Cultural effect of the Twin Cataclysms
Date: Sun, December 05, 2021
Topic: Peoples & Culture

The Twin Cataclysms had a profound effect on both the Suel and the Bakluni culture – it caused each society to have a severe backlash against their institutions for failing to protect them. This article provides a possible outcome of that cultural shift and helps explain some of the current cultural views of those two people.

The Twin Cataclysms had a profound effect on both the Suel and the Bakluni culture – it caused each society to have a severe backlash against their institutions for failing to protect them.

In the case of the Suel, whose society was generally based on magical prowess, the survivors came to view magic as something to be reviled and rejected. Although this was a general feeling, each group of survivors adjusted their way of life differently.

For the Thillonrian barbarians, they outright rejected magic and instead turned to martial prowess as their focus. To this day in those countries, those that wield magic are viewed as suspect at best and physical accosted at worst.

For those colonist who settled the Tilvanot peninsula, they turned to subterfuge and inner perfection. Viewing rogues, merchants, spies, martial arts monks and assassins as desirable professions. Although magic is not fully banned in the Tilvanot, it does not have much prestige within the society.

For those that founded the Kingdom of Keoland, they put in place a quasi-police force in the form of the Silent Ones to watch over and control the use of magic. Only recently, over a thousand years after the Twin Cataclyms, has the Kingdom started to loosen their strangle-hold on mages.

The greatest symbol of the momentous effect the Twin Cataclysms had on Suel society was for them to associate Magic with Death – bringing the two portfolios together in the form of their deity WeeJas.

Moving to the other unfortunate participant in this drama, the Bakluni, their society also drastically changed. The Bakluni used to be a strongly religious society, with numerous gods, associations with the various djinn races, and consisting of many sects to the manifestations of various forces of nature. All this changed with the coming of the Twin Cataclysms. The Bakluni blamed their gods for not protecting them. Turning on their clerics and rejecting their pantheon, the Bakluni’s society was profoundly changed. Religious orders were eliminated, names of gods removed from history and no longer worshipped, priest and their followers massacred to the last child. The first of the deities to be rejected were the war gods for they were the ones most blamed for failure to defend their people. Over the next centuries, the number of gods actively worshipped in the pantheon shrunk to but a handful – the names of the others lost to time.

Worship of the deities was replaced by a philosophical mindset in the hearts of the people – the Four Feet of the Dragon. This guiding principle gave focus to a people at a loss for greater meaning to their lives.

The one god that profited from this purge was Al’Akbar. For he was a recent ascension – a mortal man but a few decades prior to the Cataclyms. His ties to his people was stronger, more recent and personal. Defying the edicts of Istus that said this tragedy was fated, Al’Akbar took an active role on Oerth to protect and guide his people through the aftermath of the tragedy. His hand was so instrumental during these times that the Bakluni began to call his faith the One True Faith – belittling the contributions of the worshippers of the other gods. To this day, his faith dominates Ekbir and Tusmit.

Ket, being the furthest from the seat of power of the Empire, mostly consisted of renegades, profiteers, opportunists, loners and adventurers. As such, their view of the religious institutions was more mercenary, as long as the priests could deliver on the immediate needs of the frontiersmen, they were not worried about the greater philosophical impact of the Twin Cataclysms. Not to mention most of the independent minded Ketites probably looked upon the Empire as a taxation burden so having it gone might even have been a relief.

Zeif, being the closest region to the Bakluni Empire received the earliest survivors was able to retain a semblance of the original culture. The religious institutions retained some influence and were able to best survive the purge. Yet many particular religions did get eliminated, leaving behind the Bakluni pantheon as it stands in 576 CY.

Among the nomads (Wolf, Tiger and Paynim), few gods are worshipped to this day. They are more likely to deal with spirits and elemental beings than the ancient gods of the Bakluni.

As it has been over a thousand years since the Cataclysms, the Bakluni have started to turn back to their gods, starting to reclaim some lost portfolios. Perhaps the gods the Bakluni are going to worship are Common or Oeridian gods with a new name, or the actual original Bakluni deity rediscovered.


This article comes from Canonfire!

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