Divinity of Mankind

From 1d4chan
Jump to: navigation, search
Divinity of Mankind
A highly stylized human figure within a squared circle
Alignment Lawful Neutral
Divine Rank Unknown
Pantheon Ravenloft
Portfolio Humanity
Domains Knowledge, Law, Strength
Home Plane Demiplane of Dread
Worshippers Zherisians
Favoured Weapon Quartestaff

The Divinity of Mankind is a godless religion/secular philosophy native to the Dungeons & Dragons setting of Ravenloft, specifically stemming from the Domain of Paridon or Cluster of Zherisia (depending on which version you go with). Although mentioned in official Ravenloft 3.5 material, with its first writeup appearing in "Van Richten's Arsenal", it was expanded in the fan netbook "Survey of the Zherisian Expedition".

The Divinity's faith is a simple one, and can be crudely summarized as "Humanity Fuck Yeah". In essence, the human soul holds within it the seed of divinity, and through carefully moderating one's nature in order to bring body, mind and heart into balance, one can evolve into a "divine state". Ordinarily, souls simply reincarnate over and over, and only by seeking this evolution can one become free from the need to reincarnate and the sufferings of life. Members of this philosophy are known as the Celebrants of Mankind, or simply Celebrants. The holy symbol is a stylized human figure within a squared circle (that is, the human figure in a circle, which is then inside of a square). Under 3.5 rules, it grants access to the Domains of Knowledge, Law and Strength, its associated alignment is Lawful Neutral, and its favored weapon is the quarterstaff.

The "church" is divided into three traditions; monastic, clerical and alchemical, with each pursuing one of the three Apexes that come together in order to form the "Triangle of Perfection".

Monks pursue the Apex of Experience, striving to tap into the remnant memories of past lives in order to broaden their understanding of experience and begin the process of evolving into divine beings. Part of this entails just walking around amidst the teeming crowds of their native land and just anonymously experiencing humanity as a whole. They color themselves in red in order to signify their membership in this particular branch of the Celebrants. Their unique Monastic Tradition, under 3.5 rules, allows them to freely engage in multiclassing as clerics or arcanists without the usual monkly restrictions against doing so.

Clerics pursue the Apex of Intuition, focusing on individual spiritual growth by inspiring and nurturing their fellows. Dressed in blue, they are the largest of the three traditions, and the most popular with the lower classes of Paridon because of their strong involvement in charities and beneficial programs. The Celebrants do not proselytize as a general rule, but the Apex of Tradition in particular is leery of sudden conversions; by their philosophy, zeal represents a spiritual flaw - excessive outpouring of one's heart - rather than a virtue. In 3.5, their tradition allowed Clerics, Paladins and Experts who belonged to the Celebrants to freely multiclass as paladins, monks and arcanists. Those playing under Pathfinder rules might find the philosopher and palantine variant classes from Wicked Fantasy to be a better fit than clerics or paladins.

The Apex of Intuition also houses a splinter sect; the Beacon of Goodness (Lawful Good, Cleric & Paladin single-classed or multi-classes, holy symbol is a white candle lit with an orange flame inside of a blue circle) preaches that an evolved soul is clearly a good soul, for where is moderation to be found in theft, murder, rape and other such crimes? They also protest laws that they say encourage immoderation and greed, and call for others that benefit the entirety of humanity. They are supporters of electoral reform and laws for workplace safety, minimum wages, and workers' rights. Needless to say, the commoners love them, but they piss the nobles right off.

Finally, the Apex of Intelligence is an alchemical tradition; sporting garbs of yellow, these Celebrants come from a mixture of Wizards, Bards, Sorcerers, and "intelligensia" (Adepts, Experts, Alchemical Philosophers) and focus their efforts on improving the self through a combination of intellectual studies, meditation, personal exercise, and alchemical experimentation. There are countless individual lodges under this Apex, constantly changing as new ones are born and old ones die, merge or divide. Mechanically, membership in the Apex of Intelligence requires the ability to fulfill alchemical formulae in all three permutations and allows them to freely multiclass as monks & clerics.

The Divinity's philosophy finds demihumans a little difficult to fit into their beliefs - Paridon is such a backwater that it doesn't have any major populations of demihumans (aside from the doppelgangers who've been infesting the place from the beginning, of course). It's generally accepted that demihumans are spiritually flawed in some way, representing a drastic imbalance in one of the three aspects, and that their best hope is to try and perfect themselves so that they will be reborn as humans in the future. Halfbreed races, like the half-elf, mul and half-orc, and mixed breeds like the planetouched and dhampyre, are clearly further along the path to perfection than true demihumans are, but still need to try to improve themselves.

The Deities & Religions of Ravenloft
Lawful Neutral Chaotic
Good Ezra (Pure Hearts)
The Overseer - Ra
Andral - Belenus - Osiris The Morninglord
Neutral Divinity of Mankind
Ezra (Home Faith) - Yutow
Ezra (Erudites) - Hala
The Ancestral Choir
Evil Ezra (Zealots)
The Lawgiver - Set
The Eternal Order Cat Lord - Erlin - Kali
The Spider Queen
The Wolf God