Thursday, September 27, 2012

Keepers of The Divine Flame

Okay, so some months ago (or maybe even farther back than that) I tossed out a game product idea to a certain Pathfinder 3rd Party publisher.  I've still heard absolutely nothing back, so I think I'll just toss it out there for you all to enjoy.  Yes, it's my work so, no, you can't take it for commercial use.

I have really been a fan of the Oracle class in Pathfinder.  I plan to play one in my buddy Steve's next campaign, since he's switching from D&D 3.5 to Pathfinder (although I'm sure we'll still see plenty of monsters, etc. from his extensive collection of 2.5 material).  And so I jumped at the creative challenge of coming up with an Oracle-based cult.  I call it Keepers of the Divine Flame.  I'm thinking that I should do companion cults for the other four (Chinese) elemental mysteries of Waves, Wood, Stone, and Metal.

NEUTRAL FLAME CULT (Keepers of The Divine Flame)

The cult worships flame, as an embodiment of the dual nature of the universe.  Fire can warm or it can burn.  Fire can be tamed for cooking and crafting or it can run wild through forest and town. The cult always has a shrine where a flame is always kept burning, usually tended by a cult member.  In addition, members always have a live flame, whether hearth fire, candle, or lamp, somewhere in their homes.  Because the cult has no direct deity per se, the clerics are all oracles--except for the leader, the self-proclaimed Flame Sage.

The origin of the faith, according to the Flame Sage, is when wise ancient spirits of fire taught the duality of flame to the first druids.  It was those druids who were the first mortals to learn the sacred Ignan 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 attracting druids and other nature worshipers.

The ordinary lay members are called Keepers of The Divine Flame.  More devout believers can apply to the Flame Sage to become acolytes and eventually Gazers Into the Flame (divine adepts).  They begin to learn Ignan, the language of fire, 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, lameness, or clouded vision.  The curse of tongues comes after long sessions of chanting hymns in Ignan during spinning dances in a trance state around a fire seeded with herbs or incense inside a shrine.  The curse of lameness is usually the result of repeated long sessions of ritual dances or seated meditation on beds of hot coals.  Oracles with clouded vision lose their “mundane” vision from long hours spent sitting cross-legged in dark, smoke-filled shrine rooms starting into a living flame to see the wisdom revealed therein.

Today the cult is led by the Flame Sage, an older human male who has laid aside his original name to draw closer to the true faith.  He has an inner circle of three senior apostolic oracles, one with each of the “sacred marks” (lameness, tongues, and clouded vision).

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

NOTE: if the oracle selects “inflict” rather than “cure”, the inflicted damage appears as a nasty burn mark, even though the damage is not fire-based.

NOTE: the oracle may never select spells of water, cold, or ice.

NOTE: adepts and oracles take a religious vow to never extinguish a flame, no matter what the circumstance.

NOTE: oracles of the cult gain the orison of spark as an additional 0-level bonus spell starting at 1st level

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