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Content Warning: Masochism, Torture, That Greek thing where deities eat their children
It had the bulbous, glossy eyes of a frog, reflective of the moon in a way that both distorted and debased an otherwise peaceful night, and its body appeared to be covered in matted fur, the back bowed high and knobbed disturbingly along the spine. And it was dark. Incredibly dark, despite the night itself not being particularly dark. The creature was hidden in invisible shadow such that Ast couldn’t make out any more of its face than the eyes.

Of all the deities in the pyramisic pantheon, no name has been quite so widely slandered as that of Ulfur. The bastard son of Eava and the first slighen, Ulfur is the traitor prince, the backstabber and the thief from the shadows. More politely he is the revolutionist and the dark horse of survival, serving as faithful companion to those who seek to usurp the eternal powers.

He is both one of the youngest and weakest gods in the pantheon, often cast aside for his misborn blood and curse. He comes and goes with seemingly small regard for time or the globe itself, and rarely does man or god pay any attention to him. Yet as the waves of mortal civilization rise and fall, there is only one deity whose whispers urge men on so steadfast. And he is always watching. Always waiting.

Weak Beginnings

The Ranger

The story of Ulfur's genesis has been mostly lost to time, however one general series of events is chronicled in the Pyramisic Doctrine. The Doctrine claims that Eava met the anonymous mortal Ranger before Casper chose her, and that she conceived Ulfur while still mortal. But already the story grows muddled. The Doctrine remains vague on whether Eava gave birth to Ulfur before or after wedding Casper and while there is general consensus between the two main pyramisic churches that Eava gave Ulfur her soul to grant him his divinity, the details surrounding the event are more obscured.

At some point following Ulfur's birth, Casper took Eava as his bride without knowing of her son. He inevitably later found out about Ulfur, however, and through his blinding rage at her consorting with a mortal cursed Ulfur with the "agony of mortal and divine life alike, and for your true blighted nature to be explicit in body"(The Pyramisic Doctrine, 537). Thus Ulfur's life would hold the brevity of man's only for him to be yanked each time from death back into life anew like a god.

Both pyramisic churches tend to gloss over a major inconsistency within Ulfric's story: Eava supposedly gave birth to Ulfric before meeting Casper, and then concieved and delivered the five arcanic deities after becoming wed. However, they still refer to Ulfur as one of the youngest minor gods in the pantheon and often imply him as being younger than his half-siblings.

This curse is also where Ulfur's common depiction of a mangy wolf comes from. It is said that upon being cursed Ulfur grew animal and deformed, and that the arcanic soul that Eava had gifted him with became tainted by the carnal nature of all beasts within the world.

After the Curse

A Beast Among Gods

Ulfur is generally considered a pariah among the rest of the pantheon, and so he seldom returns to their realm. Nor does he have a seat at the Eternal Feast. In artistic depictions, he often stands or crouches near Eava's seat, either a wolf or bear by her side or a twisted demon close behind.

An Animal Among Men

Accounts of Ulfur in the mortal realm tell of shadowed creatures lurking silently in the deep woods, appearing to lost hunters and adventurers in their first pangs of starvation and leading them to bounties of game or berries. His whispers are often heard by those in the throes of oppressive regime, a rasping urge toward plot and murder.

Preluding these sightings is a far-off howling or sounds of the savage desecration of prey, often ominous and directionless and only discernable to those to whom Ulfur reveals himself. Individuals have reported a fearful, foreboding sense enveloping them just before as well, Ulfur's very presence clouding their thoughts with his shadow.
by mirescosmo

Other Gods and Myths

Orc Wars of Liberation

Though Ulfur clashes with the rest of the pantheon more often than not, he does often ally with the god Malevex during periods of war. It is mused that if Malevex is the right hand of war, then Ulfur is its left and Xaltra its harbinger.

In particular, Ulfur and Malevex fought in the Orc Wars of Liberation together—the Doctrine asserts that they fought for the elderman while orvon believe that they fought for the orcs. Regardless of which is true, Ulfur betrayed Malevex in the end by stealing both their agreed shares of riches and disappearing as he always does.

A Note: The New Doctrine, used in the Confederacy and the Church of the Second, has revised this particular myth to concur with the orvon story under the argument that it is more probable and befitting Ulfur's persona as a god.

Retribution Against Casper

After biding his time for several centuries and whispering in the ears of many a lesser divinity Ulfur waged war against Casper, seeking both vengeance for his curse and to seize Casper's power as a major god. He led a dauntless campaign against Casper, even employing the aid of several minor deities, however the war was ultimately futile. In the end he found himself at Casper's mercy, and Casper cast him out of the divine realm for eternity, sparing his life only because he carried Eava's soul.

Undeterred, Ulfur traveled to the mouth of Avenstern and descended into the core of the globe where all the vile demons and souls nest. He bid them join him in defeating Casper, and the creatures readily agreed, following him up to the divine realm in battlerage. Yet this campaign also proved futile—the lacing rays of sun lashed out like burning whips at all hellish creatures, and more than half of Ulfur's army had fallen before even reaching the Eternal Feast.

The Sweetening

Upon the collapse of Ulfur's second campaign against Casper, Axen suggested to his brother to more directly punish and weaken Ulfur by inflicting the same pain through which he had put the hell-creatures. Thus, Casper decided to tie Ulfur up in the center of the Eternal Feast and lash him with the same rays of sun that his fallen soldiers had suffered from.

Much to Casper's dismay, Ulfur found that he enjoyed the torture even going so far as begging Casper to continue when the great god had halted in astonishment at the twist of events. Infuriated, Casper whipped Ulfur to death and then sent his own creatures to keep watch for Ulfur's rebirth and ensure he not return to the realm of the gods.
The Story Told in the West
Other civilizations, notably the Cravven Imperium or the orvon Reservations, tell of a slightly different sequence of events regarding Ulfur's conception. In their legends Eava is already wed to Casper when she meets the Ranger. Her affair is thus often described as more passionate and covert, a respite from an overbearing husband and the chaos of the pantheon itself.

Orvon pyramism—namely, those that worship Axen as the one true god—say that Eava's adultery and conception of a son with such heterogeneous blood made her weep so heavily that her tears stretched the Obsidian (a smaller river at the time) all the way to the Gelid Stretch. In her remorse she also may have cursed Ulfur herself.

What little references are still accessible from the Cravven Imperium suggest even another ending to the tale, perhaps one in which Casper or Eava eat Ulfur after he's born. However, any concrete evidence is dissipated along with the Imperium.

A bold act, to pray to a god that will as swiftly tear at your wounds as he might lick them.
— Dom Veskev

Wolf, Slighen, or Demon
While Ulfur—and slighen in general—are most often likened to wolves, art dating back to the first centuries of ancient Aveaan and even before it suggests a very different preferred form of the god. Paintings show a hobbled, mangey creature with several layers of grinning teeth and eyes the same black of the soulless. He stands on two legs, hands turned upward to brandish the elongated talons that extend from humanlike hands and, depending on the myth in which he's being portrayed, his chest may be slashed with the scars from his Sweetening.

Other depictions have him styled as another woodland predator; a bear or moose, usually. In other cases, he is shown to be no more than a dark shadow, an ambiguous back mass with tendril-like wisps emanating all around his form.

The Lost Child
Ulfur is rumored to have only one divine child, as they were soul-bonded for the child to become a deity. The child has various names—Libere or 'The Wild One' are the most common—and myth claims that Ulfur hid them deep away in the mortal realm out of fear that the rest of the pantheon might learn of their existence.

The Sweetening and Slighen
The notion of Ulfur's torture being referred to as The Sweetening has puzzled historians for some time, as nowhere in the actual myth is there mention of anything being 'sweetened.' Some have suggested that perhaps the title is a linguistic slip—Axen suggests that Casper weakens Ulfur, and so the myth may have originally been called The Weakening.

Also odd is the derivative of sweetening as a euphemism in slighen culture. Primarily in the Protectorate and Cravvik Isles, one's sweetening refers to a slighen's realization that they take sexual pleasure from pain, or their first foray into such fetishes. Slighen in the Confederacy use the word in similar fashion, however it seems to have adapted to the disparate culture. There, the term is used to refer to the drawing of blood during sex for one reason or another.

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