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Tales Of Moonsea - The Herald of Chaos
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Kelemvor
Cleric Alignments: LE, LG, LN 

Kelemvor: Lord of the Dead, Judge of the Damned (Greater Deity)

Symbol: Upright skeletal arm holding the golden scales of justice
Home Plane: The Fugue Plane
Alignment: Lawful Neutral
Portfolio: Death, the dead
Worshipers: The dying, families of the dying, gravediggers, hunters of the undead, morticians, mourners
Cleric Alignments: LE, LG, LN
Domains: Fate, Law, Protection, Repose, Travel

Favored Weapon: "Fatal Touch" (bastard sword)

elemvor (kell-em- vor) is the latest in a long line of Faerunian deities to command the forces of death and oversee the fate of the dead. Death has been the greatest constant throughout human history, but the way humans have viewed this unavoidable force has changed considerably as different deities arose to oversee it. During the reign of the inscrutable Jergal, death and the afterlife held a great deal of mystery for the common person. Most feared what they did not know or understand. When Myrkul took the office of Lord of the Dead after Jergal tired of it, humanity's worst fears were given form. Evil cultists reminded the living of the dead's power and influence, which extended far beyond the grave. In those days the lines between dead and undead became blurred, and commoners knew that to be taken by Myrkul's embrace was no protection from being raised by some demented necromancer. Things got worse when Myrkul was destroyed during the Time of Troubles and Cyric assumed the role, as the notoriously petty and flawed Black Sun seemed to offer not even the pale assurances of his forebears. Kelemvor, who assumed the mantle ten years after the Godswar, has taken a decidedly different approach. Kelemvor urges his clerics to act as stewards of the afterlife and to teach the people of Faerun that death is a natural part of life. There is nothing to be feared in the transition, for only the truly wicked, the Faithless, or the False must fear the world beyond the Fugue Plane. Kelemvor views all undead as abominations, ordering his servants to destroy them at every turn. Kelemvor is a taciturn deity, and until recently was not completely sure of himself or his role. He has placed such uncertainties behind him, however, and approaches his duty as judge of the afterlife earnestly, tempering his strong sense of justice with kindness and forthrightness. He is not, however, particularly clever, and prefers to solve problems with direct action that sometimes leads to unintended results.

Kelemvor's clerics make every attempt to minister to the common people, to demystify the process of death and help the bereaved cope in times of loss. Most folk welcome the appearance of clerics of Kelemvor, thankful for their light touch and calming demeanors -- a welcome change from the days when unsettling clerics of Myrkul demanded funerary fees that seemed all too close to extortion. Children (particularly those growing up near evil kingdoms) hold militant clerics and paladins of Kelmvor in awe as undead hunters, and communities beset by the attentions of necromancers or tomb robbers often come to his clergy for aid.

Clerics of Kelemvor pray for spells at sundown. Most holy ceremonies involve blessing a soul for the transition into the afterlife. If present at the moment of death, a cleric of Kelemvor performs the Passing, a simple ritual altering Kelemvor to the arrival of this new wanderer on the Final Road. When an entire battlefield or plague-ravaged community requires last rites, Kelmvorite devotes perform the Lament for the Fallen. This ceremony, similar to the Passing, features low, droning chants, and rhythmic beating of ash staffs upon the open ground. At a private ceremony known as the Daeum, clerics of Kelmvor celebrate their deity's soothing doctrine and fund church activities with the goods of those who have died without heirs. Both Shieldmeet and the Feast of the Moon are of special spiritual significance to Kelemvor's adherents, when clerics recount the Deeds of the Dead that they never be forgotten. Rarely, powerful clerics use these days to cast true resurrection, returning to life heroes of the distant past who are needed in the present day. Kelemvor's clerics sometimes multicalss as necromancers, rangers, or doomguides using their knowledge to hunt down and destroy undead. Clerics of Kelemvor never rebuke or command undead.

HISTORY/RELATIONSHIPS: If not for the Time of Troubles, the mortal warrior known as Kelemvor Lyonsbane likely would of died on some battlefield, alone and unmourned. He was the victim of a bewildering ancestral curse that forced him to assume the form of a violent magical panther whenever he performed a rare act of kindness. However, he fell in with a band of adventurers that included Cyric of Zhentil Keep and a young arcane spellcaster called Midnight. By the end of the Godswar, all three had become deities, through cunning plots and betrayal or purest happenstance. As deities, the three former companions still retain what might be called a relationship. Cyric despises both Kelemvor and Midnight (who became Mystra), blaming them for his frequent setbacks. Cyric plots endlessly to regain dominion over death, a portfolio he held briefly, and instructs his mortal followers to oppose those of Kelemvor by disturbing the rest of the dead, mutilating corpses to prevent identification, and supporting all kinds of necromantic activity. As mortals, Mystra and Kelemvor were lovers, though it remains uncertain if their relationship survived the events of the past fourteen years. Mystra aids Kelemvor from time to time, but the demands of her station prevent frequent contact. Kelemvor hates Velsharoon for his support of necromancy and Talona for her poisons and diseases, which send many souls to the Fugue Plane prematurely. Kelemvor spends a great deal of time in the company of Jergal, with whom he lives in the Crystal Spire of the Fugue Plane and from whom he learns the responsibilities and requirements of his station. The Forgotten One's stark pragmatism and almost chilling lack of pity disturb Kelemvor, however, and though he respects Jergal, it is a stretch to say that he trusts the elder deity.

DOGMA: Recognize that death is part of life. It is not an ending but a beginning, not a punishment but a necessity. Death is an orderly process without deceit, concealment, and randomness. Help others die with dignity at their appointed time and no sooner. Speak against those that would artificially prolong their life beyond natural limits, such as the undead. Do honor to the dead, for their strivings in life brought Faerun to where it is now. Forgetting them is to forget where we are now, and why. Let no human in all Faerun die a natural death without one of Kelemvor's clerics at her side.

CLERGY AND TEMPLES: Clerics of Kelemvor perform funerals, settle the affairs of the dead, and often are called upon by local lords or magistrates to oversee the execution of last wills and testaments. They preach to the masses the doctrine of a peaceful afterlife journey, and ensure that the bodies of the dead are buried safely and according to religious tradition. They mark sites ravaged by disease with plague warnings, and attempt to cure disease wherever they encounter it. Clerics of Kelemvor consider all undead abominations, and do whatever they can to put them to eternal rest. They contend that those who create undead are fit only for swift and utter destruction (an important difference between the Kelemvorite clergy and that of Jergal, who hold that certain undead have their uses). Kelemvorite clergy sometimes declare crusades against the undead or against creatures deemed to have caused too much untimely death. Occasionally, this leads them to employ adventurers to solve problems with which they cannot contend alone. Members of the clergy tend to be taciturn, even morose at times. Many came to the church after losing loved ones to undead incursions, or even after dying themselves and being so profoundly touched by the experience that they enrolled in the clergy shortly after returning to life. Many of the older members of the clergy once worshiped Myrkul, and even fourteen years after that deity's destruction, some have difficulty coming to grips with the doctrinal differences between the two faiths. Many of Kelemvor's temples used to be temples of Myrkul, and hence have less inviting or soothing architecture than their high clerics might prefer. Bone-and-Skull motif's predominate, and some of the larger temples even feature now-sealed chambers once used for revivification or darker rites.