Dungeons & Dragons Forgotten Realms
Elminster Speaks
Wrapup Compilation
Part 66: Kholtar, Part 17
Part 65: Kholtar, Part 16
Part 64: Kholtar, Part 15
Part 63: Kholtar, Part 14
Part 62: Kholtar, Part 13
Part 61: Kholtar, Part 12

Elminster Speaks
(Part #6)

The Sage of Shadowdale has something to say about pretty much everything. Despite having pages in Dragon Magazine, Dungeon Adventures, and Polyhedron Newszine, the Old Mage still has more to speak of the Realms. Not wanting to anger an archmage, we decided it would be best to give him a weekly column from which to discuss the finer points.

Listen well, young one...

Local Faith

Voonlar is a farming community first and foremost; its primary faith is the devotion of Chauntea. Not far behind in local influence is the faith of Cyric, which recently supplanted Zhent-encouraged veneration of Bane.

The worship of Chauntea is practiced privately in many farmhouses and fields, as well as in temple services. The authorities may be outraged by offenses against the Black Sun, but common Voonlarrans will rise up in murderous wrath for affronts against the Great Mother—such as burning crops, wasting food, poisoning water, and sewing the land with salt or despoiling it with magic.

The town is home to two temples: The Dark God Reformed, a temple of Cyric, is the one that has more official recognition. It was formerly The Dark Lord’s Hand, a House of Bane, though it held a number of similar names under various high priests. The Bounty of the Goddess, a temple of Chauntea, is the larger of the two churches.

Shrines to Lathander and Tempus stand on the verges of Voonlar, and the older, northwestward Common Gardens contain a stone-and-shingle pavilion where travelers of other faiths can pray. The Common Gardens is equipped with a bare block altar and braziers, but lacking walls or any place to sleep, camping overnight is expressly forbidden. Locals call this ‘The Holy House.’ It has a simple privy, and a deep well that yields cool, clear drinking water that anyone can draw freely.

The House of the Holy Light

The shrine to Lathander resembles the Holy House all-faiths pavilion, except that its ceiling is set with sheets of mica affixed to angled stones, placed to capture the rosy rays of the rising sun and flash them out in all directions. It stands on the west side of the Dump Road, just south of the Three Elves inn. The House of Holy Light is tended by Gentle Father Erngar Narrowlea (NG hm P3) and several lay followers. Narrowlea is kindly but shrewd, seeing future implications of the smallest acts. He works covertly to confound the schemes of the Bron and the Cyricists, lends small amounts of money to Lathanderites for business ventures, and sells holy water and potions of healing to anyone to raise funds for the faith.

Narrowlea typically has six healing draughts (potions of extra-healing) in wax-sealed glass vials available and sells them for 1,100 gold pieces each. Holy water comes in larger glass jars, at 25 gp each, and the Gentle Father tries to keep over 20 on hand.

The shrine attracts a steady congregation of travelers (except in winter) and more than 40 Voonlarrans. Narrowlea is visited about once a tenday by higher-ranking priests of the Morninglord, who bring him fresh supplies of ‘the coin-earning holies.’ A tiny bed of herbs and spices, which can be freely harvested by all, surrounds the shrine. The only rule regarding taking herbs and spices from the shrine is that no one may take the last shoot, sprig, berry, or leaf. It’s written that anyone who does so shall incur the wrath of Lathander.


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