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The Carnuilh All-Father

by Christopher Cherrington

The Druidic circle of the Carnuilh relies heavily on the belief of the All-Father, a near immortal being that transcends time by reincarnating himself as the Grand Druid of Brun. This circle of purists does not believe in immortal sponsorship, and that the world itself with all its life is the magic or the ley that they transcend from. At times the All-Father does not remember his previous life, so the purists must take charge and remind the Grand Druid of his past. At some intervals, the All-Father hibernates for a season, and so a female or sponsored Grand Druid will hold the title for Brun. It is said that when the All-Father awakens and challenges the current Grand Druid, that he is so in-tuned to the world ley, that he can deny all other druids of their power, and thus easily wins the challenge and thus continues his cycle of power.

The history behind the All-Father is even grander than his cycles of being Grand Druid of Mystara, not just Brun. During those times of hibernation or when the Grand Druid needs remembering, the All-Father is actually being the Grand Druid of other circles in other areas of his concern. The All-Father is so ancient, he does not remember his true identity or age; but he knows he was immortal at least twice before. What he remembers of his eldest days is that he was revered as a hierarch in one of the spheres, at the time of the Blackmoor Civilisation. When the Great Rain of Fire began, he transcended all his immortality and memory to save Mystara from what he believes would have been its utter doom. He does not know how he did this, but he believes it is just another cycle that he needed to complete. In the aftermath of the cataclysm, he awakened as a Jade Dragon; giving somewhat of a clue as to his original form, alluding to a dualistic nature, he believes he may have been one of the first Draedens that transcended into immortality through the sphere of Matter. This gives some credence to his true nature and ties to Mystara, as some circles of the Skothar Druids believe the world is nothing but the hollow shell of an egg of a greater being, like a Draeden; but being as there are more dragons in this branch, they have a more fatalistic view of what became of Ouranos.

The All-Father, as a dragon, lived near a Neathar tribe that was being invaded by Antalians on Brun. Not knowing, or remembering why he intervened, he polymorphed himself as a human and lived among the Neathar and slowly made a truce between the two tribes by giving them a commonality in thought, druidism. He then started to learn of the world ley, and taught several members of both tribes the druidic ways and became a druid himself. The All-Father then stepped away from these people to develop on their own and worked hard at hording Blackmoorian artifacts as he began his successes to become the Opal Dragon known as Sun. At his ascension, several rifts in thought changed several cultures. His Neathar/Antalian merged culture began a great many series of migrations and called them the Carnuilh. Humanoid hordes started conquests and even greater rampages across Brun, many of which displaced whole cultures of other tribes and other humans. Some cultures enclosed on the Sylvan Realm and caused its downfall, but from it created Alfhiem. Even the Nithians had a change in thought, and accepted more entropic ways into their beliefs. The All-Father knew what changes were made to the world, and was very grieved by them. When a mate of his vied for power through ascension many years later, he feigned death and allowed his old mate to envelope his mantle of power and she ascended to become the current Opal Dragon in the sphere of Matter (never fully knowing that he was the mate of her eggs that many years before were destroyed by the Antalians from one of the tribes he influenced, and caused her to begin her quest of vengeance and immortality). The All-Father remembered this life very well and still had his powers as the Grand Druid.

The All-Father soon began a series of work to try and rebuild the damages his ascension had caused. He returned to the Carnuilh, and began a series of dissensions within the now greatly numbered tribe. He instructed the eastern-most tribe to be captured by the Nithians, and gave them great knowledge on astronomy and carving stones of power. The Nithians began to acquire this knowledge from their new slaves, and were saved from the tragedy of the western Nithians that stayed on the entropic path. These Carnuilh later escaped the slavery and began their lives as the Dunael. Remnants of the Carnuilh also helped the elves in Wendar, the proto-Oghriz of the Adri Varma plateau, and rallied fairy and woodland creatures alike to help save the Sylvan Realm of the elves from an untimely end at the hands of Moorcroft. Smaller remnants he tempered by having them settle along the Savage Coast, and still further by settling near Hyboria. He has since left them on their own, mainly to learn of the other great circles on the other continents. The All-Father later returned to instruct several druids in the art of achieving immortality through the spheres. For Time, Maud of the Robrenn is the granddaughter of the Grand Druid that has been following this path, but even before her, the druids have been choosing their country's leaders for the same purpose. The Great Druid of the Dunael is following the path of the Paragon for the sphere of Energy. In Norwold, the Great Druid of the Brythoni started the path of the Polymath, several generations ago; hence they have not had a solid druid leadership since his leaving. Others surely exist, but of the closest ones attaining immortality, these four are nearly complete. The All-Father has even influenced a fey of great renown in the Sylvan Realm to partake the quest for immortality through the sphere of Thought, as only a thief of the fairy could partake. Disguising herself as a knight with wizardly abilities, uniting the remnant tribes of the Carnuilh in the north and west Brun, calling herself the Green Knight an avatar of the Sun and a follower of a great jade dragon. Some circles believe this is truly a persona of the All-Father, representing the dualistic nature and communing the feminine side of his ascension. In reality, the All-Father split his mantle in 5 known pieces when he gave up his immortality to Opal. Of the fragments, only the All-Father is aware of their true existence, as the other four fragments of his power are each trying to achieve immortality in the spheres and not knowing their true identity or the existence of the All-Father. The All-Father is aware that he may have a sixth unknown persona attempting to counter his moves by the achievement through the sphere of Entropy and his attentions for that presence has been focused on the Shadow Circle of Druids on Brun. The All-Father does not believe he is immortal, but has been able to use strokes vs. other immortals, and hide the fact that he exists on Mystara, in all his forms. This has caused some of his thought to wonder if he may truly be Ouranos on a further quest of the Old Ones in achieving some higher goal than just immortality.

Ouranos was born of Gaia in Greek Mythology. By having him as a Draeden and born from an egg cast off as the shell of Mystara, alludes he is born of mother earth, Gaia. Ouranos also mated with Gaia, and created many sons, one of them Kronos. Kronos also castrated Ouranos for his sins to his mother (I have not quite figured out how you can castrate a draeden), but when the blood fell from Ouranos, Gaia was still impregnated and gave birth to all the Nymphs, Giants and Furies. What an allusion there! Ouranos in this light as a Draeden, creating fairies, giants and diaboli. This is based on the dualistic system that Dragons sponsored the first humans to immortality and the enemy Draedens sponsored the first diaboli to immortality. Not to mention the fact that druidism is based on cycles, and an immortal that keeps going back to mortality to become immortal again is a great cycle. As the story for Ssaa Kaat, I don't know of his importance in any real world mythology. The only allusion I can think up is that if Terra is mother earth, and is thought of being one of the first immortals, and Ssaa Kaat was known to them, but not no more, he would have to be from somewhere other than Mystara.