Tyaus

From Far Shores
Jump to: navigation, search

Also known as the Captain of the People, the Guardian, the Great Oppressor

God of leadership, order, justice and duty.

  • Associated Colours: Blue and Silver.
  • Symbol: A helm with glowing eyes.
  • Favoured Weapon: Anything used in combination with a shield.

Speak and spread the word of Tyaus wherever it is necessary. Respect the words and orders of your superiors, even if it might lead to your own death. Uphold the law, even outside of your own nation, unless the rulership is illegitimate or those laws are based on heresy. If a just system holds an unjust law, change must be sought through lawful cooperation. Show no tolerance to injustice, nor the heretic, and do not fail in enacting justice where justice is needed.

Overview

The leader of the United Church, and thus considered the greatest of the human Gods, Tyaus has always taught that the virtues of order and justice are the necessary foundations for any civilised, or even useful, society. He is the God favoured by kings and lords, for he teaches that their rulership is necessary, of judges and law enforcers, because he says their work is righteous. As such, although he lacks the same universal appeal as other Gods, his teachings are integral for those influential in society, and this has raised his profile.

He brings something of a dour touch to the United Church, which is perhaps why he was so favoured and popularised in Andermark. Duty and order are responsibilities not to be glamorised, but undertaken as burdens whose importance must be understood. Nevertheless, he is immortalised in song and tale as the guardian of all people, and even the Gods themselves. Where other Gods might be tricked in tales, or occasionally subject to weaknesses that are almost human, Tyaus is ever standing tall, firm, incorruptible. This has confirmed his place as the leader of the human Gods. Despite being favoured by the powerful, the teachings of the church declare that nobody is beneath Tyaus’ regard, and so even if someone feels Gebrick or Saralyne might represent their interests better, there are very few humans who will not offer a regular prayer to Tyaus, for he protects them, and keeps society strong.

Tyaus is depicted - and appeared at the Last Stand of Starkholm - as a tall, imposing man in metal armour that is ceremonial, but austere rather than overly-decorative, his face hidden by a heavy helm with eyes of gold glowing from underneath. Under the helmet he typically is represented as a man in the prime of life, his face hard and lined, his hair and beard dark and only just beginning to go to grey, lordly in demeanour.

The church of Tyaus has always been popular across the Realm, his worship prolific even during the time of scattered tribal civilisations. It was in Andermark that the religion was first codified, and the Andermen spread the word enough to keep some coherency throughout the Realm, but everywhere south of Norlundar he was already well regarded. The formalisation of the United Church and his place at the head of it only served to further his popularity. Every city will have a cathedral of Tyaus within, and in towns big enough to see more than one church, one devoted to Tyaus is common.

History

The church of Tyaus originated in Andermark. It was to the people isolated and trapped in their own wilderness that he gave his comfort, and the codifying of a lot of his dour and stern nature is assumed to come from the dour and stern Andermen. Tyaus was a serious God for a serious people, stalwart in their defence against their enemies.

Even then he was presented as being the leader of the human Gods, and the holder of the regard of the unaligned Gods more than Thoron or Dredden, whose rivalry with him was respectful rather than competitive. That he was considered the ‘oldest’ of the human Gods contributed, as did his patriarchal relationship with his younger brother, Chernobog.

The splintering of Chernobog from the deities of man is considered to be as much Tyaus’ story as the God of Death’s. Chernobog was jealous of his brother and his influence over humans, but the only response his brother would give was that Chernobog had to be mindful of his duty and his place. Some stories consider this a failure of Tyaus to act brotherly, and subsequent interpretations imply that he became warmer after his mistake, or that he even became colder in austere grief at his brother’s betrayal.

Regardless, the failure to appease Chernobog and his jealousy led to the youngest of the human Gods turning away from his brethren and seeking out power elsewhere - from the enemies of the Gods themselves, the demons who had been trapped in Hell for their destructive whims. The conflict in Heaven was mighty, but ultimately Tyaus cast his brother down into Hell, binding him there for his treachery. Forever would this cement Tyaus’ vision of justice as unbiased, for the perpetrator of the most heinous crime in all of creation could not be forgiven, not even if it was his brother.

This was the vision of Tyaus that was so popular in Andermark. The largest cathedral to Tyaus in the world stood in Fordheim, and this would prove to be the home of the whole of the faith, the seat of the Archbishop. As such, when the Andermen began to spread the word, other pockets of worship of Tyaus gained strength. He was highly regarded in Calavria and Lancereaux, and even though the Damryans favoured Aethon, they accepted Tyaus’ role as a mighty leader and guardian of justice.

The formation of the United Church only cemented Tyaus’ popularity, for the notion of worshipping him alongside whichever deity represented one’s needs on a more codified basis, within the same churches, saw a steep rise in the prayers given to Tyaus. He did not aid the craftsman, or toil the fields, or give the soldier strength, but he stood for safety and stability, often the second or first priority for anyone.

It was from the church of Aethon, rather than the church of Tyaus, that the commands came which would start the Holy War with Sahradia. But the church of Tyaus gave the Crusade its restraint and its sense, working closely with the church of Aethon, and lending plenty of holy warriors in its own right. While the church of Tyaus would technically argue for calm against the impetuous nature of the warriors of Aethon, many of the more horrendous acts condoned or suggested by the United Church came from the followers of Tyaus, cold and hard in battle.

But it was also the Church of Tyaus which brought the much-needed discipline to the fledgling United Church. The crusaders held a tremendous amount of political power after the various wars against Sahradia, especially the liberation of Ibarran. There were whispers of the faith taking great stretches of land for themselves, and lordships in freed Ibarran, especially the followers of Vaitera and Aethon. But it was the Tyausian church which issued the edict for the warriors to return home, and the Tyausian church which ensured that there was no scrabble for power between the religious and the political.

The balance would, over the centuries, be tipped by wars and conflict, but ultimately, even through the Fall, remain.


Worship

Tyaus teaches that law and order are necessary for a working society. Leaders ought to be respected and obeyed, and in turn it is their responsibility to govern fairly, justly, and to protect their people against any external threats. Under the edicts of Tyaus, a man should prefer death to disobeying the orders of a just superior, and even unjust leaders or laws should not be outright ignored or overruled - rather, change ought to be sought from lawful cooperation with the rulership. The exceptions to this are illegitimate or heretical rulerships, though even the teachings of Tyaus concede that it is a hard thing to tell a flaw in the system from an outright unjust system. Nevertheless, the law is there to be upheld and respected, even outside of one’s home nation, and in turn it must protect the community and bring justice.

The worship of Tyaus is a sombre affair. His churches can sometimes be even quite large, but they are usually austere and can even be quite plain. Decoration is simple, statues preferred to tapestries or paintings, and walls are more often than not bare. The comparison is often made to the castle of a strict lord whose holdings may be strong, whose lands may be prosperous and ardently defended, but whose home is not necessarily warm and welcoming.

Prayers are often found to be a little more comforting, for although there is much talk in them of the dangers of the world, they are also full of faith in their requests of Tyaus to keep the worshipper safe. Similarly, they tend to hold multiple references to the worshipper already having a great deal of strength themselves, and that Tyaus is needed only to aid and show them the way. Those who worship Tyaus are often taught to have a good deal of self-belief, compared to the constant striving for perfection of the worshippers of Aethon. Nevertheless, the prayers are simple, in composition if not necessarily in language, for the influential worshippers of Tyaus are often quite well-educated. Prayer-books and development of one’s faith through the written word are thus more common than in other mainstream religions.

Hymns serve ceremonial purposes. This is where worship of Tyaus has its more mainstream appeal, as they are kept, again, simple - which makes them easy to remember. It is joked that even the songs of Tyaus sound like funeral dirges, but this is a misleading jest. The songs are often slow and thoughtful, but melodic in their own right, and some religious composers have made songs of true beauty.

Priests of Tyaus are amongst the most respected in all of the clergy. They study hard, as there is a large number of written records of Tyaus’ tenets and edicts, and initiates work for many years before they are ordained. This does usually see them as being more professional than other priests, if only because the basic expectations of a priest of Tyaus are so high. In contrast, it is said that Tyausian priests are the least likely to be warm and companionable, as there is less of an expectation that they will be pillars of the community. But that is a broad generalisation.

Paladins of Tyaus are common, less common in the Realm only than paladins of Aethon. They tend to be staunch allies of their counterparts, though certainly inclined towards being more thoughtful, more patient, and less bombastic. The knightly orders often lend their aid as law enforcers, investigators, or even lawyers and judges, working closely within society and enjoying the advantages of aiding the system while not being strictly within it. That said, there have historically been towns which have used knights of Tyaus as the local law enforcement and judicial body.

An ordained follower of Tyaus, be they paladin or wandering priest, is granted certain powers not just by their church but by the law of the Realm. They have the legal right to aid in any criminal investigation, even assuming control of it if nobody of rank is involved, they have the right to represent anyone at a criminal trial, and they have the power to serve as judges. However, it is strictly against the tenets of Tyaus for any one follower to be involved in more than one aspects of responsibility.

If a paladin of Tyaus is on a more traditional pursuit of evil, it is usually because such a creature or person has presented a specific threat to a community. Unlike paladins of Aethon, who may go and hunt a dragon for its own sake, a paladin of Tyaus will traditionally care only about such enemies who are quantifiable threats. The sole exception are demons, who as an enemy are seen as both thoroughly evil, and the responsibility of Tyaus, for it was his brother who lent them the power and means to threaten mankind. A Tyausian is encouraged to hunt demons and quell the worship of demons wherever it may be found, and they are the institution with the greatest powers and resources to tackle this fore.

The heroes of Tyausian histories and tales are traditionally those who have shown wisdom in matters of governance or in matters of justice, and though a paladin is often required to be an excellent warrior to bring forth their God’s strength, they are valued predominantly for their thoughtfulness.


International Variation

Damryn

Despite Damryn being the seat of power of the Realm, Tyaus was not the most popular God in the High Kingdom. He was, however, highly respected, as the lordly virtues and expectations of leadership were much the same as those the Damryans valued. Although the Damryans believed their High Kings to be descendants of Aethon, the attitudes of revering and respecting him above all was a rather Tyausian attitude. That, in turn, the High King - and lords acting in his name - were supposed to be just and fair in return for their fealty was similarly Tyausian, and it is likely that it is from his teachings and the work of his followers that these attitudes crept in alongside the worship of Aethon.

He is still seen to be austere, and sterner than the bombastic Aethon. But there was a great cathedral to him in Caer Brennan, beaten in size only by the ones in Fordheim and Starkholm, a stark, simple building at the centre of the city. Since the formation of the United Church, the High Kings were crowned there - for although their descent came from Aethon, their rule was just, and a coronation in the Cathedral of Tyaus proved their legitimacy.


Lancereaux

Lancereaux was perhaps where the worship of Tyaus was the most ceremonial, formalised, and ostentatious. The Lancesians not being inclined towards austerity, their depictions of him showed a man in ornate ceremonial armour, with a crown upon his head. The more bombastic songs and upbeat hymns were Lancesian in origin, almost universally.

The country having a similar masculine obsession as Damryn, in the form of its fixation with chivalric values, Aethon was very popular - but the lords of Lancereaux all worshiped Tyaus first and foremost. The people were encouraged to worship Tyaus rather than Gebrick, for rather than be rewarded for their work and taught the value of their labour, it was in the best interests of the Lancesian ruling classes that the peasantry receive a Tyausian reminder of their place and the justness of following their rulers.

Andermark

Andermark being the birthplace of the United Church, and the home of the codification of Tyausian worship, Anderian worship of Tyaus is the most mainstream, and has heavy influences upon the rest of the Realm’s religious bent. Here, his churches were stern and austere, the prayers inclined towards gloomy promises of strength, and the hymns melodious at best. He was a stern God for a stern people, and remained so throughout the Fall and after.

Calavria

Tyaus had little broad appeal within Calavria. He did not embrace ideas of commerce, or of study, and his teachings of respecting rulers and those higher in society were only useful if they encouraged a man to respect someone more powerful than him economically. But despite the hypocrisy, worship of Tyaus remained the most mainstream religion in Calavria. Like in Lancereaux, it saw a greater display of ostentatious wealth than Andermen might have approved of, but churches of Tyaus remained the place where society came together, especially high society. It was, perhaps, the ‘default’ religion of those who were not tempted to worship of one of the many other Gods celebrated in Calavria.

Ibarran

Ibarrish worship of Tyaus had shifting popularity through the ever-changing political landscape of Ibarran. Historically, worship of Tyaus was mostly conducted by royalty, nobility and dons, so it is of little surprise that worship of the god fell out of favour come the revolution. The diminished popularity of Tyaus lingered right until the the onset of Sahradian occupation, but recovered somewhat with the beginnings of the Crusades.

Norlundar

The Norls have never worshiped Tyaus in any organised fashion. As such, any Tyausian followers in Norlundar were exceptions, and would likely have conducted their worship in the manner of their conversion.