Divinities: Cronn, Father of the North Gods – Part 1

Symbol of Cronn“The demons poured from the portal in the hundreds. There was no hope of surviving this new world with such a force against us. I prayed to the cosmos for a savior. And then, there the avatar was, the Lord of Our People, Great Cronn! He roared his battle cry as he strode across the battlefield laying waste to the fiendish servants of the Sword Emperor with his might axe! It was glorious! He saved us all! I became his faithful servant on that day!”
— King Loghan Halonnan

The North God known as Cronn (DvR: 19) is both a steadfast and enigmatic being to the people of the Lands of Harqual. His origin story has been told over and over all across the continent, and there are dozens of variations based on regional and racial biases. The basic oral tradition is that he walked out of the ice of Kulan’s northern pole fully formed. The truth could be as simple as that, but it is more likely that he was created by a higher power such as Mirella, The World Goddess. And most versions of his origin story include a meeting with her. She guides him to his destiny and then leaves him to find his own way. In other versions, she anoints him with her blood. It is only in the most crass interpretations that the two deities lay together. Scholars highly doubt that the two gods were ever lovers. Most see Mirella as a mother figure towards Cronn.

What can be stated for a fact is that Cronn is the Father of the North Gods. He is the Lord of the North and the original human barbarians of Harqual were formed from his blood and tears. He has several children with the goddess known as Inanna, and she is his wife and partner in the cosmos. He is loyal to her and is not a philanderer like some supreme gods in the Multiverse. The two deities are very much in love, and Inanna has left her old pantheon (and husband) behind. She is considered an Old God in the Multiverse, so her coupling with a young buck from a backward prime material plane was considered scandalous. Now, thousands of years later, the Great Couple of the North Gods are seen as a true success story in the annals of deity marriages.

Despite his status as a Greater Deity, Cronn has few titles. He is the Father of the North Gods, Lord of the North, and amongst the Ahamudians (and some of the less stubborn Javeldians) his title is Lord of Our People. He has several unique appellations in the various Barbarian tongues of the barbarian tribes of the Northlands, but those names are unknown to the general populace beyond the lands of the Northlands. The silver elves call him The Cold Axeman while forest elves call him Bearded Grandfather. Most other names associated with Cronn are blasphemes spit out by evil humanoids that hate him. Cronn’s holy symbol is a double-bladed axe surrounded by swirling snow with a gleam of light shining off the axe. However, his traditional symbol amongst Northerners is a simple battleaxe carved into bone or wood.

Cronn is Chaotic Good; however, during his period of long sleep before The Transformation, he had shifted towards Chaotic Neutral. This had a minor impact amongst his followers (to be detailed in Part 2). Cronn’s divine portfolio isn’t as substantial as some other gods of his stature. This is by choice, as he has passed on certain portfolios to his children and their children. Before anything else, he is the patron deity of the barbarians of the Northlands (often called Northerners). He created them and he sees them not only as his followers but also as his children. Thus, he is also a god of community and family. As their divine patron, he is the god of protection. Northerner warriors often worship him as a god of strength. Finally, he is a god of cold, which plays a key role in the lives of anyone living the northern lands of Harqual.

Cronn loves his people, the Lands of Harqual, and the World of Kulan. During the time of the Divinity War, he was forced to live in exile on the Outer Planes. However, he was never truly at home there and after the war ended, he returned to the Material Plane to rebuild his godly realm on Kulan. His realm is called the Heart of Ice, and it sits on a hidden island north of Harqual’s northern shore. While the island itself isn’t part of his realm, Cronn can cloak it from the eyes of mortals. Only his most devout followers dare to make the pilgrimage to the Heart of Ice, but those that do find a massive iron and ice citadel that stretches into the sky. Before his return at the Battle of Fallen Swords, he slumbered here on his throne of ice — encased in rime. Now, he rarely sits on the throne; he is too busy watching over his people and protecting them from the depredations of enemies.

Cronn’s avatar often appears in the Northlands, but its appearance is either shrouded in snow or seen from a great distance. The god rarely appears directly to his worshipers. Instead, Cronn manifests as a howling wind, as a distant war cry, or as a whirlwind of swirling snow. When his avatar does show itself, its appearance leaves no doubt in the worshipers mind that they are in the presence of the Father of the North Gods. Cronn’s avatar always takes the form of Large-sized barbarian with long brown hair and a long beard – both that are fading to gray. The avatar wears fine furs and carries with it a greataxe that is called North Rage. For the purposes of D&D v.3.5, Cronn’s avatar is a 20th-level barbarian, 20th-level ranger, and 10th-level winter warden.

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