Campaign of the Month: February 2017
The Bogovi god of storms and war
I said—Wait, did you say cranberry?
Perhaps the most widely beloved by mankind of his pantheon, Perun is the hot-tempered god of storms, the keeper of rain and the devastating arrows of lightning, and the war leader that once led the Slavs to victory against their enemies. While he is not particularly bright and is prone to breaking the rules when it suits him, Perun is a staunch and courageous fighter in battle, always ready to rally the troops and inspire loyalty. As the bringer of rain and the herald of springtime, he is also a figure worshiped for his gifts of fertility and prosperity throughout the year. One of the four Divine Kings who rule with Svarozhich’s authority, Perun oversees the midnight side of the world and the dark northern reaches.
Perun and the Gift of Fire
Though it was forbidden for the gods to interact with humanity, Perun enjoyed their attention and sought to make himself the most well-loved of all the Slavic gods. He saw that mortals were cold and suffered in the dark of night, so he decided to grant them the gift of fire, using his thunderbolts to strike trees and set their crowns ablaze. At first, the mortals were terrified and thought that Perun was punishing them for ignoring them, but after his voice whispered out of the flames that they should come close and warm themselves, they discovered that fire was indeed a wondrous gift. Stribog, the god of winds, had been tasked by Svarozhich with blowing out any fires on earth lest humanity discover its secret, but Perun took him aside and convinced him that allowing just one would be harmless. When Svarozhich discovered what he had done, he was furious, but Perun claimed that there had been holes in his quiver and that some of his lightning bolts had accidentally fallen out and started the fires. The gods would not hear of it, however, and because of Perun’s actions declared that all direct interaction with humanity was now forbidden.
Perun and the Aesir
It happened that armies of invaders from Germany began to come to Slavic lands, conquering the people, laying waste to the land and claiming everything they came across as their own. The Slavs mounted a valiant defense, but they could not win any battles because the Norse gods fought alongside their people while the Slavic gods remained remote and only observed. All the gods were horrified and saddened to see what was happening to their people, but Perun challenged Svarozhich’s ruling in front of the entire court, declaring that it was unfair for the Norse to benefit from their gods’ help while the Slavs were forced to fight alone. When the king of the gods refused to budge on his ruling, an incensed Perun marched onto the field anyway and killed the general of the invading army with a massive thunderbolt; he would have gone head to head in combat with Thor, but the rest of the pantheon dragged him back away from the battle, the combined might of many gods barely enough to contain his strength. The Slavs lost the battle in spite of his interference, and he was banned from ever meddling in human affairs again.
Perun and Veles
Perun was a well-liked king among the Bogovi, but his greatest rival was the wily Veles, ruler of the underworld and his polar opposite in every way. Veles carried on a clandestine affair with Perun’s wife Mokosh, visiting her from the underworld just as Perun visited her from the sky, and when she bore a son Veles kidnapped him, stealing him away to raise him in the dark reaches of the realm of death. Perun raged impotently, but he could not invade Veles’ domain and was forced to wait until his son Jarilo became an adult and returned to the abode of the other gods of his own accord. The two gods continue to compete and irritate one another, stealing each others’ property and constantly trying to outdo or humiliate one another.