Neero Seess (5e Deity)
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Neero Seess The Undaunted
Alignment. Chaotic Good
Domains. Knowledge, War
Divine Rank. Greater Deity
Let Me Tell You A Story
Neero was a gnoll like every other one in existence. A horrible, monstrous hyena that loved eating people. Except, something was off about this gnoll even from birth. Weaker than others, completely outcast as a bit of vermin not worth the tribe he belonged to. Aethon Sol took pity on this creature, clearly starved as it was, and tried to give it some meat to calm it down. Except it didn't want it.
Neero grew up under the watchful eyes of The Faint of Heart, as the guild raised the abomination with ALL the due caution. But no matter how close they observed, Neero only seemed to eat like some sort of vegetarian. As he grew up, Neero found it more and more horrible to see the tragedies of the universe around him, especially the ones he KNEW he could stop if only others would let him help. This led to Neero taking studies into magic, becoming a powerful Druid with a mean streak in a Fighter's style.
Neero knew kindness that had never been seen in any gnoll before him, and it was soon discovered that he truly was the only gnoll in existence to have gained this level of morality. This was so valuable to The Faint of Heart, that they adamantly protected him, certainly far too much so since he couldn't even help those he saw hurt or endangered without his adoptive parents getting in the way.
Determined to get the others to let him help, this youngest member of The Faint of Heart fought valiantly beside the other members, using his knowledge of nature against his foes to exploit their weaknesses in a way rather unique to him amongst the group. This impressed the others enough to give him a real shot, but before they could, perhaps the worst possible thing happened, as a cult on a nearby world of the Material Plane managed to open a Gate to the Abyss, prompting the King of Gnolls, Yeenoghu, to invade with his armies.
One horrible slaughter later, The Faint of Heart stood on a mountain of bones so thick that they couldn't tell how many of each side was slain (Or so it is said in some tellings). The atrocities of this battle led Neero to his truest purpose in life, defeating Yeenoghu permanently (Who got away because even he wasn't fool enough to take on 7 deities at once). The two had been at odds ever since, with Neero constantly avoiding death by outsmarting his otherwise superior foe. His stalwart defense of people against the tyrant led to enough followers that his form seemed bolstered by their praise, giving reason for the others in the group to believe he could even be a deity. This proved true when a particular victory occurred from Neero's death directly from Yeenoghu.
You see, in under a year from that original encounter, Neero believed he had his answer for stopping Yeenoghu. His plan worked, but only just, getting the group close to him while within his lair, but without any others being able to interfere. A fierce battle was fought between the tyrant and his creation, leading everyone else to truly feel outmatched against him, though only because of how unpredictable he seemed to be. Even still, a 8 on 1 battle could only really end one way. Yeenoghu boasted a terrifying thought to the group however, "I may never fell all of you. But I DARE you to be the first to try." Neero took that chance, seeing the terror on his fellow friends' faces. It's important to note that at this point, though stronger than the average mortal, Neero was NOT a deity in the slightest.
This direct confrontation prompted the others to seize the opening, taking shots in an ultimately feeble attempt to stop the inevitable. Yeenoghu grasped Neero by his throat in the tyrant's maw, giving only a single twitch of his neck to snap Neero's. It was at this moment that he knew he messed up, for even while suffocating and in excruciating pain Neero used the last of his magic to get a clean blow through Yeenoghu's chest with his sword, prompting them both to collapse. Some versions of this story claim that this wasn't enough, and that Yeenoghu escaped (Though without managing any more damage than he had done), while others claim this was the end of Yeenoghu entirely, or that they were merely fighting an avatar and Yeenoghu was never in any danger. All versions of the story line up in the next regard though.
This was when Neero earned his name. The unnamable leader of The Faint of Heart saw this travesty, and tried to revive Neero. Yeenoghu cursed his soul upon impact however, shattering it into fragments. That leader decided to use these fragments to grant Neero's greatest wish, that all of his race could have the chance to rise towards good. Thus, he used a powerful and ancient magic to spread Neero's soul into the stars, afflicting every gnoll (Or at least some of them) with the same fire in their hearts that Neero once had. For most, for almost every one of those affected, this changed nothing. However, for a select few, this awakened the gnoll's minds to their own atrocities, allowing good gnolls to exist.
Followers And Beliefs
A few pockets of followers scattered to the stars like he was, spreading his ideals and his iconic catchphrase, "Everyone has The Right To Learn." Amazingly, even though Neero is seemingly dead, followers can still have the powers of Clerics and Paladins just as well as followers of any other deity (Except Divine Intervention will never result in the deity appearing in person, for obvious reasons, though it can attract his allies.). They often use these to pursue the followers of Yeenoghu, as well as help those in need and both learn and teach as much about existence as they can (Within reason). The Holy Symbol of Neero tends to lean more towards the off-putting to those that know what a gnoll is, but any that give these followers a chance notices fairly quickly the efficiency or knowledgeability of these dedicated souls. These same mortals are also those who gave him his earned name, Neero The Undaunted. Naturally, this leads those that follow him to face their fears, help others do so, and seek to find the truth behind dangerous phobias and superstitions. A follower of Neero will do their best to refuse to hesitate when dealing with dangerous matters, unless if they don't know the answer, for his teachings and stories deal sometimes rather harsh lessons in not thinking through problems properly.
Neero didn't die. Shock and awe applied to the whole audience. Neero's soul, though cursed to be shattered, wasn't actually obliterated. He never lost consciousness from his ghostly form, though he could do nothing to alert the others in his group to that fact. Because of this, Neero seems lost among the stars, bits and pieces of his mind appearing in the minds of some good gnolls. On rarest occasion, such gnolls allow him to (partially or fully) take over their bodies when he wishes, giving them the divine edge in battle that an avatar of a deity might have. The only cost for this, cruelly enough, is blindness and inability to speak with any he possesses this way (that only lasts until his possession ends). Neero's new goal is to fully revive himself with the means available, by finding his way back to The Faint of Heart and alerting them of the situation, and bringing his soul back from the brink. The curse rended upon him has him convinced that Yeenoghu got away, and he adamantly believes his kind will never find peace while the tyrant still lives (Which, to be fair, is probably true.) He is rather conflicted on this end however, seeing all the good his new form has done for gnolls that would otherwise never have the chance he always wanted to give them.
The Faint of Heart
The faint of heart is a divine guild and pantheon dedicated to working together and bringing down the darker parts of existence. A daunting task no doubt. Other members of this cosmic pantheon are Teal Downcast, Aethon Sol, among others (To be written later).