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Roldein

The Deity
The Church

 

 

Religion

ROLDEIN, god of the water

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 and Borlamnos.  

Associations

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.

Alignment

Roldein is Chaotic Neutral.

Representations

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 States.

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.

Purpose

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.

Servants

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 worshippers.


THE CHURCH - The Fonts of Roldein

Church Description

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 locals.  

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.

Church Structure

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.

Doctrine

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 things.

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 for them.

Holy Days

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.

Preferred Weapon

The preferred weapon of the Roldeinite faith is the spear.

 

 
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