“Who shall you be when all light dies?”
Tenets: The dark holds all possibilities. Seek out then mysteries of the dark, but remember not all secrets are meant to be revealed. Remember that all courage comes from fear, all knowledge from the unknown, all light from darkness. Fear and deception and the dark are your allies, and must be used on those who show no respect. Yet remember that they are not your servants, but you theirs. Survival is the greatest goal, but remember that all things fall into shadow in the end.
There is the darkness which is only the absence of light. It acknowledges that it is merely emptiness, a lack of something real, and holds no particular terror. It is nothing, given name only because of the whims of mortals.
Thaurea is not the god of that darkness. Rather, they are the god of tangible Dark, which conceals and haunts but also holds great truths hidden within them. Often seen as the twin, shadow or partner of Aurvandil, Thaurea is another deity that is seen as mystical and hard to define. They encompass both fear and knowledge of the unknown, hidden knowledge and the essentially unknowable.
Their association with fear and creatures of darkness – especially trolls – mean that Thaurea (known as Isk-Ekelu to the trolls) has a dire reputation in most nations. Though there are few that outright ban their worship (being mindful of Thaurea’s wrath if they did so), openly admitting to following their doctrine can lead to followers being ostracised.
Because of the secretive nature of their god, most followers of Thaurea in civilised lands tend to be equally secretive in their worship. This means there are no festivals of Thaurea, and very few consecrated places of worship outside of troll lands. At best, there might be a small shrine in a hidden place, devoid of candles and with text written in ravenseye ink.
Among the trolls of Dwenwyre Isk-Ekelu is their main deity, and therefore their places of worship are large and central to troll communities – usually a spacious and unlit cave with ravenseye ink symbols on the walls.
There are no set practises of worship for Thaurea, but in their capacity as a holder of hidden knowledge mystics often take hallucinatory substances, or meditate for days without food or water in order to achieve trance like states. In this way they risk themselves and show their dedication to the pursuit of these mysteries, and sometimes Thaurea rewards them with visions. More mundane means involve the leaving of offerings in hidden or secluded areas to be ‘eaten’ by the dark.
Iconography and Trappings
The symbol of Thaurea is a dire raven, black on a dark green background. Other trappings can be raven (or other darkly coloured) feathers, tattered strips of black or grey cloth and the ravenseye flower, the ink of which is widely used to transcribe Ekelun texts.
As with Aurvandil water is also used in Ekelun rituals, provided it is deep and dark. When this is not possible, black ink is sometimes added to a bowl, or an obsidian mirror is used for the same effect.
A breakdown by nation of those who follow Thaurea.