||Urgan - Forger of the world –|
The four handed master of blacksmiths
Urgan is four handed god of blacksmiths and dwarves. Urgan is very widely worshipped in the dwarven halls, but numerously humans, mostly human blacksmiths, worship Him more numerously. In the beginning of times His essence has believed to been perfectly round shape of flaming white fire. Especially dwarves believe that the essence of everything crystallized into extremely simple shape: accurate roundness. After awakening Urgan created itself an embodiment: Silver armor with two pairs of hands. Dwarves and human blacksmiths always argue is that armor human shaped or short and bulky like dwarf.
Urgan, the brightest of stars
When the oldest gods and few younger had born, An’Gaia talked to Garneird. She told that “Groaning of Darkness” had become stronger. Garneird answered that the brightest star of the night sky would be the solution to win the “Groaning of Darkness”. It would only need a womb where it could become stronger. An’Gaia offered her womb to a place for that star to grow. Garneird picked Urgan’s star from the sky and threw it into An’Gaia’s womb. Because of the Garneird’s touch the Star of Urgan flamed to bright fire when it approached An’Gaia’s womb. Escort of white and eternal flame followed Urgan’s star into the depths of Mother earth. While sinking into womb of An’Gaia, the star formed a deep chasm and remained breeding there.
All around the world that legendary chasm is called as “Silverchasm*.” Holy silver rivers that thunder over the edge as waterfalls form very beautiful and pleasant sight. At the bottom of the chasm is located the ancient shrine of Urgan. There is his temple and forge. There he has been forging the world since the beginning of times. In the Silverchasm Urgan once revealed the secrets of steel to humans and dwarves. In the Silverchasm he will continue forging the world till the time of the largest war. When the last times are at hand, with the guidance of their gods nations will raise to war against unknown forces and the world will be destroyed. Then the work of Urgan is finally finished.
Urgan, the white fire, slept and grew in the womb of world. Finally he woke up. Urgan was born a hammer in his hand and the hammer was born with a name. It was Crummant, but many call it commonly as Urgan’s hammer. Urgan and Crummant forged a silver armor that endures heat of Urgan’s white fire and can bind it inside. The armor became Urgan’s earthly embodiment, which had two pairs of strong arms. Therefore when speaking of four handed blacksmith people always mean Urgan. During beginning of times Urgan blew life to nine stones. Names of the stones have been long ago forgotten from the knowledge of mortals, but they are commonly called as Eternal stones. After that with help of Eternal stones Urgan created four dwarven kings. He took piece of every stone and forged bones of dwarven kings. He formed the dwarven kings as his own image and flowed his own “blood” to them (“nurr” = word from initial stage of dwarven language and it means both “blood” and “life force”) Then he blew life to dwarven kings.
Urgan continued forging the world and teaching the Eternal stones. The eternal stones to same extend taught secrets of matter and earth to dwarves. Time of the world again turned one turn and the Beast from the Darkest night landed into the world. Urgan and Crummant crossed swords with the Beast and beat it to the depths of Mother earth, where it was imprisonment for eternal times. While the history continued passing Urgan forged the world and only few times he stick into destinies of mortals. The Eternal stones slept long times and every time they awakened they continued teaching. Via their dreams they were connected to Urgan and studied eternal secrets of the world. They remembered everything that had happened in the world. Teachings of the Eternal stones is concealed into the very low tone of their hymns, but due to long sleeping periods mortals forgot the ability to listen Eternal stones. It is possible that world doesn’t have any mortal that could hear the singing of the Eternal stones anymore.
* By the dwarven language the Silverchasm is Glenn’soth.
Urgan belongs to younger gods of the god pantheon. In way he however is much older, because he had been created to be a star among first stars in a night sky. Millions of years later he awakened to be a god ordered by Garneird and An’Gaia. Urgan is conceived to be first-born son of An’Gaia and therefore especially in dwarven cultures the position of first-born son is much respected and much is count on them. Urgan is thought to be in very close relations with An’Gaia. With his brother Nuot gets along well, though they rarely exchange ideas. With his sister Aiger Urgan competes all the time.
The counterforce of Urgan is the daughter of the Wind Aiger. Especially in dwarven cultures Urgan is conceived to be taciturn and Aiger to be fast and talkative girl. All the time Aiger teases Urgan with her presence. In the arts their mutual relationship is symbolized as a struggle between firm rock face and wild hurricane, where hurricanes only aim is to overturn the rock face without any other intentions.
Realm – Glenn’soth
(“Silverchasm” in sagrian)
Urgan is thought to be living under the mountains deep in the core of world, where his white fire has molten earth to lava. There, deep underground exist an enormous cavernous world. That world is formed by endless lava sea. Walls are decorated with drips of precious metals and raw gems. Somewhere in the middle of that endless lava sea large island is located. In the beginning of times a deep chasm has formed in the middle of the island, Walls of that chasm are covered by silver ornaments and portraits of mightiest blacksmiths. These portraits hold sleeping souls of those blacksmiths. By a dwarven history (mythological) these blacksmiths has been awakened twice to protect and guide dwarven people. First time was in the Age of chaos and another during the hundred year war.
Priests of Urgan are mainly men and without an exception blacksmiths. They are the most respected of blacksmiths, because during forging they carry out ancient ritual. It is very slow and pious work, but so are the results. It is said that priests of Urgan even can’t forge common items, because all items they do have at least a pinch of strength and wisdom of Urgan. Great bells are specialty of the priests of Urgan. Only the priests are allowed to mold great bells. Education of priests consists of years of learning the skills needed to make bells. Right proportions to a certain kind of alloys are taught to them. All of those different alloys have their own meaning in molding the bells. Bells made of different alloys sound different in different conditions. Sound of bell has rather big meaning in societies, because one kind of sound means danger and other call people to temples. Also for the durability of the bell it is important to choose right alloy in right place. For that reason priests of Urgan have taken molding of bells on their responsibility. Bell molding skills have moved and developed many generations among the priests. All dwarven people tell their own version of the story: “The elven bell.”
The elven bell
In some story greedy and gold eager grand elves hired a dwarven blacksmith to mold them a bell into their mountain palace. The pries agreed and he examined the conditions of the village, temperature, height of snow and resonance of the snowy mountains. By the formulas of Urgan this holy smith planned and molded the bell. It became medium-sized, undecorated copper bell. When the elves saw that, they didn’t like the commonness of the bell. The elves got annoyed and imprisoned the holy smith under the bell and left him starving there.
The elves immediately left looking for someone more skilled blacksmith. They found a common smith and promised him gold worth of his weight if he would mold them large, golden and decorated bell that would suit to their position. In his thirst for gold that blacksmith agreed. He molded enormous golden bell for the elves. On its sides he engraved tremendously beautiful patterns. When the elves saw the bell, they were especially happy. The common blacksmith got his weight worth of gold and left home.
The elves were happy too. They put the bell on the highest tower of their mountain palace. When the next evening of Dinia dawned and the elves boomed the bell to honor the moon, it boomed loud and high. By inspired of that the elves boomed the bell another time and even harder. The bell started resonating with its own sound and echo of the mountains. Sound was even mightier and higher. The elves got even more inspired and third time they boomed the bell with all their strength. Now the sound thundered so loudly that the golden shell didn’t endure it and the bell was split. The elves took offence of this, but worst was still ahead.
At the same time the holy blacksmith suffered the hatred of the elves under his bell outside the mountain palace. When he heard the booming of the golden bell he shouted that the sound was too loud and powerful for these conditions. He was listened, because he was under the bell and the elves were too charmed by their golden bell. When the elves boomed the bell second time, the smith shouted don’t boom the golden bell. It won’t endure. The elves didn’t hear that either, because the entire valley was filled by the mighty sound of the bell. On a third time booming was so loud that even ground shook under the holy blacksmith.
Booming of the bell had strengthened in the echo of mountains so that mountain peaks were shaking. Up in the mountain slopes great snow masses started rumbling down on the valley. Massive avalanches fell down to mountain palace of the greedy elves from four directions and crushed all arrogant towers and beautifully fragile halls. There under the breaking buildings crushed all greedy elves or suffocated painfully in small snow pockets in the lack of air.
By the blessing of Urgan a small crack opened to feet of the holy blacksmith when the snow was rumbling down to valley. When death silence fell upon the valley, the holy blacksmith crawled away from the bell via the crack. With a silent respect he looked the power of snow, destroyed mountain palace, thanked Urgan for saving him and turned to homeward journey.
By this old tale a gold-yellow bellflower, growing in mountain valleys, has been named as “Elven bell.” In many cultures this bellflower symbolizes greediness and in omens, for example in cards of fortune tellers, the elven bell predicts disaster. (By the language of forg the Elven bell is “Dherlarimm glennor”. The elven languages have completely different name. By Egirl it is “Chilion aj’ cliesaln”, which means the cradle of fairies.)
Secret of the Black iron
The dwarves have tale telling about infancy of the world creation. The dwarves believe that they originally had four arms, like Urgan has in his armor. In those times mortals didn’t know the secret of black iron and hardly knew such a metal even existed. Fgensin son of Merr’abe Toe Ura’s family was the most skilled dwarven blacksmith. He were invited to the palace of dragon king Mhanziskhatroz to demonstrate his skills. Proudly he went there and fell to the trap of the dragon king. Fgensin swore by the name of his god Urgan that he would be able to forge anything about anything. If he wouldn’t succeed, his arms can be severed. The dragon king had mystically got some black iron on his hands. He demanded Fgensin to forge armor to him from it. It was impossible task. The black iron didn’t soften even under the dragon breath to say nothing about forges of dwarves.
Dept of honor claimed Fgensin to try this desperate task. He called more dwarves to the castle of the dragon king, because the oath had been sworn on the name of Urgan. The more time passed, the more dwarves moved to the lands of the dragon king to try to bend the black iron. The dragon taunted that aren’t the dwarves able to redeem their oath. The dwarves asserted that that they could and bought themselves more time by doing other blacksmithing tasks for the dragon. In two hundred years almost entire dwarven race had been enslaved to service of the dragon. Without pay they forged armors to army of the dragon.
Finally Fgensis had to give in and ask help from Urgan. Then Urgan abruptly reminded him about the oath. For a long time Fgensis persuaded Urgan and finally they agreed that Urgan would teach dwarves how to forge black iron, but they had to pay the price as a reminder of their oath. The price would be that dwarves could only use two hands and four would only be the number of god. Claim was also that the secret of forging black iron should never be revealed to anyone else but another dwarf. This happened and dwarves finally learned forging the black iron and they made armor for the dragon king Mhanziskatroz. For their own safety the dwarves made trap of that armor. When they finally put the armor on Mhanziskatroz, he laughed and praised dwarven work so good that they had to remain in his “service” in the future.
Dwarves were not happy and they told the secret of the armor for the dragon king. By every move the armor would shrink little. Gradually its sharp edges would bite into natural armor of the dragon and gradually into his flesh. Finally the dragon king would be crushed into his own armor. Only the dwarves would be able to remove the torturing armor. Therefore the dragon king had no other options. The dragon king Mhanziskatroz canceled the order that dwarves should remain in slavery. He itself escorted dwarves back to their own long time deserted realm.
During that journey the dragon king noticed that the armor really shrunk slowly around him by every step. Even breathing became difficult and fire breathing became impossible. Finally, when the dwarves and the dragon king were on the gates of underground realm of dwarves, were the sharp edges of the armor already rubbed through scales of dragon. Its sharp edges had bit into flesh of dragon and then dwarves made the dragon swear he would leave them alone. After the dragon had sworn the oath, dwarves removed the armor around him. Even though the dragon was furious he knew to be too weak to fight against entire dwarven race. So he left creeping and cursing back to his realm.
Since then the dwarves haven’t dared to use their lower pair of arms. They learned using two arms nearly as well as four. During many generations the lower pair of arms gradually withered away. Still this tale is being remembered and very skilled blacksmith is often said to be secretly practicing Urgan’s pair of hands.
Urgan can be worshipped in many ways: privately, commonly (only between priests and blacksmiths), and publicly. Private cult ceremonies mainly consist of quieting down and “discussion with spirits of ancestors who already have achieved the wisdom of Urgan”. An advice is asked from ancestors or via them worshipper asks strength from Urgan. This kind of private worshipping is most common among dwarves.
Common cult ceremonies are secret societies of priests and blacksmiths and private gatherings. People discus there about secret blacksmithing skills, exchange knowledge and estimate usefulness of that information. Common cult ceremonies always end on raiding a glass for Urgan. Among most pious priests and blacksmiths also second glass is raised, and third and even forth. Perhaps yet fifth and sixth… until only Urgan knows how many glasses were raised to honor him that evening.
In public cult ceremonies, which everyone can be part of, hymns are sung together for honor of Urgan. In most cultures cult ceremonies of Urgan begin after work in temple at day of Duir. History of world creation is taught to people, priests read stories and teachings from the holy book of Urgan – The Strength of earth. Like in case of many dominating religions of Meln, participation is not a responsibility. People can freely participate and after cult ceremonies people have habit of gathering into taverns and inns meeting friends and exchange news.
Special comprehensions of people
Biggest subjects of contention between human and dwarven priests and blacksmiths have always been black iron and use of silver. Dwarven prerogative for black iron has always annoyed humans. In ancient times arguments concerning black iron turned into insults and even wars.
Dwarven opinion is that the secret of black iron is rightly their, because they have paid high price(*) of it and are heirs of Urgan’s blood. Dwarves think humans to be secondary in the eyes of Urgan, because they don’t sanctify silver for Him. Dwarves think that mortals don’t have right to forge and shape Urgan’s silver, to say nothing of decorating with it.
Humans think that secret of black iron belongs to everyone worshipping Urgan. Humans say that although dwarven blood originates from Urgan, dedicating one’s soul and life for Urgan would justify also human priests and blacksmiths to guard secret of black iron.
Human opinion for using silver is little contradictory. Some blacksmiths and priests don’t accept use of silver at all. Others to same extend accept it so that only priests are allowed to form silver according to Urgan’s rituals. This way silver may only be used inevitable needs. Humans have also many respected priests and blacksmiths who accept use of silver like any other metal. They justify their opinion by that for gods silver is just one mineral of earth, as for human normal sand is just sand.
(*Story: The secret of Black iron)
Holy symbol and Holy Scriptures – Strength of earth
The holy symbol of Urgan describes mountain having a fire burning inside. Four-pointed star mirrors the essence of Urgan.
Written by : NorAdronPrintable version of this text
Translated by : MoR