|Forgotten Realms Deity|
|Portfolio||Spring, dawn, birth, renewal, creativity, youth, vitality, self-perfection, athletics|
|Domains||Good, Nobility, Protection, Renewal, Strength, Sun|
Lathander, 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 to 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.
Practice of faithEdit
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 a wake that lasts 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 heresyEdit
Some followers of Lathander insist that he is in fact the reincarnation of Amaunator, the Netherese god of the sun. Others take this heresy further, claiming that he will take up the mantle of the lawful neutral Amaunator again, and that the transformation from deity of the morning to sun god is imminent. This also makes reference to an extremely similar Deity in the Greyhawk campaign setting; Pelor, the Sun God. Considering the fact 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 to Abeir-Toril along with the human race, having been enslaved by the ancient Imaskarian Empire.
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, Selune, Oghma and Mielikki. His foes are Cyric, Talos and Shar.
- Boyd, Eric L, and Erik Mona. Faiths and Pantheons (Wizards of the Coast, 2002).
- Martin, Julia, and Eric L Boyd. Faiths & Avatars (TSR, 1996).