God of Merriment, Brewing and the Arts
Favored Weapon: Greatclub, Blowgun
Dra the Merry
The son of Alyssa brings merriment into the world. It is said that after all the war and strife and conflict of the contention between the elemental gods, Dra came last, to give mortals his gifts, to bear it all. It was Dra who taught mortals the art of making beer, wine, and other spirits.
Dra as the god of brewing, merriment, festivals and the arts. Each follows from the last. First for Dra the Merry was the art of fermenting grains and fruits into beers and wines. To the elves, he showed how to transform grapes and other fruits into wine. He started teaching them with grapes because they were his favorites; they carried nearly the full spectrum of sweet to dry wines, hard to soft, dark, light and in-between. When they had begun to understand the pleasure of the vine, Dra encouraged them to explore with other fruits. Some turned into elven favorites while others are written in the elven records as failures that ought never be attempted again. To the dwarves, he taught the art of fermenting grains. He taught them first with barley, then wheat and other grains following. Dra taught them simple beers, harsh and dark but excellent for producing revelry. It was the dwarves themselves who asked Dra what could be done to spice and flavor their beers and so Dra taught them how to work fruits, hops, spices, honey and various plants. To the humans was taught the process of distilling grains to make spirits. The early Skosian humans had a special talent and preference for distilling corn, while Naduumian humans seemed to have a preference for distilling rye.
It seemed that wherever the gift of Dra was found so was his second purpose: to bring joy and merriment. Revelry and freedom from the troubles of life were the natural product of the "nectar of the gods". It was not long before the people began to set up some regularity for this merriment. All knew that at the harvest of the fruits and grains, it would be time again to clear out the old stock and prepare for the new; that great work had been done and so great celebration was more than deserved. When the seasons of war were complete, great feasts with the finest foods and drink were prepared for those that the gods saw fit to glorify or spare, or to honor the loss of those who had fallen. Annual celebrations for kings, gods, historic events or almost anything began to develop. Though few were ever directly in Dra's honor, his gifts were nearly always present and so praise to him was offered.
It was a curious thing to Dra that he became patron of the arts. He never intended for it to be. In fact, all the gods had believed that the arts were part of Alyssa's domain. But the mortals below continually dedicated their efforts to Dra. When partaking of his wine or beer or spirits, they would sing for him. At his festivals, they would dance and make music in honor of the joy he brought them. These festivals became meeting places for free spirits and free thinkers, and these people often brought with them their finest creations of wood, stone, cloth and color. At first, Dra found many of these artforms too restrictive for his tastes but soon he began to see the freedom in the expression and the joy it brought to the viewers.
Unlike many other gods, Dra is not particularly dedicated to any morals or ideals. He doesn't oppose order, though he thinks it often stifles a good time, but he doesn't espouse the overthrow of the established order either, as that would shatter many of the annual festivals and the societies that support them. He's also not exactly altruistic, but he does want to make sure everyone has a good time, and selfish or destructive actions often don't contribute to widespread enjoyment.
Dra is often depicted as a jolly round man with grapes for hair, always holding a drink and sometimes food.
Dra the Gluttonous
This minor aspect of Dra is a god rarely worshiped in temples or in public, but his name is often cursed in the dens and warrens of city slums. Dra the Gluttonous is often cursed as he brings homes and lives to ruin. Along with Alyssa and Avaruum, Dra is one of the most unintentionally worshiped gods. Dra the Gluttonous is the god of addictions, excess consumption and debauchery. Where Dra the Merry taught men how to ferment and distill, the Glutton taught men the methods of extracting the potent portions of herbs and fungi. Some believe that Dra did this as a cruel joke to prey on the foolishness of mortals, but many believe that it was Dra's trick to retain a consistent set of followers. Addicts, even in their curses, bring power to the Glutton.
Dra is the lord over drunkenness, revelry, drugs and disorder. Where Gromm is the god of revolutions and uprisings, Dra is even more chaotic and is the lord of riots and bar fights. He doesn't need to encourage people to do these things, followers of Dra say; people naturally want to do these things and Dra empowers them to do so. They are the natural outflowing of the Glutton's "gifts".
Dra is often depicted as a dark figure with a winning smile.
Symbols, Priests and Temples
Dra's symbol is a mug or cup. Sometimes this drinking vessel is crossed with a flower or other plant. Priests of Dra consider the colors of purple, white and gold to be holy.
Priests of Dra may never marry, though they are not forbidden from having close emotional bonds or intimate companions. Priests of Dra must brew or cook something once a week and are expected to consume some amount of alcohol (or other "sacred" substance) at least once a day.
Temples to Dra are very comfortable, filled with cushions or chairs or beds. The many temples to Dra the Merry are filled with art and music and laughter and drink. They are brightly colored and often well lit. The very few official temples to Dra the Gluttonous are dark and smoky and often in the slums.
Temples to Dra often also double as alchemical labs or, in the case of the Glutton, poison-makers. The close ties between brewing drinks or creating illicit substances and crafting alchemical items or extracts brings the arcane and divine together.
The Dyva are the pleasure-loving aftermaths of most of the goddess Alyssa’s trysts. Loving only the free and joyful life they have with Dra, they follow the lord of merriment wherever he goes, spreading cheer along with him. The Dyva live where they will, oft at Dra’s palace, or wherever they fall into slumber.
Followers of Dra may never refuse hospitality and are expected to share what they have with others.
Followers of Dra must always try to enjoy everything they do.
Sacred Animal: ape