SILVER MARCHES

A persistent world set in the Frozen North of The Forgotten Realms

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1 Good Pantheon on Tue Oct 26, 2010 11:59 pm

Chauntea

The Great Mother, the Grain Goddess, the Golden Goddess, She Who Shapes All

Greater Power of Elysium, NG

PORTFOLIO: Agriculture, plants cultivated by humans, farmers, gardeners, summer
DOMAINS: Animal, Earth, Good, Plant, Protection, Renewal
ALIASES: Earthmother (Moonshae), Jannath, Pahluruk (among the peoples of the Great Glacier, Bhalla (Rashemen)
HOME PLANE: Eronia/Great Mother's Garden
SUPERIOR: None
ALLIES: Lathaner, Silvanus, Eldath, Mielikki, Shiallia, Selûne, Lurue the Unicorn
FOES: Talos and the gods of fury (Auril, Umberlee, and Malar), Talona, Moander (now dead), Bane, Bhaal (now dead), Myrkul (now dead)
SYMBOL: A budding flower encircled by a sunburst or (older) a sheaf of golden wheat on a green field
WOR. ALIGN.: LN, N, CN, LG, NG, CG

Chauntea (Chawn-TEE-ah) rarely appears to mortals, although the most devout sometimes see her smiling face in their dreams. Her hand is on every place where humans seek to grow things. She is not a goddess given to spectacle or pageant, but rather calls her followers to small acts of devotion. She is immensely popular among gardeners, farmers, and common folk of many nations. Through her blessing, most of Faerûn is fruitful. She is wise and quiet, though not passive, and is not given to hasty action. Aside from the divine interactions mentioned above, she has a cordial ongoing contest with Tempus and a friendly rivalry with Gond. Lathander and Chauntea have had an off-again, on-again romance for centuries (currently on), but the relationship between them is always warm.

Chauntea has a special relationship with the people of the Moonshae Isles, a place which she has dedicated a portion of her being, known as Earthmother, to oversee specifically. Earthmother is a more primitive facet of Chauntea who is representative of the goddess's nature in eons past and is much more wild and neutral in her outlook. She often uses three agents in the Moonshaes, said to be her Children: Leviathan, a great whale who guards the waters of the Moonshaes; Kamerynn, a great male unicorn, the king of the wilderness; and the Pack, a gathering of dire wolves melded into a single, unstoppable horde in the service of the goddess. Absent from the Moonshaes for years, these children have been spotted individually of late in the wilds and the sea.

The Church
Clerics, mystics, and shamans of Chauntea are immune to the poisons found in plants and mushrooms. Clerics cannot draw spells from the elemental fire sphere, though they may access all other elemental spheres normally. Clerics and shamans are encouraged to take the herbalism nonweapon proficiency and receive the agriculture nonweapon proficiency as a bonus proficiency.

Chauntea's priests tend to be folk of all races who have a deep love for the land and an appreciation of natural ways and balances, seeing humans and other intelligent life as part of an ongoing series of cycles. They tend to be gardeners or farmers by trade and training and have an increasing appreciation for the beauty of plants that brings them at last to the veneration of She Who Shapes All.

Chauntea is spoken of as "Our Mother" or "the Mother of All" by her clergy. They know that she is very powerful in a quiet way—and like her, they tend to be quiet and patient in their ways. Many members of her clergy are female. In the communities in which they dwell, they are known for their wisdom and appreciated for their willingness to freely (without fee or obligation) tie up their skirts and pitch in when agricultural work must be done, especially where farmers are ill or injured.

Though Chauntea's faith has some large, impressive temples and shrines whose granaries ensure that food for all is abundant in their vicinities, the backbone of the Earthmother's faith is composed of small, local temples. Often these are seed-storage caverns near pure wells. Chauntean services are also held in open fields and druid groves.

Chauntea's church has two wings: standard clerics who minister to the faithful in towns, cities, and civilized areas, and druids who work in more outlying regions. With the success of the town priests, the druids have been moving farther and farther afield. The relationship between the druids, who call themselves "True Clerics of Chauntea," and the more civilized clerics is cordial, but at times strained. The druids have always venerated Chauntea, and consider the more recent city disciples to be upstarts. The more civilized priests, in turn, feel that the druids' day is done, and while druids are still useful in wild lands, the rising nations need and organized, professional faith controlled by a more reasonable and rational clergy. The percentage breakdown of clerics and druids in the clergy is about 40% clerics and 50% druids. Mystics and shamans, who work alone outside of either wing of the church and report only to She Who Shapes All herself, comprise only 5% of the priesthood together, and monks, who are always allied to a particular temple or druidic circle's leader, round out the remaining 5%.

Priests of Chauntea use such titles as (in ascending order of rank) Close One, Watchful Brother/Sister of the Earth, Trueseed, Harvestmaster/Harvestmistress, High Harvestmaster/Harvestmistress, and Onum.

The Unicorn Run

Bards and sages pass down the tale the headwaters of the Unicorn Run are, in truth, the Font of Life, and a cradle of fecundity. Each natural race is said to have emerged from the womb of Chauntea onto Toril at the river's source and then traveled down the Unicorn Run to the outside world. Some say a daughter of Chauntea resides at the river's srouce to usher the newborns into the world, while others claim that Shiallia midwifes the process.

Regardless of the truth, the lore of the elves, korreds, and halflings all agree that the Unicorn Run is sacred to life and a site of incredible purity. As a result, all three races have strong taboos about extended trips up the run, for if the river is ever fouled, then no new races will ever be born on Toril again.

Dogma: Chauntea's faith is one of nurture and growth. Agricultural sayings and farming parables dot her teachings. Growing and reaping, the eternal cycle, is a common thread in Chauntea's faith. Destruction for its own sake, or leveling without rebuilding, is anathema to the church. Chauntean priests are charged to nurture, tend, and plant whenever and wherever possible; protect trees and plants, and save their seeds to that what is destroyed can be replaced; see to the fertility of the earth, but let the human womb see to its own; and to eschew fire.

Day-to-Day Activities: Priests of Chauntea are charged to learn—and pass on to others, both fellow clergy and laity—all they can of horticulture, herblore, plant types, and plant diseases, and to encourage all civilized folk to enrich the land by replanting, composting, and irrigation, not merely to graze or dig it bare for what it can yield and then pass on. They replant trees wherever they go, root out weeds that strangle and choke crop plants, and till plants back into the soil. They strive to let no day pass in which they have no helped a living thing to flourish.

Clergy of Chauntea are encouraged to work against plant disease wherever they go. They often hire nonbelievers to helf them burn diseased plants or the corpses of plague-ridden livestock to prevent the spread of sickness. They keep careful watch over such blazes. Chauntean clerics do not like handling fire but are not forbidden to use nonmagical fire.

Chauntea encourages her faithful to make offerings of food to strangers and those in need, freely sharing the bounty of the land. It is also said that money given to one of her temples returns to the giver tenfold. Worshipers should plant at least one seed or small plant-cutting a tenday, tend to it faithfully for as long as possible, and see that their own wastes are always tilled back into the soil to feed later life. Any extra seeds yielded by plantlings should be taken to a temple of the goddess for distribution to the less fortunate.

Holy Days/Important Ceremonies: Every day should begin with whispered thanks to Chauntea for continued life and close with a prayer to the setting sun, from whence (Chaunteans believe) the Great Mother sends her power. Prayer to the Great Mother must be made whenever things are planed, but should otherwise occur when worshipers are moved to do so by the beauty of nature around them, which they are always encouraged to notice. Prayer to the Golden Goddess is best made on freshly tilled ground, farmland, or a garden, or failing that, at least at a well or a watering place. Chauntea listens best to those who enrich the ground, so before prayer many priests bury wastes, dispose of the litter of civilization, or plant seeds.

Few ceremonies of worship fall at set times. Passing one's wedding night in a freshly tilled field is held by Chaunteans to ensure fertility in marriage. Greengrass is a fertility festival, wherein uninhibited behavior and consumption of food and drink is encouraged. The much more solemn High Prayers of the Harvest celebrate the bounty Chauntea has given a community and are held at different times in each community to coincide with the actual harvest of crops, rather than precisely on Higharvestide.

Major Centers of Worship: Goldenfields, a vast, walled abbey and farm compound east and north of Waterdeep, is the current pride of Chauntea. The goddess is said to be delighted at the community of more than 5,000 worshipers who till over 20 square miles of contiguous land and outlying buildings on the banks of the Dessarin. The largest and most energetic project undertaken by the faithful of Chauntea, it has become the Granary of the North.

Goldenfields supplanted the older Harvest House in central Amn as the most important center of Chauntean worship, but the ornate formal gardens of the all-female Sisters of the House remain unmatched in the known Realms. However, this smaller temple of Chauntea is being challenged even for its second-place ranking by the smaller but almost perfectly appointed Abbey of the Golden Sheaf in Mistledale, which serves the dale around it with admirable skill and diligence.

Affiliated Orders: While by no means defenseless, the church of Chauntea has no affiliated military or knightly orders. Those who guard its temples and shrines are usually members of the clergy.

Priestly Vestments: Priests of high rank of all types in the service of Chauntea tend to favor white or sun-colored ceremonial robes trimmed in deep forest green and to use staves smoothed by much handling but otherwise natural in appearance. Some such staves are enchanted to purify or promote the growth of what they touch.

Adventuring Garb: Chauntea's clerics, monks, and shamans dress simply and without pretense most of the time. They favor earth tones of green and brown. The druids prefer simple brown robes with high rank denoted only by a belt laced with gold thread or some other similar, precious decoration. The citified clerics, on the other hand, wear and open-fronted brown cloak with more standard garments, like tunic and trousers, underneath. Mystics dress in everyday clothes or robes of more colorful garb in brighter green, yellow, rust, and brown earth tones.

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2 Lathander on Wed Oct 27, 2010 12:00 am

Lathander

Morninglord

Greater Power of Elysium, NG

PORTFOLIO: Spring, dawn, birth, renewal, creativity, youth, vitality, self-perfection, athletics
DOMAINS: Good, Nobility, Protection, Renewal, Strength, Sun
HOME PLANE:Eronia/Morninglory
SUPERIOR: None
ALLIES: Chauntea, Gond, Silvanus, Tymora, Lurue the Unicorn, Tyr, Torm, Ilmater, Sune, Lliira, Selûne, Oghma, Milil, Deneir, Mielikki, Eldath
FOES: Cyric, Talos, Shar, Moander (now dead), Bane Bhaal (now dead), Myrkul (now dead), Ibrandul (now dead)
SYMBOL: A disk of rosy pink hue
WOR. ALIGN.: LG, NG, CG, LN, N, CN

A powerful, exuberant god, Lathander (Lah-THAN-der) is known as the Commander of Creativity and the Morninglord. When Lathander is depicted, he is most often shown in a form similar to his avatar (see below) or as a mist of glowing, rose-colored swirls with two golden eyes at the center. As the god of beginnings, Lathander traditionally receives prayer from many inhabitants of Faerûn at the start of a journey or endeavor. Lathander's name is invoked to seal alliances and start new ventures or companies. As a result, the god is very popular among the merchant classes. Though depicted as young, Lathander's noble bearing and demeanor serve him well among the nobility, who also favor his worship in many places. Because he encourages his clergy to strike out and start new shrines and temples all over Faerûn, Lathander's broad-based popularity is rounded out by the many peasant folk aided by his clergy.

Lathander has a reputation for being sometimes overly enthusiastic, slightly vain, and given to excesses, all flaws very common among the young. He is also eternally optimistic and doggedly perseverant. His alliance with Chauntea serves them both well, since his interests in birth, nurture, and vibrant life dovetail well with her portfolio. The churches of Chauntea and Lathander have only grown closer since the Time of Troubles, and rumors hold that Lathander has been courting the favor of the Earthmother romantically as well as politically.

Other Manifestations

Lathander manifests his power as an intense rosy radiance surrounding the bodies of those he favors. Lathander's radiance also appears around objects to indicate special qualities about them and at confusing or dangerous junctures to indicate a safe or preferred path. This radiance causes those people it surrounds to be healed of all wounds, purged of any diseases, poisons, foreign objects, afflictions (including lycanthropy, feeblemindedness, insanity, and blindness), magical or psionic compulsions, fear, and curses. The radiance also telekinesis people for short distances to get them out of harm's way. (They may be lifted out of a trap or out of the reach of enemies.)

The faithful of Lathander who are surrounded by the radiance also receive a brief message of some type from Lathander to guide them. Others may receive similar impressions if Lathander desires. If the radiance appears around a corpse of one of the faith, resurrection survival is automatically successful while the radiance is present.

The Church
Wealthy and popular, the church of Lathander has opulent temples throughout the North, some of which push back the borders of good taste, as well as less audacious and more serviceable structures in most towns and cities and dotting all of Faerûn. The main room of a temple faces east and is open to the horizon, at least in part, so that the faithful can see the dawn. The high priest or priestess of a shrine or temple is often called a prior or an abbess, although titles vary throughout the church.

Specialty priests of Lathander call themselves morninglords. Clerics of Lathander call both themselves and their specialty priest and crusader brethren dawn priests, ignoring any difference. About 35% of the organized priesthood are specialty priests; the remainder are clerics or crusaders. A larger number of the adventuring priests who serve the Morninglord are specialty priests.

The Lathanderian religion has no overarching hierarchy from church to church and no central authority. When issues of doctrine or policy come up that must be decided upon, a conference is called at the church who initially presented the problem for consideration, and the issue is resolved. Regardless of rank or experience level, each Lathanderite priest is considered the master of the temple, shrine, or parish she or he is responsible for no matter the number of priests staffing the facility under him or her.

Novices in the Lathanderian faith are called the Awakened, and they gain the title of Dawnbringer upon becoming full priests. In ascending order of rank, the titles in general use by the Dawnbringers are: Dawngreeter, Dawnlord (the church does not use feminine form of titles often), High Dawnlord, Dawnmaster, Morninglord, High Morninglord, Mornmaster, High Mornmaster, and Sunrise Lord.

Dogma: The charge given to most novice postulants to the faith of Lathander is: "Strive always to aid, to foster new hope, new ideas, and new prosperity for all humankind and its allies. Perfect thyself, and guard ever against pride, for it is a sacred duty to foster new growth, nurture growing things, and work for rebirth and renewal. Be fertile in mind and body. Consider always the consequences of thine actions so that the least effort may bring the greatest and best reward. Wherever you go, sow seeds of plants, tend the growing things you find, and plant seeds of hope, new ideas, and plans for a rosy future in the minds of all. Whenever possible, see each dawn."

Lathander's dogma is filled with stories of optimism and perseverance. It is important to feel good about an upcoming event or else it will naturally go awry through negative thinking. Favorite sayings of Lathander include: "From death, life," "There is always another morning," and "In the dawn, beauty reigns, and the way is clearer." Far more importance is placed on acting in the service of Lathander by helping, encouraging, and aiding than in strict adherence to rituals, rules, and the dictates of superior clergy. This practical philosophy is shared both by Lathander and his senior clergy.

Death is considered a reward for the clergy, since they are "going to Lathander" in the afterlife. Most clergy are not raised unless they are needed to complete a task.

Day-to-Day Activities: Lathanderites seek to build anew, encourage the rebirth of barren areas and more productive growth in cultivated lands, drive out evil, and either restore civilization to heights it once had or lead it to new dizzying heights of interracial harmony, cooperation, and pursuit of the arts and progress. To do this, they battle monsters to nurture civilization; they plant seeds and new seedlings, they encourage and aid adventurers, travelers, traders, and pilgrims as the harbingers of culture; and they recover lost magical items, pieces of literature, and works of art. Lathanderites study, restore, and attempt to duplicate, emulate, or expand upon these recovered items and works when possible.

Temples and shrines also sponsor athletic events and competitions where people of all classes and races can strive together in nonhostile competition in wrestling, distance throwing, target archery, running, jumping, horseback riding, or any of a number of other noninjurious sports. Other competitions sponsored by Lathanderian churches are for honors in the literary and fine arts. Such competitions are usually for a prize, which may be money, a special item or piece of art, or even a work written about the victor by a famous poet or artist. Winning a competition sponsored by the Lathanderites brings great status in certain circles.

Temples and shrines to Lathander provide aid to adventurers and communities in their area as long as such aid is returned in good faith. Priests of Lathander try tirelessly to encourage those of good alignments to the more dedicated worship of the Morninglord if they are not already Lathanderites, but they do not insist on conversions or withhold aid if they are refused.

Lathanderites are expected to make regular offerings of ideas, inventions, coins, discovered artifacts, or food to Lathanderian temples and shrines. Much more valuable offerings such as magical items or quantities of gold are demanded of nonbelievers in return for special services like rescue missions or raising from the dead.

Holy Days/Important Ceremonies: As may be surmised, most ceremonies of Lathander are held at dawn. Actions taken and contracts agreed to at dawn are considered blessed by the god. Marriages held at Lathanderian temples or shrines at dawn are considered especially blessed and so dawn is when the church most often holds such services, even if they are inconvenient for visiting guests. Funerals consist of a solemn, candlelit ceremony called the Going Down. This ceremony is followed by a wake that lasts until dawn prayers. Funerals are not held for those who are to be raised.

The most important ceremonies of worship are the daily prayers to Lathander at dawn, often held outdoors or where the dawn can be seen. This ritual is followed in importance by the twilight devotions. Some temples and shrines also add to these two daily ceremonies an optional prayer and song to Lathander at highsun. To these daily devotions are added special prayers said when offerings are presented at the altar and when priests call on Lathander for guidance or aid. These ceremonies are all joyful, but dignified, and usually involve prayer, song, and ritual drinking of well water touched by the dawn. On special occasions, on Midsummer morning, and on the mornings of the vernal and autumnal equinoxes, priests of Lathander perform the Song of Dawn, praising Lathander with a blend of vocal harmonies and counterharmonies of beautiful complexity.

Major Centers of Worship: The Spires of the Morning in Waterdeep, headed by High Radiance Ghentilara, is the largest and probably most opulent of Lathander's temples. The Tower of the Morning in Telpir, run by High Radiance Durneth Seafarer, is the second most prominent of his temples, though much simpler in design than the Spires of the Morning.

Affiliated Orders: The church of Lathander has a knightly orders of paladins, crusaders, and fighters known as the Order of the Aster. Members of this order protect temples and shrines, serve to lead large military groups levied as needed to serve the church, and roam the land seeking to do good in Lathander's name and promote his worship. Individual temples and shrines of Lathander do not usually maintain standing military forces of substantial size due to their cost, although they often retain warriors and members of the Order of the Aster to guard their establishments in numbers that each temple decides are appropriate and affordable.

Priestly Vestments: Priests of Lathander dress in bright long-sleeved robes of yellow, red, and pink. These are often called "sun robes." Those priests with their own temples have their robes trimmed with ornately crafted gold ribbons. A sunburst headpiece, worn toward the back of the head to emulate a rising sun or radiant sunpeacock, completes the ceremonial garb. The ritual robes used at many rural shrines are simple cassocks with a color scheme by rank. Novices and postulants wear brown; adepts and underpriests wear russet and crimson. Senior priests wear scarlet, and subpriors and those of higher rank wear rose-red. The leader of the temple or shrine wears white. Holy symbols of Lathander are often made of painted wood, cut from rose quartz or similar minerals, or enchanted to radiate a dim, pink glow.

Adventuring Garb: Adventuring clerics usually wear more utilitarian garb, but prefer reds and yellows, to the point of tinting their armor those shades. Most priests of Lathander favor chain mail, and often the only obvious mark of Lathander they bear is a rose-red circle on their shields and helm brows.

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3 Mystra on Wed Oct 27, 2010 12:00 am

Mystra

The Lady of Mysteries, the Mother of All Magic, Our Lady of Spells

Greater Power of Elysium
NG

PORTFOLIO: Magic, spells, the Weave
DOMAINS: Good, Illusion, Knowledge, Magic, Rune, Spe
ALIASES: Midnight, Mystryl, the Hidden One (Rashemen)
HOME PLANE: Eronia/Dweomerheart
SUPERIOR: None
ALLIES: Azuth, Kelemvor, Selûne, Oghma, Deneir, Milil
FOES: Cyric, Bane (now dead), Talos
SYMBOL: A circle of nine stars, with a red mist rising toward (or flowing from) its center or a circle of seven blue-white stars, or (older) a single blue-white star
WOR. ALIGN.: Any

Mystra (MISS-trah) is the goddess of magic and with that the goddess of possibilities, which makes her arguably the most powerful deity in Faerûn and possibly throughout Realmspace. She is said to have taught the first spellcaster of the Realms, and to have enabled many of the races to use magic. She supposedly weighs and judges each new spell or magical item to determine whether it should be permitted into the Realms. She is most venerated by wizards and those who use magic or magical items in their daily use. She differs from Azuth in that Azuth is the god of wizards (as to a much lesser degree, all spellcasters), while Mystra is the goddess of the essential force that makes all spellcasting possible. She provides and tends the Weave, the conduit to enable mortal spellcasters and magical crafters to safely access the raw force that is magic. Mystran advisers are common in Azuthian churches, and vice versa.

During the Time of Troubles, the former incarnation of the goddess of magic, Mystra, was destroyed and her essence merged with that of the land itself. A new goddess of magic, arising from the human form of the magician Midnight, took the mantle of divinity and the goddess's portfolio. At this time, the goddess of magic's alignment shifted from lawful neutral, maintaining the balance in use of magic, to neutral good, reflecting the new incarnation's attitudes toward the uses and purpose of magic. Rather than forcing her worshipers to change their ways, Midnight has taken a conservative, long-term strategy by assuming the name and trappings of her predecessor to make the change as smooth as possible for her church and worshipers. Midnight is now revered within the church as the human avatar of Mystra, and her form now graces the avatar of the goddess when she walks the Realms seeking to rebalance the dead and wild magic areas of the land.

In the past, Mystra contested with Talos and Gond as rivals and with both Bane, and later, Cyric over attempts to control or usurp her power. She despises Cyric.

Mystra is fond of Kelemvor, Lord of the Dead, who was her love during her mortal life. Whether their relationship will again blossom into love is yet to be seen. She is aided in her work by Azuth, Dornal the Watcher, and by her Chosen: Elminster, Khelben "Blackstaff" Arunsun, and the Seven Sisters. (The powers of the Chosen are discussed extensively in The Seven Sisters accessory.) Mystra is also served by the Magister, a title borne by a single mortal worker of the magical arts chosen by victory in one-on-one spell combat to be champion of magic. The Magister is also one of the Chosen of Mystra. The current Magister, Lady Magister Nouméa, was elevated to the position in 1354 DR.

Other Manifestations

Mystra's typical manifestation is as a blue-white, pulsing glow on items, beings, or places that the goddess wishes to draw attention to, such as a hidden door or item. She also appears as a slender, graceful, disembodied human female hand outlined in blue-white motes of light that points, gestures, writes, inscribes lines on stone with one finger—often writing the tomb inscription of a powerful dead mage as an obscure clue—or unleashes spells.

Mystra has also been known to use agathinons (in natural and magical item forms); devas; maruts; light aasimons; einheriar (former wizards and other prominent users of magic); hope, faith, and courage incarnates; radiant mephits; guardinals of all sorts, hollyphants; gem and metallic dragons (including steel and mercury dragons); pseudodragons; selkies; bluejays; sparrowhawks; white cats, dogs, donkeys, horses, pegasi, unicorns, and mules (all with blue or mismatched eyes); blue and clear gemstones of all sorts; rainbow tourmalines; amarathas; rogue stones; beljurils; and small creatures composed of translucent magical force to demonstrate her approval or disapproval or to send aid to her faithful.

The Church
Most worshipers of the Lady of Mysteries are human, but all natives of Faerûn who seek to become powerful in magic without benefit of divine aid must at least appease the goddess with sacrifices. (Burning items that have temporarily been enchanted with a spell is the easiest way to do this.) Wizards, especially good wizards, hold her name in special veneration, even if they primarily worship Azuth or some other deity.

All wielders of magic and seekers after arcane lore of any race are welcome in the service of Mystra. The hierarchy of the Mystran faith is wide and varied, separating into orders concentrating on one form of magical energy or another. Clerics, specialty priests, wizards, and bards can all he found in its ranks without regard to experience level or origin. The general rule of the Mystran faith is that talent and ability for the job outweighs social rank or legendary feats. Only those clergy members who gain their spells directly from a higher power gain their spells directly from the goddess, but all are welcome within the church's hierarchy. Relations between the various orders and subgroups of the faith are very good. The priests of Mystra are known as Servants of Mystery. Higher level priests, both those with title and lands and legendary adventuring priests, are called Ladies or Lords of Mystery. Titles within the faith vary from temple to temple and follow no standard form across the whole of the church, though most temples are rigidly self-consistent.

Mystran temples can be structures of almost any size or style, and some shrines are natural carves or special grottoes. Through the grace of the goddess, Mystran priests who stand in a place sacred to Mystra can cast spells for the maximum possible damage, duration, or extent of effect (their choice of which). Such places include all Mystran temples and shrines, and most private spellcasting chambers.

All priests of Mystra can cause their own flesh—all of it, or specific areas, such as a hand—to glow at will with a soft, blue-white radiance as a boon from Mystra. This radiance, known as weaveglow, is enough to read by or to allow a priest to clearly see items and surroundings within 5 feet. Most Mystrans keep this sign of the favor of the goddess secret from nonbelievers. As something mysterious, it is more useful, allowing them, for example, to feign affliction or magical attack. Weaveglow is granted to priests after their initiation, which is often a Starflight ceremony.

Dogma: Choice, decision, and knowledge, leavened with a healthy dose of good for the most individuals, are the hallmarks of Mystra's faith. Magic is great power, and it brings with it great responsibility. Mystra's clergy are given the following charge upon aspiring to the faith:

"Love magic for itself, not just as a ready weapon to reshape the Realms to your will. Learn when not to use your magic, and you will have learned true wisdom. Play with magic and learn how best to wield it, but not when the price is paid by others. Strive to use magic less and less as your powers develop, not more and more; often the threat and promise of Art outstrips its performance.

"Remember always that magic is an Art, the Gift of the Lady, and that those who can wield it are privileged in the extreme. Conduct yourself humbly, not proudly, while being mindful of this.

"Use magic deftly and efficiently; eschew carelessness and recklessness in the unleashing of Art. When magic imperils you, hide it or hurl it away into other planes rather than destroy it, for any destruction of Art is a sin.

"Seek always both to learn new magic and to create new magic, but experimenting to learn to craft something oneself is better than merely buying scrolls or hiring tutors. Exult more in creation than in hurling spells, and ensure that your creations are shared with others and so outlive you. Those who succeed in this last and in maturing into true wisdom and consideration for the greater balance of things in Faerûn in the use of Art are most favored in the eyes of the Lady and will serve her beyond death as beings who have become one with magic and live on in it forever."

Day-to-Day Activities: Mystran clergy work hard to preserve all magical lore in secret libraries, private safeholds, well-guarded research laboratories, and small, hidden stashes so that magic flourishes in the future regardless of what befalls the thinking races of Faerûn or the powers of the planes. Mystrans also search out beings skilled in spell use, seeking to keep watch on the identities, powers, and behavior of individuals likely to become magic-wielders of importance.

Not everyone can find old magic of note, but all clergy of Mystra can devise their own new magic upon gaining sufficient experience, and they are expected to do so. In this way magical study remains a growing, vibrant thing, and magic does not merely become a handy power to serve rulers and engineers as a tool to tame the Realms, but remains a thing of wonder.

Holy Days/Important Ceremonies: In Waterdeep, the church of Mystra celebrates Gods' Day on the 15th of Marpenoth, the anniversary of Midnight's elevation to divinity as the new Mystra, with a huge festival centered around the House of Wonder that ends in magical fireworks that go long into the night. This holiday is being gradually adopted by shrines and temples of Mystra throughout Faerûn.

On the whole, though, the worship of Mystra tends to be a personal thing rather than a series of calendar rituals. For some mages whom the goddess counts as devout believers, it never goes beyond a whispered prayer of thanks to her with each spell they cast coupled with some thought as to the moral consequences of the use of this or that spell. For Mystra, that is enough. The goddess gains both delight and strength, however, from beings who do more in reverence to her. Two ceremonies of personal significance stand out: Starflight and Magefire.

Starflight is often used as an initiation when an individual joins the priesthood of Mystra or a celebration when two worshipers are wed. It is a special ceremonial cooperative magic worked by several priests that empowers one of the faithful to fly so long as stars are visible in the sky. This can make long journeys easy, provide a joyous change of pace, serve as a special means of looking over the land, achieve privacy for important discussions, place one of the faithful a safe distance away from precious things in order to try hurling spectacular spells, or provide a very special beginning for one's marriage.

Magefire is renewal; it is the exciting feeling of great magical power surging through one's body, blazing out as flickering blue fire as it spills forth, cleansing and renewing. With enough clergy powering it, this cooperative ceremonial magic can heal all sorts of fell conditions. Mystrans describe it as "the most blissful feeling one can know." It is spectacular to watch. The Mystran to he affected lies down on the ground and the circle of celebrants pours power into the worshiper—until his or her body, blazing with blue fire, slowly rises to hang in midair above those fueling the ceremony, humming and crackling with the power of the magic surging through it. Magefire often ends in a Starflight ceremony, provided the celebrants intone the correct incantation.

The Hymn to the Lady is a solemn ritual performed at funerals and magemoots, that calls up visions of dead mages and Mystran clergy as a plainsong dirge is intoned by the living clergy present. Mystra often uses these visions to insert her own guiding scenes. A modified Magefire ceremony may be employed at the end of the Hymn to raise the honored dead aloft into a floating pyre on high.

Major Centers of Worship: On the wooded eastern verge of Elventree stands a ruined, overgrown stone hall known as the House of Mysteries. It is reportedly the strongest place of power to Mystra in all Faerûn (along with the nearby Harper refuge, the House of the Harp).

Those who enter the House of Mysteries say that the inside is like a sound-eating dark void where soft voices whisper and glowing, varicolored motes of light drift about. No spell can illuminate this darkness, and out of it comes the Voice of the Goddess (or a senior devotee) answering questions with cryptic advice, identifying items apparently without need of spells, and (rarely) altering supplicants with spells that come "out of nowhere." Word of such puissant divine aid and guidance has spread swiftly across Faerûn, and wizards from distant realms indeed have come to Elventree in search of grandeur.

The largest temple to Mystra in all the Realms is located in Mt. Talath in Halruaa. It occupies an entire cavern complex, and its high priestess, Lady of Mystery Greila Sontoin, is very old but still capable of performing powerful ceremonies and casting mighty spells. The grand temple of the complex is open to all who want to worship, but the storerooms and libraries are only open to Halruaans of proven good intentions and of Mystra's faith. Non-Halruaans are sometimes admitted to certain libraries and halls deemed to contain nonsensitive items and reference works, but usually such admittance is at the price of a very steep admission fee.

Affiliated Orders: Most wizards and bards in the Mystran church are members of the clergy and belong to no special order, though the church of Mystra has close ties with Those Who Harp (the Harpers), an organization working for good and against the rise of great powers throughout Faerûn. Those bards who are not clergy members belong to the Children of the Starry Quill and often work as information gatherers and rumormongers for the church or spend part of their time in designated libraries unearthing magical knowledge and then preserving it for posterity. Some members of the Starry Quill are also Harpers.

The church also sponsors a knightly order of paladins and a small order of rangers. The paladins, the Knights of the Mystic Fire, are granted their spells by Mystra. They often accompany members of the clergy on quests to locate lost hoards of ancient magic and also form the cadre from which the leadership for the small groups of armed forces who guard Mystra's larger temples and workshops is drawn. The rangers, known as the Order of the Shooting Star, also receive their spells from Mystra. They serve as long-range scouts and spies for the church and also deal with magical threats that threaten the natural order of things, such as unloosed tanar'ri and baatezu and creatures born of irresponsible wizardly experimentation.

Priestly Vestments: The ceremonial garb of Mystran priests is simple blue robes that are sometimes trimmed with white. They are accented by a cloak of deep blue in colder climates. Some form of headgear is required, though this may range from a simple blue skullcap for the scholarly orders of the Sword Coast North to wide, ornate, blue hats and helms in southern lands.

Mystra's symbol was a blue-white star before the coming of the Avatars and now is a circle of stars in a ring, with a red mist rising toward (or flowing from) the center. Both symbols are still in use. Mystran priests are very tolerant of the older symbology and beliefs in Mystra, as they feel that one may only press forward by learning about the past. They let established symbols of the old Mystran faith stand, but when creating new symbols, they always use the new sigil of their goddess.

Adventuring Garb: In the field, priests of Mystra wear armor and bear the new symbol of Mystra on their shields as a display of their faith. If armor is inappropriate, they dress in the fashion of the land they inhabit appropriate for the inclement weather.

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4 Sune on Wed Oct 27, 2010 12:01 am

Sune

Firehair, Lady Firehair, the Lady of Love, the Princess of Passion

Greater Power of Olympus, CG

PORTFOLIO: Beauty, love, passion
DOMAINS : Chaos, Charm, Good, Protection
HOME PLANE: Olympus/Brightwater
SUPERIOR: None
ALLIES: Lliira, Selûne, Sharess, Milil, Lathander
FOES: Talos, Auril, Umberlee, Malar, Talona, Tempus
SYMBOL: The face of a beautiful, ivory-skinned human maiden with long, red tresses
WOR. ALIGN.: LG, NG, CG, LN, N, CN

Sune (SUE-nee) Firehair is said to be the fairest of the powers. When she is represented, she is shown as the most beautiful woman in the Realms, with sweeping, radiant, red hair and incredible charms. The Sunite faith is a popular one in large metropolitan areas and among the nobility. Those of a literary or artistic bent, as well as people falling in love or looking for lifemates, often venerate the Lady Firehair.

Sune herself is said to be benevolent and sometimes whimsical, alternating between deep passions and shallow flirtations. She has been romantically linked with many of the Faerûnian powers in the myths of the Realms, although she has never borne any love at all for the gods of fury, Talona, or Tempus, since their functions posit the destruction of many beautiful things, both living and inanimate. Currently, she is rumored to have been rather smitten by the noble actions of Torm at Tantras during the Time of Troubles.

Sune is said to share the waters of the Evergold, a sacred pool, with the elven goddess Hanali Celanil, and a friendly but intense rivalry exists between the two over the innate superiority of elven versus human beauty. Sune abhors and actively opposes any force or deity that causes the marring of living beauty.

Other Manifestations

A common manifestation of Sune's presence or favor is a gentle, phantom caress or kiss, usually accompanied by a soft crooning that only the goddess and those truly loyal to her can emit. This sound is performed endlessly in most temples of the goddess and is familiar to all faithful worshippers of the Lady of Love. Alternatively, Sune can manifest as an unseen surge of excitement in the air that makes all beings n a locale happier, more energetic, and forcibly attuned to the sensual—that is, made acutely aware of the smells, tastes, and feel of their surroundings. Sune also shows her favor through the appearance or presence of fire doves, flame poppies, rubies, roses or rose petals (especially deep red ones), chestnut horses, satyrs, sylphs, nymphs, and dryads.

An individual (especially a member of Sune's clergy) enjoying Sune's special favor at the moment, or who has been charged with a task or the role of Sune's champion, often glows with a red, pink, and white scintillating aura signifying the favor of the goddess. When such an aura fades away, it bestows the effects of a heal spell on its wearer. This aura is the gift of the goddess; to ask for it would anger her and outrage any Sunite clergy who heard of the request.

Those priests who have earned a great boon from Sune by completing some great task in her name may be gifted with a draft of Evergold that raises the Charisma of the priest who consumes it by 2d4 points for one day and acts as a philter of love upon anyone who sees the drinker for one turn after the draft is quaffed. Only priests of Sune may benefit from this draft—to all others it is poison. Charisma may reach godly levels in this fashion. Charming effects wear off and followers and henchmen gained at high Charisma drift away after the draft wears off at the end of the day, but initial reactions and any enamoring effects remain.

The Church
Comely male and female humans, elves and half-elves serve the Lady of Love. Female clergy outnumber male clergy eight to one, but the men are all the more highly valued for their relative rarity. All clergy must possess an alluring or pleasing manner in addition to natural beauty, for high Charisma is essential for Sunite clergy. Ugly, physically imperfect, or marred beings are disparaged or pitied by devout Sunites, and an aquired imperfection that cannot be masked or healed by spells or other means of shapeshifting spells the end of a Sunite priest's career. Other faiths tend to regard Sunites as flighty, vain, and rather superficial, but basically harmless. Sunites have an intense rivalry with the followers of the elven goddess Hanali Celanil.

The Sunite church's organization is loose and informal, and it's leadership changes with the whims of it's clergy. The most charismatic Sunite clergy are usually the head priests and priestesses. Little is thought of a priest dropping everything and going bounding off into the wild, particularly if the goal is some beautiful object or some beautiful individual, and such behavior creates little scandal in the church.

Sunite temples are either stunningly beautiful edifices of fantastic design or classically elegant structures strategically enhanced by sculptured landscaping. Many Sunite temples sport formal gardens with gorgeous flower beds, trellises and bowers of well-trained vines, and carefully pruned trees and topiaries. Fine sculptures and sumptuous fountains that play with soft, magical lighting provide focal points in most Sunite temple gardens.

Dogma: Beauty is more than skin deep, say the Sunites; it issues form the core of one's being and shows one's fair (or foul) face to the world. The followers of Sune are believers in romance, true love winning over all, and following one's heart to one's true destination. Fated matches, impossible loves, and ugly ducklings becoming swans are all part of the teaching of Sune.

Novice Sunites receive the following charge: "Love none more than yourself save Sune, and lose yourself in love of the Lady Firehair. Perform a loving act every day, and seek to awaken love in someone new each day. Respond to love at least once in a day.

"Encourage beauty wherever you find it. Acquire beautiful items of all sorts, and encourage, sponsor, and protect the artists who produce such things whenever and wherever you find them.

"Keep your own body as comely as possible and as attractively displayed as situations warrant. Let hairstyle and clothing best suit your personal appearance, striving to stir and delight others who look upon you. Moreover, hide not away, but always seek to present yourself to those around you in a pleasing variety of garbs and activities so as to move them with love and desire.

"Love those that respond to your beauty and all beauty, and let warm friendship and admiration flower where love cannot or dare not."

Day-to-Day Activities: Sunites are aesthetes and hedonists, who actively seek out pleasure and beauty in all things. The pursuit of aesthetic enjoyment is their life.

Sunite clergy buy beautiful items of art, sculpture, and handiwork whenever they find it, sponsoring good artists where necessary and overpaying for such items so as to drive prices up, create more demand, and so increase the supply of things of beauty. This is to be done as often as funds afford and subtlety permits, and in disguise if need be.

Whenever Sunite clergy must perform dirty tasks, the use of disguise is encouraged to protect the body as well as to conceal identity. The devout priest always hires or supports adventurers and others to destroy beings who vandalize beautiful creations.

All clergy of Sune also strive to create beauty in a personal way, preferably as a creator of static fine art (blown glass ornaments, paintings or tapestries are all fashionable) but as a dancer if one fails at all else. When one gains expertise in crafting things of beauty, she or he is obliged to pass on such learning by training others and turning away no one who shows genuine promise. Any moneys made through such training should be given to the church to further the growth of beauty and love everywhere.

Although Sunite clergy can rebuff unwanted advances, they should strive to built friendships and romantic feelings between themselves and others and in general whereever they go so that love may prosper everywhere in the realms. As the lonely are in most need of such things (and the most likely to join in love of the Lady Firehair), they should be sought out by diligent clergy for friendship. Everyone, no matter how homely or disparate in faith from the path of the Lady, should be assisted by gifts of clothing, hair styling, cosmetics, and lessons in deportment, dancing, and manners so as to make themselves as beautiful as possible.

Holy Days/Important Ceremonies: Greengrass is celebrated by Sunites with a great deal of outdoor frolicking, and Midsummer Night with night-long flirtatious chases through forests and parks, but local priesthoods can set the times of other celebrations to their own pleasure, as long as at least one Grand Revel befalls each month and at least one Feast of Love is celebrated in every tenday.

A Grand Revel is a dusk-to-dawn party to which outsiders are invited, dancing and minstrelsy dominate, and those of the faith seek to attract converts with fun and the exhibition of a few of a temple's or shrine's beautiful art objects or magical treasures. A Feast of Love is a more intimate, quiet affair, open only to the faithful, who lie on couches and indulge in the gentle sipping of liquers and nibbling at subtly flavoured bitelets (as savory hors d'oeuvres are called in the Realms) and sweet pastries while lone dancers perform. These dances are interspersed with readings of romantic verse and prose and lays of love sung by skilled minstrels. Such rituals always break up into private gatherings, though bards are always on hand to relate tales of courtly love or mysteries of Faerûn for those who do not feel like socializing more privately.

Sunites also offer personal prayers to Sune, always while dressed in beautiful ritual garments, standing in a pool or bath, and looking into a mirror lit only by natural light or candles. Those seeking guidance in life, entry into the faith, or atonement indulge in a night-long Candle Vigil. Sune sends guidance to them by visions visible in the mirror, often by altering the reflection of the worshiper in some ways.

Major Centers of Worship: One Sunite holy house has recently out-stripped the beautiful House of Firehair in Daerlun and the sacred parks in Everlund and Neverwinter to become preeminent in the worship of Sune: the Temple of Beauty in Waterdeep. This rich and important sacred site is a recently rebuilt house of graceful grandeur whose slender towers taper with exquisite smoothness as they reach up into the sky. Around these towers soft-hued driftglobes float, and their wandering light also illuminates the interior chambers of the temple. The temple is said to house chambers of great luxury where beautiful people gather from far across Faerûn. It serves as a safe neutral ground for Waterdhavian nobles of hostile houses to meet and pursue romance together. The Temple of Beauty is also a favorite destination for tourists of all faiths, but non-Sunites must make handsome and expensive offerings to the goddess to be allowed entry.

Affiliated Orders: The church of Sune sponsors an endless slew of honorary orders that seem to change with every new priestess or priest to rise to the head of a local temple. These titular orders convey honors for excellence in various artistic pursuits.

The church also has a small affiliated knightly order of fighters, paladins, and bards who serve to guard temples and holy sites along with the clergy and who sometimes pursue quests to do good work in Sune's name to promote her faith. (The gallant kit from The Complete Bard's Handbook is especially appropriate for these bards if the DM wishes to allow it.) To become one of the Sisters and Brothers of the Ruby Rose, a candidate stands vigil in a church of Sune all night. If the Lady Firehair appears to the candidate in a vision during the night or somehow shows her favor, the candidate is admitted to the order. Members in this order are given to writing essays and songs of courtly love when not engaged in vital business, and often adopt a beautiful individual to adore from afar whether that individual would be flattered by such attentions or not.

Priestly Vestments: Sunites are not bashful about their bodies. The standard ceremonial garb of Sunite priests is monastic robes for men and habits for women, both cur to show off the figure of the wearer and dyed a deep crimson. Hair is normally worn long and allowed to fall free during rituals. At other times, priestesses wear attractive wimples with v-shaped crown pieces, and priests bind their tresses back with crimson scarves. While red hair is considered touched by the goddess, all shades of hair and skin are welcome, provided they are unmarred and lovely.

Aside from her face, other, less-common symbols of Sune are a winking eye (often seen as an animated illusion on the doors of Sunite temples) or a pair of golden parted female lips with the tip of a vivid ruby-red tongue just visible between them, slyly touching the upper lip.

Adventuring Garb: At light-hearted social functions, members of the clergy often wear the lips of the goddess painted on a shoulder or their midriffs. At such times, they don garments cut away to display the badge of the goddess. When fighting or adventuring, clerics of Sune prefer as much protection (magical and otherwise) as they can afford. It is not that they are cowards, hut they want desperately to avoid scars or even the need for magical healing. Sunite clergy often wear oversized, ornate, heavily padded full body armor (such as plate mail or plate armor, or even scale mail or chain mail with full coifs, helmets, and shields) designed to afford the body maximum protection against visible marring. Often such armor is fluted, polished mirror-bright, or otherwise adorned so as to be as pleasing to the eye as possible.

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5 Tyr on Wed Oct 27, 2010 12:01 am

Tyr

The Even-Handed, Grimjaws, the Maimed God, the Blind Overlord, the Wounded One, the Just God

Greater Power of the Seven Heavens and Gladsheim, LG

PORTFOLIO: Justice
DOMAINS: Good, Knowledge, Law, Retribution, War
ALIASES: Anachtyr (Calimshan)
HOME PLANE: Lunia/The Court and Ysgard/Asgard
SUPERIOR: None
ALLIES: Ilmater, Torm, Lathander
FOES: Mask, Talos, Bane (now dead), Bhaal (now dead), Cyric, Talona
SYMBOL: A balanced set of scales set upon the head of an upright war hammer
WOR. ALIGN.: LG, NG, LN

When he is depicted in religious art, Tyr (TEER) appears as a noble warrior missing his right hand, lost to Kezef the Chaos Hound in proving his resilience and strength of spirit. In recent years, he has been shown blinded as well, a fatality of the wrath of Ao during the Time of Troubles. Tyr's symbol shows his nature: justice through benevolent force and armed vigilance. He opposes all beings who deal in trickery, rule-breaking, and unjust destruction or misdeeds. He is said to be a latecomer among the powers of Faerûn, appearing over a millennium ago but after most other Realms powers had established themselves. His faith is popular, as everyone knows exactly what Tyr expects his faithful to do and everyone can trust Tyrrans to be honorable, honest, just, and righteous.

Tyr is rather enigmatic to those outside his faith. He represents such stern justice that it is difficult to see the more subtle qualities of the god. He is a courageous father figure to his faithful and struggles continually to achieve for his follows a paradisiacal state of affairs in Faerûn that he knows will never come in an imperfect world. In his more affectionate moods, he sometimes refers to his abode in Lunia as the Just House, and one senses from him at times an odd sort of longing to want to be able to deal with troubles as one could among a perfect family: with love, courage, and the knowledge that everyone will try their best and not betray their fellows because of a special bond that all share. Unfortunately, he also knows that this will never happen, and so emits a undercurrent of stern sadness for what can never be. He is terribly protective of his priesthood, and because of this, he is more likely to manifest in some form to aid them than many other powers.

Torm and Ilmater serve Tyr, and the three deities are sometimes called the Triad.

Other Manifestations

To denote his favor or the occurrence of important deeds, decisions, or utterances, Tyr frequently manifests as the echoing stroke of a gong, accompanied by an exultant wordless chord sung by unseen male voices. Tyr also shows his will through the image of an upright, glowing war hammer accompanied by telekinesis effects that demonstrate the god's intent and feelings. The hammer may also move, point, strike, or emit spells to further the will of Tyr. In addition, Tyr sometimes acts through extremely obedient, intelligent, large, and well-groomed war dogs that appear out of nowhere.

The Church
While some paladins preferring a straight black-and-white choice revere Tyr, he is most popular with the bureaucrats, judges, and merchants who make the entire system move efficiently. Worshipers of Tyr see the world in clear-cut moral terms; they like to see Faerûn firmly cleansed and ordered by laws that are evenly and diligently applied. They are not very tolerant of other world views and do not find parody, mockery, or even questions about their faith amusing. Tyr survives very well in the civilized world, and most of his temples are in larger cities. He is also worshiped on the Rock of Bral, rumored to be one of the Tears of Selûne.

Tyr had no specialty priests for over 10 yeras after the Time of Troubles. Sages theorize that he wished to favor none of his clergy members over the others. Recently, all clerics of Tyr received a stern vision from their god in which he stated that he had seen that other faiths were mocking the hard way of justice with their divinely granted special favors and that the Tyrran church had served nobly and struggled valiantly against the weight of such odds. In reward for their perseverance under such conditions, Tyr declared that henceforth all clergy of Tyr would have special powers to aid them in their enforcement of justice. All priests of Tyr are therefore specialty priests after the Feast of the Moon in 1369 DR.

The Church of Tyr is a highly organized, formal priesthood that maintains internal rules and a system of fortified temples. At Tyrran temples, the faithful can find lodging, fresh mounts, healing, spell aid, weapons, gear, and holy advice. If a worshiper or priest knows that she or he has stinted in service to the Just One, confession and penance are also available. Level titles used by the clergy in recent years, in order of ascending rank, are: Acolyte of Laws, Solemn Brother/Sister, Lawkeeper, Sword of Tyr, Hammer of Tyr, Vigilant Watcher, Just Captain, Avenger, Master Avenger, Abbot, High Lord Abbot, High Avenger, Knight Commander, Hammer Lord, Defender of Justice, and Keeper of the Balance. Maverick titles are few indeed, as this is a closely regulated priesthood.

Dogma: Novices of Tyr are charged to "Reveal the truth, punish the guilty, right the wrong, and be always true and just in your actions." Tyr and his followers are devoted to the cause of justice, to the righting of wrongs and the deliverance of just vengeance. This is not necessarily equality or fairness, as some make the maimed god out to represent, but rather the discovery of truth and the punishment of the guilty. Tyrrans tend to be stiff-necked about theology and to see matters in black and white terms.

Clergy of Tyr are sworn to uphold the law wherever they go, and to punish those wronged under the law. They are to keep complete records of their own rulings, deeds, and decisions. Through these records, a priest's errors can be corrected, his or her grasp of the laws of all lands can grow and flourish, and lawbreakers can be identified by others. No known injustice done by a Tyrran priest must go unbalanced. Priests of Tyr should also always be vigilant in their observations and anticipations, seeking to see what forces and which beings intend or will cause injustices and threaten law and order in the future. They should then act to prevent such challenges in justice in coming to pass. In short: Abide by the laws, and let no others break them. Mete out punishment where lawbreaking occurs.

Day-to-Day Activities: Priests of Tyr serve as judge, jury, and executioner in wilderness areas where there is no law but that of the sword. When doing so, their code cleaves fairly close to "an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth," but does adhere to common trade custom leavened by "the mercy of ignorance." This last means that if a being is truly ignorant of the proper behavior, minor transgressions can be forgiven once with a warning, an explanation of the proper law—and a record of the warning being written down in the priest's Book of Lawgiving for later distribution to other Tyrrans so that the particular being will not be forgiven a second time.

In civilized areas, Tyrrans (inevitably called "tyrants" behind their backs by nonbelievers) become legal experts and serve as the lawyers of Faerûn by dispensing advice and "speaking for" accused persons in trials. The fees they charge go to the Church of Tyr.

Tyrrans often go about lecturing others on their shortcomings as to following laws, rules, and regulations, but they also serve to fearlessly take complaints about such formalities to the authorities who make such rules. No Tyrran will enforce a law that contradicts other laws or can be shown to be unjust. Note the concern is not that it is unfair, but unjust—defined in the Tyrran church as out of compliance with the principles and definitions adhered to by other laws in the body of legal doctrine of which it is a part. Priests of Tyr also have the duty of delivering just vengeance as punishment on the part of those who cannot do it themselves. Tyrrans undertake formal missions to do this, making promises to those to be avenged and forcing open confrontations with those the vengeance is to be visited upon, rather than working behind the scenes or employing intrigue.

Holy Days/Important Ceremonies: The priesthood of Tyr follows a monthly cycle of high rituals, beginning with Seeing Justice on the first day of each month, the Maiming on the thirteenth day of the month, and the Blinding on the twenty-second day of each month. These major rituals involve chanted prayers, thunderously sung hymns to the god, and conjured illusions: a gigantic war hammer that glows blinding white hanging over the heads of the congregation at Seeing Justice; at the Maiming, a gigantic right hand that bursts into view above the congregation surrounded by a nimbus of burning blood, then tumbles away into darkness and fades from view; and two eyes that burst into fountains of flaming tears until they have entirely spilled away and are gone at the Blinding. Early in the ceremony of the Blinding, symbolic blindfolds of diaphanous damask are bound over the eyes of the celebrants by clergy to remind the worshipers of Tyr's blindness.

In addition to the high rituals, Tyrrans celebrate daily rituals of prayer to the god, which take the form of a sung invocation, a series of responsive prayers led by a senior cleric, a short sermon of instruction or reading of wisdom from the Sacred Judgments of Tyr, and a rousing closing anthem. In temples and abbeys dedicated to the god, such rituals are celebrated every two hours around the clock, with the most important offices taking place at dawn, highsun (noon), the equivalent of six o'clock, and the equivalent of none o'clock. The dawn ritual, The Awakening, is a gentle, uplifting renewal of faith. The noonday ritual, the Hammer at Highsun, is a stirring, exultant expression of the church's vigilance and martial might. The evenfeast ritual, High Justice, is a stern, proud celebration of Tyr's commandments and the church's purpose. The evening ritual, the Remembrance of the Just Fallen, is a haunting, softly chanted reverence for those who have laid down their lives for justice, both inside and outside the faith—a ritual of quiet dignity and respect that always leaves many witnesses, even those who do not follow Tyr, in tears.

Major Centers of Worship: The Fortress Faithful in Tethyr, south of Zazesspur, is probably the most important temple of Tyr at the moment, as clergy of the Just God are converging on it to help restore law and order to war-torn Tethyr. They work in large, well-armed patrols sent out of the castle-abbey.

More holy, older, and supreme in the well-ordered hierarchy of the church of Tyr, however, is the House of Tyr's Hand in Milvarune, in Thesk. The House is the home of the Just Knights, heavy cavalry whose gleaming armor and lowered lances are the last sights many an invading warrior of Thay has seen. Some sages have called this superb army "the Simbul's least likely yet staunchest allies" because of their efficiency in hurling back Thayan armies over the years.

Also of note is the one known Tyrran temple in Realmspace not on the surface of Abeir-Toril. The Tyrran church on Bral (one of the Tears of Selûne) is known as the Pantheist Temple of Tyr. Its clergy and ceremonies conform to the standards of the Torilian faith, but its priests worship Tyr as a warrior god as well as one of justice. They consider Tyr the patron of all good warriors. Pantheistic priests of Tyr recognize any lawful good deity of justice or war as an avatar of their deity and often gain access to spells in many crystal spheres that do not know Tyr by that name. As a deity of justice, Tyr is not very popular in Bral, which is known as a pirate haven. The priests of the temple feel obligated to take on crime and injustice wherever they find it, and this as led to several small, crusading wars. Priests of Tyr and lawful good warriors from any crystal sphere find a warm welcome at the Pantheistic Temple of Tyr, although they may have a hard time adjusting to the idea promoted here that Tyr goes by different names in different places.

Affiliated Orders: The church of Tyr has many affiliated knightly orders. Individual temples often have special orders or companies attached to them or supported by them, such as the Just Knights of the House of Tyr's Hand in Milvarune, mentioned above. Two church-sponsored orders of paladins are the Knights of Holy Judgment and the Knights of the Merciful Sword. The first order tends to attract those who emphasize the "lawful" in their alignment, and the second the "good." Knights from either order may join an elite order of paladins (of 7th or greater experience level) known as the Hammers of Grimjaws.

To join the Hammers, a paladin must be nominated by a member of the Hammers, and his or her nomination must be seconded by a senior priest of Tyr. If both these requirements are met, she or he must stand vigil in the holy sanctuary of a temple of Tyr all night. If the paladin is judged worthy by Tyr, Tyr sends the paladin a vision of his war hammer. If no vision appears, the paladin is deemed yet too inexperienced, but not a failure, and may be nominated again after some time has passed. If Tyr sends a vision of his sword, the paladin has knowingly or unknowingly failed Tyr in some way and must immediately complete a quest to atone. If the quest is completed, Tyr is pleased and forgives, and the knight is admitted into the Hammers. There is no quitting a quest under these conditions; either the paladin succeeds or dies trying.

Priestly Vestments: The vestments of Tyr are blue and purple robes with a white sash. A white glove or gauntlet is worn on the left hand and a black one on the right to symbolize the loss of the god's right hand.

Adventuring Garb: For everyday use, most priests of Tyr wear armor or practical clothing adorned on the shoulders and back with the symbol of the hammer and scales of Tyr.

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6 Helm on Wed Oct 27, 2010 12:03 am

Helm

He of the Unsleeping Eyes, the Watcher, the Vigilant, the Vigilant One, the Great Guard, the God of Guardians

Intermediate Power of Nirvana
LN

PORTFOLIO: Guardians, protectors, protection
DOMAINS: Law, Planning, Protection, Strength
HOME PLANE: Nirvana/Everwatch
SUPERIOR: None
ALLIES: Arvoreen, Clangeddin Silverbeard, Cyrrollalee, Gaerdal Ironhand, Gorm Gulthyn, Moradin, Torm, Yondalla
FOES: Bane (now dead), Bhaal (now dead), Garagos, Mask, Shar, Talos
SYMBOL: An open, staring eye with a blue pupil and outline painted on the back of a right-hand war gauntlet or the palm of a left-hand war gauntlet
WORSHIPPERS ALIGNMENT: LG, NG, CG, LN, N, CN

Helm (HELM) is the epitome of the guardian, the watcher, the guard, and has in years past been greatly venerated by those who need to remain watchful for evil at their doorsteps,. He was one of a much more powerful god, but has fallen upon hard times through two actions. During the Time of Troubles, Helm was left with his powers and ordered to hold the gates to the Outer Planes against the other powers of the Realms when the other deities were stripped of their power and confined to the surface of Abeir-Toril. Helm did so all too successfully, and much of the resulting destruction and deific turmoil caused by the many divine deaths of the Godswar is laid at his feet.

Helm remained strong in the South, but experienced a further setback when his priests became deeply involved in an invasion of the True World of Maztica. Their unflinching and often brutal actions counted further against the god's reputation. Because of the inflexible and cold reputation those actions gained him, Helm's star is fading at a time when Term and Gond are attracting new followers.

Helm is difficult to understand and is often viewed as emotionless, heartless, and devoted only to his duty or goal at the cost of all mortal consideration. While he is devoted to the point of obsession, he is not heartless, but merely a stern disciplinarian. He is fond of children and has been known to be most uncharacteristically lenient (for Helm) when dealing with small infractions by them or on their behalf.

In attempting to comprehend Helm's driven nature, many mortal sages have attempted to account for him throwing himself into his work by blaming his behavior on a broken heart caused by long-unrequited or spurned love. Others say he lost a great love to tragedy or eternally grieves for a lost relative, such. as a brother, sister, ot child. Still others account for his behavior more coldly as a burning ambition to become the greatest of deities. Helm has never given credence to any of these theories, as he considers such speculations frivolous use of time that could be spent more honestly at productive work.

Other Manifestations

Helm often manifests as an upright, palm-out metal gauntlet making a "stop" or warding gesture or a closed, watchful war helm. From such images emanate heal or imbue with spell ability spells to aid or empower guardians, defensive magical barriers, wardmist magics, fields that reveal illusions and hidden or disguised attackers for what they truly are, and beams that force out-of-phase, ethereal, astral, or otherwise inaccessible beings fully into phase on the Prime Material Plane on Faerun so they can be attacked by guardians. It is rare for offensive spells to lash out from a manifestation of Helm, hut it has occurred. Most often such spells come from the war helm apparition and tend to be thin beams of lightning.

When Helm manifests, all guardians and defenders within 10 miles wake up and become alert. He banishes all sleepiness, weakness, nausea, or magics that place guardians and defenders under the influence of others (such as charm spells). These conditions are ended, not merely suspended while the power of Helm is present.

Helm also sometimes works through the presence or action of einheriar, helmed horrors, spectators, maruts, watchghosts, and living steels. In addition, Helm can choose to send vivid warnings in dreams, and if a believer sleeps touching an unsheathed weapon, the visions imparted to the believer by Helm can sometimes also be seen by the next being to touch the weapon, regardless of how much time has passed. Weapons consecrated to Helm can also thrum, sing, glow, dance, or vibrate in warning when the god desires them to.

The Church
Prior to the Time of Troubles, Helm was a well-respected faith in most areas of the North. Its large temple complexes were usually situated near dangerous and evil areas (such as Darkhold) and were regarded as a first line of defense against evil people and creatures. Wracked by defections in the wake of the Time of Troubles, active persecution in the North by those angry that Helm forced the destructive divine avatars to remain in Faerun, and military and popularity losses related to the invasion of the True World (Maztica), the Vigilant or Watchful Ones (priests of Helm) have been in decline. They have only recently begun to recover popular favor and influence, strength, and organization under the unflinching, no-excuses leadership of the veteran priests of Helm from before the Time of Troubles known as the Tested and True. Most of these folk are people of inflexible beliefs and loyalty. They believe that Helm is the most favored of all the powers, for he was chosen to retain his powers to discipline the others.

Fighting their way back from a reputation that brands many dead magic areas "the Legacy of Helm," the Tested and the True are having a tough time, but one which their strong discipline and the almost military hierarchy of the church of Helm are well suited to handle. All know their position by their rank within the church of Helm, and Helm himself sets the goals for his high priests and priestesses, determining what temples, abbeys, and shrines are to cooperate with each other in which ongoing efforts.

Titles used by the clergy of Helm are (in ascending order of ranks: Novice, Adept, Trusty, Alert, Watchknight, Guardian, Overblade, High have been adopted only since the Time of Troubles, and members of the Tested and True and Watchers (specialty priests, derisively known as "Godseyes") have been allowed to retain any older, personal, or variant titles. Clergy who lead or occupy an important office in a temple, abbey, or monastery may also bear additional titles pertaining to their duties.

Dogma: "He also serves who stands and waits and watches carefully" and "Careful planning always defeats rushed actions in the end" are popular sayings of Helm's faithful. Novices of Helm are charged to be vigilant and to he fair and diligent in the conduct of their orders. They must protect the weak, the unpopular, the injured, and the young and not sacrifice them for others. They must anticipate attacks and he ready, know their foes, and care carefully for their weapons so that their weapons" can perform their duties properly when called upon.

"Never betray your trust" is the guiding phrase for faithful of Helm. This philosophy extends to thinking about how best to guard and protect, both in terms of weapons and the deployment of guardians, and to anticipating what attacks may come and having a practiced plan ready to deal with such threats. The faithful and the priests of Helm train and exercise so as to always be able to carry out their duties as best they can.

Helmites always obey orders, provided those orders follow the dictates of Helm. Helm's wishes are often revealed to his faithful in response to on-the-spot prayer (often via an omen spell). He is very responsive in sending guiding vision, especially when his faithful face conflicting orders or directives, even from his senior clergy. The thought of commanding undead rather than turning them or destroying them is abhorrent to Helm, and so his clergy are not allowed to do so and would never dream of trying. This difference in philosophy is a major factor in the rivalry between his church and that of Torm.

Day-to-Day Activities: Helmite clergy believe they can win back the rightful power of Helm only through demonstrated excellence of vigilance and purity of loyalty in their roles as guardians and protectors. They have set about trying to train bodyguards everywhere and spreading the word that only Helm-tested worshipers of the God of Guardians are truly worthy and reliable to their masters.

Holy Days/Important Ceremonies: The Helmite faith always holds a Ceremony of Honor to Helm on each Shieldmeet, but its members observe no other calendar-related rituals to the God of Guardians.

On a daily basis, worshipers of Helm should always pray to the Vigilant One upon awakening and before composing themselves for slumber. A faithful worshiper who poses a question to the god typically receives some sort of (often cryptic) guidance in dream visions. Helm may also grace a nonbeliever who is growing interested in his faith with such visions.

Major Centers of Worship: The most prominent center of Helm's faith is the Noble Hand in Tsurlagol. The Noble Hand is both a temple and a training school for professional guards. It flourishes under High Watchful Weaponmaster Ellym "Catsjaw" Thourin, a retired adventurer of some reputation. Helm's worship is also still very strong in the Vilhon Reach and also in the South. The Temple of the Vigilant Guard in Iljak, led by Battle Marshal Senior Steeleye Tonorak Winthrax, is a bastion of the Helmite faith in the Vilhon Reach.

Affiliated Orders: The members of the Companions of the One True Vision, an order of Helmite clerics, fighters, and crusaders, were known for being unswervingly loyal shock troops able to follow orders asking them to engage the most difficult objectives without breaking and hold the most trying positions against overwhelming odds. Recently, however, members of this order, many of whom served in the Helmite actions in Maztica, have taken a beating in popular reputation. Other affiliated Helmite orders include a small fellowship of battlefield healers known as the Watchers Over the Fallen, a group of dedicated bodyguards whom Helmite temples hire out to others to generate revenue called the Everwatch Knights, and an order of paladins called the Vigilant Eyes of the God.

Priestly Vestments: Priests of Helm wear spotless, shining, (often everbright-enchanted), unblemished full plate armor with open-faced helms (a visor reduces vision). Often the helms are topped with plumes. Such armor may be accessorized with red cloaks and tabards of steel gray, and Such garments-or the armor itself - may be adorned with the Unsleeping Eye in the center of both back and breast. In southern regions, Helmite clergy members often wear the finest full plate armor set with gems and worked with gold filigree in designs that accentuate great golden eyes set in the centers of their chests (on the breastplates) and hacks. In areas where heavily armored clerics are frowned on, the armor is reduced to a set of heavy shoulder plates, but the helm remains in any case.

Adventuring Garb: Because of the useful nature of the ceremonial gear of the priests of Helm, it is worn in the field as well as for ceremonial purposes, unless it is decorated with such costly materials that the priest fears it will attract thieves, in which case a more utilitarian version of the same full plate armor is worn. In either case, the armor is dominated by i he symbol of Helm's eye on the chest, often shown in a sunburst or as the topmost level of a stepped pyramid

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7 Illmater on Wed Oct 27, 2010 12:03 am

Ilmater

The Crying God, the Lord on the Rack, the One Who Endures, the Broken God

Intermediate Power of the Twin Paradises, LG

PORTFOLIO: Endurance, suffering, martyrdom, perseverence
DOMAINS: Good, Healing, Law, Strength, Suffering
ALIASES: Ayuruk (among the peoples of the Great Glacier)
HOME PLANE: Shurrock/Martyrdomain
SUPERIOR: Tyr
ALLIES: Tyr, Torm, Ibrandul (now dead), Lathander
FOES: Loviatar, Malar, Talos, Bane (now dead), Bhaal (now dead), Myrkul (now dead)
SYMBOL: A pair of white human hands bound at the wrists with blood-red cord or (older) a blood-stained rack
WOR. ALIGN.: Any

Ilmater (Ihl-MAY-ter) offers succor and calming words to those who are in pain, oppressed, or in great need. He is the willing sufferer, the one who takes the place of another to heft the other's burden, to take the other's pain. He is the god of the oppressed and unjustly treated.

Ilmater is quiet, kind, good-spirited, and slow to anger. He appreciates a humorous story and has a rather rustic humor himself. When his avatar appears, he takes assaults upon his person passively and rarely lifts a hand against another. He is not totally nonviolent, though, as many often assume by his doctrine of endurance. When facing cruelties and atrocities his rage can boil up, and then he is a figure of frighteningly righteous wrath. His appearance can frighten the young, but he takes great care to reassure them as he treasures children and all young creatures, taking exceptional offense at those who would abuse or harm them.

Ilmater is allied to and serves Tyr, aiding the blinded god in his travels and teaching him to live without his sight but to rely more upon his feelings. He is also on very good terms with Torm, who also serves Tyr, and the three deities are known collectively as the Triad.

Ilmater's symbol in the early days was the blood-stained rack, but since the Godswar the use of a pair of white hands bound with blood-red cord has come into almost exclusive use. This newer symbol has increased Ilmater's popularity in the world at large.

Other Manifestations

Ilmater appears as an unseen, watchful presence accompanied by a whimpering or howling sound. In this form he speaks, telekineses items about, and hurls spells.

Alternatively, the Crying God can choose to possess any good-aligned creature who is being tortured without having done anything to earn such treatment under the laws of the realm in which the torture is taking place. When such a manifestation occurs, the tortured being's body glows with a bright white aura, the being is healed and regenerated, all pain is banished, any restraints are broken asunder and torture devices smashed, and the being is set free, vigorous and alert. If Ilmater is angered enough by what has been done (sadistically cruel torturers and accompanying murders are definite triggers for this), he empowers the freed being to cast destructive spells for a turn or so, typically channeling the ability to cast such spells as chain lightning, flame strike, lightning bolt, meteor swarm, imprisonment, and sink.

Ilmater also acts through the appearance or presence of devas, einheriar (formed from martyrs), hollyphants, incarnates of courage, planetars, solars, and other not yet identified beings. More commonly he sends white doves, donkeys, daisies, white roses, field mice, and sparrows to show his favor and as a sign to encourage his faithful to persevere.

The Church
The followers of Ilmater are often perceived as being intentional sufferers, but in reality they concentrate a lot of effort on providing proper treatment and healing to those who have been hurt. They put others ahead of themselves, are sharing, and emphasize the spiritual nature of life over the gross material body.

Ilmater's priests tend to be the most sensitive and caring of humans. When new to the faith, since they see much suffering, they often weep. Over time, this constant tugging at their heartstrings wears at them, and they then tend toward a cynical view of life in Faerûn. They are distinguished from other cynics, however, by their inability to ignore or pass by others in need. Even when a cause is hopeless, they must help. Ilmatari are taught to be firm in their principles and fearless, with the result that they earn enormous respect with the general populace, but are often slain by brigands or those who hold different principles than they do. The church of Ilmater is different from many Faerûnian faiths in that it has many saints, among them St. Dionysius and St. Sollars the Twice-Martyred (whose symbol is a yellow rose).

Few priests of Ilmater are soldiers, and fewer still are merchants, but they do outstrip all other priesthoods in the size, number, and level of treatment in the many infirmaries and leper sanctuaries they maintain. From their inception into the priesthood, Ilmatari are trained in the recognition and treatment of all known disease, injuries, and conditions; senior priests have had prepared detailed programmed illusions to show beings in various stages of harm. An Ilmatari priest who has been shown these could, for instance, recognize a human infested with rot grubs at a glance.

The process of joining the clergy of Ilmater is simple: A novice enjoys a gentle walk and talk with a senior priest, during which they talk and explore the novice's views of life. They then dine and the novice is (knowingly) given a wine taht puts him or her into a gentle trance where various clergy and wizards friendly to the faith can easily employ mind-scrying spells to thoroughly explore the novice's true feelings, loyalties, and aims. If no dedication to evil or precluding religious or secular loyalties are found, the novice is accepted and adorned with the simple robes of Ilmater. (This cautious practice was instituted because so many folk in the past have posed as willing entrants into the Ilmatari just to learn the medicines and physiclore and then stholen away with as many medical supplies as they could.)

All the Adorned are priests, but no titles are commonly used in the clergy except Brother and Sister. For senior clergy, Revered is added to this, and for the heads of temples, abbeys, and monasteries dedicated to the Crying God, Father and Mother are used. So, for example, the head of the Towers of Willful Suffering, the abbey to Ilmater in Eshpurta, is known as Revered Mother of the House Heldatha Dhussta.

The Adorned include clerics, specialty priests, and monks. Though the monastic orders usually dwell separate from the rest of the church in monasteries and abbeys, some monks also abide in Ilmatari temples to teach other Ilmatari about fields of knowledge they have specialized in or to provide their special form of hand-to-hand protection to the institution to which they are assigned.

The hierarchy of the Adorned usually centers around the leader of the large temple, abbey, or monastery to who the Ilmatari in the region report. Ilmatari are loosely ranked under this Revered Mother or Father, and abbeys and monasteries are usually tied to specific temples, often adding a second informal tier to the hierarchy.

Ilmater's priests are found where they are needed, which is usually in the worst possible conditions, ministering to the needs of the oppressed, the deceased, and the poor. Those outside the faith often view this as a strategic positioning of churches in areas which guarantee the persecution of Ilmatari (such as Mulmaster and Zhentil Keep). Priests of Ilmater may also be found among adventuring companies, and—in addition to paladins—are often the ones to go off rescuing this clan of kidnapped halflings or recovering that purloined family heirloom. It is not that they are foolish, but rather that they care for all things to the exclusion of their personal risk.

Shortly after the Time of Troubles, the reputation of the organized church was plagued by the actions of a neutral cult of Ilmater that believed in passing suffering around to others, especially nonbelievers. They were noted for self-flagellation, kidnappings, and inciting riots. Ilmater was not granting these cultists their powers or spells, and the Ilmatari church suspects that Cyric, Loviatar, or Beshaba was behind these deluded people. Fortunately, the cult has largely been eliminated due to a hostile response to its actions on the part of nobles and those in authority.

Dogma: The Ilmatari are taught to help all who hurt, no matter who they are, and that the truly holy take on the suffering of others. Ilmater tells them that if they suffer in his name, he will be there to support them. They should stick to their cause if it is right, whatever the pain and peril. They are to stand up to all tyrants, resisting in ways both great nad small, and to allow no injustice to go by unchallenged. They believe that there is no shame in a meaningful death. Some followers of Ilmater take a negative or darkly humorous view of the world, and the church accepts them as well. "Today is the first day in what's left of your life" fits very snugly into Ilmater's dogma, but most Ilmatari would add, "So live it well."

Novices in the faith are charged to: "Persevere in the face of pain. Heal the sick, the wounded, and the diseased. Comfort the dying, the griefstricken, and the heartsick. Take on the burdens and the pain of others. Champion the causes of the oppressed and unjustly treated, and give shelter and kind counsel to the lonely, the lost, and the ruined. Pursue the service of Ilmater, and he will provide—leave gross riches and the acquisition of all but medicines to others. Take up the tasks no others dare.

Day-to-Day Activities: Ilmatari share what they have with those in need and always take time to counsel those who are upset and give healing and tender care to the injured. They speak for the oppressed, guide the lost, feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, and gather herbs and make medicines at all times for disasters to come. When war is expected and time permits, priests of Ilmater gather in strength with litters, shovels, tents, splints, bandages by the cartload, and wagons of medicines and healing potions to tend those who will soon suffer.

Priests of Ilmater see life as sacred and suffering as holy, but they do not stand in the way of others' desires or condemn them for their chosen path. For instance, Ilmatari would not stop a sorely injured warrior from rising up half-healed to plunge into battle again, openly seeking death while fighting the foe. Instead, they would freely assist the warrior by healing him enough to be mobile so that he could follow his own doom wish in the most honorable manner available to him.

Ilmatari bury the dead, treat the diseased, and give food, drink, and firewood to the poor. They also tour the wealthier cities and settlements of Faerûn soliciting moneys to support the church. Increasingly, since so many folk personally received the benefit of their kindnesses during the Time of Troubles, people of all faiths give generously to the church of the Crying God. As the merchant Ashaerond of Westgate put it: "If I pay for one extra potion today, it may be the last one tomorrow—but the one needed then to heal me."

Holy Days/Important Ceremonies: There are no calendar-related special holy days or any other festivals observed by the Ilmatari. Instead, the daily rituals of prayer to Ilmater at least six times per day govern each and every day of service.

A special Plea must be made to Ilmater to receive divine dispensation for a Rest, which is a tenday vacation from serving Ilmater's dictates. Usually Ilmatari request this when they are emotionally exhausted, but some adventurer-priests use Rests to perform things Ilmater would otherwise frown upon. This custom is an established tradition that some leaders of the faith rely upon, sending their best fighting clergy out to do things that the church cannot otherwise accomplish (covertly removing a tyrant rather than confronting him openly, for example).

The most important ritual of the Church of Ilmater is the Turning: It is the duty of every priest of Ilmater to try to get dying persons to turn to Ilmater for comfort, receiving the blessing of the Broken God before they expire. As the veneration of Ilmater grows, even in death, his healing power becomes greater.

Major Centers of Worship: The largest center of Ilmatari worship in the House of the Broken God in Keltar in Calimshan. The House of the Broken God is a huge monastery in the center of the town that is connected, via a series of walled gardens, to a temple farm on a hill northwest of Keltar, a walled leper house beyond that, and a sanitarium beyond that. Here Revered Father of the House Melder Rythtin of the Healing Hand, who is famous for his diagnoses and miraculous treatments of the afflicted, presides over the largest hospital and facility for brewing, concocting, and compounding medicines in Faerûn. Those unfriendly to Calimshan have commented that such a facility is located where it is because the cruelty of the Calishites makes it most needed in their realm—but they are too greedy and disgusted by the sick, the malformed, and the injured to allow such a place in their proud capital city.

Affiliated Orders: Ilmater's church has several affiliated knightly orders of paladins and warriors, including the Companions of the Noble Heart, the Holy Warriors of Suffering, the Order of the Golden Cup, and the Order of the Lambent Rose. Monastic orders are also numerous, and include the Disciples of St. Sollars the Twice-Martyred, whose most famous facility, the Monastery of the Yellow Rose, is located in Damara, high up in the Earthspurs near the Glacier of the White Worm. (Monks of this monastery specialize in genealogical studies.) Other Ilmatari monastic orders include the followers of the Unhindered Path, the Disciples of St. Morgan the Taciturn, and the Sisters of St. Jasper of the Rocks. Most Ilmatari monasteries traditionally are named after flowers which symbolize something of significance to the order, though this is not mandated.

Priestly Vestments: For ceremonial functions, Ilmatari wear a solid gray tunic, tabard, and trousers, or gray robes. They wear skullcaps in gray (most clergy members) or red (senior priests). Novices who have not yet been adorned wear no skullcaps. The symbol of Ilmater is worn as a pin over the heart or on a chain around the neck and serves as a holy symbol. Some of the older members of the faith have a gray teardrop tattooed to one side of their right or left eye.

Adventuring Garb: In the field or on quests, Ilmatari priests dress appropriately for the mission and the weather, but usually wear gray tabards decorated with Ilmater's symbol stitched on the chest near the left shoulder over any other clothing or armor they wear. They are never without their holy symbols and a satchel of medicines, bandages, salves, splints, and slings.

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8 Mielikki on Wed Oct 27, 2010 12:06 am

Mielikki

Our Lady of the Forest, the Supreme Ranger, Daughter to Silvanus

Intermediate Power of the Happy Hunting Grounds, NG

PORTFOLIO: Forests, forest creatures, rangers, dryads, autumn
DOMAINS: Animal, Good, Plant, Travel
ALIASES: Khelliara (Rashemen)
HOME PLANE: Krigala/The Grove of the Unicorns
SUPERIOR: Silvanus
ALLIES: Eldath, Silvanus, Shiallia, Gwaeron Windstrom, Lurue the Unicorn, Chauntea, Shaundakul, Lathander
FOES: Malar, Talona, Talos, Moander (now dead), Myrkul (now dead)
SYMBOL: A white unicorn on a green field, a white unicorn's head facing sinister, or a tiny star of dazzling white hue balanced on an open, lush green oak or ash leaf (older)
WOR. ALIGN.: LG, NG, CG, LN, N, CN

Mielikki (My-LEE-kee) is the Lady of the Forest, the goddess of the woods and those creatures who live within them. She is the patron of rangers in the same way that Oghma is the patron of bards. Until recently, Miellkki made her home on the Prime Material plane, and so was unharmed by the Time of Troubles, though the presence of so many other gods in the Realms gave her followers great difficulties. In the confusion following the Time of Troubles, she also gathered autumn into her portfolio, away from the dead Myrkul. She is worshiped by humans, elves, half-elves, and dryads alike. The Lady of the Forest is fond of wandering the woods of all of Faerun, although her faithful are concentrated in northern Faerun.

Mielikki is allied with and in the service of Silvanus, and with the growing power of that god, she was being diminished in her own right. In 1369 DR, she radically reorganized her priesthood, and the boost in power this gave her has forestalled her decline, and allowed her to establish her own realm in the Outer Planes for the first time. Her followers had already added the title "Daughter to Silvanus" to her other names previous to this point as an honorarium, causing some confusion since she is not Silvanus's daughter. Inaccurate legends have since grown up to explain the title in which Mielikki is said to be the offspring of dalliance between Silvanus and Hanali Celanil, the elf goddess of romantic love and beauty.

Mielikki serves Silvanus alongside Eldath. She considers Eldath to be almost her sister, and Silvanus a father figure. All three powers work closely and lovingly together, and this relationship is reflected in their churches and clergy also. Mielikki herself is assisted by three divine beings of lesser power: Lurue, Gwaeron Windstrom, and Shiallia. On rare occasions when Mielikki rides into battle, Lurue the Unicorn serves as her mount, and Gwaeron Windstrom, who can track infallibly through any conditions, in or on any terrain, aids her on some missions and teaches her rangers the way to read forest signs. Shiallia, a local nature deity of the High Forest, serves her as the midwife to pregnant forest creatures, the planter of seeds, and the nurturer of seedlings in that forest. In addition, Lady Jeryth Phaulkon of Waterdeep, the Chosen Star of Mielikki, serves as Mielikki's mortal champion. She has been gifted by Mielikki with unknown powers and is referred to in the faith as Our Lady's Champion or the Granddaughter of Silvanus. Though still fairly young, she has quickly matured from a frivolous debutante into a steadfast forest warrior.

Mielikki is good-humored and quick to smile. She is confident in her actions and conveys this confidence well in small groups, though she dislikes speaking formally or leading large contingents. She is fiercely loyal and protective to those she calls friend, but does not grant that consideration lightly. Though she knows that some creatures must die to make way for others in life, she finds the injuries of animals and other friends hard to bear and often cures hurt creatures that Silvanus would leave be to fuel the cycle of death and rebirth.

Other Manifestations

When Mielikki manifests, it is most often as a glowing white unicorn who gallops through the air and can teleport freely from place to place in Faerun. This manifestation can cast spells by touch from its horn and speak mind-to-mind with any living being. At times, Mielikki also appears as a drifting radiance of blue-white or green, gold, and rust that speaks with her voice, can move objects that it envelops about from place to place, and can unleash magic as she does. To test their behavior, the Lady of the Forest often appears to rangers as a mortal woman lost and alone in the forest. The alert will notice that her feet never touch the ground, and therefore she leaves no trail. Mielikki also works through the actions of dryads, satyrs, hawks, songbirds, sprites, swanmays, treants, unicorns, wolves, and other woodland creatures.

The Church
Most rangers venerate Mielikki as their deity, though some venerate Silvanus, Eldath, Chauntea, Shaundakul, Mystra, or other deities. She grants her rangers their spells when they attain sufficient experience, and they see her as their leader, the supreme ranger, and their watchful mother. Other followers of Mielikki include dryads, hamadryads, treants, woodsmen, the occasional elf (especially wood elves), a few bards, and many of the Harpers. The followers of Mielikki usually do not organize themselves into official temples, but rather assemble in peaceful forest glades to worship the goddess. Shrines to the goddess are more common than temples and are found throughout the North, the Western Heartlands, and parts of the Dalelands in wilderness areas.

In 1369 DR, Mielikki ordered the reorganization of her church and reintroduced druids among her clergy to counter the waning of her faith. What little church hierarchy the Mielikkian faith has is still almost exclusively clerics; however, druids now have joined their ranks or begun circles in the North in her name. All the faithful of Mielikki are known as Walkers of the Forest Way. They are now organized into three branches of devotion: the Heartwoods, the Forestarms, and the Needles.

The Heartwoods are the heart of the faith, and serve as voices of the spirits of the trees themselves. These members of Mielikki's faithful include dryads, hamadryads, and treants.

The spiritual followers of Mielikki, known as the Arms of the Forest, or Forestarms, are the clerics and druids of her faith. They protect the forests of the world. Mielikki's priesthood is open to all good and neutral humans, demihumans, and members of other woodland races, but tends to be dominated by human and half-elf women of battle experience, passionate character, and adventuring interests.

The Needles are rangers. They are considered to be the most beloved of the Lady of the Forest. They sometimes serve as clergy, but most often act as the warrior arm of the faith and serve a defensive role protecting the forests from marauders, humanoids, and the followers of the god Malar. Included in this branch is a small religious order of druid/ranger woodland knights known as the Shadoweirs (SHA-doh-weerz).

Forestarms and Needles are given to dwelling in the forest. (Heartwoods do so per force.) Forestarms and Needles often have two or more abodes and a dozen or more caches of food and items that they can travel to in times of need. They tend to be the most adventuresome of forest and wilderness dwellers and to have easy-going dispositions. They are serene in their knowledge of the balance of natural cycles and at peace with all other sylvan faiths except the followers of Malar (whom they call "the Great Beast" or "the Beast of Beasts" or "the Bloodgod").

Forestarms tend to be practical, unfussy folk, reverent in their fireside prayers to the Lady but impatient with too much ceremony. Their titles reflect this: Questers (novices) who are accepted into the ranks of the priesthood may rise through the following ranks: Spring Stag (clergy members of less than two winters of service), Stalkers in the Green (experienced clergy who have not achieved outstanding achievements or appointments to senior temple staff duties), Forest Flames (senior temple staff, envoys, and recognized tutors of the faithful), High Rangers (leaders of temples and champions of the faith), and Hawks of the Lady. This last title is given by the Lady herself to denote her most cherished and high-ranking followers. Temple staff titles tend to be very simple: Cook, Master of Novices, Doorwarden, Housemaster, Prior, Abbot, and Worship Master are all common titles.

Dogma: Mielikki's followers are close to those of Silvanus in outlook and ethos, save that they stress the positive and outreaching nature of the wild. Intelligent beings can live in harmony with the wild without requiring the destruction of one in the name of the other. Mielikki's outlook matches that of rangers in general, which is why she is their patron.

Meilikkians are taught to embrace the wild and not fear it, because the wild ways are the good ways. They are to keep the balance and learn the hidden ways of all life. They should not allow trees to be needlessly felled or the forest to be burned. They are to live in the forest and be a part of the forest, not dwell in endless battle against the forest.

Walkers of the Forest Way must protect forest life, defend every tree, plant anew where death fells a tree, and strive to keep the balance that indiscriminate fire-users and woodcutters break. They are to live in harmony with the woods, to teach others to do so, and to punish and frustrate those who hunt for sport (not food) and who practice cruelties upon wild creatures.

Day-to-Day Activities: The Forestarms outlook is oriented toward the protection of nature (and forests in particular) from the forces of evil and ignorance. Many of these priests can be found wandering among small communities nestled at the edges of forests both great and small. They seek to teach humans and other goodly races to care and respect the trees and the life beneath their leafy bows. They try to prevent further encroachment by civilization on the remaining great forests by teaching careful forest husbandry. When called upon, they defend the forest with force of arms if necessary.

The Needles support the Forestarms of their own faith and the clergies of Eldath and Silvanus in defending, renewing, and even extending forests and forest life. Wherever possible without conflicting with this prime interest, they are to work against those who deal in fire magic (notably the Red Wizards and followers of Kossuth) and encourage city- and farm-dwelling folk to revere natural life and to view woodlands as rich, friendly places that are pleasant refuges for renewal and enjoying natural beauty, not deadly backlands to be feared and fought. They are also charged with supporting the Harpers when this does not conflict with their more primary duties, since the Harpers work against the rise of great powers, which tend to endanger all natural life and conditions around them by trying to reshape Faerun.

Rangers of all faiths are to be assisted whenever possible by Walkers of the Forest way, and the seeds of trees and woodland plants gathered, nurtured, and planted in an ongoing process so that 40 new trees will rise for every one taken by flame or axe. Many of the Forestarms and Needles visit foresters regularly to heal them and provide guidance so that as few trees as possible are taken and the forest is culled of weak creatures and unnatural predators, not creatures in the prime of life and health. In recent years, the Forestarms and Needles have worked with ranchers north of Melvaunt, eastern Amn, and the lands of the Dessarin to breed deer in large herds for food and pelt use, leaving the wild deer of the forests to recover—along with all the other forest creatures that either depend on deer for food, or are killed or frightened away by casual human forest incursions.

Holy Days/Important Ceremonies: Those who worship the Lady of the Forest believe her voice is echoed continuously throughout all forests by the rustling leaves. A worshiper in good stead can listen and understand the whispers of the woods after a period of meditation and extended introspection. These whispers have been transcribed by a few bards and rangers, but never seem to say the same thing twice. The general theme is the preservation and understanding of the forests and the creatures living within them. (Those who listen for a long period of time are reputed to improve their tracking and woodland survival skills as well as their knowledge of animal lore.)

Worship of Mielikki involves periods of introspection and meditation each morning and evening (in the forest whenever possible). Groups of worshipers also gather under the stars to sing the Lady's praises and ask for her guidance. When a worshiper of Mielikki begins a self-imposed quest to right a desecration of the forest, a special prayer is given up to the Lady of the Forest for strength and guidance. When aid is needed performing some simple task like setting the broken leg of a trapped wolf or following a trail, Walkers of the Forest Way usually ask for the Lady's blessing under their breath before proceeding.

The best-known to outsiders of the holy rituals of Mielikki are the Four Feasts of the solstice and equinox nights. These are known simply as the First Feast, the Second Feast, and so on. They are occasions for holy rituals and revels, wherein all Mielikki's faithful are expected to celebrate the sensual side of existence and sing praises to the Lady in forest depths wherever possible.

The festivals of Greengrass and Midsummer Night are even greater rituals, combining revels similar to those of the Four Feasts with planting rites and the Wild Ride. During the Wild Ride, the lady causes unicorns to gather in herds and gallop through the woods. Her faithful are allowed to ride them bareback through the night, covering astonishing distances and seeing much. On such rides, unicorns are empowered by the Lady to use their teleport ability as often as they desire for up to triple the normal range. On years when Shieldmeet follows Midsummer, riders can continue the Ride for that day and night if they so desire.

At least once a month, every member of the clergy must perform the Song of the Trees and serve any dryads, hamadryads, or treants their song calls forth. The clergy members perform the small tasks requested of them, but are free of dryad charms through the will of the Lady.

Every fire lit by a member of Mielikki's clergy must have the Dread Prayer whispered over it. In return, Mielikki makes the fire give off intense heat in particular directions indicated by the supplicant but almost no smoke. Such fires glow only dimly, so as to attract as little attention as possible, and do not spread. In this way, no watch need be kept against starting forest fires.

Major Centers of Worship: The most prominent center of the forest faith is located at the Falls of Tumbling Stars, west of Lake Sember. The locale is a hidden mountain valley where the Immerflow springs out of the Thunder Peaks and falls down the mountainsides to feed the river leading to the Wyvernwater. In this little-known valley, guarded against intrusion by rangers and half-elf archers of deadly skill, Hawk of the Lady Neretheen Jalassan, a priestess of Mielikki, and Hawk of the Lady Lord Ranger Beldryn Stormstone lead a small community of powerful rangers and other Walkers of the Forest Way in worship of the Lady of the Forest. To this holy place, the hurt and the favored of Mielikki's faithful are brought by secret ways. In the vale are holy bathing pools where the wounded are restored by the magic of Mielikki, and from this hidden vale the most powerful Walkers of the Forest Way fare forth to make pilgrimages to the distant Unicorn Run, where a gateway to Mielikki's realm is said to lie, and to work Mielikki's will across Faerun.

Affiliated Orders: Named for the greatest trees of the forests, the shadowtops and the weirwoods, the Shadoweirs are a highly secretive branch of the faith that originated in the northern reaches of the High Forest. Its members consist solely of half-elf multiclassed druid/rangers, and its membership has spread (thinly) beyond the High Forest throughout all of Faerun.

The Shadoweirs serve as a sort of religious knighthood of the woods. Unlike the Arms of the Forest or even the Needles, the Shadoweirs are an activist and proselytizing order who are willing to go on the offensive in the behalf of their sacred forests. They seek to advance the regrowth of ancient forests reduced by civilization. Many Shadoweirs are adventurers, wandering the Realms with missionary zeal. They seek to halt the endless assault of civilization on their ancient homelands.

Within the Walkers of the Forest Way, the Order of the Unicorn's Horn is a small society of itinerant healers who bring solace to both injured people, animals, and plants. The Mielikkian faith also has close ties with Those Who Harp (the Harpers), an organization working for good throughout Faerun and against the rise of great powers, which tend to endanger all natural life and conditions around them by trying to reshape Faerun.

Priestly Vestments: The colors of Mielikkian ceremonial garb vary with the seasons, each season having a base color and an accent. Winter is white with green accents, spring green with yellow accents, summer yellow with red accents, and fall red with white accents. The white and green of winter symbolizes evergreens and the unsleeping life of the forest, the green and yellow of spring is for the slow awakening of the forest to lush life, the yellow and red of summer represents the full splendor of flowers and burgeoning fruits and grains, and the red and white of fall symbolizes fall leaves being overlaid with snow. These colors govern capes worn with armor in times of war and the ceremonial dress of the Forestarms and the Needles: trousers, boots (always brown), a short cape, and a tabard that is long-sleeved in winter and sleeveless in summer. Whatever the garb, the unicorn's head of Mielikki, carved of ivory or bone or stitched in silver thread, is always worn over the heart.

The ceremonial dress of the Shadoweirs is chain mail and deep forest-green cloaks woven by dryads from spider silk and dyed with natural dyes. Many powerful forest knights wear ancient suits of elven chain mail they have been given by elven lords for their efforts in defending the forests. The symbol of the Shadoweirs is a giant shadowtop tree with a pair of crossed swords overlaying it, and it is sometimes stitched as a design on their clothing or worn on their shields.

Adventuring Garb: When in the field, most Walkers in the Forest Way dress appropriate to the weather and their duties, though they maintain the preferred seasonal colors of their faith. In very hot weather or in the summer woods most wear only a sash and baldric of the right colors. They carry needed gear in pouches, small packs, or strapped to their boots. The Shadoweirs prefer suits of gleaming chain mail or studded leather armor in the field.

Although Khalreshaar (Kal-REH-shay-are) is not listed in Faiths & Avatars as an alias of Our Lady of the Forest, Khalreshaar is the name by which Mielikki is known on Evermeet, the Green Isle. In this aspect, Mielikki is said to serve Rillifane Rallathil, not Silvanus, delivering messages and doing errands for the Leaflord when speed is of the essence. While Khalreshaar/Mielikki is in some respects an interloper god in the elven pantheon, the Fair Folk speak of a female human druid who was elevated to the ranks of the divine by the Seldarine when she was slain by soldiers of a human warlord as she attempted to defend elven woodlands from the encroachment of civilization.
Since the Time of Troubles, a growing cult, composed primarily of half-elves, has begun to give more credence to myths which claim that Mielikki is the daughter of Silvanus and Hanali Celanil.

They have begun to venerate Khalreshaar as the first truly halfelven power, much to the dismay of many full-blooded elves.

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9 Selûne on Wed Oct 27, 2010 12:07 am

Selûne

Our Lady of Silver, the Moonmaiden, the Night White Lady

Intermediate Power of Gladsheim , CG

PORTFOLIO: Moon, stars, navigation, navigators, wanderers, seekers, good and neutral lycanthropes
DOMAINS: Charm, Good, Moon, Protection, Travel
ALIASES: Bright Nydra (Farsea Marshes), Elah (Anauroch, among the Bedine), Lucha (Durpar, Estagund, and Var the Golden)
HOME PLANE: Ysgard/Gates of the Moon
SUPERIOR: None
ALLIES: Mystra, Lliira, Sune, Tymora, Eilistraee, Sehanine Moonbow, Shaundakul, Eldath, Chauntea, Valkur the Mighty, Lathander
FOES: Shar, Umberlee, Mask, Moander (now dead)
SYMBOL: Two darkly beautiful human female eyes surrounded by a circle of seven silver stars
WOR. ALIGN.: LG, NG, CG

When Selûne (Seh-LOON-eh) journeys to the Realms, she is said to appear in many forms and is depicted in religious art as everything from a female face on a lunar disk to a dusky skinned woman with wide, radiant eyes and long ivory-colored hair to a matronly, middle-aged woman whose dark hair is streaked with gray. In Durpar, Estagund, and Var the Golden, Selûne is worshipped as part of the Adama, the Dutparian concept of a world spirit that embraces and enfolds the divine essence that is part of all beings. Here she is known as Luche, She Who Guides. Lucha oversees connections and relationships, guiding herdsmen to good pastures, blessing marriages, helping lost ships at sea, and ensuring safe births. It can be safely said that as the moon changes, so does the nature of the moon goddess.

Selûne's eternal foe is the evil goddess Shar, and she battles her ceaselessly on many planes of existence, both through mortal worshipers and servitor creatures. The undying enmity between the two goddesses predates the existence of most, if not all, of the present-day existing Faerûnian deities. The enmity between Shar and Selûne carries into their priesthoods, such that open battle often occurs when followers of each faith meet. Selûne also struggles with Umberlee constantly over the fate of ships at sea and with Mask over the works of mischief and evil he performs in the shadows the moon's soft glow creates.

Selûne is a caring but quietly mystical power who often seems saddened by events perhaps millennia old. While she is normally calm and placid, her war with Shar is fierce, with neither side giving or receiving quarter. She is seen in many ways by her followers, who are a diverse group, and she is at times effervescently joyful and active, at others maternal, quiet, and almost poetic, and at yet others warlike and fierce, showing little mercy to her foes.

Before the Time of Troubles, Selûne had served Sune for some centuries after being independent for millennia. After the Godswar, she went her own way again. Her relationship with Sune and Lliira is still extremely friendly and cooperative.

Selûne is served by the Shards, a group of shining female servitors. The Shards can grow wings or banish them as they desire and have long, flowing blue hair and pearly-white skin. They are in reality planetars.

Other Manifestations:

Selûne often manifests as trails of dancing light motes known as "moondust" or "moon motes" that resemble will-o'-wisps. These guide folk who are lost at night or who must travel over treacherous ground; they also appear in order for her faithful to provide the light necessary to perform a delicate task. These moon motes may exude sparkling, glowing drops of pearly liquid—"drops fallen from the moon"—which Selûnite clergy gather and prize highly, using as an ingredient of power in many helpful potions and healing ointments. She also sends owls, weredragons, certain lycanthropes and shapechanging creatures, and the Shards to aid mortals or to show her favor or presence.

The Church
Selûne is worshipped by a mixed bag of followers: navigators, sailors, women, female spellcasters (especially those born under a full moon or interested in divination), good and neutral-aligned lycanthropes, those who work honestly at night, those seeking protection from Shar, the lost, the questing, and those curious about the future. Couples look to Selûne to bless them with children when they are ready, and women look to her for courage, strength, and guidance. The demands she places on her followers are few, and the goddess is reputed to be free with her gifts and boons to mortals.

Selûne's priesthood is as diverse as her worshipers; with hers being truly a faith that promotes equal access and understanding. Reflecting the chaotic and scattered nature of the church of Selûne, its hierarchy is a hodgepodge of clerics, specialty priests, crusaders, mystics, informed or blessed lay individuals, and a smattering of good-aligned lycanthropes (both natural and infected). All cooperate in relative—if rollicking—peace under the symbol of Our Lady of Silver. Members of this diverse group all worship the goddess in their own styles. Her churches vary, as do the phases of the moon, from opulent temples in Waterdeep to simple shrines in the Dalelands, from hermitages and hilltop dancing circles to ornate mansion temples.

A great deal of moon-related activity occurs in and around Waterdeep, and most of this is attributed to the temple to Our Lady of Silver. Most Selûnites, however, tend toward smaller shrines and individual worship, since "Anywhere the full moon shines is the place for Selûne." Selûnites refer to night conditions as being either "moonlight" (the moon is present, though perhaps not immediately visible) or "nightgloom" (the moon is not out or is dark).

Selûnite priests use a wide variety of titles, but novices (not yet fully priests) are always known as the Called, and human females tend to dominate the ranks of the more powerful clergy. Typical Selûnite titles (in ascending order) include: Touched, Enstarred, Moonbathed, Silverbrow, Lunar, Initiate, and High Initiate. All of these titles are followed by "Priestess/Priest." Those titles that follow these in rank tend to begin with "Priestess/Priest of the" and end in some form traditional to the individual temple or shrine the priest is affiliated with. It must be stressed that outside of Waterdeep and other larger city temples, many departures from these forms of titles will be found. The elite specialty priests of the goddess are known as silverstars.

Selûne as Lucha is worshipped by nearly everyone in Durpar. Her worshipers believe that she will guide them to the most profitable customers. It is widely believed that Lucha herself watches over all marriages performed by her clergy, and nearly all marriages in Durpar are performed by priests of Lucha. Her priests work ceaselessly against those of Mask and other evil gods.

Dogma: Selûne's ethos seems to be one of acceptance and tolerance over any other overriding principle. All are to be made welcome in her faith and seen as equal, and fellow Selûnites should be aided freely, as if they were one's dearest friends. "May Selûne guide your steps in the night, and bring them to the new dawn" is the common blessing of priests of Selûne to the faithful.

Novices are charged with the words of the goddess: "Let all on whom my light falls be welcome if they desire to be so. As the silver moon waxes and wanes, so too does all life. Trust in my radiance, and know that all love alive under my light shall know my blessing. Turn to the moon, and I will be your true guide."

Day-to-Day Activities: Priests of Selûne spend their time wandering Faerûn reaching out to the faithful and to potential worshipers of the moon goddess, since Selûne can be worshiped anywhere on the surface world. They make much small coin by telling fortunes, because folk who try to read the stars never achieve the same success rate in predictions as do clergy members who can call on Selûne for real guidance. In this way, Selûne steadily gains worshipers from the ranks of those who look to the night sky for guidance.

Members of the Selûnite priesthood also face lycanthropes fearlessly and thereby win respect among farmers and other members of the common folk. They are also, by the Lady's command, generous with their healing, often charging very little beyond a meal and a warm place to sleep for straightforward healing. Selûne's way thus makes the goddess ever more popular and keeps her clergy hardy, well-traveled, and in practical touch with the natural world.

The Moonmaiden's clergy are encouraged to be self-reliant, humble, and yet make as much of a success as they can in the world while always remaining as helpful and friendly to the lonely and to decent folk as possible. By this long-sighted policy Selûne allows her clergy to become happy, fulfilled, important people, and sees her faith steadily gain power thereby. Our Lady of Silver is inclined to be lenient in matters of alignment and religious observance. Self-reliance and finding one's own, practical path are more important than fussy detail in her faith, and so Selûne is also gaining favor among eccentrics, adventurers, and mavericks of all sorts, including outcasts. Many sages expect Selûne to rise again to great might among the powers, perhaps within their lifetimes.

Holy Days/Important Ceremonies: Selûnite clergy embroider their rituals into quite individual, unique observances. The basics of these are open-air dances and prayers under the moonlight with offerings of milk and wine poured upon a central altar during the nights of every full moon and new moon. These rituals are often called night stalks and during them her priests reaffirm their closeness to the Night White Lady and commune with her when possible.

The most sacred rituals of Selûne are the Conjuring of the Second Moon and the Mystery of the Night. The Conjuring of the Second Moon is performed only during Shieldmeet. It summons the Shards to do the bidding of the mortal clergy, often to do battle with minions of Shar. The Shards always take one mortal priestess to be one of them before they depart.

The Mystery of the Night must be performed at least once a year by every priest. During the Mystery ritual, Selûnite priests cast certain secret spells and lie before the Moonmaiden's altar, from whence they fly upward and spiral around the moon in a trance while they speak personally with Selûne via mental visions. This ritual causes a mortal ld12 points of damage as it is so draining, but this damage heals normally through rest or the use of healing magic.

When the goddess is pleased, she causes moonlight to bathe the wine or milk poured out on her altar, which transforms it into moonfire: an opalescent, glowing, soft-as-silk, ambulatory fluid mass the consistency of custard. The moonfire flows down from the altar to touch or envelop beings and items. Its touch destroys undead, enchants objects to make them magical items for the use of Selûnite clergy, and confers special powers on creatures. Moonfire vanishes when Selûne wills and bestows power as she wills. Those who steal it gain nothing, and there is no known means of forcing it to yield up a specific power.

Major Centers of Worship: The greatest and most beautiful temple to Selûne is the House of the Moon in Waterdeep, where Priestess of the High Moonlight (or to the uninitiated, simply "High priestess") Naneatha Suaril holds court in a gilt-domed temple whose ornate new gates depict Selûne triumphantly hurling Shar down into the spires of Waterdeep as the faithful say she did during the Time of Troubles. Here dozens of silver-robed priestesses harp out tunes to the moon or sell healing drafts, potions that keep one alert for an entire night and yet bestow the benefits of a solid sleep, and other potions that give their imbibers infravision from one dusk to dawn.
Here, too, the devout make pilgrimages to see the holy replica of the Wand of the Four Moons in its glass case (guarded by specialty priest of Selûne). Selûne usually manifests in the temple from out of this wand. It was created and blessed by Selûne herself in memory of the battle with Shar she had in Waterdeep. This holy duplicate is identical in form to the wand that Selûne wields in battle. It levitates in its glass case and glows with a soft, silvery-blue light, though it has no other known magical powers. Some swear that Naneatha can, by special request to the Moonmaiden, switch this duplicate with the real Wand of Four Moons and wield it in all its glory for short periods, but no witnesses to such an event have ever come forward. A fortunate few pilgrims have witnessed drops of Selûne's holy essence—the ingredient used in the making of her potions—falling from the hovering wand or heard her whisper words of advice or encouragement in their heads as they gazed upon it. On Selûne's Hallowing, a yearly Waterhavian temple holiday, Naneatha carries it before her at the head of a parade of worshipers that leave the House of the Moon at moonrise and move down to the harbor.

She Who Guides is favored in Lastarr, an independent city once part of Estagund which is her most prominent center of worship.

One lost center of Selûnite worship is Myth Lharast in the heart of Amn, one of the legendary cities surrounded by a mythal. Founded as a city of Selûnites ages ago, its mythal is linked to the moon, and it appears only on certain moonlit nights as a ghostly, floating splendor of walls and towers only to disappear again. An assortment of evil beings and groups, from undead armies ruled by demiliches to gargoyle clans, have seized control of it over the years and used it to raid the surrounding land. This has given it a fell reputation. The faithful of Selûne yet hope to restore it to her care.

Affiliated Orders: One order of fanatic Selûnites is known as the Swords of the Lady, who are often referred to colloquially as the Lunatics. Its members are led by a few Selûnite crusaders, specialty priests, and mystics. They tend to act rapidly in response to threats from Shar and her priesthood, although the public often views their behavior as bizarre at large. Among other groups, the church of Selûne is also affiliated with the Harpers and a group of female diviners who worship the Night White Lady who call themselves the Oracles of the Moon.

Priestly Vestments: The ceremonial costume of Selûnites varies from place to place. Selûnite clergy members wear everything from plain brown robes to only a little moonstone jewelry as an accent to normal clothing to rich bejeweled gowns of the finest make and haughtiest fashion with enchanted, animate trains and capes and accompanying moonstone crowns. The finest can be found at the House of the Moon in Waterdeep, where high priestess Naneatha Suaril presides over rituals in a wide-bottomed hooped skirt with a large fanlike collar rising at the back of its neck. Both skirt and collar are stiffened with whalebone and set with clusters of pearls and other gemstones.

The ceremonial dress of priests of Lucha consists of a circlet woven of vines or flowers and white robes. No shoes are worn at ceremonies. The only other symbol of office is a staff wound about with vines and flowers.

Adventuring Garb: In the field, the clergy members of the Selûnite church dress practically for the task they are undertaking. They tend dress fashionably, but not gaudily, in day-to-day life. The preferred weapon of the clergy of Selûne is a smooth-headed mace called the moon's hand. The moon's hand has identical statistics to a standard footman's mace, though it gains special combat bonuses in the hands of a specialty priest of Selûne.

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10 Tymora on Wed Oct 27, 2010 12:07 am

Tymora

Lady Luck, the Lady Who Smiles, Our Shining Lady, Tyche's Fair-Haired Daughter

Intermediate Power of Olympus, CG

PORTFOLIO: Good fortune, skill, victory, adventurers and adventuring
DOMAINS: Chaos, Good, Luck, Protection, Travel
HOME PLANE: Olympus/Brightwater
SUPERIOR: None
ALLIES: Baravar Cloakshadow, Dugmaren Brightmantle, Erevan Illesere, Finder Wyvernspur, Garl Glittergold, Haela Brightaxe, Hanali Celanil, Lathander, Marthammor Duin, Selûne, Shaundakul, Vergadain
FOES: Beshaba, Bane (now dead), Moander (now dead)
Symbol: A shining, featureless disk of silver
WOR. ALIGN.: Any

Tymora (Tie-MORE-ah) is sometimes called Tyche's fair-haired or fair-tressed daughter or Beshaba's bright sister, but these are more poetic titles than designations of her maternal lineage or her hair colour. In actuality, Tymora is half of the deity once known as Tyche, with Beshaba being the other half. Tymora inherited Tyche's grace and kindness when that goddess split into two beings in the Dawn Cataclysm, a war among the gods that preceded the Time of Troubles and is said to have heralded the fall of Myth Drannor. Besheba garnered more of Tyche's wanton, willful nature, sensual side, and restless energy.

Tymora's faith is one of the most common in the Faerûn, in particular since it caters most heavily to a highly mobile, relatively wealthy, and intrinsically powerful group who live by their wits and by their luck: adventurers. Tymora is fickle and playful and never vengeful or malicious. She likes a good joke and has been known to play an occasional practical joke on some of the more straight-faced Facuinian deities such as Helm and Tyr. She is reputed by sages to have had short-lived romances with several of the good male deities of Faerûn, but these ended amicably on both sides after a short while. She likes merriment and festive occasions and rumours abound at gaming houses throughout Faerûn of people who spotted her at the tables during one holiday or another, laughing and having a good time with all.

Other Manifestations

When manifesting on Faerûn, Tymora often takes the form of a silver bird or a silver pegasus. She also sends servant creatures to aid mortals in these shapes, as well as those of einheriar, faerie dragons, foo lions, swanmays, and unicorns. When showing her favour for a particularly blessed gambler, she has sometimes been known to manifest as a silver glow about a gambler that is evident only to that person and not those around him or her. When this happens, something favourable will happen in regard to the wager, whether it is the wagerer being more likely to win or even the bets being forced to be called off, in cases where the bet was rigged by the opposition.

The Church
Tymora is an extremely popular goddess among adventurers, and her temples may he found wherever there is a strong adventuring population. Lady Luck is beloved by those who live and work in danger, for she rewards the faithful and others who live in the manner she deems proper—daring all and trusting to chance—with her favor: good luck. The Lady's ways may seem fickle to the uninitiated or nonbelievers, for by her very nature the support she gives is uncertain in all particulars. "The joy of the doubt and the danger," also known as the Lady's Joy and the Lady's Way, is that which is most dear to her true followers. Many pay her lop service in times of needl her answers then seem truly random, for the Lady helps those who help themselves.

Tymora's priests are the first choice of a badly wounded adventuring party dragging itself into town, and as a result, the church is relatively wealthy. With that wealth comes a strong independent streak among the different churches of Tymora. Each Tymoran temple is its own independent operation with it's own clergy, and each temple reflects the tastes of its high priestess or priest. A large network of shrines and temples to Lady Luck has spread throughout the heartlands of Faerûn. While the shining, featureless disk that is Tymora's symbol most often marks these houses of worship as belonging to the Lady Who Smiles, in some temples, Tymora's symbol is represented as a floating, randomly and slowly turning sphere of everbright silver.

In the face of the independent tradition of the organised Tymoran faith has come an attempt in the recent past to unify the church under a grand patriarch in the manner of the oid faith of Oghma. Leading this suggestion is Dramos Lauthyr, High Priest of the Lady's House in Arabel. It was in Lauthyr's temple where Tymora manifested during the Time of Troubles, and she remained there. protecting the city with her power, during the worst of that time. The other churches have been extremely resistant to proclaiming the Arabellan church the centre of Tymoran faith.

Both sexes and all races are equal in the eyes of Tymora and her clergy, though in practice human women occupy most of the more exalted ranks of the priesthood. Of the nonhuman races, a few elves and half-elves have decided to become Tymoran clergy even in the face of the chilly reception such a calling receives in elven society. Mystics of Tymora serve both within temple ranks and as itinerant servants of the goddess who report to none but her (though Daramos would like to change this).

The Fateful Coin

Old tales tell that Luck plays a crucial role in each person's life. When each new-born baby enters into the Realms, Tymora flips a coin formed from the remnants of the original goddess of luck, Tyche. Beshaba calls it in the air - the moon (heads) or the cloak (tails). If Beshaba is right, that person is cursed with misfortune for the rest of his or her days. If she's wrong, Lady Luck smiles on that child for the rest of his or her life. For some rare beings, the coin lands edge on - and these luckless few can forge their own fates, for they have more freedom over their destinies than the powers themselves.

Among the followers of Tymora titles are used and changed with ease and informality, but "Lord Priest" and "Lady Priestess" are respectful titles of address that apply to all, and "High" is added in front of this for clergy senior in years or in demonstrated power, who are referred to as "the High." A "favored of Tymora" is a being chosen by the goddess to enter her clergy. A "fallen of Tymora" is one who has left her service and spurned chances for atonement and forgiveness. An "Atalara" is a priestess of Tymora whose body has at some time or other been directly possessed by the goddess so as to act and speak for her, which usually changes all body hair to a deep blue, and the pupils of the eyes to bright silver.

Dogma: Tymora's faith teaches that one should be bold, for to dare is to live. The battle cry of the followers of Tymora is "Fortune favour the bold." A brave heart and willingness to take risks beat out a carefully wrought plan nine times out of ten. One must place oneself in the hands of fate (meaning in the hands of Tymora) and trust to one's own luck.

Tymoran clergy are told that the Lady's own luck never fails. If she appears to mortals as a victim of mischance or misfortune, she is doubtless causing this state of affairs as a deliberate test. Clergy members should know this, but not speak of it to those not in the Lady's service. Priests of Tymora should bear and conduct themselves as their own masters, showing their good fortune - and acceptance of bad fortune - as a confidence in the Lady and in themselves. Lady Luck bids that each mortal chase his or her own unique goals, and it is in this chase that the Lady aids. Those who have no direction or goals soon know the embrace of the Lady's dark sister, Beshaba' for those on no set course are at the capricious mercy of misfortune, which is no mercy at all.

Day to Day Activities: The clergy of the Lady go throughout Faerûn urging folk to take chances and pursue their dreams, and not spend all their days planning and daring nothing. (They do not, as some folk say, encourage folk to indulge in reckless whims and frivolity.) Having offered such counsel, Tymoran clergy are duty bound to aid those who have dared with healing spells and other magical aid (sometimes surreptitiously) so as to reinforce the message of the good fortune one can win by trusting in Tymora.

Holy Days/lmportant Ceremonies: The church of Tymora has no set rituals, and cermoanies and duties vary widely from temple to temple - but the clergy headed by Daramos Lalithyr of Arabel seem to be steadily organising and imposing order on the previously freewheeling priesthood of the goddess.

Whatever their differences throughout the years' the clergy ot Tymora have always adhered to rituals of greeting, touching their silver disks (the holy symbols of Tymora) to each other (and often embracing to do so) after watchwords of recognition have been exchanged. To unknown persons and beings they know to be worshipers of Tymora, but possibly laity, they say: "Life is short. Live it as Tymora means it to be lived!" This is answered by: "Dare all, and trust in the Lady." The watchwords between friends, or when both parties know each other to be clergy of Tymora, are simpler: "Defy" answered by "Dare much.''

Midsummer is the most important festival of Tymora - a wild, nightlong revel of reckless, mischievous derring-do .and romantic trysts. It is a time for the wandering clergy to gather and meet with Harpers, thosc of allied faiths and relatives. Many missions and plans are laid at such times.

The most holy festival of Tymora is Starfall, which occurs on the 22nd day of Marpenoth which is believed by the followers of Tymora - though not by the rival clergy of Beshaba - to be the date of Tyche's destruction and Tymora's birth. On this date, clergy who have earned advancement are formally acclaimed and presented with tokens and vestments appropriate to their new station.

Major Centers of Worship: During the Time of Troubles, Tymora's earthly avatar appeared in Arabel (after her furious, drawn battle with Beshaba) and stayed in her temple there, which created a great sensation in Cormyr. The fact that Arabel was spared most of the destruction visited on Waterdeep, Tantras, and other cities during the Godswar was taken as a boon from the goddess herself. With the end of the Godswar a thick fog covered Arabel, and when it lifted, the goddess had gone with it.

High Priest Daramos Lauthyr now leads a growing Assembly of the faithful at the Lady's House, the templye of Tymora in Arabel. Daramos is attempting to codify and record a set of rules for the clergu, using his influence as the head of the temple Tymora dwelt in during the Time of Troubles. The rest of the Tymoran clergy are strongly resisting any such restrictive regimen. Most agree to the wisdom and preeminent rank of Daramos, but not to a written set of laws. The are also strongly resisting Daramis's claims that the seat of the Tymoran faith ought to be the Lady's House and it's leader should head the church.

Affiliated Orders: The church of Tymora has a continuing relationship with the Harpers, a secret society working for good through Faerûn and involving members of many races, classes and other faiths. The church sponsors some adventurning companies, and countless adventuring groups have independantly dedicated themselves to Lady Luck after she has smiled on them in a sticky sityation. A special fellowship of clergy within the church itself, the Fellows of Free Fate (or Triffs, as they are colloquially known), have dedicated themselves to countering the efforts of Beshaba, and especially of the Black Fingers, her assassins. Any clergy member may join who shows experience, dedication to the cause, and is vouched for by a senior fellow.

Priestly Vestments: The standard clerical dress varies from temple to temple, ranging from full habits and headpieces in Arabel to simple robes in Shadowdale. Blue and silver are colours often seen. Personal taste of the matriarch or patriarch influences the dress code, as does climate (natural and political) and availability of fine clothing. The common item worn by all clergy is the disk of Tymora, usually carried on a small chain.

Adventuring Garb: All adventurering or traveling clergyy members wear whatever garments they please, though the colours blue and silver are still predominant. High boots also seem favourite fashion elements. All priests continue to wear Tymora's silver disk next to theur skin, usually as a medallion around the neck, however, many clergy also wear smaller holy symbols as anklets, bracelets, or at their hips, under their clothing

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11 Eldath on Wed Oct 27, 2010 12:08 am

Eldath

Goddess of Singing Waters, the Quiet One, Mother Guardian of Groves, the Green Goddess, the Mother of the Waters

Lesser Power of Elysium
NG

PORTFOLIO: Quiet places, springs, pools, stillness, peace, waterfalls, druid groves
DOMAINS: Family, Good, Plant, Protection, Water
HOME PLANE: Eronia/The True Grove
SUPERIOR: Silvanus
ALLIES: Mielikki, Silvanus, Chauntea, Selune, Lathander
FOES: Malar, Loviatar, Bane (now dead), Amaunator (now dead), Talos, Moander (now dead)
SYMBOL: A waterfall plunging into a still pool without causing any disturbance of its waters, or a circular, sky-blue disk fringed with green ferns
WORSHIPPERS ALIGNMENT: Any

Eldath (EL-dath) is the guardian of druid groves, and her presence is felt every place where there is calm. Her druids and clergy often aid other druidic faiths in establishing a grove and sanctifying it. In religious art, Eldath is often depicted as a dark-haired woman dressed in shimmering green or as a dryad or wild elf with blue and green hair. Her singing is heard in every babbling brook and waterfall.

Eldath is a pacifist and usually takes no hostile actions even when threatened. This is one of the reasons that Eldath is almost a forgotten power; most Faerunians think of Mielikki, Silvanus, or Chauntea in relation to nature before they think of her. Eldath is enigmatic and speaks seldom. She seems shy, but possessed of unknown depths of character and an unexpressed resolve that cannot be broken. When challenged, she gives before challengers who only later discover that her apparent acceptance and retreat merely drew them out into an untenable position where they are surrounded, out of their element, and their reinforcements have been converted to her side.

Like Mielikki, Eldath serves Silvanus, Eldath sees him as a father figure, but often finds his robustness intimidating to her retiring nature. Mielikki and Eldath have a very close relationship. During the Time of Troubles Mielikki was heard to address her as "Datha," and the two goddesses embraced as sisters.

While Eldath opposes all that Tempus stands for, she does not consider him a personal foe. He in turn, is said to consider her naive, but to respect her convictions and generally ignore her.

Eldath made the Prime Material Plane her home until very recently, similar to Mielikki. In 1369 DR, the same year that Mielikki established an Outer Planes realm, Eldath also moved her home realm, the True Grove, to Elysium. Where she received the divine burst of power to make such a huge move is unknown; sages have considered Eldath's faith a shrinking one for centuries. However, these same scholars speculate that wherever she received the power from, it may be related to the official shift toward good that Eldath herself made apparent in picking Elysium as her home plane. (Among themselves, church scholars list Mielikki, Mystra, or Chauntea as likely candidates for help in the move.) The shift itself surprised no one, and Eldath still welcomes the same worshipers and clergy members within her told. Legend holds that Eldath's worshipers may still visit the True Grove even before their deaths through gates in places where it could formerly be reached: near the upper reaches of the Unicorn Run in the High Forest, in the Elven Court near Lake Somber or near Elventree, at Eldath's Water in the Misty Forest, in the depths of the Forest of Tethir, in the dense heart of the King's Forest in Cormyr, atop Oak Hill in the Border Forest north of the River Tesh, at various locales in Turmish, and in a dozen or more other wooded areas.

Other Manifestations

Eldath appears most frequently as a whispering wind that brings a message and revives plants that it touches to the blooming height of health or a green glowing aura that has all the healing powers of the goddess, can speak aloud and in the minds of those within 120 feet, and can telekinese nonliving items within its confines. Eldath also acts or shows her favor through the appearance or actions of bears, raccoons, brownies, dryads, sylphs, nereids, feystags, sprites, stags, talking owls, unicorns, and other woodland creatures, common meadow and woodland flowers such as daisies, water plants such as water lilies and lotuses, and aquamarines, clear quartz, blue topazes, sapphires, and other stones in watery hues.

The Church
The church of Eldath is small and dispersed, the majority of its most ardent priests traveling and preaching or settling by some quiet spot and teaching those who come seeking enlightenment. In a world brimming with evil deities and their servants, ores, goblins, warring nations, and other hostile forces, it is not surprising that Eldath's philosophy of peace and calm has failed to catch on. Still, it is viable and challenging, and legends speak of heroes, such as the elven war hero Telva, who embraced the cause of Eldath and abandoned warfare forever. One race of beings who travel against the tide of war with Eldath are the Ondonti, a pacifistic orcish race.

Given the limitations and goals of the specialty priests of Eldath, it should not be surprising that there are not very many of them. Only some 10% of the priests ot Eldath are specialty priests, called peacemen and peacewomen in the faith. The remainder of the followers are split between druids, clerics, a scant few mystics, and a relatively recently founded monastic order. Clerics, druids, mystics, and monks, while not as restricted as the specialty priests of Eldath, are encouraged to conduct themselves in a fitting fashion as put forth by their deity. It is a mark ot skill among Eldathyn (especially adventurer-priests, known as "Freewalkers") to defeat foes with defensive spells, making an enemy defeat himself through misdirection and manipulation. Most of the high-ranking members of the church's loose organization are peacemen and peacewomen, and the great druids and other senior clergy members of the faith defer to them in discussion. Relations between the five branches of the faith are excellent, and both of the more militant wings of the faith are very supportive and protective of the specialty priests, mystics, and monks, who are more retiring.

Pacifists and lovers-of-nature cleave to the Green Goddess. Many are vegetarians and herbalists who desire to take no life, but the ranks of the Eldathyn are studded with hardy adventurer-priests who serve as envoys to other faiths, act as go-betweens with urban worshipers (often guiding them to and from forest fastness temples), and carry items and messages from priest to priest within the faith. Although it is part of the making of a priest ot Eldath that an individual must travel Faerun widely enough to pray in at least nine sacred fastnesses (temple groves) dedicated to the goddess, most Eldathyn settle in one grove or one forest and live their lives thereabouts.

Eldathyn are organized in a simple hierarchy where a dozen or so priests, each of whom may have up to 14 underpriests dwelling with him or her, report to a senior priest who in turn reports to a grand priest responsible for a realm or larger region. Clergy of senior years, many accomplishments, or higher rank are styled "Exalted," and traveling Freewalkers rank between full priests and senior priests. From the ranks of the Exalted come the leaders of temples to Eldath, most of whom preside over forest communities with open-air sacred places of worship known as fastnesses. As the leader of a fastness, they are entitled use the title Keeper ot the Fastness.

Dogma: The philosophy of Eldath is highly advanced. It teaches that peace can only come from within and cannot he taught or imposed; it must he readied through thought and meditation. The faithful of Eldath should seek stillness and thereby find peace. They are to plant trees and green-leaved things and tend such things when they need it, wherever they may be.

Eldathyn are instructed to nurture and aid and not to restrict or punish. They may defend but not punish. Eldathyn may work violence only to defend, and they may slay no thing of the forest save to prevent it from slaying themselves or another under their protection.

All worshipers of Eldath are to aid fellow Eldathyn and clergy of Silvanus and Mielikki whenever possible and to give assistance, support, and shelter to displaced forest dwellers and to those who work to defend ponds, marshes, and streamside woods everywhere. They must swear to take no thinking life save in direst need and to share with all beings the beneficial things that grow in or come from running water that all may know ot and praise Eldath.

Day-to-Day Activities: Eldathyn usually spend their lives tending unspoiled places to ensure that they survive and even flourish in the face of human and other depredations. Priests of Eldath replant burned areas, purge areas of plant diseases, construct boulder firebreaks, irrigate wooded areas, and clear streambeds to make rivulets flow more swiftly or create dams to slow runoff and encourage the life created by small pools. They even make bargains with nearby foresters to cut only in certain areas and leave other woodlands alone.

Eldath has a hatred of indiscriminate and greedy woodcutters, those who use fire as a weapon, and avaricious millers and careless beings who foul rivers and other waters. Her clergy are pledged to work against such individuals by whatever means seem most prudent for long-term success. They rarely resort lo any sort of open confrontation for as long as possible as it tends to bring attacks down on the clergy - but hidden priests can work in opposition unhindered.

Eldathyn are also charged with observing and recording what sort of birds, beasts, and plants dwell in what places and the changes in the amounts and locations of such flora and fauna over the years. They are to report such things to their superiors on a regular basis so that the senior clergy members, working with those of Silvanus and Mielikki, can interpret long-term trends in regional ecologies.

To raise funds for personal and church support, priests of Eldath may act as water-dowsers by employing an infallible water divination spell known to the church, as herbalists, gardeners, or as potion-makers. Few Eldathyn live-in large settlements, but many dwelt in springside cottages-often with trained guard animals-within an easy ride of cities or large towns so as to be able to serve the local populace as sources of medicines and potions. Clergy of Eldath are all taught to swim, and often teach this skill to nonbelievers in return for small offerings to the church and the goddess of food and coins that the priests can use.

Holy Days/Important Ceremonies: Eldath's clergy members pray on a personal and individual basis when bathing or floating in ponds or streams, when standing under waterfalls, and in small chambers, caves, or forest bowers given over to regular meditation. Many forest paths in woods dwelt in by Eldathyn cross streams by means of log bridges bearing tiny huts with holes or nap doors in their floors, permitting modest clergy to immerse themselves for prayer or bathing. These arc the most favored meditation spots for Eldathyn.

Prayers must he performed upon awakening, at sunset, and at least once during the dark hours, and may be performed at any other rime as personally desired. In woodlands and remote wilderness areas, worship ot the Green Goddess should be done unclad or as close to it as is possible in a given circumstance. Startled woodsmen tell of certain adventurer-priests standing in pools to pray with their weapons drifting in midair around them in slow, enspelled orbits so as to be ready at hand if danger came upon the scene.

The only calendar-related ritual of Eldath, the Greening (Greengrass) is also the only regular gathering and festival of the priesthood. It is preceded by Firstflow, a festival held at different times in different locales as the ice-breaks up and the waters begin to flow. The only other occasions upon which Eldathyn gather in large numbers are consecrations of new places as open-air temples or shrines of the goddess. At such consecrations, the assembled clergy perform the Chant of the Fastness. An avatar of Eldath always appears to bless her worshipers' efforts, though she may not always speak or work magic other than making any spring or water in her new sacred place into water of Eldath for a tenday thereafter and giving it the power to regenerate and heal all creatures immersed in it until the dawn following the day other appearance.

Major Centers of Worship: The most revered center of Eldathyn worship is Duskwood Dell in Amn, east of Eshpurta. There the waters of the River Rimril, a tributary of the Esmel River, plunge down the western cliffs of Eldath's Mount in the Troll Mountains via the Green Goddess Falls in a descent of over 400 feet and thence through a series of pools and lesser falls (called the Steps) out into Arundath, the Quiet Forest (known most commonly as the Snakewood for the serpentine denizens the Eldathyn use to scare away intruders). Here Most Exalted Fallskeeper Alatoasz Berendim presides over a tree city of Eldathyn who train underpriests in the service of the Green Goddess and send them out all over Faerun to find their personal place in Eldath's service.

Elah'zad, an ancient Eldathyn holy site in Anauroch, is also a place of great power. According to the Bedine, Elah'zad was the home of the moon goddess, Elah (Selune), but At'ar the sun goddess drove her away and made it a prison for Eldath, the Mother of the Waters, because she was jealous of Eldath's beauty. Here Eldath can choose to speak through the mouth of any woman who enters the House of the Moon, a nearly circular palatial temple formed of chalky, translucent desert rock in the midst of a lake set in a sacred grove surrounded by over a hundred small springs. (The woman falls asleep and the goddess directly and completely controls her body.) At the House of the Moon charged magical items of the Eldathyn faith can be recharged through prayer and ritual by the grace of Eldath.

Affiliated Orders: The Eldathyn church and the revitalized Mielikkian faith have grown extremely close recently. Eldathyn provide quiet sanctuary and supply to the Shadoweirs of the Mielikkian faith when they cannot receive support from those of their own religion. The Eldathyn faith also has close ties with Those Who Harp (the Harpers), an organization working throughout Faerun for good and against the rise ot great powers, which tend to endanger all natural life.

The church of Eldath has a circle of a few peacewomen and peacemen who have formed a group known as the Arbitrators of the Quiet One. They freely go to areas of conflict and attempt to serve as mediators in longstanding disagreements that have led lo violent acts. They listen to both sides and try to find a middle ground without polarizing the issues through overt statements of moral judgment. They prefer to find resolutions that get at the heart of a problem so that once dealt with it does not flare up again in months or years.

The monastic order of Eldath is the Disciples of the Yielding Way, sometimes known as the Brothers and Sisters of the Open Palm. These monks guard sacred sites where many peacemen and peacewomen dwell and travel the countryside gathering information for isolated groves and fastnesses. They do not ever seek to provoke violence, hut arc quite deceptively deadly when defending themselves, their charges, and their holy sites.

Priestly Vestments: Priests of Eldath dress simply in green and blue robes decorated with water-colored (blue, green, translucent, and opalescent) semiprecious gems and embroidery in water patterns. Specialty priests don a series of sheer robes, each in different shades of blue and green. The sleeves and hems of the garments are artfully cut to look ragged like tossing waves or water ripples. All clergy wear Eldath's symbol as a holy symbol; the sky-blue disk is fashioned of painted wood and fresh fern fronds are planted or affixed over the painted ones on the symbol whenever possible.

Adventuring Garb: Eldathyn priests dress practically in the field, though some like to accent their dress with blue and green and allow the sleeves and hems of their garments to become ragged to simulate frothing water. Most wear leaf-green robes with moss-green accents, gray sashes, and brown overcloaks. Peacemen and peacewomen wear no armor and sport garb similar to their ceremonial dress made up of multiple layers of semi-transparent robes and tabards over an opaque foundation robe or dress. Sightings of Eldathyn in the deep woods have given rise to many legends of wild folk of the woods.

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12 Lliira on Wed Oct 27, 2010 12:08 am

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 (now dead), 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
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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13 Milil on Wed Oct 27, 2010 12:09 am

Milil

Lord of Song, the Lord of All Songs, Guardian of Singers and Troubadours, the One True Hand of All-Wise Oghma

Lesser Power of the Happy Hunting Grounds
NG

PORTFOLIO: Poetry, song, eloquence
DOMAINS: Charm, Good, Knowledge, Nobility
HOME PLANE: Brux/Library of All Knowledge
SUPERIOR: Oghma
ALLIES: Oghma, Deneir, Lliira, Sune, Mystra, Finder Wyvernspur, Stillsong, Hanali Celanil, Corellon Larethian, Serhanine Monnbow, Rillifane Rallathil, Erevan Ilesere, Labelas Enoreth, Lathander
FOES: None
SYMBOL: A silver harp, often depicted as a five-stringed instrument whose body is made of silvery leaves
WORSHIPPERS ALIGNMENT: Any

Milil (Mihl-LiLL) is depicted in religious art and song as a handsome male human or elf with a charismatic manner and a haunting, melodic voice. He is venerated by human, elf, and half-elf bards, who see him as the One Who Watches While Music is Alive (when they are performing), the Guardian of Singers and Troubadours, and the One True Hnad of All-Wise Oghma. (Deneir is the other "Hand.") Deneir, Gond, and Milil serve Oghma, though Milil has little in common with Gond, and their relationship is strained. He is on excellent terms with a number of powerful gods, including Mysta and Sune, and often works closely with Lliira. He is welcome in the elf pantheon as well as the Faerunian pantheon because of the beauty of his song.

Milil is the ulimate performer: self-confident, inspired, possessed of total recall or anything he sets a mind to remember, able to improvise facilely out of desire or necessity, well-educated in general theories of conduct and broad areas of knowledge, and masterful in all sorts of performance technique (including a passing knowledge of disguise derived from costume theory), especially within his sphere of knowledge--music, poetry, and elegant speech. However, he is also self-centered and egotistical and likes to be the center of attention. When he is not the center of attention, he bores easily, and his mind wanders or he leaves. He is also given to flirtation with both deities and mortals for his own enjoyment, to deep annoyance of more sober powers.

Other Manifestations

Milil often manifests as haunting music, particularly in clearing deep in woodlands. He appears as a wordless, lone male voice soaring through the air where no singer can be seen. At times, Milil draws the image of two dancing hollyphants in the air in glowing yellow lines or in ink (that appears from nowhere) on parchment to signify his approval. This seems to indicate his delight in watching such creatures dance to his music. More often, Milil manifests as a radiance surrounding a bard, storyteller, or epic poet in the throes of inspiration--a sight always heralding a performance that moves an audience to tears, blind obedience, enthusiastic offerings of money, or whatever else the performer desires them to do. Milil often places helpful visions (mental pictures of the whereabouts of treasure, lost loved ones, or directions overland) in the mind of a singer or musician who pleases him.

Milil also acts through the appearance or presence of aasimar (all accomplished singers), hollyphants, light aasimons, movanic devas, and solars. More commonly he sends songbirds (especially nightingales), white horses or pegasi, calico cats, red or yellow roses, lilies, peonies, perfect gemstones or any sort, and peregrine falcons to show his favor and as a sign to inspire his faithful.

The Church
Milil attracts those who love music--and who need to be a part of it, no merely listeners. Such folk tend to be sensualists. They love good wine, good food, pleasing art and architectural or natural surroundings, the amorous company of others, and the beauties of nature--many faithful of Milil enjoy rising before the sun to watch the wakening radiance. For reasons lost in the mists of time, all clergy of Milil are known as Sorlyn (probably after a founding patriarch of the faith), and specialty priests of the faith are called tuneservants. Both genders are represented fairly equally in the faith, and the ranks of the clergy are about two-thirds human, with a quarter of the remnant being elves, and the remainder half-elves. Sorlyn all tend to be charsmatic and physically attractive. All are also good singers skilled in the use of at least one musical instrument. Additionally, many are accomplished composers and musicians or even dancers. They tend to be active perfomers and travelers, not recluses or cloistered scriveners.

About half of the total priesthood of Milil are clerics, the remainder being specialty priests with a few bards, mystics, and spellsingers in the service of the Lord of All Song. In general, before the Godswar the priests in the larger cities, with more organized churches beneath them, were clerics, while the churches in more remote areas were commanded by tuneservants; however, the number of tuneservants in the faith has been growing steadily since the Time of Troubles. Relations between the clerics and the specialty priests are good, though the more conservative clerics are a bit concerned about recurring incidents of tuneservants using their enthrall and suggestion powers to enhance their own status and the tuneservants' continual support of "ner'er-do-wells" (adventurers). A quick way to determine whether a local temple of Milil is run by a cleric or a tuneservant is to listen to its music. All temples of Milil have very good choirs, songmasters, organists, and/or musicians, but the type of music varies. Clerics tend to play traditional songs and hymns while tuneservants prefer newer works, some of which may be disconcerting to the parishoners.

Milil's is an organized faith, with all churches paying heed (or at least lip service) to the Patriarch of Song in Waterdeep. Unfortunately, the influence of the Patriarch diminishes with distance, such that those congregations in Sembia tend to pay attention only to the most urgent messages.

Sorlyn adhere to clear rules and an organized hierarchy. They use the titles (in ascending order of rank) of: Mute One (novice), Chanter, Chorister, Soloiest, Lead Voice, First Voice, Songmaster, and Glorian--a title used by all senior clergy in addition to any temple rank of office they may also hold. Typical temple ranks include Castellan, Master Tutor, Master Wind, Master Serenader, Master Librarian, Master Instrumentalist, Prior, and Patriarch. The specialty priests of the faith address each other as Harmonian, regardless of rank or accomplishments, and are noticeably (and acceptably) lax about using the formal titles of other clergy members--except the Patriarch of Song, who they revere profoundly.

The mysterious Patriarch of Song appears as an old man with kindly features, a flowing white beard, and ice-blue eyes. He is probably the best harpist in the world. His knobby old hands are able to make a harp sing, moan, drone, and almost seem to talk, as well as emitting the more usual sounds of such an instrument. His voice is a magnificent baritone, though, he has a falsetto that seems like the clear, high voice of a young elf girl or very young human maiden. His true name and origins have been forgotten, but he has adopted various names--and appearanes-- in recent years, even apparently switching gender from time to time at the command of the Lord of All Songs. He is rumored to be ablt to enthrall intelligent beings with a song so beautiful that they enter a trance and hear only the music soaring endlessly in their heads until freed by rough handling. Sorlyn believe he has been given speical powers by Milil beyond his apparent immortality, and that as long as he survives, music in Faerun will grow and flourish. Legend insists that the Patriarch flits about the Realms from time to time insiring youthful and promising singers by showing up at their local tavern as an old minstrel and givning a performance that leaves everyone present weeping and yet bright-eyed with hope.

Mililan temples are soaring, catherdrals of spledid architecture. All of them have choir lofts, facilities for presenting stage performances, workshops for the repair and construction of musical instruments, extensive music libraries, and carefully crafted acoustics.

Dogma: Milil is a god of creativity and inspiration, of the whole song more than just the lyrics or the music. He represents the finished thought, the process that takes an idea from conception to completion. As a result, the ethos of Milil teaches to consider the world in terms of a continuing process, a song that begins at birth and is only silenced with the final chord.

Novices in the Mililan faith are given the following charge: "Life is a song: Strive always to make it more beautiful. Destory no music nor instrument, nor stop a singer before the tune is done. Listen to the world around as well as filling it with you own sound. One singer's music is another's noise, and musicianship always. Sing to Milil everyday. Music is the most precious thing folks can create--so encourage its training, use, and preservation at all times and in all possible ways. Awaken a love of song in all folks you can, and offer its performance freely around campfire or on the trail. Cease not in your own seeking for new tunes, new techniques, and new instruments to master."

Day-to-Day Activities: Most Sorlyn spend their time learning lyrics, tunes, and how best to perform them on a slowly expanding repertoire of instruments both in their temple and on the road. They take care to write down both original compositions and those they have learned, as well as recording tunes through the use of the singing stones spell for those as yet unborn. Such records are to be cached in hiding as well as stored in temple vaults to make the survival of the music as likely as possible. Sorlyn also work as tutors to all who profess faith in Milil or who pay for the training, as well as judging many bardic contests and adjudicating bardic disputes between individuals, companies, or colleges.

Tunesevants are more adventurous. They roam the roads of Faerun rescuing or protecting common minstrels and great bards alike when such individuals fall on hard times or into peril. They also accompany adventurers of other faiths on deeds of heroism so that they can compose ballads about what befell (from "Brave Sir Dobbyn Ran Away" to "She Was Only a Wanton Weredragon, But She Was a Fair Lady"). They also embark on adventures of their own to recover music, instruments, and the like from old ruins and tombs, or learn of music long gone by using their stone tell abilities and similar magics is such places.

Holy Days/Important Ceremonies: Devout worshipers of Milil call out to him in a Song of Praise at least once a day and usually also after every victory of battle or great thing that benefits them. They also participate in either a personal song to the Lord of All Songs upon awakening or (in a temple) join in the softly voiced chorus of the Sunrise Song. Other rituals include the solemn, beautiful polyphonic chord-singing of the Song of Sorrowing, performed at the funeral of any faithful of Milil, and the Song of Welcoming, sung when someone is welcomed into the faith. The calendar-related festivals marked by rituals sacred to Milil are Greengrass, when the Call to the Flowers is sung by all faithful, and Midsummer, when the Grand Revel is held. The Revel involves a feast, dancing, and much roistering, and is marked by parodies and wickedly satirical song, but all other shared (by two or more clergy members and laity) rituals of worship to Milil involve a sung or played opening call, a prayer and solo song while kneeling before the altar, a unison hymn followed by a sermon or supplication to the Lord of Song (and the proffering of any offerings), and then a closing song that rises to a thunderous, grand cresendo that typically makes devout listeners or participants weep with joy-- and those of other faiths stop and listen in wonder.

Major Centers of Worship: The most significant temple to Milil is currently Arbalest's House in Athkatla (Amn), whence Milil journeyed during the Time of Troubles to personally found a singing circle. The Lord of Song charged the Patriarch of Song, the aged overlord of his church, to oversee this new temple's development. The Patriarch remains active in encouraging the faith in Waterdeep (notably the rising Temple of Good Cheer and the bards' college of New Olamn) and journeys often by means of a secret gate created by Milil between the hilltop temple in Athkatla, with its mightly Bellows of Milil organ and its growing circle of adherent bards and minstrels, and his own abode in Waterdeep.

Affiliated Orders: Milil has one knightly order of personable (and sometimes swaggering) fighters, padalins, and bards, the Harmonious Order, whose members, along with the clergy, guard temples and holy sites. Its members also often pursue quests or do good works in Milil's name, and tuneservants love to accompany them on these romantic and glorious quests. Though Milil's symbol is the silver harp, his symbol is not meant to directly link him to the Harpers, who use the cresent moon and harps; however, the church of Milil does have ties to Those Who Harp.

Priestly Vestments: Sorlyn wear robes of rich, lustrous fabic--usually crimson adorned with cloth-of-gold dragons, bards, or warriors arching and spiraling the length of the garment. Metal chimes are often worn as earrings, anklets, or on bracelets when outdoors, but these are always easily removable so not to mar music-making. Hair is worn short or-- in case of tuneservants-- bound up in a golden hair-net so as not to get in the way of playing instruments or listening acutely. Their holy symbol can take the form of a real harp or the symbol of Milil formed into an artfully crafted piece of jewerly.

Adventuring Garb: Sorlyn prefer the security of full (often chased and ornamented) armor when adventuring or traveling overland in dangerous regions, and defend themselves with magic, maces, and enchanted musical instruments. Song has its place, but in a world full of orcs, dragons, and critics, it is best to be prepared for anything.

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14 Torm on Wed Oct 27, 2010 12:09 am

Torm

The True, the True God, the Brave, the Foolish, the Loyal Fury

Lesser Power of the Seven Heavens, LG

PORTFOLIO: Duty, loyalty, obedience, paladins
DOMAINS:Good, Healing, Law, Protection, Strength
HOME PLANE: Mercuria/Trueheart
SUPERIOR: Tyr
ALLIES: Tyr, Helm, Ilmater, Red Knight, Lathander, Clangeddin Silverbeard, Moradin, Gaerdal Ironhand, Arvoreen, Cyrrollalee, Yondalla
FOES: Bane (now dead), Bhaal (now dead), Cyric, Mask
SYMBOL: A right hand metal gauntlet held upright, palm open and toward the viewer, or a silver or gray metal shield bearing the open-handed gauntlet device with three black arrows embedded in the shield
WOR. ALIGN.: LG, NG, CG, LN


Torm (TORM) is the patron of paladins and those who face danger for a greater good. In life, Torm was the most faithful of warriors, obeying all the commands of his king regardless of personal danger. Today he is the war arm and champion of Tyr, Lord of Justice, delivering justice to those who are evil, deceitful, and destructive, and acting to keep law, order, and loyalty everywhere. The Loyal Fury is unflinching in his duty and judges his faithful accordingly. He is stern, righteous, and unyielding, yet his heart is filled first and foremost with goodness, and he can be a kind and gentle power when dealing with the young, the weak, and faithful friends of all sorts.

Together, Ilmater, Torm, and Tyr are sometimes called the Triad. Torm and Ilmater see themselves serving opposite sides of the same coin and are close allies and friends. Torm and Helm have always been allies, although their followers are often rivals. At Tyr's urging, Torm has begun to cultivate a close relationship with the Red Knight in the hope of drawing her into the fold of justice and away from war for its own sake.

Torm figured significantly in the struggle over the Tablets of Fate during the Time of Troubles. Prior to his battle with Bane, Lord of Strife, Torm discovered a great evil being done in his name by his then-current high priest (named Tenwealth). The followers of Torm had always dominated the religious and political activity of Tantras, but during the time of Torm's Coming, they began to actively persecute all "unbelievers" (in other words, followers of other gods). With the aid of the fallen cleric of Sune named Adon, Torm implicated the chief conspirators and accused them of their crimes.

When the avatar of Bane marched across the Dragonreach to seize the Tablet of Fate hidden in Torm's temple (without the Lord of Duty's knowledge), Torm absorbed the souls of many of his true worshipers, including the heretical leaders of his clergy, and assumed the form of a monstrous lion-headed man. He then battled Bane in a battle of mutual destruction, in the process destroying the besieging Zhentarim navy and creating many dead magic areas.

Because Torm died in service to his own ethos (following orders) and Torm's native plane was the Prime Material itself, he was reinstated by Lord Ao. Soon after, Tyr rewarded his faithful paladin with elevation to lesser power status. In the Year of the Sword, the Lonely Citadel, an isolated tower of massive size that crowned a rocky spire in the remote Ice Mountains north of Citadel Adbar, vanished in a burst of divine radiance and reappeared on the flanks of Mt. Celestia as Torm ascended to the Outer Planes. It now forms the heart of his realm, Trueheart, on the layer of Mercuria.

Torm was also active in the battle against Cyric 10 years after the Time of Troubles. The Lord of Duty assisted Mystra, Oghma, and Mask in dethroning Cyric as Lord of the Dead, although Cyric was not destroyed. Torm's actions have earned him and his followers the undying hatred of Cyric, Prince of Lies.

Torm still frequently stalks the Realms in avatar form, as he did when he was a demipower, battling legendary monsters and evil incarnate. In the liturgy of the Tormish church, it is said that Torm will perish in the final battle of the gods, saving the Realms once and for all from Cyric's madness by his self-sacrifice.

Other Manifestations

Torm often appears as a floating, flying metal gauntlet of gigantic size (up to 12 feet in length) that glows with a white aura and is surrounded from time to time with arcs of lightning. It can point, speak with Torm's voice, carry beings or even quite tiny, fragile items, and smite walls, doors, or creatures (at AC -1, 75 hp, MV 15, the same magic resistance and saving throws as Torm's avatar, and THAC0 1, dealing 5d12 points of damage at a blow plus 4d8 points of electrical damage if Torm desires). Torm also occasionally manifests as an animated weapon (usually a two-handed sword) or a shield that aids Torm's faithful or causes.

Torm is served by gold and silver dragons, ki-rins, lammasus, pegasi, shedus, watchghosts, xavers, and the Ghost Guard: the souls of the most loyal warriors who ever lived, who live on as einheriar or similar beings who ride pegasi across the sky into battle at Torm's direction. He occasionally manifests his favor as a blinding white diamond set into a door or stone wall, the image of a gauntlet, shield, or sword burned into fabric, or as a pure white rose growing in a castle gate or narrow mountain path.

The Church
Torm's popularity is increasing, particularly in the wake of the events of the Time of Troubles. He benefits from an enthusiastic following of worshipers who appreciate his unswering devotion to serving mortals—unusual for a deity—and a number of fighting orders and paladins who have devoted themselves to the True God. Priests and lay worshipers of Torm together (that is, anyone of his faith) are known as the Tormish. The members of the priesthood are known as Tormtar. Most Tormtar are human males, but both sexes are welcome within the faith—and as the numbers of the elf and dwarf peoples dwindle and they increasingly see the vital need for law and order among human communities to ensure their own survival, people of the Fair Folk and the Stout Folk are embracing the True Faith and the Unbending Way of Torm in ever-greater numbers.

The followers of Torm organize themselves into a three-level hierarchy of worshipers. Length and quality of service and rank are of particular importance to the followers of Torm and form the basis of the hierarchy. Specialty priests, called holy champions, make up 40% of the priesthood and often serve as the leaders of the faith. Clerics, crusaders, and paladins make up 30%, 20%, and 10% of the remaining clergy members, respectively.

The top level of the hierarchy in Torm's faith is comprised of the Tormtar, who are arranged in their own strict hierarchy. The hierarchy among Torm's disciples ascends from the Unproven (novices), to the Andurans (confirmed priests of lower rank), Faithblades, Wardens, Vigilants, Watchful Venturers, Loyans, Enforcers, Guardians, Knights, Vanguardiers, and Champions. These ranks are separate from duty-titles such as (in ascending order): Patrol Captain, Revered Messenger, Doorwarden, Seneschal, Templemaster, High Priest, and Priest Inquisitor (the teachers and internal disciplinarians of the faith).

The second level of the hierarchy of the faith is comprised of the knightly orders dedicated to Torm. Members of these groups serve as the adventuring and warrior branches of Torm's clergy and go on many quests in the service of Torm. The members of this tier are known as the Swords of Torm, and most (if not all) of the Swords are crusaders and paladins in various knightly orders, such as the Order of the Golden Lion, that are allied with the clergy members but not under their direct command.

The third tier of the hierarchy of the faith comprises the lay followers of Torm. Torm's faithful include many warriors and government officials, among others. Following the Time of Troubles, many have made pilgrimates from all over the Realms to the Temple of Torm's Coming in northern Tantras. Torm's followers are expected to make yearly tithes to the local temple of Torm as they are able. In addition, they must follow the general religious tenets of Torm as espoused by his clergy.

Temples of Torm are typically citadels of righteousness and are constructed as impregnable fortresses, often high up on a mountain's flanks where they command an impressive view of the surrounding terrain. Such castles are often built of white granite and radiate a continuous, pure light. Statues of lions and armored knights line the halls, and the badges of knights who fell in the line of duty decorate the walls.

Dogma: Torm's is one of the most ethically pure of all faiths in that it is devoted to loyalty and obedience. This is not a blind obedience, and a servant working for an evil master is responsible to a higher authority in his loyalty. The Tormish believe that salvation may be found through service, that every failure diminishes the Lord of Duty, and that every success adds to his luster. They strive to maintain law and order and to obey their masters to their utmost power with alert judgment and anticipation. The Tormish stand ever alert against corruption and are expected to strike quickly and hard against any rot in the hearts of mortals. As the sword arm of justice, the Tormish are expected to bring painful, quick deaths to betrayers. They are to question unjust laws by suggesting improvement or alternatives, not additions. Their fourfold duties are to faith, family, masters, and all good fellow beings of Faerûn.

Following the Time of Troubles, the religious hierarchy of Torm's faithful was completely overhauled. Incensed by his followers' persecution of other goodly religions under Tenwealth's misguided direction, Torm has dictated a series of responsibilities and obligations for his followers to atone for their collective failings. These "debts" are collectively referred to as the Penance of Duty, detailed below. Tormtar are required to actively implement and coordinate efforts and actions dictated by the Penance of Duty in addition to following the normal tenets of their faith. Tormtar are required to follow the Penance of Duty without fail, and, at least once every other level, serve in some fashion that helps alleviate one of the debts mentioned in the Penance of Duty. The Penance of Duty is as follows:

Debt of Persecution: To repay their persecution of other religions, the truly faithful must aid other goodly religions in reestablishing themselves.

Debt of Dereliction: To atone for their abdication of duty to guard against strife, the Tormish must expend all possible effort to eliminate any surviving cults of Bane, as well as to oppose all efforts of Cyricists, Xvimists, and the Zhentarim.

Debt of Destruction: Followers of Torm are obliged to relieve the destruction to the magic weave incurred during the Time of Troubles. All dead magic areas are to be reported and repaired. In addition, all permanent results of the magical chaos of the Time of Troubles are to be similarly undone and all wild magic areas reported and eradicated.

Day-to-Day Activities: Tormish provide training for, give sanctuary to, and lend support (moneys, gear, mounts, armor, and weaponry) to guardians, orders of paladins and loyal knights, and loyal courtiers across Faerûn-and send forth agents to ferret out corruption in such groups and in all courts and organizations, particularly those who set themselves up as righteous or having a sort of superiority or moral authority. They also watch for impending trouble (from orc hordes and warlike realms, for instance) and young folk who could be recruited into the service of Torm or into positions as loyal warriors or bodyguards. On rare occasions, they act militarily against forces of evil, disloyal citizens readying coup attempts, and thieving or outlaw organizations.

A few adventuring Tormtar are permitted more leeway in their personal deeds than other clergy of the faith, but in return for this personal discretion as to their activities, they are pledges to tithe heavily (60% or more, plus payment for magical aid) to the church and to observe and report back on all they can of regions, beasts, and concerns their brethren seldom see so that the church of Torm can know Faerûn as well as possible (despite the static demands of guardianship). Torm himself often speaks to his clergy members to provide guidance and to reassure doubtful priests that a fellow Tormtar who is an adventurer is allowed to act thus and so in Torm's full favor (or that Torm is displeased and the following penance should be placed on the individual).

While the gods Helm and Torm may be on good terms, their priesthoods are not. The two faiths have long been engaged in a rivalry, and its friendliness has been waning over the years, particularly since the Time of Troubles. Tormtar now keep a close eye on all faithful of Helm they encounter, anticipating betrayal at any time.

Holy Days/Important Ceremonies: During the year, the Tormish celebrate two great festivals (and on some years, three): the Divine Death on the 13th of Eleasias (commemorating Torm's death in battle just north of Tantras during the Time of Troubles, when he and Bane destroyed each other), the True Resurrection on the 15th of Marpenoth (when Torm returned to his powers, at the end of the Godswar), and the Shieldmeet.

The Divine Death is a solemn ceremony of remembrance for all the fallen who died for just causes, while guarding others, or in the holy service of Torm. After prayers and a huge feast, Tormtar go at dusk to the graves or battle sites where departed ones dear to them fell or now lie, light special candles, and pray through the night, recounting the deeds of the fallen to Torm so that none who fell may truly be forgotten. Torm often sends comforting dream visions to Tormtar on this night-but it is said among the faithful that if one sees Torm's death in a vision, it means that person's death in his service in the coming year.

The True Resurrection celebrates Torm's rise anew to power and is a joyous feast and revel where laws are set aside just for this one day and night so that Tormtar can stray from their principles of law and order once a year. Most use this opportunity merely to shock others by speaking freely or by enjoying sensual pleasures with their fellow Tormtar-but a few every year employ it to bring vengeance down on someone. (For example, a noble protected against all physical punishment by the laws of a realm but who ordered others mutilated might himself be mutilated on the night of the Resurrection.) Torm traditionally sends inspiring visions into the dreams of all his faithful in the sleep that follows this festival-and grants the Loyal Boon to a few, as a mark of his appreciation for their outstanding service: A new prayer is placed in their minds, granting them once chance to cast a new spell they would otherwise not be able to cast until they rose in experience by another level.

Shieldmeet celebrations are rituals expressing loyalty and renewing oaths and pledges. Tormtar prefer to marry, perform marriages, and finalize apprenticeship or training agreements on this day.

Throughout the year, faithful of Torm are expected to pray to the True God at least four times per day: at noon, dusk, midnight, and dawn. Prayers to Torm are uttered in a prescribed litany, which sounds like a rolling chant, and ask for guidance from the Lord of Duty, Loyalty, and Obedience. Since the Time of Troubles, the Penance of Duty has been included as part of the litany. To these rituals and prayers are added special prayers said when a follower of Torm needs extra inner strength to follow orders, to do a necessary but unpleasant task, or to support an ally or friend.

The faithful of Torm need practice only three special rituals: Torm's Table, Investiture, and Holy Vigil. Torm's Table must be observed at least once every two months. To perform this ritual, a Tormtar purchases or prepares a grand meal and then turns it over to a stranger (usually a beggar or citizen in need) to consume while they fast, waiting on the table. Within three days after the feast is done, the priest must confess any personal sins, failings, or shortcomings to anothe Tormtar priest and report on his doings to a superior.

Investiture is the solemn ceremony wherein a novice becomes a priest or priestess. It is the duty of every Tormish priest or holy warrior within a day's ride of the announced place of ritual to attend. The supplicant (only one priest is invested at each ceremony) prepares beforehand by rolling in mud or dust and then donning the oldest, filthiest clothes they can find or beg for. Thus attired, she or he fasts for a day and then in the evening (after the gathered priests have feasted) is brought in to the temple and washed clean with water by the visiting Tormtar. The supplicant is formally introduced to the presiding priest and accepted into the service of Torm-provided she or he passes the Holy Vigil. All the clergy then join in a hymn of hope, and withdraw, leaving the supplicant locked in the temple sanctuary alone to complete the Holy Vigil.

The Holy Vigil is repeated every time an individual advances in rank within the priesthood. Before departing, the presiding priest solemnly raises a naked bastard sword from the altar and casts it up into the air. By the grace of Torm (and a secret spell cast beforehand), the blade rises up and moves to hand a man's height above the supplicant's head, point downward. The more the supplicant gives in to fear or slumber or dwells on any doubts about his or her faith in Torm, the lower the sword slips. Though such swords move slowly enough that they rarely seriously injure when they touch the priest below them, the magic is broken if the sword draws blood, and the shame of being found with a fallen sword the next morning is extreme. If a Vigil is thus failed, the presiding priest prays to Torm for guidance and follows the True God's dictates: the Vigil may be repeated on the next night, or the failed one may be cast out of the church or charged with a penance or quest.

Major Centers of Worship: The Temple of Torm's Coming in Tantras, where Torm appeared during the Time of Troubles, is a scarred and severe battle-fortress frowning down over its white granite walls (and extensive granary cellars below the ground) on the city below. The temple stands hard against the inside of the north wall of the city atop the city's highest hill. Here High Priest Barriltar Bhandraddon leads a wealthy and ever-growing group of clergy members and congregation in the worship of Torm. Barriltar's temple sponsors knightly orders Faerûnwide and spreads the values of obedience and loyalty to all who will listen-and in crowded urban areas, such folk who dream of freedom from lawlessness, thievery, and rowdiness are many.

Temples of Torm may also be found in Eagle Peak (the Citadel of the Rampant Eagle) and Procampur (the House of the Hand) and within temples of Tyr (such as the Halls of Justice in both Neverwinter and Sundabar), among other places. Shrines to Torm are located in Hillsfar, Ravens Bluff, Scornubel, and Urmlaspyr, among other cities.

Affiliated Orders: Following Torm's rebirth, the church founded a new order of paladins, known as the Order of the Golden Lion, to serve as holy warriors of Torm. Led by First Champion of Torm Sir Dylan Lionshand, these holy warriors are especially dedicated to actively serving the Penance of Duty, and they wander the Realms in Torm's service. (For example, the Champion Reborn, Sir Gwydion the Quick, serves Torm by escorting Rinda the scribe who bears the Cyrinishad.) Many members of the Order of the Golden Lion are found guarding the temples of a wide variety of peaceful faiths, while others embark on quests to recover lost relics of various goodly gods. Failure to actively serve the letter and the spirit of the Penance of Duty by any member of this order results in the loss of paladinhood, reclaimable only through the casting of an atonement spell and the completion of a difficult quest in the service of Torm set according to the goals of the Penance of Duty.

Knights of the Order of the Golden Lion cannot advance in level without serving in some fashion that helps alleviate one of the debts mentioned in the Penance of Duty. The ceremonial costume of the Order of the Golden Lion is the same in the field as in the temple-a full suit of well-polished battle armor with an ornate helm. The armor polish used is a bright golden color.

Priestly Vestments: Priests of Torm wear clean, bright, smooth-polished plate armor (or robes, a breastplate, and bracers), ornate helms, and gauntlets inscribed with the Penance of Duty. The hue of the armor (or robes) denotes the rank of the wearer: Unadorned metal is for the Unproven, dark crimson is for Andurans, rose red is for Faithblades, deep amber is for Wardens, sunrise orange is for Vigilants, harvest yellow is for Watchful Venturers, pale green is for Loyans, dragon green (bottle green) is for Enforcers, sky blue is for Guardians, and dusky purple is for Champions, the most holy priests of the faith, as well as the greatest heroes of Torm.

Adventuring Garb: In potential combat situations, Tormtar always wear their best armor and weaponry. They are expected to keep their armor clean and brightly polished even in the worst conditions, except where such activities would interfere with the execution of their duty.

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15 Gwaeron Windstrom on Wed Oct 27, 2010 12:10 am

Gwaeron Windstrom

Master of Tracking, Master Interpreter of Woodland Signs, the Tracker, the Tracker Who Never Goes Astray, Mouth of Mielikki

Demipower of the Prime Material Plane, NG

PORTFOLIO: Tracking, interpreting woodland signs, rangers of the North
DOMAINS: Animal, Good, Knowledge, Plant, Travel
HOME PLANE: Toril/Faerûn
SUPERIOR: Mielikki
ALLIES: Arvoreen, Baervan Wildwanderer, Lurue, Fenmarel Mestarine, Mielikki, Shaundakul, Shiallia, Nobanion, Solonor Thelandira
FOES: Malar, Vaprak
SYMBOL: A dark red "S" overlaid with a small, five-pointed white star on its top half and a large, four-clawed animal print in brown on its bottom half
WOR. ALIGN.: LG, NG, CG

Gwaeron Windstrom (GWAIR-on WIND-strahm) embodies the skills of tracking and understanding woodland signs. Gwaeron roamed the North as a mortal ranger many centuries ago, and he was elevated to the ranks of demipowers by the sponsorship of the Lady of Forests after successfully stalking and slaying at least one avatar and several manifestations of Malar in quick succession. This accomplishment has earned him the undying enmity of the Beastlord and resulted in any unending battle between them that was continued during the Time of Troubles when Malar appeared in the North after his defeat by Nobanion. Malar, the Lord of Beasts, was relentlessly pursued throughout the North by Gwaeron and could not shake the Master of Tracking from his trail.

Gwaeron serves Mielikki along with Lurue and Shiallia. He aids Mielikki on some missions and teaches her rangers the way to read forest signs. Gwaeron is rare among the Faerûnian powers in that he has forged alliances with the deities of the elven, gnome, and halfling pantheons whose portfolios most closely match those of Mielikki, Silvanus, and his own. His quiet, reclusive demeanor allows he and Fenmarel Mestarine to get along better than Fenmarel does with most members of the Seldarine. When Mielikki has to ask a favor of a deity from one of these pantheons, Gwaeron is naturally the messenger she sends. Gwaeron also acts as Mielikki's intercessor with mortals in the North in his role as the Mouth of Mielikki. He speaks to most mortals on her behalf if direct speech is necessary.

Gwaeron is normally taciturn, and when he does speak, he speaks in terse sentences and with little visible emotion. The Master of Tracking is slow to anger, but, once ignited, his rage is a fearsome thing. He utterly loathes trolls and considers them the kin of Malar and a blight on the land that will inevitably upset the Balance in the long run. In addition to being regularly spotted near Triboar, in the High Forest, and in Cormanthor, Gwaeron is known to stalk the Evermoors and the rest of the North hunting the Undying Ones.

Other Manifestations

Gwaeron occasionally manifests as a nimbus of faerie fire around a woodland sign that could serve as an obscure clue when trying to track some being or creature. Gwaeron also sometimes appears as a deer, a boar, or some other woodland creature. The Master Interpreter of Woodland Signs often does this as a means of instruction. Soon after a novice ranger discovers a spoor that he is unfamiliar with, Gwaeron appears as the corresponding creature, enabling the ranger to make the appropriate induction.

Another of Gwaeron's manifestations is as the print of a bare human foot with a faint impression of his symbol recognizable in the heel print. He may manifest in this fashion when a devout worshiper loses his trail. By looking in the direction indicated by the anomalous print, a ranger can often pick up the lost trail again. Occasionally Gwaeron manifests as a footprint a split second before a being steps in the depression. Beings so favored automatically receive the effects of a natural attunement spell.

Gwaeron is served by a wide variety of naturally appearing forest creatures. Herds of herbivores move to obscure a trail at his command, and various birds, particularly crows, magpies, and blue jays, may move to obscure or reveal clues indicating a trail to disguise them from a foe of one of his followers or make them readily apparent to a favored tracker. Faerie dragons and pseudo-dragons are also favorites of his.

The Church
There is not an organized Gwaeronan faith distinct from the church of Mielikki. Instead, Gwaeron is venerated by rangers and trackers of the North who seek to interpret woodland signs and to track outlaws or game. The Master of Tracking is served in particular by an order of rangers known as the Fellowship of Stalkers of the Silent Path who are drawn from the ranks of Mielikki's clergy.

In the North, temples and shrines of the Lady of Forests, such as the shrine found in the hamlet of Mornbryn's Shield, often include a small shrine or side altar to the Master of Tracking within their confines. Shrines consecrated in Gwaeron's name are typically simple altars made of a single boulder inscribed with Gwaeron's symbol and are mainly found within the High Forest and Cormanthor.

Dogma: Gwaeron's teaching mirror those of Mielikki, whom he serves. Intelligent beings can live in harmony with the wild without requiring the destruction of one in the name of the other. Gwaeronians are taught to embrace the wild and not fear it, because the wild ways are the good ways. They are to keep the balance and learn the hidden ways of all life. They should not allow trees to be needlessly felled or the forest to be burned. They are to live in the forest and be a part of the forest, not dwell in endless battle against the forest.

Stalkers of the Silent Path must protect forest life and strive to keep the balance that indiscriminate fire-users, woodcutters, and hunters break. They are to live in harmony with the woods, to teach others to do so, and to punish and frustrate those who hunt for sport (not food) and who practice cruelties upon wild creatures. Gwaeronans are to talk their roles as protectors very seriously and to keep in check the numbers of sentient, generally malicious wild creatures and humanoids who would distort the Balance just as much as incursions from civilized, careless and thoughtless humans.

Day-to-Day Activities: Stalkers of the Silent Path walk the trails and wilderness of the North practicing their craft, becoming attuned to their environment, and observing the activities of the "monster" races. When called upon by the church of Mielikki or hired by local rulers, they track down fugitives from justice, elusive predators (both human and beast), or lost travelers. Some join militias, mercenary companies, or adventuring companies where they typically serve as scouts. In times of famine, Stalkers travel to regions where game is scarce and the inhabitants are in danger of starving and use their skills to provide food.

Holy Days/Important Ceremonies: Gwaeron has no special holy days outside of those commonly celebrated by the faith of Mielikki. After a successful "stalk," Stalkers of the Silent Path and any would-be tracker who invokes Gwaeron's name are expected to leave a circle of six footprints in the ground with their right foot, the heel of each print nearly touching and the toes facing outward.

Major Centers of Worship: Gwaeron is said to sleep in a stand of trees just to the west of the town of Triboar, known as Gwaeron's Slumber. On rare occasions he can be seen walking into or out of the trees. Rangers who venerate Mielikki often visit Gwaeron's Slumber to pray, but there is no shrine there and Gwaeron never appears to those who come seeking him. It is said that worshipers of Mielikki who sleep in this wood receive in their dreams some hint of what the goddess wants them to do. If such a worshiper is not a ranger, the person gains a once-in-a-lifetime, day-long ability to track as a ranger does. To avoid angering Gwaeron, there are laws in Triboar against cutting any wood from these trees or hunting any creature in the woods. The local militia patrols the forest to prevent orcs, trolls, and other such creaturs from camping there—but less intelligent monsters have never been seen in Gwaeron's Slumber.

Affiliated Orders: As discussed above, those rangers of Mielikki's clergy who are specifically sworn into Gwaeron's service are members of the Fellowship of Stalkers of the Silent Path. This informal order (composed exclusively of single-classed human and half-elven rangers) focuses on the interpretation of woodland signs and tracking all manners of beings and beasts. Members retain close ties to the regular hierarchy of Mielikki's faith and are considered regular members of that church as well as of the fellowship. They serve as the tracking, scouting, and hunting arm of Mielikki's faith, much as Gwaeron serves Mielikki.

Priestly Vestments: Stalkers of the Silent Path dress practically for their environment, preferring clothing made of supple, sturdy leathers and comfortable boots. They let their hair and beards grow freely, but keep them neatly combed and arranged in practical styles. Female Stalkers of the Silent Path wear their hair in a long, loose braid down their back. All Stalkers wear a patch or sport embriodery on their formal vestments displaying Gwaeron's symbol and respect the seasonal colors of Mielikki's clergy's ceremonial railment in the dyes used to color their formal clothes. Many Stalkers choose to tattoo a blue or brown five-pointed star on themselves in honor of their dedication to the order of the Silent Path.

Adventuring Garb: Gwaeron's followers dress practically when adventuring, in clothing very similar to their formal garb, but not as colorful. Stalkers pay respect to the seasonal colors of Mielikki's clergy's garb in their trim or accessories while in the field, but not so as to make targets of themselves in incompatible-colored terrain. When the weather permits, male Stalkers like to work bare-chested, and both male and female Stalkers prefer working barefoot or in soft moccasins when practical.

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16 Lurue on Wed Oct 27, 2010 12:10 am

Lurue

The Unicorn, the Unicorn Queen, the Queen of Talking Beasts and Intelligent Monsters

Demipower of the Prime Material Plane, CG

PORTFOLIO: Talking beasts and intelligent nonhumanoid creatures
DOMAINS: Animal, Chaos, Good, Healing
ALIASES: Silverymoon, Lurae, Yathaghera the Winged Queen
HOME PLANE: Toril/Faerûn
SUPERIOR: Mielikki
ALLIES: Chauntea, Gwaeron Windstrom, Mielikki, Nobanion, Shiallia, Selûne, Silvanus
FOES: Malar
SYMBOL: Unicorn head against the background of a silver crescent moon or a white unicorn rampant against a silver crescent moon
WOR. ALIGN.: LG, NG, CG, LN, N, CN

Lurue (Luh-RUE) the Unicorn, also known as "Silverymoon," is the goddess of talking beasts and good intelligent monsters. She is venerated by many sentient beasts who have inherited or magically acquired the ability to speak human and demihuman languages. While some entire species, such as unicorns, pegasi, and talking owls, venerate her as Queen, many of her worshipers are outcasts from their own kind due to their unique abilities.

Worship of the Lion and the Unicorn, as Nobanion and Lurue are often called, is frequently lumped into the catch-all category of "beast cult." These two deities, however, differ from the tribal totem great spirits of the Uthgardt and the Ice Hunters of the North, as those spirits are not divinities in their own right, serving rather as conduits for the actions of Uthgar or Ulutiu, respectively. Lurue is a deity in her own right, and always has been to the knowledge of her faithful. However, her primary group of worshipers is not human, or even humanoid, and most of them do not maintain written histories or even many oral traditions. Their religion is a personal and direct faith, and until Lurue began attracting human worshipers, her nature and the ways of her religion went unattended, unrecorded, and essentially unnoticed.

Lurue is said to be the daughter of Selûne, Lady of Silver and goddess of the moon. Some say she is also related to one of the Earthmother's children, Kamerynn the Unicorn, of the Moonshae Isles. Travelers from other crystal spheres have attempted to link her to Eachthighern, a male deity of unicorns and pegasi who is not worshiped on Toril, but she reacts only with puzzlement to mention of his name and claims no relationship to him. Lurue is revered by the elves as Yathaghera, the Winged Queen, the nominal ruler of the pegasi and unicorns of Evermeet. Lurue serves as Mielikki's ally, friend, and steed when the Lady of Forests needs her services. Lurue and Nobanion have a long-standing alliance and deep friendship that has stood for many centuries. Lurue detests the dark deity Malar, and battles with his avatar or his servants at any opportunity. Some indications seem to show she is preparing a realm on Karasuthra in the Beastlands in the Outer Planes to be relatively close to Nobanion.

The Queen of Talking Beasts and Intelligence Creatures is often taken with wanderlust. She can be whimsical but is infinitely loyal once she takes someone into her trust, and she never abandons her worshipers in times of need. When faced with no other option but combat, Lurue is a dedicated and intractable foe, but she prefers light banter, clever riddles, new discoveries, and the joyous exploration of life.

Lurue's greatest sorrow is the existence of the black unicorns created by the Red Wizards of Thay. These malevolent creatures are the offspring of true unicorns tainted with the blood of feuds. Lurue blames Malar for secretly assisting the Red Wizards in their magical research, and she seeks a method of redeeming their corrupted souls.

Other Manifestations

Lurue often manifests at night as a silvery nimbus around Selûne visible to a few lucky individuals. Such individuals are said to receive Lurue's blessing, a +1 bonus on all saving throws until the following dawn.

The Unicorn Queen sometimes appears on the horizon as a ghostly silver unicorn leading the Silver Herd—12 unicorn stallions of maximum hit points—in a spirited run. If a devout worshiper of the Queen of Talking Beasts and Intelligent Creatures is under attack, the herd bears down on the attackers in a thunderous stampede led by their ghostly queen. This ghostly charge is usually enough to scare off most antagonists, but if not the unicorn stallions attack until their opponents are driven off. If any of the unicorn stallions is slain, he immediately evaporates into morning dew. If the entire Silver Herd is vanquished, Lurue's avatar calls the other nature deities to her aid, solidifies, and attacks without mercy.

Silverymoon is served by courage, hope, temperance, and wisdom minor incarnates, unicorns, faerie dragons, firestars, ki-rin, pegasi, pseudodragons, talking owls, giant lynxes, tressyms, and a wide variety of sentient, talking beasts. She is said to love flowers, from romantic white and red roses to simple daisies, and to have a persistent sweet tooth with a special fondness for mint and for honey wine.

The Church
All of Lurue's priests must be female and may be human, half-elf, or elf.
Lurue is well-loved by the goodly races throughout the North and wherever else she is known. Sightings of any unicorn are considered lucky, and the appearance of the Unicorn Queen is a blessed event. Dour guardians of order and discipline view her as flightly and mischievous, but most sentient creatures admire her free spirit and unrestrained, rollicking joy.

Lurue is worshiped in sylvan glades and moonlit glens wherever unicorns tread. She has no temples dedicated in her name, choosing instead to be worshiped at sacred natural sites and holy groves. The banks of the Unicorn Run, the river which winds through the southern reaches of the High Forest, are representative of her holy sites. Unicorns are known to cavort and gambol along th Unicorn Run's banks, and they are an example of woodland nature in its purest and most unspoiled incarnation.

Priestesses of Lurue have no formal hierarchy of titles. Junior clergy are known as Sisters of the Moonlit Sky, and senior clergy are known as Sisters of the Silver Moon. Those priestesses lucky enough to have ever ridden a unicorn are forever after known as Ladycorns. The clergy comprises clerics, crusaders, mystics, and specialty priests, known as silvermaids. The breakdown of classes within the clergy is approximately 40%, 10%, 5%, and 45%, with little differentiation between the types in the respect they accord each other or their responsibilities.

Lurue has many beasts in her clergy as well. Most unicorns could be considered lay priests of Silverymoon, as might quite a few pegasi. Lurue grants any unicorn who worships her to cast one beneficial priestly spell of any sphere or level per day.

Dogma: The Unicorn is a symbol of hope, joy, salvation, and protection for the needy, forlorn, and forsaken. Life is to be relished and lived with laughter. Quests are to be taken on a dare and gifts are to be made on a whim. Impossible dreams are to be pursued for the sheer wonder of the possibility of their completion. Everyone, no matter how unique, is to be praised for their strengths and comforted in their weaknesses. Evil melts quickest in the face of a rapier wit and unshackled joy. Search for the unicorn and in the pursuit find happiness.

Day-to-Day Activities: Priestesses of Lurue spend their days providing aid and comfort to the needy, lending support to dreamers so that they can achieve their aspirations, and rescuing all who need aid from whatever assails them. Few stick to a single duty for any length of time, though they are very good about seeing a single particular task through to the end, and most are periodically struck with wanderlust. Many of Lurue's clergy are adventurers who travel about the Realms seeking wrongs to right and finding a good balance of merriment, new experiences, and self-improvement in such a profession.

Holy Days/Important Ceremonies: Lurue's twin holy days are Midsummer's eve and the Feast of the Moon. The former holiday is celebrated in a night-long festival of revelry, wild antics, and much hullabaloo. Such events are marked by wild rides through the countryside and sky, numerous theatrical skits, humorous oratories, mock duels, grand songs in which everyone joins in, and romantic declarations. Many unicorns take a mate for life on this night.

The Feast of the Moon is a quiet ceremony marking the onset of winter and serving as a time for remembering those who have passed away and now "dance with the unicorns." Many great works of art and epic song are unveiled during th Feast of the Moon to quiet applause, particularly in the city of Silverymoon, which celebrates its founding on this day.

Major Centers of Worship: Lurue's worship is scattered throughout the North, but her namesake, the city of Silverymoon, serves as the spiritual heart of her faith. The city is built along the banks of the River Rauvin at a site sacred to both Lurue and Mielikki. According to legend, these shallows were the site where Mielikki first encountered Lurue ages ago. The Unicorn Queen appeared on a shaft of moonlight, the newly foaled child of Selûne, while the Lady of Forests was quenching her thirst. Mielikki befriended the unicorn filly and taught her to run through the forests of the North chasing the moon, but the site remained holy to Lurue. Thereafter Lurue was seen on occasion in the vicinity of the Silver Ford as a glowing unicorn whose appearance was considered lucky.

The pair of goddesses returned centuries later disguised as a female ranger and her steed. They fell in love with the Moonsilver Inn and Silverymoon Town, which had been built on the site, since the inhabitants chose not to plunder the forests and destroy, but rather build in harmony with the land. The goddesses blessed the inn with their power, promising safety to all who kept goodness in their hearts.

Today, Lurue has no specific shrine or glade within the city. Rather every copse in the city is considered sacred to Lurue, and her avatar has been spotted in nearly every coppice, at least according to legend. Lurue's priestesses in Silverymoon commonly worship the Unicorn Queen in Mielikki's Glade or the Silverglen, sacred to Silvanus, but they may be found throughout the city ministering to the less fortunate. Almost all of the city's inhabitants venerate the Unicorn Queen as the sacred protector of their city and all they hold dear about it.

Lurue occasionally appears in a sacred grove that can only be found at night, located in the hills northeast of Leilon. It is known as the Place of the Unicorn. Wizards of the Sword Coast believe that it lies in another dimension, reached only by a moongate (a magical gate that operates only in moonlight). The Place is sacred to the Unicorn Queen and consists of a stand of trees whose leaves are brilliant blue, surrounding a bluegrass meadow. Beings who rest therein are healed of all diseases, poisons, curses, and insanity; unicorns (only) are healed of physical damage. Beings who have no faith or are wavering in their beliefs often see Lurue herself in the trees, and their reaction may reshape their lives.

Affiliated Orders: The Knights of the Unicorn began as a romantic, whimsical group of high-born adventurers from Baldur's Gate who roamed across the Sword Coast North seeking excitement and adventure wherever they wandered. Relatively early in their career, the Knights explored the legendary elven castle of El'lahana Raikeil at the heart of the Moonwood. During their explorations, the band confronted and overcame a series of puzzles with aplomb seasoned with a dash of whimsy. As they overcame each riddle, the image of a silver unicorn shadowing their progress slowly solidified. When they reached their goal, the long lost Crown of Joy and Tears, the Knights each in turn placed it on their brows and found themselves cavorting with elves and unicorns along the banks of a silver stream. When all had partaken of the crown's delights, the band returned the crown to its setting and took their lave of the elven castle in search of new adventures.

As the company strode through the gates into the moonlight, the leader of the knights, Javalar Roaringhorn, declared, "May none again find the Crown of Joy and Tears unless they enter with the heart of a child and the laugh of a dryad or wish to regain that which they have lost." Enchanted by the sense of whimsy and romance displayed by the Knights, an avatar of Lurue appeared to the adventurers outside the castle accompanied by the Silver Herd. The Unicorn Queen and her noble retinue took the Knights for the most exhilarating ride of their lives the length and breadth of the Moonwood that night. After their encounter with Silverymoon, the Knights chose their now-legendary name and pledged themselves in the service of Lurue. The Unicorn Queen found favor with their laughter and has gifted them ever since with an unending series of adventures to be had and wrongs to be righted.

Shoftly after the Time of Troubles, the Knights had the opportunity to ferret out a group of bandits that operated along the Sword Coast. When the time came for the final assault on the bandit stronghold, the Knights gathered a small corps of mercenary infantry, including a number of rangers and rogues. After the successful raid, the Knights kept much of the band together (perhaps 50 people), most of whom worshiped or at least revered Lurue. The group operated as a mercenary company for a while doing good deeds, but eventually began to fragment as wanderlust, the desire to pursue individual goals, and the whimsical nature of the original Knights began to reassert itself. During an expedition into Shilmista, Forest of Shadows, the Knights caught sight of Lurue's avatar once again and gave chase. The Unicorn Queen led them on a merry ride for one enchanted eve until she vanisehd by racing up a shaft of moonlight. The winded Knights vowed to "chase the Unicorn until they could see the moonlight in her eyes."

Immediately thereafter, the senior knights reorganized the group into a loose collection of affiliated adventuring bands known as the Order of the Unicorn. Reaffirming their dedication to Lurue, each company of Knights wanders the realms "chasing the Unicorn." On the way, they right any wrongs they discover and spread the tale of the chase. Each company of Knights is led by one of the original members or their henchmen, and Knights shift from company to company as needed or desired. Companies of Knights have begun to extend the range of the original group and have been seen as far afield as Tethyr, Myth Drannor, and Starmantle.

Priestly Vestments: When priestesses dedicate themselves to Lurue, their irises change color to a deep shade of blue or purple. Priestesses of Lurue garb themselves in simple white robes of cotton, linen, or silk woven with threads of pure silver, often in form of Lurue's symbol. Most wear their hair long and free, dyed silver or bleached white. (Some say this is not artifice, but another manifestation of their holy calling.)

Adventuring Garb: Lurue's clergy garb themselves in relatively light armor, typically gleaming silver chain mail (or elven chain mail, for those so lucky) and a shield polished mirror-bright, and wield a lance and a long sword when expecting combat. The Lady Knights of the Silver Moon, as they are often called, rival Silverymoon's fabled defenders in martial skill and argent luster.

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17 Nobabion on Wed Oct 27, 2010 12:11 am

Nobanion

Lore Firemane, King of the Beasts, King of Lions and Strong Beasts, the Lion King, Lord of the Gulthmere Forest, Guardian of the Vilhon Reach

Demipower of the Happy Hunting Grounds, LG

PORTFOLIO: Lions, good-aligned beasts, lammasu, wemics, werelions, felines, noble beasts, royalty
DOMAINS : Animal, Law, Good, Nobility
HOME PLANE: Krigala/Pridelands
SUPERIOR: None
ALLIES: Balador, Ferrix, Gwaeron Windstrom, Lurue, Mielikki, Sharess, Shiallia, Silvanus, Tapann, Torm, Tyr, Water Lion
FOES: Malar
SYMBOL: A male lion's head or a golden lion rampant on a green shield
WOR. ALIGN.: LG, NG, CG, LN, N, CN

Nobanion (No-BAN-yun), the Lion God of Gulthmere, is viewed of the protector of that woods, the wild natives within it, and the nearby Shining Plains. He is typically portrayed as a great male lion or a majestic lammasu. He draws his power from the wild animals of the Vilhon Reach and Dragon Coast regions, particularly the great cats and wemics of the Shining Plains.

Worship of the Lion and the Unicorn, as Nobanion and Lurue are often called, is frequently lumped into the catch-all category of "beast cult." These two deities, however, differ from the tribal totel great spirits of the Uthgardt and the Ice Hunters of the North which are often cited as typical beast cult "deities," as those spirits are not divinities in their own right, serving rather as conduits for the actions of Uthgar or Ulutiu, respectively. Nobanion is a deity in his own right and always has been since he entered the Realms from another crystal sphere. However, his primary worshipers are not human, but rather animals, especially felines, strong beasts, and animals of regal bearing, and most of them do not maintain written histories or even many oral traditions. Their religion is a personal and direct faith, and until Nobanion began attracting human and humanoid worshipers, such as wemics, the ways of his religion went unrecorded and were little noticed.

Nobanion entered the Realms centuries ago through one of the many magical pools in the Weathercote Wood, each of which acts as a gate to another world on the Prime Material Plane. Lord Firemane stalked the length and breadth of the Realms for over a century before settling amidst the trees of the Gulthmere Forest with a pack of greater lammasu and claiming that land as his pridelands.

During the Time of Troubles, in a titanic combat known as the Roar of the Shadows, Nobanion and a handful of Emerald Enclave druid allies drove Malar the Stalker north and west from the region. Nobanion has since become something of a legend in the Vilhon Reach and Dragon Coast regions. After driving off Malar, Nobanion emerged from the Gulthmere Forest to roam the Shining Plains. Most of the Tenpaw Tribe of wemics joined Nobanion's Great Pride, as the Lion King's followers are collectively known, and Lord Firemane's faith rapidly spread south and west throughout the Shining Plains and beyond. (While the wemics revere him as a great warrior god, Nobanion has yet to make a significant impression on their neutral morals and ethics, though he is gradually swaying them.)

In the aftermath of the Godswar, Nobanion opened a permanent portal to the Beastlands in the heart of the Gulthmere Forest. The Lion King and his pride now split their time between their territory in the Outer Planes and the lands under his dominion in the Realms. He holds court with representatives of all the beasts, great and small, in both realms, and he serves as king over those who accept his benevolent sovereignty.

Nobanion and Sharess get along well because of their mutual feline natures, but Nobanion finds himself frequently annoyed at Sharess's inability to focus on long-term plans and her constant innuendo-laden teasing. he is on good terms with most of the animal lords of the Beastlands, Water Lion, Balador (lord of werebears), Ferrix (lady of weretigresses), Tapann (god of korreds), and most of the nature deities of Faerûn. He hates Malar with a passion as the perversion of all that is noble and natural in beasts, and he would hunt Malar to extermination if he had the resources to do it. Gwaeron Windstrom and he share this hatred, and they sometimes coordinate their efforts against Malar.

Nobanion also gets along well with Torm and Tyr and sees himself as trying to emulate among beasts what they strive for among humans; however, both these powers are too busy with human affairs to have developed a relationship with Nobanion beyond cordial acquaintance. Nobanion and Lurue have a long-standing alliance and deep friendship that has stood for many centuries, and their relationship is one that Nobanion counts upon most when he needs to get an outside viewpoint on a problem or is troubled or depressed.

Nobanion radiates both power and gentleness. His roar is deafening, and when he chooses to exert the full force of his charisma, his regal majesty is overwhelming, yet the tinest creature who approaches him in good faith finds itself comfortable in his presence. He tries to lead his pride to do what is noble and right, but does not force his faithful to pursue that path. He deeply wants those under his rule to willingly choose good over evil, action over inaction, and order over chaos. He does not command from the rear and would never ask someone to do something he would not be willing to do himself, including laying down his life for another.

Other Manifestations

Nobanion often manifests as a lion's roar that seems to emanate from everywhere and rumble across the landscape. If he so desires, he can create a roar of the king effect emanating from any feline, no matter how small.

Nobanion sometimes appears to his worshipers as a great lion's head outlined in a mane of amber and scarlet flickering fire. In this form he can also unleash the roar of the king effect discussed previously for his avatar.

Nobanion is served by good major incarnates and charity, courage, faith, justice, temperance, and wisdom minor incarnates, androsphinxes, dragonnes, lammasu, greater lammasu, and great cats of all sorts, including leomarhs, lions, mountain lions, sea lions, thylacines, and tigers. He is said to love fine poetry and song and to have a particular sentimental fondness for pastries and sweetmeats, cinnamon, rice candies from far Kara-Tur, and sweetened concoctions made from Maztican cocoa, cream, and butter, in addition to liking a good cut of meat.

The Church
In addition to becoming shamans, wemics in the service of Nobanion may become clerics, crusaders, or specialty priests. Nobanion is not served by any witch doctors.

Worship of Nobanion is scattered throughout the Vilhon Reach, Dragon Coast, and Shining Plains regions, but Lord Firemane is venerated primarily within the confines of the Gulthmere Forest, in the city of Nathlekh, and among the wemics of the Shining Plains. In the Gulthmere Forest, Nobanion is the much-beloved monarch of the beasts and the wild natives within. Those who serve another lord, such as the druids of the Emerald Enclave and the inhabitants of Cedarsproke, are expected to live in harmony with the Lion King's laws nonetheless. On the Shining Plains, he is honored as the titular ruler of the Tenpaw tribe. Across the Vilhon Reach region, he is seen as the great protector and the guardian against Malar the Stalker.

Aside from his temple in the city of Nathlekh, Nobanion is worshiped at simple shrines, not elaborate hosues of worship. Shrines to the Lion God of the Gulthmere are often difficult to locate, since they are carried by nomads or tribes of wemics who migrate with the seasons (which makes it all the more difficult for Malar's clergy to seek vengeance for their god's defeat during the Time of Troubles). Such shrines are typically set up atop granite outcroppings or beneath solitary trees on the savanna.

Clergy of the Lion God, known as the Pride of Nobanion, are not given to elaborate titles. Specialty priests are known as firemanes and are commonly referred to as Lights of the Lion's Mane. Clerics and crusaders are known as Roaring Avengers, while shamans are addressed as Speakers of the Paw and Roar. Lammasu and greater lammasu are considered part of the clergy and are addressed as Elders and Reverend Elders, respectively.

Dogma: Hunt only when hungry and do not gorge without need. Waste nothing and all shall have plenty. The cycle of life links all living things into one being and that being is life itself. The law of the jungle is that only the strong survive, but they survive best by being leaders, not tyrants, and by protecting the weak, not bullying them. All creatures have their strengths in their assigned roles and should be encouraged to find their niche. From cooperation between beings of differing strengths comes the strength of teamwork and community, the strongest force of all. By demonstrating compassion and tolerance and living within the land, all living creatures may find harmony with nature and one another. By staying true to oneself and one's pride and conducting oneself with dignity and honor, the respect of one's peers may be earned.

Much of what is known of Nobanion's teachings has been filtered through the wemics and is colored by their racial tendencies into a harsher dogma than is presented above. Their interpretation of Nobanion's teachings is more along the lines of "Only the strong survive," "Live and let live unless provoked," and "Protect the pride and all its members, but if injury or illness bring one of them down, allow him or her a swift and painless end to suffering." Nobanion hopes that as more beings of other species flock to his church, his message will be more clearly transmitted.

Day-to-Day Activities: The Pride of Nobanion fill leadership roles in many communities where the Lion God is revered. Many serve as benevolent monarchs, judges, militia, constables, or as guardians against evil. The vanguard of armies loyal to Nobanion is typically filled with clerics and crusaders of the Lion King. Others teach their hunting or martial skills to the young, while passing along moral instruction and important traditions both by word and deed.

Among the wemic tribes of the Shining Plains, Nobanion's shamans are typically powerful leaders, second only to the chieftain or king. They are responsible for choosing which creatures to hunt, blessing the kill, and confirming the passage of young members of the pride into adulthood.

Holy Days/Important Ceremonies: Two major religious observances are held each year for Nobanion, and they are always exactly three and one half months apart. Their spacing is representative of the gestation period of the lion.

The Festival of the Pride normally takes place during the first week of Ches. This is a time for frolicking, dancing, courting a mate, lovemaking, and generally celebrating the bounty of life and its potential. Religious belief promises that a child/cub conceived this night will go on to become ruler of the church/pride.

The Newborn Celebration always takes place during the third week of Kythorn. This ceremony celebrates the birth (or rebirth-church teachings are vague) of Nobanion, the prominence of lions in the Vilhon Reach, and the importance of the hunt in the region. It is marked by a great hunt and a great feast. Newborns undergo the Rite of the First Blooding where their right paw (or hand) is placed in the blood of the prey and blessed by a priest of Nobanion.

Major Centers of Worship: Deep in the Gulthmere Forest is the village of Gurnth, inhabited by human followers of the Lion God. The inhabitants live the "life of teh cats," following the tenets of Nobanion. The villagers worship Nobanion at the nearby Machran Spire, a mountainous outcropping of granite from which Nobanion is said to have held court on numerous occasions. Lammasu and greater lammasu are said to reside on the Spire most of the year, and the priests of Nobanion in residence are believed to include numerous werelions among their ranks. Any worshiper of Nobanion who spends the night atop the Spire is said to receive the benefits of a heal or regenerate spell, as needed.

Nathlekh, City of Cats, is located at the western end of the Gulthmere Forest and the northern edge of the Shining Plains on the banks of the Lake of the Long Arm. Overrun with felines of all breeds, this city is loosely governed by the Council of the Cat Lords. Numerous werecats, werelions, and weretigers are citizens of Nathlekh in addition to the mysterious Cat Lords who rules. Twin temples of Nobanion and Sharess dominate the religious activity of the city, although a temple of Malar the Beastlord is rumored to exist in the city's catacombs.

The Pride of Nobanion, his temple in Nathlekh, is a vast pillared structure built on the city's acropolis. Constructed to evoke the impression that it is a natural extension of the granite plug extending up from the city's heart, this porticoed and colonnaded structure is festooned with statues of lions in various natural poses. Numerous real lions wander the temple's halls and gardens, but they never molest the citizenry unless provoked. Nathlekh's judiciary, a trio of greater lammasu, holds court within the Pride of Nobanion on a weekly basis.

Affiliated Orders: The Legion of Lions is a military order of wemic firemanes, clerics, and crusaders. In the aftermath of the Time of Troubles, this unorthodox fellowship of beast knights was founded by Karrlon, formerly a scout of the Mindulgulph Mercenary Company and now a crusader who fights for the Lion God's standard. Thought small in number, this elite fighting company has quickly become the champion of good-aligned beasts throughout the Realms and the bane of Malarites everywhere. In addition to the main company, individual members often join adventuring companies of disparate races to see more of the world and spread the faith of Nobanion.

Priestly Vestments: Priests of Nobanion have little in the way of formal raiment. Typically they garb themselves in cloaks made from the hide of a gazelle or antelope and wear a necklace of the teeth and claws of vaniquished opponents around their neck. Their symbol is a single, unblinking lion's eye which each priest pains on his or her forehead. Priests also often depict the face of Nobanion on their robes in stitchery, beadwork, or quillwork or on their chests in paints or as a tattoo.

Adventuring Garb: When adventuring, the Pride of Nobanion select armor and weapons as appropriate for the foe they expect to face. Although they may wear any type of armor available, many eschew armor altogether or wear hide armor fashioned from beasts they themselves have hunted.

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18 Sharess on Wed Oct 27, 2010 12:12 am

Sharess

The Festhall Madam, the Lustful Mistress, Feline of Felicity, Succubus of Sensation, the Tawny Temptress, the Dancing Lady, Foe of Set, Mother of Cats

Demipower of Olympus and Gladsheim
CG

PORTFOLIO: Hedonism, excess, lust, sensual fulfillment, festhalls, cats, pleasure seekers
DOMAINS : Chaos, Charm, Good, Travel, Trickery
ALIASES: Bast, Bastet, Felidae, Zandilar the Dancer
HOME PLANE: Olympus/Brightwater and Gladsheim/Merratet
SUPERIOR: None
ALLIES: Anhur, Hanali Celanil, Lliira, Milil, Nobanion, Selune, Sune
FOES: Set, Shar, Loviatar
SYMBOL: Feminine lips (Sharess) or a cat's head wearing delicate golden hoop earrings (Bast; older)
WORSHIPPERS ALIGNMENT: Any

The Church
Sharess includes a small but significant number of elves and half-elves among her clergy, most of whom venerate her as Zandilar the Dancer.

Sharess is worshiped in large urban areas such as Waterdeep, Calimport, and other cities along the Sword Coast. She is revered by male and female professional escorts who take pride in their professions, the decadent rich, and those who seek only endless pleasure in life. In Mulhorand, she is also revered by those who combat Set and rewards those who work long and hard against him with occasional nights of wild pleasure to inspire them to further efforts. Sharess's faith is still very young and its ceremonies very loose and fluid, with long worship services that resemble nothing so much as extended feasts and revels, heavy on the pleasures of the flesh and light on the teachings of the spirit. A goodly number of former followers of Waukeen who have rejected Lliira's teachings have become interested in Sharess.

The few temples of Sharess are typically located in large cities along the Sword Coast, but small shrines to the goddess of pleasure may be found in almost every festhall in the Realms. Her temples are typically constructed to resemble elaborate festhalls, with graceful, fluting pillars, octagonal domes, great halls sculpted to resemble forest glades, secluded nooks, bathing areas in natural mineral springs, great banquet halls, and richly scented massage parlors. Most are guarded by staunch fighters and even exotic sentient monsters who are sworn to protect all revelers who partake in the name of Sharess.

The clergy of Sharess are collectively known as Sharessin. Both male and female humans can be found in their ranks, but charismatic and physically beautiful female humans comprise the great majority of them. Specialty priests of Sharess are known as sensates. As there is no known connection between Sharess's faithful and the Outer Planar faction of the same name, this is a potential point of confusion.

The clergy of Sharess is split evenly between clerics and specialty priests, with the balance slowly shifting in favor of specialty priests. Alignment restrictions for Sharess's clergy (particularly clerics) are weak, and a gentle slide toward evil is still often tolerated. Those priests who remain evil and seem unwilling or unable to drift back toward neutrality in their behavior are secretly entreated by agents of Shar to shift their worship to the Dark Maiden while maintaining their position within the clergy of Sharess. The Feline of Felicity seems unwilling or unable to prevent such defections at this time, rare though they may be.

Dogma: Sharess's priests are expected to live their lives in the decadent sensual fulfillment of themselves and others. Pleasure is to be sought out at every opportunity and life is to be lived as one endless revel. Initiates to the faith are taught that: "Life is to be lived to its fullest. That which is good is pleasurable and that which is pleasurable is good. Spread the bounty of the goddess so that all may join in the Endless Revel of Life and bring joy to all those in pain. Infinite experiences await those who would explore, so try the new as well as savoring the old."

Day-to-Day Activities: Many priests and priestesses of Sharess run pleasure houses in large cities or directly serve decadent rulers. These pleasure houses cater to all the senses and include fantastic feasts, heavenly baths and massages, unique experiences, such as flight, and every other pleasure imaginable. Wealthy festhalls often employ one or two mid-level Sharessin, and some Sharessin wander the countryside, with Sharess's blessing, seeking new pleasing sensations to add to their repertoire.

Holy Days / Important Ceremonies: The clergy of Sharess celebrate more festivals than possibly any other faith in the Realms. They are known collectively as the Endless Revel of Life. The daily rising and setting of the sun, the yearly passage of seasons, the appearance of a full moon, or nearly any other event is cause for a celebration and wild revel to which the general populace is always invited. Each such festival has several outlandish titles and new festivals are added all the time as old ones are forgotten. Without comparison, however, Midsummer's Eve is the time of greatest rejoicing among Sharess's faithful and an occasion for the most extreme pursuits of boundless pleasure.

Major Centers of Worship: The center of Sharess's faith is the Festhall of Eternal Delight located along Calimport's waterfront. An earlier temple on this spot was destroyed during the most recent Night Parade, and the new temple is even more extravagant than the last. Dark marble columns, jutting spires, crystalline statues in enticing poses and vast, landscaped atriums decorate this sprawling complex. The temple baths are legendary for their recuperative powers and skilled masseuses, and the temple flowers are carefully selected for the reputed aphrodisiacal properties of their scents in some rooms and their calming or soothing properties in others. Gigantic fighters (several who appear to have giant or ogre blood), a sirine (somehow magically equipped to breathe air), and a faerie dragon, among other exotic protectors, stand guard against the frequent raids from the neighboring Temple of Old Night.

Affiliated Orders: Sharess is served by no military or knightly orders. Most professional escorts in major cities join formal or informal guilds led by her clergy, however. Sharess is served by a secretive sisterhood of female werecats known as the Eyes of Evening who also pay tribute to Selune. The aims and goals of this mysterious fellowship are unknown, although they are rumored to hunt cultists of Shar and Loviatar during nights of the full moon.

Priestly Vestments: All priests of Sharess wear their hair long and style it to show off their faces and bodies to their best advantage. The priestly raiment of Sharess's clergy varies widely according to the priest's gender, the local climate, current fashions, and the priest's taste. Waterdhavian courtesans favor highly suggestive evening dresses that make them seem half-undressed, while the women of Calimport's harem's wear diaphanous negligees, short vests, sheer pantaloons, gold dust, and endless gemstone beads and coins strung in ropes and made into decorative chains and fringes. Male clergy typically prefer tight-fitting breeches that are tailored to their charms and blousy open shirts. They often wear decorative belts and vests. Sharess's holy symbol is the image of feminine lips carved from dark amber or ruby and worn on a golden chain on the wrist or ankle.

The few priests and priestesses of Bast who remain in Mulhorand favor tight-fitting kalasiris (tight-fitting white linen knee-length skirts) and ornate pectoral collars draped suggestively over the chest or breasts. The holy symbol of Bast is a cat's head wearing golden hoop earrings.

Adventuring Garb: When adventuring, the clergy of Sharess endeavor to preserve the gifts of the goddess as best as they can and hence typically wear the best armor they can afford. There is no point to living life without pleasure, however, so they always decorate such armor as provocatively as possible.

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19 Hiallia on Wed Oct 27, 2010 12:12 am

Hiallia

Dancer in the Glades, Daughter of the High Forest, Sister Goddess, the Lady of the Woods

Demipower of the Happy Hunting Grounds, NG

PORTFOLIO: The High Forest, Neverwinter Wood, woodland glades, woodland fertility, growth, korreds (especially young korreds)
DOMAINS : Animal, Good, Plant, Renewal
HOME PLANE: Krigala/The High Glade
SUPERIOR: Mielikki
ALLIES: Chauntea, Eldath, Gwaeron Windstrom, Lurue the Unicorn, Mielikki, Silvanus, Tapann, Tree Ghost (Uthgar)
FOES: Auril, Malar, Talona, Talos
SYMBOL: A golden acorn
WOR. ALIGN.: LG, NG, CG, LN, N, CN

Shiallia (Shee-AL-lee-ah) is the patron and caretaker of pregnant forest creatures. She is a planner of trees and a nurturer of seedlings. She rejoices in life and shields against death. Her worship is limited to the proximity of the High Forest, though she is also venerated in the vicinity of the Neverwinter Wood as the Lady of the Woods.

Shiallia is said to be the sister of the Tree Ghost (the collective spirit of the High Forest and one of the beast totems of Uthgar) and daughter of Tapann the Undying, Lord of Korreds and Father of the Dance. She serves Mielikki along with Lurue and Gwaeron Windstrom, and Mielikki in turn serves Silvanus. The relationship between them all is quite familial and supportive.

She calls enemy most of those who the other deities of nature despise: Talos, Talona, Auril, and Malar. She holds a special antipathy for Talona, who always struggles to take away from her the new life Shiallia works so hard to nurture, and for Malar, whom she regards as an insane killer hopelessly outside of the balance of nature because he emphasizes only a small and aberrant nature of its whole.

During the Time of Troubles, Shiallia allied with Gwaeron Windstrom against Malar. While Windstrom concentrated on pursuing the Beast Lord, Shiallia spent much of her time repairing the damage caused by the Malar's destructive rampages.

Shiallia is winsome and earthy, delighting in dancing and frolicking in the woods and playing with woodland creatures when she is not tending to their needs. She has a low, throaty voice, and enjoys retorting with clever (and often crudely suggestive) rejoinders when engaged in conversation. At times she seems to behave like the satyrs whom korreds resemble, but she has a more mysterious quality and unexpressed depths that a satyr, which plays all its cards in plain sight, would find incomprehensible. She is fiercely protective of her charges, but lets matters outside her purview go unchallenged, since they do not directly involve her, unless she is ordered to act by Mielikki or Silvanus.

Other Manifestations

Shiallia takes the form of many animals, all of them distinguished by their absolute perfection for their species. One of her favorite shapes, however, is that of a large but graceful doe. In this form she is often surrounded by multiple bucks (treat as wild stags with 6 HD and maximum hit points) who make no advances upon her nor fight amongst each other for her affections; they are purely hers to command.

Shiallia sometimes manifests as whirling, dancing motes of light that shine with green faerie fire. Contact with the radiance is warm and relaxing, has the effect of a heal spell, and eliminates any pains or complications related to pregnancy.

When korreds of the High Forest dance, Shiallia sometimes manifests as a shower of 2d10 acorns that appears in the middle of the circle. Eating the nut from an acorn triples the chance that a being will conceive (under the appropriate conditions for doing so) if the acorn is ingested within 24 hours of its appearance. Consumption of these acorns is never harmful, even if the period of their special effectiveness has lapsed.

Shiallia has been known to bestow acorns of desire upon favored worshipers. Such an acorn appears to fall from the sky and lands immediately in front of the feet of the lucky recipient. If held in a closed fist by the intended recipient and concentrated upon, the recipient's request is fulfilled as close as to his or her desires as possible within the limited wish (or occasionally, wish) effect of the acorn. The acorn of desire vanishes, leaving a permanent golden-hued tattoo in the shape of an acorn on its user's palm.

The Church
Her clergy are usually female, and may be human, elf, half-elf, halfling, or korred. All human priests of Shiallia must be female.

The worship of Shiallia is limited to the proximity of the High Forest. Shiallia has few actual clergy, but many forest creatures venerate her name. Since the Time of Troubles, a few specialty priests have come to her calling, particularly in the southern reaches of the High Forest. In many ways her clergy as a whole are similar to druids, but Shiallia's church focuses very strongly on fertility.

Shiallia's priests are somewhat migratory in their movements, following long paths that can take them hundreds of miles afield, though not necessarily in annual cycles. They go wherever natural life needs a helping hand, then move on when there is nothing more than they can do. They almost always return later to check on the results of their labor and perhaps to cultivate whatever they have begun—hence their seemingly migratory behavior. Every priest has a favorite place to worship Shiallia in virtually every area along his or her trail, but there is no central temple of Shiallia nor any web of churches dedicated to her, aside from the Golden Oak in Silverymoon and the Glade of Life at the headwaters of the Unicorn Run.

The clergy of Shiallia are commonly known as the Sisters of Life and Mercy, although a few Brothers of Life and Mercy are included in their numbers as well. Prior to the Fall of the Gods, Shiallia's clergy was evenly distributed between clerics, who were often found on the edges of the High Forest, and mystics and druids, who wandered the deepest reaches of the woods. Since the Time of Troubles, most initiates to the faith have become the specialty priests known as woodwives, and the balance is now almost even between the four types. Shiallia's priests shun formal titles. Younger priestesses are addressed as Daughter, those of similar age are addressed as Sister, and senior priestesses are addressed as Mother. Males are addressed as Brother or Son or Elder Brother, but never as Father.

Dogma: The only true goal of any living thing is to procreate. Nature dictates the shape of the world, for good or ill, so the only concern of the creatures that inhabit it is survival. Death is not to be feared, for it is part of the natural cycle of life, but life, particularly the birth of new life, is to be encouraged and nurtured whenever and wherever possible.

Day-to-Day Activities: Shiallia's followers are husbands of nature, spending their days planting and nurturing, calling upon the weather, and tending to the ill and injured. They are not purely oriented to forest creatures, though that is their focus, and they extend their philosophy and favors to humans and demihumans who enter or live within the forest, as well.

Shiallia's clergy are sometimes known as the Silent Helpers, and tales tell how they watch over lost children and the foolish who wander through the reaches of the High Forest unaware of the dangers contained within. It is generally agreed that the only reason Olithard the Bard, of the Tale of Olithard's Tune, survived his meandering journey through the High Forest was by the secret shepherding of a trio of Silent Helpers.

Holy Days/Important Ceremonies: Days that mark the passing of seasons are the most important of the year to followers of Shillia. In particular, Greengrass and Higharvestide are celebrated as holidays of birth and fruition, respectively. On all holy days (including Midwinter, Midsummer, and the Feast of the Moon) the faithful invite all friendly creatures to revel with them in feasting, singing, and dancing.

Weddings are welcomed and even solicited upon the change of seasons, and Shiallia's followers always enliven such occasions with as much faerie charm magic and romance as they can muster, creating a fantasy atmosphere under the stars. Therefore, many nonworshipers set their wedding dates on Shiallia's holy days in hopes of receiving her blessings and hospitality.

Major Centers of Worship: Shiallia's major temple outside of the High Forest is located in the city of Silverymoon. The Golden Oak doubles as a temple and an excellent and expensive inn. The temple is a simple, yet beautiful lodge constructed from timbers hewn from fallen oak trees and natural resins. It is dominated by a live oak tree growing up through the taproom with little lanterns hanging down from its boughs over each table. The rain comes in, so in stormy weather the taproom empties quickly to cellars downstairs and meeting rooms that open out a few steps up from the taproom on all sides. The proprietress and priestess of the Golden Oak is Izolda Three-corn, a middle-aged matron and leader of the small guild of woodwives in Silverymoon.

Within the High Forest, Shiallia's major place of worship is a holy site shared with the faiths of Chauntea, Eldath, Lurue, and Mielikki known as the Glade of Life. This glade is located near the village of Khle'cayre ("Last Aerie" of the aarakocra) at the foot of the Star Mounts. At the center of the Glade is the Fountain of Unicorns, a small spring that feeds the headwaters of the Unicorn Run. Surrounded by giant oak trees over a thousand years old, the Glade has a fey beauty found nowhere else in the Realms. Countless rings of korreds dance in the glade every night, sometimes joined on Midsummer Nights by the Dancing Goddess herself. Avatars of the other four goddesses have been seen in the Glade of Life on several occasions as well, and they sometimes join in the korred dancing circles.

A large fraction of Shiallia's clergy is based at the glade, but most priests wander throughout the High Forest the majority of the year, only rarely returning to the Glade. Shiallia's most senior high priest resides as the Glade of Life year round in a sylvan dell. She is a venerable female korred known only as Grandmother or the Dancer of Life who is reputed to have witnessed the fall of Ascalhorn (Hellgate Keep) as a young child. Priests and priestesses of the other four goddesses (known to the korreds as Tapann's Ladies) are welcome as well, but they seldom spend more than a few weeks in the Glade of Life before moving on.

Affiliated Orders: Shiallia sponsors no military or knightly orders, but an order of female swanmay rangers in the church of Mielikki have sworn themselves to protect the Sisters of Life and Mercy. This elite sisterhood, known as the Shields of Hope, wanders the High Forest in groups of three escorting the clergy of Shiallia through dangerous regions of that vast woodland so that they can minister to the goodly creatures who reside within.

In addition, the Harpers are on friendly terms with Shiallia's followers, and it is believed that Shiallia gives of her divine blessing to Master Harpers within the High Forest, even though she was not present at the Dancing Place in the Year of the Dawn Rose (720 DR). Master Harpers find that they can speak with any forest animal or plant in the High Forest and that they can dance with korreds without danger anywhere in the Realms.

Priestly Vestments: Priests of Shiallia have little in the way of formal raiment. They always wear their hair long and unbound and festoon it with garlands of oak leaves and acorns. Most garb themselves in flowing white robes and simple sandles woven from reeds during religious festivities and in simple robes of brown and green otherwise. They wear necklaces made of golden acorns or holding a golden acorn pendant around their necks as symbols of their faith.

Adventuring Garb: Priests of Shiallia do not wear the hides of animals or metal exposed to the forge. As a result, they are limited for the most part to padded armor made from heavy, woven clothes and sewn into a protective surcoat. If they feel it is necessary to arm themselves, most craft an oaken cudgel from fallen timber and cast a shillelagh spell on it. Some wield shears copied from the korreds

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20 Valkur on Wed Oct 27, 2010 12:13 am

Valkur

Valkur The Mighty, Captain of the Waves

Symbol: Cloud with three lightning bolts on a shield
Home Plane: Warrior's Rest
Alignment: Chaotic Good
Portfolio: Sailors, ships, favorable winds, naval combat.
Worshipers: Fighters, rogues, sailors
Cleric Alignments: CG, CN, NG
Domains: Air, Chaos, Good, Ocean, Protection

Valkur (val-kurr) the Mighty is a sailor's god, a lesser power who intercedes to protect ships against the cruel whimsy of Umberlee and the destruction of Talos. He is a chaotic good deity, and not always responsive to his followers' prayers. As a result, worship among the sailors is more in line with trying to placate the Gods of Fury rather than seek protection from them--protection that may never come.

Other Manifestations:

Valkur sometimes uses dolphins as his sign that his presence is near.

The Clergy: The church of Valkur is only loosely organized, with clergy members coming together in worship only when serving on the same ship or in a port at the same time. Some clerics of Valkur captain sailing ships that sail the length of the Sword Coast or across the Sea of Fallen Stars. Most serve as officers on some ship or other. Few clerics of Valkur serve on pirate ships, but many enjoy serving their homelands as privateers. While in port, Valkur's clerics provide care and small amounts of monetary support to sailors down on their luck and to families whose chief breadwinner has been lost at sea. Other clerics run shipyards or administer fleets of merchant ships. Valkur's clerics are also fond of contributing to (if not totally sponsoring) seaborne exploration and long-distance trading expeditions because of the challenges and opportunities they present.

Clerics of Valkur pray for their spells at around dawn, whenever the first hint of a breeze begins to stir. The church of Vlakur celebrates only one holy day per year: The Shattering is always held in early spring, but the exact date varies from year to year. The festival is held to mark the end of winter and the beginning of the sailing season in the North and is celebrated even in the South where the winter ice does not block or trouble ocean travel. Valkur is said to communicate to his High Captains the exact date of the festival each year, and it often varies from city to city. The Shattering is marked by the unfurling of many new sails throughout the port districts of coastal cities and the christening of at least one new ship that then departs for its maiden voyage crewed by Valkur's clergy. Valkur's clergy regularly perform over a dozen separate ceremonies in the course of their duties. Most of these rituals are related to ships and voyages, including ceremonies at a ship's christening, before departing on a voyage, when arriving at a new port, and when returning to the home port, among others. Many clerics multiclass as divine champions, fighters, or rogues.

Valkur's priests are diligently trying to build up the popularity and strength of his church by showing that Valkur can indeed be counted on to protect the helpless from the gods of Fury. Since the clergy is a reflection of the god, they strive to appear tranquil, slow to anger, and not prone to sudden changes of plans, opinions, or mindsets. Their reliability is impeccable, since they want others to see that the faith is solid and trustworthy. Their patience is hard earned, because Valkur isn't as trustworthy as a devotee might wish, and the priests need to live with their god's chaotic behavior.

Priest of Valkur use clubs, staves, daggers, tridents, and cutlasses in battle. Due to the impediments of armor to a swimmer, priest of Valkur do not wear any. The spell selection consist of major access to the spheres of All, Divination, Elemental (air, water), Healing, Protection, Summoning (aquatic creatures only), and Weather, with minor access to Animal, Chaos, Charm, Combat, and Plant.

HISTORY/RELATIONSHIPS: Valkur is the sworn foe of the Deities of Fury and looks to Selune to guide him across the oceans and seas of Faerun. He may have once been a sea captain from Mintarn who dared challenge Umberlee and won. The Red Knight, and through her Tempus, is trying to persuade Valkur to take more of an interest in the disposition of naval conflicts, but he feels his primary responsibilities lie in the protection of sailors.

DOGMA: There is nothing more invigorating than challenging the elements. The feel of wind and spray on one's face and the deck pitching beneath one's feet is the greatest feeling in the world. If humankind is to expand its reach, daring men and women must defy the odds and dare the impossible. The thrill of exploration is sweeter than wine or rum. There is always risk, but without risk life is empty. Life is to be lived and damn the consequences. One's loyalties are first to one's mates, then to one's ship, and then to Valkur, who protects all sailors. Rely not on Valkur's hand to always extract you from difficulties, for such is coddling and leads to a lack of challenge and the room to grow. Rather, Valkur helps those actively solving their own problems by helping their plans work.

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