Greg Sez: Enemy Gods (2009)

Published 15th Aug 2009

Question from Patrick Anders, answer by Greg Stafford.

Zorak Zoran certainly gets around. He appears, usually as a villain, in the myth-cycles of the Orlanthi, Yelm, Praxians, and Aldryami. How does such a god no one seems to worship, except for a few Trolls, have so much power? And what are the goals of his cult in the coming age?

Zorak Zoran is a good example to illustrate the phenomena of enemy gods in a pantheon.In pantheistic worship, all of the deities in a particular pantheon are “fed” by the sacrifices to anyone in the pantheon, even when the sacrificer is a devotee or priest of a particular deity. Thus, a worshipper of the Celestial pantheon may sacrifice only to Lodril, but Lodril in effect “shares his worship” with everyone that he is associated with, such as Oria, his sons and daughters and even his enemies. This is the nature of pantheism. Zorak Zoran thus receives worship whenever any of the trolls engage in communal worship.Furthermore, he gets plenty of propitiatory worship in his own right. Everyone who is afraid of him makes some sacrifices to keep him away, essentially by “buying him off.” [This includes not just trolls, but anyone else who lives near where he or his worshippers are active.]

Finally, he even gets power when he is defeated by his enemies. He is necessary to the nature of the world, and thus gets some sacrifice for it.

His goals are the same as they have always been: to destroy his foes, avenge his friends, and protect Kyger Litor.

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