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The Demigod Ra-Ghul

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The Demigod Ra-Ghul

PostAuthor: Orleron » Tue Dec 16, 2003 6:09 pm

Alignment:CN
Worshiper's Alignment: Any chaotic
Area of Control: Unorganized Warfare, Frenzied Combat, Berserkers


Ra-Ghul can be considered one of the deific success stories of the barbaric nation of Tyedu. It is not widely known exactly which tribe he originated from, but the story goes that he was one of the many small "deities" created from Mikon's agents who watched over Tyedu at one point in its history. Whereas most of the deities created there were connected to a natural formation or area, and thus did not have much chance to perpetuate their following outside their resident tribe, Ra-Ghul's worship was transferred from tribe to tribe. This was due to his sphere of influence being a popular motif among many tribes in Tyedu, and as his legend and worship grew, so did his power. Ra-Ghul gained true godhood among the tribes of Tyedu, and interestingly enough, his worship slowly spread south to the Kurathene, where it was transferred all over the continent via the harbor cities located there.

Ra-Ghul's portfolio concerns any kind of fight that is done in an animalistic, chaotic manner. He is also revered by many different flavors of battleragers and berserkers around the globe. Ra-Ghul's priests still dress in fairly primitive skins and have many "rituals" to invoke the god's rage in a person.... some of them actually work, depending on the recipient. Though in the heat of a ceremony, it is more often the crowd pleasing measures and manipulation that counts the most.

Followers of Ra-Ghul can be found on all sides of a conflict, for the god cares not for causes or reasons. Only the rage of the fight is what concerns him.
"Truth has no form."
--Idries Shah

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PostAuthor: Orleron » Thu Sep 29, 2005 2:17 pm

Ra-Ghul's ascension:
By Manuel the White



History of Ra-Ghul:

Shortly after the end of the Great War, a human woman of great beauty and tall stature left Kurathene to settle in the lands of Tyedu. In the central region of these lands, the woman was accepted into the Benteak tribe: a moderate sized group of Spirit-kin who found her appearance and height similar to their own. As descendants of the Mikonators and local Spirits of Tyedu, the Benteak were people of great strength and charisma. When not engaging enemy tribes, they thrived on a simple form of farming, hunting big game and ice-fishing at local lakes.

Ra-Ghul was birthed under these conditions as one of the originals of what is recognized as the modern day spirit-kin. In time, the young Benteak grew into an impressive form. Like his ancestors, Ra-Ghul had the appearance of a human only in greater measure. Proportionately, Ra-Ghul carried himself near 7 feet tall with a slight girth around his belt which brought his weight to 275 pounds. His hair was jet black with a contagious, broad smile and a twinkle of mischief in his eyes.

Among his people, Ra-Ghul was well liked but always had the stigma of being half human hanging over his head. He was eager to prove himself to the elders of the tribe, yet they had no use for his suggestions. Being centrally located, the Benteak eventually found themselves at a disadvantage. With a variety of neighboring tribes who bordered their lands, attacks became more frequent and, gradually, the Benteak began to weaken. Realizing their position, the attackers refused to enter marital bonds of peace with the Benteak and instead began to annex their lands.

By this time, the number of modern day spirit-kin (like Ra-Ghul) had increased among the tribes of Tyedu. In his own tribe, there were around 100 of the 'half-breeds'. This still represented only a very small minority of the overall tribe. Ra-Ghul was seen as the figure-head of these men and women referred to as the Benteak-kune. It was here that he began his rise to power. Determined to gain favor with the elders, Ra-Ghul devised a series of battles with the enemy tribes. However, he saw his disadvantage in numbers. Mixing a type of mead filtered through a moderately powerful hallucinogen, Ra-Ghul created his drought to be consumed prior to battle. Surprisingly, the concoction seemed to increase one's strength and stamina. Additional affects included obliviousness to fear and delusion of invincibility. The current form of the Draught of Ra-Ghul still has its alcohol properties but the straining processes are no longer utilized.

Beginning with the weakest enemy tribe, the Benteak-kune performed a series of raids on the annexed lands. Initially he targeted the other half-breeds who had settled on the captured lands on the edges of their own tribe's demographic. With the Draught of Ra-Ghul to aid them, the group would engage with a frenzied blood thirst which paralyzed many with a great fear, even among the harsh wilderness of Tyedu. Ra-Ghul himself led each skirmish. Often they were outnumbered 3 to 1 yet each time the Benteak-kune was victorious. At this time, the cry of 'For Ra-Ghul!' or later just 'Ra-Ghul!' came into use. Slowly, the annexed lands were returned to the Benteak, as well as, women and children who were absorbed into the Benteak-kune as spoils of the raids.


Ra-Ghul found the thrill of battle to be his greatest pleasure. He did intend to help his tribe but he found the motivation to be changing. It was the combat that inspired him. The death of his foes was not something he reveled in. Killing was simply a side affect of this need to fight and for his skills to be seen by bystanders. And the bystanders did see. His followers came to know the joys of battle while watching his glee. It became commonplace for the Benteak-kune to try and 'one up' each other during their maniacal skirmishes. Some chose to display their elegant blade work, piercing between amours with great accuracy. Others would shed their breastplate and attack without protection to show the level of their bravery. Some brutes would kill a man with a single massive blow. Their ways were many and creative.

The elders were pleased by the return of their ancestral lands by Ra-Ghul and his followers. It was no small feat considering the difficulties the tribe had been enduring and the meager size of his force. Since the Benteak Spirit-kin had not needed to defend themselves in some time, they were able to regroup and setup better defenses against invasion. While not prepared to go on the offensive, the Benteak had no problems holding their own.

Among themselves, a new level of respect was granted to Ra-Ghul as the Benteak-kune began to revere him in greater degree. Ra-Ghul also began to notice something about the half-breeds. Due to the human blood, their ability to reproduce faster than the Spirit-kin was significant. Every year, more children were born into their number and played with Ra-Ghul dolls. Adolescents had grown into battle ready young men and women. Some half-breeds had just come of their own accord to pledge themselves to the Benteak-kune from other tribes rather than fight them. The group that was once 100 had grown in size despite losses in battle. In 10 years, the Benteak-kune had reached a head count of 2200. Battle songs about the Benteak-kune and Ra-Ghul could be heard around camp fires long into the night.

After the squatters were pushed from tribal lands, Ra-Ghul's tactics changed once again. Taking note of their neighbor’s treatment of his own people, he decided to begin weakening bordering tribes so they could no longer gather strength to attempt to strike the Benteak. Conveniently, this allowed him to continue to satisfy his addiction of combat engagement. Other tribes would come to find entire villages reduced to ashes and all the people gone. When they followed the trails back to Benteak borders, the Benteak Spirit-kin were able to easily repel them as the Benteak-kune withdrew behind the shield of their lands. In time, Ra-Ghul found that he no longer needed his Draught before battle. The sensations stayed with him all the time, only his mind was clearer and his awareness was greater. No one could come close to his battle skills any longer. He would wear just a helmet and leggings with an enormous halberd in hand. Pulling arrows from his flesh only to turn on his aggressors and split them head to foot with the strength of a giant crashing down.

The Benteak-kune's number continued to swell. Within 5 years, there were over 6000 in total. In tents all around the tribes, figurines of Ra-Ghul were placed above doorways. Some folk began to pray to him before battles to assure they would win the day in berserker fashion. And win they did. When the Spirit-kin would come to the aid of the half-breeds under attack from The Benteak-kune, Ra-Ghul's forces no longer withdrew behind their borders. Attacks against Ra-Ghul were an effort in futility. No weapon seemed to harm him any longer. Arrows deflected from his body. Swords shattered on his skin. His own strength only increased sending enemy tribes away in dismay.

Realizing the dilemma, enemy tribes began to offer up marriage negotiations to the Benteak in exchange for peace. They offered up their half breed daughters in large number. The Benteak, seeing that their own lands could not support the growing number of Benteak-kune indefinitely would allow the Benteak-kune men to move into neighboring tribes and marry the daughters of those with whom they were at peace. In this way, the followers of Ra-Ghul began to spread into other Tyudian tribes. This continued for 10 years as Ra-Ghul slowly forced each neighbor into a position of peace. The number of Ra-Ghul's followers surged at an incredible, accelerating pace.

Then one night, while Ra-Ghul sat in his tribal home watching a dance performed in his honor, the sky split with a streak of blinding light. A voice boomed like thunder upon Tyedu. It said, 'We of the Nine have found you worthy, Ra-Ghul of Tyedu. Come. Join with us in ways of godhood.' And with that, he was gone. Word of Ra-Ghul's ascension spread. Shrines were built in his name. Men and women committed themselves to His worship and found that a divine gift was available to the devout. They carried this forth with them throughout all of Tyedu and beyond.
"Truth has no form."
--Idries Shah

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PostAuthor: Orleron » Thu Sep 29, 2005 2:22 pm

Modern Day Worshipers
By Manuel the White

Formalities of the church are virtually non-existent. On occasion, it is considered good form to go to a shrine or, less common, tower of Ra-Ghul to pay respects. This usually entails leaving the remains of an enemy or particularly formidable monster that was cleaved in battle at the altar. When present, many faithful will drink the Draught of Ra-Ghul to enter a battle rage for a short period (Cast: Blood Frenzy(2)). This is the same formula used during Ra-Ghul's reign (only watered down for less potency) and is a secret recipe of the Ra-Ghul shaman.

The shaman of Ra-Ghul have a disposition toward the elements of fire and ice. The ice is representative of Ra-Ghul's Tyudian heritage and pays homage to the frozen lands of his birth. The fire is indicative of the frenzy and rage of His People's battle tactics. It is not uncommon for Ra-Ghul's clergy to have red and blue tattoos to signify the importance. The places of worship themselves echo this sentiment. Coal walking and 'fire eating' are occasionally employed as part of clerical ritual to demonstrate the fearlessness of the priest. A shaman's role is to guard the temples and shrines of Ra-Ghul and ensure the fire at the altar is never extinguished. He may help instill the frenzy into the people during times of conflict, acting in Ra-Ghul's stead leading a charge into battle.

It is believed that, ultimately, Ra-Ghul guides the fallen warriors he feels have reached the greatest level of their animalistic fighting ability to Him for the Great Feast. This is the pinnacle to strive for as a follower of Ra-Ghul. He does not judge his faithful on moral or ethical grounds. Such things are beneath the purity and satisfaction of battle. Only when achieving your individual perfection of battle frenzy will He take you to His Side.

Often, followers of Ra-Ghul participate in the lifestyle of the gladiator and similar blood sports. These events provide a public arena for display of the individual's prowess and savagery of combat. Many will offer their performance as a living sacrifice to Ra-Ghul in hopes of pleasing their god or, in the case of their death, urge Ra-Ghul to bring them to the Great Feast. In addition, this type of combat provides a legal outlet for their need to fight and, for some, provides a source of income. Other common occupations include mercenary work and military careers. In either case, the individual is most likely to volunteer for high risk assignments such as frontline fighting. This has earned them a reputation as combat thrill seekers.

By partaking in these public spectacles, the faithful of Ra-Ghul believe they are spreading the religious precepts of their lord. Those who see their ferocity and experience a rush of exhilaration and joy will be moved to follow Ra-Ghul in their own lives. In this way, the lifestyle doubles as a form of outreach and recruitment. Encouraging those whom they travel with for feats of intensity and bravery in battle is expected. Impressive outbursts are often greeted with much flattery from Ra-Ghul’s Faithful.
"Truth has no form."
--Idries Shah

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Orleron
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