Reflections on Interactions between the Gods
by Chloe in Dark Ages
As Aislings, many of us strive to understand our place within this world, as well as how we can best serve the deities that help us in our struggle against Chadul's realm. Yet as the shock of Danaan's sacrifice is still fresh, and our own race new and unformed, understanding the depths of our inter-relatedness with the world can be confusing. Our texts are fragmentary, the knowledge scattered, and time is not on our side. To succeed in our struggles, a deep understanding of our chosen paths and deities is necessary, but time for reflection is not given to us : we must take what we can spare and hope for the best. As I watch the Mundanes erect great temples to each deity, and Aislings struggling to understand how best to harness what powers the gods consent to grant them, it came upon me that the true philosophy of each god, as well as humanity's own history of our interactions with them, is nowhere available. Aislings are a pious lot, generally, but it can be difficult to be religious if we do not understand what it is we worship!
I therefore have studied the documents I have access to that speak of the gods, and have compiled general guidelines of each god's philosophy and place, as well as some examples of how Aislings live with their deities.
Our Pantheon consists of the Light, the Dark, and those caught between : humanity.
Danaan (From Mortality) Chadul (light herself) (from fire) (darkness itself) | | Glioca ---- Ceannlaidir Sgrios | Cail <--------------- Deoch Fiosachd Luathas Gramail
The two octagrams below contain much information useful to the curious Aisling. They contain the natural affinities of each deity, their opposites, and gods to which each deity clashes with as they attempt to resolve their purpose on earth. The higher will be familiar, while the lower merely substitutes the gods’ names for their respective domains.
Each deity’s polar force is opposite them on the diagram, but this does not imply enmity, necessarily : merely contrast. The deities that flank each god are those, which they strive with most commonly on a daily basis.
Deoch : The Creative Spark
In Suomi, I chanced along a rogue who worships Deoch, and I asked him how he follows this path. He explained that, in Suomi, Deoch is well known, for it was through worshipping him that the smiths discovered how to harness the properties of the emerald, which bestows a greatly increased constitution to all who wears it. As this rogue diligently practiced his gem-cutting abilities, we spoke of his path. He spoke this rhyme to me :
Glioca : Compassionate Love.
Glioca is our light in the darkness, the moon we follow on the darkest of nights. Her followers, the kindest and most merciful of the pantheon, are strangely often the least gifted at explaining their path to another. Hate is something they simply cannot understand, and so meet it with only compassion and care. Even those you would most think opposed them, such as the strictest lawgiver or the most bloodthirsty warlord, meet only shock or pity from Glioca's worshippers, for they cannot fathom how one could neglect to see the beauty of the life which fills everything. If you ask them to say why they act as they do, they will only smile, or perhaps hum a tune, before going on their way to engage in their never-ending struggle to save all from Sgrios' cruel grip. They are not innocents, for they see the dark, they are simply mirrors, which reflect the light and so outshine the dark.
Cail : Nature.
Luathas : Divine Knowledge.
As I sought to learn the ways of this god, I chanced upon a wizard, bent with long hours of research. I inquired of him, but he merely handed me a blue powder, and went back to his desk. I gently sniffed the powder, wondering what secrets it contained, and my senses were immediately assaulted with a whirl of sensations. Deep seas, cold winds, burning fires, and suffocating earth surrounded me. I realized, just before losing consciousness, that when the elements are combined heedlessly utter destruction is the only result. With this insight, the onslaught subsided, leaving only a vision of a paradise, now submerged, which I realized was the remains of Hy-brasyl. Opening my eyes, I found that no time had passed, yet aeons had to me, and as I gazed at the scholars, I sensed what they sought : balance with ultimate control.
Gramail : Law and Justice.
Gramail's temple is not filled with fevered prayer or emotional offerings. His worshippers instead choose to show it through continual actions that forward the cause of justice, even-mindedness, and the balance of all things. They are an even-tempered lot, who will calmly discourse to you for hours on the politics of a particular region or the intricacies of the balance between nature and man. They do not look to other gods for inspiration or affection, following only Gramail, for they see only his advice as neutral and reliable. Gramail's devotees toil to maintain peace so that Aislings may most effectively counter the chaotic effects of the darkness.
Fiosachd : Wealth, Luck.
Fiosachd combines most of the gods' talents and has a natural quickness and affinity for the untamed world, at least as far as he finds it useful for his purposes. He is close to mankind as well, using humanity's talents to seek greater treasure, adventure, and perhaps most of all, wealth. He loves nature as long as it benefits him personally, and he loves humanity as long as we give him new challenges and new conquests. He delights in the art of the chase and the dash, excelling in discovering hidden mysteries, exploiting weaknesses, and trapping all who oppose him with their own weapons. He is not evil, for he despises anything that seeks to control him or destroy what he considers valuable, yet his delight in trickery and illusion has separated him from the pure forces of the light. He is perhaps the most "human" of all the gods.
Ceannlaidir : The art of War.
Ceannlaidir's followers are most easily found wherever Sgrios is closest to earth. They are not easy of speech, for they speak from the body, not the mind. Their strategy concerns physical might, and the minds, which control it, as well as the artistry of weapons, humanity's most enduring talent. To understand them, you must fight alongside them, or with them. They do not kill for the purpose of death, as Sgrios does, nor do they delight in the quibbles over ideals. They act for the sake of action, the delight in life and their manipulation of it, for tempting death is also a way of celebrating life.
Sgrios : Death and Destruction.
No Aisling may long think on the subject of Sgrios before either being repulsed in both body and spirit or enraptured to his service. His temples are deceptive, dark, strange, and twisted, like his own designs, for Sgrios is no simple god : his ways of luring mankind to his realm are nearly infinite, and as complex as are the veins of the earth. His followers write no literature, master no arts, or erect useless statues. All their efforts are directed towards creating traps for the living and unwary, strengthening Sgrios' grip, or currying his favor so that their own power over the living will increase. Yet he is not the end, for Aislings escape him every day, albeit not unscathed. The battle for souls continues.
Composed by Chloe, Priestess of Mileth