Gods of Pegana
The Gods of Pegana
- 1 In the Mythos
- 2 The Gods of Pegana
- 3 The Small Gods
- 4 Heresies and Controversies
- 5 Keeper Notes
- 6 Cult
- 7 Associated Mythos Elements
- 8 References
In the Mythos
Lord Dunsany's The Gods of Pegana and Time and the Gods introduced Dunsany's little Gods of Pegana, dreamed into existence by "Mana-Yood-Sushai". The stories were influences over Lovecraft's concept of weird small "other Gods", as well as the Dreamlands.
The Gods of Pegana
Fate and Chance
Before the Gods were made, Fate and Chance played a Game to see who would win the prize of telling Mana-Yood-Sushai to make the Gods. No one knows whether it was Fate or Chance who won the Game, or who told Mana-Yood-Sushai to make the the Gods, or which of the two the Gods were made to serve; this is a secret known only to Fate and Chance.
Mana-Yood-Sushai, The Maker of Small Gods, Who thereafter rested; when he forgets to rest, he will make again new Gods and other worlds, destroying the Gods whom hath made, and the Gods and the worlds shall depart, and there shall be only Mana-Yood-Sushai. None may pray to Mana-Yood-Sushai except the Gods whom he hath made. (Compare to Azathoth.)
Skarl the Drummer
Skarl, the Drummer. The last of the small Gods made by Mana-Yood-Sushai, Skarl made the first drum, sat upon the mist before the feet of Mana-Yood-Sushai, and began to beat upon it that he might drum forever, causing Mana-Yood-Sushai to grow drowsy and fall asleep. Some say that the worlds and suns are but the echos of Skarl's drumming, other say that they are the dreams that arise in the mind of Mana-Yood-Sushai because of the drumming, but nobody knows for sure. For as long as Skarl beats his drum, the universe will exist, but at the end of time Skarl shall cease to beat his drum, and silence will fall, and Mana-Yood-Sushai shall rest no more, Skarl will put his drum onto his back and walk forth into the void beyond the worlds, perhaps to serve some other god beyond the worlds, or perhaps to perish, and then the Gods and worlds will cease to exist. (Compare to a Servitor of the Outer Gods.)
Slid, Lord of gliding waters and of foaming waters and of still, green and dripping Lord of all the waters in the world and all the streams in the hill, whose soul is in the sea, where goeth all that glides upon the Earth, the end of all the rivers. One of the younger gods. Slid made war upon the older gods of Pegana, threatening to drown the world with his waters, until the gods subdued him with the mountains. Slid has joined the other gods, and and rebels no more. It was Slid who ordered that no Man shall pray to Mana-Yood-Sushai, lest the prayers trouble the Sleeper, disturb the sleep and awaken the god too soon. So it was that Slid ordered man to pray only to the small gods, the gods of Doing, instead of to Mana-Yood-Sushai, the God of Having Done and of Resting.
Kib was the first of the Gods to grow weary of playing the first game of the Gods, and in his boredom, he made the sign of Kib, and covered Pegana with a thousand beasts to play with, and called it Life. And when Kib was the first of the Gods to grow weary of playing the second game of the Gods, he made the sign of Kib, and raised up men from out of the beasts, and covered Pegana with Men, who looked like beasts but thought like Gods, thus endangered the Secet of the Gods. Kib was the first of the Gods to break silence and speak with his mouth like a Man, angering the other Gods. (Compare loosely to Shub-Niggurath.)
Mung is the god who calms the pain of men.
Mung, jealous of Kib, and fearing what would happen when Kib used the secret of life to raise up Men from the beasts, thus endangering the Secret of the Gods, made for himself a hound, and called it Death, and sent the hound of Death to Pegana to slay the beasts, but could not stamp them all out. And when Kib raised up Men from among the beasts, Mung sent out Death to slay the Men, but could not stamp them all out.
So Mung and Kib and the other Gods met, and at last agreed to make for Man a veil over his understanding, so that Man might never know the Secret of the Gods, and thus Mung became the god who maketh the Sign of Mung, and thereby sends out Death to hunt men, that Mung may calm the pains and sorrows of their lives.
Sirami, the lord of All Forgetting. Sirami sits beyond the Gates of Pegana, before which stands Mung to make the sign of Mung upon any who pass through the gates, and there Sirami looketh with his sapphire eyes into the faces and beyond them of those that grew weary of cities, and as he gazes, as one that looketh before him remembering naught, he gently waves his hands. And amid the waving of Sirami's hands there fall from all that behold him all their memories, save certain things that may not be forgotten even beyond the Worlds.
Sish, the Destroyer of Hours. Sish goes forth into the world to destroy its cities, and to provoke his hours to assail all things, and to batter against them with the rust and with the dust. And Time, which is the hound of Sish, devoured all things; and Sish sent up the ivy and fostered weeds, and dust fell from the hand of Sish and covered stately things. Wherever goeth Sish, Time follows, and all before Sish and her hound is pleasant and new, and all behind Sish is withered and old.
Time, the Hound of the gods, the mother of a thousand hours, who together with her young serve the gods by hunting down and destroying all things on the command of Sish.
In the city of Astahahn, it has been said of old that Time will one day turn on her masters, and seek to slay the gods, excepting only Mana-Yood-Sushai, so the people of the city long ago fettered and manacled Time, who would otherwise slay the Gods. But the city and the people have grown old and weary and forgetful, and the manacles and fetters have grown weak and frail, yet Time is wakeful and strong always, and will one day break loose, and run again free.
Some of the hermits and wise men of the hills of Pen-Kai say that Time shall not slay the Gods, but the Gods shall die by the bedside of the last man, and on that day Time shall go mad in her solitude and shall no longer know her hours from her centuries of years, and the hours shall clamour around her crying for recognition and she shall lay her stricken hands on their heads and stare at them blindly and say, 'My children, I do not know you one from another', and at these words of Time empty worlds shall reel.
Dorozhand, Whose Eyes Regard The End, sits above the lives of the people, and doth see that which is to be: the god of Destiny is Dorozhand. It hath been written and said that not only the destinies of men are the care of Dorozhand but that even the gods of Pegana be not unconcerned by his will: all the gods of Pegana have felt a fear, for they have seen a look in the eyes of Dorozhand that regardeth beyond the gods, because the reason for worlds is Life, and Life is the instrument of Dorozhand toward his end, which, once reached, will leave no further purpose for life, and no further purpose for worlds, and no further purpose for the gods. And then, Kib shall still Skarl from drumming, and send forth Mosahn to trumpet Doom, and then hasten to awaken Mana-Yood-Sushai, who, having awakened, will have done with the meddling of the gods he hath made, and when Mana-Yood-Sushai hath made a sign of dismissal to the gods, there will be life, and worlds, and gods no more: only Mana-Yood-Sushai, and the End.
Hoodrazai, the Visage of Ranorada, The Eye in the Waste, the God Who Knows. Hoodrazai, who hath found the secret of Mana-Yood-Sushai, and knoweth the wherefore of the making of the gods. They say that Hoodrazai stands all alone in Pegana and speaks to none because he knows what is hidden from the gods. They say that Hoodrazai stands all alone in Pegana and speaks to none because he knows what is hidden from the gods, therefore the gods have made his image in a lonely land as one who thinks and is silent - the eye in the waste. They say that Hoodrazai had heard the murmers of Mana-Yood-Sushai as he muttered to himself, and gleaned the meaning, and knew; and that he was once the god of mirth and of abundant joy, but became from the moment of his knowing a mirthless god, even as his image, which regards the deserts beyond the track of man.
Roon, the god of going. Offer to Roon thy toiling and thy speed, whose incense is the smoke of the camp fire to the South, whose song is the sound of going, whose temples stand beyond the farthest hills in his lands behind the East. 'It is because of Roon that the worlds are never still, for the moons and the worlds and the comet are stirred by the spirit of Roon, which saith: "Yarinareth, Yarinareth, Yarinareth" - "Go! Go! Go!" (or "Beyond, Beyond, Beyond") - these words be carved in letters of gold upon the arch of the great portal of the Temple of Roon that men have builded looking towards the East upon the Sea, where Roon is carved as a giant trumpeter, with his trumpet pointing towards the East beyond the Seas.
Trogool, The Thing that is Neither God Nor Beast. Far to the South, beyond the edge of Earth, and beyond the Moon, and beyond all the worlds, upon the heap of rocks that were discarded unused by the gods when they had finised making the worlds, sits Trogool. Trogool is the Thing that is neither god nor beast, who neither howls nor breathes, only It turns over the leaves of a great book, black and white, black and white for ever until the End. And all that is to be is written in the book is also all that was. When Trogool turneth a black page it is night, and when It turneth a white page it is day, and because it is written that there are gods—there are the gods; also there is writing about thee and me until the page where our names no more are written. Trogool is the Thing that men in many countries have called by many names: It is the Thing that sits behind the gods, whose book is the Scheme of Things. Certain aged men of Bodrahan say that far away upon a place named Earth shall rise the prayers of a little people that acclaim the name of Trogool, for there is indeed far off a place called Earth where men shall pray to Trogool, and indeed there sitteth somewhere a Thing that is called Trogool, that is neither god nor beast, that turneth the leaves of a book, black and white, black and white, until he come to the words: Mai Doon Izahn, which means The End For Ever, and book and gods and worlds shall be no more.
The Small Gods
The Little Gods of the Home
All these are gods so small that they be lesser than men, but pleasant gods to have beside the hearth. These be the gods of the hearth: Pitsu, who stroketh the cat; Hobith who calms the dog, and little Zumbiboo, the lord of dust; and old Gribaun, who sits in the heart of the fire to turn the wood to ash. There is also Kilooloogung, the lord of arising smoke, who taketh the smoke from the hearth and sendeth it to the sky. And Jabim is the Lord of broken things, who sitteth behind the house to lament the things that are cast away, and the forgotten things that drift upon the river's edge.
And Habaniah, the lord of glowing embers, and also Triboogie, the Lord of Dusk, whose children are the shadows, who sitteth in a corner far off from Habaniah and speaketh to none, but after Habaniah hath gone to sleep , then doth Triboogie send his children to run about the room and dance upon the walls, but never disturb the silence. And when it is dark, all in the hour of Triboogie, Hish the Lord of Silence creepeth from the forest, whose children are the bats, that have broken the command of their father, but in a voice that is ever so low; Hish husheth the mouse and all the whispers in the night; he maketh all noises still, and only the cricket rebelleth, though Hish hath set against him such a spell that after he hath cried a thousand times his voice may be heard no more but becometh part of the silence. But away in the forest whence Hish hath come Wohoon, the Lord of Noises in the Night, and the wolf and the fox and the owl, and the great beasts and the small, lift up their voices to acclaim Wohoon.
A God Unknown to Perdóndaris sends forth thunder from the hills beyond the doomed city, and the people of Perdóndaris say prayers to the God They Know Not for sending back the thunder to the hills, upon which the god then sends the thunder back to the hills. Once the god sent the thunder, and forgot to call it back, and Perdóndaris is no more. The old men of Perdóndaris tell a story that God Unknown once walked in the shape of a vast, tusked beast, who was slain by the ivory hunter Singanee, the Avenger of Perdóndaris; one of the God's mighty tusks has been carved into a bridge in Perdóndaris, the other was carved into the gate of Perdóndaris, before the God Unknown came unto Perdóndaris to strike the city down because it had taken the tusk and carved it into its mighty gate. Perhaps the God Unknown to Perdóndaris will return one day to punish the city for carving its other tusk into a gate, who can say?
And there were three home gods of the rivers, Eimës, Zänës, and Segástrion, who once joined each other in rebellion against man, wrecking cities and slaying men, until the gods sent the drought Umbool to make war upon the gods of the rivers, and tame them again. The gods of the rivers rebel no more against the gods of Pegana.
The Bright One
The Gods, each according to their sign, decided that they should raise up their hands together and chose the Bright One with the shining tail, to set out from one end of the worlds to seek to the other side, and to return again in an age and seek again for another age and so on forever, to seek and never to find out the place where Mana-Yood-Sushai was told by Fate or Chance to make the Gods, and to try to find out which of the two told Mana-Yood-Sushai to make the Gods, and why. The Star-Gazers at the Temple of Cappadarnia remind us that, when we see a comet, we should remember that another besides ourselves forever seeks, yet never finds out.
Umbrool, Beast of Mung
The drought, who sits in the desert Afrik, upon iron rocks, clawing with miserly grasp at the bones of men and breathing hot, whose grinning was like death in a hot and hideous land.
Mosahn, the Bird of Doom, who awaits the End, when he shall raise up his voice, and trumpet doom in Pegana. Then all the small gods, save Mung and Time, shall make for the last time in Pegana the sign of all the gods, and put away the worlds they had made while Mung and Time slay each other, and the gods shall extinguish the sun, and go with dignity and quiet down to Their galleons of gold, their faces in utter calm, and they sail away down the River of Silence, not ever to return, leaving Mana-Yood-Sushai alone in emptiness at the End.
Sheol Nugganoth, whom the men of the jungle have long since deserted, and who is now unworshipped and alone.
Limpang-Tun, the God of Mirth and of Poets and Dreamers, who enjoys the prayers of happy folk, but finds the ways of the other gods strange, and thus does not understand pain, nor sorrow, nor grief, nor fear of any sort, and will not hear the prayers of of any but mirthful folk. Limpang-Tun has carved the mountains and the trees of the world into his musical instruments, so that the mountains and trees may play music for him when the winds, his servants, blow.
Yaoharneth-Lahai is the god of little dreams and fancies. All night he sendeth little dreams out of Pegana to please the people of Earth, and whether the dreams and the fancies of Yoharneth-Lahai be false and the Things that are done in the Day be real, or Day be false and Dream be true, none knoweth, saving only Mana-Yood-Sushai, who hath not spoken.
Heresies and Controversies
The Gods and Mandaroon
None may ask questions at the gate of Mandaroon, the city of dreamers, for fear of awakening the people of the city, for when the people of this city wake the Gods will die, and when the Gods die men may dream no more. (Lord Dunsany)
The Old Gods, and The New
All those Gods that are not worshiped now are asleep, and for three or four thousand years a god is worshiped and for three or four he sleeps. The prophets of new Gods teach of new Gods when they hear the sleeping Gods stirring in their sleep being about to wake, because the dawn is breaking, and the priests crow, and these are the happy prophets. Unhappy are the prophets that hear some old god speak while he sleeps, still being deep in slumber, and prophesy though no dawn comes; they are prophets that men stone saying, 'Prophesy where this stone shall hit you, and this.' (Lord Dunsany)
The Gods of Pegana tend to be mild and modest gods, generally local deities with few demands upon their followers: "frail, affectionate gods whom the Heathens love".
Prayers are frequently said at times of expected trouble, such as before night, and after trouble arises, or for blessings upon the praying one's enterprises; the prayers are seldom answered, but it would be in poor taste not to say them, or to remark upon the gods' neglect in answering them.
The Gods of Pegana are not jealous gods, and in many of the greatest cities of Pegana, in addition to shrines and temples dedicated to local gods, there is often a large Temple to All the Gods Save One (as Mana-Yood-Sushai is not to be prayed to by men). The Temple Priests typically perform simple and humble ceremonies to avoid insulting the gods, and in return the people of the city give the priests suitable gifts which grant the priests a living, upon which many priests have happily fattened and prospered. Many large temples also attract great prophets from distant places, who are also given modest gifts, but are rarely prosperous, rarely fat, and rarely happy.
Smaller villages make do with humbler shrines to the local gods, with simple prayers from simple villagers said to their local gods, and "to all the gods that are, to whatever god may hear, save One".