Campaign of the Month: January 2013
DANgerous Kalamar 4
Church of Chance
Worship: Worship of Risk can occur anywhere, at any time. Churches and shrines draw no symbolism or power from a particular location. Brief services allow worshippers a chance to compare brave or foolhardy tasks undertaken during the week and be assigned newer and even more dangerous challenges for the next week. Tithes are given in the form of wagers on cards or dice, with the odds stacked heavily (but obviously) in the favor of the house. The Challengers of Fate proudly point out that theirs is the only faith on Tellene in which you can not only keep your tithe but also go home richer.
The teachings of the Church of Chance on cheating in games of chance are clear. Cheating removes or at least lessens the impact of chance on the game, and thus are prohibited as a rule. Members are encouraged to learn the many methods of cheating so that they can recognize the act in others, but consider it a sin to conduct such activity unprovoked. The only allowable exceptions to this rule are: 1) it is considered acceptable to cheat against someone identified as a cheater, and 2) to preserve your own life (if those are the stakes of the game). Followers of Risk revel in the randomness of life, however, and many do not take the opportunities presented with these exceptions, playing the game under whatever circumstances they encounter.
Holy Symbol: The holy symbol of the Challengers is a pair of six-sided dice.
Holy Days: When Diadolai is new, worshippers must sacrifice an item that was exceptionally difficult to steal or perform an exceptionally risky task. Clerics are held to high standards in this regard and local authorities carefully follow anyone known to be a cleric of Risk during the dark of Diadolai.
Holy Colors: Grey, dark brown and black.
Holy Animal: With its natural mask and nimble hands, the raccoon is the perfect holy animal for the Church of Chance.
Raiment: The Church of Chance does not require a specific uniform for its clergy, though they tend to favor dark clothing to avoid drawing much attention to their illicit deeds. Gray, dark brown and black are common colors.
Advancement: Advancement is based on challenge of superiors. Before advancing, a cleric must defeat a superior in a mission to steal an item for the Church of Chance. A roll of the dice randomly determines the mission that the clerics must undertake. For example: Clerics may be required to steal a magical ring currently in the ownership of a local magic-user. If successful, the ring is given to the Church and anything else picked up along the way, the clerics keep for themselves. The higher the clerics’ levels, the more risk involved.
Advancement within the church is still reflected using the rank system, with the additional requirement of successfully completing the assigned challenge, and the benefit of being allowed to keep any additional loot taken during the challenge.
A Challenger gains a rogue as his Rank 8 follower.
Sacrifices: A Challenger must pilfer an item or perform an exceptionally risky task on the first day of the week.
Temples of the Church of Chance are glittering buildings designed to attract attention in any way. Ribald images on the walls, exotic slave girls tending to the worshippers, musicians in the faith’s employ—anything the clerics can provide to make the temple entertaining to the worshipper is a possibility. The temple construction is usually light and open, with the largest area devoted not to prayer or sermons, but to gambling tables. Dice, cards, booths for placing bets on races or other sporting events, and nearly any gambling venues imaginable fill the space.
Cathedrals are huge affairs, providing a variety of services so that worshippers never have to leave. Rooms are available to rent. Restaurants provide worshippers with food. Luxurious baths refresh the worshippers between activities.
The faith’s seat in Prompeldia is one of the most extravagant and excessive buildings on Tellene. It stands nine stories tall, although from a distance it doesn’t seem as tall as it really is, since it also extends in a rectangle 100 feet wide and 400 feet long. Despite the illusion, it’s clearly the largest building in Prompeldia and one of the largest on Tellene.
Zandi Sapran the Fortunate leads the faith. While his management of the temple and its continued success (he has expanded it constantly for the past 20 years) contributed to his meteoric rise in rank, ultimately his leadership role stems from his phenomenal luck. Assignment within the faith is often by lottery, and Sapran beat incalculable odds to land the Prompeldian post at the age of 21. Sapran has taken 13 draws from four different decks of many things, and he hopes to find another one before he dies. His main ideological contribution to the faith has been his campaign against “systems” in betting and a refocus on impulsive actions.
|Friends and Allies:|
|The Confuser of Ways: “Illusion can confuse anyone, even the gods… or at least in a pinch, buy you some time!”|
|The Temple of Strife: “They know how to manipulate chaos for their own ends. They would probably make very good thieves or gamblers."|
|The Order of the Passionate One: “Emotion spurs on the most risky ventures!”|
|The Parish of the Prolific Coin: “Always a good mark, when you need one.”|
|Foes and Enemies:|
|The Founder’s Creation: “So stoic and straight; it makes me sick. They never leave anything to chance!”|
|The Fraternal Order of Aptitude: “They believe the world can be entirely predicted, with enough information. That is simply untrue, the world will always contain some element of risk…”|
|The Hall of Oaths: “Honor-bound. They seek nothing but the truth, and get left behind in the search for it…”|
|The Courts of Justice: “Who cares who it originally belonged to? It’s mine now!”|