Esteemed Seeker,

You are a bold one indeed to initiate such an inquiry! Our Order respects that, despite our rather significant differences theologically. You will note that I insist on the truth of what I write; Exus is a mighty warrior and is our God-Guardian; however, as one theologian writing to another, I will adopt a slightly more academic manner, out of respect for my peers on the mainland.

I will begin with the doctrine of the Temple of Thania, as theirs is the older position. In their readings, the Temple decided (long ago, in councils whose documents are woefully lost to time) that Thania alone occupies the pinnacle of Godhood, and that, while she is not per se the font of godhead, she is the lone divine capable of deposition: that is, the death of another divine. She proved these capabilities with the deposition of The Mother and Father, Cyra and Ralis. Attempts were made by the other divines, Exus, Iva, and Hral, to jointly depose Thania, but they were unable, as the very act of deposition is one of death and it is Thania alone who wields that power. Thus it became that Death rules over divine beings much as it rules our mortal lives.

The Order takes a different reading. It is the newer reading of our accumulated scripture and lore, codified at the Council of the Second Fleet, attended by devoted theologians like Penelope of Llewyn and Brykos Thunderoar. This reading holds that deposition is not an inborn aspect of death, but rather, it is an act that can be performed by a sufficiently capable being like a man may slay another. This act is suffused with the aspects of both death and war, and the implication is clear, that Exus and Thania rule jointly in the celestial spheres—and thus, on our mortal plane.

It is our belief, indeed, that Thania did not act alone in the deposition of Cyra and Ralis. Eternity and War had become wed, and all of time was occupied with the warring of the souls. Their children, among them Thania and Exus, saw how the spirits on what would become mundus warred and suffered eternally, and so they devised a solution: Death. They intended to separate Eternity into the aspects of Death and Life, and so Thania would take and became Death, and Exus would take the remainder of Eternity, Life, and he would also take and become War, thus becoming the God of Warriors. With the approval of their siblings, they deposed Cyra and Ralis, and our mortal world was born thusly.

It can be seen from this that Exus is no mere arbiter of strength, but he champions for us mortals in the Realms. Indeed, we see this in his commandments unto us, that we fight for those who cannot against those who would have them suffer. He commands us to take up our sword to push back evil, even if it does not encroach. These are not the commandments of a mere judge.

You will see these doctrines and these commandments enshrined in our art. Like the mainland icons, our icons of Thania represent her only with her eyes closed, for only the dead may meet her eyes. But, too, Exus’ icons must always depict a sheathed sword, for only the dead may feel its edge. Many icons take this a step further; one of the finest statues in our world resides in the base of the North Tower, depicting Exus offering his sword’s hilt, as a squire might, and this hilt may be touched from a walkway on the tower’s sixth story. This iconifies two things: that only the living may grasp his sword’s hilt, and that one of the greatest acts of altruism in Exus’ name is to teach the ways of war to those who need it—in that way, one does not merely offer their strength in a fight, but they offer their teachings, and in a way, their sword, in all fights thereafter. His round shield, too, is a feature in most icons, so as to better represent his command to fight with balance and discipline, and not alone a tenacious offense. His armor differs from icon to icon; it is said that he wears that which is exactly suited to the environs he campaigns in. And finally, he wears a beard hoary with experience, a mouth that smiles pridefully upon his mortal charges, and eyes ever vigilant upon the horizon.

That should be a sufficient introduction to the matters for a Seeker such as yourself. If you wish to inquire further after any of this, I welcome you to reply and do so, or to even pay a visit to the North Tower in Tyrapolis (a finer city I have never found!).

Yours in correspondence,
Alexos the Giant