Deep Sashelas

deepsashelasThe tempest and the open sea, rain, and rivers are his domain. It is said that the wood elves who lives close to the seas and oceans who honored Sashelas were gifted with the power to live and breathe underwater, that they might better serve Sashelas. In truth Sashelas, friend to Angharradh (in particular the aspect of Aerdrie Faenya), hoped to protect his favourites from another terrible destruction like that of the avariels. To learn that not only one of his fellow gods, but his own sister, was capable of genocide hurt Sashelas deeply, his innocent heart cracked by the knowledge that such evil could exist in a world he saw as nothing but beauty. The unpredictable sea and sudden storms are credited to Sashelas’ changing moods, when he remembers or witnesses the horrors of war or evil acts, particularly that of elves upon other elves. Legends speak of creatures in the deep, some of Lolth’s experiments Sashelas allowed to enter but keeps chained to the bottom of the ocean…for now. Sashelas’ relationship with Lolth is complex; he loves his sister, but Sashelas can not tolerate many of Lolth’s actions. They move in and out of favor with one another, and their arguments are said to be cause of earthquakes,  tornadoes, volcanoes and other violent and destructive natural disasters. He had little participation in the ancient battle against the Old Ones, as he was still a very young god, and so was protected by his sister from the terrors of that battle. Some say that had he been allowed to participate he may have behaved differently toward his sister when she became corrupt.

Sashelas married a sea elf named Trishina, who was given extended life, and they had a son, Xolotl. During a terrible argument between Sashelas and Lolth, a great earthquake swallowed Xolotl, carrying him to the underworld inhabited by the Twins, the human gods of sleep and death. The gods took pity on Xolotl, and granted him demi-godhood as the gatekeeper of the underworld. Trishina left Sashelas in her grief and is said to wander the world still, trying to find an entrance to the underworld to recover her son.

In ancient times, before Xolotl fell to the underworld, he was worshiped as a sort of saint in the church of Sashelas. In modern times, few churches remember this, most having cut the story of Sashelas’ wife and child from their tales, though his name persists in some very old texts as the patron saint of dogs and children. Not wishing to sully the good name of their god, the clergy removed everything about the story of Sashelas’ wife and child, and only the highest-ranking members of the church are told of the secret.

Followers of Sashelas are most often those who live near the ocean or other large bodies of water, but extend inland as well. The Dolphin Prince’s power spreads throughout the world as water is the source of life. His worshipers know that while water is the giver of life, so it can take it away. and the sea can kill as quickly as any beast, indiscriminately and without mercy. The sea and storms are treated with respect, and those that pollute, poison or destroy bodies of water are met with punishment from Shashelas’ priests. His temples are built near the oceans as gorgeous stone buildings decorated with seashells that extend out in to the sea, the main room having an open floor so that the ocean might be seen, heard, and smelled during the sermons. His priests wear robes of dark greens and blues, and necklaces of seashells. His holy day is the first day of spring when the snows have melted and the life begins to return to the world. Since this day varies depending on the area of the world and the weather that year, the exact date is decided by the high priests every year. The day is spent cleaning waterways and beaches and the night filled with bonfires and dancing, Much like the festival of Obad-Hai, healers donate their time on this festival, called Adoivaealumanth (meaning peaceful waters in sylvan).  Monthly at high tide, clerics and other healers of Sashelas will gather on the beaches to offer their services as well.