Abridged History of the 10th Age
Fantastic Religion - Haeron
(The Lawgiver, the Smith, the Old, the Hammerer)
Greater God, LG
Portfolio: Laws and justice, metalworking, smiths
Domain Name: Valingas, the Golden Halls
Allies: Avauna, Eiri, Eleia, Quill
Foes: Dinismayl, Tharos, Rhamna, Hasht, Glyrea
Symbol: A golden smith’s hammer
Worshipper Alignment: LG, NG, LN, LE
Haeron (HIGH-ron) the Hammerer is the central figure of the mannish pantheon, particularly for the Mileans and post-Milean civilizations. He is the god of smiths and smithcraft but that has been relegated to a more minor aspect of his portfolio. More importantly, he is the god of law and judgement. He is often depicted as an old man with a broad unclothed chest wielding a smith’s hammer in one hand and wearing a long curly white beard and white hair.
Haeron is the patron god of justice and serves as the chief of the mannish pantheon in many places. He is considered a kind and (appropriately) just deity. He first appeared to men in the Third Age, touching the spirit of a the Prophet Aeldus (ALE-dus) and moving him to preach the worship of the Hammerer to the Emperor at Miles.
The Hammerer is a very potent and straightforward god, preferring to simply state his desires rather than plot or plan. His ire is not easily raised, but when it is he has been known to interfere directly in the mortal world. His dwelling place is in Valingas, in the Golden Halls where all lawful and good deeds are tabulated and all those who have earned rewards are given their due.
Clergy: Speciality priests
Clergy’s Alignment: LG, LN
Turn Undead: Yes
Command Undead: No
All clerics of Haeron receive the Law (region) proficiency for free. They are expected to buy the Religion (Arunëien) proficiency as well.
The temple of Haeron is widespread and powerful. They have a strictly hierarchical organization that radiates outwards from the Temple of the Lawkeeper in Miles. They often find themselves integrated into local society as judges and adjudicators due to their devotion to law. However, Hierean priests will not submit to local rule which they find objectionable. For example, there are few Hierean priests in Essad, the Free Cities, or other places where enslavement is commonly practiced.
Hieriean temples are often elaborate affairs, large buildings of marble with domes or high raised tympanum roofs. Unlike many temples in the North, they maintain spaces of public worship within. Members of the inner cult may walk further into the temple than simple lay worshipers, but there is still a very elaborately decorated public worship hall provided. This is partly because of the relationship many Hieriean temples have with the local authorities.
In many lands, while custom is dictated by the nobility, breaches of custom are judged by the clerics of Haeron. This is done by bringing the offender to the largest nearby temple and presenting them before the head of the temple there, who is often called a Hierus. The Hierus (or the Metropolitan, Hierophant, or Divine) sits in a tall throne just before the anvil-shaped altar called a menraius. The menraii are massive seats with a long set of stairs before them upon which the priest must ascend. Once seated in a menraius the judgements of guilt and innocence are thought to descend from on high.
The ordering of the temples of Haeron is done according to the ancient central manuscript known as the Scroll of Law, which is a collection of dictates, stories, tracts, and oracular readings. The particular section concerned with temple organization is known as the Orijenula and was written by the first High Lawkeeper, Orijenus.
The lowest rank amongst the temples is that of novice. Ascending through the true orders (novices have yet to pass the test of priesthood) are the Peacewards who may be pastoral or remain at a single temple, the Dictate who help administer temple grounds, the Speakers who may give blessings and conduct ceremonies, and the temple Hierus who alone may pronounce judgements. Every region also has a Hierophant (in the case of a district without any great cities) or a Metropolitan. These are each organized into twelve great districts known as the Divinities, and each is ruled by a Hierophant known as a Divine.
The Twelve Divines sit beneath the High Lawkeeper at Miles and upon his death they are bound to choose a member of the order that is not one of their number to replace the deceased Lawkeeper.
Dogma: The philosophy of Haeron is an ancient one that has evolved over the centuries and been added to in copious commentaries by famous sages. At its heart, however, the dogma states that Haeron alone made the bonds of law (called the “golden bonds”) and that law itself, while it is generally little more than a collection of customary punishments in the North in the modern age, still represents the very bedrock upon which relationships can exist. In essence, Haeron provides the structure and fabric of any modern society.
However, the golden bonds are not simply chains to keep things the way they are. Stultification and putrefaction is not the goal of the Law. To this end Haeron tolerates a great many other gods who have viewpoints quite opposed to his own. Indeed, many Hierean clerics would rather see the spirit of the law fulfilled than its letter though they may feel beholden to it.
The clerics of Haeron will not strive openly against a kingdom in which they have temples; they may attempt to change it from the inside by supporting more liberal elements within the kingdom. However, if the cult maintains no temples within a land that espouses views it despises it may dispatch clerics to fight against the men of that land.
Day-to-Day Activities: Most clerics of Haeron remain attached to a temple rather than traveling about. There they pray and attend to the needs of the faithful, both members of the inner cult and those who are simply lay-worshipers. Lesser Hiereans may never have the opportunity to judge a case, but those who are masters of temples may do so several times a year or more. While they do not pass judgement on punishment, they do determine guilt or innocence in several kingdoms that recognize them.
In the morning, the Peacewards wake with the dawn to begin a long series of prayers to the Hammerer. After these are completed, they tend to the altars of their temple and service the needs of locals who must make sacrifices or who desire to pray.
Some of the clerics may attend to lords and nobles during the day, serving as wage-paid clerks or scribes, though this is hardly their primary task. Still, they often charge less than professional scribes and their work is good, if done in a stead and restrained style.
Every temple also maintains a sacred archive or vault in which the records of every trial, decision, and judgement of the local lords are stored. Many clerics are required to help keep these and to collate and copy the records into new bindings for transport on the Clerk’s Feast.
Holy Days/Important Ceremonies: The Clerk’s Feast is the most important holy day for the clergy of Haeron. It occurs on the 18th of Festing every year and, on that day, the clerics of Haeron send their bound copies of rulings to the temple of the High Lawkeeper in Miles. Additionally, every five years sitting clerics must travel to the office of their Divine (known as the Pilgrimage of Faith) and sit before the Council of Elect where they are questioned to make sure they are capable of maintaining their office.
There is a public festival known as Haeron’s Feast which occurs on the 20th of Festing, two days after the Clerk’s Feast. On this day, all locals are invited into the temples and given food and drink before the anvil-shaped altar where they are encouraged to give thanks before the Hammerer and to atone for whatever wrongdoings they may have done that have gone unpunished throughout the year.
Major Centers of Worship: The Temple of the High Lawkeeper at Miles is the center of Hieriean worship the world over. The Twelve Divines all report to the High Lawkeeper and the massive complex is the heart of the religion, storing hundreds of thousands of scrolls and serving as a staging ground for advocates, clerics, and business from all over the empire.
Other major landmarks include Haeron’s Stone, which stands some thirty or forty miles from the capital and is where Aeldus the Prophet first heard the voice of the Hammerer. There are other shrines and great sites, but they are generally far afield.
Recently, the emperor himself has declared a new ground consecrated: the site of the Battle of Byrnam Wood where the Sign of the Hammer blazed across the heavens to mark Tamerin Elsoín as the rightful ruler of Miles.
Affiliated Orders: There are several gods that do not have their own dedicated priesthoods, or else have priesthoods that are so small that they must rely on the organization of the Hierean temple. These include the worship of Halor and Tallial and also the Sacred Heralds of Vaela.
Peaceward of Haeron
REQUIREMENTS: Wisdom 12, Intelligence 11
PRIME REQ: Wisdom
ALIGNMENT: LG, LN
WEAPONS: All bludgeoning weapons.
MAJOR SPHERES: Combat, Elemental (fire, air), Charm, Law
MINOR SPHERES: Healing, Protection, Wards, Weather, Guardian
MAGICAL ITEMS: The same as priests.
REQ. PROFS: None
BONUS PROFS: Law (local region), Reading/Writing (cleric’s choice)
At 3rd level, a Peaceward’s blessing will grant any lawful creature it affects with an additional +1 bonus to-hit (for a +2) and a +1 bonus to damage.
At 5th level, a Peaceward’s blessing allows any lawful creature it affects to strike creatures that are immune to weapons of less than +1.
At 7th level, clerics of Haeron may increase their strength to 18/00 once per day for three rounds. This ability lasts for an additional round for every three levels the Peaceward obtains.
At 10th level, Peacewards can use true seeing at will.
At 15th level, Peacewards may cast Heal or Harm spells three times per day.