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Saturday, April 17, 2021

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

 


#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.

https://tekumel.com/world_gods09.html

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


#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.

https://tekumel.com/world_gods01.html

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


 #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

https://www.tekumel.com/world_gods10.html

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

https://www.tekumel.com/world_gods08.html

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

 


#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 Force...as 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


#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*


https://hyboria.xoth.net/gods/erlik.htm

https://aoc.fandom.com/wiki/Erlik

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

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


#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.

https://www.tekumel.com/world_gods01.html

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

 


#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.

https://www.tekumel.com/world_gods09.html

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. 



Sunday, April 4, 2021

C is for Chiténg (Empire of the Petal Throne / Tékumel) #AtoZChallenge2021

 

 

#AtoZChallenge2021

C is for Chiténg, Lord of Red Spouting Flame, Drinker of Blood, Reaper of Cities, and Cohort of Vimúhla. He is the patron of the armies of Change, the besieger of cities, and the overseer of torments. He is covered in tough scales and he is often depicted as having a lizard's head. It's large opalescent eyes behold all, and nothing. Bloodsong is the name of its wicked two-handed sword. Often jails, prisons, and slave pens employ his adherents to oversee things. Only Aridáni female warriors filled with the cohort's bloodlust are accepted as priestesses.

This cohort revels in destruction, forest fires, pain, sadomasochism, and the tearing down of all things.

 



Astrology: Unknown.

Clothing of Priests and Worshipers: Robes of orange and purple. If available they wear ancient helmets of iron or steel.

Colors of the Cohort: Orange and purple.

Holy Symbol: A fiery Two-handed sword.

Numerology: Unknown.

https://www.tekumel.com/world_gods07.html

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


C is for Chegárra (Empire of the Petal Throne / Tékumel) #AtoZChallenge2021

 

C is for Chegárra, the Hero-King, Swordsman of Glory, Victorious Lord, Cohort of Karakán. 

This courageous cohort is normally portrayed in armor and with a thick beard fighting against the forces of evil. He takes interest in those who would stand against a demon in single combat, and he wields a heavenly axe which is doom to his enemies. He is the patron of wise generals and experienced soldiers on the battlefield doing their Lord's will. Only Aridáni female warriors are accepted as priestesses.

 


Astrology: Unknown.

Clothing of Priests and Worshipers: Red and white-checkered robes over silver armor, and helmets of bronze or gold.

Colors of the Cohort: White and red.

Holy Symbol: Stylized double-bladed axe. 

Numerology: Unknown.

https://www.tekumel.com/world_gods02.html

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

C is for Crom (Conan / Hyborian Age) #AtoZChallenge2021


#AtoZChallenge2021

C is for Crom from the Conan / Hyborian Age setting.

I think my entry today will be from Conan of Cimmeria from 1969 (Robert E. Howard, L. Sprague de Camp, and Lin Carter).


The cold light struck icy fire from the jewels in Bêlit's clustered black locks as she stretched her lithe form on a leopard skin thrown on the deck. Supported on her elbows, her chin resting on her slim hands, she gazed up into the face of Conan, who lounged beside her, his black mane stirring in the faint breeze. Bêlit's eyes were dark jewels burning in the moonlight.

"Mystery and terror are about us, Conan, and we glide into the realm of horror and death," she said. "Are you afraid?"

A shrug of his mailed shoulders was his only answer.

"Im not afraid either," she said meditatively. "I was never afraid. I have looked into the naked fangs of Death too often. Conan, do you fear the gods?"

"I would not tread on their shadow," answered the barbarian conseevatively. "Some gods are strong to harm, others, to aid; at least so say their priests. Mitra of the Hyborians must have a strong god, because his people have builded cities over the world. But even the Hyborians fear Set. And Bel, god of thieves, is a good god. When I was a thief in Zamora I learned of him."

"What of your own gods? I have never heard you call on them."

"Their chief is Crom. He dwells on a great mountain. What use to call on him? Little he cares if men live or die. Better to be silent than to call his attention to you; he will send you dooms, not fortune! He is grim and loveless, but at birth he breathes power to strive and slay into a man's soul. What else shall men ask of their gods?"

"But what of the worlds beyond the river of Death?" she persisted.

"There is no hope here or hereafter in the cult of my people, answered Conan. "In this world men struggle and suffer vainly, finding pleasure only in the bright madness of battle; dying, their souls enter a gray, misty realm of clouds and icy winds, to wander cheerlessly throughout eternity."

Bêlit shuddered. "Life, bad as it is, is better than such a destiny. What do you believe, Conan?"

He shrugged his shoulders. "I have known many gods. He who denies them is as blind as he who trusts them too deeply. I seek not beyond death. It may be the blackness averred by the Nemedian skeptics, or Crom's realm of ice and cloud, or the snowy plains and vaultrd halls of the Nordheimer's Valhalla. I know not, nor do I care. Let me live deep while I live; let me know tge rich juices of red meat and stinging wine on my plate, the hot embrace of arms, the mad exultation of battle when the blue blades flame and crimson, and I am content. Let teachers and priests and philosophers brood over questions of reality and illusion. I know this: if life is an illusion, then I am no less an illusion, and being thus, the illusion is real to me. I live, I burn with life, I love, I slay, and am content."


The story Queen of the Black Coast (where the quote above is from) was originally published in 1934 in Weird Tales magazine. 


P.S. Here's a great site for some more information on Crom and the Hyborian Age.

https://hyboria.xoth.net/gods/crom.htm

Saturday, April 3, 2021

B is for Belkhánu (Empire of the Petal Throne / Tékumel) #AtoZChallenge2021

#AtoZChallenge2021

B is for Belkhánu, Lord of the Excellent Dead, Master of the Paradises of Teretané, and Opener of the Gates of Heaven.

Belkhánu is a god from the setting of Tékumel (Empire of the Petal Throne / Bethorm).

I tend to look at Belkhánu as more as an opposite to Lord Sárku than as a god that stands for his own spheres of influence. I guess I tend to be more of a fan of the Gods of Change... The god has some monotheistic traits in my opinion even though he is part of a larger pantheon. I can see many calling upon him while in their deathbeds or on a field of carnage.

I bet an undead hunting character devoted to this god would be a lot of fun to play.


Astrology:
He is represent by no planet or moon, but the space between them and the planes are his.

Clothing of Priests and Worshipers: Yellow robes, and tall yellow-tinted headdresses. Priests tend to wear a coif of gauze to mask their faces. 

Color of the God: Golden yellow.

Holy Symbol: Stylized ship sailing on waves.

Numerology: The number 4 and the letter Q.

https://www.tekumel.com/world_gods05.html

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

 

I wrote up an EPT spell based on this god. It's a Group II Bonus Spell for those useable by those devoted to Stability.

Belkhánu’s Repose: This spell cast after a battle will ensure that all of the slain on both sides will be prevented from rising from the grave as undead. It can also be cast on piles of fewer numbers of corpses. Undead that are destroyed on the field of battle and have the ability to return once again get a saving throw to resist this spell or be destroyed utterly.



A is for Avánthe (Empire of the Petal Throne / Tékumel) #AtoZChallenge2021


#AtoZChallenge2021

A is for Avánthe, The Mistress of Heaven, Maid of Beauty, Mother of Devotion, and Wife to Hnálla (The Supreme Principle of Stability, Master of Light).

Avánthe is a goddess from the setting of Tékumel (Empire of the Petal Throne / Bethorm).  I like that she portrays many strong female archetypes combined with some of the aspects of Inanna (Sumerian), Ishtar  (Akkadian), and Astarte (Semitic). I tend to think of her as a goddess of beautiful justice. One to call on in the depths of despair, or to help repair the damage done by the chaos of life.

She seeks to support cooperation, symbiosis, and tranquility found in the predictable cycles of the natural seasons. She assists women, those who support their clan and society, seekers of justice, and the ones who fight the forces of change. 

She is called upon by clan girls, Aridáni (independent status) women, mothers, and grandmothers throughout all of the stages of life. She reminds me of the ferocious strength and protection found in the heart of a devoted mother bear for her cubs.

 


Astrology: The blue planet Shichél (4th from the sun Tuléng). 

Clothing of Priests and Worshipers: Kilts of sky-blue, golden chains with sapphire pendants, ornate headdresses, blue feather or Chlén-hide outfits painted light blue. Priestesses normally go bare-breasted or nude as a symbol of her nurturing nature.

Colors of the Goddess: Sky-blue, royal blue, sapphier-blue, and gold.

Holy Symbol: A golden circle with azure rays descending.

Numerology: The number 2, and the letter P.  

https://www.tekumel.com/world_gods04.html

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 is one of them. It's a Group II Bonus Spell and only usable by spellcasters who are aligned with Stability.

Avánthe’s Restorative Peace: A maximum of 18 lost hit points may be restored. Three 6-sided dice are rolled to determine the number of hit points healed. Only female adults and children can be completely restored in this way, others receive 1-6 hit points worth of healing. Those healed can be human or intelligent nonhumans.