Hlal

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Greyhawk Deity
Hlal
Title(s) The Jester, the Pursued, the Keeper of Tales
Home Plane Arborea
Power Level Lesser deity
Gender Female
Class(es)
Alignment Chaotic good
Portfolio Humor, storytelling, inspiration
Domains Chaos, Destruction, Dragon, Evil, Fire [Renewal]
Alias(es) Avachel, Quicksilver
Superior Io

Hlal (pronounced: Huh-LAL) is the deity of Draconic Humor. Her symbol is a single flame known as the Light of Wit. Another symbol of Hlal is an open book.

Hlal is also worshiped as the male god Avachel, venerated by elves on some worlds as the boon companion of Erevan Ilesere.

Description

Hlal appears in whatever form best suits her at the moment. As Avachel, he appears as a mercury dragon of great wyrm status. If she is not actively playing a trick on someone, she more commonly takes the form of a copper dragon with a ready grin and a happy glint in her eye, or as a faerie dragon who glows with an aura of yellow-gold light.

Hlal is good-natured and impulsive. As Avachel, he may dispatch avatars to elven lands disguised as a high or sylvan elf armed with only an enchanted staff of sleep, or as a mercury dragon.

Another draconic deity, Nathair Sgiathach, is also portrayed as a faerie dragon, and the two (given Hlal's fondness for shape and gender-shifting) may conceivably be one and the same.

Relationships

Hlal is part of the draconic pantheon, which includes Io, Aasterinian, Astilabor, Bahamut, Garyx, Lendys, Sardior, Tamara, Tiamat, and others. Hlal is a strong ally of the elven deity Erevan Ilesere. Of all the dragon gods, Hlal is the most friendly to non-dragons.

Followers of Hlal have much in common with followers of Olidammara, and many worship both deities simultaneously. Hlal's chief foes include Vecna and Hextor. Hlal is said to be endlessly pursued by Faluzure in retribution for some trick she played on him.

Realm

Hlal's realm is on the plane of Arborea, also known as Olympus. According to the Player's Guide to Faerun, her realm is on the lower slope of a mountain.

Dogma

Hlal enjoys sharing stories and songs with those of any race that appreciates such things. She has little use for tyrants, even well-meaning ones. She has even less patience with cruelty or bullying. She teaches that one must be free of all restraints in order to express one's opinions.

Hlal delights in sophisticated wordplay and other more dignified forms of humor, but she can't resist the ability to play pranks; the more seriously her victim takes himself, the better.

Worshippers

Hlal is worshiped by copper dragons, faerie dragons, performers, and bards. Elves revere her as Avachel, also known as Quicksilver.

Clergy

Hlal's clerics often multiclass as bards who spread their faith using music, poetry, and tall tales.

Temples

Hlal is usually worshiped at simple shrines. Established temples to the Keeper of Tales are only found in large cities; there, they serve as much as performance spaces and concert halls as places of worship. Even in the smallest villages and thorps, however, a performance space may contain a small holy symbol of Hlal.

Rituals

Quests for Hlal often involve mistaken identities, impersonations, and merry endings; they are always worthy of being immortalized in poetry or song. Prayers to Hlal involve stories or jokes about the deeds of Hlal and her worshipers. Performers who worship Hlal dedicate their first performances of any piece to Hlal's glory, if the piece is serious, or for her amusement, if it is comic.

Myths and legends

In some elven myths, Hlal (as Avachel) is said to have been a great mercury wyrm who became a deity after sacrificing himself to defeat an invasion of evil humans who threatened a band of sylvan elves. Other legends tell of an avatar of Hlal who joins with Erevan Ilesere in the guise of a mortal mercury dragon. Regardless of the truth, Hlal is nearly equal to Erevan in her ability to get herself in trouble, but as Avachel he is a tireless defender of elvenkind, particularly sylvan elves.

One myth has it that Hlal played a particularly elaborate practical joke on Faluzure, and is now hard-pressed to stay one jump ahead of the wrathful Night Dragon.

Bibliography

  • Baker, Richard, Travis Stout, and James Wyatt. Player's Guide to Faerun. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 2004.
  • Boyd, Eric L. Demihuman Deities. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 1998.
  • Donovan, Dale. Cult of the Dragon. Renton, WA: TSR, 1998.
  • Kestrel, Gwendolyn F.M., Jennifer Clarke Wilkes, and Kolja Raven Liquette. Races of the Dragon. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 2006.