BRCS:Chapter four/Gods and religion/Belinik

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Intermediate God
Prince of Terror, Lord of Strife
Aliases: Belinik (Anuire, Khinasi, Rjurik, Vosgaard), Alenecht (Brechtür)
Symbol: Crossed axes
Alignment: CE
Portfolio: Battle, feuds, fear, domination
Domains: Chaos, Evil, Strength, Terror, War
Favored Weapon: "Fury" (greataxe)
Belinik (bell-in-ICK) is the god of war, strife, competition and hatred. Prior to ascension, he was the most powerful of the Vos war chiefs that followed Azrai's banner. He now claims the title of patron god of the Vos and inspires Vos warriors to be savage in their attacks, merciless in their conquests, and fearless in their defeats. Contention is his companion, for in contention the weak are slain and the strong rewarded. Belinik is believed to destroy the herds of any Vos tribe that grows too soft, leaving them with no choice but to raid their enemies in order to survive. Belinik is a dark god, and fosters unceasing contention through hate, anger, and jealously among his faithful.
Belinik?s clerics are predominately male and claim spiritual sovereignty over all Vos. In addition to the Vos, Belinik's worshippers include any willing to use murder, torture, and other horrid deeds as a means to an end: the control of others through strength and fear. Belinik's church has unquestioned power among the Vos. His priests do not work alongside others in their community to help it prosper; they plan attacks on their neighbors to take what they have, raiding for slaves, livestock, and booty. Belinik's clergy foment dissention among warriors of Vos tribes, for such conflict inevitably leads to violence and guarantees that the strongest rules. Priests of Belinik test their battle skills constantly, usually against far inferior opponents, and almost always to the death. In order to advance in the church hierarchy, a priest of Belinik need simply arrange the death of his superior and claim his rank; priests that are not feared by their subordinates are soon pulled down.
The hour of dawn is holy to Belinik, for it is at dawn that most battles take place. On the Eve of the Dead, the temples of Belinik enact dark ceremonies designed to bring them to states of psychological madness. The most important ceremonies are those performed to bring the favor of Belinik in battle. Immediately prior to battle, priests of Belinik will ritually slay a kidnapped enemy warrior by cutting out his heart and devouring it. If such a victim is unavailable, the priest will attempt to cut out the heart of the first foe that they face. This ritual is considered to be one of the most sacred to Belinik, and among some tribes each warrior will attempt to do this, regardless of the personal danger. Belinik's clergy commonly multiclass as fighters.
Dogma: Terror is power. Power is for the strong. The weak hide behind paper agreements, seeking compromise over victory. The strong dictate everything and compromise nothing. Destroy or be destroyed; win or die; conquer or perish. Trust no one. Loyalty cannot be earned; it can only be coerced through fear. Answer every insult with blood; when you lose face, you lose power. Any who oppose you must be utterly destroyed; with each demonstration of your mastery you bind more tightly those beneath you.
Allies: Only Kriesha has the strength to stand behind us. Her followers are strong and thus must be shown often that our strength is far greater. Do not trust her, but use her to your advantage, for she makes a fine servant.
Foes: Belinik is the strongest of the gods, and all will eventual kneel to his axe. Avani wastes time gathering useless facts. In the end, her knowledge will work to whatever ends the strong deem wise. Erik preaches foolishness. The land must be mastered like any foe. The strong may take what they wish and the weak must suffice with the remains. Such is the true law of nature. Haelyn is a fool whose laws exist only to put weaklings over better men. His "Book of Laws" are an attempt to subvert the natural order. Defeat and humiliate his followers at every opportunity and bring the strongest of them to heel beneath our banners. Cuiraécen refuses his rightful place at the Lord of Strife's side. Haelyn has tainted his strength. Glory is for the strong, and only for the strong. We shall show him our truth and bind him to our service. Laerme is less than nothing - a possession to be mastered and conquered. She saps the meager strength of the weak with feeble passions and turns them into her slaves. The ability to hold a human life in one's hands and snuff it out with but a word is beyond any passion of which she can even conceive. The strong can sate their loins where they will. Her minions should be taken to serve our pleasure. Ruornil hides in the darkness. He lacks the courage to do aught but horde secrets and tricks. Tricks cannot stand before the power of the torch and axe. Burn out his servants where you find them, and their tricks will avail them not.
Others: Nesirie is a feeble old woman. As her husband and son seek to protect her, to strike at her is to strike at all three. Her worshippers are the most useless wretches, and fit only to be sacrifices upon my altars. Sera bewitches the minds of the strong with temptations of gold. Do not be fooled by her charms. True strength comes from will and courage to take what you covet, not from coins. Eloéle skulks in the shadows, hoping to accomplish there what she lacks the strength to do openly. Shadows offer concealment only until the bright fires of might burn them away.
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