usually seen as the most powerful and important of all
Nybelmarian Aca-Tar because it is him
who commands the Ulieth, the seasnake that keeps all lands and oceans together.
His realm are the oceans, he oversees anything from the deepest caverns of the
sea to the smallest fountain in the mountains and makes the
water run to shape the
world. He knows about everything in the moment it happens and thus is among the
wisest of the Aca-Tar, only second to Thalisien, but other than the Dreamstalker
he is bound to the world and acts as its preserver. Most other Aca-Tar must obey
his call as his oceans can sink any land and suffocate any
fire. Only Thalisien,
Angus and Mari must not follow him as their spheres are out of his reach, but
even they listen to his council.
Names. Barkhas, God of the Sea, Barkhas, Goddess of all Waters. In Santerran tongue also Barkhés, Barkasér or Berindaer.
Appearance. Barkhas is despicted as a king residing on a throne
of nacre deep under the sea where his many servants deliver him any information
that reach the waters. His hair is that of white spray and his skin is covered
with scales of all colours of the rainbow. He has no eyes and no ears as his arm
reaches through all waters and fountains and so he senses and listens to
everything that happens in his vast realm. Usually his statues show his body
hidden in a robe of water sitting on his throne a crown of coralls on his head.
Mythology. All waters and anything that lives in it are at Barkhas' command from the deepest depths of the oceans to the highest mountain river. His servants are inumerable and he cares for many things.
His first Aerynians and his direct offsprings are Iwynn and Weyroon, the Dewborn and the Stormbringer. Iwynn is the Goddess of the Rivers and Lakes. Her water is that of sweet nectar to the thirsty. While the waters of Barkhas are meant to nutrition the mountains themselves, she cares more for the small, the mortal beings in the world. She is known to bring relief and health to the troubled and life to the gardens of the lands. In the Santerran lands she is worshipped as a Goddess of Healing and Nature and many farmers pray to her. Her most famous sanctuary lies in the old capital Delvynnar in the "Rainbow Waters" of the "Dewfalls" which are said to cure even the worst sufferings. This sanctuary and most of her temples are often hospitals as well.
Weyroon is the son of Barkhas and rides the tides of the oceans without taking much responsibilty. He enjoys the storms and often hunts with his favourite pets - the dolphins - the far corners of the oceans. He sometimes visits Angus and with his winds creates storms of water in the skies. Where Iwynn is modest, Weyroon is flaring up. He enjoys challenging the mortals with impossible tasks and many ships sank in his deadly games. Only Iwynn or Barkhas himself have control over him but often he escapes their watch and brings unrest and turmoils to the oceans and everything under and on it.
Telen, the Fisher is another Aerynian. He is said to have taught the Santerrans the knowledge about fishing and breeding the resources of the sea. He enjoys to stay close to the shores and is a singer. He is said to visit secluded beaches and sing about Iwynn, the Aerynian he has fallen in love to and about the creatures in the sea. His voice has often ignited the love for the sea and inspirated many explorers to sail out in the unknown.
All beasts in the oceans obey him as he only kills to maintain the balance and does not enjoy destruction. Thus he often tries to keep Weyroon away from his most beautiful gardens he tends because he enjoys beauty but also to impress Iwynn who sometimes at the rivermouths visits such places. Pearls are said to be a gift from him to the sailors, that share his love to the seas.
Faeragutt, Lord of the dolphfolk is another of the more important Aerynians under Barkhas and he serves him as stablemaster caring for these fast and agile creatures as messengers for Barkhas. Weyroon often persuades him to lend some of them to play with them and like Weyroon dolphins enjoy the freedom of the seas most, however Faeragutt often seeks the dolphins to warn nearby ships when Weyroon is in one of his cruel moods as in his eyes the mortals - men and all the others - are not meant for the seas. So he only cares for the depths of the oceans and rarely appears on the surface of the sea.
The most important Wergans of Barkhas are Ulieth the great Seasnake and the Dolphfolk. While the dolphfolk is seen as mere servants of the great Aca-Tar, Ulieth is a giantic snake that envelops all waters with her long, scaled body. She sleeps still and Barkhas will wake her up at the end of all times and while she sleeps her tail is moving in her peaceful slumber which in Santerran belief causes the tides and sometimes hurricans.
Dolphins are sometimes seen as Wergans, too, and sometimes only as intelligent animals, pets of the higher spirits.
Importance. Barkhas is seen as the highest Aca-Tar of the gods and the most powerful of them. His rule is hard but just and in the oceans and ontop of them everything is meant to happen to his liking. As the oceans are what the Santerrans call the blood of Caelereth he keeps the whole world in motion and preserves the balance of all things.
In Aca-Santerra himself he is also worshipped as the one Aca-Tar that rescued the Santerrans from a deadly fate and prophecied them to act in his name to become the teachers of all Caelereth. He is said to have a watchful eye on the Santerrans and the High Kingdom is under his guidance and protection. His priesthood has thus major influence on the decisions of the state as none disobeys the "Preserver of the World".
Symbols. Barkhas' symbol is the seasnake Ulieth, a mythical creature said to envelop the whole world to prevent the water from fading into the Void. She is usually forming a circle head to tail.
Weyroon's usual symbol is the dolphin while Iwynn's sign is sometimes the diamond butterfly.
Barkhas' colour is that of a deep and strong blue much like indigo combined with black indicating the dark depths of the oceans.
Compared to that the priests of Iwynn usually wear white or light blueish robes with silvery ornaments like that of dew.
Celebrations. Barkhas is worshipped every year at the holy site of Aca-Wyr where the Santerrans plead the God of the Sea to lead them on the way of Truth and grant the High Kingdom a fertile and peaceful year. These celebrations take place mostly on the islands in the last weeks of autumn before the winter storms beginn, Weyroon's violent time. More than once people believe that the power of these winter storms determine how pleased Barkhas is with the behaviour with his most beloved people. Usually necklaces or crowns made of nacre or shells are brought as gifts to the God, but in hard times also gold and silver. In desperate times even nobles might be sacrificed to the God in an attempt to ease his anger. Usually those that are thought to have caused this anger are used in this process ensuring that the Highkings and noblemen obey to the call of the priesthood of Barkhas without question.
Weyroon is worshipped after the first winterstorm as this is the indication that the Stormbringer has come to the shores of Aca-Santerra and sometimes will listen - and sometimes toy with the pleadings of the mortals.
Temple Design. The design of the temples usually follow a similar sheme all over Aca-Santerra. Usually for any of the Great Aca-Tar a chamber of the temple is reserved, in this matter Barkhas' chamber usually is the greatest one in the main dome of the temple. Statues of his many Aerynian are placed at the entrance in black marble or copper. At the end of the chamber behind the main altar you'll see an image of Barkhas himself, manufactured of silver, iron and nacre. The temple room is dominated by blue, green and purple, the favourite colours of Barkhas. Coloured glass windows and torches behind glass apertures usually increase this impression. Barkhas' temples indicate one thing above all: Power and fear, only here and there softened by light scenes of pleasure and hope when dolphins play in the waves or Telen singing his songs for Iwynn.
Temple Locations. The nave of Barkhas is usually an integral part of any major temple in the cities and towns of the High Kingdom. Most famous are here the temples of Delvynnar, Therigal and Altyr who are among the largest temples of Aca-Santerra. The main sanctuary of Barkhas lies on the secluded archipelago of Aca-Wyr in the middle of the "Sea of Barkhas". The sanctuary which is also a great monastery is usually a place of prayers and studying and becomes only the focus of attention when the Highking himself comes to the place himself during the celebrations to plead the God of the Sea for another good year in his name.
Information provided by Koldar Mondrakken