Milil is the god of song and poetry. He is the ultimate performer: self-confident, inspired, possessed of total recall on anything he sets a mind to remember. He is able to improvise performances 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, especially within his sphere of knowledge—music, poetry, and elegant speech. While a great musician, he is also self-centered and egotistical and likes to be the center of attention. If 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 the deep annoyance of more sober deities.
Milil is an amazing harpist. 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 appearances—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 able 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. Milil's clerics believe that as long as Milil exists, music in Faerûn 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 giving a performance that leaves everyone present weeping and yet bright-eyed with hope.
Milil attracts those who love music—and who need to be a part of it, not merely listeners. Such folk tend to be sensualists. They love good wine, good food, pleasing art and architectural, the amorous company of others, and the beauties of nature—many faithful of Milil enjoy rising before the sun to watch the wakening radiance.
The church of Milil is organized, with all churches paying heed (or at least lip service) to the Patriarch of Song in Waterdeep. Most clerics of Milil are known as Sorlyn, 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.
Clerics spend their time learning lyrics, tunes, and how to best perform them on a slowly expanding repertoire of instruments both in their temples and on the road. They take care to write down both original compositions and those they have learned, using magic to record such works for those as yet unborn. Some 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. Most clerics multiclass as bards.
More adventuresome clerics roam the roads of Faerûn, rescuing or protecting common minstrels and great bards alike when such individuals fall on hard times or into peril and accompanying adventurers of other faiths on deeds of heroism so that they can compose ballads about what befell. Some 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 legend lore spells and similar magics.
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 the far reaches of Faerûn tend to pay attention only to the most urgent messages.
VestmentsSorlyn wear robes of rich, lustrous fabric—usually crimson adorned with 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. 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.
When adventuring or traveling overland in dangerous regions, Sorlyn prefer the security of full armor (often chased and ornamented), 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.
HierarchySorlyn 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.
TemplesMililan temples are soaring, cathedrals 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.
RitualsClerics of Milil pray for their spells upon awakening at sunrise, calling out to their deity with the Song of Praise, which is also sung after every victory in battle or great thing that benefits them. 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 songs. All shared 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 crescendo that typically makes devout listeners or participants weep with joy—and those of other faiths stop and listen in wonder.
OrdersMilil 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.
Life is a song, beginning at birth and only silenced with the final chord. Strive always to make the whole song, not just the lyrics and music, more beautiful. Destroy no music or instrument, nor stop a singer before the tune is done. Listen to the world around as well as filling it with your own sound. One singer's music is another's noise, so still no bad music if its making be joyful. Spread the teaching of song and musicianship always. Sing to Milil every day. Music is the most precious thing folk can creat— so encourage its training, use, and preservation at all times and in all possible ways. Awaken a love of song in all folk 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 appeared as a young, charismatic male with shoulder-length hair, indistinguishable as either human or elf. His clean, handsome good looks were exceeded by hauntingly beautiful voice. He dressed in the bright, elegantly patterned clothes of a troubadour accented with gold jewelry and other eye-catching decorations.
At times he also appears as an old man with kindly features, a flowing white beard, and ice-blue eyes. This form carries a harp and 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.
Milil and Deneir faithfully serve as the Hands of Oghma, although Milil's relationship with Gond, who also serves the Binder, is somewhat strained. He is on excellent terms with Mystra, Sune, Lliira, and the Seldarine, and considers Finder Wyvernspur to have some promise, although the feeling is not reciprocated. He has earned the enmity of Cyric for his ridiculing ballad about the period of madness the Prince of Lies experienced.