View  Edit  Attributes  History  Attach  Print  Search
Main / Halfling

Halfling Pantheon - Gods - Priests

(see also Hin)

General Description - The halfling pantheon is a small one, with the distinctions between the gods being occasionally blurred. They are often referred to collectively as "Yondalla's children", and sometimes halfling priests use the same term to refer to their own priesthood and to the halfling race generally. Alone of the demihumans, halflings revere a female Creator Goddess at the head of their pantheon. In a variety of mythic forms, Yondalla? is the mother of the halfling people. Some stories say she gives birth to them, sometimes she creates them from disparate elements of fertile nature, and she even rarely is said to transform some saddened and solitary sylvan creature (a brownie, in one or two versions) into a halfling, making the race her creation alone. In this version of the myth, Yondalla? needs a people of her own as much as the solitary and cast-out mortal creature needs the protection of the goddess. Whatever story is used halflings have a deep identification with Yondalla? at a physically rooted level.

Yondalla? is said to have used her powers of persuasion to have gained the fertile fields and meadows of the lands usually settled by halflings. By complimenting Moradin Soul Forger on his metalcrafting she dispatched him to look for mithral deep in the earth; with honeyed words she described the soul-gems of the first gnomes to Garl Glittergold and he hurried to look for them; she came to an agreement with Corellon Larethian? to divide the green, fertile places between halflings and elves; and by praising the versatility of the humans and their deities she deprived them of any specific living place of their own altogether. Yondalla? is seen as an all-provider, an eternally-fertile source of protection for her small people. It is doubtful whether any deity is loved in a more all-embracing way than this goddess is by the halflings, who see her as the source of all their blessings in the world-and they feel they have many. Comforts, pleasures, security, friendships, fellowships and protection are all given from Yondalla?'s hands. Yet the goddess has a terrible, dark aspect despite her lawful good alignment. She can, by a wave of her hand, restore fertility to any barren land or creature, cause flowers to bloom and crops to grow-but she can take away just as she gives. It takes much to provoke her to this, but if the homes of halflings are threatened she is unmerciful. Halflings themselves will fight with an unbelievable fearless savagery if corned in their homes and threatened with destruction, for in many ways their homes are their lives; and faced with such threats, Yondalla? can age, wither and slay as readily as she can create. Few beings would dare offer the goddess grave offense.

Most of the more powerful halfling deities are female, and Sheela Peryroyl?, the wise nature goddess, is the most loved after Yondalla herself. It is also noteworthy that the male deities tend to be concerned with somewhat more peripheral aspects of halfling life than the females; it is the females who rule over home and hearth, friendship and trust, plants and nature. None of them is aggressive (Arvoreen, the closest halflings have to a god of war, is Concerned with protection and defense, not violence offered to others). Halfling hero myths often feature a climax in which a halfling is forced to defend himself and his home (and family) against seemingly impossible odds in combat, but often the hero triumphs because of gifts and help from friends he has made through his own generosity and willingness to share in earlier stages of the mythic story. Halfling deities stress the need to live well with those around; "a happy home has happy neighbors" is a prosaic halfling saying. More than one deity will often have rulership over an area of halfling life and environment, underlining the unity of this pantheon. This is an important, and powerful, element of this pantheon, and the deities will often travel together or dispatch their avatars as a group because of these common concerns. Even Brandobaris the thief-god, who is usually off filching the latest pretty treasure that has caught his eye (or even goosing a dryad for the fun of it), is always ready to work with his fellows when they so wish it. There is no dissension among these gods. The pantheon as a whole concerns itself with the spheres of home, friendship, trust, plants, agriculture and nature, as noted, and also with security, youth, play and humor, good luck, peace, love and friendship. Halflings have no deities of evil alignment, nor ones representing war, suffering, fire or water, violent death, strife, and (interestingly) none representing craftsmanship. Halfling deities of arcane, mystical and occult tendencies are also distinctly thin on the ground.

Priests All halfling priests have a primary duty to halfling homelands and their defense. They will tend to spend significantly less time adventuring than most priests of other demihuman races. They are always enjoined to be on the best of terms with priests of the other halfling deities, and to provide them with food, shelter and material help if they have need, irrespective of alignment differences.

Marriage and Divorce -

Death of a Character -

Ceremonies -

Interactions with other Religions -

NameReligionRanking
Avoreen?HalflingIntermediate God
Brandobaris?HalflingLesser God
Cyrrollalee?HalflingIntermediate Goddess
Sheela Peryroyl?HalflingIntermediate Goddess
Urogalan?HalflingDemigod
Yondalla?HalflingGreater Goddess

Though they resemble their larger human cousins in physical characteristics as well as geographic locale, the halfling race differs significantly in the common tale of its origin.

Whereas humans throughout the known worlds have countless legends, tales, and myths to explain their arrival and presence there, halfling cultures all share a common story: the Story of Littleman. Of course, the common tale is inevitably flavored with local custom--for example, the role of the goddess Yondalla varies depending on who's telling the story. Yet its core is always the same: the story of a small person wandering in the midst of chaotic, populous lands, facing a thousand difficulties and triumphing over them all through luck, courage, wits, and persistence.

The Story of Littleman

"There, Petrilly--be a dear child and fill my teacup. Surely thanks. Oh, and just a wee splash from the bottle to give it some character. Well done, lass."

"The story, Grandmother--tell us the story!" Eyes wide, the youngsters waited impatiently until the old halfling's tea was properly mixed. She sipped, and smacked her lips, and then began.

"Yes... the story of Littleman. But it's not just a story of the first halfling--it's a story of the gods, as well. The gods of the Big Folk and the Bad Folk, humans and goblins, who dwell up in the Seven Heavens and look out over the worlds and watch out for their followers."

"And Yondalla, Grandmother? She's there too, isn't she?"

"Mercy, child! Where else would she be? All you little ones know she's the great Protector of all halflings. Of course she lives there! In fact, the tale's not just about Littleman, but about Yondalla as well. But in those days, when our story begins, she was not yet our protector. Indeed, back then Yondalla was held by most of her fellows to be an unimportant goddess and was little heeded by the great lords of Human and Elf, Dwarf and Monster.

"Not that she was weak, or meek, mind you--quite the contrary. Yondalla was bold and brave, and quick to speak her mind when the gods met together in one of their great councils. But alas, since she had no faithful worshippers, her wise words were often ignored by the other gods, deities who boasted of their multitude of followers like peacocks showing off their pretty tailfeathers. Then, too, there was the matter of her size--gods are like too many people I could mention and are quicker to give respect to the huge and awesome than the small and clever, and Yondalla barely reached to the knee of many of the mightier lords."

"But, but, Grandmother...?" Kepli spoke tentatively. "Yondalla's a mighty goddess--isn't she?"

"Aye, Sprout--that she is. But even in those days, many other gods already had the weight of worshipping legions to support them and cause others to listen to their words. Yondalla had none, and thus many of the greater lords ignored her, especially after she was banned from their councils for a time . . ."

"But why would they do that to someone as nice as Yondalla?" Petrilly wanted to know.

"Simple, lass. She'd often heard various of the gods boast that they were the wisest, or strongest, or most popular deity of them all. One time when all the gods were gathered in council, she asked 'Which of you is the greatest?' Quickly the responses grew heated, and the argument that followed lasted for a long, long time; by the time it was over just about everybody was mad at just about everybody else. And they decided to blame it all on poor Yondalla for bringing it up in the first place--isn't that just like Big Folks?

"But it wasn't just that; her questions had gotten her in the soup before, and not listening to the big gods making long speeches and trying to impress one another was hardly punishment in her mind. I think it was more that she was tired of being ignored. It seemed to her that even those gods and goddesses who were her friends often treated her with condescension, as if her size meant she had no more sense than a child! Humph!

"Also, Yondalla is a kind and tolerant goddess. She admires kindness and generosity--not traits that the other gods held in abundance. But remember, my little ones, Yondalla is also a clever god. She saw the power that followers gave to the other gods, and she determined that she would have followers of her own. Finally, the goddess decided there was nothing for it but to find some worshippers of her own."

"Kepli, the fire needs another log--Ah! there's a good lad.

"Yondalla left the Seven Heavens and came to the Worlds Below, where she searched for a long time, looking for the perfect worshipper. But it was a long, hard search: most of the folks she came across already had gods of their own. She could have tried to steal away the other gods' worshippers, of course, but that would have meant trouble, and it was never Yondalla's way to stir up trouble when there was an easy way of avoiding it. Other folk had no gods, but watching them Yondalla saw that they were cruel and savage, hurting one another for no reason. She wanted followers she wouldn't have to scold every ten minutes, and decided to continue her search.

"I don't know how long she searched--my old grandmother used to say it was 'a day and a year and a year and a day'--but surely it was a long weary time. Then one day she saw Littleman sitting on a riverbank, fishing, and at that moment her search was over."

The old matriarch stopped. There was a long, thoughtful pause as her audience considered the story. Unnoticed, Pedderee refilled the venerable halfling's empty cup. Finally Kepli broke the silence: "Grandmother? Where did Littleman come from? What was he doing before Yondalla found him?"

"Ah, child, who knows? Remember, this was in the Bad Old Days, before our folk had farms, and villages, and shires of our own. Back then we were scattered like mice when the owls are out. Each family kept to itself and had its own hidden burrow. It was a hard life: sneaking, and hiding, and getting by on gleanings and scraps, always listening for enemies at the door.

"But Littleman, he wasn't afraid like the rest. He used to boast there wasn't a monster in the whole forest he couldn't outsmart, and he proved time and again that his quick wits were more than a match for brute strength by leading enemies into trap after trap as they chased him, until finally they'd given up and decided to leave him alone. Thanks to his carrying on so, his folk were safer than they had been in a long day, for none of the Bad Folk wanted to mess with any halfling they came across, in case it turned out to be Littleman.

"Yondalla watched Littleman for a long time and decided she liked what she saw. Here was a potential worshipper who was clever, brave, kind-hearted, and full of mischief. Best of all, he was just the right size. So one day she revealed herself to him and made him a bargain: if Littleman would gather all his scattered people into villages and communities, in return for their worship Yondalla would protect them from all their many enemies and give them a life of plenty and peace.

"Now, Littleman thought this over and decided it sounded fair, so he said 'Done!' And from that day to this, Yondalla has watched over our folk and guarded our prosperity, and we have been her people."

"And Littleman, Grandmother? What became of him?" Pedderee asked.

"Why, child, she sent him on his wanderings, to all the worlds where any of the small folk lived," chuckled the white-haired matriarch. "But that's a tale for another night."

Rankings

  • Greater God/Goddess
  • Intermediate God/Goddess
  • Lesser God/Goddess (up to 6th level spells)
  • Demi-God/Demi-Goddess (up to 5th level spells)
  • Saints (up to 3rd level spells, essentially Minor Access only)
  • Heroes (imbue with spell ability only)