Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Eldest

This is a bit of background for my Thursday night game. It has very little bearing on the current adventure at hand, just in case any of my players were wondering. I'm mostly posting this to offer a bit of additional mythology and to explain some of the curses and exclamations used by the coarser NPCs. It's also a bit of background for a new class I'm contemplating for my LL game.

The Eldest are, as the name implies, the oldest creatures in existence. They are the most primal forces in creation, and as such, their influence in all things is powerful, but sometimes very subtle. Their exact relationships are not always clear, and there's much debate on just which beings are Eldest and which are titans. Tiamat, for instance, is called an Eldest by some and a titan by others. I include her here, because I prefer it that way, though many wiser than I certainly disagree.

The first name given is the most common used and the second name is the Common version of that name (almost always derived almost directly from the tongue of the Lizardfolk). The third name refers to the celestial body associated with the eldest.

The Mother, Kohma, the Sun
The Mother is the eldest of the Eldest, and existed before creation. She is the source of creation and all that lives. Some traditions say she gave birth to all creation, others say that she fashioned it of herself, and other say she is herself all creation. Most traditions agree that she is the primal source of all that is, in every Plane and every world.

The Earth, Wakax
The Mother's second son and believed to be her favorite until he angered her. Most traditions say that the Mother lusted after her second son, but that he spurned her advances. In anger, the Mother called upon the Planes of Earth and Fire and bound her son securely in place, a torment and a prison until such time as she chooses to forgive him. This imprisoned Eldest is the world upon which our adventures begin.

The Ocean, Ukot
The Mother's first daughter. When the Mother bound her son with Earth and Fire, she then bound her first daughter to him with Air and Water. Exactly why is a matter of debate. Some say that Earth spurned his mother because he was in love with Ocean, and that the Mother punished her out of jealousy. Others maintain that Ocean chose to be bound to Earth out of love, though whether that love was romantic or filial is also a matter of dispute. Most traditions maintain that she also has feelings for the Silver Moon and strains at her bonds to be with him. All the fish of the plants, fish of the sea, beasts of the earth, humans, lizardfolk, dwarves, and all else that is mortal but is not a monster are said to be the children of Ocean and Earth.

The Huntsman, Kinsik, the Silver Moon
The Mother's first son. The Silver Moon is called the Hunter, Huntsman, and the Gatekeeper. He has authority over all transitions, portals, and transformations, and thus is seen as a potent and powerful force in creation. The stars are said to be his daughters, sired upon the Mother. Of all the eldest, he is probably invoked and propitiated by mortals the most.

Tiamat, the Mother of Monsters, Prisoner of the Red Moon

Tiamat is a wild and dangerous creature, but also very much a mystery. Most agree that she was born of the Mother, but there's a lot of debate as to who her father was, assuming she even had one. It's believed the first dragons were sired on her by the Huntsman, and that she raped the Earth to give birth to the first monsters. She claims credit as the source of most of the monsters that plague the world, including orcs, goblins, hydra, seaserpents, basilisks, and slimes. All wise agree, however, that she is not responsible for the undead.

Near the end of the century-long Third War Against the Monsters, it is said that Tiamat flew into a rage and personally attacked a number of elven cities, leaving nothing but smoking craters and melted ruins in her wake, and leaving hideous scars upon the flesh of Earth. The titans and gods, terrified that Tiamat might accidentally slay or even free Earth, subdued her and created the Red Moon to imprison her in. Most believe, and the gnomes maintain, that the gnomes came from the feylands in order to help heal Earth of the wounds Tiamat inflicted upon him.

Tiamat is a very ambiguous figure. While she is seen as the source of bloodthirst and rage, she's also the wellspring of mortal fertility. It is said that she was imprisoned and not slain because, if Tiamat were to die, no plant would ever flower again and no babes of any animal or race would ever again be born. Tiamat is the second most invoked Eldest, but always with caution. Among the lizardfolk and those humans who have not adopted the ways of the gods, it is still customary for a woman to serve at least a week as a hierodule in Tiamat's temple before taking a husband.

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