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by Marco Dalmonte English translation by Gary Davies

Patron of Memory, Father of Written Knowledge, Keeper of History and Order

Level, Alignment, Sphere: 23rd (Empyreal), LN, Thought
Symbol: an open book
Portfolio: memory, history, books, wisdom, education, order, sages, scribes
Worshipped in: Alphatia, Bellissaria, Hollow World (Shahjapur), Known World (Sind), Patera
Appearance: Ssu-Ma has two manifestation forms, a human and a pachydermion.
* Human (Ssu-Ma, Pangloss) : a venerable, bald and barefoot oriental sage, with a short white chin beard, wearing a simple linen tunic, a parchment at his waist and often under his arm a well thumbed tome.
* Pachydermion (Ganetra) : an enormous humanoid with the head and feet of an elephant full of wrinkles of venerable age, with a profound and wise look, a red dot marked in the centre of the forehead, a white tunic fastened at the shoulder and a book always underarm.
History: PROBABLE THEORY: the origins of Ssu-Ma are uncertain and even the Immortal hasn’t so far been able to dispel all the doubts on his past. Ssu-Ma believes that this fact, and his obsession for history and memory, are derived from a manipulation that his patron (from which Ssu-Ma has also lost all memory) must have made to his Immortal mind, removing all the memories. For this now Ssu-Ma desperately tries to archive every single piece of information that he encounters, with the hope of also successfully finding the roots of his own origins. Ssu-Ma is considered of having probably been the first creature of the Multiverse who was able to codify his thoughts in words and his words in writing, and that for this achieved Immortality. Given that the cult of Ssu-Ma is linked in first place to the Ochaleans and to the Alphatians, he assumed that maybe during his mortal life he belonged to one of these peoples, even if he hasn’t established which. That which is sure is that in the first centuries after the arrival of the Alphatians on Mystara, his cult appeared both in Alphatia (where he was however called Pangloss) and in Ochalea, and possessing many similar characteristics. Shortly after, Ssu-Ma was of interest of the pachydermion culture of Patera (the invisible moon), and here was worshipped as patron of memory, history, wisdom and writing, gave to the pachydermions a new system of codification of the language and a series of sacred books (the Rig Veda) that have heavily influenced their spiritual and social growth. For this, with the pachydermions, the Alphatians and the Ochaleans he is considered the creator of the codified system of ideograms that has allowed the gathering and cataloguing the acquired knowledge. Among the most ancient texts and works considered sacred of his hands are numbered the legendary Rig Veda (transcription of the philosophical teachings of a pachydermion cleric of Ganetra with the court of the Sindhi Great Moghul during the VI century AC), the Tablet of Celestial Balance (also known as the Tome of Ssu-Ma, that with the Ochaleans constitutes the basis on which stands the philosophy of the Celestial Court and the art of good writing), and the Tome of Gambia (that according to the Alphatian legends was written by the First Mage, who discovered the arcane arts, and in which all the knowledge of the world can be found).
Personality[/b]: Ssu-Ma is an extremely calm and compassionate individual, faithful to the precision and order almost ending in an obsession. He doesn’t support chaos or disjointed thinking and for this is often in conflict with Korotiku, who loves to provoke him with disjointed and paradoxical arguments and to drag in his incapacity to remember his own past for making him more humble. He is often so absorbed in his own thoughts that it results in him being distracted, but when speaking he is always aware of the cause. For this many young Immortals turn to him for advice, as the mortals consult his followers, who are shining lights among the sages and learned of all the world. Ssu-Ma is the patron of meaningful knowledge like memory, history and education, and has taken particularly to heart the transmission of knowledge through writing, the only defence that he can interpose between the knowledge and the forgetfulness brought by time. Ssu-Ma has little predisposition to adventure and prefers avoiding the fight for power. For this despite his long time in the Immortal ranks, having never reached the apex of his Sphere. He doesn’t have any allies or enemies because of his detached character, but nurtured esteem for Noumena, who he considers an important interlocutor and a stimulating rival in games of logic and wit.
Patron: unknown [presumed: Korotiku]
Allies: none (respect for Noumena)
Enemies: none (antipathy for Korotiku)
Alignment of followers: Lawful
Favoured weapon: mace (allowed all bludgeoning weapons)
Clerics’ skills and powers: +1 bonus to Intelligence, permanent power of read languages, +2 bonus to librarianship and concentration (not free)
Domains: Thought, Law, Knowledge
Preferred weapon: light mace
Source: Master and Immortal set, WotI, HWA3, IM3