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Dom (DOH-em) - a house of worship, similar to a temple
Autel (AH-oo-tell) - an altar dedicated to a specific deity
Pretre/Pretress (PREH-treh or PREH-tress) - a priest or priestess
Erste Pretre/Pretress (AIR-stay "") - the "first" or high priest(ess) of a dom
Lebeanach (leh-BAN-au-ck) - the afterlife/the land of the gods
Bedie (BEH-dah) - the state of serving in Lebeanach
Luxe (LOO-exe) - the state of being served in Lebeanach
Seher (SAY-her) - an oracle
“...Theirs is a queer culture; I found it to be noncommittal in all ways save two: its kings and its gods."- Cathal, the traveled
HolidayJune 21st, the summer solstice
Offeringsfornication, rocks, gemstones, mead
Symbolsaxes, cairns, phalluses
The father of all; benevolent yet unforgiving, Aenir's role is to oversee the behavior of the other gods and goddesses as well as that of his lesser children, humans. It is stated in myth that from his loins all life sprung as he spilled his seed into the womb of his divine spouse, Sif. Theirs was a union that birthed the beasts that inhabit the earth, he being the heavens and she being the earth itself.
Aenir takes many forms, performs many heroic and wise feats, and sires many children, both godly and mortal. His is a love for the finer points of debauchery, like carnal desire and exacting justice. Though he is gluttonous in his enjoyment of entertainment, he is also the god to be turned to when someone is in need of fatherly direction and for help in the journey to becoming a man.
AvatarDepicted as a burly man, often nude and wielding an axe, Aenir is a symbol of masculinity. Sometimes, he is depicted with unruly hair and beard, often in smaller autels in more rural communities. Among the high doms, his visage is that of a well-kept man, his hair cropped short, his beard trimmed, and his body less toned.
worshipDoms devoted to Aenir are places of leisure and also of respite, and meant only for men; those who seek them out often do so in order to make use of the pritres and pritresses that call them home or to leave behind offerings of gold, pebbles, or mead in hopes that Aenir will look favorably upon them or their sons.
Aenir is most often worshiped when a son is born, and again, when that son becomes a man at the age of sixteen. He is the god to thank for giving birth to a son and the god to condemn when one goes without birthing a son, for surely the man who cannot sire a boy has wronged the father of all in such a way that has caused him to spite the human.
HolidayMarch 20th, the spring equinox
Offeringsmilk, lavender, barley stalks, placenta, eggs, breast milk
Symbolsbare breasts, seedlings, blooms, lambs
The first goddess. By Aenir and Sif's union, the creatures of the world were birthed. They were the first two gods, siring humanity and godkin alike. Sif's role is that of a matron, though, unlike Aenir's role as patron of manhood, Sif wears no such mantle. Instead, she oversees childbirth and motherhood as womanhood and motherhood are distinctly different in Lornesian culture.
Historically, Sif is possessive and protective of her loved ones, and she goes to great lengths to protect and avenge them. Her wrath is one best avoided.
AvatarOften depicted as a woman full with child, rounded in the ways fertility goddesses are meant to be, and veiled only by her mass of hair. Depending on where her visage is portrayed, her features vary, but she is always with child and always nude.
worshipOnly women are allowed to enter doms devoted to Sif, her pretre are well versed in the art of midwifery and child rearing. Often, in Lornesse, when a woman gives birth, it is either at a dom of Sif or a pretre of Sif will direct the birth. It is also common for pretresses of Sif to be called upon to act as wet nurses and governesses for the children of the elite.
Sif is always thanked at the birth of a child, and when a woman becomes pregnant. If a child is born healthy, it is by Sif's doing, and when child is stillborn, deformed, or miscarried, it is often attributed to the mother having wronged the first goddess.
Holidayevery full moon
Offeringsmarriage sheets, blood, perennial flowers, knots of hair, tea
Symbolsthe moon, menses, a golden chalice, white hares
The eldest daughter of Sif and Aenir, she is the most beautiful. Sjay symbolizes femininity, sexuality, and fertility. She is no mother, but she is everything a woman desires to be in order to become a mother. Sjay, while often said to be promiscuous, is covertly so; hers is a gentle and quiet seduction so as not to shadow the "natural dominance" of her husband and brother, Mekhr. It is with Mekhr that Sjay became the first mother of Caemire. Legends tell of the couple's flight from Lebeanach and their settling in the Vale to the West, where they began what was to become the reign of Caemire.
She is known for her beauty and is aware of such. As a result, she is vain and uncaring for things outside of her immediate interests. Often, she is tricked by her fellow gods and goddesses into partaking in their schemes.
AvatarSjay's appearance is always depicted as an attractive young woman with fair features, wide eyes, long hair made of loose and lush waves, and wide hips. When she is not depicted as a beautiful young maid, she is shown to be an albino lornesian unicorn, a sign of regality.
worshipLike the doms of her father, Sjay's houses of worship double as houses of pleasure, though the nature of how this is carried out is much more subdued and ritualized. To make love to a pretress of Sjay is to be greatly honored, and few are lucky enough to experience such. In addition to performing sensual arts, the pretresses act as guides for young women to learn how best to be feminine and proper.
Sjay is often worshiped when a woman first undergoes menses, and when anyone loses their virginity. Women seeking to find a husband often ask Sjay for guidance. Women who are married young or possess beauty are thought to be blessed by Sjay, and should a woman remain unwed after her eligible age, or be particularly unfortunate looking, it is thought that the woman or her parents have wronged the goddess.
Offeringsweapons, armor, human blood, and leathers
Symbolsshields, warhammers, crossing swords, fire
The second eldest of the divine children, and the eldest son, is the god of war, perseverance, rivalry, and combat. His temperament is explosive and his prowess in battle is unmatched. He governs acts of impulse and instinct, as well as physical strength and endurance.
In Pantheonic mythology, Tejerm's infatuation for his eldest sister has led to many battles between he and his younger brother, Mekhr. Their bouts of rivalry are not helped by the fact that Sjay juggles both as lovers, much to Tejerm's jealousy.
AvatarHe is often depicted as a man in armor, a sword in one hand and the severed head of a bear in the other. When he is not depicted as a human, he is symbolized by a massive boar.
worshipDoms of Tejerm act also as safe grounds to conduct duels, and the pretre and pretresses often act as arbiters for those duels. In addition to mediating sanctioned acts of revenge, the pretres act as historians for wars throughout history. People wishing to engage in blood sports, settle a disagreement through a duel, or learn of Tnarem's bloody history find their way to Tejerm's doms.
Those going to battle often pray to Tejerm to help them, and scorned lovers often pray to him to help them in their vengeance as he knows better than any what it is to be slighted in the game of love. To win a duel is to be looked upon favorably by Tejerm, and to lose is surely caused by wronging him in the past. Processions to see soldiers of Lornesse off to war feature heavy imagery and worship of Tejerm.
Holiday1st of January
Offeringsores, parchment, wax, feathers, and unicorn ivory
Symbolscandle, quill, a sword pointed upward
A stoic figure, Mekhr is everything his father had wished he could be but could not. He is the image of temperance, though he is not without his share of debauchery when it is appropriate. His domain is that of statecraft, learning, strategy, and politics; much of Caemire's prowess at such is attributed to the fact that they were sired by Mekhr.
In Lornesian mythology, his choice of lover is his sister, Sjay, chosen for her beauty and for her propensity for bearing many children to him. She was not his only lover, however, only his wife. Mehkr fathered many, taking mortal and divine lovers alike. In the mythos, he and Sjay are responsible for the birth of the first Caemires after fleeing their home, Lebeanach, and settling in the western part of the Vale.
AvatarMasculine in the same way Aenir is, Mekhr is depicted much the same, though he is clothed in whatever fashion was appropriate at the time of the artist's rendition. His father's axe is replaced with a depiction of the first Losmian sword. When not symbolized by a human form, he is shown as a ornately crafted Losmian sword.
worshipDoms dedicated to Mekhr are houses of learning and quiet. Libraries full of tomes, some ancient and some new, cared for and meticulously cataloged by the pretres and pretresses who worship the father of learning; they are scholars and archivists. In addition to houses of higher learning, doms of Mekhr act as safe havens for any in need of one, as the pretres believe that all situations can be resolved without violence.
Those seeking to end an argument or disagreement, or to forgive or be forgiven pray to Mekhr. Should violence befall a person, it is thought that Mekhr has turned his back on them. Those who seek to further their knowledge also turn to the Mekhr doms to do so. Coronations of counts, dukes, and kings, as well as the birth of male heirs, are all causes for thanks to Mekhr, as well as times of peace.
HolidaySeptember 22nd, the autumn equinox
Offeringspine needles, pieces of hunted game, and animal blood
Symbolsbow and arrow, wolves, full-grown trees, owls, bears
Hyrad is the keeper of the lands and all the beasts that inhabit them. He keeps hunters safe and their take bountiful. It is he who maintains the natural order of the environment, and the bringer of natural disasters.
By accident did Hyrad spring spring into the low, flower-filled fields and tree-crested crags of the Vale. The Mother had meant to birth more beasts to inhabit her world, and with them came this son. He was undoubtedly Aenir’ spawn, however, for like his father, Hyrad was a man of the earth. The boy took to the beasts as if they were his kin, and it was with them that he lived.
AvatarHyrad is depicted as a sinewy young man with long hair pulled back loosely into a braid that hangs down his back. Upon his shoulder is perched an owl and his left hand rests on the shoulder of a bear. When not shown in his human form, Hyrad is shown only as a massive bear upon which an owl perches.
worshipDom of Hyrad are unlike those of the other Pantheonic gods and goddesses; they are not typically grand structures, but humble ones made to allow for livestock inside to be treated and kept safe. Pretres and pretresses of Hyrad are adept at animal husbandry. Those seeking help with ailing animals, or help with their traps or hunts utilize Hyrad's doms and autels.
It is to Hyrad that all prayers for healthy livestock and bountiful hunts. Often hunters will leave behind small trinkets from game to thank him for allowing their hunt to be successful. Should a blight befall a rancher's livestock, it is attributed to upsetting Hyrad, and likewise, should a rancher or hunter have a particularly bountiful year, it is because they have pleased this god.
HolidayDecember 21st, the winter solstice
Offeringssacrificed animals, money, spring leaves, and lit candles
Symbolsa coin, a lantern, fire
The second daughter of Aenir and Sif, and the keeper of the afterlife in Pantheonic mythology. She is lady death, but she is caring in her duty, and weeps for souls who are doomed to bedie. It is this goddess of fate whom is prayed to for good fortune and also her who is prayed to in order to wish loved ones well in Lebeanach.
Vyr is fickle and consistently is depicted as being both vindictive and altruistic. Should someone fail to properly sacrifice to the perpetually hard to please goddess, however, their guide in the afterlife may see fit to not aid them to their final destination.
AvatarShe is often depicted as a gaunt woman with pale features and hair loose and long. In one hand she carries a lantern meant to guide lost souls to their final resting place, and in the other a constantly turning coin hovers just above her palm. When she is not depicted as a woman, Vyr is symbolized as only a single coin, ceaselessly turning.
worshipDoms devoted to Vyr are houses of death, it is there that bodies are prepared for the pyre they will eventually meet. Masters of anatomy, the pretres and pretresses of Vyr see to the draining of blood from the bodies that make their way to them, and the preparation of the pyre on which the bodies will be burned.
Sacrifice is expected in return for her favor, for while she is giving, she is simultaneously greedy. Funeral pyres are common in the north, and the reason they are the chosen form of death ceremony is twofold: it rids the world of a body capable of passing on disease, and in a more ritualistic sense, the great fire acts as a light to which Vyr can be drawn to guide the soul through the darkness of death and to their eternity in luxe or bedie.
Offeringsstalks of wheat, alcohol (particularly wine), and autumn leaves, grapes
Symbolssickle, a stalk of wheat, tankards, autumn, the first frost, grapes
Fordall is the picture of a posh lifestyle. Revelry follows him, and when a festival is to be had, not a day of it passes without Fordall’s name leaving someone’s tongue in thanks. Because of his long link to celebration, his name has donned the addition of patron of the harvest. Now, should anyone pray for a plentiful harvest, plentiful drink, or a well-orchestrated event, Fordall is the one to whom they will turn.
AvatarThe youngest of Sif’s children and such is displayed in his visage, Fordall is depicted as a rotund man who is full of beard and stomach. Often, when he is not a man, his symbol is a decanter, half full of wine that is assumed to be Lornesian.
worshipIn rural areas, doms of Fordall are dedicated to the storing of grain. In more urban areas, their purpose takes a more leisurely turn, acting as breweries. His pretres are well versed in baking and brewing, and often provide food and drink to the communities in which they reside.
Thanks is given to Fordall over meals, especially particularly bountiful ones, and when a harvest proves to be large. If a farmer's crops should fall prey to pests or blight, it is thought to be because they have angered Fordall. Likewise, if it was a larger than average harvest, it would be because they have pleased the god. Intoxication is thought to be a gift from Fordall; him bestowing the feeling of being divine on humans.