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Nobanion (pronounced no-BAN-yun), also known as the King of Beasts, Lord Firemane or the Lion King, is a primal spirit sometimes worshiped as a deity of royalty, lions, and other felines, as well as good beasts. Nobanion was considered to have originally been an interloper deity on Toril, but since his arrival he has firmly established himself within the Faerûnian pantheon. His worship is especially strong in Gulthmere Forest and among the wemics of the Shining Plains.
Worshipers include druids, fighters, leaders, paladins, rangers, soldiers, teachers, and wemics. Worshipers are often lawful good, lawful neutral, or neutral good. Nobanion reputably prefers his priests to use a heavy pick similar in shape and weight to a lion's head.
Dogma and History Edit
Hunt only when hungry and do not gorge without need. Waste nothing and all shall have plenty. The cycle of life links all living things into one being, and that being is life itself. The law of the jungle is that only the strong survive, but they survive best by being leaders, not tyrants, by protecting the weak, not bullying them. All creatures have their strengths in the assigned roles and should be encouraged to find their niche. From cooperation between beings of differing strengths comes the strength of teamwork and community, the strongest force of all. By demonstrating compassion and tolerance and living within the land, all living creatures may find harmony with nature and one another. By staying true to oneself and one's pride and conducting oneself with dignity and honor, the respect of one's peers may be earned. Wemics reduce this to the following: Only the strong survive. Live and let live unless provoked. Protect the pride and all its members, but if injury or illness bring them down, allow him or her a swift and painless end to suffering.
Nobanion is an interloper deity, having only established a presence in Faerûn a few centuries ago. Ancient texts refer to him as Aslan, and some legends claim he entered the Realms through one of the magical pools in the Weathercote Wood. He is responsible for driving most of Malar's worshipers out of the Vilhon Reach, and the Black-Blooded Pard has sworn vengeance on Nobanion.
Nobanion radiates both power and gentleness. His roar is deafening, and when he chooses to exert the full force of his charisma, his regal majesty is overwhelming, yet the tiniest creature who approaches him in good faith finds itself comfortable in his presence. Lord Firemane tries to lead his pride to do what is noble and right, but does not force his faithful to pursue that path. He deeply wants those under his rule to willingly choose good over evil, action over inaction, and order over chaos. He does not command from the rear and would never ask someone to do something he would not be willing to do himself, including laying down his life for another.
Worship of Nobanion is scattered throughout the Vilhon Reach, Dragon Coast, and Shining Plains regions, but Lord Firemane is venerated primarily within the confines of the Gulthmere Forest, in the city of Nathlekh, and among the wemics of the Shining Plains. Aside from his followers in Nathlekh, Nobanion's followers are strictly ordered in rank but not otherwise organized. The Pride of Nobanion fill leadership roles in many communities where he is revered. Many serve as benevolent monarchs, judges, militia, constables, or as guardians against evil. The vanguard of armies loyal to Nobanion is typically filled with clerics and crusaders of the Lion King. Others teach their hunting or martial skills to the young, while passing along moral instruction and important traditions both by word and deed. Among the wemic tribes of the Shining Plains, Nobanion's shamans are typically powerful leaders, second only to the chieftain or king. They are responsible for choosing which creatures to hunt, blessing the kill, and confirming the passage of young members of the Pride into adulthood.
Clerics and druids of Nobanion pray for their spells at dusk, prior to the nighttime hunt. The Festival of the Pride normally takes place during the first tenday of Ches. This is a time for frolicking, dancing, courting a mate, lovemaking, and generally celebrating the bounty of life and its potential. Religious belief promises that a child (or cub) conceived this night will go on to become ruler of the church (or pride). The Newborn Celebration always takes place during the third tenday of Kythorn, marked by a great hunt or feast. This ceremony celebrates the birth (or rebirth—church teachings are vague) of Nobanion, the prominence of lions in the Vilhon Reach, and the importance of the hunt in the region. Newborns undergo the Rite of the First Blooding where their right paw (or hand) is placed in the blood of the prey and blessed by a cleric or druid of Nobanion. Lord Firemane's clerics often multiclass as divine champions, fighters, or paladins. His druids often multiclass as rangers.
During the Spellplague, Nobanion tried to save a pride of lions in Gulthandor from oncoming blue fire. He came in contact with the blue fire, and it mutated him into a dark and bestial lion with a mane of blue flame. In this state, he was held in subjugation by Malar. In 1486 DR, he was tasked by Malar to capture Stedd Whitehorn, the boy Chosen of Lathander, but Stedd and his companions healed him of his corruption by blue fire. He returned to his natural state, and introduced himself to Stedd and his companions. In his reinstated form, he was no longer under Malar's control. He guided the young Chosen through the wilds of Gulthandor. They parted ways just before Stedd and company entered Turmish.
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- ↑ Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 235. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
- ↑ Eric L. Boyd, Erik Mona (May 2002). Faiths and Pantheons. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 102. ISBN 0-7869-2759-3.
- ↑ Brian R. James (June 2009). “Realmslore: Sarifal”. Dragon #376 (Wizards of the Coast), p. 61.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Eric L. Boyd (January 1995). "Forgotten Deities." Polyhedron #115, page 21. TSR, Inc.
- ↑ Richard Lee Byers (Feb 4, 2014). The Reaver. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 206–210. ISBN 0786964588.
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