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Askerath is the subterranean god of war, technological advancement and the smithy. His are the spirits of people who die violently, accidentally and those who worship him.

Appearance:

He is portrayed as a tall man with pale white skin and four arms. He has many tattoos on his body apart from his face. These are a blackened red colour which resemble scars. His face is muscular and shows a strong jawline and his nose has a prominent bridge that makes his face appear like a man not to be trifled with. His eyes are usually a dark brown colour and his hair is thick, wavy and auburn coloured that curves around his face. His clothing is usually that of either the composite leather and metal armour of a high-ranking soldier, or a black open-chested gown that has a V-neck with ornate curving gold patterns on it. He usually wears a pair of metallic bracers that have two inlaid rubies inside curving patterns. He wears one heavy-set gold ring on the middle finger of one of his left hands, a remnant from when he was in a relationship with Likkele.

When he strides out to war, Askerath is often depicted as wielding a bow in two hands and a long-shafted war hammer similar to a blacksmith’s hammer and a Scimitar in one of his left hands. He is a very skilled archer and only rarely misses his mark. He crafted his own Scimitar with his hammer in his forge.

Askerath is the subterranean god of war, fire, blood-lust and is the patron of those who have died in battle. He is also the god of technological advancement and the smithy.



Traditional Image

He is portrayed as a tall man with pale white skin and four arms. He has many tattoos on his body apart from his face. These are a blackened red colour which resemble scars. His face is muscular and shows a strong jawline and his nose has a prominent bridge that makes his face appear like a man not to be trifled with. His eyes are usually a dark brown colour and his hair is thick, wavy and auburn coloured that curves around his face. His clothing is usually that of either the composite leather and metal armour of a high-ranking soldier, or a black open-chested gown that has a V-neck with ornate curving gold patterns on it. He usually wears a pair of metallic bracers that have two inlaid rubies inside curving patterns. He wears one heavy-set gold ring on the middle finger of one of his left hands, a remnant from when he was in a relationship with Likkele.

When he strides out to war, Askerath is often depicted as wielding a bow in two hands and a long-shafted war hammer similar to a blacksmith’s hammer and a Scimitar in one of his left hands. He is a very skilled archer and only rarely misses his mark. He crafted his own Scimitar with his hammer in his forge.


Divine Nature In his youth, Askerath would have been considered normal. Aside from having an unconventional upbringing and youth and having a fiery temper that made him prone to making hasty decisions, he was a Blacksmith God, having been accredited with the emancipation of his brothers in the Thallic Theogony.

Hymn to Askerath: “I sing of Askerath, Dread Lord of War and Fire, who exceeds in strength and courage, doughty in heart and sound of form. Defender of the Battlefield and Patron of the Strong, Harnessed in Bronze and Rider of the Ethereal Steeds, hear your supplicants, hear those who call out to you, Saviour of armies, Destroyer of the Cowardly, Drive Cowardice from our hearts with a bull-whip and crush down the machinations of our hearts to flee. Restrain the keen fury of my soul that desires to tread the ways of the peaceable and allot it to a time when it is needed, for now is the time be bold and strong and Fight. Blessed Askerath, Give me boldness to stride into battle and make an offering of those that I kill. And if, by your desire Grim Lord Askerath, it is my turn to offer myself up, then permit me to take many souls with me.”

Blessed Names


Sacred Symbolism

The colours associated with him are Red, Black and Bronze. The animals associated with Askerath are: Tiger, boar, Falcon, bull and the leather beetle.

Whenever a country seeks Askerath’s blessing, a black bull is sacrificed to him with no imperfections. If Askerath looks favourably on them, the bull will be consumed by fire, however, if he is not happy with them, the carcass will split open and be eaten by the beetles that he is associated with. To placate Askerath, a country must sacrifice two virgins if it has incurred his wrath.

There is a myth that the Tiger got its stripes because it was a ferocious hunter and spared no one on the hunt, that Askerath smiled down on the beast and gave the creature his blessing by allowing it to wear the same markings on the tiger’s pelt as were on Askerath’s body. The Tiger’s stripes however, are black and not red because they are made from the dried blood of the Tiger’s first kill that never washed off, despite how many times the Tiger bathed in the river.

Exalted Avatars

Bwahru, the Bull: Askerath takes the form of a large chestnut bull. The bull is considerably larger than a normal sized bull. His eyes have a fiery glow that shines brilliantly in the dark. His nostrils flare smoke, which can be mistaken for steam. Inside his mouth he has the teeth of a carnivore, which he uses to fight with. His hooves are shod in iron shoes that have a cover over the hoof which are used to crush and squish the unfortunate people that are caught underneath his hooves.

Skalur, the Crafter: A short and stout man with the head of a bull with Long horns. Ocasionally, these will be tipped with gold or bronze ornaments. He wears a cape made of vulture feathers and a loin-cloth made of a dark material. This contrasts with his pale skin, which is neither extremely pale, but is not as dark as Adhaya’s, being a pale swarthy colour, that is inclined to turn purple if enraged.

Tabirnah, the Smith. This avatar was most used before his change to the War God, Askerath very rarely uses this avatar now. It is of a well-built tall man with thick auburn hair that is held back from his forehead by a band of gold. He wears a leather apron and a glove on his left hand. He wears no other clothes, except a loin cloth that has a fold over the front, and a fold over the buttocks.

Indignah, the Tiger. Giant red tiger with black stripes and deep blue eyes with a leather strap with a bronze inlaid parts on it across its left shoulder like a bandoleer. It stalks the mountains and is occasionally used as a dreaming avatar, when the god wishes to visit a favoured one in his sleep. It is said that if one is to dream of this avatar, it means that the god is watching them, to determine if they are worthy of his favour.

The Winged One. A large falcon with piercing yellow eyes. It has humanoid hands for claws, and its plumage is blood red, the extended pinions a brighter crimson hue like the colour of the sky at dusk. Most likely to be seen over the battlefield, or perched on the tent of a Warlord or hovering near those who are doomed to die. Only a few people can see this form, they being the third son of a third son with no breaks in the line and those whom the god desires to be seen by. However, they are terrified on seeing this form, most often losing their wits before the battle.

The Boy: A young olive skinned boy of average height with bright amber eyes and no hair. He would appear normal in this form except for a large scar on his left shoulder that resembles a hammer. This form is always clothed in black clothes, Black trousers with a golden trim at the top. These flair out down the leg and go sharply in half way down the leg calves. His feet are bare, and show long, untrimmed toenails on clawed toes.

Skin-wearer- He wears a poncho and kilt made from human skins that were sewn together in a piebald patchwork pattern as he is too cold to keep himself warm, having had all the warmth flayed out of him. He is bony and in some areas of his body, only the bare bones show. He has no eyelids, so his eyes are constantly open. His voice is ghostly and terrible to hear.

Fellow Deities

Askerath’s relationships with his older brother gods are complex. As the youngest elder god, Askerath wishes that he had been given more respect for his job by both his brothers and his mortal servants. Despite having been the god that freed his brothers and castrated his father, he feels that he is undervalued by his brothers for the amount of work that he had done in the past and partly is to cause for the descent into what he is now.

Askerath views his eldest brother with a mix of admiration and contempt. While Anhurish is the ‘patriarch’ of the three elder gods, Askerath respects him for the position that he holds, but wishes that his brother would give him more respect, because in his reasoning, if he hadn’t made his father release Anhurish from his lunar prison, the antelope-headed god would still be trapped on the moon. He holds his brother in contempt and rebels against Anhurish’s dominance as the eldest god, seeking to have people see him as independent of his brothers. It is this desire for Independence, alongside a hot temper that has lead Askerath to make many unwise decisions.

Askerath feels that his brother Adhaya has become a pale and weaker version of his younger self, the elder brother that was released only because he was the one who smashed Adhaya’s crystalline prison. While not as rebellious toward Adhaya as he is to Anhurish, Askerath views his brother as an annoyance, one that reguarly interferes with his ‘line of work’. He maintains that Adhaya’s meek and forgiving attitude is the cause of why he took of the role of the ‘Conquering God’ than the ‘Smith God’, when he wanted to punish a transgressing

He is accredited with destroying the Adaians, a large and prosperous civilisation on an island called Adais, one that was founded by his brother Adhaya. Despite Adhaya’s perseverance, Askerath continually strives to cause tension with him as a hobby.

Holy Habitation

Residing in the pit centre of the earth in a palace made from molten rock, it is said that whenever volcanoes awaken or the earth shakes, that he is riding out to war on his war-chariot, pulled by his horses Ghost-Eye,Clatter-Hoof, Long-Stride and Shriek-Mane. These horses are made from the fractured souls of those who die violent deaths. They must be continually remade from new souls, otherwise Askerath will rise from his fiery abode and take the souls of innocent people to make new horses.

Askerath’s Palatial residence is large and grandiose and is constantly being made bigger. He is never content with the appearance of his home and is always having it remade into a better, larger and more ornate palace. Never happy with the results that his slaves make, Askerath is known to tear their souls into shreds if he is displeased.

He sets his slaves to work their souls to threads by constantly enhancing the engravings, and then uses these threads to make his bedsheets and clothes. Occasionally, he takes the soul of a dead virgin and deflowers her in such a manner that sometimes he loses control and volcanoes erupt, killing more people in the process.

ELANANI BEL-HAGASH

The Court of the Netherworld

The Court of the Netherworld is a three-part political system. It is made up of the following groups of people- The Elders, The Yearling Council and The Assembled.

The Yearling Council: The seven lesser deities that hold this council are elected yearly by the Assembled.

The Assembled: These are all the lesser deities associate themselves with Askerath. There is a requirement of them having to be older than Twelve decades and to have killed over Forty souls. They are made up of the Lesser Deities who have no other claim to Godhood other than being immortal or being the son of a ‘Higher’ Deity. Also, amongst their ranks are the Souls of mighty Generals that showed prowess on the battlefield when alive, Esteemed Priests of Askerath that Project themselves into Askerath’s domain to hold Council with the Assembled and the representatives of Askerath’s only Daughter, Helalah.

The Warmongers

Arasket the Charioteer: An imposing figure similar to a man, but covered in fur like fire, and with the skull of a horse instead of a human face. Lizard like eyes are situated inside the sockets. The only flesh on his face attaches his eyes to his skull. The fur forms a parody of a horse’s mane around his head, but leave his forehead bare. The skull has small tusks that jut outward from the bottom jawbone, and is clean of any musculature and feathers. Arasket has Claw like fore-arms and has the lower body of a large brown snake which is interposed with small orange feathers that run to the base of his tail. He uses his tail to grasp onto the chariot so that he does not fall off. Arasket is the first creation of Askerath and is called ‘Askerath’s Highest Warrior’ as a title of deference. Arasket has a high ego and has the worst temper of the Warmongers, it takes all of the Warmongers’ united efforts to subdue him if he is enraged. However, when he is faced by Askerath, he is easily subdued. Whenever Askerath desires to ride into battle, it is Arasket who drives the red chariot for him, using each of his four arms to control the reins, for Askerath’s spectral horses, Ghost-Eye,Clatter-Hoof, Long-Stride and Shriek-Mane. Arasket made Oraskaz forge spiked horse-shoes for the horses to wear when they go out onto the field.

Gannaz the Trumpeter: A hairy giant with the head and features of an elephant. Very large tusks protrude from under his trunk. He wears garments made from human skin, Jewellery from Human bones and a human intestine. Gannaz’s trunk is made of bronze, the tip of the trunk being stylised into the shape of a human head with a large protruding tongue that flaps whenever Gannaz sounds his trumpet. Gannaz is slow-witted, temperamental and is often the unwitting victim of Kerodam’s tricks. He is the Herald of Bel Hagash, being best suited for the job.

Indaresh the Standard-bearer: A rat shaped creature the size of a small dog with a strong tail with which he holds the standard that he has been assigned. Indaresh has the ability to make himself grow exponentially by consuming the fear that is emanated by the opposing army. This enhancement is not permanent though, as when the battle is over, Indaresh immediately shrinks down to his original size, as all the fear has more or less disappeared with it either being consumed or the opposing army has been defeated. His role in Bel Hagash is that of a ‘Majordomo’ for Askerath. He is

Kerodam the Armsmaster: A imposing and muscular dark skinned woman that wears the skin of a crocodile. She wears a black and red kilt and a breastplate made from gold. She wears a cloak and capelet made from crocodile hide, which goes over a pair of black wings. She has prominent dark dreadlocks that are interwoven with red thread. Primitive weapons made from obsidian and iron hang from a belt around her waist. Her hands are tipped with claws made from bronze and can easily harm her attackers. She wears a live coral snake around her neck that occasionally becomes a necklace, a rod or a pet whenever it is desired by Kerodam. Whenever she goes into battle, Kerodam wears the disembodied head of a large black crocodile, earning her the title of ‘The Crocodile Lady’. She is the consort of Arasket, and is often the one called out to intercede against her husband. She is also an entertainer in Bel Hagash and the patron of the gladiator and the assassin.There is a notable guild of expert assassins called ‘The Daggers of Kerodam’ that has managed to gather much notoriety throughout the ages.

Oraskaz the Armourer: A vaguely humanoid creature that has more beetle like features that human. He has two legs and four arms, but each limb is like that of a beetle and curves outward like a small scimitar. Oraskaz has a large carapace which slopes upward from the front of his forehead, curving inward slightly at the top, similar to a rhinoceros. His face is marked with the appearance of a large horn like protrusion above his mouth, where four small mandibles clatter. Four eyes are embedded inside the horn like protrusion, two on either side of the protrusion with two above each other. The eyes above the lower eyes are significantly smaller and less bulbous. He has been designated the pursuer of cowards who flee from battle and is also picks the battlefield clean of corpses. He hardly ever speaks and, whenever he does, his voice sounds so disembodied that it sends shivers down the spines of whoever hears his voice. Oraskaz is the lesser smith of Bel Hagash; his creations are often seen as being of a lesser quality than Askerath’s creations. Armour and weapons made by Oraskaz as usually given to lesser deities as gifts, though he will often create pieces solely for the use of the Old God. Oraskaz has a sideline role as the creator of automatons, though this is only a hobby.

The Children of Askerath

Szaron, Solon, Vion and Warhod: These are the quadruplets of Askerath by a mortal princess called Yalela before Askerath was ‘corrupted by war’. Szaron inherited the throne, being eldest while his younger brothers became a wandering band and eventually founded great dynasties of their own. Now, as the Elder Council, the four brothers mete out punishments and do as their father bids them in the court of the Netherworld.

Helalah: The only daughter of Askerath, twin of Galulah. She is a goddess of the battlefield and its spoils, often depicted as a red skinned bovine-headed woman dressed in a garment made from human skin and dead snakes. The following hymn is addressed to Helalah, usually invoked by warriors going into battle:

Galulah:

The Patrons of Askerath

Garash: Garash is Adhaya’s son by Likkele. He is a lesser god of fortune and invented equestrianism. Usually depicted as a young man riding a large horse, Garash is accredited with having taught the skill of horsemanship to humanity, and taught his uncle Askerath how to train his cavalry when he defected from Adhaya’s court. In his role as a god of luck, Garash can bring either good luck or bad luck to those who participate in his favoured sport, gambling (particularly betting on horse races). The animals associated with him are horses, cockerels and rats. In the grand Netwarad tradition of disappointing one’s father, while Garash has followed in his father’s footsteps with animal husbandry and domestication, he shows little interest in Adhaya’s charitable and humanitarian endeavours. He is instead in attendance at Askerath’s court, the leader of his cavalry, preferring his warlike uncle to his father.

The Imps of Askerath

Bonewalkers: Created by Askerath from the spirits of the dead. Whenever a particularly vengeful or hateful warrior (or even a non warrior) dies, Askerath evaluates their deeds to see if they are worthy. If he finds them detestable, Askerath returns them to the mortal coil as rotting yet animated corpses that are followed by the smell of their rotting flesh. These creatures, or ‘Ragers, as they are collectively known, are fuelled by a rage which is vented upon anything that is unfortunate to come across them. Particuarly powerful ‘Ragers are identifiable by their bodies, of which the flesh has rotted away and they are a skeleton that has a red glow.

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