Monday, May 20, 2013

Pantheon Monday: Ashad the Murderer

(the Bloody, the Screaming, the Slaughterer, the Lord of Bones)

Intermediate God, CE
Portfolio: Slaughter, pillage, rape, fire
Aliases: None
Domain Name: The Bloody Field, Acheron
Superior: None
Allies: None
Foes: Toynash, Unazh, Alakh, Bandash, Ezishaya
Symbol: A screaming horned orc-head
Worshiper Alignment: Any evil

Ashad the Lord of Bones is the one of the creator gods of the orcs. Alongside Alakh, Ezishaya, Unazh, and Bandash he is the single most-worshiped deity of the orcish people. Ashad does not dictate what happens within orcish society—that is left to Bandash. Rather, Ashad cares only for the slaughter of outsiders, for all those slain in his name are linked to their killers in the afterlife; granted as slaves, it is said, to those who slay them.

If the myths of the orcs can be trusted, Unazh, Bandash, Alakh, Ezishaya, and Ashad came together to kill the Felnumen called Yuva and from the hot blood of the slaughter the orcs were born. Goblin-histories strongly disagree with this story, claiming stridently that orcs are goblin-kin, and were simply made from goblins that the lesser gods stole from Toynash by Alakh’s cunning.

Temples to Ashad are crude and without any refinement. They only require three things: a cult-statue, somewhere to perform blood sacrifices, and a fire. He cares only for the blood-sacrifice and the fear generated by war. His priesthood are universally feared, venerated, and reviled among orcs as they are the dark whispering heart of the constant blood-feud orcs wage with all other living things.

It may puzzle the outside viewer to see a society so ordered as the basic tenets of the orcs while still worshiping an insane bloodthirsty psychopath. Ashad doesn’t particularly seem to care what form organization his followers adhere to; he’s too busy screaming for blood.

Ashad is always depicted as a massive orc with flesh of either red or gray. His tusks are scythe-like and his horns curl like that of a ram’s. He is always shown with an axe in one hand, the fabled Shrieking Death. Few chieftains worship Ashad, for upon achieving ascendency many of them turn to Bandash or Toynash to allow their tribes more stability. Those who remain or become Ashadi lead the most fearsome of tribes; they care little for personal safety or that of their followers and will throw themselves and their tribes into willful annihilation if it will bring glory to Ashad.

The Church
Clergy: Speciality Priests
Clergy’s Alignment: CE, NE, LE, CN
Turn Undead: No
Command Undead: Yes

The temple of Ashad is not united, as the worship of this violent god could never fit under a single roof. The Ashadian cult is the result of a cultic war between the great orcish religions during the time of the ancient goblin-empires. Amongst the slaves, Ashad became a well-known and potent god, for he promised vengeance against the slavemasters and slaves of one’s own in the afterlife. His clergy therefore exist all over the world in the orcish diaspora, each small tribal group with their own beliefs and rites of worship. One thing that remains constant, however, is the Ashadian desire for blood sacrifice.

All orcish tribes of any standing keep a large group of communal slaves that can be used for doing labor. These are called the temple slaves, as they are usually administered by the guiding priests of the tribe. In addition to serving as supplemental labor forces, these slaves provide sacrificial fuel for all important ceremonies performed by the cult.

The worshippers of Ashad often have a strange attachment to corporeal viscera; gore, bone, and other such relics. Indeed, Ashadi temples are often repositories of bone; they delight in collecting the remains of those slaughtered in his name. Indeed, in the dark bowers of his temples he sometimes sends down his mighty servants to protect his eikons and enforce his will: the negative-energy bone weirds, comprised from the accumulated bones those slain in his name, tied to their masters.

Bloodletter of Ashad
(Specialty Priest)

REQUIREMENTS: Wisdom 6, Strength 12
MAJOR SPHERES: All, Chaos, Combat, Elemental (fire), Healing (reversed), Necromantic, Necromantic (reversed), Protection, War
MINOR SPHERES: Divination, Guardian, Healing, Weather
BONUS PROFS: Blind-fighting, Endurance

Bloodletters are dangerous opponents on the battlefield. Bloodletters fight as though specialized with whatever weapons they are proficient in.

At 3rd level, the Bloodletter becomes even more fearsome when wounded. When a Bloodletter is at half hp or less, they gain a +1 bonus to-hit and damage as well as a -1 initiative bonus.

At 5th level, Bloodletters take half damage from mundane fires. They suffer 1 point less damage per die (minimum of one) from magical fires.

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