The origins of the Old Gods religion are somewhat murky, because of intensely conflicting versions. Old Gods as a religion has always lacked an organized hierarchy, and so local communities as well as diasporas do not agree on a common origin tale. While many Regalians consider Old Gods synonymous with the Velheim culture, they actually are not, and there are more Ceardians who worship Old Gods under the Cellik variant than there are Velheim Old Gods worshipers. Old Gods reaches beyond these cultures however, with Zvorun, Tarkkin and Dunbrae all having slight variations on the same ideology. All Old Gods worshipers agree that their faith started on the island of Yervonth (called Jerl in old Velheim) however they all disagree with what happened after. Cellik and Velheim Old Gods however are the two largest denominations controlling around 80% of the total worshiper population, and as such, their version is generally accepted as common dogma. Cellik and Velheim Old Gods doctrine claims that when the menace from the west (Nelfin slavers) arrived on the shores of Ceardia, that a group of Pagan Gods created a pantheon together and spirited large communities away from the Ceardian continent, harboring them in safety on the Yervonth island. From here, Old Gods would continue to spread over the world with migration waves, however the further they went, the more their doctrine was changed by local variations and changes. Unlike Unionism, Old Gods never underwent any major cataclysmic changes or schisms. As such, this page will treat the average understanding of Old Gods as fact, though minor local variations like changing a God's name or patron identity is permissible.
Old Gods is a religion that developed out of the old concept of Ailor Paganism in Ceardia, which was a polytheistic religion with a theoretical infinite amount of gods. Old Gods as a religion reformed this principle, attaching itself to the tangible gods that the people could see and interact with, and then centralized religion to them. Old Gods as a religion is centered around the concepts of Honor of the Soul, which is similar to Asaredu, but not strictly bound to combat honor alone, rather to the purity of one's soul as understood through the lens of behavior, actions, and things said. Old Gods worshipers refer to the Honor of the Soul as Soldi. It is actually a common misconception to think that Old Gods worshipers refer to their own religion as Old Gods. This is incorrect, because the term Old Gods was used by Unionists to refer to the faith that was largely replaced in the Archipelago by Unionism. Old Gods is actually referred to as Sjelbyrd by Velheimers or Selbarad by Cellik Old Gods worshipers. Because Ailor kind however has so many varied cultures, and because so few of them still worship the Old Gods, the term Old Gods has simply become commonly used, even by Velheimers when they speak Common.
Bravery: Soldi is gained with bravery, to fight against foes that overwhelm and overpower, to seek out challenges that bring glory and honor to one's family name, and to generally not show cowardice. Soldi is lost by showing cowardice and shirking from one's duties. One must always accept challenges, even if they could result in death or infamy. One must always commit to one's decisions.
Wroth: Soldi is not strictly gained by being mean or violent, but rather by the idea that one should never give up or simply let things happen that one does not want to happen. Inversely, Soldi is lost by simply being meek and weak and letting events transpire without affecting them. One must never shirk from duties, or show weakness when strength and power are demanded by the public eye.
Pleasure: The matter of chasteness versus pleasure is not really a matter that demands any Soldi satisfaction. Old Gods worshipers just don't really believe in chastity. That being said, dishonesty and deceit to one's lovers and spouse(s) results in loss of Soldi. One must always remain honest and truthful to those who one spends their life with, and afford them respect as if they are gods themselves.
Vengeful: Soldi is gained by settling scores, Soldi is lost by letting a vendetta or nemesis simply walk all over one's self. Old Gods worshipers declare Motsaga against a person to declare them their enemy with scores to settle. The Old Gods worshipers came up with the saying "An eye for an eye". If another person is not strong enough to settle their scores, one can offer to do it for them, for Soldi's sake.
Greed: Soldi is not specifically gained or lost while being charitable or greedy, but Old Gods as a religion generally rewards those who attain and retain the power to seize what they want and be merciful with what they have, but shows little favor on those too weak to make their own destiny. Greed over finances is however not encouraged. Old God worshipers should put little value in money, and more in possessions.
Honest: Soldi is lost with deceit and lying, though not specifically while withholding information. Old Gods religion has a concept of "white-lies", and only punishes those who tell lies for explicit personal gain or to prevent danger to self (which they must be brave to face). White lies are acceptable if they prevent someone else from losing Soldi, or make everyone happier and easier off in the long run.
Pride: Soldi is gained when others are aware of how great a person is, and Soldi is lost if a person is forgettable and irrelevant in the scope of history. Old Gods worshipers should endeavor to make sure their skills and talents are always known to others. One should never have paintings or statues made of one's self however. Artistic vanity is considered taboo, one can only accept such gifts made by others.
Respect: A very important aspect of Old Gods worship is the acknowledgement of respect. While one must be proud of one's self, one must always deeply respect the skills of others, and pay homage to those who are simply better (even if they deserve a challenge here and there). One should never ever pretend like even one's enemies have no qualities or respect worthy aspects about them and one must vocalize them without spite.
Soldi: The most important aspect of Old Gods is Soldi, which is like a currency of Honor. There is no strict numerical minimum or maximum, but being accused of being without Soldi is the worst insult to levy against an Old Gods worshiper, one that they believe condemns their soul. When someone's Soldi is lost, it is possible for relatives or friends to try and reclaim Soldi for that person by attributing their deeds to them.
Loyalty: A very important aspect of Old Gods is loyalty, which can mean loyalty to family, to lovers, to one's overlord, one's ruler, or just the gods. Vows of loyalty are taken very seriously, and breaking one is considered a great way to lose all Soldi instantly. In the Regalian context, this usually means loyalty to the Gods, but also loyalty to one's Duke or Emperor depending on one's position.
Narrative: In Old Gods beliefs, the world is one giant proving grounds for all living things (even wild animals) to prove the value of their soul and prevent loss of Soldi until they die. While all living things are born with Soldi, the effects of evil causes them to commit sins. Sins causing a loss of Soldi are a person's soul showing weakness and thus not having the right to pass into the afterlife. Old Gods dictates that while bodies are made by the gods, and Dragons create a kindling of a soul, that ultimately a soul's development, nurturing, and aging, is entirely up to the person themselves. When a person dies and their soul has enough Soldi they pass into the afterlife or the Valley of Life, which is an idealized version of life with drinking, feasting, and fun. When a person who passes into the Valley of Life also has a hero or legendary status soul through some great achievement or fame in life, they go to the Valley of Legends, which is an upgraded version of this afterlife where their every whim is satisfied. In case a soul is deemed without Soldi, they are condemned to the Mirror world, where the soul wanders for eternity on the salt-flats without color, smell or sound as penance. It is said that some souls have such evil in their hears that they escape the Mirror world, and become Undead in the real world. This is why Old Gods worshipers have such a negative view of Undead who were Old Gods worshipers in a prior life, but are apathetic to Undead from other religions.
Canon Evil: Canon Evil in Old Gods is called Demons, which takes similar origins as Unionism, but has a more flexible interpretation. On one hand, Old Gods worshipers do acknowledge Demons from the Void, Exist, and Bintaar as evil with corrupting intentions. They refer to them as Betrayers, with one particular Demon called The Great Betrayer being the worst, which scholars believe to be the Arken of Power. Demons seduce people into doing things that ruins their Soldi with promises of power, fame and legend. On the other hand, Old Gods worshipers acknowledge the evil in mortals as a far more realistic source of bad things in life. It is said that the Gods and Dragons made a pact, with the Gods making the bodies of Ailor-kind, and the Dragons providing the breath of life, which would create a seedling of a soul. However, as life develops, the person who the soul belongs to creates the expressions, actions and feelings of the soul themselves as it grows over time, and that evil is simply the person being too weak to hold onto virtues in life and engaging in sin. As such, evil can neatly be defined as either Demons inducing weakness in otherwise strong people, or weakness just existing in a soul because the person themselves are weak.
Identity: Old Gods dogma has no explicit gender, sex, sexual orientation or gender-identity bias, though it has an implicit male-bias. While any Old Gods worshiper will claim that all genders and sexes are equally fair in their religion, traditional male-coded masculinity takes a unique place that discolors a lot of the nuance about gender. Strong, masculine and emotionless are framed as virtues for men living by the examples of their gods, and so Old Gods society can come across as publicly egalitarian, but having hidden masculine preferences under the surface.
Conversion: Old Gods as a religion does not require preaching or spreading through missionaries, which is usually a practice reserved for Faith of Estel and Unionism, though to say it is without violent impression is false. Among Old Gods worshipers, holy wars can rage between two distinct populations over small denominational ideals (some as ridiculous as the believed hair color of a god), but bigger conflicts arise with other religions. Old Gods worshipers in general are very intolerant to other religions mostly born out of necessity, because disloyalty to the gods (for example by converting from Old Gods to Unionism) means a complete loss of Soldi and thus a soul being condemned to the Mirror world. Old Gods worshipers have been known to force their faith at the end of a sword and axe, especially in the far north where they are in the majority. Old Gods worshipers also frequently deface religious symbols of other faiths or engage in desecration of holy sites.
Sins & Taboo: The worst cases of sinning and taboo for Old Gods are disloyalty to god, family and one's leaders, backstabbing, betrayal, deceit for greed's sake, and refusing a challenge of honor or duel of honor and abiding by cowardice. Never does a single sin or transgression cause Soldi to be lost fully, it is more like a currency that slowly leaks away, however repeat offenses do cause eventual loss of Soldi altogether. Old Gods does not really have a central body of priests to condemn a person, but generally speaking, Old Gods communities have a very communal sense of expelling a member when they believe their Soldi to be too far gone.
Gods and Goddesses
Old Gods recognizes one greater entity called Arne, the Tree of Life, from which all Old Gods worshiper believe Ailorkind was born (and by extension, every other living entity on Old Ceardia), though it is somewhat nebulous whether this refers specifically to Old Gods heritage Ailor, or all Ailor of the entire Race. Old Gods doctrine never made any claims on how the world or reality actually started, but implied that other religions are valid (to a degree) because they refer to the "Old World", where-as the world in which Old Gods exists now is the "New World". Simpler put, Old Gods acknowledges other religions and beliefs that pre-date itself as legitimate within their time-frame, but claims that with the birth of Old Gods, those religions or beliefs became invalid for Ailor, and that Old Gods is the only valid truth. This does mean that Old Gods is a mostly Ailor-centric religion. This causes particular conflict with Unionists. While Old Gods believers claim that the Everwatcher probably is real, they consider the faith false, because it induces its followers to engage in actions that cause them to lose Soldi and be condemned to the Mirror World. Arne supposedly stood in Old Ceardia for many centuries, until he communed with Dragons (who are not considered divine, rather just really powerful entities of legend), and developed a voice. With his voice, he spoke to fauna and flora, and with them approaching his roots, his mind expanded. With expansion came his desire to create his own life, and so with each new animal or event around Arne that he became aware of, a new god or goddess was born, creating the traditional pantheon by willing them into existence, which in turn caused them to create the Ailor Race. Arne is not worshiped however, because while he is the Tree of Life, he is seen more as a means to an end, and when all the Gods were born, he went into a lifeless slumber that created the afterlife in his dreams, the Gods and Goddesses instead are worshiped. Arne's physical body is believed to have perished with the destruction of Ceardia, however this didn't spell disaster, as it is believed that his spirit and dreams (and thus the afterlife) live on even without his physical form.
Bev, Mirror of Life
Identity: Bev, the third son of Arne, was born when a mother deer and her children died beneath the Tree of Life, confronting it with the necessity of death.
Themes: Bev’s themes are the afterlife, measure of the soul, solitude, serenity, mourning, and the dead. He is also invoked during burials, and when communing with the dead.
Depictions: Bev is depicted as a shrouded figure in a large funeral cloth, with only his pale white hands showing of his body, and always holding the Mirror face out.
Worship: Bev is worshiped specifically by the Staargir, blind-folded singers of the dead, but also by offering food and candles to Bev shrines in Helbolwen.
Manifestation: Bev does not manifest in the living world, only serving to hold the Mirrror and pass souls into the afterlife, which he must do without fail and reprieve.
Individual: Bev does not manifest to individuals or groups at all, as he is only ‘met’ when someone’s soul is passing on for judgement. He is rumored to have made the Vaarda Gates however.
Worship House: Bev is worshipped in Old Gods Crypts, or Helbolwen, where a statue in his likeness with a mirror is kept. These mirrors reflect hundreds of lit candles, to represent the dead.
Relations: Bev is the husband of Hel, doomed to never embrace, as he cannot leave the water, and she cannot enter it. He is also tasked to hold up the Mirror, which Hel would destroy.
Other Notes: It is believed that if Bev should ever drop the Mirror, it will shatter, and release the Soldi-less dead who reside within it, causing a terrible undead cataclysm to occur.
Hel, Dancer of Death
Identity: Hel is the first daughter of Arne, who was born when the river flooded the Tree of Life and touched its bark, thus familiarizing it with large amounts of water.
Themes: Hel’s themes are water, the ocean, protection from the waves, misery, unrequited love, and abandonment. She is intensely linked with Bev due to their relation.
Depictions: Hel is a lithe woman with many tattoos and a body or dress made of the torrential waves. Her anguish and loneliness cause her to be cruel and whimsical.
Worship: Hel is worshiped only by those who go off to sea, or know someone who is going off to sea, praying for their safe travel and return by dancing and offering her company and song.
Manifestation: It is believed that every great typhoon, hurricane, tsunami, and waterspout, is Hel's manifestation, and that each of them are her physical presence.
Individual: Hel has not touched anyone individually per se, rather she has supposedly caused the deaths of thousands of sailors, dragged to an early grave under the ocean.
Worship House: Hel’s shrines are built on cliff sides near oceans, her cult is called the Sea-Dancers, water mages who ‘dance’ with their magic on ships to protect them from her wrath.
Relations: Hel is the wife of Bev, but she cannot touch or be with him, as he resides below the ocean, and she can only dance on the surface of it: the source of her anguish.
Other Notes: Hel is considered the goddess who takes lifes, and knows when all Olds Gods worshippers will die. This is mostly why Hel is feared rather than admired.
Adal, Prince of Forgiving
Identity: Adal is the son of Bard, who was born when Bard’s anger caused a thunderstorm that cut two branches off the Tree of Life, familiarizing it with pain.
Themes: Adal’s themes are giving aid and help, enforcement of laws, conceding, forgiveness, holding no grudges, and also of the lightning and thunder of the world.
Depictions: Adal is usually depicted as a male with glowing golden tattoos and dismembered arms, the tips covered in gold, and replaced with lightning.
Worship: Adal is not worshiped on a day to day basis, but by Pilgrims who wish to forgive someone, but cannot find the strength to do so, traveling to his Temple.
Manifestation: It is believed that every thunder strike is an expression of approval by Adal, which is why Old Gods worshipers sometimes ask things of Thunderstorms.
Individual: Adal is not known to have made a personal presentation in front of anyone, because his manifestations are mostly in the elemental realm.
Worship House: Adal’s shrines are built high atop mountains, where lightning may strike them, and where bottles of Celectic gas store electricity in visible form.
Relations: Adal is the twin brother of Odal, who he feels responsible for, eternally on a quest to convince Odal to return to the pantheon, but eternally failing.
Other Notes: It is said Adal’s arms were cut off by Bard, who had gone into a rage, though this is dubious, because many also claim he was born without arms.
Odal, Prince of Vengeance
Identity: Odal is the son of Bard, born when Bard’s anger caused a thunderstorm that cut branches off of the Tree of Life, crushed a family of hedgehogs below.
Themes: Odal’s themes are revenge, overcoming, conquest, magic, corruption, and the indomitable spirit. Odal is sometimes considered good, sometimes evil.
Depictions: Odal is a corrupted god, in allegiance to the Great Betrayer (who corrupted him), he still acts in favor of the Old Gods worshippers who align with him.
Worship: Odal worship is offering him food and goods in a ritual fire to stave off his vengeance. Odal’s Avengers is a cult of for-hire revenge seekers, called Odalv.
Manifestation: Odal has been known to personally manifest, particularly to protect the respect and honor of the Great Betrayer, when Old Gods worshipers defile him.
Individual: Odal has countless of individual encounters with Old Gods worshipers, instilling a fear in them not to speak of the Great Betrayer in bad ways.
Worship House: Odal has lingering shrines decorated with blue-painted horns, but only because people are afraid he’d destroy them if they destroyed his shrines.
Relations: Odal is the twin brother of Adal, and is constantly fighting Bard to force his way back into the pantheon, It is said only he can challenge Bard.
Other Notes: It is not known how Odal became corrupted, but is thought to be because of his anger at the inaction of the Old Gods, letting the Great Betrayer do it.
Other Notes: Rarely, will Olds Gods' worshippers feel pushed enough to accept his ‘blessing,’ and become a demonically possessed avatar of vengeance, called Odalv.
Other Notes: If they succeed their Odalv Quest, their Soldi is cleansed and they are restored, if they fail, he kills them and they are sent to the Mirror world.
Bard, King of Bears
Identity: Bard is the first son of Arne, and was born when bears rested under the Tree of Life. Bard is considered pivotal in the Pantheon due to his relations.
Themes: Bard’s themes are battle, rage, strength, endurance, stability, power, solitude, and being the ‘guardian of the gods.’ He is said to be strongest of all.
Depictions: Bard is always depicted as a large rugged man, covered in animal pelts, with charcoal around his eyes emulating bear claws and broad stance.
Worship: Bard is worshiped before, after, and sometimes during battle. His cult, Bard’s Bears, was partially eradicated in the Carrhen War by the Regalian Empire.
Manifestation: Bard has been known to manifest as a giant in front of those who committed high treason to the Old Gods, cursing them with the Marken Affliction.
Individual: Bard exclusively visits individuals, but only on rare occasions, because one knows they have really messed up if it requires Bard to show up.
Worship House: Bard’s shrines are large stone steles with inscriptions and bones, or stone tables with bowls on them. Animal carcasses are offered as sacrifice.
Relations: Bard is the husband of Njal, but was originally a loner. His temperament was soothed by Njal, who found him, calmed him, and they became spouses.
Other Notes: Despite Bard's Bears being eradicated in Carrhen, a small branch of them is yet alive in Talahm Gall, a rugged province of Gallovia.
Other Notes: Bard’s fits of rage are legendary, and uncontrollable, losing all semblance of humanity during them, except for Njal's artistic touch.
Njal, Prince of Art
Identity: Njal is the second son of Arne, and was born when birds sang perched on the branches of the Tree of Life, seeing beauty for the first time.
Themes: Njal’s themes are creativity, art, fertility, compromise, male beauty, silver tongue, and protection from godly cruelty and care for mortals.
Depictions: Njal is a handsome young man wearing expensive clothes, with an air of arrogance and calmness in his demeanor and stance.
Worship: Worship is done by saying a prayer, and then giving gifts to any artist. His cult is Njal’s Harps, who host debauched feasts and parties.
Manifestation: Njal is said to permanently dwell among mortals, because creativity is a gift of the people, not of Gods, and he wishes to see art.
Individual: Njal's has not been seen for thousands of years, though was very active before this point, no one knows exactly why.
Worship House: Njal’s shrines are always mobile, in carts or on harnesses so people can carry them, as Njal never sits still and roams the land.
Relations: Njal once roamed to find the perfect art. Then he met bard, and realized the perfect art was man. They soon fell in love and married.
Other Notes: Njal always has heterochromia, one light blue eye and one light brown, which he uses to always watch Bard, who has dark brown eyes.
Gro, Shaper of Flesh
Identity: Gro is the last daughter of Arne, and was born when Dragons spoke of the Nelfin, and the Tree of Life dreamt of flesh.
Themes: Gro is no longer worshiped as she is considered a lost god for dealing with the Great Betrayer. Only small groups still worship her.
Depictions: Gro’s themes are largely lost, but she supposedly begged the Dragons to breathe life into the her meat dolls, creating the Ailor.
Worship: Gro is no longer worshiped, when she was, she played an active role in the lives of Ailor, which other Old Gods did not and did not allow.
Manifestation: Gro supposedly helped mortals with even simple day to day tasks, making their lives easier and more comfortable, this was her hubris.
Individual: Gro has not been seen since she was expelled from the Pantheon thousands of years ago, and nobody has really gone looking for her either.
Worship House: Gro has no known worship houses, though the concept of Gro shrines has been debated as of recent due to finding Sunnan Velheim worshiping her.
Relations: Gro is the wife of Jord, both bargained with the Great Betrayer, forcing the Velheim people in millennia of hell, but saving them from slavery.
Other Notes: The memory of Gro and Jord is said to have faded when the Old Gods worshippers broke free from the Great Betrayer, called the 'Liberation'.
Jord, Forger of Metal
Identity: Jord is the last son of Arne, and was born when the roots of the Tree of Life touched metal ores in the ground, which it could not crush or bend.
Themes: Jord is no longer worshiped as she is considered a lost god for dealing with the Great Betrayer. Only small groups still worship him.
Depictions: Jord is depicted as a male with a body made of metal, bent and straightened around his body, and long arms with ball joints, made of dark blue metal.
Worship: Jord is no longer worshiped, when he was, he played an active role in the lives of Ailor, which other Old Gods did not and did not allow.
Manifestation: Jord supposedly helped mortals with even simple day to day tasks, making their lives easier and more comfortable, this was his hubris.
Individual: Jord has not been seen since she was expelled from the Pantheon thousands of years ago, and nobody has really gone looking for him either.
Worship House: Jord has no worship houses, but was last rumored to be seen on the isle of Barratt, which is surrounded by a terrible maelstrom.
Relations: Jord is the husband of Gro, both bargained with the Great Betrayer, forcing the Velheim people in millennia of hell, but saving them from slavery.
Other Notes: The memory of Jord and Gro is said to have faded when the Old Gods worshippers broke free from the Great Betrayer, called the 'Liberation'.
Halfvel, the Father of Demigods
Identity: Halfvel, nicknamed the Father of Demigod and Wolf-God, was born when the mortal Berrin fell in love with Bard, King of Bears, because some part of Arn wanted Demigods to exist.
Themes: Halfvel does not represent any themes, but rather is the sole source of Demigodhood, blessing pregnant mothers with the Godspark, which can either be Mundane or Magic.
Depictions: Halfvel is always depicted with his Cloth of Godliness, in which it is said all Demigod children are born or laid to be found in the forest surrounded by Wolves.
Worship: Halfvel is worshiped by traveling the world, seeking out his children, and aiding them on the path of their divine purpose, whether they are Magical or Mundane.
Manifestation: Halfvel is often said to appear before mothers who pray intensely for purpose for their children, but is also said to disguise himself as a Wolf-man and birth Demigods among mortals.
Individual: There was once a Temple in Old Ceardia which supposedly housed Halfvel nearly all year round, however this place has not been visited since the destruction of Ceardia.
Worship House: Halfvel does not have any official Temples, however shrines dedicated to him are a wolf skull rested on several black wolf pelts, coins of gold inserted into its mouth for well wishes.
Relations: Halfvel has no formal relations with the Pantheon, as he largely avoids them altogether, concerning himself more with creating the fates in the mortal world.
Other Notes: Halfvel's Demigod children supposedly have icy-blue eye-color, a high rarity among Ailor. Halfvel turns an unborn child or conceives each Demigod for a specific fate, some bad, some good.
Asbjørn, the Punished Winter
Identity: Asbjørn, nicknamed the Punished Winter, (prior Berrin, a mortal) was made God when he committed a crime by falling in love with Bard, God of Bears, forced to bear a curse.
Themes: Asbjørn's themes are punishment, service, restitution, Winter, seeking forgiveness, and taking responsibilities for one's crimes and wrongdoings in the eyes of society.
Depictions: Asbjørn is always depicted as a white bear, usually in chains, but often also in a resting pose. There is always a dubiousness to him, as if his godhood may not be a curse.
Worship: Asbjørn isn't strictly worshiped, but rather invoked when someone should submit themselves to punishment to make up for their wrongdoings, and he gives them strength to bear it.
Manifestation: Asbjørn has occasionally appeared, when a prisoner collapses under their punishment, or someone who is seeking forgiveness is about to give up, giving them strength once more.
Individual: Asbjørn only ever helps individuals, but he seems quite jovial for someone who is being cursed, some speculate that he is actually quite devious, and was cursed on purpose.
Worship House: Asbjørn's largest and most important Temple is the Ice-Crag Hall in Hedryll, a temple where docile polar bears roam, though it has recently fallen in disrepair by Vampires.
Relations: Asbjørn is said to be madly cursed and in love with Bard, but this has been pulled into question recently because none of the other folklore supports this sentiment.
Other Notes: Asbjørn is sometimes somewhat dubiously treated because it unclear if he genuinely wants to help those seeking restitution through punishment, or is just using them to get to Bard.
Frode, Carer of Spring
Identity: Frode, nicknamed Carer of Spring, was born when the early dew of spring first slipped down the leaves of the Tree of Life, creating the seasonal change in Old Ceardia.
Themes: Frode's themes are Spring, rebirth, sweetness, insects and plants, flowers, sweet smells and cold colors, the sounds of life, and teeming flora in the forests.
Depictions: Frode is always depicted as if gliding on the green light of nature in spring, anytime they touch grass, causing the most wildest of floral arrangements to bloom.
Worship: Worship to Frode is done near or around a Tree, woven and decorated to mimic the Tree of Life, usually in a park, and by engaging in social happenings around that tree.
Manifestation: Frode has manifested a couple of times through history to save important groves of the Old Gods people, but in general seems more skittish than the other Gods.
Individual: Frode is said to hate being regarded, and as such, most encounters were supposedly more of their smell (a distinct cut-grass and honey mix) than their actual face.
Worship House: Frode has no real worship house, but Old Gods worshipers often build Frode circles in the forest, which are patches of grass with stones arranged in circles.
Relations: Frode is the twin sibling of Toke, and the two are said to dance in the forests, cycling between Spring and Autumn, until Leif burns in Summer and Asbjørn freezes in winter.
Other Notes: Frode is why Old Gods worshipers have a positive relation to Yanar, and can often connect quite well with the Estellon worshipers in Yanar inhabited regions in Regalia.
Toke, Lirh of Autumn
Identity: Toke, nicknamed Lirh of Spring, was born when the leaves on the Tree of Life faded to red and brown, creating the seasonal autumn that swept Old Ceardia.
Themes: Toke's themes are Autumn, the world slowing down, taking care of yourself and loved ones, caring for one's own mental health, warm colors, and fauna itself.
Depictions: Toke is always depicted as if dancing, reminiscing a leaf falling from an autumnal tree, conspicuous feline ears in their hair and a mischievous smile.
Worship: Toke Worship is done by hosting seasonal feasts, particularly those in which Old Gods worshipers dress up as animals and try to prank and trick each other.
Manifestation: Toke's manifestations were often to protect wildlife from extinction, miraculously saving a few viable pairs in a valley to protect them.
Individual: Toke has not ever been known to enjoy being regarded by mortals. As such, their ears or fox-tail is seen more often than Toke themselves fully.
Worship House: Toke has no real Temples or shrines, but supposedly lives together with Frode in the Frode circles in the forest, as animals are eventually drawn to them.
Relations: Toke is the twin sibling of Frode, and the two are said to dance in the forests, cycling between Spring and Autumn, until Leif burns in Summer and Asbjørn freezes in winter.
Other Notes: Toke is why, even when killing wildlife for the hunt or sacrifice, Old Gods are always respectful, and will say a prayer for Toke to receive the animal's soul.
Leif, Summer of Passion
Identity: Leif, Summer of Passion, was born when the Tree of Life first experienced the love between Bard and Njall, and a fire erupted on some of its branches.
Themes: Leif's themes are passion, fire, burning feelings, expressions of love and willpower, never giving up, divine inspiration, and offspring specifically.
Depictions: Leif is always depicted with some part of his hair on fire or spitting flames, his hands covered in glowing golden light for the wealth he brings.
Worship: Worship to Leif is performed by bringing offerings of rare earth metals to open flames, and dancing with or inhaling the smoke.
Manifestation: Leif has not known to manifest himself, though it is said that a part of him lives in each and every flame, and that he always listens.
Individual: Leif's individual relation to mortals, is that he supposedly inspires and enflames their emotions, with love itself being inspired and fated by him.
Worship House: Leif's largest Temple is the flame-spire in Billund, Regalian Archipelago, a large and steep peak mountain which near permanently fumes smoke.
Relations: Leif is the husband of Estrid, though they are more than that, the folklore specifically defines them as soul mates with a fated connection.
Other Notes: Leif is claimed to have a particular burning hatred for those who discriminate based on gender, supposedly spontaneously immolating terrible offenders.
Estrid, Queen of War
Identity: Estrid, Queen of War, was born when the Tree of Life's branches caught fire in Leif's birth, which she then doused by absorbing them and funneling them to war.
Themes: Estrid's themes are similar to Bard's but differ slightly in that she specifically concerns herself with War, conquest of other lands, ferocity and challenge.
Depictions: Estrid is always depicted in her typical "Gothik" style, dark hair and intense darkened eyes, dark clothing and pale skin, with lots of accessories.
Worship: Estrid worship is usually performed before armies face each other on the field, known as the 'high hour', 3 hours before the battle, when Old Gods armies are weakest.
Manifestation: Estrid has appeared at every major pivotal battle the Old Gods worshipers had to face in their expansion, but stopped appearing one day, for no-one knows why.
Individual: Estrid never had any individual appeal, rather keeping expansion for the Velheim people, and by extension, Old Gods open, until she ceased.
Worship House: Estrid has the most amount of Temples across the world, each of them called a Temple of Fire, in which a massive bonfire is lit around the clock.
Relations: Estrid is the wife of Leif, though they are more than that, the folklore specifically defines them as soul mates with a fated connection.
Other Notes: Estrid is sometimes blamed for the reversal of Velheim expansion in the world, coinciding with the quick rise of the Regalian Empire.
Hagen, Crafter of Time
Identity: Hagen, Crafter of Time, was born when the Tree of Life remembered history and all events that had gone before, creating wisdom and knowledge for the ages.
Themes: Hagen's themes are wisdom, sagely advise, dogma, staying true to rules and laws, obeying precedence and the elderly, and ancestry and heritage.
Depictions: Hagen looks relatively normal in comparison to all the other gods with his crafting apron, which is on purpose, as he travels among mortals.
Worship: Hagen worship is done passively simply by becoming a more knowledgeable person. Reading books is often good enough as a form of Hagen worship.
Manifestation: Hagen like Tove has manifested many times, always paired together, to offer words of meaningful advice (or misadvise in the case of Tove) to their lives.
Individual: Hagen's manifestations are usually Static. Tove and Hagen represent a debating duo, where Hagen always insists on dogma and knowledge gotten before.
Worship House: Hagen's largest Temple is the House of Stone Healing in Nordskag, which doubles as a massive library with stone debating chambers and reading rooms.
Relations: Hagen's relation to Tove is somewhat dubious, sometimes depicted as two sides of the same coin, sometimes he is depicted as her grandfather.
Other Notes: Hagen appears different each time, sometimes of passable age, sometimes so decrepitly old that his beard touches the floor and drags behind him.
Tove, Daughter of Dreams
Identity: Tove, Daughter of Dreams, was born last of all Gods, and somewhat a mess, as the Tree of Life started dreaming, experienced 1001 random thoughts, and then slept.
Themes: Tove's themes are gladness, dreams, happiness, making others happy, challenging dogma, questioning the world, youth and youthfulness and being carefree.
Depictions: Tove looks relatively normal in comparison to all the other gods with her unnecessary belts, which is on purpose, as she travels among mortals.
Worship: Tove worship takes the form of finding random strangers, and doing something for them to make them happy, or to elicit a smile, or to break some dusty rule.
Manifestation: Tove like Hagen has manifested many times, always paired together, to offer words of meaningful advice (or misadvise in the case of Tove) to their lives.
Individual: Tove's manifestations are usually chaotic. Hagen and Tove represent a debating duo, where Tove always takes the questioning side with a constant barrage.
Worship House: Tove's largest Temple is the House of Stone Caring in Nordskag, next to Hagen's Temple, doubling as a hospital with free healthcare for children.
Relations: Tove's relation to Hagen is somewhat dubious, sometimes depicted as two sides of the same coin, sometimes she is depicted as his granddaughter.
Other Notes: Tove appears different each time, sometimes as an adult, but more often than not as a recalcitrant teenager, ready to combat Hagen's opinions.