Conor's Age of Worms
Title(s): Saint Cuthbert of the Cudgel
Home Plane Axis (Aroden’s Domain)
Alignment Lawful Neutral
Portfolio Common Sense, Wisdom, Zeal, Honesty, Truth, Discipline
Domains Destruction, Domination, Law, Protection, Strength
Subdomains Defense, Inevitable, Leadership, Resolve
Superior None (was Aroden)
Favored Weapon: Mace
Saint Cuthbert of the Cudgel is the combative deity of Wisdom, Dedication, and Zeal.
Rumored to have once been a mortal man who followed Aroden, Saint Cuthbert is an intermediate deity. His alignment has been variously interpreted as lawful neutral (lawful good tendencies) and lawful good (lawful neutral tendencies). Saint Cuthbert hates evil, but is more concerned with law and order, with converting the uninformed, and preventing backsliding among the faithful.
Saint Cuthbert is a foe of many evil deities, notably Norgorber and Lamashtu.
Saint Cuthbert is strongly allied with Iomedae. He is an ally of Erastil, Sarenrae, and Torag as well. His worshipers get along well with those of Shelyn.
When they shed their mortal coils, those who worshiped the Saint in life go to Saint Cuthbert’s divine realm, called the Basilica of Saint Cuthbert or the Bastion of Law. This massive, miles-long fortress/cathedral is located near the border of Aroden’s Realm on the plane of Axis. Souls there act as silent observers while the saint gives out judgments from his Seat of Truth. Saint Cuthbert seldom leaves his plane unless some great duty calls him forth.
ScripturesSaint Cuthbert and Common Sense This short book, normally no more than thirty pages long, uses simple language to explain the tenets of Saint Cuthbert’s faith. Some personal interpretation is permitted, but the essentials (obey the law, be good, and use common sense) remain the same. Those who fail at living up to the Saint’s virtues are advised to turn to their communities for advice and support, and to prey to Saint Cuthbert to clear up their confusion. Copies of Saint Cuthbert and Common Sense are normally written by hand in easy-to-read letters, sometimes with simple drawings. Gilded illuminations and elaborate calligraphy are not in harmony with the Cuthbertine aesthetic.
Tales of the Vulgar Fool
This book is considered foul heresy in the eyes of Cuthbertines, particularly the Order of the Stars, who try to suppress it whenever it is encountered. It takes the traditional Cuthbertine parables of the Wise Fool and twists them so that instead of overcoming his problems with common sense, he indulges in thievery and lechery. Non-Cuthbertines see these stories as humorous parodies of uptight Cuthbertine homilies, but the church does not approve. A small minority of the faithful take the Tales of the Vulgar Fool to heart and incorporate their “advice” into their lives, and this is the sort of thing the Order of the Stars tries to stamp out.
Cuthbertines (that is, worshipers of Saint Cuthbert) are most prevalent in the Inner Sea Region. The Saint has churches in Absalom, Andoran, Cheliax, Lastwall, Mendev, Molthune, Numeria, The River Kingdoms, Sargava, Taldor, tVarisia, and the Worldwound.
On other planes, Saint Cuthbert is the most favored god of the Harmonium faction, who appreciate the god’s uncompromising nature. The current leader of the faction, Faith, is a cleric of Saint Cuthbert.
Saint Cuthbert’s priesthood is divided into three major orders.
The Chapeaux, whose symbol is a crumpled hat, seek to convert people into their faith. They are equally divided between lawful good and lawful neutral characters. Paladins of Saint Cuthbert, known as Votaries or Communicants, have an honorary position in the Order of the Chapeaux. Their role is not just to convert others, but to actually fight enemies of the faith.
The Stars, whose symbol is a starburst, seek to enforce doctrinal purity among those already dedicated to the saint. Most are lawful neutral, and they do not shy from using mind-reading magic in order to ensure that even the private thoughts of their flock are pure. Most church leaders come from this Order.
The Billets are the most numerous of Saint Cuthbert’s clergy. Most are lawful good, and they seek to minister to and protect the faithful. These are well-beloved by the common folk. Their symbol is a wooden club. The Chapeaux often come into conflict with the Billets, because the former order wants to seek new converts while the latter wants to care for the worshipers they already have.
The Order of the Rosy Cross of Truth, was founded in 4610, shortly after the death of Aroden. It was founded by Ormus, a former priest of Erastil, recently converted to Saint Cuthbert’s faith. When Ormus discovered an evil warlord had been corrupted by a devil in disguise, he founded the new order in order to track down other devils living among mortals in disguise. The order has three branches: the Green Cross, the White Cross, and the Blue Cross. This is a much more militant order than any of the others.
Saint Cuthbert’s churches can be large cathedrals, but most commonly are wayside shrines and small, rude chapels.
The monastery-fortress of St. Cuthbert in the canton of Clatspurgen, Mendev was the central focus point for the first Mendevian Crusade, protecting the valley from several major demonic incursions during that dark time.
Saint Cuthbert’s Day
Celebrated on the 4th day of Desnus, Saint Cuthbert’s Day is the largest festival celebrated by Saint Cuthbert’s church. It involves locals and pilgrims gathering at a city’s gate at dawn and parading and singing along a major road until they reach the local shrine or temple. Children swipe at everyone within reach with switches in a custom known as “the cleansing.” At their destination, a cleric brings out a replica of the Mace of Cuthbert and there is a great feast from noon until dusk, and then a bonfire from sundown until midnight that the faithful believe can remove curses and misfortune.
This is a new event that began only after the death of Aroden, originally as a charitable event for refugees. Subsequently it has become a day dedicated to feeding the hungry in general. Cuthbertines take the opportunity to preach and gain converts, and provide security for the event. The faiths of Iomedae and Sarenrae also participate.
Artifacts and relics
Saint Cuthbert wields a powerful artifact called the Mace of Cuthbert. Other magic items associated with Saint Cuthbert include the Cudgel that Never Forgets and the Tabard of the Great Crusade.