Table of Contents
“Knowledge is the Key to the Past.”
In times past, through empires’ rise and fall, and kingdoms come and gone, many things change, but knowledge reigns supreme. Tarus is a god as old as humanity, archiving all that has been learned. Tarus and his priests understand the power that knowledge holds and that like all forms of power it is not always used for good.
On Jaern, Tarus has not been a god to respect, but one to fear and one to despise. People feared that Tarus would come and rob them of knowledge he had deemed forbidden. However those days have passed. Tarusians have many times been the target of persecution and in fear of his loyal followers being wiped out Tarus has seemed to all but disappear, only showing face when called upon. On Cahyali, under the name of Thoth, Tarus is seen as a god of reconstruction. Cahyali’s history is filled with the loss of knowledge as ownership countries change hands and disasters erase eons of history. Following these events it is Tarusians who delve into the wreckage, the ruined libraries and the broken temples. In their archives history is revived.
The Maxim, Tarus-Vacas
This is the most commonly seen aspect of Tarus, appearing as a human, about 70 years in age. He wears 3 layers of robes getting longer in length as they go inward, once colored in whites and grays but now brown with the dust of the archives. He also has a headband with 4 quills, held in place by a latch containing a bit of ink. This is the aspect Tarus will often use to visit his various archives and blend in, but when making an appearance before a priest a specific set of quills will be used, a rare blue quill of a macaw, a brown quill of an eagle, a unique red quill of a scarlet ibis, and white quill of a goose. Though past reports claim the brown quill to be newer, replacing the quill of an owl. Further reports describe him with a walking aide, often a cane of sorts. This aspect is said to speak with a soft, steady tone, always careful of his words, as if taking every possibility into consideration. Furthermore his stare allows him to instantly assimilate anyone’s life experiences.
Tarus-Vacas is known to walk the halls of his many archives providing simple aid to the researchers there. It seems this aspect is a simple representation of Tarus’ love of knowledge. He speaks truth to those who need it, often speaking directly, his word meant to be taken as truth.
The Rebuilder, Tarus-Leshaqem
More common on Cahyali, Tarus-Leshaqem appears as an older Sphenecine Verraerian mix with the head of an Ibis. Though he doesn’t appear old walking with the gait of a young man. He wears a layered brown and yellow cloth wrapped around his chest and hanging down to his knees, fasted at the waist with a sash. His wings are adorned in an unknown material with the flexibility of cloth but the texture of papyrus. This cloak connects at the neck with the clasp of Tarus’ symbol. When he extends his wings the material moves out to reveal text, images, or other writings that no one sees written.
The kindest of his aspects, Tarus-Leshaqem often appears after a great catastrophe to start the process of rebuilding. He will often aid his followers in the planning and repairing of buildings. Tarus-Leshaqem rarely speaks with his mouth. Usually he speaks telepathically, his words always coming in the receiver's most proficient language. He also often sends images into people’s minds. He is the representation of Tarus’ desire to preserve knowledge.
The Gatekeeper, Tarus-Nāṣiru
Humanoid is the only word that can maybe be used to describe Tarus-Nāṣiru. They do not stand in the physical world; instead they pull those they wish to speak to, to a segment of their domain, unknown to anyone else. In this void, nothing physical stays. In this section Tarus-Nāṣiru exists in an ever-shifting state, every aspect of their appearance slowly changing. In this world everything is background noise, so overwhelming one can not take in all of it.
Tarus-Nāṣiru is a representation of pure knowledge, overwhelming and dangerous and the sector is an extension of this. Anyone who stays here for too long would soon go mad, only having the potential to stay sane with the understanding that not everything is worth knowing. Tarus-Nāṣiru only brings one here when something dangerous is on the cusp of being revealed. They will not speak at all, only communicating by sending images or text into one’s brain, only that which has been spoken or seen may be used to communicate here.
Tarus-Nāṣiru is not a gift. They are a warning.
The Thief, Tarus-Bouma, Surt
An old version of Tarus that no longer exists as a part of him. After being confronted for his wrong doings, the absorption of other god’s artifacts, the taking of magic items, and other transgressions. It’s not entirely known what happened after, but what is known is that Tarus ripped a part of himself off. This would be Tarus-Bouma, the embodiment of a love of knowledge gone so far, one thinks no one else is deserving of it. This aspect was the idea that no one is responsible but Tarus. The remnants of what was torn off became a new being separate from Tarus, though when he was Tarus he was referred to as Tarus-Bouma, after severance he would be named Surt.
Surt is seen as the antithesis of the new Tarusian way. Only he is deserving of all the knowledge in the world and because of that it should be destroyed. Standing at 10 feet tall, Surt walks with flames coming off his body, burning a trail wherever he goes. Some people mistakenly believe Surt to be an aspect of Mishra, leading to further tension between Mishra and Tarus.
Born from the existence of sentience, Tarusians believe Tarus to be the first god capable of thought. While the other gods like Ra and Orus existed simply as forces of the universe, Tarus was the first one to be aware of his existence. From his birth Tarus watched over the people of the world recording their knowledge.
Followers of Tarus are known as Tarusians. On Cahyali, where he is known as Thoth, and his priests Thothites.
Tarusian temples, better known as Tarusian archives act as centers of knowledge in whatever community they are built in. There is always a section of the archives open to the public where people can come in and study. There are also sections closed off to the public. These are often old records and generally things more fragile that must be handled with care. If one wishes to access it, there must always be a higher ranking Tarusian present. Most of the rest of the archives are mostly business halls,administration, and research rooms. Finally, though not present in all archives, many of them have highly secured vaults for the storage of artifacts, magic items, and highly confidential information.
The priesthood of Tarus, as has been made clear, cares about knowledge and thus the priesthood is structured around the collection, analysis, understanding, and cataloging of it. The culture of the priesthood revolves around making an environment best suited to learning. Tarusians within the archives are organized into study groups with Tarusians of a similar rank. For that month the Tarusian will meet with this group for discussions of whatever they wish, these groups will also often be scheduled to work the same job in the archives. Then at the end of the month the groups will be swapped around to allow for the spread of information.
When outside of the archives, Tarusians will often travel with one or no other Tarusians, this is to encourage them to seek out other companions and learn from them. This is because Tarusians believe that everyone has knowledge to share, and that what one knows is their legacy.
Structure & Organization
There are 3 “colleges” within the priesthood, each corresponding to a different method of gathering knowledge. Jeogians believe in learning from the records of the past, and are dedicated to the storage and preservation of written knowledge and maintain the Archives. Scelonists prefer to gain knowledge via experimentation. They often have autonomous monasteries that report to the nearest Archive (with a ratio of 1 monastery per 6 to 8 Archives.) Finally, Elotians gather knowledge by moving through the world and carefully observing it. They collect knowledge and bring it back to the archives to be analyzed and cataloged. The three colleges depend heavily on each other, as all three are required to obtain and maintain knowledge.
The priesthood is organized hierarchically, usually headed by the most knowledgeable priest (“The Librarian”), who leads a cabinet of six Full Archivists (“The Eldest Circle”). There is at least one representative from each college in this group. The Librarian is historically a member of the Jeogian College, although exceptions are not unknown. Each elder is in charge of a department within the Archive, and is in charge of six assistant senior priests. These departments are Service, Research, Restoration, Analysis, Worship, and Education.
|The High Priest
|Research Sect Leaders
|Research Sect Members
|Elotian Knowledge Gatherers
|Waiting For Assignment
|3rd Year Acolyte
|2nd Year Acolyte
|1st Year Acolyte
*Scaled to Humans
Any archivist role is categorized by a subject, otherwise known as “Research Sects”. If someone of a lower rank believes themselves fit for a promotion there are two approaches they may take. If the subject they claim to be an expert in does not exist at the Archive, they must convince The Eldest Circle that their subject is worthy of funding, if approved they will become the head of the new research sect. If a research sect already exists then they may challenge someone above them to a test of knowledge on the subject. If the challenger proves themselves more knowledgeable they will be promoted, either standing alongside or replacing the person they challenged.
When a member of The Eldest Circle steps down or dies the spot is filled via competition of knowledge. Any archivist may apply, and the remaining members of the circle and The Librarian will approve applicants to participate in a test where from the the member will be chosen. A similar process is taken for The Librarian, though it is only filled by a person from the Eldest Circle.
The Refounding, Napen 16, is the day when the first Tarusian temple was reopened on Jaern after the disaster of Geheric (the miscalculation of fuel for a flying machine destroyed the island and the thousands of people on it.) On this day, adults feast while children prepare and display signs of their knowledge. After the feast, the children’s exhibits are judged by the elder priests, and the best are chosen. These children are rewarded, and immediately invited to apply for entry into the Archive.