Cult of Taal
Together with the priesthood of Rhya, the cult are vital in the countryside and small villages throughout the Empire but rarely involve themselves in Imperial politics.[1a]
Many of the temples were destroyed by the Chaos invasion and few priests and priestesses escaped - the Hierarch of Ostland, Klaus Hartwig vowed with Ludmilla Giesling to defend Rhya's sacred pool east of Wolfenburg and their fate remains unknown. [1a]
Taal's foremost holy day is the spring equinox, which marks the reawakening of nature after its winter slumber. The holy days of his brother Ulric are also kept by Taal's followers as minor festivals.
- Horned Hunters: Zealots of the cult who eschew civilisation, shuning settlements and even clothing. They are ferocious in combat. [4a]
- Longshanks: Anicent Order of Skilled rangers and outdoorsmen who mostly venerate Taal above his wife, although some worship her in the aspect of Haleth the Huntress. They swear an oath never to stay in one place for more than a week but roam the empire protecting shrines, seatching for the taint of Chaos and opposing any depletion of river and land. [1a]
Often conisdered a dual cult with his wife Rhya, Taal's cult also has friendly relations with those of his brother Ulric and his son Manann, and with the druids of the Old Faith. Taal's greatest hatred is for the followers of Chaos.
The Amber Order of Wizards have strong links with the Cult, the god who many shamans venerate above all others. Priests and shamans often come into contact but their interests are usually aligned and find it easy enough to cooperate. Some claim that the itinerant priests of Taal are actually indistinguishable from shamans. [3a]
Sub Cults and other aspects
Taal is known by various names from place to place and his worship is not restricted to humans. To the Elves he is Torothal, Goddess of Rain and Rivers [1a] although Taal also has many similarities with Kurnous, the Elf god of the hunt. Among hunters and trappers in parts of Middenland and Talabecland, he is Karnos, Lord of Beasts.. To some fishermen, he is Karog, God of Rivers, although the name may originate in Kislev. [1a]
Antlers, deer skulls, stone axe. [4a]
Temples and shrines
The traditional form of temple to Taal is a circular structure built of rough, unmortared stone, with a conical roof. His shrines are often sacred groves marked by the skull of a stag, bison or bear hung in the oldest tree. Mountain shrines are often cairns topped with the skulls of same creatures. There are also monasteries to Taal, like the La Maisontaal Abbey located in the Grey Mountains.
|Before all the other Gods, there are Taal and Rhya, the Father and the Mother. Without their blessing and union, there would be no world for us to live in.|
- 1: Sigmar's Heirs
- 1a: Chapter V: Cults of the Empire, pg. 39-40
- 2: The Imperial Zoo (book)
- 2a: Great Stag, pg. 10
- 3: Winds of Magic (book)
- 3a: The Amber Brotherhood, pg. 143
- 4: Tome of Salvation
- 4a: Chapter 2: Old World Cults, pg. 61-65
- Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 1st Edition, 1988, pp. 200-201
- Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2nd Edition, Black Industries, 2005, p. 183