Arduin is a place of incredible religious diversity. This diversity springs not only from the mindset of Arduinians in general, but also due, in large part, to the presence of the Arduin Nexus. There is not only a great deal of religious tolerance, but also more than a little apathy on the part of large portions of the population. Nevertheless, in a land where the gods take a proactive (some say meddlesome) role in the day-to-day affairs of mortals, it is the rare Arduinian who does not pay at least some lip service to some deity or belief.

While Arduin is home to a multitude of deities, most important to the cosmology of Arduin are the three gods making up the Triune Moon Pantheon.

The Triune Moon Cults
In the beginning before the time of the ten thousand gods, there were but three true gods (and one great “demon”) in all of the world. These three had, as far as anyone can ever know, always existed. Each was an avatar of some facet of “what is”. Each had its abode upon or within one of the three moons circling the world. Each of them had powers and abilities unique unto themselves and which was not duplicated by any of the others.

Shagrath – The first of these three and physically the smallest is The Red Moon Spyder, Shagrath. It was he (so speak the time hoary myths) who wove the very stuff of the world into existence. Because this was so, there is always very much of this god in everything. This is very unfortunate as Shagrath is the epitome of all that is evil and dark. This god is also “Lord” to all of the spyders and their kin, as well as a constant dabbler into the affairs of all beings of any sentience. He loves nothing more than to corrupt and turn to evil all things bright and good

Skirin – The second (and physically the largest) is “The Lord of the Night”, or “The Great Night Hawk” as he is sometimes called. His abode is the brilliant blue moon. To him, all things are of equal weight: light and dark, good and evil. He is ever the final arbiter in the affairs betwixt all things opposite. The misty legends tell us that it was Skirin’s “breath” that brought forth the air and clouds, so that each living thing does pay him homage with each breath that they take.

The Lady of Light – The last of the original three gods is “The Lady of the Silver Moon”. Her abode is that largest and brightest of the three moons, the moon of silver. It was she who created all things that grow and live upon the lands, in the seas, and in the air, so that each and every one living on Khaas is one of “her children”. She is also, occasionally, referred to as “The Shepherdess” (and Khaas’ sentient beings, of course, are her flock). It is she who is in constant contention with Shagrath and all that he might wreak upon the world.

The enmity between Shagrath and The Lady of Light is primeval and without any chance of rectification. The Spyder god considers the world and all within it to be his to do with as he desires. After all, he built the world, didn’t he? The Lady, on the other hand, feels the pain and tears of each and every one of her creations, and knows that she must not allow the complete and utter corruption of that which was intended for good.

This contention has, at times, taken on the proportions of a literal “war” with each side creating (or twisting) beings to do their bidding; usually something contrary to what their opponent would wish.

This and the tremendous out-pouring of forces involved have caused all of the races and many of the “new” gods to come into being. However, so old is this happening that few (even among the “created” gods) remember their origins or their connections to any of the three original gods of the world.

Those few gods not directly or indirectly created in this most ancient of conflicts were allowed entry to this Multiverse (from “elsewhen”) by the gaps and rifts torn into the very fabric of time and space over the aeons. Most of these rifts eventually “healed” of their own accord, or were repaired by the “Silver Lady” (another of her names). Those that have not been repaired are what are now known as “nexus gates”.

Before going to current times and the various worship rites of these three gods, there is one other being that enters into the trilateral equation.
  • The Great Demon – “The Demon of the Dark”, or “The Ever Wanderer” as he is sometimes called, is a being of no discernable size, shape, or color; yet is fearsome and terrible beyond any normal means of description. It is the epitome of utter entropic destruction and annihilation. Nothing and no one is its friend, and all things living or inanimate are its enemies. It exists only to cause all other things to cease to exist.
The appearance of this demon instigated the only joint venture that the three primal gods ever undertook together. They understood full well that only as a united group would they have even a small chance of defeating this “sentient destruction.”

As it turned out, the triad could not destroy something that was destruction itself, and could not slay something that was anti-life to begin with. All they could do was to trap it. This they did, within the fourth moon of Arduin, the dread “Black Moon”, also called “The Wandering Moon”.

They flung the imprisoning moon away from the world, hoping to send it so far beyond themselves in both space and time that even should the demon break free somehow, it could never find its way back. Such was the imprisoned demon’s sheer “will to destroy”, its very desire managed to swing the ebon moon back towards the world as a hurtling missile of destruction! It took one thousand of Khaas’ current years for the moon to return, and the gods of the triad were sorely surprised to see it once again.

However, when attempting to reforge the alliance once more to deal again with the demon moon, the Silver Lady found that the evil Shagrath refused to lend his help this time! Without the added power that he wielded, the remaining two gods could but deflect the moon back outward once more, into a never-ending cycle of one thousand year duration returns. Shagrath was mightily pleased for it afforded him great pleasure in seeing his foes having to strive mightily each thousand years to divert sure disaster. Thus have matters stood for untold millennia.

Each of these deities will occasionally manifest themselves upon the surface of the world in some physical form or another.
  • The Lady is always in one of her feminine guises, from “glowing and god like beauties of ethereal splendor” to common, everyday women.
  • Shagrath almost always manifests himself as a huge, thirteen legged spyder of blood-red coloration or in some other arachnid form equally horrid.
  • The Great Night Lord is never seen except in his form of a great winged hawk of sapphire blue. We’re talking 1,000 foot wingspan here!
  • The “mother” is best known for her compassion, her love, and her indomitable will that contests for every soul with even the least bit of “good” within it.Her evil opponent is known for his savage and wanton killings of foe and follower alike, as well as the greedy devouring of any soul he can reach.
  • Skirin is renowned for his ability to stay out of the battles between the other two primal gods. However, he has, on occasion, taken sides over some issues, and each time it has been with the “Lady” and against the spyder god. This has earned him a general “enemy status” from the bloody god, and is the frequent reason behind the battles fought between these two gods. Skirin neither knows nor cares why he must fight the spyder god, he just does so as and when necessary. 
As an ending commentary on the Triune Moon Cults, it must be noted that the spyder god’s worshippers are not well liked by most, and are frequently baned or proscribed; so they are, in general, a very secretive bunch.

The worshippers of Skirin do not proselytize, and do not make a “big thing” out of their beliefs. Conversion comes on its own and in its own time.

The followers of the Lady of Light, however, actively seek new converts, and are world travellers in their “crusade to destroy the darkness and all of its minions”! They are very active politically, and will, upon occasion, try to be the “powers behind the throne”. They do all this with, usually, the full and complete blessing of their deity who likes as many believers as possible in the hope that through sheer numbers, light and good will prevail.