The Flask and Sword
Symbol: A shaft of wheat crossed with a scythe
Domains: Life, Nature, Death
Titles: The Watcher, The Hub of the Cycle
Dogma: The Watcher maintains that all natural life is bound to the same wheel of of birth, death, and renewal. There is no escape from this, nor is one desirable. It is meet that all things are born, live their time upon the world, and are gifted with death when their time comes. While many would contend that the actions of sentient beings disrupt the balance of nature, The Watcher holds that nature is more than a quiet wood or an unspoiled meadow, and can be found even in places people might find unpleasant. Unlike many other deities, Ystus enjoins his followers with very few direct commands or moral philosophies, instead simply saying that they should be ever mindful of the world in which they live, grateful for the gift of life from one’s forebears, and fatalistically aware that it will one day end. The notable exception to this concerns the undead and aberrations from outside the plane of reality. These creatures are by definition not part of the natural cycle, and do great harm to the balance of it. They should be driven out and destroyed whenever possible.
Organization: Followers of Ystus are called Ystians. An ancient deity, Ystus was revered, if not worshipped, by all elves. Though enclaves and monasteries devoted to Ystus do exist, there is no central hierarchy to his church, and there are those who consider his followers more philosophical than religious. Druids often pay him homage as a wise figure and symbol of the natural world, but many choose to worship more defined aspects of nature that the broad cycle that The Watcher represents, and militant druids and rangers sometimes rankle at his seemingly fatalistic and passive outlook. There are a few bands of dedicated monster hunters, usually victims of such creatures, that consecrate themselves to his service as hunters of the undead and other things outside the cycle. These are known as the Iempro Bais in Elven, the Bringers of Death.
Attributed to an Ystian monk: “No snowflake ever falls in the wrong place.”