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Beorl the Hivemaster, a petty god

December 30, 2012

This blog is one year old today.

I had planned to mark the occasion by writing some kind of review of the year, but I’ve been suffering from “man flu” since Christmas and I feel too groggy to think straight. (If anyone’s been wondering where the world’s supply of mucus went, it’s right here in my head.) So that will have to wait.

Cutting and pasting is easy, however. So allow me to present Beorl. He’s (a) a kind of Anglo-Saxon-style mini-Dionysus, (b) one of the Elder Gods of Ebidoria, and (c) my contribution to James Maliszewski’s proposed Petty Gods book. That project has been languishing in Limbo for over a year now, and it certainly won’t see the light of day before Dwimmermount does, so … well, anyway, here’s Beorl, in Labyrinth Lord guise:

Name: Beorl
Symbol: Stylised bee in a hexagon
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: 150′ (50′)
Armour Class: 0
Hit Points (Hit Dice): 66 hp (14 HD)
Attacks: 1
Damage:
1d6+6
Save: F14 (immune to poison)
Morale: 10
Hoard Class:
XIX
XP: 6,000

Beorl the Hivemaster is the petty god of honey and mead and the patron of beekeepers. His name is invoked around the hearths and campfires of men when horns are hoisted and mead is quaffed. “Beorl’s sting” or “Beorl’s strike” are sometimes used as euphemisms for hangovers. Occasionally encountered in pastoral countryside or pleasant forest glades, the deity appears as a stocky, almost portly man with a fuzzy beard and close-cropped, golden-brown hair. He wears clothing of the same colour. He often hums tunelessly to himself.

Beorl’s demeanour is brisk yet amiable – unless provoked to fury. He is always girt with a broad belt of black leather supporting his drinking horn and a short sword. In the Hivemaster’s hand, this weapon does 1d6+6 damage and anyone struck by it must save vs. poison or suffer agonising pain for 1d6 full turns. The victim’s saving throws, attack rolls and damage dice are subject to a -2 penalty for the pain’s duration. Beorl himself is immune to poison of any sort.

At will, once per round, he can summon either an angry swarm of bees (treat as an insect swarm of the largest size) or 2d4 giant killer bees (equal chance of either) to attack his foes. Moreover, he can cause mead-drunkenness once per day. This power resembles the 4th-level magic-user spell confusion in all respects, except that “babbling incoherently” may involve singing, shouting, boasting, falling down, vomiting, and other common effects of extreme intoxication.

Beorl may create food and water (as a cleric of 14th level) up to three times per day. The food thus created will be honey-based – honey-roasted meat and vegetables, sweet pastries, honey cakes, and the like – and the “water” will in fact be mead.

Beorl has had numerous colourful adventures, acquiring in the process a reputation for wit and guile. He may use honeyed words thrice per day, employing flattery to “sweet talk” his way around entities more powerful than himself (-2 bonus on reaction rolls if his victims fail to save vs. spells).

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