The story focuses on a civil war in the territory of Nekrabal, as two factions - one devoted to Bershaevol, Goddess of Deception, and the other to Haekrabal, Many-Armed God of Perfection - fight to secure the Tower of Haeol in the middle of the Anghar river of lava; only to discover a centuries-old secret locked within the tower itself. What secret is it? Will it liberate the factions and end the civil war? Or will it spur the deaths of many more in the names of their lost gods?
AKRABAL GORGE, Nekrabal (10 Augury, Tae 2484), The Territories of Zargandar
"Move!" Against the torrent of ash-clouds and geysers marring their field of vision, General Keshande ordered his lieutenants and twenty thousand armed Khaveran warriors to charge down the southern wall of stone-hewn cliff-side steps of the Akrabal Gorge.
It was midday but with the ever-present rain of ash and dust, the sun was lost in the darkness and it might as well had been night. Strong-muscled, teal-eyed and pointy-eared, his long braided hair caked in the blue-green paint of sheepskin leather known as the Embe, and his ebony-black skin already coated with layers of powdery volcanic dust, Keshande knew they had to reach and reinforce the tower before Uruth and his Aksuri army emerged from the north side of the gorge.
We continue our divinity series on religions, gods and mythologies in Mortalissar with Part 3. As we cross into the third quartet of the pantheon, you may want to refresh your memory on the first half with Part 1 and Part 2. Part 1 covers mainly the deities in central and north-eastern Mortallisar. Part 2 delves into the oriental deities in the east and northernmost parts of Mortalissar. For our third segment, we'll look at the deities the north-western and western parts of the world. Enjoy the folklore.
The story about a ship captain, his crew and his ship as he is chosen by his country's mysterious king - a wraith-lord - to sail out into sea and prove his worthiness - not just as a captain of his ship, but as the potential successor to rule his country.
ULSETH, Nethulsis (Silence Day, 31 Sellestine, Tae 4053), The Ice Kingdoms of Serpentriss
They huddled around their tables, watching in silence as the ale in their wooden mugs grew stale and bitter. There were a dozen of them - burly men and skinny boys, one woman, a Nolrim dwarf, an Akwipi (a Hawk-man or Primoerial-Hawk as some might call 'em in the southern lands) and an elf from one of those forgettable pirate islands in Morassin. They were seated in batches of twos and threes, some drinking their ales, others rolling bone-shaven dice, listening to the howl and hiss of the blizzard outside the inn.
The pantheon of divinity in Mortalissar covers a whole gamut of Gods, Goddesses, Sentient Beings, Beasts, Demonlords, Ascended Demigods and even some Unknown Ones. Until today, there is no one god who rules over all, leaving much of their existence and devotion to their regions of worshipers in Mortalissar. (Reference image is from the Guan Yin Dunhuang series by Chinese painter Zeng Hao)
This is a continuation of our previous Part 1 on Religions, Gods & Mythologies in Mortalissar. In this second-parter, we'll cover some of the other divinities and their roles in the shaping and transformation of their worshipers and lands. Despite what many would have thought, there exists pockets of Mortalissari who do not worship a divine being, believing in more earthly pursuits and fortunes rather than devote time and place to someone or something they have no control over. These regions are indicated as Pagan in the religion world map. We'll cover those bits in greater detail in time.
The story about two lovers - one a chieftain's son and another the village huntress - as they seek to find redemption in a world devoid of morality and dignity. Will the son convince his people of her innocence or will she take matters into her own hands?
ISHANTI, Xissan (15 Urmon, Tae 2985), The Principalities of Aramyss
Eoyan licked the edges of her feathered arrow and gently drew it to her heavily-carved bow.
She flicked her bone-braided pony-tail aside as she tiptoed across the soggy earth, underneath the soothing whistle of tall, heavy bamboo trees. Against the foreboding chill of a trailing mist seeping into her multi-ringed ears and flared-up nostrils, she crouched lower as she released a trail of vapor into the air, waiting for the thump of her heartbeat to match the patter of the earth. She wasn't wearing any shoes; she had decided to abandon them when she left Ishanti village, and as she curled her toes ever slightly against wet leaves and grass, she knew it was the right choice as she sensed imminent danger ahead.
Religion, the pantheons of deities and places of worship in Mortalissar have become as common a sight as royalty and peasantry. In the first Age of Identity (the first ten millennia), the Gods and Goddesses (also known as the Divine or Deities) walked the earth and ruled over their worshipers or creations. Their very existence, and for some their power and ability to function, are derived from the belief and faith systems created by their line of worshipers. Most of them are defined by how fervent they worship them. Here then are the pantheons of the gods and goddesses from the First Age of Identity (the First Age of Mer), what they represented and what happened to them by the end of that age.
About the World
This section highlights the world of Mortalissar in greater detail, especially her territories, countries, races, magic, calendar and belief systems. Occasionally, I will write short fiction stories relevant to a particular realm to define its unique characteristics set against a larger canvas. Hopefully, over time, the collection gives you, the reader, a greater appreciation of the uniqueness of this world, and her many qualities and flaws.