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The Tanrilar - The Turco-Mongolian Pantheon

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  • The Tanrilar - The Turco-Mongolian Pantheon

    I've been working on this as homebrew for a while. I actually have a full document written up, but I'll be doling stuff out piecemeal here to get better feedback on individual parts, and also to build hype. I used the name 'Tanrilar' to refer to the pantheon because...well, Tengrist is the religion, and Tengri himself is pretty much an entirely separate being from the gods. (Gok Tengri/Kok Tengri/etc. is a Primordial, for my purposes.) Tanrilar means 'gods', basically.

    So who are they?
    The Tanrilar
    Before there was anything, there was time, a vast expanse of water. Above it flew the white goose, Kok Tengri, also called Kaira or Kara-Han, who is the sky, and below it was the White Mother, Ak Ana, who is the waters. Ak Ana called out to Kok Tengri: "Create!" And from this command, all things came. The sacred duck Lura was made, to bring forth the sand and clay and silt, and from this was the Earth created, and all things good and bad. Of course, the act of creation was great, and so after drawing forth the earth and sacred duck, Kok Tengri created the Tanrilar and set them the work of creating and managing the world in detail, as he oversaw its fate.
    The Tanrilar created humans, and gave them the law. And yet, in their pride, the Tanrilar split themselves. Most of the gods were happy to lead humanity and to help them, and thus earn their praises by their deeds. Some, however, led by their father, the death god, Erlik Khan, were angry, for they were given inferior position to their elders among the Tanrilar. They sought to make their own land and their own people, and for their temerity, Kok Tengri hurled them into the darkness beneath the earth. To punish the gods in the realm of light, Erlik and his children seek now to make humanity suffer, that they might offer him praises and sacrifices to prevent his attacks.
    The Turkic-Mongol peoples are the original followers of the Tanrilar, and the shamans continue to serve as intermediaries between the gods and humanity as a whole. They speak for the gods, who speak for the people - and themselves. The Tanrilar have always struggled to teach people the lessons they learned from Erlik's rebellion. After all, seeking to better your position and meet your ambitions is not wrong - it is a fundamental thing all people and even gods must strive for. But equally, every being in the World owes Tengri a debt, for he gave them life, and he expects that debt to be repaid - to him, and to his people. It is said that Tengri created death, and all men are born to die. They must give their lives repaying the debt they owe for their births.

    Principal Members

    The Tanrilar are not a small clan. However, many of their members are sons and daughters who serve their parents as they prepare themselves to lead, and are subordinate. The two greatest gods of the Tanrilar are the first and second created - Bai-Ulgen, the God of Abundance, Shamans and Stars, who made the earth and the things that live, and his brother-son and archrival Erlik Khan, God of Death and Darkness. Most of the gods are their younger brothers and sisters - sometimes both at once, as several of the gods have both male and female aspects. Mergen, the God of Archery and Wisdom, Kyzaghan, the young God of War and Anger, who came with the Huns, Umay, the Virgin Goddess of Fertility, Earth and Women. Koyash, God of the Sun and the Spirit, and Ay Ata, the God of the Moon, Magic and Rebirth. Od Ana, Goddess of Fire and Marriage, Su Iyesi, God of Water and Journeys, and Szelanya, Goddess of Wind and Storms. Each is meant to oversee a piece of Kok Tengri's creation, yet each also seeks to further themselves and the respect they hold in the eyes of the people. While Erlik is most famous for lashing out against the people to force them to propitiate him, he is not the only god who has considered it - or done it.
    Bai-Ulgan and Erlik also each have nine sons and nine daughters, who serve them loyally. These are more minor gods, however, and the daughters' names are secret, known to none. The Akoglanlar, the White Boys, serve their father, Bai-Ulgan, while the Karaoglanlar, the Black Boys, serve Erlik. Further, several Mongolian peoples name many other gods among the Tanrilar, far too many to list here. The Tanrilar, if pressed on the difference between Turkic and Mongolian gods, remain largely silent. There is enough room in the sky for everyone.
    Last edited by MorsRattus; 05-29-2018, 04:41 PM.

  • #2
    And we'll lead off with the big two - the most potent of the gods, who are the creators.
    Bai-Ulgen, God of Abundance, Shamans and Stars

    Aliases: Ulgen, Bey Ulgen, Ulgan
    Bai-Ulgen is the eldest of the sons of Kok Tengri and one of the most powerful. While he would claim to lead them, it is difficult to lead a clan of leaders and khans. Still, Bai-Ulgen does not begrudge his siblings and cousins their ambitions - he is a god of largesse and generosity, after all. Despite this, he maintains an aloofness about himself. His gifts to the people are great - he offers food, water and abundant prosperity, creating land for them to live in and the rainbow for them to admire. However, Bai-Ulgen refuses to contact his people directly in any circumstance.

    Rather, Bai-Ulgen is the patron of the shamanic mystics of his people, the qam and udgan and böö, and prefers not to deal with those who lack the secret knowledge and gifts of these special people. He is not social, even with his fellow Tanrilar, and rarely walks the World to see his people. His gifts, he believes, should be enough. Instead, he spends most of his time in his home, on the sixteenth level of the sky, above the stars and sun and moon, in his golden house. He prefers to pretend that other pantheons don’t exist, when he can, except for the Shen. Bai-Ulgen likes to think of them as his cousins who occasionally require advice and guidance - an attitude that most of the Chinese divinities, who already have many reasons to dislike the Tanrilar, find extremely frustrating.

    When he does incarnate, Bai-Ulgen prefers to remain in the halls of glory. He is often a philanthropist, a scientist, a politician or other roles in which he can do good for many without having to get his hands dirty with the fine details. He also has a soft spot for horses, which are traditionally sacrificed to him, and in all incarnations, he always owns them. In fact, one of his longer-running incarnations is a reclusive billionaire known only to emerge for horse races of all kinds, which Bai-Ulgen loves. He can be found at any sufficiently weighty horse race, generally in a private box, and gamblers vie for the chance to find out who his incarnation has bet on, as he never loses. Despite his preference to avoid dealing with people, he is extremely fecund, and has a surprising number of Scions, given his rare incarnations. They, like their father, tend to be big picture thinkers with great ambitions for goodness. They can often be much more social than he is, though.
    Callings: Creator, Leader, Sage
    Purviews: Beasts (Horses), Forge, Health, Order, Prosperity, Sky, Stars, Wild

    Erlik Khan, God of Death, the Underworld and Evil
    Aliases: Erlik, Erlig, Erklik, Ordog
    Erlik Khan is a monstrous creature, and yet he was the youngest of the elders among the gods, created together by Kok Tengri and Bai-Ulgen. His pride and jealousy of his elder brother led to great friction, and was the cause of his rebellion and attempt to make his own world. It went poorly, as Erlik’s enraged plans often do, and for his temerity he was banished to the underworld, despite his role in helping to create the world and humanity. He also created bears, which remain one of his symbols.

    Now, Erlik rages against the gods in the lands above, yet still oversees his part of the world - the dark and the dead and the sick. He tempts humans to sin, teaching them evil ways, and creates many evil spirits to go forth and cause misfortune and disease. However, he and his children also bring gifts to humanity - courage, bravery, the secrets of iron and mining. Despite this, he is less worshipped and more propitiated, for he loves to steal the souls of those who die to his illnesses, bringing them to his lower world and enslaving them if he is not properly respected. In his divine form, he appears as a horrendous, fur-covered monster, with the face of an angry boar. Erlik has occasionally been claimed to be another name for Yama. Yama hates this - he works hard to be a neutral and fair judge of the dead, and doesn’t cause anywhere near the mischief that Erlik does. Erlik doesn’t particularly want Yama’s job, but likes the chaos that it causes when he’s mistaken for Yama, and so he occasionally will encourage the idea, which has made him a slightly fairer judge of the dead than he otherwise would be. This is why he only takes those who are evil like him, or who are marked by death from sickness without the proper propitiation rituals.

    Erlik has a love-hate relationship with humanity. He hates that they get to live in the world above while he can only visit, but he cannot help but love them as his children, even as he torments them. It should go without saying that the Khan of the Dead is a poor father indeed to his Scions, who typically inherit his temper and ferocity. He prefers to incarnate in roles that allow him to demand respect and get petty vengeance on those he dislikes - mob bosses, principals, politicians and generals are all roles he favors. He is greatly disliked by most of his pantheon, and is often their enemy - but all will insist that he is no Titan, just an evil god who must often be put in his place. Erlik is not above taking advantage of this to scheme against other gods, of course. Those who knowingly do what they think is wrong or which greatly transgresses social mores, for power or for other reasons, will often offer up a prayer to Erlik, that he might watch over their mischief with, if not kindness, then approval.
    Callings: Creator, Liminal, Trickster
    Purviews: Beasts (Bears), Chaos, Darkness, Death, Forge, Health, Passion (Courage, Hatred)

    Comment


    • #3
      This is amazing. Though I don't know much about this pantheon, I have been interested in them for a while, and I really wanted them in the game. Your write-up appears thorough and well-researched so far, and I cannot thank you enough for taking the time and effort to write them up properly.

      Bai-Ulgen seems interesting. A god-king who's that introverted and reclusive is quite a refreshing change of pace from the larger than life antics of figures like Zeus and Odin. I can relate a lot to the idea of wanting to help people from a distance while keeping actual social interaction to a minimum. I like him already.

      I have a question concerning Erlik Khan. How reliable are western scholarly sources as a whole concerning him? I ask this because he is very Luciferian, almost suspiciously so. He reads like exactly what everyone always seems to misinterpret Hades as being in poor adaptations of Greek mythology. It almost feels like there could be some western, Christian theology-based projections onto him made by whichever scholars wrote this down for a western audience to begin with. I could be totally off-base on that, however, and that wouldn't be a criticism on you, just on the scarcity of sources available. That being said, there is certainly a time and place for villains who are just Bad. In the game, he would be my go-to god if I had a player who wanted to be the scion of a straight-up devil figure.

      Comment


      • #4
        Erlik is a god of evil, but he’s not wholly negative. His sons, the Black Boys, include the gods/lesser spirits of courage and smithing. However, he absolutely is a giant troublemaking jerk. My research has not currently shown him to be cognate with Lucifer, so much as reflecting the idea that bad things have to come from somewhere and be someone’s fault.

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        • #5
          I'll bet Hades, Anpu, Baron Samedi, etc. really don't like him, giving death gods as a whole a bad name like that. XD This really is very impressive work, and I definitely hyped to see the rest of it.

          Comment


          • #6
            Next up, and my last post for today, the SPORTS BOYS
            Mergen, God of Wisdom, Archery and Prosperity
            Aliases: Zasa Mergen Baatar (Buryat)
            Among the Tanrilar, it is said that no one knows more than Mergen, who knows everything - he just needs time to remember it all. He is always seen with his bow and arrow, and he dresses like a young soldier. Among the Buryat people of Mongolia, he is a god of tornados as well, riding a great hawk-horse.

            Mergen’s name itself has come to mean ‘archer’ to some, and ‘genius’ to others. He is brother to Ulgen and son of Kok Tengri, and he lives in the seventh floor of the sky. His immense strength is renowned among the Tanrilar, as is his skill as a horseman. He always dresses in white, which is his color. He has a long and storied rivalry with Houyi of the Shen over which is the better archer and tactician. In fact, Mergen is quite competitive in general, and he encourages his Scions to test themselves against worthy equals in either physical or intellectual battles. This attitude towards other gods either endears him to his rivals or makes them hate him. (Usually, if being honest, the latter, but he has forged some intense friendships this way with Athena and Tyr, among others.)

            In the modern era, Mergen refuses to give up either physical or intellectual prowess in his Incarnations. If he is a professor or a philosopher, he also wrestles or does archery on the side. If he is a military man, he also writes history books. He loves the sport of chessboxing, and it is common for chessboxers to offer small sacrifices of horse statues to Mergen before a match. His Scions, likewise, are rarely satisfied excelling in only one field. Their pride is as strong as his - ‘know-it-all’ is a common phrase associated with them, much like their father...but much like their father, they are unworried about that, because they know that in excellence, they serve both themselves and the people.

            Callings: Judge, Sage, Warrior
            Purviews: Beasts (Horses, Hawks), Deception, Epic Dexterity, Epic Strength, Order, Prosperity, Sky


            Kyzaghan, God of War and Anger
            Aliases: Kizagan, Qizagan
            Kyzaghan is the youngest brother of the sons of Kok Tengri, come to the pantheon with the Huns. He is their general, now, the red lord of war and battle. He is always armed with a sword or spear, and he is ever in red, which is his color. Often, it is the red blood of his enemies.

            Kyzaghan lives on the ninth floor of the sky, and prefers to ride a red horse. He is a strong, arrogant god who expects warriors to be like him - fearless, vicious and ready to shed blood at a moment’s notice. His temper is legendary, and he can be terrible in his rages; among the people, he is as much feared as loved, for in his fury he can strike down even his own in the mists of battle.

            Kyzaghan is almost always a soldier when he incarnates. Sometimes he is a street soldier, leading a gang. Sometimes he is a general, or a front lines fighter. More rarely, he may appear as a wrestler - while he finds the Greco-Roman rules irritating, Mongolian wrestling is one of his favorite activities, and the sumo matches between Kyzaghan and Takemikazuchi are always worth watching. (From a safe distance.) Their rivalry isn’t entirely friendly, however - Kyzaghan takes credit for the decade of Mongolian yokozuna, which Takemikazuchi finds irritating and embarrassing. Kyzaghan’s Scions are generally warriors and athletes as well, and always the kind that lead by example. They can suffer from their father’s temper, but more often they are put in the position of having to clean up after it.

            Callings: Leader, Warrior, Guardian
            Purviews: Chaos, Epic Stamina, Epic Strength, Passion (Anger, Valor), War
            Last edited by MorsRattus; 05-29-2018, 09:38 PM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Mergen seems like a pretty cool genius-bruiser type character, equally at home in battle and debate. What exactly do you mean by a hawk-horse? A hippogriff essentially, or more like Pegasus? Does this creature have a name?

              Kyzaghan appears to pretty much be the Ares archetype, a vicious god of war. What can you tell me about his cultural origins? Was there a separate Hun (Hunnic?) pantheon that was absorbed into the Tanrilar?

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              • #8
                Fascinating. Not Mongolian myself, but my country’s brand of shamanism share its sources with them, so this is intriguing. (And refreshing!)


                MtAw Homebrew: Even more Legacies, updated to 2E

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                • #9
                  My understanding is that it is like a hippogriff - I wasn’t able to find a ton of info on it, though it is different than a flying horse.
                  Hunnic religion appears to have been a Tengrust variation but we know very little about it.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Today's big update: the trio of Very Important Life Things - earth, sun and moon.


                    Umay, Virgin Goddess of Earth, Fertility, Women and Children

                    Aliases: Umay Ana, Umai, Umaj, Ymaj, Sari Kiz, Kubai, Kubai-Ana, Etugen Eke


                    Umay is both mother and virgin, a role which she finds has no contradiction. She is the eldest sister of Ulgen and Erlik, the firstborn of all the Tanrilar, and she guides children to birth and protects them as they rise, the patron of wives and queens. While the Tanrilar have always been somewhat sexist, preferring male children to female, Umay is given the highest honor, for without mothers, there can be no khans or armies. Umay is guardian of the souls that will become children. Some say she is the most powerful of all the Tanrilar, though she rarely wields that power in anger.


                    Umay shares many jobs with the goddess Od Ana, and some say they were once the same goddess. The pair laugh at this, now, but they remain very close. Umay is quite skilled in magic, and carefully guards the magical secrets of birth, held in the placenta. While Kok Tengri himself represents the khagans and khans of the people, Umay represents the katuns and hatuns, the wives and mothers, and the Tanrilar are always careful to listen to her counsel. As Umay, she tends to appear as a young woman, while in the mantle of Kubai, the goddess of birth, she is a middle-aged woman. In either form, she is a powerful archer who protects against evil spirits. Her color is yellow, and her hair shines like the sun, which she is associated with as the Yellow Maiden. Because of her great position within the Tanrilar but her generally kinder and more peaceful nature, Umay serves as one of the pantheon’s diplomats to others. She is more familiar with foreign gods than most of the Tanrilar, though she keeps her secrets from them even more than from fellow Tanrilar.


                    Umay has extended her protection to all her children these days, standing now as the guardian of the Turkic and Mongolian peoples all, though she reserves special love for children and women still. Many believe it is her relatively frequent dealing with outsiders that has led her to extend her protective love to her people more these days, though she has never confirmed this. She can be found in Incarnations that allow her to help people - domestic violence investigators, women’s shelter managers, teachers, doctors and caregivers of all kinds. When her charges are threatened, she becomes as terrible in her fury as any war god, but she prefers to not need to be. All of her Scions are Created or Chosen, and she focuses on women who care for and protect others and have great pride in their communities and families.


                    Callings: Guardian, Healer, Liminal

                    Purviews: Beauty, Earth, Epic Stamina, Fortune, Health, Fertility, Sun


                    Koyash, God of the Sun and the Spirit

                    Aliases: Qoyas, Quyosh, Kuyas, Gun Ana, Burkut


                    Koyash, brother to Ulgen and Erlik, is one of the most important gods among the Tanrilar, and he knows it well. He is the sun, and by the rays of the sun, the sky is connected to plants, animals and people. It is along these rays that their spirits move from the sky and Kok Tengri to their living forms. Thus, Koyash is the source of all vital force, supplying life to plants and transferring it to infants as they are born. He is said to have allowed Alan-Goa, mother of the Mongols, to conceive by the touch of a ray of light that entered her yurt through its smoke hole. Koyash, however, is not a wholly masculine god. Like many of the Tanrilar, he has a feminine aspect, Gun Ana. In either aspect, Koyash is the lover of Ay Ata, the moon god, and they share the sixth floor of the sky as their palace. In the Mantle of Gun Ana, she is also the patron of orphans, and often adopts Scions.


                    Koyash is tied deeply to winged horses and fiery birds, which are both associated with the motion of the sun across the sky. He loves his grandeur, and it is traditional for many worshippers to bow to the sun each morning as it rises, in honor of him. Koyash rather expects that level of respect now, and can be quite arrogant. He is renowned for his skill in battle as well, conjuring solar strands from his hands to ensnare and burn his foes. Lately, he has been having some tensions with Od Ana over her decision to support and join Hestia in patroning nuclear power - the tools and power of sunlight are, he feels, his alone to wield, and not to be dealt with by mortals or his siblings.


                    Koyash prefers to incarnate in roles that allow his glory to shine through. Celebrities, politicians, generals, business innovators - anything that lets him get his face out there. He is a natural leader and expects everyone else to follow...and becomes very irritated when they don’t. He expects his Scions to follow his example, to excel in their fields and become famous. Avoiding the spotlight is a sure way to earn his disapproval and his ire.


                    Callings: Leader, Liminal, Warrior

                    Purviews: Beasts (Horses, Eagles), Epic Dexterity, Fertility, Fire, Health, Journeys, Sun


                    Ay Ata, God of the Moon, Magic and Rebirth

                    Aliases: Ay Tanri, Ay Dede, Au Ama, Ay Dada, Oy Ota

                    Ay Ata, known widely as Ay Dede, or Grandfather Moon, is much beloved by their people. They are the lover of Gun Ana and Koyash, but where the sun is warmth, Ay Ata is cold. Despite this, they are the hero of many popular children’s tales, and the father of the legendary Scion Oghuz Khan, who invented the clan system of the Oghuz Turks. Ay Ata is often portrayed as male, but is at ease in any gender, due to constantly being reborn and dying.


                    Ay Ata is very much tied to women, though they are equally at home as male, and women are believed to have secret powers of the moon, known as Aisar, because pregnancy lasts around nine lunar months. Turkic women often deliver during the full moon, thanks to Ay Ata’s nature. Every month, Ay Ata is reborn as a child, grows to adulthood and then dies, forever, as the moon waxes and wanes. The light of the moon protects against evil spirits, and it is only while Ay Ata is dead, during the new moon, that they feel truly safe to perform their mischief. While not dead, Ay Ata is one of the greatest foes of evil in the pantheon, dedicating much time to fighting the influence of Erlik Khan and other evil forces. This has gotten them into quite a bit of trouble over the years, as they have a tendency to send their Scions to meddle in the problems of other pantheons.


                    Ay Ata prefers to incarnate in more subtle roles than their lover. Often they are a traveler or wanderer, moving into lives and out of them easily. They have been every kind of job, as long as they get to travel the world doing it. They are always mystical, and that bent is found in their Scions, as is the wanderlust. Both Ay Ata and their Scions can be mercurial and hard to pin down, but their presence always improves things, as they apply their myriad experiences, and their absences are often felt keenly.


                    Callings: Liminal, Trickster, Sage

                    Purviews: Darkness, Fortune, Fertility, Frost, Journeys, Moon, Stars


                    Comment


                    • #11
                      And now, the final trio of gods - the elemental gods. (That is, of those I've written up; Genghis Khan is also a god, for example, but is not a major one outside of Mongolia and not one of the most prominent gods, while the Akaoglanlar and Karaoglanlar are minor god-spirits and not individually written up, but would be excellent Guides or even possibly Followers - one on one, that is, not as a group.)

                      Od Ana, Goddess of Fire and Marriage
                      Aliases: Od Iyesi, Ates Iyesi, Alev Iyesi, Od Ene, Om Aea, Ot Eje, Od Ata, Od Ede, Od Khan, Odqan, Yalun Eke, Tuz Atya, Alaz Khan, Yalin, Andar, Cahin

                      Od Ana is also Od Iyesi who is also Od Ata - the King and Queen of Fire. She prefers her feminine aspect currently, but is comfortable with both. She is known as the Flame Spirit, the Protector of Fire, and the Fire Mother. Fire, for the Tanrilar, is not something to fear, but to protect. It brings warmth on cold nights, and by the order of Kok Tengri, three fires burn in every human soul, and when they die, Od Ata buries these fires and puts them out. This fire is known as cemre, the mystic fire that falls to Air, Earth and Water each year.

                      Od Ana protects marriages as well as fire, and symbolically, a new couple must jump over a fire to earn her blessing in Mongol cultures, gaining a love as bright as fire. She is said to have been born very early, when the earth and water were separated from the sky. She is close friends with Umay, and some claim they were once the same goddess in different Mantles. As Od Ata, the Fire Father, he offers powers over fire to shamans, and is colored red as flame. He rides a brown goat. In either aspect, she is close friends with other hearth gods, and in Eastern circles, she is just as honored, if not more, as Hestia among nuclear engineers. That this rankles Koyash and others who would prefer the fiery power of nuclear energy not technically count as a hearthflame doesn’t seem to bother her at all. Ambition always rubs someone the wrong way.

                      Od Ana is a guardian and matchmaker, and prefers Incarnations that allow her to indulge in these passions. She has been a bodyguard, a matchmaker, a justice of the peace and a marriage counselor. She also enjoys roles that play with fire - firefighter or nuclear physicist, for example. She adores her children as a doting mother, encouraging them to follow their passions, even if it means angering others. She expects them to respect family, however, and will never, ever stop needling them to get married and have or adopt children.

                      Callings: Guardian, Lover, Sage
                      Purviews: Artistry (Song, Dance), Beasts (Goat), Beauty, Fire, Passion (Love)


                      Su Iyesi, God of Water and Journeys
                      Aliases: Su Ana, Su Ata, Vudas, Su Anasi, Viz Atya, Viz Apa, Jaiyk Khan, Ukulan-Tojon

                      Su Iyesi is the dual god of Su Ana and Su Ata, a married pair who rule over the waters. Of the two, Su Ana’s temper is the worse, and when enraged, she will destroy dams and structures, and drown people and beasts by dragging them underwater, or enslaving them. She is, however, equally capable of benevolence. Su Ata, her elderly and frog-like husband, is also known to take people to drown them, especially if they pollute the waters, but he loves sacrifices of bread.

                      When people go on journeys, especially brides, they must be introduced to Su Iyesi. That way, they are safe on their journey. The gods are not the only water spirits, of course - there are many lesser water spirits, who share the name ‘su iyesi’, Water Master, but not the divine power. They are lesser children of the gods, servants. In the modern world, they tend to take issue with those that harness the power of water without properly respecting it. It is a rare bridge or dam that lacks some sign asking for their mercy. They have found kindred spirits in Poseidon, though they understand the ocean far less well than they understand rivers and lakes, and the shared love of horses that Poseidon shares with the Tanrilar has made the Su Iyesi treat him as a long-lost cousin, which has confused most members of both their own pantheon and the Theoi.

                      Neither Su Ana nor Su Ata is especially faithful to the other, and neither especially minds that. They typically work as sailors, river people or environmentalists when they incarnate, and their children are likewise drawn to the water and the protection of it. They can be slow to anger, but Scions of Su Iyesi, when enraged, are no less terrifying than their wild parents.

                      Callings: Liminal, Warrior, Judge
                      Purviews: Beasts (Frogs), Epic Strength, Journeys, Water, Wild


                      Szelanya, Goddess of Wind and Storms
                      Aliases: Yel Ana, Cel Ana, En Anau, Szelatya, Yel Ata, Cel Ata, Yel Ota, En Amau

                      Szelanya, like many of the elemental gods of the Tanrilar, is the feminine aspect of a dual god, with Szelatya serving as the masculine. Currently, Szelanya prefers her female form, but can assume either easily and with comfort. She is the Wind Mother, as Szelatya is the Wind Father, and they have great control over the weather. Neither is especially kind, as they enjoy the sound of storms and the rushing of wind.

                      However, Szelanya is not particularly malicious - rather, she enjoys mischief and great noise. She is a primal deity, a god of the wild places, and has much in common with Su Iyesi, whom she is close friends with. She is a potent fighter, and thunder horses run at her command. In her male form, she appears as an aged, long-haired man with weapons of silver, and in either form she lives in the great Silver Forest, which is both forest and jungle. She rules over many mischievous wilderness spirits.

                      When taking on human incarnation, Szelanya and Szelatya prefer to be stormchasers, explorers, naturalists and other roles that let them experience the wild and free world of nature. Their children, likewise, often have little time for formalities and frippery, preferring directness and the natural to the created and urbane...though being direct is not the same as being truthful - like their parents, Scions of Szelanya or Szelatya can be tricky and hard to pin down.

                      Callings: Trickster, Hunter, Liminal
                      Purviews: Beasts (Horses), Chaos, Deception, Epic Dexterity, Sky, Wild

                      Last edited by MorsRattus; 05-31-2018, 11:07 AM.

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                      • #12
                        Do you have any titans or titanspawn planned?

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                        • #13
                          Titanspawn yes, there are monsters.

                          Titans, no.

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                          • #14

                            Religion: Tengrism

                            Tengrism is a highly personal faith. Its adherents, called Tengrists, are just normal people...but the faith itself is overseen by what outsiders call shamans. (This is a Siberian word, rather than a Mongolian or Turkish one.) To the Tengrists, these men and women have other names. In Mongolian, they are böö (if male) or udgan (if female), and in Turkish, they are qam. They intercede with spirits on the behalf of others, though they are not the only ones who can. Clan leaders and even common folk can take part in spiritual matters, though they lack the specialized skills. Tengrist temples exist, but are relatively rare. More common are smaller clan shrines, overseen by elders and leaders of the community or by local böö, udgan or qam. These mystics are typically supported by community offerings in exchange for their service.

                            Tengrism believes that the entire world is overseen by various spirits, ranging from the spirits of great shamans, called jigari and abjiya, who watch over and guard people and places, to nature spirits of all kinds, up to the Tanrilar themselves. The theology holds that the Tanrilar are of the same sort of being as these lesser spirits, but Kok Tengri is not. As a result, many Tengrists also mix their faith with others - it is not rare to see a Tengrist that is also Taoist, Buddhist, Christian, Jewish or Muslim. What matters is that they take part in Tengrist rituals and give honor to or appease the spirits and Tanrilar. The Tanrilar themselves would certainly not argue that they are anything but very large, powerful spirits, worthy of respect and obeisance, rather than strict gods like Kok Tengri.

                            Tengrism has often also involved components of nationalism, with reverence of Genghis Khan, Timur or the Gokturks being common. Temujin, the Genghis Khan, was a Demigod, and after his death, he apotheosized, though he is not one of the more active Tanrilar and is primarily worshipped in Mongolia and specifically around his Mausoleum-Temple in Ordos. Timur never became a god, and was a devout Muslim in life was well as a Tengrist, but claimed to have power from Allah and the spirits. Whether he was a Scion or not is a matter of some debate. The Gokturk and Oghuz leaders are less well known, but Oghuz Khagan is a legend, the slayer of the dragon Kiyant, and he is said to have been visited and favored by Kok Tengri as well as the Tanrilar, and married two potent spirits.

                            Tengrist holidays vary in date depending on the area, but one very common one is the Naadam, a festival of games that the Tanrilar love, usually held in the spring or summer. Naadam competitions typically feature Mongolian wrestling, horse racing and archery. The wrestling is usually limited to men, though Amazon representation in Turkish areas has led to a larger push for women’s participation. Horse racing and archery are events in which all people can take part. For the less physically inclined, there are also tournaments of shagai games, played using a sheep-bone token that is also used for divination. The largest and greatest Naadam takes place in Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia, and lasts from July 11 to July 13. The Lunar New Year is also celebrated by most Tengrists as the White Moon Festival. During this period, the clan leaders, böö, udgan and qam oversee large burnt offerings to Tengri and the Tanrilar, to purify the clan and grant protection during the coming year.

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                            • #15
                              Fascinating! I have to say, I didn't know about these and now I'm very glad I do. Though one thing I'm particularly curious about is their relationships with other pantheons, especially those they have history with (the Shen, for example) or who share certain similarities (such as the Manitou - both have nature spirits that priests and even ordinary people can interact with).

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