It occurred to me that the parallels that I drew here make less sense, and inviting comments and thoughts is less useful, inasmuch as to the best of my knowledge I never actually clarified (except in one still-to-be-completed series, by implication) exactly who all the eikones of the Church of the Flame are, and what the specific concepts are that they personify.
So, I’m going to correct that right now with a handy-dandy reference table.
Let us begin with the Triarchs, who do not strictly speaking “lead” the pantheon, but who are recognized as representing somewhat more fundamental cosmic principles/aspects of the Flame and thus as somewhat greater than their cousins:
- Aldéré, Starkindler, the Bright Lady, the Great Maker, Divine Ignition; eikone of creation and beginnings, inspiration, rebirth, the stars and celestial vault
- Elmiríën, the Bringer of Order, the Patterner, the One Word of Truth; eikone of order, structure, stability, perfection, and proper functioning
- Entélith, the Serene One, the Dark Lady, Pale Mistress of Death, Gatherer of All Things; eikone of death and endings, rebirth, and other major transitions
And then the Divine Ministers, who number forty-eight:
- Aéren, the Voice of the Sky, the Whisperer, the Answer to the Unasked; eikone of intuition, mysticism, spirituality, transcendence, and the Celestial order
- Aláthiël, the Namer, the Fountain of Knowledge, the Great Sage; eikone of knowledge, wisdom, scholars, literacy, and skill
- Atheléä, the Sigillord, the Harmonious Chorus, the Weaver of Voices, the Repose of All Wisdom; eikone of speech, music and song, poetry, language, logotecture, and memes
- Athnéël, the Unlooked For, the Eternal Gambler, Lady of Surprises Auspicious and Welcome; eikone of fortune good and ill, chance, randomness, and patron (?) of gamblers
- Baranithil, the Balancer, the Mind of Many Masks, the Silent Architect; eikone of peace, prosperity, diplomacy, cooperation, emergent order, self-organization, patron of branches
- Barrascán, the Ever-Watching, the Unsleeping Guardian, the Implacable One; eikone of vigilance, guardians, protectors, those who watch, safeguards, fortifications, readiness, and contingency planning
- Braníël, the Unconquered, the Unceasing, the Fixed Point, the Sky-Shatterer; eikone of power, drive, ambition, the unconquerable will, defiance of impossible odds, resolve, and endurance
- Cálíäh, the Bringer of Rest, the Warder of Sleep, the Shadows of Desire, the Imager of the Unreal; eikone of dreams, desires, sleep, hope, fiction, and virtual reality
- Cinníäs, the Laughing Rogue, the Reveler, the Prince of Wine, the Maddener; eikone of revels and carousing, wine and beer, entertainment, humor, mirth, whims and fleeting passions, and hedonism
- Covalan, the Golden God, Prince of Wealth, the Hidden Cog, Lord of All Trade; eikone of trade, markets, money, wealth, commerce, and patron of businesssophs and the plutarch darëssef
- Dírasán, Heaven’s Messenger, the All-Embracing, the Default Route; eikone of messengers, communications, couriers, and patron of the Imperial Post and the Imperial Courier Service
- Dúréníän, the Noble Warlord, Grand Master of Strategies, Champion of the Just, the Ice Warrior; eikone of righteous war, battle, conquest, strategy and tactics, and patron of the sentinel darëssef
- Éadínah, Princess of Shadows, Walker at Night, the Artful Planner, the Unraveller; eikone of night, darkness, subtlety, espionage, deeply-laid plans, and (some say) thieves and organized crime
- Édaen, the Smiling Lord, the Joybringer, the Renewal of Life; eikone of joy, happiness, serenity, leisure, celebration, recreation, rest, and auspicious downtime
- Elárion, the Unfettered, He Who Walks His Own Path, the Shatterer of Chains; eikone of the red moon Elárion, liberty, individuality, self-will, independence and self-reliance
- Éjavóné, the Vengeful Maiden, Mistress of Storms, Keeper of Lightning, Defender of Purity; eikone of storms, thunder and lightning, protection, vengeance, and those who guard the pure or innocent
- Éléia-Líëran, the Lover Gods, the Ever-Faithful, the Two Who Are One, the Blissful; eikone of married love, marriage, family, and relationships
- Elliseré, the Architect, the Inventrix, Ideas’ Gleaming, Our Lady of New Thoughts; eikone of curiosity, research, exploration and discovery, invention, innovation, science, progress, and patron of the technarch darëssef
- Eslévan, the Soul of the Star, the Cornerstone, the Throne and the Ecumene, He Who Was Once Alphas’s Line; eikone of the Empire, the spirit of the Imperial people, and set over the race-lords and genii loci
- Esseldár, the Measurer of Time, Guardian of Hallowed Ways, the Remembrance of Worthy Deeds and Honored Forerunners; eikone of time, memory, preservation, conservation, tradition, history, maintenance, and ancestors
- Gaëlenén, the Soother of Hurts, the Flower of Dawn, the Second Chance; eikone of health and healing, medicine, bioengineering, and clemency
- Gáldabar, Old Treefather, Lord of the Wilds, the Red-Fanged Hunter, First Among Beasts; eikone of wild nature, beasts and the hunt, and set over the beast-lords
- Ithával, the Shining One, Prince of the Dawn, Bright Lord of the Highest Excellence; eikone of beauty, glory, pride, achievement, radiance, status, wealth, and the rewards of excellence
- Kalasané, the Laughing Warrior, Sword of Heaven, Lord of the Two Swords; eikone of battle, courage, victory through strength, and personal combat
- Kanáralath, the Bringer of Clarity, the Tester, Lord of Reason; eikone of philosophy, reason, logic, mathematics, rigorous thought, and truth
- Lanáraé, the Flame, the Inspirer, Lady of the Muses, the Lovers’ Friend; eikone of art, inspiration, the warm passions, romantic love, patron of lovers and the aesthant darëssef, and set over the Court of Muses
- Laryssan, the Slumbering Goddess, Lady of Our Fate, the Mistress of Nets, She Who Knows the Shape of Things to Come; eikone of the future, fate and destiny, preordination, foresight, oracles and divination
- Leiríäh, the Cloaked in Shadow, the Weaver of Nets, Mother of Mists Real and Not; eikone of mists, illusions, deceptions, trickery, wit, and intrigue
- Lódaríön, the Forger of Souls, the Flame that Purifies, Scourge of the Failed; eikone of honor, rigor, self-discipline, purity, and self-perfection
- Lumenna, the Sunlord, the Great and Blinding Light, the Fire at the Heart; eikone of the sun Lumenna, light, the energy principle, and motive power
- Mahánárel, Great Forger, Engineer of the Empyreals, Master of the Forces of the World; eikone of creation, craftsmanship, engineering, construction, the forge, and patron of artisans
- Medáríäh, the Golden Mother, the Fructifier, Our Lady of Mass Production, the All-Abundant; eikone of fertility, productivity, agriculture, industry, mass production, reproductive sex, and abundance
- Merélis, She Who Approaches, the Ever-Changing, the Seeker; eikone of action, change, evolution, mutation, improvement, and upgrades
- Nimithil, the Wise Ruler, the Bestower, the Crowned One, the Right and Authority; eikone of authority, governance, wise use of power, the Imperial Mandate, and patron of the runér
- Olísmé, Lady of Mourning, the Sorrowful Goddess, Comfort and Hope of the Reft; eikone of empathy, pity, grief, loss, the bereft and forlorn, and intercessor for those who die untimely
- Pétamárdis, the Raven Prince, Enlightened Guardian of the Ephemeral Cycle, Lord of Necessary Decay; eikone of reuse, recycling, repair, and necessary rot and decay
- Ráfiën, First Minister of the Ivory Rod, Emperor Among Paper, the Hand of the Wielder; eikone of bureaucracy, sound administration, large organizations, and patron of the executor darëssef
- Rúnel, the Font of Courtesy, the Word that Moves the World, Gardener of Civilization; eikone of harmony, smooth functioning, efficiency, etiquette, civilization and the spread of civilization
- Samildán, the Far Wanderer, Walker on the Dragon Paths, the Key, the Door, and the Way; eikone of roads, travel, adventure, frontiers, the far horizon, patron of explorers and wanderers, and the stargate plexus
- Saravoné, the Revealer of Truths, the Just One, the Scale-Bearer; eikone of law, justice, the rule of law, and arbitration
- Seládéir, Lord of the Shining Metropolis, Builder of Gentle Places, the Home and the Wall; eikone of cities, communities, citizenship, and set over the patropoli and matropoli
- Seléne, Our Lady of Silver, the Five-Faced Lady, Serene Watcher, Princess of the Moon; eikone of the silver moon Seléne, cats, the cunning mind, tides, and those who travel at night
- Súnáris, the One Who Chooses, the Light of Thought, the Will that Commands; eikone of the second sun Súnáris, reason, mentalics, the mind, and patron of digital intelligences
- Sylithandríël, the Viridian Queen, Veiled Mother of the Twilight Forests, Giver of Fruits, Lady Leafcloak; eikone of nature, the forests, set over the seasons and the plant-lords, silviculture, and gardens
- Tárvalén, the Binder of Obligations, the Party of Every Part, the Entanglement; eikone of loyalty, vows, oath-contracts, promises and agreements, the social order, and dogs
- Úlmiríën, the Changeling, the Wanderer, the Enigmatic One, the Necessary Chaos; eikone of rogues, shapeshifters, trickery, epiphanies and unwonted revelations, and sudden paradigm shifts
- The Unnamed, Dark Prince of the Unknown, the Subtle One, the Whisperer of Secrets, Architect of Locks; eikone of seals, secrets, mysteries, and that which you are not cleared to know
- Véválíäh, the Hearthtender, Lady of the Earthly Blessings, the Protector, Provider, and Welcomer; eikone of the hearth and home, domestic life, hospitality, and patron of the hearthmistress darëssef
So. Now you know.
I’ve been waiting to see something like this 🙂
(As you may have guessed, I tend to be just a little more fascinated by the social and philosophical side of things in this setting than all the whizz-bang Sciency stuff — not that that isn’t fascinating in its own right, of course.)
One thing I’ve always found just a little jarring: With all the emphasis the eldrae put on the sanctity of property, consent, and honesty, it’s a little odd that they seem to have at least four eikones that glorify / represent concepts like theft, deceit, trickery, and what euphemistically might be called “asymmetric information.”
This goes double considering that, from past inquiries, the eldrae tend to shun people who appear to manifest even the appearance of such things.
(On an unrelated note: I’m slightly gratified to learn through the existence of Seléne that the eldrae do indeed have cats.)
I assume that Tárvalén would likely have been considered the patron of the servile darëssef in the past, when it actually existed? Since I expect they [i]would[/i] have had a patron at that time, and Tárvalén’s association with ‘loyalty’ and ‘vows’ would have been considered appropriate to those who had to exist subservient to others.
Aaaaand… looks like I didn’t guess correctly how to italicise in these comments, heh.
Just the normal HTML tags should do it, for future reference.
Also, with some of these eikones, I am definitely seeing some inspiration taken from Alchemical Exalted, if I read these things right. ‘Order, structure, perfection, and proper functioning’ alongside ‘the enlightened guide of the ephemeral cycle’ and a patron of mass production and reproduction as one concept are tickling my memory on this account. Of course, it’s been a while since I’ve looked at Exalted, and my memory may be betraying me here…
Probably not all that surprising, considering that Alistair has made explicit reference to Exalted as a thematic inspiration in the past.
You have indeed successfully identified one source of inspiration!
(I mean, that particular combination of concepts into one ur-concept was too elegant not to be an obvious fit.)
(Not sure why in particular; despite perceptions in Earth culture, loyalty and vows there are considered perfectly symmetric.)
Actually… not so much. The defining characteristic of the eikones is that they all represent some kind of excellence or another, whereas the defining characteristic of the servile darëssef is that it, well, doesn’t. (Recall that it’s the unskilled labor darëssef; even somewhat skilled jobs are basically junior technarchs, hearthmistresses, aesthants, etc. The others are all things you can aspire to be, whereas a servile is something you aspire to not be. The lumpen, in other words.)
Thus, inasmuch as any eikone took time for the serviles, it would have been Lódaríön; mostly in his aspect as patron of self-perfection and self-discipline serving as the patron of those who aspire to higher things, but also in his aspect as “Scourge of the Failed”, where those who do not are concerned.
This may seem a little harsh, which is only because it is. 🙂 When I described them as a hot-house culture, I meant every word.
Makes sense. I was thinking of them in terms of ‘loyalty’ because clearly they don’t have their own excellence- so to the extent they served excellence, it was by supporting the purposes of others. That said, making their patron the eikone of ‘becoming better than you currently are’ is clear to me.
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