Malar

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Malar

Symbol of Malar
Title(s) The Beastlord
The Black-Blooded Pard
Power Level Lesser Deity
Subservient Deities
Symbol(s) Bestial claw with brown fur and curving bloody talons
Home Plane Fury's Heart
Alignment Chaotic Evil
Portfolio Bloodlust
Evil Lycanthropes
Hunter
Marauding Beasts and Monster
Stalking
Worshipers Hunters Evil Lycanthropes, Sentient Carnivores, Rangers, Druids
Domains Animal, Chaos, Evil, Moon, Strength
Favored Weapon {{{favored_weapon}}}
Superior
Primary Allies
Primary Foes

Cleric Alignments

LG NG CG
LN TN CN
LE NE CE
Amia Domains Animal Chaos Evil Moon Strength Suffering [1]
Malar (mahl-arr) is a primordial, savage deity who glories in the hunt and the blood of the kill. Appearing as a sleek and supple cat-like beast with blood-spattered ebony fur, Malar revels in instilling fear in his victims, as he can literally smell and taste the essences of their terror. The Beastlord is known by many names in many lands, including the Stalker along the shores of the Vilhon Reach, the Render across the Endless Ice and the Great Glacier, the Blue Bear among the Uthgardt, and Herne among the orcs of the High Forest.

In civilized settings, the church of Malar is widely hated, for its members - often evil lycanthropes - are among the most dangerous threats to the safety of the local populace. Along the frontier and in wilderness settings, however, those who need to hunt for food reluctantly pay homage to the Beastlord, even while they fear his cruelty. Outsiders sometimes differentiate between "Hunts", as Malarite bands are known, that operate openly and those that stalk the night. Some realms, such as Cormyr, recognize the former as having dominion over hunting, at the same time considering the latter to be little more than dangerous predators needing to be driven off or slain.

Clerics of Malar pray for spells at night, preferably under a full moon. They offer prayers to the Beastlord before the chase, during hunt, and while drinking a toast over the slain quarry (sometimes with its blood). The droning Bloodsong is sung over the bodies of all creatures slain during a hunt, with specific ritual prayers and chants accompanying feasts on any prey. Two great rituals are the Feast of the Stags and the High Hunt. In the fisrt, clerics and worshippers of Malar hunt a multitude of game before Highharvestide, then invite all (especially those not of the faith) to join them at a feast, in which they pledge to hunt in the coming winter to provide for the needy. (This is one of the few things the church does that pleases people.) During the High Hunt, held each season, faithful adorned in kill trophies hunt a humanoid, who may win his or her life and a boon by escaping or surviving a day and a night. Malar's clerics often multiclass as barbarians, rangers or druids. Many are evil lycanthropes such as werewolves.

History/Relationships

Malar is an ancient deity who dates back to the days when the first beasts stalked the land. He has always loathed the Fair Folk and keeps a long-standing alliance with Lolth in opposition to the Seldarine. Over the centuries, he has tried to steal power from other deities with varying degrees of success. He is one of the Deities of Fury, along with Talos (his superior), Auril, and Umberlee, and he is allied with dark deities such as Bane and Loviatar. The Beastlord struggles against the deities of peace, civilization, and nature, but harbors a particular hatred for Nobanion since that deity defeated him in a fierce conflict, known as the Roar of Shadows, during the Time of Troubles.

Clergy and Temples

Clerics of Malar take part in hunting as often as possible. They drive the hunt to make it as dangerous as possible to prey and predator alike, and try to ensure that its bloody finale takes place in a settled area. Common folk do not appreciate having desperate wolves, displacer beasts, and the like chased through town, and they tend to hate and fear Malar's faith - which is the whole idea. Malarite clergy also preach the joy and bounty of the hunt, working to thwart the expansion of civilization to preserve as much wilderness as possible. They stage raids and acts of vandalism that are popular with outlaws and bored young nobles. Malarites oppose druidic circles dedicated to Eldath, Mielikki, Silvanus and similar deities and their allies, such as the Harpers. These groups promote and maintain natural balance, which Malarites see as interfering with the rightful triumph of the strong over the weak.

Temples of Malar are rare, with most Hunts eschewing formal buildings for shadowed wilderness glades. Unlike most druidic circles, those of Malar's worship consist of inwardly curving, fang-shaped stones arranged in a ring. In more civilized settings, the sacred area may be hidden within extensive limestone caverns accessible through a sinkhole above the center of the stone circle. The twisting underground passages serve as hunting grounds through which ruthless Malarites stalk sentient prey (particularly humanoids) captured from the surrounding region.

Ceremonial headgear is made from the pelt and head of the most impressive beast the cleric has killed with bare hands (usually a bear or great cat, but sometimes and owlbear, displacer beast, or a stranger creature). Malarites carry hunting horns at their belts and are never without several daggers sheathed in boots and belts, strapped to either forearm, or hidden in a sheath at the nape of the neck under the hair or in an armpit. Woodland garb of red or brown is the favored dress for hunts, often concealed by day under a woodcloak of mottled black, gray, and green. Clerics looking to make an impression may also wear necklaces of animal bones, fangs, and claws and a variety of pelts.

The church of Malar is loosely bound and without a central heirarchy. It is organized around the concept of the Hunt and consists of local, independent cells. This makes it all the more difficult to counter or remove, for as soon as one den of Malarites is contained, another arises. Huntmasters are the informal religious leaders of the church and may be clerics, druids, rangers, or shapechanging predators. They decide the locale, time and prey of the ceremonial hunts of the faithful. The office of Huntmaster is won by challenge - a fight to the death if the incumbent does not resign.

Avatars

Malar uses two forms when stalking the Realms. As the Beast, he appears as a man-high, cat-like beast, sleek and supple in its movements. His ebony fur is matted with blood, and his talons and fangs endlessly drip blood. The Beast cannot speak.

As the Master of the Hunt, also known as the Wild Hunter, he appears as a black-furred 12-foot-tall humanoid with red eyes above a flesh-draped hole rather than a nose and mouth, and a large rack of antlers. Malar can speak in this form and can cause his antlers to melt away and reappear at will, allowing him to avoid damage to his rack and preventing opponents from ensnaring his antlers. The Master of the Hunt is typically accompanied by a pack of twenty-one fiendish wolves (fiendish winter wolves in polar regions) of the largest possible size.

Dogma

Survival of the fittest and the winnowing of the weak are Malar's legacy. A brutal, bloody death or kill has great meaning.. The crux of life is the challenge between the hunter and the prey, the determination of who lives or dies. View every important task as a hunt. Remain ever alert and alive. Walk the wilderness without trepidation, and show no fear in the hunt. Savagery and strong emotions defeat reason and careful thought in all things. Taste the blood of those you slay, and never kill from a distance. Work against those who cut back the forest and who kill beasts solely because they are dangerous. Slay not the young, the pregnant, or deepspawn so that prey will remain plentiful.