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A Study of the Prydaen Gods
Often, Kermorians hold the belief that Demrris is Damaris, likely due to the similarities such as resembling panthers, having a strong duty toward chidren, and being mischievous. The two gods are quite aware of this and play it up a lot, especially Damaris. However, none of the Triquetra are renamed entities found among the Thirteen and are very separate entities.
What is the Triquetra?
- In game, this is simply a theory, as it cannot be proven. Use the knowledge at your own character's risk.
Unknown to all Elanthian races, the Triquetra is one entity, split in three. Together, the Triquetra forms a single entity known as Eu-Demrris-Tenemlor and each possess power in their own right, but are only whole when together. Whatever that entity was called prior to becoming the Triquetra is not known.
- Eu is most often referred to as simply Nature. With no gender, no form, and no particular alignment. Eu is a free-form entity comprised of life energy and Prydaen memories.
- Formed of the spirit, Tenemlor is both the protector and warrior of the soul. Tenemlor has no physical form, but is often seen in visions or as a ghostly apparition. Tenemlor controls the Wheel, which houses the souls of the Prydaen between death and rebirth.
- It is Demrris that takes the physical form of the Triquetra. He is the protector of Kin, the Great Hunter and provider, the inventor of the Claw and Fang, the hand of justice, and the mind of clarity.
Together, the gods are known as the Triquetra or Eu-Demrris-Tenemlor and are represented by a triquetra knot, which looks like three petal-like or eye-like loops, arranged joined by one point in the center and often surrounded or intersected by a circle. It is also only when the three come together that calls for lifesculpting can be answered.
Why the split?
Why are there positive and negative aspects to the Thirteen? Why have some of the Thirteen become responsible for a race, but others have not? Why is only one aspect of one of the Thirteen taken on a race, but not all aspects? Are aspects real gods and are they split entities as the Triquetra are?
While no one can answer these questions, legends and stories among the Prydaen suggest that the Triquetra become three entities in order to complete the upraising of the Ydaen (Prydaenese for people) to the Prydaen (Special People.) The Ydaen were a simple, yet sentient race, but unclaimed by any of the other Elanthian divinity, and their spiritual essence went to the Red Spiral upon their deaths as any without the protection of the divine is said to go.
The split was done in order to perform the upraising without involving any other divine entities. Whether Eu-Demrris-Tenemlor was ever the same type of divine as the Thirteen or not, isn't known. As it is not known that the Triquetra was ever one single entity, Prydaen lore simply states that the Triquetra upraised the Ydaen as Eu-Demrris-Tenemlor.
Choosing to split irrevocably changed how the entity worked, enabling them to bestow unique gifts upon the Ydaen: Rebirth, Memory, and Pride. With these gifts, the Prydaen became as they are now.
The Triquetra and the Prydaen
- The Gift of Rebirth and Funerals
Upon death, the funeral rites of the Prydaen began with sky burials, where the body was wrapped and placed upon a raised platform. In order to untether the soul from the body, Prydaen sang the Wheel Song, during which, Tenemlor collected the soul. The body was guarded for three days, after which, a single bone was collected for beads for ancestral bone items and the body was burned. The burning was felt to be Demrris' cleansing flames. Ashes were never kept by those close to the deceased Prydaen, as they would receive a bone bead instead.
As each Prydaen dies, the life energy and memories return to Eu - Mostly, these get returned as a Prydaen is reborn. Demrris takes the physical form, be it by creature or as himself. Tenemlor takes the energy that is formed when the Wheel turns as each new soul is added or removed, which empowers all of the Triquetra. Keeping the Wheel of Life turning is imperative. While some may view the taking of pieces to be consuming or feeding from the Prydaen, this is not quite accurate, as it's only the turning of the Wheel that keeps the Triquetra powered.
The Wheel and Migration
After the devastation of Lyras, many Prydaen souls, memories, and bodies were lost to necromancy and the Triquetra grew weak. Once the Prydaen began burning the dead immediately, forgoing the sky burial and three day period, the expedition of Prydaen passing into final death caused the Wheel to slow to a crawl, and crack.
Many speculate that this is why once the Prydaen found safety in the East, it was not uncommon for twins to happen, as Tenemlor was seeking to give the Wheel a balance. As Hubs formed, their populations swelled with the young. Of course, when the Barrier fell, it also took all the connected Munanen (Prydaenese for Elders) with it, returning them to the Wheel, which has left most Hubs to be run by the young adults. For a long time, it was rare to find any Munanen or many older Claw members. Even today, most remain quite young in comparison.
Triquetra and Favors
There are a few theories about why the Triquetra now give favors in Kermoria. The first theory is that the Triquetra are using the offerings to craft new Prydaen souls. To the divine, this would bring more balance to the Wheel.
The second is that with the migration, loss of traditions have caused the Prydaen to turn to other divine entities, which some Clerics feel marks the Prydaen as lost to the Triquetra and the Wheel. To Eu-Demrris-Tenemlor, a Prydaen is theirs and in final death, they will claim everything possible that the Prydaen is and was.
A third theory is that the offerings are being used to fix the Wheel. While potentially true, this could just easily be a nice story to tell. Favors from the Triquetra come at the cost of recent memory, all of which fuel Eu.
- So which theories are correct? That's the fun part where I'm not going to tell you and instead, let you decide what is most interesting for you and your character to believe.
The parts that are true are these: The Barrier did not just seal off the West physically, it also sealed off the gods. Thus, Prydaen arriving in the East were forced to seek favor from the Eastern gods out of desperation, because to them, it didn't seem like the Wheel worked anymore -- and it didn't.
While some Prydaen followed the old ways, especially by singing the Wheel Song -- which for a long time did nothing -- the Eastern immortals were more than happy to take favors from the newcomers from the West. In particular, a great deal of Prydaen turned to Damaris due to all the similarities to Demrris, which Damaris of course did not complain about and actively encouraged.
As the Barrier weakened, the Prydaen gods were able to further look into the East and reclaim their people. At this point, the Triquetra not only offered a return to the Wheel upon final death, but favors for resurrection were also offered in the fashion of the Eastern gods.
The Gift of Memory
The Touch of Eu is what a Prydaen is said to have when they are identified as a someone that will join the Claw of Eu. A Prydaen that remembers another life and as they grow, remembers even more lives. As they come into their own, they are given the title of Ra, designating them as a full member of the Claw of Eu.
But what about the fact that a Ra is not a Ra in every life? How astute of you to notice! It's true, that not every Ra is born to become the same in their next life.
- The information below is only presented as a theory in game and cannot be proven by any character.
Take a moment to consider again what Eu is -- life energy and memory, without form. During rebirth, Eu-Demrris-Tenemlor must work together to bring physical, soul, and energy together to create a new life. On occasion, during Rebirth, memories may be stripped away from Eu, attaching themselves to Prydaen being formed. This results in a Prydaen being born with more memories than they should have. This occurrence is entirely attributed to the fact that Eu has no form and cannot always control what becomes part of the Prydaen.
An excess of life energy in a Prydaen may result in a Prydaen much more Empathic than others, a heavy hand from Tenemlor may result in an albino Prydaen, and so forth.
Reborn Prydaen and Life Bonding
For the most part, even after rebirth, a Prydaen will live the same way and be the same type of person repeatedly, with gender and guild playing little to no part in this. This is due to the memories and life energy being returned from Eu to a Prydaen during rebirth, which also facilitates soul bonds with prior life-mates returning.
In the case of Claw of Eu members, or Ra, this can rarely result in a Prydaen feeling a strong attachment to more than one Prydaen, due to life-mating in previous lives that has twined the souls together. Mostly, Ra do not take on life-mates due to this but it's not unheard of for a Ra to mate with one Prydaen or, if all the Prydaen involved are in agreement, a polygamous relationship.