The Harmatians follow the teachings of the ‘True Gods’, ten gods who reside amongst the stars, lending their elemental powers to the humans during, and for a select number of hours before and after their reigning time.
The story goes that before the world knew life, there were four elements in existence – Fire, Water, Earth and Air who made up everything – from the trees to oceans to the mountains and rivers. But whilst they had created a beautiful land, there were no creatures to inhabit it.
And so the elements sought out the Goddess of all life, Aramathea who lived upon the plains of paradise. When they showed her what they had created Aramathea was so pleased she filled it with life and prophesised that she would have nine children by the elements, and that they would rule the earth together, the youngest ruling over them all.
As prophesied she gave birth to eight children, but trouble arose when then the ninth became due. At the time two of the elements – Fire and Water – who had both been paying respects to Aramathea grew in competition. Both had it in their mind that the ninth child ought to be theirs and threatened that if it were not they would destroy the world – for without water or heat, we would all die. Aramathea sought the help of her mother Danu, the god of all Truth and Knowledge and asked her what to do. Her mother informed her that when the child was born, Aramathea was not to look upon it, for to look upon it would be to give it life. Instead, she had to take a sword and cut the baby in half. Only then might she gaze upon her child.
Aramathea loved her children, but she also knew her duty. And so when the child came, ridden with guilt and sadness, Aramathea did as she was bid and cut the baby in half. But a miracle occurred, for when at last she did turn to her child – thinking it was only to mourn it in death – she came upon two, beautiful living babes instead of one! A girl, Athea born of Fire and a son Notameer born of Water.
With great joy she took the babes and showed the world. But amidst the celebration, squabbles grew out – which was older, for the youngest was destined to rule all? Aramathea explaining the circumstance of their birth and divided the rule between her son and daughter to quall the trouble. Notameer, god of justice, sensibility, and life would rule in the day and be the rising sun that gave light to the world. And Athea, passionate and imaginative, goddess of emotion, battle and death would rule come night, and be the guide to the lost. And these two children, who were once one, would be joined together only twice on the sixth and eighteen hour of each day. Just as one sets and the other rises.
The other eight gods aligned themselves with either brother or sister, helping to maintain the balance of power over the earth.
THE TRUE GODS:
Aramathea: The Mother, Goddess of all life.
Malak: (Wind) Goddess of Movement, Travel and Wisdom. Traits: Wisdom, honesty, patience. Worshiped by Merchants. (Reigning hours: 05:50 – 13:00. Aligned with Notameer.)
Etheus: (Wind) God of Speed, Cunning and Subtlety. Traits: Charm, Lying, Swiftness. Worshiped by Thieves. (Reigning hours: 18:20 – 20:00. Aligned with Athea.)
Prospan: (Earth) Goddess of Stability and Parenthood. Traits: Nurturing, Protective, Kind. Worshiped by Farmers & Mothers. (Reigning hours 20:00 – 21:40 Aligned with Athea.)
Haylix: (Water) Goddess of Elegance, Beauty and Art. Traits: Youthfulness, Young Love and Elegance. Worshiped by Children and Young women. (Reigning hours 14:00 – 16:00. Aligned with Notameer)
Penthar: (Earth) God of Pride, Battle and Loyalty. Traits: Pride, Loyalty, Courage. Worshiped by Warriors. (Reigning hours 21:40 – 02:00 Aligned with Athea.)
Hexias: (Fire) God of Will, Forging and Strength: Traits: Stubbornness, Strength, Wilfulness. Worshiped by Blacksmiths, Stonemasons and Carpenters. (Reigning hours 13:00 – 14:00 Aligned with Notameer.)
Septus: (Earth) God of Medicine, Healing and Science. Traits: Observant, Analytical, Compassionate. Worshiped by Physicians, Midwifes and Healers. (Reigning hours 02:00 – 05:40 Aligned with Athea.)
Octania: (Fire) Goddess of Knowledge, Creativity and Intelligence. Traits: Astute, Studious, Creative. Worshiped by Scholars. (Reigning Hours 16:00 – 18:20 Aligned with Notameer.)
Notameer: (Water) God of Justice, Sensibility and Life. Traits: Just, Fairness, Sense, thought. Worshiped as the life bringer and light of the world. (Reigning hours 06:00 – 18:00)
Athea: (Fire) Goddess of Emotion, Death and Imagination. Traits: Passionate, Emotional, Aggression. Worshiped as the ruler of dreams and guide to the lost. (Reigning hours 18:00 – 06:00)
Danu: The mother of Aramathea, Danu is the god of the Sidhe. She is not considered to be one of the ‘True Gods’, but is respected regardless, despite being of the ‘Old Religion’.
MYTHS & TRADITIONS
Lightening: – The story goes that one day Etheus was running swiftly across the sky. As he passed through storming clouds he reached such a speed that a great energy crackled down through the skies. This was the first lightening, and Etheus presented it as a gift to Athea. It has subsequently been known as ‘Thief Fire’ since.
Lily of the Valley: – One day Haylix found her mother Aramathea weeping in the garden, sad that her children had been divided between loyalty for Notameer and Athea, when they should have been united. Where Aramathea’s tears fell, beautiful white flowers grew and Haylix gathered them and tied them into a crown to show her mother that despite their division, each of the children were still united in their origin. Every year, Haylix would repeat the tradition as a show of gratitude to her mother and also as a reminder to her siblings of the bond they shared.
The Six Swords of Penthar: – When hopelessly outnumbered in battle by forces of darkness, Penthar appealed to his siblings for help. Each God gave a trait and Hexias constructed six of the finest swords in all the realms, imbued with magic so they gave the wielder Skill, Strength, Speed, Strategy, Elegance and forbade the wielder from losing any blood. With these swords, Penthar was able to defeat the forces of evil and drive the eternal darkness back.
Children of Aramathea: – Babies born at either 06:00 or 18:00 are known as Children of Aramathea. Those born at sunrise are of Notameer and at sunset belong to Athea. Some say Children of Aramathea Some are the vessels of the gods themselves, their speakers and bodies on the earth. Others say that they are the gods, but in human form, a small drop of divinity. Children of Aramathea often possess great power and are very resilient. Throughout Harmatian and Betheanian history they are rare incidents documented of Children of Aramathea displaying incredible feats of power, channelling the gods themselves and stopping rapid floods or causing volcanoes to explode. It is a phenomenon that can only occur twice during the stars’ cycle, as the god rises and at the moment they stand highest in the sky.