Thursday, November 9, 2017

The Fire-Gazers

"Truth is found in flame..."
- folk saying

"Though the Church's emphasis lies on Truth, and Order, and Memory, and Certainty, there is a place even for those without these. The Fire-Gazers, a Holy Order of the Church, are made up of those who, for one reason or another, devoted themselves to the discovery of what is finally True and Real. They may often be identified by the unique open-topped censers that they bear, and the many candles they carry with them and light in their places of duty."

"In censer-flame or candle-flame or pyre-flame those devoted as Fire-Gazers are said to see the indubitable truth of things beyond the flame: in judicial trials (the most common place to find a Fire-Gazer) they sit in the judge's throne and look through the fire of their censers to determine the guilt or innocence of the accused party. In reading-rooms they light candles to gaze through at the books they survey, to discover what truths lie in the text. At a pyre of execution, they confirm and pronounce the guilt and crimes of the offender."

by docolucci
"It is a dangerous Order. Many Fire-Gazers go mad over the years and decades of their service - perhaps there are truths that should not be seen. (It seems that many who join in the first place are also mad in one way or another - uncertain about what is real, or whether anything IS real. The promise of certainty the Order gives can be an irresistible draw to such an unstable mind.)"

"Each year, as Autumn becomes Winter, the Order holds a festival in which they honor the Everburning One who first brought Fire to us, and to the Burning Saint who emulated the Everburning Sun and in whose name the Order is founded. A Fire-Gazer of great determination and unrelenting fervor steps into a prepared pyre, as the Burning Saint had done, and, it is said, sees the Truth of All as their life burns away. The names and lives of each Burnt One are forgotten as their ash is scattered to the winds, but the Prophecies of Seeing each one makes with their dying breaths are carefully recorded and never revealed to one not devoted to the Order. Such prophecies are said to be of inconceivable value - insights into truths most persons can never see."

"It is said the first and greatest Prophecy of Seeing, that of the Burning
Saint, is still in the holding of the Fire-Gazers, unopened and unread; perhaps it will only be seen on the day our frail world sees its end. Perhaps the Prophecy itself will bring such an end - or hold the means of preventing it."

- from the writings of Erbius the Loremaster, Magus of the Fifth Order

Well, I guess like my last post this one's about another aspect of the Church of the Hundred Saints. And, again, the gameable aspect of it is a feature of characters devoted to the Saint / Order in question (I kind of wish it was something else, but hey, I come up with what I come up with). Namely, Fire-Gazers can see the capital-T Truth of things they see through fire. This is pretty open-ended - "truesight" is clearly implied, as well as the ability to tell truth from lie, but beyond this there are plenty of things that could qualify.
Feel free to include a saving throw or whatever each time a character uses this ability, as it is a risky endeavor that may result in the loss of wisdom or sanity or whatever your system uses.
Also, those Prophecies of Seeing could be super-useful to a party. What if the party were to hear rumors of a prophecy related to some piece of knowledge they were seeking... (or even that the First Prophecy is to be opened... or was stolen...)
Flavor-wise, a Fire-Gazer cleric is likely to be respected, feared, and bat-bait crazy in at least one way. They are often the judges, detectives, and prophets of the Church, a powerful and ancient Order.
Oh, and they like setting things on fire.

For a week, I'm challenging myself to write SOMETHING gameable (monster, NPC, magic, location, item, etc.) each day. To make it interesting: it must be inspired by the first song that comes up on shuffle from my music library each morning. This is post 4, inspired by "Man On Fire" by Bury Tomorrow (SpotifyYouTube).

This post is also kind of the seventh in my The Hundred Saints series.
Previous Saints:
Saint Bordoch the Hewer
The Three Sisters
Saint Oro-Bora One-Eye
Saint Grenna of Merthis
Saint Be'lak the Bard
Saint Cryndwr Firebeard of Wealdvale

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