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Tales from Sanctuary: Duatha and Talisa


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From the Annals of Xhin Gon, Leader-Scribe of the Third Expedition to Daqin (The West), Chapter 3, Myths of the West, Translated by the Scribes of the Great Library of Sanctuary

Dedicated to the Peerless Son of Heaven, Sovereign of the Three Worlds and Lord of all Things Under Heaven by your humble servant Xhin Gon.

There are several common concepts that bind the people of the West. Most of their creation myths begin with the death of a primordial being. The Uthgot speak of how the First Man, Adamon, slays the Great Serpent of the Waters, sometimes named Io or Tiamat, and drives back flooding waves which carve the Land of the Two Rivers. The tribes of Pei (Land of the North Winds) believe that the world came to be in a battle between their gods and an ancient giant whose remains transform upon death into Creation. The giant bones became the Earth, its breath colors the Air and blood transforms into the  seas.

The Wõ (dwarves/dwarfs) posses a similar belief. They worship celestial twins, Duatha and Talisa which came to being out of the two halves of Astarte, the Great Mother. In the beginning, exists Astarte, the Mother. At some point, Astarte begins to birth the universe. The dwarves avoid mention of the first born, whom they consider the embodiment of chaos and darkness, an evil entity bent on the destruction of all things and personifies eternal pain. The birth of the Dark One tore the Great Mother in two.  The blood spills down to the Earth below carving hills, mountains and valleys. Those drops that remain on the surface become the Dwarfs of the Hills , while those that sunk into the ground become the Dwarfs of the Mountain.

From each half emerges a twin. The eldest is Duatha, god of Air and Water, Lighting and Thunder. He is lord over the elements Air and Water, caretaker of the Hills, bringer of justice and keeper of the seasons. Talisa is the goddess of Earth and Fire, Iron and Wood. She rules over the elements of Earth and Fire and is the Guardian of the dwarfs, Keeper of the Hearth, and Light in the Darkness. While all dwarfs worship the twins, the Dwarfs of the Hills follow Duatha’s faith closely, while the Dwarfs of the Mountain are keepers of Talisa’s faith.

While dwarfs tend to shun Chaos in all its forms, the brethren of the Hills are not as ritualistic or formal as their Mountain cousins due in no part to the carefree manner of their Patron. They understand their is a balance to all things under Heaven. That seasons change but come again. These dwarfs then tend to travel farther afield from their strongholds and have a stronger warrior tradition rather than the discipline cadres of soldiers who serve the Di (chiefs or kings) as diligently as the Imperial Army serves the Peerless Son of Heaven.

That is not to say that dwarfs are in conflict. Both Duatha and Talisa teach their followers to protect their Clan and Hold, to help their fellow Wõ (dwarf/dwarfs) and to seek perfection in word and deed.






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