One of a number of minor elven deities who appeared in the pages of Dragon Magazine, Tethrin Veraldé had an abbreviated Faiths & Avatars style writeup in Dragon #236, which I have expanded upon.
Tethrin Veraldé (PDF Version)
(The Shining One, the Master of Blades)
Demipower of Elysium, NG
Portfolio: Bladesingers, swordsmanship, combat magic
Domain Name: Amoria/Tethridar
Superior: Corellon Larethian
Allies: Arvoreen, Eilistraee, Heironeous, Kelanen, Kirith Sotheril, Sehanine Moonbow, Sif, Solonor Thelandira, Tyr, the Seldarine, the Seelie Court
Foes: Garagos, Hextor, Loki, Lolth, Selvetarm, the Queen of Air and Darkness, the drow pantheon (save Eilistraee), the orc and goblin pantheons
Symbol: A long and a short sword lying parallel to each other on a disk, their blade tips angled toward the upper left; a quarter moon lies above the swords, while a full moon lies underneath
Wor. Align.: LG, NG, CG, LN, N, CN
Of the younger generation of elvish powers, Tethrin Veraldé (TETH-rin vair-AWL-deh) the Shining One has quickly developed a broad following in the short time since he started granting spells to his priests, and it seems likely he will soon grow beyond the status of demipower. Tethrin is known as the Master of Blades, and represents the elven skill with swords, as well as the unique mixture of magic and melee combat known as bladesinging. It is said that none can match the deadly grace he shows with sword and dagger, save Corellon himself.
Portrayed in myths as the shining child of Corellon Larethian and Sehanine Moonbow, Tethrin has taken aspects of his father’s skill with magic and battle and narrowed them to specific applications. He favors the melee over slinging spells or arrows across the battlefield, and single combat over the mass battles of war-making. Because of these preferences, Corellon has granted to Tethrin the title of Master of Blades, and made bladesinging and elven sword skill his responsibility within the pantheon. While young and adventurous, he has taken these responsibilities seriously, and strives to recruit more elves into the rigorous training for bladesinging.
Myths about Tethrin Veraldé tend to be newer and less robust than those about the older generations of the Seldarine. In these myths he and the other young deities take center stage and the elder powers are advisors or moral-tellers, guiding the young with their wisdom, while also not interfering in such a way that the young powers cannot make mistakes that they can learn from. In one such myth a group of younger elven powers, typically Tethrin, Araleth Letheranil, Kirith Sotheril, and Melira Taralen, decide to challenge Lolth (or the Queen of Air and Darkness in some versions) in an attempt to capture her and return her to Arvandor so Corellon can mete out justice. Invariably they get in over their heads and it is only the timely intervention of Corellon himself, Sehanine, Solonor, and Labelas that rescues them from doom, teaching them that hotheadedness and arrogance are no substitute for the skill gained by the long years of elven life. Other tales of Tethrin typically involve him challenging other powers to friendly duels or hunting down terrible monsters to slay with his sword skills.
Tethrin is on good terms with the other members of the Seldarine, although he has little contact with some of them, particularly Deep Sashelas, Fenmarel Mestarine, and Rillifane Rallathil. This is due simply to a lack of shared interests rather than any animosity. He is closest to the Magess Kirith Sotheril, and even shares a realm with her in Elysium, leading to much speculation about a romantic angle between the pair. Tethrin has also established a friendly rivalry of sorts with Solonor Thelandira and the pair goad and tease each other over the relative superiority or inferiority of blades versus bows. While he was slow to trust her, Tethrin has come to respect his elder sister Eilistraee for her skill with a blade and fight to redeem the dark elves. Outside of elven powers, the Master of Blades has forged friendships or alliances with other deities who value excellent swordsmanship and martial defense of good peoples. In particular, he is a sparring partner of Arvoreen the Defender, and has fought back-to-back with the halfling deity on more than one occasion, mostly against orcish and goblinoid aggression. He has a friendly relationship with the Aesir powers Tyr and Sif, as well as begrudging respect from Thor for an incident that occurred when he sought out the one-handed Tyr for a duel and training. During his duel, which was attended by many residents of Asgard, the trickster Loki insulted Sif’s honor and skill; without breaking stride or concentration, Tethrin hurled a dagger that embedded itself in a wooden post beside Loki’s neck, followed by a quip that his blades were enspelled to seek out and silence rudeness, much to the amusement of those present. While Tyr narrowly won the bought, he said Tethrin’s throw and comment was so smooth he had left opening to exploit.
Of course, Tethrin has made his share of enemies, too. Most significant among these is of course Lolth, who hates and despises him for being the child of her former consort Corellon; she would dearly love to slay Tethrin as a blow to both him and Sehanine. It is said she attempted such an act by sending Selvetarm to assassinate Tethrin before he had fully attained divine status; the battle raged for a full day before Selvetarm, who had exhausted every dirty trick and trap in his repertoire, had to flee. Tethrin remains vigilant about future attempts by Lolth, but has so far ignored his mother’s urging to remain in Arvandor for safety. While Tethrin can count the foes of the whole elven pantheon as enemies of his own, he has also managed to earn the ire of the Oerthian deity Hextor, the Scourge of Battle, as well. What he did to garner this animosity is not known, but sages speculate it involved aide to Heironeous and Kelanen, two other powers of Oerth. Finally, he opposes any deity who would use skill at arms to wreak havoc or evil, with Garagos topping his list. He has made a point to instruct his priests to be on the lookout for destruction caused by the Reaver, and oppose them however they can.
Tethrin Veraldé is an active and adventurous power, who dispatches his single avatar to the Prime Material Plane with high frequency through the power of Corellon or Sehanine. He is always on the lookout for promising warriors he can guide down the path of bladesinging, and works tirelessly to defend elven lands. He enjoys praise, but prefers it be based solely on his actions rather than his divinity or heritage; thus his appearances are most commonly anonymous or under pseudonyms based on the local flora.
Tethrin’s Avatar (Fighter 25, Mage 23)
Tethrin appears as a tall elf with golden skin that glitters as if flecked with silver. He sports dark hair and has sky-blue eyes, and always wears a silver-fringed blue cloak. He wears a long sword short sword, and a set of throwing daggers on his belt at all times, and favors a gleaming silver suit of elven mail as well. He draws his spells from all schools save necromancy.
AC −2; MV 18; HP 156; THAC0 −4; #AT 7/2
Dmg 1d8 + 13 (long sword +2, +8 Str, +2 spec. bonus in long swords, +1 bladesinger bonus) / 1d6 + 14 (short sword +3, +8 Str, +2 spec. bonus in short swords, +1 bladesinger bonus)
MR 65%; SZ M (6 feet tall)
Str 20, Dex 22, Con 16, Int 19, Wis 17, Cha 19
Spells W: 5/5/5/5/5/5/5/5/3
Saves PPDM 3; RSW 3; PP 4; BW 4; Sp 4
Special Att/Def: Tethrin dual wields Song of Light, a long sword +2, and Bright Note, a short sword +3, suffering none of the normal penalties for attacking with two weapons. He has all the benefits of a bladesinger, gaining the attack and damage bonuses with both long swords and short sword. In addition, he has four daggers of throwing +3 in his belt for eliminating targets outside of melee range.
Once per day, Tethrin can haste himself. He may also conjure a Mordenkainen’s sword and a blade barrier once per day, and he can use a flame blade at will. He is able to stride through blade barriers and similar fields of magical spinning and swirling blades without harm, as if they were not there.
The Master of Blades can only be struck by +1 magic weapons or better, and is immune to any magic that would directly restrict or impede his movements, similar to the free action spell. He suffers only half the normal penalties for darkness or blindness, even when faced with magical or missile attacks.
When he chooses to manifest his power, the Master of Blades favors engulfing a follower or a bladed weapon in a silvery-blue radiance, known to the faithful as the Shining Touch. When enveloping a creature, it grants that individual the benefits of a haste spell or offers protection from normal edged weapons. Should it engulf a weapon, that weapon gains a +2 bonus to attack or damage rolls for a turn and the ability to deliver a single offensive spell such as hold person, shocking grasp, or slow against a creature struck. In the rarest situations, Tethrin may temporarily imbue a nonmagical weapon with the powers of one magical sword, such as a flametongue, frost brand, or vorpal sword.
The Seldarine call on agathinons, asuras, and ancient treants as their preferred servants, but Tethrin is also served by aasimar, cath shee, cooshee, einheriar, eladrins (particularly ghaeles and shieres), great cats of all sorts, sword slugs, wolves, and xavers. He expresses his favor through the discovery of natural whetstones, bluebells, hydrangea, blue quartz, and sapphires. His disfavor is expressed when a follower is cut by accidentally walking through sword grass and the discovery of shattered elven blades.
Clergy: Clerics, specialty priests, bladesingers, fighters
Clergy’s Align.: LG, NG, CG, LN, N, CN
Turn Undead: C: Yes, SP: Yes, Blade: No, F: No
Cmnd. Undead: C: No, SP: No, Blade: No, F: No
All clerics (including mutliclassed half-elven clerics, and elven fighter/clerics, a multiclassed combination allowed to elven priests of Tethrin) and specialty priests of Tethrin receive religion (elf) and reading/writing (elvish) as bonus nonweapon proficiencies. Single-classed clerics of Tethrin must select a weapon proficiency in long sword or short sword at twice the normal cost. All multiclassed clerics of Tethrin may take proficiency in any sword, knife, dagger, or similar bladed weapons.
The priesthood of the Master of Blades is relatively young, and seen to an extent as an outgrowth of the clergy of Corellon Larethian in his more martial aspects. Tethrin’s patronage of bladesingers has led his clergy to be well regarded in general, given that order’s singular goal of defending and protecting elven interests. However, given the clergy’s tendency to attract brash and adventurous youths, older and more conservative elements of elven religious life rend to view Tethrin’s faithful with consternation.
Temples dedicated to the Shining One are rare. Those few that exist have a beauty that belies their defensible nature, for they are first and foremost fortresses. These temples are most often found on the edges of large and powerful elven nations, and are created to offer protection to a specific area, such as a pass, river crossing, or the like. The priesthood favors grey stone polished to a shimmering sheen, and blue and silver decorate the spires of these temple-fortresses. Much more common than these are shrines located within or attached to temples of Corellon Larethian or Sehanine Moonbow. These shrines are located in side chapels and feature an altar against the wall, flanked by a pair of stone swords decorated with silver and blue gemstone ornamentation, with the deity’s symbol placed above. Such shrines are also often found in elven barracks and the lodges of elven warriors and knights.
Novices in the service of the Master of Blades are called the Unwhetted. Full priests of Tethrin are called Keen Edges. Collectively, the clergy of Tethrin are known as Bladebrothers/sisters. In ascending order of rank, the titles used by the clergy of the Master of Blades are Copper Dagger, Silver Dagger, Golden Dagger, Mithril Dagger, Copper Sword, Silver Sword, Golden Sword, and Mithril Sword. High-ranking priests have unique individual titles. Specialty priests are known as tethryls. The clergy of Tethrin is comprised of specialty priests (30%), clerics (including multiclassed half-elven clerics other than cleric/fighters; 30%), bladesingers (20%), cleric/fighters (15%), and fighters (5%). The priesthood of the Master of Blades includes high elves (50%), grey elves (31%), sylvan elves (8%), half-high elves (5%), half-grey elves (3%), half-sylvan elves (2%), and elves and half-elves of other ancestry (1%). The gender breakdown of the clergy is roughly even between males (56%) and females (44%).
Dogma: The art of swordsmanship is a natural gift of the elven peoples; take that natural skill and work to bring it to a masterful level. Learn the intricacies of all manners of blades, and use that knowledge to benefit the elven nations and peoples. Show all the deadly beauty of the art of swordplay. Mastery of blade and spell led to the creation of bladesinging; encourage the learning of this art and always use it in the defense of elves.
Day-to-Day Activities: The clergy of the Master of Blades live particularly martial lives. They train with blades constantly, and teach these skills to others. Many also study military campaigns, strategy, and logistics; in times of war, many of Tethrin’s priests put these skills to use as officers in elven armies. In terms of hobbies, swordsmithing is particularly popular. More than a few members of the priesthood take up armorsmithing as well.
Important Ceremonies/Holy Days: In honor of the union that brought forth the Master of Blades, Tethrin’s clergy observes the holy days of Corellon and Sehanine as their own. On these days, they sing and perform duel-like dances called bladedances. Besides these ceremonies, the clergy of The Master of Blades observes a monthly event called Tethrin’s Match. The specific day varies by temple and community, always falling on a day with no other observances. This ceremony is an opportunity for members of the clergy to publicly show off their skills with a blade in mock combat, fencing matches, and non-lethal duels. Besides being an opportunity to test each other and put on a good show for the public, the clergy also aggressively recruits new members on these days.
Major Centers of Worship: The only well-known temples of the Master of Blades are found within major centers of elven civilization, most commonly in or very near the capital or seat of power.
The Isle of Evermeet on Toril is home to the Shining Bladehall, the largest and oldest lodge of bladesingers that also serves as the center of Tethrin’s worship in that land. The priests and bladesingers there have a rigorous training and testing regime before they accept a young elf as a bladesinger trainee; those who fail to meet those standards often take up the mantle of Tethrin’s priesthood instead.
On the world of Oerth, the most significant temple dedicated to Tethrin is the Hall of Clashing Blades hidden within the Rieuwood of Sunndi. It is a small structure, home to no more than a dozen priests, including two master bladesingers. Besides training elven warriors in secret, the Shining One’s clergy conduct clandestine missions to eliminate Scarlet Brotherhood agents operating within Sunndi and the nearby nations, especially Idee.
It is said one of the moons within the crystal sphere Darnannon, known as the gateway to elven space by those who travel along the Arcane Inner Flow, is home to a temple of Tethrin that trains all the bladesingers who serve within the Elven Imperial Navy. Rumored to be called the Shining Vault of Tethrin, it is said to be home to at least 80 priests, including five master bladesingers who are veterans of the first Unhuman War.
Affiliated Orders: While his church is rather young, Tethrin’s clergy has already sponsored a number of martial orders and warriors guilds. The most prominent are various orders of bladesingers, typically organized into lodges of one or two dozen strong, with names like the Tuned Blades, the Glimmerslashes, the Arcane Armsmasters, and the Shadowswords. The largest organization of bladesingers are the Dancing Daggers of Darnannon, an elite force within the Elven Imperial Navy that specializes in using teleportation to eliminate helmsmen or captains on enemy spelljammers. Further, Tethrin’s church has also sponsored a number of adventuring bands that have a heavy emphasis on warriors and rogues who use bladed weapons.
Priestly Vestments: During ceremonies and within the confines of religious establishments, the clergy of the Master of Blades use robes of blue and silver, with a number of silver cloth bands sewn into the sleeve cuffs to indicate rank within the hierarchy. High-ranking priests wear silvered mail over their robes (elven mail if possible), and all members of the clergy wear their favored blades on a belt or baldric. He holy symbol used by the priesthood is either a silver disk with Tethrin’s symbol engraved within, or a small silver dagger about two inches long worn as a pendant, with the chain passing through a loop on the pommel. This dagger is too small to use as a weapon.
Adventuring Garb: When traveling, the clergy of the Shining One favors functional clothing that doesn’t inhibit movement and light armors, generally studded leather or elven mail, and they rarely use shields. They typically choose shades of blue with silver accents if they can acquire such garb, but functionality is more important to the priesthood. The only major exception to these preferences is in the rare situation when a member of the clergy is gifted a suit of magical elven plate armor; such a gift would never be refused. Swords and daggers are used almost exclusively by the clergy.
Specialty Priests (Tethryls)
Requirements: Strength 12, Dexterity 13, Wisdom 13
Prime Req.: Strength, Wisdom
Major Spheres: All, astral, combat, divination, healing, necromantic, protection, sun, war
Minor Spheres: Charm, guardian, time, wards
Magical Items: Same as clerics
Req. Profs: Sword (any), spellcraft
Bonus Profs: Two-weapon style
- Tethryls must be elves or half-elves. While most tethryls are high or grey elves, elves and half-elves of every subrace are called to be specialty priests of Tethrin’s clergy.
- Tethryls are not allowed to multiclass.
- Tethryls may select nonweapon proficiencies from the warrior group without penalty
- Tethryls with proficiency in weaponsmithing receive a +2 bonus for all checks related to swords, daggers, and all other long, bladed weapons
- Tethryls can choose to focus training on one particular type of sword that they have proficiency with. When using this weapon, they gain a +1 bonus to their attack rolls and damage, in addition to any other bonuses they may receive. At the DM’s option, they may choose to become specialized in the weapon instead of gaining these listed bonuses.
- Tethryls can cast swordbless (as the 1st-level priest spell) once per day.
- At 3rd level, tethryls can cast flameblade (as the 2nd-level priest spell) once per day.
- At 5th level, tethryls can cast miscast magic (as the 3rd-level pries spell) once per day.
- At 7th level, tethryls can cast cloak of bravery (as the 4th-level priest spell) once per day.
- At 10th level, tethryls can cast dragonbane (as the 6th-level priest spell) once per week.
- At 14th level, tethryls can cast Tethrin’s Battleprowess (as the 6th-level priest spell) once per week.
In addition to the spell listed below, priests of the Shining One can cast the 2nd-level priest spell wood sword, detailed in Faiths and Avatars in the entry for Mielikki.
Swordbless (Pr 1; Conjuration/Summoning)
Components: V, S, M
Duration: 6 rds.
Casting Time: 4
Area of Effect: 1 weapon
Saving Throw: None
By casting this spell, a priest confers a blessing upon any single weapon touched. While under the effect of a swordbless, a weapon gains a +1 bonus to hit, and can even affect those creatures that can only be hit by silver or +1 enchanted weapons. This blessing can be conferred on any hand-held weapon the caster can grasp, including up to half a dozen small missiles (arrows, bolts, sling stones, throwing daggers, etc.). In addition, if cast on a melee weapon or a device that fires missiles (bows, crossbows, blowguns, etc.), the wielder is instilled with courage that grants a +1 bonus to saving throws versus fear and a +1 bonus to any morale checks.
The material components for this spell are the priest’s holy symbol and a few drops of holy water.
Sworddance (Pr 3; Alteration, Enchantment/Charm)
Sphere: Charm, Combat
Components: V, S
Duration: 1 rd./level
Casting Time: 6
Area of Effect: The caster
Saving Throw: Neg.
When this spell is cast, the priest’s physical combat maneuvers take on a mesmerizing dance-like quality. For the duration of the spell, any opponents who view the caster’s movements for more than a few seconds (i.e. generally those facing the caster in melee combat, those who attack with missiles, etc.) must make a saving throw versus spell or find themselves losing focus on the battle and enthralled by the beauty of the swordplay. For the duration of the spell, those who failed their saving throws suffer a +1 penalty to their armor class and a −1 penalty to their attack and damage rolls. These effects are not broken if the caster attacks.
While this spell is in effect, the caster must use a sword they are proficient with, and they suffer a +2 penalty to their initiative, but they suffer no other penalties to their combat rolls. Performing any actions other combat maneuvers with their swords (attacking, parrying, disarming, etc.) ends this spell prematurely.
Tethrin’s Battleprowess (Pr 6; Alteration, Evocation)
Components: V, S, M
Duration: 1 rd./level
Casting Time: 1 rd.
Area of Effect: The caster
Saving Throw: None
With this spell, a priest transforms himself into a berserking warrior of legendary prowess. For the duration of the spell, the priest’s hit point double, and all damage sustained comes first from the magical points gained; once these are eliminated, all subsequent damage (to the priest’s true hit points) is doubled. The Armor Class of the priest is 4 better than that possessed prior to casing the spell (AC 10 goes to 6, AC 9 to 5, AC 8 to 4, etc.), to a maximum Armor Class of −10.
All attacks are made as a warrior of the same level as the priest (i.e., the priest uses the THAC0 value reserved for warriors). The priest can use only those melee weapons they are proficient in when attacking. Small weapons can be used twice per round, and each successful attack inflicts an additional 2 points of damage. Medium and large weapons can be used only once per round, but with a +2 bonus to attack and damage rolls. The priest fights in melee in preference to all other forms of attack, and continues attacking until all opponents are slain, he is killed, the magic is dispelled, or the spell duration expires.
The material component for casting this spell is a potion of heroism (or superheroism) that the priest must consume during the course of uttering the spell.