Vulcum: the Blacksmith God

February 7, 2019

Most non-Christian religions worldwide have some sort of fire/volcano god(s) and/or goddess(es). And there are numerous cases where those same gods also protect or represent blacksmiths. There is an intimate relationship with fire, furnaces, and forging weapons, valued possessions and armor. From Kagu-tsuchi in Japanese myth to Gibil in Mesopotamia, these fire loving blacksmith deities all have their stories that tie them to their associated occupation and the raging or smoldering element of fire. Valcum is clearly no exception.

 

 

In ancient civilizations, fire was valuable. It was a source of warmth and light. With fire, food could be cooked, smoked and preserved for longer periods of time. Fire could be used as a protection against predatory wildlife. Without fire, the forging of metal would be impossible. Fire was esteemed and essential in the development of cultures. Fire was fierce, deadly, harsh but always respected. So were the deities that represented it.

 

My main inspiration for such a blacksmith god was Hephaestus (Roman equivalent: Vulcan) from Greco-Roman myth. The crippled child of Zeus (Jupiter), he lived away from the other gods because of his deformity and concentrated on his blacksmithing passion. He was the creator of many marvelous items that the gods as well as heroes held dear including Apollo’s chariot, Demeter’s scepter, Aphrodite’s girdle, Athena’s spear, Hercules’s breastplate, and Achilles as well as Perseus’s shields. The list goes on and on, but you have the idea.

In the Theriomorph pantheon, Valcum is associated with the creation of each of the twelve gods’ unique weapons. Hopefully by now, you are familiar with Issaura’s Claws, the golden bladed, brass knuckle-like weapon that the protagonist, Lluava, is given. Here is another tidbit for you: this god’s own weapon—Valcum’s Fists—are a set of red-gold gauntlets. Furthermore, Valcum’s name almost replicates Vulcan. I did this out of respect for his muse as well as the tie in to the word volcano.

 

Valcum’s dual form is an orange orangutan. If you look at this great ape’s body structure you can see how its forearms are far longer than its legs. Powerful enough to travel by swinging through the jungle canopy, this animal seemed to embody the atypically strong arms and back that a blacksmith would develop simply by working on his craft.

 

Though not as predominant in the religion of the Theriomorphs, this god is one who will always be remembered through his magnificent creations. Three cheers for the god of fire!

 

 

 

Note: The images are from http://www.greek-mythology-pantheon.com/hephaestus-vulcan-greek-god-of-fire-and-volcanoes/

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