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Silvanus[note 1] (pronounced: /sɪlˈvɑːnʌssihl-VANN-us[10][13][15][21]) was the Celtic and Faerunian power of wild nature,[15] standing in contrast to the more ordered, agrarian nature represented by the goddess Chauntea.[22]

Avatar[]

Silvanus had both an old and young avatar form that he was known to manifest in.[13]

His old form was known as the Old Father. It took the form of an old, bearded human male face, either floating midair among trees or sprouting from the trunk of an especially large and old tree. The flesh of this form was always brown, gray, and fissured like old wood.[13]

His young form was known as the Young Strider. This was a young,[20][22] long-limbed humanoid male,[15][20][22] with particularly long legs,[16] dressed in a suit of armor made of leaves and wielding a wooden mallet.[13][15][16][22] He most often assumed this form when a sacred grove was threatened or a circle of druids was attacked during their worship.[20]

Another form he was known to manifest as was the Horned Hunter,[20] an entity similar in appearance to his fellow Celtic god Cerunnos.[23] This form was an always silent man with burning white eyes, sporting a set of stag antlers and shaggy brown fur that was almost bark-like. This form always appeared among the trees, often just to indicate something by a gesturing, nodding, or pointing before disappearing.[20]

Personality[]

Typical of nature deities, some described Silvanus as being wild and unpredictable, much like nature itself.[4]

He was chiefly concerned with nature itself,[12] specifically wild nature,[22] in both its natural beauty and fierce savagery.[4] Caring very little for maintaining a proper balance with civilization,[12] being wrathful towards those who threaten wild places.[21] He paid no attention to the machinations of mortals or other deities.[12]

When it came to nature itself, he cared greatly for maintaining a balance between growth and decay,[3][4][21][22] water and drought, fire and ice[21][22] — the natural cycle of life.[21][22][24] This was considered to be his dogma[21][22] and he was emotionally distant in regards to its necessity.[21]

He had a special hatred for those who used fire carelessly or with deliberate intention to cause destruction.[20]

Abilities[]

His avatar was capable of controlling any number of animals and forest creatures with the sound of his voice. He could also make plants grow or shrink at any rate he willed.[16] Both of his avatar forms could cast spells from any sphere or school of magic.[13][20] The Old Father form would cast spells from the animal, plant, and weather spheres at triple their normal effect,[13] while for his Young Strider form this only occurred for spells of the weather sphere.[20]

In addition, the Old Father avatar form of Silvanus could create and animate both plants and fungi, imitating similar spells from any sphere or school of magic. He could shrink or enlarge animals, summon animals to his aid, and command loyalty from any mundane animal, giant animal, or sylvan creature. Even turning animals against their owners. He frequently summoned treants to his aid.[20]

The Horned Hunter could also cast some spells, most notably telekinesis far beyond the normal weight limits, and only spoke to other creatures by a telepathic means.[20]

Possessions[]

His Young Strider form[20] typically dressed in a +5 suit of leaves armor, which offered protection equivalent to plate mail.[16] Alternatively, some described him as wearing a set of scale armor whose scales were all in the shape of oak leaves.[20][22] This form of his was also seen to wield an enchanted mallet,[16][20] referred to as the great mallet of Silvanus.[20]

History[]

Silvanus originated as a member of the Celtic pantheon.[25][26]

Around the time of the rise of Netheril,[27] a wave of planar immigrants came from another world[26] and settled on Toril. One of these groups of people came from a rugged land with a culture tied to nature, the sea, and the warrior history of its dozen-king greater god. They brought along with them their own style of society and faiths,[27] the worship of Celtic deities, such as Silvanus.[26] As was a common practice in the Celtic pantheon whenever it established itself on a world, Silvanus would go on to join one of the local pantheons,[28] seeing as he was being pushed out of power in his own.[29]

Realm[]

The divine realm of Silvanus varied depending upon the cosmology that one used. In the Great Wheel cosmology, it resided in the Celtic pantheon's realm of Tir na Og.[12][17] It stood in the deepest reaches of that realm, going by the name of Summeroak[12] or Deep Forest.[13]

According to the World Tree cosmology, the realm was located in the neutral plane known as the House of Nature.[11] And finally, the World Axis cosmology placed his realm within the Deep Wilds.[30]

Relationships[]

Silvanus did not have many allies, nor did he have many enemies.[12]

In the Faerûnian pantheon he was allied with and served by fellow non-evil deities of animals and nature.[21] Such as Eldath, Mielikki,[18][31] and Shiallia.[32] The first viewed him as a father figure, but often found his robustness intimidating,[33] while the second had crafted the banish blight spell partially as a gift to him.[34]

Other allies of Silvanus included Chauntea and Lathander[35] — who he at times he would work with in their efforts against the Gods of Fury.[18][31] As well as Ki, nature goddess of the Untheric pantheon.[36]

He was considered an enemy by Moander, Malar, Talona, and Talos.[37] He actively opposed the latter three, as their love for destruction often upset the balance of nature.[21]

Worshipers[]

Silvanus had both clerics and druids in his faith, though their presence varied by location,[15] with druids being the more prominent due to his narrow focus on wild nature without concern for balance.[21][12][16] One could even find halfling druids revering him over their own pantheon's nature deity, though this was a rare occurrence.[38][39][note 2] Some barbarians,[40] hermits, wilderness dwellers,[4] and rangers also worshiped him.[4][41]

His clergy often worked together with the clergy of his allies, Mielikki and Eldath, towards common goals.[18][31][42] With the latter two being instructed to support, protect, and (if the need arose) obey the clergy of Silvanus.[42] These included protecting the wilderness from further encroachment by civilization,[4] such as the felling of trees and limiting farms or ranches to already cleared land. Also the fighting of diseases, planting new plants, and fighting those who did the bidding of Malar.[21][24]

His worship was widespread across the east and south of Tethyr, especially in the Forest of Tethir,[43] and in the Dalelands.[44]

Rumors & Legends[]

Some myths claimed that Silvanus had fathered the goddess Mielikki with the goddess Hanali Celanil.[45][46] This legend sprung off from a desire by some to explain why Mielikki's worshippers were giving her the honorific "Daughter of Silvanus," which had originally come about due to her close alliance with Silvanus.[46]

Appendix[]

Notes[]

  1. The first edition boxed set, Forgotten Realms Campaign Set, had an image of Silvanus's symbol, but labeled it Sylvanus, with a Y instead of an I.
  2. In the Forgotten Realms Campaign Set boxset, the sourcebook Cyclopedia of the Realms states on page 16 that information given in the sourcebooks Unearthed Arcana's and Legends & Lore regarding the demihuman deities can be considered Realms canon, so long as the information does not contradict anything established in Forgotten Realms sources.

Gallery[]

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Steve Kenson, et al. (November 2015). Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. Edited by Kim Mohan. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 21, 37. ISBN 978-0-7869-6580-9.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 235. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. Edited by Jennifer Clarke Wilkes, et al. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 76. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 Rob Heinsoo, Logan Bonner, Robert J. Schwalb (September 2008). Forgotten Realms Player's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 153. ISBN 978-0-7869-4929-8.
  5. Troy Denning (February 1998). Crucible: The Trial of Cyric the Mad. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 30. ISBN 0-7869-0724-X.
  6. James A. Yates (November 1986). “Hammer of Thor, Spear of Zeus”. In Roger E. Moore ed. Dragon #115 (TSR, Inc.), pp. 38–40.
  7. Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (2014). Player's Handbook 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 61–62, 294. ISBN 978-0-7869-6560-1.
  8. Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. Edited by Jennifer Clarke Wilkes, et al. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 63, 76. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  9. Logan Bonner (August, 2009). “Domains in Eberron and the Forgotten Realms”. In Chris Youngs ed. Dragon #378 (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 25–38.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Eric L. Boyd, Erik Mona (May 2002). Faiths and Pantheons. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 63–64. ISBN 0-7869-2759-3.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Richard Baker, James Wyatt (March 2004). Player's Guide to Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 158–159. ISBN 0-7869-3134-5.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 12.5 12.6 12.7 12.8 Colin McComb (1996). On Hallowed Ground. Edited by Ray Vallese. (TSR, Inc), p. 75. ISBN 0-7869-0430-5.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 13.5 13.6 13.7 Julia Martin, Eric L. Boyd (March 1996). Faiths & Avatars. (TSR, Inc), p. 145. ISBN 978-0786903849.
  14. Jeff Grubb and Ed Greenwood (1990). Forgotten Realms Adventures. (TSR, Inc), p. 30. ISBN 0-8803-8828-5.
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 15.5 15.6 15.7 15.8 Jeff Grubb, Ed Greenwood and Karen S. Martin (1987). Forgotten Realms Campaign Set (Cyclopedia of the Realms). (TSR, Inc), p. 14. ISBN 0-8803-8472-7.
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 16.4 16.5 16.6 16.7 16.8 16.9 James Ward, Robert J. Kuntz (August 1980). Deities & Demigods. Edited by Lawrence Schick. (TSR, Inc.), p. 30. ISBN 0-935696-22-9.
  17. 17.0 17.1 Jeff Grubb (July 1987). Manual of the Planes 1st edition. (TSR), p. 115. ISBN 0880383992.
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 Jeff Grubb, Ed Greenwood and Karen S. Martin (1987). Forgotten Realms Campaign Set (Cyclopedia of the Realms). (TSR, Inc), p. 17. ISBN 0-8803-8472-7.
  19. Ed Greenwood (October 1981). “Down-to-earth divinity”. In Kim Mohan ed. Dragon #54 (TSR, Inc.), p. 8.
  20. 20.00 20.01 20.02 20.03 20.04 20.05 20.06 20.07 20.08 20.09 20.10 20.11 20.12 20.13 20.14 Julia Martin, Eric L. Boyd (March 1996). Faiths & Avatars. (TSR, Inc), p. 146. ISBN 978-0786903849.
  21. 21.00 21.01 21.02 21.03 21.04 21.05 21.06 21.07 21.08 21.09 21.10 Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 251. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 22.3 22.4 22.5 22.6 22.7 22.8 22.9 Ed Greenwood, Julia Martin, Jeff Grubb (1993). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 2nd edition (revised), Running the Realms. (TSR, Inc), p. 48. ISBN 1-5607-6617-4.
  23. Robin Emrys Atkinson (September 1982). “Tuatha De Danann — A revised Celtic mythos”. In Kim Mohan ed. Dragon #65 (TSR, Inc.), p. 52.
  24. 24.0 24.1 Ed Greenwood (October 2012). Ed Greenwood Presents Elminster's Forgotten Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 165. ISBN 0786960345.
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  28. Colin McComb (1996). On Hallowed Ground. Edited by Ray Vallese. (TSR, Inc), p. 66. ISBN 0-7869-0430-5.
  29. Colin McComb (1996). On Hallowed Ground. Edited by Ray Vallese. (TSR, Inc), p. 38. ISBN 0-7869-0430-5.
  30. Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. Edited by Jennifer Clarke Wilkes, et al. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 63. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  31. 31.0 31.1 31.2 Ed Greenwood (October 1981). “Down-to-earth divinity”. In Kim Mohan ed. Dragon #54 (TSR, Inc.), p. 55.
  32. Ed Greenwood, Julia Martin, Jeff Grubb (1993). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 2nd edition (revised), Running the Realms. (TSR, Inc), p. 59. ISBN 1-5607-6617-4.
  33. Julia Martin, Eric L. Boyd (March 1996). Faiths & Avatars. (TSR, Inc), p. 57. ISBN 978-0786903849.
  34. Julia Martin, Eric L. Boyd (March 1996). Faiths & Avatars. (TSR, Inc), p. 115. ISBN 978-0786903849.
  35. Julia Martin, Eric L. Boyd (March 1996). Faiths & Avatars. (TSR, Inc), pp. 47, 90. ISBN 978-0786903849.
  36. Colin McComb (1996). On Hallowed Ground. Edited by Ray Vallese. (TSR, Inc), p. 62. ISBN 0-7869-0430-5.
  37. Julia Martin, Eric L. Boyd (March 1996). Faiths & Avatars. (TSR, Inc), pp. 105, 119, 152, 155. ISBN 978-0786903849.
  38. Gary Gygax (August, 1985). Unearthed Arcana (1st edition). (TSR, Inc.), p. 115. ISBN 0880380845.
  39. Jeff Grubb, Ed Greenwood and Karen S. Martin (1987). Forgotten Realms Campaign Set (Cyclopedia of the Realms). (TSR, Inc), p. 16. ISBN 0-8803-8472-7.
  40. Jeff Grubb, Ed Greenwood and Karen S. Martin (1987). Forgotten Realms Campaign Set (Cyclopedia of the Realms). (TSR, Inc), p. 18. ISBN 0-8803-8472-7.
  41. Julia Martin, Eric L. Boyd (March 1996). Faiths & Avatars. (TSR, Inc), p. 113. ISBN 978-0786903849.
  42. 42.0 42.1 Ed Greenwood (October 2012). Ed Greenwood Presents Elminster's Forgotten Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 145, 154. ISBN 0786960345.
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  44. Ed Greenwood, Julia Martin, Jeff Grubb (1993). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 2nd edition (revised), A Grand Tour of the Realms. (TSR, Inc), p. 31. ISBN 1-5607-6617-4.
  45. Eric L. Boyd (1998). Demihuman Deities. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 142. ISBN 0-7869-1239-1.
  46. 46.0 46.1 Julia Martin, Eric L. Boyd (March 1996). Faiths & Avatars. (TSR, Inc), p. 112. ISBN 978-0786903849.

Connections[]

Celtic powers who have influenced the Forgotten Realms
The Faerûnian Pantheon
Major Deities
AzuthBaneBhaalChaunteaCyricGondHelmIlmaterKelemvorKossuthLathanderLoviatarMaskMielikkiMyrkulMystra (Midnight) • OghmaSelûneSharShaundakulSilvanusSuneTalosTempusTormTymoraTyrUmberleeWaukeen
Other Members
AkadiAurilBeshabaDeneirEldathFinder WyvernspurGaragosGargauthGrumbarGwaeron WindstromHoarIstishiaIyachtu XvimJergalLliiraLurueMalarMililNobanionThe Red KnightSavrasSharessShialliaSiamorpheTalonaTiamatUbtaoUlutiuValkurVelsharoon

Deities of the Post–Second Sundering Era
Ao the Overgod
Faerûnian Pantheon
Akadi | Amaunator | Asmodeus | Auril | Azuth | Bane | Beshaba | Bhaal | Chauntea | Cyric | Deneir | Eldath | Gond | Grumbar | Gwaeron | Helm | Hoar | Ilmater | Istishia | Jergal | Kelemvor | Kossuth | Lathander | Leira | Lliira | Loviatar | Malar | Mask | Mielikki | Milil | Myrkul | Mystra | Oghma | Red Knight | Savras | Selûne | Shar | Silvanus | Sune | Talona | Talos | Tempus | Torm | Tymora | Tyr | Umberlee | Valkur | Waukeen
The Morndinsamman
Abbathor | Berronar Truesilver | Clangeddin Silverbeard | Deep Duerra | Dugmaren Brightmantle | Dumathoin | Gorm Gulthyn | Haela Brightaxe | Laduguer | Marthammor Duin | Moradin | Sharindlar | Vergadain
The Seldarine
Aerdrie Faenya | Angharradh | Corellon | Deep Sashelas | Erevan | Fenmarel Mestarine | Hanali Celanil | Labelas Enoreth | Rillifane Rallathil | Sehanine Moonbow | Shevarash | Solonor Thelandira
The Dark Seldarine
Eilistraee | Kiaransalee | Lolth | Selvetarm | Vhaeraun
Yondalla's Children
Arvoreen | Brandobaris | Cyrrollalee | Sheela Peryroyl | Urogalan | Yondalla
Lords of the Golden Hills
Baervan Wildwanderer | Baravar Cloakshadow | Callarduran Smoothhands | Flandal Steelskin | Gaerdal Ironhand | Garl Glittergold | Nebelun | Segojan Earthcaller | Urdlen
Orc Pantheon
Bahgtru | Gruumsh | Ilneval | Luthic | Shargaas | Yurtrus
Mulhorandi pantheon
Anhur | Bast | Geb | Hathor | Horus | Isis | Nephthys | Osiris | Re | Sebek | Set | Thoth
Other gods of Faerûn
Bahamut | Enlil | Finder Wyvernspur | Ghaunadaur | Gilgeam | Lurue | Moander | Nobanion | Raven Queen | Tiamat



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