|Intertwined Silver Rings|
|Divine Rank||Intermediate Deity
1E: Greater Deity
|Portfolio||2E: Safety, Truth, Home, Healing, Dwarven Home Life, Records, Traditional Clan Life, Marriage, Familial Love, Faithfulness/Loyalty, Honesty, Oligations, Oaths, The Family, Protector of Dwarven Children
3E: Safety, Honesty, Home, Healing, The Dwarven Family, Records, Marriage, Faithfulness, Loyalty, Oaths
5E: Hearth, Home, Truth
|Domains||2E: All, Charm, Combat, Creation, Divination, Guardian, Healing, Law, Plant, Protection, Sun, Wards minor Animal, Astral, Elemental (Earth), Necromantic
3E: Community, Dwarf, Family, Good, Healing, Law
4E: Life, Protection
5E: Life, Light
|Worshippers||Dwarf homemakers, husbands, parents, scribes, wives and children|
|Favoured Weapon||Wrath of Righteousness (Heavy Mace)|
Berronar Truesilver is the Dwarf Goddess of Hearth and Home, spouse of Moradin and their divine matriarch, in Dungeons & Dragons. She is one of the oldest members of the Morndinsamman, having first appeared in Dragon Magazine #58 alongside the other initial members of the dwarf pantheon - Abbathor, Clanggedin Silverbeard, Dumathoin and Vergadain.
Her titles consist of: Mother of Safety, Truth and Home, The Revered Mother, The Mother Goddess, and Matron of Home and Hearth.
Detailed, as mentioned above, in Dragon Magazine #58, Berronar is descried as the patroness of marriage and love (but not necessarily romance), and the protector of the dwarves. Whilst her name is most frequently invoked in small home rituals for protection from thieves and duplicity, she is no passive homebody and takes an active role in preserving dwarven culture and civilization throughout the multiverse.
This manifests in two particular ways; firstly, if a lawful good dwarven fighter appeals to her for aid in a particularly noble purpose and makes a sufficiently grand offering, there is a 5% chance that, if the dwarf's heart is exceptionally pure, she will give them the powers of an equal-level paladin for 3-6 days. Secondly, she possesses four long braids that, if she cuts them off, will turn into solid gold worth somewhere between 10,000 and 40,000 gold pieces, depending on how much she cuts; if a lawful good dwarf cleric of high level beseeches her aid to save a colony that is exceptionally poor or hard-pressed and otherwise unable to get on its feet economically, she will bestow these golden locks on that colony.
As an aside, in first edition, these braids were stated to be beard braids, because this was 1e and dwarf women had beards then. Later editions would retcon away the beard and make it her hair instead.
Berronar utterly despises thieves and liars. She wields a gold-and-steel alloy mace that can slay assassins and evil thieves on touch, and wears two magical silver rings; one makes it impossible for any mortal within 10 feet to knowingly lie, the other makes it impossible for any mortal within 10 feet to use any thief abilities.
These rings are so important to Berronar that they became her holy symbol for all editions of D&D so far. They also inspired this passing note in her article:
"Dwarves have a custom of exchanging rings with those for whom they feel exceptional, mutual trust and love; this in dependently parallels a human custom used in marriage rituals. This dwarven ceremony is not lightly given, almost never undertaken with a non-dwarf except in the most unusual circumstances. Both participants must be lawful good. Berronar is said to have inspired this practice, and several variations of it exist in dwarven colonies across the worlds."
Like most demihuman deities, AD&D 2nd edition saw Berronar's lore relegated to a Forgotten Realms splatbook, the simply named "Demihuman Deities". For the most part, it reiterates and expands upon that comparatively sparse lore from 1st edition.
In 2e, Berronar is now considered the goddess of healing. As the matron of the Morndinsamman, she has worked tirelessly to hold that fractious pantheon together. She often works hand-in-hand with Sharindlar to guide dwarves into and through the lasting bonds of marriage once Sharindlar has kindled their feelings of love. Naturally, she works well with her husband Moradin, as well as Clangeddin Silverbeard and Gorm Gulthyn to protect the dwarven race. She regards the antics of Dugmaren Brightmantle, Haela Brightaxe and Marthammor Duin with patient humor, foreseeing the day when they and their followers settle down and join in the traditional life of dwarves.
Indeed, her only real enmity is held for Abbathor, whose selfish greed she sees as a potentially deadly destabilizing element in dwarven life.
Berrnar is a kind and caring goddess with a strong motherly love for all dwarves and their allies who value compassion, fidelity, simplicity, tradition, the home, and family. She has a ready, hearty laugh and a merry disposition, but she never wavers in the face of adversity or despairs in times of great loss. She can be strict or even fierce, if the situation so warrants, but the indomitable Mother Goddess of the dwarves is ever forgiving of her children, be they mortal or divine. Berronar settles many disagreements among the Morndinsamman, and her skills at persuasion are such that she can usually make two foes understand each other and set aside their differences.
In second edition, her magical rings now have a radius of 100 feet instead of 10 feet, and her enchanted mace - now named "Wrath of Righteousness" can slay with a touch not only evil thieves and assassins, but anyone currently engaged in killing for a living, such as mercenaries.
Berronar can directly guide individuals if she chooses, which functions more or less as a Suggestion effect. She can also empower dwarves, which manifests as a bright silver aura that imbues the chosen dwarf with enhanced armor class, a +2 attack & damage bonus, and a non-aging Haste effect whilst empowered; this replaces the "grant a worthy supplicant temporary paladin levels" ability from 1e.
She is served by aasimon, archons, earth elementals, ainheriar, galeb duhr, guardian nagas, hammer golems, hollyphants, incarnates (of charity, faith and justice), ki-rin, maruts, noctrals, pers, shedu, sunflies and t'uen-rin.
Omens from Berronar most commonly take the form of suggestion effects to her priests or illusions that dissolve to reveal la truth.
Certain gems, namely octel, shandon, and sphene, are said by dwarves to be Berronar's hardened tears. Clear rock crystal which has been naturally smoothed by ice or water also falls into this belief. The discovery of such jewels is believed to be a sign of her favor, and no other faith - not even that of Dumathoin - incorporates any of these stones in either its rituals or its sacred lore.
Other signs of her favor include the sudden blossoming of white flowers, and the discovery of freshwater springs.
When angered, Berronar indicates her displeasure by causing the crude clay statuettes that serve as her symbols upon the hearth mantles of dwarven homes to suddenly shatter, or by causing hearth flames to turn black and then die, or by unleashing small, localized tremors that knock the subject of her wrath to the ground.
Specialist priests of Berronar, called Faernor, cannot turn undead until they reach 7th level and suffer a -4 level penalty to their turning checks. However, they gain a +2 bonus to attack rolls and damage rolls against the undead.
It goes without saying, but Berronar's clergy is deeply respected in dwarf society, and even amongst other races, although there is a growing discontent amongst the younger generation of dwarves that Berronar and Moradin may be too conservative for the survival of their people.
Temples to Berronar are found both above and below grounds. An above-ground temple takes the form of a circle of stones, usually in a wooded area, with gems and metal sculptures set up amongst the stones on metal poles; small fires are lit in a random pattern throughout the area, causing the totems to sparkle and cast shimmering reflections. An underground temple takes the form of a cavern where the floor has been covered with a carefully arranged and cultivated carpet of mosses, lichens and fungi. Both luminescent fungi and magical items that provide illumination are favored to decorate and enhance the beauty of these underground temples; Berronar's faithful have even been known to hire nondwarven wielders of magical items that can cast dancing lights to provide illumination during ceremonies. Such "lighters" must come to the temple naked and blindfolded under guard, who will escort them from the temple in the same way; whilst they are treated with utmost care and courtesy, and the dwarves do everything to ensure the safety of these guests, they are not trusted to know the location of or route to the temple.
Novices in Berronar's faith are called the Daughters of Berronar (or Sons of Berronar, for males), whilst full priests are named the Revered Sisters (Brothers). In ascending order, the ranks within the Berronaran church are: Hearthmistress (HeadmasteR), Homesteader, Lorekeeper, Faithkeeper, Fidelite, and Sacred Heart. The High Old Ones, the archpriests of the faith, maintain their own unique titles, but are collectively referred to as Keepers of the Truesilver.
Berronar's Dogma is simple: The Children of Moradin are shaped on the Soul Forge and ever warmed by the embrace of the Revered Mother. Tend the hearth and home, drawing strength and safety from truth, tradition, and the rule of law. Join with friends, kin, and clan in common purpose. Do not succumb to the misery of greed or the evils of strife, but always bring hope, health and cheer to those in need. Once an oath is made, Berronar watches over its keeping - to berak it is to grieve her sorely.
In terms of daily activity, Berronar's priests serve as guardians and proectors of dwarf clans; they maintain lore records and family histories, heal the sick and injured, attempt to treat, eradicate and stop the spread of disease, develop antidotes to those poisons strong enough to affect dwarves, and encourage truthfulness, obedience to law, peaceful harmony, and governance of greed and goldlust. They never ignore a dwarf in need of aid, and will always help to the best of their ability; if they lack a magical means of curing, they will find someone who can heal, or else provide all the nonmagical care possible.
In short, the duty of a priest of Berronar is to keep every dwarf alive, whatever the cost.
In many respects, as you'd probably expect, the Revered Sisters are the pillars on which dwarven society is built. They're instrumental in maintaining traditional dwarven culture, knitting together families, educating and nurturing young dwarves, and maintaining the orderly governance of dwarven society. Whilst they rarely hold formal positions of leadership, a clan or hold's senior priest of Berronar typically holds a position of influence equal to (or greater than) that held by the official ruler.
Priests of Berronar worship her by kneeling, closing their eyes, picturing her in their mind, and whispering prayers that begin and end with her name. They typically do this when asking for guidance or when about to heal in her name, receiving guidance most commonly by decision or an inner feeling.
Annual offerings are made to Berronar of silver, sometimes adorned with white flowers.
The two holiest days of the year to Berronar's faithful are midwinter day and midsummer night, although larger temples usually hold observances at least once per month. The midsummer night festival is held above-ground by preference. Rituals honoring the Revered Mother typically begin with a chanted prayer and continue with an address from the Keepers of the Truesilver. This ends in a responsive prayer led by a High Old One or a chosen priest. Next comes a report of the good works and successes of the priesthood and an identification of failures and problems still to be overcome. ANother responsive prayer follows, then a rising, spirit-lifting unison prayer. If a very sick dwarf (or dwarves) are present, unison healing, with every assembled clergy laying hands on the afflicted and calling on Berronar to grant them succor, takes place. At the end of the unison prayer on the midwinter and midsummer festivals, sparkler fireworks are set off.
As betrothal and married life are the province of Berronar, lawful good dwarves follow her custom of exchanging rings with those for whom they feel deep, mutual trust and love, a ceremony that is never entered into lightly. The rings are often silver, to match Berronar's holy symbol, and are treated by dwarven smiths to be everbright and immune to tarnish before being blessed by Berronar's priests. If one of the parties participates with deceit in his or her heart, Berronar's power makes one of the rings crumble during the blessing (or both rings, if both are false).
Berronar possesses two special affiliated orders; Berronar's Valkyries are crusaders and multiclassed fighter-clerics who operate as small bands of elite dwarven female warriors, who perform rescue missions when small pockets of dwarven warriors are at risk of being overrun or are too badly wounded to withdraw. The Order of the Silver Knightingale, on the other hand, is a loosely structured order of physicians, medics, clerics and speciality priests skilled in the art of healing; they gather during war to act as battlefield medics, striving to minimize casualties and ministering to the dead and dying.
The ceremonial garb of Berronar's clergy includes white underrobes with cloth-of-silver overtunics, though they go bareheaded. Their holy symbol is twin, interlocking, lalrge silver rings worn on a steel or silver chain hung around the neck, and many often wear a silver ring on each ring-finger as well. In clombat, they favor silver chainmail with everbright silvered healms. Due to their reluctance to shed blood, Berronar's priests restrict themselves to blunt, bludgeoning weapons.
In third edition, Berronar once again returned as part of the Forgotten Realms line, in "Faiths and Pantheons". It's literally just a cut down version of her lore from "Demihuman Deities" and doesn't really change, aside from mentioning the recent Thunder Blessing (a divinely mandated surge in dwarven fertility) and a slight increase in the number of discontented dwarves feeling she is too hidebound for their race's good.
One unusual thing about this edition is that Berronar actually got some of a rival for the position of "Dwarf Mother Goddess", in the form of Mya, courtesy of Races of Stone. Precisely why Mya came to be is anyone's guess; maybe because of Berronar's strong association with the Forgotten Realms setting, sort of like the difference between Roknar and Abbathor.
Such is Berronar's importance to the dwarf race that, in 4th edition, she was one of a relative handful of racial deities deemed important enough to remain distinct gods in the Forgotten Realms' Player's Guide, as opposed to being downgraded to Exarch status like most of the pantheon of lesser deities and demigods. As such, she got her own distinctive Channel Divinity in that splatbook, and gained access to the Cleric Domains of Life and Protection in an article of Dragon Magazine #378, which covered the then-new Domains mechanic froM Divine Power and how it applied to the gods of Faerun and Eberron.
Berronar's own Channel Divinity is Berronar's Salve, a 1/encounter power which lets you respond to an ally within 10 squares dropping to 0 hit points by granting them the use of one of their healing surges.
Ironically, Berronar is still considered a "Lesser Deity" in 4e, and as such she is only mentioned in passing and doesn't receive a full-fledged dogma writeup; players are just encouraged to use Moradin's dogma because, y'know, they're spouses with the same world view.
Like the rest of the racial pantheons, Berronar's first appearance in 5th edition was in the "Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide", where she received nothing but mechanical outline for a clerical patron and a brief mention at the end of the Dwarf chapter on her status as the Mother Goddess of the dwarf races, responsible for "hearth, home, honesty, faithfulness, oaths, loyalty and honor".
As the matriarch of the dwarven pantheon, she did receive a little more attention in the subsequent "Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes". She is described as the patron of family, honor and law, who lays out the rules for managing a dwarf clan and whose code is the foundation of all dwarven lore.
This source explains that Berronar's clerics also assist the clan by arranging marriages, seeking to improve subsequent generations, and that their decisions in this arena are sacrosanct; a dwarf either accepts their arranged spouse, or is exiled.