The mythology of Shankhil is not written in any text, not even the Divine Record; it is passed by word of mouth between priests and monks of his faith. Apparently Shankhil was valet to a king in a land long since fallen to dust, in a reality long passed on. He wanted for nothing, and made no waves. It came to pass that a plague swept the land, killing peasant and noble alike. His wife and child fell ill and Shankhil prayed to all the gods he knew to save them. The plague raged on. Desperate, Shankhil prayed to Death itself, the first time it had known worship. Flattered, Death came to Shankhil, a being unknown and unknowable, no matter how cultists may rave and gibber of its characteristics. They spoke “at length” of all passings and turnings, harvest and transit, mortality and judgment, night and day, seasons and eons. Shankhil rose to let his guest out and it smiled and touched Shankhil’s face, leaving the mark of eclipse upon it. It gave him a dark blade, a symbol of ending and separation. It gave him a coin; the shape of the moon, the sun and all time. Shankhil bowed and accepted the gifts and thus became divine. Death resumed its work and the kingdom fell to dust. The divine Shankhil sent his family, the only survivors, through a doorway of his creation and-when his present world crumbled to dust, he followed, making the transition to the world and assuming his role as Gatekeeper there.
Shankhil’s religion is secretive, yet omnipresent. A clerical or monastic servant of The Gatekeeper serves quietly in many roles in many places: Khilite mortician-priests easing the soul’s transition to the next life, clerics keeping records of the harvest and using magic to keep stored grain safe, monkish advisor-bodyguards of politicians and judges, and the unflappable Methysti, the Khilite order that patrols and maintains the borders. The Methysti are recognizable by their robes of half white, half purple, rather than pure white of typical Khilites. Methysti keep towers of purple stone at important border crossings, rather than the usual unobtrusive whitewashed shrines. The cult of Shankhil holds the equinoxes and solstices as sacred days of prayer and fasting. It is on these days that the Priest Mediums of Shankhil pitch their tents in the marketplace and offer contact with the dead for an offering to the cult. Solar eclipses are marked as high holy days and they believe that The Doorman of Eternity walks the world during this time. It is then that the new High Ancestor, (an honorary descendant of Shankhil) is chosen, leader of the Khilite faith.
To gain their spells and show their devotion, priests of Shankhil pray toward the rising and setting sun each day. If serving on a border, a Methysti will read the log of the day’s crossings as a mantra-like chant; standing within earshot will reveal much. The Border Logs contain as much history, intrigue and discussion of life and death as any holy text. Special prayers are said by all Khilites during tumultuous weather, such as thunderstorms and tornados, omens from The Twilight Man.
The following religion traits may be chosen by worshipers of this deity.
Child of the Coin
Your god has given you insight into the hearts of all.
Cog in the Great Machine
Shankhil has opened your eyes to the true nature of cause and effect.
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