SILVER MARCHES

A persistent world set in the Frozen North of The Forgotten Realms

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Hin Pantheon

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1 Hin Pantheon on Wed Oct 27, 2010 12:48 am

The Small Folk of the Realms worship a pantheon of deities known collectively as Yondalla's Children. This group includes Yondalla herself, according to the tangled reasoning of halfling theologians, and the term is sometimes used to apply collectively to all halflings. The names by which the gods and goddesses of the halfling pantheon are known vary widely from community to community and have little correlation with subrace distinctions. The myths associated with the various halfling powers are often intermingled with tales of local halfling heroes and heroines of earlier generations who embodied the teachings and approach to life of one or more powers. For example, halfling villages scarcely two dozen miles apart might each have a different name for Yondalla. The citizens of each community might believe the Protector and Provider is a local deity concerned far more with their village than with the race of halflings as a whole. Finally, the name Yondalla is known by and the tales associated with her would most likely be derived independently from two widely respected halfling matriarchs, each of whom was a leader of her respective village early in its history. (To suggest the countless local names associated with each halfling power, each of the deity entries that follow have the notation "none widespread" in their list of aliases.) The names of the halfling powers of the Realms listed hereafter - Arvoreen, Brandobaris, Cyrrollalee, Sheela Peryroyl, Tymora, Urogalan, and Yondalla - are simply the names by which the individual halfling powers are most commonly known across the planes and the names by which religious scholars of other races refer to them.
Yondalla is the universally acknowledged leader of the halfling pantheon and the other powers defer to her authority without dissension, but in practice the entire pantheon works together in a collective fashion for the good of the whole race, even dispatching avatars to work together as needed. The closest the Small Folk have to an evil power among the gods that they acknowledge is the gnome god Urdlen, the Crawler Below, who is held in a few tales to tunnel up into halfling burrows as well as gnome dens. While the primary deities of the halflings are female and the male gods are seen as presiding over somewhat peripheral (if necessary) aspects of life, all are equally respected.
The roles of the various halfling gods are closely related and sometimes overlap, at least from a mortal perspective. As a result, in some communities two or three powers - usually Yondalla, Cyrrollalee, and/or Sheela Peryroyl - are viewed as aspects of a single power. Divine coordination of portfolios is tightest among Yondalla, Arvoreen, Cyrrollalee, Sheela Peryroyl, and Urogalan, with Brandobaris and Tymora cooperating for the most part with each other.

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2 Arvoreen on Wed Oct 27, 2010 12:48 am

Arvoreen
The Defender, the Vigilant Guardian, the Wary Sword
Intermediate Power of the Seven Heavens , LG

PORTFOLIO: Martial defense, war, vigilance, halfling warriors, duty
DOMAINS: Good, Halfling, Law, Protection, War
HOME PLANE: Venya/Green Fields
SUPERIOR: Yondalla
ALLIES: Clangeddin Silverbeard, Haela Brightaxe, Helm, Gaerdal Ironhand, Gorm Gulthyn, Gwaeron Windstrom, the halfling pantheon, the Red Knight, Torm, Tyr
FOES: Bane (dead), Bhaal (dead), Cyric, Iyachtu Xvim, Talona, Talos and the gods of fury (Auril, Umberlee, and Malar), Moander (dead), the goblinkin pantheons (ore, goblin, hobgoblin, bugbear, kobold, and urd deities, among others), Urdlen
SYMBOL: Two short swords
WOR. ALIGN.: LG, NG, CG, LN, N, CN

Arvoreen (ARE-voh-reen) the Defender, fiery guardian of the home, is the nearest thing to a halfling war god. He is a god of stern defense and aggressive watchfulness, who is always preparing for incursions into halfling lands and making ready to repulse hostile creatures at the first sign of trouble. Arvoreen is venerated primarily by halfling fighters, but also by fighter/thieves who prefer the former set of skills over the latter.

Arvoreen has cultivated good relations with most of the good and neutral deities, particularly of the dwarven, elven, gnome, and human pantheons. Of the halfling gods, Arvoreen is most closely aligned with Yondalla, Cyrrollalee, and Urogalan, although he has strong ties with the entire halfling pantheon. The Defender has little patience or understanding of the principles or priorities of unreliable rogues such as Brandobaris and Tymora, but he does value their contributions in defending his charges from external threats. As a large fraction of halflings live in and among human communities, Arvoreen finds that most of the divine threats to his charges are a result of the plots of the evil deities of the halflings' human neighbors.

Arvoreen is anxiously protective of the halfling race, and he is always alert to impending dangers. The Defender, although quite powerful, is not a particularly aggressive deity. He only engages in combat if he is attacked, though he does seek out his enemies and actively confront them to get them to desist from their evil practices. He does not go very far out of his way to avoid combat if it occurs, however, and fights to the finish. Although he stops short of advocating war, Arvoreen is not shy about pointing out folks who are acting suspiciously—after all, they just might be evil in disguise. He is more serious and less carefree and joyful than the typical halfling (or halfling deity) and serves as a reminder that the safety they currently enjoy was hard won and can be easily lost.

Arvoreen sends avatars to defend and patrol halfling communities very readily. Arvoreen may reward warriors who have defended halfling communities with a minor magical item, even if of another race.

Arvoreen is always accompanied by one of the Keepers

Other Manifestations



If the object enveloped is a pool of water, Arvoreen manifests as a magic mirror effect Any devout worshiper who stares into the pool can scry the most pressing threat to the local halfling community. Otherwise, Arvoreen manifests as a glyph of warding or a symbol of hopelessness placed upon an item or portal to be warded.

Arvoreen is served by Keepers, elite halfling warriors (fighters of 6th-9th level) who died in battle and now defend and patrol the halfling burrows of Green Fields in the Outer Planes. In some situations, the Defender dispatches a small group of Keepers to the Realms to protect an embattled halfling community. Arvoreen is also served by aasimon; archons; bloodhounds; brownies; dobies; einheriar; guardian nagas; hybsils; incarnates of courage, faith, and justice; lammasu; maruts; noctrals; owls; pers; silver dragons; silver falcons; sunflies; and war dogs. He demonstrates his favor through the discovery of amaratha, rustine, trios of stones suitable to be used as sling bullets, figurines depicting halfling warriors formed from dlarun, and crossed sticks (which are seen as representing his symbol). The Defender indicates his displeasure through thunderclaps suggestive of two shields smashing together. His omens to his priests arc usually direct warnings of impending danger and the need for battle readiness.

The Church

Arvoreen is not exactly a popular power among most halflings and his priests are often perceived as overly serious and "grumpy as dwarves" by the Small Folk. However, the Defender and his clergy are respected and revered for their teachings and their role in protecting the halfling way of life.

Temples of Arvoreen are usually small fortified redoubts built partially above and partially below ground in strategic locations in regions inhabited by large numbers of halflings. The Defender's houses of worship serve their communities as armories, training grounds for the local militia, and as sanctuaries of last resort if the region they guard is ever overrun. Although the defensive fortifications of such temples vary widely so as to best suit their location, most are characterized by a maze of narrow, low hallways large enough only for a halfling or gnome to fight comfortably, cellars filled with weapons, supplies, and other stores, and large numbers of subterranean tunnels exiting far from the central structure through which halfling guerrilla fighters can launch lightning raids behind the lines of any besieger.

Novices of Arvoreen are known as Shieldbearers. Full priests of the Defender are known as Arvoreen's Marshals. In ascending order of rank, the titles used by Arvoreenan priests are Warder, Guardian, Defender, Protector, Magistrate, Sheriff, Marshal, and High Marshal. High-ranking priests have unique individual titles. Specialty priests are known as trueswords. The clergy of Arvoreen includes hairfeet (55%), stouts (30%), and tallfellows (15%). Males (54%) slightly outnumber females (46%). Arvoreen's clergy includes specialty priests (34%), clerics (26%), fighter/specialty priests (22%), and fighter/clerics (18%).

Dogma: Keep the community's burrows secure, and always be prepared for threats and attacks. Prepare an active defense, drill continuously, and leave nothing to chance. Put down danger before it even rears its head. Seek out allies, no matter how unorthodox. Those who give aid against a mutual foe are friends to be rewarded and trusted. Stealing from other halflings and allies is never acceptable, but thieving is not necessarily dishonorable, as long as it is employed against enemies to better the odds in combat later.

Day-to-Day Activities: Arvoreen's priests are the protectors and defenders of halfling communities. They spend their days constructing defensive barriers, signaling systems, beacons, and traps, and reviewing defenses already in place. Priests of the Defender regularly patrol their communities, always investigating the slightest hint of a threat. Many priests organize the local militia, procure weapons for volunteers, and train every able-bodied halfling in the use of weapons and other defense strategies or at least in how to best seek safety. Many of Arvoreen's Marshals regularly adventure to gain magical weapons and defensive items of all kinds.

Holy Days/Important Ceremonies: If time permits, Arvoreen's priests and lay followers come together prior to every battle (either in a temple or at a makeshift altar in the field) to ask for the blessings of the Defender. After a brief, inspirational sermon and a period of private prayer, the Battle Hymn of the Keepers is sung in unison and silvered weapons—at most one per worshiper—are sacrificed to the god by placing them on the altar. If Arvoreen is pleased with the diligence of his followers' preparations, the Defender receives the silver plating from the sacrificed arms, leaving behind the actual weapons. For the next 24 hours, all such once-silvered weapons are enchanted to strike at a +1 bonus on attack and damage rolls.

The Ceremony of Remembrance is celebrated annually on the Feast of the Moon. During this holy day, Arvoreen's followers gather in his temples and on battlefields where their comrades have fallen to remember the names of those who gave their lives in defense of the community. Close friends and relatives often report a brief, wordless encounter with the spirit of a fallen loved one during Ceremonies of Remembrance, but no evidence of such, aside from the statements of individuals who report such spiritual visitations, has ever been found.

Major Centers of Worship: The halfling realm of Meiritin was established north of the Tejarn Hills along the eastern shore the great lake in the Year of the Raised Banner (227 DR) by Small Folk who had been forcibly removed from their vineyard homes in the Purple Hills of Tethyr. The halflings of Meiritin were remarkably resilient in the face of several tyrants who threatened their realm. Notable among the threats they faced were the conquering of the Meiritin's largest settlement by Ilhundyl the Mad Mage in the Year of the Mist Dragon (231 DR), border skirmishes with the forces of Lord Ashar Tornamn of Valashar beginning in the Year of Blessed Sleep (321 DR), the loss of much the realm's territory to the Duchy of Cortryn in the Year of Faltering Fires (491 DR), and Meiritin's eventual collapse in the Years of Trials Arcane (523 DR) due to abuses and enslavement at the hands of the Duke of Cortryn.

Many halflings still dwell in eastern Amn, east of Lake Esmel, in the lands of fallen Meiritin, and not a few dream of the day when halflings in the Lands of Intrigue can once again call a realm their own. Chief among them is High Marshal of the Banner Raised Anew Brenth Stoutshield, once an officer of Arvoreen's Marchers (see below) who resigned his position in the Year of the Shield (1367 DR) after his secret dream of founding a halfling realm in the Purple Marches crumbled with the restoration of Tethyr's monarchy. After discovering a trove of gems during a foray into the ruins of Lost Xandar, Brenth began rebuilding his dream in southern Amn in the hinterlands of fallen Meiritin. He established the Citadel of the Banner Raised Anew across the river Hyrzashyr from the fishing village of Zinner atop ruins sacred to Arvoreen dating back to the establishment of Meiritin. Beginning with a small core of young priests and devoted worshipers, the High Marshal of the Banner Raised Anew attracted halfling parishioners from the surrounding farms of the region by supplementing the Amnian patrols from the Hillforts and by culling the monster populations in the western Tejarn Hills. With the increased tithes, the High Marshal could afford to grow the citadel into a large—by halfling standards—temple and to increase the size of the temple militia and the number of patrols it could mount.

As part of his efforts to integrate the newly founded temple in power structures of the region, Brenth forged a close relationship with Major Olehm of Hillfort Torbold. This close bond between halfling and human was first tested in the Year of the Tankard (1370 DR) as the Sythillisians began to carve out their empire in southwestern Amn. As the troops of Sythillis rampaged through the region, the Citadel of the Banner Raised Anew found itself on the front lines of the war. The High Marshal quickly pledged himself and a large fraction of his troops to Major Olehm's command, leaving only a small reserve to continue patrolling the farmlands surrounding Zinner. If the commander of Hillfort Torbold emerges as major player in post-war Amn (assuming the Sythillisians are eventually defeated), Brenth may very well find himself in a position to see at least part of his dream of refounding Meiritin come to fruition.

Affiliated Orders: During the chaos of Tethyr's Interregnum, a group of halflings and few gnomes active in the Purple Hills under the leadership of Estemal Talltankard were largely responsible for keeping the anarchy consuming the rest of the country at bay. Estemal's band, known as Arvoreen's Marchers, are now recognized by the crown of Tethyr as a knightly order and are responsible for patrolling the Purple Marches, particularly County Vintor. Members of the March include warriors, priests of Arvoreen, and rogues (the latter operating as spies and couriers). Their chapter house, Keeperstone, is located a mile or two north of the halfling community of Barrowsmorn in a forsaken manor destroyed during the Ten Black Days and later rebuilt by halflings and gnomes under Estemal.

Priestly Vestments: The clerical raiment of Arvoreen's Marshals includes silvered helms and suits of chain mail, dark blue tabards with the god's symbol displayed prominently in silver, and twin short swords. The holy symbol of the faith is a miniature silver buckler that is typically worn on a medallion hung around the neck.

Adventuring Garb: Priests of Arvoreen wear the most appropriate armor available, whether it be leather or studded leather in situations requiring stealth or chain mail or plate armor when straight melee combat is expected. In times of peace when simply patrolling, the most common armor worn by members of Arvoreen's clergy is chain mail. Although they are trained in the use of a wide variety of weapons appropriate for their diminutive statures, most priests of Arvoreen prefer short swords, short bows, and slings.

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3 Cyrrollalee on Wed Oct 27, 2010 12:48 am

Cyrrollalee
The Hand of Fellowship, the Faithful, the Hearthkeeper

Intermediate Power of Mount Celestia LG

PORTFOLIO: Friendship, trust, the home, the hearth, honesty, hospitality, crafts (especially weaving and needlework)
DOMAINS: Family, Good, Halfling, Law
HOME PLANE: Venya/Green Fields
SUPERIOR: Yondalla
ALLIES: Azuth, Chauntea, Deneir, Eldath, Gond, Hathor, Helm, Ilmater, Kelemvor, Lathander, Lliira, Mielikki, Milil, Mystra, Nephthys, Oghma, Selune, Shaundakul, Silvanus, Sune, Torm, Tyr, Waukeen, the Morndinsamman (except Abbathor, Deep Duerra, Laduguer, and Vergadain), the elf pantheon (except Erevan Ilesere, Fenmarel Mestarine, and Shevarash), the gnome pantheon (except Baravar Cloakshadow and Urdlen), the halfling pantheon
FOES: Abbathor, Cyric, Leira (dead), Mask, Talona, Talos and the gods of fury (Auril, Malar, and Umberlee), Urdlen, Vhaeraun
SYMBOL: Open door
WOR. ALIGN.: LG, NG, CG, LN

Cyrrollalee (SEER-oh-LAH-lee) is the halfling power of friendship and trust. She is also a protective deity, like Yondalla, but whereas the concern of the Protector and Provider lies with the overall race, Cyrrollalee cares more for the sanctity of the home itself. The Hearthkeeper is specifically a goddess who protects the hearth and home while keeping the inhabitants from being too defensive and closed in. She oversees many of the mundane and day-to-day aspects of halfling home life. Her real interest is in the hospitality, generosity, and kindness halflings can show to others, and she is most displeased with those who fail to display proper hospitality and good fellowship. Her worst enemies are those who betray the trust of a host or who break into homes (of halflings) to steal. She is also the enemy of oathbreakers. Cyrrollalee's followers are largely regular halflings as well as a few warriors.

As a power of trust who embodies the spirit of good fellowship and friendship, Cyrrollalee is the halfling deity who has the largest number of good relations with deities of other races. Some believe her to be an aspect of Yondalla rather than a separate entity, but in truth, the two are closely allied but distinct goddesses. The Hand of Fellowship is allied with the rest of the halfling pantheon as well, particularly Arvoreen and Sheela Peryroyl, but she is ever wary of the antics of Brandobaris and Tymora. Although Cyrrollalee is by nature very forgiving and friendly, the Hand of Fellowship has despaired of certain powers ever changing their ways. She regularly opposes the machinations of those powers that inflict destruction upon the home - such as Talona, the Gods of Fury, and Urdlen, those powers who habitually lie or deceive - such as Cyric, Leira, and Mask, and those gods who steal from the home - such as Abbathor, Mask, and Vhaeraun.

As a rule, Cyrrollalee is warm, friendly, and welcoming, and even nondivine beings feel comfortable in her presence. Her words and her touch are always gentle, and she never raises her voice in anger. Cyrrollalee does not get too involved in the day-to-day lives other followers except on a small level, watching over everyday events of the home. Naturally, she hates liars, swindlers, and (especially) thieves who would break into a person's home. If roused, she can be a most fearsome foe indeed; any halfling whose burrow has been violated knows the feeling of Cyrrollalee's fury swelling within him. Cyrrollalee does not often send her avatars to the Prime; this is usually only done in response to major oath-breaking, to punish the offender. When she does visit the Prime, Cyrrollalee sometimes takes the form of a stooped halfling of indeterminate years, worn by poverty and work into a frail shell. In this guise, she often visits halfling burrows to see if the inhabitants are truly hospitable; woe to the family that turns her away!

The Church

Cyrrollalee's faith is little known outside of halfling communities, but the fruits of her teachings and the efforts of her priesthood are in large part responsible for the halfling way of life that is so admired by other races.

Among halflings, Cyrrollalee is quietly appreciated by all and quietly venerated by those who build homes and families. Many invocations to her are day-to-day minor oaths and fussing by busy halflings, but underlying such daily minutia is a solid core of faithful veneration. While halfling adventurers, particularly those drawn to the errant ways of Brandobaris and Tymora, may tease devout followers of the Hearthkeeper for their sedentary habits and quiet lives, in most cases such wayfarers were raised in homes whose inhabitants performed monthly oblations and, in truth, they too continue to give quiet thanks to the Hand of Fellowship on the first day of every month.

Typically the manse of the local priest of Cyrrollalee serves the surrounding halfling community as both a temple and as a home away from home. As such, there is little to differentiate such structures or burrows from those that surround a Cyrrollaleen house of worship. One distinguishing feature of any temple dedicated to the Hearthkeeper is that the entrance door is always open whenever at least one priest is in residence. Halflings unable to return to their own beds for the night are always welcome to stay for a night at such temple-homes, and Cyrrollaleen churches along major trade routes serve as de facto halfling hostels.

Novices of Cyrrollalee are known as the Befriended. Full priests of the Hand of Fellowship are known as Homefellows. In ascending order of rank the titles used by Cyrrollaleen priests are Cheery Homemaker, Hearth Warden, Hand of Friendship, Hale Host (or Hostess), Homespun Companion, Neighborly Householder, Open Door, and Burrow Patriarch (or Matriarch). High-ranking priests have unique individual titles. Specialty priests are known as homesteaders. The clergy of Cyrrollalee includes hairfeet (65%), stouts (25%), and tallfellows (10%). Cyrrollalee's clergy is nearly evenly divided between specialty priests (35%), mystics (34%), and clerics (31%). Females (85%) far outnumber males (15%)

Dogma: Be generous in friendship, and welcome all friends into your home. Earn the trust of your neighbors and repay them with kindness. Guard fiercely the burrows in which you and your friends dwell, and keep a benignly watchful eye on the home of your neighbor. Never betray the trust of your host, break an oath, or violate the sanctity of another's home. Busy hands make a happy home, and things Grafted with love will serve you and others well.

Day-to-Day Activities : Whereas Yondalla's priests are often the visible leadership of a small halfling community, Cyrrollalee's priesthood are the quiet caretakers and nurturers of halfling society, serving their charges with generous hearts and graceful friendship. As such, their role is often overlooked, but their absence is sorely noted. Cyrrollalee's priests are specifically defenders of the home, and they view their role as both protecting the home from outside threats and cultivating the familial bonds of those who dwell within. In addition, Homefellows oversee the drawing up of contracts and agreements of all kinds, and they also look after and educate young halflings. The priesthood is quite a homely and prosaic one, not an adventuring priesthood.

Holy Days/Important Ceremonies : Worship services for Cyrrollalee are held on the first day of each month, known in halfling communities as Hearthday. Devout halflings gather in the home of one of their fellow parishioners, rotating to a different dwelling in the local community each month. The Hand of Fellowship asks for nothing in the way of propitiation aside from simple prayers requesting her blessing. Friendship among her worshipers is considered the highest praise one can raise to her name.

Major Centers of Worship: The Grapevine's Root, located in the Purple Hills of Tethyr on a low, wide knoll overlooking the town of Vineshade, is a sprawling cloistral villa built in the heart of a great vineyard. Cyrrollalee's rustic temple consists of half a dozen open courtyards surrounded by covered walks with open colonnades overgrown with grapevines and wisteria on either side. At the intersections of the orthogonal cloisters are small circular chapels with domed roofs. Within each quadrangular acre, Cyrrollaleen priests and their families dwell amidst the grapevines in small, homey burrows forming small neighborhoods within the greater temple community. Administering the clergy of the Grapevine's Root like an extended, multigenerational family is Enduring Vintage Glissando Homebody. Glissando has lived amidst the Purple Hills for over three centuries already, and this venerable halfling matriarch with the tightly wrapped silver bun has never lost her sweet smile or generous heart despite presiding over half a dozen generations of joy and sorrow, glad tidings and tragedy. The temple is justly famous for its homegrown vintage, Cyrrojubilee, but the role its priests play in nurturing halfling home life in the hamlets scattered throughout the region is arguably the priesthood's more important role. Cyrrollaleen acolytes based in the Grapevine's Root visit parishioners the length and breadth of Tethyr's County Vintor, and their efforts are largely responsible for the close knit, familial feel of the local culture.

Affiliated Orders: The Cyrrollaleen church currently has no affiliated knightly orders, choosing to rely on militant priests and warriors affiliated with the faiths of Yondalla and Arvoreen. According to the church's oldest archives, previous halfling diasporas that led to the settlement of new lands by the Small Folk were preceded by small bands of scouts sent by the elders of the Hearthkeeper's faith to seek out likely regions for colonization. Tales of their exploits have faded into legend, however, as it has been many centuries since the last hordelike wave - as opposed to the creeping expansion that is now the norm - of halfling settlement.

Priestly Vestments: The ceremonial garb of Cyrrollalee's priesthood is the rustic clothing of halfling peasants, devoid of ostentatious display. Typically Homefellows wear simple brown habits bound with a deep golden or muted green girdle, and keep their heads and feet bare. The holy symbol of the faith is a carved wooden acorn, often hung on a leather cord around the neck.

Adventuring Garb: Members of Cyrrollalee's clergy adventure only in extremis, preferring to stay close at home if at all possible and within the bounds of civilization at all costs. When expecting their homes to be attacked or if travel through a region of some danger is required, Homefellows garb themselves in the best armor available, usually leather or padded armor. As no particular weapon is associated with Cyrrollalee, her followers tend to select one of the handful of weapons commonly associated with halfling village militias. Clubs, staves, slings, and staff-slings are common.

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4 Yondalla on Wed Oct 27, 2010 12:49 am

Yondalla
The Protector and Provider, the Nurturing Matriarch, the Blessed One

Greater Power of Mount Celestia LG
PORTFOLIO: Protection, fertility, the halfling race, children, security, leadership, diplomacy, wisdom, the cycle of life, creation, family and familial love. tradition, community, harmony, prosperity
DOMAINS: Family, Good, Halfling, Law, Protection
ALIASES: Dallillia (Sword Coast south of Waterdeep), Perissa (Moonshaes), otherwise none widespread
HOME PLANE: Venya/Green Fields
SUPERIOR: None
ALLIES: Angharradh, Berronar Truesilver, Chauntea, Corellon Larethian, Garl Glittergold, Hathor. Helm, Moradin, Nephthys, Sharindlar, Shiallia, Torm, Tyr, the halfling pantheon
FOES: Bane (dead), Bhaal (dead), Cyric, Iyachtu Xvim, Talona, Talos and the gods of fury (Auril, Umberlee, Malar), the goblinkin pantheons, Urdlen
SYMBOL: Shield with cornucopia
WOR. ALIGN.: LG, NG, CG, LN, N, CN

Yondalla (Yon-DAH-lah) is the Protector and Provider of halflings and the chief matriarch of the halfling pantheon. She is responsible for the race's creation and for blessing them with peace, comfort, and plenty. As the goddess of protection, Yondalla fends off evil influences and intrusions into the homes and lives of halflings. Yondalla gives her people the strength of character and the determination to defend themselves. Her protection is part of the very souls of her creations, for of all the demihuman races, the halflings have most rarely succumbed to evil. As a provider, Yondalla is a goddess of fertility and growing things, of birth and youth, of nature and plants. She can make barren places and creatures fertile and increase the growing rate of plants and animals, almost as she chooses, although she uses such powers sparingly and almost never confers such benefits on other demihumans or humans for fear of giving offense to their deities.

Yondalla's portfolio can be interpreted to somewhat overlap those of Sheela Peryroyl, Cyrrollalee, Arvoreen, and Urogalan, but in truth this is mainly as she is their leader and both directs their efforts and works with them in harmony to provide for both the good of the divine and the mortal halfling communities.

Only Brandobaris and Tymora walk their own paths, but even they work closely with the Nurturing Matriarch in ensuring the peace and security of halflings throughout the Realms. The Protector and Provider has forged strong alliances with the patriarchs and matriarchs of the other demihuman races to ensure the mutual survival of their charges, and she is closely allied with agricultural and guardian deities of all the goodly races.

Yondalla is a kind and merciful goddess to her people. Although she brooks no evil, she despises no part of her creation, and always seeks to guide halflings who have lost their way in the world, physically or spiritually, back to their homes and friends.

Although Yondalla is tolerant of thieves among her people, she does not approve of them and tries to have her priests guide such errant folk to use their skills more usefully. However, appropriating an extra share for oneself from the big folk is no great sin if no real harm or damage is done. Yondalla has given plenty of gifts to her worshipers, not the least of which is her temperament. From her, the halflings have learned to stand up for themselves, to defend their homes and families, and to seek peaceable solutions - or else turn their foes against each other and slip away unnoticed. Yondalla is a charming and persuasive power of peace, and though she can take life and health as easily as she gives it, she never seeks out opportunities to harm those who do not richly deserve it. When she is aroused to ire, however, Yondalla is a truly fearsome goddess, for all her apparent gentility and diminutive stature. Although not a power of war, Yondalla is a skilled warrior that other powers do not readily seek to challenge. If a community of halflings is faced with extermination, Yondalla acts first through her priests and with manifestations and then by having Arvoreen dispatch his avatar.

If all else fails, Yondalla is very likely to send an avatar herself to defend her charges. If she does this, she fights within the area of the halfling communities and homes rather than venture attacks outside of that area.

The Church

The church of the Protector and Provider, under all the guises by which she is known, plays a central role in halfling society.

Throughout the Realms, communities of the Small Folk are led by members of Yondalla's clergy, and they are widely credited for their efforts in ensuring the safety and prosperity of halflings across Faerun. Among the other human and demihuman races, Yondalla's priests are respected for their determined defense of halfling communities and their defensive skill, belying their diminutive natures.
Temples of Yondalla are remarkably rare, despite the goddess's widespread veneration by halflings. The Provider and Protector is most commonly worshiped in small shrines and in the home, and her formal houses of worship are usually little more than the home of the local priest or priestess. In those few halfling communities where churches of Yondalla do exist, they are usually carved into an earthen hillside, resembling a halfling burrow more than anything else. Although smoothly blended with the surrounding environment, such temples serve as fortified redoubts, well stocked with arms and food to allow the halflings of the community to hold out indefinitely against invaders.

Gardens, armories, cisterns, and granaries are nestled among chapels, residential quarters for the resident priests, and bubbling springs.

Novices of Yondalla are known as the Blessed Children. Full priests of the Protector and Provider are known as Revered Councilors. In ascending order of rank, the titles used by Yondallan priests are Blessed Sister/Brother, Sacred Guardian, Revered Nurturer, Blessed Mother/Father, Eminent Prodigal, August Warden, Hallowed Provider, and Exalted Protector. Highranking priests have unique individual titles. Specialty priests are known as horn guards. The clergy of Yondalla includes hairfeet (55%), stouts (30%), and tallfellows (15%). Yondalla's clergy is nearly evenly divided between specialty priests (37%), mystics (33%), and clerics (30%). Women (60%) slightly outnumber men (40%) among the clergy.

Dogma: Those who seek to live in accordance with the way of the Provider will be blessed with a cornucopia of riches. Seek peace and comfort, for a life lived with both is true wealth.
Although violence should never be welcomed, the Protector's aegis will extend to those willing to fiercely defend their home and community. Lead through example, and know the activities of those you lead so that you can help shoulder their burdens when need be. Treasure your family, for your parents gave you life and your children are your future. Care for the aged and the weak, for you never know when you may be one of the strong laid low.

Day-to-Day Activities: Priests of Yondalla are concerned with all spheres of halfling life, save thievery. They protect halfling communities from outside threats. They serve as ever-vigilant sentinels overseeing fields and burrows. Many double as secular leaders of their communities as well as religious authorities. Yondalla's priests officiate at weddings and funerals, the latter in conjunction with members of Urogalan's clergy.
The primary mission of the priesthood of the Provider and the Protector is to pass Yondalla's teachings on to the community at large and to knit such communities tightly together. Areas of instruction include collective and self-defense, concealment, agriculture, brewing, wine-making, gardening, and cooking. Spells granted by the goddess are used to demonstrate or enhance such activities. Communities are brought together through regular feasts, revels, and celebrations with few spiritual overtones other than a celebration of the collective purpose of the community.

Holy Days/Important Ceremonies : Halflings set aside one day per Realms week - the fifth day of each tenday - for worship of Yondalla. Safeday, as it is known, is a day that is mostly spent in rest and play. In the morning, families gather together in the home, collectively offer up the fruits of the goddess's bounty in homage to the Provider, and then spend several hours preparing a tenday's feast from those offerings. During these activities, local members of the clergy of Yondalla go from house to house to lead each family in brief devotions, offer the goddess's blessings, and share any concerns a family may have. When the tenday's feast is prepared, each family, sometimes joined by a local priest, joins together in eating, laughing, and the telling of tales. In the late afternoon, the Small Folk emerge from their homes and assemble in the central square. The highest- ranking priest of Yondalla (or in the absence of a priest, a pious lay representative) then leads the assembled Small Folk on a walk around the central community, symbolically joining Yondalla in her defense of the settlement. Such tours are hardly armed patrols; they usually involve contests to see who can pick the most perfect apple or the like and other gentle reminders of how bountiful are the goddess's gifts. When the promenade returns to the central square, the community-wide dinner feast begins. Extra food prepared during the morning hours is heated and served, while the community elders relate traditional tales of halfling folklore. Such festivities can last far into the night as the community reforges their communal bonds. Unlike the religious ceremonies of other races and powers, allies and even strangers are often invited to contribute and partake in the feasting and merriment, although those unknown to the community are discretely observed just in case.

Major Centers of Worship: As noted above, large temples of the Nurturing Matriarch are few and far between, for most halflings worship in the home, and most communities are served by at most a handful of priests who tend the local shrine, if any exists outside of individual homes. Nevertheless, Yondalla's priesthood has found it expedient to found the sprawling Abbey of the Bountiful Horn in the town of Ammathluir on the western border of Luiren. The abbey and the town of Ammathluir are led by the aging matriarch, Cornucopia of Blessings Sara Fallowguard and her lifelong mate, High Marshal Bernarth Hornguard (a fighter/specialty priest of Arvoreen). Under their combined stewardship, both town and temple have bloomed with gardens and other signs of the goddess's bounty, masking the extensive defensive fortifications that have been erected in every home and burrow and along every path and stream. Like the town itself, the temple is far larger and more extensive than it initially appears. The abbey is dug into the side of a large hill on the western edge of the town, and its earthen tunnels honeycomb the heart of the hill and connect with most of the burrowhomes of Ammathluir. This deception enables Yondalla's numerous resident priests to blend in among the surrounding community, dwelling in individual burrows with their families, but in times of war to assemble in the abbey's heart into small guerrilla bands and then emerge from countless holes to defend the town from attack.

The Bountiful Horn has also guarded Luiren's western forest since the halfling nation threw off the yoke of the Arkaiun invaders in the Sixth Century DR. The encircling Toadsquat Mountains and Lluirwood have long stymied would-be invaders, restricting access to Luiren to the sea and a single east-west route through the forest connecting Ammathluir and the Trader's Way. It is along this route that the great war chief of the Arkaiuns, Reinhar, and the people of the wind, as the original humans of Dambrath were known, invaded the halfling realm in the Year of the Pernicon (545 DR), and it is along this route that any future invasion, such as a horde of the Shebali warriors led by the Crintri of Dambrath, would likely come. To guard against any such invasion, the abbey's priests have created an extensive array of fortifications, traps, and ambush points along the length of the Ammathvale road as it passes through the forest, and any army passing through would be severely weakened, if not routed, by the combined assaults that can be unleashed by a handful of defenders as they fall back along the length of the gauntlet.

Affiliated Orders: The Wayward Wardens are a loosely organized fellowship of Yondallan priests stricken with wanderlust who wish to see the world. Estranged by choice from forming a long-term relationship a single community, Wayward Wardens serve the Provider and Protector by coming to the defense of besieged or threatened halfling communities in need of additional protectors. For example, during the Tethyrian Interregnum, many Wayward Wardens lived for a time among the halflings of the Purple Hills. The addition of two score elite defenders to the halfling communities of the region did much to keep the chaos of interregnum at bay.

Priestly Vestments: Members of Yondalla's clergy dress in loose-fitting green and brown robes and a saffron overcloak, keeping their heads bare. Priests typically wear their hair long, dying it golden blonde if it is not naturally that color. Yondallan priests always carry a shield, usually wooded, emblazoned with the cornucopia symbol of the goddess. The holy symbol of the faith is an animal horn of any type, except in Luiren where it is a wheat stalk crossing a silver tree, representing the meadows and the forests.

Adventuring Garb: When expecting combat, Yondallan priests wear the best armor available and always carry a shield, again usually emblazoned with Yondalla's cornucopia. They favor short swords, hand axes, slings, short bows, spears, small lances, hammers, and morningstars.

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5 Brandobaris on Wed Oct 27, 2010 12:50 am

Brandobaris
Master of Stealth, Misadventure, the Trickster, the Irrepressible Scamp, the Friendly Rapscallion

Lesser Power of the Planes N

PORTFOLIO: Stealth, thievery, adventuring, halfling rogues
DOMAINS: Halfling, Luck, Travel, Trickery
ALIASES: Kaldair Swiftfoot, otherwise none widespread
HOME PLANE: Wanders
SUPERIOR: Yondalla
ALLIES: Baervan Wildwanderer, Baravar Cloakshadow, Dugmaren Brightmantle, Erevan Ilesere, Garl Glittergold, Haela Brightaxe, Mask, Quorlinn, Vergadain, the halfling pantheon
FOES: Abbathor, Beshaba, Urdlen, Vaprak
SYMBOL: Halfling's footprint
WORSHIPPERS ALIGNMENT: Any

Brandobaris (BRAN-doe-BARE-iss) is the master of adventure and misadventure, a favorite of halfling adventurers. Tales of the Trickster's wild exploits are almost beyond counting. The followers of Brandobaris, as might be expected, are mostly thieves and fighter/thieves. The more ardent followers are usually also the ones to take the greatest risks on adventures, and the Master of Stealth views them almost as favored apprentices.

Brandobaris is the errant rogue of the halfling pantheon, regarded with exasperated tolerance by his fellows. Only Tymora regularly accompanies the Trickster on his jaunts, and Lady Luck and the Master of Stealth are said (by halflings) to be romantically linked. Conversely, Brandobaris is routinely cursed by Beshaba, but, for the Trickster at least, Tymora's favor always seems to prevail over the Maid of Misfortune in the end. Brandobaris is an irrepressible scamp who gets along well with most powers who can let themselves smile at his antics. Helm and Torm are notable exceptions, and even Arvoreen finds his patience tried at times by the Trickster. Brandobaris is a good friend of Baervan Wildwanderer, Erevan Ilesere, Garl Glittergold, and Vergadain, and all have accompanied him at one time or another on some of his many misadventures. Brandobaris and Mask have a healthy rivalry, although the halfling god of thieves dislikes the Shadowlord's penchant for cruelty. The Master of Stealth will have nothing to do with Abbathor, as the Great Master of Greed is literally in the game only for the gold.

Brandobaris is always ready with a joke or a jug, yet he is such an agreeable, friendly rapscallion that he rarely makes an enemy. He's always well dressed and ready with a smart reply to any attempt at conversation. He has a bawdy sense of humor and little sense of propriety. Brandobaris often goes on adventures to find some item he believes wilt make life more comfortable for him, though this does not always prove to work out as he had planned. The moral lesson of many of his journeys and scrapes is that it is better not to dash off unprepared into danger, let alone on foolish dares. Nonetheless, Brandobaris does come across as an appealing sort of scamp. He has much of the trickster in him; he is primarily a clever thief who fools his opponents into thinking him harmless, then steals them blind and escapes (heir wrath. No matter how awful a situation in which he finds himself (and he's found some pretty awful ones), Brandobaris manages to find his way out again - and make a profit from the episode as well.

The mischievous Master of Stealth is always on the lockout for a worthy risk and challenge to face, and he may even seek out a highly skilled halfling thief or two to join him in some caper as he wanders the Prime. Other thieves may come along on such jaunts, but if they do not worship Brandobaris they might find some of their valuables missing when the adventure is over. Brandobaris reveals his identity only after the adventure is over, and only to his followers. Brandobaris's adventures can be exceptionally challenging and dangerous, but hold the promise of great reward for the fast, the clever, and the quiet!

Brandobaris appears as a plump, jolly, cheeky-faced young halfling dressed in smart leather jerkin, silk blouse, and cotton pants. He favors spells from the spheres of all, charm, creation, numbers, protection, sun, and travelers and from the schools of alteration, enchantment/charm, and illusion/phantasm, although he can cast spells from any sphere or school.


Brandobaris is so skilled at moving silently that he cannot be heard by any mortal being or god, should he desire to conceal his movements. He can also hide so well as to be completely invisible

Other Manifestations

Brandobaris rarely manifests, preferring to interact directly with his worshipers in avatar form. When the Master of Stealth does manifest, it is usually subtly and the recipient of his beneficence is rarely even aware of the divine sponsorship of his good fortune. For example, a halfling thief who blows the use of a thieving skill or an ability check in a potentially fatal situation might find a small protuberance on which he can stop his fall, grab a trip wire before it can fully trigger, or recover his balance before tumbling off a narrow ledge. In such situations, Brandobaris's manifestation permits a second chance at the thieving skill or ability check.

An especially daring risk (one that places the halfling in considerable jeopardy) that pays off is looked upon favorably by Brandobaris. He might reward the perpetrator of such a daring act - though he does so only once in that halfling's lifetime, so as not to encourage the mortal to be too foolhardy. Such rewards commonly take the form of a manifestation, and the recipient of such might gain the ability to employ feather fall, free action, spider climb, or a similar spell-like effect in some future situation.

Brandobaris is served by azmyths, blue jays, boggles, brownies, campestris, copper dragons, crows, crystal dragons, dobies, ethyks, faerie dragons, firefriends, firestars, fremlins, kenku, leprechauns, luck cats, mercury dragons, mice, monkey spiders, pixies, pseudodragons, raccoons, ravens, snyads, sunflies, and the occasional tiefling. He demonstrates his favor in the form of footprint marks leading toward a clue, key, treasure, or the like and by causing objects to appear in a pocket. The Master of Stealth indicates his displeasure in the form of footprint marks leading the tracker astray and by causing objects to disappear from a pocket.

The Church

Like Brandobaris himself, the church of misadventure is filled with appealing scamps who regularly find themselves embroiled in trouble, but who usually emerge better off than not. Tales of the exploits of Brandobaris's followers are told and retold in most halfling cultures. However, despite their fondness for such tales, most halflings would prefer that the church of Brandobaris keep far away from their own lives and are personally unwilling to get involved in the misadventurous capers of the Trickster's entourage.

While most halfling gods are worshiped predominantly in small shrines within the home or local community and true temples are rare, Brandobaris is unique in that his church has no actual temples or permanent shrines at all. The Master of Stealth is honored instead through adventurous activity and by relating tales of his exploits and those of his followers. In a sense, a shrine of Brandobaris is temporarily created whenever a story involving the Trickster is told or whenever an item commemorating one of his misadventures is brought out and remembered.

Novices of Brandobaris are known as Wayward Rascals. Full priests of the Master of Stealth are known as the Hands of Misadventure. In ascending order of rank, the titles used by Brandobarian priests are Scamp, Rascal, Swindler, Blackguard, Trickster, Rapscallion, Knave, and Master Rogue. High-ranking priests have unique individual titles. Specialty priests are known as misadventurers. The clergy of Brandobaris includes hairfeet (60%), stouts (30%), and tallfellows (10%). Brandobaris's clergy includes specialty priests (30%), thieves (25%), specialty priest/thieves (22%), fighter/thieves (18%), and clerics (5%). Males (65%) outnumber females (35%).

Dogma: Adventure and risk are the spice of life, and stealth and subtlety are the tools of the trade. Seek excitement and danger wherever your feet take you, for risk-taking leads to life's greatest rewards. Lust for the thrill, not for the treasure, for greed obscures the true prize of the experience. At the end of the day, the wildest tale is the greatest reward. Learn to tell a good yarn, and sometimes your tongue will get you out of trouble.

Day-to-Day Activities: Members of Brandobaris's clergy are active adventurers who seek lives of excitement and danger by taking active risks and by employing the skills taught to them by the Master of Stealth and his most accomplished apprentices. Most Hands of Misadventure are stricken with wanderlust, seeking to see as much of the world as they can. While Brandobaris's priests are often involved in daring thefts, smooth cons, and other larcenous behavior, they are thrill-seekers, not bandits. They are driven by the acquisition of treasure, not the holding of it, and many benefit their communities by lavish spending of newly acquired wealth at halfling-owned establishments. Those who cannot adventure, whether due to age or infirmity, serve the faith by running safehouses and by spreading glorious tales among the sedentary majority of the halfling populace.

Holy Days / Important Ceremonies: As one might expect, followers of Brandobaris have little in the way of formal ceremony when they venerate the Master of Stealth. On nights of the new moon, no matter where they are, followers of Brandobaris are expected to hide one or more stolen items from the previous month's take in the best hiding place they can find as part of a ritual known as the Trickster's Tithe. If Brandobaris is pleased with the offering (which has less to do with the value of the offering than it does with the amount of risk required to acquire it), it vanishes from its cache by morning, any the worshiper is blessed with the Trickster's favor for the following month.

Major Centers of Worship: As noted above, Brandobaris has no true temples. Instead, the Master of Stealth is worshiped through daring deeds and wild tales of his exploits. In some sense, cities and kingdoms where many of Brandobaris's followers practice their craft - such as Athkatia, Baldur's Gate, Berdusk, Calimport, Everlund, Iriaebor, Silverymoon, Riatavin, Waterdeep, and Zazesspur as well as Amn, Calimshan, Cormyr, Damara, Deepingdale, Luiren, Ravens Bluff, Tethyr, Turmish, and the Vast - are the Trickster's major centers of worship.

Legendary sites of Brandobaris's greatest adventures can also be considered major centers of worship, for many of his followers visit the settings of the Trickster's tales in simple homage to his daring and skill and to tell the tales of the Trickster's exploits. One such tale involves the founding of Luiren, legendary land of the halflings, centuries ago on the shores of Luirenstrand (also known as Hambone Bay), long before the fall of Myth Drannor. The founding myths of Luiren claim that the Lluirwood (now split into the Long Forest, the Granuin Forest (also known as the southern Lluirwood), and the Gundar Forest) at that time stretched from the foothills of the Toadsquat Mountains to the shore of the Great Sea and from the eastern bank of the River Ammath to the western bank of the River Gundar, incorporating all the territory that now composes Luiren and Estagund. At that time, the Lluirwood was inhabited by ogres, whose descendants still populate the Toadsquat Mountains, and the first Small Folk to settle along the shores of the Luirenstrand were hardpressed to defend their homesteads from the relentless raids of the beast-men. At that time, a young halfling by the name of Kaldair Swiftfoot - now believed to have been an avatar of Brandobaris - encountered an avatar of the rapacious and violent ogre god, Vaprak the Destroyer. For 10 days and nights, Kaldair toyed with the Destroyer, leading him on a merry chase through a trap-filled tract of woodlands, but the ogre god could not kill or capture the elusive halfling rogue nor could Kaldair permanently thwart Vaprak's murderous designs on the halflings of the region. Finally Vaprak collapsed of exhaustion, while Kaldair danced about him and taunted the ogre god for his weakness. In his rage, the Destroyer hurled trees ripped from the ground at the elusive halfling, but to no avail. Kaldair then proposed a feat of strength - uprooting a tree without breaking the roots - with the loser withdrawing to the mountains and the victor claiming the forest, and Vaprak readily agreed. The Destroyer went first, ripping the great hardwoods from the forest floor, but he failed to remove a single tree without tearing apart its root structure. Kaldair, on the other hand, succeeded on his first attempt after carefully dislodging a tiny sapling with a single taproot. Vaprak roared in fury at the trick, but the ogre god had no choice but to concede defeat and adhere to the terms of the contest, for to do otherwise would simply add to his humiliation. The ogres then withdrew to the mountains and the halflings settled the forest glades. To this day, when a great tree falls to the ground outside the town of Beluir, a region known as Vaprak's Glade, a follower of Brandobaris sits on the trunk and relates the tale of Luiren's founding to the next generation of Small Folk, seeking to inspire them to pursue a life of adventure.

Affiliated Orders: The Midknights of Misadventure are an informal fellowship composed primarily of halfling clerics and fighter/thieves. While hardly a formal military order, small bands of Midknights perform jailbreaks and other rescue operations in situations where an imprisoned follower of Brandobaris faces death or torture and escaping without assistance is very unlikely. The composition and membership of a particular band varies widely, but half a dozen or so Midknights of widely varying skills and abilities are typically available at any given time in cities or regions with sizable halfling populations.

Priestly Vestments: Given the informal nature of the church of Brandobaris, regular adventuring gear serves as the ceremonial garb of priests of the Master of Stealth. For most priests, this includes leather armor, a cloak in a subdued hue, and when feeling particularly jaunty, a feathered cap of some sort. The holy symbol of the faith is a small purloined object of great value that the priest has personally blessed, typically a gold or platinum coin or jewel of some sort.

Adventuring Garb: Brandobaris's priests favor leather armor, or, in very rare cases when they can acquire it, silenced elven chain mail. They employ the weapons and tools of the trade, favoring clubs, daggers, knives, slings, and short swords for situations where combat cannot be avoided.

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6 Sheela Peryroyl on Wed Oct 27, 2010 12:51 am

Sheela Peryroyl
Green Sister, the Wise, the Watchful Mother

Intermediate Power of the Outlands N
PORTFOLIO: Nature, agriculture, weather, song, dance, beauty, romantic love
DOMAINS : Air, Charm, Halfling, Plant
HOME PLANE: Outlands/Flowering Hill
SUPERIOR: Yondalla
ALLIES: Aerdrie Faenya, Angharradh, Baervan Wildwanderer, Chauntea, Hanali Celanil, Isis, Mielikki, Rillifane Rallithil, Segojan Earthcaller, Sharindlar, Shiallia, Silvanus, various Animal Lords, the halfling pantheon
FOES: Talos and the gods of fury (Auril, Umberlee, and Malar),Talona, Moander (dead), Urdlen
SYMBOL: Daisy
WOR. ALIGN.: LG, NG, CG, LN, N, CN

Sheela Peryroyl (SHEE-lah PAlR-ree-roil) is the halfling goddess of agriculture, nature, and weather. She balances the concern for wild untamed lands and habitats with strong roles as a goddess of cultivation, seasons, and especially harvests. She is also concerned with the pleasures of life - feasts, revelry, romance, and the general desire to live with passion. Her followers often wear a small flower in her honor and strive to work in harmony with nature and the earth.

The image of Sheela is often mixed, almost interchangeably, with Yondalla herself. Some hold that Sheela and Yondalla are different aspects of the same goddess, but in truth, they are simply closely allied. Sheela is on good terms with the rest of the halfling pantheon, particularly Urogalan in his aspect as Lord in the Earth, as well as other nonhalfling powers concerned with nature, agriculture, weather, and the balance between them. Sheela's concern with finding a middle ground between civilization and pristine nature sometimes results in her being called on to mediate between other powers such as Silvanus and Waukeen or even the Oak Father and Chauntea. Sheela strongly opposes those powers she sees as corruptive distortions of the natural way, such as the Gods of Fury and Moander.

Sheela is generally quiet, although she's rarely seen without a smile on her face and a dance in her eyes. At other times, Sheela is laughing and just generally delighted by life. Though she appears naive, even simple, she can wield great powers of nature magic. Sheela is sometimes credited with creating many species of flowers and has a strong aesthetic sense. When she sings she causes flowers to bloom, trees to bud, and seeds to sprout, and living plants to grow and flower in her wake as she walks along the earth. Sheela brings good weather to her favored worshipers but can easily send drought or floods to those who worship her poorly. Sheela dispatches an avatar to counter any main threat to halfling land (not just halfling people or homes). She is greatly angered by wanton despoiling of nature, and her avatar pursues offenders in order to punish them.

The Church

The church of Sheela is widely revered among halflings, nearly as much as that of Yondalla herself. While not all halflings are farmers, most share the Green Sister's reverence for growing things and appreciate the balance she works to maintain between untamed and settled lands. Dwarves, gold elves, moon elves, and gnomes generally work well with the church of the Green Sister, while many wild elves feel that Sheela's priests care more about new farms than preserving those wild spaces that remain. Humans tend to view the church of Sheela as a mix between that of Chauntea and Silvanus.

Temples of Sheela are typically woven into the surrounding landscape. Constructed of earth, stone, and plants, such houses of worship seem to be a part of the land itself. The Green Sister's temples contain both welltended gardens and untamed thickets, and they are usually found in the heart of agricultural valleys surrounded by wilderness. Interior rooms are overflowing with life, both animal and plant, and most are constructed so that streams meander through the central courtyards and so that summer breezes and sunlight bathe every chamber. Novices of the Green Sister are known as Seedlings. Full priests of Sheela are known as Green Daughters and Green Sons and are collectively known as Green Children. In ascending order of rank, the titles used by Sheelite priests are Daisy Maid (or Lad), Seed Sower, Nature Nurturer, Plant Grower, Crop Harvester, Seed Pollinator, Sun Shower, and Watchful Sister (or Brother). High-ranking priests have unique individual titles. Specialty priests are druids and greenfosters. Greenfosters concentrate on operating in and around halfling villages and farms, while druids go wherever they are needed. The clergy of Sheela includes hairfeet (65%), stouts (10%), and tallfellows (25%). Females (78%) greatly outnumber males (22%). Sheela's clergy includes druids (51%), mystics (23%), specialty priests (21%), and clerics (5%).

Dogma: Living in harmony with nature requires a careful balance between the wild and the tame, the feral and the tended. The need to preserve wild growth is just as important as the need to till the fields and provide ready food. Seek to understand the natural processes that envelop and work within them. While nature can be adapted, it should be evolved, never forced; work within the framework of what already exists. Celebrating life requires one to live with passion and romance. Revel, feast, and thrive - this is the zest of life.

Day-to-Day Activities: Sheela's priests are concerned with nature and agriculture, and they work closely with halfling farmers and settlers to preserve the balance between cultivation of fertile lands and the need to leave some areas wild and in a pristine state. Many Green Children tend gardens of their own, seeking to develop new strains of crops and flowers. Others I protect wilderness regions from careless exploitation of their resources. Members of Sheela's clergy oversee the integrity of halfling lands, leading their inhabitants through the annual calendar of seed-sowing and harvest festivals. They also try to keep the wild creatures from running rampant through settled halfling areas by guiding them to travel, live, or grow around the communities, not in or through them.

Holy Days/Important Ceremonies : Sheela is venerated at twilight under the full moon in monthly celebrations known as Gatherings. Halflings from the surrounding community gather to celebrate the bounteous produce of the earth, whether it be brought from the fields directly or brought from root cellars dug within the earth. Gatherings are as much community-wide feasts as religious ceremonies, and all are expected to contribute, even if it be only a stone for the soup. (Halflings have a tale similar to that of most human cultures in which a wayfarer comes to a town suffering after a terrible harvest. After learning there is nothing to eat, the hungry stranger begins to cook stone soup. As the visitor boils his water containing naught but a rock under the watchful eyes of the incredulous villagers, he comments how much better it would be if he only had a carrot. After one villager reluctantly offers up a hoarded carrot, the stranger muses how much better it would be with some cabbage and a single head is found as well. The tale continues until every family in the entire village has contributed something to the soup, at which point the stranger pronounces it done and shares it with all the contributors.)

The major festivals of the church of Sheela are usually celebrated around Greengrass and Higharvestide, although the starting date varies from year to year. The first festival - called the Seeding, New Spring, and other titles, depending on the region - comes at the traditional time of planting the first crops of the year. At dawn, Sheelite priests dispense seeds from the temple stores while giving homage to the goddess, and the entire community aids in the sowing of the fields. The second festival - called High Harvest, the Reaping, and other titles, depending on the region - comes at harvest time. At this time, offerings of seeds are made to the temple to be stored for the coming year, as are the fruits of the season's labors. Community-wide revelry is common at these celebrations starting in the evening when the work has been finished and continuing late into the night. The length of these festivals varies from area to area, averaging about 10 days.

Major Centers of Worship: Sunset Vale encompasses the verdant, prosperous farmland between the arcing arms of the River Reaching and the upper Chionthar River and the natural wall formed by the Sunset Mountains and the Far Hills. The Dusk Road runs through the heart of the Vale, east of the Reaching Woods, carrying the traffic of this vital region back and forth. Many halflings dwell in the Vale, particularly in the vicinity of Corm Orp, despite the loom shadow and ever-present threat of Zhentarim-occupied Darkhold. The handful of buildings that make up the small road-hamlet seem unremarkable, but under the hills east of Corm Orp are hundreds of halfling burrows and their number grows by leaps and bounds every year. In fact, Corm Orp is the fastest-growing halfling community north of the land of Luiren. Every Shieldmeet, more halflings gather in Corm Orp to do business with their fellows, trade native goods, and exchange tales, doubling or trebling the already sizable nonhuman population. Liking what they see, many decide to move there. The halflings of Corm Orp are rightfully proud of the food they produce, especially their mushrooms and free-range hogs. Another product of pride is massproduced red clay pottery - simple, sturdy items widely used throughout Faerun.

The agricultural, spiritual, and social heart of the Corm Orp region is the Ladyhouse, a deceptively large temple of Sheela the Watchful Mother nestled in a hollow among the green, pigroamed hills east of the village and emblazoned with the symbol of the daisy. The Ladyhouse is filled with flowers and climbing vines inside and surrounded by gardens outside, including wild gardens that are preserved plots of tangled weeds, shrubs, and scrub trees. The gardens, as well as the roadside wood lot in Corm Orp, are sacred to the goddess and are not to be despoiled. Halfling worshipers bring their best flowers and plants to the temple for use in breeding and in rituals, and the clergy spend their days working with the halfling farmers, keeping watch over the hills for Zhentarim raids, thieves, wolves, and other wandering beasts who might harm the crops or pig herds, and chanting the praises of the Green Sister.

The clergy are led by the widely respected matriarch Honored Mother Alliya Macanester, the Old Lady of Corm Orp. Revered by halflings, she knows the local weather and way of nature better than almost any other living thing and can tell exactly where, when, and how to plant or nurture for best results. Her touch is said to give life to withered plants, and she is rumored to be able to tell by looking at it if a seed will germinate. Her wisdom and foresight have prevented weather spoiling the crops on two important occasions: the Great Frost early in the Year of the Bloodbird (1346 DR) and the drought of the Year of Lurking Death (1322 DR), which brought down desperate attacks on Corm Orp, as on so many other places on Faerun, from starving monsters. Alliya is a wise, diligent leader of the farmers of Corm Orp as well as the local halflings and her temple. The Honored Mother is the true ruler of Corm Orp, and the village's human lord, Dundast Hultel, obeys her in all things. Alliya is a fierce foe of the Zhentarim and even deals with poisons, adventurers, and other violent things not in keeping with nature in order to eradicate the threat from Darkhold, which she calls the Devouring Shadow.

Of late, many of the younger halflings of the Sunset Vale have begun to speak of founding a halfling realm, Sheeland, with the Honored Mother as its first queen. To date, Alliya has always responded to such ideas with a chuckle and an observation about the fate of the succession of petty rulers and robber barons who sought to rule the region in the past, but, as Darkhold's shadow looms ever-farther over the Vale, events may necessitate such a measure.

Affiliated Orders: The church of Sheela does not have any affiliated knightly orders. It has firm connections to several orders of halfling warriors who serve Arvoreen by defending the fields and silos from those who would despoil or loot the fruits of halfling labors. Likewise, Sheela's church works closely with individual rangers, many of whom venerate Mielikki and whether they be human, half-elven, or elven, to preserve the wilderness as well.

Priestly Vestments: Sheelite priests favor simple green robes festooned with garlands of vibrant hue and embroidered with flowers. In their hair they wear only flowers, and their feet are left bare so as to feel the earth from which Sheela's bounty flows. The holy symbol of the faith is mistletoe or a sprig of holly with berries in a pinch.

Adventuring Garb: Members of Sheela's clergy avoid situations requiring combat, if possible. Few carry more than a blade of grass, trusting the favor of the goddess to allow them to create a reed staff and enhance it with a shillelagh spell. When conflict is inevitable, Sheelite priests favor armor made from natural components - leather armor and wooden shields - and weapons associated with nature or the harvest -clubs, quarterstaves, sickles, and slings.

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7 Urogalan on Wed Oct 27, 2010 12:51 am

Urogalan
He Who Must Be, the Black Hound, Lord in the Earth,the Protector, the Shaper

Demipower of Elysium LN
PORTFOLIO: Earth, death, protection of the dead
DOMAINS: Earth, Halfling, Law, Protection, Repose
HOME PLANE: Eronia/Soulearth
SUPERIOR: Yondalla
ALLIES: Callarduran Smoothhands, Dumathoin, Flandal Steelskin, Geb, Grumbar, Jergal, Kelemvor, Segojan Earthcaller, Sehanine Moonbow, the halfling pantheon, Osiris
FOES: Abbathor, Cyric, Myrkul (dead), Urdlen, Velsharoon
SYMBOL: Black dog's head silhouette
WOR. ALIGN.: Any

Urogalan (URR-roh-GAH-lan) is the protector of the dead and god of the underground. His deathly aspect is as a protector of the souls of the dead and as an adviser-judge with Yondalla. His earthy aspect is one of reverence for the very earth itself and protection from threats beneath the surface, rather than concern with natural growth. Few halflings worship him, but he is respected and revered by most as a protector. Although the Small Folk generally do not fear death, most halflings shiver at the sight of the Black Hound's symbol. Urogalan is on good terms with the rest of the halfling pantheon, particularly Yondalla, Arvoreen, and Sheela, but he holds himself somewhat removed from their joyous embrace of life. The Black Hound is closely allied with those powers of human and demihuman pantheons concerned with earth, death, and the protection of the dead, but he abhors those whose portfolios include necromancy and the undead.
Urogalan rarely speaks or displays much emotion, and when he does, the Black Hound's quiet-spoken voice is tinged with loss. The Lord in the Earth prefers observation to intervention and has the disconcerting habit of appearing in the shadows and simply watching and waiting until he is noticed. Urogalan dispatches his avatar to gather in the souls of great, wise, or exceptional halflings, and he may also dispatch his avatar underground to watch over perils that may come from within it.

The Church

Urogalan is propitiated by many halflings, but his priesthood is very small. While his followers are respected for their services and rituals and while death is not generally feared by halflings, few of the Small Folk want to associate with symbols of the Black Hound, as they are generally considered unlucky. Other races, even humans among whom halflings often dwell, are generally unaware of Urogalan's faith, its reverence for the earth, or the god's role as protector of the dead, for halflings rarely discuss their beliefs regarding death. Dwarven priests of Dumathoin note a great deal of similarity between the practices of the two faiths, and they are likely to welcome a male member of Urogalan's clergy as one of their own.

Temples of Urogalan are typically located in shallow basins open to the sky, natural caves, and halfling-dug catacombs. Nearly any site that naturally emphasizes the surrounding geography is acceptable. The floor is always covered in at least six inches of soft dirt, and the central altar is usually a large limestone rock with a shallow depression, etched by rain or a small stream, at the center of the flat-topped surface. Only rarely do Urogalan's priests dwell within the temples of the Lord in the Earth. More often a temple of Urogalan is little more than a shrine, tended by a single priest who resides in a nearby community of the Small Folk.
Novices of Urogalan are known as Earthlings. Full priests of He Who Must Be are known as Vassals of the Black Hound. In ascending order of rank, the titles used by Urogalanan priests are Earth Embracer, Soil Digger, Clay Potter, Diarun Smith, Grave Guardian, Crypt Sentinel, Vault Marshal, Barrow Warden, and Black Hound. High-ranking priests have unique individual titles. Specialty priests are known as grimwardens. The clergy of Urogalan includes hairfeet (25%), stouts (65%), and tallfellows (10%). Urogalan's clergy is nearly evenly divided between specialty priests (54%) and clerics (46%) and between men (55%) and women (45%).

Dogma: Earth is the giver and the receiver of life, providing shelter, food, and wealth to those whose toes embrace it. The sacred soil is to be revered as the mantle of Those Who Have Been and the shelter of Those Who Will Be. The thanatopsis of He Who Must Be reveals that death is to be embraced as the natural end of life and in doing so gives honor to life.

Day-to-Day Activities: Urogalan's priests are responsible for presiding over the internment of the dead and for the caretaking of graves. They administer last rites, preside over burial rituals, and memorialize the fallen. They maintain much of the history of the Small Folk, keeping records of genealogies and deeds of those who have "gone to the fields of green." In halfling cultures where ancestor worship is practiced, the Black Hound's priesthood safeguards the sacred tokens of the deceased used in rituals to contact them. Urogalan's priests also have a role in consecrating the foundations or first diggings of buildings and new burrow complexes.

Holy Days/Important Ceremonie: Nights of the full moon are considered holy days by the Urogalanan priesthood and are collectively known as Earthrisings. Halfling theology holds that the full moon is a manifestation of Urogalan, symbolizing both the ascendance of earth and the inevitable coming of death after life. Priests and followers of Urogalan, as well as halflings whose loved ones have passed away within the past month, gather in natural earthen basins at night to propitiate He Who Must Be. Offerings to the Lord in the Earth at such ceremonies are made on a large, low, flat rock placed at the center of the bowl and typically include precious gifts of the earth such as uncut gems, diarun, and clay statuettes depicting the god. During such rituals, participants sing soft dirges and chant elegies to the percussive pounding of bare feet while making slow rotations around the central stone.

Among the various burial practices used by priests of Urogalan, there are only three set precepts that must be met. The body must be encased in earth or stone - either a wooden casket that will quickly rot away or a stone sarcophagus - and a stone tablet engraved with the name of the deceased. Urogalan's symbol must be placed upon the corpse's chest. The priest presiding over a burial must carve from stone or shape from clay twin figurines depicting a pair of black hounds, bless them, and place them on the palms of the deceased. Finally, members of the community who were friends of the departed soul must come forth and return a gift the deceased gave to them. Such gifts are typically tales of the generosity, kindness, cleverness, wit, or escapades of the deceased and are sometimes accompanied by a small token of remembrance suggestive of the tale. Typical tokens include a clay pipe, an apple, a jug of wine, or a simple woodcarving.

As an example of a fairly wide-spread burial practice, halfling gravestones often include clay statuettes of Urogalan placed in a small niche at the base of the grave marker. Regional practices exist as well. Many halflings of the Sword Coast are descended from emigrants from what is now the Calim Desert who fled enslavement at the hands of the genies and the human rulers who followed them. The early hin - an archaic name for halflings derived from Alzhedo - often lacked the simple pleasures and quiet security halflings treasure, and it was feared that a life lived in tragedy would leave the deceased unprepared for the afterlife in the Green Fields of Mount Celestia. Thus began the practice, which continues until this day among the halflings of the Purple Hills, eastern Amn, Sunset Vale, and the lower Delimbiyr river valley, of covering the face of the deceased with a terra cotta mask depicting the face of the deceased with contented expression. Such burial masks were believed to aid the spirit in its initial adjustment to the afterlife and to symbolize the true peace escaped slaves found only in death. Of course, the reasoning behind this practice has been forgotten by most of its practitioners, and if pressed by nonhalflings questioning the custom, most halflings explain it away with the quizzical rejoinder, "Undead don't smile!"

Although burial practices vary somewhat from community to community, few changes occur upon the passing of a halfling deserving of special status, for the Small Folk feel ostentatious tombs for particularly individuals are inappropriate in their relatively egalitarian society. Acceptable enhancements to the common burial practice include interring favorite possessions along with the deceased, chiseling elaborate carvings representing the life and deeds of the deceased on the exterior of a sarcophagus, and employing rare stone, gems, and metals in the construction of the sarcophagus and gifts interred within. As a matter of necessity, elaborate safeguards to deter tomb robbers must sometimes be included as well. For example, the last Margrave of Meiritin, Samovar Amethystall, who died in battle with the armies of the Duchy of Cortryn in the Year of the Phoenix (519 DR), was entombed in a small vault in the western Tejarn Hills of what is now southern Amn. The halfling prince was interred in a red marble sarcophagus elaborately sculpted with friezes depicting his heroics as well as his beneficence. Engraved in the lid of the stone coffin was a stylized map of the lands he ruled, before the rise of Cortryn, with important sites marked. Within the marble casket, along with the margrave's body, was placed a terra cotta mask with bronze filigree and green eyes of carved tomb jade, a pair of onyx dogs (figurines of wondrous power), an ornate silver snuffbox, a diarun weedpipe, and the Crystal Crown of Ilhundyl. The location and current state of the tomb are unknown, although the margrave's distant descendant, Count Krimmon Amethystall of Tethyr, has discretely funded several expeditions to find it.

Major Centers of Worship: Since the fall of Athalantar, the Realm of the Stag, a thousand years or so ago, halflings have lived along the banks of the River Delimbiyr near its confluence with the Unicorn Run and the Hark River (also known as the Hawk River or Highmoorflow). While the flood plains north of the River Shining, as the River Delimbiyr is also known, are rich farmland, the southern shore of the river, south of the confluence with the Hark River, is demarcated by the steep (80-foot high) limestone and pink granite Red Cliffs. To ensure the continued sanctity of the honored dead, both from the orc-hordes that periodically sweep down Delimbiyr Vale and from enterprising farmers seeking to expand their acreage, the earliest Small Folk resident in the region dug shallow burial niches in which to inter their kin in the escarpment midway between the two forks. The lack of funerary riches accompanying halfling burial rituals at the time minimized the risk of later plundering by tomb robbers, and careful attention to the placement of graves lessened the possibility of erosion washing away the bodies of those interred within the cliff face.

The founding of Phalorm, Realm of Three Crowns, at the Council of Axe and Arrow at the Laughing Hollow led to the formal establishment of a halfling nobility in the Lower Delimbiyr Vale and slowly changed the character of the burial niches dug in the High Moor escarpment. The first (and only) halfling duke of Imristar, Corcytar Huntinghorn, survived the collapse of the Realm of Three Crowns, known thereafter as the Fallen Kingdom, and led his people in battle for many years thereafter. After his death at the grand old age of 197, Duke Corcytar was interred, along with his armor and weapons, in Urogalan's Bluff with great honor and ceremony in a pink granite casket inlaid with jade carvings placed within a true tomb. This began a practice of carving formal tombs in the Red Cliffs and including rich grave goods along with the body of the deceased among the halfling noble and mercantile elite of the region. When the duke's second wife passed away three decades later, however, his former subjects were horrified to discover, upon reopening Huntinghorn's tomb, that all of the precious grave goods within had been plundered by tomb robbers, as had several other nearby vaults. This unsettling discovery led to the founding of the Cliffbarrow Cloister of Imristar, an Urogalanan abbey carved into the Red Cliffs whose resident cadre of priests tended the burial niches and tombs Urogalan's Bluff.

Although the other races of the region mistakenly assume Urogalan's Bluff is simply the site of an unusual halfling hamlet, the priests of Cliffbarrows, as the cloister is now commonly known among Secomberite halflings, continue in their role as caretakers and protectors of the cliffside burial ground. The abbey has been slowly expanded in the centuries since its founding and its limestone and granite halls now extend deep beneath the High Moor. The Cenotaph of Corcytar serves as the Urogalanan altar and the surrounding Vault of the Fallen Hin as the abbey's chapel. Other chambers within the maze of tunnels serve as crypts, cubiculums, mortuaries, and living quarters for Urogalan's priests. The high priest of Cliffbarrows is High Moor Hound Cornelius Monadnock, a stout halfling hailing from the Llorkh region originally. During his adventuring days the Moor Hound, as Monadnock was then known, recovered the long-lost Imrisword and Coronet of the Shining Hart of the halfling duke of Phalorm in the deepest reaches of the Dungeon of the Hark (known as the Dungeon of the Hawk in earlier times), and those funerary relics are now stored within the temple vaults. The Solium of Huntinghorn, however, has yet to be found despite Monadnock's chartering of several adventuring bands to recover it.

Affiliated Orders: Urogalan's priesthood is segregated into two religious orders with overlapping responsibilities and memberships. (In small communities with but a single Urogalanan priest, the resident Vassal of the Black Hound serves both roles.) The Wardens of the Dead are primarily responsible for the protection of halfling gravesites and ensuring the peaceful transition of halfling spirits to the afterlife. The role of the Children of the Earth is to honor the ground from which halflings extract their livelihood and to defend against dangers from below that might emerge in the midst of halfling communities on the surface.

Priestly Vestments: Urogalan's priests wear simple, anklelength robes of tied with a belt of rope. Depending on whether they are performing rituals in honor of death or earth, they robes are white or brown, respectively. They are always barefooted and, if at all possible, keep two feet firmly planted on the ground at all times. Priests typically shave their pates, while priestesses bind their hair in twin braids hanging down their backs. The holy symbol of the faith is a small (2 inches high) statuette of a hound carved from diarun, meerschaum, or tomb jade.Adventuring Garb: Although they can wear any type of armor, members of Urogalan's clergy strongly prefer suits of mail and shields forged from the bounty of the earth (in other words, made of metal). Likewise, they favor stone and metal weapons such as flails, slings, daggers, and short swords.

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