The Eclipse of Hope
Al-Asran (Pelor, Sol)
A Flan deity, Pelor is worshipped throughout the Flanaess, and on other worlds as well. He rides a mighty ki-rin named Star Thought, summoning eagles and destroying evil with bolts of light. He is depicted as an older man with wild golden hair and beard, dressed in robes of shining white.
Pelor was known as Sol by the early Oeridians. The Solnor Ocean is named for him.
Among the Bakluni, Pelor is known as Al’Asran. Al’Asran is said to have granted the legendary Cup and Talisman to Al’Akbar.
As of “Complete Divine” two more domains were added to Pelor’s Jurisdiction: The Community and Glory Domains. Both can be found, with description and domain spell breakdowns, in Complete Divine.
A number of Pelor’s followers have achieved deity or near-deity status, the most popular being Mayaheine, demigoddess of Protection, Justice, and Valor, and Saint Bane the Scourger, patron saint of those who hunt the undead. Another saint, Saint Jalnir the Gentle, was a half-orc priest. Saint Benedor of the Ashen Hand, patron of the Knight Protectors of the Great Kingdom, was a famous Pelorian paladin and remains greatly revered by the Sun Lord’s faithful. Saint Pentival was a foe of Acererak.
Among the other gods, Pelor is allied most closely with Mayaheine, and very closely allied with Rao as well. Pelor’s other allies include Heironeous, Saint Cuthbert, Pholtus, Trithereon, and Zodal. Pelor’s priests have been known to help mediate disputes between St. Cuthbert’s followers and Pholtus’s. Pelor is friendly to good-aligned nonhuman deities such as Corellon Larethian, Moradin, and Garl Glittergold, and is especially friendly to those with an agricultural or solar aspect, as Yondalla has.
Pelor opposes all evil deities and his followers avoid neutral deities with teachings counter to Pelor’s. Pelor particularly loathes Tharizdun, having played a role in the Dark God’s imprisonment, and Nerull.
The Fortress of the Sun, once known as Light’s Blessing, is Pelor’s realm in Elysium. Pelor’s domain, once a vast manor surrounded by orchards, vineyards, and farmland for miles, is now (since he assumed a more martial aspect during the Greyhawk Wars) a gold-plated citadel that forms a beacon atop the largest island of Elysium’s layer of Thalasia. It’s said the sun there warms the hearts of the good and illuminates the secret acts of the evil.
In 4th edition, Pelor’s realm is known as Hestavar, the Bright City. It is described as a metropolis made of precious stones and metals built on islands of earth hovering above a bright lagoon. There, Pelor dwells with Erathis, goddess of civilization, in the golden palace of Aurosion.
Pelorians believe that the life-giving sun is the best cure for all of Oerth’s ills. Justice and freedom are brought about through charity, modesty, perseverance, and self-sacrifice. Pelor’s priests teach that the truly strong don’t need to prove their power. Pelorians strive to perform so many good acts that evil has no room in which to exist, though they will fight if necessary. Pelor is wrathful against the forces of evil, and is especially opposed to the undead. However, Pelor urges his followers to remember that excessive attention to things of evil can blind one to the truly important things: compassion and goodness. These are what must be emphasized above all.
Pelorian dogma has it that the energy and power of life originates in the sun.
In the Sun Father’s Hand is a controversial text accepted at present by only a handful of Pelorian temples. It was written about 476 CY by a woman named Tephos. Tephos was not a priest, but she believed herself to be Pelor’s chosen representative on Oerth. Somehow she performed miracles, including curing an entire village of plague, before writing about her beliefs and vanishing in front of her disciples in a flash of golden light. Tephos taught that all property should be held communally, that society should return to a more “natural” state like that assumed to exist before the spread of civilization, and that clerics were unnecessary; Pelor could intervene directly instead. Most branches of the Pelorian faith consider Tephos to be gifted but delusional.
The Light of Pelor is the most common Pelorian holy book, beginning with Pelor’s creation of the sun and telling of how Pelor instructed the first mortals. Some turned against his teachings, thus creating evil, and this evil spirit has waxed and waned over time. Some versions portray Pelor as the sun (Liga) itself, rather than its creator, and tell of Pelor’s attempts to win back those who have strayed from his light. The Light of Pelor only has minor variations in it, and all are considered canonical, despite these small discrepancies. The book is often enchanted to glow with a soft solar radiance when it’s closed, and some versions are gilded.
Pelor is a popular deity, much-beloved by the commonfolk. He is particularly revered in the Bright Lands (as Aurifar), among the Rovers of the Barrens, in Dyvers, Geoff, the Free City of Greyhawk, Nyrond, Perrenland, Sterich, Sunndi, Tenh, and Urnst (both the Duchy and the County). In his Baklunish aspect, Pelor is one of the major deities of the nation of Ekbir. He is worshiped on at least one other world, the homeworld of Mayaheine. The Prelacy of Almor was founded by a paladin of Pelor after the Battle of a Fortnight’s Length, and though the nation became ruled by an ecumenical council, it remained the greatest center of Pelor’s faith until Almor was destroyed during the Greyhawk Wars.
Although Pelor’s church has a few heresies and schisms, the head priests of his powerful temples are in contact with one another and with the religion’s overall leadership. If the secular leaders of one nation place an onerous tax on Pelor’s temples, word will spread through Pelor’s hierarchy. Other nations might be persuaded by their Pelorians to apply diplomatic pressure to get the tax repealed.
Pelor’s clergy heal the sick, bless crops, help the needy, and destroy evil and the undead. They are caring and nurturing, with backbones of steel. The Pelorian priesthood attracts many naive youths to his service, but training is rigorous enough to send many of them back to their farms. Pelor’s elite priests are called Radiant Servants. Pelor’s favored weapon is the mace (heavy or light). Vestments are typically yellow or gold.
Pelor’s favored weapon in the 4th edition is the morningstar.12
Pelor is served by a small number of druids, who behave in ways similar to his clerics, but with a greater emphasis on the care of plants and animals. They usually associate themselves with settlements rather than living as hermits, aiding the community with their hands, spells, and animal companions wherever they can. They are considered to have priest status within the Pelorian church, though they have a separate hierarchy. Pelor is also worshipped in the Old Faith, where he is considered the god of summer.
Pelorian paladins, known as Crusaders, are rare, having appeared in large numbers only since the Greyhawk Wars. They are about as common as Mayaheine’s paladins, though the demigoddess’s church is much smaller than Pelor’s. Pelor’s paladins see themselves as the burning light of the sun which scours away darkness and evil and brings strength and comfort to the innocent. Though uncommon, they can be found in nearly every nation in the Flanaess, their dress varying according to the local culture. They are most common in Nyrond, the Urnst States, and the Sheldomar Valley.
Crusaders believe that laws are helpful, but that they are at best a secondary goal and must be tempered with mercy. Their slogan is “Equity for the Meek with Perseverance and Strength”.
When not in formal dress, Crusaders favor light-colored tunics, particularly sky blues, pale greens, or grays. Some dress in commoner’s clothing, especially when serving as community healers or in disguise. On formal occasions, they wear a black cloak emblazoned with the symbol of the sun. They blend into the darkness, only the shining symbols visible to their foes.
An ancient order of Oeridian paladins predating the Great Migrations, the Lords of Sol, are now extinct, but their history is closely bound to that of the Aerdi tribes who founded the Great Kingdom. By the time of the Migrations, Hextor and Heironeous had gained greater popularity and largely subsumed the traditional roles of the Lords of Sol.
Mayaheine, Handmaiden of Pelor
Mayaheine is the demigoddess of Protection, Justice, and Valor. Her symbol is a downward-pointing sword with a V on either side.
Mayaheine is an unusually tall woman with auburn-gold hair with blue eyes. She carries a bastard sword and a longbow, and is garbed in silvery plate mail.
Mayaheine is a servant and paladin of Pelor, and her faith serves as a more strongly martial complement to Pelor’s church.
Her relationship with Heironeous is more uncertain, but most of their respective clergy sees their roles as complementary, Mayaheine as protector and Heironeous as the one who marshals the hosts to battle.
Mayaheine dwells in Arvenna, the Chanting Grounds on Mount Celestia, on the warlike layer of Mertion. This is a place for the training of archons, primarily, but she is not the only deity to make it her home.
Mayaheine’s faith is still a young one, still organizing itself and still very much tied to the church of Pelor. Her worshipers see her as a savior come to rescue them from the darkness that threatens the world in these grim times.
Priests of Mayaheine are often guided by and always defer to priests of Pelor. Her clerics are often relatively young. They train for combat and help organize the defense of communities.
Paladins of Mayaheine are known as Valiants. Their motto is “Fortitude within and valor without.” They are few, as their order has only existed since the 580s CY. Most of them have emerged from existing Pelorian knighthoods. As many as three in five of them are female. The Valiants dedicate themselves to the protection of the innocent, downtrodden, and good. They typically wear flowing tabards cinched with a golden cord or girdle at the waist, usually with the symbol of Mayaheine emblazoned on them. They favor light blues, greens, and tans.
A small temple to Mayaheine exists in Greyhawk’s Old City, cared for by the priest Veni Jarrison. She is also worshiped in Perrenland, Hardby (which contains Mayaheine’s largest temple and training house), and Zulern.
Mayaheine was originally a mortal paladin of Pelor, brought to Oerth from another world during the Greyhawk Wars to help fight the rising tide of evil. Her first recorded sighting was in 583 CY.