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    Faiths of the County of Ulek
    Posted on Wed, April 03, 2002 by Legate
    MerricB writes "One of the centres of the old (druidical) faith in Greyhawk, the County of Ulek has several competing versions of religions concerning themselves with nature. This article describes the basics of the faiths in the County, along with some details of notable characters and conflicts.

    Author: MerricB



    Faiths of the County of Ulek
    By: MerricB (merricb@yahoo.co.uk)
    (Used with Permission. Do not repost without obtaining prior permission from the author.)

    The County of Ulek is a pastoral place, inhabited in the main by humans, gnomes and halflings. Its ruler must be a druid of the Old Faith, that is, one of the line reaching back to the old Flan inhabitants of the land.

    The humans of Ulek come from three main racial stocks: the original Flan inhabitants, and the Suloise and Oeridian migrants, and the three races have interbred, and formed the most hardy people that inhabit this land.

    Within Ulek, both Berei, the lesser goddess of home and agriculture, and Beory, the Earth Mother, are the most influential deities. Count Lewenn holds Berei as his patron - although this is disapproved of by many of the traditionalist elements within the Old Faith that hold Beory superior.

    Most villages and hamlets in the County have at least one druid, albeit often of low rank (1st-4th level). The major agricultural areas tend to have druids of Berei, as you get closer to wilderness areas and those that are sparsely inhabited, druids of Beory become more common.

    The worshippers of Beory tend to be dismissive of the other deities worshipped in Ulek, although they are on moderately good terms with the followers of Obad-Hai, they are less so with the followers of Ehlonna and Berei, though in only rare cases could the relationship actually be termed hostile, and that only between fanatics of either faith.

    Ehlonna, goddess of forests, is revered amongst the elves that live amongst the county, and those that live close to the few woodlands in Ulek - generally towards its borders. The chief priestess of Ehlonna in Ulek is Camilla, a half-elven Clr7, who splits her time between Jurnre and the Silver Wood. Another notable priestess of Ehlonna is Jyleara (human Clr3), who serves on the Count's advisory council.

    The followers of Ehlonna are not on good terms with the followers of Obad-Hai, the fourth deity commonly worshipped in Ulek, the god of nature, woodlands, freedom and hunting. Because followers of Obad-Hai commonly hunt in the forests, and the teachings of Ehlonna run directly contrary to this, tensions are frequently running high between the two faiths.

    Count Lewenn has often had to step in to mediate conflicts between the two faiths, and has even had to send County soldiers in to break up particularly fractious feuds in some of the outlying areas. It is a good year when no such feuds erupt; the Count is desperately praying for a good year, as they have been none of late.

    These are the primary four faiths in the County of Ulek. Of them, only Berei has anything that could be described as a formal temple, and it exists towards the outskirts of the capital, Jurnre, although shrines exist to Berei in most farming centres.

    Services to the other deities are held in natural places, often of ancient import. The Dancing Circle - a group of seventeen ancient stones arranged in a circle that is nearby to Jurnre - is the centre of the Beory faith. Shrines to both Ehlonna and Obad-hai are rare, but are generally in woodland areas, or on the outskirts of hamlets in those areas. If a shrine to Ehlonna is in a village, there is likely to be a shrine to Obad-hai hidden in the forest, and vice-versa. Raids between the two (generally of little import) are common.

    Amongst the halflings, Yondalla and Berei are both worshipped equally; and relationships between the followers of each deity are cordial and co-operative.

    The gnomes tend to hold more exclusively to Garl Glittergold and the others of the gnomish pantheon as their patrons, although they will attend services of all deities worshipped in their areas.

    The elves worship both Corellon Larethian, Ehlonna and the others deities of their own pantheon, and give little attention to the other deities; relationships are generally bad with the worshippers of Obad-Hai.

    Clerics of other faiths can be found in Jurnre, and to a lesser extent in other areas. In the east of the county, there once was a temple to Pelor, but it was captured and overrun many decades ago. Guerin (male human Clr6), a priest of Pelor who is based in Jurnre, has recently begun an effort to reclaim the temple - Count Lewenn has not objected, although there has been much debate amongst the council, with Lady Caitlin and Knight-Marshall Lachlan in favour, and the representatives of Beory and Berei objecting.

    Minor priests of St Cuthbert, and other deities of good and neutral origin can occasionally be found in Ulek, though none have a substantial following. Clerics of the faiths worshipped in the Duchy and Principality of Ulek are a common sight within Jurnre, less so elsewhere, and are generally welcomed and even have small followings.

    No followers evil deities are welcome within Ulek, but that is not to say they don't exist. There are occasional tales of remote settlements falling under the sway of fiend-worshipping cults, but in truth most are just traveller's tales, and no credence should be lent to such inventions.

    "
     
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