CRB is a repository of all the creative things that float through my mind about the RPG Pathfinder. Two major features are random character generation and building characters based on the god they worship. Anything that seems like it adds to the creative aspects of the game will pop up from time to time, including location descriptions, adventure ideas and even short stories. CRB won't just be my own creativity, it will open the floor to anyone who has an idea sparked by what I present to you.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

The Dark Side of Gotham - Servitors of Dispater

It’s Saturday and thus time to talk about a god. For those of you who haven’t been a part of my explorations into the religions of Golarion, here’s how it works:

Imagine, if you will, you're creating a character for a group. Your only instruction is that you must be a worshiper of a specific god. You do not need to be a divine casting class, although you can be, but the party’s purpose is working toward the goals of this specific divine being. I'd like not just a race/class combo, but a little bit about why the character would choose to dedicate themselves to this particular deity. Feel free to make up secret or not-so-secret orders within the church, or even sects outside of the church that you think might be interesting. With only this one piece of information that must be true, let your imagination run wild with the rest.

Today's god

Dispater, Lawful Evil Archdevil of cities, prisons, and rulership
Dispater’s Pathfinder Wiki page 
Dispater’s Archives of Nethys Entry

Although a fair bit has been written about Dispater in the world of Golarion, and he is a well-documented real world god, not as much has been penned about his followers. We know of his origins and his home. We know of his wives and his son. But there is little about the church, sects and cults of the second most powerful Archdevil in hell.

Order of the Lock and Key

Although Dispater is irredeemably evil, as are a most of his devotees, they do believe in a strict sense of structure. They thrive on the rule of law, even if they believe they should rule and they should make the laws. What followers of the lord of Dis cannot abide by is unstructured chaos.

The Order of the Lock and Key is actually something of a joint task force. Followers of the Archdevil as well as devotees of the Master of the First Vault, Abadar, and the faithful of the Empyreal Lord Olheon band together to stem the tide of chaos. Their main focus is on hunting demons of the Abyss and Proteans of the maelstrom, trying to keep civilization from falling apart.

Beings from the great beyond aren’t their only prey,  though. The group keeps a secret prison that holds people, creatures, and outer planar beings that cannot or should not be killed. The Citadel Chaosium is a heavily guarded location, its whereabouts are rumored to be anywhere from deep in the icewall to fathoms beneath the surface of the Arcadian Ocean.

Brotherhood of the Iron Kiss

Among the nobility of Egorian, not every diabolist dedicates his shrine to Asmodeus. Many a young man looks to Dispater as the master of courtly romance. Among these an even more select group flourish, the Brotherhood of the Iron Kiss. These devotees to the Iron King take pains to master the art of seduction, and among each other rank is determined by conquests made.

Even darker though are the Brother’s attempts to gain political influence. Many a noble has lost a wife or even two to tragic events. These events are triggered by other members of the brotherhood so that they can never be linked back to the bereaved spouse. The widowed man has no knowledge of when or how it will happen. With new riches and gains in stations for marrying above himself the Brotherhood of the Iron Kiss gains more power in Cheliax’s capital city.

Law Dogs

Many of DIspater’s followers work among the ranks of prison guards across the face of Golarion. To them, those rightfully imprisoned deserve their fate and escape is considered an affront to their master. When high profile prisoners manage to slip their shackles and find freedom from their cages, it takes a special kind of hunter to bring them back.

The Law Dogs specialize in returning those who break their chains and become fugitives. Many cities across Avistan have a chapter house for traveling bounty hunters. These locations are small barracks, with the only permanent resident being a fixer who organizes jobs for the organization. The group is known to be highly effective, which allows most to overlook the fact that they serve the second in command of armies of hell.

The Iron Spire

Followers of gods like Abadar seek to expand the civilized world to make it a better, less barbaric place for the mortals their cities house. Many members of Dispater seek to expand cities for the sake of the city itself, without care for its mortal populace. What many people don’t realize is that the cities themselves are living organisms and the way a city is laid out alters the natural flow of mystical energy and living thing creates. The Iron Spire seeks to guide that energy to their master, Dispater.

Members of the Iron Spire include many city planners and architects. These builders steer public works to take advantage of the flow of a city’s unseen forces and twist them toward evil. The Iron Spirites also includes surveyors who seek to build new settlements, mainly over lands that already have a strong current of mystical energy or in places that will displace and cause conflict with those who still live in barbaric tribes.

The Lords of Little Dis

Although Dispater is ever the “loyal” servant for the first lord of Hell, Asmodeus, their alliance only goes so far. Second in command is never enough for one such as the Lord of Dis. But with Asmodeus’ ever watchful eye on the Iron King, Dispater cannot plot so openly against his lord and ally. The mortal servants of Dispater are under no such strictures and it is much easier for them to skirt the vision of attentive first lord of hell.

Originally a sect within the Iron Spire, the group that became the Lords of Little Dis took up residence in Magnimar. The city had divorced itself from its Cheliaxian roots and threw off worship of Asmodeus. As such adherents to the Iron King found the metropolis a perfect home. As the city was being built a group of Iron Sprite disciples saw a chance to make a place where Dispater’s plots against his lord could go unseen.

When the Pediment building, the center of political power in the city, was being built, it was these few in the Iron Spire that suggested building the prison under it. The other city planners were unaware that the location chosen was at the confluence of mystical energy in the city. Architects among the Spirites slowly adjusted the plans so that the construction of the building and the prison guided this energy as they saw fit. The lower portion of the hells below the main made cells were sublevels dug into the earth itself, used to house the worst prisoners. It is here, on the second cavern level that exists Little Dis.

Having splintered off from the Iron Spire sect and now calling themselves the Lords of Little Dis, the adherents of Dispater use this area hidden from Asmodeus’ view to plot their master’s ascension. Little Dis has a mystical but untraceable connection to the actual land of Dis and the Lords use this to connect with the will of Dispater. The deep prison is also used to house enemies of Dispater, especially important pawns of Asmodeus, when they need not be found by the lord of hell again.

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