VULRATH, R'UNORIAN GOD OF FISH AND WEALTH
One of the nine Gods
worshipped in the independent island
Kingdom of R'unor. Vulrath is
the embodiment of wealth and contentment
and He is patron god to fishermen, merchants, and bartenders
as well, second only to R'lia in his commonality
in artwork and poetry.
Mythology. Many legends surround this deity. In such tales Vulrath often appears to mortals as a humaniod male with his lower body replaced by the tendrils of a squid and with three sets of arms attached at his shoulders, one set reaching out to his followers, one set reaching to the sea and one set holding a fisher's net in one hand and a flask of Brandy in the other. One very common tale deals with Vulrath walking among the mortals in those first of days when the deities walked through the world as it was still very new and unformed. Vulrath ran across a pair of fishermen on a riverbank. As they were both starving, He summoned a large fish to them... It was such a mighty beast that it took both fishers to catch it, but once it was up they fought, not sharing the fish as Vulrath intended. And while they fought they fell into the river, cracked their skulls on a rosk and drowned. This is quite typical of R'unorian stories.
Wall mural drawn by Bard Judith.
Temple Design/Religious Customs. While there are no temples per se to Vulrath, most citizens have a small shrine devoted to this deity. These shines range in size from a small alcove or large rock in the woods decorated with a statue and a bowl for herbs with maybe some scented candels or incence all the way to lavish rooms filled with runes and verses of mythoolgy, some as lavish as to have tapestries and reflecting pools. Religious festivals are fairly simple. The feast held for the R'unorian giant sea turtle is often filled with tales of Vulrath as well as the other sea oriented gods.
Wall Mural. Following some excerpts of a
scholar's musings upon
an Early R'unorian Wall Mural:
The mural shown on the right was unearthed only recently, a long-abandoned farmhouse having been torn down and new foundations being excavated. About four peds in length, the mural stretched along what had been an interior foundation wall of a much earlier dwelling (estimated to date from the Time of the Sky Fire). The materials were determined to be natural ochres, rock paints, and a previously undocumented herb-green which appears to be compounded from leaves and several materials yet to be determined, all worked into an egg-calcine base which was plastered against the inner rock and then smoothed and painted while still damp.
It obviously depicts the well-known tale of Vulrath Sea-Lord and The Quarrelling Fishermen. Told in a primitive narrative style, and reading from left to right, the five panels show the most prominent scenes from the story. On the far left, the two fishermen, who appear to be nude and starving (note the stylized ribs and angular positions) sit with their useless rod and net.
In the next panel Vulrath appears, benevolently smiling and holding two of his attributes in his six arms (the Divine Net and the Blessed Brandy). Despite his welcoming gestures, the fishermen appear awestruck. The composition here is attractively symmetrical, with a good use of colour to balance the panel.
Next, a scene involving the two fishermen struggling together to land Vulrath's gift of a great fish is laid out in a surprisingly contemporary style. Simple overlapping is used to lend perspective to the scene, and the fishing line forms a creative stroke of deep red ochre over it all.
In the fourth panel, the two men have come to blows over the fish, rather than sharing it as the Sea-Lord intended. We see that the artist has taken some liberties with the tale here, as the amount of red ochre seems to indicate a prolonged fight. Note the energy of the gestures, and the incongruously happy expression on the fish!
The last scene omits the actual fall and striking of heads, but chooses instead to show us the two men already dead and, in somewhat macabre green, floating together down the river. The death-rock has been included at the bottom of the panel to suggest the omitted scene. The crude style nonetheless manages to achieve a certain poignancy in the way the men's hands hang limply, swayed by the current, and the two fishing hats, still atop their battered heads.