Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Suloise Pantheon

Allitur (God of ethics and propriety) LG(N), Flan origin
Atroa (Goddess of spring and the East Wind) NG, Oeridian origin
Beltar (Goddess of malice, pits, and deep caves) CE(N)
Beory (Oerth Mother, Goddess of nature, rain) N, Flan origin
Berei (Goddess of home, family, and agriculture), NG Flan origin
Bleredd (God of metal, mines, and smiths) NC
Boccob (God of magic and arcane knowledge) N
Bralm (Goddess of insects and industriousness) N(L)
Celestian (God of the stars, space, and wanderers) N(G), Oeridian origin
Saint Cuthbert (God of wisdom, dedication, and zeal) LG(N)
Ehlonna "of the forests" (Goddess of forests, flowers, and meadows) NG
Erythnul (God of hate, envy, malice, and panic) CE(N), Oeridian origin
Fharlanghn (God of horizons, distance, and travel) N(g), Oeridian origin
Fortubo (God of stone, metals, and mountains) LG(N)
Geshtai (Goddess of lakes, rivers, and wells) N, Baklunish origin
Heironeous (God of chivalry, honor, justice, and valor) LG, Oeridian origin
Hextor (God of war, discord, and massacre) LE, Oeridian origin
Incabulos (God of evil, plagues, and nightmares) NE
Joramy (Goddess of fire, volcanoes, anger, and quarrels) N(G)
Kord (God of athletics, sports, and brawling) CG
Lendor (God of time and tedium) LN
Lirr (Goddess of prose, poetry, and art) CG
Llerg (God of beasts and strength) CN
Lydia (Goddess of music, knowledge, and daylight) NG, Suel origin
Myhriss (Goddess of love and beauty) NG
Nerull "The Reaper" (God of death, darkness, and the Underworld) NE, Flan origin
Norebo (God of luck, gambling, and risk) CN
Obad-hai (God of nature, wildlands, freedom, and hunting) N, Flan origin
Olidammara (God of music, revelry, rougery, and wine) NC
Pelor (God of the sun, strength, light, and healing) NG, Flan origin
Phaulkon (God of air, winds, and clouds) CG
Pholtus (God of light, resolution, and law) LG(N), Oeridian origin
Phyton (God of beauty and nature) CG
Procan (God of the oceans, seas, and salt) NC, Oeridian origin
Pyremius (God of fire, poison, and murder) NE
Rao (God of peace, reason, and serenity) LG, Flan origin
Ralishaz (God of chance, ill-luck, and misfortune) CN(E)
Sotillion (Goddess of summer, the South wind, ease, and comfort) CG(N), Oeridian origin
Syrul (Goddess of deceit, false promises, and lies) NE
Telchur (God of winter, the North wind, and cold) CN, Oeridian origin
Trithereon (God of individuality, liberty, and retribution) CG
Ulaa (Goddess of hills, mountains, and gemstones) LG, unknown origin
Wee Jas (Goddess of magic and death) LN
Wenta (Goddess of autumn, the West wind, and the harvest) CG, Oeridian origin
Xan Yae (Goddess of twilight, shadows, stealth, and mind over matter) N, Baklunish origin
Xerbo (God of the sea, water travel, money, and business) N
Zilchus (God of power, prestige, influence, money, and business) LN, Oeridian origin
Zodal (God of mercy, hope, and benevolence) NG

First, some numbers. There are 48 deities in total (owing to the large number of Gods who are unique to the Suel pantheon); 31 are male and 17 are female. 38 have some element of neutrality in their alignment, while only 12 are lawful and 14 are chaotic. 20 are good and 7 are evil.

There are some interesting duplications here, now that the Suel-only deities are included. Xerbo is almost entirely superfluous, with Zichus covering money and business, and Procan covering the seas. Magic is doubly represented by Boccob and Wee Jas, whose other sphere of influence-- death-- is also covered by Nerull.

The pattern continues throughout the pantheon; gentle Phaulkon's mastery of the winds is challenged by no fewer than four deities of Oeridian origin (Atroa, Sotillion, Telchur, and Wenta), while even Lendor as God of Time finds his role already taken by Cyndor. Fortubo, the Suel God of mountains, finds a rival in exotic Ulaa, while both Llerg and Pelor make claim to being the God of strength.

Why? Why would the Gods unique to the Suel pantheon find themselves being edged out by more popular rivals? More to the point, why would the Suel themselves bring in alien Gods that would tend to rival their own, more native Gods and Goddesses?

At the risk of playing armchair psychiatrist, this could speak to an inherent inferiority complex amongst the Suel. Once possessors of a large and powerful empire, now reduced to refugees in foreign and hostile lands, perhaps they felt that Oeridian deities might somehow be stronger than their own, failed, pantheon.

5 comments:

Rob Conley said...

You may find this useful. I did some work in the early 90s on the Greyhawk deities that may prove useful to you.

http://home.earthlink.net/~wilderlands/greyhawkgods.html

Joseph said...

I do believe I've seen that before, and enjoyed it thoroughly.

One question, though; a lot of that information seems speculative. At the top, you say you used the Dragon articles and the Greyhawk Adventures hardback, but there are a lot of details there I don't remember from either source. Are those your own embellishments, or am I just mis-remembering from the canonical sources?

Rob Conley said...

No, anything from after the hardback I didn't know about and I just made it up. Post hardback info flatly contradicts much of what I developed. Perhaps even some pre-hardback I didn't have anything like the Dragon CD or the internet to though searches. By and by I stuck to whatever was in the boxed set.

One thing that comes to mind is that two of the four maidens I made up as I had only two from the boxed set list.

Given your knowledge of canon it probably can stand to use a lot of revisions.

The things I feel strongly that were implied from the original folio/boxed set are.

1) That some of the Suel Deities were not Suel Dieties in the Empire. But rose later when they migrated to the Corask (sp?) peninsula.

2) The Oeridians had a major revision of their religion during the migration. That Great Kingdom rise was fueled by the most vibrant of these new sects.

3) The common only gods have unique origins resulting mostly from the tumults of the migrations.

This is a pretty much a rant directed at the post boxed set authors.

I am not sure what Gygax was thinking when he made the list of gods the way he did. But what the other authors wrote about the gods pretty much boils down to doing whatever the hell they
thought was cool.

The whole Oeridian/Flannae/Sueliose culture/religions thing never really got fleshed out the way I thought it should.

James Maliszewski said...

The real world reason, of course, is that many (all?) of the Suel deities are imports into the Greyhawk setting from Len Lakofka's own campaign.

Joseph said...

The real world reason, of course, is that many (all?) of the Suel deities are imports into the Greyhawk setting from Len Lakofka's own campaign.

Of course, but it's fun to try to explain those real-world elements in terms that make sense in-game. Trek fans have been doing it for years (and Sherlock Holmes fans longer than that!).