Hey Game Fans, we’re taking a look at some world building ideas and concepts for the home setting i run. If you’ve checked out my other world building articles, this is the setting that focuses on Lakeport and the larger world around it. Today i’m going to take a look at one of the oddest gods for the setting, Hartu, the Wyld Heart. Before i get started on her, let me give you a little background for the gods of this world.
Broadly speaking, the gods divide themselves into a variety of groupings and factions, but the grouping i am concerned about today is the old gods and the new gods. The Old gods predate one of the most important conflicts of the setting, the Fey War. These are the gods that originally found this world and shaped it to their designs and interests. They shaped the great forests and mountains, and populated the world with creatures in their own image. The first Gods to walk the world were the gods of Giantkind, the Fey themselves, and the three Elder Wyrms. A few other gods would appear after this first establishment, most notably Ahrimaius, the God of Creation. These are the Gods of antiquity, and they made the world the way it was, for good or for ill.
The Fey War began as internal issue between a small fey enclave and their neighbors. It spiraled out of control to a level of violence and bloodshed that would haunt the old places of the world forever. At the darkest point of the war, when the Me’Ah’Chin hordes looked ready to take the fight to the Gods themselves, the eldest of the Fey Gods, Grandfather Oak, cast the most powerful magic anyone had ever seen. He summoned heroes and champions from across time and space to the Garden where Oak had planted his first seeds. He made them a simple offer. If they would turn back the tide of darkness and save the world, he would bestow upon the seeds of godhood, and make them the new gods of the world.
Heroes to the end, most of these people died during the war to liberate the world. Heroes from thousands of worlds and cultures fought, bled, and died in a distant land to save it from the most terrible monsters they had ever encountered. When the last battle had been fought, and the dead tallied, less than fifty of the thousands of heroes and champions were still standing. A few would succumb to lingering injuries sustained in the war, and their number would be diminished even further by a tragic incident.
The survivors returned to the Garden, and Grandfather Oak kept his word. Each hero or champion became the living embodiment of an idea or a race. One by one, the new Gods and Goddesses organized themselves, and set about the work of trying to heal the lingering damage the war had caused. Some places were never completely healed, and there are distant parts of the world that still think that ancient war rages….but that’s a story for another time.
Hartu, Broodmother, The Wyld Heart
When the first of the Wild Things joined the Great Migration, they brought with them strange oracles and glyphs of religious power. As they travelled and more Wild Things emerged, the oracles and the glyphs drew stronger. Finally, clerics, wise women, and healers appeared spreading the power of the Wyld Heart into the world. A primal deity of chaos and nature, the Wyld Heart is the driving force of the Wild Things.
Her powers warp life and are powerful agents of change throughout the natural world. The Wild Things are one mark of her power, though in strange glens and hidden caves more exotic forms of life exist and slowly spread that primal power throughout the world. She favors her chosen servants with more exotic mutations and powers. These Chimeric creatures are more wild and more untamed than their simpler cousins, and are more touched by the power of the Wyld Heart.
The Wyld Heart has almost no temples, but the Collusei are living icons of worship for her clergy. These great mutant beasts are often festooned with icons and glyphs of the Wyld Heart and draw Wild Things to them. They radiate the power of the Wyld Heart and reshape the land in their presence. These areas are often occupied by strange creatures and plants that draw the worshippers of the Wyld Heart to them.
During the Fey War, the Wyld Heart and her chosen people rampaged across several regions, destroying the Me’Ah’Chin wherever they found them. The monstrous humanoids destroyed any signs of their civilization they came across. They lost great swaths of their people in the war, but the Wyld Heart granted her chosen people with great fecundity and repopulated them quickly.
After the war ended, Hartu went into a slumber. The act of restoring her lost worshippers drained her greatly and she spends most of her days in deep slumber while her power returns. There is a prophecy that should all the Collusei rise at the same time, their Mother will rise again, and rampage across the world destroying civilization where it can be found.
Relations with Others
Hartu maintains no relationships with the other deities, though both Bannock and Adelia oppose her on principles. The rest of the Gods give her a fairly wide berth and she avoids interacting with them.
Relations with Servants
Hartu has only her Collusei as divine servants. They function as aspects and avatars of her power in the mortal world and where they exist, her power waxes. She tests her chosen servants and gifts greater powers on those minions she deems worthy.
Relations with Mortals
Hartu is an oddity among the gods. She rarely interacts with mortals and her clergy choose not to make her services available to most mortals. Only those who show traces of her work (mutations, birth defects, and a host of other conditions) are welcomed into the church and they are looked after by the clergy as wayward children. Some of these have been blessed later in life to become a Wild Thing or a Chimeric in their own right.
“The only constant in the universe is change.” Hartu is a conceptual deity who cares very little for the world at large. The transitory changes between life and death do not concern her, though how life reacts when exposed to a variety of things is a source of constant fascination.