Nava-Verse Archives #52: Mup'Horlem and Company Picture

CENTER:

INDIVIDUAL: PRIMAL DEITY:
Mup'Horlem is a powerful Primal Deity of disputed classification, having a unique form that exhibits traits characteristic of and normally thought to be exclusive to the Idol–Classes, Serpentine–Classes and Mage–Classes. Officially considered a male, he is the "god" of the small, remote Zeta Octant planet known as Umozatch, and of its people, the Wuccigans, who are considered to be utterly and hopelessly enthralled to him, and has been for all of recorded history. This makes Umozatch and Proolycoles the only two planets in the Prime Galaxy whose people are currently, entirely and in all likelihood permanently in the service of a Primal Deity, and indeed, Mup'Horlem is considered to be the second–most–powerful Primal Deity in existence, next to the monstrous Junt'Vubis who controls the aforementioned Proolycoles and the Monsgnarl Pantheon which includes several other, lesser deities. However, there is a key difference between the natures of Junt'Vubis and Mup'Horlem; while the former is an irredeemable being of pure evil and one of the greatest, most active threats to the Prime Galaxy at large, the latter – despite being a Primal Deity, a being whose very existence goes against God's will and puts many souls in jeopardy – is actually not all that bad a guy.
Mup'Horlem generally lacks the malevolence traditionally (and rightfully) associated with Primal Deities; he does not seek to draw any other races besides the Wuccigans into his cult by force, manipulation nor any other aggressive or subversive means, being content to call Umozatch alone his domain. Outsiders are welcomed and encouraged to "join" him, but this is the extent of Mup'Horlem's efforts to gain more followers. He acts as a largely benevolent leader and God–figure to his people, who willingly embrace him with next–to–no exceptions and without their devotion to Mup'Horlem appearing to be due to any brainwashing, corruption or other alteration of their minds or spirits on his part. For these reasons, this Primal Deity is perhaps the most tolerated of all such beings active throughout the Nava–Verse today by God–fearing populations.

On Mup'Horlem's physical form: he can size–shift himself at will, his smallest possible state being comparable in size to one of his own worshippers and his default, most massive state measuring nearly one hundred feet from its bottommost to topmost points, the largest size attainable by any known Primal Deity. As stated above, the shape and features of the body itself are very nonstandard and make Mup'Horlem impossible to categorize under any of the five otherwise clear–cut Primal Deity classes, which cannot be said of any other Primal Deity. Most of his upper body matches the "Idol–Class" model, yet it boasts distinct and fully–formed arms whereas "true" Idol–Class deities possess, at most, mere semblances of such limbs. His lower half, meanwhile, consists of several elements, most notably a bluish, sub–corporeal "tail" that is very tentacle–like in nature, having several "branches", and appears to serve as Mup'Horlem's center of balance in terms of his floating, but not free–flying, movement. This "tail", which gives the deity a Serpentine–esque element to his form, is flanked by two fleshy and equally tentacle–like appendages that are composed of patchwork amalgamations of various substances and textures and support Mup'Horlem's dual Tikis, which generally rest at ground level (and will be described later on in this entry). The backdrop to all three of these structures is the concave face of what essentially amounts to a decadent "cape" originating near the bottom of Mup'Horlem's "main", Idol–like body, of which it is an actual part rather than a garment. The purpose and function of this "cape" is uncertain, but it is most likely a superficial feature, serving to enhance the deity's physical and atmospheric presence and doing little else. It is likely that the overall durability value of Mup'Horlem's body is, give or take, close to 40,000.

The temple serving as Mup'Horlem's main abode is known simply as "The Bask" and is located within the Wuccigan race's capital on Umozatch, known simply as "The Hollow". From there, he may be summoned, once per twenty hours globally, to any of the thirty–one magical waypoints to which he is attuned, and of which one exists in each of the thirty–one lesser settlements located across the planet. Properly summoning Mup'Horlem to any of these spots requires the help of at least one of his many "upper–acolytes", who are the only ones possessing the knowledge of the ritualistic rites for doing so. All of Mup'Horlem's upper–acolytes, whom also effectively serve as regional leaders for the respective settlements they each reside among, are also responsible for scheduling out when each settlement will have its next "turn" to call upon the deity, and to this end they remotely convene with one another, formerly with the assistance of Mup'Horlem's magic but presently through use of practical mass–communication technology, on a more–than–once–daily basis. Summoning Mup'Horlem more than once within a twenty–hour period is normally considered a grave transgression for which the blame rests solely on the shoulders of the upper–acolyte(s) responsible and for which the punishment is death; however, exceptions to this rule are occasionally made for situations which the deity recognizes as having been genuine emergencies severe enough to constitute valid excuses.
Whenever it occurs, the calling forth of Mup'Horlem, which each village on Umozatch is typically allowed to conduct at least once and no more than twice per cycle, generally leads to one (or more) of three things: the placement of a blessing upon crops and harvests, a session of teaching and channeling in Horlematurgy, or, most often of all, the commencement of ravingly wild festivities (the significances of each of these events are explained in the passages below).

The harvest and agricultural fertility are a major aspect of Mup'Horlem's being and range of powers. It is said by his followers that, before he came along, Umozatch, presently a very fruitful (no pun intended) world from which large amounts of many highly–demanded crops are exported, was barren and plagued by famine, though there is no concrete evidence going back far enough to either confirm or deny this. Regardless of whether this account is true, the overall harvest theme is heavily reflected in Mup'Horlem's physical form, namely in the deity's two large arms previously mentioned in the discussion of his dubious classification. The left has a vine–like consistency and distinctly vegetal fingers and is known as "The Sower", and the right, in contrast, is beefier and ends in a hand with a pair of small scythes (which are agriculturally symbolic, not weaponized as some have mistakenly interpreted) in place of two of its fingers, and is known as "The Reaper" (a name which, again, should not be incorrectly taken in a violent/death–evoking sense).
"Horlematurgy" is the term for the "brand" of magic derived from Mup'Horlem and practiced by his followers. Although believed to be a distinct and unique form of energy by the Wuccigans, it is generally thought to actually be a metaphysical compound of Primal Energies, Dark Magic and Rainbow Energy, an explanation which, despite being more "mundane" than the alternative, is still otherwise unheard of in the field of what Primal Deities can do, and further solidifies Mup'Horlem's uniqueness and mystique. Horlematurgy is generally low–key in its application by its Wuccigan practitioners compared to how various supernatural beings can use their respective forms of magic, but as any harnessing of magic, whether its nature be Divine, Demonic, Primal or any combination of the three, by mortal humanoids is exceptionally rare, it is still of great note as a field of practice. Common spell effects include induced mineral, herbal and chemical synthesis for mostly medicinal purposes, conjuration of minor illusions and light displays that are of little practical use, and fortune–fortification (good–luck–charming) whose effects have been proven to be existent but inconsistent.

On the specifics of Mup'Horlem's personality and the ways of living he and his cult encourage: while, again, not truly malevolent and rarely prone to actually hurting anyone, he possesses an intimidating and maniacal demeanor typical of Primal Deities, the difference in his case being that it does not usually represent any serious intentions of causing harm. Instead, Mup'Horlem means to instill in his followers a "fun" type of faux–fear, with the Wuccigan culture under his control/leadership being one that places great emphasis on thrills, excitement and partying. Their most wild parties of all are initiated during certain summoned appearances of their deity, with other, lesser parties taking place frequently and often tending to break out suddenly.
Mup'Horlem's two (not three, as most other Primal Deities who possess any of them have) Tikis (minor heads) are named "The Freak" and "The Spook", the latter stemming from the left side of his body and the former from the right side, and are the only Tikis of any known deity to have "official" names besides those of the feelings/traits/sentiments they embody. Conversely, it is not "confirmed" what, precisely, they do embody in terms of raw personality aspects, but the Freak has more often than not been described as representing indulgence in psychedelic thrills while the Spook has usually been described as embodying the "fun" sort of fright and artificial, harmless senses of danger and intimidation that Mup'Horlem loves to perpetuate. Like other Tikis, both of them are moderately talkative, having minds of their own, albeit simple ones, but unlike others, they are considerably more "organic" in their composition and "fluent" in their animacy. The Freak also notably sports an aperture in its "chin" into which offerings to Mup'Horlem, consisting of various small objects, can be and frequently are inserted.

UPPER–RIGHT:

Wuccigan: A very much "neutral" race of humanoids inhabiting the planet Umozatch and willingly serving the Primal Deity Mup'Horlem almost without exception. Wuccigans are rather animalistic in appearance; they have brownish–or–orangish fur covering most of their bodies, with varying thicknesses in different anatomical regions, claw–like, boney fingers and tall, pointed ears similar to those possessed by a number of decidedly non–humanoid mammalian animals. However, their overall statures, measurements and body shapes are fairly standard, as is the durability value range for adult individuals, which stands at 600–900. Despite Wuccigans tending to eat more heavily than most peoples, they usually have little body fat and well–toned muscles while also possessing above–average lifting power. Roughly one–in–seven Wuccigans are adept in some application of what is known as "Horlematurgy"; further details on this may be found under Mup'Horlem's entry.
As a people and especially in outside public perception, Wuccigan–kind is all–but–defined by the fact that its members all serve a Primal Deity, which has led to no small amount of prejudice against them from other races, especially following the wars fought against the Anyugari, another, decidedly more hostile Primal Deity–serving race from the Zeta Octant. As of the current era, though, these prejudices have lessened immensely among most circles where they used to be common, and the Wuccigans, like their master, are presently tolerated, though not necessarily liked, by most. In large part due to all this and in another large part because of their allegiance to their deity and reliance on frequently summoning him, something which can only be done from the shrines at the hearts of their planet's various settlements, few Wuccigans live off–world of Umozatch. However, their kind and world are very active in interplanetary trade, namely of the many crops they grow but also including significant quantities of the sweet, decadent culinary concoctions whose making is one of their many common pastimes.
"Eccentric" is perhaps the best single word with which to describe the Wuccigans in terms of beliefs and practices. For one, although devoting themselves to Mup'Horlem rather than God the Father, and contrary to popular assumption, they do not believe their deity to be superior to God or entitled to anything resembling total control of all things, but rather believe him to be the true and rightful master of their kind specifically and exclusively, which is also Mup'Horlem's own stance on himself. Relatedly, Wuccigans believe that, rather than going to either of the standard afterlife realms upon physical death, their persons are reincarnated and their souls rejuvenated by their master at that point instead in an indefinite cycle. This is considered a highly positive thing – a thrilling, exciting prospect that provides limitless opportunity – in their perspective. While one would and should assume by default that this is an incorrect belief, it technically is not known for certain. Across the very few and very brief real–time glimpses into the afterlives of Heaven and Hell that the living, including the Custodian of the Nava–Verse himself, have ever been allowed, not enough Wuccigan souls have been identifiably witnessed for the conclusion that all members of their kind are judged just like everyone else to be confirmed as a sound one. Due to both this lack of data and the mysterious nature and great power of Mup'Horlem himself, the Custodian has no choice but to acknowledge the possibility that Wuccigans and their souls may (may) receive special afterlife treatment after all.
Other, less fundamentally profound beliefs held by Wuccigans include perceived importance or sacredness of various objects and symbols and several superstitions relating to acts that may cause long–term misfortune. More interesting is a historical myth claiming the past existence of ghastly, nigh–unkillable and mass–murdering humanoid demons called "Nightmaritans" on Umozatch, which were all vanquished by Mup'Horlem concurrent to his bestowing upon the planet, claimed to have previously been barren, the favorable terrain and climate it retains today, long ago. The truth value of this story is most likely little–to–none, but in any case and for whatever it is worth to the field of entertainment, various and numerous takes on the Nightmaritans have been featured in overtly fictional horror stories penned by Wuccigan authors, literature of such a variety being another common pastime and secondary export of their kind.
Wuccigans have a somewhat, but not wholly, hedonistic general way of living; while they do have various productive responsibilities that they are usually good with meeting, they make full, active and reckless use of nearly all their free time, their lives generally being composed of significantly more "play" than "work". They are thrill–seekers who enjoy being scared, so long as it is recreational and there is no real danger, and frequently partake in wild parties that generally take place at night and more often than not last throughout the whole night. These values and practices are, again, endorsed by Mup'Horlem, and again (again), more details regarding the topic can be found under his entry.

LEFT:

Dunthisis: A small mammal that is present in large numbers all across Umozatch, but particularly common in and around Wuccigan settlements, this being due to the fact that the Dunthisis species has long–since been domesticated by Umozatch's people. It is, furthermore, considered to be both Wuccigan–kind's natural friend and ally and a blessed creature in general according to Mup'Horlem's doctrine. The former of these beliefs, at least, is an observably accurate one, for as pets to Wuccigans, Dunthises are harmless and more–than–occasionally helpful, and even the most unkempt–looking of wild specimens are usually friendly towards the humanoids to whom their kind is viewed as a companion species. A majority of Wuccigan family units have at least one Dunthisis affiliated to them, though owning any more than three of the creatures, especially if one otherwise lives alone, is viewed as unhealthy and, more superstitiously, as a potential cause for long–term bad luck. Meanwhile, the perceived "sacredness" and ritual significance of Dunthises, which, needless to say, has far less rational basis, is nonetheless a harmless belief that, if anything, only enhances and improves existence for the creatures, them being commonly pampered by their owners and, in some special cases and for various reasons, practically worshipped. And though animal sacrifices are frequently performed in Mup'Horlem's name, it is a written rule that no Dunthisis is ever to be made such an offering of, being the only animal on Umozatch that is "off–limits" in terms of ritual slaughter.
Dunthises are four–legged creatures with partially fur–coated and partially hide–skinned bodies, clawed paws and fairly long tails ending in arrowhead–like natural tips. More distinctively, they possess near–perfectly–rounded scalps covered with fine, silky fur not found elsewhere on their bodies, and small wings positioned midway down their backs. Dunthises are very nimble and agile, and though they cannot fly, the flapping of their wings can still generate enough air resistance to significantly slow/break falls from most heights. The creatures themselves are well aware of this ability, and take great advantage of it by frequently, readily making jumps that would be incredibly dangerous for an otherwise identical creature lacking the Dunthisis' wings. The durability values of Dunthises are typically between 300 and 500, and they rarely live for more than a few decades.
There is particularly great variation in color schemes and other largely superficial, but highly visible, traits between different Dunthises. According to Wuccigan beliefs explicitly endorsed by Mup'Horlem, black, purple and orange are the most desirable colors for a Dunthisis to sport, with "perfect" combinations of these colors leading to many of the above–mentioned cases of the creatures being borderline–worshipped. As of recent years, many Wuccigans have taken to trying to specially breed Dunthises for purposes of creating more "ideal" specimens, though they have yet to fully figure out the correct selection methods for reliably achieving this.

Lanshafski: A large – almost man–sized – insectoid creature that can also be found in most–to–all regions of Umozatch's biosphere, although in smaller numbers than the Dunthisis. Standing nearly four feet in height, it should go without saying that the Lanshafskis are the largest and strongest insectoid–type creatures on their planet. The "maximum" durability value for any common Lanshafski to reach is just below 800. Based on one's first glance at it, this creature might easily be mistaken for some advanced new form of Nirtrid, but it is in fact both wholly unrelated to the ever–virulent family of demonic insects and much less hostile and grotesque in nature. Lanshafskis usually live in small groups, similar and seemingly equivalent to the average 3–5–person family unit, within shallow–dug but spacious warrens beneath various spots in the many grassy fields that make up a large chunk of Umozatch's terrain. Though easily rupturable, these dwellings are just as easily replaceable for the creatures that live in them, them being expendable and with a Lanshafski that is able to live out its full twenty–year lifespan making use of dozens of different dugouts over the course of that time. Disruption of Wuccigan crop fields due to Lanshafski activity beneath them is an occasional, but not quite frequent enough for it to truly be labelled as common, occurrence.
Feature–wise, the Lanshafski has an upright, round torso, a large and singular cluster of many tiny eyes for vision, and two small mouths whose respective tracts converge near and ultimately lead down into a singular stomach. Atop its flat–topped head is a trio of small antennae surrounded and partially obscured by a fuzzy, matted mane that is the only visible patch of hair on the creature's body. More notable and relevant to function are the Lanshafski's many limbs, which include not only two "sets" consisting of four basic, lengthy appendages each, with the upper four ending in standard adhesive nubs and the lower four having simple pairs of claws, but also a pair of beefy and muscular, albeit short, arms originating from the animal's "shoulders" above either set of lesser limbs. Most notable and functionally–relevant as far as Lanshafskis and their features go, however, are the lowermost parts of their bodies, which facilitate an extremely nonstandard means of locomotion.
The bottom portion of this insectoid consists primarily of a hard (almost stone–like) and lumpy sphere semi–attached, via an amorphous, internal gel–like substance that creates a bond similar to magnetism between metals, to a tube–like structure that continues upward and transitions into the lower torso. This results in the Lanshafski being able to move without use of its legs by rolling on this "ball". Positioned behind all of this is the secondary component of the creature's most unusual lower body: another downward–protruding structure, at the bottom of which is a small part resembling a wheel in both appearance and function. Predictably, this wheel and the "leg" supporting it serve to provide balance while movement by way of the "rolling ball" is taking place. The only other mortal animals the galaxy over with remotely similar movement methods to this incredibly unique mechanism of the Lanshafski are Coneforfad's Whaldort and the Venedidenev of Tarterbiss, and unlike the Umozatch creature, which, again, has ten additional limbs, neither of those creatures have other, more standard means of locomotion to fall back on in the event that their wheel–like mechanisms become irreparably damaged. In fact, and as to that, Lanshafskis, whose most vital organs are all located within the upper torso or above, can survive losing not only their "rollers", but the entireties of their lower body halves, including the lower of their two four–leg sets, as well, in which event they will still have six working limbs. That being said, however, it should be noted that a Lanshafski is unable to reproduce while in this state.

Glomeyark: Considered an arthropod, the Glomeyark is a quadruped slightly larger in scale but much larger in overall mass than the Dunthisis, and being that creature's near–opposite in terms of its more specific physical traits. Additionally, while killing Dunthises for almost any reason is strictly forbidden both by standard Wuccigan law and by the "sacred" edicts of Mup'Horlem, Glomeyarks have long been the number–one go–to animal for the sacrificial slaughters the people of Umozatch frequently hold, being both an "acceptable target" for such cruelty and a reasonably challenging, worthy game to hunt down.
A bulky, slow and brutish carnivore of limited intelligence, the Glomeyark's torso is close to a rectangular prism in shape and has a thick, shell–like consistency, from out of the holes in whose sides extend its limbs. The creature's legs are plated and clawed, and while the hind legs are visibly distinct from the forelegs, neither pair provides any real "special" functionality that the other does not. The head, meanwhile, extends outward and upward from a larger opening at the very front of the torso, and exhibits, in addition to three eyes with rather rectangular sockets, a rather wide, "bloated" even, cranial area. This is due to the fact that the Glomeyark possesses three brains, only one of which is active at any one time, the other two being redundant, "backup" organs whose activation is triggered by and only brain death of the previously active brain(s). By default, the initially active brain is partially exposed through a hole in the Glomeyark's upper skull; though both it and its "backups" possess regenerating natural coatings that protect them from wear and tear from exposure to things like wind, water and dirt, they have no such ability to withstand more severe, forceful trauma, and are thusly left very vulnerable to such damage when not fully shielded by a skull. If and when one brain of a Glomeyark is "killed", it will immediately begin to decompose, doing so rapidly as the next brain soon starts to gradually move into the space it had occupied, ultimately becoming partly exposed as well. This replacement process takes long enough, though, so that the Glomeyark, whose "new" brain fully activates the instant the old one "dies" and while still tucked deeply away in the skull, is given a significant immediate period of decreased vulnerability, due to its new cerebrum not yet being exposed. Note that, when ritually slaughtering Glomeyarks, Wuccigans do so by decapitating them at the neck with a large ceremonial blade, a method which obviously renders their extra brains a moot point.
An average durability value for a Glomeyark is 750, and due to its multiple backup brains, the creature can potentially live for upwards of eighty years, though this age is rarely reached, with specimens in the wild seldom surviving past thirty or forty.
Continue Reading: Planets