Gods of the Rock
Posted: Wed Oct 25, 2017 10:53 pm
God-doc as of current notes
The gods of High Rock are a varied mix of Nordic, Imperial, Elven, and some small degree of Nedic influences. These gods exist as a divine court over the mortal kingdom, or 'Mondagne'. Their cults are loosely connected, and outside of acknowledged hierarchies and relations of the gods they serve, are oftentimes very competitive in their pursuit of religious dominance. Though many cults are universal and a great deal class driven, they also tend to dominate regions as the predominant deity, resulting in religious traditions among the commonfolk and nobility that can vary wildly from region to region. Add in the numerous theological and political fractures and divisions that exist within each cult, as well as the differing cultural interpretations to be found between the three bretonic archetypes, and you get numerous arrangements, pantheons, sets of traditions, and beliefs that are difficult to sum up outside of very general statements.
Religious literature and mythos often takes the form of great literary cycles (see the Mabinogion, the Matter of Britain, the Matter of France, etc). Much of their stories are mutations and warpings of old nedic myth as well as elven influences, rendered down to themes and symbols that have been forgotten and reimagined and retold so many times that the thing being written of the gods and ancient heroes is not a written retelling of the story, but a written retelling of the retelling someone else told. The result is vast collections of stories surrounding a more or less fluid canon that has been written often hundreds and hundreds of years apart, with recycled and embellished and dissected themes all dating back to a now untraceable root, littered with repeated themes, sub-cycles, ideas broken across many segments, entries that seem to lack consistent flow with the other parts of the story chronologically around, characters who just sort of show up because when it was written they were a fully known idea, characters who sort of disappear because they weren't relevant to the authors of the time anymore, and symbolism built out of dead imagery from an ancient and no longer practiced form of the culture. Entities, items, places, heroes, events, all rewritten out of an ancient and old mythology, redivised to be relevant to the new order and faith, tribal champions renamed and dressed in the armor of a knight and sat at an arthurian table, made virtuous towards gods that were never theirs.
Within society, the gods serve the purpose, along side saints, of being models for the common man. Their examples, ideally, are to be followed by commoners and nobility alike, though many nobles wear their natures as a mask, piety for the sake of image, or piety that is even simply a lie.
The gods are as follows.
Re: Gods of the Rock
Posted: Wed Oct 25, 2017 11:32 pm
(to be edited as it is written)
Oriel the King
also known as Orel, Oral, Orhel, Oriell, Oriol, Orielle, Orias, Ory, Oric, Orich, and Orick
parallel and cognate to Imperial Akatosh and Altmeri Auri-El
The King of Kings, Liege of all Sovereigns, who is oft depicted as an elven-blooded prince with skin softly golden, garbed in mail of shimmering blue steel and pearly elven moonstone, with a crown studded wealthily with tourmaline, or quartz, or tiger-eye. The god of nobility, kings, courts, order, hierarchies, and regal might, he is the King of 'Mondagne' (The Mundus) and one of the three Old Kings, alongside Magnon and Bad Sheor. It is Oriel who rescued the world from Sheor after Sheor deceivingly sundered it from eternity, and it is Oriel who has ruled over the world since. Among commoners his worship is fairly passive, his rituals few outside of select holidays. The 'cult' of Oriel is the cult of the royal folk- lords and knights and kings, and those of powerful hierarchies. The pantheon of the bretons is a court, and the world is a high kingdom; mortal kings are vassals to the High King Oriel. Even the emperor is seen as below him, at best seen as an honored embodiment, but otherwise seen as just another servant of the Gleaming King. Regardless of favored divine, ceremonies honoring their great liege are a common aspect of noble worship, and he is frequently in their prayers on matters of good ruling. For the common folk, service to one's lord is quite enough to honor him, and it is under Oriel that the social traditions of the High Rock are in fact sacred. His connection to dragons is a late first era addition, a product of the impressing of Imperial Akatosh on his peer, an aspect that varies from dragons being his servants, to himself being dragonblood of a sort, to being the rider of a great feathered golden drake, which he rides in lieu of a horse, soaring through the heavens far above his kingdom. Like most of the breton gods with an imperial counterpart, he is seen as an acceptable derivation of Akatosh by the canon of the greater Imperial Temple, an embodiment taken by the great dragon in his interaction with the Bretons. The Breton who worships him, however, would likely say the opposite to be true.
Akatosh the Dragon
also known Aquetoche and Tosh
The invincible time-dragon of the Imperials, unstoppable and insurmountable as the march of time. He entered into Breton veneration in the old days of Hestra, and over time would grow and cement into their worship with every passing empire. The dragon's worship is not universal however, and varies by principality. In a rare few, most notably within the city of Wayrest, he is above or even wholly replacing Oriel as master of the pantheon and the Mundus. In most places where he is known though, he is seen as either a second part of Oriel, or as a companion and ally to Oriel. In either instance, where Oriel is a deity of the rulers, Akatosh holds significant popularity among the Breton middle class as a protecting deity, the southern dragon's fires lending him a reputation as warden against the outer wastes and their temptations.
Kynaree the Marshall
also known as Cynaree, Cyneree, Kyne, Cyne, Cine, Cynareth, Kynareth, and Cynarete
parallel and cognate to Nordic Kyne and Imperial Kynareth
The Divine Marshall Kynaree is fairly culturally divisive as to her importance among the Bretons; Throughout the rock, it is commonly established that she is Oriel's Marshall and highest general, his trusted commander in times of war. But war gods are in high saturation in the Rock, and Oriel, Reymond, and Talos all fill the role of a mighty sword very comfortably. In the more elven parts of High Rock, she is often passed over in prayers in this regard, and her other aspects are focused on. On top of her responsibilities in war, she is known to the Bretons as the Falconer, the Gardener, and the Huntress, all stemming from the far more nature oriented Kynareth known to the imperials. By commoners and nobility alike her name is prayed to in preparation of the hunt, and hers is the power and grace of wind, upon which she soars like a falcon, or like an arrow. Additionally there is her aspect of the storm, and it is to her that the rains are attributed, giving her a connotation of both providing, and of fury. It is in this aspect that she receives the prayers and petty rituals of sailors, who urge her fury to calm so a storm does not brew, while simultaneously requesting strong winds from their lady to carry them swiftly to the next port. To the Breto-nordics, the focus of her roles is inverted. Among them, she is often the primary god of war, a dual strategist and swordswoman, who wields any sword with heaving power and flowing grace. A rare few sects of Breto-Nords even venerate Kynaree as being the head of the pantheon, a mighty queen, thundering and clashing with the shriek of a hawk. She is also commonly across the rock depicted as the wife of Oriel, though sometimes Marie or Dibelle supplant her in this role. Also common is the depiction of her first marriage being to Sheor, and his deceiving of her towards his goals is a subject of tragic focus within the cycles of Breton religious texts.
Jeffre the Troubadour
also known as Jephre, Jephree, Jephrey, Jeffree, Jeffrey, Jaufre, Jaufree, Jaufrey, Geoffre, Geoffree, and Geoffrey
parallel and cognate to Altmer Jephre
Jeffre the Troubadour is a deity simultaneously well loved but little revered in breton society. Few devote to his cult, though the image and stories of him are adored. He is the god of song and of stories and to a certain extent inspiration in nature, the troubadour of Oriel's court, and the patron of performers, be they a troubadour, minstrel, performer of plays, or even a fool. These domains are part of his weakness; it puts his worship in competition with the far more generally popular Dibelle, who is also commonly presented as their patron. He is jovial and warm hearted, and most stories of him describe very simple things- walks through forests, conversations with streams, gallivanting the countryside, all with an air of lyricism, a nonsensical playful wit, and an adoration for what he experiences. One of the most important stories told of him in song is that of the first song he penned for Oriel's court; a song in which he gave everything that exists the first name it ever had. From a logical perspective he is a mutation of the Altmer Jephre with the skaldic traditions of Nords, fit into a niche but beloved position of jovial song in Breton society. It is worth noting that among the druids and distantly rural bretons a far different Jeffre exists. A more primordial figure, akin to Bosmer Y'ffre, a god of the natural world.
Julien the Scholar
also known as Julian, Jules, Julius, June, Junal, Junel, Jan, Jon, and Jun
parallel and cognate to Nordic Jhunal and Imperial Julianos
Julien is the Scholar, the Court Historian, the Tutor, the Polymath and the Apprentice. Often the former apprentice of Magnus before he served Oriel in his new kingdom, he is twofold the teacher and the student, and in this embodies the Breton tradition of the sharing of knowledge being a relationship between a learned master and the learner of his arts. His domains are the natural sciences, mathematics, scholarship, philosophy, histories, practical magic, and the teaching and learning of all these things. It is interesting to note that in contrast to the Nordic Jhunal and the Imperial Julianos, magic is not his most important field. In a land where spells and their arts are common, his other facets become far more notable. His is the cult of academics, his name revered most by architects and engineers, philosophers, historians, scholars, and mathematicians, and his temple is a place of learning- Most of the historical academies and schools of the Rock were consecrated in his name, and his Temples and chapels are also libraries. His priesthood places education as a holy tenant, and where they have the numbers they work to ensure the most basic literacy and arithmetic even among the commoners, providing greater instruction to those who provide generous donations, as well as extensive tutorship to the heirs of nobility and merchant princes. In the days before the common use of printing presses, his monks additionally were known to hand copy books and writings both religious and scholarly, though the practice is now for the most part dead. Many of his academies dissolved or were integrated with the arrival of the more Imperial Mage's Guild, especially those with a magical focus, while those of more general scholarship have persisted into the modern day in one form or another. Among the Breto-Nordics of the Rock his derivation from Jhunal becomes more apparent. Commonly known as June, he is known for quick and clever wit and for deeper understanding of the strange, encompassing practical mages as well as displacing Phynastre as the patron of more mystic orders.
Phynastre the Mage
also known as Phinastre, Finastre, Fynastre, Finn, Fynn, Aster, and Astor
parallel and cognate to Altmer Phynaster
--derived specifically from the scientist-researcher-adaptist flavor of hegemony phynaster. If Julien is the common every day use of magic, phynaster is the devoted wizard, the hoarder of secret knowledge, the unraveler of reality's truths, the mage in the tall tower- sometimes literally. his character of elitist practices are taken to be responsible oftentimes by those who honor his name; knowledge that takes decades to acquire and learn isn't meant for the common folk. While Julien academies educate the common man, Phynastique conclaves meet secretively, elevating their own pursuits in distrustful collaboration, each oft a genius of their respective study. The wizard in his fortress laboratory and secret schools are imagery commonly associated with those who venerate phynastre, as well as those mages and nobles of partial elven heritage who wish to make a big important deal out of it. The exclusivity and elitism of his worshipers make his cult very often a thing in name only, with few active worshipers. Different from the Direnni Phynaster cult, which is little seen outside of the isle.--
Marie the Maiden
also known as Mara, Mare, Marion, Marien, Mary, Marelle, Marille, Mariel, and Marette
parallel and cognate to Nordic Mara, Altmer Mara, and Imperial Mara
--extremely popular, extensive cults among both the commonfolk and the nobility (though there's quite a number who praise her name solely for the image of it), with significant shares of the rock holding her as their predominantly honored deity. A god of love and of the heart, the snow white to Dibelle's rose red. Her love is the bonds between individuals, a familial bond or the bond of marriage, and the imperially derived doctrine of the mother makes all family under her. In this she is a deity of peace and good will, of kindness and mercy, of charity and forgiveness, the equivalent to a deity of the golden rule. Where Marie as a deity derails among some worshippers from the golden rule, especially among the breto-nordics, is that those who actively do not respect the rule of good will and peace do not deserve it, and should be brought to ruin. Vindicating Maran Knights and similar orders are common and controversial and yet very frequently the subjects of folk tales (maiden rescuing knights, the knight errant who undoes a foul lord who is often of an enemy nation, etc. etc.) both on the grounds of who exactly it is that various ones might declare undeserving of Maran love (indeed there have been instances of orders accusing each other of such things), as well as those who theologically believe such mannerisms do not belong to her.--
Dibelle the Artisan
also known as Dibella, Dibeau, Debelle, Belle, Bellen, and Bella
Sten the Lawman
also known as Stenn, Stenne, Stend, Stent, Stendor, Esten, and Estenne
Zenne the Steward
also known as Senne, Zenther, Sendor, Senther, Zenniter, Senniter, and Zenither
Archei the Ritualist
also known as Arkay, Arcade, Arcady, Arceus, Archen, Arcas, Carses, Carcas, Kark, and Kirk
Reymond the Knighted
also known as Ramon, Raimon, Raymon, Reymon, Remon, Ramone, Raimone, Raymone, Reymone, Remone, Ramond, Raimond, Raymond, Remond
Meredie the Knight Questing
also known as Meredy, Merydwyn, Meredeth, Meredith, Meredia, Mered, and Meryd
Magnon the Ally King
also known as Magnus, Magnor, and Magnorius
Talos the Emperor
also known as Tiber, Talosien, Talosse, Talus, Hjalt, Halt, Yalt
also known as Shar, Shor, Shorn, Cheor, Sor, Sorn, Siar, Shal, Shalgor, and Challeger
also known as Malach, Malaque, Malis, Mal, Mall, and Malle