Urskil (UR-skill) the Serpent is a force of selfishness within the world. Within the Sianaen Pantheon, he is in constant struggle against his counterpart, Hurir the Horse.
Urskil is primarily associated with Earth, Evil, and Knowledge.
Originally aboriginal animal spirits, as the Sianaen civilization developed, so did their theology, allowing their spirit totems to ascend into the upper echelon of the Greater Pantheon. These deities are worshiped primarily by Sianaens, whether at home or abroad. Devotion to these deities failed to interest other lands and Sianae never developed what could be termed an empire.
Like all of the deities of the Greater Pantheon, the Serpent has opposition in the cycle in the form of Hurir, the Horse. Where Urskil represents the selfishness—or a devotion to one’s own concerns, the Horse is a force of righteousness and nobility.
In Sianae, the Serpent is also seen as a bearer of knowledge and an omen of revelation.
Appearances and Emissaries
Like most other Sianaen deities, the Serpent takes on three different forms:
- A huge, blue-skinned variation of his namesake creature
- A stern, muscular man in blue scaled armor and a trident
- A monstrous snake with a man’s torso and head
Worship of Urskil
Followers of Urskil believe in themselves above all else. Selfish pursuits are the only truly justified pursuits.
Worshipers and Clergy
Both men and women may serve the Urskil as clerics.
Priests of Urskil often mark themselves with elaborate snake tattoos that run from the face and down the neck onto the torso. They also wear flowing blue robes. All clergy also wear the symbol of the serpent as a torque about the neck.
Temples and Shrines
Worship of the Sianaen Pantheon has not traveled far outside of that country. However, worship is tied directly into the ascension cycle of the ruling houses. When the Serpent is in power, temples tend to reap the benefits in gold and followers. When it is in decline, the temples suffer accordingly.
Temples to Urskil tend to be underground affairs and house huge libraries and scriptoriums.
The sacred texts of the Serpent God are only a rumor—no one can confirm nor entirely deny their existence.
Followers of the Serpent hold the changing of the seasons as sacred, being the times in which the world itself sheds its skin and is reborn.
Certain devoted followers of the Serpent perform daily rituals that bestow special blessings upon them from Urskil. Alone, in contemplation, contemplate the Scroll of Obedience from the writings of the great sage Jiacomo Davoni. Revel in the paradoxes of selfishness and obedience. Gain a +4 profane bonus to all Knowledge checks and treat all Knowledge skills as if you have ranks, regardless if this is true or not.
Urskil does not really believe in sacrifice—to give up of one’s self is tantamount to blasphemy in his eyes.