The Twelve Stars Myth in Ealam | World Anvil

The Twelve Stars

Cast down from towering heavens/
On ground of mortals five and seven/
Angels tasked with righting a wrong/
Masked as a miracle heralded in song./
But each star fallen as a wing-clipped dove/
Surrendered to the mortal sin of love.

- Fragment of a Cetoilais lay


The Twelve Stars wandered Ereb with Thierrin, breaking vows of obedience out of love for the Wandering God. Each of the Twelve is associated with a tradition, and their divine blood is found in the Cetoilais people, beautiful and prosperous.

Historical Basis

The twelve stars were heralds of the sky god Taranis, sent to earth in order to bring Thierrin the Living God to Taranis' kingdom in the clouds. Out of love for the Living God and the mortals they had spent countless centuries observing, they forswore their vows of obedience to Taranis. Following the Living God, they wandered across Ereb Ereb and its neighbours before settling with Thierrin in the land that would come to be known as Cetoilais. Imparting their divine blessings upon this land, they departed with Thierrin to Terre d'Etoile, the paradise that awaits those who follow Thierrin's precepts.  


"Peace lies on the far side of war."
The Star of War sought to take Thierrin by force. Their efforts foiled by Samyazai's calm and cunning strategies. Seeing Azariel's rage, Thierrin offered himself to Azariel, holding out his hand. A sharp rock had grazed it, and Azariel saw Thierrin's blood, a sure sign of his mortality. Azariel, who had loved Hethe, the living god, wept and pledged their sword and shield to Thierrin, vowing to follow him wherever he went. Azariel's scions settled in the duchy of Azaille , an industrious and choleric temperament the canon of Azariel's descendants. They are skilled artisans of weapons and armor, and collude with Samyazai's scions to create machines of war. Azariel's clergy are warriors, dedicated to protecting the borders of Cetoile.  


"All storms end."
Before Baraqel's descent, it was her duty to control the ragings of a viscious storm god residing in the strait between Cetoile and the neighbouring islands. Baraqel's eternal battles ended when she arrived on Ereb in a flash of lightning whose force quaked the earth. It was Thierrin's love of peace that softened her battle-hardened heart. Baraqel taught people the art of sailing and weather-reading as she wandered with Thierrin. It is said that when she drew her sword, she could call upon storms, and that her blade held within its celestial metal the power of lightning. Her children are most populous in the seaside duchy of Baramar . Trueborn of Baraqel's line are talented sailors, fishermen, weather forecasters and shipwrights. Rarely among her scions may be born one with flecks of purple in their irises. These flecks are called Baraqel's Sparks, and hint that the child may develop the power to control the weather. Baraqel is associated with air, storms, battle and geraniums.  


"Each star tells a story. Which one is yours?"
Desmariel knew the starry sky well. To each Star is given singular power, but Desmariel had been given divine insight into the manipulation of the very patterns of the universe. Among angels, magic is common; it is a part of their blood. Desmariel's magic, however, was channeled through the astrological power of others. She used the alignments of the stars and recorded the ebb and flow of her power based on stellar alignments. It was the will of Taranis that Desmariel harnessed the power of the traitorous Stars to subdue Thierrin. Upon casting her spells, however, she found her magic impotent. The love the stars felt for The Wanderer allowed their power to do no harm to him. Desmariel saw this, too, as a movement of the stars, and sought to align herself on her true path. Desmariel is particularly despised in the Hethite religion for teaching mortals how to read destinies in the stars, and to harness their power for magic. Demaine is where The Witch's scions roam. Starry-eyed dreamers who look to the night skies and chart the movements of constellations, the Demais people love mystery and stories. Those marked by The Witch are born with marks that delineate constellations upon their skin, and are adept at reading fates and weaving magic, but are emotionally labile. Desmariel is associate with stars, magic, fate, indigo and sheep.  


"To love is to be divine."
The youngest of the twelve stars, Eloa's love for Thierrin sprang to life when she first laid eyes on him. Innocent and pure, it is said that she lay with men only when accompanied by Thierrin or her elder sister, Laila. The duchy Eloine is named for her. Her gentle, demure, loyal nature is often seen in her scions, who often find service in powerful positions. Music and poetry, too, were her domain, and her descendants are often talented in these. Her children smell of apples when they are embarrassed or afraid. She is associated with sunlight and the apple blossom. Her clergy preside over marriages, births and deaths.  


"Pain is not necessary."
The healing star of the north, Ielhim was swayed from his duty by the compassion Thierrin showed to mortals. To those who would listen, he taught the arts of herbalism and healing. To the Cetoilais people, he taught forbidden celestial magic. Only through Laila's intervention was his star not snuffed from the heavens by Taranis. Ielheth lies in the northern ranges of Cetoile, where the gentle healer rested after his long travels. Cetoilais women must light a candle to Ielhim and pray to the healer if they wish to become pregnant. His children are often healers or apothecaries. Though he taught celestial magic to mortals, few have the ability to use it. A floral birthmark upon a newborn of Ielheth hints at the capacity to use this forbidden magic. Clergy of Ielhim are healers and counsellors. Ielhim is associated with healing, warmth, daffodils and butterflies.  


"A heart untouched is wasted."
A passionate lover and dancer. Of all the angels, Laila was among the most beautiful, her charm quickening the pulse of the most ascetic of men. Among her duties was the seeding of desire in the hearts of mortals. Along with her younger sister, Laila was sent to seduce Thierrin to the heavens. He refused her wiles, however. His love for humanity ran deeper than the desires of the flesh. Moved by the depths of his devotion, and by her sister's innocent love for the Wanderer, Laila accompanied Thierrin. Her seductive beauty ensured the safety of Thierrin and the stars as they travelled through hostile territory. A skilled diplomat as well as seductress, Laila's scions in Laileth are quick-witted and adroit, often blessed with an insight into the hearts and minds of others. To the Cetoilais, Laila taught the arts of pleasure and persuasion, and knowledge of the mortal psyche. Laila is associated with the night and jasmine. Her clergy act as negotiators and sacred prostitutes.  


"To each thing, a pattern. To each pattern, a law."
Moshiel approached her task with eyes ever serene and a mind made of logic. In the heavens, she had, with her brother Samyazai, mapped each celestial body and discerned the patterns to which they moved. Over the domains of probability, knowledge and logic she claimed dominion. Emotions touched her heart rarely and lightly. Bonds of love and friendship were utilitarian ties of convenience. Thierrin taught this star where even her brother, keeper of the Akashic Records, had failed. Love, desier and pleasure need not be divorced from logic. In Mosheth, they are celebrated alongside each other. Even the mechanics of the heart and passion are puzzled and theorised. Moshiel's descendants are, like their foremother, logical lovers of order, seeing patterns even in apparent chaos. Moshiel taught the sciences of statistics, mathematics and logic to mortals who would listen. Clergy of Moshiel are philosophers and law makers as well as scientists. Her scions are logical and precise. She is associated with symmetry, the colour grey and noon.  


"All knowledge is worth having."
An erudite sage, Samyazai's duties in the heavens were tending to the Akashic Records and the great library that holds them. Thierrin's affectionate curiosity for mortals allowed Samyazai to understand that the lives of mortals are not merely a series of events to be recorded. Samyazai's descendants are primarily found in the the duchy of Sammaire, where the Cetoilais Academy, the country's most prestigious university, lies. Samyazai's scions have a love for knowledge and a singular ability to retrieve and store mental information, and are skilled scholars, tacticians, historians and bureaucrats. Samyazai taught the people of Cetoilais the worth of knowledge and systems to store it. He is associated with the sky and basil. His clergy are often ascetic monks dedicated to the preservation and dissemination of knowledge.  


Tatael was a cunning and quick-witted star, known well to Moshiel and her brother. Few in the sky knew more of the Akashic Records than her, and none more adept at formulating new ideas from old. Taranis tasked Tatael with creating a device to trap Thierrin. He had not counted her vanity, however, and when Thierrin complimented her ingenuity, and marvelled at the contraption that married magic and technology. They discussed the device for ten days, Thierrin listening intently as Tatael spoke of her genius, curiosity and love. When Thierrin spoke to Tatael of the creations of mortals made better navigate the world, Tatael listened in turn. Linked by a mutual love of mortal genius, Tatael joined Thierrin. Nestled in south central Cetoile, Tataeux's borders Mosheth and Sammaire. Tatael's clergy are few and reclusive, eccentric geniuses who invent and create. Tatael's descendants are blessed with bounteous creativity, and are inventors, philosophers, engineers, alchemists designers and architects. Tatael is associated with invention, ingenuity, engineering, alchemy. She is associated with the colour orange, topaz and dandelions.  


"All life was nurtured."
Urdel was a watchful star tasked with cultivating and nurturing the plants and animals of Ealam. He watched Thierrin from afar, impeding his progress through the growth of roots or the urging of wild animals. Even the animals submitted to Thierrin, however, and the plants acquiesced to his pleas. When Thierrin explained to Urdel that his love for mortality encompassed all living things upon Ealam, the star broke his vow and wandered the lands with Thierrin and the other stars. Urdel's descendants are most concentrated in Urdenai, and are skilled at agriculture, animal husbandry and horticulture, the arts which Urdel imparted to the Cetoilais. Elves number uncommonly common among his children. Rarely, an elven child grows a bestial tail in Urdenai, a sure sign that The Gardener has taken a singular interest in the destiny of the child. Urdel is associated with nature, nurture, the plough and the colour green.  


"Each life is a work of art."
The twin-souled celestial artist drifted like a cloud, drawing and giving inspiration where they would. Taranis ceased their languid vagrant life. To Yiniel, he commanded the painting of a cage to entrap The Wanderer. And so they set about, wandering ahead of Thierrin with eyes ever turned toward him. To see the world from the earth, not the sky, was a new experience for Yiniel, and they sang and painted freely. Thierrin celebrated the works, and when at last the three met, they embraced and sang together a song of love. Yiniel's moods were unpredictable, though their loyalty was not. To Thierrin and their companions, they dedicated many works of art, and with Eloa, created many works of acoustic poetry. Yiniel's descendants are touched with the same impulsive creativity as their progenitors. The manifestation of multiple distinct personalities is something celebrated among the people of Yinaia, and the duchy produces an amazing amount of artwork, using varied canvases. Yiniel is associated with creativity, colour, music, impulsivity, chaos, travel, experience and emotion. They are also connected to the moonflower, opal and the colours of pastel pink and pastel blue.  


"Absolution through pain."
Before his fall, bronze-faced Zariel was tasked with watching the portals to the afterlives and punishing those whose souls were not fit to enter the realms of their gods. Some traditions paint him as a sadistic and cruel punisher, his mace crushing sin from brain and bone and his spiked chain rending it from the flesh. In truth, he was impartial to sin and piety. He punished the souls of mortals for love of them. A king or slave, a merchant or beggar, he loved all equally. He was sent to punish Thierrin for his blasphemous existence and weigh the worth of his soul. It is said that when Zariel saw the depth of Thierrin's love for the world, the bronze of his face cracked beneath his sacred tears. In d'Etoile, it is said that he weighs the worth of those who would enter, and exacts expiation on the unworthy. The duchy of Zareth bears his name, and his blood runs in those familial lines that trace their origin to the mountainous region. To mortals, Zariel taught that pain can cleanse, and may be inflicted through love as well as hate. His scions are adept torturers, though the profession is seen by society as inhumane. They also have the ability to discern the truth of arguments with uncanny accuracy and alacrity. Thus, Zariel's scions can also be found as judges and advisors, or as lawyers, where they can combine their insight with their predilection toward torture. Zariel is associated with pain, bronze, the westerly wind and salvation. His clergy wear black robes accented with bronze, bronze masks with perpendicular lines running downward from the eyes downward, and heavy bronze chains about their necks. They are tasked with absolving the wrongs of Cetoilais citizens, and outlining appropriate reparations when no judge or jury is present.
Related Deities
Thierrin | Azariel | Baraqel | Desmariel | Eloa | Laila | Ielhim | Moshiel | Samyazai | Tatael | Urdel | Yiniel | Zariel
Related Ethnicities
Related Locations


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