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Faith in the County of Ulek - The Church of Ehlonna
Posted on Mon, August 25, 2003 by Trickster
MerricB writes "Would you know more about one of the dominant religions of the Ulekian states? Then read on to discover details of organisation, followers and political interests of the Church of Ehlonna!

Faith in the County of Ulek - The Church of Ehlonna
By: MerricB
Used with Permission. Do not repost without obtaining prior permission from the author.

Revered by humans, elves, halflings and gnomes the goddess Ehlonna is one of the stronger faiths in the County of Ulek. There would be some truth to the notion that the worship of Ehlonna is actually shared between the three tri-states of Ulek, certainly the church of Ehlonna in Ulek treats itself as one being - the links to other churches of Ulek in other states of the Flanaess are much more tenuous.

Priests of the order refer to themselves as "Leafbrother" and "Leafsister", even at the highest levels. It is not so much that there is no hierarchy within the church of Ehlonna - for certainly such exists - but rather they see no need to distinguish between the ranks in either conversation or correspondence.

As might be expected, the Silverwood forest holds one of the main centres of the faith and is one of the main training grounds for priests and priestesses of Ehlonna, as well as the rangers associated with the faith. A similar centre exists in the Axewood, and the third such centre once existed in the Suss Forest near the town of Fax, although it has largely been abandoned since the rise of Turmosh Mak.

At any one time, it could be expected that up to ten ranger apprentices and fifteen acolytes would be based at one of these Heartgroves, as they are called. The rangers are taught by the master-apprentice system, with each master ranger taking on the duty of teaching only one lesser apprentice. The acolytes do not follow the same system, with one of the clerics of Ehlonna being designated to teach each group of acolytes.

Most clerics of Ehlonna are female, with most men feeling drawn towards the goddess' teachings becoming rangers, although there are both male clerics and female rangers - though more of the latter than the former.

In the County of Ulek, the somewhat progressive nature of Count Lewenn has caused some tension between the Leafsisters and the normal folk of the County. By no means does it approach the antagonism that exists between the churches of Beory and Berei, but it is there. With the humans, halflings and gnomes requiring more land to farm, the church of Ehlonna has occasionally had to campaign hard to prevent old woodlands being further destroyed. However, this campaigning has been performed with perfect civility - regardless of the Leafsisters' true feelings about the Count's plans.

This is in contrast to the fiery clashes between the Count and the followers of Obad-Hai, the latter sharing the Leafsisters' distaste of damage being done to the woodlands. Unfortunately, the antagonism that has long existed between Ehlonna and Obad-Hai does not permit them to work together, and as a result their arguments have often conflicted allowing the other members of the court to undermine them.

Knight-Marshal Lachlan often finds himself aligned with the representative of Ehlonna on the Royal Council - currently Leafsister Illessia - because of his relationships with the rangers of Ehlonna, one of the most valuable groups defending the County, even though his own political views are neutral on those affairs. Lady Caitlin remains neutral in such matters, but Father Dralen of Yondalla is often opposed to the Leafsister's proposals.

Each of the three Heartgroves had a unicorn defender; the defender of the Suss Heartgrove is currently missing, feared slain by the armies of Turmosh Mak. The other two unicorns can be seen visiting the Leafsisters from time to time and giving guidance.

Ehlonna herself is believed to have appeared and consecrated each of the Heartgroves. The goddess had been on friendly terms with the elven deities - particularly Corellon Larethian - however this relationship has soured since the refusal of the elves of Celene to help recover the lost Heartgrove.

With respect to the attitudes of the normal folk of the County of Ulek to the Lady of the Forests, it would be fair to say that most don't think of her at all, being more concerned with the worship of Beory and Berei. This is much different for those who live on the edges or within the forests of the County, in particular the folk of the Barony of Oakhurst that lies in the centre of the County. The Baron of Oakhurst and his children are all firm followers of Ehlonna.

"
 
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Re: Faith in the County of Ulek - The Church of Ehlonna (Score: 1)
by Tedra (tedra@cableone.net) on Mon, May 24, 2004
(User Info | Send a Message | Journal) http://myweb.cableone.net/tedra
Very good article. My main interest in reading was the information about the priesthood and rangerhood of Ehlonna's followers more than the actual setting of Ulek. I love the Heartgroves. Very nice touch.




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