We have gone through about half of the Gameless Pantheon. There are still beauties and horrors yet to come. Let’s finish the tour of these godlings.
K!Ning, God of Torture. The letter N is or me the essence of paiN.
K'Bronzr is the god of heroes. You can just see that he's the kind who likes to go around defeating evil.
K'tring is the goddess of cats--a loose tribute to my wife Catherine at the time. She was, and still is, a great cat lover. And it could easily be argued that the tiger is the greatest of cats, or perhaps this tigress.
Lillitu was inspired by Lilith, Adam's first wife, she who went on to become the first succubus. She is a sex and pleasure goddess..
Maquuatl was mean to be a warrior god--I was thinking of the maquahuitl, the Aztec sword club made of obsidian and wood, but I was also thinking a bit of my friend Stephen MacAllister,who had the best beard of anyone I knew. I must have mentioned my bearded friend, and this is what came out--a wild hermit dervish instead of an Aztec warrior..
Minos, the bull god of strength is clearly a minotaur. Ernest Hogan and I were on the same page with this monstrous embodiment of virility and power.
Every pantheon needs a god or goddess to express the inexpressible, explain the unexplainble, and embody that which has no form. Ernest got off lightly by drawing his Nameless Spirit in invisible ink.
Nook-nook is the Creature from the Black Lagoon. He is the masculine God of Water and all watery things. As such, he is also a fertility deity.
As you can clearly see O is Adonis, giver of light and life itself.
Oxnard is the God of Dragons. You can see his name almost spells dragon if you look at it backwards and the number of letters is the same. Oxnard is also God of Fire.
Pyssyr is the Goddess of Water and of the Sea. Yes, there is a dirty pun hidden in that name.
Shagreen is the god of merchants and of money. The name came from shagreen leather, a rough knobbly form of leather commonly made from shark hides. As you can see, the association of merchants with sharks is a fair one.
Ttex is the Goddess of Justice and Balance. The name comes from Texas, Land of the Fair Deal/
Welbi is the Goddess of Medicine and Healing. With so many beings in the pantheon that would just love to hurt you, we need one that's willing and able to cure you. Yes, the name came from the tv show of the time--Dr. Welby.
Zlaz in the Lord of Shadows. Inspired by Roger Zelazny who was just starting the Amber series at the time, it seemed fitting to make the last deity in the list a master of Shadow.
And that’s it, my friends, a pantheon of deities that never existed, tributes to the things I thought about back then. As a writer, I have only words, only feeble concepts to express their glory and importance. But my artistic friend Ernest had much more. He had then, and still has as far as I can tell, a weird and unusual way of looking at the world. He showed me things in my godlings that I could never have imagined for myself. Thank you, Ernest.
If you worship any of these strange gods, perhaps under different names, feel free to leave a comment.
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.