Monday, 1 September 2014

Sardonic cults of the Ruined Sea

In the early days, before people knew how to work bronze and the children of Erache still ruled the world, it was customary amongst the peoples of Eusebes to exalt the finest amongst them through funerary worship. Feeding on sacrifice, the exalted dead did not fade into the grey anonymity of the underworld, but continued to impart their blessings upon the living. A number of them continues to be worshiped as the Assembly of Anostos, a separate set of gods from the more savage deities of Eusebes' past.



There was one king, especially mighty in his rule, who had come to receive such exaltation before his passing from the world. He became an eternal, and was set to rule his kingdom in perpetuity. Although the identity and manner of his murderers varies with each account of the myth, it is always said the king was fed the deadliest of poisons and forced into the ashen oblivion of the underworld. Though they may have taken his earthly body and authority from him, the king preserved his place in the Assembly.


His mortal name struck from the records and swallowed by the underworld, he is known as The Lord of Bitter Waters, He-who-laughs-in-death, Rootbiter, Waits-in-the-earth, or simply the Nameless in the Assembly of Anostos. People of the Sea Exarchs identify him with the mythical First King of Gebal. He is worshiped on the Raven Isle as Carro, who must be appeased to allow the sowing of crops least he will poison the grains, causing convulsions, delirium, laughter and eventually death. Sailors from Venvard have identified him with the ritual royal sacrifice of their lands, intended to ensure a good harvest for the year.


He is depicted with a terrible skull-like grin, his body either stiff like a corpse or crooked as if enduring great pain. He sometimes wears a crown weaved from poison flowers. Mushrooms are sacred to him, as are all things old and immutable. Old age is praised over youth, decline over growth. The rulers of Eusebes are impostors on his rightful throne, life is a mockery that is only allowed to continue unchecked until his return. He is worshiped in dead places, underground, in natural caverns or earthen cellars, dug for this specific purpose.


Temples of the Assembly only include his shrines in a token capacity, keeping his statue veiled. Seeking communion with him through an oracle of the temple costs double. Those who would benefit from his benevolence typically pass the ritual duties and sacrifices off to devoted cultists, preferring not to deal with the god directly. His cultists are scornful and derisive of society, breeding a particular sense of superiority mixed with resentment, strengthened by their isolated status.

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