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The traditional god of the Dragon's Claw Canyon is named Javen. He is described below, following the format used in Faiths & Avatars.


Greater God, NG

Portfolio: Creation, Salvation, Everything
Aliases: Eldanath the Gardener (elves), Mar-Kithon Stoneforger (dwarves), Windwave Everstream (halflings), Eth Molen (gnomes)
Foes: Zovel
Symbol: Black unicorn, golden chalice
Wor. Align.: Any good

Javen (JAY-ven) is the sole deity worshiped by the humans, elves, dwarves, gnomes, and halflings of the Dragon's Claw Canyon. He is a benevolent protector, said to be creator of the world and indeed, the whole universe. Javen created the humanoid races to be his companions, and created the world as their paradise. In his eternal conflict with the evil being known as Lord Zovel (zoe-VELL), Javen has struggled to protect his mortal companions from the manipulations of the evil one.

The Black Unicorn

The black unicorn is the only known avatar of Javen. This creature was long thought to be simply a legend, but in the years since the coming of Night it has been sighted on many occasions by individuals of pure hearts and honest intentions. It is a beautiful and mysterious creature of lustrous black, its horn a gleaming obsidian spiral and its hooves like polished black marble. The only thing that might mar its beautiful appearance is an angry red scar behind its left shoulder blade, as if the creature had been deeply wounded by a spear.

The Church

Worship of Javen is strictly forbidden under the rule of Night, but the church continues to operate undercover, with clerics ministering to the faithful in secret and at the risk of their lives.

In the times before the coming of Night, Javen was worshiped openly in cathedrals, churches, and country chapels throughout the Dragon's Claw Canyon. These structures were usually made of stone with beautiful adornment, and included extensive libraries, even in the smallest communities. Now, Javen's faithful are most likely to meet in hidden caves, subterranean crypts, or darkened homes to avoid discovery by the agents of Night. Clerics are known as Stewards, reflecting the notion that they are caretakers of the followers of Javen, ministering his care to them. They are addressed as Brother or Sister.

Dogma: Life is a conflict between the forces of good (Javen with the celestials and mortals that serve him) and the forces of evil (Zovel and his fiends, along with mortals who have chosen to reject Javen). The forces of evil do all in their power to win mortals to their side—through seduction, influence, violence, and the spread of war—and, when that fails, to make mortal life miserable, through illness, poisonous animals, and evil humanoids. The mortal races are inextricably caught up in this cosmic battle between good and evil—they are, in fact, its battleground.

Triumph in this battle will ultimately rest with Javen—this, at least, is the teaching of Javen's church. But the victory is won through paradoxical means: according to the church, life comes from dying. The black unicorn bears a scar behind its shoulder because it was killed, yet now it lives and Javen gives life through it. Followers of Javen, too, are said to "die" to their old life, "die" to all evil influence, and live a new life in the church.

Day-to-Day Activities: Stewards are often involved in organizing resistance to Night, or at least in managing the day-to-day affairs of the human communities of the Dragon's Claw Canyon, struggling to stem the tide of betrayal, injustice, and evil that seems to spread outward from Night's palace in Avamere. These clerics could virtually all be considered adventuring priests, since their daily existence is literally a struggle for survival and always carries the risk of discovery and execution.

Holy Days/Important Ceremonies: The calendar of the church is a strongly linked to the agricultural cycle of the year. Religious observances are held on the new year and with every new moon, at harvest time, and to celebrate the arrival of spring. There is also a day of purification, when the sin of the community of believers is externalized and driven out onto the tablelands. The elaborate rituals that used to mark all of these important days are no longer practiced openly, of course, but the days are still commemorated in smaller and more secret ceremonies.

Major Centers of Worship: Avamere used to be a holy city as well as a politically important one. The fabulous Cathedral of the Golden Chalice stood right beside the High King's palace in that city, but it was destroyed and desecrated with the arrival of Night. Many holy relics are believed to lie within the ruins of the Cathedral.

Affiliated Orders: The Knights of the Chalice, the High King's elite military force, was organized as a religious order affiliated with the church of Javen. Its members, though not all paladins of course, lived under a religious rule, and were required to maintain the highest standards of morality and courage. The Knights survive, but in very few numbers, doubly banned (as political agitators and followers of the old religion) under the régime of Night.

Priestly Vestments: In performing ritual functions, Stewards wear elaborate vestments, including robes, stoles, and chasubles.

Adventuring Garb: Outside of ritual occasions, Stewards do their best to appear as ordinary citizens, not distinguished by their clothing or appearance in any way.