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ITZAL, GOD OF SHADOWS

Itzalite History
Once an Elven Arch-mage of Fire, Itzal discovered that the properties of fire could be manipulated with the air element through alchemy to create a Shadow element that had never before been seen. He also inadvertently discovered an additional element, the balancing power of Light, but attempted to conceal its existence. It was revealed to the world when Astraeva attained the favor of the Gods and Goddesses to control it. After having vanished and been considered dead for a number of years, Itzal reemerged as the powerful God of Shadows.
Itzal's army had a considerable advantage in the Shadow and Light wars due to a dangerous deal between he and the goblin clan leaders. It led to a massive renouncing of elemental Gods in favor of their new Lord of Shadows. Alongside the humans and vukasins, Itzal's forces would fight to introduce a new force in the world, and the birth of a new deity.
Accepted Races
Humans and vukasins make up the largest portion of the Itzalite community, with goblins also serving a prominent role in Itzal's army due to their continued exile from all other religions except Pyrous, the God of Fire. While not the largest representation, bolinaus who follow a life of treasure seeking often associate themselves with Itzalite beliefs and self-interest. Gargoyles are less frequent to come across as their abrupt behavior often does not cater to the more common professions of Itzal, though it is not unheard of for one to be lurking in the shadows.
Accepted Professions
Like other religions, Itzal has its share of priests and templars to guide and protect its members, but the majority of itzalites come from the thief, assassin, arcanist, and scout professions. Warriors and barbarians are less common and set upon their paths at an early age to strengthen Itzal's presence in areas of possible control within the city of Pearl. Itzalite warriors are often chosen when a new knight marshal is appointed. Temple leadership consists of two ranking members: A spiritual leader, most often a priest, but on occasion there have been templars to serve this role, and a rogue leader, chosen from the ranks of scouts, assassins, thieves, and arcanists. The two work together to advance Itzalite ideals and spread Itzal's influence throughout the city. With the crown belonging to Astraeva, many Itzalites are merchants in the Archai Trading Company, amassing wealth and power through commerce.
Colors, Sigils, and Other Representations
Itzal is most often represented in dark shades of purple and black. A black dragon became the official seal on Itzalite banners leading upto the Great Shattering after Itzal assisted the first black dragon to ever reach adulthood. After the disappearance of Esryl the Black, many itzalites adopted a closer resemblance of their community in the image of crows or ravens, most often in large amounts and in an ebony tree. A symbol of their imposing strength when united as one. Those with more self-satisfying interests identify with the panther as their sigil of choice, likening to its life of solitude, prowess, and stealth. The wood from those ebony trees is coveted in Itzalite architecture and often worn as jewelry. More flamboyant members often adorn themselves in jewelry studded with onyx and amethyst. The two are worn both individually and together equally. Although not officially recognized, nightshade is often associated with Itzal due to its heavy use among arcanists and assassins.
Beliefs and Characteristics
Itzalites have calculating and manipulative tendencies, having adapted those tactics to overcome centuries of backlash from many adversaries. Greed and deception play significant roles in their judgment. Itzalites rely heavily on their quick-witted survival tactics, camaraderie, deceit, politics, and the corruptions of said politics. They also make excellent politicians, lacking the moral obstacles hindering the other elements in negotiations. All Itzalites are taught at a young age to look for opportunities of advancement; to take the shortest road possible to the top. Despite being heavily vested in their own self worth, Itzalites use their positions of power to further their collective ideals. They do not often display it publicly, but when cornered there is no tougher group to defeat. They quickly put aside differences to protect their way of life when it is threatened.
Interacting With Other Religions
Itzal's religion is at considerable odds with the elements of Light and Air, due to its uncanny reputation for negatively influencing bureaucracy and constraining local business. There are some associations with the religion of Pyrous. They have a mutual appreciation for chaos and destruction, but many still seethe over who is to blame for Itzal's renouncement from Pyrous. Itzalites have been known to shift alliances, often favoring those whom oppose Pearl. Several times they've supported Kalesian forces at sea against the Astraevan-heavy Archai Trading Company and Royal Fleet. It is because of Itzal that the world of Archai had been shattered. The catastrophic events of history are irreversible, no longer can the Gods and Goddesses sit idle while time progresses. Now that Gods have displayed direct influence over their followers, Itzal's ranks continue to swell with arcanists, goblins, and other rapscallions; all becoming a formidable force in the cityscape of Pearl.

Read more about Itzal in the following selections from the libraries of Archai:
Before the Shattering: Itzal and Astraeva
The Shadows of Itzal
 
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