Legends of the Elder Gods have survived from the earliest days of the First Age. With the exception of the druids and rangers of Oakentree, most tales of these immortals have met with skepticism and denial - peasant superstitions and seers' dreams. In 833 TA, the sons of Hastur descended upon the Reaches, and the renewal of the Elder Ways began again in earnest.
For centuries, sailors have made sacrifices to Baliol, Warder of the Seas. His great tentacled form can be found etched in ships throughout the Realm. However, these sacrifices have always been passive - charms and wards to keep the creatures and great storms of the sea at bay. Few, if any, actively worshipped Baliol as a god. The last known cult was an early Third Age following of Mother Hydra that has not been seen in over a century.
In the late 850's TA, a small cult began to be found throughout the ports and shipyards of the Realm. Its symbol is a carved spiral whirlpool or a silver coin with a whirlpool design. Over the last fifty years, strange disappearances of ships and mysterious drownings of crew are sometimes tied to the actions of these priests, although no definitive links have been proven. Elusive and secretive, the cult is known as the Gyre. Its motives and alliances are not known outside the Inner Sea, although recent rumor holds that the order has established a temple on an island north of Portsmith.
In 908 TA, the Chapel of the Gyre was founded in Portsmith by Vanoal, Wellspring of the Gyre. Sienna Bell, a local priestess, was installed as the first Priestess of the Gyre. The Portsmith temple is the largest in the Eastern Reaches. Gyre followers can be found in Portsmith, Dragonsford, and the islands of the Sea Barons. Rumors hold that the Gyre religion is headquartered on an island monastery north of Portsmith formerly inhabited by the Mad Monk.
The Legend of the Gyre
A single scrap of parchment, tucked in the belt of a dead sailor speaks of the nature of the Gyre.
|Baliol, Warder of the Seas, watched as his peers populated the dry lands with flora and fauna of all varieties. While the wonders of the sea were almost without limit, still Baliol admired the creatures of the land. All the animals had their merits, but it was the sapient species that Baliol wanted most.
Baliol considered his desire and the waters came to him, slowly at first, but then more swiftly, turning around him. A great whirlpool formed as Baliol's desire made manifest. You are my heart’s desire made real. You will teach the sapiens the ways of the sea, the ways of the wind, to find their path to my pathless realm.
When they feel like they are masters of the sea, then, my child, you will bring them to the depths.
You shall be named Gyre.