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The Padhra was the founder and deity of the Padhran religion practiced in the Hordelands. In life, the Padhra was known as Surtava, an ancient Ulgarian prince who abandoned his privileged existence to become a beggar and seek enlightenment. He found it and dedicated the remainder of his life to teaching others his observations.[1][2][3] He was sometimes called the Great Teacher.[4][note 1]


As written in the religious books of the Padhran faith, around −1700 DR, Surtava, an Ulgarian prince, abandoned his crown, his power, and his wealth to become a beggar and seek enlightenment and wisdom.[1][2][3][note 2]

Prince Surtava was accompanied by a pet leopard named Gaumahavi, and she served as his sole companion, friend, and protector. Thanks to her close contact with Surtava and participation in his quest, Gaumahavi developed an animal soul. The leopard became a supernatural and intelligent beast, capable of speech and writing, and even of a search for enlightenment herself.[3][5]

At one point, Gaumahavi gave birth, producing a litter of leopard cubs. Most were ordinary animals, but one, Sandiraksiva, was supernatural and bore an animal soul like his mother. Sandiraksiva also joined Surtava's quest.[3][5]

Legend told that the Great Teacher came to Ra-Khati and the junction of the Dharbang River and the Gogrus River, a point called the Bed of Two Lovers. There he meditated for five weeks without eating or sleeping. In the process, he obtained "the fifth key to enlightenment", coming closer to achieving ultimate harmony. When he stopped meditating, he broke his fast by eating a peach, and tossed the pit in the water. Thereafter, the water was blessed with healing powers and it was a sacred site for Padhran pilgrims.[4]

After years of journeying and mediation, Surtava finally achieved enlightenment.[1][2]

Afterward, Surtava set the leopards Gaumahavi and Sandiraksiva go free. Mother and cub returned to the jungles, and there followed their own paths toward an animalistic form of enlightenment. When they died, their souls passed on and were reincarnated as higher and higher forms of animal life.[3][5]

Surtava spent the remainder of this life preaching on what he had learned. He gave two main lectures: the Four Baskets of Wisdom, which outlined his views on life and reincarnation, and the Sixfold Path, a code of behavior necessary to ultimately attain "Eaum", in which a being's soul became one with the Great Soul of the Universe.[2] Surtava founded the Padhran religion based on his views,[1][2] with the aid of other founders, such as Monkey.[6]

When Surtava died, he ascended to the heavens and was transformed into the Padhra. In time, his soul was joined by the souls of thousands of other beings who also attained Eaum. They became incarnations of the Padhra, called padhrasattvas.[2]



The Padhra is obviously based on the Buddha, also said to be a prince who gave up his position to become an ascetic and seek enlightenment, and preached similar views.


  1. The Horde, page 39, refers to "the Great Teacher, founder of the Path", presumably referring to the Path of Enlightenment, or simply "the Path". However, the Path is already specifically established as the creation of the Celestial Emperor in a very different way. The Horde merges the Path and the Padhran faith, perhaps in error, misunderstanding of the Path, or for in-universe syncretism, but the Padhran religion presented in Storm Riders is very different in nature. Therefore, this wiki treats them as separate religions. The Great Teacher is assumed to be the Padhra, owing to the strong connection to the rivers of the Thousand Sacred Sources of the Gaya (the Gaya lies in Ulgarth, where Surtava originated) and the pilgrimage route along them is a part of the Padhran religion in Storm Riders.
  2. This was "over three thousand years" before the setting date of 1359 DR, i.e., sometime before −1641 DR. It is assumed that "Ulgarian" is another or older demonym for the realm of Ulgarth; this is supported by the central role of the river Xon/Gaya in the Padhran faith. The idea of Prince Surtava and his kingdom seems at odds with Ulgarth's "centuries of dark barbarism" at the time (The Shining South page 74; Shining South page 179), but there is plenty of time in which a kingdom or princedom may have arisen, or else Surtava is better described as the son of a barbarian warlord.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Troy Denning (1990). Storm Riders. (TSR, Inc), p. 12. ISBN 0-88038-834-X.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 Troy Denning (1990). Storm Riders. (TSR, Inc), p. 37. ISBN 0-88038-834-X.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 Troy Denning (1990). Storm Riders. (TSR, Inc), p. cards. ISBN 0-88038-834-X.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 David Cook (1990). The Horde (Volume I). (TSR, Inc), p. 39. ISBN 978-0880388689.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Troy Denning (1990). Storm Riders. (TSR, Inc), p. 41. ISBN 0-88038-834-X.
  6. David Cook (1990). The Horde (Volume I). (TSR, Inc), p. 32. ISBN 978-0880388689.

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