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by Aleksei Andrievski

(Defender of Mortals, The Old and the Young)

Demipower of the Prime Material, NG/Initiate of Energy, L
PORTFOLIO: Restraint of Immortal excesses
ALIASES: Rheddrian, Gareth?
DOMAIN: Prime Material/Mystara
DATE OF ASCENSION: 4000 BC; unable to join the ranks of the Immortals until 1003 AC
SPONSOR: None; Benekander somehow became Immortal in the implosion of his starship
ALLIES: None as yet
FOES: Hel; also any Immortals who encourage forcible conversion to their faith.
SYMBOL: A beagle in a jumpsuit, wearing a hardhat, carrying a big adjustable wrench
WAL: Any
Rheddrian Benekander was First Assistant Engineer on the Beagle, a spaceship that explored the galaxy. The ship crashed on Mystara, and its crew was placed in suspended animation. Rheddrian awoke to find native people of Blackmoor scavenging the ship's parts. This caused an implosion of the ship, in which Rheddrian's body perished. His mind somehow survived and was trapped in a mirror-like disk for thousands of years. In 1003 AC, Benekander was freed by a party of adventurers and to his surprise became an Immortal. He soon recruited the adventurers to find the causes of the great war known as Wrath of the Immortals, and at its end revealed his Immortality and formally joined the other Immortals. Note: Benekander has never been to other planes, so his home plane at the moment is the Prime (he spends his time there in a mortal identity so as not to violate the rules of Immortal non-interference). It is likely that he will move to another plane very soon, though he has come to love Mystara and enjoys having a mortal identity there.

The Church
CLERGY: Priests (Shelterers), paladins. There are few priests and almost no paladins as yet.
WEAPONS: Any bludgeoning
MAJOR SPHERES: All, Astral, Charm, Creation, Divination, Guardian, Healing, Protection, Travellers, Wards
MINOR SPHERES: Numbers, Thought, Time
GRANTED POWERS: Turn Undead, Infravision
BONUS PROFS: Local History
DOGMA: Benekander's philosophy is to let mortals govern their own life. While Immortals can be worshipped, their interference in their worshippers' lives should be minimal. He maintains that mortals are capable of great achievements by themselves, and should be given a chance to make those achievements. Benekander steadfastly opposes conversion "by the sword", as to him it represents the ultimate way of Immortal interference on the Prime. Related to this, he also opposes slavery and other forms of bondage.
DAY-TO-DAY ACTIVITIES: True to his dogma, Benekander does not require anything major of his priests. They merely spread his word in a peaceful manner and attempt to prevent any disturbances caused by excessive Immortal influence.
IMPORTANT CEREMONIES/HOLY DAYS: Likewise, Benekander does not have any major ceremonies. His only holy day is the 28th of Kaldmont, the Day of Dread, that marks his formal ascension to the ranks of Immortals.
MAJOR CENTRES OF WORSHIP: Benekander does not have any major centres of worship yet. He has small groups of followers in Darokin, Karameikos, Thyatis, and Ierendi. Some Immortals think that he is masquerading as Gareth (though Benekander himself has not commented on the matter), in which case he also has an active group of worshippers in Sind.
PRIESTLY VESTMENTS: Benekander's priesthood is quite young and not yet greatly organised, so no single formal garb has been established yet. As the priesthood becomes more organised, it is likely that the priests' vestments will include a pleasant light green colour.

Benekandrite Spells
Clear Reasoning (Enchantment/Charm)
Level: 3
Sphere: Charm
Range: 30'
Components: V, S
Duration: 1r/lvl
Casting Time: 6
Area of Effect: One creature
Saving Throw: Neg.
This spell is cast on a person or creature whose way of thinking is influenced by his religion. The spell forces the target to rethink one thing specified by the caster in a way free of religious influences. Thus for example, a priest of Vanya wishing to start a war only to glorify his Immortal would think of his actions in terms of what other effects they would cause (suffering, destruction, etc.). The target gets a saving throw vs. spell, with a +4 to -4 modifier depending on his religious fervour. Thus a fanatic would get a +4 bonus while one with weak faith would get a -4 penalty. If the saving throw succeeds, the target will know that the caster tried to influence him somehow, but won't necessarily know that it was a spell. If the saving throw fails, the target will think that he has the 'non-religious' thoughts himself, and depending on his normal degree of faith might be confused or get a feeling of having sinned.