Erastil

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Erastil
Erastil's Holy Symbol
(Deity)
Titles Old Deadeye, Stag God, Estig the Hunter
Adjective Erastilian
Home Heaven: Erastil's Domain
Alignment Lawful good
Portfolio Farming
Hunting
Trade
Family
Worshipers Farmers, hunters, tradesmen
Cleric Alignments
Domains Animal, Community, Good, Law, Plant
Subdomains Archon, (Cooperation), Family, Feather, Fur, Growth, Home
Favored Weapon Longbow
Symbol Bow and arrow
Sacred Animal Stag
Sacred Colors Brown, green

Erastil (pronounced eh-RAS-til)[1] is one of the oldest human gods still worshiped in the Inner Sea region. 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 leads his followers by example and good deeds rather than flowery rhetoric.[2]

Dogma

Erastil condemns suicide, and the souls of his worshipers who take their own lives are condemned to Avernus, the first circle of Hell.[3]

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History

During the Age of Creation, Erastil was among the original gods who battled the Rough Beast who sought to destroy Golarion, and were eventually able to contain him in the Dead Vault.[4] His worship hearkens 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 to overcome 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.[5]

Relationships

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.[5] Because of their similar beliefs, followers of Erastil find much common ground with members of the Green Faith.[6]

Appearance

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. They 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.[5]

Providence

Those who please Erastil are often rewarded by increased yields, both from agriculture and hunting, while earning his disfavor can lead to damaged or ruined crops and poor hunting.[5]

Servants

Animals held in high esteem by Old Deadeye include elk, deer, and other hoofed creatures. Erastil's herald is known as the Grim White Stag, and appears as a gigantic white stag with branches in place of antlers, and vines wrapping around its legs.[2]

The following extraplanar allies can be summoned through the planar ally spell. Because many of Erastil's priests are not powerful, his servants have responded to summons through summon monster or summon nature's ally spells as well.[7]

Church of Erastil

Erastil teaches his followers to embrace tradition and the old ways. Many of Old Deadeye's faithful never even enter a city, and can be found in nearly any wild or untamed region across Avistan and Garund; his worship is particularly well established in the nations of Andoran, Cheliax, Galt, Isger, the Lands of the Linnorm Kings, the Mana Wastes, Molthune, Nirmathas, the River Kingdoms, the Steaming Sea, and Varisia,[5][8][9] and among Chelaxians,[10] Kellids,[11] Tian,[12] Ulfen,[13] Varisians,[14] gnomes,[15] and halflings throughout the Inner Sea region.[16] In the Shackles, a golden boat with sails full of Gozreh's wind is used locally to symbolize Erastil as the provider.[17]

Worshipers

The faithful of Erastil can be found in nearly every wilderness community. They usually choose to live simple lives and practice his teachings away from the complications of more advanced societies. The faithful often hang depictions of the god over their fireplace.[5][8]

Halflings associate Erastil with the family and community: his priests within halfling communities tend to be elders and leaders. Rather than the longbow, halflings consider the sling as Erastil's weapon. Most halflings that become druids worship Erastil. There are very few halfling paladins of Erastil.[18]

Knights who revere Erastil tend to live simply, appearing more like a commoner than a noblemen. They are highly practical in supporting their communities.[19] Paladins of Old Deadeye are among the most commonly found throughout the Inner Sea region.[20]

Clergy

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. This can include helping in childbirth, building structures, overseeing fair trade, and blessing crops. 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.[5][8]

Temples & Shrines

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.[5]

Holy Texts

Parables of Erastil 
This book acts as a guide and almanac for the followers of Erastil; it includes information on strengthening one's family, farming, and wilderness skills.[5]

Holidays

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.[2] The mid-summer month of Erastus is named in his honor.[21]

Organizations

Banner of the Stag
The organization mobilize militias and provide aid to towns and hamlets in need.[22]

References

  1. Erik Mona et al. (2008). Campaign Setting, p. 246. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-112-1
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Sean K Reynolds. (2008). Gods and Magic, p. 14-15. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-139-8
  3. F. Wesley Schneider. (2012). Lords of Hell: Barbatos. Kobold Quarterly 22, p. 9. Open Design, LLC.
  4. James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 216. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 5.8 Erik Mona et al. (2008). Campaign Setting, p. 162. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-112-1
  6. James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 236. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
  7. 7.0 7.1 Sean K Reynolds. (2010). Erastil. Rivers Run Red, p. 71. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-233-3
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 220. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
  9. James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 178. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
  10. James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 13. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
  11. James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 16. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
  12. James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 20. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
  13. James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 21. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
  14. James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 22. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
  15. James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 26. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
  16. James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 27. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
  17. Robin D. Laws. (2013). "The Treasure of Far Thallai", ch. 1. Paizo Publishing. ISBN 978-1-60125-643-0
  18. Hal Maclean and Amber E. Scott. (2010). Halflings of Golarion, p. 17, 20. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-278-4
  19. Gareth Hanrahan, Steve Kenson, Patrick Renie, Tork Shaw, and Jerome Virnich. (2012). Knights of the Inner Sea, p. 18. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-460-3
  20. James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 275. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
  21. James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 248. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
  22. Colin McComb. (2011). Faiths of Purity, p. 22. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-314-9