The Shattered God
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The following represents an IC text describing the Shattered God, historical documents on such and how the entity was dealt with by mercenaries during early Juon IM 1011.
The Shattered Words of Creation
being an account of the Shattered God by Bradley Williams
Extended from works by Talarak Eruldine
Much of what I write here is taken from the records of Talarak Eruldine, High Priest of Creation at the dawn of the Second Age. Much else is only known and scribed thanks to the efforts of those mercenaries who risked their lives to uncover it and to end the threat of the Shattered God, at least for this age. The documents of Talarak’s were taken from a sealed and warded chest within a shrine to the Creator upon Eruldine. This shrine still remains and by all accounts there is much good cheer and good food upon the Isle. I would advise any who seek further knowledge of this tale to visit the central meeting hut for vast quantities of meat before paying a visit to the tavern of Gieldan’s Feast for drink, merriment and a hearty jug of the local battle-brew.
The following is Talarak’s account, after which I shall add my own conclusions, drawn primarily from the actions of those mercenaries who travelled there. It is worth bearing in mind as you read that we know almost nothing of the 1st age and indeed decisions were taken that obliterated almost all knowledge from that time. Nobody really knows why.
Sacred candles are to be lit and kept lit night and day until the time comes when the Shattered God once again threatens the world and it is time to act. At that time, should the threat be great enough, the light of the candles will dim, and the wards fade. Then, and only then, will what truly transpired at the end of this, the 1st age of mankind be revealed.
I have struck a bargain with the Elder such that all shall forget what came before and what happened at that dawn, save for this parchment. On its completion even I and those witnesses and participants will have the memories of it stripped from their minds, such that none shall ever learn of the darkness we have banished, until the time such is needed once more, which I hope shall never be.
Those priests and ley members of the faith witness to this act are listed here, such that the power placed herein will flow over them once woven and sealed:
Talarak Eruldine – High Priest of Creation
Miollus Kol – Knight Defender of Kharkas
Arta Noclo – Priest of the First Night
Vreiglis Aparathe – Chaplain of Purest Creation
Endelev Mylon – Priest of the Beloved
Constantine Edevra Voreaux – Lord of the Craft
William Gielgood – Herald of Peace
Osric Rasha – Sword of Life’s Touch
Samuel Antra – Chaplain of Creation’s Beauty
Benjamin Barrok – Knight Sanguine of Kharkas
Paulo Caspavi – Head Librarian of Kharkas
Toredor Ji – Lord of the Rolls
Ernest Brell – Seneschal of Kharkas
It is worth interjecting here to say that the shattered islands found by mercenaries were each named after one of these original witnesses, and though all are now once again forged together and return to Primus, their names, sacrifices and acts of heroism, should not be forgotten. One, Constantine Edevra Voreaux still lives, blessed as he is with some fragment of the divinity that is creation.
A brief history and my account of the proceedings follows.
When the second word of creation was spoken and that which was destruction came into being, it was not just the force that came, but a manifestation also. That manifestation would become known as The Shattered God. Legend tells that the first word that the god spoke shattered its very being into a thousand pieces. Nothing that it could ever be, or ever bring to the world could create, only destroy, and thus in speaking, it’s very words destroyed itself.
And so legend tells that the fragments of the Shattered God came to rest throughout the land and were worshipped, or at least many were. To those that followed they granted power and both fragments and peoples shaped each other through belief. Belief though that was always twisted and bent by destruction. For example, one might think of perfection, but express such through the process of constant destruction and recreation, where nothing can ever be perfect, but perfect is the only acceptable state. Cults and faiths formed, for the most part not knowing what it was that they followed, revered or worshipped, or that they were ultimately being influenced by its power.
The fragments of the Shattered God sought one another, sought to become whole once again, but owing to their very nature found such difficult to achieve, for their sole purpose and being was that of destruction. Instead they influenced those around them to seek other tokens of their power and to take them. Such always occurred in a destructive way, not necessarily always in a nihilistic, violent way, but such that one faith was destroyed and consumed by the other; the greater growing stronger through its conquering of the weak. In time, some of the groups became very strong, powerful and are rumoured to have been behind several of the great wars and terrible events throughout the first age. Largely unnoticed and unseen, the influence of the fragments was widespread, and coveted by those who found them, influenced as many people are by the power they brought.
Now I should interject here and say that much of this previous is supposition. We have good evidence to point to such being true, but little direct proof, and it is likely that there will be no such left by the time anyone comes to read this. I ask that you keep an open mind and accept that it might be true, and even it is not, that you accept that this being is still a potent and dangerous creature of vast power.
As a further interjection on my behalf, I suspect it likely that many of the cataclysmic or near cataclysmic events that have occurred throughout the ages of mankind have been somehow influenced, if only, lightly, by the power of the lost fragments of the Shattered God. The Chaos Wars, for example and the madness of the Magiarchs; one could easily theorise a little touch here, a little influence here and the spiralling that then ensued.
What we do know though, is that there were and are a great many fragments of the Shattered God, thousands, perhaps more, and the impact of the vast majority had more to do with the individuals who uncovered and claimed them than the fragments themselves. It is easy by far to influence a wicked man to commit slightly worse atrocities than he has already done, to step over the line just a little too far and create a cascade of events that lead to widespread destruction, than it is to make a good man fall. Though the fragments sought such individuals and in certain cases led to much woe, they could never spread widely their influence or strength in the same way that the Shattered God could if reforged, or if a large number of fragments were brought together.
As a brief aside, it is believed that most priests of what we commonly refer to as the Destroyer, of which there are few, have all come into contact with a fragment of the Shattered God at some point in time and been influenced or touched by its power. Most probably don't even realise it, and for all intents and purposes it doesn't matter one way or another. Thousands of fragments exist and for the most part their influence is countered by the Creator.
It is also worth mentioning here that while we acknowledge the existence of destruction as a necessary force, we as a faith strongly oppose those who would seek to worship such. In doing so they give power to the Shattered God, in his fragmented form or otherwise, and willingly or unwittingly empower him. This is no good thing.
Now, I have mentioned fragments and how there are thousands of them. However, there are twelve significantly larger fragments, which each contain vast and significant power by comparison to those others. These when brought together form a statue or idol which forms the manifest vessel of the Shattered God. Constantine informs me that it was made a great many of years ago by his hand as a means by which the power of the Shattered God could be contained, or at least that was the intent. The physical fragments of such, within which his power is bound are nowhere near as old as the power itself. Many have attempted to bind and imprison the Shattered God’s power, as we have done in this age just gone, and this binding within an idol was just one such attempt. To an extent it worked, but the fragments still sought each other out and drew themselves together, even bound as they were.
Thus, over the years the twelve were naturally drawn together, by the actions of groups worshipping them, or by other means. Priests of the Creator at the time of the first 'drawing' which involved the physical fragments came to the conclusion that the best solution to the problem was to take the twelve pieces of the statue which had failed to hold the God’s being entire, and ritually shatter them when each time of the 'drawing' occurred.
The 'drawing' for those who know not is a cyclic rhythm of creation and destruction whereby the tides of creation and destruction throughout the land ebb and flow. Every few hundred years or so these tides are such that ritually significant events seem more likely to occur in relation to the fragments, or the power within. If nothing occurs to keep them shattered then, no doubt, in time they will eventually be gathered and become whole once more.
To look back on further history, and incidents regarding the drawing, there is more to be said. The priesthood, every drawing performed rites to re-shatter the fragments and influence the forces of creation and destruction surrounding them for the years to come. These they performed without necessarily having the fragments, believing that the rites themselves would scatter the fragments once more and keep them from ever re-joining. They were wrong.
At the end of the age just gone, we almost failed. The Shattered God baring a single sole fragment was reforged and almost became manifest. Cataclysmic events occurred, which, thankfully due to the Elder I now forget, though the feeling of horror still lingers in the back of my mind, never far away. Because of our failure all of existence as we know it was almost lost. Because of our failure we attempted something more drastic but we hope more permanent.
At great cost we took the fragments and undertook a rite, whereby we deliberately reforged the statue from the twelve fragments, by adding the final missing piece, and within the beating of a heart shattered it once again; accepting that as we did so the land we were within would shatter also, but believing that with suitable precautions such a shattering would ripple only over Kharkas, rather than Primus as a whole.
Thus it was that at the high dawn we sent Kharkas into the mittlenacht along with the near completed statue and the final fragment. There we reforged the statue, trapping it within a ritual pyramid, and shattered it by rite, destroying this Isle but trapping each of the twelve fragments on twelve independent isles all warded and separated by mittlenacht; all once part of Kharkas. There we hope they will never again be able to draw each other together. Each of the witnesses and their families were involved in the rite, and each we hope will be able to build new lives for themselves within this shattered archipelago. It is sad that each will be isolated from the other, but it is a sacrifice we all were willing to take.
What remains of Kharkas I will seal away from the world and live out my days here with those few monks who remain, duty sworn to keep the casket within which this account will be placed safe, and oath bound to ensure that should we fail again and the drawing come to pass, others will be able to take our place and see the Shattered God does not rise to power.
High Priest of Creation
1st Year of the 2nd Age of Mankind
For a thousand years the isles remained shattered, until at the high dawn of the 3rd age the wardings that sealed and sheltered them slowly began to fade and the rise to another ‘drawing’ began. Most of the people’s on the islands which held a fragment had been influenced by them in one way or another; mostly badly. Each fragment drawing on and attuning itself to a corrupt parody of the aspect of creation that those people involved in the original rite worshipped.
For example, those on Barrok, who believed in self-sacrifice, of putting themselves in harm’s way to help others, in gifting their time to aid the needy, instead became a place of blood sacrifice and dark ritual to the power of the fragment. The islanders still believed they were giving their lives to help others, but in fact were doing nothing but feeding the manifest shard of the fragment who took the title Antula.
The mercenaries travelled to these isles, recovered the fragments, helped or slew those too corrupt to save and in the end performed a great rite to end the current ‘drawing’. They reforged and broke the power of the Shattered God just as those of Talarak’s time had done before them, only this time they sent the fragments to places or people on Primus. In these places some would be imprisoned, the malign power held captive and bound for at least an age or more, others would be given the chance of redemption, the raw power of the shards able to be moulded to a better purpose.
In the end it is likely that in some far distant future, more than an age away, the fragments will once again be ‘drawn’ together as they have before, but for now, and for many years to come we need not fear the direct manifestation of the Shattered God and all his destructive power would bring.
It is worth noting that they were not the only ones seeking the fragments. A group known as the Conclave of Oblivion, sworn to the Lady Vanity Indeminii, who has previously attacked Bildteve, and led by the now deceased Corvinus Madrak, also sought the shards. It is believed they sought to use them in a rite to grant their mistress, who they called The Lady Oblivion (I believe simply another honorific of Vanity’s), power from the fragments as the time of the ‘drawing’ reached its climax. Thankfully, they failed and most are now dead. Two escaped, having not been present when the mercenaries raided their island stronghold. Of these one is an Ancient Folk sorcerer and ritualist, whom the mercenaries never met in person, the other a very dangerous shape changing assassin; who is believed to be some kind of Kallah of Cities Destroyed.
My thanks also to those of Al’Rashan who provided some of this information to both the mercenaries and later myself. They mentioned also that this Vanity somehow engineered her death at the dawn in order to achieve some kind of accession. They believe it likely also that her Seneschal, though he defers to her, is perhaps the one with the true power. For those seeking to oppose them, they are potent adversaries.
I have penned brief notes on the areas of the Isle which correspond to the former shattered islands within the archipelago. This can be found within notes entitled Eruldine.