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Priests of Pelor for D&D 3rd edition: Part 1
Posted on Mon, October 20, 2003 by Trickster
robbastard writes "Everyone's heard of Pelor, right? How much do you really know though? Come take a detailed look at the life of Pelor's faithful in the 3rd edition D&D game."

Priests of Pelor
By: Rob Vest Used with Permission. Do not repost without obtaining prior permission from the author.

Deity Information:
Greater Deity
Aliases: Sol (in the former Great Kingdom); the Shining One, the Sun Father, the Invincible Sun
Portfolio: Sun, Strength, Light, Healing.
Symbol: Sun face
Plane: Elysium
Alignment: NG
Worshippers: Farmers, commoners, healers

Pelor is the sun god of the Flan people, and one of the most popular deities in the Flanaess. Pelor's worship was adopted by the Oeridian peoples in their migrations across the Flanaess, and he was considered to be the same as their sun god, Sol. In fact, one can see the influence of the cult of Sol in the heraldry of the former nations of the Great Kingdom of Aerdy (such as Nyrond, Almor, Ahlissa, North Kingdom, Ratik, Sunndi, and the Great Kingdom proper), many of whom still utilize the Oeridian sun disk in their national devices. Though most of these nations today have reverted to the use of the sun god's Flan name, Pelor is still referred to as Sol by many people in Ahlissa, the North Kingdom, Rel Astra, and the Sea Barons.

The most ancient depictions of Pelor in the Flanaess, found in ancient sites in Tenh, portray him as a bronze-skinned, lion-headed man, wearing little more than a loincloth. Later depictions, found throughout the Sheldomar valley, portray the sun god crossing the sky in a burning chariot of fire drawn by equally fiery horses. Pelor is sometimes portrayed alone in these images, while other times a charioteer guides the chariot while Pelor destroys evil with bolts of sunlight. The image of the sun god in his chariot was (and still is) quite popular in the Sheldomar valley, as well as Oeridian lands. This image is popular even among adherants of the Old Faith, which sees Pelor as an anthropomorphic manifestation of the Sun itself. In fact, eyewitness accounts of powerful druids summoning flaming chariots drawn by fiery horses are not uncommon, leading some sages to speculate the forms taken by divine magic are influenced by culture as much as by the Divine Powers themselves. Other depictions of Pelor portray him riding across the sky on the back of a mighty ki-rin, a creature whose name in the language of the Rover tribes translates as "Star Thought." In earlier times (other than his archaic lion-headed aspect) Pelor appeared as a dynamic, bare-chested man in the prime of life. However, the sun god of today is shown as an older man in white, with wild hair and a beard of shining gold. One thing that all depictions of Pelor have in common, however, are his eyes, golden orbs that glow like fire.

Some of the earliest creation myths of the Flanaess regard the Sun as one of the first gods to emerge from Darkness, along with his brother, Death, and their sister, the Oerth. Together, the Sun and the Oerth had many children, among them the Moons (Luna and Celene), Light, and the Sea. But Death grew jealous of his brother, and coveted the Oerth for himself. So Death bribed the Moons to hide him from his brother's glare while he fathered his own wicked children upon the Oerth. For this reason are Death and the life-giving Sun ever at war with one another.

A number of Pelor's servants have went on to acheive divinity or near-divinity. Best known are Mayaheine, demigoddess of protection, justice, and valor; Johydee, Oeridian hero-goddess of deception, espionage, and protection; and Saint Bane the Scourger, patron saint of those who hunt undead.

There are two basic tenants of the faith of Pelor: "Aid Those in Need" and "Vanquish Evil." The two tenants are meant to compliment each other, and a priest should never, for example, sacrifice compassion in his urge to see evil brought to heel.

"Aid Those in Need": Nurturers and protectors, the priesthood of Pelor is heavily involved in charity work and caring for the needy, the sick, the injured, the suffering, and the unfortunate. Priests of Pelor will the community by building orphanages, acting as midwives, providing education, officating at funerals and weddings, orany number of charitable works. They are also expected to lend their strength to the weak, and to aid in the defense of their flocks. They view kindness, mercy, and compassion as virtues which all must aspire to.

"Vanquish Evil": The priest is expected to be ever vigilant against the forces of evil, especially undead. Pelor considers undead to be abombinations, and his priests are expected to do their utmost to bring about the destruction of undead creatures. After destroying undead, priests of Pelor will often say the last rites over the remains in order to lay the creature's soul to rest.

Priests of Pelor favor yellow garb of varying shades, though many accentuate their yellow garb with accessories of gold, orange, white, and red. For official services, priests dress in yellow robes, those of 7th level and above trimmed in gold. Many wear their hair long and loose in imitation of the rays of the sun, but it is often tied back or otherwise secured in situations where it could be dangerous or a nuissance. Males priests, especially the older ones, often wear long beards.

Services to Pelor are held in tall, airy, bright temples with open courtyards and lots of windows and/or skylights. On sunny days, services are often held outdoors. Typical services consist of hymns, sermons, and prayers.

The Rover tribes used to engage in a bizarre ritual honoring Pelor called the Sun Dance, which is rarely practiced anymore due to the unwanted attention it draws from Iuz, who has forbidden the practice. The Sun Dance took place during the week of Richfest (the summer solstice), and lasted from four to seven days, from sundown to sundown. Celebrating the renewal of life that the Sun brings, the participants would dance around a central pole (the "sun-pole"-suggested by some to represent the penis of Pelor). The participants would offer up their flesh as a sacrifice, skewering their flesh with pieces of bone or wood, which were then attached to the top of the sun-pole by long hide ropes. The dancers would then dance about the pole, staring straight into the sun, leaning away from the pole until their flesh gave way. During this time, the participants would often experience visions. After the dancers all tore free, or after four days, the Sun Dance ended. The exhausted dancers were laid down on beds of sage and would recite their visions to the priest. These visions could hold new songs, new rituals, or even prophecies of the future. The overall feeling for everyone present was one of renewal and balance and the relationships between people and nature were once again reaffirmed. The self-inflicted torture of the sun dance represented death, the struggle with the Reaper that all must go through. The "breaking away" represented Pelor's victory over Nerull through rebirth and renewal brought on by the ever-rising sun.

Other Classes
Priests of Pelor make good adventuring companions, due to their healing spells, relatively good combat prowess, and ability to turn undead. A priest of Pelor prefers his adventuring companions to be of good or neutral alignments. The priest of Pelor may occasionally adventure with evil characters, so long as their overall goal serves the greater good. Even so, a priest of Pelor will never engage in evil acts. Factors such as alignment, race, culture, religion, etc being equal, relations with other character classes are generally as follows:

Adepts: Some adepts revere Pelor, while others tend to take the "druidic" view of the sun god. Pelorites often see adepts as practitioners of "primitive" rituals and magic, but generally relations between the two are only hostile if the adept is evil or engages in rites the priesthood finds distasteful.
Aristocrats: As a deity of the common man, and a patron of the poor and disenfranchised, Pelor is not very popular with the upper classes. However, many aristocrats will donate money to the church and aid in its various charity projects, as doing so bestows prestige in their social circles.
Barbarians: As a god of strength and the sun, Pelor is a deity most barbarians can easily identify with, even if his faith is unknown in their tribe.
Bards: Though not a faith that many bards are attracted to (most opting for deities like Olidammara, Fharlanghn, Lirr, or Lydia), neither is Pelor disliked by bards.
Commoners: Pelor is one of the most popular deities among commoners, especially the poor, who benefit greatly from the church's charity work.
Druids: The Old Faith sees Pelor, like many other gods, as an anthropomorphic manifestation of a natural force, which does not sit well with the priesthood of Pelor. Additionally, few Pelorite priests would be able to overlook the druidic practice of human sacrifice. However, as long as theological discussions and ritual bloodletting are avoided, druids and priests of Pelor can work together quite effectively.
Experts: Experts may or may not honor Pelor, depending on their profession. A locksmith would have little use for the church, but a gardener would likely make at least occasional offerings to the sun god.
Fighters and Warriors: Though more inclined to follow one of the more martial deities, a number of fighters revere Pelor and value his priests for their healing ability and power over undead.
Monks: A small number of good monastic orders are sponsered by the Church of Pelor, and other good monks respect the church for its charity work. Neutral orders tend to be indifferent, and evil monastic orders (such as the Scarlet Brotherhood), have little use for the sun god.
Paladin: A number of paladins honor Pelor (though not as many as during the height of the Great Kingdom), and those not serving Pelor often find common ground with his priests.
Ranger: Though some rangers honor Pelor, others tend to view the sun god in a way similar to fighters or druids.
Rogue: Few rogues honor Pelor, and most view the Pelorite faith indifferently. The church, however, tends to view rogues with more suspicion than other classes.
Sorcerers and Wizards: Though not a deity often followed by sorcerers and wizards, they usually regard Pelor's priests as valuable allies due to their combat skills and healing abilities, and the priests likewise value the powerful offensive magic of these professions.
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Re: Priests of Pelor for D&D 3rd edition: Part 1 (Score: 1)
by nijineko on Wed, September 09, 2009
(User Info | Send a Message)
i have found hints of information about how in the greyhawk cosmology, pelor might be deceiving everyone and is possible an evil deity in disguise. recently, i found a thread covering the various points in one place, found here []. i noted that the points covered do NOT constitute proof, but were interesting, nonetheless. How does greyhawk canon view this alternate view of pelor?

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