Q’warri is an unusual deity. Q’warri is the god of hunting, farming, knowledge, family and the hearth, wisdom, and community. Q’warri is sometimes flippantly referred to as the catch-all god. Q’warri is therefore worshiped by a great many people on the southern continent.

Q’warri has no set gender and a great many forms; leading to many stories about kindness to strangers… you never know who might be Q’warri in disguise. A few of the more popular depictions include a tortoise or Lek’re tortoise, or an old Human woman.

Stories About Q’warri

The Three Sons and the Sorcerer

There was once a chieftain of a proud tribe who had three sons. The eldest son was known as a great warrior, strong with spear and shield, and was accorded with honor. The middle son was known to be a great hunter, keen-eyed and wise to the ways of animals, and was accorded with gratitude. The third son was known to be clever, but lazy, and had not distinguished himself in any way. One day, a runner came from another tribe bearing a message – a wicked sorcerer had stolen the lovely daughter of his chieftain, and this chieftain would handsomely reward anyone who could bring her back.

The eldest son immediately took up his spear and shield, declaring, “I am the strongest warrior of our tribe, I will defeat this sorcerer!” And so he strode off across the grass. He walked for a day and a night, and then he came upon an old Lek’re tortoise sitting in the shade of an acacia tree. The Lek’re was throwing dice alone, and the eldest son stopped and asked, “Old man, do you know where I can find the sorcerer who is said to plague these lands?” The Lek’re replied, “If I tell you, will you kill him with your spear? Do you think to block his magic with your shield?” The eldest son squared his shoulders and declared his many victories with pride, and the tortoise shook his head and said, “Very well, if you are so strong as that… the sorcerer resides along the riverside.” And so the eldest son went to the river, and there he found a small camp, and chained by the fireside was the chieftain’s daughter. Seeing no other, he rushed to her side, and found himself ensnared by invisible coils. The sorcerer appeared from his hiding place, and put a spell upon the eldest son, forcing him to act as a guard.

When the eldest son did not return, the middle son said to his father, “my brother is surely lost or hurt; I shall go forth to find him and defeat the sorcerer!” And so he went, following his brother’s tracks and reading the signs of the savannah. He walked for a day and a night, when he came upon the old Lek’re tortoise, still sitting and dicing with himself. And the middle son stopped and asked, “Wise one, I am searching for my brother, who was hunting for a sorcerer. Have you seen him pass this way?” The Lek’re replied, “I did see him, and told him where to find the sorcerer, but he was too prideful, and he fell into the sorcerer’s trap.” The middle son said, “I am no warrior, but my eyes are keen and my bow is strong, I must free my brother and the daughter of the chieftain.” The Lek’re sighed and said, “If you are such a hunter, then go.” And so the middle son continued to the river, and he too saw the camp, with his brother standing guard and the chieftain’s daughter, but he could not see the sorcerer. He waited for a day, hiding amongst the tall grasses and the river-plants, until his patience began to wear thin. He crept forward, silent as a shadow, but found himself ensnared as his brother had been. The sorcerer again came out, and put a spell upon him as well.

When the middle son did not return, the tribe was filled with sadness, believing them both to be dead or lost. The youngest son heard them mourning and said, “do not give up hope, I will go and do what I can, though I am neither a warrior nor a hunter.” And though many believed him to be a fool, he set out across the grassland. He walked for a day and a night, and he too came upon the old Lek’re tortoise. He sat down next to the Lek’re and said, “Good day, elder, what is it that you are doing here?” And the Lek’re said, “I am playing a dice game.” The youngest son watched him for a time, then said, “I am searching for my brothers, but I can spare the time to play a round with you, old man.” And so the two rolled the dice, and after a few tosses, when the Lek’re had won, the youngest son said, “You have great luck, elder; perhaps you could lend some to me?” And the Lek’re laughed and said, “How would I lend luck to you?” The youngest son replied, “Lend me your dice for a day.” The Lek’re consented, and the youngest son continued to the river with the dice. When he arrived, he saw his brothers standing guard over the camp, and he knew there must be some trap or trick. So he took one of the dice and threw it down into the camp. Power swirled around it, and the sorcerer appeared, but this time his trap was empty. The youngest son then threw two more dice, one at each of his brothers, so that they turned to strike what had attacked them, and struck down the sorcerer instead. As the sorcerer died, the two older brothers returned to their senses, and the younger brother walked down into the camp to free the chieftain’s daughter. He took her back to her father, and was rewarded with gifts of cattle, fine cotton, and gold. The youngest son asked also for a new set of dice to be made of ivory and bright shells, and these he took to the Lek’re as a gift of thanks. The Lek’re accepted the dice with a smile, saying, “Luck is what you make of it, and cleverness makes a man stronger than swords.”


Tygris Faye