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 Post subject: Lesser Deities
PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2015 5:44 am 
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I have something which I have been thinking about for some time. And that is how non-Pavar deities are handled in Tsolyánu?

Are they always regulated to folk religion or can they have Temples of their own? And are they theologically thrown out in the cold or incorporated into the wider Pavar Pantheon?
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 Post subject: Re: Lesser Deities
PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2015 5:45 am 
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There is a temple to Hrsh, god of the Mu'ugalavyani noble clans, in Tumissa. Tumissa is near the western border, and is home to clans with many members across the border in Mu'ugalavya. This may be a notable exception.

I don't know of any analogous temple to Shiringgayi, the dominant deity in Salarvya existing within Tsolyanu. The conventional view of her in Tsolyanu is that the Salarvyani have mixed up Dlamelish and Avanthe.

In my Tekumel, temples to non-Pavarian deities are generally restricted to the Foreigners' Quarters of cities, though rich and influential expatriates who manage to live outside the Quarter might have shrines in their mansions or villas. In some border cities and towns, aspects of Pavarian deities that resemble a non-Pavarian god might be adopted by the local non-Tsolyani and worshiped with the Temple of that god. Aspects vary locally, and sometimes there are aspects in border cities that are different from elsewhere, and similar to those foreign deities. Sometimes this creates tension, as when separate waves of immigrants come to a Tsolyani city. The older, more acculturated wave might have adopted an aspect of a Pavarian god, while the new wave builds a rough new shrine in the Foreigner's Quarter and keeps to "the true way". Or vice versa, with an established and ethnically secure community in the Quarter using their old shrine, and a new wave of desperate refugees, keen to adapt, looks for a new face for the god in their new home.

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 Post subject: Re: Lesser Deities
PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2015 3:39 am 
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I like the idea of various new aspects of the great gods coming into local existance when emigrants tries to fit their owns gods with the established ones of Pavar's pantheon. But while we have the Mu'ugalavyani Hrsh, there seems in my mind to be room for more.

For example I've got a god called the "Lord of the Black Smoke" as a local patron deity for a city I call Itzaya. The "Lord of the Black Smoke" is connected with Ksárul but not an aspect but considered more of a servitor. The question then is, would he have a formalized Temple with a priesthood of his own in that city, would it be relgulated to folk religion with little organization or would the Temples of Ksárul and Grugánu handle these affairs?
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 Post subject: Re: Lesser Deities
PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2015 4:53 am 
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Gurkhal wrote:
IFor example I've got a god called the "Lord of the Black Smoke" as a local patron deity for a city I call Itzaya. The "Lord of the Black Smoke" is connected with Ksárul but not an aspect but considered more of a servitor. The question then is, would he have a formalized Temple with a priesthood of his own in that city, would it be relgulated to folk religion with little organization or would the Temples of Ksárul and Grugánu handle these affairs?


There is a lot of precedent for the Gods to have very powerful servitors, but they are classed as demons, not lesser deities, and are not usually worshiped, at least not in an open and organized way. The Book of Ebon Bindings describes several hugely powerful demons that serve the Gods of Change (along with a bunch of lesser ones that are still quite dangerous). So the LoBS might be considered a powerful demon servitor, and just have a small shrine in the Temple of Ksarul.
However, there is also precedent for Pavarian deities to have local Aspects that are not known elsewhere. This is very much the case for the Temple of Ksarul. Every major temple has one unique and powerful "Local Aspect" that has to do with shadows, darkness, and night, and supports the interests of that temple in particular (even against the temples of Ksarul in other cities). It's also common for there to be lesser local Aspects too. So in Itzaya the Lord of Black Smoke might be the Local Aspect, worshiped as a full-on aspect of Ksarul, even if he is unknown elsewhere, with unique rituals, perhaps even spells. Since he is also the patron deity of the city, that strongly suggests that the Temple of Ksarul might be pretty strong in that city.
Or the LoBS might just be a local Aspect, a peculiar expression of Ksarul worshiped only by Itzayans. Then there might be some interesting internal Temple politics about how and how much to worship the local version. Native priests might be strong supporters, but mid-level and high-level priests do get moved around, and the out-of-town members of the hierarchy might not want a peculiar provincial aspect to get so much attention.
Mitlanyal has lots about Ksarul's Aspects.

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 Post subject: Re: Lesser Deities
PostPosted: Sun Oct 04, 2015 6:00 pm 
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First my idea to have the LoBS be an indendent servitor rather than an aspect of Ksarul comes from me both wanting to, in "My Tekumel", have a significant local pantheon as the aspects system, while very flexible and useful in many ways, could not work with all of my ideas, and that I've seen other examples of local deities, like the Butrus Gazetter which I took as a pointer in that local deities could be accepted in the setting.

Secondly I checked up Ksarul's aspects in the Mitlanyal vol. 2 and the Local Aspect does indeed seem like a pretty good catch for LoBS. Although the whole darkness and secrecy part might not fit to well with something as public as a patron for an entire city.

The one reservation that I have about using aspects instead of minor deities is both the nature of the gods as well as the number of aspects. In regards to the nature of the gods I find that some ideas for deities/aspects that I have would not mesh well with the gods as described in canon even while I think that they could have story potential in my games, while on the other hand I am a bit scared that with the exact number of aspects around, I would as my campaigns grinds on, find that I have gone beyond the number of aspects described for Pavar's deities.

Or failing to explain myself in an understable manner, I could post a bunch of ideas I have to minor deities and their story seeds and see if there's some advice on how to use these ideas beyond the way proposed by myself.

As I'm gearing up for a game in Tekumel with some people who've never experienced Tekumel before I hope that I can sort out as many of my own question marks as possible before we get that train going.
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 Post subject: Re: Lesser Deities
PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2015 11:25 pm 
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It's great that you are gearing up to run a game!

I think you are overthinking this :wink:

The number of aspects per deity is not a big deal. Nobody is going think you have somehow spoiled the setting if your Gods and Cohorts have more aspects than Mitlanyal says they do.

Also there is canonical precedent for oddball aspects that don't seem to jibe with the major characteristics of a deity. For example, Ksarul's aspect Mentutékka, who is " warm" (emotionally), and said to love forests and the creatures that live there. Thumis has an aspect called Tolokkon, who appears as a muscular and beautiful woman in armor, and is a patron of female soldiers and other Aridani, also of women's athletics.

So I think you could probably add your deities on to the pantheon without any problems. If you want some ideas for how, sure, post things here!

If you do decide to have separate minor deities, I think the most important consideration for gameplay will be to decide about magic. In the Five Empires, the temples have pretty much a monopoly on sorcerous knowledge and power. Will your minor deities have their own sorceror-priests? Their own special spells?

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 Post subject: Re: Lesser Deities
PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2015 4:26 am 
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Thanks, while I make ready for my great and glorious plan to run more exotic settings with my group (I've run a season of New Fire RPG with a lack of problems already) and with Tékumel as the grand prize for me as a GM, I've got one more project of about 10-12 sessions before I throw my group into Tékumel. :) And that's not counting one other GM's games that could come between.

Anyway while I have lots and lots of ideas and concepts and stuff like that, I shall start with posting the ones that will most likely come up in my first attempted Tékumel game, planned for 10-15 sessions.

This game will take place right after the fall of Dich'une and involve a flight from the north, possibly Béy Sü, down towards the city of Itzaya on the Missuma situated on the river between Béy Sü and Usénanu, while at the same time the characters are pursued by a large party lead by a very angry priest of Qón. As you might have guessed the players will play followers of Sárku. Maybe the characters will try to bluff their way the fastest way through other angry anti-Sárky groups or maybe they will try to take a more dangerous and slower but less predictable land route? And from there be sent south to Jákalla in an attempt to turn the table by winning the protection from a Ksarulite noble clan.

Anyway the minor deities or possible new aspects that I'm thinking about are below. More could come up as I kind of imagine that there would be many lesser deities brought to a great city like Jákalla.

Lady Missuma - The goddess of the Missuma river. I imagine her as similar to some generally more pleasant Nile-related deities and possible with some aspects of herself or possible supposed even more minor deities/demons/spirits that serves her with minor functions. The way I see it she probably is considered a goddess of importance with temples by the river in the the cities lying by that river, but is perhaps not suprisingly not worshipped much away from it.

The Fanged One and The Wild One - Both of them kind of fullfill the role of the dangerous hinterlands away from civilization, which in Tékumel seems very real! I imagine that the Fanged one is more of a beast-god who hunts men and non-humans for sport and kill those who would dare to violate its wild domains. The Wild One fullfills a similar purpose but is a master of the wilds and drives animals to attack and kill rather than hunt down the offenders himself. Both of these bears strong similarities with the Avanthe aspects of Makórsa yet that aspect strike me as a fairly gentle persona while the wilds of Tékumel often paints a much more savage picture to me.

In regards to these two, I think that I shall only need one of them.

The Masked Lord - Found in the south, I see it as a grim and harsh sun god who brings blinding light and murdering heat if not pleased with the offerings. So in a way you could say its a modern version of, I think at least, the Bednajallan (?) Chotl. The main problem with this is of course that the sun spot is taken by Hnalla with Vimuhla as the prime contender and I've understood Hnálla as a gentle god who does not demand sacrifices of humans and animals the way that harshes gods do. Thus I think that this is a kind of problem with throwing the Masked Lord as an aspect of Hnálla and I don't know of any solar aspects of Vimuhla.

In regards to the masks I kind of imagine that this god is depicted as a man with several heads wearing masks of gold, and the behavior of the sun reflects what mask one is facing. If the sun dries the crops or become so hot that people die from it, its one of his grim masks while less sweltering heat is associated with another mask.
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