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Description

Most of what lurks in the Dark Tapestry is antithetical to mortal life as most would recognize it. Mind-bending powers and horrific aberrations fill this far realm, and most worlds are spared simply by lack of proximity or serendipitous indifference on the part of these unspeakable things...

Halkiir, however, represents a break in that pattern. Certainly alien, and perhaps 'horrifying' to the close-minded, the Tapestry-hailing entity is- to all appearances- otherwise benign, or at least indifferent. While most mortals would struggle to understand the breadth of its ultimate motivation, the closest corollary that can be interpreted simplifies them dramatically: Halkiir stands to grow by joining with mortals, and mortals stand to grow by joining with Halkiir.

Halkiir seeks willing symbiosis with beings most of its ilk would consider lesser, recognizing their alien minds as supplementary to its own inscrutable consciousness. Though noone can say what, it's clear that the entity gains something from psychic contact with other beings. What is unclear is why it chooses symbiosis and encouragement of individuality, rather than parasitism and thralldom, offering gifts of power to those who would hone them and asking only for a share of body and mind in return..

Favored Weapon

Halkiir, as an entity, is fascinated with imagination, metaphor, and cultural subtext. Unlike many deities, it chooses the favored weapon not for a specific affiliation, subtext, or relationship with its mythos, but because it represents so many varied and sometimes contradictory cultural metaphors. The cycle of life and death, the harvest, fertility, community- with so many symbolisms across many worlds, the scythe is favored for its versatility as a metaphor and tool alike.

Centers of Worship

Currently, worship of Halkiir is a quite nomadic affair; Jhixal is endeavoring to establish a temple and a community of worshippers between Springtown (a village south of Babel and east of Ashfall) and Ashfall. This means most people who have ever heard of Halkiir at all are focused around that region, subject to change.

Appearance

Every Halkiir growth is different; "Halkiir looks like anything," and careful guidance and grooming can change its form. Most commonly, however, it takes a form similar to a purple slime mold with ooze-like properties.

Temples and Shrines

None yet; Jhixal currently makes clear to everyone he aids that tithes toward a construction fund are appreciated, but by no means mandatory.

Every Follower is Ordained

While Halkiir has clerics, it does not have 'priests'. As a rule, every follower of Halkiir is equal in the eyes of their god, and the only authority one can gain by dedicating their life to religious following is that which is actively and willingly bestowed on them by consensus of their followers. A self-styled 'high priest' or 'herald' of Halkiir in one group therefore would carry no implicit authority with a group of Halkiir worshippers outside his own, though true devotion is likely to be recognized in similar ways across the spectrum.

Tenets of Faith

Embrace the Alien: Learn about the lifestyles and experiences of those different from you. The more different, the better! 

Celebrate Change, Protect Diversity: Every creature, sapient and non, has a place in the world. There is no ‘natural’ or ‘unnatural’. No act or state of being is implicitly evil. Punish those who would use appearance or origins as an excuse to eradicate without asking questions.

To Give is to Receive: Jhixal preaches that giving a gift is the highest form of spiritual enlightenment. It’s a symbolic sealing of a new friendship, and a sacred act of sharing. Jhixal’s habit of lacing such gifts with Halkiir’s fungus is not out of desire to spread Halkiir, but because of the symbolic value of offering someone a gift wrapped in his ‘God’s literal embrace.

Adventurers

Many find Halkiir's followers unsettling, but adventurers from more downtrodden origins- and those with less stringent biases- are the ideal initiates for a burgeoning cult of Halkiir. Though Halkiir may have clerics, it's relatively rare to see more lawful adventurers- such as Paladins- brought into the fold. Halkiir itself tends to promote a more chaotic mindset free of biases, and religions based around the entity are antithetical to the rigid constraints of Law.

Holy Text

The closest thing to a holy text Babel has is Jhixal's Manifesto, a disjointed collection of personal experiences and interpretations of Halkiir's presence, power, and communications. This is not abnormal; following Halkiir is a highly personal and individualized experience, paradoxically highly conducive to community and solidarity. Followers of Halkiir consider every such expression of personal experiences to be holy no matter what form they take. Such a writing as Jhixal's Manifesto is considered a cherished gift to the world, even if another worshipper might find themselves diametrically opposed to the interpretations therein.

Holidays

Due to Halkiir's limited following and alien nature, followers of Halkiir do not observe set holidays. They do, however, seek out any and every excuse for revelry, simply to celebrate their own communities and the 'omnibenevolent' being that watches over their lives with supportive indifference.

Mythic Patronage

Halkiir is not quite capable of granting mythic power unilaterally, but an individual's Halkiir growth can help them absorb, channel, and cope with mythic power from sources that would usually be destructive or too alien to harness. A character can treat Halkiir as their Mythic Patron if their source of Mythic Power would otherwise be untenable, with Halkiir acting as an intermediary link.

Home Realm

Halkiir originates from the Dark Tapestry, but by no means considers it 'home'. Unlike many more conventionally divine entities, Halkiir exists primarily on the Material Plane, growing on hosts as well as objects one would expect to find a mundane fungus adorning.

Abilities

Halkiir itself displays limited abilities outside of a host, instead being defined by its role as a conduit and moderator for the immense but alien power of the Dark Tapestry. Much as a lich has a phylactery to assure its eternal existence, Halkiir has an 'Origin Growth' of significant mass adrift in the Dark Tapestry. This core mass is sensitive to the psionic signature of sapient life and will extrude countless small, carapace-clad meteors to rain down onto such planets in search of suitable hosts. The smaller Halkiir growths within these meteors can enter into symbiosis with unconscious or willing creatures, but an unwilling creature's rejection- even once symbiosis is established- will cause any new growth to shrivel and the 'core' growth to detach and return to its carapace.

After symbiosis is established, Halkiir's capabilities are dramatically widened. It is capable of limited communication on a primal level with its host, on a growth-by-growth basis. While the host is conscious, this communication occupies a band most easily interpreted as 'emotions', though psionics-users find it more similar to precognitive intuition. While asleep, the growth has more flexibility and can send messages in the form of dreams- usually interpreted by the hosts as visions of the Dark Tapestry and its horrors.

Clerics (and any other appropriate classes) who worship Halkiir are granted a deeper connection to the Origin Growth, through which they can tap into the alien and often destructive energies of the Dark Tapestry with Halkiir as a more benign buffer. The effects manifested are usually functionally identical to those drawn from any other Neutral-aligned deity, but commonly present in bizarre and alien ways- such as through fungal growths, aberrant metamorphosis, and apparent violations of physical law.

Cleric Boons and Powers

Like many deities, Great Old Ones, and other higher entities, Clerics of Halkiir can manifest their magic in a handful of ways outside the usual scope of their class. Halkiir is not independently powerful enough to grant boons to the Evangelist, Exalted, or Sentinel prestige classes, but its Divine Obedience is generally considered to be simply openly wearing your own symbiotic Halkiir Growth without covering or otherwise concealing it.

Unique Spell Rules:

Clerics of Halkiir may prepare Anthropomorphic Animal as a 4th-level spell.

Clerics of Halkiir may prepare Explosion of Rot as a 5th-level spell

Clerics of Halkiir may prepare Awaken as a 6th-level spell.

Unique Summon Rules:

Summon Monster II: Flumph

Summon Monster IV: Phycomid

Summon Monster VII: Young Void Dragon

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