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Issek of the Jug

Stories: Lean Times in Lankhmar, Under the Thumbs of the Gods, The Mouser Goes Below

Issek is known as a god of peace and as a symbol of strength and perseverance for those who suffer hardships such as poverty or disfigurement. He offers Waters of Peace from the Cistern of Cillivat. His manner of death was racking.

Issek’s creed was preached by Bwadres who was an apologetic old dodderer. Under Bwadres’ preaching Issek never became popular and in fact was declining towards the Marsh Gate. Only when Fafhrd became an acolyte under Bwadres did Issek of the Jug become popular.

Issek of the Jug, as sung about in Fafhrd’s poetry, cavorted with beasts, and dumbfounded rulers by suffering colorful tortures without harm while delivering majestic sermons on brotherly love in perfect, intricately rhymed stanzas. Fafhrd’s Issek did not merely die on the rack, but broke seven racks before expiring on the eighth, and even then he broke loose and broke the thick brass band of office from around his torturer’s neck and fashioned it into a beautiful symbol of the Jug before his spirit departed.

Issek’s popularity reached a peak when Fafhrd unwittingly appeared as an avatar of Issek and enacted Issek’s second coming before a crowd. Afterwards Pulg the extortionist took over the running of the church of Issek and deliberately ground down rival churches with his extortion racket. The church of Issek flourished for exactly three years after the second coming with five large temples, numerous minor shrines, and a swelling priesthood at it’s height. During the third anniversary when it became apparent that Pulg planned on overthrowing even the Gods of Lankhmar, those same gods destroyed the church of Issek, defiled all it’s temples, threw down all shrines, and killed the clergy of Issek down to it’s last member.

Issek of the Jug still resides in the Godsland as a minor god, keeping his ear open to all worshipers, especially his greatest and lapsed one, Fafhrd.