Fódlan's Chronicles, The Three Heavenly Guardians

2022.01.17 14:24 Soroen Fódlan's Chronicles, The Three Heavenly Guardians

The Three Heavenly Guardians The Three Heavenly Guardians is group of three mighty creatures who inhabit Fódlan and are said to guard the land and rule over the magic creatures inhabiting it. Although all three have been created by the goddess and watch over Fódlan, they have no known direct connection with each others, but their similar activities, abilities and origins gave birth to a grouped worship, which gained traction in the late 370 and kept its eminence in present days.
The group is composed of Nuada, The King of Beasts, who rule over Demonic Beasts and guard the sacred ground of Zanado, Gwenhwyvar, The King of Fangs, who rule over the beasts of the land and guard the sacred peak of the same name, and lastly, Fornjót, The King of Wings who rule over the beasts of the sky and act as the guardian of Adrestia, more precisely of Enbarr.
Although all three creatures are the subject of cults and worship, none of the Guardians with the exception of Fornjót, whose existence is often mixed with The Immaculate One, are officially worshipped by the Church of Seiros. However, their worship is allowed within its institutions by mandate of Archbishop Ceres in 678.
It is also common for the group to be elevated to a quartet, completed by Griffin in Faerghus and Golden Deer in Leicester respectively.
Additionally, The Immovable, who inhabits Lake Teutates, and more rarely the beast known as The Wind Caller, have also been attached to this group on some occasions. However, since informations and tales of their existence are very sparse, they are never given as much prominence as the established Three Guardians.
Gwenhwyvar The Sacred Beast Gwenhwyvar, also known as King of Fangs, Great Eater or Ashen Wolf, is a giant wolf residing in the Sacred Peak of Gwenhwyvar and acting as its guardian.
The better known of the Three Guardians, histories of its birth originates from legends speaking of it as one of the Ashen Wolves, the guardians of the Blue Sea Star, who was banished from the goddess's haven and fell into the earth for trying to consume her brethren, the goddess's children and creations, as well as the goddess herself. As part of the sentence for the crimes it committed, it was condemned to chase lowly sinners, drag them to hell, and to have its flesh constantly consumed by the beasts of the earth, requiring prayers of a pure-hearted individual to defend himself. It was said that once the earth would be free of sinners, a pure-hearted individual blessed by the goddess would impart it with holy sacrement, allowing it to return to the goddess's side.
Dwelling in the mountains of Gwenhwyvar where it prayed on travelers looking for redemption, the beast was confronted to a young pilgrim named Astrea during another attack against the human dwellers of the mountain. Young pilgrim whom, just being blessed by the goddess's power, exterminated the beasts embracing the giant wolf, and joined by The Immaculate One, defeated it in combat.
Originally meant to cast judgment on the beast, the two divine envoys, pitied by its dying pleas, freed it from divine condemnation and allowed it to return at the goddess's side. However, grieving for the land of man it also sullied, the beast decided instead to be reborn anew and atone for its sins by joining the young cleric in the human realm.
Now reborn as a beast of the land, the gray wolf was given the name of Gwenhwyvar by the oracle, the Mountain of Pure White, a name beffiting her new immaculate state.
An event spawning a new prosperity in Fódlan, the battle and later redemption of the beast eventually became known as the Purge of Gwenhwyvar.
Now free from its binding to the mountain, the beast joined Astrea in her new mission, and together with their future companions, purified the land from the demonic presence plaguing its soil.
After their Crusade came to an end at the Red Canyon of Zanado, and led by her newfound attachment to the land of men, the beast returned to the mountains that had once been her home, and finally freed from all guilt, accepted the name Gwenhwyvar, and came to protect the now sacred ground from any evil that would defile its soil or endanger its inhabitants.
In terms of appearence, Gwenhwyvar main feature is her gargantuan appearence, being twice as tall as more common giant wolves and around six times the height of an adult man.
As her nickname suggest, her skin is covered in gray and white fur. However, it has being put to attention that said fur has become whiter with age, similar to a blanket of snow covering its hide. The possible meaning it could have towards the beast health is unknown, but it has been noted by pilgrims that she more and more rarely appeared to human sight, suggesting that the whiter hide denote a decaying health.
Additionally, while her hide is hairy like any wolf, it is also scaly and surprisingly hard to the touch, being akin to the one of a wyvern. The beast also possess a hollow dot above her silver eyes, stated to be a result of her clash against Saint Astrea.
As a being once cursed by the goddess, Gwenhwyvar would enter a state of complete frenzy in presence of her designed preys. The bloodlust only stopping after they were fully consumed and nothing of them were lefts, the event letting place to a overbearing feeling of guilt in the wolf.
After her defeat at the hands of Saint Astrea and subsequent redemption, her chastisement was lifted and revealed a sage and serene personality, who would calmly follow and guard her companions.
Despite her stature as one of the goddess's direct creation and vanguard, and the reaffirmation of her divine right, Gwenhwyvar held no disdain or contempt for mankind. Instead, acting as its humble and noble guide, never hesitating to assist any who would need her help.
Extremely remorseful and repentant for her past actions, Gwenhwyvar expressed a deep hatred of herself and any who would tread the same path she did. For this reason, she was a very peaceful individual and reluctant fighter, being hesitating of ever using her full might, and showing compassion and pity for any who showed sincere remorses for their actions such as the Wandering Beast of Edmund. She was nonetheless ready to use her power to protect what she held dear and just, and was merciless to those she considered profane or profoundly wicked.
Gwenhwyvar was also known for her close bond and staunch loyalty to Astrea. The wolf having accepted her as a mistress, but appreciated her as a ward or younger sibling, faithfully guiding and advising her early in her sainthood.
Her loyalty extend as far as choosing to remain in Fódlan with the Saint rather than return to the goddess. Even after the end of their Crusade, she still choosed to return in the mountains of Gwenhwyvar who saw her friend rise to prominence.
Aside from Astrea, the Great Wolf expressed a great deal of fondness for the young Lauren and Gill, heirs of House Blaiddyd and House Fraldarius at the time. Being the one convincing Astrea to let the two join them in their campaign. In her diary, Lauren unambiguously returned the affection Gwenhwyvar had for her, and expressed immense gratitude for her guidance, attributing her an important place in hers and Gill own growths.
While extensive informations about Gwenhwyvar's relationship with her other companions, Herman and Silale, has never been sourced, especially since both the Kupala native and Adrestian archer were known as taciturn, the giant wolf acted the main link between them and their others companions, implying a certain degree of closeness between them.
After returning to the mountains, Gwenhwyvar relationship with it's other dwellers has been somewhat distant, but she has been known to guard the cities of the mountains against Demonic Beasts and others threats, and there has been multiple reported events of Gwenhwyvar rescuing people from snowstorms or guiding lost pilgrims and travelers to safety. For her aid, inhabitants of the mountains celebrate her with prayers and gifts, in addition of holding the tradition of abandoning their coat and most of their garment from the start of winter to its soltice, in order to honor and commune with their guardian.
As a former guardian of the Blue Sea Star, Gwenhwyvar is a being commanding tremendous power, requiring both the Immaculate One and the awakened Astrea to defeat in combat. She later went in a Crusade accross Fódlan, freeing the land of the, then rampant, Demonic Beasts presence.
She is also known to possess extraordinary life force and durability, having being constantly preyed on by Demonic Beasts without ever being stopped in her mission or succombing to her wounds. This resilience was also reported in numerous occasions during her Crusade, being known for never needing to eat or rest.
As a giant wolf, she possess sturdy claws and fangs able to bypass most defenses, be they physical or magical, with ease. She also own heightened senses and predatory instinct, being able to trace her preys in the most treacherous conditions, such as during a wild snowstorm or against an invisible foe. An ability she showcased to great effect during the encounter against the Ice Witch, Díthorba.
Like all Demonic Beast, Gwenhwyvar is a being inherently able to use magic, her own affinity being with the dark arts, most specially the magic related to the dead. She is said able to freely communicate and interact with the deceased, a punishment originally put on her by the goddess for her crimes and meant to torment her during her earthly ordeal, it would later be turned into a blessing upon her rebirth at Astrea's hands and used to give rest and closure to the deceased and their loved ones, acting as a bridge between Fódlan and the afterlife.
As a former guardian of the goddess, it has been presumed that she does carry the power of a Crest, however such argument has never been proved. It nonetheless has been argued that she lost it's power upon losing the goddess's grace and being defeated, being represented as the hollow marking in her forehead where a Crest Stone would have been engraved.
She is also a known speaker of the ancient tongue, and has the ability to communicate and command all the beasts of the land.
The majority of informations concerning Gwenhwyvar during her and her companions's Crusade are attested in the diary of Lauren Altina Blaiddyd, who would later be published by her and Gill's son Gaius after her death. The bulk of the supplementary documentation hail from the same period, or originates from pilgrims passing through the sacred mountain.
Like Saint Astrea and all of her companions, Gwenhwyvar is celebrated the 11th of the Guardian Moon and the 7th of the Wyvern Moon, respectively the reported date of birth of the ancient Archbishop and the official end date of their crusade. In western Faerghus, the group is also celebrated from the 17th to the 23rd of the Pegasus Moon, the date during which they battled against the Ice Witch and freed the land from her influence. Gwenhwyvar herself is also celebrated the 13th of the Red Wolf Moon in commemoration of the Purge of the Sacred Mountain were she came into the Saint's service, and during the entire Blue Sea Moon, as one of the goddess's guardian.
Nuada Also known as King of Beasts or Hand of the Goddess, is the divine creature inhabiting the holy land of Zanado and who have the mission to guard it.
Said to be born in the Blue Sea Star, Nuada is declared as the firstborn and most powerful of the goddess' children, and as such is considered as the being closest to her.
Possessing the ability to control the beasts of all the land, sky and sea, as well as having a connexion to the world and the ability to shape it as will. His power is described as owning a supreme hegemony over all of his mother's domain.
An existence predating Adrestia, Enbarr, Saint Seiros, and the history of Fodlan as a whole; his presence is considered the last direct fragment of the goddess' era.
Nuada's first mention date back to a journal held by Saint Orion, stating his assistance of Saint Seiros' forces during the retaking of Zanado against Nemesis' and his allies.

Thus, the light (Seiros) held no fears for the darkness (Nemesis) and the beasts of the land, sky, and sea, for they all kneeled to the silver hand of the goddess.
Aside from this very text, no further mentions or evidences of Nuada existence have ever been found. It is widely believed that such was the will of both Nuada and Seiros, as well as one of the primary reason for the strict prohibition of entry and passage in Zanado.
The text also made mention of a certain Sword of Light connected to Nuada, whose sharpeness make bodies spontaneously opened in two to welcome it. Opinions diverges greatly in Nuada connection with the sword, some asserting that this sword was carried by Nuada himself, with others believing instead that this sword is the Sword of the Creator carried by Nemesis, and the mention of Nuada was as it's victim.
Fornjót Also known as King of Wings or Lord of the Sky, but most commonly addresed as Hresvelg due to it's connexion to the Empire, is a Divine Beast who take the form of Twin-headed eagle and serve as one of the guardian deity of Adrestia.
Said to rule over the sky and all the creatures inhabiting it, it also has power over Fire, Ice and Wind, possessing mighty wings able to birth raging storms of colossal proportions.
A creature appearing in most ancient tales of Adrestia, legends talk of Fornjót as the oracle who marked Seiros arrival in Enbarr and blessed the newborn Empire with it's name. The divine beast is also assigned with later appearences in key moments in the early history of the Empire. The most significant one being at the death of the Great Emperor Wilhelm, with many legends stating Fornjót wepping from his home in the edge of heaven, causing a flood of snow, wind, and fire of catastrophic proportions who provoked immeasurable damage to the land of Faerghus; with many believing the outrage has been a curse towards Nemesis, and the reason for the frigid and rugged state of his territory.
The Divine Beast is also attribued with the birth of Logi and Kári, the twin wyverns serving the Imperial bloodline. However, their exact origins greatly varies depending of the versions; sometimes having them born from Fornjót spliting itself in two, sometimes being born from its Crest Stone, or sometimes being simply summoned by its power. Their exact date of birth is also extremely nebulous, being most often placed at the birth of the Empire, at the death of Wilhelm I, or at the very end of the War of Heroes.
Fornjót was ostensibly last seen during the Imperial Year 98, leaving the fate of the Adrestian Empire in the hand of humanity and its rulers; marking the beginning of a new age in Fódlan led by the glorious Adrestian Empire.
In many legends, Fornjót share many characteristics and feats of the Immaculate One, which leads the theory of both creatures being one and the same, a point which has been inferred by the supposition that the name Fornjót does not refer directly to the creature itself, but rather the qualities used to describe it. Even now the etymology remains unclears, with interpretations such as "Ancient or primordial grandeur", "Original owner", or "Pure sky" being commonly used; the most commonly accepted translation is "One who is pure and without flaw", a description which is has been used to describe The Immaculate One in a great number of occassion, including in the publication "Advent of the Saint" the first recorded instance of The Immaculate One existence.
Due to Fornjót role in the founding of the Empire, the creature has been chosen as the Empire coat of arms and seal of House Hresvelg, as well as folked in the armors of it's army.
It's presence is also the source of the strong cultural importance of eagles in Adrestia, such as the tradition for members of the Imperial family and cardinals of the Church to use eagles as official messengers, or the name Black Eagles representing students of the Officers Academy hailing from the Empire.
In an important part due to this cultural significance, the hunt and ownership of eagles were strickly reglemented in the Empire, and the practice of falconer was highly valued and directly mandated by the Emperor and the heads of the Six Great Noble Families. However, those resctrictions were greatly alleviated in 1068 when Emperor Jugram III exiled lead the Bishop of the Southern Church for his attemped inssurection against the crown.
Logi and Kári The legendary twin wyverns who once served the Great Emperor Wilhelm I and continue to assist the Hresvelg bloodline. Their exact origins varies from legends to legends, being either summoned by the Immaculate One or brought to life when Fornjót split in two. Nonetheless, regardless of legends they both carry the power of their progenitor over wind, with Logi inheriting its mastery of fire and Kari its mastery of ice.
While both creatures are regarded as guardian deities of Adrestia, they mostly occupy a ceremonial role in the modern Empire, such as during the Imperial succesion, the different national holidays, or during battle were they are traditionally rode in tandem by the Adrestian Emperor and the Commander of the Imperial Wyvern Corps, with the tenure of such event being labeled as a judgement of the goddess through the blessing she gave to Adrestia.
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