Eadiac

bones.jpgQuick Scroll: Symbol Worship Advocates Deity Plane

NE Greater Deity

Aliases: The Sea of Languor, Lord of Undeath, Entropy’s Embodiment, The Puppeteer, The Abyss, The Scavenger (derogatory), The Benefactor (Tamaracki term), The Generous

Portfolio: Sloth, Undeath, Manipulation, Apathy, Emptiness

Favored Weapon: scythe

Domains: Darkness, Death, Evil, Magic, Rune

Tenets: Apathy, Darkness, Deceitful, Iconoclast, Nihilism, Patience, Perfectionism, Slavery, Slothfulness, Undeath

Divine Symbol

The unholy symbol of Eadiac, shaped as a circle or a sphere, is replicated by cutting a black shining stone, often obsidian or onyx. Precision of form is required in preparation for the magical energies to be managed accurately. Naturally, the more round the symbol, the better, which is why magic is commonly used to precisely cut the stone. Ironically, this calculated process plays into the deity’s nature to use minimum effort for maximum gain.

Worship (moderate)

The church of Eadiac is schizophrenic, quite literally. Segregated faiths of Eadiac do not follow the same practices nor do they interact with one another. In many instances, they are not even aware of the other’s existence. Nevertheless, they all have at least a few traits in common, their love of intrigue and their view of others.

Much like their deity, they are masters of getting others to do work for them preferring to use mental manipulation over physical actions. Eadiac’s flock is willing to spend more time and more energy convincing others to do their bidding than actually doing the work themselves. Being able to convince someone to perform a task once lends toward easier persuasion at a later date. People are tools after all.

And not just living people, the country of Tamarack utilizes the dead as their implement of choice. The state religion of this agricultural titan gives heed to Eadiac as the deity of fertility and wealth due to his role in creating the zombies they use to till fields and perform menial labor. Although Tamarack is not truly a theocracy to Eadiac, its reliance on the undead to do everything necessary for survival suggests Tamarack’s comparability to any other church-state.

Despite the zombies and skeletons being as frightening as one would expect to other countries, most of Tamarack is not actually evil. They regard the mindless undead as a humane servant force, nothing more. In fact, many citizens include demands for their remains after death. As strange as it might sound, sons and daughters become owners of their parents allowing land to be cultivated effortlessly.

While much of Tamarack is uncorrupted by their patron’s malevolent attitudes, the priesthood’s religious beliefs slant toward Eadiac’s utter disregard for all creatures. Most appear as honest patriots, yet there is large undercurrent of rabid elitism among them. Only the clerics and other generous contributors to Tamarack’s high society are of value, the rest are either meaningless drones or obstacles to Tamarack’s and, more importantly, the priesthood’s growth of power.

Advocates, Direct Followers, and Minions

common: drow (sorcerer), human, kobold
uncommon: duergar
rare: elf

Other than Tamarack, Eadiac has no worshipers. Everyone else involved with this evil being is either a priest or devoted disciple. Each with their own unique rituals designed to glorify him and his home plane.

In many ways, the Abyss is the ultimate thief. It makes perfect sense for a race of pickpockets to pay their tribute to its lord. Kobolds’ most sacral way of appreciation is, indeed, a form of theft. These cultists steal holy symbols of rival deities and perform sacrificial rituals purposely losing them in ways to ensure the emblems wind up in the clutches of the Abyss. Afterwards, the perpetrators brag to their brothers boasting about their sly and cunning capabilities. Beyond the thefts, though, this faction is rather informal.

On the flip side, a more formal following materializes from the duergar, an unfortunate side effect of their highly stratified form of government. Some societies of duergar host a significant portion of nobles that view the lower station as laborers, whilst those in power should enjoy the fruits of labor not their own.

These nobles, who have blissfully forgotten their duty to their subjects, allow Eadiac to fully grasp the broken society. To maintain control over their “slaves”, the duergar are required to sacrifice magical items to Eadiac. A small price to pay as there is only a slight decrease in the number of sold magic items. In any case, the duergar leaders did not fetch the materials needed to make the arcane objects. Why should they care if the market is shared with The Puppeteer?

In an ironic twist, considering their racial animosity with elves, drow sorcerers tend to come to Eadiac, as well. They view The Generous as someone who appreciates their talents regardless of gender. These drow offer life to Eadiac and bare the dubious distinction of committing sapient sacrifices to him in formal rituals.

His male worshipers, whenever they can safely get their hands on one of the hated matriarchs, murder the female drow in a most discreet way. They cut out a vital organ (usually the heart or the liver) and deliberately lose it in a hidden area where Eadiac will hopefully accept it by drawing it into the Abyss.

These offerings send the sacrificed soul directly into the embrace of an ebonthorn tree. Her identity is quickly devoured reducing her into a mindless lethean shade granting her a cathartic desecration of her memory and an unmarked grave. In truth, though, only the evil are fated to fall to Eadiac’s clutches if sacrificed in this fashion, but given the attitude of most drow, rarely is it an issue.

Lastly and most potently, is the unlikely elf. Given the good and altruistic nature of elves, acceptance of Eadiac is unthinkable. But when this embrace inevitably comes to pass, even the most self-righteous self-assured members of the secret killer cults of Tamarack would be unsettled.

Elves that fall to the Sea of Languor perfect his notion of the lowest amount of effort for the maximum gain. In all of Thepa, none are more adept manipulators and efficient assassins. So feared are these traitors that the elves, who realize and admit their existence, resort to code words and vague allusions to even mention their presence, such is the paranoia these betrayers engender.

Advocates scoff at their brethren’s subtly for even it has been spun to the advantage of the fallen. The word “sacrum”, originally an expletive cursing one into undeath, has since been embraced as a moniker for the elven church of Eadiac. After all, lichdom is the greatest mortal accomplishment a devotee can achieve.

Fortunately, their numbers are small enough as not to impact most elven societies, yet they are large enough to recognize themselves as a loose fraternity. Fear and intelligence are their tools, and if even one cell of the Sacrum is rooted out. What then? They aren’t a single organization just a name meant to cement group identity. The Generous accepts all who come to him.

ghosts_of_lata.jpgEadiac

Imagine, if you would, a great black ocean. Dotting this ocean is a multitude of nearly barren islands covered in hidden treasures. This vision only serves to show the immensity of the ocean. Like the necklace of a lovely woman, the islands only draw attention to the overall effect. To peer into this ocean, one can sense a casual, detached malevolence, a sense of ending as if the seconds of your life are slipping away. Disregard its presence or soon you may join the legions of the undead that live within it.

Eadiac may not be the most openly sadistic of the daeva, but his goals mark him among the most dangerous. He desires nothing more than for all existence to one day fully decay and fall apart. Only his creations and he, the un-living black sea of the Abyss, are to remain.

Why he feels he alone can exist in this void is simple; the being he was, that elf who could not accept his family’s death and eventual reanimation by a necromancer, is long gone. He is, to a certain extent, the very concept of undeath. Now the ultimate source of all magic meant to bid the dead to walk and if pressed he would assume control of any or all of them.

The Sea of Languor has no true emotional attachments. Nothing can dissuade him from his nihilistic path. He considers his goal a mercy. Existing is simply too hectic, too active, too painful for anyone to bear. Once he is the only thing left, he believes he will be able to create a new existence based on so called “born undead”. That this idea happens to resemble him is a complete coincidence, he assures his faithful.

If ever the world in danger of Eadiac’s ultimate goal, the other daeva would immediately put away their rivalries with the elohim to destroy him. Yet the fact remains that, befitting the deity of sloth, Eadiac is extremely lazy. Entropy works on its own to wear everything down. Gradually making everything into the void he desires so why should its embodiment spend one iota of real effort to speed the process? Ironically, his apathy means that, as far as the elohim go, there are far worse beings to contest.

Even though he does not corporeally work toward this end game, he is not beyond scheming. One acquires much time to think from slothfulness. He regularly dispenses his many-layered and subtle plots to his clerics through dreams and visions expecting them to do the heavy lifting and to iron out the details. Those who succeed are rewarded most generously of all.

Even if they fail, however, few fear their deity’s wrath. Punishment is simply too much of a hassle for him to dole out. The worst thing his faithful can expect is a “penance debt” (a promise that he will not reward them until they pay their way out of his disapproval).

The Abyss

One of the Realms of Corruption, the Abyss is inexorably bound up in the nature of its ruler for the simple reason that its ruler is also a significant portion of the Abyss – most of it, in fact. In form, a description of the Abyss is the same as Eadiac. The great black Sea of Languor dark as a cloudy moonless night, littered with an archipelago of strange rocky islands, and deprived of green plant life. Only brown-colored hardy bushes and seemingly dead trees cover these small spigots of land. The occasional tomb or sepulcher can been seen, which reflects the same odd off-grey as the rest of the land.

The primary inhabitants of the Abyss are undead and daemons. The undead are welcome in the black waters of Eadiac and indeed the only ones who can perceive their surroundings. All perception (blindsense, tremorsense, normal vision, etc.) by creatures not of the type undead cease to function. Creatures are considered blind in these opaque “waters”. As a result, few enter the ocean.

While undead tend to dwell in undersea necropoli, the daemons take to the bleak, grey skies and what land they can find. Eadiac, characteristically, does not care so long as they do not attempt to wrest control from him for the same reason he does not attempt to speed the destruction of Thepa. The daemons will become his creations, sooner or later.

As befitting its ruler, however, the Abyss conceals its full depth of schemes and vicious nature beneath a harsh yet placid exterior. For example, the innocent-looking ebonthorn trees are in actuality a mobile form of infernal flora that feed on memories, slowly draining away all thoughts that any self-aware being used to identify his self. An ebonthorn will devour a wizard’s memories of where and how he learned his arcane arts and even the fact that he is a wizard, but not the raw knowledge of how to cast spells or even the spells themselves. Still functional, these beings become husks of raw power unable to make intelligent decisions with what skills are left.

Eadiac’s essence seeps into everything in the plane, especially the ebonthorn. A living being or petitioner who loses everything to the trees, including their own name, becomes a mindless undead. Their connection to life itself is severed and leaves only adoration of the Generous. They go beneath the waves and their new family welcomes them with open arms; a slave to do the heavy lifting is always appreciated. One day, these so-called lethean shades will remember some of their old lives and become intelligent, a preview of Eadiac’s ultimate vision of the ideal creature: lazy, indolent, manipulative, and selfish.

Several native beings have learned to take advantage of this flora’s particular hunger. They farm/herd ebonthorn for the black berries that give it its name and the powerful nootropic effects the fruits grant to both living and un-living creatures. A cultivator of ebonthorn will give the tree a sapient being, wait until it has devoured most identifiers, pull the captive free, delay until the unfortunate “fertilizer” rediscovers some of his existence, and finally reinsert the prisoner – repeating this process as many times as the farmer is able. Thankfully for the amnesiac plant food, ebonthorn does not play favorites; more than one “stable” has escaped when the still-intelligent captives break out using said non-identifier skills (one may not remember one is an infamously skilled mercenary, but one can remember the skills that led to that reputation). Inexperienced and weak cultivators do not last very long.

The ebonthorn tree also serves as a useful representation of the Abyss itself; the plane hungers and it actively takes measures to satiate that hunger. Like a vast trapdoor spider, the Abyss extends its web as far as possible hoping to catch what it desires – anything that was deliberately lost, but not destroyed, may (some say, will) end up there. Indeed, one of the reasons for hiding artifacts in treasure troves is to prevent the Abyss from getting its claws on it. If something is hidden away in a definite location, it is by definition not lost.

Unlike the ebonthorn, the Abyss does not eat its bounty but squirrels it away, either in the tombs that grow out of the island guarded by attendant construct and mindless undead or randomly scattered along the sea floor. Thus does the realm of The Scavenger provide freely without need for hard work or industry.

The Abyss is a realm of easy and vast treasure that requires very little work to obtain. The petitioners of the plane can pass through the guardians of the treasure tombs freely to gain what they desire as a token of Eadiac’s favor; and the undead simply need to stroll leisurely along the sea floor until they stumble upon a trinket of value. Truly, this plane is the realm of the least amount of work for the most amount of gain.

Well, unless you count piracy and territorial battles as many do. Most inhabitants believe that defending their acquired goods is harder work than actually making crafts and magic items. Thus the true genius of Quah’s creation shines through.

The treasures of the Abyss renew themselves but they are not infinite, and when dealing with people as selfish as evil petitioners as well as the undead, sharing the bounty is out of the question. In particular, canny inhabitants trade their excess treasures to daemons and other planar travelers where trade is available. Yet trade is never safe. In this way, the Abyss indirectly urges its petitioners to indulge in sins other than sloth as they fight tooth and nail over a larger piece of the pie.

The ebonthorn trees also do their part to serve the realm’s ultimate purpose. Losing one’s identifying memories does not affect personality. People generally do not identify by how their internal reasoning works or what they think and feel about others. And as a victim rediscovers their past, they evaluate their previous opinions and biases objectively. Many decide they were right the first time, yet just as many decide they don’t know what they were thinking and reject their old selves entirely.

Eventually, the petitioners and the lethean shades come to either decide they are being self-destructive or reject everything apart from the only creatures they should have ever care for: themselves. Those who seize a semblance of virtue and restraint in some small pragmatic way are reincarnated. The petitioners who find that good, law, and chaos have no bearing on what they personally want pass on to Saligia for they have learned that evil is evil and nothing will change that.

Eadiac, of course, is utterly unaware of this mechanism, but even if he did, would he care?

First Artwork provided by Sandara
Second Artwork provided by Anghor Kheng
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Eadiac

Thepa irranshalee