“Why am I not the tranquil sea
On which your beams descend,
Where molten diamonds and fire
And milk and honey blend?
Alas, why am I not at least
That cold tomb of the dead,
On which your rays so tenderly
Their tears’ bright sadness shed?"
- Vardapet Armaght, “Sublime Radiance is your Face”, prayer to Sah
Bloodline from southern Svalos. Named after the legendary king Halraav, son of Mzura, the chief of Zkhetara (one of the first 36 clans), who founded the kingdom of Zkheta-Churevi in the Svalek Lowlands, unifying 7 clans into the confederation. Two of their clans have founded noble houses in the Serelskan Marshlands. The traditional position of their ‘Naxarar-Mets’ (great house) is that of Aspet, or Commander of the Cavalry. There has always been a rivalry between the Halraavi and the Srivli, the latter of which traditionally fields the Vardapet (Supreme Priest) – and the two houses represent polar views on Ovech theology. The Halraavi put ancestor worship higher than other gods in practice (thus maintaining a large pantheon), but nonetheless have always been associated with The Wolf, god of conquest and strength, and the element of metal. Other Halraav symbols include the Qalavrian pink lotus, the cup of Zarevand with a moon suspended above it, the three-headed white horse of Halraav, the Gilani lake-and-moon, the double-headed Sah, the triple bangles of Juxa, the peacock-fletched arrows of Arshavir, and the wolf clutching the lotus.
- Karaxanquri, the ruling family in Karavko
- Daradani, of Madevaxti
- Churaluri, of Xwarshahr (Qelvarsh)
- Uzeri, of Uzerach
- Suqdanishvili, of Kazberdi
- Churevi, of Bedragerd (Paqrakert)
- Qoztaluri (Gosteli), of Haslau (Ardaberd)
- Shoxrani(†) of Ostberk, Shoqrani of Daqaur-Qalavria
- Vashirishvili of Qalavria (Paulto), descendants of Shoxrani.
- Note: The Serelskan Vashirishvili are known as Visconti to the northmen.
- Xuragani(†) – previous rulers of the Neck, from Gil; converted to Nylism but fell out with the House of Eirik. Minor rulers in the Gilani Dragoncrest
- Ravkturi of Patishxwarshahr
- Arzanivand and Ghanbarvand of Shadarvaz
- Dinashi(†) of Zreh-i-Vaxt
- Mukhranuri of Guran
Historical Figures and Gods:
Note: Ancestor worship was practiced in the old days, and was the domain of nobility (priests were simply members of the Naxrar), and shamans contacted other spirits. After the Archonate-era reformations, these practices were banned and male fire-keepers became the only allowed priests. Hence of the below, only Srosh-Mihr-Rashn and arguably Haradvi are official. The others are still worshiped in the home or by those not in the Kingdom.
- Halraav – strength and honor, patron of cavalrymen. Younger brother of Varahran, he who smites resistance, ancestor of the Ceratis. The two along with Zadeni form the trio of war gods.
- Tishtrya (Tir), a shared ancestor with the Levraan, god of rainfall, sacrifices and fertility. His consort is a she-wolf, and Halraav is his eventual descendant. Thought to be a form of the Bear, the month of the Bear is named for him. His daughter is Ashi, charioteer-goddess and bestower of deserved rewards (spiritual and physical).
- Haradvi, the aspect of Sah most worshiped by the Halraavi. Deity of running waters, purity, and rivers. Often depicted as overseeing the gifting of the ring of lordship (symbolizing Xwarnah) to rulers.
- Mihra, Srosha, Rashne, great fire spirits who serve as aspects of Ath. Represent Covenants, Conscience and Justice respectively. Mihr also bestows Xwarnah on rulers and is invoked in many rituals, especially tsatsloba. Srosha is associated with distribution of blood and family, and Rashne ‘enforces’ the other two.
- Zadeni, Goddess of the hunt and prowess. Daughter of Shalva (founder of the Pzchari) who was sought after by Halraav’s son Ashodan. She kills him in a fit of anger, and rides to Xwarshahr, where Armaght resides, and uses his powers to restore Ashodan to life. Associated with cloudless dawns.
- Armaght ‘The Far-Seer’ – astronomy and mysticism; son of Mathiko. His children are the Churaluri, the high priests of Karavko. His consort is Astghik, daughter of Sah, goddess of destiny, stars, and (romantic) love. The ‘star dance’ is named after her.
- Mathiko – wisdom and agriculture, patron of farmers, her daughter (with Cherga) is Zanebeli, goddess of valleys, fields, and flowers. A descendant of Tishtrya and ancestor of Halraav.
- Tsiursha – protector of vinyards and burial grounds, associated heavily with moonlight and sah. a common ancestor to the Levraan and Czerat houses.
- Ushisha the Exile, the first Shah, patron of wayfarers and explorers. His son (with Yeravneh of the Levraan) is Sangara, god of stability, protector from earthquakes, and of architecture.
- Arshavir ‘The Dragon of Zkheta’ – patron of horse-archers and protector of the dead. Husband of Mzia “green-of-eyes”, a protector of the hearth, giver of blessings to those faithful to their blood. The pair are generally referred to as the Draxtxwaday, (“dynasty-master”), due to their association with the protection of a lord. To invoke Srosh, the spirit of faithfulness, sacrifice is made in their name.
- Bedrak-Shirvan ‘The Reformer’ – smithing and swordsmanship. Forges the ‘ring of kingship’.
- Shalva, founder of the Pzchari, god of Lightning and fortune; prayers to him are offered against madness and despair.
- Anayis ‘Tareg-Anush’ (‘Of Sweet Words’) – patron of wayfarers and reconciliation. Wife of Parnavaz, who died at the hands of her grandfather Arshavir.
- Zarevant “Ahosharan” (The Deathless), a warrior who attained immortality by bathing in the moon’s bath. To do so, he later abducts a fire spirit from the great pyre at Ovtendurra; later using it to rekindle a bonfire for Midsummer. Killed in conflict with the Abshuri. The Shoxrani/Shoqrani princes of Qalavria and Daqaur claim descent from him, as did the Xuraghani of Gil.
- Vrej ‘Asdvadzadur’ Halraavi, leader of the Great Serelskan Rebellion – patron of hunters and bringer of justice and revenge
- Sisters Okropruri, daughters of Tsiursha – guardians of places sacred to sah. associated with drought, storms and disease respectively. generally considered malevolent.
- Qoztelos, founder of the Qoztaluri – masonry, mining and wealth
- Xushyot, a famous classical poet, associated with feasts and traditions of joy and revelry.
- Jukha, Eristav of Guran, famed for marrying a Kaji, a spirit with powers of metalworking named Samdzimari (‘Bangle-Wearing Woman), who leaves him when she is discovered by his mother; Jukha erected a shrine to her, and she is revered as a deity in Daqaur-Guran, who safeguards women. Jukha’s children are the Mukhranuri, rulers of Guran.
- Vatche Halraavi, founder of the Vashirishvili – lawspeaking, fighter of chaos
- Manoug Shoroizhade, author of ‘The Dzovinari’ – patron of history and epic poetry
- Mandana Shoxrani, Last of the Daqauri Naxrars in Serelske, Nahapet of Ostberk (Xentsiberd), minor goddess of beauty, said to be the daughter of Tsiursha – fought Eirik during the Nylist expansion into Serelske.
Many of these are worshiped as gods, often more fervently than the gods of the elements or Tzoha.