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Nethrus

first I want to credit @anonymous for mentioning the name! I’ve been looking into Nethrus and was trying to finish throughing something to spark some fire to the discussion and @anonymous was mein Muse mein flame... Also make sure you check up on what @certainpersonio follows up with in the comments. He has brought some good info into the last few topics I’ve posted!

 

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In Germania, Tacitus records that the remote Suebi tribes were united by their veneration of the goddess at his time of writing and maintained a sacred grove on an (unspecified) island and that a holy cart rests there draped with cloth, which only a priest may touch. The priests feel her presence by the cart, and, with deep reverence, attend her cart, which is drawn by heifers. Everywhere the goddess then deigns to visit, she is met with celebration, hospitality, and peace. All iron objects are locked away, and no one will leave for war. When the goddess has had her fill she is returned to her temple by the priests. Tacitus adds that the goddess, the cart, and the cloth are then washed by slaves in a secluded lake. The slaves are then drowned.

 

The name Nerthus is generally held to be a Latinized form of Proto-Germanic *Nerþuz, a direct precursor to the Old Norse deity name Njörðr. While scholars have noted numerous parallels between the descriptions of the two figures, Njörðr is attested as a male deity. Various scholarly theories exist regarding the goddess and her potential later traces amongst the Germanic peoples, including that the figure may be identical to the unnamed sister-wife of Njörðr mentioned in two Old Norse sources.

 

In chapter 40 of his Germania, Roman historian Tacitus, discussing the Suebian tribes of Germania, writes that beside the populous Semnones and warlike Langobardi there are seven remoter Suebian tribes; the Reudigni, Aviones, Anglii, Varini, Eudoses, Suarines, and Nuitones. The seven tribes are surrounded by rivers and forests and, according to Tacitus, there is nothing particularly worthy of comment about them as individuals, yet they are particularly distinguished in that they all worship the goddess Nerthus, and provides an account of veneration of the goddess among the groups. The chapter reads as follows:

Spoiler

By contrast, the Langobardi are distinguished by being few in number. Surrounded by many mighty peoples they have protected themselves not by submissiveness but by battle and boldness. Next to them come the Ruedigni, Aviones, Anglii, Varini, Eudoses, Suarines, and Huitones, protected by river and forests. There is nothing especially noteworthy about these states individually, but they are distinguished by a common worship of Nerthus, that is, Mother Earth, and believes that she intervenes in human affairs and rides through their peoples. There is a sacred groveon an island in the Ocean, in which there is a consecrated chariot, draped with cloth, where the priest alone may touch. He perceives the presence of the goddess in the innermost shrine and with great reverence escorts her in her chariot, which is drawn by female cattle. There are days of rejoicing then and the countryside celebrates the festival, wherever she designs to visit and to accept hospitality. No one goes to war, no one takes up arms, all objects of iron are locked away, then and only then do they experience peace and quiet, only then do they prize them, until the goddess has had her fill of human society and the priest brings her back to her temple. Afterwards the chariot, the cloth, and, if one may believe it, the deity herself are washed in a hidden lake. The slaves who perform this office are immediately swallowed up in the same lake. Hence arises dread of the mysterious, and piety, which keeps them ignorant of what only those about to perish may see.

 

 

 

In Norse mythology as told in the Gylfaginning, the island was created by the goddess Gefjunafter she tricked Gylfi, the king of Sweden. She removed a piece of land and transported it to Denmark, which became Zealand. The vacant area was filled with water and became Mälaren. However, since modern maps show a similarity between Zealand and the Swedish lake Vänern, it is sometimes identified as the hole left by Gefjun.

 

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Nerthus typically is identified as a Vanir goddess. Her wagon tour has been likened to several archeological wagon finds and legends of deities parading in wagons. Terry Gunnell and many others have noted various archaeological finds of ritual wagons in Denmark dating from 200 AD and the Bronze Age. Such a ceremonial wagon, incapable of making turns, was discovered in the Oseberg ship find. Two of the most famous literary examples occur in the Icelandic family sagas. The Vanir god Freyr is said to ride in a wagon annually through the country accompanied by a priestess to bless the fields, according to a late story titled Hauks þáttr hábrókar in the 14th century Flateyjarbók manuscript. In the same source, King Eric of Sweden is said to consult a god named Lýtir, whose wagon was brought to his hall in order to perform a divination ceremony.

 

More to come friends...

 

In Norse mythology as told in the Gylfaginning, the island was created by the goddess Gefjunafter she tricked Gylfi, the king of Sweden. She removed a piece of land and transported it to Denmark, which became Zealand. The vacant area was filled with water and became Mälaren. However, since modern maps show a similarity between Zealand and the Swedish lake Vänern, it is sometimes identified as the hole left by Gefjun.

 

 

a region and former island in the Dutch province of Zeeland at the mouth of the Scheldt estuary. Walcheren lies between the Oosterschelde in the north and the Westerschelde in the south and is roughly the shape of a rhombus.

 

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The two sides facing the North Sea consist of dunes; the rest of its coastline is made up of dykes. Middelburg lies at its centre; this city is the provincial capital and Vlissingen 9 kilometres (5.6 mito the south is the main harbour. The third municipality is Veere.

 

Strategically placed at the mouth of the River Scheldt, Walcheren was the key that allowed use of the deep-water port of Antwerp, located further upstream on the right bank of the southern estuary of the river. 

 

 1944 in the Battle of Walcheren Island, the fourth and final stage of the Battle of the Scheldt. 

 

October 3, 1944 the RAF bombed the sea wall at Westkapelle causing flooding. 

 

The plan was to cross the Sloe Channel, but leading troops of the 5th Canadian Infantry Brigadefound that assault boats were useless in the deep mud of the channel. The only route open was the 40 metre wide Walcheren Causeway, a mile-long land bridge from South Beveland to the island. 

 

October 31, 1944 The Canadian Black Watch sent a company across, but were stopped. 

The Calgary Highlanderssent two companies over in succession, the second attack opening up a bridgehead on the island. The Highlanders were eventually thrown back, having lost 64 killed and wounded. Le Régiment de Maisonneuve relieved them on the causeway, followed by the 1st Battalion, Glasgow Highlanders of the British 52nd Infantry Division. 

 

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 November 1, 1944  British Commandos landed in the village of Westkapelle in order to silence the German coastal batteries looking out over the Scheldt. 

 

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The loaves that Nehalennia(Nethrus) is depicted with on her altars have been identified as duivekater, "oblong sacrificial loaves in the shape of a shin bone". Davidson says that loaves of this type may take the place of an animal sacrifice or animal victim, such as the boar-shaped loaf baked at Yule in Sweden, and that in Värmland, Sweden "within living memory" grain from the last sheaf was customarily used to bake a loaf into the shape of a little girl that is subsequently shared by the whole household.

 

It is known that the tribe of the Morini, who lived on the North Sea coast, worshipped Nehalennia. Visitors came to worship from as far away as Besançon, France and Trier, Germany. Nehalennia had two sanctuaries or shrines, embellished with numerous altars: one at Domburg on the island of Walcheren,

 

 

7E27726D-1DC2-4179-9CFD-954214FE905A.pngand another at Colijnsplaat on the shore of the Oosterschelde.

 

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@RequixEclipse As usual, incredible work on a high-quality post. For me, the hardest part of the Nerthus mythology is that she is linked, interwoven, and interchangeable with other gods/goddesses throughout Germany and Nordic regions. One source I found linked her with no less than 10 other goddesses in some way or another. It's probably that different people consider these dieties to be unique, but it's hard for me to sort through it all. However, I found two notable threads:

  1. Nerthus the Mother: The first I posted about in another thread here in more detail. The gist of it is that Nerthus, and to a greater extent Bertha (the White Lady), is associated with watching over the souls of the dead and unborn children. This has interesting implications for the meuchlers, who appear to be referring to Nerthus as "mother".
  2. Charlemagne the demigod: While clearly not true, the mother of historical figure Charlemagne is called Bertrada of Laon. She's associated with the goddess Bertha. I think this is for 3 reasons: first, Charlemagne was well loved and feared and extremely powerful; it makes sense for some people to associate this power with divinity. Second, Bertrada sounds similar to Bertha. Third, Bertha is associated with a single flat foot (like a duck's foot) and supposedly Bertrada was known to have a foot like this. If I'm honest, the only reason I care about this, relatively thin connection, is that it could bring Charlemagne into the story, which could open up many exciting directions for the story. 

 

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Can't believe I missed this post. Great input as always, RequixEclipse! That very last picture actually reminds me of the place I live in. I've read somewhere (I believe said by the developers) that the island is inhabited by "dead god's". So Nerthus is not (merely) god of the dead, but is dead herself, and maybe undead. An undead god. Might explain her tears of blood and the Meuchlers worshipping her.

 

A bit off topic: I played the map the Darkest Shore a few days ago at a friend for the first time and I discovered the red sea and dead fish at the spawn beach. This is NO blood. It is phytoplankton. Under the right circumstances, a specific breed of these algae multiplies their selves very quickly, colouring the water red and making it poison, for both men and animal. Such catastrophes led in certain coastral areas in Asia to a true fish apocalypse.

article-2156007-137FC8EE000005DC-638_634x716.jpg

All fish in the sea die and are blew by the water to the land. Water is poison, even in small quantities (during the Cold War there was even experimented with these algae to use as chemical warfare).

 

Now that might even increase the total number of dead corpses, later resurrected by Geistkraft. It also makes me curious if this has any connection with Nerthus. After all, Germanic tribes used to worship her with slaves who, upon performing the rites, immediately drown. Nerthus surely has something to do with the sea, and maybe Straub's insane experiments on Heligoland, the pollution and rotten corpses it brought with it, and the poisonous sea might have desecrated the island and "killed" the god. Maybe that's why the Meuchlers, as fellow victims of Straub, worship her. 

 

And note that Straub also murdered a Monk, whose head can be found in the map. The characters use the Monk's head to create friendly zombies. So maybe, the Monk worshipped and cared for Nerthus (you know "to care" and "to worship" is the same word in Latin?), and that's why he has powers that makes zombies friendly to him. When the Monk was killed, Nerthus died.

 

I dunno, just an idea

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4 hours ago, anonymous said:

Can't believe I missed this post. Great input as always, RequixEclipse! That very last picture actually reminds me of the place I live in. I've read somewhere (I believe said by the developers) that the island is inhabited by "dead god's". So Nerthus is not (merely) god of the dead, but is dead herself, and maybe undead. An undead god. Might explain her tears of blood and the Meuchlers worshipping her.

 

A bit off topic: I played the map the Darkest Shore a few days ago at a friend for the first time and I discovered the red sea and dead fish at the spawn beach. This is NO blood. It is phytoplankton. Under the right circumstances, a specific breed of these algae multiplies their selves very quickly, colouring the water red and making it poison, for both men and animal. Such catastrophes led in certain coastral areas in Asia to a true fish apocalypse.

article-2156007-137FC8EE000005DC-638_634x716.jpg

All fish in the sea die and are blew by the water to the land. Water is poison, even in small quantities (during the Cold War there was even experimented with these algae to use as chemical warfare).

 

Now that might even increase the total number of dead corpses, later resurrected by Geistkraft. It also makes me curious if this has any connection with Nerthus. After all, Germanic tribes used to worship her with slaves who, upon performing the rites, immediately drown. Nerthus surely has something to do with the sea, and maybe Straub's insane experiments on Heligoland, the pollution and rotten corpses it brought with it, and the poisonous sea might have desecrated the island and "killed" the god. Maybe that's why the Meuchlers, as fellow victims of Straub, worship her. 

 

And note that Straub also murdered a Monk, whose head can be found in the map. The characters use the Monk's head to create friendly zombies. So maybe, the Monk worshipped and cared for Nerthus (you know "to care" and "to worship" is the same word in Latin?), and that's why he has powers that makes zombies friendly to him. When the Monk was killed, Nerthus died.

 

I dunno, just an idea

Good input, Nethrus has had many different names and when researching I’ve tried to look for the most comparable to current Nazi Zombies.

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Also @certainpersonio, in the game there are idols called "sons of Nerthus".

Son_of_Nerthus_WWII.png

They remind me a bit of the shape of a baby, but an odd sand not fully grown baby, more like a foetus. Together with their names, the SONS of Nerthus (Nerthus' child's) this kinda fits with your whole unborn children thing

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