Thursday, October 11, 2012

Fantastic Religion: Avauna


(the Healer, the Everyoung, the Daystar)

Intermediate Goddess, NG
Portfolio: Light, healing, medicine, the sun
Aliases: Noronë
Domain Name: The Daystar’s Abode, Elysium
Superior: None
Allies: Galos
Foes: Tharos, Hasht
Symbol: A sunburst
Worshipper Alignment: Any good

Known as Noronë to the elves, Avauna is married to Galos the Blind. She is the ruler of all things relating to the disc of the sun and the daylight. A consummate healer, Avauna nevertheless refrains from the sorts of fertility rites and midwifery normally associated with Eleia.

Once one of the chief Goddesses of the Northern regions of the world, worship of Avauna has gone down in the days since the Eighth Age. Many of her temples stand deserted or left to ruin, their treasures gathering attention from adventurers the world over for the famed use of gold by her clergy to represent the healing light of the sun.

Avauna generally appears as a powerful and motherly woman dressed in a long dress and holding the hook used to hang the Lamp of the Sun in one hand. The imagery associated with her is mostly solar.

The temples that are still functional are lavish affairs covered with hammered gold and alabaster. The holy symbol of Avauna is a sunburst and her colors are gold and silver. A number of important Collegia, Halls, and Convocations of medici remain throughout the north. All Healers of the Daystar and many of the leeches and medici of the civilized north are trained in the great lecture spaces of these universities and academies.

The Church
Clergy: Sunsworn Cleric (mythos priest), Epistene Healer of Avauna (mythos priest), Paladin Epistene (medician paladins)
Clergy’s Alignment: LG, NG, CG
Turn Undead: Yes
Command Undead: No

The Temple of the Unconquered Sun is dedicated to the worship of Avauna in all her forms. Though the church itself is generally considered NG, it has numerous sects particularly those in the form of individual Collegia, Universities, and Academies. Most of these are more strictly ordered (LG) than the main temple itself.

The seat of the Unconquered Sun is the Temple of the Daystar in the old kingdom of Haldera. From here the temple is administered by Geniev Ralass, the Sunmaiden and chief priest in the temple of Avauna. She has a council of six holy Sisters who assist her in taking care of the temple. However, the hierarchy is not generally very strict.

Below the Six Sisters are the Lights; these are clerics who command individual temples and sects. The Lights report to the Temple of the Daystar by messenger once a season. A large number of clerics are employed as clerks to review these missives and determine whether or not they require action at the level of the Sisters. If they do not, the Council of Lights reads them and dispatches responses. The Council of Lights comprises the seven elder-most male members of the central temple.

Lights have free reign over their individual temples and sects. There is no holy canon, though there are many texts on medicine that all priests are required to be versed in and all temples must have a copy of the basic corpus of medical training. Each individual temple is organized according to a specific corpus and may be distinguished as either a temple proper or a hospital/college.

Temples are generally run by Sunsworn. The chiefmost Sworn in the temple is the Light; Generally Lights are assisted by a number of temple functionaries known as the Luminances. These are elected from the number of Sworn that reside at the temple site and often include a Cantor (who sings the praises of Avauna), a Magistri Medicus (who is the most experienced healer in the temple), a host of clerks, and a Recorder (who keeps records of temple holdings, incomes, and supplies).

Dogma: Avaunites believe that harming other people, particularly those who might do homage to the Daystar, is a deadly sin. For that reason they generally refrain from engaging in any violent activities unless they absolutely must. These clerics have traditionally been insulated from violence by the presence of strong Hieriean assistance, but since the resurgence of Noronë’s worship in the elvish lands the Avaunite temple has been growing more militant and less reliant on other faiths.

Day-to-Day Activities: In the morning at the first rising of the sun, all clerics of the Daystar must kneel and pray. This prayer lasts for one hour and is called the Greeting of the Sun. At noon they must stop again and engage in the Praise of the Sun which lasts for fifteen minutes and in the evening they pause for the Sun’s Farewell which lasts for thirty minutes. Neglecting to perform one of these prayers requires severe penance which is normally displayed with bodily castigation or sacrifices.

Clerics may also spend their days conducting medical research, copying or composing books on medicine, teaching medici, and tending (in a mundane manner, of course, for Avauna praises the skill of man to heal above all other things) to the wounded or sick in their hospitals.

Holy Days/Important Ceremonies: 

Affiliated Orders: 

The Collegium of Miles (LG). The Collegium is the head of the entire imperial church of the Unconquered Sun and the Hieriatros and Light of the school there also serves as the de-facto head of the Milean branch of the temple. All Lights within the empire send their missives to Miles, and the Hieriatros sends her report onwards to the Council of Lights. The Collegium supports the existence of a number of hospitals (including the Hospital of Miles) within the empire, using temple funds to keep them open for the public good.

The Epistene Order (LG). The Epistasi are a sect of Avaunites that swear special holy orders above and beyond the rites of priesthood undertaken by the Healers. Her most sacred and staunch devotees follow this order which exists within most former imperial holdings. The Order receives its authority not from any king or emperor, but rather directly from the Sunmaiden herself. They wear not only the healer’s sun (the Sun of Life) but also the Cup and Serpent, which represent knowledge and medicine.
Founded in the Fifth Age, the Order of Epistas worships Avauna as the patron of healing and medicine. Nearly all medical colleges and schools of the Avaunites are run by Epistasi clerics or at least provide benefices for a small Epistene chapter.

The widespread use of Epistene titles and positions was abandoned after the Khewedi invasions of the Seventh Age though a number of Epistas continued to teach in Haldera and major Epistular centers such as the Hospital and Collegium of Miles. The Epistene Order experienced a resurgence in the late Ninth Age with the accession of the elvish Gwyderion of Noronë. Elven clergy have worked in close concert to help reintroduce the Order of Medicians, restoring lost or destroyed texts and knowledge.
Ranks within the Order. The order is divided roughly into two groups; the Peregrinati and the Regulars. Peregrinati, though they swear the same holy oaths, travel in service to Avauna while the Regulars remain ensconced within a hospital, college, monastic house, or other institution such as a temple.

Peregrinator Minor. Fully trained medici and ordained priests, the Peregrinators Minor must wander the roads seeking to tend ills and right the wrongs of the world. Many of these are clerics, though a select few have been granted the Oaths of Knighthood and inducted as Paladin Episteni.

Peregrinator Canon. After two years of loyal service or at any time after exhibition of uncommon valor, the Curia Epistene at the Temple of the Daystar may promote a Pereingator Minor to a full Canon. The Canoni are functionally complete priests who lack a temple but otherwise may perform all of the rites of the Avaunite clergy save for inducting new members as acolytes.

Peregrinator Augur. Peregrinator Augur have been given the authority to sanctify new members of the religion and induct laymen into the inner cult. They may be surrounded by large numbers of followers even as they perambulate.

Canon Regular. A member of the order who does not travel, canons regular make up the bulk of sedentary Epistasi. They are generally overseen by the local Light or, if present, one of the high ranking Manus Avauni.

Manus Avauni. A Hand of Avauna, the Manus are the abbots, hierophants, and leaders of large Order establishments.

Priestly Vestments: 

Adventuring Garb: 

Sunsworn of Avauna
(Speciality Priest)

WEAPONS: Any blunt weapon
MAJOR SPHERES: Creation, Elemental (fire), Elemental (air), Sun, Summoning, Healing, Necromantic, Divination, Travelers, Wards
MINOR SPHERES: Protection, Guardian, Time, Elemental (water), Weather
MAGICAL ITEMS: Any usable by clerics
REQ. PROFS: Religion (Avauna)
BONUS PROFS: Fire-building

Sunsworn are the mainstay of the Avaunite priesthood; Healers are rare and belong to the Epistene Order. Most clerics worship all of her aspects (unlike the Epistene who primarily worship her as the font of health and medicine). Sunsworn are solar clerics, and as such they benefit greatly from the presence of their goddess. They receive a +1 bonus to-hit and to all saving throws during the day; however, they receive a -1 bonus to their saves at night or when underground or in deep shadow in addition to losing the previous benefit.

Sunsworn can turn undead as long as they have a light source nearby. The attempt will exhaust the light source regardless of its origin unless it is the sun itself (light spells and dwarven lanterns alike will be snuffed out). The moon does not count as a bright enough light source for this ability. Large fires may continue to burn after they are used in a turning attempt, though the portion directly nearby will be quelled.

At 3rd level, the Sunsworn may cast light (as per the 1st level priest spell) at will.

At 5th level, Sunswon may invoke the wrath of Avauna once per day. They may perform this ability once a day for every five levels of experience they have attained. When invoked, the Sunsworn glows with otherwordly might, their very body radiating pure sunlight. The invocation lasts for 1d4 rounds + 1 round/level. During this time, the cleric radiates an aura of fear that affects all evil characters within 30’ and an aura of blessing which affects all good characters within 60’. The cleric may resume fighting the round after the invocation has been called upon.

At 7th level, Sunsworn may cast affect normal fires (as per the 1st level wizard spell) at will. They may also cast the spell pyrotechnics (as per the 3rd level priest spell) once per day.

At 10th level, Sunsworn gain a +2 bonus to-hit, a +1 bonus to damage, and a +2 bonus to saves during the day. The nighttime no longer affects them other than to remove these bonuses.

At 15th level, Sunsworn are immune to fire sources of all kinds, magical or non-. Whenever a Sunsworn is exposed to naked flame that would otherwise deal 50 or more points of damage in a single round, they may choose to instead be affected as though a heal spell were cast on them. This does not make them immune to other types of heat.

Healer of Avauna
(Specialty Priest)

REQUIREMENTS: Wisdom 12, Intelligence 10, member of the Epistene Order
WEAPONS: Any blunt weapon
MAJOR SPHERES: Creation, Sun, Healing, Necromantic, Divination
MINOR SPHERES: Elemental (air), Protection, Guardian, Time, Elemental Earth, Elemental Water
MAGICAL ITEMS: They may only use magical weapons that deal bludgeoning damage.
REQ. PROFS: Religion
BONUS PROFS: Healing, Herbalism
Epistene Healers are trained in the healing arts and blessed by their patron. For this reason, they always heal maximum hp (3) when they succeed at a healing check right after combat or during combat when a wound is delivered. At first level they may pray for a cure light wounds spell above and beyond what they may normally prepare. At fifth level they may prepare a cure disease spell above and beyond what they are normally capable of. At seventh level they may prepare an extra cure serious wounds. At ninth level they may prepare an additional cure critical wounds and at eleventh level they may prepare one additional heal spell.

Healers may call upon faith once per day for every six levels of experience when attempting to make any check relating to healing or diagnosis even though they do not normally gain access to the summoning sphere.

Healers are loathe to cause harm to living beings, and will attempt to avoid physically engaging in combat at all costs unless it is clear that by so doing more harm will be caused than would be avoided. For example, if a giant is about to throw a boulder and crush a small village, they would attempt to intervene. This stigma does not extend to the undead or to those who have proven themselves to be unrepentantly violent.

At 3rd level, Healers becomes immune to normal diseases. In addition, they begin to turn undead as clerics of 2 levels lower.

At 5th level, the Healer may attempt to calm wounded animals like a ranger. They receive a +2 bonus to reaction checks when determining the general feeling of NPCs towards them.

At 7th level, the Healer becomes immune to magical diseases. Upon reaching this level, their maximum age is doubled.

At 10th level, the Healer is immune to magical aging affects of all kinds.

At 15th level, the Healer can restore the wounded with but a touch. They may lay on hands as a paladin of equivalent level.

Avaunite Spells

1st Level

Aurora’s Blessing
Sphere: Sun
Range: Touch
Components: V, S, M
Duration: 1d4 rounds + 1 round/level
Casting Time: 4
Area of Effect: Touched Creature
Saving Throw: None

Aurora’s Blessing grants an ally a +1 bonus to-hit, damage, and AC as long as they stand in sunlight, direct or indirect. The spell bestows their person with a warm shimmering mantle that moves with them, almost as a second skin. Their weapons are guided to their targets and the mantle itself may help deflect blows.

The material component of the Blessing is a golden cloak-pin worth at least ten gold pieces. This pin is not destroyed by the casting, but the cleric must pin the pin to his target.

3rd Level

Blazing Lamp
Sphere: Sun
Range: Touch
Components: V, S, M
Duration: 1 hour/level
Casting Time: 3
Area of Effect: one lamp
Saving Throw: none

When this spell is cast, the priest designates a single lamp (of any size) to be affected. This lamp must be gilded with specially prepared gold that costs at least five hundred gold pieces, and it must be lit at the time of casting.

For the duration of the spell, the lamp cannot be snuffed or extinguished. Any attempts to block its light are foiled, and the light shines through with intense brightness (blazing through metal, cloth, etc.) Additionally, the lamp illuminates twice its normal radius while affected and the flame will continue to function even if it is submerged.

When the spell ends, the lantern’s fuel source is used up, no matter how much time was left.

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