|Damaged Dara Happan Sculpture of Yelm|
In the beginning was the One, the great being who created the world. He created the Celestial Court to rule his creation along side him, and all was perfect. Then, the Celestial Court had many children, so many so that the One could no longer be part of the world. He went among the gods to choose a successor, to rule in his stead. He chose Bright Yelm, the shining child of Aether Primolt, one of the Celestial Court.
The One and the Celestial Court got together, and combined their powers to create the Staff of Justice, which the One gave to Yelm, giving him the power of Divine Order to rule the world.
As the leader of the gods, Yelm proved himself wise and powerful. He filled humanity with fire so that they might be worthy; he tamed the dark dragon, turning it into his throne; he married the goddess Dendara, bringing unity to the world; and he bore a son, Murharzarm, who was the Best Man.
|Murharzarm tames Nestendos|
Yelm, seeing his son do what he could not, was pleased, and secretly arranged for Murharzarm to complete Ten Tests which could not be done by anyone who was not the rightful Emperor. When Murharzarm completed these tests, he became the First Emperor of the Rich Land, Dara Happa, and became his father's successor.
Murharzarm ruled for fourty thousand years of peace, and none troubled Dara Happa during his reign, until the end. Some of the gods despised Yelm and Murharzarm, and denied Divine Order. They gathered in secret, and created Death. Creeping into the royal palace, they struck down Murharzarm, piercing his body and sapping his blood.
When Murharzarm was killed, the world was broken. Yelm could not bear to see his son die, and so broke himself. The rebels despaired at what they did, but could not set it right, so fled.
When Yelm was broken, his many parts separated. Some became worshipped as gods, such as Vrimak the Eagle of Heaven, and Antirius who was Yelm's staff.
Without an Emperor, the people of Dara Happa despaired, and they named the son of Murharzarm in his place. But now Death had come, men were mortal, so each Emperor lasted for only a while before another must be chosen. These Emperors always bore Antirius, so they were the rightful Emperor, but none were as great as the First.
After a myriad of years; after great Emperors, and poor Emperors, and even the Empty Emperor; after even the light of Antirius had been lost; came Khordavu. He was born with no shadow, and reclaimed the lost divine regalia of the Emperors, which had been lost.
So great was Khordavu that he united the fractured lands, and dismissed the false Emperors, showing himself to be the True Emperor blessed by Antirius. He became the Emperor, and Yelm rose once again in the sky, united once again.
Nature of the Cult
Yelm is the Sky Father, the Sun who crosses the sky each day and rules over all. He is the Fire of Life, the Source of Warmth, the Lord of the Above. Even amongst those who claim the sun is their own, lesser godling, they still know of Yelm, and fear or respect him.
Yelm is the Dispenser of Power, the Highest Lord, the Keeper of Order, and the Maker of Classes. He wields the Divine Order which governs all life, naming and taming the lawless who seek to bring down the social hierarchy, and bringing them to heel. He dispenses justice, and is the perfect ruler.
Yelm is always shown as the perfect Dara Happan Emperor, usually sat enthroned, and holding the Staff of Justice and the other regalia of the Dara Happan Emperor. As the earthly manifestation of Yelm, any depiction of an Emperor is also a depiction of Yelm, and the two are not easily distinguished.
Plentonious identified the central figure of the Solar Court on the Gods Wall as Yelm.
Yelm is the owner of the Sky Rune and is also strongly associated with the Mastery and Stasis Runes. As such, Yelm is one of the Great Gods of Glorantha, acknowledged even by many cultures that do not worship him.
As the owner of the Sky Rune, initiates of Yelm can make the broadest possible use of the powers of Sky. A very incomplete list of the abilities Yelm initiates have been to use the Sky Rune for include: burn trolls; blind foes with bright light; command and heal birds and horses; enchant gold; illuminate their surroundings; improve their spear, mace, and bow fighting; make their weapon erupt into magical flame; protect themselves against defilement and temptation; purify themselves and others; raise themselves into the air; and summon and command lesser Sky gods.
The Sky Rune aspect of Yelm is called Yelm the Warrior, and those with a strong affinity with this rune are loyal, honest, and pure.
Yelm, as the Emperor of the Universe, is the source of the Mastery Rune within Dara Happan religion. An incomplete list of the abilities Yelm initiates have been known to use their Mastery Rune for includes: awe crowd; bless citizens; command followers and citizens; command griffins; convince citizens; inspire courage; inspire loyalty; name enemy; and summon citizens.
The Mastery Rune aspect of Yelm is called Yelm Imperator, and those with a strong affinity with this rune are proud, just, and authoritative.
Yelm is the bringer of Divine Order and Justice, preserving the universe from those who bring disorder and change. He also showed people the correct way to act in life. An incomplete list of the abilities Yelm initiates have been known to use their Stasis Rune for includes: calm anger; calm winds; control flood; drive away clouds; extinguish wildfires; protect weak; recite poetry; and slow enemies.
The Stasis Rune aspect of Yelm is called Yelm the Teacher, and those with a strong affinity with this rune are stubborn, inflexible, and exacting.
Particular Likes and Dislikes
As the head of the Celestial Pantheon, all other sky gods respect and pay homage to Yelm; who responds with grace and honour to each. His sons often try to outdo each other to earn their father's respect, which Yelm encourages, for he enjoys seeing his sons perform great deeds to help his people.
Yelm is often opposed by those who reject the social order, such as the gods of Storm and Darkness. These monsters refuse him his just due, and are so banished to live outside the Rich Land of Dara Happa. When their worshippers attack, the worshippers of Yelm are well prepared to send them back to where they belong.
Despite Yelm's paramount status in Dara Happan religion, he is viewed as too pure and glorious for most to worship directly. For that reason, most nobles are only lay members of Yelm's cult, worshipping the Allfather through his tangible incarnation, the Emperor of Dara Happa.
Despite Yelm's importance, he has only a few hundred priests devoted to him. These Sun Priests spend almost all of their time running the temple in each Dara Happan city, devoting themselves entirely to Yelm. They rarely congregate, and when they do it is for matters of grave importance, where the Emperor of Dara Happa himself conducts the rituals.
Centre of Power, Holy Places
Every city or town in Dara Happa possesses a temple to Yelm an their centre, which will be the largest and most impressive building in the settlement. This temple will be surrounded by those of other gods, acting as attendants and protectors, just as their gods attend and protect Yelm himself.
The greatest and most ancient temple of Yelm is the Tower of Yelm in Raibanth, the earthly residence of the sun god. The Tower is too holy to rest upon the ground itself, so Yelm raised a mighty ziggurat beneath it, so that his followers could approach him, although he has not descended there since his son's murder.
Holy Days and Sacrifices
Yelm has four holy days throughout the year, each marking a significant point in Yelm's history.
On the first day of the first week of Youth Season (Freezeday, Disorder Week, Sea Season), Yelm's return is celebrated. This day ends the long winter, and signifies the coming of warmth and light. The Emperor Khordavu, who was enthroned when Yelm returned, is remembered at this time, and it is also known as Khordavu's Day in his honour.
His High Holy Day, known as Enthronement Day, takes place on the eighth day of the sixth week of Youth Season, on the Summer Solstice (In the Theyalan Calendar, this would be Fire Day of Harmony Week in Fire Season). This day naturally celebrates his enthronement, when Yelm became the dispenser of Divine Justice. The cities of Dara Happa throw great rituals of celebration, proclaiming the greatness of Yelm and his manifestation in the Emperor. The streets throng with people, with nobles of all standings making their way to Yelm's temple to boy down in homage. Despite this, to non-Dara Happans, it seems rather sombre, with the celebrations restrained, and often likened to a funeral.
Other, lesser holy days are held on the fifth day of the first week of Harvest Season (Fireday, Stasis Week, Earth Season; also known as Marriage Day) celebrating Yelm's marriage to Dendara, this is often an auspicious day for marriages; the eighth day of the sixth week of Harvest Season (Fireday, Movement Week, Dark Season; called Doomsday) mourning Murharzarm's death, Yelm's disintegration, and the start of winter; and a final one on the third day of the third week of Dying Season (Fireday of Death Week in Storm Season). On this day, known as Ash Day, everyone in Dara Happa paints themselves in ash and mourns the loss of Yelm and the Emperor, who is traditionally kept within his chambers on this day.
- All initiates of Yelm must possess an affinity with the Sky Rune.
- They may approach Yelm in any of Yelm's three Aspects, choosing either the Sky, the Stasis, or the Mastery Rune to be their Divine Rune affinity.
- Only male members of the Dara Happan nobility may join Yelm's cult, although in practice this means any male citizen of Dara Happa.
Yelm had many children, siblings, aspects, and heroes whose worship are connected with his. Although some are worshipped as independent deities, others act as subcults of Yelm.
Antirius is the Divine Order, which manifested in Yelm, but was also present in the regalia of the Emperor. He dispenses wisdom and justice, allowing all to know the true way to behave. Members of this subcult can use the Mastery Rune to dispense justice, and to know justice.
Arraz is Yelm's brother, and servant to the celestial gods. Many foreigners assume that this makes him low in rank, but nothing could be further from the truth, for Arraz rules the people of the sky world, and many celestial beings serve him as he serves others. Members of this subcult can use the Stasis Rune to ensure their masters wishes are done, and command other servants.
When a decadent Emperor took the throne of Dara Happa, Avivorus rose up to oppose him with the blessing of Antirius. He struck down the Emperor, and for his great purity, was taken up to serve Yelm as his Hastatus, or Spear Bearer. This subcult provides the Sunspear Feat.
Also known by some as Yelm the Musician, Hyraos Truetune was appointed by Yelm to care for the Harp of Harmony. He taught the children of Yelm music and joy, and his skillful playing brought joy to the Emperors. This subcult provides the Song of Laughter Feat.
Also called Raiba, this god is the governer and protector of Raibanth, the greatest city of Dara Happa. All inside the city pay homage to him, but those who join this subcult are counted as guardians of the city, and may use the Stasis Rune to protect Raibanth.
Ulkamoon is the fearsome god of the Mace. When the Griffin and the Bear sought to steal the sacred Yarm Tree, Ulkamoon drove the Griffin away with his terrible strength. This subcult provides the Jugger Feat.
Urengerum was once the god of the lost city of Elempur, before it was destroyed by the Ram People, He was saved by the Emperor, who named him Saggitus, and given a place as Yelm's Bow Master. This subcult provides the Bow of Dominion Feat.
|Sculpture of Urengerum from ruins by the Hydra Mountains|
- An initiate of Yelm with a rating of 11W in their Divine Rune Affinity may dedicate themselves completely to Yelm and become a devotee.
- Devotees are subject to the usual restrictions.
Devotees of Yelm may perform magic feats, repetitions of their gods' mythic deeds. Some feats are universal to Yelm's cult, others are associated with specific subcults.
Bow of Dominion
The Bow of Dominion connects the fires of Yelm, with the ground Below. With its power, all those in the air who deny Yelm, may be sundered, and sent crashing down to the ground below. Wielders have used its power to drive off false suns, bats, and unruly winds, driving them down, never to rise again.
The Jugger is the Mace of Yelm, a brutal weapon that cleanses the heavens of the impure. Anything the Jugger strikes is shattered, falling broken in pieces to the ground. Even the planets and stars fear the Jugger, for its appearance signifies the anger of Yelm, and they will move to avoid his wrath.
Song of Laughter
By weaving together a trio of tunes, Hyraos could cause anyone, from Emperor to barbarian, to know joy in their heart. No one who hears this song can resist smiling, and even the most heartless barbarian will be filled with laughter and joy, rendering them unable to fight.
The Sunspear is the cleansing ray of light which burns the unworthy. When thrown it seeks out those who place themselves above others without the Divine Order, and pierces their hearts. When held it burns all unworthy materials, and pierces through even the thickest of armour.
Lesser Sky Gods
Yelm is emperor of the sky, and so commands all lesser Sky Gods. Most never leave the sky world, prefering to remain in that land of purity, rather than risk contamination with the ground below. Those that do are either summoned by a follower of Yelm, or are sent for some divine purpose. The most common of these are the Certami and the Furies.
These mighty beings are also known as Arrazites, Luxites, or Shanasse; and resemble winged Dara Happan noblemen clad in clothes of gold. While most are simply citizens of the sky world, those in the lower world will only ever see the warriors. Clad in radiant armour, these warriors are armed with flaming spears, maces, and bows.
At the wedding of Yelm and Dendara, the monstrous Gorgorma gifted Yelm with her furies. Yelm would have refused this gift, but could not see them, for only those who have transgressed against Yelm can see their horrific visages.
These demonic beings act as Yelm's agents of reprisal, tracking down those who have committed crimes against Yelm, and tormenting them.