Sheela Peryroyl

<b>Sheela Peryroyl:</b>

<b>Symbol:</b> A daisy<br>
<b>Home Plane</b>: Flowering Hill<br>
<b>Alignment</b>: N<br>
<b>Portfolio</b>: Nature, agriculture, weather, song, dance, beauty, romantic love<br>
<b>Domains</b>: Air, Plant<br>
<b>Worshipers</b>: Bards, druids, farmers, gardeners, rangersbr>
<b>Aliases</b>: N/A <br>
<b>Cleric Alignments:</b> LG, NG, CG, LN, N, CN<br>
<b>Favored Weapon:</b> Oakthorn (sickle) <br>

Sheela Peryroyl (SHEE-lah PAlR-ree-roil) is the halfling goddess of agriculture, nature, and weather. She balances the concern for wild untamed lands and habitats with strong roles as a goddess of cultivation, seasons, and especially harvests. She is also concerned with the pleasures of life – feasts, revelry, romance, and the general desire to live with passion. Her followers often wear a small flower in her honor and strive to work in harmony with nature and the earth.

The image of Sheela is often mixed, almost interchangeably, with Yondalla herself. Some hold that Sheela and Yondalla are different aspects of the same goddess, but in truth, they are simply closely allied. Sheela is on good terms with the rest of the halfling pantheon, particularly Urogalan in his aspect as Lord in the Earth, as well as other non-halfling powers concerned with nature, agriculture, weather, and the balance between them. Sheela's concern with finding a middle ground between civilization and pristine nature sometimes results in her being called on to mediate between other powers such as Silvanus and Waukeen or even the Oak Father and Chauntea. Sheela strongly opposes those powers she sees as corruptive distortions of the natural way, such as the Gods of Fury and Moander. <br>

Living in harmony with nature requires a careful balance between the wild and the tame, the feral and the tended. The need to preserve wild growth is just as important as the need to till the fields and provide ready food. Seek to understand the natural processes that envelop and work within them. While nature can be adapted, it should be evolved, never forced; work within the framework of what already exists. Celebrating life requires one to live with passion and romance. Revel, feast, and thrive – this is the zest of life.<br>

Sheela is generally quiet, although she's rarely seen without a smile on her face and a dance in her eyes. At other times, Sheela is laughing and just generally delighted by life. Though she appears naive, even simple, she can wield great powers of nature magic. Sheela is sometimes credited with creating many species of flowers and has a strong aesthetic sense. When she sings she causes flowers to bloom, trees to bud, and seeds to sprout, and living plants to grow and flower in her wake as she walks along the earth. Sheela brings good weather to her favored worshipers but can easily send drought or floods to those who worship her poorly. Sheela dispatches an avatar to counter any main threat to halfling land (not just halfling people or homes). She is greatly angered by wanton despoiling of nature, and her avatar pursues offenders in order to punish them.<br>


<b>The Church of Sheela Peryoyl:</b>
All clerics, specialty priests, druids, and mystics of Sheela receive religion (halfling) as a bonus nonweapon proficiency. The church of Sheela is widely revered among halflings, nearly as much as that of Yondalla herself. While not all halflings are farmers, most share the Green Sister's reverence for growing things and appreciate the balance she works to maintain between untamed and settled lands. Dwarves, gold elves, moon elves, and gnomes generally work well with the church of the Green Sister, while many wild elves feel that Sheela's priests care more about new farms than preserving those wild spaces that remain. Humans tend to view the church of Sheela as a mix between that of Chauntea and Silvanus.

Temples of Sheela are typically woven into the surrounding landscape. Constructed of earth, stone, and plants, such houses of worship seem to be a part of the land itself. The Green Sister's temples contain both welltended gardens and untamed thickets, and they are usually found in the heart of agricultural valleys surrounded by wilderness. Interior rooms are overflowing with life, both animal and plant, and most are constructed so that streams meander through the central courtyards and so that summer breezes and sunlight bathe every chamber. <br>

<b>Day-to-Day Activities:</b>
Sheela's priests are concerned with nature and agriculture, and they work closely with halfling farmers and settlers to preserve the balance between cultivation of fertile lands and the need to leave some areas wild and in a pristine state. Many Green Children tend gardens of their own, seeking to develop new strains of crops and flowers. Others I protect wilderness regions from careless exploitation of their resources. Members of Sheela's clergy oversee the integrity of halfling lands, leading their inhabitants through the annual calendar of seed-sowing and harvest festivals. They also try to keep the wild creatures from running rampant through settled halfling areas by guiding them to travel, live, or grow around the communities, not in or through them. <br>

<b>Holy Days/Important Ceremonies:</b>
Sheela is venerated at twilight under the full moon in monthly celebrations known as Gatherings. Halflings from the surrounding community gather to celebrate the bounteous produce of the earth, whether it be brought from the fields directly or brought from root cellars dug within the earth. Gatherings are as much community-wide feasts as religious ceremonies, and all are expected to contribute, even if it be only a stone for the soup. (Halflings have a tale similar to that of most human cultures in which a wayfarer comes to a town suffering after a terrible harvest. After learning there is nothing to eat, the hungry stranger begins to cook stone soup. As the visitor boils his water containing naught but a rock under the watchful eyes of the incredulous villagers, he comments how much better it would be if he only had a carrot. After one villager reluctantly offers up a hoarded carrot, the stranger muses how much better it would be with some cabbage and a single head is found as well. The tale continues until every family in the entire village has contributed something to the soup, at which point the stranger pronounces it done and shares it with all the contributors.)

The major festivals of the church of Sheela are usually celebrated around Greengrass and Higharvestide, although the starting date varies from year to year. The first festival – called the Seeding, New Spring, and other titles, depending on the region – comes at the traditional time of planting the first crops of the year. At dawn, Sheelite priests dispense seeds from the temple stores while giving homage to the goddess, and the entire community aids in the sowing of the fields. The second festival – called High Harvest, the Reaping, and other titles, depending on the region – comes at harvest time. At this time, offerings of seeds are made to the temple to be stored for the coming year, as are the fruits of the season's labors. Community-wide revelry is common at these celebrations starting in the evening when the work has been finished and continuing late into the night. The length of these festivals varies from area to area, averaging about 10 days.

<b>Major Centers of Worship:</b>
Sunset Vale encompasses the verdant, prosperous farmland between the arcing arms of the River Reaching and the upper Chionthar River and the natural wall formed by the Sunset Mountains and the Far Hills. The Dusk Road runs through the heart of the Vale, east of the Reaching Woods, carrying the traffic of this vital region back and forth. Many halflings dwell in the Vale, particularly in the vicinity of Corm Orp, despite the loom shadow and ever-present threat of Zhentarim-occupied Darkhold. The handful of buildings that make up the small road-hamlet seem unremarkable, but under the hills east of Corm Orp are hundreds of halfling burrows and their number grows by leaps and bounds every year. In fact, Corm Orp is the fastest-growing halfling community north of the land of Luiren. Every Shieldmeet, more halflings gather in Corm Orp to do business with their fellows, trade native goods, and exchange tales, doubling or trebling the already sizable nonhuman population. Liking what they see, many decide to move there. The halflings of Corm Orp are rightfully proud of the food they produce, especially their mushrooms and free-range hogs. Another product of pride is massproduced red clay pottery – simple, sturdy items widely used throughout Faerun.

The agricultural, spiritual, and social heart of the Corm Orp region is the Ladyhouse, a deceptively large temple of Sheela the Watchful Mother nestled in a hollow among the green, pigroamed hills east of the village and emblazoned with the symbol of the daisy. The Ladyhouse is filled with flowers and climbing vines inside and surrounded by gardens outside, including wild gardens that are preserved plots of tangled weeds, shrubs, and scrub trees. The gardens, as well as the roadside wood lot in Corm Orp, are sacred to the goddess and are not to be despoiled. Halfling worshipers bring their best flowers and plants to the temple for use in breeding and in rituals, and the clergy spend their days working with the halfling farmers, keeping watch over the hills for Zhentarim raids, thieves, wolves, and other wandering beasts who might harm the crops or pig herds, and chanting the praises of the Green Sister.

The clergy are led by the widely respected matriarch Honored Mother Alliya Macanester, the Old Lady of Corm Orp. Revered by halflings, she knows the local weather and way of nature better than almost any other living thing and can tell exactly where, when, and how to plant or nurture for best results. Her touch is said to give life to withered plants, and she is rumored to be able to tell by looking at it if a seed will germinate. Her wisdom and foresight have prevented weather spoiling the crops on two important occasions: the Great Frost early in the Year of the Bloodbird (1346 DR) and the drought of the Year of Lurking Death (1322 DR), which brought down desperate attacks on Corm Orp, as on so many other places on Faerun, from starving monsters. Alliya is a wise, diligent leader of the farmers of Corm Orp as well as the local halflings and her temple. The Honored Mother is the true ruler of Corm Orp, and the village's human lord, Dundast Hultel, obeys her in all things. Alliya is a fierce foe of the Zhentarim and even deals with poisons, adventurers, and other violent things not in keeping with nature in order to eradicate the threat from Darkhold, which she calls the Devouring Shadow.

Of late, many of the younger halflings of the Sunset Vale have begun to speak of founding a halfling realm, Sheeland, with the Honored Mother as its first queen. To date, Alliya has always responded to such ideas with a chuckle and an observation about the fate of the succession of petty rulers and robber barons who sought to rule the region in the past, but, as Darkhold's shadow looms ever-farther over the Vale, events may necessitate such a measure.<br>

<b>Affiliated Orders:</b>
The church of Sheela does not have any affiliated knightly orders. It has firm connections to several orders of halfling warriors who serve Arvoreen by defending the fields and silos from those who would despoil or loot the fruits of halfling labors. Likewise, Sheela's church works closely with individual rangers, many of whom venerate Mielikki and whether they be human, half-elven, or elven, to preserve the wilderness as well.<br>

<b>Priestly Vestments:</b>
Sheelite priests favor simple green robes festooned with garlands of vibrant hue and embroidered with flowers. In their hair they wear only flowers, and their feet are left bare so as to feel the earth from which Sheela's bounty flows. The holy symbol of the faith is mistletoe or a sprig of holly with berries in a pinch.<br>

<b>Adventuring Garb:</b>
Members of Sheela's clergy avoid situations requiring combat, if possible. Few carry more than a blade of grass, trusting the favor of the goddess to allow them to create a reed staff and enhance it with a shillelagh spell. When conflict is inevitable, Sheelite priests favor armor made from natural components – leather armor and wooden shields – and weapons associated with nature or the harvest -clubs, quarterstaves, sickles, and slings. <br>

Last updated byDispater