Maltam, the Sanctuary
Alignment: Lawful Neutral
Domains: Artifice, Community, Darkness, Law, Plant
Subdomains: Cooperation, Growth, Industry, Legislation
Favored weapon: Axe
Symbol: A towering tree, its upper reaches carved in the shape of a castle’s towers.
The night has produced more than horrors and emptiness. According to Rastvellan belief, all things came from the Rast, and this includes mortals and their settlements. In this sense, civilization itself is considered a facet of darkness. This is Maltam, also known as The Sanctuary. A dark street lit only with the glow of carefully-spaced torches, a secret bazaar milling and bustling under the moonlight, the black silhouette of Velkogn’s towers against the starry sky; these are all the domain of Maltam.
The Sanctuary is normally portrayed in art and legend as a great, musclebound man, clad in wooden armor. In his right hand he holds a solid woodcutting axe, and his left grasps the straps of a rope harness, slung across his back to carry the large bundle of freshly-hewn logs he carries with him. Maltam’s hair is long and dark, pouring over itself in flowing waves of stygian blackness to the small of his back. Prone to laugh and with a boisterous attitude, his rough appearance belies a cunning mind and a steady hand.
As implied by his appearance, Maltam is normally a benevolent Aspect, guiding mortals in their development of civilization and the growth of their cities, Rastvel in particular. However, he is also known to scheme and plot, seeking to increase his own power and status, and more than willing to use those who worship him as tools to further his own ends. In this sense, he also represents the darker side of civilization; the power plays and intrigue which are inevitable in any large organization of mortals.
Among those who worship The Sanctuary are woodcutters, builders, artisans, and all those who earn their living through the use of their hands and their mind. Politicians also observe his Aspect regularly, as Maltam is thought to help advance the agendas of those he favors. This practice is viewed with a certain amount of irony by the common people of Rastvel,. as their leaders pay homage to the image of a man most of them would not to talk to if he approached them on the street.