Campaign of the Month: January 2013
DANgerous Kalamar 4
The Harvesters are the Lord of the Underworld’s messengers of death and collectors of souls. They are well known for their eagerness to take a life and their willingness to die while taking one. Members of the Congregation kill for the sole purpose of sending the souls of their victims to their Lord. The Harvesters believe that the Bringer of the Grave needs souls of victims in order to gain enough strength to enter the world and make the other gods submit to His will.
The Harvesters know that through their actions and devotion to the King of the Undead they will be rewarded at death by being granted undead status. The number and strength of the souls that a cleric takes directly reflect on his future undead status and dying while attempting to take a soul is said to grant automatic undeath. However, many clerics fear dying before harvesting enough souls, and thus attaining only zombie status. Therefore, there is a great tension between risking an early death to slay powerful foes that presumably have strong souls, or going the safe (but slow) route of butchering helpless peasants and children. The ultimate goal, of course, is never to actually die, but to become a lich.
Many powerful High Harvesters of the Congregation of the Dead are actually vampires or liches that serve their dark god eternally. Wights, wraiths, ghouls and other intelligent undead also serve the Bringer of the Grave. These undead clerics typically do not allow their victims to become undead, for such status is only for the deserving. Powerful individuals, such as adventurers, are, however, considered to be highly prized victims that are worthy of serving in this capacity.
The Harvesters adorn their weapons and themselves with skulls. The skulls on their weapons are designed in such a way as to cause an eerie whistling when they wield them. The sounds created by a group of clerics in combat will send shivers up the spine of even the bravest warrior.
Adventures: Harvesters adventure for the purpose of sending as many souls as possible to their evil god’s possession. They gain prestige for killing great numbers of people and glory for killing important or highly visible people.
Characteristics: Harvesters use their divine magic to kill if possible, but their faith allows for any means of murder, including their not inconsiderable martial skill.
Background: Harvesters often come from poor backgrounds, and see their god’s power as a chance to better themselves by killing people born into wealth or high station.
Races: Humans form the bulk of the clergy. Halflings, who sometimes feel oppressed by the larger races, join the faith in surprising numbers. Hobgoblins form the largest nonhuman contingent of the faith. Aside from half-orcs, few other races join the faith in any considerable numbers.
Relations With Other Classes: Harvesters work well with assassins and rogues of violent inclination. They see reckless fighters and barbarians as boons to the faith, even though most do so accidentally.
Relations With Undead: There are no restrictions on undead, and clerics are free to do as they wish with them. Associating with undead brings prestige, but resurrecting or raising a creature is an offense of faith that may require a period of fasting (as determined by the church).
Role: Among other villains, the Harvester is likely to be a death-dealer without peer. He is not concerned with style or leadership. He wants to end lives, and is the most likely among his peers to be the actual murderer or committer of massacres. Instead of delegating authority, he is the tip of the evil spear to be pointed at the enemy.