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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.
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.
Expression of respect to The Old Ones can be done in a number of ways:
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:
Physical Domains: Afterlife & Necromancy
Metaphysical Domains: Spirit & Transgression
Effigy / Mark: Bloodshot Eye
Favored / Created Race: Ratfolk
Favored Weapon: Quaterstaff
Physical Domains: Light & Crystals
Metaphysical Domains: Creativity & Revelry
Effigy / Mark: Crystal Shell
Favored / Created Race: Tortle
Favored Weapon: Morning Star
Physical Domains: Time & Thought
Metaphysical Domains: Healing & Fate
Effigy / Mark: Spiral Horn
Favored / Created Race: Minotaur
Favored Weapon: Whip
Domain: Trickster / Arcana
Physical Domains: Moon and Darkness
Metaphysical Domains: Magic & Secrets
Effigy / Mark: Star like pattern
Favored / Created Race: Tabaxi
Favored Weapon: Dual Rapiers
Element: Chaos & Entropy
Physical Domains: Corruption
Metaphysical Domains: Entropy & Madness
Effigy / Mark: Black Feather
Favored / Created Race: Kenku
Favored Weapon: Dagger
Physical Domains: Water &Rain / Snow
Metaphysical Domains: Divination & Memory
Effigy / Mark: Golden Scale
Favored / Created Race: Yuan-ti
Favored Weapon: Trident
Physical Domains: Lightning & Wind
Metaphysical Domains: Heroism & Fear
Effigy / Mark: Silver & Purple Claws
Favored / Created Race: Aarakocra
Favored Weapon: Bows
Element: The Natural World
Physical Domains: Plants & Animals
Metaphysical Domains: Growth & Freedom
Effigy / Mark: Green Veins
Favored / Created Race: Lizardfolk
Favored Weapon: Sickle
Domain: War & Law
Physical Domains: Fire & Heat
Metaphysical Domains: Warfare and Law
Effigy / Mark: Ember Scar
Favored / Created Race: Dragonborn
Favored Weapon: Halberd
Element: Forge / Protection
Physical Domains: Rock & Minerals
Metaphysical Domains: Protection & Construction
Effigy / Mark: Bronze Fang
Favored / Created Race: Kobolds
Favored Weapon: Hammer and Shield