The Old Ways

The Old Ways and The Old Ones are mostly misconceived and mislabeled as religion and a pantheon of gods. This could not be further from the truth. The Old Ones are considered to be titanic elemental forces, beyond mortal comprehension. Those that respect the Old Ways believe The Old Ones to be the truth of the world around them. The Old Ones are understood to consider mortals mere motes of dust, far below their concerns. The Old Ways are mainly a reverence for the Old Ones and expressing this respect through gestures and rituals in hopes of gaining the attention of The Old Ones,known as the Eye of the Old Ones although this is not always beneficial or safe.

The Cosmogonic Myth

Leylines are the one consistency between all realms. They are the threads that bind reality, an unfathomable power, or so most would think. These conduits carry more than sheer energy, they carry thought and imagination, history and possibilities. They have the potential to influence anything, even the voids between planes.

There was a time when this influence spilled into the spaces between. No one is sure if the plane was already in existence, or if it was created in the event but for one reason or another, a dimension was formed separately from the others. It was empty, to begin with, all bar the emptiness itself. It was the energy flowing around it incarnate. With enough magic a sentence was born, alone in the known realms.

It already knew there was nothing like itself ever to have been created and with that knowledge changed that very fact. It drew upon all of its reserves to create what we know as the four primal forces of the Leylands. Life and Death, Night and Day. For a brief moment, there was tranquility but the Void saw what it had done and abhorred its creations. They were more than itself but inferior. The deafening silence it had wished to end was banished by the noise of its children.

To stop them, he bound both pairs in an eternal chase, never to meet. It placed Day in the West and Night in the East, Life in the north and Death in the south. Their struggle for kinship did indeed silence them. It however did not stop them. As they traveled in endless circles they could still see each other and so they created a solution. In between them, they formed Fire as a beacon, then Earth to disguise its light, Water to absorb their words, and Wind to carry them and then finally Life to speak them. Each new child enveloped another, layer upon layer until the Void had been banished from between them.

They were not helpless anymore and the bonds that the Void had forged had only made them stronger. They had defiled its very nature, their creations an abhorrent stain. It tried to claim its grandchildren, to return them to itself but their parents refused. The Void, now enraged, set out to return every aspect to itself.

But the Void had not heard their words or seen their light. It had not known what they talked about or their plans. They knew that the Void would one day come for them and that they could not destroy it as they would perish too. Their plan was to dismember it. The Void, overconfident from its endless power was caught by its children. They sundered it, into untold pieces, locked inside prisons and scattered. The Void used to be everywhere and still is although in a very different way. It whispers to those that can hear it, to send a message to its children, a message that has driven it mad.

I will consume you when are all but forgotten, betrayed by your own children.

Worship

Expression of respect to The Old Ones can be done in a number of ways:

  • Elemental Rituals – These are designed ot invite the Eye. They can come in many forms and dependent on The Old One that is being revered. Most utilize a respective element in a singular or more elaborate ways. Dependent on the length and the intricacy of the ritual the outcome would vary although a greater length and more intricate rituals is not a guarantee of success.
  • Trinkets – Created as effigies of The Old Ones, they are believed by those who create them to create an attractive aura that would invoke the powers of an Old One. They are created as wards, totems and powerful artifacts.
  • Feasting and Sacrifices – Although its not known if these events are able to invoke the Old Ones gaze, over the storied history of these lands they have in turn been linked to events that are believed to be directly caused by them.
  • Following the Kin of the Old Ones – The Old Ones mark certain mortals to act as both their senses and conduit on the material plane. They are believed to have a direct connection to The Old Ones. It is belived that to act in their favor or follow their directive will in-turn guide them to bless those without the mark.

Old One Kin (Natural Born Clerics)

As already stated, The Old Ones mark their ‘kin’ with their own symbols. Some are given at birth, marking them out for a destiny separate to that of those around them, or gain the mark due to their own actions. Marks may or may not be beneficial however as sometimes they act as warnings to others that understand the old ways that this ‘kin’ is dangerous, although this is always open to interpretation. To those raised in religions of the Secondborn, they consider these people to be akin to their clerics and have nicknamed them ‘natural born clerics’ although some Secondborn believe giving them a title similar to clerics validates their world view. Kin are usually marked by the following attributes:

  • Becoming part of the larger workings of the realm, working towards a goal beyond their primary scope of their brethren only known by the Old Ones.
  • Having a discernible future that impacts the land in ways beyond their brethren only understood by the Old Ones.
  • Acting in a way that creates an extreme event associated with an element.
  • Having traits identifiable by as those shared by The Old Ones to a degree not seen with their brethren.

Metaphysical

Anatheon

Alignment: NN
Domain: Death
Element: Death
Physical Domains: Afterlife & Necromancy
Metaphysical Domains: Spirit & Transgression
Effigy / Mark: Bloodshot Eye
Favored / Created Race: Ratfolk
Favored Weapon: Quaterstaff

Belenos

Alignment: CG
Domain: Light
Element: Light
Physical Domains: Light & Crystals
Metaphysical Domains: Creativity & Revelry
Effigy / Mark: Crystal Shell
Favored / Created Race: Tortle
Favored Weapon: Morning Star

Cernunos

Alignment: NG
Domain:  Life
Element: Life
Physical Domains: Time & Thought
Metaphysical Domains: Healing & Fate
Effigy / Mark: Spiral Horn
Favored / Created Race: Minotaur
Favored Weapon: Whip

Nicneven

Alignment: CN
Domain: Trickster / Arcana
Element: Night
Physical Domains: Moon and Darkness
Metaphysical Domains: Magic & Secrets
Effigy / Mark: Star like pattern
Favored / Created Race: Tabaxi
Favored Weapon: Dual Rapiers

The Sundered One

Alignment: CE
Domain: Chaos
Element: Chaos & Entropy
Physical Domains: Corruption
Metaphysical Domains: Entropy & Madness
Effigy / Mark: Black Feather
Favored / Created Race: Kenku
Favored Weapon: Dagger

Physical

Bakanuwa

Alignment: NN
Domain: Knowledge
Element: Water
Physical Domains: Water &Rain / Snow 
Metaphysical Domains: Divination & Memory
Effigy / Mark: Golden Scale
Favored / Created Race: Yuan-ti
Favored Weapon: Trident

The Horagares

Alignment: CG
Domain: Tempest
Element: Air
Physical Domains: Lightning & Wind
Metaphysical Domains: Heroism & Fear
Effigy / Mark: Silver & Purple Claws
Favored / Created Race: Aarakocra
Favored Weapon: Bows

Nantosuelta

Alignment: CN
Domain:  Nature
Element: The Natural World
Physical Domains: Plants & Animals
Metaphysical Domains: Growth & Freedom
Effigy / Mark: Green Veins
Favored / Created Race: Lizardfolk
Favored Weapon: Sickle

Senuna

Alignment: LN
Domain:  War & Law
Element: Fire
Physical Domains:  Fire & Heat
Metaphysical Domains: Warfare and Law
Effigy / Mark: Ember Scar
Favored / Created Race: Dragonborn
Favored Weapon: Halberd

Thonios

Alignment: LG
Domain: Earth
Element: Forge / Protection
Physical Domains: Rock & Minerals
Metaphysical Domains: Protection & Construction
Effigy / Mark: Bronze Fang
Favored / Created Race: Kobolds
Favored Weapon: Hammer and Shield