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D&D Proposal: New Deity - Iovandra, goddess of travelers

KahlessNestor

Explorer
So I was making my first character, an elven ranger, and in a world where gods and goddesses are pretty self-evident through divine magic, I always want my characters to worship one. But I didn't really see much development of an elven pantheon or something suitable for a ranger, so I thought I'd put one together. Judges, let me know what you think:


Name: Iovandra
Archetype: Wanderer
Titles: The Companion; The Hidden Help
Alignment: Neutral Good
Portfolio: Travelers, Roads
Worshipers: Travelers, rangers, caravan guards, road builders, the lost, the lonely, the poor
Domains: Travel, Liberation, Protection, Community, Good
Favored Weapon: Quarterstaff
Holy Symbol: Compass Rose

Iovandra is an elven lesser deity. Said to be born of a god of civilization and a goddess of nature, she exists to bridge between the two worlds.

History

As elves went out into the world and met other races, Iovandra naturally went with them. She proved to be a popular and adaptable deity, more than happy to be taken up by other races, first by the nomadic halflings and then by humans, granting these non-elves her divine powers and blessings. As the races began to settle down, her cult adapted to civilization, as well.

Relationships

Iovandra is an agreeable deity, getting along with most. She maintains good relations with the good nature deities and she actively opposes the evil nature deities that would harm her charges. In Venza, Iovandran faithful often aid the followers of Hinotheus in patrolling the streets.

Appearance and Emissaries

Many races that adopted Iovandra have made her in their own image. Her most widespread iconography, however, depicts her as a half-elf in traveling clothes: sturdy boots, breeches, tunic, and cloak, with a staff in one hand and a compass in the other. Some aspects of this iconography may change, however, depending on the commission. For example, a guild of road builders might replace the staff with a surveyor’s tool.

Iovandra is seen as one of the gods most active in mortal affairs. Her followes believe she often makes unexpected, though hidden, appearances. The female half-elf that gives one directions out of the bad part of town and then seemingly disappears into the crowd. The stranger that leads a lost child back to her mother. The comforting presence of companionship on a lonely twilit road. The sudden, subtle nudge that warns one of danger from the brambles up ahead.

Church of Iovandra

The worship of Iovandra is a very decentralized affair. Though most of the faithful know where to find a local priest, and there are apprenticeships in place for the training of clerics, most worship is done by individuals.

The faith has almost taken two paths, leading to separate but not antagonistic branches. The original faith was based in the wilderness, the dangers and loneliness of the road. This branch tends to interpret the tenets of the faith more literally, as they are often matters of survival. Within the cities, the faith takes on more aspects of community betterment.

Worshippers and Clergy

There is very little true hierarchy within Iovandra’s church. Most titles are based on the duties one has taken on oneself to perform.

Wayfinder: These faithful of Iovandra blaze new trails in the wilderness, opening paths to scattered and isolated settlements. In more civilized lands, the head of a road builders’ guild might be called a Wayfinder. Usually a ranger or druid or someone competent in wilderness lore and travel. There are few, if any, Wayfinders in a city.

Waykeeper: An Iovandran who maintains an open road or path. Usually the head waykeeper is an actual cleric of Iovandra. He maintains a waystation usually halfway along a road, though roads that are much longer may contain several waystations, usually two or three days apart. On a well-established road this may be an inn or caravanserai, though most waystations are simple affairs, often merely a small permanent settlement of daub and wattle huts protected by a thornwall or wooden palisade. The wayside usually houses a couple more junior Waykeepers, often rangers, whose job it is to maintain small shrines that are established at intervals of about a day along the road. In a city, an innkeeper might claim the title of Waykeeper, or the head of a soup kitchen or shelter may be a Waykeeper.

Protector: Faithful who offer their services as scouts or escorts for caravans and travelers are called Protectors. Protectors also often serve as junior Wayfinders and patrol roads for threats to its safety. In a city, a Protector might organize a neighborhood watch or aid in the patrol of the streets or work with the city guard. Often rangers and fighters.

Notable Worshippers

The elven ranger [[Zinnelis_Laediril_(KahlessNestor)|Zinnelis Laediril]] is a Wayfinder and Protector.

Temples, Shrines, and Holy Sites

Iovandra has very few temples. A large city might have one provided by a wealthy follower or group of followers, perhaps an innkeepers’ guild or road builders’ guild. Usually the temple has a more practical purpose than as a worship space. The temple in Vezna is a sprawling affair in the lower class Ranocchio district. It houses a soup kitchen, a shelter, and a teleportation circle.

Much more common are wayside shrines to Iovandra. In the wild, these are spaced at around a day’s travel along the road. Each of these shrines is marked by the compass rose and contains a small cache of necessaries like rations, fresh water, and other wilderness gear for travelers in need. They usually also have some kind of simple shelter, like a lean to or bower, for use by travelers. It is expected that a traveler who uses a wayside should leave an item in the cache for a traveler who might need it.

In a city, an innkeeper who is faithful to Iovandra might keep a small, simple room for a person who cannot pay for a room. They might also have a Helper’s Box where patrons can drop in a spare copper or two to be used to offer a simple meal to a hungry beggar or pay for a cab for a traveler in need.

Iovandra has few holy sites. Often her waystations will share the holy site of a nature deity that might be near the road, encouraging devotion to both.

Holy Texts

Iovandra has no texts, but her worshippers do have tenets by which they live:

*Self-reliance: Never travel unprepared for the dangers you might face.
-This is a more important tenet to the branch of the faith existing outside of the cities.
-The freedom of the road.

*Help: One can never be prepared for everything. Sometimes you need a bit of help.
-In the wilderness, this takes the form of taking only what you need from a wayside cache and leaving something in the cache.
-In the city, this takes the form of the Helper’s Box, soup kitchens, and shelters. It is also evident when Iovandrans put up street signs at intersections near their homes indicating the direction to important main thoroughfares and public buildings to help the lost regain their sense of direction.
-This tenet also includes a tradition of random acts of kindness. Given the unassuming nature of Iovandra, it is preferred that no one knows from whom the help came, so most are done in secret, like a bag of coin tossed into a poor man’s window, or a freshly dressed deer left on the doorstep of the homestead of a recent widow.

*Share: The road is lonely and dangerous. Companions are worth more than gold.
-Share your fire, your food and water, and share your stories of the road ahead and the dangers it might pose.
-There is safety in numbers.
-This tenet also enjoins one to share one’s time with the lonely, those with no family or friends to aid them, like the elderly or the sick or the prisoner.

Holidays

With the faith being more individualistic and decentralized, there are very few holidays. However, in the cities, two have become important.

Midsummer - a celebration of the bounties of the high point of the year, followers of Iovandra might host a large dinner for the hungry and destitute.

Midwinter - on the darkest and coldest day of the year, the faithful often hold food drives for those who might be feeling the shortage. They also open their homes for a night of warmth and camaraderie for those who may not have it.

Organizations

Devout Iovandrans will often sponsor soup kitchens and shelters in the cities.
 
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GlassEye

Community Supporter
Could you edit your post and remove the color and font tags, please? Many of us old timers use the Legacy skin which has a dark background. Making your text black on the black background makes it impossible to read without highlighting or cutting and pasting to another document. Plus, Arial just isn't as easy to read on-screen as the default font. Thanks.
 

KahlessNestor

Explorer
Could you edit your post and remove the color and font tags, please? Many of us old timers use the Legacy skin which has a dark background. Making your text black on the black background makes it impossible to read without highlighting or cutting and pasting to another document. Plus, Arial just isn't as easy to read on-screen as the default font. Thanks.
Um...I'm not a code monkey, so I'm not sure. I wrote it up in Word and cut and pasted it in. I'll see if I can repost? Or link to a Google Doc.
 

GlassEye

Community Supporter
Yeah, writing in Word and cutting and pasting into a forum post frequently causes additional tags to be added for some reason. They are easy to spot if you edit, though; much easier than working with the wiki, for sure. Thanks for the link, though. That made it much more comfortable for my old eyes to see.

Now, some actual comments as to your submission:

It's obvious that you've done a lot of research and reading while working this up. I really appreciate that you've embraced the existent lore and underlying structure for our world and used it for Iovandra. I would vote to approve this in a heartbeat.

There are two things that would make this more appealing to me personally (and not related to my judge comments above; I would vote yes for this submission without the following):

-- I'm not particularly fond of the title 'The Hidden Help'. I understand that it's a reference to the subtle assistance the goddess gives but it makes me think of servants in the Victorian age. They do their job but you are never supposed to actually notice them. I'd like to replace it with 'The Hidden Hand' or 'The Subtle Hand'. I would also like to add a title: 'The Twilight Guide'. This is a reference to the Hidden Path and what I perceive as the goddess's role as guide through the Twilight Realm to the Other World, which expands the goddess's duties to a cosmological scale and which I think she needs. (Although maybe you intended that reference by using 'Hidden').

-- I'd like a statement on her role in various pantheons and the area that she is worshiped. It doesn't have to be much more than: 'Though not officially part of many pantheons, Iovandra is worshiped in many regions of the Eastern continent including the Landadel Baronies, the Grasslands of the Pell, and many wild areas.'

-- I had a third thing but since typing up the above I've forgotten it. If I remember I'll post it up.
 

Aura

Villager
You're going to run into the text color issue a bit, so let me suggest the simplest way of dealing with it:

You need to be in the advanced editor. Highlight all text, then click the Remove Format button (2nd from left on top row.) Alternatively, if you have format you don't want to destroy with a generalized removal, switch to WYSIWYG Mode (top left button), highlight all text, then choose color 'Automatic.'

I used to run into this problem when I was new as well. Cut and paste is the usual culprit--I could immediately tell that was the case this time.

That will fix your problem with considerably less effort than posting to google docs.
 

Aura

Villager
I did a quick read of your submission. Some feedback:

* I'll echo GE on the 'Hidden Help' title. It rather reminds me of 'Hired Help'. I liked the 'Subtle Hand' more of the two alternatives offered.

* I know the quarterstaff is the classic of the travel deity, but cleric players like to see favored weapons that are not simple weapons (which they already have). As an elf, she could have any of the classic elven weapons. Then just put a 'she is often seen walking with a quarterstaff' or some such to preserve the feel you're looking for.

* Her name is a bit close to Issolatha.

* I get the feeling that she's become rather removed from the mainstream elves, even if she's elven herself. The mainstream elves (which few PC's are derived from) are not very friendly/popular folk in En.
 

KahlessNestor

Explorer
Thanks for the advice. I'll try and keep that in mind for next time. Though posting to google docs isn't much of an issue for me since I tend to save a lot of things there, anyway.
 

KahlessNestor

Explorer
I did a quick read of your submission. Some feedback:

* I'll echo GE on the 'Hidden Help' title. It rather reminds me of 'Hired Help'. I liked the 'Subtle Hand' more of the two alternatives offered.

* I know the quarterstaff is the classic of the travel deity, but cleric players like to see favored weapons that are not simple weapons (which they already have). As an elf, she could have any of the classic elven weapons. Then just put a 'she is often seen walking with a quarterstaff' or some such to preserve the feel you're looking for.

* Her name is a bit close to Issolatha.

* I get the feeling that she's become rather removed from the mainstream elves, even if she's elven herself. The mainstream elves (which few PC's are derived from) are not very friendly/popular folk in En.
1. Okay, I changed it to "Subtle Hand". That does sound good, too.

2. I switched it to longbow. That allows clerics who want a good ranged option, keeps it "elven", and still keep the quarterstaff iconography. Is that acceptable? The other options seemed...meh. Longsword every god seemed to have. Rapier might have worked, but didn't seem to fit the travel theme. Longbow kind of fit out in the wilderness, though. And "elven" weapons (like curved blade) would still be martial and not helpful, right?

3. Is the name going to be a problem? I was riffing a bit off of Avandra from the 4e Dawn War pantheon. I can see if I can change it. Vandra was one I considered.

4. Yeah, I noticed there wasn't a lot about elves in the world, other than Haran, and they seemed...not nice LOL I think she was a lesser deity among elves and kind of "upped her profile" by universalizing herself. So there are probably still elves that worship her, but she's spread out beyond them, since elves seem a bit more "settled" than her original portfolio would require.
 

Maidhc O Casain

Na Bith Mo Riocht Tá!
I like her! I've actually been considering generating an honest to goodness, plain ol' Cleric for LPF and this write up kind of makes me want to have him/her worship Iovandra (though both Elves and Clerics are probably my least played race and class).

I fixed your first post so it's readable in the Legacy background. Easiest way to do this if your writing in Word and pasting it in is to use the right-click option "Paste as Plain Text" when you port it over.
 

KahlessNestor

Explorer
I'm glad you like it! I've always been a fan of clerics, and any divine class (go paladins! ) Unfortunately mu only cleric died at second level to bad dice rolls and a baby white dragon (RIP Tirion Cayde). Haven't played elves a lot (scary negative Con!) since I'm more of a dwarf, but it should be fun.
 

Aura

Villager
I don't think the name similarity to another deity is a problem per se, I was just mentioning it in case it was one of those things that would, after the fact, make you unhappy. So it's fully up to you.

The other stuff makes it more appealing to me.

The elven picture in En is not exactly clear, but some people use ways out of the jerkishness of the Haran. I have a half elf from the Northern Isle, and they don't have the whole Haran sensitivity there. Anyway, just more rambling.

I could vote yes for it, but don't mind leaving discussion open just a little more to make sure we've gathered suggestions/input.
 

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