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Musings on…the priesthoods of Bretonnia, part 2: The Classical Gods and the Bretonni PDF Print
Sunday, 26 January 2014
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Musings on…the priesthoods of Bretonnia, part 2: The Classical Gods and the Bretonni
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In the previous article I had concluded through obscure sources, logical observation and my own fertile imagination that the four most important Gods of the Bretonni would be the four main Elder Gods. The remaining deities in the Old World pantheon are the four main Classical Gods; Morr, his wife Verena and their two daughters Myrmiddia and Shallya. Also Ranald, but I'll discuss him later on.

 The most important question surrounding the Classical Gods - or at least regarding my current topic - is to what degree they would influence the Bretonni. Note how much the Gods from the south have affected the Empire. Sure, the Elder Gods and Sigmar dominate throughout the provinces, but the Classicals are still worshipped and have a decent following from the Imperial citizens. All this despite the fact that Bretonnia is between Estalia and the Empire, and the only reliable connections Tilea has with their Imperial cousins is the Brenheim Pass and the River of Echoes. For those not in the know, the Brenheim Pass is a rugged route cutting through four huge mountain ranges and is often sealed by snow for six months every year, and the River of Echoes is a massive underground river over three hundred miles long[1]. If these passages are not possible, then you have to take the long route by sea, go through the length of Bretonnia or else maneuver through the fractious Border Princes. But despite all these obstacles, the Classical Gods still have a following in the Empire. Let me repeat that; despite that the Empire and the southern lands are separated from one another by immense differences in both terrain and culture, the land of Sigmar is still influenced by the Classical Gods. Imagine then how the Bretonni tribes would respond to them, since their country directly borders both Estalia and Tilea.


However, in the end the Bretonni still created Bretonnia instead of becoming a part of Estalia or Tilea. One could argue that there were a few of the tribes or tribesmen who joined their southern neighbors at one point or another, or that before, during and after Unification there were some minor groups who didn't want to be ruled by the King or his Lady of the Lake. But that doesn't discount the fact that despite the major influences from the south, the Bretonni in the end still considered themselves a separate race and nation. True, the same goes for the Empire, but the horse-warriors have a long history of conflict with their northern neighbors and their founder, the Man-turned-God Sigmar. "Those tribes that did not join [our emperor] Sigmar were driven from his lands. The remaining Bretonni in the south fled across the Grey Mountains and settled the fertile lands they found on the other side. Thus it is perhaps appropriate that they became either beaten peasants or arrogant fools obsessed with thick plate armour: somewhere in their backwards society lurks the primal memory of their early defeat at the hands of Sigmar."[2] You can see why the early Bretonnians would guard against Imperials affecting their culture too much.


We do see evidence that Estalia and Tilea have influenced modern-day Bretonnia to some degree. The Dukedom of Brionne, which borders Estalia, is renowned for its artists (and people who think they are artists) its beautiful (but impractical) buildings and the many sordid (and stupid) adulteries the inhabitants of Brionne commit. Compared to what we know about the other Dukedoms, this is somewhat uncharacteristic and decadent behavior. This makes it possible that these artistic and free-spirited customs of Brionne come from the southern countries, which have a longer history of civilization, art and science than Bretonnia (or the Empire for that matter) and are more open-minded about sexuality. Then there's the Dukedom of Carcassonne, who shares borders with Tilea, Estalia and Brionne for good measure. While most Bretonnians refuse to employ mercenaries of any kind, the Carcassonnians frequently make use of them (although they do call their hired swords ‘shepherds' in order to keep up the masquerade of Bretonnia not needing foreigners or outlaws to defend its lands[3]). That might not seem important, but Tilea is often seen as the country for mercenaries and mercenary armies, to the point that the ‘Dogs of War' armylist is seen as the armylist for this country. "Although Dogs of War ply their bloody trade to every point of the compass, the most notorious breeding-ground of mercenaries is the land of Tilea where they can be assured of ready and profitable employment."[4] Then there's the small fact that the formation of Estalia and Tilea occurred at roughly the same time as the founding of the Empire, which means that these two civilizations and cultures had somewhere around a millennia to ingrain themselves into the customs of the Bretonni.


Of course, it's been mentioned in my previous article that the Bretonni were gallivanting around in what would become Bretonnia about a thousand years before the founding of any Human civilization in the Old World. The priesthoods of the Elder Gods would have had plenty of time to entrench themselves and resist other deities and their followers. Furthermore, while the two most southern Dukedoms are susceptible to southern contamination, the Dukedom north of Carcassonne and east of Brionne is Quenelles, which I already established to be the most likely center of the Cult of Taal and Rhya in Bretonnia. Then there's Bordeleaux, home to the Cult of Manann, which only has one Dukedom between it and Brionne. The priests of the Classical Gods would not go unopposed into early Bretonnia. Let's see what the southern cults would accomplish.


Last Updated ( Tuesday, 04 February 2014 )
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