at a glance
- Patron deity of Scandinavia.
- Symbol: wolf.
- Currently living on Shaman.
Name: Rhaegar (ray-gar)
Gender: Cisgender male
- Identifiable by the colour purple.
- He excels at physical and combative magic and but struggles with aspects of psychic magic, particularly that requiring zen and control.
- Rhaegar also excels at protective magic.
- He has always been inclined to exhibiting raw power, often governed by his emotions and instincts. He is generally considered to lack finesse.
Looks favourably upon:
- Those lost or out-of-place.
- Oral storytellers.
- Mallos' offspring.
- Tricksters and conmen.
Relationships with other deities:
- Despises Mallos.
- Previously had a crush on Kiya, now deceased.
- Resents Aura and feels betrayed and let down by her.
- Has developed a grudging working relationship with Zed and Tsi.
- Respects Allianah as a warrior and has worked with her in the past.
- Has a complicated relationship with Lorraine, who acts as an occasional confidante.
Native language: Old Norse
Native term: jarl, drottinn, yfir-mathr
Epithets: ma'i-ib ("lionheart"), mika-ib ("braveheart"), meketi-sen ("one who shall protect"), nebu-wa ("the golden one")
Rhaegar is a member of the Council of Originals but has no specified role. He once took a leading role in the Alliance prior to a decline in his mental state.
The cult is scattered through Scandinavia, and whilst concentrated largely in Norway, Denmark and Sweden has a presence in Greenland, Iceland, and a very small outpost in Canada. The Principal Rhaegaran temple is located just outside of Odense in Denmark. It is visible only to faeries and only they may enter.
The organisation is run by a council of twelve elders (Allmikitolf) who are elected from amongst the ranks of the priesthood (presti). The Sword Brothers (Mękibróšer) are guaranteed two council members at all times. They dedicate their lives to maintaining the temples and pleasing their God.
Allmikitolf (the very great 12): Helena Akselsen (Gothapresti: Chosen on October 21st, 1986.), Klaus Eklund, Frederick Ibsen, Casper Jensson, Nikolaj Omdahl, Mari Kron, Mathias Riber, Henrik Bentsen, Leander Sinason, Maja Landvik, Elias Vinter and Lucas Eld
They are also believe themselves to be their God's advanced guard and are therefore trained thoroughly in combat. Their elite are known as the Company of the Wolf (Fylgirvitnir ) and are based at the Odense temple.
The Council elect from amongst themselves their chief priest (Gothapresti). There is a strong oral tradition and whilst the sacred words (Helgarspioll) have been recorded in writing over the years, the majority of the cult have memorised them and know them by heart. The officials of the cult all wear a shackle around one wrist, and a chain around the other, they all carry swords at all times.
The cult believes that Rhaegar has a key role to play in the ending of the current world, but that he will keep the faithful safe and give them a reborn world in which to prosper. The nature of his exact role is under constant dispute, and there are numerous groups of thought. Their God's change in personality is noted, though there is some division over its meaning that had split the council. Some believe that it is a sign that he is displeased with them, others that the end of days has begun, and the remainder argue that it is not their place to attempt to explain the whims of their god and that he will reveal his purpose to them in time.
There are a number of ceremonies and traditions observed by the Rhaegaran cult. These are divided into two groups; communal ceremonies which take place on a large scale in public, and day-to day traditions which are observed within the home.
Members of the cult often (but by no means always) live in settlements which are exclusively Rhaegaran as they tend to be quite insular. Each of these settlements usually has its own small temple with a shrine. A flame is always kept burning within the shrine. It is made of stone and usually depicts Rhaegar as both man and wolf. The shrine is solid, save for holes where the character's eyes would be. When the flame is lit it can be seen through the eye holes. Temples often contain large wooden carvings of Rhaegar and of related imagery; oak, ash, alder and birch are the most common woods used. Some Rhaegarans choose to wear smaller versions of these carvings on necklaces.
There are 9 Great Temples in total. Each Great temple also has a sacred grove (also known as a lund) which is believed to have a special connection to Rhaegar. It is a site of sacrifice, prayer and contemplation. The head temple is located in Odense. Iceland has a great temple, Canada does not, and the remainder are scattered throughout Scandinavia.
Every 9 years Rhaegarans gather at the temple in Odense for The Great Sacrifice. 9 males of 9 different species are sacrificed to the God. Some of the meat is burned as an offering, but the rest is either cooked and distributed amongst attendees, or given to the needy. Once the sacrifice has been made, torches are lit, food is eaten and people tend to party. There is usually a lot of drunkenness. Sacred fires are used to send sacrifices to Rhaegar. It is believed that the ritual mutilation of objects allows them to cross worlds and find the God wherever he might be.
Many Rhaegaran priest read the runes. There are a variety of methods for throwing runes ranging from the more traditional sticks and stones to the more modern dice. They are believed to be a way to divine Rhaegar's purpose. He has been known to send messages through these runes. There is also a tradition of using trances to receive messages from their God. Sacred potions and herbs are used to produce an hallucinogenic state and are believed to open the mind and bring understanding.
Rhaegarans believe that there is great honour in being a warrior and many modern followers join the armed forces.
The cult has a great oral story-telling tradition and storytellers are highly respected. They are the keepers of tradition. The written word has no place in Rhaegaran ceremonies. Stories, songs and poems of Rhaegar's are often performed at public events and are frequently depicted in art. Rhaegaran art is very nordic in design and features a lot of knotwork.
- When a woman is pregnant, a ceremony takes place in which a member of the priesthood or village elder in more isolated communities, will mark a wolf-paw on her stomach in white 'paint.' This is believed to mark the child out to the God as one of his own and to request protection.
- When a woman is in labour, the paw is marked again on the stomach. It is believed that a fire should be burning at all times during the birth, so as to keep Gar's presence in the room.
- A new-born baby should be gifted gold and this should remain in the crib.
- During the birth family members sing ritual galdr-songs to protect the mother and the child
- Nine nights after birth, the child is recognised by the father of the household. He places the child on his knee and Water is sprinkled on the child. The child is then named and marked with a paw. S/He is thus admitted into the family.
- The age of initiation varies, as it is biologically determined. A boy will be initiated after his voice has broken, and a girl after her first period.
- This should take place at a proper temple overseen by priests, although in special circumstances a priest may visit a community specially to conduct the ritual
- Initiations involves the giving of a sacrifice of blood. An animal is sacrificed (what kind depends on the wealth of the participant). The initiate should also present the shrine with their own blood, the cut made with a sacrificial dagger. The amount of blood required varies depending upon belief. In modern times it is usually given by pricking a finger, but some of the more traditionalist believe that the wound used should leave a scar. This is usually found on the palm of the hand.
- A feast usually follows the ceremony. They are normally conducted en-masse, with large numbers of initiates being inducted in each ceremony.
- Marriage consists of a feast lasting several days (traditionally more than three) and involving all members of the community
- A fire is lit on the shrine
- Traditionally, the groom would have worn a wolf skin, but in more recent times he simply wears some kind of wolf iconography on his person, a broach or a ring, for example. When the marriage ceremony has taken place, the groom removes the wolf and gives it to his bride, laying it in her lap to ask for Gar's blessing. The woman then wears it until they go to bed.
- They should each wear an item of gold
- On the first night the couple is led to bed by witnesses carrying torches lit from the fire on the shrine.
- An animal sacrifice will usually take place.
- Rhaegarans can be buried or cremated depending on personal preference.
- Men must die with their sword in their hand in order to reach the 'Other World' (More recently has been applied to women too. 'Sword' in the modern age has become 'tool of their trade'
- It is still believed that the dead should be buried/burned with weapons in case they need to fight on the other side
- Only a warrior may rest lying on a shield with a sword in his hands. Everyone else may only be buried holding something if they were holding it at the moment of death.
- Mourning usually lasts three days and includes funerary songs. A song is always sung as a person is being buried/burnt
role in polytheistic cults
- Appears in polytheistic cults as god of war, strength and courage, leadership, freedom, good fortune, chivalry, honesty, hope, strategy, daring and protection. A favourite amongst generals.
- A patron of hunters and trackers
- Later associated with: vengeance, death, destruction and darkness.
- Closely identified with fire, ice, steel, bronze and wolves. Rhaegar is believed to guard over ships, particularly when raiding, exploring or in times of war.
- In some cultures he is believed to be the cause of storms and in others he protects people from the effects of storms.
- Once known as Rhaegar the Golden he was known to personally intervene in wars and conflict to restore justice. He was known for siding with the downtrodden and was willing to champion the poor and disadvantaged.
- Rhaegar is often associated with the moon, lunar eclipses, and with the darkness of the night.
- He often appears as the patron God of swordsmiths, weapon makers and metal workers.
reputation on shaman
Rhaegar has generally remained aloof from the ordinary faeries of Shaman and has only had very limited contact with them. He tends to keep himself to himself. However, when Macabre Marsh was in existence he was frequently seen hunting and killing monsters. He is generally viewed as a somewhat intimidating figure. His lover, Thyri, is known in Shaman and people are slowly becoming aware of the existence of their son, Jorg.
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