The circle of Gods - as taught in the kingdom of Gwynneth
The priests of Gwynneth teach the duality and oppositon of chaos and order. Each god or goddess has its counterpart in the other half of the circle. Only Erean and Toros are neutral, but oppose each other. Most Gwynnians see the gods of chaos as evil and malevolent. Worshipping them is forbidden, but some cults thrive in secrecy.
Click on the names of the gods to read the corresponding entry from Nolar ap Tereg's "The Circle of Gods - a brief on the gods of chaos and order and their cults for priests and lay members". (Available so far: Liësson, Lis, Saër and Shenan)
Download the CC2-file (circleofgods.zip, 122kb)
"The Circle of Gods - a brief on the gods of chaos and order and their cults for priests and lay members" by Nolar ap Tereg
This small booklet, written by one of the oldest and most famous priests of Saër in Gwynneth, has found widespread popularity among the literate elite of the kingdom. It lists the gods and their cults in alphabetical order and gives a short and easy to understand description of each. Of course it does so from a standpoint of the cults of order, but since it was written by a priest of the god of truth it tries to be as objective as possible.
Select from the following entries to read its wisdom:
Other Names: The Protector, Shield of the Gods, Wielder of the Imperishable Sword, Slayer of Gods, Eternal Defender of the Most Holy Compromise, The Spirit of Honour, Champion of Order
Symbol: A downward pointing sword
Colour: Royal blue
Animal: Arkat (Lion)
Antithesis: Vladok, God of War and Destruction
Liësson is the god of combat and honour. He fights only to protect and preserve, not for the spoils of war, and prefers honourable single combat over the wanton violence of mass battles. He would rather decide a war by the outcome of a duel of champions than by the death of thousands of simple soldiers. But if necessary he is terrible in battle and drives his enemies before him.
Liësson is the only one who ever killed a god. In the War of the Trinity he fought against Koris, the god of winter, and slew him with his sword. The death of one of their own convinced the gods that they must stop fighting among themselves, and so they made a great treaty that is honoured to this day. Liësson is the guardian of this treaty and would slay anyone breaking its rules.
Liësson expects a strict code of conduct from his followers, which is sometimes hard for a simple soldier to follow. This is only human, and worshippers are expected to confess their transgressions against the code of honour to a priest and atone for their sins. Liësson's code forbids attacking a foe with surprise or from behind and commands to give an opponent a chance to surrender. A follower of Liësson should always protect the weak against the strong and is forbidden to take unfair advantage from his martial prowess. Compassion, generosity and humility are the virtues the warrior of Liësson should exemplify.
Because of its strict rules, the cult of Liësson has fewer adherents than other cults of order, but since his worshippers are often powerful people, its influence exceeds that of more numerous cults. There are a few esoteric sects that follow Liësson's teachings in solitude, but most temples are founded by strong and virtuous rulers who follow Liësson by protecting their subjects from worldly harm.
Other Names: The Deceiver, The Betrayer, The Liar in a Thousand Guises, The Bringer of Mind's Darkness, Keeper of Multitude of Tongues
Symbols: A broken Ring, Three Dots - one above two
Antithesis: Saer, God of Truth and Justice
Lis is the lord of lies and treason. He uses the truth only to make his lies more believable. His greatest pleasures are the son who forsakes his father, the retainer conspiring against his liege and the husband who his unfaithful to his wife. His symbol, the broken ring, signifies the broken promise and the shaken duty.
Lis' web of lies deceives everybody, even the other gods. But these lies serve no other purpose than to feed themselves and produce even more untruths. Lis is very close to the humans and walks among them wherever a neighbour spreads false rumours, a witness gives false testimony or children lie to their elders.
Nothing pleases Lis more than a well-executed treason, that nobody expected. He himself betrayed the Trinity by apparently siding with them until it was time to turn on them. Of course the other gods now know him well, but still again and again he manages to deceive them and gain their trust.
The cult of Lis is by its very nature small and very secretive. Who would openly admit to worshipping the lord of lies? Not that this would even be pleasing to the god himself. Of course this makes knowing how many Lis worshippers there might be or where his cults my thrive impossible.
Lis most holy saint is Malvin the Betrayer, who killed his own brother to rule in his stead, who betrayed the gods of order by bringing the worship of Chaos among humans, and who in turn betrayed chaos itself by leading the hosts of the Trinity to their doom.
Other Names: The Judge of the Gods, The Truesayer, He Who Judges, The Lawspeaker, The Merciless Authority
Symbol: The Scales
Colours: Black and White
Animal: The Hawk
Antithesis: Lis, God of Lies and Treason
Saër is the implacable judge of the gods of order. He is fair and merciless, adheres to the letter of the law and does not let his feelings and sympathies affect his judgement. He strives to discover the truth in all things, any lie is abhorrent and sinful to him.
Saër's council was instrumental in shaping the great compromise after the War of the Trinity and he watches diligently over the keeping of this contract among the gods.
Saër's devotion to law and justice makes him aloof. He has no friends and companions among the gods, though he is perhaps closest to Liesson whom many cults recognize as his brother. Still all the gods of order turn to him when they have disagreements. Even those of chaos respect his judgement.
Not many people join Saërs cult as full-fledged initiates, but as his priests act as lawkeepers and/or judges in many countries, its influence is disproportioniately large.
Other Names: The Silver Moon, The Seducer of Souls, The Pale Lady of Carnal Desire, The Quiet, The Light in the Darkness of the Soul, The Dark Nightmare of the Gods
Symbol: A circle divided in half by a vertical line. Sometimes one half is black, the other white.
Animal: The Bat
Antithesis: Elrani, Goddess of Marriage and Family
Shenan is the goddess of ecstasy and madness. Her power waxes and wanes with the silver moon, which brings unquiet dreams and sleepless nights. She promises and delivers the pleasure of unspeakable and forbidden acts without remorse, but also protects those whose mind is addled and who do not find a place in the world of order.
Shenan is a powerful sorceress. Her spells can even befuddle the minds of other gods. Deception and illusion are her weapons as well as the control and destruction of the mind. Bright light, especially the light of Amachtera (the sun), dispels her sorceries and greatly diminishes her power.
Shenan wanders nightly through the worlds of the gods and searches for the fleeting pleasure of sexual ecstasy. Many gods have fallen to her seduction at one time or another. Few remained steadfast, among them Liësson, and thereby earned her hatred. Shenan is close to neither the gods of chaos nor those of order. She confides only in her brother and nightly companion Erean, the red moon, often after a night of ecstatic and incestous love-making.
Shenan's cult is small and disorganized. Small groups of adherents meet in - often secret - nighttime ceremonies, which usually devolve into wild orgies. She often recruits believers among the decadent and bored, who have seen and experienced everything ordinary lives have to offer and who are willing to sacrifce their souls for the next ecstasy or an unknown sensual experience. Some sects of Shenan run madhouses in the larger Narsarian cities and care for the urban mad who have been cast out of society.
It is rumored that there is a small, but world-spanning sect, comprised exclusively of female worshippers, that uses the powers of the goddess to bring death and madness to selected victims. Reputedly its members - commonly called "Sisters of the Moons" - are available for hire for large sums of money.
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