Cults (A - Z of Griffin Mountain)

The region of Balazar, in which most of the action of the Griffin Mountain campaign pack for RuneQuest takes place, is now home to a wide range of cults, and their interaction is one of the most interesting parts of any campaign. The native cults of the indigenous hunters now exist alongside lightbringer and other deities from Sartar, and invading Lunar deities from the west.

The most prominent cult among the native Balazarings, introduced in this campaign module for the first time, is Found-Child the Hunter. The only requirement for lay membership is that one subsists at least in part on hunting. Thus most Balazarings, with the exception of townfolk, are members. Further advancement is largely dependent on a hunter's performance in the Great Hunt which takes place annually.

Allied to the Found-Child cult is his Hearth-Mother, similar to Eiritha, and Brother Dog, described in the previous post. Further, there are various hero cults: Balazar (after whom the land is named) and his children Elkoi, Trilus, and Dykene, after whom also the three citadels of the land are named.

Balazar himself was a Yelmalio cultist, and that cult has a significant presence in all three citadels. Interestingly the High Priest of the cult resides in Elkoi, which is presently under Lunar rule and thus also a center of the Seven Mothers religion. Yelmalio cultists can also be found among the elves of the Elder Wilds.

The Lightbringer deities (Orlanth, Issaries, Chalana Arroy, and Lankhor Mhy) are found especially in the citadel of Trilus. This citadel is thus also the home base of the Issaries Rune Priest Joh Mith and his wife, the Rune Lord Zix Porub. The peripatetic Joh can serve both as a useful font of information (and perhaps employment) for players, and well as being on of the only sources of metal weaponry in Balazar.

Of course there are also the deities favored by the various non-human populations of Balazar and the Elder Wilds: Aldryami among the elves, the dwarven Mostali, and Kyger Litor and Zorak Zoran for the trolls. Further, the ancestral worship of the Daka Fal cult is popular among baboons, and their is even a Humakti duck wandering around Balazar.

Finally, mention should be made of the chaos cults to be found in the Elder Wilds. Cacodaemon was introduced in Griffin Mountain book and is the deity of choice of a particularly vicious caravan of ogres that a player party may be unfortunate enough to encounter. Other chaos deities are mentioned only in passing, though the various noxious broos of the land typically worship Malia, the mother of disease.

Tomorrow, on to D and (probably) the citadel of Dykene.

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