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Author Topic: Talos  (Read 337 times)

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Talos
« on: September 22, 2016, 01:13:19 AM »
Talos the Warrior


Glory in Battle

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

Battle, Skill-at-Arms, Luck

Persona

Talos is an odd, highly unpredictable god. He is the horror of war, the glory of triumph and the thrill of battle synthesized. He is free and random with his blessings, granting a warrior victory one day, and defeat and death the next.

It is not that Talos is uncaring, exactly. It is simply that he is incapable of understanding man’s fear of death. Talos, and by extension, his followers, consider Entar to be transitory, chaotic, impermanent, and in the grand scheme of things, generally inconsequential. Rather than despair over this fact, however, Talos encourages his followers to throw themselves into the midst of maelstrom, as it were. The only life worth living, according to Talos, is a short one full of risk, pleasure and adventure. Faith in Talos, therefore, requires a sort of happy nihilism... a general lack of common sense, if not outright insanity, seems to help, too.

Despite his barbaric tendencies, Talos is generally seen as a 'good' god. Many religious groups devoted to Talos aided the forces of Aldaron during The Sundering, where they proved themselves to be phenomenally effective and fearless warriors against Maedhros' dark forces. Talos is also quite popular among the lower class; his simple philosophy is easy to grasp, and his ethical tenants quite easy to satisfy, making him a good deal more 'approachable' than the stoic Kailthis, the pacifistic Faelyn, or the all-too-perfect Aldaron.

Power

Faith magic of Talos is very base, as most are devout of combat.  As such, the magics of a priest of Talos is subtle, generally enhancing themselves.  Not to be confused with supporting magics, the followers are generally able to enhance aspects of themselves or their equipment.  Rarely this is not the case, and as such there is little offensive about the magic of Talos, much more lending itself to those who wield a blade in his name.

A follower could bless their armor, making it resilient to common weaponry, or seek the ability to damage their foes more, making their weapons seemingly erupt in flame.  While any such flame is in no way elemental, any power of Talos is normally manifested in some form of a destructive power or element.

Rare forms of battle magic do exist for those of the faithful, but only to those dedicated to that path.  As most followers choose steel over ethereal ability, they are very unlikely to use battle magic.  However, monks of the god have been seen to commit acts of a mystical nature allowing them to defeat their enemies with great effectiveness.

Iconography

Avatar

Talos is depicted as many different figures and races.  Beyond that, he is usually shown holding a bloody weapon in one hand, and a ruby in the other. This represents the dual nature of war, its ability to destroy, with the axe, but also reward, cleanse and glorify, the ruby. He is usually depicted fighting, running, or engaging in some other physically demanding activity.

Always, he is depicted as a powerful being.

Symbols

Rubies, a bloody weapon, a red dragon

Colors

Blood red and black

Sacred Objects

The Templarate of Talos prizes rubies. Not only are they quite valuable (the Templarate does, after all, live primarily off the spoils of war), but rubies also represent Talos’ bounty. The Templarate often decorates their armor and weaponry with rubies, and they have been known to use the stones as foci for powerful faith magic.

Some Orders consider dragons, to be holy, and will fight mercilessly to defend one. They will also confiscate any dragon remains or artifacts they find (scales, teeth, bones), and treat them with the utmost respect.

Sacred Texts

The majority of Talos’ templars are illiterate, so no sacred text has ever been codified. Even if some warrior-poet did manage to compose one, it probably would not catch on- reading, writing and meditation simply do not have a place among the Templarate of Talos. Most templars express their faith through war chants or silent prayer the night before a battle.

There is one book, however, that does an adequate job of summarizing the beliefs of the Templarate of Talos. The book was originally a journal, the private writings of one Kartuk Kassix, the Grand Templar of the Order of the Obsidian Fist. His writings contain private thoughts, ideas on battle strategy, and a fair bit of philosophizing on the nature of Talos. It is known today as The Kassix Codex. Though it's only about two hundred pages long, the Codex is read by scholars all across Entar who are interested in learning more about Talos and his worshipers.

Followers

Favor

When Talos is pleased, he favors his followers with incredible luck. This could be luck in games of chance, but far more likely, it is luck in battle. Even the most cynical and secular warriors utter a short prayer to Talos the night before a battle, hoping to ensure at least their survival, if not their victory.

Talos favors those who lead reckless (or even suicidal) lives. Gamblers, explorers, gladiators, con men, thieves, fire-breathers, tight-rope walkers and other stuntmen, as well as random, crusading adventurers are all honored by Talos. The Warrior’s favorites, however, are those that follow in his footsteps. Soldiers of fortune, living as they do in the heat of near-constant battle, are the most likely to reap Talos’ rewards.

Those who Talos finds particularly amusing are blessed with incredible skill and luck in any endeavor they choose, but doubly so if they live by the sword. Any soldier or mercenary interested in their self-preservation would do well to curry Talos’ favor.

Disfavor

Talos absolutely detests the cowardly or complacent. Those who do not take risks will never earn Talos’ favor, and those who run from danger may well receive his ire instead.

Despite his highly chaotic and unpredictable nature, Talos does acknowledge a certain sense of honor. Those who betray their comrades, or use cowardly tactics such as striking down unarmed or unaware foes will earn Talos’ wrath. In general, Talos prefers those who fight face-to-face, risking their lives in the front lines instead of safe atop an archer’s tower or skulking in the shadows.

Talos also carries a strong dislike for anyone who doesn’t live a life full of danger and risk. A famous tale, repeated often by his templars, involves Talos throwing an entire village of halflings into the Abyss for being “too boring.” Though there is no record of this actually happening, it does serve illustrate Talos’ highly unpredictable nature.

Those who displease Talos are doomed to suffer some misfortune. For mild infractions, this could be general bad luck, but the truly deserving can expect to be struck down in battle as punishment for their cowardice.

The Faithful

The priests of Talos are famous for conducting themselves in a highly "unpriestly" fashion. They drink, they gamble, they fight, they cuss. They originate mainly from the poor working class, the young, and the amoral. Many of them aren’t even of a "civilized" race- Talos is enormously popular among orcs, goblins, minotaurs and dracons. The followers of Talos call themselves templars, or collectively, the Templarate of Talos.

In most orcish and tribal societies, a developed priesthood (or in this case, the Templarate) does not exist. Worshippers of Talos are expected to find their own personal path to The Warlord, resulting in very few true templars in the Southlands. This is a good thing in the eyes of the civilized nations; an organized army of orcish templars, bent on fighting for the mere sake of fighting, is too terrifying a thought for most to even contemplate.

Elsewhere in the world, the Templarate is divided into separate Orders. The individual Orders are incredibly diverse, their only commonalties being their faith in Talos and their violent lifestyles. Some groups, like the largely elven Order of Cutting Leaves, are legitimate mercenary groups, often serving alongside soldiers and knights. Others, like the Haldarac-based Order of the Stinging Sands, are brutal, lawless raiders largely shunned by the outside world.

The largest, oldest, and most famous Order by far, however, is the highly-respected Order of the Obsidian Fist. The Obsidian Fist came to power during The Sundering when they joined forces with the Arm of Aldaron. Together, the Arm and the Fist saved countless souls from the Fallen One’s forces, and the two groups have remained allies ever since. Today, the wide-spread Order of the Obsidian Fist spends time securing trade routes throughout Andune, the Elentari, and parts of the Haldarac, in addition to maintaining the Temple to Talos in Elenion. They spend their time hunting criminals, evil cults, and monsters. Travelers and caravans can imbed themselves with Obsidian Fist war-parties (for a considerably fee, of course), allowing unparalleled protection as they traverse Entar’s dangerous trade-routes.

Temples to Talos more closely resemble war-camps or barracks than actual temples, and their appearance and layout vary greatly from region to region and Order to Order. Even the Temple to Talos in Elenion resembles a miniature castle, filled with glorious bronze and gold statues of Talos in his various forms, and crested by forbidding-looking minarets.

Prominence

Belief in Talos is widespread, and can be found anywhere where there is martial conflict (that is to say, unfortunately, everywhere). The Order of the Obsidian Fist is by far the most wide-spread, and due to its long history of battling evil, is very highly regarded. The Obsidian Fist has close ties to the Arm of Aldaron and other good priesthoods. Smaller, more reckless Orders may find themselves aligned with evil cults for various reasons. The only religious group known to always oppose Talos’ Templars is the Sisterhood of Faelyn; the Templarate’s violent lifestyle completely contradicts the Sisterhood’s belief in non-violence and altruism.

Quote

"Only by facing our mortality do we cease to be mortal"
-Excerpt from The Kassix Codex, written by Kartuk Kassix, Grand Templar of the Order of Obsidian Fist

Credits

  • Original Concept and Write-up: Two Moons
  • Revised Edition: Davin Ragal & Zyrphath