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Ideas about Erastil's curious bachelorhood


Pathfinder Campaign Setting General Discussion

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Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013

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It always gnawed on me that Erastil is a bachelor, and I came up with a few explanations that don't end up in making him (that) hypocritical. Feel free to steal if you consider them worth stealing, or suggest something of your own ideas.

1) Erastil can't marry

If Erastil is a bachelor after so many millenia, there are 2 possible reasons. Either he can't marry due to a lack of available partners or something is preventing him from marriage. Now, lack of available partners is unlikely. Even if there was no female diety matching him, there are hordes of female celestials, angels and any number of unique outsiders not diametrically opposed to his views and practices. So the reason is probably that something about himself excludes him from it.

It may be a long shot, but what if Erastil is a eunuch? He lost "them" in some battle or self-sacrifice. If Odin puts out an eye for wisdom...

In such a situation, he probably would no longer feel eligible to marry. What's more, it explains his acute interest in making sure other families have children, and live well. Essentially he becomes a kind of spinster aunt. By sponsering and living through nices and nephews, Erastil faces the emptiness in his own house.

Why keep this a secret

Eunuchs do not have a very good reputation in myth and legend. Erastil may have turned his disability to the benefit of mortals, but priests are likely to emulate their deity more than they probably should. Cults of eunuch priests of Erastil are probably the last thing he wants. Such an excess is city folk decadence, with the added danger of making those people least likely to care about their legacy shepards of a community.

What would it change

Very little, probably. In fact, the secret is so much of a minor detail that I consider it almost a waste of the mystery. ;)

2) Erastil was married once upon a time

When looking what Erastils portfolio actually entails, the words fatherhood come to mind. Community, family but also very much traditional fatherhood. He doesn't seem overly interested in issues like childbirth. Actually looking over what diety does cover this came up with... Lamashtu. Now, we already know about how Lamashtu stole the divine portfolio of Curchanus, and thus gained her dominion over wild beasts that way. What if she got her fertility aspects from yet another divine murder-and-robbery? I find it quite plausible that after such a tragedy, Erastil would be slow to consider remarriage. The fact that very few female gods around would register as eligable probably also counts for something ;)

Why keep this a secret

He failed. Hard. He could not protect his own family. How could he admit this failure to his faithful, and expect them to still follow his example? Since this happened before the ascension of Lamashtu, there would be scarce records and few who would remember anyway. So Erastils side looks pretty plausible to me.

But why hasn't Lamashtu brought forth such a coup front and center, and reminded the goodly religions of it at every turn. For one thing, it could well be she's wary of pushing Ol' Deadeye too far. Sure, she's a goddess, and has legions of the Abyss at her back and call. However, Desna has already invaded the Abyss once, and slain a demon lord. What if a man with nothing left to lose showed up on her doorstep? Or alternatively, one divine murder is a black swan. Nothing like that is likely to happen again. Two, by the same person is going to whet a lot of demon lord appetites. Lamashtu is the only demon goddess, and probably wouldn't mind staying that way. I am not sure how this could be spun, truth be told.

What would it change

Probably Erastil would take a turn for the darker. Not necessarily a full batman-esque double life, but he would probably be even more the "grumpy god" than he already is. If I decided to go with this idea, I would probably push his sexist angle somewhat, insisting woman need a man to protect them. I think he'd stop short of actual crusading (soldiers leave broken hearts behind, and bring broken lives with them when they come back), but only just barely. Harsh justice would be more up his alley than the standard view.

3) Erastil is actually married

Erastil is married offscreen. There is a wife, maybe even a few children. He just tends to believe a family should take care of its own business themselves. His wife stays out of his hair when he meddles with mortal affairs, and he respects her privacy by not dragging her into these affairs.

Why keep this a secret
Considering his dogma that a family should be evenly matched, and a strong woman needs an equally strong man (and vice versa), this wife probably is capable. Maybe not a full major goddess, but at the very least on the Empyreal Lord / Demigod level. So purposefully hiding her probably is not done against her wishes. The simplest reason here is: She simply chooses not to get involved.

What would it change

Depends a lot on the concrete wife. Shrewd housewife goddess X probably results her own beliefs just happening to sneak into his admonitions. Firebrand adventure goddess Y could probably not agree about half of his views, but damned if she doesn't love this old codger as much as he loves her.


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I have seen some speculation on 2 & 3

I think an excellent twist would be his partner was Curchanus.

Silver Crusade Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Tales Subscriber

Wasn't Erastil a god of giants, who moved on to humanity? My theory was he chose to start guiding humanity and his giant wife stayed with the giants. He's still married, but separated and bummed about it.

Scarab Sages

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If he is secretly married, I like the idea that she's the firebrand sort who doesn't agree with him half the time.

I loved the Greyhawk pairing of Wee Jas, a hyper-strict goddess of law and order, and Norebo, a chaotic freewheeling rogue and trickster, because it kind of nailed home how not only could a party with very different alignments function, but there were even a pair of gods who were defying alignment convention and 'sleeping with the enemy.'

Having Erastil paired off with a CG azata empyreal, for instance, some sort of agricultural goddess who veers between all springtime exuberance and fertility and autumnal harvest-time practicality, could be neat.


Dotted for interest. I can't believe I never noticed this oddity sooner.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32 , Star Voter 2014

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I like this theory:

Personally, I look at Erastil as being Odin/Wotan if he survived Ragnarok but lost everyone he held dear, most especially his beloved Frigga/Fricka, mother of his children, love of his life, but now she's gone and no one but him even remembers her name. And so he goes off to wander, and in his wanderings takes on the new name of Erastil. There are other gods, some of them old like him, some of them new. He becomes the god of families because he's old, no one is being all-father and he doesn't want the job, but he's willing to be all-grandfather.

Silver Crusade Star Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber

I'm still a bit fond of the idea of him and Fandarra be ex's, with the cause of the breakup ironically being because Erastil moved on with the times while Fandarra didn't.

Along the lines of KAM's Ragnarok theory, this is a very real possibility after the war with Rovagug...

Scarab Sages

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Mikaze wrote:
Along the lines of KAM's Ragnarok theory, this is a very real possibility after the war with Rovagug...

It would certainly help establish Guggies 'street cred' if one or more gods actually bit the farm (and not just nobodies that you never heard of, but someone as notable as the wife of the god of families, communities and the hunt) during the big fight to drop him into the cage.

It would be creepier if Rovagug had to be lured into the cage, and the door got shut before the god that lured him in could get clear, resulting in them being trapped in there with Rovagug for all eternity, unable to die (since their spirit can't leave the cage and get to Pharasma, and so their divine body keeps reforming every time Rovagug tears it apart).

Silver Crusade Star Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber
Set wrote:
Mikaze wrote:
Along the lines of KAM's Ragnarok theory, this is a very real possibility after the war with Rovagug...

It would certainly help establish Guggies 'street cred' if one or more gods actually bit the farm (and not just nobodies that you never heard of, but someone as notable as the wife of the god of families, communities and the hunt) during the big fight to drop him into the cage.

It would be creepier if Rovagug had to be lured into the cage, and the door got shut before the god that lured him in could get clear, resulting in them being trapped in there with Rovagug for all eternity, unable to die (since their spirit can't leave the cage and get to Pharasma, and so their divine body keeps reforming every time Rovagug tears it apart).

...freakin' yikes.

That puts a new spin on Sarenrae taking a bit of the sun and sticking it in Rovagug's belly to torment him. It wouldn't just be about punishment, it could be about distraction(for periods of time at least).


Mikaze wrote:
I'm still a bit fond of the idea of him and Fandarra be ex's, with the cause of the breakup ironically being because Erastil moved on with the times while Fandarra didn't.

Makes sense to me. Though why he encourages marriages in spite of this is beyond me.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013

Set wrote:
Mikaze wrote:
Along the lines of KAM's Ragnarok theory, this is a very real possibility after the war with Rovagug...
It would certainly help establish Guggies 'street cred' if one or more gods actually bit the farm (and not just nobodies that you never heard of, but someone as notable as the wife of the god of families, communities and the hunt) during the big fight to drop him into the cage.

This is great! Really, this fits much better than the Lamashtu angle I was considering. Consider it stolen

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

Great post, Evil Linco...I mean, TerraNova.


I disagree, that looks like a story added merely for shock value to me. Not very touching, just kind of bland. It's probably because I think the actual rampage that Rovagug wrought already contains countless tragedies within it, so there's no need to highlight one specific one as if it was more important than all the others. He killed countless old deities before he was stopped, and I'd think the good-aligned deities mourned for all of their losses, not just one or two of them.


Actually, the provisional (until we know more of the AP and Mythic adventures) background that I have for my Wrath of the Righteous PC touches on this. Socothbenoth made a bet with Nocticula that he would seduce Erastil. He and Calistria tricked Erastil into marrying Socothbenoth and begeting a demigod child. When Erastil found out, he took the child and smacked Socothbenoh so hard he reverted to nascent demon lord for a time. The demigod was a capricious and rebellious being of lust, so Erastil striped him of divinity sent him to Desna. Desna straightened out the former demigod and sent him to the stillborn body of a baby of her followers, to live a normal life and try to regain his divinity. Erastil is still embarrased about this incident and has covered it up, on threat of becoming a pincushion.

The former demigod would be a kellid aasimar outer rifts oracle hierophant.


Old Deadeye normally wouldn't have such poor rolls on Sense Motive and Perception. Was he drunk during that time?

Liberty's Edge

2) but Lamashtu did not kill the wife. She IS the wife (ex now, I guess).

Maybe it was a marriage of convenience to cement the union of Good and Evil vs Rovagug.


Icyshadow wrote:
Old Deadeye normally wouldn't have such poor rolls on Sense Motive and Perception. Was he drunk during that time?

I thought so too, that's why Socothbenoth asks for Calistria's help. And she grants it, if only to annoy that uptight old man.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013

Icyshadow wrote:
I disagree, that looks like a story added merely for shock value to me. Not very touching, just kind of bland. It's probably because I think the actual rampage that Rovagug wrought already contains countless tragedies within it, so there's no need to highlight one specific one as if it was more important than all the others. He killed countless old deities before he was stopped, and I'd think the good-aligned deities mourned for all of their losses, not just one or two of them.

I quoted only the first part for a reason. Leaving some gods alive "in there" just makes us question the good gods agreeing to this plan.

But I disagree with "highlighting one tragedy makes the story worse." In fact, it makes it better by making it have consequences in the current setting, rather than leaving it a self-contained story with a half-sentence reference in Asmodeus and Saranrae's descriptions.


TerraNova wrote:
Icyshadow wrote:
I disagree, that looks like a story added merely for shock value to me. Not very touching, just kind of bland. It's probably because I think the actual rampage that Rovagug wrought already contains countless tragedies within it, so there's no need to highlight one specific one as if it was more important than all the others. He killed countless old deities before he was stopped, and I'd think the good-aligned deities mourned for all of their losses, not just one or two of them.

I quoted only the first part for a reason. Leaving some gods alive "in there" just makes us question the good gods agreeing to this plan.

But I disagree with "highlighting one tragedy makes the story worse." In fact, it makes it better by making it have consequences in the current setting, rather than leaving it a self-contained story with a half-sentence reference in Asmodeus and Sarenrae's descriptions.

Then I guess we'll just agree to disagree. Even the fact that those deities are long dead can be used as plot hooks, without needing to suddenly add people trapped WITH Rovagug, which no self-respecting good deity would allow unless it was done as a heroic sacrifice to make sure Rovagug would remain trapped.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013

Icyshadow wrote:
Then I guess we'll just agree to disagree. Even the fact that those deities are long dead can be used as plot hooks, without needing to suddenly add people trapped WITH Rovagug, which no self-respecting good deity would allow unless it was done as a heroic sacrifice to make sure Rovagug would remain trapped.

Just for the record, I dislike the idea of trapped gods with the rough beast as well - too unheroic and "grimdark" for Golarion, and paints the good deities all as hypocritical. I was referencing solely that Rovagug's rampage caused the death of Erastils wife, and he's been privately mourning her ever since.


That I can agree with.

Though if I recall right, that theory has been around for a long time.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Some great ideas here, posting to list this thread for. Future reference

Contributor

Nice work, TN.

Contributor

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TerraNova wrote:
Icyshadow wrote:
Then I guess we'll just agree to disagree. Even the fact that those deities are long dead can be used as plot hooks, without needing to suddenly add people trapped WITH Rovagug, which no self-respecting good deity would allow unless it was done as a heroic sacrifice to make sure Rovagug would remain trapped.
Just for the record, I dislike the idea of trapped gods with the rough beast as well - too unheroic and "grimdark" for Golarion, and paints the good deities all as hypocritical. I was referencing solely that Rovagug's rampage caused the death of Erastils wife, and he's been privately mourning her ever since.

I agree, but for a different reason: If Erastil's beloved were in the cage, he would be moving heaven and earth to get her out, and if that meant freeing Rovagug too, then so be it. The beast has been chained up once, it can be chained up again, and any claptrap about "noble sacrifice" is just another of Asmodeus's lies as a euphemism for "expedience." Family comes first.

Now if some god lost a hand Tyr-style from the chaining of Fenris when this current batch of gods chained up Rovagug, that could be a proper "noble sacrifice." But leaving Old Deadeye's wife in the cage with Rovagug like Sam Winchester in the pit with Asmodeus? Not going to happen. If just because Asmodeus knows how to read people and putting Erastil's wife in the cage while leaving Erastil outside the cage goes under the column of "unacceptable risk." Either stuff them both in the cage with the beast, planting a cloven hoof firmly in Old Deadeye's back and then going off to say some fine words about "noble sacrifice" or else keep them both out.

As for the possibility that Curchanus was female instead of male, and was Erastil's beloved before she got killed, the main flaw with that is that anyone with the name "Old Deadeye" would be hunting Lamashtu so hard that you would think it was open season on monsters or something. And Calistria would get severely miffed because she's supposed to be the goddess of vengeance and here's this psychotic old grandfather who'll stop at nothing to kill the demon goddess who gacked his wife.

This isn't happening so I'd say it's what it says on the tin: Curchanus was a nice boy who liked playing with animals a little too much until he got killed by bad girl Lamashtu who stole his pets and made them mean. Erastil would happily put an arrow through any of her three eyes if she left herself open and avenge poor dumb Curchanus, but it wouldn't be personal so he wouldn't actively be hunting her down.

Instead, I think the most reasonable thing is that Erastil's wife died long ago in the "before time" or else was one of the early casualties of Rovagug, which would also work because it would give him something to do for the fight. Asmodeus may have forged and locked the trap and Sarenrae may have done the big fighting, but it would have been Erastil who tracked the beast, set the snare, and organized the hunt. Then again, if Erastil was a veteran of another war, another time, and a far more terrible Ragnarok, it would also be in character for him to organize the hunt so these children don't suffer more. And he'd still be grieving for his wife even if this wasn't the beast that killed her.

Though I think it also doesn't matter that much except as an argument among priests. It's better to keep it nebulous in the world, though on the GMs side of the screen, I'd still be running Erastil as the old widower and be thinking of him as Odin/Wotan post-Ragnarok after the loss of Frigga/Fricka.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Kevin Andrew Murphy wrote:

Instead, I think the most reasonable thing is that Erastil's wife died long ago in the "before time" or else was one of the early casualties of Rovagug, which would also work because it would give him something to do for the fight. Asmodeus may have forged and locked the trap and Sarenrae may have done the big fighting, but it would have been Erastil who tracked the beast, set the snare, and organized the hunt. Then again, if Erastil was a veteran of another war, another time, and a far more terrible Ragnarok, it would also be in character for him to organize the hunt so these children don't suffer more. And he'd still be grieving for his wife even if this wasn't the beast that killed her.

I certainly can't fault either theory - that Erastil was married and his wife died sometime back in the "before time" or that she was killed by Rovagug (I'm not a fan of the theory that she's trapped in the cage with the beast).

But Erastil's pretty practical and most of his followers would remarry if widowed. I don't see him pining for a lost wife for the rest of eternity. That's why I favor 2 other theories a bit more than he's a widower.

1) He actually is married.
This doesn't have to be marriage to an actual goddess as the people of Golarion would know them in the current age. But perhaps this goddess/entity is merged with or is an anthropomorphized representative of nature itself? If that were the case, no matter where he goes in his journeys, he's actually still settled at home with her. Everywhere is her home and hearth.
Or perhaps she is simply a goddess from some other realm, not particularly interested in Golarion and thus not represented as a deity (or even represented at all).

2) He is upholding some vow.
This could be because a betrothed wife is missing. It could be because he has sacrificed his own married life potential, has shouldered the burdens of celibacy, in service to his flock.

The main trouble with any theory is why wouldn't anybody know why Erastil is either not married now, never married, or who his wife is if he is secretly married. Secrecy simply wouldn't make that much sense.

I think Kevin's theory fits in with the lack of knowledge best - his marriage was from some "before time" and people just don't know any more about it than they know about Erastil's own origins before the Age of Darkness. I just don't see Erastil mourning for the remainder of his immortality.

Scarab Sages

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Oh wow, huge post just got eated! Arg! Shorter version;

I think that Erastil's 'loner god of marriage & family' status is more a symptom of how some game pantheons are designed. As in the Realms, the Golarion 'pantheon' isn't really a pantheon, it's a bunch of unrelated gods. Unlike the Greek or Norse or Egyptian (or Sueloise, in Greyhawk) pantheons, which are big creepy occasionally incestuous family structures, the 'big 20,' with the exception of Shelyn and Zon-Kuthon, seem to have no relations at all.

But it's also possible that the gods just don't answer cheeky questions from snoopy mortals about things they consider private. At least a few gods died during the big kerfluffle with Rovagug, back in the day, and it's entirely possible that neither Erastil nor Pharasma will confirm some nosy mortals inquiries as to their relationships, as the 'childless goddess of childbirth' is in fact Erastil's mother and they haven't been on speaking terms for *millenia,* as he has never forgiven her for preventing him from moving heaven and earth to resurrect his dead goddess-wife.

Unlike the 'classical' pantheons of real world mythology, Golarion also have several different origin sources. Erastil, Pharasma, Gozreh, Desna, Abadar, Calistria, Torag and Rovagug seem to be 'old gods' who've been around for a long time. Lamashtu is an uppity outsider who hit the big leagues (and Asmodeus and Sarenrae may also fit that description, although denials abound), and wouldn't be part of a 'god-family.' Irori, Nethys and Urgathoa are uppity *mortals* that dragged themselves up by their bootstraps, and so would also not be part of any sort of 'divine family structure.' Iomedae, Cayden Cailean and Norgorber got their divinity from a big candy-dispenser, and also wouldn't necessarily have any blood-relation to current gods. So, even if the 'old gods' have some family ties, the ex-outsider, ex-human and Starstone Scion gods wouldn't be part of that family structure, making it already far less 'neat and tidy' than the Greek or Egyptian family-pantheons. (The Norse are already something of an exception, being a mash-up of the Aesir and Vanir 'families' into a single pantheon.)

It would certainly add an edge to Pharasma if the goddess of childbirth is something of an 'all-mother,' to Erastil, Calistria, Gozreh and Abadar, among others, and that, having had to usher the spirits of some of her *children* into the afterlife (such as Erastil's wife, or Curchanos), has grown distant and / or earned the ire of some of her surviving children, wrapping herself up in her duties, to avoid dealing with being a goddess of birth condemned to eternity in an empty house.

Contributor

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Remarrying when widowed can work for the young. After all, they have their whole lives ahead of them. Likewise the middle aged, since they still have half their lives, and may need someone to help with their fatherless or motherless children. The old? Maybe not so much. It's nice if it happens but understandable if not. If someone is widowed in their sixties or seventies and never remarries, it's not considered odd or even particularly tragic. In their eighties or nineties, especially if they'd been married since their twenties? If they're in mourning for the rest of their life, it's not going to be unusual at all.

Erastil is known as "Old Deadeye" for a reason, and it's not just that he's a good shot with a bow. He is also a very old god and acts it.

While he is immortal, think how long an immortal can mourn for. Golarion is a young world as the gods might see it. How many worlds might have Erastil seen born and die? How many of those with his wife at his side? Why would it become urgent to him, when eons might seem an eyeblink, or maybe just a few days?

Besides which, the field is severely limited for dating. All the ascended gods are kids. Erastil may have the same alignment as Iomedae, but marrying her would be like the ninety-year-old marrying the girl who just turned eighteen--legal but cradle-robbing creepy. The others? Pharasma is probably a businesslike fifty-something and she's married to her work. Sarenrae? She's a sun goddess. She was likely born with the world too and probably would be fiftyish too, but looking younger from natural beauty. They'd like each other, but not really that way. Desna is probably the closest in age to Erastil, but she's like the seventyish old hippie chick who dresses in butterfly wings and goes around acting like she's twenty. Erastil would be deeply embarrassed by the thought alone. Shelyn's a nice girl of thirty who looks younger. Erastil would rather she settle down with sixteen-year-old Cayden and make nice god babies and keep him away from that floozie Calistria.

Or at least that's how I see it.

Contributor

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Kevin Andrew Murphy wrote:
Desna is probably the closest in age to Erastil, but she's like the seventyish old hippie chick who dresses in butterfly wings and goes around acting like she's twenty. Erastil would be deeply embarrassed by the thought alone.

I think it's more than that. Erastil knows that not only is Desna "ancient before mankind learned to farm," she's... weird.

As in... well, I don't want to spoil it, but she's an ancient pre-human goddess of stars and dreams. Remind you of anything?

Liberty's Edge

Smacks of Lovecraftian to me.

Also Stars and Dreams are good ways to describe proto-Gods. I once though of playing a heretic worshipper of Desna who believed that everything goes according to Desna's will and that all the other Gods are only facets of Desna.

I am tempted to resurrect this concept now.

Scarab Sages

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Sean K Reynolds wrote:
I think it's more than that. Erastil knows that not only is Desna "ancient before mankind learned to farm," she's... weird.

Heh. The ghost of a possibility that Desna was something else entirely before she discovered Golarion aside, Erastil is very much an 'earthy' god, of, well, the world, all farms and strong backs and faithful hearts.

Desna is just visiting, having blown in on the starwinds, and seems to be less tied to practical worldly things and more of an ethereal dream-entity, wild and free-spirited and, to put it gently, unpredictable... To a stodgy old traditionalist like Erastil, she'd be frustrating and emotionally exhausting.

Plus Desna likes to dance, and Erastil dances like he's got two left hooves.

Other 'old' goddesses;
Sarenrae? May have been a god forever, by human standards, but she's still just an angel with a promotion, and to someone who has always been a god, shacking up with an ex-angel is kind of like sleeping with the help, after the lady of the house passes on.

Pharasma? No.

Calistria? Not much for 'settling down and starting a family.' Also the retirement plan for ex-lovers of Calistria can be brutal. There are no 'amical breakups' or 'can we just be friends' to be had here.

Scarab Sages

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The black raven wrote:
Smacks of Lovecraftian to me.
Quote:

Generic Villain wrote:

It's worth noting that Desna also resides on the Material Plane, though I don't think she's a native like Nyarlathotep or Cthulhu.

Set wrote:
It's only (relatively) recently (as strange aeons go) that Desna has been a *human* goddess, with a humanoid appearance. Whatever shuddersome sky-crawling insectile thing, night black and slick with liquid starlight, singing mad songs and dreaming mad dreams beyond the range of human comprehension in the dark places between the stars, she used to be, has been wrapped up in a friendly butterfly-lady persona, over the recent millenia...

Far-Traveller from beyond the stars, mad-Dreamer of forbidden Dreams, we call upon you, Desna, Ia, Ia.

Contributor

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Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Kevin Andrew Murphy wrote:
Desna is probably the closest in age to Erastil, but she's like the seventyish old hippie chick who dresses in butterfly wings and goes around acting like she's twenty. Erastil would be deeply embarrassed by the thought alone.

I think it's more than that. Erastil knows that not only is Desna "ancient before mankind learned to farm," she's... weird.

As in... well, I don't want to spoil it, but she's an ancient pre-human goddess of stars and dreams. Remind you of anything?

Ah, yes. I'd been thinking too much on her current persona and the relative age thereof, rather than what really lies behind the butterfly-winged mask.

The flumphs probably float down from the stars and say things like "Desna is ancient, unknowable, strange...."

And when the flumphs say that?

Yeah....


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Sean K Reynolds wrote:

I think it's more than that. Erastil knows that not only is Desna "ancient before mankind learned to farm," she's... weird.

As in... well, I don't want to spoil it, but she's an ancient pre-human goddess of stars and dreams. Remind you of anything?

Set wrote:
The black raven wrote:
Smacks of Lovecraftian to me.
Quote:

Generic Villain wrote:

It's worth noting that Desna also resides on the Material Plane, though I don't think she's a native like Nyarlathotep or Cthulhu.

Set wrote:
It's only (relatively) recently (as strange aeons go) that Desna has been a *human* goddess, with a humanoid appearance. Whatever shuddersome sky-crawling insectile thing, night black and slick with liquid starlight, singing mad songs and dreaming mad dreams beyond the range of human comprehension in the dark places between the stars, she used to be, has been wrapped up in a friendly butterfly-lady persona, over the recent millenia...

Far-Traveller from beyond the stars, mad-Dreamer of forbidden Dreams, we call upon you, Desna, Ia, Ia.

Kevin Andrew Murphy wrote:

Ah, yes. I'd been thinking too much on her current persona and the relative age thereof, rather than what really lies behind the butterfly-winged mask.

The flumphs probably float down from the stars and say things like "Desna is ancient, unknowable, strange...."

And when the flumphs say that?

Yeah....

Still...

DAT UNFATHOMABLE SYMMETRY


We are talking about gods here, so why all the focus on Erastil's significant other being one who presents itself to mortals as female? To a literal god, sex and gender are easily mutable concepts/limitations. Any of the other gods could be Erastil's spouse/boygirlfriend/friend with benefits. Heck, Golarion's deities are positively dull and boring (and straight) in their relations (at least what is known to mortals) compared to many of Earth's mythological deities.

Me, I kinda picture Ol' Deadeye being a bit like Zeus... sure he says he's for patriarchal classic families, but in reality (ha!) he's got hookups all over the place, especially with mortals. 'Course, maybe semi-divine kids are part of his plan.

Or maybe Erastil keeps thinking back to a conversation he and Aroden had almost 5,000 years ago, and the pained/horror-stricken look on his (prophetic) bro Aroden's face when Erastil mentioned looking for a new wife.

Scarab Sages

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Ambrosia Slaad wrote:
We are talking about gods here, so why all the focus on Erastil's significant other being one who presents itself to mortals as female? To a literal god, sex and gender are easily mutable concepts/limitations. Any of the other gods could be Erastil's spouse/boygirlfriend/friend with benefits. Heck, Golarion's deities are positively dull and boring (and straight) in their relations (at least what is known to mortals) compared to many of Earth's mythological deities.

Erastil's former love being Curchanos was floated in the 'Conspiracy Theories of Golarion' thread, but, as KAM mentions upthread, having Curchanos be the doomed love suggests that Erastil would have a mad crazy hate on for Lamashtu (for killing his boo), when it seems, canonically, he's doesn't like or dislike her any more than any other demon lord.

Plus Erastil takes his traditional gender roles pretty seriously. He and Asmodeus are probably the last two gods to be up to same-sex shenanigans. (Which, if they were real-world politicians, would probably make them the most likely to be having a torrid affair together!)


I had a minor discussion as regards Erastil yesterday... I don't know much about him, but it was mentioned he was described as "androcentric." This was in the context of whether a misogynistic deity could or should be described as "good," but there's certainly cultural example of where a priority on men and mens' activities doesn't stop at the platonic.

I think it makes sense that he could be, by nature, gay, and yet find it incompatible with the philosophical emphasis on simple family and culture. He only looks hypocritical because he's trying not to be; he wouldn't marry (a woman) because he couldn't actually be entirely devoted to her, but he would still want to encourage opposite-sex pairing in his followers because it's the simplest structure that produces offspring.

Contributor

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So far as I read it, Erastil is exceedingly straight because he is. He probably started as a young stag lord god eons ago playing the field and rutting with any goddess who tickled his fancy and a few who just seemed like a good idea at the time. He settled down with one of them, she was his love, he was monogamous and true to her for ages until they both grew old, and then she died and he continued. So monogamous, in mourning, and old. About the closest he likely came to anything remotely queer would have been getting drunk as a young demigod and making it with one of those shapeshifting trickster gods who happened to be female at the moment and lied a lot about ever being anything else. Because trickster gods do that sort of thing.

Asmodeus? He isn't straight so much as he's a top and he's absolutely unwilling to do anything even slightly queer because he's into power over all and straight male patriarchy is the way to go for that. If he were to take a male lover, or sex slave, or whatever, he'd lose status among patriarchal cultures, which is most of them. Which isn't so much "straight male" so much as "whatever's on top for the majority of the world for the majority of time."


I strongly agree and strongly disagree. Yes Asmodeus is a top above all -- and so it isn't about the gender at all. The British empire aside, there are other patriarchal (even macho) cultures where only the gay bottom is scorned; the top is manly enough that even another man would be a woman to him. (That was probably poorly put, but it's late.) So I could absolutely see him topping a male god, while getting off on the dominance aspect.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
Sean K Reynolds wrote:

I think it's more than that. Erastil knows that not only is Desna "ancient before mankind learned to farm," she's... weird.

As in... well, I don't want to spoil it, but she's an ancient pre-human goddess of stars and dreams. Remind you of anything?

Some say Lovecraft, but it reminds me a bit of Neil Gaiman's Morpheus, too.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

What the ...? Why did my previous post get sm*rfed?


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

Hm...


Maybe the "s Morph" was close enough?

Edit: Yep.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

wow :)


Maybe Erastil gets married to a mortal worshiper, staying faithful and growing old with them and when they die he starts again. That way he knows the joys and sorrows of family life thousands of times over. He has experienced Orc raids, pestilence, weddings, evil overlords and so on.

He is a god so he can be in multiple places at once.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Kevin Andrew Murphy wrote:
So far as I read it, Erastil is exceedingly straight because he is. He probably started as a young stag lord god eons ago playing the field and rutting with any goddess who tickled his fancy and a few who just seemed like a good idea at the time.

Fairly close to my own opinion.

I suspect that as a former Stag god he still thinks in terms of what's good for the herd. It's the responsibility of the stag to protect his herd and the responsibility of the females to raise the young, just altered now that his worshipers are mostly human now.

It's possible that he's not married because deep down he considers all of his female worshipers part of his herd.

Contributor

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The 8th Dwarf wrote:
Maybe Erastil gets married to a mortal worshiper, staying faithful and growing old with them and when they die he starts again. That way he knows the joys and sorrows of family life thousands of times over. He has experienced Orc raids, pestilence, weddings, evil overlords and so on.

So... he's the Highlander?


Son of the Veterinarian wrote:
Kevin Andrew Murphy wrote:
So far as I read it, Erastil is exceedingly straight because he is. He probably started as a young stag lord god eons ago playing the field and rutting with any goddess who tickled his fancy and a few who just seemed like a good idea at the time.

Fairly close to my own opinion.

I suspect that as a former Stag god he still thinks in terms of what's good for the herd. It's the responsibility of the stag to protect his herd and the responsibility of the females to raise the young, just altered now that his worshipers are mostly human now.

It's possible that he's not married because deep down he considers all of his female worshipers part of his herd.

No offense, but isn't that kinda taking the word stag out of the meaning that Kevin had for it?


Sean K Reynolds wrote:
The 8th Dwarf wrote:
Maybe Erastil gets married to a mortal worshiper, staying faithful and growing old with them and when they die he starts again. That way he knows the joys and sorrows of family life thousands of times over. He has experienced Orc raids, pestilence, weddings, evil overlords and so on.

So... he's the Highlander?

As long it is the original highlander you are talking about... Yes!

I cant think of a better way for a god of community to stay intouch with his portfolio than to live, love and suffer with his worshipers on one level. Mythic if you will....

Grand Lodge

Zaister wrote:
Sean K Reynolds wrote:

I think it's more than that. Erastil knows that not only is Desna "ancient before mankind learned to farm," she's... weird.

As in... well, I don't want to spoil it, but she's an ancient pre-human goddess of stars and dreams. Remind you of anything?

Some say Lovecraft, but it reminds me a bit of Neil Gaiman's Morpheus, too.

Morpheus was a central figure in a Lovecraftian story.

Paizo Employee Webstore Gninja Minion , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

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The 8th Dwarf wrote:
As long it is the original highlander you are talking about... Yes!

There can be only one...movie.

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