Stratis

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Greyhawk Deity
Stratis
Stratis01.jpg
Stratis, from Chainmail Miniatures Game: Blood and Darkness - Set 2 Guidebook (2003)
Title(s)
Home Plane None (deceased). Formerly Ysgard.
Power Level
Gender Male
Class(es)
Alignment Neutral, likely lawful neutral or chaotic neutral
Portfolio War
Domains
Alias(es) None
Superior None

Stratis was an Oeridian god of War once worshipped in Western Oerik. He is now dead. He is morally neutral in alignment, neither good like Heironeous nor evil like Hextor. It may seem likely that he was lawful in alignment like his mother and brothers, but the fact that he grew to adulthood on the plane of Ysgard makes a chaotic neutral alignment a possibility.

Description

Stratis was an armed and armored warrior, looking like a strong, handsome human man with four arms.

Relationships

Stratis is a son of Stern Alia, and therefore a brother or half-brother of Heironeous and Hextor.

Realm

The location of Stratis's divine realm is unknown, although he grew to adulthood on the plane of Ysgard.

Dogma

Stratis was god of war in all of its forms, both just and unjust.

Worshipers

Stratis is unknown, or virtually so, in the Flanaess, but was apparently very well known in Western Oerik.

Temples

Artifacts and relics

Panopoly of Stratis

The Panopoly of Stratis are the sacred arms and armor of the dead god Stratis. These items are sought by the warring factions in the Sundered Empire in Western Oerik. Being infused with the dead god's power, it is believed that whoever controls the items will ascend to become the new god of War in Stratis's stead.

The Panopoly of Stratis include:

  • Bonebreak: The god's first weapon, a greatclub, is believed to lie somewhere on the Ghostwind Plateau.
  • The Ebon Glaive: Artifact weapon (glaive/polearm) once wielded by Stratis. Located in a place called Scalebane, once known as the Plain of Edora. This is a massive draconic graveyard, left behind after a war between good and evil dragons.
The Ebon Glaive is a +5 mithril dragonbane keen glaive of speed. The weapon is neutral, intelligent (Int 20, Wis 16, Cha 18, Ego 39; speech and telepathy), and its special purpose is the slaying of dragons.
  • The Longsword of Stratis: In the possession of a young elf named Tarquin. He's enigmatic, and hails from an ancient and illustrious family. It is whispered that he may become the Emperor of Ravilla.
  • The Shield of Stratis: This artifact was a gift from the Shield Mother (Stern Alia) to her son, and bears her likeness.
  • The Spear of Stratis:Stratis’s spear plunged to the forgotten grave of an ancient human warlord, Ahmut, who rose screaming for vengeance and the death of all living things.
  • The Axe of Stratis: This axe (which is depicted as either a battle axe or greataxe)was dropped among the savage tribes of the southern lands and was seized by a hobgoblin chieftain named Drazen.
  • The Flail of Stratis: Depicted as a heavy (or dire) flail, this weapon came by the hands of a child to the half-fiend gnoll [Priest-King of Naresh] Jangir.

It is also known that there are other arms and armour included in the "panoply", including helm, breastplate, bracers, greaves, and thrown dart, but they have only ever been shown in illustrations, and there is little known about them.

The Story of Bonebreak

When Stratis was but a godling, he chafed at his mother's protectiveness. She kept her son safe in her fortress on Ysgard, the plane of heroes. "The mortals need your shield, not I," he asserted, but Stern Alia did not heed him. By day Stratis studied the ways of war on Ysgard's many battlefields, learning from the greatest heroes of the past. In Alia's fortress, however, no weapons were allowed. "There is no war within these walls," she decreed.

Stratis, like all sons, longed to succeed on his own. When his mother was away attending the high priests of Thalos, Stratis made his way to one of her planar portals and stepped through. He found himself in a land of heat and fire. Ribbons of earth floated on pools of magma and the ground beneath his feet oozed acrid smoke. In the distance Stratis could see the World Ash, so he knew he was somewhere on Ysgard still. With godly powers, he strode over the lava and bounded over geysers, making his way to the planespannning tree.

The appearance of this impetuous godling had not gone unnoticed. Savage fire giants spied him from afar and set up an ambush near the World Ash. In the blink of an eye, Stratis was surrounded by a dozen of the brutes, each one encased in glowing hot armor and wielding a mighty two-handed blade. "Your blood is ours, little god," they taunted. "You don't even have a weapon to defend yourself."

Stratis said nothing. Before they could close with him, he leaped over their heads and bounded to the World Ash. He could have climbed the tree and escaped to another plane of existence. He could have, but he did not. Instead, he grabbed a branch and tore it free. He then charged the fire giants, wielding his club with deadly skill, smashing bones and skulls in a bloodthirsty rage. In the end, Stratis stood alone with twelve lifeless fire giants at his feet.

Thus did Stratis win his first battle and gain his first weapon.

History

During the Demon War a thousand years ago, Stratis intervened personally to battle the fiendish dragons sent by Tiamat, but he found that killing dragons distracted him from other parts of the war. Needing to kill dragons faster, he descended to the city of Ashbringer in Ysgard's realm of Nidavellir. There he bargained with the dwarven master smith Valin for a weapon capable of killing Tiamat herself. Valin agreed to do this if Stratis would provide the blood of five chromatic dragons, one of each type, the older the better, as well as enough of each of their hides to make a suit of armor for five dwarven heroes, and then use the weapon to lead an assault on Svartalfheim, the land of Nidavellir's ancient foes. Stratis agreed to the terms on the condition that he would be able to name the time of the assault. Valin agreed, and a year later he had completed his masterwork, the Ebon Glaive. As it happened, however, while Stratis was leading the dwarves to victory, one of the most ferocious battles of the war was being fought without him at the site now called Scalebane. It is rumored that Valin sold the knowledge of when Stratis would be preoccupied in Ysgard to Tiamat, but this has never been proven.

Much later, it is said that Stratis was seen riding to battle with the Baklien horsemen who were invading the empire of Ravilla.

Stratis was killed five years ago (probably in 586 CY) by a party of mortal adventurers who foolishly thought that by killing him they could win peace for their peoples. Instead, Stratis's death embroiled all of Western Oerik in conflict. Stratis ascended into the sky in a pillar of fire and scattered his weapons and armor to the four winds. With his dying breath, he decreed that there would be nothing but war until a new god of war ascended to replace him. Now the various factions of the region battle for control over Stratis's panoply, for it is believed that whoever gets enough of Stratis's armaments will become the new god of war.

Stratis' spear pierced the corpse of the warlord Ahmut, who had been in his grave for centuries, and reanimated him as a lord of undeath. The Ebon Glaive probably landed in the ancient battlefield of Scalebane. The Shield of Stratis is currently being sought by the paladins of Stern Alia. When Stratis's hot blood fell on the ground, it burned through the earth and opened passageways to caverns buried for millennia, thus exposing passageways to the drow settlement of Kalan-G'eld. There, deep in the Underdark, the blood of Stratis became as mist, floating around in crimson clouds to this day. Clouds of Stratis's blood announce themselves with the sounds of screaming, the thud of arrows, and the pounding of hooves. Those who touch the clouds are gifted with a portion of Stratis's divine spark.

Bibliography

  • Pramas, Chris. "Ahmut's Legion." Dragon #286. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 2001.
  • -----. "The Armies of Thalos." Dragon #287. Bellevue, WA: Paizo Publishing, 2001.
  • -----. "The Ebon Glaive." Dragon #296. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 2002.
  • -----. "The Empire of Ravilla." Dragon #285. Bellevue, WA: Paizo Publishing, 2001.
  • Tweet, Jonathan, Rob Heinsoo, and Chris Pramas. Chainmail Miniatures Game: Blood and Darkness - Set 2 Guidebook. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 2003.

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