The Rose of Cheldraen
Som and Gej, the Dual-god
Som and Gej is the dual identity of the single creator. Som is the female side of the creator and holds power over life, and Gej is the male side of the creator and holds power over death. As Som, she is the inspiration for growth and advancement, for the cause of good, and the bounty of all creation. As Gej, he is the force of temperance and mediation, he provides reasonable limits against excess, and just consequences of diverging from the virtuous path. Som inspires us to better ourselves, and Gej teaches us humility and discipline. They stand for a harmonic balance between all things that are righteous, and the necessary evils of the world that empower them. Som and Gej’s symbol is a rose with thorns. Priests of Som wear a rose flower with no stem, and priests of Gej wear a bundle of thorny brambles as their symbol. Their priests wear white and/or black and may either honor the righteous path, honor the necessary balancing evils, or support the harmony of both, but all agree that the balance is important for the preservation of the world and it’s denizens.
Priests of Som and Gej
Typical Alignments: NG, TN, or NE are most common.
Granted Power: Turn Undead, or alternatively, Bind Undead
Major Spheres: All, Astral, Creation, Healing, Necromantic, Sun.
Minor Spheres: Combat, Divination, Protection.
Favored Weapons: Battle Axe, Hand Axe, Throwing Axe, Executioner’s Axe.
Ethos: Priests of Som and Gej may rarely worship one of the dual-god’s personas, but far more commonly worship both. Those who focus on Som perform their duties to aide and boost mankind in all ways of strength, healing, and happiness. Most priests of the dual-god frown upon them as being gluttonous and given to excess and (ironically) debauchery. The dual-priests recognize how moving towards one excess invariably tends to show similarities to the opposite excess. Priests of Som tend to be rare and unpopular with “most decent folk,” but are favorites among the immature youth. Priests of Gej are feared and considered dangerous. They push for retribution of sin, and challenging the status quo. By doing so, they feel they are strengthening mankind by providing the necessary balance to create conflict and therefore encourage overall growth. As an extreme, they tend to use this as an excuse for selfishness, and true evil often arises from these priests. They are evil, and have a philosophical explanation to excuse all their wrongdoing. Dual-priests criticize them as being insane. Dual-priests strive to teach humility and balance in life. Wrongdoings are often necessary for the greater good, but must always be punished. If you make a choice to sin, then you also make a choice to serve the punishment. A Dual-priest must always admit to sin, and can never deny or avoid a punishment. Integrity is a must for personal character, and strife is the forge for which we build ourselves up. A dual-priest must always strive to better themselves by testing their limits.
Som and Gej created the Great Four to encourage and build upon the four areas of growth for mankind: Knowledge, Love, Power, and Abundance. For Knowledge, The Caltaram was created to be the genderless god of knowledge, education and magic. For Love, Sildar was created to be the god of passion, love, and instinct. For Power, Ketraal was created to be the goddess of war, law and justice. For Abundance, Talsine was created to be the god of nature, harvest, and natural bounty and resources.
Of course, Som and Gej believes in balance in all things, so the dual-god also created evil analogues to the Great Four, the Vile Four, to create the four struggles that mankind must overcome: Secrecy, Greed, Discord, and Devestation. For Secrecy, Mayorsin was created to be the hermaphroditic god of ignorance, secrets, and trickery. For Greed, Shar’ha was created to be the goddess of lust, gluttony, and greed. For Discord, Carthyr was created to be the god of dissention, rebellion and doubt. For Devestation, Kakatas was created to be the goddess of famine, pestilence, disease, and ruin.
Katraal, Lady of the Blade, Goddess of War, Law and Justice.
Katraal maintains social order in a hostile world. She brings law and justice to a chaotic land and under her peace reigns. She actively protects against the harmful influences of Carthyr, the God of Dissention, Rebellion and Doubt. In order to do so, she has taken up the blade and organized a structured, military defense. Loyalty and patriotism are unifying factors, for we are stronger when we work together, and all shall benefit from our strength. Katraal’s symbol is upward facing silver crossed-swords over a blue shield. Her priests wear blue vestments with silver trim. Katraal opposes Carthyr, God of Dissention, Rebellion and Doubt, and she always fighting to maintain societal order and loyalty against his influences of fear, corruption and betrayal.
Priest of Katraal
Typical alignment: LG or LN
Granted Power: Protection from Evil, 10’ radius, three per day.
Major Spheres: All, Combat, Guardian, healing, Protection, Summoning
Minor Spheres: Charm, Creation, Necromantic
Favored Weapons: Sword, Spear, and Military Weapons
Ethos: Priests of Katraal are militaristic, and heavily ordered. They feel that structure and order are the strength of civilization. Order and Law are designed to protect the people, and maintain a proper environment for all to thrive. Priests of Katraal are most common in large urban areas, and the clergy often serve as a second police force for their communities. Often better funded through tithing than the official town guard, they work in tandem, and their aide is welcomed by the guard. Those few priests who feel their holy calling takes them abroad and away from the urban centers often are drawn by the conquest of wild and chaotic frontiers. Since the rural populace is in constant threat of monster raids, they really are not far off the mark. Priests of Katraal are restricted to locally used standard issue military weapons, as this ensures that they can work cooperatively and efficiently with local forces. They consider themselves military units despite lack of initiation or rank, and willingly follow all military orders as if they were true subordinates. They must follow all orders unless it violates war ethics. Honor and Loyalty are the bread and butter of Katraal’s holy warriors, and a warrior’s philosophy carries them even through times of peace.
Talsine, The Beast-walker, God of Nature, Harvest, Natural Bounty and Natural Resources
Talsine creates the bond that connects the wilds of nature and the controlled civilization of the folk of the realm. It was Talsine who taught the Elves to thrive in the forest, the dwarves to toil in the mountains, and the men to harvest in the fields. Talsine teaches how to live in harmony with nature. He disdains of waste and pollution, and freely allows controlled amounts of harvesting and cullings. Nature’s bounty is for all to enjoy, but the relationship must go both ways. He asks that nature be protected from excessive industry, and that the creatures’ lives be revered as our own. His growth and labors act as a buffer to protect us against Kakatas’ devestations. She actively works to undo all of Talsine’s creations and splendors with rot and decay. But even rot and decay have found a way into Talsine’s wise plans, and now serve nature as much as they destroy it. Wise and forgiving, Talsine watches over all who come to his embrace, but he will not hesitate to savagely end those who pose a threat to the greater community of life, for even the predators and scavangers are his charge. His symbol is a green tree of life with many leafless branches and roots that reflect each other. His priests wear vestments of green with copper trim. Talsine opposes Kakatas, goddess of disease, pestilence and ruin, and he strives to harmonize her destructive energy into creative processes, or to buffer against them with growth and health.
Priest of Talsine
Typical Alignment: CG, NG, or TN are most common
Granted Power: Animal Empathy as per the Ranger ability.
Major Spheres: All, Animal, Elemental, Plant, Summoning, Weather
Minor Spheres: Divination, Healing, Protection
Favored Weapons: Sickle, Scythe, Flail, Staff, Bow & Arrow
Ethos: Priests of Talsine focus their efforts on both supporting and reasonably limiting industry. They aide mankind by overseeing the efforts of man in farming, hunting and fishing. They sort of work unofficially like an authority office overseeing agriculture, fishing, logging, and gaming. They are respected well enough that their suggestions are usually followed by most government officials. Popular with rural areas, Talsine is a favorite among the lower class and provides guidance to those with little resources in their lives. Priests of Talsine are restricted to using only tools and materials that are naturally gathered. Woods must be naturally fallen from their trees and animal products must come from animals that have died naturally. Priests of Talsine must always keep the interest of nature first, for it is through the health of nature that civilizations whom are dependent can thrive. Balance, wisdom, and tolerance are prime virtues of the order.
The Caltaram, The Enlightened, Genderless God of Knowledge, Education, and Magic
The Caltaram has borne flame and wisdom from the beginning of civilization. It was the Caltaram that first taught the elves to write. It guided the elves to spread knowledge to the other races, and so the elves taught and formed schools where any could come to study. Dissimilar to other schooling concepts, the original caltarami schools were open libraries and museums where learning was the duty and drive of the student, and an attendant was present to act as a guide upon request for the eager students. Elven schools still follow this formula, though it is less accepted among other races who are far more controlled and less free by societal role expectations. The Caltaram provides insight into our very natures and offers the promise that by understanding ourselves and the world, then we can control our situation and our possibilities. This is why it also taught elves how to weave the energies of the multiverse and cast them into magic without dependence upon the gods for such a gift. Knowledge should be available, and should be accessible to all who desire it. But the hearts of men and the other races have been stained by the influence of Mayorsin. It has put doubt and deceit into their hearts. The Caltaram does not actively repeal its influence, rather the Caltaram knows that the desire to share knowledge shall win out, and its followers will deny Mayorsin’s influence a strong foothold on their own. The Caltaram’s symbol is a red flame with a gold center. Its priests wear red vestments with gold trim. The Caltaram opposes Mayorsin, the hermaphroditic god of ignorance, secrets, and trickery, but takes no direction action, believing that these sins always defeat themselves in time.
Priest of The Caltaram
Typical Alignment: LN, TN, or NG are the most common
Granted Power: May freely choose wizard spells to pray for without the drawbacks of either a weaker form nor casting as if a spell level higher than normal.
Major Spheres: All, Astral, Divination, Elemental, Necromantic, Summoning
Minor Spheres: Charm, Creation, Guardian, Healing, Protection
Favored Weapons: Staff, Wand, Dagger
Ethos: Priests of The Caltaram come in two typical flavors. First, there is the knowledge seeker, they either develop the body of knowledge through study, experimentation, or observation. They will be sent far and wide to find more knowledge, recover ancient secrets and artifacts, observe and chronical major events. They are detectives, archeologists, dungeoneers, and adventurers. The second type is a knowledge dissenter. They are the teachers, librarians, and museum curators of the world. Their mission is to protect and preserve the gathered knowledge so that it may be accessed by all who seek it, and to protect it from becoming lost to civilization. While these two extreme archetypes do exist, there are still many priests who fall in between the spectrum, and share aspects of both groups. Still, it is quite common for individuals to tend in one direction or the other. They do not seek out to end ignorance or secretive behavior, they are taught that these problems defeat themselves in time. This does not stop the clergy from sending agents to retrieve precious knowledge from those who would hide it from the world, though. Many critics claim that this is hypocritical of their teaching. The clergy answers this by pointing out that these “information misers” actively prevent the natural decline of ignorance and preserves its taint. A priest of the Caltaram must be truthful and honest. Veracity and perseverance are the highest of virtues. Caltarami priests are devoted to the acquisition and protection of knowledge and lore.