Thursday, April 28, 2011

X is for Xaranes

Apologies to Virgil Finlay
In addition to the Octad revered by the Great Church, there have always been "interloper" deities also given homage in Thulian society. One of the most successful was, of course, Turms Termax, but the role Turms played in Thulian religious is unusual. More typical is Xaranes, better known as "the Iron God."

Xaranes first appeared in Thulian history not long after the foundation of the Thulian Empire. Originally, his cult was small and obscure, limited primarily to hardened demon hunters. It is through these demon hunters that the cult infiltrated the faith of Typhon, becoming a secret society within the much larger religion. Xaranes -- called the Iron God, because his strange armor and his implacable determination to destroy demons -- offered an alternative to the stiff-necked, rule-bound, and frankly cruel doctrine of Typhon. He also taught mysterious doctrines about "the Makers" and "the Great Maker," who had supposedly sent him into the world to battle against "the seeds of evil." Such doctrines tied into existing Thulian beliefs about Anyastos, an aloof ninth deity reputed to be the source of all Divinity.

Needless to say, the church of Typhon persecuted followers of Xaranes and did its best to root out cells of the cult within its midst. The Typhonists gained unexpected allies in the servants of Donn, god of the dead, when it was revealed that the Iron God's followers had infiltrated that religion as well, for Xaranes took a great interest in the proper disposition of the dead, a task he claimed that Donn's worshipers had neglected. Together, the clerics of Typhon and Donn drove the Iron God's cult further underground, so much so that, by the time of the Thulian Empire's fall, it was all but extinct. Since the opening of Dwimmermount, though, Xaranes has once again reappeared and there are stories of a small but influential cell of his cult springing up in the very stronghold of Typhon -- the city-state of Adamas.


  1. I would have used a picture of Gort, myself. ;)

    I assume members of these secret cults of Xaranes heretics in the eyes of the cults they've infiltrated. (?) If so, what keeps them from being denied their powers/stripped of levels by the deity they've so insulted? Then again, you've mentioned there's an open question as to whether the gods of your world even exist (IIRC), so perhaps that explains why it's left to their followers to root out heretics.

    And wasn't one of your player-characters considering converting to Xaranes' cult?

  2. The origin of clerical magic is unclear, so how these secret heretics get their spells while still ostensibly serving another god is unknown, though, there are many who say that, regardless of whether they exist or not, the gods have nothing to do with the granting of spells to clerics.

    And, yes, one of the PCs in the campaign -- Brother Candor -- was preparing to abandon the worship of Tyche for that of Xaranes.

  3. Nice write up; the concept of interloper deities is interesting.