The Mediator, The Calm God
Portfolio: Peace, Reason, Serenity
Symbol: White heart of wood or metal or a heart-shaped mask with a calm expression
Alignment: Lawful Good
Domains: Community* (CD), Glory* (CD), Good, Inquisition* (CD), Knowledge, Law, Mind* (CD), Pact* (CD).
Favored Weapon: Light mace
Description: Rao (RAH-oh) is shown as an old man with dark skin, white hair, slender hands, and a serene smile. Any time an offering of peace is made, Rao grows a day younger. Although he never intervenes directly on Oerth, Rao is the creator of several artifacts of good, particularly the Crook of Rao. He is a dedicated foe of Iuz, an ally of Zilchus, and is otherwise friendly with all other beings. He can cause any aggressive being to relax into an agreeable calmness with a glance, having thwarted even Nerull with this power in the past. His holy symbol is a white heart of wood or metal, or a heart-shaped mask with a calm expression. “Reason is the greatest gift. It leads to discourse, which leads to peace, which leads to serenity. If all could be convinced to reason with each other, the world would enjoy the harmony of benign order. Some refuse to use reason and instead resort to violence, at which time action – governed by reason and wisdom – is required to counteract their deeds and restore peace.” His clerics pursue knowledge, paths of logical thought, theology, and introspective meditation. They prefer peaceful means over violence, but are not above using force when their arguments are ignored or the bastions of reason are threatened. They search for new schools of thinking, fabled locales of calmness and quietude, powerful magic to use in the cause of Law and Good. Temples of Rao are generally stately, open air affairs filled with incense, quiet chanting, and earnest philosophical discussion. Many have extensive libraries and learned sages on hand to answer even the most esoteric question.
Rao is the serene, detached god of reason, intellect, and peace. The Power does not act on the Prime Material directly, but he is known to have created several powerful magical artifacts which are highly potent against evil (notably the Crook of Rao), possibly with the aid of Boccob.
Rao is always depicted as a dark-skinned, white-haired old man with bright, dark brown eyes and long, slender hands; he is smiling and serene. Rao’s faith is one that does not appeal much to common folk; he has always had more followers among rulers, diplomats, sages, scholars, and philosophers. Clearly, his church is not exactly overpopulated at present. Those who seek to find powerful magic to aid the cause of good make him valuable offerings and meditate on Rao’s sacred texts. Services to Rao involve discussions of theology and group meditations.
Rao’s priests are mediators, and negotiators – wise and quiet people. Most are male. Rao’s High Patriarch in Greyhawk was instrumental in the diplomacy that ended the wars.
The priesthood is very studious, but one motto is “there is a time to think, and more rarely to act; but in that time, action is wisdom.” These priests are not wholly pacifistic!