<i>Goddess of Singing Waters, the Quiet One, Mother Guardian of Groves, the Green Goddess, the Mother of the Waters</i><br>

<b>Symbol:</b> A waterfall plunging into a still pool without causing any disturbance of its waters, or a circular, sky-blue disk fringed with green ferns<br>
<b>Home Plane</b>: Eronia/The True Grove <br>
<b>Alignment</b>: NG <br>
<b>Portfolio</b>: Quiet places, springs, pools, stillness, peace, waterfalls, druid groves <br>
<b>Domains</b>: Family, Good, Plants, Protection, Water<br>
<b>Worshipers</b>: Druids, pacifists, rangers<br>
<b>Aliases</b>: N/A <br>
<b>Cleric Alignments:</b> NG, CG, CN<br>
<b>Favored Weapon:</b> (Net) <br>

Eldath (EL-dath) is the guardian of druid groves, and her presence is felt every place where there is calm. Her druids and clergy often aid other druidic faiths in establishing a grove and sanctifying it. In religious art, Eldath is often depicted as a dark-haired woman dressed in shimmering green or as a dryad or wild elf with blue and green hair. Her singing is heard in every babbling brook and waterfall.
Eldath is a pacifist and usually takes no hostile actions even when threatened. This is one of the reasons that Eldath is almost a forgotten power; most Faerunians think of Mielikki, Silvanus, or Chauntea in relation to nature before they think of her. Eldath is enigmatic and speaks seldom. She seems shy, but possessed of unknown depths of character and an unexpressed resolve that cannot be broken. When challenged, she gives before challengers who only later discover that her apparent acceptance and retreat merely drew them out into an untenable position where they are surrounded, out of their element, and their reinforcements have been converted to her side.

Like Mielikki, Eldath serves Silvanus, Eldath sees him as a father figure, but often finds his robustness intimidating to her retiring nature. Mielikki and Eldath have a very close relationship. During the Time of Troubles Mielikki was heard to address her as "Datha," and the two goddesses embraced as sisters.

While Eldath opposes all that Tempus stands for, she does not consider him a personal foe. He in turn, is said to consider her naive, but to respect her convictions and generally ignore her.

Eldath made the Prime Material Plane her home until very recently, similar to Mielikki. In 1369 DR, the same year that Mielikki established an Outer Planes realm, Eldath also moved her home realm, the True Grove, to Elysium. Where she received the divine burst of power to make such a huge move is unknown; sages have considered Eldath's faith a shrinking one for centuries. However, these same scholars speculate that wherever she received the power from, it may be related to the official shift toward good that Eldath herself made apparent in picking Elysium as her home plane. (Among themselves, church scholars list Mielikki, Mystra, or Chauntea as likely candidates for help in the move.) The shift itself surprised no one, and Eldath still welcomes the same worshipers and clergy members within her told. Legend holds that Eldath's worshipers may still visit the True Grove even before their deaths through gates in places where it could formerly be reached: near the upper reaches of the Unicorn Run in the High Forest, in the Elven Court near Lake Somber or near Elventree, at Eldath's Water in the Misty Forest, in the depths of the Forest of Tethir, in the dense heart of the King's Forest in Cormyr, atop Oak Hill in the Border Forest north of the River Tesh, at various locales in Turmish, and in a dozen or more other wooded areas. <br>

The philosophy of Eldath is highly advanced. It teaches that peace can only come from within and cannot he taught or imposed; it must he readied through thought and meditation. The faithful of Eldath should seek stillness and thereby find peace. They are to plant trees and green-leaved things and tend such things when they need it, wherever they may be.

Eldathyn are instructed to nurture and aid and not to restrict or punish. They may defend but not punish. Eldathyn may work violence only to defend, and they may slay no thing of the forest save to prevent it from slaying themselves or another under their protection.
All worshipers of Eldath are to aid fellow Eldathyn and clergy of Silvanus and Mielikki whenever possible and to give assistance, support, and shelter to displaced forest dwellers and to those who work to defend ponds, marshes, and streamside woods everywhere. They must swear to take no thinking life save in direst need and to share with all beings the beneficial things that grow in or come from running water that all may know ot and praise Eldath.

Eldath appears most frequently as a whispering wind that brings a message and revives plants that it touches to the blooming height of health or a green glowing aura that has all the healing powers of the goddess. <br>

Eldath also acts or shows her favor through the appearance or actions of bears, raccoons, brownies, dryads, sylphs, nereids, feystags, sprites, stags, talking owls, unicorns, and other woodland creatures, common meadow and woodland flowers such as daisies, water plants such as water lilies and lotuses, and aquamarines, clear quartz, blue topazes, sapphires, and other stones in watery hues.<br>

<b>The Church of Eldath:</b>
he church of Eldath is small and dispersed, the majority of its most ardent priests traveling and preaching or settling by some quiet spot and teaching those who come seeking enlightenment. In a world brimming with evil deities and their servants, ores, goblins, warring nations, and other hostile forces, it is not surprising that Eldath's philosophy of peace and calm has failed to catch on. Still, it is viable and challenging, and legends speak of heroes, such as the elven war hero Telva, who embraced the cause of Eldath and abandoned warfare forever.

Given the limitations and goals of the specialty priests of Eldath, it should not be surprising that there are not very many of them. Only some 10% of the priests ot Eldath are specialty priests, called peacemen and peacewomen in the faith. The remainder of the followers are split between druids, clerics, a scant few mystics, and a relatively recently founded monastic order. Clerics, druids, mystics, and monks, while not as restricted as the specialty priests of Eldath, are encouraged to conduct themselves in a fitting fashion as put forth by their deity. It is a mark of skill among Eldathyn (especially adventurer-priests, known as "Freewalkers") to defeat foes with defensive spells, making an enemy defeat himself through misdirection and manipulation. Most of the high-ranking members of the church's loose organization are peacemen and peacewomen, and the great druids and other senior clergy members of the faith defer to them in discussion. Relations between the five branches of the faith are excellent, and both of the more militant wings of the faith are very supportive and protective of the specialty priests, mystics, and monks, who are more retiring.

Pacifists and lovers-of-nature cleave to the Green Goddess. Many are vegetarians and herbalists who desire to take no life, but the ranks of the Eldathyn are studded with hardy adventurer-priests who serve as envoys to other faiths, act as go-betweens with urban worshipers (often guiding them to and from forest fastness temples), and carry items and messages from priest to priest within the faith. Although it is part of the making of a priest of Eldath that an individual must travel Faerun widely enough to pray in at least nine sacred fastnesses (temple groves) dedicated to the goddess, most Eldathyn settle in one grove or one forest and live their lives thereabouts.

Eldathyn are organized in a simple hierarchy where a dozen or so priests, each of whom may have up to 14 underpriests dwelling with him or her, report to a senior priest who in turn reports to a grand priest responsible for a realm or larger region. Clergy of senior years, many accomplishments, or higher rank are styled "Exalted," and traveling Freewalkers rank between full priests and senior priests. From the ranks of the Exalted come the leaders of temples to Eldath, most of whom preside over forest communities with open-air sacred places of worship known as fastnesses. As the leader of a fastness, they are entitled use the title Keeper of the Fastness. <br>

<b>Day-to-Day Activities:</b>
ldathyn usually spend their lives tending unspoiled places to ensure that they survive and even flourish in the face of human and other depredations. Priests of Eldath replant burned areas, purge areas of plant diseases, construct boulder firebreaks, irrigate wooded areas, and clear streambeds to make rivulets flow more swiftly or create dams to slow runoff and encourage the life created by small pools. They even make bargains with nearby foresters to cut only in certain areas and leave other woodlands alone.

Eldath has a hatred of indiscriminate and greedy woodcutters, those who use fire as a weapon, and avaricious millers and careless beings who foul rivers and other waters. Her clergy are pledged to work against such individuals by whatever means seem most prudent for long-term success. They rarely resort lo any sort of open confrontation for as long as possible as it tends to bring attacks down on the clergy – but hidden priests can work in opposition unhindered.

Eldathyn are also charged with observing and recording what sort of birds, beasts, and plants dwell in what places and the changes in the amounts and locations of such flora and fauna over the years. They are to report such things to their superiors on a regular basis so that the senior clergy members, working with those of Silvanus and Mielikki, can interpret long-term trends in regional ecologies.

To raise funds for personal and church support, priests of Eldath may act as water-dowsers by employing an infallible water divination spell known to the church, as herbalists, gardeners, or as potion-makers. Few Eldathyn live-in large settlements, but many dwelt in springside cottages-often with trained guard animals-within an easy ride of cities or large towns so as to be able to serve the local populace as sources of medicines and potions. Clergy of Eldath are all taught to swim, and often teach this skill to nonbelievers in return for small offerings to the church and the goddess of food and coins that the priests can use. <br>

<b>Holy Days/Important Ceremonies:</b>
Eldath's clergy members pray on a personal and individual basis when bathing or floating in ponds or streams, when standing under waterfalls, and in small chambers, caves, or forest bowers given over to regular meditation. Many forest paths in woods dwelt in by Eldathyn cross streams by means of log bridges bearing tiny huts with holes or nap doors in their floors, permitting modest clergy to immerse themselves for prayer or bathing. These arc the most favored meditation spots for Eldathyn.

Prayers must he performed upon awakening, at sunset, and at least once during the dark hours, and may be performed at any other rime as personally desired. In woodlands and remote wilderness areas, worship ot the Green Goddess should be done unclad or as close to it as is possible in a given circumstance. Startled woodsmen tell of certain adventurer-priests standing in pools to pray with their weapons drifting in midair around them in slow, enspelled orbits so as to be ready at hand if danger came upon the scene.
The only calendar-related ritual of Eldath, the Greening (Greengrass) is also the only regular gathering and festival of the priesthood. It is preceded by Firstflow, a festival held at different times in different locales as the ice-breaks up and the waters begin to flow. The only other occasions upon which Eldathyn gather in large numbers are consecrations of new places as open-air temples or shrines of the goddess. At such consecrations, the assembled clergy perform the Chant of the Fastness. An avatar of Eldath always appears to bless her worshipers' efforts, though she may not always speak or work magic other than making any spring or water in her new sacred place into water of Eldath for a tenday thereafter and giving it the power to regenerate and heal all creatures immersed in it until the dawn following the day other appearance. <br>

<b>Major Centers of Worship:</b>
The most revered center of Eldathyn worship is Duskwood Dell in Amn, east of Eshpurta. There the waters of the River Rimril, a tributary of the Esmel River, plunge down the western cliffs of Eldath's Mount in the Troll Mountains via the Green Goddess Falls in a descent of over 400 feet and thence through a series of pools and lesser falls (called the Steps) out into Arundath, the Quiet Forest (known most commonly as the Snakewood for the serpentine denizens the Eldathyn use to scare away intruders). Here Most Exalted Fallskeeper Alatoasz Berendim presides over a tree city of Eldathyn who train underpriests in the service of the Green Goddess and send them out all over Faerun to find their personal place in Eldath's service.

Elah'zad, an ancient Eldathyn holy site in Anauroch, is also a place of great power. According to the Bedine, Elah'zad was the home of the moon goddess, Elah (Selune), but At'ar the sun goddess drove her away and made it a prison for Eldath, the Mother of the Waters, because she was jealous of Eldath's beauty. Here Eldath can choose to speak through the mouth of any woman who enters the House of the Moon, a nearly circular palatial temple formed of chalky, translucent desert rock in the midst of a lake set in a sacred grove surrounded by over a hundred small springs. (The woman falls asleep and the goddess directly and completely controls her body.) At the House of the Moon charged magical items of the Eldathyn faith can be recharged through prayer and ritual by the grace of Eldath. <br>

<b>Affiliated Orders:</b>
The Eldathyn church and the revitalized Mielikkian faith have grown extremely close recently. Eldathyn provide quiet sanctuary and supply to the Shadoweirs of the Mielikkian faith when they cannot receive support from those of their own religion. The Eldathyn faith also has close ties with Those Who Harp (the Harpers), an organization working throughout Faerun for good and against the rise ot great powers, which tend to endanger all natural life.

The church of Eldath has a circle of a few peacewomen and peacemen who have formed a group known as the Arbitrators of the Quiet One. They freely go to areas of conflict and attempt to serve as mediators in longstanding disagreements that have led lo violent acts. They listen to both sides and try to find a middle ground without polarizing the issues through overt statements of moral judgment. They prefer to find resolutions that get at the heart of a problem so that once dealt with it does not flare up again in months or years.

The monastic order of Eldath is the Disciples of the Yielding Way, sometimes known as the Brothers and Sisters of the Open Palm. These monks guard sacred sites where many peacemen and peacewomen dwell and travel the countryside gathering information for isolated groves and fastnesses. They do not ever seek to provoke violence, hut arc quite deceptively deadly when defending themselves, their charges, and their holy sites. <br>

<b>Priestly Vestments:</b>
Priests of Eldath dress simply in green and blue robes decorated with water-colored (blue, green, translucent, and opalescent) semiprecious gems and embroidery in water patterns. Specialty priests don a series of sheer robes, each in different shades of blue and green. The sleeves and hems of the garments are artfully cut to look ragged like tossing waves or water ripples. All clergy wear Eldath's symbol as a holy symbol; the sky-blue disk is fashioned of painted wood and fresh fern fronds are planted or affixed over the painted ones on the symbol whenever possible.<br>

<b>Adventuring Garb:</b>
Eldathyn priests dress practically in the field, though some like to accent their dress with blue and green and allow the sleeves and hems of their garments to become ragged to simulate frothing water. Most wear leaf-green robes with moss-green accents, gray sashes, and brown overcloaks. Peacemen and peacewomen wear no armor and sport garb similar to their ceremonial dress made up of multiple layers of semi-transparent robes and tabards over an opaque foundation robe or dress. Sightings of Eldathyn in the deep woods have given rise to many legends of wild folk of the woods.<br>

Last updated byDispater