The Hand of Fellowship, the Faithful, the Hearthkeeper
Symbol: Open door
Home Plane: Venya/Green Fields
Alignment: Lawful Good
Portfolio: Friendship, trust, the home, the hearth, honesty, hospitality, crafts (especially weaving and needlework)
Domains: Family, Halfling, Law, Good
Worshipers: Halflings, Artisans, cooks, guards, hosts, innkeepers
Cleric Alignments: LG, LN, NG
Favored Weapon: "Camaradestave" (Quarterstaff)
Be generous in friendship, and welcome all friends into your home. Earn the trust of your neighbors and repay them with kindness. Guard fiercely the burrows in which you and your friends dwell, and keep a benignly watchful eye on the home of your neighbor. Never betray the trust of your host, break an oath, or violate the sanctity of another's home. Busy hands make a happy home, and things Grafted with love will serve you and others well.
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Cyrrollalee (SEER-oh-LAH-lee) is the halfling power of friendship and trust. She is also a protective deity, like Yondalla, but whereas the concern of the Protector and Provider lies with the overall race, Cyrrollalee cares more for the sanctity of the home itself. The Hearthkeeper is specifically a goddess who protects the hearth and home while keeping the inhabitants from being too defensive and closed in. She oversees many of the mundane and day-to-day aspects of halfling home life. Her real interest is in the hospitality, generosity, and kindness halflings can show to others, and she is most displeased with those who fail to display proper hospitality and good fellowship. Her worst enemies are those who betray the trust of a host or who break into homes (of halflings) to steal. She is also the enemy of oathbreakers. Cyrrollalee's followers are largely regular halflings as well as a few warriors.
As a power of trust who embodies the spirit of good fellowship and friendship, Cyrrollalee is the halfling deity who has the largest number of good relations with deities of other races. Some believe her to be an aspect of Yondalla rather than a separate entity, but in truth, the two are closely allied but distinct goddesses. The Hand of Fellowship is allied with the rest of the halfling pantheon as well, particularly Arvoreen and Sheela Peryroyl, but she is ever wary of the antics of Brandobaris and Tymora. Although Cyrrollalee is by nature very forgiving and friendly, the Hand of Fellowship has despaired of certain powers ever changing their ways. She regularly opposes the machinations of those powers that inflict destruction upon the home - such as Talona, the Gods of Fury, and Urdlen, those powers who habitually lie or deceive - such as Cyric, Leira, and Mask, and those gods who steal from the home - such as Abbathor, Mask, and Vhaeraun.
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As a rule, Cyrrollalee is warm, friendly, and welcoming, and even nondivine beings feel comfortable in her presence. Her words and her touch are always gentle, and she never raises her voice in anger. Cyrrollalee does not get too involved in the day-to-day lives other followers except on a small level, watching over everyday events of the home. Naturally, she hates liars, swindlers, and (especially) thieves who would break into a person's home. If roused, she can be a most fearsome foe indeed; any halfling whose burrow has been violated knows the feeling of Cyrrollalee's fury swelling within him. Cyrrollalee does not often send her avatars to the Prime; this is usually only done in response to major oath-breaking, to punish the offender. When she does visit the Prime, Cyrrollalee sometimes takes the form of a stooped halfling of indeterminate years, worn by poverty and work into a frail shell. In this guise, she often visits halfling burrows to see if the inhabitants are truly hospitable; woe to the family that turns her away!
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The Church of Cyrrollalee
Among halflings, Cyrrollalee is quietly appreciated by all and quietly venerated by those who build homes and families. Many invocations to her are day-to-day minor oaths and fussing by busy halflings, but underlying such daily minutia is a solid core of faithful veneration. While halfling adventurers, particularly those drawn to the errant ways of Brandobaris and Tymora, may tease devout followers of the Hearthkeeper for their sedentary habits and quiet lives, in most cases such wayfarers were raised in homes whose inhabitants performed monthly oblations and, in truth, they too continue to give quiet thanks to the Hand of Fellowship on the first day of every month.
Typically the manse of the local priest of Cyrrollalee serves the surrounding halfling community as both a temple and as a home away from home. As such, there is little to differentiate such structures or burrows from those that surround a Cyrrollaleen house of worship. One distinguishing feature of any temple dedicated to the
Hearthkeeper is that the entrance door is always open whenever at least one priest is in residence. Halflings unable to return to their own beds for the night are always welcome to stay for a night at such temple-homes, and Cyrrollaleen churches along major trade routes serve as de facto halfling hostels.
Novices of Cyrrollalee are known as the Befriended. Full priests of the Hand of Fellowship are known as Homefellows. In ascending order of rank the titles used by Cyrrollaleen priests are Cheery Homemaker, Hearth Warden, Hand of Friendship, Hale Host (or Hostess), Homespun Companion, Neighborly Householder, Open Door, and Burrow Patriarch (or Matriarch). High-ranking priests have unique individual titles. Specialty priests are known as homesteaders. The clergy of Cyrrollalee includes hairfeet, stouts, and tallfellows. Cyrrollalee's clergy is nearly evenly divided between specialty priests, mystics, and clerics. Females far outnumber males
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Whereas Yondalla's priests are often the visible leadership of a small halfling community, Cyrrollalee's priesthood are the quiet caretakers and nurturers of halfling society, serving their charges with generous hearts and graceful friendship. As such, their role is often overlooked, but their absence is sorely noted. Cyrrollalee's priests are specifically defenders of the home, and they view their role as both protecting the home from outside threats and cultivating the familial bonds of those who dwell within. In addition, Homefellows oversee the drawing up of contracts and agreements of all kinds, and they also look after and educate young halflings. The priesthood is quite a homely and prosaic one, not an adventuring priesthood.
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Holy Days/Important Ceremonies
Worship services for Cyrrollalee are held on the first day of each month, known in halfling communities as Hearthday. Devout halflings gather in the home of one of their fellow parishioners, rotating to a different dwelling in the local community each month. The Hand of Fellowship asks for nothing in the way of propitiation aside from simple prayers requesting her blessing. Friendship among her worshipers is considered the highest praise one can raise to her name.
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Major Centers of Worship
The Grapevine's Root, located in the Purple Hills of Tethyr on a low, wide knoll overlooking the town of Vineshade, is a sprawling cloistral villa built in the heart of a great vineyard. Cyrrollalee's rustic temple consists of half a dozen open courtyards surrounded by covered walks with open colonnades overgrown with grapevines and wisteria on either side. At the intersections of the orthogonal cloisters are small circular chapels with domed roofs. Within each quadrangular acre, Cyrrollaleen priests and their families dwell amidst the grapevines in small, homey burrows forming small neighborhoods within the greater temple community.
Administering the clergy of the Grapevine's Root like an extended, multigenerational family is Enduring Vintage Glissando Homebody. Glissando has lived amidst the Purple Hills for over three centuries already, and this venerable halfling matriarch with the tightly wrapped silver bun has never lost her sweet smile or generous heart despite presiding over half a dozen generations of joy and sorrow, glad tidings and tragedy. The temple is justly famous for its homegrown vintage, Cyrrojubilee, but the role its priests play in nurturing halfling home life in the hamlets scattered throughout the region is arguably the priesthood's more important role. Cyrrollaleen acolytes based in the Grapevine's Root visit parishioners the length and breadth of Tethyr's County Vintor, and their efforts are largely responsible for the close knit, familial feel of the local culture.
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The Cyrrollaleen church currently has no affiliated knightly orders, choosing to rely on militant priests and warriors affiliated with the faiths of Yondalla and Arvoreen. According to the church's oldest archives, previous halfling diasporas that led to the settlement of new lands by the Small Folk were preceded by small bands of scouts sent by the elders of the Hearthkeeper's faith to seek out likely regions for colonization. Tales of their exploits have faded into legend, however, as it has been many centuries since the last hordelike wave - as opposed to the creeping expansion that is now the norm - of halfling settlement.
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The ceremonial garb of Cyrrollalee's priesthood is the rustic clothing of halfling peasants, devoid of ostentatious display. Typically Homefellows wear simple brown habits bound with a deep golden or muted green girdle, and keep their heads and feet bare. The holy symbol of the faith is a carved wooden acorn, often hung on a leather cord around the neck.
Members of Cyrrollalee's clergy adventure only in extremis, preferring to stay close at home if at all possible and within the bounds of civilization at all costs. When expecting their homes to be attacked or if travel through a region of some danger is required, Homefellows garb themselves in the best armor available, usually leather or padded armor. As no particular weapon is associated with Cyrrollalee, her followers tend to select one of the handful of weapons commonly associated with halfling village militias. Clubs, staves, slings, and staff-slings are common.
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