The Divine and Primal
The Divine and Primal
The gods, of Telduria are not distant beings to be doubted by the skeptic and impossible to prove to the faithless. Ten Centuries ago, they fought a great war that ended the fickle and dangerous reign of the titans and wrought havoc upon the face of the world. Aged Humans whose mother’s raised them on tales of the Divine War passed down those many generations, while there are elves, dwarves, and a few venerable Gnomes who were there in person. The blessings of the gods are everywhere, and the cursed abominations of their enemies still walk the lands of Telduria. Only a fool denies the existence of either, and even a child can tell him he is wrong.
Serving the Gods
In a world where titans slumber and the gods often walk among mortals, it would be foolish not to pay one’s respects. Nevertheless, most mortals who pray to the gods or titans hope to invoke some sort of aid or to divert their wrath. Each of the gods takes special interest in certain activities and domains of influence, and a mortal who prays to the gods faithfully usually gains some aid. A smith who invokes the name of Corean might discover that divine insight guides his hammer upon the anvil, while an
assassin calling upon Talakara might feel her blade hasten toward the unprotected back of a priest of Madriel. Similarly, a smith who ignores Corean might find his works flawed, while an assassin who shirks Talakara may become the target of more faithful worshippers of the Slayer goddess. The common people of Telduria know that the gods are part of their everyday lives in innumerable small ways and are their saviors against the depredations of the capricious titans. Servants of the titans cannot invoke such blessings, for only the direct, sometimes unwanted attention of a titan can bring them weal or woe.
Meanwhile, around their campfires in desolate lands, whispering in the tunnels of dark pits and preaching in blasphemous cults on the fringes of civilization, the spawn of the titans promise revenge, speak of the return of the titans and war against their errant children. Their faith in the old ways remains strong — and their hatred for the divine races even stronger.
While nearly every being on Telduria pays obeisance to at least one of the gods or titans, there are those who act as the special servants of the divine and receive powerful benefits for doing so. Avengers, clerics, invokers, shaman’s, druids, paladins, and warden’s wield magical power stemming from their relationships with the gods or titans. Each holds a god or titan above all others, preaches the merits of his patron, and seeks to emulate his patron’s glory.
Druids draw their power from the elemental nature of the earth around them. In the Lands of Telduria, this strength is embodied in the titans, and thus each druid generally follows the path of one of the mighty titans. As such, most civilized folk question their motives, especially given that, of all the titans, only Denev stood by the side of the mortal races during the Divine War. Many embittered people distrust even Denev’s primal nature, but the efforts of the Earth Mother’s druids to heal the scarred world of Telduria are endless, and the gods themselves praise her aid during the Divine War. The servants of Denev epitomize the ideals of the balance of nature, and thus stand as an example that others may embrace or shun. Druids of other titans diverge greatly from the path of the Earth Mother. Denev’s siblings reveled in their own power and each saw nature through a different lens. Their selfishness is often reflected in the worship of their servants, from the treachery of the druids of Mormo the Serpent Queen of Witches to the predatory instincts of the druids of Arkenn the Hunter. Their whimsically destructive natures reflect themselves in the mad appetites of druids of Gaurak the Glutton and the untamed fury of druids of Lethene the Dame of Storms. Most of the druid servants of the other titans are Unaligned or Evil, though a few hew closer to nature and are of any alignment with particular respect for their patron’s ways. Distrusted by the divine races, these nature priests find homes among the titanspawn forged by their patrons and share in their desire for revenge upon the gods and their children.
The special relationship between gods and their worshippers is different from the primal homage of druids. Clerics serve the gods as arms of their faith, focusing the energy of the gods and their believers into miracles on Telduria. As the gods depend upon their followers for their power, so the clerics draw upon the supernatural might of their patrons. Though they retain their free will, they strive to be the instruments of their gods’ wills and in doing so inherit power beyond the ken of the common person. Many are honored as holy figures in their own right, renowned for the miracles the gods channel through them. Others are feared as fierce reflections of their gods’ wrath, unholy destruction made incarnate or righteous fury punishing the wicked. Clerics augment the worldly might of a god as a glass lens magnifies the intensity of the sun.
Other Magic in Telduria
Warden’s and Barbarians are warriors with the special ability to Wield primal magic of their own. Barbarian’s honor the forces of nature, and the spells they gain are similar to Primal spells. Most good Barbarian’s honor the goddess Tanil, but their spells still come from their connections to the Earth Mother. Less benevolent Barbarian’s Druids, Shamans, Warden’s often follow one of the titans, though some serve one of the gods and retain their links to nature’s primal power; after all, the gods sprang from the titans.
Good Paladins strive to embody the ideals of Corean, and the spells they gain are divine power of the clerical type. Some paladins also serve another deity, particularly Madriel or Rilak, but the majority hold Corean most dear to the heart and draw upon his holy power.
Sorcerers, artificer’s, bards, warlocks and wizards do not draw their power from the titans or gods. Their spells are crafted to command the raw force of magic that flaws through the universe. Scholars call this manipulation of mystic energy arcane power. For bards, warlocks and sorcerers, this ability comes naturally, and they find the words of power roll from the tongue easily. Wizards must coax their talents through intensive study and hard work. Fortunately, the tomes of knowledge they build through the years, combined with their experimental approach, often leave them with a greater understanding of magic than their sorcerer brethren.
Many members of the divine races distrust those who wield arcane magic, as it is associated with the titan Mesos because the Sire of Sorcery gifted the first sorcerers with their command of magic. They warn that use of arcane magic threatens to return Mesos to power.
Some leaders, especially many priests, put this fear to political use against sorcerers and wizards they oppose. Others such as the necromancers of Shegoth and the Battle-Mages of Calastia enjoy the additional ability to frighten their foes. Certain magic aficionados note that the goddess Miridum, daughter of Rilak, was a wizard before the titan Arkenn slew her, and they claim that her efforts during the Divine War prove that arcane magic is not inherently corrupt. They argue that while Mesos may have been the first to discover sorcery, there is no evidence that he created the magical energies that it employs.
However one might regard arcane magic itself, it is beyond argument that Mesos has affected the nature of arcane magic on Telduria. Even the use of arcane spells has changed, as they generate unnatural heat surrounding their caster. Scholars of the Black Library claim that this is the work of titanspawn known as “arcane devourers” gathering magical energy with which to restore their disrupted lord. Some of the loremasters of Lokil insist that the arcane devourers are not capable of such a feat and that it is the disruption of Mesos and his dispersal into the universe causing arcane energies to radiate heat. In either case, priests of the gods often point to this effect as poof that arcane magic is impure. Unfortunately, the Sire of Sorcery’s legacy of magical catastrophe exceeds merely affecting the nature of arcane spells. As the essence of Mesos flows through the boundaries of the Astral Sea and the Elemental Chaos, and through the world of Telduria, it disrupts the delicate processes whereby magical items are created and some times even distorts existing magic. Physical objects imbued with magic may be affected whether the source was divine or arcane in nature. Affected magic items may develop quirks or even operate in unintended ways. Scholars of magic call this Mesos’ Curse, and note that it most often strikes during item creation, though it occasionally strikes existing items — even some whose manufacture predates the Divine War.