would celebrate life in all its glories while always being vigilant to those who lacked respect for life. Upon her passing, her spirit was woven into the song of her people. The strength of her spirit and the power of the song propelled her to godhood. She is also known as “Aderyn” the song bird in human lands. Domain: Protection, Good, Knowledge Weapon: Rapier
Marival (mare-ih-vell) CG (water) – “The martyred goddess” Outside of the oldest songs of the Y’este and Ondo, the little knowledge that remains is either lost or in the possession of the few hidden cults that have arisen.
Nessolar NE (mind) – “Life is temporary, death is forever” The goddess arose after the first war of the gods reveling in the loss of life it caused. She sees life as an inconvenient state hindering her access to undead servants. Nessolar’s favorite tool to help remove the curse of living is disease. Followers take great “joy” in thwarting Saulen and adding to the minions of Nessolar. Domain: Evil, Death, Pestilence Weapon: Rusted Sickle
Osimoneous (oh-see-moh-nee-us) N (mind) – “The all creator”, “Wanderer of Time” His name is long lost. Creator and father of the gods, he has removed himself from the site of all he created. The eldest gods know him but have long assumed he will never return. The races of mortals have all forgotten him. Only in the oldest writing of the Shi’ven is his existence even mentioned. Domain: All Weapon: none
Ota-ord (oh-tah ord ) LN (darkness) – “the gate keeper and watcher of ways” Third eldest of the gods, Ota-ord ushers mortals through the gateways upon their deaths. His minions guard the ways ensuing only those meant to pass are able and that those have passed do no return. Domain: Death, Law, Cold Weapon: Ritiik
Phiana (fee-ahn-ah) CN (air) – “It is all a game where the rules are what we make them” Phiana was born from the conflicts following the first war of the gods. She is eldest of the younger gods bridging the gap between the elder and younger gods. Preferring games of chance over thoughtful consideration to resolve conflict, she is rarely sought out by the other gods unless the need is dire. In her ways, how the game is played is as important as the outcome. Cheating is only an affront if caught in the act. Domain: Trickery, Air, Chaos Weapon: Throwing Knife
Saulen (sah oo len) NG (fire) – “The smallest light reveals glory and banishes the darkness” As followers of the eldest of the living god, Saulen’s followers truly believe his light is the only way. Great in healing with a true hatred of the undead and fear of uncontrolled (not bound by the will of a god) use of magic, they passion burns hot and bright leaving little room for doubt in the way they serve the greater good. Domain: Good, Healing, Sun Weapon: Steel Mace
St. Antenious (ahn ten ee us) LN (stone) – “To serve law is to honor the gods” As a humble servant of Honrar, Antenious spent his life as a wandering cleric in simple gray and blue homespun armed with nothing more than a simple wooden gavel during the Fourscores War. His martyrdom for defending the rights of fellow followers in the ancient city of Mancor from the ruling Canar priesthood so inflamed the citizenry in this time they arose to destroy the priesthood and their temple. Chanting Antenious’ name, they poured forth and destroyed all who turned their back on or twisted the law to suit their needs within the lands ruled by the city. The unleashing of the peoples will in his name for the sake of Honrar so moved the god that he allowed their praise to lift Antenious’ spirit. Serving as mediator, St. Antenious servants remain popular and respected in many towns and cities of all the races today. Domain: Protection, Law, Strength Weapon, metal bound wooden hammer
Sylvamond (sill-vah-mohnd) CG (water) – “in nature lies joy” The youngest of the seven living elder gods, Sylvamond takes great joy in the wild places. Those who seek to protect and live with the natural order revere her. The seasons of growing are when she is held in highest regard with even settled farmsteads making small offerings in her name when sowing their crops. Domain: Water, Plant, Healing Weapon: Sling
NE (darkness)_ – “knowledge grants power, hidden knowledge is power” Born in the shadows of the second age, Tekenal took advantage of the weakness of the elder gods by hoarding power to himself. In life he found the secret ways unwatched by the gatekeeper. Using this knowledge, he cheated even death. He paid for his boldness with the disfiguring of his body. His right side was burned and disfigured blinding one eye and curling his hand into a useless claw. His greatest priests sacrifice their right hand by burning in fire to take on his likeness. He is worshipped by those who follow the darker paths of magic and hoarders of secrets. Domain: Trickery, Magic, Knowledge Weapon: dagger
Tenebis Consila (tehn-ee-bis con-sill-ah) LE (earth) – “Deep in the earth, it can be made anew” Eschewing the lands under the care of the gods so willing to slay the patron of the Ondo, Tenebis, led her people deep into the earth away from their sight. There she set her people to building a new order where she could control all to keep her peoples from harm. In the deeps, she lived even longer than the rest of her long lived people. In time there devotion to her turned to worship and she herself become one of the immortals. Queen priestess’ still rule the Ondo in her name. Domain: Earth, Protection, Evil Weapon: Whip
Vandaren(van-dare-ehn) N (earth) – “the traveler”, “The horizon will always draw me on” Patron of any who travel the roads for their livelihood, Vandaren represents both the joy of seeing what comes next tinged with the sadness of never knowing a home. Many ships and wagons bare a small carving of his symbol in hopes he will watch over their journeys. Borders, walls and gates are contrivances that can anger Vandaren as hindrance to his freedom to roam. Domain: Earth, Travel, Protection Weapon: Staff
Vorgosh (vohr-gaush) NE (fire) – “Fire burns, blood boils, it is good” Revered by the orcs, Vorgosh greatest pleasures are in the spoils of war. In the second age following the first war of the gods, Vorgosh, then lord general of Danar’s mortal forces was raised to godhood to serve for the rest of time. His favored method was to attack with the brute strength of numbers forcing his foes into cunning traps where fire could cleanse his foes in sacrifice. Domain: War, Fire, Destruction Weapon: Falchion
Wyntakai (win-tah-kie) CE (ice)_ – “In the dark of a winter’s night, fear is my friend” Twin of Marival, Wyntakai determined to destroy the workings of his brothers Danar and Honrar. Many of the lesser goblinoid races sacrifice to him out of fear of the night. Rarely worshipped in the civilized places, there are still occasional cults that sacrifice to him. Domain: Winter, Chaos, Evil Weapon: Sugliin
DEATH IN ARDOC – There is no official cult or practice that is uniform to the land. Ordinary losses are mourned quietly, a small offering is made to the travelling priests of Ota-ord who usher the treat body and usher the spirit on to the next plane. Most burials are in communal burial mounds scattered throughout the plains with the entry typically holding a small shrine to Ota-ord. The only known catacombs in a city are deep under the capital of Ardoc. There is rumor that there were catacombs in Sandstun lost to the magic and ensuing destruction at the end of the age of lies. The truly devout followers of specific gods are sent off through separate rituals. For Saulen, the body is wrapped in white clothe and set ablaze. followers of Honrar are set adrift in small carved boats in full battle regalia to be taken by the waters. For the followers of Finnith, sturdy stone caskets deep in the earth are honored by the living. Followers of Izaeren are wrapped in a cocoon of leaves and bark and buried in the wild woods.