As a people the Angharad worship a pantheon of nature oriented deities headed by Dana the Earth Goddess and Lugh the Sun God. The pantheon’s clerical and druidic priesthood is known as The Circle which is led by a Great Druid. All members of The Circle (including the Great Druid) may be either Clerical or Druidic in actual class.
Each of the deities in the pantheon have different aspects and clerics of these deities may be of any alignment. Clerics of certain alignments do tend toward certain deities, for example there are far more ‘evil’ clerics of Innana than of Luna, but each deity has its darker and lighter aspects.
The Circle – The priests of the Angharad Pantheon are organized in a traditional Druidic Hierarchy led by a Great Druid, who is served by three Arch-Druids, each who is then served by three High Druids (9 total High Druids), collectively known as The Circle. Each of the nine High Druids represent one of the dieties in the pantheon and are typically the leaders of their orders. The ninth High Druid is always a representative dedicated to the wider powers of nature and not a particular diety. The attitudes and policies of the Circle are greatly influenced by the philosophies of the dieties followed by the Great Druid and the Arch-Druids. The Circle is normally based at the head temple of the current Great Druid’s diety. In attendance serving and advising the Great Druid at any given time are usually one or two Arch-Druids and three to five of the High Druids, as well as a host of lesser priests. The Circle can be found discussing policies, teaching, holding rites and trials of passage, speaking to envoys from other organizations (nobility, guilds, towns, realms), etc.
The Balance – The Circle maintains the Angharad people’s balance with nature. Approval from a ranking priest of The Circle must be sought for any industry that potentially impacts the environment, such as clearing forest for new farm or pastureland, starting a mine, creating a dam or diverting a stream, etc. Although not immune to politics, priest of the Circle take these responsibilities very seriously as part of their holy duties. The ability to Commune with Nature is a requirement for members of the Circle with the authority to approve new land usage (Clerics and Druids generally of 9th level*). Failure to comply with these land use approval requirements can result in offenders going under a form of religious censure (similar to an “interdict”). More serious violations of the balance or non-compliance with the rules of The Circle can lead to a general call for the faithful Angharad Clans to intercede militarily to punish offenders.
The Law – The Circle maintains the common laws of the Angharad Clans. Many priests and bards are trained to the position of Brehon (law speakers and judges). While the Angharad nobility hold the right of high and low justice, they mainly do so in consultation with a Brehon. Many of the Angharad rely soley on the pronouncements of a Brehon in attendance to a dispute or question of law. Brehons bear staves with colored ribbons denoting their knowledge level and rank. Any Brehon that has been found to be deliberately mis-interpreting the laws is considered a traitor to the Angharad people.
Circle Hierarchy and Level Limitations – As outlined above, there is a limited number of ranking priests in The Circle. Upon attaining 11th Level (Initiate of the 9th Circle) a priest of the The Circle may not advance further unless there is an open spot among the ranks of the High Druids. If no opening is available, an Initiate of the 9th Circle may challenge one of the seated High Druids for their position. The nature of the challenge is chosen by High Druid being challenged and approved by the other High Druids in attendance (not less than 3). The challenge may be skill or deed or knowledge related, or it may be trial by combat (lethal or non-lethal). The same rules apply when a priest wishes to advance to the rank of Arch Druid or Great Druid, except that that any challenge for position of Great Druid must take place with the entire Circle in attendance. If a defeated Great Druid survives a challenge, he or she may step down to become an Arch Druid, or leave the circle. Great Druids who leave the circle may move on to explore a deeper connection with nature and become a Hierophant Druid. Druid and Clerical Priests of the Angharad Pantheon use the following level titles:
Standard 1-20 level range campaign (level – (max number) Title)
- 1- Aspirant
- 2- Ovate
- 3- Initiate of the 1st Circle
- 4- Initiate of the 2nd Circle
- 11- Initiate of the 9th Circle
- 12- Druid
- 13- Archdruid
- 14- The Great Druid
- 15+ Hierophant Druid (former Great Druids, or Druids outside of The Circle)
E6 Level Variant (level – (max number) Title)
- All non-druid/cleric members of The Circle – Initiate of the 1st Circle
- 1 – Initiate of the 2nd Circle
- 2 – Initiate of the 3rd Circle
- 3 – Initiate of the 4rd Circle
- 4 – Initiate of the 5th Circle
- 5 – (9) Druid
- 6 – (3) Archdruid
- 7+ – (1) Great Druid / (?) Hierophant Druid
- *In an E6 campaign druids or clerics of 4th level or higher with the Commune with Nature feat and ritual are required for approval of land usage as detailed under The Balance.
Religious Sacrifice – Noted under each of the deities of the pantheon is that deity’s prefered type of sacrifice. In the case of objects, they may be burned or thrown into a sacred pool. For liquids, they may be splashed to the ground as a prayer is offered, etc. In most cases the item will be gone and no longer retrieveable. In the elder days of their religion the Angharad also practiced human sacrifice. This was usually the threefold death (hanging, drowning, wounding), or being encased in a wicker-man and burned alive. In current times, human sacrifices are reserved for the most wicked of criminals, such as kin-slayers, traitors, and child killers.
Angharad Religion Philosophy
The Wheel – The common basis of the Angharad religion is one of rebirth and reincarnation. The progression of birth, life, decline and death, as experienced in human lives, is echoed in the progression of the seasons. This cycle is seen as an echo of life, death and rebirth of the sun god Lugh and the fertility of the earth goddess Dana. The Wheel of the Year is a division of holy days representing seasonal changes and the ebb and flow of life. The Wheel of the Year has eight spokes which connects it to the eight major divisions of the year. The longest and shortest days are the solstices, the days with equal amounts of night and day are the equinoxes, these are the four Albans. Between each of these are four other holy days known as the Fire Festivals. In order they are: Yule (Alban – winter solstice), Imbolc (Fire Festival – spring), Ostara (Alban – spring equinox), Beltane (Fire Festival – full flowering of spring), Litha (Alban – summer solstice), Lughnasadh (Fire Festival – the harvest), Mabon (Alban – autumn equinox) and Samhain (Fire Festival – end of harvest). The four Albans are generally celebrated by most humans throughout Eradain and are represented in the Eradain calendar by four special festival weeks, while the Angharad also celebrate holy days for the Fire Festivals. Fire Festivals are usually celebrated with bonfires and dancing. During holy days the Angharad usually declare a truce in any conflict.
Holy Trees and Stone Circles – Sacred to the Angharad are certain locations where are located special holy trees and sacred stone circles. This includes the Tree of Ross located at the Sanctuary of Arawn in the Arandil Forest. The Tree of (NAME) located at the Temple of Dana at the base of the the Dagalethe Mountains. (ADDITIONAL UPDATES REQUIRED)
(D&D 3.5/Pathfinder – Players must select the primary domain in bold as one of their two domains.)
Lugh- “The Sun God”-Symbol: The Sun.
Lugh is the sun god of the Angharad Pantheon. His wife is Dana, and their children are all the other gods of the mythos. Lugh’s sphere of influence is The Sun, Fire & Growth, his color is gold and his animal is the phoenix. Lugh is frequently depicted as the quintessential man, possessing skills as wright, smith, champion, harpist, hero, poet, historian, sorcerer and craftsman. He wields a spear and a sling, and is often accompanied by his a horse Enbarr, and a hound named Failinis. The Sun Temple of Lugh is located within the Dathi Forest. Priests of Lugh are expected to wear kilts and make offerings of gold as sacrifice. Priests of Lugh are usually clerics.
Clerics of Lugh have access to the following domains:
Arawn- “The Horned One”-Symbol: Silhouette of an Antlered Head.
Arawn is the god of the hunt. In one aspect he is the bounty of the hunt, and in prayed to, or paid homage to, for success in the hunt. His other aspects are death, rage, and vengeance. His sphere of influence is The Hunt, his colors are black and dark green, and his animals are the hound and the stag. Arawn’s primary temple, called the Sanctuary of Arawn, is located deep in the heart of the Arandil Forest near the Holy Tree of Ross. Priests of Arawn are expected to wear kilts and sacrifice the hearts of the fruit of the hunt. Quote from a book, title and author forgotten: “Arawn Lord of the Grey Lands required of his children that they suffer no murderer to live to slay again or so the druids taught.” Priests of Arawn may be Clerics or Druids
Clerics of Arawn have access to the following domains:
- War (Bows)
Priests of Arawn have the following abilities/restrictions:
- Survival is a class skill
- May only use armor allowed by druids
Silvanus- “The Green Man”-Symbol: Green Man Face.
Silvanus is the god of the forests, growing things, and the wild undiscovered places of the wilderness. He is also the god of the fairy folk, and woodland spirits. His sphere of influence is The Forest and Life, his color is forest green and his animal is the stag and the oak tree. Priests of Silvanus are expected to wear kilts and plant trees as offerings.
Priests of Silvanus may only be Druids
Pan- “The Trickster”-Symbol: A Pan Pipe.
Pan is the god of luck, wild passion and wine. His sphere of influence is Wild Passion, Wine and Satyrs, his colors are olive and wine red, and his creature is the satyr. Pan is a god of chaos, in his lighter aspects he is a god of tricksters and travelers. In his darker aspects he represents madness, random destruction and self-destructive behaviors. His Priests are expected to wear wreaths and sacrifice wine. Priests of Pan may be Druids or Clerics
Clerics of Pan have access to the following domains:
- Darkside Domains: Liberation, Madness, Destruction
Priests of Pan have the following abilities/restrictions:
- May only use weapons and armor allowed by druids
Dana- “The Earth Mother”-Symbol: Tree of Life.
Dana is the goddess of the earth and all things come from her. Her sphere of influence is Life, Rebirth and All the Earth, her colors are brown and green, and all natural animals are her creatures. Priests of Dana are expected to wear tunics of brown or green and burn herbs as offerings. Priests of Dana may be Druids or Clerics
Clerics of Dana have access to the following domains:
Priests of Dana have the following abilities/restrictions:
- May only use weapons allowed by druids
Luna- “The Mother”-Symbol: Large Full Moon.
Luna is one of the two moon goddess sisters, she is the goddess of crops, the harvest, love and fertility. Her sphere of influence is Fertility and The Harvest her colors are orange and crimson and her animals are all domestic livestock. Priests of Luna are expected to wear tunics woven of cloth made by their own hands and make offerings of the fruits of the field (especially the first fruits of the harvest) as sacrifice.
Clerics of Luna have access to the following domains:
Priests of Luna have the following abilities/restrictions:
- Knowledge (Nature) is a class skill, specificially related to plants and growing crops.
Selene- “The Maiden” “Nanna-Sin”-Symbol: Small Crescent Moon.
Selene is the second of the sister moon goddesses. Her sphere of influence is Mystery, Magic, and Divination, her color is silver and her animal is the Unicorn. Priests of Selene are expected to wear kilts, and make sacrifices of silver and gems.
Clerics of Selene have access to the following domains:
Priests of Selene have the following abilities/restrictions:
- Bonus to skills Knowledge (Arcana) equal to 1/2 cleric level.
Inanna- “The Crone” “MorrÃ¬gan” “Badb”-Symbol: Silhouette of a Leafless Tree or a Crow.
Inanna is the goddess of winter. Her sphere of influence is Winter, Cold, and Death. Her colors are black and blue and her animals are the wolf and the crow. Inanna is depicted as a harbinger of doom, manifesting prior to a battle to foreshadow the extent of the carnage to come, or to predict the death of a notable person, somtimes through wailing cries. Priests of Inanna are expected to wear kilts, and burn animals as sacrifice.
Clerics of Inanna have access to the following domains:
Priests of Inanna have the following abilities/restrictions:
- At 3rd Level they may move through snowy or icy conditions at normal movement rate.