On this page we provide new myths of Tinel, god of magic, secrets and knowledge. We hope to expand this section with myths provided by readers. If you've created myths for your campaign, please email them to us at: BOTR@GREENRONIN.COM. (submission details)

New Myth for Tinel, the Aloof:

The Source of Tinel’s Sorrow

The following story can help explain what happened to Valossa in a game that incorporates Freeport. It hearkens to the schism in the Tinelite faith (Tinel being the God of Knowledge in Freeport), and a possible explanation for Tinel’s becoming Aloof beyond what appears in the myth of the Fourteen Wizards. This story was written by Joe G. Kushner and belongs to him. In-game, it was penned by an unknown author, and can be introduced to a campaign dealing with the cosmological ramifications of the existence of the Unspeakable One. It can be used as the basis of a heretical cult of Tinel that believes Tinel and Yig are one and the same (which can be the truth if you like, of course).

SOME say Tinel believes individuals to be capable of limitless wonders. Some believe that his followers must always rise above the restrictions placed on them, surpass the limits placed before them. All accept that twice in our history it has been proven that limits are not always meant to be overcome. But perhaps it was three times…

I knew that I shouldn’t have listened in on the conversation between the Armarius and Dorlion, but I was but a Neophyte then. I knew not what betrayals would come that day...

“Revered Master, I fear that all is not correct in the ancient texts that we study.” Dorlion stood proud, a full equal to the Armarius, despite his lack of inceptoral training. His magical might was whispered of in many kingdoms and lands, and his recent exploits in Freeport were being sung of by bards and recorded by historians.

“You concern yourself with things that are past, my son. You must concentrate on your future. More tea?” Revered Master Kalian poured the imported green tea with a deft hand, not letting a drop spill. “Some say that you are in a position to challenge the Five Hierophants themselves. No small matter.” Revered Master Kalian was proud of Dorlion, a true scion of Tinel. Still, he wished that Korath, Dorlion’s Mage Guard companion, hadn’t perished in Freeport. The detailed reports Defender Korath provided proved interesting and showed the many facets of Dorlion’s personality.

“Revered Master, do you think that Tinel keeps secrets from his followers?”

“If he does, my child, it is only so that we have matters to occupy us. Why? Have you discovered something? A new spell perhaps? A fancy trinket?” The Armarius leaned back in his chair, preparing himself for a good story.

“What do you know of Valossa, Revered Master?” The question was asked almost nonchalantly, but the Armarius sensed a dangerous undercurrent to the tone.

“Valossa? Nothing more than a legend. Like many old islands referred to in ancient texts by philosophers who think they have a point to prove and conjure a phantom to do so, making their object of reference an island that sank long ago. There have been many such islands of fancy over the years.” Revered Master Kalian began to feel sweat start to bead on his forehead. Why would Dorlion ask such a question? Where did he hear of Valossa? He was certain that all who believed in the wicked blasphemy of Valossa were dead, the records of their inquiry destroyed.
He was certain.

“It seems that some of the problems Freeport suffers are rooted in an old past. A past dark and dangerous. Perhaps too dangerous for inquiry?” There was a hint of a smile on Dorlion’s lips.

“Speak, my child. Ease your burden.”

“We both know that different races worship Tinel under different names. To some he is the Great Innovator. To others, the Lord of Steam. To those of Valossa, some whisper that he was known as Yig.” Dorlion sipped his tea casually as he spoke.

“Yig? We have some reference works that make that connection, or at least suggest it. The
Serpent Man mind is difficult to understand.”

“Indeed…” The mage nodded sagely and paused as if he was unsure of his duty. Eventually, he continued. “It is commonly agreed that Kador is a mad god, is it not, Revered Master?”

“Of course.”

“It is also known that Tinel is known to suffer from a malaise that is felt on all the planes. Some have whispered that his wife’s tender caresses… her dalliances… have driven the Keeper of the Keys mad.”

“Careful, mage. You begin to tread on blasphemous ground.”

“I just speak of the text Revered Master, nothing more. Nothing more…”

The Armarius didn’t like where this was headed. Still, he wasn’t about to let the mage stop speaking. Before he acted, he had to be sure. He had to know.

“Some whisper that Tinel is so mad that even he doesn’t even know it. That he encourages advancement in all things unto madness. That in this guise he is known by another name,” the mage continued, speaking slowly and eying his teacup. Revered Master Kalian silently prayed that Dorlion would not say what he knew in his heart he would.

“In this mad guise, in this shapeless form, they call him the Unspeakable One.” The very uttering of this blasphemy seemed to embolden Dorlion, and he continued more forcefully. “It was in this guise that he destroyed Valossa in seconds. Some of those descendants of the Serpent People who survive whisper that they know it is he. Can they not tell the god they worshipped and the god we worship to this day are one and the same? I interrogated one of them; he said that we use the same rituals, the same invocations, the same ceremonies that they did in their earliest days to worship Yig.”

"This is why Tinel is a sorrowful god,” Dorlion concluded, “It is because he knows what he is, that he is mad, but cannot – or will not – cure himself."

Kalian’s knuckles paled as he gripped the arm of his chair for a moment, awash in fear and regret. The mage knew (or thought he did); he had learned the forbidden secrets of the Valossa blasphemy. The heresy held that the secret of Tinel’s aloofness was not due to the course of human or godly events. It was madness, pure and bald. Madness that manifested itself as the so-called Unspeakable One, and this wizard dared mouth the forbidden and secret heresy here, in the very heart of Kalian’s scriptorium. “That’s mad.” The Armarius had to buy time.

“Think of this, Dorlion. What if this Unspeakable One you whisper of was not Tinel, and yet was indeed worshipped by these Snake People using the same rituals as we use this day. You see this small piece of the puzzle and assume that Tinel and this, how did you say it, Yig?, that they are one and the same. But what if this thing was an uncaring agent from beyond the sphere? What if it hailed from outside, and had corrupted proper worshippers of the Heavenly Archmage, our lord, Tinel? What if this Brotherhood of the Yellow Sign was prepared to bring this thing into our reality, to our sphere, and destroy our world – all the while hiding behind the guise of proper Tinelite worship?

“Perhaps Tinel did destroy the legendary Valossa – if it ever existed. But if he did, he only did what he had to. His people had turned away from him and would doom not only their own decadent empire, but all the world. Tinel destroyed them. It is this regret that makes him aloof and uncaring. Sorrow for his lost children, for the evil all races will do in their pursuit of knowledge unchecked. Be careful you heed this lesson, Dorlion, for I think there is much for you to learn from it.”

Revered Master Kalian rose and, for a moment, Dorlion though he was actually going to have to fight the priest in his own scriptorium. Instead, Kalian turned away from him and poured himself some more tea. “Do you need any more tea? Telling all of these fantasies must be thirsty work.”

“Yes, I’ll have more. Please.”

Kalian poured once again with a long-honed skill.

“Revered Master, you may be right that Tinel is not mad.” Dorlion sniffed the tea for a moment and put it down. “However, I didn’t mention any Cult of the Yellow Sign. I wish that the church would work toward curing Tinel of his sorrow instead of this ludicrous cover up.”

“Cover up?” Kalian scoffed. “You’re mad! Cover up indeed.”

“Armarius, I’ve already had to kill Korath to protect the truth… And I’ve already detected the poison in this tea.”

Kalian raised his hands and called on divine power. But not quickly enough. Dorlion shook his head sadly. “Revered Master… Kalian… I have already surpassed the Five in power.” Without moving from his chair, without whispering or making any movements, the Archmage Dorlion hurled Death Magic at Kalian and Kalian lacked the power to resist it.

Dorlion rose, turning his gaze to the door – open just a crack. There his eyes locked with those of a young man who had been watching the entire event unfold. “Look well on what has happened here, lad. Today the Archmage Dorlion took the first steps in uncovering the madness of a god! We say we revere truth, and yet in actuality we hide from it. Tinel is the Unspeakable One, and I am the prophet and harbinger of his doom!” With that, Dorlion vanished.

The Neophyte called the guards. When they arrived, they found the young man cradling the lifeless for of the Armarius, Revered Master Kalian, in his arms.

The symbols on this page copyright 2002, Steve Lawton


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