Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Six Gods of Mangalla

Based upon nearly five minutes of research I decided that Mangala, the Sanskrit name for Mars, was one of the better-sounding names for the planet in an ancient tongue.  So now Mangalla with two l's is the name of the ancient Martian setting I mentioned earlier in the week.  I don't have any real plans to pursue this campaign soon, but I woke up early with a desire to write a pantheon for Mars that was non-anthropomorphic to the point of abstraction.  Here we go.


1. The Benevolent Lightning
Other names: The Holy Thunderbolt, The Electric Ecstasy
Holy symbol: jagged lightning bolt, usually displayed horizontally
Clerical restriction: must pass through doors and archways backwards
Clerical bonus: cast lightning bolt as a 3rd level cleric spell

2. The Authorless Glyph
Other names: The Rune at the Five Corners of Time, The Self-Inscribor
Holy symbol: transparent amulet (usually glass) with cleric's personal rune on one side and the rune of their home temple on the other, so that when held up to the light it casts a shadow superimposing the two characters
Clerical restriction: must obey all written communications signed with the personal rune of a High Priest
Clerical bonus: use magic-user scrolls provided they can cast spells of a comparable level

3. A Suffusion of Yellow
Other names: An Amber Void, A Jaundice Upon the Cosmic Flesh
Holy symbol: A body part painted yellow or made of gold, yellow gems, etc. The specific body part varies by individual church (e.g. A Temple of A Yellow Eye, A Cathedral of A Golden Hand).  A piece of yellow clothing or golden jewelry covering the appropriate part also functions as a holy symbol (a yellow eyepatch, a golden gauntlet).
Clerical restriction: All clerics of 2nd level or above must consult one of the Seven Yellow Oracles at least annually and follow their crazy-ass dicta.
Clerical bonus: All henchmen/hirelings are +2 loyalty/morale.

4. The Dancing Sky
Other names: The Celestial Promenade, The Eternal Embrace of the Moons
Holy symbol: a bell inscribed with astrological symbols (must be rung vigorously to turn undead)
Clerical restriction: Cannot eat red meat except for certain holy feasts
Clerical bonus: knock once per day (3 times a day for clerics of 9th level or higher)

5. The Circle of Circles
Other names: The Universal Circumscriptions, The Sphere of Spheres, The Point of Points
Holy symbol: a series of linked circles of differing sizes
Clerical restriction: cannot take the same route back to a place as they took going there
Clerical bonus: +2 saves vs. poison and petrification, a result of 20 or higher on such saves reflects the venom or stoning effect back onto attacker

6. The Vital Center
Other names: The Heartbeat of the World, The Bottom of Down
Holy symbol: arrows converging on a point, the number of arrows usually indicating the level of the owner
Clerical restriction: must greet every stranger with a brief blessing
Clerical bonus: half damage from falls

The restrictions and bonuses are linked; failing to abide by one forfeits the other.  Getting the bonus back probably requires penance or an atonement type spell.  No attempt has been made to balance each restriction against its bonus or to balance the restriction and bonuses among the various priesthoods.

Note that alignment and religion do not map to each other on Mangalla.  One may encounter a lawful Patriarch/Matriarch or chaotic Evil High Priest(ess) of any god.