Campaign of the Month: June 2012
The Anwyn Conspiracy
When the hearths of Anwyn were first kindled, Anwyn the Plentiful smiled on her servants and gave them many gifts. Many of these were consumed with time or passed from hand to hand and have become obscured in history. But two of these gifts remain to this day – a great feasting table that might sit some two hundred men and women, and a golden drinking horn that her faithful servants called the cornucopia. It is said that magnificent foods poured from the cornucopia as surely as wine from a lesser horn, and to eat them would cure any hurt and soothe even the most savage breast.
Years passed, and the great feasting table became the center of her greatest temple. At it, the highest of her faith would gather and debate many matters, both secular and spiritual. And they would feast on the food from the cornucopia as they did so, and all hearts were merry. Yet as the years passed, the very highest of her faithful began to take her gifts for granted, for indeed, is not Anwyn the most giving of all the gods? And is it not always the way with those who give gladly that they will give to the ungrateful long after they should? For years, the greatest among her faithful ate the food of her cornucopia, collected the annual offerings of the many folk who visited the temples, took payment for their blessings and healing, and gave little in way of thanks or offering to the goddess in whose name they did all this. The day came when Anwyn could no longer bear it. On that day she appeared before the mightiest of her faithful, standing in golden robes at the center of the great feasting table. “Ungrateful whelps!” she pronounced them, and she made the cornucopia grow barren. “Your hearts have no love for me. You know only love of food and wealth, and are not worthy of my service.” No longer would she heed their prayers or aid them until they made atonement and changed their ways.
When she left them to consider this, the clamor rose at once. Many of them began at once to tear their rich clothing and to pray for forgiveness. But the chief among them, Supreme Manciple Mitallis, called out, “We have tasted the fruit of the cornucopia! Have you any doubt that, should we make atonement, even then she will deny us such splendor again in our lifetimes? We have built a great church, one revered by all common people, and she would take it from us! But she has signed to this Compact, as have the other gods, and she may not interfere in mortal matters overmuch. We are her church; we are her agents. Let us ignore her! Let us make bargains with others… for if she will not feed us, others shall!”
And so it was that Mitallis and the others agreed and, calling to the darkest infernal power, made the cornucopia flow once more. They continued to take annual offerings at harvest time in the name of Anwyn, but unknown to the common folk they served Asmodeus, the highest of Hell. Asmodeus delighted in this perversion of such an important church and, by terms of the Compact, the Anwynites were protected from the wrath of the gods – for they were now highly effective agents of Hell serving to tempt mortals.
So it has continued to this day. When a good-minded person joins the Anwynite faith, her superiors slowly work to convert her to the path of greed and gluttony that is now the way of Anwyn’s “disciples.” Should they be unconvertible, they usually disappear when on church business, or are shunted off to some wilderness temple.
The only folk so unaffected among the Anwynites are the halflings. The main body of the Anwynite faith has managed to isolate the halfling hearths, keeping from them the truth of the rest of the faith. And, if any of the good-hearted halflings suspect their brethren, there is no sign of it.