Faith of Estel
|Faith of Estel|
|Estel, 8 Pantheon Gods, and additional subcultural deities.|
|Altalar, Avanthar, Cielothar, Sihndar, and Yanar variants.|
Faith of Estel
Altalar Religion is commonly referred to as the Faith of Estel, though it differs from the Faiths of Estel that other Nelfin societies or the Yanar might worship. For information on those varieties, or if you are looking to make a character of one of those Races and read about their religious beliefs, go to their Race pages (as linked in the infobox in the top right) and read their sections on Religion. The core Faith of Estel page might still be a useful read, however, as it contains a lot of context on the original form of the religion that all its subsects would later develop their own interpretations of.
Historically speaking, the Altalar follow the oldest and purest form of the Faith of Estel, which is also far more complicated than the simplified varieties that the other Nelfin Races adhere to. At a baseline, the Faith of Estel professes the existence of one great creator called Estel, a physical all-being that is said to have created all immaterial things and time itself, though not necessarily reality as the modern Altalar know it. Estel is said to have given form to the concepts of light and darkness, of sound and silence, of feeling and nothingness, but that for much of time, everything existed in a sense of unreality. Estel’s gospel is recorded in a set of ancient steles called the Marvindë Obelisks, which can be found in modern day Avela Travinda, the largest Suvial Altalar state to the west of Hyarroc. These massive obelisks record the creation mythos of Estel in a language predating Ancient Altalar, outlining how everything came to be. On these obelisks, it is said that Estel had nightmares of the Void, and that through her nightmares, she gave form to the other Gods, which are referred to as the Pantheon. She first had a nightmare of unyielding demonic incursions, which gave birth to Ulley, who created the land and mountains to shield the valleys from unrelenting storms. She then had a nightmare of loneliness, giving birth to Ellea who created the wildlife and the animals. She then had a nightmare of never-ending destruction of Ulley’s lands, giving birth to Vallea who created the Altalar in her image to steward creation. She then had a nightmare of neverending rains, giving birth to Sca’Elle who seeded the land with trees and plants and minerals so that Vallea’s creation could create works of its own. She had a nightmare of the deceit and evil of Demons, giving birth to Aish-eia who would teach the Altalar to detect and use the Demons’ own gift against them. She then had a nightmare of an endless dryness swallowing up her creations, giving birth to Tal-Sieth who created the oceans to protect the people and all things living within. She then had a nightmare of aging, dust and ash, as all things grew old and withered and suffered without end, giving birth to Ammu-Loa who decreed the concept of finality, beginning the cycle of life and death. And finally, she had a nightmare of powerful horrors and energies that tore the land asunder, giving birth to Sei-Maan, who gave the gift of Arcane knowledge to the Altalar, spawning magic and all its wonders.
After the eight nightmares and the creation of the Pantheon, Estel is said to have fallen into a deep and wakeless slumber, feeling relieved that the Pantheon would ensure that everything was not destroyed by Demons. As time passed, more Races came into being as devolved Altalar, giving birth to the Altalar belief that all other Races are just lower mutated versions of them, commonly referred to as the Barbarians. With creation safe, the Altalar eventually developed further and further until an event that is called the “Great Break”. What this event exactly is has never been fully explained, as there are no real historical records, and the Obelisks only speak of a great calamity caused by Demons that threatened to destroy the world. Modern scholars have theorized that this refers to the Void Invasion that ended the Meraic Civilization, but the timeline doesn’t quite match up with the age of the Obelisks, leading some to believe they were in fact prophetic, not reflective of history. After the Great Break, it is said that Estel awoke, giving birth to a mortal God called Talea, before falling back asleep and investing some of her monumentous power in this demigod that walked among the Altalar. This is where the Obelisks officially cease recording history, and what is called the “Walking Tales” takes over, which are largely tomes from Talea’s time, seen as a form of New Testament for the Faith of Estel.
In the Walking Tales, Talea professes that the time of ageless deities was over, and that the Gods were required to walk among their creations. It was there that she used her Estel-given powers to compel the Gods to become mortal, giving rise to the Avatars of the Gods. It is written that at the grand temple of each Pantheon God, an adult Altalar would be chosen to be the mortal vessel of the Pantheon God, becoming a walking demigod alongside Talea as the Avatar of Estel, and that each time when their last host should expire, a new one would be chosen from the temple- with the exception of Ammu-Loa, who would remain within the Temple (explained further down). Throughout Altalar history these demigods have supposedly roamed the world, up until the Mage Wars where it is believed by modern Altalar theologists that the Gods turned away, disgusted by what their Altalar creation had become due to the wanton destruction and sacrilege performed by them in this dark time. Some rumor that the Gods still house themselves in their vessels, secluded from society until such a time that the Allorn is worthy once more of divine blessing, though most of this remains theory as Talea died thousands of years ago, and without her word, none of these theories became accepted dogma.
Estel is seen as the all-god and all-creation of existence, but not necessarily the shaper of reality, because everything that can be perceived by the senses was instead created by the Pantheon Gods. Estel has always been depicted as a female goddess made of magical pure-white stone, with glowing blue lines across her body (that later also gave rise to Suvial tattoo imitations). Aside from having a feminine silhouette, Estel is often depicted without facial features aside from glowing eyes, and a large crown of antlers and branches and roots, which begins at her head. She is frequently depicted as reclining or sleeping on a rock with a dead tree growing from it, depicting her (commonly perceived) eternal slumber. Modern theologians have rejected the likeness of Estel in the more modern events surrounding the supposed Statue of Estel, which neither looks like the historical record from either the Walking Tales or the Obelisks, and also acted entirely out of character for their religion, having dubbed it a poor Demon imitation of the true thing to lead the Altalar astray into the hands of Ancient Worship and oblivion. Regardless of Estel’s superior position in the Faith of Estel and the religion being named after her, worship of Estel rarely occurs in her name, and is rather focused on the Pantheon Gods.
Avatars of the Gods
The Avatars of the Gods were walking demigods, housing the souls of the Pantheon Gods in mortal (usually mage-prone) bodies of regular Altalar during the days of the Allorn Empire. The Avatars of the Gods could often be recognized easily by their size, as it has been recorded that those who carried the souls of the Gods became unnaturally large, three times the size of an adult Altalar, and had brightly glowing eyes and terribly powerful control over Magic. The Avatars of the Gods usually resided in Temples where they could be consulted on priestly matters, though many also wandered the land fighting Demon corruption wherever it jumped up, or teaching the Altalar their gifts. The Avatars lived for about 300 years (regardless of how old their adult hosts were) until they would pass the soul on to a new host, letting the previous host live out a few more years before they perished from exhaustion. The selection process was a prestigious one, with many families offering their hopeful youth to the Temples in the hopes of having a Demigod grace them, as the Avatars of the Gods had a two-part personality. While essentially they were a vessel of the Godly soul, they still retained in large parts their old personality and memories, just given new purpose. Unfortunately, because the Mage Wars are presently at least 550 years ago, no Altalar who remembers the days when the Gods walked among them is still alive, though many crave for any reference, historical record, or Magically recorded memory they can get their hands on, for the Avatars of the Gods were said to be beyond mortal magnificence. That being said, the Avatars of the Gods did on occasion shrink in size and lay with other Altalar, giving birth to the so-called Lines of the Gods. These Lines of the Gods are mostly just Altalar claiming divine heritage. It has never granted them any boons or additional power, only waning prestige that can no longer be verified as most Great Temples were destroyed by the rising Kathar.
The Pantheon of Gods
The Pantheon of the Gods consists of the eight quintessential Pantheon Gods, each governing a specific realm of creation, and also having various aspects associated with them. While all Altalar acknowledge and pay lip service to all Gods, traditionally, each Altalar chooses only a single God as their patron-God, and gives service to all Gods including Estel by doing service to their patron-God. Patron-Gods are chosen when all Altalar reach the age of 32 years old, where they undergo the Trial of Be’saith, which can be done at any temple. This usually involves a month of daylight fasting and ritualistic meditation, as well as ingestion of various hallucinogenic substances and potions. At the end of this one month period, all Altalar enter the Hall of Wonders, where they will meditate for an hour before they are visited by vivid visions that aren’t always strictly clear in their meaning or intent. For example, an Altalar that chose Ulley as their patron might have seen visions of an aged wrinkled hand wrapped around a stave, of a small water spring flowing down a mountainside, or an eagle soaring high above the clouds, following the ridge of a cliff. It is always up to the Altalar in question to try to interpret these visions as best as possible, and decide what God they can attribute to them before choosing that God as their patron.
Ulley, also referred to as The Allfather, was the firstborn of the Pantheon Gods, and the creator of all land and mountains. Eventually, when the Altalar sought his gifts, he taught them to protect one another and to shield all from harm, and for that he is commonly looked to by those in the military as The Guardian. He is usually depicted as a very old Altalar with a bundle of flowered vines around his neck that reach down to the ground, clad in great ceremonial Altalar armor, and seated on an immense throne hewn from a massive mountain. It is said that when thunder rumbles, that this is Ulley speaking from the mountains to the sky. Ulley is frequently worshipped through the act of “Spreading the Land”, which is the custom of collecting handfuls of dirt or sand wherever one goes, and spreading it before one’s doorstep when returning home. Within their homes, those that worship Ulley usually have a bowl with beach-sand or some other manner of light soft soil in which they insert candles, set before a statuette of Ulley in front of which they pray. Ulley’s Avatar was frequently a well known warrior who would don godly armor and weapons and bring war to the Void Arken and their Demon minions. One famous location where an Ulley Avatar perished was the Spear’s Rest (translated from the Modern Altalar name, Descäe l’lavan Lancaï), a hill in the north of the Altalar state Tanaar Llarana where a massive set of armor rests in a seated position, a giant tree having grown from inside of it and anchoring the golden metal in place. It is said by pilgrims that the armor still shines with a golden glow, more than 1000 years after that particular Avatar of Ulley died.
Ellea, also referred to as The Allmistress, was the second born of the Pantheon Gods, and the tempestuous, stormy wife of Ulley, creator of intuition and freedom of will (as well as the free, wild animals and creatures). When the Altalar sought her advice, she taught them that to change is both inevitable and necessary. However, she also taught them not to change merely for the sake of changing, but to seek improvement in the process. She represents all that is uncertain and fickle in the Altalar, both their ability to crave and seek new experiences to push aside the monotony of life, and their drive to avoid stagnation and moral decline. Ellea is often depicted as a beautiful lady standing amidst a pond, her waist up visible above the water. A skillful creation of her likeness would appear unnervingly different from every angle, playing tricks on the eyes, and would be specifically arranged so that fractal copies of her reflections spin out across the Silver-spun windows and water basins of the Estel temples she is represented within. Truly masterful Elven craftsmen have created Ellea statues that also change appearance as the ambient lighting shifts. Those that pray to Ellea do so through finding a high vantage point, and taking one knee at a position where they can look out over the surrounding area. They clap their hands three times, and each time, recite a way that they have been changing and improving themselves, vowing to continue on that path. Ellea’s Avatar is said to have walked the land, emerging from the seaside tides and dispensing careful wisdom to some and quick, merciless judgment to others. There are many folk tales about the actions of She of the Tide which are still retold.
Vallea, also referred to as the Living Mother, was the third born of the Pantheon Gods, and the sister of Ellea. Vallea is the creator of all Altalar, and the one that gave life to sentient beings and all other Races in turn. She is the essential Goddess to worship for good fortune in the family, as well as health and fertility. Vallea is traditionally depicted as a mother sitting on a rock telling a story to a circle of children in front of her, with more modern depictions showing each child being of a different Nelfin Race. She is said to have gifted the Altalar with lust for life, but is sometimes whispered to also have cursed them with having too much of it, giving rise to their pleasure-seeking vices, which eventually led to the downfall of the Allorn Empire. Vallea’s Avatar did not roam the land like the other Avatars, but cycled between four major Vallea temples, remaining in each only for the duration of one season, where she would hold celebrations. During Spring, she would grant children to those Altalar parents who could not conceive when they visited her. During Summer, she would host festivities of celebration of the living, with lots of partying. During Autumn, she would host feasts of mercy, where leaders or generals would come to her to measure the weight of prisoners to decide if they should be released or executed. Finally, during Winter, she would host feasts of preservation, giving boons to those who were praised by the priests for protecting the living selflessly, or shielding others from harm.
Sca’Elle, also referred to as the Master of Magnificence (or just Scae in short), was the fourth born and the child of Vallea, without a father (a product of immaculate conception). Sca’Elle is both the creator of nature through plantlife and forests, but also the seeder of minerals of the land. As such, he is generally seen as the patron-God of the crafters and creators, but also of the miners and those dwelling in the forests. Sca’Elle taught the Altalar where to find his creations, and how to harvest and use them, and how to make them even more beautiful. Sca’Elle is traditionally depicted as a silhouette in male form, but Sca’Elle’s gender is usually left ambiguous beyond this silhouette because they are only ever depicted as solidly made of Nightsilver without any facial features or gendered features. Sca’Elle’s statues are always upright, holding a small plant in the left hand, and a small piece of Silver ore in the right. Sca’Elle is frequently worshipped through the act of “Silver Penance”, which is to toss some coins into any body of water, and pray for magnificence. This act has given rise to the Ailor tradition of tossing a penny into a wishing well, a very crude and insulting imitation of the Altalar prayers. Sca’Elle’s Avatar was rarely seen on the surface, supposedly roaming underground, digging their way through the dirt and mountains to uncover beautiful deposits of gems and minerals. It is said that those who wandered into Sca’Elle’s caves and were blessed enough to have run into them would be given a small boon, a very rare piece of ore or product of the land to give to one of the great masters of handicraft.
Aish-eia, commonly also referred to as the Connivance of Persuasion (sometimes also shortened to Ashëa), is the God of deceit, politics, planning and masterful persuasion. He is the God most frequently chosen as Patron by the Suvial and Teledden because his blessings cover the act of politics and leadership. Aish-eia taught the Altalar how to sniff out deceit and lies, and to hone their political crafts. Aish-eia is not traditionally depicted in statue form (though he can be for the sake of symmetry in Altalar temples), but more commonly depicted as a two-headed eagle on a banner. He is also not worshipped in the traditional sense, but paid homage through political ploys, acts, plans and plots, which are then attributed to his name in the hopes of receiving his blessing. Aish-eia’s Avatar was said to wander the land looking for the most splendid courts, where he would offer those present at the court the “Law of Connivance”. Essentially, he would challenge all those present to deceive, politic and deceive their way through some sort of challenge, that the victor would receive an artifact of his blessing. This did not always result in positive outcomes, however. One notable tale comes from Talant Omä-Sul, where his Avatar is said to have visited the court of one Prince Olvaan-Telëimoor, and challenged all present to discover where the Prince had hidden his father’s favorite wine cup after his death. It turned out this wine cup was actually used prior for the poisoning of the Prince’s father, as he desired the throne of Talant Omä-Sul. To avoid this reality from being put out in the open, the Prince had the entire court killed in what is called the Blue-Brass Banquet, where all guests were killed by assassins dressed as a local music band. The Prince himself was then also toppled when his younger brother, one of the only survivors, discovered this truth, found the cup, and won an artifact that could kill someone who was wracked with guilt, something that he immediately used on his older brother to deliver justice.
Tal’Sieth, commonly also referred to as the Wayfarer (or Sith for short), is seen as the Goddess of the oceans, of seafaring, of ships, of water, and all animals living in the water, and sometimes also of the weather. Tal-Sieth is commonly depicted as a fair woman with coral for hair and a fish-like lower body, having a dolphin tail instead of legs. She reclines on a rock by the sea, or leaps from an ocean wave to greet passers-by. Tal’Sieth has traditionally always been seen as a very kind and energetic Goddess who loves playing with the Altalar, sometimes even with games of mischief, but if underwater, is said to be a terrible vengeful Goddess who brings ill omens to those who do not follow the Rules of the Waves. The Rules of the Waves are a set of laws outlining the behavior of the Altalar on the seas. They primarily come down to: Do not steal while on the sea (which is why Altalar do not engage in piracy), do not murder while on the sea, do not consume wine while on the sea, and do not make love while on the sea. The latter in particular gave rise to the Altalar term “blue balls”, a reference to the fact that Fin’ullen avoid intimacy while on the seas, wear blue clothes a lot, and are very pent up when they return from months of sea voyaging. Tal’Sieth’s Avatar is known to have sailed the largest ship ever known, called the Wavebreaker. The wreckage of this ship is supposedly somewhere to the west of Talant Ilha Faial, the largest Fin’ullen state in Daendroc, however it has never been located. Tal’Sieth’s tale also has a much darker undertone; supposedly, she was courted by a half-Demon of the deep called Morrlond. Morrlond is not officially acknowledged in the Altalar Pantheon of Gods, however the Fin’ullen do recognize him as an Unwritten God (more on him further below).
Ammu-Loa is the Compatriot of the Dead (shortened sometimes to Alloa). Ammu-Loa has no stewardship other than death itself, and takes the dying and the dead over the River of Memories, which the Altalar loosely view as the afterlife. It is Ammu-Loa’s task to ensure that those who grow old and weary do not suffer the curse of age, and die a dignified death to pass into the afterlife. There is no real rule for why an Altalar could not get into the afterlife, though it is believed that if an Altalar should die of pestilence or disease, that their afterlife will be filled with memories of unhealth, which is why all Altalar have some level of germophobia, and avoid those who are sick as if they are death itself. To some degree, they even believe that Ammu-Loa imparts a part of himself in non-Altalar that are ill, waiting to take the Altalar in his cold embrace. This is why Altalar healthcare has always been notoriously terrible when it comes to fighting disease, history being marred with Princes declaring entire cities no-go zones, or committing them to the flame to eradicate a disease and prevent its spreading. The Altalar afterlife is seen as an endless river that Ammu-Loa rows his rowboat through, guiding the dead who float in the water to constantly relive their life’s memories until the end of the world. This afterlife isn’t necessarily an afterlife in the way that the Ailor experience it, because the Altalar believe that in the afterlife, they may not necessarily be conscious about their death, or aware of this re-living of memories. Some even believe that life itself in the way they experience it right now is just a replaying of recorded memories and that they are in fact already dead. Ammu-Loa is often depicted as a floating cloak with no body within. There are clear contours of a head, shoulders, and arms, but the body inside is invisible. He always has one arm raised, which must be pointing west. It is said that if Ammu-Loa’s statue is knocked over, or accidentally left pointing to the east, that this will cause someone in the household to die soon. Ammu-Loa never had an Avatar, avoiding the Law of Living as decreed by Talea. Instead, Ammu-Loa’s soul was invested in a massive crypt underneath the Grand Temple where the Undead would embalm willing visitors, and Ammu-Loa would give those seeking a peaceful and dignified death their wish in the deep catacombs. Since the fall of the Allorn Empire and the destruction of Ammu-Loa’s Grand Temple, this necropolis under the temple’s surface level has fallen into extreme disrepair and has become immensely dangerous. Those who dared to venture near report that the Undead that used to serve Ammu-Loa have become aggressive, and slay anyone coming near to their necropolis, which now oozes an unnatural and sickly green glow emanating from the underground where no living eyes have yet wandered.
Sei-Maan, also referred to as the Sparkmother (sometimes also shortened to Maan), is the Goddess of Magic and Arcane powers. She is depicted as a hairless woman with eight arms, each holding an element of the traditional magical wheel (Elemental, Order, Spirit, Lightness, Darkness, Chaos, Arcane, and Nature). Sei-Maan taught the Altalar how to wield Magic, and is the one who most commonly interacted at face-level with other Altalar in their Avatar form. The Avatar of Sei-Maan is said to have been much smaller than the other Avatars, and mostly walked the land acting as referee in major magical duels, as well as a consultant for magical development. Sei-Maan is sometimes looked at with a unique level of suspicion, because she was the last Pantheon God to disappear from Altalar society, and to some degree even participated in the Mage Wars as a combatant who outright favored certain Archmages. Sei-Maan is not traditionally worshiped through prayers or offerings, but rather invoked during spell-weaving by particularly religious Altalar who also happen to be Mages. She is by far the least worshipped Pantheon God, and as such very little is known about her.
The Unwritten Gods
The Unwritten Gods are divine beings that are culturally recognized as Gods by some notable strata of Altalar society, but not widely accepted as Estellian dogma, or recorded in Talea’s writings, or on the Obelisks. The Unwritten Gods are to some degree acknowledged by all Altalar, but only worshipped by a few, and only in a few instances, and not usually in the same manner as one would worship the Pantheon Gods through praise.
Dravinda, also called the Voidwarden, Punisher of Demons or Slayer of Hekate, is a lesser Goddess only recognized by the Suvial Altalar as part of the Unwritten Gods. She is commonly depicted as a woman wearing small harvesting sickles, with messed hair and a covered face while she stands at an odd posture as if her back is bent. To understand Dravinda, one must remember that the Suvial Sundial Isles are constantly at risk of being attacked by the Dread Empire through the usage of Voidouts, massive Void explosions that wipe out whole segments of the countryside, annihilating whole cities. At the height of the Suvial-Kathar conflict around 140 AC when the first Voidout destroyed Delvinhda, the capital of the Suvial state Avela Travinda, Dravinda was a normal Suvial Altalar herbalist tending to her spice crops in the capital of Avela Shishumar, Summar. Summar was the largest Suvial city at that time, and the obvious target of the next Voidout by the Kathar Voidcallers. Through some freak occurrence of events, Dravinda was tending to her spice garden when the Voidout struck. The typical massive meteor-like convex of magical energy came crashing down to the city, though as terrified citizens looked upon their doom, they noticed that the Voidout mass was suspended in midair above the city. Weeks later, the city still in a state of confusion, officials found the petrified remains of Dravinda the spice woman, raising her arm up towards the Voidout mass, having completely turned to stone with cracks of blue light coming from within. When attempting to move the statue, the officials noticed that the Voidout shuddered when she was moved, and seemed to inch closer to the city again, until they put her back where she was removed from, in her garden. As time passed, her garden turned into a pilgrimage site where she was given some sort of divine status among the Suvial, as no Mage, no matter how powerful, had ever found a way to negate the Voidouts, but somehow this simple spice woman had. Her outmost hand eventually started bleeding a glowing blue liquid which changed the spices in her garden to strange varieties with explosive flavors and magical properties, causing the so-called Dravinda Spice to become the rarest and most sought after in the world for its hallucinogenic properties, giving various visions of the conflict between the Suvial Altalar and the Kathar over the centuries when consumed. Dravinda is worshipped by a notable segment of Suvial society as a protector against Magic, something Ulley’s mountains and weapons and armor could never defeat. Her name is frequently invoked by the spice grinders called the Merjahe’j, who sing the tale of the spicewoman who stopped death on her doorstep, and gave life to such a bountiful garden. To this day, the Voidout mass still hangs above the city, suspended by Dravinda’s statue that still stands in the garden, though now heavily guarded by Dravinda’s Fireguard, a very prestigious and celebrated military group that bears the same respect and skill as the Imperial Guard in Regalia.
Calvannis, also called the Breaker of Misery or God-Killer, is a bit of an oddity in that he is actually not an Altalar. Calvannis was a Human (it was never specified if he was Qadir, Dwarf, or Ailor, or any other form of Human) who was a slave in the Allorn Empire, and led a successful revolt against the Teledden rulers of Narseth Charossa, which threatened to topple a considerable part of the Altalar rule in that area amidst the Blossoming period of Altalar history. When Ulley’s Avatar crossed paths with Calvannis and made battle with him to protect the Altalar people from his conquest as warlord, Calvannis was able to defeat Ulley and kill the Avatar in battle with nothing but a rock in a sling. Then, when the revolt seemed about to utterly topple and destabilize the Allorn Empire, Calvannis suddenly rescinded his armies and commanded all Ailor to return to slavery under their masters, but threaten the Altalar that he would return if they tried to take revenge on these slaves. Then he disappeared, never to be seen again, though all of the Allorn Empire heeded his warnings as the slaves obeyed him and returned to their masters. Through this act, especially the act of defeating Ulley’s Avatar with what was basically a child’s toy, a large part of the Teledden priests believed that Calvannis was the divine spark made manifest in the lesser Races, a patron of the creatures that had devolved from their Altalar ancestors, and was destined to represent them in the Pantheon. This movement never gained enough momentum to be accepted by the Lesarra or Fin’ullen, and is widely ignored by the Suvial, but the Teledden believed there was purpose and logic to there now being a slave-God, and as such unofficially accepted Calvannis as a God who could set the right example for the lesser Races, and a God they could bring offerings to for the good health of their slaves, and their good productivity and happiness in captivity. The Solvaan do not recognize Calvannis either, as the events which led to his ascension happened an entire ocean and continent away. Later when Calvannis’s preachers arrived in Solleria, accepting Calvannis was no longer pragmatic, as the Ailor would not look kindly on an Ailor slave-god given the complicated history of the Ailor with Altalar slavers. Calvannis is frequently invoked when one punishes their slaves for misbehaving. While many Altalar slavers still treat slaves ill, with whips and beatings, those who acknowledge Calvannis have instead instituted a form of Calvannis’s Law among the slaves where they are permitted to hold a legal court of their own to judge their own kind for misbehaving. These Altalar have decreed that their slaves are allowed to enact judgment under their own tribunals as long as they would not result in acquittal, something which Ailor scholars note might be the first record of Ailor organizing in any legal courthouse sense before the official creation of the Regalian Judiciary and the acceptance of the rule of law in the Regalian Empire. Calvannis continues to teach the Altalar to be as good as they can be to their slaves, to not mistreat them, and to fear retribution from those they wrong.
Morrlond is also called the Abyss Watcher, Demon of the Deep or Lord of the Deep. He is traditionally seen as a Half-Demon half-Pantheon God, supposedly the byproduct of Ulley’s blood seeping into the oceans as he fought a Demon. While Tal’Sieth is seen as the Goddess of all the ocean that is touched by sunlight and can be seen, Morrlond is seen as the God of all the ocean that cannot be seen and where sunlight does not reach. The Deep Sea Serpents are seen as his children, and he has no real good qualities to him besides his love for Tal’Sieth, being worshipped more as a means to ward off his evil and misfortune towards seafarers than anything else. He is traditionally depicted as an Altalar with ink-black skin and red eyes, the lower half of his face made out of a mangle of squid tentacles and tendrils, dressed in a torn mess of clothes and seaweed. It is said that Morrlond ventures to the ocean’s surface to seek out his beloved Tal’Sieth once a year, giving rise to the terrible hurricane season that torments Talant Ilha Faial between the months of February and June. Morrlond is largely the reason why Altalar all hate squids and octopuses, even the Teledden who refuse to acknowledge Morrlond as a divine being but still acknowledge his evil existence to some degree. It is said that Morrlond manifests in the madness that takes some sailors, who suddenly and without warning become catatonic and walk off the bow of their ship, sinking to the depths below. It is also said that down there Morrlond accepts these offerings and turns them into the Daphalar, though no actual scholarly proof has ever been found to definitely prove their existence, save for folk tales and unverifiable sightings of serpentine, nautical-horror Elves. The Fin’ullen try to protect themselves against the madness caused by Morrlond (sea-sickness and sea-madness are considered his curse on the living) by slaughtering some animal like a goat or pig and letting the contents of the animal’s blood seep into the ocean waters to satiate his thirst for offerings. This is why one can often find a dead pig or goat slowly bleeding out suspended by some ropes at the back of an Altalar ship, usually cut loose as it sails into harbor so as to hide this Fin’ullen superstition.
Inth, also called the Worm of Knowing, Burrower of Secrets or Fallen Seeker, is only acknowledged by the Lesarra Altalar as a “sort of god”. The reason why that is not precise, is because even the Lesarra also frequently dance around the subject. They do acknowledge some level of divinity attached to the name Inth, but never quite allow that name to reach the same level of divinity as the Pantheon Gods, but at the same time acknowledge them as definitely superior to all other non-divine creatures. Inth is commonly depicted as a strange worm with no head and just rows of teeth and smaller tentacles near where the front of the worm should be. The Lesarra believe that Inth was once one of them, a Lesarra Altalar, who became so utterly obsessed with knowing and learning that they turned into the Burrower of Secrets, a thumb-sized worm that burrows into the eye sockets of the slumbering and sleeping, and burrows its way to their brain to consume their knowledge, leaving through their ear before they wake. The Lesarra supposedly bring whispered offerings to the Worm of Knowing in the hopes that it will share some of the dark unspoken secrets it found when burrowing into the sleeping, and sometimes, when Lesarra have spent many weeks isolated and alone in dimly lit libraries without any outside contact, they claim they can hear the Fallen Seeker muttering into their ears. Concerningly, on various occasions these supposed whispers have been verified as truth, truths that could not have been known unless someone had pried them from the minds of their owners. The other Altalar subraces mock the supposed existence of Inth, and claim that there is no truth to any of it. Though, some modern Ailor scholars have noted some curious similarities between the Worm of Knowing and the Oorl Worms, wondering if there is some sort of connection.
Sinavaal, also called the Emperor-touched, Heron of Loyalty, Bringer of Fortune, or Lady of Luck, is only acknowledged by the Solvaan as a quasi-god. Sinavaal was a Solvaan Altalar from Solleria, a powerful local ruler that managed to convene the disparate Sols and represent them in a unified effort when the Regalian Empire was founded. It is said among the Solvaan that Sinavaal was granted a vision of the Spirit and Talea presiding over the land alongside each other, conveying a future where the seed of the Allorn colonies blossomed into a sapling of newfound providence on the shores of Solleria. Sinavaal represented the Azure Court (the collective representation of all minor and major Sols from Solleria) and bargained with the Regalian Emperor Theomar I for their inclusion into the earliest and weakest state of the Regalian Empire. After succeeding, Sinavaal continued to serve Theomar, and five of his successors, as well as successive Kade Chancellors as one of the most competent Arcane advisors and non-Ailor politicians that the Regalian Empire ever had, though tending to linger in the footnotes. Sinavaal was a woman who believed strongly in the concept of loyalty and obedience through service to a higher authority, and that to respect one’s lot in life and make the most of it was a noble pursuit. When Sinavaal died, a vast tomb complex was built in the heart of Solleria, in Sol Athentol, where many Ailor Reverends and even the Supreme Reverend came to pay their respects. Shortly after, the Conclave canonized Sinavaal as the Heron of Loyalty and Service. Despite the Conclave's recognition of Sinavaal’s Heron status, her identity as an Altalar was scrubbed away by having her appear as an Ailor, though without fail, her statues always held a pair of Violet-wing Flowers in her hand, purple flowers shaped like Nelfin ears, a subtle nod to her identity as an Altalar. Shortly after this canonization, Sinavaal’s spirit appeared in the tomb complex in Solleria, granting visions and wisdom to those who succeeded in the Trial of Wills, a complex set of challenges built to test the virtue of pilgrims. Because her spirit was given a physical afterlife, and because of her canonization among the Ailor, as well as the fact that her spirit in Sol Athentol bears all the hallmarks of a still-living Avatar of the Gods, she was considered the “bridge” deity between the Ailor and Altalar, resulting in the so-called Cult of Sinavaal which eventually became doctrine among the Solvaan. Sinavaal is actively denounced by other Altalar societies, dismissing the Cult and her doctrine as flimsy colonial rambling and an attempt from the Sollerians to be seen as equals with the homeland.