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Old 02-28-2013, 12:53 AM   #21
Agemegos
 
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Default Re: Bronze-Age city-states and the gifts of their gods

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Originally Posted by combatmedic View Post
I'll be interested to see what Brett does with Galun, Missu, Rold,and Walas.
I promise not to write up more than one god and city for each three contributed by other people.
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Last edited by Agemegos; 02-28-2013 at 03:55 AM.
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Old 02-28-2013, 01:17 AM   #22
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Default Re: Bronze-Age city-states and the gifts of their gods

The city of Sul sits beside a great salt-water lake of the same name, and includes several small islands close to the shore.

The lake provides the people with all that they need. Plentiful fish, shell-fish, seals, and water-foul, as well as several varieties of edible seaweed which the locals cultivate in the shallows near to shore in great sunken gardens. Lately the locals have taken to using pearls gathered from the lakes numerous oysters as currency, although barter is still common on the streets of Sul.

The goddess of Sul is the great Sulak who lives in the lake and never comes to shore. She takes the form of a giant seal with the clear blue eyes of a beautiful woman, but she is also said to take the shape of a serpent or a strong wind.

Fishermen who drown and boats that sink are considered sacrifices to Sulak, and are not mourned because they guarantee the bounty of the lake.

But sometimes she gives the people an even greater gift. Some who drown (mostly handsome young men and beautiful virgins) spend but one day and night in Sulak's underwater kingdom and are washed ashore, alive, but with only scant memories of their experiences or of their past lives. Such people are considered lucky, however and are thought to be proof against drowning.

*In GURPS terms Sulak grants one Extra Life to a drowning victim, after which they have Breath Holding 1 and Destiny (Will not die from drowning) with Partial Amnesia.

Last edited by aesir23; 02-28-2013 at 02:20 AM.
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Old 02-28-2013, 01:30 AM   #23
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Default Re: Bronze-Age city-states and the gifts of their gods

Akki, The Brightly Laughing, God of Fire

Karn ("Bright") sits deep upon the high dusty plateau with a dry wadi to the east that floods in the spring. The buildings are squat clay huts with deep cellars surrounded by a short rounded earthen wall. Brightly colored ribbons of wool (for the people of Karn herd sheep) fly from posts on every home. At night it is lit by a hundred torches. The people of Karn are high-spirited, good humored and friendly to travelers.

Karn's god is Akki. Akki appears as boy barely old enough to lead a flock. He is always running, laughing and playing good natured tricks. Every dusk he appears running through the streets singing and laughing. By midnight he is up to mischief. By dawn he is fast asleep in his house (which is a squat hut like all the others) and nothing can wake him.

Akki loves fire. He will always stop to admire a fire. He will jump through any fire that's large enough to do so. When he speaks he only babbles breathlessly about the magic and joy of fire. Occasionally he will start a fire that accidentally causes damage or injury, but the people of Karn don't mind. They are nearly as mad about fire as Akki is. It is said in Karn that if something of yours burns than you should not have had it.

The people of Karn tend to also praise the virtues of fire to all that will listen. They claim that fire was first given to men by Akki and that all other peoples only have fire because the people of Karn are so free with gifts.

Akki grants two gifts. The first is given to all people of Karn; they can always strike a fire regardless of conditions so long as they have the tools and fuel. This is Schtick: Can always strike a fire [1]

The second gift is given to those who are able to endure a trial by fire. Those who survive can endure great heat. They also are more charming and affable. The worst they have suffered in the ordeal the greater the gifts.

Akki's Ordeal [10/level]
Temperature Tolerance 1 (Heat Only) [1], DR 1 (Fire Only) [4], Charisma 1 [5]

For the first level you must have gotten a quirk from the ordeal such as Distinctive Features (Burns). The second level requires at least two points in disadvantages like Missing Finger. The third level requires a five point disadvantage like Wounded (from severe skin damage) or Missing Thumb. For the fourth level only a -15 point or greater disadvantage will do such as from the sacrifice of an entire hand or eye.

Last edited by sir_pudding; 03-01-2013 at 12:41 PM.
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Old 02-28-2013, 01:58 AM   #24
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Default Re: Bronze-Age city-states and the gifts of their gods

Shadast is the god of the city of Lindol. The city stands hard by a big patch of grasslands. Its folk raise plenty of cattle as well as grain. Shadast is a strict, jealous god, and the laws of his city are fittingly harsh. Lex Talionis.

The god’s house is a cavern that opens onto a natural amphitheater at the center of the city.

Packs of large dogs roam the streets of Lindol, fed on bowls of blood and heaps of offal left for them by the city butchers. Men say the dogs are the hunting pack of Shadast. Although he mostly stays in his cave, on certain nights that cannot be predicted the god emerges to rush through the streets accompanied by the baying of hounds, to spill the blood of those who have incurred his wrath..

The favored of Shadast gain empathy with all canines as well improved skill at tracking. They become obsessed with meting out justice to the impious. His favored usually work as city guards.

The city guards wear leathern tunics sewn with small brass squares, pot helms, and open strapped boots. In addition to ordinary weapons, every man is issued a blessed bronze knife to be used for the ritual maiming or slaying of criminals. Many of them patrol with dogs, which they do not hesitate to set upon criminals.

The priest-king of the city spends a great deal of time enacting the sacred mummeries of the god in the amphitheater or communing with the god in the cave mouth, so actual governance falls to an oligarchy of guard captains.

Gift entails—
Animal empathy; canines only
Tracking skill boost
Obsession with punishing criminals

Last edited by combatmedic; 02-28-2013 at 02:06 AM.
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Old 02-28-2013, 02:02 AM   #25
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Default Re: Bronze-Age city-states and the gifts of their gods

Baub, Patriarch of the Sands

The Godobi do not have a city for they are a nomadic people that wander from the dusty plateau, down into the hill country and back. They are insular and standoffish and many other people do not trust them. Nor do they trust outsiders, and they speak in a secret language that they will not share, although they will learn the tongues of others so they may trade.

Their god is also their chief, Baud. Baud is an imposing man, nearly as tall as two mortal men atop one another. He is dark, and his great beard hides his leathered features. He fights with a long spear in one hand and a curved axe in the other. It is said that he will only speak to outsiders before he kills them.

All the women of the tribe are married to Baud as soon as they come of age, and he only permits them to lay with other men of his choosing. When the women lay with Baud they only ever bear sons from him, who are always strong, but mortal. The men of the tribe must usually do some service or perform some great deed and then Baud will permit him to lay with one of his wives.

His gift to his people is the ability to vanish from sight (especially well when in their native places). This is given by him in the form of elaborately patterned cloaks that are made by his hand. He typically grants them to one person each year. Baud considers this a loan, and he will punish the person severely if they lose or damage the cloak. He will kill them if they lose (or give) the cloak to outsiders. When a recipient dies Baud takes the cloak back.

The cloak gives Chameleon 4 (Breakable DR 2 -20%, SM -1 -20%, Can be Stolen (Contest of ST) -30%) [6] and Limited Camouflage (High Desert Plain) [1]

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Old 02-28-2013, 02:04 AM   #26
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Default Re: Bronze-Age city-states and the gifts of their gods

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Shadast is the god of the city of Lindol. The city stands hard by a big patch of grasslands. Its folk raise plenty of cattle as well as grain. Shadast is a strict, jealous god, and the laws of his city are fittingly harsh. Lex Talionis.
I wonder how the people of Werk feel about the people of Lindol and vice versa.
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Old 02-28-2013, 02:23 AM   #27
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Default Re: Bronze-Age city-states and the gifts of their gods

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I wonder how the people of Werk feel about the people of Lindol and vice versa.
Good question.

Lindol's god is more savage in nature IMO. He's more like the Master of the Wild Hunt than an enlightened but stern lawgiver.
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Old 02-28-2013, 03:15 AM   #28
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Default Re: Bronze-Age city-states and the gifts of their gods

Bulbulus is a noisome god with the head of a gigantic blue-black fly and the body of pallid, flabby man. He broods in the dark hollows under his ziggurat (built round an extinct cinder cone) at the heart of the city of Pharzin, only creeping out when the sacrifices of rotten meat become too infrequent, or on rare occasions when he takes a fancy to explore his realm.

The city is built on a volcanic plain dotted with warm springs and gas vents and bisected by one arm of the river X (Brett’s call, based on geological characteristics of region). Deep fields of rich volcanic soil provide fertile ground for farming. In the drier, areas of thinner soil, resilient shrubs and short grass grow.

Pharzin’s livestock consist mainly of mangy-looking goats and piebald chickens. The hens’ eggs taste of brimstone, though the locals don’t seem to mind. The goats, scrawny as they are, yield supple leather of excellent quality when treated by the tanners of the city using a special brew of dung, urine, and fouler things. Vellum of this origin commands high prices in all the cities that value learning, for it makes for lightweight, durable scrolls.

The stench of the many tanneries adds to the usual city-reek in Pharzin, and on days when the vents are active and the wind is cruel, the fetor is enough to make even the local people pinch their noses. Despite that unpleasant quality in the air, Pharzin has grown prosperous with the trade in goatskin and well fed from the black fields, so few inhabitants think of moving to strange lands. All persons of quality wear pomanders about their necks, and everyone wears a kerchief that can be pulled across the lower face as needed.

Bulbulus grants his favored followers with resistance to disease and sickness but marks them with clouds of flies, which never bite the follower but do tend to be a social inconvenience and a hindrance to stealth.
  • Resistance to disease and illness
  • A level of Noisy from flies and some kind of reaction penalty for people not of the city, or anyone in an intimate situation in which flies would be a problem

Last edited by combatmedic; 02-28-2013 at 06:07 AM.
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Old 02-28-2013, 03:38 AM   #29
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Default Re: Bronze-Age city-states and the gifts of their gods

Missu, goddess of Love

Launghi is a city in the middle of the plain, with rich, deep, fertile soil well-watered by the floods, easy irrigation, and bountiful harvests twice per year. On the other hand it is exposed to the wind and the sun, and in summer it bakes amid its ripening fields of golden grain. The city walls are of sun-roasted red brick, and they are washed with lime every year. The houses have thick walls and thick flat roofs of clay. They, too, gleam with whitewash. The courtyards and the squares are planted with dark-green glossy-leafed trees that flower sweetly in the Spring and drip with oranges, pomegranates, and lemons in the autumn and winter. In the middle of the city is a steep-sided hill, mounded with great labour and crowned by the gleaming, plaster-coated palace of the goddess Missu.

Missu is very susceptible to the beauty of young men, about which she has strong and decided preferences. However she is unable to bear the prospect of beautiful young men suffering the ravages of age. Men with any signs of aging, illness, or injury are not permitted into her presence; given the harsh wind and sun of Launghi that pretty much excludes any man over about 25. They are not allowed onto her sacred hill, and except when enemies or floodwaters are at the foot of the wall they are expected to leave the city before dawn and not return until after sunset.

Every now and again Missu falls in love with some handsome youth, whom she takes as her consort will he or nil he — at least the youths who she approaches seldom dare to refuse her. Fortunately she only ever falls for lads she believes to be single and virgins: never for boys she knows to be in love with or married to anyone else. Unfortunately she is sometimes pretty much oblivious of anything that happens outside her city walls (including both trysts and foreigners' weddings), and she has never been able to accept a homosexual affair; even when she is told of them she quickly forgets.

Missu's gift, which she gives only to her consorts, raises the recipient's Appearance to Transcendant and his HT to 14. It also makes him look as much like her ideal of masculine beauty as the recipient's build &c. will allow; all of Missu's lovers and ex-lovers look the same, and for the people of Launghi and every city within 50 miles they count as having Off-the-Shelf Looks.

While Missu has a consort she tends to spend most of her time in her house and garden, and does not bother with the running of her city. This allows the people to behave more freely, e.g. in the matter of "ugly" men being allowed in the streets. Missu's high priest takes over the government as her deputy, which allows, for example, "ugly" men to have their court cases heard. This happy state of affairs continues until one of three things occur:
  • If Missu's consort shows any sign of mortality — if he gets seriously sick, if he is injured and develops a scar, or if he shows any sign of aging such as sprouting a grey hair or developing a wrinkle — she becomes horrified and disraught. She weeps for days and alternates sobs with apologies and self-castigations, and she cannot bear her ex-lover's presence.
  • If she becomes aware that her consort is or ever has been carnally or emotionally involved with someone else (including male lovers and foreign wives, whose existence she was unable to understand in her first infatuation) she will fly into a jealous tantrum, drive her ex-consort out of the house with a barrage of thrown small household articles, and throw his things into the midden.
  • If her consort ever becomes unable to serve her erotic demands (which are frequent), particularly in the matter of erectile or ejaculatory dysfunction, even fleetingly, Missu becomes convinced that she has lost his love and is profoundly unworthy. She will weep and mourn incessantly, staring for hours at her reflection in her mirror or the reflecting pools in her courtyard, apologise hysterically about her previous affairs, obsess about how much older she is than her consort, reject and repulse any attempt to comfort her, and steadily become more and more unbearable until her consort leaves.
After such a paroxysm Missu will be withdrawn and dejected for a while, then pull herself together and throw herself into the management of her city. "Old, ugly" men are not allowed into her presence, but she will notice and object if no young men appear. Pretty soon she will fall in love again.

Missu does not withdraw her gift from ex-lovers, but she forbids them entry to her city and becomes furious if she catches sight of one. A few skulk around avoiding her sight. Some live as best they can in the exposed and undefended shacks that the men make for temporary shelter in the fields. Others emigrate.

Ex-lovers of Missu are legendary for their transcendant good looks and the mastery of erotic technique that they accumulate under the goddess's instruction (if they last long). They are highly valued as slaves in some limited quarters, and are sometimes the objects of targeted slaving raids.
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Last edited by Agemegos; 01-03-2014 at 05:31 AM.
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Old 02-28-2013, 04:40 AM   #30
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Default Re: Bronze-Age city-states and the gifts of their gods

Mol-Ruk the Brazen King of Lursab

Most the time he takes the form of a great brazen idol with a hollow belly and gaping mouth. On festival days his priests pour scented oils and plugs of burning incense into his mouth, so that he belches and snorts sweet smokes or subtle hues and shifting patterns. They study these exhalations to cast auguries about the coming season.

Outlanders believe that the people of Lursab cast live infants into Mol-Ruk, but this is not true. They cast dead infants into him so that he will consume their ghosts along with their bodies, granting the otherwise troublesome shades the peace of oblivion.

Once every decade or so, a smoky exhalation rises from the idol at midnight and takes on the semblance of a ashen man with lambent eyes and a cloak of dull brassy tint. In this form Mol-Ruk travels the city by palanquin, borne by strong slaves of the temple, to look upon his domain and dispense blessings or curses.

His curse is a fever that will not relent under any treatment until the god is satisfied of repentance and the payment of debt; in extreme cases the sufferer will die of the fever. The illness is not communicable.

His blessing comes with a puff of sacred incense blown from his lips. The one so favored gains the ability to read omens in the smoke of the great idol, and is immediately inducted into the priesthood regardless of age, sex, or condition. No one belonging to another god or tribe has every received this smoke blessing from the god, but the god’s priesthood may reward a favored foreigner with an oil lamp of brass that confers much respect among the pious.

Mol-Ruk is king; his priests say the city needs no mortal monarch. The priests administer the city in the name of Mol-Ruk while remains in his idol, which is most of the time.

Priests gain some sort of Oracle advantage (smokes of the idol) or maybe a Divination skill. The priests become sensitive to cold and damp. They often wear otter cloaks, drink strong wine, and keep braziers on hand on hand during the rainy, cool season. The prefer to stay in their god's warm, pleasant smelling house, but errands send them forth on a regular basis. None but the high priests may enter the private suite where the god-king entertains women or converses with guests while in man-shape.

Last edited by combatmedic; 02-28-2013 at 05:42 AM.
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