The Triumvirate Organization in 13 | World Anvil

The Triumvirate

Find the light in the darkness and the darkness in the light.
  The Triumvirate is formed by the three gods that elvenkind believe helped shape and give life to Oceasile: Yuelral, Sarenrae, and Ketephys; those that worship The Triumvirate call themselves Triumvirs.   Triumvirs believe that all that is above ground (dayland), all that is below ground (nightland), and everything that is in between was created by the gods, and given to them to protect it. In order to create new things or modify their creations, their gods must enter a sleep-like state. Dreaming is achieved at its highest state in areas that are brimming with life, and thus, forests are where the gods dwell and dream.   Once every three solar cycles, a pilgrimage to the land of gods takes place. Elves, drelves, and drow alike meet in the sacred forest grottos, where the dayland and the nightland meet. There, they spend one lunar cycle: learning, communing, listening... In sum, being one with the balance and their gods. Outside of that time, Triumvirs believe that the forests must be left alone, with no interference, lest they disturb their gods' dream and alter the balance of Oceasile.

Cosmological Views

One night, Yuelral, Ketephys, and Sarenrae had all one lucid dream. In their dream, they were in a beautiful land, where they could roam in peace. The land was empty, but they discovered that they could shape it to their liking.

The creation of all that is above, below, and in between

Yuelral made sure the earth was full of stones and gems. Then she created rivers, which would erode the ground, unearthing her creations.
Sarenrae created myriad of creatures, as many as she could imagine. Then, she created as many landscapes as creatures she had made, so that they all could find somewhere where they could live happily and comfortably.
Ketephys was really impressed with Yuelral and Sarenrae's work; he particularly grew fond of the luscious forests and the rivers that run through them. But he also wanted to contribute something to this dream... The Earth had been beautifully shaped by Yuleral, and everything above it had been provided by Sarenrae.
So he decided to first enrich the area that Yuelral had created with creatures, like small and giant earthworms, spiders, beetles, and ants. He noticed that Sarenrae had only created creatures that dwelled the land during the day; he added those creatures who only show themselves at night, like thylacines, sugar gliders, and even glow worms.
Protectors of the land
They just kept creating and enjoying. But after three solar cycles, they were wakened by the very same creatures that they had created! They rejoiced at the realisation that they could enjoy this place, whether dreaming or awake. Awake, however, it seemed they couldn't add or modify anything. They also realised that their land was not the only one. Another land mass had appeared on the other side of the ocean.
The next time the gods went to sleep, they decided they needed to create guardians for their land. They created the drow, who could watch over the nightland and all of the creatures Ketephys had created. They created the elves, to watch over the dayland and Sarenrae's creatures, and they created gripplis, who could care for Yuelral's waters.
While the gods were asleep, busy with their creations, a big storm blew over Oceasile. Thunder and lightning coursed the skies. Once the storm was over, the elves and the drow discovered there was someone else living in their land: the storm had brought a foreign race into Oceasile!
When the gods woke up, elvenkind complained about the storm that had blown Tengus into existence. They said: we need someone to take care of that which lies between the day and the night so that the Tengus cannot harm the land! And so the gods created the drelves, thus ensuring Oceasile would be forever protected.

Tenets of Faith

Find the balance   Protect the balance   Enjoy the balance
If, at one point, you are not sure if what you are doing is right or wrong, ask yourself: will this protect or restore the balance? or will it harm the balance? Answer that question, and your acts will always be righteous.
— Tuvielu Kisud, a Sarenrae priestess to her teenage daughter

by Fiona Omeenyo
Religious, Organised Religion
Deities and race
While all three elven races revere The Triumvirate gods, each species only dedicates their priesthood to one.   Elves, the guardians of dayland, devote themselves to Ketephys, while drow devote themselves to Sarenrae.   Drelves, the guardians of everything in between, devote themselves to Yuelral. And while the gripplis in Oceasile also worship Yuelral, they are not Triumvirs, and have a much more relaxed worshipping of their god.

Clash of Faiths

Both elvenkind and tengus consider Oceasile's forests a sacred area. However, the way that forests should be treated is radically different between these races. While elvenkind belief that the forests should be left alone, for their gods to be able to sleep, tengus belief that forests are a gift from their god, Hei Feng. As such, tengus hunt, gather, and live in these forests.   This difference of opinions between the races led to the ostracising of tengus. Over time, tengus became oppressed, and at certain periods in history, persecuted. Now tengus hide in the forests, hidden away from elven people thanks to their tree roosts.    
The Triumvirate and the plague
  Triumvirs belief did not falter during the plague, at least, not publicly. However, there are clashing interpretations by the different tribes throughout Oceasile as to why are the gods are not helping them with this disease that is decimating their populations.   Some tribes believe that the gods have fallen fast asleep, and a few of those tribes are convinced something evil is keeping their gods forcibly asleep using some powerful magic. The majority who believe that the gods are asleep, however, believe that the gods are sleeping, actively trying to fix the plague.   Other tribes believe that the gods cannot go to sleep. They believe that The Triumvirate lay awake, the suffering of those who worship them making it impossible for them to find rest and comfort.

Cover image: by Christine Engelhardt
This article has no secrets.


Author's Notes

The original version of this article was created as an entry for World Anvil's flagship Summer Camp 2019 event, specifically for prompt #13:
"Describe the tenets or precepts of an organised religion in your world."
  You can view my other entries from the competition here, or check out all past World Anvil competitions here.   This article and the world I am writing about have been created using Pathfinder as a base. This is a homebrew setting, inspired by Paizo's wonderful lore and creations.

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Jul 15, 2019 00:44 by Tristan Snaer

Let me get this straight. A worldbuilder, you, just made an article about 3 other people doing the exact same thing you're doing here. That's amazing! Very rarely do I see information on gods being portrayed in seats similar to ours, that they simply just want to create a world.   I really enjoy the unique way they utilize their powers too, only in their sleep-state, literally from their imagination.   If you take time to proofread this a bit, it'd become much clearer that easily. There's not a lot, but some of them do stand out For example, in the third paragraph you say,  

"There, they spend there one lunar cycle, learning, communing, listening, belonging with the balance and their gods.
  You should the second "there" and reformat the second half of the sentence since it did take me a couple of attempts to understand its structure.   Interesting question that popped into my mind, are there any other gods of this world? Perhaps gods that these three gods created! You don't need to go into detail since this article focuses on these three specifically, but there's a little more space on the side-bar that would be perfect for a fun fact like this!   Great article! Definitely worth the like! Have a great summer camp!

~ Tristan
Jul 15, 2019 08:09

Hi Tristan, thanks so much for your thoughtful reply! I definitely hadn't thought about me writing the elvenkind creation myth as a creation itself...   I went back and re-read this article, which is the main way I notice issues like the one you mentioned before. Editing is definitely a hard but necessary part of writing. I do some of it while writing, but maybe I should do it more. I hope I have managed to catch most things which would make it awkward to read.   There are no other gods created by these ones, although my world does have a total of 13 gods (it is covered a bit in here). I have so far, not made an explanation as to how does elvenkind view the gods from the people from the other two continents. I'll have to think about that one!

Jul 15, 2019 04:16 by Orlon

I really like the separation of powers that you've come up with: below, above, between, and the mandate from the gods to take care of those parts of their creation. The idea that the gods can change the world while asleep, but only observe when awake is a brilliant nuance.   It would be interesting to me to have just another half sentence in the Clash of Faiths section: the tengu believe that that forests are a gift from Hei Feng _and therefore will collect wood and hunt for food, which really upsets the Triumvirs._ Or whatever words are true for your world, just a little something there to highlight the conflict.   As a parent, I very much appreciate the priestess' words to her daughter - "Here's how to make good choices, honey." That's good stuff! Thank you for posting this for review, I enjoyed it!

Jul 15, 2019 08:19

Hi Orlon, thanks for reading!   I'm really glad you liked the idea. While I don't think I made the simile/comparison anywhere, it is meant to be a further balance/dichotomy in the world: awake versus sleep, just like day versus night. I try to incorporate symbolism into the world, particularly when creating a religion, but I don't think that's worthy of putting out loud in an article. But since you liked it, I figured I could explain it a bit more :P   You were absolutely right about the Clash of Faiths section, so I have now added a sentence like what you suggested, to make it more clear (hopefully).

Jul 15, 2019 12:17 by Orlon

That does make it more clear for me, thanks!

Jul 15, 2019 17:44

This is an interesting take on the deities. As someone mentioned below, they seem like world builders of sorts. I'm curious, did you use Saranrae (aka the Pathfinder goddess) on purpose or was it accidental? I'd like to see some information on which tribes worship the different members of the Triumvirate.

Jul 15, 2019 18:08

Hi astrandedrusalka,   Of course, all gods have been chosen with a purpose, and all gods are Pathfinder gods (the links in the article will take you to their wikis). If you want to find out a bit more about the gods in this setting, from a world-building perspective and not from a lore perspective, you can have a look here   I think you may have missed the "Deities and race" section on the sidebar, which addresses worship and clergy of each race.