Heya guys! In case you all were wondering, no, Guide to Arven isn't dead, thus this update. Thanks very much to all those who found the effort to read and review. Thanks guys, you all are the best. Now before I go on, it's the one and only author's reply!
Ill-lusioned: Well, thanks very much for your review, pal. Hope to see it again.
Outlaw02: Well, I've never watched The Twelve Kingdoms, so I dunno if the chapter was similar or not. Anyway, thanks for your review.
Cheah: Well, a fellow Singaporean! ;) Thanks for your review and comments.
The Gobbler: Yeah, fantasy encyclopedia's pretty fun. That's why I've decided to do this one!
Shadowhound: Thanks for your review, even though it's pretty short. Anyway, hope to see your review for this one again!
Free-to-dream15: Well, here's the update! XD
Rrmehta364: Thanks for your comments and here's more for you!
Plinky: Glad you like it. I really put quite an effort in this and hope to see your reviews for my stories including this one soon!
Faerie-gumdrops: Thanks for your comments. I've really been thinking and planning for this one…
Senbi: Well, I can say you're pretty much spot on in the dragons area. Yeah, I plan to put them into the story one way or another…
Casey Drake: Well, Fafnir wasn't the dragon in Beowulf. In fact, to my best of knowledge, the dragon didn't even have a name. Fafnir was in another Norse legend where Siegfried was the main character. Thanks for your definition of paradox. It sounds like what I'm trying to say although I've never thought of this explanation. Yeah, Leviathan is the sea dragon in the Bible. As for Titan, I'm not sure which part of Greek mythos this one is in… and yeah, the dragons are really the good guys…
Ok, with the replies done, let's go on with the guide!
Part 2: Lore of the Gods
Overview: This chapter will cover the in depth details of the gods of Arven. Take note that Mylor/Marath won't be included here as that will be covered in a separate chapter. Of course there's also the part on my inspirations. Enjoy!
Lore of the Gods
As explained in the previous chapter, the gods of Arven were created by Irunar, the Creator. The gods, after creating the mortal races, chose the races that would worship them according to their will instilled by Irunar. The humans are an exception though, and were given the freedom to worship any god. One thing to note is that while humans may choose their god according to profession, it is not a crucial factor. Worship is done on every seventh day of a Cycle, which was roughly one week's span in our world. One interesting thing to note is that during worship, no idols should be present, be it that of the gods or otherwise. This was because the gods wanted worship and religion as something within and unseen in the eye, not just mere idols. Interestingly enough, there had been no known cases of apostasy amongst the worshippers except for those who had fallen under the rule of Marath. Also, each god's sacred animal would also possess the right to know the particular god's will to a certain extent. Therefore, it was considered a serious crime equaling to that of death if a person was caught harming or killing his god's sacred animal. Right now, the introduction of each and every god will be presented.
Nickname: The Judge
Oversees: Law and Justice
Worshipped by: The people of Valia, judges and jury, those who oversee law and order
Equipments: Gelios (long sword); Andreus (shield); Lysern, the (plate armor); Ingir, the Scale of Fate
Appearance: A young man with short blonde hair parted at the side.
Sacred animal: Lion
Introduction: Thoren was the first god to be created by Irunar, thus he was also known as the firstborn of the gods. His nature was unmoving as stone, impartial to the very core. It was said that when a person died, his soul will first reach him, where he will hold Ingir. There, the person's deeds, good and evil, will be weighed accordingly and respectively. After that, he will judge the soul as to whether he will go to Arvalond, the realm of gods, or to suffer in the Abyss. His sacred animal, the lion, represents an unwavering courage and nobility for the cause of justice.
Nickname: The Warrior
Oversees: Duty and Honor
Worshipped by: Centaurs, knights, soldiers, mercenaries and fighters in general
Equipment: Hardos, (great sword); Mynes, (plate armor)
Appearance: A young man with flaming red hair spiked upwards.
Sacred animal: Horse
Introduction: Vydor was the second god to be conceived. His nature was that of a rash youth, always wanting the majority of the action during the war that Mylor started. He even wrangled with the gods for a short moment when Orowen was picked to face Mylor since he was eager to be the one that would end the war. To the gods, he was always an immature child in terms of fighting. To Vydor, if the one that faced Mylor was he himself, it would be much shorter since he thought himself as the best where fighting was concerned. He was also a loyal individual as well and he wouldn't expect anything less from his followers. He also created the giants, who were great in strength and massive in size. He was also the god of centaurs, for he had chosen them as his own ever since the creation. His sacred animal, the horse, represents strength in limb, soul and loyalty.
Nickname: The Lifegiver
Oversees: All forms of life in Arven, every aspect of the elven culture
Worshipped by: Elves, healers
Equipment: Aedon (longbow); Yulore (long sword); Phiras, the Phial of Life
Appearance: An elf with long blonde hair and clad in a robe of shining white.
Sacred animal: Unicorn
Introduction: In the beginning, Eldryth brought forth the source of life in the first living beings, the trees which were already there when Arven was first created. After the war that Mylor waged, the rest of the living beings, both the mortal races and living animals and birds were brought forth to life. All these were done by Eldryth when he dripped a drop of the life giving water from Phiras, the Phial of Life, which granted the existence of the soul. This was due to the fact that when Irunar created Eldryth, he intended him to oversee all forms of life in Arven. Not only that, he was also the one who knew Irunar's will the best. As the Lifegiver, he respects all forms of life, abhorring violence, only to allow it when there was no alternative. That was exactly why the war Mylor raged grieved him right to the soul. However, it should be noted that ironically, he was also a skilled fighter amongst the gods. Not only was he the Lifegiver, he was also the symbol of elven perfection to his main worshippers, the elves. From song to magic to even battle, he was worshipped in every aspect of the elven life. Due to his view of equality amongst all lives, he was also worshipped by human healers as well. His sacred animal, the unicorn, represents nobility in life.
Nickname: Lord of the Beasts and Forest, Keeper of the Storms
Oversees: Every bird and beast of the forests, sanctity of the forests, the elements of storms
Worshipped by: The Edenish
Equipment: Feras (hunting spear), Gorn (hunting bow)
Appearance: A hunter clad in brown around thirty years of age, blonde and spotting a trimmed beard.
Sacred animal: Wolf
Introduction: Orowen was a strange god by all standards, for he never took in a single worshipper prior to the arrival of the Edenish. To him, all that mattered were all that was in the forests and the elements of the storms. The latter was something that only a small number of scholars knew, for it was widely believed that the storms of Arven were created by the gods when Orowen was the only one doing it. During the war that Mylor started, Orowen was the one who defeated him, signaling his prowess as a fighter. Because he was the Lord of the Storms, he always had to work hand in hand with Chantel and Olvan in maintaining the balance of the weather. During the creation, Orowen had made the forests in the northern end of mainland his sacred territory. When the Edenish came into the forests, he knew what Irunar wanted him to do. Ever since the creation, Irunar would promise him that a particular race of humans would be his children forevermore and they were the Edenish, as Orowen knew from his heart. And indeed, the Edenish proved to be a race akin to the nature of Orowen's soul. His sacred animal, the wolf, represents the existence of companionship so integrated in the lives of the Edenish, and the instincts of a hunter.
Nickname: Lady of Wisdom
Oversees: Wisdom among the mortal races
Worshipped by: Mages, scholars
Equipment: Galadhis (staff)
Appearance: A beautiful young lady with long raven black hair dressed in a blue silken gown
Sacred animal: Owl
Introduction: Aris' wisdom was unparalleled in the world of gods. Because of this, she was worshipped by those who desired knowledge, namely human mages and scholars. Indeed she was the first to detect Mylor's intentions. However, she let him be, knowing that Irunar would prove him wrong. Ultimately, this led to the war that marred the earth of Arven which Eldryth couldn't even fix. It was Aris' idea that the gods should choose a race as their respective children for she foresaw that the races would indeed need spiritual guidance in the future. Her sacred animal, the owl, represents wisdom and knowledge.
Nickname: The Ocean King
Oversees: The Great Ocean and all the lives in it
Worshipped by: Mariners, fishermen
Equipment: Trytis (trident)
Appearance: A muscular man with light blue hair and beard dressed only in white pants and wearing sandals
Sacred animal: Dolphin
Introduction: Olvan was the god who earned great love from his worshippers, for among the gods he was the most generous with his gifts. Through visions, he imparted every piece of knowledge within him to the mariners and fishermen, most of them who formed the kingdom of Kislenia. From his teachings, they knew how to predict the weather, the movements of the waves and wind, which area to fish as to have the greatest possible catch, and even the ways of marine warfare. Although the sea elves were the earliest form of mariners, it was later proved that compared to them who worshipped Eldryth, the humans who worshipped Olvan possessed much more knowledge in marine affairs. Indeed due to the bond that forged between the sea elves and the mariners of Kislenia, an alliance was forged between them, with the high elves indirectly involved as the Kislenians were the only outside race to be able to sail into the waters of Loreth and aiding the sea and high elves in defending their waters while the sea elves helped the Kislenians in their marine patrols. Without a doubt, this was all due to the generosity of Olvan himself. His sacred animal, the dolphin, represents intelligence in the ways of the ocean and the spirit of aiding those in need at the ocean, which was required in his worshippers.
Nickname: The Musician
Oversees: All forms of dance and song in the world of Arven
Worshipped by: Bards, dancers, musicians
Equipment: Lashmir (flute), Quires (long spear)
Appearance: Youthful short haired girl in green tunic, a matching headband, white pants and bare footed.
Sacred animal: Lark
Introduction: Varndil the Musician, was also called the Youthful for her appearance whenever she appeared in her worshippers' visions. She delighted in all forms of dance and song and she strongly encouraged her worshippers to invent new dance and songs from their hearts. It was said that the music from Lashmir, her flute brought the first feelings of joy into the newly created mortal races as the gods departed to Arvalond. Thus, it was always said that music was the gods' first gift of joy to all the races. One thing unknown to those save her worshippers was that she was also a skilful fighter. It was said that during the war with Mylor, Varndil's dance of death with her spear Quires, mesmerized the minions of darkness unto their demise. So deadly was her spear dance that her victims didn't even know what hit them before they fell. It was only right that she was worshipped by human bards, dancers and musicians, with the bards being the most proficient with the skill of weapons. Her sacred animal was the lark, for its song will always be Varndil's voice and laughter.
Nickname: Watcher of Agriculture and the Halflings
Oversees: The agriculture cycle, the four seasons, well-being of the halflings
Worshipped by: Farmers, mostly commoners, halflings
Equipment: Tilas (necklace)
Appearance: A woman in her thirties with golden plaited hair dressed in commoner's clothes
Sacred animal: Butterfly
Introduction: Chantel was the goddess most loved by commoners. This was due to the fact that her teachings pretty much aligned with their everyday lives. She was also worshipped by farmers for her duty over the four seasons and agricultural cycle. The halflings also worshipped her not only because she chose them, but of all the mortal races, their thinking was the most akin to a standard commoner. Through her necklace Tilas, she controlled the seasons and it was she who taught the farmers the way of agriculture. Her sacred animal, the butterfly, represents the coming of spring, which coincides with the beginning of the agricultural cycle.
Nickname: The Smith
Oversees: The mountains, the distribution of metals over the world, everyday lives of the dwarves
Worshipped by: Dwarves, those who work the metals
Equipment: Thenrir (two-handed warhammer), Draakon (chainmail)
Appearance: A grizzled and muscled dwarf in a simple brown garb
Sacred animal: Gryphon
Introduction: Morave was the god of dwarves and those who work the metals and he was rightfully respected by them. Indeed it was he who granted the dwarves the knowledge of where to find precious metals. Due to this, the dwarves were extremely rich from their business dealings of the metals. He also taught the dwarves the way of life in the mountain caverns and the warfare best suited to their nature. Later, human metalsmiths also worshipped him as well although not all of them really did that. It was known among both dwarves and non-dwarves that Morave himself was also a fine warrior, having crushed the heads of Mylor's minions with his dreaded warhammer, Thenrir. His sacred animal, the gryphon, represents his own sense of honor in battle.
Nickname: The Sword of Strength
Oversees: All aspects of the orcish life
Worshipped by: The orcs
Equipment: Garadin (great orcish sword)
Appearance: A great orc wearing a metal corselet only on his upper body and pants with sandals
Sacred animal: Crocodile
Introduction: Grumash was the god of the orcs, ruling them under his name. He was wise in nature and through this wisdom of his, the orcs prospered. He was a great warrior as well and he always placed necessary warfare above everything else, thus the reason why the orcs are more inclined towards the means of warfare. His sacred animal, the crocodile, represents an unrelenting attitude towards its prey, which to the orcs, has an equal meaning to their enemies.
Nickname: The Spear of Shadows
Oversees: All aspects of the lives of the trolls
Worshipped by: The trolls
Weapon: Argon (hunting spear)
Appearance: A Troll wearing only pants with his upper body naked and barefooted
Sacred animal: Panther
Introduction: Malak was the centre of the trolls' religion. He was a stealthy individual and his spear never failed to hit its mark. He was aggressive by nature, thus known as the most volatile of the gods. However, he had his gentle side, which could be seen in his attitude towards the trolls. His sacred animal is the panther, which symbolize stealth and cunning within the reach of the wilds.
Nickname: The Berserker
Oversees: The lives of the Norden people
Worshipped by: The Nordens (or sometimes known as the barbarians)
Weapon: Revan (two handed war axe)
Appearance: A hulking human with long blonde hair dressed in white tunic and pants with boots.
Sacred animal: Bear
Introduction: Hiuross was by default, the god with the greatest strength. Also, when enraged in battle, he would enter into a berserk mode, thus, when he created the Nordens, they also inherit this trait. He also represented the core of the Nordenic life. From hunting to the weather to warfare, the Nordens all looked to him. He was also prone to resolve things through force and this was evident in his people. His sacred animal is the bear, which symbolized rage in battle and strength.
Nickname: The Pillar
Oversees: The minotaurs
Worshipped by: The minotaurs
Weapon: Thundros (halberd)
Appearance: A massive minotaur carrying three totems representing the three main aspects of the minotaurs' lives namely, hunting, loyalty and strength.
Sacred animal: Bison
Introduction: Liroth was known as the Pillar due to the fact that not only did the nickname symbolize his strength, it was also a testimony of his wisdom. Indeed, like the god himself, the minotaurs were also slow to anger. But when provoked, Liroth could be a force to reckon with as reflected in the minotaurs. His sacred animal, the bison, represents both peace and combat.
Nickname: Master of Trickery
Oversees: All forms of thieving activities
Worshipped by: Rogues
Weapon: Dera and Wyra (twin daggers)
Appearance: A redhead youth in a simple garb of black
Sacred animal: Fox
Introduction: When Irunar created Hiram to take Mylor's place, he was destined to be the god of the downtrodden who more than often turn to thievery and other acts of a rogue. Thus, it could be said that he was worshipped by the rogues in general as well. One thing to note is that Hiram knew very well about his followers' psychology. Thus, he demanded that should his followers turn to shady acts of thievery and the like, they should give a portion to the poor and oppressed. His followers were also well-versed in the ways of trickery, thus earning him the nickname of the Master of Trickery. Another interesting factor about his believers is that quite a number of them were well versed in assassination arts. However, they made it a point that this gift shouldn't be abused, only being reserved for the minions of Mylor/Marath or unless totally necessary. His sacred animal, the fox, represents a cunning mind and a vast knowledge of society in general.
Author's talk in the inspiration behind the scenes
Ok, I'll have to admit that I didn't plan that much on the gods when I first started the story. However I soon found the need to do it so as to make the readers more familiar with the background facts on them, thus this part on the gods. Originally, I planned to put in the Hardis spirits in here as well, but I've found out that after planning so much for the gods, my creative streak got exhausted big time. I don't know whether I will do a part on this area in the future to say it frankly. Five of them per every of the fourteen gods is something which can be very taxing on the brain where I'm concerned. Ok, enough of the Hardis talk for now since this is the part where I share my inspirations.
Ok, basically, some of my inspirations for the gods came from the Tolkien universe of gods. Orowen is one where I got the inspiration from Orome. The Keeper of the Storms part, however, came from the Everquest games, where there was one particular god named Karana who was pretty much in charge of the same area. Design wise, I just go for a simple one. Coincidentally, that was also my own take on how Orome should look as well. The part on him fighting Mylor, however, was my own preference. His weapons, which are the spear and bow, was, in my opinion, the ideal weapons for a hunter, thus being Orowen's current weapons. The issue on him not having worshippers until some time later was my own take on UL of Edding's works.
Varndil was another one, being a combination of Vana and Nessa, who represented dance and youth respectively. Her design was based on the intro of the arcade game Sangokushi Taisen, where a chick was dancing for a brief moment with a spear. At first, I planned for her just being a dancer and musician, but then, I played with the idea that song and dance could be incorporated into fighting as well. Thus the present Varndil is created. Just take note that a part of this inspiration came from the concept of a bladesinger in the world of D&D. As for the flute issue, I do think it should go well with her. On her playing music part, it stemmed from the saying "music has no country boundaries". I do think that music is one of the greatest gifts God gave to mankind, thus I came up with this part.
Thoren was basically conceived when I came across Tyr of the Forgotten Realms mythos, where he was the god of justice. The part on him judging the souls using the scale came from a combination of the notion of God's judgement on people when they died and the statue of justice, where it was holding a scale.
Vydor was another one in the same case, Torm, the god of duty, being the source. His nature was something that I cooked out on my own though on what I think was the stereotypical hot blooded warrior. Olvan was inspired by the Greek god Poseidon. That's it.
Chantel was born when I wanted to have a god/goddess playing a part on the lives of commoners. The part on her being the goddess of halflings came from the Forgotten Realms area as well when I came across a goddess of the same race. Forgot her name though.
Liroth's nature was what I got from the Taurens of Warcraft. The design of the Tauren chieftain played a major part too. Those who have played Warcraft 3 should know what I'm talking about.
Malak's design was rather simple. His nature was inspired by my own take on the trolls.
Hiuross was inspired by Wulfgar in Salvatore's works of FR. His nature was actually what I think was appropriate for a standard barbarian.
Morave was inspired by a combination of Aule of Tolkien's works and the dwarven pantheon of FR as well.
Grumash was inspired in part of Gruumsh One-eyed, who was the god of orcs in FR and Thrall of Warcraft. His nature would be what I believed should be that of a stereotypical orc in Warcraft. The part of his design came from what I've seen in the artwork of the Blademaster in Warcraft.
Aris was inspired by Midnight, the mage in the Avatar series of FR.
Eldryth was also inspired by the same series where the elven god, Corellon Larethian was concerned. One interesting thing was the life giving phial was inspired by Plinky's story Quelin's Tale. You deserved credit on that part, pal! ;)
Hiram, finally was conceived when I decided to put in a god who can relate quite well to the world of social shadows.
Whew! Finally, I've finished this part. Anyway, same old story: review, guys! I'll be waiting!