terça-feira, 12 de março de 2019

Nodens - The Elder God and Lord of the Abyss

Among the forces constituting the known Universe, with their many powers and hierarchies, the Elder Gods may be the most unfathomable.

In fact, we know little about this host of obscure deities and entities of enormous power that some theorists say inhabit a distant site in Betelgeuse or an Alternative Dimension known to scholars as Elysia. For others, they would live in another reality named enigmatically as the House of the Hourglass, somewhere in the Dreamlands.

According to the legends, at some time in the distant past, long before mankind arose, the Great Old Ones, beings of immense power, created by the Elder Gods to act as their servants, revolted and started an unprecedented war. The confrontation was costly for both sides, and the Elder Gods suffered heavy casualties and many of them found their destruction. This War ended when the Elder Gods took advantage of a fortuitous Cosmic Configuration that forced the Great Old Ones to hibernate. However, this drained considerably their powers and also forced them to return to their original worlds. According to the legends, the Elder Gods will return when the stars are right and the fatal configuration is set. This will mark the awakening of their fearsome adversaries and the breaking of the chains that keep them imprisoned.

Ironically mankind knows very little about the Elder Gods, since they disappeared long before the Age of Man. Only a few esoteric texts, most of them apocryphal, mention them, and when they do, in an uncertain or reticent way as if the knowledge about them had been fragmented. For some, this is due to the interference of worshipers devoted to the Great Ones (Cthulhu, Hastur, and Ghatanathoa primarily) that would have erased the records of the Gods so that mankind could never resort to them. In fact, most of the information available about these deities comes from dreamers and pilgrims from the Dreamlands who have found in there different clues about them and their cosmic role.
Among the Elder Gods the most famous may be Nodens, known as the Lord of the Great Abyss, and whose human form inspires some to believe in his sympathy for our species.

According to some, Nodens came to Earth the last time thousands of years ago and was worshiped by primitive humans who knew nothing of their origin. For some, this contact would have served as the basis for building countless myths that would later become the gods of Earth's ancient civilizations. If this is true, Nodens may be the patron of human spirituality, the one who sedimented the concepts of belief, reverence and devotion in our psyche.

Some editions of the Book of Eibon cite that Nodens would be the arch-nemesis of Yog-Sothoth and that these two entities would have fought in the beginning of time. These same sources guarantee that at a certain moment the two will meet for a final confrontation and that the struggle between them will serve to infuriate Azathoth, bringing about the End of the Universe. If this terrible assumption is true, it is possible to assume that Nodens was a much more powerful day or that his powers will increase to fight one of the most titanic Outer Gods.

The advanced inhabitants of mythical Atlantis revered Nodens under the name of Chozzar, and had it as a God of Magic. They built in their honor temples with domes and marble columns where the prelates entered in trance to receive mystical instruction. In spite of their importance, their temples were destroyed before the seas swallowed the Continent, thanks to the competition of cults like the one of Ghatanathoa.

Druids also paid homage to Nodens under the guise of "Nuada" or "Ludd" (He Who Creates the Clouds), which is possibly one of their avatars. His most important place of worship was a sacred grove on the outskirts of Lydney, in the British Isles, which was destroyed by the Romans. However, there is rumors, that the place still exists in the Dreamlands as a wood full of healing and miracles. Nodens would also have originated the belief in the infallible God of the Hunt, responsible for tracking and killing their prey. This interpretation, probably collected in the Dreamlands, may have given rise to legends about the Wild Hunt, a recurring myth in European folklore.

It is rumored that another avatar of Nodens would have been venerated on the African Continent at the dawn of humanity as a God who planted in man the seed of inspiration and ingenuity. This God whose name was forgotten would inhabit a magnificent city with towers of transparent crystal whose top touched the clouds. He received specially chosen visitors in the dreams and encourage them to fulfill their fantasies. Unfortunately many of the African oral traditions about this legend have been lost and today only a few isolated tribes still remember it.

Nodens is seen by many as a God sympathetic to humanity, a deity who loves the visionaries and welcomes utopias and fantasies, sometimes encouraging them. However, he is not always understood. In the Middle Ages, a small cult that emerged in Picardy claimed that Satan was an avatar of Nodens. The cult was declared heretic and harshly persecuted by the Church until its complete extinction.

Another belief debated in certain volumes states that Nodens would have received from the other Elder Gods the incumbency of guarding the Prison of the Great Ones - perhaps the Abyss mentioned in his title. Nodens would have the role of Keeper, charged with invoking his brothers when the stars was right and urging them to war. The vigilance of Nodens, however, would not be infallible, and at certain times, through the action of Cults or astral phenomena, the Great Ones awakened briefly. For some, the powers of Nodens, after countless millennia, began to dimish, creating loopholes for the Ancients to experience brief periods of freedom. That would be an unmistakable sign that the dreaded stellar alignment is closer than we think.

On the rare occasions when Nodens decides to present himself to mortals, he does so by assuming a human form endowed with a regal and distinct bearing. His physical appearance refers to the artistic representations of the Greek divinities of the classical period. He appears as a tall and imposing man, more than two meters tall, beard and gray hair, sometimes curly, but always growing full and wild. His eyes in some descriptions are pale blue, in others they have a turquoise coloration or a yellowish glow that shows their supernatural nature. His face is austere, but the God allows himself to smile when dealing with mortals, boasting of unshakable confidence. However, when enraged, his face molds into a mask of terrifying rage. He is versed in all the languages ​ ​​known to man, and when he speaks his words are pleasant as an autumn rain.

Nodens wears a silk or cotton toga, without ornaments, but dyed blue or immaculately white. His feet are worn with sandals of leather straps tied in the shins. Most of the time he relies on a knobbly wooden walking staff, although he clearly doesn't need such a thing. This staff never goes out of their hands and serves as a kind of artifact of authority. He uses the object to open dimensional passages, tame beasts, or channel the spells he dominates. The staff can also be used to self defense. A mere touch of his tip is enough to cause unconsciousness or if the God so desires, to cause death.

Most of the time Nodens appears in a fantastic chariot framed in the shape of a huge shell. This strange vehicle is propelled by mythological beasts, griffins, and unicorns attached to harnesses guided by Nodens. These beasts can also be ordered to defend their master and when they do, they fiercely attack anyone pointed by him. Nodens never refers to these beings by names, but seems to be able to speak to them, as all commands are immediately obeyed. Nodens carriage is able to defy natural laws, float in the air, glide or descend vertically reaching unbelievable speeds. It also moves through dimensions, realities, and enters the Dreamland as he please. The farthest corners of the Galaxy are reachable in a heartbeat.

Nodens already granted certain guests the honor of accompanying him in his chariot, even passed them the ropes and allowed them to guide the vehicle. The God seems to find the reaction of mortals curious and entertains himself by talking to them. His mood, however, disappears if he discovers that mortals are somehow allies or in collusion with the Great Ones. In that case he can simply remove them from his presence or destroy them with a touch of his wood staff. On the other hand, those who have faced the Great Ones or have become enemies of cults, gain his immediate sympathy. Under certain circumstances Nodens can provide information or even magical gifts to aid individuals who fight cult-worshipers devoted to the Great Ones.

The Lord of the Abyss is served by the Nightgaunts, faceless humanoid creatures that seem made out of sheer darkness and fly with huge bat wings. Nodens can summon a flock of them by simply raising his Staff. The creatures appear to emerge from the shadows in the numbers that the God thinks adequate. In fact, when Nodens is present the shadows seem to behave strangely, moving in an unusual way, evidencing that they hide some Nightgaunts accompanying their master. The origin of this alliance between Nodens and the Nightgaunts is unknown, but it seems inviolable.

In spite of his appearance and his affable posture towards men, one must understand something about all the Elder Gods and especially Nodens. They are not benevolent entities or friends of human as many imagine or even desire. The Elder Gods act according to their personal interest and as powerful entities, they have us as inferior forms of life, although peculiar. Nodens is the greatest representative of this behavior, looking amusing yet mildly condescending to the mortals surrounding him. Although his interest is not in destroying us or cause amy harm, Nodens wouldn't think twice about eliminate a mortal that displeases him, just as we could kill a annoying insect,

Nodens' morality is dictated exclusively by his mercurial mood, and so, any contact with the Deity is potential dangerous. He is aware of his preponderance role and is not willing to accept abuse or disrespect of any nature. If so, He would remove the cause of his frustration without a second thought. He is after all a God, and as such, unfathomable in his ethics to our fragile minds.

Perhaps the best way to interact with Nodens is accepting his advice or gifts, but simply get out of his way as soon as possible, just as ants get out of the way of boots that can crush them.

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