Of Symbrac, the Lord of Fire

Symbrac, called so among the Avareans, Sephirach among the Haddanái, Thegmache by the Varlanga and Seméresh in Arál Draván, stands among the Five and is the chief of the Nezhárin. The origin of the name Symbrac is not known. He claims the Throne of Fire Unending and Implacable. His is mastery over the Forges of the Velkánd in which were made many artifacts, and the mightiest weapons of both Gods and Men. He is among the oldest of the living Gods, and arose from those who dwelled in the world before the coming of men, but he has ever been the patron of humanity, and was specially beloved by the men of Mánthezar, though one old legend of the Vadzh tells that he tricked humanity to achieve godhood, and the Aharai Fragments suggest that he will betray mankind when the Last Days draw near. Symbrac watches over teachers and performers, and craftsmen who work in metal or crystal or words. His totem, and his form, is that of the Dragon, and even in mortal form his eyes ever blaze with fire and smoke as if from chaff cast upon molten metal. His colors are red and yellow, the colors of flame, and his metal is Gold. As holder of the Throne of Fire he is associated with the Sign of the Brazier, which was itself forged in his Inextinguishable Furnace.

The Merenneans, the native peoples of the Avúr Basin, venerate Symbrac especially, and he is hated by the Selureans whose war-goddess Velkyra covets the Throne of Fire. In Ar-Knešt he is seen as brother to Ilmántar the Sun, and is thus venerated among the lesser gods of that land. Many of the Princes of the Haddanái follow his ways, but not all, and his Temples are numerous and prosperous in that land. He is feared by the Vulteans, for his power is treacherous, but he is honored among them by smiths and artificers.

The worshippers of Symbrac burn offerings to him, sometimes grains and wood as in Avarean lands, but in the lands of the Hadd slaughtered animals are sacrificed and the savages of the Southern Reaches cast living men and women, sometimes willing but often not, into pits of fire in his name. In Vaarlanga lands smiths break bladed weapons and render them into ingots in veneration to him, then forge the new steel into swords and axes etched with the glyph of fire, to draw blood anew.

His temples are built around great wells in which a fire is set to burn eternally until the world itself is extinguished. His church has no center and no dominating hierarchy, but in Thacháya in Arál Draván there is a great temple to Seméresh visited by many pilgrims, for he was the great God of the Vádzh who dwelled there when the Laghá came. In Kelarh there is a mountain of fire that is seen as a sacred place to which van travel to cast offerings and see visions in the smoke.

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