Nord Religious Dialogue

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Tristior
SHotN Jarl of Lore
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Joined: Sun May 07, 2017 2:12 pm

Nord Religious Dialogue

Post by Tristior » Mon Jun 25, 2018 12:35 pm

Religious Nords (witches, hags, wives)
Greeting: Greetings, %PCRace. What brings you before a humble servant of the Nordic gods?

Nordic gods: Our gods are called the Hirser - the World-Beams who created us and who maintain the realms of creation. They are hearth gods, and their names are Kyne, Mara and Dibella.

Kyne: Kyne rules over us all, a savage hawk who keeps watch from the Sky itself. It was she who breathed the Children into being, and she who taught us the thu’um that our heroes might work great deeds. You should always seek shelter during a storm - a true Nord knows that her wrath is neither fair nor focused.

Kyne (for Kyne’s priestess): Kyne is our fearsome queen, and I am proud to call myself her servant. She rules over us all, a savage hawk who keeps watch from the Sky itself. It was Kyne who breathed the Children into being, and she who taught us the thu’um that our heroes might work great deeds. You should always seek shelter during a storm - a true Nord knows that her wrath is neither fair nor focused.

Mara: Mara cares for the clan, a brooding wolf who mourns the death of father Shor. She teaches us of loyalty and the spirit of accord, and we invoke her blessing before any great work of co-operation. She also teaches us to care for those from whom war and misfortune have taken everything.

Mara (for Mara’s priestess): Mara is our wise ruler, and I have gladly devoted myself to her. She cares for the clan, a brooding wolf who mourns the death of father Shor. Mara teaches us of loyalty and the spirit of accord, and we invoke her blessing before any great work of co-operation. She also teaches us to care for those from whom war and misfortune have taken everything. I try to spread her teachings to those who seek my counsel.

Dibella: Dibella lavishes her love, an exquisite moth who shows us the pleasures of the World. Her affection has always been directed more towards the Children than the Hirser, and it was she who gifted us the twin blessings of mead and song.

Dibella (for Dibella’s priestess): Dibella is our doting lady, and it is my privilege to serve her. She lavishes her love, an exquisite moth who shows us the pleasures of the World. Dibella has always directed her affection more towards the Children than the Hirser, and it was she who gifted us the twin blessings of mead and song. My fellow Nords show their devotion to her in a hundred different ways, even without realising it.

Shor: Shor is the Clan-Husband of the Hirser and father to all creation. Although it was Kyne’s Breath that formed the World, it was Shor who dared to dream of its existence and for that he paid with his life. He dwells now in Sovngarde, awaiting the return of Alduin and the birth of the new kalpa.

Alduin: Alduin is the World-Eater, the sleeping dragon who will soon awaken to devour us all. It is only by the cunning and strength of our valiant Hirser that none have yet roused him, though we Nords know that the fiery end of the kalpa is inevitable.

Talos: Talos is another mighty Ysmir, exalted by Shor to deliver us from the elves, and as a great Nordic hero we mark his totem to keep the spirit of his enterprise alive. Some amongst us are inclined to see him as a new god - a twilight god - though whether one of destruction or salvation we do not yet know.

Orkey: Old Knocker himself. Orkey is a conniving little death demon, who followed us all the way from Atmora. Now the Imperials try to push his worship on us as one of their precious “Divines”.

Herma-Mora: The Woodland Man is ubiquitous in Nordic history, ever watching from the darkness beyond our vision and threatening to snatch away our sanity.

Molag Bal: The most vile of all the demons. An ancient skald named him the Mighty Lion of Evening in some poetic fit, and the name seems to have stuck. But doubt neither his cruelty nor his hatred of man’s joy.

Dagon: Ah, Dagon - the foolish Leaper Demon. He thinks he can leap into the next kalpa and escape the wrath of Alduin, but all his leaping does is cause the land to shake and the mountains to slide.

Tsun: Tsun is Shor’s Shield-Thane and the first berserker. In many ways he represents the worst traits of we Nords, and for his crimes he was charged with an eternal watch over Sovngarde.

Sovngarde: The First Place, Sky’s foundation, and the only realm to survive the kalpa’s fiery end - that is Sovngarde. When Alduin awakens, the Hirser shall take their place in its godshall and be attended by those Children who have shown themselves worthy of rebirth in the next world.

The Voice: Kyne gifted her Children the thu’um - or the Voice, as you call it. A talented Tongue can channel their breath as Kyne did at the creation of the world, allowing their thu’um to act as a force of creation or destruction.

Children: That’s us, of course. We Nords are the Children of the Sky, the fifth and final breath of Kyne, and the inheritors of creation. Kyne is our mother, and the Hirser our watchful protectors.

Savant
Nordic gods: You’re familiar with Kyne, Mara and Dibella, I presume. And Shor, of course. But most don’t realise just how expansive the Nordic pantheon really is. You have the hearth gods and dead gods, and the testing gods who scheme against them. But you also have the missing gods, and in these dark times we’re hearing ever more about the twilight gods as well.

Hearth gods: These are the three principal gods of the Nords. Kyne, goddess of the storm, sits at the head of the pantheon and vents her fury against the killers of Shor. Mara, goddess of the family, serves as handmaiden to Kyne and acts as a gentler authority to the Nords. Dibella, goddess of love and beauty, chooses to direct her attentions elsewhere - toward teachings of pleasure and the things that make life worth living. Ha!

Dead gods: Shor and Tsun are both dead gods, killed at the beginning of the world and now awaiting its end in Sovngarde. As such, they don’t get temples, or worship. People might strive to emulate them, certainly, but Nords generally accept that they are not capable of intervention. Except when they are - Nordic mythology is contradictory like that.

Testing gods: They’re the evil gods of the Nordic pantheon. Sometimes they’re explicitly identified with the merish Aedric pantheon, other times they’re malicious Daedra who would work mischief amongst the Nords. Throughout the mythic cycle they attempt to rouse Alduin, only to be thwarted by the bravery and cunning of the hearth gods. Some of the most common testing gods are Orkey the Snake and the Woodland Man. Ask a clever-man about them, if you’re interested.

Missing gods: The Nords have actually managed to lose some of their gods over the millennia, if you can believe it. The earliest stories from Nordic myth count Stuhn and Jhunal amongst the clan of Shor, but since then both have vanished from both mythology and religious worship. Your average Nord has only vaguely heard of them, though the wisest clever-men still remember. They’ll be able to tell you more, if you’re curious.

Twilight gods: For most of Nordic history there was only one twilight god: Alduin, the sleeping dragon who will destroy the world. But now he's joined by the new god, Talos. Both of them are viewed by the Nords as heralds of the end times - that's what makes them twilight gods, you see.

Dragon Cult: Nowadays they’re quite harmless, observing Alduin’s festivals and singing his lullabies, but in the First Era they were a significant political force. Back then they believed that Nirn had been corrupted, and that Alduin must be awakened early to purge the world of evil. Lots of blood sacrifice and rebellion against the Nordic kings, until old Hairy-Breeks himself put their ideas down for good. You can still see his refutations of their eschatology in the High King’s Vedda, if you’re looking for it.

Kyne: Kyne is the War-Widow of Shor and leader of the Nordic pantheon and people. She is the centre of Nordic religious practice, revered as the mother of humanity and often as the Sky itself. Her temples are built of stone on the peaks of mountains. Within the mythic cycle, Kyne is a war-leader who defends her home and children from the predations of elves and demons alike - often aiding heroic Nords in battle or turning nature’s fury against their enemies.

Mara: Mara is the Brood-Widow of Shor and the Nordic goddess of the family. She acts in the interest of harmony and cooperation, invoked by diplomats and the leaders of great enterprises, though in war she is a disciplined and skilled fighter. Her temples are the homes of important witches. In the mythic cycle, she is a skilled orator, maintaining the unity of the gods and the disparate Nordic clans alike.

Dibella: Dibella is the Bed-Widow of Shor and by far the youngest of his wives. As such, she was the least enamoured of him and instead she focused her affections upon the Nords themselves, teaching them the arts of music, feasting and sexuality. Her temples are the homes of important wives. In the mythic cycle she is rarely an active participant, preferring to observe or direct her attention elsewhere.

Shor: Shor is the chieftain of the gods, the creator of the world, and dead. His three wives - Kyne, Mara and Dibella - are now the principal gods of Nordic religion, but all Nords acknowledge Shor as their heritage and greatest champion. He was killed defending his creation from the omnicidal testing gods and now dwells in his mythical hall of Sovngarde, gathering the worthy Nordic dead and preparing for Alduin’s awakening at the end of the world.

Despite his death, Shor is a popular character in the mythic cycle - sometimes a great warrior, sometimes a cunning trickster. His avatars also feature prominently in mythology and history, especially the infamous Wulfharth of Atmora.
Alduin: Alduin is the World-Eater itself, the Nordic god of finitude, destruction and rebirth. Although there have been many permutations of his nature in Nordic thought, Alduin has always been portrayed as the most powerful and implacable god in existence - far more a force of nature than anthropomorphic being.

It is Alduin who defines the length of the kalpa, and thus he is universally revered by the Nords. He is rarely invoked outside of the Dragon Cult, however, since the Nords prefer not to disturb their sleeping destroyer god - indeed, much of the mythic cycle is concerned with the efforts of gods and mortals alike to prevent his awakening.

Talos: Talos is a tricky one, and the Nords themselves seem quite unsure what to make of him. To some he is mere nonsense, and to others he is simply some new export of the Imperial Cult. But to the more curious and contemplative Nord, Talos represents a significant break in their religious thought.

Is this southern dragon some aspect of Alduin, or a new god entirely? What is his relationship to Wulfharth, the venerated avatar of Shor? Could Talos in fact be Shor himself, reborn into this world and leading the Nords to eternal subjugation of the elves?

None of these have satisfying answers, I'm afraid, and Talos has yet to find a place in the mythic cycle. But look around you as you travel Skyrim, and you’ll notice just how many things the Nords mark with his totem. After all, he might as well be the god of that too.

Tsun: Tsun is the Shield-Thane of Shor, brother of Stuhn and the Nordic god of berserkers and worthy trials. He was killed defending Shor from the elven gods at the beginning of time, and now guards the gate of Sovngarde. It is Tsun who decides which spirits enter this mighty godshall, although his criteria vary from telling to telling. Who knows? Maybe he’ll take a liking to you.

Stuhn: Stuhn was the Shield-Thane of Shor and brother of Tsun, who according to some tellings wandered out of the Nordic pantheon and became Stendarr. Thus he is a missing god from the Nordic pantheon, and his worship is no longer practiced.

Jhunal: Jhunal was the Clever-Man of Shor’s tribe and the Nordic god of language, mathematics and esoteric knowledge. Nowadays, he has vanished from the Nordic pantheon, although unlike Stuhn there is no mythically intelligible reason for this. Nonetheless, there are still a few hermaetic orders who continue to study and seek his rune-truths.
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