"Nature can be joy, beauty, birth and life. It can also be suffering, ugliness, death and destruction. All such things are part of the greater whole, the eternal cycle, that Beory personifies in physical form upon the Oerth."-His Noble Mercy, Lewenn, Count Palatine of Ulek.
Domains: The Oerth, nature, rain, the
Home Plane: The Prime Material Plane. Many legends state that Beory is in
fact the very Oerth itself.
Alignment: Truly neutral, leaning
towards neutrally good.
Alignment of Clergy: Any ethically and/or
morally neutral alignment.
Alignment of Worshippers: Most of Beory’s
followers are human, although she has minor followings among the other
demihuman races and the fairy-folk.
History and Relationships: Beory is
essence and existence, life and death, nature and thought, oerth, fire, wind
and water. Her followers, most notably among the Flan, revere her as the great
creator goddess, a manifestation of the very Oerth itself. She is said to have
always existed, formed out of a denial of nothingness and the void. It was by
her hand that the Oerth was wrought in physical form, and that nature was given
life, assisted by the sun god Pelor and the lords of the Elemental Planes of
Oerth, Fire, Air and Water.
Beory formed life and existence, she could not exist without her opposite. Thus
was also wrought the Dark Lord, Dread Tharizdun, whose own existence and life
stirred rage and hatred within him. With his nightmarish minions, he sought to snuff
out the work that Beory and Pelor had wrought, so that he might end his own
hateful, miserable existence. Such was the Age of Night, when all of existence
seemed condemned to return to nothing, and Dread Tharizdun might realize his
But Beory and Pelor
were not without allies, as they summoned other gods to their aid. These gods
came from other places and other existences, encompassing good and evil alike.
They fought for Beory, for existence and for life in a great conflict known in
later times as the Imprisoning War. The evil gods fought alongside the good,
for their evil was one that indulged in malice and sadism, rather than nihilism
and self-destruction. So it was that Beory and her followers were successful,
as the Dark Lord was imprisoned in a place that none can know. His hellish
minions were further imprisoned in the lands that would later come to be known
as the Flanaess, trapped beneath the Black Ice, held in place by the Oerthmagic
even as they scream for release.
After so much suffering
and destruction, Beory yearned for life and renewal. She also wished to reward
the gods for their courage in battle against the Dark Lord, the evil ones
alongside the good. So it was that she offered them a great gift, the ability
to create mortal creatures in their images, mortal beings who manifested many
of the gods’ own skills and virtues, and whose successes would honor their
creators. Gods ranging from Moradin,
Yondalla, Corellon Larethian and Garl Glittergold, to Gruumsh, Maglubiyet,
Hruggek and Kurtulmak, among a great many others, accepted this gift.
So it was that the races
the gods created came to call the Oerth, the physical manifestation of Beory’s
will, their home. Beory was pleased, for she cared nothing for the alignments
of the gods or their creations, or the fact that they soon fell into conflict
with one another. She came to realize that good and evil, and the conflict
between them, were necessary for the change and renewal she came to personify
in nature. She had collaborated with the lords of the elemental planes to
create the Oerth in physical form, and she saw how oerth, fire, air and water,
and the conflict between them, were each essential to the functioning of the
Many versions of the
legend end here, saying that Beory contented herself hereafter with ensuring
the balance between the elements and the alignments, and the planes they
represented. However, some of the Flan elders say that Beory was herself
inspired by the diverse natures of the different races the other gods had
created, seeing how each was necessary to the whole. Beory wondered if she
might create a race of her own. This race would be that diverse and adaptive as
nature itself, one that existed alongside the other races and needed them to
survive, but that could ensure their own thriving in turn.
So it was that Beory
herself is credited by many Flan peoples as having created the human race
herself. Just as the frigid mountains, the deep forests, the heated deserts,
and the open prairies are all diverse but essential parts of nature, so too
have humans proven to be capable of many things, but masters of none. Other
races have greater inherent skills in many particular areas, but humans have
proven themselves to be capable of attaining skill in many different areas,
depending on what their individual desires lead them to. Nonetheless, they
require the presence of demihumans and humanoids to survive-an Oerth dominated
solely by humans would swiftly wither and die, just as an Oerth without humans
would collapse in on itself.
Beory’s allies include
those gods who contribute to the natural order in one way or another, including
Pelor, Ehlonna, Atroa, Bralm, Fortubo, Ulaa, Kossuth, Grumbar, Istishia, Akadi,
Geshtai, Jascar, Procan, Joramy, Merikka, Obad-Hai, Phaulkon, Telchur, Phyton,
Sotillion, Vatun, Velnius, Wenta, Rillifane Rallathil, Baravan Wildwanderer,
Sheela Peryoryl, Dumathoin, and all the creator gods who received her gift to
create life on Oerth, from Moradin to Gruumsh.
While gods such as
Incabulos and Nerull do not truly consider themselves Beory’s allies, she
nonetheless views them as such. While the domains they oversee are often
considered evil, Beory accepts them as important aspects of nature itself,
realizing their necessity. Beory also considers Boccob, the Oerthly god of
magic, as a critical ally, knowing that if Oerth’s magic were to fade, so too
would the Oerth and all its mortal inhabitants cease to exist. The Oerth cannot
hope to exist without the magical ether that permeates it, and so Beory views
her alliance with Boccob as of the highest importance.
Beory’s only true
enemies are the Dark Lord, Dread Tharizdun, and other deities that seek only
nihilism and destruction, such as the Elder Elemental God. While gods such as
Iuz, Beltar, Incabulos, Maglubiyet, Nerull and others are evil, they are
different from the likes of the Dark Lord in that they still want the
multiverse to exist. Iuz and his ilk are hateful, malicious and wicked, but
they do not seek to thoughtlessly consume and destroy everything around them the
way the Elder Elemental God does. Nor do they seek to destroy everything in
existence, including themselves, the way Dread Tharizdun does. As evil as Iuz
and company might be, they still wish to exist, and so their presence is
accepted by Beory as an important part of the multiverse.
Teachings: Beory’s followers cite teach that the world is made up of
many different aspects, each important to the functioning of the whole. Nature
can be beautiful and compassionate, or ugly and destructive. Newborn deer and
rabbits can live peacefully in quiet forests, or they can be burned or drowned
by forest fires and floods. They use metaphors such as these to show how
matters of good and evil are frequently less important than ensuring that the
natural balance itself remains intact. The actions of individual persons and
nations are of less concern than the long-term health of the continent or the
world as a whole, and ensuring the ongoing progress of nature in all its forms.
Balance is the key,
both in oneself and in nature. It is important to consider how one’s personal
growth will impact the world around them, and how other developments will
impact them, and to react accordingly. Rivers change course over time, flames
consume forests, mountains and rock formations are reshaped by the wind,
oerthquakes reform the very land that life stands on. All these things are part
of the cycle of nature, as are compassion and love, and violence and death.
Beory’s followers teach that their goddess constantly weighs all of these factors
to determine how nature grows, and mortal beings must do much the same in
ensuring the development and growth of their own lives.
The virtues of Beory’s
faith include showing respect for nature, taking from nature only what is
needed to survive, contributing to the community in a responsible and
thoughtful way, and considering the larger impact one’s actions may have on the
world around and the greater whole.
The sins of Beory’s
faith include disrespecting nature (by overfarming or overhunting, polluting
water sources, etc.), thoughtlessly acting without considering one’s impact on
the world around, and ignoring one’s responsibilities to the community in favor
of purely selfish gain.
Interaction With Outsiders: Beory’s followers are widespread across
the Flanaess, most notably in the Old Faith. They lack much influence in the
international politics of the Flanaess, and only wield signficant influence in
the national politics of states where nature worship is a strong tradition, like
the Grand Duchy of Geoff and the County of Ulek. Even there, the Old Faith and
the other branches of Beory’s faith must compete with other nature faiths for
particularly in the Old Faith, play a much more important role in the day to
day lives of many ordinary citizens, particularly in rural areas. They may work
with settlers and farmers, teaching them how they can live off the land in a
respectful way. They will also mediate disputes between communities, who can be
linked to one another by the Old Faith even more than by national identity. They
may also mediate disputes between humans and other races, working with the
clergies of whatever gods of the other race’s pantheon overlap with Beory’s. In
dealing with elves, for instance, the followers of Beory will work with the
clergy of Rillifane Rallathil. When they are dealing with gnomes, they may work
with the clergies of Segojan Oerthcaller or Baravan Wildwanderer. They may also
perform marriages, healings, blessings and all other standard priestly duties
for their followers.
The followers of Beory
often keep tightly to themselves and their own followers. They can be
suspicious of outsiders and new arrivals to a community, and the communities
they serve frequently share these feelings. In turn, many outsiders to their
communities view Beory’s followers with suspicion and fear. Some even
stereotypically associate them with wanting to destroy settlements, and slay
any settled folk that earn their wrath. This is true of some of Beory’s more
evil followers, but most members of the Old Faith and their followers merely
wish to be left in peace. Those who otherwise prove themselves may eventually
be accepted as friends, if not members of the community themselves. However, in
a world filled with dangers both obvious and subtle, they frequently have good
reason to be suspicious.
The faith of Beory is
most common in lands where nature worship is an important part of the national
culture such as the Grand Duchy of Geoff, the County and Duchy of Ulek, the
Duchy of Tenh, the Bright Lands, the Rovers of the Barrens, Verbobonc, and more
rural parts of Perrenland, Furyondy Nyrond and even Blackmoor. Aside from
places like Geoff and Tenh, most of Beory’s followers are in rural areas rather
than urban ones, and so she only has some modest temples in Gorna and Nevond
Nevnend. Far more common are the small shrines and sacred circles dedicated to
her worship in rural communities across the states where she is revered.
Variant Sects: There are considerable differences among Beory’s followers
over the exact relationship humans and other similar creatures ought to have with
nature. Some more good-aligned followers of Beory stress the more benign side
of nature, noting its capability to provide for all, and the place it also has
for all. They believe that emphasizing how humans and other similar creatures
can live in harmony with the land, is the best approach to take when relating
to the wilderness. Self-defense against threats is necessary, as prey must
defend itself from predators, but only to the extent that one does not disrupt
the ecological balance.
The more evil followers
of Beory scoff at this weakness, pointing to the fact that nature can often be
merciless and cruel to the weak. Citing that predators will kill and maim to
take what they want, and that prey can be just as violent in self-defense, the
evil followers of Beory speak to the need of aggression and cruelty against
threats to the community and the ecosystem. No mercy should be shown to those
who threaten its balance, much less seek to dominate it. Provided that the
ecosystem is properly respected, the evil followers of Beory believe in taking
what they want, when they want, from who they want.
More neutral traditions,
most significantly the Old Faith, tend to focus more on fitting the community’s
immediate needs into the long term survival of the world around them. One’s own
people and nation should be the primary focus of mutual help and support, while
also considering how they impact the world around them. Outsiders are of less
concern, and do not need to be supported by the community if they cannot fend
for themselves. The Old Faith cites how the sick and weak will die in nature,
and note how this strengthens the species as a whole over the long term.
Despite that, many animals show tender love and concern for their own families,
and such traits should be acted on by humans and other similar beings.
The Old Faith itself
has a significant rift between those members that rely on plants like oak,
holly and mistletoe, and those that continue to rely on the ‘sacred medicines’
of Flan tradition, namely sage, tobacco, sweetgrass and cedar. The former
plants are said to have been more commonly used among the Oeridian and Suel
worshippers of nature deities, and who brought their traditions with them during
the Great Migrations. More traditionalist branches of the Old Faith, notably
among the Flan, prefer to use the sacred medicines in their rituals, rather
than the plants used by the newer arrivals. The relations between branches of
the Old Faith, and among Beory’s followers, sometimes reflect the relations
between the communities they serve. As such, tensions frequently arise between
Old Faith members of Sueloise or Oeridian descent, and those of the Flan,
sometimes erupting into outright conflict.
Adventuring Clergy: Those followers of Beory who become adventurers rarely do so
to seek wealth and glory. Instead, they may travel to learn more about other
parts of the world, their place in it, to raise funds for their orders and
their communities, and to learn more about people from other walks of life,
such as their adventuring companions. Adventuring druids who follow Beory will
use the same kinds of weapons and armor that are typical to others of their
profession. Non-druidical followers of Beory typically wear leather, studded
leather, ring mail or hide armors, as heavier metal armors are frowned on. They
typically wield clubs of wood or stone, rather than metal weapons, although
some metal may be incorporated into their designs. Clerics and druids may
associate with whatever race they wish, and travel to whichever land they
choose, as all are part of the greater whole that Beory emphasizes.
Followers of Beory must
tithe fifty percent of their wealth to their druidical organization, or to the
benefit of a community that adheres to the Old Faith or otherwise reveres
Beory. Beory is said to smile on those of her followers who encourage a greater
respect for nature among their companions or in their community, who actively
encourage their community to consider the impact of their actions on the land
around them, or who protect their communities and the ecosystem from
significant, unbalancing threats.