The Æcyr Gréne Campaign 

The Sœcisc Faith

The Mythology of the Sœcisc peoples can be seen as a series of stories which should be read in sequence ...
The Creation of the World and the Sundering of Sol.
The Espousal of the Gescieppenas & the Birth of the Frumbearnas.
The Treachery of Tir and the Creation of the Kin.
The Rebellion of the Mæges.
The Fate of the Mæges
The End of Time

Creation and the Sundering of Sol 

Sœcisc myth asserts that in the beginning there were Nerþe and Sol, who coalesced out of the seething vapours of the eternal void. Sœcisc Thought posits a beginning and an end of time, though the End is destined to be terrible. Thankfully it can be averted.

Some accounts hold that either Nerþe or Sol came into being first and then created the other. However, the majority of Sœcisces insist that both sprang into being simultaneously, and any other thought is heretical. Together they created the world within the void, Sol weaving the air, Nerþe moulding the land. This was done to provide a home for their children. But though each shared in the task, they did not work together, for each sought to implement their vision, to the detrement of the overall balance. Almost from the start, Nerþe and Sol were at odds with each other, and this rift has never been healed.

The Norsœcisc beliefs state that the sky formed the web, the structure within which the land was nestled. Thus ther had to be a celestial firmament before there could be solid ground. Thus Sol had ascendency over Nerþe.

The Ænesœcisc beliefs state that the earth was the necessary anchor to hold the sky in place - granting Nerþe ascendency over Sol

Both major sects of the Sœcisc faith hold that the effort of making the celestial bodies proved too much for Sol, and his spirit was sundered, creating two equally powerful deities - Þunor and Tir. Seeing this caused Nerþe to weep for her lost companion, creating the waters that lie on the surface of the earth.
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The Espousal of the Gescieppenas & the Birth of the Frumbearnas 

Seeing that Tir and Þunor could never be fused again, Nerþe drew out from herself Freo and Eostre, to act as companions to the fractured spirits that had once been her companion. Freo’s gentle words soothed the anger that raged inside Þunor, her wisdom and care tempering his strength and power. Between them, they begat Ingui, the hunter, and Herðe, the valiant. Eostre, the most beautiful in body and spirit, attracted Tir, her light banishing his anguish and pain. They begat Wær, the grim justicar, and Neorð, the craftsman and seafarer.

During this time, Nerþe withdrew from the world, and among the celestial bodies she found the final fragment of Sol floating. Returning to the world, she gave the last aspect of Sol - Woden - into the care of Freo, who nursed him back to health. Freo focused all her care on Woden, helping him recover some fraction of the strength and vitality he should have borne. Yet it was his mind that truely flourished, and Woden’s grasp on the knowledge and wisdom of the Angyttes soon eclipsed all others.
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The Treachery of Tir and the Creation of the Kin 

As time passed, Tir’s mind began to fracture - he had not the strength of Þunor, nor the Wisdom of Woden. He began to act agains Nerþe’s will, despoiling that which was already created. The other deities took sides, and soon the situation looked dire. A great council was summoned, and the Andgytti and their followers decided to create a people that could act as their proxies.

Thus it came to be that the Kin were made, to be the warriors of the gods. It was argued, after the great Council, that these warriors would need training in their martial skills, and this was agreed by all the gods. It was then argued that the warriors would need the time to learn the nature of the gods, so that they might choose wisely which god or goddess to serve, and this too was agreed. And so the gods made a great training ground, with mountains and forests and rivers and plains, and agreed that each warrior would spend twenty one years here before being summoned to make his or her choice of a god to serve.

The gods then set to work creating the warriors that would choose to serve them. They made 89 of them, each god making 9 warriors of a mood and manner not unlike his or her own. (Nerþe, it is said, refuesed to make any). For twenty one years they were taught the skills of fighting and warring. They were then invited to choose which god they would serve. Without exception, each warrior of this First Host chose the god who had made him or her.

The gods then consulted among themselves, and agreed this was not a satisfactory arrangement. With hindsight, the choices of the warriors could be seen to be a foregone conclusion that settled nothing. So they tried again, this time each god making a warrior for him- or herself and one for each of the other gods (Again, Nerþe refused to make any such warriors). And then, after another twenty one years had passed, this second band of warriors was invited to choose their gods. And again, without exception, each warrior of the Second Host chose his or her own maker.

So the gods conferred again, and this time decided that all of them should have a hand in making every warrior, since this would force them to make a choice when their training was completed. This they then set out to do, and each god laid out the parts that he or she would contribute to the making of each warrior, and into each Nerþe contributed a part. There was enough there to make just Ten warriors, but it was agreed that this would have to do.
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The Rebellion of the Mæges 

So the Ten were made, the Mæges, and for twenty one years minus a day they were instructed in all martial skills. Then suddenly they disappeared. At first it was thought that Tir had hidden them, but Eostre vouchsafed for his innocence on this occasion. Suddenly one of the missing warriors was glimpsed hiding in a distant forest. The gods hunted keenly for him, but found nothing. Then another Mæge was spotted ducking behind a mountain far away. Again the gods gave pursuit, but found no one. At last they offered a parley, and a speaker for the Mæges came forward.

"Why are you surprised that we hide," he said, "when you have made us and raised us and taught us for one purpose only, and that is to fight the war that you yourselves will not. For twenty one years we have lived in this land, and come to love it. We will not leave it willingly, be you gods or not."

Now hearing this Ingui laughed heartily (for of all the gods he was the least in favour of any war), whilst Tir raised his fist in anger, and would have struck this spokesman had not Wær taken his arm. But Nerþe looked grave and thought long and deep before she delivered her Verdict.

"If you will not leave this land, then you will be taken from it, and not ungladly, for your love of the land will be tempered by the woes you will have to endure throughout your time in it. And for some of you that time will be short, and for others long, yet it will in time reach its end for all of you. And when it comes you will be assigned to that one of us you served most loyally during your time in this land, whether that would be your final choice or not. For that choice is now taken from you, and your fate becomes a matter of judgement."

And Nerþe continued: "An end there shall come to your time here, and the name of that end shall be Death, from which there is no hiding. For before you there were a pressen (nine nines) of warriors, and before them a pressen more. They shall hunt you through all the ways of this land, and seek you out, and bring you before us for judgement. Now go, and ponder your vain folly in whatever time is left to you."

As the spokesman for the Mæges left, Nerþe set the gods to work. Þunor divided the land in half with a deep channel that Neorþ filled with water, creating a mighty river. Tir provided a dozen tree trunks that Ingui hewed into boats. Hreðe instructed the 178 warriors of the First and Second Hosts of their new task, whilst Wær released all the woes and miseries she could contrive to make life unbearable for the rebels. Meanwhile, the other gods handed them the tools of their trade, the instruments of Death. Then Nerþe sent them forth, to hunt down and bring back the rebellious Mæges, and the gods then retired to the far end of the river, where they awaited the first of the nine boats that would bring the nine warriors to judgement.
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The Fate of the Mæges 

But the Mæges had not wasted their time in fruitless hiding. Knowing that Death would eventually find them all, in one or other of its 178 guises, they parted as five pairs, each of a man and woman, and hastily begat children who might outlive them, and for a while at least elude the agents of Death.

Now the gods waited at the mouth of the river, and in due course the dozen boats all arrived, each with a soul of the dead as its cargo, and now the manner of judgement had to be decided. The first Mæges was brought forward, and all of the gods promptly claimed him. All, that is, bar Wær, who alloted him to Tir. The other gods decided that this was unfair, for it was no secret that Tir secretly championed Wær. But Wær insisted that this first man was Tir’s. And then the second rebel was brought forward, and again all the gods claimed her, save Wær who assigned her to Freo. And this was acknowledged as fair because Freo was Wær’s enemy. And so each warrior was judged in turn, and Wær assigned each to one or other of the gods. The very last she claimed for her own.

But whilst the judgement was in progress, more Emissaries of Death arrived, each having travelled the length of the great river with a soul of the dead, and the gods were initially perplexed. Then Ingui realised what the Mæges had done and laughed long and loud, for it amused him that these new people, the first mortals, had found a way of cheating, if not Death, then at least the gods who would send Death against them. Ingui is accounted the first of the gods to mellow in his attitude to the mortals. Slowly, one by one, the others came round to his point of view, though few of them so fully as he. But each privately admitted that Nerþe’s judgement had been unduly harsh, and so they will, should the whim take them, come to the aid of mortals, and misdirect the Emissaries of Death, if only for a while.

The Judgement of Wær is to determine which god each mortal soul (and not only the human ones) shall be assigned to. The final decision is Wær’s and Wær’s alone, and her mind is said to work perversely - to mortal ways of thinking, that is - on many occasions, so many souls are assigned to the god they least expected to serve. In general however, those souls that honoured the virtues of one god in particular during their mortal lives will be destined to serve that god. These are the Gesæliges, the Favoured. Those souls that honoured the vices of one god in particular will most likely be assigned to the god most antipathetic to that they honoured. These are the Heordseliges, or Disfavoured. A few, a very few, will be allowed to choose which god they serve in the afterlife, and these are the Deores, the Honoured.

The Mæges were made to serve the gods as warriors. Originally the Mæges were granted 21 years of training before they were due to be summoned to the service of the gods, but that term has dwindled over time and is now between 12 and 15 years for most humans, as marked by the onset of puberty. One Sœcic term for adulthood is Guðfus, or war-ready, and this refers to worthiness in the afterlife rather than in the present. Once judged by Wær, the soul is sent to the god he or she is destined to serve, as one of the Niwianas, the Rejuvenated. Corporeally, the Niwian is restored to the physical prime of youth, unblemished by the ravages of mortal life. This is not to say that a Niwian is always beautiful to behold, for this is not so.

The life of a Niwian is spent preparing for the final war between the gods, though for the Gesæliges there is also much feasting and time spent in sport and play. The Heordsæliges are taught the virtues they neglected in their mortal span, and are consigned to the building of defence works and smithing of weapons. They must also wait on the Gesæliges and see to their needs. The Afterlife, according to Sœcic belief, is a time and place where the souls of worthless kings serve those of virtuous serfs - a notion that some kings occasionally bear in mind, and most serfs cling to in hope.

Because there are only 178 Emissaries of Death, they are often kept extremely busy and inevitably some mistakes are made. One of the commonest errors comitted by the Emissaries is taking the souls of those who are not yet dead. It is understood that Wær returns them to the mortal world, to have another chance at life. Such souls are, however, weaker on returning, and more likely to stray into the path of the Emissaries. Some souls may be sent back several or many times, until at last they cannot even carry their latest body through infancy and perish at birth or soon after. These are the Searianes, the Dissipated, for their souls simply fade away.
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The End of Time 

The life of the Niwianas may or may not be a pleasant and stimulating one. It is certainly not guaranteed to be an infinite one, for sooner or later Time will come to an end.

The Mæges were made to fulfil the Edict of Nerþe, to settle the disputes of the gods by fighting in their names. The Edict of Nerþe doomed the Mæges to mortality, as a punishment for their defiance. With the deliverance of that Edict, the mortal kin came into being, and this was an unforeseen development that the gods now had to reckon with. Instead of a small and finite host to fight on their behalf, they now had a vast and ever-growing army of souls to recruit. Since the Edict had not in itself specified the number of warriors that the gods would have at their disposal, each god has since sought to conscript as many mortal souls as possible.

This does not mean, as a matter of course, that all the gods are in earnest competition with each other. Just as there are rivalries and enmities between the gods, so too there are alliances, temporary or otherwise. The gods work to conscript souls to fight on their behalf or that of an ally, or to prevent souls being conscripted by a rival. One thing that does not happen (despite some Salisian misconceptions to the contrary) is that mortals fight on behalf of the gods during their mortal span. There are no battles between followers of Ingui and Wær, as sometimes mentioned in the southern chronicles. Any fighting of that sort comes after death, at the end of Time. And hopefully, not even then.

For there will, says Sœcic myth, come a time when the halls of the gods are full and can take no more. (Each wave of disaster to engulf the north has been seen as a sign that that time has arrived.) There will be nowhere for Wær to send the souls she continues to judge. When that time comes, the fragile peace of the gods will be broken. They will make their last alliances and prepare for war against each other, and this will be the breaking of the mortal world. This final war, the Endehwil, will be fought between those who rally behind Tir, and those who favour Nerþe, and each side will seek to conscript the aid of the other gods. It is known that Ingui will join Nerþe, that Neorð will side with Tir, but the allegiance of the rest is undecided (and a matter of heated debate).

The war will bring to an end to the mortal world, and to the work of Wær. When the last soul has been brought before her, the river Carr shall begin to empty, pouring away into the void through Cirigarn. And when the last drop falls from the whirlpool’s edge, the victor will be decided, and Hadragard shall be his or hers, along with those allies and their servants who remain. It is they who will inherit the peace of eternity. But those souls who perish in this final war are gone, forever, with no hope of return.

But there is a hope of averting this catastrophe. If the souls in the service of a god have followed his or her virtues in the mortal life, then that god will seek to make peace. Only if the vices of the souls outweigh the virtues will that god truly yearn for war. Even Tir and Neorð can be persuaded to seek a peaceful resolution if the Niwianasi in their service embody more virtue than vice. If more gods desire peace than want war, then they will put aside their folly and rebuild the world, for themselves and their servants, and then they will have room enough to dwell in peace for all eternity.

The fulfilment of this hope is known as the Gehælanende, the Reconciliation. It is important not only for the fate of all those who would otherwise die finally were it not to come about, but also because it is the foundation on which the institutionalised Haldic Church bases its existence. The fate of the world rests with the Sœcic peoples, and only through the Church can they be shown how to bring about Gehælanende and the final Peace of the Gods.
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