The religions of the horse peoples of glorantha
The Pentans find their spiritual hope in a great variety of beings and paths of enlightenment.
Their separated relatives have adopted some foreign ways, but frequently retain a great many of their ancestors’.
They vary from People to People, but normally conform to a strict series of stereotypes. The powers of the spirits and deities are more closely allied to their stereotype than to their name. Indeed, they are generally known by name and stereotype in combination. (e.g. Kargzant the Imperial Sun)
Ancestors are always followed, and are generally contacted under the influence of Hazia.
|Spirit Drum of a Korer shaman|
Lord of Wild Beasts
Lady of the Wild
Speaker to Walkers
Foresight & Death Talker
Animal Spirits (various)
North War Wind
West King Wind
East Sting Wind
South Rage Wind
Spirit Society Stereotypes
Imperial Sun (Horse, Kargzant or Sun)
The spirits available vary by People to People and by the name by which he is known.These are detailed under each of the Peoples
Leader (Mastery)Spirits of those who take responsibility for clan, tribe, tribal association and nation.
Community Spirits (Mastery) –These calm and unite the community, healing past hurt and division.The taboo is Put My People First
Authority Spirits (Mastery) – These empower the leader with a commanding voice, the ability to know the truth and administer justice, and to inspire the men of the community to action.The taboo is Avoid Pollution From Outsiders
Elder (Star)Spirits which bring counsel from Kargzant’s allies to those already wise in experience.
Stellar Spirits (Star) – These advisors have seen much from their perch in the dome, and can go and report on what they see now. They can also bring – or inflict – their light.The taboo is Neither Lead Nor Follow
Warrior (Death)The spirits of warriors, of the brave and the killer.
Valour Spirits (Death) – Spirits that imbue their target with all proper ‘manly’ preparation for battle, and give full voice to his battle howl.
Warrior Spirits (Death) – These empower weapon or shield with accuracy or flame, and can strike directly at disembodied spirits.
There is but one taboo for the society, Never Disobey Your Leader
Hunter (Hunting and Horse)
The spirits of youths and the unmarried males, they are employed by hunters and herders, and by those who do not wish to progress to full manhood.
Hunting Spirits (Hunting) – These spirits empower the arrow and the lasso, and enable the user to find and track their prey, even those with magical powers of stealth.The taboo is Never Willingly Engage In Melee
Stallion Spirits (Horse) – These are spirits that care for a stallion’s practical needs, and those that enable riding with stealth and over deep snow.The taboo is Chaste
|Spirit drum of a shaman of the Lord of Wild Beasts|
Lord of Wild Beasts (Animal)Father of those who are either food or foe.
Food Spirits (Animal) – These spirits will find and track game, will halt them in their tracks, and will pacify their spirits at the moment of death.The taboo is Never Cruel To Foodbeast
Foe Spirits (Animal) – These spirits can alert you to hostile observation by a predator, show where they are hiding, can put them off their strike with a mighty bellow, and can scare them away.The taboo is Never Cruel To Foebeast.
Founder (Mastery & Star)The patron of family heads, clan and tribal chieftains and those who would be Khan.
Community Spirits (Mastery) –These calm and unite the community, healing past hurt and division.
The taboo is Put My People First
The taboo is Put My People First
Authority Spirits (Mastery) – These empower the leader with a commanding voice, the ability to know the truth and administer justice, and to inspire the men of the community to action.The taboo is Challenges To My Authority Must Be Paid For With Death
Star Spirits (Star) – These invoke the power of the ancestral stellar spirits to lead the community to war. The taboo is Only Deal With Foreigners Through The Combat Challenge
Polestar (Star & Stasis)He is the captain of the stellar armies, the reliable one at night.
Army Spirits (Star) – These gift the general with wisdom, and enable him to unite the war leaders, no matter how factionalised, for the battle. They may also be invoked to allow the army to move at fool speed by starlight.The taboo is Treat Subordinates Fairly
Stardome Spirits (Stasis) – These spirits remember the Stardome as it was in ages past, and know how it should be at all times. They may be consulted for astronomical knowledge, for night-time navigation, and to resist actions that change the Stardome. They may be released to fight Darkness, Storm or other Celestial spirits.The taboo is Never Use A Torch In Starlight
Fire Stallion (Fire and Movement)Raging, lively fire spirits, hard to control and all to easily used.
Fire Stallion Spirits (Fire) – These can protect horses from fire or empower them with it.The taboo is Never Accept Authority Without Dispute
Wildfire Spirits (Movement) – Unleashes fire or increases it until it consumes all it can eat.The taboo is Never Build A Structure
Starlight Wanderer (Star & Movement)The one who finds their way by starlight and is filled with wanderlust.
Starlight Spirits (Star) – These spirits can cast the light of the stars before the rider as a guide, can be used to dazzle in the dark, and to raise the morale of those lost at night.The taboo is Never Use A Torch In Starlight
Starlight Navigation (Star) – These spirits can be used to guide the clan across the steppe, using paths previously travelled. They can remember new paths, but cannot find them to begin with!They keep the Navigator warm, even in the deepest Pentan winter.
The taboo is Never Cover My Tent-Frame
Wanderer Spirits (Movement) – These spirits can be used to empower a horse to ride swiftly and surely by starlight, to avoid ambushes and traps in the night, or to avoid the enticements of taking your ease.The taboo is Never Rest In One Place For More Than A Day And A Night
Spirits which enable those who are chosen to deal with those not blessed to be part of Kargzant’s true followers.
Speaking Spirits (Communication) – These help to identify who should be spoken to amongst a group of strangers, determining their honesty in negotiation, and empowering oaths to seal bargains. They can aid in understanding and speaking other languages.The taboo is Reject Gift From Any But My Chief
First Wife – The spirits available vary by People to People and by the name by which she is known.These will be detailed under each of the Peoples.
Spring Horse (Horse)
Filly (Horse) – These spirits enable girls to ride with skill and grace while bareback, to care for their filly’s needs, and to run from trouble if needs be!The taboo is Never Let Horse Suffer Needlessly
Earth Mother (Human & Earth)
Family Spirits (Human) – These watch over the dwelling, and bless love-making within it with fertility. They make food and clothing last longer, and know where the children are.The taboo is Obey My Husband
Health Spirits (Earth) – These fight off disease spirits, bless birthing and ease suffering. They can find good pasturage.
The taboo is Obey My Elders
The Teacher (Truth)
Teaching Spirits (Truth) – These not only know skills, but can also aid in delivering s lesson and in retaining learnt knowledge.
The taboo is a new virtue, Strict
Household Spirits (Truth) – These assist in keeping order within the family and their slaves, in spotting work to do and getting it done swiftly, and in keeping the family happy
|Spirit Drum of a mighty Crone shaman,|
demonstrating her power over her children
The Crone (Mastery)
Crone Spirits (Mastery) – These are the spirits who give the cackling ancient both her fascination and her forbidding presence, easing the fears of the household whilst knowing them intimately.The taboo is Never Tell A Short Story
Lady of the Wild (Death)
Woodland Spirits (Death) – These spirits aid in warding off the dangers of the trees and their inhabitants. They may be used to escape notice by Aldryami of all sorts, to resist Fevertree illnesses, and to dodge Elf-Shot.
The taboo is Never Harm A Living Tree
Mountain Spirits (Death) - These spirits aid in warding off the dangers of the mountains and their inhabitants. They may be used to escape notice by Mostali of all kinds, and their creations, and by Giants. They may be used to heal a hoof or horse’s leg broken in the mountains.
Underground Spirits (Death) – These spirits warn of burrows and holes that may endanger a horse. They may be used to avoid the notice of those who dwell underground.
Great Mare (Horse)
Great Mare Spirits (Horse) – These spirits will greatly empower a mare, but not for riding or foaling.
The taboo is Spend Half My Time Tending The Great Mare
Night Huntress (Death & Underworld)
Combat Spirits (Death) – These spirits enhance weapons, multiplying arrows, lengthening spears, and envenoming blades. They can also increase the pain caused by such a weapon’s blow.
Underworld Spirits (Underworld) – These spirits can be released to seize the soul, spirit, or essence of one slain by an enhanced weapon as noted above, and bear it to Hell. There it will resist any attempt to resurrect the dead. Any attempt to communicate with the dead may be distorted at the Underworld Spirit’s whim.
Warrior Woman (Death and Moon)
Fighting Spirits (Death) – These spirits empower weapons and armour, especially powerful when facing a male horse-rider.
Moon Spirits (Moon) – These spirits are not usable in sunlight, but have great power when in moonlight. They may be used to cleave through enemy magic and armour, to see perfectly clearly, or to send the user Berserk in battle.
Wrath Spirits (Disorder) – these empower any disruptive activities, and can be used to disorder otherwise co-ordinated actions. They can also produce berserker fury.
The taboo is Always Vindictive.
Night (Darkness & Underworld)The monstrous female spirit who consumes the sun at night and has it wrenched from her in the morning. She attempted to utterly destroy Kargzant in the Darkness, but was defeated and made to limp away.
Darkness Spirits (Darkness) – these speed the night or slow the dawn, swallow fire and light magic or may be loosed to fight other spirits. They devour hope and kill with cold.
Vengeance Spirits (Underworld) – these empower rending and ripping, severing those parts of a body that have done a victim wrong. They are righteous fury and blighted hope.The taboo is Never Forgive
Path Finder (Light)Safe guides for the path, and trackers of prey.
Path-Finder Spirits (Light) – These can find lost paths, see clearly, and are unhindered by darkness.The taboo is Always Behave Within Clan Virtues
Throat Singer (Harmony)
Throat Song Spirits (Harmony) – These are the long songs, the deep magics, of wars and enemies, of law and lineage, of remembrance and antiquity, of life on the steppes.The taboo is Always Have A Suitable Song
Sacred Ancestor Spirits (Harmony) – Friendly teachers of lore and law.The taboo is Never Scorn Tradition
Body Marker (Human)These are those who transform a child into a truly human man or woman of the clan, and who mark each significant life moment on your skin. How they do it depends on the people in question.
Transforming Spirits (Human) – These watch over the process, making sure that it huts enough to matter, that the mark is permanent, that the weak are shamed and disease is driven away.The taboo is Seek Perfection Of Transformation
Whispering Wind (Movement)These are those who have no fixed home or family, who wander from clan to clan across the steppe, ever the outsider, yet accepted.
Roaming Spirits (Movement) – These are those that enable you to ride fast, well, and tirelessly, to be aware of enemy and ambush, to hear the whispers of ghosts in places others shun.The taboo is Never Satisfied
Foresight & Death Talker (Death & Truth)
Dark Survival Spirits (Truth) – These spirits can see or provide light in the dark, and can fight against foes in or from the Darkness.
Foresight Spirits (Truth) – These enable clear planning and the anticipation of problems, the sensing of others arriving at the camp, and acceptance of unwanted outcomes.
Dead Steppe Spirits (Death) – These spirits can summon the dead to converse with them, summon a ghost rider to carry a message to the dead, or shout away unfriendly dead.
Ghost Horse Spirits (Death) – These powerful and disparate spirits may summon the herd’s Sire or Dam, allow the rider to appear as one of the dead when riding through the underworld, or to crush hope and spirit beneath the hooves and the whinny of dead mounts.
Spirits of the Dead (Death) – These enable you to fight, bind, exorcise, or feed the dead.The taboo is Remember Your Own Mortality
Shadow Rider (Shadow)The Shadow Rider is the spirit of fear in the Darkness, usurper of chieftainships, stealer of children, slaver of the hopes and dreams of the people.
|Spirit drum design of a Karesk shaman|
The taboo is Never Make Fire Or Light.
Rider Spirits (Hell) – these facilitate safe riding through Hell, and the hellish rides of Argoom before the Dawn. They may be used to aid in dealings with diokos, to navigate the Underworld, or to aid in the abduction of children.The taboo is the virtue, Ruthless
Outsider (Balance)Neither, both, or either and changing, this is the refuge for those of debatable sexual identity.
Contrary Spirits (Balance) – These are spirits who bring advantage, at risk. They include confidence in your own personal balance, inverting sleep patterns, overt observation of an enemy, berserker, slipping from a grip, digging swiftly and fire lighting.
Animal Spirits (Beast and/or Avian)Spirits of the chosen helper animals of the people.
Helper Spirits (Beast or Avian) – Powers vary according to the creature, generally enabling control of the animal, imitation of the animal’s senses and co-ordination, or imitation of its movement.
NB These are not Hsunchen spirits – they give abilities, rather than causing transformation and there is no direct spiritual kinship.
Spirits that transform rock into metal, entice other spirits into the metal, and hide secrets.
All followers take the virtue, Secretive
Forge Spirits (Forge) – These are the spirits who make metal working possible, and who tend and enhance all about the forge. They can be released to force a spirit to take up residence within a freshly worked item.
The taboo is Always Challenge Mostali
Thunder Spirit (Storm) – These are the spirits that deafen others to the transmission of the craft between Society members. They can be released to make thunder in an otherwise placid sky.
West King Wind (Storm, Mastery)Long known as a trouble maker, many now recognise him as the Khan of the new Path of the Storm.
King Spirits (Mastery) – These are the spirits of leaders and khans, the spirits that can call a community to rise above itself and achieve greatness. They can overcome fear, and inspire loyalty.The taboo is Never Ambitious Beyond My Rank
West Storm Spirits (Storm) – These are the spirits that can turn aside all other winds, and can carry the sounds of the Hated West to carefully listening ears. They can summon clouds to shroud the sun.
The taboo is Always Challenge Pelorians And Dara Happans
King Storm Spirits (Storm) - These are the spirits of the Khan Wingkoalad, who can release deafening thunder and can call lightning from the thunder cloud. They deafen the Khan to Untruth, and empower his voice when he pronounces Justice or gives command in battle.
North War Wind (Storm, Death)
War Spirits (Death) – These are the spirits that can bless the weapons and armour of the user with a freezing chill or a slippery sheen of ice. They can be called upon to enforce Oaths with the power of blade-breaking and armour-splitting.
North Storm Spirits (Storm) – These are the spirits that can blow a foe from their mount, or knock foot warriors to the ground. They can enhance a war-leader’s voice and can blow the words of an enemy far away and unheard.
North War Spirits (Storm) – These are spirits that encourage brutality, and revel in destruction. Their howls carry the ice and cold of winter with them, and can chill the spirit as effectively as the body. They can easily blow out any non-magical fire.
East Sting Spirit (Storm, Disorder)
East Storm Spirits (Storm) – These are the winds that blow endlessly, annoyingly, turning one against another. They can incite kin-strife and blood-feud, and have been known to blow the sanity clean away.
East Sting Spirits (Storm) – These are the spirits of the whirlvish, the dust devil and the wild hunt.They may be used to call and control these otherwise wild spirits, to bring down destruction and hatred wherever desired.
The taboo is Never Make Anything That Will Last More Than a Day
Sting Spirits (Disorder) – These are the spirits of the insect bite and the dust storm, of the malicious word and the thrown dart. They can intensify damage and increase pain from wounds.
South Rage Wind (Storm, Eternal Battle)The rage against chaos, the fury that can break and remake the world.
South Storm Spirits (Storm) – The winds of the furious, bone-etching sandstorm out of Prax, the grit-gyre from the Rockwoods or the dust-and-hail blast from the Shan-Shan. They are indiscriminate and uncontrollable once loosed.
South Rage Spirits (Storm) – These spirits can be used to enhance melee skills or to empower weapons with the rage of the South Wind.
Rage Spirits (Eternal Battle) – These spirits move others to oppose that which pollutes the world. They can move others to join in opposing chaos, release the berserk fury of the Society member, and call the clan to a headlong rush which will stampede the herd over a chaotic threat. They can be released to directly attack chaotic or undead spirits.The taboo is Aggressive
Ancestor Spirits (Spirit) – These usually inspire a virtue or instruct in an ability, but may also be used as a spiritual defence. The taboo is Never Command Ancestor