Carceri ~ The Dead Walk Away
The Elemental Council
The Elemental Council are a group of four Deities in the Thousand Oceans who steward the classical material elements of Earth, Fire, Air, and Water. The most prominent elemental deities of the new Pantheon, they share history with Fallendra of the Twelve and likely are all drawn from the same world.
The Council members’ titles are popular symbols in both games and mysticism. The Queen, the Druid, the Fool, and the Exarch are all popular cards in Three Dragon Ante and The Emperor’s Gambit, lending themselves to dramatic plays and expressive readings when used for divination. Statues to their aspects as these titles adorn temples, court houses, sanctuaries, and libraries; artists will pepper their symbols into pieces to invoke their stories and themes.
The Council of Pillars, as they are also called, are the Patrons of the Holy Order of the Pillars a four tier group of priests, clerics, and paladins working with a small number of laypeople to personify and devote themselves to the ideals of these four Deities: Justice, Discipline, Knowledge, and Understanding. They further digest these virtues into the four pursuits of Fairness, Wisdom, Learning, and Harmony, the fostering of these goals becoming the duty of every novitiate of each branch or pillar of the order. Each pillar is identified by and named for the favored weapon of the deity that personifies their cause.
Teressa the Queen (LG)
The Queen of all Rock and Minerals and All That Grows from the Soil is revered mostly by dwarves and gnomes whom portray her as a stout figure in a battle gown of a hardened charcoal steel plate cuirass with silvery plackart and cannons, and a gown of tarnished copper so thin that it flows like silk but sturdy enough to bend swords. Often her gown is depicted with roots growing up around her skirt or down from her navel. Other races depict her in similar armament, but with a more human stature though no less sturdy. Whether she wears a blindfold to show impartiality or leaves her face and eyes uncovered to see the truth without obfuscation vary depending on the artist, but she always carries her jeweler scales in her dominant hand and her favored weapon, a sword, in the other. On her head she wears many varyingly designed crowns of either jewels, precious metals, or fossilized bone and plants; her crown is always depicted as something that must be excavated.
Teressa governs the cycle of minerals and rocks with equity, just as she governs her clergy and elemental subjects. All that breathes and grows is composed from her soils and stones and all receive the same rules. It is for this reason that her position amongst the elemental pillars stands for Justice and fosters fairness amongst her followers.
Favored Weapon: Long Sword (Preferably made from durable stone or un-hardened metal)
Symbol: A stone see-saw or scale in perfect balance on a sword, simplified as either a stone sword for the Order of the Sword or a brick for worshippers.
Sacred Animals: Bear
Sacred Colors: Gold, silver
Portfolio: Earth, Justice, Fairness, Equality
Domains: Aristocracy, Caves, Cooperation, Defense, Earth, Exploration, Good, Growth, Judgement, Law, Leadership, Metal, Nobility, Plant, Protection, Solitude, Strength, Trade, Travel, Wards
Inquisitions: Conversion, Excommunication, Fervor, Heresy, Illumination, Imprisonment, Justice, Order, Redemption, Reformation, Restoration, Revelation, Truth, Zeal
Mysteries: Life, Metal, Nature, Stone, Wood
Blessings: Animal, Earth, Good, Law, Nobility, Plant, Protection, Travel
Worship: The Order of the Pillars revere the Queen as the Pillar of Justice and governor of all things in equity. Most of her paladins are judges and barristers, and laypeople lawmakers will often pray to her if they have questions about the fairness of a law.
Tarleton the Fool (CN)
Tarleton was a mortal jester before the Madness, but only the most devote of his followers know this. Long before the worlds were flooded, the previous goddess of Fire, Fallendra (then titled the Inventor), made a play to steal the Portfolio of water from Stalag the Exarch. She was rebuked in the face of the Ocean’s Discipline and extinguished, temporarily losing her Portfolio of fire. Tarleton, a mischievous and cantankerous cutpurse of a joker, took the opportunity to lay claim to the Portfolio with the time honored thief tool called, “Dibs!” The unsuspecting clod was instantly demi-deified upon claiming Portfolio and prevented it from returning to its vaporous former owner.
Fallendra was outraged and sought retribution by bringing the adolescent god before The Stone Queen Teressa, screaming that it was unfair that her goodlihood was stolen from her by a mere mortal. Tarleton argued that if Fallendra were a mortal then the property would have no true owner upon her extinguishing, unless Stalag chose to claim it which would have been the God of water’s right as the victor. Since Stalag chose not to claim the Portfolio, it would effectively be salvage at that point, and that Tarleton cannot be guilty of theft for found property. He also argued that it is evidenced by his ascension to demi-godhood that he was meant to claim the Portfolio. Teressa, impressed by his ability to argue and disgusted at Fallendra’s attempt to claim damages for something she had attempted to do to another, ruled that Tarleton could keep the divinity and welcomed him as the new God of Fire. However, Boudicca the Goddess of Air did not wish her sister to fade and urged the Stone Queen to take pity on Fallendra. Teressa thus requested a portion of Tarleton’s smoldering fire combining it with a portion of Stalag’s fresh water as well as wisps of Boudicca’s air and traces of Teressa’s own soot to forge the Portfolio of Steam for Fallendra, leaving the former Goddess of Fire permanently diminished, but still divine. Fallendra was still expelled from her council seat for her attempted insurrection and was replaced by the new God of Fire: Tarleton the Fool.
Favored Weapon: Cudgel
Symbol: A book with blank pages for those chosen by Tarleton, but also a cudgel with a scorched head for both the Order of the Cudgel and lay people of the faith.
Sacred Animals: Dog (Poodle)
Sacred Colors: Red, Brown
Portfolio: Fire, Learning,
Domains: Ash, Chaos, Charm, Darkness, Exploration, Fire, Imagination, Innuendo, Knowledge, Language, Light, Memory, Revelation, Rune, Smoke, Thievery, Thought, Travel, Trickery, Whimsy
Inquisitions: Banishment, Conversion, Excommunication, Fate, Fervor, Heresy, Illumination, Redemption, Reformation, Revelation
Mysteries: Dark Tapestry, Flame, Lore, Occult, Outer Rifts, Solar, Spellscar
Blessings: Chaos, Charm, Fire, Knowledge, Luck, Magic, Rune, Sun, Travel, Trickery
Worship: Tarleton is very personable with his worshippers, having not been too into ceremony in his normal life. He simply requests that his followers write him a letter on whatever parchment or paper they can afford (or steal) whenever they learn something new. Then the letter must be burned by torch fire at sunset, where upon it will be carried to him in the smoke. Should he wish to commune with his followers, a letter will emerge from the smoke of the nearest fire.
Those particularly blessed by Tarleton will find a book that takes not ink, nor graphite, nor charcoal, similar to Taleton’s holy symbol. Instead of burning their letters, those who learn how to mark the pages may simply write in their book, where the words will burn off the page. Samples and pressings left in the book will also disappear into wafts of smoke that billow out of the pages at sunset.
Stalag the Exarch (NG)
Priest to His element, Stalag devotes himself to the waters of the Thousand Oceans, be they fresh, saline, ocean, or rain. As the second most powerful deity in the council, he acts as Teresa’s deputy in all things, offers his council, and guides her on how to enact her judgements. As much a steward as he is divine, Stalag leads his priests, the pontifices, in how he wishes them to act by example.
The term pontifex literally means “bridge-builder” (pons + facere) in ancient Carcerese; “maximus” literally means “greatest” added as an additional moniker when attributed to Stalag himself. This was originally meant in a literal sense: the position of bridge-builder was indeed an important one where the major bridges were built over sacred rivers: only prestigious authorities with sacral functions could be allowed to “disturb” the waters with mechanical additions. These efforts require great discipline in the planning, thus Stalag’s pillar came to be associated with that virtue. However, their duties are understood in the symbolic sense as well: the pontifices were the ones who smoothed the “bridge” between gods and men. Stalag, in his role as Pontifex Maximus, is considered the ultimate bridge builder between the Gods of the Thousand Oceans and the people who reside there; indeed, his waters touch the lives of all.
Because of the need for water in all aspects of life on the Thousand Oceans, He stresses discipline in all things and his pillar teaches Discipline in his name. He embodies his role as steward and architect, and he holds those in positions of responsibility like aldermen, overseers, sergeants, and especially boatswains in his care and charge.
Favored Weapon: Hammer
Symbol: A simple stone bridge over an endless body of water with the water forming the image of an upturned hammer, simplified as a blue steel hammer for members of the Order of the Hammer or a stone cutting hammer for lay people.
Sacred Animals: Cuttlefish
Sacred Colors: Blue, Grey
Portfolio: Water, Wisdom, Discipline, Quartermasters, Boatswains, Priestly Duty, Bridges, Boats
Domains: Aristocracy, Cooperation, Destruction, Divine, Flowing, Good, Honor, Ice, Loss, Loyalty, Martyr, Moon, Oceans, Protection, Purity, Resolve, Rivers, Seasons, Solitude, Storms, Strength, Swamp, Tactics, Toil, Trade, Travel, Water, Weather
Inquisitions: Conversion, Damnation, Excommunication, Fervor, Persistence, Redemption, Reformation, Restoration, Zeal
Mysteries: Ancestor, Battle, Waves
Blessings: Chaos, Destruction, Good, Protection, Strength, Travel, Water, Weather
Worship: Many official Stalagian rites are centered with a baptism, an invitation to immerse the faithful in the element of their God so that he can clean them. More individual rites start with hand washing whilst whispering to the bowl the petitions of the prayerful.
The Order of the Hammer is filled with bridge builders and shipwrights, who preach mindfulness and prudence in all workers’ lives.
Boudicca the Druid (TN)
Boudicca has always sought to bring everything together. With her updrafts she carried Stalag’s water into the sky so it could fall where it was needed. She wore down Teressa’s rocks and stones to reveal precious minerals and useful metals to those who required it. She was the breath of life for Fallendra’s creative conflagration and Tarleton’s inquisitive inferno after her. She fills sails and wings to move the world beneath those put in her charge.
Called the Great Mediator, she asks her followers to breed understanding wherever they go, acting as councilors to those who need it most. Stalag and servants may build the bridges between the gods and those who worship them, but Boudicca and her counselors help them live together amongst themselves and with each other. It is in this way that she personifies her pillar of the council, the virtue of Understanding.
Favored Weapon: Axe (Woodsman’s axe)
Symbol: Eagle enveloping a spruce tree in its wings, simplified as a woodsman’s axe for member of the Order of the Axe or a spruce branch and eagle feather for lay people.
Sacred Animals: Dire Eagle
Sacred Colors: Azure, Green
Domains: Air, Animal, Cloud, Exploration, Feather, Freedom, Friendship, Liberation, Redemption, Revelry, Revolution, Seasons, Stars, Storms, Travel, Vulture, Weather, Wind,
Inquisitions: Conversion, Excommunication, Fervor, Heresy, Persistence, Recovery, Redemption, Reformation, Restoration, Revelation, Truth
Mysteries: Heavens, Nature, Wind, Winter
Blessings: Air, Animal, Community, Liberation, Nobility, Travel, Void, Weather