New Deity: Sharindlar
Sharindlar is widely known as the goddess of healing and mercy.
Dwarves wounded in battle are often healed in her name, and sick dwarves pray to her. However, kept secret from nondwarves as much as possible is her more important role in the eyes of today’s dwarves: her patronage of love, courtship, and fertility.
When dwarves dance, they pray to Sharindlar to guide their feet, for she is said to be the greatest dancer the dwarves have ever known.
Portfolio: Healing, mercy, love and fertility.
Major Spheres: All, Charm, Creation, Divination, Guardian, Healing, Protection, Sun.
Minor Spheres: Combat, Elemental (earth only), Necromantic, Plant.
Clerical Raiment: Any clothing (armour if necessary), accompanied by a blue scarf tied around brow, upper arm, wrist, or ankle. In ceremonial functions, red robes with a blue girdle and scarf are worn. The head is left bare except for scarf.
Holy Days: When the moon begins to wax (the night after the new moon), at Greengrass and at Midsummer Night, and whenever the moon is full
Sacrifice/Propitiation: Gold mixed with the blood of dwarves (see below).
Ethos and Current Aims: The increase of dwarven numbers and health all over Volkrania. The worship of Sharindlar has been kept as secret as possible from non-dwarves, especially with respect to her control over fertility.
Dwarves in general refer to her as the Lady of Mercy, whenever they know non dwarves to be listening. Dwarven priests of all faiths who are caring for the wounded or sick, or who are about to cast a healing spell, will often pray briefly for Sharindlar's favor.
The more secret rituals of Sharindlar take place in hidden caverns, wherever there is a pool of water. Gold is heated until molten, and dwarves let blood from their own forearms into the mixture, which is then poured into the water, as Sharindlar's name is chanted and the dwarves dance about the pool in a frenzy. During their crazed dance, their armour and weapons are kept near at hand but not worn or carried.
In The DeepEarth, these rituals take place around the "Lake of Gold"; a lake whose rocky bottom is streaked with gleaming veins of gold. The dwarves never take gold from the lake, whose bottom is now carpeted with the sparkling gold dust of long ages of worship, all from rituals performed in an effort to raise the low birthrate of the race. Couples, married or not, let blood together over braziers of melting gold, their arms entwined as they ask Sharindlar's blessing.
Rituals in honour of Sharindlar's fertility aspect celebrated here always end with splendid feasts, and courting chases through the underways of the Deeps.
Rituals invoking Sharindlar's healing strength enacted by two or more priestesses of the goddess involve their gathering over injured or sick beings. They sprinkle the ill with drops of their own (the priestesses.) freshly-let blood (usually drops from their palms), and with a vial of water from The Lake of Gold, while whispering secret names and descriptions of the goddess.
This ritual has a 20 percent chance per priest taking part of aiding healing, increased by a further 10 percent if water from the Lake of Gold is used, and another 20 percent if the injured being is favoured by Sharindlar. For the latter, the DM must decide secretly; Sharindlar has been known to favour non dwarves, pack animals, and even monsters. The healing aid consists of increasing the potency of healing spells and potions to the maximum possible effect, doubling the “at rest” healing rate to two hp/day, and halting the spread or effect of parasites (including rot grubs), diseases, and poisons completely for 1d4 + 1 days. The DM should decide on beneficial effects of this ritual according to the circumstances. Sharindlar's name, whispered or repeated silently in the mind, has a calming effect on upset or pain-wracked dwarves of all faiths, allowing them to sleep.