Solarean Adventures LARP Lore
By Lane "Fenix" Carter
Part 1: The Origins of Divinity
The Elder Gods
The Elder Gods’ presence is felt more than seen, dwelling in the background of all things. They do not seem to require prayer, or faith. They barely seem to notice anything at all, beyond the fates of their divine children, the Sennu. Even in those rare cases where they do respond, they respond in strange ways, and with strange customs. During the Godswar, it is said that the Elder God Phan’shalla witnessed the brutal dismemberment of its son, Mikas. In response, Phan’shalla merely began to paint a complicated mural in its son’s divine blood. It was still completing the mural as its corporeal form was hacked into bits by the same assailants.
Quite simply, the Elder Gods are unfathomable beings of impossible power, who look at our world as a fascinating snowglobe; one which we all pray they do not decide to shake.
The mortal races reached out with their hearts to connect with their creators. The Elder Gods, not without some alien version of sentiment and emotion, recognized this basic desire to connect, and reciprocated. They created a race of divine children who could think and act on the level of divinity, yet still understand and interact with the thoughts and hearts of mortals.
These deities are known as the Sennu.
Created as a bridge between the mortal mind and the truly ineffable, the children of the Elder Gods are deities which know themselves to be above the concerns of the world. Their creation seems to be the agreed-upon line which signals the end of the Age of Creation, and the beginning of the Age of Legends, to scholars. None know how many were created in those days, but few (if any) new Sennu have come into being since. Four Sennu are widely worshipped to this day as part of the Twelve.
Their forms are often composite, taking traits from the humanoid, the bestial, and the purely symbolic. Their true forms can be anything, from a giant winged lion to a glowing, humanoid-shaped figure made entirely of glass. Their minds, while closer by far to those of mortals than the Elders, still struggle to fully grasp the moral and ethical restraints which mortal societies impose upon themselves. Still, these beings held tremendous power over large and complicated domains, and mortals quickly accepted them in the early days, feeding them with worship in exchange for favor and protection.
Belief and worship have a powerful magic of their own. Some mortals grew unsatisfied with the lofty, somewhat distant Sennu, desiring deities closer resembling themselves. Beings who would love them in return, and fight for their concerns, not those of the Elder Gods.
As mortal hearts called out in groups, their desires resonated through their connection to the Aspects, and a new race of divine beings, the Dathlid, were born.
The Dathlid are much like the Sennu in all but origin - yet the fact that they were born from a conjoining of mortal hearts and the planet’s Aspects makes them true natives of our world in a way that the Elders and the Sennu can never claim. Dathlid deities understand the mortal minds which participated in their creation instinctively, and this inherent understanding made them very popular very quickly, as they quickly grasped the what-and-why of their followers’ desires. Fully half of the Twelve are deities of this type.
Dathlid true forms frequently resemble idealized versions of the races who created them. They behave according to codes of ethics and morality which are familiar to mortals, but their personalities also seem malleable to an extent, following the beliefs of their worshippers. As the religion of a Dathlid comes into contact with politics and changing social opinion, the shift in worship paradigm may sometimes change the god itself. It is difficult to determine if this is an active choice - the deity following where the worship leads - or a passive one, of which the Dathlid remains unaware.
It has sometimes been the case that mortal souls transcend their mortality and join the gods themselves. These exalted souls are known as Carnifacted deities, and they are usually created in one of three ways.
First, an existing deity may transfer a domain of control to a mortal permanently. This is exceedingly rare for obvious reasons, and almost always enacted by a Dathlid, since Sennu typically cannot understand making such a sacrifice for a single fleeting mortal. After all, there will eventually be another great hero. Second, a mortal may grow in reputation and power to the point where they become so revered by their people that the worship lifts their soul into the realms of the divine. And third, a dead mortal or an ancestor spirit may go through a similar exaltation as generations of their descendants build upon their memory.
Carnifacted deities’ true forms will usually resemble perfect versions of the body they had in life, with the addition of divine auras and symbolic possessions. Their minds, though expanded by their ascent to godhood, still carry many of the thoughts and feelings which they held in life.
Because Carnifacted deities begin at a much lower level of divine power, many think of them as less powerful than other gods in general. In truth, their potential is the same as any Sennu or Dathlid - faith equals power. Two Carnifacted deities have found a place among the Twelve, and none would dare call either of them weak.
Part 2: The Twelve
(Arabic for “the guide”)
Appearance: Aldalil appears many forms, but often they choose to represent shifting possibilities. A school of fish, a swarm of insects, a swirling and shrinking mass of intersecting geometric shapes, or great floating tree whose roots and branches twist and grow as it speaks.
Known history: As the deity governing Paths, Aldalil has always been well known, respected, and feared. A whimsical nature surrounds it, and a ruthlessness too. Paths is a big and bold concept, encompassing Destiny and Doom, luck and fortune. Aldalil is a god of connections, sudden failure, and loss. They are a god of curses, too, as “to curse” comes from the same root phrase as “to set upon a course”.
Aldalil famously interacts with the course of history as its sibling Oxo weaves the present into solid past. Though Aldalil objectively views all paths as equally valid (in the typically aloof Sennu fashion), sincere prayer and appeal have been effective in swaying its opinion one way or the other. In balance, Aldalil has also taken steps to curse those who offend, to lives of hardship and pain.
The priesthood of Aldalil is fond of wandering. Unlike the attestants of the Signatorium, these priests seem to do so aimlessly. They typically assist those they encounter, though not always, and often in exchange for coin. These priests are often treated with a superstitious amount of kindness by fellow travelers. Bandits will rarely risk robbing them, for fear of Aldalil’s curses, and this has driven some poor fools to impersonate them - an action to which Aldalil reacts very poorly. Some priests serve as guides themselves, and will travel with caravans and lone travelers for a modest donation, warding away bad luck and wrong turns.
Spheres of Influence: Paths, curses, luck, travelers, things which are undiscovered, and the value of preparedness.
Circumstances of Invocation: Before any journey or quest. For favorable luck in any case. For inspiration in making tough decisions. In spells of navigation, and any curses.
Traditional followers: Itinerant peoples, gamblers, strategists and tacticians, traveling merchants, tinkerers, monarchs. Pranksters revere him as well, and he attracts his share of fae.
Appearance: Caladon appears as a broad-shouldered, clean-shaven human with short red hair, and grey green eyes that show laugh lines. He typically wears shining silver armor and chainmail, and though he does wear weapons, he usually holds his shield and a torch.
Known history: Caladon lived during the Age of Legends, but his story survived even through Karlanaarian suppression.
Caladon was part of a group of knights which had been dispatched to defend a small town from a wicked sorcerer and their horde of monsters. Though they’d fought valiantly, each of his comrades had been cut down and Caladon stood armed only with a torch and a shield against the remaining horde. He called upon the goddess of Mercy and Protection, Kharitas, to save the townsfolk behind him, and her divine grace fell upon him. Each monster he touched with the torch was burned to ash, and each weapon which struck his shield was broken. He made his way to the sorcerer, but the dark mage covered himself in protective magic. Again, Caladon called out to Kharitas, offering all of himself to end the threat. His body erupted in pure white flames, and he leapt towards the sorcerer, burning both of them into a fine white ash. Atop the pile of ashes stood a man made of pure light, and with a single look at him, the monster horde broke and fled. For upon his sacrifice, Kharitas granted Caladon her power over Protection, exalting him to godhood.
His influence since then has only grown, especially among human kingdoms, dwarves, and those who value service and knightly conduct.
Spheres of Influence: Protection, Endurance, Willpower, Light, Noble Sacrifice
Circumstances of Invocation: Any time a person has something to protect. Before any act which requires sacrifice or heroics. During the casting of protection magic. In blessings and ceremonies. In human settlements and cities, as a casual gesture of goodwill towards another, the expression “by Cal” is often used. (“You’re bound to make it this rough spot yet, by Cal.”)
Traditional followers: Knights, bodyguards, parents. City guards and police forces. Masons and architects. Lighthouse keepers. Any human. Many dwarves, who respect his stalwart nature, and call him “the mountain-like god”.
(Sudanese for “anvil”)
Appearance: Dasar presents as a hulking, hunched figure about 8 feet tall, whose body type could fit a large orc, a small ogre, or a densely muscled troll. He dresses in concealing tribal rags and bones, augmented by asymmetric plates of fine folded steel. His large hood obscures any facial features which may be used to identify his species, and any remaining tales of his origins from the Age of Legends do not specify his race of birth. Because of this, orcs, ogres, trolls, goblins, gnolls, and saurians all claim that he was once one of their own.
Known history: The oldest tales claim that Dasar was a cannibal god of Strength and Conflict. It is said that he sought to strengthen all races by constantly sharpening them against each other through constant battle and consumption of flesh. Stronger monsters forced stronger humanoids, which in turn forced stronger monsters.
This role has supposedly been discarded now.
Dasar was adopted into the Twelve to serve as a purifier and refiner of things through trial. He puts a thing through the harshest tests to determine what will be destroyed, and what will endure. He does this through the spread of plagues, inspiring brutal ordeals, and literal fire. The art of folding steel and honing a blade is a holy act to his followers, as is walking across burning coals with bare feet.
Spheres of Influence: Plague, Destruction, Strength, Purification, Punishment, Fire
Circumstances of Invocation: Ritual purification, particularly through pain.
Appearance: In her true form, Elenrian is a tall humanoid with the traits of both predator and prey. Typically, beautiful decorated horns, long rabbit ears, luminous reflective eyes, and a long snow leopard's tail. Her body is covered with short, lustrous fur, and she carries a bow and quiver of the finest elven craftsmanship.
Known history: This goddess’ place is over the food chain of the natural world, and maintaining a harmonious balance among wild creatures. Elenrian pushes back against the over-expansion of cities, and has been known to launch counter-assaults against settlements which consume the forest too greedily. Large monsters are rumored to sleep all over the world, waiting for the goddess’ call to arms should the need ever arise, and though the times when Elenrian has shown her wrath have thusfar been far between, the recent expansion of cities and towns has been cause for many to glance with worried eyes at large logging operations and quarries.
On the other hand, Elenrian has also seen fit to reward those groups who live in balance with nature, particularly those which foster a healthy hunter/prey dynamic in their people. In these cases, Elenrian is known to create a mighty beast which tests that community’s most renowned skill. Sometimes a great predator meant to be killed, and other times an elusive beast meant to be captured intact, it is said that to recognize and respond to a challenge from Elenrian is to commune with the spirit of Nature itself. To best one of her challenges using the appropriate skill set will grant the hunter some great boon. Bountiful harvests, items, found in the belly of a predator, or the service of the captured animal for the rest of the hunter’s days.
The clergy of Elenrian are principally druids and rangers, and often live solitary existences in isolated temples or stone circles in the woods. Most are known entities to nearby towns, and act as a kind of game warden.
Spheres of Influence: Nature, animals, hunting, living in balance, the circle of life and death.
Circumstances of Invocation: Before and during any hunt. Hope for a rich bounty of crops. Woodsmen, rangers, and trackers, for boons and small favors while in the woods.
Traditional followers: Hunters, rangers, and woodsmen of all kinds. Druids, forest-dwelling fae, and many of the hybrid sub-races brought into being by overexposure to Godfall Seams.
Appearance: A deeply tanned woman in battle-worn armor, Fortina’s black hair and tattered banner were said to blow in a soothing wind as she shouted inspirational words to her people in conflict. Since the Godswar, her raven hair has always been pictured with a single streak of silver, for reasons known only to her clergy. Her tattered yet regal banner adornes a spear of mithril which shines like fire. She carries a golden trumpet on a band across her chest, said to restore the strength of any who hear its sound.
Known history: Though it was important to the Twelve that no official god of War stood among them, Fortina’s history from the Godswar paints her vividly in this role. Rarely an instigator of conflict, Fortina usually sought to rally and bolster the confidence of bested warriors, giving them a second chance at victory and life. As a vehement defender of her original people, Fortina was often called “the Second Wind”, “the Battle Crier”, and “the Uplifter”. Noticeably absent from her iconography, even back then, were the bones, blood, and weaponry of other war gods. Her people viewed her more as a warrior’s spirit to overcome than as a drive to conquer and destroy. It is for this reason that Fortina was approached to join the Twelve. Physical Conflict needed a master, but since the Godswar was still so closely tied to the mistrust of gods in general, it was decided that said master should not be an advocate of war themselves.
Fortina proved to be the perfect choice, and in the years of conflict and bloodshed which followed the fall of the Empire, Fortina’s temple did all that they could to shape the world’s view of war away from the glorious pursuit of land and riches, and frame it as tragic. Though the cry of “Fortina!” is often heard before a rallying charge in battle, it is also heard in many more mundane situations where a person finds themselves at the end of their proverbial rope, or wishes to rally the downtrodden. It is considered to be blasphemous to invoke her name in the pursuit of conquest, initial attack, or when the situation is clearly far from desperate.
It is said that many of the more war-like races do not acknowledge a goddess of War which cares more for inspiration and saving lives than bloodshed, instead turning to Dasar or Vartomis, or even their own ancient gods instead.
Spheres of Influence: Rallying From Defeat, Survival, Overcoming Obstacles, Lost Causes, risking it all, Bravery, Strength of Spirit
Circumstances of Invocation: When times are desperate. When death is imminent. It is said that you will know when to call upon Fortina, when the time is right.
Traditional followers: Underdogs, orphans, rebels, the oppressed, the broken. Battle medics. Bards and poets.
Appearance: The goddess of beauty may have appeared one way to her original people, but in modern times she has as many forms as there are versions of what is beautiful. The common thread is that she is exceedingly so, and that looking upon her is enough to inspire artists to create great works. Because of her many forms, she is often recognized in iconography by the small golden harp she always carries.
Known history: Inespi is the sister to Fortina, and has a similar ability to inspire the hearts of mortals. The two are said to have weathered the Imperial Age together, and when Fortina was approached to join the Twelve, she would not do so without Inespi by her side.
As the goddess of art, creativity, and beauty, she has an inspirational power similar to Fortina’s, yet hers is applicable to any endeavor of artistic expression. She is the lovely dream which sparks the poet’s tale, or the flash of an image which crystallizes a painter’s vision. Capricious and eccentric, Inespi is said to understand mortal emotions to an astonishing degree, yet even though she might inspire a poet to write a ballad of love and devotion, the goddess has only ever exhibited those emotions towards Fortina. There is an ancient story which casts Inespi and Fortina as lovers instead of sisters, and another in which they are both, but the temple acknowledges these merely as creative fiction.
Almost all of her clergy are artists themselves, and they are responsible for most of the great temples to each of the Twelve, in major cities across the world. Inespi has no enemies among the Twelve, and her servents devote themselves to the creation of temples to even such dark members as Shadigaris and Dasar with artistic passion, and without moral judgement.
Spheres of Influence: Goddess of art, music, dreams, creativity, and beauty.
Circumstances of Invocation: Any creative pursuit. Glamour and illusion magic.
Traditional followers: Artists, poets, bards, prophets, inventors, architects, and any others who aspire to creative endeavours. Many fae, especially seelie fae.
(greek for “mercy”)
Appearance: Kharitas appears as a matronly woman of indeterminate humanoid race. Kind, soulful eyes and a warm smile can be seen under the hood of her concealing white robes, but few other features can be made out, save the trail-worn sandals on her feet. Her exact appearance, according to her temple, is beside the point. True charity is anonymous.
Known history: Kharitas was born from the cries for succor which rang out as conquering kingdoms carved out their home during the Age of Legends. Eventually, she forged alliances with other gods of generosity and healing, seeking to repair as much of the Godswar’s damage as possible. One by one, her companions fell, each choosing Kharitas to inherit their power - a burden she accepted with no small amount of guilt.
As her influence grew, so did her sense of obligation towards those who were trampled by the gods’ quest for dominance, and later by the Empire’s control. It is said that Kharitas never rested throughout the 1500-year Imperial reign. She traveled in secret and cloaked her divine aura, passing herself off as a tribal shaman, a medical doctor, and even an Imperial Creation-Aspected healer. It is impossible to know how many lives she saved in that time, or how close she came to using up the last of her divine energies.
Spheres of Influence: Mercy, Healing, Generosity, Charity, Selflessness
Circumstances of Invocation: Any time a mortal is in desperate need of aid.
Traditional followers: Healers of any kind, midwives, social workers, common folk.
(Irish for “solemn promise”)
Appearance: Mionn is often depicted as a brown-skinned, hairless humanoid with solid white eyes and an aura of incorruptibility. He wears simple robes of a primitive design, and sandals.
Known history: As a Sennu, Mionn’s legend goes back to the beginning, but little of the original tellings has survived. His current temple holds that he is the child of Hi’chi’gathinax, the Elder God of Sentient Thought. It is said that in the Age of Creation, this Elder is the one which seeded the races of the world with the ability to think at higher levels, and his children were Sennu charged with teaching these newly thinking beings how to best make use of the gift.
Though Mionn’s temple is not forthcoming with the names of his lost siblings or their fates, they do relate the tale of Mionn’s early endeavors to teach the races how to reach for something greater than themselves through the swearing of oaths. Mionn’s temple believes that once a person has found a cause which is worthy of true dedication, that person becomes greater than they were before. Any oath sworn in Mionn’s name invites the god’s direct attention. The one who swears the oath is said to gain sharpened dedication in pursuing their oath, but also invites divine retribution should it ever be broken.
Mionn’s temple offers to officiate over any serious ceremony which includes vows or oaths, and some kings choose to be crowned by the high priest of Mionn instead of a member of the Signatorium’s council, to make a political statement.
In modern times, Mionn is typically mentioned in wedding vows, quests of sworn vengeance, public service offices, and formal adoptions. Mionn is always invoked in the holy vows of any priest following one of the Twelve.
Mionn is the deity who originally thought of the plan for the Divine Accord, turning first to three of his surviving fellow Sennu, and then to other powerful deities from all over the world. His presence added much to the credibility of the Accord, as he oversaw the oaths sworn by each of the Twelve (including himself), binding them all by every sacred pact of every land of the world, including many which had long passed into extinction.
Spheres of Influence: God of Passions and Oathes, concepts covering love, hate, war, vows, revenge, commitment.
Circumstances of Invocation: Taking public office, life-debts, vendettas, weddings, swearing-in ceremonies, and blood feuds. Any who dedicate themselves to a cause with an oath may invoke his name when doing so, to add significant gravity to the oath.
Traditional followers: Paladins, judges, soldiers, contract killers.
Appearance: Oxo is generally pictured as a tall, slender, genderless being with grey-blue skin, six arms, and a smooth, eyeless face. They sit cross-legged before a great celestial loom, setting the elements of reality into a permanent pattern. Oxo is also sometimes presented in iconography as a spider, though much less frequently now than in antiquity.
Known history: Oxo and Aldalil are the children of the Elder God of Time, whose name is lost. The siblings have worked with (and sometimes against) each other since the beginning. Oxo seeks to secure the past by weaving the present into its tapestry, while Aldalil directs him and gives advice, and occasionally shifts a strand or two before they reach the loom. As a secondary effect of its power, Oxo is sometimes (though not universally) revered as a god of Peace.
Spheres of Influence: Oxo ensures structure, cycles, and cosmic laws, and watches over time and space, insuring that no amount of magical influence or meddling can halt the celestial bodies, change the past, still the oceans, or overcome the operation of the Aspects.
Circumstances of Invocation: Oxo is a powerful influence in the magic arts of binding, warding, and divination. They are sometimes called upon to stave off maladies, or prevent great change.
Traditional followers: Aside from those magicians which deal with binding, warding, divination, and anti-magic, Oxo has few direct followers, as the deity rarely heeds any appeals for influence or change except for those from Aldalil. Some scholars, governors, city watchmen, and others who desire the continuation of a peaceful, stable status quo offer homage when the need presents.
Appearance: Shadigaris is famous for appearing in the form of one of the city-dwelling races, wearing sleek and expensive dark clothing appropriate for a wealthy businessman. He is charming, flirtatious, and provocative, and capable of talking a room full of people into just about anything.
Known history: Shadigaris’ temple claims that theirs is the god of Freedom, through personal privacy. They promote the god’s role in obscuring that which is nobody else’s business, and downplay the obviously questionable elements of Darkness and Crime which come along with such clever concealment. The details of the god’s past are a mystery, lost to the darkness of the Age of Legends.
The influences of the temple of Shadigaris are a hotly debated topic in many circles. The priesthood is generous in donating their time and work towards any cause where personal freedom and privacy issues are at stake. They ask few questions of those who come seeking help, beyond the facts of the case, and advocate for any and all concerns where a person’s privacy is being infringed upon, regardless of the morality involved.
Spheres of Influence: Shadows, Secrets, Night-time Activities, and admittedly...Freedom.
Circumstances of Invocation: When desiring something to remain secret or hidden.
Traditional followers: Rogues, Spies, Information Brokers, Necromancers, Lawyers. He is at least paid lip service by anyone who makes their living in the night time hours. Many outsiders, especially those who feel they need to hide their true natures.
SECRET OF SECRETS: The priesthood of Shadigaris knows something that all others cannot. Whispers that this secret exists have managed to escape into public knowledge, but the secret itself is so closely guarded that any exposure is met with quick and complete silencing through any means, even if it requires the extermination of thousands. This secret is protected by the power of Shadigaris himself, and cannot be compelled or stolen from his clergy, even with the most powerful mortal magic.
Appearance: A humanoid-shaped figure, covered entirely in a cross between elaborate funeral robes, and burial shrouds.
Known history: “Death is Sûnan-Neer”, says the clergy of the shrouded god, the name itself, when spoken aloud, a reminder of the fragility of life and the tenuous nature of all things. The god which watches over death is notoriously silent to the living, though it is said that it inspires the words of its clergy when one of them conducts a funeral. Indeed, the clergy of the temple of Sûnan-Neer are peerless in the delicate art of condolence and bringing closure.
The god of endings holds sway over transitions from one state of being into another, a philosophical area which sometimes overlaps with Vartomis’ role as the god of change. Luckily, Death and Storms get along well, and have learned to share this common ground. The difference is in the completeness of the change. Vartomis’ kind of change is what people face when they have to rebuild from the rubble of something which has been destroyed. Neer’s kind of change is what people face when they are entirely deprived of the means by which to rebuild, and must begin something new from scratch. If Vartomis were a tsunami, then Neer would be the sudden absence of the ocean.
Sûnan-Neer has a softer side, as well. Because folk sometimes beg Neer’s mercy in the case of a missing loved one, the more colloquial invocation of “Neer be gracious” developed when almost anything went missing. This became so popular that the god, a Dathlid after all, also developed influence over things which are lost. The simple phrase has been credited with the finding of many a bauble.
Spheres of Influence: Endings, Funeral Rites, Lost Things, and The Unknown
Circumstances of Invocation: Any death rite. Any time something has come to an end, with the expectation of something more to come after. For the return of lost things.
Traditional followers: Undertakers and any who work with the deceased. The bereaved.
Appearance: Vartomis has appeared as a jolly, bearded giant, as a cunning elven wizard, and as a colossal, man-shaped bank of stormclouds with mouth and eyes made from lightning, which towered over an entire city.
Known history: The Storm god’s legacy is one of boisterous ruin. As an agent of chaos, he is best known for his shifting mood and sudden temper, and his whimsical nature with regards to those he shows favor. Vartomis is the storm which stirs the world.
His priesthood emphasizes his role in keeping the world from falling into stagnation. To them, natural disasters are blessings in disguise, which break up the old and decaying, and make room for creation. He looks at a city, and sees only the construction potential which its component stones will have, once freed from their stasis.
Many among his priesthood are also elemental mages, capable of powerful lightning and wind magics. Contrary to popular song and tale, his clergy does not merely seek to destroy, but they do advocate renewal and change. The storm god’s followers often organize protests and even revolutions in the face of perceived societal decay, but rarely stick around to help clean up afterwards.
Vartomis is known for his particularly dark and dry sense of humor, and if any deity truly comprehends the mortal concept of a pun, it is he.
Spheres of Influence: Storms, disruptions, chaos, nature, changes of states, alchemy, elemental magic, and dark humor.
Circumstances of Invocation: Certain rites and rituals of destruction or transmutation. Desperate pleas for mercy during storms and other natural disasters, especially if the plight has made the invoker look ridiculous in some way.
Traditional followers: Popular with revolutionaries, wizards, druids, and the oppressed. Some fae, especially unseelie fae. Feared and appeased by sailors and farmers.
The Signatorium of the Twelve and the Watchtower
The Divine Accord created a new climate for religion. The Signatorium of the Twelve is the umbrella name for the church of the Twelve, and it concerns itself with educating mortals about the existence of the Divine Accord, and the traits and teachings of the Twelve. The temples and clergies of the individual gods fall underneath the bureaucracy of the Signatorium, and can appeal to the council of the Signatorium to resolve disputes between them.
To the general populace, the Signatorium temples are the face of the religion, and are the only religious buildings of the Twelve in smaller towns. Temples to individual deities tend to only be found in larger cities, or places which have significance to that deity.
Priests of the Signatorium espouse all of the gods of the Twelve, as their priority remains on the proliferation of the religion as a whole rather than any one deity’s agenda.
Overcoming 1500 years of prejudice and mistrust was the first challenge which met the budding religion, as the Empire’s anti-deity spiritual philosophies were well established. The second obstacle proved more challenging - spreading the word to rural areas which had been allowed to exist largely untouched until now. More than twelve gods survived the Godswar, after all, and several survivors had found homes among communities of remote people. Furthermore, nothing stood in the way of the creation of new Dathlid and Carnifacted deities in these areas. These remote cultures and their gods had hidden away throughout the rule of the Empire, and saw no reason to adopt a new faith.
To surmount these challenges, a large-scale outreach program was established. Newly reinforced with the power of mass prayer, the Twelve were able to once more bestow divine magic upon their mortal servants. An order of traveling priests known as attestants was created, for the purpose of spreading the good news to the corners of the world.
The Signatorium set its attestants to undertake long journeys into the outlying lands, performing miracles of healing and charity in the name of the Twelve. This practical use of power was easy to understand and appreciate, and in a few short centuries, the message of the Signatorium had indeed been favorably received.
As the years passed, and the new pantheon became the norm, a faction of the Signatorium known as the Watchtower emerged. Made up primarily of ex-attestant templars, this faction espoused that allowing the worship of any gods except the Twelve may be seen as a breach of the Divine Accord, allowing the Twelve to re-enter the world to control it directly once more.
In the year 792, the Watchtower convinced the Signatorium’s council to give them the authority to go out into the world and extinguish pockets of “unsanctioned worship”, before they grew large enough to draw the notice of the Twelve. While normally the council might appeal to the Twelve for guidance, it was the need to keep the gods in the dark that fanned the flames of this fear to begin with. The council decided that the Watchtower’s fear was worthy of consideration, and for the next two centuries, the people came to recognize the dark red sash of the Watchtower draped across the armor of templars whose eyes shone with zealous fervor.
The order met its official end in the Year of the Accord 945, upon the atrocity called the Culling of Freeharbor. Largely orcish, Freeharbor had an active population which continued to worship a tribal Dathlid god called Huvash. When the Watchtower discovered this, they descended upon the town with a large force, and slaughtered every soul they could find.
Though the clergies of Kharitas and Caladon had long decried the Watchtower (and through unofficial, often covert efforts even fought against them), the Culling of Freeharbor was the wake-up call that the council of the Signatorium needed to realize the scope of what they’d enabled, and they disbanded the order. In an effort to cement their commitment to the change, the Signatorium quickly established their current canon, known as “Harmonious Intent”, which states that the church will only engage in non-violent conversion efforts, henceforth.
It is known that the Signatorium still considers the worship of outside deities to be dangerous to the Accord, but by all appearances, they have carefully abided by their new policy, and the only officially sanctioned traveling priests are the attestants.
Despite this, tales persist of travelers passing a group of strangers upon the road, dressed in old armor which is crossed by ragged, deep red sashes, their faces obscured by helm and shadow. Some say the soldiers of the Watchtower were too zealous to abandon their calling, even when the Signatorium turned its back on them. Some say they embraced the darker deities of the Twelve, trading their souls for the power to continue their search.
Part 3: Other Faiths & Philosophies
The Twelve were certainly not the only deities to survive the Godswar. Others deities of all types, not chosen to be included in the Twelve for any number of reasons, still cling to their lives in relative seclusion. Their cults exalt them still, yet groups like the Watchtower sowed a legacy of fear which remains fresh in the minds of most of these cults, and they conceal their deities and their worship.
Many times, followers of these deities try to cover their traditions with a plausible veneer taken from one or more members of the Twelve, hiding their true deity behind the mask of a more acceptable faith. Other times, the cults simply remain in remote areas and shun contact with outsiders, or adopt a lifestyle of constant travel which makes them hard to hunt. In many countries, itinerant cultures carry the stigma of worshipping some strange and dangerous hidden deity. And sometimes, this is correct.
In other areas, Aspectism, the spiritual dogma of the Karlanaarian Empire, still prevails. This philosophy shuns the worship of gods in favor of the study of each individual’s connection to the heart of the world.
Aspectism: the Imperial Spiritual Philosophy
In the aftermath of the Godswar, an unprecedented amount of mortals lost their faith in all gods. Ironically, the greatest war in history, fought to provide the gods with more worship, ended up costing them almost everything.
From this world of broken dreams, the Karlanaarian Empire rose as a new shepherd. They brought stability to the world, while denouncing all gods as power-hungry monsters who fed on the souls of the ignorant masses. In the place of gods, the Empire’s scholars developed a complex philosophy which centered on the mystical guiding forces which they named the Aspects.
Imperial magicians discovered that these Aspects were all connected at the root, yet they presented themselves very differently in their interactions with the world. They found that each soul had a strong connection to one of these Aspects, and through careful study of the types of people connected to each, patterns of personality began to emerge. Through trial and error, the Aspects were named, and those names stand to this day: Balance, Civilization, Creation, Destruction, Discipline, Knowledge, Nature, and Power.
Part of the Empire’s solidarity came from the knowledge that through each person’s personal connection to an Aspect, and the Aspects eventual connection to each other at the root, all living things were indeed connected. More than this, knowing one’s own Aspect connection was a vital part of life. The Empire used Aspect connections to separate people into caste groups, with some receiving much higher standing than others. A person whose soul is connected to Civilization might find themselves enlisted into government work. Those connected to Destruction or Power were often drafted to the army. Highest of all, were those connected to Knowledge, who might find a place among the elevated scholar caste, known as the Imperial Sages.
Karlanaar began as a country which revered knowledge, theory, and imagination, and so it remained. The Sages were held to the highest of standards, but given a special place in the heights of society. They were educated in all subjects, with a special concentration in the study of the Aspects. When it came time to appoint new people to the Empire’s government, the Sages had much influence. And because the revered, enlightened Sages had picked the new appointees, those appointees were imbued with greater reverence and legitimacy. Through this, the members of the Imperial government were able to claim a near divine right to power, even in the absence of divinity.
When the Empire collapsed, and as the Divine Accord became known, many lost their faith in the holiness of the Sages and the Imperial leadership, but the philosophical teachings of balance and connection to the Aspects remained. After 1500 years of Imperial rule, references to the Aspects were commonplace in most cultures, finding their way into blessings, curses, fortune telling, and even cooking.
Even the Signatorium has many Aspectist bones in its philosophical skeleton. A person’s Aspect is said to offer the lens by which a mortal sees whichever gods they revere. A townsperson of the Civilization Aspect may respect Kharitas because of the many benefits which healing and mercy grant to society. A Creation-Aspected doctor may offer prayers for healing’s sake alone, while a Destruction-Aspected soldier might revere mercy in the killing of their enemies. Folk of all aspects may be found among any congregation.
Deities Outside of the Twelve
Note: These deities are not widely recognized by people within the Solarean Adventures Lore, as they have been created as local phenomenon or within character backstories. Expect more deities to be listed below, as players create them!
Kamataya - A mysterious Death goddess who rules over the realm of Olumyeri, which exists between Life and After-Life. It is believed that she is responsible for the undying curse of Evermire, as well as a recent blight in the area. Legends hint that she was once widely worshipped before the Godswar and brought necromancy to the living realm. Today, few have heard of her, fewer follow her, and no one is sure of the true extent of her power. (Special thanks to Kaylah Crepps)
Tyr’Jhan - A Sennu who died in the Godswar, whose Godfall Site manifested as a beautiful tree, growing out of a solid glacier. The worshippers of Tyr’Jhan believed that through prayer, the god could be reborn from the tree. Instead, they created a Dathlid in its image. These followers do not acknowledge this god as Dathlid. The deity itself even claims to be Sennu, and goes by the name Tyr’Jhan, but only because its follower/creators envisioned it that way. The Godfall Site where Tyr’Jhan died is now known as the Frost Marches - an ever expanding land of tundra which is slowly transforming the land around it into similar tundra at a rate of several inches every year, and altering the plants, animals, and folk of these lands. The frost is coming for the world. But the frost is patient. The frost does not run. The frost marches. (Special thanks to Paula Schlensker)