Church of Mielikki
Most rangers venerate Mielikki as their deity, though some venerate Silvanus, Eldath, Chauntea, Shaundakul, Mystra, or other deities. She grants her rangers their spells when they attain sufficient level, and they see her as their leader, the supreme ranger, and their watchful mother. Other followers of Mielikki include dryads, treants, woodsmen, the occasional wood elf, a few bards, and many of the Harpers. The followers of Mielikki usually do not organize themselves into official temples, but rather assemble in peaceful forest glades to worship the goddess. Shrines to the goddess are more common than temples and are found throughout the North, the Western Heartlands, and parts of the Dalelands in wilderness areas.
In 1369 DR, Mielikki ordered the reorganization of her church and reintroduced druids among her clergy to counter the waning of her faith. What little church hierarchy the Mielikkian faith has is still almost exclusively clerics; however, druids now have joined their ranks or begun circles in the North in her name. All the faithful of Mielikki are known as Walkers of the Forest Way. They are now organized into three branches of devotion: the Heartwoods, the Forestarms, and the Needles.
The spiritual followers of Mielikki, known as the Arms of the Forest, or Forestarms, are the clerics and druids of her faith. They protect the forests of the world. Mielikki's priesthood is open to all good and neutral humans, demihumans, and members of other woodland races, but tends to be dominated by human and half-elf women of battle experience, passionate character, and adventuring interests.
The Needles are rangers. They are considered to be the most beloved of the Lady of the Forest. They sometimes serve as clergy, but most often act as the warrior arm of the faith and serve a defensive role protecting the forests from marauders, humanoids, and the followers of the god Malar. Included in this branch is a small religious order of druid/ranger woodland knights known as the Shadoweirs (SHA-doh-weerz).
Forestarms and Needles are given to dwelling in the forest. (Heartwoods do so per force.) Forestarms and Needles often have two or more abodes and a dozen or more caches of food and items that they can travel to in times of need. They tend to be the most adventuresome of forest and wilderness dwellers and to have easy-going dispositions. They are serene in their knowledge of the balance of natural cycles and at peace with all other sylvan faiths except the followers of Malar (whom they call "the Great Beast" or "the Beast of Beasts" or "the Bloodgod").
Forestarms tend to be practical, unfussy folk, reverent in their fireside prayers to the Lady but impatient with too much ceremony. Their titles reflect this: Questers (novices) who are accepted into the ranks of the priesthood may rise through the following ranks: Spring Stag (clergy members of less than two winters of service), Stalkers in the Green (experienced clergy who have not achieved outstanding achievements or appointments to senior temple staff duties), Forest Flames (senior temple staff, envoys, and recognized tutors of the faithful), High Rangers (leaders of temples and champions of the faith), and Hawks of the Lady. This last title is given by the Lady herself to denote her most cherished and high-ranking followers. Temple staff titles tend to be very simple:
Dogma: Mielikki's followers are close to those of Silvanus in outlook and ethos, save that they stress the positive and outreaching nature of the wild. Intelligent beings can live in harmony with the wild without requiring the destruction of one in the name of the other. Mielikki's outlook matches that of rangers in general, which is why she is their patron.
Mielikkians are taught to embrace the wild and not fear it, because the wild ways are the good ways. They are to keep the balance and learn the hidden ways of all life. They should not allow trees to be needlessly felled or the forest to be burned. They are to live in the forest and be a part of the forest, not dwell in endless battle against the forest.
Walkers of the Forest Way must protect forest life, defend every tree, plant anew where death fells a tree, and strive to keep the balance that indiscriminate fire-users and woodcutters break. They are to live in harmony with the woods, to teach others to do so, and to punish and frustrate those who hunt for sport (not food) and who practice cruelties upon wild creatures.
Day-to-Day Activities: The Forestarms outlook is oriented toward the protection of nature (and forests in particular) from the forces of evil and ignorance. Many of these priests can be found wandering among small communities nestled at the edges of forests both great and small. They seek to teach humans and other goodly races to care and respect the trees and the life beneath their leafy bows. They try to prevent further encroachment by civilization on the remaining great forests by teaching careful forest husbandry.
When called upon, they defend the forest with force of arms if necessary. The Needles support the Forestarms of their own faith and the clergies of Eldath and Silvanus in defending, renewing, and even extending forests and forest life. Wherever possible without conflicting with this prime interest, they are to work against those who deal in fire magic (notably the Red Wizards and followers of Kossuth) and encourage city- and farm-dwelling folk to revere natural life and to view woodlands as rich, friendly places that are pleasant refuges for renewal and enjoying natural beauty, not deadly backlands to be feared and fought. They are also charged with supporting the Harpers when this does not conflict with their more primary duties, since the Harpers work against the rise of great powers, which tend to endanger all natural life and conditions around them by trying to reshape Faerun.
Rangers of all faiths are to be assisted whenever possible by Walkers of the Forest way, and the seeds of trees and woodland plants gathered, nurtured, and planted in an ongoing process so that 40 new trees will rise for every one taken by flame or axe. Many of the Forestarms and Needles visit foresters regularly to heal them and provide guidance so that as few trees as possible are taken and the forest is culled of weak creatures and unnatural predators, not creatures in the prime of life and health. In recent years, the Forestarms and Needles have worked with ranchers north of Melvaunt, eastern Amn, and the lands of the Dessarin to breed deer in large herds for food and pelt use, leaving the wild deer of the forests to recover—along with all the other forest creatures that either depend on deer for food or are killed or frightened away by casual human forest incursions.
Holy Days/Important Ceremonies: Those who worship the Lady of the Forest believe her voice is echoed continuously throughout all forests by the rustling leaves. A worshiper in good stead can listen and understand the whispers of the woods after a period of meditation and extended introspection.
These whispers have been transcribed by a few bards and rangers, but never seem to say the same thing twice. The general theme is the preservation and understanding of the forests and the creatures living within them. (Those who listen for a long period of time are reputed to improve their tracking and woodland survival skills as well as their knowledge of animal lore.)
Worship of Mielikki involves periods of introspection and meditation each morning and evening (in the forest whenever possible). Groups of worshipers also gather under the stars to sing the Lady's praises and ask for her guidance. When a worshiper of Mielikki begins a self-imposed quest to right a desecration of the forest, a special prayer is given up to the Lady of the Forest for strength and guidance. When aid is needed performing some simple task like setting the broken leg of a trapped wolf or following a trail, Walkers of the Forest Way usually ask for the Lady's blessing under their breath before proceeding.
The best-known to outsiders of the holy rituals of Mielikki are the Four Feasts of the solstice and equinox nights. These are known simply as the First Feast, the Second Feast, and so on. They are occasions for holy rituals and revels, wherein all Mielikki's faithful are expected to celebrate the sensual side of existence and sing praises to the Lady in forest depths wherever possible.
The festivals of Greengrass and Midsummer Night are even greater rituals, combining revels similar to those of the Four Feasts with planting rites and the Wild Ride. During the Wild Ride, the lady causes unicorns to gather in herds and gallop through the woods. Her faithful are allowed to ride them bareback through the night, covering astonishing distances and seeing much. On such rides, unicorns are empowered by the Lady to use their teleport ability as often as they desire for up to triple the normal range. On years when Shieldmeet follows Midsummer, riders can continue the Ride for that day and night if they so desire.
At least once a month, every member of the clergy must perform the Song of the Trees and serve any dryads, dryads, or treants their song calls forth. The clergy members perform the small tasks requested of them, but are free of dryad charms through the will of the Lady.
Every fire lit by a member of Mielikki's clergy must have the Dread Prayer whispered over it. In return, Mielikki makes the fire give off intense heat in particular directions indicated by the supplicant but almost no smoke. Such fires glow only dimly, so as to attract as little attention as possible, and do not spread. In this way, no watch need be kept against starting forest fires.
Major Centers of Worship: The most prominent center of the forest faith is located at the Falls of Tumbling Stars, west of Lake Sember. The locale is a hidden mountain valley where the Immerflow springs out of the Thunder Peaks and falls down the mountainsides to feed the river leading to the Wyvernwater. In this little-known valley, guarded against intrusion by rangers and half-elf archers of deadly skill, Hawk of the Lady Neretheen Jalassan, a priestess of Mielikki, and Hawk of the Lady Lord Ranger Beldryn Stormstone lead a small community of powerful rangers and other Walkers of the Forest Way in worship of the Lady of the Forest. To this holy place, the hurt and the favored of Mielikki's faithful are brought by secret ways. In the vale are holy bathing pools where the wounded are restored by the magic of Mielikki, and from this hidden vale the most powerful Walkers of the Forest Way fare forth to make pilgrimages to the distant Unicorn Run, where a gateway to Mielikki's realm is said to lie, and to work Mielikki's will across Faerun.
Affiliated Orders: Named for the greatest trees of the forests, the shadowtops and the weirwoods, the Shadoweirs are a highly secretive branch of the faith that originated in the northern reaches of the High Forest. Its members consist solely of half-elf multiclassed druid/rangers, and its membership has spread (thinly) beyond the High Forest throughout all of Faerun.
The Shadoweirs serve as a sort of religious knighthood of the woods. Unlike the Arms of the Forest or even the Needles, the Shadoweirs are an activist and proselytizing order who are willing to go on the offensive in the behalf of their sacred forests. They seek to advance the regrowth of ancient forests reduced by civilization. Many Shadoweirs are adventurers, wandering the Realms with missionary zeal. They seek to halt the endless assault of civilization on their ancient homelands.
Within the Walkers of the Forest Way, the Order of the Unicorn's Horn is a small society of itinerant healers who bring solace to both injured people, animals, and plants. The Mielikkian faith also has close ties with Those Who Harp (the Harpers), an organization working for good throughout Faerun and against the rise of great powers, which tend to endanger all natural life and conditions around them by trying to reshape Faerun.
Priestly Vestments: The colors of Mielikkian ceremonial garb vary with the seasons, each season having a base color and an accent. Winter is white with green accents, spring green with yellow accents, summer yellow* with red accents, and fall red with white accents. The white and green of winter symbolizes evergreens and the unsleeping life of the forest, the green and yellow of spring is for the slow awakening of the forest to lush life, the yellow and red of summer represents the full splendor of flowers and burgeoning fruits and grains, and the red and white of fall symbolizes fall leaves being overlaid with snow. These colors govern capes worn with armor in times of war and the ceremonial dress of the Forestarms and the Needles: trousers, boots (always brown), a short cape, and a tabard that is longsleeved in winter and sleeveless in summer. Whatever the garb, the unicorn's head of Mielikki, carved of ivory or bone or stitched in silver thread, is always worn over the heart.
The ceremonial dress of the Shadoweirs is chain mail and deep forest green cloaks woven by dryads from spider silk and dyed with natural dyes. Many powerful forest knights wear ancient suits of elven chain mail they have been given by elven lords for their efforts in defending the forests. The symbol of the Shadoweirs is a giant shadowtop tree with a pair of crossed swords overlaying it, and it is sometimes stitched as a design on their clothing or worn on their shields.
Adventuring Garb: When in the field, most Walkers in the Forest Way dress appropriate to the weather and their duties, though they maintain the preferred seasonal colors of their faith. In very hot weather or in the summer woods most wear only a sash and baldric of the right colors. They carry needed gear in pouches, small packs, or strapped to their boots. The Shadoweirs prefer suits of gleaming chain mail or studded leather armor in the field.
- 1 The Church of Mielikki
The Church of Mielikki
They can sometimes be found in the temples of Mielikki: Dancing Place, Deep Glade, Evergreen Hall, Falls of Tumbling Stars, Falls of the Tumbling Stars, Glade of Life, Green Door, Halls of the Unicorn, Highluthholt, Ladys Grove, Ladys Hands, Mielikkis Glade, Mooshie's Grove, Rangers Refuge, Rutawwa, Shrines of Nature, Unicorn Run and Westwood.
Like other worshipers of Mielikki, members of the Church of Mielikki favor the following items: Yornar's Trail Companion
Churches of the Allies of Mielikki: Church of Angharradh, Church of Baervan Wildwanderer, Church of Chauntea, Church of Cyrrollalee, Church of Eldath, Church of Gwaeron Windstrom, Church of Lathander, Church of Lurue, Church of Nobanion, Church of Rillifane Rallathil, Church of Shaundakul, Church of Sheela Peryroyl, Church of Shiallia, Church of Silvanus
Depictions of Church of Mielikki
No depictions of Church of Mielikki found.
Clergy of Mielikki
Temples to Mielikki
All Worshipers of Mielikki
No Campaign Appearances found for Church of Mielikki
Areas of Activity
Active in: Archendale, Belabranta Villa, Brost, Dancing Place, Deep Glade, Eirontalar Villa, Essembra, Evergreen Hall, Everlund, Falls of Tumbling Stars, Falls of the Tumbling Stars, Glade of Life, Green Door, Halls of the Unicorn, Highluthholt, Ladys Grove, Ladys Hands, Lake Sember, Maerlar, Mielikkis Glade, Mooshie's Grove, Nesher Villa, Rangers Refuge, Rutawwa, Shrines of Nature, Silverymoon, Stag-Horned Flagon, Tarm Villa, Tchazzam Villa, Teuveamanthaar, Unicorn Run and Westwood
Church of Mielikki Events
(Waterdeep Presence 5)