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Game background
Title(s) The Prince of Swords
Home plane Oerth
Power level Hero-deity
Alignment Neutral
Portfolio Swords, Sword Skills, Balance
Domains Travel, War
Superior unknown
Design details

In the World of Greyhawk campaign setting for the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game, Kelanen is the hero-deity of Swords, Sword Skills, and Balance. Possibly the most popular hero-deity in the Flanaess, Kelanen's symbol is nine swords arrayed in a star shape, points outward.

Publication history[edit]

Kelanen was created by Gary Gygax.[citation needed]

Kelanen appears as one of the assembled lords of Balance in Gary Gygax's novel Come Endless Darkness.[citation needed]

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

Kelanen was first detailed for the Dungeons & Dragons game in "Greyhawk's World: Quasi-deities" by Gary Gygax in Dragon #71 (1983).[1] Kelanen was subsequently detailed in the World of Greyhawk Fantasy Game Setting (1983).[2]

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

Kelanen appeared in Greyhawk: The Adventure Begins (1998).[3] Kelanen also appeared in the sourcebook Slavers (2000).[4]


Kelanen is traditionally depicted as a fair-skinned human male bearing a silvery scar on the right side of his face, though he can appear in any humanoid form. His true form is slender and sinewy, just under six feet in height. He wears elfin chain mail and prefers garments of gray or blue-gray, wearing ornaments of silver or platinum.

Kelanen is always accompanied by his intelligent swords, Swiftdoom and Sureguard.


Kelanen temporarily allied himself with Zagig Yragerne, Keoghtom, Heward, and Murlynd in order to bind Iuz beneath Castle Greyhawk, and therefore bears Iuz's eternal enmity. Kelanen has no real friends or confidants, however, apart from his swords.


Kelanen has a demiplanar stronghold, but is usually found on the Prime Material Plane, either on Oerth or some parallel world as the adventure takes him.


Kelanen is obsessed with all types of swords, as well as preserving the balance between Law, Chaos, Good, and Evil (the "Four Dooms"). He has been known to aid any of these alignments in order to centralize the balance of power. He encourages the mastery of swordsmanship among all his followers, and warns them to avoid all extremes.


Kelanen is worshiped throughout the Flanaess, especially in the Hold of the Sea Princes, the Wild Coast, and neighboring lands. His worshippers can be of any alignment.


Kelanen's priests are forbidden from using any weapon that isn't classified as some sort of sword (including falchions, rapiers, scimitars, and two-bladed swords), dagger, or crossbow. The vast majority of his priests are neutral, for those with adherence to any other alignment are seen as having no regard for his teachings.

Priests of Kelanen practice their sword skills assiduously and spend much of their time teaching others. They work to support the cosmic Balance, making temporary alliances with groups of every alignment and breaking the alliances when they are no longer perceived as being needed.

The Order of the Star[edit]

The Order of the Star, named for Kelanen's holy symbol, is an organization that spans the western nations of the Flanaess. Its members honor the Prince of Swords and seek to personify his teachings.


The Chapterhouse of the Star is the headquarters of the Order of the Star in Istivin. Most were slain defending the city against giants, and it is currently under the charge of the aged swordsman Baldram, who has been training a new generation to replace the old.

A temple to Kelanen once existed in Elredd, but it was destroyed by followers of Turrosh Mak. Wrathful at this affront, Kelanen has dispatched his priestess Fina Fen Kela to rid Elredd of Turrosh Mak's humanoids and rebuild his temple. Kelanen views Turrosh Mak's hordes as an unbalancing presence on the Wild Coast.

Rituals and holy days[edit]

The Tocsin of Kelanen is a swordmeet held annually during Brewfest in the County of Cryllor in Keoland. Participants from throughout the Sheldomar Valley gather to display their skill, adding considerably to the coffers of Cryllor's count Ignas Manz in the process.

Myths and legends[edit]

Kelanen is said to have wrested the now-lost blade Fragarach the Answerer from the hands of an alien god. He is also said to have discovered the location of three magical blades known as the Pillars of Heaven. Kelanen created the renowned Swords of Answering, upon which his holy symbol is based.

The Prince of Swords also once possessed the sword Vilharian, having won it in a duel from the hero Sellanus.


Kelanen is an ancient being of unknown race and origin, having been around since at least the Great Migrations. He only recently crossed the boundary between quasi-deity and hero-deity, however, having gained the ability to grant spells to his clerics only in the last century.


  1. ^ Gygax, Gary. "Greyhawk's World: Quasi-deities." Dragon #71 (TSR, 1983)
  2. ^ Gygax, Gary. World of Greyhawk Fantasy Game Setting (TSR, 1983)
  3. ^ Moore, Roger E. Greyhawk: The Adventure Begins (TSR, 1998)
  4. ^ Reynolds, Sean K, and Chris Pramas. Slavers (TSR, 2000)

Additional reading[edit]