by Trotsky

Kemlar the Guide

Patron God of the Northwest Jarin

Guide of the Forebears, Drahun-of-Drahuns, Speaker in Dreams, Elder Prophet

Demigod [1]

The Urdu desrcibe Kemlar as a dark skinned man, clearly not of Jarin ethnic stock, but tattooed in the Urdu style and wearing the clothes of a chieftain. In lieu of weapons he carries a wooden staff six feet or so in length, decorated with intricate and abstract patterns. [2]

Kemlar the Guide was a great prophet who appeared to the ancestors of the Urdu nearly two thousand years ago, and lead them to their present lands from the forests of the east. In life, he possessed great magical powers, being able to take on the form of forest animals, and to communicate with others over vast distances. In addition he possessed prophetic powers that enabled him to avoid or deal with dangers along the route to the new land. When he eventually left his mortal body behind, he crossed over to Yashain, and became a god, and the greatest chieftain of the land of the dead. He still sends messages to his mortal followers in their dreams when particular dangers threaten.

Source: Urdu 1-2, Kubora 3-4, Harnplayer pp60-61

Urdunar [3]

Urdu demigod

Urdunar was the first Drahun (chieftain) of the Urdu tribes. When Kemlar first came amongst the tribes, he was the first to acknowledge his powers and right to lead. While many of the other Nuthelan tribesfolk followed other leaders, or stayed behind, those who followed Urdunar were the most loyal to Kemlar. In reward, their descendants were granted the lands between the Chetul and Pemetta rivers where Urdunar ruled with wisdom until his death. Ever after, his people have been known by his name, even though they split into many tribes as they became more numerous. He is now regarded as one of the most senior advisors to Kemlar in the Afterlife.


Urdu demigod

Radan was a great warrior who lived in the second century TR. He had many victories against the Equani, but his most famous deeds are associated with the coming of the Gargun to Peran. He lead many other warriors in battle against the Gargun, until he finally faced a swarm of Gargu-hyeka at a ford on the lower Suthen river. Although he lost his life in that conflict, the swarm was turned back, and the hyeka did not trouble the Urdu again for many decades.


Urdu demigoddess

When the Kuboran chieftain Nebran visited the Urdu in 476 to raise support for his campaign against the Corani, Inkyle was one of the most prominent voices that spoke against him. A renowned shamaness, she claimed to have received dreams warning of great woe if Kemlar's ancient proscription against crossing the Chetul was ignored. The chieftain of her own tribe was swayed by her words, but the great majority of Urdu warriors were persuaded instead by the chieftain Klesanar, who supported Nebran. When the Equani took advantage of the warriors' absence to attack undefended Urdu villages, Inkyle's alone of those raided succesfully fought them off so that many lives were saved and many Equani warriors did not live to regret their wicked action.

What the Shaman Says

Where did the world come from?

The First Gods separated the world from the empty void, creating the land, the sea, the sun and moon, and the winds. Although there was nothing living anywhere on the face of the world, the Gods believed they had finished their creation. The world existed in this way for some time before the Gods realised something was missing.

Then they created the plants, and the fish, and the birds and the beasts of the earth. Things crawled, and swam, and flew and once again, the Gods believed they had finished their creation. The world existed in this way for some time before they realised that something was still missing.

In the world up until this time, everything had existed without purpose, and was mindless, doing only what the Gods willed it to do. Even the animals were mindless, and could do nothing on their own. So the Gods separated pieces off from themselves and created the spirits, and placed them into the world, inhabiting all the animals, and the plants, and even the rocks and the rivers. Once that had happened, the Gods realised that the world was indeed complete, and that they had finished their creation.

Where did I come from?

Some of the spirits that the Gods created were our ancestors. Although we are descended from Gods, they no longer look after us, because they placed the world in our hands when they created us. Then they retreated to Yashain, the place beyond the spirit world, where they remain, contemplating us but no longer interfering in our affairs.

Why am I here?

You are here because the Gods realised that they needed free living things in the world to make it complete. Our destiny is in our hands, and though we may receive warnings of what is to come in the future, we always have the chance to avoid it. For instance, we know that is bad luck to cross the Chetul river, but we can avoid this bad luck by simply staying where we are.

It is our responsibility to act in a virtuous way, that the world remain fit for our descendants. All the greatest heroes are those who have ensured the safety of our people in one way or another. By cooperating we survive, and by balancing warfare and defence, we keep ourselves safe from outside threats.

What happens after we die?

When you die, your spirit will travel to Yashain to continue its life there. Yashain is a good place, with many animals to hunt, and wild plants to eat. Our enemies cannot trouble us, for only those who are worthy will be able to travel there. Those who have committed wrongs or proven to be cowards or other unworthy people, will not be able to travel to Yashain, and will instead remain trapped in the spirit world, becoming malicious ghosts who try to harm the living out of spite.

It is important that our souls are well prepared before making the journey. Thus, when we die, we are buried with our possessions, which we will be able to use on the other side. When people are not buried in this way, they will find things very difficult on Yashain, even though it is a more hospitable place than this world. The greatest heroes are buried with the best goods, to ensure that those in the otherworld know their importance and status.

The greatest of all heroes will become leaders and honoured elders among the dead. Because we are all descended from the Gods, we all have the potential to become gods ourselves, albeit of lesser power than those who first created the world. Such people are able to reach back from Yashain to grant aid to those who keep their legends and stories from being forgotten. Kemlar is the greatest of all such people, and is the Drahun-of-Drahuns in the afterlife. He looks out for us more than any other, and sends dreams of warning that only the foolish ignore.

What can you tell me about magic?

A few people are marked out by strange signs of behaviour or appearance which show them to have been changed by the spirits. These people have a particular contact with the spirit world, which allows them to deal with many spirits directly, producing magical effects. Kemlar was the greatest of all such people, and no one since has fully equalled his magical skill.

What of the other gods? What can you tell me about... [4]


One of the weaker of the First Gods, Ilvir decided to remain here on Kethira rather than leaving for Yashain with the others. Convinced that the world is still not complete, he dwells now near the centre of Harn, constantly creating new beings to send out across the land. In this he is mad and pitiable and worship of him is misguided at best.


Agrik was once a powerful warrior who lived somewhere to the east of Harn. His deeds were great enough that he managed to obtain godhood on Yashain, and sent his tribesmen forth to make war on all others. The descendants of those tribesmen live now in Rethem, but they have forgotten virtue in their obsession with combat, and make war senselessly, even with each other.

Heneryne & Crador [5]

The Kubora claim that Heneryne was the wife of Kemlar, and Crador his son, although we know this to be false. They must have the legends confused, for Kemlar was unmarried, and doubtless these are some other heroes of their own tribe who have attained godhood and are able to guide them in some way.

The Equani

The Equani claim to follow Kemlar as we do, but in fact they have betrayed all the things for which he stands. They are violent and cruel and act without virtue or honour so that we know Kemlar surely despises them. None the less, some of their strongest warriors have been able to wrest a place for themselves in some distant part of Yashain and may send aid to them from time to time.

[1] Despite Kemlar's importance, he was once a mortal, and hence cannot be a Lesser God.

[2] We do not know his description from the source material, although he clearly is not Jarin. I've decided to make him black so that his non-Jarin origin is particularly obvious, but there is no particular evidence for (or against) this theory in the published material. The description given here is intentionally not identical with that of the Kubora or Equani.

[3] There are around sixty or seventy Urdu 'demigods' in total, many of them recognised by only a small number of tribal villages. The three that follow are typical examples of demigods known throughout the tribal nation; many others also exist. It is left up to the GM to determine how many of these heroes (if any) are genuinely demigods , should he feel the question is important.

[4] The Urdu live in an area of Harn remote from civilisation, and know almost nothing of civilised deities.

[5] The two Kuboran deities other than Kemlar.

To the Urdu shamans page

This document was created 23rd August 1998 by Jamie 'Trotsky' Revell. Comments are welcome.