This is part of a series on Arth’s Pantheon. Twice a month we’re taking a look at life on Arth and the gods that shape it. If you’re new to the series, get started with an overview. This post looks at the gods of the realm of beasts.
The races of Man and their descendants are a minority on Arth; there are way more insects, tiny creatures, animals, and beasts than there are people. These creatures serve the wild gods, the masters of nature, and cycles of life, and hunting. It should probably go without saying, but they’re a wild bunch.
Fengelde is the goddess of animals and beasts, a preserver of the natural cycles. Wild, ferocious, and unbowed, she rules over a harsh kingdom of predation and easy death, but also guards the systems that allow for birth and renewal. Where one stands with the Lady of the Leaves depends entirely on their treatment of nature; those that are kind to animals and let wild things flourish will find her a gentle guardian. Those who are cruel to beasts or subjugate the land will face her fury.
Fengelde is the patroness of Clan Fengeld, the Wood Gnomes. There are several legends regarding the diminutive stature of her Clan; Wood Gnomes are the size of rodents. Some say that Fengelde is small herself, and just twice as fierce to make up for it. Others say the Wood Gnomes are Fengelde’s spies, and their size makes it easier for them to watch civilization without joining it. Wood Gnome legends say that everyone was once more appropriately sized, but the petty gods had a contest to see who could make their mortals the largest and transformed them into giants. According to the story, only Fengelde was big enough to leave her Clan at a proper scale.
Fengelde has few followers outside of the Wood Gnomes. The druids were her clergy when they still roamed Arth, but they disappeared in the Fifth Age. But a lack of believers doesn’t stop the Wild Goddess from fighting against the other gods. Every creature on Arth, from the smallest cricket to the drakes, serve her; the Lady in the Leaves rules Arth’s wild spaces. She is often at odds with other gods, and feuds with Maeneth, Erro, Fula, and Ad’az. But she is just as often an ally to the forces of light; she is a friend to Baedrun and Odynil, and is an occasional lover of Maeneth and Alluna.
The fourth month of Arth’s calendar, commonly called Auldlight, is named for Fengelde.
- Titles: The Lady in the Leaves, the Howling Queen, the Wild Goddess
- Race: Gnome
- Status: Dominant
- Favored Weapon: Sling
- Holy Symbol: Acorn, Animal Teeth
- Colors: Blue, Red
Jolnak was the Dwarven god of beasts, predation, and ferocity, a mighty hunter known for spearing boar. Mannon promised him nothing more than freedom to run unchained, and Jolnak joined the side of Darkness. It’s said that in the War of Betrayal, Jolnak incarnated himself on Arth as a great wolverine, larger than a bear. Before the fighting began, however, the Roaring God killed half an army of Kobolds and ran off into the forest. As far as anyone knows, he is still in the wilds of Arth, running and killing as he sees fit.
Nobody worships Jolnak. He has no allies and no foes, save his prey. The Agekeepers debate whether or not he is really a Goblin god, since he was a beast when the lost Dwarves were transformed into the Goblins. It doesn’t really matter; some forest-dwelling Shadowkin admire him, but even they acknowledge there is little purpose in worshipping Jolnak. He is completely feral, beyond communication.
- Titles: The Feral One, The Roaring God
- Race: Goblin (in theory. Formerly Dwarf)
- Favored Weapon: Spear
- Holy Symbol: Wolverine
- Colors: Brown and Yellow
Odylanar is the Elven God of the hunt, also associated strongly with the season of summer. The Elven Houses that are strongly associated with Odylanilanar, such as House Tyrieth, are sometimes known as the Wood Elves. They aren’t much different from other Elves, save for a forest-chic style and a famous affinity for trees and furs.
The priests and clerics of Odylanar engage in wild hunts that can last for months. It is said that they are hunting Jolnak, seeking to slay the beast and drive the feral god back into the heavens where Odylanar can slay him. This may be true, but it looks a awful lot like an excuse for some men to run off into the woods with a few barrels of ale and put arrows through anything that moves. His woodland temples throw great festivals in the summer and fall, making them popular destinations for nearby cities and villages.
Odylanar is an ally of Fengelde and Maeneth. He is married to Vala, goddess of passion, though they spend little time together. In addition to pursuing Jolnak, he also huts for Razar and Sitha.
- Titles: The Great Hunter, the Summer King
- Race: Elf
- Favored Weapon: Spear
- Holy Symbol: Stag
- Colors: Green
The Stennish God of animals has long been forgotten.
- Race: Sten
- Status: Banished
That’s it for this section of Arth’s Pantheon. You can get a good overview of the gods of Arth here. There’s more Arth Lore available on the blog as well. And in case you haven’t journeyed to Arth yourself yet, check out my books for some fantasy adventure that’s so funny, it’s epic.