Monday, 12 December 2011

Deities of Solpertaine part One

Abarta loves upsetting anyone who seems too attached to an ordered life and a predictable routine. He urges his followers to bend every effort toward mastering the art of music. He also teaches that life is meant to be happy and entertaining, and the best jokes need a target to hang them on. The tables can turn on any trickster, and Abarta's followers should accept the laugh and appreciate the trick when it happens to them. Wine, Abarta says, is one of the joys of life, and the only thing better than making wine is drinking it. Avoid misery, temperance, and solemnity, for they are the greatest poisons to the soul.

Aeris expects her followers to uphold the highest ideals of wisdom, reason and purity. She expects her followers to fight in defence of home and state against outside enemies, and to be skilled in the arts of peace as well as war. Aeris was the first to teach mortals many of the civilised arts, she also created the olive tree as a gift to mortals. Aeris is warlike, but only in defence of things she believes are worth protecting, such as cities, towns and planted fields. She opposes the destructive rampages of her half-brother, Erythnul, whenever and however she can. Aeris is the sister of Isis and mother of Uller.

To Cennabine, victory is the only thing that matters. As such, she is a somewhat shallow being who thinks only of conflict and ultimate triumph. If a problem or situation can't be described in terms of conflict, with definite conditions for declaring victory, Cennabine considers it beneath her notice. However, as a lawful deity, she does not approve of deceit or subterfuge. Victory comes to the deserving: the brave, the noble and the forthright. A victory ignobly won is no victory at all. Cennabine appears as a tall winged woman, though she can take other forms.

Demeter guides the cycle of a family through the days, seasons, and years of life. Her obsession with dates and cycles makes her a patron of expectant mothers. She is shown as a grey-haired woman of faded beauty holding a basket of grain and a long scroll, with the objects being her holy symbol. She resents chaotic gods and any who would disrupt her work. A well-run farm and strong family both rely on the adherence to routines, an understanding of relationships, and the consequences of actions. Animals will not thrive unless they are cared for, fields cannot be planted unless they are prepared, and grain won't last through the winter unless rationing is kept. Spouses must respect each other, children must obey their parents, and parents should love and teach their children. Ignoring these commands leads to ruin. Clerics of Demeter coordinate groups of farmers so that everyone's crops are planted and harvested at the optimal time, mediate between warring family members, care for pregnant women, and officiate coming-of-age and marriage ceremonies. They enforce laws and punish lawbreakers where other officials are unavailable. Most city folk see them as emissaries of law because of their single-minded dedication in following their quarry to places far from home.

Erythnul is a brutal deity who delights in panic and slaughter. In civilised lands his followers (including evil fighters, barbarians and rogues) form small criminal cults. In savage lands evil barbarians, gnolls, bugbears, ogres and trolls commonly worship him. Erythnul admonishes his followers to shed blood for it's own sake, to covet what is not theirs, and to destroy anyone who would deny them anything. He further urges them to bring ugliness and strife to pleasant locales. To take something away from someone else – especially from a rival – is an exalted act in Erythnul's eyes. Foes who cannot be killed should be maimed, and that which cannot be stolen should be destroyed.

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