The Iron Emperor,
Warlord 30, Outsider 20, Deity 1
Tacticus is the master strategist and tactician of The Chosen Gods. He is the newest addition to the Chosen Pantheon, having secured his divinity through the defeat of The Dragon of Nagaranthiel.
Tactics, Strategy, Warlords, Soldiers, Torland
The short sword
The worship of Tacticus has been predominantly Torlandish for centuries. The Cult of Tacticus is particularly strong in the Torlandish Imperial Legions.
Tacticus primary concern is the creation of stable societies through the waging of tactical war.
Planning wins conflicts.
Use strategy and tactics when engaged in battle.
War is waged by the people for the people.
A society provides the means for warfare and the primary goal of war is the protection of that society.
Choose your battlegrounds.
Engage in any conflict under conditions of your choosing.
Unity is Strength.
A house divided against itself cannot stand.
Know your enemy.
Gather information about any adversary in order to beat them.
Clergy and Temples
With his ascension to full divinity, the clerics of the cult have successfully petitioned The Val-Roi of The Cycles for recognition as a full Church within the Church of The Cycles. They have now set their sights on other nations for the worship of their God. Many clerics expect that the Cult of
Tacticus will attempt to grow their following in The Kingdom of Bigany. Given the animosity between Torland and Bigany, the missionaries will have a difficult time.
The Order of Tacticus, due to its recent elevation, is still one of the smallest in the Church of The Moons. Few temples of the Church Of The Moons outside of Torland contain shrines to Tacticus. This is something that his clerics are seeking to change.
The largest temple to Tacticus is in the Imperial Palace in Tor. An entire wing of the gargantuan Imperial residence was dedicated to his worship by Empress Praena and contains the rooms where He was born and from where He ruled the Empire.
Temples to Tacticus are always fortified buildings built in strategic locations, brilliantly designed and prepared for defense. A Tacticus Temple can easily fend off a large force with only a handful of defenders. Larger temples include training facilities, marshalling areas, armouries and libraries dedicated to the teaching of tactics and the history of the Torlandish Empire.
Shrines to Tacticus are always mobile affairs and are traditionally constructed within temporary miliatry wooden forts. A Tacticus shrine is comprised of at least one battle standard. Torlandish Legions will often construct a large shrine inside their temporary fortifications comprised of dozens of battle standards. This is done to call upon the blessing of Tacticus for their coming battles.
Clerics of Tacticus are charged with spreading the faith and are more zealous about this than most clerics, due to the recent elevation of the cult to a fully recognised order. His clerics have historically been members of the Torlandish Legions but this is set to change. They are usually the leaders of others or at the very least well placed advisors to military figures. Most are armed and armoured at all times.
The Radiant Empress,
Scourge of The Fallen,
Queen of Wisdom,
Defender of Mortals.
Druid 30, Bard 30, Outsider 20, Deity 20
Croí Rules over all The Chosen Gods. As the leader of The Gods of The Cycles, she maintains Balance in the movements of the universe by subtly influencing The Cycles that naturally occour.
Since the Fall of Feo, Croi has been constantly sought after by Cogadh and Draiocht, who seek to impress her with physical prowess and mental brilliance respectively. The effects of her favour for Cogadh (and Charon) or for Draiocht (and Shale) are felt throughout The Peering Eye.
[Note: The alignment of all other creatures in the universe is judged according to Croí’s behaviour]
Balance, Cycles, The Sun, Love, Radiance, Nature, Romance, Sex, Fertility, Justice, Protection, Sacrifice, Marriage, Change.
The Scale Bow
Croi is the most commonly worshipped of all the Gods. All branches and orders of The Church Of The Moons pay her respect. Most mortal races acknowledge Croi as the greatest of the Gods.
The Dogma of Croi is the Dogma of The Church Of The Moons
The Universe must remain in Balance.
Neither Shale nor Charon may gain too much influence.
The Risen and The Fallen must remain outside the daily affairs of the multiverse. Change and ebb and flow is constant and desirable but must be balanced with elements of stability.
The Chosen are the only Gods.
The Risen have withdrawn to the stars and are beyond the mortal domain. The Fallen has been cast down into the Prison by Croi and The Chosen, their influence upon mortal affairs will be stamped out at every turn.
The Church Of The Moons is the only Church.
It is the mortal instrument of Croi and The Val-Roi is her personal representative. No other divine authority is recognised.
Love, Romance, Sex and Marriage are gifts of Croi.
Every individual is expected to decide which, if any, of these gifts they wish to accept. No one may be forced to partake in any of these against their will. Croi is displeased when her gifts are abused.
The Cycles are to be harnessed.
They are an expression of Croí’s power and her will.
Clergy and Temples
The Order of Croi is the largest and the most powerful order in the Church of The Moons. Every temple that is within the Church Of The Moons, contains at the very least a shrine to Croi. This is both a mark of respect and an essential part of The Balance.
The largest temple in most settlements is The Church of The Moons’ Chosen Temple. These temples are always dominated by Croi and then by Cogadh and Draíocht. In many settlements there is a secondary temple devoted either to The Cycles or to Croi. Croi is the only one of the Gods who may have temples with no other Gods represented. Due to the importance of Balance however this is rare.
Temples and shrines to Croi are bright and airy places. All contain art works which represent The Cycles and Balance. These may be precise mechanical sculptures which mirror the positions of the moons or the humors of The Gods. They could be great water clocks which are tuned to the positions of the tides. Larger temples include arboretums and some cases the entire temple is constructed from transparent materials and fertile gardens fill the interior with barely tamed rampant growth. Temples may also be dedicated to Love, Romance or Marriage. The Temples dedicated to Sex are extremely popular and well attended.
Clerics of Croi are responsible for spreading the beliefs of The Chosen. While ideas of Balance and The Cycles are mostly theological to many common people, the clerics of Croi encourage Love, Romance, Sex and Marriage with a special enthusiasm. Promiscuity among Croí’s clergy and with their flock is encouraged and seen as a sign of piety. However any abuse of the clergy’s position is monitored closely. Another of Croí’s gifts is Justice, which the inquisition is happy to mete out with a ferocious enthusiasm.
The majority of the clergy of Croi are women and the Val-Roi is always a female. Any gender bias ends there however, as Croi abhors imbalance. The meteoric rise of Arch Vedic Tim Tanner of Woodhaven is evidence of the respect the Order of Croi has for those who are truly dedicated to and favoured by Croi.
Croí’s clergy use her divine energy through the power of The Cycles as she has decreed. Because of this, the potency of their abilities waxes and wanes with The Cycles. During the dominance of either Charon or Shale, The Cycles are further from Balance and so the clerical powers of Croí’s followers is lessened. When Charon and Shale are in Balance the power of Croí’s Clerics is at it’s greatest.
The Emerald Ghost,
The Invisible Bowman
Seilig is the patron of hunting. He usually appears as a male human of middle age, carrying a bow and wearing a green chain shirt under his forest garb. He moves with an preternatural stealth and often appears in the most unexpected places.
Seilig has great respect for the balance of nature and the natural order, he does not advocate unnecessary killing. As often as not Seilig will let captured prey go free.
Ranger 30, Druid 10, Outsider 20, Deity 14
Balanced Chosen, Chaotic Good
Hunting, Mercy, Travel, Vengence, Archery, Stealth
Rangers, Hunters, Elves, Archers, Assassins, Scouts, Travellers, Adventurers
The Hunter is superior to all other creatures.
Those who do not hunt or who are easy prey are considered to be of lesser value.
Only Prey that challenges The Hunter deserves respect.
Prey that provides a challenge to The Hunter’s skills are highly respected. The greater the challenge they present, the greater the respect.
A Hunter grants Mercy.
A Hunter must grant either a swift death or freedom to his prey. Highly prized Prey are usually released to be hunted again, in order to increase The Hunter’s skill. If Prey must be slain, then it is always done swiftly. Hunters do not relish causing pain.
Seilig Favours Only The Hunter
Seilig's favour is fickle.When 'The hunter becomes the hunted' it is no longer granted.
Vengeace is cold and swift.
Seilig believes in Justice of the balanced kind. Vengeance. It should be carefully considered and fair. It should be a Hunter that delivers it, having patiently created the opportunity to strike. It should be delivered with a swift ferocity the demonstrates the superiority of The Hunter.
No Prey should be hunted to the point of extinction as this would further the goals of Eirleach and reduce the variety of prey available to the hunters.
Clergy and Temples
There are few permanent Seilig temples as priests of Seilig rarely stay in the same place for long. Those temples that do exist are styled as hunting lodges but the clerics who tend these lodges often move around and so a visitor to a lodge is unlikely to meet the same clerics from one year to the next. Many wilderness villages contain a small shrine to the hunting god as protection from predators and to assist their own hunters.
Seilig Priests promote hunting and tracking but with a strong respect for nature. Priests that serve the community do so by offering training, acting as trackers and guides, leading hunts, providing food and dealing with predators that threaten the flock.
Most Seilig priests are often also trained as rangers and occasionally as rogues, assassins, druids or fighters.
Assassin 20, Necromancer 20, Outsider 20, Deity 15
If The Cycles are to continue, then mortals must die and souls must start the next part of their journey. Croi has entrusted the crucial task of overseeing The Cycle of Life and Death to Bas. Bas receives the souls of all mortals and judges them. He then places them in the wall of souls. After a time of His choosing, based on criteria known only to Him, the souls are sent from the wall of souls to their ultimate fate. While His role is crucial, even the other Gods are unnerved by His presence. Only Croi appreciates His company.
Chosen Balanced (Unaligned)
Death, Justice, Undead, Deathless, Destruction, Fear
Necromancers, Assassins, Healers, Mortals, Undead,
Death is a gift.
All mortal lives contain pain and suffering. When a mortal’s body is no longer capable of housing it’s soul, Bas sheppards the soul to the next stage of it’s existence. To live forever is a curse. The be trapped in a pain filled body is a curse. Bas sets souls free.
Death is not the end,
A mortal’s body dies, but it’s soul continues on.
Bas is Merciful
If a mortal dies before his time, his soul may be recalled to the mortal realm, if Bas feels that the return is just. Not all souls can be returned from Bas’ care, there must be a sacrifice made by those requesting the return of a soul
Death cannot be cheated.
While the death of a mortal can be delayed. It’s soul must ultimately be released to the wall of souls. If this doesn’t happen The Cycle of Life and Death is unbalanced. This is potentially catastrophic. Those who try to cheat Death by extending the duration of their stay I the mortal realm anger Bas and must be dealt with. This includes, Undead, practitioners of soul stealing magic and any mortals who extend their lives unnaturally.
Clergy and Temples
While the majority of the priests of Bas are mortals who are happy to meet their new state at the end of their lives, other seek to delay their demise. Bas understands this desire, and grants eternal vigour to those unwilling to die. Many outside The Cult of Bas do not see the difference between his ‘Deathless’ priests and the undead they hunt. The distinction is one of choice and control. Bas chooses who may extend their lives and who may not. To prevent his choice is Blasphemy of the worst kind and will be dealt with by his followers.
Bas priests perform all the death rituals and burials of most mortal races.
Bas priests also entertain entreaties to prematurely end the lives of certain mortals for a price. His priests analyse the requests, in light of their impact on The Cycle of Life and Death, and they will then ask for a price in return for their service. The price is rarely merely monetary. The Inquisition and Stiuradh often have very interesting and odd payments in mind. Once an ‘expedited demise’, as an assassination by a priest of Bas is called, has been sanctioned, the priests attempt to carry it out as quickly and quietly as possible.
Temples of Bas are usually found in the middle of graveyards, and resemble great mausoleums. The control over life and death within the grounds of a Bas Temple is absolute. The dead rest peacefully in their graves – unless Bas needs them.
Other Bas Temples are more secretly placed and resemble mercantile places of business. The decorations are often dark and macabre in these places, which are dedicated to the training and practice of assassinations.
Bas priests are somber and fatalistic, which is to be expected given their focus on death, and their constant dealings which the plane of shadow and the wall of souls.
The Player of Games
Lord of Subtlety
The Third Hand
Bard 20, Telepath 20, Outsider 20, Deity 12.
Stiuradh is a quiet and usually unremarked God. He is an affable listener, good company and makes very sensible suggestions to his friends and even to his foes. He is very helpful. Everyone, Gods and mortals alike end up doing what Stiuradh wants. His every action, word and thought is calculated. His plans and machinations extend millennia into the past and future. He consults extensively with Briongloid, Aisneis, Crionna and Cluiche. He is Croi’s most trusted advisor.
Chosen Balanced (Unaligned)
Manipulation, Strategy, Tactics, Games, Trickery
Generals, Kings, Politicians, Ambassadors, Spies, Merchants, Tieflings, The Inquisition
Sleight of Mind
The more subtle influences of The Church, philosophical, spiritual and intellectual are usually overlooked by peasants and princes, commoners and kings. The great clerical work 'Sleight of Mind' by Arch Vedic Leraci Domos Pentunii of Stiuradh outlines how The Church should control it's flock without resort to direct action through either military, magical or economic means.
The content of this book would shock many kings, emperors and merchant prices to see how they are manipulated. In typical Stiuradh fashion the book is hidden in plain sight, The Church insist that all educated people read it at an early age and take a very dim view of those who avoid reading it in favour of more interesting pastimes such as the observation of drying paint.
The Book is extraordinarily convoluted in it's language and the structure of it logic. It takes an extremely dedicated reader with a sharp intellect and iron discipline to understand what is being explained by the book. The result is exactly what Vedic Pentunii predicts in the closing chapter. None of the books thousands of readers outside The Church have any idea what the book is about. The Church of Stiuradh's Sleight of Mind policy continues uncontested.
Enter The Game
Existance is not a game it is The Game. Every creature and every thing you perceive is an illusion and a piece within The Game. Reality is not the board upon which The Game is played, because the board is merely a piece within The Game itself.
Use every means at your disposal to learn everything about The Game.
Distill your knowledge using questions and models of The Game. Analyse the information at your displosal and the information not at your displosal equally. Plan. Destroy those plans and plan again. Continue until the plans cannot be destroyed.
Sometimes to act requires actions. Sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes actions are violent, brash and loud – the province of Charon. Sometime actions are merely thoughts or hints, barley transmitted – the province of Shale. Mostly actions must be balanced.
Once an action is taken immediately return to observation and thought before another is taken. Reactions are for the weak of mind. Poor players react.
You will become the actions of others. Their desires and motivations are irrelevant to the lightest tough of your control. This is how The Game is played.
Clergy and Temples
Priests of Stiuradh rarely display the symbols of their God openly, even though it is their divine right to do so. Worship of Stiuradh is conducted constantly in their minds and actions, as they strive to manipulate the actions and thoughts of others. They rarely show any emotions, take any acitons or utter any words, that do not follow some set of constantly updated machinations.
They have few if any temples. A shrine to Stiuradh will often be constructed by the arrangement of items or even creatures according to basic patterns in The Game, or even as part of an ongoing machination. Very astute observers will occasionally be disturbed by the realisation that they are in fact a living part of a Stiuradh shrine, part of a Stiuradh priest’s moves within The Game, that the priest wants them to realise this and that their nested reactions to the realisation of their part in The Game have been calculated by the priest to get them to act as they will. Most give up their attempts to outwit Stiuradh priests at this point.
Note: The picture above depicts a Stiuradh Temple, not Stiuradh Himself or any of his priests.