God of family, farming, hunting, and trade
Worship of Erastil dates back to before the Age of Darkness, when early man began to domesticate and dominate his natural surroundings. Pastoral legends claim that Old Deadeye crafted the first bow as a gift to mortals so they might learn to hunt and survive in the dangerous world. Many—if not most—of his worshipers never set foot in a city, choosing instead to live simple lives in rustic villages, lonely shacks, or quiet towns on the border of untamed land.
Erastil’s followers often mount above their fireplace a carven wooden placard depicting their god’s image. He appears alternately as an 1 old human trapper with bow in hand or as a tall humanoid with the head of an elk. These images often depict Erastil fighting off wild animals and other beasts.
Erastil’s faithful are found in most small villages and towns, administering to the people less through sermons and more by deed. His clerics are often called upon to help build homes, birth children, oversee trade, and bless crops. Shrines to Erastil are almost always simple wooden buildings that serve rural communities as gathering places. Even in large cities where his faith is overshadowed by more progressive religions, his temples are usually just large houses converted for church use, offering visitors a place to pray and sleep. Given his focus on the simpler things in life, formal raiment is practical—usually a leather or fur shoulder-cape, sometimes branded with his symbol or affixed with a wooden badge bearing his mark. His book, Parables of Erastil, gives homilies on strengthening family bonds, almanac-like advice on planting, and hunting lore.
Erastil manifests his approval through bountiful hunts or harvests. He also works through the actions of all manner of hoofed mammals, particularly caribou, deer, elk, and moose. He indicates his disfavor through omens such as broken arrows and failed crops.
While Erastil’s faith is traditionally common in rural areas in the northern reaches of Avistan, it has become increasingly entangled with civilization. Conflicts over jurisdiction and representation with the church of Abadar seem, unfortunately, to be on the rise as a result.