POMMEL
(palm-OIL)

"The War Lord, Lord of Battle, Foehammer"

God of War, Patron of Warriors

SYMBOL: A notched and bloody Black Sword

The Lord of Battles is worshipped by warriors of all races, types and causes. He sometimes appears at great battles and important combats, riding one of his horses to show those he appears to whether they have his favor or not. On rare occassions he has appeared to individuals in a position to cause a great deal of strife (i.e., someone who has the power to start a major war).

POMMEL usually appears as a 12-tall human giant in bloodied armor, his face always hidden by his war helm. His exposed skin (i.e., shoulders, arms and legs) is always depicted with bleeding wounds, though never tiring. In his temples, most often he is depected standing with one foot on a white stallion blooded from many wounds named Veiros (Victory) and the other foot on Deiros (Defeat) a black mare similarly wounded. POMMEL always bears a black weapon (sometimes the weapon the worshipper prefers), usually a great battleaxe or black sword, notched and stained from battle use.

The Lord of Battle's horses sometimes appears riderless, normally only one at a time when a great battle is being fought else where. Great warriors are sometimes levitated onto the back of Deiro at the time of their deaths and are borne away. Some believe that Deiros changes to Veiro as he vanishes in the distance, but many scoff at this notion.

While the POMMEL does not usually appear to command any spectral warriors, some ancient legends speak of POMMEL riding through his enemies followed by Invisible Foes who battled and struch down those not in favor with The Lord of Battle as he passed. (Wherein comes his less common nickname, "Foehammer")

Those who worship POMMEL usually do so by praying over the weapon they most often fight with. If a new weapon comes into their possion before a battle - particularly in the form of hard won booty - it is taken as a sign of good favor, and that weapon may be used in worship. Some other weapon is used to spill a few drops of the worshipper's blood at the closing of the prayer (to avoid having to spill too much later!). The worshipper's own weapon is never used to spill this blood as it is believed they might work against the worshipper in battle.

Clerics of the War Lord wear battered armor which they smear and sprinkle with blood before each ceremony. This blood is mostly that of animals (lions, tigers or bears most commonly), but it must contain some drops of the cleric's own blood as well, and teh two types must be well mixed. Such clergymen collect and venerate the weapons of famous and well respect warriors, even if they are broken or deteriorated, for they are believed to retain something of the battle lust and energy associated with the deeds they participated in.

Devout worshippers will cast a finely made weapon, newly bought or captured in battle, into a wooded place, believing that POMMEL finds favor in this and that by his power such a weapon will find its way into their hands in a time of great peril when they sorely need it most.

Warriors may rent or purchase weapons blessed by war priests from any temple dedicated to the Lord of Battle (in return for much gold), and it is a mark of devotion to return such a weapon to the temple after it has served well, with a finely made captured weapon accompanying it.

Clerics praying to POMMEL may see visions of the god himself, or of his mounts, or of a famous, now-dead warrior, and these are believed to indicate whether the cleric is in good favor with the god at the time. Sometimes worshippers of POMMEL will dream and see one of the two horses or themselves, laying naked on a battlefield with a wound dripping blood in their side. If the blood is red and flows swiftly, POMMEL is pleased, but if the blood is black and sluggish or the wound festers he is not pleased. To his worshippers POMMEL appears to have no other servants, and only images of dead warriors in these dreams and visons ever speak his will to mortals.

When not in their full armor, the war priests of POMMEL will wear metal skullcaps and regual clothing. The coloration of this clothing differs from place to place and rank to rank, but the color of fresh blood is always a part of any clothing a cleric of POMMEL wears. Some of the fanatical, wandering, fighting priests of POMMEL never remove all of their armor at any one time, but in more peaceful areas such as the temples in the major cities, full armor is rarely worn until worship before armies leave or a siege begins.

Legends tell that the blood of POMMEL burns those mortals it touches, but those who ingest even a drop of the blood of his mounts gain +2 to HT for 3d6 hours.

The Afterlife

Worshippers of POMMEL believe that POMMEL has a hall (VALHALLA), where the battle-slain that are wothy are taken to spend their days fighting and their nights feasting, preparing for the Last Great Battle.

The Valkyries (or Choosers of the Slain) are the daughters of POMMEL (often called the daughters of war) and are female spirits, often depicted as lissome, clean-limbed maidens in figure-hugging chainmail. When out gathering the slain, they ride horses descended from Veiros and Deiros; these magical steeds are said to run on the wind. It is said that when a worthy warrior falls in battle, one of these blessed maidens of war awaken the battle-slain with a kiss and then takes them to VALHALLA to join the ranks of the chosen ones.

Normally invisible to the living, the Valkyries generally can be seen only by the dead, the near-dead, or those with Second Sight, or using certain spells. If such a character looks in the right spot, he may see over the battlefield, the Valkyries riding about on their air-galloping steeds, then one will swoop down, dismount and plant a kiss upon a fallen warrior and then carry the liberated soul heavenward.

Some legends claim that the Valkyries serve the feasts every night in VALHALLA and are the companions for the Chosen. There are also stories of Valkyries falling in love with mortals, taking a visible, mortal form (effectively becomeing mortal), and then for a time, she lives a normal life with her love, sometimes having clidren. In some accounts, when she hears the sounds of battle, she is drawn back to her role as a chooser of the slain, in other versions of the story, she dies a normal death and returns to VALHALLA to resume her duties.

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