|Forgotten Realms Deity|
|Title(s)||Rider of the Winds |
The Helping Hand
|Homeplane||Gates of the Moon|
|Portfolio||Wind, Travel, Exploration, Portals, Mining, Travellers, Rangers, & Caravans|
Shaundakul is a fictional Faerûnian lesser deity of the Forgotten Realms campaign setting. He is the deity of the wind and portals, travelling and travellers, rangers and exploration, caravans and caravaneers, as well as mining and miners.
Shaundakul, the Rider of the Winds, was the god of travel and exploration in old Myth Drannor. His worshippers were humans and half-elves, mostly rangers and miners exploring the Moonsea area. He was a god for brave adventurers and travelers (including, notably, caravan merchants). His major temple in the Realms was Shaundakul's Throne in Myth Drannor, though he had many shrines in the North (if you find a stone dais atop a high place, crowned with a stone seat or throne and accompanied by one or more stone pillars pierced with holes that the wind whistles through, you have found one of them). When Myth Drannor fell and its people were slain or scattered, Shaundakul's worship dwindled, leaving only a few scattered priests throughout the North. Since the withdrawal of the elves from the woods surrounding Myth Drannor, the ruined city has lain open for exploration, and Shaundakul has started to gain followers again. Shaundakul dwells on the Prime Material Plane, in the ruins of Myth Drannor. His symbol is a pointing hand surrounded by swirling winds.
He manifests bodily as a bearded man who wears a traveler's cape and is armed with a greatsword called "The Sword of Shadows". The goddesses Beshaba and Shar are in opposition to him. His festival day "Windride" is celebrated on the 15th day Tarsakh.
Shaundakul (shawn-da-kul) is best known as the patron deity of the Wind, (recently) portals, for travel, travelers, exploration, miners, caravans and rangers who walk the lands. Also called the Helping Hand, his influence with citizens of the North was one of beneficial direction, aiding the defenders of settlements as they sprung up across the Realms.
After falling into obscurity in the wake of the fall of Myth Drannor in 714 DR, the church of Shaundakul has been greatly revitalized since the Time of Troubles in 1358 DR. The general populace did not know much, if anything about him before then. The decade-long absence of Waukeen and near collapse of her church in the wake of the Avatar Crisis caused many merchants, particularly caravaneers, to turn to Shaundakul for a time. Shaundakul never actually lost the portfolio for caravans and although many merchants have since returned to the church of the Waukeen, others, particularly those infected with wanderlust, have stayed faithful, and the church has continued to grow.
Shaundakul also has reached out in many ways to attract more followers. His faith is also on the upswing in part because of his willingness to personally recruit worshipers while manifested in physical form. This influx of numbers allowed him to create several internal orders within his clergy for specific purposes, and, upon Waukeen’s return, increased his power and influence further when Lord Ao granted him the portfolio of portals. To this end, he has charged his clergy with identifying and locating useful portals. Portals of primary interest are those that would facilitate ease of trade, or enhance exploration possibilities. A small group of his clergy have formed a loose fellowship to this end, calling themselves The Portalwalkers.
Today, the church of Shaundakul attracts many brave adventurers and daring explorers to its ranks, and word of their latest exploits is eagerly awaited in the cities in which they are based. Not long ago, he attained enough followers to regain lesser power status.
Shaundakul is a reclusive deity of few words who lets his deeds speak for him. He is kind but stern, with a rugged sense of humor that sometimes comes to the fore. Clad in his dark, swirling cloak, leather armor, and boots that never quite touch the ground, the Rider of the Winds cuts a regal figure with his massive greatsword ever at the ready. Tall and handsome, Shaundakul walks in silence but is surrounded by the ever-present keening whistle of the wind.
Shaundakul is an old deity, once an intermediate deity popular in the Moonsea, whose divine status predates the creation of Beshaba and Tymora from Tyche. Shaundakul's church collapsed and his followers dwindled in the aftermath of the fall of Myth Drannor, and he dwindled in status to the rank of demipower. Beshaba later used his name to promote discord among the nomads of Anauroch, who now curse him as the Treacherous Lurker in the Sands. Since the Time of Troubles, Shaundakul has risen back to the level of lesser power and allied himself with deities such as Akadi, Mielikki and her allies, Selune, Tymora, and the more daring members of the Seldarine. He opposes Shar because he dislikes secrets and enjoys spreading the word of hidden places. He battles with Beshaba for the suffering she has inflicted in his name.
Spread the teachings of the Helping Hand by leading through example. Work to promote him among traders, especially trailblazers who seek out new lands and new opportunities. Unearth and resanctify ancient shrines of Shaundakul. Ride the wind, and let it take you wherever it blows. Aid those in need, and trust in the Helping Hand. Seek out the riches of the earth and sea. Journey to distant horizons. Be the first to see the rising sun, the mountain peaks, the lush valleys. Let your footsteps fall where none have tread.
Shaundakul's priests are mostly found within the forest of Cormanthor, especially around the area of Myth Drannor. Unlike the Windriders, Specialty Priest of Shaundakul are not limited to the borders of Cormanthor. They are free to travel and explore the Realms (it is the Windriders job to protect and guard the ancient elven lands, although many Specialty Priests also choose to perform this task). Priest of Shaundakul usually wear leather armor and forest green cloaks and wield long swords and short bows, but are allowed to wear chain or lighter armor and use any weapon. Their spell selection consist of major access to the spheres of All, Animal, Elemental, Guardian, Healing, Plant, Protection, and Weather, and minor access to Combat, Divination, Travel¬ers, and Wards.
Clerics of Shaundakul pray for their spells in the morning right after the wind shifts from the changing temperature. Their holy day is the Windride, which is celebrated on the 15th day of Tarsakh. On this day, Shaundakul causes all his clerics to assume gaseous form at dawn, if they cannot wind walk on their own, so that they are carried with the wind. They return to normal (and are lowered safely to the ground) at dusk, usually in some place they have never been before.
Shaundakul's clergy members have a few simple ceremonies they practice when appropriate. They are to utter a simple prayer every time the wind changes significantly. Whenever they discover previously uncharted territory (such as an undiscovered valley, lake, or island), they are to create a small throne of rocks marked with Shaundakul's symbol near the location where they first made the discovery. If capable, they are to create a shrine to Shaundakul using stone shape. Shaundakul's clerics commonly multiclass as rangers or windwalkers.
Members of the clergy are expected to live off the land and work as guides and protectors of travelers, caravans, and mining expeditions. Many serve as guides for adventuring companies or as explorers. A very few are Harpers. All seek to visit the scattered shrines of Shaundakul (particularly the great one in Myth Drannor) as frequently as possible and to construct new ones when they acquire sufficient resources. Ever since Shaundakul added portals to his portfolio, his clerics have been tasked with locating and identifying portals that would be useful for trade and exploration. Shaundakul's clerics wear a dark swirling cloak over garb appropriate for the trail, and favor dark colors and silver in general. Many wear their holy symbol on the back of their gauntlet (usually leather or chain mail).
Shaundakul prefers to be venerated at shrines, most of which are uninhabited and in remote places. Typically, a shrine to Shaundakul is a stone dais built atop a high place, crowned with a stone seat or throne, and accompanied by one or more stone pillars pierced with holes through which the wind whistles. Many such shrines exist throughout the Moonsea and the Stonelands, some of them over a thousand years old. Shaundakul is not commonly worshiped within cities and he has few formal temples as a result. Because the clergy members love to wander, his few temples constantly have new clerics arrive as others leave.
Shaundakul's church is loosely organized, and its branches are largely independent. There is little in the way of formal hierarchy, although those who served the Rider of the Winds prior to the Godswar hold positions of great respect in the church. Since the Time of Troubles, several military orders have been founded in the name of Shaundakul.
The Fellowship of the Next Mountain is an order of rangers and clerics who typically work alone, blazing trails in the uncharted wilderness areas of the Sword Coast North and Moonsea North.
The Knights of the Shadow Sword are an elite order of fighters and rangers based in Shaundakul's Throne and dedicated to cleansing Myth Drannor of the evil that haunts its streets and ruins. Initially, they are fortifying the ancient Myth Drannan temple as a base of operations and sending out scouts to reconnoiter the ruined city.
The Riders of the West Wind are an order of clerics and a few rangers who hire themselves out as a mercenary company to guard caravans heading through uncharted wilderness to distant lands.
Shaundakul’s other titles: Seeker of the Wind, Scout, Trailblazer, Explorer, Guide of the Hidden Ways, Rider of the West Wind, Rider of the South Wind, Rider of the East Wind, Rider of the North Wind, and High Lord Windhand.
Major Spheres: Elemental air, portals, travelers, weather, healing, protection, astral, combat,
Minor Spheres: Animal, creation, divination, elemental earth, elemental water, guardian, necromantic, plant, sun
Raas, Doug. "Folk of Faerûn: Shaundakul." The Candlekeep Compendium. Volume VI: July 2006.
Raas, Doug. "Folk of Faerûn: Shaundakul, Part II." The Candlekeep Compendium. Volume VII: November 2006. http://www.candlekeep.com/compendium/index.htm