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7/09/2014 1:18 pm  #1


Xathoqqua Worship

Jeff... tell me about the worship of Xathoqqua as you see it. Does every urban area have its own, independent temple? Or do they all fall under the leadership of one main priest somewhere, like in Khromarium? If worship is decentralized, do the factions fight for power? If so, how openly? If someone desecrates a temple, how do regular people react - or do only the nearest group of priests care? What if word gets out that someone looted a forgotten temple? Does anyone care?

Just trying to get a sense of how organized, coordinated, influential and powerful the Xathoqquan worshippers are in your world. Thanks!


Blackadder23: Insanely long villain soliloquy, then "Your action?"
BORGO'S PLAYER: I shoot him in the face
 

7/09/2014 5:58 pm  #2


Re: Xathoqqua Worship

Chainsaw wrote:

Jeff... tell me about the worship of Xathoqqua as you see it. Does every urban area have its own, independent temple? Or do they all fall under the leadership of one main priest somewhere, like in Khromarium? If worship is decentralized, do the factions fight for power? If so, how openly? If someone desecrates a temple, how do regular people react - or do only the nearest group of priests care? What if word gets out that someone looted a forgotten temple? Does anyone care?

Just trying to get a sense of how organized, coordinated, influential and powerful the Xathoqquan worshippers are in your world. Thanks!

The easy answer is -- however you would like it to be in YOUR Hyperborea. In my Hyperborea, I have it very loosely structured. Let's take a step back and look a bit at the history of the religion:

On Old Earth, in the antediluvian age, the Hyperborean kings who accepted tributes from coevals in Atlantis, Lemuria, and Mu were Apollo and Artemis followers, but overtime their most curious sages and wizards took to following the bat-toad Xathoqqua. Then came the Ashen Worm, mantling the realm in ice, and when at length it thawed, Hyperborea was no longer a part of Earth.

Before the "true" Hyperboreans returned from their ancient fastnesses in the depths of the Spiral Mountain Array, the lowly "barbaric" races of man had migrated across the North Wind and into Hyperborea, spreading like rabbits. They brought their own faiths and religions, but also they began to chance upon those ancient shrines of Xathoqqua. Over time, the Xathoqqua's worship spread.

Concurrent to this, the true Hyperboreans had taken back the jewel of their kingdom: Khromarium, and by this time they'd become more decadent than ever, chewing lotus leaves and becoming dabbling with untold and untoward things. In a sort of role-reversal, the Hyperboreans of Khromarium began to worship the Keltic deity Yoon'Deh, but then came the Green Death...

So, taking into account that mankind is at 10% of what it was before the Green Death, and that there are many leagues between centers of population, I think Xathoqquans would be hard-pressed to control their own religion; certainly there would be factions, but there is no doubt that most shrines are in and around Khromarium. I would also agree that there would be a high priest in Khromarium, but how well he is able to exert his authority beyond the range of the City-State is questionable.

I think desecration is self-correcting -- because Xathoqqua is an active deity, most folks would feel that the god will exact vengeance in its own cruel and sadistic manner, that the offender will no doubt get what is coming to him. And if nothing happens, perhaps Xathoqqua was amused by the desecration.

I don't think I've answered your questions very well, and for that I apologize. I realize it's all sort of vague and loose, but that is how I view this orthodoxy. You can certainly tighten it up with greater centralization, if you so choose, of course.


 


Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea - A Role-Playing Game of Swords, Sorcery, and Weird Fantasy
 

7/09/2014 9:49 pm  #3


Re: Xathoqqua Worship

Jeff, thanks. And Chainsaw, thanks for asking this! I've been thinking about it, too. Apollonalia crept up on me. The party is still in Gal (and I've been using The Ruined Hamlet/Terror in the Gloaming lately), so I had to come up with the seven days of the festival. I will try to post them if anyone's interested. But I had already figured that while there's a lot of Yoon-Deh worship and druidism in Gal, the cleric of this town was all about the Xatrhoqqua, so I had to try to come up with some syncretism for the festival that captured the Apollonian roots, the local Yoon-Deh worship, and the main religious town structure (which: loose) of Xathoqqua. There are toads. And wine.

 

7/10/2014 1:09 am  #4


Re: Xathoqqua Worship

Excellent thread Mr. Saw.  And thanks Jeff!  It is a real treat to have a game designer engage in conversations in such a collaborative manner. 
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Handy, toads and wine huh?  Psychoactive toads?  Maybe an absinthe-esque fortified wine with a small walnut-sized pickled toad at the bottom paired nicely with an assorted lotus edamame sauteed with olive oil and cashews.  Both the lotus salad and the shot of toad absinthe could be served in a bronzed bowl shaped like Xathoqqua's open mouth with each sleepy eye recessed in a manner to hold both the narrow dessert wine bottle and the shot glass.  All of this would be served by a half-naked woad body-painted waitress or waiter wearing a stag antlered headdress.
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I see Xathoqquans as having a very intimate and personal relationship with their god.  Though they often work together, especially in the maintenance of temples and giant idols, at the core of everything each cleric/priest/layperson is really just in it for himself.  I think the decision to dedicate ones life to Xathoqqua is mostly motivated by a lust for personal power.  Now, what one does with said power is altogether personal as well.  http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/smile.png

Most clergymen would come from wealthy families looking to gain favor with the sleepy god.  And, any highpriests would arise simply from powerful individuals exerting political power and force over other less powerful congregates.









 

Last edited by MarbleToad (7/10/2014 1:11 am)

 

7/10/2014 8:02 am  #5


Re: Xathoqqua Worship

In my campaign, the priests of Xathoqqua serve the inscrutable Higher Purpose of their dark god. They are hampered in this task by having absolutely no idea what this Higher Purpose is. This lack of knowledge does nothing to dampen their enthusiasm, however.

 

7/10/2014 11:35 am  #6


Re: Xathoqqua Worship

There really aren't many well-organized political structures in Hyperborea; I assume this is due both to population loss from the Green Death and the overall Chaotic nature of the place.  (Contrast the situation in Hyperborea with the Flanaess and its numerous centralized states with populations in the hundreds of thousands or millions.)  The only peoples who seem to have any kind of political authority above the city-state level are the Amazons, the Ixians, the Picts, and the Vikings (and the latter two are pretty nominal); maybe it's no coincidence that these are the very peoples who don't much worship Xathoqqua.  Elsewhere it's just a bunch of city-states and scattered villages.  Given the weak state of political authority in Hyperborea, I don't see any way at all that the Xathoqquans could impose much uniformity.  Besides, they're a Chaos cult - would they even bother to try? http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/wink.png

Last edited by Blackadder23 (7/10/2014 11:43 am)


Michael Sipe 1979-2018
Rest in peace, brother.
 

7/11/2014 8:28 am  #7


Re: Xathoqqua Worship

I've only considered Xathoqqua worship in one of the Brigand Bay towns of my campaign. In this town the high priest was the local strongman manipulating other factions in the town. He was however challenged from within by another Xathoqquan sub-sect or religious fraction that used his unwillingness to root out a rival cult (followers of Kthulhu) as an excuse to depose him (the PC's at that point had allied themselves with the rival cult and the power shift required them to leave the town in a hurry http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/devious.png
)

To me the chaotic nature of Xathoqqua is not always apparent in his worshippers. They can build power (for good or bad) within the mundane world (as long as they pay their dues to the Toad himself). Perhaps his chaotic nature is best described in the multitude of ways his worshippers behave.

I see the lack of overarching political and cultural structures in Hyperbora as conducive to local variations and syncretisism with many local deities and dæmons posing as, or being fronts for, the gods who (mostly) remain hidden. To me this take brings together the Lovecraftian (i suppose) notion of the gods as distinct, yet powerful and unintelligible, beings (and not some vague force with a portfolio) and the sword-and-sorcery trope of having a plentitude of mad priests/sorcerers who serves some kind of "god" at almost every turn.

Last edited by Crisippo (7/12/2014 7:38 am)


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