The Nentir Vale and beyond (D&D 4e)
Overview and commandments
The god of change, Avandra delights in freedom, trade, travel, adventure, and the frontier. Her temples are few in civilized lands, but her wayside shrines appear throughout the world. Halflings, merchants, and all types of adventurers are drawn to her worship, and many people raise a glass in her honor, viewing her as the god of luck. Her commandments are few:
✦ Luck favors the bold. Take your fate into your own hands, and Avandra smiles upon you.
✦ Strike back against those who would rob you of your freedom and urge others to fight for their own liberty.
✦ Change is inevitable, but it takes the work of the faithful to ensure that change is for the better.
Avandra, along with Melora, Sehanine and Corellon – are collectively known as “the Four Free Gods”, and Avandra’s exalted usually spend their afterlives in and around Arvandor, the dominion of Corellon and Sehanine.Avandra’s most hated adversary is Zehir. She is also an enemy of Asmodeus, the lord of tyranny, and Torog, god of jailors, whom her followers fight at any opportunity.
The Wanderer in The World
Most of the gods reside in their own realms dotted throughout the multiverse. Avandra, however, has no divine realm or palace. She calls the world her home, and she wanders with no apparent final destination in mind
Ancient compacts forged long ago might prevent the gods from taking a direct hand in mortal affairs, but one does not have to look hard to find the gods’ influence in the natural world. Each deity has concerns and interests in the world, and people can know the gods better through these interests. Most mortals, however, lack the wisdom and will to benefit from them, to receive the divine insights, or to recognize the presence of the gods in the rich and diverse world around them.
However, if there’s one god all can recognize, it’s Avandra, because her interests are bound tightly to adventure’s spirit. Avandra is the patron of freedom, exploration, travel, and above all, luck. She is the bringer of change, the indomitable spirit, and serendipity incarnate. She is a constant companion and an oppressor’s bitterest enemy. She is freedom in divine flesh, beholden to no law but her own. And to those looking for hope and liberty in a world of darkness and upheaval, they need only look to the road ahead, because she is there, beckoning all to throw off oppression’s chains and live life as it was intended.
Mortals come to Avandra for many reasons, but most court her because she is Lady Luck. One prays to her for prosperity and good fortune, and they seek her blessing when they need help in finding a positive outcome in the direst circumstances.
Given the adventurer’s life of unequaled mayhem, Avandra proves a useful, if sometimes fickle, patron, and through her followers can find victory where others would find defeat, treasure where others might find death, and glory where countless others have found only obscurity
Temples dedicated to Avandra are rare. The most well known is the Temple of the Fates, in which worshipers of Avandra, Ioun, and the Raven Queen congregate to pay homage to the three gods of destiny.
Small shrines to Avandra, on the other hand, are plentiful along major roadways and less traveled paths all over the world. Travelers, trade caravans, pilgrims, and adventurers stop at these shrines to rest and pray for continued safety in their travels and success in their coming endeavors.
Every major city boasts a shrine to Avandra, usually near the main gate. Smaller towns and villages, particularly those on the edges of civilization, often contain shrines as well.
Regardless of its location, a shrine to Avandra is a simple structure, composed of a single standing stone roughly 4 feet tall and 1 foot in diameter. The side of the stone facing the nearest road or trail is etched with the symbol of Avandra. Followers who visit the shrine ensure that green and brown dyes cause the etchings to show up against the stone, making the symbol visible from a distance. If a member of the faithful comes upon a shrine in disrepair, he or she takes the time to fix the stone or sees to the crafting of another one if the existing shrine is damaged beyond easy repair. Travelers in a hurry have been known to leave bags of coins with complete strangers if those people promise to use the funds to repair a damaged or dilapidated shrine.
Although Avandra doesn’t require sacrifices, particularly superstitious travelers burn small offerings on the tops of the standing stones, leaving the tops a bit charred. Many shrines also feature a secret hiding place near the base of the stone. These niches, collectively known as Fortune’s Cache, are hidden cunningly. Only the faithful of the Avandra know of their existence, though anyone who knows what to look for can find one. If a follower discovers a shrine that has no cache, he or she can create one given enough time.
Within the cache, followers of Avandra leave tokens to mark their visit, as well as spare items that other followers might find useful. A typical cache might contain a few dry rations, a snare kit, a fishhook on a length of line, or a map of the area. The faithful are free to take items they need, and those who have useful items they don’t need are expected to leave them for future travelers to use.
Avandra is a key player in two major Divine Councils.
The Goddesses of Fate- Once made of Avandra, Ioun, and a third Deity who fell in the Dawn War. When the Archfey known as the Seldarine were risen to the status of deities the Weaver Lolth was inducted into the order. When Lolth fell to darkness and was reborn as a Demon Queen the role was passed on to the newly ascended Raven Queen. As a truce between the God of Death and her sisters of Fate, reincarnation as a destination of the soul was discouraged among the followers. This had always been a common practice amongst the Gods of the World, Melora and Avandra. Avandra now grants luck to her followers who pass through the gate of death.
The Gods of the World- Avandra, Torog, and Melora are three Gods of the world. Unlike other divine councils they do not meet, but Melora’s Dynamic view of the world is in constant conflict with the grinding halt Torog hopes to bring to all things, it is the power of Avandra that keeps the two forces working in order in the world.
The Four Free Gods
Avandra, Melora, Corellon, and Sehanine make up the four free Gods. While the Major Divinities of the Astral Sea promote order, law, and goodness to rule over the multiverse. These four Gods hope to temper any urges to dominate mortals and to promote the cultivation of free spirits. The single time these four Gods united in a single goal was to oppose the Carceri compact. They feared the great prison of the Gods and demanded that the proposed one way system of portals into the Astral dominion be revoked, with one portal leading out guarded by the huntsmen of Arvandor.
Unlike the Arvandian, Hestavarian, or Celestian faiths, Avandra’s faithful seem neutral in the politics of the Gods (with the exception of her stalwart opposition to Carceri)
Her most hated enemies are Torog the god of jailors and the underdark and Asmodeus the lord of Hell and eternal tormentor of souls. She avoides most of the Gods of the Astral sea specifically due to their trust in Asmodeus to prevent evil souls to enter the Divine Dominions and pollute their sacred spaces.
Avandra’s faithful are spread throughout most factions. The Fated see her as the guardian of what fortune has brought to an individual. The Speakers of Chaos see her as the patron of an ever-changing multiverse. The Society of Sensation are drawn to her as the patron of exploration. Even some of the Bleak Cabal see her as the fickleness of fortune, the ultimate message of how meaningless the multiverse is. However by far the most numerous of her followers join the Free League.
The Harmonium, Fraternity of Order, and Sons of Mercy despise Avandra’s faithful and treat them with disdain. Most Doomguard also see her followers as refusing to believe that all change is directed towards entropy.
The Myth of the Doppelgangers
There is a myth, of uncertain veracity linking Avandra to Changelings and Doppelgangers.
When the world was young. Avandra was deeply involved in the lives of its creatures She delighted in making their lives better. One mortal who was the object of Avandra’s favor was a beautiful woman who was pursued by a cruel suitor. This suitor set his servants on her like hunting dogs. Twice Avandra helped the woman to flee or fight by changing her luck, and each time the woman praised Avandra after her escape.
The Third time the woman was threatened, Avandra gifted her with the power to change her form so that she could save herself from any future threat. The woman used her power to become an assassin, killing her suitor and all who served him. When Avandra sought her out to rebuke her, the woman used her power to hide from the goddess. By the time Avandra found the woman, her children’s children had given birth to many more offspring, all having the power to change shape. The goddess’ gift once given, could not be taken away. Thus the race of doppelgangers, or changelings, was born.
From that episode Avandra learned a bitter lesson about being overly generous to mortals. Ever since then, she has been careful to help mortals in small ways, often hiding her hand. By allowing mortals to face their own problems, Avandra provides them with the chance to discover their full potential.