I have always been a fan of fantasy deities. The one thing that I always feel is that fantasy deities are missing is some appeal to common persons. I feel that deities that have a direct appeal to adventurers or villains are given special status while those that would be far more relevant to serfs and farmers are barely given any attention when they given any attention at all. Which brings me to my favorite fantasy deity as of late: Grumble. If you have read the Spells, Swords, and Stealth series by Drew Hayes, you’ll know Grumble as the kobold deity of minions, servants, and slaves. Grumble treats his followers nice because he is a former minion himself and knows how bad his followers have it. And honestly, who is going to have more faithful, the deity of undead, the deity of bankers, or the deity of minions? In terms of sheer numbers and quantity of prayers, the minion deity should win out and be frankly be the leader of all deities.
So this is where I want to begin my deific musings, focusing on a deity that should have a sizable number of followers but is largely ignored by most fantasy RPGs. Which brings us to Avarna, the minor deity of tradespersons. Those with a skill: butchers, bakers, candlestick makers, stonemasons, weavers, cobblers, locksmiths, tanners, etc., have a very specific skill and few deities that represent them in any standard fantasy pantheon. So consider adding Avarna to your game.
Lawful good deity of skilled work, integrity, and community
When Avarna appears to their followers, they appear as any race, skin/fur tone, or gender they see fit, knowing full well that skilled crafters and laborers are not limited to any one group. Instead they frequently appear as a customer to a troubled crafter, purchase a product, compliment them on their work, ask about their troubles and then helps them solve the problem. This is why Avarna is sometimes called the Great Problemsolver. It is because of this that Avarna preaches education among their followers, encouraging them all to read as well as taking apprentices to pass on what they have learned.
Avarna also extols integrity, believing that quality work should stand on its own. Those that sell poor quality items and passing them off as the work of a more skilled crafter is seen as the highest form of blasphemy among the faithful. Anvils breaking, looms snapping, and dead yeast area few of the signs of a ways Avarna is seen as punishing those that do not meet the deity’s standard of honesty.
The community of workers is another of the highest tenants of Avarna. If the cobbler cannot repair shoes, they cannot buy bread, who cannot higher purchase wheat, and so on. Everyone suffers. The deity teaches that the community should look out for one another and help each other out for the good of all.
The clergy of Avarna tend to have less formal religious training and more experience lending a helping hand. Come the harvest, a cleric of Avarna is frequently in the fields. When the giving holiday of winter comes around, a cleric of Avarna helps the crafters make toys for orphans. Yet if there is one service all clergy of Avarna help with most of all, it is helping crafters to sell their own products. This way more the money they make flows into the hands of crafters and stays out of the hands of the merchants.
Paladins of Avarna are rare but not unheard of. Most of them are the children of tradespersons and saw their lives enriches by their skilled parents and how the wealthy kept working to take everything they had away from them. These paladins take a vow to serve the common folk against the wealthy and powerful. After a paladin of Avarna slays a monster that attacked a village, you can find them helping to rebuild.
Most followers of Avarna keep a small house shrine or holy symbol of a sewing needle crossed with a rolling pin on a wall and placed kissed fingers to the shrine before starting work for the day. Religious services are weekly and short, after the sun goes down and the work day is done. Once a month there is a communal feast for the faithful where all share in their collective good fortune or troubles. This is where followers meet up and find solutions collectively.
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