Northman Faith

From World of Charun

Religion, as many other things, differ between Ulvhavians and the rest of the Northmen (including the Hrafnir). In Ulvhavn one can find shrines dedicated to the Spawn and the Enlightened One, as well as a large temple of Drakfar. Outside of Ulvhavn the most popular deities are Drakfar, unless a coastal settlement, where the Spawn is prayed to. Ferael is another god that has a rather large group of followers. The Northmen also recognise four of the Old Gods that have always been a part of their culture.


Contents

Gods of Old

The Northmen and Hrafnir have throughout history recognised mainly four of the Old Gods, perceiving them in a somewhat different way than further south. They are given traits closely tied to their culture, resulting in deities at times barely recognisable by southerners. They have also been given Northman names over the course of time, which are the only ones some of the northern inhabitans recgognise them by. With the Fourth Age and the coming of the New Powers, the popularity of these Old Gods dwindled some. However, today the deities, both old and new, have merged into one pantheon - the Northman pantheon. The difference is that the Old Gods have no priests or temples, whilst the New Powers have both.


Randar/Hrithur

God of Storms, Battle, Fury and Violence

Kennings: Stormgod, Breaker, Feeder of Ravens

A storm represents two things for the Northmen; peril at sea and battle. To them, the essences of both forces are alike, stirring up similar feelings that are enough to break weaker men, and that can only be countered through courage. The Northmen see a storm as an oncoming sign of warfare and bloodshed, and thus the havoc found in the midst of battle as well as on a ship thrown around by the waves is Hrithur to the Northmen.

Uncontrollable, unpredictable and deadly for those unable to prevail under these chaotic conditions, Hrithur is believed to both test and outright try to kill the mortals he engages. Always angry, at times furious, he can not be pleased - just survived. Prayer does not sooth him, but it is more so a way by the prevailing Northman to let the god know who the real "winner" is.

"Storm God hear my words! I thank you for your trial, for the havoc and the fury you threw upon me. I am still standing, strong and unbroken. My head is bludgeoned but unbowed."
- Northman prayer following a battle or a severe storm.


Slaine/Eithblot

God of Courage, Honour and War

Kennings: Bearcloak, Battlefather, The Sworn One

Seen as a mighty, red bearded warrior clad in bear's skin, with eight arms wielding axes and swords, Eithblot is uncompromising, stubborn and true to his word. He sympathises with mortals, as long as they are courageous and honourful. Cowards and liars gain nothing but dismay from the god.

Eithblot can not be bargained with, nor does he forget or forgive. He will however readily aid those who are worthy through possessing them with strength and courage. This "warrior's god" will not leave your side, not even in death, where the brave are invited to his halls to feast.

"Great Battlefather, I stand before you with sword in hand and my head held high. Soon the storm shall surround me. Let me fight with courage and die with honour, so that I may feast in your halls."
- Northman prayer before a battle.


Thilias/Asjarn

God of Strength, Craftsmen and their products

Kennings: The Steady One, He of the Anvil, Builder

Fast and unyielding as a mountain, hard and heavy as an anvil, Asjarn never speaks nor acts irrationally. He considers his actions with great care and with the same patience a craftsman would create his craft. He is righteous and fair, rewarding those who share his passion for creating and crafting.

Even though Asjarn is the god of strength, he is more so hailed as the god of crafting. The usefulness of strength outside of combat is secondary to the skills of a craftsman - be it a smith, a builder of boats, or a mason. The Northmen depend on that their houses give shelter from the deadly climate outside, on that their weapons, armour and tools function well and are able to withstand useage without shattering and on their ships to face heavy waves and storms without breaking.

Where a warrior may pray to Eithblot to grant him courage before a battle, he may in the same prayer ask Asjarn to keep his armour strong and his weapon sharp. A Northman sailor caught in a storm knows that it is futile to try and sooth Hrithur through prayer, so he would ask Asjarn to keep his ship from breaking.


Airi/Hluta

Goddess of Fate, Death and Fortitude

Kennings: Ice-Lip, Queen of Cold, Death-Eyes

The Northlands are savage lands. The sun rarely shines through the heavy clouds, the temperature is freezing and it snows all year around. The cold is enough to kill an unprepared person long before famine does. This is Hlutas realm, where she reigns without mercy, giving the weak her kiss of death.

Those treading her domain will have Hluta's eyes upon them. Any signs of weakness will anger her, and have her try and kill the unworthy visiting her realm. If you surivive her attempts, or live through one of her trials, you may gain her favour. Those protected by the grace of Hluta are few and said to be able to withstand all physical ordeals with a smile on their lips.

Praying to Hluta is usually avoided, since asking her favours can be interpreted as a sign of weakness, which should be avoided at all costs. Most Northmen simply prefer to pretend as if she does not exist, hoping that she will do the same.


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