Ranald, the god of Thieves and Tricksters, the patron deity of thieves, gamblers and other rogues. [1a]
It is claimed that he was once a human who managed to trick Shallya, goddess of Healing and Mercy, into making him a god to avoid having to marry him but another legend is that managed to gain immortality by making Morr smile.[1a]
In Sartosa, legends says that a young sailor called on the gods when his ship was wrecked but only Ranald responded, raising the island from the waves in a blast of fire and lava. This offended Manann and so Ranald told the sailor to pay homage to both gods with treasure and to do so he took up the life of a pirate. [2a]
He is portrayed as a charming and rogueish thief and con man of unsurpassable ability, but he may also take the form of a crow, a magpie or a black cat.
Common symbols are crossed fingers, the mark X, dice, and other symbols of luck. Anyone who wishes Ranald's favour (good luck) might wear a charm with an X on it.
Although he is associated with crime, he is not evil but driven by his irrepressible sense of humour and his love of thievery, which to him is a means of humiliating pompous and imperious merchants, rather than avarice. To Ranald, the perfect crime is one which is only discovered weeks later. Ranald abhors every form of violence and does not allow violent crimes. In the eyes of the Trickster God one should use his brains, not his swordarm.
Much like Sigmar, Ranald was not born a god but managed to become one himself. While Sigmar did so by proving himself worthy, Ranald became immortal through lies and trickery. His means of ascension into the pantheon of deities provides his followers with an excellent example of his ideology. Ranald is often portrayed as a human male, normally with a charming appearance, but can also take the form of a crow, black cat or a magpie.
He tricked Shallya, the Maiden of Mercy, to let him drink of her tears, thereby deifying himself. Ranald wishes all his followers to lie, trick, and rise against authorities and laws, and what greater authority to circumvent than that of a god? Though generally regarded as impertinent and disrespectful of authority, Ranald is not known to dislike the older gods nor think badly of them.
Ranald loves nothing more than to bring down the mighty and raise the low and is considered to be a giver of good fortune, and many prayers are said to him by those wishing for a change of luck, or to keep the wealth they have gained so far.
The cult of Ranald is highly decentralised if it has any organisation at all. The few temples that openly exist are careful to emphasise Ranald's role as a patron of trade. A large temple to Ranald is located in the city of Marienburg, currently led by Hans von Kleptor who are by all means Ranald incarnate with his handsome looks and sharp wits. The followers of Ranald believes him to be Ranald's son of a mortal woman. Due to Marienburg's independence in the Empire and status as an underdog, Ranald is widely and openly worshipped.
There are small shrines devoted to each of Ranald's aspects. Shrines are never elaborate and are always hidden and easily concealable. Shrines to Ranald as the Night Prowler can sometimes be found in the dens of Thieves' Guilds.
Priests of Ranald are wanderers, and train initiates on an ad-hoc basis. His cult has no formal orders and holy days vary from region to region and usually concedes with local folklore. Most cultures through the Empire have a day where families exchange gifts and tokens, and that day is usually considered holy to Ranald and his followers.
Ranald is largely worshipped in the larger towns and cities of the Old World, by gamblers, thieves, rogues and the lower classes. Ranald and his followers have two basic sets of enemies: the authorities and violent rogues. While the worship of Ranald is not in itself illegal in the Old World, those openly displaying the symbols of the God of Thieves are naturally subject to distrust. Those who are arrested and punished are usually considered guilty of some crime be it either theft or otherwise.
He has four aspects:
- The Dealer, popular in Marienburg with traders. [1a]
- The Deceiver, the patron of those devoted to deception, such as Illusionist sorcerors, con men, and charlatans.
- The Gamester, the patron of gamblers, also known as the God of Luck. [1a]
- Jack O'the Sea: Pirate and patron of Sartosa. [2a]
- The Night Prowler, the patron of thieves. [1a]
- The Protector, an aspect generally popular with the underclass; protects his worshippers from official tyranny.
Other cults tend to afford the cult Ranald some measure of respect, despite his illicit nature. Many consider followers of Ranald to be annoying and unsociable, especially those who worship Verena, goddess of law and justice who believe Ranald to be an excuse for unlawful behaviour. Shallya disapproves of Ranald, and it is he that exploited the goddess's compassion to gain godhood. The god herself has forgiven him, but her followers are somewhat less likely follow her example.
|The gods & goddesses of the Old World|
|Old Faith - Rhya - Taal - Ulric - Manann - Morr - Verena - Myrmidia - Shallya - Ranald - Handrich - Stromfels - Khaine - Sigmar - Lady of the Lake - Lucan & Luccina - Ursun - Dazh - Tor - Esmeralda|
Notes & sources
- 1: Sigmar's Heirs
- 1a: Chapter V: Cults of the Empire, pg. 37
- 2: WFRP Companion
- 2a: Sartosa, City of Pirates, pg. 72-78
- Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, 1st edition, pp. 198, 199 - Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, 2nd edition
- Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2nd Edition, pp. 177
- Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2nd Edition
- Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, 1st edition, p. 198 & 199 - Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, 2nd edition