Siamorphe is a demipower of nobles and nobles' divine right to rule. Her portfolio is providing the Divine Right of nobility to rule, and encouraging the responsibility to rule well and wisely for the more common classes beneath them. Her worship is most common among the nobility and their councilors, especially among those who seek reasons to explain why they are in charge.
Siamorphe is the vessel of a semi-divine power, which is passed down to a successor when the successor is dying. The current Siamorphe is the latest in that lineage. By preference, the successor is a direct descendant of the previous power's mortal form, but anyone of noble blood will suffice. The former Siamorphe was a nobleman of Baldur's Gate, who passed the power to Lady Siamorphe of Waterdeep, chosen when she was killed in a riot in the Year of the Dusty Throne (1256 DR).
The priests of Siamorphe's faith, are often called Scions of Siamorphe. Collectively they are referred to as the Heirs of Siamorphe. This practice has its origin in the fact that many of its clergymen are descendants of the mortal form of the goddess, or of some of its predecessors, and that technically they could inherit the mantle of the divinity by themselves.
Priests of Siamorphe most often act as advisers (both spiritual and practical) to the nobility. When confronted with a ruler of noble birth who does not keep himself or herself fit for the task and responsibilities of rule, a cleric of Siamorphe must either seek to rectify that ruler's shortcomings through counseling and education or engineer the ruler's succession by a more fit ruler of noble lineage.
In practice, many Scions of Siamorphe spend their days presiding over various advisory councils, researching genealogies and histories of noble families, coordinating ceremonies of investiture, and determining who is next in line for various titles. Those Scions of Siamorphe who have truly taken Siamorphe's message of responsibility to the common folk to hear spend their days serving the people, providing advice, arbitrating disputes, giving leaderless folk direction, and preaching the rights and responsibilities of the nobility and the duties and rights of commoners.
VestmentsSiamorphe's priests in religious ceremonies tend to dress according to the fashions of their social class, with enough quality to secure admiration, but not so much as to appear superfluous. Many in the conduct of their duties wear a circlet with a golden sun on the brow.
Combat is exclusive to the Knights of the Silver Chalice, who are a mixed company of noble and aspiring-noble (usually merchant) birth. The knights wear the finest armor, or whichever looks most impressive: whatever they can best afford, so long as it shines like silver when polished. The golden sun of Siamorphe's holy symbol is usually incorporated into their shield or onto the side of their helm.
HierarchyWithin the faith there is a strict hierarchy of titles and ranks, but in practice this hierarchy is less important than the rank within the nobility of the cleric. The titles are: Lord/Lady Heir, Baron/Baroness Heir, Viscount/Viscountess Heir, Count / Countess Heir, Marquess / Marquesa Heir, Duke / Duchess Heir, and High Lord / High Lady Heir.
TemplesMost of Siamorphe's temples are small family shrines in the houses of the nobility of Waterdeep, and recently in Tethyr. Her only true remaining temple is the Chapel and Chalice of the Divine Right in Waterdeep. The relatively small house of worship is within the walls of the Assumbar family's villa, and is the central building of the three that border the Street of the Singing Dolphin.
RitualsClerics of Siamorphe pray for their spells at noon, when the Chalice of Siamorphe (the sun) is directly overhead. The church of Siamorphe has lost many of its ancient ceremonies and traditions over time, and clerics of the faith are only slowly rediscovering them, often by exploring ancient castles in which mortal descendants or ancient clergy of Siamorphe or her predecessors served various forgotten rulers. Religious services tend to be simple convocations of nobles discussing the social order and current difficulties in governing the masses. Siamorphe's name is invoked at the beginning and end of such services with a short prayer.
Siamorphe's clergy have crafted many unique ceremonies for the various noble families. All the rage among the nobility, the ceremonial baptism of a newborn heir presided over by a Scion of Siamorphe can cost as much as 10,000gp.
Siamorphe has a holy day in Sea Ward and North Ward where the nobles take over the main streets and hold a huge festival. Known as the Divine Pageantry, this fashionable revel is always held during the summer, but the date varies according to the will of Siamorphe (and, some critics claim, the year's current social calendar). The nobility dress in archaic costumes of the Merwigan era and wander the area throwing coins (usually copper or silver) to commoners, addressing each other with their full titles and speaking in a highly stylized, stilted speech that has been abandoned for several centuries.
OrdersThe Order of the Silver Chalice is a knightly order dedicated to Siamorphe the Noble. This group is primarily made up of nobles or members of noble lines (or commoner and merchant class squires hoping to become noble) from Nuumalon. The Knights of the Silver Chalice are dedicated to locating lost members of noble families and restoring to power those who would govern with the interests of the common people at heart. After several years of debate, they decided to support Precter, and the crown has recognized them as a knightly order, though it has not yet granted its members any official lordships.
Nobles are given a divine right to rule, provided they rule responsibly and well. The nobility have an obligation (noblesse oblige) to rule with the best interest of their subjects in mind, even when those obligations interfere with their personal desires.
The benefits of nobility are provided to them so that they can rule well. Their wisdom and charisma are inherited from their noble ancestors, and the leisure that their station provides is theirs so that they may be educated to properly perform their duties.
The current Siamorphe usually appears as an older lady of the nobility, her hair touched with grey but well kept, and her iron-gray eyes missing nothing. Her clothing shows the jeweled purple of the true nobility, with a silver chalice and adamantine scepter in her hands, and a tiara carved from a single diamond on her brow.
Siamorphe has no allies among the gods, but opposes the tyranny and corruption of gods such as Bane, Cyric, and Gargauth. This leaves her in a vulnerable position and she must be careful about openly supporting any act against them.
HistorySiamorphe's emergence was first recorded during the Kingdom of Merwigan around Year 450 ERM, in the region now known as Loamport, where a noble house began offering wisdom to other local nobles in the maintenance of order and power. Soon the kings and queens of Merwigan began seeking out this house and appealing to it for wisdom. It's believed that this influence was most instrumental in "civilizing" the former barbarian tribes which composed the Merwigan empire, and advancing its sophistication as a state.
It is also believed that an incarnation of Siamorphe, at the time female, opposed the marriage of King Cenwall to the Elf maiden Salburh, but that he ignored her in his passion. This marriage ultimately resulted in the collapse of the Kingdom of Merwigan. In the ensuing chaos and strife Siamorphe's influence waned until she was worshiped only by a few nobles in Loamport, and much of her artifacts and records were lost. When Precter conquered Nuumalon he did not pledge to Siamorphe, but her church has flourished greatly his wake, and the church is courting Precter's kingdom to achieve a greater degree of influence.
MythologyThe Passing of the Chalice
The present Siamorphe is the successor of a long list of deities who have displayed their position and their power with the passage of time. The former incarnation was a male noble known as Siamorphe whose faith was centered in Loamport. His worship declined for several centuries in a decadent cult, for the nobles began to set aside their duty as leaders of the masses. Therefore, their worship began to decline gradually for lack of worshipers. Acknowledging his failure, this Siamorph abdicated his godhood, passing it to the next. Each incarnation of Siamorphe chooses a mortal as successor when he or she must leave his post within the divine. Ideally, it is a direct descendant of the deity.
Siamorphe is responsible for leading the first Humans away from ruin at the hands of Elves and dragons, leading them into Gwathia where emperors pass down their rule in a similar manner to Siamorphe herself.
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