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Author Topic: Gods of Tsolyanu
Miihkali
Nurtsáhlu (Clan-Brother)
Posts: 27
Post Gods of Tsolyanu
on: April 28, 2015, 13:12

I created some kind of a reference sheet for the colours of each Tsolyani god according to the description given in the Man of Gold. I'm not sure about Karakan, though. His men were described to wear scarlet and gold while every other main god had just one colour. Anyway, here's what I ended up with: http://miihkali.eu/Tekumel/Gods.pdf .

Few questions about gods:

First, how do you think summoning / asking for help works? Is it that the gods simply answer to the right kind of incantation, making it more or less an automaton, though it is difficult to use it properly and can end with miserable results. Or do the gods actually reward good worshipers when they ask for help? Remembering the fact that they are not actually gods but super-advanced beings, the latter theory makes me think whether, say, Hrihayal is but a cosmic-level scientist examining human sexual behaviour. He rewards is guinea pigs when they do what she wants them to do --that is, mate-- just like humans reward and punish animals when they train them or conduct scientific research.

I've also wondered whether or not gods are single entities at all. Or perhaps each "main god" is a single entity, leader of its kind. Then the "cohorts" are actually less powerful followers of the chief "god", but humans mistake them for single entity.

Last, what are your favourite gods? I have always somehow enjoyed reading about Sarku. When I first heard about Tekumel several years ago I could not help noting this guy with an ultra-cool name. When I started to read more about Tekumel he proved to be rather interesting. A god who approves necrophilia and human sacrifice and yet is not evil (Ksarul is, I suppose). But I also see that I'm not crazy enough to really serve Lords of Change, even if I had been born in Tsolyanu. Probably I would serve Thumis, being a bookworm that I am. (Is that a real idiom?)

barongreys-
tone
Nakomé (Clanless)
Posts: 4
Post Re: Gods of Tsolyanu
on: April 28, 2015, 13:24

Check this out for what colors the priests of the gods wear: http://tekumel.com/world_gods.html .

Any of Prof Barker's original players might give you more insight into the nature of the gods. Of course, in your game it can be whatever you like.

Tolekh-
hiDraskalu
Nakomé (Clanless)
Posts: 11
Post Re: Gods of Tsolyanu
on: April 28, 2015, 17:14

The few times I've called for divine intervention, it was certainly not a sure thing, and you might get them mad at you. Priests get a bonus, I think, and worshipers of Cohorts also get a bonus, since they are a little more likely to help their followers. They also like to get stuff. Thumis loves books, especially magical books. Ksarul likes magic items, Vimuhla likes captive sacrifices.

My favorites are Vimuhla and Dlamelish.

jeffdee
Administrator
Posts: 421
Post Re: Gods of Tsolyanu
on: April 28, 2015, 17:57

What Tolekh said. The Divine Intervention rules in Bethorm are based on the rules Prof. Barker wrote in his own Tekumel RPGs. Bethorm specifically links the chances of success to the supplicant's Rituals skill, enabling PCs to get *better* at it... but even then, it's far from a sure thing. The GM is encouraged to factor in all of the things you mentioned, Miihkali - the supplicant's past record, the god's personal interest in the outcome, and so on.

I think every god in the Tsolyani pantheon is petty cool. If I had to pick one in real life it might be Sarku... but then I have a Transhumanist perspective on him that's probably *not* quite what Barker had in mind. Likewise, in my own campaigns I try to emphasize the rigid, authoritarian nature of the gods of Stability while emphasizing the pro- personal freedom nature of the gods of Change, to make them both a little greyer and less good/evil.

-Jeff

Miihkali
Nurtsáhlu (Clan-Brother)
Posts: 27
Post Re: Gods of Tsolyanu
on: April 29, 2015, 04:11

When I called the divine intervention an "automaton" I didn't mean that the gods would always answer or that the changes were particularly high. Rather I wondered whether they answer because a successful ritual attracts them or because they want to reward good believers. Bethorm divine intervention rules would suggest that it mostly depends on a successful ritual and not that much on the follower's merits. While in Stormbringer rpg you earn favour points by doing things your god approves (for example, servant of the nature god would gain favour by planting gardens!) and then you can spend your favour in order to gain, well, favours. (Though it is not an automaton neither, most of time you will fail still.)

About the gods & colours. From the description of the chapter five of the Man of Gold I got the impression that certain colour patterns were not that much a dress code but rather some kind of a symbol:

"Along the northern wall of the chamber stood five daises: stepped pyramids blazoned with the colours and insignia of the Tlomitlanyal. [...] There was the white of Hnalla, the grey of his own good Lord Thumis, the scarlet and gold of the war-god Karakan, the sky-blue of the goddess Avanthe, and the yellow of Belkhanu. [...] [Cohorts] of the other gods of Stability similarly wore white bordered with the colour of the deity their master served." And so on.

jeffdee
Administrator
Posts: 421
Post Re: Gods of Tsolyanu
on: April 30, 2015, 10:42

"Bethorm divine intervention rules would suggest that it mostly depends on a successful ritual and not that much on the follower's merits."

The gods consider proficiency with their rituals a very significant merit in itself. In much the same way that if you expect a positive response from a human noble, you'd better use the proper honorifics when addressing them.

-Jeff

luther
Dlántü (Clan-Head)
Posts: 133
Post Re: Gods of Tsolyanu
on: April 30, 2015, 19:34

Let us hope the Tekumel Foundation soon republishes the two volumes of Mitlanyal. They offer a rather detailed explanation of the Gods of Stability and Change, including doctrines, magic, politics, factions, clans, colors, symbols, costumes, etc.

GeorgeHamm-
ond
Nakomé (Clanless)
Posts: 12
Post Re: Gods of Tsolyanu
on: June 12, 2015, 01:00

Barker left the nature of the gods pretty open, so GMs can create the cosmology they want. My understanding is that in his own games when gods responded to appeals for intervention they were sometimes conversational, sometimes cryptic, sometimes personal, sometimes impersonal and vast, often mercurial. People who were active in service to the deity and followed the noble action for their faith tended to be better received. One often has no way of knowing if one is talking to the God Itself, or some subordinate but nonetheless very powerful supernatural entity. Each god has many aspects, are these separate entities? Just metaphors for mere humans to comprehend the incomprehensible deity? Your call.
As luther says, Mitlanyal is rich in information about this.

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