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Tales Of Moonsea - The Herald of Chaos
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  Tales of Moonsea

Silvanus
Cleric Alignments: CN, LN, N, NE, NG

Silvanus: Oak Father, the Forest Father, Treefather
(Greater Deity)

Symbol: Green living oak leaf
Home Plane: House of Nature
Alignment: Neutral
Portfolio: Wild nature, druids
Worshipers: Druids, woodsmen, wood elves
Cleric Alignments: CN, LN, N, NE, NG
Domains: Animal, Plant, Protection, Renewal, Water

Favored Weapon: "The Great Mallet of Silvanus" (maul)

Although wise and beneficent, the paternalistic Silvanus (sihl-vann-us) can be emotionally distant when it comes to the necessity of having a balance in nature
and wrathful toward those who threaten wild places. He appears as an old, bearded, incredibly wise human male face floating in midair among trees or sprouting from the trunk of an especially old and large specimen.

The church of Silvanus is spread everywhere across Faerun and is far stronger than many might think. Nevertheless, most outsiders view the church of Chauntea, as patrons of agriculture, as being favorably inclined toward the expansion of civilization, while the church of Silvanus is the implacable foe of those who would settle new lands. Neither impression is correct, yet the church of the Oak Father is often perceived as little different from those faiths that venerate the Deities of Fury.

Clerics and druids of Silvanus prepare spells at sundown or in moonlight. Holy days are Greengrass, Midsummers night, Highharvestide, and the Night the Forest Walks. The last holiday takes place when the deity grows restless. He then causes trees to move, streams to change course, caves to open or close, forest creatures to stir, and forest magic to strengthen. His clerics always turn undead rather than rebuking them. Many rituals of worship to the deity take place in a crown stand of tall, ancient trees on a hilltop. The deity must always be worshiped by sacrifice, but never by blood sacrifice. Instead, something made from material taken from a wood must be ceremonially broken and buried-- not burned. For Example, a cart, wagon, or chair fashioned from the wood of felled trees could become a sacrifice to Silvanus. The simplest prayer to Silvanus is the Call of Oak, Ash, and Thorn, wherein a cleric gathers leaves of the three named sorts of trees, floats them on water, and entreats Silvanus to hear a prayer. For deeper concerns (a conversation with a servant of the deity, or the receipt of godly favors or magical powers) a Vigil is often employed. The worshiper anoints his or her own body with a powder of crushed acorns and mistletoe leaves
mixed with rainwater or spring water and lies down on, or in contact with, a growing tree for most of a night. Some part of the bare flesh of the faithful must touch green, growing moss, so moss-covered giant trees are most favored for use in Vigils. The two most powerful and holy rituals of Silvanites are the Song of the Trees and the Dryad Dance. The former is a haunting repetitive chant that draws woodland creatures to gather and be healed. The latter is a wild revitalizing ritual of piping and dancing that calls dryads out of the woods to wander, even far from their trees, to mate with humans. Sadly, it seems the most often performed ceremony in the Silvanite canon is the Thorncall, a ritual magic that raises thick walls of deadly tearing thorns out of the forest soil. These barriers are permanent and as labyrinthine as the presiding cleric desires, but they can only be called up when a servant of Silvanus ( a worshiper or a servitor creature, such
as a stag) has been slain or shed much blood in the vicinity. The Thorncall ritual is used to keep out those who would burn or despoil the forest in such a way as to upset the Balance. Many of his clerics multiclass as druids, forest masters, hierophants, or rangers.

HISTORY/RELATIONSHIPS: Like Oghma, Silvanus is an old deity with many ties to other planes. He is closely allied with Chauntea, and is served directly and indirectly by Eldath, Mielikki, Gwaeron Windstrom, Lurue, and Shiallia. He is bitterly opposed to the activities of Malar and his church, as the Beastlord is consumed with bloodlust and his followers would hunt every creature in existence to extinction if given leave. Likewise, although Silvanus recognizes the role that both disease and natural acts of destruction play in the Balance, the Oak Father hates both Talos and Talona, for both care nothing for the natural order and seek only to indulge their most destructive impulses.

DOGMA: Silvanus sees and balances all, meting out wild water and drought, fire, and ice, life and death. Hold your distance and take in the total situation, rather than latching on to the popular idea of what is best. All is in cycle, deftly and beautifully balanced. It is the duty of the devout to see this cycle and the sacred Balance as clearly as possible. Make others see the Balance and work against those that would disturb it. Watch, anticipate, and quietly manipulate. Resort to violence and open confrontation only when pressured by time or hostile action. Fight against the felling of forests, banish disease wherever you find it, defend the trees, and plant new flora wherever possible. Seek out, serve, and befriend the dryads and learn their names. Kill only when needful, destroy fire and its employers, and beware orcs and others who bring axes into the forest.