ROLDEIN, god of
One of the original five gods, Roldein is the
boundless ocean, the mighty river, the tiny stream and the secret
waters below the earth. He is the husband of Calandra and the
father of Artorius
Roldein is a god of sailing, fishing and of
storms (though he shares the latter distinction with
Thandor). To those dwelling on land, he is a distant god
more often appeased than loved. But to the aquatic races he
is Grandfather Ocean, and takes a beloved place similar to that
held by Calandra on land.
Roldein is Chaotic Neutral.
Roldein is usually shown as a great humanoid rising from the
sea. His skin is a mottled blue and green and his hair and
beard are made of wild seafoam. He carries a mighty spear
and is often shown in armor made of seashells. Because
of his dual nature as life-giver and destroyer, he is frequently
portrayed as having two faces, particularly among the Successor
Among animals, he is most often portrayed as a whale, though
also as a shark, fish or dolphin. His priests carry holy
symbols carved of shell or made of a mosaic of mother-of-pearl and
precious stones, which depict a crashing wave.
Roldein believes in impermanence. Ebb and flow and change
are the only long-term truths. All things will change, and
all things will end. Even the world will one day end.
This is the lesson that water teaches us.
Roldein is said to embody two natures, that of nurturer and
that of destroyer. Indeed, in some cultures he is worshipped
as two separate gods who war ceaselessly with each other.
Part of the Sea-King's ever changing nature is the destroyer,
who levels proud cities and drowns mortal fleets. Yet as harsh and unforgiving as he can be, Roldein is also the
giver of life-sustaining waters. Life is impossible without
the rivers and pools and rains he sends. It is his dual
nature to nurture and destroy, and thus he is both loved and
feared, and takes both as his due.
Those who make their living on the waters make frequent
sacrifices to him on altars set above the crashing waves.
The Untamed One has many servants, who
report to him from across the boundless waters of Theeurth.
Arthys - The great titan of the
ocean, Arthys is the celestial who makes the currents of the ocean
which lies between Theeurth and the Walls of Night.
A mighty king in his own right, Arthys is
said to have challenged Roldein in the first days of the making of
the world, to see which of them was the greater. And indeed,
it was Arthys who was the stronger, but it was Roldein who was
wiser, and who proved to have the greater knowledge of the
thoughts of the One. So it was that Arthys swore an oath of
service to the god of the sea, but is ever restless.
The Vulairi - The Seven daughters of
Roldein and Calandra who inhabit the seven seas of Theeurth.
The greatest of these, Vales, inhabits the mighty inner sea named
in her honor and is said to be as fickle as her father, delighting
in the crash of waves upon rocks. But she is also said to
love the mortals who sail upon her wide domain, and it was she who
first taught the elves the art of building ships.
The Naiads - The countless spirits of
stream and pool are all subjects of the great Sea King, though
true to their chaotic nature, they are occasionally rebellious or
recalcitrant, and certainly care little for his mortal
THE CHURCH - The
Fonts of Roldein
Nearly every seaside city and town contains a temple or shrine
to the Father of Waters, and before beginning any significant
labor at sea, sacrifices and prayer are very common. Every
year, priests of the Roldeinite faith, known as waves,
bless the boats, nets and other nautical gear used by the
The many merchants, sailors and fishermen who rely upon the
waters for their living make Roldein's church a relatively wealthy
one (though not so wealthy as the ways of Eristemus or the Great
Church). However, little of the wealth is kept; in keeping with
their god's teachings on impermanence, the Fonts spend the money
freely, often on wild and stormy celebrations, much given to
drinking and brawling.
There is no central structure to the Fonts of Roldein.
Each Font is independent of the rest, though they remain in
contact because so many of the waves move freely from Font to
Font. However, within each Font, lesser waves respect and
obey the more senior waves.
Roldein himself is quite active in the direction of his church,
and is considered to be head of the Order in a very real
sense. Thus, the waves regard themselves more as guides than
as authority figures. Each worshipper is thought to have his
or her own direct and personal tie to the god.
All things are impermanent - The Fonts teach that
nothing lasts forever, and that it is false pride to believe
otherwise...and the Father of Water punishes false pride above all
This belief is also the root of the Roldeinite emphasis on
sacrifice. Since nothing truly belongs to us, but is all the
gift of the sea, so we must not try to hold on to mere
possessions. Roldeinites sacrifice often, whether of
treasure, of time, or blood. This belief is not carried to
extremes - there are many rich merchants who worship the Sea King,
but they are encouraged to give away their wealth before their
deaths, and they still sacrifice often...if they know what's good
The holy days of the Roldeinite faith vary by region, but are
signaled by the start and end of storm season. As the
weather turns fair for fishing and sailing, the Festival of Lamps
is held, when the boats and sailors are blessed by the Waves, and
hundreds of paper lanterns are set loose upon the waters of river,
lake and sea. Sacrifices of animals and treasure are
offered up to the Sea King in thanks for the use of his domain.
As the weather turns foul and boats are brought in for the
year, the Roldeinites hold the solemn rites of Aquas, when
all members of the community are expected to wear only sackcloth
and remain silent for five days and nights. This prohibition
is taken very seriously, and even accidental speech is considered
a grave sin which must be expiated. The severity of this
penance varies widely by region and dedication to the church.
The preferred weapon of the Roldeinite faith
is the spear.