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    Pelorian Sayings, Dogma & Detail
    Posted on Sun, July 06, 2003 by theocrat
    Rob writes "Within a campaign prelude for a new player, many new day-to-day details of the clergy of Pelor were outlined. This article explains these "features of the faith" and includes details on rivalries with other Greyhawk faiths due to overlapping portfolios and other issues. The article is formatted as follows:
    First, a brief, “in-game” quote informally, irreverently or humorously alluding to the topic touched upon;
    Second, a defining statement specifically noting the campaign or game aspect touched upon;
    Third, the specific phrase, campaign element or campaign detail is put in quotes;
    Fourth, a few paragraphs I wrote for the player, putting the phrase or information in context; basically brief vignettes demonstrating the use of the saying.
    Fifth, an explanation of the phrase or additional campaign detail, sometimes including DM Notes and "In Your Campaign" notes.


    Pelorian Sayings, Dogma & Detail
    By: Rob
    Used with Permission. Do not repost without obtaining prior permission from the author.
    Pelorian Sayings, Dogma & Detail in the World of Greyhawk

    “Never look directly at the Pelorian, kids!”
    On the internal perception of the clergy and its stalwart followers
    “I Reflect Pelor's Light gladly!” (or the more common, abbreviated “I Reflect Pelor Gladly”)
    Prelude: You are Molikan, an earnest though neophyte cleric of Pelor. The last few months in the temple had seen you accompanying more powerful fellow clerics and various guards on short missions outside the wary safety of the Littleberg patrol’s easy reach. This alone would have been surprising for such a junior cleric as yourself! After all, many of these patrols purposely involved skirmishes with the odd group of bandits or even, more rare this far south of the border, small bands of orcs, goblins or kobolds; these dark races festering forth from far too many dim, dirty caves and holes hidden from Pelor’s Bright Grace. As you recall it now, the unusual interest in you would have been almost pleasant, were you not increasingly and uncomfortably aware that this was more than just rare. It was unheard of. Still, as you had affirmed many times at the prompting of a clerical superior or simply in your many daily prayers, “I Reflect Pelor’s Light gladly.” And yet, as you think back, recent events were strangely surreal, at once both timeless and ephemeral.
    Campaign Use: A common statement among clergy and laypeople alike, affirming one’s faith in and following of Pelor. Since Pelor is the Sun God, “a Power of strength, light, and healing” that “casts down dark evils with bolts of brilliant sunlight,” (From the Ashes Powers quote), clergy often refer to, and consider themselves collectively, as “Reflections of Pelor,” believing themselves to be mortal prisms through which their faith in Pelor helps enlighten followers and banish dark evil. In fact, a common statement of thanks to a Pelorian priest for wise counsel or insight, is (while bowing one's head shortly and slightly), “many thanks for wise Reflections, priest, or “my gratitude for sharing His Reflected light,” or His Reflections. This is a compliment to the clergy and also refers to the belief that wisdom comes through the clergy, but ultimately from Pelor himself. Clergy were simply serving as the conduit, a mortal prism that reflects Pelor’s Sun.
    DM’s Note: A more subtle, and much darker, teaching of this phrase, one which Pelorian clergy are particularly loathe to share outside their brethren and most trusted laypeople, preaches that because mortals are not perfect, they may inadvertently become prisms through which Pelor’s light breaks, and the light may even splinter into strengthening the darker, less savory “colors” of the spectrum as well. In other words, pride and other sins and evil acts may corrupt the priest and/or follower. A certain amount of imperfection is expected, of course, due to well known human frailty when compared to the enlightened perfection of Pelor. But constant prayer for guidance and striving for humility and wisdom are necessary to ensure that clergy do not, even accidentally, do harm in their actions and/or teachings. One of the greatest fears of the clergy is that they may become “Dark Reflections,” or fallen priests of Pelor, eventually wholly consumed by evil. This is rare, but not unknown, and the phrase can send shivers up the spines of the most devout clergy, bringing with it the specter of an unthinkable Inquisition within the church of Pelor! The Pelorians well know the situation in the Pale with the followers of Pholtus! Oddly, the most senior Pelorian priests have recently received reports that at least two powerful Dark Reflections exist in the Flanaess, and have retained their full spellcasting abilities, though none can say why. Certainly Pelor, “Beacon of Good,” could not be supporting them. Pelorians at the highest level speculate as to how and why this is so, though the speculations themselves are as disturbing to them as the situation itself.
    In Your Campaign: In campaign use, “I reflect Pelor’s Light gladly,” or “Reflect Pelor’s Light,” will be heard often among clergy and even casual laypeople. The latter is often used among believers when saying goodbye. The phrase also bespeaks a general acceptance of Pelor’s will, or the clergy hierarchy’s orders, as in the last sentence in the story above. Between clergy, admonishments to beware becoming a “dark reflection” are simply not heard publicly even in heated debates, and only rarely even in private harsh, whispered warnings. If a clerical superior states this to a less powerful cleric of Pelor, the discussion is very clearly over! DMs may use this to great effect when coming from higher level NPC Pelorian clergy to Pelorian PCs. Another version of the reflection theme is also used for mundane greetings and farewells, noted later in this same article.

    “Great, no dawn prayer, so no healing after a hard day at battle? You fight the next umber hulk, pal.”
    Daily prayers’ timing and significance:
    The “Dawning” or “Dawn” prayer
    Prelude: As you recall it now through the weird mist of strangely dimming remembrance, you were summoned to the Archbishop’s private chambers early, enough so that even the most lowly Initiates were deep in sleep and Pelor’s blessed sun offered not even the barest hint of its assuring, certain arrival. Dressing quickly, the familiar, lilting sound of your morning “Dawning Prayer” comforted you as you prepared for a meeting that was more than just a little odd. While the summons was highly unusual, you weren’t completely surprised given recent events, except that someone so blessed as a Matriarch of the church would deign to come and personally escort you to the archbishop’s room! Something was happening; HAD been happening for some time now, though. You hadn’t been the only one to notice, you mused, as you recalled the increasingly rare conversations with your fellow acolytes over the past few months. Your superiors had been . . . noticing you . . . much more often than was normal . . . or probably healthy, really. Reason enough for your colleague’s and friend’s tight lips and careful smiles around you these past weeks, you supposed. Surprised at your apparent latent cynicism, you opened the door to follow the Matriarch who had patiently waited while you finished your required dawn prayers.
    The “Dawning Prayer,” or more commonly, the “Dawn Prayer,” is a common Pelorian morning prayer, requesting the Light of Pelor’s guidance before beginning the day. It is commonly used to begin the day and before beginning a significant endeavor of any kind, great and small, after that. The prayer has a strong protective aspect, and it is a rare day indeed that would not find clergy beginning their day and prayers to their deity at or before sunrise with this prayer, followed by prayers for specific daily spells. Even if a priest already had a full complement of spells, the dawn prayer is normally required unless in extremis, and subsequent new spell memorization is not possible without it!
    In any case, this prayer is required each day before subsequently praying for spells from Pelor (For combination spells, this is an aspect of the verbal component as all participating Pelorians pray together in unison). Actual text for this prayer is forthcoming, or you may create your own text. This prayer is often said right before an Enlightening Prayer (described later) to really give every possible chance for Pelor’s favor during particularly important and critical spellcasting.
    DM’s Note: Note that Pelor is not an impractical deity and realizes the difficulties inherent to life on Oerth: Pelor does not require the prayer actually be said at dawn, or even in the morning. It is only necessary to say the prayer upon waking up from a period of rest or meditation before regaining spells. If adventuring in the endless dark of the UnderOerth, this is a boon indeed, though Pelorians still seem to intuitively know when dawn breaks on the surface, and will strive to pray then, if possible. But DMs, be careful! If some player suggests this prayer is actually sung, and starts to do so to the tune of some song like You Light Up My Life, no jury in the world would convict you for the ensuing, instant “sunbolt from the heavens” that slays their PC for such blasphemy.
    In Your Campaign: Interestingly enough when compared to Pelorian information that will follow, followers of Pholtus, particularly within The Pale, pay no mind to this prayer though other aspects of Pelorian worship do annoy them (as you’ll read soon). Within Pholtian dogma, the concept and symbolism of dawn and dawning is inappropriate: to them, Pholtus’ truth is always a blindingly bright. Pholtian clerics (outside of the Pale, of course) may look upon this prayer and ritual with disdain, but do not view it as a threat, simply as misguided as worship of any other deity must be!

    “Hey, Why’d that cleric of Pholtus brain our Pelorian with his mace?”
    Religious animosity between priesthoods and its mundane manifestations:
    “Cursing Pelor for a sunburn”
    Prelude: “Surely there was some plan behind this uncomfortable and unusually personal attention,” Molikan thought. “Still, I’d no sooner question my superiors in such matters than ‘Curse Pelor for a sunburn,’ as the young cleric had heard some of the less likely initiates swear after some minor mishap or the other (perhaps Pelor would eventually grant them some skill with that hammer and the grace to heal that thumb!). Pelor would no doubt illuminate this mystery in his time, and prayers to him for strength through patience had – so far – been successful, thank the Bright One!” He was a far more illuminating patron deity than the unforgiving, blinding glare of Pholtus, thank Pelor. One could bask and learn in Pelor’s radiance rather than recoil from the blinding light of the Pholtian’s harsh and stark “truths.”
    The phrase “Cursing Pelor for a sunburn” is used in a number of contexts by Pelor’s followers, and particularly the more “earthy” often rural, clergy. It is simply used to describe somebody as foolish or stupid, as in “he’s so dumb, he’d curse Pelor for a sunburn,” i.e. the Pelor’s sun is the source of light and life, but he’d curse it simply because he was too stupid to use the “gift” properly. The second most common use for it is using it as an oath, as when you bang your thumb with a hammer and swear loudly, “Curse Pelor for a sunburn! Damn!” This is generally frowned upon by Pelorian clergy, however.
    In Your Campaign: There are also more subtle and not so subtle contexts for its use. It is used to ridicule somebody’s anger at something they should have had the sense to avoid, or recognized sooner (Such as, “She was too busy cursing Pelor for a sunburn to notice that the rod that fell and hurt her head was actually the missing trigger mechanism for the treasure vault.”). Or a potential ally foolishly spurned by a general before what will be a great battle, for instance, might cause the grizzled, veteran warrior to quietly comment later that “the damn fool would curse Pelor for a sunburn after two weeks of rain.” Or in bright sunny weather during a time of ongoing skirmishes with a nearby tribe of darkness-loving orcs, a soldier who grumbled about it being too hot or blindingly sunny might have a friend state mockingly, “why don’t you just curse Pelor for a sunburn while you’re at it?”, well recognizing the light as an ally and respite from the night in the fight against the orcs. Heavy daytime overcast skies or storms might invite daytime attacks after all! All in all, “He’d curse Pelor for a sunburn” is the most common way to describe someone as a fool, among laypeople in particular.

    “Oh, Shaddap already and turn off that light!”
    Clergy rebukes:
    “Dim That!”
    Prelude: With this unusual summons to see the Patriarch, now, perhaps, you would finally find out what the unusual attention meant? You had just recently been received and honored as an “Enlightened Acolyte” after your recent adventures with the unusually active and far ranging patrols. Perhaps the summons was related? Maybe . . . No, it couldn’t be! . . . a parish posting already? Where?! How!
    Dim that unworthy thought, you chide yourself, shrugging to no one as you continue to follow the Matriarch down the long, bright hallways of the temple. Dismiss it, grasping and scheming and unworthy of Pelor’s Light as it is.
    No, you must normally be at least an Adept to receive a posting even in the smallest, most remote hamlet, excepting in great need. The potential significance of that last concept just fully dawns on you as you round the corner and see the door of the archbishop’s special sanctum sanctorum at the far end of the hall.
    “Dim that unworthy thought,” or less formally, simply “Dim that,” is a common statement among Pelor’s clergy when requesting (or demanding) someone’s silence or moving to stop some major or minor blasphemy (statement or action). It is said by most followers of Pelor as well, and even, in areas with significant numbers of followers, by nonbelievers who have grown up hearing it often. Its meaning is fairly obvious: stop thinking or saying or doing that, as it is unworthy of being seen under the Sun, the “Light of Pelor.” It’s also commonly used by Pelorian followers with their children, when they are caught swearing or doing or saying something they ought not to be doing. PCs may hear this often while walking through a village with many Pelorian followers. It is likely that hearing this banter among families in a town may make the more astute PC follower of Pelor more comfortable about seeking aid or bunking down in a particular village or hamlet.
    DM’s Note: A variation of this saying is rarely used by Pelorians generally considered rather stuffy and formal- or downright pretentious. They will sometimes say, usually in formal audience with great diction and volume and not a little pomposity, “extinguish that, unworthy of the Light!” The more rural-based, active (read: adventuring), or simply practical clergy usually view this variation as deliberately condescending and insulting.

    “He doesn’t look all that strong. Brilliant either. Hey, stop poking me!”
    Clergy hierarchy, titling and proper address:
    “Your Illuminance,” and “Your Brilliant Strength”
    Prelude: The Matriarch slows as she approaches the door, the long hall now forebodingly quiet and still. She raps gently twice on the door, and pauses. As she waits, a trifle awkwardly herself, it surprises you to notice, she gives you a look you have not seen inside these walls before. Pity? And a little fear? Perhaps!
    Sulyan the Matriarch betrays her thoughts then, squeezing your shoulder warmly. She meets your questioning, pleading gaze almost warily, but with undeniable though formal, subdued compassion . . . for your plight? You had always considered her more than simply one of your teachers, but as a friend, formal though the relationship must be. Hearing the Archbishop’s call to come in, she bids you enter even as she turns, swiftly stepping away, walking down the hall and around the corner much too quickly for your growing sense of unease.
    With no time for further reflection of any sort, you obey and open the door quickly, hastening to the chair His Illuminance gestures to, barely daring to glance at his face as you hurry forward, bow, and sit, head lowered slightly in proper deference, hands clasped in appropriate reverence.
    “Your Illuminance” is the expected phrasing for followers and lower-status clergy to directly address a Pelorian Archbishop or any clergy above them in rank. Note that for Archbishops, the rank is technically Archbishop, but the accepted term of address does not generally include the title except in certain very formal circumstances (such as being announced before an audience with the king, perhaps, where it would be, “His Illuminance, Archbishop of Pelor Pobrand, of Littleberg, Furyondy). This is not always the case at higher levels within the Pelorian hierarchy, though. For reference, the “Canon” of Pelor, the highest ranking cleric of Pelor in the Flanaess or known world, is referred to as “Your Brilliant Strength.” In this case, though the name is the official title as well, he or she is not actually the “Canon” of Pelor, but literally the Brilliant Strength of Pelor. The immediate junior level cleric to His Brilliant Strength is referred to as The Shining Strength of Pelor, and she is the second highest ranking cleric of Pelor in the Flanaess, and typically the face of the church traveling to formal functions outside the churches main temple (hence the “shining” appellation). The group of former Archbishops serving the Canon as advisors and in other functions and capacities (currently numbering seven, though the exact number fluctuates at the whim of the Canon), are individually called “Suns,” the rank above Archbishop.
    One more detail on address and titles within the church- any Pelorian of equal hierarchical stature is either a brother or a sister in informal address (though it is not required that they be addressed in this manner). Any Pelorian clergy of greater hierarchical status is thought of and may in some informal circumstances be referred to as patriarch or matriarch.

    “Good Idea! What were you mumbling before you came up with that?”
    More traditional prayers and spell details:
    The “Enlightening” Prayer
    Prelude: It is only during the ArchBishop’s usual prayer before beginning the meeting that you hear the voice praying behind you and to your left. You haltingly fight the urge to turn – and promptly stumble over the standard “Enlightening” prayer for guidance you’ve said thousands of times before. Flushing deep red against even your well-tanned face, you sense Patriarch Pobrand’s gaze fix on you as he continues praying, his eyes hanging on you unrelentingly, like a high summer sun on a cloudless day. An interminable pause follows the prayer as Pobrand’s stare continues. Praise Pelor, you remain still, true to your training, quickly calming yourself and keeping your head and gaze properly low, your demeanor, deferential and still. You are in audience with great and powerful and good men- and in no less danger for that, you surmise, again surprised at your apparently more-than-budding cynicism!
    The Enlightening” prayer is another common prayer among priests of Pelor, and also the verbal component for the AD&D 2nd Edition Genius, Idea (see the Tome of Magic) and similar spells for Pelor’s clergy. As might be gathered from the name, the prayer requests enlightenment for any number of reasons, including such mundane things as riddles, problems, puzzles and tricks of all kinds, in the context of the aforementioned spells. There is also a more metaphysical, spiritual aspect to the prayer, of course. In daily use, it simply beseeches Pelor to enlighten the faithful to his grand plan or guide their actions to be wise and strong, and in keeping with Pelor’s ultimate desires and plans. It is often- almost always- said before meetings to plan important strategy or dangerous actions. Again, if any player suggests this prayer is actually sung to the tune of “You Light up My Life” or somesuch, I recommend you instantly whack ‘em, “Deus Ex Machina” style. Can’t have that!

    “Now THAT’S the temple of a sun god!”
    The raising of the temple in Littleberg, Furyondy:
    The Temple of Brilliant Reflection
    Prelude: His Illuminance finally breaks the silence. “You have much to be thankful for since your arrival at Pelor’s Temple of Brilliant Reflection, Molikan.”
    Another pause. He has addressed you, and you finally raise your head and look at His Illuminance, the Archbishop, Patriarch Pobrand, as he addresses you. Still no further sound from behind, though, and your body betrays you again, fidgeting ever so slightly as you wonder who stands there.
    “You HAVE noticed that we have rushed and intensified your training,” Pobrand states matter-of-factly. “This was done with purpose . . . and need.” You have no time to wonder at that statement as Pobrand continues.
    “You may also have noticed To’Re, behind you,” Pobrand flickers a smile at your obvious eagerness to discover who is behind you and continues as you quickly turn to look, “And I tell you now that he is part of this story – which to some, yet unknown extent, is part of a greater, possibly dangerous story. And by all the signs, you will have some part in illuminating this tale.”
    The “Temple of Brilliant Reflection” is a major temple to Pelor, and the temple’s name has secondary meanings apparent to the clergy and faithful, but the name also is justified by the (constantly and painstakingly polished!) brightly shining bronze and copper plating, inlay and art throughout the main temple, main gates, sculptures, other art and attached structures. In some places, silver, gold or even mithril inlay is used as well, all planned so as to offer magnificent and myriad reflections under the sun or artificial light. Strategically placed continual light spells, sometimes within well designed reflective hoods or shutters, highlight and reflect the more impressive and large copper or other inlay and artwork (and other reflective art) throughout the temple.
    DM’s Note: Toward the end of the Greyhawk Wars, Scheredenn, wife of Baron Jemian in Littleberg, Furyondy, was driven by the fervor felt by many existing Pelorian faithful and the droves of new followers driven to the church, and the church of Pelor’s servant, Mayaheine, during those dark and challenging times. She felt Pelor’s reflection compelling her to bring a major temple to Pelor closer to the Iuzian front lines that incorporated Mayaheine’s relationship in its architecture.
    The Temple of Brilliant Reflection is thus far the only major Pelorian temple in the Flanaess to incorporate the very new Mayaheine relationship into its design, architecture and art. Sheredenn’s constant and tireless efforts finally resulted in this major temple to Pelor being raised on the site of the original small church, and after just five years of building (aided by many spellcasters and volunteer labor), the spectacular result was one of the largest temples to Pelor in the Flanaess. It has attracted many followers, particularly those of Mayaheine, the latter including a group of paladins devoted to her service. Though Baron Jemian was (and is) somewhat chagrinned by his wife’s efforts (not being a follower of Pelor himself), he is happy for the strength of the temple and its followers, what with the constantly looming threat of Iuz.
    As noted, the temple has a large “shrine” to Mayaheine built into it, and is a major center for worship of that newly found Greyhawk deity, with several paladins devoted to Mayaheine taking residence here as their base of operations. In fact, the “shrine” to Mayaheine therein is actually larger than that deity’s churches elsewhere on Oerth. The previously existing relatively small church of Pelor in Littleberg is now a much larger and more prominent temple, including a strong element of Mayaheine worship within the temple, including the paladins, of course, though they are only rarely all in residence at one time. The latter element befits the more martial role one might expect from a church bordering Iuz’ lands!
    In Your Campaign: In my campaign, Pelor’s shrine in Littleberg was rebuilt, greatly expanded and renamed the “Temple of Brilliant Reflection,” largely through efforts driven by Baron Jemian’s wife Scheredenn (a long-time, staunch supporter of Pelor) and the region’s Archbishop after she drove the effort, contributed to and raised money for the significant expansion of the previously relatively small church presence here (pre-Wars). In most campaigns, a major Pelorian temple would typically be put in a much larger city, and this can be easily done in any campaign by changing some basic references and dropping it in.

    “Patience, Grasshopper, patience? What the hell do bugs have to do with it, Priest?”
    Pelorian Dogma and Tenet:
    “Pelor’s illuminations are not always easily or quickly understood . . . His Light too, may blind . . . .”
    Prelude: Gratefully turning just briefly to see who is there, you instantly recognize the mage behind you, though his presence here brings more troubling questions to mind. He has been visiting the temple for months, meeting in seclusion with the ArchBishop and a very few select senior church officials, some of whom traveled from afar shortly after the mage’s arrival.
    The Patriarch continued his explanation. “He is a mage, though not just that; He is skilled in farseeing and scrying, in using magic and faith to bring Pelor’s Bright Truth to illuminate the future’s endless, mottled twilight. A servant called to brighten Pelor’s Future Truths, if you will.” Pobrand continues, “He is of the faithful, and a friend of this temple, and myself. An old friend,” the ArchBishop looks at the wizard and smiles softly at the mild, good-natured slight, made with an obvious, easy camaraderie. You hear To’Re’s robes rustle suddenly and shortly, and wonder for a fleeting moment at what his immediate reaction must have been! These two must have known each other for a long while indeed. What events could great Pelor conspire to bring them together, to get beyond such normally disparate vocations? His Light shines brightly indeed!
    And then your indulgent and apparently ill-timed reverie comes to a sudden, shocking end.
    “He has seen you,” Pobrand says softly, urgency in his voice, as he turns to you once again, gazing intently as if he could hopefully see this strange riddle’s answer played out in your now very furrowed brow.
    An uncontrollable shiver wracks you as goose bumps raise hackles on the nape of your neck.
    The simple shrug Pobrand gives in response is comically understated, considering the gravity of his previous statement. “Why, we cannot yet say. Pelor’s illuminations are not always easily or quickly understood. His Light may temporarily blind one to the totality of the truth until the whole can come into focus or be revealed. Unlike a lesser god’s light, with Pelor, after reflection, we may develop the faith to adjust to it, as any light may blind even when dispelling darkness, and no Light is stronger than Pelor’s.”
    A common tenet of the Pelorian faith is that lesser priests and laypeople cannot fully “see” the Brilliance of Pelor until they gain sufficient experience and wisdom, due to their coming blindly “out of the darkness” of ignorance and insufficiently deep faith. Faith and experience dispels the darkness and helps them adjust to the True Light of Pelor. As the clergy grow in faith (and power), their faith can accommodate more of Pelor’s Bright Truth, and Reflect more of his light directly among mortals. The phrase “Pelor's Bright Truth” is often used in this context during teaching of lesser priests and followers alike, to preach patience and reflection in understanding Pelor’s wisdom. However, see the notes below for the potential reactions of the clergy and followers of Pholtus to hearing these kinds of statements!
    This phrase and concept (“Pelor’s Bright Truth” and “His Illuminations not always or easily understood as we come out of the darkness . . . .”) are common themes of sermons throughout Pelorian temples, and to a lesser extent, even Mayaheine’s. It teaches on the one hand that patience and continued effort toward understanding one’s situation and problems may be appropriate, as opposed to quick action. Though seemingly contradictory to exhortations to act rather than sit on one’s hands, the distinction is simple, if not occasionally frustrating: one must develop the wisdom to know what course is appropriate, and when. On the other hand, one must constantly strive and learn to understand and see more of Pelor’s Bright Truth.

    “Great, more dark, dank and disgusting places. Hope you have lots of light spells, shiny!”
    Pelorian exhortations and callings:
    “Find the Dark that Pelor bids you dispel.”
    Prelude: To’Re’s slate-blue gaze holds you now as you hear him moving. He walks around to stand next to Pobrand. “You are in my scryings, and have been for some time now,” the Sun Mage (as he is sometimes called by the acolytes) asserts bluntly. Testing you, perhaps? Gauging your mettle, at least, certainly. To’Re watches you closely before he continues. “There are challenges ahead of you that will mean much to many. Not here, though, in the relative safety of the middle of Furyondy. No, you must travel to find what challenging grace Pelor has laid before you. You must enlist the aid of others, and together find the Dark that Pelor bids you dispel, as must we all. We cannot foresee exactly where you will go to meet your ultimate destiny. But we know where you must begin. You must travel immediately to the western verge of that great, dark and dangerous forest, The Vesve.”
    Blunt talk, you think, for what- a fortune-telling scryer!? Is he more than a layperson? What could compel one such as he to speak so baldly, so boldly? What of the illusions, allusions and riddles you and others have heard from the scores of fortune tellers and Rhennee-related Attloi soothsayers, once again traveling in circuses and caravans around Littleberg since the Greyhawk Wars ended? Perhaps To’Re is of a different sort than they, needing none of their dim lights and gaudy trappings, needing only Pelor’s faith to brighten the future’s dawn- or will it be dusk? More indeed, you think, than meets the eye with this mage!
    Not surprisingly, Pelorian clergy often exhort followers to go forth and dispel the darkness, darkness representing not only evil but also any possible uncertainty in their personal faith, depending on the context. A common concept for clergy is that Pelor has in mind a particular Darkness that He bids them dispel during their lives, that they may more easily come to His Light as their reward upon their deaths. This “darkness” could be almost anything or many related things, but generally means actual evil rather than the cleric’s or follower’s simple internal uncertainty as to their best path in life. The latter is not unknown, however, and is actually the norm with most followers, of course.
    Still, many a Pelorian cleric has given daily sermons about the “Dark” being different for everyone, and many have rallied crowds to meet some larger threat, exhorting the crowd that the Darkness they were meant to dispel was embodied in that larger threat.

    “Fine, so you have plenty of light spells. I’m cold, Bright One. Whaddya mean stop calling you Bright One? Oops, watch that Pholtian, behind you!”
    General references to the Faith and inter-religious conflict continued:
    “The Bright Faith”
    Prelude: To’Re pauses, looking somewhat chagrined at your obvious discomfort and now, frankly, thinly disguised fear. Pobrand stands purposefully, filling the silence with the natural assurance of a leader who knows without question he will be obeyed, and right quick.
    “Enlightened Acolyte Molikan of Littleberg, I bid you travel to the High Vale, north of Highfolk, to the town of Haven. Our priest and followers there, including, perhaps, a paladin of Mayaheine, will aid you as they may, though perhaps not always as you may wish.
    “Molikan, you must grow in wisdom to best meet the tasks Pelor has and will lay before you. Be very clear, you should not do this alone, for the most part. Seek colleagues of complementary skills and as much reliability as they can muster, if they are not in Pelor’s service or of the faith. Work with them, though within Pelor’s teachings. As He wills, from time to time we will contact you and more will be brought into Pelor’s light.”
    “Hopefully for all of us,” To’Re interjects, muttering softly and somewhat sarcastically. Not soft enough. Pobrand’s severe glance quickly chastens him, and the mage lowers his head, ever so slightly, in a just-too-stiffly formal fashion, you think. They must be close friends indeed, you think, wondering at the mage’s subtle but unpunished irreverence.
    “Know that you are not alone in facing challenges for Pelor,” Pobrand continues. “Know that his light shines on and through you, as you act in accordance with and reflect the true Bright Faith.”
    The “Bright Faith” is a common description for Pelor’s faith, in the mold of the Bright Truth, of course. The reasoning here is fairly obvious considering his status as a god of the sun. To scholars, the rivalry these terms complicate is also rather obvious.
    DMs Note: Followers of Pholtus are sometimes irritated at hearing either phrase from Pelorians, thinking it too close to their “Blinding Light” for their tastes, and downright blasphemy if they’ve just come from the typical harangue that passes as a religious service in the Theocracy of the Pale (as the Pelorian’s typically regard those services). Pholtians are particularly irritated at hearing any of these types of statements. They scoff at Pelor’s Bright Faith and supposedly Bright Truth, and in the Pale it is deemed, of course, heretical. To say any of these phrases and perhaps cap it off with a “curse Pholtus (instead of Pelor) for a sunburn” oath anywhere near them (especially within or even near the borders of the Theocracy of the Pale), has been known to lead to severe and unfortunate events and is a sure-fire way to anger clergy and followers of Pholtus. Many of Pholtus’ followers and fanatical clergy generally deride or belittle Pelorians in any event, not needing much reason to incite conflict. Pholtians may even believe they are being subtle in their frequent, zealous harangues, though others have likened their particular brand of “subtlety” to a sledgehammer!
    In Your Campaign: In my campaign, a long-running tangible friction has resulted from these dogmatic similarities. Specifically in one case, some bards have, in song and poem, likened Pholtus’ light to the bright glare sometimes used during intense, untrusting interrogation, while Pelor’s is the warm sunshine that dispels the dark and gives life. In at least one known case, Pholtus’ clergy were not amused, and a particularly gifted (and loud) bard given to musical musings on this distinction recently disappeared as she traveled past (but not in) the Pale lands, presumably not quite enough miles distant from the border! The bard’s friends and comrades, various individuals of an adventuring bent, are currently pondering what to do about this, but have had difficulty even confirming what happened to their loud-mouthed friend. They are desperate for information that would suggest a course of action. This bard, Icarias by name, was known for her violent opposition to book burning and censorship, and greatly disliked The Pale and in particular its Inquisition. Icarias was perhaps the most well known of a small cadre of bards that had been spreading these, to The Pale, heretical works. Proof of her fate is proving difficult to find. Still, those who are familiar with The Pale and the clergy of Pholtus there believe it is likely she is still alive, but undergoing an unpleasant “reeducation” of sorts. It is said that the situation is serious enough that even a certain very powerful, crane-loving bard (See Gwydiesin of the Cranes, in the Ivid the Undying accessory by Carl Sargent) is concerned at the potential ramifications. This latter information is little more than rumor, however, with some very powerful personages noting that Gwydiesin is famously apolitical. It is possible, however, that the über-bard is not at all concerned with the politics but rather the attempt to restrict free expression. Even this would be a stretch for the infamously insular bard, however, and may be simply wishful thinking. In any case, a small group of bards friendly to Icarias and sympathetic to her plight has made two attempts to meet with Gwydiesin, but had no luck finding him. They are currently preparing for a third, more protracted foray. It is unknown whether the great bard will finally meet with them- it has been pointedly supposed that he actually disapproves of the songs and poems regarding Pelor and Pholtus, regarding them as works that are too tied to political and fleetingly temporal topics and thus inherently lesser works of art. The bards still mean to try to meet Gwydiesin, however.

    “Wait a minute. Is it look before you leap, or the early bird gets the worm? Make up your mind!”
    Pelorian folk sayings and everyday phrases:
    “Damned are they who pause too often to consider whether the sun will rise again.”
    Prelude: Patriarch Pobrand continued to address the somewhat shaken Enlightened Acolyte Molikan. “Molikan, remember well that Pelor is not only our god of light and healing, but also a god of strength and action versus evil. Do not simply react, but wherever possible act surely, though with thought and faith. Contemplation, reflection of course, may more often light the correct path than haste, but lightning-quick decisions must have their place and time as well. Damned are they who pause to consider once too often whether the sun will rise again. Remember the most recent and magnificent example of Pelor’s servant and ally in faith and strength, Mayaheine.”
    An unusual look then clouds the ArchBishop’s usually bright face.
    “We may all have even greater need for Pelor’s martial strength versus darkness and evil in the future, judging from the portents. You will learn more as we learn and may relate- and as you no doubt will experience personally!”
    Damned are they who pause to consider too often whether the sun will rise again is another statement of common wisdom among Pelor’s followers. The message is, don’t overplan the obvious, and thus miss your chance for success, or don’t think too much on simple matters of faith. It has other meanings as well that may be obvious in different contexts. The proactive course is sometimes the only avenue to success. This phrase arose recently with Pelor’s increasing martial aspect following the Wars, and in particular with the rise of Mayaheine. Followers and clergy of that recently appeared demigoddess use this phrase and admonishment often in their position as the “Sword of Pelor,” seeking to go forth and cut down evil and darkness before it can spread. Even the most common peasant follower of Pelor in the most backwater village will now be familiar with this phrase and its meaning.

    “Yeah, yeah, goodbye; Hey, Don’t break any mirrors yourself.”
    Pelorian Greetings and Goodbyes:
    “Reflect Well and Often in Pelor’s Light” (or the shorter Reflect Well in Pelor, or simply, Reflect Well)
    Prelude: Pobrand’s face clouds now, stern indeed. “One last directive, Molikan, – strong advice more accurately, and then you must leave and prepare for a new dawn. I bid you make careful records of your journeys, and Reflect Well and Often in Pelor’s Light! I know of your skills in song and storytelling,” he continues, as you blush slightly. “Don’t fret, I am not as completely unaware about what transpires within these walls as may be stated, even in the Inn’s common room! In truth, it is more than a simple talent you have to enthrall and enlighten believers and the less virtuous alike with your . . . . imaginative, shall we say? . . . tales of faith, courage and . . . and other things. But trust not only to your stories and your memory in your coming travels, and record in and review your journal often. You may then more easily notice common threads or related facts during your travels and travails, and reflect upon and teach others what you have learned.” Pobrand looks down to a book open on his desk then, suddenly waving a hand past you, toward the entrance where the more-than-mage now stood holding the door open. You had not even heard him move. “My journal served us well, aye, To’Re?.”
    To’Re nods slightly, a thin smile momentarily and barely moving his lips but his eyes dancing with fond remembrance of challenges past.
    You rise questioningly, pausing but a moment to confirm your dismissal, and try to walk out more surely and boldly than you feel into whatever strange grace Pelor wills.”
    “Reflect Well and Often in Pelor’s Light” (or the shortened, Reflect Well in Pelor or Reflect Well) are all common greetings and goodbyes among the faithful of Pelor. These phrases should be well understood from the notes above. It is commonly used among Pelorian clergy and followers alike, and again speaks to the fact that the Pelorian faithful know that the true clerical power they have is reflected from Pelor himself. This is also a more subtle way of teaching humility among clergy and faithful alike, as the phrase alludes to the belief that any strength of the priest or follower is simply the reflection of Pelor’s light through the priest, and not indicative of the priest’s own strength and glory. “Reflect well” will very commonly be heard as a greeting or goodbye among the villagers where there is a significant number of devoted followers of Pelor. It is almost always heard among clergy as either a greeting (especially when seeing another member of the clergy after a long absence, as a greeting and a compliment as well: You Reflect well in Pelor, sister!), a compliment, or a farewell.
    In Your Campaign: Pelorians in general, particularly Pelorian laypeople, deem breaking a mirror to be exceptionally bad luck. Many clergy also subscribe to this belief, even some prominent leaders of the faith. They will go out of their way to avoid this, though in game terms there is no effect, other than the sense of dread the Pelorian may feel after the unlucky incident!

    “Beat me!?! You’re not even stronger smelling than me, Pelorian!”
    Pelorian Portfolio Dogma and Additional Deity Conflict:
    “True Strength Transcends and Bolsters Strength of Arms”
    Prelude: As you walk back to your room to prepare for your journey and wonder to the future, you remember your teachings. Perhaps now is a fitting time to remember one of the most basic truths of the faith. You will need all your strength on this journey and, you know, not solely the physical stamina or strength many narrowly confuse with the term. Though the daily physical exercises and rigors required of initiates have long left you strong and fit, you fear- and yet hope- you will find the truth of the Pelorian saying, “True strength transcends and bolsters strength of arms,” many times over. You know the weak light flickers and is easily snuffed. Yours must flare brightly, it seems, but long enough to brighten and realize the future Pelor put before you. You are resolved even as you are, you admit to yourself now, nervous. You will not question your path from this point forward- though you suspect you may question your actions. Illuminate me, Pelor, you ask, and hasten your step, though you barely know your destination and certainly not your fate. You step quickly toward your future.
    Strength in Pelor’s portfolio is more subtle than simple brute strength or martial prowess- while physical strength is revered, it is revered as a means to an end, and within the broader context of a “portfolio” of strength: strength of will, strength of character, and strength of conviction (faith), are each equally as important in considerations of Pelor’s faith as simple physical strength. And taken together, they are the totality of the meaning of strength within Pelor’s portfolio. For Pelorians, physical strength is nothing without the other aspects of strength to focus and guide it. “True strength transcends and bolsters strength of arms,” or “true strength transcends and augments the physical,” is the dogmatic reminder of this fact for all Pelorians. While other deities may celebrate a more narrow definition of this portfolio aspect, Pelor and his clergy and followers are acutely aware of the various aspects of true strength and the necessity for developing each.
    DMs Note: Interestingly, though they happily don’t run across each other very often, there is some ill will between followers of Pelor and Llerg, the Suel god of beasts and strength revered in particular by the many Suel barbarians of the Northeast Flanaess. In truth, this bad blood is actually more on the part of followers of Llerg than Pelor: the latter generally simply ignore the Llergites simple minded and singular interpretation of strength, preferring not to create problems where there is no good reason. The antipathy is also fairly recent, as the two clergies have encountered each other slightly more often in the past two decades than in years past.
    In any case, Llerg’s followers apparently resent Pelor’s “arrogant” subsumation of the strength portfolio and seem, subconsciously or not, to resent the implication that strength is more complex than the physical strength and martial prowess they typically glorify. Altercations between the two groups have in the main been confined to the even then rare barroom brawl types, but occasionally a more serious rift develops before the Pelorians can smartly extricate themselves. Thankfully, the followers of Llerg practice wrestling as a means to measure strength and fitness to lead, and this generally non-lethal means of primary conflict resolution has meant that there have been few if any fatalities when the two priesthoods have clashed. Of course, given the Llergite’s dedication to the sport, it also means very few Pelorians have triumphed in these matches!
    In Your Campaign: Some still speak of an incident shortly after the uneasy truce following the Greyhawk Wars. A Pelorian priest and a small but highly skilled group of comrades was hurriedly traveling through the barbarian lands for unspecified reasons when they were stopped by a barbarian patrol. The tall, incredibly well muscled cleric of Llerg leading the barbarian patrol recognized the priest as Pelorian, and immediately challenged him to a wrestling match, claiming he would “teach the ‘sunlight-footed’ priest the meaning of true strength. The Llergite’s comrades roared with laughter at what passed for a sly, humorous slight among the barbarians! The “sunlight-footed” insult, a wordplay on Pelor’s portfolio, was to a barbarian and Llergite a grave insult. They generally considered it a severe loss of face to be easily knocked off one’s feet.
    Keeping his temper well in check, the Pelorian calmly explained that the group was on a mission of utmost importance and simply could not spare the time at the moment, but would be happy to return later, if it was really necessary. Surely the Sun could shine peacefully on Llerg’s strong followers as the two groups went their separate ways, the Pelorian asked. In the face of the ensuing catcalls, the Pelorian and his veteran comrades prepared themselves as the barbarians moved to circle the smaller group.
    Now angered and annoyed at the needless delay, an iron will reflected through the Pelorian’s stony gaze. In a strong, measured tone, he promised the Llergite “as surely as Pelor’s Sun rises and on Llerg’s bestial Strength” that he would indeed return to duel later. The brief pause that followed allowed the Llergites to just begin their protestations of cowardice and accusations that the Pelorian would never return. Then the Pelorian priest Rolun of Littleberg upped the ante, emphatically stating that the stakes must be worthwhile and loudly offering that the loser should serve the winner for a year and a day! Even the Pelorian’s comrades doubted the wisdom of the stakes for such a match. Llergites were widely known for their wrestling prowess and incredible strength, and certainly rarely, if ever, lost while wrestling an outsider. It was a matter of long-standing pride and unending practice for them. One wise-cracking comrade of the Pelorian, a good-natured rogue, quietly averred that he doubted the priest could even stand the Llergite’s “strength of smell” for too long. The ensuing snickering among the Pelorian’s veteran group did not endear them to the barbarians.
    Unsure at the quiet laughter of the Pelorian’s group, and dismayed at the severity of the prize offered but unwilling to lose face in front of his comrades, the cleric of Llerg, Akarelin, accepted, which also necessitated him honoring the delay. At Akarelin’s insistence, the two clerics solemnly swapped spare holy symbols as their pledge to return in two weeks. For most Llergites, the story ends here, with insults detailing how the Pelorian never returned for the match, fearful as he was of the True Strength of Llerg.
    Pelorians of Furyondy, particularly near Littleberg, have a different ending to the tale, and recall that a priest of Pelor returned from the far northeast some two months after the initial encounter. This particular Pelorian priest was well known in Littleberg, having his humble origins in the farmland around the city and gaining a deceptive strength from years of hard labor. Wrestling was the popular sport in the region, with matches even held between villages, hamlets and even allied farmsteads. His Illuminance Rolun was actually a beloved regional wrestling champion who had joined the Pelorian priesthood as a young man, constantly wrestling even as he continued his studies of Pelor. During his years of wrestling success, Rolun became known (with some embarrassment on his part) as the “Bronzewood,” after a tree native to the Flanaess, for not only his ruddy complexion but for his strength and his ability to “plant roots.” It was simply impossible to grapple or knock him off his feet, this ability no doubt helped by his impressive size, though like the bronzewood tree, he had been slender and relatively small in his younger years.
    His Illuminance Rolun was now an experienced adventuring cleric of Pelor, and an accomplished explorer as well, working always on behalf of his faith. Journeying west from his mission to the northeast, Rolun heard of the raising of a magnificent temple to Pelor (and Mayaheine!) in his home region of Littleberg, and traveled there with all haste. He came to the just-begun Temple of Brilliant Reflection with an odd company: several hardy, experienced adventurers, a Llergite cleric, and a group of 18 Snow Barbarians who, egged on by their drinking and their fellows, had bet more than was strictly wise on the outcome of a certain wrestling match. Rolun and the followers of Llerg stayed for nearly a year, working hard and long to help raise the temple.
    Incredibly, led by the Llergite priest Akarelin, the barbarians eventually left with no ill will, perhaps mollified by the occasional forays the Pelorian priest led with them against the humanoids of the despised Iuz. Or perhaps they finally recognized the inner reservoirs and different aspects of strength within themselves. For their part, while happy at the help, the Pelorians were pleased to not have to supervise the barbarian’s work any longer- if the barbarians weren’t completely exhausted from work, a difficult thing to ensure, they tended to celebrate a bit more boisterously than the Pelorians were comfortable with!

    "
     
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    Re: Pelorian Sayings, Dogma & Detail (Score: 1)
    by Delglath on Mon, July 07, 2003
    (User Info | Send a Message | Journal)
    Although I think the addition of a story detracts from the overall effectiveness of this article, and the seperations between the various stages of a sayings explanation should be much clearer, ultimately I really like these sayings.

    It's all very well and good for a DM to know Greyhawk inside out, but if you're accomodating newbie players, whether new to D&D or just new to Greyhawk, the world may as well be a generic one without them somehow engaging in its depth and flavour.

    I, for one, therefore, would LOVE to see more articles like this one. Articles for PLAYERS. If I ever have a cleric of Pelor in my game, I will most definitely be sending them this article (minus the story element, no offence, but like I said, I think it detracts from the usefulness of the article) and insisting they learn a few of the phrases!

    It's stuff like this that can really bring a game to life and bring the setting to the fore, rather than it be just a backdrop for slaying things and gathering treasure.



    Re: Pelorian Sayings, Dogma & Detail (Score: 1)
    by Delglath on Mon, July 07, 2003
    (User Info | Send a Message | Journal)
    Although I think the addition of a story detracts from the overall effectiveness of this article, and the seperations between the various stages of a sayings explanation should be much clearer, ultimately I really like these sayings.

    It's all very well and good for a DM to know Greyhawk inside out, but if you're accomodating newbie players, whether new to D&D or just new to Greyhawk, the world may as well be a generic one without them somehow engaging in its depth and flavour.

    I, for one, therefore, would LOVE to see more articles like this one. Articles for PLAYERS. If I ever have a cleric of Pelor in my game, I will most definitely be sending them this article (minus the story element, no offence, but like I said, I think it detracts from the usefulness of the article) and insisting they learn a few of the phrases!

    It's stuff like this that can really bring a game to life and bring the setting to the fore, rather than it be just a backdrop for slaying things and gathering treasure.




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