Numerous Deities exist within Elysium lore, some are patrons of individual settlements, others of specific races, and yet others are known by almost everyone. Most religions within Elysium are polytheistic, and where monotheism exists it usually focuses on an individual deity within the pantheon rather than supporting an overarching God of all creation. Nevertheless many churches exist within Elysium which are dedicated to the Christian God, and so this religion may feature in the personal lore of individual players who prefer to adhere to the religion they hold outside of the server than make use of one of the internal gods of the realm. As a result this page covers both in-game lore and wider information on the role of religion within the server.
Several religions exist within the server, each with their own mythologies, choosing a mythology to believe in is at any player's discretion.
Early Elysium Edit
Elysium as Heaven Edit
In the early periods of the server, Elysium was said to be the location where people go when they die. Based on the Greco-Roman Heaven, where warriors were sent who died upon the battlefield, Elysium was a Realm of the Dead, one of many such realms, and people moved from the real world to Elysium after death and then on to another realm following their death in Elysium. In this manner, Elysium was one of many stepping stones along the progress of death, much like purgatory in the Catholic Christian tradition. For people to arrive in Elysium they must have died doing what they believed was right. Characters on the server may or may not be aware that they had died, some believed that they had simply arrived in Elysium while on a journey, others having experience cataclysmic events or reaching the realm after battle, may know that they had died, or believe that they had been brought here miraculously, and that they were still alive.
Initially it was believed that adults who arrived as fully grown characters on the server were those who were particularly 'good', and had died for something important, these people were powerful, many of them remembered everything, others arrived with a blank memory but fully grown. Often these powerful ones were called the Ancients. Children born within Elysium were those who had died for a lesser cause, and they grew up in Elysium as a normal child. Eventually as more players joined the server, this concept of Elysium as heaven began to fade out of the collective knowledge and so it is seldom used today. In many ways it can be said that Elysium outgrew this concept.
How Elysium Was Formed According to the Ancients Edit
Within this early concept of Elysium as a place of the dead, a mythology about how the realm was formed was invented. In the early days of the server it was believed that the Reaper - the god of the Dead - fashioned Elysium as a gift to his son, Dark. Not to be confused with Ityaak Ortheel, Dark was the god of Mischief, a god who found immortality dull and would allow bad things to happen simply because it was entertaining to watch. It has been said of him "if he saw a man on fire, he wouldn't put it out, because it's more fun to watch him squirm than to help". So the Reaper created a beautiful realm in the hopes that it would distract him from his boredom.
While the Reaper's gift was a good one, Dark used it simply as a playground, and while he was not evil himself, he did not obstruct evil when it arrived in Elysium. Along with his brother Samu they wandered the realm in the early days. Samu was almost as malicious as his brother, but somehow during his interactions with the peoples of Elysium he changed, ceasing to play around to annoy them, and decided to devote himself to helping them. So he became the god of Help. Few people are now aware of this early faith.
Current Mythology of Elysium Edit
Within this section we provide the current legends about the origins and religious history of the realm.
The Pantheon of Elysium Gods Edit
Prior to the early Ages of Elysium, the realm was formed by a Pantheon of gods. Each god represented a specific element or power. For example Eldari was the goddess of Light, Aurora was the goddess of the Moon, and so on. All the Gods came together to bring Elysium into being, under the guidance of the Great God, whom these lesser gods served. Said Great God is often associated by players with the Christian God, being the God of all gods.
The Coming of Evil to Elysium Edit
During the forming of Elysium an argument broke between the god of Shadows and the god of the Skies over who got to control the void above the air. In anger the god of Shadows drew the Void away from the rest of Elysium and lived separate to the rest of the gods, refusing to work with them further. He formed for himself 3 Realms of his own, the realms of Darkness, the Abyss, and the Void. Within these dwelt all evil, with the greatest evil of all being the Void itself, for it was the embodiment of Nothingness. However, this Nothingness was too powerful for even the god of Shadows to control, and its power began to form into a being that consumed everything it touched, just as nature abhors a vacuum, so the Void was desperate to be filled, to suck out the life of the things that it encountered, and make them nothing like itself. So Ityaak Ortheel was born, also known as the elf-eater, and its hunger and malice boiled as it watched Elysium from afar.
Immediately the god of Shadows separated the void from the rest of Elysium, the god of the Skies with great foresight cast a canopy of stars, the Heavens, over Elysium to keep the realms separate. For the rest of the Age, this was all that protected Elysium from Ityaak Ortheel, and he watched the young realm through the veil of the stars, unable to touch it.
After the First Age, when the gods had finished shaping the landscape of Elysium and scattering it with plant-life and animals, they set to creating intelligent beings to inhabit it. Eldari, the Goddess of Light, perceiving that light would be the greatest challenge to the darkness of the Void, formed beings of pure light known as the Elves. When the embodiment of the Void, Ityaak Ortheel, finally found a way to invade Elysium, it was these Elves that led the battle against him, with the Firstborn of them all, Nithral, capturing the entity and imprisoning it, along with himself, in a vast tomb. All the remaining peoples of Elysium constructed a vast mountain atop the tomb hoping that it would keep Ityaak Ortheel contained.
During its rampage, anything the Void entity had touched became warped, as its life-force was partially consumed. Strange parodies of 'life', these creatures became consumers themselves, hungry for blood and flesh. So the Undead, and Werewolves, and Vampires were born. Of the greatest of these was Telo Darkmoon, the first Vampire. He had been a powerful Mage prior to his becoming a Vampire and the combination of his new skill with his old was so potent, and the reach of his command so vast, that many revered him. Ultimately when Telo died, due to his close connection to Ityaak Ortheel, like all those that had served the Void, he became a wraith upon death, controlled entirely by the entity.
The Second Darkness War Edit
Known to the Elves as Ityaak Ortheel, the other races of Elysium knew it by the simpler term 'the Darkness'. When the Darkness began to regain its strength, it succeeded in extending its influence beyond its prison while still contained within it. Not yet powerful enough to break free of the tomb, it sought to bend people to its will by whispering into their minds. Having killed Nithral it used him as its slave, turning him into a wraith, as it did both Telo and the first Werewolf, Mathis Blackfyre. It sent the wraiths of all those it had consumed out into Elysium to attack the settlements of the current inhabitants. Nithral, whose body lay in the same tomb that contained it, could only communicate via his voice, whereas Telo and Mathis were able to be physically present and fought many battles against the peoples of Elysium.
Following one such battle, defending a village that was being attacked by the forces of the Darkness, a group of Undead, said to be servants of Nithral appeared in Dunta tavern. Many were unhappy at the outcome of the battle, which had been a failure, in order to prevent further encroachment by the wraiths into Elysium, it was decided that the bridge to the settlement should be blown up. As the warriors of Elysium retreated, the villagers were left to be slaughtered, many women and children were slain, and some of the warriors were dissatisfied with the leadership that had left this massacre to happen. After the meeting disbanding the army, the undead servants of Nithral used the confusion and unhappiness of the warriors to persuade many that the true enemy of Elysium was not Nithral's wraith, but the leader of their army Melkor, who had ordered them to destroy the bridge and abandon the settlers to their death. Nithral, they argued, used undead in his army, so that living beings did not have to die, and would happily provide undead to help in the war against the Darkness.
Several warriors were lured in by these words, and agreed to join the Cult of Nithral. But many were uneasy, for it was not clear who exactly Nithral served. Were they in fact serving the Darkness, albeit unknowingly? Nithral they were told, wanted to create eternal darkness, so that the dark races of Elysium would be able to live freely and comfortably without fear of the sunlight. Advocating equality for all races, the Cult of Nithral fought against the other champions of Elysium, for much of the Second Darkness War, but ultimately agreed to work together with the other factions when the possibility of freeing Nithral from the grip of the Darkness was presented.
Meanwhile, unknown to all, a secret Darkness Cult had been formed, that worshipped Ityaak Ortheel directly, and wanted to destroy all Elysium. In order to serve the Darkness, a person had to sacrifice something important to them, and in doing so formed a contract with the Darkness, and received something of power in return. Many were even willing to slaughter their own offspring for a chance at the power the Darkness offered them, but their choice was their own demise, for anyone who made a contract with the Darkness, in death would become a wraith, entirely given over to his bidding, with no freedom of will of their own.
After the Second Darkness War, Eldari was slain by Ityaak Ortheel, and Ityaak Ortheel fled in fear of Nithral going into hiding. Nithral was later slain by the devious plans of the Master, who caught and consumed the Darkness in order to elevate himself to the status of a god.
Following the end of the Second Darkness War, the Abbey at Raava was founded, dedicated to the goddess of Light, Eldari, the faith of the monks is focused upon the idea that all of the forces in the universe exist to balance each other, and that when there is strife in the realm it is simply an imbalance in the powers of the gods. Due to their faith in the goddess of Light, and their daily spiritual offices, they believe that by their holy lives they help her regain balance against the Darkness, and restore peace. Not only do the monks provide services to the sick, and poor, but they also train as warriors, in anticipation that in the future they may be called upon again to fight the Darkness and restore balance to Elysium.
Known Gods Edit
List of known gods of Elysium Edit
- Eldari - the goddess of Light - Creator of Elves.
- Nithral - the Firstborn of the Elves- considered a demi-god
- Cirithea - the child of Eldari and Nithral - considered a demi-god
- Unnamed Shadow deity - the god of Shadows - the god who separated the Void from the rest of Elysium, and divided it into 3 realms, Darkness, the Abyss and the Void.
- Ityaak Ortheel - the embodiment of the Void - known by the common name of 'the Darkness'. Considered a demi-god.
- Telo Darkmoon - the first Vampire - woshipped by some as an ancestral 'demi-god of Vampires'
- Mathis Blackfyre - the first Werewolf - worshipped by some as an ancestral 'demi-god of Werewolves'
- the Master - an unnamed adversary who consumed the Darkness to elevate himself to the status of demi-god - known only by the title 'Master' given to him by the last remaining shape-shifter who served him following the Master's genocide of his race.
- Unnamed Sky deity - the god of the Skies - the God who created the canopy of stars known as the Heavens, which protects Elysium from the Void. Worshipped as a God of protection in battle.
- Aurora - the goddess of the Moon - created the uninhabited orbs in the heavens. Worshipped at the sacred spring at Avalus.
- Unnamed Water deity - the goddess of Water - the goddess who created the oceans, rivers, and lakes and the animals and plants within them. Worshipped by sailors, Sirens, water nymphs, and mermaids.
- Dark - the god of Mischief - seldom known now on the server, Dark was initially the first figure that players met when they joined the server, he would guide players in the tutorials on how to set up their character.
- Zaphael - the god of the Heavens - it is he who governs and operates the world beyond Elysium, the stars, cosmos, galaxies, Zaphael is considered to be the operating force behind it all. (Please note: Zaphael is a non-canon deity.)
- Some of his greatest accomplishments include; forming of the Astralwalkers Guild, raising Astronomer's Reach, binding The Primal Oak and constructing the Astral Dimension. Most awardingly he values his creation of Zahael Magic.
- A fairly neutral and moral-less god, he manifests as a great blue Lion who exists to cultivate and power his Zahael Mages, a form of magic which he invented himself. Zaphael has little interaction with the other Deities.
- Samu - the god of Help - initially disruptive, this god became a servant to others.
- Samu (Asa) - the demi-god of Help - a powerful Ancient who discovered he had god-like abilities and chooses to use them to help others like the god whose name he borrowed. He is frequently found around the server helping repair damage to settlements and restore lost items that goblins and pickpockets have stolen.
Primary Religious Factions Edit
Religious groups based on the major religions within Elysium:
- Cult of Samu - one of the largest cults devoted to a demi-god. Early on in Elysium, an Ancient named Asa found he had the power to manipulate almost anything in the realm to his will, he was able to restore the landscape around him to an earlier form of itself, and revive animals to life. Initially he used his skills to create havoc, but having come across the god Samu, he decided to change his name to the same, and follow Samu's path, becoming a servant devoted to helping others. Many young citizens of Elysium began to worship Asa as a demi-god, and when the words "praise Samu" are heard, it is more likely the Ancient Asa that they are referring to than the god itself.
- Cult of Nithral - A small group of mostly dark races who followed Nithral even while he was a wraith, and fought to free him from the grip of the Darkness. Under the influence of their General Stoneheart, their stance changed from that of opposing the warriors of Light to fighting beside them, and they began to advocate the importance of equality of all races and an end to hunting Vampires and Werewolves purely due to their race.
- Darkness Cult - a highly secretive band of people who dedicate themselves to the Darkness and spreading evil across Elysium. No one knows how many of them there are.
Minor Deities Edit
In addition to the gods used during major campaigns in Elysium, there are a number of minor gods and goddesses which come from players' or a town's collective lore. For example:
- Concord of the Reverend Mothers - a desert religion that worships 20 female Mages who saved a village from dying of thirst, in gratitude the villagers believed the Great God - whom they call the One - elevated the women to the position of deity.
- Holy Arkenstone - a Dwarven religion dedicated not to a god but to an object which the Dwarves hold as sacred, a powerful stone known as the Arkenstone which single-handedly powers the city of Denborim. It is believed that if it were ever removed from its place, Denborim would be destroyed.
- Children of Zaphael - there is believed to be three children of the Great Lion Deity Zaphael; however it is truly unconfirmed. Legend tells that these children are inheritors of the Lion's astral gifts and are free to do as they please with them, but tend to be hold back purposely since they are in one way connected to their parent's astral command. (Zaphael is a non-canon deity)
- Earth Mother - an indigenous religion primarily adopted by the Tauren (Though acknowledged and followed by select Orcs, Centaurs, Pandaren, and Nymphs.) and all sub-races thereof. She is considered the ideal of all spirits of nature.. a benevolent goddess. She is responsible for all the beauty of the natural world. Little is known about this faith for outsiders, which is worsened due to the many teachings of this religion are passed down orally.
Monotheistic Religions in Elysium Edit
Many within Elysium worship the Great God alone and pay little attention to demi-gods or deities within the server. However, if called upon to engage in warfare against an evil such as Ityaak Ortheel, they will take up arms alongside the warriors of Light, who serve Eldari, in order to help ensure peace.
Uses of Religion in Elysium Edit
Many people prefer to marry within churches and so these are often found scattered around the server, ranging from open-air chapels built from flowers, to great arching cathedrals hewn out of the rock itself underground. Some of these are dedicated to the Christian God, and most follow the layout of a traditional church. In addition to these there are numerous temples and sacred spaces used within roleplay as part of internal server lore. Some are dedicated to Elysium gods, and some have no god at all. Of the best known of these are:
- the Sacred Pool of Avalus, where the goddess Aurora resides, and whose waters provide healing to those who are permitted to enter it. Avalus's spring water is so sacred that no one may enter it without first being blessed by the priests and absolved of sin.
- the Cult of Nithral's tower, where the cult resided in safety when they were hunted by the warriors of Elysium. A garden space surrounded by many tiers of dwelling, and decorated with ice, which was a symbol of Nithral while he was a wraith and often accompanied him when he appeared to others during the war, remaining scattered across the landscape after battle.
- the hidden temple dedicated to the Darkness. Only members of the Darkness cult know the location, but it is known that somewhere under the oceans of Elysium is a temple dedicated to Ityaak Ortheel.
- the Cathedral of Kareth, one of the largest cathedrals in Elysium which is frequently used for marriages.
- the forge of Denborim, housing the Arkenstone which gives Denborim its power and the forge of the phoenix, driven by the heat from the last remaining known phoenix egg in Elysium.
- the Abbey at Raava, devoted to the goddess of Light, this Abbey contains a functioning monastery serving the wider community of Elysium via provision of care for the sick, and distributions to the poor. Dedicated to fighting Darkness and bringing balance to Elysium.