Ale & Iron, Tears & Shadows
The Old Way
Three levels exist; Valar, the Nethervale and Nidaguk. Valar was the heaven-lands, were beings of light dwelt and existed. The Nethervale is purgatory, where souls journey through on their way to Nidaguk or Valar. Nidaguk was where beings of darkness stayed. These were overseen by the Elven Divines. In addition, the Three Graces existed along with the K’iithid, a pantheon of various minor deities.
The Eleven Divines are made up of the Miniith, the Da’ath, the two lords of light and dark and the Outcast Stranger. The three Miniith oversee Valar and are Faeli, the god of life, knowledge, logic and angels; Maral, god of honor, courage, justice and laws; and Utakmi, god of family, agriculture, charity and feasts. The Da’ath oversee Nidaguk and are Ni Doth, god of death, power and ruler of the hells; Varog, god of pain, undead and necromancy; and Lupo, god of deceit, trickery and insanity. The two most important beings are the light and dark godheads. Kharak, godhead of Light and Tiida, godhead of Dark. The final divine was a god who was casted out from Valar and Nidaguk and now oversees the Nethervales. Called the Stranger, the Outcast or the Raven Queen, she is the goddess that guides the dying, journeys and the outcasted. A mysterious divine, few understand and worship her.
Kharak and Tiida are both rather distant gods. Very powerful divinities, they each oversee their own divine areas. Kharak controls the sun and is the god of day, summer and light. Tiida embodies the night, darkness and winter. Most see Kharak and Tiida as a distant force on the world, rather unattached with the day-to-day affairs of lesser gods and mortals. There are few temples and shrines to them.
The Three Graces are very important. These are sister feminine forces that exist to aid the galaxy. The Three Graces are very detached from the actions of the Divines and patron ancestors. They are some of the most powerful beings, along with Kharak and Tiida. The Three Sister Graces are the Grace of Balance, the Grace of Fate and the Grace of Existence.
The K’iithid are a large pantheon of minor deities that sprang from Se’jet, brother of Kharak, and Nevira, sister of Tiida. The K’iithid frequently fight amongst each other and serve both Valar and Nidaguk. They each are demigods of some function and have many temples and shrines devoted to each one. Various K’iithid switch sides and allegiances to further their agenda, each trying to secure the favor of Valor or Nidaguk. Se’jet and Nevira try to maintain order between the two opposing sides. Nevira is the goddess of beauty, love, passion, the moon and spring. She is kind, caring and extraordinary in her beauty. Se’jet is the god of chivalry, autumn, strength and endurance.
Some K’iithid includes Liloth, sister of Lupo and the goddess of betrayal, schemes,
entrapment and blood. She and Ni Doth would parent the nine archdemons that oversee the nine
hells. As Ni Doth’s wife, she secretly plotted to overthrow him and gain control of the Nine
Hells. During the Great War, she attempted to cast him down but was thwarted. Ni Doth cursed
her and banished her deep into the caverns of the world, with only spiders as her companions.
There she plots her return.
Somtaaw is the god of war and valor. He is one of Maral’s chief lieutenants and gathers
an army of those who die honorably in war.
Darvil van Jonas was a great mariner and hunter of the seas. A powerful pirate captain, he
fell in love with Syril, the emerald goddess of the Dancing Green. Phosphine, the god of the
oceans and storms, also was in love with Syril and wanted her for himself. He cursed Jonas,
never letting him return to land again and forcing him to care for all the wicked souls of sailors
who die on the seas. Jonas was doomed to roam the oceans forever in his great ship, the Fata
Morgana. Syril appealed to Maral, who let van Jonas return every seven years to land. Darvil
van Jonas roams the sea now, a minor K’iithid in charge of finding the wicked who die at sea and
bringing them to his Black Lagoon.
Syril is the goddess of the Dancing Green. Many Tuatha mariners worship her, as she is
said to lead the pious sailors to a Tuatha island where the dancing never ends and the fiddle plays
forever. Her lover is van Jonas, the pirate lord who roams the sea for the wicked dead.
Einhep is the demigod of the forge and metalworking. The greatest smith in all of Valar,
he creates armor and weapons for the gods. His forge is over a great volcano, where the fire is as
hot as the nine hells. A cheerful, burly but rather unperceptive being, Einhep has been tricked
numerous times by Lupo and others to create terrible items for Nidaguk. He is worshipped by
many blacksmiths and other metalworkers.
Nalionza is the demigoddess of forests, nature and harmony. A major K’iithid and wife of
Utakmi, Nalionza is a shapely and strong female who carries a staff with beehive on it and rides
a Nymbodian tapir. She attests violence and war, desiring instead harmony with nature.
Aycenae is a demigoddess of hunting and cunning intelligence, the daughter of Kharak
and a beautiful human princess who was bathing in the sun nude while on a hunt. A beautiful and
fair maiden who was unmatched in wisdom and skill with the bow and the spear, Aycenae was
courted by many of the K’iithid. She, however, only desired Lycaeon, the great beast warrior of
Somtaaw. Spurned by him, because of his lust for Nevira, Aycenae swore that she would be
without men. Aycenae keeps a serpent and owl as companions and friends and is often identified
as the cunning of a snake, the wisdom of an owl and the strength of warrior in battle. She also
has become an icon for virgins, women warriors and heroes. She is often at odds with Nevira.
Many believe that her sister, Mykene, was tricked into having sex by Lupo in Aycenae’s temple.
Aycenae, thinking her sister was doing it to spite her, cursed Mykene’s hair to turn into snakes
and banished her into the great jungle. It is from Mykene that the Anigun sprang up.
Mykene was a minor K’iithid that was the daughter of Kharak and sister to Aycenae, a
beautiful and intelligent warrior maiden. Mykene was quiet and shy but beautiful and secretly
lusted after her father, Kharak. Lupo deceived Mykene into thinking that he was her father and
had sex with her in Aycenae’s sacred temple. Aycenae banished Mykene into the great jungle
and turned her hair into snakes. Many believe that from Mykene sprang the Anigun, who then
built temples and shrines to the Sun in order to woo Kharak for their goddess.
Lycaeon is a minor K’iithid who was a great warrior and lieutenant of Somtaaw. He was
famous for his hunting abilities and wore the skin of great animals into war, slipping into
madness in battle. Some say he took on power of the animal he wore. Cults of warriors and
hunters followed him and his personal army of ulfheonars was legendary. However, Lycaeon
coveted Nevira and grew to lust after the moon and its goddess. He attempted to woo her by
feeding her a special broth that was created by Lupo but Se’jet intervened and put three great
slashes on his back. Se’jet then cursed him to transform into a hideous animal every night when
the moon came out so he would always remember his wickedness.
Lycaeon in his mad rage summoned his berserker army and attempted to overthrow
Somtaaw, thinking that with the war god’s power he could kill Se’jet. They were defeated and
Somtaaw extend the Lycan Curse to his personal warriors. These new lycanthropes were
scattered across the lands. Lycaeon prowls the land now, bitter and furious. He has become the
god of the stalk and tracking, as he stalks the moon every night and howls in frustration.
Warriors that value his blind fury in war and hunters who appreciate his hunting abilities worship
him. There are several cults that worship his animalistic shape-shifting abilities; these are usually
lycanthropes or shifters that seek to position their god back into true power.