The Origin of the Divines
As with all things, even the gods and goddesses of the realm have to have a beginning to their story, and this is the origin of the Divines who created life in Kelbonnar, shaped it and now mar it through their Divine War.
In the beginning, there was nothing. Not a breath of wind, no chirping of birds or lapping of oceans against the shores, no animals rustling within wooded glades, or humanoids toiling in their towns and cities. And then Orivious woke up. He awoke in a desolate land, devoid of all but bare rock and he had no idea how he had come to be in this place, what this place was, what had come to pass there, or how he had come to exist in the first place. As he stood and looked around he realised that in this entire realm he was the only living being and he felt sadness. Sadness that he was completely and utterly alone with no one and nothing to distract him from the tortuous thoughts, fears and desires that rampaged through his mind. So Orivious set to work, taking the lifeless rock that lay all about him and forming it into nine crude likenesses of himself. Then he took a jagged stone and cut the palm of his hand, wiping a smear of his own blood onto the eyes, mouth and crown of the head of each of the statues. The blood sank into the effigies, but nothing else happened. Enraged, Orivious dashed one of the statues to pieces, weeping bitterly that he was still alone and weakened by rage and his ordeal he slumped on the ground and fell asleep. However, as he slept, his blood worked its divine magic in each of the statues, forming them into the flesh and blood of the first Divines: Prota, Menella, Astartes, Wresmella, Polephemon, Persephonell, Kroni and Sagosa. The blood transformed and transcended the statues Orivious had carved into unique likenesses, so far removed from his crude attempts to copy his own image and imbued the first Divines with the same divine power that their creator possessed. The seventh statue, however, remained a statue stained with Orivious’ blood. When Orivious finally awoke, he was surrounded by his eight children and the inanimate simulacrum of his ninth. He was overjoyed at what he had created, though wracked with grief at the life that he had so foolishly blotted out before it had even existed. Nevertheless Orivious and the first Divines set to work shaping the landscape of the planes of existence they found around them and creating new life in this place Orivious named Kelbonnar, which translates from the Celestial tongue as ‘land of the gods’. They also set to work building themselves palaces, halls and gardens to live in, as well as a grand mausoleum on the site that the ninth child had been destroyed, to house the remains of what Orivious dubbed Okamenos, the lost one. In time, the children of Orivious grew close and encouraged by their father, they coupled up and married, hoping to bring more life into the world that they had started shaping into their own versions of paradise. Prota married Menella, Astartes married Wresmella, Polephemon married Persephonell and Kroni wed Sagosa. From these four bloodlines the other Divines sprung. Despite being happy for his children, seeing them wed and begin to form families of their own made Orivious simultaneously sad, jealous and angry. He feared that he would be left alone once again, so he created one last Divine, shaping them as he had his children and bringing them to life with his own blood. From this ritual, Thrina was born and this most beautiful of deities became Orivious' bride and constant companion, with whom he hoped to find the happiness and family life that his children had found with one another. Myth of the Origin of the Divines, as translated from Theologian by Politsal, Sworn of Gallena and High Priest of the Temple of Gallena at Mulvar's Outpost.
On the face of it, there is no specific reason to doubt the substance of the myth of the creation of the Divines. After all, Kelbonnar and its planes of existence are places where magic exists and is used and where the deities undeniably exist and wield tangible and devastating power. However, given that the origin of the deities is Orivious, a proto-deity associated with lies and deceit, amongst other things, doubt as to the exact nature of the origins of the senior Divines have been tabled. What the exact truth is, however, will probably never be known.
As the myth of the Origin of the Divines deals with the creation of the ruling pantheon of the world of Kelbonnar, the base myth and its variations are common knowledge amongst most of Kelbonnar’s peoples.
Variations & Mutation
A widespread variation of the myth has developed since the imprisonment of Orivious which amends the myth to claim that Orivious and the senior deities: Prota, Astartes, Polephemon, Kroni, Menella, Wresmella, Persephonell and Sagosa were all created at the same time, rather than Orivious being the original entity, but that it was Orivious who awoke first and who convinced the others that he was their creator, and that they should therefore be subservient to him. As this version of the myth is clearly as potentially partisan as the original version, along with the fact that it became popular after Orivious was banished by the other Divines, it is impossible to ascertain if there is any more truth to this version than the original origin tale.
The myth is widely written about in theological texts, for obvious reasons considering it relates directly to the deities of Kelbonnar, but it also appears in historical texts, especially those that deal with the origins of the Divine War. Many mortal academics see the roots of the current conflict amongst the Divines in their creation, with Orivious having established an untenable hierarchy amongst the gods and goddesses, which Prota and the other senior deities failed to rectify. The myth has also been represented in less serious circles and with their Divine War still raging on, it is often parodied by mortal writers, in an attempt to make the deities appear as figures of fun. The most notorious of these parodies is a play named The Great Calamity by the infamous playwright Bartholomew Ascord, which depicts Orivious and the senior deities as lecherous, power hungry fools, who comedically bumble their way into existence. Unsurprisingly, the play has been labelled as blasphemous by the temples of all of the major gods and goddesses.
The origin story of the gods and goddesses is an oft repeated subject in art of all media, though the deposition and imprisonment of Orivious by the other Divines means that most artwork depicting the myth instead dwells on the marriages of the four brothers, Prota, Astartes, Polephemon and Kroni to the four sisters Menella, Wresmella, Persephonell and Sagosa, leaving out any reference to their father, or indeed their initial creation at all. Indeed the inclusion of Orivious in artwork is an easy indicator of how old a particular piece is, with items including him generally dating from before his imprisonment, which means that the artwork itself is incredibly old. Most of the items of this nature that are known about are contained within the historical collections of scholarly houses, temples and affluent individuals. However, some more modern pieces are created with Orivious included, though for the most part, these are created by members of the Cult of Orivious which still exists within Kelbonnar.