Tales of Tolara
“They say Tol made the world to be his Garden of Creation. If that’s true, if this is what He wants… then I guess Tol must hate us all, right?”
-Orsi Aelen, elven resident of the Bastil Tutelage
It is believed that Tol was the first and true God. However, one God cannot possibly cater to the believes and worries of all creation. The desires and wants of the people, the strength of their belief, created a multitude of lesser gods whose powers were outside the command of Tol. This brought chaos, or so it is said, and after many years the Emperor, in His wisdom, banned the worship of any god besides the one True Lord. At least, that’s what the Emperor would have liked. There still exist cults and factions of belief for many gods, great and small. All thrive on the power of belief for, as they are manufactured by the needs of mortals, without belief they would fall into slumber; like a wind-up toy without a key.
The one True God and creator of Tolara, those who worship Tol worship on the basis of age, wisdom, and truth. A god of elements, creation, and goodness, Tol is omnipotent and omniscient. The religion is based on very little prayer, instead focusing on goodwill towards others, especially those worse off than you. Very clearly monotheistic, the church of Tol welcomes all to wash themselves of heathen gods and embrace His Light. The clerics, called Gardeners, are often very kind and willing to assist any in need, regardless of faith, practice, or belief.
The Emperor made the very substantial claim that he Himself was the vessel of Tol come to Tolara again. While not the official church of the Empire, Imperial Orthodox, as those who worship Him are called, are thought of as more nationalist and loyal than those who simply worship Tol as an abstract creator. The Imperial Church is very straight forward in its beliefs, taking from the Garden excessively and often using direct quotation and references to prove their beliefs. In particular the scripture involving helping those worse off than oneself is the basic standing ground on which the Tutelages are made. The clerics of the Emperor are very loyalist and are quite insistent about it.
Since the cataclysm, there is still a large contingent who worship The Emperor, citing the disaster as proof of his claims of divinity.
The Four-Figured Lady
A wide-spread religion that is second only to the Sanctioned, the Lady is a church of many faces. Her four aspects, the Babe, the Courtesan, the Widow, and the Crone each hold sway over some facet of life. The Babe is a goddess of innocence, often spoken of to protect against miscarriage. The Courtesan is a goddess of lust, love, and fortune, spoken of in throes of passion. The Widow is a dangerous mistress, a goddess of vengeance, betrayal, and loneliness. Very few churches exist to the Widow and her name is only whispered in the darkest places for fortune in the darkest of deeds. The Crone in particular is an oft spoken of goddess of the dead. The churches of the Lady vary depending on which aspect holds most sway in the church. The clerics, as well, differ, so much so that it sometimes is thought that each aspect is a separate goddess. However, there are a few Completionists who pay equal attention to the four aspects.
Luna and Sola
The two sisters, moon and sun, dance with each other in an eternal ballet. Back and forth between this world and the world of Nevher. Goddesses of seasons, nature, time, and protectors of the elvish clans, these two primal forces are worshiped often without even thinking on it by most Tolites. There exist very few temples to the happy duo, and only two of any great significance. The location of these temples however has been lost to the ages. Instead the world pays silent thanks to the sun and the moon, both in this world and the Other.
Xynthis, The Punisher
A newly risen diety, Judex’ portfolio is one of vengeance. Lore says that he was once a man who had everything taken from him, and so he swore to carve from the world what he had lost as payment. A god of anger, righteous fury, and decimation, this is a god for the new age as people struggle to find their place in this new world. There are no temples to The Punisher, only alters of rage.
The Bound One
He who would take the world and stitch it back together, The Bound One is an enigmatic deity. It is said that He speaks to the Monastic Order of Chains directly, and that somewhere within the Chainlink Spire is the conduit from which He orates. The Bound One’s dictum is one of peace and unity, for that is all that can hold the world together in these trying times. Those who trust in The Bound One believe in the people who rest on this floating world, and challenge any unnatural beings that may destabilize The Garden’s place in the cosmos.
The Elemental Lords
Forbidden names now, but the four Sires of Tol, Firiga, Umidashi, Aeredasa, and Diodax representing Fire, Water, Air, and Earth, are and forever will be the Lords of Chaos. Thought of now as evil through their connection to the infinite chaos of the Abyss, these deities have lost much prayer over the last centuries. However, in every drink of water, every fire lit, each breath taken, and each stone unturned, all pay homage to the elements. There are a few barbarian tribes to the west who worship the Lords instead of Tol, as well it is believed that the Ssarians worship the Elements.
Very little is known of these enigmatic beings. According to scripture they were the first to receive Tol’s gift of creation and sought to become gods in their own right. Tol saw the Four’s ambition however and desired to destroy them. However Tol could not bring himself to destroy his finest creations and so he created the prison of Nehver to hold them for all eternity. The names of the Four are never to be spoken, for their true names bring their attention on any who speaks it. So they are called collectively as The Quarto of Sorrows. As their power was barely matched by Tol Himself, none but the most wicked dare pray to the Quarto for fear that they may one day ride on their terrible steeds to destroy all of creation.
Those Who Are Forgotten
There exist many gods of madness and despair who exist beyond this world, not truly gods but instead beings of such alien designs that they can only be described as godly in stature. The names of these gods have been lost to time and rightly so, for the very utterance of these beings would bring insanity to those who heard it.