Campaign of the Month: May 2016
Deities and Powers
“Faith is not a matter of choosing a single God in Midgard, but choosing the right God for a particular need or occasion.”
Gods of the Campaign:
As all players will be living in Zobeck at the start of the campaign, the Gods initially referred to will be the Gods of the Crossroads as outlined below (see Gods of the Crossroads). As the campaign progresses to the Southlands, new Gods will be introduced (see Gods of Nuria Natal). These are the primary Gods of worship by the peoples of these two regions, although people will also know of Dark Gods worshipped by undead and evil forces (e.g. Boreas, The Goat of the Woods, Chernovog, Charon, Mammon, The Hunter, Sarastra and The White Goddess, or in the case of the Southlands, Set, Aposis, Nakresh and The Hunter).
Characters may be aware of the Gods of the North and the Gods of the South. Some will regard their present Gods as mere updated forms of those older pantheons. Others may regard them as different Gods altogether. Anyone with knowledge of the Dragon Kingdoms will know the name Azuran (A god-concept depicted by both wind and dragon). A few will have knowledge of Baba Yaga and the curse of the gnomes of the Rothenian Plains. Fewer still will know of the Great Elders worshipped by the Dust Goblins of the Wasted West. Since history tells of the time of the Elves and since recently, near Zobeck, there have been rumours of new Shadow Roads opening up ways to the kingdoms of the Fey World, characters may have heard of Sarastra, the Queen of Night and Magic and the Moonlit King (rulers of the Shadow Fey). Most characters will also have knowledge of Morena, the Red Goddess, patron of MORGAU and DORESH and existing in constant opposition to the healing powers of Lada.
All Characters will be aware of Ouroboros, whom some call Veles, as the originator of the world and the ultimate force holding it together. It is widely believed that all Gods must succumb to the Word of Ouroboros, although he is not actively worshipped, except by some Dragon Lords.
Gods of the Crossroads:
Khors – Knights, Magdar – Fire, Glory, Magic, Nobility, Sun
Lada (Baldur) – Women, Centaurs, Elves, Children – Charm, Healing, Nobility, Strength, Sun
Mavros-Perun – Soldiers, Watchmen, Farmers – Death, Healing, Strength, War, Weather
Rava (Ariadne) – Gearforged, Merchants, Kobolds – Artifice, Clockwork, Knowledge, Luck, Travel
Volund (Svarog) – Dwarves, Kariv, Smiths – Animal, Artifice, Community, Earth, Fire (Travel)
Yarela and Porevit – Druids, Farmers, Elves, Fishermen – Earth, Healing, Plant, Water, Weather.
Gods of Nuria Natal:
If the Gods of Midgard enjoy wearing masks so that they can walk around in the land and remain unseen, then this is even more true of Nuria Natal, where the powerful ley lines emanating from the River Nuria intermingle with Divine Sparks left over from the Titans of Glorious Umbuso and potent Nature Powers still residing in the winds and plants, to create a magical land more Divine than any other in the whole of Midgard.
Here the Gods take an active part in the development of the land and the cultures of the various humoids who dwell in and around it. Often, they will walk among their subjects, listening, even interacting directly. Such is their involvement, that Divinations of all types seem to be stronger than anywhere else on the flat world, and clerics from abroad will often marvel at the power of their own prayer.
The number of deities and powers are numerous but the most powerful Gods of the area are as follows:
Anu-Akma – The Elderly, Ghouls, Gnolls – Death, Earth. Law, Protection, Travel
Aten – Humans, Dwarves, Saph-Saph – Air, Glory, Law, Nobility, Sun
Bastet – Alchemists, Dancers, Gnolls, Soldiers – Animal, Charm, Moon, Hunting (Strength), Sun
Horus – Nomads, Heruti, Nurians, Mankurians – Bird (Animal), Glory, Nobility, Protection, Weather
Ninkash – Dwarves, Brewers, Farmers – Beer, Charm, Community, Liberation, Strength
Thoth-Hermes – Scholars, Scribes, Thieves, Wizards – Knowledge, Magic, Rune, Travel, Trickery
There are many gods in the different regions of The Southlands but this campaign will centre around the Gods of Nuria Natal and their relationship (if any) with the Gods of The Crossroads.
New Powers and Gods of other areas will be detailed at the bottom of this page as they become important to the storyline.
In the Crossroads…
Khors is declining in power and influence in the Crossroads region as his place is slowly but surely usurped by Rava.
Symbols and Books: The Radiant Sun; The Book of The Sun
Worshippers: Knights of the Order of Undying Light, Magdar Kingdom, Grisal, Illyria.
Shrines and Priests: The Temple in Zobeck is devoted more to his father Svarog than to Khors. Many of his priests are Pantheist Priests.
Masks: Aten, Baldur, Lada.
Other Faiths: Enemy of Sarastra, the White Goddess and indeed, all Dark Gods.
What Khors Demands: Rise and Pray at Dawn and Noon. Never approach foes by stealth, but bravely and openly. Cast down Demons and Devils without quarter. Courage is the greatest virtue of the warrior. If you must retreat, make clear your intention to return and win the day.
Everyone loves Lada, the Goddess of Healing and Love, although few truly follow her teachings of mercy and forgiveness.
Symbols and Books: The Radiant Eye; The Golden Book of Ruby Laughter, The Codex of Herbals, Prayers and Simples.
Worshippers: Many, for does not everyone wish for mercy, healing and light? Mothers, children, the sick, paladins, rangers, Southern Travellers and the Dwarves of Nordmansch.
Shrines and Priests: The Holiest Sites are on high ground where dawn breaks early. Temples are built with large dawn steeples and main doors facing east. High Priest of Zobeck is Lucca Angeli (NG female human cleric Lev 11). Largest temple is the Temple in the Rosy Dawn in the Magdar Kingdom capital of Cronepisht.
Masks: Hathor, Isis, Astarte, The Voice of Hope.
Other Faiths: Aligned with her brother Khors. Unflinching enemy of the Three Sisters, Marena the Red, Sarastra of the Night and The White Goddess. Mortal enemy is Mavros-Perun. Priests of Lada rarely serve in any army devoted to Mavros.
What Lada Demands: Care for all who are sick. Defend lovers from all dangers and trials. Show mercy to those who ask it. Do not turn away from poverty and want without a kind word and an offer of help.
The God of War and Thunder is the Lord of the Storm Court in the North and the Master of Strife in the South. He is a creature of destruction, strength and war but also healing and rebirth, as war and death bring cleansing to the soul.
Symbols and Books: The Spear and The Sword, Any Weapon, Lightning Bolt; 25 Martial Books, The Soldier’s Journey.
Worshippers: Seven Cities, Rothenian Plain, Grand Duchy and the people of Illyria. Soldiers, Watchmen, Farmers and Shepherds alike throughout the lands.
Shrines and Priests: House of Swords in Valera, Temple of Twin Thunderbolts in Donnermark, The Seat of Mavros in the Western Wastes of Caelmarath, Priesthoods of the Numerous Spear, Keepers of the Seat, Dwarven order of the Thunderer in the Halls of Thunder Mountain.
Masks: Perun, Thor
Other Faiths: Husband of Hecate in the South and Marena the Red Goddess in the North. Enemies include Lada the Golden Goddess.
What Mavros-Perun Demands: Worshippers are expected to seek out battle and keep their martial skills well honed. Cowardice is shameful and abhorrent. All worhsippers of Mavros-Perun must make a pilgrimage to the Seat of Mavros at least once in their lifetime.
Patron Goddess of Zobeck, revered for her devotion to industry and invention. She is also a sponsor of magic and knowledge.
Symbols and Books: Clockwork Gears and the Spider; A dozen volumes of prophecy in The Clockwork Oracle in Zobeck.
Worshippers: The industrious, the learned, dwarves, humans and kobolds all have their own shrines. Alchemists, wizards, scribes, guild masters and weavers all turn to Rava for wise counsel.
Shrines and Priests: High Priestess of Rava is Lena Ravovik (LN female neutral human cleric Lev 9), Highest Dwarven priest in Zobeck is Ondli Firedrake. Most famous of the priests of Rava are the “Goddess-Forged”, blessed to become immortal magical machines covered in metal and gaining the CONSTRUCT type.
Masks: Ariadne, The Norns, Thoth-Hermes
Other Faiths: Enemy of Bastet and hostile to Yarela and Porevit.
What Rava Demands: Seek out new learning and steer the world’s fate to peace and plenty. Rava’s followers must defend her Patron City against any threat that the Clockwork Oracle identifies
Volund is the god of Earth and Fire. His patrons are the Reaver Dwarves, but many races pray to him as the master craftsman and lord of all jewels and precious metals in the earth.
Symbols and Books: Hammer or Battle Axe; Book of the Anvil, Saga of Volund’s Wanderings.
Worshippers: Reaver Dwarves, Cantonal Dwarves, the Kariv and the Khazzaki of the Rothenian Plains, the people of Zobeck.
Shrines and Priests: Major temples in the Free Cantons, Domains of the Princes, the Northlands, Seven Cities and The Crossroads. The Great Forge-Temple of Volund in the Free Cantons, and the Shrine of 1000 Anvils in Stannasgard are best known. Volund’s most famous priest is Toveli Rogest, Master of Templeforge (LG male dwarf cleric Lev 20). He is the Keeper of the Sacred Hammer.
Masks: The Rider, The Hephaster, Veyland among the Elves of Arbonesse and Svarog in the South.
Other Faiths: Volund and Rava are friendly rivals. He is sometimes the lover of Sif and the husband of Rava, depending on who you believe. His greatest enemies include Seggotan, Loki the Trickster and Boreas, the arctic god of the North winds.
What Volund Demands: He demands that his followers work great crafts in his name, harnessing stone, metal and fire to their will. For his priests, pilgrimage to temples far and wide is common.
Yarela and Porevit
The most complicated of gods and goddesses is the dual godhead of Porevit, the forest god of harvest, wine and greenery, who is also the Goddess Yarela during spring planting, and even Kostroma as the Earth Mother. All living things belong to the Green Gods, especially trees and crops, but also springs and metal tools.
Symbols and Books: Goblet, Bow, Sickle; The Coming of the Green Gods.
Worshippers: Elves, elfmarked, peasants, farmers, hunters, vintners and fishermen.
Shrines and Priests: Shrines are usually built at the edge of fields or in caverns. The largest stone temple is the Twinned Cathedral in Reywald of the Grand Duchy of Dornig, which is governed by Saintmistress Rowanmantle (N female elfmarked cleric Lev 17). The current High Priest of Yarela and Porevit in Zobeck is Ogolai Kiyat, an elderly centaur.
Masks: Freyr and Freyja
Other Faiths: On good terms with the Northern Gods and Gods of the Crossroads, but enemies of the Southern Gods and the Dragon Gods.
What Yarela and Porevit Demand: More than respect for the wild and growing things of the world, Porevit’s mysteries demand that one frequently abstain from meat. All followers are asked to be generous on High Holy Days and to provide alms if asked. Never fail to celebrate solstice and never refuse food and drink to a guest.
and in Nuria Natal…
God of the Underworld, Judge of The Dead and Guardian of Tombs, he is the Pacifiers of Souls, the Preserver of The Worthy, King of Jackals and Patron of Gnolls and Ghouls.
Symbols and Books: The Golden Ankh and The Golden Scythe; The Preservation of Bodies and Migration of Souls.
Worshippers: Humans of the Royal Dynasties, the elderly and ill, Gnolls, Ghouls and Darakhul.
Shrines and Priests: Large Solid Temples such as The Necropolis of The White City, as well as smaller shrines. The Current High Priest of the land is Masaharta Hekaib (LE male human cleric 20) who lives in The City of Crimson Pillars. SCS p52
Masks: Anubis, Charon, Hades.
Other Faiths: Enemy of Sarastra, the White Goddess and indeed, all Dark Gods.
What Anu-Akma Demands: Anu-Akma pretends to be a servant but those who know him see him as king. In the end, even the priests of other gods are buried in the tombs that Anu-Akma watches.
The Sun God, The Lord of Light and Good, Master of Law and Father of Khors, Slayer of Ptah, Osiris and Isis and Patron of the Khemti.
Symbols and Books: His favoured weapons are the Mace and the Staff and the sacred texts inlcude the Word of the Invincible Sun and the prophecies of Ra-Amon-Ra.
Worshippers: Dwarves, Humans and Gnolls of Nuria Natal, with his most devoted followers being the priests and paladins of Per-Xor and Saph-Saph.
Shrines and Priests: The greatest shrine is The Tomb of The Prophet in the City of Per-Xor but the healing waters of the Temple of Siwal are also reknowned.
Masks: Khors, Isis, The White Goddess, Sekhmet.
Other Faiths: Worshippers of Aten believe there are no other true faiths, although followers of Khors and Lada are seen by them as misguided worshippers to be “put on the right path”. Worshippers reject the idea of the supremacy of Horus.
What Aten Demands: Worship and sacrifice. Two hours must be spent in prayer daily and worhippers who fail to gaze on the light-giving sun daily do so in peril of their immortal souls.
The Goddess of Cats and Hunters, Queen of Perfumes, Bastard Child of Aten, Mother of
Alchemy, Patron of the Gnolls and Wife of Anu-Akma.
Symbols and Books: Her symbol is the CAT and sacred texts include “Divine Lies and Desires” and “Words of the Huntress”.
Worshippers: Alchemists, Temple Prostitutes, Simple Farmers, Lowly Soldiers, Dancers and Gnolls.
Shrines and Priests: The Dome of the Divine Face of Bastet in Per-Bastet is the most famous, along with The Black House of Anu-Akma, also in Bastet. Bastet accepts only priestesses, although male worshippers are welcome.
Masks: Sekhmet, Ailuros and Artemis, even the dragon god Azuran.
Other Faiths: On good terms with the worsippers of Anu-Akma, all worshippers of Bastet hate the serpent god Set.
What Bastet Demands: Take pleasure in life and live for the day. Hunt and kill your food when you can, and take joy in destroying serpents.
Sky Lord, Master of the Sun, Moon and Heavens, Prince of Princes, King of Kings, the Patron of Nuria Natal.
Symbols and Books: The Eye of Horus and The Sacred Ibis. The Code of Horus is the main text as well as the main set of laws covering the land.
Worshippers: Alchemists, Temple Prostitutes, Simple Farmers, Lowly Soldiers, Dancers and Gnolls.
Shrines and Priests: Numerous temples in the Delta Cities, countless mobile shrines accompanying caravans, traders, pilgrims and performers. Also some mountaintop temples, the most famous of which is Khepri Khnum in the Chelamite Range.
Masks: Aten, Khors.
Other Faiths: Horus is the benevolent chief of the Nurian Pantheon, with strong connections to all of the other gods, apart from “Aten The False”.
What Horus Demands: Battle and slay ancient abominations and their cults. Kill the enemies who threaten your homeland and betray your kin but treat others with hospitality and honour.
Mother of Beer, Goddess of Merriment, Patron of Brewers and Taverns, Matron Goddess of the Cantonal Dwarves.
Symbols and Books: The Golden “Y” shape. Few texts, but many songs that tell of imparted dreams and drunken visions.
Worshippers: Dwarves, lower class inhabitants of Nuria Natal, and others in the Spice Coast and Ishadia, even the Mharoti Empire.
Shrines and Priests: Taverns throughout the lands are regarded as the temples and shrines of Ninkash.
Masks: Yarela and Porevit.
Other Faiths: All faiths are embraced by “the inspired” but less so the hard doctrines of Horus and Aten.
What Ninkash Demands: Pleasing oneself and family in small daily things, inward desires, demands of flesh and kinship, questioning the law and clan rules.
The Wise, God of Knowledge and Learning, Creator of Language, Lord of Merchants, Patron of Scholars and Thieves, Patron of the Magocracy of Allain.
Symbols and Books: The Staff and The Dagger are the main symbols. Sacred texts include The Book of Magic, The Book of Starry Wisdom, The Book of The World and 150 Sacred Rituals.
Worshippers: Scholars, scribes, merchants, thieves, messengers, travellers and wizards throughout Nuria Natal and The Seven Cities.
Shrines and Priests: The greatest shrines are great libraries such as the Hermetic Academy of Mempar and the Library Temple of Siwal.
Masks: Ptah, Loki, Wotan, The Goat of The Woods, Rava.
Other Faiths: Followers of Thoth-Hermes are largely indifferent to the world beyond the scriptorium door but get on with those of Isis, Horus, Aten and Bastet.
What Thoth-Hermes Demands: Be Literate and numerate. Learn, keep and hone your skills. The destruction of books is forbidden but their theft is encouraged.
More Deities and Powers
Sarastra, Queen of Night and Magic
Sarastra rules the Shadow Realm, the source of darkness and raw arcane energies.
Symbols and Books: A star in a triangle above three whorls of air, The Mistress of Air and Darkness.
Worshippers: Shadow Fey, Tielfing Arcanists, pockets of the Seven Cities and even some in Zobeck.
Shrines and Priests: Shrines are usually dark structures, illuminated by glinting silver. The Moon’s Grace Temple of Zobeck is headed by MISTRESS ALICE COOPER OF THE DARK NIGHT.
Masks: Many natural forms including Shadow Fey, Deer, Ravens, Owls, wind, or Heid, Hecate, even Charun in the South.
Other Faiths: Rivals include Charun, Wotan, Yarela and Porevit. Primary ally is The Hunter in his aspect as The Moonlit King.
What Sarastra Demands: Walk the world and understand its magic, celebrate beauty, enchantment, deceipt, ignore the laws of men, sacrifice blood and magic to the Goddess by night and reap your rewards during the day.
The White Goddess
The Goddess of Bright Pain is a battle goddess who embodies the harshness of life, the sun’s cruel heat and blinding radiance.
Symbols and Books: A sun-like splatter of blood on a white field. The only text of her faith is a large black ball called The Sun’s Eye, inscribed with tortures and rituals for sun blessed races.
Worshippers: Savage races including goblins, derros, kobolds, cruel men and the few remaining orcs who still live deep in underground caves.
Shrines and Priests: Base shrines are built of the bones of sacrificed victims.
Masks: The Goat in the Woods and multiple Lords of Hell.
Other Faiths: Mavros-Perun, Khors, Lada and Yarela and Porevit are all immortal enemies.
What The White Goddess Demands: Kill your enemies. Do not shy away from pain and light. Take what is yours from the weak and enslave or kill those who challenge your rule. Pile high the bones of the fallen.
Nakresh the Many Handed
The many handed Demon Monkey is sometimes female, sometimes male but always mischievous.
Symbols and Books: The Open Hand with a Star in its Palm. The “True Gospel of Prosperity and Wealth” is a collections of cheats, cantrips and swindles practised by her followers against more gullible members of the public.
Worshippers: Thieves, wizards, slavers, Diabolists. Anyone with a taste for crime and a love of wealth.
Shrines and Priests: Shrines are hidden in dark places in the large cities of Nuria Natal. There are five heads of the order, all vying for position of “Greatest of the Five”: Mognyr Dunestalker in Siwal is a friend to gnolls, Master Kiprak holds sway in Per-Xor, Zheita the Magicmonger resides in Per-Set, Sister Starkfeather finds Corremel congenial and Lord Vermin resides in the Capitol City itself.
Masks: Common mask include Mot, Kwansi and even Thoth-Hermes. In female form, she may appear as the Darkness of Sarastra or the Painful Light of The White Goddess.
Other Faiths: Nakresh is a friend and sometimes even servant of Mot and Set and is usually opposed to Horus, Mbanu, Aten and Bastet.
What Nakresh Demands: Strength is for fools. Take what you need through guile and quickness. Magic and talent are their own rewards. Praise the rogue and the robber for their daring. Despise the wealthy who have done nothing but are born to wealth. Regret nothing.
The Use of Masks
It is well known that the Gods of Midgard use masks to hide their identities. How this came about is less well known but it is whispered that in earlier times there was great warring among the Gods as some Gods killed others, taking their power and becoming more and more savage and powerful. The Great Ouroboros was not pleased and it is said he spoke the WORDS OF PEACE which compelled the Gods to no longer make war openly, and induced them to wear masks, that they might not know one another.
By wearing masks, the Gods of Midgard are unknowable and mysterious. They can take the form of whichever God they choose and appear as they wish to either mortals or each other. This means that not only are they indistinguishable and interchangeable, but that their powers, gained through worship, are also transferable. A God whose temples are destroyed in a particular region, can regain power in that region by assuming the form of another. Similarly, a God who feels he or she needs more power in a certain region of Midgard might pose as another and carry out acts of benevolence that endear him or her to the peoples of that region. The Gods also use avatars and masks to retain a degree of deniability. This is why the exact relationships of the various masks remain in doubt, and any atrocities carried out in the name of a God may be attributed to the interference of another.
With the widespread use of masks, the Gods also take a more active interest in the physical world and in Midgard they will often walk among the people of the world, administering their secret plans.
It is said that in each region there is space for only five or six Gods. However, although this may be true, the identities of these can never truly be known and the masks of various pantheons can be worn by Gods so that they are yet familiar to their followers. For this reason, a traveller from the North living in Zobeck, may see the power of Thor or Wotan within the temple of Mavros-Perun, or recognise the influence of Freyr and Freyja in the fields and pastures of Yarila and Porevit.
Similarly, an act of madness and despair, seemingly carried out by one of the DARK GODS, Mammon or The Goat of The Woods, could also be perceived as having been carried out by Loki or Set, depending on the character’s own life experience.
In META-GAME terms, this DIVINE MASK-WEARING allows players to perceive the attributes of any Gods encountered, in terms of the pantheon that they know. Depending on one’s own perception, Mavros-Perun could be seen as Thor, as Perun or even as Aten. The blessings of Lada may be viewed as coming from Hathor, Isis or even Baldur.