The Gods of the Elves

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Elven Gods

Corellon Larethian, CG: Creator of the Elves, Protector and Preserver of Life, First of the Seldarine, Ruler of All Elves
-Domains: Chaos, Community, Elf, Good, Protection, War

Deep Sashelas, CG: Lord of the Undersea, the Dolphin Prince, the Knowledgeable One, Sailor’s Friend
-Domains: Chaos, Elf, Good, Knowledge, Ocean, Water

Erevan Ilesere, CN: The Trickster, the Chameleon, the Green Changeling, the Fey Jester, Jack of the Seelie Court
-Domains: Chaos, Elf, Illusion, Luck, Trickery

Hanali Celanil, CG: The Heart of Gold, Winsome Rose, Archer of Love, Kiss of Romance, Lady Goldheart
-Domains: Chaos, Charm, Elf, Good, Magic, Protection

Labelas Enoreth, CG: The Lifegiver, Lord of the Continuum, the One-Eyed God, the Philosopher, the Sage at Sunset
-Domains: Chaos, Elf, Good, Knowledge, Time

Rillifane Rallathil, CG: The Leaflord, the Wild One, the Great Oak, the Many-Branched, Old Man of the Yuirwood, the Many-Limbed
-Domains: Chaos, Elf, Good, Plant, Protection

Sehanine Moonbow, CG: Daughter of the Night Skies, Goddess of Moonlight, the Lunar Lady, Moonlit Mystery, Lady of Dreams
-Domains: Chaos, Elf, Good, Illusion, Knowledge, Moon, Travel

The Fair Folk of the Realms worship a pantheon of deities known as the Seldarine – a complex term that can be roughly translated as, “the fellowship of brothers and sisters of the wood” – implying the wide diversity in interests that exists amongst the gods of the elven pantheon and their desire for cooperation. They act independently of one another, but the elven powers are drawn together by love, curiosity, and friendship to combine their strengths, to accomplish a task, or in the face of outside threats. Corellon Larethian, the acknowledged ruler of the Seldarine – sometimes joined by his consort, Sehanine Moonbow – reinforces this freedom of action and compels none of the Seldarine to perform any task. Instead, the gods of the elven pantheon seem to sense when something needs doing, and they simply gather when necessary. The Seldarine reside in the realm of Arvandor (a term that means “the High Forest” in elvish) on the plane of Arborea on the layer known as Olympus.

Relations ascribed to the various powers of the Seldarine vary widely from culture to culture; some legends hold them all to be brothers and sisters, others believe Corellon (and sometimes Sehanine) created the other powers from the natural environment of Arvandor. Other sages link the Seldarine in various romantic relationships. In most representations, the elven pantheon includes more gods than goddesses, but every member of the Seldarine can appear as either male or female. The androgynous nature of the Seldarine reflects the gender equality found in most elven societies.

There is general agreement, however, among the elves of Faerûn as to which powers make up the Seldarine. Each elven realm and subrace places its own emphasis on the relative importance of various powers to the point where some members of the Seldarine fade from memory in some isolated elven cultures.

Many of the drow powers, including Araushnee (now Lolth) and Eilistraee, were once considered part of the Seldarine. They were exiled from Arvandor by Corellon’s decree following an invasion of Arvandor by the Anti-Seldarine, a coalition of evil gods assembled by the traitorous Araushnee. Of the drow pantheon, only Eilistraee might someday formally rejoin the Seldarine, but it is more likely she will simply remain a close ally of the pantheon to which she once belonged. The Dark Maiden did not intentionally participate in Araushnee’s schemes, but she willingly accepted banishment nonetheless, foreseeing the day her role as an outsider would be needed to guide those drow who spurned the self-destructive dogma of the Spider Queen.

The Seldarine are closely linked with the gods of the Seelie Court and other Sylvan deities, and the Fair Folk often include prayers to other faerie powers when worshipping the Seldarine. All faiths that venerate one or more members of the Seldarine practice tolerance for followers of the other elven gods as well as for religions of closely allied nature (the cult of Skerrit the Forester being a prime example). The Seelie Court is more or less assumed to include the deities of the sprites, sea sprites, pixies, nixies, atomies, grigs, satyrs, korred, nymphs, brownies, leprechauns, dryads (and hamadryads), unicorns, pegasi, centaurs, swanmays, killmoulis, treants, pseudodragons and faerie dragons, seelie faeries, faerie fiddlers, and gorse faeries. It is ruled by Titania and Oberon, and certain of the previously listed creatures are considered more tightly a part of the court than others. (The enemy of the Seelie Court is the Un-seelie Court, ruled by the Queen of Air and Darkness, who is served by unseelie faeries, quicklings, and bramble faeries, among others.) While such powers have close ties to the elves, they are not counted as part of the Seldarine.

While the gods of the elven pantheon are actively involved in the collective lives of their worshipers, few intervene directly in events affecting a particular individual or even a small group of elves. Like the Fair Folk, the Seldarine tend to have very long-range perspectives, and they never intervene directly in the unfolding history of the Realms without a great deal of consideration and discussion. Notable instances of intervention by the Seldarine have resulted in the creation and settlement of Evermeet, the Descent of the drow, the decision to summon representatives of the elves to the Elven Court of Cormanthyr, the founding of Myth Drannor under the guiding principles it embodied, and the retreat from Evereska in 1372 DR.

Elven mythology holds that the Fair Folk were born of the blood that Corellon shed in his battles with Gruumsh and bathed in the tears of Sehanine. (Most members of the pantheon have an enmity for or at least a dislike of the goblinkin pantheons: those of the orcs, goblins, hobgoblins, bugbears, kobolds, and urds.) Some legends state that the first elves appeared in the Realms fully formed and shaped in Corellon’s image, woven by magic from sunbeams, moonbeams, forests, clouds, seas, and shadows. Other myths claim that at least some of the elven subraces-the gold elves and moon elves, in particular-migrated to Toril through magical gates from one or more other worlds, most commonly identified as “Faerie.” Myths discussing the natural origins of the Fair Folk are closely tied to the ability of many members of the Seldarine to assume nonelven, natural forms far greater in size than is common for their avatars. For example, Rillifane Rallathil has appeared as a massive oak tree, Deep Sashelas has appeared as a giant, towering (vaguely humaniform) wave of seawater, Aerdrie Faenya has appeared as a white cloud, and Corellon Larethian has appeared as an azure crescent moon or star.

The Gods of the Elves

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