This article by Trickstergod explores possible or alternative relationships between various gods of Scarred Lands. While unofficial, the hypothesis below is strangely compelling and, even if deemed false, may provide a pleasant diversion during roleplaying session. Reproduced with permission. Enjoy :)

NPC, iconic; Between Tanil and Chardun

author: Trickstergod (Chuck Corley)
date: 2004-01-25
status: finished

The Dude Abides. Err, d'oh

So no Big Lebowski references here beyond the title.

However, That Which Abides is going to see some time in the sun here.

As I've said - and quite loudly - I'm severely disappointed with the Faithful and the Forsaken. Not for just what was in there, but for what wasn't. Like...details on Jandaveos/That Which Abides. So, with that in mind, here's my own take on the matter. Which I'll add, I entirely ignored the Faithful and the Forsaken while writing it up. Purposefully.

Perhaps my own stuff isn't so great, but, hey. Feel free to tear into me if you'd so like.

Before her rape at the hands of Hrinruuk, Tanil was a goddess of a most lusty, joyful nature, whose heart brimmed with mischief and delighted in the world about her. Though not quite the merciful goddess of redemption that Madriel is, her heart still went out to those of a darker nature, and like any being truly devoted to a goodly path, she sought to turn those with an evil heart towards a nobler way, with songs that stirred the soul and enticements that would tempt even the most chaste of hearts.

And so it was, young and idealistic, intent on sharing her joy of the world with others, that she came to sing her sweetest of songs to Chardun of all individuals, and offer the younger god those irresistible enticements. Dour and disgusted by Tanil at first, Chardun couldn't help but slowly be lulled by her lovely words and be drawn towards the alluring mistress of song. For a time, Chardun knew compassion, and mercy, and perhaps even love. He lay with Tanil, and from their coupling, two children were born. One, a dark, fey-like creature, the other, almost fey like his brother, but without the dark pallor, setting him apart from his brother. The first would be come to known as Nalthalos, patron to the drendali, whereas the second's name has been lost to history. His role, however, was known - that of the high elves patron, betrayed by his herald and destroyed by Chern. Now he is known only as That Which Abides, when referred to at all.

Soon after these deities' births, however, the joy known between Tanil and Chardun was soured. All the affection Tanil had poured upon Chardun, in the hopes of inspiring within him a dignity for life and the will of others, had come to naught. It wasn't long before the slaver was trying to instill in his children a sense of order and dominance, submission and conquest. He would have them follow in his footsteps, and help take the world for their father, each having a place by his side.

Tanil, obviously, would have none of this. The two quarreled, and in those days before the Divine Truce, the pair almost came to blows, neither willing to let the other taint their children with their ideals. All that stopped the others attack was what little pleasure the two gods had found with the other, however short it may have been, and a fondness for their children. Tanil finally decided the matter should be left up to their children - for divinely born as they were, both were quite capable of making decisions on their own - and Chardun acceded, if only because he was confident both would wish to follow in his wake.

So it was that Nalthalos took up with Chardun, and grew to reflect the slaver's attitude.

So it was that That Which Abides took up with Tanil, and would mirror her in return.

Of course, this story is primarily believed only by the high elves, and even then, is called into question. The Handmaidens of the Huntress, rabidly hateful of all things masculine, claim Tanil would never have willingly shared herself with another man, particularly Chardun. The church of Chardun ignores the story out of hand, claiming Chardun never would have fallen for the wiles of Tanil to begin with, and he certainly never would have allowed any of his children to be so wayward as to become the patron of the charduni's greatest enemy. Nalthalos, owing his allegiance to Chardun, similarly refutes the claim of being born of Tanil, though the golem-gods creation myth is curiously scant in its details about his origin. The one thing the followers of Nalthalos will say, though, is that they believe their god has some blood relation with That Which Abides. With the death of That Which Abides, even the forsaken elves begin to doubt the story. Still, it continues to circulate amongst the Elven Realms, and those theologians with an interest in the history of That Which Abides and Nalthalos tend to agree with the elven take on the matter. With the death of That Which Abides, however, it is unlikely the truth will ever truly be known.


It is said amongst the faithful of Jandaveos that, before his coming, the elves were lorded over by the titan Mesos, who, while teaching them many arcane secrets, also strictly reined in the often wild, passionate creatures. Hrinruuk still being ascendant, Mesos sought to prove his dominance over the hunter by turning a race previously devoted to the bow towards the art of magic. At this the titan succeeded admirably, and elves that once were dedicated to the ways of Denev and Hrinruuk were soon wielding potent magic's unheard of since the dawn of history. Unfortunately, those who stepped out of line, or whose bloodline never took to sorcery, were harshly punished and oppressed. Jandaveos, son of Tanil and friend to Enkili, lover of freedom in all its forms, simply couldn't bear to see the elves punished so, particularly when it was for little more reason than the titans were having a pissing contest. With Tanil hiding Idra away from Hrinruuk's sight, and Mesos already wary of Enkili's pranks, Jandaveos realized the salvation of the elves would come through none other than himself, or not at all.

Cloaking himself in illusions and lies taught to him by the masters of stealth - Tanil, Hrinruuk and Enkili - Jandaveos hid himself amongst the elven tribes, disguising himself as one of their number. He gleaned much arcane knowledge from the Sire of Sorcery, knowledge that the titan had zealously guarded from all but the elves up until this point. Mesos was arrogant enough to believe they never would completely understand it to begin with, but he taught them anyway in the hopes of testing their limits. Acting as little more than a humble aspirant and apprentice, Jandaveos was also able to steal glimpses into some of Mesos magical studies and watch while the titan wove together magical creations the likes of which none had ever seen. Though Miridum was a goddess of wizards, Jandaveos became a patron to both wizards and sorcerers, particularly those devoted to the school of Illusion, at which he had become quite adept as he masked his true self away from Mesos.

It was from Jandaveos trickery that the first high magi of the elves came into existence, that their first wizard traditions were born. Subtle nuances that mortal eyes never would have perceived in Mesos spellcasting were picked up on by Jandaveos, who would then explain it to the elves in terms they could understand. Over the years - some say centuries - the elven wizards began to become some of the most powerful, even eclipsing those who worshipped Miridum (who was often forced to hide away from the Sire of Sorcery, usually living in the shadow of either Mormo or Hedrada). With their power, they also began to look curiously upon the enigmatic, humble figure who shared his knowledge so readily with them. Slowly, as rumor of this figure spread, some began to suspect him for just what he was. As Mesos' interest in the elves began to wane, Jandaveos cults began to grow.

Jandaveos never directly revealed himself to the elves, at least at first. Instead, those who began worshipping this trickster-figure of illusion and knowledge found that divine power flowed through them, that their prayers to this being were answered. Many by this point knew Jandaveos not as a god, or even as a mighty wizard, but instead, as a friend. It was from this relationship as an equal and a peer to the elves, generous with what he had, proud but not arrogant, that the close bond between the high elves and Jandaveos was forged. He came to them not for worship, but to aid them, to ensure that even the lowest of their number might have a chance at greatness, instead of being relegated to their place in life simply because they were or were not born with sorcerous blood in their veins.

It is thought that the revelation of who Jandaveos was occurred when one of the many cultists who had cropped up to worship him finally found him and approached him, and with a hopeful gleam in his eyes, simply asked, "Is it you who has answered my prayers in my most needful hours?" To which Jandaveos simply smiled, nodded, and went on his way.

Whether this story is completely true or not is debatable. Many would claim that the god would have had no chance to conceal himself from Mesos for so long, and others say that not even the most beneficent of gods would have acted so altruistically without thinking of accumulating worshippers. It does, however, explain a good number of things about his faith, such as his priest's expertise in matters both deceitful and magical, and his people's specialty in Illusion magic's. The faiths claim that Jandaveos is a son of Tanil also helps to explain the love of beauty inherent both to the elves and the god, a fondness for music and the arts instilled into them by their patrons mother. It also helps explains the gods ties with the seasons, though this is said to be involved, in part, with Jandaveos having once tricked the Snow Queen Fraelhia into relinquishing her wintry grasp of Scarn by distracting her with a poem, thus earning him the title "Herald of Spring".

Alignment: Chaotic Good*.

Domains: Chaos, Good*, Knowledge, Magic, Trickery.

Holy Symbol: A golden leaf braided into a golden lock of hair, usually worn on a thin chain braided into the worshipper's own hair.

Favored Weapon: Rapier.

Invocation Benefit*: A worshipper may invoke Jandaveos for a full round to receive a +1 bonus to the save DC of an Illusion spell, or to receive a +1 bonus to the save against an Illusion spell. For each additional round the worshipper spends invoking the Spring Herald, the effective caster level is increased by +1, or the bonus to resist an Illusion spell is increased by +1, to a maximum of a +2 caster level and +1 DC to the next Illusion spell cast, or a +3 to the next saving throw made against an Illusion.

 * Jandaveos death has wrought a number of changes upon his people and faith. For one, none now remember his name or even history, and most simply know him as That Which Abides, with only the haziest recollections about his past and faith. Furthermore, the spells of his priests are limited to 2nd level spells, as they are powered by nothing more than faith. Being that his people have forgot much of the memory of Jandaveos, these faith-powered spells generally reflect the current state of the forsaken elves than what Jandaveos necessarily represented. As such, the forsaken elves having fallen to decadence and despair, the priests of That Which Abides now worship a dark mirror of their deity, Chaotic Neutral in nature, with no access to the Good domain. Furthermore, invoking him is a fruitless endeavor, as he no longer can answer any prayers, quite obviously.

Chuck Corley