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    Canonfire :: View topic - Oeridian Wind Gods
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    Oeridian Wind Gods
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    Adept Greytalker

    Joined: Sep 20, 2004
    Posts: 546
    From: British Isles

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    Wed Jul 12, 2006 5:14 am  
    Oeridian Wind Gods

    I'm currently writing a piece about nature deities in the Flanaess and at present am tackling the Oeridian Wind Gods.

    I'm interested to hear any thoughts or feelings people have on these deities. They form the core of the Oeridian's nature/agriculture gods and really interest me.

    I've always found Velnius potentially a bit lacklustre though - admittedly he helps organise the wind gods but i feel he needs a makeover of some kind....and his relationship with his younger siblings needs exploring a bit.

    Also how does Merikka tie in - I find her a loose canon and at present am considering making her a halfling deity that the Oeridians have adopted in certain areas such as maybe Nyrond (i cant remember off hand where i placed her primary worship - wherever it was it was a case of favouring her and not the wind gods). ALternatively I may make her just a different Oeridian tribal deity who has found her worship being brought back to the few small areas she was revered before her imprisonment.

    I'm thinking of making Velnius the actual agriculture god and increasing his importance...he liases with Cyndor and the wind gods and keeps the natural order of things ticking over. He could still also be the rain god,. In naval settings maybe it is he who sailor petition directly for favourable winds rather than pryaing to the specific wind god?

    One thought is to make the WInd Gods as a group something a cleric can be a priest of...ie I am a cleric of The Four WInds / WInd Gods...the choice of domains would tailor the priests focus to a particular wind. It feels messy having so many clerics of so many diffretn but terribly similar deities. Maybe there are only priests of Velnius and the wind gods are more like demi-gods. WHen u take the vows of velnius at 2nd level perhaps you choose to associate with a particular wind. Churches would be cross shaped with each of the 4 wings being dedicated to a wind and the central area dedicated to Velnius.

    It seems pointless for the layfolk only worhsipping one wind as all the winds effect them. And if you worship all four winds - why bother wasting time for too long on Velnius. I just feel they need to be gelled a bit more...so yeah...any thoughts?
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Aug 11, 2001
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    Wed Jul 12, 2006 6:16 am  

    Well, funny you should ask. LG Onnwal dealt with the Velaeri in some detail:

    Quote:
    The Velaeri - Oeridian Agricultural Gods (minor)

    Telchur - God Of Winter And The North Wind
    Breath Of The North

    Atroa - God Of Spring And The East Wind
    Bringer Of Spring, Herald Of Storms

    Sotillon - God Of Summer And The South Wind
    Lady Of Summer, Sun Bearer

    Wenta - God Of Autumn And The West Wind
    The Corn Maiden

    Velnius - God Of Sky And Weather
    Arch Of The Sky, Sender Of Rains

    The Velaeri, Oeridian gods of Winds and Sky, are collectively revered as agricultural gods in Onnwal and elsewhere in the Flanaess. They are thought to control the winds and the weather that they bring, and are revered especially at the festival weeks, which are thought to be sacred to each (Telchur for Needfest, Atroa for Growfest etc.).

    In Onnwal they are worshiped mainly in the agricultural heartlands of Gilderond and the Azure Coast, though shrines to the winds and sky also may be found on the docks of nearly every port in the country - in the hope that they will bring favourable winds and fair weather for the vessels that venture forth from them. Inland, the gods are revered as a group - in Chapels of the Wind and Sky. In their simplest form these consist of four poles set at the cardinal points, to which prayer ribbons - pieces of cloth with the entreaties or prayers to the gods - are tied and allowed to blow in the winds. In the centre is a square stone altar in which is set a pool of water mirroring the sky. Offerings to Velnius - usually flower blossoms, or the fruits of the harvest - are placed here. Larger towns, such as Bergardbridge, have more elaborate stone chapels - though they follow the same pattern as the rustic rural shrines.

    The clergy of the Velaeri, tend to be devoted to them as a group, though many pick one of the five as their particular patron and assume duties appropriate to that deity. Priests devoted to Atroa bless births and often act as midwives while priests of Sotillion preside over weddings and marriages. Priests of Techur frequently lead funeral services. Nonetheless they will tend the entire shrine or chapel and officiate at festivals other than that devoted directly to their patron. The priests are called upon to bless and intercede with the gods for many aspects of rural life - sowing of crops, bountiful yields, good weather for harvest etc. Thus, in the agricultural heartlands, they were popular with the common folk and worship of the Velaeri is often seen as being more important than reverence of gods like Zilchus, Heironious or Pholtus, who have little bearing on the life of the ordinary peasant. Often when a peasant says priest - he means of the Velaeri. The clergy themselves are drawn from the common people, and are looked down upon by some of the more urban churches - who regard them somewhat as bumpkins.

    As with all the other Oeridian faiths, the church of the Velaeri suffered terribly at the hands of the Brotherhood. Shines and temples were defaced and levelled, and the clergy were hunted relentlessly. Many priests were killed - though a substantial number managed to evade capture - using their superior knowledge of the land and their goodwill among the common folk, who often took great risks to shelter them. The priests too took great risks to tend to the needs of their flock - and a number paid with their lives for coming to the aid of needy peasants and being subsequently captured by Brotherhood forces.

    As the church had no formal hierarchy - it proved difficult for the Brotherhood to root out or subvert, and thus despite the persecution it suffered, it survived better than some of the more rigidly ordered churches. Furthermore - its suppression only strengthened the devotion, which the common folk held for the Church and it has emerged after the Brewfest Rebellion almost as strong as ever, with common folk stepping forward to fill the gaps left by those who fell. The resilience of this faith is emblematic of the resilience of many common Onnwalish folk in the face of their oppressors. Priests of the Church have aided the rebels, but generally only in passive ways, providing guides for rebel units, healing and succour if required or occasionally manipulating the weather to give rebel troops the advantage in a fight. Priests generally only fight when it is to defend themselves or members of their flocks.


    Source: http://www.onnwal.org.uk/background/c6.html

    As you can see, I envisioned that the gods would be worshipped as a group - termed the Velaeri in the Great Kingdom and its former dependencies. I'd see them as being the children of Procan (can't recall if the LGG mentions this or not).

    As for Merrika - I always saw her as being more popular among the Keogh and other western Oerids. The Keogh, in particular, would have diverged the most from the common Oerid culture that would have been shared by the the tribes reunited under the weal of the Great Kingdom. So odd cults and the like would have been more likely to spring up over there .
    Adept Greytalker

    Joined: Sep 20, 2004
    Posts: 546
    From: British Isles

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    Wed Jul 12, 2006 6:48 am  

    This is great stuff Woesinger and very much along the lines of my own perspective.

    WHen you say priests often choose a particular patron do you include Velnius in this? What particular role does Velnius play? Why choose Velnius as your patron over the other wind gods?

    I see him taking the role Merikka is supposed to take - in organising the wind gods and making sure each one takes his place correctly in the running of the seasons. The seasonal gods have control over their specific season's weather so Velnius as a weather god seems lessened somewhat. Could he be the god of actual agriculture? But then Atroa is for the sowing of the crops and Wenta is there at the reaping. I'm trying to give Velnius more of a reason to be.

    It'd be cool to see a prestigle class for each of the wind gods that a priest could take if he chooses a patron.
    CF Admin

    Joined: Jul 28, 2001
    Posts: 539
    From: on the way to Bellport

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    Wed Jul 12, 2006 7:39 am  

    Nice thread. I'm unsure in which Best of AOL it is, but one of them featured an amazing take on the importance of Velnius, Wolfling. I highly suggest you check them out.

    Ack! It looks like a number of them are missing! See http://www.canonfire.com/cf//modules.php?name=Downloads&d_op=viewdownload&cid=3. Didn't Nellisir get up to posting 10+?

    Wolfling, maybe you can ask one of the oldtimers about it at the 'chat? I'll look around in my files later today too.
    Adept Greytalker

    Joined: Sep 20, 2004
    Posts: 546
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    Wed Jul 12, 2006 9:15 am  

    thanks mtg, I will check through them to see what I can find!
    Master Greytalker

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    Wed Jul 12, 2006 1:16 pm  

    Well, for a start the LGG says that Velnius is the eldest of the children of Procan and their leader. It also mentions that he supports them when they're overwhelmed or lax in their duties (read: Sotillion being lazy and causing a summer drought that Velnius has to relieve).

    Where as the other Velaeri represent one on the winds and seasons, Velnius represents the sky in which the winds blow and the weather that those winds and seasons bring. He provides the backdrop and the raw materials for the others to blow and bear across the world. He is the sender of rain to the drought stricken; the bringer of fair weather to the stormswept.

    Given his appearance and his epithet The Rainshroud, rains seem to be an important part of what Velnius does (hence the mirror pool of rain water open to the sky in the central shrine of the Chapel of Winds and Sky). That makes sense from an Oeridian point of view. In their ancient home on the steppes of the west, seasonal rains would have been important to provide grazing for their herds.

    Velnius as the leader of the Velaeri also meshes nicely with the fact that he's at the centre of the four winds in your typical Chapel of Winds and Sky. He's the one who holds the others together.
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Jun 16, 2003
    Posts: 148
    From: Calgary, AB, Canada

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    Sun Jul 16, 2006 12:23 am  
    Re: Oeridian Wind Gods

    Wolfling wrote:


    Also how does Merikka tie in - I find her a loose canon and at present am considering making her a halfling deity that the Oeridians have adopted in certain areas such as maybe Nyrond (i cant remember off hand where i placed her primary worship - wherever it was it was a case of favouring her and not the wind gods). ALternatively I may make her just a different Oeridian tribal deity who has found her worship being brought back to the few small areas she was revered before her imprisonment.


    Merikka was first officially introduced in N1 "Against the Cult of the Reptile God." Her temple was the only one present in Orlane. Thus, if she were to have a strong following anywhere, it should be in the Gran March and the Sheldomar more generally.

    Wolfling wrote:

    I'm thinking of making Velnius the actual agriculture god and increasing his importance...he liases with Cyndor and the wind gods and keeps the natural order of things ticking over. He could still also be the rain god,. In naval settings maybe it is he who sailor petition directly for favourable winds rather than pryaing to the specific wind god?

    One thought is to make the WInd Gods as a group something a cleric can be a priest of...ie I am a cleric of The Four WInds / WInd Gods...the choice of domains would tailor the priests focus to a particular wind. It feels messy having so many clerics of so many diffretn but terribly similar deities. Maybe there are only priests of Velnius and the wind gods are more like demi-gods. WHen u take the vows of velnius at 2nd level perhaps you choose to associate with a particular wind. Churches would be cross shaped with each of the 4 wings being dedicated to a wind and the central area dedicated to Velnius.


    The LG Gran March triad has linked the churches of Merikka, Wenta, Telchur, Velnius, Sotillion, and Atroa into a unified body known as the Harvest Church. While I understand that some may not care for the LG spin on certain regions/events, etc., I do think LG Gran March has created some solid materials, including a plausible take on the Harvest Church (which, collectively speaking, has more adherents than any other church in Gran March).

    Your idea for a Cleric of the Four Winds sounds interesting... I look forward to seeing you develop that idea!
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Oct 22, 2001
    Posts: 31
    From: Blue, The Pomarj (Lehigh Valley, PA)

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    Sun Jul 16, 2006 7:54 pm  

    This discussion reminds me of an adventure I have planned for a campaign I'm running in the Geoff/Sterich/Gran March area... it takes place mostly in a post-liberation Geoff (very shortly after Geoff proper is fully liberated).

    In the adventure, a number of small temples to Velnius/Atroa/Sotillion/Telchur/Wenta are built upon either one of the Stark Mounds between Geoff and Sterich, or the Jotens in southern Sterich... a so-called "Hill of Shrines".

    This hilltop religious complex had been taken by the giants during their occupation, and each individual shrine has been corrupted by followers of one or more of the giant deities. What follows are my rough planning notes so far. I imagined the complex consisting of a more impressive central building devoted to Velnius specifically at the top of the hill, with wings leading out to the lesser shrines of the others in the direction of their particular concern (Atroa's to the east, Sotillion's to the south, etc.)

    Velnius: Sky, Weather
    Kostchtchie (m, CE Demon Lord) Frost Giants [Iron Hammer] and
    Memnor (m, NE) Evil Cloud Giants, Pride, Mental Prowess, Control [Thin Black Obelisk]

    Atroa: Spring, Renewal, East Wind
    Vaprak (m, CE) Ogres, Trolls, Combat, Greed, Destruction, Aggression, Frenzy

    Sotillon: Summer, Ease, Comfort, South Wind
    Surtr (m, LE) Fire Giants [Red Flaming Greatsword]

    Telchur: Winter, Cold, North Wind
    Thyrm (m, CE) Frost Giants, Cold, Ice Magic [White Double-bladed Greataxe]

    Wenta: Autumn, Harvest, Brewing, West Wind
    Grolantor (m, CE) Hill Giants, Ettins, Ogres, Hunting, Combat [Spiked Club] and Karontor (m, NE) Formorians, Misshapen Giants [Winter Wolf’s Head]

    Just something I thought I'd share...
    GreySage

    Joined: Aug 03, 2001
    Posts: 3199
    From: Michigan

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    Sun Jul 16, 2006 9:10 pm  

    Keep in mind they're not only agricultural deities (though they certainly are that as well).

    Procan is an ancient, primal god of storms and the untamed sea. He is wild and tempestuous; he can be benevolent or malevolent at turns, but generally cares nothing for humanity unless carefully propitiated - and perhaps not even then. He's the embodiment of mercurial winds and uncertain fate. He's an elder god, more like a titan than an Olympian, though he roams the cosmos freely.

    His children are closer to humanity, though they still share something of his nature.

    Velnius is the master of the sky, king of the heavens. Think of him as Zeus or Anu. He rules the other gods of the wind. Ancient Oeridians might have thought of him as a more general king of all the gods, at least before gods like Pholtus, Heironeous, and Hextor gained in popularity. He's not normally thought of that way today, but he's still an influential and potent deity, bringer and master of weather and wind - only the storms of his father are outside his control. He doesn't organize the wind gods exactly - he rules them as a mostly benign monarch, neither particularly orderly nor wild. He is the vast, calm, blue sky. He is regal and majestic. He is the sea of air in which his brothers and sisters swim. Those who wish to associate themselves with powerful sources of authority may give him homage - nobles and generals, for example. Devotees of Celestian know they must pass through Velnius before they can reach their own patron. All prayers pass through him on their way to other divine realms.

    Atroa is the gentle maiden of spring. She's best compared to the Saxon goddess Eostre or Easter, or the Greek Kore - Persephone when she's free from the Underworld. Or like the Norse goddess of youth, Idun. She also controls a quarter of the world's winds, so she must be honored by sailors as well as those who welcome the end of the reign of Telchur and his ice. Though Atroa is gentle, as goddess of spring gales she is deceptively strong, and she can be dangerous to her few foes. She is a fierce eagle as well as a delicate spring shoot. She watches over childbirth and all beginnings, not just agricultural or wind-related.

    Sotillion is lazy and luxurious, the mistress and mother of pleasure. She is Queen of Sheba, the Whore of Babylon, sultry and decadent though not malevolent. She believes all should experience the same pleasure as she; as goddess of hot southern winds and siroccos, her influence can cause cold, wet weather in northern climes and unbearably hot weather in the south - she is often careless and flighty with her duties, seldom taking them seriously. Born with a silver spoon in her mouth, she assumes good things will come to those who wait for them without much effort. She was spoiled by her older brothers and sister, and she married Zilchus for his wealth. Hedonists and epicureans praise her, as do those who seek solace from their labors. Again, they might have nothing to do with agriculturists or the other gods of the wind. Compare her to some versions of Bast - not the vengeful Eye of Ra, but the contented cat laying in the sun.

    Wenta works hard, making up for her older sister's lassitude, but she also plays hard; sometimes her wild side takes center stage - as the goddess of alcohol and intoxication, she can flirt with madness. Her portfolio overlaps that of her staid cousin, Merikka, but while Merikka welcomes the fruition that comes with her season she dislikes Wenta's wildness. I imagine she gets along well with Olidammara, but perhaps they're too much alike to remain together for long. Perhaps he fears she might devour him, like the Maenads of Greek myth. Like her siblings, she commands the winds - the west winds in her case, sharing northeasters with Telchur and southeasters with Sotillion. Drunkards and ecstatic cultists seeking altered states of consciousness worship her, though they may be far from farms and care nothing for her siblings. She's like Demeter of the Greeks combined with a pungeant shot of Maenad. See Shelley's Ode to the West Wind.

    Savage Telchur is perhaps most like his father in temperment, though the cold that suffuses him makes him seem more bitter and cruel. Still, he is not evil, though mortals may view him that way - only fierce and utterly untamed. Grimly he completes his designated tasks, associating with wolves and demons. He could be compared to Shakak from 1st edition Deities & Demigods, though he lacks that deity's essential malevolence. I like to think he's fiercely protective of those he loves. He is revered by many who live in the frozen north, though they may not worship any of his siblings. Monstrous races may be especially attracted to his worship. See the North Wind and the Sun and At the Back of the North Wind.

    Merikka is said to be the cousin of the seasonal gods, which suggests that one or both of her parents were siblings of Procan. For the sake of argument, in this myth Procan's sister was Beory, mother of earth, who would be particularly appropriate; her father might have been Pelor, the life-giving sun - though both are Flan deities, Oeridians often worship them too, and they are old primal gods, belonging to much the same nature and generation as Procan. She is tied to and subservient to Cyndor, god of continuity and the cycle of time (who is in turn subservient to Lendor, though neither Cyndor nor Merikka are Suel deities - divine politics extends beyond the ancient pantheons, especially in these racially comingled times). She's in some ways like a lesser version of Beory or Berei, but far more strict and rigid, mistrustful of chaotic gods like her cousin Wenta, let alone Sotillion and Telchur. Of the wind gods, only Atroa is her friend, though she respects Velnius's authority. Unlike the other gods listed here, she really is primarily a deity of agriculture, though she also organizes hearth and home in general (so she's Vesta as well as Ceres). She stands for order and routine and hierarchy in all things, and rules over the calendar and the farmer's almanac.
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