OSR: Clerics of Pegāna

Here are some spells for Lord Dunsany's Gods of Pegāna (1905). If you need a ready-made public domain pantheon for your games and you don't want the standard Law vs. Chaos dualism of Anderson and Tolkien. It was a fun writing exercise, even if I chose to stick with the unfortunately gendered language of the original text.


The Testament of the Prophet Zoz

In the Temple in Aradec of All the gods save One, the High Priests of all the lands came to dispute and examine the matters of the gods. And a great debate arose touching on the games of the gods. Some said the gods play their games with dice, and some say they play their games with cards, and some said they use neither dice nor cards but only words and deeds. 

And the Prophet Zoz, who was the least of all the prophets, said that the gods play their games with dice, but rolled them only for the pleasing sound they make.

That night did the Prophet Zoz dream of a world where the gods attended to the prayers of men, and walked the Earth, and where the rattling of the dice of the gods could be heard on cold and still nights. Benisons and curses fell like rain upon the people, and they cried out: "Would that the gods did not attend to our prayers!"

When Zoz awoke, he wrote of this world, and would rebuke those who complained that the gods heeded not their prayers, saying: "Such a world have I seen in a dream, and it was not a pleasing world, for the prayers of men are foolish. Praise the gods, for they play their games in secret."

This is the testament of the Prophet Zoz, the least of all the prophets.

Raphael Lacoste

The Clerics of the Gods of Pegāna

Priests attend to the temples of the gods, but Clerics go among the people and do the will of the gods. One man may be a Cleric of Kib and a Cleric of Sish and a Cleric of Mung, if he thinketh he may please Kib and Sish and Mung and all other gods besides. For if he displeaseth the gods, they will set their faces against him, and his prayers shall go unheeded, and his hopes shall turn to ash.

These are the Workings of the Clerics of Kib

Kib, Sender of Life in all the Worlds

Best-loved of Clerics are the Clerics of Kib. They cut not their hair, nor their nails, nor wash, and yet they are welcome in every home. The aspect of the beast is evident in them.

The touch of a Cleric of Kib healeth the sick and restoreth life to the dying, if it be the will of Kib.

Kib may awaken the mind of a beast, likening it to the mind of a Man, so that the Cleric of Kib may converse with it or command it in the name of Kib. And thereafter the beast may again be a beast, or it may be a Man, if such is the will of Kib.

Kib, who made all beasts, may make another beast to answer the prayers of a Cleric of Kib, but whether it be a sheep or a bird or a serpent of the deep is according to the will of Kib.

The Cleric may look at a stick and say: “This is like unto a serpent,” and behold, Kib maketh the Sign of Kib, and the stick is a serpent. Or the Cleric may: “This stone is like unto a tortoise,” and behold, it is a tortoise. But the Cleric may not gaze upon a statue and say: “This is like unto a Man,” for Kib, who made Man, liketh not the presumption of sculptors, and will surely abandon his Cleric.

And the Cleric of Kib may speak all the tongues of men, for Kib was the first broke the Silence of Pegāna.

These are the Workings of the Clerics of Sish

Sish, the Destroyer of Hours.

The Clerics of Sish are aged before their years, and wear rent garments or ashen rags, for the breath of Time is upon them, and the teeth of Time pass near their flesh. And they are burdened by sad knowledge of days long past, or strange thoughts of days to come.

The Cleric of Sish may petition Sish to hold back Time, which is the hound of Sish, from harrying a beast or a stone or any other thing, and, if Sish wills it, the thing may stand untouched, while all around falls to ruin. And a thing untouched by Time may not move or speak or think or do any other thing, but may only be, and remain so until Sish lets loose his hound once more.

Sish may also let Time fall upon a thing with ravenous hunger and unconstrained strength. And a thousand, ten thousand, ten million years may fall upon the object of the wrath of Sish.

And Sish may turn his head to the right, and then the Cleric of Sish may walk as swiftly as an arrow. And Sish may turn his head to the left, and then the Cleric of Sish may walk as slowly as a tortoise or fall as a gentle leaf. But Sish easily tires of such prayers.

Secrets hath Sish, but not Desires, for these are the domain of Yoharneth-Lahai, and not Causes, for these are the domain of Dorozhand.

Slid - Sidney Sime

These are the Workings of the Clerics of Slid

Slid, Whose Soul is by the Sea

The Clerics of Slid are fickle and restless, for the Song of Slid resounds in their ears and dances through their limbs. They find no rest in Slid, for the moods of Slid are felt in his Clerics, and Slid is never still. They that go down to the sea in ships offer gifts to the Clerics of Slid.

The chill of the deep is in the hands of the Clerics of Slid, and the warmth of the gentle sand. 

Slid may turn his Cleric to sea-foam and water for a time, so his will may be carried into dark and secret places. Or he may raise his Cleric on a column of spray, or preserve him from drowning, if that be the will of Slid.

And should the Cleric sing the Song of Slid, just as rivers and streams sing, it may pleaseth Slid, and beasts and men who hear the song may dance in joy, as waves dance upon the shore.

Slid may command the waters of the sea and the courses of rivers, calling them or forestalling them. Slid may call a spring from the rock and watereth the hills with his blessings.

Mung - Sidney Sime

These are the Workings of the Clerics of Mung

Mung, Lord of All Deaths between Pegāna and the Rim

Mung walketh behind the Clerics of Mung, and his hand resteth upon them. It is an awful thing to know the presence of Mung. For men forget that one day they shall meet with Mung, but the Clerics of Mung know this to be true always, and neither sleep nor drunkenness nor age will remove the dread of Mung from their hearts. Thus, whatsoever garment a Cleric of Mung dons, and whatsoever their practices, the knowledge and dread of Mung is plain upon their features.

Beasts and men mark the approach of a Cleric of Mung and know that Mung walketh behind, and know Fear in their hearts, and Terror at the Shadow of Mung. And the Fear and Terror of the Shadow of Mung maketh men blind, so that they flee heedlessly into the darkness, and may there meet with Mung.

And sometimes Mung maketh the Sign of Mung, and those before the Cleric know Death. And sometimes he maketh not the Sign of Mung. It is a hard thing, and terrible, to be a Cleric of Mung.

Yet the touch of a Cleric of Mung banishes Pain and Sorrow, for they flee when Mung appeareth. And also Pestilence, for where Mung is, Pestilence hath gone before.

It may happen that Mung maketh the Sign of Mung before a Man, and the Life of the Man goes forth among the Worlds, but the body of the Man persisteth in movement and speech, as if it were a beast. This is an abomination unto Mung.

There are no Workings of the Clerics of Limpang-Tung

Limpang-Tung, The God of Mirth and Melodious Minstrels

There are no Clerics of Limpang-Tung, or perhaps every minstrel is his Cleric, and every joyful heart does his will. When darkness falls upon the heart of Man, and he is troubled, the playing of the harp may sooth and refresh him.

Yoharneth-Lahai - Sidney Sime

These are the Workings of the Clerics of Yoharneth-Lahai

Yoharneth-Lahai, The God of Little Dreams and Fancies

The Clerics of Yoharneth-Lahai are full of gladness, and their rest is untroubled. Soft are their robes and soft are their feet, and soft too are their words, for sleep is the field wherein Yoharneth-Lahai sports.

The Cleric of Yoharneth-Lahai pray to direct the dreams of men, to send them pleasant repose or the Terror of the Shadow of Mung. Many secrets of the heart are known to the Clerics of Yoharneth-Lahai.

Yoharneth-Lahai may set a veil before the eyes of Man, such that they may wonder whether they dream or wake. For in the desert, the Mirage is the dwelling-place of Yoharneth-Lahai. And some men are not troubled for long, for they say “This vision is but a passing fancy.” But some men grow quiet, and wonder if they live or dream, or if aught before their eyes has substance or mere appearance.

Yoharneth-Lahai knows the desires of men, and may tell his Cleric if a man be just or unjust, wise or foolish. A lying tongue shall not avail a man before a Cleric of Yoharneth-Lahai.

A Cleric of Yoharneth-Lahai may cry “Rest!” And the Man will rest, if it be the will of Yoharneth-Lahai.

These are the Workings of the Clerics of Roon

Roon, the God of Going

Footsore are the Clerics of Roon, and strangers in any land, for they never cease to wander. Loath are they to return to a place or cross a threshold twice, save by a strange and winding road. Yet weariness is not in their limbs, nor the agony of toil, for Roon walks with them.

Before the face of Man a Cleric of Roon may cry “Go!” And, if Roon so wills it, then shall go, and walk the Earth without rest, until they meet with Mung. And some may become Clerics of Roon on this journey, for the ways of Roon are long and arduous.

Knowledge of paths and roads hath Roon, and of far-off lands and distant deeds. No lock may bar a Cleric of Roon, nor rope bind him, nor snare entrap him unless it is the will of Roon.

The winds are subject to the word of Roon, and may be called up or sent away at the will or Roon.

And the Cleric of Roon may walk upon the water as if it were land, or the air as if it were stone, should it please Roon.

These are the Workings of the Clerics of Dorozhand

Dorozhand, Whose Eyes Regard the End

All men are slaves of Dorozhand, but some are chosen for purposes known only to Dorozhand. A man may be a shepherd one day and a Cleric of Dorozhand the next, and knoweth it not.

While Yoharneth-Lahai knoweth the secret of dreams and vain ambition, Dorozhand knoweth the secrets of times yet to come and times gone before, and the causes of things. Nothing save the secrets of MĀNA-YOOD-SUSHA̅I̅ is kept from Dorozhand.

The knowledge of Dorozhand is terrible and true, and the Clerics of Dorozhand see much that they do not understand, or tremble to know. Great engines and the rustling of paper trouble the sleep of the Clerics of Dorozhand, and the Doom of Man, and the Last Fires, and the Slaying Mists, and other prophecies which the Clerics of Dorozhand keep from the ears of men lest they grow restless with foreknowledge. The fall of the dice of the gods sounds like thunder in the ears of a Cleric of Dorozhand, and they see what is writ thereon.

Dorozhand may whisper in the ear of his Cleric, saying what will happen, whether it be the outcome of a great battle or the fall of a die. Or he may withhold his knowledge, for the schemes of Dorozhand are subtle.

Dorozhand may make the Sign of Dorozhand before a man, that he may know both his beginning and his end, and all things between, and for what purpose he was made, and from whence sprang his joys and sorrows. And this knowledge crushes the Life of Man, as a millstone grinds meal. For Knowledge is the gift of Dorozhand, but never Hope.

And it may come to pass that a Cleric of Dorozhand enters a new city in a foreign land and finds a table prepared for him, and knows that it is the will of Dorozhand. For when the Prophet Ṣalmu-āru walked in the desert, he found a stick to aid him in his weariness, and he gave praise to Dorozhand, who planted the seed that became the tree that grew the branch that fell to the ground in the path of the Prophet Ṣalmu-āru. 

But when the Prophet Ṣalmu-āru fell into a pit, he did not praise Dorozhand, though Dorozhand had stirred up the men to dig for riches in that place, and set clouds before the face of the moon. And Dorozhand waxed wroth, and the Prophet Ṣalmu-āru swiftly perished.

MĀNA-YOOD-SUSHA̅I̅ - Sidney Sime

And whether there be Clerics of Hish and Jabim and Bofa and Triboogie and all the other gods save one, Zoz saw not, but he knew that there were no clerics of MĀNA-YOOD-SUSHA̅I̅.


  1. so good, love seeing gameable Pegāna stuff!

  2. I love this. It's very weird and artistic, yet also usable. A difficult balance you have struck perfectly.

  3. The advantage of these highly specific, eclectic powers is how they force a player to contrive ways by which they can be useful. In so doing, they act out the will of their gods.

    Clerics of Mung are especially fascinating. They don't pray to Mung. They know full well there's no point, for Mung takes no counsel but His own. No prayers avail one, in prolonging or ending life. Rather, Mung walks with them, and acts in their presence. Simply being in a place causes the shadow of Mung to fall over it. You do not "cast a spell"; Mung simply acts. And His cleric must watch, until Mung elects to make the sign of Mung against them.

    Surely by that point, it is a relief.

  4. Since the god that "wert a man" gets so oft overlooked, a write-up for him.

    These are the Workings of the Clerics of Zodrak
    Zodrak, Lord of Seven Skies

    Threadbare are the garments of the Clerics of Zodrak, he who was once mortal. Their packs are variously empty or filled, with gold and possessions. These states vacillate from day to day, as the notice of guilt-wracked Zodrak makes their fortune change on a dime. So too do their companions (or lack thereof) change, as they gain and lose love. A Cleric of Zodrak is often smiling in times of hardship and frowning in times of plenty, for they are painfully aware that This Too Shall Pass.

    Clerics of Zodrak are pulled from humble stock, for their god sees kindred spirits in shepherds, farmers, vagrants, the dispossessed, and the poor. Those that long for wealth or love, for themselves and for others, and know not for what they ask. Both the Clerics and Zodrak regret His entrance into their lives, and seek penance with every act.

    The prayers of Zodrak's Clerics are a double-edged sword. They may pray for money - to gain it by fate or to know where it can be found - but all acquisition comes at the expense of another. To gain money is to take from someone else, to have it is to deny it. To pray for wealth means acquiring a debt, that will be paid in time. All that is gained is lost, and vice versa. Zodrak's Clerics are generous and spendthrifts, for any coin in their purse will be gone anyway soon enough.

    If Zodrak wills it, a Cleric may cause a person to fall in love, or to fall out of love. The reverse invariably follows, as bonds of affection break (or are sundered by death or time or distance) or are forged anew. Zodrak whispers in the ear of His Clerics about when and to whom a person feels love, and where and for whom they feel grief.

    As a sky god, Zodrak can grant His Clerics control of weather. With proper prayer, able to command storms, their god's children. The Cleric cannot control the storm once summoned. It may bring life-giving rain or torrential downpours; a warm or cooling breeze, or a battering tempest. The Cleric may clap thunder, though it affects all within range, friend or foe, including the Cleric themself. The Cleric may instead banish the storms (if they don't leave of their own accord), leaving the land parched and the skies lovingly, painfully clear.

    The most horrid miracle a Cleric may pray for is to mix Wealth and Love. The Cleric may turn a person into a statue of gold, but only one whom the Cleric loves. On the other hand, the Cleric may return a loved one to life, for the sacrifice of that person's weight in gold. Zodrak also whispers in the Cleric's ear the location of prostitutes, and knowledge of when and where love is bought.

    1. I chose to interpret Zodrak's story as a sort of text-within-a-text, an apologia written by Imbau. (Note the use of "I said:" in the text). Zodrak is not a god (even a fictional god) on the same storytelling level as the other gods of Pegāna , but an explanation and a cautionary tale, one level deeper.

      That said, those are good concepts.