Memnor is the giant deity of pride and control. As patron of evil cloud giants, he is directly opposed to Stronmaus and Annam (the head of the Ordning), and in myth, is often said to be brother of one or the other. His worship is fairly complex, as it is subtle and focuses on charm and deception.
Memnor purports himself to be the giantish god of honor, justifiable pride, and mental acumen, but in reality the Deciever is the god of unjustifiable pride and hubris, mental prowess and the manipulation, control and dominion of others. The Deciever has crafted a false face as the Wise Counselor: the epitome of the knowledgeable advisor, rightfully proud of his abilities and skills as a cloud giant, which he uses for the benefit of all giant breeds. Beneath this charming and cultured façade, however, is a deep and intense evil, and his kindhearted words are deceitful and subtly manipulative. His chosen followers are evil cloud giants, whom he corrupted by long whispering of their superiority over the rest of the Jotunbrud, first-born status amongst the worlds, and the constant belittling of all other breeds. In his overweening pride, the Manipulator desires to usurp Annam's place at the top of the Ordning and rule over all the other giantish deities.
When not wearing the faceade of a honorable god, Memnor takes the guise of Vilya, an openly evil cloud. This guise is unknown to the rest of the pantheon and his followers.
Memnor is worshipped almost exclusively by evil cloud giants, his chosen instruments in his bid for power. He corrupted them by telling them of their natural superiority, that they were the first-born of giantkind and that all other breeds are inferior. Memnor is worshipped rather perfunctorily by the cloud giant clan Azeil in the Barrier Peaks.
Memnor's clerics highest priority is to keeping their true ambitions a secret — even to their followers and parts of the clergy. When a giant first wishes to join the ranks of Memnor's clergy, they are closely questioned by the high priest to gauge their suitability. This questioning takes the form of a friendly interview, and the questions are designed to subtly elucidate the candidate's opinions on a wide variety of matters. Those who are weak willed are inducted into a pseudo-lay clergy role, where they can easily be manipulated into furthering he priesthood's goals while believing they are doing good work. If the candidate shows a suitable character, they are inducted into the priesthood in an open ceremony where they pledge to better the lives of all giants, followed by a secret ceremony, where the details of Memnor's long term goals are revealed — to overthrow the god of creation and put the god of pride, honor, and mental prowess on the throne. Memnor's general followers do not know this, viewing their deity as an honest god of racial honor and pride. Memnor's clerics also play the role of wise counselors and advocates for the underprivileged.
Memnor's clergy are able to communicate with each other in the presence of the non-faithful by employing a special sign. By subtly touching the index finger of their right hand to the wrist of their left, they are able to warn or recognize fellow members of the priesthood. In addition, such signals can communicate a variety of short messages, such as indicating that a specific giant is a foe, warning against acting upon a plan they have just outlined, request a private meeting later, and many similar short phrases. Such signals do not count as languages, and cannot be read through the use of spells that allow the comprehension of written, spoken, or standard sign languages.
High-level clerics of Memnor receive wyvern servants from their god, which they summon by means of a fierce talon they wear in leather pouches around their necks.
Clerics of Memnor must be well-dressed and regal of manner. They proclaim the superiority of giants in general and cloud giants in particular.
VestmentsClergy of Memnor wear deep blue robes when performing ceremonies or functioning in an official capacity. Such robes are always of the most expensive material and kept immaculately clean. The edges of the robes are fringed in a double band of black and gold, with black on the outside. Both sexes wear their hair long, and males wear beards long as well; in all cases, great care is spent keeping hair and beards neatly groomed at all times. Circlets of gold are worn to keep hair from flowing too freely, and are inset with polished or cut stones of a deep black (usually jet or obsidian) used to denote rank. The holy symbol of the clergy is an amulet in the shape of a shining sun half obscured on the bottom by a cloud. Priests tell other giants that this is a symbol of hope, that the sun will always rise above the clouds to shine brightly, but in reality, it symbolizes the fog of deception blocking out the light of truth. Holy symbols are typically made of silver or carved on a round stone. Those priests who worship Memnor in his Vilya guise use a holy symbol in the shape of a wyvern's talon.
The priesthood of the Manipulator eschews armor even when able to wear it, preferring fine but unadorned robes of a deep blue when not performing a ceremony or acting in an official capacity. Morningstars are the favored weapon of all of Memnor's priests, and these are often decorated with gold or silver inlays, if they can afford it.
HierarchyNovices of Memnor are known simply as Neophytes. Full priests of the Manipulator are known as Inveiglers. In ascending order of rank, the titles used by the Memnari priesthood are Congenial Conniver, Trustworthy Schemer, Honorable Dissembler, Honest Deceptor, Benevolent Manipulator, and Master/Mistress of Control. High ranked priests often have unique titles granted them by their fellow clergy members that are used in addition to Master or Mistress of Control. Titles are never used publicly; instead, priests refer to those of equal or lesser rank as Honorable Brother/Sister, and those of higher rank as Most Honorable Brother/Sister. Specialty priests are known as Congeniuses.
TemplesTemples dedicated to Memnor are usually rectangular marble buildings surrounded by regularly spaced columns and topped by a long, low-sloped slate roof. White marble heavily streaked with black is preferred; the priesthood sees it as the dark heart of their patron permeating the white cloud islands of the giants, but tells others it is simply for the aesthetic effect. Friezes run along the top of the temple, beneath the roofline, showing scenes of cloud giants performing great deeds and acting magnanimously. They are always in positions of respect and authority, and all other giant breeds are shown even smaller than they should be; in addition, they are often shown being helped or saved by the cloud giants. The pediments at each end of the temple most often show Memnor off center next to Annam, in a position of wise sibling or faithful son, although there are sometimes hidden signs indicating their true relationship to those who know what to look for. Memnor is always shown as the same size as Annam in these friezes, with all the other gods surrounding them, but invariably shorter. When questioned on the matter, the priests laugh off the significance, claiming it is just due to the triangular nature of the pediments. Sometimes the pediments will show other scenes such as wyverns and other beasts in symmetrical positions; in these cases, statues of Memnor will rest on top of the pediment peaks. Thin black obelisks adorn each corner of the roof, as well as each end of the roof peak if there are no statues of Memnor himself. None of the friezes are ever painted. Temple interiors are always restricted to clergy members only, and magic is often used to prevent intrusion. The central cella of the temple contains a statue of Memnor, decorated with expensive materials, such as lapis lazuli for his robe and gold leaf for his skin. Shrines dedicated to Memnor are usually circular chambers within a giantish building, with half-columns inset into the walls and a central statue; decoration beyond this is generally a minimal. Temples and shrines of Vilya mimic those above, but are usually made of black marble or basalt, and the sculptures show scenes of domination and violence, and wyverns figure prominently in the artwork. Depictions of Vilya on these temples show him as a long-tusked, bare-chested cloud giant with a large, cruel-looking morningstar.
RitualsThree times per year, the clergy of Memnor hold feasts in his honor, to which all members of their tribe are invited, as well as nearby tribes. The priesthood claims these feasts are for the benefit of the less fortunate members of Jotunbrud society, although their real goal is to observe their fellow giants in order to gauge feelings between individuals and see where exploitable schisms exist. The exact dates and names of these feasts vary from tribe to tribe, but usually coincide with the anniversaries of major events, and are used to commemorate them, even if the clergy of the Manipulator had nothing to do with the event.
Once every hundredth day, the high priests of multiple tribes make a pilgrimage to a remote mountain crag, where they meet with servants or manifestations of Memnor at exactly midnight. These meetings, known to the priesthood as the Conclave of Counselors, are strategy and reporting sessions, where the priests apprise the Manipulator on their progress towards his goals. It is also here where the priests receive direct orders on tasks they need to complete or are informed of threats or potential opportunities. Significant failures are often punished at these events as an example to the other priests, but such punishment rarely results in death. Many a priest has wished for death while experiencing such punishments, however.
OrdersMemnor's clergy maintains no martial orders, as that would run counter to winning through manipulation and secrecy. They do on occasion secretly sponsor raiders who attack their own communities, in order to convince their fellows of imagined dangers, but these groups never know who their benefactors truly are. While the giants who follow the Manipulator in his Vilya guise are often militaristic and violent, this is a cultural condition rather than a part of Memnor's teachings, although he is by no means opposed to it.
Annam has grown old and weak, is an ineffective leader, and has spawned numerous contemptible offspring. Only the cloud giants are worthy of ruling their brethren and the lands of the smallfolk. Annam's ineptitude is the cause of the greatest failures in the history of the Jotunbrud. Secrecy is the surest path to victory. Manipulation of others is the best way to assure a desired outcome. Cunning is sharper than the best-forged blade, and the greatest tool in an individual's arsenal. Surprise your foe and your battle is half-won already. Act as if in the best interests of the community and those suffering hardship, but be subtle and wily in manipulating events to favor the Deceiver. Be cunning with words and deeds, and plant seeds of blame towards blameless foes. Be convincing in your speeches; make an audience firmly believe their suffering is in their best interest or the cause of outside agencies. Always work towards positions of influence and power in order to better serve the Manipulator.
Memnor appears as a cloud giant with golden skin and a kindly demeanor with black piercing eyes that seem capable of seeing through any deception. His hair and beard are milky-white and long, but kept neatly trimmed and bound with silver and gold jewelry. He wears a deep blue robe made of the finest material and sewn through with silver thread.
Memnor is variously said to be the son, brother, or enemy of Annam, the giant god of creation. One myth says he was born from the severed head or ripped-out entrails of a titanic, sub-sentient, planet-eating monster slain by Annam or Stronmaus.
Memnor is allied with Grolantor. Of all the gods, Stronmaus is Memnor's greatest and most implacable foe.