|Gug on the Silver Mountain|
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I was thinking about different characters interpretations of their Gods and religion, and thought I could use it as the basis for a writing exercise practising voice and character. I decided to come up a group interested in religion on Glorian as a format thing. They aren't really for anyone exactly, but I thought I'd share it here in case anyone is interested in reading it. Feel free to use any of the ideas in your game. I don't mind getting any writing feedback on these.
Let me know if there are any particular deities or philosophies you'd like me to try, but I'll write these when I have the time and an idea, so erratically and possibly never.
Hopefully someone'll get something out of this.
Details of the group and its members:
An interfaith society dedicated to the cataloguing of the various forms faith takes, with particular attention paid to obscure faiths and practices though all perspectives on faith are valued. Based in Absolom, all three founding members are still the most active, though the society is slowly growing.
Monk of Irori LN- Abram Qual
Male Human Cleric 2/Monk 2 of Iori
An Absolom native, he was inspired by his gods interest in history and knowledge. He also hopes that by better understanding the nature of divinity more might be learnt about his god’s ascension. Has a somewhat cold and detached demeanour and his writing style is plain but meticulous.
Cleric of Shelyn NG- Chamia Ontanic
Female Half Elf Cloistered Cleric 3
Spent the majority of her adult life secluded in a Taldan monastery and perfecting her art (Illustration). Since venturing out, and coming to Absolom, she has become fascinated with the array of faiths and rituals she has seen. Believing that faith itself is an inherently beautiful thing, she hopes to come to understand the appeal of, and beauty in, other forms of worship. She comes across as charitable but naive, and her writing style is descriptive, verging on florid. When not on assignment, she spends her time compiling the Fellowship’s notes into illuminated manuscripts for archival.
Cleric of Sarenrea NG- Ieina Genro
Middle Aged Female Human Rogue 4/Cleric 3
She converted later in life than most. Believes strongly in redemption and cooperation, and that understanding is essential for both. Independently wealthy from her previous life as a merchant, she provides the funds for the organisation. Her genuine interest and charming demeanour comes across in discussion, but in her writing she tries just to provide appropriate context with out colouring her readers’ interpretation.
Pantheist CN- Heuaxit Ancauldian
Male Gnome Expert 5
A former leather worker who’s colour was fading. A friend suggested religion as a solution, and while looking for a faith to join he became fascinated by the variety and intricacies of religion in the inner sea and so far the search itself seems to be keeping the Bleaching away. Non-judgemental with a knack for odd questions.
Inquisitor of Geryon LE- Leric Theed
Male Human Inquisitor 2
Although neither liked nor trusted by the rest of the Fellowship, he is nevertheless keen to uncover and document heresies, seeing them as the holy works of his masters. He is also interested in muddied or uncertain aspects of various faiths, where heresy may be easily introduced. He is under a mark of justice to not introduce falsehood to the archive, or to deceive subjects of interview. Both smug and sycophantic and in writing, his tone is snide.
First up, Gorum. I'm thinking Groetus or Zon-Kuthon next.
Edit: I should clarify, I'm not saying that the views expressed represent the only, or even typical attitudes of followers. I might even include multiple different interpretations or overtly heretical ones.
|Gug on the Silver Mountain|
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Interview with a Gorumite
Interview with Jinta Marius of The Iron Arms Company, a worshipper of Gorum and worker of divine magic, conducted by Ieina Genro of the Fellowship of Divine Truths.
Jinta Marius is a powerfully built human woman of Cheliaxian decent, originally from Molthune, although her height and stature, along with her clear blue eyes could be signs of some Kellid ancestry. When we met for the interview she was wearing the spiked plate mail associated with her faith and carried a plain but well crafted bastard sword on her hip. The symbol of Gorum, the sword and mountain, was depicted in a large hunk of wrought iron and hung from her neck on a heavy chain.
She had agreed to the interview in exchange for me recommending her Company to a former college of mine looking for experienced mercenaries, although she made it clear she would have preferred to spar for it. We began the interview after brief introductions and greetings.
Transcript as follows:
Could you start by explaining what you do?
I’m a front line healer for The Iron Arms. Its my job to keep those bastards standing and sword arms strong. Not that I only close wounds mind, I do plenty of causing them too.
So you can channel healing energy?
Wouldn’t be much of a healer if I didn’t.
I ask because most Gorumites I know prefer destructive energy.
I imagine they weren’t healers in a mercenary company. But yeah, I’ve got a brother who does that. Makes sense, calling on Gorum to lay low the foes surrounding you, but that’s not what they pay me for. Gorum gives me the power to keep us in the fight and turn defeat into victory. Also, I can fight side by side with my comrades without worrying about withering them when I channel, which is more than I can say for him.
Your brother? Does your family also worship Gorum?
Brother in arms and brother in faith, not kin. And no, I came to Gorum after I joined the army.
Could you talk more about that? About how you found your faith?
Well like I say, it was once I joined the army. Signed up as soon as I was old enough, no story there, in Molthune they give you every reason to. Then I was a soldier, and no matter what they might say, every soldier is a little bit religious, at least every one I’ve met. There are times when the only thing you have in a battle is prayer. I just kept praying after the battle was over. And who should a soldier in the thick of it turn to but Our Lord in Iron?
There are several gods of battle. Seranrea obviously, but also Iomade and Torag. Even Cayden Cailean. Not to mention various Empyreal Lords and Archfiends. Why choose Gorum?
Didn’t feel like a choice at the time. Honestly none of the others even came to mind. Even if they had though, it wouldn’t have mattered. We weren't on some glorious crusade or anything, despite what the Imperial Governor says. We were just fighting. When you need the strength to kill the person in front of you, or need to charge through their opening volley to even reach the battle, it’s Gorum you need. He doesn’t fret over who or why.
About that, does it concern you at all that Gorum is indifferent to the reasons for conflict? That he doesn’t seem to care about good or evil?
Ha! No. Out there it might be easy, (she gestures vaguely up and out) the ones with animal heads are good and horns are bad, but it’s not so simple here. Here all sorts of people fight for all sorts of reasons. Sometimes even if your going to war for some ‘worthy cause’ it might still be decent people you’re having to fight, or the people you depend on might be pricks. I’ve been to the Worldwound; not all those crusaders are saints. Most soldiers on either side in any battle are fine people, they didn’t start the war but they enlist because they want to protect their family or they trust their ruler or they need a job. It’s easy for a general to point and say ‘they are the enemy’ simple as that, and that’s how those other gods act. They tell you who to fight and how. I lost my faith in generals a long time ago; orders come down to march into what any soldier can tell is an ambush, or to capture a ‘stronghold’ that’s nothing but a goat farm. Gorum is different, he trusts you to pick your own battles. He knows the person best qualified to make decisions on the battlefield is the soldier actually there, because he’s not just a general, he’s a soldier too. A warrior. He’s on the front lines with you.
And which battles do you pick? How do you feel about good and evil?
You do what you can. I lend a hand when I can and I don’t hurt people who don’t have it coming and aren’t in a position to fight back. If I do have a problem with you, you’ll know and we can fight about it. So far as I care that’s the end of it, win lose or draw. Hells, I might even heal you up after. Professionally, I don’t really pick. I go with the Company and I don’t see any ‘good’ in abandoning my brothers and sisters. The Captain chooses the jobs, but I trust him. He’s in the same boat as the rest of us, with the same information. I haven’t always agreed with him but I see why he makes the choices he does and he doesn’t take work from total bastards. We’d never work for, say, Hellknights or Nidal or the like. If any of that changes, we’ll fight about it and I’ll win, die or walk away.
Interesting. Putting aside good and evil, Gorum is known for not taking sides in mortal conflict. How do you feel knowing your god may well be supporting your enemy?
Glad. Some one needs to look out for those poor sods. (she laughs) Hardly equal otherwise. The only thing better than winning a fight is winning a fair fight. (she pauses) Honestly though, it’s not a problem. I’m a mercenary. I don’t hate the people I kill. My enemies today might be fighting beside me tomorrow. My cause isn’t more righteous than there’s and they’re as worthy of Gorum’s favour. Well, till we kill them.
And when you come across another Gorumite in combat?
We fight. (shrugs) The only difference is I’d say we fight harder. I do anyway. No one wants to back down then. Normally you retreat because you’re out numbered or out manoeuvred, never a good thing but it happens. In single combat with another Gorumite there’s more on the line. it’s not just my life at stake but my pride, even my faith almost. Mostly I fight for money or glory or the hell of it, but against them fighting is about proving my strength and the strength of my conviction. It’s about dominance. It’s holy. I’m not going to admit weakness readily.
Gorum asks his followers to be forever seeking battle. What do you do when there are no wars to join?
Its never come up and its not likely too. People are always fighting. The Iron Arms Company has never had to look far for employment, and when the job’s done we move on to the next. I can’t imagine I’ll ever have to stop.
You don’t ever want to stop? So you won’t know peace until death?
Not even then, Gorum willing. The faithful can look forward to war eternal on Gorum’s blessed battlefield.
It doesn’t bother you at all that your faith condemns you to conflict for eternity?
Condemns? No, you’ve got it backwards. I don’t fight because I worship Gorum, I follow Gorum because I’m a fighter. If I wanted to herd sheep or whatever, I’d have no use for Gorum and he none for me. I’d probably kowtow to Erastil or somebody and hope anything interesting passed me by. But after I’d been on the front lines there was no going back for me. You can pass the time however you want, drinking or screwing or whatever, but the only time that really matters to me is when you’re in it, with the steel ringing and blood in the air. To be besides my brothers and sisters in arms with the enemy in front of us, that is what is best in life.
You sound quite dismissive of the Stag Lord and his followers. Do you have any thoughts on them, or the gods and followers of any of other religions?
None. I don’t even have anything particular against Old Deadeye’s people, least they look after their own. Doesn’t matter who you worship, if you’re on my side in battle I’d die with you, and if you’re against us I’d kill you.
Thank you for your answers. Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Not really. Remember The Iron Arms Company is you ever need mercenaries, and remember me if ever you just want to fight. We’ll be happy to oblige in either case.
|Gug on the Silver Mountain|
Very interesting, I like this premise. Winlas I think would be a decent patron deity for this society.
Very much looking forward to hearing about Groetus.
Thanks! Winlas is a good choice. I was also thinking about Eritrice. I might add a Mystery Cultist of one or the other at some point.