Thinking about the next section that will get some attention in the Kingdom of Erun my mind wonders to the Deities of this imaginary land.
One thing that was common throughout the UK 80s D&D was that we quietly shook our heads at Deities & Demigods, as being a book that was practically useless at the gaming table. The inclusion of stats for the gods contained within seemed only to encourage the worst excesses of power gaming. “If you put them in the game with stats, the players are going to want to kill it” was the sage advice at the time. So keeping the gods powerful and distant was how they were treated in publications like Imagine and White Dwarf magazine. Short flavoursome descriptions, to give the gods a bit of variety and background and to give their clerics some basis in believable reality. There was also a tendency to start giving Clerics weapons other than blunt, but still tied to the general theme of the god in question (a Cleric of a soldiering god for example would gain access to swords), that was to become a standard rule in 2nd Edition. I remember the pantheon described in Tortured Souls magazine going as far to give individual spell lists based upon the Realm of Power, but I felt this was a step too far for D&D which restricted player creativity and smacked of wanting to make the game like RuneQuest.
Those early attempts at Panthenon building, like most of trips into fantasy land at that time, wore their influences on their sleeves. Norse, Celtic and Greek mythology was liberially raided, and books on the subject where readly available in the children’s section of your local libary. While the obvious Christian influences are hard coded into the implied setting of D&D, it became less in your face in UK games when the majority of the gods became pulled from European Paganism.
So Ladies and Gentlemen with the above in mind, may I introduce you to two of the deities of Erun’s Celestial Court, Voden God of Kings and Forfiegan Lady of Mercy.
Voden, King of the Gods
The grim yet wise chief of the Celestial Court who is renown for his strong leadership and occasional dalliance with favoured beauties of Erun, which tries the patience of his long suffering wife Forfiegan. He inherited the power to see into the future from the Cyclops Tian, whose eye of world seeing he gouged out and ate.
He is followed by any hero with aspirations of Leadership and is regularly called upon by chiefs, kings and village elders. His priests are chief advisers to nobles, calling upon Voden’s ability to see into the future.
Realms of Power: Law, Leadership & Divination.
Alignment: Any Lawful.
Priests: Voden has two types of priests, dusty clerics who provide Divination for the Nobles and the Nobles who act as living examples of Voden, ruling through Divine Right.
Holy Weapons: Spear. Voden wields the Spear of the Sky in battle, and his Clerics are expected to do the same.
Holy Symbol: The Eye of Tian.
Forfiegan, Lady of Mercy
She is traditionally depicted as a beautiful but constantly weeping woman surrounded by animals of all types. Forfiegan weeps for the pain of the world and for her own hurts at the hands of the unfaithful Voden. To ease her pain she attempts to heal the world and forgives the villains who cause the pain in their first place. Her Mercy is not toothless as many a tale attests, she gives those who have strayed a second chance which leads to a great redemption and the creation of great heroes. Her tears bring water and life to the world, and she is the Fertility Goddess of the Court. In her presence even the most savage is tame and gentle.
Forfiegan is worshiped by Healers throughout Erun. She is called upon by pregnant women, people in distress and those seeking to redeem themselves. She is also revered by Farmers who call upon her to protect their crops and lifestock.
Realms of Power: Healing, Fertility & Mercy.
Alignment: Any good.
Priestesses: The Sisters of the Heart are crimson robed priestesses who wander the realm of Erun, providing their healing, husbanding and midwifery skills to all who cross their path. The order has Nunneries where the travelling Sisters can find lodging.
Holy weapons: Blunt weapons. Forfiegan’s followers are forbidden to draw blood.
Holy symbol: A silver pendant in the form of a single tear.