Thursday, September 7, 2017

Campaign Design - The Lords of Heaven: Rúadan

Rúadan (Donn)

The Dead Lord; The Scourge of the Risen Dead; The Watcher of Graves; Celestial Lord of the Peaceful Dead

Alignment: Lawful Good.
Domains: (Crusade), The Dead, Endings, Foresight, Peace, Planning, Truth.
Summon Monster: Rúadan's clerics and favored souls can summon axiomatic and celestial creatures using summon monster spells.
Symbol: A broken axe.
Favored Weapon: "Cleaver of death" (battle axe).
Related Prestige Classes: Paladin.

Rúadan is dead. Along with Forseti, Heim, and Tiwas, he was one of the four sons of Eiur, and like them he was a champion of the armies of Heaven. During the War in Heaven, Rúadan joined his brothers in their quest to recover the infant Füllar. Though they found Füllar and rescued him, Rúadan was overwhelmed and fell while holding the demonic hordes off long enough for his brothers to escape with the child, and was taken as a hostage into the depths of Hell. Though Woda sent Aíne to try to secure his release, the Lords of Hell betrayed her, and when they proved unable to slay her due to the death gesa that protected her, they killed Rúadan instead, using infernal poisons and magic that put him beyond even Eiur's ability to heal.

Being dead, Rúadan sees all things as they are, and can foresee all ends. Being dead, Rúadan only begrudgingly shares such secrets with the living, keeping his own counsel, silent as the grave. Even though Rúadan is dead, that does not mean he does not have devoted worshipers. Even though he was one of Eiur's sons, his death caused the divine mother so much grief that his temples are not co-located with hers as those of his brothers are. Instead, Rúadan's shrines can be found guarding over cemeteries and graveyards, providing a silent watch to ensure that the dead are left in peace. As the Lord of the Peaceful Dead, Rúadan's greatest ire is reserved for grave-robbers, necromancers, and all who would disturb the rest of the departed. As such, his priesthood holds a special enmity towards the White Hand, as well as a particular animus towards Kalma and her followers.

Rúadan is not a popular deity per se, but all honor him eventually when they bury those they have lost. Every funeral's rites are conducted in his name. Many of Rúadan's priests serve as caretakers of the places of the dead, performing the rituals of comfort for the living and guarding the resting places of the departed to ensure that they are left in peace. Others, however, take up the axe to cut down the living dead to return them to the grave where they belong. Many of the most famous of Rúadan's devotees have been crusading undead hunters.

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