Arcane Renaissance: Terra Rynn
The Turathi Pantheon, Chosen, and Paragonism
Ancient history tells of the five Turathi heroes that defended their homeland against the Vilnach during the Daemon Wars. Given the choice to ascend to the afterlife to enjoy eternal bliss, they instead chose to forsake their own desires and become guardians of their people. With the help of the old gods, who passed the torch of divinity to them as a reward for their bravery and valor, the gods of the Turathi were born.
In time, each formed a great city. These cities would come to embody the spirit of their hero, spawn their own traditions, and reflect the aspects of their champion. From this, divine magic was seen as an extension of physical skill that elevated a mortal beyond their peers. Such citizens born from these cities were said to be one of the Chosen, encouraged to develop their skills to their highest potential, and thrust into the seats of power with eagerness by their communities; often whether they wished it or not.
However, as the Chosen were not true gods, they were bound to make mistakes. After a period of harmony and unity, distrust began to grow between the great cities. With the growth of a new domain of deceit, mystery, and strife, a new god emerged: Cabael. Empowered by the remnants of divine power of the old gods, and worshiped by mortals cast away from the great cities, Cabael would sow discord among the people, and become the avatar of all that was evil in the eyes of the Turathi.
The Turathi Pantheon
- Turen, The Warrior
- Symbol: The Spear of Courage
- Domains: War, Protection, Civilization
- Anael, The Hearld
- Symbol: The Horn of Storms
- Domains: Tempest, Life
- Ishada, The Hunter
- Symbol: The Raven and the Owl
- Domains: Nature, Grave
- Jaoel, The Maker
- Symbol: The Lantern
- Domains: Light, Forge
- Mihr, The Scholar
- Symbol: The Scroll
- Domains: Knowledge, Arcane
- Cabael, the Wanderer
- Symbol: The Crossroads
- Domains: Darkness, Trickery, Death
Over the centuries, each city grew to be its own kingdom. However, between the acts of those thought to be agents of Cabeal, the fallibility of mortal chosen, and the simple growth and complexity of these kingdoms, belief in the Gods of Paragon faltered. This period of religious apathy would endure for several generations until the Turathi Empire would stake its claim in earnest. As part of its conquest, the first Turathi Emperor revived the fading gods in the minds of the people, and enshrined them permanently in the culture and religious practices.
Known as Paragonism, the Turathi empire developed this new religious institution, whose priests and champions sought to inspire the populace to uphold the values of its great heroes. More importantly, the empire’s leaders sought guidance from those who claimed to be, or were identified as Chosen. With that wisdom, they gained legitimacy to conduct one of the largest conquests of territory in a millenia, and maintain order in the empire for nearly half that time.
Throughout the empire’s rule, Paragonism became a dominate force, so much so that many of its rituals and divine insights are held by civilizations across the land; the common calendar in use today is based on the heroes of Paragonism and important characters or concepts in their ancient myths. Other rituals such as management of lighthouses, funeral rights, and the branding and expulsion of criminals carry on to this day and age.
While the literal belief in true heroes waned, the gods were nonetheless highly regarded as important aspects of civilization, and their philosophies (named after each city) would be taught to the educated elite, and disseminated through myths to the masses. Yet, some still hold to the belief in true heroes ascending to divinity.
With the Fall of the empire, this mythos would not break, though it would fracture. Some kingdoms would retain the new tradition, while others, namely those of the ancient cities, would revert to the more classical myths, in the hope that avatars of the heroes might return, to provide salvation and order as they were beset upon.