Ordial Cultism

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Ordial Cultism
Pronunciation Or-dee-al Cult-ism
Origins N/A
The Malefica, The Lantern, The Consigner, The Hunter, The Belladonna, The Cemetery, The Machinist, The Glacial, The Vengeance, The Grandee, The Architect, The Charnel.


Ordial Cultism is the act of worshiping major Entities from the Beyond (the Ordial Realm) as Gods, and seeking their favor by enacting actions and worship that pleases them in the world of the living. The origins of Ordial Cultism are very unclear, not just because very little information is recorded about it, but also because knowledge of the Beyond and anything Ordial is relatively modern, and scholars have not yet been able to fully extrapolate and backtrack information about Ordial influence in history. For example, many historical events were often blamed on Dragons, like the Great Storm that wiped out the Sariyd Empire, when recent discoveries have concluded thig might actually have been the Machinist who deceived and puppeteered events to get this outcome. Ordial Worship is likely also much older than the current cycle of civilizations, but it changes with each great Empire and wave of mass-death that occurs as a result of Void Invasions. Ordial Cultism is generally seen as a fairly "evil" religion due to its undeniable tones of death, carnage, and genocide, though each God (except for the Malefica) is a unique and nuanced entity that more often than not is described as morally gray. Ordial worship is not any more evil than Void Worship or the Estellon faith (sometimes seen as Exist worship), all three being religions that offer power to those who give themselves fully to the faith.

Core Identity

Ordial Worship at its core is to achieve power, success, and boons from the Gods through service. Each God has a specific activity or action that causes them to become empowered, which in return brings offerings of benefits to the faithful. Ordial Worship at a base is the glorification of death, whether the metaphorical concept of the beauty of finality, or the literal interpretation of enjoying killing, this is also why it is sometimes called a death cult, and why the Gods are seen as Death Gods. Ordial Worship does not have a form of an afterlife or virtues, the Gods are far less concerned over what or who someone is, but rather about what they do and what they can achieve. For that reason it is also a very inclusive religion, where the only measure of success is someone's own competency. To many, the goal is to live a life of influence and power and success in Aloria through the boons granted by the Gods for service, to later ascend into the Beyond and have the consciousness of the soul preserved in a Greater Shade, and join service with their Ordial God for eternity. Indeed, Ordial Cultist souls do not get cycled in a similar manner as the souls that are stolen into the Beyond do, their original soul and consciousness and free will is preserved, thus creating a form of pseudo-afterlife. While all Gods together exist in one large pantheon, Ordial Cultism isn't strictly a polytheistic religion. It is possible to worship more than one entity at once, but many faithful also only worship one God, and reject all others. Some yet worship all Gods in equal measure, and some even actively resent certain entities, like how Avarael worshipers might be resentful of Malefica worshipers, and how Hunter worshipers actively attack Undead who might otherwise be Ordial Cultists themselves. Many of the Ordial Gods cooperate, like the Hunter and the Lantern, but many also have strongly opposing beliefs and ideologies. Fights between the Gods have not been outwardly witnessed (though Avarael and the Glacial would love to kill the Malefica), fights between their faithful however are not strictly speaking uncommon. Ordial Cultists will however always put aside their petty differences based on divine ideologies, if they are under attack from outsiders, like for example revanchist Dwarves, or life-warrior Archon. To an Ordial Cultist, even if Malefica is wretched and his followers evil because the Hunter said so, they are "their kill", not anyone else's and the presumption that an Ordial Cultist would let another Cultist just die at the hands of an outsider, is strictly taboo.

Ordial Gods

The Malefica

The Malefica is the personification of the desire to kill, an entity so bent on power through death, that it is singularly possessed with a desire to kill the living of Aloria, and produce hordes of Undead and Shades in the process. Malefica worship is unequivocally evil, there is no nuance to the death that this entity causes, as it would extinguish all life on Aloria if it could. There is however, also immense power in this terrible evil, as few Ordial Mages would admit that Malefica's faithful are not some of the most powerful of those empowered by the Beyond. The Malefica is an archnemesis of the Dragons, having declared an intent to all but exterminate them as the last obstacle to its carnage. The Malefica's resentment to mortal life carried through to its worshipers, who wish to ascend to eternal unlife, and inflict death in equal measure on all around, so they might share in the benefits that undeath brings, or purge those that oppose their grand design. The Malefica's largest temple is the Black Sepulcher, a vast Ordial temple supposedly hidden underneath the capital of the Allorn Empire. Worship of the Malefica is performed by ending the lives of the living, and turning many of them Undead, which pleases it.

The Lantern

The Lantern is the personification of mercy for the dead, very much an entity in opposition to the Malefica and with an entirely different approach. The Lantern is relatively kind natured in that she is seen to care for the Shades that rest in the Beyond, and shows great concern for the use and abuse of shades by necromancers who see them as nothing but fuel for their designs. To the Lantern, while Shades are not the original souls that ventured into the Beyond, they have just as much a right to exist and be respected, as they too were once full of dreams and hopes and ambitions. The lantern represents the will to respect what they are and what their lives once were, and to not use them against their will. She proposes a harmonious existence between Shades and those who need Shades to fuel their Magic. She is also quintessentially seen as the Priestess-Goddess, with most Ordial Priests gravitating towards her dignified approach in guiding the living souls to a peaceful end in the Beyond, and to permit the Shades to exist in a state afterlife-like bliss. Lantern worship is performed by respecting and protecting Shades, and freeing them from control. The Lantern is strongly integrated into Songaskian culture, ergo her largest Temple is the Temple of Guiding Chants in the Songaskian capital, one of the few Ordial Temples not beset by the forces of life as anathema.

The Consigner

The Consigner is an enigmatic entity of the Beyond that can best be viewed as a trickster God, who wields immense power and an arsenal of unholy artifacts, secrets, and trinkets, but always ends up striking a better bargain for himself. The Consigner appears like an Azzizzari merchant with a whole host of theatre masks which upon closer inspection are actually the faces of people who sold their memories and past lives to him. The Consigner travels the world of the living making bargains, exchanging powers for memories but always taking more than he gives. Why he does this, or what benefit he gain from it is entirely unknown, though many in Ordial Cultism consider him the most clever and insightful of the Gods who can even deceive the Malefica. The largest temple to the Consigner is the Cantina della Morte Theatre in Venziane, the Regalian Archipelago, which ostensibly appears more like a public theatre and as such avoids detection. Worship of the Consigner is done by stealing the memories of others, storing them, and offering them to him as offerings, or even outright summoning him and attempting to strike a bargain with both those memories, and one's own. It remains said however, that a bargain struck with the Consigner, will haunt more than it blesses.

The Hunter

The Hunter is an ambiguous defender of the concept of natural death itself, which puts it in odds with the Malefica in many ways. To the Hunter, natural death or at least death caused by forces in Aloria, are the natural order of things, and anything that upends that order and makes a mockery of the beauty of death, is vile and should be erased from existence. As such, it should come as no surprise that the Hunter is appalled by the concept of Undeath, and actively hunts the undead to correct their perversion of the beauty of death. The Hunter is to many seen as the closest proximity to the cultural concept of the "grim reaper", but one who doesn't necessarily cause death, merely enforces the timely arrival of it, declaring those that avoid death its enemy. The Hunter has no specific temples, but many ancient forests have Dolmen structures of vast stones decorated with pagan-like decorations that many would mistake for Old Gods effigies, built to the Hunter. Hunter worship is performed by hunting the undead and putting them out of their misery, but also hunting those that avoid death through longevity, or by stealing the life force of others, like Archon, Vampires, and Cahal.

The Belladonna

The Belladonna is a strange figure that on first glance is entirely alien to the Beyond. Her realm is that of endless pleasures, banquets, and parties, of revelry and fun, of happiness and displays of dazzling perfection. Under all this splendor however, she has a wicked heart for the unheard and the unknowable, to build displays more as a distraction for others rather than herself, to have her guests eat and drink and love their merriment, and then share all their deepest secrets with her. The Belladonna represents the need to know, the hunger to know which secret romances are unfolding, the need to know who has a grudge against who, and to draw every little skeleton out of the closet by lulling the guests into a false sense of security. The Belladonna's largest temple is the Summerfeast of Eternity House in the capital of Ithania, where it doubles as a courtesan court and festivity palace. Worship of the Belladonna is done by hosting events, ingratiating one's self to the guests, and wriggling every little secret they have out of them after getting them drunk, sleepy, or enamored. The Belladonna is not seen as outwardly evil, though her worshipers invariably are dangerous, as they can blow up the peace in any tight-knit family by releasing some of the vile secrets they have learned along the way with glee.

The Cemetery

The Cemetery is an entirely benign entity that is far less concerned with Shades and Undead and the living or the dead, and concerns itself far more for critters and creatures. It is known that animals are always without sin in Aloria, and that animals can just as well ascend to the afterlife as their masters, but this is not always the case for the abandoned, rejected, and abused pets and critters of nature. The Cemetery collects the souls of those animals that were abandoned, left in the forest without food, killed for being thought of as a pest, or generally found a miserable end at the hand of abusive owners or the living in Aloria, and bring them to the Pet Cemetery, his realm in the Beyond, to live a life of endless happiness and frolicking in nature. The Cemetery has no temples, as worship of him is rare. He is generally seen as a very benign entity and does not offer powers or bargains of immortality to his faithful. All the Cemetery asks, is that his followers do as he does, to travel the world finding the rejected and the disaffected among the animalia, and to offer them a safe menagerie where they can live in peace and away from the clutches of the animal abusing living who would skin them for their fur or kill them in the assumption they spread disease and kill wild life.

The Machinist

The Machinist, part entity part infernal machine, is a terrible plotting entity that some of the Ordial faithful claim killed the Sariyd Gods, and wormed its way through Sariyd society before deceiving the Dragons into causing the Great Storm and annihilating it. The Machinist has a singular obsession with technology, schematics, designs, and inventions, but above all to exterminate every last Qadir and to consume their souls to add to its collection of intellect. The Machinist is depicted as a vast tree that is also part machine with bellows of smoke and sulfur, always assembling new machines of death and deploying them against the living. Why the Machinist hoards technological advances is unclear, and why it hates the Qadir so much even less so. The Machinist's largest Temple is the Serahad Oasis in Farahdeen which is believed to be the actual physical place where the Machnist resides, given the massive infernal tree-machine at the center of the oasis, churning out murderous automata that keep away both Qadir explorers and Songaskian patrols. Worship of the Machinist can either be done violently or passively, violently by killing Qadir, ruining their shops, smashing their inventory, and destroying their machinery. It can also be done passively by stealing and modifying Qadir machinery, producing technology of one's own, inventing new things, or traveling the world in search for designs and plans that were lost to time.

The Glacial

The Glacial is an Ordial entity that is worshiped, but she is not considered a God by a stretch yet. In fact, worship of her is often just confined to Death Isldar and their non-Isldar followers who see power and protection into the entity that has actually been shielding them for centuries. The Glacial was supposedly once a Dregodar who broke into the Beyond for power, but was imprisoned by the Malefica. She has since been plotting her ascent to godhood from within the Beyond, using her worshipers to grant her favor, by having them pretend or duo-worship other Ordial Gods, and allowing her to siphon from the grace and offerings they bring to other Gods. She is seen as the mother of the entity known as Frisit, who once assumed the corpse of the dead Dragon Asaph and protected the Isldar for centuries in Ellador before Dragons returned to reveal the ruse, and caused the civil war between Life and Death Isldar. The Glacial was revealed, and the Death Isldar worshiped her as their true patron and protector, while they were abandoned by Dragons. The Glacial has Temples all over Death Isldar territory in Ellador. Worship of the Glacial is done by duo-worshiping or pretend-worshiping other Ordial Entities, performing their worship tasks, while she benefits from siphoning power from those actions so that she can one day free herself and dethrone the Malefica as the most powerful entity of the Beyond.

The Vengeance

Khannar, often also called the Basalt God of Death, is a Baskarr Faith entity once known as Jawat the God of Justice, who after the fall of the Dewamenet Empire bargained with the Beyond for power of vengeance. He has since abandoned the mantle of God of Law, and become one of eternal animosity towards anything Elven. His entire focus is on the trauma of the Asha under Allorn rule, to free slaves from their bondage, and to force Elves to repent the crimes of their ancestors, or die in gruesome death as retribution. Khannar shows no mercy or relent in his pursuit, and neither do his followers who share his unbridled hatred for slavery, genocide, and above all Elves. Khannar offers only forgiveness to those Elves who come to perform the Ritual of Regret of their own volition, to be whipped with metal chains and suffer as the Asha once did, or to publicly self-humiliate and prostrate in declarations of regret and submission to recompense and forgiveness, like some sort of public declaration of the crimes of one's ancestors and disavowing Allorn heritage and history. Khannar has no Temples of his own, but usually has a dark corner reserved in Baskarr Temples, where Asha worship both him and the Faces of Baskarr religion. Worship of Khannar is done by hunting and killing Elves indiscriminately, destroying Elven heritage, artifacts and art, or providing the means for the repentant ones to perform the Ritual of Regret one way or another.

The Grandee

Eir, sometimes also called the Liege-Lord of Final Graces, is a relatively modern Ordial Entity who is intrinsically linked with the Regalian Empire, but likely existed before it. Eir represents the right by might, the power of autocracy and the nobility, the privilege of the privileged class, and the influence of nobility and lineage. In many ways he is a manifestation of the divine right of the upper classes to use and abuse the poor and serfs in a way they deem fit, to be lords over life and death among the lower classes, and to increase the power of the Nobles. In Regalia, there are many secret Eir worshipers, as he offers bargains to Nobles, demanding their feudal service in exchange for granting them his Shade army to aid in battle when the time is right. Eir upholds autocracy and the state, the authority of the Emperor, while also expanding the rights of the Nobility at the expense of royal prerogative. Eir is empowered by the killing caused by feudal struggle and nobles fighting each other over petty and grand struggles, thus wishing for the continues existence of this structure of wealth so that he benefits from it. Eir has no Temples, though worship of him is done by being a stalwart defender of the status quo, and to increase the rights and privileges of the wealthy and the nobility, to ensure their lordship over others, and to ensure the respect of autocracy and right to rule. Worship of Grandee, is to enforce the rule of Law in the Regalian Empire.

The Architect

Avarael is a tragic figure among Ordial Gods that nontheless is worshiped by some because of the beauty he brings. Avarael is called the Fallen Augur, because he was once an Augur Archon who fought for the Dragons from Kintyr. The story goes that the soul of Avarael's husband was taken by the Malefica. Avarael then willed himself into the Beyond to save his love, only to be ensnared by the Malefica and the Consigner to serve the Malefica for all eternity in the false hope that it would release his one true love. The Malefica desired Avarael, because he was the foremost architect and builder of his day, and his divine touch to create has only manifolded in the centuries since his capture. Avarael is the architect of perfect structure, or endless mazes, of indestructible bridges and insurmountable walls. Avarael's hand can be found in most structures in the Beyond, as well as manifestations of Ordial might outside of it, including Temples and shrines. Avarael hates everything from the Beyond, including Geists, Undead, and the Ordial Cultists themselves, but is strangely still worshiped and forced to show grace and blessings to those who live up to his name, designing strong fortifications, city walls, and houses, and laying secret sigils to the Ordial Gods in the buildings to give them command over the souls of the inhabitants.

The Charnel

The Charnel, sometimes also called the Graveyard of Empires, is an enigmatic entity that represents irredentism, the ideology of restoring a country or more notably an Empire to its previous glory. The Charnel is a very complicated entity, especially to her worshipers. She is often worshiped by Maraya, Qadir, and Teledden, who all yearn back to the Meraic, Sariyd and Allorn Empires respectively. They do so however, cognizant of the fact the Charnel likely had a hand in the collapse of these Empires as well, feeding them information at just the right times to overextend, or embolden them with vanity and pride against a foe they could not defeat. It is rumored she whispered the secret of the Void to the Allorn Elves, thus setting them on the path of destruction. Equally however, she hoards the drying cries of an Empire, hidden information, super weapons, and artifacts from the waning days, those things that her faithful hope will help them restore their Empires. She very much is an entity that embodies the cycles of dominance, the creation of Empire, the fall of Empire, and the restoration of Empire. The Charnel has no Temples, as they are invariably destroyed when Empires fall. Worship of her is performed by unearthing forgotten information of dead Empires, sharing it with her, and praying she returns the favor by revealing lost information that helps to restore that which once was. For many, hastening the destruction of the Regalian or reborn Allorn Empires can be just the trick to finding the golden bullet to revive the Meraic or Sariyd Empires.

Writers MonMarty
Artists N/A
Processors HydraLana
Last Editor HydraLana on 11/19/2023.

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