Ill – LOO – veh – tar
Iluvitar is the Goddess of Law and Protection, the White Hand, the Ivory Shield, the Shelter of Men. She is sometimes known as the White Sister as she is the sister of Bedovara. Her spheres sometimes overlap, not always comfortably, with Bedovara’s drive for justice. Whereas Bedovara is willing to go to any lengths for justice, Iluvitar is the shining light of law and order and the patron of shelter and safety. To walk unmolested is to walk in the grace of Iluvitar’s protection. No city, fortress, or town is complete without a shrine to Iluvitar, and many homes will hang a token of hers such as a white-painted shield, or carve and paint a hand above the door.
Iluvitar is a nearly uniformly popular goddess. She cares naught for race or creed, but only in the benevolent protection of the law against interlopers. Victims turn to her for redress and fortresses carve her signs to ward off intruders. The law can, however, be twisted to darker and more abusive purposes. For these reasons, Iluvitar maintains a somewhat uneasy relationship with Bedovara, her darker mirror. Striking from Iluvitar’s sanctuaries, Bedovarites can punish abusers of the law in ways that Iluvitar’s disciples cannot. Iluvitarites do not participate or claim knowledge of these events; their temples are merely bases used by their brother priests, and they do not condone their actions.
Iluvitar and Bedovara’s power both manifests in the passing of judgement, and Iluvitarites often function as judges in their communities. An enscribed iron gauntlet, painted white, is worn on such occasions as a symbol of a fusion of the two gods’ divinity, and used to strike the judge’s table to maintain order. A ceremonial scale is placed on the table, one pan white and the other red; these are Iluvitar’s and Bedovara’s eyes, respectively. On rare occasions the gods themselves make their desires known through the scale. The child-slayer Thevicus was condemned when, just after proceedings began, both pans of the scale crashed through the table and embedded themselves, still upright, in the marble floor. If the scale falls then the gods have cursed the proceedings and they are abandoned.
Their role as judges gives priests of Iluvitar great power in their communities but also means that wandering Iluvitarites are uncommon. Paladins, however, are most often in service to Iluvitar and act as her martial arm when needed. In other times, they journey the land, identifiable by their white shields and white hands painted upon their breastplates or helms. Every priest and paladin carries a copy of the White Book, Iluvitar’s commandments for righteous and lawful life. This book is the focal point of the priest’s power; its codes are his codes, and by living a righteous life, the priest is a channel for Iluvitar’s power.
The settled and lawful nature of the priesthood also lends the Iluvitarites to a strict hierarchy. Each temple is headed by a Prelate that reports to a Diocesan, and in turn to a Warden. At the top sits the White Sentinel and the Ivory Council, governing the church and watching over the nations of the world. The Sentinel and Council are often brokers of treaties and impartial witnesses at their signings and are active but largely neutral participants in world politics.
Iluvitar is commonly depicted as a woman clad in white robes, wearing a breastplate and carrying a circular shield. She grips a staff with a weighted top to smite the lawbreakers.