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Tales Of Moonsea
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Cleric Alignments: CG, LG, NG 

Lathander: The Morninglord (Greater Deity)

Symbol: Sunrise made of rose, red, and yellow gems
Home Plane: House of Nature
Alignment: Neutral Good
Portfolio: Athletics, birth, creativity, dawn, renewal, self- perfection, spring, vitality, youth
Worshipers: Aristocrats, artists, athletes, merchants, monks (Sun Soul), the young
Cleric Alignments: CG, LG, NG
Domains: Good, Nobility, Protection, Renewal, Strength, Sun

Favored Weapon: "Dawnspeaker" (light or heavy mace)

henever humans embark on a new journey, enter a contract, or start a political or romantic relationship, chances are good that they whisper a prayer to Lathander (lah-than-der), deity of dawn, renewal, and vitality. Though he is among the oldest of the Faerunian pantheon, the Morninglord nonetheless retains the cheery optimism of youth that makes him the perfect symbol of beginnings. Ever willing to pass over the defeats of today to focus on the victories of tomorrow, Lathander preaches a doctrine of proactive good works and constant reevaluation of society's traditions and mores. He also urges the destruction of undead, which he views as vile corruption that mocks creation and true life. Critics suggest that Lathander's aggressive altruism often gets in the way of his good sense. His vanity and enthusiasm cause him to discount the consequences of his actions. He simply hopes for the best and attacks a problem head on, regardless of the ramifications. Never was this character flaw so clearly illuminated than during the Dawn Cataclysm, a catastrophe second only to the Time of Troubles, in which Lathander attempted to reshape the entire pantheon in his own image and thereby triggered a major divine struggle. His ultimate failure resulted in the destruction of several deities and powerful outsiders, led to the collapse of a half-dozen theocracies, and presaged the fall of Myth Drannor.

Despite the failure of the distant past, Lathander's faith remains extremely popular and powerful today, especially among idealistic young nobles (though seldom their parents). They claim to be personally tasked by the Morninglord to see to the affairs of their lessers, as though their fortuitous accident of noble birth granted them a writ to serve as Lathander's mortal representatives. For many young aristocrats, a foray into Lathanderism represents a last act of rebellion before accepting the responsibilities of the nobility. Those of truer heart, however, remain in the church and often end up making a profound difference in their community. Commoners appreciate such treatment, making the Morninglord popular among all social classes.

Clerics of Lathander pray at dawn. Most holy services take place just as the light of the sun breaks the horizon, with secondary gatherings occurring at highsun and sunset. Ceremonies are joyful but dignified and feature singing, offerings, and ritual drinking of well water touched by the light of dawn. On midsummer morning and on the morning of the vernal and autumnal equinoxes, Lathanderian clerics perform the Son of the Dawn, a popular and complex musical ceremony that attracts even nonworshipers to the Morninglord's cathedrals. Lawful clerics often multiclass as paladins.

HISTORY/RELATIONSHIPS: Lathander's friendly demeanor makes him almost as popular among other deities as he is among the mortals of Toril. The deities, however, tend to have longer memories then their followers; many appreciate Lathander's calls to action and altruistic rants but try to keep him from doing too much damage to the status quo. He gets on well with other idealistic deities such as Eldath and Llura, or with those, such as Lurue and Siamorphe, who prefer to focus on the pleasurable and good things in life. The Morninglord's command over creativity brings him into friendly contact with Oghma, Milil, and Gond, and his unflinching hatred of the undead has made him a fast ally of Kelemvor. Chauntea seems to appreciate his exuberance more than any other member of the Faerunian pantheon, perhaps because it brightens her ancient soul. She and Lathander believe that their fates are intertwined, and while their romance has faded and flared intermittently over the centuries, they always seem to return to each other.

Lathander somewhat naively holds evil deities such as Bane, Cyric, Loviatar, and Talos personally responsible for the majority of Toril's ills. He particularly dislikes Shar, whom he views as an eternally corrupting force, the foul cancer at the heart of every shadowy intrigue against him and his church. Lathander believes that the Dawn Cataclysm occurred because spies of the Lady of Loss secretly corrupted his efforts, and he is hatching plans to ensure that does not happen again. Helm harbors ill feeling toward the Morninglord that date back to the Dawn Cataclysm, when Lathander indirectly caused the destruction of Helm's lover Murdane, a lesser deity of reason and pragmatism. No doubt the Vigilant One would be chagrined to learn that Lathander has, since the Time of Troubles, been working on some of the incantations and machinations that brought about that catastrophe so long ago. Oghma, Chauntea, and Lliira know of Lathander's plans, but so far, each has remained silent. With the return of Bane, many progressive deities believe that direct action must be taken to destroy evil once and for all, and that no unintended consequences of Lathander's plans could be as threatening to the world as simply standing by and doing nothing.

DOGMA: Strive always to aid, to foster new hope, new ideas, and new prosperity for all humankind and its allies. It is a sacred duty to foster new growth, nurture growing things, and work for rebirth and renewal. Perfect yourself, and be fertile in the mind and body. Wherever you go, plant seeds of hope, new ideas, and plans for a rosy future in the minds of all. Watch each sunrise. Consider the consequences of your actions so that your least effort may bring the greatest and best reward. Avoid negativity, for from death comes life, and there is always another morning to turn a setback into a success. Place more importance in activities that help others than on strict adherence to rules, rituals, and the dictates of your seniors.