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Gods Of The Flanaess: Beory
Posted on Sat, February 18, 2017 by LordCeb
CruelSummerLord writes "

"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.


BEORY

Domains: The Oerth, nature, rain, the weather

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.

However, as 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 hateful wish.

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 whole.

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 influence.

Beory’s followers, 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. 

"
 
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Re: Gods Of The Flanaess: Beory (Score: 1)
by DMPrata on Sat, February 18, 2017
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Overall a good, well-written article, but why no mention of her daughter Berei?




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