In the world of Nimbus, there are four major powers: Earth, Fire, Light, and Shadow, as well as a number of minor powers. Each of these powers is led by an archon who serves in distributing the power and judges those in its service.
The motto of light is “walk the path of the gods”. Those who follow the philosophy of light most wholeheartedly adhere strictly to the edicts laid out by the gods in the holy books that detail the stories of their lives. The most important of these is respect. Followers of light must give respect and devotion to, in this order, the gods, their ancestors, the emperor, priests, their family, and their elders. It is also important to give aid to others walking the path of the gods and guide them in the proper way to do so if necessary.
The Pantheon of Light
Her Heavenly Majesty, The Goddess of Protection, Guardian of Nimbus, Archon of Light, Queen of Gods and Men. Tatekami leads the gods and protects mortals from the Shadow. She is a patron of rulers and warriors. Devotees pray to her for protection from famine and disease, social standing, and aid in times of war. Tatekami’s symbols are a shield and a crown. She is depicted seated on her throne in elaborate imperial regalia.
Gladwyn is the god of happiness. He is a patron of bards, cooks, and families. Devotees pray to him during feasts, festivals, and weddings, and for hope when times are hard. He is married to Athenry, a minor goddess of the harvest, and they are often worshiped together. Gladwyn’s symbol is a horn. He is depicted as a balding, ruddy-faced man who is always smiling or laughing.
Ojulope is the god of wisdom, and is known for having the ability to see the future, including the end of the world. He is a patron of priests, scholars, and elders. Devotees pray to him for guidance on a variety of matters. Ojulope’s symbol is an eye. He is depicted as an aged black man with a long square goatee.
Te is the god of crafts, and is responsible for all the handiworks of the gods, including the divine lighthouses. He is a patron of all craftsmen and artisans. Devotees rarely pray to him, but will often mark their crafts with his symbol as a good luck charm. Te’s symbol is the letter T, usually embellished to resemble a hand, and the letter is also his full official name. He is depicted as an old man actively engaged in craft, usually whittling.
Akalashar is the god of life and death. He betrayed the other gods to the Shadow, resulting in their deaths, and as such his worship is banned by the church. Those who worship Akalashar or practice his arts are viewed with fear and disdain by society at large as much as those who worship the Shadow outright. He is a patron of healers and necromancers. Most priests only invoke his name during a person’s last rites, but devotees pray to him for healing and to wish death on others. His face is never shown, but he is sometimes depicted as a cloaked figure with a staff and a snake, his symbols.
The motto of earth is “do no harm”. The Archon of Earth, King Oberon of the Fey, has a lot on his plate ruling the Fey and cares little what else followers of earth do as long as they minimize the amount of physical harm they do. For example, many Fey courts and powerful earth enchanters maintain a number of charmed mortal servants. Followers of earth are also instructed to avoid harm to themselves and to assume others want the same. In addition to King Oberon, there are six Fey princes that hold their own courts. Devotees of earth sometimes worship these princes, but also commonly worship powerful local Fey who have a greater interest in the land nearby.
The King of the Fey and the Archon of Earth, King Oberon rules from deep within the Fold where he was bound to his throne by the gods with chains of gold. Oberon is a just ruler and does not treat mortals as lesser beings the way other Fey do. All Fey owe fealty to Oberon, but he is often unable to rein in their capriciousness, being bound to his throne. Those in Oberon’s court are among his most loyal vassals and those most willing to follow and enforce his rules. Visitors to Oberon’s court will also find many less loyal representatives from other Fey courts who have come seeking judgment or aid.
Vivania is the Prince of the Summer Court. She is a powerful dryad and appears as a beautiful elf woman. At court she can often be found reclining in a bed of flowers and enjoying the bounties and pleasures of summer. She is sometimes involved with Ilex, the Prince of the Winter Court. When they are together there is peace between their people, but when they are not, the Summer and Winter Courts have a bitter war between them.
Ilex is the Prince of the Winter Court. He is a shapeshifter that appears alternately as a dark haired man and a giant stag. His court is adorned with holly and mistletoe around warm hearths. Fey of the Winter Court have no love for mortals, preferring to deal with the plants and animals of the forest.
Gwyn is the Prince of the Court of the Sidhe. He is a hunter and has a particular love for his dogs. Anyone who harms them in any way can count on Gwyn hunting them down. The Court of the Sidhe is much like a mortal court, with a banner of black on yellow and a mortal rivalry with the Tuatha Danann. When dealing with mortals, the Sidhe like silver, wasps, and dogs, and often promise a good hunt.
Colcan is the Prince of the Court of the Tuatha Danann. He is a warrior who values strength. His court is adorned with more gold than any mortal court, but is otherwise much the same, with a banner of yellow on black and a mortal rivalry with the Sidhe. When dealing with mortals, the Tuatha Danann like gold, honey, and the sun, and often promise a good harvest.
The Gesselleman is a powerful and ancient being older than nearly all other Fey. He has his own court, the Court of Mirrors, but is rarely seen in it, preferring instead to wander the world. He appears as a traveling journeyman or merchant with pointed ears and is always happy to help those he meets if they will play a game with him. A classic tale tells of the Gesselleman challenging a thief to a game of stealing, ultimately taking his home and family.
Corvelon is the Prince of the Raven Court. Like the Gesselleman, they are a powerful and ancient Fey, and it is not clear who they truly are. It is difficult to get a straight answer from Corvelon, and their desires seem to change with the seasons, though it is known they have carried out schemes over the course of centuries. Corvelon appears as a large raven, but they can take other forms as needed. Corvelon offers knowledge to those who reach for it.
The motto of fire is “follow your heart”. Followers of fire are instructed to do whatever inspires in them the greatest passion. In addition to this, the philosophy of fire has a particular, idiosyncratic idea of honor centering around fair single combat. The followers of fire do not have a formal hierarchy like earth and light and few care what the Archon of Fire thinks, if they even know who he is, but there are several ‘true hearts’ who best exemplify what it means to be a devotee of fire who other devotees will recognize, by their countenance if not by their names, and will respect. Those counted among the true hearts, and even the Archon himself, can be replaced by dying or being defeated in single combat. As the Fey are the supernatural beings most attuned to earth, Flamekin are the beings most attuned to fire, and many are represented among the true hearts.
Vakin’suul is the Archon of Fire and the most powerful Flamekin in the world. He is very long lived for a Flamekin, having prolonged his life by staying in the crater on Kelepenui where the Flamekin came into existence. He appears as a giant mass of flame with a rocky shell outlining his head, torso, and hands. Many among the Flamekin believe he is weak and approaching his end, but no challenger to his power has yet survived.
Known as the Shadowflame, Rh’thyrn is an ancient dragon who made a deal with the Shadow for the power to kill his enemies. The gods trapped him underground afterward but he still lives, and over time has grown into an incarnation of malice and hate.
Known as the Flamespout, Wullashoom is a powerful and destructive Flamekin. It embodies excitement and exhilaration. Normally invisible and intangible, Wullashoom manifests as a gigantic flaming gyre when roused to passion. It has no face or limbs and only speaks the language of fire. Records of its existence go back a hundred years.
The newest True Heart, Sir Elanna the Firebrand, used to be an Imperial Defender, but the rules of the empire and the church got in the way of her drive to do good, so she struck out on her own. She is an armored human knight with long fiery red hair. She embodies honor, glory, and righteous passion.
Ks’takkin is a powerful incubus, appearing as a naked red-skinned man with small flames burning across his body. He embodies lust and sexual passion. Ks’takkin loves spicy food and asking for a Ks’takkin special at eateries is as likely to get you their spiciest dish as it is to get you something more risque. His title is the Fever Dream.
The youngest True Heart, Szethvera is of a variety of Flamekin that have short lifespans of about 20 years on average. But for devotees of fire, age has little bearing compared to passion, and Szethvera is imbued with the boundless energy of youth. She appears as a mass of flames in the shape of a laughing girl. Her title is the Summer Child.
The motto of shadow is “power”. There is no hierarchy with the shadow or any followers who can claim to be greater than the others, there is only the Shadow, a mysterious amorphous entity that creeps into every corner of the world where the light does not touch. The philosophy of shadow is based around power: you should acquire as much for yourself as you can and assume others are trying to do the same. Make alliances to gain power whenever you have shared goals, and do your best to take power away from those who would misuse it.
Any mortal who listens for it can hear the shadow whispering to them. “Power,” it says, “take it for yourself, and take as much as you can.” The Shadow is known for making deals to grant mortals power. Most use this power for evil, some use it for good, but it usually ends in suffering for someone. The Shadow is semi-sentient – it can reason fluently enough to make deals, but cannot hold information over time because the Shadow exists outside of time. The Shadow exists everywhere at all times, but also nowhere, never. Anyone can speak to it, but it is kept from having physical effects on the world by the divine lighthouses built by the gods. In order for a mortal to use the Shadow’s power effectively it needs to be summoned and concentrated in an area by magical means, usually ritual sacrifice or a specially constructed doorway like a henge or torii.