Greater God

Old Father of the Forests

Aliases: Aeric (Anuire), Erik (Brechtür, Rjurik), Iraikhan (Vosgaard)

Symbol: An oak tree

Alignment: N

Portfolio: Forests, hunting

Spheres Major: All, Animal, Elemental, Healing, Plant, Summoning
Spheres Minor:
Divination, Protection, Travellers

Domains: Animal, Earth, Plant, Wilderness

Favored Weapon: Greataxe or shortspear Erik (AIR-ick) is the forest lord, the god of nature, protector of the wilderness, and patron of the Rjurik. Erik was high druid of the Rjuven people prior to the battle of Deismaar in which he inherited Reynir's power. To honor Erik's ascension as their patron, the Rjuven people adopted the name Rjurik. Erik has few laws; equally, he levies few requirements. His principal concern is the safeguarding of the wilderness so that it can provide for future generations. He demands of his followers that they take only what they need from the bounty of nature. Those who despoil nature for purely personal gain are subject to his vengeance.

The majority of Erik's clergy are druids. Erik's druids in the wilds do their best to preserve the wilderness, while his clerics in it the cities council the people to manage nature's resources wisely. In Rjurik lands, druids act primarily as "village priests" for the rural and wilderness Rjurik. As such, their principle duties revolve around protecting their charges from the more dangerous aspects of their harsh environment. They see to the health of the people, defend them when they must, and help them eke out a living from the wilds. Most druids are trained by their predecessor to eventually replace them and are only dimly aware that the church has a small council of higher-ranking members. Rjurik druids do not distance themselves from those that they tend; they hunt, work, drink, live and love as any other member of their community. Most Rjurik jarls have a priest of Erik as an advisor, and their input is valued on all matters.

Erik's priests pray for their spells at dawn or dusk. Holy ceremonies to Erik take place in the wild, generally in stone circles that function as Erik's temples. The principle holy day is Midsummer's Day. During this time, the druids gather mistletoe, holly, and other sacred materials used in their ceremonies and rites. These materials are blessed by the moon at midnight, and then by the dawn sun of Midsummer's Day. A brief morning ceremony invokes Erik's protection over the people in the year to come, and is followed by a day of hunting, feasting, marriages, contests, and other merriment. Aside from this ceremony Erik demands no formal worship, he asks only that his people live in harmony with the world around them. His church is a matter of heart and soul, not of doctrine.

Dogma: Protect the wilderness so that it can provide for Erik's people always. Take only that which you need, and use all that you take. For every tree felled, plant two seedlings for the future. Greed for the wealth of others brings no honor. Live in reverent affinity with the elements of nature.

Allies: Our wife, Avani, is wise enough to value the continuing bounty of nature. Although she values nature only for the benefit it brings mankind rather than also for itself alone, she can be counted on to act wisely. Ruornil seeks to protect the mysteries of nature from the misuse of the unwise. Avani is the sun, and Ruornil the moon, together they bring light and life to the world. When darkness threatens, they are the first to join battle. When they require our aid, give freely.

Foes: Belinik teaches his followers to take what they want without concern for others or the future. He is a raging forest fire that consumes all. His rage must be extinguished, his hunger quenched, lest all be forever consumed. Likewise, the gods of the goblins, gnolls, orogs, and other humanoids have ever been the enemies of the Rjurik people; their waste knows no limit and they are a blight that must be driven from our lands.

Others: Our daughter, Laerme, is the bright-winged songbird who brings peace and beauty. Enjoy the songbird, but do not become complacent in its song. Winter always comes. Cuiraécen is a brash young hunter, over-eager to impress others with his skills. With patience, he must be brought to understand that the hunter must protect and provide for his people, not battle for individual glory. Eloéle can only delude those who wish to be deluded. Ignore her and avoid her games. Nature is deaf to her plotting. Haelyn believes that the works of man are fundamentally more valuable than the works of nature. In ignorance, he causes untold harm. He acts not out of hatred, however, and must be gently reminded of that the order of nature is as essential as the order of man. Nesirie mourns the lost of her people. She must be reminded that death is a necessary part of the cycle of life. Be wary of her, for those that have known great loss may lose sight for the need of a continuing future. Kriesha, like nature, is utterly without mercy. The weak fall to her touch, and the next generation is strengthened. Nature, however, balances harshness with times of plenty. In her unrelenting harshness, she has become twisted in spirit, hating all that do not suffer as she does. Avoid her when possible. In the bounty of nature, Sera sees only profit. Shortsighted, she may fail to consider the future. If constantly reminded that her future profit depends upon wisdom in the present, she can be taught wisdom of a sort.

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