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    Canonfire :: View topic - THE OERIDIAN PANTHEON REVISITED
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    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Apr 30, 2022
    Posts: 118
    From: France

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    Tue Feb 20, 2024 2:19 pm  

    Pholtus appeared to me last night.
    Blasphemous texts are spread on Canonfire. The Sage has become the Heretic.
    Let the truth (My Truth) be written!


    The origins of the Oeridians lie in western Oerik, where great human empires were built. It was here that humans came to this world and spread in all their multiplicity and diversity.
    The kingdom of Ishtar (Babylonian influence) was one of the first, the crucible of humanity, but the arrogance of its kings was eventually punished by the gods. Some of the greatest marvels of Toerre were built here, including the Temple of the Foundation of Heaven and Earth, also known as the Gate of the Gods, which reached up to touch the heavens. Infuriated by such hubris, the gods hurled fire from the heavens and destroyed the impure city and its knowledge. Humans were scattered far and wide across the face of Oerth, and the single language spoken by mankind at the time was confused into multiple tongues.
    Later, born of the union of several free cities, the Tharque Empire (Greco-Roman influence) spread over land and sea. Meldrim is the Tharque emperor and his younger brother, Sierhelt, commands the largest fleet in the known world, whose flagship is the world's largest and most terrifying nef, which magically rows itself. Their great capital is Tharquatis. The Tharque Empire was once part of the Lhynn Empire. That's why the Tharques are just waiting for the opportunity to join forces with an army capable of overthrowing Emperor Hagendorf to reclaim the lands they are owed.
    Emperor Hagendorf is a powerful warrior who reigns over the world's largest empire from his capital, Lhynn, whose name is eponymous with that of the empire. His army is the largest and most powerful in the world, and he rules it like his empire: with an iron fist. This old man must face the countless plots of his vassals, maintain his borders with authority and survive.
    Haazheel Thorn is a terrifying old man, Grand Master of the Black Moon, and the empire's main enemy, as well as its vassal. He is a semi-demon, son of Asmodeus, the Prince of Darkness, and a super-powered evil archmage.
    The Order of the Knights of Light is the empire's second-largest military power, and their stronghold, the thousand-year-old city of Altenberg, although riddled with corruption, is reputedly totally impregnable.
    The Order of the Knights of Justice has a single territory in the northwest, the principality of Syzigie, of which Parsifal is lord.
    The Prince of the Draaks is lord of the Draaks, i.e. the Dragon Knights, who have made an agreement with the dragon race. An enemy of Emperor Hagendorf, he does not help the Black Moon, preferring a neutrality tinged with military support.
    Greldinard, first general of Hazheel Thorn, Baron of Moork, is a fine strategist, a powerful warrior, and a great commander, certainly the Black Moon's most loyal servant. He is very strong, enough to impose himself as a leader against the orcs who swear allegiance to the Black Moon, and who become even more formidable under his command.
    Magystria is a city-state that winds like a stone snake around a rocky peak, forming an astonishing labyrinth of lace. The finest mansions are to be found on the heights. Magistrya is also home to the palace of the Magister, a powerful arch-mage who heads the Conclave of Magi and is said by many to be immortal.
    The territories of the Marches are a succession of small provinces bordering the empire, often subject to barbarian raids. Ruled by lords trying to protect themselves, these kingdoms have only relatively arid land at their disposal.
    Other kingdoms include:
    - Kingdom of the Eastern Dwarves.
    - Kingdom of the Southern Dwarves.
    - Elven Forest.
    - Lands of the Giants to the north of the Elven Forest.
    - Kingdom of the Orcs to the northeast.
    - Barbarian territories to the southwest.
    - Khemit to the southeast.

    Assumption no. 1: the battle is still going on between the forces of Evil and Good. The named characters still exist, and the Empire of Lhynn is the object of a fierce struggle between the Emperor and the Master of the Black Moon.

    Hypothesis n°2: the empire was shattered by an adventurer, son of Pazuzu, the Prince of the Swarms, who devastated the empire at the head of a horde of barbarians, killing Emperor Hagendorf and then destroying the archmage Hazheel Thorn. What remains of their confrontation is a sea of burning sands.

    In any case, the Oeridians fled to the northwest, where they founded the city of Thalos, under the protection of their goddess Alia. Three tribes did not join this land-based exodus and led by their prophetess, Johydée, they embarked on a perilous journey, by sea and land, across Oerik.
    This expedition took the Oeridians to Western Baklunia, then to the plains of the Paynims and finally to Ull, where they founded a short-lived kingdom. They took part in the wars between the Bakluni and Suel empires, moved east before the Twin Cataclysms and founded several Flanaesse kingdoms, including the Great Kingdom of Aerdy.

    The empire of Lhynn is the object of Henoteism, a predominant worship given to a particular god, while not denying the existence (or possible existence) of other divinities, who, depending on the case, enjoy a lesser degree of worship.
    “He Who Was” was a very powerful deity, of loyal and good alignment, who presided over royalty, wisdom, and heaven (other sources name good and peace) in the pantheon of the Lhynn empire. He was supposed to be the creator of humans. He was killed by his exarch Asmodeus, who took his power to become a divine power in his own right, and all knowledge of his true name was suppressed.
    God of superior rank
    Heaven, royalty, peace, and wisdom
    Loyal and Good

    His assassin during the War of the Gods was ASMODEUS, the Prince of Darkness. His exarch, Asmodeus, rebelled against him, killed him with the Ruby Staff and took the essence of his power. Before dying, “He Who Was” cursed Asmodeus and his followers, throwing them into the prison of the nine Baator chasms and trapping them there. Asmodeus then worked tirelessly to erase from reality all knowledge of his former master, including his true name, and elevated himself as Zarus to the rank of a full-fledged deity in the western Oeridian pantheon.
    Low-ranking god
    Damnation, power and tyranny
    Loyal and evil

    After the Tharquess subjugated the Oeridians, many became a people in exile, wandering for centuries and serving as slaves, laborers or mercenaries in the eastern province of the Tharque Empire, which was later conquered by the Empire of Lhynn. They adopted a polytheism mainly inspired by the Tharques and the giant, elf, and orc empires they had encountered in the northern lands of the Far West.

    We know the Oeridian gods of Eastern Flanaesse:
    Initially, they were gods of grater rank, then of intermediate rank:
    - Zilchus the Great Guildmaster, patriarch of the Oeridian pantheon
    - Procan the Storm Lord
    Initially lesser-ranking gods, then of intermediate rank:
    - Two brothers: Heironeous, the Invincible, and Hextor, the Scourge of Battle
    - Pholtus of the Blinding Light
    - Erythnul the Multiple
    - Two brothers: Celestian the Star Wanderer and Fharlanghn the Dweller on the Horizon
    They are gods of lesser rank:
    - Velnius of Heaven and his four siblings
    o Atroa the Bringer of Spring
    o Sotillon the Summer Queen
    o Telchur the Father Frost
    o Wenta the Harvest Daughter
    - Delleb the Scholar
    - Kurell the Avenger
    They are demigods:
    - Alia the Severe, demigoddess
    - Rudd the Charm, demigoddess

    But the Oeridians also adopted several bakluni and flanae gods, which they now worship. Today, these deities are known throughout Flanaesse.

    Greater ranking deities:
    - Rao the Mediator, is synonymous with peace and is worshipped in Veluna.
    - Pelor the Shining One, adopted by the Oedrians as their own solar god Sol, and still worshipped under this name in the provinces of Ahlissa, the Northern Kingdom, Rel Astra and the Barons of the Seas.
    - Nérull the Reaper, was rejected after the exactions committed by his ur-flanae servants.
    - Boccob the Archmage of the Gods, whose official temples are few and far between, and are almost all to be found in Flanaesse's largest cities: Faucongris, Niole Dra, Dyves and Rel Mord.
    - Incabulos, the Black Rider, is synonymous with misfortune, epidemics and famine.

    Divinities of intermediate rank:
    - Ehlonna the Goddess of the Woodlands is gentle and benevolent, but harshly opposes the evil humanoids and marauders who plunder the woodlands. She is particularly revered in Maison-Haute, Véluna, Furyondie and Dyves.
    - Olidammara the Laughing Rogue is the prince of the Bards. Although he does not belong to the Oedipal pantheon, his cult originated among certain tribes of this people and spread rapidly across Flanaesse during the great Oedipal migrations.
    - Ralishaz the Unlooked For is unpredictable and is almost always to be found where he is least expected. Most people in Flanaesse see him as the entity responsible for the unforeseen events that bring misfortune far more often than happiness. His cult is most widespread in the Brigand Kingdoms and Ull.
    - Saint Cuthbert of the Cudgel is an ancient deity whose origin is shrouded in mystery, and some claim he may have come from another world. His immense wisdom and acts of bravery earned him sanctity during his lifetime, before he was finally deified by Rao so that he could continue his work of Good. The cult of Saint Cuthbert is the most widespread in Central Flanaesse, notably in Faucongris, Verbobonc, gaining more converts by the day. It has an intense rivalry with the cult of Pholtus, the Oeridian god of Light.
    - Trithereon the Summoner is the god of Freedom and Vengeance, qualities to which Oeridians are particularly attached. His cult is particularly strong in conflict zones and on the borders of occupied regions.

    Lower-ranking deities:
    - Bléredd taught metalworking to the Oeridians, who then spread his knowledge and worship throughout Flanaesse.
    - Cyndor is the guardian of infinity. He is only worshipped in urban areas, in cities where cultured men reside, such as the Free City of Faucongris, the center of knowledge in Flanaesse.
    - Joramy is the goddess of fire and volcanoes. She represents anger, wrath and quarrelsomeness, defects frequently found in oeridians.
    - Lirr is the goddess of poetry, literature, and the arts.
    - Myhriss is the goddess of love, romance, and beauty.

    - Zagyg the Mad Arch-Mage is a servant of Boccob. He is the founder of the Company of Seven, which included many divine heroes. He was bailiff of the city of Faucongris under the name of Zagig Yragerne and owner of the famous Faucongris castle.

    Thus, the Oeridian pantheon of Eastern Flanaesse was enriched by 15 deities in addition to the 17 traditional ones.

    We have seen that “He Who Was” is reputed to have created mankind. And that Asmodeus murdered him.
    Why was he murdered?
    Who is Alia the Severe?
    But who is Heironeous' father?
    And who is Hextor's father?

    Long ago, according to legend, Zarus was the first man created by “He Who Was” himself. No other deity could have conceived such a perfect creature.
    But Zarus was not happy. He spoke with “He Who Was” and begged for a mate - and “He Who Was” created the first woman, Alia the Sublime. She was as perfect a woman as Zarus was a perfect man.
    And when Zarus felt his life slipping away, “He Who Was” took pity on him and allowed him to become the First of the Aasimons.
    Zarus wiped away his wife Alia's tears. "Do not weep for me, beloved," he consoled her, "for I am now a god and ready to watch over our people. You will give me children - they already lie in your womb - and these will be the beginning of our glory."
    But who is Heironéous' father? Zarus, in his glory days.

    A very long time ago, Zarus, the Prince of Light, was a great general in the celestial army of a powerful deity of good and law who ruled over the dominion of Baator. It would be fitting for this myth to begin with the name of his master, the god who elevated Asmodeus to the status of Exarch. But the deity's name was lost; Asmodeus drew on his magic and influence to ensure that Baator's first God was remembered only as "He Who Was".
    Asmodeus was the most powerful fighting Exarch in the service of his god, but his approach proved increasingly violent as time went on. After eons spent battling the demons of the Abyss, Asmodeus and some of his followers began to change. They became similar in appearance and method to the demons they fought.
    In the wake of yet another massacre, in which the innocent fell along with the enemy, He Who Was became determined: Asmodeus was driven from his master's palace, along with those who had followed in his wake of violence. With a single gesture, Celestis' greatest fighter and his army were banished. “He Who Was” being merciful, Asmodeus did not perish. Instead, he suffered, stripped of his beauty, broken in body and spirit on the fields of Avernus. Perhaps “He Who Was” hoped that Asmodeus would come to regret his pride and disobedience.
    But Asmodeus' pride was greater than his guilt, and he and his followers took on new forms, broken but powerful. While Asmodeus endured the suffering, he planned his revenge against “He Who Was” and the other gods who had stood by and forgotten his sacrifices during the War of the Gods. Asmodeus carefully chose the moment to reveal himself and kill his former master. The god couldn't save his own life, but the imprecation he uttered as he died trapped Asmodeus and all his followers in Baator's chasms.
    "That which never sleeps is not dead, and in the course of centuries even Death can die".
    Most of the gods cursed Asmodeus as a traitor, but although they openly shunned the rebellious Exarch, some gods secretly dealt with Asmodeus and sought his assistance in the war against the demons.
    For decades, the gods did not trust Asmodeus enough to release him from Baator, which would have enabled him to claim the full divine power that had been unleashed when he killed his overlord. Asmodeus asserted that only he could use this power to win the War of the Gods.
    The gods made a Pact of Alliance with Asmodeus, temporarily granting him the divine power of his former master "until the demons are defeated". Asmodeus assured them that, with his forces, he would quickly eradicate the demons and then relinquish the power entrusted to him. He also added to the Pact a passage ensuring Baator's preservation using the loyal and evil souls entrusted to him, without insisting that these clauses would be in force for eternity.
    Distracted by their hatred of demons and their desperate race towards the end of the war, the gods failed to grasp the full implications of Asmodeus' pact. Some even believed his honeyed assurances. Asmodeus has, of course, been master of the nine chasms of Baator ever since.
    At the end of the War of the Gods, Asmodeus returned to his Zarus form and visited Alia. From their union was born a six-armed monster that the oeridians call Hextor.
    But who is Hextor's father? Asmodeus, taking the form of Zarus and concealing his Baatezu form, at the end of the War of the Gods.

    Alia became a powerful goddess, protector of Thalos.
    High-ranking goddess
    Civilization, founders of cities, legislators, and great inventors
    Loyal and Neutral
    Alia is the goddess of civilization. She is the muse of great invention, founder of cities and author of law, worshipped by rulers, warlords, magistrates, and inventors.

    Translated with (free version)

    “He Who Was”, and Erathis appear in D&D 4E.
    Asmodeus has been the subject of numerous publications.
    Zarus et Alia are inspired by D&D 3.5.
    Adept Greytalker

    Joined: Apr 11, 2009
    Posts: 380
    From: Verbobonc

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    Wed Feb 21, 2024 1:14 pm  

    Dr. Jacques,

    Une belle theologie! Je vous applaudis! I like how you are using historical inspiration to make such a vivid background for the Oeridian belief system, and how it has evolved over time, added (and discarded) deities, and how it looks in the Flanaess. Have you considered regional variations within the Flanaess? I have been working on a similar project to make the four major human religous traditions very distinct, even if they borrwo each other's gods. Not in a game mechanics way, really, but more to add a level of depth to the culture of the Flanaess.

    I guess at some point I should post my ideas, but I plan to incorporate some of your touches as well! I will hint that I am using the Scythians and Sarmatians as my inspiration for the ancient Oeridians.
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    Joined: Feb 26, 2004
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    Thu Feb 22, 2024 6:01 pm  

    Whoa! This is some deep lore here! Beyond the Flanaess put to good use IMO. I had recently been in some discussion about the father of Heironeous or Hextor, and Alia. But this here is some good stuff. Zarus is definitely a good idea I had not considered. Well done!
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