Face of the Free
Worship: The wilderness is where most worship of the Guardian occurs, though his followers are not opposed to meeting in other, often more secretive, locations.
Whenever Pelselond is full, the Face of the Free gather to celebrate their successes and lament those who still labor under tyranny or slavery. Official services in the evening are followed by planning sessions for commando-style raids against prime targets. Clerics who go into danger in this manner usually undergo additional ceremonies in case they die in the field away from the comforting presence of another cleric.
Holy Symbol: An eagle’s claw on a black background.
Holy Days: Every full moon (Pelselond). In places formerly occupied by empires such as Kalamar or Meznamish, the faith also celebrates the anniversary of the expulsion of the dominating nation. The Pekalese rally around one such event held there on the 5th of Arid, commemorating a battle. A similar event in Zazahni, celebrating the disintegration of Meznamish, rings hollow with the impoverished serfs laboring under their bickering lords.
Holy Colors: Black, gray and white.
Holy Animal: Messengers of Liberty favor the eagle, symbolizing both freedom and strength.
Raiment: The Face of the Free’s spiritual leaders tend to think very little of ceremony and pomp. The vestments of these Messengers of Liberty are sturdy and constructed for utilitarian purposes. When performing rituals, they wear robes upon which they affix one feather for each person they liberate. Feathers entirely cover the cloaks of High Rejoicers.
|6||Emancipator||gray and white|
|7||Emancipator||gray and white|
|8||Rejoicer||gray and white|
|9||Rejoicer||gray and white|
|10||High Rejoicer||gray and white|
Advancement: Advancement within the church is by freeing slaves, indentured servants and others owned by others; converting or killing followers of the Overlord; or aiding in the overthrow of oppressive governments.
A Deshackler must have made a significant donation in time or coin to the poor (100 hours or 500 gp). A Deshackler gains a masterwork set of thieves’ tools upon achieving the rank. While intended to be a ceremonial gift, many of these tools see frequent use in freeing slaves.
A Liberator must have freed at least one slave by force, by magic or by stealth.
An Emancipator must have freed at least 100 slaves. An Emancipator has the gratitude of many. Thanks given in monetary form is considered part of the cleric’s stipend. Sincere prayers from the clerics past adventures may move the cleric’s patron to mercy on the cleric’s behalf. When making a saving throw against an effect that would put the Emancipator at 0 hp or less (including effects that automatically kill the Emancipator, such as a banshee’s wail), the Emancipator gains a +4 divine bonus.
The Rejoicer‘s stipend increases to 300 gp per month. The Rejoicer is immune to scrying. A Rejoicer’s second follower is a rogue with the maximum ranks of the Unchainer prestige class (see the Villain Design Handbook) as possible.
Sacrifices: Broken chains from freed slaves.
Temples to the Face of the Free are usually large domes with multiple entrances — at least four, but sometimes as many as ten. A single central light source illuminates the interior, and in places where the light source is not magical, the done might feature a hole in the top for the smoke to escape. Frescoes depict local champions of the faith and past events important to the faith’s mission and growth.
Cathedrals add one or more balcony levels to the basic design to accommodate additional worshippers and provide more wall space for the history in pictures. The living quarters for the clerics require an additional building, although they just as often live in a basement level beneath the worship space, especially in large cities where land is valuable. Neither temples nor cathedrals use precious metals or jewelry. The faith spends the majority of its funds on missions to free slaves rather than on displays of wealth.
The holy seat lies in ancient Ashoshani, ruling like a majestic queen over the oldest section of the city. Her weather-beaten stone blocks worry some worshippers, but the clerics have faith that the structure will stand for centuries more. The seat features one rare indulgence of expense: a tile floor mosaic that depicts the disintegration of the Meznamish Empire.
Chond, a gnomish former slave, leads the faith, although he says that he merely obeys the worshippers. Chond has been responsible for decentralizing the faith’s leadership, removing positions and placing more power in the hands of the local clerics. Some of the faith’s clerics had gained great wealth and power in their missions against slavers and other evil-doers, and Chond’s actions have earned him enemies within the ranks. Despite the conflict, the movement continues, and the number of empowered clerics who thank him for the effort is vast.
|Friends and Allies:|
|The House of Solace: “They help those who need help, such as the enslaved. They are very good allies to have.”|
|The Church of Everlasting Hope: “Hope is the mainstay of the enslaved. Without hope, freedom is impossible.”|
|The Courts of Justice: “Slavery is not just, and therefore they ally with us.”|
|The Church of the Life’s Fire: “Developing life means giving it freedom to live and grow.”|
|The Theater of the Arts: “They are interested in freedom, both physical and mental…”|
|The Temple of the Patient Arrow: “The Golden Arrows guard the wilds, where we can hide and be safe. All they ask in return is that we take no more than we need to survive.”|
|The Order of the Passionate One: “Passionate and emotional – they are friendly to those who wish to be free… They also know how to break out of most jails.”|
|Foes and Enemies:|
|The House of Shackles: “They capture and enslave. They are evil and must be stopped! We allow no follower of the Overlord to pass us by unless it risks the freedom and wellbeing of many others."|
|The Order of Agony: “They are sick, twisted, and use pain to make slaves…"|
|The Congregation of the Dead: “The take the final freedom from others for their own selfish ends. They are nasty and conniving.”|
|The Temple of Strife: “Conflict kills freedom.”|
|The Conventicle of Affliction: “They promote illness and suffering, hoping to make everyone a slave to their god.”|