Sons and Daughters of Merendur
The Sons & Daughters of Merendur
Merendur combines aspects of the imperial god of the oceans and a native deity with similar attributes. He is worshipped by many who rely on the sea for their livelihood – even those who officially belong to the Ark (see above). Merendur is viewed as a stern but fair god who cares for mortals while demanding respect. This church is decentralized, though the main church on Midland has some authority by tradition. While few elves or dwarves officially belong to this church, they often show their respects when visiting Merendur’s shrines and temples.
The temple of Merendur in the city of Midmark is located on the central waterfront area. There is also a smaller shrine on the floating shipyard.
It is easiest to characterize the beliefs of the Sons and Daughters of Merendur in contrast to the Ark and Cult of Lysander. While the followers of Baldric Evenkeel see the waters of the world as something to be subjugated to the will of humans (and other intelligent land-dwelling races) and Lysander’s cultists emphasize the destructive nature of the oceans, Merendur’s followers acknowledge both the usefulness of the ocean and its intrinsic danger. In other words, they seek balance and this neutrality is reflected in much of their teachings. In their theology, the seas both give generously (e.g., food and transport) and take away (storms and dangerous creatures).
Within this religion, there are two major branches of theology that reflect its history as a combination of a cult dedicated to an imperial sea deity and native islander worship of a very similar figure. Those in the imperial tradition of Merendur’s religion are more apt to characterize their deity as a regal lord of the seas (much like a Poseidon) whose boons to surface dwellers must be offset by some price; theologians more influenced by the islander traditions, on the other hand, treat Merendur as a gentle guardian whose apparent harshness reflects the inability of land-based observers to fathom the responsibilities and goals of a deity dedicated to the stewardship of the world’s oceans.
Most permanent temples to Merendur, outside of small shrines in remote areas, are dominated by the imperial branch of theology. This leads, naturally, to a very hierarchical organization that has borrowed (loosely) some of the same titles and roles as found on ships. Those more inclined to the islander theological tradition tend to become Wanderers of the Waves, traveling to serve their deity or tending the smaller shrines alone.
- “The Four Admirals” – Informal name for the Masters of the four most important temples of Merendur (i.e., Midmark, Feldmark on Crescent Isle, Vallande on Curanost, and Southmark on Suramidden)
- Master/Mistress of the Harbor – Top-ranked cleric in a temple of Merendur
- Helmsmen, Chaplains – Chief advisors and lieutenants of the Master of the Harbor
- Quartermaster, Purser, Master-at-Arms – Other notable positions in the average temple
- Wanderer of the Waves – Itinerant cleric of Merendur
- Clerk of the Waves – Acolyte in a temple of Merendur
- Club (Belaying Pin)
Common Ceremonies and Duties
- Blessing newly constructed ships*
- Officiating at the commissioning of new naval officers*
- Offering prayers on behalf of sailors’ families for safe voyages
- Officiating at funerals for those lost at sea
- Acting as chaplains on ships
- Consecrating bodies of water in the name of Merendur
- Placating Merendur before/during/after severe weather events
- Acting as intermediaries between (good) intelligent sea creatures and surface dwellers
- Acting as wardens against ill-intentioned intelligent sea creatures and Lysander Cultists
- Officiating daily rituals at high and low tides
- Officiating at day-long special ceremonies at double high-tides
* Except in locales where these duties are handled by The Ark (Baldric Evenkeel’s Church)