Thieves & Kings
Korg - Father of the Fields
The Great Father, The Gardener, The Ploughman – God of Agriculture, Farmers, Servants, Summer and the Earth.
As the seasons pass and all man makes perishes, only husbandry of the wild will bring bounty to the hands of mortals. The spirit of generosity. A strong voice for compassion and good. Harshly opposed to aberrations and the undead, and all that corrupts the spirit of humanity.
God of agriculture and the art of husbandry, Korg is an earth god whose moods are reflected in the hard-working efforts of his farmer followers. As one of the oldest of all gods, he sometimes rather ponderous, seemingly simple. His is the hand that guided the first of humanity from the caves of their past into the bright dawning sun and taught them agriculture and animal husbandry. Today, he is seen as the kind benefactor who ensures a strong harvest, healthy meals and a robust country life.
He rarely manifests in mortal form, preferring to be viewed as the living soil and its bounty. When he does appear, it is as a patriarchal farmer, the sort with the rugged looks that come from a life lived under the calming rays of a gentle sun. His is the gentle smile, the hearty laugh and sun-bleached white hair. In far more ancient depictions, Korg appears as a great stony titan wielding a green stone sickle, and commanding many ancient earth titans and elementals. These images are only found in the oldest caves attributed to his worship, and are often guarded by ancient stone giants that are also great sources of wisdom regarding forgotten lore and hidden secrets of the earth.
While these are the divine images portrayed most in religious icons, he is also known to take on the image of a red bull, or his other holy animal, the red horse. He takes upon himself this image, often when guiding his followers to a safe land, or if they seek to defeat those who have despoiled the lands of his devoted followers, or to those who seek to restore vitality to devastated lands.
In any case, the Blooming Rose on a Sunburst of Wheat is his greatest symbol, with roses and sheaves of wheat featuring prominently in all depictions of him, and in all shrines and temples dedicated to his grace. Sometimes, the green-tinged sickle, also features during times of war. His colors are gold, brown and red. His weapons tend towards simple tools, such as clubs, staves and sickles, rather than the usual weapons of war seen in most priests’ hands.
He maintains a close working relationship with Galana, Lady of the Forest, and in some of the more ancient texts, is attributed to being her brother. He is known to maintain a working relationship with Nolom, the Shining One and Amalthea, the Bringer of Life Renewed, but is notorious for having been linked as a lover with the goddess of the Hearth. He is an enemy to all creatures and deities of poison, disease and corruption, and their temples and worship fills he and his followers to great fury. Invis, Mistress of the Night, and her cohorts Moch, the Destroyer, and Kurse, the Corruptor, and their followers, are his most hated enemies.
His chief servants include “The Wanderer” and “Alaekmon”. The Wanderer is the old crone with many faces and names – _The “Grey Witch”-, the “Grandmother”, “Mother Burrow” (among the Halflings), “Earth Sister” (among the Dwarves), and “Servant of the Lords” or “_Mianwe Tinelosse” (among the Elves). She is Korg’s herald, endlessly wandering the world along backroads dispensing assistence and healing, wisdom and guidance to the faithful. She commonly wears a white robe cinched at the waist by a girdle embroidered with grape vines, wheat sheaves and roses. She is never recognized until she is gone. Alaekmon is an immortal king of the stone giants. Among the greatest servants of Korg, he is known as “The Great Toiler”. Strong beyond measure, Alaekmon spends his days in Korg’s fields, and he is only seen when an affront to Korg needs correcting.
Korg’s priesthood is strong in the countryside, where farmers, shepherds, wood-cutters and masons gather to pray for fertile fields, healthy flocks and plentiful ore. His shrines rival Amalthea in number, though few actual temples have ever been founded, likely due to the relatively poor nature of his followers. The handful of temples tend to be open-air affairs, set into natural stone formations and caves when possible. Main halls are usually amphitheaters within the temple’s center, dug deep into the ground. Its adherents largely concern themselves with the health of the land, and those who depend upon it for their livelihoods.
Most clerics of Korg often double as farmers and gardeners, holding places of great respect among rural communities. Usually born in such humble places as small villages and country farms, most came to the church through an appreciation of natural beauty, a feeling of peace when standing in the center of freshly-tilled field under the light of a gentle mid-summer sun. Priests do not hesitate to pick up their skirts and lend a hand at harvest, keeping farming families healthy with a hand at wood-cutting and rebuilding fences, and take joy in even the most menial of tasks. They tend to be patient and quiet, slow to anger, and prefer passive diplomacy to open warfare.
Dogma : Growing and reaping are part of the eternal cycle and the most natural part of life. Destruction for its own sake and leveling without rebuilding are anathema. Let no day pass in which you have not helped another living thing flourish. Nurture, tend and plant whenever possible. Protect trees and plants, and save their seeds so that what is destroyed can be replaced. Eschew fire. Plant seed or small plants at least once per ten-day week.
Korg’s clerical domains include Life and Nature.
Temples are organized along national lines, and its dogma does not vary from shrine to shrine within each nation. There are three main orders; “The Order of the Sheaf”, “The Reapers” and “The Gardeners”.
Symbol of the Order of the Sheaf
The Order of the Sheaf believes in the peaceful coexistence with nature, and maintains close ties with the Druids of Galana – The Goddess of Nature. There are likewise, many druids within this largest of orders, and its priesthood are commonly found along border regions and communities, helping local farmers tame and protect the land.
Banner of the Reapers
The Reapers are a solitary order of warriors with no real hierarchy, and associates with the other orders as soldiers and protectors when and where they feel they have been called. Their symbol is often seen as the stylized “Sacred Ox”, born before their warrior-bands as the mark of their militant order. Reapers tend to be far more neutral in their efforts towards helping people, and have been known to offer their services as mercenaries when engaging against forces of evil and tyranny.
Symbol of the Gardeners
The Gardeners are a similar, solitary group that act privately and move about swiftly, farming numerous webs of intrigue, delicately planting and harvesting rumors and clues of corruption, and bringing the other orders to bear when the rot has been uncovered. They are the subtle whisper to Reaper brute force. They tend to use no symbol other then the traditional rose and sheaf, but some see the spider as the ultimate creature of industry.
Korg’s clergy pray each sundown for the wealth of bounty the day has brought. They hold few organized holy days, instead instructing their followers to pray each sundown and in every moment during the day in which the world brings them joy. Long-standing traditions hold a newly wed couple spend their first wedded night in a freshly tilled field, which is said to grant a fertile union. Fertility obviously plays an important part in the cult’s worship, encouraging drinking, eating, dancing and enjoyment of the day’s bounties.
Holy days among the orders include “Venarius” and Harvestide". Venarius, The start of spring, the first day of the sowing season (also traditionally the 1st of Nolus ), traditionally marked by three full nights of feasting, contests and betrothals, while everyone lends a hand in planting their fields by day; Harvestide, a week-long celebration marked by feasting and competitions of farm produce and livestock. In mining communities, it is often marked by displays of gems and metalwork made by the locals. Usually held around the full moon (the 16th of Shorn, also known as the “Harvest Moon Festival” in some more civilized circles). At this time, the “High Prayers of the Harvest” ceremony is often presented to locals, perhaps the cult’s most holy of rituals.