Belendor is the god of destruction, fire, growth, dying (but not death).
Titles: Darkflame, Darkstar, Lord/Lady of Darkness, The Cruel Flame, The End of What Will Come to Be
Belendor has no favored animal. Nothing can match the destructive impulses of mankind, and Belendor settles for nothing but perfection.
Like Aranayan and Enoth, Belendor can appear as either a man or a woman and always chooses the appearance that is best for the occasion. Belendor prefers wearing the guise of a woman, perhaps to balance Twiggle’s preference to appear as a man. When Belendor does appear, they prefer staying near fire and tend to wear reds and golds in their clothing.
Belendor is one of the four Powers who were created by Fate before any mortals walked the planes. To describe Belendor as “evil” is to misunderstand their nature. Belendor is a force of destruction. They are necessary in the natural order as all things that are created must have an eventual end and Belendor is all too happy to be the vehicle for that end. Belendor will even join in the creation of something great just to see it ultimately fall. Though Belendor is not evil per se, many of their followers are. Destruction causes pain, and Belendor is a merciless, power-driven, and destructive being. There is little room for goodness or kindness in Belendor’s heart or in the hearts of their followers. They are driven by ambition, desire for power and glory, and a willingness to crush those who would stand in opposition.
Followers of Belendor reject the idea of good and evil. They believe they are beyond such binary and simplistic understandings. The only truth for followers of Belendor is that everything dies and rots away, everything is destroyed in the end. Only the strongest will live and stave off their eventual end. In thriving, the strong will make the world better. They will destroy, through fire, or through their might, and stop the neverending creation that would choke life and stifle growth. To the followers of the other powers and gods, Belendor and their followers are decidedly evil. Without doubt. Their destruction is amoral at best, and their cruelty and potential for evil only shows the darkness present in their souls.
Belendor, as a god, is not focused on the pain that can come from destruction. Just as it is impossible for mortal beings to understand the divine, so it, ironically, is it impossible for Belendor to understand the pain and suffering that their creed and actions cause to the world. Belendor sought to destroy all existence to prove their love for Aranayan, unaware that doing so would pain the Lord of Light, and was shocked when Aranayan sacrificed himself to prevent it.
Followers of Belendor interpret their patron’s nature in various and contradicting ways due to the fact that a force for destruction is impossible to fully understand. A derelict house must be destroyed because it keep it standing would cause potential harm, however, is such an action evil? However, to destroy a healthy, productive child would be viewed as evil, unless that child were to live and cause more “evil” by living. With the nature of destruction impossible to understand, followers of Belendor range in their actions from the nearly insane spreader of chaos and misery, to the cold and calculating bureaucrat who promotes a law that serves himself alone. Belendor appreciates the chaos and destruction that flow in Twiggle’s wake, often taking advantage of Twiggle’s follies and amusements to bring pain beyond and destruction.
Many templars, elemental mages, warriors, and dark mages follow Belendor. Most torturers pay respects to Belendor as well, their craft is the destruction of body and psyche. Arsonists and serial killers revere Belendor and destroy communities and lives in their dark worship. Surprisingly, rebels and rebellions often are nudged by Belendor, to create destruction and warfare.
For the most part, followers of Belendor don’t view their actions as “evil” but rather as necessary. Good and evil don’t matter for them- the universe creates and destroys, and they play a small part in that endless cycle. Some may argue that their destructive behaviors bring about a greater good that can come only from destruction. Others revel in it. The followers of Aranayan and other Lords of Light vehemently disagree, and see the actions of most, if not all of Belendor’s followers as evil, reprehensible, or at the very best, misguided.
Followers of Belendor often follow other Lords of Darkness. Belendor, for their part, gets along well with their subordinates. Destruction complements the purviews of the other Lords of Darkness well. Belendor, however, does not get along with Vanaria or her followers at all. Vanarians claim that Belendor cursed their goddess after she refused Belendor’s advances as retribution for Teel’s mockery. Belendor’s followers, however, tell the tale that Vanaria was cursed as retribution, to destroy Aravel’s family for her kind, merciful, and gentles uses of fire. Whichever tale is true, Belendor does not deny cursing Vanaria.
Approbation and Displeasure
Actions/ideas that please Belendor:
- Killing enemies–armed or not. The destruction of a life and the process of dying please Belendor
- Undermining laws that preserve order or creating laws that undermine a kingdom, both of which can cause destruction.
- Aiding the enemies of a kingdom or faction
- Killing beings who promote order and stability
- Setting fires. Nothing pleases Belendor more than fire. It burns, destroys, and new growth can come from the destruction.
- Opposing followers of Aranayan or gods aligned under Aranayan
- Giving cursed items to unsuspecting people to cause destruction
- Prolong the dying of a creature, either through magic, torture or other means
- Burnt offerings made at a fire in Belendor’s name, particularly food and sweets.
- Fomenting rebellion, or aiding rebels.
Actions/ideas that displease Belendor (and may result in the loss of magical abilities):
- Selflessness, followers of Belendor are only permitted to offer aid to others if it benefits them as well
- Creating something new unless it promotes a greater disorder. Creation is Aranayan’s purview.
- Killing of beings that promote chaos. Belendor and Twiggle have no alliance, but beings of chaos often leave trails of destruction in their wake that Belendor revels in and loves to exploit.
- Aiding the servants of gods aligned under Aranayan or Enoth unless it is to undermine them, and on rare occasion even the servants of other Lords of Darkness if they stand in opposition to Belendor
Holy Places and Holy Days
Due to the general discrimination towards followers, Belendor has hidden temples across Azkon that are only known to the most loyal and proven worshipers. Revealing of the location of these sites to non-initiates is punishable by death. Belendor, during their days as Grigoria developed a fondness for the town of Bryden’s Ferry, particularly the ever-lit fire at the center of town. Especially now that the town is a pilgrimage site where the Lords of Darkness can be openly worshipped.
The holiest days of each month, for Belendor, are the first days–as they are the beginning of a new time of destruction. Most especially the Winter Solstice (when the night is the longest), and the second week of October.
The second week in October marks the week the Hazon Dynasty collapsed. While this is normally celebrated by races on Azkon as a day of liberty from the slaving empire, followers of Belendor see it as the beginning of various groups fighting for the scraps left behind–the destruction of an empire and the following destruction of various groups as they kill each other over what is left. This holy day is called: Liberation Day (the followers of Belendor co-opt the name to mean Liberation from Order).
Followers of Belendor point to the earliest signs of worship at 3,000 years ago with a temple located in an unknown location, somewhere in what is now the Hazonian Plains. The temple itself is lost to history, but it is from there that Belendor’s worship spread. The stain of destruction lies heavily on the Plains- Kithrix and Wood Elves destroyed each other for long years beyond count, and Malmira sits as a gruesome reminder of Belendor’s love and purpose- destroying what has been created.
With the rise of the Hazon Empire 1,000 years ago, Belendor worship was outlawed across the empire, and widespread purges swept the lands, driving followers into the remote corners of the continent. Strictures have since relaxed some, and Belendor’s followers have had a resurgence.
It is commonly “known” that Belendor caused the rift crisis 200 years ago that split the continent and started the decline of the Hazon Empire. This causes, at times, a strangely grudging respect towards Belendor in some races and professions, as they see Belendor’s hand in bringing down the empire.
After the fall of the empire, Belendor worship has become increasingly common in Azkon.
Belendor recently walked Azkon wearing the mortal form of Grigoria, one of the First Men who served long ago. In this form, she remained hidden in Bryden’s Ferry, watching and assisting her beloved Aranayan. After Aranayan’s sacrifice and seeing her plans thwarted, she disappeared with his body, burning with a fierce and anguished fury.
Correct Worship and Rites/Rituals/Requirements
Followers of Belendor typically engage in:
- Ritual burning of one’s enemies–these typically are done with great ceremony and grandeur–sometimes these rituals are rewarded with Belendor’s favor
- Destruction of finely crafted weapons and armor or other important and valuable goods
- Carrying tools that can create fire
- Practicing of elemental, dark, or runic magic
- It would be rare for a follower of Belendor to practice arcane (order based) magic
- Attempting to witness every dawn, as a new day to sow destruction
- Make an offering to the fires of dusk (food, incense, wood) and the destruction of the day