Shades of Shadora
Artol the Judge
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Title: Gate Keeper of the Underworld, Judge of Souls, Lord of the Dead, Oath Keeper, True Speaker
Aspects: Death, Dying, Destroyer of Undead
Runic Triad: Darkness, Death, and Truth
Priesthood: Priests are called Reapers, Lords are called Swords
Herald: Pale rider on a black horse
Temples and Places of Power: Graveyards, Mausoleums, and Undertakers
Duties: Speak the truth, honor oaths, seek retribution for those who are wronged, seek out and destroy undead. Protect cemeteries and crypts, help spirits to their final rest, and promote a proper death for those that have cheated Death in the past.
- Minor: lying, failing to destroy undead, engaging in conversation with undead (except to Intimidate or Taunt it), allowing a corpse to be buried without blessing it, desecrating a tomb or other burial place (unless undead are present). Failure to properly observe and celebrate the death of a companion;
- Major: Making false accusations, bearing false witness, refusing to destroy undead, not righting a wrong. Refusing to take action against those that are unnaturally keeping death at bay;
- Mortal: Being resurrected, breaking an oath, knowingly aiding undead. Actively using unnatural means to keep death at bay
Mortalan was the Gate Keeper to the Underworld and Lord of the Dead. His twin brother Artol was the god of death and stood as judge of the dead.
Mortalan had taken a great interest in the realm of the eldar races. He became enamored with their great warriors, the honor of the ancient races, and the courage they displayed on the battlefields.
Greatest among these warriors was an elven prince named Maldred. Maldred was very much in love with his wife and always despaired to leave her when he went campaigning. On one such campaign, Maldred’s enemies managed to penetrate his fortress and slay his beloved wife.
Maldred traveled to the Court of the Dead and argued with Artol to restore her, but he failed. After passing in the realm of the dead, she waited just inside the gates, weeping for her love. Having failed to convince Artol, Maldred fled to the Gates of the Underworld to plead with Mortalan for the life of his love.
Guha happened to be wandering by at this moment and whispered urgently in Mortalan’s ear as Maldred stood by. Guha convinced Mortalan to open the gate and let Maldred’s beloved pass. When the gates were opened, Mortalan called out, “Come forth!” Hordes of lurkers that were waiting by the gate, drawn there by Maldred’s urgent pleas, flooded out of the gates.
Mortalan and Guha momentarily froze in horror as the tattered dead issued from open gate. First Guha and then Mortalan threw their backs against the gate and forced it shut against the outpouring hordes or corruption. However, the damage had been done. The hordes of the undead, neither alive nor dead, were free and scattered. Mortalan called to Guha to blow them back beyond the Gate. Guha breathed the winds of change upon the masses and the corrupted spirits were suddenly cloathed in their own rotting flesh. Maldred, being alive when the Winds of Change blew across him, found himself trapped between life and death.
Suspended thus, Maldred became the first vampire of Shadora. Maldred called to the undead horde and they followed him out of the underworld and into the lands of the living. There to spread discord forever more. Maldred is said to still exist today, though no one living has ever seen him.
Mortalan was brought before the Elemental court and stripped of his element. He announced his intention to embrace Chaos and fled the court. By embracing chaos, Mortalan was able to divine the necessary rituals for creating vampires. Maldred immediately embraced him as the god of Vampires and Lord of the Undead. Artol, took on the role that his brother had failed in and became the premier god of the dead.
Since the end of the chaos war, Artol has been ever vigilant in seeking out and hunting down undead and the followers of Mortalan.
Life After Death: Artol priests can perform the funeral rites of any sane cult. Artol’s own rites are simple burials. Artol rune masters cannot be resurrected nor can they be turned in to undead.
Reason for Continued Existence: Artol’s priests are also sought out for funeral rite of any of the other cults as they are certain to prepare the corpse for a safe journey to the halls of their god. No corpse laid to rest by a follower of Artol can be raised as an undead.
Reapers are also sought as judges and advocates within most major cities. Their penchant for telling the truth and serving justice is legendary.
Cult Divine Magic
Sharp Sword (N, Touch) +3 Fighting and Damage, +4 on a Raise. Incompatible with other weapon spells.
Great Parry (N, Touch) Must cast on shield. Parry +4, +6 on Raise
Detect Truth (N, Self) Allows the caster to detect liars within a CMBT, CLBT on a Raise, is lying. Liars emit a dark, smoky glow visible only to caster.
Oath (N, Touch) Binds two to a pact. If they break the oath, they are attacked with Sever Spirit using the sum of the Spirit of the participants in the oath.
Turn Undead (N, 12/24/48) The caster makes an opposed spirit roll for each undead in a MBT. Affected undead take 4d6e AP4. LBT and 5d6e AP4 on a Raise.
Grave Speak (N, Touch) The caster must know the name of the deceased, or possess a personal item, or a part of their corpse. A ghostly, disembodied voice makes itself known and may be asked 5 questions, 7 on a Raise. The spirit can lie, but must answer. Spirit knows what knew in life.
Sever Spirit (L) This spell acts as a sword to cut the bond between body and soul of the target. The user makes an opposed Spirit roll. 2 Raises = target dies. 1 Raise = takes 4 wounds. Success = 2 and Failure = 1.
Consecrate (L, 12/24/48) Affects MBT, LBT on a Raise. Undead wishing to cross the circle must make an Opposed Spirit check. With success, they may enter freely. On a failure, they cannot cross the boundary for the duration. Spells and monstrous abilities are blocked if the undead fails its roll. Undead within an area that becomes consecrated must make opposed roll to remain in the area. On failure they become Shaken and expelled.
Grave Shroud (L, Range: Touch) Grave shroud transforms the target’s appearance to that of a zombie. Unwilling victims receive a Spirit roll to resist, opposed by the caster’s arcane skill. The target does not gain any Special Abilities (including Undead), as the spell is illusory, and he keeps his own traits. However, he looks and smells like a walking corpse. Near-mindless undead (such as zombies and skeletons) treat the target as one of their own and do not attack him, and intelligent undead (such as vampires) are likely to think of the character as just a mindless minion, and typically ignore them. If the character attacks an undead, it will defend itself, however.
Any intelligent undead closely examining the character may make a Notice roll at –2 to spot the deception, or –4 if the caster scored a raise. A character subjected to this spell who sees his own reflection must make a Fear test.
Divine Spells from Associated Cults
Create Shadow See Mawl
Berserk See Raranar
Dark See See Ratrona
Speak to Insects See Simkim
Cure Disease See Xarandar
Breathe See Aguala