Letter: Citadel Library



  • Greetings and Salutations,

    I have seen your posters about treasuring lore and so forth and that of accepting contributions to the Library. I have enclosed a document for consideration. The subject is that of an examination of the teachings of the Morninglord, and how the common man can understand what each tenet means. It is my hope that such a tome is acceptable of the Library's standards.

    I recommend the title of "Radiance: An Examination of Lathanderite Beliefs".

    Firstly, let us examine the teachings of the Church in its whole form, before closer scrutiny.

    "The Morninglord stands for new beginnings and ideas, innovation and artistic expression, renewal and self-perfection, birth and fertility, creativity and vitality, youth and athleticism, and dawn and spring. He abhors undeath and desires to see it destroyed, and is a fierce foe of evil and the tolerance of evil. Be as Lathander.

    Support new beginnings of all sorts, be they lives, businesses, ideas, fashions, art, or ways of doing things. Scorn not old art in favor of the new, for all art is expression that stirs new thinking in those who work it and those who behold it. Plant seeds and seedlings, and make common cause with the clergy of Chauntea.

    Sow hope even more often than you sow seeds. Greet each dawn personally, so as to be closest to Lathander and so as to drink in the bright hope that every sunrise brings. Helping others and instilling hope are more important than laws, rules, and adherence to authority."

    Beginning with "The Morninglord stands for new beginnings and ideas, innovation and artistic expression, renewal and self-perfection, birth and fertility, creativity and vitality, youth and athleticism, and dawn and spring.", what does this mean?

    It means that new beginnings, creation and ideas are what Lathander stands for the most. Innovation, artistic expression are things that, much like the Wise God, Lathander prizes above most other aspects of life. Renewal and self-perfection go hand in hand with this ethos. This can be anything, from an old injury healing and rejuvenated to a scribe constantly writing, editing and revising his work all honor and promote Lathander's beliefs. Creativity in all its forms, from devising a new manner to sing a song, to repurposing old construction materials for new uses.

    Youth and athleticism are fairly self-explanatory, the young are the future and should always be cared for and taught the ways of Lathander. Being athletic ensures one is always fit for the task, no matter whether caring for a child or fighting to defend one's life and others.

    The dawn and spring are eternal. When night is darkest, the hope and promise of a new dawn from Lathander is brightest, leading to never ending rebirth. Abhorrence of the undead and their destruction is of utmost priority and often goes hand in hand with evil itself. Their removal from this world and rest granted unto them should be of the highest priority!

    Lathander himself furthermore hates the tolerance of evil and opposes it in its many forms. We should aspire to be as him in many fields. Yet, Lathander finds the redemption of evil itself to be quite lofty and in accordance with his beliefs of all things capable of rebirth, even those thought to be beyond goodness.

    The second passage is "Support new beginnings of all sorts, be they lives, businesses, ideas, fashions, art, or ways of doing things. Scorn not old art in favor of the new, for all art is expression that stirs new thinking in those who work it and those who behold it. Plant seeds and seedlings, and make common cause with the clergy of Chauntea."

    All new beginnings, if not in blasphemy to Lathander, should be supported. A new life after setbacks, new businesses after failures of prior, ideas after discardment of old, fashions upon old no longer holding appeal. Art after past lack of improvement and innovations of old methods. All of these are under the auspices and aegis of the Morninglord, regardless of who one chooses to hold faith in.

    Old art should not be scorned however, as the old often influences the new! As Lathander says, all art is expression fostering creativity and renewal in one's mind, body and soul. Beauty often is in the eye of the beholder, yet this goes to one's very consciousness. Lastly, the planting of seeds, seedlings and common cause making with Chauntea's faithful and clergy is self-explanatory for the most part.

    Yet, for sake of education; the Grain Goddess is Lathander's consort, as such she promotes things pleasing to him, thusly Lathander charging the faithful to aid them. The planting of seeds and seedlings boslters her as well as Lathander.

    And the last passage is "Sow hope even more often than you sow seeds. Greet each dawn personally, so as to be closest to Lathander and so as to drink in the bright hope that every sunrise brings. Helping others and instilling hope are more important than laws, rules, and adherence to authority."

    To sow hope is one of the greatest things. Lathander himself is the paragon of hope and optimism, one is capable of being close to him by adhering to greeting the dawn, taking in the beginnings of a new day and what each sunrise brings.

    Benevolence, kindness and hope to those who seek it regardless is more important than following laws or orders. Doing good as per what one's conscience says is far more appealing to Lathander than refusing to do good, citing bureaucracy.
    Above all, one should bear in mind the most important tenet to "Be as Lathander".

    As stated earlier, one should aspire to be as him in many fields of life. But it can be summed up easily as: oppose the undead and evil, be hopeful and always show mercy to those who ask, and do good as your conscience dictates.

    That is what it means to be as Lathander.

    Many thanks for your consideration in advance.

    Claudia Belmont
    Priestess of Lathander


  • Admin [DM]

    Priestess,

    A most interesting piece of research, we would however like some edits before publishing. Firstly, holy sights of Lathander within Cormyr to support your ideals would be most excellent, perhaps some reference work as well to other fine tomes in regards of Lathander and his followers. Once the edits are complete, you're welcome to forward it to me personally.

    Signed,
    Head Librarian Tonald Sigermane



  • Head Librarian,

    Enclosed, you will find a revised document. It has been expanded, I recommend the new title of "Radiance: Lathander's History in Cormyr", a detailing of Lathander's presence within the country.

    SECTION ONE: Translation of Teachings

    Firstly, let us examine the teachings of the Church in its whole form, before closer scrutiny.

    "The Morninglord stands for new beginnings and ideas, innovation and artistic expression, renewal and self-perfection, birth and fertility, creativity and vitality, youth and athleticism, and dawn and spring. He abhors undeath and desires to see it destroyed, and is a fierce foe of evil and the tolerance of evil. Be as Lathander.

    Support new beginnings of all sorts, be they lives, businesses, ideas, fashions, art, or ways of doing things. Scorn not old art in favor of the new, for all art is expression that stirs new thinking in those who work it and those who behold it. Plant seeds and seedlings, and make common cause with the clergy of Chauntea.

    Sow hope even more often than you sow seeds. Greet each dawn personally, so as to be closest to Lathander and so as to drink in the bright hope that every sunrise brings. Helping others and instilling hope are more important than laws, rules, and adherence to authority."

    Beginning with "The Morninglord stands for new beginnings and ideas, innovation and artistic expression, renewal and self-perfection, birth and fertility, creativity and vitality, youth and athleticism, and dawn and spring.", what does this mean?

    It means that new beginnings, creation and ideas are what Lathander stands for the most. Innovation, artistic expression are things that, much like the Wise God, Lathander prizes above most other aspects of life. Renewal and self-perfection go hand in hand with this ethos. This can be anything, from an old injury healing and rejuvenated to a scribe constantly writing, editing and revising his work all honor and promote Lathander's beliefs. Creativity in all its forms, from devising a new manner to sing a song, to repurposing old construction materials for new uses.

    Youth and athleticism are fairly self-explanatory, the young are the future and should always be cared for and taught the ways of Lathander. Being athletic ensures one is always fit for the task, no matter whether caring for a child or fighting to defend one's life and others.

    The dawn and spring are eternal. When night is darkest, the hope and promise of a new dawn from Lathander is brightest, leading to never ending rebirth. Abhorrance of the undead and their destruction is of utmost priority and often goes hand in hand with evil itself. Their removal from this world and rest granted unto them should be of the highest priority!

    Lathander himself furthermore hates the tolerance of evil and opposes it in its many forms. We should aspire to be as him in many fields. Yet, Lathander finds the redemption of evil itself to be quite lofty and in accordance with his beliefs of all things capable of rebirth, even those thought to be beyond goodness.

    The second passage is "Support new beginnings of all sorts, be they lives, businesses, ideas, fashions, art, or ways of doing things. Scorn not old art in favor of the new, for all art is expression that stirs new thinking in those who work it and those who behold it. Plant seeds and seedlings, and make common cause with the clergy of Chauntea."

    All new beginnings, if not in blasphemy to Lathander, should be supported. A new life after setbacks, new businesses after failures of prior, ideas after discardment of old, fashions upon old no longer holding appeal. Art after past lack of improvement and innovations of old methods.

    All of these are under the auspices and aegis of the Morninglord, regardless of who one chooses to hold faith in.

    Old art should not be scorned however, as the old often influences the new! As Lathander says, all art is expression fostering creativity and renewal in one's mind, body and soul. Beauty often is in the eye of the beholder, yet this goes to one's very consciousness. Lastly, the planting of seeds, seedlings and common cause making with Chauntea's faithful and clergy is self-explanatory for the most part.

    Yet, for sake of education; the Grain Goddess is Lathander's consort, as such she promotes things pleasing to him, thusly Lathander charging the faithful to aid them. The planting of seeds and seedlings bolsters her as well as Lathander.

    And the last passage is "Sow hope even more often than you sow seeds. Greet each dawn personally, so as to be closest to Lathander and so as to drink in the bright hope that every sunrise brings. Helping others and instilling hope are more important than laws, rules, and adherence to authority."

    To sow hope is one of the greatest things. Lathander himself is the paragon of hope and optimism, one is capable of being close to him by adhering to greeting the dawn, taking in the beginnings of a new day and what each sunrise brings.

    Benevolence, kindness and hope to those who seek it regardless is more important than following laws or orders. Doing good as per what one's conscience says is far more appealing to Lathander than refusing to do good, citing bureaucracy.

    Above all, one should bear in mind the most important tenet to "Be as Lathander".

    As stated earlier, one should aspire to be as him in many fields of life. But it can be summed up easily as: oppose the undead and evil, be hopeful and always show mercy to those who ask, and do good as your conscience dictates. That is what it means to be as Lathander.

    SECTION TWO: Places of Worship

    The Village of Eveningstar, in its western location, held one of the most famous temples of Lathander's worship, that of the House of the Morning. It was one of the grandest holy sites in all of the realms and despite its location to the west of Arabel, served as no less an appropriate venue of veneration of the Morninglord. To see the dawn in its splendor served the same purpose from the east of Arabel as it did in the west.

    To the north, the reborn Eveningstar holds another temple of Lathander of smaller construction yet no less glorious than the former House of the Morning..

    Before the Civil War, a shrine of Lathander existed within Arabel's slums as a supplementary to the House of the Morning in the original Eveningstar. A shrine is said to exist upon Lord Hawklin's lands, formerly in the possession of Lord Patricia Mertoi.

    And prior to the Silence’s outbreak, Lathander had a shrine in Arabel’s Congress of Faiths tended by Dawnbringer Johannes Marigold. With tensions among even goodly, allied faiths rising and later actions of the Tempans, Brethren and other forces, the Church of Lathander withdrew from the Congress, returning to Eveningstar in full force and presence, the Dawnbringer now maintaining the temple.

    SECTION THREE: Lathanderites of Exceptional Renown

    Several notable individuals in the history of Arabel and Cormyr have venerated or held lofty respect for the Grand Dawnbringer. This tome will focus upon a few specific ones.

    Two of the most prominent were those of the sisters Bresk. Melanie and Natassia, who had profound faiths in Lathander and waged war against their mother, Berena, a powerful necromancer who was tried and executed by Cormyr during the end of the Time of Troubles.

    Their father was that of a paladin of Lathander named Joseph Rifts, who had fallen in love with Berena, and conceived a pair of twins with her, the future sisters Bresk. His heart was, unfortunately, fickle and he became unfaithful to her causing his end to be threatened by Lady Bresk. This forced him to betray her to the War Wizards, alerting them to her crimes and causing his flight with his new love, and the Bresk siblings.

    Ultimately their struggle resulted into Berena's defeat while the former Lady Bresk attempted to become a god and Cormyr recognizing the actions of the sisters in expunging the stain of evil and horror upon their House’s name. The title of Baroness and all related rights was restored to Natassia directly, whereas Melanie enjoyed the station of Dame.

    House Bresk’s fate between the reign of Baroness Bresk and present day is unknown, it is believed at some point the line went extinct, but details are unavailable. What is known is that the title associated with House Bresk is currently vacant.

    With available information on House Bresk, it is believed that the conflict with Berena was not the first time that such house fought against evil, that centuries before the noble family had dealings with demons of an amicable nature, yet the Berena Incident is far more recent and thus focused upon.

    The next person of interest is that of Lord Medeah Winter. She is the second in the last 20 years to bear the title of Lord Winter, succeeding Lord Tessaril Winter who presided over Eveningstar when the village was to the west of Arabel. This Lord Winter (hereby referred to afterwards as Lord Tessaril or Lord Winter I) was appointed by Azoun IV in 1371 after the end of the Goblin Wars, and was well respected by the residents of Eveningstar and its surrounding jurisdictional lands.

    Lord Winter I's reign was prosperous, one incident involving her being accused by the Eclestian Order stands out; the charges were dropped, rumored to be due to War Wizard intervention.

    Lord Winter I continued on with her reign until 1380 wherein she perished defending Eveningstar from a demonic army's assault. Lady Medeah Winter (herein referred to as Lord Medeah or Lord Winter II), her daughter, was being schooled in arcane pursuits at the College of War Wizards and assumed the role of Lord Winter II at a young age.

    During this time, the Order of the Red Hart acted as guardians of Eveningstar and Lord Winter II until 1381 wherein the entire Order died during a Shadovar assault. Eveningstar's fall followed afterwards, leaving nothing remaining of it except Lord Winter II herself. In 1394DR, the now adult Lord took command of a reborn Eveningstar and tied herself to the land through a ritual performed by the former High Priestess of Oghma Vidayhe Caru and adventurers.

    Due to adventurer efforts, Eveningstar continued to see rebirth under the rule of Lord Winter II, attesting to its nature as a village consecrated in Lathander's name. A final ritual saw Lord Winter II herself reborn, further solidifying it as a bastion of the Morninglord's faith.

    SECTION FOUR: Miracles of Lathander

    Miracles in Lathander's name or otherwise adherent to his oversight of all rebirth and renewal have long been carried out in Arabel. Two in particular stand out.

    During the time that Lord Lheskar Bhaliir resided in Arabel circa the Civil War, in reality a beholder, Lord Myrmeen Lhal had made it a priority to hunt and slay the aberration. Yet she had grown quite old, and not as spry and energetic as she had been in years prior during the time before the Civil War broke out.

    A solution was made devised by an adventurer mage, producing an Elixir of Life to restore the Lord's lost youth. After much consideration, Lord Lhal imbibed it, becoming her old, or in this case, young self once again. Due to this miracle potion, the beholder was slain and Arabel freed of another foul menace. Lord Lhal then took control of authority over Arabel again, her resolve in living a new beginning and living another time.

    Information on this came from a tome in the Citadel Library, and it seemed to be fanciful in nature. What is true and can be verified, however, is that Lord Lhal is far more youthful than a woman whose contemporaries included King Azoun IV and others should be, lending credit to it being a truthful, if poetic and extravagant, accounting.

    Another miracle is that of Lord Winter II's rebirth within the lands of Eveningstar. As per the accounting of a Scriptorium member named Morley, a ritual was indeed conducted named the Phoenix Ritual.

    The Chronicler believed Lathander himself to have decided it warranted intervention, by spiriting her away through a glorious Phoenix, protecting her from the most powerful and dangerous elements of the rite. Its believed that sacrifice of others to empower it took place, and the Chronicler rightfully believed that such would not be taken lightly by Lathander. It is perceived that Ilmater's hand was present, due to an artifact of his remarked as involved.

    Ultimately, what can be proven is that Lord Winter II was reborn, is tied to the land and separate tomes verify she died and was brought back to life much like her home was destroyed, rebuilt and renewed once more.

    SECTION FIVE: Knightly Orders

    First and foremost, the most recently famed knightly order associated with Lathander is that of the Brethren of the Reborn Sun. Based in Eveningstar out of the ruins of the former Red Hart Fortress, it was charged with defense of the city as well as opposing the enemies of Lathander and Cormyr as an auxiliary military force answering to the Purple Dragons and War Wizards.

    Headed by Grandmaster Gregory Richmond, who also held the title of High Priest of Lathander in Cormyr, the Brethren were also later given expansive powers. Through a charter signed by the Crown and the Grandmaster, the Brethren were given powers similar to that of the Eclestian Order decades earlier; seeking out the infernal, necromantic and unholy.

    This caused resentment and unrest from varying factions opposed to the Brethren, including that of the City Militia who had what was reported to be a Banite cult of considerable number within its ranks, that saw one of the members placed on trial by the Crown.

    It is said that the Brethren mismanaged funding allotted to them constantly by the Crown and other sources, leaving them suspected of constantly operating in debt. Certainly, their extravagant ceremonies and frequent feasts were of renown within the region.

    One of the most notorious acts under the Brethren's auspices was that of a Divine March upon the Temple of Truths within the now-Downtown district of Arabel. The Temple was that of a shrine housing a heresy to multiple faiths, mainly Tyche and Lathander. During their crusade, much death and destruction came to the Temple and its surrounding area which resulted in it being burnt to the ground and its defenders put to the sword.

    This only fanned further resentment and hatred of the Brethren which culminated in an act viewed as treacherous by all except those who harbored dislike of the Order. The Brethren had called for a Divine March on Vorenthia, a rogue War Wizard who was a powerful necromancer and openly devout Clar Banda follower. Their assault was successful, yet at a heavy cost; nearly all of the Brethren's remaining manpower was depleted, leaving a handful of survivors.

    Upon their return to Arabel, they were ambushed by City Militia members belonging to the Banite cell operating within their ranks, and placed in Cormyr's Penal Legion. Those who resisted were slain. The Brethren were for all intents and purposes, no longer existant and functionally no more.

    It should be noted that the Brethren practiced a doctrine of Lathander that claimed Lathander was the sole source of good in Faerun, and that all goodly gods were subservient to him. Such is unthinkable and utter fallacy. Compared to the orthodox teachings of Lathander, these border heresy and blasphemy against other goodly gods, including Lathander's own allies!

    The next order to subject to scrutiny is that of the Knights of the Merciful Sword.

    As their name would suggest, this was actually an order of the Just God, Tyr, that sponsored many paladins who swore service to gods with beliefs appealing to Tyr, including that of Lathander. Being a Tyr-focused order, they were oriented more towards the rule of law and good as opposed to Lathander focused upon good regardless of law or chaos.

    Their history saw much service to the City of Arabel and Country of Cormyr through that of legal administration and serving as Judges, pronouncing sentences and conducting investigations.

    Their primary goal among others was the ongoing war between the Merciful Sword Knights and that of Clar Banda. During the presence of the Merciful Sword Chapter in Arabel, the Dread Queen still walked the lands of Cormyr and was that of a lich. With this as a goal, it is easy to see why the Grand Dawnbringer consented towards his paladins serving with the Merciful Sword.

    During many struggles that steadily depleted their ranks, which saw many things such as a former Knight raised in undeath and then military action against demon orcs and Shadovar, the Merciful Sword in Arabel met its end in one last march against a demon named Manithrel. Much like the Brethren, they were victorious yet few survived to return to Arabel.

    The Order's presence in Arabel was decided to be ended, each remaining Knight given the choice to follow their own path in life.

    Finally, the Red Hart is the last major knightly order that had involvement with Lathander.

    Information on the Red Hart is difficult to come by, however what is known is that the Order favored Lathander, Siamorphe and the now-deceased Nobanion. As previously mentioned, they were loyal in service to Lord Winter I and then Lord Winter II. Their former Fortress became the rebuilt home of the Brethren of the Reborn Sun further heightening their association with the Morninglord.

    The Order operated between 1380 and 1381, a short stint in defense of Eveningstar. Their end came during a Shadovar attack, leaving their home in ruins until the Brethren's arrival in 1395.

    Their defeat meant Eveningstar followed soon after, due to the chaos of the Primordial's death and subsequent collapse upon Cormyr.

    SECTION SIX: Reference Materials

    House Bresk History

    Lathander, Deity Encyclopedia

    House Winter History

    Brethren of the Reborn Sun
    History

    Brethren of the Reborn Sun Charter

    Merciful Sword History

    Lhal's Return to Youth

    Phoenix Ritual Analysis

    Claudia Belmont
    Priestess of Lathander


  • Admin [DM]

    Miss Belmont,

    Arabel's City Library thank you for this fine piece of Lathander's teaching, and reward you with 750 gold for the delightful submission.

    Signed,
    Head Librarian Tonald Sigermane


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