For-noss (like Nosferatu) (clear pause between the two).|
Presumed roughly 15,000 years ago.|
Two distinct Pantheons of 7 Gods each.|
Some regional variance and naming changes.|
Fornoss is one of the earliest Religions of the Ailor Race, that survived thousands of years of conversion by other Religions as well as attempts to be eradicated by various nations, as one of the few surviving so called Pagan Faiths. Unlike the other (mostly) dead Pagan Faiths, Fornoss has a large following, particularly among Velheim and Gallovian Ailor, though a large number of Urlan, Dwarves, and some Ashaven Eronidas also follow it, meaning it is not limited in scope to just Ailor. Fornoss is sometimes also called the Old Gods Religion, but this is not a historically correct term. The Gods are not old from a pure chronological perspective, and it is certainly not the oldest Religion in Aloria. This term was mostly popularized by the Ailor, who when reviewing only their own history, can see Fornoss as the oldest Religion, but when taking the totality of the world's history, Fornoss is a more accurate term, which roughly translates to "Ancient us", an homage to its survival through the ages.
The birthing of the Gods and the founding of the Religion are two distinct periods. The birthing of the Gods is a mysterious period perhaps thousands of years before the first followers professed their belief in the Gods, as it is said that the Gods wandered for many ages before finding the people that would recognize their worth. It is said that the Eili Gods were born at the foot of the tree Arne surrounded by Dragons, though it is unclear if these refer to the Draconism Dragon Gods, or just the folktale version of Dragons which may also have been Skywyrms (mythical flying reptilian creatures from Velheim belief which are not Dragons, nor Wyverns). There is also some theological debate about whether Arne is actually the Draconist Goddess Daiana, because no Tree of Life has ever been found elsewhere, but most Fornoss believers hold onto the version that states Arne is not a Dragon. The Fornoss Religion is roughly 15,000 years old, though this has an error margin of about 3,000 years, because the proto-Velheim people who were the first Fornoss followers did not have a form of writing at the time. The Religion was founded on a series of islands and part of the mainland of Oldt Tera (Ceardia), where the locals embraced a form of polytheism while most other Ceardian tribes were monotheistic. The Eili offered the faithful escape from the endless bloodshed and misery and slavery under the Elves that terrorized the Oldt Tera shores, fleeing the mainland, and retreating to some island called Aldra, which cannot be found on any modern map. On Aldra however, the Fornoss believers still were not safe, so the Eili contacted the Vola, and created The Pact, which joined both Pantheons to the Fornoss believers as two distinct unions, and the Fornoss people were finally given safety in Volaheim's embrace through the Vaarda Gates. For thousands of years, the Fornoss followers spread across the world through the Vaarda Gates, until Svartskra.
The Fornoss Gods are divided between two distinct Pantheons, the Eili who are generally considered mindful and virtuous but restrained, and the Vola who are generally considered opportunistic and selfish but powerful. The two Pantheons represent the two halves of any person's soul, filled with desire to do good by others, and desire to do good by one's self. It is important to stress here that there is no ontological morality that can be assigned to either Pantheon. While some Eili create the impression of being purely benign, they are in ways just as flawed as mortals and have desires and wants and needs that can cause them to commit great misdeeds, such as the time when Bard cut off Svol's arms because Svol refused to participate in Bard's punishment of the faithful for small misdeeds. Similarly, Hrymrøk foments chaos and anarchy wherever and whoever she touches, however even when cities crumble and burn, does the destruction give way to the liberation of the enslaved Fornoss followers that lived in the undercities. While generally speaking all Gods have good intentions for their followers, they are all equally capable of cruelty, misguidedness, deceitful or selfish actions to preserve their worship, which speaks to their vanity. However, because Soldi inherently represents helping others, and Svaldi represents using others, the faithful still draw lines in the sand and dictate morality on each other based on their personal beliefs, even if there is no theological reason to reinforce it. There are some people who worship only the Eili called Eilirik, and some people who only worship the Voli called Volirik, while a person who worships both is called a Hvarkirik. These three groups tend to conflict with one another for religious reasons, but usually unite when facing an external threat, like they did during the Skagger Wars against Regalians. Fornoss does not have a strict list of Virtues and Vices, rather, source the list of Soldi and Svaldi enriching activities from the Gods and Goddesses section.
Soldi & Svaldi
Soldi and Svaldi are two very important terms that accompany the Fornoss believers throughout all their lives. In the simplest of terms, Soldi is honor derived from virtue, while Svaldi is honor derived from opportunism. Soldi and Svaldi can be seen as resources that souls accrue in life as they grow older, and the goal of any Fornoss believer generally is to acquire high Soldi or Svaldi and be permitted into the afterlives of the Eili and Vola. Some might even consider trying to acquire both, a difficult balancing act, but if successful, might result in the very Gods themselves playing games of skill and wit to secure the soul for their own afterlives. This can sometimes result in a so-called Hvitdraugr, who is Undead Draugr until such a time comes that the Gods have finished their conflict over the person's soul (if they stay alive for that long in an Undead unfriendly world). Finally, it is also possible to lose Soldi or Svaldi from actions that go against the tenets of the Gods. It is in fact possible to lose all Soldi or Svaldi all at once, but this is usually not a complete disaster. Either honor can be restored, and can in fact be restored by another person. It is not uncommon for a father to lose all Soldi, resulting in their son beginning a quest to restore Soldi in his name. When offering his achievements up to the Gods, he offers them in his father's name, resulting in the Gods restoring the Soldi of his father. It is even possible to do this for people who have already died and passed into Imellomgård (purgatory), or who have come back from Imellomgård as Draugr Undead. In such a case, the living must restore their Soldi or Svaldi, after which they are released and restored to the proper afterlife, and in rare cases, to life either as a living person or a Revenant Spirit.
Eiliheim & Volaheim
Unlike all other Religions, Old Gods has two afterlives, the Eiliheim which is the paradise of the Eili Pantheon, and the Volaheim which is the paradise of the Vola Pantheon. There exists also a realm in between, but this is not really classified as a paradise and more like a purgatory called Imellomgård, which literally translates to the land in between. While Eiliheim and Volaheim are described as places filled with the luxuries of life and pleasures of mortal life made immortal, Imellomgård is a land devoid of color, song, happiness and purpose, where souls who are refused entry into the other afterlives are forced to wander for all eternity. To enter Eiliheim, a person must have high Soldi, and to enter Volaheim, a person must have high Svaldi. If a person has neither in adequate quantity, or offended both Pantheons by having negative Soldi or Svaldi, they are condemned to Imellomgård to wander the mirror-wastes for all eternity. Though, Undead sometimes come back from Imellomgård in the form of Draugr Undead, if their bodies were not properly interred in the Helbolwen burial sites.
All Religions provide 1 single Mechanic to their Believers that fits within the flair of their Religion. This Mechanic is lost if the individual becomes Afflicted, or stops believing in the Religion, but can be regained.
- The Fornoss faithful can call back a person who has passed into the afterlife temporarily if they possess an image (painting, statue, carving) of the person, or know their full real name. In such a case, they must perform the calling of the forerunner ritual, and command the Spirit to hold a specific purpose in line with the Fornoss faith. This will manifest the person as a Primal Revenant, with a strong inclination to complete the Fate for which they were summoned, and if they do, they disappear again. The same Spirit can be summoned multiple times for different Fates. Remember, Spirits, even ones from Gods, are still very illegal in the eyes of the Law!
The Svartskra identifies a pivotal point in Fornoss history that despite its massive importance to all Fornoss believers, is mostly shrouded in mystery either by the Eili forcing the faithful to forget, or the people willingly abandoning any reference to this period to avoid the stray faithful from looking too deep into the matter and opening old wounds. As part of the Fornoss origins, the so-called Vaarda Gates, exist all over the world visited by Fornoss followers, helping their early colonizing boom. It is said by the Eili that these Gates were built by Bev, and passed through Volaheim to fold time and space together, allowing instant transportation across vast distances. At some point, the relationship between the Fornoss believers and the Eili, as opposed to the Vola and their Spirits, turned sour. It is said by the Eili that Rand (who they call the Great Betrayer) tricked them and condemned the Fornoss followers to some kind of horrible fate, thus causing their rebellion against the Pact that was meant to save the early Velheim people from Elven enslavement. From this point it is unclear if the Fornoss believers were expelled or fled from the Volaheim Gates. Whatever the circumstances, the Gates were closed shut after everyone was out with Bev's Keys (Artifact Weapons), which were then scattered across the world. The Vola maintain that the Eili fomented a false rebellion and that the followers defaced the Vola in their own home, though whichever version is closer to the truth, is hard to say as both sides have motive to lie. The last side effect of Svartskra (the day the Gates shut), was that the two Eili who had brokered the deals with the Vola the Flesh God Gro and the Metal God Jord were banished by the Eili and stripped from the Pantheon. Similarly, the Vola banished the two Gods responsible for working out the deal with the Eili being the Revenge God Asbjørn and the Greed God Frynni, who were also stripped from the Pantheon. Since this day, the Eili and Vola have been immortal enemies. As a consequence of this animosity, both sides agreed to refrain from interfering with the faithful too much, so as to prevent all out holy war within the Religion. This explains why the Fornoss Gods have been exceptionally silent during major tragedies that struck for example the Velheim people in the past 300 years, however in recent years, this policy has shown signs of cracking, with some raising concerns that if the Gods get too involved, that they will start fighting each other.
Gods and Goddesses
The Fornoss Gods are divided over two Pantheons, Eili and Vola. The Gods are always presented as Eili on the Left, Vola on the Right (if their opportunistic theming didn't give it away), though as some Gods are ambiguous as they were once Eili and became Vola, the left-right distinction has to be mentioned. Titular naming for the Gods (for example, Herald the Dark Celestial) is not necessary, it just provides a more poetic way of referring to them without using their name directly. Because both Pantheons expelled two Gods each, and because the Pantheons didn't become established all at once and some Gods joined much later, it is still possible for this Pantheon to grow. While Fornoss faithful can choose Patron Gods that they feel strong connections to, unlike other Religions, a Fornoss Follower must always worship whole Pantheons, either only Eili or Vola Pantheons, or both.
Bev, Doorway of the Moon
- Name: Bev, the Lord of Water, the Dead Ferryman or the All-Seeing Mirror.
- Domain: Bev's domain is the mortuary cult, the death rites, and mortal aging.
- Symbols: Mirrors, The Mortuary Cloth, rich and deep colors of Blue and Black.
- Role: Bev measures the Soldi of the Dead, and guards the Gate to the Afterlife.
- Traits: Cryptic, Silent, Reserved, Slow-Acting, Careful, Observant, Learned.
- Temple: Bev's largest Temple is the Dead-Door Mortuary in Irvainvik, Drixagh.
- Allies: Ammuloa followers, priests of other societies, especially Unionist.
- Enemies: Anything Ordial Aligned, especially Undead, and more so Draugr Undead.
- Soldi: Gained from tending/respecting to the dead, lost from disrespecting the dead.
- Rituals: Bev rituals involve the tending of Helbolwen graves, refreshing flowers and offerings, and lighting candles by the Bev statue which can always be found in a Helbolwen. Bev is also worshiped through the singing chalice, large chalices filled with water and played somber and harrowing tunes with by gliding fingers over the rims.
Rand, Herald the Dark Celestial
- Name: Rand, called Great Betrayer by Eilirik, or Power Arken by non-believers.
- Domain: Rand is the lord of Volaheim itself, said to never leave his realm.
- Symbols: Rand's symbol is the red Evil Eye, bear claw scars, and bears.
- Role: Rand acts like a King of the Vola, and commander of the Volaheimr.
- Traits: Power-hungry, Domineering, Authoritarian, Strong-willed, Capable.
- Temple: Rand has no temple, Volaheim itself is one big temple to his glory.
- Allies: Rand's only allies are the Void Arken, he has no need for others.
- Enemies: Rand has no explicit enemies, except for the Exist Arken, notably Justice.
- Svaldi: Gained from establishing power and control, losing from banishment.
- Rituals: The Feast of authority involving guests choosing their preferred leader among the gathered, with the winner gaining Svaldi. The Binding of Power is respected even by the Eilirik, a ritual in which two persons agree to a binding pact in blood, that if either fails or breaks, they lose all Soldi or Svaldi when vowed to their preferred Gods.
Leif, Warmth of the Fire
- Name: Leif, the Lord of Fire, Warmth of the Rising Sun.
- Domain: Leif is the God of Love and Affection, and of Passion and Care.
- Symbols: Leif is represented by Fire and the blazing Golden Sun.
- Role: Leif is set to bring warmth and sunlight to the world and to hearts.
- Traits: Compassionate, Loving, Parental, Passionate, Driven, Energetic.
- Temple: Leif's largest Temple is the Sun-Sky House in Kongehjem, Nordskag.
- Allies: Theomar Followers, Regulus Followers, and kindhearted Bloodcast Knights.
- Enemies: Followers of any Moon-themed Gods, Armas/Amandaros followers.
- Soldi: Gained from loyalty to Lovers/Family and Kindness, lost from Treason.
- Rituals: Many of Leif's rituals involve offering things like fruits or hunted animal carcasses to the flame, believers saying that the flames offer them up to Leif until nothing but ash remains, absorbing the life and using it to pull the Sun through the sky each day. Other rituals involve the sharing of passion with other believers in his Temples.
Thirun, Fates of the Dark Sun
- Name: Thirun, called Pride Arken or Ott by non-Believers.
- Domain: Thirun is the God of Magic and of Pride and Vanity.
- Symbols: Thirun is represented by the Dark Sun surrounded by Light and Hounds.
- Role: Thirun is the source of all Fornoss God Magic but also the Magic Burden.
- Traits: Prideful, Vain, Sardonic, Sarcastic, Greedy, Scornful, Ego-driven.
- Temple: Thirun's largest Temple was destroyed by Regalia in the Elven War.
- Allies: Pride/Fury Arkenborn, Evolism followers, Vampire hunters.
- Enemies: Vampires, Justice Arkenborn & Followers, Publicly Weak Persons.
- Svaldi: Gained through great achievements, lost by losing Duels.
- Rituals: The Prideful Parade is one custom that involves demanding others show to a public roasting session where the aim is to praise the person who demanded they show, and roast the opponents who invited others. Another is the Prideful Feast, where each produces Food which instills pride in their cooking, and they compete over the best dish with others.
Njal, Keeper of the Light
- Name: Njal, the Herald of Spring, Keeper of the Light.
- Domain: Njal's domain is that of light, and the sky, as well as all of the arts.
- Symbols: Njal is represented by clouds and bright pastel colors and light prisms.
- Role: Njal is the diplomat and artist of the gods, providing entertainment in Eiliheim.
- Traits: Artistic, Snarky, Whimsical, Creative, Sloth, Childish, Caring.
- Temple: Njal's largest temple was destroyed when Ceardia became forsaken.
- Allies: Artists, Musicians, and Creatives of any kind, and Queer people.
- Enemies: Njal's only true enemies are those who abstain from a good stiff drink.
- Soldi: Gained by creative expression and bringing joy, lost by destroying art.
- Rituals: Njal is Bard's husband, and because of this, many of his rituals involve Bard in some way. Skysteel Forging is the act of letting an artist inspire a forger to produce a work of art and tough steel at the same time. Other rituals involve poetry duels, and Annointment of the Artist, where Artists use body paint on a strong Man dressed as Bard for Art.
Svol, The Punished Shadow
- Name: Svol, Bard's Bane, the Dark Lightning Lord.
- Domain: Svol's domain is thunderstorms, but more metaphorically of lies and deceit.
- Symbols: Shadows, Lightning, Missing or fully Tattoo'd arms, the colors black and yellow.
- Role: Svol was once a Eili, until punished by Bard, changed teams to plot for Rand.
- Traits: Analytical, Mindful, Deceitful, Witty, Suave, Charming, Good-Tempered.
- Temple: Svol's Temple is the Copper Tower now within Life Isldar land in Ellador.
- Allies: Trickster god followers and politicians, Inth & Nox followers.
- Enemies: Justice Arken(born), Guards, Knights, Justicars, Knights.
- Svaldi: Gained in subterfuge plots, or beaten Knights, lost by being deceived/losing.
- Rituals: Svol's rituals are deceptively easily hidden as party games, especially those that involve lying. A common one is Svol's Gauntlet, where everyone produces 2 truths and a lie, and gains points each time a person in the gathering cannot guess which one is the lie, or guesses wrong. Another is punishing tyrannical/corrupt law enforcement with violence.
Dáuw, Bringer of Order
- Name: Dáuw, The Under-King, the Dwarf-Lord, the Last Stalwart.
- Domain: Dáuw is God-King of the Dwarves, and the Lord of all Soil and Order.
- Symbols: Dáuw is represented by the Dwarven Runes and shapes of Mountains.
- Role: Dáuw's role is to bring order to mortal society through stable structure.
- Traits: Resolute, Stalwart, Defiant, Stubborn, All-Knowing, Contemplative.
- Temple: Dáuw's largest Temple is the Great Chamber in Rammuur, Ellador.
- Allies: Historians, Legislators, Juvin followers, Justiciars, Knights.
- Enemies: Anarchists, Evolism followers, Jacobins, Drakkar, Populists, the Military
- Soldi: Gained by showing Solidarity, lost by letting society slip to anarchy.
- Rituals: Dáuw have changed over the years, changing from justice and order-reinforcing rituals, to rituals more centered around Dwarven culture, as a byproduct of the catastrophic population decline of the Dwarves. Any festival or event that celebrates, highlights, or discusses and educates on Dwarven Culture is a form of worship to Dáuw.
Hrymrök, The Charnel Chaos
- Name: Hrymrök, Sirannal Týmal (in Elven), or the Anarchy Arken to non-believers.
- Domain: Hrymrök is the chained guilt of the Elves towards the Fornoss believers.
- Symbols: Broken chains, cracked shields, and broken statues mended with gold.
- Role: Hrymrök was imprisoned by Rand to repent for Elven slavery by freeing them.
- Traits: Wroth, Vile, Ill-Mannered, Haughty, Snobby, Loathsome, Indignant.
- Temple: Hrymrök's Temple is the Haunting Mask Cliff in Maartasil.
- Allies: Slave-Abolitionists, Allorn-Haters, Estelley Faithful (except Cemaan).
- Enemies: Cemaan followers, Unionism followers, Archon, Draconism followers.
- Svaldi: Gained by freeing Thralls & Mind-slaves, lost by being enthralled.
- Rituals: Hrymrök is a bit of an oddity even for a Vola, because she doesn't really want to be a Goddess. Still, worship to her is more a form of satisfaction appeasement, as if the faithful are responsible for keeping her happy while she does her work freeing Fornoss slaves and oppressed from Elven control by food/wealth offerings to her Magenta Flames.
Halfvel, Father of Godly Blood
- Name: Halfvel, the Wolf-Father, The God-Mark Bearer, The Ice-Wolf.
- Domain: Halfvel is the lord of Demigods, the tamer of Marken & other Beasts.
- Symbols: Halfvel is represented by the Cloth of Dominion & Wolves.
- Role: Halfvel's role is to purposefully produce offspring among Mortals.
- Traits: Guiding, Remorseful, Helping, Altruistic, Melancholic, Loyal.
- Temple: Halfvel's largest Temple is the Wolf Rest in the Cains.
- Allies: (self-controlling) Marken, other Godborn, and Asha & Urlan.
- Enemies: Those who hunt Transformed Persons, The Afflicted, Undead.
- Soldi: Gained by protecting the environment, lost by killing Transformed Persons.
- Rituals: Halfvel's rituals often involve the seeking out of Halfvel's Godborn children, and aiding them in their quest for Demigod status among Fornoss followers, or correcting their path if they have been led astray. Other forms of Worship involve helping those who Transform deal with their curse, or protecting them from persecution.
Eikki, Drinker of the Blood Taint
- Name: Eikki, the Arne-Drunk, The Revel-God among other Party epithets.
- Domain: Eikki is the God of Feasting and Festivities and Joy, even as Vola.
- Symbols: Eikki's Symbol is the Beer Keg and the masks of joy and pleasure.
- Role: Eikki guards (and drinks) Arne's Blood brew that has immense power.
- Traits: Joyous, Gregarious, Wild, Festive, Good-Natured, Drunkard.
- Temple: Eikki's largest Temple was thrashed by him after a legendary binge.
- Allies: Eikki is everyone's friend and tries to give everyone a chance.
- Enemies: Eikki has no enemies, as any enemy becomes a friend with one drink.
- Svaldi: Gained with wild parties and getting stuff people drunk, never lost.
- Rituals: As Eikki was once Eili but condemned to become Vola when he transgressed by drinking Vola's Blood, his rituals and worship is relatively benign when compared to the other Vola, despite the implication that he is changing into something else. Worship of him invariably just involves getting black-out drunk, and having great parties.
Bard, Iron Lord of Protection
- Name: Bard, the Steel-Father, Axe of Judgement, the Law-Bringer.
- Domain: Bard is the God of Justice and Steel, of all Crafts and Law.
- Symbols: Bard is represented by the Lynx, and the steel anvil.
- Role: Bard is Retribution, manifesting to honor-less mortals for judgement.
- Traits: Judgemental, Merciless, Headstrong, Iron-willed, Unsympathetic.
- Temple: Bard's largest Temple is the Lynx-Claw Great Hall in Ruttswyn.
- Allies: Justice Arken(born), Knights & Guards, Bodyguards & Hor followers.
- Enemies: Evolism followers, those that deface Art, Death Cultists.
- Soldi: Gained by being Just/Brave, lost by letting injustice prevail.
- Rituals: Bard being Njal's husband often has his rituals tied to him (see Njal's section). Specific worship of Bard often emulates his legendary rage being soothed by Njal's soft touch, mimicked for example by taming wild animals and breaking in wild horses. Other forms of worship involve solitary wood carving or general crafting like forging or carpentry.
Blodrúna, The Crimson Carnage
- Name: Blodrúna, The Blade-Queen, Red Terror to non-Believers.
- Domain: Blodrúna is the Goddess of War, Carnage, Murder, and Victory.
- Symbols: Blodrúna's symbols are the Bloodied Blade, and the Blood Crown.
- Role: Blodrúna is a savage killer-God who teaches Carnage on the battlefield.
- Traits: Cruel, Murderous, Psychotic, Violent, Contemplative, Poetic.
- Temple: Blodrúna's largest Temple is the Sanguinus Pit in Hvitskag.
- Allies: Only Vampires. No one else appreciates Blood as they do.
- Enemies: There is no such thing as an Enemy to Blodrúna, only Prey.
- Svaldi: Gained by ending a worthy life, lost by ending a weak one.
- Rituals: Blodrúna is perhaps the most unambiguously dangerous and psychotic Goddess of any Religion, but it is important to note she never turns on her own faithful. Blodrúna's worship involves prayer before, during, and after battle, all in the hopes to be given a bit of her skill with sharp things in the heat of battle, and pray for her not to turn on the faithful.
Elkonur, The Winter Hunter
- Name: Elkonur, the White Shepherd, the White Guardian, Snowfall.
- Domain: Elkonur is both Herald of Winter and Demon-Hunter.
- Symbols: Antler Horns, White Fur, and any shape of Snow-flake.
- Role: Elkonur's sole role is to slay Vola servant Spirits out of Volaheim.
- Traits: Pensive, Wise, Alert, Nomadic, Careful, Precise, Predictable.
- Temple: Elkonur's largest Temple is Storheim Hall in Jorrhildr (Urlan Land).
- Allies: Urlan, Suvial Elves, Aelrrigan Knights, Reliquary Knights.
- Enemies: Spirits, Theurgists, Kathar, Argentum Knights, Arkenborn.
- Soldi: Gained by banishing (temp killing) Spirits, lost by nothing.
- Rituals: Elkonur is the youngest of the Eili, and specifically joined after Svartskra explaining why he hunts errant Spirits from Volaheim while the others are inactive. Worship and rituals of Elkonur involve protecting Fornoss religious figures as well as hunting and ending Spirits, even if they are only banished temporarily.
Odal, Fear of the Dark
- Name: Odal, Svol's Shadow Twin, Odalv Father, Spirit Father.
- Domain: Odal's domain is that of Spirits and vengeance for Blasphemy.
- Symbols: The Long Claw Hand, Odal's Burning Heart, Blue Lightning.
- Role: Odal hunts those who defile Rand's Temples and Shrines for him.
- Traits: Calculated, Emotionless, Skilled, Imposing, Relgious, Loyal.
- Temple: Odal's largest Temple is the Blue Hall in Middeskag.
- Allies: Spirits, Reliquary Knights, Theurgists with Spirit consent.
- Enemies: Suvial, Aelrrigan Knights, Those who use Spirits without consent.
- Svaldi: Gained by punishing Blasphemers, lost by showing cowardice/weakness.
- Rituals: Odal was once Eili like his twin, but willingly turned to the Vola because he felt the Eili were weak, and traded power for loyalty to Rand. Odal is very active with mortals like Elkonur is, specifically recruiting his Odalv warriors by infesting them with Spirits to fight for him and defeat those who violate Rand's name and Temples.
Nidr, Dread of the Inner War
- Name: Nidr, the Weaver of Cursed Fates, the sleeping Horror.
- Domain: Nidr weaves the Fates of those with low Svaldi and Soldi.
- Symbols: Spiders, Spider webs, battle-rage, berserkers, Skagger Warriors.
- Role: Nidr empowers the vengeful defense of Fornoss against outsiders.
- Traits: Independent, Ungovernable, Fate-driven, Dedicated, Foresight.
- Temple: The Silk-woven halls in Kvitæya, Regalia Archipelago in Drixagh.
- Allies: Tanthor and Dari faithful, Khannar Faithful, Daiana Faithful.
- Enemies: Caius Faithful, Regal-Cultured/Colonial Regalian Nobility.
- Soldi: Gained by defending Fornoss/Velheim people from cultural colonialism.
- Rituals: As Nidr is the God of the "Cursed Fate", he weaves the Fates in prophecies for those who have low Svaldi/Soldi in a last ditch attempt to save their soul. Fulfilling this prophecy is part of the rituals towards him. He however also represents the will of Fornoss faithful to be masters of their own identity and future, and so the very act of resisting colonialism and cultural assimilation is a form of worship towards him.
Stalhjart, Fury of the Outer War
- Name: Stalhjart, Avatar of War, Dominion of Battle, the Unvanquished Bulwark.
- Domain: Stalhjart's domain is that of warriors and honorable battle and duels.
- Symbols: The flame emblazoned sword and axe, and the ochre war paint.
- Role: Stalhjart defends the Fornoss faithful in pivotal moments for survival.
- Traits: Furious, Ill-Tempered, Energetic, Violent, Melancholic, Crude.
- Temple: The Eternal Flame Temple in Helsikki, Regalian Archipelago in Drixagh.
- Allies: Caius faithful, Gladiators and Warriors, Allest and Brand faithful.
- Enemies: Pacifists, Ithanians, Those who kill or maim during duels of skill.
- Svaldi: Gained through feats of skilled combat and having a winning-spree.
- Rituals: Stalhjart rituals are as one would expect, expressed through honorable, fair, and disciplined duels, or tournaments. It is crucially important that Stalhjart does not condone killing, and is often in opposition to Blodrúna who very much relishes in it. For Stalhjart, killing is not the ultimate goal, but expressions of martial skill, strong body, and iron will to persevere in a fight, and to always seek greater heights to aspire to in martial power.
Fornoss does not have a formal priesthood associated with it, because it is a very disorganized religion. What this means, is that each valley, each fjord, each town, and each city, may have slightly altered folklore. Each priest may tell the legends and folktales of the Gods slightly differently, and some places far removed from society may even use different names altogether. The lore presented on the God listing should generally remain consistent, but players are encouraged to embellish details and fill the gaps with their own unique spin, and generally speaking even if it contradicts the views of other Characters, that is just regional variance. While there is no strict hierarchy under a Fornoss version of the Pope, Fornoss does have official religious figures with occupations within wider Fornoss believer societies.
There is no formal priesthood in Fornoss worship, any person can at any point in time proclaim themselves a priest, and some people do so even just for their own sake. Unlike Unionism, Fornoss priests are not concerned with expanding the flock of believers, they just want to live right by the Gods and help other faithful on that journey also. It is very common for priests to also double as other religious occupations like Helvigja or as Knights or even Nobles. Priesthood in Fornoss does not impede on anything, because there are no requirements. However, it is common practice for anyone who does want to become a priest, to at least seek out a mentor to learn the basics of what Priests usually do, or say, in certain situations. it's entirely possible to be a self-taught bog-priest, but in more urbanized settings, mentorship is common. Mentors hold a great importance in the lives of priests, who tend to pick carefully.
Helbolwen & Hel
A Helbolwen is not a person but a place, but it bears explaining because the term comes up frequently. A Helbolwen, roughly translated to Hellish Burrow, can best be understood to be a crypt where the Fornoss dead are interred in coffins in the walls, or sometimes when coffins cannot be made simply in holes in the wall as is, the frost keeping them from decaying and slowly mummifying instead. Helbolwen are always built underground or in hills, so that it can expanded by digging further down. Helbolwen always have an entryway which acts both as shrine to Bev, and the actual embalming chamber. The word "Hel", will also come up frequently. While traditionally it has been a derogatory term for Volaheim & Imellomgård, it slowly became a term used to generally describe a place one does not want to be in the afterlife or the afterlife as a whole. Hel is usually used in a negative connotation, and has even permeated in common language due to Velheim-Common interactions in language. Nowadays, the term just refers to everything to do with death.
Helvigja, roughly translating to death-consecrator, is one of the peripheral priestly occupations that specifically is a member of Bev's Mortuary Commune. Helvigja primarily perform the mortuary rites, in embalming, interring or otherwise burying the dead. The embalming process is always accompanied with the Song of the Dead, which is sung throughout the process and the interring process by at least one Helvigja or their protectors. Helvigja work does not end with interring however, in general they keep Helbolwen clean of vermin, other unwanted inhabitants, and in rare cases, are tasked to end the un-life of an Undead who has come back from either improper embalming, or by escaping Imellomgård. Helvigja also linger around Helbolwen to provide mourning help to those bereaved with death of a loved one, either by using Fornoss rituals to summon the visage of the dead, or by singing to the grave together.
Helharjar, roughly translated to Death Warrior, often come paired with the Helvigja and linger around Helbolwen particularly when they are at risk of being attacked or destroyed. Fornoss is the only Religion permitted to bury their dead whole, and their Helbolwen are often filled with gifts for the dead, meaning they are ripe for plundering by grave looters. Helharjar protect not only the Helbolwen itself from looting or desecration, but also the Helvigja themselves, so the embalmers are not the first and last line of defense of such a holy place. Helharjar also assist the Helvigja with carrying coffins if need be, and frequently stand guard if a Helbolwen is in an active warzone to prevent collateral damage. Helharjar are very often partners of Helvigja, or end up becoming partners of them, due to their proximity of work and coordination.
Andlistari, roughly translated to Spirit Artist, are far more nomadic than the other priestly occupations, and travel the wider world with pencil and paper. Andlistari are scribes by nature who record history and events, but most importantly of all, do they record the names and achievements of the dead. In Fornoss faith, it is believed that a person can die twice, once in the physical sense, and a second time when their name is last spoken out loud by someone. As people die, memories of the dead pass on, and eventually there will be no one left to recite the names of the dead, this is where the Andlistari comes in, recording all names, and reciting the names of the dead to the moon before sleep. The Andlistari also serves a secondary function, in that they can make assessments of Soldi or Svaldi of the dead, and help indicate the bereaved if they should quest to restore honor.
Sagnaflétta, rougly translated to Weaver of Stories, are much like Andlistari travelers though it should be said there will be more than enough work for one in Regalia never to travel. Sagnaflétta are scribes just like Andlistari, but focus more on the realm of the Gods than Mortals. Sagnaflétta travel to record oral legends and folklore from the disparate Fornoss faithful across the world, and compile them in a grand book of legends and short rhyming stories. Then, they travel to where the Fornoss faithful live in large numbers, and host gatherings where they read from the book to discuss the lives of the Gods, the inner conflict and interactions they have with one another, and some of the legendary feats the Gods perform. It is highly encouraged to make up legendary actions and interactions of the Gods by players, where that fits within their themes and design.
Peripheral Concepts are important thoughts from Fornoss theology, that didn't necessarily fit anywhere else on this page, but also aren't strictly necessary to know. They cover a wider range of topics which Fornoss believers have a solidified opinion of, or things that Fornoss faithful might get questioned on in Roleplay and may be useful to have answers for.
The Arken Matter
One as of yet undiscussed matter, is the status of Arken among the Gods. The wider world has a scientific understanding of the Arken as some kind of advanced Spirit from a different Dimension, but to the Fornoss, they are Gods, even to those who do not worship them directly because they are Eilirik. The Fornoss faithful are not so stubborn so as to reject the scientific notion that some of their Gods were Arken long before they were their Gods, but are very resolute in rejecting any rhetoric that would then claim off that fact that they are false Gods. The Vola who are also Arken are very real and divine to those who worship the Vola, they interact and bless the faithful, and empower God Magic beyond the scope of what Void Arken normally could. To the Fornoss faithful, the Vola Arken are real Gods in every sense of the word, and some of them are even more God-like than many of the other weaker Gods of other Religions, specifically because they are so hyper-active and are able to affect the world in more far-reaching and meaningful ways than other Gods ever have.
Vaarda Gates & Keys
Vaarda Gates are an ongoing concern or delight depending on one's interpretation, to the Fornoss Faithful. What exactly happens when one opens is unclear, and it is even unclear if Rand will allow the portals to open from the other side in Volaheim. There exist Gates on all the major continents where Velheim settlers came to be, from Regalia to Carrhen, to all the landmasses of Southwynd, Northbelt, and even Ellador. All these lands were once connected, but now shut off, with their Keys dispersed into the winds. The Keys are Artifacts of Fornoss power, usually weapons, each Key made for a specific Vaarda Gate. There is currently one known Artifact (belonging to the Nordskag Gate) in circulation in Regalia, called Ándlar, though more could arrive in the future as collector items or loot. It is generally accepted, even among the Volirik, that opening the Vaarda Gates without the necessary protections, preparations, or considerations, is generally an awful idea. Even the Volirik have to acknowledge, that nobody knows what is behind those Gates, and that entering the afterlife as a living person, is generally a bad thing unless given protection by the Vola or Eili Gods.
The Magic Burden
Magic is a very sensitive subject in Fornoss faith, because they have a long history with all the benefits and damages of it. Fornoss followers generally do not buy into the scholarly theories of the dimensions (Void/Exist/Ordial/Primal). While they don't refute those alignments as being real, to them, Exist and Ordial do not matter because they do not interact with their Gods in any way. In fact, more often than not, are Exist and Ordial aligned things enemies of the Gods, because they transgress or desecrate their domains. It is not so that every Exist and Ordial thing must always be attacked on sight however, Fornoss followers are more than capable of adopting apathy. Magic among Fornoss followers is understood between Seidr (non-Magical/Dragon Magic Divination), Galdr (God-Magic), Rúnar (God Magic Runic Power) and Nid (Void Magic). There is a technical fifth category called Trolldom, which is a term usually only used by fringe Fornoss followers like Hjordi or Ellador Velheim, which is the same as Nid (Void Magic), but is always evil and used to harm while Nid is not necessarily evil. Seidr, Galdr, and Rúnar are pretty simple to understand and generally unproblematic, Nid however causes some controversy. Fornoss followers acknowledge Void Magic (Nid) as potentially being a gift of Thirun, but that it can both be a blessing and a curse. They acknowledge the effects of Nid on the world as harmful, but that this power can also lend to great strength and achievements. Purism (hating all forms of Magic) does exist in the Fornoss faith, but aims at the idea that Nid is always too risky, and should be controlled/restrained/prevented from being used by caretakers of those cursed with Magic. There are parallels in Unionism, in that the Fornoss Faith identifies Void Magic as a heavy burden, of great power if used to gain Soldi/Svaldi, and of a great terror to the people if used to be careless and flippant and weak-minded. As with any perception of the Pantheons, this is entirely up to the personal beliefs of the faithful, some will condemn Nid as unambiguously evil, some will be frightful of it, while some will welcome it. Exist Magic does exist among Fornoss faithful, but when this occurs, the faithful just believe it was some sort of taint or touching from outside the faith. If someone has Ordial powers, they should generally be put out of their misery however. There are very few situations in which Ordial power is acceptable.
- Rand depictions are actually not based on what people know he looks like, but what people think he looks like. Rand is claimed to have never left Volaheim, and there are no memories of direct interaction with him. The only thing that is known to be fully accurate however, are his size, his hairiness, and the transition scars on his chest.
- Thirun and Stalhjart are twin-brothers, identical twins in fact, but both of them style themselves very differently. They are sometimes mistaken for each other, but wide knowledge of their different appearance themes are spreading to correct this.
- Blodrúna is the only God of either pantheon who was once a standalone Goddess of her own religion. Unfortunately, she killed her entire following, and only realized her error afterwards. She vows to do better as Goddess of the Fornoss faithful, hopefully.
Birdsfoot violet on 12/4/2023.|
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