Religion of the Andalors
Gods of the Andalorion
Andalorian history is dominated by the Mage War and its after-effects. The war pitted the sun magic of the Danfalk sorcerers vs. the dark magic of the Winarian warlocks. The sorcerers were victorious for the most part, obtaining full control of Andalor's southern realms, but only partial control over the northern reaches, but for Arthennor.
The Andalorion, or epic tale of the Andalors, divides the history into three periods: first, the Elder Period, when Beast-Men (Cawglaw) ruled the peninsula, befouled the land with dangerous traps and lures. Secondly, the Danthing incursion, when the West Danthings from Targelon wrought destruction upon the Beast-Men. Sadly, the Cawglaw survived by hiding in underground labyrinths and seduced the Danthings to the ways of Darkness. The god Owen discovered the Runes in a Cawglaw den and taught their secrets to the Danthings, who renamed themselves Winarians (Earth Knowers) to ostentatiously display their new powers.
The final period of the Andalorion is the Mage War, when more tribes from Targelon arrived. These were the Danfalk (Sunray Warriors) and it is they who started the Mage War with the Winarians. Some of the gods listed below are Winarian, and some are Danfalk. The Danfalk did not deny the Winarians worship of their deities, but note that, especially in southern realms, religion centers around (in order of importance) Newrath, Bayloth, Fothnow, and Row. Peasants often worship Flinda, sailors Rew Ravayd. Arthennorians still hold Owen to be their chief patron.
|Bayloth||The Sun, Arts|
|Rew Ravayd||The Sea|
Sun God of the Danfalk, Bayloth is the master of all arts. He wears golden armor and helmet and wields a golden spear. During the Mage War he possessed one of the Twin Sunray Swords (the left blade), but it was later stolen by agents of the Wizard of Parth-Num.
Bayloth is seneschal of the magnificent fortress in the middle of the sun called Dalacast. Naturally, no mortal may survive there without massive magical protections. The spirits of countless warriors guard the place, alongside a score of fire dragons.
The Winarian Lord of the Undead, son of Owen and the earth-goddess, he once lived in the Underworld during the spring and summer, and the upper world the other seasons. Cathindas was formerly a sun god, but became corrupted and dark. After he was slain by Row, he was allowed to join Bayloth during the warmest parts of the year.
The Winarian goddess of fertility and secrets, Flinda always appears in three forms. Each form encompasses one third of her total power. Often taking the form of a trio of small birds or reptiles, Flinda's appearance always holds a special meaning, good or bad, to the observer. Her presence is ubiquitous in folktale.
The Danfalk Smith-God. Fothnow's weapon secrets gave the Danfalk superiority in the Mage War. Before creating the Twin Sunray Swords, Fothnow constructed numerous legendary magical weapons of lesser power (for practice) that subsequently found their way into the hands of mortal heroes.
Fothnow's workshop occupies a wing of Newrath's sun fortress.
Daughter of Neverthan, Mowlana is a moon goddess, the Black Annis. She is also the patron of bards. Mowlana took little part in the Mage War, except for her tendency to spit out prophecies of doom and failure to anyone who crossed her path. She has a special penchant for exaggeration and a rivalry with Flinda.
Winarian god of magic, all-father, and ruler before Newrath, Neverthan is also a benevolent Underworld God, and wields a mighty bludgeon which can kill ten men in a single sweep.
Neverthan wanders around caverns most of the time, only coming out at night, and preferring forest trails to any other.
The Danfalk War God and King of the Gods. During the Mage War, the Danfalk who followed Neverthan wanted to use their own magic against the dark magic of the Winarians, but those who followed Newrath believed the war could be won with arms. Newrath's faction won out after Fothnow created the Spitfire Spear and the Twin Sunray Swords. Newrath still maintains possession of one of the Twin Sunray Swords (the right blade).
The chief of the Andalorian gods spends much of his time in mortal disguise, appearing before Danfalk kings to deliver pronouncements and advice. He will usually be accompanied by a beautiful mortal female and a minstrel or two. He leaves his throne at Dalacast in the care of Bayloth.
Son of Neverthan, Owen is the Winarian Messenger deity, and Keeper of Runes. The runes taught by Owen to the Winarians provided the basis for widespread oppression over the Andalorian peoples. Most Andalorians today consider the runes to be the ultimate symbols of evil.
Owen dwells in a secret place in Monurch Wood. His only companions are forest creatures. The trail to his abode is protected by tangled growth enchanted to weave destruction upon mortal minds. Victims are said to go mad and become like animals.
Winarian Sea God, with powerful abilities of illusion and transformation, Rew Ravayd gave the Andalorians the secrets of shipbuilding (which he won from the Porellian god Dervidorn). He sails the seas around the Andalorian peninsula in an enchanted ship manned by the spirits of great sailors. Sailors in his favor may be rescued from storms by Rew Ravayd.
A Danfalk Hero, son of Newrath, who wields the invincible Spitfire Spear. Row was wild and reckless in the days of the Mage War. His most famous deed was the slaying of Cathindas, a former sun deity who had become foul and corrupted. This deed ended the Battle of Parthan Vale and the Mage War.
These days Row travels far and wide, accompanied by a handful of warriors and occasionally by the wizard Neim. Every so often he returns to Dalacast.
As is typical in Madorian cultures, the Danfalk devote themselves to the gods in an almost feudal-like manner, providing worship and services in return for protection from unfriendly supernaturals.
Danfalk cultures practice cremation and trial by combat. They aggressively seek power through leadership and politics. Within Danfalk tribes, groups of warriors band together in societies to worship their favorite god or hero.
The Danfalk practice cremation. Souls travel first to journey the cloudy hall of Clayne, who is Newrath's gatekeeper. Valorous souls continue the long journey to Dalacast. The rest join Neverthan in the Underworld.
Danfalk pay tribute to both their gods and those of the Winarians. Prayers and propitiations are made as occasion requires. When praying, the Danfalk raise their arms and look up into the sky.
Lancesor is the stronghold of the Danfalk. The High Luminary of Newrath's Temple at Lancedon is the head of religion, whilst each kingdom is assigned a Luminary for spiritual guidance.
The Danfalk priesthood maintains finely crafted temples of wooden construction, the larger temples also built with stone.
Requirements to Enter the Danfalk Priesthood:
- Must be of pure Danfalk descent
- Must undergo the ritual of initiation
- Must already be an experienced scholar, physician, or warrior by profession
Duties of the Danfalk Priesthood:
- Oversee community religious activities
- Perserve history, myths, and legends
- Pursue one or more traditional arts or crafts as a hobby
Ranks of the Danfalk Priesthood
Matters of theology and mythology in both cultures are handed down by oral tradition. Sacred writings are comprised only of magical symbols used for the conducting of rituals. Andalorians do not make images of their gods (other than verbal descriptions), but their priests do carve representative symbols onto prayer stones.
Winarian cultures practice burial and trial by peers. Mystical enclaves and secret brotherhoods are common and seek power by means of subtle threats and covert intimidation.
Winarians bow their heads down when praying, and sometimes fall to the ground.
Tradition has Winarians worshipping those unpredictable times when the priests address the villagers. There are only a few regular dates of worship (for example, solstices, equinoxes, and periods of full or new moons, depending on the traditions), but the priesthood has the right to declare or nullify any day for worship.
Arthennor is the stronghold of the Winarians. The First Elder at Govedon is the head of religion. Each kingdom has its own High Elder. Temples are headed by an Elder of the 2nd or 3rd Circle depending on size. Elders are typically assisted by one or two Preceptors, and three to six Attendants.
Winarian priests maintain special residences on sacred ground somewhere near a village or stronghold. This place may take the form of a grove of trees, a monolith, a hot spring, or a magic pool, for example.
Requirements to Enter the Winarian Priesthood:
- Must be of pure Winarian descent
- Must undergo the ritual of initiation
- Must be at least 30 years old
Duties of the Winarian Priesthood:
- Maintain genealogies of community
- Oversee community religious activities
- Preserve history, myths, and legends
- Study medicine
Ranks of the Winarian Priesthood
|6||High Elder of the 1st Circle|
|5||Elder of the 2nd Circle|
|4||Elder of the 3rd Circle|
Winarians do not congregate in special places to worship. Rather, the priests conduct secret rituals in various places of power, have secret places for initiating their members into the deeper mysteries, and have their own personal dens for private study. They occasionally venture forth from these dens to deliver pronouncements and prophecies, or else are escorted into the presence of the clan chiefs or nobility to perform consultations.
The First Elder is advisor to the High King, and each King under him enjoys the services of a High Elder of the First Circle. Within the priesthood, the Elders — who are few — provide wisdom and leadership for the lower ranks. Thus, the liturgy is passed informally and haphazardly by word of mouth. Each member of the priesthood is expected to take personal responsibility in his own education, and thus great emphasis is placed on demonstration of knowledge and, by consequence, seniority.