Founded by parun Mat’Selesnya, a female humanoid elemental formed via the fusion of dryads, the Selesnya Conclave is a decentralized collective variably described as a “selfless, nurturing, spiritual group” or a “brainwashing nature cult”, depending on who you’re talking to. The Conclave involves itself in the establishment and maintenance of peace, life, and unity in Ravnica.
Despite their appearance of being “good” and “peace-loving”, in truth the guild has a sinister streak. The Conclave used to employ its quietmen and other members to silence the civilians of Ravnica. The defenders of the Selesnya are the Ledev Guardians. Equenauts ride pegasuses, combining the role of mounted warriors and scouts. Sagitars, are elven archers that defend key guild locations.
The Conclave is organized in enclaves called vernadi, which are communes built around central trees, like smaller versions of Vitu-Ghazi. A dryad, called a voda, is called forth to be the leader of the community, connecting the vernadi to the Worldsoul and the will of the entire Conclave. The vernadi are a harmonious union of nature and civilization. Their house are created by woodshapers and are like living gardens without doors, carefully tended and abundantly fertile. The Selesnya are proud of its wurms, which are used by shamans called wurmcallers to travel underground. The wisest clergy (including many Loxodons), are sometimes called hierarchs, although there is no official hierarchy in the religion. Spellcasters fill both military and religious roles, calling their magic Doruvati (“the gift” of Mat’Selesnya).
Selesnya leadership is composed mainly of dryads. The “guild leader” of Selesnya in the Ravnica: City of Guilds set was a collective mind known as the Chorus of the Conclave, with the top members of the guild as figureheads. Mat’Selesnya now resides within Vitu-Ghazi, having offered herself to preserve order in Selesnya. Currently, three dryads, serving as the new guildmaster, functioning as her voice. 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 served 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 realising their role in forcing the oppression of the guilds. However, they have 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.
Recently, the Conclave has been growing an army, preparing to resist the ambition and destructive impulses of the other guilds and fight, if necessary, to defend their way of life.
During the unrest before the War of the Spark, the three heads of Trostani were in discord. While Harmony remained mysteriously and utterly silent, Order argued in favor of a peace treaty with the other guilds, and Life wanted to focus on building strength of the Conclave. The fact that the dryads were divided meant that Trostani was virtually paralyzed and faded into the background of events. Emmara Tandris stepped forward to fill the void in leadership. She was committed to pursuing peace between the guilds with all her heart, even as Trostani hesitated in self-conflict.
And about that Guildmaster’s Guide…
We need to start saying that the Selesnya Conclave is an ideal guild for druids and rangers and other characters related to nature. The things we got in the Guildmaster’s Guide to Ravnica are:
- A background: the Selesnya Initiate
- A location: A Vernadi center
- Monsters: The Horncaller, a Conclave Dryad, a Wurm and Trostani.
- Magic items: a signet and a keyrune
The things we didn’t get and that we will eventually create here are:
- A subclass: the Circle of Community for druids and the Ledev Champion, a variant for the Beast Master ranger archetype.
- A spell: Both Convoke and Populate are M:tG mechanics dealing with the creation or summoning of creatures.
- A location: Although Selesnyans believe power is not centered in any one location, the massive Vitu-Ghazi serves as focus and guildhall of the Conclave. Other communes reflect the perfect form and structure of the City-Tree, and its trunk acts as a cathedral for worshippers from all around Ravnica.
- NPCs: Emmara Tandris, evangel and diplomat; Tolsimir Wolfblood, elven evangel and one of the greatest ledev along with Voya, his mount; and Fonn Zunich, a ledev guardian and Silhana priestess, with Biracazir, her mount (which was a descendant of Voja).
- More monsters: Saprolings!
- An artifact: the Crown of Convergence.
What else would you like to see from the Selesnya Conclave to play in D&D?