Greyhawk 636 CY: The Rise of Asmodeus
|Title(s)||The Far Wanderer|
|Home plane||Astral Plane|
|Alignment||Neutral (Neutral Good)|
|Portfolio||Stars, Space, Wanderers|
|Domains||Knowledge, Protection, Travel (also Night, Oracle)|
Celestian is the god of Stars, Space and Wanderers. His symbol is a black circle set with seven stars. His color is black.
An Oeridian god, he is called the Far Wanderer, and is brother to Fharlanghn. It is said that the two followed similar but differing paths. Celestian is Neutral Good, but his worshipers may be any alignment of good.
Celestian often appears as a tall, lean man of middle years, wearing black garments set with his symbol, often worked in jewels (diamond, amethyst, sapphire, emerald, topaz, jacinth and ruby) that shine like distant suns. His smooth skin and his eyes are ebony. His voice is a cold and unearthly whisper, which carries well despite its softness, but he seldom speaks. He has power over meteors, comets, asteroids, and similar bodies, and some influence over light and weather. He can summon astral devas to serve him.
Celestian is brother to Fharlanghn. It is said that the two followed similar but differing paths; where Fharlanghn chose to wander the wide world, Celestian chose the void of outer space and the Astral Plane. Celestian is allied with Zagyg, Keoghtom, Heward, and Murlynd, and is often found in their company.
In space, Celestian’s priests are disliked by followers of the Egyptian god Ptah, who envy their special abilities. The Seekers act as a communication network for the widely scattered Celestians.
Celestian wanders the Astral Plane, the Ethereal Plane, and the Inner Planes, but especially favors the Astral. The souls of those who worshipped him in life become the stars in his robes, and travel with him. When their wanderlust becomes so great that they want to travel on their own, they and Celestian become one.
Some claim that the souls of Celestian’s faithful are ranked by how many worlds they have traveled to, but this is not considered official doctrine.
Celestian encourages his followers to wander far from home, just as the stars do. Astrology is as much a part of Celestian’s faith as astronomy is, and his worshippers are encouraged to discover the secrets within the patterns of the stars and other celestial bodies.
Though Celestians must pledge to wander, they may remain in one place for decades without receiving more than a gentle chiding from Celestian priests. Priests are expected to take their oaths much more seriously.
Described in the Living Greyhawk adventure River of Blood, Travels of the Far Wanderer is a 45-page book of aphorisms and devotionals to Celestian. An intricate star design has been worked into its leather cover.
Celestian has but a small following in the Flanaess, being revered by astronomers, astrologers, navigators, philosophers, dreamers, and others who are interested in the sky and the cosmos. Demihumans and some other humanoids with their own racial deities sometimes worship Celestian alongside their own gods. Members of nocturnal races who have been banished from their kin, perhaps for crimes such as mercy or love for humans, often take to the worship of the Far Wanderer because though the sunlight hurts their eyes, the gentle light of the stars offer acceptance.
While Celestian’s following on Oerth is small compared to that of his brother Fharlanghn, on other planes of existence and in the depths of space he is much more popular than his land-bound sibling. He is the deity of choice for planewalkers and many spelljammers. On Oerth, Celestian’s followers wish to keep their journeys secret from those outside the faith.
Celestian’s priesthood is divided into seven ranks of ascending power and knowledge, each differing from the last in its number and the placement of the gems in its holy symbol. They search the world, the sky, and other planes for magical meteorites, artifacts, and lore relating to Celestian’s spheres of influence. They are adept at divinations. They are very studious and meditative, secretive, and detached from day-to-day existence. They will not use their expertise with stars and space to pilot warships or slave ships, and they will not aid unjust conquerors. Their favored weapon is the shortspear. They cooperate with the priests of Fharlanghn extensively.
- The First Order wears light blue robes. Their symbol is the ruby.
- The Second Order wears robes of light gray. Their symbol is the jacinth.
- The Third Order wears robes of violet. Their symbol is the topaz.
- The Fourth Order wears blue-gray robes. Their gem is the emerald.
- The Fifth Order wears dark blue robes. Their gem is the sapphire.
- The Sixth Order wears robes of the deepest purple hue. They use the amethyst as their symbol.
- The Seventh Order is the most potent. They wear robes of black, and their gem is the diamond.
One of Celestian’s most famous clerics is Agath of Thrunch.
Celestian shrines are located in the country, away from city lights, and are often built upon mountain peaks or hilltops with a clear view of the sky.
The “home” temple of Celestian is located in the Griff Mountains. The faithful of the Far Wanderer record their journeys to the stars and keep records of it beneath Grey College in the Free City of Greyhawk. There is a major temple to Celestian outside the village of Thrunch. A place in the Barrier Peaks is a holy pilgrimage site for Celestian’s faithful.
There are Celestian hospices throughout the depths of space, tended to by priests who have decided to stay in one place for a time. They give shelter, food, air, and advice, appreciating donations, though there is no set schedule of fees. They may give directions and help travelers find work.
Celestian’s services are held outdoors under the starry sky.
- Dark Night, also called Black Night, Star Night, and the Night of Hopeful Dawn, is observed on Goodmonth 11. It is a holy night for the church of Celestian because the stars are so easy to observe without the light of one of the moons getting in the way.
- Great Moon’s Glory on Readying 11th, when Luna is full but Celene is new, is holy to Celestian.
- Midwinter Night, also known as Dark Time, Dim Time, and Handmaiden’s Glory. It is this night when Luna is completely dark and only Celene is visible in the sky. It is the longest night of the year, during which clerics of Celestian conduct all-night services of moonwatching and stargazing.
Myths and legends
According to legend, Celestian sent an enormous meteor hurtling toward the Oerth thousands of years ago. This celestial body buried itself miles beneath the surface somewhere in Western Oerik. The pulsing core of the meteorite has never cooled in the countless centuries since. This core is said to hold a priceless gift from the Far Wanderer, though the precise nature of this gift has not been agreed on. Some say it is the purest adamantium in the multiverse, while others say the gift is a deep philosophical truth.
The only way to reach Celestian’s Gift is a narrow natural bridge deep within the Underdark. Monsters from across space and time are said to guard it.