Pre-Hârnic Jarin Gods

by David Millans and Jamie Norrish

HRT editing/adaptation by James Chokey

This document is an edited version of a text initially written for Jamie Norrish's PBeM adventure "Lest We Forget". The original version of the text is available at the Hârnpage.

Early Jarin Mythology

From the article "Jarin" in CGI's module Orbaal:

"Evidence suggests that before the Jarin migrated to Hârn they had a unique and varied religious mythos. . . . What remains of the pre-Hârnic Jarin religion can be found in some of their myths and legends, as well as in the Yarili and Alt cultures of northern Lythia." [Jarin-3]

The following list is an attempt to delineate what this early Jarin pantheon might have been like. As will be obvious, the list-maker's approach is to assume that elements of this older Jarin pantheon are also found in Peonian mythology and in religions of a number of Hârn's tribal nations.

Note: This list does not include the numerous local spirits and deities who appear to have been vitally important to early Jarin mythology and which still figure prominently in Jarin folktale.

The Early Jarin Gods

Artor: The mighty bear god.

Babh: A goddess of war and violence, she takes the form of a raven. She has two twin sisters, who are known by a variety of names. Some scholars of ancient Jarin lore have sought to identify Babh with Sarajin.

Baelis: A god of purity and oaths. Even the gods make their pledges in his name. Any untruth causes him great sorrow, and every tear is said to weaken the world. He is sometimes identified by contemporary Hârnians as Peoni's servant Belsirasin.

Bel: A mysterious entity, who is often met at springs or the mouth of a cave. Ketha is his wife.

Belisama: The goddess of fire, primarily in its raging, unpredictable aspect. Some scholars try to link Belisama with Agrik, or even with Manrasusha, but the parallels often seem superficial.

Brigyth: This goddess guards the Cauldron of Inspiration. She has given much lore to mortals, including most crafts and the art of poetry. In some ancient tales, she is the only goddess with the skill to purify other gods who have become tainted or grievously dishonored in some way. Some odern scholars have sought to identify her with Save-K'nor.

Bron: The son of Haon, Bron was the giant king of distant haunted lands and could sail to the lands of the dead. He guarded the Cauldron of Life. He battled the children of Tir. He was finally beheaded, but his head remained alive for many years, able to prophesy.

Caerogion: This deity is the lord of the skies and the owner of the winds. A few modern loremasters have sought to identify him with Kekamar, the wind-god revered by the Tulwyn.

Dagyd: He is the god of fate and a master of all skills. He guards the Cauldron of Plenty. The changing of the seasons is caused by the songs of his magical harp.

Deon: She taught women the power of wild plants and how to cultivate crops. Women taught the second skill to men. She was served by the once-lusty Malmo the Ox and by Tira the Healer. Modern scholars of Jarin lore generally believe that Deon and Peoni are one and the same.

Dwynwen: He is a god of passion and celebration. His powerful music draws listeners, and his kisses are said to become singing love birds. Yselde is his wife.

Gobannon: This giant is the smith of the gods and their greatest builder. He arms his peers during their many conflicts, and all seek his good favor and recognize the power of his magic. Not least in significance, he brews the Mead of Immortality. He is also called Nailogh.

Haon: This powerful god controls the great sea, and every bay and wave is his descendant. His best known children are Bron and Manawydd. Scholars have attempted to identify Haon variously with Sarajin, Sarajin's servant Njehu, Kuarthurlu (the sea-goddess of the Chymak), and with Eder, the mysterious deity who is believed to dwell beneath the Gulf of Ederwyn.

Hus: This figure is an enigmatic god of the forest primeval. He (?) is rarely mentioned, due to the large number of lesser spirits and deities associated with each particular forest, wood, and grove.

Ibon: The Seafarer ferries the souls of the dead across the sea.

Keflyn: A goddess of plenty, often appearing as a horse.

Ketha: She is the goddess of the world. She is all that is and rarely appears herself in any story. Bel is her husband. The word "Kethira", as a name for the planet, is derived directly from her name.

Kierun: He taught humans to speak, and is himself the most gifted speaker among the gods. He was also the one to make the first runes. A few scholars have attempted to identified Kierun with Siem or one of Siem's servants-- generally with little success.

Kolino: The sun god, Kolino is an eager and youthful character. He is sometimes said to be the son of Yael and Toeran, though other tales contradict this. Cothllynn, the chief Taeldan deity, has been identified with this ancient Jarin god.

Kora: A goddess of the wilderness. She sometimes appears as a boar or as a voluptuous nude woman riding a giant boar.

Kununo: This immortal is a great traveler, creative and inventive, the high chief or king of the gods. Sometimes called the "Great Father-Creator", the first Hârnic Jarin seem to have identified him with Ilvir. Tir (who, intriguingly, has also been identified with Ilvir) is his wife.

Mahr: A frequently mentioned figure, Mahr is a spirit or goddess who brings dreams, nightmares and troubling visions to mortals. She is truly immortal; while many heroes killed her in the course of their adventures, she always returned to life to plague another. It is said that she has no secrets, but speaks in a strange tongue which only the inspired can understand. She is frequently identified by contemporary Hârnians as either Naveh or Morgath.

Malmo: A bull god, the strongest of the immortals, who battles fearsome monsters. In his most terrible battle, an evil sprit tore his third horn from his brow and castrated him. Deon was able to save his life with her healing powers, and he serves her now forever after. He is always accompanied by three cranes. Malmo is often identified with Peoni's ox-servant Maermal.

Manawydd: The king of the otherworld, the land of the dead, sometimes known as Falon. He has three legs and is a shepherd and shoemaker. He joined the children of Tir in their battles with innumerable evil spirits and gods, including his own brother Bron. He built a castle of the bones of defeated enemies. He is an accomplished magician and fashions arms and armor of great power and protection. He has a magic ship that can sail through any storm and upon land or in the sky. He protects sailors, fishermen, and travellers.

Orga: This lumbering man always bears his axe with which to clear forest land. He is a creature of the wilds himself and is always doing his mighty work beyond or at the edges of human lands. Every tree that he fells he lays in a grave, whence it is eventually taken away and replanted by Tir.

Soran: An ancient horseman, this god rides through storms and slays monsters and evil spirits. He is himself very dangerous to encounter and more than one tale has him bearing off heroes to fight with him, never to be heard of again.

Tir: The earth goddess, Tir is the mother of all life and guardian of the dead. She is stern but also loves her many children. Some scholars have sought to identify Tir with Ilvir, although that honor has also been ascribed to Kununo, her husband.

Tira: The goddess Tira is known as the Healer, for that is what she does most often in the stories. She is often identified with Tirrala, one of Peoni's servants.

Toeran: The youngest of the gods, Toeran was born in this world, at Nin Tolwar in the Tir na Noath. He is a strange figure, and stands apart from the rest of the gods. Often termed the Maker, he is said to have shaped much of the world when he was still a child. As an adult, however, he tried to steal the secret of life from Tir, but was caught. His punishment was exile, though his messengers and minions are thought to come and go as they wish. He has sometimes been identified with Larani's servant Valamin.

Yael: Yael is the moon goddess. The stars of the far north are her castle. She presides over many aspects of life, and is often closest to the hearts of people.

Yselde: This goddess of love helps lovers find peaceful union. Dwynwen is her husband. It is no accident that one of Peoni's divine servants, who is also charged with aiding lovers, is also named Yselde.

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This page was last updated 4th June 1998 by Jamie 'Trotsky' Revell. Comments welcome.