Ram-Manu

Ram-Manu is known as the Storm Caller and the Bringer of Rains. He was originally one of the godkings of Akanu and arrived in Unther at the height of the Second Empire. Ram-Manu has long been an absent godking, spending much of his time hidden inside his sacred temples except when called upon by Gil-Geamesq or to bring the summer rains.

 

Mythology

Ram-Manu was one of the great generals of Akanu and had a reputation as being the strongest of the godkings. He was infamous for his great maul that had a shaft 8 ft long and a head the size and weight of an anvil, he was known to smash a man into a boneless heap with a single strike of this great weapon.

Ever a harsh and brutal lord, Ram-Manu was not idolised by the common people like some of the other godkings of Akanu, it was not uncommon for him to slay people for the tiniest of slights (real or perceived), but his steady battle plans and ability to turn the tide of war single-handedly won him great respect.

Ram-Manu is best known for his efforts during the Orcgate Wars. Towards the end of the war as the armies of Unther and Mulhorand marched north to pin the orcs against the shores of Lake Thaylambar, a great horde of orcs led by the warlord Bahgtru The Strong surged west to take a pass in the Second Escarpment. Ram-Manu himself and his Hammer Guard held the pass against 100 times their number, with Ram-Manu and Bahgtru engaging in single combat until the godking’s great maul caused a partial collapse of the pass and separated the horde from escape and reinforcements.

During the final Battle of the Gods, Ram-Manu again engaged Bahgtru and both warriors fought to exhaustion before the actions of TiaMa’at caused a rout among the Mulan forces and allowed the orcs to regroup. Ram-Manu witnessed firsthand the deaths of Re, Amar-Du’uk, and a score of other godkings.

Following the Orcgate Wars, Ram-Manu became secluded from the world for many centuries, remaining behind in Akanu when the rest of his kin had long since moved to Unther with Gil-Geamesq. He moved to Unther later, and only at the personal invitation of Gil-Geamesq, where he found a new devotion to agriculture and farmers, using his mighty maul to bring rainstorms during the summer months to help crops flourish.

Like many of the godkings of Akanu, myths and legends paint him as a son of E-Anu, sometimes fathered on a giantess, others on the very earth itself. Curiously Ram-Manu is never depicted as being married or related to any of the other godkings and has remained very much a loner throughout the ages of the Mulan empires.

 

History

Ram-Manu has spent much of history hidden from it. He was never one for public displays and rarely emerged from his palace to do anything other than make war or indulge his pleasures (usually involving fighting and or killing).

Since moving to Unthalass his seclusion has only worsened, he has never left the General’s Repose unless Ish-Tarri came to coax him out during the peak of summers to call down the rains, or unless Gil-Geamesq ordered it personally (and presumably with suitable threats to his church and his personal safety).

While his social awkwardness and lack of adulation from the masses undoubtedly caused him to shy away from public displays, his hermitage since the Orcgate Wars may have other causes. Witnessing the deaths of so many of his friends and kin, as well as coming close to death twice, has caused significant psychological trauma to the godking of war. Since the Battle of the Gods, any stressful encounters would cause Ram-Manu to enter a berserker like rage, which resulted in the deaths of friend and foe alike, and of which Ram-Manu had no memory.

Ram-Manu entered voluntary seclusion and retreated from anything that might trigger his rages. When Gil-Geamesq called upon Ram-Many to help him oust Ass-Uraqn from Unther, Ram-Manu was too afraid to refuse the mighty God-King of Unther, and as he expected, he slaughtered everyone inside the General’s Repose when he led his priesthood to seize the leading temple of Ass-Uraqn. The walls of the temple are still stained a black-red colour to this day from the blood of his priests and Ass-Uraqn’s.

Ram-Manu has appeared seldom since, unless called out by Ish-Tarri to help with the harvest. Gil-Geamesq has been most successful in bringing Ram-Manu outside his temple; at every new festival the God-King’s demands to celebrate his own greatness would see Ram-Manu at Gil-Geamesq’s side as a trophy and silent guardian of sorts.

In truth Gil-Geamesq has long tortured the damaged mind and body of Ram-Manu, playing on his fears (isolating him from all contact), making his nightmares a reality (sending assassins against him and brutalising Ram-Manu then later offering him succor), until Ram-Manu’s mind was all but destroyed, the godking is now completely reliant upon Gil-Geamesq to determine the measure of safety and reality (ironically something that Gil-Geamesq struggles with daily).

Despite Ram-Manu’s fear of and devotion to Gil-Geamesq, the God-King of Unther is still paranoid that Ram-Manu will one day betray him and so has (since 1346 DR) gradually been torturing Ram-Manu in earnest. Ram-Manu’s body is twisted and mutilated (the scars hidden behind his great bronze breastplate when he is paraded outside by Gil-Geamesq), to match his fractured mind. No-one has seen Ram-Manu in person in 10 years (except for far off glimpses in the God-King’s pedestal at various events) and Gil-Geamesq has kept him imprisoned in one of the deeper chambers beneath the Ziggurat of Eternal Victory in Unthalass. The screams of Ram-Manu echo around the empty subterranean halls of the Ziggurat, but very few of the ensi of Gil-Geamesq ever venture into the deep levels anymore as it is known to house many a monstrous denizen.

 

Allies

Ram-Manu has allowed Gil-Geamesq to eliminate anyone that he might be able to call an ally. All the other godkings of Akanu and Unther are long gone (either fled, in hiding, or dead) and Ram-Manu did nothing to help them, even Ram-Manu’s own church is destroyed. It is unlikely; now that he is imprisoned and in need of help, that anyone will come rushing to his aid. It is possible that no-one other than Gil-Geamesq himself even knows that Ram-Manu is chained beneath the Ziggurat of Eternal Victory.

 

Resources

Mattock of Lightning: This stone headed, great maul was originally one of the spires atop the purple stoned dome of the palace of Inupras, Ram-Manu ripped the pole; with stone base attached, from the roof and used it to slay many an artificer.

The original purpose of the Mattock of Lightning is unknown but it can be used to call lightning from the sky (also causing rainclouds to form spontaneously above) which strikes the maul and charges it with electrical energy. When the maul impacts it’s next victim the electrical charge that surges through them is often enough to burn them to ash.

Ram-Manu’s favourite surprise tactic is to hurl the charged maul at enemies like a shot-put and when it strikes the ground the electricity is earthed in a great burst of lightning that burns anyone within 10 feet of where it strikes.

 

Fate

Ram-Manu’s fate is likely to be short. Gil-Geamesq is currently keeping him alive only to show that the remaining godkings still support the supreme ruler of Unther. Once the unrest calms and the chaos of the Dark Lady (TiaMa’at) has been rooted out and destroyed, it id doubtful that Ram-Manu (or Ish-Tarri’s doppelganger) will survive very long.

Should Gil-Geamesq somehow be removed from power then Ram-Manu could well remain trapped beneath the Ziggurat of Eternal Victory until someone discovers his presence and releases him. If the day of Ram-Manu’s release ever comes it is likely he will be little more than a wild animal.

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