Ways of the Seven
“Ioun, Distant Lord, grant me the skill to unlock your greatest secrets and the pinnacle of your Art.”
-Common prayer before final exams at Imperial colleges of magic
Ioun is the Neutral god of magic and knowledge. Though his clerics are relatively few, nearly every magician pays homage to him at some point in their studies, seeking guidance and insight. Librarians, scribes, scholars and philosophers are also counted among his worshipers. Most worship of Ioun occurs in the small shrines or chapels ubiquitous in centers of learning, rather than in dedicated temples proper. Those few temples of Ioun that do exist inevitably come to serve also as libraries, as books or other works of original research are common votive offerings to the god of knowledge. Ioun values the powers of the mind and knowledge, viewing mortals’ vast ignorance as their greatest failing and espousing the maxim, “The unexamined life is not worth living.”
Ioun appears as a tall, bald-headed man with eyes that slowly shift through the colors of the rainbow. He wears ornate robes and his head is orbited by several magical crystals known as Ioun stones, in which he is said to have bound the very deepest secrets of magic. His symbols are the open eye, and the candle.
The commandments of Ioun form a set of philosophical teachings by which a follower can aspire to an ascetic, enlightened life:
Knowledge is the best measure of worth, the divine quality that separates the thinking races from mere animals. Seeking knowledge is the most important goal; wealth, power, and happiness may flow from knowledge but are results rather than ends in themselves.
To allow a fact to be forgotten is a grave crime, so preserve knowledge in libraries and books. Seek out lost lore, and look to the past for inspiration. Strike at willful ignorance, and cast light into dark places.
Beware the lure of Vecna, the so-called Lord of Secrets. He seeks to hoard all knowledge for himself and prevent the enlightenment of the common aspirant. Unmask his schemes and spread the knowledge of his crimes to all.
In 3.5 DnD, Ioun’s domains are Magic, Knowledge, and Madness.