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Bellissaria

by Marco Dalmonte English translation by Gary Davies

Koryis - Peace, prosperity, diplomacy, mercy, tolerance, respect of laws
Razud - Self-determination, independence, liberty, courage, strength, authority
Terra - Creation and protection of all forms of life, balance of the life cycle, birth, prosperity and fertility, nature, earth, agriculture
Ixion - Light, sun, strength, knowledge, preserving the balance and the universal order
Utnapishtim - Survival, protection of living species, travel, justice
Twelve Watchers - Crafts and mysteries
Protius - Oceans and marine creatures, water, capriciousness, travel
Ninsun - Magic, fertility, agriculture, prosperity, knowledge
Alphatia - Arts, beauty, harmony, peace, order, protect Alphatia, oppose Alphaks
Ka - Protection of life, prosperity, knowledge, wisdom, magic
Pangloss (Ssu-Ma) - Memory, books, education, tests, history, knowledge, order, scribes
Tourlain - Perseverance, cleverness, losers, sacrifice, luckless, anarchy
Eternal General - War, battle, discipline, loyalty, victory, pragmatism, soldiers and mercenaries
Ninfangle - Bravery, adventure, travel, battle, hunting, impossible deeds, rakasta
Talitha - Self gratification at the expense of others, egocentricity, deceit, betrayal, greed, thieves, assassins
Alphaks - Destroy Alphatia and the Alphatians, hate, vengeance, massacre
Great One - Dragons and lizardkin, creation, justice, knowledge, magic
Notes:
1. Bellissaria is a small continent on a par with Alphatia, claimed by the Alphatians in the IX century BC and successively settled by those subjects with meagre attitude to magic and by those mages that have no intention of being involved in the power struggles of the Alphatian aristocracy. The continent was already inhabited by the local populations, descendents of the Oltecs and Neathar escaping from the disaster of Blackmoor and several tribes of rakasta: they were assimilated by the Alphatian colonists both with peaceful means (for example in the northern region) and through a war of conquest of the territory. In particular the rakasta always sought to keep their own independence, and never were completely subjects of the new rulers. Later on, other colonists arrived from distant lands in minor numbers, in particular Milenians and Tanagoro, but were immediately absorbed by the locals without being able to influence the culture or society. Bellissaria is divided into five nations (Dawnrim, Notrion, Lagrius, Horken and Surshield) ruled with firmness by aristocratic sovereigns that in the course of centuries have always tried to promote a culture of legality and of respect of the constituted order (Surshield is the only exception, being an anarchic kingdom populated by mixed races: Alphatians, Tanagoro and rakasta). The Bellissarians are divided into aristocrats and commoners (the slaves are not even considered a class), like in the motherland, but the spellcasters, still have noble titles and in theory enjoy great privileges, usually leading a less wealthy existence of their equals in Alphatia, since the wealth and the power is concentrated in the hands of the governors. Finally, the cult of the Immortals has the most following among the Bellissarians than in the rest of the empire.
2. Koryis is the most loved Immortal in Bellissaria, and can count followers in all the kingdoms of the Bellissarian continent with the exclusion of Surshield: the Surians indeed are extremely anarchic individuals and arenít found of the ordered and peaceful philosophy of Koryis, for which his followers are kept well off the coast of that region (in the south of the continent).
3. Razud is another of those favoured among the Alphatian emigrants in Bellissaria, considered the universal patron of all the Alphatians, not only by the aristocratic classes. Seeing the ideals of independence and determination advocated by the Immortal, his cult has taken root in all the Bellissarian kingdoms, with a particular following in anarchic Surshield, where self-determination is an inalienable right.
4. Terra is worshipped by most inhabitants of Bellissaria as the Immortal protector of the harvest, nature and fertility. Given that the majority of the Bellissarians are farmers or shepherds, it is easy to understand that hers is the third most popular cult in the continent (in particular in the kingdoms of Horken, Lagrius and Dawnrim).
5. The kingdoms of Notrion and Meriander are inhabited in large part by a majority of the descendents of the ancient Oltecs, which have kept alive several ancestral cults. In particular, the veneration of Ixion, Utnapishtim, Ka and Ninsun is well rooted in these kingdoms. Ixion and Utnapishtim possess several temples spread throughout in Bellissaria: the former is considered the lord of balance and knowledge, while the latter is the patron of justice and protector of the Bellissarian natives (given that the basis of the legends of the natives was drawn from the salvation of the Neathar and Oltec ancestors of the Bellissarians during the Great Rain of Fire). Ninsun is an Immortal associated with fertility, botany and agriculture, and has a particular following in Notrion and Meriander, given that in the other states the cult of Terra donít leave space to the spread of the philosophy of Ninsun. Together with Ka and Pangloss (Ssu-Ma) are frequently invoked by the mages and sages of the Meriander as patroness of knowledge and magic (on the basis of the ancient belief of the Oltecs of the region), while Ka is also patron of the rakasta of the southern forests.
6. It shouldnít be surprising that Augrism has penetrated as far as distant Bellissaria. Indeed, merchant vessels originating from the Known World have brought the adepts of the Twelve Watchers into the continent Bellissarian around the VI century AC, and thanks to their extremely pragmatic philosophy and to the active proselytism, these evangelists have popularised in short time the cult of the Twelve also with the lower classes and the craftsmen in particular of the regions of Horken (famous for its shipwrights) and Lagrius (known for the quality of its carpenters and wood-carvers).
7. Protius has followers in several coastal Bellissarian cities, especially in Dawnrim.
8. The followers of Alphatia are mainly found in two states: in Meriander (a kingdom dominated by sages and alchemists, in which are carried out the more bizarre experiments without however any intention of harming the inhabitants - the lawful version of Blackheart), and in Notrion (the northernmost kingdom and most in contact with the motherland). In the other kingdoms the Immortal is considered too straight by the part of the Alphatian aristocracy and of the privileges reserved for the mages, and Koryis was preferred to her.
9. Tourlain has a large following among the many Surians as patron of anarchy and outcasts, and also among the diverse thieves that live in the other Bellissarian kingdoms.
10. The Eternal General is the patron of the dominant class of Surshield (the most militarised and belligerent nation of the continent) and receives the prayers of a large part of the soldiers stationed in Bellissaria. His cult isnít very popular in the other kingdoms, but in Spearpoint (capital of Surshield) there has been a great temple built in his honour.
11. Together with Ka, Ninfangle is the patron of the tribes of rakasta (arboreal pardasta) that live in the mountains and forests of Surshield, refusing any act of submission to the Alphatian Empire and survived thanks to the hunting and to the forays against the human settlements (that in Surshield are always small and easy prey for the organised rakasta tribes).
12. Talitha and Alphaks possess various affiliates in all the Bellissarians, especially in chaotic Surshield, where the followers of Alphaks incite the natives to revolt and organised armed bands in order to put to iron and fire not only the Surian settlements, but also those of neighbouring Horken. Talitha acts in more subtle ways, threatening, blackmailing and taking influential people hostage in the most populous community of the continent, in the attempt of extending the anarchy to all the kingdoms and inciting revolts against the motherland. Naturally the followers of Koryis, Razud and Alphatia are in the first line against the strategies of these two Immortal enemies of the Alphatians.
13. The Great One also has a group of draconic followers in the centuries-old forests of Lagrius and on the peaks or in the caverns of the Surkarian Range.
14. There are some itinerant priests of Sinbad present among the Bellissarians, but despite them being respected they havenít founded public temples and donít possess sufficient followers to justify the insertion of Sinbad in the above list.