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A favored animal was a minor manifestation of a deity.[1]

DescriptionEdit

Deities could show their powers through major manifestations and minor manifestations. The appearance of an animal fell into the latter category.[1]

Most deities had some kind of mundane animal as their favored animal. Some deities were specific in the coloration of their favored animals. For example, Vhaeraun had only black cats as his favored animal.[2]

Real or illusory specimens of these animals were sent by deities to inform mortals of something. For example, Lolth sent her favored animals—spiders[3]—to show her approval at the conclusion of a ritual.[4] These animals could be made to act according to their normal behavior or in some strange manner by the sending deity.[1]

The benefit of using animals as an omen was that it was easier for mortals to befriend and get used to animals than the more awesome or monstrous servants of a deity.[1]

Mortals' ReactionEdit

When a living specimen of a favored animal appeared, it was usually captured. What happened with it afterwards was dependent on how wealthy the capturing community was. If it was rich, the animal was given a pampered and easy life to show the community's devotion to the deity. If the community was poor, the animal was eaten and the best parts of it were sacrificed to the deity.[1]

Clerics often summoned fiendish or celestial versions of these animals.[1]

AppendixEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Sean K. Reynolds (2002-05-04). Deity Do's and Don'ts (Zipped PDF). Wizards of the Coast. p. 8. Archived from the original on 2016-11-01. Retrieved on 2018-09-08.
  2. Sean K. Reynolds (2002-05-04). Deity Do's and Don'ts (Zipped PDF). Wizards of the Coast. pp. 8, 15. Archived from the original on 2016-11-01. Retrieved on 2018-09-08.
  3. Sean K. Reynolds (2002-05-04). Deity Do's and Don'ts (Zipped PDF). Wizards of the Coast. pp. 8, 13. Archived from the original on 2016-11-01. Retrieved on 2018-09-08.
  4. Elaine Cunningham (July 2003). Daughter of the Drow (Mass Market Paperback). (Wizards of the Coast), p. 195. ISBN 978-0786929290.