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The Coterie

This is the informal name given to the pantheon of deities that are worshipped in one manner or another throughout the Three Rivers continent, and in some cases, Fels itself. Most folk throughout Fels are henotheists, that is, worshipping one god while acknowledging the existence of others. On the other hand, the people of the southern Three Rivers are distinct polytheists.

This article mostly deals with the viewpoint of Myre, as that is the home city of both Seusea and Thenson Trowheald, two of the principal protagonists in my stories.

  • Cydain: God of Gods, the ruler of Exa

  • Elesmis: God of Blue Skies

  • Mared: God of Water on the Ground

  • Zail: God of Soil and the Earth

  • Ydrys: God of Shadows and Secrets

  • Tutanai: Goddess of Dawn and Birth

  • Ii: God of Charity and Health

  • Irtys: Goddess of Luck

  • Ilojin: God of Water in the Sky

  • Chon: God of Strength and Prowess

The gods themselves

Cydain is thought of as the ruler of the Coterie, the father of the gods, although how factual this is, is subject to argument and discourse. As the gods are magical beings created in the energies of the Collision, they have neither sex nor progeny.

Cydain is more commonly known as Onnate or Etos in the northern Three Rivers. He also holds the appellation of the Highest High, though this term is rarely used.

Temples to Cydain are common, particularly in the northern Three Rivers. His symbol is a three-pronged mountain peak within a circle.

Most of the veneration in Myre is reserved for Ydrys. This god exemplifies most of the Society ideals, e.g, xenophobia, secrecy, complexity, dissembling, misdirection, canals and camouflage. Ydrys and his worship imply deep and hidden mysteries which can only be pierced after hard and diligent study and/or work. Elsewhere, Ydrys is known as the Shadowed One, and is a patron to thieves and mesmerists; anyone who operates in the shadows of the world. The Hielachs of Myre are priests of Ydrys, and this god is the patron of the land of Oloi. His symbol is a stylised heavy-lidded eye.

In Myre, other deities are venerated in a role subservient to Ydrys, even Cydain. While some have official cults complete with clergy, all of the Coterie beyond Ydrys are recalled, thanked or cursed depending on the circumstances. For example, protracted periods of rain, which there are many in Myre, bring forth imprecations to Ilojin and pleadings for Elesmis to restore a fine day. When it is sunny, Elesmis has jugs of fenny drank in gratitude for his deeds. Ii is called on in time of dire need, especially by those in abject privation or even those finding themselves a few blunt short at the merchant’s. Ii has a larger following beyond Myre, where his priests are mendicant monks. His symbol is a yellow diamond.

Ilojin’s symbol, predictably, is a single raindrop. Elesmis’s symbol varies. Where is he is worshipped as a sun god, his symbol is a 10-rayed sunburst. Elesmis was worshipped monotheistically in Marnopyre before that land was razed, and he was known simply as “God”. To speak his true name was a severe blasphemy.

Irtys is a gambler’s lady and is considered as fickle and perverse as women allegedly are. Her symbol is a circle divided equally into dark and light. Chon is spoken of before a venture requiring bravado or courage, usually a sortie to a lady friend’s home. His symbol is a clenched fist.

Mared is the divinity who looks after water on the ground as opposed to rain. Legend has it that Mared steals off Ilojin, only to have Ilojin evaporate Mared’s property once again. Calm waters and still canals are the things Societor’s call out to Mared for. His symbol is a downward facing fish.

Neither Zail nor Tutanai have much following in Myre. In the surrounding regions, Zail is often called upon for harvests or to offer steady ground after a night at a tavern. More often than not, he is cursed for the mud he leaves on one’s boots and shoes. Zail’s symbol is the head of a bulrush.

Tutanai’s symbol is a stylised placenta.

Others beyond the Coterie

Etesi is a shadowy goddess whose veneration is outlawed in most places due to practices of human sacrifice. Her cult is called the Umberlust, and seems to originate from the island of Isura, far south of Myre. Her symbol is a veiled face of a woman.

Arpaneis is a goddess worshipped in parts of Mynatan and Cloeptir. Her tenets are simple: work hard during the day, play hard at night. Her symbol is the spiked heptagon.

Shalay is a god worshipped with some fervour in Corovan and the lands to the direct west. He essentially teaches that neutrality in all things in the best course, and exhorts against excess and paucity in even measure. He is mockingly known as the Great Fence-sitter. Unsurprisingly, his symbol is a set of scales.

Yet another is Kela, a goddess who is venerated by those seeking inner peace, solitude and the beauty of the world’s wild places. Her cult is small, and her temples tend to be simple shrines by a river or lake, or deep within a forest. She is probably best-known for being a victim of Ge Diomala’s lust.

Lastly we come to the one whose name is rarely mentioned or written, and that is Maorth. She will have her own article in due course.

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