View Full Version : [ORG] {PrC} The Circle of the Sanctimonious Sun

2006-08-11, 04:52 PM
This will be my first shot at one of these, but I just had to participate. The contest matches an organization that I've thrown scant bits of into my campaigns in the past, and this gives me the opportunity to really flesh it out and fill in the cracks. I hope you guys enjoy!

The Circle of the Sanctimonious Sun

The noon day sun sweltered and cooked, and in these barren plains there was no hope for the slightest bit of shade for Kremrok to shield his sizzling hide with. These tree-less lands were beginning to anger him as he trudged onward down his self-set path to glory. Many things angered Kremlok: flowers, butterflies, Halflings, druids, cute things, humans, the list could go on for hours. He mused over the many things that made rage boil within his blood to take his mind off the nearly crippling hea,t when he noticed a scrawny stick of a human male standing in his path. This angered Kremlok as much as the sun’s heat.

Sliding the axes from the loops on his belt as quietly as he could, he crept towards the rail-thin man-thing. Kremlok was bewildered by what he saw as he came closer. The stupid human was staring directly at the sun, with his back turned to Kremlok, completely unaware of his impending doom. Kremlok recalled looking at the sun once, and how it had burned his eyes and momentarily blinded him. He had tried his best since to never do that again, and now he was about to kill a fool who seemed to be enjoying it.

Kremlok raised his axes to strike with what he knew would be a killing blow, when spheres of color exploded in his vision. He felt his back striking the ground, and his axes were no longer in hand. Kremlok was getting very angry now. He scrambled to his feet, his eyes still burning from…whatever it was that had hurt them. He waved his arms and grunted from deep within his gut. Small hands were suddenly gripping his thick wrists, and startlingly, halting his wild flailing.

“Turn back, friend Ogre, and return from whence you came…you shall not disturb our order,” spoke a soft voice that only made Kremlok’s rage boil beyond control. Finding himself unable to move his arms, and still unable to see, he spat in the direction the voice came from, and sneered at the sound of a satisfying splat. “I did not wish hurt you, but it seems there is no other option…”

Kremlok’s screams accompanied the sounds of snapping bones, until his throat was coarse and raw. He lay there on the ground, broken and unable to move, but still alive. His vision gradually returned to him, and the twig of a filthy human stood above him calmly gazing upward. To the afternoon sun.

The Circle of the Sanctimonious Sun is a loosely organized religion directed solely to the worship of and devotion to the Sun. Recognizing the Sun as a great giver of life, they work to spread the light of the Sun wherever they can. Most members avoid areas where the Sun’s Great Blessing of Harmonious Light is unattainable. The main temple, called The Enclave, is located in the center of a vast stretch of plains with very little deviations in the flatness of the ground. The Enclave’s exact location is known only to those who have accepted the Light of the Sun into themselves(This includes Sun Temple Elders and Anointed of the Blessed Light). Other temples are scattered across the land, though they are often built on similar terrain – deserts, plains, flatlands – anywhere that the Sun shines upon the ground without hindrance by trees, mountains or buildings. The temples are open to anyone and everyone for whatever reason they have to visit, though most visitor’s often lodge complaints at each temple’s lack of a ceiling. Sun Temples are often confused with Temples of Pelor, and those seeking healing or other similar aid from a Sun Temple are usually disappointed at the mundane methods of healing that is administered, though a few Sun Temples are fortunate to house a cleric or two. The purpose and directives of the Circle of the Sanctimonious Sun are not widely known, as they do not preach their beliefs to others unless asked. This usually only occurs when strangers happen to witness the unusual Ritual of the Sun, or when a patron inquires over the bandages wrapped around the eyes of the eldest members of a Sun Temple.

(Note: The Underdark and all of it’s denizen’s are fiercely shunned by the members of this order, only the most devoted will attempt to embark upon them, as will any of the Anointed of the Blessed Light. Non-Anointed members will have to make a Will save to interact with known denizen’s of the Underdark, or to venture into it’s depths. The DC for interaction is a challenging 30, while actually going into the Underdark requires a successful Will roll against a DC of 40. Certain circumstances and the accompaniment of an Anointed can reduce the DC by 5 for each. These reductions are stackable.)

2006-08-11, 04:55 PM
The Sun will abandon the world eventually, and without it’s Blessed Light, life will perish soon afterward. We strive to delay the Sun’s departure for as long as possible, while preparing for the Dark Times that will follow after the Blessed Light fades.

Lawful Neutral (All; Chaotic and/or Evil individuals are rarely attracted to the Circle’s beliefs and daily regimen, but the few who do wish to join are never turned away)

The Sun Temples all appear to be barely able to support themselves, but this is only a half truth. The Circle as a whole is wealthier than any would suspect. The semi-secret Enclave has an impressively immense treasure holding. The majority of money and items donated to the Sun Temples dotting the land is carted to the Enclave on a monthly basis, and only the barest minimum to survive is kept by the individual Sun Temples. Items of magical power discovered by an Anointed that can find no direct use for them are sent to the Enclave in a similar manner. Anointed from any background are welcome to search the Hold’s store of potentially magical items to study and possibly discern any use of the artifacts within. If a use is discovered by an Anointed, he or she is permitted to take the item, however if they refuse to do so, it is then made available to any Anointed who might find use from it. The armory located within the Enclave is rumored to be the size of a broom closet, holding only one suit of brightly shining armor, a shield emblazoned with the Sun symbol, and a broadsword-the blade of which appears to be forged from the fires of the sun, and glows just as brightly. The rumors continue to include that the room can only be opened by the Enclave’s current High Sun or his designated First Eclipse, and is to only be opened at the beginning of the Dark Times, so that the High Sun may bring the light of the Sun back to the world. There is no fact or evidence to support this rumor, save for the amulets that are always worn by the Enclave’s current High Sun and his appointed First Eclipse. The amulets serve no known purpose, but they are known to glow with a dull light that brightens at noon, and completely fades at midnight. The Rising Sun and The Setting Sun are the two main groups located within the Enclave. The Rising Sun focus primarily on Magic and Healing while The Setting Sun focus primarily on Combat and Social Interaction. The Rising Sun will sell Arcane scrolls at half-price to any Anointed aligned with them. The Setting Sun will outfit any Anointed aligned with them with one suit of Masterwork Armor of their choice, and one masterwork weapon. Anointed can only be aligned with one of the two divisions.

(Note: Anointed Officers of the Setting Sun are dispatched to each of the Sun Temples once a month to serve as an escort to the delivery of the temple’s received donations – including any items of power an adventuring Anointed may have dropped off – and also serve to ensure that the keepers of the Sun Temples are not taking more than the minimum needed.)

Membership –

First level membership is granted to anyone of any race or religion who shows interest in the ways of the Circle. The exception to this open acceptance is for any races that are known to dwell in the Underdark, whether or not the individual has ever been to the Underdark, who are most commonly politely turned away. Drow are the only race that would be rejected with outright hostility. This initial acceptance acts as a degree of apprenticeship, and is a time of learning for the initiate. These initiates are not held strictly to the rules of the Circle, but they cannot advance to Full Members until they have acted and performed the daily ceremonies as a Full Member is required to do for a year and a day. Initiates can be raised to full membership by any full member of the Circle, and upon successfully achieving this, they are given a small medallion with the Sun Symbol emblazoned upon it’s face to prove their status. Most members of the Circle remain at this level of membership, and serve at the Sun Temple where they were taught.
Full Members are required to practice the following ceremonies. Failure to complete any of these ceremonies regularly for a total of ten days causes the Member to be instantly excommunicated from the Circle, his/her medallion falling to dust at first light of the 11th day (approx. 6-7 am if the excommunicated is unable to see the dawning sun).

At least an hour of each day must be spent in direct sunlight.
At noon, the Member must gaze unflinchingly at the sun while chanting the Circle’s full creed. This takes an average human approx. 15 minutes.
On the Summer Solstice, Full Members are to do no work, perform no labor, and spend all daylight hours in revelry and celebration. The night time hours are to be spent in quiet contemplation of the Dark Times to come.

Members of the Circle who wish to do more for the cause than simply serve at a temple and raise new initiates have to options before them. They can seek to become Anointed (See Anointed of the Blessed Light Class information below) or they can study under the Sun Temple elder’s all of whom have bandages wrapped around their eyes and temples. This study takes a student of average intelligence (10-11) approx. 10 years. For each point of intelligence above 11, a year is subtracted from the time it takes to complete study to a minimum of 5 years. For each point below 10 a year is added. There is no cap to the number of years added to this period of study, but any student with an intelligence of 2 or less will be incapable of completing the study, and be politely refused before the teaching even begins. When a student has completed all of his lessons, the elder has the student join him in quiet meditation until Midnight. At the stroke of midnight, the elder asks the student to remove his bandages. No one speaks of what happens afterward, but the next morning, the student will emerge from his own chambers wearing bandages across his eyes, and be regarded as an elder to all members of the Circle from then on.

Subtext: Behind the scenes – The removal of the elder’s bandages reveal that the elder’s eyes shine with the intense light of the sun. Looking into their eyes blinds the student and the elder bandages their eyes and sends them to bed. Over the coarse of one year, the newly raised elder begins to regain their site, and at the end of the year, the new elder’s eyes will glow with the same brilliant light. This is the most closely guarded secret of all the members of the Circle existing outside the Enclave. A player or NPC can only gain this information by going through the study and becoming an elder of the Circle. Removing an elder’s bandages at any time other than midnight and without completing the elder’s teaching blinds and incapacitates any who are within sight of the elder’s eyes for 1d4 rounds. Creatures that are normally highly sensitive to light can suffer 1d6 damage at the DMs discretion. No saving throws are permitted to resist this effect, though a Fortitude save (DC 20) can be made to resist the damage if it applies. Upon recovering from incapacitation, a character is unable to remember anything that occurred after grabbing the elder’s bandages. This memory loss is permanent.

For Members who choose to become Anointed, they are guided by the Anointed that aided them to their first visit to the Enclave. Within the Enclave, the hierarchal structure is more complex. A newly initiated Anointed is called a Soldier of the Sun, and has no real responsibilities other than performing the above mentioned ceremonies. When a Soldier of the Sun gains enough experience, he must decide whether he will fall under the guidance of The Rising Sun or The Setting Sun. Both divisions are monitored and guided by a single Day Master. The two Day Masters answer to the High Sun and any of the High Suns appointed Eclipses. The High Sun commands the entire Circle with the help of his chosen Eclipses. Eclipses are numbered in the order that they were selected (First Eclipse, Second Eclipse, etc). A High Sun can appoint as many Eclipses as he deems necessary, and can decommission an Eclipse back to his original position in the Circle, except for his First Eclipse, which he selects upon being raised to High Sun. Only a High Sun can appoint another to replace him, and can only appoint an Anointed within the Circle. If a High Sun dies before appointing another to replace him, his First Eclipse becomes the new High Sun. Day Masters are appointed by a joint decision made by a High Sun’s Eclipses, based upon a majority vote.

2006-08-11, 07:11 PM
I could swear I posited something about Sun priests who mark their devotion through blinding themselves by sunlight.

But it's probably just coincidence. Not bad. I would suggest that you bold subtitles, so readers can quickly notice Resouces (or makeup or crunch or whatever). Bolding is cool!

2006-08-11, 08:07 PM
I'll be adding the finishing touches to it's look once I've got it all typed out and posted. having to whip this up while at work puts a strain on my ability to keep a string of thoughts in my head, so I have to keep re-reading to remember where I was going with something. Once that's done, I'll make it pretty.

2006-08-11, 08:24 PM
Authority Figures –

Brilliant Zun Li (Human - Rogue/3, Cleric/2, Monk/15, Anointed(Setting)/10)
The High Sun
Master Zun Li has ran the Circle with a gentle hand and an iron fist. He is known amongst the Anointed for his incredible wisdom, and all who have seen him claim that the Amulet of the High Sun has never glowed brighter as it does now around the neck of Zun Li. He has selected only three Eclipses, and it is well-known that he trusts them greatly to operate of their own free will. He deals out fair justice to those who have failed to live up to the standards of the Sun, and has no tolerance for plotting and scheming. He makes frequent public announcements to those training and studying within the Enclave, and has often made many jovial comments about his less-than-honest past, of which very little is widely known, though he has officially stated that there are several people who would want him dead if they recognized him.

Eminent Blairic Firewreath (Half-Elf - Wizard/8, Sorceror/9, Anointed(Rising)/10)
First Eclipse
Many question Master Zun Li’s decision to raise Blairic as his First Eclipse. He is all too well-known throughout his training and ascent through the ranks of the Enclave for his incredibly hot temper and quickness to lay blame and judgement without first gathering facts. Elder Anointed living their retirement within the Enclave’s walls consider the decision wise, but younger Anointed argue that the elders have not had to endure Blairic’s wrath and fury. However, he is very active within the enclave and has streamlined The Rising Sun’s method for researching new magics and artifacts, and himself discovered several powerful spells on his own. This only further increases the doubt of most members, believing his achievements come from a far more sinister source.

Other Important Figures –

Keldaerin Leafspark (Elf – Druid/10, Sorceror/2, Anointed(Rising)/10)
Day Master of the Rising Sun
Leads and instructs Anointed within the Enclave who have aligned themselves to The Rising Sun. Little is known about her, as she is very reclusive, however when the spellcasters of the Enclave are needed to defend it’s walls, she has proven herself time and again an amazing strategist and charismatic leader.

Grimble Bristlebeer (Dwarf – Fighter/6, Barbarian/8, Anointed(Setting)/10)
Day Master of the Setting Sun
Leads and instructs Anointed within the Enclave who have aligned themselves to The Setting Sun. With his penchant to tell anyone just about anything after a few pints, The High Sun has requested that Grimble not ever be allowed outside the Enclave’s walls. This suits Grimble just fine, so long as there is a ready supply of Dwarven Stout made available to him. His light-hearted laughter and friendly demeanor tend to put off anyone who has ever seen his viciousness in battle. Some think he suffers from dual-personalities, but Grimble just drinks and laughs the suspicions off.

Racial Makeup
<Drow> Barred.
33% - Human
24% - Half-Elven
19% - Elven
12% - Halfling
8% - Gnome
4% - Other

Class Makeup
28% - Monk
22% - Fighter/Paladin
19% - Wizard/Sorceror
13% - Cleric
7% - Rogue/Bard/Ranger
6% - Berserker (Most only join after hearing tales of Grimble from Anointed)
5% - Other

2006-08-11, 08:54 PM
The Circle began as a loosely organized cult. Much of it’s history is recorded from the memories and stories told by elder members when the organization had reached a point of keeping records. The stories claim that Radiant Ziedrem Tem was assaulted by a vision. The vision, according to the legend, depicted to Ziedrem the end of the Sun. It showed him the Dark Times that followed after, the gradual withering and death of nearly all life. From there, he slowly began to gather a following, and as it grew, he guided those followers to build the Enclave. As they were building, he gradually unraveled his plan to stave off the Dark Times for as long as possible, and his greater plans of being the beacons of light for life after the Sun is gone. He laid down all the precepts and the hierarchal system. He created the two factions of the Circle, and appointed the first High Sun, Mangeru Foretithe, and bestowed him with two amulets that had never been seen before. He instructed Mangeru to select an advisor, more than one if such was needed, but to give the second amulet to only his most trusted. Mangeru gave the second amulet to his wife, Fiendra. The Circle has operated in this way since, and only the most minor problems have surfaced.

10 – Those crazy sun-worshippers? I’ve heard that they’ll stare at the sun for no good reason, never seen ‘em do it myself. I did stay at a temple of theirs once, and it wasn’t too shabby…they seemed polite enough. The Location of any nearby temples, and the basic appearance of members who serve at the temples.

15 – They’re a strange group, I’ll tell you that. Preparing for the end of the world or something like that. They’re generous at their temples, and I could’ve sworn I saw one staring at the sun midday. The locations of most temples on the main roads, plus a very basic understanding of the Circle’s belief structure.

20 – There’s a lot more of those guys around than you think. Most of them are holed up in some secret stronghold. Their ways are odd, I’ll tell ya that, but no matter how shady they seem, I can’t convince myself they’re up to anything sinister. All knowledge of proper etiquette when staying at a temple, any local appearances of an Anointed that have taken place within the past month. Understanding of the Circle’s rituals, with only a slight understanding of the meaning behind them.

30 – The Circle worships the Sun, because they’re afraid it will leave. For all we know, they might be all that’s keeping it from doing so today. They seem to believe as much, and a LOT of them believe it. I’ve ran into one of their “anointed” and I have to say…I was impressed. If the lot of them are like that fellow, I could only wish more of them hung around towns and villages. The Circle’s general alignment and allusions to the existence of a potentially secret location set up as a Headquarters. Any Anointed activity that has taken place locally or in nearby towns/villages within the past 3 months.

40 – They’re not to be angered, for one thing. Call down their wrath, and you really DO call down the wrath of the Sun. I’ve heard they have a massive treasure horde at their “secret base”, but it’s hard to believe when you see how poor their temples are. They don’t like places where there’s no sun, either, especially the Underdark. Knowledge of the Circle’s aversion to any race living within the Underdark. Confirmation of a secret Headquarters, and the knowledge that the Circle is collecting and hoarding magic items and wealth.

Adventure Hooks –

An Anointed has discovered a way to bring the Sun’s light to the underdark, but knows that it would be folly to go alone. He’s looking for anyone willing to assist him, and is desperate for the aid.

Rumors of a notably powerful/valuable artifact that was apparently left as a donation at a nearby temple. Upon reaching the temple, the adventurer’s discover that it has been carted off to “the Enclave” but are given no other information. Wagon tracks can be found if someone were to look hard enough, however.

The High Sun has put out a call for Blairic Firewreath to be found and returned to the Enclave. There are two possible angles with this hook. An Anointed could approach the party offering a reward for the apprehension and return of Blaric Firewreath (This would be a task for Epic Level PCs, at DMs discretion). Another angle would be that the PCs are approached by Blairic himself, requesting an escort, or assigning them a task to gather some very rare reagents. If questioned, Blairic will seem erratic and excitable, and very nervous. He has successfully summoned a very powerful fiend from another plane, but lost control of him, and fled the Enclave to protect it from the fiend’s wrath by leading it away from him. The reagents are needed to send the fiend back to it’s plane of existence, the escort is to get him safely to a specific location where the unsummoning can be performed without interference of zealous Anointed.

Anointed of the Blessed Light
(Still under construction)