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    MindFlayer

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    Default Wee Jas, the First Lich

    Part of my ongoing series on the mythology of my world, where my goal was to take "classic" D&D gods and remake them into more complete religious ideologies people might actually want to worship. (See Corellon Larethian, Nerull, Olidammara, Erythnul, Hextor, Lolth, The Deep Ones)

    Also, intended to be readable in any order, and for it to be easy to transplant individual parts into other settings.

    Wee Jas, The Stern Lady

    "Your body feeds the earth, as it once fed you."
    - Wee Jas, from the epic poem "Estherian Odyssey"

    “I would request that my body, in death, be buried, not cremated, so that the energy content contained within it gets returned to the earth, so that flora and fauna can dine upon it, just as I have dined upon flora and fauna during my lifetime."
    - Neil deGrasse Tyson

    Expanded Domains: Charm, Death, Deathbound, Decay, Domination, Inquisition, Knowledge, Law, Magic, Mind, Necromancer, Planning, Pride, Renewal, Repose, Time, Transformation, Spell, Undeath
    Portfolio: Butterflies, Bureaucracy, Decay, Efficiency, Organization, Makeovers, Metamorphosis, Moths, Psychopomps, Rebirth, Repurposing / Reinvention, Sorcery, Syncretism, Transitions, Transmutation, Vanity / Fabulousness
    Theme: http://listenonrepeat.com/watch/?v=0...n_Earth_Lyrics

    Knowledge (Religion) 10:
    Wee Jas is the First Lich, who hid her heart away to foil Nerull, so that he could not bring an end to the cycle of life during the Winter Age.

    Originally, she was a sort of "business efficiency manager" of the gods, making sure the cosmos ran smoothly through its transitions (especially arcane transitions such as Transmutation or the spark of sorcerous power). When Nerull went off the rails, she was called in to make sure the cycle of life kept running smoothly. It is Nerull that brings death, but Wee Jas is the psychopomp, responsible for the transit of souls and the transmutation of all things through decay and repurposing.

    After every harvest season, Nerull slays Obad-Hai and hangs his body from the Summer Tree, ushering in the winter. At every winter solstice, Wee Jas sneaks off with Obad-Hai's body to use it to plant a new Green Man somewhere, which blooms into the new Obad-Hai to usher in the Spring.

    Almost all Jasite sects celebrate a holy day honoring the dead, a joyous occasion filled with music, painted faces, dancing, and merriment. Here followers are reminded of what the lives of their loved ones contributed for them, and celebrate their transformation, returning from this life to the beauty of nature, in order to become something new and wonderful.

    When flowers grow from the remains of the dead, it is said to be Wee Jas tending her garden. Her symbol is the butterfly, symbolizing transmutation and transitions. The perpetually youthful Obad-Hai sometimes serves as her consort.

    The terms "Jasite" and "Jasidin" are both considered appropriate for referring to those who honor Wee Jas.


    Wee Jas in her role as psychopomp, dancing with the deceased.

    Knowledge (Religion) 15:
    When something stops working, like your body, you have to change it. Change your skin, like a snake. Leave it behind, to feed new life. Go beyond your old self and become a new part of the universe. The Ruby Sorceress will be there to show you how.

    For Jasites, death is not a sorrowful ending, but a new beginning. They believe in the Chain, a wheel of reincarnation both for flesh and spirit. With each life, there is a lesson to be learned, both by the soul itself and by those it leaves behind. Each turning of the cycle is an opportunity for us to grow. Learn from those who passed before you, and remain attentive to life's lessons. With each death, the flesh decays, and becomes a part of something new. Nothing is to be lost. That would just be sloppy, and the Stern Lady won't have that!

    As such, Jasites disdain sealed casket burials or embalming methods which prevent a body from doing anything, and instead tend to bury the dead in the open earth. Jasite funerals traditionally sprinkle seeds over corpses and bury them in soil marked by cairns or memorial decorations, or in catacomb mazes with earthen walls that wind beneath farms and fields. Jasites often see poetry in the dead watching over their descendants even in death by giving them things such as food or beauty (such as the stunning bone gardens of the Ruby Temple). Some Jasites even encourage the use of necromancy to create unintelligent undead so that a body can labor to help or defend its loved ones even after death. Even intelligent undeath is unusually widely accepted by Jasites, for they see it as just another transition into a new form of being. However, other sects oppose everyday use of the undead, contending that undeath tends to infringe upon the ideal cycle of reincarnation and that, while it has a place, it is not for general use.

    Jasite priests often preside over cultural rituals having to deal with important transitions in life, including birth, coming of age ceremonies, marriage, and also more unusual cases such as celebrating the discovery of sorcerous talent, a criminal's return to society as a new man after repenting for his crimes, welcoming an immigrant into a small town's society, or initiating a new recruit as a member of a team. Of course, the most important transition of all for the Jasite clergy is death, where a soul leaves its mortal flesh behind to meet with Wee Jas, the psychopomp who will guide their soul to its next destination, whatever that may be.

    Just as the flesh of the dead should be put to use (one way or another), knowledge from those who passed before is to be preserved so that it can take root in new minds. Jasites are often keepers of relics and archives, or adventurers who seek to recover lost knowledge and culture.

    Wee Jas values syncretism, and her followers emphasize that there is something to be learned from every culture. They say that we should derive strength from our differences, combining the ways of others with our own in order to create something vibrant and new, stronger than either could have been individually. Many Jasite historians frame the history of the world as an orderly metamorphosis caused by the contact, interaction, and merging of cultures. Jasites in general have a reputation for a love of the exotic.

    The spark of sorcerous power is also held sacred by Jasites, as such a metamorphosis is said to represent the fruit of the cycles of rebirth and transformation. Bloodlines combine, and spirits meld with the world's magic. Jasites sometimes hold a rite of passage ceremony to inaugurate a newly discovered Sorcerer, and some Jasite churches even sponsor special schools that help young sorcerers come into their own and foster their newfound talents.

    The first time Nerull killed Obad-Hai, it brought about the Age of Winter, a cruel ice age which brought ruin to the First Civilizations. The gods scrambled to find a solution, eventually empowering Wee Jas as psychopomp. It was she who reforged the Chain and grew a new Obad-Hai, ending the Age of Winter. When Nerull turned his scythe upon Wee Jas in retribution, he found that she could not be killed, for she had hidden her heart away in a place even the gods could not find, and would be reborn again and again. Nerull searches for the phylactery of the First Lich to this very day.

    Knowledge (Religion) 20:
    As a soul matures, it becomes suitable for higher forms of life, rising from the swarms of nigoda to the realms of beasts and men... and perhaps even beyond. The experiences you have during a given lifetime cause small shifts in the instincts which form the bedrock of your personality. After death, Wee Jas ushers your spirit into its next newborn life, where it will retain those same subconscious instincts and inclinations. Thus does the accumulation of wisdom become possible—though not inevitable, as it is always possible to spend a life learning the wrong kinds of lessons, and reincarnate in a lower form.

    Not only souls, but culture and matter go through reincarnation as well. The philosophy of Wee Jas is all about change, rebirth, and reinvention. Some might find the concept of a Lawful goddess of change unintuitive, but to a Jasite change is anything but chaotic. The butterfly, her symbol, illustrates that change is not random or disorganized, but the effort of a careful and deliberate metamorphosis, each enticing feature of the future building upon the labors of the past in an orderly fashion. A caterpillar always goes in, and a butterfly always comes out. Nothing is random about that. To a Jasite, there is a plan, and it is beautiful.

    Wee Jas is often seen as arrogant and vain, but really, her priests would point out, she just has a plan for everything... and no patience for lazy layabouts. Everything has to run smoothly. Everything has to keep getting better through iteration. Those who aren't a part of that, well, the world will keep turning without them, and she's there to make sure that it does... or, in her role as the Stern Lady, whip people into shape so as to be more efficient, responsible, creative, vibrant, beautiful and glorious with every life cycle. To Jasites, apathy, sloth, and negligence are intolerable sins, and maintaining one's personal appearance is just another manifestation of mindfulness.

    The church of Wee Jas has a great deal of subtle sociopolitical influence in many cultures, especially human ones. Jasite maesters often sit at the left hand of leaders, Jasite priests preside over rites of passage and thus may have connections with just about everyone in a community, Jasite burials are the most common funerary rite in many nations, and pro-Jasite Sorcerers are charismatic military assets. Being at every wedding and every funeral, whether they officiate or not, means they have their fingers in lumber, textiles, smithing, and even glasswork and jewelry craft. If the Heironeans want to go on a crusade someplace the Jasites don't like, they may just find that every blacksmith along the way has closed up shop for a couple of weeks. Many find it easy to overlook their pervasive power base until they're suddenly confronted with it, much like death itself.

    Knowledge (Religion) DC 25:
    Some academics argue that the pantheon wasn't recognized across the entirety of the world at all, but instead that what seems to be the recognition of the same gods over much of the known world is due to syncretism encouraged by enthusiastic Jasite movements, who claimed that the gods of cultures they encountered were just incarnations of their own by another name—or vice versa, incorporating foreign gods into their own cultures as it suited them. Records of the lost House Velanthe, for instance, appear to refer to Araushnee and Megwandir (typically both identified as aliases for Lolth) as separate entities.

    Some detractors go so far as to claim that the Jasites have a way of going everywhere, getting into everything, and redoing your culture in their own melting pot fashion. According to them, they'll absorb your culture for the latest vain fashion trend, discard it when it gets old, and take loving care of the archives of its curious little memory.

    It is said that the Phylactery of Wee Jas is hidden somewhere on the material plane, but that it would be a fool's errand to find it. After all, if it was ever unearthed, what would stop Nerull from beginning the Winter Age anew, effectively destroying the world as we know it? As such, it is regarded by many theologians as one of the most dangerous artifacts in the multiverse, which must never be found.

    Organization: The Immortals

    "They say we are what we are, but we don't have to be. We could be Immortals, just not for long. I am the second half of the hourglass."
    - http://listenonrepeat.com/watch/?v=b...th_Anniversary

    Some heroes are too good to die, like Obad-Hai taking the bullet for us every year. As the world is reborn again and again, ever progressing closer and closer towards unattainable Perfection, sometimes a person of great import is born. Their contributions cannot be permitted to be fleeting, and so their memory must be preserved.

    The order of the Immortals takes this a step further, not merely preserving heroes in memory, but also preserving their roles in life. This monastic order, formed of monks of Wee Jas and Obad-Hai, finds and trains promising young warriors as the living reincarnations of legendary heroes. Donning ritual masks of great heroes of history, trained by re-enacting ancient ancestor quests, and equipped with sacred ancestral relics, the Immortals are a team of heroes that can never truly die. If a warrior should fall in battle, a new pupil called into the service of the order will don the mask, and the legend of that hero will continue. This leads to epic poems of heroes whose attributed deeds span centuries, through in truth the hero died and was replaced by a member of the Immortals expected to follow their example and charged with fulfilling their role.

    If a great enough hero emerges and falls, sometimes the order will craft a new mask, inducting a new hero into the roster of the Immortals. The order is greatly respected in the societies where they are based, and those familiar with the heroic ancestors make certain allowances for those bearing the ritual mask of a hero. After all, certain behavior is expected from, and therefore acceptable for, any given iconic personality... and this sometimes allows the Immortals to fulfill certain useful cultural roles which would otherwise face all kinds of red tape or other social complications. In short, the order decides that a unique person's role to society becomes so important that it must be immortalized... and implements the resources to make it happen.

    Essentially, a Justice League that knows not the limits of generations. If you want to truly honor your ancestors, the Immortals say, then be the second half of the hourglass.

    Organization: The Scarlet Moth Academy


    The Scarlet Moth Academy began its life as a Jasite library at the heart of a great trade city. Much like with the Library of Alexandria, all ships passing through the city were required by the city's rulers to surrender their books for copying by Jasite monks. The owners would receive the copy while the library kept the originals. As the collection grew, the city drew the attention of scholars from nations far and wide. The Jasite temple prospered, and sprawling campuses sprung up around the archive.

    Today, the Academy is a world-renowned hub of learning and culture, where academics can come to find and share ideas from the far corners of the known world. In addition to its diverse collegiate faculties for scholars of every inclination (be they Clerics, Wizards, Archivists, Adepts, or Experts), the Academy maintains a reputation as the foremost institution for the housing and training of young Sorcerers. The Academy Knights who guard the library's treasured collection (amongst other diverse services to the temple and city) are primarily drawn from these gifted youths.

    The Academy's collection is always growing, and it regularly sponsors adventuring expeditions to recover knowledge of lost cultures and faraway lands.

    The academy encourages excellence in all things, including dress. The Academy's school uniforms are rather unique in that they're hardly uniform. The Jasites encourage and insist upon their own tailoring, often emphasizing their own particular cultural flair... be it a representation of the academy's diverse ethnic backgrounds or entirely new styles, often inspired by a mix of the ways of cultures past and present. They often experiment with new fashions, and the school is known for setting trends. The only thing that is consistent amongst the Scarlet Moth attire is that they are all expected to conform to an overall scheme of resembling the coloration of the very moths that lend the Academy its name.

    Spoiler: Examples
    Show





    An exquisitely attired Academy Knight.


    Code of Conduct: Paladins of Wee Jas

    This code of conduct applies to those who would call themselves paladins of the faith, not just any follower of Wee Jas.

    - Do not be apathetic. You should have an opinion about everything, even if your opinion is "I don't have enough information to form much of an opinion yet." Be a meddler (where appropriate) and look for things you can optimize.

    - Do not be negligent, slothful, or wasteful. Always strive for efficiency in your duties. Reuse or repurpose things rather than simply discarding them.

    - Make sure to take care of your appearance. Maintaining your appearance is just another manifestation of proper mindfulness.

    - Treasure and preserve knowledge. The lessons of the dead must not be lost or forgotten. Do not permit the loss or destruction of knowledge (such as burning books or censuring intellectuals). Take an interest in the lessons to be learned from other cultures, including extinct ones.

    - Respect life and the sanctity of the Chain, the cycle of reincarnation. Seek to refine your soul, and to facilitate the refinement of others.

    - Where you find the spark of good and beauty in the world, kindle it, encourage it, enable it, and enhance it. When you find something that doesn't work, phase it out.

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    raygun goth's Avatar

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    Default Re: My pantheon's take on Wee Jas

    Hooray! It's Wee Jas finally - this is my favorite, it feels like a true religion, with multiple interpretations of its tenets and beliefs and lots of denominations.
    "Scary magical hoodoo and technology are the same thing, their difference is merely cultural context" - Clarke, paraphrased

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    Default Re: Wee Jas, the First Lich

    You said in the Nerull post I think it was that your goal with these was to form a pantheon that felt like they were part of a real religion. Only 5 of the 20 some-odd deities have bee uploaded and I can already tell you that you have succeeded.
    Come check out my setting blog: Ruins of the Forbidden Elder

    Inspired by LudicSavant, I am posting deities: Erebos, The Black Sun

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    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Wee Jas, the First Lich

    I love this! Nothing to critique here.

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    Default Re: Wee Jas, the First Lich

    Sorry this one took so long. Went through a ton of drafts for this one. Wanted to make sure I wrote Wee Jas up properly.

    Just as your body is consumed by the earth, your spirit is consumed by the universe, too. It swirls into the aether, dances with Wee Jas in the bardo, and learns the Ruby Sorcery, so that it can take the lessons it learned back into the world and make culture evolve.

    I had a lot of sects in mind, but I didn't feel I had space to fully detail all of them. One, for instance, believed that souls don't actually reincarnate on a 1:1 basis, but instead that, just as your body isn't inherited by one organism, your spirit is absorbed by a larger spiritual ecosystem. Our bodies are the shards of stars, our spirits the shards of gods. Another sect believed in something a little bit like this: http://www.galactanet.com/oneoff/theegg_mod.html

    Anyways, even with all the material I cut, this one is still the longest entry yet. I think it's justified though, because Wee Jas is super important. Jasites are largely responsible for uniting the modern pantheon through syncretism. When the Jasites encountered a new religion, instead of going "Oh, well that's just rubbish, our god is the real one" they'd go "Oh, we discovered a new god!" just like they had discovered a new king or kingdom. Alternatively, "This is just this culture's name for X!" or "We get to learn about the ways the god's avatars manifested differently in this new land, and thus learn more about our own gods!"

    Anyways, next thing up on my docket...

    Maybe Corellon Larethian, King of the Gods, Architect of Blood and Seed, Author of Culture, Protector and Preserver of Life. Not just a racial god in my version. Led the Fey against the Aberrations in the Creation War and drove the Deep Ones into the deepest trenches. Gave Pelor his shining light. Broke Gruumsh's armies and tore out his eye and left him bleeding into the aether. Invented vampires. Drove the drow into the underdark. Survived a poison that made his fate unwritten. Supposedly the embodiment of Cosmic Good, the divine definition of the alignment to which all should aspire... if you ask his followers anyway, who are the winners who got to write history. Or Lolth, the Hunted, Weaver of Fate and Ambitions, The Thief of Destiny and Queen of Spiders. She's hunted because she still hangs onto the oh-so-important portfolio of FATE, which rather puts a monkey wrench in Corellon's plans for the universe, given that she broke up with him and all. She saw Corellon's plans for destiny, and aided Gruumsh in rebellion against the divine order. The theme for their conflict? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OXpystGEEAs (Youtube link has NSFW lyrics). Corellon could be singing the male parts, Lolth the female. Not exactly the happiest marriage.

    Or Hextor, the General of the Gods, charged by Corellon Larethian with the task of keeping fate on the rails in the absence of its Weaver, and tacitly allowed to go to whatever lengths necessary to do so... which has been a tall order indeed throughout the world's history. He can't actually subtly weave fate the way Lolth could, but he can force order upon things. It was he who bore 500 scars defending the pantheon from his father Nerull during the Winter Age, he who tore off his brother's wing and cast him from the heavens, he who slew the mad god of fire. He willingly bears the title of Champion of Evil, taking the blame for the dirty jobs that he feels someone must do. May have PTSD. Also, a Hextoran Warrior against a Heironean Lawyer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9FnO3igOkOk

    Or perhaps Obad-Hai: Because the circle of life is an epic showdown, and nature is armed to the teeth. Druids are overpowered Avatars (cmon, Aang was a druid in Avatar, he even had an animal companion who was as good as other members of the party) who speak the language of the elements, summon the Weapons of the Earth, and battle superdimensional alien invasions, foolish humanoids, the twisted seas, and the god of death. Spring is a feral warrior. Druids have even been known to exterminate their own race if they felt it would improve an ecosystem, because they tend to identify as a soul of the material plane rather than any given species (their soul can just reincarnate into something else, as long as the divine order of nature is still intact). Obad-Hai's theme: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2efPOAXIA7k

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    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Wee Jas, the First Lich

    I think Corellon Larethian would be a neat write up, get a view from one of the Kings.

    I assume that part of the different interpretations of Jasian syncretism also helps if you want to incorporate more then one pantheon into a world, since it could either be that there are other deities other then this main one out there, or that this is the only pantheon around, and different cultures interpret them differently.

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    Kobold

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    Default Re: Wee Jas, the First Lich

    I just found all these posts yesterday, and, I have to say, they are quite impressive--certainly more so than what I do for my homebrew . Anyway, I'm with Mith; we haven't seen the any of the big 3 yet, and Correllon makes sense being the king deity in this setting.
    Coach, owner, manager, and gentleman of Hellbug's Heroes, GITP Blood Bowl Season II and III Cup Runners Up.

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    Default Re: Wee Jas, the First Lich

    Theoretically, Corellon and Moradin are co-equal rulers. However, Moradin tends to focus on running practical day to day affairs and projects of creation while Corellon tends to announce the big political calls which could change the future of the pantheon. According to followers of Corellon, this shows how Corellon is willing to take on the burden of upholding the face of a monarch, with the strength to make hard choices and to take the blame for controversial decisions upon himself even if they may not in fact be solely his decisions. Proponents of Moradin counter that Moradin is really the one who's making the world turn, and leaves the petty politics to Corellon. Seriously, people argue about who is better about as often as people argue about whether Goku or Superman would win in a fight.

    Gruumsh believes that they are both corrupt. He is "He Who Never Sleeps" because he is filled with a fury borne of a cause which will not permit him rest. He is a god of a vanquished people, patron of revolutionaries and "savages" who are all-too-often forced to acculturate or die in the name of Corellon and Moradin's idea of progress and civilization. He is the god of storms, both natural and social. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SuZmGQWAOu4

    Spoiler: Gruumsh
    Show


    Spoiler: Moradin
    Show


    Spoiler: Corellon
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    Default Re: Wee Jas, the First Lich

    Grummsh sort of reminds me of Kratos, from Greek myths. Not in the God of War sense, but in the "God of Power, brother of Nike (Victory) Bia (Force) and Zelus (zeal)"

    Another song that comes to mind when reading your take on Grummsh: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Nf1mtMMdt8
    Last edited by Mith; 2015-10-14 at 12:11 PM.

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    Default Re: Wee Jas, the First Lich

    Quote Originally Posted by Mith View Post
    Grummsh sort of reminds me of Kratos, from Greek myths. Not in the God of War sense, but in the "God of Power, brother of Nike (Victory) Bia (Force) and Zelus (zeal)"
    I remember Kratos from Theogony.

    Speaking of Greek gods, Corellon is partly inspired by Zeus and Apollo, and Moradin is partly inspired by Poseidon and Hephaestus. The whole "Three Kings" thing is partly inspired by the three big brothers of Greek mythology (Zeus/Poseidon/Hades).

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    Default Re: Wee Jas, the First Lich

    Kratos only really appears once in myths that I am aware of, so I wasn't sure how well known his name is outside of the God of War series.

    I have a feeling that Grummsh is going to be my favourite of the Kings in a lot of ways. The artwork really helps though.

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    Default Re: Wee Jas, the First Lich

    Regarding the artwork; Could you please credit and link to originals? I know it's a drag, but I'm interested where some of the art comes from.
    I admit full culpability for Phyrnglsnyx

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    Default Re: Wee Jas, the First Lich

    Quote Originally Posted by Rift_Wolf View Post
    I'm interested where some of the art comes from.
    I'll do you one better and teach you how you can find where any image you find from secondhand sources like Dungeons and Dreamboats threads or Pinterest or Tumblr or Picasa or image boards or whatever are from:

    Go to google, hit images, go to the little camera icon, and "search by image." Copy the URL of the image you're looking for.

    So, for instance: https://www.google.com/search?tbs=sb...%20image&hl=en
    or
    https://www.google.com/search?tbs=sb...%20image&hl=en

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    Default Re: Wee Jas, the First Lich

    This is my favourite yet. Erythnul was one of my favorite Greyhawk gods, but Wee Jas was my favorite. Awesome work.

    If I were to vote on who to write next, I'd say Lolth or Hextor. Is there a Fharlanghn in this setting? I'm sure that would be an excellent one as well.
    Last edited by genderlich; 2015-10-15 at 01:51 PM.
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    Responding to stress with rudeness is not the same as responding to stress with genocide.

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    Default Re: Wee Jas, the First Lich

    Quote Originally Posted by Master Pavo View Post
    Is there a Fharlanghn in this setting?
    I do not have plans to do Fharlanghn, partly because I already gave the Travel portfolio to Io.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mith View Post
    Another song that comes to mind when reading your take on Grummsh: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Nf1mtMMdt8
    Love it! Very appropriate.

    Here's another one from me: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JagyoR8MsWI

    Each of the Kings represents a major aspect of nature, and a major aspect of civilization. Moradin represents earth, labor and the skilled middle class. Corellon represents life, nobility, "high culture," and an empowered upper class. Gruumsh represents the sky, the underclass as well as non-stratified societies.

    Their natural aspects tie in with their social aspects as well. The earth only gives up its bounties with hard physical labor. Life gives up its services with the application of social acumen and leverage. The sky provides a roof of stars over every head, the wind blows where it will, and the rain blesses the land of its own accord.

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    Default Re: Wee Jas, the First Lich

    I find it amusing that I will probably find Grummsh the most agreeable of the Three Kings.

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    Default Re: Wee Jas, the First Lich

    Quote Originally Posted by Mith View Post
    I find it amusing that I will probably find Grummsh the most agreeable of the Three Kings.
    Corellon:
    NOBLE BREEDING FOR THE BLOOD GOD
    EXOTIC GARDENS FOR THE SEED THRONE




    Okay, so, a quick update. I'll try to have either Corellon or Hextor up by Monday.

    Here's a preview! (Note: May not match final posted version. I'm slightly concerned by the fact that this turned out longer than the previous longest organization entry, the Disciples of Yuehai)

    Corellon's theme: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H_otf-mQyL0

    Spoiler: Preview: The Heralds of Glory
    Show
    Organization: The Heralds of Glory

    "The time has come! Great Corellon calls for all of noble heart to rise against the forces of Evil!"
    - Admiranda Silverfrond, a Herald of Glory

    The Heralds of Glory are not so much a single cohesive organization so much as they are a time-honored bardic tradition. It is they who ride into the countryside, rallying the populace to the call of nobility and glory. They trumpet warnings of incursions, shout royal decrees, or stir up the people to join a crusade. But they are far more than simply messengers carrying news.

    Heroes live or die by their reputations. In a world of swords and sorcery, people want to know who can actually take a fire giant, and where to find them. Not to mention that if somebody finds an ancient dragon slain, its hoard of dangerous treasures looted, and nobody's taken credit, people are going to freak out and the powers that be are going to have to invest in finding out who's responsible and what the heck went down. That's time, resources, and manpower that could have been spent on, well, anything else. That's just bad news for all involved... and can sometimes put would-be-heroes on the wrong end of an ugly misunderstanding. Thus, part of the idea of chivalrous honor is taking credit for your deeds and amassing glory. (Chivalry and bushido both include ideas about formalized bragging, advertising your actions, etc. "Live by honor and for glory." See also stuff like the Beot).

    This is where the heralds come in. In addition to spreading the word, the heralds also gather it. They journey the land in search of glorious deeds, and chronicle them. Sometimes, this means they serve as the heralds and historians of noble houses. Often, it means that they accompany adventuring parties, serving them by chronicling their adventures and maintaining their reputations and connections with society. This also serves the people, the church, and the nobility by keeping them abreast of the movements of such power players.

    In some cultures, etiquette demands that a heroic feat be followed by a gloryfeast, a somewhat ritualized occasion at which a herald should ideally be present, if possible. Kinda like how a marriage is required by etiquette before consummating a relationship, and you need a priest. The gloryfeast is traditionally staged by those indebted to the heroes. Adventurers who save a king's son might be the toast of a city-wide gloryfeast, whereas adventurers who defend starving refugees from goblin raiders might see a gloryfeast consisting of a loaf of fresh bread and half a wineskin, consumed while huddled under a roadside tree for shelter from the rain.

    In noble houses, heralds often serve the role of recording family trees, a crucial service that makes it difficult for pretenders to a title to claim legitimacy. Heralds can be requested to testify on matters of disputed succession, making them key factors in cloak and dagger affairs. This reflects a larger role of Larethian bards as official witnesses.

    Those registered as Heralds may check in at least once a month at local Larethian temples or outposts for a stipend, food, amnesty, and any new messages that Heralds are to spread. They aren't super organized; that's kind of the point. They are supposed to obey church elders but some are pretty carefree about following orders to the letter. Others are fanatically devoted and spend all day ranting on street corners. Many heralds know other heralds they can't stand, though they'd never show disunity to an outsider.

    Some heralds show initiative, acting as agitators in the name of Corellon. For instance, a herald might take it upon herself to call for everybody to go do something about all the goblin refugees in the slums, or to go show the clerics of another deity whose local influence is getting too high who the people really hold highest. The church or nobility may not actually directly sponsor such heralds, but they are quick to punish a herald who rallies the masses against, say, the social order or church hierarchy. Of course, this also means that if the church was to give instructions to such a herald, they can maintain plausible deniability.


    Still hoping to hear more thoughts and suggestions on Wee Jas, too.

  18. - Top - End - #18
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    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Wee Jas, the First Lich

    I cannot think of any suggestions for Wee Jas, simply because I really like what you have here, and any adaptations that I would do to the material is more because I have other ideas floating around my campaign setting concept. An example being that I will be using ideas from Planescape in terms of Sigil and The Lady of Pain (just The Lady in my concept).

    I guess the only other thing that I could say is that Myrhan and Aryen are probably one of her two favourite mortals in a way.

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    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: Wee Jas, the First Lich

    Hey all. Just a quick update: Corellon's still coming. I've just been unusually busy lately between a new D&D campaign starting, being invited to a convention, and some other stuff.

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    Default Re: Wee Jas, the First Lich

    Dude.

    This is amazing.

    Here I was, busily making my own pantheon for my own setting, and along you come and make the gods of Greyhawk not only interesting, incredibly interesting, but actually interconnected in a way that creates a real story. Unless you dig deep, the standard Grewhawk gods are kind of ambient, but your takes on them show how the world became how it is, providing a mythos that ties heavily into the world itself.

    I may need to request your assistance in my own works. Or recruit you. Or assimilate you. Resistance is fu- I mean, if you have the time. I can't imagine doing all this is anything but massive work. Damn.

    I'm actually looking forward to Lolth, as given Corellon's and Gruumsh's ambiguity I wonder if she'll have a bit of a sympathetic take. Otherwise, if you have plans to include them, I'm partial to St. Cuthbert. Or, my favorite of the Greyhawk deities? Vecna. Largely because I had a DM who really liked him, and showed just what Vecna can do if he puts his mind to something. Essentially, he tricked the gods into sacrificing the powers of all gods except Greater deities... except they don't realize Vecna wasn't affected. Or that the sacrifice was basically playing into his hand.

    In fairness, Vecna's pretty amazing on his own, so that can be a priority for later. On a side note, I love setting music to whatever it is I'm writing or talking about. It'll take me a while to click through all the links, though, since I'm still listening to Seethe on account of not having heard Flesh Field in a while.

  21. - Top - End - #21
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    Default Re: Wee Jas, the First Lich

    Quote Originally Posted by Dusk Raven View Post
    Dude.

    This is amazing.

    Here I was, busily making my own pantheon for my own setting, and along you come and make the gods of Greyhawk not only interesting, incredibly interesting, but actually interconnected in a way that creates a real story. Unless you dig deep, the standard Grewhawk gods are kind of ambient, but your takes on them show how the world became how it is, providing a mythos that ties heavily into the world itself.

    I may need to request your assistance in my own works. Or recruit you. Or assimilate you. Resistance is fu- I mean, if you have the time. I can't imagine doing all this is anything but massive work. Damn.

    I'm actually looking forward to Lolth, as given Corellon's and Gruumsh's ambiguity I wonder if she'll have a bit of a sympathetic take. Otherwise, if you have plans to include them, I'm partial to St. Cuthbert. Or, my favorite of the Greyhawk deities? Vecna. Largely because I had a DM who really liked him, and showed just what Vecna can do if he puts his mind to something. Essentially, he tricked the gods into sacrificing the powers of all gods except Greater deities... except they don't realize Vecna wasn't affected. Or that the sacrifice was basically playing into his hand.

    In fairness, Vecna's pretty amazing on his own, so that can be a priority for later. On a side note, I love setting music to whatever it is I'm writing or talking about. It'll take me a while to click through all the links, though, since I'm still listening to Seethe on account of not having heard Flesh Field in a while.
    Vecna is on the list of deities I plan to cover.

    St. Cuthbert isn't, for a couple of reasons. First off, in a lot of ways St. Cuthbert is just a version of Heironeous or Hextor with moral ambiguity thrown in. A Grey Guard to their Paladin and Antipaladin. I felt that this was unnecessary given that I was already making those two more ethically complex. Second, one might notice that Jehenna is the one deity on my list of planned entries that doesn't borrow a Greyhawk name. I could have given her role (goddess of poetic vengeance) to someone like St. Cuthbert or Tritherion, but I made an executive decision and said "you know what, I want more diverse ladies in here." So, yeah. St. Cuthbert may show up as a historical figure, an actual saint of Jehenna.

    Anywho, if you're a fan of St. Cuthbert, I think you'll find something to like in Hextor, Heironeous, Jehenna, or Moradin.

  22. - Top - End - #22
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    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Wee Jas, the First Lich

    So, yeah. St. Cuthbert may show up as a historical figure, an actual saint of Jehenna.
    Thank you! That really bothers me about the original St. Cuthbert.

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    Default Re: Wee Jas, the First Lich

    Oh wow, this is great! I'll keep an eye out for these

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    Default Re: Wee Jas, the First Lich

    I am genuinely curious about your world now. Yeah, this does actually seem like a real Ancient Greek-style cult or religion. Well done making it realistic! I feel like you've improved the standard DnD deities.
    Last edited by Miejoe; 2015-10-31 at 03:57 AM.

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    Default Re: Wee Jas, the First Lich

    I'm too excited for Boccob to be done. I'm not even sure why.
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    Default Re: Wee Jas, the First Lich

    Quote Originally Posted by Octopusapult View Post
    I'm too excited for Boccob to be done. I'm not even sure why.
    Oh, I have big plans for Boccob.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jendekit View Post
    You said in the Nerull post I think it was that your goal with these was to form a pantheon that felt like they were part of a real religion. Only 5 of the 20 some-odd deities have bee uploaded and I can already tell you that you have succeeded.
    Quote Originally Posted by raygun goth View Post
    Hooray! It's Wee Jas finally - this is my favorite, it feels like a true religion, with multiple interpretations of its tenets and beliefs and lots of denominations.
    Quote Originally Posted by Master Pavo View Post
    This is my favourite yet.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dusk Raven View Post
    Dude.

    This is amazing.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lappy9001 View Post
    Oh wow, this is great! I'll keep an eye out for these
    Quote Originally Posted by Miejoe View Post
    I am genuinely curious about your world now. Yeah, this does actually seem like a real Ancient Greek-style cult or religion. Well done making it realistic! I feel like you've improved the standard DnD deities.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Hellbug View Post
    I just found all these posts yesterday, and, I have to say, they are quite impressive--certainly more so than what I do for my homebrew . Anyway, I'm with Mith; we haven't seen the any of the big 3 yet, and Correllon makes sense being the king deity in this setting.
    I really appreciate all of the positive feedback people have been giving! I apologize for the delays in continuing the series; a lot of stuff has been coming up lately. However, Corellon is basically done and should be up sometime this week!

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Retired Mod in the Playground Retired Moderator
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    Default Re: Wee Jas, the First Lich

    I'm imagining this version of Wee Jas in a modern setting adds recycling and composting to her portfolio.

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    Exclamation Re: Wee Jas, the First Lich

    10 out of 10. I'm loving these threads. This is great inspiration for what I'm trying to do with the pantheon I'm working on. I want each of the deities to be both revered, and awesome (in the old sense).

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    Default Re: Wee Jas, the First Lich

    Quote Originally Posted by Octopusapult View Post
    I'm too excited for Boccob to be done. I'm not even sure why.
    Oh, man, Boccob is so good. Ludic barely even knows how good it is. I have to keep telling them.
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