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Saturday, April 17, 2021

H is for Hriháyal (Empire of the Petal Throne / Tékumel) #AtoZChallenge2021



H is for Hriháyal, the Dancing Maiden of Temptation, Whore of the Five Worlds, Mistress of the Thirty-Two Unspeakable Acts, and Corhort / Handmaiden of Dlamélish.

She is the hedonist of mysteries, the wanton goddess of the innermost desire, the forgotten dream remembered, and the lady of luck. Her temples are often found scattered in the depths of the underworld away from the prying and judgmental eyes of society. 

Her temple is one of extremes probably best left unsaid. I imagine a game with a priestess who belongs to this goddess often fades to black a lot before it turns into a Friday night on Cinemax. Hehe. 

Astrology: Unknown.

Clothing of Priests and Worshipers: Diaphanous robes of green and purple, anklets and bracelets of silver chains, and headdresses of silver shaped like snakes.

Colors of the God: Green, black, purple, and silver.

Holy Symbol: A silver oval with a wavy emeral line drawn through it horizontally.

Numerology: Unknown.

For more information on the goddess see Mitlanyál Volume 2: The Gods of Stability by Robert Alberti and M.A.R. Barker.

H is for Hnálla (Empire of the Petal Throne / Tékumel) #AtoZChallenge2021


H is for Hnálla, the Supreme Principle of Good, the Lord Whose Name May Not Be Known, Master of Light and Foe of Evil.

This god is the final goal of the other gods of Stability. In many ways this god is the extreme version of that alignment. It is opposite in all ways to the Lords of Change. It's a typical sun god/goddess in most ways and has some monothiestic traits from our real world. It opposes evil and darkness, and it is almost bland in a way because of that. I find the other gods to be more interesting.

I do like that this god/goddess is treated more like a vague force than a regular deity. The fact that it is treated as being beyond gender is the most interesting thing about it. 

Astrology: The heavenly body associated with Lord Hnálla is yellow-white Tuléng, the Sun.

Clothing of Priests and Worshipers: White robes and silver skullcaps.

Colors of the God: White, clear substances, and silver.

Holy Symbol: Infinity symbol with wings attached.

Numerology: the number 1 and the letter K.

For more information on the goddess see Mitlanyál Volume 2: The Gods of Stability by Robert Alberti and M.A.R. Barker.

Sunday, April 11, 2021

D is for Durritlámish (Empire of the Petal Throne / Tékumel) #AtoZChallenge2021


D is for Durritlámish, the Black Angel of the Putrescent Hand, He of the Rotted Face, Opener of Catacombs, and Cohort of Sárku. He is often depicted as a rotted corpse seated upon a throne of broken bones, and holding a bowl from which smoke issues forth. It is said that the cohort can view all of the life-skeins of the creatures in the universe. He aids those who deal with the undead, and aid the creatures of the underworld. 

I ran a few sessions of Empire of the Petal Throne at my local gaming club, and all of the player characters were devoted to Sárku or his cohort Durritlámish. In the end all of them became Jájgi (intelligent undead) as a reward for their service to both of their temples. They had to go down into the depths of the underworld to recover various artifacts devoted to their gods. They had to fend off a few other adventuring parties (also hired by the temples...), as well as a host of other nasty monstrosities, and even a metal humanoid that time had forgotten. Good times.


Astrology: Unknown

Clothing of Priests & Worshipers: Brown and purple robes, brown lacquered armor, and they paint their faces like corpses. 

Colors of the God: Black, Brown, and Purple.

Holy Symbol: A stylized Vessel of the Vision of the World.

Numerology: Unknown

For more information on the goddess see Mitlanyál Volume 2: The Gods of Stability by Robert Alberti and M.A.R. Barker.


G is for Grugánu (Empire of the Petal Throne / Tékumel) #AtoZChallenge2021



G is for Grugánu, the Knower of Spells, Black Sword of Doom, Reader of the Incantations of Evil, and the Servant of Ksárul. He is depicted as a hulking half-human anthropoidal monstrosity concealed in voluminous black robes. Its head is that of a vicious buzzard. 

Those who work evil in the shadows and cast evil spells, and perform dark rituals often call upon Grugánu and his demons. The god capriciously aids those who fight goodness/stability by granting spells from bygone eras. He is said to search and collect these forgotten arcane incantations, rituals, and spells for his master.

In many ways I think of this god as Ksárul's minion / sidekick. He is a bit one dimensional, but he does not have to be. I can see him more in contact with the demons and rituals used to bring them forth. He would make for a great messenger as well since his master is trapped in the Blue Room. Grugánu is always searching for the keys needed to bypass the walls imprisoning his master, and he would most likely aid any who share his goal to free him.


Astrology: Unknown

Clothing of Priests & Worshipers: His priests and priestesses wear robes of black and purple, and their headdresses have black felt with the god's symbol upon it.

Colors of the God: Black, dark purple, and a blue so dark that it is almost hard to distinguish it from black.

Holy Symbol: An open hand with clawed fingers outspread with silver upon it.

Numerology: Unknown

For more information on the goddess see Mitlanyál Volume 2: The Gods of Stability by Robert Alberti and M.A.R. Barker.


Friday, April 9, 2021

F is for the Force (Star Wars) #AtoZChallenge2021



F is for the Force from Star Wars. What can I say about the Force that you haven't heard already? Good question. Hmm...

“The ability to destroy a planet is insignificant next to the power of the Force.”

Even as a child I had a tough time buying that line. I've always thought of the Force Abilities as mostly localized phenomena, like choking a guy, or influencing stormtroopers. There are exceptions of course, like the following quote. 

“I felt a great disturbance in the if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror, and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened.”

There are some abilities that can travel great distances, such as Leia receiving telepathic messages from Luke, and Vader sensing Luke (and vice versa).

These abilities are rather "miraculous" which is why I put this post in my alphabetical series on RPG gods. I've used a generic form of the Force in several fantasy campaigns, and if you think about it there are many similarities to the Dragon in the movie Excalibur that Merlin talks about.

“Remember, A Jedi’s Strength Flows From The Force. But Beware: Anger, Fear, Aggression – The Dark Side, Are They.”

On one hand I like the Good/Evil dichotomy, but I like to think about Grey Jedi who balance the light and dark in some balanced and nuanced way.

“Well, the Force is what gives a Jedi his power. It is an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us; it binds the galaxy together.”

That part about the living things got tarnished with the Midichlorians in the prequels, so I tend to take a more original trilogy / mystical approach to the Force. In some ways, as in many sci-fi games, these abilities are described as having biological origins in the brain. In my own version of the setting, I would emphasize the mystery and enigma of it without explaining it to death.

“Size matters not. Look at me. Judge me by my size, do you? Hmm? Hmm. And well, you should not. For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is. Life creates it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us and binds us. Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter. You must feel the Force around you; here, between you, me, the tree, the rock, everywhere, yes. Even between the land and the ship.”

Here Yoda talks about spirit or soul or something similar; a form of energy that can persist beyond the natural lifespan of a mortal. This is again rather supernatural (cough, Force Ghost, cough). 

Star Wars to me is one of the best sci-fantasy settings out there. I know there is a lot of nostalgia and bias in me, and that's... okay. :D

“Remember, the force will be with you, always.”

Thursday, April 8, 2021

E is for Erlik (Conan / Hyborian Age) #AtoZChallenge2021


E is for Erlik from the Conan / Hyborian Age setting. He as known as the Flame Lord, and The God of the Yellow Hand of Death. The devout Hrykanians following his tenets founded the Turanian Empire. His teachings are struct but his priests do not follow the devine edicts to the letter of the law. 

Erlik is said to have been the first living human but born without a soul or spirit. As a punishment for him trying to create other living creatures he was banushed to the underworld. 

The priests teach that the soul must be strengthened through deprivation, hardship, struggle, and toil. Once the soul has departed, the god claims them for his own. All those who draw not breath are his, including the undead. 

Terrible knowledge of necromancy is known to Erlik's priests, who are also able to sink bodily into the bowels of the earth.

I tend to like fire deities, but this one gets the bonus of focusing on undead as well. What's not to like? Perhaps only fiery undead pillaging a town would be cooler. *Whoosh*

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

D is for Dilinála (Empire of the Petal Throne / Tékumel) #AtoZChallenge2021


D is for Dilinála, The Lovely Maiden of the Turquoise Crown, Aid of Lovers, Solace of the Weary, Handmaiden of Avánthe, and Spiritual Daughter of Hnálla.

She is represented as pure and holy, offering care to those who find it not in the corrupt world. She is the innocent maid, the loving sister, the confidence of a mature woman comforting her lover in times of trouble. She is often called upon by women in various stages of life, to share their concerns and troubles with. She provides strength in the wisdom gained through trial and tribulation.

Out of the cohorts she is one of my favorites.

Astrology: Unknown

Clothing of Priests and Worshipers: Blue and white robes, and small tiaras of emeralds, turquoises, or other blue gems. 

Colors of the Goddess: Blue and white.

Holy Symbol: A hand extended, palm down.

For more information on the goddess see Mitlanyál Volume 2: The Gods of Stability by Robert Alberti and M.A.R. Barker.

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

D is for Drá (Empire of the Petal Throne / Tékumel) #AtoZChallenge2021


D is for Drá the Uncaring, The Singer of the Hymns of the Gods, The Unkempt One, and Cohort of Hnálla.

Drá is an odd cohort, one that is perhaps beyond the understanding of humankind. He cares not for many things one would think a deity should care about. I think I like him because of that though. His mind must be filled with original music and the old classics. Perhaps he is focused on ideals that are loftier than the mundane concerns of us mere mortals.

His worshipers are a mystical lot, and attempt to mimic their cohort's indifference to the world, and ignore its joy and misery. Drá reminds me a little of ascetic Hindu and Buddhist monks and I rather like that. Perhaps he espouses that attachment equals suffering, but even that seems like too much work for this god. Hehe.

In many ways perhaps he is like Morla the Ancient One (the big tortoise or turtle) in The Neverending Story. He has grown indifferent to the fate of mortals and most likely only cares about musicians and their music.

Astrology: Unknown

Clothing of Priests and Worshipers: They tend to wear patchwork white and tan robes and care little for their outward appearance.

Colors of the God: White and tan.

Holy Symbol: Two circles connected horizontally with a wavy line.

Numerology: Unknown.

For more information on the goddess see Mitlanyál Volume 2: The Gods of Stability by Robert Alberti and M.A.R. Barker.

Monday, April 5, 2021

D is for Dlamélish (Empire of the Petal Throne / Tékumel) #AtoZChallenge2021



D is for Dlamélish, The Green-Eyed Lady of Fleshly Joys, Mistress of Demons, and Obsidian Lady Princess of the Damned.

She cares not for the bygone past, or the irrelevant future for all that matters is the ever present NOW. Why wait to give into your desires when you can enjoy them now? Eat, drink, and be merry. I often think of Dlamélish as a female version of Bacchus; you know, fun at parties and sacrificial ritual gatherings!

Dlamélish wants to experience every sensual detail and live moment to moment from the highs, to the lows, and through all points in between. She has such delicious miseries to show you... She wants to drink deeply of life and to suck the marrow from its bones. She delights in hedonism and selfish experiences. All others exist for her pleasure, and her followers live by her example.

In some ways she is the opposite side of the coin to Avánthe. I like how both of their followers sometimes work together for specific events, or worshipers of one might call on the other while in the throws of passion, or when the crops are failing. 

Astrology: Emerald green Gayél, the larger moon.

Clothing of Priests & Worshipers: Her priestesses dress in thin revealing emerald robes and wear silver tiaras and bells.

Colors of the Goddess: Emerald green and silver.

Holy Symbol: An emerald drop falling into a silver oval.

Numerology: The number 10, and the letter B.

For more information on the goddess see Mitlanyál Volume 2: The Gods of Stability by Robert Alberti and M.A.R. Barker.

I've been making up some new spells for Empire of the Petal Throne recently, and here are two of them. The first is a Group II Bonus Spell. The second is a Group III Bonus Spell. Both are only usable by spellcasters who are aligned with Change.

Dlamélish’s Hideous Dance: The victims of this spell cannot stop involuntarily moving their limbs in an exhausting dance of death. The victim cannot cast any spells that require the movement of their limbs in precise arcane gestures. They will not eat, drink, or sleep (even if forced) and will continue on that way until a Remove Curse spell is cast or they die. A saving throw is permitted.

Dlamélish’s Final Sigh: The victim will be filled with uncontrollable passion directed at the spellcaster, or to any other victim that the user touches. A saving throw is permitted of course.  The victim’s heart will cease beating at the user’s command. The duration is a number of days equal to the spellcaster’s level.