Pelor, the Burning Hate

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On the evil of Pelor

Pelor is commonly thought to be the near embodiment of Neutral Good. As a sun god, he is thought to be the enemy of the undead and the author of life through his gifts. He is also a god of Strength, for he advocates that the weak must be protected by those capable.

However, recent revelations have given rise to a sect of thought (some label it an outright heresy) that Pelor may not be what he claims to be. A passage in the Book of Exalted Deeds states that Pelor refused to send his paladin a sunfly swarm to destroy a vampire that had murdered his family, while the paladin was out doing Pelor’s work. In the same section, a CG god named Kord visited a plague upon his worshipper who was defeated on the battlefield. Speculations abound as to why Pelor refused his faithful paladin and range from defending the god (Pelor couldn’t allow himself to stoop to the mortal’s level of hate) to accusing the god (Pelor wanted to see his paladin suffer). No concrete answer could be found, but for those who thought it was a poor choice on Pelor’s part, it led to a path of horrific discovery after discovery.

Further investigation revealed (in the Epic Level Handbook) that the Lord High Priest of Pelor denounced her deity and the faith. It also said that the secret texts of a prominent religion, recently discovered, call into question the church’s real goal, its actual origin and the agenda of its god.

From there we turn to the Player's Handbook.

Jozan, the archetypical cleric of the Burning Hate is shown using symbol of pain, a 5th level cleric spell with the evil descriptor (PH 291). The SRD and PHB have two things to say about this:

First, a cleric can’t cast spells of an alignment opposed to his own or his deity’s (if he has one). Spells associated with particular alignments are indicated by the chaos, evil, good, and law descriptors in their spell descriptions.

Second, a cleric’s alignment must be within one step of his deity’s (that is, it may be one step away on either the lawful-chaotic axis or the good-evil axis, but not both). A cleric may not be neutral unless his deity’s alignment is also neutral.

This means that Jozan can not be good-aligned, since he can casts evil spells. Nor Pelor can be , because he can grant evil aligned spells, that can only come from a non-good deity. So, Pelor can not be good-aligned.

Also, Jozan has been seen steping on the face of his allies to rise higher, rather than store his shield and mace (PH 68 ). That is not the act of a good-aligned being and shows quite a level of paranoia and mistrust against his allies.

Moving on from there to the Complete Scoundrel, we find the path of the malconvoker introduced. This path requires a non-evil alignment and deals in the summoning of demons. A quote from the iconic malconvoker: “Take him my slaves! Drag his soul back to your dark masters!” - Argyll Te’Shea, servant of Pelor and malconvoker. The summoning of demons has always been one of the most vile acts. Page 8 of the Book of Vile Darkness states that Consorting with Fiends is evil. The statement “Allowing a fiend to exist, let alone summoning one or helping one is clearly evil”. More minor sections deal with ‘casting evil spells’ and ‘damning or harming souls’, both of which are clearly present within the Pelor-sponsored malconvoker. One could very well suspect this path to be nothing more than a thinly disguised trap for the unwary and their souls.

Also introduced into the Complete Scoundrel is the grey guard, which some may note “hey, that’s just a slightly lighter version of the blackguard!” Indeed. Another step into the Lower Planes, this one is aimed at paladins rather than wizards and clerics. While I have not been able to tie the grey guard directly to Pelor as of yet, it seems that the taint caused by his masquerade is growing to touch even the sincere good aligned gods.

Looking at the relics that Pelor sponsors shows another side of this dark story. The dawnstar, if sundered or broken, deals massive damage to all other creatures (aside from the wielder) within a 30 foot radius. Clearly, this power was inserted with no thought given to the cost for the wielder’s allies. The original dawnstars were given to 4 solars who rescued one of Pelor’s paladins from Baator (Known as Perdition in some texts). A question arises then: what exactly was the paladin doing in Hell? If he had died and went to Hell, that suggests some oddity concerning his faith and alignment. If he ended in Hell due to his own dealings with the devils (which are endorsed by the Church of Pelor, don’t forget), then it seems that Pelor was flouting the Pact Primeval, an ancient law enacted before Pelor’s time. It seems that there are only a few possible answers. One, Pelor is truly of Hell, and his worshipper ended there because of his faith. Two, the paladin ended up in Hell of his own actions and Pelor gave no thought to the stability of the cosmos in order to bring him back. (Probably out of fear for what information torture would bring to the paladin’s tongue.) Three, Pelor sponsors LE paladins, known as paladins of tyranny (in a complete twisting of the term paladin) because he is a vile god of evil.

The Inquisitor Bracers are another magic item sponsored by Pelor. These bracers justify the use of force on innocent people in order to sort them out from undead. You can’t use the power of the bracers with a touch attack (to see if the positive energy perhaps burns the undead). You must swing your weapon with all force at the target, and hope that the positive energy undoes any mistake you might make. What a sick idea. A paladin on a different world once had a similar idea for dealing with undead. His name was Prince Arthas. Of Warcraft III fame.

Pelor’s final relic is a sun shard, which is fairly simple, it fires searing light at two targets. This isn’t damning in and of itself, but consider that while other good gods (Elonna and Yondalla for example) offered relics that aided mortals, Pelor’s are all intended to destroy. This is of course, not a huge point against Pelor, but when added onto the mountain of evidence, seems to be just one more confirmation.

One adventuring group, headed by a tough talking thug named Dyson, followed the path against Pelor when they discovered something amiss within his church. Connections were drawn between Pelor and Baal. That story can be told by Dyson himself or his dungeon master Feanor. It should be noted however, that they began following this path of discovery prior to the release of the Book of Exalted Deeds. They were the first to see the truth and were shunned for it at the time. Those of us who have had our eyes opened to the light of the Burning Hate owe them a debt of gratitude.

Another adventuring group, this one composed of angels, were betrayed by their god into the hands of Lixer, a Prince of Hell. They were broken, one by one. One was twisted into a demon, one lost faith in the path of the Celestial Compact, one was blasted from existence and the last was petrified and stands still in the Court of a Lord of Hell. The god was not named, but he was a god of the sun. Again, this story predates the release of the Book of Exalted Deeds.

One final member of Dicefreaks has added information. Alratan was the first Freak to bring up evil uses for positive energy and good uses for negative energy. While his study does not accuse Pelor of anything (or indeed, deal with Pelor at all), it does point to an alternate path of positive energy, with which Pelor is definitely associated. (Positive energy, not the alternate path) This is important because many dubious (and some slack jawed) people have pointed towards Pelor’s association with the sun and positive energy as proof of his inherent goodness.

It must be noted that nothing is proven. Pelor still sits in Elysium. No good aligned gods have moved against him, nor have they chilled alliances with the Sun God. It may be this is a smear campaign engineered by fiends, or simply the overactive imaginations of mortals. However, the above presented are facts, not fiction. Draw your own conclusions, but think twice before you choose the True Believer feat in Pelor’s name. Below are my own conclusions drawn from the evidence.


Pelor is a Neutral (lawful tendancies) Evil god of Sun and Strength.
Pelor is a god of skin cancer, sun burns, thirst and burning agony.
Pelor hates undead as they cannot properly suffer in the same way as mortals.
Pelor’s divine realm is on Elysium
Pelor has deceived the good gods and mortals for so long that he has grown complacent in his position. The recent revelations are not purposeful, they are accidents caused by the god being sloppy.
Pelor has many connections with Hell through both Bel and Belial and previously through Zariel.
Pelor may have engineered the Great Fall of Eblis, Triel and the others.
It is unknown if the devils, yugoloths or demons are aware that Pelor is evil. Presumably they are ignorant.


The above is intended to make clear the position of those people who claim Pelor is evil. It is not intended as a slur on those who seek to worship Pelor as a benign deity nor as concrete proof of his evil. The investigation into his misconduct is currently ongoing and no final judgement should be passed at this juncture.
Pelor, evil? Must be some sad, poor soul twisted by a Yugoloth's word.... Lady Shemeska?
On the Greytalk and Planescape mailing lists, back in 1998, the following message was posted:

Subj: [PLANESCAPE] - a new Abyssal Lord
Date: 98-05-04 13:41:23 EDT
From: Roland Lamoureux
Sender: [email]owner-planescape@Phaser.ShowCase.MPGN.COM[/email]
Reply-to: [email]planescape@MPGN.COM[/email]
To: [email]planescape@MPGN.COM[/email]

Here you Go folks a new, evil Tanar'ri (Demon) Lord

PELOR
Climate:Gray Waste
Frequency:Unique
Organization:Planar Ruler
Activity Cycle:Any
Diet:Carnivore"souls"
Intelligence:SupraGenius"21"
Treasure:U,Z,W,X
Alignement:Chaotic-Evil
Armor Class:-11
Movement:14
Hit Dice:47 HP:277
Thaco: 3
# of Att: 4
Dam:1d10+6 1d10+6
Special Att:Spells / summon Tanar'ri(demons)
Special Def:Immunities of Tanar'ri
Magic Resistance:70%
Size: 9' tall
Morale: Fearless(19)
XP Value: 48 000

Pelor a Tanar'ri Abyssal Lord whom in the past once served under the great Queen of the Abyss Lilith over a millenia ago before the Blood War had ever started in the Lower Planes. Pelor was the Bringer of Light for his Queen, until the day he rebeled against her and her rule. Pelor was the first Tanar'ri to escape the Abyssal realm of Lilith. Pelor had decided to flee to the Gray Waste where Pelor easily founded his own Planar realm and had begun to put into the effect his diabolical shemes of damnation, chaos, and destruction upon the multiverse.

However over the years the Abyssal lord Pelor has spent dwelling within the Gray Waste, has had a effect upon his nature. In fact the very Nature of the Abyssal Lord Pelor has changed and is still in a state of flux, as the Abyssal Lord Pelor strives to achieve his higher form of being. Pelor appears as a ageless male planar tainted human with a golden crown of sunstones upon his head. His eyes, teeth, and nails however are clearly demonic in appearence and nature so Pelor still has signs of his Tanar'ri nature.

Combat: Pelor is a serious combatant whom enjoys using physical strength and spells to humiliate first then destroy in the bloodiest of fashions. He is a ambi-dextrous Grand Master in the Long Swords. He has two inteligent artifact long Swords. The Left handed Sword is Uggrazz, capable of inflicting wounds that can not be closed except by a heal, only when they strike a Lawful Good mortal. In his Right Hand is the Loyal Sword SwaD'Wi. This Sword can emit a ray of painful light 10 times a day, for 27 points of Dammage save for half against Death Magic.

Plots and Goals: He has realised the power of belief from mortal so the Abyssal Lord Pelor enjoys creating Cults, and false Faiths in his name upon the prime Worlds he enjoys to visits. To do this he Travels to a desired prime World in the Guise of a kind Priest of Pelor. Using his Crown of Sunstones that acts as a amulet of non-dectection only upon a prime plane. In this Guise He uses his lay on hands 10 times a day to heal 27 points of Dammage. Also he can do minor creation, improved phantasmal force and major creation at will while in this role. All this he does so he can make his Priestly Guise and the Faith of Pelor more Believalbe to the clueless of the prime world he visits. His false faith he has decided is one where Pelor is a Greater God of Healing and protection.

Followers and ressources: Pelor can Gate 1-4 Unique Balors(50% chance) whom appear as Solars, with flaming wings but have a subltle hint of their Tanar'ri taint visible in some part of their body if one looks hard enough. Pelor can use Items allowable to fighters, priests, and mages. The Bringer of Light Pelor has many designs upon many primes and patiently waits for them to mature for the day he can unleash Hellfire and Damnation.

He has a long estasblished False faith upon Oerth, a couple small cults on Toril and Mystara, whom are growing at amusing rate. All of this is part of his scheme only he can see . He also has designs of starting his false faith upon the planes starting in Sigil but thus far has had only a very small success in this goal, thank in large part to a mortal proxy Scion of his he has sent to sigil to spread the Faith of Pelor!

Well there you go folks, what did you think? flames comments--------Roland "Proxy Scion Herald of the Abyssal "Demon" Lord Pelor!"

i got one thing ageinst it. some of pelors celrics cast good spells.
not like in good-bad but in good-evil
Rip, that's seriously amazing. Do you think that the designers are slipping little elements of this purposely into the official game material?
Pelor is not a god of evil. I just simply think that the designers take the stance that gods are weird, and thus, a baby eating Neutral Good god Pelor was born.
Pelor is not a god of evil. I just simply think that the designers take the stance that gods are weird, and thus, a baby eating Neutral Good god Pelor was born.

They've gotten to him.
In that case, presumably Pelor is the one sponsoring all those baby-skewering paladins.
I think it's just sloppy design, actually. But yeah, the "Pelor is evil" meme goes way back, even before he became a "core deity" in 3e.

"Humans are smart. That's what separates us from the animals and the babies." - Neil Gaiman
that's awesome, I think I must now go make a gestalt wiz/malconvoker//pal/grey guard that worships pelor for an online game...
Preach the word, so all may know! Pelor is an hypocrite that prefers to screw his paladins rather than destroying an undead creature, which he suposedly hates.
Spread the word, aye. We can't let his malevolence go undisguised.
Alright, was this something to **** me off? Whatever.




SYMBOL OF PAIN on everyone. Now noone will konw the truth.
"Oh, it's so hot. I hate the sun"
"Now now Billy, just imagine what the world would be like without the sun."
IMAGE(http://elektrosyndikate.ch/images/nebula%20ep.jpg)
Like the Greek Gods before them, DnD gods are utter jerks. Luckily for them, the pretty ones got assigned to the Good (Red) team so it doesn't matter how they behave, it'll always count as Good.
Sig to be rebuilt soon The Descendants-- the webserial that reads like a comic book! World of Ere-- A campaign setting that puts style to the fore.
Like the Greek Gods before them, DnD gods are utter jerks. Luckily for them, the pretty ones got assigned to the Good (Red) team so it doesn't matter how they behave, it'll always count as Good.

They're good because it says 'Good' on their stats, and it says 'Good' on their stats because they are good. I love circular logic.

This is why I like the Norse gods. The only alignment they have is 'Awesome'.
Like the Greek Gods before them, DnD gods are utter jerks. Luckily for them, the pretty ones got assigned to the Good (Red) team so it doesn't matter how they behave, it'll always count as Good.

Huh? I don't get the reference.
Like the Greek Gods before them, DnD gods are utter jerks. Luckily for them, the pretty ones got assigned to the Good (Red) team so it doesn't matter how they behave, it'll always count as Good.

Red Vs. Blue?
I think I read about Pelor's church having a secret service in Complete Champion, complete with an affiliation and two PrCs. They've got Shadow in their names, so that's not a good sign. Also, they, along with other good (Or lawful) gods were part of the Binder-killing Order of Seropaenes (SP?). There's a shocking amount of evidence...

Question, though. Do you think Pelor would be evil if he wasn't a god of the sun? Or is any god worshipped by the majority of humans going to go bad?
I think I read about Pelor's church having a secret service in Complete Champion, complete with an affiliation and two PrCs. They've got Shadow in their names, so that's not a good sign. Also, they, along with other good (Or lawful) gods were part of the Binder-killing Order of Seropaenes (SP?). There's a shocking amount of evidence...

The gods weren't part of that order, just some or their followers. In fact it mentions a Witch Slayer that worships St. Cuthbert but stopped receiving spells from him because he became evil.
Question, though. Do you think Pelor would be evil if he wasn't a god of the sun? Or is any god worshipped by the majority of humans going to go bad?

Most of the evidence that Pelor is bad comes from, again, some of his followers that do questionable things. Most Clerics of Pelor live in random towns and just help the common people. They don't all go out and fight demons or wander into crypts and kill undead.
Sounds a lot like Lucifer... lol
evil sun gods are common
Pelor is not evil. Point of the line.

If he was evil, he wouldn't have paladins. And no, Eberron can't be used in D&D religious discussions.
What if the evil followers of Pelor are getting their spells from another agency, a lord of the lower planes?
What if the evil followers of Pelor are getting their spells from another agency, a lord of the lower planes?

Even outside of Eberron, can't they still get spells by worshiping the 'ideal' of Pelor?
I say Pelor's good, on the grounds that it's rather confusing what happens when an evil cleric/god has the sun domain, as far as what the sun domain's granted power does. (you rebuke normally, but can exchange a rebuke attempt for a greater turning? You just can't use the granted power because you have no turnings to "exchange" for a greater turning? You perform an... uh... greater rebuking?) Having Pelor be evil would just be too much of a hassle rules-wise.
Or what if they unknowingly worship another nastier aspect of Pelor, and the NG one is just the result of PR?

However, I would like to rebuke the statement:
...consider that while other good gods (Elonna and Yondalla for example) offered relics that aided mortals, Pelor’s are all intended to destroy. This is of course, not a huge point against Pelor, but when added onto the mountain of evidence, seems to be just one more confirmation.

This is not intended to destroy, in the evil sense of the word. Can't good beings fight back against evil? Pelor is a patron of (all kinds of) paladins, after all. Heironius is a LG paladin god who justifies beating up people, this wouldn't show up if it were his. As a supporter of aspects, I say that this Pelor's 'fight for the greater good' side, not his barbaric sense. Also, this could be used just as much for evil as an Unholy Dagger couldbe used for good.
Pelor is not evil. Point of the line.

If he was evil, he wouldn't have paladins. And no, Eberron can't be used in D&D religious discussions.

Why this statement is so conclusive? Paladins do not actually need divine sponsorship, since they derivate their special powers from devotion to the cosmic principles of Law and Good, not from a deity (except in Forgotten Realms). A paladin may honor a deity, but he does not need to, and his powers do not come from a deity. That's why a paladin does not risks losing his powers by ignoring the dogma of their patron deity. The only risk is if they work against their code, which is founded on Law and Good, not faith.

A paladin may be duped into workshiping a deity while being unaware of the deity's true goals or nature.
Why this statement is so conclusive? Paladins do not actually need divine sponsorship, since they derivate their special powers from devotion to the cosmic principles of Law and Good, not from a deity (except in Forgotten Realms). A paladin may honor a deity, but he does not need to, and his powers do not come from a deity. That's why a paladin does not risks losing his powers by ignoring the dogma of their patron deity. The only risk is if they work against their code, which is founded on Law and Good, not faith.

A paladin may be duped into workshiping a deity while being unaware of the deity's true goals or nature.

This is why the Bo(X)Ds alignment discussions suck. A diety who has been corrupted should be able to retain his 'good' front. A paladin that reveres Pelor should not know that his diety has been corrupted(ie, should not lose his powers for worshipping an evil god) until he goes to see pelor himself, and finds that the god of the sun is evil. If the paladin continues to worship the evil pelor, he should lose his powers, if he continues to worship the "ideal of the pure pelor" he should not, and should do everything within his power to destroy the corrupt pelor(possibly being rewarded by ascending to the position of sun god himself.) There should be room in the rules for both worshippers of "Pelor, god of the sun and champion of good" and worshippers of the true Pelor, "Pelor, the vile god of the sun who hates all."
Red Vs. Blue?

Exactly.
Sig to be rebuilt soon The Descendants-- the webserial that reads like a comic book! World of Ere-- A campaign setting that puts style to the fore.
Well it's obvious folks. The Lower Planes are causing people to doubt the holiness of Pelor. Pelor is Neutral Good and will always be Neutral Good (one can only hope, at least). I cannot vouch for his primordial past, however. Perhaps he was once a vile god who rose up from evil to do great virtuous things, and thus is the dark secret his church allegedly hides. What Good-aligned church wants its flock to know that the paragon of holiness that they worship was once a despicable being of evil eons ago?

Nevertheless, it's no secret that there are heretics hiding within the walls of Pelor's temples. Anyone recall Father Darius Balthazar in Cityscape? He's a devotee of Fraz-Urb'luu with a succubus that masquerades as his adopted daughter. Constant castings of undetectable alignment spells keep him from being found out. No doubt Jozan and other similar "clerics of Pelor" who can cast evil spells are heretics as well.
You can talk to me, but I won't promise to be nice.
If angels can fall, can demons rise? Ask yourself this.

For me, I say yes...
This is not intended to destroy, in the evil sense of the word. Can't good beings fight back against evil? Pelor is a patron of (all kinds of) paladins, after all. Heironius is a LG paladin god who justifies beating up people, this wouldn't show up if it were his. As a supporter of aspects, I say that this Pelor's 'fight for the greater good' side, not his barbaric sense. Also, this could be used just as much for evil as an Unholy Dagger couldbe used for good.

Well, it could be that the items are representing the 'evil' aspects of the sun, like drought, burning, cancer etc. Whereas a 'good' god would manifest items of teh good elements of the sun, like creation, life, energy, sexy tans, etc. so theres that.
Even outside of Eberron, can't they still get spells by worshiping the 'ideal' of Pelor?

yep.
They won't actually be clerics of pelor, but they will get spells the exact same way of real clerics of pelor.

I actually agree with the rule in ebberon that clerics can be any alignment, they just can't lose faith. But whatever.
Question, though. Do you think Pelor would be evil if he wasn't a god of the sun? Or is any god worshipped by the majority of humans going to go bad?

Not necessarily. Apollo, god of the sun, is and has always been a god of goodness, the arts, healing, knowledge etc. Converted to D&D he might be NG or CG.

Huitzilopochtli, on the other hand, the Aztec's main god was he who told the Aztecs where to build their city.
He was the Sun god who they fed with human sacrifice,
and was also the god of war .... an important god, but in D&D terms definatelt NE or LE.
Well, it could be that the items are representing the 'evil' aspects of the sun, like drought, burning, cancer etc. Whereas a 'good' god would manifest items of teh good elements of the sun, like creation, life, energy, sexy tans, etc. so theres that.

Yeah. I don't think Pelor's evil, just faceted. Maybe he's the male side of Taiia (That sun goddess from Deities and Demigods, with the Creator and Destroyer aspects).

Not necessarily. Apollo, god of the sun, is and has always been a god of goodness, the arts, healing, knowledge etc. Converted to D&D he might be NG or CG.

Didn't he do some bad stuff as a kid or something? None of the Greek gods are truly good. Definately chaotic, though.
Not necessarily. Apollo, god of the sun, is and has always been a god of goodness, the arts, healing, knowledge etc. Converted to D&D he might be NG or CG.

Huitzilopochtli, on the other hand, the Aztec's main god was he who told the Aztecs where to build their city.
He was the Sun god who they fed with human sacrifice,
and was also the god of war .... an important god, but in D&D terms definatelt NE or LE.

wasn't Queztecoatl a sun god?
Didn't he do some bad stuff as a kid or something? None of the Greek gods are truly good. Definately chaotic, though.

Well there was Prometheus. Of course, he was a Titan, not a god. There was also Hermes god of magic, science, logic, theft, politicans and laywers. I'd peg him as Chaotic Good.
Queztecoatl is/was the principal god of the Toltecs. And yes I believe he is a sun deity.

Granted my degree is in Cellular Biology, not preColumbian religion. So I may have the particulars wrong.

Also notice that I never call real world gods/goddess "mythical".
Just because I don't worship Apollo or Amon-Ra doesn't negate or invalidate the existance of that deity.
Shadow of the Colossus spoiler
Heh... reminds me of Dormin from Shadow of the Colossus. Just because the powerful energy being appears in blinding light and speaks the King's English, everyone assumes he's a good guy. :P
Even outside of Eberron, can't they still get spells by worshiping the 'ideal' of Pelor?

If the "ideal of Pelor" is good, they won't get spells while being evil. They would only pay lipservice and not worshipping the ideal