Jhalla, God of Fire

What god looks like.
Jhalla appears in many forms. Among his favorites are a humanoid magma creature, a sphere of fire, a beautiful muscular tan human male with dark hair and a crown of flames, and a small flickering flame that bounces from place to place in the air. Jhalla has also been known to disguise himself as a kindly old man wearing dark smokey robes. He uses this form to walk among mortals and discuss their lives with them.

What god likes and dislikes.
Jhalla has a grand sense of humor, and enjoys wit. He frowns on "corny" humor. He has a passion for meat and greatly enjoys roasted flesh, (although not of intelligent species). He also enjoys smoking, and many of his clerics a followers smoke a pipe, usually of the harshest desert pipe-weed - the stronger the better. Jhalla dislikes darkness, and his temples are filled with candles and light. Fires are kept burning in Jhalla's temples at all times. Jhalla also has a preference for glass, and his temples typically have a large amount of obsidian and stained glass incorporated into their design.

How god prefers to be worshiped.
Jhalla prefers burnt sacrifices of non-intelligent animals. He also prefers them prepared in specific ways. His priests are adept at food handling, and prepare Jhalla's sacrifices with special peppers and spices. Jhalla's temples often have feasts where fiery meat dishes have a special place at the table. Some of the kingdoms greatest chefs spend time at Jhallas temples to learn the "mystic" culinary arts known as "Jhalla-Tak" or "Jhalla's table." Jhalla greatly enjoys feasts and festivals, and the grand Festival of Jhalla occurs once a year in every town or city with a temple of Jhalla. During these festivals, Jhalla is praised and worshiped by everyone who wishes to partake of the feast, and the best bards, dancers, and storytellers from around the area are hired to perform their arts. Jhalla particularly enjoys fire blowers, and fire jugglers, who have a special place at these, and other Jhalla festivals.

How god rewards followers.
To those who please him greatly, Jhalla has been known to bestow an immunity to damage by fire. He has also been known to bestow the ability to create fire (in the form of a small flame emitted from the fingertip (not a weapon)). For those favored among his followers, Jhalla has been known to bless them with the ability to ignore the heat of the sun, preventing them from losing moisture and from becoming sunburned. To his greatest warriors, Jhalla bestows the ability to ignite their blades, causing them to become flaming weapons that do additional damage to their opponents.

How god punishes followers.
For those of his followers who displease him, Jhalla usually arranges for them to suffer a small mishap such as a nasty sunburn, or a burned hand. This is simply a notice of his displeasure. For those of his followers who greatly displease him, he will remove his blessings and bestow upon them a curse that prevents them from gaining warmth from fire. These individuals will never know the warmth of the hearth, and must always remain cold at night.

How god punishes atheists.
For unbelievers and believers who have no god affiliation, Jhalla typically uses a curse of itch, causing he target to be continually itchy and scratch their skin. They also pull their hair out to scratch at their scalp. Eventually they become scarred and scaly from all the scratching, identifying them as someone who has displeased Jhalla. Naturally this also interferes with their combat abilities since they must pause every few attacks to scratch themselves. For those who displease him in a grander fashion, Jhalla will bestow upon them a flaming venereal disease. Needless to say, this individual is seldom welcome in refined company and is constantly scratching their private areas. The only cure for such a curse has typically been the removal of the offending member through the use of fire. It is best not to evoke Jhalla's wrath. Boiling diarrhea, fiery pustules, and burning eyes are also among Jhalla's lesser curses.

How god punishes followers of other gods.
Jhalla has been known to be temperamental when it comes to punishing the followers of other gods. Normally he is jovial, but if his wraith is aroused, he will not necessarily contact the god whose follower has offended him. Rather he will simply vent his wraith on the individual (often through spontaneous combustion) and deal with the repercussions later. This has occasionally caused small feuds between Jhalla and the other gods who do not appreciate his vindictive temper. Typically, however, once Jhalla's temper has passed, he becomes reasonable again, and is often willing to come to a compromise as to the fate of the subject.

What actions might prompt god to interfere in mortal affairs.
Jhalla is prompted to action whenever one of his festivals is disrupted. He does not like this. Thus his festivals are typically allowed to take place without interruption. The term "Fighting at a Jhallan Festival" is synonymous with "doing something stupid and suicidal."

Another action that would evoke Jhalla is the extermination of his temple lights. Temple lights MUST be extinguished by the hands of the Jhallan priests (who suffer no damage from this). Extinguishing the temple lights by dousing with water is a blasphemy, and will surely prompt a curse at the very least.

How god's temple operates.
The Jhallan temples are sooty smokey places that are always well lit. A Jhallan priest or priestess will be on duty at all times to make sure the torches, pyres, and candles stay lit. Jhallan priests and priestesses are generally kindly people who spend much of the time between festivals taking care of the poor. The temple of Jhalla often supplies food to those who cannot afford it, although those who partake of these meals must have the stomach for spicy food. Jhallan priests and priestesses practice an obscure form of martial arts known as "Ja'dak'ma" that involves the use of a torch or flaming sword. They do not typically use shields, but have evolved a large number of throws. The art form is similar to Akido in many respects, although rather than "KI" it focuses on using the anger of the practitioner as a means of boosting strength and speed. It has been stated, "Beware the followers of Jhalla when the Wraith of Jhalla is upon them" indicating the berserker state they can enter by using Ja'dak'ma.

A few of the greater Jhallan temples exist near the mouths of volcanoes. These temples are protected by Jhalla himself, and they are his greatest temples. There are three of them, and they are where the "oracles of Jhalla" reside. By staring into the mouths of the volcano, these oracles have learned how to perceive the skeins of fate that tie earth, water, fire, and air together. The Oracles of Jhalla possess the ability to predict earthquakes, eruptions, tornadoes, hurricanes, and all other manner of natural disasters. They do so by understanding how the elements fit together. They are also very wise, and can give sage advice. Many pilgrims go to visit these temples and communicate with the oracles in the hopes that they will be told of their own life and how it fits in the events of this world.

The origins of god.
Jhalla is one of the old gods appointed by the ancient gods. His exact origin is shrouded in mystery and lost in the depths of time. He was appointed to the position of Fire, and given the attributes of fire. His power is control and generation of fire and thermal energy in general. Jhalla is very wise, and has a deep understanding of magic and spirituality. Many mortals respect him, and even those who do not appreciate Jhalla do their best to stay on his good side. Those foolish enough to evoke his wraith often meet their own gods early.

How to contact or petition god.
Like most gods, the best way to contact Jhalla is through a Jhallan priest or priestess (gender is not considered an issue in the Jhallan order and males and females operate equally). Another way to contact Jhalla is to commune with fire, any fire will work for this purpose, although if you are not a follower, the response will probably be very limited. Jhallan followers learn to listen to the crackling of a fire, and they can hear the voice of their god in that sound.

The temperament of god.
As previously noted, Jhalla is a jovial god. He is typically good natured. He is slow to anger, but when he does become angry is wraith quickly grows out of his control. When his rage is upon him, Jhalla will perform horrible acts of destruction, and he will not do so with any hesitation or thought to the consequences. His wraith usually passes quickly, and then he often regrets his actions, but also accepts them. They are part of his nature, and he knows this and has long since accepted it. He will usually provide warning before his anger, such as "Take a care mortal, you are playing with fire." or "My fire cares not where it burns should you evoke it."

The chaos/law aspect of god.
Like all gods, Jhalla encompasses both aspects of chaos and law. Jhalla is perhaps closer to law than chaos, but it is given in near equal measures. Jhalla can be trusted to be consistent when his anger is not upon him, for he is consistently jovial, but he can also be trusted to be chaotic when his anger is upon him, and none can determine what actions he may commit in his anger, not even Jhalla.

The good/neutral/evil aspects of god.
In general, Jhalla is good. He cares for his followers, and he has sympathy for the plight of mortals. His evil side is simply his wraith. Jhalla's may be considered hot tempered only because his wraith is so extreme, but he does give warning when his anger is coming, which can sometimes give the target a chance to calm him with praise and apology. His anger is neither easy or hard to evoke, it is simply very extreme and fairly short lived. The "Wrath of Jhalla" is a term often used to describe berserker warriors.


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