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it is currently season 1, the year 1449 NE. The continent of Tnarem balances on a precarious edge between survival and destruction. Wars rage between nations, fractures open in the Mete. The world as the Tnaremi people know it is dying and they are left with a choice: act or perish with it.

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Pantheonism
The Lornesian Pantheon of Old



Practiced almost exclusively in Lornesse, the Pantheon is a traditional paganistic religion that arose from the early myths of the North. To the rest of Tnarem it is obsolete and disregarded for more palletable religions that do not rely so heavily on mysticism. With a firm grasp on the Vale, the Pantheon is very much alive and strong within the safety of its mountain walls, with no small thanks to Caemire, who have it in their best interest to perpetuate the beliefs.

There is something exciting and enjoyable about the Lornesian pantheon and the tales of their gods, monsters, and heroes. The world is colorful and full of unknowns when it is directed by an ever-growing group of petty, vengeful, and meddling layabouts who've nothing better to do than fight proxy social (and literal) wars via the human population. The mythos of the Pantheon extends beyond such things, however, including great adventures, the creation of various natural landmarks, and the retelling of ancient events whose truthful details were long ago lost.

Pantheon-specific language

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
Beliefs
“...Theirs is a queer culture; I found it to be noncommittal in all ways save two: its kings and its gods."
- Cathal, the traveled

While the Pantheonic religion does not enforce strict ways to conduct one's life, the culture it builds permeates Lornesian day-to-day activities nonetheless. To a Lornesian, everything that happens, that is not directly caused by another human, is a result of the whims of the gods. Intentionally malicious or benevolent or unintentionally so, everything from a bountiful harvest to a stormy spring are attributed to them.

views on magic

The Pantheonic religion views magic as a gift of the gods, as a sign of divine parentage, or as proof that someone is a god themselves. The particular flavor of belief depends on many things, but the constant that remains is that Pantheonic beliefs, and as a result Lornesse, view magic and those who practice it as holy.

Not only are those who practice considered divine, but also magic is widely practiced within Pantheonic doms, the pretres who are capable of casting filling various roles from sehers to those who ward and protect against evil.

Demigods & the Chosen People

Belief in demigods or even gods who walk among the people is something specific and integral to the Pantheonic mythos. Indeed, it is that very mingling between divine and human that caused the ability to harness magic, and it is that godly blood that perpetuates it still to this day. The prevalence of witches in the Vale is a chief reason why they believe themselves to be the chosen people of the gods. This is exploited (knowingly or unknowingly) by the nobility of the Vale, who meticulously maintain their ability to cast and thus cement their status as demigods. To be born unable or even a bound caster is an ill omen or a sign that the parents or child have fallen out of favor with the gods.


Those with particularly powerful magic are subject of much scholarly and ecclesiastical debate throughout the Vale. Some believe them to be children born directly from the union of a god and human, some believe them to be chosen by the gods to exact their will upon Sergonia, and some believe them to be actual gods. The consensus remains, however, that they are something more than their fellow man.

Afterlife

There is no heaven or hell in Pantheonic mythology, there is only Lebeanach, the afterlife. All who die find themselves lost there, in the expansive other world that the gods inhabit. It is only with the help of Vyr that they will find their way to their true purpose in death: bedie or luxe.

Lebeanach is an unforgiving place, dark and cold to new souls, but still, some souls favor that unknown to the eternal servitude of bedie. Those who have not wronged or angered the gods in life will find Vyr leading them to luxe, a life of unparalleled pleasure and splendor, waited on for all time by those who have not earned their keep in Lebeanach. Those doomed to serve do so in the eternal state of bedie. All exist within the same Lebeanach, beside one another, but in widely different roles.

The Pale & Pantheonism

Some myths of people leaving Lebeanach exist, and it is commonly thought that the gods are able to slip between Sergonia and Lebeanach with ease. It is also widely taught that the Pale and Lebeanach are one and the same, that the Mete is the dividing wall between them and that where it is weak, Sergonia feels the divine influence of the gods' realm.
Practices & Rituals

It is impossible to please (or displease) all of the gods and goddesses of the Pantheon for they are scores in number. And just as there are countless deities, there are countless houses of worship erected to pay them all homage known as "dome," or singular "dom." Each dom is overseen by erste pretre(sse)s, often shortened to just "erste," and tended to by their pretre(sse)s. What worship entails, and how a dom is tended, is completely dependent on the whims of its erste pretre.

While there is no tenant that explicitly demands so, worship is an everyday event for those who follow the Pantheon. Some make daily offerings to their choice gods or those they most need the help from at that point in their life, at personal autel or in public doms. This sort of worship is personal and lacks uniformity. There is consistency in how feast days and holidays are celebrated, however, and the belief that worship, in general, is something to be celebrated. The people of Lornesse are happy to give thanks to their gods. It is better to pay homage than to be forced to grovel for forgiveness, after all. Even death is a celebratory occasion. A somber one, but the Lornesian people send their loved ones into the afterlife with pomp only seen in the Vale.

Birth

The birth of a child is a momentous event in the Vale. The day of the birth itself is saved only for labor and the birthing process, but once a fortnight passes and the mother and baby are both allowed time to heal and become accustomed to the world, the celebration begins.

A procession of people--loved one, strangers, relatives, close and distant, all parade through town, from dom to dom, stopping at three key houses of worship: Sif, to offer her the milk of a cow to thank her for the mother's safe and successful birth, then to Aenir or Sjay (depending on the sex of the baby), to offer him a valuable stone, or her tea leaves or a knot of hair. Finally, they end their procession at the dom of Vyr to offer a blood sacrifice, the best animal that the family can purchase. Through this shedding of blood, Vyr's favor is won, and she will watch over the child through life and seek him out in death, to guide him through the darkness of Lebeanach.

Marriage

Marriage, like the worship of the gods, is a varied event in Lornesse. When two people are brought together in marriage, it is done before a god, though which god that is, is different depending on the purpose of the union. With each god comes a new set of traditions and a new purpose. Some things are consistent, however, like the belief that marriage is an important bond that is not to be broken unless under the most extreme circumstances, and that it is done not for love, but for the betterment of one's life and that of their families. Below are the two most common forms of wedding ceremonies in Pantheonic practice.

A Union of Mekhr - Marriages of monetary, social, political, or material gain is one that will be done before Mekhr. The ceremony itself is led by a pretre of Mekhr’s dom and is a somber, elegant affair. Immediately following the ceremony, the newlyweds take their leave from the dom to a pre-designated retreat somewhere away from their home, where they will remain for two weeks. The goal is to be as fortunate as Mekhr and Sjay were in conceiving their children. Any child conceived during this retreat is considered exceptionally favored by the gods.

A Union of Fordall - Second marriages and beyond, and typical commoner marriages are those done before Fordall. These are boisterous affairs where food is plentiful and drink flows freely. The ceremony is done at the home, most often conducted by a pretre of Fordall, though one is not needed for the marriage to be considered valid. The ceremony is followed by a feast that lasts long into the night, and then, by a ceremonial consummation. The party follows the couple to their bed, helping them change into their respective nightwear before wishing them luck and taking their leave.

Death

The death ceremony is a drawn out process, beginning immediately after a person has died. It is important that no time is wasted for fear that Vyr will not find the person should too much time pass between their dying and their entrance into Lebeanach.

First, the body is taken from the home to a temple of Vyr, or prepared in a specific room within the home, if it has such, that is specific to the purpose of preparing a body. There, it is drained of its blood, the blood collected in ceremonial vessels, and kept cool in an underground chamber. Once the blood has been drained, the body is dressed in finery--the deceased will be sent into the afterlife with whatever it is they will need. Fine clothing, jewelry, a favorite blade; Lebeanach will be full of others dressed and adorned in such, all spending their eternity in the euphoric state of luxe.

A pyre is prepared, usually at a holy location, fragrant foliage mingled in with the kindling. When the body is ready, it is brought to the pyre and laid atop it, hands folded before it on its chest. In the right hand, a coin is placed, payment for passage and a gift for the lady of the lost. As the body burns, the scent of flesh and pine mingle, and when the fire burns, and there is nothing left of the body, all know that the deceased has been accepted into their state of eternity in Lebeanach. Should a body not burn entirely or at all, the person will never reach their state of being in the afterlife, left to roam until their body has been given over to it.

Days of death are annually celebrated by offering something to Vyr. Vyr's holiday, December 31st, is also a day to remember and honor all of the dead and to celebrate their new beginning in Lebeanach.
Deities

This is not an entire list of Pantheonic gods, but these are the most heavily featured in the mythos and the most widely recognized and worshiped. Lornesian deities are, before all things, the personification of Reiuxian society. Some may take an interest in certain events or types of people, but not all do so.

The Eight

Holiday

June 21st, the summer solstice

Offerings

fornication, rocks, gemstones, mead

Symbols

axes, 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.

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Depicted 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.

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Doms 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.

Holiday

March 20th, the spring equinox

Offerings

milk, lavender, barley stalks, placenta, eggs, breast milk

Symbols

bare 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.

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Often 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.

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Only 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.

Holiday

every full moon

Offerings

marriage sheets, blood, perennial flowers, knots of hair, tea

Symbols

the 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.

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Sjay'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.

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Like 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.

Holiday

December 31st

Offerings

weapons, armor, human blood, and leathers

Symbols

shields, 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.

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He 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.

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Doms 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.

Holiday

1st of January

Offerings

ores, parchment, wax, feathers, and unicorn ivory

Symbols

candle, 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.

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Masculine 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.

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Doms 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.

Holiday

September 22nd, the autumn equinox

Offerings

pine needles, pieces of hunted game, and animal blood

Symbols

bow 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.

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Hyrad 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.

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Dom 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.

Holiday

December 21st, the winter solstice

Offerings

sacrificed animals, money, spring leaves, and lit candles

Symbols

a 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.

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She 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.

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Doms 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.

Holiday

Harvest season

Offerings

stalks of wheat, alcohol (particularly wine), and autumn leaves, grapes

Symbols

sickle, 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.

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The 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.

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In 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.