The Land of Dungeons and Dragons
THE SYLPH OF SPACE
Deathless One, the Mother of Monsters, the Lady Below, All-Mother
ALIGNMENT: True Neutral
PORTFOLIO: Neutrality, Undeath, Necessity, Motherhood
DOMAINS: Death, Life
FAVORED WEAPON: Sawtooth Sabre(Longsword)
THE SYLPH OF SPACE is a goddess who seeks accord wherever it can be negotiated; where care is needed she gives it, offering the chance of redemption to those who have been forsaken by all others- or bloody vengeance to those who betray her trust.
Those who worship the Sylph hail her as the mother of all beings, great and noble to small and mean. Whether they love her or fear her, those who acknowledge her agree that she cares for all her children, but most of all those who are in need of love. Some call her the Goddess of Monsters, but her supporters argue that this is a misrepresentation as anyone may claim her care.
PANTHEONS AND RELATIONSHIPS
The Sylph of Space appears in the worship of two different pantheons as well as individually.
In the PANTHEON OF BLOOD, she is the quiet councilor and usually the least confrontational of the gods- yet when she perceives a threat to her fellows, she becomes the incarnation of death itself. Her closest ties are to the KNIGHT OF BLOOD, but it is said that the moons are her children and that she loves them above all else.
Within the STARWALKERS, a pantheon whose worship has faded in all but a few lands, she is the caretaker and mother of the other gods, with the exception of the BARD OF RAGE whom she hates for killing her children. She spares him only out of affection for the KNIGHT OF BLOOD, who has long been her friend and trusted comrade. Her relationship with the SEER OF LIGHT is also close, as either sisters or lovers depending on the priest consulted.
Alone, she is widely worshiped as a mother goddess, and not just by elvenkind. Many cults also hold her to be a goddess of vengeance and protection, and undead such as vampires and liches commonly maintain a shrine to her as the patron of their “second birth”. She shares many legends and tales with both the SEER OF LIGHT- as a sister or lover- and with the KNIGHT OF BLOOD- as a friend or motherly figure to the wandering god. Interestingly, a figure resembling her appears in many legends of the lunar cults- most especially those of ANTARES, as a sister or lover, and SADALMELIK as the vengeful hunter of that moon’s Lord.
As an antagonist to other pantheons or deities, she is the bringer of monsters or of hunters, the shadowy danger lurking beneath the surface of the world and the curse of undeath. It is said that the Deep Caverns are her doing, and that she protects them fiercely. The only deity for whom she provides any consistent opposition is the BARD OF RAGE, whom she attempts to hunt through several legends. Rarely does she present as antagonist to the KNIGHT OF BLOOD or SEER OF LIGHT in their individual legends.
APPEARANCE AND EMISSARIES
The Sylph of Space is most commonly depicted as a tiefling, drow or merrow, with images split between living and vampiric depictions. She is shown shining with a pale light and surrounded by other beings- usually new members of whatever species the image was created for, although sometimes plants are shown. She may often be depicted pregnant and wearing jade green, and is often shown in extreme environments- burning deserts, blackened caverns, and frozen wastes to name but a few.
The Sylph favors no creature over any others, but any creature of the world may become her eyes and ears should she wish it unless they carry the protection of another deity.
This ancient lich is the stuff of legend in her own right; said to have been spurned by a wizard in centuries past, she mastered the arcane arts and invented the dark and profane art of attaining lichdom. Whether in regret or in search of more power, she turned to worship of the Sylph, and is said to be the most powerful cleric of the goddess on all the planes. It is claimed that she sits at the heart of a network of undead cults- but as no-one has been able to see her in generations, it is impossible to be certain.
According to legend, if one descends far enough into the Deep Caverns it is possible to find one’s way to the Center of the World. There, in a vast cavern, lie the roots of a mighty tree and three veiled women. If this trinity can be suitably impressed, perhaps by the accomplishment of a quest, the Goddess herself will appear and grant a boon.
Temples of the Sylph are nearly always present in Drow cities, but her cults are strong across the world and every large population houses at least one of her places of worship. Former Aelfen lands in particular favor her solo worship, although this is balanced by some distaste for her presence in the lands where faith in the PAGE OF HOPE is strongest.
WORSHIPERS AND CLERGY
Clerics of the Sylph of Space are True Neutral, Neutral Good, Neutral Evil, Lawful Neutral, or Chaotic Neutral.
Followers of the Sylph are drawn from all walks of life, places and species, but what they most often have in common is a need for love, acceptance and protection that is not being met. Orphans and monsters alike turn to her in need, and stay where they are welcomed.
The clergy of the Sylph are a fairly even split of Clerics, and Oracles; the former are usual in places with an organised Temple and hierarchy, while the latter are often gifted in places where the Goddess sees a need for her influence.
TEMPLES AND SHRINES
Temples of the Sylph are underground, buried in caves, cellars or basements. They are nonetheless brightly lit wherever possible, and filled with living creatures both plant and animal. Her altars are often constructed for blood sacrifice, as the Goddess appreciates such offerings; as a result, her clergy often possess heavy aprons in addition to immaculately tailored robes.
The holy texts of the Temple of Space are most usually stories of the Goddess, told in the manner of a fireside tale. These are supplemented by practical texts written by generations of followers on whatever matters their particular hierarchy held most dear, but these secondary tomes are not considered to be holy so much as revered for their collected wisdom.
The Tale Of Moons
This story helps to link certain disparate aspects of worship between the Sylph, the Lunar Cults and the BARD OF RAGE, by laying out a rough narrative for the birth, lives and deaths of the Sylph’s children. It is thus popular with religious scholars, although somewhat less so amongst ordinary folk.
The Courtship Of Light And Shade
An entire cycle of tales involving the Sylph and the SEER OF LIGHT, covering many minor legends as well as entire stories that seem to have been lifted almost verbatim from THE TALE OF SKAIA. Nonetheless, they weave together well, and taken in tandem with that other illustrious book it can be noted that no contradictions are to be found.
C’gof’nn C’grah’nn Lw’nafh’nafl Nglui Shugg Ch’shagg’nafl
This grimoire, cast out from the Church of Light, has found a home in many of the more darkly inclined cults of the Sylph. It seems to have been the main source for much of the COURTSHIP OF LIGHT AND SHADE, along with local folk myths.
Cults and temples of the Sylph celebrate Births and marriages, as well as recovery from illness or injury, in addition to their own holy days.
There are six moons, and each of them has its own associated custom when full for the first time in a given year. ANTARES is celebrated with the giving of money as gifts and scavenger hunts; ALDEBARAN by adoption of both pets and orphans. SADALMELIK is marked by tournaments and parades, while ALRESCHA is a time for charity and healing. For RUKBAT the celebrations often include displays and exhibitions, while for REGULUS hunting and feasting is the tradition.
Whenever it comes about that all six moons are new at once- a moderately rare occurrence- followers of the Sylph will spend the day sealed indoors, clad in black. It is a solemn time, and a fearful one, when the Goddess stalks the world wrathful and nothing is to be forgiven.