What the Hyalorings say
Tepekos is called “The Voice in the Cave”, he’s the god of smithing, metal magic and
transformation. He is also a god of healing, particularly healing of the mind, bad dreams and
nightmares, for which he uses death-like sleep.
How Tepekos Fell
Tepekos was a bold smith in this or that city, one other than Nivorah. His mastery of metal was
unrivaled and he performed many great feats. Yet he yearned for more, longed for Yelm’s bright
Cunning as he was brave, he devised a plan. Tepekos fasted for many days and ripped the
tendons from his legs, replacing them with red bronze and gold wire. After these preparations
he climbed the tallest ziggurat in the city and leapt towards the sky, intent on bringing back a
spark of the the Sun’s fire.
Elmal (of course) saw all this, since Tepekos performed these preparations under the Sky. By
his wish, Osara shot a pair of flaming arrows at Tepekos, severing two of his leg wires.
He couldn’t reach the Sky and plummeted back to earth with great force.
His back broken, his limbs twisted, Tepekos fell into a deep sleep. Nyalda pitied him and closed
over him, to hide him from her husband’s sight.
When he awoke, many seasons later, he was transformed. His long sleep was spent pondering
countless secrets and truths of the world. He accepted his shame, understood his hubris and
now he doesn’t hold our reverence of Elmal and Osara against us.
How Ekarna Traded With Tepekos
Ekarna once came to him to trade for bright weapons and gold belt plaques. They haggled for
days and in the end she promised to give him two sons in exchange. She did bear twins, but
one of them was a girl. Tepekos was instantly charmed and agreed to compromise. Ekarna
smiled, because it was her plan all along.
The children became Elmal’s pages and they ride with him on the Sun Path. They are the
makers of sacred drinks and patrons of bees. They visit their father during Dark season.
How we worship Tepekos
No longer a man, veins of metal grew through his body. His long sleep mended broken limbs,
but his back was beyond repair. He now walks on his hands and uses his legs for arms.
Since fire magic is the domain of the Sky gods, his way of working metals relies on the fires and
warmth of the Earth, or does without fire entirely.
He lives in the Earth, hidden from the Sun, so we worship him there. We call for him into
crevices, caves, tunnels and even tombs under round hills.
Those wishing to learn his mysteries fall into a deep sleep and dream in his underground halls,
feasting with Tepekos himself. (For this they need to be buried in a stone coffin, or under a slab
of stone, with metal wire wrapped around their wrists, ankles and forehead.)
When two smiths who worship Tepekos meet for the first time, they compete in high jump and
race while walking on their hands, with feet behind their heads. The winner has the right to learn
one secret from the loser.
What the Chariot Folk say
They claim Tepekos means “He Under the Mountain”. In their version of the tale, Elmal threw
Tepekos down himself (not Osara), and Nyalda didn’t shield Tepekos from Elmal. He burrowed
into her without her knowledge, ate her flesh and eventually burst out in a stream of liquid
earth-fire, birthing himself for the second time.
According to them, Tepekos now rides a low wagon dragged by metal worms he forged for
himself. He fights with a living spear that devours rock and earth.
What the Nogatendites (“Weeders”) say
Called Tapku or Tapkun, he is the god of the sound made by knapping stone, the god of secrets
and long feasts.
How Tapku Fell
Tapku was a man with stone feet who walked up and down the river long before our
grand-grandfathers were little boys. One day he overheard Mother Loon talking to her children
and learnt the secret of flying.
Overjoyed he took to the skies and flew for many hundreds of miles. Not a bird by birth and
having feet of stone, he misjudged his strength and fell hard into the river mud below. There he
plunged into a deep sleep and slept so long the mud hardened around his body, a mountain
grew on top of him.
Now he cannot move, with only his beating shiny heart pulsing inside the mountain. We feel
sorry for him and so we bring him pretty feathers or brightly coloured river stones.
When we need to keep a secret, we whisper it into a crevice in the Earth, into a cave or a hole
in the ground. He then keeps it for us.
When we sacrifice to Tapku, the offering is also a secret, or something that is good to know. If
he accepts it, he’ll give us a secret in exchange, or a large piece of good flint for tools and
We hold feasts in his name, because we know he gets lonely under the mountain.
What the Vingkotlings (“Rams”) Say
We don’t recognize this Tepekos, he’s just a fool impersonating Veskarthen, or Lodril as he’s
known among the Dara Happans.
(Lodril: “This god is brother to Dayzatar and Yelm, and father of the three Lowfires. Where Dayzatar
sought mysticism, and Yelm suffered to prove his worth, Lodril always sought pleasure in common life. At
his worst Lodril personifies carnal gratification, totally unhindered by civilized mores. At best he is the
personification of the common man.
When Lodril came to earth he became Volcano God. During the Gods War, the Sky Spear pierced the
earth trying to impale a slimy thing of chaos. Rather than holding firm, the Spear snapped and broke
freeing Lodril, the god who lived inside the weapon. He is sometimes thought of as the source of heat
without light. In Kethaela there exists an immense volcano called Lodril’s First Home.
Lodril is usually depicted as a crude but powerful peasant among the solar worshipers, sometimes even
portrayed as a slovenly, overweight sot. Among the Pamaltelans he is shown on baskets as a warrior
carrying both a long and a short spear.”)