Balthazar (3.5e Deity)
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|Symbol:||The Sword over a Shield|
|Home Plane:||Material Plane, Deific Sphere|
|Alignment:||Lawful Good, though with some Chaotic tendencies.|
|Portfolio:||Crusades, Oaths, Holy Cleansing, War, Discipline|
|Clergy Alignments:||LG, NG, CG (All alignments that Paladins and Paladin variants can take).|
|Domains:||War, Law, Liberation, Glory, Nobility|
|Favored Weapon:||The Longsword and Shield|
Balthazar is the God-king that was the originator of all Paladin Orders. Even the most remote of true orders acknowledges that their order's history can be traced up to the God-king himself. He is particularly known for his fierce temperament regarding evil and the persecution of such, and for his bias towards certain races and classes. He stands for Honor and Order, and therefore cannot help but be such. The "Eternal Vigilant" is one of his titles amongst his followers.
His appearance is that of a knight or paladin, dressed in the strongest of adamantine armors, decorated with regalia and fine gems. His voice is always a dramatic baritone that thunders across the plains, inspiring good to glory, and evil to failure.
His followers are most numerous among Paladins, due to his teachings consisting of the persecution of evil, in the defense of good. He rebukes the weak-hearted and the treacherous, and praises those able to follow through in the pursuit of evil. He cares little for his followers, intimately, and they generally accept this, knowing that his word is that of a pure warrior for the sake of righteousness: He is not their caregiver, but simply the commander; All that matters is their unanimous goal. For this reason, followers of Balthazar are more willing to make sacrifices amongst their allies and themselves in their quest to rid the world of evil. They still generally try to keep all out of harm's way, and they cannot consider civilians under this same ideal, but if push comes to shove, their lives are forfeit if it means they can serve the cause.
Followers of Balthazar tend to detest Rogues and Assassins (Who must skulk about in the shadows, instead of fight head to head), dislike Fighters and Barbarians (Whose power lacks discipline and faith), and like Clerics and Monks (Who devote themselves to teachings similar to their own, even if not entirely). This applies only to good characters, as Balthazar discourages contact with Neutral and Evil characters. They especially find amicability and hatred within Paladins and Blackguards, respectively, however.
Association with Demonic and Diabolical creatures, even the most tame, or, on the rarer side of things, those of good alignment, is strictly forbidden, and most followers of Balthazar are immediately hostile towards them, or at least highly provoked by their presence. It takes a large force of circumstance to make a follower of Balthazar trust or care for these beings in the slightest, if devout. Furthermore, when it comes to spell-casting, followers of Balthazar may never use summoning spells to summon a creature of an alignment other than good. In return, Paladins' Smite Evil ability now does an additional 1d6 sacred damage each time it is used against an evil entity. Clerics gain the ability to use Smite Evil as if they were a Paladin of the same level.
Clergy and Temples
Clergy of Balthazar are often former or still serving Paladins or Knights. They guide the newer and younger members of the order into their duties and civil services, while maintaining hierarchy and order whenever in the temple. Lower level members are simply Paladins and Knights, either out of specific duties, commanding in absence of the elders, or training newer initiates.
Temples devoted to Balthazar are often adorned with tall statues of Balthazar, and columns, slightly smaller, that hold the roof and awnings. They usually have a large number of steps, that also measure wide, in an attempt to display a certain 'place' above other institutions. They are usually adorned with tapestries displaying the Sword-upon-Shield emblem, against a dark gray color, trimmed with goldenrod.
As one of the five major seats in the Pantheon of Tirr, Balthazar's motions often counteract Mephistopheles' and Serberus', and he constantly threatens their lives, the arguments escalating into violence that must be stopped by either Fate or the Great Mother. While he and his common adversaries are bound by the pact made before time, they still manage to cause enough fuss to seriously bar progress. In one respect, he is essential in the balance of the Pantheon, often serving to limit evil and promote good.
The Major thrones aside, Balthazar maintains some good relations with many deities, for various reasons: Gahss, Mara, Tirros, and Vanguard have all had more good encounters with him than bad, and have generally remained amicable. Surprisingly, despite his strong sense of justice, he also seems to respect Bahamut, as the two have battled many times in the past, and share similar values.