|To Norse Gods|
The Dying God; God of light and tears; God of peace, love and beauty
Home Plane: Asgard before death, Niflheim afterward
Alignment: Neutral Good
Portfolio:Good, Healing, Knowledge
Domain: Beauty, Light, Music, poetry, Renewal
Symbol: Golden Chalice
Traditional Allies: Nearly all of the Aesir
Traditional Foes: Loki, undead
Divine Artifact: Mace of Holy Brilliance
Favored Weapon: Mace
Worshipers: Bards, Gnomes
Cleric Alignments: CG, LG, NG
Favored Class: Cleric
Favored Race: Humans
Benefits: clerics of Balder gain an inherent +2 bonus to Turning Checks against undead.
Balder, whose name means The Glorious, was the god of innocence, beauty, joy, purity, and peace, was the favorite of the gods, Odin's and Frigg's second son and brother to Thor. Renowned for his beauty. Considered to be a very handsome and wise god, he was worshipped as the god of light because his was so great that light shined from within him. Balder led an idyllic life until he became troubled by ominous dreams. His wife is called Nanna and his son Forseti. Baldr has a ship, the largest ever built, named Hringham, and a hall, called Breidablik.
Apart from this gushing description Balder is known primarily for the myth surrounding his death. His death is seen as the first in the chain of events which will ultimately lead to the destruction of the gods at Ragnarok. Balder will be reborn in the new world, however, as foretold in the Völuspá. With this resurrection in mind, he is classified as a life-death-rebirth deity.
He was beloved by all the other gods. One night he had a dream foretelling his death (or his mother had the same dreams). Since dreams were usually prophetic, this depressed him. When he told the rest of the Aesir of this dream, they sought to protect him, his mother Frigg exacted an oath from fire and water, iron and all kinds of metals, stones, earth, trees, ailments, beasts, birds, poison, and serpents, every object on earth vow never to harm Balder.
All but one, an insignificant weed called the mistletoe, made this vow. Frigg had thought it too unimportant and nonthreatening to bother asking it to make the vow (alternatively, it seemed too young to swear). When Loki, the mischief-maker, heard of this, he made a magical spear from this plant (in some later versions, an arrow). He hurried to the place where the gods were gods delighted with Balders invulnerability and amused themselves by hurling objects at him, which would bounce off without harming him. Loki tricked Balders blind twin, the blind God Hod, into throwing a sharpened spear made of mistletoe at Balder, guiding Hods hand so it aimed at his brothers heart. Thus inadvertently killing his brother with as it struck his heart and Balder died instantly. For this act, Odin and Rind had a child named Váli, who was born solely to punish Hod, who was slain.
Balder was ceremonially burnt upon his ship, Hringhorni, the largest of all ships. His wife, Nanna, died of grief and heartache at the news of his death threw herself on the funeral fire and was burned with him on the funeral boat to await the end of Ragnarok when she would be reunited with her husband . The dwarf Lit was kicked by Thor into the funeral fire and burnt alive. Balder's horse with all its trappings was also burned on the pyre. The ship was set to sea by Hyrrokin, a giantess, who came riding on a Wolf and gave the ship such a push that fire flashed from the rollers and all the earth shook.
Upon Frigg's entreaties, that someone journey to the underworld to ransom her son. Hermod the Brave, messenger of the gods, volunteered to go. Hermod rode to the Underworld to ask Hel to release Balder so he might live again. Hel agreed on the condition that all living things shed a single tear for him. And all did, except one giantess named Thokk (who was Loki in disguise) who refused to mourn the slain god and doomed Balder to his death. Thus Balder had to remain in the underworld, not to emerge until after Ragnarok, when he and his brother Hod would be reconciled and rule the new earth together with Thor's sons.
When the gods discovered that the giantess had been Loki in disguise, they hunted him down and bound him to three rocks. Then they tied a serpent above him, the venom of which dripped onto his face. His wife Sigyn gathered the venom in a bowl, but from time to time she had to turn away to empty it, at which point the poison would drip onto Loki, who writhed in pain, thus causing earthquakes. He would free himself, however, in time to attack the gods at Ragnarok.
Legends of Ragnarok declare that Balder will return to life at that time and lead the new created world in to a new age.
Despite his attractiveness, Balder is not a vain god. He is loyal to Odin and the other Aesir, and never fails to fulfill his obligations to them. When an ugly man or woman demonstrates his worth by performing a self-sacrificing deed of great importance, Balder often rewards the individual.
Balders cult has two facets. One teaches that the mental and emotional state achieved while creating beautiful objects brings the artist closer to the gods. It also teaches that the gods deserve reverence and gratitude as the sources of artistic inspiration. The other facet teaches that out of great tragedy come new growth, new opportunity, and new hope for the future. It focuses on renewal and rebirth by reminding mortals that even the beautiful and beloved Balder had to suffer in order to become a god when the cycles changed. As with other Asgardian cults, Balders worshipers teach acceptance of fate, but in their case, they try to accept it with a smile and laughter.
from Balder are usually delivered by a handsome or beautiful member
of the opposite sex.
Clergy and Temples
temples are sturdy forts, like most Asgardian temples. They are the
most beautiful and well-designed temples of the pantheon without being
gilded, luxurious, or overdone. Their beauty comes from elegance and
simplicity. Not only are the carvings and paintings lovely, but the
buildings themselves are skillfully designed for their locations and
environments. Temples to Balder usually appear in areas with high
gnome populations, and the signs of their artistry are clear. Wooden
tools, implements, and weapons are forbidden in Balders temples.
The temples generally contain a small armory and workshops or studios
where the clergy can receive the gods inspiration.
to Balders temples can feel overwhelmed by the grace and elegance,
though the clerics are open and smiling. Those seeking comfort receive
it with as much privacy as they desire. Those seeking inspiration
are told stories or shown artwork related to their particular talent.
Bards are particularly welcome, and many temples host performances
by famous skalds.
an intermediate deity, Balder automatically receives a die result
of 20 on any check. He treats a 1 on a saving throw or attack roll
normally and not as an automatic failure. He is immortal.
Balder can see, hear, touch, and smell at a distance of fourteen miles.
As a standard action, he can perceive anything within fourteen miles
of his worshipers, holy sites, objects, or any location where one
of his titles or name was spoken in the last hour. He can extend his
senses to up to ten locations at once. He can block the sensing power
of deities of his rank or lower at up to two remote locations at once
for 14 hours.
Sense: Balder senses anything involving objects of beauty and
discussions and comparison of beauty the instant it happens and fourteen
weeks into the past.
Actions: Balder can use Appraise, Craft (metalworking), or Craft
(stoneworking) as a free action if the DC for the task is 25 or lower.
He can use Perform as a free action
if the DC for the task is 39 or lower. He can perform up to ten such
free actions each round.
Create Magic Items: Balder can create magic instruments and magic art tools and supplies, as long as the items market price does not exceed 200,000 gp.
that the Avatar May Possess:
of Holy Brilliance
light at will.
Purge at will.
energy protection at will.
|To Norse Gods|
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