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    Suel God of War
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    Master Greytalker

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    Thu Feb 21, 2019 4:55 pm  
    Suel God of War

    So, just wondering who the Suel God of War would have been. Does anyone know? I am surprised I never thought of this, but now it would be useful.

    I looking things over, and figured that Llerg and Kord were the two logical choices, but they just don't seem to fit. War certainly isn't considered one of their areas of influence. This got me thinking that maybe Vatun was their God of War. It would make sense as he ended up getting imprisoned anyway. Plus, his memory amongst the barbarians would fit too. Call it a racial memory.

    Anyway, let me know if I have totally missed something. :)
    Black Hand of Oblivion

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    Thu Feb 21, 2019 9:35 pm  

    The Suel do not have a deity that could be called *THE* Suel god of war. Kord is the most prominent patron of warriors, and Vatun is a good secondary choice. The difference between the two is that Kord is the a patron of the strong and brave, while Vatun is the patron of reivers. Llerg isn't a god of war at all, but for a tribe that links itself with an animal in a totemic fashion Llerg could very well fill that role due to Llerg predominantly being a patron of fierce animals and those who respect them. The barbarian cave dwellers in the movie "The 13th Warrior" would be a good example, though they fall somewhere between the tenets of Kord and Vatun with regards to what they do (i.e. they value strength and are reivers).
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    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Fri Feb 22, 2019 11:46 am  

    ragnar,

    There is another option than to assign a war domain to an existing god. Create one, either by being original or reskinning an existing god from another source. Legends and Lore may have some inspirational entries. Creating this god could be a good challenge for anyone reading this post, such as GVD who did such great work on Zuras.

    It does seem unusual for a pantheon not to have a war god or a god of defense. What does this say about the Suel? Did they have one before their legendary conflict with the Baklunish folk and divest themselves afterward? Could she or he be imprisoned, like Tharizdun? Or was her or his avatar destroyed in the war? Has he or she been demoted (might have become Wastri, the only Suel demi-god I know of)?

    I bet Ragson has excellent insight into these questions.

    Anyway, I look forward to your solution. Cheers.
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Fri Feb 22, 2019 2:47 pm  

    Given the Suel's attitude toward magic in warfare, it's quite possible they wouldn't have a god of war at all in the traditional sense, but perhaps a god of war magic...
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Sat Feb 23, 2019 3:29 am  

    Vulcan,

    Wouldn't your suggestion about a god of war-magic place the burden on Wee Jas? She is the Suel goddess of magic and death, and death is always a component of war. As many articles have articulated, she is a death goddess that is more of a champion of the dead seeking to guide them safely to the afterlife, unlike Nerull - death for the sake of fear, wickedness, and destruction. If she is such a guide, then maybe her otherworldy servants select the dead warrior-mages from the battlefields much like Odin's Valkyries. Of course, that would open up the possibility for a Suel Valhalla.

    I like the idea, so thanks for the inspiration.

    Cheers
    Master Greytalker

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    Sat Feb 23, 2019 9:02 am  

    Thanks for all the ideas. I don't really do a lot of work on myths and such, or on the histories of the gods most of the time. Since I don't have much from 3rd ed and later, being one of those old school stuck-in-his-ways kind of DMs, I rely on the oldest sources of Canon.

    So, in that vein, I think I will go with Vatun. I'm looking at him as having been the Suel God of war, which they absolutely had to have. They did nothing but war for millenia! Vatun has the old school notation, he is the deity of choice of the most warlike of the remaining Suel, the barbarians. Vatun has the obvious connection to Woden/Odin, and I believe the Norse were used in the old days, so that works.

    So, I'll use that. He was a major deity of Suel, probably more in the line of an Intermediate Deity. Maybe what we call today a God of War, but for them he was the God of Battle and Conquest. I think it would fit the ancient Suel mentality that way a little more.

    I like Him being a Chaotic God, perhaps melding with the beliefs of the Suel Mages that when they have to resort to physical battle, it is the less orderly version of their order. They prefer to use magic to do everything, but when the rules break down, the Chaos of Battle results. Thus, instead of a Lawful God of War, he is the Chaotic God of Battle.

    I will take this a bit further I think too. Just as the Suel conquered the Oeridians, so too did Vatun conquer Stern Alia. Yes, now you see where I'm going! :) He is the father of the three Oeridian Gods of War!

    Now, I must admit I didn't even know about Stratis until, oh, yesterday! So, it works that she kept him secret. Maybe some fleeing Oeridians went west, taking worship of him with them. Works for me. The rest went east, bringing Heironeous and Hextor.

    Further, I'm happy to add that I like the imprisonment of Vatun by Telchur. Maybe he was secretly in love with Stern Alia. Again, when it comes to myth, I don't worry too much.

    So, that'll be my God of War. You know, I only really had to figure this out because I needed a God of War for B4; I'm not using the Gods presented therein! As I'm placing this in the Bandit Kingdoms, it also fits to use the Suel Gods for this lost city, founded by descendents of the Zolites who fled the battle that caused the breaking of the Houses of Pursuit. We really don't have info in the old timeline about them, except that their leader eventually turned up elsewhere. So where did they go? Well, some ended up in the Rift!

    It ends up meshing nicely with some of my other stuff that I'm doing with my Riftcanyon Campaign.

    Anyway, thanks for the ideas guys.
    GreySage

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    Sun Feb 24, 2019 8:40 am  

    In perusing my texts (including The Scarlet Brotherhood), it seems that Vatun is indeed the better choice as a Suel War God. Kord is not so much a god of war for conquest per se' but rather brawling, fighting, and feats of bravery and strength.

    -Lanthorn
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Sun Feb 24, 2019 1:25 pm  

    Is there any other source besides the LIVING GREYHAWK™ Gazetteer that talks about Vatun NOT being worshiped by the Suel Imperium? It seems the Thillonrian barbarians are the only ones paying him any mind…
    Adept Greytalker

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    Sun Feb 24, 2019 4:42 pm  

    A Suel war god doesn't sit well with me. Here's some ideas for the sake of argument. Cool thread!

    Rather than give the Suel a traditional war god, it's more interesting to ask "how do the Suel approach conflict and defense?" The Suel pantheon is arguably the most codified in GH, due to Lakofka's attention to both detail and his focus on this singular race. I'm reluctant to give them a standard war god because, without one, they have a very different vibe and outlook than the Oeridians and most real-world civilizations. That difference is cool and keeps players off balance.

    Maybe they used to have a war god -- the Suel have many dead gods (Ranet, Ainatet, Sryndro, maybe a snake god). Maybe their war god served them well, but after their prolonged war with the Baklunish and its devastating cataclysms, the Suel shunned traditional warfare. Discovering the lingering shade of a former intermediate god could be a plot for an entire campaign.

    Or maybe they never needed a war god. Their former empire was large and entrenched, with excellent natural barriers. The strength of their Baklunish rivals and the dividing mountains made conventional warfare impractical. Their pantheon indicates many alternative paths to victory and conflict resolution -- magic (particularly charm and beguiling); poison; assassination; deceit and misinformation; berserk frenzy (Llerg); mastery of the seas, skies, hills, mountains, flames, and dark places; friendly physical competition; and long-term planning and perspective. Lendor might be the patron of some Suel liches. Beltar may encourage the use of humanoid mercenaries, slaves (the Suel created Derro and Skulks), and demons. Bralm may be the patron of rank-and-file soldiers and warrior slaves. Most of these strategies can still be seen in the modern Scarlet Brotherhood.

    All of this served the Sueloise empire well behind their mountains. But their lack of martial prowess proved to be their undoing after the Rain of Colorless Fire. Driven to an unfamiliar land, without their Mages of Power and slave races, the Oeridians were too much for them.

    I agree Vatun is the _closest_ to a Suel war god and is a strong enough figurehead to drive the barbarians into southern lands, but I'd still stop short of calling him a war god. His model, Odin, was traditionally more complex too and only dumbed-down in recent years. He's sinister, mischievous, arcane, and cares more for frenzy than conquest. IMC, his followers are warriors, but also rune masters, tricksters, and the only male sorcerers accepted in the Rhizia (I got a lot of inspiration from the Castles & Crusades books Rune Lore and Codex Nordica and TSR's HR1).

    I'm ambivalent about inter-pantheon offspring and Vatun siring the Oeridian war gods. If he did, I would give him an alias and a place in the Oeridian pantheon too. Maybe Telchur was Stern Alia's original husband; that would give him good reason for hating and imprisoning Vatun. Still, I'd probably leave Vatun out of it.
    GreySage

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    Mon Feb 25, 2019 8:03 am  

    Amesang wrote:
    Is there any other source besides the LIVING GREYHAWK™ Gazetteer that talks about Vatun NOT being worshiped by the Suel Imperium? It seems the Thillonrian barbarians are the only ones paying him any mind…


    I assume Vatun was one of Kord's demigod offspring, and probably not fully divine until after the Rain of Colorless Fire.
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Mon Feb 25, 2019 6:00 pm  

    I figure Vatun is an aspect of Odin.

    Odin as part of the original GH campaign, was he not? Sir Robilar worshiped him?
    GreySage

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    Tue Feb 26, 2019 7:26 am  

    NorkerMedic wrote:
    I figure Vatun is an aspect of Odin.

    Odin as part of the original GH campaign, was he not? Sir Robilar worshiped him?


    He was, yes. The question is whether you want to make him an actual part of the Suel pantheon, or just a Suel god in the technical sense that Suel-descended people worship him but unrelated to the others. I tend to think that gods with other aspects and names on other worlds may have alternate theogonies and histories to go along with them. For example, Ehlonna is unmarried on Oerth, but on worlds where the Finnish pantheon is worshiped she's known as Mielikki and considered to be the wife of Tapio.
    Adept Greytalker

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    Tue Feb 26, 2019 7:35 am  

    None of this is an any way canon but IMC pre-Cataclysm Syrul is perhaps the closest thing to a deity of warfare. My justification is as follows, that despite the obvious presence of Suel monks, Syrul is one of the few (maybe only) deities with actual levels in monk (Dragon #88) which I feel is significant and worth exploring. Going along this route means that I envision the art of warfare to the Imperial Suloise as about guile and trickery.

    Kord and Phaulkon were also popular choices for soldiers due to natural overlap in their portfolios - strength / bravery and archery respectively but it was Syrul who really helped guide victory in war and is prepared to do what it takes to get the job done. I like the idea of her having a battlefield crone aspect on her nightmare although I doubt she'd every be so blatant.


    I've always seen Vatun as an obscure Flan deity adopted and integrated by the Suelii who kind of helped teach them how to survive in such a cold and hostile environment plus helping to explainin the cultural difference between the Suelii and other purer Suel peoples.

    Like I say, this is just my own version of things!
    Black Hand of Oblivion

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    Thu Feb 28, 2019 2:35 am  

    Syrul or Norebo could be deemed similar to an Athena-type strategos war god, and Pyremius and Vatun are not too far off from an Ares-type bloodthirsty war god. Vatun seems best suited to the actual battling, while Pyremius is certainly all about the after party consisting of wanton murder and the putting of torches to everything. Pyremius is also a god of death too though, so battle (particularly battle employing underhanded methods) suits him too.
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    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Mon Mar 04, 2019 6:18 pm  

    rasgon wrote:
    NorkerMedic wrote:
    I figure Vatun is an aspect of Odin.

    Odin as part of the original GH campaign, was he not? Sir Robilar worshiped him?


    He was, yes. The question is whether you want to make him an actual part of the Suel pantheon, or just a Suel god in the technical sense that Suel-descended people worship him but unrelated to the others. I tend to think that gods with other aspects and names on other worlds may have alternate theogonies and histories to go along with them. For example, Ehlonna is unmarried on Oerth, but on worlds where the Finnish pantheon is worshiped she's known as Mielikki and considered to be the wife of Tapio.




    'Wotan' to 'Vatun' is a small shift...
    Vatun has 'Viking' worshipers in Rhizia.


    Vatun as he has been developed is a winter/ice god-- not Odin's usual thing.
    In spheres of influence and alignment, he stands apart from game-constructs of Odin.
    So, if he's an aspect or avatar, I think he's one that has become independent of 'Legends and Lore Odin' and is now his own entity for all practical purposes.


    But I do like the idea of him actually being a part of the Suloise pantheon. He is Dalt's sibling, locked away by enemies.
    This is from the Scarlet Brotherhood book, yes?

    Hmmmm...I'm just not sure on this one, now that we've discussed it further.
    GreySage

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    Mon Mar 04, 2019 6:42 pm  

    NorkerMedic wrote:
    He is Dalt's sibling, locked away by enemies.
    This is from the Scarlet Brotherhood book, yes?


    Yes, The Scarlet Brotherhood book does say that, as does The Living Greyhawk Gazetteer. The enemies in question are likely to be Telchur in conspiracy with the archdevil Belial, because The Living Greyhawk Gazetteer mentions Belial as one of Telchur's allies, and suggests a "diabolical connection" to Vatun's prison. Whether Vatun is literally imprisoned in Belial's realm of Phlegethos is less clear, but a fiery realm would be an effective place to limit the power of an ice god, and it would explain why Vatun's clerics can currently regain spells only near fire.

    However, Robert J. Kuntz had a very different take on Dalt in Dungeon #139, which presented Dalt as a servant of Fharlanghn with Oeridian features ("light olive-toned skin") and perhaps some connection to the Cthulhu mythos a la Lovecraft's "The Silver Key" and "Through the Gates of the Silver Key." The symbols on Dalt's robes, in that source, are glyphs in a dangerous occult language that read "The Stars are my guides, the Voids of space my brethren, and Chaos my sire." There's also hinted to be some connection between Dalt and Fraz-Urb'luu.

    None of that's necessarily incompatible with Dalt also being related to Vatun, though. I think making them both sons of Kord would be the easiest way to link them to the Suel pantheon, or if they're both merely adopted members of the pantheon they could both be sons of, say, Umr At-Tawil.
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    Mon Mar 04, 2019 6:57 pm  

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