Assembly of the Four Corners
Worship: The place of worship varies by elemental cult (Corner). Ceremonies are usually held in underground caverns, windy mountain tops, volcanic areas or seaside temples, respectively. Their worship centers around sacrifices and on the interpretation of omens.
Rivalries between the cults may flare up in some communities where temples from more than one corner are located. In other communities, a single cult gains such a following that it becomes dominant through simple weight of numbers. Moderating such local extremes is a priority of the church hierarchy, but lasting success is unlikely, as there is currently no High Priest of the Four Corners. (Occasionally the four cults band together and elect a High Priest of the Four Corners whose term is either predetermined or lasts for his lifetime. If this position is vacant, then each High Priest of the individual corners is the ultimate authority for his or her own cult.)
Holy Symbol: The holy symbol is a circle divided into equal parts with one of the four cults (earth, air, fire and water) represented in each corner.
Holy Days: Holy days include the first day of winter, on which the Mother of the Elements is said to have split the elemental planes ages ago. The Fire Corner also recognizes the fourth quarter of Siege-hold as a holy day.
Holy Colors: The holy colors vary by cult: brown (earth), silver (air), red (fire) and blue (water).
Holy Animal: The church’s holy animal varies by cult. They are the mole (earth), albatross (air), salamander (fire) and clam (water).
Raiment: Clergy of the often harsh patron goddess of the elements perform most of their ceremonies and services outside, so they tend to wear clothing that is durable and, during winter months, warm. All Keepers of the Four Corners are required to wear a medallion depicting their symbol – a circle divided into four equal parts, each of which depicts one of the four cults: earth, air, fire and water. A Keeper of the Four Corners wears durable robes of the appropriate color for his or her cult: brown for the earth corner, silver for air, red for fire and blue for water. They must keep their heads unadorned.
|1||Servant of the Four Corners|
|2||Initiate of the Four Corners|
|3||Guardian of the Four Corners|
|4||Priest of the Four Corners|
|5||Servant of the (Cult) Corner|
|6||Initiate of the (Cult) Corner|
|7||Guardian of the (Cult) Corner|
|8||Priest of the (Cult) Corner|
|9||High Priest of the (Cult) Corner|
|10||High Priest of the Four Corners|
Advancement: Advancement within the Assembly of the Four Corners is based on helping to maintain the balance of nature. The Assembly is organized such that all clerics must declare an allegiance to a specific cult in order to gain a church title above Priest of the Four Corners. Until this declaration is made, clerics are all members of one cult. Level titles follow with (Cult) representing the element to which the cleric is devoted.
If the Guardian of the Four Corners wishes a weapon for the magic item to be awarded for attaining this rank, it will always be a +1 favored weapon of one of the cults with either the thundering (earth), shock (air), flaming (fire), or frost (water) special ability appropriate to the cult. This often marks the first indication of the Guardian’s intended cult of choice, although it does not restrict the decision.
When an Initiate of the (Cult) Corner researches a new spell, she can elect to learn a spell that she can cast from any spell list (arcane or divine) with the elemental descriptor matching her cult. The spell level does not change, and the spell is added to the Initiate’s spell list.
The Guardian of the (Cult) Corner’s second follower is an elemental of the appropriate type, and has four fewer hit dice than the Guardian (see the Monster Manual for the size of the elemental based on its hit dice).
A High Priest of the Four Corners gains an elemental follower (of the same hit dice as her own elemental) from each of the other three cults. A High Priest can cast summon nature’s ally IV through summon nature’s ally IX as cleric spells of equivalent level, but can only summon elementals.
Sacrifices: Once per month, but the precise day varies by cult. The last day of the week is when sacrifices must be made to the Mother of the Elements. The cults rotate this responsibility in the order of earth, air, fire and water. The sacrifice for the Earth Corner is small gems. The sacrifice for the Air Corner is a flying creature or small crushed aquamarines sprinkled into the air from a high place. The sacrifice for the Fire Corner is a burning piece of coal or small fire opals. The sacrifice for the Water Corner is a water-dwelling creature, an intricately carved fish-bone statuette cast into the water or pearls.
Temples of this diverse faith vary, showing five slightly different designs stemming from a common base. Temples are narrow multi-story buildings that look something like a thin step pyramid or a plain pagoda. Water temples usually add a pool of water inside. Earth temples have bronze plating around the exterior. Air temples have open access to the elements on the highest floors. Fire temples usually have oil lamps set into the ground around the entirety of the temple; a switch dims one section for public access during the day.
Cathedrals are more elaborate and visually striking, as well as being much larger. Water temples usually cascade their flow of water down the outside of all four walls. Earth temples feature an interior tiled with some kind of semi-precious stone (turquoise is popular). Air temples, through location and design, provide a steady breeze through the worship area. Fire temples provide multiple rings of fire. Any one of them might have an elder elemental guardian living in its element.
The holy seat in Nordolen is a special designation given to one of the lesser Four Corners temples while the designation of High Priest of the Four Corners lasts. Normally, each cult has its own cathedral from which the cult takes its leadership. The senior water temple lies in Bet Urala, the earth temple in Draska, the air temple in Ardarr-Norr and the fire temple in arid Ehzhimahn.
Brava Torist, the High Priest of the Four Corners has tried to unify the faith after a divisive conflict between the four cults. These conflicts seem to flare up every few generations, dwindling in intensity after a fierce period. The entire issue has exhausted and embittered her. She detests politics and would like nothing more than a small parish in a quiet town.
|Friends and Allies:|
|The Conventicle of the Great Tree: “The balance of nature is a powerful part of the merging of the elements. Nature helps to keep all elements in balance and check.”|
|The Church of the Life’s Fire: “Life, when nurtured, is a force of almost elemental proportions.”|
|The Temple of Enchantment: “They seek to balance magical forces as we seek to balance the elemental ones.”|
|Foes and Enemies:|
|The Church of Endless Night: “An imbalance in the light is like a blight on the world; too much or too little, and the world becomes sick.”|
|The Temple of Strife: “Conflict wields any imbalance in the elements like a sword, and exacerbates it.”|
|The Assembly of Light: “They seek to burn the land with eternal light – an imbalance as unhealthy as eternal darkness…”|
|The Theater of the Arts: “The arts are a weak and useless expression of the elements that give our lives sustenance and meaning.”|