The link to the collection from where this content is from can be found here:
This is the first entry in a series I am doing to detail “Church of Light” that is in my setting. Pelor is the head of this small pantheon, and he is heavily associated with the other deities of the Church of Light; Eldatha, Aurora, Nuada, Ilmater and Helios. The Church of Light is a very thinly-veiled amalgamation of Catholicism and Protestant Christianity.
Pelor, The Sun-Lord, Father Sky, Lord of Light, The Holy Father.
In older traditions, Pelor is depicted as a fair-haired human male, with a solar crown behind his head.
Newer, more reverent depictions do not assign such a “lowly” mortal-like form to the Lord of Light. The symbol of the Church of Light may be used for Pelor; a shining sun, with 5 rays extending outward. The center of the Holy Sun is Pelor, and the 5 rays represent a different member of his family.
Pelor is the paternalistic head of the Pantheon of Light. While the entire “family” embodies domains of light, healing and forgiveness, each member of the family has their own niche aspect within the pantheon that they in particular fulfill.
Pelor is specifically Lord of the Sun and Sky. He represents the more primal, elder traditions of ensuring a bountiful harvest and favorable rains for crops. His children, whose worship came later, embody the more lofty ideals of an established and nuanced religious tradition. He is a patron of humanity, a bringer of favorable rains, and a steadfast enemy of Asmodeus. Pelor is the victorious, uncorrupted light of The Sun.
When the Titans began to falter, the primal Gods began to rule over the mortal races. First among these was a God of the sun and sky whose whose name is lost.
He-Who-Was created Baator, a land of shining paradise where the long-suffering souls of mankind might find rest after a lifetime of toil. He-Who-Was sent his sons, and a faithful servant, to walk among men and spread the teachings of righteousness.
During this journey, Pelor and his companions were summoned to the court of a great human king who had lived a life of greed and cruelty. This king’s hard heart was turned from his wickedness, and began to proclaim the change within his heart.
However, Lucifer could not abide by this. He struck the man down, before Pelor could proclaim the forgiveness of He-Who-Was. Lucifer proclaimed to the others that there could be no justice among men, unless it was brought to them by the gods.
So, the six sons of the divine set out on their journey to bring justice to all mortals. Through their many journeys, Pelor pleaded with Lucifer to resist the wicked ambition that grew within his heart.
The Six found the dying Titan, Order. Pelor healed him with a touch of his hand, and they were rewarded with weapons that would rend the flesh of any being.
Armed with his wicked blade, Lucifer forswore his name, and set his eyes upon his maker’s throne. Again, Pelor begged him to halt, but Asmodeus would not be swayed.
Pelor held his spear against Asmodeus, but the forces of He-Who-Was were overwhelmed by the treachery of Dispater and Zariel. He-Who-Was was slain by the hand of Asmodeus, and the paradise of Baator was forever corrupted.
Pelor held aloft his shining spear, and led the survivors of the battle to his palace in the sky. The whole of sky was filled with the radiance of Pelor’s host, and The Sun dawned brighter than ever before over the world of men. Ilmater placed a curse upon the wounds he gave Asmodeus, and Helios brought the crown of his grandfather to Pelor.
Pelor and his host stand watch every day, to guard the realms of men against the corruption of Baator. Tho, this watch is diminished in the winter months while The Lord of the Sun travels to Baator to offer forgiveness to his lost friend.
Pelor largely kept the same philosophy as his father, “He-Who-Was”. However, Pelor and his family still bear many scars of the ancient Battle of Baator. Pelor wishes, above all else, to mend the cosmic rift between himself and Asmodeus. Thus, he has modified his father’s tenets to reflect a more forgiving attitude, in the hope that it brings a nuanced understanding between their respective churches.
That last tenet refers to the dozens of stories and parables about Pelor’s journeys prior to the death of He-Who-Was. Often, these stories have been adjusted, melded and localized for the social mores and traditions of the local populace. Generally, they are a collection of morality tales that portray Lucifer/Asmodeus as someone who is foolishly in the wrong, and Pelor is attempting to gently steer him back on the path of righteousness. Other times, they are about his relationships with the rest of the Holy Family. Eg, the purity of his faithfulness to Eldatha, his fatherly instructions to Aurora, his admiration for Ilmater’s patience, and his tempering of Helios' fury. Nuada does not often feature in these stories, but Pelor regards him as a worthy example of The Light among the Elves.
The secret knowledge of the Church of Light is fairly vast. One of the greater secrets held by the clergy of Pelor is that Pelor did not necessarily fight on the side against Asmodeus at the Battle of Baator. The great secret of the church is that Pelor likely agreed with Lucifer regarding the hypocrisy of “He-Who-Was”, and Pelor agreed that something had to be changed. However, Pelor did not agree that “He-Who-Was” should have been killed and cast out of all mortal knowledge.
Another great secret of Pelor’s church is that Pelor willingly allows Asmodeus to take the “unrighteous” and those in need of celestial punishment. It is publicly believed that Pelor is amassing an army, to fight Asmodeus tooth-and-nail for the souls of the lost, but this is not actually the case. Pelor secretly agrees with the old Asmodean proverb that “There is no justice among mortals without the threat of punishment.”
The deeply faithful who have had these secrets revealed to them look forward to the day when a new God will arise who can bring true understanding to mankind, and eliminate the need for justice/punishment altogether.
Pelor’s Church of the Light includes the worship of several other deities that are closely associated with him. They include
Lady Eldatha - The lady of healing and mercy. Pelor’s wife, and the mother of Aurora. Guardian of the the home and of children. She is frequently associated with the friendly spirits of the earth, and of streams. She is a healer, and an intermediary between mortals and the rest of the Gods of Light. Although a goddess of humans, Eldatha is a half-elf. Some legends depict her as a favorite handmaiden of Queen Titania, the Titan of Life.
Ilmater, the Patient Lord- The elder brother of Pelor. Ilmater is patience incarnate. He is a natural philosopher and the moral compass of the church. After the Battle of Baator, Ilmater agreed with Asmodeus that there could be no justice without punishment in the world. Ilmater agreed that he would take the pain of punishment upon his body for anyone who was truly repentant of their crimes. His priests share in the burden of punishment, and often present themselves at courthouses to be punished instead of a repentant criminal.
Helios - Herald of the Dawn, and Fury of the Sun. Helios is the youngest of the three sons of He-Who-Was, and he is is the one for whom vengeance against Asmodeus burns the hottest. Helios is the burning heat of the sun, and he is the embodiment of righteous fury. He is an excellent warrior, and patron of several holy orders.
Aurora, Lady of Rainbows - Aurora is the daughter of Pelor and Eldatha. She is a goddess of hope, beauty and light. She hates vampires, and especially Mephistopheles. Aurora has cursed vampires to flee before her, and be burned beneath her gaze. Aurora exhorts her faithful to wage war against vampires, and all other forms of undead. Aurora will often grant sorcerers her divine light. She is the mother of the Sun Elves through her son, Nuada. Aurora is said to be the most beautiful of all goddesses.
Prince Nuada Aergethlam - Nuada is the son of Corellon Larethian and Aurora. He is a member of The Seldarine, and is only loosely associated with his mother’s divine house. He is a warrior through and through, having trained under Helios. Prince Nuada guards the gates of Arvandor, when his father is absent walking the worlds. He is a warrior-poet who drives his people to seek “excellence”. Unlike most of The Seldarine, Prince Nuada is a reliable and faithful Lord who holds his personal honor in high regard. Because his mother so thoroughly hates The Undead, Prince Nuada is pleased to bless Elves who hunt the undead.
Asmodeus and the other Lords of Baator are enemies that test or tempt the faithful of Pelor. Zariel and Dispater are especially viewed as antagonists, because they betrayed their rightful Lord at the Battle of Baator, and turned the tide of battle in favor of Asmodeus.
The temples of Light are are quite varied in structure, function and size.
There are the generalistic Temples of Light, which are multi-purposed, and would certainly contain shrines to each member of the Holy Family. There are also more specified temples that cater to the needs and specific rites of each of the five members of the Holy Family.
Temples that are specifically for honoring Pelor follow a very “traditional temple” kind of design, where there are simplistic quarters for the resident priests to reside in, an altar area where Pelor’s faithful may present offerings to the priests, and a relatively large gathering area where the faithful may come together to discuss their Lord’s philosophies and teachings. The gathering area may include a few shrines to the others, especially Eldatha and Ilmater. The Temples of Pelor may contain artwork commissioned and offered by a local Lord or artisan’s guild. In the case of a central temple in a major city, there would be be rather lavish examples of the local nobility’s generosity towards The Lord of Light.
The major festival that is critical to Pelor is the celebration of his Pelor’s Fast.
Pelor’s Fast takes place during the 40 days preceeding the Winter Solstice (the darkest days of the year). The mythical lore behind it is that Pelor has descended to Baator to prove the path of righteousness by subjecting himself to every temptation that Asmodeus can muster. At the end of the 40 days, Pelor offers his friend forgiveness, and triumphantly returns to the sky from Baator.
Pelor’s faithful observe their Lord’s fast by eschewing strong alcohol, confections, and (sometimes) sexual pleasure. Generally, anything that may be considered a temptation, and not necessary for living, should be avoided. The final day of Pelor’s Fast, marked by the Winter Solstice, is celebrated by feasting and the giving of gifts to those who have succeeded in their fast. Pelor has triumphantly returned from Baator, uncorrupted by the temptations of Asmodeus. Those who have been wronged or hold debts may formally and publicly forgive debts (financial and otherwise) to those that owe them.
The Champion of the Sun is a title granted to one who has best lived the ideals of Pelor. Generally, this would be a Paladin, Sorcerer or Cleric who has attained a high level of mastery over their abilities, and exemplified Pelor’s philosophies of forgiveness, empathy and honesty.
The Champion of the Sun wears a blessed set of adamantine armor that “shines in even the greatest darkness”. They wield a “blazing spear that strikes the hearts of enemies”.
The spear is a +3 spear that scores a critical hit on a die roll of 19 or 20, causes radiant damage and can be used to cast Daylight 1/day as a bonus action.
The armor is a set of Adamantine armor (type depends on class of the receiver) that can be made to glow, as if it had Light cast upon it, as a bonus action.
Pelor is a widely worshipped deity, and commonly regarded as the ultimate incarnation of The Sun. Because of this, there are many (many) interpretations and iterations of his teachings. Generally, the Church of Light at-large allows for quite a few varied, local interpretations of The Lord (and his family), so long as they do not start to approach blasphemy against the core tenets.
One of the larger sects of the Church of Light views Pelor, Ilmater and Helios as different aspects of one being called Aumanator. As this is not contradictory to the core beliefs, it is an allowable belief.
One of the more “heretical” cults within the Church of Pelor holds that Lucifer was no mere servant of “He-Who-Was”, but a fourth son who has been denied his birthright. As this would make Asmodeus “Flesh of The Light”, it is a wholly unacceptable belief within The Church of Light, and it is not permitted to be spoken of.