Sunday, September 30, 2012

Disciples of The Wise Oak

Okay, so earlier I did a post on a simple oracle-based cult for Pathfinder called the Keepers of the Divine Flame.  It was designed as a minor cult which worships the elemental force of Fire.  As I threatened in that posting, here is a similar cult focused on the elemental force of Wood.  Eventually I hope to add three more for the elements of Metal, Water, and Earth.

NEUTRAL WOOD CULT (Disciples of The Wise Oak)

The cult worships Wood, as an embodiment of the nature of the universe.  One must put down deep spiritual roots if one wishes to reach spiritual heights.  The cult has a shrine consisting of at least one tree but ideally a grove or clearing in a forest, usually tended by a cult member.  In addition, members always have a live tree at their homes, whether a full-sized tree outside or a bonsai-style miniature indoors.  Because the cult has no direct deity per se, the clerics are all oracles--except for the leader, the Oak Speaker.

The origin of the faith, according to the Oak Speaker, is when wise ancient treants of the forest taught the wisdom of Wood to the first druids.  It was those druids who were the first mortals to learn the sacred Treant language.  Lay followers can continue to worship the same deities as the rest of their community, unless local churches find cult incompatible with their beliefs for some reason.  But in most cases the cult appears to be a harmless veneration of a basic natural concept, thus attacting druids and other nature worshipers.

The ordinary lay members are called Disciples of The Wise Oak.  More devout believers can apply to the Oak Speaker to become acolytes and eventually Rooted Ones (divine adepts).  They begin to learn Treant, the language of Wood, in which the cult’s holy scriptures are written.  Special rites of initiation bring a select few into the mysteries of oracular power.  Cult oracles manifest one of three curses: tongues, haunted, or deaf.  The curse of tongues comes after long sessions of chanting poems in Treant during contemplation of a tree.  The curse of haunted is the result of gaining a subconscious bond with plants and wood such that around the oracle plants move and twitch and wood shifts and creaks in an eerie "haunted" fashion.  Oracles with deafness believe that they have traded their mundane hearing ability for the gift of the sensing ability of the trees.

Today the cult is led by the Oak Speaker, an older human male who has laid aside his original name to draw closer to the true faith.  He has a Sacred Grove of three senior apostolic oracles, one with each of the “three branches” (deaf, haunted, tongues).

NOTE: oracles of the cult are always of the Wood mystery.

NOTE: if the oracle selects “inflict” rather than “cure”, the inflicted damage is accompanied by illusionary thorns which appear to burst out of the victim’s body and cause the damage.

NOTE: the oracle may never select spells pertaining to metal or fire.

NOTE: adepts and oracles take a religious vow to never cut down a tree, no matter what the circumstance.  They may use an already manufactured wood object, but must offer a prayer of forgiveness upon acquiring it.

NOTE: oracles of the cult gain the orison of mending (wood and plant based items only) as an additional 0-level bonus spell starting at 1st level which may be used once per day

No comments:

Post a Comment