Monday, March 21, 2016

Pantheon Monday: Gods of the Golden Empire

Oroylus, the Golden Empire, is possessed of many numerous and powerful cults. Each has its own cult-site where its holiest of holies can be located and where its high priest resides, but all temples maintain shrines within the bulwark of the great head of the pantheon, Deyas the Almighty—all, of course, save the Old Nightmares, ancient and dark gods from before the coming of man into the world.

Deyas is the grumpy chief god of the entire human pantheon. Known alternately as the Almighty, the Celestial Fire, and the Bright Star, Deyas is the god of light, warfare, art, and medicine. He led the pantheon of men to victory over the Old Nightmares and it was he who foretold the birth of Oroy the King with many signs and monstrances. Deyas delights in sunlight, music, artwork, the cunning execution of war, and orderly battle. He despises night, darkness, and creeping things.

The head of Deyas' temple outside of the Empire is the cult-site at Ruyael. However, Emperor Hyval supplanted the Endarch of Deyas by appointing his own head of the Deyan cult within the Empire—the Autocephalon, who sits at Coyn. The Endarch and Autocephalon have been known to launch vitriolic attacks against one another, and Deyan crusaders from Ruyael have even arrested or killed so-called "heretical" Autocephalic Deyans.

Deyas is lawful good. His sign is a two-handed greatsword.

The cult-site of Saphis, goddess of wisdom and love, is located within the confines of the city of Coyn itself. She is said to be the direct ancestor of Oroy's royal line, which still has some prominence even through the changing of the emperors. Worship of Saphis is common amongst wizards, scholars, and sages, and she has become the unofficial patron of magic.

Saphis is neutral good. Her sign is a helmed owl.

Zorya is an old goddess, potentially as powerful as Deyas, but still integrated into his temples. She is the mistress of Night and Fortune, trickery and darkness, patronness of criminals and thieves the world over. Her cult-site is located in Laarisa and she often blesses gamblers, the homeless and destitute, and the wandering.

Zorya is neutral evil. Her sign is an upended chalice.

Tumlic is a young god, possibly Deyas' son born of his union with Saphis or Zorya, who is the patron of nature. He is depicted as having a beard of laurel and hair of flowering ivy and he favors offerings of flowers or meat. His eyes are said to be glazed over with the power of prophecy. He does not get along with Deyas at all, and the two often come to blows.

Tumlic is chaotic good. His sign is an ivy leaf.

Salander is the lord of fire and storms, an unpredictable, gusty, and natural force that sometimes blows through the world. He is said to be responsible for the greatest and most devastating natural disasters, and his priests pray to propitiate him and turn his eye away from their parishes rather than to draw his blessings.

Salander appears as a fiery man wrapped in a mantle of lightning-licked clouds. He is chaotic evil. His sign is an upright hammer with a lightning bolt worked on its hilt.

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