A blooming yellow flower rising like the sun from the ground
Blessed Fields of Elysium
Spring, dawn, birth, youth, vitality, athletics
Aristocrats, artists, athletes, merchants, monks, the young
CG, LG, LN
Good, Nobility, Protection, Renewal, Strength, Sun
“Dawnspeaker” (light or heavy mace)
Whenever humans embark on a new journey, enter a contract, or start a political or romantic relationship, chances are good that they whisper a prayer to Xenthan, deity of dawn, renewal, and vitality. Though he is among the oldest of the Larsil pantheon, the Morninglord nonetheless retains the cherry optimism of youth that makes him the perfect symbol of beginnings. Ever willing to pass over the defeats of today to focus on the victories of tomorrow, Xenthan preaches a doctrine of proactive good works and constant re-evaluation of society’s traditions and mores. He also urges the destruction of undead, which he views as a vile corruption that mocks creation and true life.
Critics suggest that Xenthan’s aggressive altruism often gets in the way of his good sense. His vanity and enthusiasm cause him to discount the consequences of his actions: He simply hopes for the best and attacks a problem head on, regardless of the ramifications.
Xenthan’s friendly demeanour makes him almost as popular among other deities as he is among the mortals of Larsil. The deities, however, tend to have longer memories than their followers; many appreciate Xenthan’s calls to action and altruistic rants but try to keep him from doing too much damage to the status quo. He gets on well with other idealistic deities such as Darven and Quila, or with those such as Adrim and Samethian, who prefer to focus on the pleasurable and good things in life. The Morninglord’s command over creativity brings him into friendly contact with Barian, Aelfur, and Dynot, and his unflinching hatred of the undead has made him a fast ally of Wallkane. Calewyr seems to appreciate his exuberance more than any other member of the Larsil pantheon, perhaps because it brightens her ancient soul. She and Xenthan believe that their fates are intertwined, and while their romance has faded and flared intermittently over the centuries, they always seems to return to each other.
Xenthan somewhat naively holds evil deities such as Iraxar, Tanor, Serias, and Wherrs personally responsible for the majority of Larsil’s ills. He particularly dislikes Jacquith, whom he views as an eternally corrupting force, the foul cancer at the heart of every shadowy intrigue against him and his church.
Strive always to aid, to foster new hope, new ideas, and new prosperity for all humankind and its allies. It is a sacred duty to foster new growth, nurture growing things, and work for rebirth and renewal. Perfect yourself, and be fertile in mind and body. Wherever you go, plant seeds of hope, new ideas, and plans for a rosy future in the minds of all. Watch each sunrise. Consider the consequences of your actions so that your least effort may bring the greatest and best reward. Avoid negativity, for from death comes life, and there is always another morning to turn a setback into a success. Place more importance in activities that help others than in strict adherence to rules, rituals, and the dictates of your seniors.
Clergy and Temples
Despite the failures of the distant past, Xenthan’s faith remains extremely popular and powerful today, especially among idealistic young nobles (though seldom their parents). They claim to be personally tasked by the Morninglord to see to the affairs of their lessers, as though their fortuitous accident of noble birth granted them a writ to serve as Xenthan’s mortal representatives. For many young aristocrats, a foray into Xenthanism represents a last act of rebellion before accepting the responsibilities of the nobility. Those of truer heart, however, remain in the church and often end up making a profound difference in their community. Commoners appreciate such treatments, making the Morninglord popular among all social classes.
Clerics of Xenthan pray at dawn. Most holy services take place just as the light of the sun breaks the horizon, with secondary gatherings occurring at high sun and sunset. Ceremonies are joyful but dignified and feature singing, offerings, and ritual drinking of well water touched by the light of dawn. On Midsummer morning and on the mornings of the vernal and autumnal equinoxes, Xenthanian clerics perform the Song of the Dawn, a popular and complex musical ceremony that attracts even nonworshipers to the Morninglord’s cathedrals.
Clerics of Xenthan tend to be ebullient utopists, “morning people” in every sense of the phrase. They encourage social, cultural, and political progress as agents of personal liberty, artistic expression, and racial harmony. Xenthan’s clerics sponsor athletic and artistic competitions to showcase the talents of the community, and they often finance the recovery of lost treasures or important symbols to give the people hope and encourage further good works. The tenets of Xenthanism urge respect toward one’s fellows and the natural world and intolerance for evil or those who unwittingly aid evil through slothful inaction. Militant followers stand at the vanguard of efforts to clear civilized lands of harmful beasts or purge the taint of the undead from the world.
Powerful members of the church protect their communities from malign extraplanar interests by acting as exorcists or fiendslayers. The church recognizes no central authority; the head of each temple is afforded similar respect by followers everywhere. Clerics refer to one another as Dawnbringers.
The ostentatious cathedrals of Xenthan, with their abundant statuary and gaudy stained-glass windows, reflect the order’s great wealth. All temples include a mass hall that faces eastward, allowing the congregation to watch the first rays of the rising sun. In crowded or walled cities, temples are built for height, with ceremonies held on the third or even fourth floor of the structure. When such construction is impossible, a complex series of mirrors channels the sun’s rays. Xenthanian architecture is dominated by elaborate fountains that often spill into shallow moats of holy water winding throughout the temple complex.