|Aliases||The Forest Father, Oak Father, the Old Oak, Old Father Tree, Treefather|
|Divine Rank||Greater God|
|Pantheon||Faerûn, Celtic, Roman|
|Portfolio||Animals, Trees, Nature, Wild Growth, opposing civilization|
|Domains||3E: Animal, Plant, Protection, Renewal, Water
4E Life, Storm, Wilderness
|Home Plane||Great Wheel: The Deep Forest (Outlands, Tir Na Nog)
World Tree: The Deep Forest (House of Nature)
World Axis: Summeroak (Deep Wilds)
|Worshippers||Druids, Rangers, Wood Elves, Hippies, Environmentalists|
|Favoured Weapon||The Great Mallet of Silvanus! (Maul)|
Silvanus is the god of wild nature in the Celtic pantheon and in the Forgotten Realms campaign setting.
Silvanus, along with Oghma is an interloper deity, recognised on many worlds under many different guises. (Both of them likely originating from the RL Celtic pantheon, where Silvanus is known as Sucellos). In Faerûn his portfolio used to belong to Chauntea, but as time went on and after Netheril fell, Chauntea became more associated with agriculture than nature and so lost parts of her portfolio to Silvanus.
He is served by several deities of nature, most notably Mielikki, goddess of good woodland creatures, which points to some very close analogous between Obad-Hai and Ehlonna from the Greyhawk setting, that they may very well be the same deities just under different names.
Silvanus is one of those old, dawn of time deities along with Chauntea and Lathander who exist to administer to fundamental forces of the universe and have always been greater deities, rather than having risen up from lower ranks of godhood or mortality.
As such, he is typically detached from events in the world, preferring to get involved where his portfolio says so and little else.
However, he is not without ideology; though he has an off/on relationship with the Earthmother Chauntea, goddess of agriculture, domestic animals and gardens, Silvanus believes that you shouldn't fuck with nature and opposes any attempt to tame the wilderness, taking a particular dislike to people who use fire and anyone whose profession is "woodcutter".
The specialist priest for Silvanus is the Forest Master, a transformative spellcasting class that eventually turns the character into a plant-type creature, though it requires quite a bit of concentration to qualify for. (and a little bit of DM fiat -see later).
For prerequisites, it needs 13 ranks of Survival, 8 Knowledge (Nature) and 4 Spot, as well as four Feats (Alertness, Endurance, Skill Focus (Nature) and Power Attack), you need to be able to cast up to Entangle, Plant Growth and Control Plants which in 3.5e is a level 8 spell, but in 3.0e was a level 4 spell. You might want to ask your DM to switch it with Command Plants instead, which is probably the correct interpretation since the spell mechanics were also switched between editions. If you do this, all of the spells are only available to Druids, Rangers or Clerics with the Plant domain, pretty much dictating who can join this prestige class.
You'll also need to have proficiency with a Maul, which is a Martial Weapon listed in the FRCS, but is an exotic weapon in Complete Warrior, either way that will require an extra feat or multiclass level to be spent if you are a Cleric or Druid.
Finally, you need to meet a Treant, which can scupper you if your DM doesn't introduce your character to one.
When you eventually qualify as a Forest Master, you gain a 3/4 BAB progression, good Fort & Will saves and miss out on two spellcasting levels, but the best features are the class features:
Initially, you can assume Tree Shape, presumably because Druids can no longer Wild Shape. You can identify plants and animals perfectly. You can Command/Rebuke plant creatures if you couldn't already (see Clerics with the Plant domain).
Any Maul you use becomes a +2 magical weapon with Frost or Shock, but increases in power as you level, eventually to a +5, Mighty, Cleaving, Icy/Shocking Burst weapon.
You also gain several cumulative passive stat bonuses as you level up: eventually culminating in +7 natural AC, STR +4 and CON +2, Fast Healing 1, transformation to the Plant creature type (making you immune to a multitude of harmful effects, including critical hits, poison and mind influencing spells), double your natural lifespan and the ability to root yourself to the spot to gain Fast Healing 5.
Clerics (with the Plant Domain) probably gain the most from joining this class, becoming considerably killier while only sacrificing the ability to turn undead after they qualify, and two spellcasting levels, so they can still cast level 9 spells in the end.
Rangers with a combat focus might benefit from the stat boosts and inbuilt magical weapon, but because of the spellcasting requirements will likely have qualified late in their careers, and at that point they must decide if it's worth it if they cannot complete the prestige class.
Druids will have already picked up the some ability to Wild Shape but will miss out on the later modifications to the feature, but probably trade off quite well with all the other gains they earned here, especially given that they cannot normally use metal armour or weapons, so natural AC becomes welcome.
Silvanus resides in the House of Nature, which is mechanically analogous to the Beastlands. Petitioners here live in absolute harmony with nature and never chop wood or cut stone for their living accommodation. Over time they gain animal qualities appropriate to their temperament, eventually becoming Celestial Animals themselves.
While other deities reside in the House of Nature, Silvanus makes his realm in the deepest reaches where the trees grow so tall and thick that light never touches the ground.
- Mentioned above, Silvanus may well have been known as agriculture god Sucellos in the real life Celtic pantheon. The imagery is much the same: a leafy dude with a big giant hammer.
- Silvanus was a god in the real life Roman Pantheon, also "borrowed" from the Celtic pantheon. However rather than being the cranky old fucker who yells "keep off the grass" he was a PROPER god of MANLY bare-chested MEN who spent all their time toiling with their MUSCLES in the fields to bring home food for the wimmin-folk. Thus he was a god of agriculture, rather than wild nature, and his cults were exclusively male.
- As another variant on the Silvanus / Obad-Hai mixture, in the Ghostwalk campaign they probably got blended with Corellon Larethian to form Galaedros which is what you'd get if you put Silvanus at the top of a pantheon and gave him a crazy as fuck ex-wife.
|The Deities of Forgotten Realms|
|Good||Ilmater - Nobanion
Torm - Tyr
|Chauntea - Deneir - Eldath - Enlil
Gwaeron Windstrom - Lathander
Mielikki - Milil - Mystra - Shiallia
|Lliira - Lurue - Selûne - Sharess |
Sune - Tymora - Valkur
|Neutral||Azuth - Helm - Hoar
Jergal - Kelemvor
Red Knight - Savras
Siamorphe - Ulutiu
|Akadi - Ao - Auppenser - Gond
Grumbar - Istishia - Karsus
Kossuth - Oghma - Silvanus
Tempus - Ubtao - Waukeen
|Finder Wyvernspur - Ibrandul - Leira |
Mask - Shaundakul - Uthgar
|Evil||Asmodeus - Bane
Gargauth - Gilgeam
Iyachtu Xvim - Loviatar
|Auril - Bhaal - Myrkul
Shar - Velsharoon
|Beshaba - Cyric - Garagos |
Malar - Moander - Talona
Talos - Umberlee