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Avatar of Ukko

"Arrogant, uncompromising and hopelessly conservative. On a bad day those are the only attributes that shine through him. On better days you could describe him as just, honorable and well, divine, I suppose. Avatars of the god of the gods come rarely and are almost akin to myth, until one happens to come along, rejuvenating those myths as reality. However, the arrival of avatars, in particular ones of the higher gods, such as Ukko, Umi or Kalma, propose a problem to our society. Especially avatars of Ukko present a societal problem to us, as avatars of his are seen as personifications if not outright Ukko himself brought into the flesh as one of our kind. Therefore, it is seen by some, in particular those of deep faith, that they de facto occupy the highest rung of any of our government and their will is ultimate, being the representatives of the god of the highest order. Therefore, some argue, going against the will of these avatars is tantamount to treason and direct defiance of the gods. In times of dire need, they can be the leaders our empire requires, possessing unparalleled force of will and might.

However, in times of relative peace, they may be arbiters of war and misery, due to their unmovable adherence to religious norms and law as well as their inability or disinterest in hearing opinion or diplomacy. Their will is ultimate and if there is friction or doubt in the hearts of the people, they will submit or they will be forcibly removed or thrown into prison and made into slaves. The following short exchange with him and a citizen is evidence to the cold pragmatism and arrogance that defines these avatars:
"Our community has fallen on hard times, our lord and ruler. The crops were meager and the insects destroyed most of what was left in the fields. We need food, our lord."
"Then you must work harder, for the gods provide you with what you need, but to provide for all, requires work from ourselves. Go back to your community and tell each man to work twofold, to each provide that which two would, and you shall be content."

It is no small wonder that some have conflicting opinions of these avatars and what their ultimate goals are, or whatever the gods ultimate intent and desire is, the thriving of the empire or something else entirely. Certainly the effects of the avatars in the society as a whole sometime seem entirely backwards and instead of taking us forward, they drag us back, back towards our past. But while so many people still believe that avatars are the harbingers and messengers of the gods, and therefore bearers of the ultimate truth, it is impossible for those with more progressive views on society to deny them the right to rule without conflict and war.

Another possibility is that perhaps the gods just enjoy a nice war to entertain themselves and are aware that sometimes avatars invite unnecessary friction to our society, while in more turbulent times they help our empire to defeat her enemies."

high-res: https://ko-fi.com/i/IX8X260OMO