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The Church of Milil was the primary religious organization of the followers of the deity Milil, the Lord of All Songs.[1][2][3] The clergy of Milil were known as Sorlyn, although the reason was long forgotten.[1]

Dogma[]

Life is a song: strive always to make it more beautiful. Destroy no music nor instrument, nor stop a singer before the tune is done. Listen to the world around as well as filling it with your own sound. One singer's music is another's noise, so still no bad music if its making be joyful...
— A charge to the novices[1]

Beliefs[]

Practitioners of the Mililan faith viewed their life as a song, which started with their birth and would end at their final moment.[1] They strove to find new songs and tunes or to create original ones, to master new instruments, and to share their knowledge with others.[1] They considered songs as more than just lyrics and music, but as a complete whole, a process that included the initial idea until its completion.[1]

Attitudes[]

Worshipers of Milil shared a love for music, and a need to take an active part in it. They were musicians, singers, composers, and dancers, but never simple listeners.[1] They tended to favor a hedonistic lifestyle, enjoying fine foods and drinks and the company of others.[1] They loved beautiful things such as well-built edifices, works of art, and natural wonders such as the invigorating radiance of the sun rising over a magnificent natural landscape.[1] The church welcomed all genders equally, but was mostly composed of physically attractive members.[1]

Activities[]

...Spread the teaching of song and musicianship always. Sing to Milil every day. Music is the most precious thing folk can create—so encourage its training, use, and preservation at all times and in all possible ways. Awaken a love of song in all folk you can, and offer its performance freely around campfire or on the trail. Cease not in your own seeking for new tunes, new techniques, and new instruments to master.
— A charge to the novices[1]

Creation and retrieval of knowledge[]

The majority of the clergy spent their life away from adventuring, preferring to create new songs and to hone their musical skills.[1] They however didn't stay cloistered in their temples, traveling to perform their art in front of others.[1] Sorlyn both has a role as artists, creating new pieces; and as keepers of knowledge. They used the singing stone spell in order to create repositories of tunes, making some available in their temples and hiding other in caches to ensue the survival of music against all odds.[1]

Teaching[]

It was customary for Mililan priests to offer singing courses and training with instruments to their flock in exchange for donations to the church.[1][6] The price of such a service would vary, from a simple meal or drink for commoners to a hefty price for the very wealthy. They also made a good living in crafting and repairing instruments, again charging more to richer clients.[7]

Jurying[]

It was traditional for clerics to act as jurors for musical contests. They were also asked to arbitrate in bardic disputes between individuals, companies, or colleges.[1]

Adventuring[]

Part of the clergy, especially tuneservants, were more adventurous and would join adventurers on their quests in order to compose ballads narrating their exploits.[1] Others embarked on solitary expeditions, trying to find rare instruments or recover forgotten songs from ages past.[1] They would also protect or rescue musicians who were facing dangers, from the common minstrels to the greatest bards.[1]

Organization[]

A priest of Milil in crimson and gold robes holding a harp.

Society[]

While relations between clergy members were generally good, friction sometimes occurred between tuneservants and more traditional members of the church.[1] The main points of discontentment were the usage of holy spells for selfish reasons by tuneservants, and their support of irresponsible adventurers.[1] In addition, temples run by tuneservants tend to forego traditional songs and hymns in favor of more recent works.[1]

While all churches paid heed to the patriarch of the faith, his influence was stronger in northwest Faerûn and dwindled the further away one moved from Waterdeep. Distant congregations such as the ones in Sembia paid the Patriarch no more than lip service, and only paid attention to his most urgent communications.[3]

Clergy[]

About half the clergy was made up of clerics.[1] The remainder were tuneservants,[1] a few bards and mystics,[1] some spellsingers,[1] spelldancers,[8] loresingers,[9] and an order of paladins.[10]

In Serôs, some dolphins were priests of Milil, and they were known to employ whales to sing whalesongs for them.[11]

Titles[]

Sorlyn considered titles to be important, and used them carefully.[1] Tuneservants were an exception to the rule—they were pretty lax about the formal titles of other clergy members, except that of the Patriarch of Song.[1]

The church used both titles and temple ranks, in addition to a few more specific denominations.

Titles (in ascending order of rank)[1]
Mute One (novice) • Chanter • Chorister • Soloist • Lead Voice • First Voice • Songmaster • Mistress of Song[note 1] • Glorian
Temple ranks[1]
Castellan • Master Tutor • Master Wind • Master Serenader • Chantmistress[12][note 2] • Master Librarian • Master Instrumentalist • Prior • Patriarch
Patriarch of Song
The single source of authority within the church.[1] Sorlyn believed that the Patriarch was immortal, and that as long as he lived music would flourish on Faerûn.[1]
Harmonian
Title used by tuneservants to address each other, regardless of rank or accomplishments[1]

Orders[]

Knightly orders

Rituals[]

Ceremonial Songs[]

  • Sunrise Song: In temples of Milil, practitioners met in the morning to sing this song in chorus together. Outside of temples, individuals would sing a personal song dedicated to their deity upon awakening instead.[1]
  • Song of Praise: Worshipers would perform a Song of Praise dedicated to Milil at least once a day, and after important events such as military victories.[1]
  • Song of Sorrowing: This solemn polyphonic chord-singing song was performed at the funerals of any faithful.[1]
  • Song of Welcoming: This song was sung when new faithful joined the church.[1]
  • Call to the Flowers: This song was performed by all faithful during the Greengrass festival.[1]

Ceremonies[]

Holidays[]

Religious Services[]

  • For a fee, some Sorlyn would bless musical instruments.[17]

Bases[]

Temples[]

Temples to Milil were lofty cathedrals of magnificent craftsmanship and architecture.[1] They all included choir lofts, stages that could be used by performers, and wonderful acoustics.[1] Temples also typically provided workshops for the repair and maintenance of musical instruments, and well-furnished music libraries.[1]

Known Shrines & Other Places of Worship[]

Equipment, Spells, & Relics[]

Ceremonial Garb[]

Robes of the Sorlyn were made of rich crimson fabric, garnished with golden decorations depicting subjects such as dragons, bards and warriors.[10] They often wore metal chimes as jewelry, but removed them if they would impede music-making.[10] Sorlyn usually kept their hair cut short in order to better listen to tunes, and to avoid issues when playing instruments.[10] Tuneservants that choose to keep their hair long would keep them bound in golden hair-nets instead.[10]

Dress and Armor[]

It was common for adventuring Sorlyn to wear heavy armors.[10] Those armors were ornamented, in a similar way as their ceremonial dresses.[10]

Holy Symbols[]

Some Sorlyn would use a real harp as their holy symbol, whereas others would wear it as a piece of jewelry.[10]

Weapons[]

When threatened, members of the clergy relied on maces and enchanted musical instruments in addition to their spells.[10]

Relics[]

Others[]

Sorlyn Magic[]

Some of the spells bestowed by Milil to his clergy could be cast by followers of other faiths as well.[25] Doing so imposed powerful constraints on the caster though, and could anger their own deities.[25]

  • Battle song: a spell that boosted the fighting spirit of the Sorlyn and their allies.[10][37]
  • Dispel silence: a spell that counteracted the effects of magical silences.[10][38]
  • Song of compulsion: a spell that prevented creatures from taking offensive actions or using magical items[10][39]
  • Singing stone: a spell that was used to store a short tune in a stone. This spell was really important to the Sorlyn as it enabled the creation of libraries of songs in their temples.[10][40][41]
  • Forgotten melody: a spell that caused others to obsess over a tune.[40][42]
  • Harp of war: A spell that created a harp of glowing force with several powerful magical abilities.[40][43]
  • Elsewhere chant: a spell that could teleport creatures and items.[44][25]
  • Searing song: a powerful attack that bypassed magical barriers.[45][25]
  • Song of healing: a spell that could be used to heal others and was able to bypass magical silences.[39][25]

Relationships[]

  • While not directly linked to them, the church had many ties to the Harpers,[10] and numerous individuals were part of both organizations.[46][47]
  • Sorlyn were wary of the worship of Finder Wyvernspur, viewing it as a threat to their deity's power.[48]
  • Because of the ties between Milil, Deneir and Oghma,[16][4] multiple holy places were shared by worshipers of those deities.[47][33]

History[]

In the Year of the Dawn Rose, 720 DR, four nights before Midsummer, the clergy of Milil participated in the reformation of the Harpers at the hill known as the Dancing place. During this historical event, numerous deities—including Milil—manifested themselves and took control of their followers.[49]

Notable Members[]

Appendix[]

Notes[]

  1. The exact usage of Mistress of Song is unclear (i.e., whether it was the feminine form of Songmaster or a different title altogether).
  2. The exact usage of Chantmistress is unclear (i.e., whether it was a title or a temple rank).

References[]

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 1.23 1.24 1.25 1.26 1.27 1.28 1.29 1.30 1.31 1.32 1.33 1.34 1.35 1.36 1.37 1.38 1.39 1.40 1.41 1.42 1.43 1.44 1.45 1.46 1.47 1.48 1.49 Julia Martin, Eric L. Boyd (March 1996). Faiths & Avatars. (TSR, Inc.), p. 117. ISBN 978-0786903849.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Ed Greenwood, Julia Martin, Jeff Grubb (1993). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 2nd edition (revised), Running the Realms. (TSR, Inc), p. 55. ISBN 1-5607-6617-4.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Jeff Grubb and Ed Greenwood (1990). Forgotten Realms Adventures. (TSR, Inc), p. 27. ISBN 0-8803-8828-5.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Julia Martin, Eric L. Boyd (March 1996). Faiths & Avatars. (TSR, Inc.), p. 116. ISBN 978-0786903849.
  5. Thomas E. Rinschler (2001-06-06). Deities (PDF). Wizards of the Coast. p. 8. Archived from the original on 2016-11-01. Retrieved on 2017-07-23.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Ed Greenwood and Steven E. Schend (July 1994). “Adventurer's Guide to the City”. City of Splendors (TSR, Inc), p. 41. ISBN 0-5607-6868-1.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Ed Greenwood (October 2012). Ed Greenwood Presents Elminster's Forgotten Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 156. ISBN 0786960345.
  8. Sean K. Reynolds, Duane Maxwell, Angel McCoy (August 2001). Magic of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 37. ISBN 0-7869-1964-7.
  9. John Terra (February 1996). Warriors and Priests of the Realms. Edited by Steven E. Schend. (TSR, Inc), p. 96. ISBN 0-7869-0368-6.
  10. 10.00 10.01 10.02 10.03 10.04 10.05 10.06 10.07 10.08 10.09 10.10 10.11 10.12 10.13 10.14 10.15 Julia Martin, Eric L. Boyd (March 1996). Faiths & Avatars. (TSR, Inc.), p. 118. ISBN 978-0786903849.
  11. Steven E. Schend (1999). Sea of Fallen Stars. (TSR, Inc), p. 42. ISBN 0-7869-1393-2.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Ed Greenwood (1994). Volo's Guide to the Sword Coast. (TSR, Inc), p. 226. ISBN 1-5607-6940-1.
  13. Steven E. Schend (1999). Sea of Fallen Stars. (TSR, Inc), p. 59. ISBN 0-7869-1393-2.
  14. Ed Greenwood (January 1996). Volo's Guide to the Dalelands. (TSR, Inc), p. 157. ISBN 0-7869-0406-2.
  15. Sean K. Reynolds, Duane Maxwell, Angel McCoy (August 2001). Magic of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 50. ISBN 0-7869-1964-7.
  16. 16.0 16.1 Eric L. Boyd, Erik Mona (May 2002). Faiths and Pantheons. Edited by Gwendolyn F.M. Kestrel, et al. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 102. ISBN 0-7869-2759-3.
  17. Jeff Grubb, Julia Martin, Steven E. Schend et al (1992). Aurora's Whole Realms Catalogue. (TSR, Inc), p. 21. ISBN 0-5607-6327-2.
  18. 18.0 18.1 Steven E. Schend (August 1997). “Book Two: Amn”. In Roger E. Moore ed. Lands of Intrigue (TSR, Inc.), p. 28. ISBN 0-7869-0697-9.
  19. 19.0 19.1 Ed Greenwood and Jason Carl (July 2002). Silver Marches. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 61. ISBN 0-7869-2835-2.
  20. 20.0 20.1 Jeff Grubb and Ed Greenwood (1990). Forgotten Realms Adventures. (TSR, Inc), p. 110. ISBN 0-8803-8828-5.
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  22. Ed Greenwood (September 1993). The Code of the Harpers. Edited by Mike Breault. (TSR, Inc.), p. 71. ISBN 1-56076-644-1.
  23. 23.0 23.1 Jeff Grubb and Ed Greenwood (1990). Forgotten Realms Adventures. (TSR, Inc), p. 78. ISBN 0-8803-8828-5.
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  48. Eric L. Boyd and Kate Novak (May 1996). “Forgotten Deities: Finder Wyvernspur”. In Scott Douglas ed. Polyhedron #119 (TSR, Inc.), p. 23.
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  51. Eric L. Boyd (June 2005). City of Splendors: Waterdeep. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 73. ISBN 0-7869-3693-2.

Connections[]

Churches of the Faerûnian Pantheon
Major Deities
AzuthBaneBhaalChaunteaCyricGondHelmIlmaterKelemvorKossuthLathanderLoviatarMaskMielikkiMyrkulMystraOghmaSelûneSharShaundakulSilvanusSuneTalosTempusTormTymoraTyrUmberleeWaukeen
Other Members
AkadiAurilBeshabaDeneirEldathFinder WyvernspurGaragosGargauthGrumbarGwaeron WindstromHoarIstishiaIyachtu XvimJergalLliiraLurueMalarMililNobanionThe Red KnightSavrasSharessShialliaSiamorpheTalonaTiamatUbtaoUlutiuValkurVelsharoon
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