The Let's Play Archive

Shin Megami Tensei II

by Luisfe

Part 33

Update 32: Bring, boring HOD.

A bit short, but I am lazy and whatno. Next update will probably have Netzach and Tiphereth. Unless I get lazy again and decide to just get the key and leave Tiphereth for a third update.

Hod it is.

To the East!

Cailleach Bheare!

Wikipedia posted:

In Irish and Scottish mythology, the Cailleach (pronounced /kalʲəx/, Irish plural cailleacha /kalʲəxə/, Scottish Gaelic plural cailleachan /kalʲəxən/), also known as the Cailleach Bheur, is generally seen as a divine hag, a creator, and possibly an ancestral deity or deified ancestor. The word simply means 'old woman' in modern Scottish Gaelic, and has been applied to numerous mythological figures in both Scotland and Ireland.

In Scotland, where she is also known as Beira, Queen of Winter, she is credited with making numerous mountains and large hills, which are said to have been formed when she was striding across the land and accidentally dropped rocks from her apron. In other cases she is said to have built the mountains intentionally, to serve as her stepping stones. She carries a hammer for shaping the hills and valleys.[1]

In partnership with the goddess Brìghde, the Cailleach is seen as a seasonal deity or spirit, with The Cailleach Bheur ruling the winter months between Samhuinn and Bealltainn, and Brìghde ruling the summer months between Bealltainn and Samhuinn. Depending on local climate, the change in 'rulership' is celebrated any time between Là Fhèill Brìghde (February 1) at the earliest, Latha na Cailliche (March 25), or Bealltainn at the latest. Some interpretations have the Cailleach and Brìghde as two faces of the same goddess.[2] She evinces many traits fitting for the personified Winter: she herds deer, she fights Spring, and her staff freezes the ground.[3]

In Scotland, The Cailleachan (lit. 'old women') are also known as The Storm Hags, and seen as personifications of the elemental powers of nature, especially in a destructive aspect. They are said to be particularly active in raising the windstorms of spring, during the period known as A' Chailleach.[2][4] One legend describes The Cailleach as turning to stone on Beltane and reverting back to humanoid form on Samhain in time to rule over the winter months. In Scotland, she ushers in winter by washing her plaid in the Whirlpool of Coire Bhreacain. This process is said to take three days, during which the roar of the coming tempest is heard as far away as twenty miles inland. When she is finished, her plaid is white and snow covers the land.[2]

In Scotland and Ireland, the first farmer to finish the grain harvest made a corn dolly, representing The Cailleach, from the last sheaf of the crop. The last farmer to finish had the responsibility to take in and care for the corn dolly for the next year. Competition was fierce to avoid having to take in the Old Woman.[5]

The word cailleach (in modern Scottish Gaelic, 'old wife, nun') comes from the Old Irish caillech, 'veiled one', which is probably derived from the Latin pallium, 'cloak'.[6] The word is related to caileag which means 'girl'. The Lowland Scots word for 'hag' is carline which has evolved to mean witch. Another word for 'hag' is the Irish Síle, which has led some to speculate on a connection between the Cailleach and the stonecarvings of Sheela na Gigs.[7] Some scholars believe the Old Irish poem, 'The Lament of the Old Woman of Beare' is about the Cailleach; Kuno Meyer states, '...she had fifty foster-children in Beare. She had seven periods of youth one after another, so that every man who had lived with her came to die of old age, and her grandsons and great-grandsons were tribes and races.'[8][9]

The Cailleach Bheur has been described in some sources as having blue-black skin, like a corpse. In later tales she is also known as Cailleach nan Cruachan, the witch of Ben Cruachan; tea-towels and postcards of her are sold in the visitor shop for the Hollow Mountain. She is also credited with creating Loch Awe.

Damnit, another Mudo user Very dangerous demons.

A Fuma Bell! It reduces the demon encounter rate. Kind of useful.

Time to go upstairs.

Time to go out.

Hod is BORING. There is nothing here.

Besides this structure, that is.

Gray walls. Only thing here is a healing spring.

Nothing. At. All. Here.

That's... Ugly.

Even if she does that, she is CLEARLY underestimating Aleph and his merry band of DEMONS.

Wikipedia posted:

In Babylonian and Sumerian mythology, Tiamat is the sea, personified as a goddess,[1] and a monstrous embodiment of primordial chaos.[2] In the Enûma Elish, the Babylonian epic of creation, she gives birth to the first generation of gods; she later makes war upon them and is split in two by the storm-god Marduk, who uses her body to form the heavens and the earth. She was known as Thalattē (the Greek word for "sea") in the Hellenistic Babylonian Berossus' first volume of universal history, and some copyists of Enûma Elish slipped and substituted the ordinary word for "sea" for Tiamat.[3]

Though Tiamat is often described by modern authors as a sea serpent or dragon, no ancient texts exist in which there is a clear association with those kind of creatures. Though the Enûma Elish specifically states that Tiamat did give birth to dragons and serpents, they are included among a larger and more general list of monsters including scorpion men and merpeople, none of which imply that any of the children look like the mother or are even limited to aquatic creatures.

Within the Enûma Elish her physical description includes, a tail, a thigh, "lower parts" (which shake together), a belly, an udder, ribs, a neck, a head, a skull, eyes, nostrils, a mouth, and lips. She has insides, a heart, arteries, and blood.

The depiction of Tiamat as a multi-headed dragon was popularized in the 1970s as a fixture of the Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying game thanks to earlier sources associating Tiamat with later mythological characters such as Lotan and others.

Apsu (or Abzu, from Sumerian Ab = water, Zu = far) fathered upon Tiamat the Elder Gods Lahmu and Lahamu (the "muddy"), a title given to the gatekeepers at the Enki Abzu temple in Eridu. Lahmu and Lahamu, in turn, were the parents of the axis or pivot of the heavens (Anshar, from An = heaven, Shar = axle or pivot) and the earth (Kishar), and Anshar and Kishar were considered to meet on the horizon, becoming thereby the parents of Anu and Ki. Tiamat was the "shining" personification of salt water who roared and smote in the chaos of original creation. She and Apsu filled the cosmic abyss with the primeval waters. She is "Ummu-Hubur who formed all things".

In the myth, the god Enki (later Ea) believed correctly that Apsu, upset with the chaos they created, was planning to murder the younger gods; and so slew him. This angered Kingu, their son, who reported the event to Tiamat, whereupon she fashioned monsters to battle the gods. These were her own offspring: giant sea serpents, storm demons, fish-men, scorpion-men and many others. Tiamat possessed the Tablets of Destiny, and in the primordial battle she gave them to Kingu, the god she had chosen as her lover and the leader of her host. The Gods gathered in terror, but Anu, (replaced later first by Enlil and, in the late version that has survived after the First Dynasty of Babylon, by Marduk, the son of Ea), first extracting a promise that he would be revered as "king of the Gods", overcame her, armed with the arrows of the winds, a net, a club, and an invincible spear.
And the lord stood upon Tiamat's hinder parts,
And with his merciless club he smashed her skull.
He cut through the channels of her blood,
And he made the North wind bear it away into secret places.

Slicing Tiamat in half, he made from her ribs the vault of heaven and earth. Her weeping eyes became the source of the Tigris and the Euphrates. With the approval of the elder gods, he took from Kingu the Tablets of Destiny, installing himself as the head of the Babylonian pantheon. Kingu was captured and was later slain with his red blood mixed with the red clay of the Earth to make the body of humankind, created to act as the servant of the younger Igigi Gods.

There is evidence that the Babylonian version of the story is based upon a slightly modified version of an older Epic in which Enlil, not Marduk, was the God who slew Tiamat. [6]

And then... EPIC BATTLE

And yet you lost. Ha! Ha!

And that is one of the two keys needed to get to Tiphereth, I believe.

Nothing more to be done. Next time: Netzach, and if I am not feeling lazy, Tiphereth.