It´s Toy Time again. After I used the Dark Fantasy Religion Generator to create a “Neutral” heretic/pagan religion for my LotFP games, I now aim for something more dark/chaotic for the Veins of the Earth. My current group began to explore that region, and as they are about to set up a trade route (farm goods for gems or Funginid Slaves), they will for sure frequent what goes for a “center of civilization” in the Veins. They shall encounter travelers from different Veins-cultures there, and I want to throw in a religion. So, lets roll!
First thing first, what tables will I use? Religious Powers are a must, I will use four rolls here. A Taboo is a must as well, but no small prohibitions: the Veins is not a world for devling into unnecessary details. As I style this religion as dark/evil/chaotic, the Rulers of the Abyss table will provide an adjective, noun and a “virtue”.
For Religious Powers, I got “Demand trial by ordeal” twice(!); “Receive Prophecy” and “Excommunication”. For Taboos, I ended up with “cannot touch or carry unclean items.” It will be funny to find out what might be “unclean” to a Cult in the Veins of the Earth. The descriptors for the center of worship are “Foul” and “Tyrant”, the virtue is “Change”.
The King that Was and Will Be!
Back in the days, just after civilization had finally came to mankind, when Atlantis was still remembered by many people instead just being a myth many had heard, there was a god among the kings. His name has by now been effaced by forces greater than himself, as it often happened among the early deities of mankind. This God has left his own realm behind and fully entered that of men by his own choice, for he wanted nothing more than to rule men. The influence he had as a God over his followers was not enough for him, he craved the direct ruling of his subjects and being worshiped in bodily presence, to be able to be face to face and right with those that made up the body of his domain. He build a city and laid ruins to those he was not able to claim, he forged alliances only to subdue his allies after a few generations, when they finally have outlived their usefulness. His claim to power was absolute, and he accepted now other reign besides his own. All was just a matter of time, for in the end it was only him to rule over it all.
His empire grew and may have become known in history as one of the largest there ever was to span the earth, but the gods of that time that had not bound themselves to earth agreed to a pact with the gods who had done so, and the remaining great kings of that time. The war began. In the end, his great empire was shattered and dived. His subjects – man, not-man and being not from earth – where liberated, subjugated, dived up among the victors to whom they swore alliance, or scattered or obliterated. The king himself, nobody could subjugate or obliterated. So, with joined forces, the gods bound him to his throne instead, and moved the throne room deep beneath the earth, so far away from the surface that his throne shall never be brought back to daylight again. There, he left him imprisoned for all eternity.
The power of the King waned over time as his name became forgotten and he had nothing left to rule upon but deserted hall, unable to leave his throne to exert any influence over the world of man. Centuries passed. Centuries during which he plotted vengeance, and to become a ruler again. Eventually, his throne room was uncovered by one of the civilizations of the Veins of the Earth. Which one it was is a fact heatedly argued among those that worship him know, for everyone wants to claim the honor of the first subjects of the Kingdom to Be for their own race. The King that Was and Will Be does not answer the question, even when another reaches his throne room. He issues orders instead, and makes his new subjects obey them. He demands loyalty, promises might and ruling to his underlings and gives them the power to enforce his will. For his new kingdom shall come!
The King that Was and Will Be sets out his faithful to wrest the power of any rulers they find, and to replace them and ultimately, with the rule and worship of the King himself. Having been usurped himself in the end, he made a decision. He is to become usurpation itself. Those of his subjects who want a power or a right my claim it, if they can. Ritual combat shall solve everything and the strong shall rule the week. Any ruler may do as he pleases, as long as he is willing to do whatever the King that Was and Will Be wants, whenever he makes his will known. “Follow me and rule under my ruling!” is the credo, “follow me and you shall rise to the top” is the offer.
Followers and Clerics of the King That Was and Will Be:
As there are only few communities (and even less cities) in the Veins, the followers and clerics of this deity will only be encounter in one of these, en route to one of these are on a daring expedition to… the surface!
Aside to strive for power and obey the King, there is little that an adherent of the faith must follow. They only taboo is to carry a sign of lordship -not- issued by one of the clerics of the cult. This includes items powered by clerical magic of a different faith as well. As the followers are supposed to be loyal to King and those he had put in charge, they do not get a Save against any Command spell of any cleric of their faith.
In case to the clerics, this also includes to carry or use any scrolls or religious text of another faith. As their faith is based on dominance, all clerics of the King That Was and Will Be may always “drop” any of their prepared spells in exchange for a Command spell. The clerics get no Save against Command spells of clerics that are of the same faith and of a higher level.
The religious symbol of the faith is a scepter. Every cleric will have a personal one, and more often than not it may double as light weapon. All of the faith recognize such a scepter as a symbol of their faith upon sight.
Fight for Power: every decision may be forced by a ritual trial by combat. For a ritual combat, a cleric must be present and bless the duel (a usual ritual action that a no spell is needed for). It must be a duel, “champions” may act as on behalf of the people calling for it. While the fight itself must be fair, both parties involved my use whatever weapon or armor they have at their disposal. Spells and throwing weapons are allowed, any other kind of ranged weapon is not. The combat will start at a distance of three steps away from another, and while the challenger may choose the time, the one that has been challenged may choose the place (which must be in reach for both parties; and the challenger may choose the time after the location has been named).
The side that is favored by the cleric that initiates the ritual combat will gain a +1 bonus on all attack rolls during the fight (a fact that is not common knowledge).