Haela Brightaxe

Haela Brightaxe

Demigoddess
Pantheon: Dwarf Pantheon
Titles: Lady of the Fray, Luckmaiden
Home Plane: Dwarfhome
Portfolio: Luck in battle, joy of battle, dwarven fighters
Alignment: Chaotic Good
Worshippers: Barbarians, dwarves, fighters
Cleric Alignments: CG, CN, NG
Domains: Chaos, Dwarf, Good, Luck, War
Holy Symbols: Unsheathed sword wrapped in two spirals of flame
Favoured Weapons: Flamebolt (greatsword)

Whenever dwarves stand hip-deep in the corpses of monstrous enemies, their hearts singing in joy with the thrumming thrill of battle, Haela Brightaxe shouts a triumphant huzzah of support. Her spirit is one with good-aligned dwarves who revel in battle, who seek out powerful monsters in an effort to purge the vile creatures from Toril. When one asks a Haelan cleric why she attacked an ancient dragon, she'll respond, "because it was there," adding with a devious smile "and because I have always wanted to cut my way out of something's stomach." As a luck goddess, she takes great risks in battle without batting an eye.

Other members of the Morndinsamman respect Haela's convivial manner, her infectious laughter, and her cheerful nature. She recognizes no superior except Moradin, but honors her brothers and sisters in the Dwarffather's brood by ensuring that she never acts against the wishes of any fully accepted member of the pantheon. Of all the pantheon, she prefers the company of Marthammor Duin, who shares her interest in the surface world, and Clangeddin Silverbeard, who shares her love for battle. As Haela concerns herself so closely with dwarven affairs on Toril, she has little time for non-dwarven gods. She has spurned the interest of Abbathor (who is always interested in luck) and in response the Trove Lord has been sending greater and more terrible threats her way.

Dogma

Through battle, you find validation, liberation, and exultation. Trust in Haela to see you through the fray, and the monsters of the world shall fall to the sharp blades of your axes, regardless of their apparent strength and numbers.

The Luckmaiden blesses those dwarves who believe in her beneficence, and she, through her faithful, will always be there for the beleaguered and besieged. Rejoice in the power of your swing in battle, the sound of your weapon smiting a worthy foe, and the challenge of the fray. If asked, show mercy on a noble foe who abides by a code of honor, but hold not your hand against the treacherous, the liars, and the honorless.

Clergy

Haela's clergy are the kaxanar, a term loosely translated as "bloodmaidens." Female clerics vastly outnumber their male counterparts, who seem little bothered by their feminine title (it's difficult to make an emasculating joke about an angry warrior-cleric covered in a gallon of fresh blood).

Temples

Clerics care little for typical dwarven tradition, constructing austere temples wherever seems most convenient to the nearest source of conflict. The cellars of human ruins, abandoned dwarf holds, or even empty gnome warrens make acceptable temples of the Lady of the Fray. Such places usually double as armories; all contain at least one bombastic trap (usually featuring the most violent results imaginable) meant to ensure that no temple ever falls into enemy hands.

Rites

Kaxanar pray for spells in the morning, a ritual accompanied by the tracing of elaborate ritual scarring carved into the cleric's forearms upon initiation into the order. Most scars follow accepted geometric patterns, but a few iconoclasts (among an entire clergy of "free thinkers") take their initiation as an opportunity to carve profanity or lewd sayings into their flesh. Greengrass sees the somewhat depressing ritual known as the Time of Spawning, when (through chants and the shattering of captured enemy weapons) the kaxanar prepare for the next onslaught of monsters from occupied dwarven holds. On a high holy day known as Axe Held High, kaxanar and those allied with them gather under the light of day, claiming to see an image of Haela's greatsword outlined at the center of the sun.

Lastly, the Feast of the Moon sees the Commemoration of the Fallen, when the kaxanar remember those dwarves and nondwarves who fell in defense of the Stout Folk. Kaxanar frequently multiclass as barbarians, savoring the joyous destruction engendered by the rage ability of that class.

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