St. Ungulant

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St. Ungulant is an anchorite, best described as a hermit and one-way prophet: one-way in that whereas many prophets retreat to the desert, receive revelations and then come home and talk about them, Anchorites retreat to the desert, receive revelations and then stay in the desert thinking about them. He worships the small gods, who give him the illusion of fantastic food and drink and other (slightly unmentionable) pleasures in return for his belief.

St. Ungulant is not actually a saint, but someone pointed out the obvious one day, since his full name is Sevrian Thaddeus Ungulant. He resides in the desert on a wheel nailed to the top of a pole. While he enjoys the most incredible (and they really are incredible) kinds of food and vintages, St. Ungulant does crave the odd lizard or the occasional drink of water from a cactus, just for variety in his diet... He is somewhat aware that he is mad, but takes it as something to be enjoyed. His invisible friend, Angus, keeps him company. Angus might be another small god, but (possibly because St. Ungulant believes in him more than the other small gods), Angus does seem to have enough of a physical presence to knock out a lion with a rock.

He is also the namesake of St Ungulant's Fire, which is feared by sailors as the foreboding of dreadful storms.


On Roundworld, the Stylites were a form of monk/religious hermit who practiced in Syria and other parts of the Roman Empire (then reduced to the Eastern Mediterranean) and who were frequently compared to saints even before their deaths. They lived a spartan life upon their towers or poles. The most famous was St Simon.

Despite the impression created by St. Ungulant, the Stylites were not hermits but popular characters whose religious teachings attracted much attention from the local people. They were fed and had their waste removed by the help of followers. It should also be noted that their towers were rarely tall and one expensive one was simply using a few cast-off pieces of a column that were stacked on top of each other.

One final note, the Stylite sensation (if senses are the right word) saw little practice in the Latin world. A Goth who tried to become one in Italy had his wooden tower cut down from under him, for example.