Friday, 31 March 2017

Necromancer Priests and the Undead Life God

Gerag, Knight of the Oath, and defender of the common people, stood ready as the hoards of undead assailed him. He laughed as their claws failed to penetrate his armour, and the power of his words kept his strikes true and strong. His companions, his dearest friends, stood arrayed on either side of him, equally at home in the combat.

 Gerag charged, cutting through the mob, and smashing his shoulder into the doors beyond. They shook in their hinges, and Gerag knew his quest to find the necromancer was almost done. They were prepared, with potions to protect them from foul magic, and spells to protect them from the ungodly fear that the man would summon against them.

He smashed one last time against the door, and it gave. The adventurers, true to their cause, charged through the door, ready to put an end to the cackling villain. But that is not what they found.

The man kneeling on the ground was old, yes, and the undead still lurked in the corners of the room. But he held the distinctive sun sign of the True God, and wore the robes of a priest.

"What trickery is this!?" Gerag yelled, his eyes running over the room. "Black mage! Reveal yourself! Do not cower on this holy ground!"

The priest stood, facing the adventurers. "Very well." he said, smiling sadly. "Here I am."

"Illusions!?" Gerag roared, advancing. "Begone from that heathenous guise!"

"No tricks." the man said. "Just truth. Die, in the name of the True God." Light blasted from his hands, blinding the adventurers as the undead closed in.

There are two types of necromancers. Pirate necromancers and priests.

The undead are weak to one thing, almost universally: holy magic. The undead are also notorious for going rogue at inconvenient times. A normal necromancer casts death magic spells, which undead are immune or resistant to. If their minions go rogue, a normal necromancer will have trouble containing them. Not so for priests.

A necromancer priest has enormous support, both from otherworldly forces, and from their own church. They often travel hidden, as pilgrims, disguising their undead with large robes.

More powerful necromancer priests can summon the ghosts of the dead to fight alongside them. The most powerful ones can resurrect angels, and even gods. There has only been one instance of a god being resurrected.

Jivix, the Undead God
All gods are alive, however much it seems they might not be. Even the Drowned God, patron of undead, is alive. Not so with Jivix.

Jivix was a god of life. He had followers all across the world, and they often went on crusades against undead and necromancers. The Church of the True God, still in it's infancy, was attacked. A pair of women, their names lost to history, stood their ground. A paladin, and a necromancer priestess.

Together, these friends (some say lovers) fought their way through hordes of well meaning men and women, towards the back ranks. There, the high priest of jivix stood. They took him hostage, and shouted towards the sky, daring Jivix to come down and face them.

No god would let that stand. He came down, ready to smite the insolent humans. But they were ready, and had the blessing of the True God with them. His powers were useless against them. But he was still a diety of life.

It is said Jivix fought for seven days and nights before finally being killed, the paladin's sword embedded in his skull. The priestess cast a spell, prepared just for this moment. And Jivix, god of life, rose as one of the dead.

He threw himself against his former followers, and they refused to fight him, weeping as they were cut down by their own god.

Jivix now wanders the world, helping people with what is left of his godly powers. He hates the church, but they keep him doing what he loves, and he cannot disobey them. 
If you want your PCs to encounter Jivix, go ahead. His sword can kill with a touch, and his touch can heal any injury.

He can bring 1 creature back from the dead every day, as long as they did not die from old age. If killed, he comes back in one year.

He is very kind and helpful, but does not condone killing. He will not fight except to save a life. He is not alive, and so will flee or disable his attackers if they threaten only him. 

He wants to continue helping people, and to be free of the Church. However, he recognizes that being free is probably not an option, and that he can help more people in their power.

Thursday, 16 March 2017

d20 Weird Whales

Whales are weird

Like, really really weird.

They are alien creatures, closer related to humans than to the fish they so resemble. They breath air but live in water. They have a single nostril on top of their heads that they seal off so they don't accidentally kill themselves while going about their daily business. They eat shrimp smaller than any part of their bodies. They sing underwater when they want to mate.

Hang onto your skirts, because whales are a whole lot weirder than that if you add magic into the mix.

But First, an Explanation
Hundreds of thousands of years ago, when the creatures of the world were being created, someone threw a pair of baby seals into an ocean, and that ocean just so happened to be a magical hotspot. Not much is known about exactly what happened to the seals, but suffice to say, it was dramatic, probably explosive, and created whales as we know them.

Continued exposure to the magic over thousands of years has warped whales, particularly whale oil, into a strange, magic-infused mess. Whale oil itself fetches oodles of money (oodles=1000 silver/ton, or 2000-3000 silver per whale).

Whale hunting is a common and dangerous profession. Those who practice it either make their fortune, or die trying.

Typical whale hunting gear involves nets, harpoons, and at least 1 mage.

Whales are bloody weird. Whenever you see a whale, roll on the following table.

What, you thought I would have a post about magic whales
and not include some way for them to fly?

Roll 1d20

  1. The whale can fly at the same speed it can swim.
  2. The whale can swim through land. Only land though, buildings will be crushed against it.
  3. A permanent storm follows the whale, as strong as a hurricane.
  4. The whale is over three times the size any self-respecting creature has the right to be.
  5. The whale is godlike is size. Stats: good luck. At this point, you aren't picking a fight with an animal, or even a monster. You're fighting a mountain, or a medium-sized island.
  6. The whale has a volcano coming out of it's back. The water near the whale is boiling hot, and a dragon lives there.
  7. The whale operates on a slightly different timeline than everyone else. Every attack against it deals 1d10% of it's maximum health, while any non-damaging effect makes it's hit points 1d100% of it's maximum health (this can make it heal health or take damage). It's attacks are made from paradoxes, and mean that you are both hit and not hit at the same time. The attacks have a 75% chance to deal damage, a 24% chance to heal you, and a 1% chance to instantly heal you.
  8. Absorbs people into it's body. Any creature it touches fuses with the outside of it's body if they  and their nervous systems fuse together. It has 1d4 creatures from your random encounter table already there, and can call on their knowledge
  9. Smart. The whale has an intelligence comparable to a human.
  10. Fast. The whale can swim at twice the normal speed, and jump 3x as high.
  11. Lucky. The whale is being chased by a small army. It hasn't noticed.
  12. Cult. A cult follows the whale. It has 1d20 barbarians following it around on boats, who will die for it if need be. If it has 1 cultist, the cultist is a very confused fisherman named Billy, who doesn't remember anything. 2 cultists mean Billy is joined by his equally confused wife.
  13. Acidic. The whale leaks acid into the surrounding water. When it swims it leaves a trail of death behind it.
  14. Invisible. The whale is invisible. Drinking it's oil will turn your innards and blood permanently invisible, and lamps that burn the oil shed an ambient light with no discernible source. PC's may be able to smear themselves with blood to turn invisible.
  15. The whale is being ridden by a wizard named Shukila the Mad, who can only cast charm spells.
  16. The whale is undead. 50% chance of having a necromancer and 2d10 zombies inside.
  17. The whale is eldritch and alien to look at (it might look a little like a bear).
  18. The whale is hairy and coloured ice-blue. It turns anyone it touches into ice. Lamps made from it's oil burn cold.
  19.  The whale is nearly indestructible. It has 1,000,000 hit points.
  20. The whale is Beeooooouuuuuuuaaaaaaaa, the god of whales. He has intelligence as a human, and all normal god abilities.
Populate this with rat-monkies or some shit like that.

Friday, 10 March 2017

Your Gods Have No Power Here

In the year 902, the Heretic Army declared war on the forces of heaven. They vowed to bring an end to the reign of the True God. Their goal was to drive him from the world, either slaying or imprisoning him.

Much has been said about gods, but all know that beside from She in Pain, and to a lesser extent, the Darkness, none of them are merciful. The Heretic Army collided with the Church, and angels were sent down by the True god to punish the Heretics.

Survivors of the battle recount men being turned to pillars of salt, men suddenly dropping dead as their hearts gave out, and men crying as they were burned with a fire that brought up all their bad memories as it consumed their bodies.

The Heretic Army was destroyed, it's survivors routed, executed, or imprisoned. It is said that some may still be alive in the Church's dungeons, unable to die in anything other than glorious battle (this could make a good story hook for your campaign. Maybe the PCs need information, and must find a way to get the Church's most hated enemy out from the one place they can do no harm).

However, some men fled, thinking it better to create a new life than to continue their hopeless war against the Church. If you pay attention, you can still find old Heretics, serving in bars or making arms and armour in small towns.

Two of the men who chose to flee were named Jiffron the Red and Koga the Black. They were brothers, so named for the way soldiers saw them as they fought. Jiffron through a haze of blood, and Koga through a shroud of dark magic.

Koga the Black

They were absolutely sick of divine magic, and decided to fight back the only way they could. Each of them founded a town.

Koga built his town at the spot where a river flowed from the mountains, towards an outpost of the Church. Since the town was built, the villagers have been poisoning the water supply with heavy doses of iron. The means for this has been provided to them by demons, which Koga has been in contact with and accepting deals from since the town's creation. Because of the myriad different holds on his soul, he is very, very hard to kill, and his town prospers in exchange for eternal damnation from multitudes of different demons, many of them unknowing about each other.

Jiffron chose a different route, and chose to reject the idea of the divine altogether. Their village is built in a mountain valley, and is so desecrated and defiled that no divine magic can work there. It is, quite literally, a town of atheists so devout in their beliefs that the gods themselves walking the earth would cause no more than an annoyed huff.

Jiffron the Red

The Towns of Haven and Damnation
The two towns are on good terms with each other. The brothers were very close, and their family bonds were not so easily severed.

Multitudes of townsfolk live in a town of their preference, and celebrations in one town usually are paralleled or joined by those in the other. Haven (Jiffron's town), regards Damnation as a group of well-meaning, but perhaps overly violent and religious people. They far prefer them to other religions, even if the occasional human sacrifice and screaming lambs can be grating on the nerves. Damnation regards the residents of Haven as misguided people working with what they have.

Each respects the others traditions, and thinks of them as quaint and amusing ideas. They manage to be civil in each others presence, and marriages between the two towns are common. Trade is practiced often, and most people have families in their parallel town.

The Mad Saint
When Jiffron and Koga came to the mountains to build their towns, they did not come alone. With them was Saint Frenilus Drarian, a well-respected holy man thought killed in the war. His death was fake. He was captured by the brothers, who decided that he was revenge for the killing of their comrades.

Koga bound him through magic, and Jiffron broke him through torture. Thinking it a cruel joke, they let him free, but unable to leave the area around Haven and Damnation. To put it simply, he is in purgatory.
If you understand that joke, treat yourself to a cookie

He wanders the land, forever walking. Nobody likes him, but people leave overcooked or rotten food out at the brother's orders, to keep him alive. He has forgotten his own name, but wears his holy symbol burned into his hands. He hates the symbols. The saint forgot their meaning long ago, and now they are simply old wounds that refuse to ever fully heal.

He wanders, trying to dispense his had wisdom to whomever comes near. The locals drive him off, sneering and laughing, but some do take him in, listen to his ramblings, and give him water and shelter for a few days.

He only ever talks about the Church's prophesies and blasphemy. Every sentence out of his mouth is either a foretelling of what is to come, or a recited curse against religion from ages past, when Jiffron and Koga burned them into his mind.

Whenever he is encountered, roll 1d4 to determined his disposition:

1: He is rambling and making no sense. He will not respond to anything other than harassment or pain, in which case he will cry out and flinch away before resuming his muttering. If he has taken half his health in damage, he will instead scream and try to run away.
2: He is asleep, and will wake up in 1d12 hours or if he is shaken awake, after which he acts as if you rolled a 1.
3: He is injured (half health), and will respond gratefully to any aid (patting the person's head, smiling a toothless grin, clapping his hands). However, all he will talk about is how much the party has been very bad.
4: In his ramblings, he suddenly has a clear moment and says something prophetic in a different tone. This can range to anything from a prophesy about a world-destroying catylism to a minor thing (the fighter is getting laid tonight). This will always come true.
Random Encounters in the Two-towns
Roll 1d6 every time the PCs move between each town (unless it would disrupt the flow of the game).

1: 1d4 children running around the roads from whichever town is closest, on their way to a new cave they found. Roll 1d4: 1: the Mad Saint currently resides in the cave, although the pestering of the children will drive him out in 8-the amount of children days, 2: the cave in empty and uninhabited, 3: the cave has a bear in it, and there is a 25% chance a child will be killed, 4: the cave has a bound demon living in it, and there is a 75% chance a child will be killed or make a deal (50% chance of each). Be creative with this, and think about what children want (your eternal soul in exchange for a lifetime supply of candy).
2: A lost child will be heard wandering 1d6x10 feet off the path from whichever town is farthest, hopelessly lost. They will want their parents, who will provide 1 iron for every PC who delivers the child back to them.
3: The mad saint will be on the path. Roll for his disposition.
4: 1d6 travelers, coming from the town the PCs are going to to the town they left. They are in good spirits, as long as none of the PCs look religious.
5: Jiffron the Red, taking a pleasant walk through the forest. He will be distinctive by the sword at his side and his blood-red clothing and long blond hair. He carries a longsword.
6: Koga the Black, taking a pleasant walk through the forest. He will be distinctive by the demonic stench about him, and his black robes, with greasy black hair reaching almost to his waist.He carries a book with a list of demons in it. 

 A fairly common sight.
Every 1d10 weeks, there is a random festivity in one or both of the two-towns. Roll 1d#
1: A wedding! Most of the residents of one town (about 75%) will be in the other town. The celebration lasts for 2 days, and free food and drink can be found in abundance during that time.
2: A funeral. Most of the residents of one town (about 75%) will be in the other town. There is no celebration or food anywhere in town for that day, and at the end of the day, the body will be buried with a tree planted over it if in Haven, or burned and it's ashes scattered into the river if in Damnation.
 3: A sacrificial ritual. All in normal in Haven, but at least half the residents of Damnation will be somewhere in the forest. They will be gathered around an altar, ritualistically chanting for 1d100 minutes, before the sacrificial victim is brought out and stabbed to death on the altar (this takes 1 minute from the time they are brought out). Roll 1d4: 1: the victim is a young animal, probably a lamb or calf. 2: the victim is an older animal, probably a horse, goat, or cow. 3: the victim is a traveling priest. 4: the victim is something entirely odd. Examples are: a child with all-black eyes, a talking dog, an ogre, or a very confused frog. The PCs are rewarded if they do not interfere.
4: Priest-burning. All residents of both towns come together in the middle of the road with a traveling priest. A list of charges are read, usually including public vandalism (putting up holy symbols), inappropriate public wear (priestly robes), and conning. The priest is then put on a crude, quickly made version of their own holy symbol, and then burned. 
5: Seasonal Festival. These are common, and celebrations between both towns giving thanks (not to anyone in particular) for keeping them free and happy. People from both towns intermix. If it is spring or summer, the festival will be in a field somewhere between the two towns. If it is fall or winter, then the festival will not be out in the open (except for a bonfire in each village at night), but will be a private thing celebrated between families.
6: Attack. It happens every once and a while. Roll a percentile dice. 50% chance the attackers are priests of the True God (80%) or another one (20%) of level 1d4. 1d4 of them will be attacking. 30% chance the attackers are warriors who want to uphold their religion, of level 1d4. 3d10 of them will be attacking. 20% chance the attackers are something other (angels, pissed off holy dragon, think something up). Koga and Jiffron will defend, along with 3d10 bandits, who are residents, but they will appreciate any help they can get.
Many a priest have met their ends in that 
nameless valley.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Undead Whales and Pirate Necromancers

"I bin trawlin' these waters since I was a wee little scamp, even younger than you, ya grimy landlubber. I thought that nothin' could shock me. Why not? I mean, I seen it all. Eldritch horrors, tentacles coming up from the deep, and fish that could swallow a man whole. I seen a clam as big as an island, with a pearl inside it that glowed bright as the sun. I bin to an island full o' monkies that swam and hunted seals. But I ain't never seen something like that before."

"It was on us like jus' another wave, we din' even see it comin.' The ocean rose up, and a shape crashed into the hull. We looked over the side, and it was a whale. An undead whale, bone showing through in places, and it's eyes were rotting out -o- it's head. Flesh hung off of it like tattered sails of some ghost ship."

"The beast opened it's mouth, and undead charged from it's belly, all shoutin' and screamin' wit' no lungs to draw breath. I suppose inside that monster, they could jus' sit still, waitin' fer it to find their prey for 'em. But that wasn't the worst part. The worst part was what came after. A man, a normal lookin' man, with robes like a mage. He pointed out a few of our men, includin' the captain and the undead dragged em,' kicking and screaming, down into the depths. And then he walked back, calm as you please, back into his monstrosity."

"I don't sail the seas no more, and there's a good reason for that. Ain't no gold nor treasure that's worth another run-in with those particular pirates."

-Anonymous retired sailor

Undead Whales
This ain't your grandma's Free Willy.
Undead whales are a surprisingly common sight in the ocean. Although many people do not believe it to be true, necromancers can die, usually of old age. In fact, their bodies break down faster than that of most people, and so it is actually quite common for them to die peacefully before their corpses are ripped to shreds by their minions.
Undead whales are usually the toughest, largest, and most non-threatening undead beings when left along. Therefore, when their creators die, the whale will often swim aimlessly around the ocean, attempting to eat plankton that comes near. They will eventually break down, as the feedings of countless parasites and tenacious bottom-feeders eat the body as the whale drifts on, seeing no reason to try and stop them.

Seeing an undead whale is an both humbling, sad, and amazing sight. Two hundred tons of dead, rotting flesh, swimming until it's body simply falls to pieces. It surfaces, although it does not need to breath, and then dives back down, leaving scraps of flesh behind it.

Sailors think they are good luck, representing freedom, and do not trouble them. The logic is that if an enormous whale managed to evade whalers for that long, and then managed to escape death itself, and outlived it's one-time master, it deserves to swim for as long as it can. This sometimes brings them into conflict with druids of the sea, who regard the whales as abominations to be snuffed out, and will go to horrendous lengths to get rid of them. Mer and devotees of the Drowned God view undead whales as curiosities, and beings to be harnessed if possible for their own ends.

Undead whales are usually created by necromancers as transportation. They are self-controlled and tireless, meaning that the mage does not have to waste labour getting minions to steer or pilot. They are also mostly waterproof, and can dive deep down underwater. If the necromancer is the only living being on board, then the whale's body will contain more than enough oxygen for them to stay under long enough to evade any would-be pursuers.

The process of creating an undead whale is long and arduous, but requires a surprisingly small amount of magic. People theorize the reason is because of the innate magic whale fat possesses.

First, a whale carcass must be obtained. Usually this is done by hiring sailors to hunt the whale, which is then towed back to land. Sometimes, a whale carcass will wash up on shore, but this is a more dangerous practice, as those have the tendency to explode in a blast of build-up gas.

Next, the carcass is cleaned. Some scrupulous or unlucky necromancers do this themselves, walking into the body of the whale and hauling out most of the fat and internal organs, to make room for inhabitants. Most use undead servants or hired labourers to do this work for them.

After, any holes or unnecessary orifices are patched up with the liberal application of tar, to prevent leaks.

Most necromancers don't like working on corpses 
themselves, but there are weirdos in every job.

Necromancer Pirates
Although pirating isn't the first thing most people associate with necromancy, many people practice both professions. Some see a certain irony in it. For all everyone fights, they are the only ones left with any money in the end.

Mostly though, it is just to make cold, hard cash. necromancers don't have to pay their totally obedient and loyal crew, and can get more any time they please.

A pirate's death for me.

They strike more fear into people's hearts than regular pirates, they lurch on, uncaring, as their bodies burn. Even as they are impaled, they simply laugh, grab their opponent in a bear hug, and attempt to throw themselves over the side. What do they have to fear? Nothing. What remains of life is sweet, and death is a release.

When a necromancer ship or whale comes on the horizon, a crew knows what it faces. Warriors with nothing to fear.

Necromancer pirates are found the world over. Although they often begin their seafaring escapades in tropical lands, many of them migrate north, to colder waters, with less sea-creatures to eat their beloved whales, and no heat to rot their other servant's flesh.

In response to this threat, the Church of the True God sent out ships, called 'Dawnbringers' to fight against necromancer pirates. They are crewed by monks, paladins, and priests, and the Dawnbringers light up the night when they attack. Every inch of the ship has been soaked in holy water at least once. Dawnbringers that have been on the ocean for a long time convert the water and rain near them into holy water, scorching undead whales and pirates alike.

There is a strange psuedo-war going on between the Dawnbringers and the pirate necromancers. The necromancers cannot send their sailors to attack the ships directly, so they sneak past. They invade their peaceful temple, raid their merchant ships, and set fire to their boats. But they never fight them. Not directly.



Saturday, 4 March 2017

Bears Don't Exist

"The bear is a the most well-known of all imaginary creatures. From what researchers can tell from short encounters, a bear stands at about one metre in height on four-legs, and two metres on two legs. They are covered in shaggy brown fur, a stark contrast to the Nosi, who they share a great similarity to. They have a mouth full of teeth on the end of a dog-like snout, but their head is much more flat. They have strong paws, capable of sending a grown man flying with a single strike. Many go mad just from viewing them."

"Bears are aggressive in all instances. From their bodily structure, we can assume they are carnivorous. They can climb as well as a cat, smell as well as a dog, and swim as well as a fish. They can run nearly as fast as a horse. They have skin as thick as armour. They are perfect killing machines."

"Mages can fell a squadron of soldiers just by summoning a single one of these beasts. They can keep fighting long after it seems they have died. The best option when fighting one is to trick it into a pit, and then fire arrows until it dies. Attempting to engage one will almost certainly end in the demise of the fool who dared stand and face one. And worst of all, where there are bears, druids will almost certainly follow."

"Ware the bear."

-Scholar Idvonictis, from the academy of the undying

This is the closest you'll come to seeing an actual bear.
The Imaginary Bear
Bears have the odd habit of not existing. Not properly anyway, like any decent creature should.

Bears do not exist in nature. They are a purely created species. Nobody knows why they can be summoned, especially since all other summoned animals are simply disguised otherworldly beings, such as fae and fiends. But bears seem content to be purely natural animals, but not exist in nature.

More terrifying still, is that bears look alien. They are a strange mish-mash of beings, and many have theorized that they bring a hint of madness from wherever they came from. Any who look upon them must steel their minds, or go mad from the pure sight of a bear. Many victims report seeing a bear in their dreams, hunting them, looking to kill them even after it's death...

Divination spells looking for some sign of where bears came from, or if they ever really existed, turn up nothing. Painstaking, week-long rituals conducted to find the first person who summoned one fail. Even attempts to follow a bear back to wherever they go once they are de-summoned result in the magic-user being painfully shunted back to reality.

People have long-since given up on trying to decipher the mystery of bears. Only some fanatical druids, who take their shape in an attempt to learn more about them, still try. And even those druids generally end up mauled when one of their summoned creatures turn against them.

This does not mean bears are not feared as much as they are in our world. On the contrary, they are more terrifying. People do not guard their backs while taking a stroll through the woods. They check their attic to make sure a bear isn't going to come crashing through the ceiling, like a furry meteor of teeth and claws.
The stuff of nightmares.
Bears are more than a natural threat, like cougars or wolves or other manageable threats that have cautionary tales about them. Stories about bears are more like ghost stories.

They are every child's bad dream, the fear of every soldier, and why hunters carry an extra sword, just in case. They are the lurking eyes in the dark, the madness that lies out of sight behind the tree, and the fear that lurks in the hearts of men.

They are furry, berry-eating bogeymen.

Up north, where ice flats stretch for miles, whales swim in frozen waters, and glaciers blot out the sun, live the Nosi.

They look similar to bears, but somehow elongated. Changed, warped, and stretched into a form better suited for their environment. They do not share many key bear traits, such as their somehow alien look, and they cannot be summoned. But most fear them as much as bears, for one simple reason: Nosi are big.

Like, really, really big.
When a Nosi walks, the ice cracks under it's weight. Where a Nosi sleeps, birds rest in it's warm fur like fleas. Where a Nosi hunts, all living beings flee.
Nosi hunt whales. They break open the ice, smashing through it with their immense front paws, and break through to the unsuspecting whales below. If you've ever seen a regular bear hunting salmon, that's kinda what it looks like. They leave some of the fat, which coats them in a layer of protective coating. A Nosi lit on fire will burn, but the fires will not hurt it for a while, although it will need to put them out.
Nosi have also made some sort of deal with ravens. The birds get a warm place to live, and easy picking from carcasses. In exchange, the Nosi gets eyes all over it's body, and an extra layer of defense in case someone tries to climb up onto them. 
Many northern Utakita tribes worship them as gods. They lope along in their wake, following the enormous tracks the Nosi leaves in the ice and snow. Each tribe has a group of designated 'fur-cutters,' called 'skinskutu' in their native langauge. These people sneak up on the Nosi as it sleeps, and harvest it's fur. They also gather fur the Nosi drops. They are easily identifiable by their enormous, fur-filled backpacks and their clothing being purely white on the inside. The backpacks double as sleeping-bags if the cutter gets lost or stranded for a night or more out in the open wastes. In addition, the smell of it's own fur will confuse an angry Nosi, sometimes leading them to wander off.
Not that this often works. But when a bear the size of a mountain comes bearing down at you, a small assurance is better than none. And beside a Nosi, you will feel very, very small.
A Nosi held captive by magic, ready for war.

Yes, this means you can replicate the movie 'birds'
with giant polar bears as mobile fortresses. Don't
get too excited.

My Thoughts on mythology + example

Mythology, I believe, is a core part of worldbuilding. If you want to neglect it, and manage to pull that off, congratulations! You're a rebel! Or possibly a revolutionary.

But I think that adding a mythology into your world is important. It adds to immersion. If you really manage to pull it off, your players will know more about your myths than they know a Greek ones. Take that, Homer!

I do want to stress here that religion and mythology, although very similar, are not bound together. You can have a religion with no or little mythology (a modern-day cult sort of thing), or a mythology without a religion (folk tales). So, even if you want no religion undertones in your world, you can still have a mythology.
Mythology is weird. Don't question it.

Most mythologies are formed of these parts:
  • A primal creator, who came before everything else. They are often evil in more famous mythologies, such as the titans in Greek mythology, or the J├Âtunns in Norse mythology.
  • Many smaller beings, often made by the primal creator after the earth was formed. They are 'gods,' and will usually have their own kids and grandkids. A mythology can revolve around them, and usually does, but you can also focus on the creator.
  • An ungodly (pun intended) bunch of issues, mostly caused by gods or humans being idiots, which end up creating the world around us more. A good example of this the the Greek god of death (Hades), falling in love with the goddess of spring, and kidnapping her every year. This explains the seasons.

Mythology is usually told with a fairy-tale sort of writing, and likes to make use of the rule of threes (the underlying principle of the universe that something interesting usually happens the third time you try).

Things won't always make logical sense. This is useful if you are trying to tell the story of how the misadventures of the god of drinking and the god of rivers accidentally created catfish when they invaded the house of the animal god while absolutely shitfaced.

You wouldn't believe the thing's he's seen.
So yeah, mythology is fun. People won't expect you to justify nearly as much, so have fun with it! Be creative! Explain why the goddess of war hates ducks! Mythology is your excuse to do whatever you want. Everyone expects it to be weird, so why not indulge them?
 Example Creation Mythology
Written by yours truly.
“Who am I?” Darkness asked. But it got no answer, for it was the first. Before all, there was Darkness.

Darkness walked for many years, underground and above. It wandered below the largest mountain, and walked down, down, down. There, Darkness found a stream.

“What a happy looking stream. But no one to enjoy it.” Darkness said sadly. So, Darkness took a lump of mud, and several rocks from the stream. It played with them, combining into different shapes, and putting it’s creations down underneath the mountain. Eventually, Darkness was surrounded by hundreds of thousands of statues.

Darkness dropped water onto each one, and they began moving. The underground was soon filled with hundreds of thousands of curious beings, trees, animals, plants, all desperate to explore. But they were confused. They turned to Darkness, and asked it a question.

“Who are we?”

“You are Life.” Darkness answered. “This land is for you.”

And Life was satisfied. They scattered to the edges of the world, curious forever. But they were lost. Although they loved this new world, Darkness was there, and so they could not see.

“Please, Darkness!” They cried, “Let us see!”

Darkness dug deeper into the mountain, and came across a crystal. It glowed with a fiery shimmer, and Darkness was burned. But it would not give up on it’s creations. Darkness took the crystal in it’s hands, and brought the stone to the surface world, where it flew into the sky. Darkness could not stand close to the crystal, but it loved the shining thing all the same.

“Who am I?” The shining thing said.

“You are Light.” Darkness replied, hiding behind a mountain. “You are here to show Life the world.”

Another voice spoke, from in between Darkness and Light. “But who am I?”

Darkness was surprised, but pleased at this new addition to the world. “You are Shadow. You are here to make sure Light never becomes too harmful, and to be an ambassador between him and me.”

And so Light and Shadow were born, and they were satisfied. But, now that they could see, Life grew too large. They buckled under their own weight, and again called to Darkness for help.

And so Darkness took the waters of the stream beneath the mountain, the sharpness of the rocks on it’s bed, and fashioned it into an ethereal being, with a heart as black as it's soul.

“Who am I?” The spirit asked.

“You are Death.” Darkness replied, pleased at it’s own cunning. “You are here to make sure Life never becomes too proud, or too powerful.”

And Death was pleased, setting about her job with glee. But Life was growing diminished, curious as it was, and wanted to make friends with Death. Soon, they were almost gone.

So Darkness took a little bit of itself, and created a figure of great power. He was more dangerous than any Darkness has made before, and it knew that this path was risky. But Darkness was desperate, and needed something to keep Life existing.

“Who am I?” The figure asked, in a voice like the grating of nails down rocks.

“You are Fear.” Darkness said, stepping back. “You are here to be a shield against Death, and a warning to Life.”

Fear grinned a terrible grin, and set to work. Life stayed away from Death as well as they could, and she had to work harder for her prizes.

Darkness was happy, but also sad. The world was good, but it seemed random. Everything was too much about chance for it’s liking, and it wanted to know what was to happen, before it did. So Darkness took fragments of Light, a pinch of Life, and a barest hint of Fear, and created shining stars in the sky. The stars made a pure being, a child, who spoke in the softest voice of any Darkness had created before.

“Who am I?” She said.

“You are Fate.” Darkness said. “You are here to give order to an orderless world.”

But Fate needed something to work on. Life was good, but distracted. Short-sighted. They did not want to work together, or make anything other than their own homes. She wanted something interesting, intelligent, and powerful.

So, Darkness made one last being, composed of Life. Darkness took a pinch of itself, Shadow, and Light, and put them in the being’s heart. Then, it took Fear and Death, and put them in the being’s mind as a caution. Finally, it took Fate, and put it into the being’s soul. Darkness sat back, admiring it’s work.

The being opened their eyes, examining each other. “Who am I?”

Darkness smiled. “You are Man. And you are here for no reason at all.”

And Man nodded, satisfied.

This is exactly how I imagined the creator of the universe.