Travel, Exploration, Caravans
Amus (pronounced AH-muss) the Trailblazer, is the god of exploration and travel. He is a much older god than anyone in the Young Kingdoms today suspects, having been worshipped in Lost Samarkh nearly eight thousand years ago.
Amus is a god of travel and exploration, and as such, he is particularly worshipped by merchants who rely on caravans for trade, explorers, and adventurers who delve into the uncharted wilderness. He is a guide who helps the lost finds their way, and brings luck and valor to worshippers in need.
Amus is a god who lets his deeds speak for him. He is stern, yet kindly, and often displays a rough, unrefined sense of humor.
Long ago, Amus was once a much more powerful god of nature and war, but he has since lost those domains to other, younger gods. His power fell along with his worshippers in Lost Samarkh, and as The Empire arose, the gods of the Tarn arose with it. Cownerild claimed the worship of nearly all of the warriors who followed Amus, while Lysolt claimed the rangers and Nette claimed most of the traders.
By the Fall of the Empire, worship of Amus had declained to a mere handful o priests scattered throughout the Young Kingdoms. Only a few lone prospectors and caravan merchants ever gave him their devotion, and Amus, now reduced to being a mere demigod, was in danger of fading into nothingness.
During the chaos after The Fall, Amus was seen on the fringes of what was once civilized land, helping to push back the goblin hordes and preserving the trade routes from one isolated community to another. The reverence he received reinvigorated Amus, and his influence in the rise of the Young Kingdoms has reestablished his worship in all parts of the land. Combined with the influx of caravan merchants who have once again begun to venerate him as Nette seems to concentrate upon banking and finance in the larger kingdoms and city states rather than trade on the fringes of civilization, Amus's church has undergone a rapid growth.
Long ago, in the early days just before the rise of The Empire, Amus is said to have enjoyed a brief affair with Awin after spurning the advances of Lady Luck's twin sister Niniel, Lady Doom. The goddess of misfortune vowed revenge, and the two deities have been foes since. "Niniel's Kiss" still bedevils the Trailblazer in the Desert Kingdoms, where Amus is cursed as the treacherous "Viper in the Sands", and is portrayed as a malicious trickster appearing as a jackal-headed man. In truth, it was Niniel who impersonated Amus as she dried out oases, caused travelers to become lost, blinded travelers with sandstorms, and causing all manner of misfortune for the Al'Aresh Nomads of the region. Amus does plan on doing something to reclaim his lost reputation eventually.
In addition to Niniel, Amus also opposes Nyan and all of his works, as he despises secrets and has no use for the Shadowlord or his followers. Likewise, as Amus is dedicated to bringing light to dark spaces and discovering the unknown, Nyan opposes him in all things.
Appearance and ManifestationsEdit
Amus is often portrayed as being a tall, handsome, beared man with long dark hair and a regal manner. He is dressed in sturdy travelers' garb and a long green cloak. His cloak is always depicted as constantly being whipped by a swirling wind. Usually, only his head, hands, and greatsword are uncovered, with the rest of his body kept under his cloak.
Amus has occasionally manifested as a large oil lantern that glows with an unearthly light. The hand speaks and points the way.
Church of AmusEdit
Amus has few formal temples in the Young Kingdoms, as his priests are generally struck with wanderlust and rarely settle in one place for long. However, numerous shrines. Typically, a shrine to Amus is a stone dias built on a high place, crowned with a stone seat. Many such shrines exist throughout the Northern Marches and the EasterSea Coast. Some of them are thousands of years old.
Worshipers and ClergyEdit
Amus is worshipped by travelers, explorers, adventurers, and traders who make their living from caravan and barge traffic.
The clergy of Amus is made almost entirely of clerics, with the remainder mostly made up of rangers. Occasionally, an oracle is called to the service of the Trailblazer, but this is rare. The church of Amus never employs inquisitors.
There is no formal hierarchy among the clergy of Amus, although especially accomplished priests hold positions of respect and honor within the church. The faith lacks any sort of formal ranking or title, with clerics merely using the appelation "Seeker". In general, all Seekers are considered to be in a brotherhood of equals, with no one priest having supremacy over another.
Priests of Amus are expected to provide for themselves by living off the land. Many serve as guides to adventuring companies, or take jobs guiding Trading Company caravans through the wilderness. All seek to visit the scattered shrines of their god.
Temples and Shrines Edit
As noted above, formal temples of Amus are few and far between and his faith usually relies on shrines located across Taranche's vast wilderness. The most frequented shrine is located just off the Trade Road just as the road enters the Valley of Bones.
The single major temple of the Trailblazer is in the ruins of long-lost Bor Mistern, in the foothills of the Serpentcoil Mountains. In the heyday of the faith, this temple was the center of Amus Worship. The temple was rediscovered in Year 5112 IR by one of Amus's adventuring priests, and has since been rebuilt. It stil stands, and is maintained by a small force of priests and lay worshippers. It consists of two towers linked by walls that form an enclosed courtyard to a large central building containing an undercroft where the clergy lived in years past and a huge dais (the Throne of Amus itself) open to the sky. Members of Shaundakuls faith sometimes make a pilgrimage to the ancient temple, often receiving a great boon from the Trailblazer if they survive the dangerous trip.
Spread the teachings of Amus through example rather than through evangelism. Work to promote Amus traders and merchants, particularly those traders who explore new lands and open new trade routes. Act as scouts, guards, and leaders for parties of explorers, caravans, and wilderness expeditions. Unearth the ancient shrines to Amus and resanctify them.
Go where the wind takes you. Aid those in need and trust in Amus. The world is larger than you know and there is much yet to be discovered. Seek out the riches of the earth and the sea, and journey past distant horizons. Be the first to see the rising sun. Let your footsteps fall where none have ever tread before. This is the wonder of the world.
As can be expected from such an informal faith, there is no one true scripture for worshippers of Amus. Rather, occasionally a cleric of Amus will carry a book containing "Traveler's Tales", the collected stories and wilderness lore of their fellow followers of Amus. Even in this case, there are dozens of examples, so it is often unlikely that any two priests will be carrying identical books.
Amus's priesthood has straightforward ceremonial garb: all clerics sport a dark cloak over traveller's garb. They typically wear leather or chain gauntlets that are stained a dark black, each of which has the symbol of Amus painted on the palm.
Holidays and Important CeremoniesEdit
The church of Amus only celebrates one holiday a year: the 15th day of Greengrass, known as the Ride. On this day, clerics of Amus pack a meal and begin walking in a random direction away from their current location, for as long as the daylight lasts. During this walk, they may drink but may not eat. When the sun touches the horizon, the cleric stops, rests, and eats the meal, offering to share it with anyone who might be around him (if he's in an inhabited area at the time).
Clerics of Amus have a few simple ceremonies they practice when appropriate. Whenever they discover previously uncharted territory (such as an undiscovered valley, lake, or island), they are to create a small throne of rocks marked with Amus's symbol near the location where they first made the discovery.
The Fellowship of the Next Horizon is an order of Rangers who typically work alone, blazing trails into the uncharted wilderness areas. The Knights of the Lit Path are dedicated to the maintenance and defense of Amus's Throne. They have fortified the ancient temple as a base of operations and are sending out scouts to reconnoiter the ruined city.
Amus • Ankonon • Anor • Awin • Birus • Brend • Brincrus • Brinore • Cortiseuda • Cownerild • Demay • Druiand • Ender • Gaweine • Gemond • Gitta • Goinor • Gorum • Guener • Hess • Ilian • Imeyna • Isemay • Joce • Jonnon • Jorene • Lirus • Losse • Lusold • Lysolt • Mald • Manenner • Marett • Mein • Mirielda • Miwayne • Mourne • Myrtuss • Nals • Nette • Nimainon • Niniel • Nyan • Onus • Owaine • Toriald • Tralt • Trane • Urianus • Varett • Vien • Wadus • Waine • Weseulte • Ysolton