Tales from Forgotten Europa

An excerpt from "The Dance of Gods and Men" by the scholar Vladmir Grôber

From Chapter 2: Through a Mirror Darkly

”... it can be truly said for all cultures, all peoples, that the deities worshiped are in fact archetypes, are in fact the very model of stereotype, for that culture. And this is in by no means restricted to the race of Men.

Elves worship gods that represent the best and worst in their culture. Their gods embody worship, knowledge, persistence, honor, and exclusivity. Halfling gods are all renown for their ability to consume, their peacefulness, and their stature is somehow less while still being more grandiose than any mere mortal of their church.

The virtues that drive Men can be found in the spirit and story of each of their deities, and every devil and demon bears the countenance of Men’s own failings. Wrathfulness, infidelity, tyranny are all well-represented. In fact, the argument can be extended to Chaos itself, and in that regard Men stand alone, for to Men chaos can be either devil or god, depending on one’s background and view of life. The Empire and Norsca teach us this is so.

And perhaps it is in the oldest of races that the hypothesis is truly borne out. For amongst the Stout Folk, their Gods walk bravely but only just before where their mortal worshipers tread. Truly, the Dwarf Gods are not omniscient, are not all-powerful, but merely better and more evolved than the folk themselves. A dwarf god bears all the strengths and failings of his people, is in fact doomed to his own role in life and his own inevitable, inescapable conclusion, in their myths of Chaosdawn, the Räkenskap. Traits which be found in a dwarf (from their infamous greediness to their impeccable memory and their sense of honor and history), will be found to unapproachable extremes in his god, this has always been a hallmark of their myths and legends….”



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