Epiphany

X-Men- Dark Phoenix
X-men Dark Phoenix promo picture

I’m back with a new story! This short little thing was written for a writing contest with the theme “heroes”.

   The thing no one understands is that everybody can be a hero. We all are, for a tiny moment each day, a hero. We are heroes when we stand up for what we believe in, when we are our true selves – fearlessly, when we show courage, even though we are afraid. Small moments perhaps, but important ones.

   As soon as Superheroes enter the scene, you forget about the existence of those common heroes. Perhaps that is because we are surrounded with these acts of small heroism each and every day. We lose sight of them in the mundane, and then, when a shiny new Hero appears who can create fire out of nothing, like me, you forget about all others.

   You point a camera at me while ignoring the real heroes; the first responders, the parents protecting their children, the survivors. Even beyond this busy aftermath, you have no more love left for the nurse caring for your grandparent, or the people cloaked with rainbow flags, walking hand in hand. And yet –

   And yet.

   And yet they have it easier, not being in the spotlight. Not being “Super”. They are not under a microscope every second of every day. Their every move judged, weighed, picked apart for meaning that isn’t there. Sometimes getting a scoop of peppermint ice cream really is just that.

   You know, I saved your lives last week. Saved the entire city, to be exact. And afterwards you flocked around me with your cameras and lights, and you shoved dozens of microphones in my face and asked me questions.

   Do you realise you never ask me the right ones? You never ask how it feels to save people, or if I was afraid when I had a gun pointed right at my heart. Instead, you ask about property damage and if I am afraid I will get sued this time, again. Instead, you talk about the loss of life as if I am the one responsible. You ask me about my opinion on unrelated things, like your entertainment or politics, knowing that I can never give you a real answer, my answer. Because whenever I do, whenever I show you that the fact that I am fire in human form is not the only thing about me that may be different, you scorn me. Your cheers turn to ridicule. Your love turns so easily to hate. Those that don’t despise me give well-meant warnings about “public opinion” and “playing the audience”.

   You see, the thing is, when I first discovered that the flame within my soul became too much to keep in, I was happy. I was overcome with joy at the thought of being something. Something more. I raced to show my parents and they were so proud. Not afraid at all. I went to a school filled with children, both with powers and without, and I was happy. Then you posed me a question, did I want to be a hero? Well, of course I wanted to be a hero! I wanted to save people, help people become better than they were, and I still do.

   I’ve only recently come to realise that I remember that question through rose-tinted glasses. Looking back, I now hear that it wasn’t a question at all, but a choice. Did I want to be a hero and stick to your rules, fit in your neat little boxes, or did I want to be medicated? Because I was too much, too loud, too dangerous to let go unchecked. But back then I only heard the word hero and I was sold. You see, the thing is –

   The thing is.

   I used to be happy. I used to be proud of who I was and what I can do. Proud of the red and gold suit that you gave me when I graduated. When I had learned to push that roaring wildfire in me down until nothing but a spark remained. Before I heard the whispers behind my back and the vitriol spewed right in my face because you only see me as a Hero, not as a person. Before I realised that although I fight for your freedom, you have put me in a gilded cage.

   You want me to burn like a candle – small and controlled, giving off just enough light. But that is not who and what I am. Fire consumes and grows bigger with everything it touches. That is what I want to be. Not the flame, but the Phoenix, ever rising from the ashes and spreading my wings to soar. Flying high above you all and your judgements, and pettiness, and hatred. Looking down and seeing your truths and the evil that rests in your hearts. And then burning that evil out until only the righteous and good shall remain. And oh –

   Oh.

   An epiphany is a wonderful thing, isn’t it? It rushes through you, leaving adrenaline and happiness in its wake. Just like the flames that flow under my skin, trying to find a way out and spread like wings, this enlightenment also cannot be contained. It clears the head of all distractions, making me see the bigger picture for the first time in my life, and let me tell you, darling, it is beautiful. I’ve finally figured it out, you see, figured me out. I was never meant for this life. I was meant for something more, much more, than mundane, yes, but never this life of containment and masks. Of rules and restraints. Now I see that even though you have pushed me, shaped and moulded me into your hero –

   I was meant to be your villain all along.

D&D Birthday card

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And we’re back from hiatus! YAY! As you may know by now I play a lot of Tabletop RPGs. And I do mean a lot… We have a Pathfinder game every wednesday, Starfinder once a month and then a D&D 5th edition one-shot every once in a while. You can easily say I’m a bit addicted {especially when you see my dice collection…shh!}

We usually play with the same group of friends, although the parties depend on who is the GM and which players can make it. So when one of my party member’s birthday came up, I knew I needed to make a D&D-themed birthday card!

I used the adorable BB Magical Dragons stamp by My Favorite Things and used a bunch of stamps and stencils to make the mixed media background. The D20 dice and drew and inked myself! It’s so sparkly!

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I hand lettered the “Roll for birthday fun!” quote and added a bunch of tiny accents with white and black posca fineliners. This card was so much fun to make and he absolutely loved it! I know what I can make for my other party members {make ALL the colours!} and I might even add them to the shop if there are people out there who are interested. But for now: yay for cute D&D dragon cards!

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the Bonecaller’s Price (with NPC class!)

Bonecaller
Herbert the Crow by Bombusfelidae

I know, I know, you were expecting part 4 of ‘of Wolf and Man‘… It’s coming, but I caught a bad case of the flu this week so I wallowed in self-pity instead of writing {the fact that I couldn’t see straight might have had something to do with it as well… shh!} 

But of course I won’t leave you with nothing! A few weeks ago I talked about the writing contest I was entering. I didn’t win, but that’s okay. Two other lovely ladies got to win the fabulous honor of working for Green Ronin, a company that publishes books for tabletop RPG’s such as Dungeons and Dragons. {You know… the people that are bringing the Critical Role campaign guide into our lives!} I did however have a lovely time creating a story in a world that is darker than the ones I usually work in, and got to combine storytelling with the geekyness that is D&D. How cool is that?!

So, the setting from Green Ronin is going to be Redoubt, the last bastion of hope in a world ruled by undead. Which got me thinking, how would these citizens of Redoubt look upon someone who would use bones? In a city were the dead are definitely something to be feared, could someone overcome this fear and use the dead to their advantage. So I thought of an oracle/shaman type class that could use bones for divination. Originally I wanted it to be a player class, but that didn’t fit, so I made it an NPC class instead. So below you will first find the story of the Bonecaller’s Price, followed by the NPC class explained. I’m very curious to know what you guys think!

 

The Bonecaller’s price

The Bonecaller sits on a rickety stool in front of her shop. “Care to know your fortune, my dear?” she calls to a young woman walking past.

The woman stops, considers. She is about to leave this desolate city for an adventure outside the Walls. She would very much like to know if she will find what she is looking beyond the city’s protection. But the people here in Haven, they are taught to fear the dead and those who speak with them. She studies the old woman for a moment. She doesn’t seem all that dangerous, the young woman thinks. Dressed in dark reds and purples, gold-embroidered scarves wrap around her shoulders. Strange symbols are painted upon her face with white ink, the morning sun casting her wrinkles in a stark relief. There are bones, yes, necklaces and bracelets, some skulls in her gray, braided hair. But there are also coins, golden symbols on brown leather cords. She looks like an eccentric grandmother, not like someone who can command the dead. “I have no means to pay you.” She eventually tells the old woman, curiosity winning from concern.

“A promise will suffice,” the crone answers, “a promise that when your time has come, whenever that may be, I may pick a bone of my choosing.”

The woman looks ancient, the younger one thinks. When I will breathe my last she may very well be amongst the dead herself.

“Alright,” she says. The old woman gets up from her stool, joints creaking, and opens the door towards her shop. Inside lay treasures of bone harvested from all manner of creatures; animal, elf, orc, halfling and human alike. Treasures and talismans filled with power for those brave enough to carry the dead around with them.

A chill crawls down the young woman’s spine as she enters the shop. Dark redwood shelves line the red walls of this cramped shop. Clay jars with unreadable labels stand row after row upon them. Whatever space there was is filled with cabinets made from the same warm wood. Some have glass doors, showing a hint of the mystery that lies within, others have doors of solid wood, painted with strange symbols, and locks that seem too big for such a small cabinet. Candlelight flickers a warm gold on the glass containers holding herbs and other curiosities. Dried flowers hang in bundles from the ceiling, their subtle scents filling the air. Tapestries in all colors cover the floor. A counter stands at the back of the shop, holding even more trinkets and baubles.

All together it would give the interior a warm, homey feel, she thinks, were it not for the skulls that stand seemingly everywhere. Some hold the candles, she notes, watching a droplet of black wax roll down bleached ivory. Other skulls just seem to watch her every move, their empty sockets holding shadows out of which the dead peer into the world. One human skull on the counter holds fresh pink roses, plum-colored dahlias and green aster, their colors stark against the white of the bone. Dried crows feet hang on leather strings next to the vase, stones in different colors clasped within their grasp. A small sign hangs from the ceiling, promising fortune to all those who carry them. On one wall hangs a string with bones in different sizes dangling from it, a macabre bunting celebrating the dead.

She turns and comes face to face with the dead, dried head of an orc. She can’t contain her shriek and stumbles away from it. Its eyes and mouth are crudely sewn shut with sinew. Its red hair still long and decorated with beads and feathers.

“Don’t worry, dear,” the Bonecaller speaks from where she stands by a beaded curtain behind the counter, “these dead don’t bite.” She pulls the curtain aside, setting off a wind chime made of ribs and vertebrae. “Come in, come in.”

The young woman follows her into a small side-chamber. Candles line the walls all around the room. A single table with two chairs stands in the center of it, an intricately embroidered cloth draped over the table’s surface. The rest of the room is bare, leaving it almost hollow in comparison to the front of the shop. She sits down in one of the chairs as the crone walks around and takes a seat across from her.

The Bonecaller takes a leather pouch from her belt that softly rattles as she moves it. “The dead are all around us, my child,” she starts, untying the string that holds the pouch closed, “they see our past, every choice we have ever made. They see our present, the paths in front of us unfolding and winding. They see our future, the golden threads that flow through time until the Raven Queen snaps them.” She lays the folded out pouch on the table. Black markings and symbols cover the inside of it. “The dead know our deepest desires. What we wish and what we want, but, more importantly, what we need.” With reverence, she picks up the scattered bones from the pouch. The old woman holds them to her chest for a moment, chanting words in a language the younger doesn’t recognize.

For a moment, the candles flicker, the shadows on the walls dance and writhe, their spectral claws reaching out towards her. The air chills, her breath now fogging in the air. Wind howling through the room, like a thousand voices calling out in despair. Her heart leaps in her throat, her form frozen in terror and she knows: the dead are here.

The Bonecaller rattles the bones in her hands for a moment before casting them upon the table. Some land within the circle, most scatter upon the delicate cloth. “Ah yes,” she starts, moving her hand over the objects for a moment. She picks up a knuckle-bone, “a new journey awaits you, one long hungered for.” She places the bone back and picks up a small cordate piece, “your heart has grown too large for this city.” She sets it back, gently grabs a tiny bird skull, “you wish, more than anything else, for freedom.” For a moment the ghostly whispers of beating wings sound through the room. The Bonecaller now holds a vertebra, “you will find what you seek, but you must remember: freedom always comes with a price.”

With every word, the young woman’s hope has grown. Finally she would get out of this dark place and into the wide world where adventure calls. She will finally be free of her bonds that hold her within this city. “I will pay any price needed,” She tells the Bonecaller eagerly.

The old woman nods, carefully returning the bones to her pouch. “Then be on your way, young one. And may you find the freedom you seek.”

 

Two weeks later the Bonecaller once again sits at the table, bones cast upon the cloth and an eager adventurer across from her. “You have found a new family in your companions,” she tells him, gesturing with the wolf bone towards the door, where the rest of his group is waiting. Her client smiles as she gently lays the bone down again. She picks up the last bone for this reading. A human rib, broken and with deep scars. It’s still white, new. The Bonecaller sees the ghost of the young woman appear next to her, clutching her bleeding stomach.

I wanted to get out of this city, she whimpers, I just wanted to be free.

“You wish to leave this city”, the Bonecaller echoes, “you wish to be free.” The young man nods eagerly. She gently places the rib back in the leather circle. “Freedom,” she tells her customer, “always comes with a price.”

 

NONPLAYER CHARACTER: BONECALLER

“The bones speak, if you are brave enough to listen…”

– Fehzar Haruspex

 

To most, the passing from life to death is something to fear

and avoid, but there are those who understand that death

unveils secrets and knowledge not attainable in life.

Bonecallers are the diviners that walk the line between life and

death. They cast their set of bones and commune with the dead

to gain divine insight into any question asked. Bonecallers are

renowned advisors to any brave enough to seek their guidance.

But beware: their knowledge always comes with a price.

 

Call of the Bones Most Bonecallers hear what they named

‘the Calling’ at a young age, discovering through play that touching

bones gives them a brief window through which the dead can

speak. These children are often seen as strange, talking to

‘friends’ that don’t seem to exist and knowing things they

shouldn’t. Once discovered that they are speaking with the

dead these children are shunned and looked upon with fear.

As death touches all life and every creature, Bonecallers can be

from any race and any walk of life. While most Bonecallers

are female, it is not unheard of for males to hear and heed

the Calling.

 

Prolonged life A Bonecaller’s intimate knowledge of the line

between life and death allows them to extend their life, but not

their youth, significantly. Indeed, there are those who think

Bonecallers are born old and wrinkly.

Although most Bonecallers learn their skills through intuition

and communing with the dead, some seek out an apprentice

to pass on their vast knowledge when they feel the end of their

long life finally approaching.

 

Sortilege set This divination set consists of a variety of bones

– sometimes combined with other curios such as shells, nuts,

small keys and metal charms – which, when cast, give the

Bonecaller divine insight into her client’s query. The Bonecaller

builds her sortilege set over time, adding bones and objects that

have meaning to her. Therefore the sortilege set is considered

personal and sacred, much like a holy symbol.

 

Casting the Bones Up to five short insights may be given to one

question a player character may have, or as a general reading of the

player’s character or situation. The insights should be brief and

cryptic, leaving some things open to the player’s interpretation.

 

Bonecaller

Medium humanoid (any race), any neutral alignment

—————————————————————————————-
Armor Class 10

Hit Points 27 (5d8+5)

Speed 30 ft.
——————————————————————————————-

STR ——— DEX ——- CON ——- INT ——- WIS ——- CHA

10 (+0) 10 (+0) 12 (+1) 13 (+1) 16 (+3) 14 (+2)
——————————————————————————————

Skills Insight +7, Performance +5, Religion +4

Senses Passive Perception 13

Languages any two languages

Challenge 2 (450 XP)
——————————————————————————————

Brave. The Bonecaller has advantage on saving throws against

being frightened.

Spellcasting. The Bonecaller is a 5th-level spellcaster. It’s

spellcasting ability is Wisdom (spell save DC 13, +5 to hit with

spell attacks). The Bonecaller has the following spells prepared:

Cantrips (at will): light, spare the dying, thaumaturgy

1st level (4 slots): inflict wounds, sanctuary, unseen servant

2nd level (3 slots): augury, detect thoughts, gentle repose

3rd level (3 slots): magic circle, speak with dead

 

ACTIONS
——————————————————————————————

Bone dagger. Melee or Ranged Weapon Attack: +2 to hit, reach 5 ft. or

range 20/60 ft., one creature. Hit: 4 (1d4 + 2) piercing damage

8BIT Critical Role!

BigBoard

New items in my Etsy shop!

As some of you might know, I am a HUGE fan of anything to do with tabletop RPG’s and especially the amazing webshow Critical Role (if you haven’t watched it yet, please do! For their 100th episode I wanted to make something cool, so I made a big D20 board with the member of Vox Machina on it in mini hama fuse beads. This got such an overwhelming response and questions where people could buy them, that I couldn’t not put them up.

So I now have the big D20 board with all members, the small D20 boards with the members of your choice, pendants and magnets available!

Click on the pictures or follow this link.

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VMPendants

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Keep an eye on the website, more designs and products coming soon!

Flash Fiction: Noor

noorraven
From MedievalWitch’s tumblr. It doesn’t exist anymore, if anyone knows whom I should credit, let me know!

Hi guys! Soooo…. It’s been a while {again, I know}. But, the good news is I come with a new story! Dutch Comic Con, together with the American Book Centre here in the Netherlands is organizing a short story competition. I’m so excited. It could be written in English or Dutch, and couldn’t be more than 1000 words. The last part was a bit more difficult for me, but somehow I managed. First I wrote a story called Death’s Diner {which I’m hoping to post after the competition is over}, but I worried that it lacked action. So I wrote another story. In the end I decided I liked Death’s Diner better, and sent that one in. But, I’m still rather proud of my other story, so I wanted to share this one with you.

It’s part Dutch mythology, part pen-and-paper RPG. Noor is the character I play in our Pathfinder games, this is a tiny bit of her backstory. She is a warpriest to the Goddess Baduhenna, Goddess of war and madness. Baduhenna, however, is a ‘real’ Goddess from Dutch mythology. I wrote about her here. So who knows, maybe this is how the Frisians actually won the battle against the Romans {grins maniacally} Are you ready? Here we go!

The rage burned in my stomach, the taste of revenge like blood on my tongue. The forest was filled with the sounds of battle, the screams of our oppressors. Although they were greater in number, the forest was on our side tonight.

I spotted him then, my prey. My vision blurred red as I advanced on him, the rest of the world falling away. It felt like I was about to burst out of my skin, like the fire inside was consuming me. Burning away all that made me sane. A feral grin spread on my face as I embraced the fire, embraced the madness. “Relanius!” I called.

The man before me turned to face me. For a moment, his face looked like that of a demon, evil curling around him in tendrils of shadow.

“You will pay with your blood for what you did to my sister, to my people,” I growled. “I swear it!”

“You cannot win this, Noor!” He called back. “This little rebellion will be struck down, just like the rest of your people.” This was the monster that killed my sister, and tossed her bloody and battered body onto our doorstep. This was the man who broke my parents and because of that, something within me finally broke free.

I wanted to wrap my hands around his throat and squeeze until the life left his eyes. I wanted to cut him for every pain he had caused my sister and watch his blood paint the forest floor red. I wanted his life.

“Yes.” A voice whispered on the breeze. “Now.”

I charged, my attack too wide but made up for by force. I didn’t draw blood, but the monster staggered. I kept advancing, blow after blow. He was more trained, but I was wilder and stronger than I had ever been. The rage within me like fire through my veins, strengthening my strikes.

The shadows over his face swirled like smoke, giving me a glimpse of eyes wide with terror before they burned with hell-fire once again.

I had scared the monster, I realised. A laugh tore out of my throat, ringing through the forest. Part of me wondered what this made me.

“Good” whispered the wind.

A larger part of me agreed with her. With each blow, which each drop of blood spilled, the red haze grew, until the entire world was pulsing like a heartbeat. The only thing that existed were me and my prey. Both of us locked in this fatal dance.

I was losing myself, a distant part of me realised, but I couldn’t stop it. I could only hate and laugh and strike.

Suddenly everything fell silent.

Clarity.

Pain.

So much pain.

The forest around me turned from red to green and black again in the light of the moon overhead. I looked down to the sword protruding from my chest in disbelief.

My killer had the same shock in his eyes, like he hadn’t believed he could win.

Blood filled my lungs. My sword clattered to the ground as my body lost all its borrowed strength. The forest was dimming around the edges, darkness coming to claim me. The gladius was pulled from my chest, a spray of blood coming with it. As my back hit the forest floor, the world went black.

The darkness was cold and absolute. A whisper of feathers sounded behind me and I turned, but still saw nothing.

“I heard your vow.” A female voice whispered, the same one I had heard in the forest. “Blood for blood. The blood of those invaders for the blood of your people, for your sister.”

“Yes.” I answered.

“I felt your fire. I feel it even now.” Her voice came from all directions and curled around me, like a cloak of ink and feathers.

“Yes.” The rage was still there, tempered now, away from the heat of battle.

“Do you wish to return? To finish what you had vowed to do?” She asked.

“Yes.” No hesitation.

“Will you not rest until your task is complete?” The voice filled with power, with promise.

“Yes.”

“Will you bleed them all for what they did to My people, to My forest?”

I realised then, who I was talking to. There was only one answer.

“This is my vow to you, Baduhenna, Goddess of our forest. Upon my blood and my soul, you have my word.” At these words warmth surrounded me.

“Rise, then, my daughter. Rise and show them that which they should really fear in My forest.”

I felt cold lips upon my forehead, the taste of blood once again on my tongue. I opened my eyes and looked up to the night sky.

Crows flew past the moon, their battle cries mixing with those all around me.

I pushed to my feet and took up my sword again. My body took a step forward without conscious thought. I felt distant, like I was one step behind myself, looking through the eyes of a stranger. Baduhenna, I realised as my hand reached out to touch an attacking enemy.

His eyes turn black, like a crow, before he turned to his closest ally and with a manic laugh threw himself at him.

A next attack was struck down with one swipe of my sword, the second blow digging deep into the man’s neck.

The Goddess was using my body to walk across the battlefield. A touch for one enemy, a fatal blow for the next. Another touch, another strike. On and on.

Feathers, black as night, always at the edge of my vision.

When dawn broke, the battle was done. Before me lay the bodies of my enemies.

“Is it done?” I asked my Goddess.

“No, my child, many cowards ran. The monster who took your sister lives still. They will scatter like the wind, but we will find them.” Answered She. “Your journey has only just begun.”

I smiled. “Good.”

So there you have it! A bit of mythology, a bit of fiction, a bit of geekery, a lot of blood {muaha} I need to wait a little bit longer to know if I made it to the top 10 of the story competition, but as soon as I know, you’ll know! Let me know what you think about this one, I’d love to hear from you guys! ‘Til next time!

Dutch Deities for D&D pt.2

arduinna_by_cyrilbarreaux-d4w07yt

Are you guys and gals ready for part 2 of our Dutch Deities for RPG’s series? ‘Cause here it is! Last time I gave you a quick rundown on a few Dutch deities with their corresponding alignments, domains and symbols. Quick and ready to use for your favourite pen-and-paper RPG. Today we’ll dive a little deeper into the myths surrounding these deities and why I chose these specific domains and symbols for them. So here we go!

Arcanua
There is not much that we know about this Goddess. All that was found was a bronze and enamelled statue of a rooster, standing on a leaf. The name Arcanua was on a small bronze plaque. Her name means ‘the mystical one’ or ‘the mysterious one’, which is why I linked her with the trickery domains. The back of the rooster has a hole in it, presumably to either burn oil in it or stand a candle. Of course the rooster itself has some ties to the sun and the early morning light, hence the light domain.

Arduinna
The Goddess of the Ardennes. These vast forests were even bigger back in the day, probably spanning a good part of the Netherlands as well. A statue of Arduinna was found where she was sitting on top of a boar, hence the fur and animal domain. She is similar to the Goddess Diana, a protector of the forest and its creatures.

Aulrinia
Not a Goddess, but the mythology fit too perfectly to not include her. She was a famous völva, a Germanic priestess believed to have gotten her powers from the elves, which is why I made her Elven. The völva were seers, healers and witches. The name Aulrinia is closely related to the word Alruin, which is the Dutch name for Mandrake, which explains her symbol.

Baduhenna
Of all the Dutch Gods and Goddesses, this is my favourite. Her myths tell of a fierce battle taking place in ‘the Forest of Baduhenna’, between the Frisians and the Roman oppressors. The Frisians were familiar with the terrain and managed to kill 900 Roman soldiers. Then something weird happened. The remaining Romans, filled with paranoia, killed another 400 of their own men. This gave Baduhenna a quite fierce reputation of being a Goddess of battle, war and madness.
The name Baduhenna also has some connections to the Celtic Morrigan, another Goddess of battle and madness. The suffix -henna is simply a way to note that she is female. Badu looks and sounds similar to Badb, the battlecrow. She is part of the Morrigan and is known to fly over, in crow form, and bless her favoured side of the battle, while causing confusion and fear to the other side. This is why, at least to me, Baduhenna has a strong connection to ravens, and perhaps is even an aspect of the Raven Queen from D&D’s fifth edition.

Fosite
A God/dess worshipped on the Dutch isle of Ameland. They are known both as male, under the names Fosete, Fosite and Forste, and female under the names Fosite and Fosta. Which why for this purpose they are both male and female, a duality within one deity. The name seems to be linked to the Germanic God Forsite, the God of justice and peace. Fosite had holy wells dedicated to them on Ameland, which is why their symbol is a clear drop of water. People who got water out of these wells did so without speaking. This was done both out of respect, and because they apparently were a force to be reckoned with when angered.

Hesus
The only God I could convert into an Evil alignment. The only evidence of this God has been found in France, but scholars believe that the town of Hees gets its name from this God, and therefore believe that he may have been worshipped in the Netherlands as well. In Hees there was an enormous linden tree which was probably used for human sacrifice, perhaps to this fearsome God. In 1903 the tree fell after being struck by lightning.

Hludana
In several rivers in both the Netherlands and Germany votive stones have been uncovered naming this Goddess. A few of these reference to the stones being offered up by fishing guilds that resided in the area. Quite simple and straight forward, this one!

Irmin
A God of war which was worshipped on the Dutch Veluwe. He is believed to be related to the Germanic Tyr or Tiwaz, another God of war. Possibly this God was one of the most important Patron Gods of the Saxons. The Saxons celebrated their festivals around a huge pillar called the ‘Irminsul‘, which was believed to be a symbol for the Yggdrasil or ‘World Tree’.

Jecha
Not a lot is known of this Goddess. She is a Saxon Goddess of the hunt who was worshipped in Drenthe. The name Jecha is derived from the word ‘jach’ meaning hunt. This Goddess is believed to be similar to the Goddess Diana, Goddess of the forest and hunting.

Lady Holle
This is a bit of a tough one, because this is where a lot of folklore, myth and fairytales start mixing together. In the Netherlands the tale of ‘Vrouw Holle‘ is a very popular fairytale, speaking of an enchantress who makes it snow in the world by fluffing up a pillow. She punishes laziness and rewards those who do household chores without complaint. She is thought to have connection with the before-mentioned Hludana. The brothers Grimm stated in their books on Teutonic mythology the possibility of a Germanic Goddess called Holle, Holda or Huldra. So we’re not sure if she even was a Goddess, or just a fairytale, but I think she still makes and awesome deity.

Meda
A Goddess of purity, innocence and virginity who was also called Medea. She was called upon by young daughters for protection. There is no connection with light in itself, but a vision of beauty and purity is in my mind one of goodness, healing and hope.

Nehalennia
The most famous and well-known Goddess of the Dutch pantheon. She was a Goddess who was worshipped in Zeeland and was connected to our North Sea. Dozens of votive stones dedicated to her have been found, all of them thanking this Goddess for a safe sea passage. Some of these stones were recovered in England, meaning that she was worshipped on both sides of the passage. A lot is known of this Goddess, but the most important aspects of her are that as a Seagoddess and protector of travellers.

Sandraugina
In Brabant a votive stone dedicated to this Goddess was found, sacrificed by worshippers of her temple. The stone was decorated with cornucopias and branches filled with leaves and apples. Which is why Sandraugina is thought to be a Goddess of abundance and prosperity.

Tamfana
Another difficult one. Looking at the history books, there is only one mention of the name Tamfana, which speaks of the destruction of the sanctity of Tamfana. The people there were celebrating one of their holy festivals, and were said to be too drunk to fight back. It’s not know where this sanctity was located or even if this Tamfana was a God or a Goddess, or perhaps neither. Since -fana means sanctity it’s entirely possible the name of the deity was actually Tan or Tam.
However, the people of Oldenzaal claim that this Goddess is bound to the Tankenberg, and more in particular a large stone that lies there. Some interesting myths surround this place, supposedly there was a temple dedicated to Tamfana there, where the Goddess would use a golden chalice to divine a person’s future.

Viradectis
Votive stones dedicated to this Goddess have been found in Belgium, Scotland and the Netherlands. Not a lot is known of this Goddess, but the stones have been sacrificed by the Tungri, a Germanic tribe of well known tradesmen and seafarers. They probably traded grain, which was a popular product shipped from Belgica.

So there you have it. A list of awesome Dutch Deities for you to use in your next D&D/Pathfinder/RPG session. If you have any questions or would like some more info on any of these, or other Dutch deities, feel free to let me know! Are you suddenly inspired to make a war cleric of Baduhenna or a tempest cleric of Nehalennia? I’d love to hear about it!

Dutch Deities for D&D pt.1

baduhenna_by_marjolijn_ashara-d8u21uw
the Goddess Baduhenna, Goddess of War and Madness

…and other RPGs of course! Being pagan I love reading and researching mythology. A year ago I started looking into my own countries history. I knew we worshipped the Germanic Gods here, but were there a few Gods of our own? This curiosity led to a year of study and research and, up to now, 37 Dutch Gods, and my study is far from over.

In August I needed a new character for our Pathfinder campaign after my beloved Aasimar Oracle perished. I decided on a Human Warpriest, called Noor. For her deity I chose the Dutch Goddess Baduhenna, a Frisian Goddess closely connected to Badh and the Morrigan. She is amazingly fun to play! We’re looking into D&D 5th edition, which is just amazing, and in the back of the Player Handbook there are lists of real Gods and Goddesses converted to a format usable for D&D and other RPGs. So I figured, I have all this info on Dutch Deities, why not do the same and share it with the rest of the geeks?

So here is a short list of Deities that are usable in RPG. In part 2 {coming next week find it here!} I’ll give short backgrounds on each deity’s myth and how I came to their lore. Thing is, on a lot of Dutch Deities we don’t have a lot more than the name. Take Arcanua, of Her we only found a bronze statuette of a rooster with Her name on it. In the back you can set a candle. We know Her name means ‘the mysterious’ or ‘the hidden’. Furthermore, roosters are a symbol of the dawn. Hence the Light and Trickery domains. I included two sets of domains, the first set is for D&D 5e, the second for Pathfinder. Of course you can mix and match as you please, that’s the beauty of these systems. So here you go and please, let me know what you think!

Deity

Alignment

Domains

Symbol

Arcanua, Goddess of mystery and light

CN

Light, Trickery

Animal (Feather), Sun, Trickery

A bronze rooster and golden sun

Arduinna, Goddess of woodlands

N

Nature, Life

Animal (Fur), Plant

A silver boar

Aulrinia, minor Elven Goddess of magic and prophecy

LN

Arcana, Knowledge

Knowledge, Magic, Travel

A root in the shape of a human

Baduhenna, Goddess of freedom and madness

CN

Trickery, War

Liberation, Madness

A red raven and silver moon

Fosite, both God and Goddess of peace and justice

LG

Knowledge, Life

Law, Protection

A clear drop of water

Hesus, God of vegetation and sacrifice

NE

Death, Nature

Plant, Decay

A humanoid figure hanging on a tree

Hludana, Goddess of fishing and rivers

NG

Nature

Water

A fish above a woven basket

Irmin, God of war and strength

LG

War

Strength, War (Tactics)

An Irminsul

Jecha, Goddess of woodlands and the hunt

N

Nature, Life

Animal, Luck

A simple bow and arrow

Lady Holle, Goddess of magic, winter and weaving

CG

Arcana, Tempest

Magic, Water, Weather

Three snowflakes in a triangle

Meda, Maiden Goddess of purity and light

LG

Life, Light

Healing, Sun

Three golden rays angling down

Nehalennia, Goddess of the sea and travel

N

Nature, Tempest

Protection, Travel, Water

A ship’s wheel

Sandraudiga, Goddess of prosperity and abundance

NG

Nature, Life

Healing, Luck, Plant (Growth)

A red apple with green leafy vines

Tamfana, Goddess of joy and prophecy

CG

Arcana, Knowledge

Knowledge, Magic

A golden chalice

Viradectis, Goddess of trade

N

Knowledge

Knowledge, Travel (Trade)

Three falling golden coins

As I stated before, here in the Netherlands we also worshipped the Germanic Gods, as well as some of the Norse ones. There are several names we Dutchies used for these Gods and I listed them below. So if you do decide to use the Dutch Pantheon, you can easily include the Germanic Gods for some extra flavour!

Austrōn = Ostara, Goddess of spring

Donar = Thor, God of thunder

Frea = Freya, Goddess of beauty and love

Freke = Frigg, Goddess of love and marriage

Frija = Freya, Goddess of beauty and love

Ing = Freyr, God of male virility and prosperity

Saxnot = Tiwaz/Tyr, God of law and heroic glory

Thunar = Thor, God of thunder

Weda = Odin, God of magic, prophecy and healing

Wōdanaz = Odin, God of magic, prophecy and healing

Wotan = Odin, God of magic, prophecy and healing

A note on Frigg/Freya, in myths they are so often interchangeable that scholars now believe they might be the same Goddess. They call Her Frijjō for this purpose.

So that’s it for now, see you next week for part 2!