The Shattered Sea
The gods of Dragnia are a ‘family’ of powerful beings that lie between the creator and the earthly races. The came together when they defeated the ‘Progenitors’, extremely mighty creatures that the Creator initial formed to rule the physical world. Unfortunately for them, the Progenitors were not granted the desires and aspirations (known politely as free will) and the Serachle recruited the other races to support them in the overthrow of the Progenitors.
The leader of this revolution was Lathander the sun tender who wanted to improve the plight of man (his favorites) and the other peoples. His singe-minded determination was tempered by Chauntea the Earthmother who loved all things equally and also wanted to see the realm flourish. Her broad base of love made it impossible for her to accept Lathander’s offer of marriage, although he remains chaste and committed to her.
Their lead general in the war against the Progenitors was Talos, who was as clever as he was ruthless. For his assistance he was granted rule over the widest expanse of the physical world. When he learned that that meant the watery depths he felt betrayed by the others and flew into an apparently eternal rage, lashing out at anything he feels may have wronged him. Although he is quite mad, he remains one of the quickest minds in the Serachle and there are those who believe his random rages are part of a larger plan.
Lathander’s other main lieutenant was the steadfast Torm. While Talos led attacks from the spear head, Torm managed defenses and kept watch on the enemies motions. He deferred any dominion after the war, but those who have looked into the eyes of warhorses, hawks or dogs of war claim they see his eyes gazing back at them.
The last great hero of the conflict was Tempus. Sword-brother of Lathander, Tempus was a leader only in that he was in front. His fiery presence and the battlefield was known to change outcomes, but his interest was limited to glory and defeating enemies and had little care for concerns off the battefield. His followers share this belief and are often great warriors and champions but rarely live long enough to become wise.
Two who fell in this war were Cyric and Kelemvor, but the Serachle do not die like mortals, they merely change. Kelemvor remained true to his vows and works with his brethren from the other side, measuring the length of life and ensuring balance between the worlds.
Cyric is less pleased with his lot and is constantly plotting ways to return to his previous form. No one knows the secrets that lie beyond the veil like Cyric, and he is willing to trade his knowledge for assistance in his many machinations. He finds his ‘dark partner’ uninspired and lazy, and is always looking for ways to usurp his control over the time and manner of death.
Two more of the Serachle were ‘born’ during the conflict. When Lathander had tracked the Progenitor Ohn (long O, known as keeper of secrets) to the top of a high mountain and struck him down, his head rolled down to the beach and split open to reveal to people. One was beautiful, radiant and fickle while the other was dark, misshapen and wise. Sune stirred deep feeling in all who saw her, while Gond would only ever earn deep respect through time. Sune shares her power in moments and flashes and keeps more than she shows, while Gond works tirelessly to help others find his knowledge within themselves. Siblings, lovers and total opposites, these two share a bond most find difficult to grasp. In fact, love of Gond is common expression for things that are hard to understand.
As hard as the Godhand tries to share knowledge with man, Mystra seems to withhold it. While this is not technically true, the spellweaver believes that the knowledge he protects is not for just anyone. Those who wish to learn his ways must be worthy, and proving worthiness is rarely easy. This makes him seem aloof to even his own worshippers but he believes he does so for their own protection. He also thirsts for new knowledge and travels widely in the far realms to find it. It is said that no one knows as much of the creator’s work as Mystra.
No one accept for Silvanus. Many believe that he is actually a Progenitor, and there are no tales of his birth or arrival. The Stoneheart simply is. This belief is supported by his seeming lack of interest in his own church, caring only for the natural world and the underlying forces that control it. He rewards those who share his beliefs and occasionally punishes those who oppose it but his thoughts and desires are known to him alone. He seems to have a fatherly indulgence for the Earthmother, but in the stories he believes her naive and controlling.
While perhaps not as powerful as the other seats in the Serachle, no god reflects the spirit of her people more than Tymora. The Bright Lady rose to prominence in the conflict against the Progenitors by using her wits and bravery to succeed where more powerful beings failed. These are the qualities she supports in her worshippers and rewards. Her goals include safe travels, fair commerce and the opportunity to excel. Fortune favors the bold is her motto, and she has many patrons who wish to receive her fortunes. She is not a controller, however, and a blessing asked for may not be a blessing received. She is whimsical without actually being capricious, and those who embrace risk are her champions.
The Serachle and the church
Serachle is the name given to both the group of gods and the area where they are worshipped. A typical Serachle is a circular structure or plaza separated into 12 distinct areas. Each member of the circle is allotted equal space in the circle and rituals dedicated to each god are conducted within. Often there are rituals and festivals honoring all the gods, and the clergy come together for these purposes. Any priest of the Serachle is sworn to revere and protect the entire circle, although they obviously serve their patron first. A decorative rose with twelve petals is usually built into the center of the structure as reminder of unity.
Where there is no active priesthood (or public worshippers in the case of gods like Cyric) an arch or pavilion is built to honor even the most destructive members of the Serachle. Tymora as a general rule, forgoes enclosures in her temples, preferring open walkways and colonnades with only small sanctums within. These walkways often lead to a major marketplaces and are given names like the Brightway or Lady’s March.
Although all gods are equal in Serachle, the same cannot be said of their adherents. Those who honor the Charioteer or seek Tymora’s blessing bring more coins than those who revere Silvanus or Kelemvor. This is seen in the finishes of each temple and the chapter houses and chapels that often surround the Serachle proper. Lathander’s priesthood is complex and multi-layered and often houses a small army of adherents in the area surrounding the Serachle. Tymora’s priesthood is less lofty but many people pay to seek her blessing and the Lady’s markets can be quite lavish. Many also pay to appease Talos and their are commonly many beautiful decorations in the temples and water gardens filled with sculptures behind.
Gods like Tempus, Gond and Mystra are less concerned with ritual and decor and have working complexes of craftsmen and warriors studying their arts nearby.