uthgar_symbol.jpg
Father of the Uthdardt, Battle Father
Pantheon Faerunian
Realm Warrior's Rest
Portfolio Uthgardt barbarian tribes, physical strength
Worshippers The Uthgardt tribes, barbarians
Domains Animal, Chaos, Retribution, Strength, War
Favored Weapon Appropriate beast totem spirit (battleaxe)

Uthgar

Father of the Uthgardy barbarians of the Savage Frontier, Uthgar is a proud, fierce, and independant warrior. According to some legends he is the son of Beorunna (a Netherese warrior hero whose followers became the barbarian tribes of the North), while others claim he is the divine offspring of the mighty Tempus. The Battle Father has few friends and has remained relatively uninvolved in divine politics. Uthgar's full and hearty laught rings out whenever he hears a good joke. He enjoys sensual pleasures of the flesh, even in his divine state, and likes to hunt, eat, drink, and be merry in his feast halls with the warrior spirits he has called to serve him.

Although he is a tireless and methodical tactician, his battle strategies are not terribly inspired. He is driven to win in the long run, however, especially if the Uthgardt barbarians (his people) are threatened. Uthgar has many faces, in his guises as the various beast totems, but in his hall he is always depicted as a tall, burly, bearded, blond-haired warrior with eyes of piercing blue dressed only in a battle harness, leather breechcloth, and furred boots.

The dogma of the Uthgardt religion varies slightly from tribe to tribe as each beast cult emphasized different “barbarian” virtues. In general, shamans are charged as follows when they are initiated into the Uthgardt faith: Strength is everything. Civilization is weakness. Men should fight, hunt, and raid from the weak to provide for their wives and families. Family is sacred, and its bonds are not cast aside lightly. Arcane magic is effete, self-indulgent, and ultimately leads to weakness. Reliance upon arcane magic is an evil and false path that leads to death and ruin. Revere Uthgar, your ancestors, and your tribe's beast spirit.

Study the beast so that you know its virtues and its weaknesses, claim its virtues as your own and weed its weaknesses from your spirit. The beast holds wisdom and raw power that you can make your own. Make the others of your tribe fear and respect your power and knowledge so they heed the wise words your ancestors speak through you to them.

Uthgar was once a mortal Northlander from Ruathmy named Uther Gardolfsson, brother to Morgred (the “Morgur” of Morgur's Mound), who gained fame by invading the fabled realm of Illusk before moving into the northern interior. There, his followers united with Netherese refugees who had reverted to a primitive way of life to form a dynasty of barbarians, the Uthgardt. As he lay dying of wounds recieved in battle with Gur, Lord of the Frost Giants, Uthgar was raised up as a demipower by Tempus, who admired his fighting spirit.

Little known outside the harsh realm of the North, the church of Uthgar does not exist per se outside the collect ranks of those who venerate the various beast cult shamans. Although generally seen as savage and frightening by other inhabitants of the Savage Frontier, in truth the character of the church of Uthgar varies greatly from tribe to tribe.

In recent years, Uthgar's people have worked to remove the stain on their reputation caused by the now-defunct Blue Bear Tribe (whose totem was defeated and absorbed by Malar the Beastlord), and that fact has increased acceptance of Uthgar outside the barbarian tribes. Religions fervor within the tribes has increased because several infants in each tribe have been born with a beast-totem birthmark, which has been taken as a sign of great favor.

The church of Uthgar is divided among the eleven beast totem spirits that serve Uthgar as intermediaries to the Uthgardt tribes of the Savage Frontier. Uthgar is not worshiped directly, but each tribe venerates one of these servant spirits as the divine embodiment of the spirit of their tribe–the symbol of its vitality, wisdom, mystical ability, endurance, speed, and moral nature.

Uthgar has neither temples nor shrines, and his clerics can perform necessary ceremonies in any location, though their tribe's ancestral mounds are their most holy sites. (Each tribe and its beast totem are tired to a particular ancestral mound.) These huge earthwork mounds, often shaped like the totem beasts of the tribes that gather at them, are sacred burial grounds where only the greatest shamans and chiefs are interred.

Most tribes believe their tribal founders are buried in their ancestor mound. Although there are many lesser burial mounds and shrines revered by smaller clans within the tribes, it is to the large mounds devoted to their most ancient and holy ancestors that the Uthgardt tribes return each fall to spend their winters near the protect of their ancestors. The ancestor mounds are all roughly similar. Two mound rings canned cairn rings surround a large central altar mound. The ancestor mounds of large tribes may also be surrounded by smaller, nondescript burial mounds. Usually all mound are formed of turf-covered earth. The Uthgardy correctly believe that the spirits of dead ancestors protect the graves from harm.

There is no churchwide hierarchy among the faithful of Uthgar. Rather, worshipers of each tribe (totem) revere their religious leaders, with the eldest and most charismatic garnering the greatest respect and influence. Many beast totem clerics consider the church of Uthgar to be greatly threatened by the encroachment of foreign deities and a consensus is emerging among the remaining clerics that the foreign deities must be cast out and their clerics driven off.

Priests

Uthgardy shamans tend to the respective needs of their tribes, teaching tribal history and customs passed down by heroics tales and lineage chants in an oral tradition spanning centuries. They provide healing for their tribes, initiate youths into manhood after they complete their tribal quests (often missions against a tribe's ritual enemy), and provide counsel to the tribe's chieftan and elders.

When the tribe faces a new situation or a quandary, shamans consult with the ancestral spirits and totem animal great spirit to find guidance. All the Uthgardy shamans believe that personal strength can demonstrate purity of purpose, and so arguements are often settled by a test of strength or a battle to first blood, to surrender, or to the death if the matter is serious enough. At Runemeet, shamans officiate over the tribal rites of passage.

Priestly Vestments

For high rituals are the ancestral mound or when honoring the appointment of a new chieftan for the tribe, clerics of Uthgar dress in a holy regalia of leather-and-fur tunics, breeches, breechcloths, and boots covered in intricate, mystic designs and ornamentation and thons and fringes to which are attatched beads and holy relics of personal importance (usually revealed to them as objects of power by spirits in visions).

Ritual

Clerics of Uthgar pray at dawn or sunset. They are almost exclusively male, and each worships the beast totem spirit of his tribe. The spring equinox and both solstices are holy days, and all tribes converge upon their ancestral mound (or Beorunna's Well, the holiest of the ancestral mounds) during the autumn equinox to perform ceremonies, make agreements, and commune with ancestral spirits.

During the Runemeet, Uthgardy youths desiring to be adults (and warriors of all ages) participate in the ritual of the Runehunt, in which those involved seek victory over one of the tribe's ritual enemies– usually orcs. When youths complete a Runehunt successfully, Uthgar's clerics hold a ceremoney, known as the Telhut, to initiate them into manhood. Uthgardt clerics of Cahuntea initiate Uthgardy girls into womanhood at this time as well.

When a shaman dies, his relics are buried with him in his ancestral mound. Rather than a holy symbol, Uthgardt shamans carry a sacred bundle, a leather satchel containing spell components, objects too holy for others to see, and small carved miniature depictions of the shaman's totem animal, all of which have ben gained by the shaman at the request of his ancestral spirits.

Uthgar counts only the Lord of Battles as an Ally. The Father of the Uthgardt dislikes Helm, Ilmater, Torm, and Tyr, for they have stolen away the devotion of all but one cleric of the Black Lion tribe. He holds Malar responsible for the destruction of the Blue Bear tibe (a fraction of which survives as the new Tree Ghost tribe), and he hates Auril for turning the Elk tribe away from his worship.

Other than enmities stemming from encroachment upon his followers, Uthgar holds himself aloof, unconcerned with divine politics and struggles.

  • deities/uthgar.txt
  • Last modified: 2018/01/13 06:47
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