Overview: Khastism envelops Nahn much like anything else. It is one of the primary driving forces of culture and one of its major shapers in its history. Khastics believe that history flows as a play or story would, divided into acts, and all living beings mortal or supernatural are the actors in it. As a result, they highly value creative and technical work, seeing it and drama and fiction as a celebration of this existence and their roles and gods. It's a matriarchal polytheistic faith with two head figures and numerous elemental sub-figures called Godheads.
Primary Deities: Laeshann The Dreamweaver - The goddess of the Realm of Light; an otherworldly skyrealm where divine creatures live and observe from above. She appears in most works as an angelic, multi-winged woman of amazing height with a soft, motherly expression, often naked or as sparsely clothed as possible, with a blueish gold aura to her. In her hands lay a long staff of gold adorned with many rings on the end. She rules the Elemental Aspect of Divinity. Twin sister of Hoethmarr.
Hoethmarr The Harvester - The goddess of the Realm of Embers; an otherworldly underground where arcane creatures live and cause unrest from below. She appears in most works as a demonic figure covered in bone spikes and tattoos, large horns curling forth, tall and muscular with a cunning expression, wearing furs and leathers. In her hands lay a long, metal club rigid and spiked as she is and twice as tall as her, easily held in one palm. She rules the Elemental Aspect of Arcane. Twin sister of Laeshann.
Elements: There are 10 elements that rule the physical and spiritual world in different ways. Each one is ruled by one of the twins or a Godhead and is in direct opposition and balance with another element. For more information on elements and magick associated with it, please visit this page.
Divine - Element of life and restoration. Headed by Laeshann. Opposes Arcane.
Arcane - Element of death and decay. Headed by Hoethmarr. Opposes Divine.
Flames - Element of fires and passion. Headed by Fyrshala. Opposes Waves.
Waves - Element of water and magical health. Headed by Ivorhala. Opposes Flames.
Gales - Element of air and time. Headed by Iaehala. Opposes Gaea.
Gaea - Element of nature and physical health. Headed by Terreshala. Opposes Gales.
Frost - Element of icy cold and instincts. Headed by Archala. Opposes Force.
Force - Element of strength and willpower. Headed by Brynshala. Opposes Frost.
Machina - Element of technology and knowledge. Headed by Chozthala. Opposes Omni.
Omni - Element of everything and nothing. Headed by Rueshala. Opposes Machina.
The Godheads: All Godheads are neutrally aligned and prefer to fight amongst each other or form alliances to screw each other over. They've little to do with the twins nor do they care to ever be involved with them.
Godheads all have the suffix -shala/-hala added onto their names, which means "One born of" or "One that comes from" in their language.
Fyrshala - Godhead of fire, passion, and sluts. Usually appears in most works as a squat, toned, tanned woman with four arms, tattoos, red hair that ends in flames, with wings of dancing fire and a scimitar in each hand, wearing but a loincloth and small cloth on her chest for modesty. Chains hang from her ankles and wrists and she can spit flames. She is known to be loud, cocky, brash, impatient, violent, and all consuming in her passions and desires. One of the most notoriously difficult deities to work for. Has a pet harpy. She is often the favored deity of those that see themselves most just as well as romantics.
Notable Followers: Lady Siofra Aine Whelan
Ivorhala - Godhead of the waves and trade. He takes the form of a massive, scarred shark with many a row of razor sharp teeth, skin covered in remnants of barnacles, and what appears to be a beard made out of tentacles. Ruthless and one to never play favorites, he is capable of summoning storms and tornadoes and will capsize anyone for any reason as they traverse the waters of the world. He is usually appeased by pouring liquor or wine into the ocean during a journey, so that he may drink of that deeply instead of blood. But pour something cheap in and you may never see your way home. It is said he is even worse to work for than Fyrshala. Favored deity of pirates, vikings, thieves, murderers, and other criminal miscreants.
Notable Followers: Captain Cecily Bloodwedthe
Iaehala - Godhead of air and time. Usually appears in most works as a tall, muscled, lightly tanned man with avian features. Wears a visor that covers all but his lower jaw shaped like a beak, with white feathers covering his legs, claws and talons coming out of his finger and toenails, and sports a pair of massive, shimmering blue and purple wings. His hair is long, black, and braided and in his hand is a long staff of gold with many dangling rings decorating the top. A strong, silent man with a huge case of wanderlust, he is a favorite of vagabonds and travelers.
Terreshala - Godhead of nature and health. A woman clad in greens and reds and browns, taking the form of a nymph or dryad or elf, depending on whom you're speaking with. She carries with her a branch of the world tree Rhea as a staff, creating life where there once wasn't with every step and breath she takes. She is curt and able to heal with a mere kiss, and is said to be the source of mitter berries; a wonderful fruit in many flavors each with their own set of brilliant medical properties and are the most used source of healing in the world in various forms. It is said even the loudest of animals will go quiet near her and respect her all-mother like visage. Favored godhead of doctors, rangers, herbalists, and farmers.
Archala - Godhead of cold and instinct. She takes the form of a giant, gray and brown furred mother wolf, her nose black and body lean and strong from hunting and patrolling. She is fiercely protective and acts before she speaks, making her a wild, unpredictable figure. Archala takes to roaming the icy lands and is said to be the cause of blizzards and those that fall through thin ice. Despite her icy exterior, she is quite warm inside and fiercely protective of her kin and her followers, saying to cover their tracks with icy winds should they need the cover, leading them to a cave if shelter is needed, or mysteriously providing a bounty of food to the hungry. The favored godhead of hunters and those that revere nature's august majesty most, such as shamans.
Brynshala - Godhead of force and willpower. Usually appears in most works as a heavily armored valkyrie figure, clad in finest soft yellows and greens with silver accents and weapons. Her resolve is so strong it shows as lights itself dancing around her like fireflies, hair gold under a winged helm, eyes a piercing silver. She has an assured, aggressive expression and her armor is covered in spikes, with the two largest ones jutting from her shoulders. She has ethereal wings that come and go as needed. Usually seen wielding a large halberd with a broadsword and shield on her hip. The favored god of those who would rather prove themselves with their fists and other melee weapons and not those who fight from afar with projectiles or magic.
Notable Followers: Lady Millia Ezrand
Chozthala - Godhead of technology and knowledge. A being of pure scientific and magickal advancement, made up of the scraps of the world and the remnants of the pieces of creation that Laeshann and Hoethmarr used to form this cycle of Nahn. It appears to be an armored creature of great width, covered in plates and screws and spewing black smoke and white steam out of various vents, encrusted with the ores and gems that power and fuel the magick of the world. Its knowledge of all things is infinite, and while it prefers to stay secluded, they have been seen reflected in the minds of history's greatest and often most insane wisemen and wisewomen. Favored by scientists, teachers, those with an innate wonder of the world, and students who are praying that the next test they take is a perfect score.
Notable Followers: The Most Esteemable Supergenius Basira Nejem
Rueshala - Godhead of everything and nothing. A figure neither wholly male or female, yet both all at once, with the top of a woman, the bottom of a man, and a face evoking pure androgyny. They take the form of a harpy, coated in black and silver feathers, eyes empty as they fly and feed off the souls and bodies of the dead so they they an be reborn again. They fly endlessly, their wings never stopping unless to feed, watching over and covering the sky in a protective shade wherever they fly over. It's said they make a complete lap around Nahn once a year. The patron god of dark mages and philosophers and scholars, their endless cycle inspires them to delve deeper into the mysteries and meanings that Nahn has to offer.
Primary Holy-Figures and Locations: Lights and Embers - The Lights and Embers are the planes of existence resting above and below the one Nahn and the other planets and the universe are on. The Lights is where the twin goddesses and the godheads live amongst other celestials, and the Embers are where most infernal creatures and those exiled from other places wind up. Neither is inherently a good or bad place; it's a matter of perspective. The two often get into fights, either with each other or against Nahn. Neither is the location of an afterlife nor is it believed to be one; both are rather able to be visited while you live if you know how to get there.
Reha - The World Tree. One of the first landmarks on Nahn, and where most life and magick spring forth from. Located in the Ahmonas Region near the Na'erdwell Duchy and the town of Layabout of all places for it to be.
Atman-Maria - A warrior looking like a gold-clad valkyrie who guards Reha from those whom would destroy her or harm her. Not a godhead, but immortal. Wields a sword far bigger than she has any right to own. Often caught napping or complaining about being hungry. For some reason, she sparks a sense of familiarity in most people who meet her, though she claims you've never met.
Alicia The Prophet - A woman who lead those that worshipped both or neither of the twins and united them. A seer from birth, she would get visions of unrest between the races, accurately predicting the holy war that erupted between the followers of Laeshann and followers of Hoethmarr. Unfortunately, she also foresaw that her own death as the only thing that would sate the twins' need to destroy the world and recreate it. She let herself be martyred for this, her tongue cut so she could speak of futures no more, her throat slit and left to bleed her slowly and unable to cry for help should she beg for a merciful death. Instead, she accepted it, and died with a smile. She subsequently became the first and only mortal to obtain status as a holy figure and was renamed Alicia The Martyr.
The Exiles of The End - A group that forms when creation is broke and time and the cycle of birth and rebirth is cut stagnant due to the balances of the elements being permanently screwed with. Lead by the princely prophet, Serafina, a woman and knight born in the universe's first religious and the interstellar hub (and now the universe's last) of Vaer Outpost. They set forth beyond even the stars and this dimension to sew things back together and get creation to redo itself for another try at this whole existing thing. Their flag is clad in an emblem resembling Alicia.
Serafina - The prince. A woman who is the daughter of the head priests of Vaer, sent forth to find where Laeshann had been kidnapped after Hoethmarr eats it at the hands of an unknown perpetrator. Discovers more about the universe and creation than anyone else ever did in history, mostly thanks to time no longer existing so she had infinite recourse to travel with. Eventually becomes the most important person, be they god or mortal or anyone of any race or creed, in creation cycle 419 and then 420.
Vaer Outpost - The first holy city on Nahn and what became its hub of culture and civilization once they were able to explore space and other planets, making it one of the most important capitals of the universe. Founded simply by a monk way back in Nahn's early years, his teachings and visions for it and the whole of creation and his hopes for life were still taught and highly respected even through the end of everything.
Graveyard of the Gods - Another dimensional plane in space reserved for the twin goddesses and the godheads in the unlikely event they die, so that their magick and potential does not seep out into the universe and mess with every other level and plane of existence. Its location is unknown, beyond a vague sense of it being in immensely deep space, so far that no matter what you traveled in or how fast, or even if you dilated time itself, you'd most likely die millenia before you could stumble upon it. It's a hellish, psychedelic landscape of pure energy, magick, and colors that wave and ebb with the stars and in existence itself. All that is there beyond the visual hell space is a throne for reasons unknown.
Worshipping: - Laeshann and Hoethmarr act in harmony and discord all at once, neither one truly ruling over one or the other, neither one wholly good or evil. Most people choose one or the other to worship, believing that the one they like is the good one and the other one is at fault for all the world's woes. Followers of both or neither exist, but are very hard to find. Some people choose to instead worship a Godhead (or multiple ones) as their primary deity/deities, but most often choose one of the twins as a secondary figure of worship. A few exist who just worship one or more Godheads and neither twin.
The Play: Khastics believe the timeline of the world is written as a play and that everyone and everything has a role, no matter how small it may seem. Their job is to just live and exist and move time and culture along to the next era for their gods. Unlike most real-world faiths that contain an end of world scenario and fear it, Khastics embrace this idea and cannot wait to see the finale they are working towards. Those that do fear it, although uncommon, are seen as the odd ones out. The play is simply called The Play with Nahn sometimes affectionately referred to as The Stage and all creatures divine or mortal or whatnot called The Players or The Actors. They don't know when the next era will start, just that you'll be able to tell after it's ended that a new one has begun.
The twin goddesses are seen as the ultimate writers of the play we all act in, and most believe they write over each others' plot points though some that believe they act as collaborative authors exist. The godheads are seen as the primary co-authors and contributors. Holy figures like Alicia are seen as the biggest and most exalted fans of their work, and the most dedicated to them and their collective canon.
The Play's Timeline: There are eight eras that work as acts for The Play.
The Coming - Creation myth goes here - retrieve it later
The Fall - War starts as territories begin to expand beyond the ones given to the various races in The Coming. Eventually, the twins get involved, pissed their creations are spitting on the gift of life they gave them, leading to Nahn almost being wiped and reset. Tales of those like Captain Cecily Bloodwedthe were common in this era.
The Martyrdom - The life of Alicia and her subsequent martyring go here once I write it out. The shortest era. Violet Voulge formed after.
The Rebirth - A spiritual renaissance and era of travel and discovery. People work together to set out to civilize even the furthest regions of Nahn and begin to interbreed. Half-breeds start to show. Violet Voulge fades into obscurity.
The Golden Age - The era Burlesque Show, A Mother's Love, and Undeniable Clawmark take place in. An absolute magical and technical renaissance, expanding on knowledge and creating now that most of the world is inhabited. Violet Voulge revives and is shot back down during this time. Nonmagic firearms, war machines, and transport are born and evolve rapidly during this era.
The Warring Era - When there's nowhere else to go but up, people find a way. This is the era of discovering space and the regions beyond it. However, intergalactic war starts as a result. Captain Sonya Dammerung-Nejem is a prominent figure of this era, having lead us into space for the first time.
The End - End of creation myth goes here once I write it out. A time when even the stars are said to fade and die, dripping down to envelop us all in darkness. Nothing is right or well anymore.
The Calling of Curtains - The epilogue. Nobody is sure what will happen, if anything, after the play of life ends. Some say nothing exists beyond the curtain, some say a new play will start up while others will live trying to find a way to cope with no longer having a role and yet others say they'd be fine defining one for themselves after. Only time will tell. Serafina and The Exiles are prominent in The End and The Calling.
In reality, what usually happens here is the current head god(s) compile what they've created and the history of it into a book and place it upon a shelf and then conferring head godhood to any saints/holy figures, and if more than one existed they share authorship. The new head god(s) then have access to all previous cycles to draw inspiration from and continue the cycle of Nahn forevermore.
This implies Laeshann and Hoethmarr were once mortal women and twin sisters (then called Lean and Hyledd) who rose to the last cycle's call of duty and became its holy figures, given authorship and godhood at the end and turning their friends and comrades in arms into the elemental godhead figures. This also implies Alicia would become a head god and continue this cycle from there.
However, plans did not work out this cycle, and Serafina inherits Hoethmarr's will and helps Laeshann reset, crowning Serafina the head god of the next cycle. Serafina appoints Siofra and Alicia as major deities under her, amongst others.
The Afterlife: Khastics have a simple afterlife, in which that you do not go to Laeshann or Hoethmarr's realms when you die, but instead a large, communal theatre building, divided into four seating sections. There's one for Laeshann, one for Hoethmarr, one for those that believed in any of the godheads, and one for the odd believers such as those that believed in all or none. However well you did in life and did good for your god grants you better seating, and the worse you did gets you people sitting in front of you. From here, you are given comforts and left to watch the rest of The Play unfold and wait for them to die and come in to sit with you.