Gods of Pamaltela

A Short Guide to the Most Common Doraddi Gods

by Sandy Petersen

ALESHMARA: the most important Old Woman's cult. She is oft-worshiped in the oases, but is also worshiped by older women in the roaming tribes. She is Pamalt's mother-in-law, and is usually portrayed as friendly to Pamalt.

BABA ULODR: Lodril, the Old God, the ancestor and creator. He's not worshiped too much, though.

BOLONGO: the hollow mask, the major Doraddi trickster sect. His worshipers, while pitied, are not necessarily tolerated. He is sometimes seen as a villain, and is not considered to be as "mischievous" as is Eurmal, for instance.

CRONISPER THE WISE: the only major Old Man cult, in contrast to the multiplicity of important Old Woman cults. One of his functions is to act as the praise-singer of Pamalt.

DUALA: the daughter of Faranar and Pamalt. She is born every year and makes the good rain come (as opposed to the bad rain). The God Learners originally tried to equate her with Voria, in their fumbled attempt to turn Pamalt's Necklace into an Earth pantheon. The Six-Legged Empire decided that Duala was not quite the same as Voria, and then they were able to deal with her effectively.

FARANAR: the most important woman's god. Unmarried men can worship her (and most do). Women can worship Pamalt, and many do -- Faranar is their special cult, though.

HONDORI MAL: a special society governed by a female deity of the same name. The Six Leggers considered her to be a superior version of Babeester Gor. Both men and women belong to this guild, though the hierarchy is structured so as to advance women more quickly. The Hondori Mal watches over the oases in troubled times, since the old men and women can't do it for themselves. In addition to serving as guards (mostly against crop-destroying dinosaurs), the Hondori Mal builds structures, repairs temples and holy spots, and does some farm work. They also act as substitutes for the Justice of Pamalt, and a court of four Hondori Mal initiates is recognized as able to institute legal penalties almost anywhere in the Doraddi lands.

JMIJIE: a god for wanderers who belong to no tribe. His "worshipers" are considered to have caught an incurable spiritual sickness, which keeps them from living in one place too long. As partial restitution for this curse, they are remarkable fleet-footed. In the revolution which toppled the Six-Leggers, the Jmijie folk banded together into bands of warriors which could run as fast as horses, yet fight like infantry. He has lots of mobility spells and might actually be some sort of advanced form of the Mastakos sect, an obscure rarely-worshiped god of Genertela.

KERAUN: her devotees are also called Weather Witches, and sit in wattle huts, accumulating power to alter the weather in any way they see fit. The Pamalt Chieftains sometimes ask them to adjust the weather for special occasions.

KUANGOA: an Old Woman cult, worshiped almost exclusively in the oases. She is the custodian of accumulated lore and knowledge.

LOKOMAL: the mother of dinosaurs. The Six Legged Empire's God Learners recognized Lokomal as Maran Gor, but the parallel is kind of thin. She is more worshiped here for her spawn, the dinosaurs, than for any supposed earthshaking abilities.

NORUMA: the god of shamans and magic. Most shamans at least toy with this cult.

NYANKA: a fertility goddess, esp. of childbirth. She is a rather domestic woman's cult, like Faranar. Women begin worshipping her with their first pregnancy, then abandon membership till next time they're pregnant. Nyanka also has useful healing powers against disease, and full-time Nyanka devotees are not uncommon. But even the God Learners didn't think she was Chalana Arroy.

PAMALT: the main god. The most-respected god of Jolar. Probably more people worship him than any other god (in Jolar).

PLANT SIBLINGS: a shamanistic sect, involved with ancestor worship, lineages, and magic herbs. More common in Tarien.

RASOUT: the most common hunter god. He's like hunter gods everywhere.

SIKKANOS: The Six-Leggers thought that Sikkanos was Vadrus, unmurdered here in the south. Some Fonritian philosophers claim that Sikkanos is Orlanth Criminous, as good an explanation as any.

Sikkanos is regarded as an evil sect, and only bad folk are of him, yet a Sikkanos bandit shows up every Sacred Time to ask the local Pamalt Chieftain what his yearly request might be. The Chieftain may then ask the Sikkanos folk for one favor. If the Sikkanos folk cannot provide the favor, then they must, instead, refrain from harming anyone in that Chieftain's tribe or anyone in any oasis in his domain for the rest of that year. Most Chieftains ask the Sikkanos bandits for the traditional impossible "rock from Enmal", thus ensuring safety for another year.

SIKASSO: Yet another Old Woman cult, Sikasso is the Doraddi psychopomp. Her cult members are witches, knowing black magic, and calling on the underworld for their strength. They often appear as villains in Doraddi tales, but the same tales sometimes portray them as using their dark powers in the service of good. The Doraddi generally consider the Sikasso women to be ethically ambiguous, but certainly preferable to Fonritians, for instance. Sometimes identified with Ty Kora Tek.

VANGONO: A wargod. The "default" wargod of Pamaltela. Most warriors don't worship Vangono, but stick to Pamalt, Rasout, or whatever their traditional gods are. The numerous war gods in Genertela would leave the average Doraddi puzzled and awed.

YANMORLA: aka Grandmother Earth, another Old Woman cult. Old women in Pamaltela have more power than probably any other society in the world, with the probable exception of trollkind. Yanmorla is the "good" version of Sikasso, a fine example of earth-cult dualism. She does good magic for the benefit of all.

Editor's note: I've combined Sandy Petersen's postings to the Glorantha Digest from Apr 94, Oct 94, and Jun 97.

A different summary of the Pamaltelan gods, and a detailed writeup of Pamalt's cult, appears in Tales of the Reaching Moon 11.

Revealed Mythologies has additional information on the gods, particularly in the glossary. HeroQuest uses the term "majestic spirit" rather than god, since Pamaltela is (broadly speaking) the land of shamanism.

The Issaries web site has the Cult of Pamalt, originally in Wyrms Footnotes 11.

Last updated 5 Oct 03 drd

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