Continuum II: Priestly Examples

   Since priestly powers in Continuum II depend on mental attunement, there isn’t necessarily any formal “religion” involved. Someone who’s simply deeply dedicated to a particular ideal, has convergent goals, or otherwise has such an attunement may develop priestly powers without knowing it, or having any idea what entity he or she is drawing power form. Similarly, gods rarely even notice the existence of minor priests. Gods have power to spare.

   Generic “Priests” “follow” the gods who come from a particular cultural background. While this allows them to draw on a wide variety of abilities, it limits both their subtlety and their raw power. Priests tend to be extremely conservative – after all, their powers depend on maintaining links with gods from the distant past – deeply involved with their cultures rituals and values, concerned with stability, and well organized. Of course, there are always exceptions, especially among the philosophical priests, but these are good general guidelines.

   The Servitors of Kuan Yin often come from among the populace at large, where anyone sufficiently concerned for the protection of children and innocents can begin to tap her power – although relatively few learn to do so very effectively. Still, even the minor energies a completely untrained person can channel can be helpful in an emergency – or allow a worried parent to provide unconscious comfort and support for a sick child.

   He-Whose-Name-Is-Not-Spoken, the Dark Master of Forbidden Knowledges, is quite, quite, mad – and is utterly fascinated with various bizarre “sciences”. Those who pry into “his” fields risk beginning to “attune” their minds to his – and so becoming conduits for his power, and his madness. Of course, outside of this, there may well be nothing wrong with such studies. If chemistry happens to be one of his interests – then chemistry is a “forbidden knowledge” in that particular setting.

   The Servitors of a nameless Goddess of Death and Disease are divided into rival, hostile, factions – united only by their common obsession with their goddesses power. The first seeks to propitiate her, drawing on her power to cure the sick, prevent plagues – and ease the pains of the dying. The second shares their goddesses morbid fascination with death, enjoying their power to spread disease and torment among the populace. While they are far less popular than the first faction, they are every bit as “holy” – and far more feared.

   The Weird Scientists of Tavashtri aren’t even aware that they’re Servitors; they simply tap into his power to create and drive devices ranging from the possible to the utterly absurd – often without even knowing what it is they’re doing. Most people simply regard them as classical mad scientist-types, which is as good a way to look at them as any. Given their extremely awkward casting methods – which give them a good long time to build up power – their spell-devices tend to be exceptionally powerful for their effective level.

   The Servitors of Thor are mighty warriors – masters of storm, weather, strength, and destruction. They’re also incredibly unsubtle “berserkers”, tend to blunder from one disaster to the next, and tend to be obsessed with fighting the ice jotun and protecting their villages.

   Set, god of raw strength, night, desert, “the lands beyond egypt”, (with Horus) patron of the pharaohs and guardian of egypt, and, unfortunately, god of egotism, has a powerful – if rather uncooperative – priesthood. Most of his priests are distinguished by fabulous egos of their own.

   The “Servitors” of Camozotz, Bat-God of darkness, concealment, treachery, and vampires, are quite unwelcome. He doesn’t trust them, he doesn’t want them – and he’d probably come and assassinate them if he could only find them. Sadly, by the time they’re powerful enough to notice, they’re normally more then capable of hiding – unless they’ve decided to try and get him, and absorb his power, before he can get them.

   The self-righteous “Followers Of The Holy Light” are probably drawing on several different beings for their power (primarily light-based and protective abilities, with a bit of healing and revelatory magic thrown in), but tend to believe that their “purity” allows them to tap into the “pure powers of light and truth!” – an idea which makes them very effective warriors, guardians, and monster-slayers, but also makes them horribly self-righteous and very hard to live with for very long.

   The star-going Tharran Mindhealers are peacemakers, who concentrate on “psychic” powers, self-knowledge, and healing – on many more levels then the physical. Most of the order’s members are ex-patients, who have found a better way. The order is deeply meditative, rather pacifistic, and extremely dedicated. There is quite a lot of debate over whether “Tharran” actually exists – or whether “He” is simply a pool of psychic energy fed and maintained by “His” priesthood.

   The August Personage Of Jade, Emperor and Master of the Celestial Bureaucracy, takes a personal and active interest in his priesthood – to such an extent that he has made active arrangements to bestow powers on them, rather then relying on the usual “passive” link. As a result, his priests have access to both their personal powers – and to whatever abilities their ranks and offices entitle them to. On the other hand, misuse of these “official” powers is a grave – and punishable – offence. Some few non-priestly positions (E.G., Emperor, Imperial Judge) carry similar powers – and responsibilities.

   The Servitors of Bacchus never lack for volunteers. As god of wine, revelry, and doing just as you please, he’s extremely popular. Unfortunately, his followers and revels are often unwelcome in “civilized” areas, as he represents both happy, companionable, tipsiness, and the brutal idiocy of a “mean drunk”. Few of his Servitors ever become powerful magically, but they certainly can throw a great party. As a modern example, consider the “Hells Angels”.

   The Servitors of Pan, god of wild nature, fertility and virility, and uncontrolled emotion, are, perhaps, best left to the imagination… They may be a lot of fun – but oh, how they wear. Anyplace that’s willing to let them in in the first place usually kicks them out again shortly afterwards.

   At least one minor Servitor of Loki won her powers from him in a poker game. They met, they clicked, they got along – and it was enough to establish a minor mental bond built around a shared fascination with games of chance. Losselen never developed her priestly talents much (being basically a Rogue with the Minor Magic skill), but they were perfectly valid – and clever use of small illusions, disguise, and fire tricks got her quite a long way.

   The Offspring of Gods become servitor-priests pretty much by default; they have an automatic resonance link with the energies of their divine parent. They may not develop it much – settling for the Minor Magic skill again – but it’s always a possibility for them.

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