milil_symbol.jpg
Lord of Song, the Lord of All Songs, Guardian of Singers and Troubadours, the One True Hand of All-Wise Oghma
Pantheon Faerunian
Realm House of Knowledge
Portfolio Poetry, song, eloquence
Worshippers Adventurers, bards, entertainers
Domains Charm, Good, Knowledge, Nobility
Favored Weapon Sharptongue (rapier)

Milil

Milil (Mihl-LiLL) is depicted in religious art and song as a handsome male human or elf with a charismatic manner and a haunting, melodic voice. He is venerated by human, elf, and half-elf bards, who see him as the One Who Watches While Music is Alive (when they are performing), the Guardian of Singers and Troubadours, and the One True Hand of All-Wise Oghma. (Deneir is the other “Hand.”) Deneir, Gond, and Milil serve Oghma, though Milil has little in common with Gond, and their relationship is strained. He is on excellent terms with a number of powerful gods, including Mystra and Sune, and often works closely with Lliira. He is welcome in the elf pantheon as well as the Faerunian pantheon because of the beauty of his song.

Milil is the ultimate performer: self-confident, inspired, possessed of total recall or anything he sets a mind to remember, able to improvise facilely out of desire or necessity, well-educated in general theories of conduct and broad areas of knowledge, and masterful in all sorts of performance technique (including a passing knowledge of disguise derived from costume theory), especially within his sphere of knowledge–music, poetry, and elegant speech. However, he is also self-centered and egotistical and likes to be the center of attention. When he is not the center of attention, he bores easily, and his mind wanders or he leaves. He is also given to flirtation with both deities and mortals for his own enjoyment, to deep annoyance of more sober powers.

Other Manifestations

Milil often manifests as haunting music, particularly in clearing deep in woodlands. He appears as a wordless, lone male voice soaring through the air where no singer can be seen. At times, Milil draws the image of two dancing hollyphants in the air in glowing yellow lines or in ink (that appears from nowhere) on parchment to signify his approval. This seems to indicate his delight in watching such creatures dance to his music. More often, Milil manifests as a radiance surrounding a bard, storyteller, or epic poet in the throes of inspiration–a sight always heralding a performance that moves an audience to tears, blind obedience, enthusiastic offerings of money, or whatever else the performer desires them to do. Milil often places helpful visions (mental pictures of the whereabouts of treasure, lost loved ones, or directions overland) in the mind of a singer or musician who pleases him.

Milil also acts through the appearance or presence of aasimar (all accomplished singers), hollyphants, light aasimons, movanic devas, and solars. More commonly he sends songbirds (especially nightingales), white horses or pegasi, calico cats, red or yellow roses, lilies, peonies, perfect gemstones or any sort, and peregrine falcons to show his favor and as a sign to inspire his faithful.

Milil is a god of creativity and inspiration, of the whole song more than just the lyrics or the music. He represents the finished thought, the process that takes an idea from conception to completion. As a result, the ethos of Milil teaches to consider the world in terms of a continuing process, a song that begins at birth and is only silenced with the final chord.

Novices in the Mililan faith are given the following charge: “Life is a song: Strive always to make it more beautiful. Destroy no music nor instrument, nor stop a singer before the tune is done. Listen to the world around as well as filling it with you own sound. One singer's music is another's noise, and musicianship always. Sing to Milil everyday. Music is the most precious thing folks can create–so encourage its training, use, and preservation at all times and in all possible ways. Awaken a love of song in all folks you can, and offer its performance freely around campfire or on the trail. Cease not in your own seeking for new tunes, new techniques, and new instruments to master.”

Milil attracts those who love music–and who need to be a part of it, no merely listeners. Such folk tend to be sensualists. They love good wine, good food, pleasing art and architectural or natural surroundings, the amorous company of others, and the beauties of nature–many faithful of Milil enjoy rising before the sun to watch the wakening radiance. For reasons lost in the mists of time, all clergy of Milil are known as Sorlyn (probably after a founding patriarch of the faith), and specialty priests of the faith are called tuneservants. Both genders are represented fairly equally in the faith, and the ranks of the clergy are about two-thirds human, with a quarter of the remnant being elves, and the remainder half-elves. Sorlyn all tend to be charsmatic and physically attractive. All are also good singers skilled in the use of at least one musical instrument. Additionally, many are accomplished composers and musicians or even dancers. They tend to be active perfomers and travelers, not recluses or cloistered scriveners.

About half of the total priesthood of Milil are clerics, the remainder being specialty priests with a few bards, mystics, and spellsingers in the service of the Lord of All Song. In general, before the Godswar the priests in the larger cities, with more organized churches beneath them, were clerics, while the churches in more remote areas were commanded by tuneservants; however, the number of tuneservants in the faith has been growing steadily since the Time of Troubles. Relations between the clerics and the specialty priests are good, though the more conservative clerics are a bit concerned about recurring incidents of tuneservants using their enthrall and suggestion powers to enhance their own status and the tuneservants' continual support of “ner'er-do-wells” (adventurers). A quick way to determine whether a local temple of Milil is run by a cleric or a tuneservant is to listen to its music. All temples of Milil have very good choirs, songmasters, organists, and/or musicians, but the type of music varies. Clerics tend to play traditional songs and hymns while tuneservants prefer newer works, some of which may be disconcerting to the parishoners.

Milil's is an organized faith, with all churches paying heed (or at least lip service) to the Patriarch of Song in Waterdeep. Unfortunately, the influence of the Patriarch diminishes with distance, such that those congregations in Sembia tend to pay attention only to the most urgent messages.

Mililan temples are soaring, catherdrals of splendid architecture. All of them have choir lofts, facilities for presenting stage performances, workshops for the repair and construction of musical instruments, extensive music libraries, and carefully crafted acoustics.

Major Centers of Worship

The most significant temple to Milil is currently Arbalest's House in Athkatla (Amn), whence Milil journeyed during the Time of Troubles to personally found a singing circle. The Lord of Song charged the Patriarch of Song, the aged overlord of his church, to oversee this new temple's development. The Patriarch remains active in encouraging the faith in Waterdeep (notably the rising Temple of Good Cheer and the bards' college of New Olamn) and journeys often by means of a secret gate created by Milil between the hilltop temple in Athkatla, with its mightly Bellows of Milil organ and its growing circle of adherent bards and minstrels, and his own abode in Waterdeep.

Orders

The Harmonious Order

Milil has one knightly order of personable (and sometimes swaggering) fighters, paladins, and bards, the Harmonious Order, whose members, along with the clergy, guard temples and holy sites. Its members also often pursue quests or do good works in Milil's name, and tuneservants love to accompany them on these romantic and glorious quests. Though Milil's symbol is the silver harp, his symbol is not meant to directly link him to the Harpers, who use the cresent moon and harps; however, the church of Milil does have ties to Those Who Harp.

Priests

Sorlyn adhere to clear rules and an organized hierarchy. They use the titles (in ascending order of rank) of: Mute One (novice), Chanter, Chorister, Soloiest, Lead Voice, First Voice, Songmaster, and Glorian–a title used by all senior clergy in addition to any temple rank of office they may also hold. Typical temple ranks include Castellan, Master Tutor, Master Wind, Master Serenader, Master Librarian, Master Instrumentalist, Prior, and Patriarch. The specialty priests of the faith address each other as Harmonian, regardless of rank or accomplishments, and are noticeably (and acceptably) lax about using the formal titles of other clergy members–except the Patriarch of Song, who they revere profoundly.

The mysterious Patriarch of Song appears as an old man with kindly features, a flowing white beard, and ice-blue eyes. He is probably the best harpist in the world. His knobby old hands are able to make a harp sing, moan, drone, and almost seem to talk, as well as emitting the more usual sounds of such an instrument. His voice is a magnificent baritone, though, he has a falsetto that seems like the clear, high voice of a young elf girl or very young human maiden. His true name and origins have been forgotten, but he has adopted various names–and appearanes– in recent years, even apparently switching gender from time to time at the command of the Lord of All Songs. He is rumored to be ablt to enthrall intelligent beings with a song so beautiful that they enter a trance and hear only the music soaring endlessly in their heads until freed by rough handling. Sorlyn believe he has been given speical powers by Milil beyond his apparent immortality, and that as long as he survives, music in Faerun will grow and flourish. Legend insists that the Patriarch flits about the Realms from time to time insiring youthful and promising singers by showing up at their local tavern as an old minstrel and givning a performance that leaves everyone present weeping and yet bright-eyed with hope.

Day-to-Day Activities

Most Sorlyn spend their time learning lyrics, tunes, and how best to perform them on a slowly expanding repertoire of instruments both in their temple and on the road. They take care to write down both original compositions and those they have learned, as well as recording tunes through the use of the singing stones spell for those as yet unborn. Such records are to be cached in hiding as well as stored in temple vaults to make the survival of the music as likely as possible. Sorlyn also work as tutors to all who profess faith in Milil or who pay for the training, as well as judging many bardic contests and adjudicating bardic disputes between individuals, companies, or colleges.

Tunesevants are more adventurous. They roam the roads of Faerun rescuing or protecting common minstrels and great bards alike when such individuals fall on hard times or into peril. They also accompany adventurers of other faiths on deeds of heroism so that they can compose ballads about what befell (from “Brave Sir Dobbyn Ran Away” to “She Was Only a Wanton Weredragon, But She Was a Fair Lady”). They also embark on adventures of their own to recover music, instruments, and the like from old ruins and tombs, or learn of music long gone by using their stone tell abilities and similar magics is such places.

Priestly Vestments

Sorlyn wear robes of rich, lustrous fabic–usually crimson adorned with cloth-of-gold dragons, bards, or warriors arching and spiraling the length of the garment. Metal chimes are often worn as earrings, anklets, or on bracelets when outdoors, but these are always easily removable so not to mar music-making. Hair is worn short or– in case of tuneservants– bound up in a golden hair-net so as not to get in the way of playing instruments or listening acutely. Their holy symbol can take the form of a real harp or the symbol of Milil formed into an artfully crafted piece of jewerly.

Sorlyn prefer the security of full (often chased and ornamented) armor when adventuring or traveling overland in dangerous regions, and defend themselves with magic, maces, and enchanted musical instruments. Song has its place, but in a world full of orcs, dragons, and critics, it is best to be prepared for anything.

Holy Days/Important Ceremonies

Devout worshipers of Milil call out to him in a Song of Praise at least once a day and usually also after every victory of battle or great thing that benefits them. They also participate in either a personal song to the Lord of All Songs upon awakening or (in a temple) join in the softly voiced chorus of the Sunrise Song. Other rituals include the solemn, beautiful polyphonic chord-singing of the Song of Sorrowing, performed at the funeral of any faithful of Milil, and the Song of Welcoming, sung when someone is welcomed into the faith. The calendar-related festivals marked by rituals sacred to Milil are Greengrass, when the Call to the Flowers is sung by all faithful, and Midsummer, when the Grand Revel is held. The Revel involves a feast, dancing, and much roistering, and is marked by parodies and wickedly satirical song, but all other shared (by two or more clergy members and laity) rituals of worship to Milil involve a sung or played opening call, a prayer and solo song while kneeling before the altar, a unison hymn followed by a sermon or supplication to the Lord of Song (and the proffering of any offerings), and then a closing song that rises to a thunderous, grand cresendo that typically makes devout listeners or participants weep with joy– and those of other faiths stop and listen in wonder.

Allies

Oghma, Deneir, Lliira, Sune, Mystra, Finder Wyvernspur, Stillsong, Hanali Celanil, Corellon Larethian, Sehanine Monobow, Rillifane Rallathil, Erevan Ilesere, Labelas Enoreth, Lathander

Foes

He has earned the enmity of Cyric for his ridiculing ballad about the period of madness the Prince of Lies experienced.

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  • Last modified: 2018/01/13 06:46
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