The World Of Khoras - Religion - Elder Gods

Vorkayne

The All Seeing, The Mystical, Lord of Magic, Master of Wizardry, Spell Seeker,
He Who Watches, Keeper of the Arcane, The Silent One

Status Greater God
Domain Magic, Arcane Lore, Mysteries, Secrets, Riddles
Ethos Magic is the path to wisdom and the way to truth..
Typical Worshipers Mages, wizards, sorcerers, apprentices and any who dabble in the mystical arts.
Head of the Church None. See below.
Demographics 85% Human, 10% Elven, 3% Grum, 2% Other
Geographic Regions Worshipped primarily in Carrikos, but also throughout Ithria.
Allied Faiths None.
Opposed Faiths None.
Holy Symbol An unblinking eye.

The Deity

Description

Vorkayne is the absolute lord and master of all things magical. He is wisdom incarnate. There is no spell he does not know, no secret of the Universe he has not uncovered. He knows all, sees all and understands all. He is the quintessential wizard, forever immersed in the study of the arcane, deftly weaving the threads of sorcery together and binding them to ensorcelled items of power.

Vorkayne is said to sit upon the Celestial Throne… a great ornate seat carved atop a massive rock that floats in space, in the deep night sky. From this great stone throne he keeps watch over the world and the Universe. He sees everything – the past, present and future. He sees into all worlds and all dimensions. Nothing escapes his piercing gaze. Upon the Celestial Throne, his mind probes the secrets of the Universe. Vorkayne wanders all planes of the multiverse, slipping between dimensions as easily as mortals walk through a door.

Although he is said to be able to change his form at will, Vorkayne is most often depicted as tall, lean elderly human man with a close cropped beard and piercing grey eyes. He is dressed in robes composed of metal tiles that ripple and shift as he moves. Because of this, statutes of Vorkayne are often wrought in metal.

His holy symbol is a large unblinking eye.

Vorkayne is seen as an aloof figure who rarely lowers himself to meddle in the mortal realms. He watches, but he does not interfere.

Myths and Legends

The faithful of Vorkayne maintains that their lord has been and always will be. According to legend, Vorkayne was watching from his throne as Imarus formed the world from chaos. He has witnessed the birth of races and gave to them the gift of magic when the world was still young.

Vorkayne witnessed the rise and fall of empires, the spread of the races, their conflicts and wars. He taught the art and craft of magic to those he deemed worthy.

He watched as the Thullian mages of old came together in brotherhood to form the Alliance. The Alliance, however, turned from the joy of pure research and were swayed by greed and power. Such was their arrogance that they brought about their own demise. He watched as the Sundering split the star and shook the world. Vorkayne did nothing to save the Alliance mages from their folly or the wrath of the world that followed. As oceans boiled and mountains crumbled, Vorkayne watched. As the nations went to war, he watched. As the last remnants of the Alliance fled the Battle of Bone Hill, Vorkayne watched. This is why he is sometimes called the “Silent One”.

The Church

Overview of the Church

Vorkayne is a god for wizards, more than anything else. Although many worship him, there are those who believe, quite fervently, that Vorkayne cares nothing for the small folk. Only those who study magic are worthy of his attention. Only those who practice magic are under his scrutiny.

It is said that Vorkayne is present in all things magical. The first time a student of magic opens their first grimoire, he is watching. The first time an apprentice casts his first spell, he is there. As one studies and masters the craft, he is guiding them. He cares about all wizards and their progress in the craft.

Vorkayne is a personal god. Not every wizard worships Vorkayne, but those who do pray to Vorkayne do so in their own way. Some wear the holy symbol of Vorkayne on their person. Others maintain small shrines in their home. It is a deeply personal thing where devotion to Vorkayne is mixed with personal reflection and meditation and spell study.

The teachings of Vorkayne are often mixed in with the teachings of magic… in a wizard’s school or from a master to his apprentices.

Geographic Placement

Vorkayne is worshiped by many mages across the face of Ithria. However, his worship is strongest in the nation of Carrikos. In that nation, the wizards rule. There, Vorkayne is considered the patron god of the nation and most of the wizards in the city of Arcanum are followers. His name is often invoked in oaths, in legal documents, in government ceremony and so forth.

History and Origins

The church of Vorkayne is one of the oldest religions of Ithria. There is set of scrolls known as the “Fables of the First Kingdom” which details the earliest years of the Kingdom of Anhara. Within this collection is a story of a great sorcerer by the name of Vorkanus who had lived and died centuries earlier.

According to the text, Vorkanus lived as a hermit, alone atop Mount Chesaron. The text tells that he wrought great works of magic and amassed great knowledge. A reclusive figure, he was little known then and the modern world has only this text. Vorkanus is said to have disappeared sometimes after his eightieth birthday while building his “greatest work”. The text seems to suggest that he may have ascended with one page stating he “cracked open the gate to immortality”.

There is some debate as to whether such a figure actually lived or is tied to the church that followed.

There is no doubt, however, that there was a small, but growing, faith among sorcerers in the Myratz Empire. These ancient sorcerers follow the teachings of a Vorkayne. By the time of the Alliance and the Sundering, the teachings of “Vorkayne” had solidified. Despite this, he was still relatively unknown to those outside the field of magic.

After the Sundering and the World Storm, many wizards went into hiding and so the faith of Vorkayne went with them. To this day, Vorkayne is still little known outside of arcane circles. He is, however, classified as a greater god by religious scholars because those who worship him control a disproportionate amount of wealth and power in the world. This is especially true in the nation of Carrikos.

Goals

Because this is not an organized religion in many ways, the goals of this faith are somewhat vague. But if one were to ask a follower, the goals would be listed as thus:

Temples, Churches and Holy Sites

There are no massive and gaudy temples to Vorkayne. Small personal shrines are much more common.

In the nation of Carrikos, cities and towns have public shrines where wizards and commoners both are free to come and meditate and pray. While Vorkayne is a god for wizards in most of the world, in Carrikos, he is the patron lord of the nation. He is revered by the common folk there as well, even if this is sometimes only lip service.

Shrines to Vorkayne are found only in Carrikosian cities or in the homes and guilds of wizards. It is very much an urban faith. One would not find a shrine to Vorkayne in the wilderness.

Shrines to Vorkayne always have a crystal at the center of the altar. Most of the time, this is a methkari crystal. A poor village hedge wizard might have nothing more than a simple quartz crystal (and would be suitably embarrassed by it). Very wealthy wizards and larger shrines in Carrikos often have arkulyte crystals.

The largest shrine in Arcanum has a sunder shard in the altar. It is said that the more powerful the crystal, the more favor Vorkayne grants those who meditate there.

Worshipers

Wizards, mages, sorcerers and all those capable of magic are the “chosen of Vorkayne”. Not every wizard worships Vorkayne, but many do. Almost all wizards in the nation of Carrikos are followers.

Students of magic, apprentices, nobles are dabble, scholars and healers often pray to Vorkayne for guidance and understanding. Because Vorkayne is all-seeing and all-knowing, he is the God of Mysteries, Secrets and Riddles. He knows the answer to everything. Many prayer to him to reveal a secret, uncover a mystery or answer a riddle.

Common folk will frequently utter an oath or curse in Vorkayne’s name, as if his name may infuse magical power to the utterance. Often his name is invoked as a ward against evil spirits or strange magical phenomenon.

Finally, there are many, from all walks of life, who dream of wielding magical powers. Whether a humble farmer toiling in the field, a dust covered worker in a mine or a skilled craftsmen perfecting his trade each day, who among us has not wished for some spell to make the work done. Many a commoner has prayed to Vorkayne for such magic.

Such wishes are folly, say the wizards. Vorkayne grants knowledge and power only to those who are worthy, they will tell you. Only through diligence and study does one master the craft of magic. It is no small feat and not meant for lesser men.

 

Allied and Opposed Faiths

Vorkayne is one of the Elder Gods of Ithria. As such, he is worshiped widely and openly by wizards (and many non-wizards) in the realms of Ithria. The faith of Vorkayne is fairly neutral when it comes to most other faiths. Like Vorkayne, the faith seems to keep to itself.

Dogma

Tenets

Some of the basic tenets of this faith are as follows:

Magic is the key to everything. It is a weapon to wield, a tool to master and a means of artistic expression. There is nothing that cannot be wrought, improved, changed or undone by magic.

If one has the talent, one should study and master magic. Unfulfilled talent is a terrible waste.

Only through hard work, diligence and study can one master the craft.

Magic should be used to better the lives of those who wield it, but one should not stop there. Magic can benefit others. Magic can cure the problems of society and should be used to make the world better.

A wizard should never allow desire or arrogance to blind them to the truth. The Focusing is the quintessential example of such folly.

Every question, mystery and riddle has an answer. Seek answers. Know the unknown.

Scripture

The story of Vorkanus from the “Fables of the First Kingdom” has been expanded upon through the centuries. Many of the greatest wizards who were followers of Vorkayne have added to it, much of which is said to have been “divinely revealed” to those wizards.

It is now called the Vorkayne Philosophies. This holy text consists of a single great book which is an canonical collection of the laws and traditions by which wizards should conduct themselves. It has in it a number of recorded wizardly discussions wherein the speakers discuss magic, its function and how magic should be used. The Vorkayne Philosophies also contain a number of legends and stories, mostly pertaining to wizards of long ago and arcane artifacts. The Alliance, the folly of the Focusing and the Sundering are prominently features in some of these discussions and stories.

Symbols

The chief symbol of Vorkayne is the open and unblinking eye. This represents several things. First and foremost, it is the eye of Vorkayne who watches from his great Celestial Throne and watches all things in all planes of existence. Second, it is the eye of the follower, who must watch and learn as much as possible. Only through diligent study does one attain understanding.

Various objects associated with Vorkayne are crystals, the quill and scroll and an open book.

Rituals

The faithful of Vorkayne have several customs and traditions, but few actual rituals. The most common ritual is crystal meditation. This involves sitting quietly before the altar of Vorkayne and “communing” with the crystal. With a methkari crystal, it is possible to focus one’s mind. With an arkulyte crystal, one can practice absorbing and controlling the flow of magical energy.

Spell study, the casting of spells and magical research can all, in a way, be considered practicing one’s faith.

Riddle contests and other contests of wits are common between followers of Vorkayne.

Holy Days

The faithful of Vorkayne have only one holy day. It is the anniversary of the Sundering. On the sixth day of the seventh month (Landthrive 6), the star was sundered and the World Storm began. This is called “Sundering Day”.

In modern days, the followers of Vorkayne see this as a spiritual day. It is a day for rest, for prayer, for deep meditation and personal reflection. Many followers will lock themselves away with their private shrine and spend the day in deep personal reflection. Others choose to honor the day by setting aside all magical work, leaving the city and communing with nature.  Still others choose to spend the day in philosophical discussion with their fellow mages. The only common tradition is to set aside all work. Followers of Vorkayne will do not work, either labor or study, on this day.

Artifacts

The most holy artifacts of this faith are the sunder shards. They are seen as the remaining physical manifestation of mortal folly and the representation of the power of pure magic. Sunder shards are revered, both for their pure energy and also for their historical significance. The incredible scarcity of sunder shards makes them all the more treasured.

 

The Clergy

Overview of the Clergy

The faith of Vorkayne has no true clergy. There are no priests of Vorkayne. No acolytes or bishops. There are only the wizards who worship.

Wizards vary a great deal in how involved they are in the faith. Some do not worship. Others offer only lip service. There are many who maintain a small shrine, pray and carry the holy symbol, but they are far too busy with their own studies to delve much further into the mysteries of Vorkayne.

There are, however, some wizards who become deeply involved in the faith of Vorkayne. They call themselves “mage priests”. The mage priests lead discussions on Sundering Day and guide younger wizards in their faith. These individuals are often talented wizards who rise in power. When they become very powerful arch mages, they may even choose to add a story or lecture to the Vorkayne Philosophies. They are very few mage priests and almost all of them are in the nation of Carrikos. The most powerful of the mage priests form a small, tight knit circle and it is they who deem who is worthy to add to the Philosophies.

Divisions and Rank Structure

There are no formal divisions of rank in the faith of Vorkayne. There is an obvious division between wizards and non spell casters. Although there are non-spell casters who worship, the wizards consider themselves the only true followers of Vorkayne.

Within the wizarding community, rank is based solely on magical skill. Contests of magical skills are common and so it is relatively easy for two wizards to establish who has the greater magical skill.

The mage priests consider themselves a special enclave within the faith.

This website was last updated April 1, 2017 . Copyright 1990-2017 David M. Roomes.

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