Sturn Character in Nora | World Anvil


God of Serpents and Death

"I am my father's heart. His passion, his anger, his love. I regret none of the choices I have made in following it; I only regret that the world he has borne me into so often rejects these feelings. I accept my judgment but do not mistake this for agreement. The Risen will suffer from our mistakes and the world will soon follow." - Sturn, during his second and final trial in front of the Council.
  When Stirna descended to the surface of Nora to greet the pair of gods that had risen from Nora's blood, he decided to give the world two gods of his own blood to aid in its formation. Firna was the first and represented the manifestation of his father's body with the appearance of a great feathered serpent. Sturn was the second and was the manifestation of Stirna's spirit, harboring his thoughts and emotions. His body was closer to that of Artur and Elanaah, resembling what would now be known as a Dahlen with rich purple skin and patches of black scales throughout his body. Stirna gave his decree to the four of them altogether. Firna would watch over the gods with his own creations while Sturn would join hands and walk amongst them as an equal.   Sturn was welcomed by both Artur and Elanaah with open arms but while he was happy to have Artur as a brother, he was immediately enamored with Elanaah. She bore an almost perfect resemblance to Nora and it was enough for him to mistake her in the beginning. Sturn's hearts and thoughts were certainly his father's, and he craved her attention and affections just as deeply as the primordial did before him. The desires were quickly subdued upon his discovery that she and Artur were already bonded in marriage. He devoted himself to the divine purpose of the gods alongside them in the vain hopes that duty could suppress or even move him past the desires he held for Elanaah.   He joined them in their discovery of the next three gods, Deign, Orloch, and Seigna. Artur declared himself as their leader with Elanaah's support and Sturn gave his support alongside hers. Sturn watched as Orloch attacked Artur in defiance and remained a bystander in the conflict. He felt his father's envy and rage swell as he hoped for Orloch to defeat or even slay Artur, if only for his own opportunity to supersede him in death. Elanaah took her husband's side, much to Sturn's dismay, and ended the conflict quickly. Sturn stood beside the two victors as they called forth the first Council of the Gods and explained Stirna's Decree once again to the newcomers. From there, they all separated to take their separate parts in their divine purpose.   Sturn found himself in the great desert to the west now known as Nioyaathep. He found an unusual comfort in Solar's warmth here and saw great potential in the sands around him. It was here that he would create the Dahlen, his Risen of faith and passion made in his image. Artur had laid out in the first meeting of the Council that the Risen must have free will and that the gods should not force any thoughts or emotions in their creation. Sturn rejected this, whether because he felt it was right or just to spite Artur, planting a deep love for him in their creation. The Dahlen grew into a race of fervent worshippers and sang his praises in their halls that they soon constructed in the desert.   Nioyaathep held a secret beneath the sands that Sturn discovered in his journeys throughout the desert. He stumbled on a gateway that led to another realm. Similar in design to the ones that Elanaah had discovered leading to the Realm of the Fae, this one led to an empty realm of moldable shadows. It was soon after the death of the first Risen that he discovered their soul in this space which declared it as a resting space for the dead. He shared this discovery with the other gods, pointing it toward Artur in particular. He explained that this is where the Lawbringer could lay judgment upon the deceased and create a resting place for them. The other gods agreed, growing fond of this idea, and Sturn began developing it for Artur to take over in the future.   When the Fae Gates started spreading and conflicts broke out between them and the Dahlen, Sturn quickly joined Artur and Elanaah on a journey to the Fae Realm. Elanaah revealed that she actually had a connection here with the Queen of the Summer Court. This surprised Sturn as well as the other Court Rulers of the Fae Realm and led to fruitful negotiations. The biggest surprise came to the trio of gods when Minest, the Winter Queen, began accusing Sturn and Elanaah of being in love and having an illicit affair with one another behind Artur's back. The concept of lies was new to the gods and thus created a great stir between the three of them. Sturn avoided any questions about his feelings but steadfastly denied any secret relationship between him and Elanaah. The delegation had their feelings temporarily relieved when the other Court Rulers reluctantly admitted Minest's dishonest tendencies. Their talks of peace ended successfully as they began their journey back to their realm. Sturn left with a sense of guilt accompanying him from the rumors, but also a sense of hope as he sensed the unease between the married gods.   The conflicts in Nioyaathep did not end with a peaceful resolution with the Fae. Wars among the Risen, heavily encouraged by Orloch, continued to threaten the Dahlen as the Humans and Ehlen joined together in their attacks on the desert. Now, with Artur suspecting him, Sturn began to fear his time on Nora may actually be limited. He did not want the Dahlen to be left defenseless in his potential absence. He decided to risk pushing this absence much closer by bestowing access to the power of Magick to the Dahlen. This was nowhere close to the level the gods possessed, but it was well enough to give them a fighting chance against the fae or, perhaps more appropriately, other Risen. Artur was understandably furious at Sturn's transgression against the Laws of Governance and immediately called him to judgment before the Council of the Gods. The Lawbringer cried treason and pushed for extreme punishment, stating that he was not beyond the thought of execution. Sturn still aimed to defend himself in front of the Council, claiming his act as one of passion for his beloved creations. He openly admitted his guilt in front of the other gods and pleaded for forgiveness and acceptance of his new decision. Sturn also explained that it could be beneficial to the Risen as a whole and that they should pose no threat to the gods as their power should never reach the same level as theirs. Many of the other gods in the council felt partial to his pleas and came to his defense, most notably Deign, Beirn, and Elanaah. Both Sturn and Artur were mostly moved by Elanaah's surprise testimony, being the first time where she had sided against her husband. Sturn's actions were eventually pardoned by the council and all Risen were given access to the power of Magick.   With the results of the trial, Sturn was resolved in his beliefs, both towards the state of the world and his feelings towards Elanaah. He made many attempts at connecting with her to no avail over the busy years that followed. In the meantime, he kept himself occupied with many of his own dealings in his territory. Sturn saw to it that Mortair, one of his most fervent worshippers and the creator of rituals, went through the rite of Ascension and became a god. Having one of his own on the Council furthered his feeling of safety for the Dahlen. His work also continued over the Realm of the Dead that now had a steady influx of souls needing a resting place for their afterlife. It was still his intention to pass it on to Artur when the time was right.   Finally, two centuries after his trial, Elanaah agreed to meet with Sturn. Waiting for this moment, he called for her to meet him in a secret glade in which he had planted a godly display of dahlias in his hopes of winning her affection. The conversations held between the two of them remain a heavily debated secret throughout time. The end result, however, is certain as it led to the greatest rift between the gods. Not long after their meeting, Elanaah found that she was pregnant with a second set of twins and, just as with her first two, many of the other gods came to be in attendance. The first was Panen, a sickly child that resembled an Ehlen with the wings of a butterfly. Although it was unusual for a sickly child to be born amongst the gods, he was still accepted in those early moments by both parents. The second child, however, tore a rift between the members of the council as she was born with the lower extremities of a serpent and a face and torso outlined in snake scales that could only be matched to Sturn, her father. Artur attacked Sturn who quickly brought his staff forward for defense before the Lawbringer could be brought to heel by the combined efforts of Deign, Seigna, and Mortair. An immediate Council meeting was called for and Sturn came in chains to be judged.   Artur called for his immediate execution and was quickly backed by his first two children, Jerun and Kiran. His claim was treason, adultery, and seduction, asserting that Sturn seduced and took advantage of his wife in all her kindness. He also brought up Sturn's differing birth and previous disregard for their laws as evidence for his wicked ways. Sturn denied all of this, claiming that he truly loved Elanaah and always had, explaining to the Council that their meeting and union in the glade was out of mutual affection. He proclaimed that everything he has been brought to trial for to this point, for bestowing Magick to the Dahlen, for the birth of his child out of adultery, was all for love and no crime. All of his proclamations turned to silence when Elanaah took the side of her husband and testified against him.   Sturn was brought to a separate holding area while the gods deliberated on his fate. Many came to visit him in his cells, including Deign and Beirn to offer their sympathies, and Orloch who told him to challenge Artur to a duel and let fate decide. Firna and Mortair came to him separately, each one offering to tear the other gods apart in a war on his side if that is what he desired. Firna even offered to make an appeal to their primordial father. Sturn declined. He knew that if the Council of the Gods were to split into factions and wage war upon one another, it could be the end of the world. He also knew that it may result in him having to fight against Elanaah.   In the end, the judgment of execution was never passed. The Council of the Gods ultimately agreed to banishment; Sturn would be sent away into the Realm of the Dead, where he would watch over them for eternity, never to step foot again in the Realm of the Gods. His bastard child would also be designated to the deserts of Nioyaathep, to watch over the gateway into her father's realm. He accepted his punishment and said his somber farewells to the gods that would receive them. He was unable to have any final words with Elanaah after the trial, who remained absent alongside her husband.   Sturn gave his daughter Dahlia, named after the flowers he had arranged around the event of her conception, her first and final kiss from her father as he left her in the hands of Mortair. He traveled down into the gateway into the other realm that he had long cultivated for another and has remained the ruler of the Realm of Death ever since.  
Ruler over Death
  Sturn possesses the power of divine creation, with which he created the fervent Dahlen in his image to fill his purpose given by Stirna. They worship Sturn and Dahlia with an unrivaled passion amongst the other Risen. The Dahlen have settled in the deserts of Nioyaathep where their creator first felt the true warmth of Solar and where the gateway to the Realm of Death is believed to be. Due to Sturn's betrayal of both Artur's laws and his marriage, both the Humans and the Ehlen possess a strong resentment against the Dahlen who still support their master's actions.   Known commonly as the Father of Serpents, Sturn has earned the title due to his creation of their kind that now finds itself widespread throughout the world. Their bodies are similar to Firna and Stirna in shape and scales that can also be found on Sturn himself. The snake-like attributes foud on his body can also be found in the Dahlen as well as a form of rare birth defect. They treat this as the opposite, however, seeing these features as blessings from their god. The features can range from patches of scales to serpentine eyes, to even whole sections of the body being replaced. It is common for those born with these affectations to be welcomed into the temples and elevated to high, important positions in the Dahlen hierarchy. Snakes themselves are considered sacred throughout all of Dahlen society.   With his now-permanent home in the Realm of the Dead, Sturn lays judgment over the souls of the dead and constructs an afterlife for each one of them out of the shadows he controls there. Each afterlife he creates acts as its own pocket in the realm of the dead, severed from one another unless he purposefully allows them to spend their time together. Most are held in repeating days to reflect the judgment of their souls; a day with their loved ones, a day spent with a favored hobby, or days spent reliving past guilts and traumas. Some are stuck in a limbo of sorts where they remain unfeeling and unknowing of the passing of time. Even rare are those who are allowed to have windows into the Realm of the Gods where they can continue to watch over their descendants or just the Realm itself. In the event that a cleric may work to resurrect a body, Sturn must be petitioned to release the soul from his hold, otherwise, a blank slate may fill the body as an apathetic husk.
Icons of Sturn
  Sturn bears the appearance of a tall Dahlen and was believed to stand a head taller than Artur. His regal purple skin is bedecked with long patches of black scales that frame out his jawline, ribs, and other bodily features. He has long silvery white hair that often remained slicked back to remain out of his face. Sturn wears an open coat and stitched leather pants both made from the hide of the first dragon. He also wields his Staff of the Serpent God forged for him by Deign, a jagged obsidian staff ending in the head of a viper enhancing his magick that he can will into the shape of other weapons.   Emblems representing Sturn's worship are that of a viper's head with its mouth wide and fangs bared. These are often made out of precious metals with ruby gems embedded in the eyes to mimic the red eyes of the patron god. His emblems and altars are typically never far from those of Dahlia and Mortair as most temples throughout Nioyaathep worship the three of them together.  
Factions of the Serpent God
  While Sturn himself lacks a physical presence in the Realm of the Gods, he is never without his agents. The most notable of these would be the Scaled Revenants, spirits made manifest with a newly emboldened physical form that act as hunters for lost souls. Some souls manage to escape from the Realm of the Dead either through outside interference or from sheer will. Scaled Revenants will be dispatched to track down and return these souls to Sturn's government. The revenants are easily identified by their otherworldly appearance with armor of jagged obsidian and a purple-green misty glow around their forms. They are also most often deceased Dahlen with massive snake features, whole heads or lower extremities having been replaced with that of their serpent kin.   Another much less popular faction of followers would be The Serpent's Hand. After Risen discovered that the Rite of Ascension that would make one into a god is possible, many have sought after the secrets to such a grand ritual. The Serpent's Hand acts in the shadows to locate such individuals and deal with them appropriately, mostly through execution. They believe that the power a god holds is too great to risk falling into the hands of someone who isn't worthy of the gods presenting the Rite themselves. Their numbers are few and far between, yet they are rumored to have an extensive information network set up throughout the world.  
Great Serpents
  Sturn's creation of serpents has extended far past the mundane snakes found throughout the world and has infiltrated the ranks of dangerous Magickal Beasts. Most notable would be the Nehebek, the great serpents found within the deserts of Nioyaathep that the Shasreel rely upon for travel and are feared by all others. The Nagas, not to be confused with those Dahlen born with serpent features, found throughout The Northern Isles and small islands around Vasileio are also of his design.   There are many who credit the Great Sea Serpents to be his creations as well given their name, but these belong to his brother Firna instead.


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