Sky Riders of Fayador
The Shalm, The Old Man of the Forest,Protector of Nature
Lesser God of Nature, Weather, and Wild Creatures
Domains: Air, Animal, Earth, Fire, Plant, Water
Symbol: Oak Leaf & Acorn
Typical Worshipers: Druids, Rangers, Wilderness Barbarians
Cleric Alignment: NG, CG, N, CN
Favored Weapon: Quarterstaff
Holy Days: Midsummer’s Solstice, Winter’s Solstice
Obad-Hai is an ancient deity of nature, perhaps the oldest in Fayador. He was worshipped long before the arrival of the Elves in the Eastern Woods, and is still held in high esteem in rustic areas throughout the realm. The Elven goddess Ehlonna has usurped his role in the central regions, a deed that has not gone unnoticed by his worshippers.
Walls crumble. Buildings gather dust. Fields are laid bare. One force remains constant, and that is the unyielding might of nature. The winds will never cease to flow, nor rain to fall nor sun to shine. That is the truth of the Shalm.
All of nature is in the eye of Obad-hai, and he hears the whispers of even the tiniest of creatures. While often serene in nature, the Shalm’s wrath is never to be underestimated. The innocence of nature is his ward, and he protects it vigor.
Clergy and Temples
The priests and druids of the Shalm take a very dim view of any who abuse the remaining wildlands and forests of Fayador, and as a result often find themselves aligned against invading forces (in particular, metal-clad fighters and arcane mages). However, if the armies do not despoil the area, they will most often leave both sides to their fate.
The priesthood of Obad-Hai and his druids do not see eye-to-eye on many issues. The druids tend to stay fixed in one area, while the priests roam about, spreading the word of the Shalm to outsiders. The priesthood views the druidic worshipers as unwilling to adapt, while the druids see the priesthood as unmindful of their proper role as guides to their community. The druids are by far the more common of the two.
Both sides send to dress in blatantly earthy tones of green and brown, often patched with leaves and studded with wooden toggles. There are no temples of Obad-hai to be found in Fayador, though in the deepest woods there can often be found altars to the Shalm. These small shrines generally consist of a planted oak surrounded by trinkets and runes of protection and prayer. The altars are often surrounded by birds or small animals which congregate at sunrise, making them easier to find by those who know how to look for them.
Obad-hai is also the deity of animals and Sky Mounts, even dragons. It is the duty of Obad-hai priests and priestesses to divine whether or not infants have souls compatible with Sky Mounts. They perform an elaborate ritual associating an infant with a dragon, griffon, or eagle egg. After hatching, these Sky Mounts remain soul-bound to their future riders for the entirety of their lives.