The Clergy

Here is where we will look more closely at the various priesthoods living in Verthal.

- The Keeper

Aveilia Guram Mar Gibeon
Andul Irak Thanzul Marilene
Belegrath Izoak Mirg Kullion
Cirt Khizul Syluk
The Dweller in Darkness Lazhag Talbron
Elvarr Lomir Tolog
Gib Luin Torik

Aveilia

Undead Slayer, Hope, The Sun Above

Align. L.G.

Symbol. A Sun

Domains: Good, Healing, Strength, Sun

The Church:

Clergy: Clerics, Rangers, Bards, Monks

Clergy’s Alignment: L.G., L.N., N.G.

Favored Weapon: Mace

Churches of Aveilia are run in a strict and formal fashion. The rules are followed to the letter and those who infringe on them are punished, sometimes harshly. Most priests are up before dawn and begin the daily rituals shortly before sunrise. A select group of followers are chosen to be “Night Sentinels”. They walk the cities at night carrying lanterns and torches to help hold back the Darkness. This task is usually given to the lesser clerics and monks but they are usually accompanied by a cleric of higher standing and power.

Dogma:

The church teaches that law helps to keep the world in order. “As sure as the sun rises each day, so shall you also by following the law.” Is a saying used often, those that follow the law will be shined upon by Aveilia and their life will glow with warmth and brightness.

Day-to-day Activities:

Daily rituals begin an hour before sunrise, with clerics preparing for the sunrise services. This is when they pray and receive their spells for the day as the sun rises and shines upon them. There are other rituals at noon when the sun is at its greatest light. These usually are minor rituals. The blessing of holy water is usually done at this time. At sunset the clergy pray to the sun to protect them as the darkness of night falls.

During the day all the clerics attend classes and lectures on different things depending on there specific areas of knowledge. A lot of the classes are on the aspects of undead and the other powers that want to plunge the world into darkness. Other classes are on crops, weather, the underground races, and the making of light sources. Most clerics spend part of the day sunning themselves as a way to help draw power from the sun and Aveilia. Most clerics are constantly tanned and tend to never get sunburned regardless of how much time they spend exposed to the sun. This is said to be a way that Aveilia shows her favor. If a cleric does get sunburned it usually looked on as a sign of them slipping in their duties. Hours of prayer usually follow in this situation.

The Night Sentinels go to bed shortly after morning rituals. They rise in the early afternoon to begin there classes and learning each day. They are granted their spells as the sun sets. They begin their rounds at this time and travel the cities in groups of three to five. In the smaller cities they usually travel in pairs. They work alongside with the city guards at most times but will always watch them to make sure they don’t stray from the law. They walk the cities to spread light to help keep darkness from getting a hold on the world. They walk until the time that morning rituals start. Night Sentinels are usually monks and clerics with some fighting abilities. Undead Slayers fit into the Night Sentinels easily.

Holy Days/Important Ceremonies:

The holiest day of the year is the Summer Solstice. This is the longest day of the year. This day is usually filled with festivals and most clergy are excused from lesson. Some still do have classes as they see the festival as a distraction from their duties. Some of the clergy are known to sit and bask in the sun for the whole day.

Major Centers of Worship:

The largest temple of Aveilia is found in Brindinford but places of worship for the goddess can be found in most cities. These tend to be open air altars with good views of the sunrise. The fact that most farmers, shepherds, and travelers pray to her at some point in the day has allowed her to gain a following throughout the island.

Affiliated Orders:

The Night Sentinels are the most widely known order of Aveilia. They include all of the Paladins that follow the sun goddess as well as others that have skills in fighting.

Most of the sentinels are similar to night watchmen but the Paladins have a special purpose. The Paladins have just recently been seen and there numbers are still few. They are also known as the Undead Slayers. Their direct purpose is to rid the world of the undead. Anyone associated with the control or making of undead is considered an enemy regardless of alignment and standing in society. The paladins handle these people in extreme ways.

The other group is a more peaceful group known as the Blessers. They pray over fields and crops to help them grow better and some say that this will prevent the crops from being affected by a drought when rain is scarce.

Priestly Vestments:

Most of the followers wear robes of white or yellow with all accessories being made of gold. The high priest wears a sunburst head piece of gold at the major services.

It is said that the highest ranking paladin has a suit of gold plate mail he wears for major services.

Adventuring Garb:

Adventuring garb tends to be very similar to the everyday clothing. Robes of white and yellow are usually worn over any armor.


Andul

Magic, Mysteries

Align. L.N.

Symbol. Blue hand surrounded by silver nimbus

Domains:Fate, Illusion, Knowledge, Protection, Time

The Church:

Clergy: Clerics, Wizards, Bards, Sorcerers

Clergy’s Alignment: LG, CG, NG, LN, CN, LE

Favored Weapon: Quarterstaff

Churches of Andul are few and far between. Yet he is one of the more widely prayed to gods on Verthal. Most of his churches are small shrines that are hidden in secure areas. Some people also have small places in their homes for worshipping the God of Magic. Each church is run differently from one to the next depending on how the head of the church feels Andul is leading them. This leads to disagreements occasionally, though nothing more than petty squabbles. The main purpose of the church is the preservation and understanding of magic. Some groups feel that magic is what makes the world exist and it needs to be shared with everybody. Other groups feel that magic is a powerful and dangerous tool and in the wrong hands can destroy the world. They seek to hide and preserve magic from the barbarians that would ruin it. The Seekers are a group who travel the world searching for magic of all sorts. They take this magic to their temples where it can be better researched and used to it most benefit.

Dogma:

The preservation and understanding of magic are the main concern of the church. Andul is rarely in contact with his followers and hasn’t any text or other material for his clergy to study. The heads of the church direct the way things run based on how their own interpretations of what Andul shows them.

Day-to-day Activities:

Because the churches are small and secluded there are few who actually call the church home. These few worshippers spend most of the day researching the items and magical tomes and books in the temple. Daily activities vary greatly from one individual to the next. Some spend all night reading and researching different books and tomes to better understand their fields of study. Others are teachers who give lectures on different types of magic. Others travel the world looking to collect any magic they come across. Most followers have a regular living outside the church.

Holy Days/Important Ceremonies:

There is no real holy day for Andul. It is a very personal and private matter between Andul and his follower. Perhaps the day Andul first granted the person spells. Or a small pray after each successfully cast spell. Another important day is Initiation Day. This is the day new members are granted powers and allowed access to the churches vaults and studies.

Major Centers of Worship:

There are no major centers of worship to Andul. All of his shrines are hidden and the exact locations are kept secret to most. The fact that they collect and keep vaults of magic items and books is a good reason to keep there location secret. If enemies found out the locations they could attempt to overtake them. While highly protected with spells and constructs the shrines could not stand up to an assault from a large group of enemies.

Affiliated Orders:

The Seekers are a secretive group of adventurers. They tend to work on there own to help search a wider area of Verthal. They readily join groups of adventurers as this will help them get past monsters and other hazards that they couldn’t get by on there own. They keep there own objectives to themselves and seek to get as much magic as possible before leaving them. Most don’t see anything wrong with stealing items of some power from anybody as they feel that most are uneducated and don’t know how to properly use these items. They usually carry a portable hole or bag of holding so that they can be sure to have room for everything they find. There trips tend to last for at least a year or more before they return to the shrines. The Seekers also keep an eye out for select individuals to possible recruit them.

Priestly Vestments:

Most priests wear simple robes of a single color. Blue, brown, and red are favored colors. Most also wear some sort of headgear. A simple skullcap to large pointed hats are some that are worn. The higher ranking officials wear robes of a deep blue with a silver cloak with a blue hand centered on the back.

Adventuring Garb:

Most of the Seekers wear standard adventuring garb either in greens or browns or a combination of both.


Belegrath

Hatred, Dark Deeds, Murder

Align. N.E.

Symbol. Violet Hand crushing the sun.

Domains: Destruction, Evil, Fear, Hatred, Tyranny

The Church:

Clergy: Any who seek to do dark and malicious things.

Clergy’s Alignment: CN, NE, CE, LE

There are no actual churches of Belegrath. All those who worship Belegrath do so in secret. Secret cults get together on rare occasions to go over plans on how to send the world into chaos and destruction.

Dogma:

Dark and evil things are all Belegrath cares for. He sows seeds of hatred in all of his followers twisting even those who are not truly evil into doing evil acts. Belegrath views all those who worship him as puppets to use as he sees fit.

Day-to-day Activities:

All those that worship Belegrath have lives outside of the dark and evil things they do. The merchant who seeks to gain more power by murdering his competition, the soldier who loves the thrill of a kill, the wealthy who become bored with every day life are all examples of people who worship Belegrath.

Holy Days/Important Ceremonies:

There are no true Holy Days of Belegrath. Ritualistic murders are the only known ceremony that is linked to Belegrath. These usually involve a few followers and the victim is just someone grabbed shortly before it takes place. Planned murders are also something Belegrath enjoys, especially those that are done out of a sense of revenge.

Major Centers of Worship:

There are no major centers of worship to Belegrath.

Affiliated Orders:

There are no known orders of Belegrath.

Priestly Vestments:

All followers wear dark cloaks and robes that hide their faces from others. Some even wear masks to keep their identity secret.

Adventuring Garb:

Followers wear their everyday clothes that fit there normal line of work.


Cirt

Deception, Envy, Lies

Align. C.E.

Symbol. Rotting skull surrounded by black roses

Domains: Chaos, Destruction, Illusion, Trickery

The Church:

Clergy: Clerics, Thieves, others with evil hearts

Clergy’s Alignment: LE, CE, NE

Favored Weapon: Dagger

There is no formal Church of Cirt. The church is a very secretive order. You would have an easier time catching a greased gnome than finding a church of Cirt. Not many people would trust a follower of Cirt let alone allow a temple to be in their city. Because of this most places of worship are small and are found in cellars or other similar places. Some priests of Cirt become deceivers.

Dogma:

The church of Cirt looks for it’s followers to spread lies and falsehoods whenever possible. “The power to deceive is the greatest of all powers, for it is the power to create; it is the power to create reality for others from the depths of your own imagination.

Day-to-day Activities:

Clerics of Cirt always attempt to pass themselves off as someone else. They seek to plunge the world into chaos be telling lies whenever they can. A favorite way of doing this is to helping and befriending somebody. Once their life is looking great and everything is running smooth the follower of Cirt will begin to slowly begin to destroy everything through lies and deception. If done properly the victim will never know how it happened.

Holy Days/Important Ceremonies:

There are no real holy days for Cirt’s followers. Once a year groups will get together and tell their tales and deeds of mischief. The actual day this happens is unknown and no one outside the group has a clue as to where it takes place.

Major Centers of Worship:

There are no real major centers of worship to Cirt. The nature of the god and his beliefs cause most to be very distrustful of his followers. It is also why the clergy tend to work by themselves because they can’t even trust their own.

Affiliated Orders:

The Deceivers are a specially trained group of loyal Cirt followers. They are specially trained to infiltrate another god’s temple. They prefer good or lawful churches but will target any church other than their own. Once within the ranks they try to work themselves as high in the organization as possible. They attempt to destroy the church from within with lies and deception. Their god grants them powers to protect them from detection so that they can deceive even the higher ranking clerics. It is a very dangerous task but it is the most rewarding for the clergy as Cirt rewards them greatly.

Priestly Vestments:

There is no actual garb for the priests of Cirt. They wear whatever would help them deceive there prey at the time. Wearing the vestments of other clerics is favored choice though.

Adventuring Garb:

Adventuring garb is similar to the priestly vestments. Wearing robes over their armor is regular and they tend to have numerous hidden weapons.


Elvarr

Beauty, Love

Align. C.N.

Symbol: Violet heart over field of red

Domains: Chaos, Charm, Illusion, Protection

The Church:

Clergy: Clerics, Rangers, Bards

Clergy’s Alignment: CN, CG, NG

Favored Weapon: Staff

The churches of Elvarr are lavishly decorated places. Some rooms could be mistaken for a brothel. Loaded with pillows and filled with sweet scents as beautiful men and woman lounge around basking in their own beauty. Mirrors are also found almost every where as well. Large beautiful gardens surround the church filled with exotic animals, beautiful sculptures, and lovely flowers. There seems to be little regard to formal rules as most clergy come and go with a whim.

Dogma:

The church of Elvar teaches that love will overcome all. The clergy believe in selfless and unconditional love. Each person must try and perform a loving act each and every day. They seek to awaken the love in all beings as this is Elvarr’s wish.

Day-to-day Activities:

Most of Elvarr’s clergy are very hedonistic. They seek out love and beauty in all things. An hour each morning is spent getting ready to show off their personal beauty to the world. A bath in perfumed water, special lotions applied to the skin, and makeup are all things used to help bring out the follower’s natural beauty. Weather permitting they will head to the market in search of some object of beauty either to place in the church or to help accent their own personal looks. When needed, they attend and even oversee weddings.

The nighttime is filled with dancing and singing. Bards play lovely tunes as clergy partake in the finer things of life. Wine, pastries, and sweet breads are some of the available foods. Romantic poems are read in between love songs. This goes on for a while and things start to break up into more private gatherings to end the night.

Holy Days/Important Ceremonies:

A week long celebration after Spring equinox

Major Centers of Worship:

Travelers can find temples and alters to Elvarr in most cities and large towns in civilized lands.

Priestly Vestments:

The clergy like to show off there bodies every chance they get. The males wear half-cloaks or a finely decorated loin cloth. Females wear low cut tops and short skirts. All like to wear jewelry and rings sometimes to the extent of being gaudy.

Adventuring Garb:

Followers of Elvarr are very paranoid of the idea of receiving scars and disfiguring marks during the course of an ‘adventure’. Some even buy armor oversized and then stuff it with padding in an attempt to prevent such shameful marks on their body.


Khizul

Fire, Destruction

Align. N

Symbol. Undulating red flame on black field

Domains: Destruction, Fire, Renewal, Suffering

The Church:

Clergy: Clerics, Rangers, Monks, Wizards

Clergy’s Alignment: Any

Favored Weapon: Flame Weapons of any type

The temples of Khizul are bare in decor except for braziers and torches of all types. They tend to be found in remote areas especially near active volcanoes or near a desert. They are also found in major cities especially those who rely on metal working as a major source of income. The Keeper of the Flame is said to be the first priest to follow Khizul.

He is also said to be alive even to this day. Some say he is as old as The Keeper of Secrets and still others say they are one and the same.

Dogma:

Khizul shows little affection or favor to his followers. What little he does is usually based on the offerings from his followers. People outside of the church tend to misunderstand and feel that the church has evil intentions. The church simply represents an important part of nature. It has been known to destroy areas overrun with evil as well as those with law and goodness. To be allowed into the church of Khizul each follower must go through the fire walking ritual. Those who fail either don’t have the nerve to start or they die during the ritual. This is said to be a cleansing of the soul that brings you closer to Khizul and also awakens the fire within your soul.

Day-to-day Activities:

Each church has a large brazier which burns constantly. This is tended to by at least two priests at all times. Other priest spend their time trying to make fire that burns hotter than most, while others find work as blacksmiths.

Holy Days/Important Ceremonies:

A yearly anniversary is held on the day the Holy Brazier was lit. This day differs from one temple to the next and priests are known to attend more than one each year. Each priest attending must participate in a fire walk and the length of the walk is based on the cleric’s power. Those with an impure mind or body aren’t protected from the coals and are burned horribly while those who have remained true to Khizul can make the walk with little effort.

Major Centers of Worship:

Temples of Khizul can be found in the major cities while the biggest shrine is in a hidden volcano. This is where the Keeper of the Flame is said to be.

Affiliated Orders:

The Knights of the Flame are the most known order of Khizul. They are ferocious combatants who show no mercy to any enemies that get in their way. All are adorned in blackened armor and wear red cloaks. They are fearless and will fight to the last man, never surrendering in battle. The Incinerators are wizards who follow Khizul. They lean towards spells that are loud, flashy, sudden, and brutal. They have no problem in using them at the drop of a hat and actually enjoy the destruction they cause. Most of these wizards walk a fine line between sanity and madness, the fire inside them trying to pull them closer and closer to madness.

Priestly Vestments:

Most followers of Khizul favor the colors of red and black. The blackening of armor is often used by those followers who wear it. Most priest keep their heads unadorned.

Adventuring Garb:

Same as the priestly vestments.

The Clergy

Verthal Balron