Harkovast- the forum

Of Gods and Nymus....
harkovast at 6:51PM, Jan. 15, 2009
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I've already said a lot on the map thread about Nymus politics, so I thought I would explore the more spiritual side of these people.
Nymus give the impression to most outsiders of being very worldly, interested in politics, money making, fine arts and feeling superior to other races (who they often refer to a “scrabbers”, more on this later).

However, the Nymus are a very pious people who take their faith very seriously. They just consider it a fairly private matter and find loud, outward shows of religion to be tasteless.
The Nymus have fourteen gods, each one corresponding to a different magical element (see the magic section for more on these).
The Nymus site this as evidence it was their gods that first sold magic to the mortal races, though other races dispute this idea.
This Pantheon are known collectively as the Gods of Shaldemos (Shaldemos being the name of the mystical floating mountain, on top of which is the fortress they are said to inhabit).
Interestingly, the Gods of Shaldemos are also worship by the Ivos, though the Ivos obviously portray the gods as looking like Ivos, rather then like Nymus.

An absolute, unshakeable rule of Nymus culture is the call to the priesthood. Sometimes a Nymus child is born with a strange appearance that, while clearly Nymus, is obviously different from others of his or her kind.
This is a cause of rejoicing for the Nymus parents, but also of sadness, for the Nymus believe that these children are chosen by the gods to serve as their priests. The child will be taken from its parents and raised by the priesthood of the particular god it is marked for, learning all the ancient magics and secrets of these orders.
For all their wily cunning and politics, Nymus consider this rule as a commandment of the gods, and utterly above question. To disobey the will of the gods would be considered an unspeakable blasphemy.

To an observer from earth, the priesthoods of each god resemble a bird specific bird from earth, giving them a unified appearance amongst their own order.
Note that the magic that creates the priests different appearance is just that- magic. If two priests breed, their child is as likely to be a normal Nymus or a priest of any other order as the child of any other Nymus couple would be.
THe priesthood is not passed on from mother to daughter or father to son. It does not run in a family. It occurs seemingly at random. To the Nymus, it is simply the will of the gods playing out.

Though they worship the same pantheon, Ivos priests are not chosen in this manner.

The Gods are as follows (note that half are male, half are female. Each god is one half of a brother sister pairing along with their opposite.)


Korvetor- God of Death. male. The owner of life, the collector of all debts and king of the gods. His priests appearance is similar to a vulture. Interestingly, though he is the king of the gods and the most powerful, Korvetor is not the most widely worshiped of the gods.

Shotelis- god of life. Female. The Lattern Bearer. A simple of hope and a carer for the sick. She is Korvetors sister. He priests appearance is similar to that of a swan.

Nylana- god of air. female. The glorious eternal guardian, the divine spear heaven. Seen as the patron and protector of the Nymus race, a brave warrior goddess that is the most widely worshiped of all the gods. Her priests appear like bald eagles and form the Elite Guard (more on them later).

Bol- god of earth. male. The flightless one. Viewed as a good hearted but sad and tragic figure by the Nymus, well know but little worshiped. Interestingly the Ivos consider him the “mighty lord of mountains” and consider him to be one of the most important gods, a mighty and powerful warrior and builder in their eyes. The priests of Bol among the Nymus appear like a Kiwi, and are, indeed, flightless, having no wings on their backs. He is the brother of Nylana.

Lungoss- The god of darkness. Male. The end of all things. A blind god who serves at the right hand of Korvetor as his agent, destroying his enemies and those who displease him. Because he is blind, Lungoss cannot see his victims and so feels no sympathy for them. Depicted as a fearsome agent of destruction, his priests (who appear like ravens) train the much feared Nymus assassins. To blapheme against the gods is to risk Lungoss being unleashed!

Kaslus- God of light. Female. Well of the universe. At the left hand of Korvetor is Kaslus, the spirit of creation. When Korvetor requires something he calls up Kaslus, just as when he requires something destroyed, he unleashes Lungoss. Kaslus is depicted as a strange being, unconcerned with mortal affairs and with seemingly no purpose or goals of her own. The only time she takes any very affirmative action is when Korvetor comands it. Her priests appear like peacocks (note both male and female ones have the bright plumage of a peacock, not a peahen). She is the sister to Lungoss.

Dacov- god of fire. female. The Emblazoned warrior. A fierce, warrior god, who rushes recklessly into danger, reader to battle any evil doers. Her priests appear like red parrots, and their magic is a very powerful aid in times of war.

Mogodo- god of ice. Male. The blizzard warrior. A god known for his great strength and toughness, and his resoluteness in battle. His priests appear like penguins (they also have no wings on their backs). He is the brother of Dacov.

Jatal- god of lightning, male. The lord above the clouds. An arrogant god, known for his great vanity. His follows appear like Albatross.

Ishal- god of water, female. the wave rider. A happy, carefree god. Often depicted as unreliable and forgetful. Her priests appear like kingfishers, and Nymus ships of any great size rarely set sail without a priest of the water god on board. She is the sister of Jatal.

Tahpesh-god of metal, female. the sword mistress. A stern and serious warrior goddess. Her priests appear like magpies, wield fearsome two handed swords in battle and (most worryingly of all) magically fuse metal plates onto their wings to term them into vast shields. Amongst the Ivos she is considered to be of equal importance to Bol.

Xino- God of mind, male. The librarian of time. Xino is often depicted as isolating himself and suffering from various dillusions and fits of madness. This is said to be because the extent of his knowledge is two great for even a gods mind to contain. His priests appear like owls. he is brother to Tahpesh.

Hureston- God of nature. male, The feral hunter. Hureston is rarely seen on mount Shaldemos, he is usually out hunting and fighting and has no time for the ritual and formality of the other gods. He is not widely worshiped amongst the Nymus, who prefer their gods more civilised! His priests appear like kestrels.

Epsil- god of technology. The smith of the gods. Epsil is the great artizan of the gods, always toiling at her anvil to produce wonders and weapons. The other gods are almost calling on her to create something for them. He priests appear like humming birds.

Phew! That was a lot to type! I am going to take a break for now.
Tomorrow I will type part 2, which will be a lot shorter and talk about the elite guard, Nymus “flight” and a few other bits and bobs.

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
Cthonic Cultist at 7:04PM, Jan. 15, 2009
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So. The priesthood is an example of using magics from outside ‘normal’ racial boundaries, correct? How does their magic work? Do they draw from the gods, or from themselves? (For that matter, how do the normal races gain their power? Is it different for each race e.g. one would require sacrifice of some sort, the other intense meditation prior using magic?) Does the same apply to the Ivos? Are the gods worshipped by any other races at all, or is it pretty much a limited religion? What do the gods do, besides float around in their fortress and be worshiped?
Boring and talentless I am.. At least I am occasionally insightful, maybe?
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
harkovast at 4:58AM, Jan. 16, 2009
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(this is not part two of this article, I don't have time to write that just yet, it will follow later, in the mean time, here are some answers to specific questions).
Nymus are a people of Light and Air, light magic encourages a little of everything, so Nymus magic (as personified by their priests) reflects this.
The source of the priests magic power is unclear. The Nymus are confident that they are getting it directly form the gods, but there is really no way to prove that this is the source of their magic.
Other, non-religious peoples and races also get magic, so whether there is really a divine element is hard to say.
Gods to do not appear in person or communicate with mortals openly so there existence is still somewhat a matter of faith (though the Nymus point to the priesthood as evidence that they obviously must exist).
In Harkovast people tend not to doubt the existence of other peoples gods, instead they tend to question is they are really gods, or if they are as powerful as their own gods.
As well as the Ivos and the Nymus, the gods of Shaldemos are also worshiped by the Komus (the northern cousins of the Nymus), but are not worshiped outside of these races. (other races have their own gods, such as Thane and Hevalla, who are unrelated to the Shaldemos pantheon).
As to what the gods do, the Nymus would argue that the gods watch over and guide their people as well as keeping the universe running properly. Since they don't show up in person, it is impossible to judge how accurate this is.

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
harkovast at 9:00AM, Jan. 16, 2009
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Part 2-

Nymus can't fly.
Shock revelation there!
Nymus can glide, allowing them to leap and swoop a great distances, but they can't actually fly.
This means they can leap from high places and fall without taking any injury.
They can also use this ability to travel a lot faster then other races can by walking.
This ability is actually partially magical, as despite their light skeletons, Nymus wings are not really big enough to support them very well in the air unassited, even for gliding purposes.
The Nymus consider this the blessing of Nylana on their race.
But it is not actual flight and that is an important distinction. To the Nymus, to say that one of them can fly is considered blasphemous against Nylana and extremely tasteless. The insult of “flightless” is often leveled against other races by the Nymus, and because this skirts an implication of the insulter being able to fly is considered pretty strong, crass language by the Nymus (the equivalent of swearing about god or jesus to western audiences). Though it might sound worse to foriegn ears, the term scrabbers (meaning people who scrabble around on the ground) is actualy considered a less insulting term for non-Nymus by the nymus themselves (though, admitedly it is still intended to be pretty insulting!)
The reason this is taken so seriously is that the only Nymus capable of true, self powered flight are the priests of Nylana, the Elite Guard. They are formed into a highly trained warrior order who are viewed as semi divine by the other Nymus. They are the incorruptable, fearless defenders of the republic, given the best training and equipment the republic can provide.
To suggest that a ordinary Nymus can fly would imply he is a member of the Elite Guard, which is an apallingly offensive statement amongst the Nymus, as the Elite Guard are the chosen of god, and not to be taken lightly.
The Elite Guard, while appearing more eagle like, do not have a radically different muscle structure or wing design to other Nymus, their ability to fly is entirely magical.

Priests of Tahpesh cannot swoop due to the metal plates they attach to themselves, believing in trading manuverability for additional armour. With the rest of their battle gear and huge swords, they would struggle to get off the ground anyway.

The Priests Mogodo are a large and physically powerful bunch, their great bulk meaning they would struggle to get off the ground even with wings. They are taught to value their strength and aggression more then agility.

The Priests of Bol are a strange, somber order. They move around Nymus society, silently seeking collections. Bol lost his wings as a consequence of his great selfishness and arrogance. Though their god is little worshiped by other Nymus, they recieve plenty of charity for donating to the priests of Bol is seen as a good way to ward off ill fortune and show humility before the gods. Unlike tahpesh and Mogodo, Bol's loss of flight was very much against his will, making him a tragic figure, and a good moral lesson to the Nymus.

And that about concludes the Nymus religion (for now!)
Any quyestions?
Fire away!

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
confusedsoul at 12:41PM, Jan. 19, 2009
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YOu didn't mention what forms some of the God's priests take. Is it to be taken then that they are the same form as the opposite God's disciples?
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
harkovast at 12:58PM, Jan. 19, 2009
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Did I miss some?
Sorry!
Let me go through and check.
I'll edit the previous post to correct it.

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
confusedsoul at 1:29PM, Jan. 19, 2009
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Nope, I think you got them all.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
harkovast at 1:45PM, Jan. 19, 2009
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Hooray!
There is no priest sharing or anything, every god's priests are quite obviously of that god and not any other.

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
harkovast at 5:18AM, Feb. 8, 2009
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This was originally posted in answer to a question on another section but I moved it here, as it describes the Nymus gods in more detail-

Where do the gods come from?
A good question, but one that would depend on your religion!
As others have mentioned, the Darsai are pretty certain where Thane came from (but other followers of Thane disagree with them on this.)

Here is what the Nymus believe-
The Gods of Shaldemos (Nymus and Ivos gods) are believed to have over thrown an older pantheon of gods who ruled before them (who in turn over threw older gods before them.)
I'll confess I have not worked out what the older pantheon was like, but they were far less organised and effective and allowed the universe to get into a terrible state, with demons and monsters running amok.
Korvetor cast them out and established a new order to bring everything back under control.
Some of the gods (Tahpesh and Nylana) were very keen to pursue all out war against the demon forces that the older gods had allowed to run free.
Korvetor is a clever, but selfish god and was content that if the demons were kept in check there was no need to destroy them utterly. Tahpesh and Nylana would not tolerate the demons continued predation on their beloved people and so made war against the demons.
Other gods sent them support (Epsil made weapons for their army) but did not directly take part in the fighting.
At the hieght of the battle, Tahpesh was struck down by the Demon Sha-Na-Teth, known as The Lie Made Flesh, using a poisoned sword.
Tahpesh's priesthood fought to the death to defend her body and sacred sword from the demonic hordes and all of them were killed and the scared sword was stolen.
Korvetor soon realised what had happened and was outraged! the order of his universe had been flung into chaos once more! The pantheon of gods was now out of alignment and this drove the death god into a terrible rage.
When he unleashed his power, the demon army was decimated, the lesser demons turning pale and collapsing dead in vast heaps.
The greater demons realised that they had pushed the king of the gods too far and tried to flee.
Korvetor then unleashed Lungoss to hunt down and destroy the demonic leaders. Those that were not caught and slain, fled back to their own hellish realms were they would remain trapped, fearing to enter Korvetor's domain again.
The universe was still in a state of disorder.
Korvetor held a council with the other gods to discuss what was to be done.
Epsil constructed a fantastical mechanical construct (the divine machine) to try and take Tahpesh's place, but this was at best a stop gap measure.
Without a god of steel, the pantheon could not retain order.
But as even the gods themselves began to despair, Nylana went forth into the realm of the demon lords, facing terrible perils and recovered Tahpesh's sword.
With this item found, Lungoss called on Keslus, goddess of light, who recreated Tahpesh, restoring order once more.
Epsil was ordered to destroy the divine machine, but was so sad to destroy her beautiful creation that she instead buried it away under the sands of a great desert, where it is said to rest to this day, until the gods need it once more.
Korvetor was grudgingly pleased with what Tahpesh and Nylana had done. The demons were beaten and order had been achieved. But seeing how close the universe had come to disaster he commanded that the gods restrain their activities in future, and let mortals deal with their own affairs with only subtle meddling from the pantheon. There was no way he was going to allow the gods to risk their own lives (and by extention his perfectly ordered universe) for the sake of some puny mortals!
Many of the gods objected to abandoning their followers. Korvetor finally relented and allowed the gods to teach a small part of their magic to the mortal races, for a vast ransom of gold, with whcih the gods built their fortress atop mount Shaldemos (Korvetor was not going to give away his magic for free after all!)

Ivos tell as very similar story, with the following changes-
All the parts taken by Nylana are taken by Bol instead.
Also the Ivos view themselves as the chosen people the gods are trying to protect.
Finally and obviously, the Ivos portray all the gods in that story as looking like Ivos, not Nymus!

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
harkovast at 2:27PM, Aug. 19, 2009
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NYMUS CULTURE
In order to get more organised, I am reposting the info on Nymus culture here, so everything Nymus related is under one thread. I am also expanding it greatly, so even if you read it the first time around, there is going to be a lot more this time!

Nymus are stylistically ancient greek in terms of their dress, equipment and culture and the look of their cities (but with more tall towers which suit their ability to glide).
The Republic is made up of several large city states which vary in how autonomous they are, some do what ever they feel like, others have very close ties. (Each city state has a name based on the name of a Nymus god, which is their patron. Example- Nylanna the air goddess is the patron of the capital Nylanen). Note that there are 14 Nymus gods, so not every one has a city state devoted too it.
Each city state elects its own leaders through a democratic process.
Each citizen gets a vote, but who gets put up as candidates is a very heavily controlled by the powers that be, so though technically anyone can get to be in charge, in reality it stays in the hands of a relatively small number of powerful ruling families. (That is not meant as a comment on politics in our world…though perhaps it could be!)
Each State also elects representatives to go to the Grand Forum in the capital Nylanen and these representatives (though much political deal making and double crossing) select from amongst themselves the republics leader who is called the Citizen Elect.
Nymus take huge pride in their system of government and use as yet further evidence of why they are so much more sophisticated and clever then those barbaric backwards Darsai and their mindless devotion to fuedalism and monarchy.
Rather then being unaware of all the rather shady corrupt aspects of their democracy, the Nymus see these as a sign of how enthusiastic and healthy the system is, that those involved put great effort into it. As long as all the votes are counted fair and square at the end, a little back room dealing and wrangling is a good thing.
Nymus are renowm for their arrogance, looking down on most other races (especially Darsai) as utterly uncultured, with tyranical governments and a complete lack of art.
As well as their democracy, Nymus loves the arts. Sculture of Beautiful Nymus figures, pottery with scenes from legend embossed on them and tile mosiacs decorate every Nymus city state.
Their plays, concerts and operas are also very elaborate. They are full of complex layered plots, complex sympolism and dialogue that has double or triple meanings! The fact these art forms can feel inpenetrable to outsiders is yet one more thing to make the Nymus feel superior.
The sets and stages of these plays are ofen awe inspiring, with several stages, some higher, some lower, then actors gluide between. These often represent the realm of the mortals and the realm of the gods (who very often feature in Nymus art.)
The Nymus also have a strong merchantile tradition and their capitalist ambitions are a source of great wealth to the republic.

Nymus armies consist of a standing professional army, which can be reinforced with a patriotic militia of citizens in times of great need.
Their armies make only limited use of cavalry, but the ability of their lighter troops to glide largely compensates for this. These light troops are called Peltasts and use bows, slings, and javelins to great effect.
Their heavier troops wear too much armour to be able to gluide and instead fight in a tight formation called a Phalanx. These heavy troops are called Hoplites and each carries a round shield and a very long pike. In their dense formation, the long pikes create a wall of spikes that enemy troops will struggle to penetrate.
The other notable unit in the Nymus armies is of course the Elite Guard, the sacred warriors of Nylana. They dress in gleaming golden armour, which is both light and strong, the highest art of of the Nymus artisan in terms of both form and function. Their ability to fly gives them unrivaled mobility allowing them to act as the best scouts in all of Harkovast, or to descend suddenly to use their elite fighting skills to destroy the republics enemies.
The sight of the Elite Guard is always inspiring the Nymus armies, a sign of their patron goddess's blessing.
Almost a shadowy negative of the Elite Guard are the Assasins.
These are orphans, taken in by the priests of Lungoss and raised to be perfect killers, equip with deadly weapons and the power of Dark Magic.
The assasins act behind the scenes, removing enemies of the Republic, both within and without. They are feared, not celebrated, by the Nymus. There is, however, a saying among the Nymus- “As long as you can see an assasin, you have nothing to worry about.” Since generally if a Nymus assasin intends to kill someone, they wont know about it until it is too late. This phrase is also used to mean that a recognised danger is far less of a threat then the problems you dont know about.

Nymus food is very simple, mainly because Nymus lack much of a sense of taste. For this reason, Nymus assasins often make use of poison, since Nymus are acutely vulnerable too it.
Fatness is very rare amoung Nymus, as eating is just a function to deal with hunger, rather then being very pleasurable for its taste. Scrabbers (as the Nymus call non-Nymus) are often ridiculed by the Nymus as greedy and gluttinous. The Nymus believe that scrabbers think of nothing but food.
While the food may be simple, Nymus meals are anything but. Elaborate rituals of ettiquette are incredibly important, with particular cutlery being used for each type of food. Any social error at a meal would leave a Nymus deeply embarassed!
Another unique feature of Nymus meals is the gut rocks. A small bowl of smooth pebbles is always set in the middle of the table. Nymus keep a few of these in their stomach to aid with digestion. They will swallow another one at the beginning, to replace ones that naturally pass through their system.

Good ettiquette and social standing are essential to Nymus, they are the corner stone of how the Nymus see themselves and their place in the world.

Nymus society is some what biase in favour of females over males, though it is more equal then many.
Nymus are entirely comfortable with homosexuality and it carries no stigma in their view.
Half-castes are generally treated well by the Nymus, though they may still face some stigma, if not out right hostility.

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
D_Dude at 1:07PM, Dec. 7, 2009
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Haha! I found the eslum reference! (Though I just googled: Drunkduck.com eslum)
It is here: http://www.drunkduck.com/community/view_topic.php?cid=4131&tid=48816&comic_id=31674 which is a topic I actually started myself.
*grins smugly*
FEAR THE BADGER!
It's not overkill if you don't hit him.
Sir! We are surrounded! … Good. Then we can charge in EVERY direction.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
harkovast at 3:44PM, Dec. 7, 2009
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I suspect that is the first time anyone has ever Googled Eslum!

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM

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