Small Ones

The Small Ones
Badger; Bat; Coyote; Fox; Goat; Mole; Mouse; Otter; Rabbit; Skunk; Weasel; Numerous Others

Symbol: A set of pawprints, one placed inside the other, from largest to smallest
Home Plane: The Beastlands
Alignment: Neutral (collectively) / Various Non-Evil (individually)
Cleric Alignments: Any Non-Evil
Portfolio: Trickery, fur-bearing animals, children, the weak, cunning, brain over brawn
Worshipers: Children, any small folk, tricksters, rogues, those who raise animals, mage familiars
Domains: Animal (Fur), Charm, Halfling, Luck, Protection, Travel (Exploration), Trickery
Favored Weapon: Sling or halfling skiprock (cleric's choice of one)

Physical Description:
The Small Ones are not a single god, but rather a host of them. They each individually take the form of a perfect specimen of the animal that they represent, each animal a small, often overlooked wild creature that regularly features in the lore of each race, especially in tales where the strong are outwitted by the weak. Since they are individuals, they are able to appear either alone or in a group, at their discretion. All of the Small Ones have male and female forms, and many shift between the two quite regularly.

Description of Nature, Personality, and Dogma:
Collectively, the Small Ones are an incarnation of the trickster qualities that allow the weak to survive and thrive in a world that favors the strong. Each of the Small Ones has a unique personality, which tends to be stereotypical of their species. As some examples, Badger is brave and stubborn, while Coyote is clever but occasionally silly, Fox is cunning and quick but terribly vain, Mouse is timid and quiet, and Rabbit is fast and sometimes daring but has a short attention span and tends to look before he leaps into situations. Individually, they are powerful creatures, though in more subtle ways than most gods. As a united body, they are able to act with all the power of a single deity, providing aid to mortals and granting divine magic to their clerics. Their dogma is simple, stating that the weak need to help each other, and each creature needs to learn some talent so that they can survive in a world that favors the strong.

Clergy, Places of Worship, Important Rituals, and Servitor Races:
While the Small Ones are regularly worshiped by those who have trouble taking care of themselves, they expect their clerics to be clever and cunning and skilled, just like the Small Ones themselves, so as to fill in when the Small Ones cannot provide their aid soon enough. Those who show a knack from an early age for trickery, but who also have kind hearts, and do not use their cleverness to prey on the weak, are those that the Small Ones consider for clerical status. When they select a cleric, one or more of them will appear before the potential cleric and have a talk to ascertain the potential cleric's worthiness, and also to explain the expectations that the Small Ones have of their clergy. If the cleric passes and accepts the terms presented, the Small Ones grant their favor.

Unlike many gods, the Small Ones never have large places of worship. Instead, they have a host of small shrines, many of which are portable, which can be dedicated to all of them, to some of them, or just to one of them, at the discretion of the builder of the shrine in question. These shrines tend to be unassuming, and have small, simply-built figures of the Small Ones, each with outstretched paws in a cupping position, and travelers will regularly leave small offerings at each of these shrines in the paws of the statues in hopes of receiving good luck. These offerings vanish when nobody is looking, and it is considered bad luck (not to mention impolite) to watch the gods accept their gifts.

Most good-aligned fey are happy to serve the bidding of the Small Ones, so long as it does not interfere with the wishes of their king and queen.

History and Relations:
Ever since the strong began to prey on the weak, there were the Small Ones. These creatures began as creatures of Faerie, the most clever and adroit of all the small and the weak of four-footed, fur-bearing creatures to walk the face of Therafim. They drew the attention of Dormis and Nocturna, the King and Queen of Faerie, and from these gods, with the participation of Paradox in a moment of benevolence, were raised to divine status, not as individuals, since no one of them was or is powerful enough to contain the full might of a god, but as a group. Individually they are still powerful, some more than others (such as Coyote and Fox), but lack the ability to perform true miracles unless they work together.

Naturally enough, the Small Ones owe their powers to Dormis and Nocturna, and thus pay homage and great respect to these rulers of the fey. Of the draconic deities, they are also on good terms with Nimbus, who they regard as a mother figure, Ink, who is happy to work out ideas with them as long as Ink is not too busy, Lydia, with whom some of the Small Ones have had affairs and who all of them look to for luck, and Paradox, a source of constant amusement, a feeling that is mutual. They are on quite good terms with Velos and Wysha, and think of the Great Stag and the Queen of the Cats as an older brother and older sister, a familial viewpoint that these two share. Fenrath is by turns feared and respected by the Small Ones, and they do their best to stay out of his way except in times of great need, or if they intend to scavenge from his leavings, or if they need to outwit him in some risky venture for great rewards. The Small Ones absolutely detest Lugscar and Swarm, and their only interactions with these warlike gods is as tricksters. Baba Yaga and the Small Ones have a complicated relationship, since they fear her greatly, but also recognize that she can help them in times of great need, or can be a source of great profit in a successful outwitting; in her turn, Baba Yaga is at times merciful and helpful to the Small Ones, and at other times considers them to be potential food, much as she does mortal children.

Favored Offerings and Justifications for Direct Intervention:
Each of the Small Ones has a favored offering that takes the form of a few mouthfuls of a food appropriate to that Small One's species. All of them appreciate offerings of honey.

Individually, the Small Ones will quite regularly appear before the weak and the helpless when they are alone and in trouble to offer advice. Usually this advice is good, though it pays to always be wary of some of the more mischievous Small Ones, such as Coyote, Fox or Rabbit, who are known to play pranks on mortals for their own amusement and occasional profit. The Small Ones may act in a body in cases when great crimes are being perpetrated on the small, the weak, and the innocent. In this case, the Small Ones generally avoid directly confronting as much as possible whoever or whatever is causing these terrible acts, but they will give any other aid that they can to the suffering mortals in these dire straits to extricate them from the bad situation, which aid can be rather considerable. They are also know to act together to cause a host of misfortunes to those who harm the innocent, small, and weak, some of which can last the entire lifetimes of the offenders.