Laugh at me all you want, you furry terrors! There is no way in the Eleven Hells that I am going to do that! (—Lucano Volpe at the Fallskarm Celebration)
The ratatosk are a joyful race who use any excuse to hold a celebration, party, or feast. Where other faiths, such as worshippers of Perun, have days honoring specific saints, every single day of the squirrel-folk seasonal calendar is marked by a holiday. The subjects of these holidays vary from obviously important to something akin to a thinly veiled excuse.
When you arrive in a ratatosk community, you will certainly be just in time for that day’s celebration. The theme of the holiday could be one of these…
|d8||Reason for Celebration|
|1||An important historical anniversary|
|2||A particular hero or legend|
|3||The first day of the month|
|4||Fur Brushing Day|
|5||The arrival of visitors!|
|6||The last day of the month|
|7||A favorite food|
|8||Celebrating the color green|
The squirrel-folk hold two important celebrations, apart from these daily holidays.
On the first day of Harvest Tide, every squirrel-folk community sends their strongest or cleverest member to the Aerie at the top of the World Tree, to the den of the serpent at its roots, or out into the various planes. These seekers spend 4 months gathering the most important secrets they can ferret out. On the last day of Snowfall, they gather in Grenstad to publicly present their secrets to the Squirrel Court before returning home to great fanfare and celebration. Visitors, both mortal and divine, often attend the Sharing of Secrets to hear the ratatosk’s stolen lore.
The Fallskarm Celebration
Held during the first week of High Summer, the Fallskarm commemorates the infamous ratatosk heroine Churr Scurida who brought a vital cure (to a disease) from the top of Yggdrasil to a ratatosk community near the base by leaping off the World Tree. To honor her memory, participants in the Fallskarm don specially made, winged garments and hurl themselves from one of the highest ratatosk settlements. The individual who reaches the lowest point of Yggdrasil without crashing on branches or trunk, succumbing to aerial monsters, or tumbling into the void receive great fame among the ratatosk as well as a prize given by Queen Clarahekkarina. In the past, this prize has been rare magical items gathered from across the planes, but it is a widely acknowledged secret that the winner of the Fallskarm can instead request the answer to a single question from Vedfolnir, the all-seeing hawk at the top of Yggdrasil.
Though not an overly religious people, it would be impossible to discuss the ratatosk without presenting information about Ratatosk, the Squirrel God.
Nut Bringer, Keeper of Gossip, Clever Lord of Secrets, Patron of Travelers and Ratatosk
Divine Domain. Travel and Trickery (also the Keeper Domain, see Warlock 23: Bearfolk)
Favored Weapon. Dagger, spear
Ratatosk is the clever runner, mischievous trickster, and laughing messenger of Yggdrasil. Responsibilities, rules, and orders fall forgotten to the joy of new sights, gathering secrets, and spreading rumors. The followers of the Squirrel God view secrets as a challenge to uncover and share. In a plane-spanning multiverse of the powerful and frightening, he is an unredeemable source of joy and humor.
The public face of the Nut Bringer is a human-sized ratatosk with tiny silver tusks and a golden horn protruding from his forehead. When he appears to his faithful, Ratatosk speaks telepathically in a whispering voice, brimming with suppressed laughter.
Ratatosk is worshipped by those who dwell upon Yggdrasil, some planar settlements, and in a few communities near the various World Trees on Midgard. Messengers and far travelers in the Northlands will make offerings of cracked hazelnuts to the Squirrel God for luck on their journeys.
Symbols and Books
The symbol of Ratatosk is a Golden Acorn. His priests mostly pass his faith along via oral tales and songs, though an exiled ratatosk scholar in the Marketplace currently seeks to compile the teachings into a complete tome.
Shrines and Priests
The most famous shrines of Ratatosk are the Chittering Temple in Grenstad and the Wellspring in Orypel. The Squirrel God’s priesthood includes ratatosk, ravenfolk, as well as a smattering of catfolk.
Perhaps with obvious reasons, few faiths lay claim to Ratatosk as a mask of their gods. Some humans claim he is a mask of Loki, but various omens suggest the northern trickster god violently disagrees. Those in the Southlands or regions to the east of the Dragon Empire often equate Ratatosk with Nakresh, the Monkey God, though this connection is tenuous at best. It is possible that Ratatosk has no masks associated with him.
Ratatosk is regarded with humorous exasperation by most faiths, yet his connection to Yggdrasil means they cannot ignore him completely. He is a great source of information and gossip, though few gods trust the Squirrel God to keep their secrets to himself.
Ratatosk maintains a close relationship with the Northern Gods, though most of the pantheon distrusts him, except for Odin. For it was Ratatosk who secretly dripped the juice of a stolen Golden Apple into the one-eyed god’s mouth while he hung upon the World Tree.
What Ratatosk Demands
Gather choice rumors and whispers as you would the finest acorns. Spread your gathered tidbits to entertain and amuse yourself. Guide the lost and the wandering. Always respect mighty Yggdrasil.
Next time, we will learn about Ratatosk Planar Guides, how to hire them, and why you would want to!
Until then, my friends, stay squirrelly.