Wikipedia failed -- I need educated gamers!


3.5/d20/OGL

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules, Tales Subscriber

So, for an upcomming campaign I'm considering featuring Druaga, the Babylonian god of the devil world -- at least, that's what the 1E Deities & Demigods names him.

For inspiration I read the entry in the old D&D book and then a couple days later got around to checking out Wikipedia to get some real, non-D&D info. So, I'm reading the Wiki article and am thinking, man, Kuntz really hit the nail on the head on this deity -- it's very like the D&D description. Then I got to the line that says Druaga can summon 2-20 lesser devils...

DAMNIT

All Wikipedia has is a cut-n-paste job from Kuntz's Deities & Demigods! NOTHING on Druaga outside of Robert J. Kuntz (go Uncle, BTW)

Somebody, please, help out a gamer in need. I know squadoushe about Babylonian "Druaga." And I sure as Blood War don't have time to research a bunch of Humanities texts.

Who is Druaga -- a little Humanities info and if D&D has anything after the 1E supplement?

-W. E. Ray


Sorry, I have no info on hand, though I have some books I'll check when I get home.

In the interests of scholarship, someone should really pull that Wikipedia entry. What about poor little Johnny, just trying to do his school project on Babylonian death gods? He's going to get an F...

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules, Tales Subscriber

Well, in Wiki's defense the paragraph blurb does have a warning moniker, saying the article may not seperate fiction from fact. Of course, as it looks like other glitzy stuff on web pages I ignored it at first assuming it was some kind of spam telling me to "click here" for porn or something.

Liberty's Edge

I looked; all I could find was a bunch of video game schmek.


Druaga may be a name that was changed for D&D.

Erregal and Ereshkigal are husband and wife, god and goddess who rule in the underworld according to some Sumerian myths. The story of the jewels of Ishtar where she descends into the underworld, slowly taking off her jewels until she is naked, is a precursor to the Persephone myth. (She wins the release of her lover Tammuz for half the year.) Along the way (IIRC) she enounters keepers of the gates of the underworld. One of them may have a similar name to Druaga but it's been 20 years since I read that myth. Can't find the version I remember online.

Nergal is the Akkadian god of the dead. It's not a cognate.

Now, Captain Druaga is a character in Mutineer's Moon by David Weber. Virtually all of his characters from the Empire are named from Babylonian/Akkadian/Sumerian myth. So it's quite possible that there is a mythological figure by that name.

Sorry, I don't think that's very helpful.

The Exchange

After a brief look about I can say doesn't actually look like a member of the pantheon of sumer (and hence not really a Babylonian god), I'd use the fact that it does state in the wikipedia entry "considered to be an aspect of Ahriman" and use that as your base point. Ahriman being the Persian god of all that is evil.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules, Tales Subscriber

Maybe I'll go to the Maure Castle Threads and ask Uncle to take a look over here; he may be willing to chime in on where he got his "face of little boy; six arm-four leg, snake devil."

On a related (to my upcoming game) note: Varianor, is it acceptable to say Ishtar becomes Inanna? According to Wiki some Sumer texts confuse the two or perhaps combine the two. Considering how much confusion there is concerning why Inanna goes to the Underworld in the first place, and considering how closely Ishtar resembles Inanna -- are there any arguments that they are the same being, just different models after a few hundred years of civilization?

Thanks all!!

-W. E. Ray


Ishtar is an Akkadian (Babylonian) version of Inanna. Inanna is a Sumerian deity. The Akkadians kept her name in religious texts, but IIRC fused her with their own deity Ishtar, and details of her myths were absorbed by Inanna or vice versa. The wiki articles on the subject are decent starting points, but if you are really intersted you'd have to get some scholarly texts. For game purposes, you can certainly treat them as one and the same. :)

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules, Tales Subscriber
varianor wrote:
Ishtar is an Akkadian (Babylonian) version of Inanna. Inanna is a Sumerian deity. The Akkadians kept her name in religious texts, but IIRC fused her with their own deity Ishtar, and details of her myths were absorbed by Inanna or vice versa.

Okay now I'm confused -- though this is leaving Druaga.

Akkad predates Sumer (by a WHOLE lot, I believe)

Sumer predates Babylon

How would Akkadian texts "adopt" Ishtar? Since the Akkadians were the first to write anything down at all, their texts are the oldest. Now, obviously we have far less Akkadian than Sumerian and considerably less Sumerian than Babylonian, but if Ishtar is mentioned in Akkadian and Inanna Sumerian, Ishtar is older.

And none of this changes that they are probably comparable -- development wise -- to Aphrodite and Venus.

I am out of my element on this topic; help is appreciated.

varianor wrote:
The wiki articles on the subject are decent starting points, but if you are really intersted you'd have to get some scholarly texts.

Well of course! I'm trying to cheat here -- I don't have time to do the real work; I want it handed to me.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

Well, W.E. Ray, I'm no historian, but it is news to me that Akkad predates Sumer. I've never heard that before, and I don't believe that to be the case, and according to Wikipedia, it is not.

I can't help you with Druaga, either. Maybe Gygax made him up? So much of Sumerian culture has been lost, who can blame him? Aside from the Innana/Dummuzi (aka Tammuz) story, which is retold in many variations, the creations story of Marduk slaying Tiamat, the stories (6 tablets is I recall?) of Gilgamesh & his buddy Enkidu are the most complete.

Good luck, boy wonder!

- FM


You may find this site helpful:

http://www.hyperhistory.com/online_n2/History_n2/a.html

The chart lays it out pretty well. Sumer precedes the Akkadian empire. For what it's worth, there are writing systems pre-dating both Sumer and Akkad. Here's an article with a picture of the Harappan symbols:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/334517.stm

Some scholars believe that true alphabetic writing originate with the Egyptians. Can't find the article right now, but I read something about 5000 year old language that they found. There's some evidence that symbols older than the Harappan ones were used in China as long as 8000-9000 years ago. The debate, I think is far from settled.


IN YOUR FACE Mr. TRYING-TO-GET-A-STRAIGHT-ANSWER!


Druaga is a variant spelling of "Drauga," which in ancient Persian meant "falsehood" and was one of the names of Ahriman, the evil god in the dualistic Zoroastrian religion.

From the Encyclopedia Britannica: "The most prominent and unique feature of ancient Iranian religion was the development of dualism, primarily expressed in the opposition of Truth (arta) and Falsehood (drug, drauga)...."


I don't see a "Druaga", but here's another block of Mesopotamian Gods.

That site has some myths connecting the various gods, but seems like it could use more input.


This is very interesting, I can hardly find any "real" info; all I get is either D&D or some lame videogame references as well.

I wonder if this is a case where gaming has actually added on to existing mythology; i.e. inserted Druaga into Babylonian/Sumerian/Akkadian/Whatever mythology via the old Deities & Demigods book. Because we assume the Deities & Demigods book has an actual scholarly basis, we've more or less taken the lists of gods as fact when this might be a case where the author needed a "death god" to round out the pantheon, and poof! Druaga. The Ahriman angle seems logical, but very obscure.

I wonder if anyone can contact Robert J. Kuntz and ask him directly.


kahoolin wrote:
In the interests of scholarship, someone should really pull that Wikipedia entry. What about poor little Johnny, just trying to do his school project on Babylonian death gods? He's going to get an F...

Don't be so sure about that - I remember back in grade 8, I used the book Out of the Pit (basically a monster manual for the Fighting Fantasy RPG. Yes, I'm incredibly old) as a reference for my social studies report on Pygmies. I included it in my bibliography and even put some game-mechanics details in my report, and the teacher never flinched. In fact, I don't think I actually used any of the other references I put in my bibliography at all... just flipped through the card catalog (an archaic research device long since replaced by web technology) at the library and picked some sources. I passed the assignment without losing any marks for using game rules as an academic reference.

Who knows though, maybe some teachers actually do read the papers they're marking. And I can't guarantee that stunt would have worked for every kid in my class - I went out of my way to keep teachers' expectations low back then, and they seemed happy to comply so long as I kept up my average average. Which took zero effort. Ah, the good old days!

Oh wait, you said, "In the interests of scholarship"...
Kids, this is no way to get ahead in life. I'll just leave it at that.

Kang


I spent quite a while yesterday flipping through books at home and also came up with nothing. This is very interesting.

If anyone has a copy of The White Goddess by Robert graves, perhaps check that. I was looking for it yesterday but I must have lent my copy out to someone. It's full of unsubstantiated 1960s scholarship and badly-recorded names of forgotten pre-biblical gods and godesses. The prototype Persephone myth someone mentioned above is pretty much the subject matter of the whole book - and it's a thick book.

It wouldn't surprise me if the author of deities and demigods got Druaga from that, and Robert Graves got him from a poetic "inspiration"...

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules, Tales Subscriber
Andrew Crossett wrote:

Druaga is a variant spelling of "Drauga," which in ancient Persian meant "falsehood" and was one of the names of Ahriman, the evil god in the dualistic Zoroastrian religion.

From the Encyclopedia Britannica: "The most prominent and unique feature of ancient Iranian religion was the development of dualism, primarily expressed in the opposition of Truth (arta) and Falsehood (drug, drauga)...."

Hey thanks! This looks like it's the best for "Druaga."

Well, I guess my confusion is over -- I swear when I was an undergrad we read that Akkad came earlier and that they're remembered as the ones who (in Wesern Civ!) wrote stuff down first, long before other Mesopotamian civs.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules, Tales Subscriber
Goroxx wrote:
I wonder if anyone can contact Robert J. Kuntz and ask him directly.

Yeah, look at the Maure castle Threads under Dungeon Magazine -- the guy posting as Uncle is Kuntz!


Molech wrote:
Andrew Crossett wrote:

Druaga is a variant spelling of "Drauga," which in ancient Persian meant "falsehood" and was one of the names of Ahriman, the evil god in the dualistic Zoroastrian religion.

From the Encyclopedia Britannica: "The most prominent and unique feature of ancient Iranian religion was the development of dualism, primarily expressed in the opposition of Truth (arta) and Falsehood (drug, drauga)...."

Hey thanks! This looks like it's the best for "Druaga."

Well, I guess my confusion is over -- I swear when I was an undergrad we read that Akkad came earlier and that they're remembered as the ones who (in Wesern Civ!) wrote stuff down first, long before other Mesopotamian civs.

There are a number of variant spellings for the anti-thesis of arta/asha in Zoroastianism, so that's certainly possible. In mosts writings on Zoroastrianism, Asha and his antithesis aren't properly gods. That would throw off your research by a bit. I should note in most writings I've read on the subject, falsehood and it's followers were denoted as dreg/dregvant.

- Ashavan


OMG - This message board is full of Geeks. I'm leaving.
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Actually I'm really impressed by the level of knowledge displayed here.


Molech wrote:


Who is Druaga -- a little Humanities info and if D&D has anything after the 1E supplement?

-W. E. Ray

I found this:

http://altris.org/druaga.aspx


ArchLich wrote:

IN YOUR FACE Mr. TRYING-TO-GET-A-STRAIGHT-ANSWER!

*sigh*

You guys really know how to kick a man. I make a smarmy comment and then *bam* immediately after you start posting info and links and... You guys ambushed me.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

ArchLich wrote:

*sigh*

You guys really know how to kick a man. I make a smarmy comment and then *bam* immediately after you start posting info and links and... You guys ambushed me.

HA! Take THAT, villian! ;^D


Don't worry, Archlich, I'm not ambushing you!
(Said the evil kobold with levels in ranger, selecting a lich-killing spear)

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