The Twilight of Man
Inukit, the Gelid Breath of the North: Goddess of Snow, Ice, Winter, the North, Jealousy, Spite
Symbol: An arc of flames on an icy blue background, enclosed in a black circle.
Ethos: Neutral evil.
Sacred Places: Snowy mountain ranges, snowy plains, pine forests, glaciers, fjords.
Worshippers: Inhabitants of northern climates, northern rangers, hunters, trappers, some druids, mountaineers, frost giants, the embittered, the jealous, those who are forced to travel through wintry weather.
Favored Weapon: Spear.
Favored Colors: White, icy blue, black.
Inukit appears as a small-framed young woman whose once-beautiful face has been warped into a permanent mask of wrath. Her skin is the color of snow, her eyes the piercing blue of glacial ice, and her hair is like frost-covered hay. She wears roughly-cut hide traveller’s garb trimmed with bits of white and black fur. She is covered in a perpetual dusting of hoarfrost. Inukit is both the guardian of the north and the embodiment of its cruel, unforgiving climate. She is a goddess to be feared and placated rather than to be loved, although some frost giants and other northern-born humanoids worship her with a genuine adoration. Humans who live or who must traverse the far north leave her offerings and sacrifices while the jealous or the spiteful may invoke her intervention to exact the justice which they think they deserve.
Inukit was born as the wrathful guardian spirit of the north as the result of a savage, desperate rite enacted by the human tribes of those lands in an effort to protect themselves from the Old Gods. Gathering up their unmarried daughters by the thousands, the tribesmen burned them all alive on a series of pyres that are said to have created a wall of flame across the north. The ancestor spirits thus created cruel Inukit, both to answer the humans’ desperate sacrifice and to punish them.
As pitiless as Inukit’s presence is in the north, she is also intrinsically linked to it. Inukit exists not only to protect the northlands from external influences but also to weed out those northerners who are too weak or otherwise unworthy to share the goddess’s jealously guarded hunting grounds. Inukit’s dogma is therefore one of preservation (of the territories which she has claimed), but also one of survival of the fittest, espousing an absolute intolerance for the weak. Owing to her cruel origins, the goddess’s divine portfolio also encompasses jealousy and spite—jealousy towards the coddled boychildren and fattened farmers’ wives who escaped the northerners’ pyres, and spite towards the elders who willingly consigned their own daughters to the flames. As such the church of Inukit teaches that these feelings are to be harbored, cultivated, and used to stoke the flames within her followers that will lead them to exact their revenge when their enemy shows a moment of weakness; an Inukite neither forgives nor forgets.
Clergy and Temples
Unsurprisingly, temples and clerics of Inukit are relatively unheard of outside of the northern reaches of Tellum. In the north, however, her clerics are often powerful and respected figures while her plentiful temples can be grand and lavish affairs. Inukite clergy are organized around single temples, and their highest-ranking priests often occupy prominent roles within their communities, generally being afforded the same deference that northerners show towards their cruel protectress. Priests of Inukit often participate in the defense and also in the offensive operations of their communities, and also educate the young, seeking to harbor in them the icy hardness that will make them worthy of sharing the goddess’s lands.
Temples of Inukit vary according to the size and means of the communities which they serve, but villagers and other local patrons normally give generously. Preferred materials for temple construction are wood, hide, and ice, and these edifices tend to take the form of immense hunting lodges or igloos. The faithful may give gifts of game (to feed the temple’s clergy), hunting trophies, leather- or metalwork, or small precious objects to embellish temples. A central feature of all Inukite temples is a small pyre which is kept burning at all times in the center of the shrine.
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