The Selesnya Conclave is a green/white guild from the plane and city of Ravnica. Introduced in Ravnica: City of Guilds, the guild is also featured in Return to Ravnica and Guilds of Ravnica.
History of the Conclave
The Conclave was founded by Mat'Selesnya, a female humanoid elemental formed via the fusion of several dryads. The Selesnya Conclave is a decentralized collective variably described as a "selfless, nurturing, spiritual group" or a "brainwashing nature cult", and involves itself in the establishment and maintenance of peace, life, and unity in Ravnica.
Despite their superficial appearance of being a "good" and "peace-loving", in truth the guild is just as hypocritical and as sinister, if not more so, as other Ravnican guilds. The Conclave often employs its quietmen and other members to silence the civilians of Ravnica. The defenders of the Selesnya are the Ledev guardians. In addition to these guards, the quiet-men used to guard Vitu-Ghazi, but Szadek, Lord of Secrets gained control of them and used them to wreak havoc.
The "guild leader" of Selesnya in the Ravnica: City of Guilds set is a collective mind known as the Chorus of the Conclave. This currently consists of three dryads, serving as the new guildmaster and the voice of what's left of Mat'Selesnya. Outside of them, the top members of the guild are figureheads
Selesnya leadership is composed mainly of dryads. The soldiery are mainly made of humans, elves and dryads.
Mat'Selesnya now resides within Vitu-Ghazi, having offered herself to preserve order in Selesnya. After the Resurgence, the Selesnyans are reorganized into vernadi, small communes lead by dryads who speak for the worldmind.
The main seat of Selesnya's power in the region of Utvara was Vitar Yescu, an enormous living tree that produced a pollen that served as an antigen to local plague. The head of Selesnya in Utvara was elven shapeshifter Wrizfar Barkfeather.
After the Decamillennial, the decimated Wojek League turned to other guilds' similar organizations for temporary help. Many Selesnyan ledev thus serves as "apos", i.e. auxiliary patrol officers, with the wojeks. After the Decamillennial, a new half-military suborganization was also founded - the Knight Order of Mat'selesnya.
During the events of Agents of Artifice, the Selesnya were lynched en masse due to the citizens realizing their role in forcing the oppression of the guilds. However, they returned as of the events of Return to Ravnica. The new Selesnya were officially more concerned with preserving nature, creating places to illuminate the wonders of nature and inspire contemplation —hopefully on the blessings of Mat'selesnya— for all of Ravnica.
A sort of self ramp ability, spells with convoke let you tap creatures to cover their mana cost. Colored mana can only be paid using creatures of that color of course.
When a populate effect is activated, you can make a token that is a copy of another creature token you control.
Dungeons & Dragons
Like all of the ten guilds, the Selesnya Conclave appeared in the Guildmaster's Guide to Ravnica, a splatbook for Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition. Here, it was handled as a combination of Background and Faction, with the player choosing the "Selesnya Initiate" background to certify they have membership, and being able to earn Renown. This is a new system to 5e, and basically is a kind of abstractified experience; you start off as a general worker (Renown 1), and as you complete missions for the Guild or do things that get you noticed, your Renown increases, giving you increased abilities. Of course, if you publicly screw things up for your guild, your esteem will drop and you can loose Renown.
Characters from the Selesnya Conclave are most likely to be Humans, Centaurs, Wood Elves, Half-Elves and Loxodons. The most iconic classes associated with this guild are the Bard (Glamour, Lore), Cleric (Life, Nature), Druid (Dreams, Land (Forest/Grassland), Shepherd), Fighter (Arcane Archer, Battle Master, Champion), Monk (Open Hand), Paladin (Redemption, Ancients), Ranger (Beast Master - prefer Wolves, Hunter), and Warlock (Archfey).
Selesnya Initiate Background
Taking the Selesnya Initiate background grants you the bonus skill proficiencies of Nature and Persuasion, as well as a Tool Proficiency consisting of either one type of artisan's tools or one musical instrument. You gain the bonus language of either Elvish, Loxodon or Sylvan, and start the game with a Selesnya insignia, a healer's kit, a set of common clothes and a robe to wear over them, and 5 GP work of Azorius 1-zino coins.
The background's feature is Conclave Shelter: your guild members will always grant you a place to hide or rest, unless you've proven to be an active danger to them, and this means that whilst they'll defy the other Guilds to shelter you, they won't risk their lives in the effort. It also means you can get free healing and care at any Selesnya enclave, although if you need spells cast, you have to pony up the material components required.
To further represent the Guild's training and philosophical impact, spellcasters (that is, anyone with the Spellcasting or Pact Magic class feature) gain bonus spells to their spell list based on the guild. For the Selesnya Initiate, that's the following:
- Spell Level Spells
- Cantrip druidcraft, friends
- 1st aid, animal friendship, charm person
- 2nd animal messenger, calm emotions, warding bond
- 3rd plant growth, speak with plants
- 4th aura of life, conjure minor elementals
- 5th awaken, commune with nature
Members of the Selesnya Conclave refer to their magic as "doruvati," a Sylvan word meaning "gift." When you use these gifts of Mat'Selesnya, graceful swirls of green and silver light dance in the air around you, and phantasmal green leaves might waft through the air. A sensation of gentle warmth and the smell of spring flowers or autumn leaves might accompany your spells.
Selesnya Conclave Renown
Because the Conclave doesn't officialy believe in the idea of a rigid hierarchy, Renown works more as a way of proving yourself worth of belonging to the more specialized roles by which members can serve the Conclave in particular ways. As such, a character can basically belong to as many roles as they want, and even if they don't step into specialized roles, will still earn the right to requisition a Selesnya Charm before undertaking official missions once they reach Renown 10.
Special Role: Evangel (Renown 3)
- Evangels are, as the name implies, the missionaries of the Selesnya creed, speaking out to try and win converts amongst the Guildless and even the members of other Guilds. This gives you a bonus non-Conclave contact, and also means you have much more independence than the typical Selesnya follower.
Special Role: Votary (Renown 3, Proficiency with martial Weapons)
- Serving as the soldiers and guards of the Selesnya Conclave, most Votaries are assigned to guard duty in the vernadi gardens, but are occasionally deployed elsewhere in times when the Conclave needs to flex its muscles. Votaries are taught secret incantations that let them tap into the ambient magic that flows through a vernadi's gardens; in such areas, a Votari can call upon the aid of 1d6 awakened shrubs or 1 awakened tree during battle, although such floral guardians cannot leave their place of origin and remain mobile.
Special Role: Sagittar (Renow 3, Proficiency with Longbow)
- Saggitars are Votaries trained in the use of sharp-shooting above all else, and serve as the primary defenders of key Conclave locations. As such, a Saggitar never needs to pay for arrows; the Conclave provides all the ammunition that they need.
Special Role: Equenaut (Renown 10, Proficiency in Animal Handling)
- Much like the Skyknights of the Boros Legion, the Equenauts are elite cavalry who ride flying steeds to control the sky in military engagements - although, officially, Equenauts are more concerned with scouting to find places to establish new vernadi. An Equenaut rides a pegasus mount, and has much more freedom about where and when to fly it than a Skyknight, but will be punished for letting their steed come to harm, especially through deliberate malice or neglect.
Special Role: Hierarch (Renown 10, Spellcasting or Pact Magic class feature)
- The most skilled and experienced members of the Selesnya Conclave's internal clergy naturally take a leadership role, both in the rites to invoke Mat'Selesnya's blessing and in the day-to-day running of a vernadi. As a Hierarch, you can call upon the aid of 1d4 acolytes, even leading them to missions, and are expected to offer advice and opinions to your voda. You're also granted superior food and lodging, the free equivalent of a Comfortable lifestyle.
Special Role: Ledev Guardian (Renown 25, 10th level)
- The elite champions of the Selesnya Conclave, though the Ledev contain many centaurs, their primary constitutens are humanoids riding dire wolf steeds - as such, a player who joins this illustrious order is given their own bonded dire wolf steed.
Special Role: Dignitary (Renown 50)
- Acting as emissaries to the other guilds of Ravnica, Dignitaries are the highest authority in the Conclave apart from Trostani and the voda themselves. Reaching this elite position grants a player access to the comforts of a Wealthy lifestyle And the ability to call upon Selesnya initiates (acolytes, scouts, or soldiers); 10d10 for a Trostani-given mission, and 8d10 for a mission of their own devising.
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