Campaign of the Month: January 2013
DANgerous Kalamar 4
Order of Agony
Worship: Worship of The Flaymaster takes place in torture chambers and mountain temples. Regular services take place monthly, under the new moon of Veshemo. Worshippers disrobe for the service, which is held outdoors if possible. The colder the weather, the more sincere the prayer, or so the faith teaches. A living creature must be sacrificed, preferably an intelligent one. The sacrifice is both slow and painful. The congregation coos soothing words to the sacrifice, urging him to cry out in pain as the Ministers of Misery torture him. When he does, they cry out in ecstasy.
Unholy Symbol: A dagger with blood dripping off the blade.
Unholy Days: The winter solstice is the highest unholy day. The largest and most elaborate of these services occurs at this time. The clerics stake their victims in the snow, where the faithful can see and taunt them. Some paint unholy scriptures on the victim’s naked body, while others splash ice-cold water at the feet.
Unholy Colors: Ice blue.
Unholy Animal: The hornet – an insect known for inflicting pain.
Raiment: Clerics of the Order of Agony wear black leather attire and black studded leather executioner-style hoods (save for Givers of Grief, whose hoods have no studs). The material of the studs is a function of a cleric’s rank, and the number of studs is a function of his seniority in the church. It is not uncommon for younger clerics to wear elaborate, stylish clothing (also constructed from black leather, of course).
|1||Giver of Grief||no studs|
|2||Wielder of Woe||iron studs|
|3||Supervisor of Suffering||steel studs|
|4||Master of Misery||brass studs|
|6||Provider of Pain||copper studs|
|7||Assigner of Anguish||silver studs|
|8||Distributor of Agony||gold studs|
|*More valuable gems (excluding diamonds) indicate higherlevel Ice Priests. It is said that the Grand Theocrat’s hood is completely encrusted with brilliant diamonds.|
Rank 9 has two titles; a Minister must earn both titles before advancing to the next rank.
Advancement: Before a cleric can advance in rank he must undergo torture by the other, higher level clerics. If the aspiring cleric survives, he advances to the next level in the church. Because of these rituals, all members of the Ministry have horrible scars and some are greatly disfigured. Scars almost completely cover higher-level clerics.
Death of a Thousand Screams
An Ice Priest can use this torture technique on captive victims. By careful application of pain, he first reduces the victims’ hit points by 1 + the rate of the victims’ fast healing or regeneration (if any) per round until the subject reaches -9 hit points, although he remains conscious. Once at -9, the victim is subjected to continual pain and anguish so that he never recovers lost hit points, is continually exhausted, and is subject to a -4 penalty on all Will saves and attempts to resist Intimidation. While under the supervision of an Ice Priest, the victim will not die from the torture, exertion, dehydration, or lack of food. Eventual madness followed by a deep coma eventually results, usually after 1d4 days per point of the victims’ Constitution. The coma can only be healed by a heal spell or stronger magic, and the victim’s sanity normally returns over the next several weeks..
A Supervisor of Suffering receives one pair of boots of the winterland as the granted magic item.
In order to advance to Provider of Pain rank, the character must have the Great Fortitude feat. A Provider of Pain receives a stipend of 25 gp per character level per month.
An Assigner of Anguish receives a stipend of 50 gp per character level per month.
A Distributor of Agony gets a ranger for his second follower.
When a cleric is ready to become an Ice Priest, he is tortured repeatedly in a one-week-long ceremony and, if he survives, he becomes an Ice Priest. Once a cleric is ordained as Ice Priest, he learns the Death of a Thousand Screams – a special torture invented by Cold Death herself.
The Grand Theocrat is guarded by an additional company of elite followers in addition to those described in the sourcebook. This group is of 2d6 individuals of 9th to 12th level barbarians and rangers whose total levels cannot exceed 80.
Sacrifices: Healthy, strong individuals are tortured for the entire month of Frosting. On the winter solstice eve, the clerics stake prisoners in the snow for a slow, agonizing death.
Temples of the Order of Agony are snow-white to blue-white in color, preferably by the use of natural stones rather than a paint that might fade over time. Their entrances are low, forcing worshippers to bow in humility as they enter. Windows use thin panes of amber instead of glass, giving the interior an eerie and drab appearance. The floor is knobby and rough in order to inflict pain on the feet of the worshippers.
Cathedrals are uncomfortably cold, a condition the clerics create with magic if the local climate doesn’t allow for it naturally. Cathedrals feature a fully equipped torture chamber not as a separate room but as the central element of the worship chamber. It’s not uncommon for the devices to be occupied during services.
The holy seat at Kako-Gyr is both the spiritual center of the religion and the civic center of the nation of Slen. This massive edifice might be the single largest temple on Tellene, if its deep recesses into Mount Shakota are included in its size. This gigantic structure of stone adds a virtual second peak to the old mountain, and it is plainly visible from as far away as the village of Deron in the light of a clear dawn.
Despite a virtually unprecedented speed in his rise to power, Grand Theocrat Toth Senkan has little to offer the faith in terms of dogmatic or theological contributions. He gained his fame and wealth through a series of administrative posts, each more ambitious and visible to his seniors than the last. He is currently obsessed with winning the war against Shynabyth. He believes that becoming the first Grand Theocrat to increase Slen’s lands through conquest would grant him immortal fame.
|Friends and Allies:|
|The House of Knives: “Death is a tool for anyone who wields the power of pain. It can be a release, a threat or an elusive goal…”|
|The Church of Endless Night: “Darkness hides much in the way of creating pain and suffering.”|
|The Fraternal Order of Aptitude: “They seek information about everything, even how much pain a body can survive. It can be very useful information…”|
|The House of Shackles: “They understand the value of pain in subverting another. They are useful in training new torturers.”|
|The Temple of the Three Strengths: “They make strong sacrifices, but are otherwise useless. They only care about themselves, however, so they are easy to ignore.”|
|Foes and Enemies:|
|The Church of Everlasting Hope: “They seek to give hope where we would take it away… If they could only see the world through the eyes of the pained, they would understand.”|
|The House of Solace: “Healing the hurt is a sad proposition. It takes away the strength that can be gained from feeling pain.”|
|The Church of the Night’s Beauty: “They waste their time celebrating artificial beauty, knowing not the wonders of pain.”|
|The House of Vice: “They do not understand the true value of pain. They do not mind giving pain in the pursuit of pleasure, but they are afraid to receive it…”|
|The Conventicle of Affliction: “They spread suffering, it is true, but they do not inflict it upon themselves. They are useful to manipulate, but weak and foolish.”|