Behind the Veil (Common Lore)   Posted by Winters Breath.Group: 0
Winters Breath
 GM, 4 posts
 Cold as death
 Don't you mess
Thu 4 Aug 2016
at 15:33
Behind the Veil (Common Lore)
In Ages passed, tales tell of magic being commonplace. Dragons soared the skies, Giants roamed the land, mighty Sorcerers shaped reality to their whim, Knights wielded blades crackling with arcane power and devout Clerics called upon the Gods for aid and were answered. None were more adept at the Magical Arts than the Sidhe, though and their mastery of it gave them dominion over all.

Those days are long gone and all but forgotten; dismissed as flights of fancy, fit only for childrens stories and the history books. Few deny the existence of magic; it can be found in many places across Taneth, from the rune-lore of the Dwarves and the healing songs of the Gnomes, to the animistic rituals of the Orc races. Yet no magic in this day and age lives up to the fantastic and impossible feats described by the storytellers and loremasters. As such, few put much stock in it; especially in more rural areas where magic is so rarely seen that it really is considered the mere stuff of stories.

Those that choose the magical arts as a profession are often considered laughing stocks; all that study and training for naught but a few parlour tricks? Many consider it a frivolity of the nobility or the demented obsession of madmen.

Those few that truly devote themselves to the Gods are very occasionally rewarded for their service with the power to perform miracles, but are respected little more than dabblers in the arcane; often considered charlatans or con-men trying to influence the weak-minded.

Then there are those of the Elder Races that have preserved their magical traditions; the Gnomes and Dwarves particularly, but even among their own they are equally respected or ignored as traditionalists or fakers, yet beyond the borders of their own lands they are often met with the fear and suspicion of people who simply don't understand.

The Orc have their shamanic traditions and to many, they smack of the magical. For the most part the Orc keep to themselves, shunned by more civilised folk, but just as they are mistrusted by others for those very traditions, they mistrust those who follow other paths. Superstitious in the extreme, the Orc keep close eye on travelers in the wild lands and those that display abilities or even learning beyond their experience often find themselves victim to their strange and barbaric rituals.

Least trusted of all are those that bargain with powers beyond mortal ken. Warlock, Witch, Sorcerer, Heretic; those that exchange their very souls for power on the mortal plane. They're considered insidious and treacherous, for how do you tell one from any other person? Yet they wield mighty powers beyond those of any other and that makes people nervous, jealous and hateful.

Fear, suspicion, mistrust...these are the emotions that surround those who display abilities beyond the understanding of the common folk. There's a certain kind of person that can be found wherever you travel; the kind to whom the words "burn them" come far too easily. Reprehensible though it may be, too many are too willing, or too afraid to contradict such vile sentiments and it is an unfortunate truth that magic users of all kinds must learn to conceal their abilities when traveling beyond their own cultural and societal spheres, for any overt display might find them tied to a stake with a rapidly rising temperature... more than ever, with rumours circulating of the return of the Sidhe.

Spellcasting professions are rare in the Kingdom of Taneth, as are magical or fantastical beasts and creatures. Most villages and small communities have never seen a spell cast or anything more unusual than a wolf or bear. Larger towns may have a small temple lucky enough to have a priest or Cleric capable of casting spells and in the cities there are even people who make a living from magic. There are limits, however, to what is known and accepted.

Those Virtues or Rewards available to you as Player Characters that might resemble or be magical are common enough not to cause too much comment in cities and large towns, at least if use of them are kept subtle or in sanctioned environments. Villages and small communities are likely to react negatively to such things, however.

More powerful magics are used and may even become available to Players, but are the remit of those who are professional arcanists, truly devout priests or...less savoury folk. Overt displays of such magic are cause for comment even in the Capital city. This level of magic is generally mistrusted by most people, especially when it's loud, flashy or obvious. Out "in the sticks" this kind of magic gets people burned at the stake for witchcraft, devil-worship or being in league with the Sidhe.

This message was last edited by the GM at 22:53, Wed 21 Nov 2018.

Winters Breath
 GM, 32 posts
 Cold as death
Thu 5 Jan 2017
at 22:36
The Gods
The are seven Gods that watch over the Kingdom of Taneth. Though they are infrequently worshiped, per se, few dare disparage them and most respect them despite their lack of involvement in the mortal realm. Though full blown temples or religious buildings are rare in smaller towns and villages, shrines in remote forest groves, by the roadside, in natural caves and the like are fairly common; it is hard to travel more than a few miles along a road before encountering a shrine to The Wanderer, for example.

The names of the Gods are no longer known to mortal creatures, though legend says that they once shared their names freely and will do so again when they return to the world. They are instead referred to only by title; The Artisan, The Farmer, The Lover, The Reaper, The Wanderer, The Warrior and The Watcher. Those devout enough to enter one of the priesthoods often forgo their own name and assume the title of their patron. A priest of The Watcher, for example, might introduce himself as a Watcher or (if he has not forgone his name completely) Watcher Michael (if his name before ordination was "Michael"). Those few who devote themselves to multiple deities, or even all Seven, are known as Clerics.

No Deity claims dominion over the other; they are in theory equals, though devotees of the gods are known to dispute such a claim hotly. Neither are any of the Gods commonly considered "good" or "evil"; in some tales a particular God might be portrayed as the hero or heroine and in the next, they will be seen as the villain. Opinions on such matters vary from one town to the next, from one person to another.

The Artisan

Slow and steady, The Artisan is the deity of the arts and crafts, from music and tapestry to smithing and carpentry. By association, she is also the Goddess of wealth and technology. In tales, she is most often told as being The Warriors lover, tempering his fits of rage with soothing song and expensive gifts. This union, for the skeptical, is merely an allusion to the common conception that war breeds both prosperity and technological advance. She is also the Goddess of fire and the future, for in the light of her forges are spun the strands of fate, which she weaves upon the Loom of Destiny.

Craftsmen, musicians and artists revere The Artisan, as do those that utilise the best of modern technology such as miners and engineers. Researchers looking to unearth lost techniques from ancient times also might give homage to her. As the Goddess of fate, seers and prophets and all who look to the future are her subjects.

The Artisans symbol is the hammer and harp.

The Farmer

The Farmer is the deity of growing things, the natural world and cultivation. He is said to be the wisest of the Gods, his practical attitude and good common sense tempering the more tempestuous nature of some of the other Gods. Often depicted as a heavy set, rugged man with a big, bushy, brown beard, the myths tell of how he was the first of the Gods to roam the world, teaching mortals the secrets of the Gods (sometimes against the will of the other deities). He is often shown as being a foil to The Wanderer; generous where The Wanderer is selfish, wise where The Wanderer is foolish.

Farmers give him respect for obvious reasons, but he also receives the prayers of teachers and scholars that concern themselves with natural philosophy. Those that spend their time in the wild places of the world also pay homage to him, hoping that perhaps his strong but gentle hand will stay the ferocity of the beasts that inhabit the darker corners of the Kingdom.

The Farmers symbol is a plain brown tunic.

The Lover

Goddess of beauty, family and fertility, The Lover is most often depicted as a dazzling beauty yet also a gentle woman. Her tales involve both flights of fancy and jealous suitors and the like, but also of nurturing, healing and growth. Her shrines can often be found in hospices and houses of healing.

All women (or men) that wish someday to have children have something to offer at The Lovers shrines, as well as those that might wish to stave off such a happenstance. Those involved with animal husbandry also might offer a token at the appropriate times of year. Healers and carers tend her shrines and her priests can often be found in such professions. She is also the Goddess of the weak and needy; beggars, slaves and the destitute can find succour at the doors of The Lovers homes.

The Lovers symbol is an outstretched hand.

The Reaper

As God of death and the underworld, it is no wonder that The Reaper is probably the most feared of the Gods. He is not said to encourage death in the myths that involve him; he is merely the judge of the dead, the gaoler of the underworld and the collector of souls. His is the domain of irrevocable change, implacable judgement and ultimate justice.

Those involved in law and punishment; judges, gaolers and executioners all pay The Reaper his due, as do those in the macabre profession of undertaking and grave-digging. Many of his priests serve as ushers and guardians of the dead, experts in embalming and wardens of graveyards and cemetaries. Some assassins also offer their respects to the lord of death, either in penance for the souls they send his way or thanks for a clean kill and an easy escape.

The Reapers symbol is a set of bone scales, balanced on an iron scythe.

The Wanderer

Capricious and mischievous, The Wanderer is ever of the move. God of the roads and messengers, he is the teller of tales and bringer of gifts. Legend speaks of him as the trickster and deceiver as well, playing pranks on the other Gods and mortal men alike. His form always changes and he is master of disguise, as are many of his priests.

His shrines can be found along every major road as well as in every port, for he is also the god of rivers and the sea. Every traveler, whether going by boat, cart, carriage or simply on foot, leaves some small offering to him for fair weather and ease of passage. Tricksters, charlatans and con artists, as well as the few wandering troupes of minstrels and bards that ply their trade across the Kingdom, are all subjects of The Wanderer.

The Wanderers symbol is a worn and dusty boot.

The Warrior

Patron of all who fight for a living and protector of those who cannot, The Warrior is said to have inspired the six martial schools, whose monasteries sit high atop the Griffonridge Mountain range; each a site of pilgrimage for the faithful. He is a deity of dual nature; on one side he is brutal and frenzied, wild as a summer storm. On the other he is the tactician, strategic and cunning, winning through guile, skill and good planning. In either guise, he is a lusty God, fond of ale, women and gambling and many of those who pursue a more stringent lifestyle tell tales of how The Warriors wild escapades frequently get him in trouble.

Martial adepts from all walks of life honour The Warrior; guardsmen, mercenaries, gladiators and soldiers all. He is also the patron of gamblers and gamers and all those who throw their fate to the wind, those who rely as much on luck as much as their skill and wit.

The Warriors symbol is a six-pointed star, traditionally three crossed weapons

The Watcher

The Watcher is the most unassuming and least vocal of the Gods and it is not uncommon for her priests to take a vow of silence in deference to this. In legend she is attributed no great deed, nor creation. She merely watches from the shadows, gathering information and hoarding it for herself. Typically portrayed as a greedy God, she is ever seeking knowledge and never gives anything away for free. She is often associated with The Reaper because of her popularity with assassins and other murderous folk, but in truth she cares no more for death than any other thing.

The Watcher is a deity of shadows and secrets, the night and the unknown. She is the patron of thieves, spies and smugglers. Hidden lore and secrets fall under her domain; she is the all-knowing, so some scholars and those that seek truth pay her homage in hope she might relinquish some secret. Her shrines can sometimes be found in libraries and other seats of learning. Her shrewdness also attracts many a merchant who admire her canny ways.

The Watchers symbol is a lidless eye superimposed over a crescent moon.

This message was last edited by the GM at 22:29, Wed 21 Nov 2018.

Winters Breath
 GM, 38 posts
 Cold as death
Sun 8 Jan 2017
at 23:56
The Sidhe
[under construction]

(they're the Fey; think of every childrens story, folk-tale, myth and legend. Gremlins, Bugbears, Kobalds, Goblins, Pixies, Faeries, Elves, Spriggans, Sprites, Nymphs, Dryads...don't think D&D, think european folk-lore.)

This message was last edited by the GM at 17:05, Mon 09 Jan 2017.