Vaarn is the graveyard of faiths, some older than the very stars that shine overhead. Gods are carried here in the hearts of those who seek to make a life amongst the unending azure sands, and deities proliferate like ragweed across the desolation. A Vaarnish traveller would find it noteworthy to go more than a day without encountering the remains of some enigmatic shrine to a member of a long-forgotten pantheon, a standing stone where blood was once spilt to appease a quantum daemon, or the abode of a hermit who still observed the rituals of an oblique and private devotion.
Roll five d20 to generate a small and forgotten god of Vaarn.
|19||Sandworm||Owl||Wind||Olive||A Secret Name|
As is customary, I will use the tables myself to create six petty gods:
Asellatrix, Who Seeks Water Underground. Asellatrix is portrayed in holy iconography as a wise and patient ape, with a crown of morel fungus. This goddess is thought to guide travellers to unknown water sources, and would be invoked by lost merchant caravans hoping to stumble upon evidence of an oasis. Asellatrix’s holy colour is Ulfire, the ninth hue of the visible spectrum. She is honored by giving alms to the needy, especially poor women who are expecting children. A merchant who was about to mount an expedition into the blue wastes of Vaarn would do well to give some water tokens to any beggars who approached them – one never knows when Asellatrix’s approval could be needed.
Maassalefar, the Sword At Dusk. Maassalefar, the assassin god, is portrayed in two ways. To His purple-clad worshippers, the god of justice and harmony is a knot of bees, with life-giving honey dripping from their bodies. To His secret Blades, Maassalefar is known with a second face: as a praying mantis, with deadly curving knives poised to slay the unworthy. The Blades of Maassalefar would meditate upon their imminent demise before they set out upon their night’s work.
Veion Who Writhes. Veion is a goddess of change and mutation. She is portrayed by Her worshippers as a rust-red madwoman, with her pregnant belly slit open and a white goat resting inside. She is petitioned to spare children within the womb from the ravages of mutation, to grant them faces and limbs and skin and to preserve them from the pernicious madness that has been inserted into the very seed of humanity. Rites to Veion Who Writhes are week-long ordeals of screaming and the butchery of goats. The carcasses are burned in pits or ‘wombs’, and the smoke inhaled by those who fear for their unborn child.
Saitamakkah, the Rising Arrow. A god of speed and storms. Saitamakkah is part hawk and part machine, as if Horus had melded with a stealth bomber. He is the god of purposeful travel, surprising one’s foe in battle, and of the roiling thunderstorms that gather above the Gulf of Vaarn. The Rising Arrow is honored through self discipline, combat training, and ceremonial wrestling and races that take place on holy days.
Xian-Mohang, Who Blunders in Mists. A god of remembrance and forgetting. Xian is a faithful hound-dog, who retrieves what its master requires. Mohang is a stubborn goat, which wanders aimlessly in the azure mists of the mind. They are joined at the tail, and one is forever dragging the other around, for Xian wishes to return to the forebrain with information that was lost while Mohang pulls against him. Sometimes Xian wins, but usually Mohang triumphs, as the goat is believed stronger. The memory god is honored through masquerades, where those who wish to remember wear dull blue masks and sit in dark rooms, hoping to fool Mohang as to their whereabouts, while those who wish to forget wear bright clothing and light candles, hoping the conjoined god will flee from their presence.
Casorimici, Diligent Sweeper of Paths. Another god of travellers. Casorimici is portrayed at roadside shrines as a watchful indigo bird with a scorpion held in its bill. The god is thought to have removed the hazard – the dangerous arachnid – from the path of an unwary traveller. Casorimici, if properly honored, will sweep the path of danger and strife and eat all the bad luck that might afflict a wanderer on their travels. Once one has arrived safely at one’s destination, it is customary to refuse all food from sunrise to sunset, instead offering it to the indigo bird-god, for His stomach will be sour and turbulent from eating so much bad luck, and He will be pleased to have something sweet to eat instead.
1 thought on “PETTY GODS OF VAARN”
Now this one is giving me Steven Erickson vibes.