Malar (Forgotten Realms)

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Malar
Game background
Home plane 2E: The Land of the Hunt (Carceri)
3E:
Design details

Malar (/ˈmlɑr/ MAY-lar)[1] is the Faerûnian deity of the hunt, evil lycanthropes (werecreatures), and bestial savagery and bloodlust in Ed Greenwood's Forgotten Realms fictional world of Abeir-Toril for the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game. His dogma, such as it is, concerns savage hunts (often of sapient, humanoid prey), the spreading of the curse of lycanthropy (primarily of the werewolf variety), and general contempt for civilization.

Publication history[edit]

Ed Greenwood created Malar for his home Dungeons & Dragons game, set in Greenwood's Forgotten Realms world.[2]

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st edition (1977–1988)[edit]

Malar first appeared within Dungeons & Dragons as one of the deities featured in Ed Greenwood's article "Down-to-earth Divinity" in Dragon #54 (October 1981). Malar is introduced as the Beastlord, the Stalker, god of wild, marauding beasts, bloodlust, and hunting; he is a chaotic evil lesser god from the plane of Tarterus. Malar is described as "Related to Silvanus and the other “nature” gods, Malar is said to be black, covered with wet, dripping blood, and having the fangs and clawed forelimbs of a great cat. Hunters (both for game and in sport) make offerings to him before setting forth in the chase, and he is said to manifest himself in berserkers, enraged beasts, and in that type of frenzied human killer that men deem “mad.” Bhaal is overlord to those who view killing as an art to be coldly perfected; Malar is the patron of those who exult in it endlessly, sensually; adventurers rather than perfectionists." Malar is described as one of “The Gods of Fury,” which is what these four gods are known as collectively: "Talos is served by Auril, Umberlee, and Malar"; Malar is also one of “The Dark Gods” of evil alignment: "Loviatar, Talona, and Malar serve Bane through Bhaal." Malar is established as being commonly worshipped by chaotic evil fighters, assassins, and clerics.[2]

Malar later officially appeared as one of the major deities for the Forgotten Realms campaign setting, in the Forgotten Realms Campaign Set's "Cyclopedia of the Realms" booklet (1987).[1]

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd edition (1989–1999)[edit]

Malar was described in the hardback Forgotten Realms Adventures (1990),[3] the revised Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting (1993) in the "Running the Realms" booklet,[4] and Faiths & Avatars (1996).[5]

His role in the cosmology of the Planescape campaign setting was described in On Hallowed Ground (1996).[6]

Dungeons & Dragons 3.0 edition (2000–2002)[edit]

Malar appears as one of the major deities of the Forgotten Realms setting again, in Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting (2001),[7] and is further detailed in Faiths and Pantheons (2002).[8]

Followers[edit]

Malarites believe that it is an honor to Malar if you make your killing bloody and long. The followers of Malar sometimes form in bands, called Hunts. They are forbidden from slaying the young or the pregnant, and cull the weak and lame from animal groups. In general, Hunts are split into two kinds; there are those who evoke wanton slaughter in his name (they're usually lycanthropes), and those who follow his dogma a bit more strictly.

Malarites are generally frowned upon by civilization, as they tend to wreak havoc in their hunts. One country where Malar's worship is allowed is Cormyr.

The Church of Malar has two major holy days, the first being the High Hunt, a vicious hunt in which a captured humanoid is released, and for the next day and night, his goal is to escape the prowling worshippers of the Beastlord. If he manages to survive, he wins his freedom, perhaps in addition to other things.

The second is the day which has made Malar's worship more tolerable in certain areas, the Feast of Stags. During the harsh winters in the northern parts of Faerûn, Hunts will choose a village in the wilderness. They provide food for the people, and one or two pledge themselves to keeping the village fed through the snows.

Other media[edit]

There appears to be a similar deity to Malar called Zamok the Destroyer. Beodaewn, the leader of a cult of werewolves in Icewind Dale II states that 'We have been persecuted in the past for a *mistaken* association on our beliefs with those of Malar. On the surface, Malar and Zamok the Destroyer look similar, but the Fifth House of the Blood Moon seems... Oh forget it (?).'

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Ed Greenwood, Jeff Grubb and Karen S. Martin (1987). Forgotten Realms Campaign Set. Wizard of the Coast. ISBN 0-88038-472-7. 
  2. ^ a b Ed Greenwood, Dragon magazine #54 - "Down-to-earth divinity" (October 1981)
  3. ^ Grubb, Jeff and Ed Greenwood. Forgotten Realms Adventures (TSR, 1990)
  4. ^ Ed Greenwood (1993). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting. ASIN B000K06S2E. 
  5. ^ Martin, Julia, and Eric L Boyd. Faiths & Avatars (TSR, 1996)
  6. ^ McComb, Colin. On Hallowed Ground (TSR, 1996)
  7. ^ Ed Greenwood et al. (2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting. Wizard of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5. 
  8. ^ Boyd, Eric L, and Erik Mona. Faiths and Pantheons (Wizards of the Coast, 2002)

External links[edit]