“Brother, rest. Lay down your blade. We have done all that we can can. I am weary and your strength is spent. We stood together and gave the others time. It will be enough. Rest, brother, lay down your head and I will ease your pains. Enoth will be pleased with our sacri- but wait. There is one last thing we can do. This will not hurt. Remember me, old friend, my brother…”
-Neleth’s last words, spoken to Nargoth

Noreis (Nor-ay) is the goddess of healing, the sick and injured, war, and honor duels.

Titles: Noreis Twice-born, Neleth’s Gift, Daughter of War, The Untried, The Novice Blademistress, The Motherless, The White Raven, Mistress of Dogs

Noreis is a neutral god aligned under Enoth. She is the newest member of the pantheon, having gained her mantle after the deaths of Neleth, Nargoth, and his herald, Taitlin.

She is a stern but compassionate goddess. Noreis is not aligned under Aranayan for several reasons. The most important ones being that she represents every aspect of war, including the cruel and barbaric aspects. She also represents impartiality. Noreis brings healing to all upon the field of battle- victors, losers, good, evil- she is unconcerned with their morality. Noreis is disciplined and orderly, like a soldier, and though she prefers honorable, moral soldiers she accepts and embraces those soldiers who live for the moment when their commanders cry havoc. In the end, the screaming, wounded soldier under her care matters–regardless of whom the soldier fights for.

Her sacred animals are mules, horses, dogs, ravens, and in Hazon, camels. The beasts associated with war, large and small, are respected by her followers. From the noblest warhorse to the raven feasting after a battle, all are respected for their place as creatures of war.

The Birth of Noreis

When the Fae declared war on the gods, it was Neleth, Nargoth, and ever-faithful Taitlin who stood together and brought their might down to bear against the vanguard. With a battle cry that would have made Feydor proud, Nargoth charged the Fae, distracting them as the other gods fled in order to regroup and later defeat the Fae.

Taitlin fell first, bleeding from a dozen wounds, slain by a volley of arrows as he shielded Neleth with his own body. Nargoth cut down legions of Fae with his greatsword, and Neleth healed his brother, his hands glowing bright with holy magics. Only the other gods can say how long their brethren held. But in the end, the Fae overwhelmed the two brothers.

Nargoth fought long past the point where death should have claimed him. His plate armor was battered and caked in glimmering fey dust and his own blood. Neleth, exhausted, his magic spent and his white hair red with blood, picked up Taitlin’s blade and stood, a holy warrior, with his brother. The two fought, back to back, until they knew the other gods had escaped the reach of the Fae.

Neleth fell before his brother, mortally wounded, but still conscious. Nargoth, his strength spent, dropped to his knees, his life’s blood pooling on the ground beneath him. He looked to his brother, laid down his blade, and pulled Neleth to him, resting his head on his lap. Neleth smiled, and placed his brother’s hand upon his sword and clasped it tightly, knowing that it was their time.

Their last moments changed the very essence of their mantles. Neleth, always the wiser of the brothers, knew that they would be needed again, and that his brother’s prior death had weakened his mantle. He flooded Nargoth with his power, hoping to save him, knowing that his mantle might be able to sustain him. But it had unforseen consequences. Neleth was utterly destroyed.

Nargoth’s blade fell from the heavens, his spirit, knowledge, and skill at arms preserved within it. It landed in Maribor, impaled deep in the flesh of a young priestess of Neleth who was looking for survivors after the Hazon forces had leveled the city. The tatters of Neleth’s mantle and Nargoth’s weakened mantle poured into the priestess, and Noreis was reborn. She rose from the rubble and gore of war-torn Maribor as a new goddess.

History

Before ascending, Noreis was a priestess of Neleth. She was born in the year 1,000 in a small farming village on the borders of Garesh and Hazon. After losing two of her brothers to the Second Dynasty War, she left home to offer her healing talents to Thorn forces on the front lines. Though young and untried, Noreis was fearless. Each soldier who fell was her brother or her sister and she risked death to pull as many as she could from the jaws of death. Strangly, she was also noted for healing the wounded of the Hazon forces, and arguing against the normal slaughter of the non-noble defeated army. Her actions drew praise and scorn in equal numbers.

Noreis is a slight, almost fragile looking young woman. She has steely grey eyes and curly, black hair with a streak of white at her temple. She has a deep scar on her cheek and another that runs along her brow. Despite her youth and small stature she has an air of authority.  She carries Nargoth’s blade, which she has named Memory, and wears chain and a pale blue tabard.

She is neither Neleth nor Nargoth. But she has echoes of both of her fathers within her. She is soft-spoken like Neleth, but bold and confident like Nargoth. She embodies the whole of war- from the lowliest soldier to the most cunning general. The brutality of a siege and the precision of a guerilla attack. The thrill of victory and the moans of mortally wounded soldiers, dying after a battle. She also embodies healing, whether done by a medic on the field, a priest in a temple, or by a Kran surgeon in one of their grand universities.

Noreis is never seen without her sword. She knows that the essence of Nargoth is within it. More importantly, Nargoth is sentient. He acts as a guide for his daughter, both in matters of war as well as when she fights. The soft-spoken priestess turned goddess echoes Nargoth’s bold, confident presence on the battlefield when she draws her blade. Memory, as she has taken to calling her greatsword, will allow no other to wield him. His power, and legacy, is for Noreis alone.

Followers

Noreis’s birth was witnessed by a handful of soldiers, both Gareshian and Hazon, and they were the first who chose to worship the Daughter of War. As she becomes known, followers of both of her fathers are beginning to worship her. However, not all of them believe in this new goddess of war. Some continue to openly worship Nargoth and Neleth, and despite growing knowledge of the death of those gods, their prayers continue to be answered…

The sick and injured who call for aid all call upon her, though most do not know it. Soldiers who pray for strength to survive a battle or for bravery as they face their foes also call upon Noreis.

Soldiers, as they come to know her, will be her greatest followers. From mercenaries and vicious dogs of war to great and noble commanders, all will offer prayers and war cries to the new goddess of war. Typically, as many soldiers do, they wear red to honor her.

The two main groups who follow Noreis are The Hand of War and The Hands of Healing.

The Hand of War are an elite group of strategists who help leaders of kingdoms plan and execute wars. They are not mercenaries, they don’t fight for you, they are the ones who make sure you win. They have never lost a war they planned without interference.

The Hands of Healing are the followers of Noreis who care for the sick and wounded. They differ from healers of other gods in that they heal the fighters on both sides of the conflict; however, they start with the best fighters. They honor those who best honor Noreis. If they have any spells or energy for those who are lesser fighters, they will get what’s left. Otherwise, a sword in the heart heals one’s pain in another way. Followers of Noreis look down on those who need healing more than others. Fight better, or they may ignore you the next time you need them.

Tenets of the Faith

  • War is your sacred calling and your most devout act. Win or lose, each soldier offers worship to Noreis with every swing of his or her blade.
  • Heal those who have fallen. Let not your brother die if he can be saved. Offer healing to your foes once you have secured victory for they too honored Noreis with their actions.
  • Your weapon is your life. Care for it, know it, and it will serve you well.
  • Be obedient, follow the commands of your leader. Disobedience and chaotic fighting is for followers of Feydor.
  • Tend to the sick. Disease can kill as easily as a blade.
  • Strive to die well. Not every person will survive and sacrifices are necessary to win the day.

Approbation and Displeasure

Actions/ideas that please Noreis:

  • Honoring and respecting the memory of her fathers. Neleth and Nargoth fought and sacrificed themselves that their comrades might live.
  • Honor duels. Whether fought between champions of armies or men with a score to settle, Noreis approves of settling a dispute quickly and efficiently with a blade.
  • Offering healing. Noreis approves of all types of healing, both magical and mundane.
  • Fighting to the best of one’s ability.
  • Practicing with weapons of all types. Learning how to use a new weapon or teaching another how to use a weapon brings great favor from the Daughter of War.
  • Reveling in victory. Whether Celebrated with drink, pillage, song, or toasts and tales in memory of the fallen the Mistress of Dogs is pleased by celebration.
  • Bringing followers of Neleth and Nargoth into the fold. Noreis has claimed their mantles and charged her followers with spreading her worship.

Actions/ideas that displease Noreis (and may result in the loss of magical abilities):

  • Chaotic, disordered fighting. Noreis understands that formations can break and ambushes happen. But she calls her followers to control the field of battle and fight with discipline.
  • Betraying your battle brothers. Turncloaks, spies, and cowards who flee upon the eve of battle earn the ire of the White Raven. For them, the only justice is death.
  • Cruelty to animals, particularly horses. Noreis understands that animals die in war but all of them have a place. Cats keep grain free from rodents and mules carry supplies. Horses pull wagons and serve as cavalry mounts.
  • Mistreating captives. Noreis calls upon her followers to treat captives with respect. She does not condone wanton torture, abuse or starvation. However, she knows that information is critical and supplies can run short.
  • Offering peace or refraining from fighting when battle is inevitable. Diplomacy and peace are acceptable, but not when they do not solve the problems that are causing the need for war.
  • Not honoring the fallen.

Holy Places and Holy Days

No place is more sacred than where Noreis ascended to goddesshood–Maribor. Noreis’ devoted followers have claimed the rubble where Nargoth’s sword fell and plan to build her a massive temple there as well as memorial shrines for Neleth, Taitlin, and Nargoth. She has not yet given orders for how temples of her fathers are to be handled, but it is suspected that she will order her followers, as she gains them, to leave portions of the temples as memorials to her fathers and use the rest for her worship.

Her only known holiday is in October, and it commemorates her ascension as a goddess after the Battle of Maribor and her fathers’ sacrifices.

Correct Worship and Rites/Rituals/Requirements

Followers of Noreis typically engage in:

  • War and battle. Noreis is the goddess of soldiers.
  • Praying while maintaining their weapons and armor or while tending to the sick and wounded.
  • Endeavoring to learn new weapons or hone their skills with familiar weapons.
  • Meditation before a battle to prepare both body and mind.
  • Learning to heal in some small way. Only a foolhardy soldier does not know how to bandage a wound.
  • Protecting the medic, physician, or healer who works to keep them alive.
  • Obeying orders from a rightful commander.
  • Making offerings, particularly of their own blood. Sanctifying a prayer with a few drops of blood to represent the sacrifice all soldiers may make is important to followers of Noreis.
  • Those who specialize in healing wear blue, and those who specialize in battle wear red. Those who do both generally wear a bit of each.