Holy Order of Cepheus

Ability Requirements: 16 Wisdom, 14 Intelligence, 12 Charisma, 10 Strength.
Prime Requisite: Wisdom.
Secondary Requisite: Intelligence or Charisma.
Hit Die: d8 per level until 10th, +2 HP from 11th level on.
Alignment: Lawful Neutral, Chaotic Neutral, True Neutral.
Allowed Races: |Aluft, Amurian, Centaur, Changeling, |Cyclops, Dragonborn, Dwarf: Earther or Topsider, New Elf, Aflin, Faerie, Gnome: GHR, Half-Elf, Giant, Human.
To-hit Progression (Thac0): As Faith.
Experience Progression: XPro Chart 4.
Saving Throws: As Faith.

Aspects – Cepheus is the god of justice, oracles, seasons, time, fate, magic, the moons, and wisdom. He is the keeper of all knowledge.

God’s Alignment – True Neutral

Overview – While the Holy Orders religion is practiced throughout the known world, the Holy Order of Cepheus is one of six orders of the larger religion. This order is the only order that puts no limitation on who may be a priest. Historically the membership of this order was the fourth largest but it has grown steadily since it now the only order with a surviving Demigod leader and High Temple. It is now the most numerous in priests.

Ethos –This order promotes Cepheus as the last remaining vestige of Chronis’ consciousness. Their main beliefs are; “Cepheus is supreme amongst the gods because he is the embodiment of Chonis, “”all other gods chose Cepheus to judge them and so should all mortals,” “because he is all knowing he fears nothing,” only he lights the night and so only he can keep the darkness at bay,” and, “his wisdom and sight penetrate everything, no secrets can be kept from him.” Priests of Cepheus promote: seeking justice, the acceptance of judgment and fate, education, uncovering lost knowledge, the keeping of written historical records, knowledge of astrology, and the righteous use of magic.

As a whole, the Holy Orders religion promotes the divinity of each god and cooperation between all of its orders. As such, though the order is now the most populous of all the Holy Orders, it does not seek the leadership of the religion. The Cephesians seek only cooperation and peace between the priests of all orders. Though it may have disagreed with members of other orders in the past, it has only ever tried to mediate and settle disputes between them.

Role of the Order – Cepheus is the patron god of wizards, judges, historians, astronomers, astrologers, educators and the seekers of truth, justice and enlightenment. As such, Cephesian priests are being called on to fill an increasing number of roles in society. His priests have always taken on roles as seers and omen-readers for governments, monarchs, guilds, and wizards. Recently there has been an increasing demand for them as advisors to the same and these requests have become much more numerous than for priests of other orders. Most court systems have been given over completely to members of this order. These priests see themselves as protectors of the faithful and bringers of justice. Above all else they enjoy their role as the protectors of knowledge and artifacts.

Rites of the Order

Tithes: the Order of Cepheus demands a tithe of 10% from its flock in the areas where it is the state religion.

Church Trial: Secular (non-priestly) authorities cannot put priests of Cepheus on trial for any sort of crime. Trials for these priests, if one is to be held, are handled by the order itself. In cases where justice is needed, it is served.

Separation from the Faith: Cepheus, and his order, judge people’s worthiness for the afterlife. On the Order’s say so a person can be denied a place in the afterlife.

Duties

Vigilance: 1) priests of Cepheus try to act as advisors to rulers, in order to keep them from making decisions in a too hasty or foolish fashion. Local rulers often do give them posts as advisors. 2) against those who defy the gods. 3) against those who try to avoid the consequences for their actions.

Missions: 1) having passed on a prophecy the priest may choose to accompany those who received it, the priest may just wish to see how reality matches his vision, or if the vision had options, the priest may be tagging along to help the preferred outcome take place.
2) against those who defy the gods.
3) to achieve justice when it has been thwarted.
4) to recover lost or secret knowledge.

Devotions: each night at moon rise a priest must recite the “Rite of the moon.”

Guidance: These priests teach a doctrine of acceptance of the will of the gods.

Tithe: Each priest must tithe 10% of his wealth to the Order.

Judgment: priests must provide judgment for those who ask for it (it is customary for the parties involved to make a donation to the priest for his services, if they can afford it).

Omen-Reading: a priest of Cepheus must read the omens of those who ask (it is customary for the parties involved to make a donation to the priest for his services, if they can afford it).

Recording History: A priest must keep a detailed journal of his experiences, and the events that transpire about him.

Education: 1) priests of Cepheus believe in education for its own sake, and work to provide teaching to all the flock and even the general population (when possible).
2) cooperation with magicians to educate in the ways of magic,
3) Priests of Cepheus strive to teach the populous about their history.

Celebrations: must participate in the celebrations of Cepheus, which take place each full moon.

Priestly Limitations

Clothing: Priests of Cepheus must wear a gray hooded cloak, and their other clothes and shoes must be white, black or gray. They must wear the symbol of Cepheus and a gray blind fold which may or may not be see-through.
Celibacy: Priests of this sect may not marry.
Holy Symbol: The Scales of Justice, with an hourglass as it center, on a talisman.
Effecting Justice: a Priest of Cepheus may not refuse to investigate when a story of injustice is brought to them (unless they have investigated this story already). To do so would constitute a betrayal of their god’s goals. It is not a betrayal to investigate, find that there has been an injustice and then take the time to make sure the priest has enough influence and force to effect justice.

Game Statistics

Weapon Proficiency and Specialization: Priests of Cepheus are allowed to use only the following weapons: Lasso, Net, Sling, Mace, Sling staff, Spear, whip, Quarterstaff.

Weapon Style Proficiency and Specialization: When being created, Priests of Cepheus are proficient in the following Weapon Styles: single hand single weapon, Weapon and shield, two handed weapon, and thrown missile/sling. Additionally, they may use Weapon Proficiencies to specialize in of these styles.

Use of Armor and Shields: Priests of Cepheus may wear any armor and use any crescent shaped shield. Once priests of Cepheus gain the ability to cast mage spells upon reaching 4th level, their mage spells will suffer under the rules for spell failure when wearing all metal armor.

Proficiencies: Priests of Cepheus follow the faith progression for starting and gaining Non-weapon Proficiencies. They have access to the general, Mage and Faith lists. They may take proficiencies off of other lists but mast pay a 1 slot penalty for every NWP they choose to take in this way. Required: Priests of Cepheus are required to take the History: Recent, Astrology, Relgion: Holy Orders proficiencies out of their initial allotment of non-weapon proficiencies when they are being created. Suggested Proficiencies: Engineering, Language: Read/Write, Weather Sense, Direction Sense, Tracking, Artistic Ability, Etiquette, Heraldry, Languages: Modern, Pottery, Hebraism, Meditation, Musical Instrument, Navigation.

Bonus Non-weapon Proficiencies: While being created Priests of Cepheus gain the following Non-weapon Proficiencies as a bonus: Spellcraft, History: Ancient, and they gain 1 extra Non-weapon proficiency slot.

Magic Item Use: While Priests of Cepheus can cast magical spells, they can also use many magical items, including potions, protection scrolls, most rings, most miscellaneous items, and all forms of enchanted armor and weapons: as well as items created specifically for priests. Upon reaching 4th level they may also use magic items made for wizards.

The Complete Priest’s Handbook: Priests of Cepheus may utilize kits from any published TSR source. If you wish to utilize a kit you must get the GM to OK the specific kit because some kits may not fit the flavor of the campaign world or time period. Priests of Cepheus may also utilize the Spells, Equipment, and followers tables from the complete priest’s handbook.

Stronghold: At 9th level, the priest of Cepheus may receive official approval to establish a religious stronghold, be it a fortified abbey or a secluded convent. Obviously, the stronghold must contain all the trappings of a place of worship and must be dedicated to the service of Cepheus’s cause. However, the construction cost of the stronghold is half the normal price, since the work has official sanction and much of the labor is donated. The priest of Cepheus can hold property and build a stronghold any time before reaching 9th level, but this is done without church sanction and does not receive the benefits described above.

Faith Spell Casting: The priest receives his spells as insight directly from his deity (the deity does not need to make a personal appearance to grant the spells prayed for), as a sign of and reward for his faith, so he must take care not to abuse his power lest it be taken away as punishment. Priests have major access to the following spheres: All, Astral, Creation, Divination, [Healing|Healing (and reverse)]], Law, Numbers, Thought, and Time; and minor access to Protection, Travelers, and Wards.

Granted Powers

(level 1)

  • Turn Undead
  • Priests of Cepheus may use Arcane Scrolls (they may cast arcane spells on scrolls)
  • Priests of Cepheus can now cast the Detect Lies spell 1 time each day (in addition to their normal spells)
  • Priests of Cepheus gain a +1 bonus to Saving Throws against all Wizard spells
  • While they are not immune, if a priest of Cepheus becomes infected with Lycanthropy he has complete control over his changes and does not become mindless, though they do become Chaotic Neutral. While in their lycanthrope form they take on all of its characteristics and retain their priestly abilities.
  • Targets of a Priest of Cepheus’ spells and spell-like abilities of the Law sphere suffer a -1 to their saving throws
  • Priests of Cepheus gain Low Light vision (PCs of races already with Low Light vision may add their level as a bonus to Perception checks when using Low light vision)
    (level 4)
  • Priests of Cepheus can now learn and cast Arcane spells as though they were faith spells (though they treat these spells as if they were one level higher, thus 1st level Arcane spells count as 2nd level priest spells and they may never cast Arcane spells of higher than 6th level)
  • Priests of Cepheus can now cast either the Lower or Raise Water spell 1 time a day (in addition to their normal spells)
  • Priests of Cepheus can now cast the Rigid Thinking spell 1 time each day (in addition to their normal spells)
    (level 9)
  • Priests of Cepheus may now Identify magical items by touch after holding it for 10 minutes
  • Priests of Cepheus can now cast the Dispel Magic spell 1 time each day (in addition to their normal spells)
  • The casting time of their priest spells (with a casting time of less than 1 round) is reduced by 3 segments
    (level 12)
  • Prophecy: With this power, priest of Cepheus can see visions of the future. Prophecy can be used in two different ways. 1) Once a month on the night of the full moon a priest (who has the meditation non-weapon Proficiency) may attempt to sink into a meditative trance in hopes of receiving a vision of the future (this trance must last a minimum of ten turns). If the priest is interrupted before the ten turns are done (struck with a weapon, shouted at by someone within six feet of him, or knocked over), the trance is prematurely broken and the priest gains no vision. 2) Visions will just come to the priest (at the DM’s discretion). When the priest is hit with such a vision, he no longer perceives the real world; he sees, hears and experiences nothing but his vision (the length of this trance could be as short as 1 combat round or as long as a week).
  • Priests of Cepheus can now cast the Detect Lies spell at will (in addition to their normal spells)
    (level 14)
  • Priests of Cepheus can now cast the Zone of Truth spell at will (in addition to their normal spells)
    (level 16)
  • Priests of Cepheus may fire a Shooting Star from their eyes or hands 3 times a month (the effects of the stars are: 12 points of damage on impact and then bursts into a 10ft radius sphere, dealing 24 points of damage to all within the sphere. The target of the star takes full damage but those in the burst radius can save vs. spell for half damage).
  • Priests of Cepheus gain a +2 to their Saving Throws against all spells of the Elemental sphere and arcane school of elements
    (level 17)
  • Priests of Cepheus can now cast the Chariot of Sustarre spell 1 time each week (in addition to their normal spells)
  • Priests of Cepheus can now cast the Time Stop spell 1 time each day (in addition to their normal spells)
    (level 21)
  • (known only to the Destiny).

Organization of the Faith

At first level priests of the Order of Cepheus have the title: Juror. As Holy Orders priests rise in levels they gain additional granted powers due to the fact that they are rising in the ranks of their order. At 4th level they gain the rank and title: Seer. At 9th level they gain the rank and title: Counselor. At 12th level they gain the rank and title: Vizier. At 14th level they gain the rank and title: Judge. When they have gained enough experience to attain 16th level a priest of this order has entered the hierarchy of the order and must wait to be appointed to rank and title of: Chief Justice (there can be no more than 7 Chief Justices at one time). At 17th level they gain the rank and title: Prophet. There is only one 21st level priest of this order (the Destiny). When any member of this order has gained enough experience to attain 21th level, they may only advance to the next level by challenging and killing the present Destiny.

History

Holy Order of Cepheus

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