The Gods of Vingaard
|Belzor||Broken Dragon||Truth, Justice, Retribution|
|Enod||Asclepius Stave||Life, Choices, Mercy|
|Ravi||8-Pointed Star||Dawn, Redemption, Purification|
|Nirrin||Grey Spiral||Secrets, Memories, Silence|
|Jaeril||Dice||Luck, Fate, Balance|
|Tempus||Flaming Sword||Battle, Honour, Dignity|
|Nasir & Cyric||Three Crowns/Jawless Skull||Law/Treachery|
Belzor is the god of absolute, unyielding, objective truth. He embodies the spirit of Justice; to right wrongs, destroy evil, shatter darkness with holy light, and bring evildoers kicking and screaming into the flame of divine righteousness. For Belzor, there is no room for maybe, no room for grey areas, and no room for evil to be allowed to continue.
However, Belzor does have a gentler aspect. He is the god of Fairness, of Justice, and of Absolution. Within his portfolio is the righting of wrongs; to reward the deserving just as the undeserving are punished. For this reason, he is, along with Ravi, widely worshipped amongst hard-working but poor folk in the hopes that he will smile upon them and their fortunes will change He is also prayed to for vengeance, retribution, fairness and the idea that in the end, good will triumph and the long hardships suffered by the honest will pay off. For this reason, he is sometimes known alternately “The God of Martyrs” or the “The Lord of Sorrow”.
Those who serve Belzor should be completely devoted to stamping out evil. They do not believe in middle grounds, believing that everyone must take a side in the great war between good and evil - and those who do not choose to fight for good are almost as bad as those who willingly choose to fight for the side of evil. A priest of Belzor is ever vigilant, for unlike the other priests it is not their job to promote good, but to destroy evil. They cannot and will not let any evil act go unpunished, and they cannot and will not let any evil being live. This is the will of Belzor.
Belzor is usually depicted a furious-faced man breaking the back of a dragon (usually a black dragon, if colored) over his knee. If only his face is depicted, he will be shown simply as a strong-jawed, stern-faced man.
The Justicars are the chosen faithful of Belzor; their duty is to drag evil into the light of day and purify it. Justicars expose deceptions, root out plots, and crush the works of malice wherever they go. Their oath is one of war, for the war between good and evil is very real and is fought each and every day in the souls of mortals. The Justicars are warriors, soldiers of the divine, and they consider their very life forfeit in service of this eternal conflict.
Although much of their duty is related to the seeking and destruction of evildoers, they are often called upon in a more formal setting. Although their numbers are too few to sit on every town’s court, they are often summoned when there is doubt in a high-profile case. However, bringing the Justicars into things often causes more trouble than it’s worth - once they are included, they often take control of the process of judgement and punishment in the name of their god.
Professional Edge: Truthseer
Requirements: Novice, Arcane Background (Miracles), Priest of Belzor, Faith d6+, Notice d6+
The power of Truesight gives the Justicars the power to discern falsehoods. It gives them a +2 bonus to Notice rolls made to determine whether someone is lying. If they are able to extract a vow to Belzor to speak only the truth, then it is not possible for the victim to use a Bennie on their Persuasion check. Furthermore, a success on their Notice roll means they know a lie has been told, rather than merely suspecting it.
Professional Edge: Eyes of Justice
Requirements: Seasoned, Arcane Background (Miracles), Priest of Belzor, Faith d8+, Notice d8+
Powerful Justicars who refine the powers given to them by their god become excellent at detecting all forms of deception. A Justicar who has taken this Edge can make an opposed Notice roll against any kind of magical illusion; this includes invisible creatures or objects. They are usually opposed by the Spellcasting roll of the illusion in question. If they win, they see through the illusion.
Priests of Enod care for the preservation of life above all else. They are usually trained in traditional forms of healing and herbalism besides their own art, and they believe that their power should be used for nothing but the protection of life and the restoration of health. Priests of Enod believe that it is a cardinal sin to let anyone die, even an evil man; take him to justice, imprison him if you will, but if your greatest nemesis is dying in front of you, you must save him. They do not preach compassion as Ravi does, but believe that it is their duty to save all who can be saved; they simply do not care whether a person is worth saving or not - what matters to them is the act itself.
Clerics of Enod view life as the sacred gift that was given to all creatures by the gods, and that to despoil it for any reason is the ultimate sin. In killing another, you seal their fate. In this view, they are quite closely aligned with Ravi. Enod does not judge what is good and evil; that is for the individual to decide. Enod simply ensures that the individual is alive to make that decision.
A Healer of Enod follows the tenets of his god to the letter: only in the rarest, most dire of circumstances will they ever willingly bring death to another creature. They have little problem with restraining, pacifying or disarming their foes but to bring death upon another is prohibited except in the most extreme of circumstances. As far as the Healers are concerned, the moment an evil creature is slain their fate is sealed and they are damned. But for as long as they live, even if it is immensely remote, they have some chance of redemption. For this reason, the Healers of Enod are closely aligned with Ravi’s flock. The main difference in their dogma is that they care little for the actual redemption itself - they hold that life is sacred, and that death closes all possibilities of goodness for a creature, and so life should be preserved whenever possible.
The Healers of Enod are not complete pacifists, however. While they try to avoid physical violence wherever possible and focus on healing the wounded, they will not hesitate to bear arms when abstaining from violence would cause more harm than good - though they will still favor nonlethal means above all else. Their predilection against violence extends only to living beings, and they have little concern for the undead. They are known to be particularly dangerous in the defense of their temples, on the rare occasion when the foolish have attempted to storm them and take those who have sought sanctuary within. As dedicated as they are to curing sickness and healing pain, they are ruthless and the without mercy when defending their principles.
Professional Edge: Enod’s Mercy
Requirements: Novice, Arcane Background (Miracles), Priest of Enod, Faith d6+, Healing d6+
The healing power of Enod flows into all his servants do, even when they’re not actively calling on his power. The priests of Enod are legendary for their healing powers, and those who enter their care recover faster than medical care alone can explain. When using the Healing skill to support someone’s Natural Healing, the patients of a priest with this Edge can ignore their Wound penalties when they make the Natural Healing roll.
Professional Edge: Respite
Requirements: Seasoned, Arcane Background (Miracles), Priest of Enod, Faith d8+, Healing d8+
Powerful clerics of Enod gain the power to take pain and discomfort from others, allowing them to place willing patients into a deep sleep. They can be broken from this sleep at any time by loud noise, taking damage or anything else which would normally wake someone from a magically induced sleep. If they are not awoken, they will naturally awaken after a full 24 hours have passed, feeling both hungry and thirsty.
For as long as the patient is under the effects of this sleep, the effects of any kind of poison, disease, or other physical ailment will be effectively halted, resuming once they awaken. This will artifically extend the Golden Hour in which someone can be healed, and even extends to such arcane ailments such as mummy rot or the onset of vampirism or lycanthropy; only the curse of a god cannot be halted by this power.
Ravi is the Dawn - the light that rises just when the night is deepest. In addition to being a goddess of light, she is also the goddess of salvation; both the salvation of the faithful from the jaws of evil and the salvation of those who have been led astray, bringing them back into the fold of good and helping them to see the Dawn. She is the most unpredictable and understanding of the gods of Good, always seeking to redeem and cure evil rather than destroying it. In legends and folk tales, she is even said to stand against the other gods in defense of a monster she believes is worthy of redemption.
Ravi is usually depicted as a divinely beautiful woman with ivory skin and flowing golden hair. She is sometimes depicted carrying a lantern with an expression of sorrow or compassion on her face. The symbol of Ravi is the Great Lamp, a silver disk engraved with eight separate “points” that are rounded triangles, radiating around a central engraved circle, which is often bronze or gold.
A sect of the Order of Ravi is the Sacrament of Vigilance, a fringe group dedicated to hunting vampires and the undead in general. As all the Trinity have a darker side, so too does Ravi. The undead are considered to be completely and permanently corrupted; they have passed from the redeemable living and become creatures of darkness; misery and malice is their very essence. For the undead, Ravi has no mercy and no compassion.
Those blessed with Ravi’s gifts are called Daybringers - and like all who serve Ravi, they advocate understanding and compassion. No matter what the reason, a Daybringer never gives up on a person. They will never say “this person cannot be saved”, or “this person is unforgivable”, but will always strive to bring them back into the light.
Clerics of Ravi view a life as something that is full of potential for good or evil, and that the choice between these two is what makes good and evil worth choosing between in the first place. As long as a life continues, the choice will continue to be made; when an evil man dies, his fate is sealed, but as long as he lives he may someday be redeemed. The inverse is the case with beings of pure evil - the undead, demons and the like. With these the priest of Ravi will not simply coexist, will never “live and let live”. The light of Dawn must be brought to them, destroying them utterly.
Compassion is the watchword of those who serve Ravi (except where the undead and demons are concerned), and as a result they tend to avoid killing wherever possible. Nevertheless, if they must do so to defend themselves or the innocent, they will not hesitate to fight. They will always try to guide and redeem those who have fallen to evil, but if an evil person puts the good in danger before this is possible they will sorrowfully dispatch them to their damnable fate. As the Order of Daybringers usually seek out demons and the undead, redemption and compassion is often less of a consideration for them as it is for a peaceful priest of Ravi.
Nonetheless, the Daybringers are Ravi’s crusaders and soldiers in the mortal realm; though every Daybringer has different priorities, the task of redemption and rehabilitation is often left to the lay priests. The prime duty of a Daybringer is to seek out the corruption of undeath and root it out wherever it may appear. To assist them in this holy task, the Lady of the Morning Star gives them certain special boons to carry with them.
Professional Edge: Inner Light
Requirements: Novice, Arcane Background (Miracles), Priest of Ravi, Faith d6+
Daybringers who venture frequently into the lairs of the undead are granted a measure of protection against their debilitating effects. Whenever a Daybringer receives a Trait roll to resist the effects of an undead creature - such as a ghoul’s paralysis, a shadow’s strength-draining touch, and so on - they receive a free reroll. This Edge has no effect on undead abilities which cannot be resisted with some kind of saving throw.
Professional Edge: Morning Star
Requirements: Seasoned, Arcane Background (Miracles), Priest of Ravi, Faith d8+
Powerful Daybringers gain the power to invoke the power of the dawn once per day, causing them to glow with true sunlight for one full minute (10 rounds). In addition to shedding bright illumination and the warmth of the sun within 10”, this radiance also counts as sunlight for the purposes of creatures or objects which are vulnerable to it, such as vampires and drow equipment.
Nirrin is the goddess of memories and all they entail. As such, she is the goddess of lost and forbidden knowledge, the goddess of resurrection, and the goddess of riddles. She is always depicted as a slim woman who wears a hooded cloak that is coloured the rusty red of dried blood. This obscures her face, revealing only a sly smile.
Nirrin does not grant power to priests, but has many followers all the same. The prayers of Raise Dead and Resurrection both feature an invocation to her regardless of the god the priest worships. She is also revered by magic-users and the Cult of Nirrin, who are dedicated to the aquisition and keeping of secrets. The Cult of Nirrin speaks a secret language, known as the Nirrinese Canticle.
Jaeril is the God of Luck - he is known as the Blind Guardian and the Idiot King. Many worship him - particularly gamblers and those who risk their life regularly or live their life close to the edge - as such, he is a favourite god of thieves. Jaeril is the god of the dice, the coin-flip, of blind probability; for the unguessable whimsy of fate. In his darker aspect, Jaeril is the god of debt, of the price, and of bad luck. In this aspect, he is typified by the unlucky gambler’s debt, the price he must pay or else dire consequences will ensue.
Followers of Jaeril advocate wisdom and opportunism - luck favours the wise and the quick, so they say, and the shrewd man makes his own luck. However, they also preach that if a decision is beyond the wisdom of a person to handle, they should not try to handle it anyway with their inadequate faculties. Instead, when they are unsure of what to do, they should simply let the roll of the dice and the whim of fate decide their actions. It is a common belief that the simplest and poorest of folk, who have less wisdom and ability to make their own luck, are guarded most closely of all by Jaeril.
Jaeril is usually depicted as a thin man who wears different clothing in every depiction; from a beggar’s rags to the king’s raiment. He is always depicted as laughing, though, and carrying either a set of dice or a puppet’s strings. In addition to Luck, Jaeril also presides over Prophecy and Fate, and is said to be a cousin to Nirrin, though she sees him as a fool and a scoundrel and associates with him only when absolutely necessary. He is said to protect beggars and the downtrodden, and is also known for granting visions or dreams to heroes who catch his fancy.
Jaeril does not grant power to specialty priests, though he sometimes deigns to favor mortals that catch his eye. As a result, his contingent is small and made up of all sorts of interesting and disreputable characters from all walks of life.
Tempus is one of the few non-good gods who is openly worshipped - though his temples are rare, they are nowhere near as scarce as those of Jaeril. Tempus is the lord of combat, trial by arms, skill with blade, bow and all other devices of death, and scourge of the magic-user. His temples are often relatively secluded, being built on frontier lines and in dangerous lands, and their primary function is simply to train battle-clerics. Once trained, the battle-clerics may serve whichever cause they feel is worthy, contributing both prowess with weapons and the divine gifts of their lord to defeat their foes and level the playing field against magic-users.
Tempus is widely worshipped by soldiers, mercenaries and warriors of all kinds. It is said that while he does not cheapen a warrior’s victory by granting him aid in combat, he will protect him from cowardly and dishonorable warfare - traps, magic, hailing arrows - so that the final fight may be fought on equal terms between men.
Tempus is depicted as a heavily-armoured warrior with a shining sun upon his chest, at the center of which is a large red ruby. Statues of the god himself are fairly featureless, emphasising his armour and weapons - but he is always depicted fighting multiple opponents, often magical beasts. Despite standing alone, Tempus is one of the more powerful gods worshipped in Leng - if his priests are to be believed, he could easily stand against any individual member of the Trinity. It is said that he is not truly native to Morus, and that his aspects are worshipped as gods of war and honor throughout many worlds.
The ethos of Tempus is that of a warrior’s pride and dignity. Combat is a sacred act of worship, and Tempus encourages his followers to pursue perfection in all martial matters. Skill at arms, the forging of weapons, the study of tactics and strategy - all of these are holy pursuits, from the perspective of a cleric of the Foehammer.
Not all means of dealing death are made equal in the eyes of Tempus, however. Many would paint he and his followers as mere brutes that worship the concept of strength, but Tempus has little time for those who did not strive for their power. Consequently, he loves to level the playing field against those blessed with innate powers beyond the ken of mortals. Likewise, though he loves strategy and tactics, he despises cowardly and underhanded ways of fighting. A warrior’s dignity demands respect, and those who deny that dignity to a warrior are sworn enemies of he whom they call “Lord of Battles”.
The Battleguards of Tempus are a class to themselves. While Tempus is widely worshiped by soldiers, warriors and warmongers the world over, the Battleguards do not simply seek his aid in achieving their goals. For the Battleguards, the battle itself is the objective. This is not to say that a Battleguard does not have his own principles and beliefs, and that he may not fight for a cause he has to believe in - but these causes have nothing to do with his faith. The will of Tempus is trial by battle, and a Battleguard seeks combat and glory above all else.
Battleguards are trained in the ways of war, and few weapons are forbidden to them. However, a Battleguard priest will never use cowardly means of combat. This includes the obvious choices such as traps and poison, but they also eschew ranged weapons of all kinds. Let those who need to rely on such weapons hide behind their bows and arrows; the faithful of Tempus do not fear death, and will charge into the fray and let their sword-arm decide the result.
Battleguards do not receive a Novice Edge associated with their faith. However, they can take Arcane Resistance and Dodge even if they do not meet the requirements for these Edges. This represents the protective hand of Tempus, which can shield the faithful from cowardly means of warfare.
Professional Edge: Battlesong
Requirements: Seasoned, Arcane Background (Miracles), Priest of Tempus, Faith d8+, Berserk
The Battlesong is a terrifying hymn to Tempus that is, as the name implies, sung in battle. It is known of and sung by warriors throughout Leng, but for most it is simply a song of prayer to the bloody-handed god. On the lips of a powerful Battleguard of Tempus who has thrown their senses away and entered a berserk rage, however, it possess great protective power.
This Edge allows a Battleguard who has gone Berserk to sing a song of power which makes them completely immune to magic for the duration of their rage. Any spell (harmful or helpful) that is cast on them and would normally have an effect is instead delayed until the rage ends, when its effects immediately set in. It is entirely possible for the Battleguard to win a combat and then fall to the magics that hang about him when his rage ends.
Nasir & Cyric
Law has two faces: a smooth, pleasant face that it shows to the world, telling of justice and fair deals. And it has another face: the face of corruption, blackmail, extortion and abuse of power. So it is with Nasir and Cyric, whom most perceive as two entirely separate gods. At one time, they were. Their senior priests know, however, that the two gods have become one and the same. In their secret cloistered ceremonies, unbeknownst even to their own orders, they offer worship to the duality of the Two-Faced God.
Nasir, originally one of the Old Gods of Leng, is the presentable face of the pair and has been worshiped in Leng for as long as there have been societies and contracts. Although he has few temples, he is widely worshiped in respectable circles as a god of contracts, law and oaths. He is invoked commonly when agreements are made, and is venerated as a bastion of truth and honest dealings.
Cyric, the darker face of the two, is a god originally foreign to Morus - much as Tempus is. He is the god of control, blackmail, and theft. He is also the god of aquisition, lawful or otherwise, and of lies. He is popularly known as the Mad God despite his lawful nature, and loves nothing more than to subvert and betray for absolutely no reason at all - the act in of itself is enough. He is petty and self-centered, and enjoys misleading individuals of all inclinations so that they perform acts that ruin their lives or so that they make fatal mistakes, and demands that his priests do the same.
Worship of the two gods is starkly different, and even their own servants do not know how they came to be dual aspects of the same deity. Nasir is worshiped openly and by good, honest folk who would flee in fear from the dreaded Cult of Cyric and their crazed worshipers. Yet the oaths to Nasir proclaimed in the light of day and whispered prayers to Cyric spoken in smoky, secret chambers all go to the same god.
What unites Nasir and Cyric - perhaps what united them in the first place - is the supreme importance of law. The lay priests of Nasir, unaware of their deity’s dark secret, preach the importance of discipline, principle and the rule of law. It is the foundation upon which civilisation is built, they say. Without laws and rules, there is no consistency and tyranny is inevitable. For this reason - even when the law fails individuals - they preach that it is to the benefit of society as a whole.
The Deceivers of Cyric are another matter. They entice others into contracts, agreements or friendships and betray them in order to further their own agendae and the agenda of their deity. Cyric despises honesty, integrity, and anything which is done out of purity of heart. A selfless, profitless act is a sure way for a Deceiver to lose his power. Cyric does not care if his priests personally enrich themselves through betrayal and deception, as long as they sow the seeds of mistrust and misrule amongst their fellows.
Many who work deceit and falsehoods offer prayer to the Veiled God. But the Deceivers follow his ways not to further their own ends - though they may well do so in the course of their service - rather, for them it is the act of treachery itself which they adhere to. The Deceivers bring glory to Cyric by walking amongst the just and the righteous, the pure and the innocent - and corrupting them. They exploit loopholes, poison good relations, foster envy and pride, and build bad blood.
They walk amongst every level of society, keeping their garb carefully concealed at all times. Masters of disguise and trickery, their god-given powers and their training in the ways of subterfuge allow them to manipulate themselves into positions of power, positions where they can do the most damage. A Deceiver is a spider, hiding amongst flies and spinning his webs, waiting for the moment to strike for the glory and profit of both himself and his deity.
Professional Edge: Fogweaver
Requirements: Novice, Arcane Background (Miracles), Priest of Cyric, Faith d6+, Persuasion d6+
Deceivers who walk amongst the “lambs” are aided both through practice and divine power in their deceitful schemes. They gain a +2 bonus to Persuasion checks made to deceive others, and impose a -2 penalty to powers intended to determine whether they are lying or read their minds.
Professional Edge: False Image
Requirements: Seasoned, Arcane Background (Miracles), Priest of Cyric, Faith d10+
Powerful servants of Cyric are able to corrupt divination magic as easily as breathing, their very presence a confounding factor. They have complete control of the outcome of any divination spell as long as it satisfies two conditions. First of all, they must be aware of its casting - a Deceiver cannot manipulate the results of a scrying spell if he does not know he is being spied upon. Secondly, the spell must be cast on or principally about them. If someone was to conjure an extraplanar creature and interrogate it about them, for example, there would be little they can do.
Assuming these conditions are fulfilled, the Deceiver is able to make the outcome of the spell reflect whatever he desires, within reason. Spells to detect evil could read as good. The Detect Arcana power may reveal nothing at all or that they possess astonishing power - or even divine magic of a good-aligned god. An attempt to read their mind might reveal totally convincing thoughts that are in truth totally fabricated.