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Milenians

by Marco Dalmonte English translation by Gary Davies

Halav - War, strategy and tactics, strength and determination, arms and armourers
Petra - Defence of the homeland, protection, courage, resistance, warrior clerics, besieged settlements
Matera (Vanya) - Women, childbirth, fertility, revolt, pride, victory
Protius - Oceans and marine creatures, water, travel, sailors
Zargos (Nyx) - Night, darkness and obscurity, necromancy
Asterius - Trade, wealth, travel, guile, thieves, messengers
Pater (Kagyar) - Crafts, metallurgy, sculpture, construction
Tarastia - Law, order, truth, justice and just vengeance
Tyche - Luck (good or bad), chance, destiny, risk and hazard
Koryis - Peace, mercy, tolerance, slavery, respect of laws
Valerias - Love, beauty, arts, fertility
Khoronus - Flow of time, knowledge, history, philosophy, diplomacy
Ixion - Sun, fire, light, harvest, universal balance
Tiresias - Visions of the future, dreams, poetry and music, astrology, prophetic revelations, legends, magic
Taroyas - Milenia, nobility, authority, power, order, good government
Faunus - Animals, instincts, sensuality, hedonism, drunkenness, revelry
Grammaton (Odin) - Knowledge, guile, wisdom, magic, sky, storms, winds, air
Palson - Tactics, arts, passion, versatility
Noumena - Enigmas, mysteries, magic, tactics, knowledge, strategy and logic
Zirchev - Sylvan races, forests, nature, hunting, survival, outcasts
Thanatos - Death, oblivion, destruction, corruption
Notes:
1. The Milenians live in the south-western region of the Icirian continent, on the coast bathed by the Southern Atlassan Ocean, to the south of the Traldar and Kubitts and to the west of the Sea of Yr. The Milenians descended from the Traldar, since in 1000 BC, the day after the invasion of the lands of the Traldar by part of the gnoll fugitives from Nithia, a Traldar King called Milen decided to lead his people overseas in order to escape the devastation brought by the beast-men following the prophecy that had been received by the clairvoyant Tiresias. After a long and dangerous journey in the Sea of Dread (probably following the Nithian trade routes eastwards, thus skirting the Isle of Dawn and the northern Ochalese coast), the expedition of Milen arrived in sight of the Davanian coast, but shortly before successfully finding a safe landing was attacked by a terrible marine creature of colossal size (the Behemoth), which wrecked numerous embarkations among which was the one that Milen travelled in. The survivors have scattered, but the majority were able to flee back up river until landing in the interior of the Davanian continent, in the area of the Forbidden Hills to the south of the present day Thyatian Hinterlands. Here the Milenians guided by the General Androsar managed to reorganise themselves, and after that the attempts to return to the open sea were promptly frustrated by the appearance of the behemoth, Androsar decided to lead his into in the centre of the Meghala Kimata, where in 995 BC founded the Kingdom of Milenia in honour of the dead king. From that moment, the Milenians were able to create an extremely powerful and prosperous civilisation, becoming the longest-lived and most extensive empire in the recent history of the southern continent. Unfortunately, the excessive prosperity of the Milenians plays to their disadvantage, since with the passing of the centuries the emperors and senators became ever more corrupt and disinterested of the welfare of the population, and the military campaigns became disastrous fiascos, with the consequence that most of the colonies and the more distant protectorates declared their own independence without the empire ever succeeding to re-conquer them. In 100 BC nevertheless, the Immortals Halav and Petra decided to save the Milenian civilisation from extinction and transfer it into the Hollow World the villages inhabited by the more valorous, integral and virtuous Milenians, which still remember and respect the traditions of the past. The Milenia of the outer world ultimately fell at the end of the I century BC, destroyed by the invasions and assaults of the more barbarous neighbouring peoples, and now only a few city-states of the Green Coast remain to witness the ancient Milenian splendour. In the Hollow World instead, the Milenians returned to a more democratic management of power, and the new emperor, Titanion I, in brief strengthened and expanded the borders of the fledgling Milenian Empire to the detriment of the eastern neighbours, the Tanagoro and the Jennites. Moreover, having a broad access to the sea, the Milenians must learn to design ships and to navigate (things that in the outer world they had forgotten, given where their empire was), and was finally able to gain a powerful military marine power thanks to the clashes with the Merry Pirates and with the neighbouring Traldar, from which they took the techniques for the construction of fast and solid coastal ships and the best tactics for engaging other sailing-ships out at sea. Presently the Milenian Empire is divided into a hundred provinces, each of which enjoys much autonomy but remain faithful to the central government of Corisa (capital of Milenia), from which the Emperor and the 200 Senators (two per province) decide the course of politics, economy and the military war machine. Under them are the Citizens (all those that have land or a home), later the Commoners (those that although free do not have real estate) and finally the Slaves (individuals obligated by law to serve for life other Citizens, usually prisoners of war), in a stratified society governed by rigid laws and by a bureaucratic apparatus how ever elaborate and practical. Great interest is given in Milenia to the arts, science and arcane practices, as much as to the treatment of the body and to the athletic disciplines, pursuing the motto ďhealthy mind in healthy bodyĒ that made the Milenian citizens among the wisest and most civilised people of the Hollow World.
2. The Milenians worship diverse Immortals, and in some cases paid divine honours also to heroes or emperors of the past, even if these in effect donít belong to the Immortals. At the head of the pantheon are however the divine consorts Halav and Petra, responsible for the Milenian rebirth in the Hollow World and therefore considered the protectors of the new Milenia. While in the outer world others were the principal Immortals, and the two were considered little more than heroes of the past, from when they have directly acted in order to preserve the Milenian culture, Halav and Petra have been recognised by the Milenian priests as the true patrons of the Milenian people and have ousted from the zenith the old cults of Khoronus, Ixion and Valerias (that also remained present in Milenia). The cults of Matera (Vanya), Protius and Zargos (Nyx) constitutes together with those of Halav and Petra the Sacred Pentagon, that is the set of the Immortals with major followings in Milenia. All these have at least one important temple in each city, and many of them have also personal oracles that occasionally relate the will of the Immortal to the Milenian followers.
3. Matera (Vanya) has a double identity with the Milenians. For the men, she is simply the protector of childbirth and fertility and the patroness of the midwives, while for the women she is the patroness of feminine power and of the silent revolt against the men. She aimed to weaken the power of the Milenian Empire from within (seeing that in her mortal life she was a slave of the Milenians), so that the women can assume the reins of command thanks to the fascination ability that she gives to her adepts. Because of this the cult of Matera is organised as a secret society, with a faÁade of ease to the outside and a compact network of conspirators that instead advance the ideals of Vanya of revenge and silent conquest.
4. The Zargosians worship Zargos (Nyx) as a divine prophet of a new age, in which the night dominates the day. The Zargosians hold that that the power of the magic is linked to the darkness, as taught by Zargos, and that the red sun of the Hollow World is an obstacle to magic research and to the development of new powers. For this attempt of creating magic with which to obscure the sun or prolongs the darkness, in order to augment the magical potential that they enjoy. The Zargosians are all mages and clerics faithful to Nyx and in large part obsessed with necromancy. Because of their occult studies they are feared by the majority of the Milenians, and in some provinces are positively hounded and put to death for the dark practices that they advance. However, given that they havenít yet acted against the Senate or the Empire, and that frequently cover the office of tanatology (keepers of the dead and officiators of the funeral rites), normally are left free to continue in their studies and avoided by the majority of the Milenians, even if the other cults and the Senate constantly keep their eyes on them.
5. The manual HWR3: The Milenian Empire proposes the Twelve Watchers as patrons of arts and mysteries in Milenia, but it is clearly a oversight since they didnít exist for all the period in which the Milenian Empire is present in the outer world. They have therefore been replaced by Pater (Kagyar), who was already the Immortal patron of the arts with the Nithians, ancestors of the Milenians, with the name of Ptahr (mutated later into Pater by the Milenians).
6. Asterius (patron of trade and prosperity) is the most followed Immortal of the minor orders, together with Tarastia (patroness of law and justice) and Pater (Kagyar), since they embody the principal values on which the Milenian Empire is based, that is the order that permits the work that generates wealth that was kept thanks to the justice, in a virtuous circle that is self-feeding.
7. Tyche has been introduced as the patroness of chance and fortune, and enjoys a great following with the Milenians, a people for which fortune has a great importance (especially in the lower classes).
8. Koryis among the Milenians is the patron of peace and of the social harmony, and is also considered the patron of the slaves. The Milenians allow the cult of Koryis since it is a philosophy that urges the respect of laws and tolerance, therefore if one part calls for mercy and kindness with the slaves, the other exhorts the slaves similarly to not rebel against their masters and the established order, awaiting the moment in which their fair work were repaid and they can be judged worthy of their freedom. Only a limited group of slaves, the Kleonites, donít follow the peaceful philosophy of Koryis, and have instead organised a secret network of resistance ready to fight and rise uprising against the oppressive masters. The Kleonites address their prayers to Saturnius (patron of liberty and rebellion) and Bachraeus (patron of vengeance and hate), which nevertheless donít have consecrated temples within the borders of the Milenian Empire (given that both the cults are outlawed) and whose philosophies frequently bring their respective followers to violent clashes within the resistance. Bachraeus furthermore finds some followers also among the rebels of each social class, comprising some of the thirteen members of the sect of the King of Milenia, which plots in order to overthrow the Senate and take hold of the power, as a way to restore the ancient dynastic Traldar traditions of the dawn of the kingdom.
9. Khoronus, Ixion and Valerias are the three Immortals that have greatly resented the entrance of Halav and Petra as principal patrons of the new Milenian Empire. While in the outer world it was them that occupied the zenith of the pantheon, in the Hollow World their cults arenít able to carve out the same space. Khoronus and Valerias enjoy a good following only among the more erudite citizens, the artists and the academics, while the cult of Ixion (associated with the seasons, time, harvests and fire) has a stronger base among the commoners and the farmers.
10. Taroyas and Tiresias have a large following among the Milenians as they were still remembered for their by now divine deeds in the outer world: the former is the patron of the empire, nobility and the governors, while the latter is associated with oracles, fate and magic.
11. To the contrary of what is written in the supplement HWR3, in this manual it is preferred to eliminate Palartarkan come patron of magic and knowledge with the Milenians, given that he is typically an Alphatian Immortal without any followers outside of Alphatia. The choice for his substitute inevitably falls on Grammaton (Odin), already present among the Nithians from which the Milenians derived, on Tiresias, whose history forms the basis of the foundation of the Kingdom of Milenia in Davania, and on Noumena. It can be assumed that while Noumena and Grammaton are associated to all the academic magic, that is those that have learnt the arcane art frequenting the Academy of the Arcane, Tiresias is instead the patron of all those peasant mages, which have discovered spontaneously magic (sorcerers) or follow the vestiges of local magic, without being able to become part of the Academy.
12. Palson is a national hero of the last centuries, whose cult is very similar to that of Valerias has acquired numerous followers especially among the artists and the rich hedonists. Of similar nature is also the cult of Faunus, is much more popular instead among the lower classes as patron of the herds, besides that of sensuality, fertility and drunkenness.
13. Zirchev is the patron of outcasts, woods and of those that live in contact with nature. It is this which explains why his cult is less popular in Milenia, despite being an ally of Halav and Petra: since he is normally associated with the poorest classes and outcasts and his cult finds adepts only among the commoners that live in the wilder areas.
14. Besides those of Bachraeus and Saturnius, the cult of Thanatos is also forbidden among the Milenians, but this has not stopped his priests from being able to found a secret sect that works in the empire with the maximum reserve, allying itself from time to time with different factions fighting for the power, with the only intention of spreading disintegration and chaos within Milenia. The Thanatosites have a hidden temple in the wild area of the empire and periodically complete horrible rituals that foresaw sacrifices of blood and the profanation of holy sites sacred to the other Milenian Immortals, crimes that they later tried to place on others for feeding the fire of hate.
15. The diverse minotaurs that live in the underground and among the ruins of the Milenian city worship several entropic Immortals, among which are Thanatos, Kiranjo and Jammudaru.