Kingdoms of Garda
The stories of the Skjallic pantheon form their understanding of the ways of the cosmos. Iángol rises on the eastern horizon daily and sets at night, being chased back into hiding during the night by Schluka. Such is just a part of the description of the world given by the mystics of Skjall. The task of the shaman is to interpret the various portents of the gods, rather than worship them directly, as they seem largely unconcerned with amassing human followers. As the relationship between the Skjall and the Getti deepens, so too does that of their beliefs, with many among the Skjall welcoming the personal deities of the Getti. Ahtaa can now be seen ridden into battle against Oruccis by Tormek, while Iangol pulls Audhmala’s chariot in areas where Skjall and Getti collide, as just two examples of the parallels drawn by their shamans.
The pantheon of the Skjall are primordial deities. Myllaka Damen is the physical embodiment of chaos and the creation, and thus is more will than form. Even as the mother of mankind she is rarely depicted, though occasionally her presence is represented in the artwork of the Skjall by a face looking down on events. Her first creation, Ahtaa the Thunderer, is depicted as a massive ram with iron horns and hooves, his fleece appears as clouds constantly crackling with elecrticity. Ahtaa is a wild god, his fury causing thunderstorms and earthquakes. When Oruccis fell after his battle with Ahtaa, his festering body nurtured evil in the world. Oruccis lives on as the Nine, manifesting as nine great serpents that plague the Sea of Wyrms, the body of water so named for their presence. Myllaka Damen physically bore two children from her union with Ahtaa. The first was Iángol the Blazing, a dragon of flame that is also the sun. Myllaka Damen’s second child was Schluka the Devourer, a great white wolf who seeks to destroy Iángol and bring everlasting winter. Schluka is understood to be the moon. Ymvalt, seen as a parallel of Undverd, is depicted as a giantess whose face is always hidden by a cowl. Like Undverd in many ways, she has always been and will always be.
In the beginning the world was primordial chaos, a roiling mass of earth, water and storms. Myllaka Damen used this raw unformed material to craft the ram, Ahtaa; for his body she pulled from the primal earth, and forged horn and hoof of stone and iron, for his blood she used of the boiling water of the shapeless seas, and for his fleece she drew storm clouds from the sky. Twin giants of ice and fire, Arngeir and Rallos, witnessed this creation and decided to spite the Lady of Chaos by forging a great and terrible wyrm to destroy the majestic Ahtaa. Naming it Oruccis, they unleashed the wyrm against Ahtaa. So terrible was the might and wrath of these two that their battle covered the earth. As they tumbled over the primordial morass, they flattened it and gave it form. Ahtaa’s horns gouged valleys and seas from the earth, and where his hooves struck water rushed in to fill lakes, while Oruccis’ slithering form and whipping tail created rivers and canyons. After three times nine days, Ahtaa defeated Oruccis. Where the great wyrm’s body fell, maggots festered, feeding off his malevolence to become orcs, elves, and other vile creatures of Garda. The great wyrm gave birth to nine lesser necrotic wyrms in his death throes, who would become known as Oruccis the Nine. For their offense, Myllaka Damen cast the giants Arngeir and Rallos, with all their kind, to the far north and far south so that they could never collude again.
With the wyrm defeated, Ahtaa mounted Myllaka Damen and they copulated for nine weeks. The grasslands and forests and all the flora of Garda grew where they sweat. After they’d copulated so long that they started to bleed, blood and semen fell to the earth to become the first humans and dwarves, and they went forth to populate the world. After nine months she gave birth to Iángol the Blazing Sun, followed by her twin brother, Schluka the Devouring Moon. Born fully formed, they began to chase each other across the sky, where they overtake one another at times of the eclipse.