Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Father Hal Tawndry's Guide to Ledonia Part I: The Immortals

A terse lesson on the history, religion and current structure of the kingdom of Ledonia for the foreign wanderer who finds himself in this bountiful and varied realm by Father Hal Tawndry, High Priest of Wic, Keeper of Knowledge, and written in the first glorious year of the reign of His Grace, King Esmond Seyerling.

In order to enlighten persons new to this great kingdom, I, Father Hal Tawndry, High Priest of Wic and Keeper of His Knowledge, have been tasked with committing to writing certain pertinent facts which would aid in the foreigner’s understanding of this kingdom, in order that he should not perpetrate any act of unscrupulous affront to any lords, ladies or immortals forbid, the King. In this way, harmony will be kept and there shall be no need for the foreigner to claim ignorance should he insult his host and instead shall be rooted out as the arrogant outsider most foreigners seem to be.

Gods be with you,

Father Hal Tawndry
High Priest of Wic
Keeper of His Knowledge

As with everything, all must begin with the Immortals. There exist eight gods, eight for the symbol of their divine infiniteness and the eight finest virtues all Ledonians strive to emulate in their lives: order, dignity, solidarity, generosity, courage, duty, wisdom and fidelity.

A loose hierarchy exists among the gods; however, all agree that first among them is Seinar, the god of the sky and all it entails. He is king among his kind and stands for law, order and justice; just as our own king stands for the same in the realm of mortals.

The goddess Mara is prayed to in matters of love, beauty and desire. Those hoping for marriage and family will light a candle to Mara.

Likewise, the goddess Grainne is invoked in matters of fertility in women and the earth. It is she who decrees the seasons, the harvest, the hunt and all other matters of the earth. Those involved in the healing arts often invoke Grainne, for she is the one who provides them with the herbs necessary for their art.

The domain of oceans, seas, rivers, lakes and ponds belongs to the goddess Thrella. She is a favourite invocation of sailors and fishermen. In fact, many seamen invoke her name in a rather vile way. It is best to ignore these men and not repeat what they blaspheme.

For all Ledonians chasing after philosophical truths and wisdom, seeking reason and strategy, my god Wic receives their devotion.

Others who seek more than what stands before them pray to the goddess San, who reigns over light, prophecy and poetry. If the occult is involved, San is sure to have a hand in it.

Of all the immortals, Calen is the least virtuous. The twin brother of San, he is the messenger of the gods. Thieves, merchants and liars pray to him. But he is also the god of strong drink and celebration and thus many Ledonians will offer a toast to him. Being a messenger, he also has a soft spot for travelers and the lost. But beware his tricks, for as I said, he is the least virtuous of the gods and often has no honor to speak of, a fact not blasphemous to mention.

The last of the gods, Fulke, the god of fire, is the least liked among his kind for he brings war, violence, and bloodshed. He is the immortal soldier and watches over his earthly comrades in battle. Blacksmiths as well pray to Fulke, for his blessing on their weapons is a boon many hope to possess.

I would be remiss in failing to mention the Dark Gods. These are not separate divine beings, but the shadowy, secondary essences of the infinite gods, captured and held prisoner in the underworld, a place called Hell. This chaotic domain is ruled by a shadowy being with no name or face, but often referred to by Ledonians as “The Sorrower”. At various points in time, this being gives the essences of the gods corporeal bodies often termed “demons” by Ledonians, and releases them into the world to wreak havoc and misery. It is said by some that the Dark Gods and the Sorrower are one and the same and are simply a manifestation of all the vices of the gods. But these are arguments for which no foreigner needs to hear of.

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