Vralkah, Slayer of the Tearbringers

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    The LocalsVralkah, Slayer of the TearbringersCopyright © 2000 by Heiner de WendtIntermediate Power of Mount Celestia (Lawful Good (Neutral)

Portfolio: Justice, Revenge

BackgroundVralkah does not truly belong to any pantheon. He has worshippers on dozens or even hundreds of Prime Material Worlds, but he is never more than an ally of the local pantheon. He tends to choose pantheons, which accept him without too much trouble, though he does not become a full member of the pantheon. Sages guess that this is due to Vralkah's "closed soul", as he does not wish to establish strong bonds to anyone. This deity passionately longs to bring justice to all evildoers in the multiverse, and a common saying among his priests is that for each tear created through sin, ten drops of blood have to be shed. Indeed, Vralkah is among the least merciful powers of Mount Celestia, as he states that even those who regret their sins have to accept a fitting punishment for it. There is no forgiving as long as the debt to society is not repaid. Yet, Vralkah's worshippers preach that a punishment too hard for a certain sin is a sin in itself. Justice is a matter of wisdom, which is why only the wisest of men should ever judge others. Those who lack this insight can still serve by hunting down offenders and bringing them to a good judge.

AlliesVralkah has many godly allies (and far more enemies), if only because of his attitude of "joining" other pantheons. His most important allies, though, are the following: Bahamut (obviously, Bahamut has a strong interest in Vralkah, although no one else seems to know why); Torm (Faerunian Pantheon); Clangeddin Silverbeard (Dwarven Pantheon); Heironeous (Oerth Pantheon); Helm (Faerunian Pantheon); Modi (Norse Pantheon, and his only important chaotic ally).

EnemiesThere seem to be few evil powers Vralkah has not angered in one way or another, and many have sworn eternal hatred towards him. Of course, this does not stop this stern god. His most important and dangerous enemies include the following: Anshar (Babylonian god of darkness and night); Iallanis (it seems Vralkah has offended the great goddess of love, mercy and beauty so much that she has declared open war against him - as far as her portfolio allows it, that is. Being her only good-aligned enemy, Vralkah is extremely interested in at least calming down Iallanis, if not settling the dispute altogether; yet he is not willing to give up his ways, while that is exactly what Iallanis asks him to do); Inanna (Sumerian Pantheon; Vralkah seems to consider this power unworthy to exist at all, and has himself declared all-out war against her; Inanna has accepted the challenge, though she doesn't seem to be really happy with it); Set (Egyptian Pantheon; this power is Vralkah's greatest enemy, and rumour has it the two gods have already fought each other in direct battle two or three times - worshippers of Set, however, call this a stupid lie).

The ChurchVralkah's church mainly consists of battle-hardened clerics and knights. The latter are normal fighters who have had an education similar, yet less intensive, to that of the clerics. The Exterminators are Vralkah's feared order of paladins, consisting of astonishingly few individuals, as Vralkah accepts only the wisest and purest as paladins. Most Exterminators are trained by the church until reaching 5th level before they're sent out to bring justice into the world. There is an elite sword arm within the order of the Exterminators, called the Bursting Suns. These paladins are chosen to wipe out unredeemable evil, such as fiends, and are tougher than even many planeborn beings, and show so little mercy that many others actually consider them at the edge of goodness. The critics are wrong, though - the Bursting Suns fight those beings that would rather abuse that mercy than see a chance for repentance in it. The knights of the church are considered the bottom of the church hierarchy, although notable knights have become shining symbols for all that Vralkah stands for. Still, they only bring sinners to high-up clerics and paladins so that those individuals may judge them, or carry out such judgements on the field of battle. Clerics of less than 10th level are considered too inexperienced to judge others. Even those of 10th level and above, though, may only judge offenders if they have combined intelligence and wisdom scores of at least 30, with neither of these scores being below 12. Paladins experience such an intensive education in justice and righteousness that all those who are sent out into the world have the right to judge others, even without an official trial. Oddly, paladins of Vralkah do not have a healing touch; rather, they can inflict appropriate damage on others. Excepting Paladins and Specialty Priests, worshippers of Vralkah may have any good alignment, though the majority of the church is lawful good with a slight tendency towards neutrality.

Specialty PriestsThe Tearless, Vralkah's specialty priests, are nearly as few in number as the god's paladins. They always wear the best armor they can get (looks are only of secondary importance)and carry at least one long (or larger) sword. The Tearless, as the paladins, have the right to carry out judgement immediately, though they usually set up a trial before carrying out the punishment. Requirements: Strength or Constitution 16, Wisdom 16.Alignment: Lawful Good.Weapons and Armor: Any.Major Spheres: All, Astral, Combat, Divination, Elemental, Guardian, Healing, Necromantic, Protection, War.Minor Spheres: Law, Charm.Symbol: A blazing sun behind a blood-covered silver sword.Special Powers: The Tearless are completely immune to any kind of fear or other emotion-altering magic, including charms (spells like "hold person" or "magic jar" would still work, though). At 1st level, the Tearless are able to cast "Detect Lie" once per day, and "Protection from Evil" once per month. At 7th level, specialty priests of Vralkah can "Dispel Magic" once per day. At 15th level, a "Holy Word" is available to the Tearless once every two weeks.

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