Fortuna

Intermediate Goddess
Alignment: CN
Epithets: the Fickle, the Lady, the Goddess, the Lady of the Wheel
Portfolio: Fate, gambling, money, fortune, merchants
Aliases: Tychéa
Domain Name: The Golden Realm, Ysgard
Superior: None
Allies: Sarnos
Foes: None
Symbol: A wheel, a downpointed right hand with the index finger extended
Worshiper Alignment: Any

Fortuna (also known as Fortune) is the goddess of fate and luck. Many people believe that her influence on Sarnon and the weaving wheel of the Tapestry of Time influences the outcome of events and shapes the future. Indeed, it is believed by many that Sarnon and Fortuna are either lovers or relatives (though the Temple of Fortunes says they are lovers, many persist in believing that they are in fact brother and sister… or both).

One of the largest and most well-known traditions associated with Fortuna is that of the traveling clerical gambling fairs known as Fortuna’s Wheel. These priests, however, do not represent the mainstream of the Temple of Fortune. Those who worship Fortuna frequently do so because they are merchants or because they believe in the overriding power of fate and luck (two concepts which are not opposed in the minds of the northerners). Fortuna also receives many one-off prayers as well, particularly from those who are making a dangerous journey or undertaking some potentially lethal activity, hoping that the Wheel will favor them.

But Fortune is fickle in all things — love, war, mercantile ventures. The clerics of Fortuna often caution people not to think of their offerings as a bribe to the goddess, but as a simple sign of devotion (for whatever good that does). Members of Fortuna’s inner cult are almost exclusively merchants engaged in long-range shipping trade or adventurers who live by luck and the blade.

Of all the mannish gods, Fortuna is one of the few most likely to be worshiped by other races. Halflings, dwarves, elves, and even gnomes have been known to take up the fickle finger of fate and join the cult or even become clerics themselves.

The Church
Clergy: Priests of Fortune
Clergy’s Alignment: Any chaotic and True Neutral
Turn Undead: No
Command Undead: No

Most people, in the course of their lives, will make an offering or two to Fortuna. To begin a new venture, to ensure the safety of a ship or caravan, or simply to bring luck, all men pray to the Fickle Lady. However, total devotion to her cause is one that only the truly faithful, the truly destitute, or the truly wretched ever undertake. She is both the luck that gives and the luck that takes; she has two servants, known as Haparos and Taelii, who represent these split aspects.

Fortuna appears in most iconography as a beautiful but stern woman holding a large wheel in one hand. Her temples are resplendent in gold, much of it made from the offerings of the faithful, coins melted (or hammered) to cover the temple and its pillars.

Haparos is the god of good luck, and when Fortuna wishes to visit charm and blessings upon one the prayer is sometimes (but not always) addressed to this lesser deity. Haparos appears as a man bearing a large coin in one hand, with winged shoes.

Taelii, the goddess of bad fortune, appears as a beautiful young girl with black-feathered wings sprouting from her back. She is always sporting a wicked smile and bears a cat-o-nine-tails in one hand and a willow switch in the other.

Being invested in the cult is, much like other cults, a matter of supreme secrecy. Unlike the Temple of Miles, there is no written canon; however, this does not preclude the vast number of rituals and rules kept in the collective memory of the priests. Anointment is generally performed after three years of acolyteship and the memorization of the more complex ritual points.

There is a structure in the temple, though it may be loose. The attention to temple hierarchy and order depends highly on the specific temple in question. In some it is a rigid structure which is rigorously followed, while in others it is hardly noticed. However that may be, the structure is as follows:

The acolytehood is comprised of the masses of the hopeful attendants to the temple; they do most of the menial labor in the temples. Restocking braziers, sweeping the floors, and such.

The priesthood stands a rank above them but are separated by the unbridgeable chasm between the uninitiated and those who possess the secrets of the Goddess. The priests perform the mundane but sacred rituals required for the temple to continue to exist: the sacred hazards, blessings, and other such tasks. In some temples, such as the great Palace of Fortune in Thurayn, the priests are actually divided into those who are constrained to perform work in the temple alone and those that are “Adventuring Divines.”

Above the priesthood there stand the temple staff and clergy, and above even them the Fates. While there is no central authority that governs all the temples (each individual temple is a self-contained iteration of the cult), there are several potent clerics in important places in the world; these are the Oracles who have been chosen by Fortuna to bear her word. They are, without exception, women drawn from amongst any strata of society and often not even priests when they are chosen.

Fortune is fickle in all things—love, war, mercantile ventures. The clerics of Fortuna often caution people not to think of their offerings as a bribe to the goddess, but as a simple sign of devotion (for whatever good that does). Members of Fortuna’s inner cult are almost exclusively merchants engaged in long-range shipping trade or adventurers who live by luck and the blade.

Of all the mannish gods, Fortuna is one of the few likely to be worshipped by other races as she is. She has no other faces or forms; there are halflings, dwarves, elves, and even gnomes who worship the Goddess and even who hold high positions within her temple.

Dogma: Fortuna is capricious and is the tutelary deity of luck. She has no notion of the goodness or badness of a cause. Her clergy are generally more discerning, seeking to invite her favor where it is deserved and avert her wrath where it is not; however, the primary rule of Fortune is to take the will of the Fickle Lady as she presents it. This leads to an almost fatalistic attitude amongst many of her servants.

There are those who believe that meaning can be found in Fortuna’s action, but they are a few and far between. Important to the religion are the writings of Ensorcastos of Aellon, who founded the school of materialism. “Fortune does not favor the bold; she favors no man! These thoughts are fallacy, for she is truly blind, and as she raises a man up she may easily tear him down. Live, then, for today! Live knowing that Fortune may rob you of your joys and your sorrows on the very next sunrise!”

The cult has no written canon, like most cults, and rather transmits its secrets through a series of rites undergone by priests (and, in some cases, inner cult members).

Day-to-Day Activities: The priests of Fortuna’s temple spend their time in prayer and devotion to their goddess, casting the sacred lots, officiating between those that wish their prayers answered by the Fickle Lady. They also perform a great number of blessings (and curses) for the public and for their temples.

Unlike many other temples, Priests of Fortuna are not shy about supporting secular causes whole heartedly. If they devote themselves to something they believe will further the cause of their church they will not hedge their bets but instead will call upon every supernatural aid they can.

Holy Days/Important Ceremonies: Fortuna celebrates no holy days outside the inner cult. There are few public feasts of any kind that are tied to the calendrical cycles. However, that is not to say that they never celebrate! Far from it. The Priests of Fortune will often, on a whim, hold a feast day or festival with very little planning. These are accompanied, of course, by the emergence of the gaming tables and wheels wherein the clerics promise quick gain or devastating losses. These are sacred tables, which means that cheating is not only strictly prohibited, but in most lands the clerics may take immediate and harsh vengeance upon those that do, breaking limbs and taking back winnings.

This is similar to the Wheel, the gambling fairs that sometimes spring up from the notion of a Fate who decides to take a group of his priests onto the road.

Affiliated Orders: The Fairs of the Wheel are affiliated with the worship of Fortuna and they are indeed run by the priests of fortune. When a temple is low on funds, or simply when the urge takes them, priests who are temple-staff may declare it time to set on a Fair. They move together across the countryside with armed guards, tents, and oftentimes clerics of Raya or at least worshippers of her. All and sundry are invited to participate in the games there and wager their money with the Goddess.

Priestly Vestments: Priests of Fortune wear golden robes and often silver or golden necklaces designed in the shape of the Hand of Fate. Khol is a common accoutrement to serving clerics, limning the eyes. Temple-bound clerics generally have other ostentatious displays of wealth and it is not uncommon to see such things as a necklace made from local coins or golden rings.

Adventuring Garb: Adventuring-priests and priestesses generally dress in a less ostentatious manner. Simple leather armor interwoven with golden thread and decorated with the symbols of the faith. In this setting, khol is generally eschewed and gaudy jewelry not worn.

Priest of Fortune
(Specialty Priest)
REQUIREMENTS: Wisdom 9
PRIME REQ: Wisdom
ALIGNMENT: CG, CN, CE, TN
WEAPONS: Dart, sling, quarterstaff, flail; priests of fortune may not wear armor heavier than studded leather.
MAJOR SPHERES: All, Astral, Chaos, Charm, Creation, Divination, Guardian, Summoning
MINOR SPHERES: Protection, Travelers, Weather
MAGICAL ITEMS: Priests of Fortune may use any magical item available to priests save for armor.
REQ. PROFS: Religion (Fortuna)
BONUS PROFS: Gaming


At 1st level, priests of fortune may pray for one extra spell of the first level per-day as long as it is a curse or bless spell. They do not need any material components to cast either of these spells. The priest also receives a +1 bonus to all saving throws at this level, as Fortuna smiles upon her favored children.

At 3rd level, priests of fortune have extremely potent curses and blessings. Bless spells confer an additional +1 bonus and curses an additional -1 penalty. In addition, both spells last for 1 hour/level instead of the regular duration.

At 5th level, the cleric of Fortune may invoke his Lady’s powers; for one round per day per level all opponents attempting to strike the Priest of Fortune suffer a -2 penalty to-hit and the priest receives an extra +1 bonus to all saves as the Fickle Lady watches over her priests. The priest must declare this invocation and can do so at the beginning of any round.

At 7th level, the priest of fortune calculates all durations of non-damaging spells as if they were two levels higher.

At 10th level, the priest of fortune no longer suffers critical failures – if rolling a 1 to attack, the grace of the Fickle Lady bestows them with a happy accident; their opponent suffers a critical miss instead.

At 15th level, the priest of fortune is protected from the vagaries of fate. They receive a 95% resistance to all fate-altering magics (geas, wishes directed against them, etc.)

Return to Gods of Men, Religion in Arunë, or the Main Page.

Fortuna

Abridged History of the 10th Age Idabrius