Divine characters provide some of the best built in role playing motivations. Much of this can be attributed to the various divine organizations that the character might be associated with. At the very least this is the local church where the character was trained or came to understand their faith.
Faiths are more than just a collection of churches. Behind the public facade the church is highly organized. There are various splinter groups or sects that exist within the faith. These groups often provide great role playing motivation, whether they are being portrayed as the heroes or the villains in your story.
Presented here are two divine organizations that you can drop easily into your game. They are campaign neutral and no mention of a particular deity is contained in the entries, allowing you as the DM to simply use them as you wish.
Knights of the Morning Sun
The Knights of the Morning Sun first appeared during the Dawn Wars several hundred years ago. A group of Clerics on the side of the aggressor, Warlord Khorzin, grew disaffected with the war effort. On the morning of the summer solstice these Clerics left the ranks of the Warlord Khorzin. From that moment onward they would no longer remedy the wounds of his soldiers.
The Clerics took a vow, swearing to aid any wounded in any conflict. However, as payment for their treatment those soldiers were required to lay down their weapons and fight in the present conflict no more. The Clerics hoped this would result in an end to war. Their goals were lofty and idealistic. However, they were grounded in the belief that by withholding their services conflict would end. Regrettably, less scrupulous healers soon filled the void that was left and the conflict continued.
However, a remarkable thing happened with those soldiers who were healed. They laid their weapons down and turned their back on the present conflict. Many of them stood in defence of the Clerics and formed a cadre of soldiers who would protect them in their sworn cause.
It has been several hundred years since that first battle. The Knights of the Morning Sun continue on their mission to provide healing to those in conflict. The cost of that healing has not changed and many of those healed make the decision to join the Knights in their cause.
Many ruthless kings and warlords have grown weary of the Knights and their mission in the world. Rather than allow the Knights to heal on the sidelines of the battle they are now actively persecuting them. Seeking them out where ever they are found and cutting them down.
- Fearing further persecution, the Knights have approached the party and requested that they advocate for them during an upcoming conflict.
- The party has been contracted out as mercenaries in an upcoming conflict. The Knights of the Morning Sun are present at the conflict. The party is given an order to attack the Knights.
Society of Calphai
Calphai Gholdan was a Runepriest of little distinction. His early years spent in ancient archives, studying the writings of the ancients. As he studied he became aware of gaps in the ancient histories.
As a Runepriest he was taught to look for the symbols of power that he could use to protect his allies and smite his foes with. The ancient writings were a way to further empower the teachings. Calphai reasoned that there were gaps in the teachings. As if the ancients of the gods themselves were withholding knowledge.
With his studies complete Calphai ventured forth into the world. During his travels he was always looking for ways to further empower his runes. Further apprenticing himself to a Dwarven master, Calphai gleaned further insight. Reasoning that different traditions may have interpreted the teachings of the gods in different ways.
To this end Calphai began to gather like-minded individuals. There numbers were small at first, an excited group who sought knowledge. Over time the group has grown and been renamed after its founder. All Runepriests are welcome to join, to share in knowledge and look for synergies amongst the known runes.
The Society of Calphai’s headquarters is for all intents and purposes a giant library. Here the shared knowledge of generations of Runepriests is shared. As new knowledge is gained it is added to the old. Scholars of the society tirelessly search for synergies between the writings, hoping to produce a new rune of power.
- There are those who would use the knowledge of the society for evil. A vile warlord seeks to destroy the society and take its knowledge for his own.
- A young acolyte of the society has crafted a new rune. Rather than share it with the society he has decided to sell it to the highest bidder.
- The high priest of the local church approaches that party. He fears that the society is on the verge of discovering a rune, that if crafted could spell the end of the world as it is known. He asks that the party infiltrate the society and destroy the research.