Mysteries of Larsil
|Greater Larsil Deity|
|Symbol:||Two crossed, flaming swords|
|Home Plane:||Heroic Domains of Ysgard|
|Portfolio:||War, battle, warriors|
|Worshippers:||Warriors, fighters, barbarians, rangers, half-orcs|
|Cleric Alignments:||CE, CG, CN|
|Domains:||Chaos, Protection, Strength, War|
|Favoured Weapon:||“Battle Prowess” (battleaxe)|
Lord of Battles, Foehammer
Bannat governs the tide of war and dispenses his favours at random, his chaotic nature favouring all side equally in time. The deity of war is liable to back one army one day and another the next. Soldiers of all alignments pray to him for help in coming battles. Mighty and honourable in battle and a strong and robust deity, Bannat answers only to his own warrior’s code and pursues no long-lasting alliances. He is known to love food, drink, and the hunt, though he loves battle best. He always appears as a human giant in battered and bloodied plate armour with his face hidden by a massive war helm. He bears a great battle axe or a black sword notched and stained from much use in his gauntleted hands.
Bannat arose from the first battle between Maldi and Jacquith, one of many such deities to walk the world. In time, he defeated each and every one of his rivals in battle, the last of which was Hildek the Reaver. In recent years, Bannat has sponsored the divinity of Aldor, a relationship akin to that of fond and protective father to a brilliant daughter who works hard at the family business — war.
The Foehammer is casually friendly with martially inclined deities such as Persher, Dynot, Yulevin and Krundor. He considers Darven, his diametrical opposite, to be naive and weak. However, out of respect for her convictions, he punishes those of his faithful who abuse her clergy, shrines, or temples, feeling that war has little meaning without peace to define and highlight it. Kharie, who considers him a foe, he regards as irrelevant and flighty and therefore unworthy of active opposition. It is unclear why Bannat tolerates the continued survival of Hildek, although some sages have speculated that Bannat knows that a new challenger is inevitable and he prefers to use the Reaver as stalking horse to draw out such potential foes. Others claim that Hildek represents that one bit of warfare that Bannat finds personally distasteful, the savage madness of battle rage, and that he deliberately ceded that aspect of the portfolio of war, though he is still worshipped by many barbarians.
Bannat does not win battles, he helps the deserving warrior win battles. War is fair in that it oppresses and aids all equally and that in any given battle, a mortal may be slain or become a great leader among his or her companions. It should not be feared, but seen as a natural force, a human force, the storm that civilization brings by its very existence. Arm all for whom battle is needful, even foes. Retreat from hopeless fights but never avoid battle. Slay one foe decisively and halt a battle quickly rather than rely upon slow attrition or the senseless dragging on of hostilities. Remember the dead that fell before you. Defend what you believe in, lest it be swept away. Disparage no foe and respect all, for valour blazes in all regardless of age, sex, or race. Bannat looks with favour upon those that acquit themselves honourably in battle without resorting to such craven tricks as destroying homes, family, or livestock when a foe is away or attacking from the rear (except when such an attack is launched by a small band against foes of vastly superior numbers). Consider the consequences of the violence of war, and do not wage war recklessly. The smooth-tongued and fleet of feet that avoid all strife and never defend their beliefs wreak more harm than the most energetic tyrant, raider, or horde leader.
Clergy and Temples
Bannat’s clerics pray for spells just before high sun. The eves and anniversaries of great battles are the holy days of the church of Bannat, and as such vary from place to place.
Larsil is a violent land, and thus from sheer number of worshippers Bannat is one of the mightiest deities in the lands. Nearly everyone who has drawn a sword or nocked an arrow has fought alongside a cleric of the Foehammer, and just as many have fought against one.
Temples to the Lord of Battle look more like military fortresses than the archetypal temple. They feature barracks, mess halls, armouries, and training grounds.
Due to its tendency to have followers and priests on both sides of any engagement, the Church of Bannat has no central authority that might support one side or the other exclusively. Within a given temple or order, however, there is a strict hierarchy and chain of command.