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[Fan-made] Burmese Pantheon - the Nat

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  • [Fan-made] Burmese Pantheon - the Nat

    This was a pet project I did a few months back. I didn't get the time to finish the PSP honestly so this is just the roster of Legend 12 gods, their associations, their stories and attributes, possible Titanic antagonists and cosmology in its unfinished glory.

    The Nat can be run in two ways. As a pantheon of their own right or the sub-pantheon to the Deva, led by Indra (under his name as Thagyamin).

    Disclaimer: I have not proof-read this nor have I checked for proper usage of words. English isn't my first language either so you will find a lot of...interesting word choices.

    Link: here

  • #2
    Dammit, you've mentioned this more than once, haven't you? I don't have the time to look through all of it right now, but at a cursory glance already, it looks splendidly lovely! We have quite the collection on Burmese culture here in Munich, incidentally, and I've had the Nat on the list of pantheons for me and Watcher to do for a while, but I lacked the resources to actually do it. Seems you beat me to it, and well at that! I'll definitely get back to you when I read this tomorrow.

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    • #3
      I was hoping you'd post this! Having only had a chance to skim it briefly, I've got to say it looks great. I love how you included synopsies of major stories pertaining to most of the gods after their entries, as that serves as a good introduction to a mythology that's very obscure in my part of the world. I'll give more feedback after I have a chance to look over it in greater detail, but so far, it looks really good!

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Sacerdos View Post
        Dammit, you've mentioned this more than once, haven't you? I don't have the time to look through all of it right now, but at a cursory glance already, it looks splendidly lovely! We have quite the collection on Burmese culture here in Munich, incidentally, and I've had the Nat on the list of pantheons for me and Watcher to do for a while, but I lacked the resources to actually do it. Seems you beat me to it, and well at that! I'll definitely get back to you when I read this tomorrow.
        Yeah sources are mostly in Burmese even then there are A LOT of stories that I have not uncovered because it's an obscure subject in Myanmar,. Melford E. Spiro, Maung Htin Aung's works are the best places to start.This website also has commentaries on Maung Htin Aung's "Folk Elements in Burmese Buddhism" for a lot more information.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Svarogg View Post

          Yeah sources are mostly in Burmese even then there are A LOT of stories that I have not uncovered because it's an obscure subject in Myanmar,. Melford E. Spiro, Maung Htin Aung's works are the best places to start.This website also has commentaries on Maung Htin Aung's "Folk Elements in Burmese Buddhism" for a lot more information.
          Wow, thank you for that!

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          • #6
            Awesome to have this! Thanks!

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            • #7
              Do you see them as having the same PSP as the Deva (Samsara in 1E, Yoga in 2E)?


              Check out my expansion to the Realm of Brass and Shadow

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              • #8
                Originally posted by glamourweaver View Post
                Do you see them as having the same PSP as the Deva (Samsara in 1E, Yoga in 2E)?

                If you were to run them as a subpantheon of the Deva, I might go with Samsara. The Nat are known for wandering and fooling around different forms throughout history (might be considered as the usage of the Avatara). But there isn't much about the theme of worldly illusion. The Nats are firmly held as physical entities that inhabit either nature, concepts or characteristics.

                My idea of a Nat purview would be related to their Fate, where everyone (at a certain point in apotheosis) undergoes death and is transformed and glorified as a deity and the steps Fate has taken as to bring that glorification.

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                • #9
                  I finally got a chance to sit down and read through them, and I've got to say I love the Nat! I like the way you included the various stories surrounding each deity in their entries. I think Nangkaraing Medaw is my favorite. She seems like a fiercer Het-Heru, though still having a kind, nurturing, side to her.

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                  • #10
                    Good news! This pantheon will be getting a Scion 2e update! Here is a preview of some of the roster and their attributes! Descriptions about these deities will be added in the near future!

                    Thagyamin - The King of the 37 Upper and Lower Nat
                    Aliases: Sakra, Magha, Dewau
                    • Callings: Judge, Leader, Sage
                    • Purviews: Beasts (Elephant), Prosperity, Order, Sky, Water
                    The auspicious king of the two realms began his journey as a humble peasant whose good deeds and just nature earned him a spot in the Tavatimsa heavens. He is married to the Asura maiden, Suja to bring peace between the warring Upper Nat and the Asuras. He considers himself to the guardian of Theravada Buddhism in Myanmar and has been responsible for helping kings set up temples and stupas that honor Tathagatha’s teachings. Being granted the status of the King of the Lower Nat, displacing Min Mahagiri as the leader, Thagyamin is the bridge between the Buddhist Upper Nat deities and the different Burmese Lower Nat deities.

                    To the Nat, Thagyamin is more of a Deva. To the Hindu gods, Thagyamin appears more of a Nat than a Deva. The reason he married an Asura princess has also been a point of contention between the two pantheons. It is the reason why their relations have strained for eons. The Palas rarely consider as one of them since he was primarily responsible for the decline of Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism in central Burma. Nonetheless, Thagyamin is well-loved by many pantheons for his curiosity. He seeks counsel and knowledge from many gods, Kong Fuzi and Thoth among them.

                    Thagyamin enters the world on a yearly basis on the Burmese New Year around April. It is the time when Thagyamin observes and judges the entire nation, placing righteous people in a golden parchment and the wrongdoers in a dog-skin one. Thagyamin’s Scions are raised well and loved by their father who ensures that they be the model of a prim and proper Buddhist. The Nat, especially Min Kyawswa stereotype his Scions as goody-two-shoes of the pantheon, unable to break free from the rules that their father has placed him. His Scions tend to shine when situations are dire, where their cool-headedness and impartiality overcome many obstacles placed before them.

                    Min Mahagiri - The Lord of the Great Mountain
                    Alias: Eain Saunt Nat
                    • Callings: Creator, Guardian, Leader
                    • Purviews: Epic Strength, Epic Stamina, Beauty, Earth, Forge, Fortune, Order
                    Fickle, demanding and wrathful, Min Mahagiri started as a local god of the now-extinct volcano of Popa. He brought earthquakes to nearby villages at random, sometimes destroying their homes and forcing them to relocate. Like the smoke that once billowed from the top of Mount Popa, Min Mahagiri became associated with blacksmiths, his forge located in the crater that would destroy kingdoms for countless centuries. Eventually, his worship rose to become the national religion along with the 35 other Lower Nat worshipped by neighboring kingdoms of central Burma. His status as a national god was short-lived, as a new king, inspired by the teachings of Tathagatha began to eliminate spirit-worship to bring “proper” Buddhism to the kingdom. Mahagiri’s worship never vanished. He took on the mantle of the Eainsaunt Nat, the House Guarding God and became worshipped as the protector of homes. He has continued onto be worshipped by the local people, who place the icon of his power, a coconut fruit hung somewhere at the entrance of their houses.

                    Min Mahagiri’s well-known incarnation is Maung Tint De, a handsome blacksmith known for his superhuman strength and stamina. When he struck his hammer upon the anvil, the whole region would shake, frightening the king. He and his sister met their deaths through the machinations of the paranoid king. Their spirits lived on and brought the Mahagiri worship to the fledgling city of Bagan where the local king there made images in their names and declared them to the protectors of the gates of Bagan. Min Mahagiri continued to protect the city-state of Bagan which would eventually conquer many neighboring city-states to create one of the most powerful states in medieval Southeast Asia. A favorite king of Mahagiri’s, Kyansittha would later reinstate the status of Min Mahagiri then to make amends with the god after what his father has destroyed.

                    Min Mahagiri’s Incarnations are rare and his Scions even rarer. He is selective on the criteria of his Scions, preferring to snatch them from families who have honored him for decades. Though he may likely never consider a visitation to certain Scions, he will see the lengths their families go to fulfill his requests. Min Mahagiri’s Scions have placed a high standard on their accomplishments that it is an almost daunting act for many new Scions of Mahagiri to follow. Many Nat already consider them to be the next great leaders, entrepreneurs, artists, and warriors. It is the question that hangs on their necks…how will they define themselves in popular knowledge?

                    Popa Medaw - The Lady of the Popa Mountain
                    Alias: Me Wunna
                    • Callings: Guardian, Healer, Lover
                    • Purviews: Epic Dexterity, Beauty, Earth, Fertility, Wild
                    Popa’s lush landscape has been the home of a diverse set of flora and fauna. All flora and fauna of the mountain fall under the domain of Popa Medaw, a lady dressed in green, wearing an ogress mask as a crown. Those who worship her say that she still frolics the mountain, a fleet-footed maiden with a crown of fragrant smelling flowers. Her domain also includes women and children, protecting them from violence and tragedy. Though a gentle Nat in some respects, she is still a wrathful goddess and will curse when slighted. Her bouts of infuriation shake the land near Popa, her stomping creating tremors that topple temples.

                    Popa Medaw’s most famous incarnation is Me Wunna, a beautiful ogress who sustained herself on the fruits and nectar of Popa’s flowers. She met a handsome envoy from Bagan who came to pick flowers for the king and married him. When the king discovered the affair, he ordered Me Wunna's husband to be executed. The king seized her children and raised them as his own. Depressed by the loss of her husband and children, Me Wunna died alone of heartbreak. Her story touched many villagers nearby who raised an altar at the foot of Mount Popa in her name.

                    Popa Medaw’s Incarnations are diverse and various coming from all walks of life. She is well-known by the Nat to snatch Scions against their will, imbuing them with Legend to sally forth in her name. Many of her Scions tend to take after their mother, preferring the solitude of their own workspace. They tend to be florists, botanists, socialites, models, and fashion designers. Whatever they choose to be, they are the pride and joy of their mother, who always mentions the accomplishments of her children to the rest of the gods whether they’d like to hear them or not. She lavishly bestows all forms of assistance to the Scions she admires the most. These blessings can bring in certain bitter rivalries with the rest of her Scions even against her own godly children, the Shwe Phying Siblings.

                    Nankaraing Medaw - The Lady of Bago
                    Alias: Bago Medaw
                    • Callings: Guardian, Healer, Sage
                    • Purviews: Epic Stamina, Beasts (Buffalo), Fertility, Health, Prosperity, Water
                    The Great Lady of Bago is one of the few Nat of Mon ethnicity in the Burmese pantheon. She is the patron of the Hanthawaddy kingdom and by extension most enclaves and towns in the lower Burma at the Irrawaddy delta. The goddess of fertility and the wetlands, Nankaraing Medaw, is represented by the water buffalo, an animal used by farmers to plow the land. As the goddess of the delta, she brings the bounty of the river to her people. Those who worship her do not consume buffalo meat or fish out of respect to her. Her fierce dedication to families and children knows no bounds. She is found in homes of many Burmese in the delta region where her presence dwarfs even that of Mahagiri himself.

                    Nankaraing Medaw’s well-known Incarnation is that of the water buffalo, Nankaraing who nursed the twins, Wimala, and Thamala after they were abandoned by their parents. The twins founded the city of Hanthawaddy with the help of Thagyamin. She offered the twins counsel. They came seeking her wisdom when a giant, Lamba, a giant seven-cubits high came with ships from the west to take Hanthawaddy. However, their relations would become strained when Wimala assassinated Thamala and attacked the western kingdoms with his navy. He made a deal with Manimekhala, the Sri Lankan goddess of the oceans to give the head of his foster-mother in his blind ambition for conquest. Though he ultimately succeeded, he returned to Hanthawaddy to find his mother dead, having killed herself for her son to not accrue the karma of kin-slaying. Regretful of his actions, he ordered that the city honor Nankaraing. From then on, she became the patron of the city, guardian of all families that reside there.

                    Nankaraing Medaw’s Incarnations are observant and silent, brim with compassion and kindness to help those in need. You will find her in refugee camps, aiding the injured and weak or in orphanages, assisting children. Her Scions are dedicated and devoted to roles of caregivers, taking after their mother to be in careers where they can actively help those in danger. They are found in hospitals, clinics, and elderly homes. Like their mother, they do not take kindly to being slighted. Many have suffered the vengeance wreaked upon the Scions of Nankaraing Medaw, known by many of the Nat for their righteous fury.

                    Myinbyushin - The Lord on the White Horse
                    Aliases: Ywadawshin, Shwe Sitthin, Boubougyi
                    • Callings: Guardian, Sage, Warrior
                    • Purviews: Beasts (Horse), Order, Prosperity, War
                    Countless tales tell of the great Myinbyushin, a being considered to be one and many at the same time. Among the Nat, he is known for his famous countless Incarnations, extending to modern times. He conquered the northern city-states during the early Bagan period as a great general. He was the prince of the last king of the Bagan Empire. He was said to have shown up against the British forces in the First Anglo-Burmese War. He is the god of war, battle, and prosperity, protector of many villages in northern Myanmar. His worship is the most popular in the city he founded, Monywa in the Sagaing region. In his Buddhist mantle, Boubougyi, he is an old deity, the god of occult and fortune, protector of stupas and the guardian of treasures stored within the inner sanctum of the stupas.

                    One of Myinbyushin’s famous incarnation is the great general named as “Bodawgyi.” He defeated many forces while serving under the king, Anawrahta. Bodawgyi’s expedition led him to discover a sacred white elephant granted from the heavens by the grace of Thagyamin. Later on, he would wield a lizard-skin drum that transported his troops anywhere he wanted. Such supernatural powers caused alarm to the new king, Saw Hnit who had feared that Bodawgyi would rebel and overthrow him. He had assassins infiltrate Bodawgyi’s estates, strip the drum of its power. While the warrior slept, the mercenaries cut off the tusks of the white elephant and swapped the skin of the drum with regular leather. Attacked out of nowhere, Bodawgyi fled to the Chindwin River with his 36 cohorts, throwing himself into the river and perished. From then on, the waters of the Chindwin River were said to become sacred, a panacea against all diseases.

                    Myinbyushin’s favorite conversation topic is his achievements. He has had so many, why not share with everyone. The Nat are polite enough to go along with his conversation and mindful enough not to bring up the embarrassing deaths some of his Incarnations went through. Myinbyushin offers advice to any fledgling Scions no matter where they have come from. His paternal nature leads to him being one of the likable and friendlier Nat, never letting his wrath consume his entire being. Along with Thagyamin, is the bridge between the Buddhist-devoted Nat and the 37 Lower Nat. Myinbyushin’s Scions are protectors filled with conviction and courage. He approves of most of what his Scions are doing, provided that they are upholding certain customs of the pantheon. Scions of Myinbyushin are experienced, raised by their father to be in between the supernatural and the mundane.

                    Amay Ye Yin - The Lady of Friendly Waters
                    Aliases: Saw Nan Mon, Yeyin Kadaw
                    • Callings: Liminal, Sage, Warrior
                    • Purviews: Beasts (Tiger, Snake), Fire, Fortune, Water, War

                    The wielder of fire, snakes, tigers and swords, Amay Ye Yin is paradoxically a gentle and nurturing mother and a wrathful destroyer of foes. Of the Five Mothers, she, the Western Mother is the most powerful. She wields the art of magic and sorcery and grants occult wisdom to her followers. Amay Ye Yin is both the patron of witches, occultists and soothsayers and the defender against all forms of malevolent magic. Amay Ye Yin’s wrath is well-known by the rest of the gods. Multiple times she has considered destroying cities and kingdoms and it was only with the proper propitiation by the Nat and mortals that she has calmed down.

                    Amay Ye Yin once horded all the knowledge of the world and refused to give it to any man on Earth. In an act of deviousness, she placed the knowledge into a body of a snake. When Thagyamin discovered her ploy, he killed the snake and sliced it in three. Angered, she took the head of the snake north, infesting the region with venomous vipers. The region where the snake’s tail fell became a place where there were a few snakes. The belly of the snake fell somewhere in the Magwe Region. It is said that this place has remained brim with magical knowledge. Where the snake belly fell is unknown though many villages nearby claim that their village was where the belly of the snake fell.
                    Amay Ye Yin’s Scions are seldom insulted or defied by the Nat out of the fear of the wrath of their mother. Many of them are fascinated by the occult and sorcery, picking up tricks and trades of Burmese magic from many soothsayers and astrologers. Amay Ye Yin herself encourages her children to pick up these interests. To combat a magical enemy, one must understand the ways to use it as well. Many of Amay Ye Yin’s chosen Scions are fortune tellers and spirit mediums, conducting relations with other Nat through Amay Ye Yin’s powers. They may be found in many covens, bringing their talents against other sorcerers of other pantheons. Amay Ye Yin herself is well-known for her pursuit of knowledge, rivalling the Aesir Allfather, Odin himself.
                    Last edited by Svarogg; 11-20-2018, 09:51 PM.

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                    • #11
                      I suppose it’s looking more now like they’d be connected to the Palas in 2E rather than directly to the Deva (though they’re also connected to the Palas).


                      Check out my expansion to the Realm of Brass and Shadow

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                      • #12
                        Cool, glad to hear it. You seem to have added new members, too. Neat. Looking forward to it.

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                        • #13
                          Awesome! With Thagyamin being a distinct deity now and not just a mantle of Indra, I take it they're going to be more of an independent pantheon this time?

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by glamourweaver View Post
                            I suppose it’s looking more now like they’d be connected to the Palas in 2E rather than directly to the Deva (though they’re also connected to the Palas).
                            From what I've researched, they are more connected to the Deva than to the Palas since Hinduism had a foothold in ancient Burmese kingdoms before Buddhism arrived. The Deva and the Nat have a strained relationship though because Thagyamin, the head of the pantheon is married to what a Deva would consider as an Asura.

                            Originally posted by Wannabe Demon Lord View Post
                            Awesome! With Thagyamin being a distinct deity now and not just a mantle of Indra, I take it they're going to be more of an independent pantheon this time?
                            Yes! I have the Virtues in mind (Loyalty vs Defiance) and a Pantheon Specific Purview coming up.
                            Last edited by Svarogg; 07-31-2018, 11:17 PM.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Svarogg View Post

                              From what I've researched, they are more connected to the Deva than to the Palas since Hinduism had a foothold in ancient Burmese kingdoms before Buddhism arrived. The Deva and the Nat have a strained relationship though because Thagyamin, the head of the pantheon is married to what a Deva would consider as an Asura.
                              Technically Indra is also married to a Titan I imagine he's a very 'do as I say, not as I do' kind of person. That said, I'm looking forward to the 2e version of the Nat.

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