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Ylari and Nithian Pantheonby Marco Dalmonte
Ok, replying to Giampaolo's proposed pantheon for Nithia, here's my own version based on HWR2, Kingdom of Nithia, GAZ2, The Emirates of Ylaruam and the old Deities and Demigods. Note that I have not incorporated all of the Egyptian deities in this pantheon because I feel this should be tailored to Mystara's unique Immortals, making some adds only in particular cases.
Special Thanks to Aleksei Andrievski for the first draft of the Ylari Immortals and to James Mishler for his ideas on Set, Horus and Seker
Nithian Immortals Before al-Kalim
(BC 1,500- AC 0)
Horon (Ixion) [Head]
Wardens of Nithia
(Immortals who brought the downfall of Nithia after Thanatos' corruption and still watch over Nithia's dark secrets in the outer world):
Horon (Ixion) [Head]
Pflarr (The Gnoll)
Ylari Immortals After Nithia
Immortal Guardians of the True Believers:
Immortal Fiends of the False Path:
Tal'ishaa (Talitha) [Head]
The Hated Mother (Corona)
Rathanos (Corona is in fact granting spells to these deranged Magians)
Arachne Prime [Head]*
Horus (Ausar, Noumena's son)
Seker (Eskar, Horus' descendant)
* by AC1003 Arachne Prime's mysticism will have been banned and Rathanos' faith restored as the original true faith of the Pharaohs.
The Rightful Immortals
al-Kalim - The High Prophet, The Peacekeeper, Protector of Ylaruam, Lord of Freedom, Knowledge and Warfare. The man who brought Ylaruam into the modern era by chasing out Alphatian and Thyatian overlords and earned Ylaruam its freedom. al-Kalim was the first real hero of modern days Ylaruam, and is the most respected and followed Immortal in that area. He's considered a Prophet of the Guardian Immortals, but also a deity himself, the Protector of Ylaruam and bringer of knowledge and peace. It is also the Great Tactician, worshipped by Ylari raiders, nomads and warriors.
Ashtiru (Asterius) - Mover of the Moon, Bringer of Wealth. One of the new Guardian Immortals of Ylaruam, was introduced by the Darokinian merchants in the ninth century and his cult helped al-Kalim's takeover of Alaysia. All merchants and many caravan guides (and all non-evil thieves and con-men) worship him to these days.
Balsam (Chardastes) - Patron of Healing. The word 'balm' comes from his name. He is fairly neutral to al-Kalim, since he wanted to devote his attention mostly to Traladara. The cult of Chardastes came to Ylaruam via Selenica in the tenth century. Chardastes was revered there by Traladaran immigrants (there's also a university of medicine in Selenica) and some Ylari merchants imported his cult. He became one of the newest Immortal Guardians and now many "healers" and "doctors" raise prayers to him before curing patients.
Bast - Cat Goddess, Patroness of Rakastas, Goddess of Luck. Bast is the goddess who created rakastas, and was worshipped as patroness of luck in ancient Nithia and still is in Thothia. Her cult is not so widespread outside rakastan cultures.
Farath (Protius) - Old Man of the Sea, Lord of Waters. The patron of al-Kalim and worshipped by many marid tribes of genie. He was happy to allow al-Kalim take over the Emirates, since he is only interested in the seas. He's still worshipped as one of the main Guardian Immortals of Ylaruam, and is considered the bringer of life (since he's the patron of Water).
Horon/Tubak (Ixion) - Father Sun, Banisher of Darkness. He protects the Ylari against monstrous enemies and evil, and was the Patron of Just Warfare in the ancient days of Nithia. He was the most revered Immortal before al-Kalim came out, and was likely in competition with Rathanos. Ixion has still got a minor following in Ylaruam, in the emirate of Makistan to be precise. The Makistani are of Ethengar descent, so they still honour Tubak the Lawgiver and Yamuga (Terra), while Cretia has been left out.
Horus - Holy Avenger, Patron of Justice. Horus was in mortal life Ausar, Orisis' own son and the first pharaoh of the Thothian colony on the Isle of Dawn. Inspired by his father, he chose to continue the Nithian expansion eastwards and managed to keep Thothia safe from the Entropics' corruption that doomed the homeland of the Empire. After Nithia's downfall in BC 500, Ausar was the only one to remember of its existence because of his father's guidance, and avoided making the same mistakes. He attained immortality in the Sphere of Thought after defeating a major Set's plot to bring mischief and death into Thothia. Now patron of Justice and inspirer of those who fight against Evil throughout all Thothia.
Isiris (Valerias) - Patroness of Love, Fertility and Arts. Much worshipped in old Nithia, lost her followers after the fall of Nithia. Nowadays Farath is revered as God of Fertility in Ylaruam, Ptahr is God of Arts, while al-Kalim has taken over the portfolio of kindness and respect toward the fellow man.
Orisis (Noumena) - Protector of the Dead and Guardian of tombs, Patron of Knowledge, God of Nature. One of the latest addition to the outer world Nithia, Orisis was a Nithian pharaoh that attained immortality before Nithia's destruction, then helped bring its downfall once Thanatos & Co. corrupted it. However, since he had already assured the continuity of his dynasty in Thothia, his immortal status was saved. Nowadays it is still revered in Thothia and HW Nithia and by the White Druids of White Isle in Ierendi.
Pflarr - Patron of Magic and Knowledge. One of the main deities of Nithia, later caused its downfall seeing how tainted it was by Entropy and turned his attention from the outer world to the Hollow World, where it is still one of the main powers of Nithia. Nowadays his portfolio has been taken over by al-Kalim.
Ptah/Sinbad - Traveller God, Ferryman of the Dead. He's the Traveller God of the legends: an old Immortal who took the form of a young sailor to teach the Ylari the ways and the marvels of the world. He's much older than al-Kalim and still revered by many adventurers and all the nomadic tribes (including many jann tribes), and represents the will to know and to find the answer to any question, going to great lengths to obtain it. He was one of the main Immortals of the Nithian pantheon, but has lost importance after al-Kalim's coming, even though he doesn't mind. He's also acquired Orisis' portfolio in modern Ylaruam: guardianship over the dead.
Ptahr (Kagyar) - Patron of Craftsmen and Arts. Remains friendly with al-Kalim, as dwarves and Ylari are allies. He still has some followers from the days of Nithia. Artisans and artists honour him with some rituals to craft good items and make profitable business, but he has got few real clerics.
Qeb/Geb (Terra) - Mother/Father Earth, Lord of the Desert. The Ylari have both a deep respect and a deep love for the desert, which is viewed with mixed feelings. On the one hand, it's treacherous and deadly, a foe that must be always dealt with and cannot be trusted, since it hides countless snares and perils. On the other hand, it's a place of peace and astounding beauty, where man is in direct contact with his soul and those who created him: it is a friend for those who know its ways and speak its silent language. For this reason, the Ylari worship the desert, which is embodied by Terra, who strives to protect the land (each type of terrain) and that helps those who try to survive in every condition of living. To the Ylari the desert is simply *insert Arab name for "The Land" *, one of the many forms of Terra (who is the one that gives the dervishes their spells together with al-Kalim). Terra is also greatly worshipped by all dao genies living in Ylaruam.
Rathanos - Lord of Flame, Energy and Life/Destruction. One of the greatest Immortals of ancient Nithia, he has taken over Horon's place as head of the pantheon in HW Nithia (together with Pflarr). The main deity in the Thothian pantheon after AC1003 (when the cult of Arachne Prime is outlawed), he is also still honoured by efreet in the Alaysian desert. Unfortunately for Rathanos however, his faith in Ylaruam is now banned, since some of his mages and clerics put it too far and began using violence to convert other to his cause, burning many followers "to let them return to the Great Flame". This way the Magian Fire Worshippers earned the populace's contempt and became a secret sect. Not exactly on the best of terms with al-Kalim and sworn enemy of Corona, who has perverted his Magian followers (she has driven them crazy).
Seker - Holy Light, Banisher of Darkness. One of Ausar's (Horus) great grand-nephews, Eskar sought his destiny as a wandering priest, battling the forces of evil in the name of Orisis and Horus. He travelled out of Thothia and even to the farthest reaches of the former Nithian empire, in Davania, where he discovered a civilisation similar to the Thothian one prospering in the Aryptian Basin. Here he became a great prophet and fought against Corona's and Set's attempts to corrupt this culture. He couldn't prevent the destruction of the former kingdom, but grouped the survivors and founded a new one near the Aryptian basin around BC200. He later attained immortality in the Sphere of Time and is now patron of Light and Goddness both in Thothia and in Eskarnak (the new Aryptian kingdom).
Zephyr (Odin) - Lord of Storms and Air, He Who Walks Among Clouds. Many djinn honour him, as well as many sha'irs and travellers. He was one of the Guardian Immortals who destroyed Nithia for its sins and who still watches over its dark secrets.
The Dark Fiends
al-Fakish (Alphaks) - Lord of Destruction and Violence. He had human sacrifices in the past. Not a widely followed Immortal, but he helped the Ylari against Alphatian oppressors. He was worshipped during the Alphatian occupation, but he doesn't have many followers now: Alphatia is gone (after WotI) and no Alphatian outposts remain near Ylaruam. The only interest Alphaks has in Ylaruam is Barimoor. In this case the only goal of the Followers of al-Fakish may be:
to overthrow the "evil Barimoor", who's trying to plot the downfall of the Ylari;
to rally Barimoor and plan the downfall of all Alphatians remaining in the Known World.
Hauron (Corona) - The Hated Mother, Lady of Darkness and Diseases. Formerly a good deity of the Nithian pantheon, Hauron was later corrupted by Thanatos and switched sides going from Sphere of Thought to that of Entropy. Her greatest trick was undoing the Nithian empire from inside (with Thanatos' and Ranivorus' help) without the other powers noticing it until it was too late. This is why Corona is usually referred to as Thanatos' secret ally. Former patroness of Healing and Guardian of the Dead, she finally let the doors of the kingdom of the dead swung open and cursed the land with diseases. Orisis first discovered her treachery and confronted her, but it was already too late to save Nithia. Her faith later resurfaced in western Ylaruam, bringing back the dead cults of Set and Ranivorus and unifying their followers under the same banner. Her influence has spread in nearby Darokin during these centuries, where secret sects of loyal cultists are always looking for long forgotten artifacts of the past to bring her and her "sons" into this world. (Falsely) Portrayed as the mother of both evil deities, she is now patroness of the Dark side of mortals, diseases and evil undead in general.
Ranivorus - Lord of Beasts, Hatred and Insanity. The first gnoll to attain immortality, this foul Entropic conspired with Thanatos and Corona to corrupt Nithia and still strives to bring insanity in this land and in Ylaruam.
Set - Lord of Evil, Revenge and Treason. An old Immortal, formerly a necromancer king of Taymora, later spread his influence over Nithia drawn by researches of scholars and other Nithians, who dabbled in dark magics and sought for more power. He is currently banished in all Nithian civilisations and in Ylaruam as well, but ancient cults are die hard and his beastly sons still slither in the sands of Ylaruam and Thothia. Sworn enemy of Orisis and his sons.
Tal'ishaa (Talitha) - Lady of Assassins, Thieves and Deception. Her faith was imported by the Alphatian overlords around III century AC and quickly merged with the native Ylari secret sects, appealing to the most merciless assassins and thieves for her cold sadism. She's patroness of stealth and usually associated with murders, tortures and theft (and that's why many tribes of desert brigands pay homage to her nowadays). Many shady viziers also worship her to gain the upper hand on their lords, using them as puppets or removing them as they see fit. Rumours have the Kin Faction working together with adepts of Tal'ishaa to cause the downfall of the Preceptors Faction and of the current Sultan.
Thanatos - Lord of Death and Suffering. The main cause of Nithia's downfall, his worship is outlawed in Nithia, Ylaruam and Thothia as he represents the evil aspect of Death. However, many secret cultists still pay homage to him to bring even more death and suffering to their civilisations.