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Abadar

Page history last edited by Ron 12 years, 3 months ago

ABADAR

 

 

Abadar is the master and guardian of the First Vault, a magical trove in his realm where a perfect version of every creature and creation exists—a perfect sword, a perfect deer, a perfect wheel, and even a perfect law. His mortal artists and craftsman attempt to emulate these perfect forms, inspired by Abadar’s mentoring. Likewise, his arbiters and judges keep these idealized laws in mind when crafting new laws or ruling on existing ones. It is said that centuries ago he allowed mortals to visit the First Vault in dreams. There has been no record of this in a long time, perhaps because he has not found someone worthy, because he fears his enemies might steal the perfect forms,

or because he is pacing the advance of civilization to prevent it from growing too quickly and dissolving before it is ready.

The god of cities is stern but rewards those who work hard and whose actions benefit others as well as themselves, though he is morally ambiguous enough to recognize that not every person can benefit from every decision. Misusing slaves or beasts of burden is a waste of resources and detrimental to the profitability of a farm and civilization as a whole, and using cheaply-paid laborers rather than slaves is a better option, but Abadar understands that the world

changes in small increments and the most advantageous option for society is not always the most workable in the present. He respects cautious thought and rejects impulsiveness, seeing it as a base and destructive whim. He teaches that discipline, keen judgment, and following the law eventually leads to wealth, comfort, and happiness. He does not believe in free handouts, and because of this his temples sell potions and healing spells or scrolls rather than

giving them to those in need. Any who protest are pointed at the temple of Sarenrae.

His primary worshipers are judges, merchants, lawyers, and aristocrats, all of whom benefit from established laws and commerce. Those who are poor or who have been wronged also worship him, praying he might help reverse their ill fortune, for most mortals seek wealth and the happiness it brings. He expects his followers to abide by local laws (though not foolish, contradictory, toothless, or purposeless laws) and work to promote order and peace. He has

no tolerance for gambling or excessive drinking. Abadar’s personal intervention in the mortal world is usually in the

form of hints or opportunities rather than direct gifts.

Worshipers who lose Abadar’s favor might find themselves short on money at a crucial time, tongue-tied in the middle of an important deal, or stymied in their craft or art. When he is pleased, deals are more profitable than expected, projects are completed early, and journeys to or within a city take less time than normal. His intervention is subtle, for he expects worshipers to do their own work.

Abadar is depicted as a handsome man with black hair dressed in fine garments, often with a gold cloak over a golden

breastplate and bearing many keys. Humans, dwarves, and gnomes show him with a beard, whereas elves show him beardless and with long braids tied with golden thread.  His voice is pleasant and even, his words firm but not harsh.

Abadar is lawful neutral and his portfolio is cities, wealth, merchants, and law. His domains are Earth, Law, Nobility, Protection, and Travel, and his favored weapon is the crossbow. His holy symbol is a golden key, often with a city image on the head. Most of his clergy are clerics, with a small number of paladins.  Due to the emphasis on cities and

civilization, he has no adepts—even the most remote settlements paying homage to Abadar are watched over

by a cleric or paladin. He is called the Master of the First Vault, Judge of the Gods, and the Gold-Fisted.

 

 

The Church

Abadar’s church is well organized and has a city-based hierarchy. The church in each city is independent, encouraging friendly competition between cities to promote trade. Church law forbids the clergy from attacking each other regardless of political, national, or financial motivations. If two rival cities go to war, the churches of Abadar often become neutral territory, not participating in the struggle and acting as safe havens and mediators in the conflict. Warfare creates instability and chips away at the foundations of civilization.  Ritual garb for religious ceremonies includes white silk cloth trimmed with gold thread, a belt or necklace of gold links bearing a golden key, and a half-cloak of deep yellow or gold. Ceremonial items are always crafted out of precious metals if available and often decorated with gems or inlays, though not to the extent that the item becomes fragile or unusable.

Services to Abadar include songs with complex harmonies, the playing of music (usually hammer-based instruments such as dulcimers and glockenspiels), and the counting or sorting of coins or keys (often in time with the singing or music). Services and ceremonies always take place indoors, representing the shelter of civilization.  Faithful unable to reach an actual building make do with at least a crude structure or a even a sloping wall or cave that provides protection from the elements. Services usually take place in the morning and it is customary to thank Abadar after a profitable or advantageous transaction.

 

 

Temples and Shrines

Abadar’s temples are elaborate buildings with rich decorations and high, thick stained-glass windows. These windows have small frames (to guard against thieves) and usually feature vivid yellow glass that casts a golden hue on everything within the church. Most temples have a guarded vault for church treasures and wealth, and many also rent space in their vault to those who wish a safe place to keep their valuables. Any temple in a small town or larger settlement also serves as a bank, currency exchange, and moneylender, which helps keep interest rates reasonable and consistent. The head of the temple (known as a Banker or Archbanker) watches the local economy and adjusts interest to stimulate growth, encourage investment, or help recover from a disaster. As priests often serve as lawyers and judges, the temples are usually built near courthouses.

 

 

A Cleric’s Role

Abadar’s basic tenet is simple—people should use their gifts to advance civilization in the world so commerce happens and people can go about their orderly lives and achieve comfort and happiness. His clerics are the agents of civilization, turning trails into roads and towns into cities while always enforcing law. They eliminate monsters and troublemakers in urban and rural areas, adjudicate disputes, make legal rulings, and reassure law-abiding people that the forces of order are watching over them.

Many city-bound clerics work with the local legal system as judges, lawyers, and clerks (donating their services much

as a healing-oriented church might run a hospice or give food to the needy), although they are not usually part of the

city’s government. In wilder areas, clerics act as judge and jury, seeking out threats to civilization and eliminating

them. Younger priests who are physically fit do many tours through smaller towns and frontier areas to carry news and

make sure order leaves its footprint. As meters of justice, each priest traditionally carries a single golden-headed crossbow bolt for when a criminal must be executed. This bolt goes to the dead criminal’s family as compensation for

the loss and a means to make an honest living.  Although Abadar’s temples are mercenary when it comes to providing healing, as guardians of civilization they are more generous when protecting the public health. Likewise, when traveling with others (such as an adventuring party) they do not charge their companions for healing any more than they expect a fighter to charge for each swordswing or a rogue to charge for each picked lock. Like a business, questing and traveling requires teamwork, and it is part of the cleric’s responsibility to provide healing and magical support.

A typical cleric has at least 1 rank in Knowledge (local) in order to be familiar with the laws of his home city. Most

also dabble in knowledge of local history and nobility or practice some sort of craft or profession—always something

useful to a developing or established settlement. Clerics are not permitted to give money to those in need, only

to lend it at a fair rate and record the transaction for the church’s record. They are required to tithe, and most clerics

have small investments in local businesses that generate enough income to cover the tithe. Those with no mind for

business but a talent for dealing with people often work as teachers, educating children and adults so they can advance themselves and better serve the community. Every cleric belongs to a city temple, even those touring remote areas. If circumstances warrant distant travel or a long period near another city, the home temple files paperwork transferring the cleric’s affiliation to a closer temple.

A typical day for a cleric involves waking, breakfast, prayer, reading or hearing the local news for anything worth investigating, and a period of work. At night, there is a brief prayer before the evening meal, and the evening is reserved for hobbies, family, or other non-work interests.  Spell preparation takes place after morning prayers.

A Paladin’s Role

Paladins are not common in the faith (with perhaps one paladin for every 50 clerics), as their zealous push for good doesn’t sit perfectly within Abadar’s more balanced approach to ethics. As many frontier areas are plagued by evil monsters, though, and the forces of chaos are usually aligned with evil or are evil themselves, the god understands

that an active force for good is sometimes best for the job.

Abadar’s paladins are unusual in that they tend to be flashy in their clothing and equipment, as a way to inspire others

to join the cause, and use their money and influence to extend the reach of civilization.  Because of their specialized interests and abilities, paladins of the Judge sometimes work behind the scenes in lawful evil nations where the leaders are exploiting the economy at the expense of their subjects. In such realms, the paladins’ primary goal is to balance the movement of wealth in the area, but if a few evil leaders fall and in the end the region is more skewed toward neutrality or good, so be it. Paladins tend to be more fiscally aggressive than clerics, willing to invest in promising enterprises, take a loss on a deal in order to motivate trade, and take greater risks with their money.

Relations With Other Religions

Abadar understands that an advanced civilization has many spiritual needs, and different members of a society pray to

different gods, thus he tries to maintain an approachable coolness where other deities are concerned. Only those who

directly oppose his beliefs and purpose—notably Rovagug and to a lesser extent Lamashtu—are his declared enemies, and while he might be willing to negotiate with them for some purpose, they routinely refuse to do so. He is friendly with Erastil (god of farming, necessary for transitioning from a nomadic lifestyle), Iomedae (goddess of justice and rulership, necessary to preserve peace in a society), Irori (god of history and knowledge, critical for a stable civilization), Shelyn (goddess of art and music, excellent traditions), and even Asmodeus (although only for the archdevil’s belief in upholding contracts). Abadar knows that his pursuits frequently anger Gozreh (god of nature), who would like to see the natural parts of the world remain unspoiled, but he believes the two can eventually reach a compromise.

 

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