Custom minor deity concept: Pharos, God of the Dark Light

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Knight of the Lady
Posts: 156
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:04 am

This is a little something I proposed to a GM in our group. When we try the Enemy Within to 4th edition I wanted to play a character associated with this minor cult. I'm throwing it up here for some feedback before I submi a final version to the GM for approval.

Pharos

Image

Picture is NOT done by me but taken from the internet. I make no claim whatsoever to it in any way and if asked I will naturally remove it.

Seat of Power: Publically unknown but the Throne of the Black Sun is found in southern Tilea at an undisclosed location

Head of the Cult: The Ar-Archon

Primary Orders: None

Major Festivals: Day of the Light (summer solstice), Day of the Darkness (winter solstice) and all solar eclipses are followed by sacrifices and feasting.

Popular Holy Book: Book of the Dark Sun

Common Holy Symbols: The sun disc with either Pharos’ head or a metal disc, both in dark metal, in its middle, as if the sun was in an eclipse

General info

Pharos is the blinding light and heat of drought and smothering but also the light that burns away illusions and falseness. He is the paradox of blindness coming from both light and darkness. Symbolized by the solar eclipse.

Pharos is a son of Morr and a solar goddess with an identity shifting between versions. The god is portrayed as a beautiful young man with a severe look and piercing eyes. He burns away falseness but he can also rage with fire and disturbing heat when he steers the sun to blind and smother mortals, yet at the same time cultivate beauty and shield it from desecration by anyone who would dare to raise their hand against it. For just as the sun can blind and smother, so it is beautiful and its light bring pleasant warmth. The dark can be frighteningt but also shielding, cool and bring shade and safety.

Worshippers: The worshippers of Pharos tend to be those who favour, or think they do, truth above convenience and painful insight above blissful ignorance. He is the burning light that clears away all misdirection to reveal what lies beneath but also to cherish beauty in the world above illusions of beauty.

Pharos’ cult originated in Tilea but has now spread across the Old World but mostly remain a cult with little political impact in the Empire.

Holy Sites: Temples of Pharos are usually airy and open structures where light of sun and stars can shine freely. Thus naturally makes it a less than pleasant place to worship in bad weather.

Penances: Almost always revolves around accepting something painful about oneself or about something held dear by the penitent.

Strictures

Do not chain your mind with mind-altering substances

Retaliated for, or seek the undoing of the effects of, a deception you have been tricked into

Never mar beauty save by divine judgement (as in need to fulfil another scripture)

Only speak what is true except to the forces of Chaos and the undead

Spend 5% of your yearly income to make the world more beautiful

Miracles

Dark Sight – Suffer no penalty from great darkness or light to your perception

Range: Intelligence Meters

Target: You

Duration: Willpower Bonus minutes

Smothering Heat – Any living creature must roll T or suffer a level of Fatigue as intense heat washes over them and drains them of their strength

Range: 5m

Target: 1

Duration: As per normal for Fatigue

Break the Chains – A person touched by the priest is instantly purged of the effects to the mind from substances of all sorts

Range: Touch

Target: 1

Duration: Instant

Mind Armour – Gain +20 to all attempts to resist magical domination or see through magical illusions for the next 24h

Range: Touch

Target: 1

Duration: 24h

Light and Dark – The character emits a dark light that both illuminates the dark and blots out the light and with a terrible heat that causes -20 to all physical tests within 10m of the character as well as gives the character the Fear (1) trait.

Range: 10m

Target: You

Duration: WPB + DoS = Rounds of duration

Lucid Purge – Exchange 1 point of Corruption for 1 random physical Characteristics point. Maximum number of Corruption points removed is based on the DoS of the caster. Or you can remove an entire mental trauma for a loss of 1d5+8 random physical Characteristics points. This does not work on a Chaos Spawn or Daemon Princes as they are too lost to be saved. If the same person receives this miracle more than once per month increased the Characteristics cost with +2 for every time it’s done. Every degree of success reduces the Characteristic cost to a minimum of 1.

Range: Touch

Target: 1

Duration: Instant
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totsuzenheni
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Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2019 12:38 pm

I like the dark light concept. I think the 'Light and Dark' miracle should offer an improved chance of noticing something that wasn't noticed before.
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Orin J.
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i'd reject it if i were GM, honestly. it doesn't feel like a god that has a following so much as a justification for the spells you want to have. what does the god attend to in the great scheme besides "he light that burns away illusions and falseness"? what does their churches do, and how are they involved with the people (if at all)? there's just a bunch of philisophical yammering with no real concrete ideals or aims.
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totsuzenheni
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Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2019 12:38 pm

Orin J. wrote:
Thu Sep 03, 2020 12:53 pm
[W]hat do their churches do, and how are they involved with the people (if at all)? [T]here's just a bunch of philisophical yammering with no real concrete ideals or aims.
Libraries? Spies and blackmailers? Free speech advocates? Consultants and advisors? Jesters?
Bifi666
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Jul 12, 2020 2:58 am

I like the idea. In terms of religious practice, I would say:
- councilors, envoys, diplomats and advisors offer him a small token of faith or prayer before important negotiations
- anybody going to a merchant (who for sure pays his dues to Handrich or Ranald) who does not want to be duped
- travellers in hot climates or farmers in unhospitable climates at the beginning of the day (with the shifting between darkness and light)
- imperial artists when starting a project (since Myrmidia arrived in the Empire only as goddess of war)
- spies at the beginning of a mission
- astronomers, scholars at the start of a project of deciphering old texts or studying Chaos
- lampmakers, candlemakers at the start of each working day
- inquisitors and judges at the beginning of a trial
- miners, tomb robbers or explorers just before venturing into a cave or dungeon
- young girls and boys before going to festivities, hoping to meet a beautiful consort

Orin: BTW for some cults I find the notion of a church and their activity somewhat artificial - like what for do e.g. Ranald and partially also Manann and all kinds of minor nature deities (Grandfather Reik, Mittlmund, Sheirrich) need an organised church, holy texts, clergy etc.? Isn't a small shrine or a prayer enough?
Also, from the perspective of proper polytheism it is not required that a deity has a dedicated following. Sadly the whole conception of religious practice as described in the sourcebooks adopts the features of parallel monotheisms - but it actually is enough that a deity is part of a pantheon and has a domain to which some practical ritual activity of at least some part of population is tied.
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Orin J.
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Joined: Wed Feb 06, 2019 10:39 pm

well yeah, but OP mentioned temples, an overall head of the cult, and a "Secret" head temple which leads me to beleive he intended it as an organized cult with a heiarchy of priests and such.
Knight of the Lady
Posts: 156
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:04 am

I should note that future versions will probably have Pharos be a bit harsher as I told my GM I intended for him to be a fairly harsh god, but not outlawed or evil like Ahalt or Gundred.

*****
totsuzenheni wrote:
Thu Sep 03, 2020 12:46 pm
I like the dark light concept. I think the 'Light and Dark' miracle should offer an improved chance of noticing something that wasn't noticed before.
An interesting idea. I don't promise anything but I will think about this and how it might be implemented.
Orin J. wrote:
Thu Sep 03, 2020 12:53 pm
i'd reject it if i were GM, honestly. it doesn't feel like a god that has a following so much as a justification for the spells you want to have. what does the god attend to in the great scheme besides "he light that burns away illusions and falseness"? what does their churches do, and how are they involved with the people (if at all)? there's just a bunch of philisophical yammering with no real concrete ideals or aims.
Very true in that this version has a certain lack of concrete practices of the cult. I will think about this but I will also admit that it presumably isn't a greatly politically active cult with a grand political aim, but more personal and localized in its aims.
totsuzenheni wrote:
Thu Sep 03, 2020 2:16 pm
Orin J. wrote:
Thu Sep 03, 2020 12:53 pm
[W]hat do their churches do, and how are they involved with the people (if at all)? [T]here's just a bunch of philisophical yammering with no real concrete ideals or aims.
Libraries? Spies and blackmailers? Free speech advocates? Consultants and advisors? Jesters?
All excellent prospective followers of the cult.
Bifi666 wrote:
Fri Sep 04, 2020 6:12 am
I like the idea. In terms of religious practice, I would say:
- councilors, envoys, diplomats and advisors offer him a small token of faith or prayer before important negotiations
- anybody going to a merchant (who for sure pays his dues to Handrich or Ranald) who does not want to be duped
- travellers in hot climates or farmers in unhospitable climates at the beginning of the day (with the shifting between darkness and light)
- imperial artists when starting a project (since Myrmidia arrived in the Empire only as goddess of war)
- spies at the beginning of a mission
- astronomers, scholars at the start of a project of deciphering old texts or studying Chaos
- lampmakers, candlemakers at the start of each working day
- inquisitors and judges at the beginning of a trial
- miners, tomb robbers or explorers just before venturing into a cave or dungeon
- young girls and boys before going to festivities, hoping to meet a beautiful consort

Orin: BTW for some cults I find the notion of a church and their activity somewhat artificial - like what for do e.g. Ranald and partially also Manann and all kinds of minor nature deities (Grandfather Reik, Mittlmund, Sheirrich) need an organised church, holy texts, clergy etc.? Isn't a small shrine or a prayer enough?
Also, from the perspective of proper polytheism it is not required that a deity has a dedicated following. Sadly the whole conception of religious practice as described in the sourcebooks adopts the features of parallel monotheisms - but it actually is enough that a deity is part of a pantheon and has a domain to which some practical ritual activity of at least some part of population is tied.
All good examples of when to invoke Pharos and also I agree in regards to how polytheism works.
Orin J. wrote:
Fri Sep 04, 2020 11:59 pm
well yeah, but OP mentioned temples, an overall head of the cult, and a "Secret" head temple which leads me to beleive he intended it as an organized cult with a heiarchy of priests and such.
That is true and probably misleading from my vision. The thing is that I took up the template from the 4ed core in regards to cults and just filled in regardless that the organizational aspects of the cult wasn't really much in my mind when I thought about the cult. Something more like Ranald without a centralized priesthood and a cult more about certain parts in peoples' daily lives and a network, or networks, of more devoted or interested people who spend their savings and free time on the behalf of the cult, would be a better fit than an actual organized cult and priesthood.
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Orin J.
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i'll just wait for the revision then. have fun with it.
Knight of the Lady
Posts: 156
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:04 am

Second version of Pharos, God of the Dark Light. I've taken your comments into account and tried to work them into my vision for the god and his cult.

EDITED: Fixed some language errors.

Pharos

Image

Picture is NOT done by me but taken from the internet. I make no claim whatsoever to it in any way and if asked I will naturally remove it.

Seat of Power: None

Head of the Cult: None

Primary Orders: None

Major Festivals: Solar eclipses are followed by sacrifices and feasting which are sponsored by patrons who feel closer connected with the with the god. This can be done by either someone with a degree of wealth or by several less affluent individuals pooling resources.

Popular Holy Book: None.

Related Sayings: Beauty Burns - About beauty attracting problems, Smother and Burn - Expression of ill will towards someone, Burnt Lies - Exposed lies or deception, Found/it was dark gold - An event that leads to self-reflection or a personal insight.

Common Holy Symbols: The sun disc with either Pharos’ head or a metal disc, both in dark metal, in its middle, as if the sun was in an eclipse

General info

Pharos is the blinding light and heat of drought and smothering but also the light that burns away illusions and falseness. He is the paradox of blindness coming from both light and darkness. Symbolized by the solar eclipse.

Pharos is a son of Morr and a solar goddess with an identity shifting between versions. The god is portrayed as a beautiful young man with a severe look and piercing eyes. He burns away falseness but he can also rage with fire and disturbing heat when he steers the sun to blind and smother mortals, yet at the same time cultivate beauty and shield it from desecration by anyone who would dare to raise their hand against it. For just as the sun can blind and smother, so it is beautiful and its light bring pleasant warmth. The dark can be frighteningt but also cool and bring shade and safety.

Worshippers:

Pharos’ cult originated in Tilea but has now spread across the Old World but mostly remain a cult with little political impact in the Empire.

The god is invoked when seeking to see through deceptions, looking for truth, creating or looking for beauty, holding a trial to determine truth or in the time or place when light passes into darkness or darkness into light, figuratively or literally. And in many other situations where people might feel that Pharos has influence or an inclination to help.

People who bring Pharos to play a larger role in their lives are encouraged to seek out learning and truth and unmask lies and deceptions and make the world more beautiful, as well as bring retaliation against those who bring falseness or mar beauty. And go easy on the drink. For most people this has some more personal part in their daily lives such as not going along with a convinient lie or trying to keep their homes as nice as they can or ensure they look good given their circumstances.

A rare few zealots, whom have made Pharos into a defining part of their lives, exists and these tend, when they are successful in their pursuits, to be whistleblowers, truth tellers and often patrons or supporters in some way to scholarship and the arts, and refuse all alcohol and other things that affects the mind, which in the beverage happy Old World makes them stand out. When are not successful they are most often on the fringe of social life as eccentrics or detached zealots with little impact.

Holy Sites: Temples of Pharos are usually airy and open structures where light of sun and stars can shine freely. Thus naturally makes it a less than pleasant place to worship in bad weather.

Penances: Almost always revolves around accepting something painful about oneself or about something held dear by the penitent.

Strictures

Do not chain your mind with mind-altering substances

Retaliated for, or seek the undoing of the effects of, a deception you have been tricked into

Never mar beauty save by divine judgement (as in need to fulfil another scripture) and retaliate against anyone who has marred beauty without just case (in order to follow another stricture of Pharos)

Only speak what is true except to the forces of Disorder (Chaos, Undead, Greenskins, Skaven etc.)

Spend 5% of your yearly income to make the world more beautiful

Miracles

Dark Sight – Suffer no penalty from great darkness or light to your perception

Range: Intelligence Meters

Target: You

Duration: Willpower Bonus minutes

Smothering Heat – Any living creature must roll T or suffer a level of Fatigue as intense heat washes over them and drains them of their strength

Range: 5m

Target: 1

Duration: As per normal for Fatigue

Break the Chains – A person touched by the priest is instantly purged of the effects to the mind from substances of all sorts

Range: Touch

Target: 1

Duration: Instant

Mind Armour – Gain +20 to all attempts to resist magical domination or see through magical illusions for the next 24h

Range: Touch

Target: 1

Duration: 24h

Light and Dark – The character emits a dark light that both illuminates the dark and blots out the light and with a terrible heat that causes -10 to all physical tests within 10m of the character as well as gives the character the Fear (1) trait and +10 to rolls to detect things not plainly visible.

Range: 10m

Target: You

Duration: WPB + DoS = Rounds of duration

Lucid Purge – Exchange 1 point of Corruption for 1 random physical Characteristics point. Maximum number of Corruption points removed is based on the DoS of the caster. Or you can remove an entire mental trauma for a loss of 1d5+8 random physical Characteristics points. This does not work on a Chaos Spawn or Daemon Princes as they are too lost to be saved. If the same person receives this miracle more than once per month increased the Characteristics cost with +2 for every time it’s done. Every degree of success reduces the Characteristic cost to a minimum of 1.

Range: Touch

Target: 1

Duration: Instant
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