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Offline Zyrphath

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Jherad
« on: August 02, 2016, 02:49:29 PM »
Jherad the Destroyer


By my fire be scorched, by my lightning be electrified, by my wind be torn asunder and by my water be washed away forever!


The Divine

Realm

Eldanar

Alignment

| Lawful   Good
| Neutral  Good
| Chaotic  Good
| Lawful   Neutral
| True     Neutral
| Chaotic  Neutral
| Lawful   Evil
| Neutral  Evil
| Chaotic  Evil

Spheres of Influence

Disaster, Destruction, Vengeance

Persona

Jherad seeks to destroy, as many evil gods do. But the distinction that has earned him the title of "The Destroyer" is the sheer magnitude of his apocalyptic ambitions. He does not hate only the good, as Maedhros does, or the living, as Gormion does. Jherad hates everything that exists in Eldanar, and seeks to wipe the cosmic slate clean. Everything man or elf has made, every scrap of nature and life, even the skies and the sea and the earth, and perhaps even the other gods are all enemies of Jherad.

Why he feels such an urge to destroy is uncertain. His followers seem to believe that he wants to destroy the world so he can recreate it as he sees fits. Those who oppose Jherad claim he has no aspirations for re-creation, and simply wants to drown out the sounds of existence, and spend eternity adrift in the resultant void. Others simply call him the Mad God, and see him less as a deity and more as a primal force of entropy, seeking to undo everything the other gods have done. Jherad, in short, is the embodiment of chaos.

And while his motives may be shrouded in mystery, his methods are most certainly not in question. Jherad may be more direct in his tactics than any othe god in Entar's pantheon, and he is generally believed to be behind every single natural disaster in Entar's history. Jherad is especially known for his massive thunderstorms, earning him the nickname the God of Thunder.
Despite Jherad's brutal, even bestial nature, he has another side to him that has earned him many followers. Jherad is also the God of Vengeance, and is the patron of anyone who utters an oath of revenge. This has earned him remarkable esteem in tribal societies. While most "civilized" people would likely attribute this to the average tribal person's relative "primitiveness", this is in fact a product of their culture. The concepts of blood feud and revenge are about the closest things these societies have to a justice system. It is in this light that Jherad is often seen as a just god, akin to Aldaron; he is the mighty provider of retribution.

The most famous example of Jherad in a heroic light occurred during the Steppe Wars, where the human and katta tribes squared off against the advancing orcish threat. From the chaos of battle, one particularly skilled warrior arose. His name was Mushoika Tsirioth, and he was a powerful and charismatic leader who vowed he would not rest until the orcs were pushed out of the Haldarac. His oath gained Jherad's attention, and infused with the might of The Destroyer, Mushoika eventually gathered a force large enough to defeat the orcish scourge.

In the process Mushoika's tribe absorbed several others, spreading his native tongue Apprecorultio. For a short time, Apprecorultio was the common tongue of the Haldarac, until it later fragmented, spawning several other languages. Mushoika is even rumored to have founded the city of Xak Tsirioth- understandable, when you consider that "Xak Tsirioth" means "Tsirioth's Castle" in Apprecorultio.

So while city-dwellers might view Jherad-worship as "primitive", one should remember that even the most noble princes have occasionally taken up the sword and claimed revenge, and felt perfectly just in doing so.

Due to Jherad's highly chaotic and unpredictable nature, he is not clearly aligned with or specifically opposed to any other god. His compulsion to destroy everything is sometimes likened to Gormion' urge to change and corrupt everything, and they are similarly aloof. In tribal societies, he is often seen as a counter to Livana. Livana represents nature's ability to protect, nurture, and nourish, while Jherad represents its harshness and indifference towards the lives of men.

Power


Iconography

Avatar

Jherad is generally depicted as a severe-looking youth, with a shock of black, grey or white hair streaming from his head. He is always depicted in motion, with arms flailing as he summons some form of natural disaster. The type of disaster depends on the region the image is created in. On the coast of Andune, he's standing in front of the backdrop of a massive tidal wave, but further inland, he's wreathed in white-hot fire. In the Haldarac desert, where Jherad is a very popular deity and many graven images of him are found, he's usually depicted riding a massive sandstorm as if it were his personal steed.

Persona: Jherad seeks to destroy, as many evil gods do. But the distinction that has earned him the title of "The Destroyer" is the sheer magnitude of his apocalyptic ambitions. He does not hate only the good, as Maedhros does, or the living, as Gormion does. Jherad hates everything that exists in Eldanar, and seeks to wipe the cosmic slate clean. Everything man or elf has made, every scrap of nature and life, even the skies and the sea and the earth, and perhaps even the other gods are all enemies of Jherad.

Why he feels such an urge to destroy is uncertain. His followers seem to believe that he wants to destroy the world so he can recreate it as he sees fits. Those who oppose Jherad claim he has no aspirations for re-creation, and simply wants to drown out the sounds of existence, and spend eternity adrift in the resultant void. Others simply call him the Mad God, and see him less as a deity and more as a primal force of entropy, seeking to undo everything the other gods have done. Jherad, in short, is the embodiment of chaos.

And while his motives may be shrouded in mystery, his methods are most certainly not in question. Jherad may be more direct in his tactics than any othe god in Entar's pantheon, and he is generally believed to be behind every single natural disaster in Entar's history. Jherad is especially known for his massive thunderstorms, earning him the nickname the God of Thunder.
Despite Jherad's brutal, even bestial nature, he has another side to him that has earned him many followers. Jherad is also the God of Vengeance, and is the patron of anyone who utters an oath of revenge. This has earned him remarkable esteem in tribal societies. While most "civilized" people would likely attribute this to the average tribal person's relative "primitiveness", this is in fact a product of their culture. The concepts of blood feud and revenge are about the closest things these societies have to a justice system. It is in this light that Jherad is often seen as a just god, akin to Aldaron; he is the mighty provider of retribution.

The most famous example of Jherad in a heroic light occurred during the Steppe Wars, where the human and katta tribes squared off against the advancing orcish threat. From the chaos of battle, one particularly skilled warrior arose. His name was Mushoika Tsirioth, and he was a powerful and charismatic leader who vowed he would not rest until the orcs were pushed out of the Haldarac. His oath gained Jherad's attention, and infused with the might of The Destroyer, Mushoika eventually gathered a force large enough to defeat the orcish scourge.

In the process Mushoika's tribe absorbed several others, spreading his native tongue Apprecorultio. For a short time, Apprecorultio was the common tongue of the Haldarac, until it later fragmented, spawning several other languages. Mushoika is even rumored to have founded the city of Xak Tsirioth- understandable, when you consider that "Xak Tsirioth" means "Tsirioth's Castle" in Apprecorultio.

So while city-dwellers might view Jherad-worship as "primitive", one should remember that even the most noble princes have occasionally taken up the sword and claimed revenge, and felt perfectly just in doing so.

Due to Jherad's highly chaotic and unpredictable nature, he is not clearly aligned with or specifically opposed to any other god. His compulsion to destroy everything is sometimes likened to Gormion' urge to change and corrupt everything, and they are similarly aloof. In tribal societies, he is often seen as a counter to Livana. Livana represents nature's ability to protect, nurture, and nourish, while Jherad represents its harshness and indifference towards the lives of men.

Symbols

A lightning bolt, a yellow circlet

Colors

Dark rusty-brown and yellow

Sacred Objects

The circlets that priests and priestesses of Jherad wear are considered sacred, and believed to be the source of their divine powers. The metals of bronze and copper are also holy to worshipers of Jherad. Copper is elevated because it is highly conductive, reminding those who wear it of the God of Thunder. Bronze is considered holy because it was one of the first metals used by man to make axes, swords and other weapons of war. Bronze and copper weapons, as a result, are a favorite among followers of Jherad.

Natural glass formed by lightning striking sand is also considered sacred by some tribal societies, and by extension, northern cults of Jherad. They call such glass "xuriulto corultio" which is Apprecorultio for: "That Which Has Touched Thunder." These rare bits of fragile, low-quality glass are, ironically, some of the most revered objects in the cult of Jherad. Fragments of natural glass are highly sought after as religious foci, and tribe-folk often use them for decorating their weapons or creating fetishes honoring the God of Thunder.

Sacred Texts

The followers of Jherad do not have any sacred texts to speak of. Apprecorultio is the only language considered holy enough for addressing Jherad, and since the written form has been lost for centuries, it is highly unlikely that any new sacred books will ever emerge.

Followers of Jherad must rely on oral tradition, passing down through word of mouth the various hymns, incantations and war chants that serve as their holiest prayers.


Followers

Favor

Jherad sides with those who seek revenge, and has little interest in anyone else. The larger the scheme for revenge, the more involved Jherad is likely to become. As a result, Jherad may support a personal blood oath to avenge a slain family member, but he'd also support the genocide of an entire tribe. The Mad God seeks only to destroy, and he will aid any mortal that will help him further that end.

Jherad does tend to favor those that take matters into their own hands, however, meaning those that simply wish and pray for Jherad's aid are less likely to get it than those that pick up the dagger themselves. Jherad is not very partial to prayer. He prefers burnt offerings where something is being destroyed, arousing at least faint interest from the Mad God. The only prayers he listens to, it is said, are those recited in Apprecorultio.

Sometimes worshipers of Jherad try to appeal to his chaotic, unpredictable side, committing acts of vandalism or random violence in homage to him. This doesn't happen often, but you can bet that any major city usually begins its arson investigations by interviewing the nearest cult to Jherad.

Those that please Jherad can expect to obtain his sometimes startlingly direct help in achieving his or her goals for revenge. There have been many reports of people temporarily having access to Jherad's faith magic only long enough to strike down their most hated enemy. Once the quest for revenge is complete, however, Jherad's interest will quickly fade, and his divine wrath will no longer be accessible.

Disfavor

Merely existing seems to be enough to attract Jherad's ire. Unless you are actively trying to exterminate some one or something, you are meaningless to The Destroyer, and considered expendable. Jherad spawns countless natural disasters, remember- terrible tragedies like tornadoes, typhoons and sandstorms that often claim perfectly innocent lives.

Jherad is known to have a particular hatred for cowards, however, and enjoys taking his time to destroy those few individuals unfortunate enough to be cursed by the God of Thunder. Those who have earned the special scorn of the Mad God will have destruction follow in their wake- they will be forced to watch as everyone and everything they hold dear is brutally ripped away from them, losing their sanity before they, too, are cut down by The Destroyer's hand.

Another danger of Jherad, and the concept of revenge in general, is the possibility of becoming too involved. If a person allows their desire for revenge to consume them completely, the consequences can be disastrous. Sometimes the individual involved becomes insane, goaded by Jherad and expanding their hit-list until they become nothing more than homicidal maniacs. Other times Jherad grants his followers the ability to wield faith magic more powerful than any mortal should ever have. There have been a few occasions throughout history where Jherad allowed his followers to destroy entire tribes and buildings with a single spell- inevitably destroying themselves in the process.


The Faithful

Jherad does not have a highly organized religion or priesthood. He tends to favor individuals over groups, and even then, only so long as they are actively seeking revenge against something. Most of Jherad's followers hail from the tribal societies of the Southlands or the Haldarac, where revenge, bitter blood feuds, and natural disasters are a common part of life. Most of the people in Entar who can wield Jherad's faith magic with any amount of reliability or regularity are, in fact, tribal shaman or warlords.

Jherad does have some esteem in the north, however. It is usually restricted to small, secretive cults, and is seen as a "fringe" religion, barely legal and certainly not socially acceptable. Despite this, a temple to Jherad was built in Elenion, and it is probably the largest monument to him in all of Entar. It is not the only, of course- small shrines and altars dot the northern countryside, some of which are tended to by local cults. And although Jherad may not be openly accepted in Valgard, he is the lord of natural disasters (including city fires), so the people of Elenion thought it best to please him in any way possible.

Of course, the very concept of a temple to Jherad is counter-intuitive- Jherad hates all existence, and would rather burn down the temples to all the other gods than have his own erected. In order to counter-act this, the Temple to Jherad was designed to be a sort of anti-temple. It is really nothing more than a large, unadorned, open-air colonnade. Inside, the floor is simply bare earth, heavily and purposefully salted to prevent anything from growing there. It is here that burnt offerings are made daily, usually some form of livestock.

At the center of the "temple" is a small stone roof, supported by a ring of columns. The columns are painted yellow, forming a large circle, a commonly-used symbol for Jherad. Inside the shrine is a life-sized statue of a cowled, enrobed Jherad wielding a lightning bolt in each hand. This famous image is known as the Face of Chaos, and is largely how the "civilized" world views Jherad- brutish, primal, powerful and terrifying.

The priests of Jherad, whether they be the caretakers of the Temple of Jherad in Elenion or members of the isolated cults scattered throughout the northern regions, all dress in simple, heavy brown robes. The brown is said to be similar to the color of dried blood, but it is trimmed with yellow. They wear circlets of bronze or brass, twisted into jagged angles and painted yellow. Amazingly, despite vast geographical and cultural distances, the shaman of Jherad-worshiping tribes often wear very similar attire, sometimes substituting local thorn plants for bronze and brass, or actual blood for brown dye. These startling similarities may be Jherad's doing, or they may simply be because northern cultists draw their inspiration from southern tribes.

Tribal influence is so great, in fact, that Apprecorultio (a traditionally "savage" tongue) has become the sacred language among Jherad cultists, even in the north. Not many in the north can speak it fluently, and truly, it is quickly becoming a dead tongue even among the southern tribes. For the most part, Apprecorultio exists only in a handful of memorized war chants and incantations that serve as the order's canon of prayers. The language's written form (if, in fact, it ever had one) has long since been lost.

In tribal settings, priests and priestesses of Jherad basically act as war mages, devoting their lives to battling and eradicating rival tribes. In the north, things get a little fuzzy, and the picture of the "average" worshiper of Jherad is harder to piece together. Some groups attempt to mimic tribal concepts of righteous revenge and blood feud, encouraging followers to take the law into their own hands and strike down those that besmirch their honor. Other cults have a more political bent, viewing Jherad's wild, chaotic nature as an acceptance of and justification for anarchy. The priesthood in the Temple of Jherad in Elenion seem to believe that the destruction and decomposition of the world is simply the natural order of things, and worship Jherad as the destroyer of the weak, obsolete, useless and unjust.

There are also the rare individuals in Entar's history that are so empowered by Jherad that they can create natural disasters at will. These are known as the apotheoses of Jherad, and generally live short, brutal, history-effecting lives. They can wield massive power in Jherad's name, but always lose their own lives in the process, like a firecracker shot into the night. The last confirmed apotheosis was Mushoika Tsirioth, who is said to have turned into a blinding sandstorm at the final battle of the Steppe War.

Most followers of Jherad in the north, however, remain as lone vigilantes, trying to enact their own type of revenge-driven justice on the world. Those who live their lives for nothing but vengeance, retribution and vindication are servants of Jherad, whether they know it or not.

Prominence

Jherad cultists are highly suspect in the north, and even in Elenion, the City of the Gods, the priesthood is a marginalized and barely trusted group. Jherad is phenomenally popular among tribal societies, however. Tribesmen see him both as an avenue for claiming the limited resources of their homelands, and as a constant reminder of the dangers of the natural world around them. Due to his prominence in the south, Jherad may very well be the most popular of the evil gods, rivaling even Valdriel.


Quote

"I am flint, lightning flows from me,
I am the root, the earth breaks for me,
I am the wind, trees bow to me,
I am Jherad, I am Jherad, I am Jherad."
-War chant from an unknown tribe, translated from Apprecorultio


Credits

  • Original Concept and Write-up: Two-Moons
  • Revised Edition: Zyrphath & Davin
« Last Edit: August 02, 2016, 08:56:09 PM by Davin Ragal »
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Offline Davin Ragal

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Re: Jherad
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2016, 08:57:01 PM »
Very nice