Monday, October 8, 2012

LOTFP Mystara: Death, Magic, and the Jackal-Headed God

I was toying with the idea of inserting the Death Frost Doom module into Karameikos by somehow having him related to the Jackal-Headed god of the Hutaaka known as Pflarr.

This statue appears in the Vatican. How
cool is that?
However, in the process of doing research, I happened upon the god Hermanubis.

Hermanubis is a god that combines the Greek god Hermes and the Egyptian god Anubis -- the son of Egyptian gods Set and Nephthys.

Definitely tied to death via both Hermes's and Anubis's role in bringing the dead to the afterlife, he also carries the sacred caduceus that both Hermes and Iris bore as messengers of the gods.

The twisted Pflarr we're crafting would therefore have provenance over death and magic (in fact, Pflarr is tied to both death & magic based on his written origins), and might be a special patron to those seeking to uncover secrets that mortals were not meant to know.

He may even be the god that -- in my 'pagan spells' approach -- all empowers all spells that deal with death, undeath, and piercing the secrets of the outer dark.

Immediate questions that come to mind: are the Hutaaka possessed of certain abilities tied to their creator's interests? Perhaps they have ties to the Kingdom of the Ghouls that has yet to be placed in LOTFP Mystara. Perhaps they perform the role as a guardian over the portals to the Underworld. And what strange rituals do they perform in their Lost Valley?


  1. And here I thought I was pretty up on my mythology, I've never heard of Hermanubis, thanks for sharing this!

  2. I've read a few of your blog entries and have found that we have similar ideas about some of these elements.
    In my Mystara campaign, Pflarr, Leptar, and Ranivorus are all arcanoloths(arcanodaemons): jackal-headed demons of great magical power.
    Pflarr is the least evil of the three because he is most concerned with gaining magical knowledge, Leptar is a trickster/corrupter always looking to topple others' accomplishments, and Ranivorus is a bestial brute seeking blood and destruction.
    Long ago, Pflarr created the Hutaaka to assist in and catalog his magical research. There were several castes including knights (re-skinned hound archons) and lords (re-skinned rakshasa). Because of their scholarly pursuits, the Hutaaka were considered peaceful by the local humans who offered them trade and protection. In exchange, the Hutaaka began to teach magic to the humans.
    Leptar and Ranivorus couldn't leave their brother's creations alone and began to twist the Hutaaka towards evil, making them into gnolls. The peaceful symbiosis between the Hutaaka and the Traldar became brutal slavery.

    okay. I've rambled on long enough, you get the idea.
    Pflarr has always been a favorite of mine simply because he tends to show up in multiple mythologies usually in subtle ways. And when I started all this is was surprised at how man canine-headed humanoids there are in the monster books.

  3. @Trey - Thanks!
    @Brutorz Bill - It surprised me too!
    @Soverigneternal - those are interesting takes on the Immortals of Mystara. I was aware of Ranivorus, but not Leptar.

    It seems the canine-headed immortals could have vied for tri-partite god status if they could just get along.

    I'm suddenly wondering if I should look at all the canine-headed monsters myself.


That's my side of things. Let me know what you think, my friend.