Lathander

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Lathander
Game background
Title(s) The Morninglord
Home plane 2E: Morninglory (Elysium)
3E: Morning Glory
Power level Greater
Alignment Neutral Good
Portfolio Spring, dawn, birth, renewal, creativity, youth, vitality, self-perfection, athletics
Domains Good, Nobility, Protection, Renewal, Strength, Sun
Design details

Lathander (/ləˈθændər/ lə-THAN-dər),[1] the Morninglord, is a fictional deity of the Forgotten Realms Dungeons & Dragons campaign setting devised by Ed Greenwood. He also plays a role in the Ravenloft setting (but is always called the Morninglord there, not by his proper name).

God of spring, dawn, birth, renewal, creativity, youth, vitality, self-perfection and athletics, his domains are good, nobility, protection, renewal, strength, and sun. He requires his followers to be of neutral or good alignment.

Lathander favours those who dispel the undead and aid others. He blesses those who plant new life.

Many followers of Lathander work in various creative arts, such as music, painting, entertaining, and the creation of works of fine art. Lathander is also the god called upon to bless birth- and fertility-related ceremonies.

Novice clerics in the Lathanderian faith are called the Awakened, and they gain the title of Dawnbringer upon becoming full priests. In ascending order of rank, the titles in general use by the Dawnbringers are Dawngreeter, Dawnlord (the church does not use feminine form of titles often), High Dawnlord, Dawnmaster, Morninglord, High Morninglord, Morningmaster, High Morningmaster, and Sunrise Lord.

Publication history[edit]

Ed Greenwood created Lathander for his home Dungeons & Dragons game, set in the Forgotten Realms world.[2]

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st edition (1977-1988)[edit]

Lathander first appeared within Dungeons & Dragons as one of the deities featured in Ed Greenwood's article "Down-to-earth Divinity" in Dragon #54 (October 1981). Lathander is introduced as God of the Morning, the god of spring, dawn, conception, vitality, eternal youth, renewal, self-perfection, and beginnings; he is the neutral good greater god from the plane of Elysium. Lathander is described as appearing as "a rosy radiance or mist, usually on a hauntingly beautiful morning", and the article states that "Offerings are often made to Lathander by those who worship other deities upon the occasion of a new beginning, the formation of a fellowship or alliance, and similar happenings." Lathander's alliances among the gods are detailed: "Chauntea and Lathander work together, and often do so in alliance with Silvanus and his gods ... against The Gods of Fury." Lathander is commonly worshipped by neutral good thieves and clerics, and by characters working as leeches, surgeons, midwives, poets, artists, scribes, and farmers.[2]

Lathander later officially appeared as one of the major deities for the Forgotten Realms campaign setting, in the Forgotten Realms Campaign Set's "Cyclopedia of the Realms" booklet (1987).[1]

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

Lathander was described in the hardback Forgotten Realms Adventures (1990),[3] the revised Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting (1993) in the "Running the Realms" booklet,[4] and Faiths & Avatars (1996).[5] His clergy was further detailed in Warriors and Priests of the Realms (1996),[6] and Prayers from the Faithful (1997).[7]

His role in the cosmology of the Planescape campaign setting was described in On Hallowed Ground (1996).[8]

His relationships with the nonhuman deities in the Forgotten Realms was covered in Demihuman Deities (1998).[9]

Lathander is described as one of the good deities that celestials can serve in the supplement Warriors of Heaven (1999).[10]

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

Lathander appears as one of the major deities of the Forgotten Realms setting again, in Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting (2001),[11] and is further detailed in Faiths and Pantheons (2002).[12]

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

The possibility of Lathander being a reincarnation or an aspect of the god Amaunator was discussed in Lost Empires of Faerûn (2005).[13]

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

In the 4th edition Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide, Lathander is described as one of the gods who imprisoned Cyric in the Supreme Throne as punishment for his murder of Mystra. In the chaos following Mystra's death and Cyric's imprisonment, Netheril was restored, which prompted the revelation that Lathander was, in fact, Amaunator, god of the sun. Amaunator has reclaimed his full suite of powers and his original mission, effectively ending Lathander's stint as a deity. He fondly remembers his time as Lathander, however, and encourages some of his clergy, the Morninglords, to keep Lathander's message of hope and optimism alive.[14]

Practice of faith[edit]

Most ceremonies of Lathander are held at dawn and actions and contracts agreed to at sunrise are said to be blessed by him. Funerals among his followers are held at dusk, and followed by wakes that last until dawn.

The church of Lathander sponsors a small restricted order of paladins and fighters called The Order of the Aster.

The charge given to most novice postulants to the faith is:

Strive always to aid, to foster new hope, new ideas, and new prosperity for all humankind and its allies. Perfect thyself, and guard ever against pride, for it is a sacred duty to foster new growth, nurture growing things, and work for rebirth and renewal. Be fertile in mind and in body. Consider always the consequences of thine actions so that the least effort may bring the greatest and best reward. Wherever you go, sow seeds of plants, tend the growing things you find, and plant seeds of hope, new ideas, and plans for a rosy future in the minds of all. Whenever possible, see each dawn.

Lathander's dogma is filled with stories of optimism and perseverance. It is important to feel good about an upcoming event or else it will naturally go awry through negative thinking. Favorite sayings of Lathander include:

From death, life.
There is always another morning.
In the dawn, beauty reigns, and the way is clearer.

Far more importance is placed on acting in the service of Lathander by helping, encouraging, and aiding than in strict adherence to rituals, rules, and the dictates of superior clergy.

Death is considered a reward for the clerics because they are "going to Lathander" in the afterlife. Most clerics are not raised unless they are needed to finish a task.

Followers of Lathander seek to build anew and to rebuild. They seek to make lands more productive and push civilization to improve itself through interracial harmony, cooperation, pursuit of the arts and progress.

The Risen Sun heresy[edit]

Some followers of Lathander insisted that he was in fact the reincarnation of Amaunator, the Netherese god of the sun. Others took this heresy further, claiming that he would take up the mantle of the lawful neutral Amaunator again, and that the transformation from deity of the morning to sun god was imminent. This ultimately proved to be true, as Lathander has now come to call himself Amaunator.

This also makes reference to an extremely similar Deity in the Greyhawk campaign setting: Pelor, the Sun God. Considering that Pelor is the chief (though not official) Deity of humans in his realm, it is not entirely unlikely that The Morninglord is an incarnation of Pelor, having migrated to Abeir-Toril along with the human race, having been enslaved by the ancient Imaskarian Empire.

Relationships[edit]

Lathander is known to have had an on and off romantic relationship with Chauntea for centuries. His other allies are Gond, Tymora, Tyr, Torm, Ilmater, Sune, Selûne, Oghma and Mielikki. His foes are Cyric, Talos and Shar.

4th edition[edit]

Amaunator's allies and enemies have changed little since his days as Lathander: Siamorphe, the minor goddess of human nobility, serves as his exarch, while Waukeen, the goddess of commerce, has relocated her Great Marketplace to Eternal Sun, Amaunator's Astral Dominion.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Ed Greenwood, Jeff Grubb and Karen S. Martin (1987). Forgotten Realms Campaign Set. Wizard of the Coast. ISBN 0-88038-472-7. 
  2. ^ a b Ed Greenwood, Dragon magazine #54 - "Down-to-earth divinity" (October 1981)
  3. ^ Grubb, Jeff and Ed Greenwood. Forgotten Realms Adventures (TSR, 1990)
  4. ^ Ed Greenwood (1993). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting. ASIN B000K06S2E. 
  5. ^ Martin, Julia, and Eric L Boyd. Faiths & Avatars (TSR, 1996)
  6. ^ Terra, John. Warriors and Priests of the Realms (TSR, 1996)
  7. ^ Greenwood, Ed and Stewart, Doug. Prayers from the Faithful (TSR, 1997)
  8. ^ McComb, Colin. On Hallowed Ground (TSR, 1996)
  9. ^ Boyd, Eric L. Demihuman Deities (TSR, 1998)
  10. ^ Perkins, Christopher. Warriors of Heaven (TSR, 1999)
  11. ^ Ed Greenwood et al. (2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting. Wizard of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5. 
  12. ^ Boyd, Eric L, and Erik Mona. Faiths and Pantheons (Wizards of the Coast, 2002)
  13. ^ Baker, Richard, Ed Bonny, and Travis Stout. Lost Empires of Faerûn (Wizards of the Coast, 2005)
  14. ^ Heinsoo, Rob, Logan Bonner, and Robert J. Schwalb. Forgotten Realms Player's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast, 2008)