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The gods of the Flanaess: Procan
Posted on Thu, September 06, 2007 by ratlord
CruelSummerLord writes "
"So then, you wish to be excused from your duties at this temple in order to sail the Oljatt Sea hunting the pirates of the Lordship of the Isles? You do not even need to ask-you are already doing Procan's work by following your own desires and travelling the seas!"-High cleric Danchu Lezzetti, master of the Temple of Procan in Apserdi, responding to the request of a lesser priest.



Procan

Domains: Seas, Sea Life, Salt, Weather, Navigation
Home Plane: Limbo
Alignment: Chaotically neutral
Alignment of Clergy: Chaotically good, chaotic and neutral, chaotic and evil, truly neutral
Alignment of Worshippers: People of all alignments can be found worshipping Procan. Watery creatures such as nereids, mermen, sea elves, sahuagin, koalinth, locathah, merrow, reef giants, water weirds, and marids sometimes worship the god as well.

History and Relationships: Procan is said to have come to Oerth in the time after the Dark Lord was banished and imprisoned, sailing in the ethereal waves before making a home for himself in the world’s seas and oceans. In doing so, he is said to have clashed with other gods of the waters, such as Osprem and Xerbo. To strengthen his power base, he then lay with Akadi, the queen of the Elemental Plane of Air and the supreme goddess of the winds, who gave him five children to support him: Atroa, Sotillion, Telchur, Wenta and Velnius.

Taking up control of the different winds, and control of the weather, these gods could be as mercurial and wandering as Procan himself, and oftentimes lost interest in their father’s conflicts in favor of their own interests and feuds. The endless conflict between Procan and his rivals, combined with the occasional aid of the winds, is thus said in myth to be why the waters and the tides act the way they do, endlessly clashing with one another in a cycle of conflict.

Procan's allies include Akadi, Atroa, Istishia, Sotillion, Telchur, Velnius, and Wenta. Atroa and Telchur can almost be considered allies in name only, as they care little for their father’s feuds with his rivals and prefer to either wander or brood, as their natures dictate. Few other gods deal with Procan, aside from his enemies; his wandering ways and eccentric mood swings, which lead him to randomly change his mind and his activity as his whims dictate, make him an unreliable ally. Nonetheless, he is still closely affiliated with the elemental gods Akadi and Istishia, whose airy and watery natures complement his own.

Procan's foes include Deep Sashelas, Eadro Panzuriel, and Sekolah, as he competes with them for the worship of the various aquatic races. He is also disliked by Kossuth, lord of the Elemental Plane of Fire, for his watery nature, although the fire lord usually has more hated foes to deal with. His most hated rivals, however, are Osprem and Xerbo, who rival his control over the oceans and seas.

Teachings: Procan’s faith is a somewhat eccentric one in that it has very little to say about life on land; the only church teachings generally tend to be that the good life is one lived as close to the sea as possible. From this, in fact, come the main ethical and moral beliefs of the church, that it is necessary to become one with the seas by wandering them and seeking to understand their mysteries. The tides and waves are ever-changing, and so too are the concerns and whims of mortal life. As such, the church places very little stock in organized human laws, except as necessary for the survival of the faith.

Nonetheless, even the waters and waves are guided, and those who would learn about the seas must also be able to navigate in life. To that end, the church believes that certain strong-willed individuals will often crop up, with greater understanding and knowledge of life. These are usually the people to follow, strong leaders who, whether for good or evil, can act as guides and leaders in a person’s wanderings. Ultimately, however, each person must be guided as his own moods and whims as he sees fit, although living in harmony with the seas and oceans. Being an honest, hard-working fisherman living totally on your own, answering to no one, or a fanatically loyal follower of a murderous, bloodthirsty pirate captain are both acceptable callings in the eyes of the church.

The virtues of the Procanian faith include living and traveling on and near the oceans and seas, following one’s own path in life, refusing to obey authority that is not strongly presented (although obedience to a strong and worthy leader such as a pirate lord is also a virtue), and paying proper homage and respect to the oceans and their inhabitants.

The sins of the Procanian faith are said to be living and traveling too far inland for too long a time (just how far is a subject of discussion among the clergy) disrespecting the ocean (by overfishing, throwing excessive amounts of waste or sewage into the water, for instance), aggression against a creature of the sea (unless they attacked first) and giving false guidance to another person. Procan is a god of the wild seas, but he is also a navigator, seeking to bridge the gap between sentient beings and the ocean, and a skilled navigator is often necessary to do so.

Interaction with Outsiders: As one might expect, Procan’s faith is especially popular with fishermen, sailors, pirates and others who live on islands or make their living from the sea. The faithful of Procan commonly perform narriages, funerals, blessings, exorcisms, healings and all the other normal priestly tasks for these classes of people. The faith’s lack of strict rules and general permissiveness greatly appeals to these folk, who are themselves often independent-minded and freedom-loving, although they sometimes return to Procan for guidance and counseling when their lives become as stormy and confused as can the waters of the ocean. Procan’s faith is also commonly involved in blessing new ships before they set out to sea; some sects bless merchant ships and galleons, but this often puts them at loggerheads with other faiths of the sea, such as Osprem and Xerbo.

The faiths of Procan and Xerbo, especially, are constantly haranguing and fighting one another, either with spell and weapon (especially in the more chaotic southern cities, or by proxies. Many merchant groups, sailors, and families will also be rivals or enemies with one another based on their membership in opposing religions. Such a rivalry also goes on with Osprem as well, although on a lesser scale, owing to Osprem’s smaller following and less outgoing clergy.

Procan encourages his followers to seek out new converts, and so his clergy frequently travel the seas serving as ship’s chaplains before going to new ports and preaching the virtues of their deity. Clerics thus often travel wherever their whims guide them, traveling from Rel Astra to Monmurg to Blue preaching the virtues of their god, who is quite pleased to let his followers travel where they will on his oceans.

Procan also has a substantial following among pirates, especially that aspect of him that emphasizes a rivalry with Xerbo, patron of maritime trade. They are part of the most violent and vicious sect of the faith, that often traverses right into evil, and have no compunctions about throwing their victims to the sharks.

Procan's faith is strongest in the Sea Princes, Keoland, Irongate, Idee, Onnwal, the Sea Barons, the Lordship of the Isles, Northern Aerdy, and Rel Astra. In no case does the faith ever wield significant political power; unlike Xerbo, Procan's followers tend to come more from the lower classes than any of the prominent merchants or nobles that Xerbo attracts. Smaller followings exist in the Principality of Ulek, Greyhawk, Furyondy, and the Urnst states, which all have their own smaller, less-developed maritime traditions owing to their connections to the Nyr Dyv. In all other lands, Procan’s faith is either unknown or too small to mention.

Procan's largest temples are found in Asperdi, Duxchan, Hokar, Monmurg, Rel Astra, Scant, Naerie, Irongate, and Sulward.

Variant Sects: Owing to its chaotic and individualistic nature, there is little intellectual debate within Procan's faith. More common is a variation in how Procan is perceived by his followers; some who emphasize his stern nature see him as a stern, rugged individualist who goes where he wishes, does what wants, and brooks no insult from anyone, and model themselves after him. Others, such as explorers and navigators, see him as an eternal wander, always seeking new oceans and coasts to discover, always seeking the star of morning. Still others, most notably pirates, see him as a short-tempered, stormy engine of destruction who ravages all those who dare to cross him. Procan's attitudes as described in religious myth and church writings have presented the god as being all of the above at one point or another.

It is quite possible for two followers or two groups of Procan’s clergy to be at odds with one another, if they belong to rival nations, rival merchant crews, or rival pirate gangs. A Procanite who ministers to a band of pirates, for instance, would have no compunctions about slaying a Procanite who acts as the chaplain to a vessel of honest traders. In this way, the idea of an organized church of Procan breaks down a little, it must be admitted; rather, the church is often a collection of loosely linked cells who work with, ignore, or oppose one another as their natures and whims dictate. One cleric can go from one of these cells to another without difficulty, and be the enemy of another cleric one day and his friend the next; such things are all acceptable among Procan's followers.

Adventuring Clergy: The high seas often bring adventure, and Procan’s followers are not exceptional. Clergy may serve as pirates, pirate hunters, explorers of the depths, explorers of uncharted waters and islands, sahuagin hunters, ambassadors to locathah and mermen, visitors to the Elemental Plane of Water, or any other such activity. Procan’s clergy are entirely welcome to adventure, although it is considered a sin to travel too far inland; clerics must always stay as close as possible to the oceans. Clerics may associate with nonhumans of any sort as they wish-mermen and sahuagin are just as acceptable companions as dwarves and halflings.

Procan's followers traditionally wield tridents, cutlasses, crossbows, and other weapons typically associated with the sea. Wearing heavy metal armor is frowned on, and can be considered a sin in extreme cases; in any case, heavy armor is impractical, and so most followers settle for leather, studded leather, chain shirts, and other light armor typically worn aboardship, and that can be swiftly removed in case one falls overboard.

Adventuring clerics may typically act as they wish in a good or evil manner, so long as they hold to Procan's basic teachings and pursue their own desires with passion. A grievous sin, however, is to knowingly heal, help or otherwise associate with a follower of a rival god of the water, whether it be Panzuriel, Deep Sashelas or Osprem. Such enemies are to be destroyed if possible, or at least hated and hindered as much as possible. Clerics must tithe twenty percent of the treasure they acquire to a temple of Procan if they are associated with one; if they are not, they must freely donate their wealth to any and all peoples and races associated with the sea, if they can be proven to be followers of Procan.

Procan looks favorably upon those who spread knowledge of his name, show respect for the creatures of the sea whether good or evil (unless those creatures attack the cleric, in which case the cleric is entirely within his rights to defend him or herself), pursue their own goals with verve and passion, constantly travel or, if they do not travel, work for the benefit of his followers in the community, and give their gifts to those who convert to Procan's teachings or can prove themselves to be followers of the god. "
 
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