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kythe:oldfaith

The Old Faith

The Old Faith is that of Atharia (before Telam), Thembia and with some modification, Lhorone and Zalbeth. It is an ancient religion, and has much to do with the Wild Folk and other nature spirits that abound in superstition and fact.

It has been greatly suppressed in southern Atharia since the rise of Telam, which preaches about its One True God, but many rural folk still pay homage to the Old Way.

The Old Mythology

At the dawn of time, there was Lok, who was also known as Allfather. Seeing that the universe was filled with chaos, he set about to create order, and to give things shape. To this end, he built many great forges, out of which he made many worlds. But these worlds were empty, since he could not think of anything to do with them once he had made them.

Eventually he grew tired of this work, and he decided what he really wanted was another person like himself, with which to talk to and to help him in his work. To this end, he heated up a great forge, that was bigger even than all the other worlds put together, and instead of working from without, he took himself and his tools to the very heart of this forge, where it was the hottest, and started on his greatest work.

First, he began work on a huge blade, whose edge was so thin it would cut light, whose point was so sharp it would go through a needle, and whose strength was so high, it would cut through a world without being dented. It took half as long to forge this one blade as time had passed since he had awoken.

Second, he used the purest of all substances, the ether which filled the space between his forges and worlds. Taking this, he bound it to the fires of the forge, shaping into a form which was like him, but not like him. The time he spent just shaping his work took longer than all the time which had gone already. Bit by bit, he carved the ether from the shapeless mass he had started with, kicking the waste from his forge so that it would not distract him from his work.

When he was finally satisfied, Lok took the blade he had forged at first, and using it, cut open his work at its left breast. Then, taking the blade to himself, he sliced open his right side, and using the blade, cut out one of his own hearts, for Lok had two, one for each life he had led. And taking the heart, he placed it within the breast of his work, and sealed up the wound with such skill that none would ever know that one had been there.

On the completion of this final task, his work was complete, and his work gained life, and thought and free will. As she awoke, so all the scraps that had been cut from her in the first place also awoke. Those that had been cut first became the grasses. The later ones became bushes, and flowers, and trees. Those which had been cut when her form was almost complete were instilled with life, and became the animals, the birds and the fishes. The very last few, those which had been shaved from her to form the smallest of details awoke with a life energy so strong that became intelligent, and these were the Faeries, who populated the forests and grasslands and took them as their own.

Now soon both again tired of this, and they took it upon themselves to build a great home around the largest of Lok's forges. Within time, children were born to them, whom they named Tharos, Mathus, Thauron, Fadora and Udara.

The Forging of Man

Lok, tired of his work, kept to his home around his great forge, and Ulthania took to rest on a world nearby, far enough away not to here her husbands snoring, but close enough so that she could call on him if she ever needed him.

Her two daughters, Udara and Fadora, took up residence in worlds nearby, so they could look down on the world below them. The three brothers mind you took to the world, and roved over its surface causing havoc and chaos where they would. Eventually, the three grew tired of their play, and decided to make a new kind of animal.

First, Tharos, who was skilled in the crafts of making things, created the moulds which would be needed. These were crude imitations of themselves, for Tharos' skills were not up to those of his father's. As a forge, he used a small one of his fathers that was nearby, the glow of which could only just be seen from his father's own.

Next, Thauron was to give these creatures a motivation, a desire to please their creators, and to serve and do as they bid. Lastly, Mathus was to fill them with thought, so that they would look on their world and be able to understand it, and also to control and shape it, so as to better serve their masters.

Though the three tried to keep their work secret, their two sisters who had a view of all the world, came to know about this, and decided they wanted part of it as well. So, coming down from their homes, they both set about trying to persuade their brothers to let them in on the secret.

First, Udara tried Tharos, but he denied all. Eventually she tried to seduce him, but he hurriedly claimed that he had work to be done and went to his forge, leaving her alone. Next, Fadora tried Mathus, but again he refused, she found herself having a discussion on the workings of the universe before she could turn her charms on him.

Eventually the two sisters got back together, and decided they would pool their efforts to try their third brother. At first, he laughed when they said they knew of his secret plans, and denied everything. But Thauron could not ignore the advances of both the sisters, and was seduced by them, and told them of the creations, and when it was to be finally imbued with life.

When all was prepared, the three brothers put the finishing touches to their work, and as they brought their creatures to life, their two sisters showed up, and laid their own charms upon the creatures. Udara imbued them with love and passion, and Fadora gave them strength of will, and a sense of honour and dignity, so that they would not so easily be bent into the tools of her brothers.

The brothers were of course angered at this interference, and Tharos and Thauron set upon the two sisters to punish them, but they were eluded, and the two women ran off, with their brothers in pursuit.

Mathus, though at first angered by his sisters actions, remembered that Fadora had come to him to offer passion, and guessed at the real reason of intent, and guessed which of his brothers had succumbed to their temptations. Amused by their cleverness, Mathus turned back to the men that had been created, and seeing that he would have time alone with them, began to teach them.

First he gave to them knowledge of hunting so they could find food, then of tools and fire, so they could kill and eat. Once all this had been learned, he gave them the gift of speech, so they could talk to each other and share ideas. At this time of course, they worshipped Mathus only, for they knew not of their creation, and Mathus would speak little of it. He came to them as the spirits of earth, and as a golden dragon in their dreams. He chose some and gave them knowledge beyond what the others knew, and commanded them to find others and teach them, so that such knowledge would be passed on.

These men were the first priests of the gods, but Mathus refused their worship, telling them that good use of what he had taught was worship enough for him.

Before long both Tharos and Thauron gave up the chase of their sisters, who managed to elude them with ease, and came to wondering where their brother was. Remembering their new creation, and that Mathus had stayed behind, they hastened back to the Land to see what he was up to. Of course, when they discovered what had occurred in their absence they were furious, but they could do nothing against Mathus, for even together, they did not have the power to harm another of their kind.

The Dawn of Man

And so man was created, and he had the free will to resist the commands of his creators. Both Tharos and Thauron tried to persuade man to worship them, as had been the original plan. Tharos showed them great skill at metal craft when they chose to follow him, and Thauron gave his followers the skill to lead others, and to control other men. In no case though, did man give up his right to free will.

Thauron then despaired of man, and went back to the old moulds, those which had been cast away as unsuitable for their creation, and set the fires of the forge burning once again, to create a new race, one which would follow and obey him. These he called the Orcs, but they were few in number, and not the equal of men, being ugly and savage, unable to achieve the skills of man.

Then Tharos returned to the forge, and he had even fewer materials left over to work with. Being more skilled than his brother though, he took what moulds there were left, and recreated them, making them smaller so he could have more. To these creations he gave the name of Dwarf, because of their small stature, and they followed him and were granted great skill at craft, but where even fewer in number than the Orcs.

Mathus meanwhile kept with the humans, and showed them the arts of magic, and how to control the nature of the world themselves.

The New Gods

During this time, the two sisters Udara and Fadora found that they were both with child, the only father of which could have been Thauron. With Ulthania watching over them, they gave birth, Udara to a son which she named Solomus, and Fadora to a daughter, whom she named Taila.

Now the two new gods grew quickly, and soon joined the others, who were most annoyed that they had new rivals to their power. Thauron though came to be pleased at this turn of events when he found out that they were his children, and soon took to teaching them the ways of the world, and tried to control them and bring them over to his will.

They were not as easily persuaded as mortals though, for though young, they still had the intellect of a god, and hence saw through his charade. Solomus came to dislike, and then hate, his father, for he was honourable at heart, and disagreed with Thauron's wish to subjugate mankind. Instead, he came to befriend Mathus, and his uncle came to give him much advice.

Taila though was much like her father, and though she refused to obey him, she became much like him, lacking ethics and morality. She much preferred lies and deceit to gain her power though, disdaining the open handed approach that her father preferred.

Solomus because the favoured of Ulthania as well, for he did many things for her over time, and she in turn aided him.

The Betrayal of Ulthania

It was during this time that Lok had grown bored again, for Ulthania had tired of him and refused to sleep with him. So Lok started on his second great project, which was a new companion to rival Ulthania for beauty, and who would be full of love and passion for Lok.

In secret, and with great care, Lok started to fashion his second wife, whom he named Hel. The slivers he cut from her he kept, rather than sweeping them away, but as before they became more conscious and aware as his work neared completion. Eventually, after much time, his new wife was finished. She opened her eyes for the first time, and seeing Lok, her creator, fell in love with him, for this is what she had been created to do.

Their passion for each other was not sated for seven days and seven nights. As they lay together though on the seventh morning, Ulthania decided to return, for she had been suspicious of Lok since he had not moved from his forge for many weeks. When she saw Hel, her anger was great, and she struck Hel, commanding Lok to destroy his creation. Hel though struck back, and before long the two were locked in a fight of such power that the Sun was knocked from its course.

Intrigued by the noise, Udara and Fadora came to investigate, and seeing the fight, aided their mother and Hel was soon restrained. Ulthania banished Hel to be locked beneath the world, to the realms where the souls of dead men fell on their death, and Lok, who had weakened himself further with the creation of Hel, she chained to his forge and took away his tools so he could not free himself.

The shards of the material from which Hel had been carved, Ulthania sent down with Hel, and ensured that none of them could ever leave their prison until the world itself came to an end.

The Time Amongst Men

Much time past, and the civilisations of man spread across the world, and grew in strength and learning. Some men built temples to the gods, and worshipped them in return for favours. The gods began to walk among men, leading them and giving them advice. This caused much fighting amongst the gods, for their priests often bickered with each other, and the gods choose to side with their own priesthoods rather than stay aloof from their affairs.

For many generations the gods dwelt amongst men, teaching them much, but also causing much trouble in the way of war. This time soon came to an end though.

There were two powerful human nations, the Dannon and the Turgathi. The former were led by Solomus, the latter by Thauron. Both nations had been at war with each other for many years, mainly because of the two gods dislike for each other. Finally, things got so bad that the two gods each led their own armies personally against the others.

The war was great and terrible, and many were killed on both sides by the elemental forces unleashed by both gods. Eventually, they came face to face, and took to their swords to finish their feud. Thauron was stronger, and better skilled, but Solomus was younger and quicker, and took advantage of his father's blind side. Finally, striking from the left where Thauron could not see the blow, Solomus plunged his sword through his father's side, dropping him to the ground. Before he could step in to finish the fight though, Solomus was struck from behind by a poisoned arrow, and was instantly slain.

All the gods were stunned at this when they heard the news, except for Thauron, who crawled away and hid himself to allow time to heal his wounds, and Taila, who was mysteriously unavailable whenever the other gods tried to find her. Many accused her of the deed, though there was no proof, except that maybe only she would know of a poison strong enough to kill a god.

The other gods grieved at Solomus' death, especially Ulthania, who had loved him greatly. At last Mathus suggested that there might be a way to bring him back. Since Hel now ruled beneath the world, and had power over the souls of dead men, maybe she would have some power to bring back Solomus to life. So Mathus made the dangerous journey to the underworld, and met with Hel to ask her to release Solomus back to the gods. But Hel refused, saying that none who died, even gods, could return once they had passed into Hel's domain. Mathus next offered payment of some kind in exchange, but Hel replied that the only payment she would accept would be revenge upon Ulthania, and since she loved Solomus, keeping him with her was revenge enough.

So Mathus returned, and told the others of what had transpired. Ulthania though would not give up, and she made her way down to Hel to bargain for her grandchild's life. Hel finally agreed, but only if Ulthania would give up all her powers in exchange for his freedom. Ulthania agreed.

And so Hel let Solomus go free. But Solomus' body had not been buried, since the gods had not given up hope that he would come back, so he had no body while in Hel, and hence no eyes, so could not find his way back.

Just before she gave up her powers, Ulthania saw this, and seeing that he was about to fall into the Pits of Dorkeaner, gave up her powers to another soul which was nearby. And so Ulthania became powerless, and what was left of her essence returned to the mortal world, and became part of it. The soul belonged to a woman named Mishka, and she led Solomus out to the land of the living, and became a goddess herself.

Mishka helped nurse Solomus back to health, and the two fell in love, and they soon married. At first, Mishka had but one son, whom they named Jaohl. Jaohl though young, learned much wisdom, and he had the gift to see what was in the hearts of gods and men, and he became the judge of disputes, for he could see both sides of all things, and never spoke anything but the truth, even to his own disadvantage.

Later, Mishka gave birth to Jailira and Chrysath, who were twins, though Chrysath was the youngest. Jailira was a lover of nature, and soon took to the bow and the spear and the love of the hunt. Chrysath was unpredictable and chaotic, and was always arguing with Jaohl.

The Future of the World

Solomus had gained much insight since his death and reawakening. He said that he had seen the future, the ultimate destiny of the mortals and the gods. Eventually, Lok would free himself from his chains, and the fires of the sun would scorch the world and burn its people, and Hel would break free of her prison, ripping the ground asunder. And the two gods would demand justice be done for their unfair imprisonment, and would demand this of Jaohl, who is always fair.

And so Jaohl would decree Trial by Combat, and the two gods would fight against the others, and win, and the gods would be destroyed, save for Jaohl, Lok and Hel. Hel will give Jaohl his final judgement, to decide which of the mortals, both living and dead, would be taken up and survive into the next world, and so Jaohl will choose these, and then taking his Book of the World, which records the deeds of all Men, he will go down to the Land, and be consumed by the fires that rage there.

And so Lok and Hel shall eventually rule together, and they will create a new world, with those chosen by Jaohl to populate it, and so the First World will come to an end.

And so Jaohl began his Book of the World, which he had been fortold to write, and recorded the actions and desires of all men that lived from that point on, so he could judge correctly at the end of the world.

The other gods, seeing that Solomus new the future, made him their King, since he would always know how best to rule. The gods then retreated from Kythe, and left Men to themselves, so there would be no more wars between the gods, except those fought by their priests.

The Gods

There are fourteen major gods in the Old Faith, as well as several other lesser gods. Some of the lesser gods are actually quite powerful according to the old mythologies, but have little part in the affairs of men, so are generally regulated to a lesser position.

Chrysath

Chrysath is a trickster and joker, the god of chance and (ill) luck. He is one of the weakest of the gods, and has taken little part in their affairs. By some, he is considered to be a thief, or at least representing thieves, and hence many thieves held him in high regard, trusting to him for a bit of luck. Chrysath has never had any organised priesthoods though.

Fadora

Fadora is the twin of Udara, and the daughter of Ulthania. Sometimes, she and Udara are considered to be but two facets of the same goddess, with Fadora being the darker half. Together, the Sisters represent women - their fertility, protection and general well being. While Udara is seen as the goddess of love and fertility though, Fadora is more the protector, the punisher of rapists and murderers of women.

Followers of Fadora have also been small, though the Cult of the Dark Moon was well renowned in its time. This all-woman cult was made up of ferocious berserker women, who were filled with the strength of their goddess.

Hel

Hel was the second wife of Lok, and the rival to Ulthania. Hel had been alive for but seven days (all of them spent making love with Lok), when Ulthania discovered her existence and banished her to the underworld. Hel now has control over the souls of the dead, and her realm is sometimes named after her.

Hel is all powerful within her realm, though can never leave it until the world itself (which is effectively her prison) is destroyed. She therefore works against the other gods and humanity, aiming for the final destruction of the world and its other gods. She is not evil, just vengeful, and wanting her own release.

She gave birth to seven children after her coupling with Lok. They now serve her in the underworld, but have not been imprisoned, so can sometimes go abroad into the mortal world. The fragments of her that remained after her creation became the sawlker, who watch over and guard the souls of the dead.

She is depicted as a young woman, with a look which speaks of untold wisdom. She rules from her great castle at the centre of her realm. At the start of every day, she chooses a hundred souls to entertain her within her throne room. Those that please her are granted another chance at life, while the majority are tossed back outside into the milling throngs which fill the underworld. A few who she finds particularly displeasing are tossed to her pet guardians, two horribly deformed sarls of great size and strength, which together finish off the days entertainment with the painful mutilation of the talent-lacking souls. If they fail to scream loudly enough, or beg for mercy with enough conviction, then Hel sends them to the Pit of Dorkeaner for her son to feed upon them.

By night, she chooses another hundred souls to entertain her in her bedchamber, with the same penalties and rewards as for during the day. This time, feeding time is at dawn, to start off the days entertainment. It is during these two times that she receives visitors (very very rare). It is said that invoking her name at other times is most unwise, especially if the entertainment is particularly good.

Jailira

She is the Huntress, the guardian of the forests and the animals, as well as being the Mistress of the Hunt. She is often depicted as riding a yaggin of huge size, carrying her bow Albemier and her spear Hadrumus, both of which are invested with the spirits of two of her greatest mortal lovers, both of whom were skilled warriors and hunters. Jailira has a small following of Druids but otherwise took little part in the Time Amongst Men, so has few followers.

Jaohl

One of the youngest gods, being brother to Chrysath and Jailira. Jaohl is the judge, who records the deeds of all mortals, so as to decide their fate come the end of the World, when all but a chosen few are to be given over to oblivion. As a god, he can see the thoughts and desires of everyone, and speaks always the truth, unbiased by his own needs or desires.

His priesthoods are often the judges and law makers of society. They must all take a vow never to tell a lie, or to accept a bribe or to be corrupted in any way, though only the most foolish consider this to always be held to.

Lok

Lok is the father god, who created the worlds and also Ulthania, the mother goddess. With Ulthania, he fathered the other gods. He was a craftsman first and foremost, and had little to do with the rulership of the other gods, if at all. After he and Ulthania split, he created a second wife for himself, Hel, but Ulthania and her two daughters rebelled against him, imprisoning Hel within the underworld, and Lok in his forge. He is sometimes venerated, but has never granted anything to any of his worshippers. Whether he ever had a priesthood is doubtful - he definitely doesn't have one now.

Mathus

Mathus is said to be the wisest of the gods, for he is most versed in the mysteries of the universe. Sometimes he is an old man, a sage of great learning, other times he is a huge golden scaled dragon, representing the primeval force of magic. It was Mathus who brought magic to humanity after all, and he is often venerated by those who practise it.

Before the time of Heigal, Mathus was a powerful god, and had a great following. Many of his priests are taken from the Talented, so as well as being granted divine power, have great power of their own. Today, he is rarely heard of, except in Lhorone where he is worshipped as Magius, though more in a token way rather than with any real devotion, and a small part in Thembia.

Mishka

Mishka was once mortal, until she was granted the power of goddesshood by Ulthania in her last attempt to best Hel. As a mortal, she was a healer, a follower of Udara, and a descendent of Beorhtric, so had some divine blood in her already. She is the wife of Solomus, and is a pacifist, being kind and gentle. She is the most popular of the gods of the Old Faith, for her priests are mostly healers - being most welcomed by those unable to afford to pay for healing.

Solomus

It is Solomus who is the King of the gods. He is husband to Mishka, and father of Jaohl, Chrysath and Jailira. His father, whom he hates and once almost killed is Thauron, and his mother is Udara. Solomus is unique amongst the gods in that he one died, but was bought back to life by his grandmothers self sacrifice. After this event, the other gods invested him has their ruler, and he has been the most powerful of the gods ever since, though Mathus and Thauron come close.

Solomus is a sky and warrior god, patron of both rulers who wish to plan war and also the warriors who fight. In this fact, he is often at odds with his wife, for Mishka abhors war.

He can be very violent and get a bit carried away sometimes, but generally he represents honourable warfare. His priests are often skilled in the arts of war, though some - especially those in urban temples - are not.

Taila

Taila is the daughter of Thauron and Fadora. She is subtle and devious, hungry for power. She advocates poison and treachery to get things done, and her priesthoods often double as assassin organisations. She is trusted nowhere, and feared by practically everyone.

It is said that it was Taila who killed Solomus, but she has never admitted the fact, though they say she has avoided Solomus ever since his return from the dead.

Taila requires absolute devotion from her priests, and practically that from any other followers, though the latter tend to be fewer in number than her priests.

Tharos

Tharos is, like his father Lok, a craftsman. It was he who created the dwarfs, and it was also him who greatly improved the skills of human craftsmen. Despite the effects of his teachings though, he has only ever had a small number of actual followers, though many (especially craftsmen) venerate him at the very least. His priesthood has never been organised, being made up of dozens of small pocket organisations, each with their own rites and ideas.

Thauron

Thauron is the god of war and tyranny. His is an iron fisted god, who delights in conquest and bloodshed. His image has been greatly warped though since Telam took him on as their Lord of Darkness, so much of the evil and atrocities he is said to be responsible for isn't much more than propaganda. This isn't to say that Thauron is particularly nice though - he isn't.

His priesthood was once powerful, though has been greatly reduced in power since his near defeat by Solomus (no-one has ever managed to decide who one that battle). They are now persecuted, mainly by Telam, though the other gods of the Old Faith are also partly responsible.

Thauron is said to be the creator of the orcs, who are his slaves and warriors. They are a race of bloodthirsty barbaric warriors, filled with a deep hatred of mankind.

Udara

Udara is the twin sister of Fadora. She is the lighter side of their duality, representing love and fertility. She is also the bright moon, and her holy days are whenever she is full. Her priestesses (all are female) are common, and quite powerful where the Old Faith still holds sway, though neither she nor her sister are worshipped at all in Lhorone.

Priestesses of Udara can act as healers, midwives and prostitutes. They see to it that widows are provided for, and often take unwanted daughters, or those wishing to escape marriage, into their ranks. They are closely allied with those of Fadora, and both can sometimes be found together. If not, it is not unknown for some priestesses to learn the way of the sword, for Udara is not against violence.

Ulthania

Ulthania was the Mother Goddess. She now no longer exists as a deity, having given over her powers to Mishka. She is still venerated by Druids though, who can gain some strength from her despite her weakened state. Upon her 'death', she merged with Nature, becoming the Earthmother, slipping into the lives of the trees, flowers and small animals. She has not lost all her power, but is now more a 'force' than a goddess.

The Lesser Gods

There are several lesser gods venerated by the Old Faith. Several of these are powerful faeries, others are the offspring of the gods, or other beings entirely whose roots are unknown.

Alundur

Alundur is both male and female - or perhaps neither. He (she?) is the son/daughter of Hel, and the guide that most encounter when they enter her realm. He/she is the guide of the dead, and has many forms, the most popular of which is the dark robed priest with nothing but darkness inside the hood.

Arathael

Arathael may be several beings, rather than just one. She is the Faerie Queen, overseer of the Seelie Court and Queen of all Faeries. Though she does not match the power of the greater gods, she is respected by many. Her husband is Talaeda, the Lord of the Hunt, who rules the Unseelie Faeries and several other beings who view humanity as fair game. Their relationship is a strange one, for though they agree on little, they love each other greatly. Arathael is better disposed towards humanity than her husband, though as is the norm for faerie kind, she cannot be trusted, and will deal harshly with those she sees as a danger.

Her realm is that of dreams, and she plays little part in the disputes between the gods, particularly Thauron and his elk, but instead is a protaganist and antagonist to all. She is out for fun, and lots of it. It is said she is a daughter of Ulthania, or another personification of Ulthania, maybe even a third sister to the Moons.

Dorkeaner

Dorkeaner is the Dark Eater, he who eats the souls of the dead. He is one of the seven children of Hel, and for the most part dwells in the Pit of Dorkeaner, which is found at the lowest part of Hel, where he tortures the souls of the dead whom his mother throws to him.

Dorkeaner is the father of all dragons, being depicted as a great wyrm, over a hundred metres long (the mother of all dragons (though she is rarely described as such) is Fadora, who seems to have mothered several things by a rather large selection of gods, mortals and anything else which happens to take her fancy). Occasionally he comes to the surface world to hunt, though more normally it is his children who are encountered such. Their prey are the lost souls of the dead, those of people who have been left unburied.

Elionor

Elionor is the only daughter of Hel (well, Alundur can be daughter or son). She is known as the Beckoner, who tempts all mortals into giving up life and seeking an easy death. She is both Sorrow and Despair, the destroyer of Hope and dreams. She is avoided and shunned by mortals as much as it possible, for in many cases, hopes and dreams is all people have, and to have these taken away is to be much feared. To give in to her embrace is the first step on the road to death.

Ix

Ix the Decayed, lord of all that is decayed or blighted. He is a son of Hel, and is both a weak and powerful god, who has few worshippers, but whose presence is felt all too often by those caught in plague or even simple sickness, for all these things are blamed on Ix, who is the most reviled of the darker gods.

Kalinohl

Kalinohl is the patron of bards. He is not a god, but in fact a mortal, who is greatly favoured by Arathael. He resides with her, and is granted immortality for as long as he is able to keep her good favours with his songs and stories.

Kalinohl has no priests, but is often venerated by those which seek to mimic his skills. He is said to be the greatest bard who ever lived, and none have managed to prove otherwise. Very few of his songs have ever survived to this day though, and they are said to be but a poor sample of his best works. Occasionally he leaves Arathael to travel the mortal world, in search of inspiration for new stories and songs.

Morgan

Morgan is a son of Hel, and one of the two guardians of her realm. He shares in this task with his brother Tamos, and like him, his form is that of a great serpent. Morgan lays at the base of the great gate, and it is he who dead souls first encounter of the pair.

Raven

One of the seven children of Hel, Raven is also known as the Eyes of Hel. He often travels to the mortal world, acting as a spy and courier for his Queen. When he does though, he takes the form of his namesake - one reason why such birds are seen as a bad sign. Far more rarely, he is seen as a black winged human with a raven's head.

Raven is also known as the seeker, for he is forever seeking out new things, and poking his beak into other peoples business. A common saying is that someone has 'Raven's blood', or 'touched by Raven' which means that they are overly curious or restless.

Shimmora

Shimmora is Lady of the Waters, who rules over all streams and rivers, as well as pools and fresh water lakes. In form, she is depicted as being nymph-like, beautiful and seductive, luring men to their watery doom with her loving embrace.

Talaeda

Talaeda is Lord of the Hunt, and King of the Faeries. He resides over the Unseelie Court, being chaotic and unpredictable, representing the darker side of fey nature. He is pictured as a tall humanoid creature, with a man's body, but with the head of a deer. His antlers are often depicted as being stained with blood - whose is never made clear, though those which fear him say it is the blood of humans he has hunted.

Talaeda is heavily chaotic, not evil, but then not good either. Only a few mortals worship him, for though he is seen as Lord of the Hunt, it is more from the point of view of the animals, than from man kinds.

Stories say that it was he who slew Aethara, while he was in the shape of a boar, and that he has been working against the civilisation of humanity ever since. Priests of Talaeda are reputed to be able to take beast form at will, and he is often taken to be the lord of lycanthropes as well as animals. His priests (the few that there are) are never found amongst towns and cities, but out in the wilderness, far from civilisation.

Tamos

Tamos is brother to Morgan, and son of Hel. He is one of the two Guardians who stand watch at the gates of Hel, ensuring all those who pass into the realms are properly dead, and that none ever leave. He takes the form of a giant serpent, who sits atop the gateway to the underworld.

kythe/oldfaith.txt · Last modified: 2013/11/10 18:56 by sam