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Azmekidom the Unapproachable

Page history last edited by pelliso1 11 years, 7 months ago

Region 6: South-West Flanaess, Sheldomar Valley

 

 

AZMEKIDOM, The Unapproachable, The Prudent Despot

 

Azmekidom (m)

Deity of Restrained Dominion and Balanced Power

Worshippers: Small (Official) Following in Geoff, Growing…

Holy Symbol: Gold Crown Balanced on an Iron Wedge or a Stylized AZ

Alignment: N

Domains: Knowledge, Domination, Pact, Luck, Balance

Possible Domains: Magic, Trickery, Divination/Oracle, Mind

Weapon(s): Mace

Weapon of the Deity spell: +1 defending mace                                                                      

 

Azmekidom teaches his followers that correctly obtaining and maintaining power is an end in itself.  Dominion, knowledge, and wealth are the three main sources of power associated with the religion.  Azmekidom teaches that, once obtained, power is maintained through balance and restraint.  The three sources of power appeal to different worshippers: Dominion – rulers and military leaders (possibly bards due to fame), Knowledge – sages and wizards, and Wealth – merchants and rogues.

 

Power is mainly obtained and preserved through follower’s skill and prudence.  Good fortune also plays a part, but Azmekidom controls this.  Those that do not follow the prudent path will lose power because they abuse it.  Abuse can be the extremes of the three main sources of power: cruelty/permissiveness, arrogance/ignorance, or greed/profligacy.  However, abuse is any pointless or excessive use of power.  This differentiates Azmekidom from other ‘power’ gods who merely seek power at any price and without restraint.

 

The balanced use of power leads to the secondary purpose of the religion: preventing its abuse.  Followers should obtain power to prevent, limit, and punish those that abuse it.

 

Azmekidom opposes any deity that abuses his power; Iuz is an excellent example.  However, Azmekidom will even oppose overly zealous Lawful and Good deities like Pholtus, if appropriate.

 

Believers generally wear the holy symbol of Azmekidom stitched on a small sack hung around their neck.  The Church teaches that Azmekidom was carried in a similar sack for years before he rose to power.

 

NOTE: Think of Machiavelli and you have a very close example of Azmekidom and his worshippers.  However, Azmekidom is the introduction of a deity into Machiavelli’s philosophy – a deity that controls fortune to some extent.  Additionally, Azmekidom teaches (and enforces) balance as a constant principle, while Machiavelli was merely pragmatic.  Each main domain is associated with the Machiavellian principle that power (Domination) is the result of virtue (Knowledge) and fortune (Luck).

 

Paul Ellison

Ek-Bosheth, Unmitigated Hand of Azmekidom

lauper25@hotmail.com

 

Wizards, bards, and other supposedly “non-divine” casters that are followers of the Unapproachable have been know to adamantly assert that their magic is granted by Azmekidom

 

Church of Azmekidom

 

Azmekidom (az-MEK-i-dome) is shown as a gray robed philosopher wearing a thin crown, clutching a tome, and concealing a dagger.  His physical features are hidden and vague.  Azmekidom‘s followers refer to him as the “Prudent Despot” or the “Unapproachable,” references to his unmatched knowledge and power.  His symbol is either a stylized “AZ” or a golden crown balanced on an iron wedge, representing the skill required to maintain power.  Azmekidom teaches his followers to take the prudent “middle path” while obtaining and keeping power.  Dominion, knowledge, and wealth are the three main sources.  These sources of power appeal to different worshippers: Dominion – rulers and military leaders (possibly bards due to fame), Knowledge – sages and wizards, and Wealth – merchants and rogues.  Azmekidom has limited respect for any deity that wields power with discretion, but opposes those that are abusive.  His maxims include, “either make a man your friend or put it out of his power to be your enemy” and “The weak rely upon mercy, the strong rely upon themselves.”

 

The religion values skill and prudence above all else. Good fortune also plays a part, but Azmekidom controls this.  This philosophy attracts ambitious thinkers and adventurers driven by power.  It also leads to a somewhat fluid church hierarchy where subordinates can rise in position.  However, those that do not follow the middle path will be punished because of their excesses.  This includes any abuse of power, but generally focuses on the three main sources of imbalance: cruelty/permissiveness, arrogance/ignorance, and greed/profligacy.  This differentiates Azmekidom from other ‘power’ gods who merely seek power without any balance.  It also gives his followers a secondary purpose: safeguarding and advising those worthy of power and preventing or destroying those who abuse it.  Therefore, stopping the assassination of an effective king, collecting forgotten lore in order to gain influence with a local sage, or taking powerful magic items from an inept wizard or the followers of a murderous deity are the sort of quests the Prudent Despot encourages.

 

Azmekidom’s temple (“Fasthold”) is mostly an extensive library, dedicated to stockpiling records and information on sources of power.  The church actively uses this stockpile to gain valuable contacts and to influence and persuade.  The Fasthold is sparsely decorated with symbols of authority: crowns, rods, and thrones are common choices.  Half of the Fasthold is open to non-adherents (“Minions”) for research.  The rest of the Fasthold is restricted, containing sacred texts and rooms for rituals and instruction.  Some rooms are set aside for making oaths to Azmekidom.  The oaths generally involve passing one’s hand through a heatless flame, called the Oathflame, which wreathes a sacred circlet called “The Crown of Despots.”  The most sacred room is the Welkin of the Unapproachable.  Followers claim that spellcasting ability, both divine and arcane, is granted by a ritual conducted there.

 

The Church of Azmekidom is peculiar, in part, because of its origin.  Believers claim that Azmekidom was carried in a sack for years before he rose to power.  During this time, the religion’s early followers gained the favor and support of many significant and powerful Gyri.  For this reason, followers generally wear the holy symbol of Azmekidom on a small sack hung around their necks. This practice draws some criticism from non-worshippers, who mock the zeal of those following the “bag-god.”  However, few can deny that the small church has significant resources and potent connections within Geoff’s government.

 

 

Base of Operation:                   Aberglain (The Fasthold of Azmekidom)

Area of Influence:                    Geoff

Sponsor:                                  Church of Azmekidom (Ek-Bosheth, Unmitigated Despot of Azmekidom)

Contact:                                   Paul Ellison, lauper25@hotmail.com

Yahoo Group:                          FastholdofAzmekidom

 

Special Notes: Azmekidom “grants” arcane spells or other spells not dependant on the worship of an official Living Greyhawk deity.  Therefore, wizards, bards, and other casters that follow the Unapproachable adamantly assert that Azmekidom is the source of their magic. Additionally, followers generally refer to Azmekidom using one of his honorifics.  However, for clarity, Azmekidom is used throughout this document.

 

Minion of Azmekidom (Ally)


A Minion of Azmekidom is merely someone who wishes access to the Minion Library.  Both worshippers and non-worshippers may become Minions.  In return, a Minion becomes an ally of the church and offers assistance.  The ally takes an oath to uphold the power of the Prudent Despot.  The Minion is expected to sustain the Unapproachable and collect information on the balance of power seen on Oerth.  For Laymembers of the Church of Azmekidom this oath is covered by their stronger membership oath.

 

Requirements to join:

·         Oath to Azmekidom: Must swear, upon the Oathflame, to support Azmekidom’s word and unmitigated dominion.  This includes limited assistance in collecting knowledge and influence for the church.

·         2 Time Units per year (Spent maintaining valuable contacts and collecting knowledge for the library)

·         2 Ranks in one of the following: Knowledge (Arcana), Knowledge (Geography), Knowledge (History), Knowledge (Nobility), Knowledge (Religion), Knowledge (Sheldomar Valley), or Gather Information to reflect knowledge or information gained by the PC while attending church services or studying in the library

·         Expanding Knowledge and Power: Must donate 1 book (arcane or non-arcane) or 1 Favor (any Favor Level) to the church per year.  If neither is provided, the minion must spend 2 Additional Time Units establishing contacts or allies for the church.

·         Minions must display some symbol or sign indicating that they are allies of the Church of Azmekidom.

 

Access Granted Through:

·         Sacred, Secular, Azmekidom, Ally

 

Additional Benefits:

  • Knowledge is Power (Minion Library): A Minion receives a +1 skill bonus to all Bardic Knowledge, Knowledge, and Spellcraft checks
  • Receive a church Signet Ring bearing the Minion symbol (PHB) (which allows admittance to the Minion Library)
  • Assigned to a Church Taskmaster/Taskmistress mentor.

 

 

Henchman of Azmekidom (Laymember)


A Laymember of Azmekidom is given the title “Henchman.”  A Henchman of Azmekidom is an actual follower of the Unapproachable.  They are obligated to spread Azmekidom’s doctrine.  They may choose whatever method they wish to increase the Unapproachable’s influence, but they must pursue it with vigor if they expect His blessing.  To distinguish themselves, Laymembers often wear holy symbols on small sacks hanging from their necks.

 

Requirements to join:

·         Membership Oath to Azmekidom: Must swear, upon the Oathflame, to support and spread Azmekidom’s word and unmitigated dominion.  This includes collecting knowledge and influence for the church.

·         2 Time Units per year (Spent in various Church-related activities)

·         1 Rank in one of the following: Knowledge (Arcana), Knowledge (Geography), Knowledge (History), Knowledge (Nobility), Knowledge (Religion), Knowledge (Sheldomar Valley), or Gather Information to reflect knowledge or information gained by the PC while attending church services which focus on current and historical sources of power

·         The Right Connections: Must maintain 1 unspent Favor from a Gyri Noble or Powerbroker (Favor Level C or higher).  If the Henchman substitutes unspent Favors from non-Gyri sources, then the number required is double.  This guarantees that the Henchman has access to the goodwill and knowledge of powerful individuals.

·         100 gp per year (Maintaining contacts and the Fasthold’s archives)

 

Access Granted Through:

·         Sacred, Secular, Azmekidom, Laymember

 

Benefits:

·         A Henchman is considered to be a registered follower of the Church of Azmekidom for purposes of the Temple Spell List (arcane spell versions only) and other generic benefits approved by the Regional Triad.

  • Network of Contacts: A Henchman receives a +1 reaction bonus to Bluff, Diplomacy, Gather Information, and Intimidate.  The information and favors available to the Church of Azmekidom are influential and persuasive.
  • Access to a masterwork Dagger (PHB) at a 5% discount
  • Assigned to a Church Taskmaster/Taskmistress mentor.

 

 

Taskmaster/Taskmistress of Azmekidom (Junior Priest)


A Junior Priest of Azmekidom is given the title “Taskmaster” or “Taskmistress.”  They preach to Minions and non-adherents to gain converts.  Taskmasters are also expected to act as powerbrokers or advisors to leaders.  To distinguish themselves, Taskmasters may wear the robes of a Junior Priest – simple deep gray robes without trim or embellishments.  A Taskmaster must have access to the Minion Library and therefore must be a Minion in addition to being a Henchman.

 

Requirements to join:

·         Minion of the Church of Azmekidom

·         Henchman of the Church of Azmekidom

·         Must continue to maintain requirements of Minion

·         Must continue to maintain requirements of Henchman

·         Alignment NG, LN, N, CN

·         4 Additional Time Units per year (Spent in various Church-related activities)

·         4 Ranks in one of the following: Knowledge (Arcana), Knowledge (Geography), Knowledge (History), Knowledge (Nobility), Knowledge (Religion), Knowledge (Sheldomar Valley), or Gather Information

·         1 Rank in one of the following: Bluff, Decipher Script, Diplomacy, Intimidate, or Sense Motive to reflect efforts gathering influence or obscure knowledge for the church

·         The Right Connections: Must maintain 1 additional unspent Favor from a Gyri Noble or Powerbroker (Favor Level C or higher).  If the Taskmaster substitutes unspent Favors from non-Gyri sources, then the number required is double.  This guarantees that the Taskmaster has access to the goodwill and knowledge of powerful individuals.

·         100 gp per year

 

Access Granted Through:

·         Sacred, Secular, Azmekidom, Junior Priest

 

Benefits:

  • A Taskmaster has all the benefits of a Minion
  • A Taskmaster has all the benefits of a Henchman
  • A Taskmaster receives a +1 reaction bonus to social skills with worshippers of Azmekidom while openly wearing a holy symbol of Azmekidom.  At the same time, this can cause negative reactions with opposed religions.  Refer to page 3 for more information on reaction bonuses.
  • A Taskmaster begins each Geoff regional or Sheldomar Valley meta-regional adventure with one parsimonious Favor of the Church of Azmekidom.  These count as a Level D Favor and cannot be saved.  Unused favors go away at the end of each module.  Multi-round events count as one adventure for this favor.
  • Knowledge is Power (Worshipper Library): A Taskmaster gains an additional +1 skill bonus to all Bardic Knowledge, Knowledge, and Spellcraft checks.  This stacks with the +1 skill bonus gained as a Minion.
  • Network of Contacts: A Taskmaster gains an additional +1 reaction bonus to Bluff, Diplomacy, Gather Information, and Intimidate.  This bonus stacks with the +1 reaction bonus gained as a Henchman.

·         Receive a Silver Holy Symbol (PHB)

·         Receive a church Signet Ring of the Priesthood (PHB) (which allows admittance to the Worshipper Library)

·         Receive vestments for the church (PHB)

·         Receive a Backpack with the church symbol (PHB)

·         Receive a Scroll Case with the church symbol (PHB)

·         Receive 1 Vial of Ink, 5 Sheets of Parchment (watermarked with the church symbol), 5 Sheets of Paper (watermarked with the church symbol), 10 Ink Pens (PHB 12)

·         Assigned to a Church Overlord mentor and an area or organization to maintain contact within, collect information on, and seek converts from (contact the Church of Azmekidom POC for specifics).

 

 

Overlord of Azmekidom (Priest)


A Priest of the Azmekidom is given the title “Overlord.”  They are in charge of Taskmasters and oversee large portions of the church. They also administer whatever church resources they gain control of. To distinguish themselves, they wear priest robes – scarlet robes with deep gray trim and embellishments.

 

Requirements to join:

·         Taskmaster of Azmekidom for 6 months (calendar time)

·         Must continue to maintain requirements of Taskmaster

·         Must have some spell casting ability, representing the blessings of Azmekidom

·         4 additional Time Units per year (Spent in various Church-related activities)

·         8 Ranks in one of the following: Knowledge (Arcana), Knowledge (Geography), Knowledge (History), Knowledge (Nobility), Knowledge (Religion), Knowledge (Sheldomar Valley), or Gather Information

·         2 Ranks in one of the following: Bluff, Decipher Script, Diplomacy, Intimidate, or Sense Motive to reflect efforts gathering influence or obscure knowledge for the church

·         Must maintain 1 additional unspent Favor from a Gyri Noble or Powerbroker (Favor Level C or higher).  If the Overlord substitutes unspent Favors from non-Gyri sources, then the number required is double.  This guarantees that the Overlord has access to the goodwill and knowledge of powerful individuals.

·         Preach and gain 1 PC convert to the Church of Azmekidom

·         100 gp per year

 

Access Gained Through:

·         Sacred, Secular, Azmekidom, Priest

 

Additional Benefits:

  • An Overlord has all the benefits of a Taskmaster
  • Access to the Mindbender Limited Prestige Class
  • An Overlord gains an additional +1 reaction bonus to social skills with worshippers of Azmekidom that stacks with the bonus of a Taskmaster.  This bonus applies in the same manner as the Taskmaster bonus.
  • An Overlord begins each Geoff regional or Sheldomar Valley meta-regional adventure with one Favor of the Church of Azmekidom.  These count as a Level C Favor and cannot be saved.  Unused favors go away at the end of each module.  Multi-round events count as one adventure for this favor.  This replaces the Taskmaster Favor.
  • Scholarly Dominion: Once, during any adventure where the PC has access (magical or mundane) to the Fasthold in Aberglain, the Overlord may demand the assistance of lesser church members. This allows the Overlord to make one untrained Knowledge Check or grants a +5 skill bonus to a trained Bardic Knowledge or Knowledge Check. This stacks with the “Knowledge is Power” bonuses.  The bonus requires the Overlord to spend two hours supervising and researching. Multi-round events count as one adventure for this resource.
  • Knowledge is Power (Alchemy Lab and Restricted Library): The Overlord receives a +2 skill bonus to Craft (Alchemy) and one other Craft or Profession skill of the Overlord’s choosing.  This Craft or Profession skill must be selected upon becoming an Overlord.
  • An Overlord receives Rich lifestyle for free during each Geoff regional.  The Fasthold of Azmekidom in Aberglain serves as a place of worship, library, and dormitory for them.

 

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