Tales of the Bloodstone Lands
The Yellow God, the Keeper of the Eternal Sun
Symbol: Sun with a face on the solar disk
Home Plane: Keep of the Eternal Sun
Alignment: Lawful Neutral
Portfolio: Bureaucracy, contracts, law, order, the sun, rulership
Worshipers: Nobles, rulers, lawyers
Cleric Alignments: LG, LN, LE, N
Domains: Life, Light
Favored Weapon: Scepter of the Eternal Sun (Mace)
Most of Faerun venerates the moongoddess, Selune, but not a sun-based deity. The Bedine tribesmen of Anauroch, though they have no priests, are an exception.
They respect and fear At’ar the Merciless, the Yellow Goddess. Symbolizing the heat of the desert sun, At’ar is seen as a spiteful and faithless woman whose fury in the full day strikes fear into the bravest hearts. She is a harlot who betrays her lawful husband Kozah every day to sleep with N’asr, god of night and the dead. The cautious regard the Bedine have for At’ar has never brought them any answer to their prayers, however, because At’ar does not exist. She is but a perversion of Amaunator, the Netherese god of law and the sun, derived from tales that the migrant ancestors of the nomadic Bedine were told by the survivors of the fall of Netheril.
Amaunator (Ah-MAWN-ah-tor) is revered as the patron of law and the keeper of time. His justice is fair but harsh. He is revered by many rulers, soldiers, and powerful mages. A very careful god, Amaunator makes certain that everything is written down, contracted, signed, sealed, and notarized—much like the Celestial Bureaucracy of Kara-Tur in the modern Realms. An extremely lawful god, he follows the letter of law, not necessarily the spirit of it—unless the spirit is a great deal more to his liking. He expects the same from his servitors. He is also occasionally revered as the keeper of time along with the other aspects of his portfolio. This artificial “addition” to his portfolio was due to a mistake in punctuation in a contract between himself and another deity which stating: “. . . Amaunator shall be responsible for all time, any misrepresentation of his or his followers, If so deemed the fault of Amaunator. . . .” This unnoticed punctuation snarl of commas and periods led to Amaunator considering himself to be in charge of “all time.”
When Netheril fell, the people of the middle and lower classes who were not killed by the fall of the enclaves (the only living worshipers of the god) turned their backs on Amaunator, believing he did nothing to stop the disasters affecting their civilization. His followers were right, but contractually, his hands were tied. Magic in all forms was under exclusive control of Mystryl, and Amaunator had no lawful right to interfere in any way, even when a magical catastrophe, such as Netheril’s fall, was in the process of occurring.
He was reborn at some point during the alternate reality known as the Sundering, and now strives to regain his former power among the gods.
Priests of Amaunator were powerful political figures at the height of the Netherese empire. Many served as regional rulers and political advisors. Despite the clergy members’ efforts to halt the creeping desert, Anauroch approached relentlessly after the magical catastrophe brought on by Karsus’ pride. When the population rose up in revolt after seven years of bad harvests, the priests of Amaunator responded without mercy to suppress the uprising. This slide towards tyranny led to the overthrow of the political and religious authority of Amaunator’s clergy.
Amaunator’s clergy were extremely hierarchical and rulebound. Each Righteous Potentate (high priest of a temple, called a “Court”) oversaw all aspects of church functions. No one could perform or be relieved of their duties without the consent of the Righteous Potentate or one of his seven Monastic Abbots. Under each of the seven Monastic Abbots, there were an additional seven High Jurists (priests) who served relentlessly, performing whatever duties were assigned to them. Lower ranks of clergy members served beneath the High Jurists, but their titles are lost in the mists of time. As the church builds itself again, it looks back and strives to recreate what was lost.
Priests of Amaunator are known as sunlords and sunladies. The Righteous Potentate was in charge of teaching the masses of people who flocked to the temple on a regular basis and overseeing the preparation of Court members (novices) to move into positions of power in the church.
The seven Monastic Abbots each tended to a different supplemental duty, including the upkeep of the grounds and temple farms, upkeep of the church interior, upkeep of the church exterior, procurement of the necessities of the spirit, procurement of the necessities of the flesh (food, supplies, etc.), upkeep and expansion of the law library, and cultivation and supervision of itinerant monk missionaries who walked the world, preaching the peace that could be found in the understanding of law. These monks of Amaunator were the only clergy members not tied intimately to temple duties at least part of the time, though they were required to report to the temple or shrine they were assigned to at least once a year.
Amaunatori are taught that the law is the law. The law keeps order in society, and without it civilization would unravel and chaos would reign. Amaunator represents the sure function of the law, for just as certainly as the sun would rise in the morning, the law can deal fairly with any dispute and any crime. This places Amauntori in conflict with Tyr, who sees law as a path to justice and not something to be followed blindly.
Novice Amaunatori are charged as follows: “Learn the law and live it; obey its every letter and clause, for in knowledge of the intricacies of law lies freedom to act with righteous impunity. Keep track of the decisions of your superiors so that the body of precedent continues to grow and the unity of purpose of the rulings of Amaunator is made manifest to all. Serve your superiors faithfully, and they will reward you faithfully; shirk your duty and find the harsh hand of reproof.”
All clergy members have to learn, understand, and know how to reap the benefits from (exploit) the laws of the land, the city, and the province they live in. In order to completely understand the nuances of law and legislature, the clergy constantly drill each other, practice law in court whenever possible, and rehearse law in practice courtrooms. They cannot resist investigating the scene of a crime or taking part in the construction of new laws in their locale, and do so with great intensity and fervor.
Amaunatori often serve in court as judges, to present cases, and to hear legal arguments and disputes. They are paid well to settle merchant disputes over contracts, agreements, and trade practices and make a comfortable living for themselves and their church as arbitrators of all sorts of commercial and personal claims not worthy of the attention of figures of power in ultimate authority.
Holy Days/Important Ceremonies
The holiest of days in the church of Amaunator is the celebration of the anniversary of the signing of the Pantheon Contour, an agreement between the powers adjudicated by Amaunator. This is celebrated on the third full moon of the year. The festivities are marked by Amaunator’s followers donning magisterial regalia and parading the holy symbol of Amaunator before every court and through the streets.
The longest day of the year, the summer solstice, is another important holiday. The followers of Amaunator spend the day relaxing, sunbathing, and praying to their god, thanking him for the gift of sunlight he sheds on the world. Amaunatori believe that if this day is not properly celebrated, Amaunator would withhold sunlight from the face of Toril for a year.
Every time a devout follower of Amaunator is able to take advantage of someone in a contract, successfully debate his or her case in court, or effectively pass a new law, the priest of Amaunator gives thanks to the Keeper of the Sun by burning magically preserved oak leaves and incense in his honor.
Major Centers of Worship
Unity, a sizable Netherese enclave, was the home of the largest temple to Amaunator, the Forested Enclave of the Face on the Sun. The steeple of this monstrous three-story pentagonal, hemispherically roofed building thrust seventeen stories above the landscape, allowing the solar disk of Amaunator to be seen far above the surrounding trees.
Throughout the temple’s history, the Righteous Potentates overseeing the temple had an affinity for casting continual flame on the cropped hair of their scalps. Like hair bleaching or coloring, though, this incantation had to be reapplied monthly to affect new hair growth. As side effect to this practice, gnolls from the enveloping Facile Forest made monthly pilgrimages to the temple of Amaunator to worship the “lightened one.” This encouraged the gnolls to focus their raiding on other parts of the forest.
Most of Amauntor’s temples are lost to time, and the church strives to rebuild.
The church of Amaunator had several affiliated orders with representatives that could be found in most Netherese communities. The first was an association of bonded scribes called the Most Transcendent Affiliation of Paradisiacal Pens. These aloof and arrogant individuals traveled the world preaching the holiness of law and order. Their mission in life was to build amphitheater-sized buildings dedicated to the preservation of law. These huge, stone-walled monstrosities contained books and scrolls detailing the laws of every land and every city that the followers of Amaunator encountered.
The Syndicate of Celestial and Righteous Lawmakers was a group of seventy warriors and paladins (mainly paladins) who worshiped Amaunator because of his love of law. These women and men taught the lawful side of Amaunator, interpreting his somewhat nongood tendencies as deific recommendations that could be safely ignored or softened to a more humanitarian tone. These warriors branded the business side of their shields with extremely potent variants of continual light spells to blind the lawlessness they encountered. This gave them a lasting light source in darkness and a bonus in some strategic situations where they could nearly blind their foes with the intensity of light coming from their shields.
The monks of Amaunator belonged to the Brotherhood of the Sun, an association of itinerant monks who served the faithful in the field, bringing the comforting words of Amaunator to the peasants and common folk and preserving order throughout the land. Their symbol was a sunburst.
Priests of Amaunator dress in bright, long-sleeved, ornate robes of yellow, red, and orange that are covered with sewn-on arcane symbols for the sun or depict the sun through embroidery, artful dying, or gold decorations and gemstone encrustations placed to form a sun face. Those priests with their own temples have their robes worked of cloth-of-gold. A sunburst headpiece completes the ceremonial garb. Holy symbols of Amaunator are always made of gold, gold-plated metal, or gold-painted wood.
Adventuring Garb: Adventuring clerics usually wear utilitarian garb, but prefer reds and oranges for cloaks, tabards, and accessories that are not part of their armor. When possible, they wear armor that has been washed or plated with gold.
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