Parthan

THE PARTHAN PANTHEON

The Creation:

Aminus was the first, the Primus, the creator, who poured forth the stars in the heavens. He created Naeja, the Earth, and found her beautiful and laid with her. From their union were born Elgar, Atep, and Isati. Elgar is the powerful master of the elements. Atep is the stoic keeper of time. Isati is the beautiful mistress of destiny. These were the Elders, ancient beings more powerful than any God or Titan.

The Titans:

Elgar and Isati had four children of their own; Galur, Amal, Morda and Ciel. These were the Elder Titans, the first of their kind, taller than the Akrothronos, the mountains that served as their thrones. They were created to rule over the world. Each was master of his or her element. Galur is great and as strong as the earth he rules, Amal is beautiful and fiery as the flames she commands, Morda is as cold and powerful as the waters he masters, and Ciel is as mighty and torrential as the air she controls.
The Elder Titans ruled the world, but not in peace. They battled for the greatest dominion, the earth erupted with fire and the waters doused the flames, the mountains pierced the skies and the winds turned the seas to storms. Despite their war they also bore children together, the numerous Titans and their Giantish kin that descended from them. Galur and Amal bore Lojandar and Anvugar. Morda and Ciel bore Muran and Sturmgar. Ciel then laid with Sturmgar, the Titan of Storms, and from their union was born Strathose, the Titan of Clouds.
Aminus gifted Amal the fires of Light and Life and these gifts were used to create a great sphere of flame to traverse the skies. Amal laid with Atep and bore two children; Ishobel and Ahamad. Amal set Ahamad to drive the great chariot that drew her flaming sphere across the sky by day, straight and true. Then at night he would land it at the far end of the world where Ishobel could fly it below the world, taking it back to the other side. All the time Atep would encircle the world in a steady passage assuring that all was in order.
One day Ishobel drove the chariot herself into the day sky. Atep captured her in his great lunar barge, and Ahamad took the reigns once again. Aminus ordered that, as punishment, forever more Ishobel would not be able to emerge into the daylight. She would always be a creature of the night and would live in the underworld, where the cursed dead would be sent to suffer under her hand, a duty she found to be terrible and demeaning. However, she was still allowed to drive the chariot from and to the edge of her borders.
The seas of Morda encircle the world and so often Morda and Ishobel would meet and they became lovers. In time Ishobel gave birth to three children by Morda: Siritheia, Akep, and Sekthis. Siritheia slithered from the darkness of the world in the form of a great sea serpent. She stalked the seas and brought suffering upon sailors who dared traverse her waters without the proper protections. Akep was a great storm that rose from the darkness of the seas and thundered along the coasts. He was strong and powerful and feared as equally as Siritheia. Sekthis was a twisted being, hideous in appearance and even more disgusting in his terribly sadistic nature. He takes great pleasure in serving his mother to bring suffering upon the world.
Siritheia was a terrible monster and she bore many monstrous offspring. They dwelled with her in her great cavern until they were mature at which time she set them upon the world to do their worst. From them are descended all monstrous creatures of the world.
Ishobel and Morda plotted against Amal and Ahamad, and one night when Ahamad set the flaming chariot of the sun on the edge of the world, Seritheia rose from the ocean and snatched it into the sea. Amal leapt into the sea to chase and there Morda set upon her. They fought long and hard in the depths of the ocean, but it was Morda’s home and Amal was losing. She escaped the sea and ran into the desert, but Morda followed her. There in the desert she encountered Ishobel who joined the battle against Amal. Together the two wicked gods killed Amal and she fell to the earth in a great pile of ash and bone. From the ashes of her remains rose a great bird of flame and magic, The Phoenix, which struck down Morda where he stood, and his blood poured into the desert sands forming the great river called Kamor. The Phoenix flew into the night sky, joining the stars. Ishobel sulked back into the darkness of the underworld.
When his mother did not arise from the depths of the sea Ahamad dove in after her. He found Siritheia and the chariot and they fought. He used his sword to split her belly open, from which poured forth thousands of great serpents that filled sea. He retrieved the great Chariot and burst from the ocean, but the flame was already doused. Ishobel appeared and demanded the chariot for her ride in the underworld. He had to obey and so she took the Chariot and drove it to the East. There she did not cross the border and he took the Chariot again.

The Gods:

Naeja, angered at the in-fighting amongst the Titans, had laid with Atep and bore for him two daughters, Reahnae and Sheliacae. Aminus took the Divine Flame from Amal and gave it to the sisters, and they reignited the Orb. Ahamad to drove it into the skies once more, and was thereafter called Ahad-Amal. Naeja then began to tame the elements of fire and water and use them to create the rains and cleanse the earth. Reahnae and Sheliacae used their gifts of life and light to fill the world flora and fauna and bring seasons of fertility and birth.
The other Titans were angered when Aminus and Naeja forsook them, and so they sought to undermine these new goddesses. Zorinos, who was the son of Amal and Anvurgar, seduced Sheliacae, bringing her closer to the world, creating a drought that dried the lakes and killed the flora, bringing suffering to the creatures of the world.
Naeja feared her world would die and so she went to the Greater Titan of Storms, Sturmgar, and became his lover. She bore him two sons, Kalos and Torinos, who were gifted with their father’s rage and power over storms. Torinos blotted out the fires of Sheliaccea with dark clouds and washed the lands with raging rainstorms. Kalos challenged Zorinos, and defeated him in battle.
Naeja was pleased, and offered them both their choice of her daughters and grand-daughters as their brides. Kalos, having actually defeated Zorinos, was given first choice, and he chose Reahnae. This enraged Torinos, for Kalos knew that his brother greatly desired the beautiful and peaceful lady of life. He chose not to take a bride and drowned the world in his sorrow. His torrential rage caused a season of suffering by floods, lightning and storms.
Though she did not love him, Reahnae bore Kalos two children; Myrrae, who held all the love that she could never feel for their father, and Morinos, who was wise and had power over the growing things of the world.
Morinos went to Torinos and gentled him with soothing words and convinced him to calm his storms. He then brought life back to the flora of the world and gave refuge to the fauna. Myrrae gifted them with fertility and soon a great harvest was sowed from the world. Morinos brought the harvest to the other Gods and they rejoiced.
Naeja then sent Korilos, son of Isati, down from his icy mountain peak to set the world to sleep beneath a shroud of snow. Thus the natural cycle ended in a season of icy slumber. But this was not the end, for Reahnae came once again and reawoke the world with the first dawn of a new year. The seasons were set and the cycle of nature was given order by Atep.
Thus it was that the Gods replaced the Titans as rulers of the world. She created for them a palace of beautiful white stone atop the highest mountain and Strathose surrounded it with brilliant white clouds. From here they could look out upon all of her domain, and see what they had created.

The Atherians:

Naeja also had other children, of lesser origin. Bryna filled the seas, rivers and lakes with fish and other water life. Ilnysh created the creatures that crawl or walk upon the earth, and his daughter Liara filled the skies with birds and other flying creatures of beauty and grace. From them many more rare and exotic animals were born.
They also parented eternal spirits in the mortal world, fantastical beings bound to nature. These were the Atherians, who were full of life and vitality, god-like but mortal. Such were the Nereids and Dryads, Satyrs and Centaurs, the various capricious Feeri kind and others more unique and wild. They resided in another world between the mortal realm and the lands of the gods, called the Atheria. They were able to appear at the place of their mortal connection, and just as quickly retreat into this ethereal realm.

The Giants and the Dwarves:

The World of Naeja was now complete, or so she thought. After her world was filled with Flora and Fauna, the Titans began to war amongst each other. As they did so they began destroying all she had created. She came to her brother, Elgar, and bade him to end their rages, but he laughed and said that such chaos was their way and he reveled in it. The Atherians were powerful, but were never granted the gifts of war. Seeing no other choice, Naeja created a race to battle the Titans and their Giant children. The Titans dwelled upon the Akrothronos, and so she gave those mountains life, and thus were born the Dwarven gods. They in turn cast from their furnaces thousands of small warriors and granted them the gift of steel. Thus the Dwarves were born. The dwarves were excellent warriors, and great in number. They defeated the Titans and giants, though in the end their own kingdoms fell as well. Thus the world was free of the giant scourge, for a time, but also cast into an age of Ice. Thus Naeja slumbered, healing from her wounds, with the Dwarven Lords watching over her. Finally Sheliacae melted the Ice away and the Naeja awoke, the earth reborn.

The Parthans:

Naeja honored the Dwarves for their loyalty, but she has not love for them, as they had little love for the natural world. Naeja longed for a race of children that could make her proud, who would love her and the glory of nature. So she created a race true to her, filled with grace, wit, ambition, strength, and most of all a love for her world. She called them Parthans, meaning “My People” and gave them the broad fertile lands at the foot of the Akrothronos, and they called it Parthus, “Land of the People”.
In the early ages of the Parthans the Gods were awesome, capricious beings to be feared and only invoked when absolutely necessary. Naeja is the mother of the world, the earth itself, and evident in all of nature; so she was sacred and beloved by the Parthans. The winds (Sheliacae, Reahnae, Torinos, Morinos, and Korlios), shaped the world at their whims with rain, storms, draught, heat and cold. From them the Parthans sought good weather and safety from the elements. Isati, goddess of fate and destiny and Atep, the god of the Moon and Time, were mysterious and inaccessible. Ishobel and her children were monstrous beings, and their descendants wrecked havoc upon the nescient civilization, and were hunted by early heroes. The animal lords, Bryna, Ilnysh and Liara, often walked amongst the mortals and took many as lovers, fostering such wondrous races as the Centaurs and Tritons.
To the early gods the mortals were there for their amusement, so they often pitted them against terrible monsters or set them off on nearly unconquerable quests for their own entertainment. The few that survived these great trials became renowned heroes, and it was from their descendants that the great civilizations of today arose.
On their quests these heroes often came into contact with the other wondrous children of the gods and Titans, the fae and giants, giving rise to many legends and sometimes even new creatures.

Gods of the Ancient Parthans:
Creators: Aminus, Isati, Naeja, Atep,
Seasons: Sheliacae, Reahnae, Torinos, Myrrae, Morinos, Korilos
Nature: Ahad-Amal, Strathose, Bryna, Ilnysh, Liara
Monsters: Ishobel, Siritheia, Akep, Sekthis

Death and Hedera:

Hedera: Goddess of Death
Horaptuh: Keeper of the rites of the dead

Death: When you die your soul remains tied to your body, but begins the descent into the underworld. Your soul wanders towards the western horizon where it meets Ishobel and she hauls your soul into the underworld on the chariot.
So long as your body is in some way a part of the world, though, you are tied to it. You can be resurrected, or even escape the underworld and return as an undead.
Relics are very important to the Parthans.
Some of the dead, though, try to escape Ishobel. They do not wander towards the horizon, and if they can avoid it before the next sunset they will have escaped Ishobel’s clutches and thus become undead. Horaptuh created rotes to access the souls of the dead by using their own remains. He became the first necromancer. He could use the souls of the dead to curse people, to help them, or to do things that the living couldn’t. He could also animate their bodies and make them serve him. He never, though, helped them escape death, as that would be against the laws. Later Talorn, his son and apprentice, would defeat him and take over his domain. Talorn wouldn’t follow the same laws and began helping the dead escape death by giving them undead bodies and binding their souls back to them, thus the first very powerful undead.
When your body is completely gone, though, you are completely separated from the Mortal world and can never return.

The Pillars of the Citadels:

Isati came to Ahad-Amal and bore him three children: Horaptuh, Sata, and Salix. Horaptuh was fascinated with knowledge, and philosophy and began to study magic, which had been strictly forbidden by the gods, so he was outcast into the desert. Sata is a vain and powerful warrior who seeks fame through the destruction of monstrous beasts. Salix is a young and beautiful woman who is gifted with wisdom and teaches the law of truth.
Sata had defeated the Pheonix and trapped its soul into his sword. He became a god of Imprisonment and was later tricked into taking the duty of guarding the gates of Infernus (his vanity was used against him).
Salix was chosen by Isati to be betrothed to Strathose, the Cloud Titan, who also loved music and philosophy. Their son was Ariston, the Sky Lord.
Ariston was great and well loved for he was handsome and powerful. He fathered many demi-gods and from their lines were born the first of the Parthan race. The Parthans were given gifts from the other gods. Reahnae gave them life, Myrrae gave them love, etc… They were set them upon the coasts of Verosia where they began their lives as fishers and shepherds. In time, though, Salix’s influence grew amongst them and their wise rulers formed the first citadels.

At the same time that the empire of Kal-Kamora was rising to power another people were beginning their own civilization in the land beyond the rocky mountains to the southwest of Vas-Meknor. There laid a rough yet temperate land bordering the blue waters of Vas-Morda. Beyond that peninsula laid many islands and on all this land resided a simple culture of humans who fished the seas, farmed the land, and attempted to master the animals that lived amongst them. These were the various peoples who would collectively be called the Parthans. The Parthans had just started to form their own society and seeking knowledge beyond what they had previously known. Many lesser gods had come to them, and the Parthans easily fell into worshipping them. These were the Patron Deities of the City States.
While Horaptuh and Sata held a great deal of Influence over the Kamorans, Salix found little of that race interested in her teachings. So it was that she went to the Parthans and found amongst them some who would understand her teachings of wisdom and reason. They became known as the Philosophers and under her guidance formed a civilization ruled by intellectuals. They built a city around her coastal temple and named it Sartha, after the goddess. Her son, Kionanthus, from her brother Horaptuh, also came to be worshipped by the Parthans. He brought the knowledge of the written word and taught the people to keep a history and build great library. Salix promised those who spent their life in devotion to wisdom and philosophy a peaceful afterlife in a realm she called Paradisia Eterni. However, they also learned of Ishobel and the promise of a cursed afterlife in the underworld of Acropep for those who lived wicked lives.
In times the teaching of these gods would spread to other Parthans who were beginning their own cities across the peninsula and upon the many islands south and west of these lands.

REVISED:

In the Parthan creation myth, Naeja and Elgar parent the Titans and the Gods.
Sturmgar becomes ruler of all the Titans and Gods at first.
Then begins the Kal-Kamoran mythos about the creation of the sun and moon. Loran is called Atep, how Morda is killed by Amal and becomes the river Kamora and how Amal is killed by Ishobel and becomes the Pheonix. How Sirithreia stole the sun chariott into the sea, dousing its flame, and Ahad-Amal recovered it.
It also includes the story about how Sheliaccae and Reahnae were then gifted the power of Fire and Life and reignited the flame and Ahad-Amal served Sheliaccae there after. This is important because it wasn't part of the Kamoran myth, but nods to the power of the Gods that aren't part of the Kamoran mythos.

Then it goes into the story of how Zorin was born, tempted Sheliaccae to come close to the earth, beginning to destroy it, and how Naeja went to Sturmgar and from him conceived two children: Torinos and Kalos.
Kalos defeats Zorin and is given Reahnae as his bride to placate him. Together they have Myrrae (love and mothers), and Morin (agriculture and autumn).
Tornios, though, is also key in that story in blocking out the sun to weaken Zorin, and in the other myths he pretty much is done there. In the Parthan and Moarik myths, though, he continues to rise in power.
The Parthans (and Moariks), say he went on to battle many of the Titans who I have never mentioned before. There will be dozens of Titans he will put down. Kalos participates in some of these battles.
At this time Naeja creates the Parthans and the Aetheria (others); in that order. All other races will be created at a later time. The Kamorans, Ryoshans and Moarites are said to all be descendants of different Parthan men (much like in Greek mythology, a single progenitor hero or king fathers a culture/race).
At some point in here the Parthans angered Sturmgar, and so he sent Titans of the Sea to flood the lands of Parthus. This is when Verosia and Shur-Tahn became seperated and when Parthans began to move more in-land.
Around this time Sirithreia begins terrorizing the people of the world, and so Torinos attacks her with his lightning and drives her back below the earth.
The Parthan people so revere Tornios and fear Sturmgar that they begin to worship him. Torinos decides it is time to supplant his father, Sturmgar, and so he battles him and wins (no details yet).
Torinos now rules the Gods, but the Titans refuse to serve him. He begins waging a war between the Gods and Titans.

The Parthans begin to spread out, along the coast.
The Kamorans seperate here and move inland, up the river valley of Kamora.
The Ryoshans are the remnants of people living in the south after the flood. They will have been enslaved by the Lacertu. That is all that will be mentioned of them in the ancient myths.

As the Parthan civilizations grow and develop and Age of Heroes will begin.
During this time many Parthan heroes will go on great quests and adventures and will establish new civilizations around Southern Verosia and the islands off-shore. They claim that the Moariks will descend from some of these people, and so too will the Ganniards and J'mirans. This isn't entirely true, of course, but it is their explanation for these cultures.

Naeja has two children by Atep: Memnos and Thamos.
Upon their birth Isati prophecised that these two brothers, if allowed to exist together, would be the source of constant war where ever they met. So counciled that they should be seperated.
Naeja at first tried to ignore this prophecy. These children had their father's appreciation for law and so she could not see how they would not get along together. They were allowed to live in the eternal realms, but as they began to grow up they started fighting with each other more and more. Their battles became so incredible that they caused disaster in the heavens. At one point they knocked down the pillars holding up the sky. Finally Naeja realized she could not ignore the prophecy any longer and cast them out of the heavens.
Thamos was sent far away on the other side of the world to be raised by a mortal man and woman. He was given three animals to serve him: A white sheep, whose wool grew back immediately after being sheared, thus giving him all the clothing he and his family may need; a red highland cow, whose milk encouraged his growth as an immortal; and a black hound, who stood guard outside his home, and whose bark could stun a god and whose bite could kill a god.
Memnos, though, did not have such a disposition and Naeja put him upon a mountain above the plains of Sartha. There she sent Myrrae to raise him.
Memnos was given three divinely created animals to serve him: A silver goat, whose milk encouraged his growth as an immortal; a golden ram, who when killed would spring forth from the spot where he died again the next day, thus providing an infinite supply of fresh meat; and a black lion, who stood guard outside his cavern home and whose teeth and claws could kill a god. When Memnos got older he decided that he didn't needed the protection of the lion any longer and so he killed it with his bare hands and turned it into a cloak which he still wears.
Both men were sent gods to teach them.
Kalos trained them both in war, and forged them each a great weapon of war. Thamos was given a sword and Memnos a Spear.
Torinos, who created the horse (whose hooves are thunder in the skies), gave them each their pick of a great steed. Thamos chose white and Memnos black. He taught them to ride and fight from horse back.
Morinos taught them how to harvest the lands.
Kalos and Tornios took them each (seperately of course) out to battle giants and eventually Titans.
Thus each was prepared for his place in amongst the gods.
However, Thamos was raised by a mortal man and woman and thus was flawed in his raising. He became sympathetic to mortals and was thus weak in his love for them.
Memnos and Thamos only recalled each other as children, but they sensed each other's presence on the mortal world and both fealt an urge to seek each other out.

Now the The Kal-Kamorans were rising in power, and worshipped Aminus, Ahad-Amal, Ishobel and Atep as ultimate deities. They didn't even recognize the existence of many of the other Parthan gods (like Torinos).
The Kal-Kamorans then began strong arming the cultures around them, including many of the Parthan peoples.
When they get to the lands of Sartha, they found a people worshipping Hathonae, goddess of the Sea. Hathonae is the daughter of the mother of the sea-nymphs (Brynlyn) and ??? (I can't remember off-hand).
The Parthan people are subjugated, and as part of their tribute they must send ten young men and women from each civilization to the Kamorans to serve as slaves (and some say sacrifices and for the rites performed by Horaptuh).
Tornios does nothing about this, despite Hathonae's call for his help. Since the Kamorans travel mostly by land she is limited in what she can do.
During this time the Kamorans had a great influence on the development of the Parthan people. The Kamoran gods of culture found a people of great intellect and potential in the Parthans and so inspired the creation of the city states. These Kamoran gods began to be worshipped in Parthus: Salix, Kionanthus, and Horaptuh.
Torinos took Salix as his bride and she bore him a son, Ariston.

Memnos lived in the mountains above Sartha. He saw what was happening to these people and how they prayed for help from their gods but were ignored. He decided that there was an opportunity here for him. He sent word through an oracle for the King to send his son into the mountains. When the son arrived he tested him by sending a mountain lion to kill him. The boy fought and killed the lion, and so Memnos decided to help the Sarthans. He gave the boy a magical sword that would vanish from sight when not held by the hilt. He told the young man to go as one of the 10 men and women sent to the Kamorans. Then, when Night overcame Day, he would know that Memnos had blinded Ahad-Amal and he could lead the Parthans to freedom. So the boy told his father what happened and he was sent with the other men to be slaves to the Kamorans. He carried the sword hidden in plain site, and moved it whenever he feared someone might notice it. They arrived in Kamora and were sent to work as slaves. He and his friends began spreading the word that an uprising would come, and they would know it as time when the sun was blinded by night. So they waited and built up their stock pile of tools to use as weapons. Then one day, as dusk came, a cry rang out through the city that the King (Khanus) had been murdered. The city guard ran to the palace and was battling the High Priest of Ahad-Amal and his minnions. The young prince of Sartha decided that this was the sign, the priest of the sun god and the entire city guard was turned away, essentially blinded to what was happening. They rose up and broke free from the city. They headed across the desert at night, making their way towards the mountains. What they didn't know, though, was that the High Priest quickly defeated the guard of the Khanus, and learning that the slaves had escaped sent the army after them. The High Priest's love, the Khanus' wife, had been killed in the battle. He entombed her in the tomb of the Khanus, placing rites on it so that during the next solar eclipse he could raise her from the dead. He put with her 20 servant women to serve her while she waited in the after life.
The Kamoran army pursued the Parthans, and were led by their greatest warrior. But, just before they caught up to the Parthans, the Kamoran war leader learned that his sister had been imprisoned in a tomb alive by the High Priest. He immediately left the army on a swift charriott, riding back to Kal-Kamora. When he arrived he rushed to the tomb. He did not know that the very next day the eclipse would occur. A powerful abjuration was in place to prevent anyone but the High Priest from opening the tomb. If they did, a vast sand storm would destroy all Kal-Kamora. The warrior and his loyal men, the best warriors who had followed, broke into the tomb to free his sister. She was horified, and told him that he had doomed them all. Then a Sand Storm began. It lasted all day. The High Priest came to the tomb and destroyed the warrior and his followers, but what was set in motion could not be undone. He instead entombed himself with his bride, knowing that it would be thousands of years before another solar eclipse would come to the land of Kal-Kamora again.
The Kamoran army caught up with the Parthans the next day, just before the mountains, and a battle ensued. Surely the Parthans would be defeated against such a force, but just then the moon (Atep) crossed in front of the Sun (Ahad-Amal). Darkness covered the land, and the stars came out. The Parthans knew what the sign meant, The Day was blinded by the Night. The Kamorans were filled with dread. The Parthans scattered the Kamoran army and escaped.
Thus Kal-Kamora was destroyed, and the Parthans give the victory to Memnos.
What had happened? Memnos had gone to his father and learned when the day of the eclipse would be. He knew Ahad-Amal would be weakened, and thus he rode the Moon Barge, waiting for the two to meet each other. As the Moon overtook the Chariott, Memnos leapt onto it and wrestled with Ahad-Amal. Though he was burned he overcame the weaker god, and held him while all Kal-Kamora was destroyed. Atep allowed this, because his laws are absolute, and the magic the high priest had used could not be broken. He would not let Ahad-Amal save his people.
When the prince returned victorious, the people praised Memnos. They named him their patron of the city, but kept Hathonae as Patroness. Hathonae herself praised Memnos.

Now, Memnos didn’t like taking second seat to Hathonae and so decided to make her his bride, believing she would then be subservient to him. At this time, though Torinos had also been pursuing Hathonae. Though she never returned his interests, Torinos had declared that she was his bride to be. Hathonae told Memnos and Torinos that the man who took her as bride must complete the greater of seven tasks. She would tell them each in turn as the prior was finished, so they wouldn’t conspire to have others complete them for them.

The First Task: Test of Wits
Hathonae’s first task for the two gods was to bring her the Net that Morda had used to draw in the tides. Morda, Titan of the Sea, had born the net into battle with Amal and it still lay there where he fell. Both Torinos and Memnos knew the story well, and knew that the net must be found at the head waters of the river Kamor. They both arrived at the mountains that marked the place where the epic battle had taken place and took to searching for the net. Torinos was first to find it. The net, which was huge, was buried beneath the mountains. Torinos called upon his mighty rains and winds to hammer the mountain side. He struck at it with Lightning, but could not clear away the stone. He pulled and yanked upon the net and yet it would not break free. As he struggled, Memnos went out and found a great tortoise from the lands to the east and made a shovel from its shell. He returned and began digging away at the earth, trying to find a way to free the net. It was then that he discovered it to be encrusted with diamonds from the depths of the sea. Galur, Titan of the earth who took possession of all minerals, had bound it to him. Memnos knew that no amount of strength would free the net from the grip of the great-elder Titan. So, instead he left his efforts there and sought Galur, who could be reached by way of a great crevice in the earth far to the north. When he found Galur he asked what he must do to obtain the net. Galur said he didn’t care about the net, only the Diamonds and was already angry with Torinos for striking him with lightning. Galur told Memnos he could have the net, but must leave the Diamonds behind. So when Memnos returned to the spot and yanked on the net, Galur released it to him, but all of its diamonds broke free of the net and were left beneath the desert sands. Torinos raged in anger, and swore to Galur that day forward he would endlessly rain his lightning upon him. That not a day would go by that he would not strike the earth with is bolts. Memnos gave Hathonae the net, and though she was pleased to have it she disappointed that it lacked its diamonds.
(1st Task: Memnos wins)

The Second Task: Test of Skill
Torinos demanded that Hathonae set their next task immediately and that this time it should be something to test their skill with the spear, a weapon they both wielded. Hathonae decided that the best way to test such skill was to pick a target that was nearly impossible to hit. In XXXXX there was a renowned Bronze Foundry. There all forms of bronze wares were forged; pots, swords, buckles, helms, breast plates, statuary, and other art objects. Hathonae commissioned the crafting of a Bronze Stag, and asked Ilnos, the hunter, to put into it the spirit of a stag. She gave it a powerful protection, such that it had only one weakness; a soft spot at the nape of its neck. Otherwise no weapon, mortal or divine could harm its brazen hide. Hathonae set the stag loose in Narvonis, the dark forest west of Sartha. It dashed off so quickly that even she wasn’t sure which way it went. Then she told Memnos and Torinos that they must hunt the Bronze Stag. They should wear no armor or garment, and bear only their spears. They were to rely upon their skill alone, and not attempt to cheat through use of divine power. The one who killed the Stag would be the winner of this task.
So it was that Memnos and Torinos, naked save their spears, set off into the forest, seeking the Bronze Stag. Despite their quarry’s bulk it seemed to leave little in the way of a trail. They both did their best to track the beast, but Torinos spotted it first. It heard him coming, though, and dashed into the wood. That was when Memnos saw it and hurled his spear. It bounced harmlessly of the shinning hide and the deer disappeared into the woods. Memnos and Torinos pursued at a mad dash. They followed it on and off like this for days, each attempting to strike and kill their prey repeatedly, and each time either missing or finding their weapon in-effective.
Finally Naeja grew tired of watching her children compete so foolishly and she sent a messenger in the form of a small bird to tell them the secret of how to kill the Stag. The bird first fluttered to Torinos, landed on his shoulder and whispered to him the secret of the weak point in the stag’s neck. It then flew to Memnos, but every time it tried to approach him he swatted at it, and drove it away, not recognizing it for what it was. And so, Memnos in his blind pride never got the message. When next they encountered the Stag both gods threw their spears. Memnos’ struck the stag in the chest and was deflected. Torinos’ struck the exact spot, a patch in the base of the neck. The Bronze Stag fell to the ground lifeless, steam issuing from the hole. Torinos recovered his Spear and stood triumphant. Memnos was enraged, though. He took up his spear and smashed it over his knee, hurling the parts afar. When they returned Hathonae declared Tornios the winner of that task.
(2nd Task: Torinos wins)

The Third Task: Test of Heart
Hathonae decided this time to set a task that she was sure Memnos could win. The third task was a test of heart. She assigned them each the task of creating a sacred animal that all the people of Sartha could honor. Each would then present their animal before the people, and that which the people chose to worship rather than fear would be the winner of that task.
Memnos was perturbed by this and so went to Myrrae to ask her advice. She told him that the gift should come from his love for Hathonae and thus represent what he saw in her. He tried to think, but the truth was that he had no true love for her, only a desire to make her his. He realized that he saw her as a mighty creature that needed to be conquered. He went out and found a lioness who was with cubs. He took the coat of the black lion he wore and threw it over the lioness, calling out to Naeja, “Gift these cubs the strength of the lion who I once fought and coats as black as night.” Naeja heard and approved. When the cubs were born they were black as night, with eyes like stars and grew to be powerful creatures. These were the Memnian Lions.
Torinos knew immediately what he would create. He was well known for his love of horses and had created the race as a gift to mortal man. He thus had experience in the creation of great animals. He knew, though, that creating a horse would only show Hathonae love of himself, and he wanted to create something as regal and beautiful as her. Thus he created the Eagle, a creature that dwelled in the sky and yet needed the sea to live. It drew sustenance from Hathonae’s waters, diving from the sky to the sea for fish, and nesting in the cliffs along the rocky shores. The Eagle was strong and could fly in great storms and was as fast as lightning when it struck. Most of all it was a beautiful and proud creature, and the male and female were equal.
When the day came to present their sacred animals, the people were left in awe at the beauty and grace of the Eagles. Yet, they were also transfixed with the glorious might and nobility of the Memnosian Lions. Hathonae herself had to admit that both were equally impressive. Yet she was most surprised by the Eagle, as she had never expected such a beautiful gift to come from the storming war god. She also realized that Memnos’ gift honored himself and not her. She was displeased but could not deny it met the conditions of her task.
As the people deliberated over which they would revere more, the Memnosian Lions caught sight of a flock of goats coming up from a valley, led by their shepherd. The Lions immediately rose from their lolling and raced for their prey, pouncing upon the helpless livestock and the shepherd just the same. They tore them all to pieces, and left their bloody coats strewn across the field. Then, in their blood lust they roared with such ferocity that the earth shook and the walls of Sartha cracked. People were thrown to the ground and in the Temple of Hathonae a statue of the goddess fell and was ruined.
The people screamed and turned in terror, so it was that Hathonae named Torinos’ Eagle to be the sacred animal and she demanded that Memnos drive away his Lions.
(3rd Task: Tornios wins)

The Fourth Task: The Test of Intellect
Hathonae now worried that Torinos might actually win this contest. So for her third task she gave one she thought likely more difficult for the Storm God. There was a young hero in Galus named YYYYY who had served Hathonae well. There was a sea passage between two islands that was guarded by two giant brothers, each with one eye. Hathonae hated the giants, but they never touched the water so she could not harm them. Whenever a ship came upon the passage and tried to sail through they hurled rocks upon it and sank it. No matter how devout the sailors were to her, she could not save their vessel from the pounding rocks from above. When Galus went to war with XXXX, though, the young sailor YYYY came up with a bold plan to win a decisive blow against the enemy by sailing through that passage and surprising the enemy from behind. He prayed to Hathonae for help and she had decided that he needed an unsinkable ship. If he could get one ship through to the far side of the passage he could land and slay the giants. She sent him to a great inventor named Anthrus with instructions that the figurehead of the vessel should be devoted to her, and sail should carry her symbol of the great wave. Anthrus designed a ship that he thought would withstand the hail of stones and Hathonae blessed it, thus making it truly unsinkable. YYYYYY sailed to the passage, and successfully made it through. Though the ship was badly damaged it did not sink. He and his army ran ashore and slew the two giants, thus freeing the way for the rest of his navy to follow through. This is how Galus defeated XXXX in the greatest sea battle ever fought.
Now, YYYYY, lived for many years after this and became brazen in his victory. He declared himself a great sailor and forgot to pay homage to Hathonae for the gift she had given him. This incurred her wrath and so every time he sailed on his great boat she made attempts to sink it. She had capsized it repeatedly, and even submerged it a few times, but every time it came back right side up and YYYYY survived. However, he lost so many men this way that he dry docked the boat and vowed never to sail it again. Hathonae wanted revenge on the man, though, but would not destroy Galus to get it.

She gave Memnos and Torinos their task. They had to find a way to sink the vessel and YYYYY must be given over to her wrath.

Now, Torinos thought for sure he could do this, because he could summon storms far greater than anything Hathonae could summon. He intended to drive the vessel into the depths by wind and waves, lightning and water spouts. Yet, he had to get the vessel into the sea first, and here he was at a loss.

Memnos, though, recalled the Wall of Storms upon the far western side of the sea (Vas-Morda). He believed that there the vessel could truly be destroyed, if run up upon those deadly shoals where fire rises from the ocean depths at the edge of the world. No man, though, dared make such a journey. Memnos had to convince YYYY to make the most dangerous journey ever. So, he went to YYYYY’s , disguised as a wandering minstrel, and asked if he could stay a night in exchange for a grand story. YYYY agreed and listened to the man’s tale as they feasted. Memnos wove a tale of the dangers beyond the islands, at the edge of the world, but also of the riches there. He spoke of how all sunken ships eventually wash up upon those treacherous shores and they are so plentiful that the sand is actually golden coins from their holds. He told of how no mortal man had ever survived making the trip before, and that now, for hundreds of years no man had tried, simply out of fear. His words struck a cord in YYYYY, and though his wife protested, he decided he would reach the Edge of the World and bring home a fortune. Under Memnos’ guidance he gathered 17 of the best and strongest warriors and seamen to travel with him. Memnos went with them, too, in his disguised as a minstrel. They sailed beyond the sea, with many adventures left before them. It is said he fought many monsters, saved a demi-goddess, and even killed the king of another island.
During their journey Torinos threw all he had at the vessel. He capsized it with repeated waves, smote its mast repeatedly with lightning, blew it thousands of miles off-course with incredible winds, and at one point even lifted it out of the waters in a mighty typhoon. But, alas, he could not sink the boat, and always YYYYY seemed to survive.
In time, they reached the edge of the world. Against all other terrors they had held their courage, but here his remaining men fell to their knees and cried. They couldn’t believe what they saw; the earth rose from the sea in huge jagged mountains that spewed black smoke and fire. There were shores of gold, but they were surrounded by waterfalls of lava. The ocean ran up on upon the rocks with a mighty irresistible current, and turned to steam, bursting into the air, forming the great thunder clouds that roll out to the east. YYYY, though, tried to hold his courage, and ordered his men to make for a cove he thought might be safe. However as the ship tried to make it ashore Hathonae’s waves smashed it against the blade like rocks and drove it into a river of burning. The ship that could not sink was shattered upon the earth, engulfed in flames, and began to sink to the lava. His men died, and YYYYY himself leapt into the sea, seeking escape from the fire. There he met his fate, as Hathonae grasped him in her clutches and dragged him into the boiling sea to drown. Memnos, though, was impressed by YYYYY and his comrades and gave them a special place in the afterlife for the courage they had shown. Thus it was that Memnos won the fourth task, and the contest was tied.
(4th Task: Memnos won)

The Fifth Task: The Test of Might
On the island of Idolakai there was a monstrous child of Sirithreia that terrorized her worshipers there. The great serpent was made of lava and lived in a cave in the fires of the mountain. If often times came out to spew its toxic breath upon the people and shake the earth. Many heroes had try to slay the serpent and died trying. Hathonae tasked Memnos and Torinos to slaw the serpent. He who struck the killing blow would win the task.

So it was that Torinos and Memnos both hasted to the island. Torinos went headlong to the mountain and began striking it with lightning, to draw out the serpent. Memnos, though, knew there was a Oracle within a village at the shore. He went there first and spoke with the Oracle. He asked her to tell him how to slay the creature. She told him that no weapon of man or god could harm the creature, for it was made wholly of fire. But that instead it could only be subdued by when its flame was doused. Memnos thought he knew the answer and so he went to the mountain and found Torinos there battling the serpent. Torinos stood upon a chariot of black clouds and struck it repeatedly with his javelins of lightning, yet the serpent ignored the bolts and lashed out, striking the clouds and igniting them. Tornios’ feet were wreathed and flames and the two fought on. Memnos rushed up the mountain side and grabbed the great serpent by its tail. He began dragging it down the mountain. Torinos struck at Memnos with his lightning and Memnos was forced to let go. The two gods struggled for a time, and finally Memnos threw down Torinos. When he did, though, the serpent turned on him and lashed out. Memnos grabbed it by its neck and dragged it down the mountain side, leaving a flaming path behind it. When he got to the sea, he doused the fire serpent into the ocean, subduing it. It petrified in his hand and when he drew it out of the water he found it had turned into a blade of steel, winding like a serpent. He brought it to Kalos who forged it into a sword for him to carry as a reminder of his victory. Thus it was that Memnos won the fifth task.
(5th Task: Memnos wins)

The Sixth Task: The Test of Horsemanship
In the hilly lands to the north and west of Yarlus there are a people who revere the beautiful creature that Torinos created, the Horse. They so loved these creatures that they made them the center of their life. They worked with horses, hunted with them, fought with them, and even lived with them amongst their homes. These were the Pyrrae.
Hathonae decided the next task should be another test of skill, but this one to test their aptitude with the mighty horse.
Hathonae ordered Torinos and Memnos to go down to the people and pick a mortal horse that they would have to ride in a race. The race would set out from the gates of Yarlus and lead them around the coast line, up the western coast line to Moar lands, around their coasts to the mouth of the great river YYYYY (Sylvarin). They would then turn around and have to ride back the same way they came. The first to make it back to the gates of Yarlus with their horse living would be the victor.

(6th Task: Torinos wins) Tied.

The Seventh Task: The Test of War
Battle and Defeat the people living north of Sartha (worshipers of Torinos).
(7th Task: Memnos Wins, Victor)

Notes:

Parthans believe they were the first hum
ans created, Kamorans created after them, then Moarins and Ganniards, and then Ronans. Ryoshans?

Make a vague connection between the Parthan religion and Silrithia’s children, Lacertu and the Ryoshans.

Sirtihia is mother of monsters:
Dragons, Dragonne, Hydra, Sea-Serpents, Chimera, Sphinx, Lacertu, Kobolds, other monsters.

Reahnae= Arheana

Salix + Horaptu = Kionanthus
Kionanthus + Myrrae = Artagerus, Ilex, Elletaria
Muran + Atep = Hathonae
Brynlyn + Torinos= Fionn
Ariston + Fionn= Jana
Memnos created

Memnos conquers Aminus and takes control of the Night and Stars. Aminus actually just steps back and maintains his power as creator. Memnos’s priests will have access to Astronomancy.

Memnos + Hathone = Polynikia, Castoris, Creatis
Ariston + Polynikia = Tharos
???? +Polynikia= Markus
Memnos + Ishobel = Cauldread, Deagar, Lutherik
Jana + Daegar = Intybis

Artagerus + Mortal = Anthrus

Satarius is guardian of Infernus

Come up with numerous demi-gods:
3 Woes
3 Passions
3 Destinies
Etc…

The Parthan Afterlife:
The Parthans believe that the afterlife is a place where one’s existence continues very much as a mirror to mortal existence. If one lived a common, mundane life, working the land, raising a family, and knowing the peace of simple things and times, then so shall be his afterlife. A gray, mundane afterlife spent in peace with one’s kin within [Blank Name], the realm of the dead. No rewards await the ordinary and average among Parthans—no laurels of glory. Only the truly low and the heroically great suffer and revel in the afterlife, in proportion to their deeds.
The [Blank Name] await those Parthans who lived heroic lives. It is important to note, however, that, unlike in Ronan tradition, Parthans categorize “heroic” with scope rather than morality. The fearless champion who never lied and the unbeaten, yet tyrannical Primus both live on in the[Blank Name]. Those of noble birth, priests of the gods, and those who die in battle as soldiers of Parthus pass on to [Blank Name] when they die; first realm of [Blank Name]. They spend eternity in luxury, knowing whatever pleases them, be it gluttony, debauchery, war or wealth. However, this is not much better than the lives of those of common birth. It is those who live truly great lives that go on to a place of paradise, [Blank Name]. Men and Women of Power, such as the Primi and High Priests, great warriors and legendary heroes such as the Centurions and Knights of Memnos, and others who have lived honorable or powerful lives pass on to this, the second realm. It is a glorious land of tall citadels, beautiful palaces, great feasts, blissful rest, glorious games, and valorous battles; where all desires are appeased. The third realm, and the greatest, is [Blank Name], a place reserved for the gods and those of divine blood. Only mortals who live the most epic of lives are granted entrance into this realm. None can say what awaits those who go here, but it is said that each who resides there lives in their own perfect paradise, whatever that may be.
For cowards, base thieves, murderers, and those too meek to merit any love among the lands of mortal men, the pits and caverns of Acropep await. It is said in Parthus heroes die but once, but cowards die a thousand times over. Acropep lends an awful truth to this creed. There are three realms of this underworld. Thieves, pirates, brigands, imposters, the meek, and those women who sell their bodies without the blessings of Fionnae are sent to [Blank Name], a place of shadow and melancholy, where cursed souls live out eternity harassed by imps and fighting for a piece of what little there is. It is said it has its own towns full of bars and brothels, where men and women beat, rape, back stab, and steal from each other forever. The second depth is the dark realm of [Blank Name], a place of nasty bogs, murky tunnels, mud flats, and festering swamps infested with all things that creep and sting. It is here that the loathsome wretches of the world are sent, to suffer an eternity of filth and disease; deserters, cowards, cut-throats and beggars all. The Great Rat, Uul’azarakhir, is imprisoned in this realm by Memnos for devouring a mortal woman the Primus of the Gods had taken as a lover. The final realm of the underworld is Infernus; a fiery, horrid realm where demons and succubae hunt down, debase, and torture those unfortunate enough to spend eternity in it. Those who commit murder without cause or gain, and those who defy the gods are damned to this place.
Children who died too young, ladies who devoted their lives and purity to the goddesses Reahnae or Salix, and those men who devoted their lives to Kionanthus all go to another place when they die. Paradisia Eterni is a place where only those who have lived unspoiled lives may reside. It is a place of light and blissful peace, where there is no pain, no suffering, no fear nor sorrow. Here they can philosophize with wisdoms of history and seek knowledge from the gods themselves. Children may play in verdant fields, and infants become things of pure light and emotion. It is a place of eternal bliss and peace, but to some this is to be condemned to boredom. It is not a paradise to those who reveled in life.

The Triad of Battle: Polynikia, Kastorius, and Kraetis are the children of Memnos and Hathonae, the Father and Mother of the Pantheon of Parthus. Collectively, they answer to Memnos as the battle gods of Parthus and inspire their worshippers to victory. Individually, they are very different, and—for the most part—bitter rivals. Memnos looks upon all three of his children with pleasure, for they each epitomize values he stands for and admires. Kastorius, the hoplite, the stalwart peer in the phalanx, upholds Memnos’ desire for unquestioning discipline and order. Kraetis manifests the darker side of war, the Parthan ruthlessness demanded by his father. Polynikia, of course, stands for what Memnos covets most—victory.
Kastorius represents the ideal of citizen soldiers among Parthans—he is the grim, disciplined and fearless hoplite, marching step in step with his followers is a solid, unbreakable formation. He is a master of tactics, and a lover of order and the beauty of the phalanx. He is evoked when Parthans think of the élan of fellow soldiers.
Kraetis is the darker opposite of Kastorius, twin brother to the hoplite and lover of violence and conflict. He is the dark horseman, the reaver and pillager, the mercenary who fights battle for the material rewards and the sheer pleasure of it. Where Kastorius rouses his people to fight for duty and city, Kraetis and his followers ride for loot and plunder.
Polynikia, the older sister of the twins Kastorius and Kraetis, is the sibling both must court in their quest for victory. In Parthan mythos, she not only determines whether her peoples’ hosts win or not, but which of her siblings wins over the other as well. She is a capricious deity, a lover of competition, and is invoked by those aiming to perfect their weapon skills.

The Servitors of the Triad:
Anthrus is the demigod of artificers, and servitor to Kastorius. He is a patron of weaponsmiths and armorers, and invoked by them when weapons are crafted for the hoplites of a city’s phalanx. In Parthan mythos, he crafts weapons for the Pantheon—Kastorius especially—and aids his master in preparing for battle.
Sekthiss is the demigod of fear, pain, and torture. He is the vile sidekick of Kraetis, and stands for the direct consequences of the latter’s favored way of war. He revels in the fear and panic of a populace as pillaging, violence, and rape befall them. He is looked down upon by the rest of the Pantheon, and even Kraetis treats him with disdain—though he admits the lackey has his uses.
Markus is the demigod of strength and adventure, and is the servitor of Polynikia. He is the youngest of the Servitors, and Parthan legend has it that he is his mistress’ son by way of Astyanax—a warrior who fought to be the greatest in the world not only for the desire of excellence, but from desire of his goddess as well. Astyanax, the legend has it, crossed the planes themselves to earn the right to lay with his goddess, and Markus is the result. Markus represents the spirit of martial adventure, and is looked to for strength of arm and bravado (as opposed to true courage).
The Gods:
The Creator Gods: Aminus, Elgar, Isati, Naeja, Loran. The creation story isn’t very important to the Parthans. They are much more focused on the history of their people.
Titans and Giants: The Parthans have a lot of mythology about the Titans and Giants, and know most of that religion. They don’t worship Titans or Giants, but they are a strong part of their own mythological stories. Ronans generally ignore the Titans, but the Parthans recognize the part the Titans played in creating the world and see them equal to the other Gods.
Gods of the Seasons: Reahnae, Sheliaccea, Zorinos, Torinos, Morinos, Korilos. They have Parthan names for the same gods. The Parthans have always worshipped these gods, as all humans did, but in time individual gods of “philosophies” became more important.
Gods of the Animals: Brynynia, Ilnysh, Liara. They aren’t really worshipped by the Parthans. When the Ronans brought their faith it gave a name to these gods. Prior to this the Parthans saw life as the dominion of Naeja and Reahnyn. They didn’t think much about separating them. Again these are nature gods, not philosophy gods.
Gods of the City States:
Salix: Sartha. Comes from Kal-Kamora and teaches philosophy and wisdom. Creates the Paradisia Eterni for her philosophers. Her teachings establish the structure of the Parthan religious thought. They worship Philosophical Ideas rather than concrete gods. Her followers establish Sartha.
Kionanthus: Sartha. Son of Salix (and Horaptuh), comes with Salix and teaches Knowledge and History. Creates Library of Sartha.
Artagerus: Galus
Hathonae: Sea and Islands
Gods of the Monsters:
Ishobel: Parthans taught of her existence by Kionanthus, they fear her and the afterlife in Acropep.
Sirithea: (Silrithia) The Serpent Goddess. Daughter of Ishobel. Worshiped in some cults, but mostly just feared. They call her the Mother of Monsters, and understand that most monsters are her offspring.
Sekthis: Another Monster God, son of Ishobel. Father of Uul’azarakhir. Was Kamoran devourer of souls, never really worshipped by Parthans, but eventually becomes the side-kick to another god.
Uul’Azarakhir: The Great Rat, a demi-god that one day eats the mortal lover of Memnos and is condemned to crawl the tunnels of Acropep living off the “dead”.
Gods of Passion: Maelbria (hate), Fionnae (lust, jealousy), Jaena (passion)
Ilex (Music & Art),Ellataria (arts & Crafts), Intybis (Greed),
Ruler Gods: Memnos, Hedaera
Gods of War: Kastorius, Kraetis, Polynikia
Servitors (Anthrus, Barukus, Markus)

MEMNOS
The Primus Deii, the Dark Emperor

Greater Deity
Symbol: A sword joined with a crown
Home Plane:
Alignment: Lawful Evil
Portfolio: Civilization, war, law, the night
Worshippers: Parthans; as “Memnik”, he is feared throughout the Thamorian worshipping lands
Cleric Alignments: LE, LN (technically, NE could be allowed; Memnos will not suffer capricious priests, though)
Domains: Domination, Law, War, Strength (the first is from Complete Divine)
Favored Weapon: Sword or scepter (mace)

Memnos (MAE-mnos) is the supreme ruler of the Parthan deities and, indeed, the Parthan people and all that they control. He is the dark tyrant who seeks to bring all mankind under his dominion. He is the unstoppable warlord who sweeps aside all who oppose his will. He is the supreme force whose will no one can stand against. Only when all men have been brought under Memnos’ order will the world truly know order and peace, for all other rulers are weak and doomed to fail.
Unknown to all but the gods, Memnos and Thamor come from the same stock. Despite striking similarities, they are ultimately as different in vision as they are in their appearance. Both deities are paragons of warfare, but where Thamor is gallant and merciful, Thamor is ruthless and merciless. Where Thamor rules through benevolence, Memnos demands total obedience. Thamor rules to empower his people, but Memnos believes that freedom is ultimately a danger to society. The strong are the ones who should rule and the weak are the ones that should be ruled. This, in his eyes, is the natural Order of things. Anything else invites chaos and destruction, and should be crushed. Thus, like Thamor he aims for a world in which humanity rules and prospers, but the two tread very different paths to that end.
Memnos appears as a tall man with skin as white as marble and eyes as black as a starless night. His musculature is statuesque, and his features are flawlessly handsome. He keeps his raven hair short, and affects a sharp, curly beard. Memnos is typically depicted as wearing robes of purple and gold that reveal much of his upper torso. Though unarmored outside of battle, he always carries a wicked blade and a magnificent scepter. On his head rests a simple crown of what appears to be steel.
This appearance is strikingly different from the one attributed to him by Ronan priests. In foreign pantheons, “Memnik” is either depicted as a wide-eyed megalomaniac or as a faceless, brooding tyrant. Those who have seen him in visions, though, report him as solemn and composed, but capable of inducing fear and groveling with but a furrow of his brow.
Memnos is universally revered and praised by all Parthans. He is specifically the Patron and Master of the Primi themselves, but he fills many other roles as well. He is the supreme war deity, the builder of civilizations, the upholder of laws, and the protector of the people. Generals, priests, judges; indeed, virtually every Parthan offers his praise to the Dark Emperor on virtually every day.
The mysteries of Memnos always begin during the darkest hour of the night. Prayers are generally delivered after sunset.

History/Relationships: As Primus Deii, Memnos rules over all Parthan deities. None dare challenge his authority directly; only the lineage of Salix works to affect change within his order, and he scoffs at their efforts. The only deities associated with Parthans that he views with suspicion are the Ronan wind-gods—Sheliaccea and Reahnae especially, who are not only of Gelvan blood first, but who consort with Thamor as well.
Memnos holds Hathonae as his Prima and consort, but this is during the spring and summer months. During the fall and winter months, he turns to the embraces of Hedaera. Of his children, he trusts Kastorius the most, but prizes Polynikia even more. He despises Kraetis, and does not imagine he will ever recover from his fall. As such, he uses him and Sekthiss as tools for the most loathsome of tasks.
Memnos’ relationship with Daegaros is complex. He knows that, like Cauldred and Lutheriq, his and Ishobel’s son was little more than a necessary evil. Unlike his brothers, though, and despite the role he has come to fill, Daegaros carries himself with a dignity that Memnos finds admirable. For this alone, he treats his outcast shadow-son with a level of respect the other Parthan deities find surprising.

Dogma: It is the duty of the strong to rule over the weak; this is the natural order of things. Without order, weakness consumes and chaos ensues. It is those who understand the values of discipline who develop true strength and are thus able to keep chaos at bay. Those who peddle the illusion of freedom instead invite the reality of slavery and defeat.

Clergy and Temples: It is said that the only temple of Memnos in each citadel is the Prima Palatia in which his mortal representative—the Primus—resides. This is true in many ways. The mysteries of Memnos begin and end at the Prima Palatia in every single citadel. Furthermore, it is undignified to have houses of the Primus Deii outside of the ruling seat of a community. The only exception to this is the majestic, remote temple-fortresses high in the XXXX mountains east of Sartha. It is here that the most pious priests of Memnos devote their daily lives to his worship and honor and glory—away from the influences of mortal politics.
Priests of Memnos serve as the counselors and religious advisors to Primi themselves. Their most important role, though, is to serve as the heralds of the new Primus. When the leader of a citadel dies, they undertake the most important mystery of Memnos and pray until visited by a vision that directs them to the next suitable man for the throne. The word of the priests is as strong as law, but they do not deign to be the law for this would undermine the rulers Memnos chose.
Of note are also the dreaded Dominions of the Black Horn. These are the pre-eminent holy warriors of Memnos, forever doing his bidding where and when he sends them. It is said that the arrival of a Black Horn Dominion marks a time of great revelation and tumultuous times.

KRAETIS
The Black Rider, the Breaker of Cities (once known as “the Brazen Rider” and “the Impetuous”)

Lesser Deity
Symbol: A Parthan war-helmet with a monstrous face mask
Home Plane:
Alignment: Neutral Evil
Portfolio: Battle, strife, conflict, mayhem
Worshippers: Parthan warriors, and Pyrrhans especially; outcasts and renegades. Some non-Parthan mercenaries also have taken up the worship of Kraetis, but they are rare.
Cleric Alignments: CE, LE, N, NE, LE
Domains: Destruction, Strength, War
Favored Weapon: Sword

Kraetis (KRAE-tiss) is Memnos’ first-born son by Hathonae. Once seated at his father’s right, he grew ambitious and decided to use the time of chaos after the war with Kal-Kamora to make a play for the throne. His schemes were checked by his father, though, and he was defeated by him in single combat. Memnos did not go so far as to cast him out or disown him (keep your enemies even closer and all that), but Kraetis’ wounds left him crippled for centuries and disfigured forever.
Since then, Kraetis has come to personify the dark side of Parthan warfare. He is seen as the bloodthirsty reaver, the merciless sacker of cities, and the callous murderer. Kraetis exults in savagery and excess. He finds solace only in those rare moments where he not only defeats his foes in battle, but is also able to inflict suffering.
Kraetis was once as handsome and statuesque as his father. He wore armor brass and bronze-lacquered armor and wore a majestic helm whose facemask mirrored his own visage. Following his defeat at Memnos’ hands, though, Kraetis was left horribly scarred. Despondent, he covered his armor in night-black lacquering, and adorned it with grotesque designs. He took his helmet’s face-mask and carved on it the leering features of a monstrous, gorgon-like being. Despite his fall, Kraetis continued to exert influence over Parthan warriors. Ironically, those statues that depicted Kraetis malformed inspired many Parthan warriors to emulate his fearsome war-mask.
Kraetis is not loved by most Parthans, but he is recognized and is sacrificed to as is proper. Among the Pyrrhans, though, he is revered outright, and is still held as their patron deity. Some go so far as to venerate him even above Memnos, though they do so in secret. Such men often become some of the most troublesome foes of Parthus.
Kraetis demands that prayers be voiced to him prior to battle. Few Parthans indulge in his desires after battle, though. The tribes of Pyrrhans that revere him are another matter, though. Kraetis is not celebrated through mysteries in the citadels. Only his Pyrrhan worshippers do so, and theirs include bloody raids and coming-of-age rituals that include kidnapping, murder, and even rape.

History/Relationships: Kraetis largely stands alone among the Parthan deities. He is so brutal, savage, and hateful that he has isolated himself from virtually every other member of his pantheon save for Sekthiss. Kraetis generally despises them all, but he particularly hates Polynikia, Ariston, and their son, Tharos. He fears his father more than anything else, and it is because of this that he has restrained himself from doing any of the other gods violence.

Dogma: Victory is all, and to the victor go the spoils. Suffer not the weak to live or the defeated to rise again. Let your steel visit ruin on all those who cannot best it.

Clergy and Temples: Kraetis has no temples. Even his Pyrrhan followers state that their god’s will is for his only temples to be the ruins of those of other gods.
There are few dedicated priests of Kraetis, but those who do follow that path are among the most dangerous reavers in Verosia. Such men gather unto themselves entire hosts of brigands, raiders, and mercenaries and exist only to plague mankind with calamity. Among the Pyrrhans, the most dangerous of his priests are those who maintain an unbroken lineage between his priesthood from his days of glory, millennia ago, and the present.

KASTORIUS
The Fortifier, the Immovable

Lesser Deity
Symbol: A Parthan war-helmet
Home Plane:
Alignment: Lawful Neutral
Portfolio: Battle and battle-tactics, the strength of formations, order and discipline in combat
Worshippers: Parthan warriors
Cleric Alignments: LE, LG, LN (technically, N could be allowed; Kastorius will not suffer capricious priests, though)
Domains: Law, Protection, War
Favored Weapon: Spear

Kastorius (ka-STORE-ee-us) is Memnos’ second-born son by Hathonae. He is the faceless, emotionless engine of war, exemplifying both the murderous onslaught of the offense, and the unbreaking bulwark of the defense. He is the father of Parthan tactics and military innovation.
Kastorius is always depicted as armored. When he deigns to appear in visions, or in the rare occasions that he has walked the mortal world, he has always appeared as a Parthan warrior of awe-inspiring stature, adorned with magnificent arms and armor. His facial features are unknown to mortals; wearing a traditional Parthan helmet with a face-mask that bears the visage of a handsome, smiling youth. Legend says that the face-mask was a gift from Polynikia, who cannot bear battle without emotion of exultation.
Kastorius is praised by all Parthan warriors, though he receives less (if any) veneration from such tribal groups as the Pyrrhans, or renegades and outcasts.
Prayers to Kastorius are required before and after battle and any sort of battle-practice as well. Engaging in either activity without first giving the war-god his due is considered unthinkable. Kastorius requires little other supplication, but he is nonetheless included in many of Polynikia’s mysteries and religious celebrations.

History/Relationships: Kastorius exists for war and war alone. When he is not fighting, he is tirelessly training and studying for the day when his skills will be needed. He does as his father bids him to, and pays the proper respects to his mother—who holds the fates of those who fight in his battles. His closest relationship is with Polynikia, his half-sister. He is ever at her side, and works not only at restraining her, but for her protection as well.

Dogma: Discipline in battle is everything. Strike as one; defend as one. Do so, and one man can have the strength and heart of ten; of one hundred; of one thousand.

Clergy and Temples: Shrines to Kastorius exist in every Parthan weapon hall, and many such places are actually temples dedicated to him as well. Furthermore, his shrines are intricately built into the gates of the citadels themselves; as warriors march forth from the citadel, Castorian priests perform the rituals from above them, and allow the sacrificial blood to rain on their men.
Castorian priests are indistinguishable from other Parthan warriors, save for their face-masks and the religious emblems they adorn their arms and armour with. They are utterly dedicated to the artifices of war, and lead very solitary lives—rarely leaving their temples if not to seek martial experience or to do their deity’s or the Primus’ will.

POLYNIKIA
The Heart of War, the Lover of Heroes

Intermediate Deity
Symbol: The profile of a beautiful, helmeted woman
Home Plane:
Alignment: Neutral Good
Portfolio: War, competition, courage, glory, skill-at-arms, victory
Worshippers: Parthan warriors, adventurers
Cleric Alignments: CG, LG, N, NG
Domains: Competition, Glory, War (the first two are from Complete Divine)
Favored Weapon: Sword

Polynikia (po-le-NEE-keea) is Memnos’ daughter by Hathonae. She is the embodiment of Parthan martial glory and ardor, and the personification of victory. She loves nothing more than personal valor proven on the field of battle and keeps a watchful eye over those who defy danger to perform great deeds.
Polynikia appears as a beautiful young woman with a shapely, athletic body and flawless features. She has creamy skin, curly, chestnut hair that reaches to the small of her back, and deep, sea-green eyes. She wears magnificent, gold-embossed armour that both reveals and complements her body. Her helmet never covers her face, but instead rests back along her head. She is almost always seen smiling, but more often than not it is a capricious smile.
Polynikia is among the most beloved, and most-worshipped, of the Parthan deities. Her veneration is universal among all Parthan citadels, tribes, and even exiles.
Prayers to Polynikia are most often offered before any sort of test of one’s martial skill or courage. The goddess does not require prayers for the sake of praying at any particular time… but she does demand of those who love and venerate her to seek combat, if only in play or practice, each day.

History/Relationships: Polynikia is carefree and impetuous, but she is nonetheless a loyal daughter to Memnos and Hathonae. Despite the philosophical and moral differences between her and her father, there is no enmity between them. Polynikia ultimately believes in her father’s basic tenets: the concept of the strong ruling over the weak essentially equates to heroes transcending over the ordinary. In her eyes, the civilization her father has built has given birth to many great heroes. She recognizes her father’s ruthlessness, but believes it is necessary for those who would lead to possess such attributes.
Polynikia doesn’t hate Kraetis as much as the rest of the pantheon does, but she does pity him—and that is even worse in his eyes. She accepts Kastorius’ counsel and well-meaning attempts at protecting her, but cannot understand his lack of emotion. Polynikia avoids Ishobel at all times; she dislikes the goddess not only because of what she means to her heroes, but because her father takes her for his consort over her mother for half the year.
Polynikia was once betrothed to Ariston but he was never able to reconcile with her warlike ways—nor was she willing to give them up. Their bond did change the way she looks at things, though; Polynikia was much more fickle in the past than she is now. Once a deity of Neutral alignment, in olden days Polynikia cared little about what her worshippers went through, and encouraged deadly quests and challenges for their own sake. Now, she is recognized as a guardian of those with valiant hearts, and has been known to both appear to and aid those who attempt exceptional deeds. True heroism touches her heart, as do heroes who dedicate their deeds as a sacrifice to her. Indeed, legends say that the daughter of Memnos takes the greatest of heroes to be her lovers. At least one known to the annals was granted the divine spark by her.

Dogma: Nothing is impossible to those who dare try.
Glory is the reward of the courageous and daring, those who overcome impossible obstacles with no mind to mortal fear

Clergy and Temples: Unlike those of some other deities, shrines to Polynikia are very public and grand affairs. They are typically statues of the goddess that have been arrayed in central locations within a citadel, such as prominent squares or regal gardens. Other chosen locales for her temples are over famous battle sites, as well. Such holy places are decorated by the many tokens left by those who would seek the daughter of Memnos’ favor. Weapons and armor captured from enemies, the heads or hides of vicious monsters, and votive offerings such as images of the goddess can be found all about her shrines and statues.
The priesthood of Polynikia is made up entirely of women. They are rarely seen in public, and make appearances only for religious events or to recognize exceptional deeds. Their religious mysteries include elaborate dances with weapons and armor, and secret revels where they invite worthy heroes to be their lovers. Their daughters from such unions are inducted in their order; their only other recruits are those rare young women who choose to defy Parthan custom and choose a martial life.

SALIX
The Lawgiver, Lady of Wisdom, Flame of Truth

Intermediate Deity
Symbol: An open eye with a flame within the pupil
Home Plane:
Alignment: Neutral Good
Portfolio: Knowledge, wisdom, truth, law-makers, justice
Worshippers: Academics, historians, judges, nobles, teachers and students of all sorts
Cleric Alignments: CG, LG, N, NG
Domains: Good, Knowledge, Law
Favored Weapon: Unarmed strike

Salix (SA-lex) is the daughter of Ahad-Amal and Isati, ancient deities of the Kamoran pantheon. Despite this nigh-supreme lineage, Salix was ever an outsider among the Kamorans. Though revered by the people, the empire she was worshipped in was a rigid theocracy forever bound to the ways it had known from its genesis. To Salix, the truth born of wisdom and knowledge was the highest good, and she would not abide ignoring these tenets in favor of blind adherence to tradition.
Salix’s son, Ariston, was likewise ever looking outwards. In his journeys he found the nascent Parthan people and began cultivating followers among those who possessed qualities he admired. Salix not only encouraged him in his enterprise when she learned of it, but decided to join him as well. Together, they visited six wise and noble Parthans who best emulated their ways and graced them with divine inspiration. These men and women in turn brought the lessons of Salix and her sons to their people. They were known as the Lawgivers, legendary leaders who turned almost nomadic tribes to a civilization of thinkers, athletes, and builders. From their efforts, the six Great Citadels were raised and since then Salix and her sons have been known as the Pillars of the Citadels.
The Lady of Wisdom most often takes the form of a beautiful woman in flowing, glowing robes with colors of the rising sun. Her skin is of the classic Parthan olive tone; her hair is black as the night, wavy, and reaches almost to the ground. Salix’s eyes are her most captivating feature, though: her irises are like orbs of soft fire that dance with light.
Salix is praised and prayed to by judges, philosophers, teachers, students, and any who seek wisdom, justice and, ultimately, truth. Every Parthan council-hall has shrines and statues devoted to Salix or famed followers of her, as do the higher academies and great libraries.
Priests of Salix offer prayers at high noon. Inquiries into the truth, legal cases, and other investigations all also begin with prayers to Salix.

History/Relationships: Salix associates almost exclusively with Ariston and Kionanthus and his children. Together, they seek to bring about a new beginning for the Parthan people. Salix is wise and a realist, and she understands that they cannot alone prevail against such a strong warrior ethos as has been entrenched in their pantheon. She hopes that through this new generation of Parthan deities, the seeds of change can be planted in their people.
Like Ariston and Kionanthus, she utterly despises Kraetis, Sekthiss, and their ilk. The falling-out between her son and Polynikia caused her much pain; she had hoped that their union would have also been a catalyst for a better tomorrow. Nonetheless, she bears no ill will for Memnos’ daughter.

Dogma: Always work toward truth, for only through the quest for truth can one gain wisdom. Without wisdom there is no justice. Without justice, all is dust.

Clergy and Temples: Salix’s clergy can most often be found in the various council-halls, courtrooms, and libraries of Parthus. Such places often either house shrines to the goddess, or are even dedicated to her outright. The grandest of such buildings are as much temples to Salix as they are places of study, and are counted among the greatest achievements of the Parthan people.

KIONANTHUS
The Lorekeeper, the Father of History

Lesser Deity
Symbol: A dove clutching the flower the god is named for
Home Plane:
Alignment: Neutral Good
Portfolio: Knowledge, history, poetry
Worshippers: Academics, students, historians, poets, sages
Cleric Alignments: CG, LG, N, NG
Domains: Knowledge,
Favored Weapon: Staff

Kionanthus (key-oh-NUN-thuss) is the son of Salix and Horaptuh. Almost unknown to the Kamorans, in whose pantheon he and his mother were born, among the Parthans he is revered as the source of all knowledge and the father of history. It was he who inspired the first epic poets to a tradition of recording the great deeds of their people for posterity. From those humble beginnings sagas were compiled, histories written, and grand libraries erected. The crowning achievement dedicated to him was the Grand Library of Sartha, which may very well be the greatest center of knowledge on Verosia.
Kionanthus resembles a mature-looking Parthan man of a somewhat indeterminate age. His skin is of an olive complexion, his hair is dark brown and curly, and his eyes are a pale gold. He keeps a rich, full beard that reaches down to the base of his neck. Kionanthus affects flowing white robes that are seemingly non-descript; as one stares into their folds, however, the silken threads transform into moving lines of prose. It is said that the entire saga of the Parthan people is woven into the god’s garment—that as new events are recorded, they are added to the fabric.
Kionanthus is worshipped at learning centers throughout Parthus, regardless of size or location. Even young children learning to read and write do so under statuettes of the god of lore. Together with his mother and brother, Kionanthus is worshipped as one of the Pillars of the Citadels—a founder of the Parthan civilization.
Priests of Kionanthus perform their prayers at the dawn and dusk of the day, and before undertaking tasks related to the gaining or imparting of knowledge. They do not have recurring sermons at specific churches, but shrines of Kionanthus can be found in various locations throughout each citadel (again, schools, etc.). See also below.

History/Relationships: Kionanthus tends to have little time for others, and thus limits his contacts with the world outside his halls of knowledge to his divine family and those who can aid him in his studies. He loathes Kraetis, whom he sees as an uncultured brute. He is ambivalent toward Kastorius, whom he views as little more than a weapon or a tool. Kionanthus works close with his mother, Salix, in their quiet quest to free the Parthan people from their legacy of war. He sees his and Myrrha’s children as the way forward to that future.

Dogma: Knowledge imparts freedom of the mind and the power to make choices.

Clergy and Temples: Kionanthus’ priests are among the foremost historians and sages of the Parthan people. Unlike many other religious orders, Chionanthan priests are recruited from both the men and women of a Citadel’s population. The only requirement the god has for his followers is that they possess a keen mind and a thirst for knowledge.
Every learning center in Parthus is home to a Chionanthan shrine—if even a small, votive statuette. Every library, both personal and public, is a tribute to the god. The greatest repositories of knowledge in all Verosia are the Libraries of Kionanthus —homes to thousands of tomes, scrolls, and tablets from millennia ago. Some have survived countless wars and disasters, but it is a sad fact that the wars fought between the Ronans and the Parthans have rendered these centers of learning inaccessible to sages from various realms. Legend tells of a Great Library, hidden to all but the chosen Chroniclers of Kionanthus, where the priesthood stores the original of all ancient texts and all the knowledge thought lost to the ages remains. The priests do not speak of it, and no others have claimed to have found it.

THE CHRONICLING
The single greatest religious mystery dedicated to Kionanthus is held on the waning days of the last moon of the year. During this time, the citizens of each Citadel gather in theatres, arenas, or other suitable locations to watch the priests of Kionanthus tell the saga of the year gone by. The compilers of the Citadel’s history have transcribed the year’s deeds (those they are aware of, at any rate) into poem form (think Iliad) and through this medium remind their people of theirs and their leaders’ deeds. Priests of Salix are also present at this event, and with reason far greater than mere symbolism: they subject the Chionanthan saga-tellers to spells that detect any falsehood.
When the chronicling is complete, the poems are compiled with the rest of the Citadel’s history. Chosen priests of Kionanthus’ order travel the length and breadth of Parthus and take copies of these histories to bring back to their god’s Grand Library. The histories held there and elsewhere are seen as sacrosanct by the Parthans. There are few crimes more sensational than an attempt to either steal or alter a piece of their history.

ARISTON
The Sky Lord, the Peerless Runner, the Philosopher-Hero

Lesser Deity
Symbol: An eagle sitting atop a pillar
Home Plane:
Alignment: Neutral Good
Portfolio: The sky, athletics, culture, philosophy, personal excellence, heroism
Worshippers: Athletes, philosophers, idealists, the young
Cleric Alignments: CG, LG, N, NG
Domains: Air, Celerity, Competition (the last two are from Complete Divine)
Favored Weapon: Javelin

Ariston (A-rees-ton) is the son of Salix and the titan lord Strathose. Unknown to those who worship the Kamoran Pantheon, among the Parthans he is revered and celebrated as a peerless athlete, as a bringer of culture, and as the driving force to excel. It was he, along with Salix and Kionanthus who brought the gifts of civilization to the Parthan people.
Ariston is ever-young in appearance, resembling a Parthan man in his early twenties, with bronzed skin, golden hair, and sky-blue eyes. He is shaped like a great athlete, flawless in his symmetry, and handsome. Despite his looks, though, he is remarkably mature in his demeanor, possessed of great eloquence, and obviously very intelligent. He is nonetheless gripped by a great melancholy due to the dark times his people are undergoing. Statues of Ariston always depict him with his head titled slightly toward the sky, a yearning look in his eyes.
Ariston is worshipped throughout Parthus as one of the Pillars of the Citadel. He is most often seen as a patron for the gymnasia where young athletes and warriors train, and of circles of philosophers as well. Though his mother, Salix, is the goddess of Wisdom and Truth, and his brother, Kionanthus, is the god of Knowledge, philosophy is seen by Parthans as a discipline of excellence, wherein one focuses knowledge to become a better person. As such, Ariston is seen as the natural conduit for this. Athletic festivals are dedicated to the “Peerless Runner” as well.
Priests of Ariston perform their prayers at the dawn and dusk of the day. They do not have recurring sermons at specific churches, but shrines of his can be found in various locations throughout each citadel (again, gymnasia, etc.) and his priests are sought for their blessings enough that they are among the busiest.

History/Relationships: Ariston maintains strong relationships only with his mother and siblings. He respects Memnos, grudgingly, and then only for his power, cunning, and obvious ability. He interacts little with Hathonae or Ishobel, but gives both the due that they deserve. He shares Kionanthus’ loathing for Kraetis, and the two have often clashed in the past.
Ariston loved Polynikia, but was unable to reconcile with her love for war and glory. He has sought to steer their son, Tharos, closer to his own way, but the Far-Darter is as much his mother’s son as he is his father’s. Like Kionanthus, he is totally committed to his mother, Salix, and lives for the day when they can bring their mother’s light back to the Parthans.
Finally, Ariston and Torinos maintain a tenuous, uneasy rivalry. The sky god is a symbol of the harmonious skies, which the Westerly Wind of Torin often disturbs with his beloved storms.

Dogma: Work earnestly to be the best you can be. By achieving excellence through your body and your mind, you will create an excellent soul. Heroism is personal greatness achieved through excellence—and is shown as much by the great sprinter, the unbeaten wrestler, and the spiritual man as it is by the slayer of monsters and the breaker of armies. Becoming great is not enough; one must inspire others to do so as well.

Clergy and Temples: Ariston’s priesthood is primarily made up of those who believe that their exceptional physical and mental traits are a blessing of the Philosopher-Hero. Almost entirely male, they are not part of orders, per se, and do not have individual temples. Rather, they congregate in those places loved by the god (gymnasia, academies, athletic fields—but not arenas) and perform the rites and rituals during appropriate events. The most daring openly question the status quo by challenging the authorities to philosophical debates, but the majority choose instead to “steer the ship better” by using their keen minds and benevolent souls to advise the powers-that-be.

CHALLENGES OF CHAMPIONS
Before the Parthan civilization became militarized under Memnos and his children, most warriors followed Ariston’s precepts of personal heroism. Warfare among Parthans was a more ritualized thing—still a clash of two armed hosts, but more decided by duels fought by individual champions and their retinues. It was an archaic, now obsolete, practice, but Ariston’s followers prided themselves in deciding such matters nobly and without needless bloodshed.
That practice is not altogether abandoned, even in these days. Citadels in which his priesthood have strong influence often look to Aristonian challenges as a means of settling differences between themselves and others (the exception to this being war mandated by Memnos himself; though in a few cases compromise exists even here).
These Challenges are of two types. One involves each Citadel choosing a Hero from its ranks. These Heroes are then given a quest to accomplish, and the one who returns to his Citadel with the prize first brings victory as well. This sort of Challenge is exceedingly rare, as it leaves much to chance, and not many Primi are willing to risk victory in such a manner.
The second involves a combat of Champions. Each Citadel selects a numerically identical picked force. These men meet and fight it out until everyone from one side is either slain or incapacitated. This sort of Challenge is often invoked by smaller Citadels when confronted with a threat from a larger entity.

THAROS
The Master of Hunters, the Far-Darter, the Horse-Lord

Demigod
Symbol: A bust of a horse with crossed arrows behind it
Home Plane:
Alignment: Neutral
Portfolio: Bowmen, horsemen, hunters, wilderness guardians
Worshippers: Archers, bowyers, cavalrymen, hunters, rangers, travelers
Cleric Alignments: CN, N, LN, NE, NG
Domains: Animal, Protection, Travel
Favored Weapon: Bows of all kind

Tharos (THAH-ross) is the son of Ariston and Polynikia. He is the paragon of hunters within Parthus, the greatest archer ever, and a stellar rider and breaker of horses.
Tharos is young looking, and impetuous in demeanor. His chestnut hair is unusually long, somewhat wild and garlanded with wild flowers and laurel leaves. He resembles both his parents, possessing Ariston’s bronzed skin and Polynikia’s facial features. He is lean, yet well-muscled, and walks with the grace of a lion. His eyes are usually narrowed, as if he is constantly inspecting something. Seemingly aloof and loner-like, he is in fact a trickster of sorts, and simply prefers the company of mortals. Of all the Parthan deities, he is the most likely to appear in mortal form and influence the affairs of those he takes a shine to.
Tharos is prayed to, first and foremost, by hunters. Many younger, male Parthans also turn to him, but typically in secret—to aid them in one scheme or another. There are actually very few priests of Tharos in Parthus, but hunting lodges always have a shrine to him, and those who share in his activities remember him in their offerings.

History/Relationships: Tharos spends little time among the gods, preferring either the thrill of the hunt or the company of mortals to the debates and fights of the Parthan deities. He loves both his parents, but sees himself as his own man. He neither wishes to be an agent of change, like his father, nor is he ready to be a soldier for Memnos, like his mother. Like the other Parthan deities, he disdains Kraetis and delights in antagonizing him whenever he can. He knows better than to challenge him directly, though.
Tharos cares for his half-siblings by Myrrha, but he does not necessarily share in their tenets and rarely participates in their ventures.
Aside from these gods, it is said that Tharos is most favorably disposed toward horses as a species. His grandfather Strathose created him a cloud white steed that can run faster than the wind and sprout feathery wings to soar through the air. It is because of his love for horses that Tharos actually despises shock cavalry combat. In his eyes, respect for one’s mount is ultimately best expressed through the javelin and the bow, which serve the cause of war without bringing harm to the steed itself.

Dogma: Man was placed on Naeja to prosper. Learn from nature, embrace your surroundings and prove your superiority through your native cunning and skill-at-arms. Respect your prey as you would those who would prey on you. Revel in the thrill of the hunt.

Clergy and Temples: Tharos’ shrines are found in hunting lodges, horse ranches, and in the wilderness, near popular hunting spots. Hunters offer libations and sacrifices to him—of incense and wine prior to the hunt, and of portions of the kill after it. Many, if not most, of Tharos’ priests are powerful rangers—peerless hunters who seek out and slay the greatest of the beasts of Parthus.

ILEX
The Grand Reveler, the Bold Harp

Demigod
Symbol: A garland of flowers and wine grapes
Home Plane:
Alignment: Chaotic Good
Portfolio: Music, festivals, wine, revelry
Worshippers: Musicians, revelers, vintners,
Cleric Alignments: CG, CN, NG
Domains: Community, Luck, Trickery
Favored Weapon: Sickle

Ilex (EE-lex) is the son of Kionanthus and Myrrha. He is the patron of Parthan musicians, and a lover of revelry and festivals. In this, he has never exactly been his father’s son. In fact, Ilex has always been something of a rebel. Though he is as bright and benevolent as his lineage would indicate, Ilex has never been one to walk the line drawn by others.
It is said that when Ilex came of age, he saw the world his mortal worshippers lived in, and despaired. Determined to bring joy to the Parthans, he left the heavens to walk the world. He found the people were consumed with the ideals of law and martial discipline, and had neglected the other parts of their lives.
One day, on a long-forgotten year, Ilex arrived at the countryside of ancient Galos and used his divine touch to plant the most perfect grapes man had ever seen. As the Galeans and Parthans from other communities gathered about his fields, he turned this perfect crop into wine the likes of which no one had ever tasted. A great feast began, followed by much music, drinking, and cavorting. The night set and the sun rose again, but still Ilex and his guests, who now could not be easily counted, continued in their revelry unabated. The merry-makers lifted Ilex and his throne on their shoulders, and began what is known in legend as “The Triumph of Ilex”. For a full moon, thousands of Parthans carried the god throughout the countryside and the wilderness, their music never stopping and their wine always flowing. They ceased their march only when arriving in other communities, whereupon more men and women would join them.
At long last, Memnos took note of what was happening, and he was very angered at the son of Kionanthus. Salix intercepted him, though, and attempted to assuage him by pointing out that he only wished to do good by the Primus’ children. Hathonae aided her in this by whispering soothing words in Memnos’ ear, as she admired the lad’s impetuous nature. His anger, abated, Memnos decided that Ilex’s gift was better harnessed than done away with altogether. He declared that Ilex’s releases of the spirit would be tolerated, but only during celebrations and festivals ordained by his Order.
And so it has been since: the Parthans maintain their iron discipline day by day, but on those days and nights that are holy to Ilex, they are free to run with the Grand Reveler.
Ilex appears as a handsome young man with sun-darkened skin, and hair and eyes as black as the richest earth. He wears a loose robes of wine-red color that leave most of his torso revealed, and a crown of flowers, laurel leaves, and grapes. He carries with him a wineskin that never empties and a harp that plays the sweetest sounds in the world.
Ilex is prayed to at virtually every festival, celebrations of all sorts, and is frequently mentioned even at informal toasts of wine. He is among the most beloved of Parthan deities, with only the most disciplined and introspective people refusing to share in his joys and revels.

History/Relationships: Ilex spends little time with the other gods, save for Tharos, Markus, Jaena, and his sister, Ellataria. He simply does not see much in trying to induce war-gods and philosophers to try to enjoy their existence more.

Dogma: Revel in today, bury yesterday’s sorrows, and worry about tomorrow when it comes.

Clergy and Temples: Ilex’s shrines are all outdoors affairs, and tend to be in gardens or secluded wilderness groves. The sites used to hold Parthan festivals all have some sort of shrine to the Bold Harp.

THE AUTUMN REVEL

HATHONAE
The Prima Dea, the Sea-Queen, the Indomitable

Greater Deity
Symbol:
Home Plane:
Alignment: Chaotic Neutral
Portfolio: The seas, freedom, mariners, women
Worshippers: Parthans in general; sailors
Cleric Alignments: CE, CG, CN, N
Domains: Freedom, Water, Weather
Favored Weapon: Javelin (or harpoon)

Hathonae is held as Prima among the Parthan deities, second only to Memnos himself. She is the queen of the seas and ocean, the fickle, unconquerable mistress of the watery realms. Her moods are like the seas themselves; she can be a boon to man, but she can be destructive as well. She represents the ideal of freedom to Parthans as well, for she is the only deity that Memnos has never been able to bring fully under his sway. Legends say that when Memnos becomes too overbearing or commanding for her tastes, she takes refuge in the depths of her realm, where even he cannot follow.
Hathonae appears as a beautiful woman with hair the color of the sunset and blue-green skin that resembles the sea after a storm. She wears dresses made of netting and fine scales, and wears flawless pearls and elaborate sea-shells for jewelry. Unless she chooses otherwise, she always appears as if she was just in water. She always smiles, but her eyes always have a touch of menace to them as well.
Hathonae is both feared and beloved by the Parthans. Though she is considered the goddess of women, she is equally praised by men—in particular, all those who ply the seas for trade, war or travel. Because most the Great Citadels—and most of the other Parthan states as well—are sea-side communities, she is as central as Memnos in the day-to-day lives of the people.
Prayers are offered to Hathonae at sunrise and sunset, for it is then that the wise can best tell what the goddess’ moods will bring the next day; and during the coming of the high tide. Priests of Hathonae and the particularly devout also hold celebrations in the midst of even the most furious sea-storms that happen to strike near a Citadel or one of her temples.

History/Relationships: As Prima Dea, Hathonae is the recognized queen of the Pantheon and Memnos’ consort. Despite this, the Sea-Queen is not typically one for pomp and circumstance, and in fact often has to be summoned to Memnos’ court. She is both attracted and repelled by Memnos; he captivates her with his strength, but eventually sends her fleeing because of his need to control everyone—even her.
Where her children are concerned, she loved Polynikia most, and sees her as her true daughter. Kastorius is boring to her, through and through; she sees him as a joyless creature. Kraetis is her greatest disappointment. Since his fall, she has kept him at a distance, and will only come to his aid when he is in the direst of straits.
Hathonae hates Ishobel outright. This is because even though she will not submit to Memnos as he wishes, she nonetheless despises the idea of sharing him with anyone else. She similarly loathes the offspring they conceived, and she has ever encouraged her children to work against Dyschimus (Cauldread), Analithus (Lutherik), and Dagos (Daegar). Similarly, she sees Sirithreia’s aquatic children as an invasion of her realm.
Where the rest of the deities are concerned, she views them as a mixed bag, and associates with them depending on her mood. She doesn’t much care for Salix, but enjoys the works of her children. She laughs at some of the works of Fionnae’s, but rolls her eyes at her fits. She watches Maelbria carefully, for she rightly understands how dangerous that deity is.

Dogma: The sea is both home and away from home. She both sustains and destroys. Fear and love the sea, as you fear and love her Queen.

Clergy and Temples: Temples of Hathonae are always majestic, sea-side affairs and are often to central piece to a Citadel’s harbor. There are two “entrances” to these temples, one being the main point of entry to worshippers, and the other being a gate to the sea itself. The later of the two is cunningly engineered so that waves throw enough water in to form an ankle-high shallow within the temple itself.
The priesthood of Hathonae is an integral part of sea-side Citadels. Her clerics confer blessings upon ships, expeditions, and sailors. The priesthood of Hathonae is always welcome aboard ships, as Parthans believe that their presence is enough to forestall storms and similar disasters.

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