Berronar Truesilver

Berronar Truesilver

Intermediate goddess
Pantheon: Dwarf Pantheon
Titles: The Revered Mother; the Mother Goddess; Matron of Home and Hearth; Mother of Safety, Truth, and Home
Home Plane: Dwarfhome; Solania (Erackinor)
Portfolio: Safety, honesty, home, healing, the dwarven family, records, marriage, faithfulness, loyalty, oaths
Alignment: Lawful Good
Worshippers: Children, dwarven defenders, dwarves, fighters, homemakers, husbands, parents, scribes, wives
Cleric Alignments: LG, LN, NG
Domains: Dwarf, Family, Good, Healing, Law, Protection
Holy Symbols: Two silver rings
Favoured Weapons: Wrath Of Righteousness (heavy mace)

Berronar Truesilver is matriarch of the dwarven pantheon. As Moradin's bride, Berronar sees it as her duty to act as an authority figure for the dwarven gods, using her keen negotiation skills and calm demeanor as a balm to keep the sometimes fractious pantheon unified. According to dwarven traditionalists, if not for this quality, the Morndinsamman (and perhaps the entire dwarven race) might never have survived the stresses of its long, gradual decline. With the coming of the Thunder Blessing within the last century, it appears as though that decline has been reversed; the Revered Mother now aids Moradin in charting the destiny of the dwarven people by giving wise council to Faerûn's most trusted orthodox dwarven clerics. Despite the recent renaissance, however, a growing number of disconsolate dwarves resent Berronar and her husband for a philosophy they define as hidebound obduracy.

Berronar has little time for alliances outside the dwarven pantheon, but is on friendly terms with the lead goddesses of the elves, gnomes, and halflings. She works hand-in-hand with Sharindlar in their shared responsibility of inspiring acts of love among the dwarves, with Sharindlar typically overseeing the courtship and the Mother of Safety ensuring a healthy, loving relationship following marriage. She herself is an ideal wife to Moradin, making her one of the Dwarffather's few completely trusted confidantes. She enjoys the company of Clangeddin and Gorm Gulthyn but is somewhat cool toward Marthammor, Dugmaren, and Haela, whom she believes have yet to set into the roles dictated to them by propriety. She has no time for the scheming Abbathor, and advocates that her husband drum him from the pantheon as he has Laduguer and Deep Duerra. Her hatred of the orc, goblinoid, and giant deities rivals that of her husband.

Berronar Truesilver is the bride of Moradin. She dwells with him at the Soul Forge beneath the mountains in Solania (fourth of the Seven Heavens, called Khynnduum in the oldest dwarven writings). The Revered Mother is the defender and protector of the home - not a passive homebody. She is seen as the patron of marriage and love, and her name is often invoked in small home rituals for protection against thieves and duplicity. Berronar is also the goddess of healing. Lawful good dwarves who value their families, clans, and the common strength and security of dwarven society revere her for her caring and loving service to the entire race. All dwarves of any alignment who seek a safe refuge or who want their loved ones or relatives kept safe offer her appeasement as well. Although Berronar's avatar is rarely seen in the Realms, the Revered Mother works ceaselessly to preserve and protect dwarven culture and civilization. Her favorite techniques involve manifesting her powers in dwarven mortals on occasions crucial to the survival of a clan, people, or lore records. She does so either to guide and empower them to protective feats of arms or to lead them to the discovery of forgotten records, facts, and truths.

Berronar is the powerful matron who, along with Moradin, has held the sometimes fractious dwarven pantheon united during an extended period of slow decline in the dwarven population of the Realms. She works hand-in-hand with Sharindlar, guiding dwarves into and through the lasting bonds of marriage once the Lady of Life brings them together. The Mother of Hearth and Home also works closely with Moradin, Clangeddin, and Gorm to ensure the safety of dwarven holds. Berronar views the antics of Dugmaren, Haela, and Marthammor with patient humor, foreseeing the day when they and their followers settle down and join in the traditional clan life of the Stout Folk. The Revered Mother is the tireless foe of Abbathor, viewing his all-consuming greed as the greatest threat to dwarven unity at a time when a united front may be all that keeps the Stout Folk from being overrun by ores and their kin.

The Revered Mother is a kind and caring goddess with a strong motherly love for all dwarves and their allies who value compassion, fidelity, simplicity, tradition, the home, and family. Berronar has a ready, hearty laugh and a merry disposition, but she never wavers in the face of adversity or despairs in times of great loss. She can be strict or even fierce, if the situation so warrants, but the indomitable Mother Goddess of the dwarves is ever forgiving of her children, be they mortal or divine. Berronar settles many disagreements among the Morndinsamman, and her skills at persuasion are such that she can usually make two foes understand each other and set aside their differences.

Dogma

The children of Moradin are shaped on the Soul Forge and ever warmed by the embrace of the Revered Mother. Tend the hearth and home, drawing strength and safety from truth, tradition, and the rule of law. Join with friends, kin, and clan in common purpose. Do no succumb to the misery of greed or the evils of strife, but always bring hope, health, and cheer to those in need. Once an oath is made, Berronar watches over its keeping - to break it is to grieve her sorely. Children must be cherished and guarded well from harm, for they are the future of all dwarvenkind.

Clergy

Berronar and her followers are widely respected throughout dwarven culture as well as among other human and demihuman societies. None would question the dedication to duty, compassion, or goodness of the Revered Mother's priests. Only among the younger dwarven Wanderers is there a hint of dissent, for some hold that the clergies of Berronar and Moradin cling too tightly to the old ways in the face of new and ever-expanding threats to the Stout Folk.

Berronar's clerics, known as faenor ("those of the home") are the guardians and protectors of dwarven clans. The members of Berronar's clergy strive to further the good health and good character of all dwarves. They heal the sick and injured, attempt to treat, eradicate, and stop the spread of disease, develop antidotes to dwarfsbane and other poisons that can affect dwarves, and encourage truthfulness, obedience to law, peaceful harmony, and governance of greed and goldlust. Priests of Berronar never ignore a dwarf in need of aid, and they always help to the best of their ability. If a Revered Sister/Brother lacks magical means of curing, she or he finds someone who can heal or provide all the nonmagical care possible. The duty of a priest of Berronar is to keep every dwarf alive, whatever the cost.

In many respects, Berronar's priests are the pillars on which dwarven society is built. Revered Sisters/Brothers are instrumental in maintaining traditional dwarven culture, in knitting together families, in educating and nurturing young dwarves, in keeping lore records and family histories, and in maintaining the orderly governance of dwarven society. While rarely holding formal positions of leadership, the senior priest of Berronar in a dwarven hold or clan usually holds a position of great influence that rivals, if not exceeds, that of the titular ruler of the hold or clan.

The ceremonial garb of members of Berronar's clergy includes white underrobes with cloth-of-silver overtunics. The Revered Mother's priests remain bareheaded. The holy symbol of the faith is twin, interlocking, large silver rings worn on a steel or silver chain hung around the neck. Many Revered Sisters/Brothers add twin silver rings to their vestments, one on each ring finger.

Temples

Temples of the Revered Mother may be found both above and below the surface. A temple to Berronar aboveground consists of a circle of stones, usually in a wooded area, in which small fires are kindled in a random pattern. Gems and metal sculptures are set up among them on metal poles to sparkle and reflect back the firelight during worship. Actual sparkler fireworks are used on the two main holy days to mark the ending of each unison prayer. An underground temple to Berronar is a cavern in which the priests have carefully arranged mosses, lichens, fungi, and the like brought by the hands of faithful. They keep these watered and nourished to form a lush carpet all over the floor; this covering also climbs the walls as high as possible. Luminescent fungi are favored, to give the cavern as much natural light as possible. Magical items with the power to create dancing fights are highly valued, and non-dwarven wielders of such items are sometimes even hired to illuminate such a temple by this means. Such "lighters" must come to the temple naked and blindfolded, but they are treated with the utmost care and courtesy. When the ceremony is over, they are taken safely back to the surface under guard, in such a way as to maintain their dignity but keep the location of and route to the temple hidden from them.

Prayers

Priests of Berronar worship the Mother Goddess by kneeling, closing their eyes, picturing the Revered Mother, and whispering prayers that begin and end with her name. They typically do this when asking for her guidance or when they are about to heal in her name. Her guidance is often given via an inner feeling or decision.

Rites

Annual offerings of silver are made to Berronar in the form of coins, jewelry, drinking vessels, or trade-bars (a dwarven invention). White flowers sometimes adorn the offerings in token of dwarven love and affection for the Mother Goddess. Midwinter day and Midsummer night are celebrated by Berronar's faithful as holy days of the Revered Mother, although monthly observances are common in the larger temples. More elaborate rituals to Berronar take place aboveground on Midsummer Night and underground the rest of the time. In the case of Midwinter day, the day brings fantastic celebrations below ground. Midsummer night sees a similar fete take place above ground, when travelers or members of neighboring communities (rarely including non-dwarves) are invited to join in the festivities.

Rituals honoring Berronar typically begin with a chanted prayer and continue with an address from the Keepers of the Truesilver. This ends in a responsive prayer led by a High Old One or chosen priest. Next comes a report of the good works and successes of the priesthood and an identification of failures and problems still to be overcome. Another responsive prayer follows, then a rising, spirit-lifting unison prayer. If a very sick dwarf or dwarves are present, unison healing then takes place. The entire assembled clergy lays hands on the afflicted ones and calls on Berronar. Healing does not always occur, although the deadening of pain for several days always does - the assembled priests take the pain upon themselves. If healing does take place, it is a manifestation of the goddess, not a cast spell. Berronar's Touch, as this is known, has in the past cured blindness, insanity, lycanthropy, poisonings, life energy loss, bodily transformations due to parasitic or symbiotic plant life, tissue corrosion, and the like, in addition to more simple wounds and diseases.

As betrothal and married life are the province of Berronar, lawful good dwarves follow her custom of exchanging rings with those for whom they feel deep, mutual trust and love, a ceremony that is never entered into lightly. The rings are often silver, matching the Revered Mother's symbol, and are treated by dwarven smiths to be everbright (never to tarnish), then blessed by priests of Berronar. If one of the parties participates with deceit in his or her heart, Berronar's power makes one of the rings crumble during the blessing (or both rings, if both are false).

Aspects

Avatar: Berronar'a avatar may appear as either a tallish or a huge dwarf, fearless of aspect but gentle in speech, whose hair is braided into four rows. Berronar wields Wrath of Righteousness, a huge mace of steel chased with gold. Berronar often sends an avatar to defend threatened dwarven clans, especially small ones threatened by events beyond their ability to deal with.

Avatars of the The Revered Mother often wear two silver rings of great power. One prevents anyone from knowingly telling a falsehood within 100 feet of her; the other prevents mortals from using any thieving abilities within 100 feet of her. A thief may avoid this if she or he succeeds at a saving throw vs. spell with a penalty of-2 every round in which an attempt to use any thief skill is made. If either of these rings is removed from the avatar's possession, it crumbles into nothingness in a few days.

Berronar's avatar may also take the shape of an aged dwarf of either sex, or even a short, stooped human crone - and when in such a form, no god or mortal can detect anything of her divine nature or powers (although she retains full use of them). Berronar often uses this lesser form to watch and judge dwarves, walking among them to see what treatment she receives.

Affiliated Orders

Berronar's Valkyries: Berronar's Valkyries are crusaders and fighter/clerics who operate as small bands of elite dwarven female warriors. The role of the order is to ensure that dwarven warriors (who are predominantly male) return to their hold and clan alive after going to war. As such, the Valkyries accompany dwarven armies to battle, but instead of immediately joining in the fray, they choose a high vantage point from which to observe. If and when small pockets of dwarven warriors are in danger of being overrun, or when a dwarf is too badly wounded to withdraw, the Valkyries charge to the rescue.

The Order Of The Silver Nightingale: The Order of the Silver Nightingale is a loosely structured order composed primarily of physicians, medics, clerics, and specialty priests skilled in the art of healing. Silver Nightingales, most of whom are female, accompany dwarven warriors into battle but do not fight except to defend themselves. Their role is to minister to the dead and dying and minimize the number of dwarven casualties using their healing skills. In peacetime, members of the order disperse to their individual clans and holds where they continue their roles as healers.

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