Hilkoris

Lands_Hilkoris.jpg

“Foliage, Fire and Fowl”

Pantheon: Kycelian
Alignment: Lawful Good
Favored Weapon: None, but helps guide any improvised Wood Axe or Torch
Domains: Animal (Feather), Fire (Ash), Healing (Medicine), Plant (Growth).*
Also Known As: “Green Needle,” “Flamefeather”

*The demigods of Kycela work a little differently than the rest of the world, but this is a good way to describe their powers quickly.

Hilkoris {HILL-cur-esse} is the Kycelian demigod of scattered alpine forests. He reigns over evergreen plants, but also the beneficial burning of them, and the birds which find purchase among their branches. His gifts of fire and fowl allow humanoids to live along the Dun Skor mountains, and the burning of incenses and sage allow them to thrive. His symbol is a woodpecker with red, fire-like plumage, carved of wood and usually fashioned into a fragile dreamcatcher: symbolizing their intent to stay out of combat. Far Folk scholars – if such a thing could even be said to exist – speculate that his name was derived from the words “hill chorus” long ago.

Timber is incredibly rare in the Dun Skors, which means what trees do find purchase on the stark grey slopes must be protected at all costs and used sparingly. Hilkoris’ devout seek out new trees in high altitudes and icy ledges, harvesting what’s appropriate and replanting what they can. They then bring these gifts back to the slope cities where they’re used as precious firewood and the occasional arrows for emergencies. Birds provide eggs, meat and fletching for a people unable to herd traditional domestic livestock. His priests also act as medicine men and midwives, traveling between many villages and offering their famous free services every few months (as the journey itself is usually a slow one). While high level servants could summon giant bird mounts, this is a rare event and almost always done – with the god’s intent and blessing – to end a bleak starvation a distant village might be suffering rather than as frivolous transport. Priests of Hilkoris are perhaps the most highly respected and sought after in all the Dun Skors, and instantly recognizable from the mask of office that signals their approach and the safety it implies.

Lands_HilkorisBird.jpg

Edicts

  • Trees are not sacred, but they are rare in this country. It is your duty to guide their growth and their culling.
  • Birds will only land in our country if there are trees to do so. Use the same respect with them. Relocate nests if not needed.
  • Bringing harm will cause our people to doubt your healing, or at least your intentions. Yet sometimes you must defend yourself.

Worship
Holkoris’ faithful are called his flock, and they are a practical lot: well-suited to rugged pioneering life and ill-suited to waste. They tend to put worship in this category. While always loving of and thankful to the Flamefeather, they know that a morning spent praising him is a morning of no chores getting done, which in this terrain can mean death. Besides, his flock is confident that their god is too humble to seek it… and their gravel-strewn slopes are too uncomfortable to kneel in.

Avatars
On a continent of fairly large and elemental demigods, the Green Needle is most often noticed by an absence of the spectacular. If a forest fire suddenly threatens the only copse for miles, he can be seen in its sudden quelling. If a landslide will soon threaten a slope city, a flock of birds might signal a direction to safely flee.

While never proven, it is widely suspected that he sometimes takes the form of a human priest (as in the image above) and simply travels between the towns: never removing his mask but curing maladies seemingly too difficult for traditional medicine or magic.

Hilkoris is an unassuming, unpretentious deity, and a cadre of good-aligned gods would like him to be the one who eventually joins their global pantheon… though in no small part due to his not seeking out more power.

Alliances
He appears content to stay in his region, with few outside northwestern Kycela having heard of him. He forms a trio of northern powers with Brecia and Thanaver, with each representing a different shade of the good alignment, and that causing the occasional difficulty between them. Still, they appear to have formed a mini pantheon of their own, each taking care of certain needs while relying on the others to handle their ends.

Priests
The most common type of “priest” of Hilkoris is actually a ranger, as in Kycela their eventual magic is a gift of the demigod rather than nature. These brave scouts seek out new trees and strive to use them sparingly.

Cleric characters do not receive a favored weapon proficiency, as their god is a pacifist medic. However they do automatically ignore any improvisation penalties when using woodworking tools as weapons: the most common being hatchets and lumber axes, but a small whittling knife, cant hook or even a saw would qualify. They also receive this bonus with wooden torches. These proficiencies are caused by a divine hand and go away if the cleric ever breaks their covenant. Some of their more battle-prepared clerics take feats that increase their defenses, or sometimes increase their torch damage. Most of their combats involve mountain animals, and short of hunting for food, most would feel it far better to scare beasts off than kill then unnecessarily.

Adventurers
Anyone from the Dun Skor Range can choose Hilkoris as their favored religion, though most agree that Brecia and Thanaver are helpful as well; some factions like the snow orcs worship all three as equals, though humans tend towards a “home team” preference.

Priests of Hilkoris – no matter what class the player decides that means – feel it important to be around and heal those in need, but nothing collects injuries like an adventuring party.

*Keep in mind that like all Kycelian demigods, magic powers are directly tied to the region their demigod is inhabiting: venture too far and you’ll start losing spells. The only way to grow influence – if that is something you crave – is for one of these demigods to Highlander another and absorb their power. If Hilkoris is the last demigod standing, then he’ll become a real god and join the global pantheon.

Hilkoris

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