Hlal (pronounced: /həˈlɑːl/ huh-LAL) was the chaotic good dragon goddess of humor, inventiveness, and pleasure. Of all the dragon gods, she was the most friendly to non-dragons, and her symbol, a single white flame, represented the light of wit. In the Outer Planes she was more commonly known by the name of Aasterinian and was often regarded as chaotic neutral in alignment. She was Asgorath's messenger, although she was known for being an unreliable messenger. The Jester also had a male aspect known as Avachel or Quicksilver, who featured prominently in elven legends.
Hlal manifested in whatever form suit her purposes at any given moment. If she was not in the process of playing a trick on someone, she usually manifested as a faerie dragon that glowed with a yellowgold aura or as a happy looking copper dragon.
Hlal delighted in wordplay and sophisticated humor, and she was playful, stubborn and vain. She enjoyed being shocking and innovative, and shared stories and songs with those who appreciate such things, regardless of the listener's race or background. She valued diversity of experience, learning, and innovation, and loved all who enjoy such things. She accepted all dragonblooded creatures, spellscales being exceptionally amusing to her.
Baser humor, however, usually pranks, proved irresistible to her, especially if the victim took her pranks seriously. She was also happy disturbing the status quo and was easily distractable by doing such things. Myths told that Hlal played a particularly elaborated practical joke on Null; she barely managed to stay one step ahead of the angry Deathwyrm since.
As Aasterinian, she was the messenger of Asgorath, charged to deliver his lesser communications. When she wasn't traveling on behalf of Asgorath, she often was traveling in search of arcane knowledge for herself.
Hlal was revered by some brass, copper and faerie dragons who appreciated and identified with her sense of humor. These species didn't worship Hlal alone, however, unless they devoted their entire lives to jokes. Spellscales found Hlal the most compatible deity for them.
Hlal's clerics were also often bards who used music, poetry, and tall tales to spread her faith. They wandered the lands and usually traveled in disguise or secrecy. Most of her clerics were draconic or half-dragon humanoids.
Temples to Hlal were rare in the extreme. It was more common to find one of her shrines, that dotted the landscape. Those simple, hidden places served as temporary shelters for her wandering worshipers, and were movable to the next town or dragon's lair at a moment's notice. Those shrines typically had a library or shelf holding a few books, with a sign indicating that travelers were welcomed to take a book if they replaced it with another one.
The few temples dedicated to Hlal were only found in the largest of cities. They served as much as performance or concert halls as they do places of veneration, because entertainment and worship were inextricably linked for the devout of Hlal. In smaller settlements, taverns or other places of performance often included the holy symbol of Hlal, reminding the performers that their actions honored her.
Hlal encouraged her followers to think for themselves, rather than relying on the word of others. The worst crime in her eyes was not trusting in oneself. She had little patient for tyrants --even well-intentioned ones-- and even less patience for cruelty or bullying. She taught that one must be freed of restraint, whether real or imaginary, in order to freely express one's opinions.
Hlal worshipers believed every time they learned or created something new, they were honoring her. They believed she presided over the first performance of a new entertainment piece, and performers, conductors, or playwrights often dedicated their initial presentation to Hlal's glory (if serious) or amusement (if comic).
Besides Asgorath, Hlal was the bonded companion of Erevan Ilesere. In her aspect of Aasterinian they were almost never separated, and their legendary adventures often inspired young elves to emulate their daring exploits.
- ↑ In contrast to the Player's Guide to Faerûn, the 3rd edition Core source Races of the Dragon still used the Great Wheel cosmology and placed Hlal into Arborea and Aasterinian into the Outlands, respectively.
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 Gwendolyn F.M. Kestrel, Jennifer Clarke Wilkes, Kolja Raven Liquette (2006). Races of the Dragon. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 150. ISBN 0-7869-3913-3.
- ↑ 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 Gwendolyn F.M. Kestrel, Jennifer Clarke Wilkes, Kolja Raven Liquette (2006). Races of the Dragon. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 155. ISBN 0-7869-3913-3.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Eric L. Boyd (1998). Demihuman Deities. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 100. ISBN 0-7869-1239-1.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 Dale Donovan (January 1998). Cult of the Dragon. (TSR, Inc), p. 120. ISBN 0-7869-0709-6.
- ↑ Eric L. Boyd (1998). Demihuman Deities. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 121. ISBN 0-7869-1239-1.
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 Nigel Findley, et al. (October 1990). Draconomicon. (TSR, Inc), p. 26. ISBN 0-8803-8876-5.
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 7.7 Carl Sargent (May 1992). Monster Mythology. (TSR, Inc), p. 105. ISBN 1-5607-6362-0.
- ↑ Colin McComb (1996). On Hallowed Ground. Edited by Ray Vallese. (TSR, Inc), p. 175. ISBN 0-7869-0430-5.
- ↑ Eric L. Boyd, Erik Mona (May 2002). Faiths and Pantheons. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 221. ISBN 0-7869-2759-3.
- ↑ Richard Baker, James Wyatt (March 2004). Player's Guide to Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 150. ISBN 0-7869-3134-5.
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 Eric L. Boyd, Erik Mona (May 2002). Faiths and Pantheons. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 127. ISBN 0-7869-2759-3.
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