Pelar

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Pelar Small.jpg

Home Plane: Elysium

Symbol: The Bow and Arrow

Colors: Green, Brown, Grey

Alignment: Neutral Good

Worshippers' Alignment:

  • New Pelarite - Any Good
  • Fundamentalist Pelarite - Neutral Good/True Neutral/Neutral Evil

Area of Control: Hunters and Rangers

Clerical Domains: Travel, Animals


Pelar, the son of O'Ma and a mortal woman, was conceived during the Age of Peace. His area of domain is a subset of O'Ma's. He is the god of the hunt, and those who live off of the forest.

Much of the Pelar worship currently centers around hunting to "cull the herds" and manage animal populations... essentially a conservationist viewpoint that has as much to do with maintaining good hunting populations and a good ecological balance as it does with actually hunting anything. Attached to this are ancillary beliefs such as not wasting your kill and not killing things you don't need or won't use. Hunting other sentient races is not approved of at all. This set of beliefs I will refer to as New Pelarism, enumerated here:

New Pelarite Church

Tenets

  • Conserve natural resources. An ecological balance is needed to preserve the targets of the hunt and provide for the hunter.
  • Respect the land and its inhabitants. Seek to live in harmony with nature, not to take advantage of it.
  • Do not disrespect your kill by wasting its bounty.
  • Cull the sick and weak, so that the herds can prosper.
  • Use what you kill, do not kill what you do not need.
  • Be a skillful hunter.
  • Killing nanshi, humans, dwarves, gnomes, fey, or halflings is murder, not hunting.
  • Alignment: Any Good for followers, Neutral Good for clerics and druids.

Common Traits

Along with these beliefs comes several "traits" that are common to New Pelarites, those being the more "ranger-ish" and "Druidic" ones we're familiar with such as tracking, being friendly with animals, etc. New Pelarites are more community-minded, seeking to benefit both nature and those who live with it through their woodlore, their skill in the hunt, and their ability to select quarry whose loss will strengthen nature, not weaken it.

When hunting the deer, do not seek to glorify yourself by striking down the young, virile buck. Instead, take the older one and leave the stronger leader. In this way, the herd will prosper, Pelar will be glorified, and the hunt can continue another day.

History

After the rise in prominence of Skern during the 2nd Fairy War, Pelar's clergy began to see the faith wane. Coupled with the destruction of much natural habitat (and hunting grounds) over the course of the M'Chek / T'Nanshi war, the newer members began to preach a softer line, and to emphasize a more peaceful path to their deity. This resonated with many who were tired of so much death and sought to find a faith that melded the woodlore and hunting skill they still practiced and the newly fortified belief that the lessons of Pelar could be learned without such callous disregard for life. This "New Pelarite" teaching spread quickly throughout Southern T'Nanshi and Northern M'Chek, and is common in other places where war blunts the desire for killing.

Coexisting with the New Pelarites, there have always been believers in Fundamentalist Pelarism. The fundamentalists believe in rigorous personal perfection in the effort to achieve a perfect Hunt. They pay little heed to conservationist beliefs, to selecting a kill based on its usefulness, or to the moral implications of their target selection. Fundamentalist Pelarites believe in the Hunt as a microcosm of life, and seek to bring the skills of the Hunt to bear in their own mental and spiritual pursuits. They approach the search for wisdom in the same way as the search for game, and believe some of the most glorious Hunts possible are those targeting ignorance, arrogance, and foolish behavior. Fundamentalists select their quarry carefully, with an eye to the glory of their God first and foremost, always trying to operate at the bleeding edge of their abilities. In recent history, this branch has broken away from the New Pelarite church, believing their focus on conservation has caused them to lose the path to true worship of Pelar.

Fundamentalist Pelarite Church

Tenets

  • The perfect Hunt is the ultimate form of worship. To track perfectly, to pass with no trace, to make a clean and artful kill, this is the goal of all believers.
  • An easy target is a waste of time and an insult to Pelar.
  • There is no Hunt without the Kill.
  • Only one who hunts his own imperfections can hope to faithfully worship Pelar.
  • Choose your targets well, with an eye to Pelar's glory, not carelessly with an eye to your own.
  • A day with no Hunt is a wasted day.
  • Share your woodlore at every opportunity.
  • Alignment: NG/TN/NE for followers, TN for clerics or druids.

Common Traits

Fundamentalists tend to travel as individuals or in small hunting parties. They have a strong sense of personal honor, but enjoy laying mental (and physical) traps for each other, and for the unwary, to fall into. They see these as teachable moments, and will sometimes lead travelers into danger through guile and obvious (to a ranger) false trails, in an effort to hunt their ignorance and carelessness by demonstrating the result of it. These efforts are followed up by instruction on how to avoid the same pitfalls in the future. The emphasis is on teaching through exploiting flaws in the student... whether they're willing or not. Fundamentalists are very wary of debt and seek to discharge it as quickly as possible... they see each other so rarely that one might owe another for years, if it isn't handled soon. As a result, it's considered rude to ask a favor unless the one you’re asking has one ready to ask in return, or to do a favor without immediately asking for one.

Fundamentalists believe in the Hunt, the total package... choosing a target, tracking, woodlore, stealth, stalking, martial skill, and the clean kill. This leads them to hunt judiciously, with a constant eye to whether their hunt pleases Pelar... not wantonly massacre lots of things just for the sake of it. Once the kill is made, though, they feel no need to make careful use of it, or any use at all. To the Fundamentalist Pelarite, the Hunt is a ceremony, not a means to an end... and one that can last days, weeks, or even years before the kill is finally made.

A kill with no hunt is just slaughter. A hunt with no kill is just tracking. To truly worship Pelar, one must combine all his skills, with precision, grace, and care for every step along the path. From the first sign on the trail to the moment the arrow strikes the target, the true Pelarite maintains his focus and so glorifies his God.

History

The Fundamentalist Church is where Pelar's religion began. Referred to as "the old ways" by New Pelarites, its foundations are more closely rooted to historical Pelarism. Fundamentalist Pelarism fell strongly out of favor during the two centuries of the M'Chek / T'Nanshi War, and conversions to Skern and Verossa took a heavy toll on the ranks. Recently, the Fundamentalist philosophy has experienced a strong resurgence as rumors of the return an ancient mythic hero known as the Breath of Pelar have fueled the desire of many marginalized Pelarites to revive to the old ways.