Cults of Balazar and the Elder Wilds
Send comments and/or criticism to Simon E. Phipp
Created On 14 February 2001
Last Updated On 14 February 2001
Copyright © 2001 Simon E. Phipp
This area has many different cultures, not only the Balazar or Votanki
Cultures. Here, I will try and describe the major deities worshipped by
each grouping and, perhaps, to give a short description of the cults. Where
no cult description is shown here, I will try and add a cult description
at a later date. 
Votank (Native Votanki)
Votank was born during the Darkness. As was the custom among his
people at the time, he was Abandoned on the plains to see if he would shrivel
and die or survive and prosper. He was found by Grandmother Sky, who the
hunters also knew as Hearth Mother. She fed Votank the Three Hearty Meals
and he grew to be a healthy and vigorous man. Votank looked around him
and saw that the people were hungry. He asked Hearth Mother what was to
be done and she said to look outside for help. He travelled through the
forests and plains and asked for help for his people, but everyone turned
their backs as they had their own problems. Eventually Brother Bear told
him that he could not help but that he had asked Rigitania for her help.
Votank went to find the Hunting Nymph and, after much effort, found her
and obtained her help. She reached into her Red Pot and brought out a handful
of carved figures that she put into a leather bag and gave to Votank, making
him promise to return to her that which she had given to him. He agreed
and left for his people. When he returned he showed the people the bag
that he had been given but they laughed and asked what use that was. He
reached in and brought out a clay figure of a bison and breathed on the
figure, painting a picture of a bison on his chest and on the floor. He
ran to the plains and brought back a slain bison that he gave to the people
to eat. This was how Votank invented hunting, but for every creature he
killed he made a prayer to give back the soul of the creature slain to
Rigitania. From that day onwards the people of the area thought of Votank
as their Chief and called themselves the Votanki.
Votank and Grandmother Sky had several children, one of which was Firshala.
He also sired a daughter on Rigitania, the first of the Wild Women. He
sired a number of children on Firshala, each of whom founded one of the
clans of the Votanki.
Votank performs a number of functions for the people of Balazar, he
is the Hunter and the Chief. He is the role model for all Votanki Hunters
and his myths give examples of how Votanki should live.
Brother Dog (Native Votanki)
When Votank had gained the Leather Bag and began to feed his people, he
saw a new animal that was a competitor to him. Knowing that he would have
to fight this new growling creature, Votank hailed it and asked it to come
closer. He said that he had to feed his people and that he had a Leather
Bag full of figurines which he could kill and eat for food and that the
New Creature's visage was already in the bag. The New Creature whined and
cowered in front of Votank, begging him not to kill and eat him and offering
to help serve him in return for the scraps from his meals. Votank agreed
and whistled for Brother Dog to follow him. Thus was found the first of
Brother Dog is the deity involved in the training and control of the
Votanki Hunting Dogs found in Balazar. He is worshipped in two ways, as
a subcult of Votank and as a deity in his own right. The subcult teaches
dog training and spells allowing communication with dogs. The full cult
is the cult of the Dog Hsunchen that live within the Votanki. They are
the descendants of those Hunters who loved their Companions so much that
they asked Brother Dog for permission to marry them. These Dog Hsunchen
were the result of those matings and worshipped Brother Dog as an ancestor
and a founder. Since Brother Dog was one of Votank's Companions this was
not regarded as bestiality as long as the Hunter Quested to Brother Dog
first. Worshipped in this way, Brother Dog is a normal Hsunchen cult.
Grandmother Sky (Native Votanki)
Grandmother Sky is a goddess of unknown heritage. She has Hearth Powers
and some Sky Powers and is also called Hearth Mother. She found Votank
and raised him according to the local customs. Her mythology is normally
concerned with helping Votank and the others of Votank's Hearth.
The Grandmother Sky/Hearth Mother cult is not a standard one. Following
the example in Griffin Island, the cult is only open to women. It grants
no Divine Magic but every Sacred Time there is a festival where all the
initiates of the cult gather in their sacred tents and summon spirit servants
of the Goddess who teaches them Spirit Magic. The cult is engaged in teaching
skills useful for home-making such as cooking, gathering, clothes making
and child rearing.
Rigitania the Hunting Nymph (Native
Genert and Gata, the Earth King and Earth Queen had many daughters together.
One of these was Rigitania. Whereas many of their daughters were pretty
and plump, rounded homemakers, Rigitania was beautiful and slim, a lean
runner who loved nothing more than running naked across the plains and
forests of what became known as Votankiland.
Genert and Gata decided to give their daughters gifts when they became
women. All the sisters came to a cave beneath the earth and were shown
by Genert two piles of clay pots, some painted green and some painted red.
Esra, Ralia, Kralora, Pela and most of the other Sisters chose pots of
Green but Rigitania, Frona and Pent chose pots of Red. Gata then produced
two bags of clay figures, some were of grains and fruits but others were
of animals and birds. Esra chose Wheat, Pela chose Barley, Kralora chose
Rice and Ralia chose Oats but Rigitania chose a healthy Bison. Thus the
Goddesses chose their future forms.
During the Golden Age Rigitania saw her Sisters grow prosperous and
wealthy because of their grains, but her bison grew weak and thin. She
asked them why and they said they were hungry and wanted grass to eat.
She saw that all her sisters had grass except her and she was upset so
she asked her father. He laughed and said that all grass was like hair,
all women had it above and below and that she only needed to think of the
grass and it would grow. Soon afterwards the plains of her lands became
covered in a lush rich grass and the Bison became fat and healthy. Rigitania
took many lovers through the Golden Age and each gave her a clay figurine
as a present. Thus, she gained Cattle, Giant Sables, Brontosaurs, Triceratops,
Hares, Rabbits, Pheasants, Honey and all manner of small creatures, grubs,
roots and tubers. Soon her Red Pot became filled with figurines and she
became rich and happy as her Plains and Forests became rich with life.
Then the Sun was slain and the world became Dark. Other deities came
from Hell and devoured much of the food and the people became hungry and
afraid. Rigitania did not know what to do, apart from growing her hair
long and feeding her creatures with her grass. Then a young God named Votank
came to her and tracked her through the Forests and Plains. He saw where
she ran naked and set a trap for her with swathes of sweetmeats and small
things that she loveed to eat. She stopped her running to eat and he leapt
on her and wrestled her to the ground, but rather than taking her there
and then he asked for her help to feed his people. She agreed and took
him to her Deep Cave, showing him her Red Pot and giving him a leather
bag full of figurines. From that time onwards, she helped feed the people
of the surrounding lands.
Some time afterwards, Rigitania was visited by Hearth Mother who was
Votank's adopted mother and wife and had found out how he had fed the people.
Hearth Mother said that her people were still hungry as there was not enough
food for everyone and that she was afraid that the fod would dry up and
the men would become tired of hunting all the time. She begged Rigitania
for help, but the Hunting Nymph said that she could not give her what she
had given Votank as Men and Women should not do the same things. Instead
she reached into her Red Pot and dropped a number of figurines into a small
grass bag and gave this to Hearth Mother. She thanked Rigitania and left
for Votank's Hearth. She looked into the bag and saw figures of fruits
and berries, roots and tubers, nuts and grubs, birds eggs and small animals.
Hearth Mother taught her women how to gather the food that was in the bag
and their people became well fed. In this way, Rigitania became the Nymph
of the Hunters and the Gatherers of Votankiland.
Rigitania is rarely worshipped directly but is worshipped in subcults
of both Votank and Hearth Mother. She is worshipped by the Wild Women and
her Nymph Daughters and by those who would gain her blessings directly.
She is the focus of a number of HeroQuests where hunters or gatherers try
to gain permission to hunt or gather new foods, essentially gaining a pick
from her Red Pot as those foods and animals not found in the Leather or
Grass Bags are taboo and may not be hunted by the clans of Balazar.
Firshala (Once Freed) (Native Votanki)
The daughter of Votank and Hearth Mother, Firshala was the mother of the
Founders of the Clans of the Votanki. She inherited her mother's Fiery
nature and became known as the Burner for her appetites, but she was no
Oakfed and did not lay waste to the lands of the Votanki. Instead, she
restrained herself and became a controlled form of Wild Fire, used to clear
areas of Forest in order to regenerate growth and produce fresh hunting
and gathering lands. She had only a little history except that she became
the enemy of the Aldryami of the Elder Wilds and was defeated and bound
by Nysalor when he reached the area and answered the pleas of his Aldryami
friends. Since that time, the memory of Firshala was wiped out from Votanki
Mythology and she was simply not known. The clans could also not summon
ancestors through the female lines and had to rely on Votank's male lineage
for their ancestor worship. This weakened the clans and made them less
likely to rise up against Nysalor.
Although the memory of Firshala was wiped from Votanki Mythology, not
every trace was removed. Certain myths had a figure of a wife or mother
that was ot named and had no properties, for instance Yinkin slept by Votank's
Hearth and was fed burnt food by a kind woman. Also, the women of the Clans
had a kind of medicine bundle that represented the Burnt Woman and was
a grass figurine of a woman but rolled in smouldering ashes so that the
outside was burned black. She was always paired with the Golden Man who
was a grass figure of a man and they were the object of a story where the
Burnt Woman was put away by the Golden Man for her unfaithfulness until
she was rescued by a handsome youth who was also known as the Golden Man
but was young and virile against the original figure's dry sterility.
Firshala is not given worship until she is discovered, freed and released
as in the Griffin Mountain/Griffin Island scenario packs. When she is freed
she will exhort her rescuers to help her rebuild her cult. This should
be achieved through missionary acts and HeroQuesting. When the annual Sacred
Time Rituals are performed, she will ask her worshippers to take the part
of the Kind Woman, the Burnt Woman and the Golden Haired Woman in order
to reinforce her position in Votanki Mythology. Hopefully she will become
reintegrated in the Mythology as an Ancestress, if this happens she will
restore the Woman's Lineage and allow ancestors to be summoned through
the matrilineal descent.
The cult of Firshala grants fire-based magic and some ancestor magic,
although not as much as Daka Fal does. I prefer the Griffin Mountain version
rather than the Griffin Island version as that includes Ancestor Worship.
This god was brought to Balazar by Balazar himself. His cult was set up
in the Beehive Temples of the Citadels, no Golden Domes here, the Temples
were given this form for reasons unknown but the Elven Shrines in the Forests
of Balazar and the Elven Wilds often have beehive forms, so perhaps it
was another example of Balazar's flexibility and foresight. It is known
that he HeroQuested to show that Yelmalio was the Golden Warrior from Votanki
myth and that he was the Forest Sun from Elven myth, so Yelmalio was accepted
by the Votanki.
When the DragonKill War happened, Balazar and the rest of the Yelmalians
marched away down the throats of a million dragons and only a handful returned.
The power of Yelmalio was broken for many generations and only the old,
infirm and very young remained. The Beehive Temples were maintained as
was the worship of Yelmalio, but the form of worship changed. The cultists
knew they were in difficult territory as the Votanki were still not sure
of the horse-riding cultists, so they went back to the roots of the Votanki
Yelmalio. They abandoned the horse and used Dogs as Yelmalio had used dogs
in the Votanki tradition. They became more influenced by the Elven Yelmalio
and took on many of his properties. They also looked back at their own
teachings and became more traditional than their fellows. Unlike the Praxians,
they did not absorb many of the local Spirit Cults but went their own way.
Now, the Yelmalio cult in Balazar differs from that in Prax and Dara
Happa. It has properties that the others think quaint and odd but all recognize
it as a valid part of the cult. Each Citadel has its own worship of Yelmalio
with the High Priests descended from the Founder of the Citadel. Elkoi
is the Chief Temple as Elkoi was the first born son of Balazar, but the
temples fall under the direction of the Kings of the Citadels.
This was a mercenary from Dara Happa who was a member of the Yelmalio cult.
He had gained fame fighting the Empire of the Wyrms Friends and needed
to expand his personal power. He entered Votankiland and HeroQuested to
prove himself. First he showed that Yelmalio was the Golden Warrior of
Votanki Myth. Then he gained the piglets of the Sow with the Golden Bristles
and Silver Tusks for the Votanki and married the Queen of Beasts, Rigitania
herself. In doing this, he showed himself to be a powerful leader. He founded
the three Citadels and bound the Votanki to him. He used his Dragon-Slaying
Quests to drive the Dragonewts from Votankiland. He stopped the Troll Raiding
and also proved himself to be part of the Elder Council and thus not an
enemy of the Trolls. He proved himself a friend of the Elves and showed
that he could sit on the Council of the Forests. He prepared to perform
the Yelm/Oslir Rite for the major rivers in Balazar and to introduce irrigation
and agriculture there and prepared to search for the Burnt Woman as he
wanted to take the part of the Young Golden Man. However, the Call came
and the True Golden Horde marched to Dragon Pass together with Balazar
and the lion's share of his army, all except the old, the sick and the
weak. All fell and were devoured by Dragons, all except the Ten Burnt Ones
who returned years later scarred and shamed. Even Balazar himself had died
and did not return, although he could be contacted at his shrines.
Balazar is the Ruling God in Balazar. He grants little magic but is
the Culture Hero of the Balzarings. All the Kings of Balazar must be descended
Citadel Gods (Elkoi, Trilius, Dykene) (Balazaring)
When Balazar wen to the DragonKill he left behind his three infant children
in the care of their foster mothers, three Ernalda Priestesses. They were
raised without him and became members of the Yelmalio cult. They reinforced
the Citadels and carried on some of the deeds that their father had started,
but they had neither the wisdom nor the powers of their father and failed
in most of their tasks. However, they did succeed in establishing the Citadels
as focus of the worship of Yelmalio and establishing their own children
as the rulers of Balazar.
The Citadel Gods grant standard City God magic and act in the same way
as most minor City Gods.
Firshala (When Freed) (Balazaring)
The Mythos of Firshala is given above but there are also hints of a relationship
between her and the Golden Warrior, it is said that he taught the use of
his spear to a Golden Haired Woman when he visited her hearth. Firshala
wants to make her cult an associate cult of Yelmalio on the basis of this
relationship and will ask her cultists to HeroQuest accordingly. This is
relatively easy to do and to bind the two cults as this story has a basis
The Balazarings will treat Firshala as a companion in arms to Yelmalio.
Those women who want to follow the Warrior Tradition but do not like to
worship Yelmalio or Yelorna will be able to follow Firshala instead. This
will eventually result in two forms of Firshala worship, that of Clan based
Ancestor worship and Citadel based warrior worship, both of which apply
to the original Firshala. This could result in some interesting role-playing
and political activity.
Vrimak (New, for the Hawk Riders) (Balazaring)
When Skilfil HeartPiercer performed a HeroQuest and brought his Giant Hawks
to Balazar he also brought the worship of Vrimak. There is a single shrine
to Vrimak that is in the quarters of the Hawk Riders. The god is worshipped
by the Hawk Riders and their tenders and servants and just about makes
up a Shrine. As such it has no political or spiritual power here and merely
acts as a focus of the Hawk Worship.
Ernalda was brought to Balazar with Yelmalio. She is his wife and the Goddess
of the Fields. Balazar had intended to turn much of Balazar into fertile
farmland with irrigation projects, but he died before he could continue.
So, Ernalda is seen as an imported deity, subservient to the Hearth Mother.
Amongst the Clans she has no presence, in the Citadels she is only important
amongst the Yelmalian people. There are some farmers in the Citadels who
scratch a meagre living from the surrounding lands but they are few and
The Forest Mother covered the lands with her children and the Forests of
the Elder Wilds was one of the biggest. During the Darkness the Elder Races
met in a Council and held the Elder Wilds together. Aldrya provided the
wood that supported the Council. Votank cam to Aldrya and asked for her
help in the Darkness but she was too preoccupied with her own kind to help
him. Afterwards he returned and offered peace with her kind. This time
she listened and the Votanki were offered shelter in the Forests.
Aldrya is worshipped here as she is elsewhere. High King Elf sat on
the Elder Council and there are HeroQuests to ally the Aldryami with the
Trolls and Mostali but they are rarely used now. The Votanki do not trust
the Elves following their perceived treachery during the First and Second
Yelmalio (Forest Sun) (Elven)
The Votanki recognize the Golden Warrior or the Shining God who was Votank's
kinsman and who protected the Forests of Votankiland during the Darkness.
They speak of his love of his dogs and of how he helped the Elves. The
Elves have their own myths of the Forest Sun who helped them in the Darkness
and was also a friend of the Hunters.
The Elves worship the Forest Sun in much the same way as they do elsewhere.
However, his shrines have beehive shaped roofs and his worshippers carry
a yellow flower as a token of their membership.
Flamal is worshipped by the Aldryami here in the same way as elsewhere.
He has no mythology particular to the area and is treated as the Father
of Plants. Rigitania knows that he was one of her lovers and gave her access
to many of the berries of the Forest but the relationship is not manifested
by Associate Cult status or Divine Magic.
Kyger Litor (Troll)
The trolls of the Elder Wilds worship Kyger Litor as their Ancestress.
The Votanki had no relationship with her except through her children but
she does have an honorary seat on the Elder Council.
This troll hunter deity raided Votankiland during the Darkness and showed
the trolls how to hunt and kill. They did not return the souls of their
prey to Rigitania and the souls were lost to her. She wept and went to
Zong to ask for his help, but he refused her. Three times she tried but
each time she was beaten and left bruised on the ground. Then she hardened
her heart and opened her Red Pot, covering the figurines there with black
ash and hiding them from all who sought them. Votank asked her where the
food had gone, but she just said to wait and ask Zong. Eventually, Zong
came to ask her for the food but he did not trap her as all the others.
Instead he came to her Dark Cave and spread a picnic containing all the
souls of all the creatures he had taken from him. He gave these to her
and offered to do this as a favour. She agreed and removed the black ash
from the Red Pot. So, Zong has her permission to hunt in the Elder Wilds
but his cultists show her respect otherwise they know that the hunting
Other Troll Gods (Troll) 
There are many deities that are worshipped by the trolls of the Elder Wilds.
These include Haakko the Swimmer who bested the monsters of the Elf Sea
and found a way to kill the Giant Water Snakes of the Aldryami; Jeset the
Boatman who also sails the Styx ferrying the dead souls to Hell; Tokton
who invented Trollball and is a friend of the Giants of Giantland; Yurrg
who wrestled with Dinosaurs; Tapaka who is a stealthy warrior and who stole
figures from Rigitania's Red Jar; Bina Bang who seduced a Demon and is
a friend of the Moon Lovers; Herka the Bonegnasher who set up the Elder
Council and ruled the Elder Wilds; Gorakiki Mantis who is worshipped by
the Beetle Hordes of the Elder Wilds and Swems who Votank pulled from the
ground and was poisoned but who was tickled by Hearth Mother and gave her
the right to eat her grubs.
Many demons came to Votankiland during the Darkness and one of these was
Cacodemon. Votank wrestled with him and threw him down on the Plains. Where
he fell his flesh burned the ground and left an imprint of his form. He
flew away and never bothered Votankiland again.
There is a figure of Cacodemon on the Plains of the Elder Wilds that
acts as a Cacodemon Shrine. Ogres often gather here for rituals and this
is the centre of their cult. Luckily for the other inhabitants their activity
is kept in check by the Votanki and the trolls so this is a very minor
cult in the area.
There are broos near Festering Island and several other areas in the Elder
Wilds. These worship Thed as their major goddess. Thed worship is as elsewhere
as she has no Mythos particular to Balazar.
Mallia is worshipped by the broos of the Elder Wilds and also by certain
Votanki Shamans who know her of old. Mallia crossed the lands of Votankiland
before Votank was born and the Votanki feared her, but some brave shamans
followed close behind her and plucked pieces of dead skin from her back.
They carried those pieces of dead skin back with them and found that they
could use the pieces to summon Spirits of Disease against their enemies.
Although these practices are not within the Votanki Tradition, they are
tacitly accepted as a necessity and the shamans that can summon these spirits
are known as Black Skin Shamans and form a Sacred Society.
Elf Sea (Water)
The Elf Sea was one of the water deities that invaded the Pelorian Basin
during the Gods War. When the Spike exploded and Magasta and the other
waters leapt to fill the void the Elf Sea remained behind like many of
the inland seas so that all the waters would not be drained into the Void.
There are few myths linking the Elf Sea with the Votanki except as a source
of Water Creatures and Powers. During the Darkness many sea elves made
their home in the Elf Sea and the Aldryami traded with their cousins. It
is said that great floating trunks plied the waters of the Elf Sea but
nobody remembers this now. Some say the Trolls cleared the elves from the
Elf Sea, others say they were blown away by the Storms that racked in during
the First Age and still others say that the Elves were eaten by the monsters
that still live in the Elf Sea but it is known that no elves sailed the
Elf Sea after the First Age. During the Second and Third Ages the Elf Sea
has been quiet, not disturbing those who use its waters. There are settlements
on the shores of the Elf Sea but these are generally not large or important.
The Elf Sea cult is a typical Sea Cult that is worshipped for the bounty
that the Elf Sea provides as well as to prevent the Elf Sea from destroying
the settlements on its banks. There are monsters within the Elf Sea that
will destroy ships that sail across the Sea. This is not related to the
Closing but has a similar effect, although those people wishing a safe
passage may sacrifice a sentient being to the Elf Sea at the start of a
voyage and the monsters will not attack.
Black Eel (Water)
The Black Eel is a tributary of the Oslir and is a powerful river in its
own right. There are some myths relating how the Black Eel came to pass
near to Balazar and how it protected Tarsh from raiders from Votankiland
and Pent and there are some stories of how Votanki Chiefs and Heroes gained
wives from the Black Eel's daughters.
The Black Eel cult is very similar to the other river cults such as
Zola Fel, although it has different local associated cults and HeroQuests
that are Pelorian in nature.
Other Rivers (Water)
These rivers are children of the Elf Sea or the Black Eel. There are some
myths detailing what the rivers did but they are fairly generic. These
are wild rivers and have not been tamed for irrigation or farming. They
support fishing by those who have sacrificed to or worship the rivers shamanically
but some rivers do not even provide that service.
Each river has a deity who takes the form of the river but very few
are worshipped directly. Some are worshipped shamanically and some are
honoured as Water Nymphs. The Votanki and Balazarings often engage in HeroQuests
or rituals that enable them to obtain powers or wives from the rivers but
very few of these give reciprocal benefits to the rivers.
Lokarnos (Dara Happan)
The God of Carts and Trade is an imported deity brought by the Dara Happan
settlers who traded with the Balzarings after the DragonKill. With the
Lunar invasion of Elkoi the Dara Happans have tried to gain influence but
slowly as the Lunars prefer to promote the Etyries cult. However, many
of the Balazaring Yelmalians will only trade with the Lokarnos cult so
its place is fairly secure, at least for the time being.
Durbaddath (Dara Happan)
Votank's Father abandoned Votank during the Darkness as was the custom
at that time. When Votank had proved himself and became chief of the Votanki
Durbaddath tried to reclaim his son as his own but Votank spurned him.
Three times Durbaddath tried to make amends and three times he was spurned.
Later Durbaddath was beheaded and Yelm replaced his head with that of a
lion. In return Durbaddath offered Yelm his son Votank as a slave as revenge
for his being spurned by Votank. Obviously, this was not honoured by Votank
himself, but the Dara Happans have often taken slaves of the Votanki because
of this relationship.
Strangely enough, the custom of Abandonment is still practised by the
Votanki and they will abandon their first-born infants in the Forests or
Plains to see if they will live and grow strong or be weak and die. Many
infants are found by wandering clans and the Grandmother Sky cultists are
ritually obliged to take the infants in and rear them as their own. Sometimes
the infants are raised or protected by animals, this happened to the son
of Blueface the Shaman who was abandoned by Blueface and guarded by Greyrunner
Runefang until he was found by a wandering clan. The Votanki do not see
this strange and would be appalled if they were spurned by their offspring
as their taboos maintain that they should not try and claim their offspring
even though they may act as patrons.
The Durbaddath cult is not strong in Balazar although it has always
been there and is not a recent import. When someone abandons a child and
tries to reclaim him afterwards and is spurned then he can join the cult
Yelm (Dara Happan)
The Dara Happan nobility have been eyeing Balazar for some time. They would
like to see a Yelmic High King to rule Balazar under the control of the
Red Emperor. They dislike the idea of Yelmalian Kings and are trying to
displace them ritually. However, Yelm played no part in the mythic history
of Votankiland  and they
are hitting many obstacles. The cult of Yelm has only a few members in
the citadel of Elkoi and they have come with the Lunars. It is a minor
cult in the region with influence only in parts of Elkoi as the Yelmalian
Kings are resisting the Yelmic challenge with vigour.
Dendara (Dara Happan)
The wife of Yelm is worshipped where he is, in the Citadel of Elkoi. She
is only present because the Yelm cult is in Elkoi. She is opposed by the
Yelmalians and the Ernaldi as a serious rival. Once again there are no
myths linking Dendara to Votankiland or Balazar but the Priestesses are
looking to change this.
Lodril (Dara Happan)
There are some Lodrili farmers in the valleys of Balazar, scratching a
living from the poor farming there. However they have had a little more
success than the Yelmites and there are a few shrines to Lodril along the
Black Eel. Lodril has no mythical connection to Votankiland or Balazar
and the Priests of the cult have no wish to change this.
Seven Mothers (Lunar)
This cult was introduced when the Lunars took over Elkoi. The only temples
to the cult are in Elkoi and the cult has no real influence in the rest
of Balazar. However the Priestesses of the cult are trying to curry favour
with the other Balazarings and Votanki. As with many of the introduced
cults, the Seven Mothers have no mythical connection to the Votanki or
The Lunar Goddess of Trade is being used to expand trading links with the
Citadels of Balazar, even though the Yelmalians will not trade with her
and will only trade with the Lokarnos cult. However, Etyries has been surprisingly
successful in making trade links with the Votanki. Some attribute this
to the cult's deviousness but there is a more subtle reason. Etyries herself
traded with Rigitania in the Darkness and gave her a clay figurine of the
Giant Sable Deer in return for her friendship. The Etyries cult is trying
to find a way across the Rockwoods in order to trade with the Praxians.
They have heard of a route via Gonn Orta's Castle but have not been able
to verify this or even to find the castle.
Yara Aranis (Lunar)
The Horse Eater is trying to make inroads into Balazar for several reasons.
She wants a second front against the Pentian Nomads who have been known
to attack Peloria through Balazar. She also wants to be able to extend
the Glowline and is looking to site a Temple in one of the Citadels of
Balazar, possible Elkoi, in order to put Balazar within the Glowline. She
has no mythic links with Balazar but is keen to exploit some of the myths
of the Votanki against the Pentian Nomads.
Brother Bee (Local Spirits)
This son of Gorakiki Bee fought Votank when both were young. Votank
won and was about to kill him when Brother Bee offered Votank a new food
in return for his life. Votank refused so Brother Bee offered him something
he could use to keep darkness away. Again Votank refused, so in desperation
Brother Bee promised that his mother's children would not harm Votank's
children in return for his life. Finally Votank agreed and the two swore
friendship and smoked a pipe together and Brother Bee became sleepy and
forgot to sting Votank.
His cult is described further here.
Brother Bear (Local Spirits)
Brother Bear was one of the inhabitants of Bear Woods during the Golden
Age. When Raven brought his Bag of Treasures and gave all the people gifts,
Man and Brother Bear traded many of their gifts, giving each a share to
the other. So Man and Brother Bear became brothers and friends. Brother
Bear proved a good friend to Votank's people during the Darkness, he showed
how to find and extract the best honey and wax from the wild beehives,
how to search for healing herbs and how to grow huge in anger. In return,
Votank gave Brother Bear the clay Bear figurine he had been given by Rigitania
and agreed not to hunt his kind unless the bears attacked his people.
Shamans contact Brother Bear for knowledge of healing herbs, forest
craft and secrets of the earth. He is considered a friend of the Votanki.
Tornado Spirit (Local Spirits)
When the world was bad and everything died or nearly died, many spirits
walked the land. One of these was Gagarth the Wild Hunter. This Storm God
swept in from Pent, where he sometimes lived, and roared through the Wilds
and started destroying things. He tore up trees in the Forest and shattered
all who opposed him. First Votank wrestled with him and was thrown to the
ground. Then Yelmalio cam forth and was thrown into the tops of the trees
where he belonged. Finally a spirit known only as the Whirler came and
danced with Gagarth. They span out of the Forest and across the Plains
until Gagarth was spun away into Pent. But where he had been was formed
a new Spirit, born of the Wild Storm and the Spinning Dance, this was the
Tornado Spirit, the first Tornado, and he shared his father's love of violence
His cult is described here.
Inora (Local Spirits)
The Winter Goddess lives on a Glacier high in the Rockwoods to the West
of Balazar and the Elder Wilds. During the Darkness she followed her father
as he covered Peloria with his blanket of ice and she settled on her Palace
in the RockWoods. From there her realm included the lands now known as
Balazar and the Elder Wilds. The people of Votankiland banded together
with their friends and allies and fought the Winter Goddess, pushing her
back slowly but surely until she was banished beyond Giantland. Every Winter
Inora leads an assault on the people of Balazar and the Elder Wilds but
every year she is forced back again. In the past the contest has been more
even but with the Lunar domination of Elkoi the locals can call on the
cult of Kalikos as well as the Lodrili and Yelmites and this has helped
their cause. Even Votank and his Clan fights Inora when she tries to enter
his lands. Balazar tried to re-enact the Hill of Gold ritual between Yelmalio
and Inora in order to try and befriend her but failed in his attempt.
Inora is not worshipped in Balazar but many shamans contact her for
her spells and her abilities. There is a HeroQuest that the Inora cultists
perform each Winter, called Wintercome, that attempts to make winter stronger
for that year.
Strelite (Local Spirits)
Strelite was a member of the Storm Tribe who was befriended and adopted
by Votank. He was shown all the secrets of the Hunt and learned a new power,
that of the Hail of Death that allowed him to bring down groups of prey
at once. He desired Rigitania and laid a trap for her, giving her a feast
of many souls, but he took her with force and the souls were already promised
to her so she cursed him to remain a bachelor.
His cult is described here.
Orlanth Adventurous (Other)
Introduced by the friends of Yalaring Monsterslayer, this cult is only
known amongst the Adventurers in Trilius. Orlanth visited Votankiland during
the Darkness but only as a raider and he is not remembered fondly there.
His brother Yinkin is better known and is remembered as the Lazy One, the
Deceitful One, Stealer of Breath and the Outcast. This does not endear
him to the Votanki and the Orlanth cult is having a hard time here, especially
as the Yelmalians of the Citadels have a mythical rivalry at the nearby
Hill of Gold and bear one hell of a grudge.
1. Oliver Bernuetz has a great
deal of Balazar information on his website but this is quite different
to my own. Although I would like to only have one point of view so that
Glorantha is consistent and not too confusing I feel that there is room
for several versions of areas such as Balazar and Prax. Perhaps people
can take some of his ideas and some of mine for a better view of Balazar.
2. Many of the troll deities
are taken from The Book of Drastic Resolutions Volume Darkness. I did not
have these in my campaign, but they are too good to pass up.
3. However, in my campaign
I played that Balazar was actually a Yelm cultist but that had been forgotten.
As part of that campaign Solarus wanted to become a Yelm cultist and HeroQuested
to prove that Balazar was a member of the Yelm cult, so Solarus could qualify
as a Yelmite as he was the descendant of a Yelm cultist, High Priest of
the cult of a Yelm cultist and had HeroQuested and performed the Yelmic
Kingship tests as a member of Yelm Imperator.