Gwaeron Windstrom

<b>Gwaeron Windstrom:</b>
<i>Master of Tracking, Master Interpreter of Woodland Signs, the Tracker, the Tracker Who Never Goes Astray, Mouth of Mielikki</i><br>

<b>Symbol:</b> White star and brown pawprint <br>
<b>Home Plane</b>: Faerun<br>
<b>Alignment</b>: NG<br>
<b>Portfolio</b>: Tracking, rangers of the North<br>
<b>Domains</b>: Animal Good Knowledge Plant Travel <br>
<b>Worshipers</b>: Druids, rangers, troll hunters<br>
<b>Aliases</b>: N/A <br>
<b>Cleric Alignments:</b> LG, NG, CG <br>
<b>Favored Weapon:</b> Greatsword – "Flameheart"<br>

Gwaeron Windstrom (GWAIR-on WIND-strahm) embodies the skills of tracking and understanding woodland signs. Gwaeron roamed the North as a mortal ranger many centuries ago, and he was elevated to the ranks of demipowers by the sponsorship of the Lady of Forests after successfully stalking and slaying at least one avatar and several manifestations of Malar in quick succession. This accomplishment has earned him the undying enmity of the Beastlord and resulted in any unending battle between them that was continued during the Time of Troubles when Malar appeared in the North after his defeat by Nobanion. Malar, the Lord of Beasts, was relentlessly pursued throughout the North by Gwaeron and could not shake the Master of Tracking from his trail.

Gwaeron serves Mielikki along with Lurue and Shiallia. He aids Mielikki on some missions and teaches her rangers the way to read forest signs. Gwaeron is rare among the Faerûnian powers in that he has forged alliances with the deities of the elven, gnome, and halfling pantheons whose portfolios most closely match those of Mielikki, Silvanus, and his own. His quiet, reclusive demeanor allows he and Fenmarel Mestarine to get along better than Fenmarel does with most members of the Seldarine. When Mielikki has to ask a favor of a deity from one of these pantheons, Gwaeron is naturally the messenger she sends. Gwaeron also acts as Mielikki's intercessor with mortals in the North in his role as the Mouth of Mielikki. He speaks to most mortals on her behalf if direct speech is necessary.

Gwaeron is normally taciturn, and when he does speak, he speaks in terse sentences and with little visible emotion. The Master of Tracking is slow to anger, but, once ignited, his rage is a fearsome thing. He utterly loathes trolls and considers them the kin of Malar and a blight on the land that will inevitably upset the Balance in the long run. In addition to being regularly spotted near Triboar, in the High Forest, and in Cormanthor, Gwaeron is known to stalk the Evermoors and the rest of the North hunting the Undying Ones.

Gwaeron's teaching mirror those of Mielikki, whom he serves. Intelligent beings can live in harmony with the wild without requiring the destruction of one in the name of the other. Gwaeronians are taught to embrace the wild and not fear it, because the wild ways are the good ways. They are to keep the balance and learn the hidden ways of all life. They should not allow trees to be needlessly felled or the forest to be burned. They are to live in the forest and be a part of the forest, not dwell in endless battle against the forest.

Stalkers of the Silent Path must protect forest life and strive to keep the balance that indiscriminate fire-users, woodcutters, and hunters break. They are to live in harmony with the woods, to teach others to do so, and to punish and frustrate those who hunt for sport (not food) and who practice cruelties upon wild creatures. Gwaeronans are to talk their roles as protectors very seriously and to keep in check the numbers of sentient, generally malicious wild creatures and humanoids who would distort the Balance just as much as incursions from civilized, careless and thoughtless humans.

Gwaeron occasionally manifests as a nimbus of faerie fire around a woodland sign that could serve as an obscure clue when trying to track some being or creature. Gwaeron also sometimes appears as a deer, a boar, or some other woodland creature. The Master Interpreter of Woodland Signs often does this as a means of instruction. Soon after a novice ranger discovers a spoor that he is unfamiliar with, Gwaeron appears as the corresponding creature, enabling the ranger to make the appropriate induction.

Another of Gwaeron's manifestations is as the print of a bare human foot with a faint impression of his symbol recognizable in the heel print. He may manifest in this fashion when a devout worshiper loses his trail. By looking in the direction indicated by the anomalous print, a ranger can often pick up the lost trail again. Occasionally Gwaeron manifests as a footprint a split second before a being steps in the depression. Beings so favored automatically receive the effects of a natural attunement spell. <br>

Gwaeron is served by a wide variety of naturally appearing forest creatures. Herds of herbivores move to obscure a trail at his command, and various birds, particularly crows, magpies, and blue jays, may move to obscure or reveal clues indicating a trail to disguise them from a foe of one of his followers or make them readily apparent to a favored tracker. Faerie dragons and pseudo-dragons are also favorites of his.<br>

<b>The Church of Gwaeron Windstrom:</b>
There is not an organized Gwaeronan faith distinct from the church of Mielikki. Instead, Gwaeron is venerated by rangers and trackers of the North who seek to interpret woodland signs and to track outlaws or game. The Master of Tracking is served in particular by an order of rangers known as the Fellowship of Stalkers of the Silent Path who are drawn from the ranks of Mielikki's clergy.
In the North, temples and shrines of the Lady of Forests, such as the shrine found in the hamlet of Mornbryn's Shield, often include a small shrine or side altar to the Master of Tracking within their confines. Shrines consecrated in Gwaeron's name are typically simple altars made of a single boulder inscribed with Gwaeron's symbol and are mainly found within the High Forest and Cormanthor. <br>

<b>Day-to-Day Activities:</b>
Stalkers of the Silent Path walk the trails and wilderness of the North practicing their craft, becoming attuned to their environment, and observing the activities of the "monster" races. When called upon by the church of Mielikki or hired by local rulers, they track down fugitives from justice, elusive predators (both human and beast), or lost travelers. Some join militias, mercenary companies, or adventuring companies where they typically serve as scouts. In times of famine, Stalkers travel to regions where game is scarce and the inhabitants are in danger of starving and use their skills to provide food. <br>

<b>Holy Days/Important Ceremonies:</b>
Gwaeron has no special holy days outside of those commonly celebrated by the faith of Mielikki. After a successful "stalk," Stalkers of the Silent Path and any would-be tracker who invokes Gwaeron's name are expected to leave a circle of six footprints in the ground with their right foot, the heel of each print nearly touching and the toes facing outward.<br>

<b>Major Centers of Worship:</b>
Gwaeron is said to sleep in a stand of trees just to the west of the town of Triboar, known as Gwaeron's Slumber. On rare occasions he can be seen walking into or out of the trees. Rangers who venerate Mielikki often visit Gwaeron's Slumber to pray, but there is no shrine there and Gwaeron never appears to those who come seeking him. It is said that worshipers of Mielikki who sleep in this wood receive in their dreams some hint of what the goddess wants them to do. If such a worshiper is not a ranger, the person gains a once-in-a-lifetime, day-long ability to track as a ranger does. To avoid angering Gwaeron, there are laws in Triboar against cutting any wood from these trees or hunting any creature in the woods. The local militia patrols the forest to prevent orcs, trolls, and other such creaturs from camping there—but less intelligent monsters have never been seen in Gwaeron's Slumber.<br>

<b>Affiliated Orders:</b>
As discussed above, those rangers of Mielikki's clergy who are specifically sworn into Gwaeron's service are members of the Fellowship of Stalkers of the Silent Path. This informal order (composed exclusively of single-classed human and half-elven rangers) focuses on the interpretation of woodland signs and tracking all manners of beings and beasts. Members retain close ties to the regular hierarchy of Mielikki's faith and are considered regular members of that church as well as of the fellowship. They serve as the tracking, scouting, and hunting arm of Mielikki's faith, much as Gwaeron serves Mielikki.<br>

<b>Priestly Vestments:</b>
Stalkers of the Silent Path dress practically for their environment, preferring clothing made of supple, sturdy leathers and comfortable boots. They let their hair and beards grow freely, but keep them neatly combed and arranged in practical styles. Female Stalkers of the Silent Path wear their hair in a long, loose braid down their back. All Stalkers wear a patch or sport embriodery on their formal vestments displaying Gwaeron's symbol and respect the seasonal colors of Mielikki's clergy's ceremonial railment in the dyes used to color their formal clothes. Many Stalkers choose to tattoo a blue or brown five-pointed star on themselves in honor of their dedication to the order of the Silent Path.<br>

<b>Adventuring Garb:</b>
Gwaeron's followers dress practically when adventuring, in clothing very similar to their formal garb, but not as colorful. Stalkers pay respect to the seasonal colors of Mielikki's clergy's garb in their trim or accessories while in the field, but not so as to make targets of themselves in incompatible-colored terrain. When the weather permits, male Stalkers like to work bare-chested, and both male and female Stalkers prefer working barefoot or in soft moccasins when practical.<br>

Last updated byDispater