Campaign of the Month: June 2012
Shrines, Temples, and Cathedrals
Certain locations in the land are sanctified to a particular god. These holy sites serve as vital conduits between the mortal world and the divine planes. The sanctified locations are separated into shrines, temples and cathedrals, based on their power and connection to the particular god. Creation of such a sanctified site requires a divine ritual (Sanctify Shrine, Sanctify Temple, and Sanctify Cathedral, respectively), which is a very difficult and expensive undertaking. A sanctified site may also be (permanently) defiled, but this also requires an expensive and difficult ritual – Defile Sanctified Ground.
Typical Plan of a Temple or Cathedral
of The Great Church
Temples and Cathedrals are more powerful than shrines in several important ways. A temple or cathedral’s strong connection to one god prevents any and all divine spells and Divine Power Feats granted by another god from functioning there. Thus clerics, in-quisitors, oracles, priests, paladins and holy warriors who are granted spells cannot cast any of their spells within a temple or cathedral of another god. The highly devout, upper ranking holy men of their church (12 levels dedicated to the faith), are immune to this limitation in temples, but not cathedrals, their own connection to their god being strong enough to overcome this barrier in temples. Temples are significantly rarer than shrines, since they are much more expensive to consecrate, but just as easy to desecrate. Many theological scholars believe that their is a limit to how many cathedrals of an individual god may exist in the world at a particular time. That number is rumored to be fifteen, (three and five being significant numbers in the church), though there are accredited proponents that claim five is the correct number. It is worth noting that not every church currently has a sanctified cathedral, and only The Great Church has two.
These conduits of divine magic are of vital importance to the people of the land. Through them flow the magical energies that provide all divine spell casters with their spells. The gods are divided into six sections: The Old Gods (Ronra, Urian, Shalimyr, Eliwyn, and The Nameless One); The Gods of the Tree (Morwyn, Terak, Zheenkeef, and Tinel); The Gods of the Womb (Maal, Darmon, Aymara, Korak, and Anwyn); The Three Sisters (Naryne, Canelle, and Thellyne); The Great Church (where in all aforementioned gods are worshipped), and The Four Pillars of Evil (Asmodeus, Ca- narak, Thellos, and Naran).
The following paragraphs are currently being revised:
The first four sections are separated by the age of the gods and their powers, attitudes and influences. An Initiate can recharge in the shrine of any god in his god’s section with no penalty, of one section removed with half the duration of recharge benefit, and of two sections removed with one quarter the duration, rounded down. Initiates cannot recharge at all in a temple of a god that is three sections away, the philosophies are too distant. There are two exceptions. The first exception is that any Initiate (except those dedicated to The Four Pillars of Evil) may recharge fully in a holy site dedicated to The Great Church, and visa-versa, as The Great Church reveres all the good gods. The second exception is that the Four Pillars of Evil generally do not cooperate with any other religion, they hide their holy sites.
Druids and rangers derive their divine spells directly from nature itself, calling upon Material energy, rather than a god, as a conduit. Therefore, druids and rangers can recharge their spells as long as they are in any natural setting. Druids and rangers cannot pray for spells if they are in a town, city, building, or any developed or civilized area. Oracles are a special case and gain their spells and abilities directly from their patron.
As described in Death, Resurrection, and the Spirit World, the sanctified sites also serve as the portals back to the mortal world for those who have lost a Gift and are wandering as spirits. These properties make the location and possession of these sites very important in many considerations. Any trip into unknown territory carries with it the risk of being unable to find a site for resurrection of the fallen. Thus any leader of a military or expeditionary force must consider how and where Shrines can be found or created.
There are some mobile shrines and temples. However, these are generally harder and more expensive to create, and require a reasonably large mobile object. Apart from ships, where it is not uncommon, there are few known instances of such objects.
Druids may create holy sites, which are known as Druid Circles. Although they do not require these circles to recharge their spells, they may use them to perform the Ceremony of Life (added Druid Class Feature) to resurrect a spirit. Rangers do not have this automatic ability. Druids and rangers benefit from recharging in a Material energy node.