The Creator is a multi-faceted, masculine deity whose primary associations are with the act of creation, crafting, artistic works, fire, and (for some) deception. Originally conceptualized as a deity of fire and destruction by early Vale Verdial culture, the Creator has since become the monotheistic patron of both Forgism and Knappism, where he embodies wry, fatherly qualities in lieu of his older, more violent persona.
Fire, Knowledge, Trickery; Creation, Artifice, Metal
Holy Books & Codes
The Creator in his modern form is mostly discussed in the tome Universal Artifice, one of the essential works of Forgist religious canon.
Divine Symbols & Sigils
In all sects which worship him, The Creator is closely associated with artisan's tools of all descriptions, but especially with those involved in the act of making more tools. Anvils, hammers, chisels, and other implements one might find in a workshop alongside a forge, foundry, or kiln are all regarded as potential objects of worship if applied to a work with the correct mindset. Among Knappists, the Creator is further connected with volcanoes and their output, especially workable obsidian.
Tenets of Faith
Among all sects which worship him, The Creator is known to smile upon acts of creation and artifice, especially those which seek to emulate or improve upon natural processes. Forgists usually take this literally, considering all acts of artistic or craftsmanlike work to have meditative, spiritual qualities to them. Among Knappists, this sacred philosophy is also regarded as a metaphor for the improvement of the self: the spiritual individual is just as much a piece of raw material, ready to be hewn and shaped into a more useful or beautiful form, as any lump of unworked minerals might be. Knappists call upon the Stern Father to gain the blessings of personal endurance, growth in the face of their adversities, and skill at arts, crafts, construction, and engineering. Among Knappists and open-minded Esotericists, the Creator (in his Knapper of Spirits guise) is revered for his staunch iormapu (endurance), iloi (intelligence), and ixa (spirit), though his istegu (strength) is also sometimes called upon for moments when this is required. Ritual sigils attuned to the Stern Father are often drawn on metal (i.e. the decks of ships) or scratched into volcanic stone surfaces, though this is not strictly necessary. In household ritual spaces, these symbols are carved into hard surfaces such as wood burl; the inner spaces of the sigils are filled with pigments which emulate the colors metal takes on when heated. Tools and raw materials placed at the foci of such sigils are thought to draw the Knapper of Spirit's blessing; sacred Eudoxium tools and armor stamped with the Knapper of Spirit's sigil are especially prized among those who recognize the Stern Father's spiritual patronage.
Divine Goals & Aspirations
Orthodox Forgists and the 125 Hands percieve The Creator to have connections to acts of illusion, deception, and trickery. In Forgist lore, The Creator created the world of the Manifold Sky as a sort of 'grand diorama' to decieve the children of man into thinking it is the only true reality - then imprisoned the many peoples of the Manifold within this creation at the end of The Curved Time. While Knappists do believe that The Stern Father was responsible for filling the Manifold at the end of The Curved Time, they regard this as less of an act of trickery than a sort of spiritual 'time-out' that a father might give his son to help him reconsider his misguided actions.
The Garbage Man of the extremist 125 Hands sect of believes that The White-Haired Gentleman may be a manifestation of The Creator. Sharing the Forgist sense that The Creator is a trickster deity, the 125 Hands go as far as believing that The Creator is an outright evil entity who created the world as an illusion to trap humanity in the torment of its current physical existence. To this end, acts of creation (and destruction) carried out by the Hands are done not so much to appease The Creator, but to prove that salt-of-the-earth individuals can and should surpass The Creator's malicious artifice with structures of their own divising.
The Creator is typically depicted as a middle-aged humanoid of Verdial (among Forgists) or Rostran (among Knappists) extraction who variously glows with heat or is somehow suffused with the same 'fiery energy' with which he carved the hollows of the Manifold away from the substance of the Celestial Realms. The World-Forger is often shown in a blacksmith's apron or overalls which strain to contain his stout, burly form. Knappists often depict The Refiner of Men as a ruddy, muscular man with three pairs of arms, each of which carries some carving or forging implement; in some depictions, these are instead replaced with long, flexible wings with finger-like feathers at the tips, while others (especially High and Cobalt Rostrans) portray them as scarf-like lengths of decoratively spun cloth emerging from behind him..
Honorary & Occupational Titles
The Creator is also known as The World-Forger among Forgists, a hold-over from his fiery previous incarnation in pre-Vale polytheistic lore. This older name is also the origin of the titular Hymns of the World-Forger. The Creator is also known as The Knapper of Spirits, The Stern Father, and the Refiner of Men in Knappist lore.