WORMSKIN

10/27/2014

DOLMENWOOD | St. Cuthbert, His Colleagues

Saint Cuthbert of the Cudgel is the combative deity of Wisdom, Dedication, and Zeal. Originally created for the World of Greyhawk campaign setting, he was later made part of the generic "core pantheon" for [3E]... Although St. Cuthbert quickly became widely known due to references made to him and his shrines in Gygax's short stories and articles, Pholtus would remain hidden inside Gygax's home campaign for the next decade.


"St. Cuthbert was more of a joke than otherwise. Consider the advocacy of pounding sense into someone's head by dint of blows from a club." -- E. GARY GYGAX

In Gygax's home campaign, followers of St. Cuthbert (LN) -- including some of the game's PCs -- served as a foil for the devotees of the sun-god Pholtus (LG). Pholtus' priesthood were strict monotheists that denied the existence of other deities. Cuthbertines, on the other hand, appear to have been portrayed as monolatrists.

Cuthbert is of course based on the historical Northumbrian saint of the same name. Although Cuthbert is typically described as a deity, his stature as a saint suggests that he serves a Christian-esque godhead in the manner of historical Christian saints or their Buddhist equivalents (see bodhisattva).

The setting Gavin Norman and I have been developing might be described as a sort of pseudo-folkloric early Middle Ages that includes the presence of a monotheistic, Medieval-esque Church dedicated to the "One True God" (or OTG for short). The idea here being that a referee could change all references to the OTG to the name of an analogous Lawful deity in his home campaign, if he chose to set the Dolmenwood there. Along with this Church business comes the presence of Saints who may be worshipped in the manner of Cuthbertism. Players can choose to be Clerics or traveling Friars (a class that will be included in the Dolmenwood Character Archaics) dedicated to a particular Saint who ultimately derives his/her power from the OTG. Shrines to various Saints are scattered throughout Dolmenwood's hexes as boons, hazards and oddities.

Being impartial, we have chosen to ground the followers of the OTG and their foils -- the Witches and Drunes who inhabit the depths of the Wood -- in a bedrock of morally gray terms. But the referee is entitled to treat them however he likes -- all three camps possess gruesome and admirable qualities in relatively equal amounts. By default, PCs would enter the game from the perspective of the world external to Dolmenwood, and so would have more in common with the Cuthbertines than the indigenous weirdos.

Some Saints known in Dolmenwood

St. Clewyd ["klood"]
St. Cuthbert
St. Hester of the Shepherd's Crook
St. Howarth

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