Dragon Age – Elgar’nan

Little is truly known about the ancient elven gods; even the Dalish know little, and they share less.  What information there is must be picked up from ancient texts and oral teachings; although, we sometimes come across information where it is least expected.

Elgar’nan, Wrath and Thunder,
Give us glory.
Give us victory, over the Earth that shakes our cities.
Strike the usurpers with your lightning.
Burn the ground under your gaze.
Bring Winged Death against those who throw down our work.
Elgar’nan, help us tame the land.

– Song to Elgar’nan, Temple of Mythal

Elgar’nan is the eldest of the elven gods, born when the Sun leaned over and touched the Land.  Vengeance is his dominion; the story goes that when the Sun became jealous of the attention Elgar’nan gave to the gifts of the Land, he burned them, and Elgar’nan threw down his father for this act.  It took the Land and Mythal together to persuade Elgar’nan to restore the Sun, and he only restored him when the Sun promised to set each day.

When the elves call to Elgar’nan, they call him the All-Father, the Eldest of the Sun, and He Who Overthrew His Father, and to them he also represents fatherhood; he is paired with Mythal, the All-Mother, and together they lead the elven pantheon.  When Elgar’nan is invoked, however, it is usually in a call for something to be destroyed; his rage is terrible, and his thirst for justice means his arm is swift.

Interestingly, I see parallels between Elgar’nan and one of the netjeru (gods of Ancient Egypt); Sekhmet, Beautiful One, is terrible in her rage and her job is to uphold ma’at (Divine Order) at any cost.  In this role, she destroyed mankind almost to the point of no return; others of the netjeru had to intervene, first by tricking her into calming down, and then by using logic once she was calmed.  Sekhmet, in her role of justicar, destroys the enemies of ma’at swiftly and surely, just as Elgar’nan did to his father and continues to do when injustice is pervasive.

(Of course, there are parallels between Sekhmet and the asari justicars as well, but that’s a topic for another post.)

With these similarities, it seems to me that those wishing to worship Elgar’nan outside of video game context could approach him as I approach Sekhmet: be confident and self-aware but respectful; offer things that are appreciated – I give Sekhmet cool water, bread, and red beer, and I believe cool water would also be appropriate for Elgar’nan, given the nature of elven temples; and invoke with caution.  Much like Sekhmet, I suspect the blessings of Elgar’nan can be dual-edged and, once invoked, he may be difficult to stop before the work is done.


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