Lore:Great Spirits of the Reach: Volume 2

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Great Spirits of the Reach: Volume 2
by Vashu gra-Morga, Chief Daedrotheologist at the University of Gwylim
An overview of Hircine's veneration in the Reach

The Reachfolk worship many spirits, both great and small. In truth, there are as many faiths as there are clans in the Reach. Some clans might worship a sacred elk or the spirit of a mountain spring. Others might sacrifice goats to ghosts of ancient heroes. There are some spirits, however, that transcend clan boundaries—those we in the rest of Tamriel recognize as the Daedric Princes.

Chief among the Reach pantheon is Hircine—Prince of the Hunt. Names vary from clan to clan: Old Elk-Eye, Hunt-King, Beast Father, Skinshaper, and the Spear with Five Points. Like all Reach gods, Hircine is regarded as a cruel teacher. Indeed, Reachfolk do not call their articles of faith "beliefs;" they call them "lessons." But those who heed Hircine's lessons grow swift, strong, and cunning. For a Reach hunter, these physical manifestations of faith are far more important than any of the nebulous ethical concerns debated in the temples of the Divines.

Hircine is the avatar of the fierce and terrifying "now." He tells his followers that life is lived breath-by-breath, and all creatures are predator, prey, or both. This engenders a sense of urgency and constant wariness that often leads to conflict, but also keeps Reachfolk safe. In the heart of a Hircine-worshiper, there is no rest and no expectation of rest.

For the uninitiated, such a faith sounds exhausting. But the fruits it bears are difficult to dismiss. Reachfolk maintain a level of focus and athleticism that few races can match. While brief stillness waits at the end of the hunt, there is always another hunt on the horizon.

Reachfolk also welcome Hircine's truest servants into their midst as protectors and guides. I speak, of course, of werewolves. Few Reachfolk describe lycanthropy as a blessing, but they accept it as a useful condition. The werewolf suffers on behalf of her clan and causes enemies to suffer in turn.