View  Edit  Attributes  History  Attach  Print  Search
Main / Elven

Elven Pantheon - Gods - Priests

(see also Elves)

General Description - The Elven pantheon is one of contrasts. The world knows Elves as a cheerful woodland dwelling people. Yet there is the other side of the coin in the long wars that Elves have fought with the Orcs and the many skirmishes with the Dwarven clans.

Marriage and Divorce -

Death of a Character -

Ceremonies -

Interactions with other Religions -

NameReligionRanking
Hanali Celanil?ElvenIntermediate Goddess
Labelas Enoreth?ElvenIntermediate God
Aerdrie Faenya?ElvenIntermediate Goddess
Erevan Ilesere?ElvenIntermediate God
Corellon Larethian?ElvenGreater God
Kiaransalee?DrowDemi-Goddess
Lolth?DrowIntermediate Goddess
Fenmarel Mestarine?ElvenLesser God
Rillifane RallathilElvenLesser God
Deep Sashelas?Sea ElvesLesser God
Sehanine?ElvenIntermediate Goddess
Solonor ThelandiraElvenIntermediate God
Vhaerun?DrowLesser God
NameReligionRanking

The elven race always looks to Corellon Larethian as their Creator. For a race which is often derided as over-gentle and almost effete, their establishment is always agreed to have originated in battle and strife. The archetypal tale told and retold to young elves across the worlds and milennia is that of the great battle of Corellon and Gruumsh One-Eye, the dreadful First Power of the orcish gods. From dawn to dusk combat raged across the battlefield, as the sweep of Corellon's glittering sword countered the corrosive black clouds from Gruumsh's torch and the swift thrusts of his spear. As the day waned, Gruumsh began to strengthen with the oncoming darkness and it seemed as if Corellon would perish. Finally, as dusk fell, Corellon looked up to the moon, and tears fell from it to mingle with his blood as he struck a final mighty blow against the overconfident orc and slashed Gruumshs face, destroying his left eye (the myths are often illogical here, for Gruumsh is usually referred to as "One-Eye" before this conflict; but myths are rarely consistent). Gruumsh screamed in agony, and was driven down by Corellon, to take refuge in darkness. The elven lord triumphed at the last. In some versions of the myth, Sehanine the Moon Goddess is held to be Corellon's consort, watching helplessly until dusk came and the moon began to rise, whereupon she could help him, distracting Gruumsh with illusions; more usually, Corellon triumphs alone.

Corellon is also held to have banished the dark elves (Drow) from the surface world, after the evil Lolth corrupted some of the elves. The existence of Drow is a source of shame to the surface elves, a counter to any excessive pride they may feel in theirs prowess and talents, and a moral tale for them (many elven myths stress the need to avoid overweening pride lest they be corrupted again). The corrupting evil without (Lolth) has no power without the seed of corruption within. Corellon's triumph over Lolth and the driving down of the Drow features as an epic massed battle in elven myth. As Corellon drove Lolth into the Underdark, the black clouds of obscurement generated by that hated spider-queen dissipated over the battlefield and allowed the light of the sun to bathe the hitherto darkened plains. The Drow fled in fear, to the dismal lands they now inhabit. Corellon is, to be sure, an artist and poet, a musician and bard, and a patron of magic; but he is ever the warrior. Elves do not forget this.

The other elven deities are always a tightly-knit grouping in elven myth. The precise details vary; for example, sometimes Sehanine is Corellon's consort, sometimes she is sister to Labelas Enoreth, god of time, and the daughter of Corellon. But the elven pantheon is always a harmonious one. All the gods and goddesses, referred to collectively as the Seldarine (a complex term meaning roughly, "the fellowship of brothers and sisters of the wood), live together in Arvandor, the "High Forest" on one of the planes of Olympus. They are held to be inter-related, although the details of this vary (as noted for Sehanine). Usually, they are held to be the offspring of Corellon, or born from archetypal/elemental souls/spirits of forests and woodlands. Elven myth can be complex and subtle on this issue. In at least some versions, Hanali Celanil, goddess of love and beauty, is held to have become emergent from the spiritual love of the ancient elves for each other and their homelands. Thus, spiritual and transcendent love is held to be the ground of being for a deity of love which is physical and aesthetic as well as spiritual. Such sophisticated beliefs are typical of the elven race.

Elven deities are unusual in being able to manifest as beings of either sex, and having distinctly androgynous qualities. They are, however, almost always represented in art and myth as having a definitely preferred gender form; thus, Hanali and Sehanine almost always choose female form while Labelas is usually male. Corellon, while being male, is always represented as having a strikingly androgynous beauty (as befits a Creator, incorporating male and female principles).

While many themes are reflected in elven pantheons, those of magic and nature predominate. Elven unity with life and nature is stressed to the point where the very boundary between elves and their environment is blurred. Thus Rillifane Rallathil is at one and the same time a giant oak tree and a green-skinned elf clad in bark armor. Deep Sashelas, of the seas, has a sea-green skin; Aerdrie Faenya is usually depicted as being the same shade of blue as the skies she rules. Erevan Ilesere’s many disguises include those of the trees and plants he so frequently hides amongst when he is up to some mischief or other.

Elven deities and theology always stress tolerance for other friendly and Good-died creatures, especially those who share the forests and woodlands of the elves, and the sylvan deities and their peoples. Again, this reflects the elves’ love of their lands and also their chaotic good nature, respecting every creature’s right to existence and the opportunity to live a good life. The pantheon detailed here is extensive, but also relevant are Rilliiane Rallathil the Leaflord, Deep Sashelasa and, of course, the hated powers of the Drow, including Lolth.

In summary, the Seldarine concern themselves with nature, magic, dancing and play, love and beauty, time, celestial events, arts and crafts, comedy and delight, chaos and mischief. Few if any represent law, underground phenomena, strife and hatred, darkness, or the love of war.

In this vein all priests of elven deities are expected to be vigilant against dark elves and orcs, and to be well disposed to other sylvan races.

Rankings

  • Greater God/Goddess
  • Intermediate God/Goddess
  • Lesser God/Goddess (up to 6th level spells)
  • Demi-God/Demi-Goddess (up to 5th level spells)
  • Saints (up to 3rd level spells, essentially Minor Access only)
  • Heroes (imbue with spell ability only)