Babeester Gor was born from the dead body of her mother, Ernalda, during the Darkness. She peered around and saw everything there was to see, and then set off upon her task as the Earth Avenger. She knew how to find the murderers of her kinswomen, and knew the powers to make them know fear, make them suffer terribly and to destroy them. She made a victory drink from her foe’s blood. Babeester Gor killed all her foes until at last she faced Ovodaka, the Last Guardian, who held all the other goddesses prisoner. Babeester Gor let Ovodaka kill her, but came back to life by drinking her own blood; and then killed Ovodaka. The other goddesses were released and the world came back to life. Babeester Gor, often now called Ura — the Pleasant One — took the role of Guardian to prevent anyone else from trying to harm her kinswomen.
Cultists must drink the blood beer to use the magic, and often appear slightly tipsy. They are celibate, ruthless, murderous, unsocial and terrifying to all normal people. They paint their faces and lower limbs black most of the time, which gives them magical protection against all weapons, and for specific tasks use other colors. Red hands and feet with black arms and legs indicates they are man-killing; white on right limbs and green on the left indicates they are spirit-killing; red and yellow face, with yellow and red stripes along arms and legs indicate they intend to kill an entire bloodline, clan or similar kin group; and so on.
Barntar the Plowman is the son of Orlanth and Ernalda. He is the simple, honest carl who works hard to feed the people of his clan and bloodline. He is very strong and can beat any other Thunderbrother at arm wrestling. One time Orlanth bruised his son’s feelings so he refused to plow until Ernalda showed her husband the pact that would honor their son and make him happy. Another time the Stone People came and turned the earth to rock, Barntar worked for nine years and nine days, until it was plowed again. When the Plant People covered the earth with noxious weeds, he did not rest until he had pulled each one up. Another time Daga hid Barntar away from his people who went hungry, so Ernalda (or Hedkoranth, or Heort, or some other hero) went to Starvation Hills and released him from a jug. He is sometimes tempted by a mysterious deity called the Grape Woman, but is eventually rescued by some god or another, and goes back to his fields, to work.
Heortling Deer, White Deer
|Ages: Grey Age, Dawn Age|
Distribution: Dragon Pass area
Habitat: Snowy, long-winter area.
The white deer of Dragon Pass are extinct in the modern world, but are still known by the people because of the persistence of their appearance.
Heort is known to have been of the Winter Deer clan, which accounts for this association. However, the clan of Heort and the species of white deer both died out shortly after the Dawn. Heort’s customs and rules are still followed by all right-thinking people. The deer appear to those folks in time of need.In Game Terms: when someone offers a general prayer to their Orlanthi gods to ask for help, it often appears in this form, and then disappears after the prayer is answered.
Bevara was a heroine of the Grey Age. She knew Heort, and when he was once wounded by uz, Bevara bore him away to safety. Her bandages have always, since then, healed all Heortling tribesmen, and also all Heortling Deer. Her cultists bear her rune upon an amulet, and often elsewhere, but have no other specific uniform or cult dress.
The god Gustbran was exiled from the Fire Tribe because the Emperor said that his desire to make new things was the same as rebellion. “You are as bad as that foolish god Orlanth,” said the Emperor’s sycophants. So Gustbran went to Orlanth who welcomed him. Later when the Emperor attacked Orlanth then Gustbran offered to make magical weapons for the battle. Gustbran has loyally served Orlanth ever since.
Hedkoranth is a leader among the Thunder Brothers. He can make the Thunderstone do great marvels and tricks, and its powers made him the victor of the three battles of Thrinbarri. At Thrinbarri of the Clouds he defeated Venebain, the Attacker From Above [note: a solar foe, of heavenly origin and planetary powers]. At Thrinbarri of the Stone he defeated Golagolar, Fighting Man of the Armies [also called General of Dara Happa]. At Thrinbarri of the Roofs he overcame Sevsalsal [Great Poison Breath].
Hedkoranth is the son of Orlanth and the woman named Arvena.
Humakt is one of Orlanth’s brothers, and was always loyal to him at first, just one of many of the Thunderbrothers. But one day Humakt obtained Death, which had never been in the world before. Orlanth stole it from Humakt and severed their brotherhood forever. Later Orlanth apologized, but Humakt had to cut himself from Orlanth’s kin and family, and set out across the world alone to recover the Lost Sword that was Death. In the Gods War almost everything was killed before Humakt recovered the primal power. Then he killed Orlanth, but let his brother arise again through the Lightbringer’s Quest. This was the secret of Death, and in return Orlanth gave Humakt his place among the gods of the Pantheon. Now Humakt is Orlanth’s Sword against any foe.
Issaries is the son of Larnste and Harana Ilor. He is of the oldest tribe of gods, before they were associated with elemental bodies at all. His first task was to bear messages between Sky and Earth as they flirted, before they conceived their terrible child.
In the Golden Age he once conciliated a peace between the Emperor and the barbarian Orlanth. He made something from nothing: mules were born after he borrowed some creatures from friends. He taught a secret language to Humakt one time, in trade for protection. He often walked alone, where no one else had been. He settled for a while at Kurza, Out There; at Naraza, Hidden; and Garza, Trading Camp.
Issaries made peace with Orlanth early, helping in the Storm Tribe rituals and ceremonies that made the world. He settled with that tribe, and his sons Harst and Garzeen and Goldentongue were born amidst them. But the march of Death troubled his sensitive and harmonious nature, and so he prepared his Great Passage and set off to find the light of communication. His particular foe is Hu, the Nine Silences.
Issaries subcults are generally based around specific types of jobs within the general mercantile system. Harst is the collector of Spare Grain into silos, and has no full time priests anywhere though godis take his role every harvest season. Garzeen is the market merchant, the middle man in transactions. Gultha, called “Goldentongue,” is the wanderer whose primary assets are wit, stories and mobility. In Prax the Desert Trackers are merchants cursed to help rebuild Genert. Heralds exist, a specialized class of speakers in governmental matters.
Kolat is the son of Umath and Kal, a spirit entity. The earliest winds were wild and untamed from every world that they came from. Only later, when Vingkot was king, did the winds finally become separated from each other. Then everyone discovered that Kolat was a spirit, not a god! But Kolat had, by that time, been a well accepted member of the Storm Tribe, and such is the Orlanthi way that no one objected. He became the sole male repository of spirit power among the Orlanthi. He is the male shaman of the Orlanthi, accepted by his peoples while still acknowledged to be strange by them. The Kolatings, as the shamans are called, are a necessary part of the pantheon, though actually rare among them, because everyone knows that Kolat, Orlanth’s foreign companion, still defended the people when the Spirit World invaded in force. His particular foe has been, since then, Lord Karjakan, a Great Spirit of the Spirit World.
Mostal and Orenoar, that is, of Mountain and Truth. Lhankor Mhy was from the Old Tribe and lived upon the Spike in his youth. He remembered everything he ever saw or learned, though he was not asked to tell about anything until Orlanth, always seeking to fix what he’d wronged, asked him. Furthermore Lhankor Mhy proved his worth because he could discern and state the Cosmic Law which rules gods, and the Law which worshippers must follow to survive. He is a Lightbringer, who sought the light of intelligence that had been killed. His particular foe is Thanatar, the head hunting chaos god.
The hunter god is a kinsman of Orlanth, brother or son or uncle. He got famous for being a bear-hunter, and afterwards took the form of the storm bear. He often helped Orlanth when the Darkness began, but he was always a bit distant, living in the woods and wilds, rarely showing up at the stead of the great god. When the Great Darkness came Odayling tribe was prepared, and a great number of them survived in Sylila at the Dawn.
When Ernalda and her kin went to the Emperor’s Court all of the goddesses went away from the Earth Tribe. The land seemed unnatural and wild. Her people wept. “Without Ernalda who can intercede for us?” they cried. But Ernalda, with her last breath, told them to find Serdrodosa. Serdrodosa was called the Earth Witch, and she worshipped spirits and so was an outcast and a crazy woman. Serdrodosa showed the tribe how to work with the Aradangi, or “spirits of the wild,” and so they were at peace.
Orlanth brought Ernalda home, and they married. Most of the earth tribe returned to Ernalda, but a few worshipped in the ways taught by Serdrodosa. In the Gods War Ernalda protected Serdrodosa, even when Orlanth insisted that all spirit beings must be banished. Later, during the Great Spirit Invasions Serdrodosa protected whomever had protected her, so Ernalda was untouched and Orlanth was scorched by them. He has been angry at her ever since, and no man would ever join her tradition.
But when Ernalda and the goddesses did the Great Sleep in the Darkness, Earth Witch was still loyal and the Aradangi protected the people through the Darkness. At last Ernalda woke and her people joined her again, but a few remained with the Earth Witch, as always.
Vanganth became great in the Middle Storm Age, among the Vingkotlings. He was a person who learned how to fly through the air in his human body, like the gods seemed to do. He taught it to his kinfolk, who were all natural flyers, and they turned the tide at Sina, during the Second Killer Waves Battle. He also taught it to anyone else who could learn, and those are the antecedents of his cultists today.
Yinkin’s earliest life was solitary. He groomed, stalked, explored and learned to bite before he told anyone his name. Each wife of his was seduced differently, and each of them bore a different litter, and each of them waits for him still and are glad when he drops by. When the Beast Wars began Yinkin was seized by the Serpentbeast Brotherhood, who planned to kill him because he was part god and part spirit. Orlanth saved his brother, and asked nothing in return but fraternal duty. After that the Brotherhood seized Yinkin again and demanded that he choose to follow his father, the great beast spirit Fralar, but Yinkin was loyal to Orlanth and called for the Thunderer, who appeared and freed Yinkin again. Finally, as Darkness fell, the Brotherhood invaded again, trying to seize all of the game animals to take away. Yinkin fought tooth to tooth and claw to claw with Telmor, and he kept many creatures alive in Dragon Pass because he and his followers defeated the Brotherhood.
The Thunder Brothers are a collective, and almost never get worship as a group except as the following of an individual. Orlanth is the usual leader, but he is often absent and some one of the Thunder Brothers is the leader. It is like a gang whose leadership changes according to the task at hand. In rituals most worshippers are part of the Thunder Brothers crowd during the mythic events.
The Enemy Deities
Most deities have one or more specific, notable foes. Those foes were (usually) defeated in mythic times, resulting in the creation of the current world, and may be considered to be a structure of the divine world that underlies the everyday world. Most are daimones, and unworshipped.
How these Appear
In modern times these are indeed petty entities that have a divine or spirit existence. However, they are petty because they have no more worshippers. Nonetheless they are the entity that appears in ceremonies and myths, initiations and sometimes even as the spirit of reprisal punishing wrong-doers.
Nonetheless, they appear whenever they are aroused. Arousal may come form a regular seasonal cause (example), or from a group somewhere simply generating enough hatred and anger to awaken the god and energize it briefly; or whenever a foes of a particular type prepares for actual battle or invasion. Any of those causes will generate a reaction in the divine place that will send a message of some sort to the recipient of this hatred.
This “enemy god” arrives or sends some sort of message that alerts the deity to trouble someplace. This messenger is generally recognizable as a foe that is easily beaten if procedures are followed. The defender simply performs ceremonies that reenact the original victory and overcomes the invader.
In the earliest ages of history outsiders had no contact or knowledge of these “enemy deities” of each other’s pantheons. The defenders first noticed patterns of their enemies who did appear in support of these deities. For instance, whenever Shargashi or Yelmites attacked in force they were led by Venebain, but when worshippers of Urvairinus came they were preceded by Golagolar. In the last thousand years knowledge has passed over borders and between cultures, and some people are unscrupulous enough to manipulate them. Dara Happa has, for centuries, made special sacrifices to these deities that strengthen them, and sometimes can hold them back to act as allies of the greater force. The Lunar Empire is at work trying to reduce these to just masks ‚ disguises for other deities.
In general, these entities do not appear as the specific enemy of other cults or of other deities within their pantheon. These enemy gods are by practice and reality, limited to their specific mythological foes.
Divine foe of Hedkoranth. Golagolar means “Fighting Man of the Armies,” and he is also called General of Dara Happa. He is identified with Urvairinus, but also works with other Dara Happan war gods.
Divine foe of Issaries, he is called “the Nine Silences” because of the powers that he used to attack Issaries. His name, a breathy puff, is the only sound Hu ever makes, and it has a thousand variations to carry his magic.
Foe of Kolat, it is a Great Lord of the Spirit World. Karjakan led a huge spirit attack upon the whole world that temporarily conquered it all during the Darkness. Kolat seized his own spirits back and defended the Heortlings. Karjakan now rules his own segment of the Spirit World and musters a core of spirits that attack the Heortlings, as well as various random entities that Karjakan captures.
Divine foe of Babeester Gor, called the Last Guardian. Ovodaka is a demon god of death, the underworld and darkness, perhaps even of chaos. It exists where it can not be seen underneath the God World, and there he holds the victims that Babeester Gor sends to her.
Foe of Yinkin, this is another name for a Hsunchen alliance that was active in Dragon Pass. They were part of a larger Beast War which erupted over and over again in the Storm and Darkness Ages.
Sevsalsal [Great Poison Breath]
Divine foe of Hedkoranth, this is a wind that went bad and formed a storm like a kingdom of his own. It moved to Thrinbarri and devastated the lands before Hedkoranth and the Thunderbrothers defeated them.
Divine foe of Lhankor Mhy. Thanatar is called the head hunting Chaos god. His priests can imprison men’s souls into their decapitated heads and steal magic and life from them.
Divine foe of Hedkoranth, whose name means “Attacker From Above.” He is of heavenly origin and leads planetary powers. He is called the “skirmisher of Shargash” and “of the Archer” and of “the Young God” and “of Polaris” because he is the front man for those deities.