Not a Tunnels and Trolls Pantheon   5 comments

I have been rescuing some of my juvenilia from a well-deserved oblivion.  I figure that once I’ve published it on the internet, it will exist forever, thus assuring my own undying fame–heh.  Well, actually, I figure that I took a lot of time and effort to creat this stuff once, and as I look at it now, I still like it.  Maybe somebody else will like it too.  Maybe it will make someone smile.  I know it will make me smile to get a blog out of it.  And so . . .

Once upon a time, long long ago in the late seventies, probably around 1977, I created a pantheon of gods and goddesses which I hoped to use in a complex astrological scheme for character generation in a fantasy role-playing game that would be nothing like Tunnels and Trolls or Dungeons and Dragons.  Then I talked my friend Ernest Hogan into drawing them for me.  Then Rick Loomis told me he had no interest in a different fantasy role-playing game–I should just stick with doing things for Tunnels and Trolls.  Then the whole project died.  But, I still have the drawings that Ernest did for me, and I like them.  They are pretty damn weird if you ask me.  For the first time ever, someone besides me and Ernest, who has probably forgotten all about these portraits, will get to see them.

Aa is the beginning, the maiden and the crone.

Ambr came from Roger Zelazny's Nine Princes in Amber--it represents the true reality at the heart of creation.

Amra was Conan's name when he harried the Black Kingdoms with Belit. Somehow Hogan thought it meant Dog, so Amrra became Man's best friend.

Bhahl is a reference to Baal, a demon god.

Bjorn was inspired by my friend "Bear" Peters. He is a were-creature, sometimes man, sometimes bear, and the god of carnivorous animals.

Blotar is the god of rough sex, something I dreamed about a good deal in those days. He degraded women and they loved him for it. He was also partly inspired by Bluto from the Popeye cartoons.

Bugsnak was the god of insects and disease.

Ceemdiceecee (C M D C C) was a pseudonym for my friend Liz Danforth. She is the Goddess of Art.

Deth is, or course, the God of Death. He has much the same look in many pantheons. Deth gets around.

Dyse is the Goddess of Chance. She personifies my love of rolling dice--in more ways than one.

Fandalgundarbugaloo is the Jolly Green Giant from the vegetable commercials. He represents the force of Nature and of all growing things. Logically, that makes him the God of Agriculture.

Festawg is the God of Bad Luck and Misfortune. As you can see in this picture, he is literally the Fool from the Tarot. I loved the tarot then, and I love it now. Several of these deities have counterparts in the tarot.

Gax-Arn was a demonic deity of evil. He represented all I feared from that other game. Gy-Gax. Arn-eson. It's a kind of tribute. In those days I didn't know either man. I later became good friends with Dave Arneson, but I never showed him this pantheon.

Gnivring is the God of Wisdom--one of the evil gods. The word is put together from gnashing and shivering--gnivring. Go figure!

This brings us to the halfway mark in the pantheon.  Next time I’ll show you the other half of this unlikely set of deities.

If you ever met a deity, worshipped one, or invented one of your own, feel free to leave a comment below.

end

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5 responses to “Not a Tunnels and Trolls Pantheon

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  1. I like Hogan’s line work & storytelling. Why not use the drawings for a new solo?

  2. I really like the Crone! This is great to see, random non-T&T ephemera.

  3. I love it Ken! Excellent art, I enjoy Hogan’s style.

  4. And of course there is an implication that the followers of Gax-Arn are themselves insects, not so much a reflection on their insignificance, but to their slavish obedience…

    G’Noll

  5. I can’t be sure, of course, but I think Gnivring is one of the Guardians of the Galaxy.

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