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Crom

Crom's teachings are to help those that cannot help themselves and, if possible, teach them to be able to help themselves in the future.

The tenets of the faith are a strong respect for individuality and self reliance, the idea of might for right - not might makes right, the idea that “That which does not kill us makes us stronger” and the philosophy and implications of the idea “Suffer no guilt.”  Facing up to your enemies (without or within), fighting valiantly, behaving with honor - these are all revered by the follower of Crom.  There is also a basic acknowledgment that life isn’t necessarily fair.  The followers of Crom are expected to work with life as it comes.  A description of this attitude might be summarized by, “Shit happens.  Stop complaining and deal with it.” 

The holy symbol used by the home temple in Santa Barbara is a hammer and anvil superimposed over an eclipsed starburst (a black 8-pointed star outlined in silver or on a silver circle).  The hammer and anvil signifies the forging of the soul, and the eclipsed starburst is the personal sigil of the founder of the temple.  Mages often use the same basic symbol, with a pentagram placed on the anvil.

There is no set schedule of sacrifice or tithing.  Again, donations are accepted if the person is able, and help might be given if they are not.  The sacrifice is generally the icon of a defeated foe.  In the case of defeating a powerful enemy in physical battle, the icon would be that person’s weapon (or perhaps spellbook if the enemy was a mage).  Someone that had fought and won against a debilitating opium addiction would sacrifice the water pipe as a symbol of the addiction’s defeat.   If the sacrifice is acceptable it is consumed in a golden flame that burns only the item being sacrificed.  Sometimes, if the fight has been particularly valiant, or the foe especially strong, the item is purified by the flames and returned to the person making the sacrifice.  An evil sword might be transformed into a weapon for good in the hands of the faithful.  Weapons which are so transformed are always gold-colored and inscribed somewhere with the statement “Suffer No Guilt”.  Sacrifices from a battle that was no challenge, or that might not be considered honorable are always rejected.  Crom rarely intervenes or aids followers who are in positions of failure or weakness; after all, He wasn’t the one who got you into trouble.  But He respects someone who can face a desperate situation and emerge victorious.  Even if you die trying, He respects a valiant effort and will welcome you to His hall.   

Followers of Crom are expected to act honorably, and to stand up for what they believe is right. Cowardice is the worst accusation you can make against a follower of Crom.  Cowardice by the clergy will result in loss of ability until they have redeemed themselves.  A strategic retreat from overwhelming odds is not necessarily cowardice - Crom understands the concept of living to fight another day.  But leaving behind a wounded companion to save oneself - that is the basest of acts.

The main holy book of the temple is called The Book of Forgings, a collection of essays by respected past members of Crom’s clergy.  It teaches that, as the follower lives with honor, fights evil, always strives to give their very best, and doesn’t turn aside from the difficulties life holds, they are engaged in the forging of their soul.  Someone facing a particularly fearsome challenge (such as a foe that has been their life’s goal to bring down) are sometimes said to be “writing their chapter” in The Book of Forgings.

 Specialty Priests of Crom

Duties: Marriage, baptism, blessings, guidance, strengthening the flock .  Sacrifice of enemy’s weapons .

Sins: Cowardice, slaying a coward, using poison.

Granted Powers

Call Upon Faith 1/Day/2 levels - Starts at 2nd level.  Adds +3 to one roll or increases chance to do something by 15%

Draw Upon Holy Might 1/day/3 levels beginning at 3rd level.  Increases a chosen attribute by 1 point .

Turn Undead

Immunity to undead life draining and paralysis; also to life energy draining magic.*

Major Spheres:            Necromantic, All, Healing, Combat, and special.

Minor Spheres:            Protection, War, Wards

Special spell access: under some circumstances, Crom will grant a specialty priest/ess with the ability to cast a spell they would not otherwise have access to.  This is strictly DM option, as a means of demonstrating Crom’s favor for a battle well fought or a worthy personal sacrifice.

There is no set garb for clergy, although robes decorated in the individual’s colors and preferred sigils are common.

Crom’s avatar is usually a male human blacksmith or weapon instructor, powerfully built, usually carrying or using a hammer.

* The protection is granted because Crom feels that the strength you have earned should remain yours, and that only your actions should affect your fate.