Altren (5e Deity)
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Domains. Knowledge, Force
Divine Rank. Lesser Deity
Altren is the god of mind, study and psionics, and clerics devoted to this deity can manifest powers from the Knowledge domain. Being an entity that values the power of mind above all else, it seeks to spread its knowledge to all creatures, showing to the mortals how their physical bodies limit the power of their minds, and how freeing oneself from this cage of flesh can reveal one's true potential.
Scholars speculate that Altren was once a humanoid, although its race is debated; some speculate that his great intellect is a trait of high elves; others that his ascension to godhood show the drive and inventiveness of humans. But the truth is that nobody knows, nor care. What is certain is that Altren was a being of great psychic power, that during his mortal life pursued knowledge with voracity, and trained his mind to its fullest. They were a master of psionics, specially telekinesis, which became the only way in which Altren interacted with the world.
- Goals and Motivations
His main driving force was a process his followers and researchers now call Disincarnation, an event in which a psychic individual can leave its mortal body, and become an entity of pure psi. After reaching his goal of Disincarnation, what turned they into a lesser deity, Altren wanders the Astral Sea, looking into the minds of babies even before their birth, branding those they deem worthy and with a great mental capacity with his mark, to concede them the ability to ascend too.
These children are called by the clerics of Altren of "The Branded Ones", and are searched by them with great diligence, since the Mark of Altren indicates that a creature has potential for the Disincarnation. Altren will commune with its clerics, giving them indications about where to find those kids, and how to train them.
- Other Gods
Altren is mostly uninterested on the affairs of other deities or cosmic entities, seeing them as nothing more than banale distractions from what should be the true goal of every thinking creature, reach the full potential of their mind in order to seek understanding. However, Altren respect beings of great intellect, so although normally indifferent to most of them, he find value in the learning potential interactions with gods of magic, knowledge and mind can bring. He also find joy in conversations with lesser minds, as long as they show genuine curiosity, since curiosity is the main driving force behind his own accomplishments.
The way Altren's appearance is portrayed changes with the culture of a people, and with the aesthetic expectations of someone in relation to the looks of a intelligent creature. Humanoids will generally see Altren and represent him on artworks as a sage; is not uncommon to see portraits of Altren, for example as a meek and lanky scholar, with round glasses and surrounded by books, a powerful and very old wizard, or an ancient shaman and witchdoctor. His race and gender changes with each portrait, although two traits are often emphasize: their lack of physical strength, and the vast knowledge they bear.
There are more abstract or grandiose representations of Altren's. The more popular are a great globe of light, surrounded by objects being carried and controlled by it, like asteroids circumventing a planet; a giant and ethereal hand; and a spectral beholder.
Avatars of Altren will assume the form the people they interact with expect of it. For that reason, usually these avatars will have the ability to shapeshift, and will be formless and shapeless by default.
- Temples and Worshipers
Temples of Altren often double as places of study, training of psionic abilities or both. They are often in secluded locations, like monasteries on top of tall and isolated mountains, crystal caves with properties that enhance psionic abilities, or hidden in campuses of arcane teaching and great libraries. Temples of Altren will have vast collections of books on a plethora of topics, rooms for meditation, for training of psionic abilities, and usually will be built nearby mines of psionic crystals.
Altren's main temple is the Wind Sanctum of Saint Camus, a monastery build on a high plateau, protected from intrusions, were the monks can sit in meditation, while waiting for messages of Altren, indicating places to find the Branded Ones.
Altren is worshiped by creatures that value knowledge or the ability of telekinesis, so arcane spellcasters are an obvious example of usual seekers, such as Wizards (specially those from the school of telekinesis), Sorcerers and some Arcane Tricksters, that see the value of interacting with the world without using their physical bodies. Mystics and psionic users as a whole are also amongst its followers. Also, Champions of Altren, the title given to the branded ones after receiving their training, are the main followers of Altren. Finally, Altren has a dedicated following of Beholders, that have a complete certainty that Altren was one of them, since reaching such power is something that only a Beholder would be able to accomplish. A Beholder that see another creature marked with the Mark of Altren will often do whatever it can in its power to destroy it, out of jealousy, which can pose danger to temples of altren run by creatures of other races. Also, is not unheard off that some Beholders are branded by Altren.
- Quest Hooks
1. A village is being attacked by a powerful beholder branded by Altren, and the cleric sent to escort the branded kid away from the village hired the players, to help him reach the temple safely.
2. The adventurers were sent to an ancient and forgotten temple of Altren, to recover a powerful relic of his faith, the Ring of Telekinesis.
3. Parents of a branded kid refuse to accept the fate of the child, and seek the help to lift this blessing/curse bestowed by a god.
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