Re: City Gods?

From: Joerg Baumgartner (joe@toppoint.de)
Date: Sun 02 Feb 1997 - 16:04:00 EET


V.S. Greene aka klyfix@aol.com

> I would guess that the nature of the spells the City God gets
>would depend on the nature of the city's founding Hero. Since Pavis dealt
>with a diverse assortment of peoples the cultist get an unusual assortment of
>spells, but I would guess that most city cults would get a few spells that
>their founder used/acquired or perhaps even invented.

I suppose in a lot of cases the city god's cult is similar to a hero cult -
and few heroes within central Genertela were free of cultic relations. Thus,
like their primary deity, they would have connections to associate deities.

Plus, founding the city often involves rituals to make deals with the local
spirits of nature, Land Goddess, and whatever else comes to mind. All of
these dealings can lead to nice rituals - like the Sun County River Marriage
- - and to associate spells. I don't care very much whether it is a local
spirit like Lightning Boy or a greater god like Orlanth who provides
Lightning in Barbarian Town if I get it from going to the founder's shrine.

> "Guess" is the operative word here; I'm not an RQ Sage Lord, alas.
>Have any City or regional deities been developed other than Pavis?

Since my (sleeping) campaign is set among the Kethaelan cities, I have
thought about the regional city gods a lot. To take the result first, I
haven't yet decided on a course, but I tend to use something like the
Thieves World novels and box (and Companion) approach to urbans' worship of
the local gods. Since all are more or less associated to the city's main
cult (Ils for Sanctuary, IMO, even though he isn't really a city god of
Sanctuary, but of Ilsig), a city cult member can pray to any of these, and
may sacrifice for the appropriate associate rune spell offered to city cult
members.

Guillaume Fournier wrote up a Gloranthan version of Sanctuary in Tatou (I
think), in French language, where he postulated an infant deity named Refuge
as a son of Eurmal. The City Founding in that deity's myth was the result of
a contest between Eurmal and Barntar for Esrola's hand, if my Read French
wasn't fumbled, and the resulting child received protectorship. I am not
sure whether I will use that myth for my version of Refuge, since it has
some unreconcilable differences with the history of the region as I see it,
but the spell effect for such a deity would be a bunch of associate spells
(often providing just "common" divine spells, or "cheap" speciality spells
of theirs), with one or two personal spells. (City Harmony isn't one of
these in Refuge, IMO. The resident sorcerers might have a variant of that,
though.)

For Karse, I suppose there is a founder's spirit who is worshipped in both
the main temples of the city (i.e. earth/sea temple and air/sky temple, if
you use the "City of Carse" supplement from Chaosium, based on the Welsh
city of Caernarfon). A bit like Pavis who IMO has an associate's shrine in
both the Ernalda and Orlanth temple of New Pavis, and likely in the Yelmalio
temple as well, but lacking the own temple (might have had one up to the 2nd
Age, when the city had been on the opposite bank of the river, and might
even still exist and be serviced by the baron's family).

Jansholm evidently has a founder named Jan, who could serve as some kind of
city god. If you believe in the Aeolian Church of Heortland, I am sure his
is one of the local "saints" cults (i.e. theist cults with wizardry instead
of battle magic, and associate divine spells from other Aeolian saints'
cults), possibly the one invoked in the city's general initiation rituals
(replacing Voriof or Barntar from the more rural environs). The Sartarite
cities of Jonstown and Wilmskirk would likely work in a similar way if they
weren't ruled by tribal confederations, but still the founders' spirits are
part of the local Orlanth cults (and thereby also Ernalda).

The other cities of Heortland are less obvious. Still, I'd bet there are
founders who have been included into the dominant cults - be it a theist or
somewhat Westernized version of Orlanth and Ernalda.

Mt Passant might be an exception to this rule, since it has been under God
Forgot control for much (almost 50%) of its history, and may have been
founded by them, too.

In Esrolia and on the Rightarm Isles the situation could be similar. Note
that all of this is IMG...

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