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Tales Of Moonsea - The Herald of Chaos
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Malar
Cleric Alignments: CE, CN, NE

Malar: The Beastlord, the Black-Blooded Pard (Lesser Deity)

Symbol: Bestial claw with brown fur and curving bloody talons
Home Plane: Fury's Heart
Alignment: Chaotic Evil
Portfolio: Bloodlust, Evil Lycanthropes, hunters, marauding beasts and monsters, stalking
Worshipers: Hunters, Evil Lycanthropes, sentient carnivores, rangers, druids
Cleric Alignments: CE, CN, NE
Domains: Animal, Chaos, Evil, Moon, Strength

Favored Weapon: A beast's claw (claw bracer)

alar (mahl-arr) is a primordial, savage deity who revels in the hunt and the blood of the kill. Appearing as a sleek and supple cat-like beast with blood-spattered ebony fur, Malar delights in instilling fear in his victims, for he can literally smell and taste the essences of their terror. The Beastlord is known by many names in many lands, including the Stalker along the shores of the Vilhon Reach, the Render across the Endless Ice and the Great Glacier, the Blue Bear among the Uthgardt, and Herne among the orcs of the High Forest.

In civilized settings, the church of Malar is widely loathed, for its members -- often evil lycanthropes -- are some of the most dangerous threats to the safety of the local populace. Along the frontier and in wilderness settings, however, those who must hunt for food reluctantly pay homage to the Beastlord, even as they fear his cruelty. Outsiders sometimes differentiate between "Hunts," as Malarite bands are known, that operate openly and those that stalk the night. Some realms, such as Cormyr, legally recognize the former as having dominion over hunting while considering the latter to be little more than dangerous predators to be driven off or slain.

Clerics of Malar pray for spells at night, preferable under a full moon. They also offer prayers to the Beastlord before the chase, during pursuit, and while drinking a toast over the slain quarry (sometimes with its blood). The droning Bloodsong is intoned over the bodies of all creatures slain during a hunt. and specific ritual prayers and chants accompany feasting on any prey. Two great rituals are the Feast of the Stags and the High Hunt. In the former, clerics and worshipers of Malar hunt plenty of game before Highharvestide and then invite all (especially those not of the faith) to join them at a feast, where they pledge to hunt in the coming winter to provide for the needy. (This is one of the few things the church does that pleases the common folk.) During the High Hunt, held each season, worshipers adorned in kill trophies hunt a humanoid, who can win his or her life and a boon by escaping or surviving a day and a night. Malar's clerics often multiclass as barbarians, rangers, or druids. Many are evil lycanthropes such as werewolves.

HISTORY/RELATIONSHIPS: Malar is an ancient deity who dates back to the days when the first beasts stalked the land. He has always hated the Fair Folk and maintains a long-standing alliance with Lolth against the Seldarine. Over the centuries, he has tried to usurp power from other deities with varying degrees of success. He is one of the Deities of Fury, along with Talos (his superior), Auril, and Umberlee, and he is allied with dark deities such as Bane and Loviatar. The Beastlord fights against the deities of peace, civilization, and nature, but harbors a particular loathing for Nobanion since that deity defeated him in a fierce conflict, known as the Roar of Shadows, during the Time of Troubles.

DOGMA: Survival of the fittest and the winnowing of the weak are Malar's Legacy. A brutal, bloody death or kill has great meaning. The crux of life is the challenge between the hunter and the prey, the determination of who lives or dies. View every important task as a hunt. Remain ever alert and alive. Walk the wilderness without trepidation, and show no fear in the hunt. Savagery and strong emotions defeat reason and careful thought in all things. Taste the blood of those you slay, and never kill from a distance. Work against those who cut back the forest and who kill beasts solely because they are dangerous Slay not the young, the pregnant, or deepspawn so that prey will remain plentiful.