In certain quiet places, in secret rooms, in places where few dare tread, in the Wild, in the Woods, there is talk of other Powers in the world, powers whose names have been forgotten but whose power is still felt.
They are the Old Ones, the Secret Powers, the Forgotten. The Powers That Were.
They are now named for what they were, their powers, their ancient names forgotten or obscured. These are quiet gods, secret powers, the domain of Druids and cycles.
To understand them, though, you must understand The Triplets – who are held in awe and secret reverence by nearly everyone, regardless of who else they may follow.
There are powers more ancient than the Powers That Be, though greatly weakened, almost vestiges of what they once were. They are whom we call Gods, and it is always with both awe and derision. For what good are the Gods? But there are some we know in the whispers and the mutterings, in the hints of the Powers and the visions of the Druids. They are known to us as The Old Ones.
The Old Ones are terrifying; they are all vast in size, thought to be several hundred feet tall. None are of form graceful and fine, for they are mostly forgotten, and mostly misheard and misthought and mis known, and this has all corrupted them, changed them, shifted them. They are terrifying to behold, even though they are so rarely seen in material form that we can mark the times they have been by the scars of the world.
One notable thing about the Old Gods is that they are not always enfleshed when they manifest, and never deal with mortality. It is said that even Chicory cannot steal that from them, for they draw even from her. The Old Ones are old; they were old before the walls of Jericho fell. They were old when Gilgamesh dragged Enkidu back. They are so old our words, our dreams, our nightmares are said to be all that is left to sustain them, and they are an object lesson for those Powers we know.
The Skyfather, God of the Daytime Sky. Hearthmother, his consort and goddess of home and children. Their daughters Dawnbringer, and Sunshine, their sons, Fastingstar and Evenstar. Their siblings, Stormbringer, the Huntsman, Fireforge, and Warbringer; Moondark, God of the moon. Riverdaughter, goddess of rivers and lakes, her father, the lost Lord of the Sea, and her mother, the Goddess of Spring.
DemiGods & Saints
Of the Fire that lives in the Water in the deep Well of Souls. Of how one can reach the otherworld by following a river walk of sparkling light, guided by the ancient one whose task it is to take souls across and past the guardian, a three headed hound as black as pitch.
|St Man||St Emir|
It is among these believers that you hear the tales of the two brothers who struggled, Saint Man and Saint Emir, and of the death of Saint Emir whose body became the earth itself, while Saint Man became the forerunner of all humans.
Where you can hear how the Worldragon was bound to protect the Worldtree by Huntsman’s sacrifice of his left arm, placing it into the mouth of the five headed Worldragon as Fireforge bound the mighty being to protect the Tree.
Of how their tale is not finished being told, for Stormbringer must face the Worldragon once more, and only one of them can walk away.
Of how the fruit of the Worldtree bears knowledge, immortality, and eternity, though one can only choose one fruit to eat at a time.
These people make offerings to the many spirits of the world, the numen and the jenyus, who serve the Powers That Be in their own way, flighty and fanciful, yet take time to help those who remember the Old Ones, who still place saucers of milk and who still remember to lay out the first bread for them.
For these are the oldest Powers That Be, the ones that came forth as humans came forth, the forebears of what came later, before any Zeus or Thor, forgotten even now by you. They whisper these Powers That Be, for they are rare and quiet, yet some say they are still present; that they still watch over their domains. That they are personifications as much as powers, unlike those we know, and that they want to return, to rise from their prisons of soil and stone, and reshape this brave new world in their image, rather than that of the bickering, squabbling Hosts.
But most will tell you that they are fictions, tales made to amuse children, to teach lessons, to explain the world – as if one can explain the Dreadnaughts or the Dwarfs. And yet, they persist, they endure, they are still spoken of, quietly, in shadowed corners, away from prying ears and among those with whom trust has been earned.
There may be something to all of it.