Archive for September, 2022


The Religions of Volosa

For those of the cleric class and other religious folk, these are the most commonly worshipped gods in the Volosan archipelago. If one of these doesn’t float your boat, or if you want to worship a particular god but your character doesn’t seem to match its flavor, talk to your DM.

Mobesa – worship of Mobesa itself is one of the most common religions in Volosa.  It is rumored that Mobesa resides (or is trapped) deep within the volcano itself.  Atypically, Mobesa is referred to as an ‘it’ rather than he/she.  Mobesa is the god of fire, wrath, renewal, and creation.  Clerics of Mobesa are generally domains of tempest, war, life, death, and nature, though others are possible.  Any alignment of cleric can make sense for this god.

Mazu – goddess of water and the sea.  She is almost entirely worshipped within Volosa, though very rarely among Vodians who dwell around Volosa near the surface.  Her worshippers are few in the southern kingdoms where Stegs are viewed as the only safe and proper way to connect the isles.  The northern kingdoms of Navira, however, view her as second only to Mobesa in the pantheon of Volosan gods, and many of the sailors, navigators, captains, and pilots who ply the treacherous waters of Volosa are adherents of hers.  She offers power primarily in the domains of knowledge (though focused on the maritime arts), life, nature and tempest.  Any alignment for her adherents.

Yaryla – goddess of fertility, the harvest, spring, and creation.  Particularly popular in Stegland, though her worshippers are all over Volosa.  The domains of life, nature, light, and peace are common amongst her priests.  Good and neutral alignments only for her adherents. Depictions of Yaryla vary depending on where her worshippers are located – a slim, dryad-like humanoid entwined with a flowering tree in hinterlands of Navira to a more Aphrodite-like humanoid female with a crown of flowers, leaves, or wheat in the south of Stegland.  The peasantry of Stegland are her most fervent of worshippers, and they (and her other adherents) pray to her for all manner of important but mundane concerns related to her focus.

Mesyat – god of moons and the tides.  The worshippers of Mesyat are numerous, but are secondary in number and influence to Mazu (whose powers overlap) and Mobesa.  The complicated patterns of the moons and their influences on the tides make the worshippers of Mesyat more likely than most to be scholars and scientists.  Clerics of Mesyat tend to be adherents of knowledge, twilight (and secondarily light and arcana) domains.  Any alignment for his adherents. Typical depictions of Mesyat show a many-armed, night-skinned, many-eyed humanoid who holds Nilagra’s three moons in their grasp.  Some depictions show a mermaid/merman lower half to represent the moons’ connection to the tides.  Mesyat is often feared because of the volatility of the tides, though the more scientific of their adherents find faith in the seemingly infinite complexity of the tidal patterns and the movement of the moons.  Mesyat also has many adherents in coastal settlements who have learned that though the tides can be terribly destructive if not respected, the intertidal part of the coast is rich in resources, which they attribute to Mesyat’s influence.

Mihr – god of the sun and the light.  Mihr and Yaryla are, in legend, husband and wife, and thus their places of worship in Volosa are usually found in close proximity.  Mihr’s clerics typically are of the light, life, order, and peace domains.  Mihr is also most popular in Stegland due to his more regimented nature.  Alignments of his adherents tend to be good, though those of neutral or lawful evil alignments could make themselves comfortable as well.

Nirgala – goddess of death, decay, and disease.  Worshippers are few, and temples generally small and secret, but Nirgala is a name often invoked when discussing death, murder, plague, and the like.  Alignments of her adherents tend to be neutral or evil, though this is not universal.

Svarog – god of craft and the forge.  According to legend, he has an uneasy friendship with Mobesa based on Svarog harnessing Mobesa’s heat and fire to create many mythical weapons.  It is said that Svarog once went too far in attempting to control Mobesa, causing him to be rebuked so strongly that he nearly died.  Svarog is a very popular god amongst tradesmen as well as in races (dwarves and gnomes) with a predilection to those arts.  Domains of his clerics are typically arcana (focused on imbuing items with magic), forge, and knowledge.  Adherents of Svarog can be of any alignment.


Volosa – A Volcanic Archipelago

This is (as far as anyone you know knows) the only land mass on the planet of Nilagra. Vast oceans are reputed to cover the entirety of the rest of the planet. Few vessels from Volosa have ever ventured out of the relatively protected archipelago, and even fewer have returned. Those that do return tell stories of waves like moving mountains, howling winds, seemingly endless storms, strange and terrible aquatic creatures, and nothing but water in every direction but home.

Even within Volosa, these gargantuan natural forces are only somewhat attenuated, making long distance travel by water the exclusive domain of the enchanted ships of Navira. In addition, the constant activity of Mobesa, a caldera volcano at the archipelago’s center, creates a constantly shifting landscape, the three moons of Nilagra create unpredictable and sometimes extreme tides, and the sea creatures are not entirely friendly to who would trespass on the water’s surface.

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Hey, it’s only been 4 years

I did, at some point, have modest plans for regularly posting on this site, but the real world has a way of fiddling with plans for the virtual one. In any case, it’s been about 4 years since I posted anything here. The interface has changed, the world has changed, I find myself in the possession of a second, precious lifeform, I got tenure, I picked up Dungeons and Dragons as part of a reversion to my early roots in geekery, a virus killed an alarming and heart-breaking number of people and somehow spared me and mine, and I’ve wandered back to posting here.

As far as what my plans are for this beautiful, circa early 2000’s website I’ve created – I only know slightly better than you. First off, I’m likely to post some stuff for an upcoming Dungeons and Dragons campaign that I’m DMing. Discord is an awkward place for walls of text and images, so I’m planning to link from there to here.

Second, I’m planning to intersperse some short articles on physics and science in general. They are meant to take complicated journal articles or physics concepts and distill them such that everyone can gain something from reading. I’ve done this in my classes to some extent, but one of the things that really motivated me to get into academia1 is science literacy – the idea that non-scientists need and/or want to know some shit about how and why the world works the way it does. Fall 2022 has begun, so my students are the focus, but I’m hoping to post on this once a month. Fingers crossed.

1 Other than the embarrassingly large piles of cash, of course.