Akadi

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Queen of Air, the Lady of Air, Lady of the Winds
Major Deities: Akadi | Bane | Chauntea | Cyric | Grumbar | Istishia | Kelemvor | Kossuth | Lathander | Mystra | Oghma | Shar | Silvanus | Sune | Talos | Tempus | Tyr | Ubtao

Power Level: Greater deity
Symbol: White cloud on blue background
Alignment: Neutral
Portfolio: Elemental air, movement, speed, flying creatures
Worshipers: Animal breeders, elemental archons (air), rangers, rogues, sailors
Domains: Air, Illusion[1], Travel, Trickery
Arelith worshippers' alignments[2]: CN, NN, LN, NE
Arelith Aspect 1 Arelith Aspect 2
Trickery and Deceit Nature

Akadi

Akadi (Ah-KAH-dee) is the whispering wind and the blinding gale storm, her form changing from season to season. Her kiss might be moist and sweet or bitter and cold. Uncaring, she carries sounds and scents along on her journey, but she never pauses to impress upon a traveler the importance of her travels. In religious art she is often portrayed as a huge, translucent blue woman with gigantic feathery wings that trail away into clouds. Her wings are said to toss the winds about the surface of Faerun.

Like all the elemental lords, Akadi is relatively uncaring of her followers. Her reactions are difficult to gauge, and she seems almost an alien being in her responses to most mortals not native to the Elemental Plane of Air. The relative inaction of Akadi and the other elemental Lords has led to their being viewed as only lesser powers in the Realms and their followers being classed as cultists. Akadi is known as Teylas in the Hordelands, a god of the Elemental Plane of Air. The distinction between a female and a male form of the Lady of the Winds makes no difference to the faith.

Akadi does seem to have some small affection for her followers, but most often displays that affection when they make large offerings to her by burning precious incenses that waft to her on the winds - so it could be argued that she only cares when she is bribed to do so. Appeals to Akadi to change or still the winds, provide good flying currents, or bring gentle rains meet with her approval. However, she does not answers prayers to raise or quell harsh storms, as storms lie within the purview of Talos and Umberlee (though she occasionally manages a whirlwind of brief duration but stunning force).

Relationships

Akadi is one of the four elemental lords who seem to stand apart from history, unchanged by the passage of time. She has ties to other gods concerned with the element of air, including Aerdrie Faenya and Shaundakul, but she has built no strong relationships. She opposes obstinate, unmoving Grumbar at every opportunity.

Appearance

Akadi's appearance is as shifting and transparent as the wind itself. She takes shape as it befits her, appearing as a man or a woman; as a humanoid or an animal; or simply taking the form of a visible gale.

Other Manifestations

Akadi has sent manifestations to the Realms more frequently than she has sent an avatar, but even these appearances are extremely rare compared to the frequency with which other powers manifest. The Lady of Air has appeared in the form of almost any normal flying creature, and her voice has been heard as a gentle whisper upon the breeze. She frequently sends an aerial servant to deliver private messages (or demands) to those she deems worthy or useful. A rising breeze or a change in the wind is usually seen as a sign of her favor.

Other Servants

Akadi is served by air elementals and other denizens of the Elemental Plane of Air, and it is apparent that she holds these nonhumanoid creatures in preference to her worshipers on the Material Plane.

The Church

Few priests of Akadi ever settle down in one place, so few communities feel threatened or benefited by the appearance of an Akadi priest. Akadian priests blow into a town or village upon the morning breeze and are typically gone by the time the sun sets. A philosophy of incessant movement and wanderlust has ingrained itself into the church of Akadi, and few temples exist to the Lady of the Winds. Those that do are most often open air circles of wooden poles adorned with feathers and streamers that flutter in the slightest breeze. Priests of the faith travel across Faerun, spreading the word of Akadi at each opportunity. They often lecture on the joys that the freedom of Akadi brings, but seldom stop to argue semantics or principles with those who would appose them, choosing instead to sew the seeds of the Queen of Air and then continue along to "wherever the wind takes them." This tendency to sprout high-sounding verbiage has led to more than one Akadian priest being called a "windbag" in several senses of the word.

The priests of Akadi are divided up between the Whisper and the Roar. These are not rankings within the church or even a division between those clergy members with parish territories and those of an adventuring bent. Rather these are distinctions in philosophy of action. Those who follow the Whisper typically work behind the scenes, seldom showing themselves to be a member of the church of Akadi. Members of the Roar are much more direct about their involvement in the affairs of Faerun. The disparate and unfocused nature of the activities of the church of Akadi as a while has left few in Faerun viewing it as any sort of threat, although personally ambitious members of the church can sometimes wreak havoc in a particular region.

Akadi's priests are organized mostly into "churches" formed of small cliques who follow a particularly charismatic Akadian. These cliques shift and flow over time as the group politics lead to some members rising in status, others falling, and others leaving in disgust or empowered by the inspiring message of their leader to begin a new church in a far-off land. This sort of organization is very fluid and often very confusing to those outside the faith, as such folks are never sure who will be in charge in a tenday and therefore who to hold responsible for living up to agreements and contracts. Most Akadians have a reputation for being untrustworthy because of this very problem in their faiths organization. When time comes due for an Akadian to live up to a promise, frequently the answer received is: "I'm so sorry, that's not my job anymore." ... and that's if one can find the Akadian the deal was struck with in the first place!

Hierarchy

Novice Akadians are referred to as fledglings. Upon undergoing a personally designed rite of empowerment supervised by at least two senior clergy (and usually involving flying), they become full priests. In ascending order of rank, the titles in general used by the priesthood are:

  • Winged one (full priest)
  • Air of the Goddess
  • Breeze of Light
  • Zephyr (senior priest)
  • Mistral
  • Sirocco (leader of a large "church")
  • Whirlwind (leader of a very large church or priest of great experience)

A priest who has slain or soundly defeated an enemy of the church (usually a high ranking priest of Grumbar or an earth-based creature of power) may add the honorific "high" to the beginning of his or her title. Specialty priests of Akadi are known as Airwalkers.

Dogma

The eternal Akadi is change personified. Each new day reveals to us a new side of her. Strive to be as flexible as she is. Pursue everything that interests you in turn. Look at problems from as many viewpoints as possible to achieve the most creative answer. View life as an art form to create anew around you each day to your benefit and that of Akadi. The freedom to move about and to soar on the breeze of life is one of the inherent rights of every living thing. Fly forth and spread the word of Akadi and show though your works the fresh new life she brings.

Day-to-Day Activities & Holy Days/Important Ceremonies

Each day is an important day in the eyes of an Akadian. The faithful typically rise before the sun emerges to whisper their prayers on the morning breeze and stay up to watch the moon rise over Faerun or glide the dying thermals of the waning day and joyfully speak their evening prayers.

Major Centers of Worship

Few permanent temples to Akadi have been erected. Many of her shrines are tended by a rotation cycle of priests as they travel the countryside, leaving the shrine when a replacement arrives. The holiest site of the Arcadian faith is the mound of the First Shrine of the Queen of Air in the ruins of Blaskaltar in the Shaar. The structure is long gone through ages of neglect; however, the faithful gather here yearly to remember the history of their church and it's great members so that they do not lose their past and thus become doomed to repeat it.

Affiliated Orders

The order of Akadian crusaders is known as the Knights of the Wind's Four Quarters. Its members tend to pursue personal quests and errands for church elders or carry out the ongoing vendetta against the church of Grumbar. Mystics of the faith being to the Companions of the Summer Wind, who tend to be good-aligned, the Disciples of Spring's Breeze, who are mainly Neutral, or the Alliance of Midwinter's Teeth, who are evil.

Priestly Vestments

Priests of Akadi dress for rituals in robes of White, light gray, and light blue, representing the many faces of their Goddess. Silk is a preferred material in vestments, as its flowing nature pleases the Goddess, and rare silks dyed in flowing or rippling patterns of blue or white are highly prized. Many priests wear jewelry of milky opal, crystal quartz, augelite, turquoise, beryllonite, blue spinel, or sapphire, and these are the stones from which Akadian holy symbols are constructed. Air elementals blow fine grit over these gemstones, thereby inscribing Akadi's symbol; the stone is set into a piece of jewelry, forming a holy symbol.

Adventuring Garb

Adventuring priests and Akadian clergy members on the road dress practically, though they favor clothes or accessories of white, light gray, and light blue. They recognize that traveling through the countryside on the enemy element of earth requires heavier clothing to shield oneself from that harsh element. They typically confine their use of silk to a scarf or decorative vest and pack their ceremonial vestments carefully to protect them.

See Also

References

  1. Domain is not supported in Neverwinter Nights
  2. On Arelith, the restriction for D&D clerics also applies to blackguard, paladins and divine champions