The origins of Eshsalqua are muddled at best. It is said by some that it was an experiment by a deranged wizard attempting to understand the nature of corruption, or an evil dream so strong that it tore its way into reality. Others claim it was an attempt by the hells to create a superior fiend, or a joke by a God of Mischief long forgotten. The truth, much like Eshsalqua’s first form, is lost to the sands of time. Eshasalqua is equal parts devil, djinn, rakshasa, and dream; its constant evolution has rendered any attempt to categorize it a moot point. It has been known to be male or female; whichever is most advantageous to it. It is seductive corruption given many disguises and a voice-a beautiful, mellifluous, horrifying voice that whispers in the dreams of sentients, and echoes across the crossroads of time. Eshsalqua escaped what is known in transplanted ecclesiastical records as The Great Purge, a culling of the gods across the dimensions, and slithered into reality by way of The Calling. This victory is noted in the foremost hymn of The Songs of Power.
Eshsalqua’s cult is small compared to most. The single purpose of the cult is to spread The Voice’s brand of corruption. Its Agents, as they prefer to be called, are performance artists, politicians, lawyers, gangsters and businessmen. Most come into Eshsalqua’s service after cutting a deal with The Dark Patron for their heart’s desire, normally something to do with fame, fortune, and power, only to find themselves under its thumb and their soul the property of Eshsalqua. Few come without coercion to the service of Eshsalqua, but those who do become the dark clerics called Feathermen, for their touch is light. They act as dispatchers, helping other Agents seek out the vulnerable, the ambitious and others prone to the master’s corrupting influence. A set-aside room beneath a theater, courthouse or high council chambers is often marked with a red feather, as a temple for Its worship.
Eshsalqua has a nemesis that has dogged The Voice across the realities. Long ago, Veiloaria was dubbed anathema by the Agents and Feathermen of Eshsalqua, for to say her name was a curse to the ears of the Dark Patron. The Voice of Corruption and the Eternal Traveler have been at odds for eons. Eshsalqua’s “recent” arrival instantly rekindled their struggle. Veiloaria’s Xia are always on the watch for Eshsalqua’s Agents, who would corrupt and devour their fellow travelers.
Those seeking Eshsalqua’s favor, and those wishing to renew their spells for the day must “sing for their supper” so to speak. The Songs of Power is a divinely-inspired book, both of hymn and prayer, that sets the strict and specific guidelines of how one must sing to please The Voice. Like the mockingbird, the sacred animal of Eshsalqua, its devoted sing at night; a ghostly, beautiful song floating through the halls of power often signifies a Featherman renewing his spells before sleep.
The following religion traits may be chosen by worshipers of this deity.
Gift of the Master Gambler
Eshsalqua has seen fit to gift you with the power of obfuscation.
Sound of Corruption
The Dark Patron has given you an aspect of its voice.
The Gods of Porphyra © 2012, Purple Duck Games; Authors: Christopher Kaiser, Perry Fehr, Mark Gedak, August Hahn, John Hazen, Sean Holland, Sam Hing, James H. Lewis, Chris Longhurst, Scott Messer, Sean O’Connor, David Nicholas Ross, and Jeremy Whalen