The following is an "anthropological" view of the Hârnic pantheon. It derives from a discussion with some of my more sceptical players, who held that the Libram's pantheon was too ad hoc to be believable. My response was to interpret the Libram as the result of Hârn's historical development. As such, what follows is merely one theory, and is essentially a "scientific" 20th c. Terran view of Hârn's religious development. Certainly, Hârnians would not accept idea (assuming they would even understand it) that dieties derive from societies, and change as their societies change. When I present this scheme to my players, I emphasize that it is designed to make sense of the pantheon for 20th c. earthlings sitting in my living-room, not the people they play in Hârn, who in all probability believe explicitly in the truth of the Libram. Naturally, it is by no means the only possible version of the "truth".
Like many pantheistic societies on Earth, the Hârnic pantheon is syncretic; in the course of time there has been a tendency to reconcile and absorb the different religious tenets which have had influence on Hârnians. The Libram of the Pantheon, which is the basic text of Hârnic theology, was originally written by one Nala-Uroh of Elkall-Anuz around the year 120 TR. Almost nothing is known of this figure; it is even possible that his existence is mythical. What does seem certain is that the Libram was itself based upon several earlier works, all of which are now (apparently) lost. Moreover, although the text of the Libram is held to be unchanged since its first composition, in fact it is clear that in the six centuries since the Libram has altered. The library of the Temple of Save K'nor in Coranan, for instance, contains a version dating perhaps from the 4th c. which makes no reference to Sarajin.
Despite the gradual evolution of the Libram, as scribes have altered the text to include what Nala-Uroh "neglected", there is still a remarkable uniformity both of modern texts of the Libram and Hârnic beliefs. As with many polytheists, Hârnians have no difficulty accepting the existence of a hitherto unknown god, once sufficient proof of his existence is available either in the form of followers or or miraculous acts. Nor do Hârnians have reservations about "updating" the Libram. Hârnians practice a form of communal forgetfulness which may seem unacceptable to more rationalist minds.
The Libram is, however, an exclusively Hârnic document; its theology is essentially the religion of one people, the Pharic victors of the Atani Wars. Although it is known on the Continent, Hârn's relative isolation and the difficulty for Venarians of translating the Libram's Old Hârnic means the Libram is not well-known. As a Hârnic work, the Libram's version of the origins and meaning of the Gods is not neccessarily shared outside of Hârn. Most Ivinians, for instance, subscribe to a pantheon of which Sarajin is the chief god, and which does not recognize the existence of the Pharic-derived deities. The gods which the Venarian cultures share with Hârn, such as Halea or Agrik, do not neccessarily have the same meaning for Venarians as for Hârnians. In short, like most revealed truths, the Libram claims but does not attain universality. The Libram is also a product of "civilized" Hârnic culture; Hârnic-speaking barbarians (where, like the Pagaelin, they have not been missionized") are still much closer to the original Pharic trinity of Earth, Sky and Underworld, though often with much permutation and addition of local lesser deities.
The modern Hârnic pantheon seems to have evolved from an original Pharic trinity, of which traces exist only in the "First Gods" of the Libram's creation myth. Their evolution into seven dieties evidently occured some considerable time before the compilation of the Libram, probably in or shortly after the era of the Pharic migration to Hârn. The original three were apparently a benevolent celestial god, an evil underworld god, and an earth goddess who was constantly under threat from one and in need of rescue by the other god. Under pressure from later influential Lythian cults, the Pharic trinity fissured into the several aspects of each of the three, adopting in many cases the external forms of worship from the continental model and replacing the identity by not the function of the Pharic diety. Indeed, the Libram's "Wars fo Dawn", when some of the children of the First Gods were imprisoned or slain, may be the echo of a period of transition, when Pharic aspect-cults waged and lost, not literal, but ideological war with their continental usurpers.
The seven cults which trace their origin to the Pharic trinity are supplemented by three essentially non-Pharic gods. The first of these, Siem, came to the Pharic peoples from the Elder Races of the Khuzdhul and especially the Sindarin, by way of the Jarin who in religion as in many other aspects of civilization served the Pharic conquerors as intermediaries to their ancient and advanced mentors. Ilvir, on the other hand, has no Elder associations, and seems to have evolved from a very ancient Jarind god. Sarajin is the most recent acquisition of the Hârnic pantheon, the father-god of the Ivinian mythos brought syncretically within Hârnic theology.
The table below shows the evolution of the Hârnic pantheon from the original Pharic trinity into the "modern" Libram's ten deities. The percentages of population devoted to each god are approximate, and apply only to the Hârnic-speaking civilized regions. In Orbaal, for instance, it is far more common for Ivinian and Jarin both to follow thier own traditional religions. Within Hârnic-speaking Hârn, the orientation by social class represents tendency rather than a strict rule.
|Pharic Earth Goddess||Peoni||67||primarily rural peasant following, urban presence limited|
|Halea||10||mostly urban cult, small rural craft following|
|Larani||6||primarily aristocratic following|
|Pharic Sky God||Save K'nor||2.5||no particular social order|
|Agrik||3||aristocratic cult, largely confined to w. Hârn|
|Pharic God of the Underworld||Morgath||<1||chaos principle of evil|
|Naveh||<1||order principle of evil|
|Non-Pharic in Origin:|
|Elder Races/Jarind||Siem||8||superimposed on similar ancient Jarind diety|
|Jarind Fertility God||Ilvir||1||Jarin cult; recently assoc. w/Jarin patriotism|
|Ivinian Pantheon||Sarajin||1.5||imported by Orbaalese Ivinians|
Page last updated: May 31, 2002 by James Chokey