PDA

View Full Version : Progenitor's Legacy [Pathfinder/3.5 D&D]



D Johnston
2011-03-27, 11:57 PM
I'm actually working on two campaign settings at the moment. One, In the Shadows of History, is a perhaps overly ambitious setting which isn't even close to ready. The other one, Progenitor's Legacy, is more straightforward, so I felt it could do with a bit of feedback. It started out as an attempt to create a new pantheon for Pathfinder, but I've been trying to expand it into a full setting.


-=In Sum=-

Progenitor's Legacy centers on Mahlgren Island, a holy place which is literally the home of the gods. In the distant past, Mahlgren was occupied by an ancient being known as Zom-Digah. This all changed after the island was discovered by the Progenitors - the first of the "civilized" deities - and their followers. After a lengthy war, Zom-Digah was exiled and the Progenitors established their temporal power bases in Mahlgren. The island has become a destination for pilgrims of various faiths, few of whom know of the near constant warfare, espionage and oppression that has filled its history.

Progenitor's Legacy is a mid-to-high magic campaign with a standard Middle Ages level of technology and cultural development. All society, both in Mahlgren and the lands surrounding it, center around the the 24 deities that form the Mahlgren Pantheon. The island is mostly civilized (some of the outlying areas and islands being an exception), so it is not well-suited to campaigns based on exploration or dungeon crawling. Rather, it is designed for gameplay centering on interpersonal conflict, be it out in the open (through war or questing) or in secret (through subterfuge or political maneuvering). It is an ideal setting for epic-level campaigns due to the presence of very high level monsters and characters.

For those who do not wish to use the whole setting, Progenitor's Legacy can also be used piecemeal in homebrew campaigns. The Mahlgren Pantheon was designed for Pathfinder, meaning that is fully compatible with D&D 3.5; it can also be imported into any campaign with a similar setting. Mahlgren Island can appear as an adventure location in any setting that includes the Mahlgren Pantheon.


-=The Deities=-

Since they form the heart of the setting, I'll start with the gods of the Mahlgren Pantheon. I've always been dissatisfied with the deities available in D&D. They feel more like sources of power for priests than individuals with their own agendas, not to mention that a slavish devotion to the alignment system results in some silly deities along the evil axis (Who would worship a god of slaughter?). Pathfinder fleshed them out, but I still didn't much care for them. I wanted deities that resembled those in Greco-Roman and Norse mythologies. Gods though they may have been, the members of these pantheons were victim to human failings. They were petty and vindictive, prone to human temptations, and not above using the mortals as chess pieces to resolve their issues. As to whether or not I succeeded...I'll leave that up to you.

As mentioned above, there are 24 deities in the Mahlgren Pantheon. Three of these are the Philosophical Powers, deities that represent basic elements of reality. The Philosophical Powers are the most powerful deities, but they are generally disinterested in both human and divine conflicts and they do not seek to gather followers (though each of them has a few).

After the Philosophical Powers, the most powerful deities are the seven Progenitors. These were the deities who originally settled Mahlgren. Most of the pantheon consists of the children of the Progenitors; only five deities are not connected to the Progenitors in some way. The deities are divided into four lineages - Sun, Moon, Sky and Earth - based on their ancestry. In general, deities within the same lineage get along, though there are some notable exceptions.

Lineage of the Sun


Hular, god of the sun and the day (NG)
Elae, goddess of healing (NG)
Rohas, god of honorable combat (LG)
Gruaine, god of industry and labor (LN)
Calia, goddess of wisdom and music (N)


Lineage of the Moon


Lassaia, goddess of the moon and the night (NE)
Exteran, god of trickery (CN)
Saeria, goddess of magic (LN)
Xalyn, god of secrets and forbidden knowledge (NE)
Tolin, god of retribution (LE)


Lineage of the Sky


Zephyxan, god of the winds and the sky (CN)
Acanna, god of the oceans and seas (CG)
Caphic, god of weather and storms (CE)


Lineage of the Earth


Tairil, god of the earth (LN)
Damarra, goddess of fertility and the harvest (NG)
Ornan, god of the law (LN)
Gir, god of strength (LN)
Espenaza, goddess of trade and travel (CN)
Gughnan, god of war (CE)


Unaffiliated


Volarra, god of fire and metalworking (CN)
Ilana, goddess of love and desire (NE)


Philosophical Deities


Kanaa, god of time and history (N)
Zalahar, god of death (N)
Malistia, goddess of nature (N)


Many of the deities don't get along, and some of them outright hate each other. There is a history that explains their opinions on each other; I'll go into this more as I develop the project. I've gone to great lengths to make these tensions based on the campaign's history rather than simply on alignment. We all hate the alignment system, but it's too important to the system to eliminate entirely, so I've tried to work around it as best I can. Rohas and Gughnan loathe each other, but it's because of a history of conflict between them, not because they're LG and CE.


-=Mahlgren=-

Mahlgren Island is loosely divided into five domains, each of them under the control of one or two of the Progenitors. Each domain has a city which is the seat of the Progenitors' power. This isn't really a capital - there is no formal government in Mahlgren outside of the deities and their priests - but more of a gathering place for believers. A sixth city - Akin Cor - is located where the five domains meet. Outside of these cities, Mahlgren is lightly populated. Most people live in villages and small towns, each dedicated to one deity.

-Rugan: Covering the northwestern and central part of Mahlgren, Rugan is the domain of Hular and Elae. The seat of power is Belagia, the largest city on the island. Rugan is the most thoroughly developed domain, composed mostly of fields. Rugan villages are largely self-sustaining, with surplus crops either offered to the deities of the Sun Lineage or traded for produced goods.

-Noroan: Located in south-southeast part of Mahlgren and running along the southern seaboard, Noroan is the domain of Lassaia. The seat of power is Uznan. Compared to the rest of the island, Noroan is heavily urban, with larger towns than the other domains.

-Sigolh: Located in the eastern part of Mahlgren, Sigholh is the domain of Volarra. The seat of power is Voltan. Sigholh is mountainous territory, cold all year round and known for heavy volanic activity. The largest volcano, Mt. Sigholh, is home to Volarra and considered sacred ground.

-Anniz: Located in northeastern Mahlgren and containing most of the northern seaboard, Anniz is the domain of Zephyxan. The seat of power is Port Cula. Most of Anniz is located on a mesa, with roads leading to the coasts. The base of the mesa is home to the largest forest in Mahlgren.

-Ruld: Located in southwestern Mahlgren, Ruld is the domain of Tairil and Damarra. The seat of power is Ruld Citadel. Ruld is rough terrain, unsuited for farming save those regions with blessed soil. Many of the towns in Ruld are carved out of mountains to more easily accomodate mining.

Mahlgren is ringed with small islands. Among the most significant:

-Gurenroc, located on a shelf between Anniz and Sigolh, is the largest of the islands. It is home to the last of Mahlgren's original denizens, including tribes of the so-called "savage" races. The remains of Zom-Digah's followers still live on Gurenroc.

-Redhorn Island is a tiny landmass located off the southern shore, near Uznan. It is the seat of Kanaa's power, and the home of his tiny (yet influential) sect. Redhorn's most significant feature is the Library of Legends, a massive collection of historical records maintained by ascetics of Kanaa.

-Suren Atoll is a coral island located to the west of Mahlgren. Druidic tradition holds that Suren is home to Malistia, embodiment of nature. Suren is known to be extremely dangerous; no attempt has ever been made to settle it, and ships that pass as close as two nautical miles tend to disappear.

Finally, Mahlgren contains a small number rifts into a pocket dimension known only as the Void; these rifts are found nowhere else. The Void is a shadowy space which exists outside of normal time. The nature of the Void is unknown, though there are many theories as to its history. Most deities simply ignore the Void, though Xalyn takes regular pilgrimages there.


-=History=-

While the Progenitors and Mahlgren both have histories going back into antiquity, Mahlgren has only been home to the Pantheon for about 250 years. Prior to that, the Progenitors dwelled on the Outer Planes. The migration to Mahlgren was an attempt by the Progenitors to cement their power on the Prime Material Plane. Before that, Mahlgren was inhabited by worshippers of Zom-Digah, a deity of the life cycle. After an eleven-year campaign by the Progenitors, Zom-Digah was incapacitated and his followers were either dead or exiled to other islands.

The early years of Deific Mahlgren were peaceful. Tensions came as the Progenitors began expanding their territory. 50 years into the reign of the Deities, the Progenitors agreed to divide the island into five domains, a precarious agreement which was nevertheless upheld. Further trouble came as the children of the Progenitors sought to carve out their own bases of power. Most of the ensuing disputes were settled through diplomacy or small-scale struggles, but in three instances they ballooned into war. The most recent divine war (which was also the longest and involved the most deities) ended 47 years ago. This period has been marked by overt peace, with old rivals taking covert action against one another.

The players enter a world with an uneasy peace. By this point, most of the mortals on Mahlgren are waiting for the next war. When it comes, the Fourth Divine War will be the most devastating, and will not be ended through diplomacy. The PCs are to play a role in this, whether preventing the war, helping to instigate it, or simply using the situation to eke out some personal profit.


----------

That's the summary of the setting. Presently, I'm working on the personal profiles of the deities (I already have an overall history). I'll drop by here every few days to add some updates and see if there are any comments. This is my first attempt to create a setting, so I'd appreciate any advice you may have.

D Johnston
2011-03-31, 10:20 PM
A Brief History of Mahlgren Island

Pre-Deific Age: The Dominion of Zom-Digah.

Archaeological records suggest that Mahlgren has been inhabited for at least 1500 years. The first historical accounts date to 500 years ago, written at the start of Zom-Digah's rule. Zom-Digah's origins are unknown - he was never worshipped outside of the island and he had no base of power on the Inner or Outer Planes. He likely hails from the Prime Material Plane, though some philosophers suggest that he was a refugee from the dead plane known as the Void. Prior to his arrival, the denizens of the island practiced various forms of animism. Zom-Digah introduced the concepts of the life cycle and post-death redemption, ideas which resonated with the human tribes. Within 200 years, Zom-Digah's followers had converted or subjugated all of the other tribes.

1-13 D.E.: The Subjugation of Mahlgren.

Followers of the Mahlgren Pantheon start their calendars with the arrival of the Progenitors in Mahlgren. Minor powers on their own planes, the seven Progenitors agreed to establish a collective power base on the Prime Material Plane. Mahlgren was nothing more than the first location Hular spotted.

Zom-Digah and the Progenitors made some early attempts to coexist, but it was abundantly clear that this would not work. Two years after the arrival of the Progenitors, war broke out on Mahlgren. Despite their numerical advantage, the followers of Zom-Digah were simply too disorganized to put up a struggle against the conquering forces. A few of Zom-Digah's followers set off for Gurenroc and other surrounding islands, reestablishing their old civilization wherever they could. Zom-Digah himself proved too strong for the Progenitors to kill; instead, they performed a rite that divided his mind and body. It is said that the comatose Zom-Digah is still somewhere on Mahlgren Island.

14-64 D.E. The Age of Expansion.

With the subjugation of the island, the Progenitors began to spread out and civilize the land. Devoted followers of the gods flocked to Mahlgren to establish cities and temples in the names of their patrons. Expansion was rapid - in just fifty years, most of the countryside was settled. Great cities went up across the island, along with temples to the Progenitors. This was also an era of expansion within the pantheon; Eight deities were born in Mahlgren during this period.

65-117 D.E. The Cultured Age.

The fast expansion led to conflict within the pantheon. In an effort to stave off war, the Progenitors reached an agreement known as the Initialism. This divided the island into five portions, each under the dominion of a certain family. This led to the establishment of the four sacred lineages, composed of the Progenitors and their kin. These were the Sun Lineage, headed by Hular and Elae; the Moon Lineage, headed by Lassaia; the Sky Lineage, headed by Zephyxan; and the Earth Lineage, headed by Tairil and Damarra. This system proved useful in defining the growing pantheon, which added four members including the first second-generation deity.

This era was also a golden age for the mortal inhabitants of the island. Written histories of the island and the pantheon were produced for the first time. Trade flourished among the cities and with the mainland. The rise of city-state armies and constables made this a peaceful time as well. This proved to be the last time such peace would be known on Mahlgren.

118-121 D.E. The First Divine War.

The best efforts of the Progenitors were not enough to prevent conflict among their children. The younger deities set off to carve out their own domains, and in doing so they ran into tensions over land and followers. One such conflict blossomed into open war. In 115 D.E., the war god Gughnan occupied a large number of villages, forcibly converting them to his worship. Brutal treatment of the villagers increased until 118 D.E., when Gughnan ordered the execution of rebellious priests. This action, known as the Reign of Blood, was enough to spur the chivalrous deity Rohas into action. Rohas sent paladins to secure the villages, which angered Gughnan. The tensions spread to the north, where brothers Acanna and Caphic had been dealing with a similar conflict. The rest of the deities opted to stay neutral, save Hular who acted against Gughnan after the war god sent his followers into Sun Territory. As a result, the war was short, and peace was quickly restored.

122-141 D.E. The Great Reforming.

The decades after the war were a time of change. Explorers departed the Mahlgren to chart the surrounding islands. As a result, several tribes of non-humans - driven off the island during the subjugation - returned to Mahlgren, finding homes in Sigholh. Meanwhile, the town of Akin Cor - founded as a respite for merchants - grew dramatically, owing to the younger deities establishing temples there. Change brought instability, and with it a greater desire for order. Ironically, were it not for the ensuing crackdown, the next war may never have happened.

142-145 D.E. The Second Divine War.

The roots of the Second Divine War actually date back to 132 D.E. That year, Exteran's followers successfully converted an Akin Cor thieves' guild into a new temple. This introduced two new sources of tension. First, the thieves-***-ascetics proved to be even more onerous than they were as mere bandits. The rise in crime drew the attention of Ornan, who sent soldiers to secure the city. Second, the temple was very close to Tolin's largest temple, and the two deities drew their followers from the same groups. This led to competition and even fighting. Not being one to solve problems through diplomacy, Tolin decided to sweep Exteran out of the city. Ornan joined in his effort, and before long the city was occupied as the two deities searched the city for Exteran and his priests.

Once again, the Progenitors stayed neutral during the conflict while their children got involved. Exteran tricked several deities into coming to his aid; this encouraged Ornan to seek assistance as well. What started as a small-scale dispute gradually spread to cover the center of the island. As before, the war quickly ended, but it nevertheless made the Progenitors concerned for the future of Mahlgren.

146-195 D.E. The Golden Unity.

With two wars in less than thirty years, it was clear that it would take more than a simple agreement to maintain peace. In 146 D.E., the entire pantheon met on neutral ground in an attempt to settle all disputes. Over several rancorous weeks, every problem was brought to a diplomatic end. Many of the deities were not pleased with the process, but they all agreed that it was necessary. This meeting started the period known as the Golden Unity, an age of calm. In truth, this era was as rancorous as ever, but the deities were able to refrain from overt hostility.

As with the Cultured Age, the Golden Age saw an expansion in mortal endeavors as well. Volumes of literature was published; not surprisingly, most of it was about the wars. This period also saw an expansion in civil military. Even the mortals knew that the peace would not last.

196-207 D.E. The Third Divine War.

Late in 195 D.E., a high-ranking priest of Caphic was found murdered in Balegia. An investigation revealed that five paladins of Rohas were responsible for the deed. The crime sent shockwaves across Mahlgren, among both mortals and gods. An argument broke out between Ornan and Rohas over who would punish the paladins. This dispute drew the ire of Caphic, who claimed that Rohas had actually ordered the murder and merely wanted the authority to pardon his followers. Per Caphic, the code binding the paladins of Rohas would not have allowed them to kill a priest of another faith unless Rohas personally ordered it. This convinced Ornan, who demanded that Rohas appear in Rald to answer the accusation. Hular intervened, saying that he did not believe the accusation and would defend his son no matter what the consequences. Tairil attempted to negotiate with Hular, but it was clear that neither family would budge.

The direct involvement of two of the Progenitors sent a signal that this was no normal dispute. With Hular holding strong, Tairil gave Ornan his blessing to arrest Rohas. The Sun and Earth Lineages met in combat for the first time that day. As the battle lines were drawn, the other deities took up sides. Old rivalries reignited, while new ones came to the surface. This time, there would be no escaping the war. It came to a close eleven years later with the discovery of evidence exonerating Rohas.

208-250 D.E. The Age of Dawning Chaos.

The Third Divine War ended diplomatically, but this time no one was under any illusions that the peace would last. The calm after the war was false - overt peace to conceal covert actions. Agents of the gods - including both the devout and the mercenary - took action to undermine each other. This hostility only grew worse as the years passed. There will be another war, and this one may not end so nicely.

D Johnston
2011-04-03, 03:37 PM
The Mortals of Mahlgren


-=GOVERNMENT=-

Mahlgren Island does not truly have a "government." Goods and services are provided by the gods to their followers; the law is whatever code of rules is in effect by the local deity. The major population centers are city-states under the rule of the Lineages. Areas outside of the cities are largely self-governing, using the codes of their patrons to define their laws.

To an extent, there is civil law in Mahlgren. The most notable example of civil law is in Akin Cor, which is considered neutral ground not under any deity's domain. Non-religious groups exist in other locations as well, mostly for mutual defense. The most notable civil defense force is the Balegian Templar, which enjoys support from the Sun Lineage. However, these groups hold no actual authority and only a few deities recognize them.

As there is no government, there is also no such thing as nobility on Mahlgren. Some deities allow for hereditary priesthoods, but this is quite rare. Permanent denizens of Mahlgren do not recognize any sort of mainland authority, a natural consequence of living with divine beings.


-=ECONOMY=-

Mahlgren may be the dwelling place of the gods, but the mortals who live there still need to make a living. By and large, the deities stay out of such affairs - only Espenaza and (to a lesser extent) Ornan concern themselves with mortal commerce. The others provide for their priests and the more devout among their congregations and let the rest control their own lives.

Each domain specializes in certain commodities or products. As a result, there is extensive trade in Mahlgren, both between the domains and with the mainland. In general, Rugan is known for grains and animal husbandry; Noroan for its fisheries and manufactured goods; Anniz for wild game and timber; Ruld for iron, gold and silver; and Sigholh for weapons, armor and rare minerals. Mainland traders bring luxury goods which they exchange for religious articles.


-=MAGIC=-

Mahlgren is a high-magic world, but magic is not necessarily mundane for most people. Almost all magic users - arcane as well as divine casters - are associated with the temples in some manner. Non-religious wizard's guilds, schools or organizations simply do not exist on Mahlgren Island. However, mainland wizards frequently come to Mahlgren, usually to investigate the phenomena associated with the island.

Enchanted arms and armor are common on Mahlgren; however, as they are produced by smiths and mages associated with the deities (or, in some cases, the deities themselves), they are only available to the devout. There is a small black market for such equipment, mostly stocked with mainland weapons (few people are willing to risk selling gear stolen from a temple). Limited-use magical items such as potions and wands are much less common, though they are brought over in small quantities from the mainland.


-=RACES=-

The original settlers of Mahlgren Island included a variety of races, all of whom came from different places and landed at different times. When the Progenitors reached Mahlgren, they brought their followers from the planes, most of whom were humans. Since that time, many people have flocked to Mahlgren for one reason or another; however, the permanent denizens are predominantly human, mostly descendants of the original settlers. Other races come to Mahlgren as pilgrims or on trade vessels, but few choose to live there.

The status of specific races are as follows:

Elves: Elves are very rare on Mahlgren. This is likely due to the fact that Mahlgren's thoroughly settled terrain makes the tradition elven lifestyle difficult. Most elves in Mahlgren are pilgrims of some sort, and they seldom stay for long. A few deities have elves among their holy warriors, most notably Zephyxan who has a contingent of elven archers known as the Legion of the Zephyr.

Dwarves: There are more dwarves than elves on Mahlgren, but they are still few in number and are seldom seen. All Mahlgren dwarves live in Ruld, most of them in the Citadel. They are zealous followers of Tairil, so much so that they departed their clans to serve Tairil more closely. This makes them outcasts in their native culture, though most mainland dwarves view them as oddballs more than anything else.

Orcs: Most orcs arrive in Mahlgren on merchant ships, serving as either laborers or guards. A small number of them take up temporary residence in the port towns to facilitate extended trade campaigns. There are no known cases of orcs serving in Mahlgren temples.

Half-Elves/Half-Orcs: Mixed race individuals are among the more common non-humans on Mahlgren. Half-elves and half-orcs do not face the distrust on the island that they do on the mainland, at least not among their co-religionists. Most half-elves settle in Anniz, while half-orcs are found mainly in Sigholh and Noroan.

Savage Races: Many of the tribes who inhabited Mahlgren during the age of Zom-Digah were composed of "savage" humanoids. These races were thought to have been wiped out until five lost tribes (bugbears, gnolls, lizardmen, ogres and troglodytes) were discovered in Gurenroc Island in 140 D.E. These races dwell almost exclusively in Sigholh, where they are under the protection of Volarra. While making up only a tiny portion of Mahlgren's population, they are a common sight in Sigholh.

D Johnston
2011-04-04, 03:58 PM
Geography of Mahlgren Island

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y155/KillSmiley/Mahlgren/Mahlgren.jpg

A few notes on this map:

-This map is a composite of several other maps and includes topography, bodies of water, cities, notable landmarks and political boundaries.

-Colored sections indicate average elevation in 50m incriments.

-A red X indicates a mountain - an area at least 200m higher than the surrounding land. Not all mountains are marked, only the most significant ones.

-Forests are not marked, but they are present.

D Johnston
2011-04-07, 10:39 PM
Cities and Landmarks

BELAGIA

Belagia is Mahlgren's largest city, the de facto capital, and the seat of power for the Sun Lineage. It is the oldest city on the island, founded twenty years after the arrival of the Progenitors and originally conceived as the center of the pantheon. As a result, Belagia is more cosmopolitan than most other cities, with temples to gods outside of the lineage of Hular and Elae.

The heart of Balegia is the Rada Sola, the great temple to Hular. The city is built out from the temple in tiered rings, ending in crenellated walls. Despite its fortifications, Belagia is known as an open city, particularly to the denizens of Rugan. Villagers routinely flock to Belagia to trade and make offerings.

UZNAN

Uznan is Mahlgren's southern port and the seat of power for the Moon Lineage. It was founded in 37 D.E. as an outpost for the explorers charting the southern regions. Three years later, Lassaia chose to establish her temple - the Lunar Bridge - near the outpost, causing many of her followers to migrate away from Belagia.

Uznan is constructed along the coast, with the Khomer River and one of its tributaries forming the boundaries. With its heavy emphasis on manufacturing, water wheels and crude windmills are a common sight. The city is also the home of the Arcane Society, the only mage's organization in Mahlgren.

PORT CULA

Port Cula is Mahlgren's northern port and the largest city in Anniz, the Sky Lineage territory. Unlike most of Mahlgren's cities, Port Cula was not constructed at the behest of a deity - it was developed to accomodate pilgrims from the mainland. While it is within Acanna's portion of Anniz, the city is considered neutral and is administered by Zephyxan's priests.

Port Cula resembles a mainland city more than any other city in Mahlgren. It is constructed on a low-lying area of Anniz, with the borders defined by the higher ground. Befitting its name, Port Cula is built up along the coast, with docks, import offices and lodging establishments. Unlike Uznan, the ports for pilgrims and traders are kept separate.

RULD CITADEL

Nestled in the mountains of Ruld, Ruld Citadel is the seat of power for the Earth Lineage. Ruld Citadel was the first city founded to represent a specific deity, being started by followers of Tairil in 28 D.E. It is the home of Tairil, Damarra and Ornan, who live in the tightly guarded inner quarters.

From a distance, Ruld Citadel looks like just another mining town. The bulk of the city is built in man-made caves carved out of the surrounding mountains. The main cavern divides into two branches, one leading to the mines and the other to the religious district. A secret passage in the religious district leads to the inner quarter, known to the outer world as the Citadel.

VOLTAN

Voltan is the largest city in Sigholh and the home of most of Volarra's followers. It is the youngest of the cities, founded in 158 D.E. Prior to this, Sigholh was sparsely populated, with Volarra's followers living in small bands. The population spike following the discovery of the Gurenroc tribes in 140 D.E. gave Volarra enough followers to construct his own population center.

Unlike the other cities, no particular planning went into the construction of Voltan. The tribesmen of Sigholh simply constructed homes and businesses wherever there was room. As a result, the layout of the city is completely random. All of Sigholh's races can be found in Voltan, particularly bugbears and troglodytes. This makes it more diverse than most of Mahlgren.

AKIN COR

Known as a major trade artery, Akin Cor is the second largest city in Mahlgren. It is constructed where the five domains meet, with roads leading to all major cities. Akin Cor is the only neutral area in Mahlgren - while many deities have temples there, none of them hold any special authority. It is a perfect city for anyone who wants to explore the land of the gods without interference.

Akin Cor contains a blend of architecture from all of the major cities. Generally, the culture of any one section of Akin Cor is that of the deity with the nearest temple. The city is partially fortified, with guard towers and short lengths of wall limiting the means of access. Further outside the cities are the Iron Posts, Ornan's watch stations, which stop dangerous parties from drawing too close.


--------------------

MT. SIGHOLH (~2600m)

Mt. Sigholh is the largest volcano in Mahlgren. Despite its fearsome presence against the Mahlgren skyline, Mt. Sigholh is not particularly active. Volarra forced it to erupt in 53 D.E. as a demonstration of his power; prior to that, it had not erupted in thousands of years. Today, Mt. Sigholh is the home of Volarra's forge and one of the most sacred spots on the island. Only Volarra's high priests are allowed to set foot on the mountain, while its inner chambers are completely off-limits, even to other deities.

PHOENIX ROCK (~650m)

Phoenix Rock is a sacred mountain closely associated with Zephyxan. It is a table mountain, with nearly sheer sides leading to a great open area. A single narrow path allows a lightly-burdened pilgrim to climb to the summit. Zephyxan alights on this mountain to address his most devout followers, as well as those of his sons. Due to its status, Phoenix Rock has never been mined, though carvings of Zephyxan's symbols can be seen on its sides.

SENTRY HILL (~300m)

Sentry Hill is the highest point in the Rugan Lowlands. It is a gentle hill, rising to a point 200m above the surrounding land. While it has no divine or strategic value, Sentry Hill is an important historical landmark. It was on the hill that Zom-Digah was finally defeated by the Progenitors. Few people live in the area around the hill, with only a few shacks around its base.

MT. PATAS AND DAGAS (~1500m)

The "Father and Brother" mountains are the highest points in Ruld. While not sacred, these mountains are tremendously important to Ruld's economy. Mt. Patas holds rich veins of gold, silver, iron, nickel and copper, while Mt. Dagas contains pockets of gems. Aboveground, the western slopes of the mountains are warm and rainy, enough that they do not need divine aid to grow crops. Several varieties of fruit are grown here and nowhere else on the island.

GAMA-NAR (~3000m)

Gama-Nar is the highest point on Gurenroc Island, as well as the tallest mountain in the Mahlgren island chain. The mountain was considered very important among the pre-Zom-Digah tribes, who considered it the home of all spirits. The mountain was never explored before the forced exile of Zom-Digah's followers, as it was considered untouchable.

DRAKE'S MOUNT (~1050m)

Drake's mount is an undersea mountain located off Mahlgren's southern coast. The name refers to an anciend legend about the history of the island. Before people settled Mahlgren, it was home to many dragons who abruptly departed for reasons unknown. The early tribes believed that Drake's Mount was home to a family of dragons who were left behind by the others.

D Johnston
2011-04-14, 02:23 PM
The Moon Lineage


Lassaia, Goddess of the Moon

The Lunar Empress Lassaia is a Progenitor and one of the most influential deities in Mahlgren, second only to Hular.

In her true form, Lassaia appears as a young woman with ivory skin and black hair, wearing a black gown (known as a lunar gown) and a lapis lazuli crown. She seldom appears like this on Mahlgren, using her magic to disguise herself and move covertly among the people. Many depictions of Lassaia show her in one of the "Moments of Creation" - the births of her children.


-STATS-

*Alignment: Neutral Evil
*Rank: 17
*Portfolio: The night, manufacturing, trade
*Domains: darkness, evil, knowledge, nobility
*Favored weapon: quarterstaff


-HISTORY-

The exact circumstances of Lassaia's birth are not known. She is around 1,000 years old, making her among the younger Progenitors. For most of her history, Lassaia was a minor lunar deity on the Outlands, with a small following among the lost souls trying to escape the Lower Planes. Displeased with her lowly status, Lassaia sought out allies among the Outlands deities. She established a bond with two other powers - Zephyxan, a minor wind deity, and Volarra, a once-powerful deity who was forced to flee Ysgard. Lassaia's newly-raised profile attracted the attention of Hular, who was also seeking to expand his power and had accumulated several allies himself. The two reached a plan to extend their power to the Prime Material Plane by establishing a base of power on one of the Prime worlds.

With the defeat of Zom-Digah, Lassaia was finally free to pursue her own agenda. She had begrudgingly agreed to Hular's plan to establish a universal power base in Balegia, but with the departure of Tairil and Zephyxan she had reason enough to strike out on her own. Lassaia took control of an outpost on the southern seaboard, filled it with her own followers and redubbed it Uznan. Not long after, the Lunar Bridge - Lassaia's main temple - was constructed. With its impressive size, the Lunar Bridge was an attempt to overshadow the Rada Sola, Hular's temple. This became the leitmotif of the rivalry between these former allies, with followers of each side trying to outperform the others. This did not stop with structures, either. As Hular expanded his family, Lassaia followed suit. In 30 D.E., Lassaia's first child, Saeria, was born. It is said that Lassaia crafted Saeria's body from lunar rock which she then filled with her own essence to give life. Thirty-six years later, her son Exteran - shaped from the moon's darker soil, so the legends say - was born.

The following years were quiet ones for Lassaia and her followers. In 65 D.E., Lassaia met with the other Progenitors for what would be known as the Initialism, the division of the land among the powers. While the others quibbled over borders, Lassaia selected a small portion of the island to be her territory - small, but with an important link to her followers on the mainland. The new territory of Noroan quickly became prosperous, though there were always whispers of the dangers that lurked there under cover of darkness.

Lassaia held out a position of neutrality, avoiding any overt involvement in the disputes that rocked the land. Even during the Second Divine War - which pitted her son against her grandson - she took no side. By the Third War, however, she had no choice. Not that she was particularly reticent - Lassaia saw the conflict as an opportunity to weaken the Sun Lineage by eliminating one of its most popular members. While maintaining a facade of indifference, Lassaia sent her followers to infiltrate Balegia and undermine Hular's forces. Her only direct involvement came in 201 D.E., when her followers and Hular's followers clashed near Akin Cor. While Lassaia and her allies in the southern faction initially claimed the city, they were never able to hold it for long.

After the war ended, Lassaia acknowledged that she had infiltrators in neighboring domains and withdrew them all. This was little comfort to the other powers, who were already wary of her intentions. In spite of this, Lassaia remains one of the most powerful and influential deities in Mahlgren.


-REPUTATION-

As a Progenitor, Lassaia is widely respected, but her nature makes her distrusted as well. Hular and the rest of the Sun Lineage view Lassaia with a certain degree of antagonism, though Hular and Lassaia rarely take direct action against each other. She has a similar relationship with the Earth Lineage, and Ornan in particular suspects her of various misdeeds, though he would never follow through.


-FOLLOWERS AND CLERGY-

Lassaia's followers are numerous and diverse. Among humans, her worshippers include artisans, fishermen and merchants. She is popular with rogues, wizards, sorcerers, and evil-aligned druids. She has a small following among mainland elves and gnomes as well.

Priests of Lassaia are a mysterious lot who rarely appear in public. They are drawn from among the poor and outcast, and many of them have checkered pasts. High priests tend to be more educated and worldly; many did not start out as holy men, but moved into the priesthood due to promises from Lassaia. It is rumored that Lassaia also has a league of ascetic-spies who keep watch over temples to other deities, though no such spies have ever been caught.


-TEMPLES-

Temples to Lassaia are impressive structures crafted from dark-colored stone and steel. The temples are windowless, with heavy oak doors; in most rooms, the only light comes from hooded lanterns placed in strategic locations. Most of the temples are off limits to non-members, with only the antechamber and worship area commonly available. The most striking feature is the altar, which is built under a vertical shaft with shutters. The shaft is built with either refined marble or (in smaller temples) highly polished metal, carefully angled to catch and reflect light. The shutters are only opened during the full moon, causing a bright beam of moonlight to illuminate the room.


-CELEBRATIONS AND SACRAMENTS-

Most of Lassaia's holidays center around the moon. The full moon indicates the time at which Lassaia is at the height of her power; this is the time when she assumes her true form and visits her temples. All of Lassaia's followers travel to the nearest temple, hoping to catch a glimpse of the Lunar Empress. The new moon symbolizes rebirth. During the day, followers are given requests which range from offerings to full quests. At night, they reflect on the previous month and plan for the month to come. Most temples also observe the Ascent of the Moon and the Ascent of the Stars - the births of Saeria and Exteran.

Priests of Lassaia perform weddings, christenings and funerals. These sacraments, as well as inductions of new priests, are only performed when the moon is at least 50% visible. Sacraments performed under a darker moon are seen as bad luck and may not even be acknowledged by the temples.

D Johnston
2011-04-17, 03:28 PM
Saeria, Goddess of Magic

Known as the Sorcerous Queen, Saeria is the deity most closely tied to the arcane.

Saeria closely resembles her mother - black hair, pale skin and dark eyes. She usually wears robes adorned with arcane markings, though most depictions have Saeria clad in a lunar gown similar to her mother. Occasionally, she is depicted along with her son Tolin, recognizing her unique status as parent to a second-generation Mahlgrenian deity.


-STATS-

*Alignment: Lawful Neutral
*Rank: 11
*Portfolio: The arcane, Artifice
*Domains: knowledge, law, magic, rune
*Favored weapon: none


-HISTORY-

Saeria came into being in 30 D.E. According to legend, she was not born like the other deities, but rather shaped out of lunar stone and given life by Lassaia. She was precocious, even by the divine standards; just days after her birth, she was exploring Mahlgren on her own.

Young Saeria developed a fascination with magic. As a goddess, she was fully aware of the nature of the priestly arts, but the arcane was a mystery. Saeria spent much of her time in arcane libraries, attempting to pry apart the secrets of magic. While Lassaia was concerned over her daughter's lack of interest in divine affairs, Saeria's early studies formed the base of her future power. The Arcane Society - the hereditary mage's circle formed by Saeria - produced many of her most influential priests and hierarchs.

In 84 D.E., a mysterious deity known as Xalyn arrived in Mahlgren. Xalyn, a seer himself, took an interest in the Arcane Society, something which attracted the attention of both Saeria and her mother. Hoping that she could acquire influence within a foreign pantheon, Lassaia wasted no time arranging a marriage between Saeria and Xalyn. A few years later, Saeria gave birth to Tolin, the first second-generation deity of Mahlgren.

Saeria had little involvement with either mortal or divine issues during the turbulent second century. She resisted getting involved in the Second Divine War, despite her son's involvement. She attempted to broker a deal between Tolin and Exteran, but this ultimately failed. On her mother's recommendation, Saeria refrained from any further action.

Saeria did not have that luxury during the Third Divine War. Lassaia joined Ornan's faction, hoping that the arrest of the popular Rohas would weaken the Sun Lineage. Ever the loyal daughter, Saeria joined, but she was not fully convinced of Rohas's guilt. Secretly, she made contact with her friend Calia, who was attempting to prove her brother's innocence. Saeria told Calia of Lassaia's growing involvement in the war, as well as her doubts about Exteran, who had openly put his support with the Sun Lineage. It is unknown how much contact the two had during the war, but given the number of Lassaia's plans that were foiled, most historians believe that Saeria was actively aiding the northern faction.


-REPUTATION-

Saeria is known as an "Earthly deity," meaning she has little involvement with divine politics. As a result, she has few strong ties among the rest of the pantheon. In spite of her actions during the Third Divine War, Saeria is known to be very loyal to her family. Outside of the Moon Lineage, her closest friend is Calia; the two even have adjacent temples in Balegia, a rarity even among kin. Saeria and her followers are distrustful of all war deities, particularly Gughnan.


-FOLLOWERS AND CLERGY-

Naturally for a goddess of magic, most of Saeria's followers are magic users of some sort. Few common folk follow Saeria; exceptions exist in communities headed by wizards, or where wizards are highly respected. She has a large number of elven followers, but most of her worshippers are human.

Almost all of Saeria's priests are also arcane magic users, particularly those who are higher up in the hierarchy. A few bards and sorcerers can be found among the laity, but high priests must be wizards. Those with knowledge in both arcane and divine magic rise through the ranks the fastest.


-TEMPLES-

Temples to Saeria are long, low buildings with a single spire at the front. As with all Moon Lineage temples, they are typically crafted from dark-colored stone. The temple opens into the worship chamber, the only portion accessible to commoners. Behind the worship chamber is an arcane library, not unlike those seen in wizard's guilds on the mainland. The size of the library varies, with the largest temples containing thousands of books and scrolls. These libraries are not accessible to those outside of the faith, even other wizards. However, priests of Saeria have a history of offering patronage to youths who wish to become wizards but lack the money to join an academy.


-CELEBRATIONS AND SACRAMENTS-

There are two important celebration days among Saeria's followers. The first is the Ascent of the Moon, marking the birth of Saeria. The Ascent of the Moon is not tied to a specific day, but is rather observed on the first full moon of the year. The second celebration day is the Arcane Procession, marking the establishment of the Arcane Society. This is the only day when the temple library is open to people outside of the faith. During the Procession, young people flock to Saeria's temples, hoping to get a chance to study there.

Priests of Saeria conduct few sacraments - marriages, deaths and the like are viewed as worldly matters, outside of Saeria's domain. Similarly, there are no standard offerings to Saeria. The most valued contributions are additions to the libraries, namely spellbooks and scrolls.


----


Exteran, God of Trickery

The Cackling God Exteran is associated with chaos in its purest forms.

Exteran does not have quite the same regal demeanor as his fellow deities. He is short, scrawny, and reputed to be quite ugly. He is usually depicted as a thief, with tight-fitting black clothing and a long dagger through his belt. Exteran is never shown wielding an unsheathed weapon, however - this symbolizes the belief among his followers that violence is an indication of failure. Most noticable is Exteran's mask, made of porcelain and depicting a distorted human face.


-STATS-

*Alignment: Chaotic Neutral
*Rank: 10
*Portfolio: Thievery, Disorder
*Domains: chaos, darkness, luck, trickery
*Favored weapon: dagger


-HISTORY-

Exteran came into being on 66 D.E. Like his sister, he is said to have been built from lunar rock and imbued with life by his mother. Unlike the sober-minded Saeria, Exteran was shaped from rock taken from the dark side of the moon. In the astrology of the Moon Lineage, Saeria is associated with the constructive waxing moon, and Exteran with the erratic waning moon.

Little is known of Exteran's early years. Like Saeria, he spent much of this time in the company of mortals; however, Exteran preferred dealing with criminals and outcasts. He had a particular fondness for Akin Cor and its notorious thieves' guilds. He was quite popular among the criminal element, drawing many thieves into his flock. When the time came to stake out his territory, he did not claim any part of Noroan, instead choosing to build his power in Akin Cor.

Exteran's low profile kept him free of the usual divine conflicts, but his congregation brought a new set of problems. The thieves under Exteran's banner proved surprisingly well organized, leading to a spike in crime in Akin Cor. This attracted the attention of Ornan, who moved his prefects into the city. However, Exteran didn't have any real trouble until Tolin began expanding into Akin Cor. Not long after Tolin finished building his first temple, Exteran converted a guild not far from it. This meant that Exteran and Tolin were competing for followers, something that greatly offended Tolin. With neither willing to negotiate, Tolin chose to run Exteran out of the city entirely. Ornan, who always suspected Exteran of complicity in crime, joined with Tolin, starting the Second Divine War.

With his followers seriously outnumbered, Exteran chose to use trickery to bolster his position. He convinced Acanna that Ornan was sent by Tairil to conquer the rest of Mahlgren, and Anniz was his next target. Next, he went to Gughnan, telling him that Rohas was aiding Ornan and this would be a perfect opportunity for revenge. With the scales balanced, Exteran began the second part of his scheme. Disguising himself as a prefect of Ornan, he infiltrated one of Ornan's outposts and spread false orders. Ornan's forces fell into disorder, allowing Exteran to retake his old territory. This proved to be a pyrrhic victory, as an enraged Ornan had every converted guild shuttered and all suspected priests of Exteran ejected from the city. Exteran opted to cut his losses and withdraw from the city, ending the war.

The war may have killed Exteran's taste for combat, but not his desire for mischief. He kept his head low until the start of the Third Divine War. Following Rohas's escape, Exteran headed to Balegia to offer his services in support of the northern faction. Hular was immediately distrustful of Exteran, but his less-worldly son Rohas was not so skeptical. Exteran wove a magnificent tale for Rohas: The murders attributed to Rohas's paladins were perpetrated by priests of Lassaia in disguise, sent to perform the deed at Ornan's instigation. There was not a word of truth to it, but a credulous Rohas was convinced enough to launch a counterstrike, dragging the rest of his family along with him. Without Exteran's instigation, the war would likely have ended in short order. Many people believe that Lassaia sent Exteran to agitate for war, but it is far more likely that the trickster god was merely having fun with a more serious deity.


-REPUTATION-

Feeling toward Exteran vary based on how well the subject knows him. He is outright hated by Ornan and Tolin, owing to the events of the Second Divine War. Acanna and Rohas, who were manipulated by Exteran, hold him in contempt as well. Gughnan, who was also tricked by Exteran, nevertheless considers him an ally. Most other deities simply tolerate Exteran and his followers.


-FOLLOWERS AND CLERGY-

Exteran's followers are an eclectic mix of outcasts and rejects. Most of his followers have a criminal history of some sort, and almost all of them come from the lower rungs of society. He is particularly popular among rogues, with a sizable number of sorcerers in his ranks as well.

It is debatable as to whether or not Exteran has "priests." Most of his temples are run by whoever wished to be in charge, regardless of their qualifications. He does have a small number of high priests, hand-picked by Exteran himself. These tend to be rogue/clerics with varying levels of experience and age. Whatever criteria Exteran uses to select his priests, skill is not on the list.


-TEMPLES-

Exteran's temples are built up from whatever buildings were available. Most are converted thieves' guilds, though taverns, shops, storehouses, tenements, and even abandones temples to other gods are used. In some cases, buildings that offered goods and services continue to do so; these temples can only be identifed as such by the presence of holy symbols and statues of Exteran. The one constant is the altar, which must be built to certain specifications. It must be semicircular, built of flint and bronze and no more than five feet in height. The meaning of this design is, like many other things, a secret to everyone but Exteran.


-CELEBRATIONS AND SACRAMENTS-

Priests of Exteran offer no sacraments and observe few holidays. The only observance universal to Exteran's followers is the Ascent of the Stars, the day commemorating Exteran's birth. The date this holiday is observed varies from temple to temple; while it is held at a certain time in Lassaia's faith, Exteran's followers observe it whenever they feel is best. Oddly, some temples have been seen celebrating holidays associated with other deities. It is believed that this is to mock the other powers, though it may just be another part of Exteran's madness.

D Johnston
2011-04-29, 11:31 AM
Xalyn, God of Secrets

Befitting a god of forbidden knowledge, Xalyn is a true mystery, even to the other deities.

Xalyn conceals himself completely when on the mortal plane, wearing a helmet, face wrap, cloak, gloves and heavy robes. As a result, no mortal has ever seen his true visage. There are few artistic depictions of Xalyn - in fact, his temples are completely devoid of the usual statues and tapestries.


-STATS-

*Alignment: Neutral Evil
*Rank: 12
*Portfolio: Knowledge, Secrets, The ethereal plane
*Domains: evil, knowledge, madness, rune
*Favored weapon: none


-HISTORY-

Little is known about Xalyn's history prior to his arrival in Mahlgren. He was known to have groups of followers among the accursed petitioners in Carceri, Pandemonium and the Gray Waste, but he had no seat of power there. As far as Mahlgren is concerned, he simply came into existence in 84 D.E. with his arrival on the shores of Noroan.

As the first deity not of the Progenitor line to arrive in Mahlgren, Xalyn caused quite a stir among mortal and deity alike. Lassaia and her daughter Saeria were particularly interested in this new arrival, with Lassaia in particular wasting no time in making an ally of Xalyn. Three years later, Xalyn and Saeria were wed. Lassaia's intention with this arrangement was to extend her power outside of Mahlgren, but Xalyn had his own motives as well. The marriage gave him a base from which he could study a phenomenon unique to the island. Mahlgren was home to rifts leading to a pocket dimension, a timeless ruined plane that was a mystery even to the gods. Xalyn suspected that this dimension held secrets about the known world, and he had every intention of charting it.

Xalyn spent most of his time in study, mapping out the rifts and sending his priests to gather information from the locals. Finally, in 127 D.E., he took the last step - crossing through a rift and into the pocket dimension. This voyage, meant to be a brief sojourn, lasted 21 years. Xalyn never spoke of what he saw, but it had a clear impact on him - the already taciturn Xalyn was downright morose. On rare occasions, Xalyn would appear and make predictions, forecasting the future of Mahlgren. Every time, he was correct. Xalyn would always attribute his predictions to what he saw in the other dimension, but would talk no further.

In 155 D.E., Xalyn made a second voyage through the rift, returning eleven years later. This time, he made but a single prediction - the hard-brokered peace would last but a generation. The Third Divine War proved his prediction accurate. During the war, he stood with his wife - openly allied with the southern faction, but working with the north to stop the war - but he never again spoke of the future.


-REPUTATION-

Due to his shadowy background and activities, there are many deities who distrust Xalyn. Rohas and Ornan suspect him of various misdeeds, though they are not openly hostile. Acanna, Espenaza and Calia are all somewhat nervous about Xalyn, though Calia is more accomodating due to her friendship with Saeria.


-FOLLOWERS AND CLERGY-

Most common folk are frightened of Xalyn and will not even approach his temples. His followers are drawn from Lower Plane petitioners, as well as Prime mortals who are willing to sacrifice in pursuit of knowledge. Wizards, sorcerers, and even some bards are attracted by Xalyn's promises of true wisdom.

Priests of Xalyn are his most fanatical followers. He has no lay priests, only ascetics who rarely (if ever) leave the temples. Years in the dark give Xalyn's priests a deathly pallor - combined with their antisocial nature, this give them the nickname "living zombies." Some of the priests are also known to engage in self-injurious behavior, blinding or deafening themselves to better focus their thoughts or bleeding themselves to enter altered states. These practices have only made Xalyn's temples seem even more terrifying.


-TEMPLES-

Great stone blocks with one set of doors and no windows - this describes all of Xalyn's temples. The outsides are stark, with little in the way of architectural flourishes. The doors open onto a small worship area, the only portion of the temple open to the public. Hidden passages lead to the inner sanctums, containing the priest's quarters, libraries and private worship sites.


-CELEBRATIONS AND SACRAMENTS-

Priests of Xalyn do not conduct rites and holidays are few. Most followers and priests observe the Ascent of the Moon, but Xalyn himself brings no celebration days of note. There is one celebration of sorts, but it is not marked on any calendar. Known colloquially as "the Visit" by outsiders, it is the time in which Xalyn communes directly with his followers. The Visit lasts around a week and is held late in the year, coinciding with the onset of winter.



----



Tolin, God of Vengeance

The youngest deity in the Mahlgren Pantheon, Tolin has carved out a position as the Hand Guiding the Blade - a god of retribution.

Tolin seldom appears openly, preferring to move quietly through the streets and observe his followers personally. He wears unremarkable clothing, rust-colored and functional. He is seldom depicted by his followers, identified instead by a pair of hands holding daggers. The left hand holds the dagger loosely, symbolizing potential, while the right clutches the dagger tightly, symbolizing justice done.


-STATS-

*Alignment: Lawful Evil
*Rank: 8
*Portfolio: Retribution, Laws
*Domains: darkness, evil, law, trickery
*Favored weapon: short sword


-HISTORY-

Tolin was born on 92 D.E. to Saeria, goddess of magic. According to Lassaia's astrologers, he was born under a strong sign, associated with ambition. Tolin's birth was celebrated with weeks of celebration in Noroan, concluding with Lassaia setting aside a portion of her territory for his future use.

In his youth, Tolin was affected by wanderlust, roaming Mahlgren for years. He spent time with many deities of the other lines, including Caphic, Gruaine and Ornan. The time he spent with the latter were particularly instructive to Tolin, who greatly admired the ordered nature of Ornan's cities. He returned to Noroan, intent on creating his own version of the Iron Codes. However, life in Noroan did not appeal to him - he felt his message would be better applied in more lawless places. So, in 124 D.E. he abandoned his territory and headed to Akin Cor, the last bastion of chaos on the island.

At his most powerful, Tolin controlled a quarter of the city, running it under his own set of rules. Tolin's law was notoriously brutal - many crimes called for summary executions, and there were even allowances for the victims or their families to carry out the sentences. While most types of crime were all but nonexistant in his districts, murder became disturbingly commonplace.

By 132 D.E., Tolin had destroyed all of the thieves' guilds in his territory, but there was one not far from his temple that would become a flashpoint. This guild lay within the domain of his uncle Exteran, who was decidedly more friendly to criminals than Tolin. That year, Exteran converted the thieves to his worship, turning the guild into a temple. This meant that Tolin was spitting distance from a temple to another deity - a temple filled with the very underclass he wanted gone. Priests of the two deities found themselves competing for followers and ground on a regular basis. By 142 D.E., Tolin could take it no longer. He gathered his followers and advanced on the temple, intending to drive Exteran out of the city.

The Second Divine War started out well for Tolin, who led a well-organized force - backed with Ornan's prefects - against Exteran's scattered rogues. Tolin moved aggressively, unaware that Exteran had escaped the city and called for help. As he drew within a few blocks of Exteran's temple, his minions were attacked by Gughnan's warriors, suffering heavy losses. Tolin's followers were forced back to the temple, but Tolin himself was more determined than ever to defeat his uncle. He set out alone into Exteran's territory, hoping to kill the trickster personally. However, Exteran was aware of the attack, and escaped once again.

Ultimately, Tolin neither gained nor lost anything in the war. While Exteran did retreat, most of the city wound up under the control of Ornan or Rohas. Meanwhile, Tolin was faced with the fact that he failed to kill Exteran, a deity who represented everything he hated. He nursed this wound until the outbreak of the Third Divine War. With his idol Ornan on one side and his nemesis Exteran on the other, this was a perfect opportunity for Tolin to settle some old scores. Initially, Ornan tasked Tolin with securing Akin Cor, specifically by arresting or killing the paladins of Rohas who still dwelled there. Tolin set about this mission with gusto, swiftly dispatching a large number of Rohas's disorganized followers. However, this drew the attention of Hular, who moved to capture the city. This, in turn, encouraged Lassaia to move her forces into Akin Cor, starting the longest battle of the war. Tolin's forces ultimately proved no match for Hular's massive army, and he was eventually forced into an ancillary role, a move which only served to alienate him further.


-REPUTATION-

Tolin has accrued a fair number of enemies in his short time on Mahlgren. He is hated by Rohas (and the rest of the Sun Lineage, to a lesser extent) and Exteran, owing to his actions in the Divine Wars. On the other hand, Ornan is an ally, though the God of Codes is always somewhat leery of Tolin's methods. Most other deities are indifferent to him, though some (such as Calia and Espenaza) are somewhat frightened by him.


-FOLLOWERS AND CLERGY-

Tolin is followed by few but invoked by many. His regular followers are mainly warriors of some type - fighers, sorcerers and rogues being common. Most of his followers, however, are people who have pledged temporary service to Tolin in exchange for his help in seeking vengeance. Despite the transitory nature of his followers, his congregation is comparable in size to many other deities.

There is no specific ritual needed to become a priest of Tolin, nor are there any specific demands made of them. After enough years of service, loyal followers of Tolin simply become known as priests. Most of these priests are fighters or rogues who study divine magic to grow closer to Tolin.


-TEMPLES-

Tolin's temples are tall columns of dark-colored stone, stretching over the surrounding buildings. The buildings are simple and austere, featuring only an altar and quarters for the priests. Situated off of the worship area is a small rectory where outsiders can come and seek help in obtaining justice (or revenge, depending on one's perspective).


-CELEBRATIONS AND SACRAMENTS-

The only known sacrament among Tolin's priests is the Rite of Retribution - the ceremony following an act of vengeance. The exact nature of this ritual is unknown except to those directly involved. Followers of Tolin observe the Ascent of the Moon, as well as an unusual holiday known as the Day of Balance. On this day, Tolin's followers make offerings to other deities - a form of reparations. While the intent is to make amends with deities whose followers have been killed, most followers of Tolin opt to make their offerings to Saeria or Ornan, whose followers are never targeted.