B is for Balder – Mythic Mondays

Balder lies dead surrounded by other norse deities.

La mort de Baldr by Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg, 1817

So, having introduced a Classical god for A, I figure we could have a Norse god. There might be some repetition of culture later, but for now, we can do a new pantheon every week…

Balder is a God of Light. Most of the Norse gods have variant spellings, so may also appear as Baldr or Baldur. Usually worshipped alongside Odin, since he is Odin and Freya’s son – Sky and Earth making Light. His twin brother is Hoder, God of Darkness.

All the Scandinavian gods have an unavoidable Fate, and Balder is no different. His Fate is to be the spark at the beginning of Ragnarok. Loki in this tale has grown from a mischievous trickster to a truly evil god:

Story of the God – The Beginning of the End

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A is for Artemis – Mythic Mondays

Artemis relaxing with her animals

A 1687 sculpture by Jean-Baptiste Tuby I

So, the Boss has decided that we here at Artemis Games have to write something every week: Something at least tangentially related to fantasy. I have persuaded him that this would be an ideal space for me to geek out about mythology. So, I’m going to use this new spot, Mythic Mondays to work my way through an alphabet of gods.

My choices might not be yours – I’m going for a spread of different belief systems. For anyone who follows Norse or Greek paganism – or any of the other faiths I discuss – rest assured that when I say ‘myth’,  I mean ‘cool stories involving gods’

Reality is Complicated

Fantasy gods usually have one or two domains, because they are designed to be the power behind clerics and paladins. Real world gods are not nearly so neat. Often the deity we know is a composite of different cults. For the classics, this is exacerbated when the Romans imported the Greek gods – and added modifications of their own.

Artemis is a nice example of such a goddess – she claims dominion over forests and the chase, the moon, hunters and their prey, wilderness and woodsmen. Eternally virginal, but also goddess of protection in childbirth.

Childbirth? Well, Hera would likely be your patron in the eastern islands, especially around Samos. But if you were Spartan, you would likely pray to Artemis to help you birth fine warriors. If you burned charcoal, or were a hermit, you might ask her for protection from wild beasts. She is, however, best known as a huntress – we’ve chosen her as our patron as the protector of game.

Tale of the God – Rules are Rules

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