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Raróg (/ˈra.rug/, RAH-roog) is a fiery deity or a demon worshipped in Zerrikania. In Nordling ballads, Raróg is known as the firebird, or phoenix.

History

The cult of Raróg arose in Zerrikania, similarly to other dragon cults might have been based on real-life examples. A Cat School witcher from Poviss supposedly saw a firebird once, but the majority of witchers agree that firebirds are only a fairy tale, like golden dragons.

In 1240s or 50s, a group of vagabonds or magic practicioners stole a firebird egg from Baal-Zebuth's temple in Hakland. In Lyria, they sold it to a local eccentric named Fowler who intended to resurrect Raróg. Geralt of Rivia and Dandelion, who happened to be nearby, were blackmailed by Merrinda Hewroth to stop the crazy man. When Geralt and Dandelion were escaping from confrontation between Fowler and Merrinda, the hatching firebird, supposed Raróg, tried to mentally persuade the witcher into helping him, but Geralt managed to drive off its pleas with the use of Baal-Zebuth's amulet he was given by Fowler's assistant.[1]

Beliefs

Gwent cardart neutral phoenix full

Phoenixes, themselves almost legendary, might have been the source of Raróg myth.

Raróg, fierce deity of fire and warm sky, is believed to be the polar opposite of Baal-Zebuth, the god of moist and dark sky. Both are evil, neither of them more or less than the other; combined, they symbolize the southern and the northern wind. According to the ballads, ages ago the two fought over the dominance in the skies. Though Raróg lost, Baal did not gain the advantage, and the desolation they created became known as the Great Korath Desert.

The Eastern deity was brought into Nordling legends as a firebird. According to Dandelion, almost every bard knows the aforementioned myth of the creation of Korath. According to the ballads, firebirds are born from dragon eggs that hardened in the eternal fire and molten rock of the underworld. Such prepared egg is to be put into bird nest during the hungry gap, then, after a burnt sacrifice of the bird and the nest, the egg has to be brooded by the sacrificer themself in the ashes. By the ninth day, the Ninth Gate of the Abyss opens and the firebird is born.

Raróg reigns over all other birds. Sole presence of its egg causes unrest among aves, which become violent towards people and creatures approaching the egg uninvited. Only a bard's song can appease the agitated flock.[1]

Symbols

The-scarlet-cardinal-inn

A sign depicting scarlet cardinal, the animal commonly associated with Raróg.

The scarlet cardinal, a red songbird, is usually associated with Raróg. Intrepid, bold and confident, flying high and aiming even higher, the cardinal stands for Raróg's energy, passion, and the inner fire that drives people. Raróg's songbird is often chosen as symbol of luck, as well as depicted on signs and emblems. Some witchers and hunters wear heads of the animal as "Raróg trophy".[2][3][4]

Notes

  • Conflict between Raróg and Baal-Zebuth serves as mythological background for Kres cudów, a short story in Szpony i kły Witcher collection by Polish authors.

Trivia

Fenghuang Longshan Temple

A fenghuang on the roof of Longshan Temple in Taipei

  • Northern Cardinal, or Raróg, was adopted as CD Projekt logo in May 2014.[2]
  • As it is described in Kres cudów, Raróg draws from a variety of mythological birds, including the Slavic Raróg and Zhar-ptica (Firebird), Chinese Fenghuang that reigns over birds, as well as Simurgh, Phoenix, and others.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Szpony i kły
  2. 2.0 2.1 New CD Projekt RED logo!
  3. Blood and Wine expansion
  4. Gwent: The Witcher Card Game
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