Friday, April 10, 2015

Mythos Clerics (The Elder Ones)

The Elder Ones
The Elder Sign
The Elder Ones are immortal entities in the Cthulhu Mythos. They are generally distinguished from the Outer Gods or Great Old Ones by being less unbearable to behold, and by being less generally inimical to humanity. Some Elder Ones are known to help human beings who have dabbled in the Mythos return to relative safety (though never to an untroubled psyche); it would however be a mistake to assume they are inevitably benevolent. At best, they are still vastly superior to humans and have minds and motivations beyond human understanding; their seeming friendliness may well be coincidental, or due to reasons humans cannot fathom.
Clerics of The Elder Ones follow a wide range of creeds and do not have a large united "church", rather they are allied in opposition to the Outer Gods and Great Old Ones. In fact, clerics of the Elder Ones can be of wildly opposing alignments, and often bicker or even out-and-out war with one another over doctrinal differences and personal disputes.
Cleric Alignments: Any
Clerical Powers: Clerics who revere the entire Elder pantheon have the power to turn or control undead creatures by channeling the power of their faith through their holy or unholy symbols. A cleric of Law (LG, CG, NG) can “turn” or destroy undead creatures. A cleric of Chaos (CE, LE, NE) instead rebukes or commands such creatures (see page 57 in the Blood and Treasure PHB). A cleric of Neutrality (N, CN, LN) must be a specialty priest (see below).

Specialty Priests
Clerics can choose to revere a specific deity to revere, losing the power to turn undead and instead gaining a Specialty Domain power based on the deity. An exhaustive list of Elder Ones would be enormous, however below are some notable members of the pantheon (and their respective alignments):

Bokrug (Neutral): Bokrug, The Great Water Lizard is a fearsome god that is primarily revered in the land of Mnar. At one time its only worshipers were the Thuum'ha of Ib who were destroyed by the humans of Sarnath. Bokrug now gets propitiatory worship by the folk of Ilarnek and the Miri Nigri, who correctly credit Bokrug with the destruction of Sarnath. Priests of Bokrug can turn fire elemental creatures and rebuke water elemental creatures instead of turning undead.

Hypnos (Chaotic Neutral): Also called Somnus, the god of sleep is often depicted as a winged youth. He appears most often as a strange mix of nightbird and man, some beautiful, some horrific. Clerics of Hypnos are often poets, musicians and magicians. His symbol is the poppy. Priests of Hypnos can use magic-user scrolls and wands as though they were magic-users equal to their cleric level.

Kib (Chaotic Good): This god is the Sender of Life and the creator of beasts. Kib is a wild trickster god who continually schemes to help life succeed in the universe, seeing it all as a grand game. He appears as a wandering entertainer and permanent sightseer. His symbol is a patchwork hat or coat. Priests of Kib are skilled at hiding, move silently and picking pockets.

Mung (Neutral Evil): Mung is the Lord of all Deaths, and thus is the master of undead spirits and places where the dead are buried. Mung appears as a skeletal human wearing an enormous black coak. His symbol is a skill or a skeletal hand (similar to a hand of glory). Priests of Mung may use a touch of death once per day. They must make a successful melee attack against an opponent and roll 1d6 per cleric level. If the roll is higher than the target’s current hit points, they die.

Nodens
Nodens (Lawful Neutral): Also known as Lord of the Great Abyss or Nuada of the Silver Hand, Nodens appears as an elderly, human male with white hair—gray-bearded and hoary yet still vital and strong. As a hunter, he will chase down servants of the Great Old Ones or Nyarlathotep for sport. Priests of Nodens can use edged and piercing weapons and receive a +1 bonus to all attacks.

Orryx (Lawful Evil): Also called The Bright Flame, Orryx manifests as a giant pillar of blinding white and purple flames. It is a fearsome fire entity who rules over other Lawful fire beings, opposing Chaotic fire creatures. Its symbol is an open flame, of a golden representative of flame. Priests of Orryx can turn water elemental creatures and rebuke fire creatures instead of turning undead creatures.

Ulthar (Lawful Good): Also called Uldar or Ultharathotep is a deity sent to hold vigil over the Great Old Ones. This ancient god appears as a mighty Lamassu wearing a crown and adorned with jewels. Cats are sacred to Ulthar and may never be slain by members of his cult. Ulthar's symbol is the unblinking eye. Priests of Ulthar are skilled at decipher codes, find secret doors and tracking.


USE IN MYTHOS SPACE
The Elder Ones are known of in occult circles across the stars and have numerous cults amongst the rich and poor alike. Clerics as understood by players of DnD or Blood and Treasure do not exist, and so the powers over undead and such are not known. However would-be priests of the Elder Ones must have the ability to cast Turn Undead and MUST be of Lawful alignment. Specialty priests (and domains) are unknown in Mythos Space, though most Magic Users may consider themselves as priests of a specific deity.

USE IN THE DREAMLANDS
The Elder Ones are revered far and wide in the Dreamlands, though regional changes are widespread. There are no large religious centers in the Dreamlands, though local temples and high priests are common in cities and large settled regions.

These rules are made for use with the Blood and Treasure RPG by John Stater
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I saw Eternity the other night,
Like a great ring of pure and endless light
-- Henry Vaughan