Baervan Wildwanderer, also known as the Forest Gnome, is the deity of forests, travel, nature and forest gnomes.
He loves oak trees and all forest animals and guards the wild, forest gnomes and their communities. Through him the forest gnomes get their ability to communicate with the fauna of the woodlands. The Masked Leaf is the patron god of forest gnomes, but he is well loved by all of the gnome subraces. He is even revered by the svirfneblin as the Father of Fish and Fungus.
Baervan's friend and constant companion in his escapades is a giant raccoon named Chiktikka Fastpaws, who is highly intelligent but prone to act before he thinks. Many stories are told of the adventures that this duo has shared, often started by Chiktikka's humorous ability to get into trouble by borrowing something valuable, such as a minor artifact.
Baervan is gentle, good-natured, and mischievous. His penchant for good-natured pranks rivals Garl Glittergold. Except for Chiktikka's company, he tends to keep to himself. Though Baervan sometimes plays jokes on others, it is hard not to like him. The Masked Leaf's tricks are often designed to serve some purpose, unlike the mischief typical of Forgotten Folk. If Baervan wants to send someone a message, he does so in the form of a joke. Baervan dispatches avatars to help repair severe damage to nature, though sometimes just to create mischief.
The church of the Masked Leaf is well regarded among most gnome communities, particularly forest gnomes, for Baervan and his followers are a likable bunch. Baervan's penchant for getting into trouble has long been a source of amusement and pride for the Forgotten Folk, and they generally embrace his mischievous nature as portrayed in the behavior of his clergy. Among other races, the church of Baervan is little known save among other elven and sylvan deities.
The church of Baervan is loosely organized and consists mostly of regional sects, each of which is fairly independent. Members of Baervan's clergy are found mostly in outdoor gnome communities in great forests, particularly forest gnome villages. Individual clerics often wander far afield, typically accompanied by a raccoon (or dire raccoon) companion. All members of the Masked Leaf's clergy are concerned with the protection of nature (and the gnomes who dwell in harmony with it), and they are actively involved in driving off evil creatures.
VestmentsThe clerical garb of Baervan's priests includes a green cap (always worn at a jaunty angle), and wood brown clothing (leather armor will do in a pinch). The holy symbol of the faith is an over-sized acorn, carefully tended so it achieves triple the normal dimensions before is it ritually harvested by asking the tree that bore it for its use in Baervan's name.
When adventuring, members of Baervan's priesthood favor woodland armor, such as leather armor and wooden shields, and weapons of the forest, such as clubs, slings, spears, and staves.
HierarchyNovices of Baervan are known as Acorns. Full priests of the Masked Leaf are known as Wildwanderers. In ascending order of rank, the titles used by Baervanian priests are Chipmunk, Squirrel, Opossum, Hedgehog, Marten, Red Fox, Lynx, and Wolf. High-ranking priests have unique individual titles. Specialty priests are known as Fastpaws.
TemplesBaervan's worshipers assemble in forest clearings to venerate their god, preferably sylvan glades ringed by a circle of ancient oaks, although such arboreal menhirs are not required. Longstanding shrines of the Masked Leaf are transformed into woodland chapels with the circle of broad trunks growing closer together and the canopy of intertwined limbs and leaves forming a natural roof.
RitualsBaervan's priests gather monthly in sylvan glens under the light of the full moon to dance, hurl acorns at each other, and sacrifice magical trinkets or other treasures to the god. If a follower has been unable to acquire any magical gift to offer to Baervan over the course of the last three tendays, a knickknack of some value temporarily enchanted by means of some minor magic (often a light spell) is commonly offered up to Baervan.
OrdersThe Wild Wayfarers are a loosely organized band of rogues, priests, and cleric/thieves found in both city and sylvan settings. Members of this fellowship share a love of travel, new experiences, adventure, and good times. Many serve their communities as far-ranging scouts who keep tabs on emerging threats in the region, while others bend their talents to a life of adventuring. Their experiences with the world at large encountered during their travels serve both to entertain and enlighten their home communities of the Forgotten Folk.
The great forests of the outdoors await those Forgotten Folk daring enough to venture forth from their burrows. Wander the great woodlands in search of excitement and sylvan sites of incredible beauty. Defend and protect the creatures of the forest and the woodlands in which they reside. Be ever curious, and follow life wherever it may lead.
Baervan Wildwanderer is a gentle, good natured, and mischievous gnome. Though Baervan sometimes plays jokes on other creatures, it is hard not to like him. Baervan's closest friend is Chiktikka Fastpaws, a sentient giant raccoon.
Baervan's closest friend was Chiktikka Fastpaws, a sentient giant raccoon. His superior was Garl Glittergold. Baervan considered Segojan Earthcaller, Brandobaris, Clangeddin Silverbeard, Gwaeron Windstrom and other good nature deities among his allies. Urdlen and Malar were particularly hated enemies.