of these lesser gods, who are actually the objects of most worship, the Eir and Dыs being considered too powerful to waste time on mere mortals.

Most of the lesser gods are collectively classed as Arkhein, a word of unknown origin, and there are dozens, perhaps hundreds, of them, including among the more prominent Savel Skai, the sun-god; Mel, goddess of the moon; Eramma the earth-mother; Koros, god of war; Melith, goddess of storms and lightning, and her brother, (or half-brother, or son, or cousin, depending on which cult one adheres to) Kewerro, the god of wind and air, particularly the north wind and storms at sea. Others range down through such minor powers as Eknissa, the firegoddess, to the obscure and pointless, such as Quon, god of dogs, and Bugo, god of masculinity and petty aggression.

A popular pastime in some areas is to debate the pedigrees of the various Arkhein, a diversion not readily exhausted, since despite the sexes generally attributed to the various deities it is assumed that any Eir or Dыs can mate with any other and produce offspring, or that any one can by himself or herself produce a child. Furthermore, the Arkhein themselves are fertile; Eramma is generally considered the mother of most of the minor nature-gods, though their paternities (if any) are debatable.

It is no wonder that, confronted with such a tangle, most overmen prefer to assume that no gods exist at all.

Вы читаете The Seven Altars of Dusarra
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