The Mythology of Ambitus
Heaven, Hell, and the World’s Well
Heaven and Hell
There isn’t a Heaven and Hell in Ambitus that most would be familiar with.
Heaven (or the etheral realm) is largely a place where the gods dwell and spread their influence from. Our idea of heaven – or rather spiritual reward in Ambitus, comes in the form of living in Ambitus. To the mortals,the world they live in is what they were meant to be fighting for. The more open-minded sages and philosophers of Ambitus would claim that the co-existence of good and evil magnifies the intensity of each other. With greater risk comes greater reward.
Hell, on the other hand, is a real and habitable place. Those who refuse to live or let live in Ambitus,spend eternity in Hell. Controlling this realm is the task and charge of Asmodeous – lord of the Nine Hells.
Depending on how the individual sins, they will be sent to one of eight rings – each specially tailored for the crime that either most represents them or the sin that they regret the most.
Unlike most realms, Hell was sculpted and crafted to serve a specific purpose. What was originally the realms of elementals or nothing at all, was instead enslaved, created, and fortified to serve as the prison of unjust and unmerciful souls. Asmodeous is hated by most mortals, and fights amongst the other gods, but his role is crucial to the existence of the other realms, making Asmodeous indispensable.
There is more to Hell than just what we’ve stated here.
The World’s Well
The World’s Well existed before the rest of Ambitus. Some claim it existed before Hell or even heaven. Nobody can be entirely certain – the concept of the World’s Well is usually left to the Church of Chiron and Pelor’s more insane and reclusive lore masters to ponder.
What everyone does know is that the Well grants wishes. Wishes that transcend that of the other realms. In order to make a wish, however, the wisher must be deemed worthy. The last people proven to have visited the Well were the gods, the last ones who supposedly reached the Well were the heroes.
The very act of reaching the well is unknown. Nobody knows its location. Does it exist on Ambitus, in Heaven, or might it even exist in Hell?
The Major Gods
The major gods are considered the greatest and most powerful gods in Ambitus. It would be foolish to say that the “major” deities are more powerful than other less worshiped Gods. The “major” gods acquired their status from their larger number of followers. The larger the flock the more affect the god tends to have on the world. This paradigm is most important in Ambitus, where god’s don’t interfere with mortal affairs directly. In Ambitus, gods work only through their faithful, therefore, the god with the most followers tends to have the greatest impact. That being said, some of the major gods do not have large numbers of followers, instead they bestow their power in another way or more effectively – causing a larger impact on Ambitus (this example is most evident in the Asmodeous Cult.)
Chiron/Heironnious (The Light Bringers)
Symbol: A sword hilt forming a cross
Colors: Blue and White
Creedo: Fight the Blight, Restore the Light, Fight the Good Fight
Holy City: Ardeglais and Aldanari
Chiron is one of the strongest, if not the strongest, deity in Ambitus. After the wars between the Amodeous Followers and their Dormric foot soldiers, the civilized world of Ambitus has become dependent on the Church of Chiron’s inherit abilities at defeating evil forces. Since regular armies and soldiers have little effect on the strange and occult monstrosities of Asmodeous, major cities in Ambitus have made the Church of Chiron their official soldiers and defenders of their lands.
With control over the cities’ safety (especially Aldanari’s) the Church of Chiron has become the ruler of Ambitus. When one group controls the city’s gates, keep, and soldiers – it doesn’t take long for kings and queens to fall to the wayside in favor of stewards and councils.
Troubles: Without Asmodeous followers, people are starting to question why they might need Chiron paladins and clerics to protect them. This distrust has grown especially in recent years after the Church of Chiron has proven to be poor managers of finances, trade, and social progress.
There are rumors, evidence, and people who suggest that the power of Chrion’s followers is dwindling spiritually as well. It’s as though the divine magic of Chiron is weaker and less powerful than it was years before. Can this dwindling of divine power be from unlawful and unjust rulers in the Church’s hierarchy or is Chrion truly turning his back on Ambitus?
Odin the Wise
Symbol: The Eye Piece to Dwarf Helmet
Colors: Gold and Black
Creedo: (In Dwarvish) Gaze in and what gazes out?
In the first and second age, Odin was the most worshiped and trusted of the gods. It was the collapse and death of the dwarven kingdom’s and the resulting Odin followers that drove Odin into obscurity. Before then, he was the patron god of Silver Reach and an inspiring example of the collection of knowledge.
The story behind Odin is that he was the first of the gods to stumble upon the well of the world. Unlike many of the other gods and mortals after him, however, the well offered to him a wish. The wish was a gift that no mortal or immortal had ever been given before, and it was indicated by the well, that only the greatest would be offered this wish.
Many mortals and gods would approach the well, after Odin, wishing for power, strength, the end of evil/good, and the destruction of their enemies. The well, in reply, did not ripple – did not whisper.
In that time before Ambitus, Odin did not ask for power. Instead, he asked for knowledge. He asked to see what the world as it really was. He wanted to know what the well knew – and the well responded.
If anyone should want to see the secrets of this world in one eye, they must sacrifice their sight in another.
Odin was smart enough to see a trick. The well would just as willingly take his sight of Ambitus as it would bestow him knowledge. He would be wise – but blind for eternity. The well , however, could not guess how Odin would make this deal. The well knew everything there was to know about eternity, but it could not have predicted Odin tearing out his own eye in sacrifice to his wish – fulfilling its terms.
Pelor the Sun God (The Light Bringers)
Symbol: Blazing Sun
Colors: White and Gold
Creedo: May the Sun always Shine
The followers of Pelor are the second most powerful in Ambitus after the Church of Chiron. They don’t maintain the same amount of strength as they might in respects to the paladins of Chiron, but they make up for it in their more progressive and less structured way of serving the mortals of Ambitus.
Pelor followers share most of their churches and shrines with Chiron, Chrion followers provide the strength, while Pelor followers have a strong aptitude to healing and maintaining more willing peace in an otherwise non-peaceful populous.
The origins of Pelor vary widely depending on which priests and clerics you choose to listen to. Some will argue that Pelor used to be a mortal man who ascended into the status of god when he reached the sun through strange and powerful magics. Others will claim that the sun is, in fact, Pelor himself, and holds dominion over the fields and grain of Ambitus. Most, however, would dispel these rumors, claiming that Pelor is a god whose power only manifests and light and power. His true origin will and always will be a mystery.
Troubles: The last great follower of Pelor was Albatross, and he disappeared long ago. Some might claim that the world had become darker when he disappeared. Whatever the case, the fact remains that the clerics and priests of Pelor have become weaker. Their magics work less effectively. At night, some followers of Pelor claim to hear a buzzing noise in their ears. During the day, the light almost burns too bright. The fields in Aldanari are dying from the heat. People across the deserts of the Northern Kingdom tell of terrible lesions and cancers caused by the sun’s malevolent rays. Pelor priests who could originally “communicate” with Pelor using sundials and mirrors now say the voice of Pelor has gone dark. Ambitus is entering a dark age.
Asmodeous: Lord of the Nine Hells
Symbol: No symbol
Colors: Red and Black
Creedo: No Creedo
Asmodeous is Lord of the Nine Hells, he is also the single most evil deity in Ambitus. Most mortals know about Asmodeous through his followers.
There have been very few Asmodeous followers in history, however. The few mortals who swear their allegiance to him are the most powerful and destructive of the mortal races. While some gods might bestow upon their clerics divine magics and strength, Asmodeous instills a nature of the unknown. Monsters and creatures beyond mortal comprehension have been born and built through dark and often bloody rituals to Asmodeous.
Trouble: There are no more Asmodeous followers, because for reasons still unknown, the clerics and worshipers of Asmodeous can no longer cast spells. In order to cast divine spells, a cleric or paladin must receive power from their deity. It appears that for whatever reason, Asmodeous has refused to answer or even acknowledge his followers. In the third age of Ambitus, Asmodeous has turned his back on mortal affairs, but why?
Dormric of the Blood Knights
Symbol: Bent Cross
Colors: White, Red, and Black
Creedo: Purity is strength
The God, Dormric, is the weakest and least threatening of all the other major deities. Despite having large numbers of followers, Dormric has had very little effect upon the history of Ambitus on his own. Many sages would argue that he only appeared in the second age when Asmodeous needed foot soldiers. Is it possible that Asmodeous, himself, created Dormric to lead the weaker and the less promising mortals?
Whatever the case, Dormric followers are unique in their natural aptitude for evil. Some gauge that the evil and talent they possess does not come from Ambitus.