Shield Maiden of the Worthy Cause, Guardian
Protector of the Brave, Lady of Paladins, The Unwilling Warrior.
The material presented here is the original creation of myself and other contributors, intended for use with, Harn from Columbia Games Inc. and N.R. Crossby . This material is not official and is not endorsed by Columbia Games Inc.
Larani, Harn, and HarnWorld are registered trademarks of, and Harn material is copyright N.R. Crossby and Columbia Games Inc. and the respective authors.
Welcome to the Harn Religious Team's Larani page. The lore of Larani is covered in detail in the various HarnMaster publications, but her full lore could not be contained in such size limited tomes and is ever growing. The purpose of this page, and that of the HRT in general, is to add to the published knowledge with tales and discussions on the aspects of the Harnic religions. Other Larani articles, and links to sites of other excellent HRT sites can be found at Hârn Religion Team
Larani is the benevolent goddess of chivalry and honorable battle. In the teachings of Larani, it is not the outcome that matters, but how that outcome was reached. Upholding the ideals of chivalry and loyalty to one's liege is of utmost concern. A knight may be slain by the foulest of fell beasts, as long as he has shown his courage throughout. A warrior may be defeated by the most evil of all knights, even if showing quarter lead to treachery and his death, but that he conducted himself with honor will win favor in the eyes of the Shieldmaiden of Dolithor.
Most of the fundamentals of Larani are covered in various Columbia Games Harn products. Only certain snippets of the published material will appear on this site, usually to add to or validate an article. The various articles on this site are separated into sections, by the links at the top of the page.
Each god has several aspects that are important to various groups of followers. Larani is often portrayed as simply a goddess of battle, chivalric or otherwise. This is fine for warriors, but what would make her a popular god for the rest of her worshippers?
Fundamentally, Larani is a goddess concerned with order. Some would consider this stagnation, the inability to change and meet new ideas. But only in a society with order can justice really be seen. Feudalism fits well into the Laranian ideal (and vice versa). Each person has a well defined place in society and is subject to various obligations, and has the right to various privileges. Without these agreed rights and observance to law, few but the tyrannical can be protected.
A lady can expect to be treated with respect and courtesy, those who would step out of bounds will be held accountable to the laws of justice. A poor serf is granted protection from the less savory elements of the world by his lord, his family and home also gain that protection. And all that is asked in return is to perform one's agreed duties in return and obey the laws thereof.
It must be stressed, regardless of how often conflict may occur, that Larani is the reluctant warrior. She dons her armaments only in response to injustice. Other gods of war see violence as means to an end; Larani sees it as a last resort. Other gods enjoy bloodletting for it's own sake, Larani loathes the taking of life preferring a well fought battle where the victor can show mercy and allow a foe to live.
As such, it is easy to see how such
a religion can flourish in the hearts of civilized people. Justice
vice bloody barbarism, order vice random chaos, law vice the whims of psychotic
warlords. Larani is also overall an accepting faith. As seen
in histories of other, lesser religions, they lack the faith to allow other,
benevolent gods to be worshipped. The Balshan Jihad (Morgathian)
saw the slaughter of all but fellow worshippers, and the Corani Emperor
Saurach (a foul Agrikan who tasted Larani's justice first hand) are just
two examples of what happens when unjust and evil gods have sway over the
There is no Pope.
An idea on relation. I have found in my years playing and conversing with various Harniacs and GM's that one tool useful in role playing is to relate game items, ideas, and institutions to those we are mundanely familiar with. This is a helpful tool in some circumstances, I have used it often. Indeed no one can really know how medieval people felt, and in truth if players were to try to think like a person living in the 12th century, they would get an overwhelming sense of silliness and disgust. Our forefathers, while intelligent, did not quite see things as we do today on matters of science, superstition, and hygiene.
To wit, it is common for GM's to relate the Church of Larani, to the Catholic church of our own Terra. While certainly most religious institutions have similar ideas and effects on the day to day lives of the faithful (regardless of religion), there are vast differences between Laranian and Catholic influence. A study of each and it's place in their relative histories will show this to be true.
The largest difference arguably is influence. The Terran church had (during it's heyday) vast influence on every major European nation. Common and Gentle alike worshipped the same god, and the worship of any other was heresy. Harn, as written in canon, has a pantheon of acknowledged deities. Each has a socioeconomic advantage within particular demographics. Larani is the goddess of the nobility in several kingdoms, but not all. Agrik, Save-K'nor, and Sarajin have similar influence in several kingdoms of Western Lythia. In her own kingdoms, a majority of the population (common folk) worship Peoni, and indeed have a different set of values accordingly.
While certainly a major influence in certain countries, the Church of Larani has no central authority that can be expected to command obedience or influence from all the major powers of current day Harn. Only Naveh is universally proscribed in Western Lythia (as are Agrik and Morgath in Laranian kingdoms). The legal and accepted worship of other gods would be shocking to a medieval Catholic priest, and grounds for serious punishment.
This may change of course at a later time as the righteous armies of Larani smash the craven followers of Agrik, Naveh, and Morgath. Certainly given time, the misled followers of barbaric Sarajin, aloof Save-K'nor, gluttonous Halea, and queer Ilvir will realise the weakness of their gods and accept Larani as the rightful ruler of Kethira.
And of course the main, huge difference,
for good or ill depending on one's personal beliefs, is that God is not
present (or at least not acknowledged) in Harnic lore. There is no
one, omnipotent, omnipresent being that created all. The Libram of
the Pantheon describes simply a chaos from which the elder gods, who created
the lesser gods, sprung. The general philosophy between the two is
great. On present day Harn, a Laranian priest accepts that other
gods exist and have power, and indeed may well find it appropriate to pay
respects to these other gods (though not worship) depending on the circumstance.