Oghma

oghmaThe god of knowledge and invention, Oghma’s followers revel in learning new things and having new experiences. He is most worshiped by bards, monks and wizards, and by those strive to learn more and know the history and truth behind the tales. Oghma was born a mortal  in the time of the Old Ones, and spent much time studying the demons. He discovered a secret that helped the other gods defeat the ancient demons who once ruled the earth, though he did not share it for this purpose. He did not participate in the battle, but offered what he had learned freely to both sides, ultimately resulting in the victory of the gods. He was ascended to godhood for his skill and deep knowledge of the world. He is friend and companion to Istus, goddess of destiny. They have an attitude of friendly competition toward one another, each seeking to reveal more of the truth of the world than the other. He also owes a debt of gratitude to Ilmater, who protected Oghma at his weakest. Oghma’s truest enemy is Leira – goddess of lies and illusions. Her magic and her cavalier attitude toward truth is an affront to Oghma’s quest for knowledge. He also opposes followers of Mask.

Oghma’s followers appreciate knowledge in all its forms and seek out truth wherever they can. His priests are those who have proven themselves as great inventors and creators. Temples to Oghma (called abbeys) also serve as libraries and schools, open to the community as they believe all knowledge should be shared freely, and their followers are welcomed from all races. Priests of Oghma have traditionally been of two sorts: those who remain within the monasteries and abbeys, spending their lives in analysis, reading gathered tomes, and copying out texts and spells as requested, and those who go out into the world to find the writings that fill the abbey libraries. Most abbeys of Oghma support themselves by selling maps, scribework, and spell scrolls. Wayfaring clergy are frequently sent armed with spell scrolls to trade and coin to purchase learned works and scrolls with. The god’s holy day is midsummer, where a lively celebration called Srinshee takes place alongside the temple of Istus’ worshipers. Participants from each church compete to produce beautiful calligraphy and illuminated texts, tell stories, and demonstrate magical skill. Some displays of new and strange inventions are trotted out, some of them built solely for the amusement of children. The bards perform at this festival, and sometimes have song-battles in which they tease and goad the other temple’s worshipers in improvisational song.  These battles are usually performed after dark when the children are asleep as they can get quite raunchy. The day ends in a communal feast, with recipes prepared from the books in the local libraries, some preserved for hundred of years by Oghma’s priests.

Oghma is represented as a flash of light that speaks in the voice of an old man, a series of notes preceding his arrival. The only knowledge forbidden to follower of Oghma is the exact tone and order of this song, and those who attempt to recreate it will find themselves warned once, and destroyed the second time.