August 01, 2004

Elbahn

God of Wealth, Trade, Opulence, Sex, Good Fortune, and Change.

Worshipers
By and large, true worship only comes from merchants, thieves, mercenaries, and exiles. Many people pay him spurious homage, hoping to gain brief benefits, such as a kiss to end their dates or for a small boon to brighten their day. As such, Elbahn has no organized religion or temple, instead taking the form of a "hearth" goddess, and accepts dedications as the worshiper offers instead of requiring specific rituals.

Numbers of Worshipers
True devotees he has few, except perhaps for those so wealthy or lucky that they feel a desire to please the goddess for their fortunes. However, most everyone has at some time or another called upon him, especially those seeking something for nothing (which as many know makes up a large percentage of the population).

Methods of Worship
Both worshipers and devotees alike often make a sign to the god, touching their lips with the first two fingers of their right hand. It's sometimes considered an attempt to bestow a blessing upon another in his name to press one's fingers thereafter to another's exposed flesh, be it their shoulder, cheek, lips, or elsewhere. Other small acknowledgements come with tossing a coin to the street whenever one earns a fair portion them-selves, a small bribe or thanks to the goddess for their fortune. Others few coins into the inner-lining of their sleeves and their pillow cases or drop an extra coin atop the bar for the barkeep, etc after paying for services.

His devotees typically wear a common coin on a chain about their throat as a form of devotion, and may practice the skill of "Casting Coins" by tossing five coins into a circle to read a fortune. Coins that fall outside thecircle indicate luck and those within wealth. Heads are luck or wealth coming and tails luck or wealth leaving. Many a man or Tyen believes thatcasting the circle of coins calls his attention, and so may do so before a prayer.

Followers are often very sexual in nature, their body language often reflecting this through casual touching, and sharing kisses much like others greet a shaking of hands or a hug. Sex is seen as an act of pleasure with no specific motive other than to please, entertain and enjoy and in this it differs from the teachings of Ylessa who links it more to an act of love or fertility. His devotees are often very responsive to affections administered or requested from them, it almost being considered a "crime" to turn someone down or to refuse an honest request. Despite this, Elbahn does severely frown upon the exchange of sex for coin, and amongst his followers, beingtermed a whore or something akin to that is considered the worst of insults.


Dedicated Temples and Priests
None what-so-ever. His "priests" are all self-proclaimed individuals that swear by him, their own luck or lack thereof a matter of question. Though he may at some time choose a priest or priestess, this has not happened in any known record of history. There are, however, written records of his teachings.

Elbahn's Appearance
He commonly appears to be an average man of random ages of the race that he reveals himself to (or at least a race they can relate to). The only way to reveal him for what he truly is, some say, is to toss a coin at his feet. If this is done, he'll disappear (as will the coin), but at least the man or woman who came across him will know the truth. He's quite mischievous, curious about mankind and whimsical, though in no manner actively hostile. Instead, he's merely "unfair".

He uncommonly appears in his "true" form, and generally only when the need is great (as opposed to randomly enjoying himself travelling incognito amongst mortals). This is a handsome "human" man with short curly hair, and dressed in extravagant clothing of exotic taste and design. It's unknown if this is really his true form, but he uses it for most official business.

Views of Other Gods and Religions
A live and let-live kind of god, he respects the other gods within their domains. He sometimes thinks that the gods with organized religions, such as temples, are a bit too serious for good conversation, but he holds no ill-will towards any of them. Unfortunately, this includes the evil gods, which means that, at times, the gods who are on the opposite side of the fence of his current company (whomever they may be) often get their feathers ruffled. His open personality keeps him slightly ahead of the "gossip" and he gains information from both the goodies and the baddies amongst the pantheon. His reputation for being chaotic leaves him in the position of being considered unfair, but like most gods, he's bound by his word and has long ago sworn an oath of Silence in confidence. Because he cannot physically force himself to speak the secrets of another, if he's aware that they are intended to be kept secret, many come to him for advice knowing that he's often blessed with the view of both sides of the coin.


Elbahn's Motives
Elbahn first and foremost is a benevolent being (though nothing will ever explain that). The problem is this benevolence is a mass benevolence, the kind that focuses on no individual, but instead upon the universe as a whole. Therefore, to him, the end justifies the means, and the horrible deaths of a thousand men mean little to him if other, broader goals are achieved. Both good and evil, in his eyes, are mere constructions that are both necessary parts of the loom that weaves the world-fabric. The important thing is that the universe survives in its best form. His goals are often so obscure and broadly-scoped that even other gods find his intentions unfathomable.

Elbahn's Symbols
A coin with two sides, both heads and tails. The coin can be of any material (though wealthier folk tend to wear gold versus bronze). When worn about the neck, it's supposed to serve as a common good-luck charm.

Posted by ShadowSiege at August 1, 2004 02:34 PM

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