Hey Game Fans, we’re taking a look at some world building ideas and concepts for the home setting i run. If you’ve checked out my other world building articles, this is the setting that focuses on Lakeport and the larger world around it. Today i’m going to take a look at one of the fiercest gods for the setting, Hanshu, the Lady of Goblins. Before i get started on him, let me give you a little background for the gods of this world.
Broadly speaking, the gods divide themselves into a variety of groupings and factions, but the grouping i am concerned about today is the old gods and the new gods. The Old gods predate one of the most important conflicts of the setting, the Fey War. These are the gods that originally found this world and shaped it to their designs and interests. They shaped the great forests and mountains, and populated the world with creatures in their own image. The first Gods to walk the world were the gods of Giantkind, the Fey themselves, and the three Elder Wyrms. A few other gods would appear after this first establishment, most notably Ahrimaius, the God of Creation. These are the Gods of antiquity, and they made the world the way it was, for good or for ill.
The Fey War began as internal issue between a small fey enclave and their neighbors. It spiraled out of control to a level of violence and bloodshed that would haunt the old places of the world forever. At the darkest point of the war, when the Me’Ah’Chin hordes looked ready to take the fight to the Gods themselves, the eldest of the Fey Gods, Grandfather Oak, cast the most powerful magic anyone had ever seen. He summoned heroes and champions from across time and space to the Garden where Oak had planted his first seeds. He made them a simple offer. If they would turn back the tide of darkness and save the world, he would bestow upon the seeds of godhood, and make them the new gods of the world.
Heroes to the end, most of these people died during the war to liberate the world. Heroes from thousands of worlds and cultures fought, bled, and died in a distant land to save it from the most terrible monsters they had ever encountered. When the last battle had been fought, and the dead tallied, less than fifty of the thousands of heroes and champions were still standing. A few would succumb to lingering injuries sustained in the war, and their number would be diminished even further by a tragic incident.
The survivors returned to the Garden, and Grandfather Oak kept his word. Each hero or champion became the living embodiment of an idea or a race. One by one, the new Gods and Goddesses organized themselves, and set about the work of trying to heal the lingering damage the war had caused. Some places were never completely healed, and there are distant parts of the world that still think that ancient war rages….but that’s a story for another time.
Hanshu, Blademistress, The Lady of Goblins
There is ancient legend that predates the arrival of the Fey. The oldest stories of the forge of Ahrimaius tell stories of an inquisitive creature that managed to work its way into the forge itself and dabbled among the esoteric and exotic things that lived there. The creature played amongst the things it saw for a time untold, not realizing that Ahrimaius was watching. The creature forged something new, a tiny dagger, which was the first sword ever created in the world.
The master of the forge surprised the tiny creature and in its surprise, it cut the lord of creation with its tiny dagger. The dagger cut deep and the tiny creature was bathed in the energies of a divine spark. It died right then and there but was returned to life by Ahrimaius. He gave the creature a tiny bit of his divine energy and gave it a place to recover and decide what it was.
It eventually decided it’s name, Hanshu, and for the longest time she served Ahrimaius as an apprentice and a servant. She was the foremost master of swords and edged weapons in the multiverse, and there were few creatures that could match her skill at combat. During this time she saw the Great Migration of the Orcs and Goblins across the world. She took a leave from the forge and started to watch these creatures.
In the goblins, she saw a kindred spirit. Tiny creatures that struggled to fit in the world around them, these goblins struck a terrible chord with her. She gave them her blessings and protections. Her priests taught the goblins many things and gave them the skills to survive. In the Hobgoblins she found zealous worshippers who took to her teachings with joy. She joined the war against the Me’Ah’Chin and helped create many of the weapons wielded by the other champions. When she wasn’t making weapons, she was leading her people into battle.
After the war ended, Hanshu retreated away from the world. The war had been terrible to her people and they were vastly reduced in numbers. The hobgoblins settled the cold lands that used to be the dominion of the giants, and the goblins scattered across the world. Eventually the prayers of her people brought her back to the world and she watches over the world from the frozen lands of the north.
Relations with Others
Hanshu maintains a positive working relationship with both the Silverback and Reginald. She is one of the few creatures that knows Reginald’s peace name and the two of them are intertwined with each other in a deep bond that few of the other gods understand. She has a mild irritation with Silverhoof, but that’s primarily because their worshippers are close enough neighbors that they occasionally fight. She has some sort of relationship with Ahrimaius, but the two do not speak with each other around other gods.
Relations with Servants
Hanshu has no divine servants, preferring to oversee things personally.
Relations with Mortals
To her chosen peoples, Hanshu is a multifaceted blessing that provides order, stability, and wisdom. To the enemies of her people, she represents an implacable foe that embodies determination and honor. She has a few worshippers from other races, but they are expected to follow her tenets and beliefs like the rest of her people. Most of them are followers of her schools of swordplay and follow the honor codes she established.
“The balance of the world rests on the edge of a blade.” Hanshu is a militant god that espouses an extremely fatalistic view of the world. Things that were meant to happen, do happen. All her worshippers can do is react with grace and meet the universe with composure and strength.