The Orlanth Pantheon

by David Dunham

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Orlanth, Master of Storms, Wielder of Death, Bringer of Light, is the King of a tumultuous pantheon of gods, whose demeanors range from that of the pacifistic Chalana to the brutal Bemurok. Their mythology is filled with violent, reckless deeds and honorable, heroic actions.

Orlanth, the God of Storm, challenged Ehilm, the Sun Emperor, for rulership of the gods. He killed Ehilm, and plunged the world into the Lesser Darkness.

The Greater Darkness began when chaos entered the world. Many gods died in the ensuing struggles, including Genert, the god of the land. Bemurok the Storm Bull led the defenders and managed to defeat the Devil.

Orlanth saw the terror and hunger his actions had caused, and his sense of responsibility prevailed. He and his companions set out on the Lightbringer's Quest to rescue the dead sun from Hell. After facing many trials, they succeeded, and Ehilm returned to the sky in the first dawn.

The seven gods who participated in the Lightbringer's Quest are now known as the Lightbringers. Five (Orlanth, Chalana, Lankoring, Issaries, and Eurmal) are worshiped. The other two were Flesh Man, who was driven mad, and Ginnajar, who remains an enigma.

The gods and heroes described below are known to the Orlanthi. Some receive formal worship, and cult requirements are summarized. Some are enemies, and are sometimes propitiated. Many receive occasional worship at special ceremonies.

East Ralians typically join Orlanth or Ralia when they are initiated as adults, and often join another cult.

The summaries that follow are unique to East Ralios. Practices differ elsewhere.

Note: Cults are described using the PenDragon Pass rules. Some information comes from Gods of Glorantha and King of Sartar.

A great dragon-slaying hero of the Dragon Wars, founder of the Orlanth Rex subcult.

ARACHNE SOLARA Magic runeMastery runeInfinity rune
Goddess of Nature
She is the greatest of the greater gods, but invisible even to the gods.
Traitor and Destroyer
A famous hero of the Gbaji wars, whose passion to destroy his enemy overcame his common sense, spirituality, and finally, even his humanity.
BARNTAR Plant runeEarth rune
The Plowman
Barntar is the peaceful farmer-god, and the son of Ralia and Orlanth. His wife is Mahome. He is worshipped by cottars.
BEMUROK Beast runeAir runeDeath rune
The Storm Bull, God of Berserks, God of Wild Cattle
Bemurok is a god of untamed animal power and passion. His wild and intense fury could beat even chaos, and so this berserk deity led the war of the Greater Darkness. He fought the devil to a standstill and trapped him under a mountain of adamant.

He is shown as a burly warrior with a bull's head, or as a gigantic ox.

Worshipers: Warriors, berserks.
Skills: Animal Lore, Awareness, Hunting, Religion (Bemurok), Ritual, Sense Chaos, Weapon.
Duties: Seeking and killing chaos.
Virtues: Proud, Arbitrary, Indulgent, Suspicious, Valorous.
Cult Magic: Detect Enemies, Dispel Magic, Fanaticism, Heal, Protection, Strength.
Storm Khans (Rune Lords): 18 in Weapon, know Heal, and 18 in four of Awareness, Hunting, Riding, Sense Chaos, Weapon.
Divine Magic: all common, Berserk, Command Sylph, Enchant Iron, Face Chaos, Impede Chaos, Summon Sylph.
Associated Cults: Chalana (Cure Chaos Wound), Orlanth (Shield), Valind (Cloudcall), Zorak Zoran (Fear).

CHALANA Harmony runeFertility rune
Goddess of Healing and Comfort
This merciful goddess is one of the Lightbringers. She knows how to heal all disease and wounds, and even healed the sun and world after the Great Darkness.

She is usually rendered as a tall lithe woman, gentle and serene, dressed in a white gown. Her arms are open in a gesture of friendship and her hands are flexed into gestures for blessing or healing spells.

Worshipers: Healers, doctors, herbalists, midwives.
Requirements: Accept cult vows.
Skills: First Aid, Chirurgery, Plant Lore, Religion (Chalana), Ritual, Singing.
Duties: Healing, caring for the sick, comforting those in distress.
Virtues: Forgiving, Generous, Merciful, Modest, Trusting.
Cult Magic: Befuddle, Dullblade, Endurance, Heal, Light, Shimmer, Sleep.
Forbidden Spells: Bladesharp, Bludgeon, Control <species>, Demoralize, Disruption, Fanaticism, Firearrow, Fireblade, Ironhand, Multimissile, Speedart.
Healer: 18 in one cult skill, 10 in two others and Religion or Ritual, and must know Heal.
Divine Magic: all common, Absorption, Comfort Song, Command Healing Spirit, Cure Chaos Wound, Heal Body, Regrow Limb, Restore <any>, Restore Vision, Resurrect, Summon Healing Spirit.
Associated Cults: Bemurok, Eninta, Issaries (Create Neutral Ground), Lankoring (Analyze Magic), Orlanth (Shield), Voria (Invigorate).
Miscellaneous: Initiates must swear an oath of non-violence, eat no meat, and cannot study weapon skills or use spells that harm others, including Warding. Initiates and priests may become shamans. They are considered inviolate, and never attacked.

DAGA Air runeStasis runeDeath rune
God of Drought and Famine
Daga is a spectre, a wan and frightening thing without substance to strike or force to scatter. He is the son of Ehilm and Molana, the Goddess of Still Air, and is the enemy of Orlanth and Barntar. He is often portrayed as a hungry wolf eating Heler's sheep.
DOSKIOR Water runeMotion runeCommunications rune
God of the Doskior River and Trade
Doskior rules the waterway that bears his name from headwaters to mouth. His children include Karajor and Pastoma.

Worshipers: Fishers, traders, newtlings.
Skills: Bargaining, Boating, Religion (Doskior), Ritual, Stewardship, Swimming, World Lore.
Duties: Trading, preventing floods.
Virtues: Forgiving, Generous, Just, Prudent, Valorous.
Cult Magic: Extinguish, Glue, Mobility, River Eye.
Priests: 18 in Swimming or Boating, and 10 in four other cult skills.
Divine Magic: Breathe Air/Water, Command Undine, Divination, Excommunicate, Find Enemy, Flood, Initiation, River Watch, Sanctify, Soul Sight, Spellteaching, Summon Naiad, Summon Undine, Worship Doskior.
Associated Cults: Pastoma (Irrigate).

EHILM Fertility runeFire runeDeath rune
Sun God
The Old Emperor, ruler of the Fire Tribe which unjustly held the world as slaves.
ELMAL Truth runeFire rune
God of the Sun & Horses, Orlanth's Hearthguard
God of the Sun, Elmal was rescued by Orlanth and married into the Storm Tribe. He is a loyal hearthguard, and kept the homestead safe when the Lightbringers departed.

Worshipers: Warriors, guards, housecarls, horsemasters.
Skills: Animal Lore, Awareness, Bow or Javelin, Religion (Elmal), Riding, Ritual, Spear or Craisech, Stewardship.
Duties: Warfare, guarding steads, raising horses, blessing crops.
Virtues: Energetic, Honest, Pious, Trusting, Valorous.
Cult Magic: Coordination, Detect Enemies, Farsee, Firearrow, Fireblade, Ignite, Light, Lightwall, Protection, Repair.
Divine Magic: all common, Bless Crops, Brighteye, Cloud Clear, Enchant Gold, Enchant Iron, Reflection, Sunbright.
Suncarls (Rune Lords): 18 in Awareness, Bow or Javelin, Spear or Craisech, and two of Battle, Stealth, Stewardship.
Associated Cults: Hippoi (Bless Horses), Orlanth (Shield).
Miscellaneous: Initiates start a Loyalty (thane) passion. The cult maintains a rivalry with the Sun Dome Temple.

ERNALDA Fertility runeEarth runeHarmony rune
Earth Mother
Ernalda is the goddess of mothers, and Orlanth's Second Wife. She is fruitful and generous. Her children include Vinga.
EURMAL Illusion runeDisorder rune
The Trickster, God of Fools & Outlaws
This troublemaker is a jester and a fool, but armed with divine energy and power. He changes the world, his pranks create or destroy. He is as often the butt of jokes as he is the prankster. Only Orlanth can (sometimes) control him.

Eurmal includes Trickster aspects Dismembered, Firebringer; Fool; Fright; Imp; Shapechanger; Thief.

Eurmal is usually shown provocatively dressed and impishly grinning. He holds a leather bag of tricks while he making an obscene gesture with the other hand.

Worshipers: Tricksters, fools, puppeteers, clowns, thieves, rogues.
Skills: Compose, Oratory, Religion (Eurmal), Ritual, Sleight, Stealth.
Duties: Joking, lying, fooling others, playing pranks, confusing others.
Virtues: Lustful, Lazy, Deceitful, Selfish, Indulgent.
Cult Magic: Befuddle, Glamour, Hotfoot.
Divine Magic: Charisma, Clever Tongue, Conceal, Illusions, Initiation, Reflection, Sanctify, Worship Eurmal.
Associated Cults: Issaries (Eloquence), Lankoring (Analyze Magic), Orlanth (Wind Words).
Miscellaneous: Tricksters are universally despised and considered outcasts. No laws apply to or protect them. Trickster magic is aberrant -- initiates are acolytes, but temples teach only one spell.

FLAMAL Plant runeInfinity rune
Father of Seeds
Flamal is the parent of all plant life in the world, from the lowliest green scum on a puddle's surface to the lordliest redwood of the Rockwood Mountains.
FLESH MAN Man rune
A mortal being who was one of the Seven Lightbringers. He first saw Death and helped lead Orlanth to the Underworld.
GINNAJAR Infinity rune
Collective Spirit of the Lightbringers
The most mysterious of the Lightbringers. This entity is never explained and has no myths, but always appears in lists of the seven.
GUSTBRAN Heat runeStasis rune
God of the Forge
Gustbran was born during the crisis of the world when all hope seemed dimmest. Until then he had lived within the folds of Mahome's cloak, and he can still be summoned from her in need. He is called the Source of Many Torches and his holy day lies within the deepest part of winter. He is also the fire god of smiths.

Smiths portray him as a burly red man with hammer, bellows, and other appropriate tools.

Worshipers: Smiths.
Skills: Awareness, Devise, Industry, Mineral Lore, Religion (Gustbran), Ritual.
Duties: Forging tools and weapons.
Virtues: Energetic, Generous, Honest, Proud, Trusting.
Cult Magic: Bludgeon, Endurance, Extinguish, Heat Metal, Ignite, Repair.
Divine Magic: all common, Enchant Bronze, Enchant Iron, Enhance Gustbran, Find Bronze.
Miscellaneous: Shrines are very rare.

Famous hero; the first human to successfully undertake the complete Lightbringer's Quest, during the Gbaji War.
HELER Water runeFertility rune
God of Rain
Heler, the blue god, was once of the Water Tribe, but is now Orlanth's loyal friend. His name is a watchword for loyalty, and to be called "staunch as Heler" is a high compliment. Sheep are sacred to him, and Daga is his eternal foe, ever-defeated by Heler's magic waters.

Heler is usually pictured as a handsome blue-skinned man, accompanied by or calling clouds. He is never armed, to show that his blue skin is not woad (worn only by warriors).

HUMATH Death runeTruth runeAir rune
God of Death; War Wind
Humath is death. He is the unyielding fate of all living creatures, both mortal and divine. He is a frightening but necessary agent of eternal change who can be used in a courageous and noble way to preserve the world.

His image is that of an ornate sword, sometimes made from exotic materials, or as a burly man bearing a sword and wearing black armor, usually with limed hair.

Worshipers: Warriors, mercenaries, bodyguards, adventurers.
Requirements: Succeed in Sword and POW rolls.
Skills: Awareness, Battle, First Aid, Religion (Humath), Ritual, Orate, Riding, Sense Assassin, Sword, Dagger.
Duties: Soldier, bodyguard, teaching combat skills, destroying undead.
Virtues: Energetic, Honest, Proud, Temperate, Valorous
Cult Magic: Bladesharp, Coordination, Demoralize, Detect Enemies, Detect Undead, Disrupt, Fireblade, Heal, Parry, Protection, Repair, Strength, Vigor.
Forbidden Spells: Dullblade.
Swords (Rune Lords): 18 in Sword, and four of: any other sword, any other weapon, Awareness, Battle, Conceal, First Aid, Orate, Riding, or Sense Assassin. 5 in Religion and Ritual.
Divine Magic: all common, Berserk, Create Ghost, Detect Truth, Enchant Iron, Morale, Oath, Sever Spirit, Shield, Stop Resurrection*, Truesword, Turn Undead
Associated Cults: Orlanth (Thunderbolt).
Miscellaneous: Initiates and Swords may never be brought back from the dead by any means. They must accept gifts and geases.

The Maklaman subcult worships a hero whose name is synonymous with the virtue of Loyalty. He provides the spell Stop Resurrection. Humathi in this subcult may not accept healing from a member of any cult that teaches a resurrection-type spell (such as Chalana).

Humathi bind their allied spirits into raven familiars.

INORA Cold runeMastery rune
Goddess of Mountain Winter, the White Princess
Inora is the goddess of the snow-covered mountain tops of the Rockwood ranges. Her cool beauty descends to the lowlands.

She is portrayed as a tall white goddess in a billowing white cloak, crowned with a castle.

ISSARIES Harmony runeCommunications runeMotion rune
God of Communications and Travel
Issaries is Orlanth's messenger, and god of Communication in general. He is one of the Seven Lightbringers, and is the psychopomp, guiding the dead to their proper place.

He is rendered as a youth, holding the hazel twig of a herald.

Worshipers: Messengers, heralds, explorers, travelers.
Skills: Bargaining, Compose, Memorize, Recognize, Religion (Issaries), Ritual, Speak (Own), Speak (Tradetalk), Speak (language)
Duties: Conveying messages, acting as herald, telling stories and poems, reciting genealogies, teaching languages.
Virtues: Energetic, Honest, Proud, Suspicious, Worldly.
Priests: 18 in Bargaining, Compose, or Speak, and 10 in four cult skills.
Cult Magic: Glamour, Glue, Mindspeech, Mobility.
Divine Magic: all common, Create Moot, Eloquence, Fluency, Path Watch, Retell, Spell Trading.
Associated Cults: Chalana (Regrow Limb), Eurmal (Clever Tongue), Lankoring (Analyze Magic), Orlanth (Flight).

KOLAT Air runeSpirit rune
Father of Winds
Kolat is the father of the Seven Winds: North, South, East, West, plus three secret winds (Higher, Lower, and No-Wind) known only to a few living people. He is also called Umbrol, the parent of the Umbroli, fathers of sylphs.

He is shown as a gust of wind, often with a puffy-cheeked blowing face and powerful arms.

LANKORING Stasis runeTruth rune
God of Lawspeaking, Lord of Knowledge
Lankoring is Keeper of the Laws and History Singer. He is one of the Seven Lightbringers, and during that epic quest he inherited, found, fought for, and stole many pieces of the old powers. He preserved them safely until Time began.

He is portrayed as a bearded man dressed in the grey robes of a lawspeaker, and wearing the Arm Ring of Knowledge.

Worshipers: Sages, lawspeakers, seers.
Requirements: 18 in a cult skill.
Skills: any Lore, Courtesy, Custom (Orlanthi), Mathematics, Memorize, Oratory, Recognize, Religion (Lankoring), Ritual.
Duties: Resolving lawsuits, remembering agreements, determining geases, teaching.
Virtues: Honest, Just, Proud, Suspicious, Pious.
Cult Magic: Detect <any>, Farsee, Mindspeech.
Priests: 18 in two Lores and Custom, and 10 in Religion or Ritual.
Divine Magic: all common, Analyze Magic, Clairvoyance, Knowledge, Mind-Read, Reconstruction, Truespeak.
Associated Cults: Chalana (Restore CON), Eurmal (Clever Tongue), Issaries (Create Moot), Orlanth (Wind Words).

MAHOME Heat runeHarmony rune
Goddess of the Hearthfire
Mahome is the common fire. She befriended man, but refused the beasts her comfort. She is of the goddesses of Ralia's household, and prepares mighty feasts.

She is usually shown as a firepot used to store embers, or a woman holding the same.

MALIA Chaos runeDeath runeDarkness rune
Goddess of Disease
Malia was a fertile goddess who was either captured and enslaved by Ragnaglar, or freely joined his plot. She was part of the spell made by Ragnaglar and Thed which allowed chaos into the world. She eventually broke from the alliance, but was transformed into a death goddess, and has never freed herself of the taint. She is worshiped by the filthy broos and also receives propitiatory worship from the rest of the world.

She is usually shown as a headless body with a single huge maw in its belly, two stout legs, and many arms sprouting from about her torso, with which to snatch victims.

MARAN GOR Malign Earth runeDeath runeDisorder rune
The Earth Shaker
Goddess of Earthquakes and Destruction, she is Ernalda's sister.
MASTAKOS Motion rune
God of Mobility, Orlanth's Charioteer
Mastakos was captured by Orlanth at Daliath's Well of Wisdom. Mastakos continually travels over all the world, but whenever Orlanth calls him he instantly appears to serve him.

Mastakos is shown as a blue-skinned man driving a chariot.

Worshipers: Messengers, drivers, dancers, travelers.
Requirements: Test is based on DEX roll and 4 skills.
Skills: Dance, Drive Chariot, Memorize, Recognize, Religion (Mastakos), Ritual
Duties: Travel, bearing messages, driving chariots.
Virtues: Energetic, Generous, Honest, Trusting, Valorous.
Cult Magic: Coordination, Mobility.
Divine Magic: Guided Teleport, Initiation, Sanctify, Teleport, Worship Mastakos.
Associated Cults: Orlanth (Flight, Lightning).
Miscellaneous: Mastakos is almost always worshiped through Orlanth.

MINLINSTER Plant runeMotion rune
God of Beer and Brewing
One of the household deities.
ODALL Harmony runeDeath rune
The Hunter
Odall is God of Hunting in all its forms: the chase from horseback, the stalk with bow and arrow, the stampede of herds over cliffs, the capture of great monsters in pits or with humble traplines and deadfalls.

He is usually shown as a young man dressed in skins and carrying a bow.

Worshipers: Hunters, trappers.
Skills: Animal Lore, Awareness, Hunting, Religion (Odall), Ritual, Missile.
Duties: Hunting, blessing the departed souls of game.
Virtues: Energetic, Generous, Merciful, Proud, Valorous.
Cult Magic: Disrupt, Mobility, Peaceful Cut, Slow, Speedart.
Master Hunters (Priests): Win the annual Great Hunt.
Divine Magic: Command Cult Spirit, Command <game>, Divination, Draw Beast, Excommunication, Heal Wound, Initiation, Sanctify, Sureshot, Soul Sight, Summon Cult Spirit, Spellteaching, Worship Odall.
Associated Cults: Yinkin
Miscellaneous: Initiates may never kill an alynx except in self-defense.

ORLANTH Motion runeAir runeMastery rune
King of the Gods, the Storm King, Ralia's Husband
Orlanth epitomizes all which a man can be in the Orlanthi society. He is the Chief of the Storm Tribe. He destroyed the world by loosing the power of Death, and he created it anew by leading the Seven Lightbringers to liberate Life and Light from Death. He made the first clans.

He is usually shown as a vigorous man, armed with the thunderbolt and other warrior's weapons, and wearing a thane's torc and arm rings.

Worshipers: Adventurers, warriors, herders, farmers, leaders, lawspeakers, poets, thieves
Skills: Compose, Orate, Religion (Orlanth), Ritual, Speak (Stormspeech), Speak (own), Weapon, World Lore
Duties: Leadership, defending worshipers, fighting chaos
Virtues: Energetic, Generous, Just, Proud, Valorous.
Cult Magic: Bladesharp, Demoralize, Glamour, Heal, Mindspeech, Mobility, Protection, Strength.
Storm Voice (Priest): 18 in two of Awareness, Stealth, Oratory, Speak (Stormspeech), Weapon, and 10 in three of Compose, Religion, Ritual, and World Lore.
Storm Voice Divine Magic: all common, Bless Thunderstone, Cloudcall, Cloudclear, Command Sylph, Decrease Wind, Enchant Silver, Increase Wind, Summon Sylph, Thunderbolt, Wind Warp
Wind Lords: 18 in Sword and four of Awareness, Battle, Oratory, Riding, Speak (Stormspeech), Stealth, Weapon.
Wind Lord Divine Magic: Bless Woad, Command Sylph, Dark Walk*, Enchant Iron, Flight, Great Parry*, Lightning*, Mist Cloud*, Sanctify, Shield, Summon Sylph, Wind Run*, Wind Words, Worship Orlanth.
Associated Cults: Chalana (Restore CON), Eurmal (Charisma), Heler (Rain), Humath (Truesword, Oath), Issaries (Path Watch), Lankoring (Truespeak), Mastakos (Guided Teleport, Teleport), Ralia (Restore STR), Bemurok (Face Chaos), Yinkin (Identify Scent).
Miscellaneous: Many subcults exist, including Orlanth Rex, worshiped by rulers and poets; Orlanth Thunderous, worshiped by herders and farmers; Orlanth Lightbringer, worshiped by questers; Orlanth Adventurous, worshiped by adventurers and thieves; the weapon subcults (Lightning Spear, Shield of Arran, Scarf of Mist, and Sandals of Darkness), and Vinga the Adventuress, worshiped by female adventurers (who cut their hair and wash it with lime). Temples often have a shrine to Drogarsi, deity of war dances and bagpipe music.

RALIA Fertility runeEarth runeBeast runeMastery rune
Goddess of the Land
The primary goddess. She is the bountiful mother of life, source of all sustenance. She symbolizes the land itself, and Orlanth had to marry her before he could rule it.

She is usually depicted as a wise, smiling matron, with a basket overflowing with fruits, cheeses, and meat hanging from one hand, and holding a torc in the other. She wears a horned wheat-ear crown.

Worshipers: Herders, farmers, healers, homemakers, women.
Skills: Animal Lore, Mineral Lore, Plant Lore, Religion (Ralia), Ritual, Stewardship.
Duties: Providing food and shelter, healing, delivering animals, blessing the herds, blessing crops, conveying sovereignty.
Virtues: Lustful, Forgiving, Generous, Merciful, Prudent.
Cult Magic: Endurance, Farsee, Heal, Second Sight, Shimmer, Strength, Vigor, Visibility.
Divine Magic: all common, Bless Cow, Bless Crops, Command Gnome, Command Cattle, Enchant Copper, Earthpower, Heal Body, Regrow Limb, Restore CON, Restore STR, Speak with Cows, Summon Gnome.
Associated Cults: Ernalda (Command Pig, Command Snake), Maran Gor (Blast Earth), Orlanth (Cloudcall), Bemurok (Impede Chaos), Voria (Invigorate).
Miscellaneous: There are three major subcults: Bo-Ralia the Cow Mother, Ga-Ralia the Wheat Mother, and Er-Ralia the Land-Wife.

Priests must be women who have given birth to a healthy child.

ULERIA Fertility runeInfinity rune
Goddess of Love
Uleria is the most ancient deity living, and the reason that the world was saved from destruction. She represents love in all its forms: eros, agape, lust, platonic, etc. She commands those powers which bring things or people together.

She is shown as a beautiful woman.

VALIND Cold runeAir rune
God of Winter
Valind is the source of the winter powers which sweep over the earth from the north. In the Storm Age he ruled most of the world and even today wields great power.

He is shown as a giant, with a frozen beard and dripping with ice.

VINGA Motion runeAir rune
Goddess of Women Adventurers
Through her excellence in many skills she won a place among Orlanth's warriors before revealing she was his daughter.

Vinga is portrayed as a young woman armed as a warrior, with short, spiky hair.

VORIA Fertility runeEarth rune
Spring's Handmaiden
Goddess of Spring and New Growth. In a more general way, she is Goddess of Innocence, and perhaps of any new Start. She is daughter of Orlanth and Ralia, and the Girls' goddess.
VORIOF Beast runeHarmony rune
Shepherd God
Shepherd God, and in a more general sense, the Boys' God. Voriof is usually portrayed with his dog.
WAKBOTH Chaos rune
The Devil
God of Evil, the Devil, the Destroyer and King of the Chaos Tribe which nearly destroyed the universe.
YINKIN Beast runeTruth rune
Ancestor of Alynxes
The god of shadow cats is Orlanth's half-brother, born of the same mountain mother. He served as Orlanth's friend and ally, and is sometimes Orlanth's secret perception in a story, leading him to success.

His image is either that of the animal, or of a human with an alynx's head.

ZORAK ZORAN Darkness runeDeath rune
God of Hate
Warlord of the Darkness Tribe, and murderer of Flamal.
See also Local Spirits

Copyright ©1996 David Dunham. Last updated 23 Sep 96.

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