Murtav, avatar of Deridean, came to Renk in the summer of 1421 RT, more than two hundred years after Pelavin the Conqueror took the city. I will say that calling them barbarians after so long in power hardly seems fair – the upstart British colonies became a world power in less time and the travel industry transformed from carriage to jet, so it seems reasonable to suggest that the northerners might have become somewhat civilized in the intervening years. When he arrived, Murtav was still in his teens and by all accounts, a relatively small and unassuming person, except when the power seized him. Little is known of his origins other than his claim that he grew up in the Achmad Mountains, where he was closer to Heaven and the power of Deridean.
At that time, Deridean’s house of worship was small and unassuming, like Murtav, and puny compared to the Dawn Mistress’s. Organized religion hadn’t exactly prospered during the barbarian occupation, but it wasn’t persecuted like the God-Emperor had ordered in Sangrithar. Pelavin and his heirs mostly ignored the temples, other than making sure they weren’t headquarters or training grounds for resistance thinking. Of the gods with temples in the city, Aeriel garnered the most prayers, but Murtav would change that. He arrived full of hope and optimism, saying that the Councilor had shown him the way to retake the city. Little did he know his mission would last a lifetime.
He came before Ygerne, most high among those serving the Dawn Mistress and said “Follow the light of Deridean and salvation shall be yours!” Now, if Murtav had been the avatar of some other god … take Harnor, for example … she’d have slammed the door in his face, but Deridean and the Dawn Mistress were brother and sister and had always been on the best of terms, so she invited him in.
Ygerne and Murtav two spent the next thirty-nine days and nights together, just the two of them locked in seclusion. Why thirty-nine? I don’t know. IMHO, they ought to have gone for forty, like the Flood or Moses on the mountain. Sure, there were rumors, especially after Ygerne emerged from the cocoon of prayer wearing an “I heart Deridean” pin, but I don’t put any stock in them. It would be disappointing after everything I’ve learned about Murtav’s much vaunted holiness if it turned out that it was all an elaborate ruse to lose his virginity in spectacular fashion. Seventy-eight days later, (yes, that’s twice thirty-nine and I’m sure it’s significant too) , Murtav led a strike force of Eagle warriors (that’s the name given to Aeriel’s knights) against the barbarian’s arch-mage, Papachil, and slew him a bone staff that he claims was Deridean’s tooth. Whether that was true or not, I don’t know, but the Tooth was handed down after Murtav, from high cleric to high cleric, until the prophecies were fulfilled.
After Papachil’s death, Ygerne named Murtav to the previously unoccupied post of high priest of Deridean and he held the position for the next fifty years. Deridean’s temple didn’t grow much during Murtav’s fifty year stint, but his legend did and when he died in 1477, it was such a day of mourning that the kids got the day off from school. In 1494, after Clarestor ousted the barbarians and retook Renk, Murtav’s lifelong dream was realized when his successor, Leris ap Murtav, broke ground on a new temple as part of the city’s rededication. Twenty years in the making, the temple was completed during the tenure of Dallan ap Leris O’Murtav.
Though the barbarian rule lasted seventy-three years after Murtav’s first appearance in Renk, most historians mark the beginning of the barbarian decline with his arrival.
Listed below are the high clerics of Deridean at the Renk temple, beginning with Murtav and ending with Marsham O’Dallan Lyf Furst. The naming conventions consist of complex rules unknown to those outside the clergy. The various suffixes, prefixes and connectors (most meant “son of” with assorted connotations) between surnames are indicative of the particular relationship between the new high priest and his predecessors. A few high clerics gained the office through inheritance or marriage, others were chosen by the prior high priest, a temple council or even revealed in prophecy. That last one shouldn’t surprise you, not in Sangrar.
The exact details of the naming conventions remain unknown. Tarik might have known them, he pretended that he did, but I couldn’t pry them out of him. He’d have rather seen Deridean stricken entirely from these chronicles, or at the very least portrayed in a less favorable light, and was loath to give me any details. I know that each high cleric assumed a new temple name upon taking office and that it included his new Deridean name and those of his two most recent predecessors.
Here, then, are the High Clerics of Deridean in Renk, beginning with Murtav:
1421 – 1477 Murtav the Avatar
1477 – 1495 Leris ap Murtav
1495 – 1526 Dallan ap Leris O’Murtav
1526 – 1546 Obin O’Dallan Lyf Leris
1546 – 1603 Telleran Obin Ap Dallan
1603 – 1626 Ohnar ap Telleran Obin
1626 – 1641 Furst M’Ohnar ap Tekker
1641 – 1673 Khan lyf Furs tap Ohnar
1673 – 1697 Rhyffald ap O’Khan M’Furst
1697 – 1712 Marsh ap Rhyffald O’Khan
1712 – 1789 Leron O’Marsh lyf Rhyffald
1789 – 1815 Teldon M’Leron ap Marsh
1815 – 1833 Kalif lyr Taldean ap Leron
1833 – 1837 Sepsis ap Kalir O’Teldan
1837 – 1864 Furstinar lyf Sepsis M’Kalir
1864 – 1886 Dallan O’Furstinar ap Sepsis
1886 – 1911 Mo’Bin ap Dallan Furstinar
1911 – 1915 Sepal Mo’Bin ap Dallan
1915 – 1922 Telchar ap Sepal Mo’Bin
1922 – 1926 Binar lyf Telchar ap Septar
1926 – 1953 Furst ap Binar O’Telchar
1953 – 2014 Dallan ap Furst O’Binar
2014 – ?? Marsham O’Dallan lyf Furst
Some considered Deridean’s high cleric in Renk the supreme spiritual figure on Tyrnavalle. Renk was the greatest city and, after the barbarians, Deridean was the most popular god with the grandest temple in the city, so I can see how this theory arose.