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PostSubject: The Elven Pantheon--An Overview   The Elven Pantheon--An Overview Icon_minitimeSat Oct 10, 2009 3:59 pm

The Elven Faith-The Mantle of Light

What distinguishes the Elven Faith from the many other faiths in the world is the fact that the elves believe the Gods they worship, The Gods of Light, are their ancestors. This fact is reflected by the Elven word for God, Ancestor, and Father--A'phim. Indeed, the Elves often view their Gods to be more akin to Saints than actual "Gods". With this comes a more traditional ancestor worship among the Elves, as well as well as a worship of great figures in Elven past.

While the Elves respect and follow the teachings of the Gods, they do not worship them as omniscient, omnipotent beings, to be worshiped just for themselves-- they believe that both the gods and themselves serve as protectors and embodiments of the light.

The Elves say that, in the beginning of all things, Ao created the Gods to protect and serve the light, acting as guardians over individual aspects of the light, and to purge all traces of darkness from creation. However, the Elves say, some of the Gods waned in their duties, and fell to the temptation to the darkness. Eventually, these once stalwart protectors of the Light were warped and corrupted into servants of Darkness, and began an everlasting war against the Light. Upon the discovery of the mortal realm, it is said, many hundreds of lesser Gods were sent to defend it from the darkness, and, sure enough, great battles that warped the very existence of the mortal realm, dubbed Aeria, were fought. Eventually it is said that the Light was victorious, and set to cultivate this new realm. Yet, the servants of Darkness struck back through manipulation and treachery, and slowly but surely stripped away their godhood, leaving them mortal. Thus, the Elves call themselves the "Sera'phim", or, that which was once a God.

Even with the curse that shortens their lifespans ever and ever more, the Elves have pledged themselves to the duty that was once given them; the protection of the mortal realm. Thus, they hold themselves as upholders of the Mantle of Light in the mortal realm, believing it is their duty to purge and defend Aeria from Darkness and to spread and cultivate the aspects of the light, eventually bringing all into service of the light.

Elves and the Gods

The Elves worship three "Main" Gods as well as four "Interwoven" gods, each corresponding with an Elven Virtue, that which they believe are the main aspects of the Light--Nature, Justice, Love, and the Cultivation of Order and Civilization--Lathander, God of Spring, Chauntea, God of Summer, Akadi, God of Fall, and Glacios, God of Winter; Tyr, God of Justice;Sune, God of Love;Oghma, God of Knowledge.

The Elves pay patron to a number of Gods, and each God has their own Order devoted to the ideals of the God--Some are very integrated and important in Elven Culture; For Example, the Order devoted to Tyr serves in a large part as the judicial system of the Ahdsurian Isles.

The Elves also respect a number of gods of Darkness, particularly those that aided them in their fight for the mortal realm, such as Mystra, God of The Weave, and Selune, God of the Night. In addition, the Elves respect the rest of the Dark Gods as "Mistaken Siblings", and hope that they might one day return to service of the Light. Only one God is truly held as abhorrent to the Elves--Cyric, God of Murder and Madness.

Elves and Other Pantheons

What has been noted among many scholars is that several faiths around the world seem to have sprung from the Elven Faith--For example, it is believed, somewhat controversially, that Elven colonists and missionaries were responsible for the spread and subsequent Tyriocentric Religion of the Northern Mainland. Indeed, the Elven "List" of Gods is the most commonly accepted and worshiped around the world,springing from it a number of Orders and Faiths devoted to a single God.
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