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The Beastlord, Lord of Beasts, the Black-Blooded Pard, the Ravaging Bear

Lesser Power of Tarterus, CE

PORTFOLIO: Hunters, marauding beasts and monsters, blood, bloodlust, evil lycanthropes, stalking
ALIASES: The Stalker (Vilhon Reach), Render (Endless Ice and Great Glacier), Blue Bear (Uthgardt barbarians), Herne (Orcs of the High Forest)
DOMAIN NAME: Colothys/The Land of the Hunt
ALLIES: Auril, Talos, Umberlee, Bane (now dead), Loviatar
FOES: Chauntea, Deneir, Eldath, Ilmater, Lurue the Unicorn, Nobanion, Silvanus, Sune, Gwaeron Windstrom, Shiallia, Uthgar
SYMBOL: A brown-furred, bestial claw with long, curving talons tipped with fresh red blood

Malar (MAH-larr) is the god of the savage wild. Along with Umberlee and Auril, he is one of the Gods of Fury who revel in the kill or who hunt for sport or to excess, fallen rangers, sentient carnivores, and lycanthropes. Those who suffer the depredations of wild beasts attempt to placate the Beastlord with offerings of freshly killed and bloody meat, but Malar rarely recognizes their entreaties. In his more favorable aspects he is revered by beings who identify with the untamed nature, grace, and amorality of predators.

Malar achieves almost sensual fulfillment from the hunt and the kill. He revels in the fear radiated by the hunted and hungers for the blood of his prey. He speaks only in low growling undertone or vicious snarl. The Lord of Beasts despises the Balance sought by druids and their deities and seeks to overthrow it through the actions of his faithful. He manifests an avatar in Faerûn in an endless hunt across the Realms whenever the mood strikes him—which is almost constantly.

During the Time of Troubles, Malar stalked the length and breadth of Faerûn. He is known to have battled Nobanion in the Gulthmere Forest in a fierce conflict known as the Roar of Shadows. The Beastlord was driven north and west by the Lion God working in an alliance with the Emerald Enclave. When Malar appeared in the North, he was relentlessly pursued by Gwaeron Windstrom and could not shake the Master of Tracking from his trail. The Beastlord did challenge and defeat Herne, a corrupted incarnation of the Master of the Hunt brought to the Realms by an ancient wave of immigrants along with Oghma and other powers. Herne was venerated by the orcs of the High Forest, and Malar has since assumed his portfolio.

In the aftermath of the Time of Troubles, Malar has been weakened by the growing strength of Talos. As a result, he has been forced to seek new worshipers among the nonhuman tribes, and now numerous humanoids have begun to venerate the Beastlord as an adjunct to their traditional pantheons. Malar has also acquired additional human worshipers from the ranks of a few beast cults by slaying their totem spirits and assuming the animal spirits' portfolios as aspects of his own. One of the first beast totems to fall to his bloody talons was Blue Bear, an Uthgardt beast cult corrupted by pervasive contact with lower planar beings and venerated in other lands as Render, the Bear God.

Other Manifestations

Malar prefers to manifest as a cloud of darkness in which two large, red, feral eyes gleam. From this cloud may issue forth his voice, bestial roars or snarls, or (most often) deep, snarling laughter.

Malar may also manifest as, or change in one round to, a disembodied, animated furry beast limb (akin to that conjured up by the beast claw spell, described below) that can point, draw symbols or write in the air in letters of floating, blazing blood, carry or manipulate items, or fight (raking for 3d4 points of damage, striking twice per round at THAC0 -8, and having AC 0, MV Fl 21 (A), and 101 hp). An impossibly deep, bone-shaking snarl usually accompanies this latter manifestation.

Malar acts frequently through all sorts of predators, particularly bears, wild hunting cats of all sorts, displacer beasts, fang dragons, jackalweres, gargantua, leucrotta (greater and lesser), evil lycanthropes, owlbears, perytons, wolfweres, wolverines, aurumvorae, wolves, and even (very rarely) the tarrasque. He has been known to place appropriately seeded deepspawns in regions where predators and/or prey are scarce so as to ensure the hunt never ends.

The Church

CLERGY: Clerics, specialty priests, fighters, wizards
TURN UNDEAD: C: No, SP: No, F: No, W: No
CMND. UNDEAD: C: Yes, SP: No, F: No, W: No

All clerics and specialty priests of Malar receive religion (Faerûnian) as a bonus nonweapon proficiency. Malar's clergy are required to take the hunting nonweapon proficiency, and animal lore and tracking are both highly recommended. Clerics of Malar are allowed to use daggers.

Malar is not a popular god with many devoted followers. Like Umberlee, he is invoked usually to prevent his intercession (usually heralded by wild beasts) as opposed to beseeching it. Groups devoted to following him are present, however, terrorizing civilized areas and surviving by poaching what they need.

Temples of Malar are simple affairs. Typically they are inwardly curving, fang-shaped stones arranged in a ring in shadowy forest glens. Many temples, particularly those located in more civilized settings where the activities of Malarites are viewed with loathing by the local populace, are built above extensive limestone caverns and accessed via a sinkhole in the circle's center. The twisting subterranean passages serve as hunting grounds through which ruthless Malarites stalk sentient prey (particularly humans and demihumans) captured from the surrounding region.

The church of Malar is loosely bound and without a central hierarchy. This makes it all the more difficult to counter or remove, for as soon as one den of Malarites is contained, another arises. The church organization is built around the concept of the hunt, and consists of local, independent cells or "Hunts." The leader and most powerful individual of each hunt is known as the Huntmaster, who may be a priest, warrior, wizard (very rarely), or shapechanging predator (such as a wolfwere or evil lycanthrope). If human, the Huntmaster can be identified by his or her headpiece: usually a bear, great cat, or other creature the leader has killed with his or her bare hands. The office of Huntmaster is won by challenge—a fight to the death if the incumbent does not resign—and the Huntmaster decides the locale, time, and prey to be stalked in the ceremonial hunts of the faithful.

Malarite priests are known as Lords of the Hunt or Huntlords (to distinguish them from lay followers, who are merely "of the Hunt"). No individual titles are used, except "Old Hunter" as an address of respect to senior clergy, but clergy members are often known by names such as Brother Stag or Sister Wolf in recognition of the most powerful beasts they have slain along with only their daggers, their bare hands, or claws of Malar. Specialty priests of Malar are known as talons.

Dogma: Survival of the fittest and winnowing of the weak are Malar's legacy. A brutal, bloody death has great meaning: "May you die an old man" is an insult among Malarites. The hunt is the fulcrum of life and death, and the focus point of life is the challenge between the hunter and the prey, the judgment of who may live or die. Malarites are expected to view every important task as a hunt and to remain ever alert and alive. They must walk the wilderness without trepidation, as Malar does, and must show no fear in the hunt. By being bold, they expect to win the day.

Malarite novices are charged as follows: "Savagery and strong emotions defeat reason and careful thought in all things. The strong must slay as frequently as possible and exult in the doing if they are to survive and achieve dominance of the pack that society truly is under the polite veneer it maintains. Taste the blood of those you slay and never kill from a distance. The glory and danger in the hunt should be told to all in grand tales. Work against woodcutters, farmers, and all fools who seek to cut back the forest and slay beasts because they are dangerous. Suffer no druid to live, for they believe not in survival of the strong, but in a weak-minded balance that allows the inferior to survive and often to rule. Slay not pregnant wild creatures, young wild creatures, or deepspawns so that dire beasts to hunt may always be plentiful."

Day-to-Day Activities: Priests of Malar indulge in hunting as often as possible and strive to route the hunt to make it as dangerous as possible, so that its finale (the killing of the quarry) takes place in a settled area (so that the Malarites can demonstrate their superiority, of course). Common folk who do not appreciate having desperate leucrotta, wolves, displacer beasts, and the like chased through town tend to hate and fear Malarite clergy members—which is the whole idea: Those who do not venerate the Lord of Beasts should respect him out of fear.

Malarite clergy members also preach the joys and the bountiful yields of the hunt and work to thwart the expansion of farms and settlements so as to preserve as much wilderness as possible. They work against the priesthoods of Chauntea, Deneir, Eldath, Silvanus, and Ilmater, staging raids and vandalism much as outlaws nad bored young noblemen indulge in.

Malarite clergy seek to slay druids of all faiths whenever possible, for they see the natural Balance that druids promote and maintain as the true foe of all who love to hunt. They believe it interferes with the rightful triumph of the strong over the weak. Consequently, druid organizations, those with druidic connections, and those sponsored even partially by nature deities (including the Harpers) also seek out and destroy Malarite strongholds at any opportunity.

Holy Days/Important Ceremonies: Worship of Malar centers around the hunt and tends to consist of personal prayers to the Beastlord offered before the chase, during pursuit, and while drinking a toast over the slain quarry (sometimes a toast of the blood of the very animal killed). The droning Bloodsong is intoned over the bodies of all creatures slain during a hunt—and specific ritual prayers and chants should accompany feasting on any beast slain duringa hunt.

The only high rites of the faith are the Feast of the Stags and the High Hunts. The Feast is celebrated at Higharvestide, when Malarite clergy parade through settled areas bearing the heads of the beasts they have slain during the previous tenday (a frenzied orgy of killing) and lead all who desire to eat to a feast. The beasts hunted down by Malarite hands are the main dishes at this two-day-long revel of gluttony, and all folk are invited (even druids may come and dine in safety, protected by "the Peace of the Table"). At this feast, clergy publicly undertake to hunt throughout the winter ahead for the tables of specific widows, aged folk, infirm individuals, and orphan children. This day marks the annual high point of regard for the faith of Malar in most communities.

By Malar's command, every hunt (religious ceremony) of his worshipers must celebrate at least one High Hunt in each of the four seasons of the year. A High Hunt is a sporting event attended by all Malarite clergy members able to walk. They wear boots and headpieces made from the skulls or heads of beasts they have personally slain, and each wields only a single knife or the claws of Malar. Their quarry—a sentient humanoid, usually a human male—who is set free in a wooded area (or extensive cavern complex if necessary) ringed by Malarite clergy members. The quarry is armed and armored with all the nonmagical items he or she desires that can reasonably be obtained—and then hunted to death for the glory of Malar. However, if the prey escapes the boundaries of the hunt (set up at its beginning) within a day and a night or survives until the sun has cleared the horizon on the morning after the hunt begins, he or she wins freedom, can never be so hunted again, and can ask any boon of the Huntmaster that is within his or her power and does not involve killing a Malarite.

The prey is often a druid and cannot be a worshiper of Malar. (Huntmasters cannot use the High Hunt to eliminate potential rivals within the clergy.) When slain, victims of the hunt are wholly burned to ashes as a meal for Malar.

Major Centers of Worship: The Divine Den in Bezentil, where High Huntmaster Skith Tsornagar leads a congregation of 70 or so Malarite clergy members and twice as many lay worshipers who are avid hunters, is the center of Malar's faith in the Great Dale and all of Faerûn east of the Dragon Reach and north of Thay. The clergy members of the Divine Den mount many hunting expeditions to remote and perilous regions of Toril in pursuit of exotic prey. A dozen skilled smiths among them make the True Talons of the God (approved claws of Malar).

The Deep Hunting Grounds in Undermountain beneath Mt. Waterdeep is a powerful and rapidly growing temple located amidst a subterranean forest known as the Wyllowwood. Led by Benita Darkwind, the congregation of 60 or more priests and as many warriors, rogues, and lay worshipers is actively expanding its influence through the streets of Waterdeep.

Affiliated Orders: The church of Malar also includes lone priests unaffiliated with any particular hunt. These solitary women and men, known as Beastmasters, exhibit an amazing rapport bordering on telepathy with animals and other predators, and they are rumored to command fearsome powers resembling those of powerful druids. Beastmasters resemble savage beasts in disposition and lifestyle and exert control over most predators in large swaths of wilderness through the use of multiple, concurrent find companion spells. (Other clergy can only have one animal companion at a time.) Beastmasters only rarely call upon the aid of other Malarites in their territory, but when they do, few local Huntmasters defy their requests. There is a loose correlation between the geographic areas of influence of Beastmasters and circles of druids in the wild. Individual Beastmasters and their servitors contest in an endless cycle of violence with nearby druids.

Malar is also served by a few rare Beast Lords. These lone spellcasters breed unnatural monsters like bulettes, stegocentipedes, owlbears, perytons, and so forth. While most Beast Lords are human, a few are drawn from the ranks of other races such as illithids and beholders. One prominent nonhuman Beast Lord in the North is an illithilich, believed to be based in ruined Dekanter, who seeks to conquer part of the dark realms of the Underdark with an army of beasts.

Priestly Vestments: Huntmasters wear headpieces made from the pelt and head of the most impressive beast they have been able to slay with their bare hands (usually a bear or great cat, but sometimes an owlbear, leucrotta, or peryton). Malarites carry hunting horns as their belts and are never without at least three daggers (usually one sheathed in each boot, two in belt sheaths, one strapped to either forearm, and another hidden in a nape-of-the-neck sheath under the hair or in an armpit sheath). Woodland garb of red or brown is the favored dress for hunts. By day, red hunt clothing is often concealed by a woodcloak of mottled black, gray, and green. Necklaces of animal bones, fangs, and claws, and a variety of pelts are often worn in addition to normal hunt clothes when priests desire to impress.

Adventuring Garb: When adventuring, priests of Malar dress practically, but most favor armor constructed from the hides of living creatures that allows flexibility and rapid movement. Necklaces of claws and fangs and a variety of pelts from predator animals are often worn to quietly demonstrate a Malarite's hunting prowess to the members of a community.

Talons of Malar and Huntmasters are allowed to employ the weapons known as claws of Malar. Claws of Malar are metal weapons gripped in the fists that resemble brass knuckles studded with rows of sharp, jagged edges along the top like lion's claws. A priest must allocate a weapon proficiency for these weapons in order to use them. A priest trained in their use can strike once per round with each fist without disadvantage. Claws of Malar weight 1 pound total (a half pound each), have a speed factor of 2, are size S, and inflict 1d6 points of piercing and slashing (Type P/S) damage to size S or M targets or 1d4 points of damage to size L or larger targets.

Although crude local specimens of these weapons exist, the best True Talons of the God come from one source: the Divine Den in Bezentil, the most important temple to the Lord of Beasts in all Faerûn. Claws from this source are blessed in the blood of beasts slain in the hunt, enchanted to never rust (even if touched by rust monsters or assaulted by spells that should make them rust), and bear tiny markings that allow the smiths who made them to identify each pair. Other individuals can try to use the claws, but a nonbeliever or a nonpriest of Malar suffers the wrath of the church if she or he does so, and said wrath translates the the Malarites hunting down and slaying the individual as a warning to others.

Specialty Priests (Talons)

REQUIREMENTS: Strength 13, Wisdom 12
PRIME REQ.: Strength, Wisdom
WEAPONS: All nonmissile bludgeoning (wholly Type B) weapons, daggers, and the claws of Malar
MAJOR SPHERES: All, animal, combat, healing, plant, summoning, sun, war, weather
MINOR SPHERES: Divination, elemental, protection, travelers
MAGICAL ITEMS: Same as clerics
REQ. PROFS: Animal lore, claws of Malar
BONUS PROFS: Hunting x 4 (for a Wisdom check modifier of +2), survival (pick one type of terrain)

  • Although most talons are human, their ranks include renegade wemics, half-orcs, half-ogres, and other evil humanoids.
  • Talons can select nonweapon proficiencies from both the priest and warrior groups with no crossover penalty.
  • Talons can employ claws of Malar. These weapons are described under Adventuring Garb, above. Claws of Malar are acquired through the church and are not normally on sale on the open market. Talons can attack twice a round using the claws of Malar at no penalty to their attack rolls, once with each hand/claw.
  • At 3rd level, talons can identify plants, animals, and pure water with 98% accuracy.
  • At 3rd level, talons are able to cast beast claw (as the 2nd-level priest spell) once per day.
  • At 5th level, talons can track any animal by its spoor. This is treated as gaining the tracking nonweapon proficiency for free. If a talon is already proficient in tracking, at 5th level she or he receives a +4 bonus when tracking wild animals.
  • At 7th level, talons are immune to the effects of charm spells cast by woodland creatures (similar to druids).
  • At 7th level, talons can make three melee attacks every two rounds (or gain one extra attack per every two rounds with one claw of Malar).
  • At 10th level, talons can cast rage (as the 5th-level priest spell) or animal transfer (as the 6th-level priest spell) once per day.
  • At 13th level, talons can make two melee attacks per round (or gain one extra attack per round with one claw of Malar).
Malarite Spells

2nd Level

Beast Claw (Alteration, Necromancy)

Sphere: Combat, Necromantic
Range: 0
Components: V, S
Duration: 1 round/level
Casting Time: 5
Area of Effect: The caster's arms
Saving Throw: None

This spell temporarily transforms the caster's arms into extremely durable furry limbs with raking talons and gives the caster 18/72 Strength so that she or he can rend and rake for 2d4+4 points of damage (total), striking twice per round (once with each claw, unless holding something) at a +2 bonus to attack. The caster may employ a normal weapon with these limbs if desired, but the limbs only convey their Strength bonus to such attacks, and the caster otherwise follows all normal rules for attacking with the held weapon.

The spell can be ended at any time at will so that the caster's limbs instantly revert back to normal. The reversion banishes any damage done to the limbs, wiping out both hit point damage and any mutilations or even magical witherings suffered.

The claws are as dexterous as the casters' own hands and are capable of manipulating small objects and performing any delicate tasks the caster is normally able to do. They are also immune to any magic that transforms physical shape. In other words, if a foe polymorphed the caster into a frog, she or he would retain the two might limbs—or if the caster employed shape change to take another form, the beast claws and their limbs would remain.

4th Level

Animal Sight (Alteration)

Sphere: Animal
Range: Touch
Components: S
Duration: 1 turn/level
Casting Time: 7
Area of Effect: One touched creature
Saving Throw: None

This spell is often employed by priests who have animal companions. By casting this spell upon an animal, the priest literally sees through that creature's eyes. Whenever the animal travels for the duration of the spell, the priest sees whatever it sees.

During the time the priest is employing this spell she or he must be stationary and concentrate on the animal. Damage caused to the priest interrupts the spell.

This spell is especially useful when the priest wishes to spy on other individuals or discover the lay of a territory before entering it personally.

Find Companion (Conjuration/Summoning)

Sphere: Animal
Range: 1 mile/two levels of caster
Components: V, S, M
Duration: Special
Casting Time: 1 hour
Area of Effect: 1 animal companion
Saving Throw: Special

This spell is similar to the 1st-level wizard spell find familiar, but it is in some respects more powerful. Priests casting this spell are attempting to summon animals for aid and companionship. Like wizards, priests can each have only one companion at a time, and they have on control over what creatures answer the spell call unless they couple find companion with an animal summoning.

No matter the creature summoned, it has greater Intelligence and a longer life span than others of its kind. Priest companions have an Intelligence of 4 or 5. Priests gain the heightened senses of their companion, granting them a +1 bonus to all surprise rolls.

Priests are linked to the animal companion telepathically and can give a directions telepathically or verbally. In return, the priests can understand the thoughts and sounds of their animal companion as if they were using a speak with animals spell.

If the companion is separated from its linked priest by more than a mile for more than one day, it loses 1 hit point a day until it dies.

Unlike a wizard's familiar, a priest's companion does not gain the priest's saving throws. Further, a priest does not suffer physical damage if the companion dies.

Priests can attempt to find a companion once a month until they are successful. The process involves an hour-long prayer session in which a priest must ask his or her deity for a companion and burn 100 gp worth of incense during the process. (At this point, roll 1d20 on the table below.) Immediately after the spell is completed, a priest knows if she or he was successful. The companion arrives at the spot the spell was cast within 1d4 hours if the spell was successful.

d20 Roll Companion Sensory Powers
1-3 Wild dog Smell, hearing
4-6 Eagle Distance vision
7-9 Wild boar Smell, hearing
10-12 Fox Smell, hearing
13-15 Giant rat Night vision
16-18 Badger Smell
19-20 No companion available in range -

If the priest strikes the companion or withholds its food, the spell fails, at which time the companion is no longer held and can freely depart. That kind of animal will never again become a companion to that priest.

A priest's companion typically has 3d4 hit points plus 1 hit point per level of the summoning priest and an Armor Class of 7.

5th Level

Rage (Alteration)

Sphere: Combat
Range: Touch
Components: V
Duration: 1 turn + 1 round/level
Casting Time: 8
Area of Effect: One touched creature
Saving Throw: None

Casting this spell invokes a battle rage that temporarily raises Strength, combat abilities, and hit points. The affected individual's Strength is raised to 18, regardless of racial maximums and to 19 if the individual already has a Strength of 18. The affected individual gains an additional attack per round and gains 10 hit points immediately; if these hit points would exceed the individual's normal hit point maximum, the excess hit points disappear when the spell expires. Further, the affected individual gains a +1 bonus on initiative and a +2 bonus on saving throws made while the spell is in effect.

Despite the battle fervor, the enraged creature can tell friend from foe with a successful Intelligence ability check at a -2 penalty. However, enraged creatures are so intent on combat that they cannot cast spells.

After the spell elapses, the formerly enraged individual is exhausted and must rest 1 full turn by lying down and not moving before engaging in combat or other stressful activities again.

6th Level

Animal Transfer (Alteration)

Sphere: Animal
Range: 60 yards
Components: V, S
Duration: 3 turns + 1 turn/level
Casting Time: 9
Area of Effect: One creature
Saving Throw: Special

Casting this spell transfers the priest's mind into the body of a designated animal. The priest gains all the senses and abilities of the animal, including its hit points, Armor Class, and movement rate, and is in full command of the animal form. For example, a priest could elect to transfer his or her mind into the body of a hawk and fly over an area to determine its terrain, occupants, and other conditions in the locale.

While the spell is in effect, the priest's body is motionless and vulnerable. The priest is unaware of his or he body or anything that might be happening to it. The animal's mind is suppressed throughout the duration of the spell.

If the priest's body is killed, the priest's mind is stuck in the animal's body until the animal dies or a wish is cast to alter the priest's situation. If the animal dies while the spell is in effect, the priest's mind returns to his or her body and she or he suffers 1d12 points of damage and must make a successful Wisdom ability check or suffer a mild form of insanity for a number of rounds equal to the elapsed time of the spell. If affected by this mild insanity, the priest behaves as if she or her were the animal, terrified and hurt, and hisses, spits, moves about on all fours or as if trying to fly, howls, meows, or otherwise vocalizes as the animal, and is generally uncontrollable until the insanity passes.

The spell can be cast on warm-blooded creatures of animal intelligence of less; the creatures do not receive a saving throw. Animals of greater intelligence, such as blink dogs, displacer beasts, animal companions, and other such creatures, receive a saving throw vs. spell. A successful saving throw means that the spell was wasted, and the animal was unaffected. Animal transfer cannot be used to transfer into the body of another priest's animal companion or a wizard's familiar. Such attempts always fail and waste the spell.

7th Level

Faithful Mount (Enchantment/Charm)

Sphere: Animal, Charm
Range: Touch
Components: V, S, M
Duration: Permanent
Casting Time: 1 turn
Area of Effect: 1 touched creature
Saving Throw: Neg.

Casting this spell places a mount under a powerful magic that combines the effects of charm mammal and speak with animals. The mount remains loyal to the priest who cast the spell, and the two can converse as if under a permanent speak with animals spell. Further, the mount receives a +3 bonus to saving throws against fear spells and effects and additional charm mammal spells or effects directed at it after faithful mount is cast upon it.

Mounts that can be affected include horses, ponies, mules, donkeys, camels, rhinoceroses, elephants, giant stags, griffons, hippogriffs, pegasi, unicorns, and other animals that can be ridden. The mount is allowed a saving throw vs. spell, with a +2 bonus if it has greater than animal intelligence (Intelligence 1) and magical defense adjustment modifiers if it has an exceptional Wisdom. Success means the animal is not affected by the spell, nor can it be affected by subsequent castings of the spell by the same priest.

The material component for the spell is a lump of sugar.