Sorry, I couldn’t resist. Some of you might get that poor excuse for a joke. Others will not. In either case, I assure you it was totally worth it.
It is traditional, I believe, that aspects of human endeavour for good or ill, all have a deity or religious capacity attributed to them in polytheistic pantheons. So too is it the case in the realm of the Urient, though the god of war themselves would disagree with the mantle of “God of War”.
His place in the pantheon is truly as a God of Duty, and so I introduce to you; The Veteran.
When wizened warriors die in their sleep, hold the line so that others may escape and live to fight another day, when wives and mothers weep for their lost- their final prayers are often made to Old Grom, The Veteran.`
The Veteran is not a god that demands sacrifice on the battlefield, or a young glorious death, though he understands the significance of these acts. He is not a god of senseless slaughter or honourable combat. He is the God of those that will take up the blade reluctantly in times of hardship. A God of grim faced duty, the trial by fire of combat is a proving ground for warriors and healers alike and those that survive will often make prayers of thanks after the bloody work is done.
Traditionally, The Veteran is worshiped as the patron of old warriors who have returned home from war and hardship. Worshipers of his name, however, are just as often those who find themselves doing their duty in extraordinary circumstances. His priests can be found on the battlefield, blade in hand, fighting for a cause, but just as easily in the triage tent, administering care for the battle wounded. In times of peace, they are pillars of small communities, caring for the elderly and infirm. Some are teachers and delight in instructing the old and artful ways to the young and naïve. All paths of duty in service of a cause or community lead to The Veteran.
Often depicted as an old man smoking a pipe with a blade in arms reach, The Veteran embodies the skills gained with age, and the duty that one owes his or her people. It is said that those devout who have gone to war, and die in their beds of old age, will have prophetic dreams of lost comrades and loves waiting for them to return in the nights before their passing. A reward given for a life of duty.
His places of worship are often simple and well-tended to. A war shrine where communities remember their lost and mourned, or small graveyards where his likeness or sigil can be found in accompaniment of The Lady of Bones. His followers often pilgrimage battlefields and give benediction to the war dead to thank them for their sacrifice.
Ultimately, The Veteran represents the returned warrior spirit, healing, duty, nation, community and family.
His sigil is a sword ardent over a battered but unbroken shield.
Alignment: Neutral Good
Portfolio: Duty, War, Healing, The Elderly, The Sick, Wisdom
Domains: War, Protection
Classes: Paladins, Clerics
Holy Sigil: A sword ardent over a battered but unbroken shield.
[Insert Obligatory Self-Isolation and Hand-washing mantra]
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