Corellon Larethian

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Corellon Larethian
Game background
Title(s)

Creator of the Elves, the Protector, First of the Seldarine,

Protector and Preserver of Life, Ruler of All Elves, Coronal of Arvandor
Home plane Olympian Glades of Arborea (2e-3.5e)/Arvandor, the Verdant Isles (4e)
Power level Greater
Alignment Chaotic Good
Portfolio The Elven Race, Magic, Music, Arts, Crafts, Warfare, Poetry
Domains Chaos, Good, Protection, War
Superior none (Ao in the Forgotten Realms setting)
Design details

In the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game, Corellon Larethian is the leader of the elven pantheon, and the god of Magic, Music, Arts, Crafts, Poetry, and Warfare. Corellon is also considered a member of the default D&D pantheon. He is the creator and preserver of the elven race, and governs those things held in the highest esteem among elves. His symbol was originally a crescent moon prior, and in the 4th edition it is a silver star on a blue field.

Publication history[edit]

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st edition (1977–88)[edit]

Corellon Larethian was created by James M. Ward for the Deities and Demigods Cyclopedia (1980).[1]

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd edition (1989–1999)[edit]

Corellon Larethian was detailed in the book Monster Mythology (1992), including details about his priesthood.[2]

His role in the cosmology of the Planescape campaign setting was described in On Hallowed Ground (1996).[3]

Corellon received a very detailed description for his role in the Forgotten Realms in Demihuman Deities (1998).[4]

Corellon is described as one of the good deities that celestials can serve in the supplement Warriors of Heaven (1999).[5]

Dungeons & Dragons 3.0 edition (2000–2002)[edit]

Corellon Larethian appears as one of the deities described in the Players Handbook for this edition (2000).[6]

Corellon Larethian is detailed in Deities and Demigods (2002),[7] and his role in the Forgotten Realms is revisited in Faiths and Pantheons (2002).[8]

Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 edition (2003–2007)[edit]

Corellon Larethian appears in the revised Players Handbook for this edition (2003).[9] His priesthood is detailed for this edition in Complete Divine (2004).[10]

Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition (2008–)[edit]

Corellon appears as one of the deities described in the Players Handbook for this edition (2008). His alignment is listed in this edition as Unaligned. In 4th edition his symbol is a star. He is also the seasonal god of spring and the patron god of the eladrin.[11]

Corellon also appears in the Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide and Forgotten Realms Player's Guide as one of the Greater Deities of the Realms. This version of Corellon is Good (as opposed to Unaligned), and is more similar to earlier portrayals of the god. His consort is Angharradh, as the Faerunian version of Sehanine is revealed to be an aspect of Selûne.

Relationships[edit]

In many campaign settings, the elven pantheon of gods (also known as the Seldarine) consists of the leader Corellon Larethian, as well as Aerdrie Faenya, Deep Sashelas, Erevan Ilesere, Fenmarel Mestarine, Hanali Celanil, Labelas Enoreth, Rillifane Rallathil, Sehanine Moonbow, and Solonor Thelandira. Other elven gods may be present in different campaign settings.

Corellon is considered to be foremost among the Seldarine. His consort is Sehanine Moonbow. Some myths claim that Corellon gave birth to the rest of his pantheon in his female aspect, while others claim that he fathered them with Sehanine Moonbow. He raised Ye'Cind to the status of demigod by infusing him with a spark of his own power.

Gruumsh One-Eye, god of the orcs, is his greatest enemy, because Corellon took his eye in an ancient battle. The entire orc pantheon hates Corellon intensely. Corellon also opposes the deities of the goblinoids.

Corellon was also the one to banish the drow goddess Lolth (Araushnee in the Forgotten Realms setting) to the Abyss. For this, he can count all evil drow gods as enemies.

Because of his keen friendship with the Seelie Court, Corellon often finds himself at odds with the Queen of Air and Darkness. Corellon's truest friends are the rulers of the other demihuman pantheons: Moradin, Yondalla, and Garl Glittergold. Together, they work to ensure that the gods of the human and monstrous pantheons don't grow strong too quickly.

Corellon is also allied with Cyrrollalee, Ehlonna, Emmantiensien, Oberon, Pelor, Skerrit, and Titania.

Corellon is also on good terms with Vanathor, Bahamut's gold dragon advisor and bard.

In the Forgotten Realms, Corellon has most often been at odds with Cyric, Talos, Malar, and Moander.

With the 2004 publication of "The Complete Divine", Corellon Larethian added the domain of "Community" to his existing domains of Good, War, Protection and Chaos.

In 4th edition, Corellon is one of the "Four Free Gods", along with his bride Sehanine, Avandra and Melora. He is on good terms with Ioun (he is patron of arcane magic and she of its study), and is therefore a potential foe of Vecna. He maintains cordial relationships with the other seasonal gods, Pelor and the Raven Queen. His most hated enemies, of course, are Gruumsh and Lolth.

Realm[edit]

Corellon lives in the realm of Arvandor on the plane of Arborea. Also called Arvanaith in its role as the elven afterlife, Arvandor is said to have been taken from the gods of the giants after a lengthy war. Ruins of giant citadels still dot the land there. The elven gods are thought to have invaded from the plane of Ysgard, hungry for a realm of their own. The realm is a place of deep forests and fey beauty.

Corellon dwells in a magnificent tower of marble in the center of the realm. In Elven, it is called Gwyllachaightaeryll, the Many-Splendored. The art that decorates the tower's many rooms is constantly changing. Only the central throne room is a constant.

Dogma[edit]

Corellon desires to protect and preserve the elven race, return to his people their lost artistic heritage, and to thwart the schemes of the drow and the orcs. This also means guarding against the corruption within that resulted in the creation of the drow. Corellon advises his faithful to guard against stagnation as well, continually seeking out new experiences. They seek to bring out beauty through art, craft, and magic.

Corellon is surprisingly humble, for a regent of his stature.

Worshippers[edit]

Elves, and half-elves (as well as many bards) worship Corellon. He favors those who kill orcs and the followers of Lolth. He blesses those who aid others. He is upset at those who defile the dead, or flee from their foes.

Clergy[edit]

Corellon's clerics wear silver circlets and gossamer robes of the brightest azure. They often wear blue cloaks. His favored weapon is the longsword.

Fellowship of the Forgotten Flower[edit]

The Fellowship of the Forgotten Flower is a loosely structured organization made of elven knights dedicated to the recovery of lost elven relics from long-abandoned elven realms. Members must be elven warriors or elven paladins.

Seekers of the Misty Isle[edit]

The Seekers of the Misty Isle are an elite order of elves dedicated to finding the Misty Isle which was whisked away by the deities Gruumsh and Kurtulmak.[10]

Temples[edit]

In large elven cities such as Enstad, temples to Corellon Larethian may be alabaster wonders with soaring spires. In smaller communities, they may be built among the branches of a large tree such as an ipp. Most temples are happy to lend aid to traveling elves and any other race that plans to do harm to the drow.

Holy Days[edit]

Most of Corellon's holy days are tied to celestial events and occur only once every few years or decades.

Once per month, when Luna is at its quarter phase, followers of Corellon gather in moonlit glades for a ceremony known as Lateu'quor, the Forest Communion of the Crescent Moon. There, they praise their Creator through song and dance and offerings of beautiful art. The art is not destroyed; sometimes it is physically transferred to the Upper Planes for elves to enjoy in the afterlife, while other times it is used to decorate Corellon's temples. Sometimes the very landscape of the glade is reshaped into a work of art.

Once per year, on the fourth of Richfest, the holiday of Agelong is celebrated. Elves hunt for orcs to slay in memory of Corellon's battle against the god of the orcs, Gruumsh.

Rituals[edit]

Corellon Larethian is worshipped at natural geological formations. His rituals are integrated with the major events of elven life, such as births, coming of age rites, weddings, and funerals.

Prayers to Corellon, which are always in Elvish, begin "Hei-Corellon shar-shelevu," which means, "Corellon, by your grace grant..." Before battle, worshippers of Corellon recite a prayer called the Litany of Arrows.

Campaign settings[edit]

Forgotten Realms[edit]

Following the War of the Spider Queen series, Lisa Smedman's Lady Penitent trilogy continues the story of drow in the Forgotten Realms.

In book 1, Sacrifice of the Widow, Eilistraee slays Vhaeraun and acquires his portfolio and thus many of his priests. Cavatina Xarann, a Darksong Knight, recovers the Crescent Blade and uses it to slay Selvetarm, Lolth's champion.

In book 2, Storm of the Dead, Vhaeraun's clergy have been warily accepted into Eilistraee's faith, and the goddess now is known as the Masked Lady. A small faction of Vhaeraun's remaining clerics believe that, instead, Vhaeraun slew Eilistraee and is masquerading as her. A mixed force of Eilistraee's Protectors, Nightshadows and drow wizards go on a raid on the main temple of Kiaransalee, the drow death goddess. High magic is used to erase Kiaransalee's name from memory, causing the goddess' death from lack of worship. Qilué, uncharacteristically, orders the slaughter of the helpless former cultists of Kiaransalee.

In book 3, Ascendancy of the Last, the Promenade is beset by the cultists and oozes of Ghaunadaur. The attackers have been baited by uncontented Nightshadows and the Balor, Wendonai, acting through the Crescent Blade and Qilué. In the ensuing battle the Promenade and the followers of Eilistraee are almost annihilated and Ghaunadaur's followers are rendered feebleminded. Qilué and Eilistraee try to save the entire drow race from Wendonai's taint but fail and are both beheaded by Halisstra Melarn. Meanwhile Q'arlynd Melarn succeeds in re-transforming the descendants of Miyeritar and followers of Eilistraee from drow to dark elves, whereafter Corellon Larethian takes this new elven subrace under his protection.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ward, James and Robert Kuntz. Deities and Demigods (TSR, 1980)
  2. ^ Sargent, Carl. Monster Mythology (TSR, 1992)
  3. ^ McComb, Colin. On Hallowed Ground (TSR, 1996)
  4. ^ Boyd, Eric L. Demihuman Deities (TSR, 1998)
  5. ^ Perkins, Christopher. Warriors of Heaven (TSR, 1999)
  6. ^ Tweet, Jonathan, Cook, Monte, Williams, Skip. Player's Handbook (Wizards of the Coast, 2000)
  7. ^ Redman, Rich, Skip Williams, and James Wyatt. Deities and Demigods (Wizards of the Coast, 2002)
  8. ^ Boyd, Eric L, and Erik Mona. Faiths and Pantheons (Wizards of the Coast, 2002).
  9. ^ Tweet, Jonathan, Cook, Monte, Williams, Skip. Player's Handbook (Wizards of the Coast, 2003)
  10. ^ a b Noonan, David. Complete Divine (Wizards of the Coast, 2004)
  11. ^ Heinsoo, Rob, Andy Collins, and James Wyatt. Player's Handbook. (Wizards of the Coast, 2008)

Additional reading[edit]

  • McComb, Colin. The Complete Book of Elves. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1992.
  • Moore, Roger E. "The Elven Point of View." Dragon #60. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1982.
  • Races of the Wild
  • Dragon magazine #283 – "Do-It-Yourself Deities"
  • Living Greyhawk Journal no. 3 – "Gods of Oerth"