Monday, March 4, 2013

Pantheon Monday: Sulcania, the Historian

From the elvish pantheon:

(the Historian, the Ponderer)

Intermediate God, NG
Portfolio: Books, history, learning, scholarship
Aliases: Quilian Knowais
Domain Name: 
Superior: None
Allies: Solmi
Foes: Fyrash
Symbol: An open book with a pen laid across it
Worshipper Alignment: Any

Sulcania (sul-CAHN-ia) is the elvish god of scholars and historians. A favorite of scribes, researchers, and even some poets, Sulcania serves as the god of the great libraries, lorehouses, and scriptoria of the elves. He is a distant fatherly figure, unused to asking his clergy for anything or directing his worshipers to do anything. He’s mostly concerned with the completion of manuscripts and the advancement of the historian’s craft.

He cannot stand the destruction of knowledge and the ruination of books. He will indeed manifest to punish those who burn libraries or despoil Sulcanite monasteries. It’s said that when the great libraries of the Vesimia burned during the War of the Moon he could be seen walking through their aisle weeping, tearing at his hair like a mourner.

The Historian manifests as a slender elf, very pale, with pure white hair and a long chin-beard. He is always depicted in whites and grays.

The Church
Clergy: Specialty priests, mystics
Clergy’s Alignment: Any
Turn Undead: No
Command Undead: No

The Sulcanite temple is small and very centralized. Each great elvish kingdom houses a single monastery-temple dedicated to his worship. These temples are generally in removed places to allow the peaceful meditation and study of knowledge to continue uninterrupted by concerns of the world or political instability. These monastic houses (the great Talo Sulcinaine) also house prodigious libraries and provide places of retreat for scholars who have lost their patrons or otherwise seek employment in more peaceful climes.

Each monastery-temple is overseen by a High Abbot and each of the High Abbots are the most potent temple authority within their own kingdom. Every fifty years the High Abbots convene at one of the monastic houses (the location rotates according to ancient stricture) and matters of faith are discussed. This is known as the White Synod, the proceeds of which are of course recorded into the Volumes of the Synod, which become canon to the faith.

Ranks within the Sulcanite faith are based upon the monastic system (which was itself the inspiration for the Hierian monastic orders). These are:

The Novitiate
The Devoted
The Pilgrims (see below, itinerant priests)
The Writers

Above these general ranks are the positions within the monasteries. Each has its own unique methods of determining who fills those positions and what exactly they are, though all share a Master of the Cellar, a Master of the Herd, a Master of Novices, and a Master of Inks and Parchments.

Dogma: Understanding is the key to happiness. Writing is the key to understanding.

Day-to-Day Activities: Clerics of Sulcania spend most of their time tending vast herds of sheep attached to the Sulcanite monasteries, making inks and parchments, and writing. Sulcanite priests are divided between the sedentary and the itinerant. Sedentary priests are those tasked with watching over the monastery and performing scribal tasks. These are by far the more numerous of the two groups.

Itinirency is generally an assigned position based on those the High Abbot or the Master of Novices feel profess a calling for it. Restless souls cannot long abide the simple and structured nature of the Sulcanite abbey, nor should they be forced to. These priests travel abroad and may serve as scribes, proselytizers, grammaticians, and teachers of the elvish paidea. While they are bound to return to their home monastery once every decade, many fail to make this pilgrimage because their journeying carries them far afield.

Major Centers of Worship: As outlined above—the Talo Sulcinaine are located in Tailimisia, Vesimia, Sidabrinia, Tularmye, Iiriem, and Valcaela. These are the Six Houses of Sulcania.

Tailimisia: The Monastery of the White Repose

Vesimia: The House of Sea’s Rest

Sidabrinia: The Hall of Crystal Wisdom

Tularmye: The High Seat of Knowledge

Iiriem: The Mountain Fastness

Valcaela: The Copper Hold

Affiliated Orders: None

Priestly Vestments: Sulcanite priests are bound by holy writ to identify themselves in white and gray robes at all times. The priest’s rank in the temple are denoted by silver and gold collars which increase in weight, ornateness, and size.

Adventuring Garb: Itinerant priests of Sulcania are advised to be cautious and perspicacious in their dress, though never to disguise their true nature. They are forbidden from wearing wealthy and sumptuous colors, restricted only to undyed color, black, or white/beige/gray.

Sulcanite Priest
(Specialty Priest)

REQUIREMENTS: Intelligence 12, Wisdom 16
PRIME REQ: Wisdom, Intelligence
WEAPONS: Staffs, clubs, knives, slings
MAJOR SPHERES: All, astral, divination, guardian, healing, number, protection, summoning, thought, time, wards
MINOR SPHERES: Creation, necromantic, sun, travelers
MAGICAL ITEMS: Sulcanite priests may use any written magical item, regardless of the class it is intended for
REQ. PROFS: Reading/writing (Solia)

Due to their scholarly nature, Sulcanites can never wear armor heavier than leather—the pursuits of war are frowned upon by Sulcania.

Additionally, the Sulcanite priest begins play with 2 extra proficiency slots to spend on any scholarly proficiency.

Sulcanites gain a +2 bonus to saves against magic that is based on words, signs, or writing and can cast the wizard spell identify once per week for every five levels of experience they attain (starting with once at level 1).

At 3rd level, the Sulcanite may protect any one book on his or her person from the ravages of fire. This book may be chosen at any time, and the protection may be switched as long as the priest has one minute to spare to say the proper prayers. The number of books protected in this way increases by 1 for every three levels the priest has obtained.

At 5th level, the Sulcanite never sets off magical traps that are written into books. He may read magic 3/day. 

At 7th level, the Sulcanite’s protective barrier extends to water damage as well as fire. From this level on, all scrolls used by the Sulcanite are as effective as if they were two levels higher than their actual casting level.

At 10th level, the Sulcanite’s identify ability becomes legend lore instead.

At 15th level, the Sulcanite’s understanding of the written word is perfect. He can immediately understand anything that is written down without knowing the tongue it’s written in  and regardless of whether it’s written in magical cipher. At this level, the priest is considered semi-divine.

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