Author’s Note: When Holy Orders of the Stars was written and reviewed, I wanted to make sure that the write-up for Nordmaar matched Spectre of Sorrows. So I offered up this text as a replacement, but it never made it into the book, so I thought I would post it here in case anyone could find it useful for their game.
The people of Nordmaar have long lived apart from the civilized cultures of Ansalon. For generations they lived as warring tribes on their jungle islands shunning the occasional visitors to their islands and living in relative isolation for thousands of years. The people of Nordmaar have always held a great reverence for nature, so it comes as no surprise that they hold Vatecatl the World Mother (Chislev) as the highest of their deities. Vatecatl has never had a central place of worship. Her temple is the world around her. The World Mother’s followers will often cultivate spectacular gardens filled with jade and wooden idols carved in the image of a rotund woman heavy with child.
Vatecatl’s honorable protector is Chabacuictli (Habbakuk). He is worshiped as a god of protection and renewal. His legions are the animals of the world and his fierce and loyal heart his emulated in his followers. He is often pictured as a great blue undefeatable phoenix signifying his refusal to give up even to death.
Fankatso (Kiri-Jolith) the Ever-Vigilant is Chabacuictli’s older brother. He is often depicted as a humanoid with six arms each bearing a sword and three faces. Fankatso has two pairs of eyes and each face shares one eye between them. Dutiful and loyal Fankatso is worshiped by many respectable warriors. Over time many Nordmaarians came to understand that Fankatso was also known as Kiri-Jolith, the foreign yet honorable god worshiped by the knights of Solamnia.
Tlacoatl (Paladine) and Xictlantecuhtli (Takhisis) are often envisioned as two great serpents or dragons biting each other’s tail in an endless cycle of good and evil. Tlacoatl is the Dragon of Light a spirit of great selflessness and courage. Xictlantecuhtli is known as the Serpent of Night, a great serpent of multi-colored scales that continually plots against the Dragon of Light.
Mixactli (Mishakal) is widely accepted as a motherly deity. Traditionally in Nordmaar she has only been worshiped by women. She is known as the Caregiver and has a large focus on the health of the tribe as a whole. The wise-man knows that paying proper respect to Mixactli keeps a tribe healthy and strong.
The greatest enemy to the people of Nordmaar has been Ehecitz (Morgion). Legends claim that Ehecitz lives in the dark unexplored regions of the jungle cultivating new poisons and wasting diseases. Shambling mounds and otyugs are often though to be the servants of Ehecitz. New and undiscovered diseases are usually brought from the depths of the jungle by man and animal. It’s general knowledge that Ehecitz sends black winds at night to cast discontent and strife within a tribe.
Nalinal (Branchala) is Chabacuictli’s younger brother and is viewed as a free spirit. His curiosity and wandering ways often get him into trouble. He is described as lazy and drunken. He is fun to have at a celebration but useless as a warrior. Despite his lack of martial talent followers of Nalinal are highly respected for their ability to tell tales and recite histories with flare.
Solinari, Lunitari and Nuitari are collectively known as Gocozcas which means “The Watchers”. The people of Nordmaar believe the moons are great eyes always watching them. The White Watcher sheds light at night revealing the truth. The Red Watcher plays tricks on the eyes and the Black Watcher prefers absolute darkness to allow those with sinister hearts to perform their evil deeds in secrecy. When the moons disappeared and were replaced by one moon during the early age of mortals the people of Nordmaar were terrified. It took years for many of them to come to terms with the change. When the new moons came back it was a time of celebration.
As a sea-faring race that traveled from island to island the goddess Chuitlicue (Zeboim) is feared and given respect. Other deities of the Nordmaarian culture include Yohtecuhtli (Chemosh) the Waking Death, Xoninitl (Sargonnas) the Angry One and Khlohtzin (Sirrion) the Everfire.
Shinare and Hiddukel were not known to the Nordmaarians before the Rising as they were mostly savage warring tribes and industry was non-existent. The people of Nordmaar believe Chislev created the world although some stories speak of a “short round assistant” who some scholars believe is a reference to Reorx. The Solamnics brought the knowledge of Shinare to the tribes and cities of Nordmaar, which some natives believe is a blessing and others a curse. The Nordmaarians are also largely unfamiliar with Zivilyn, Gilean and Majere.