Azurian Pantheon

THE AZURIAN PANTHEON

The Azurians are a shamanistic people. They worship gods of natural forces and base philosophies, but each of these deities is also representative of a different animal totem. The Azurians also coincide with the nature spirits of the world. To them everything natural has a spirit. The animals, plants, rocks and wind are all entities that should be appeased in one way or another. One might implore the favor of the wind before firing your bow, or chant to the spirit of the iron as you caste it to forge a sword. Animal spirits afford as much respect as any man. When hunting for food, the spirit of the animal is prayed to after the kill. It is thanked for its sacrifice and blessed in its return to the cycle of life, death and rebirth.
Even though there are gods in this religion the Azurians believe all mortal creatures are reborn after death. This "Life-Death- Rebirth" cycle is the basis of the religion. Anything outside this cycle that is not a natural spirit or god is totally unholy, such as undead. The god that turns this great cycle of nature is the Earth Mother, called Aeija. She is the creator of the natural world and all the spirits within are part of her, including the Azurian.
While Aeija is the mother goddess the world also has a father god. This is the god of the raw elements, called Valuzigoth. Valuzigoth created the raw elements and Aeija weaved them into the natural world. However, from this point they both saw a different direction for the world. Aeija wanted plants, animals, and life to all live in harmony and balance; a perfect order. Valuzigoth wanted the raw elements to clash and create chaos over the world, so his children could battle for his favor. His children are the Titans and Giants and they serve his ends in a constant attempt to destroy the natural world. Aeija and Valuzigoth became bitter enemies and their children became the armies for their war. This is why the Azurian are allied with the Duervar. They share a common foe.
When Valuzigoth was defeated by the Duervan god Dorak he was imprisoned in an adamantine tower. This imprisonment meant that he could no longer control the raw elements of the world nor could he create new Titans to reside there. In fact, he could not even communicate with those who still resided upon the world. This was a great triumph for the Azurians who were now free of their terrible enemies. However, their freedom would not last for long.
With their all-powerful father beyond their reach the Titans became susceptible to corruption. Some of them fell prey to the Nameless One. Those that did became the Gods of Ogres and Orcs. The Ogres were born, and though they were not as great as Giants they were much greater in number and were not limited to residing in any particular element. They were creatures of the natural world like humans, but their totally wicked and vile tendencies were not like humans at all. The Ogres formed a great kingdom, lead by their Ogre Kings. They drove down from the far reaches of the north and cut into the Azurian Empire. The Ogres and their brethren, the Orcs, were too powerful and too many. The Azurian were defeated, their kingdom crushed, and driven to the very borders of their once mighty empire.
So it is, that in the Azurian Pantheon, the enemies of the gods are the Goblinoid gods, and the enemy of the Earth Mother, Aeija, is the Elder Elemental God, Valuzigoth.

The Marat
The Marat are the six gods of the Azurian pantheon. When Aeija mothered the world she gave each part of it a great spirit. These great spirits have domain over different aspects of the world, but all serve Aeija.
Akarik is the Mountain King. Wherever the earth rises to meet the sky, sharp and jagged, it is Akarik's domain. Akarik is the father of the totems of the Bear, the Cougar, and the Ram. He is also the god of valor, craftsmanship and knowledge. He gives courage to his followers. All history and knowledge is painted upon the walls of his great mountain caverns. It is from the Duervan gods that he learned to mix the metals of the earth and form steel.
Sha-ir is the Queen of Wind and Skies. When the air moves past you, you are in her presence. The azure infinity is her veil. She is the mother of the totems of the Eagle, the Hawk, and the Elk. She is also the goddess of archery, great journeys, music and healing. Her voice can be heard in the wind and it is said to soothe even the most battered souls.
Durel is the Planes Walker. He is the endless fields and rolling hills. Where the earth is low and broad you are in his domain. Durel is the father of the totems of the Bison, the Steed, and the Mammoth. He is also the god of hunters, nomads and community. Like a great herd, the Azurians follow the wisdom of their god and gather together to protect themselves.
Shirak is the Light Bringer. She is the sun in the sky and the fire on the grasslands. When angered by the River Prince she strikes at him with arcs of her lightning, which occasionally set forests and fields aflame. Her gift to the Azurian is the flame of the hearth, which cooks food and brings warmth to the home. She is the mother to the totems of the Tiger, the Serpent, and the Dragon. She is also the goddess of crops, wine and sorcery. Without her light plants would not grow. Wizards are not found in the Azurian culture, but sorcerers are. As goddess of sorcery she grants her gift to only those she sees befitting. Her other children, the Dragons, are all gifted with this great power.
Azirith is the River Prince. He is the water that flows down the Azir, pouring into the lakes and seas. He is the rain that gathers in the skies and is carried on the winds of Sha-ir. Azirith is a capricious and torrential god. His moods vary greatly and he often angers Shirak. He is the storms and when he does not wish to be moved you can hear him clash with the Queen of the Wind as he pours his rains upon the earth. However, he is also the source of all life, for without him all animals and plants would die of thirst. He is the father of the totems of the Otter and the Fish.
Valuth is the Shadow in the Forest. He is the darkness of the primordial wilderness and the wild things amidst the ancient trees. Valuth’s domains are the dark forests that cover the earth. He is the father of the totems of the Wolf, the Boar and the Owl. He is also the god of warriors and the moon. As god of the moon he brings light into the darkness of those wild places. As the god of warriors his followers lead the battle against the Ogres and other enemies of the Azurian.

The Totems
Aeijah is the mother of all spirits in the natural world. Every animal, tree, rock and stream has a spirit. Everything has a spirit. These spirits are all descendants of a greater spirit that represents each of them. These are the Totems. There is a Totem of the Bear and therefore every Bear Spirit is descended from the Bear Totem. Azurians believe themselves to be as much descendants of Totems as any other creature in nature; however, there is no Totem of Man. Instead everyone is born to an animal Totem. This is because Aeijah made the spirits of men from the most noble of the animal spirits. Thus, when a child is born the Shamans divine their Totem.
A Totem is more than a figurative animal. This spirit is granted by Aeijah and represents a person's true nature. Personality, wants and hates are all determined by that spirit. The Totems were "parented" by the Marat, but the Marat do not choose what men are borne of what spirits. It is not necessary that an Azurian choose to worship the god that fathered his Totem. Hence, one might be borne to the Totem of the Boar but worship Shirak, the Light Bringer.
There are 12 Totems: Bear, Bison, Boar Cougar, Dragon, Eagle, Elk, Fish, Hawk, Horse, Mammoth, Otter, Owl, Ram, Serpent, Tiger, and Wolf. These Totems are each distinctive in their own ways, as described below.
Bear is characterized by its strength and courage but also by their patience and knowledge. Bear is a mighty beast that is a terrible foe when roused, but its temper is slow and it will not strike unless provoked. Bear does not waste its time and energy hunting down its food. It forages and thrives off what it finds until it is time for the Trout to run upstream. Then Bear lets its food come to it. A fast lung is all it takes, and Bear is fed well. This is personality of those born to the Totem of Bear. They are patient and calm tempered but when roused they will strike with a great ferocity. They are strong both of heart and will. They know that with great patience comes great reward, and knowing the exact time to reach for that reward is the only real way to achieve one's goal. It is said that the bears of the world created the first written words. They scratched them upon trees to communicate with other bears and creatures. They also make these markings in their caves. The Totem of Bear is the keeper of knowledge and those of its spirit have a thirst for it and prize the written word. Those Azurians born of the Totem of Bear are broad and muscular. Men are barrel chested and burly, while women are full figured with thick lengths of hair.
Bison is characterized by its desire to wander but also by its need for fellowship. It has great fortitude and never stops its roaming over the great planes. Bison will never stay long in one place, preferring to follow the warmth to greener pastures. It is restless but will not go forth without the rest of its herd. They are a fellowship of nomads. Those born of the Totem of Bison are never satisfied with where they are. They always have a desire to move on or up and find fresher greener pastures. However, they believe friendship to be the greatest gift and companionship to be essential. They will not leave those they care about but always desire the open trail. Those of the Bison seem to find each other and together wander the world. "There is always something better over the next horizon if you just take the time to make the journey" is a favorite saying of these people. The truth is they desire no destination, rather it is the journey that enthralls them. Azurians born of the Bison are stout with heavy bones. They are stocky and broad shouldered and with heavy dark hair and rounded features.

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