Divinities in Twilight
Adramalech or Erra
The Fallen Sun
(LE; formerly LG. Essian: misted, evil; Dominionist: earthly; death, plague, sun, tyranny, undeath)
A god of sun, vengeance and control; formerly the god of the sun, justice and law. Initially known as Adramalech; now called Erra – though his foes typically use his original name.
Adramalech was the first god to discover The Mists. Essians say he sprang, fully formed, from The Mists; Dominionists have no particular belief about his origins. In either case, the primordial Mists reacted strongly to his whims. Some of the legends say his first thought was for light to pierce the darkness, causing The Mists to coalesce into the sun; others say he painstakingly crafted the sun to exacting specifics.
Later, as other gods came or materialized, Adramalech created a paradise of heady mountains and rolling fields that were rich with life. While walking in his realm one day, he happened upon a strange seed; cutting it from the algae that nurtured it, he was surprised to see that it was actually a beast unlike any he’d seen before. That seed was the first pair of Southrons; delighted, he became the patron of the Southrons and taught them to speak, make fire, gather food and tell stories.
While Adramalech was a just god, he was rarely merciful: a harbinger of his later descent. The first Southron king, Farrukh, sought to meet his god face-to-face. While climbing the highest mountain in Adramalech’s realm, Adramalech sent him the omen of a crow that fell in midflight; Farrukh climbed on. Adramalech then sent him the omen of a tree, precariously placed, crashing to the ground; Farrukh climbed on. Adramalech then drove cold winds and stinging snow into Farrukh’s face, but the king continued on. Enraged at his follower’s obstinacy, Adramalech threw the king to the ground, breaking his body and making a warning to all mortals.
Adramalech would create Bel, the patron god of crafts, to ensure that man would always have an inspiration and guide when crafting. Most traditions hold that Adramalech created Bel from clay and ash, creating the first dyes to give her a cunning semblance of life, before imbuing her with divine energies. The Southrons, however, believe Bel was once a Southron, a master homebuilder in life. Many Essian Southrons have a particular reverence for Bel.
As the Southrons became more prosperous, Adramalech decided that they needed servants – beings to harvest their crops and maintain their households. He created the elves to ensure man’s happiness, setting them both among the plains and among the great mangroves. In the mangroves, the elves served as a bulwark against Klaeh’mak’s graxx.
Adramalech was insulted and furious when Kamesh created day and night, but didn’t know where to find the stealthy god. He vented his rage on targets nearer him: elves who fled into the darkness and the graxx hordes. In a shocking act of cruelty, he ordered all the so-called shadow elves hunted and cut down. Many traditions, particularly Essian ones, hold that the curses of a dying race haunted Adramalech, deepening his madness.
In time, Klaeh’mak’s raiding graxx became too much of a threat to ignore. Adramalech ordered his people to train in the art of warfare, and directed Bel to make weapons that would honor and reflect the sun: heavy bronze scimitars that would smite the foes of humanity. Sometimes, Adramalech would cross swords in war with Klaeh’mak himself, as both gods would personally lead their people into battle.
The War in Dark started when Adramalech managed to push graxx from his mangroves, allowing him to regroup and push toward Bazaar with the bulk of his force. The master of warfare would not be so easily defeated, however, or see his prize city razed: He met Adramalech’s forces near Bazaar, on the site that would become known as the Red Sands. There, he cut Adramalech deeply, forcing the sun god to retreat. The god’s spilled blood permanently stained the sands red, corrupting the iron there.
On the return trip, a force of lisko warriors attempted to rout his retreating warriors; in a rage, Adramalech turned their leader into a fierce, fire-breathing serpent, who promptly devoured his own men: The first dragon, Azi.
In rage and spite, Adramalech hoarded the sun’s rays, refusing to allow them to escape his realm. In response, Kamesh created the yellow sun – an act that only enraged Adramalech further; the true sun god smashed the imposter daystar.
At this time, a plague broke out among Adramalech’s dispirited and exhausted warriors. Most took the illness to be an omen or sign of Adramalech’s madness, but the god embraced the disease. Now calling himself Erra, he intensified the plague, making it far more virulent and deadly. He then forced his infected warriors back into the field, spreading the illness among the coalition of forces who were marching on Erra’s realm.
The plague brought with it Second Death – the curse of undeath. Fallen warriors on all sides rose up with first dawn, fighting on as monstrous parodies of humanity. Seeing his dead warriors invigorated by the dim daylight, Erra unleashed his hoarded rays, allowing his sun to shine upon Creation again. The empowered monsters – Erra’s Solar Knights – ferociously tore into their foes, each single-handedly breaking full formations and sending men running from the field. Erra himself retired from the field – some say from the strain of unveiling the sun, or from the pain from the wound Klaeh’mak dealt to him. Others say some mysterious new wound forced him to retreat.
At this darkest point, the Unveiled rose from the Northern Sea, asking the other gods for help sealing Erra. A coalition of gods lent their aid – with The Nameless One notably working to deter their efforts – and overcame Erra’s resistance, locking away him, his realm and his sun beneath an iron dome.
Erra is the epitome of selfishness, hatred and madness in Essian cults – he’s the driving force for evil in all of Creation. The threat of his escape looms large in the Essian imagination, and it’s the basis for most Essian apocalyptic prophecy.
Erra is always directly opposed by an Essian cult’s hero god; most, especially lisko, place Plorgulex the Umberstronx as the patriarch of a trio of gods that counter Erra’s schemes and violence. While Essian graxx are rare, they almost universally place Klaeh’mak as Erra’s opposite. (Those graxx are quick to note how Klaeh’mak rose from desert savage to paragon of justice, a journey that too-neatly inverts Erra’s fall from grace for it to be a coincidence.) There’s a significant overlap between Essian Kameshi and patron Kameshi; most see Erra as the villain of Creation, and reflexively the efforts or his followers.
While Erra is abhorred by most Dominionists, they still recognize his power and his deep connection to The Mists. As such, they sometimes seek his intervention in ephemeral matters, such as imagination and creation; he’s also invoked as a defense against plagues.
Erra’s cults are small and isolated – any visible structure would be rooted out by the other mortals of Creation. His followers believe that he’s been cheated by ungrateful, rebellious usurpers who don’t know their proper place; they also believe in the inherent superiority of humanity (particularly Southrons). While most of his remaining worshipers are Southrons, a handful are elves. It’s exceedingly rare for any other race to follow Erra.