(the Wind Lord, the Poet, the Singing, the Fury)
Greater God, CG
Portfolio: winds, poetry, art, furor, elves
Aliases: Anunë, Arodr
Domain Name: The Hall of the Four Winds, Valingas
Allies: Eiri, Haeron, Tulä
Foes: Vodei, Dinismayl, Tyros, Tharos, Galos
Symbol: The four winds
Worshiper Alignment: Any good
Aros (AH-ros) is a consummate warrior-god. Unlike Tallial or Halor, he does not represent war as a concept, but rather the individual warrior. Of course, were he only a god of warriors he would be sharing his duties with Tallifer, Lord of Fools, an elvish deity; he is not. He is the Wind Lord first and foremost, the master of the four great wind spirits Aeshelon (the north wind), Eferus (the west wind), Boltorus (the south wind), and Imunäs (the east wind). He is the patron of arts and poetry, and normally associated with passion and intensity in emotion.
Aros appears to be a thin man wearing silver scale armor and an open robe, carrying a curved blade in one hand and a lyre in the other. It is said that Aros invented the sword to give the elves a weapon with which to fight the children of the Felnumen, the orcs and goblins. He himself is brother to Haeron and Eiri, and the three are often referred to as the Aldes Fratres or the Old Brothers.
Aros, as a god of passions and furies, does not restrain himself. He will eagerly walk amongst mortals, send one of the Winds to do his work, or empower his priesthood with great magics. He does not suffer evil of any sort, and will root it out personally. For this reason, all of his high clergy can detect alignment once per day by chanting a relatively simple prayer.
Adventurers tend to be drawn to the worship of Aros, for the simple reason that he is uncomplicated in his view of the world and can easily divide things into right and wrong. He is very influential on the mortal plane, interfering by the sendings of magics and aids even when the Hierean rules dictate that he should not. He and Heimir have been known to aid each other in what might be termed “causing trouble”—cooking up schemes to avoid the rules of Haeron so that they might assist the mortal world without impediment.
Clergy: Specialty Priests
Clergy’s Alignment: CG, NG
Turn Undead: No
Command Undead: No
The Temple of the Winds is the mannish church of Aros. He also has an organizationally separate church amongst the elves known as the Silver Temple. Amongst men, his temple has small support. Without the elvish temple to supplement it, it would seem more fitting of a god of lesser standing and power. There is no central organization amongst the Temple of the Winds; each temple stands or falls on its own and may have higher or lower ranking clerics leading its cult. The fact that Aros does not shy from dream-sendings, oracular readings, and flat-out appearances helps keep the temple knit together and allows the cult’s elders to decide who, in each temple, deserves to be promoted.
There are five “ranks” of clerics within the temple: the acolyte or novice, who is a member of the inner cult that has chosen to undertake the devotions of the clergy, the Windwalker, who is the most basic form of fully ordained cleric, the Windspeaker, who is a mid-level official of the temple (and in small temples may actually be the high priest), the station of Wind’s Fury, and the Master of the Four Winds (the highest level it is possible to achieve in the priesthood). A temple may contain any number of the lesser rankings, but it is only possible for a single Master to reside in any given place. If Aros signifies that he wishes a second Master promoted, it is the duty of that Master to find a location upon which to build a new temple.
Dogma: Aros and his clergy do not suffer evil; they do not believe in passivity, but rather instant action. Violence and battle are part of life, for living is fraught with strife. To strive blindly and without purpose, however, is seen as a great sin amongst the Arodians. One must always know the goals of their violence, for undirected deaths are murder. Indeed, Arodians see the eradication of those who commit evil acts as not only necessary, but as a great boon to society. Arodians care little for rules, particularly those they see as evil or unjust, and will just as soon challenge a knight, baron, count, or king to single combat as they would any other malefactor.
When placed in a society with rampant ills, however, the Arodian would be wise to check himself, and they often do; in lands such as Soloth and Essad, there are Arodians but they simply bite their tongues and watch with internal anger, waiting for the moment when they can lash out and bring demonstrative rightness (not justice, for the word is a joke to Aros, whose order believes that ‘justice’ is a word used by cowards to justify murder) to slay the foes and overtopple the kingdom.
Day-to-Day Activities: The temple-borne clerics of Aros are often seen out and about in the cities where they have established themselves. In large cities temples are generally attached to gardens and dormitories where the clergy can practice a craft to be perfected as an art. Smaller temples, mostly situated outside of major cities, may have grounds that serve as the garden instead, wild and free. Arodians also make their way to seaports, where they can collect prayers to ward the docked ships from Vodei’s anger. It is not uncommon to see Arodian temples sponsor adventuring parties, or for Arodian priests to become adventurers themselves.
During periods of war, or if their homes are threatened, Arodian clerics will generally fight to defend their lands and those things they consider good. Rather than fight in ordered ranks, Arodians answering the call of war generally skirmish without regard to either tactics or the positions of their allies.
Adventurers make up a large number of Arodian cult-members. For this reason, Arodians are constantly preparing stocks of magical gear to aid them. The temples of Aros tend to be quite wealthy were adventurers back them, for those adventurers tithe large amounts of money to the temples (the better to allow them to continue their charitable deeds) as well as to purchase from them the supplies and spells that Aros provides.
Charity also forms an important part of the Arodian lifestyle. They tend to the indigent and poor where they can, and often in places where there is a great gap between the purchasing power of the poor and the wealthy they will provide cheap artisanal services for peasants, both free and unfree. For this reason, some Arodian temples have developed markets situated around them, particularly in more rural areas.
Holy Days/Important Ceremonies: Aros has many holy days by the elvish calendar, but mannish worshipers tend to focus on a scant few of those. The two holy days which are held in honor by the mannish temples are the Highsummer festival, which is celebrated on the 12th of Swording, and the Day of the Winds on the first Aeron of Hording.
Highsummer is a joyous festival that honors Heimir and Aros as well as Eminiea and Eleia in a general debauch. Drink is passed around and the great altars of Eleia are adorned in wreaths of flowers. Arodian priests play the wind-harp, satyr-pipes, and much revels are had.
The Day of Winds is a melancholy celebration devoted to the four winds themselves and their chief, Aros. It is generally only celebrated where Arodian temples are found, and even then many do not attend it. It is said that the winds blow strongest on this day of all days, and the trees shiver as they change guard for the winter.
On the Day of Winds, prayers are said to ensure the successful transition of the seasons; there are Arodian imprecations to return Eleia to life (as she has ritually “perished” at the end of Highsummer) and many times this calls for mock battles. This day can therefore double as a tourney-day for regions that have a fair worship of Aros. Indeed, in some places in the Milean Hearthland it is not uncommon for tourneys to be held on this day to be presided over by Arodian priests.
Major Centers of Worship: The largest temples of Aros are in fact those that belong to the elves, for Aros is their chief god. Mannish temples are generally very small affairs, open to the breezes and airs, with a few clerics to tend them. The largest Arodian temple tended by men is actually in ruined Llynder, located high atop a bluff. This is known as the Temple of the Aeshelos, and what few towns exist in Llynder do homage to it.
Affiliated Orders: The cult of Aros is strongly affiliated with the cult of Anunë, for the two gods are one and the same.
Priestly Vestments: Priests of Aros wear long blue robes, often fringed with lighter blue embroidery. It is common to see blue-dyed leather gloves and deep sky-blue cloaks as well. The sign of the four winds is often embroidered on their cloaks, wrought into their clasps and broaches, and worn in heavy silver around their necks. Silver is the preferred metal of decoration for Arodians, and they do not wear gold if they can help it.
When not in robes, Arodians generally stick to expensively dyed materials of blue and things laced with silver to denote their devotion.
Adventuring Garb: When adventuring or going to war, Arodian priests generally wear a blue tabard with the sing of the four winds embroidered on it, a deep blue cloak, and some jewelry to decry their position.
Priest of Aros
REQUIREMENTS: Strength 12, Constitution 12, Wisdom 9
PRIME REQ: Wisdom
ALIGNMENT: CG, CN
WEAPONS: Any blunt weapon, falcata, scimitar, darts, bow
MAJOR SPHERES: All, Elemental (air, water), Charm, Combat, Weather, Healing, Necromantic
MINOR SPHERES: Chaos, Divination, Guardian, War
MAGICAL ITEMS: Any clerical.
REQ. PROFS: Religion (Aros)
BONUS PROFS: Artistic Ability (Any) or Musical Instrument (Any)
A Windwalker of Aros can attempt to use magical items that are not normally usable by clerics. Their percentage chance to do this successfully is 5% per level, capping at 95% at level 19.
Windwalkers can cast draw upon holy might (as the 2nd-level priest spell) once per day. They always get at least a +1 bonus from this spell.
At 3rd level, Windwalkers gain the ability to to give artistic performances like a bard; they can grant a morale bonus just as bard might and also influence the reaction of crowds.
At 5th level, a Windwalker becomes immune to lightning and electrical-based attacks.
At 7th level, a Windwalker can cast mass suggestion (as per the -level wizard spell) once per day.
At 10th level, Windwalkers may cast haste (as per the 3rd-level wizard spell) once per day. This haste does not take time off of the target’s life.
At 15th level, Windwalkers can enter a state of furor poeticus. When in this state they gain a number of temporary hit points equal to their level, their strength is effectively set to 20, and they can make two attacks every round. They are immune to normal weapons until the furor poeticus ends. The furor lasts for one round per level. At the end of the furor they lose all temporary hit points and take 1d8 additional points of damage for every turn they have spent in the furor.