TENGER

Classification: Gods (Extra-Dimensionals/Immortals)

Location/Base of Operations: Ergenekon

Known Members: Asena, Ay (goddess of the moon), Erlik (god of death & evil), Gesar, Koyash (god of the sun), Kuara (god of thunder), Tengri (god of the sky), Tulpar, Ulgen (god of light), Vaat (possibly Gaea)

Affiliations: Other races of Gods

Worshipped by the Mongolians and Siberians

Aliases: Mongolian or Turkic Gods

First Appearance: Thor I#300 (October, 1980)

Powers/Abilities/Traits: The Tenger all possess certain superhuman physical attributes. They are true immortals who cease to age upon reaching adulthood, and they cannot die by conventional means. The Tenger are immune to all terrestrial diseases and are resistant to conventional injury. If a Tenger is wounded, his or her godly life force will enable him or her to recover at a superhuman rate. It would take an injury of such magnitude that it incinerates a Tenger or disperses a major portion of his or her bodily molecules to cause him or her to die. Even then, it may be possible for a god of greater or equal power, or several gods acting together, to revive the deceased Tenger before the god's life essence is beyond resurrection. Tenger flesh and bone are about three times denser than similar human tissue, contributing to the gods' superhuman strength and weight. An average male god can lift about 30 tons; an average goddess can lift about 25 tons. The gods' metabolism gives them superhuman endurance in all physical activities. Many gods also possess additional superhuman powers that may be magical in nature. For instance, the sun god Koyash can produce "solar strands" from his fingertips capable of ensnaring and burning his victims.

History: (Thor & Hercules: Encyclopedia Mythologica) - The Tenger (also known as the "Mongolian Gods" or "Turkic Gods") are a race of superhumanly powerful humanoid beings who have been worshipped by the Altaic-speaking Mongol and Turkic cultures of Central Asia from the 8th century AD into modern times, although the god Erlik was worshipped as early as the Hyborian Era. Most of the Tenger dwell in Ergenekon, a small "pocket" dimension adjacent to Earth; an interdimensional nexus point between Ergenekon and Earth exists somewhere within the most remote regions of the Altai Mountains in Central Asia. Very little is known about celestial Ergenekon other than it appears to be built on a small planetary object. The Tenger are called different names by their human worshippers in Turkey, Mongolia and Siberia; for example, the Earth Mother Gaea is known as "Umay" or "Yer" to the Altaic Turks, as "Eje" or "Otuken" to the Mongols, and as "Ajysyt" to the Yakuts. Unlike many of their counterparts in other Earth-based pantheons, the Tenger are still invoked by a small number of Khakas and Tuvan shamans. Erlik is worshipped by the xenophobic Khirgiz tribe of Afghanistan, descendants of the Mongols.

The Tenger's precise origin, like that of all Earth's pantheons, is shrouded in legend. According to ancient myths, the Sky Father Tengri (known as "Tanri" to the Altaic Turks, as "Tengeri" to the Mongols, and as "Tangara" to the Yakuts) embodied the Eternal Blue Sky that predated all things. He found a kindred spirit in the primordial Earth Mother Gaea, and the two sired a son, Erlik. Gaea provided Erlik physical form by shaping his body out of mud, and Tengri imbued the body with life essence ("kut"). However, Erlik soon developed feelings of pride, hubris, and arrogance, forcing Tengri to banish him to the depths of the netherworld, where he became the god of evil & death. Other divine offspring soon followed, including the moon goddess Ay, the sun god Koyash, the thunder god Kuara, and the light god Ulgen. Pleased with the results of these subsequent attempts at creation, Tengri and Gaea then set out to create humanity and charged Ulgen with protecting the fledging mortal population. Jealous of Ulgen's favored status, Erlik plagued humanity with sickness, disease, and death.

In ancient Valusia, Erlik granted the mortally wounded nobleman Vonndhar eternal life in exchange for serving Erlik until 10,000 BC, when he sacrificed his life to Erlik to restore his would-be lover, Jenna of Shadizar. Following the Great Cataclysm circa 18,000 BC, Erlik was worshipped in the remote northern realm of Pathenia. A prophet, the Tarim, was worshipped as Erlik's living avatar and brought Erlik worship to the Hyrkanian tribes who founded the Turanian Empire. Through the Tarim and in alliance with the Celtic goddess Scathach, Erlik arranged for Sonja of Hyrkania to become a mighty warrior. Descended from the Lemurians, the Hyrkanians and Turanians were the ancestors of the Huns, Mongols, Tartars and Turks.

Circa 1000 AD, Ulgen was appointed by Tengri to serve as the pantheon's representative at a Council of Godheads meeting to discuss the threat posed by the extraterrestrial Celestials' Third Host. In the early 13th century AD, the warrior Genghis Khan (born Temujin) united many of the nomadic Mongol-Turkic tribes of Central Asia and established the Mongolian Empire. Although it is unrevealed if the Tenger played any role in Khan's military success, Khan based the legitimacy of his power on a mandate from Tengri himself. He crafted a talisman known as the "Spirit Banner of Temujin" by weaving the hair of his most loyal horse and tying it below the blade of his spear; the Spirit Banner was believed to harness the Tengri's power and channel it into Khan.

Following Genghis Khan's death, a secret society steeped in advanced science and sorcery emerged that regarded itself as a perpetuation of the Mongolian Empire. In each era, this society selected the most worthy descendant of Genghis Khan as their new leader. Their most sacred talisman is the Spirit Banner of Temujin. Only the true khan can pluck the Spirit Banner from its flaming resting place, confirming his worthiness as their leader. As each khan grows ancient, he seeks a successor. The immortal Lung Dragon known as Mr. Lao has served as royal advisor to each khan for generations - and when a new khan is acclaimed as ruler, Lao ceremonially devours the previous khan. Over 700 years ago, Mr. Lao fought a mighty genie in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco, inspiring the current name of the Mongols' secret society: The Atlas Foundation. Today, the Agents of Atlas are under the leadership of former FBI agent James "Jimmy" Woo, who currently holds the title of khan. Although the society has traditionally pursued world domination in the names of Genghis Khan and the Tenger, Woo has attempted to use its covert power and vast influence to advance humanity's greater good.

Comments:

In OHotMU 2006#3 Ulgen was confirmed to be among the Godheads in Thor I#300.

The main image in this profile is by Kevin Sharpe.

Clarifications:


images:
Thor & Hercules: Encyclopedia Mythologica, p46


Last updated: 08/18/02

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