Monday, June 24, 2013

Pantheon Monday: Taelii, the Black Messenger

(the Cursed, the Cruel, the Spite, the Black Messenger)

Lesser Goddess, CE
Portfolio: Ill luck and misfortune
Aliases: None
Domain Name: Demogoss, the Field of Sorrows
Superior: Fortuna
Allies: Hasht
Foes: Haparos
Symbol: A sprig of hipposelinum
Worshipper Alignment: Any chaotic

Taelii (TAE-lee-ee) is the sister to Haparos and daughter of Fortuna. She is a hateful, spiteful creature who seeks only to turn joys into sorrows and good luck into bad. She and her brother are mortal foes, and rumor has it that they interfere even against the wishes of Haeron himself.

Shrines and temples to Taelii rarely receive visitors looking to draw her eye onto themselves. Instead, she often invoked as a goddess of vengeance, or prayed to keep her gaze far from the worshipper. She is also a messenger of the Gods, chosen when they must convey evil news to one another or, on rare occasions, to mortals. She is known as the Black Messenger, the aspect-opposite of her brother, the White Messenger.

She is associated with the blackbird, and those who would ward her gaze often wear blackbird pendents, charms, pins, and broaches. It is said that to harm a blackbird is to draw her ire down upon you with years and years of bad luck—perhaps a curse that will destroy your entire life. For this reason, these birds are almost never bothered in their natural habitat.

Taelii most often appears as a young girl of capricious whim, giggling obscenely and far too sexual mature for her apparent age (except in lands like Dorlan where girls of 12 are expected to be married). She wears a cloak of black down.

The Church
Clergy: Speciality priests, thieves
Clergy’s Alignment: CE
Turn Undead: No
Command Undead: SP: Yes TH: N

The Temple of Taelii, like that of her brother, relies primarily on the presence of Fortunan temples to function. Her shrines can be found within the great circuit of Fortune’s walls and they often play host to a small number of her clergy as well. There are few small shrines to this goddess in the wild and some in great cities, all of which are attended by claves of priests, but these are the exception and not the rule.

It is thought a good thing to propitiate Taelii before making any kind of new venture. Thus, right after petitioning Vaela, those beginning new businesses or new endeavors often come to Taelii to donate money and keep her lustful evil gaze from their work.

The priests of Taelii are known as calforyx or “Black Lucks,” and are often heated enemies of the vulforyx of Haparos. They have no order or structure save for that which is kept in individual shrines and temples; a number of lesser positions which serve a Synod of Priests and, if the place is particularly important in the circuit of Taelii’s power, a Black Fortune at their head.

Calforyx travel the world, sewing misery in their passage. They delight in seeing the mighty brought low, though priests of Fortuna try to limit the evil that they cause. It is often said that “Fortuna’s Wheel needs no help to turn it,” but the calforyx rarely agree.

Dogma: Unmake what is made, unbless what is blessed! The world is profane and fools cannot be allowed to prosper. Teach them all the meaning of sorrow!

Day-to-Day Activities: Calforyx spend most of their time tending their shrines when they are not traveling. Those that do travel do their best to spread misery and end joy by the cruel coincidence of fate. They believe themselves to be the hands of Taelii herself, balancing out the good of Haparos with the Black Luck.

Major Centers of Worship: The Palace of Fortune in Thurayn is home to one of the most powerful Black Fortunes in the north. She is has a long-standing alliance with the Black Fortune of Kallatha (in Soloth) and the Black Fortune of Teral. Together, these three are known as the Dark Furies.

Affiliated Orders: The ancient knightly order of the Black Luck Warriors has long been extinct and shows no sign of ever being revived.

Priestly Vestments: Calforyx, alone amongst the population of the world, are permitted to kill blackbirds. They do this to make their blackbird cloaks. Beneath that they wear smoke gray vestments lined with the twinkle of gold and golden studs. A long scarf of pure black silk is draped over the shoulders of priests that have passed their novitiate and a chain of gold over those who are above the mere priestly standing.

(Specialty Priest)

WEAPONS: Staff, club, knife, dagger, dart, mace, maul, sling
MAJOR SPHERES: All, Chaos, Charm, Creation, Divination, Healing, Necromantic, Protection (reversed only)
MINOR SPHERES: Guardian, Wards, Weather
MAGICAL ITEMS: Any priestly
REQ. PROFS: Gaming
BONUS PROFS: Religion (Taelii), Religion (Fortuna)

Anyone who strikes a calforynx will be afflicted with a curse (as per the first level priest spell bless reversed) for 24 hours. Subsequently striking the priest does not increase the penalty.

Anyone who slays a calforynx will be afflicted with a curse spell of double power for 48 hours.

Calforyx can levy curses at will once per day simply by making the gesture of the evil eye. The spell and special power both last for 24 hours per level of the calforynx.

At 3rd level, the calforynx can taste bless spells in the air. Anyone who is blessed while struck by a calforynx will immediately have the spell stripped from them, will take double damage from the blow, and will subsequently be cursed for 24 hours. This strike need not be hard; a light tap will strip the spell and reverse, though it will deal no damage.

At 5th level, the calforynx may bestow curse as per the third level priest spell once per week. The duration of this ability is 1 day per experience level of the calforynx.

At 7th level, the calforynx’s bestow curse becomes permanent. Killing the calforynx at this level will cause his murderer to be affected by a permanent bestow curse which drops his/her wisdom to 3.

At 10th level, the calforynx may dispel good once per day as a granted power.

At 15th level, striking the calforynx results in a bestowed curse of wis 3 in addition to the curse spell. The calforynx may initiate a geas once per year; if he has not used it and is slain, the geas will be chosen by Taelii and affect his murderer.

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