Erastil

Erastil (pronounced eh-RAS-til) is one of the oldest gods still worshiped in Avistan. His religion dates back to before the Age of Darkness when small farming communities and hunter-gatherers prayed to him for bountiful harvests and successful hunts. He is a god of the hunt and of farming, leading his followers by example and good deeds rather than flowery rhetoric.

Erastil is an elder deity, his worship hearkening back to the time when mankind first set about harnessing the wilderness and mastering nature. Legends claim that it was Old Deadeye himself who crafted the first bow and gifted it to humans, a gift to assist them in overcoming the challenges of the world. Even as the accomplishments of civilization mount, Erastil continues to embrace and represent the simpler pleasures life has to offer.

Erastil teaches his followers to embrace traditional and simpler ways of life, free of the constraints of modern civilization, a trait that often results in disagreements with more progressive deities such as Abadar; this difference in opinion leads to increasing conflict between these deities' respective clergies.

Depictions of Erastil are commonplace in the homes of his followers. Such images usually portray the Ulfen deity as either an aged human with the bow and gear of a trapper, or as an elk-headed humanoid. These depictions often show Old Deadeye holding fast against various beasts and animals of the wilds. In times of need, Erastil has also been known to appear to lost hunters in the form of a stag.

Erastil teaches his followers to embrace tradition and the old ways. Many of Old Deadeye's faithful never even enter a city, and his faithful can be found in nearly any wild or untamed region across Avistan; his worship is particularly well established in the nations of Andoran, Cheliax, Galt, Isger, the Lands of the Linnorm Kings, Molthune, Nirmathas, the River Kingdoms, and Varisia.

The faithful of Erastil can be found in nearly every wilderness community in Avistan. They usually choose to live simple lives and practice his teachings away from the complications of more advanced societies. The members of Old Deadeye's clergy are active in their respective communities, leading by example and serving in various capacities as needed by those that live around them. The clergy's formal dress is kept simple to reflect their deity's tastes; a simple cloak of fur or leather, usually accompanied by Erastil's holy symbol burned into the hide or worn as part of a wooden clasp.

Sites dedicated to Erastil are simple affairs, even in more civilized locations; shrines are usually nothing more than a wooden building or house serving communities of his faithful. Just as Old Deadeye emphasizes the simple things in life, his shrines focus on providing for his follower's more practical needs. Ceremony and formality are often abandoned in such locations, which instead act simply as a place to pray, or to sleep.

The Parables of Erastil acts as a guide and almanac for the followers of Erastil; it includes information on strengthening one's family, farming, and wilderness skills.

Erastil's worshipers celebrate Planting Week on the Vernal Equinox, Archer's Day on the 3rd of Erastus and Harvest Feast on the Autumnal Equinox.

Priests of Erastil
REQUIREMENTS: Wisdom 10, Dexterity 12. Wisdom or Dexterity 16 means +5% experience; Wisdom and Dexterity 16 means +10% experience.
ALIGNMENT: LG, NG, CG, N
WEAPONS: Must be proficient with long bow and short bow, permitted: blowgun, bows (all), club, javelin, knife, lasso, net, sling, spear
ARMOR: Any non-metal armor, shields are not permitted
SPHERES: Major Access to All, Animal, Divination, Guardian, Plant, Protection, Sun. Minor Access to Healing, Summoning, Traveler, Weather.
MAGICAL ITEMS: Same as cleric plus magic bows
REQ. PROFS: Survival (woodland)
BONUS PROFS: Hunting, set snares, animal lore
TURN UNDEAD: 2 levels lower

  • Have a +2 bonus on to-hit rolls with all bows in addition to any other modifiers.
  • Can speak with animals, as per the spell, for a number of rounds per day equal to their cleric level.
  • Turn undead beginning at level 3 as a cleric 2 levels lower (ie as a 1st level cleric at 3rd level).
  • At 3rd level, can identify plants, animals, and pure water with 98% accuracy.
  • At 4th level, can Create Food & Water. The Priest can cast this spell once per day in addition to all other spells that he can cast.
  • At 5th level, Elders can track any animal by its spoor. This is treated as gaining the tracking nonweapon proficiency for free. If a talon is already proficient in tracking, at 5th level she or he receives a +4 bonus when tracking wild animals.
  • At 7th level, Elders are immune to the effects of charm spells cast by woodland creatures (similar to druids).
  • At 8th Level: The Priest can cast the heroes' feast spell once per day in addition to all other spells that he can cast.

Rangers
A few specialty priests of Erastil are rangers. Within the faith, they are called Hunters. Their abilities and restrictions, aside from changes noted below, are detailed in full in the Player's Handbook.

REQUIREMENTS: Strength 13, Dexterity 13, Constitution 14, Wisdom 14
PRIME REQ.: Strength, Dexterity, Wisdom
ALIGNMENT: LG, NG, CG
WEAPONS: Any, must be proficient with long bows and short bows
ARMOR: Any (penalties to some special abilities accrue if wearing heavier armor than studded leather)
MINOR SPHERES: Animal, plant, time, travelers
MAGICAL ITEMS: Same as ranger
REQ. PROFS: Survival (woodland)
BONUS PROFS: Hunting, set snares, animal lore

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