Photo by: Tobias von der Haar (CC BY 2.0)

The Farmer, The Coward, and The Righteous

Quite some time ago I promised details on the rest of the patron gods. Today I present three more of them.

For those needing a refresher, the All-Mother created all life but was too powerful to directly interact with it and so she created the All-Father – the most powerful a being can be whilst still being able to interact with the inhabitants of the natural world. To help him oversee humanity, the All-Father raised many mortals up to divinity. The first eight, the most powerful of those ascended, are the patron gods. Already introduced are Fionella Dragon-Tamer and Banjahdo Beast-Slayer. Today we meet Brave Ikhael, Farmer Enyden, and Righteous Taetaami. Still to come are:

  • Naajae the Dancer and her dealing with a fiend;
  • Iseana the Painter taking her vengeance; and
  • Learned Witanzimwah and his wanderings;

Brave Ikhael, the One-Handed Coward

Ikhael was a scrawny, scared boy who grew up in a large village on the outskirts of civilised land. As was the duty of all those coming-of-age, he served in a watchtower a half-days walk from the village. One morning just before dawn, a band of tuskfangs ambushed the tower and slaughtered its inhabitants, save for Ikhael who had hidden when the fighting started. Ikhael considered running to a nearby tower but it would take too long and the village would be caught unaware. His fear for his community outweighing his fear for himself, he took a shortcut that involved a dangerous ravine crossing and sneaking through a lair of slagfiends. He made it to the village with ample time, but a slagfiend hatchling had stowed away. It launched itself at a village elder. Without thought, Ikhael slapped it out of the air, getting bitten on the hand. A nearby soldier killed the fiend with her spear. As Ikhael stared at his already swelling and oozing hand, the All-Father appeared and spoke quietly to Ikhael before handing him a knife. Ikhael cried and then his expression settled into determination and he sliced the cut hand from his body. The All-Father nodded and granted him divinity. To this day he is one-handed, legend has it that he will reamin so until he is no longer afraid.

He is now acknowledged as the God of courage, humour, loyalty, combat, and sex.

Farmer Enyden, the Insightful

Enyden was a quiet, unassuming farmer who served on his town’s council. He became disturbed after noticing that the punishments handed out had more to do with whom the council liked and owed than it did with the crime committed. He remained silent for several years, but eventually spoke out. The rest of council insisted his memory was faulty and that there decisions were correct and fair. When the next trial started, Enyden arrived with an armful of blank paper and began to record everything that was said and the decision that was reached. When similar crimes were later committed by others, he ensured that the punishments and verdicts were similar to those that came before. After many years of this, he wrote a summarised collection of the town’s laws and the factors that influenced their decisions and shared it with all so that none could unknowingly break the law. This was the first time any law had been codified in the natural world and for his insight, the All-Father raised Enyden to divinity.

He is now acknowledged as the God of farming, intimacy, law, secrecy, and metalwork.

Righteous Taetaami, the Healer

Taetaami was heir to a rich family in a divided city. Her family and two others vied for control, a centuries-long feud existed between all three. Outbreaks of violence were not uncommon, but by-and-large peace was maintained. As many in her family did, Taetaami studied to be a physician and vivacer. One afternoon she witnessed a fight between members of her extended family and a lone member of a feuding family. After the dust had settled, the man was left bleeding in the dirt. She brought him to the shelter of a nearby apothecary and tended to his wounds. From then on she would sneak away whenever possible to provide care and treatment to any who needed it, even if they were from rival families. When her parents discovered this, her mother forbade her from doing so. She ignored her and continued to treat all she found who needed aid. One night as she bound the wounds of a member of a rival family, her mother and a number of the family’s warriors burst into the clinic. Taetaami and her mother had a protracted argument. Her mother demanding that the rival be handed over to her and that Taetaami cease her childish antics. Taetaami calmly stated that as she had the skills to help she had a moral duty to do so and that she would allow no harm to befall a patient in her care. Her mother ordered the soldiers to kill the man and he was stabbed in the chest. Screaming with rage, Taetaami flung herself on the dying patient and poured her own life essence into him, knitting his wounds by force of will. As she lay, herself now drained and dying, Taetaami spat at her mother and renounced her family. The All-Father appeared and lifted her in his arms and into divinity. Many, though far from all, physicians now take an oath to Taetaami to care for any who need their help and to never allow harm to befall those in their care.

She is now acknowledged as the Goddess of healing, vivacy, music, woodcraft, and independence.


Beyond Haven – Dammit Jim, I’m A Doctor (Session 3?)

Beyond Haven is a Fragged Empire game that I’m playing in on the first Wednesday of every month. I’ll not talk about the system very much – I’m planning to do a separate review at a later date once I’ve got a bit more table experience. For now I’ll just say it’s a sci-fi game in a post-post-apocalyptic universe. Our particular game is about being the crew of one of the first ships to leave the Haven system to rediscover what’s out there.

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Whitecliff – Over the Hill (Session 2)

I’ve decided to start doing write-ups of the various RPGs I’m running / playing in at the moment. To start with, the second session of Whitecliff was last night. But I’ll start this write-up as if the first and second sessions were a single session.

Many years ago, each of the characters was about to die when a little-known deity, Cob, gave them a choice. They could meet their fate and go to whatever follows death or he could teleport them to a divine garden where they’d spend a few generations until they were sent back into the world on a divine mission.
Time passed without meaning or notice in the garden and suddenly Cob was before them again saying their time had come. They would be sent back to a world where gods no longer roamed and their mission was to prepare for the arrival of many more, to found a village.

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Update on Writing

I missed yesterday too, though I’m not blaming myself for that. I was home for a total of 3 hours yesterday. One of those went to lunch, one to sleeping, and one to getting ready to go out again. Even if I’d forced myself to sit in front of the computer and write, it’d have been terrible.

I’ve come to the conclusion that writing every single day is not a feasible goal for me at the moment. Certainly not for a 100 day period.

And I guess it was kind of silly to think that it would be. I mean, I went from writing once every few months to writing every day with no build up. It’s no wonder that I’m struggling to keep up the creative flow and motivation.

Also, the lack of leeway to miss the occasional day is no fun. I do seem to have a day every few weeks where I have multiple back-to-back functions and there’s no way to cram the writing in there.

And then I miss a day and that’s getting me used to skipping the writing, which is the exact opposite of what I’m meant to be doing.

So. New plan. I’m taking a few days to a week or two off from posting. Then I’ll start posting again. Posts will go up five days a week (Sunday to Thursday), but unlike at the moment, I’ll be writing them in advance. I’ll still be aiming to write most days, but this will give me the leeway to plan for excessively busy weekends (like this one). Also, I’ll be able to do some editing, which I’m increasingly keen to do.

Stage 1 – Take 3 – Day 1 – During – Scratched Deposits

God. Damn. It. I missed last night again. This kitchen will be the death of me. Or something. I don’t know. This weekend’s going to be tricky too, it’s jam packed full of activities to distract and tire me.

Anyway, today’s piece continues directly on from day 2-2.

Creepiness aside, Empire Bowl has several points in its favour. I’m intimately familiar with it, the manager’s office is easily defended, and it’s inside an all-physics zone. That last point is extremely important to me. Many who survived the end or who were born after it have various powers. People claim that many had them before the end and us ‘normals’ just didn’t know any better. I’m not sure about that, but you only need to see someone sling a fireball in your direction once to be convinced that they exist now. But they don’t work in Empire Bowl. And neither do the weird sci-fi guns the Scions of Earth carry around. Which is to my advantage, as all I’ve got is a mediocre left hook, a trusty shotgun, and a leather duster. Cliché? Sure. But when you’re a mercenary wanting work, it pays to look the part.

I had stopped in to Empire Bowl to deposit my payment for escorting a man and his daughter through the Orange Swamp – a month’s food and a fine bottle of scotch. I was covered in grit and grime and stank like the swamp. This was to be a momentary stop before heading to Bethany’s Brothel – which, despite the name, sold no sexual services but did have running hot water and soft beds.

The last thing I love about Empire Bowl is the quiet. It makes libraries sound like packed stadiums. Which is why the faint scratching sound I started to hear moments after opening my safe got my undivided attention.

Stage 1 – Take 2 – Day 2 – During – Memories

Today’s piece follows directly on from day 2-1.

Anyway, I’m getting side-tracked. Empire Bowl is the creepiest place in During. You see, it burnt to the ground almost twenty years ago. My boss, Hugo, and I locked the place up one night and went home and the next morning I heard on the local radio station that it had burned down overnight.

And here it was, twenty years later in During. Looking not like it had burned down that night, but instead like it had simply sat abandoned for two decades. Like it had been the home to wild animals and looted by the occasional passer-by.

That’s enough for it to creep me out. Even without the ghost that looks exactly like Hugo and goes through his normal routines endlessly. He ignores most who enter the alley, though if you stand where the counter used to be, you can get him to go through the process of selling you a few games. He’ll even hand you shoes. If you’re lucky, instead of a few grunts you might get a short sentence or two.

He doesn’t ignore me. We have repeats of old conversations. It doesn’t matter whether I stand silent or say something, he just yammers away like a recording. It scares the crap out of me.

But Empire Bowl has a safe. And I know the combination. It’s the only place I’ve got to store things that won’t be looted in this hellish world we live in. And so, every few weeks, I get a stark reminder of my teenage years. That’d be bad enough if it wasn’t also a reminder of everything we lost when time ended.