Shaundakul, the Rider of the Winds, was the god of travel and exploration in old Myth Drannor. His worshippers were humans and half-elves, mostly rangers and miners exploring the Moonsea area. He was a god for brave adventurers and travelers (including, notably, caravan merchants). His major temple in the Realms was Shaundakul's Throne in Myth Drannor, though he had many shrines in the North (if you find a stone dais atop a high place, crowned with a stone seat or throne and accompanied by one or more stone pillars pierced with holes that the wind whistles through, you have found one of them). When Myth Drannor fell and its people were slain or scattered, Shaundakul's worship dwindled, leaving only a few scattered priests throughout the North. Since the withdrawal of the elves from the woods surrounding Myth Drannor, the ruined city has lain open for exploration, and Shaundakul has started to gain followers again. Shaundakul resides in the Gates of the Moon (Selûne's Domain).
Spread the teachings of the Helping Hand by leading through example. Work to promote him among traders, especially trailblazers who seek out new lands and new opportunities. Unearth and resanctify ancient shrines of Shaundakul. Ride the wind, and let it take you wherever it blows. Aid those in need, and trust in the Helping Hand. Seek out the riches of the earth and sea. Journey to distant horizons. Be the first to see the rising sun, the mountain peaks, the lush valleys. Let your footsteps fall where none have tread.
Shaundakul's clergy members have a few simple ceremonies they practice when appropriate. They are to utter a simple prayer every time the wind changes significantly. Whenever they discover previously uncharted territory (such as an undiscovered valley, lake, or island), they are to create a small throne of rocks marked with Shaundakul's symbol near the location where they first made the discovery. If capable, they are to create a shrine to Shaundakul using stone shape. Shaundakul's clerics commonly multiclass as rangers or windwalkers.
His festival day "Windride" is celebrated on the 15th day Tarsakh (April).
Allied and Enemy Deities
Shaundakul is an old deity, once an intermediate deity popular in the Moonsea, whose divine status predates the creation of Beshaba and Tymora from Tyche. Shaundakul's church collapsed and his followers dwindled in the aftermath of the fall of Myth Drannor, and he dwindled in status to the rank of demipower. Beshaba later used his name to promote discord among the nomads of Anauroch, who now curse him as the Treacherous Lurker in the Sands. Since the Time of Troubles, Shaundakul has risen back to the level of lesser power and allied himself with deities such as Akadi, Mielikki and her allies, Selûne, Tymora, and the more daring members of the Seldarine. He opposes Shar because he dislikes secrets and enjoys spreading the word of hidden places. He battles with Beshaba for the suffering she has inflicted in his name.
Shaundakul prefers to be venerated at shrines, most of which are uninhabited and in remote places. Typically, a shrine to Shaundakul is a stone dais built atop a high place, crowned with a stone seat or throne, and accompanied by one or more stone pillars pierced with holes through which the wind whistles. Many such shrines exist throughout the Moonsea and the Stonelands, some of them over a thousand years old. Shaundakul is not commonly worshiped within cities and he has few formal temples as a result. Because the clergy members love to wander, his few temples constantly have new clerics arrive as others leave.
Shaundakul's church is loosely organized, and its branches are largely independent. There is little in the way of formal hierarchy, although those who served the Rider of the Winds prior to the Godswar hold positions of great respect in the church. Since the Time of Troubles, several military orders have been founded in the name of Shaundakul.
- The Fellowship of the Next Mountain is an order of rangers and clerics who typically work alone, blazing trails in the uncharted wilderness areas of the Sword Coast North and Moonsea North.
- The Knights of the Shadow Sword are an elite order of fighters and rangers based in Shaundakul's Throne and dedicated to cleansing Myth Drannor of the evil that haunts its streets and ruins. Initially, they are fortifying the ancient Myth Drannan temple as a base of operations and sending out scouts to reconnoiter the ruined city.
- The Riders of the West Wind are an order of clerics and a few rangers who hire themselves out as a mercenary company to guard caravans heading through uncharted wilderness to distant lands.