The world of Vakasiya is ancient beyond reckoning, but much of its knowledge has been lost. Books are even more valuable than those few who can read them. Most history survives through folk tale, passed from generation to generation, distorted by time and ignorance. Foremost among these mysteries are the Gods themselves, and the powers that lurk above and below the natural world.
These entries are but a small sample from the lore of the wider world.
The eldritch forces of the arcane have always existed, or for so long that mankind has forgotten their origin. Where reality warps, where the planes intersect, forces beyond definition spill into the world. In such places, fire might seem as glass, or the waters sing. But magick has permeated the world, has twisted the creatures upon it, and so irreversibly altered Vakasiya itself.
The language of magickal force, called Arcana, is no mere series of glyphs for the translation by educated hand. It is a living thing unto itself, and the unwary may find themselves maddened or blind in its study. It rejects mortal eyes, and few are those who can tolerate the sight of it, let alone understand.
The construction of magickal implements is the rarest of practices, requiring both mastery of craftsmanship and the arcane. A truly enchanted item is a coveted thing. Though a very few have managed to enhanced their craftsmanship with the aid of supernatural powers, it is a truly perilous endeavor.
Most people distrust magick, if not outright fear it. Those who wield it are considered inherently dangerous, and the common folk whisper questions of the price paid for unnatural power. The Council of Mavarin and the Enclaves -- carefully regulated colleges of supernatural study -- are among the scant exemptions from this quiet prejudice.
The pantheon of Gods in the world of Vakasiya is distant, mysterious. The Gods do not stride down the city streets, and have not deigned to make their identities or wishes explicitly known. Some refuse to believe in their mere existence, while others assume that they have forgotten the world. There are as many myths as people to tell them, but there are a few generally accepted principle theologies surrounding the divine. Here are a sample of the most common:
Those Before: Elder beings, existing far beyond known history or outside of time itself, depending on who is relating the story. Ancient beings, either servants of the Gods, or from which the Gods ascended. Some call them Titans, but their names are as meaningless as the definitions ascribed to them. Did they build the cities that now lie in ruin, or were they the destroyers? Is it either one, or are these questions merely another fruitless attempt to explain unknowable beings in human terms?
Many-Eyes: Known as Dandelu by its devotees, the Many-Eyes is The Watcher, The Seer, The Secret-Bearer. Some see it as a sort of vigilant guardian, or a diviner of the unknown. Others see it as one who veils the world's mystery. His priests are secretive, miserly with knowledge. Many would, and do, pay a terrible price to have their questions answered by a Priest of Dandelu.
Broken: Adwar The Broken God is the Wounded, the Sacrificed, the Undaunted. It bears the scars of the God-Slayer. Some see it as a god of the battlefield, exalting the courage of the unbent. Others see it as a force of compassion, a hope for healing no matter the wound in body or spirit. Hardened warriors, healers, and those who have been mortally wounded in body or soul oft pay their respect to Adwar.
Crown: Rahkzan The Crowned is called the True Emperor, the Power Above Power, and the First-God. His followers are both the most populous and the most powerful, closest to monotheistic belief than any other. Rahkzan has a hand of benevolence and vengeance, both loyal and jealous. Disciples of Rahkzan consider all other gods beneath him, destined to the willing service of his glory. They are the most militant in their belief, the most zealous in their holy work, and have gained much of their following by sheer force -- and the promise of protection offered by their many paladins.
Hallow/Veil: The Wandering God has no name, though its followers often call it Veil, or the Hallow. It is that which walks the paths between life and death, ushering the fallen to their rest. It is the pain of grief, the peace in passing, the cold beneath the earth, the lantern in the mist. Its followers are known as Vigils, the undertakers/coroners/funerary of the people. Their only pay is given in the bequest of the one who's died, or by the executor of their estate. They are always fed in a town they have served.
Vakasi: The Living Earth, the World-Shaper, Vakasi is less a God than a concept. To worship Vakasi is to acknowledge the living force of all Vakasiya, the savage heart that beats within the wild. Its truest worshipers are secret, and their savage, feral rituals are little more than rumor among the people. Those most ardent claim that Vakasiya itself is merely the Face of Vakasi.
God-Slayer: Also "Godsbane," the God-Slayer is more myth than identity. It is said that one among Those Before rose to defy the Gods, deeply envious of their power and control. It is Godsbane who broke Adwar, who silenced Veil, who tried and failed to blind the Many-Eyes. Its mention is an epithet or curse.