In ancient times, the world of Alteris was peopled by the scargs, their mighty race spanning the entirety of the known world. They were powerfully connected to earth magic, called the Harken, which flowed through all things as the undercurrent of life itself. Many of these scargs transcended their mortal lives, achieving something they referred to as “I’o’t’pec.” In the common tongue we would call this apotheosis, or in other words, the process of becoming a god.
The Age of Apotheosis is a period in the Dawn Era, the earliest era of history in Alteris. Much of this time is considered myth, but regardless of this association, the beings of Alteris continue to hold the stories and gods of this era as both creators and patrons of the natural world. The primary gods and goddess of Alteris are Elken, Grukscava, Tamra, Septusiga, Sherrphoght, Tset, Helcrest, and Wize. There are also lesser gods and goddesses, who will be discussed later.
Elken is god of nature and freedom. He is worshipped primarily in Mul Debbon. However, there are shrines and effigies of this god all throughout Alteris, ancient sites where people long ago paid their respects to the deity. The Order of Elken safeguards the teachings of this god, holding that all beings are created equal, and should be allowed their natural freedoms to live and die as they choose. Elken is believed to be the safe keeper of all wild places in Alteris, and the protector of equilibrium in the natural world. His symbol is the five pronged antler.
Grukscava is god of the hunt and amelioration. He is the father god of the groks, but is worshipped by many races in many nations. The Guild of the Hunter-God, located in Silg, is a great church to Grukscava, devoted to the ideals that seeking the challenge of the hunt will grant them self improvement and ascension. The teachings of Grukscava focus on what it means to gain power, and how that power should be used to achieve the greatest advancement for ones society. Interpretation of what the greatest advancement is has been a subject of heated debate for centuries. His symbol is the waxing crescent.
Tamra is goddess of healing and wisdom. She is worshipped primarily in south western Filenfoe, but her favor is sought anywhere that healers practice their arts. Tamra worship is found all over Alteris, as are shrines to the goddess, often marked with silver arches. The art of potion making and all medicine craft is under her purview. Many scholars also seek her guidance as they continue their studies, in hopes of finding new knowledge to share with their fellows. The teachings of Tamra focus on personal health, both of the mind and body, and in achieving the Understanding, a state of being where knowledge and self are one. Her symbol is the silver talon.
Septusiga is goddess of war and honor. She holds special regard among the people of Filenfoe as the patron deity of their nation. While Septusiga worship has seen a decline in recent years, there are still shrines to be found across the world, marked by offerings of swords. These holy sites are frequently visited by soldiers on their way to battle, or warriors who seek greater valor in their service. The teachings of Septusiga have been a guide for the rules of engagement throughout most wars of the past thousand years. Surprisingly, mercy is one of the greatest tenets of Septusigas teachings. She holds that the ultimate goal of war is not destruction, but preservation of society. The symbol of Septusiga is the iron shield.
Sherrphoght is god of magic and order. He is the primary deity of Silg and a central figure in their monarchy. As the father god to humanity, Sherrphoght worship can be found all across Alteris, although the practice is in decline everywhere. Sherrphoght was killed by mankind eons ago, and although he is a dead god, this does not limit the power or authority the name invokes. A dead god is still more powerful than a living mortal, and their presence is considered eternal, even if no longer corporeal. His teachings focus on the Harken, or in other words, natural magic, and how this natural magic of the world creates balance. His symbol is the crimson flame.
Tset is goddess of law and service. She is the mother goddess of the hastu, and the primary deity of Poek Pamatang practicing hastu everywhere. This sect of hastu culture is a small group, however, and so too is the collective following of this dead goddess. Her teaching centers on the authority of the law, and how society can thrive through obedience to it. Her laws are many, and govern everything from family organization to governmental hierarchy. Her symbol is the four point star.
Helcrest is the goddess of lies and manipulation. Her form is that of a human. For much of recorded history, the beings of Alteris were caught in her web of lies, believing her to actually be the goddess of magic and power. Her influence has been lessened in recent years, however, as she was revealed to be a dark goddess, bent on the subjugation of the entire world. Her teachings focus on total devotion to her power, in exchange for long life and authority over others. Worship of Helcrest is generally looked down upon now in Alteris, with many of her followers now worshiping in secret. Her symbol is the black ring.
Wize is the god of chaos and confusion. He is the patron god of debauchery. His form is that of a hastu. He is often depicted as capricious, violent, and strangely jovial. The teachings of Wize center on the idea of total self service, giving oneself totally to the passions of the flesh, no matter the affect it has on those around you. He is the father god of the bellibubs, also known as goblins, and the progenitor of many plagues throughout the world. His symbol is the broken goblet.
Worship of the gods and goddesses has dwindled in recent years throughout all of Alteris. This is in large part due to the events leading into the Fall Era, when the human race killed the dragon god Sherrphoght and his sister Tset. This action brought a dearth upon the land, and the gods and goddesses made an exodus into the Dark Dimension, withdrawing their physical presence from the world. Many people still choose to call on these deities, and have had spiritual experiences in their worship. But the Age of Apotheosis is long past. The stories of these ancient beings remain important tales for educating the people of the world, a reminder of what came before, and what comes after on the road of life.
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