- Frostmaiden, Icedawn, the Cold Goddess, Lady Frostkiss
|Power Level:||Lesser deity|
|Symbol:||A white snowflake on a gray diamond (a heraldic lozenge) with a white border|
|Worshipers:||Druids, elemental archons (air or water), frost giants, inhabitants of cold climates, rangers|
|Domains:||Air, Evil, Storm, Water|
|Arelith worshippers' alignments:||LN, CN, NE|
Auril (AWE-ril) is most powerful in those regions that are affected by deep winters or crouch at the edges of the Great Glacier. She is a fickle and vain deity who is worshiped primarily out of fear. She serves Talos and is one of the Gods of Fury, and much of her ethos is similar to that of the god of nature's destruction. She has seen much of her personal power eroded by Talos, and as a result, the winters have grown colder in the past decade to remind the northerners who still controls the power of cold.
She is a fickle, vain, and evil creature whose cold divine heart remains untouched by any hint of true love, noble feeling, or honor. She often toys with those who offend her, trapping them in snow storms and then driving them insane by tantalizing them with visions of warmth and the comforts of home before she freezes them to death. Her eternal beauty is cold and deadly the flower of womanhood preserved forever in a slab of arctic ice - with sensibilities to match the frost.
Auril can call on Umberlee with some degree of confidence. [[Malar] and Auril despise each other. She has begun to siphon power from the slumbering Ulutiu slowly enough to keep him from waking, and hopes to continue granting spells in his name if she ever kills him. Her personal enemies are not as numerous as could be expected, though she does directly oppose Chauntea, Shiallia, Sune and Uthgar.
Auril usually manifests as icy breath accompanied by a cold, ruthless chuckling and a blue-white radiance that leaves a thin line of frost to mark its passage. She also appears as a blank-eyed face of frost with long, wind-whipped white hair that radiates intense cold. Auril uses this latter manifestation if she wants to speak, slay, or confer items of power upon worshipers. She slays with her life-chilling kiss and confers boons by breathing them out of the face's mouth.
Auril also indicates her favor or disfavor or sends aid through the presence or action of water elementals, ice para-elementals, undead, winter wolves, frost giants, and other arctic creatures.
Auril is feared and worshiped in order to hold off the depredations of the harsh winters with which she threatens Faerun. Trappers, miners, and settlers in the North, some barbarians and inhabitants of the Great Glacier, and residents of the lands crouching at any glacier's edge revere her and honor her in attempts to placate her cold fury come winter time. In recent years, winters have been getting longer and colder, and more and more folk have been making the prayers to Auril that her clergy urge be done. A few clans of frost giants are led by shamans in her service.
Because of their immunity to natural cold, priestesses of Auril are often seen scampering lightly through the snows in summer-weight clothing or bathing in frigid river waters in the depths of winter to no apparent ill effect. They need much less food than other beings because of this ability, and often roam the northlands energetically when blizzards have forced other folk to hole up against the weather. Many priestesses of Auril make a handsome living delivering medicines, messages, and needed supplies throughout the northlands in winter.
Priestesses of Auril roam the lands of Faerun, especially in the North, though her clergy are now being seen more often in the Heartlands. Auril's church has a few males within its ranks, but most clergy of the Frostmaiden are female. Specialty priests of Auril, called icepriestesses and icepriests, make up one-third of Auril's priesthood. The relationship between the specialty priests and the clerics of Auril is very good. The entire church is very loosely and informally organized, and clergy members wander and are largely independent. Most priests of Auril use only the honorific "Hand of Auril" or "Icebreath," but at temples such as the House of Auril's Breath at Glister the clergy use formal titles. In ascending order, these are:
- Storm Sister/Storm Brother (a title given to the great bulk of priests between 3rd-8th level)
- Lady/Lord Cold
- Lady/Lord Deep Winter
- Lady/Lord Cold Circle
- High Hand of Ice
Cover all the lands with ice. Quench fire wherever it is found. Let in the winds and the cold; cut down windbreaks and chop holes in walls and roofs that her breath may come in. Work darkness to hide the cursed sun so that the chill Auril brings may kill. Take the life of an arctic creature only in great need, but slay all others at will. Make all Faerun fear the Frostmaiden. Revere the Cold Goddess and sing her praises into any chill breeze or winter wind. Do not raise your hand against any other cleric of Auril.
Clergy of Auril seek to make all folk fear their goddess and her clergy (to cut down on the attacks they face) through the fury of the winter weather. They also try to make themselves personally wealthy and influential by carrying out tasks that others cannot in the worst winter weather and by magically protecting those who pay or obey from the worst winter conditions. Clergy members make offerings to the goddess of some of the wealth they amass by scattering it in falling snow during a storm or throwing it through cracks in river ice or glacial crevasses during the winter.
In the cold months, Auril expects each of her priests to force or persuade someone to pray to her in the approved manner by beseeching Auril for mercy and praising her for the "cold cleansing" she brings. This prayer must last for the length of time it takes a piece of ice larger than the "supplicant's" hand to melt against his or her bared flesh. It must be done out of doors and preferably at night. During the winter, Aurilian clergy are also expected to slay at least one creature by cold. This is often done so as to provide worshipers or potential worshipers of the goddess with food or to slay a personal foe of the priestess or priest.
Holy Days/Important Ceremonies
Midwinter Night is the most holy time of the year to clergy of Auril. It is a festival of ice-dancing that lasts the whole night through, during which the goddess desires her clergy both to enjoy themselves and to lure as many folk as possible into her service.
Postulants are instructed in the ways of the goddess, and must undergo the most sacred ritual of Auril to gain admittance into her clergy: the Embracing. This personal ritual may occur at any time of year, but if it is in summer, the postulant must journey to arctic or high mountain regions in order to find a blizzard. The Embracing consists of running through a blizzard all night long dressed only in boots (though they may be thigh-high), a thin shift, and body paint depicting symbols sacred to Auril. Celebrants either perish of exposure or are accepted by the goddess by being rescued from the pain and shivering by Her Embrace.
Thereafter, clergy members usually pray in private, by lying out in the snow all night long in prayer vigil. In summer, her clergy usually immerse themselves (except for their heads) in the coldest water they can find, typically by lying down in a fast-flowing stream. Auril answers their queries and gives them directions and missions through mind visions.
Two informal but enthusiastically celebrated rituals are the Coming Storm and the Last Storm - howling ice storms called up by clergy working en masse with all the cold magic they can muster. Together they bring fierce weather down upon a town or region to mark the onset of winter or its last gasp as spring begins.
Major Centers of Worship
The House of Auril's Breath in Glister, north of the Moonsea, is the largest and most influential temple to the cold goddess, boasting a congregation of over 1,600 gathering around the fires fore nightly Fire and Ice rituals (all of them miners and fur trappers too afraid not to venerate Auril). High Hand of Ice (high priest) Malakhar Rhenta leads the Storm Circle of 14 or so senior priestesses in running the temple and planning the weather maic they work. The House of Auril's breath is known more commonly to those not of the faith as "the Cold House" or, more bitterly, "Cold Comfort Towers."
Auril's church has no affiliated military or knightly orders. She is not of a mind to sponsor prolonged military actions; she would rather send a blizzard down on those who offend her. An odd assortment of cults and fellowships have grown up around or become attached to her worship, though. These groups include the Cult of Frost, whose driving goal is the acquisition of the artifact known as the Ring of Winter; a group of wizards known as the Frost Witches, who have recorded at least one tome of frost and cold magic in Auril's name and are reputed to know the location of the Codicil of White, a priestly book describing Aurilian rituals and containing some wizard spells also; and the Sisters of Istishia, who worship Istishia as a herald of cold and servant of Auril. The Sisters of Istishia's worship seems to benefit Istishia, not Auril, as a few Aurilian priestesses have been given a divine mandate to seek out the Sisters and "correct" their theology.
Priests of Auril wear ice-white ceremonial robes with blue piping. The robes are cinched at the waist by a very wide silver belt, which also hold the requisite ceremonial ice axe. The ice axe bears the snowflake-in-lozenge symbol of the faith. (The ice axe is treated as a hand axe for combat purposes.) A silver circlet on the head is the final touch.
When adventuring, most priests of Auril wear at least the circlet, the belt, and the ice axe with their normal day-to-day clothes. Since they are immune to the effects of cold, they usually wear only what clothing they think enhances their appearance, not necessarily what others are wearing for the weather. They never encumber themselves with excessive clothing or large sleeping bundles, preferring to travel light for maximum mobility.
- On Arelith, the restriction for D&D clerics also applies to blackguard, paladins, rangers, and divine champions