Gods of the City
Khorax – sea/war god
White bull headed ephebus, carrying two short swords. War God Cult, minimal following, only active during times of war. Holy Day: the coming of Khorax, 27 July.
Dikastes – justice/learning/rulership god
Frail old man dressed in parchments of law. Around his neck is a mirror, and he carries a torch in one hand and writing instruments in the other. Knowledge God Cult, represented by the 7 Dikastes and their multitudinous assistants. Holy Days: The Founding Day Festival, 28 May (also election day, every 4 years), The Day of Knowing, 15 February.
Miraio – death goddess
A beautiful young woman whose nails are dagger blades. Death Goddess cult, 4 priestesses. No holy days. The priestesses may invest anyone as a temple underling, and to disobey them is a crime.
• Ritualul măsurătorii: în care o casă nouă, un bun scump și important, sau un copil nou născut este măsurat și i se reamintește suplicantului (posesor sau familie) că toate lucrurile au un sfârșit. Legământul cu Miraio este că ea promite un sfârșit drept, la capătul măsurătorii, în schimbul promisiunii suplicantului că nu va încerca să o trădeze pe zeiță în vreun fel.
• Ritualuri de separare: preotesele încearcă să ajute cazurile în care un sfârșit nu e întru totul îndeplinit (de exemplu, persistența preaîndelungată a tristeții după pierderea cuiva drag, obsesia și îngrijorarea legată de pierderea unui bun), folosind droguri care induc o transă care, teoretic, ar trebui să ușureze despărțirea de obiectul pierderii.
• Ritualuri funerare: pithyliții practică incinerarea și înhumarea urnelor, deși există tumuli sau morminte mai vechi în care se practica înhumarea întregului corp; Miraio asigură liniștea defunctului, cu pedepse teribile pentru cei care ar perturba liniștea morților binecuvântați; astfel, conform mitologiei pithylite, sufletele defuncților sunt măsurate de Miraio după separarea de trup, și cei care au sufletele mai mici decât părul zeiței, lung și curgător, nu pot fi primiți în Casa lui Dikastes, în Allou.
Mitrotita – fertility goddess
A pregnant woman carrying a spindle and a staff. Fertility Goddess cult, 3 priests, 3 priestesses. Holy Days: The Harvest Celebration, 12 September, Day of the Family, 22 November.
Tehnitis – craft/workers god
A large man with 4 arms, ending in a hammer, a saw, a trowel and a brush, depicted before a forge. Crafter God cult, 5 priests. Holy Day: Gathering of the Craftsmen, 18 April.
• Ritualul inspirației: curtea parțial acoperită a templului lui Tehnitis conține numeroase unelte și materiale, aranjate în rafturi și nișe în pereții curții. Suplicanții pot cere preoților accesul în curte, ale cărei conținuturi sunt liber disponibile. Având în vedere că zeul comunică prin idei, uneltele și materialele sacre, toate de calitate, sunt folosite pentru a îl “tenta” pe zeu să șoptească idei în mintea suplicantului. Mica fântână arteziană și acoperișurile slujesc aceluiași scop: să atragă idei venite din partea zeului prin șuieratul vântului, curgerea apei, etc.
• Sacrificii lunare: 10% din venit, sub forma bunurilor produse (un olar va aduce oale, un fierar, potcoave, etc.), în schimbul statutului de membru al Cultului Tehnic, ceea ce asociază beneficii conform CRB (cazare, educație, hrană, adăpost);
• Membrii dovediți ai cultului pot avea acces la Scripturile Numerice, un amplu catalog al tuturor schemelor tehnice și științifice aflate în paza cultului. Acestea permit împărtășirea cu mintea lui Tehnitis și cererea directă a ajutorului zeului.
• Ideile spontane și inovatoare trebuie întâi șoptite la poalele statuii lui Tehnitis din Pithylos, pentru ca vocea care poartă informațiile să nu poată fi furată de Madis cel exilat;
Katikia – house goddess
A young woman in the clothes of a servant, carrying a short sword at her belt, seen hidden behind a duster and cleaning rags. Betrayer Cult.
Madis – god of insanity and prophecy
A young man, gagged and with his eyes gouged out
Anomios – god of lawlessness
A teenager, carrying a rock in one hand and a dagger in the other
Sinomotis – demons of night/conspiracy
Katapiestis – demons of tyranny
Panoilis – demons of disease
These are many and should be detailed individually
The Things, Their Beginning and End
In the beginning, there were all things, together, without beginning or end, all one thing and all things together, and none could say where one or all began or ended.
First came the mind of Dikastes, from all the things. And the mind wanted to see all the things, and so came the eyes of Dikastes.
Dikastes looked upon all the things and saw that they were without beginning or end, without shape or content. So came the body and limbs of Dikastes, his mouth and his thought.
Dikastes separated all the things, and from them he made the earth and the sky, the sea and the Spaces Beneath, and the other Gods. And when he was done, he made the City and put us in it to look upon him, so that his gaze would not go unanswered or unloved.
Of the other Gods, first Dikastes made Miraio, the Ender of Things. Then he made Mitrotita and Tehnitis, the Makers of Things, so all the things would be made and ended and changed. Then he made Khorax, and sent him into the world to see and learn, so that the new things of the world would be sought after. Dikastes sent Khorax to the Spaces Beneath, where the unseen things were, and there Khorax journeyed.
Then Dikastes made the Youngest Gods, Madis the Singer, Anomios the Challenger and Katikia the Maiden-who-Learns. These gods he made so that the new things would be known and talked of and experienced.
And in those days, we lived as animals or barbarians, killing and stealing and raping and not looking upon Dikastes. So Dikastes came from Allou to the city, and took seven men which he called his sons.
Dikastes made those men so that they could not sire offspring, nor look upon woman or man with lust. After that, Dikastes put them deep out of the City, in a Space Beneath, and emptied their minds, filled them up with the law, and sent the seven men who were now Dikastes back into the City.
And the seven Dikastes brought the law to the City. And the City grew. That is when Dikastes became frail of body, for much of his essence he put into the seven Dikastes.
But the Youngest Gods became angry with Dikastes, for he made it law so that no Gods would sire offspring, not even he, to keep the new things of the world and not be tempted to rule them. The Youngest were filled with the force of youth and lusted for one another, wishing to have each other and together make their own things of the world.
So they fled and hid in the Spaces Beneath, where their lawlessness birthed the Sinomotis, the Katapiestis and the Panoilis, the loathsome demons of conspiracy, tyranny and disease, and with these children of theirs rose up against Dikastes.
In this age, many heroes have risen and fallen to the demons and the Youngest, and the world was cast in turmoil, the sky was darkened and the sea boiled. And no victor emerged in the violence which gripped the world.
Days were terror and nights were death, until Khorax’s return from the Spaces Beneath. Having left with the appearance of a radiant ephebus, he had returned with the head of a white bull, swimming up the hidden streams that connect the world’s sea to the waters of the Spaces Beneath, signalling the Dawn of Heroes and the defeat of the Uprising of Filth.
As for the change of his countenance, none know the nature of that change save Dikastes himself, and he has not yet revealed that secret unto us.
The signal of his coming was the calming of the world’s waters, which he rode to the gates of the City, where he called out to the Youngest and forced all three to yield before his might in combat.
Brought before Dikastes, Madis the singer was gagged and blinded and thrown out into the Wastes, so that he cannot sing the end of the world. Anomios’ language was taken from him, and he was given to rule the barbarians of the outside, who dwell in lawlessness and enmity. And Katikia was made a slave of the house of Dikastes, in Allou, captive and separate from her brothers. Dikastes did not destroy them, for the world needed them to know itself.
Then Khorax resumed his journey in the Spaces Beneath, returning only in times of war, when the enemy gods would again attempt to rise up against Dikastes and the City. Until then, he was mostly forgotten in times of peace.
So has come our age to pass, that the Youngest and their children, the demons, were cast out and the City secured. So it has been since time immemorial. So must it be for all time.
Khorax’s descent into the Spaces Beneath
Minor God myths – Miraio, Mitrotita, Tehnitis
The Measurement of Miraio
First, Dikastes made Miraio. Beautiful he made her, so that all things may look upon their end with serenity. But Miraio was hot-headed and swift to anger. Quickly she judged, and faster yet she acted upon what she thought was wrong.
Her eyes know the measurements of all things, where they begin and where they must, inevitably end.
So it was, that, in the Before Time, in the house of Dikastes, Miraio looked upon herself and saw that her hair was too long. There was no shear or scissor, for these things were not yet made. Frustrated and angry, the goddess searched high and low for something sharp, for her hair was already down to the ground.
She called for her younger brother, Tehnitis the Crafter, but he was not there. She called for her sister and father, but they were away as well.
Miraio was alone, angry and scared. So, in her swift temper, she made herself into the sharp thing she needed: she looked upon her nails and, with a stone from the courtyard, filed them into dagger blades, giving shape to the shapeless by calculated destruction.
Sharp she made her nails, too, so that her long, flowing mane of black hair could be cut down to just the small of her back. From the excess hair she made a rope, with which she measures. So were we given the first meter of rope, so we knew its meaning.
Upon their return, Dikastes was saddened at his daughter’s rashness. But he stood in his house and thought of what had happened, and said:
“Beautiful have I made you, and by your decisiveness, part of that beauty was lost. Let the world fear you now, for your measurement is precise, your judgement is just, and your will is unchangeable. Measure you not just that which may be touched, but the time given to man and his ilk. Let them fear you, but look upon you with curiosity. For your alteration to yourself, let this be that which you will learn.”
So it was that man’s life became finite, and that we learned to fear and shy from all endings; that they are bittersweet and frightening; that measurements became precise. Such it was in the house of Dikastes, so it shall be among us.
The Lost Voice of Tehnitis
The Quiet God speaks only in dreams, in the flight of birds and in the rustling of leaves. It is said that, when the world was young, before the City, many things that the Gods have given us were not yet dreamed of, their thought-seeds floating freely in Allou, in the Plains of Ideas.
Tehnitis, having just left the House of Dikastes, was taking a stroll across the Plains, when a thought seized him: many things could he make, if only he had knowledge of them.
But in the Before Time, there was no knowledge to be had, for Khorax had not yet left the House of Dikastes to quest for knowledge. So, the first thoughts had to come of their own accord, such as this one.
So, the ponderous Tehnitis, enraptured by the limitless potential of the thought in whose grasp he found himself in, wondered how he could make so many things as were needed, without knowing them.
So he attempted things. Many days and nights did the god waste, trudging, dirty, muddied, but only making shapes of mud which collapsed, for there was no understanding in the world.
However, this was not to last, for Madis, his young brother, came upon Tehnitis in the Plains one day, and asked him:
“Brother, you are covered in mud. What are you doing in this pit you’ve dug, day in, day out? Why do you not feast with us and look and learn of those which are in this world?”
“Many have been separated from the chaos by the will of Dikastes”, Tehnitis said, “but many more need be made, for the world to be complete. I am sad, brother, that I don’t have possession of the knowledge of what lacks.”
Madis giggled cunningly, and looked at his kind brother with glee.
“If you like, brother, I could look into the future and sing to you of those which I shall see, for mine is the curiosity of the future and the voice of prophecy. But,” he said with a sharp eye and a cold smile, “I have not the correct voice with which to sing of these… tools that do not yet exist. Give me yours for this afternoon.”
Tehnitis, his kind eyes looking up, agreed and gave up his voice for the knowledge. And Madis sang, he sang in a deep and calm voice, he sang of the First Thoughts, of the spear and the shovel, of the hammer and the clay tablet, of writing and wall building. Many things did Tehnitis learn, and he still learns, building upon the First Thoughts, to this day. So were our tools imagined, for all genius requires a touch of madness and prophecy.
And all creation has a cost.
When his brother fell asleep, exhausted by the weight of the First Thoughts, Madis the Singer ran away, taking his voice with him, and hiding it somewhere in the Spaces Beneath, for what he had seen of the voice had terrified him. Not even the wrath of Dikastes could not coerce him into returning it, for Anomios had hidden it into a pocket of chaos, of which there cannot be made any description, there to stay until the Time of the End.
Then, Tehnitis will take it back, and with it, make a weapon to cleanse the world of the demons that the Uprising of the Young Gods brought into the world.
So it was that Tehnitis speaks through ideas, through the forces of nature that man sees and makes them obey, through ideas of new things, invention and innovation. So it is that the world builds upon the First Thoughts and upon itself, and man and his kin lives above the beasts of the earth: through sacrifice and madness.
Ilios the Sun God is a new arrival in Pithylos, being a deity taken from the Potamite Kingdoms to the south. Its followers, led by one Alexios Callides, believe that each man and woman must become his or her own star, illuminating the darkness of the world and becoming like Ilios. S
In the House of Dikastes, which lies hidden from our knowledge, in Allou, Katikia, the Maiden-who-Learns, was one day cleaning the quarters of Miraio. Trembling with fear, for she knew of Miraio’s hatred towards her, Katikia’s frightened hands slipped, and by that slip, shattered a vase that Miraio held very dear. It is said that upon the vase, Tehnitis had painted Miraio herself, with a frighteningly beautiful visage.
Hot-headed and hateful Miraio quickly took this as provocation, for the now broken vase scared her with her own end. With mighty wrath, she took her horsewhip (for she had just returned from patrolling the estate of Dikastes) and whipped Katikia until godly blood stained the floors. She called her sister ”whore” and ”mother of filth”, and with her dagger-nails, clawed at her face, pushing her to the floor and kicking her.
Katikia waited. She bore her sister’s wrath, again and again, until she knew her time to be right. At the first slip of the Ender’s kick, she lunged, and with her hidden sword, cut open her hamstring. In her sister’s screams, she fled, not stopping until reaching Pithylos, and leaving Miraio with a wound that forever marred her beauty and made her terrible to behold, in the eyes of Man as well as Gods.
It was this godly flight that brought about such strife in Pithylos in the days of Ermis Moros and his ilk, and the descent of Katikia that gathered again the demons and the filthy beasts in retribution, upon the gates of Pithylos.