Brynn sja Brenna
“The flames of courage do not consume, but exult.”
Tenets: Defend what you believe in, lest it be swept away. Respect any who meets you with courage, for it may burn within all regardless of age, sex, or race. Despise the cowards, the weaklings who give into fear, but do not despise the fear itself for bravery cannot exist without it. Turn down no challenge nor test, for courage is a fire that must be stoked high with adversity.
Brynn sja Brenna is the god of courage, oratory and warfare. A boisterous and popular deity, their followers range from Valmar warriors to Agryan firebrands and even ogre raiders. Whilst usually associated with physical courage and therefore fighting, Brenna accepts all forms of courage and takes a particular interest in those who take up public speaking roles such as political activism and acting – as long as this is done to inflame and inspire.
Devotees of Brenna are something found in supporting roles, often as lieutenants or seconds to the powerful, but they are also encouraged to take up leadership roles as well. The teachings of Brenna demand that courage be not only used to conquer the fear in oneself, but to help ease fear in others; in many ways she shares Aurvandil's want to inspire. One of the best known of Brenna's followers, Helek Hammerhand, was described thus by his friend Erik Dortenson: “He has that quality in him, like willow bark that eases pain. To be around Helek is to feel relief from fear.” The quote is often used in the north to describe what channellers and worshippers of Brenna should aspire to.
Worship of Brynn sja Brenna is usually loud and active. Physical competitions and chances to show off are common – athletics, formalised duels and wrestling are all popular – but so are verbal matches such as storytelling and debates. Festivals in particular will usually involve a range of both, and sometimes combinations. The winners are lauded and drink for free for the rest of the festival – though then again, so do the runners up, giving rise to suspicions about the motivations of most Brennan worshippers when taking part. Most larger towns and cities will either cordon off areas for these festivals or insist on them being held outside town limits in order to minimise damages. Brennan temples towards being robust because of this, with large fires that serve both as a symbol of their god and a way for revellers to warm themselves when gathered for celebrations.
The most common face of the worshippers of Brennan is the paladin, who tend to make an impressive sight. Brennan paladins are the monster-slayers of story and song, and though it is worth noting that these tests of courage need not strictly be of benefit to the community, they do tend to be by default. Rumours of large monsters, wars, tyrants and ancient curses can attract Brennan paladins and priests in swarms, not always to the benefit of locals.
Iconography and Trappings
The symbol universally associated with Brenna is the burning heart. Because of this, Brennan colours are also universally fire-based – reds, golds, oranges and deep yellow. As Brynn sja Brenna herself is often depicted amongst the Valmar wielding an axe, that weapon is the most commonly used tool of a Brennan worshiper. Dragons are also popular Brennan iconography, due to their association with fire and monster-slaying.
Rituals to Brenna, like her worship in general, tend to be noisy and energetic. The letting of blood to show resilience to physical fear of pain might be used to gain her favour, as well as “leaping the fires” – a ceremony also used by the Valmar to celebrate weddings.
A breakdown by nation of those who follow Brenna.