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1 Neutral Pantheon on Tue Oct 26, 2010 11:39 pm

Kelemvor
Lord of the Dead, Judge of the Damned, Master of the Crystal Spire

Greater Power of Hades , LN

PORTFOLIO: Death, the dead
DOMAINS : Fate, Law, Protection, Repose, Travel
HOME PLANE: Oinos/Crystal Spire
SUPERIOR: None
ALLIES: Mystra, Jergal
FOES: Cyric, Talona, Velsharoon
SYMBOL: An upright, bone-colored skeletal arm holding the golden scales of justice balanced evenly in its fist against a steel-gray field
WOR. ALIGN.: Any

Kelemvor (KELL-ehm-vor), a former associate of Midnight, Cyric, and Adon during the events of the Godswar, inherited the portfolio of the god of the dead when Cyric lost those responsibilities following the Cyrinishad debacle. The first official act of the newly created god of the dead was to turn Cyric's Bone Castle into a gleaming tower of crystal, a symbol that this particular god of the dead would hide nothing from his subjects. He intends to impart justice among the dead in an even-handed and fair manner.

Kelemvor is kind, just, forthright, and earnest, though stern at times. He is not terribly clever for a power and tends to try to solve what he perceives as his immediate problems with direct action. Though he means well, he does not always see the difficulties down the road caused by short-term solutions.

Kelemvor has an unexpected ally, at least in terms of traditional godly alliances. He and Mystra, formerly the human Midnight, remain close. They were in love during their mortal lives, but whether this romance has kindled during their godly tenure is a matter they have thus far kept private.

Cyric, who lost his death portfolio to Kelemvor, is Kelemvor's bitter enemy. Cyric views Kelemvor as someone who pointedly and maliciously set out to steal a part of Cyric's rightful power. One traditional foe of the Faerûnian god of the dead, Lathander, has not declared against Kelemvor, but is waiting to see if his actions live up to his promises.

Other Manifestations

Kelemvor prefers to send a translucent image of a floating skull enfolded by a hood and surrounded by the flapping tarters of the rest of a diaphanous gray robe. This image is accompanied by the mournful whistle of winds. . The image can speak with the voice of the god, though Kelemvor prefers not to speak aloud, or it can speak directly into the minds of beings who are present.

Kelemvor also indicates his favor or disfavor or sends aid through the presence or actions of the demipower Jergal, pers, a few einheriar (whom he transforms into minor deaths when his senior specialty priests summon them) and watchghosts, but never any evil or corporeal undead.

The Church

Those who see death as a necessary part of the cycle of life, not something grisly and abhorrent in itself, are the favored followers of Kelemvor. They tend to be humans who derive personal comfort in seeing that disorder does not attend death and to be both sensitive and practical. Gravediggers, mourners, embalmers, monument carvers and stonecarvers who work in graveyards all give their respects to Kelemvor, along with the relatives of the recently deceased and Kelemvor's clergy. In addition, the majority of the temples of Cyric that used to be temples of Myrkul have now switched their ways and allegiance to Kelemvor and are learning to follow him with as much fervor as they did Myrkul and Cyruk (their name for Cyric) in turn. These old-line converts tend to be more evil in nature, but are drifting close to neutrality as the years pass or leaving Kelemvor and finding other deities more suited to their natures.

The bulk of the death clergy are clerics who comfort the dying, administer last rites, assist in funerals, burials, and the just and orderly setting right of affairs that follow, place warning marks of plague and other diseases, and ensure that the will or expressed desires of a deceased are followed. The remainder of the death clergy are the specialty priests, who Kelemvor has blessed with unique foresight and applied wisdom that enables them to anticipate where death will occur and so direct the other clergy. Most specialty priests are also charged with maintaining discipline within the clergy (quelling clerical attempts to prolong life due to sentimentality) and with fundraising to support the clergy. Most donations to the church are bequests in the form of possessions or lands that must be sold, rented out, or—in the case of profitable farms—worked by the clergy.

Specialty priests of Kelemvor are known as doomguides. The church has not been in existence long enough to develop even an informal consensus about the usage of titles.

Dogma: Kelemvor is interested in having followers who recognize that death is but a part of life. It is not an end but a beginning, not a punishment but a necessity. There is no deceit in death, nothing concealed, nothing chaotic. Death is an orderly process.

The followers of Kelemvor are not out to spread death and destruction in the Realms. Rather, they seek to help others to die with dignity at their appointed time and no sooner. Just as they do not seek to rush death, they also speak out against those who seek to artificially prolong their lives beyond their natural limits, including such magical creations as liches.

The charge of Kelemvor to his novitiates is this: "Death is but part of life: fear it not, evade it not, and view it not as evil. To fear death delivers you into the hands of those who can bring death down upon you. Die with dignity, neither raging nor seeking to embrace undeath. Do honor to the dead, for their strivings in life brought Faerûn to where it is now, and to forget them is to forget also where we are now—and why."

The church of Kelemvor believes that seeking out those who are near death is their great duty, for it is the will of Kelemvor that no human (and if possible, no sentient being) die a natural death in all Faerûn without one of his priests at their side. Kelemvor assigns the essences of the dead their proper place in the ongoing cycle of existence, and it must be emphasized to all that he is the Great Guide, leading all folk into their next life. Death is not a final ending, but the next step in a wondrous, ongoing journey. Let no one die not knowing that Kelemvor awaits them and that he is not to be feared, for he believes in justice and wields mercy.

Day-to-Day Activities: Priests of Kelemvor comfort the dying and provide burials for those who die alone. They administer last rites to the dying and help the living left behind to better understand the natural and inevitable process of death and dying. When people die alone without a will, known heirs, or business partners, their goods are taken by the church to fund its ongoing ministry to the dying. This does not, by any means, mean that death clergy would ever take goods from a grave for their own benefit.

When plagues, hordes, or great monsters run amok, they must be fought by the death clergy, for it is not right that many die before their due time. When marauding dragons or other monstrous predators become problems, the death clergy should try to interest adventuring bands in slaying the problems—failing that, they must deal with the problems themselves. In cases of great pain, ravaging disease, or mutilation where death would be a mercy, it is the office of the priests of Kelemvor—and only the priests of Kelemvor—to bring death, as swiftly and painlessly as possible.

Undeath is an affront to Kelemvor. Undead creatures are to be dstroyed or given true death whenever they are met with, and even sought out and hunted down for that holy purpose. Priests of Kelemvor are free to hire or take as companions folk of other faiths to assist them in this purpose, for the great sin of undeath must be stamped out by whatever means possible. Though members of the clergy can command the undead, these commands usually can be boiled down to "Go back to your graves and sleep there forever" except in times of dire need. Kelemvor has made no official statement to single out good-aligned undead creatures as an exception to his policy, though specific temples and individuals often take only lenient action against or ignore such creatures in the field, preferring to concentrate their efforts on those creatures of obvious malevolent intent or who are likely to quickly multiply.

All priests of Kelemvor may be called to a holy mission by their god or their senior clergy and pursue a more active and adventurous life. Such priests defend death clergy members and holdings when need be and bring death to others when it is necessary. For example, a Kelemvorite specialty priest assigned to a holy mission may be sent to lead an adventuring party to stop the spread of disease or kill beings seeking to disrupt natural cycles—such as mages who seek to create huge armies of undead or develop necromantic spells that can slay others and transform them inescapably into undead creatures under their control. Death clergy sent to slay predators or to go into dangerous country to comfort the dying are often issued scrolls of offensive spells or magical items of battle power gleaned from the goods of those who died alone.

Holy Days/Important Ceremonies: Most folk experience the rituals of the death clergy in a personal way: As someone dies, a priest or priests of Kelemvor performs the Passing, a simple ceremony of last rites that is a chant of comfort calling on Kelemvor to be alert for the coming essence of this person, who has enriched life in Faerûn in his or her own way and earned this salute. The Lament for the Fallen is a larger ceremony of this sort sung over a battlefield, ruined village or fortress, or other site where many folk have recently died.

Clergy of the god also lead a daily morning ceremony over graves, the Remembrance, and a ritual that begins after nightfall, the Daeum. The Remembrance is a dignified rite of songs and prayer usually attended by relatives of the dead. The Daeum, or Thanks to the Guide (Kelemvor), is a celebration of the strength and purpose of the Great Guide and his church and is attended only by faithful followers of the god. It is at the close of this ceremony that the goods of the dead are distributed to the assembled faithful and any favors of the god or holy missions are dispensed through manifestations or the orders of senior clergy.

The two great calendar-related holy days of the Church of Kelemvor are Shieldmeet and the Feast of the Moon. During both of these days, priests of the Lord of the Dead tell tales of the Deeds of the Dead so that the greatness and importance of the ancestors of those alive today will never be forgotten. They also call back from the dead heroes who are needed in the land again (in the opinion of mortal supplicants whom Kelemvor agrees with). During both of these solemn high holy days, any priest of Kelemvor who casts speak with dead can talk freely with the departed for as long as desired and hold conversations, not merely put questions to them for which the answer will be a bare "yes" or "no."

Major Centers of Worship: The only major center of Kelemvorite worship thus far is the Tower of Skulls in Ormath, an abbey built as a ziggurat whose walls are carved with a stone facing in the shape of staring human skulls. Its spiral ways are roamed by mysterious guardian creatures that resemble will o' wisps. The resident clergy, commanded by the High Lord Doom Bezurgathan Indraeyan, can muster a capable army of battle-hardened clerics wielding magical items to defend the abbey. Vast cellars reaching down to an underground river for water and into caverns in which edible fungi are grown underlie the Tower. The priests make potent amber wine and various perfumes, unguents, and potions for sale from the fungi they raise.

Affiliated Orders: Thus far the church of Kelemvor has no affiliated military or knightly orders. All gravediggers, embalmers, and other cemetery workers and crafters who work for the church of Kelemvor and are not themselves clergy belong to the Most Solemn Order of the Silent Shroud, a society whose rolls are kept by the church and whose members know each other as true members of the order by certain secret signs. They report any signs of undead activity or desecration in graveyards tended by Kelemvorites immediately to the church. The Kelemvorite church is seriously considering sponsoring a holy order of crusaders and paladins to target undead creatures of fearsome prowess who tax the resources of the clergy of the nascent church. The tentative name of this group would be the Knights of Eternal Order, but church scholars are discussing other names that would be more indicative of the order's duties.

Priestly Vestments: Clerics of Kelemvor usually wear smoky gray robes and cowled cloaks. Specialty priests can readily be identified by their silver headbands, which are normally never removed, and by the symbol of Kelemvor displayed prominently in a badge on the chests of their somber, elegant robes. Their robes are always of a single hue without trim or ostentation and of dark, muted hues of green, blue, or gray, in ascending order of rank; they can be worn over armor if need be. The scales in the badge of Kelemvor worn by a priest also denote rank: They are iron-colored for lower clergy, silver for full priests, and gold for higher-ranking priests.

Adventuring Garb: Adventuring clergy members are often given enchanted gray domino masks entrusted to their use by the church that enable them to detect undead and see with infravision up to 60 feet in darkness. Adventuring priests dress functionally, wearing whatever armor and clothing is practical. They are required to display the symbol of their deity prominently. Often it is worn on the left breast over the heart or is woven into a cloak.

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2 Oghma on Tue Oct 26, 2010 11:40 pm

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Oghma
The Binder of What is Known, the Lord of Knowledge, Patron of Bards, the Wise God

Greater Power of the Plane of Concordant Opposition
N

PORTFOLIO: Knowledge, Invention, Inspiration, Bards
DOMAINS : Charm, Knowledge, Luck, Travel, Trickery
ALIASES: Curna (Durpar, Estagund, and Var the Golden)
HOME PLANE: Plane of Concordant Opposition/House of Knowledge in Tir na Og
SUPERIOR: None
ALLIES: Deneir, Milil, Gond, Lliira, Mystra, Azuth, Lathander
FOES: Talos, Bane,Mask, Cyric
SYMBOL: A simple, blank scroll
WORSHIPPERS ALIGNMENT: Any

Oghma (OGG-mah) is the most powerful god of Knowledge in Faerûn. Much as Mystra of old was said to sit in judgment of each new spell, Oghma is said to decide whether a new idea would be known to the world or confined to its originator. Deneir and Milil both act as intercessors for Oghma, carrying new information both to him and to those whom Oghma favors. He is on good relations with the artificer god, Gond Wonderbringer, who serves him by giving ideas manifest forms, but their relationship has sometimes become tense due to Gond's proclivity to press for the rapid introduction of new devices throughout Faerûn. In Durpar, Estagund, and Var the Golden, Oghma is worshipped as part of the Adama, the Durparian concept of a world spirit that embraces and enfolds the divine essence that is part of all beings. Here he is known as Curna, goddess of wisdom.

Oghma is a cheerful and wise power whose ability to persuade others to his point of view he puts to endless use. He can be solemn and righteous, but he is more often quietly humorous and quick to smile. His one flaw may be his fondness for his own thoughts; he tends to implement rather convoluted plots that he has worked out first in his own mind rather than to take direct action.

Other Manifestations

Oghma most often manifests as a blue-green radiance accompanied by distinctive crawling cords of rising, almost menacing music. These are always the same, and only Oghma dare use them. Others who try to imitate the chords are visited by an immediate warning manifestation; if they persist, this is accompanied by a blue ring of flame that encircles and burns them either severely or fatally, depending on the anger of the god. The radiance is always accompanied by a strong sensation of being watched, and Oghma may even speak in an elderly, echoing, cultured voice, using words sparingly to say, for example: "Well said," "'Tis well done," "Desist from thy course, or perish," or "What ye seek is to found in …"

Oghma has also been known to manifest as a blinding white light that may from time to time extrude two blazing eyes of fire, emit beams of coloured force that bestow magical effects, or project hands that can point, carry or wield things. He also uses various golems, translators, electrum dragons, feystags, watchers, and watchghosts to demonstrate his approval or disapproval or to send aid to his faithful.

The Church

Oghma is venerated by sages, wizards, and the knowledgeable. He is particularly worshiped by bards, who also show their bended knees to Milil. Anyone seeking information, particularily lost or hidden information, sends a few good words in Oghma's direction and asks for his blessing.

All priests of Oghma are called loremasters. Other clergy include a smatering of bards and wizards. All races are freely admitted to the priesthood. The entire church hierarchy is devoted to the spirit of one man, the Grand Patriarch of Oghma, who until the Time of Troubles made his home in Procampur and was recognized as being the "voice of Oghma." During the Time of Troubles the Grand Patriarch disappeared without a trace. Answers from Oghma have been conflicting and confusing as to what happened to him. The Patriarch's house in Procampur has become a shrine to Oghma. Until the Grand Patriarch's fate is known, the church is running without an ultimate head, and it has split into several factions and subfactions.

The largest faction is the Orthodox Church of Oghma, which does not recognize anyone using the title Patriarch since its hierarchy holds that the Patriarch who vanished during the Time of Troubles is still serving Oghma. Perhaps the Patriarch is on another plane of existence or has ascended to a semidivine state, but nevertheless, until Oghma says otherwise, he is the only rightful Patriarch.

The second largest faction is the Church of Oghma in Sembia, which is distinguished mainly in that it believes a new Patriarch has been appointed and that all knowledge should be tested and proven to be worthy of dissemination before it is given out into general release. This faction is joined in its stance on the church hierarchy, but not on theology, by the Pursuers of Pure Knowledge in Mintar. (The pursuers of Pure Knowledge have met a great many setbacks recently due to Mintar being taken over by Teldorn Darkhope, Lord Knight Imperceptor of the Dark Lord, who claims to serve Bane reborn and has killed all who oppose him openly. The church opposes him, therefore, covertly).

To date, there has been a tenuous cooperation between most regional churches, but a recent rift between the Church of Oghma in Sembia and the Orthodoxy in Cormyr has caused relations to be broken off totally between the church in those nations. Loremasters of the one nation are not welcome in the others' temples and vice versa. The heart of this problem seems to have been caused by assumptions behind the keynote remarks of one Sembian loremaster at a Sembian arts festival in which an extensive Cormyrean Oghmanyte contingent had come to participate.

Acolytes in the service of the Binder are called Seekers, and those of some accomplishments are Senior Seekers. When an acolyte demonstrates clear (good and useful) inspiration, solid service in Oghma's cause, or true loyalty to the god to the discernment of at least two priests of the Wise God; those two priests confirm the acolyte as a true priest of Oghma, bestowing upon him the title of loremaster. Those who rise in the service of Oghma may win various titles in different places and jurisdictions, but the most widely recognized hierarchy of ranks (in ascending order) is: Loremaster, Loremaster Amanuensis, Loremaster Venturer, Loremaster Bold, Lore-Scribe of the God, Wise Anticipator, Inspirator, Inspirator High, Atlar, Higher Atlar, Loremaster High, Loremaster Most High, Eye of Oghma, Divine Hand of Oghma. The Church of Oghma in Sembia and the Pursuers of Pure Knowledge in Mintar use the titles (in ascending order) of: Advocate, Accomplished Advocate, Loremaster of the Twelfth, Loremaster of the Eleventh (and so on up to Loremaster of the Second), Loremaster First, Loremaster High, Learned One, and Patriarch. Clergy address each other as "brother" and "sister" regardless of rank, and a polite form of address for outsiders and lay worshipers to use when dealing with any priest of Oghma is "lady (or lord) loremaster".

Dogma: Knowledge is most supreme, particularly in its raw form, the idea. An idea has no weight but can move mountains. It has no height but it can dominate a nation. It has no mass but it can push aside empires. Knowledge is the greatest tool of humankind, outweighing anything made by mortal hands. Before anything can exist, the idea must exist.

Knowledge is power, and must be used with care - but to hide it away from others is never a good thing. At least once within the passing of each moon, the clergy of Oghma should copy some information of import in written or inscribed form so that the records multiply and knowledge is not lost. Oghmanyte clergy are to stifle no new ideas, no matter how false or crazed they seem, but to let them be heard and considered freely. They must never slay a singer, nor stand by while others do so. They are to listen to new bards when they meet them and sponsor bards when they can.

A typical Oghmanyte charge to novices is: "Spread knowledge whenever it is prudent to do so. Keep no secrets for their own sake. Curb and deny falsehood, rumor, and deceitful accounts and histories whenever you encounter them. Write or copy some lore of value and give it away freely at least once a year. Hide some writings away while distributing others widely so that the written knowledge of Faerûn is larger when you leave life than when you entered it. Sponsor, assist, and teach minstrels, bards, scribes, and recordkeepers whenever you encounter them and perceive a need. Spread truth and knowledge throughout the Realms so that all folk may know more. Never deliver a message falsely or incompletely, but always just as you receive it. Teach any folk who ask how to read and write or as much of these crafts as time and tasks permit - and charge no fee for this teaching."

Day-to-Day Activities: Priests of Oghma have traditionally been of two sorts: those who remain within the temples, monasteries, and abbeys, spending their lives in analysis, reading gathered tomes, and copying out texts and spells as requested and those who go out into the world to find the writings that fill the abbey libraries. There have always been conflicts between the overly fussy pedants among the cloistered and those who chafe under the petty rules and infighting they encounter within abbey walls and prefer to face the real world as one of the wayfaring. Most abbeys of Oghma support themselves by selling maps, scribework, and spell scrolls. Wayfaring clergy are frequently sent armed with spell scrolls to trade and coin to purchase learned works and scrolls with.

Wayfaring priests who run out of abbey funds or who are independent of any abbey make their own writings from observations of Faerûn and make money by teaching, selling maps, writing poems, letters, songs, and lyrics for various patrons, and answering specific questions about Faerûn from their accumulated store of knowledge. Their map copies are always of real maps. A member of Oghma's clergy may sell a map that she or he knows to err in some respects but to be the best available, but can never knowingly sell a false map or a copy of it. An Oghmanyte is expected to publish at least one book and cause it to be delivered to at least three temples of the Wise God. Such books may be some sort of small chapbook, such as a collection of song lyrics overheard from observation of performing minstrels, or they may even be romantic fiction, so long as such works realistically portray an existing society or place in the Realms and so impart some true knowledge to the reader.

Priests of Curna are paid to give advice and draw up contracts, and they may even work directly for rich merchants, giving advice and judging the reactions of opponents of their patron during tough negotiating sessions. They receive tribute for Curna before merchants make important business deals and before the inhabitants of Durpar, Estagund, and Var the Golden embark on new ventures. The priests who work at the Library of Curna also manage and supply the teams of explorers and sages who constantly update that vast storehouse of knowledge.

Holy Days / Important Ceremonies: Midsummer and Shieldmeet are the most sacred days of the Oghmanyte calendar since they are occasions when agreements are made or renewed and many contracts, bonds, and the like are drawn up. However, a priest of Oghma must observe two solemn rituals every day: the Binding and the Covenant. The Binding is a morning service wherein the symbols of Oghma are written in the dirt, in ashes upon a stone altar, or in the mind if a clergy member happens to be shackled or otherwise unable to write, while a silent prayer of loyalty and praise is made to Oghma. The Covenant is an evening service during which a passage from some work of wisdom is read aloud or recited from memory, a song or poem is offered up to Oghma, and some item of knowledge that the clergy member has learned during that day is spoken aloud to the god and to any fellow clergy present.

In monasteries, temples, and abbeys of the Wise God, the rest of the day is typically occupied by readings aloud from great books of lore, philosophy, and history at gatherings held every two hours or so. It should be noted that almost all temples to Oghma have their own rituals that vary from one temple to the next except the Cornerstones of the Day (the Binding and the Covenant) and that many have two different sets of rituals: those for the resident clergy and those for laity and visiting clergy.

Major Centers of Worship: Candlekeep is traditionally the greatest center of learning in Faerûn, and one of the most holy places of Oghma. The Leaves of Learning temple in Highmoon (Deepingdale) is the most recently prominent center of worship., but several temples are vying for supremacy in Oghmanyte worship in Faerûn at present: the Tower of Thought in Selgaunt, where Most High Learned Priest Urdiyvan Eraen leads the Church of Oghma; the gilded Domes of Reason temple in Procampur, where High Loremaster Librarian Estember Orntalar seems to be winning a vicious power struggle to succeed the Patriarch of Procampur as leader of the Orthodoxy; and the House of Many Tomes fortified abbey in upland Impiltur, west of Songhal, where Loremaster Most Exalted Prespaerin Cadathlyn claims to have reached "a new closeness" to the Binder and has taken on the title "Binder of Faerûn" as a mark of his oneness with the god. The Font of Knowledge in Waterdeep is also notable as the most recently completed Grand Temple of Oghma. It was finished in Midsummer of the Year of the Banner (1368DR) and is led by Loremaster Most High Sandrew the Wise.

The Library of Curna in the Curna Mountains (also known as the Mountains of Wisdom) in the Shining South holds the most prominent center of scholarship and worship of Oghma in the guise of Curna. Its contents are said to differ from Candlekeep's in that they focus more on current events, business, and naturalistic studies than Candlekeep's collection, whose strength is by far in historical works.

Affiliated Orders: While the church of Oghma sponsors no military or knightly orders, it spreads its aegis over a countless number of monkish fellowships, scholarly orders of honour, guilds of naturalists and herbalists, and colleges of bardic knowledge. Some of these include the Children of the Passive Voice, an order or learned monks whose members protect many libraries and abbeys; the Order of the Gilt Laurel, an honourary society of historical fiction authors; the Fellowship of the Forest, a naturalist society; and the Companions of the Silver Strings, an order of heroic bards who acted valiantly at risk of their own lives in the service of the church of Oghma. The Oghmanyte faith also has ties with Those Who Harp (the Harpers), an organization working for good against the rise of great powers throughout Faerûn.

Priestly Vestments: All priests of Oghma have the same ceremonial dress - white shirt and trousers with a vest of black and gold brocade. The shirt sleeves are wide, but tied at the wrists. The vests, known as kantlara, depict many glyphs, sigils, runes, and symbols of magical power, arcane meaning, and significance in various realms of Faerûn down through the ages. Such markings are sewn on by the wearer using gold braid. They may be of any sort and size and are displayed on any spot on the garment that the wearer desires. At any time a priest ascends a level, she or he usually sees the symbol to be sewn in a dream vision. Kantlara are thus personal and individual garments.

Priests who lose or are separated from their kantlara are allowed to use purple or crimson vests adorned with a simple scroll of Oghma on the back and the symbol of Chelsinara on both breasts. This symbol, named for an important early priestess of the god, consists of two cupped hands, fingers uppermost and thumbs touching. It means "I learn." It is the badge of Oghma used by all who worship him, both laity and clergy, to denote their membership among the faithful.

A small boxlike hat is worn in ceremonies held on sacred grounds; off of ground Holy to Oghma it is removed. In addition to their other ceremonial garb, the priests of the breakaway Church of Oghma (in Sembia) always wear a harlequin's mask.

Adventuring Garb: In the field, Oghmanyte priests have a relaxed dress code, wearing what they choose and usually choosing as much armour as possible. The Church of Oghma (in Sembis) retains the harlequin's mask, but only within the borders of Sembia.

Priests of the Wise God are encouraged to develop any music skills they possess under the tutelage of senior clergy and bards of accomplishment, and they usually carry some sort of instrument on their persons as well as some means of writing things down. Many loremasters carry items of minor temple magic known as pens of Oghma. These are quill pens that do not break, glow at the writer's will brightly enough to see to write or read by, and generate their own endless ink: a substance that does not blotch or fade and dries instantly

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3 Silvanus on Tue Oct 26, 2010 11:41 pm

Silvanus
Oak Father, the Forest Father, the Old Oak, Treefather, Old Father Tree

Greater Power of the Plane of Concordant Opposition, N

PORTFOLIO: Wild nature, druids
DOMAINS : Animal, Plant, Protection, Renewal, Water
HOME PLANE: Plane of Concordant Opposition/Tir na Og (in the Deep Forest)
SUPERIOR: None
ALLIES: Eldath, Mielikki, Chauntea, Lathander, Lurue the Unicorn, Nobanion, Angharradh, Baervan Wildwanderer, Corellon Larethian, Cyrrollalee, Rillifane Rallathil, Sheela Peryroyl, Shialla, Solonor Thelandira
FOES: Malar, Moander (now dead), Talona, Talos
SYMBOL: A green, living oak leaf, an oak tree in summer, or a wooden staff sprouting tiny green leaflets and buds down its length
WOR. ALIGN.: Any

Silvanus (Sihl-VANN-us) is the god of wild and untamed nature in Faerûn; he is of equal power to Chauntea, who represents a more ordered nature. The two are on good terms, although Silvanus takes pride in his true neutrality. He is served by Eldath and Mielikki, and many of the followers of one deity venerate the others as well. They work closely together and seem genuinely trusting and affectionate toward each other.

Silvanus hates Talos and Talona, whom his priests refer to as "the Unbalanced." He most often reveals a beneficent, paternal nature towards his faithful, who number among them travelers, adventurers, explorers, sages seeking knowledge in nature, rural communities far from the protection of the local lord, guides, hermits, wise women and men, herbalists, and a few long-sighted woodcutters and hunters (harvesting only the dead, the excess, and the weak), as well as druids and rangers. He swiftly turns an uncaring and even righteously wrathful face toward any who threaten the wild places and woodlands of Faerûn. Those who disturb the balance are often found at the edge of the forest torn to pieces by wild animals who cannot be tracked.

During the Time of Troubles, Silvanus is reported to have been seen in the Winterwood and the Chondalwood, lending credence to the Emerald Enclave's (an activist circle/society of druids) claims that its efforts in the Vilhon Reach are greatly favored by Silvanus.

Other Manifestations

Rather than appearing as an avatar, Silvanus prefers to appear as an oak leaf blown out of nowhere as a sign, or if he must take direct physical action, as a fire-quenching, eerie green glow that is always accompanied by the sounds of faintly whistling wind and running or dripping water. Alternatively, he may manifest as a stag-horned, silent man with burning white eyes who appears among the trees and has shaggy brown fur that is almost barklike. As the Horned Man, Silvanus speaks only in the minds of those he touches and can point, lift, and carry things (even hurling trees or logs), inscribe words on wood by pointing with a fingertip, and cast spells (notably telekinesis of awesome weight capacity). The Horned Man most often simply materializes to show himself and indicate something by a gesture, a shake or nod of the head, or by pointing, and then fades away again.

Silvanus also indicates his favor or disfavor or sends aid through the presence or actions of treants, brownies, dryads, deer, badgers, unicorns, satyrs, atomies, sprites, pixies, and other woodland monsters.

The Church

The church of Silvanus is often referred to as the "greenleaf priesthood" after the symbol of its deity. Silvanus has a strong base among both clerics in urban areas and druids in the wilder territories. Like Chauntea he calls both his dear children, but in his case the druids are the favored of the two. Silvanus also has a few shamans among the nomadic and barbarian societies of Faerûn who spread his word of balance and respect for nature while tending to their tribes' needs.

Silvanus's clergy are spread throughout Faerûn, favoring small communities over large cities, though there are several large communities of Silvanites in major cities such as Waterdeep. Druids are the leaders and the backbone of the greenleaf priesthood and are most favored by Silvanus if they dwell in the forest and live in harmony with the land, where they are best able to be the stewards of Faerûn's wild places. Urban clergy of Silvanus more often become gardeners, trying to create a walled corner of wild forest in the city (or guard and revitalize an existing miniature wood). They often seek to attract followers by preaching of the peace and purity of the wilds and dispensing herbs and sweetsap drinks (especially maple syrup, mint teas, and sweetroot brews).

Dogma: Silvanus sees and balances all, meting out both wild water and drought, both fire and ice, both life and death. His priests tend to see the total situation, to view the macrocosm; their view is not confined to one person or one nation's idea of what is best. This is not to say that priests of Silvanus are neutral and take no sides. They are strongly on the side of wild nature, the natural state of matters, over any civilizing force.

All is in a cycle, deftly and beautifully balanced-and it is the duty of the devout to see this cycle and the sacred Balance as clearly as possible, to make others see it (whether they worship the Oak Father or no), and to work against all beings and things who seek to disturb the Balance. This is best done by watching, anticipating, and quiet manipulation. Silvanites should resort to violence and open confrontation only when pressure of time, situation, or hostile action makes it necessary. Ultimately, the faithful are to keep the Balance-when one must act in one way one day, take the opposing side on another day. Always keep the Balance.

Those aspiring to join the clergy of Silvanus are charged to fight against the felling of forests, banish disease wherever they find it, and defend the trees and plant new ones whenever possible. They are to seek out, serve, and befriend the dryads and learn their names. They are to kill only when needful, for all things in the forest are in balance, to destroy fire adn those who emply it, and to beware orcs and others who bring axes into the forest.

Day-to-Day Activities: Most disturbances of the sacred Balance are due to too-heavy hunting or farming, which bring with them land clearances-essentially population pressures. The greenleaf priesthood is kept busy working to redirect development and control populations through covert sponsorship of brigands, breeding and selective placing of predators, and other means. It is essential that such work is as secretive as possible, so that most folk view the servants of Silvanus as essentially benign lovers of trees. Wildlife breeding, nursing sick animals, and replanting trees and wild shrubs are all work that should be done as publicly as possible to support this perception-and as necessary work to redress the slipping Balance, of course.

To do this work properly, two skills are essential to all Silvanite clergy: learning through instruction and lifelong study the intricate workings of the life-cycles of all living creatures in Faerûn and learning to take the long-term view so that the manifold implications of every action and combination of actions can be seen clearly well into the future. By planning for the long term, Silvanite clergy hope never to take a serious mishap and worsen any shift of the Balance. Superior patience, natural knowledge, and anticipation are the hallmarks of a worthy servant of Silvanus. They are also the qualities that make any Silvanite priest a deadly foe. A Silvanite should never be surprised and always be three or four steps ahead of an opponent, prepared for victories well beyond the battles than an enemy can see.

Holy Days/Important Ceremonies: Priests of Silvanus pray to the Forest Father at all times, though the god seems to respond best to prayers at sunset and in moonlight. Greegrass, Midsummer Night, Higharvestide, and the Night the Forest Walks are holy days to the greenleaf priesthood. The Night the Forest Walks can occur at any time during the year. It is a night when Silvanus is restless, and trees move, streams and ravines change their courses, and caves open and close in the forest. Forest-dwelling monsters are often stirred into action, and forest magic is especially strong and apt to go wild.

Many rituals of worship to the god take place in a crown stand of tall, ancient trees on a hilltop. The god must always be worshiped by sacrifice-but never by blood sacrifice. Instead, something made from material taken from a wood must be ceremonially broken and buried-not burned. For example, a wood must be ceremonially broken and buried-not urned. For example, a cart, wagon, or chair fashioned from the wood or felled trees could become a sacrifice to Silvanus.

The simplest prayer to Silvanus is the Call of Oak, Ash, and Thorn, wherein a priest gathers leaves of the three named sorts of trees, floats them on water, and entreats Silvanus to hear a prayer. For deeper concerns (a conversation with a servant of the god, or the receipt of godly favors or magical powers) a Vigil is often employed: The worshiper anoints his or her own body with a powder of crushed acorns and mistletoe leaves mixed with rainwater or spring water and lies down on, or in contact with, a growing tree for most of a night. Some part of the bare flesh of the faithful must touch green, growing moss, so moss-covered giant trees are most favored for use in Vigils.

The two most powerful and holy rituals of Silvanites are the Song of the Trees and the Dryad Dance. The first ceremony is a droning, haunting chant that is repetitive, leaps from sharp to flat in pitch, and increases in power the more worshipers are participating. Its performance always draws woodland creatures to gather in silent witness, laying aside their usual fears and their instincts to prey upon each other. The Song of the Trees heals burned, diseased, and scarred trees-and even, in rare moments of the favor of Silvanus, reerects trees that have fallen or been felled.

The Dryad Dance is a wild ritual of piping, dancing, and carousing that calls out any dryads or hamadryads from the woods around and empowers them to travel far from their trees for a lunar cycle (month) after the dance is performed (though they cannot use their charm ability when more than 360 yards from the tree). Dryads and their trees are healed and revitalized by the dance, and it is rumored that humans and dryads who tryst at this time cause the rapid spead of new oaks trees and the birth of new dryas linked to them.

Sadly, it seems the most often performed ceremony in the Silvanite canon is Thorncall, a ritual magic that raises thick walls of deadly tearing thorns out of the forest soil. These barriers are permanent and as labyrinthine as the presiding priest desires, but they can only be called up when a servant of Silvanus (a worshiper or a servitor creature, such as a stag) has been slain or shed much blood in the vicinity. The Thorncall ritual is used to keep out those who would burn or despoil the forest in such a way as to upset the balance.

Major Centers of Worship: The most major center of Silvanite worship is Old Oak Dell in the heart of the Forest of Tethir, due east of Mosstone in Tethyr. Lyon's Oak south of the River Icehilt in Impiltur, where a vast forest has been planted all around by Silvanite clergy, is fast rising to challegnge Old Oak's supremacy. Another strong contender for supremacy is the island of Ilighôn in the Vilhon Reach, where the Emerald Enclave has set up a faith magic zone.

Affiliated Orders: The church of Silvanus does not have any affiliated knightly orders. It has firm connections to several orders of rangers who serve Mielikki, since she in turn serves Silvanus, and its holy groves and forest pool shrines are often guarded by the seldom-seen clergy of Eldath along with the druids and clerics of the greenleaf priesthood. The Emerald Enclave, a large and aggressive society of druids active in the Vilhon Reach, has close ties to the church, but its members considered a tad radical by many Silvanites elsewhere in Faerûn who see their actions as likely to provoke a negative backlash against the Silvanite religion in the future. Finally, the church of Silvanus also has ties with the Harpers, an organization working against the rise of great powers, which tend to endanger all natural life and conditions around them by trying to reshape Fearun, and so endanger the Balance.

Priestly Vestments: The ceremonial dress for both clerics and druisd of Silvanus is a suit of armor made of overlapping leaves. For clerics, the leaves are made of metal plates and the suit functions as a set of scale mail. For druids, the leaves are made of green-tinted leather and the suit functions as leather armor. Either set is worn with green breeches and shirt. The outfit is topped with a large help with oak leaf-shaped wings.

In urban areas, where the clerics outnumber the druids, the standard dress has been simplified to a verdigrised-copper pin worn on the breast when a priest is not involved with the High Ceremonies.

Adventuring Garb: When adventuring, druids and clerics of Silvanus may wear their ceremonial armor or switch to something less flamboyant, depending on their mission. They are usually very practical in their dress, choosing outfits to suit the situation at hand.

Many of the wilder druids take to wearing only a loose, dusty brown cloak made of old hides adorned with feathers and carefully watered, woven-in clumps of mosses from day to day. Sometimes this body cloak is augmented by fur leggings or high boots. This garb, worn by priestesses of the Forest Father, has given rise to tales of wild women of the woods in many places around the Realms.

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4 Tempus on Tue Oct 26, 2010 11:42 pm

Tempus
Lord of Battles, Foehammer

Greater Power of Limbo
CN

PORTFOLIO: War, battle, warriors
DOMAINS : Chaos, Protection, Strength, War
ALIASES: Tempos (among the barbarians of Icewind Dale)
HOME PLANE: Limbo/Knight's Rest
SUPERIOR: None
ALLIES: Clangedding Silverbeard, Gond, Haela Brightaxe, Nobanion, the Red Knight, Uthgar, Valkur
FOES: Garagos
SYMBOL: A blazing silver sword on a blood-red field
WORSHIPPER ALIGNMENT: Any


Tempus (TEM-pus) is random in his favours, yet his chaotic nature favours all sides equally. Lord Tempus may be on an army's side on one day, and against them the next; such is the nature of war. Tempus is prayed to the most of all on the night before battles and regularly venerated by all warriors, regardless of their alignment. As a result, he is a strong, exuberant, and robust god - a warrior's God. Tempus sometimes appears at huge battles an important combats - and on rare occasions to individuals who are in a position to cause great strife by the decisions.

Although mighty and profoundly honourable in battle, Tempus answers to his own warriors code. His is quiet and solitary in relationships to others for Faerûnian deities, pursuing no long-lasting alliances or brief flirtations.

He is known to love food, drink, and the hunt, though he loves battle best. In recent years, he has sponsored the Red night and godhood. His relationship with her is one of a fond protective father to a brilliant daughter who works hard and successfully in the family business - war.

His diametric opposite him portfolio, Eldath, he considers naive and weak. However, out of respect for her convictions, he punishes those of his faithfull who abuse her priests, shrines, or temples. Perhaps he feels that war has little meaning without peace to define and highlight it. Sune, who considers him a foe, he regards as irrelevant and flighty and therefore unworthy of being his foe.

Manifestations

Tempus sometimes manifests before battles, appearing to one side or the other. If he rides Veiros upon one side, then that army will succeed in his battle. If he writes Deiros, then defeat is in the offing. Most often he appears riding with one foot on each horse as they gallop across the battlefield, indicating the chaotic nature of battle.

Priests praying to Tempus for spells or guidance may see visions of a god himself, or his mounts, or a famous dead warrior and must interpret what they see is an indication of the god's intent and favour. Only the images of dead warrior's in visions sent to mortals will ever speak the will of the war god directly. Tempus himself only snarls in battle fury or keeps silent. (in fact, he has been never been known to speak while in Faerûn.) lay worshippers praying to the war god usually see Veiros or Deiros. To those requesting aid in battle or self defence, the favour of Tempus may manifest as a weapon appearing beside them when they are weaponless.

The Church

Tempus is worshipped by those of every alignment and lineage who wage war for all clauses. The Tempurian clergy may be found on both sides of a conflict, as no one can ever truly know whom the war-god will favour. Priests of Tempus tend to be human, male, and have the temperament that enjoys battle, though the clergy is open to all beings who have prayed privately to Tempus and received the blessing of a spell, a manifestation, or direct aid of some sort. In some societies, such as that of the Northmen of the Moonshae Islands and the Barbarians of Icewind Dale, Tempus is served by shamans. Temples of Tempus are usually what are more commonly known as walled military compounds than what most people picture as temples.

Military ranks within the faith are common. Ranks typical of many temples of Tempus are War Priest, Slung Sword, Terrible Sword, Lance of the Lord, Shield of the God, Battlelady/Battlelord, Swordmaster/Swordmistress, and Lady/Lord of the Field - but these are often superseded by titles that go with a position, such as Battle Chaplain of a shrine or Trusted Sword of the Temple. Ranks are assigned by those in authority in the Church in light of service, needs, and situation, and temporary commands are common in desperate situations. Special leaders of a temple or crusade are entitled to wear their heavy battle gauntlet of rank.

Dogma:

Tempus does not win battles - Tempus helps the deserving warrior win battles. War is fair in that it oppresses all sides equally and that in any given battle, a mortal may be slain or become a great leader among his or her companions. War should not be feared, but seen as a natural force, a human force, the storm that civilisation brings by its very existence.

A faithful of Tempus are charged to arm all for whom battle is needful, even foes. They should retreat from hopeless fights, but never avoid battle, and slay one foe decisively and bring battle to halt rather than hacking down many overtime and dragging on hostilities. They are to defend what they believe in, lest it be swept away, and remember the dead who fell fighting before them. Above all, they should disparage no foe and respect all, for valour blazes in all, regardless of age, gender, or-race.

Tempus looks favourably upon those who acquit themselves honourably and tirelessly in battle, smiting mightily when facing a foe, but avoiding such craven tricks is destroying homes, family, or livestock when a foe is away or attacking from the rear (except when such an attack is launched by a small band against foes of vastly superior numbers). Tempus believes that warrior's should responsibly consider the consequences of the violence they do beforehand and try not to hot headedly rush off to wage war recklessly. On the other hand, Tempus teaches that people with smooth tongues or fleet feet who avoid all strife and have defend their beliefs wreak more harm than the most energetic tyrant raider or horde leader.

Day-to-day activities:

Priests of the war got are charged to keep warfare a thing of rules, respected reputation, and professional behaviour, minimising uncontrolled bloodshed and working to eradicate feuding that extends beyond a single dispute or set of foes. At the same time, training and readiness for battle must be promoted if civilised human holdings are to survive in Faerûn in the face of monster raids and orc hordes - and the power of Tempus to aid those he favours in battle must also be promoted. Warriors - especially mercenaries - who employ poison or taint wells, sow fields with salt, kill non-combatants, indulge in torture or wanton destruction of innocents, when they are not at war, or commit similar sins against fair battle are to be denied the favourite of the god, their crimes are to be publicised far and wide, and they are to be made to atone for their deeds or perish.

Where priests must preserve the name of the honoured battle fallen, both on gravestones and other such memorials, in their prayers to Tempus, and in an annual chant at the March of the Dead, wherein priests of the war god go through the streets to call all folk, worshippers and non-believers alike, to the local feast of the Moon hosted by their temple. Priests are also charged to collect and venerate the weapons and armour of famous and respected warriors, even of these are broken or have deteriorated, for they retain something of the battlelust apart would happen and ate at have a higher up and energy associated but the deeds they participated in.

Holy Days / Important Ceremonies:

The ritual performed by most of the faithful is a prayer for valiant performance and survival in the fray ahead, made to the war god over the weapon the praying being most often fights with. If a new weapon comes into the believers possession before a battle - particularly in the form of hard won booty - it is taken as a sign of Tempus's favour, and this weapon is the one that used in worship.

The eves and anniversaries a great battles of a holy days of the Church of Tempus, and as such vary from place to place. The Feast of the Moon, honouring the dead, is the most important fixed date in the religious calendar. It is also expected that at least once a ten-day worshippers of Tempus bills a few drops of blood (preferably their own or a worthy foe's) and sing the Song of the Sword in Tempus's honour. Regardless of battle anniversaries, clergy perform at least two ceremonies each day: the Feast of Heroes at high sun and the Song of the Fallen at sunset. In most temples, a senior priest also conducts a Song of the Sword ceremony after dark for all lay worshippers desiring to attend.

Major centres of worship:

The most prominent Tempurian temple is the High House of Swords And Banners ("the Bloodhall") in Ormpetarr, which began centuries ago as a meeting house for the many mercenary companies active in the Vilhon and the lands east and became the first shrine of the Lord of Battles. Its original altar, a gigantic bowl over which an enormous enchanted flaming two-handed sword levitates and slowly rotates, still stands in the heart of the vast central hall. The High House now trains warriors for fees (simultaneously instructing them in the worship of Tempus), and also sells warrior's mounts, armour, and equipment of superior quality. Several raids on its fortified armouries in the past have failed, but such attacks have ceased since the warrior priests of the High House wiped out an orc horde 20 times the number in the year of the Sword (1365 DR).

Since the time the troubles, a site of great holiness in the Church of Tempus has been the Abbey of the sword in Battledale, which marks the spot where Tempus descended to Faerûn during the Time Of Troubles. The site was located after a priest of the war god followed Tempus's back trail away from his appearance at the battlefield of Swords Creek at Mistledale. The Abbey is built on the former site of the hold of the warrior Belarus, a devout worshipper of the war god in times past.

Affiliated orders:

The Tempurian Church has many affiliated orders. Two of note are the Order Of The Broken Blade and the Order Of The Steel Fang. The Order Of The Broken Blade honours those warriors and clergy who are injured in Tempus's service and can no longer fight on the front lines. Broken Blades often serve in support functions at temples and shrines and take a personal oath upon joining the order to defend the holy site where they reside o the death as a final line of defence. The Order Of The Steel Fang is an elite fighting order within the Church whose members are often assigned to the most hazardous duties. Steel Fang units are led by battle hardened members of the clergy. Many mercenary company's and knightly fighting orders of crusaders also avail themselves of a connection to the Church. One badge of the god seen among his affiliated mercenaries is a rusty brown dagger, shown diagonally with its point to the upper right, dripping catch four it drops of blood. No knightly orders of paladins serve Tempus, however.

Priestley vestments:

When not in battered armour, clergy of the war god wear helms or steel skullcaps, though there are careful never to cover their faces, for such close emulation of Tempus is thought to be affront to Lord of Battles. Some of the fanatical wandering priests never remove all of their armour at any time, but in the temples of the big cities clergy are rarely seen in a armour except at ceremonies held before whelmed armies leave or a siege begins.

The robes of a priest of Tempus always sport trim of the crimson hue of fresh blood, but vary in overall colour from place to place and rank to rank. Darker coloured robes are worn by those of the lower ranks. Most war Priests West ceremonial garments of brown or purple. Read or amber is worn by senior clergy say, and yellow or white by those of the most exalted rank.

Speciality priests of Tempus, particularly those of high rank, wear a spiked gauntlet as a symbol of office. The gauntlet is usually worn only by speciality priests with some form of authority - those in charge of temples or leading Crusades.

Adventuring garb

Adventuring garb is the same for both clerics and speciality priests of Tempus. Most wear the best they can obtain, though it is battle worn and battered as it is for use, not show. They prefer full plate armour or plate mail. A full helm his usual, but it is worn with either an open face plate or no face plate.

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5 Gond on Tue Oct 26, 2010 11:42 pm

Gond
Wonderbringer, the Lord of All Smiths, the Inspiration Divine, the Holy Maker of All Things

Intermediate Power of the Plane of Concordant Opposition, N

PORTFOLIO: Artifice, craft, construction, smithwork
DOMAINS : Craft, Earth, Fire, Knowledge, Metal, Planning
ALIASES: Zionil (Durpar, Estagund, and Var the Golden)
HOME PLANE: Outlands/Wonderhome
SUPERIOR: Oghma
ALLIES: Lathander, Oghma, Waukeen (missing), Tempus
FOES: Talos
SYMBOL: A shining toothed wheel or cog with four spokes, in ivory, bone, or metal

Gond (GOHND) Wonderbringer is the god of blacksmiths, woodworkers, inventors, and engineers. In religious art, he is most often portrayed as a burly, red-hued smith, with a mighty hammer and a forge and anvil that allows him to craft the stuff that stars are made of.

Gond serves Oghma along with Deneir and Milil. He gives the ideas that Oghma holds in his portfolio concreate form and inspires others to make new things. He has grown very independent as his own power waxes, and his relationship to Oghma is already only dimly remembered at times by mortals. In Durpar, Estagund, and Var the Golden, Gond is worshiped as a part of the Adama, the Durparian concept of a world spirit that embraces and enfolds the divine essence that is part of all things. Here he is known as Zionil, patrion of inventors, craftfolk, and creators.

Gond is always making new things. He often presses Oghma for their release into the mortal world without thinking through completely the impact they will have. He is fascinated with making the theoretical real and either does not consider or often does not care about the implications for the use of his inventions and discoveries. He has a constant need for bizarre components as well as raw materials for his work, and so may overlook shady sponsors for specific jobs provided that they pay well in materials, knowledge he can use, or future favors. He can be distracted, businesslike, sarcastic, or patronizing as well as incredibly helpful and brilliant. He is dedicated to his faithful, and though he sometimes does not immediately respond to them because he is busy, he always ensures that their needs are met.

During the Time of Troubles, Gond, in the avatar of a gnome, washed ashore on Lantan. His true nature was quickly discovered, and the deity was revered and worshipped there until the crisis passed. As a result, Gond gave the secret of smoke powder to the Lantanna, and arquebuses, stamped on the butts of their stocks with the symbol of Gond, have been shipped at a steady trickle to western ports since 1358 DR.

Other Manifestations

Gond appears most often as a forge hammer wreathed in gray smoke. He has also manifested as a pair of black, piercing eyes in a gray cloud accompanied by the faint rining of distant forge hammers. Either manifestation can speak or cast spells, issuing spells forth as a bust of smoke that changes into the spell effect or touches the target of the spell to affect him or her. Most often he inspires ideas for new inventions or new applications for old inventions in his faithful. He laos gives out magical or normal items geared to aid worshipers in particularly sticky dilemmas, though he often does not explain why the item he gives someone is suitable. Frequently the items he give out evaporate in smoke after serving their purpose. Gond also sends baku, holy ones, einheriar (who were in mortal life inventors), golems, lightning mephits, maruts, pseudodragons, steel dragons, crystal dragons, and animated furniture or equipment to aid mortals or to show his favor or presence.

The Church

Since the Time of Troubles, interest in and worship of Gond is on the rise, but this has brought increased attacks from both rival clergy and those who simply fear new inventions. Gondarism is the official state religion of the island nation of Lantan, which is also a hotbed of invention and new devices. Men tend to outnumber women in both Gondar clergy and laity, but there is no impediment to or prejudice against females rising in the ranks of the Gondar. Members of the Gondar faith are mainly human, but more and more gnomes are being accepted into the church, especially in the wake of the form that Gond's avatar took during the Gondswar.

In most of Faerûn, the proportion of clerics to Gondsmen (as his specialty priests are called) is 15:1. In Lantan, this proportion is neatly reversed, and there are about 20 Gondsmen for every Gondar cleric. Most specialty priests of the faith are Lantanna, and most Lantanna merchants encountered in the Realms outside Lantan are specialty priests of Gond.

Clerics of Gond are called Krii, a Lantanna term meaning disadvantaged. Despite the implied slur, many clerics hold senior positions within the state religion in Lantan. A cleric occupies the post of Most Holy Avenue for Spreading the Faith, which is (in title at least) the supreme authority for all worshipers of Gond in Lantan. There are a number of northern branches of the Gondar faith, including a budding temple complex in Tilverton.

Clergy refer to themselves as the Consecrated of Gond, and may speak of other Gondar priests as "fellow Consecrates," but their titles of rank are simple: Wonderer (novice), Seeker Postulant (priest in training), Seeker after Small Things (confirmed priest), Greater Seeker, Seeker of the Twelfth Order, Seeker of the Eleventh Order, and so on up to Seeker of the First Order, High Seeker (a title held by all senior clergy), Master (leader of a religious community or one who tends a holy site), Artificer (one who has been personally rewarded and named by Gond for special service), and High Artificer (the supreme priest of the faith). Though Gondar may act independently in their duty of encouraging inventions, their religious hierarchy is ordered and obedience to a superior is unquestioning.

Dogma: The beliefs of the Gondar can be summed up as "Actions count." Intentions and thought are one thing, but in the end it is the result—what remains after the sword is forged, the battle is fought—that is the most important. Talk is for others; those who truly serve Gond do.

All Gondar are to strive to make new things that work. All of Gond's clergy should become skilled at forging, casting, or tempering, and practice various means of joining and fastening until they are adept at making things to fit a space or situation with which they are confronted. To venerate Gond is to continually question and challenge the unknown with new devices and items. Elegance and usefulness are the two legs any new making should stand on.

Gondar must practice experimentation and innovation in the making of tools and implementation of processes and encourage these virtues in others through direct aid, sponsorship, and diplomatic support. They should strive to make farmers, hunters, and others think of new tools, improved ways of crafting and using their existing gear, and new ways of doing things.

The Concecrated must keep records of their strivings, ideas, and attempts, so that others can continue where they leave off when gathered at death to the Holy Maker of All Things. Gondar are instructed to observe, acquire, and store safely the makings of others, and show what they have learned to other Consecrated of Gond. They are to discuss ideas and spread them so that all may see the divine light that is Gond.

Day-to-Day Activities: Gondar keep the formulas for smoke powder and various sealants, cleansers, and lubricants secret. They sell small jars of all of these as they travel Faerûn, making a lot of money thereby as well as by selling buckles, small brass bells, mortars and pestles, and various monocles and lenses. The special glass jars they use to store smoke powder and other formulas were formerly made only in Lantan. They have proven so popular that rival makers have sprung up in Calimshan and the Tashalar. To protect church trade secrets, Gondar priests are charged to work against these rivals by sabotage, diplomacy, and financial influence, whenever they can covertly do so.

As they travel, Gondar clergy establish caches, investments, and alliances and grab samples of any new inventions they come across. It is their duty to assist inventors and innovators and to file regular reports to the nearest Master by means of messenger envoys of the faith as they travel.

Settling in one place is frowned upon unless a priest can show his or her superiors that their prospective home is a locale where much innovation occurs that bears need for constant watching such as Waterdeep, Athkatla, Suzail, or—formerly—Zhentil Keep. Making a handsome personal living while one serves Gond is encouraged, however, for who better walks upon Faerûn to demonstrate the rewards of following the Way of Gond!

Priests of Gond are much in demand as builders, especially of vaulted and buttressed temples dedicated to other gods. Because of these temple engineering and construction contracts, the faith of Gond is growing in wealth and influence, but also in foes. Who else would know the secret ways of a rival temple than the builder?

Holy Days/Important Ceremonies: Gondar have only one calendar-related festival: the Ippensheir. The Ippensheir is the name given to the 12 days immediately followering Greengrass. It is named for Ippen, the first great cleric of Gond, who sometimes appears to clergy in need these days as Gond's First Servant. During the Ippensheir, all clergy members of Gond's faith and his devout worshipers gather at a temple, abbey, or holy site of Gond to share innovations and show inventions and innovations they have made or witnessed with and to their fellow Gondar. (Many cavern networks and remote towers where capable inventors once dwelt are revered by Gondar as holy sites.) It is a time of feasting, drinking, and revelry, and some Gondar make much use of personal teleport magics and the network of gates maintained by the priesthood to link major defensible holy houses to visit as many gatherings of the faithful as they can during this time.

Daily rituals to Gond are simple: muttered prayers upon rising and retiring that are often scheduled as part of dressing or disrobing so that they are not forgotten, a longer prayer of thanks at the main meal of a priest's day, and a special prayer of thanks and dedication of their work before commencing any work of new making (as opposed to repair or maintenance).

If a new tool or machine is seen or made by any Gondar, that Gondar is charged to make two copies of it if possible. One is hidden away against the prying eyes of thieves or vandals for later display to fellow Gondar, and the other is smashed—or preferably, burned—while a prayer of offering to Gond, the Sacred Unmaking, is chanted. The ceremony reinforces Gond's dominion over both constructive and destructive engineering.

Major Centers of Worship: The heart of the Gondar faith is located at the High Holy Crafthouse of Inspiration in the city of Illul in Lantan. This large, walled monastery is run by Danactar the High Artificer, Most Holy Servant of Gond, the highest-ranking mortal priest of the Wonderbringer.

The House of the Wonderbringer in Tilverton, formerly known as Gharri's House, is the most prominent temple of Gond in the Heartlands. It is led by High Artificer Burlan Almaether, who directs over 40 priests in devising new inventions in Gond's name.

Affiliated Orders: The church of Gond has no affiliated knightly orders. It does have a great many honorary orders and societies within its ranks. These are usually founded to recognize the works of Gondar working in a particular specialty and to promote the easy exchange of ideas between those qualified in a field while preventing trade or church secrets from leaking out to competitors. Just a few of these societies include the Order of Puissant Stonemasons and Stonecarvers, the Holy Order of Most Skilled Architects and Bridgemakers, the Armorers of the Wonderbringer, the Most Arcane Order of Gearmakers, Clockmakers, and Automationists, the Society of Creative Castle Design and Construction, and the Industrious Brothers and Sisters of Carpentry, Cabinetry, Puppetry, and Toymaking.

Priestly Vestments: Gondar clergy members wear saffron ceremonial vestments with a crimson collar and stole. Over their right or left shoulder they wear a leather sash ending in a large pouch. The sash is dotted with small metal tools, gears, wire, cord, locks, hooks, hasps, buckles, and bits of steel, tin, and wood that might prove interesting or useful in a pinch (including, for Gondsmen, their lockpicks). Their vestments also include belts of large, linked metal medallions and enormous sun hats. They wear Gond's holy symbol as a pendant fashioned of bone, brass, bronze, or ivory.

Adventuring Garb: In dangerous situations, Gondar wear standard armor (along with their leather sash), but generally they prefer the protection of 10 or 12 big fighters. Most often they wear practical clothing hung about with baldrics and pouches crammed with useful supplies. Most priests of Gond wear bulky rings that function as knuckledusters and can also produce the equivalent of a cosh from their gear and three or four knives of various sorts. (Removable boot-heel knives are a great favorite among the Gondar.) Few Gondar priests would steal, but most have and can use files and bolt cutters, and Gondar are proficient with lockpicks. Increasingly, GOndar priests have also taken to carrying small metal flasks of smoke powder sealed against sparks and damp and appropriate wicks to use with them to make explosive missile weapons when trouble arises.

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6 Azuth on Tue Oct 26, 2010 11:43 pm

Azuth
The High One, Patron of Wizards, the Lord of Spells, the Hand of Sorcery, the Lord of Spellcraft

Lesser Power of Arcadia, LN

PORTFOLIO: Wizards, mages, spellcasters in general
DOMAINS : Illusion, Knowledge, Magic, Law, Spell
HOME NAME: Buxenus/Azuth
SUPERIOR: Mystra
ALLIES: Mystra, Savras the All-Seeing, Velsharoon the Vaunted, Oghma, Deneir, Leira (now dead)
FOES: Cyric
SYMBOL: A human left hand, pointed upward, outlined in a nimbus of blue fire
WOR. ALIGN.: Any

Azuth (Ah-ZOOTH) is the god of wizards and mages and to a much lesser degree, all spellcasters, as opposed to Mystra, who is the goddess of all magic. Azuth is Mystra's servant, friend, and advisor. This last role has become even more important in the years since the Time of Troubles. Before the Godswar, he and Mystra were much closer and very affectionate toward one another, but Azuth's relationship with Midnight/Mystra is much more professional. He regards the new Mystra as an inexperienced daughter facing a taxing and complex job whom he must coach to allow her to bset perform her duties. In religious art, Azuth is most often protrayed as a bearded old man unbent by age, wielding a stout, gem-topped staff.

Savras the All-Seeing, a rival god of mages whom Azuth defeated, was Azuth's foe for centuries. Savras now serves Azuth, albeit uneasily, as a demipower of diviners and truth-speakers. The two deities seem to cautiously be working toward friendship and a format division of duties, albeit with Savras continuing to serve Azuth. Azuth also works closely to guide the Magister, the mortal spellwielding champion of magic who serves Mystra. Likewise, Velsharoon, demipower of necromancy, must pay at least lip service to Azuth's commands.

Azuth is a sober sort of father-figure deity, but he is not humorless or mean-spirited. He has a rather dry, sardonic wit and appreciates plays on words and subtle humor. He has perfected a straight-faced delivery to such a degree that often those who hear him speak are left wondering whether some of his comments were said seriously or in jest. When he is in good humor, he likes to present those who have called on him with small gifts, such as flowers in unusual colors, magical fabric of elegant drape, or edible delicacies. When he is upset, his wrath is terrible to behold as the air crackles with magical energy around him that seems to flow both into and out of his eyes and the Old Staff, a divine artifact of ancient construction that he wields to devastating effect.

Other Manifestations

Azuth sometimes appears as a glowing, intangible floating mouth surrounded by mustache and beard and sometimes as a white, glowing, upright hand with its forefinger extended to a point that is outlined with a shimmering silver aura. Most often he appears as an electric blue radiance. Sometimes he manifests merely as an echoing, dry, male voice or such a voice accompanies another manifestation. In all manifestations, he has the power to unleash spells, identify from a distance without triggering the powers of an item or spell, and know the end result of any magic he sees being cast before it takes effect.

Azuth also acts or shows his favor through the appearance or presence of pure gray cats and dogs (which Azuthans consider lucky), gray owls, gray mice, golems, watchghosts, devas, and the Favored. The Favored are human archmages given a second life by Azuth to serve him with their spells and researches. They can fly and employ ESP at will, but are otherwise living mages in all respects.

The Church

Azuthan clergy tend to be folk who love magic for its own sake. They do not exeult in power, for that is the tendency of those who enjoy what magic can allow them to do to others, but in in elegance, complexities of dweomer, and deft use of spells. Wizards, clerics, specialty priests, and monks serve in the clergy of Azuth. Within the church hierarchy, 45% of the titled clergy are wizards. Another 30% are clerics, who form the strong right arm of the faith, 20% are specialty priests, and 5% are monks. Relationships between the three groups are good, though there is some resentment against a current trend to promote specialty priests into positions of power. However, because of this trend, more novices of the Azuthan faith have chosen the path of a specialty priest than a cleric. Specialty priests of Azuth are known as magistrati.

In areas where Azuth has temples, shrines, and monastic communities, the ruling (not necessarily the most powerful) clergy member holds the title of "the First" and is addressed as "Revered One." Other clergy members in large clerical communities have expanded on this idea: The most powerful user of alteration magic is called First Transmuter, the leading specialist in divination magic is First Diviner, etc. The First may bestow or revoke such titles within his or her parish. Clergy members of high rank and long years in the church are granted the title of Master. Azuthan clergy eschew most further titles.

Dogma: Followers of Azuth feel that reason is the best way to approach magic, and that it may be examined and reduced to its component parts through study and meditation. Calm and caution are the watchwords of Azuthan clergy members as they strive to avoid mistakes that even magic cannot undo. They are taught to use Art (magic) wisely and to be always mindful of when it is best not to use magic.

Novices in the faith are charged to: "Teach the wielding of magic, and dispense scrolls, items, and spellbooks throughout Taerun that the use and knowledge of magic may spread. Encourage everyone to try their hand at wielding magic. Drive home the lesson that with magical power comes grave responsibility, and live that lesson yourself. Try to gain a copy of every new spell, spell variant, or magical idea you encounter without regard for its worth or importance—and make a copy of that copy for a temple library. Train others in what you know of magic, not hoarding your knowledge for yourself, and encourage creativity in magic in all ways and at all times.

Day-to-Day Activities: Azuthan clergy members very often serve as messengers between mages. They strive to remain above reproach and to be regarded as trusted neutral parties by all. They organize annual Mage Fairs, and at those Mage Fairs they try to settle feuds, curb overly destructive or deceitful magic, and sponsor spellweaving contests. They also give out scrolls of the winning spells from previous years and small, useful magical items as prizes in these contests.

Most wizards see the priesthood as helpful, but members of the church of Azuth may go to great lengths to serve a prime goal that many wizards do not find so pleasing: They try to ensure that no spell or magical item is unique to one mage in Faerûn so that the death of a single wizard does not take any spell or the knowledge of how to construct an item out of the world forever. Azuthan clergy members do this by magical spying (and even temporary thefts), by copying every wizardly writing they can find including command words and cryptic phrases (not just complete incantations), by encouraging the barter of spells, and by organizing tome drives in which wizards are paid handsomely to contribute a spell to the latest folio of the ongoing Azuthan spell syclopedia (a written collection of spells from various mages duplicated magically in bulk, bound, and distributed by the priesthood for a minor fee covering production costs).

Holy Days/Important Ceremonies: The church of Azuth holds a holy revel to mark the ascension of a new Magister and of any mage to the ranks of the Favored. Every twilight the faithful of Azuth pray silently to the High One for guidance in all their doings that day and the next. Azuthan priests otherwise avoid a lot of ceremony, but in temples and abbeys of the Lord of Spells, all three major meals of the day are accompanied by readings from the writings of great mages on the ethics of magic use, speculations as to what magic can be made to do in the future, and various philosophies of magic.

When a being is confirmed as a priest of Azuth, she or he must undergo the Transforming, a ritual in which the novice spends a tenday in thrall to an involuntary, ongoing shape change cast on him or her by a Master. In this ceremony, the novice must see life through the eyes of a bewildering variety of shapes forced upon him or her in succession by the magic. No shape the novice is placed in is unable to survive in the environment in which this ritual takes place, but the experience is typically humbling. The ritual is typically held in a walled, secluded temple garden that is temporarily off limits to all others, but which normally serves as a place for contemplation. The spell used in this ritual is a church secret, and it has been used by some Masters on foes in the defense of temples and abbeys under attack.

Azuthan clergy and laity alike also celebrate occasional Wild Nights, in which they dance in the midst of unleashed wild magic just to feel its power nad effects. (Other wizards and priests stand by to rescue anyone who runs into harm.)

Major Centers of Worship: The House of the High One in Saerloon is the most revered temple of the Azuthan faith. It is run jointly by six Masters (all human male priests or wizards of 18th or greater level): Helven, Lhun, Mirren, Ormil, Riilath, and Thelcaunt. Another very powerful temple of Azuth is the House of the High One Ascendant. It is located in the mountains near Lhair in western Halruaa. Here First Arleenaya Kithmaer runs a huge temple complex expanded out from natural caverns in the mountains and fronted by a grand formal stone archway and portico ornamented by the finest carvings stone shape and grand master sculptors can achieve.

Affiliated Orders: Azuth clergy members who have done great service in recovering magical knowledge thought lost are often voted into the Order of the Forgotten Page by the Firsts of the church and allowed to wear a special ilver trim on the collars of their ceremonial vestments. Members of the faith who have served the church in helping to eliminate a magical imbalance or monstrosity are granted the title "Shield of the High One," given a minor protected magical item, and told a secret phrase or word that allows them aid from any temple or shrine of Azuth in the form of healing, shelter, and small loans, when necessary.

Priestly Vestments: The vestments of the priesthood of Azuth are shimmering gray and usually made of silk, though these are layered with heavier and more sensible materials in the North. The symbol of Azuth is worn on the chest, and the color of the aura on the symbol denotes an individual's rank in the church. Most acolytes, monks, mage apprentices, and adventurers have a yellow aura surrounding the symbol of Azuth. Higher level adventurers and clergy members at large without official position wear symbols with a red aura. When not used to identify rank, the symbol of Azuth has a blue aura. In the North, usually only the forefinger of Azuth's symbol is shown ablaze. From Chessenta southward—notably in Halruaa—the entire hand is surrounded by flame.

Adventuring Garb: In the field, clergy of Azuth wear sensible clothing, predominantly in shades of gray. They wear the symbol of their faith over their hearts, either stitched onto a tunic or robes or inlaid in metal armor.

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7 Ibrandul on Tue Oct 26, 2010 11:45 pm

Ibrandul
Lord of the Dry Depths, the Skulking God, Lurker in Darkness

Lesser Power of Pandemonium, CN

PORTFOLIO: Caverns, dungeons, the Underdark, skulks
DOMAINS : Cavern, Darkness, Evil, Knowledge
HOME PLANE: Formerly Phlegethon/Ibrandyllaran; currently adrift in the Astral Plane
SUPERIOR: None
ALLIES: Mask, Ilmater
FOES: Shar, Lathander, Lolth
SYMBOL: Four interlocking silver circles on a dark purple background
WOR. ALIGN.: CG, N, CN, NE, CE

Worshipers in Calimshan and other areas of the Shining South claim that Ibrandul (Ih-BRAN-duhl) watches over humans who must venture into hostile underground areas, aiding and guiding those who serve him when they are in need. Ibrandul’s worship began in the prehistory of Calimshan, even before the founding of the Shoon Empire, which is now known as Iltkazar. Some tune after the defeat of the Djen, a tribe of nomadic humans was abducted from the Calim Desert by dark elf raiders from the city of Guallidurth, located deep beneath the desert sands. These humans served the drow as slaves for centuries, unable to flee the subterranean city because of their fear of the all-enveloping darkness.

The humans eventually escaped when a monstrous lizard emerged from the darkness, drove off the dark elf overseers, and led the slaves into the surrounding wilds of the Underdark. Some of the former slaves eventually returned to the surface and brought with them tales of the Lord of the Dark Depths to the tribes of the surface. Others remained in the dark tunnels, living in small, nomadic bands and subsisting by raiding the farms and caravan of the drow of Guallidurth and the humans of the surface. The subterranean dwellers slowly evolved into skulks—a cowardly race of humanoids with chameleonlike abilities—through a side-effect of one of the spells granted by the Skulking God. Both the humans of the surface and the skulks of the Underdark continue to worship Ibrandul, albeit with slightly different representations and sets of beliefs. Since then Ibrandul’s worship has quietly spread to many locations with access to the Underdark, including Undermountain beneath Mt. Waterdeep.

During the Time of Troubles, Ibrandul was spotted wandering the Underdark beneath Waterdeep. Unbeknownst to his worshipers, Ibrandul was killed during the Godswar by Shar. The now-petrified remains of his avatar are believed to lie at the bottom of a vast chasm in a lost level of Undermountain. Shar has always jealously guarded her rulership over darkness and those who work in it, and when Ibrandul was tremendously weakened by being forced into a minor avatar form (as all the powers were) during the Tune of Troubles, Shar killed him for daring to subvert followers away from her ranks. When the gods ascended to the heavens, Shar had acquired the power and portfolio of Ibrandul. Shar’s guise as Ibrandul is quite useful to her, allowing her to subvert the worship of her hated enemy Selûne without drawing attention to her most faithful worshipers, the nightcloaks. Shar/Ibrandul enjoys the delicious irony of secretly eroding the power of the Lady of Silver, particularly in the city of Waterdeep, one of the seats of Selûne’s power.

Ibrandul was a taciturn and moody power, and Shar stills plays him as such when she speaks for him or has one of her avatars behave and appear as his used to. He displayed all intense emotions simply by flicking his tongue or blinking his eyes at a quicker pace. He radiated an aura of gloom, darkness, and ages long forgotten. He was always restless, wanting to stalk off into the dark and roam the tunnels of the Underdark searching for those might harm his followers.

Other Manifestations

Ibrandul commonly manifests as sounds: footsteps around the bend, breathing (which is often mistaken for wind moaning in the caverns), dripping water (often in arid regions of the Underdark), cave-ins (which rumble in understandable words and phrases), and in curious rock formations and erosion patterns. Many adventurers aided by Ibrandul have no idea that they have been visited by him; rather, they find themselves guided to their destinations by avoiding natural hazards and following peculiar-yet-natural signs—typically a trail of warm spots on tunnel walls . Ibrandul sometimes works through free-willed earth elementals, horgars (giant sluglike creatures that tunnel through the earth by melting stone), ibrandlin and other lizards of all sizes, skulks, oozes (gray and crystal varieties), and will o’ deeps

The Church

Any creature who loved the darkness with a passion used to be able to join Ibrandul’s priesthood. Shar (masquerading as Ibrandul) now keeps watch over the sect of Ibrandul and grants his priests their spells. Shar is pleased with her new followers and makes all new initiates specialty priests, although numerous clerics of Ibrandul—about 20% of the total clergy—still exist from prior to the Fall of the Gods. Ibrandul’s clergy members used to include a few gray druids (druids with the Underdark as their primary terram, as discussed in the Complete Druid’s Handbook), but since the Time of Troubles they have stopped receiving spells from the Lord of the Dry Depths and now worship dwarf, gnome, or other Underdark deities.

In Calimshan and the Shining South, Ibrandul’s worship has declined significantly over the centuries among humans. Ibrandul is still worshiped with great fervor by the once-human bands of skulks who stalk the Underdark in the Calishite region of Faerûn and emerge only to raid the surface As a result, the Skulking God is considered far more of an evil power in Calimshan than elsewhere in the Realms.

In the Sword Coast North, Ibrandul’s faith is a relatively recent arrival. Here the Lord of the Dry Depths attracts worshipers of a wide variety of alignments and races, and his priests emphasize his defender aspect more than his love of darkness. It is likely that Shar will shift this focus in the near future. Before Ibrandul was slam, he provided his priests with spells to modify fire lizards into ibrandlin, the “lurkers in darkness” created in the image of the Stalker, which priests could train to guard Ibrandul’s temples. (These monstrous modified fire lizards are detailed in the Ruins of Undermountain boxed set on a MONSTROUS COMPENDIUM sheet and summarized below.)

With Shar’s favor, the ibrandlin are now beginning to breed true. Before the Avatar crisis Ibrandul tended to ignore his followers once they were relatively safe, leaving all his clergy members as clerics and not providing enough divine power to turn the ibrandlin into a self-propagating species. It was probably this inattention to his worshipers and corresponding weakening in his power that led to his defeat by Shar.

Novice Ibrandulin (priests of Ibrandul) are called Children of Ibrandul, and addressed as “child” by priests. When initiated into the priesthood, they earn the title Lurker. Senior priests (those above 5th level) are Mysterious Lurkers, and the leader of a temple is an Impenetrable Lurker. Priests often take distinctive personal titles, and the recognition of such title by the Impenetrable Lurker of a temple is all that is required to make them official.

Dogma: Followers of Ibrandul believe that the Underdark is every bit as vital as the surface world, and darkness is its greatest redeeming quality. In a world without light, there is no tedious and inescapable march of day and night to command the lives of intelligent creatures and no end to the variety of shapes and textures to experience tactilely—something which would be lost by merely looking upon them as surface dwellers do. Followers of Ibrandul believe that nothing is good or evil in the dark unless you consider it so, and such value judgments are frivolous.

Initiates to the Enveloping Darkness, as the faith is properly known, are charged: “There is perfect freedom in perfect darkness: independence, individuality, liberty from the judgment of others. Ibrandul protects you and guides you in the dark ways. He drives away those who would do his children harm and from time to time reveals great treasures to those who venture into the depths. Remain steadfast to him, and he will stand by you.”

Day-to-Day Activities: All priests of Ibrandul proselytize among adventurers and the poor folk of cities. Ibrandulin are also expected to build temple fortresses deep in the Underdark to serve as sanctuaries for those who venture in the depths. They are to offer the protection of the Lord of the Dry Depths to those who must hide underground (from justice, their enemies, a plague, severe weather, or an attack on the city) by providing such people with guarded, defensible temples underground to stay in—in exchange for regular rental payments for a bed, food, a niche in the temple, and Ibrandul’s favor.

Many of Ibrandul’s clergy members wander in the Underdark as adventurers or aides to them. Their mission is to persuade everyone they meet to remain below the surface and acknowledge Ibrandul as their defender while below ground. Ibrandulin tend to roam alone in the Underdark, celebrating the darkness, which leads to a relatively high mortality rate among the lower-ranking priests. The smarter Ibrandulin stick with groups until they develop their survival skills and priestly powers a bit more. Shar tends to warn and protect higher-level followers of Ibrandul with the same subtle signs and manifestations that Ibrandul liked to use.

Each time priests of Ibrandul gain a level of experience, they are expected to throw a tithe of a tenth of their total wealth into a deep pit, where it should remain unrecoverable. All priests and more casual followers should throw a copper piece intp any pit they cross as a thanks for safely negotiating it and into any nearby hole or crevice whenever they believe they have witnessed a sign from the Ibrandul.

Holy Days/Important Ceremonies: At 5th level, all priests of Ibrandul must undergo a secret ritual involving ingesting ibrandlin blood and a magical ceremony conducted by an Impenetrable Lurker. As a result of this ceremony, known as elah’ranak (“Protective Armor of Darkness” in Alzhedo), large areas of the wrists, forearms, chest, back, and legs are covered with patches of overlapping scales in a fashion reminiscent of the ibrandlin. These scales give the (now senior) priest a base Armor Class of 5 but result in a permanent loss of ld3 points of Charisma.

Ibrandulin celebrate very few holy days. On cloud-covered nights when there is a new moon and the Land Above is pitch black, Ibrandul’s priests emerge for a ceremony known as the Foreshadowing. Beginning at midnight, this ritual celebrates Ibrandul’s promise to eventually envelop all the land above and below in darkness. Each Midwinter’s Eve, the faithful of Ibrandul give thanks to the Lurker in Darkness for their delivery from the hands of the dark elves. This ceremony, known as the Deliverance Unto Darkness, typically involves the sacrifice of a monstrous spider or some other creature or being Intimately associated with Lolth or the drow and the casting of dark path spells. Long chains of Ibrandul’s worshipers then use the abilities granted them by the dark path spells to wander through the Underdark without light sources, trusting their deity to lead them to safety. When turning undead, clerics of Ibrandul do not wield holy symbols. Instead, they reach down and grasp at a handful of earth or gravel and then let it trickle through their fists as if they were reminding the undead of what should happen when something dies.

Major Centers of Worship: Ibrandul can be worshiped anywhere it is dark and anywhere in the Underdark. Ibrandul has shaped elaborate altars out of the natural stone in numerous large caverns throughout the Underdark. They are recognizable as plateaus at least 20 feet across, worn glassy smooth across the top and having steps that ascend from any accessible side. At the very center of the plateau, Ibrandul carves many runes and glyphs of varying texture and shape so that followers can kneel and caress them while meditating.

Ibrandul’s largest and newest temple is the Deep Temple of Dark Hope, recently constructed deep beneath the streets of Waterdeep by Thalander “the Mad.” This temple serves as a stronghold and place of sanctuary for adventurers exploring Undermountain and the Underdark—for a steep fee. The subterranean temple can also be reached via a two-way gate from the Dark Gateway (also known as the Upper Temple), a secret shrine to Ibrandul located in the Trades Ward of the City of Splendors.

Affiliated Orders: The Shadows of the Night is a sinister organization based in the Calimshan’s Underdark comprising scattered bands of skulks. These skulks are somewhat more daring than their cowardly fellows and engage in fairly regular raids on the surface, although they still only attack when they have a vast superiority in numbers. It is believed the Shadows of the Night are led by some powerful evil creature—perhaps a renegade dark elf or illithilich.

The Knights Fallen is a band of priests, rogues, and warriors who stalk the northern reaches of the Underdark. They serve Ibrandul by seeking out those who have lost their way in the darkness, typically adventurers or daring merchants, and delivering, them to relative safety in exchange for a significant fee. They are believed to be based in the Deep Temple of Dark Hope, but bands of this order have been encountered as far east as Anauroch and as far south as Amn.

Legends speak of an itinerant band of wanderers of various races who call themselves the Horgardin. The group is led by a half-dark elf gray druid of Ibrandul who leads his followers along a twisting path through the Underdark said to be created in ancient times by a huge horgar controlled by the Lord of the Dry Depths.

Since Shar assumed Ibrandul’s portfolio, orders of her followers have been (oddly) friendly to those of Ibrandul, although they tend to behave a bit condescendingly.

Priestly Vestments: Priests of Ibrandul wear dark purple ceremonial robes covered with a pattern of large, overlapping silver rings and belted with a black sash. The rings symbolize their interdependence (as fellow children of Ibrandul) and also the protective scales of the Lord of the Dry Depths. The holy symbol of Ibrandul is usually carved into a semiprecious stone and carried on a thong or chain, or sometimes formed symbolically from a puzzle ring of four interlinked silver finger rings worn as one ring.

Adventuring Garb: In general, followers of Ibrandul have a distinct predilection for black and dark purple clothing with silver ornamentation. One might often mistake them for rogues (which they may be anyway) because they seem to dress as if to blend with darkness. When adventuring, the Skulking God’s clergy members wear reasonable armor that protects them yet enables them to move swiftly in the rough terrain of subterranean tunnels. Such armor is always tinted or dyed flat black or a deep purple so as not to reflect any light and is usually crafted from metals or 1izard skins found in the Underdark. Ibrandulin wield whatever weapons are appropriate and available.

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8 Liira on Tue Oct 26, 2010 11:47 pm

Lliira
Our Lady of Joy, Joybringer, the Goddess of Joy, Mistress of the Revels

Lesser Power of Olympus, CG

PORTFOLIO: Joy, happiness, dance, festivals, carefree celebration, contentment, release, hospitality, freedom/liberty; from Waukeen: trade, money, wealth
DOMAINS : Chaos, Charm, Family, Good, Travel
HOME PLANE: Olympus/Brightwater
SUPERIOR: Sune
ALLIES: Sune, Milil, Waukeen (missing), Selûne, Sharess, Deneir, Oghma, Lathander
FOES: Bane Bhaal (now dead), Loviatar, Talona
SYMBOL: Three six-pointed stars arranged in a triangle with their points touching with the orange star uppermost, yellow on the left, and red on the right
WOR. ALIGN: Any, though evil worshipers are rare

Lliira (LEER-ah, with a trill on the long "e" sound) is ever-changing, ever-moving, ever alive. She embodies happiness, freedom, and joyful movement. She is not an ambitious deity, nor does she like pretense, so she is rather uncomfortable with her new role in the events surrounding the disappearance of Waukeenn.

For over 10 years now, Waukeen has been unheard from in the Realms, and she has been publicly announced by her priesthood to be dstroyed or dead. Lliira promised Waukeen during the Time of Troubles to guard her portfolio and goldly power until she returned for it (see the entry on Waukeen), but Lliira has not been able to find any trace of Waukeen since she last saw her during the Godswar. In 1365 DR, she felt forced to take over Waukeen's disintegrating church to preserve what she could for the return of her friend. She sent a prophet to the gates of every temple of Waukeen to speak to the Waukeenar. He was to emphasize Waukeen's uncertain status (that she could not be found in the Realms or her home plane and showed no sign of appearing in the near future) and Llira's regency (not appropriation of the position), but the Waukeenar, already in a panic stricken state after receiving no new spells for years, immediately heard what they thought they were going to hear and recorded that Waukeen was dead.

Lliira is rather uncomfortable with her new role as the shepherd of the bulk of the former flock of Waukeen. Though she is only holding Waukeen's portfolio as its regent, the increased power the Waukeenar are delivering to her is a constant temptation, and the prospect of completely folding the power of Waukeen into herself grows sweeter to Lliira each day. Still, she holds off doing so out of loyalty to her friend and to respect the promise that she made.

Lliira's allegiance is to Sune (who until recently was also served by Selune), though her closest everyday ties are to Milil, and the two powers often work together. Because of this close relationship, scholars have often become confused about her ultimate loyalty; although she is allied to Deneir, Milil, and Oghma, Oghma is not her superior. A nasty legend surfaced after the Time of Troubles that Lliira hunted down and killed Leira, the Lady of the Mists, since their names were similar. This is patently untrue.

Other Manifestations

Lliira appears as a will-o'-wisp that leaves a sparkling trail and can emit dancing lights at will that it can direct to illuminate certain areas, signal, form symbols or words in the air, and so on. The wisp speaks with Lliira's voice, has all the properties of a true will-o'-wisp, and can unleash spells just as the avatar of the goddess does. This wisp is almost always flickering and dancing and is often accompanied by a wordless, ululating song. (This sound is the goddess singing; it sounds like a human female crooning from afar.)

If Lliira intends to take no active part in events, she may manifest as a sudden dancing radiance about an item or favored person. This light is short-lived and is accompanied by joyous laughter or exultant, wordless singing. The light can convey silent mental messages (as words spoken in the mind) and one priest spell per round to those entering its confines. Spells thus bestowed are either cast upon the being or placed in their minds for their own later use (one time only) and require no material components. Beings who receive such spells to cast need not even be spellcasters to wield them; when they loose the spells, they cast them as a spellcaster of the appropriate type at their own level of experience. The goddess chooses which creatures receive her spells or words—they are not given to just any being who enters her manifested radiance.

Lliira also acts through the appearance or presence of aasimar, coures, einheriar (all onetime mortal jokesters, dancers, revelers, and party folk), firres, lillend, movanic devas, and shieres. More commonly she turns beverages into fine wines and liquors unexpectedly and sends multicolored butterflies, robins, sparrows, bluebirds, rainbows, kittens, puppies, pinto or piebald horses, gold or white goats, daisies, violets, snapdragons, pansies, other wildflowers, opals, atates of all sorts, lynx eyes, microclines, silkstones, rhodochrosites, rosalines, phenalopes, star rose quartzes, tabasheers, tremairs, jasmals, fire opals, and diamonds to show her favor and as a sign to inspire her faithful.

The Church

CLERGY: Clerics, specialty priests, mystics, spellsingers
CLERGY'S ALIGN.: NG, CG, CN
TURN UNDEAD: C: Yes, SP: Yes, Mys: No, Spell: No
CMND. UNDEAD: C: No, SP: No, Mys: No, Spell: No

All clerics, specialty priests, and mystics of Lliira receive religion (Faerûnian) as a bonus nonweapon proficiency.

Lliira attracts to her worship dancers of all sorts and fun-loving hedonists. She also receives offerings from lay worshippers and casual worshippers seeking her blessing for a particular party, revel, festival, or other gathering. Lliirans (priests and lay worshipers of Lliira) have a well-deserved reputation as festival animals, and more than one adventuring company has found an empty till when it left the Lliira priest in charge.

Both specialty priests and clerics of Llira were called Joybringers until 1365 DR, when the members of the clergy themselves began to be confused by this practice. Now specialty priests of Lliira are known as Joydancers to distinguish their functions from the clerics, mystics, and spellsingers of the church, and all members of the clergy may be addressed as joybringers. Joybringers tend to be folk of whimsy, light spirits, and constant joking (but not pranks). They imitate and lampoon others all the time, try to make folk around them laugh, and spend money like water to bring happiness to others by bestowing gifts and throwing feasts. A typical Lliiran act is to offer a tavernkeeper 2,000 pieces of gold or more in return for throwing open the tavern for an evening to allow free food and drink for all. Escorts are then hired by the joybringers to act as peacekeepers ("friendly bouncers"), and the Lliiran clergy members position overhead nets with strategically hidden pull ropes and unseen servant spells (and the like) to neutralize troublemakers and persistent combatants.

Joybringers have no organized hierarchy or chain of command. Relations between clerics, specialty priests, spellsingers, and mystics are excellent. Adventuring clerics, mystics, spellsingers, and specialty priests are universally respected as envoys from temple to temple, but no religious community of Lliira reports to, or is subservient to, another. The visit of an adventuring priest to an established temple is cause for celebration (of course, a sunny day is also cause for celebration, as is a cloudy one, or a cloudy one with a nice sunset, etc.). The accepted guidance and leadership of the Grand Rapturemother over the entire church is a matter of obeying generalized policy decrees and accepting temple funds from her seemingly limitless coffers.

Since the Time of Troubles, the church enfolded many of the former followers and clergy members of Waukeen, especially those merchants who enjoy revelry (in other words, those possessed of a sense of humor and who are not miserly to the point of grasping after every coin and begrudging the time away from trade—or the loss of dignity—involved in a little celebration). Many of Waukeen's former temples have now been reconsecrated to Lliira. With the infusion of new blood, the Lliiran church has become mildly more responsible and mildly more mercantile, but it has also developed a very strong regard for the preservation of personal freedoms. A few former Waukeenar insist on retaining their previous formal titles and vestments, but even such "old guard coinspinners" are gradually being absorbed into the malleable and free-wheeling Lliiran church. Most of the former priests of Waukeen are now out-right joybringers who are either fully taken with the power of the faith or worshipping Lliira as Waukeen's godly regent. Most former Waukeenar seek to work within the wide boundaries of behavior and responsibilities set forth by the Lliiran faith and consider themselves to be the wiser heads that will aid Lliira to best bring happiness to the most people. Most joybringers regard ex-Waukeenar as bean-counters and stick-in-the-muds, but think they are learning to "let go" with time.

Joybringers use few titles, addressing each other as "Brother" and "Sister," and referring to themselves as "the True," novices and laity as "the Tested," and nonbelievers as "the Unseeing." Temples are led by a Master of the Revels (even if female), and she or he is assisted by a High Prior, a Lorespeaker, a Seneschal, and a Quartermaster. The goddess herself is the only Mistress of the Revels, and by her decree such formerly popular titles as Revelmistress have been outlawed.

Temples of Lliira can be of any style, but are usually built around a huge meeting facility/party room/ball room, from which open out smaller conference rooms, bars, chat rooms, and nap rooms (for those who have overindulged in drink). Upper floors usually house the clergy members, who live in comfortable apartments. Lliiran temples are opulent, by any standard, featuring crystal chandeliers, parquet or mosaic stone floors, velvet draperies, artful gilt mirrors, and well-stocked, solid oak bars. Temples and shrines to Lliira are usually fronted by her symbol. This symbol is the one described above, an older form used in ancient texts (the three stars appearing in a diagonal row descending from upper left to lower right with the orange star uppermost, then yellow, and red lowest), or a special symbol used most frequently on altars or as an illusion on her temple doors (a fat log on a fire, accompanied by the scent of cinnamon or roasting meat).

Dogma: Lliira's followers are believers in the ability, potential, and talent of the individual, and the celebration of life and its diversity. Often this leads to hedonism that would make a Sunite blush (briefly). They believe that they should spread joy wherever and whenever possible, and allow no one to be sad when mirth or comfort could be given to them. They strive to brighten the hearts and minds of all the folk they meet, not merefly friends and others who embrace Lliira.

Joybringer novices are charged as follows by a manifestation of the goddess: "Exult in life, and find joy in all things. Out of grief and despair, wrest joy, and join in the dance. Celebrate and honor deaths and the dead—the best mourning is laughing remembrance. My true servants seek joy always through working to bestow it on others. Hide no true feelings, but dance them out if it is not prudent to speak them aloud. Gather into celebrations the lost, the lonely, the exiled and outlaw, the shunned, and even your foes: Festivals are for all. Let folk follow their own desires, and respect their choices. Learn what folk find funny, and what lightens their hearts, and in this doing come to know yourself and how best to serve Lliira and all intelligent beings."

Day-to-Day Activities: Clergy of Lliira are the most fun holy folk in all of Faerûn to be around. Making everyone have a good time is their profession, and they throw the best parties and are the best priesthood at perceiving the needs of others and governing themselves accordingly. (Some people need intelligent conversation to be happy, others need companionship or something to smash—Lliirans try to see what is needed without being told and to fulfill it.) As a result, joybringers are among the best-loved priests in all Faerûn, even among folk who think their goddess represents empty-headed, frivolous nonsense. Joybringers do their best to see that they do little heart-lifting deeds every day that surprise or aid people. They also ensure that people get a steady stream of jokes from them so that most Faerûnians are eager to talk to them and not guarded in speech, and they explain to any who ask about the methods by which they distribute offerings among the needy so that if people fall onto hard times they know who to see or where to go.

The smoothest diplomats among Lliirans (as opposed to the most brilliant clowns) speak to rulers and wealthy merchants of how useful the church of Lliira is at keeping the common people happy (or at least content)—something that perceptive merchants and rulers can see for themselves—and remind such powerful folk that the church needs constant financial support. Wise heads among the rich and powerful give these joybringers regular donations, and the church also receives a constant stream of small handfuls of coins from the wills of poor peasants who want to give something to the only people who made them happy.

The most powerful clergy of Lliira are those who have demonstrated shrewd business judgement in handling church investments; they know how to parlay what is donated into many times that amount (a skill that former Waukeenar excel, and which makes those who remain in the faith likely to gain status quickly after the faith's initial prejudice against them). This process not only yields the church the funds it needs to do good works (and pay for all that food and wine), but this cleverly earned wealth has made it one of the larger landholders in Faerûn—albeit as the sum of the holdings of a large number of quasi-independent, locally run temples, not a firmly ruled, organized empire. Far-sighted Lliiran clergy members are broadening the reach of the church to make it increasingly "the faith that brightens everyday life and therefore should be embraced in everyday life," and the worship of Lliira is growing steadily.

Holy Days/Important Ceremonies: All of the major holidays of the calendar and all local festivals (and in truth, just about anything else) are occasions for a "holy festival" or "lesser revel" of the Lliiran faith. These ceremonies always involve an opening fanfare and songs to the goddess given while tumbling or dancing and then progress to a feast. What happens thereafter is determined by the occasion; there may be speeches or a solemn holy ritual, ribald comedy entertainment, amorous pursuits, or a friendly contest such as a tug-of-war, knock-the-knight-down, or a pun duel.

On all joyous occasions, offerings of food or wealth are "held up to the goddess" and her name invoked. These offerings are then buried, burned, or (whenever possible) given away to beggars and others not invited to, or unable to be present at, the revelry.

The most holy ceremonies to Lliira always begin with the ritual of Swords Cast Down, wherein two or more weapons are cast onto the ground amid chanting and covered with fresh flowers (either picked or—in winter—conjured up by hired druids, hired mages, or special spells cast by senior clergy members). The most holy personal prayers to the goddess always involve the faithful supplicant dancing alone in a meadow, garden, or beautiful setting while whispering or singing prayers to the goddess. The appearance of a rainbow during such prayers is seen as a blessing and a powerful good omen.

Major Centers of Worship: The philosophical center of the Lliiran faith is the Palace of Holy Festivals in Selgaunt. Here Grand Rapturemother Chlanna Asjros issues the Words of the Goddess as written policy decrees to all Lliirans. She also oversees church investments of titanic size and scope, sending out supportive funds to recognized religious communities of Lliira everywhere. New communities are identified and "certified" to her by the roving specialty priests of the faith, who take care to force false worshipers of the goddess to stop invoking her name without also serving her. Because of the vigilant joydancers, few ne'er-do-wells who desire only to revel on church funds receive more than one "gift of the goddess" payment.

Chlanna was formerly known as "High Revelmistress" until she was personally "touched by Lliira." After this experience, she readily adopted a new title in accordance with the goddess's wishes. She also found that she had gained a divinely granted special ability to levitate and dance on air and will or walk around three feet off the ground, not merely ascend or descend as most levitating folk do. Church philosophers (such as they are) take it as given that all future Grand Rapturemothers or Rapturefathers will be granted this special ability.

Affiliated Orders: The Lliiran church has no affiliated knightly orders for obvious reasons. It does have several honorary orders celebrating excellence in the art of dance, including the Order of the White Violet (for performance of great poignancy) and the Order of the Leaping Stag (for performance skillfully evoking the nature of an animal) among others. Lliira's church also has a fundamental tie to the Harpers, a secret organization working for freedom and good throughout Faerûn.

Priestly Vestments: Ceremonial vestments of Lliira for joybringers of both genders consist of a skin-tight outfit divided into unequal orange, yellow, and red sections. One leg may be yellow, the other red, one sleeve orange, the other yellow, the front orange, and the back yellow. A sleeveless robe is worn over the entire affair in patches of yellow, red, and orange. Plunging necklines are common among both priests and priestesses, and the hair is worn long for both genders of joybringers, although it may flow free or be bound up in any manner of hairdo. Elaborate earrings are also worn by joybringers of either gender, and cosmetics, anklets, bracelets, and delicate chain belts may also be seen; personal variations in dress are permitted and even encouraged.

Adventuring Garb: The red, yellow, and orange coloration of the Lliiran faith is continued in the field in armor, overrobes, cloaks, and outdoor clothing as much as possible. When this is not possible, a cloak featuring some red, yellow, and orange fabric is preferred, even if it but sports piping in those colors.

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9 Shaundakul on Tue Oct 26, 2010 11:55 pm

Shaundakul
The Rider of the Winds, the Helping Hand

Lesser Power (formerly Demipower) of Gladsheim, CN

PORTFOLIO: Travel, exploration, long-range traders, miners, caravans, windghosts
DOMAINS : Air, Chaos, Portal, Protection , Trade, Travel
HOME PLANE: Gladsheim/Shaunidaur
SUPERIOR: None
ALLIES: Akadi, Mielikki, Selûne, Shevarash, Solonor Thelandira, Tymora, Gwaeron Windstrom, Shiallia, Lurue the Unicorn, Nobanion
FOES: Beshaba, Shar
SYMBOL: An upright silver left hand with palm out and fingers together, its wrist trailing away into rippling winds on a black or deep purple background of circling winds
WOR. ALIGN.: LG, LN, NG, N, CG, CN

Shaundakul (SHAWN-da-kul) the Rider of the Winds, was the god of travel and exploration in old Myth Drannor. His existence may date back to the time of the Rus, forbears of the Rashemaar, or beyond. In the time of Myth Drannor, he was worshiped by humans and half-elves, particularly those who were caravan merchants, traders, explorers, miners and adventurers in the uncharted wilderness of the Moonsea North. He was a keen-eyed guide who pointed out the hidden lodes and ways of the North, and brought luck and battlevalor to worshipers in need.

In the days following the Dawn Cataclysm, Shaundakul is said to have had a brief dalliance with Tymora and spurned the advances of Lady Luck's sister, Beshaba. The Maid of Misfortune vowed revenge, and the Rider of the Wind's luck finally faltered during the assult on Myth Drannor. Shaundakul's worship fell with his followers when Myth Drannor was destroyed. Most of his faithful perished in the final battle against the Army of Darkness. Mielikki absorbed the surviving rangers, and Waukeen the traders.

At his high point, Shaundakul was an intermediate power, but after the fall of Myth Drannor he declined to the status of a lesser power and bordered on demipower status. By the Fall of the Gods, Shaundakul's clergy had fallen to a mere double handful of priests scattered throughout the North, and Shaundakul was a demipower reduced to brooding over fallen Myth Drannor. Only a few prospectors and caravan merchants still worshiped him in quiet, underground cults or fellowships.

During the Godswar, Shaundakul roamed the ruins of Myth Drannor with increased frequency and is believed to have battled and destroyed at least one demipower of the orc, gnoll, or giant pantheons. Since the Time of Troubles, a reinvigorated Shaundakul has increased his efforts to reestablish his worship throughout the North. Combined with the influx of traders and caravan merchants who have begun to venerate him with the disappearance of Waukeen (Lliira seems unconcerned by their collective choice), Shaundakul's faith has undergone a rapid revitalization. The Helping Hand is being called upon once again throughout the North and has just gained enough worship to reattain lesser power status. Whether Shaundakul will keep the worship of traders and caravan masters if Waukeen returns to the Realms is unknown at this time.

Shaundakul's spheres of influence overlap slightly with several other gods including Helm, Lliira (serving in Waukeen's stead), Mielikki, Selûne, and, in particular, Tymora. None is these powers is likely to tolerate any further encroachment on their portfolios, potentially severely curtailing the long-term growth of Shaundakul's faith.

Shaundakul is a god of few words. He lets his deeds speak for him. He is kind and yet stern, but often displays a rugged sense of humor. He is sometimes lonely and enjoys a good chat—especially if he can trade jokes. He is eager to gain new worshipers, and if given the opportunity, he tries to persuade any ranger, fighter, wizard, or thief of appropriate alignment to join his faithful. His avatar often wanders the ruins of Myth Drannor striding to the aid of otherwise doomed adventurers, and he knows much about Myth Drannor's history, mythal, and current inhabitants. In exchange for his aid in such situations, he demands one service that often involves destroying or driving out from Myth Drannor a fiend from the lower planes or another powerful monster. Shaundakul himself is said to stalk the layers of Gladsheim, and occasionally the Happy Hunting Grounds, hunting fierce beasts and evil giants with his attendant windghosts (detailed in The Ruins of Myth Drannor boxed set and the MONSTROUS COMPENIUM Annual: Volume One).

The "Kiss of Beshaba" still bedevils the Rider of the Winds in the lands of Anauroch. Shaundakul is cursed as the "Treacherous Lurker in the Sands" by the Bedine nomads who call the desert home. He is portrayed as a mischievous, malicious trickster appearing as a jackal-headed man. In truth, here he is impersonated and his reputation has been subverted by Beshaba, with the aid of the phaerimm living beneath Anauroch and, later, ruined Myth Drannor. In Anauroch, Shaundakul is now blamed for blinding folk, drying out oases, causing travelers to become lost, and all the other misfortunes that beset the Bedine. The only "windghosts" serving this false aspect of Shaundakul are mad watchghosts (detailed in The Ruins of Undermountain boxed set). Shaundakul is planning to reclaim his good name in the lands of Anauroch, but the phaerimm and Beshaba are likely to oppose this plan at every opportunity.

Other Manifestations

Shaundakul typically manifests as a great, disembodied hand glowing with unearthly radiance and surrounded by swirling winds. This hand speaks and points the way, and can issue forth spells from its forefinger. This appearance also accounts for Shaundakul's common appellation, the Helping Hand.

Shaundakul has also been known to send one or more windghosts to aid besieged worshippers making a desperate stand in the wild. He may aid faithful worshippers by creating moving wind walls to guard them in battle situations or even turn a trapped worshipper into wraithform to allow escape. He has also been known to send squirrels, wolves, long-ranging birds (gulls, hawks), and rabbits to guide or aid his faithful. He manifests his displeasure with one of his faithful by creating a wind wall in his or her path.

The Church

Shaundakul has few temples in the Realms, as the members of his clergy are generally struck with wanderlust and rarely remain in one place. However, they have constructed numerous shrines to the Rider of the Winds throughout the Moonsea North. Typically, a shrine to Shaundakul is a stone dais built atop a high place, crowned with a stone seat or throne, and accompanied by one or more stone pillars pierced with holes that the wind whistles through. Many such shrines exist throughout the Moonsea North and the Stonelands, some of them over a thousand years old.

All clerics of Shaundakul became specialty priests at the conclusion of the Time of Troubles. About 10% of Shaundakul's clergy members are crusaders (known as windfists), 20% are rangers (known as zephyrs or mistrals), and the rest of specialty priests (known as windwalkers). At the conclusion of the Godswar, Shaundakul's only known priests were Juxril Thammarcast of Waterdeep (hm P9), who held services at the Plinth; Eldrisel Tylosar of Huddagh (hm P6); Aszerra Untlimmer in Ordulin (a fat, motherly hf P6); Phelos Mistarn in Hillsfar (an elderly, grim hm P7), a noted scholar on the history of the Dragonreach); Maurith Slindearyl in Elventree (a beautiful, very young P4); and Waertin Nanszrai (an aging, bespectacled hem P in Elmwood. Shaundakul's clergy has expanded dramatically since the Time of Troubles, and his clergy members now number several hundred and his church continues to grow.

There is no clear hierarchy in Shaundakul's faith, although those priests who served the Rider of the Winds prior to the Godswar hold positions of great respect in the church. Shaundakul's name is not well known in the cities of the Realms, but more and more travelers are visiting his shrines and invoking his name when traveling in the North.

Priests of Shaundakul use a variety of self-chosen appellations, but a loose hierarchy of standard titles does exist. In ascending order of rank, these include: Seeker of the Wind, Scout, Trailblazer, Explorer, Guide of the Hidden Ways, Rider of the West Wind, Rider of the South Wind, Rider of the East Wind, Rider of the North Wind, and Lord High Windhand.

Dogma: Priests of Shaundakul are usually quite reserved concerning their fellowship of worship, seeking to spread the teachings of Shaundakul through example. Priests of the Helping Hand are to actively work to reestablish their god's sphere of influence among traders, particularly trailblazers who explore new lands and open new trade routes. They are to act as scouts, guards, and leaders for parties of explorers, caravans, and mining expeditions. They are to unearth ancient shrines of Shaundakul and resanctify them.

The charge given to postulants is as follows: "Ride the wind and let it take you wherever it blows. Aid those in need and trust in the Helping Hand. The world is large with many lands as yet undiscovered. Seek out the riches of the earth and the sea and journey to distant horizons. Be the first to see the rising sun, the mountain peaks, the lush valleys; let your footsteps fall where none have tread. This is the wonder of the world."

Day to Day Activities: Priests of Shaundakul are expected to provide for themselves by living off the land, hiring themselves out as scouts and caravan guards. Many serve as guides for adventuring companies or as explorers. A very few are Harpers. All seek to visit the scattered shrines of Shaundakul as frequently as possible and to construct new ones when they acquire sufficient resources.

On occasion a priest of Shaundakul is accompanied by a windghost, a servant creature sent by Shaundakul. Such priests are typically engaged in a specific mission for the god and are usually powerful adventurers.

Holy Days/Important Ceremonies: Shaundakul's clergy celebrates only one holy day per year. The 15th of Tarsakh is known as the Windride. No matter where they are, priests must seek out a strong breeze and cast a wraithform or wind walk spell at dawn. (Priests who do not have access to either spell are granted access to the former on this one day, regardless of level. In addition, the duration of either spell is extended to last from dawn to dusk.) Shaundakul's priests then spend the day soaring with the wind, swooping and swirling wherever chance may take them. They always land safely, usually in a region they have never been to before.

Shaundakul's clergy members have a few simple ceremonies they practice when appropriate. They are to utter a simple prayer every time the wind changes significantly. Whenever they discover previously uncharted territory (such as an undiscovered valley, lake, or island), they are to create a small throne of rocks marked with Shaundakul's symbol near the location where they first made the discovery. If of sufficient level, they are to create a shrine to Shaundakul using stone shape magics.

Major Centers of Worship: The major temple of the Rider of the Winds in the Realms at his faith's heyday was Shaundakul's Throne in Myth Drannor, though he had many shrines in the North, particularly in the Moonsea region. One shrine frequently visited today is Lanthalas's Requiem, located west of the Stonebolt Trail in the Stonelands.

Shaundakul's Throne still stands, guarded by the avatar of the god. It consists of two towers linked by walls that form an enclosed courtyard to a large central building containing an undercroft where the clergy lived in year's past and a huge dais (the Throne itself) open to the sky, where Shaundakul was worshiped. High-level members of Shaundakul's faith sometimes make a pilgrimage to the ancient temple, often receiving a great boon from the Rider of the Winds if they survive the dangerous trip.

Affiliated Orders: Since the Time of Troubles, several military orders have been founded in the name of Shaundakul. The Fellowship of the Next Mountain is an order of rangers and windwalkers who typically work alone, blazing trails in the uncharted wilderness areas of the Sword Coast North and Moonsea North.

The Knights of the Shadow Sword are an elite order of crusaders, windwalkers, and rangers. Founded by the half-elf Jax Nightsong and based in Shaundakul's Throne, they are dedicated to cleansing Myth Drannor of the evil that haunts its streets and ruins. Initially, they are fortifying the ancient temple as a base of operations and sending out scouts to reconnoiter the ruined city.

The Riders of the West Wind are an order of windwalkers and a few rangers who hire themselves out as a mercenary company to guard caravans heading through uncharted wilderness to distant lands. Having just returned from Sossal, they are rumored to be planning an expedition to the fabled lands of Anchorôme in the near future.

Priestly Vestments: Shaundakul's priesthood has straightforward ceremonial raiment. All priests sport a dark swirling cloak over garb appropriate for the trail. They wear a leather or chain gauntlet stained deep purple or tinted black (respectively) on their primary hand (and sometimes on their off hand as well). The symbol of Shaundakul—a silver upright left hand with its wrist trailing away into rippling winds—is depicted on the palm and back of the gauntlet.

Adventuring Garb: The adventuring garb of Shaundakul's priests is not noticeably different than their ceremonial vestments. His priesthood typically favors leather armor, but sometimes wears studded leather armor or chain mail. Its members favor great swords, such as the two-handed sword or claymore, and often wield long or short bows. They always wear dark, swirling cloaks and the gauntlet of their faith.

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10 Waukeen on Tue Oct 26, 2010 11:57 pm

Waukeen
Merchant's Friend

Lesser Power of the Plane of Concordant Opposition, N

PORTFOLIO: Trade, money, wealth
DOMAINS : Knowledge, Protection, Travel, Trade
HOME PLANE: Formerly: Outlands/The Marketplace Eternal; currently missing and presumed adrift in the Astral Plane
SUPERIOR: None
ALLIES: Lliira, Gond
FOES: Mask
SYMBOL: A gold coin displaying the face of the goddess facing to the sinister
WOR. ALIGN.: Any

Waukeen (Wau-KEEN) is a relatively young deity. She appealed to the rising merchant class in the Realms, and her worshipers included shopkeepers, members of trading costers, wealthy merchants, caravan guides, itinerant peddlers, moneychangers, and smugglers - many of whom may return to her fold yet, depending on how events transpire.

Waukeen is a vibrant and vivacious deity with a will to get things done. She loves wealth not for the sake of money itself but for the comforts, conveniences, and opportunities it brings her and her followers. She likes the fast-paced bargaining and the give-and-take of the marketplace, and legend holds that she has been recognized many times by worshipers just after she and her follower had finished a spirited bargaining session over and item for sale in a town market. (She always won the best deal, but the merchant was usually well satisfied with the terms also.) Waukeen is willing to try odd methods to accomplish her goals when tried and true ones are just not working. This openness to innovation has led her to embrace many of Gond's "new-fangled gadgets" long before other deities thought them wise. However, while she is open to different methods of problem-solving, she is also stubborn about having her way and very persistent. In fact, it is a combination of these virtues and flaws that led to the dire predicament she is in now.

For over 10 years now, Waukeen has been unheard from in the Realms and thought to be destroyed or dead. When all the powers of the Realms were confined to Toril's surface, she was never spotted by mortals, and when the Godswar ended no avatar came forward to take over her portfolio. Not even Cyric and Mask, responsible for the death of Leira and Bhaal, claimed her portfolio or claimed to have killed her. Her priests were deprived of their spells, and many of her worshipers and churches turned to other faiths. Pandemonium reigned among her clergy. Finally, in 1365 DR, a prophet of Lliira appeared with a revelation that was interpreted to mean Waukeen was dead and banished from the Realms and would not return. The prophet appeared at the gates of each of the temples of Waukeen in the Realms on a series of days, transported by magic. At each stop, the prophet said that Lliira would hold the portfolio of Waukeen in trust as its regent and grant spells to the worthy. The Waukeenar temples, already battered by a loss of respect and worshipers, readily agreed, and the faith of Waukeen was smoothly folded into the worship of Lliira, with dissenting Waukeenar moving to the faiths of Tymora, Lathander, Shaundakul, and even Beshaba. Lliira gained extensive power in the move.

But what really happend to Waukeen?

Waukeen was indeed confined to an avatar on the surface of Toril just as all the other powers were when the Time of Troubles began. Just like many other powers, she wanted beyond all else to return to her home realm and from there to marshal her resources to resolve (or help resolve) the turmoil in the Realms - preferably to her best advantage. Waukeen was fortunate in that the first avatar she encountered on Toril was that of Lliira. The two goddesses had previously been on good terms and saw no reason to change that state of affairs; in fact, they chose to travel together. Like many of the powers, Waukeen knew of the Celestial Staircase in Shadowdale and decided to try to climb it (much as Mystra attempted later). Once Waukeen got to the top, she intended to bribe Helm with whatever his heart's desire was to let her and Lliira pass on to the Outer Planes. However, this plan quickly proved unfeasible, since Waukeen and Lliira proceeded no more than a quarter of the way up the Celestial Staircase before being menacingly challenged by Helm. he proved to be unbribable, a response not altogether unexpected from the god of guardians.

So, Waukeen and Lliira descended and retreated into the forest of Cormanthor to plan. Waukeen, being the goddess of trade of all kinds, both licit and illicit, hit upon another plan: She would smuggle herself off the Realms. To do this, she would have to use the network of contacts she had developed in her time as a goddess and her extensive knowledge of trade and smuggling routes from the Realms into the Outer Planes and from one plane to another. She planned to move along a circuitous course through the Lower Planes and approach her realm indirectly, so as to have the best chance of sneaking past Ao's watchdogs into her realm.

Waukeen, through a convoluted route, managed to contact Celestian, a power of long-distance and interplanar travel from another crystal sphere who owed her a favor. Celestian agreed to repay the favor by transporting Waukeen off of Toril and into the Astral Plane and shielding her temporarily from Ao, but there was one sticking point - Ao was preventing all Realms deities from leaving Toril. In order to leave the Astral Plane and enter the Outer Planes, Waukeen would have to give up being a goddess. Because of the peculiar restrictions Ao had forced upon the powers in their avatar forms, Waukeen was able to shed her mantle of divinity, reducing herself to no more than an extremely power, but extremely knowledgeable, mortal. She left the mantle of her divinity with Lliira for safe-keeping, since Celestian adamantly would not risk offending such a powerful being as Ao by trying to transport Lliira, a goddess he did not even know, in addition to Waukeen. Lliira promised to guard Waukeen's portfolio and godly power until she returned for it, and Celestian transported Waukeen to the Astral Plane without incident.

Once on the Astral Plane, Waukeen had arranged to be met by powerful minions of an underworld contact she had in the Abyss - Graz'zt, an abyssal lord. Graz'zt's minions appeared as promised, and Waukeen accompanied them to Azzagrat in the Abyss. There she was to pay Graz'zt well for his help by revealing the hiding places (on the Prime Material and other planes) of the amount of treasure they had agreed on would serve as payment for Graz'zt's aid. Once in Graz'zt's palace, however, Waukeen was trapped and betrayed. Graz'zt wanted to renegotiate the contract they had made, and Waukeen was to be his guest - indefinitely - so that he could benefit from her wealth of knowledge - or rather, her knowledge about wealth. Since this time (to this very day), Waukeen has been trapped in the 45th, 46th, and 47th layers of the Abyss, shuttled between the Argent Palace in Zelatar, where she is infrequently invited for tea and interrogations by Graz'zt, and the habitation of Maretta, the Lady of the Counting-House who watches over the revenues from the pacts Graz'zt has made with mortals. (Maretta lives in Samora, a city of vice whose dwellings are built with an eye toward excessive ornamentation.) Once Waukeen even escaped her escorts and fled into the Viper Forest of Zrintor, only to wander lost for a tenday before being betrayed again to Graz'zt by several tanar'ri whose fear of his wrath overcame their greed for the riches promised to them for getting Waukeen to the Outlands.

While Waukeen was gone, the Godswar was resolved, and Ao restored access to the Outer Planes from Toril and removed his peculiar restrictions on the powers' avatar forms. But Waukeen as not there to benefit from this renewed access, and her divine power rested (at least temporarily) in another being, so her form was not changed. Lliira became increasingly worried about her friend's failure to reappear, but was unable to locate her either. Divinations by Waukeen's own faithful failed to work, gave confusing readings due to the muddled state of her divine power, or mysteriously cross-connected with the Abyss and drove the diviners insane. Lliira saw Waukeen's church disintegrating before her eyes and felt the only way to preserve what was left for her friend's return was to take control of it herself before a more basely motivated power moved in to take over. She instructed her prophet as to what to say and transported him to the gates of every temple to Waukeen, as described above. The prophet was the emphasize Waukeen's uncertain status and the regency of Lliira, but the Waukeenar, already in a panic-stricken state after receiving no new spells for years, immediately heard what they thought they were going to hear and recorded that Waukeen was dead.

Campaign Efects of Waukeen's Status: Ongoing FORGOTTEN REALMS setting campaigns can make what they wish of this revelation of the fate of Waukeen. Three suggested possibilities are:

Waukeen is Still Imprisoned: This is the official state of affairs and maintains the current Realms status quo. However, it is likely that at some time in years to come an intrepid group of adventurers may discover information that allows them to attempt to rescue Waukeen. This entry contains sufficient information to enable campaigns to integrate a revived church of Waukeen.

Waukeen is Dead: Events occured as detailed above, but Waukeen died recently in the Abyss. Lliira retains Waukeen's divine power and finally incorporates it into herself. She becomes the next lesser power of the Realms likely to become an intermediate power. Shaundakul's caravan and trader worshipers continue to expand, and he becomes a candidate for the next major god of trade and money in the Realms, working in the service of Lliira.

Waukeen Escapes: Events occurred as given above, but Waukeen escapes immediately or at a time convenient to the DM's ongoing campaign. Most of the Waukeenar who joined the churches of Lathander and Lliira return to Waukeen, although the Tymorans and Shaundakuns do not. Shaundakul develops a close relationship with Waukeen as the two powers work out the new boundaries of their portfolios. If Waukeen ever rises to the sattus of intermediate power, Shaundakul will experience a sudden waning of his power as Waukeen experiences the first flush of power on her return and be once again diminished to the status of a demipower, only to take up service with Waukeen as their relationship becomes closer.

Other Manifestations

Waukeen usually manifests as a glowing shower of gold coins that materializes from nowhere and undulates like a serpent or orbits a chosen being or item the goddess wants attention drawn to before the light dies and the stream of coins collapses in a spray of bouncing, rolling coinage. The coins are real and can be snatched up by anyone present. Waukeenar always try to grab them if possible, seeing them as "divine essence of the goddess." She also appears as a pair of gleaming golden eyes (in dreams, often only half seen), watching from an impenetrable shadow.

Waukeen also acts through the appearance or presence of ferrumachs and plumachs. More commonly, she sends money where none is expected to be found (such as a face-up copper piece on a path), palomino horses, golden cats, golden lions, lock lurkers, daffodils, citrines, pyrite, gold nuggets, and eagles (especially golden ones) to show her favor and as a sign to inspire her faithful.

The Church

All priests of Waukeen must pay a tithe of 25% of the money they make to the church. This does not include church-bestowed wages or stipends or money collected for casting spells upon worshipers while working at a temple or shrine (since this money goes to the church, not the priest), but does include profits from investments, treasure gained while adventuring, rewards, fees, etc.

Most of the former priests of Waukeen are now Lliiracists, either fully taken with the power of the faith or worshiping Lliira as Waukeen's godly regend, though some also joined the churches of Tymora, Lathander, Beshaba, and Shaundakul. The (remaining) clergy members of Waukeen are known as Waukeenar, but most other faiths call them "coinspinners." This name comes from the fact that they are not misers, but wild spenders, displaying the bounty of the goddess to all. The church is approximately 40% clerics and 60% specialty priests. It is organized in a loosely hierarchical manner, and all temples of Waukeen in Faerûn answer to one head of the church who holds the title of Holycoin. Specialty priests of the faith are known as goldeyes because their pupils turn that blazing hue due to the touch of the goddess. Goldeyes are among the most successful prospectors and tomb-treasurefinders in Faerûn.

Novices are known as Telchar among Waukeenar. In ascending order, the ranks a priest may rise through after she or he is confirmed are: Coin, Abreeant, Counter, Trabbar, Investor, Halanthi, Lender, Syndo, Manycoins, Grand Trabbar, Spender, Grand Syndar, Overgold (a general term for high clergy), and Holycoin.

Temples of Waukeen are built in many architectural styles, but a preference for ornateness and ornamentation is prevalent no matter whether the building is a soaring cathedral or a classical temple featuring a large portico and many columns. Decoration in Waukeen's temples covers the floors, walls, roof pillars, and ceiling if possible. The decorative elements are baroque, intricate, brightly colored, and feature as much precious metal and as many gemstones as can be logically or illogically fitted into the design.

Dogma: Waukeen teaches that mercantile trade is the best road to enrichment. Increasing the general prosperity of all buys ever-greater civilization and happiness for intelligent folk Faerûnwide, bringing everyone close step by step to the Golden Age that Waukeen says lies ahead—if people conduct themselves rightly. It is the duty of all who believe in the Merchants' Friend to destroy no trade goods, raise no restrictions to trade, and propagate no malicious rumors that may harm trade (such as saying that grapes from Chessenta are poisoned or that Cormyrean carved furniture contains boring worms that Cormytes are trying to export to the lands of competitors). Indeed, such rumors are to be challenged when heard and refuted if possible.

Faithful of Waukeen should give money freely to beggars and businesses alike, both to demonstrate the bounty of the goddess and the wealth to be gained by service to her and to increase the free coin in everyone's hands. If everyone has more than enough coin to spend, the tendency to hide and hoard is less and the urge to buy this or that all the greater—and more things are bought, and everyone is the richer. Through riches the lives of all are made better, and the Golden Age draws nearer.

Telchar of Waukeen are charged: "Worship me, and you shall know wealth. To guard your funds is to venerate Waukeen and to share them well seeds your future success. Call on me in trade, and I will be there. The bold find gold, the careful keep it—and the timid yield it up."

Day-to-Day Activities: Waukeenar travel the world aiding merchants or staff temples in large cities that serve as moneylending and changing houses, safe storage warehouses, and (covertly) fences for stolen goods—all in exchange for fees. Temples also provide wealthy merchants who give generous tithes to the temples sumptuous priest-guarded accommodations in town during their stays.

Waukeen's clergy members are under orders to invest in all enterprises that have any reasonable hope of succeeding if they are run by devout worshipers of the goddess and to consider other investments if approached by entrepreneurs willing to make substantial offerings to the goddess. Waukeenar are not above manipulating trade by means of rumors, buy-ups, hired border brigands, and the like, but strong public criticism of such unsubtle tactics in the past has led the church to officially deny undertaking of such things—and to order its priests to such work only with the greatest subtlety, so that no one who suspects their hands at work will be able to prove anything. Personal enrichment is the sign of a wise priest, but this must be done through arms-length investments, not openly unlawful acts.

Holy Days/Important Ceremonies: The usual altar to Waukeen is a plain stone block or wooden table on which is set a blessed golden bowl. As gold coins and other riches are added to it, the bowl rises off the table, levitating due to an enchantment that becomes stronger in direct proportion to the nonorganic weight added to it. (Such a bowl can be rowed about without the mover having to take the weight of its contents and used to shift heavy stone blocks, rocks, or furniture, but no use of it is to be made that allows nonclergy members of Waukeen to see it in secular operation.) All rituals to the goddess center around offerings made by worshipers into this bowl, and if a member of the faithful ever wishes to make his or her nightly prayer and is not within reach of such a bowl, a single coin must be cast into water (such as a stream or pond) and left there as the supplication is made.

The first ritual of high holiness is the Cleaving, wherein nonbelievers first entering the faith, people entering their novitiate, novices becoming priests, or priests rising in rank dedicate themselves to the goddess. This involves entering the church covered in dirt, and in this state going to the altar on one's knees, carrying or dragging (use of a sledge and body harness is allowed) one's own weight in gold. The gold is placed on the altar, the bowl is then kissed by the supplicant, and as a hymn to the goddess is sung by all, stone covers in the floor roll back to reveal a warm bath of spiced wine. As the supplicant enters it, the offering bowl levitates and pours out its contents of liquid gold (actually holy water laced with flecks of gold) into the waters. The supplicant bathes until clean but sparkling with gold as hymns to the goddess continue. Priests then come forward to allow the person to modestly be dried and clothed in new grand, gaudy garb. After this, a feast begins.

The best-known ceremony of holiness is the bestowal of the Mark of the Lady, a gold chevron in the form of a giant coin of Waukeen. This is done to reward priests or faithful worshipers of the goddess who have achieved great success or distinction in their endeavors (in other words, who have enriched the church and/or their communities, not merely themselves). The Favored One ends up with the coin on a sash, and all who attend such a ceremony receive a single tiny gold coin. (Some people have three or more of the havy, fragile, highly prized gold coins, which cost 450 gp or more due to the gold that goes into them.) Thieves are warned that Waukeenar seem to have a spell that allows them to trace such coins. On two occasions when the gift coins were stolen, clergy members unerringly followed the thieves and recovered the wealth (in one case from a very elaborate hiding place) before slaying the thieves for their temerity and sacrilegious behavior.

The church of Waukeen holds many festivals, and such holy rituals such as the Cleaving and the bestowal of the Mark are usually performed at one of them. Other features of such gatherings always include assembly at a spot where hymns are sung to the goddess (often a pond or well where faithful worshipers can throw in their coins and pray), a parade in full finery from that place to the temple (accompanied by music, and sometimes by unwanted pranksters who throw stones, eggs, and refuse at the gaudily-dressed clergy), and a solemn sermon, any holy rite scheduled, and then a fast that goes on into the wee hours. If no holy rite is scheduled to be celebrated, then one is not held and its place in the service is taken by a public Prayer to the Lady Waukeen, given by the senior priest present. The feast involves much merriment because of the freely flowing drink and is always accompanied by hired entertainment—jugglers, dancers, musicians, storytellers, contortionists, trained animals with their keepers, and hedge wizards who do sleight-of-hand tricks and minor cantrips.

Each temple can add its own festivals to the roster for whatever reason, but all important communities of Waukeen-worshipers celebrate the dozen High Festivals: Cold Counting Comfort, Great Weave, Highcoin, Spheres, Sammardach (SAM-mahr-dock), Brightbuckle, Sornyn (SOR-nihn), Huldark, Spryndalstar (SPRIHN-dahl-star), Marthoon, Tehennteahan (Teh-HEN-tee-ah-han), and Orbar.

Cold Counting Comfort occurs on the 15th of Hammer and is named for the accounting that goes on in many businesses during this down time at the height of the harsh winter. Great Weave is celebrated on the 20th of Alturiak and is named for the tapestry-weaving practiced in all wealthy households throughout the winter and the textile-making to which cloth merchants devote this month.

Highcoin is celebrated on the 30th of Ches. It is a grand feast when spoken accolades, accompanied by trumpet fanfares, hail the wealthy for amassing such worth and offerings are amassed for the next festival, Spheres. Spheres is held on the 10th of Tarsakh. During this festival glass spheres filled with gems and coins are paraded around a city and then lobbed into the air by catapults to fall into the city, shatter, and pill out their contents at random for the general populace to snatch up.

Sammardach occurs on the 12th of Mirtul. This observance is named for the richest benefactor of the early church, a merchant so rich that he once bought a city—now-vanished Tsabran, which stood just southeast of Airspur along the Chessentan coast, and gave it with all its properties and businesses to the Waukeenar. Brightbuckle is held on the 21st of Kythorn. The advent of good weather is marked by a parade in finery of all who wish to attend a Waukeenar church feast, of whatever faith—and Waukeen's priests give inspirational talks about the growing wealth of the lands around and show recent works of the Lady through (hired) illusion spells in hopes of encouraging new worshipers to join the faith or the priesthood.

The 3rd through the 5th of Flamerule is Sornyn, a festival marking the time for planning, the making of treaties and agreements, and the receiving of envoys from unknown lands and traditional foes. Much wine is drunk at this three-day occasion, when "my enemy is like a brother to me." Huldark is celebrated on the 17th of Elesias. It is a feast wherein the bounty of the land, which feeds and sustains us all, is celebrated, an faithful of Waukeen plant new fruit trees or vegetable plants.

Spryndalstar occurs on the 7th of Eleint. Spryndalstar recongnizes how magic and the ideas of those who work with it have enriched us all: Waukeenar sponsor mages in their endeavors and hire wizards to cast spells to awe and entertain folk in public spectacles. The 1st of Marpenoth marks Marthoon, the church's recognition of the vigilance and work of soldiers and guards in defending the wealth and the security of those who generate it. During Marthoon, such folk are feasted and given gifts of gold-and each major temple sponsors one lucky warrior into retirement by giving him or her 10 times his or her weight in common coin and a steading to enjoy it on.

Tehennteahan is held on the 10th of Uktar. It is known as the Night of Hammers and Nails and is a day-long feast in which Waukeenar salute the inventions of simple folk—smiths, crafters, and those who work with they hands and not magic—and how their works benefit us all. New innovations are demonstrated, shops are shut so that their keepers can join in the feasting, and the church buys all rights to certain inventions for a room full of gold per invention purchased. (The room has to be one in the inventor's house, and the church fills it to the rafters with gold coin.) Orbar, held on the 25th of Nightal, rounds out the yearly festivals. It is a solemn remembrance of the dark side of wealth. Prayers are said for those driven mad by gold or their miserliness, those slain by thieves and brigands, those who died trying to steal, or who met their ends adventuring or mining after gold, and like people. The public is invited to a Candle Feast wherein well-loved deceased merchants are remembered with praise, and the church reminds all in the community that it has the power to trace and hunt down thieves who steal the wealth of those who worship Waukeen—and will use it.

Major Centers of Worship: The former center of Waukeen's worship, the Goldspires, a large fortified castle-abbey whose towers are adorned with gilded conical roofs that rises high above Athkatla on its own seafront crag, is the only remaining large enclave of Waukeenar. This House of All Plenty (a term given to all major temples of Waukeen) is really a small fortified city in its own right and is said to be supported by no fewer than seven rising merchant houses of Amn, who see it as their only way to true power in the land in the face of the might of the older merchant families who rule. The Goldspires is ruled by the Holycoin Voice of the Lady Tharundar Olehm, an aged patriarch of huge size and impressive white-browed mien. He is assisted by no fewer than five ambitious, beautiful women of various ages and backgrounds, the "Five Furies": Barasta Cleeith, Daerea Ethgil, Faerthae Garblueth, Halanna Jashire, and Satiila Tebrentan. These women are all Overgold sisters who pursue a vicious game of quiet in-fighting to become Tharundar's successor as the supreme head of the church of Waukeen in Faerûn.

Affiliated Orders: The church of Waukeen has no church-affiliated knightly orders. It readily sponsors adventuring companies who can present a reasonable prospect of showing a profit and promise a 20% tithe to the church, and it often hires mercenary and adventuring companies to guard trade caravans and shipments of church trade goods overseas. Persistent rumor holds that many individual Waukeenar (if not the church itself) have long-standing connections with the Iron Throne.

Priestly Vestments: Waukeen's clergy members are among the most lavishly dressed, rivaling those of Sune, Milil, and Lathander in their rich robes. Waukeenar ritual garb is gaudy and ornate, with white silk undergarments, slashed and fluted sleeves and boots, pince-nez and lorgnettes (if the priests have any weakness of vision), various useful items dangling from silk ribbons, and tall gilded and begemmed miters. Tunics, trousers, hose, or tabards may be worn as desired (or as the season makes practical), but these are always of the finest, most costly fabrics and furs, dyed and arranged for the most vibrant display possible. The entire ensemble is covered by a gilded scarlet cloak heavy with the weight of thousands of wheels, plates, clasps, and flourishes of various precious metals. The constume is finished off with white gloves and a gilded rod or staff, which is either magical or ornately carved and set with gems. (Many Waukeenar carry staffs of curing so as to heal wounds in return for substantial donations to the church. These staffs or curing represent the sole major magical energy left in the church at present.) High clergy usually wear coronets with their miters, and outshine many monarchs with their garb.

Adventuring Garb: Waukeenar wear the clothing of rich merchants when in the streets, and armor that is gilded, white-enameled, and painted with elaborate scenes when they ride into danger. They use chariots enchanted to make them float or ornate curtained palanquins. (Horses still pull the chariots, but the weight is much less and the ride both fast and smooth.)

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11 Red Knight on Tue Oct 26, 2010 11:57 pm

Red Knight

Lady of Strategy, Grandmaster of the Lanceboard

Demipower of the Prime Material Plane
LN

PORTFOLIO: Strategy, planning
DOMAINS : Law, Nobility, Planning, War
HOME PLANE: Toril/Faerun
SUPERIOR: Tempus
ALLIES: Tempus, Torm, Valkur the Mighty
FOES: Cyric, Garagos
SYMBOL: A red knight chess piece with stars for eyes
WORSHIPPERS ALIGNMENT: LG, NG, LN, N, LE, NE

The Red Knight serves Tempus, the Lord of War, as the goddess of planning and strategy. She is portrayed as a dark-haired woman in blood-red armor, with a map of the Realms tightly clasped in her hands. The Red Knight keeps her true name secret from all but the Lord of Battles, as she realizes that if any power, mortal or divine, were to gain any measure of control over her, they would be privy to all the plots and stratagems of rulers throughout the Realms and the powers throughout the planes.

The Red Knight is venerated by the Foehammer's followers in a secondary position to the Lord of Battles. Only since the Time of Troubles has a small priesthood distinct from that of the Foehammer arisen in her name. This small priesthood, owing it existence in part to the increasingly complex nature of war, is grudgingly tolerated by Tempurans and apparently encouraged by the Lord of Battles himself. Some sages speculate that Tempus has sponsored the Red Knight to the rank of demipower and encouraged her worship as a natural counterbalance to Garagos the Reaver, his mortal enemy.

The Lady of Strategy is calm and logical in demeanor, but displays a great wealth of compassion, though she is unafraid to send her worshipers to their deaths when necessary to secure the objective of a plan. She rarely raises her voice and is said to love a good joke and have a throaty laugh. She dislikes flighty behavior, and looks unfavorably upon those who switch alliances often or capriciously.

The Red Knight see Tempus as a father figure, and the two spend a great deal of time together. They sometimes hunt together or exchange tales in his feasting hall, but most often they are busy visiting the numerous fields of battle in Faerun or reviewing battles of times past. The Red Knight sees Valkur as her best ally in the disposition of naval conflicts, though her expectations of him sometimes exceed his demonstrated level of commitment to all but the protection of sailors. The Red Knight and Torm are similar in disposition, and their interests in battle and the duties of warriors coincide well. She is known to be fond of him, but whether they are in love or merely close friends is a matter they have kept very private. The Lady of Strategy dislikes Garagos from what she has been told of his behavior by Tempus, though she personally has not come to blows with him. Her animosity is reserved for Cyric, who she despies as the utmost of traitors and liars and a poor planner besides.

During the Time of Troubles, the Red Knight was active in Tethyr defending the strife-torn nation against an army of monsters that threatened to surge forth from the Forest of Tethir. Her military genius was decisive in numerous battles where the small, but determined, Company of the Red Falcon overwhelmed numerically superior armies of beasts and humanoids.

Other Manifestations

The Red Knight commonly manifests as a chess board on which various pieces are positioned. By discerning the most appropriate next move on the board, worshipers blessed with such a vision can intuit an appropriate strategy for the future for their current situation.

The Red Knight shows her favor by the discovery of small, red chess pieces carved from price-less rubies. She shows her displeasure by the discovery of similar pieces carved from crumbly white quartz. She also has been known to enable trained battle animals to perform feats of strength or intellect normally beyond their capacities in order to aid their owners. The Red Knight is served by einheriar, maruts, pers, and stone golems and stone guardians shaped in the form of chess pieces. More common creatures said to manifest her presence or interest include owls, eagles, falcons, elephants, pegasi, horses, and domestic dogs and cats, especially those trained for battle, most such creatures are of a ruddy hue.

The Church
Only in recent memory has the Red Knight emerged as a demipower in her own right, distinct from Tempus. Most folks still view her as a follower or aspect of Tempus, similar to Veiros and Deiros, the Foehammer's twin steeds. Although the Red Knight serves all sides in battle, villagers and city dwellers perceive her as an ally of civilization who enables small numbers of brave defenders to triumph through superior intelligence and foresight against ravening hordes of rapidly breeding humanoids.

The Red Knight has but a few shrines dedicated to her name, and all but one are found within temples of Tempus. Chapels of the Red Knight are dominated by images of chess pieces and the floor is inlaid with a chess board (also known as a lanceboard) of black and white or red and white marble. Typically they are guarded by numerous stone guardians of blood red and bone white hue, carved in the shape of various chess pieces.

The clergy of the Red Knight, known as the Red Fellowship, is an offshoot of a monastic order within the hierarchy of the church of Tempus that concentrated on planning and strategy. Evenly divided into clerics, crusaders, monks, and specialty priests (known as holy strategists), this relatively small priesthood has only organized into a distinct faith since the Time of Troubles and has been most active since after the end of the great crusade against the Tuigan Horde in the Year of the Turret (1361 DR). Regardless of class, priests of the Red Knight are regimented in a strict hierarchy with corresponding titles. In ascending order, these titles include: Page, Squire, Knight, Knight Quartermaster, Knight Commander, Knight Captain, Lord Knight, Lord Knight Commandant, and Lord Knight of the Red Standard. Higher-ranking priests precede their titles with their relative rank within the clergy (for example, the eighth-highest ranking priest of the Red Knight's faith is known as the Eighth Lord Knight of the Red Standard), although this practice may be abandoned as the clergy grows in size.

Dogma: War is won by those with the best planning, strategy, and tactics, regardless of the apparent odds. Any fool can snatch defeat from the jaws of victory with fortune's aid. Only a master strategists can ensure victory and that is will last.

War is a series of battles. Losing a battle does not necessarily indicate the war is lost. Seek out your opponent's weaknesses and recognize your own; avoid an opponent's strengths and play to your own. Only by focusing one's own strengths on one's opponent's vulnerabilities can triumph be ensured.

In times of war prepare for peace; in times of peace prepare for war. Seek out your enemy's enemies as allies, and be prepared to compromise. Life is an endless series of skirmishes with occasional outbreaks of war. Be ready—and have a contingency plan.

Day to Day Activities: Members of the Red Fellowship serve in armies throughout the Realms. Many are high-ranking commanders, often of elite squads. Others are well-respected instructors in war colleges in kingdoms throughout the Realms. A few are quartermasters skilled at obtaining and maintaining supply lines over hostile territory. Quite a few priests of the Red Knight have authored tomes on military strategy.

When not on duty, priest of the Red Fellowship are known for their love of gaming. Although they avoid games of chance that require the smile of Lady Luck more than the brilliance of the Red Knight, priests of the faith strive to constantly improve their skills in abstract games of all sorts to further challenge their development of parallel lines of thought and new stratagems and to sharpen their ability to read an opponent's intenions.

Holy Days/Important Ceremonies: In addition to observing the holy days and important ceremonies of the church of Tempus, the clergy of the Red Knight observe two important holy days themselves.

The Retreat is an annual event held every Midwinter's day. During this solemn cermony, the clergy of the Red Knight assemble for a day-long retrospective on the previous year's campaigns. Strategies are discussed, battles are analyzed, and the accumulated lore is intergrated into the church's teachings.

The Queen's Gambit is celebrated on the first day of Taraskh. During this festival, the clergy of the Red Knight unwind with a day of feasting and gamesmanship. Day-long tournments of chess and go (a game imported from Kara-Tur) are held, with tournments victors receiving recognition, titles of merit, promotions, and sometimes a precious gift from the temple armory.

Major Centers of Worship: The Citadel of Strategic Militancy has arisen as the center of the Red Knight's faith outside of the aegis of the church of Tempus. Located at the juncture of the Coast Way and Thundar's Ride, approximately 40 miles northeast of Baldur's Gate, this small castle was the hold of the Bloodhawk clan, part of the minor, self-styled nobility scattered throughout the region encompassing the Fields of the Dead. The castle was built by Taric Bloodhawk over a century ago with money he plundered from an orc chieftain's secret horde during the battles of the Year of the Lost Lady (1241 DR).

During the night of the Fall of the Gods, Lady Kaitlin Tindall Bloodhawk, sole heir of Lord Ronlar Bloodhawk, was exploring the ruins enveloping the village of Tempus's Tears with the rest of her adventuring band, the Company of the Red Falcon. During the night, she was possessed by the Lady of Strategy to serve as her avatar host. The Red Knight forged the Company of the Red Falcon into a small, but powerful, mercenary company. She led the band south where the group was single-handedly responible for eradicating an army of monsters that swarmed out of the Forest of Tethir and threatened to overrun the northeastern quarter of beleaguered Tethyr. The strategic genius of the Red Knight enabled the Company to triumph against overwhelming odds and forever earned them a place in Tethyr's history.

When Lady Kaitlin returned to her ancestral home at the conclusion of the Godswar, however, she found the lands pillaged, the castle a smoking ruin, and all of the inhabitants put to the sword. Broken-hearted, she vowed revenge, but she could never discover the perpetrators of the foul deed. In her family's memory, she rebuilt the castle and dedicated it as a temple to the Red Knight.

Today the Citadel of Strategic Militancy is a bastion of military might and serves as the home of the newly founded Red War College. This school caters to military officers throughout the Realms who are sponsored by their lieges to study strategy and planning. The Citadel's walls are checkered with red and white marble, and a blood red dome tops the central keep. The central chapel is a giant lanceboard on which the priesthood engages in strategic battles during religious ceremonies. Farmlands in a 20-mile radius are worked by peasants who gladly embrace the Citadel's expanding hegemony. The havrested land serves as a training field in the cold winter months. High Lady Bloodhawk admnisters the burgeoning complex in the name of her liege, the Red Knight, and serves as First Lady Knight of the Red Standard (high priestess) of the faith.

Affiliated Orders: The Order of the Red Falcon is a fellowship of crusaders, warriors, and a few paladins who serve the Red Knight and Lady Bloodhawk. Small in number, the elite knights of this order are dangerous opponents who have triumphed in the face of overwhelming odds on numerous occasions. Based in the Citadel of Strategic Militancy, many of the knights serve as instructors in the Red War College. Other serve stints in various armies throughout the Realms training the officers in military history. On rare occasions they are all summoned back to the Citadel and led into combat by Lady Bloodhawk herself.

Priestly Vestments: Clergy of the Red Knight wear blood-hued suits of plate armor or plate mail for ceremonial functions over which is worn a white tabard embroidered with the Red Knight's symbol. They are not forbidden to cover their faces with their helms like Tempuran clergy are, however, and so they often sport full helms when visibility is not a concern and they wish to convey a grand impression. When not armored, their clerical robes are red, although the shading varies slightly from darker to lighter with increasing rank. They wear the symbol of the Red Knight carved from a red-hued gemstone on a chain around their necks.

Adventuring Garb: Adventuring garb for priests of the Red Knight is the best armor they can obtain. Although their armor can be battleworn, most priests strive to keep it polished and unmarred, as befits a commander seeking to inspire both his followers and the bards. All clergy of the Red Knight have a battle standard, paint their heraldic symbols (in entitled to one) on their shields, or display the symbol of the Lady of Strategy on banner or shield to form a rallying point for troops when they are going into organized battle. Covering or concealing such a standard generates no disapproval from the church however, if a strategem should require it.

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