User:Aetherie/Asketian Mythology

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Lore

The Asketian mythology is one of the richest in Kermoria, probably owing to the yearly appearances of the cruel goddess and Her minions.

An archaic Haakish inscription on a frozen wall deep within Asketi's Mount reads: "Here you shall find the center of strength of She who is the heart of winter." It is very true; Temple of the North Wind is where Her energies are concentrated most, and Asketi rules over life and death in that place.

Not surprisingly, monstrous beings and spirits abound in much of the Asketian lore. While we will not discuss every creature that makes up Asketi's army here, three of them hold grave importance.

The adder, of course, is Asketi Herself and the supreme symbol of everything about Her. Theologians still struggle to unriddle the hundred abstract depictions of the sacred adder in Asketi's Mountain.

Under the adder, the mythology revolves mainly around two legendary creatures. The more visible black unicorn reflects Asketi's destructive nature, serving as Her mount and often leading the Asketian legions to battle. Unlike their fairer cousins, black unicorns are baleful creatures with sharpened teeth and a lust for running amok through the hapless cities chosen as the target of their mistress' fury.

The North Wind banshee, on the other hand, is the embodiment of its namesake enigma. Lesser banshees ride the fierce North Wind to spread Asketi's winter, stealing life and ruining crops, while the greatest of banshees act as the commanders of the Asketian army. Years ago, one greater banshee achieved such power that she challenged the goddess Herself, ultimately being defeated by the ghostly zealot Valtusk who afterwards became the Hag's new champion.

For now, Asketi sleeps.

- By Aetherie FireOrb, High Priest of Kerenhappuch

Depictions

Wyvern Mountain Vision - The Hag
A haggard woman with wild hair stands in a field of stubble, the crops killed by the harsh north wind. In her hand is a bloody scythe, and a stained burlap bag hangs at her waist. All about you is the sound of children crying, and mothers wailing in loss. A night-black unicorn with sharpened teeth snaps at your heels as you hurry on.
Spiritual Bridge Vision I - The Midnight Hunt
A black mist materializes before you. As the dark shrouds of moisture part you see a vision of the night. A vague form begins to take shape, speedily crossing an open field. The dark clouds covering the moon part briefly and in that short span of time your mind captures the sight of a hideous black unicorn, its spiraled horn gleaming dully, its hooves covered in red blood. The vision fades.
Spiritual Bridge Vision II - Temple of the North Wind
You suddenly find yourself nestled in a crevice atop a great, snowy mountain range. A temple spires skyward nearby, enwreathed by the eternal maelstrom of the North Wind. The sound of galloping hooves approaches rapidly from behind you as the image fades.
Void Vision - High Priestess Denizelva atop Hag's Crag
Emerging from the mist is a vision of a windswept mountaintop where a magnificent stone structure graced with towering serpentine columns spirals high into the sky. As this wavering image solidifies, you see a lone ebon-skinned Rakash woman emerge from a gate, a knotted ash staff clenched tightly in one hand.
Howling winds laden with snow and sleet swirl about her, whipping her shrouding black veils about her like writhing serpents of shadow. She grounds her staff and stands silently before you, curiously still in the vortex of powerful winds as she gazes down the mountain. Behind her, a whisper of another phantasm bleeds into your sight. The vaporous manifestation slowly coalesces and you perceive the spiritual outline of Asketi protecting the silver haired woman.
Fresco in Vela'tohr Valley Cleric Guild - Revelation Portal and Submission to the Black Unicorn
The fresco consists of two scenes. On the left, wisps of pale grey surround a priest whose eyes glow with a brilliant white radiance. His grim gaze is fixed on an ice-blue rift in the sky. Several banshees are headed away from the portal, while others appear to be busily ruining crops. On the right, a hideous black unicorn stands in the midst of the fields. Kneeling before the beast, the priest holds a knife against his palm, a red substance covering the edge as a few splashes fall to the ground.
Mural in Vela'tohr Dark Burrows - The Two-Headed Adder
Clad in plain robes, a group of Dwarven pilgrims stands near the tunnel mouth. Before them is an enormous ice-blue adder's head with its jaws spread wide apart. One pilgrim has a foot placed upon the forked tongue, as if preparing to enter the serpent's maw. The length of the snake's body weaves through a painting of the Starry Road to end with the adder's second head, jaws gaping, next to a bent hag leaning against a hideous black unicorn.

Minions

The Ride

  • greater North Wind banshee
  • lesser North Wind banshee
  • winged black marble gargoyle
  • Asketian harbinger
  • large Asketian herald
  • giant adder
  • slender ribbon adder

The Blight

  • black marble gargoyle
  • icy blue ghast
  • giant blight ogre
  • stumpy blight ogre
  • lithe blight ogre
  • rotting deadwood dryad
  • sickly blightwater nyad
  • giant blight bat
  • writhing maiden's tress
  • vela'tohr bloodvine