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The gods sleep while we mortals suffer. The dead roam the world while the gods remain mute. The powers have left us to this nightmare and we are faced with living death. The White Cloth speaks of patience and of turning the tide. We speak of embracing our death, of controlling it. You in your entropy are eternally in motion, never at rest. We call on you Dal, in this time of the sleeping powers, you who are still around us, with us we call on you to empower us. You in your entropy are eternally in motion, never at rest.
Cult of Dal chant, WareHave, 100AA
Here’s the latest installment of world building for Aruneus. For those new to the party, I’m constructing a high fantasy campaign via D&D 3.5 rules which takes place 100 years after a zombie apocalypse has decimated 90% of the worlds population.
A quick fact sheet for those just tuning in:
- Only humans are affected by the bite of a zombie. Well, everyone’s affected as it hurts like hell but only humans will turn.
- This is a Romero experience: zombies shamble, a bite is 100% fatal and guaranteed to turn your friends, loved ones, npcs and characters into shambling undead eating machines.
- Elves, Dwarves and Orcs are the other three major races.
- The world is still a political one – government and religious factions via for control, kingdoms expand and contract, the Orcs are taking advantage of the chaos to create their own kingdom and you, the party are smack dab in the middle of it.
- There’s a good bit of history, zombie stats, and possibly a cure, all detailed in earlier posts. Click the link above to see those.
The Gods of Aruneus
It is said that in the time before the arrival of the Elves, Aruneus was a godless world, existing in a state where powers and magic was free to use for all and no beings of immense might had come to claim these raw powers for themselves.
Scholars do not know how the Elves arrived on Aruneus, or where they came from. If even the Elves remember they have not exposed the secret. However the arrived, when they came to Aruneus they brought with them or allowed to arrive six deities who claimed this world for their own. Though they occasionally took an active role in world events they have generally focused on their own realm outside of the purely physical. They are often referred to by the religious orders who follow them as the Gentle Gods for their sparse interaction with the world and its populous. They are generally divided between the Gods of Light who’s concerns are said to be those of creation and the Gods of the Dark who’s concerns are with entropy. Neither the Gods of Light or of the Dark can said to be good or evil, and have in the past granted powers to priests who have both helped and harmed many.
The vast majority of sentient individuals on Aruneus do not dedicated themselves to one of the six, rather they are worshiped as a whole with various gods being called upon for specific prayers as needed.
The Gods of Light
Tamir, or the All God was the first to make itself known to the Elves. Tamir has appeared in many forms, as both sexes but is always said to have worn a crown of white ivory when manifesting in the physical realm. Tamir is said to be the most powerful of the deities ruling over Aruneus and is most often associated with healing and reconciliation. The Elves hold that Tamir has some influence over the other deities. Through the ages a number of religious orders have dedicated themselves to Tamir and Tamir’s Will (although the latter is almost never communicated clearly). The Order of the White Cloth is the latest religious order to be dedicated exclusively to Tamir.
Vaalu is a god most often perceived as male and has been said to have manifested himself mostly as a powerful, red bearded Dwarf. Vaalu is most concerned with knowledge and learning, whether it is in the realm of magic, scholarship or recently the new sciences responsible for lighter than air craft. Of the six, Vaalu is said to have manifested itself most often in the early times of the Great War. Often offering new knowledge to all of the races. He is sometimes seen as a trickster as well as a giver of knowledge.
Raena is always portrayed as a female, taking the form of any of the sentient races. She is always seen clothed in greens and browns and is associated with growing things, forests and fertility. Popular with farmers and those who live close to nature, Raena has in the past proven to be fickle when it comes to intervention, apparently choosing sides on a whim.
Nantos is associated with birth, fertility and new life. Nantos has manifested as both male and female, Dwarf, Human, Elf and Orc. Nantos is credited as the most active god within the mortal sphere. Documented manifestations date back to the League of the Ring. There have been several religious orders dedicated to Nantos specifically. The last, the Order of Nantos was popular amongst Elves and Humans until the mid 400′s BA, when it fell in to decline.
The Gods of the Dark
Mertos is associated with war, hostility and trade. Mertos most often manifests as a tall, dark haired Human. He was last sighted when the Necromancer’s forces were destroyed and her threat was eliminated.
Dal is associated with death and dying. There have been no confirmed manifestations of Dal within recorded history although popular thought holds that seeing Dal manifested leaves you little time to talk about it or do anything else in this world. Most religious orders either shunned Dal or incorporated it into their existing rituals. Until very recently there have not been any orders dedicated to Dal. Now there are a number of cults dedicated to Dal, which the Order of the White Cloth works actively to stamp out.
The last confirmed manifestation of any deity on Aruneus occurred days after the initial undead surge, when Nantos appeared before Lord Neveron of the Old Kingdom, while the Lord was holding court. Forty courtiers report Nantos appearing as a human male, clad in cloth of gold. Nantos reportedly whispered something to Lord Neveron, looked back over his shoulder and then vanished. Lord Neveron immediately called a closed council meeting with his personal advisers. During this meeting he was assassinated by one of his advisers who also succeeded in killing the other 9 men and women in the room, and then themselves. No one is sure which adviser was responsible.
While the power of the gods is manifest through priests and can be seen to work on a daily basis, the gods themselves have chosen (or have been forced) to remain mute since the dead began to walk Aruneus. There is vast speculation as to what has happened to them, why they no longer intervene in mortal affairs and why they have chosen not to speak.
[tags]aruneus, rpg, role playing, zombies[/tags]