Aranayan is the god of creating, light, birth, truth, water, discovery, and Art.
Titles: The Creator, The Light and the Beginning, Truth-Bringer, Father of All Creation, The Merciful, The Supreme Confessor
Favored Animal: Lions. The regal and proud lion symbolizes Aranayan’s prowess and position as leader of the Lords of Light.
Aranayan is one of the four main Powers created by Fate to rule the universe. Many see Aranayan as a god of “good” but that is to misunderstand the nature of the divine. The sun may create life, but it can also burn it away. A vine that is created can also choke the life out of other plants. And creation requires the destruction of what needs to be re-created in a better form. Aranayan is the god of creation and beginnings and is the opposite of his counterpart, Belendor, the god of destruction and and dying. The two forces balance one another, much as Twiggle and Enoth do.
Though Aranayan does not claim to be “good,” those who follow Aranayan nearly always are. They are called to help, seek truth, aid in childbirth, bring hope, and root out darkness and evil. Indeed, Aranayan’s followers are often the most stalwart champions of the Light.
Followers of Aranayan believe, whether correct or not, that Aranayan, not Fate, created the universe. That Aranayan chose, in an act of benevolence, to give birth to all that is. However, Arayanan’s judgement is equally powerful and terrible. Aranayan smote Tidron and laid him low when the god of paladins begged to bear a punishment intended for his beloved Aravel. Aranayan is benevolent, stern, and uncompromising.
Aranayan can manifest in any form they wish. How Aranayan manifests typically indicates their intentions. A gentle fisherman or maiden might bring good news while a penitent or warrior might come to show Aranayan’s displeasure. Nearly all depictions of Aranayan wear white and prominently feature a star, either as a tattoo or an adornment. Aranayan loves all of their creations, and is pleased by people of all races, types, professions, and appearances. Folktales say a shock of white hair on a babe or young person is a sign of the Father of Creation’s favor, an omen foretelling a life dedicated to serving the Light.
Aranayan remains distant from the other Lords of Light. It is not an aloof or cold distance, but a respectful distance that shows trust in the abilities of their subordinates. Perhaps the new incarnation of Aranayan, who once was Tidron, will be less distant. However, it is too soon to tell.
Followers of Aranayan tend to fall into two main sects: The Lightgivers and the Sunset Vigil.
The Lightgivers focus on the community and family aspect of Aranayan. They promote the growth of powerful communities and tend to be found in more agrarian areas where farmers pray to Aranayan to bless their crops and to forgive Aravel for whichever great sin she committed. Lightgivers promote mercy through penance and doing of good deeds. They tend to be less against material wealth and possessions as those can be used to promote good.
The Sunset Vigil tends to focus more on the fact that agents of Belendor exist in the world and can corrupt and destroy society of allowed to thrive and survive. They actively root out “evil” and rarely compromise, yet they also keep the general good of the community in mind (they are not zealots who hurt the common people in their pursuit of destroying evil). While acknowledging that mercy is important, they tend to be more harsh in their granting of it. Those of the Sunset Vigil typically eschew material wealth in favor of simple living.
Approbation and Displeasure
Actions/ideas that please Aranayan:
- Mercy to the penitent (with scourging and sacrifice)
- Duty towards community/family/people
- Piety (family, city, nation) and refraining from holding wealth (unless used to create a stronger society)
- Creating something new (art, ideas)
- Inspiring others
- Creating hope
- Self sacrifice
- Celebration of life during a funeral
- Mercy toward and healing of one’s enemies
Actions/ideas that displease Aranayan (and may result in the loss of magical abilities):
- Hedonism–pleasures for the sake of pleasure
- Killing an unarmed enemy
- Use of poison
- Some sects ban weapons that spill blood and have no other use but killing
- Destruction without purpose
- When worshipers do not revel in the blessings of all the lords of light
- Destruction or weakening of communities
- Anything that promotes the Lords of Darkness
- Anything that promotes undead
- Denying one’s faith in Aranayan
Holy Places and Holy Days
Aranayan’s temples and shrines vary from the very grand to the very simple, and of all the gods, Aranayan has the most temples/shrines on Azkon. The most grand and celebrated temples can be found with the Knights of the Peaks, House Kran’s capital Bai Tandros, House Dranir’s capital Trimond, and hidden deep in the Wild Plains.
The holiest days for Aranayan are the first days, as they celebrate new creation and new beginnings. The summer solstice is the holy day held in common between the Lightgivers and the Sunset Vigil, often they meet in common and discuss their mutual differences over a general feast on this day. The early days of April are holy for the Lightgivers, as those are the days of new planting and a new season. The early days of November are the holy days for the Sunset Vigil as they prepare for the winter and hold back the darkness (October and December being Belendor focused holidays).
Records from the Library of Arn point to the earliest signs of worship 3,000 years ago with a temple located in what is now Kran lands (was not under Kran control at that time).
Under the Hazon Empire, followers of Aranayan were tolerated but given second class status–many consider those to be the years in which their faith was tempered. After the fall of Hazon, worship has flourished with the falling of favor given to Enoth.
Aranayan recently walked the mortal realms as a man named Cromwell. He chose to sacrifice himself, giving his mantle and powers to Tidron, to prevent Belendor from unmaking the world in a terrible and strange show of her love for Aranayan.
Correct Worship and Rites/Rituals/Requirements
Followers of Aranayan typically engage in:
- Every morning, hold a ritual to bless the day and celebrate the birth of new creation–it involves holding up their hands and blowing across their palms, burning of incense, and chanting
- In the evening, followers often light fires to keep the darkness at bay and mourn the end of a new creation, this often includes the singing of songs
- If they see something being built or created, they often feel a pull to be involved
- Many followers, at least once a year, stand in vigil throughout a night to ward against the darkness
- The taking of confession and offering of penitence and forgiveness is common
- They often feel the need to “bring the light into the darkness” in all forms
- Seeing drinking as “pleasure for pleasure’s sake” they often campaign against drunkenness
- Inspired to create a better society they fight racism, sexism, and discrimination in all forms