Deep Sashelas is the elven god of the Ocean, and the patron deity of aquatic elves, whom he created long ago by modifying Corellon's land-bound creations. He is also a god of Creation, Knowledge, Beauty, and Magic.
Deep Sashelas is heavily involved with the lives of the sea peoples and spends most of his time with deities from that realm. He gave one group of Corellon's creations the ability to breathe and live underwater, wishing to see the wisdom and goodness of the elves prevail in the deeper and wilder realms of the sea. He is heavily involved in the constant reshaping of the ocean depths, creating reefs and islands, tinkering with undersea volcanoes and the like.
The Lord of the Undersea is a charismatic leader and an inspired creator whose art is ever changing. Unlike the other Seldarine, Deep Sashelas is rarely satisfied with what he's done and always seeks to improve it. Deep Sashelas can be fickle and flighty, and there are many myths that involve his amorous exploits with such creatures as mermaids, selkies, mortal sea elven maids, human females, and even one demigoddess, it is rumored. Trishina has some tolerance for such straying, but not too much. Sashelas's fellow Seldarine derive great amusement from Trishina's ability to spot Sashelas's wandering attentions and stymie him, usually by warning off the object of his desire.
Deep Sashelas is a political deity; he makes considerable efforts to maintain the unity of the Asathalfinare and is on good terms with non-evil human sea and water deities. He has a special enmity for Sekolah, the sahuagin god and for Panzuriel whom he helped banish and weaken.
As Lord of the Undersea and de facto leader of the asathalfinare, Deep Sashelas is well regarded by most nonevil races who reside beneath the surface of Toril's oceans. Where as aquatic elves generally venerate Sashelas to the near exclusion of the other members of the Seldarine, elves of other races view him simply as one god of the pantheon of nature- and magic - oriented deities who compose the Seldarine. Some sailors (particularly land elves) sacrifice to Sashelas for their safety and aquatic elven clerics take these offerings and trade with other mortals for the gain of the entire race.
The church of Deep Sashelas is a broadly based church organized along regional lines with each region corresponding to a sea or ocean. The clergy is more organized than most elven clergies because of their role as mediators and befrienders of nonaquatic races. Deep Sashelas' clerics interact regularly with dolphins who inhabit the region surrounding their home communities, and senior druids are almost always accompanied by their dolphin companions.
Sashelan clerics establish and maintain contacts with land-dwelling elves, if feasible. As a result of their extensive networks of contacts, Sashelas's clerics have prevented many sahuagin incursions from succeeding, gaining the latter's undying hatred. Delphions also conduct ritual shark hunts and attack sahuagin communities.
Clerics expend a great deal of effort on the creation of beautiful works of art in homage to the Creator. Individual priests of Deep Sashelas create fabulous sculptures of living coral in and around their homes and in their communities. Others sculpt extraordinary jeweled and pearled living coral works of art or train fish to perform spectacular and delightful maneuvers and dances.
VestmentsPriests of Deep Sashelas wear either loose-fitting sea green robes or armor created entirely from shells but eschew any form of headdress. Shell mail, as it is known, effectively serves only an ornamental role for sea elves, as it provides a base Armor Class of 9. The holy symbol of the faith is a lustrous pearl at least one half inch in diameter.
Sashelas's clergy generally eschew armor, even when entering dangerous situations as they find it impedes their underwater movements and adds little to their defenses. Only a few Sashelan priests possess sea elven scale mail (created with rust proof metal, eel skin instead of leather, extremely light weight, with a silver tinge that may be silver, gold or platinum). This armor is generally employed only in ceremonial or combat situations, and is worn only by the noble elven elite. Clergy of Deep Sashelas favor the traditional weapons of the sea elves—nets, spears, and tridents—and rare is the cleric who is proficient in anything else (aside from underwater crossbows).
HierarchySashelas's numerous temples are managed by an organized clerical hierarchy collectively known as Delphions. The clergy of each temple are locally autonomous, but they provide each other with information about the movement of the sahuagin and other enemies. Novices of the faith are known as the Impure, while acolytes of the faith are known as the Bathed. Titles employed in most temples of the Great Sea include Sea Otter, Seal, Walrus, Sea Lion, Delphinus, Narwhal, and Balaenas. Titles employed in most temples of the Inner Sea include Clam, Oyster, Nautilus, Argonaut, Trophon, Cowrie, Abalone, Conch, and Pearl. High priests of the faith are collectively known as Delphites but always have unique individual titles. Almost all Delphions are aquatic elves.
TemplesTemples of Deep Sashelas are found in most aquatic elven communities, typically in oceans or sea, near coasts and major rivers. The Dolphin Prince's temples usually serve as the spiritual, physical, and social centers of aquatic elven communities. Those found in the Sea of Fallen Stars are typically undersea coral temples, carefully grown and tended, while those found in the Great Sea are typically sprawling constructs of natural stone and sea materials resembling spiraling shells. Inside all such temples are a network of small and medium- sized caves and passages lit by continual light magics of varying shades and intensities. Some chambers are air-filled and are used to examine items plundered from the sunken ships of air-breathers, but most are filled with sea water and artwork crafted by sea elves. A wide variety of stone statues, mosaics made of shells, scrimshaw, air fountains, and a motley collection of artifacts from the Waterless Void above are scattered throughout Sashelas's temples for the use and enjoyment of the inhabitants of the surrounding community. Central chapels are usually grand vaults characterized by three-dimensional radial or spiral symmetries.
RitualsClerics and druids of Deep Sashelas pray for their spells at whichever high tide is closest to midday.
Deep Sashelas is honored individually through the creation of works of art and other wonders, and prayers are given to the Lord of the Undersea upon initiating and after completing such projects. Daily observances by Sashelas's clergy thank Deep Sashelas for his benevolence and the beauty of the undersea world, but the most important rituals are timed to coincide with especially high and low tides, known as the High Flow and the Deep Ebb, respectively. During such ceremonies, the Delphions make offerings of precious natural objects and items of great artistry. Meanwhile, acolytes swim in complex patterns accompanied by dolphins, and sing deep, reverberating songs of praise to the Lord of the Undersea and his creations. While both ceremonies are similar in form, the High Flow is a joyous celebration emphasizing beauty, creativity, and artistry, while the Deep Ebb is a grim, martial ceremony emphasizing the remembrance of those who are lost and vigilance against the enemies of the Undersea. Many clerics and druids multiclass as rangers.
OrdersThe Knights of the Killer Whale are an order of Sashelan crusaders dedicated to the destruction of the evil races of the sea, including ixitxachiti, koalinth, krakens, merrow, scrags, and sahuagin. The order is based in the Citadel of the Seven Seas, a great hollowed-out undersea volcanic plug encircled by the Mintarn archipelago in the Sea of Swords.
The Lances of the Sea Unicorn are an order of clerics, crusaders, and aquarians who garrison a series of nine undersea citadels and numerous smaller redoubts that stretch across the floor of the Sea of Fallen Stars from Delthuntle to Airspur. The order seeks to largely contain the sahuagin of the Alamber Sea to the eastern reaches of the Inner Sea, as most sea elven communities of the Sea of Fallen Stars are located to the west of that border.
Deep Sashelas also sponsors several loosely affiliated pods of sea elven rangers, but they are not considered part of the church hierarchy.
Swim the great currents and the shallow seas. Exult in the dynamic beauty and life of the bounteous Undersea. Revel in the joy of creation and increase its myriad aspects. Seek not to hold that which is ever-changing, but instead love the change itself. Seek out fellow swimmers who honor the ways of the Lord of the Undersea, and ally with them against those who see only the darkness of the deeps. Follow the way of the dolphin. Promote knowledge and use of the sea by reasonable folk, and fight those that would stain or deplete its beauty and bounty.
Deep Sashelas typically appears underwater, as a male elf with sea-green skin, blue-green eyes, and free-flowing blue-green hair. He is also known for having aquatic traits (gills, fins, etc.). He usually carries a trident.
Deep Sashelas has also appeared in the shape of a giant, towering (vaguely humanoid) wave of sea water.
While Deep Sashelas was as chaotic as any elven god, he had a lawful good consort, the dolphin goddess Trishina. Sashelas was infamous for his conquests and amorous exploits. Trishina had some tolerance for such straying but not too much.