The Seas of Arnesia
Rylander, the Radiant Vanguard
General Domains: Justice, Protection, Light, Sun, Truth
Arnesian Domains: Lighthouses, Dolphins, Privateers
Other Names: Bahamut, Pelor, the Platinum Dragon, Dawngiver
Holy Symbols: A circle with six points arrayed around it
Astral Realm: Celestia, the Seven Mounting Heavens
Divine Servitors: Solars
Rylander is the noble deity of light, truth, and justice, the patron of heroic cavaliers, stalwart guardians, and zealous crusaders. His power is seen in the sheen of a paladin’s armor and the first light of dawn that chases away the shadows. His voice is the revelation which burns away falsehoods, the bang of a judge’s gavel when sentencing a remorseless murderer. His followers are the reliable guardians at the gate, the fearless dragonslayer, the fire which burns away the wicked and depraved.
Rylander is among the most popular of all the deities for obvious reasons. Cities construct massive temples in his name, numerous crusading orders carry out his will, and nearly every city guardsman comes to revere him. He is the champion of the weak, the protector of the innocent, and the destroyer of the monsters who would devour them both, particularly evil dragons. Many paladins of Rylander go on to become renowned dragon slayers, vampire hunters, and demon killers. Investigators and detectives also give thanks to him
Primal societies honor Rylander as the god of the dawn and dusk and charms, totems, and amulets designed to ward off evil. Desert cultures in particular revere Rylander, viewing him as the god of the noon day sun, as well as the deity who presides over trials-by-combat. In such cultures Rylander takes on a harsher cast, exacting terrible retribution on those who cheat, murder, and lie.
The association of Rylander with harsh punishment is not limited to savage cultures, however. Societies which place a high value on honor and truth sometimes come to embrace Rylander’s tenets in their most extreme forms. These followers become fanatic crusaders and inquisitors, using force of arms, demagoguery, interrogation, and sometimes even torture to hunt down those they deem dangerous to the well being of a community’s soul, typically heretics, apostates, and critics of their methods. One such group, the Knights of Ardyn, went so far as to stage a small devil invasion just to give themselves the political clout necessary to take over.
Numerous holy orders are dedicated to Rylander, many of which double as crusaders and monster slayers. One of the most prominent include the Sentinel Marshals of Arnesia, an order of chivalrous privateers dedicated to bringing peace and justice to the normally wild waters of that region. Perhaps the most famous, however, are the Lightsworn, the holy order of knights who guard the imperial family of Nerath. Popular opinion claims they are among the greatest warriors in the world, and that their leaders are able to commune with the Platinum Dragon himself.
The astral domain of Rylander is the Celestia, the Seven Mounting Heavens. It is said to be a mountain so colossal that seven small paradises can be found on its slopes, from the vast fields of Elysium to the garden-palaces of Arcadia. Even a small sea of liquid silver and star-stuff, Mercuria, can be found on the titan slopes of Celestia. At the very peak of Celestia sits Empyrea, the palace of Rylander and his divine host, the Solars- twelve angels whose power is said to rival that of a demon lord. Five of these Solars attend to Empyrea at any given moment, while the other seven takes turns watching over the paradises. Once, in a time before Time, there were 13 Solars, led by an angel whose power was said to surpass even those of the demons, but whose pride would never allow him to merely serve…Asmodeus.
Rylander is the best deity to worship because
he is the light in the darkness, the beacon on the horizon, the hope and the sword of all that is good and true. Rylander’s servants work to rid the world of evil and protect the weak and innocent, challenging wicked tyrants and rampaging monsters alike. His light guides the lost, allows crops to grow, and gives warmth to those less fortunate. He is the ultimate embodiment of law and good.
Rylander is the worst deity to worship because
he is a fanatic deity, bent on using his power and servants to make the world in his image. Rylander’s servants all too often are willing to trade freedom for security and have little patience for those who don’t agree with their definitions or methods. Their noble intentions allow his zealots to justify horrendous acts in the name of the “greater good.”