Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Heralds of the Immaculate Morning, pt 2

Here's part 1.


The Heralds of the Immaculate Morning are a cult (although they would say that they are the last real religion) dedicated to the end of sentience.  They desire this because they believe that they live in a world where evil has already defeated good and brought down a billion billion years of sorrow.  They believe that humans were never meant to endure sickness, old age, or death.  In order to restore the world, they must first tear down the machinery of suffering.  They must bring on the night in order to hasten the New Dawn.

They recruit cultists from peasants, farmers, cripples, and kind-hearted people.  Most members of the cult are lay members who don't do anything except attend secret masses and donate money.  Many of them are good people.

Their leader is the Radiant Maiden, who is very obviously a god (or at least an angel).  Her clerics and servants strive to minimize suffering in the world, while simultaneously striving to minimize the number of living people.  Their magic/miracles are powered by the Light, which was leftover from the Dawn of Creation (or so they claim.)

Musical inspiration should be more like this, not like this.


These are the lowest ranking members of the Heralds.  They fight with nets, preferring not to inflict pain.  They fight with blunt weapons (clubs and quarterstaffs), prefer not to spill blood, and believe the spears are a tool of the Great Opponent.  When they are killed, their last words are usually "I forgive you." or "Please forgive any pain that I may have caused."  Most of them carry a stoppered jar around their neck containing poisoned honey (for themselves if they are captured, but they have been accused of giving it to children before).  They are famous for coup-de-graceing fallen opponents, even if it costs them their own life.  They wear no uniform, but all of them own a white silk handkerchief, and the boldest of them actually carry it on their person.

High Priests

Similar to Cultists, except that they actually have some divine powers.  When they're on the job, they wear white silk vestments with a golden-orange sunburst.

  • Any light source that they carry sheds light 2x as far and provokes morale checks from 1 HD undead.
  • By touching someone's forehead with their thumb (thumbnail pointing down towards the mouth) they can instantly kill someone.  This is only possible on helpless, sleeping, or restrained creatures.  They use this method to coup-de-grace.  This also heals all wounds and suffering, and the corpses often wear a peaceful expression.
  • Access to clerical spells.  They favor things that can immobilize without causing pain, such as hold person.  They can cast sleep as a clerical spell.  They rarely prepare healing spells (why preserve life, when life itself is the problem?)
  • Their powers are high during the day, and highest at noon.
  • Their powers are low during the night, and lowest at midnight.
  • Like Cultists, they also commit suicide if captured, except their suicide is less mundane.  They spontaneously combust, self-immolating in a pillar of golden-white flame.

A few of the High Priests are supposedly not mortal men and women, but actual angels who joined the Radiant Maiden.  They can appear as beatiful, serene humans, but when they want to resume their beatific countenance, their skin turns to gold as they shine as brightly as a torch.  They have all the abilities of a High Priest, and then some more:
  • Fight with flaming swords.
  • So glorious!  Creatures must make a Save before they can attack the angel for the first time.  This effect ends immediately as soon as they witness the angel taking offensive actions.
  • So beautiful! All who gaze upon it must make a Save or feel ugly, petty, and spiteful.  This effect suppresses any positive morale bonuses and prevents allies from helping each other (because everyone feels mean and resentful).  This ability has the opposite effect on fellow Heralds, who automatically make their morale checks and Saves vs fear, and also get a +1 bonus to hit.

New Spells

Blessing of Pacifism
Cleric 1
Unwilling targets get a save to negate. Target gets +2 to their Save.  The first time they kill a creature, they gain a negative level and this spell ends.  (When the target is first affected, they instinctively know what they'll lose a level by killing a creature.)   Can also be ended by remove curse.

Blessing of Harmony
Cleric 2
Unwilling targets get a save to negate.  Target gets +5 to their attack roll.  Each time they make an attack roll, the bonus drops by -1, all the way down to a -5 penalty.  This is permanent, but can be ended by remove curse.

Gift of Ascension 
Cleric 3
This spell only works outdoors with open access to the sky, and targets get a save to resist.  For 20 minutes, the target is affected as if by reverse gravity, after which they are affected by feather fall for an hour, or until they float down to the ground.  Assume they fall up at 200' per round and down at 70' per round.  This is high enough to cause them to take 2d6 points of cold damage if they are unprotected.  If this spell is cast at higher altitudes, it may cause significantly more damage, especially via asphyxiation.

Gift of Transfiguration
Cleric 1
Your skin glows as bright as a torch, you can fly at your normal speed, take half damage from non-magical sources, and gain a level.  This lasts 3 minutes, and the end of which you die.

Prayer of Peace
Cleric 2
While kneeling and chanting fervently, you can maintain this spell as long as you maintain your concentration.  Each turn, a random creature (including yourself) within 100' takes 1d6 damage, no save.  The damage is painless and joyful.

New Items

Angelhead Pin

This 4" silver pin is affixed to one of the buildings in the center of town, into the wood of a doorways headboard.  As long as it remains there, no humans (nor humanoids) within 3 miles will be able to conceive a child, and any pregnancies brought into range will miscarry.  If the pin is removed/dispelled/whatever, 1d20 cherubs (HD 2, AC 14, +2 to hit, 1d6 damage + charm arrows) will leap off the head of the pin and attempt to reinsert it.  If the silver pin is inserted into an undead or other creature weak to silver, it will gain 1 negative level for as long as the pin remains inserted.

Blade of the New Dawn

This magic sword has a small sapphire set into the pommel, and the grip is luminescent amber that shines through the leather bindings.  It does +1d6 damage to sentient creatures and undead.  However, all creatures within 10' (including the wearer) get -4 to save vs death.  If you are using a death and dismemberment table, the Severity rolls are 4 points worse as well.

Mace of Mercy

This magic mace does secret damage.  It doesn't leave a wound, nor cause any pain, but when the PC has accumulated enough of it, they die.  The DM must track the damage secretly.  Secret damage is healed only after all normal damage is healed.  Additionally, it can cast cure light wounds 1/day.

Martyr's Robe

50% of all intentional damage done to the wearer of this robe is reflected onto the person who did the damage.  So if an attack would deal 10 damage to the wearer, the wearer takes 5 and the attacker takes 5.


  1. Well that's a pain. I had just typed out a long comment, but it appears to have been eaten by the internet.

    I'd just like to say that I'm surprised noone else has commented (unless their posts have also met a similar fate), and I really like some of the ideas here. I'll certainly rework some for my own game. So thanks!

  2. Stealing for use in a world where only the top half of the cosmology, heaven, has been lopped off, while hell does just fine.

  3. My pacifist cleric may have use for some of this. I am may have to arrange for my DM to find this page...