Campaign of the Month: January 2013
DANgerous Kalamar 4
Church of Endless Night
Worship: Underground temples, with all lights extinguished, are the typical houses of worship for Knights of the Black Pit. Although the layout of any given temple of the Church of Endless Night varies by location, one constant is a bowl of burning incense that produces a thick, black, lingering smoke. Since the smoke represents the embodiment of The Dark One, priests will expose themselves to great danger to maintain the fire’s safety.
Worshippers of the Dark One do not meet regularly. Worshippers lock themselves in a pitch black room and say prayers for an hour. If more than one worshipper lives together, they pray in separate rooms or at different times to maximize their isolation.
Unholy Symbol: An eyeless raven gripping a bloody eye.
Unholy Days: Any lunar eclipse (new moon) is considered an unholy day, but a solar eclipse is the unholiest day of all. Overcast, dark nights are also revered.
When Diadolai is eclipsed by a smaller moon, the church calls for the Darkening. They perform mysterious ceremonies in total darkness (their canon calls for “a thousand blind steps” before the ritual area is entered). They sacrifice the eyes of a sentient creature, preferably a worshipper of The Eternal Lantern, to The Dark One. If a faithful worshipper volunteers for this sacrifice, the congregation bestows a considerable amount in gifts in admiration upon him.
A lunar eclipse, or better yet, a solar eclipse, is the most revered night of all. Clerics of The Eternal Lantern might be held captive for weeks in anticipation of this night. The higher the rank of cleric, the greater the prestige for both the character that captured him and the cleric who actually performs the ceremony.
Unholy Color: Black.
Unholy Animal: Bat. Caves frequented by bats are favored resting places for traveling Knights of the Black Pit.
Raiment: Needless to say, clergymen of the Church of Endless Night, who tend to perform their worship in dark, underground caverns, are not particularly preoccupied with fashion. The vestments of these Knights are always plain, jet black robes. Most clerics of The Dark One own no other clothing save for the terrible masks they wear during ceremonies and rituals. Faithful members are prohibited from intentionally trimming their fingernails, although there is no violation if a nail breaks accidentally.
Special RequirementsUpon becoming a Dark Rider, each cleric must display his unswerving loyalty to The Dark One by removing his left eye. Dark Riders lose their Dexterity adjustment to AC (if any), and take a –2 penalty on Search checks and most Strength and Dexterity based skill checks, including any with an armor check penalty. All opponents are now considered to have concealment (20% miss chance) to the Dark Rider. After 1d4 months, the Dark Rider adapts to the loss of his eye, regaining any lost Dexterity adjustment to AC, and his penalty on the above checks reduces to –1. Opponents continue to have concealment against him.
When a cleric attains the level of Pitmaster, he must now remove his right eye as well. The Pitmaster takes a –2 penalty to AC, and his penalty on Search checks and most Strength and Dexterity based skill checks, including any with an armor check penalty, increases to -3. All opponents are considered to have total concealment (50% miss chance) to the Pitmaster. All checks and activities that rely on vision (such as reading and Spot checks) automatically fail. A Pitmaster is immune to gaze attacks.
After 1d4 months, a Pitmaster learns to deal with most of his blindness. He suffers no blindness penalties to Dexterity, and no opponents gain concealment against him. His penalty on Search checks and most Strength and Dexterity based skill checks, including any with an armor check penalty, drops to –2, but all checks and activities that rely on vision (such as reading and Spot checks) still fail automatically. He continues to be immune to gaze attacks.
Whenever a Dark Rider or Pitmaster removes an eye, a one-day-long celebration follows this act of reverence.
Advancement: To climb the church ladder, one must gather sacrifices and slay members of the Order of Light.
A Dark Knight is any cleric of Dark Rider or higher rank who has sacrificed a ranking cleric of The Eternal Lantern. This is a supplemental title used along with his rank title.
In order to advance beyond Dark Rider, a Knight of the Black Pit must sacrifice a worshiper of The Eternal Lantern at each rank. The sacrifice must be of at least half the Knight’s character level (rounded up) and at least Torch rank. Worshipers of The Eternal Lantern who do not hold ranks in the church or who are below Torch rank are still killed whenever possible, but they cannot satisfy the additional requirement for advancement.
At Duskmaster rank and above, Knights of the Black Pit receive a yearly bonus of gems and diamonds equal to 500 gp plus 10x the character’s level.
A Pitmaster’s second follower is a fighter.
A Sunslayer controls the most prominent three regions of Tellene. Currently these areas are Kalamar, Norga-Krangrel along with Korak and Ek’Kasel, and Western Svimohzia (which shows exceptional promise in the minds of the Knights of the Black Pit).
Sacrifices: Sacrifices are visual organs, preferably from a sentient being. These are used to create divine focuses.
Temples of this faith are often constructed underground. Their worship areas are usually small, close and oppressive. Open pits stand ready to maim or kill worshippers who fail to show the requisite caution. Real or ceremonial stalactites cause comparatively minor bruising and concussions to those who walk into them. If the faith is able to carve out a worship area instead of relying on solely natural works, they smooth the floor, leaving textured guide marks on the floor and walls to prevent worshippers from falling to their death. The temples are always unlit.
Cathedrals are multi-leveled dungeons, with deep pits for clerical Cleansing ceremonies. They usually have other pits that contain underground creatures. Bas-reliefs decorate the walls of constructed areas; natural caves stay untouched, except for any work necessary to make the floor passable.
The holy seat’s presence in Ashakulagh causes problems for some worshippers who would like to visit it but fear hobgoblin persecution. More than once spies from Korak have attempted to infiltrate the country as pilgrims in search of the temple, and the hobgoblins have killed many legitimate pilgrims over the years in their attempts to prevent spies from reaching their capital.
|Friends and Allies:|
|The Temple of Sleepless Nights: “Terror and darkness go hand in hand. Terror breeds in the darkness, and removes the light in one’s soul…”|
|The Courts of Inequity: “They want everything without need, and we need everything without want for it. This is usually a good relationship, when we give them everything they want and they give us all we need…”|
|Foes and Enemies:|
|The Assembly of Light: “They seek to destroy the darkness with their all-powerful radiance… It is sad that they cannot embrace the darkness that resides within us all.|
|The Church of the Silver Mist: “They see dreams and aspirations as sacred, but focus on light, rather than darkness. They fail to prepare for the Time of the Void, and it will cost them.”|