Abridged History of the 10th Age
Greater Goddess, LG
Portfolio: Protection, defense, healing, agriculture, brewing
Domain Name: The Hall of the Ancestors
Allies: Eiri Jorfadher
Foes: Eridh Crowfeeder, Mordrig the Mad
Symbol: An open hand, fingers facing downward, cupped
Worshipper Alignment: Any
Helda (HELL-da) Stonemother is the mother of the entire dwarven race. She and Eiri bestowed life upon the first dwarves in the dawn of time, granting the gift to Baldr Son-of-Stone first and foremost. She is held second in esteem only to the Earthfather himself, and her worship is widespread amongst the dwarves.
The Stonemother is the patron of the hall and hearth; unlike her husband, she does not delve or wander but fortifies and defends. Every dwarven home has a private shrine to Helda, and her name is invoked in the raising of new halls or undertaking of new ventures. She is also the patron of the grains and brews, the hunters, farmers, and curers of the dwarven world. She is worshipped both in houses and in the open field, where she is thought to watch over her children.
Helda most often appears as an aged dwarf matron, clad in a healer’s robe but armed with a shield and axe. She is kind to those who do good, who further the dwarven race, and who protect the halls and holds of her children. To those who she counts as enemy, however, she is staunch and unyielding.
Between Helda and Eiri, a good number of the dwarven gods are their children. Of those Hyrr, Matta, Skaldi, and Soeri serve Helda directly and are considered to be under her patronage.
Clergy: Clerics (Pantheon of the Hearth), Priests of the Stonemother
Clergy’s Alignment: Any good
Turn Undead: No
Command Undead: Dwarven only
The Heldanic church is found everywhere dwarves are. Even when an official temple hasn’t been established, all dwarven homes bear at least a small likeness of the Earthmother in them. Where the church is too small to merit its own temple, Heldanic priests will generally operate from an Eiric temple since there are no dwarf settlements without one.
Hierarchically, the Heldanic temple makes good use of the structures established by the church of Eiri: Eiric temples are often used as staging posts and wayhouses by Heldanic priests traveling to or from the great meeting places of their faith.
The church of Helda is divided into spheres of influence, generally determined by the nearest large dwarven hall. All churches closest to that hall are assumed to be under the responsibility of the Grytivar or stone-priest there. From the top of the chain of command down to the very bottom, the church is governed by the Five Mothers of the Arinnfal (all of whom are female church elders, elected by the remaining Four mothers when one goes to stone).
Below the Five Mothers are the regional Grytivar, who are tasked with the well-being of all dwarves within their authority. In this monumental task they are assisted by the Gray Elders, a council of twelve priests chosen to aid the Stone-priest upon her ascension. Stone-priests themselves are chosen by the Elders of the previous hierophant.
Individual temple-heads are known as Gray Priests and they often have a small council similar to that of the Gray Elders. Each temple is also required to staff a High Healer, a Gaethaff (the gatekeeper of the settlement, leader of the militia, generally female), a Master of Grains and Brews, a Quartermaster, and a Master of Novices.
Heldanic temples are themselves generally humble affairs, small and located off away from the main focus of the settlement. Heldanite priests minister to all dwarves, and thus they pass freely between nobles, craftsfolk, and lowly commoners. Most dwarven women that make up the militias and defenders of the hearth and hall worship Helda, and thus her temples can often double as a militia headquarters and armory.
Holy Days/Important Ceremonies:
Priest of the Stonemother
REQUIREMENTS: Constitution 12, Wisdom 9
PRIME REQ: Wisdom
WEAPONS: Any blunt one-handed weapon
MAJOR SPHERES: Combat, Creation, Elemental (earth, fire), Guardian, Healing, Law, Necromantic, Protection, Sun, Wards
MINOR SPHERES: Charm, Elemental (air), Plant, Summoning
MAGICAL ITEMS: Any clerical
REQ. PROFS: Healing
BONUS PROFS: One of: Herbalism, Brewing, Firebuilding
These are the stone-priests of Helden, and as such they receive certain powers to withstand the rigors of combat. They may aid themselves (as per the second level priest spell) once per day; this action takes no time and they merely need to concentrate.
At 3rd level, the priest grants all friendly dwarves a +4 bonus to their morale scores; they do not need to see the priest, as this is deep radiating magic provided by the Stonemother.
At 5th level, the priest receives the shield specialization from C&T for free. In addition, whenever the priest has their shield at the ready they are granted a +1 bonus to any save against magic of any kind.
At 7th level, the priest receives a +2 bonus to their constitution; this may take them all the way up to 21 constitution and may not be combined with other constitution gaining effects save a Technichus.
At 10th level, the priest automatically passes all saving throws made to combat fear effects. In addition, the priest may increase their strength to 18/00 once per day for a number of rounds equal to one half their level.
At 15th level, the priest’s shield and armor naturally count as enchanted items of a bonus equal to one fifth their level, even if they are not. If they are already enchanted, the higher enchantment takes precedence. If they are enchanted for effect but their plusses are less, the plusses are increased to the priest’s rank and the effects remain.
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