Zodiac

Houses of the Gods

The Titanswar reached into the heavens themselves at the peak of the fighting, and entire constellations were dashed from the night sky. When the war finally ended, the gods set their servants the task of rebuilding Scarn, but they put their own efforts towards the heavens. It is generally held that Hedrada was the one to oversee the ordering of the days and nights, and that he was the one to dictate the new calendar. And to oversee the calender, he and his fellow gods set the divine houses of the Zodiac.

Because of the recent upheaval of the Titanswar, astrology and astromancy are relatively new art in the Scarred Lands; all works on these topics dated previous to the Titanswar were rendered obsolete by the change of the signs and months. Nonetheless, the stars still hold power. The regular passage of the moon through the sixteen constellations of the zodiac exerts a slight pull on the forces of magic, and the spellcasters of the Scarred Lands have discovered — or rediscovered — that the zodiac's influence offers greater power over a particular school of magic. Some who study this power go on to master the secrets held in the very stars.

The cycle of the zodiac is balanced, but is not precisely ordered; it spins somewhere between chaos and law, good and evil. The houses are arranged not by their influence over the mortal world, but rather follow each other in an order that has yet to be fully explained. Each Zodiacal house is the seat of a powerful entity, the spirit of the constellation it represents. These entities are not quite gods, yet are more than simple outsiders; they are not embodiments of good or evil, but are of the celestial order.

Astrological lore holds that the birth sign of a person has some influence over his or her personality; this is not universally true, but some people, especially sorcerers, do tend to share a mystical connection with the zodiac sign of their birth. Astrologers also associate each house with the god that governs its month; with a particular metal or gemstone considered especially conductive to the energies of the house; with one of the four elements; and with a particular school of magic.

Ursos, the Bear (Corot)

Legend holds that Ursos was a massive bear called to the battlefield by Titanspawn druids during the course of the Titanswar. The druids gave Ursos intelligence and even a measure of their own power in hopes of creating a perfect weapon, but the newly awakened bear turned on them, choosing rather to use its new powers to heal rather than destroy. The druids slew Ursos in anger, but the gods honored the bear's sacrifice by raising it to the first house of the zodiac, there to oversee the month of strength.

Those born under Ursos are said to be stubborn and faithful, trusting in their own ability to make the right choices and accomplish the tasks given to them. Those who exhibit the Bear's best qualities are valiant and strong of virtue; those who manifest its flaws are slothful and apathetic, unwilling to stir themselves unless the need is dire. The Bear is an auspicious sign for healers, midwives, apothecaries, foresters, and those seeking to atone for past wrongs.

The house of Ursos is associated with the element of earth, the stone hematite, and the god Corean. The Bear strengthens conjuration magic, and is said to be a favorable house for healing spells in particular. Astrologers call the month of the Bear a fortunate time for rebuilding or for healing old wounds.

Lycaeus, the Wold (Tanot)

Legends of Lycaeus maintain that he was the only wild animal to enter the Titanswar of his own accord. The great Wolf was neither controlled nor befriended by titan or god, but when his own forest was trampled under a titan's foot (which titan varies with the legend's telling), he chased after the titan and bit at its heels in anger. Much impressed by his bravery, the gods lifted Lycaeus to the heavens at the close of the war, and gave him the month of hunting for his own.

Those born under the sign of the Wolf are said to be perceptive and persistent, unwilling to admit any obstacle too great until they have tried and failed at every approach. At their finest, they are keen-witted and valiant; at their worst they are overwhelmingly proud, overconfident, and obsessive. Lycaeus is deemed an auspicious sign for hunters, constable, mercenaries, elves, guides, and judges.

Lycaeus' correspondences are with silver, the goddess Tanil, and the element of fire. When the moon is in the Wolf, divination magic is more powerful, and star-sorcerers choose this month as the time to scry out their targets.

Rukha, the Roc (Enkilot)

According to astrological lore, the Roc was elevated to its place in the zodiac not for its role in the Titanswar, but for being the greatest of the sky creatures. Hedrada determined that among the houses of the zodiac, it was necessary that epitomized the power and majesty of the wind and sky — so he chose Rukha the Thunder-Winged, the greatest and swiftest of all Rocs, to oversee the month of storms.

Those born under the sign of Rukha are said to exhibit a stormy, passionate personality, freely moving from place to place and lover to lover. At their best, they are fervent and enthusiastic friends and allies; at their worst, they are moody and ill-tempered. The Roc is considered a lucky sign for messengers, heralds, athletes, weather wizards, and barbarians.

Rukha's house is linked to bloodstone, the goddess Enkili, and the element of air. The sign of the Roc strengthens evocations, echoing the wild lighting storms of Enkilot. Star-mages prefer to work on magics involving flight, electricity, or wind when the moon is is in Rukha.

Sikklos, the Scythe (Belot)

The constellation governing the month of death was, according to legend, never an earthly scythe at all. At the close of the war, the gods' divine servants attempted to gather together all the weapons that had tasted the blood of an avatar. Corean forged what weapons they found into a single gigantic scythe, and Hedrada placed it in the heavens, so that no mortal could wield them again.

Those born under Sikklos tend to demonstrate incisive personalities, carefully analyzing the problems that face them. They are sometimes thought rather cold and unemotional, even draconian, but on the other hand can be brilliant thinkers and sages. The Scythe is considered a fortunate sign for harvesters, strategists, butchers, loggers, executioners, and necromancers.

Sikklos is associated with jade, the element of water, and the goddess Belsameth. The house of the Scythe favors Necromancy, and is particularly auspicious for death magic spells and rituals cast during this time.

Destrios, the Warhorse (Chardot)

According to legend, Destrios was a mortal warhorse of great speed and intellect who served courageously in the Titanswar. Neither good nor evil, Destrios simply served without question, the epitome of the perfect soldier. When one of the gods (most say Chardun, although tales vary) needed to replace a steed lost in battle, he chose Destrios. At the close of the war, the spirit of the Warhorse was elevated to one of the empty houses of the zodiac to preside over the month of war.

Those born under the Warhorse prone to solidity of both mind and body; they tend to be loyal to their allies, families, or superiors, but not particulary outgoing or friendly to strangers. They tend to be unassuming or stoic; some manifest the house's strengths of confidence and fearlessness, while others show the house's flaws of blind obedience or a lack of imagination. Destrios is associated with turquoise, the element of fire, and the god Chardun. The Warhorse governs the Evocation school, and war mages of many lands (particularly Calastia) deem it favorable to begin new campaigns while the moon is in Destrios.

Khepira, the Scarab (Madot)

No text dating from before the Titanswar mentions the peculiar insects called solar scarabs, which leads most scholars to believe that they were created after the war. Astrological legend states that they were a creation of the goddess Madriel, and that the first one created — a model for the species — she placed in the zodiac as Khepira, governor of the month of the radiant sun.

Those born under the Scarab are said to be forthright and truthful, not given to deception or double-talk. Those who demonstrate Khepira's greatest virtues are trustworthy and wise, with great insight and unwavering honesty. Those who demonstrate its faults are intolerant and judgmental, prone to assume the worst of others. The Scarab is considered a lucky sign for farmers, bodyguards, knights, librarians, candlemakers, and glassblowers.

Khepira's correspondences are topaz, the element of air, and the goddess Madriel. The Scarab's association with light lends extra power to illision spells, particularly those that draw on light and color rather than shadow magic. Astrologers call Khepira a lucky month for research and the gathering of information.

Imperatus, the Emperor (Hedrot)

In star charts dating before the Titanswar, the Emperor was a constellation that hung in the northern sky; it was not considered part of the zodiac at all. Legend holds that when War shook the heavens and sent many stars hurtling downward, the spirit of Imperatus exhausted its power attempting to limit the damage to the firmament. As a reward, the Emperor was forged anew and set in the zodiacal circle, presiding over the month of wealth.

Those born under the Emperor are said to be forceful and dynamic, strongly committed to their own goals and ideals. At their best, they are charismatic and jovial, sharing their wisdom and strength with others. that their worst, they are pompous, overbearing, and even tyrannical. Imperatus is deemed auspicious for merchants, traders, fathers, priests, and sorcerers.

Imperatus is associated with gold, the element of earth, and the god Hedrada. It exerts a favorable influence on the school of Transmutation, and in particular those spells that affect stone and metal. Star-mages advocate the Emperor's month for trade agreements and business enterprises.

Drachys, the Dragon (Vangalot)

The constellation of Drachys, the two-headed Dragon, was allegedly once a mortal pair of twin dragons. The two clutchmates fought on different sides of the Titanswar, however, and struggled against one another to the extent of ignoring all other foes. Finally, the two were evenly matched, and agreed that it was pointless to fight each other any longer, so they agreed to join the side of whomever next spoke with them. As fate would have it, the two quarreling siblings chose the side of the gods. They were raised to the heavens at the end of the war as one composite being, there to oversee the month of disasters.

Even today, Drachys is a sign of duality. Those born under the Dragon have a tendency to be people of extremes, equally capable of great good or overwhelming evil. Twins born under the Dragon are said to be destined to strive against each other. Drachys is considered a lucky sign for all those who work on borders, thresholds, or during twilight or dawn.

The sign of Drachys is associated with ruby, the element of water, and the god Vangal. The the Dragon's power to withstand misfortune and violence gives it dominion over the Abjuration school. Star-mages cite Drachys' month as favorable for breaking (or placing) curses or other evil magic.

Charys, the Siren (Charder)
According to legend, Charys was a mermaid of the Blossoming Sea blessed with the most beautiful voice of all her people, who are as a rule the greatest singers in the mortal world. Her voice was so clear and powerful that, unaided, it could calm a choppy sea or reduce a mighty storm to a cloudless sky. Tales state that the gods appointed her keeper of the month of servitude partly out of appreciation for her exquisite voice, but also because they knew she might have undone nations with her song had she bothered to try.

Those born under the Siren are frequently gregarious and charming individuals, happier among a crowd of strangers than they would be alone. They value good friends, although some prefer fawning admirers to relationship equals. At their best they may be faultlessly diplomatic and captivating; at their worst they may be domineering, petty, and vain. The Siren is considered a lucky sign for bards, musicians, diplomats, young lovers, actors, and politicians, although some consider it an unlucky sign for sailors and sea voyages.

Charys' correspondences are lapis lazuli, the element of water, and the god Chardun. The Siren naturally strengthens the power of enchantment spells, particularly those that rely on speech or conversation. Astrologers claim that the Siren's month is ideal for forming political alliances and treaties.

Astarra, the Mother (Madrer)

Astarra, is said to have been one of Denev's most trusted and faithful druids, a woman who called on the very powers of earth and sky to defend the lands under her protection. Eventually she was slain by those against whom she sought to defend her lands, but Denev insisted that Hedrada reward the mortal by letting her spirit live on to govern the month of the harvest.

Those born under the Mother are said to be nurturing and caring individuals to friend and stranger alike. At their finest, Astarra's children are loving and giving, able to lighten other's burdens and pains. At their worst, they are controlling and manipulative, unwilling to let other people make their own decisions. The Mother's month is said to be fortunate for parents, herders, teachers, newlyweds, brewers, druids, and those who minister to the ill or unfortunate.

Astarra is associated with jacinth, the element of earth, and the goddess Madriel. The Mother lends extra power to transmutation magic, particularly those speall that affect living creatures. Star-mages favor Astarra's month as an auspicious time for weddings as well as for experiments in life magic (such as the creation of homunculi)

Kylos, the Wheel (Enker)

Perhaps the most peculiar of the houses, the sign of the Wheel is said to be the essence of the previous zodiac that was torn asunder by the Titanswar. Legend states that out of respect for its previous position Hedrada took the tattered remnants of the old zodiac and remade them into a new constellation — much reduced, but whole once more. However, it is also said that although Hedrada was the one to set Kylos over the month of travel, Enkili was the one to set it spinning once again.

People born under the Wheel are often dreamers and seekers, their gazes fixed on the far horizon. Some are wanderers who travel the lands; others indulge their fancies in artistic pursuits. The greatest strengths granted by they Wheel are imagination and vision; the greatest failings of the sign are a lack of practicality or discipline, Kylos is considered a favorable sign for artists, magicians, gamblers, travelers, and pilgrims.

Kylos corresponds with quicksilver, the element of air, and the god Enkili. The Wheel lends its power to enchantment spells, and is a favorable sign for all manner of beguilements. Many astrologers wait for the moon to enter Kylos before embarking on any far ranging quests.

Malneus, the Hammer (Corer)

The sign of the Hammer is the cause of some religious controversy. The church of Corean claims that it was the same hammer Corean used to forge his sword on the anvil of Golthagga, raised to the heavens as a tribute to its great work. However the church of Hedrada argues that it the sign of the Lawgiver, placed among the zodiacal houses in order to ensure that the calendar runs smoothly. The truth of this matter remains unclear, but the general influence that Malneus exerts over the month of crafting seems to give the Coreanites a slight edge in the argument.

THose born under Malneus are said to exhibit a degree of industry that makes them excel at their chosen professions. At their best, those born under the Hammer are capable and efficient, attacking their chosen tasks with enviable intensity. At their worst, they can be blunt and tactless, unable to relate to people outside their profession. Malneus is deemed a fortunate sign for crafters, smiths, dwarves, alchemists, and cooks.

Malneus is linked to iron, fire, and the god Corean. It extends its influence over the school of Conjuration, in particular the creative use of magic to make inanimate objects appear from thin air. Astrologers consider the month of the Hammer especially favorable for the creation of magic items.

Delphos, the Dolphin (Taner)

The sign of the Dolphin is said to be the immortalform of a mortal dolphin who, during the Tatnswar, guided many merfolk and sailors to safe waters while Lethene battered the seas in her fury. Such noble service did not go unnoticed, and Delphos was raised to the thirteenth house of the zodiac to oversee the month of good fortune.

Those born under the Dolphin are said to be optimistic, easygoing folk possessed of an excellent sense of humor. Delphos is said to grant deep understanding of the natures of various divine races as well as great powers of intuition; however, irresponsibility and hyper-sensitivity are also said to be the mark of Delphos. The Dolphin is deemed a fortunate signe for oracles, sailors, fortune-tellers, and children.

Delphos is linked to the stone commonly called serpentine, the element of water, and the goddess Tanil. The Dolphin enhances the school of Divination, particularly when used to glimpse visions of the future. Star-mages call the month of Delphos and ideal time for beginning or concluding sea voyages.

Vespis, the Bat (Belsamer)

Lore holds that when the gods sought to kill Mormo, they almost didn't find her. However her presence was betrayed by a flock of bats that took wing from the forest where she hid, and the gods discovered her there. As a reward, the entire flock was merged into a single constellation, and granted the honor of overseeing the month of darkness as Vespis, the Bat.

Those born under Vespis are generally energetic and perceptive, and are prone to be light sleepers. At their best, they are alert and quick-witted; at their worst, shortsighted and flighty. The Bat is an auspicious sign for watchmen, tavern-keepers, prostitutes, and others who conduct their business by night.

The house of the Bat's correspondences are onyx, the element of air, and the goddess Belsameth. Vespis strengthens illusion magic, in particular that magic dealing with shadow. Star-mages consider the month of the Bat best for enchanting objects with the power of darkness, or for rituals that must be performed by night.

Turros, the Tower (Heder)

The titans utterly destroyed countless cities during their reign and later during the Titanswar, leaving scattered ruins all across Scarn. But when Kadum trampled the city of Tammengarn, one tower remained standing. This tower was rebuilt in the heavens, standing as a symbol of hope over the month of protection. Turros symbolizes the fact that the titans' destructive power was not absolute.

Those born under the Tower are said to be socially capable and well organized, with a tendency to value their friends and allies highly. At their best, they are excellent leaders and compassionate allies; at their worst, they are clannish and insular. Turros is and auspicious sign for builders, architects, military officers, stonemasons, jailers, and innkeepers.

Turros is associated with sapphire, the element of earth, and the god Hedrada. The month of the Tower strengthens Abjuration magic, and astrologers consider it an excellent time to create defensive enchantments.

Nekheros, the Vulture (Vanger)

Astrological lore states that Nekheros was the first of the carrion-birds to descend on the first battlefield where god and titan fought, and the first creature to eat the flesh of a dead titan. The food made him strong, and Nekheros became a common sight during the war. He managed to eat corpseflesh every day of the entire Godswar, until, old and half blind, he was placed in the house of the month of pestilence to commemorate his perseverance.

Those born under the Vulture are said to be resourceful and imaginative, able to seize even the slightest opportunity when it comes to them. At their beast, Nekheros' children are survivors who can withstand any setback and remain smiling, at their worst they are miserly and gluttonous, unwilling to part with anything that might benefit them. Nekheros is said to be a lucky sign for miners, prospectors, nomads, thieves, halflings, and the impoverished.

Nekheros is linked to the metal of lead, the element of fire, and the god Vangal. Necromancy of all sorts is more powerful when the moon is in the Vulture, the last month of the year. Necromancers who follow astrology often wait until Nekheros is prominent before beginning particularly ambitious projects of animation.