“Do no harm. Leave no pain.”
Symbol: four divergent rays of sunlight
Alignment: Lawful Good
Portfolio: healing, martial arts, compassion
Worshippers: healers, commoners
Cleric Alignments: LG, CG, NG, LN
Domains: good, healing, protection, law
Favored Weapon: the body
Animal Totems: elephants, cobras, butterflies
The followers of Whalin believe that all men are inherently neutral, but that compassion is what can truly set men apart from animals. Followers tend to study medicine and anatomy, as well as the means of healing broken spirits and broken wills. Their intense devotion to studying mankind within the mind, and within the body, has led many to study the martial arts – blending the healing powers of mind and body into a useful tool to defend, and a useful means to learn. The church of Whalin specializes in running hospices, healing the masses, and teaching self-defense to the common man.
When depicted by humans, he is given the form of a short, lean, and warm man with compassionate eyes and an open face. His long hair is often braided, and is the same brown color as his simple woolen cassock. Simple sandals are all that adorn his feet, and a serpentine staff with the head of a snake is sometimes in his hands. Nearly always, a whistling plant is shown at his feet, near the base of the staff. The whistling plant has excellent curative powers, and slots in its leaves that cause it to 'whistle' when the wind blows through it.
The Shaping Wars were no surprise to the people of that time, with a number of conflicts and lesser wars leading up to the major confrontations. Indeed, it is difficult to say with certainty for nearly a century before hand, just when the conflicts became what was then known as the Artifact Wars. During that dark and stricken time, a monk of Galanus named Creavis discovered the Relic of Whalin, and became the god's first prophet. Creavis had been exploring the catacombs of a long-abandoned empire in search of clues to origin of the undead leader known as The One, when he became caught in the middle of a fierce battle between Argunas' demons and the var gaufs of Emperor Akmaen Delture of Chilleth. Several squatters that occupied the catacombs were caught in the conflict, and their terror at the events around them led Creavis to find the god of compassion's Relic. The First of Whalin, he turned aside the demons and fought off the var gauf, but not without cost. The very squatters he was protecting aided him in return for his compassion. As the chaos of the Artifact Wars continued, Creavis' message and prophecy of the god of healing spread. Hearing of his protracted battle with the var gauf, one convert from Chilleth began to teach the Disciples of Whalin in the martial arts, eventually developing the Hummingbird style of self-defense. Another convert began the long and arduous scholarly study of demons and demon-summoning – at the risk of his own soul. As the war raged on around him, he strengthened the defensive power of the newfound Church of Whalin. In the centuries after the Shaping Wars, the Church grew even stronger, spreading the concepts of bartering favors and prayers for goods, the martial arts of self defense, and the compassion missing from the harsh times.
To protect the Relic from the Abyssal fires of Argunas and his minions, Creavis' last act as the First of Whalin was to take the Relic to a cold, faraway place. Most people and followers of Whalin believe the Relic to be at the north pole of Gaeleth, but the true and faithful who have studied the scriptures of Creavis believe it to be at the south pole, buried beneath the ice for all time.
The Church of Whalin is strong and well-organized. Attended by patient and thorough philosophers and bureaucrats, Creavis' Hospice in Karmen is considered one of the most efficient and self-sacrificing of the heads of faiths. Creavis' Hospice is a squat, no-nonsense set of buildings surrounded by herbal gardens and monastic buildings. Though the Chosen of Whalin might remain in the Hospice, most of the Disciples are constantly moving from monastery to monastery over much of Gaeleth. The monasteries make up the bulk of places of worship to Whalin, and the monastic orders, headed by deacons, make up the bulk of the priests of Whalin. Monasteries of Whalin are usually boons to the local economy, for their favors are not subject to inflation (see Bastion of Faith by Bruce R. Cordell for further information on favors).