Marduk

Then monstrous Tiamat scourge of worlds saw Marduk’s blood spilled.
And she knew that she had seized the upper-most of hands
For what God bleeds?—this is flesh of mortal man!

The Book of Marduk

Perhaps no God is as important to Humans as Marduk, who is regarded as humanity’s protector in the heavens and the guardian of all human settlements. While settled humans have these incentives to venerate their guardian, human adventurers venerate Marduk as one of their own who made it big.

For, in the far off days, when humans were far from the populous race they have come to be on [red-planet], Marduk was born of their number. While his parentage is shrouded in myth and he was reportedly one of the tallest humans ever born, Marduk was marked from an early age by manifestations of special power.

A tract, Ten Miracles of Marduk, includes this event:
Now in those days the first being called a Lich, Karas the Asmodeon had come to power in the human kingdom of Thul. A potent spell-caster with an immortal body—to touch which is death!—Karas reigned unopposed from the palace king Thul. When Marduk passed that way on his way to visit the white-eyed oracle. Diverting from his path, Marduk asked a traveler the origin of the red light which hung over the king’s palace.* When he was informed that a usurping undead spell-caster had holed up in the ancient king’s hall, Marduk was filled with a righteous rage. Setting aside his steed and his small retinue, Marduk donned only his sparse travelling armor and followed the stranger’s direction to the palace.

Upon entering, Marduk was beset by the Liches many minions, but, without ever drawing a weapon to his defense, Marduk threw one against the other until all were in shambles. Knocking through the great palace door to the throne room, Marduk laid eyes upon the lich sitting on Old Thul’s throne. The lich asked who among the mortals dared disturb his work, and Marduk gave no reply. Without weapon he approached the undead horror. The lich drew his great mace, itself the product of a thousand debaucheries. But Marduk maintained his pace, reaching out a single hand to touch the immortal body.

The great lich, startled by the approach, allowed the hand to land. A thousand agonies bit into Marduk, but his resolve held that day. “Your reign ends now, Lich”, said Marduk, as he flexed his hand and dug further into the lich’s corpse-body. Again and again against the flesh of Marduk did Karas the lich swing. Again and again he gathered his mighty will for a spell which would turn Marduk into a smoking pile. But the indomitable Marduk unflinchingly endured each strike, and with each passing moment grew his leverage over the body of Karas. Then, at long last, with a mighty heave, Marduk rent the ancient ribs from spine. With a rent body, the lich could do nothing to defend himself against the onslaught of blows that followed. With a great throw of his knee, Marduk bashed the head of Karas free from his body. And of the other things that Marduk did that day, are they not written in the Book of Marduk ?

Other miracles attributed to Marduk, culminating in his deliverance of the Dragon-oppressed by transcending into Godhood and slaying Tiamat herself are:

  • Bringing the ultimate food, the surpashroom, from the heights of the divine into the hands of mortals and establishing humans as agriculturists.
  • Prior to his ascension, entering a duel with four orc chieftain Hero-Gods {Makdna, Grungdar, Harphus, and Wadnor} and disarming them each in turn. In doing so, Marduk is said to have saved a host of humans from being slain by four competing orc tribes who had invaded to divide their lands.
  • Solving a riddle from a great sphinx.
  • Closing shut the “Jaws of Fire” opened by Ymeri to devour the world.
  • Finding and saving three children who had been thrown by a hag-witch into a labyrinth full of snakes. Supposedly he also ate the snakes.

But what mortal or immortal labor could match the slaying of an evil Elder god born in the cradle of the universe? The Book of Marduk tells the whole tale from start to finish, and is worth a read for the Mardukite and the common adventurer alike.

*Some accounts suggest that this was no ordinary traveler, but a smiling apparition of the horizon-walking god Fharlanghn. These accounts usually suggest that Dweller on the Horizon gave to Marduk a weapon which would seek the critical blow against Karas in the fight—usually either a special quarterstaff or rapier. Syncretic religious groups who venerate Marduk as the watcher over civilization and Fharlanghn as the watcher over the wilds are most likely to tell this version of the Miracle. The version told here is most likely from a renunciate sect of Mardukites, as it places the emphasis on the unarmed prowess of Humanity’s champion.

Marduk

Red Mourning BenjaminBuckmaster BenjaminBuckmaster