VENOS
(vee-NOS)

"Wine-Giver"

God of Alcohol, Revelry, Irrationality and Madness

(Also a Lesser God of Fertility. His Fertility sphere is living juices: blood, sap and especially wine. He is also the god of ritual dance and is the Patron God of the Theater.)

SYMBOL: A bunch of Grapes

Venos is wildly unpredictable, able to provide joy, pleasure and relief from suffering, but also able to inflict violent madness. He is believed to frequently wander amongst mortals, often followed by maddened women called the Maenads, who attack and tear apart any who resist him.

Venos can be one of the darkest of the gods, he represents both the pleasures of drinking and the evils that come from its abuse, including madness. People in the Adatian World generally believe that rather than avoid this god, it is better to make his festival an important part of their harvest celebrations. They feel that giving way to a little madness on occasion helps them stay rational and sane the rest of the time.

Legends tell that Venos was born a mortal, but even before he became a deity, he had great magical powers, being able to shapeshift victims, control the weather, and force foes to dance wildly. Upon reaching adulthood, he taught men to cultivate and make wine, he then wandered through the world with his Maenads, forcing those he met to accept his worship. Once his cult was firmly established, he ascended to godhood.

He commonly punishes those mortals who offend him visiting them with violent bouts of madness (and in some cases, the victims murder their loved ones).

The normal rites of worship include playing flutes, wild dancing and the large consumption of alcohol. In urban areas there are usually services nightly, in the countryside shires, services are usually held at the close of the work week (but last most of the "week-end"). These services normally take the form of the preaching cleric making short toasts between songs and dances. Long winded toasters are booed. New, insightful, short, funny and memorable toasts are preferred.

The Venosian Wine Festival traditionally starts when the wine harvest is in, Worshippers cast aside all civilized restraints and take wine (and alcohol) into the countryside. In the wilderness, especially on the sides of hills (if terrain allows) they drink heavily, dance wildly, run and tear their clothes, make music with their voices or flutes, often they make love (or attempt to woe the object of their affections), and generally act as wildly as they please until the alcohol overcomes them. Sleeping heavily, they wake the next morning and return to their everyday lives.

CLERICAL ABILITIES: Cost to be a Cleric of Venos is Clerical Investment (15 points), they favor Mind control spells, especially those with negative effects which are the province of this god as well as any spell relating to weather or shapeshifting. Additionally typical cleric spells, including (Recover Strength, Bless, Curse and Healing spells) and any other spell dealing with Venos sphere of influence is possible (such as some Food or Plane Growth spells). Maximum number of spells is 40 total.

Clerics of Venos are not very well respected generally. Reputation (-2: For brawling, lechery and drunkenness, -10 points). Additionally, Compulsive Carousing (-5 points) is required.

Common, but not required disadvantages include Alcoholism, any Alcohol-Related, Bad Temper, Compulsive Carousing (at the -10 point level), Compulsive Generosity, Extravagance, Gluttony, Impulsiveness, Lecherousness, Lunacy, Obnoxious Drunk

Required skills: Clerics of Venos must spend at least 5 character points in the following skills: dance, flute, singing, and winemaking....

Depicted as a curly haired, mature, and slightly portly man wearing flowing robes and a crown of grapevines with bunches of grapes and grape leaves. He always carries a large golden wine cup always full. His favored weapon is the staff.

Some of his several "Holy Orders" include:
Knights of the Grape
The Heroes of Ale
Ale's Angels