Deidre

Title The Wind and the Waves
Portfolio Nature Weather The sea
Alignment Neutral
Worshipers Druids, sailors, woodsmen, farmers
Worshiper Alignment LN,NG,N,CN,NE
Domains Air, Animal, Plant, Water, Weather
Subdomains Cloud, Decay, Growth, Oceans, Seasons, Wind
Favored Weapon Trident
Symbol Dripping leaf
Allows creation or rising of undead: No
Favored Animal(s) All
Sacred Colors Blue,Green

Deidre is a dualistic god of nature, a god of the storm and sky and also a goddess of the wave and surf.

Obedience

Hang a set of chimes where they will be stirred by either wind or water. If no suitable location exists to hang the chimes, you must hold the chimes and shake them gently to sound them throughout your obedience. Chant prayers from Hymns to the Wind and the Waves as you attune yourself to the sound of the chimes, then drink a mouthful of pure water and pour a handful over your head. Gain a +4 sacred or profane bonus on saving throws against electricity and water spells and effects. The type of bonus depends on your alignment—if you’re neither good nor evil, you must choose either sacred or profane the first time you perform your obedience, and this choice can’t be changed.

Dogma

Deidre is timeless. Born when the first breeze caressed the ocean, she is ever changing, tempestuous, and unpredictable, yet also prone to periods of constancy, stillness, and routine. He is the storm cloud chased by clear skies, the spring warmth that follows winter, and the fair winds that carry seagoing ships. She is the great wave that capsizes those ships, the gentle current that deposits sailors on safe shores, and the rising and falling tides. Those who ply the waters or rely upon the rains know this better than most, and are sure to placate Deidre and honor him when the wind and waves are favorable.

Deidre has two aspects, equally depicted in art and sculpture. When at sea or over water, Deidre is a woman with wild, flowing green hair, whose body transforms into endless waves. In the sky and over land, Deidre appears as an aged man with a long white beard, emerging from a mighty storm cloud. Deidre is moody and brooding, able to spend weeks in a glowering quiet only to explode in a fury of water, wind, and lightning. He is an elemental force, not fettered by the work of mortals; he may turn aside his wrath when appeased with gifts and flattering words, or he may ignore mortal cries entirely. Many cargo ships throw a crate or two overboard in the deep ocean to satisfy her, so that she does not take more by force. He is the amoral side of nature, that which brings life and takes it unexpectedly.

Deidre represents both female and male facets of life, unconstrained by civilization's notions of masculinity and femininity. Grandmother, grandfather, brother, sister, eternal and ever changing, the Wind and the Waves echo and shape the countless living things on Xilrin, its said that those born of both genders is because of Deidre's doing, though the interpretation if this is a curse of a blessing is left to individuals (referred too as Deidren).

Deidre refers to himself or herself as "I" or "We" interchangeably. He loves to race the wind, tearing clouds in two with his passing, or sculpting them into islands and palaces for his pleasure. She hides under the waves and plummets to the crushing depths of the ocean, chasing whales and building grottoes visible only by the light of the glowing creatures that live there. He hates those who defile the sky with smoke, taint the waters with mortal filth, or abuse the bounties of land and sea. Her official church is small, but her lay worshipers are countless.

He particularly likes seabirds, flying fish, and frogs, both as living specimens and as sacrificial offerings. He is known to watch the world through the eyes of beasts, whether on the wing or under the sea, flitting from the body of a solitary bear to the countless beating hearts of a flock of starlings. He senses the day and night through green plants and pale fungi, drinking deeply through the roots of the mighty oak or clinging to a stone as the tiniest moss or lichen.

Deidre's interests lie entirely in the realm of weather and living things. He has little interest in earth except in the form of soil or as a foundation for living works. She cares naught for fire save for how flame and ash provide opportunities for new life to grow in their wake. These materials are not taboo to her faithful, just inconsequential. Likewise, he accepts that some creatures must die so that others may survive and still others be born, but the mystical aspects of death and its cycles do not concern him-he leaves these things to entities such as Lyvalia. Like nature itself, Deidre can be cruel and indifferent, allowing a storm to ravage the land or sink a dozen ships, or a plague to wipe out an entire herd of animals or even whole settlements. Yet she also pushes trading ships across the world, multiplies animals in springtime, and brings gentle rain to thirsty fields. His way is a way beyond morals and ethics-as long as life survives in some form, and water and weather support it and keep the world itself dynamic, Deidre is satisfied.

Though her priests and priestesses may have personal ideas about which creatures should live and which should not, or visions of what Deidre wants protected or destroyed, they accept that their beliefs are just one facet of their deity's infinite perceptions. The Wind and the Waves may be intractable one moment and sympathetic the next. He does not do this to be deliberately contrary or mischievous, or in the interest of chaos; it is simply because he perceives everything every living organism, every drop of water, every gust of wind-at all times. Events distant and unrelated may draw her attention, and the outcome of those events may change her mood, whether because a potential tornado disperses too soon or a rare breed of fox births a dozen healthy kits.

He is a great monarch, constantly beseeched by courtiers and commoners, listening to each argument simultaneously and shifting his attention and response to each in turn. To one unaware of the cacophony, she may appear flighty or distracted, but the truth is far more complicated, in a way that mortal cannot hope to perceive. Deidre is usually depicted as a colossal humanoid whose lower half trails away into a mass of roiling elemental matter. In male form, he appears as a storm cloud and always remains flying-according to one old , he can stretch from one horizon to the other, darkening the entire sky with his fury. In female form, Deidre 's body is usually shown blending with the water of a lake or sea. She has been known to rise from a waterspout, but sometimes gathers all the nearby water into a great wave, emerging from the top as a nymph-like shape, a crone, or a vaguely humanoid construct of pure water.

Statues of Deidre are usually made of driftwood or lightning-scorched trees either tied together into a humanoid shapes or carved to resemble one or both incarnations; a few are chiseled from ice and either magically preserved or allowed to melt to be recreated as needed. Stone is rarely used for religious imagery, and never brick or pottery, as such things are signs of civilization's encroachment. Holy symbols and small idols may be made of coral, polished shell, lacquered wood, whalebone, and other materials that represent life in the sea and the sky that have naturally fallen.

Signs of Deidre's favor include a sudden gentle breeze that carries the scent of flowers, the appearance of large numbers of animals, the unexplained sound of waves crashing on a distant beach, and dreams of a specific,recognizable animal (such as a white wolf, a frilled lizard with glowing blue eyes, or a ghostly raven). Omens of his displeasure include being watched and shrieked at by wild birds or beasts, sudden rainstorms localized over a specific building or individual, or an unending taste of blood in the mouth. She may foul fresh water, or afflict offenders with terrible smells or excruciating joint pain as the weather changes.

It's not unusual for zealous priests of Deidre to remain celibate, devoting all their energy to their deity; these priests have been known to worship their deity naked in high places or shallow waters-a process referred to as becoming "sky-clad" or "sea-clad." Priests have a habit of finding discarded things washed up or left on the shore, including infants orphaned by shipwrecks or abandoned to die from exposure; in most lands, such children are traditionally raised by the church and trained for the priesthood, which offsets the low number of children born to priests because of their high celibacy rate. Deidre's holy symbol is a green leaf with a drop of water pouring from the lower end. Most of Deidre 's priests are clerics, but about a tenth are druids, with a few rangers ("weather-hunters") and adepts taking active roles in the priesthood. Inquisitors are rare; those who embrace this a path seek out folk who pollute water, clear-cut forests, and abuse the natural creatures of the world.

The Church

Deidre's worshipers are typically sailors, merchants who ship goods between ports, and farmers. Seagoing raiders ask her to speed them to their prey, fisher folk pray for favorable currents to bring them heavy catches, millers ask for consistent winds to power their mills and well pumps (along with forgiveness for cutting trees), and travelers seek good weather, especially for lengthy journeys. Wise generals ask Deidre's blessing before transporting soldiers by sea; wiser ones ask his priests whether a blessing would do any good.

Worship services include chanting, playing wind instruments, listening to chimes moved by wind or water, drinking water, and ritual use of salt, fragrant herbs, and smokeless incense. Farming communities often leave tributes of meat and grain exposed on a high rock to allow the deity's servants to claim it. Fishing communities tow the strung-together bones of their most impressive catches behind their boats, releasing them as offerings to the goddess. Some civilized folk perpetuate stories of Deidre engaging in human sacrifice in lean times (often by burning victims encased in wicker effigies or drowning them in tidal pools), but no reliable records of this exist-at least as far as anyone knows.

The church does not have a strong preference for or against marriage, recognizing that some creatures mate for life while others unite only for a season or until offspring are mature. Priests are very tolerant of nontraditional families, including polyamorous grouping and seasonal unions, and individuals interested in such relationships often join the faith because of this tolerance-though this attitude is actually more akin to indifference, as the bonds that humanoids make between their own kind and the relationship roles they choose to play are irrelevant to the forces of nature.

Deidre's many roles and areas of interest spark countless splinter cults. Some embrace the deity's entire area of influence; others choose one particular aspect (such as weather) or a handful of specific interests (such as birds and wind, or fish and the sea, or storms and plants). A few extreme or isolated groups develop fringe beliefs and practices not present in the more mainstream churches. Some espouse belief in beast totems or reincarnation or venerate spirit animals and intelligent plants. Others follow eunuch-priests or start fertility or even crossbreeding cults. There are those that practice ritualized baptisms or dream quests, "mushroom cults" that seek to commune' directly with the god by ingesting strange fungi, and sects that follow diets restricted to fruits, nuts and leaves. Despite this radical and sometimes conflicting beliefs, members of these sects continue to receive spells from Deidre, and the church as a whole makes no attempt to eliminate splinter groups or force them to return to more mainstream practices so long as they continue to foremost respect the wind, the waves, and the natural world

Temple and shrines

Deidre's temples are always open to the sky and generally contain some sort of pool or open water at their heart. Coastal temples are often just a driftwood wall with lean-tos on the outside rim, while a mountain temple might be a natural amphitheater where the wind howls on a mountaintop, and a desert temple a simple oasis surrounded by a half-wild garden. Some temples incorporate water wheels, windmills, lighthouses, or other structures that respectfully harness the wind and waves or are essential to a community that relies on the sky and sea for survival; for the priests who staff such temples, tending the mechanisms in the structures is a hereditary, traditional role, and many have remarkably advanced knowledge of the engineering necessary to maintain them, despite the church's general preference for wildness and nature over civilization.

Shrines are incredibly simple-often just a flat stone at a high elevation or on a secluded beach, a large whale bone jutting from a cleft on a rocky shore, or a place where the waves crash against a crevice to create high arcing spray. Some underwater shrines surface only in years with especially low tides. A few large shrines dating from ancient times still exist on Deidre, primarily circles or triangles of standing stones . These standing stones function as calendars, tracking solstices, equinoxes, and other celestial events. Most are also burial sites for priests or particularly devout members of the faith.

Taboos

You are forbidden to pollute the sky or despoil the natural world, unless the end result is a net gain for nature (such as the sacking of farmland so that it may be reclaimed by the forest). When such damage is unavoidable, you must clean it as soon as possible. Your failure to do so may result in your own water being fouled or your breath coming short in your lungs until you have made your error right or cleansed pollution left by another. You’re unlikely to build with brick or forge metals, and in general attempt to keep your tools as close as possible to their natural state, opting for materials like beautiful wood, ivory, pearls, or seashells for decoration.

A Priests Role

Priests of Deidre look for the deity's will in swirling water, racing clouds, and the movement of flocks of birds and schools of fish. Those associated with humanoid communities serve as diviners or provide advice about fishing, the weather, or the care of domesticated birds. Some live on ships, selling their services to pirates, navies, or merchants hoping to sail in fair weather and avoid deadly storms. Others dedicate themselves to healing and nurturing the wounded places in the world or coastal pollution from large human cities.

Some Deidrites see themselves as agents of the goddess's anger at damage wrought by civilization, sending plagues of bats, crows, and locusts to ravage cities and croplands, turning schools of fish away from seaside towns, and summoning storms to drown fleets built from stolen timber. A few are explorers, determined to experience as much of the god's beauty as possible. Some good aligned priests make it their mission to visit tiny islands and rescue any travelers. lost at sea. Priests usually have ranks in Heal, Knowledge (nature), and Survival,Diplomacy or (depending as well as Intimidate on their interests and personality). Flight and swimming are common obsessions among the priesthood, and magic items that permit flying or water-breathing are treasured. Most Deidrites avoid steel armor because it rusts, preferring wood, hide, or mithral Druids of Deidre are often hermits, rarely seeing other speaking creatures and leaving their refuges only when the goddess calls or a local settlement bribes them to make rain. Most are content to live off the land, sometimes gathering treasures of the sea (such as pearls, coral, and abalone shells), or selling sea ivory or scrimshaw. Some spend their entire lives on boats; others exile themselves to remote islands to commune with their deity. The church is decentralized, and each regional congregation tends to have periods of stability offset by sudden turmoil and reorganization, though in the long term a charismatic and powerful priest is apt to stay at the top of his temple's organization.

Within the church, a respected priest is one who reacts quickly to changing circumstances, interprets portents accurately, and is good at working with plants, animals, or both (depending on the specific focus of the temple). For splinter churches, traits such as a sense of the spirit world or prophetic dreams may be considered more important. When a high priest dies, contenders for her rank compete in ceremonies traditional to the faithful of their region, which vary widely across the entire religion. In rugged coastal regions, claimants might dive naked from tall ocean cliffs and swim to shore, with the first to return becoming the new high priest. In river settlements and along gentler coasts, retrieving heavy stones from the ocean or riverbed is a common test. In woodland regions, hopefuls might climb as far up the forest's tallest tree as they dare and throw themselves off, and the person who falls the farthest and yet survives is declared the new high priest.

In harsher climes, the would-be successors must make harrowing treks and brave the dangers of the elements; those who endure prove their commitment to the faith-a more important quality than their deity's unpredictable favor. Inexperienced and overly ambitious priests have been known to die because of these contests, but in most cases the worst anyone suffers is injuries and severe exhaustion.

Among those races for whom it's feasible, male priests are expected to grow long beards, and those with patchy growth often braid or knot their facial hair into tangled masses. Female priests traditionally keep long hair, and hair that nearly reaches the ground is common. The cutting of hair and beards is not forbidden, and what constitutes "long" varies from region to region. Both sexes weave dried seaweed, strands of white cloth, plant fibers, feathers, and other decorative items into their hair. When an old priest dies, snippets of this long hair are cut and given to his or her successors, who tie or weave it into their own locks. Water or sky burial is typical for priests; cremation is considered an ignoble means of disposing of a corpse.

Holy Text

Deidre's Hymns to the Wind and the Waves is a collection of prayers and rules that provide guidance on showing respect for the natural world through personal behavior. The exact message varies by temple, as each tends to preserve only the sections relevant to local needs; certain bardic colleges have large collections of church teachings, but no known temple bothers with all of them. Most excerpts from the text are carved on wood plaques or walls, as paper and parchment tend to mold and rot after decades in the vicinity of salt and water magic. Some temples carve selections of prayers onto driftwood and cast them into the sea where the currents carry them far away to wash up on foreign shores; a few sister temples have been trading prayers with each other in this way for generations

Holidays

Harvests, seasonal high and low tides, the appearance or concealment of often-submerged reefs and menhirs, and similar phenomena, most members of the church celebrate two common holidays.

Currentseve (7 Deirin) : The original meaning of this holiday's name is lost to time, as it doesn't refer to any specific event relating to water or wind currents. In modern tradition, it is a daylong fast in anticipation of the first sprouting plants of the year (in planting and gathering communities) or the spawning season (in fishing communities). It represents the fact that feast and famine are natural cycles; by abstaining from food, worshipers redirect spiritual energy to other lives so that they may multiply and provide food when needed.

Firstbloom (Vernal Equinox): Honored primarily in farming communities, this holiday marks the start of the planting season, and is typically celebrated with dances and other fertility rites. Traditionalists of the faith consider Firstbloom the start of the year.

Relations With Other Religions

Deidre is largely indifferent to other deities unless they threaten his domain or existence. She rebukes Avasir when his farms encroach too much the wilds, and the Master of the First Vault takes it as a personal affront when one of his cities suffers because of severe weather. Deidre hates Cadmus his desire to destroy the world,Hirai for the scars battles leave on the land, and Zephyra for bringing forth unnatural, undead abominations. He is alternately affectionate and cool with Cerie, for while the sky and stars are a good match, Deidre can be jealous of travelers' prayers to the Song of the Spheres. Deidre is genuinely friendly with Alaister, for he believes only Old Deadeye fully appreciates all aspects of nature.

Informally, Deidre considers the beasts of the earth and crops planted by humanoids to be Alaister's, while the sky, sea, fish, birds, and wild plants belong to her. Although no specific deity heads the Green Faith, Deidre is on good terms with the countless nature entities who support mortals of that religion, as well as with the Eldest of the First World.

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