After hours of research, I'm beginning to understand why the university doesn't teach us about ancient gods. It’s because it’s all a bunch of nonsense.
I'm used to things being neat and orderly. Here at Techence, everything can be answered with equations. Need to know the third side of a triangle? Use a^2 + b^2 = c^2. Want to know the circumference of a circle? There's an equation for that too.
But in the case of the Anumite gods, it feels like I'm trying to solve something without knowing any of the variables. Actually, that's not true. It feels like I'm solving an equation that has a million different answers, and none of them are entirely right or wrong.
In one book Seraat was listed as the father of the gods. But then in the next book I picked up, it said he was created by Mefari, who was also his wife. Or his mother? I don't know. My favorite one is the claim that Seraat was the sun. The sun! If Anumites were so backward that they believed the sun was a god, then I almost have to conclude that they did in fact have magic. How else could such a backward society have survived?
Midway through the week I was getting pretty frustrated. To be honest, I considered abandoning my inquiry altogether. But then I stumbled upon a family tree of the gods scribbled at the back of a treatise on farming in the Anumit Delta. It still doesn't entirely make sense, but with the family tree as the keystone of my research, I've begun compiling a list of the major Anumite gods:
Mefari - Goddess of Order
In various texts, I've seen Mefari associated with order, protection, motherhood, wisdom, and hunting. She's also sometimes referred to as the moon, which I guess makes sense given the apparent ineptitude of Anumite astrologers.
Necris - Goddess of Chaos
I don't know what Necris did to upset the Anumites, but they really did not like her. Not a single book I encountered spoke positively about her. Words like decaying, dusty, rotten, and blackened often accompanied her name. It's unclear how many limbs she had, but it was almost certainly a number greater than four. Pretty much any time something went wrong, the ancient Anumites blamed it on Necris.
Seraat - God of Strength
As I mentioned earlier, Seraat was the father of the gods. He's associated with strength, war, fire, and the sun. Most of the books I read said that he was created by Mefari, but a few had it switched and said Mefari and Necris were his daughters that he created uh...by himself. They went into rather more vivid detail about how such a thing was accomplished, but I'll spare you the details.
Ankti - Goddess of Love
Ankti was the goddess of love and fertility, which also extended to the harvest. They believed she was the Anumit River, which is of course the logical offspring from a union between the sun and the moon. Of all the descriptions of festivals in the Anumite Empire, the one that was mentioned the most was the river festival of Alqaruk. I'll already get banished if the ministry finds this journal, but if I include a description of the river festival, I'm worried I'll be labeled as a pervert too. Perhaps I'll write about it later if I determine that it's crucial to our understanding of magic.
Tukamen - God of Prosperity
I'm sure you're familiar with the mountain range to the east of the Rashid Desert called Tukamen's Coffers. Based on that, a logical person might deduce that Tukamen was the god of prosperity, commerce, and mountains. And surprisingly enough, they'd be right. It's nice to know that at least some of the information about these gods makes a little sense.
Katra - Goddess of Death
The third child of Seraat and Mefari was the goddess of death and cats. Why are those two things related? I have no idea. If I hadn't seen it in more than one source, I would have been inclined to think it was a strange joke written by an Anumite historian who happened to be allergic to felines. Either way, despite her association with death, none of the books spoke ill of her the way they did of Necris.
Nairo - God of Tricks
Nairo is an interesting one. He was the god of tricks, infertility, and the desert. Before I go any further, I should mention that Anumites hated infertility. Castration was the punishment for anything worse than steeling a loaf of bread. And the government kept track of its citizens' fertility. Any married couples determined to be infertile were sent to the mines for hard labor. And yet...many books that I found spoke very positively about Nairo. At first I couldn't reconcile this, but then it hit me. What if his tricks were actually magic tricks? If so, I wonder... Did the anumites perhaps tolerate his infertility because he also gave them the gift of magic? Or were they scared that he would wield his magic against them if he did not receive proper worship? Or finally, what if the stories of Nairo's tricks and infertility existed as a warning that the use of magic could cause infertility?
Only more research will tell...
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