WHAT IS DOMINION?
Dominion is the eternal principle from which a god derives power. It is that one thing for which their passion and interest is limitless. For some gods, like Tiamat, their dominion is obvious – Tiamat is the Queen of Dragons. For others, it is because they hold sway over a throneplane, like Pha Rann ruling over Heaven. For others, it is because sentient creatures approach some aspect of life in such a focused manner that it is worshipful. An example of this later type are the god saints Cuthbert and Kargoth, worshiped by paladins of either Creation or Warp. There are gods that touch each of these life aspects, but some are more common and therefore more powerful. By the same token, some aspects of life are more emotionally compelling (like the birth or death of a loved child) and also therefore more powerful. The more powerful a god is, the more dominions they might hold. Tiamat, for example, rules the dragons, is lord of the first plane of Hell, and is worshiped by the people of Morbatten.
While dominions are eternal and limitless, they also define the boundary of a god’s power. When a creature enters that dominion, the god knows everything about them. When a creature uses the power of that dominion, the god knows everything about the nature of their power in that place. Where dominions occur, gods are omnipotent and omnipresent within that dominion.
There are sub-dominions. Continuing the Tiamat example, the God of Scrying – Corth K’ven – was gifted dominion over wyverns. Corth K’ven brought Scrying, as a dominion, to Tiamat. Tiamat in turn gifted this dominion over the wyverns to Corth. In the Morbatten stories, Alerius hopes to bring the fire giants as another dominion to Tiamat, as well as the medusae. Because the universes are infinite, there are as many dominions as the gods allow, or that Tehrans can empower. There are even redundant dominions where more than one god might claim the same thing, essentially. However, a dominion ultimately determines a god’s power relative to other gods.
The Gates of Creation, Chaos, and Warp stand by themselves as their own dominions. Dominion is not bounded by time. Once a dominion is established, it is eternal even if the god abandons it or is slain.
WHAT IS CONSECRATION?
Consecration is the principle by which a sentient being dedicates their life to a god, essentially committing it to that god as an act of worship. There are 3 types of consecration:
- Act of Faith – this is a conversion whereby the worshiper completes a divine ritual that makes the totality of their life actions and experience part of a god’s dominion. Using a normal person, Joe, as an example. Before consecration, Joe accidentally crossed many dominions. When hoping for a fair shot, he crossed Joust’s dominion. When studying martial arts, he crossed Imperius. When he got married and had kids, he crossed Pha Rann’s for creation. When he marveled at the natural beauty of the world and power inherent in nature, he crossed Krentismar. When Joe emigrated to Morbatten, he decided to consecrate himself to Tiamat. All of his former actions did and still cross the respective gods, but because Joe is now 100% Tiamat’s, these same actions now function like a sub-dominion. He moves through them, but the power of his faith accrues to Tiamat, not Pha Rann. In other words, when he has a child now, he praises Tiamat, not Pha Rann.
- Binding – When Joe and his wife next have children, the new children are bound to Tiamat because their parents are. Note that this is not a function of some religious marriage ceremony. It is the faith of the parents that makes it happen. The parents will reaffirm the child’s consecration first chance at a shrine or Temple. But, also when the children are older in the Coming of Age ceremony. Many sentient creatures are bound by their race. The minotaurs, for example, are bound to Baphtomet. They can be excommunicated, they can leave for another god, but they are still bound to Baphtomet. The Drow are bound to Lolth in this same way. Orcs are bound to Gruustir. The denizens of Creation, Chaos, and Warp are similarly bound to the nexal gods of those realms’ gates. Racial binding and the faith of any given individual are not a given. Drow do not have to worship Lolth. Orcs do not have to worship Gruustir. But, whether they like it or not, their life enhances their gods.
- Holy Places – Whether a sentient being worships a god or not, when they enter a consecrated place, they move closer to that god’s dominion. The definition of this can be as broad or narrow as the god’s power supports challenges from other gods. On the narrow perspective, temple-building worshippers like the Drow and Morbattanians build Temples and Shrines as places of consecration. Such places bring those in the temple 1 step closer to that god. Prayers and acts of faith are many times more powerful and easier to enact in a holy place because they are 1 step closer. For other gods, like Pha Rann, he set the stars of the universes in motion and there is a holiness in their light shining upon worlds and granting them power to live, procreate, and endure. Even more narrow is Asmodeus’ assertion that when sentient creatures manipulate others for selfish and evil purposes, that they are in his holy place. In other words, Holy Places are as creative as a god and that god’s worshippers.
- Death – Once ascended, it is nearly impossible to kill a god. To do so, the entire dominion must be either destroyed or severed from the god’s actual real self. Gods killed any number of steps from their throneplane/dominion revive based on how many steps removed they were. Gods can actually be slain in Tehra and because of this, most gods choose to send avatars rather than actually go. Even when they chose direct intervention, the god will most often render aid from the ethereal rather than risk themselves. It’s not just death they are concerned about… the closer they move to Tehra the more they actually age.
Tehran worship, because of what Alerius calls the Consecration Principle, funnels Tehran power directly to the god. Whatever inherent or innate power a god has, it is amplified through Tehran worship. Once a god obtains this, it is impossible to let it go. Not because it is addictive, but because it creates a cycle of faith. Those worshipping a god, grant that god more power. When the god lends aid to the worshipper, the worshipper becomes more powerful. This positive reinforcement engenders conversion of others and the cycle becomes social, cultural, and enduring. For Tiamat and others, it works. Other gods, like Baphtomet and Lolth, had to learn that overindulgence and over-involvement quickly unravels the cycle because of the inherent nature of Chaos and Warp.
Struggles between different gods occur ferociously on Tehra. When taken to an extreme, a Cascade occurs. This is a pile on where the worshippers of one god receive aid against another. Because of that aid, the other god sends additional help. Eventually, allies get involved. It spirals up and escalates. If many oppositional gods are involved, and Tehra is an oppositional world, then a Cascade can occur where the pile on creates a ferocious vortex of divine intervention mixing the Creation, Chaos, and Warp together in ways that have not occurred since before the separation of the nexal dominions.
Consecration is limited to the consecrated being’s life. When they die, their souls return to their god’s dominion and whatever “afterlife” exists. Worshippers of Tiamat believe that they reincarnate as dragons and serve Her on Her Throneplane forever, for example.