Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Re: Infamy of Iuz (was 20 most well - known deities.)

Date: Sun, 6 Feb 2000 14:57:45 -0800
From: Marc Tizoc Gonzalez
Subject: Re: Infamy of Iuz (was 20 most well - known deities.)

MM invited:
> I would actually like my argument refuted here. Please reason well

IMC, the peasants of and low-level PCs in northwestern Furyondy referred to the leader of Iuz as the Old One. For the peasants, this being had ruled the lands beyond the Whyestil since before their grandparents' youth. For the PCs, this was the name that they were taught. Iuz was the name of the land that the Old One ruled. After a couple of levels, when a fool-hardy set of the PCs attempted to infiltrate the armies massing across the Veng river (in early 583 CY), then they learned from a particularly vicious man that he was a priest of the _god_, Iuz the Old. The PCs did _not_ know that Iuz was the Old One or a god before they listened to that priest's diatribe. IMO, Such specificity of information represents special knowledge.

Before the Invasion of Iuz, most Furyondians, Rovers of the Barrens, Shield Landers, or Wolf Nomads had heard that something named the Old One had once ruled the land called bounded by Whyestil Lake and the Howling Hills. Yet even by 576 CY, the fact that this Old One was the demonic "god" Iuz was _not_ popular knowledge. (Some folk tales from the beginning of the sixth Common century may have even included both characters in the same story.) It took the efforts of heroes in the service of the Wise to learn this secret, and the knowledge that Iuz was a cambion of Grazz'zt (sp?) and the witch-queen Igwiilv was known by even fewer people, such as the Circle of Eight or the individuals responsible for the sundering of the Old One's
imprisonment. We should remember that Iuz was only freed in 570 CY, so even by the eve of the GH Wars (582 CY), there are only a dozen years for the infamy of Iuz to be spread. The Flanaess lacks the Internet!

Of course, some people in the CoG learned about the power and identity of Iuz just before the war due to the activity of his Spurned Cult, but even in the Gem of the Flanaess, this knowledge is not known by every last beggar, bard, or apprentice.

The post-war situation is drastically different. At every Godsday sermon the churches of Heironeous, Mayaheine, St. Cuthbert, and Trithereon harangue against that powerful demonic despot of the north, Iuz. These declamations are especially intense just before (and during) the Great Northern Crusade. This is partially due to the subtle influence (strategy) of the churches of Rao and Delleb (or the Church of Voll), which decided that the public naming of Iuz (the Old) as a powerful demon was important to limit his power and the hysterical fear that his name could cause.

Similarly, the shamans of the Rovers or Wolf Nomads have named Iuz a powerful demon, one of a long line of bestial gods that dominate the legends of the north (a la Rip Van Wormer's Madlander gods). Of course, if we obey canon, then the remnant of Rovers may well believe that Iuz represents their teleology.

In the Empire of Iuz, the clergy have constantly proselytized the power of their god. Thus by 591 CY even on the eastern periphery of the empire, in the Bandit Kingdoms or occupied Tenha, almost everyone has repeatedly heard that Iuz the Old is a demon-god walking the Flanaess and seated at his throne in Dorakaa and seen demonstrations of the god's brutal power.

His priests have had at least twenty-one years since his freedom to establish their churches and cults. I say "at least" because I wonder whether there were priests devoted to Iuz during his imprisonment, such as High Priests Patch or Althea. When did he become a true demi-god? Was the faith of some cult partially responsible for his apotheosis? Did their sacrifices penetrate the demon-dreams of the Old One's imprisonment?

Marc Tizoc

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