The New Divine Order
“Our divine lady Lux gave birth to her first child – an event that should have been momentous, but fate chose a different path for our lady. The midwife screamed, then fainted, when she beheld our lady’s son… and as Corax picked up the infant, with disgust on his face, our Lady’s eyes narrowed, then contorted with rage. ‘Abomination!’ she cried.” – excerpt from The Glorious Path of The Lady That Burns, sacred text of the Knights Solar
Filth, as he is commonly known, is the god of the unclean, the diseased and the despised. He is the only son of Corax and Lux, as well as the cause of their split and the breaking of the Heliopause. A hideous, vulgar man, who seems to hate everything and everyone, he is, in a strange contradiction, a gifted healer and scientist and it is this role that earned him a seat on the Eternal Council.
“At this point, I need to apologize since my detailing of the god we call Filth may not be as detailed and as accurate as the high standards that I normally hold myself to, especially in writing a tome of this magnitude. I was visited by this deity and we spoke for some time, but almost all that I can seem to recall is the odor. Even now, I can still smell him; it seems to have invaded every pore of my being. I do not think I will ever be able to smell something beautiful ever again.” – excerpt from A Comprehensive Understanding of Divinity by Lester Matteson
Records of Filth’s birth are relatively complete, though since most tend to written by Luxian sources, many are written with an extremely negative view on him with most calling him the Abomination, which they accept as the name that Lux gave to him upon his birth, just prior to trying to kill him. He was rescued by Corax, who refused to let his wife kill their child and managed to escape with the infant albeit with horrific burns and scars forever marking his countenance. According to Coraxic texts, which are slightly more favorable to Filth, Corax named his son Grunval, though it is a name rarely used outside inner Coraxic circles and Filth himself seems to prefer the epithet of simply Filth.
Records of Filth fighting in the Teotl War also exist, but are less complete than that of his birth. By this stage, he seems to have fallen out with his father and is striking out on his own. He fought primarily on the Continent of Mists, where he is believed to have lived after fleeing his father, defeating Teotl invaders with control over virulent diseases and command of the gigantic insects that call the Continent of Mists home. However, most scholars agree he never fought alongside those he would eventually share a pantheon with.
According to the many myths and legends that surround the founding of the New Order, Filth was brought into the pantheon late in the process by Anzo, who through his compassion, realized that the souls of the dead were still suffering from their injuries in life. Anzo advised Kumo to bring Filth into the fold over the objections of Lux, placing the happiness of his people over the unity of the pantheon. Kumo agreed with Anzo’s assessment of the situation and offered Filth a position on the Eternal Council. Almost everyone agrees he accepted the position mostly to spite his mother.
Appearance: Filth is, perhaps, the most hideous being to have ever walked creation. He is, by all account, a small man, tiny even, with a severely hunched back and decaying features. He appears to be suffering from every disease that has ever existed and a few more besides – his face is covered with boils and pustules that ooze black pus, his hair is scraggly and frequently falls out, his teeth are yellow and cracked, his eyes are filled with viscous blood and yellow fluid, his hands and feet are contorted and deformed and his fingers and toes always seem to be on the verge of just falling off. To make matters even worse, Filth is constantly surrounded by insects and other vermin, who crawl across all over him and nibble at his flesh and wriggle into his ears and mouth. Sometimes, a boil will burst and a new stream of flies or roaches will emerge from the open wound – and, all of this, is without mentioning his atrocious, unforgettable stench.
Filth and the New Order: Filth has two key roles in the New Order. The first is the maintenance of the magical field around the Eternal Council’s chamber. Any soul that enters this field is immediately cured of any mortal illness or deformity unless they choose not to be. His second is as the head of the Department of the Unwell, an important department with ties to both the Bureau of Seasons and the Bureau of the Ensouled, which has dominion over all those who are suffering from an illness or deformity. Unlike many other offices, whose size and influence remain relatively constant, Filth’s department size changes dramatically based on the relative health of Second Earth – virulent plagues on Second Earth can drastically increase his influence, while periods of health can decline it. For this reason, Filth is sometimes called the Waning God or the Waxing God, depending on which way his influence is heading at the time.
Filth and the Races of Second Earth: Filth’s relationship with mortals is intensely complicated as he is desperately hated and feared in times of health, then adored and worshiped in times of sickness. All races and cultures follow similar patterns in their worship of Filth with a few notable exceptions.
- Orcs like Filth a lot and several believe that the first orcs were the bastard children of Filth and Aquila. Shrines to Filth are much more common in orc culture than in others and many see the biological advantages that orcs have, such as their adhesive blood, to be the gifts of Filth to his chosen people. Orc priests of Filth, known as Dirtmen, are highly sought after by warlords as advisers and right hand men.
- Elves, conversely, really don’t like Filth and see him as a natural enemy to their longevity. While they are naturally hardy to disease, thanks to the gifts of Lilac, most elves are more wary of Filth than other races knowing that his domain is one of the few things that can really cost an elf his long life and ravage their already small population.
- Several serpentfolk cults worship Filth as a ravager-type figure, one who is destined to play a key role in extinguishing the stars that the serpentfolk rely on.
- Amazons have a unique relationship with Filth as a god of decay. They shared the Continent of Mists with him for some time prior to the Teotl War, where he was supposedly responsible for the death of many ancient mangroves, but also defended them from Teotl invaders. Since then, they worship Filth frequently and ask him to continually spare their great trees from disease and request his permission to seed more.
Filth, God of the Dying and the Diseased:
""Don’t follow me, father," snarled Filth. “I get it – you’re fucking quick, but you even lay a single finger on me again and I’ll infect you with so many diseases, your face will be the best looking part of you.”" – excerpt from The Breaking of the Heliopause by Jadearm Hilde
Disease is a natural part of life, one that all mortal beings at one point must wrestle with at one point during their lives. Filth has an instinctive control over disease and the vermin that so often spread them and cause them with a whim, but he can also remove and heal illnesses as well. As such, priests of Filth are often skilled medicants and apothecaries are frequently sought out to prevent or cure illness. Filth and his priests can be whimsical in his healing, saving others while letting others die, but often their services can be bought by coin, power, prayer or other forms of payment. Temples of Filth can quickly become refuges for the sick and the dying with many of these people simply living at the temple until the Waning God decides to grant them his favor.
Filth, God of Chymia:
“The other gods will have you believe that only what exists exists, but my lord Filth has greater vision than the rest. Follow him and he will show you the impossible – he can help you turn the dullest of swords into the sharpest of steel – turn stinking water into the greatest of ales – you will be able to make, and unmake, anything.” – Octavian the Cold, chymist of Coralla
A small sect of Filthian worshipers practice the art of chymia, sometimes known as alchemy, which claims to be able to create a range of impossible effects by blending magic and science together. These chymists have proven mostly to be mad scientists of a sort, but many a kingdom has gone to them when both traditional science and magic have failed to varying effects. While some of these techniques have been adopted by the more traditional schools, such as the act of creating a Soulless for example, the term chymia implies a more dangerous, more unexplored or more forbidden branch of the art – such as a cure for limb loss, creating half-breeds of sentient, but incompatible, species, or biological weapons. These chymists tend to worship Filth as their patron and many wear a recognizable uniform to denote their devotion to him – a ghastly beak-like mask with a long trench coat.
- Soultwister Kris: Filth’s legendary dagger. It is said that it can deform body, mind and soul with a single twist of its blade.