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Phanaton Cult

by Marco Dalmonte English translation by Gary Davies

Worshipped in: Savage Coast, Isle of Dawn, Thanegioth Archipelago, Davania, Alphatia
Uí (Ordana) - Nature, protection of forests and sylvan races
Marau-Ixuí (Terra) - Balance of the life cycle, earth, birth, fertility, seasons
Uatumá (Zirchev) - Hunting, survival, audacity***
Night Spider (Aracne Prime) - Oppression, darkness, deceit, spiders and aranea

History of the Phanatons
The phanatons are intelligent beings similar to fat flying squirrels that have an extraplanar origin. After their home plane (an outer plane created by Terra) was invaded by the planar spiders led by the evil Aracne Prime, they were enslaved and subsequently forcedly deported to Mystara when Aracne Prime and his followers fled from their home plane in to the Prime in order to avoid death. The planar spiders coupled with the giant Mystaran spiders gave origin to the breed of the aranea, which took to attending on Aracne Prime as great mother and goddess of all the breed, creating new colonies scattered over the world in which they brought their phanaton slaves, and wove an intricate web of contacts that brought about the creation of the first and only aranea empire of Mystara, the Aracnite Empire based in the city of Aran, on the Lost Plateau of the future Isle of Dawn before the Blackmoorian Age. When the Great Rain of Fire caused the world to fall into chaos however, the aracnite empire was fragmented and the colonies remained isolated from the motherland very quickly becoming victim to anarchy. In this period many of the phanaton slaves managed to rebel against their masters, to kill them and to flee, later founding independent tribes. From that moment all the free phanatons of Mystara have sworn revenge against the hated aranea, and in particular the nation of Jibarú (situated in the Savage Coast) always practices a policy of aggression in its confrontations with the neighbouring magocracy of Herath (a nation secretly dominated and populated by aranea).

Precepts of the Cult
According to the phanaton mythos, Marau-Ixuí (Mother Earth) created the phanatons in order to bring balance into the world and counterbalance to the evil aranea. Unfortunately because of the magic and the superior guile of the aranea, the first phanaton were reduced to slavery and forced to serve their enemies for a long time. Only when Uí (Mother Forest) gave them the spark of intelligence they managed to elevate themselves above their enemies, to free themselves from the yoke of slavery and to devise traps and natural weapons capable of combating them. It was later thanks to the intercession of Uatumá (the Hunter), friend of Uí, who taught them the art of hunting and turn into true predators, to be able to survive the attacks of the aranea and to create their own kingdom earning respect from their neighbours. They are therefore the antithesis of the aranea, destined from birth to hunt them in order to stop their proliferation, and extremely taken by this serious task.
The phanatons are fervent supporters of the triad that protects them, and all make daily homage to the three divinities in three different phases of the day. Upon awaking they say a common prayer to Marau-Ixuí, to say thank you for life and ask for prosperity and balance for the day. At the return of the hunters at sunset, the village gathers together in order to thank Uatumá for the assistance in the daily hunt and in order to help them survive. Finally before lying down, the phanatons give thanks to Uí for having protected them during the day, for having given them a place in which to live, work and rest, and to invoke her protection on the village until sunrise.
Naturally, given the phanaton mythos, the demonic creature par excellence is the spider. This means that the Spider of the Night (Aracne Prime) is considered the enemy of the phanaton people and of their divinity.