The Elemental

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The Elemental

Goddess of nature, elements, and storms. Illumitas’ Shard of Passion.
Dominion:The Nature School of Magic.
Precepts:Serve passion regardless of creation or destruction; beauty is truth; live well, for your time is short.

The Absent Goddess, Blight, the Fickle Sky, the Bitch of Fire, the Bitch of Floods, Lady Winter, Dawn, The Green Matron, Gaia, The Thorned Lover, Venai, Gale, Auctumnae… The Elemental has the most names in the Sept, and the fewest clergy. The reasons for these phenomena are the same; for hundreds of years, the Elemental has been gone. Those who believe that she was with the heroes of Nalbendel would state that she has only been gone for 400 years – the blink of an eye for a fickle goddess. However, those who disbelieve these rumors would count her absence as much longer. The deepest, most primal facets of fallen Illumitas coalesced into the Elemental. Thus, Illumitas’ capacity for beauty and passion lived on beyond his death. Though now uncoupled from principle or love, the Elemental’s beauty is found equally in careful loving growth and sudden passionate destruction.

Ancient ruins or relics bearing her likeness depict a young woman, in the flower of her beauty, dancing by moonlight in a secluded forest glade. Other times, she is painted as a furious scorned lover, her hair a thunderhead of dark clouds, with lighting crackling from her fingertips. Modern Elvish sculptors in the Great Forest sculpt her as an elf maid, bathing beneath a waterfall, revered by wolf and deer alike. These tributes are always anointed with perfumes and aromatic oils, as these were her earliest gifts to the world.

The inspiration for creation itself, the Elemental within Illumitas chose the colors of each flower, decided on the taste of venison and hawk, invented rain, and sets stars in the night sky to guide travelers across her lands. She also was known to indulge in mercurial rages, and has burned fields, shaken the earth, ravaged the seas with storms, pushed over houses with great winds, and cursed mortals with famines born of drought. Her priests were known to share her madness, and would endlessly strive to find new ways to supplicate her glory, and assuage her anger. Sometimes, these rituals would approximate the workings of the Dark Three, rather than the Sept.

Other than the natural world, she was in contention with the Scholar over artistic inspiration. The exact esoterica of this divine debate have been lost, but it is thought the two gods contested over who could claim the divine right of mortal inspiration. Even in her absence, some poets and playwrights will make a small token sacrifice to the Elemental as their muse.

Certain heretical texts suggest that of all the Sept gods, she was the only goddess who ever knew romantic love. The texts are unclear if this romantic love was with other deities, mortal followers, or spirits or ghosts. Some say she fell in love with the ugliest of mortal men, and thus were the Druids created. Some say she plucked a soul from the Stranger’s Well, and unleashed her fury at all attempts to reclaim the spirit. Some suggest her lover may even have been Nox, who behaves as much like a scorned lover as it does a god of ill intent. Questions of any offspring are similarly muddied. Still, it is said those kin of the Fae all share a similar look about them, and must have a common ancestor in their otherwise discordant lines. Or perhaps the Druids and wardens of nature, who only began to appear after she vanished. Or banshees and other sentient spirits, driven by their own turbulent emotions and passions. None can say for certain.

Where she has gone, none can say. Some believe she is raising Vargainen, and remaking it anew. Some say she has been killed by Grak, but this murder has not yet been discovered by the other gods. Still others think she has been called on to create a new world in some other starlit realm far away from Novitas. No evidence exists to support any of these theories.

What is known as fact is the following: That despite the charity of the Mother, the discipline of the Knight, the strength of the Soldier, the knowledge of the Scholar, or the skill of the Craftsman, the Elemental was the strongest of the Sept in terms of raw power. When Vargainen was destroyed, it was she that laid the continent low. It was she who created winds both strong enough to carry the survivors of that place to the new lands of Novitas, but also gentle enough to keep them asleep for the journey. It was the flora and fauna of the Elemental that fed all mortal creatures alike. It was she who blessed all things young with an instinctive reverence, at the Mother’s behest. It was she that hid raw ores and minerals in the land for the Craftsman to make use of. It was she that brokered with the Soldier to save armies and mortals from warlike disaster with the precise application of lightning, fog, wind, or snow.

Her lesser gifts are equally worthy of note: Romantic love, appreciation of beauty, fallen branches for hearths and forges, wool to spin, streams to drink, pain to teach, snow to clean, and the like. While the Sept embodies the pinnacle of good living, no life would be possible without the Elemental’s gifts.

And then, one day, she was gone.

However, in her absence she did not forget the world she left behind. She left a lower form of her Nature magic behind, as tools for those who would act in her stead. She pushed the elemental planes to motion, so that their warp and woof would keep the mortal lands in seasonal balance. She banished her formal priests, who had grown too erratic and insane to be of any use, awoke certain trees to wisdom and sentience. She called the Druids to replace her crazed heretics, and loosed these wardens upon the land.

Were she still a part of the world, she would doubtless have the most followers among the mortal realm. A clever man might rub his chin and ask, who then had the most to gain with her absence?

Prayers to the Elemental now go unheard, and unheeded. Her mysteries and paradoxes are lost to posterity. No temples now remain to her glory, and she is cursed more than she will ever be venerated. Such is the fate of uninhibited passion. Long absent now, the Elemental is represented by her scions, the Druids. The druids and witches do what they can to defend their local interests, though they do so without any higher coordination or guidance. To keep a lakes clean, or forests free of deadfalls, or to coax blight out of farm fields, or to incant rituals for rain; these are the self-appointed tasks of the Druids and the Great Trees. They do this while they wait, endlessly wait, for her return. Only then will they be rewarded with a unified mission, and an angry goddess to grant them the tools to change the world.

Until such time as the Elemental returns, there can be no ordained priests devoted to her. The empowered Druids simply serve what they believe are her wishes.

Categories: Game Setting | Religion | Gods

Page last modified on November 16, 2017, at 02:45 PM
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