Avasir

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Avasir

Title God of Walls and Ditches,Judge of the Gods
Portfolio Cities Wealth Merchants Law
Worshipers Paladins, fighters, monks, judges, constables
Alignment Lawful Neutral
Worshiper Alignment LG,LN,N,LE
Domains Earth, Law, Nobility, Protection, Travel
Subdomains Defense, Inevitable, Leadership, Martyr, Metal, Trade
Favored Weapon Light Crossbow
Symbol Golden key
Allows creation or rising of undead: No
Favored Animal(s) Monkey
Sacred Colors Gold, silver

Obedience

Take a handful of mixed gems, coins, and keys. Include coins from three or more different currency systems (such as from three different kingdoms), as well as at least three different keys—one of which should be the key to a lockbox, vault, or other such storage item. Kneel before a scale and balance the items as perfectly as you can on it, removing and replacing items in order to create the most equitable balance of items. Randomize the items you select each time you perform this obedience, so as not to let your obedience become routine. Meditate on the teachings from The Order of Numbers. Gain a +4 sacred or profane bonus on saving throws against spells and effects generated by creatures with a chaotic alignment. The type of bonus depends on your alignment—if you’re neither good nor evil, you must choose either sacred or profane the first time you perform your obedience. Once made, this choice can’t be changed.

Dogma

Avasir and his followers wish to bring the light of civilization to the wilderness, to help educate all in the benefits of law and properly regulated commerce. He expects his followers to obey all meaningful laws, but not those which are ridiculous, unenforceable, or self-contradictory. He is also a great proponent of peace, as war inevitably leads to the degradation of trade and the stifling of prosperity for the general public. He advocates cautious, and keen consideration in all matters. He frowns on impulsiveness, believing that it leads to the encouragement of primitive needs. Avasir discourages dependence on government or any religious institution, believing that wealth and happiness should be achievable by anyone with keen judgement, discipline, and a healthy respect for all sensible, just laws.

Avasir is a patient, calculating, and a far-seeing deity who wishes to bring civilization to the frontiers, order to the wilds, and wealth to all who support the rule of law. His primary desire is to see the purifying spread of civilization, enlightening the dark corners of the world and revealing the clockwork perfection of the cosmos. His nature is not hasty, for the pace of society's reach is slow but relentless. He strikes a careful balance between good and evil, seeing benefits on both sides and refusing to endorse one or the other. His followers believe he is responsible for elevating the various humanoid races from simple tribes to beings capable of creating huge cities. He puts words of diplomacy in the mouths of leaders, guides the pens of those who write laws, and steers coins into the hands of those who practice fair commerce.

The god of cities is stern, but rewards those who work hard and whose actions benefit others as well as themselves, though he is morally ambiguous enough to recognize that not every person can benefit from every decision. He frowns on the misuse of slaves or beasts of burden. Considering it a waste of resources and detrimental to the profitability of civilization as a whole; he views using cheap laborers rather than slaves as a better option, as then the workers can use their funds to participate in commerce and rise above their low station through established economic channels. He understands, however that the world changes in small Increments, and that the most advantageous option for society is not always the most workable in the present.

He respects cautious thought and rejects impulsiveness, seeing it as a base and destructive whim. He teaches that discipline, keen judgment, and following the law eventually lead to wealth, comfort, and happiness. He does not believe in free handouts, and because of this his temples sell potions and healing spells or scrolls rather than giving them to those in need. Any who protest are directed to the temple of Eyvra.

Avasir is the master and guardian of the First Vault, a magical trove in his realm where a perfect version of every type of creature and object exists-a perfect sword, a perfect deer, a perfect wheel, and even a perfect law.

His mortal artists and artisans attempt to emulate these perfect forms, inspired by Avasir's mentoring. Likewise, his arbiters and judges keep these idealized laws in mind when crafting new laws or ruling on existing ones. It is said that centuries ago Avasir allowed mortals to visit the First Vault in dreams, the better to inspire them. There has been no record of such coveted visions occurring in a long time, however, perhaps because he has not found someone worthy, because he fears his enemies might steal the perfect forms, or because he is carefully pacing the advance of current civilizations to prevent them from growing too quickly and dissolving before they reach their peak.

His primary worshipers are aristocrats, artisans, judges, lawyers, merchants, and politicians, all of whom benefit from established laws and commerce. Those who are poor or who have been wronged also worship him, praying he might help reverse their ill fortune, for most mortals seek wealth and the happiness it brings. He expects his followers to abide by local laws (though not foolish, contradictory, toothless, or purposeless mandates) and to work to promote order and peace. He has no tolerance for gambling or excessive drinking or drug use, as despite the lucrative nature of these industries, such vices inevitably weaken society rather than strengthen it.

Worshipers who lose Avasir's favor might find themselves short on money at a crucial time, tongue-tied in the middle of an important deal, or stymied in their craft or art. When he is pleased, deals are more profitable than expected, projects are completed early, and journeys to or within a city take less time than normal. His intervention in the mortal world is subtle, for he expects worshipers to do their own work; it usually takes the form of hints or opportunities rather than direct gifts. Avasir is depicted as a handsome man with black hair dressed in fine garments, often with a gold cloak over a golden breastplate and bearing many keys. Humans, show him with a beard, whereas elves show him beardless and with long braids tied with golden thread. His voice is pleasant and even, his words firm but not harsh. Avasir's holy symbol is a golden key, often with a city image on the head. His clergy is made up almost entirely of clerics, with a small number of paladins. Because of the emphasis on cities and civilization, he almost never has adepts among his priesthood-even the most remote settlements paying homage to Avasir are watched over by at least a cleric or a paladin. He is called the Master of the First Vault, Judge of the Gods, and the Gold-Fisted.

The Church

The worship of Avasir is both functional and theological. It is an excellent everyday faith, for it deals with matters that directly affect daily life. The churches of Avasir in each city encourage friendly competition with other cities to promote trade. Church law forbids clergy from attacking each other, regardless of political, national, or financial motivations, as warfare creates instability and chips away at the foundations of civilization. Thus, in wartime, the churches of Avasir often become neutral territory, not participating in the struggle and acting as safe havens and mediators in the conflict.

Priests of Avasir within a given city or temple arrange themselves in a set hierarchy, as in a mercantile house. The head of a smaller temple is called a banker, while the leaders of larger temples or greater geographical areas are archbankers. The church defines itself by its wealth, counting coins as blessings from Avasir. Competition between priest-backed business ventures remains friendly, and making money is at once a holy duty, a serious pursuit, and a beloved pastime, with all the fun and excitement of an organized sport.

Temples

Avasir's temples are elaborate buildings with rich decorations and high, thick stained-glass windows. These windows have heavy frames (to guard against thieves) and usually feature vivid yellow glass that casts a golden hue on everything within the church. Most temples have a guarded vault for church treasures and wealth, and many also rent space in their vault to those who wish a safe place to keep their valuables. Any temple in a small town or larger settlement also serves as a bank, currency exchange, and moneylender, which helps keep interest rates reasonable and consistent-while Avasir's clergy see making a profit off such exchanges as a holy duty, their loans and deals are rarely predatory or exploitative, as such practices weaken and destabilize the populace. The banker in charge of the temple watches the local economy and adjusts interest to stimulate growth, encourage investment, or help recover from a disaster. As priests often serve as lawyers and judges, the temples are usually built near courthouses.

Services to Avasir include songs with complex harmonies (generally accompanied by hammered instruments such as dulcimers and glockenspiels) and the counting or sorting of coins or keys (often in time with the singing or music). Services and ceremonies always take place indoors, representing the shelter of civilization. Worshipers unable to reach an actual building make do with at least a crude structure or a even a sloping wall or cave that provides protection from the elements. Services usually take place in the morning, and it is customary to thank Avasir after a profitable or advantageous transaction.

Taboos

Avasir's clergy are forbidden to attack one another, for their primary allegiance must always be to civilization as a whole, rather than a particular sect or nation. Avasirians are likewise encouraged to refrain from war against others of their faith, but this proscription lacks teeth. More importantly, they are forbidden to accept or offer bribes or engage in public corruption, and those faithful who do so may find their tongues tied and their hands numb when they try to conduct their deals

A Priest's Role

Avasir's followers believe in advancing civilization, teaching the unenlightened about systems and trade, driving commerce in pursuit of comfort and happiness, and the idea that fairness lies in both the letter and the spirit of the law. They promote cooperation and believe the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, but also feel that self-interest is the best motivating factor for individuals within a society. While they have an acquisitive bent, they are thrifty rather than miserly, and know that helping their neighbors attain prosperity improves the lot of everyone, themselves included. They turn trails into roads and towns into cities, eliminate monsters and troublemakers in urban and rural areas, adjudicate disputes, make legal rulings, and reassure law-abiding people that the forces of order are watching over them.

Many urban clerics work with the local legal system as judges, lawyers, and clerks (often donating their services, much as a healing-oriented church might run a hospice or give food to the needy), although they are not usually politicians or part of the city's government.In wilder areas, clerics act as judge and jury, seeking out threats to civilization and eliminating them. Younger priests who are physically fit often do tours through smaller towns and frontier areas to carry news, act as wandering magistrates, and make sure order leaves its footprint. As an arbiter of justice, each priest traditionally carries a single golden-headed crossbow bolt for when a criminal must be executed. This bolt goes to the dead criminal's family as compensation for the loss and as an initial stake to begin making an honest living.

Although Avasir's temples are mercenary when it comes to providing healing, they are generous when protecting public health, seeing it as an important component of their role as guardians of civilization. Likewise, when traveling with others (such as an adventuring party), clerics of Avasir do not charge their companions for healing, seeing it as an equivalent service to a fighter's sword swing or a ranger's scouting. Like a business, questing and traveling requires teamwork, and it is part of the cleric's responsibility to provide healing and magical support for an equal share of the eventual profits.

typical day for a priest involves waking, breakfast, prayer and the preparation of spells, reading or listening to the local news for anything worth investigating, and a period of work. At night, there is a brief prayer before the evening meal, and the evening is reserved for hobbies, time with family, or other non-work interests.

other non-work interests. Most clerics of Avasir have at least i rank in Knowledge (local) in order to be familiar with the laws of their home cities. Most also dabble in Knowledge (local) and (nobility), or practice some sort of craft or profession always something useful to a developing or established settlement. Clerics are not permitted to give money to those in need, only to lend it at a fair rate and record the transaction for the church's record. They are required to tithe, and most clerics have small investments in local businesses that generate enough income to cover the tithe.

Those whose talents for dealing with people exceed their business acumen often work as teachers, educating children and adults so they can advance themselves and better serve the community. Every cleric belongs to a particular temple, even those touring remote areas. If circumstances warrant distant travel or a long period near another city, the home temple files paperwork transferring the cleric's affiliation to a closer temple.

Inquisitors of Avasir, known as "taxmasters," confront the perpetrators of fraudulent payments and tax dodging, track down stolen goods, and battle thieves' guilds. Local officials usually grant them the legal right to threaten, punish, or even injure those who withhold the revenue that allows civilization to persist and grow, although the inquisitors are just as likely to turn around and rebuke nobles and other leaders who set taxes excessively high for mere personal gain. Hated and feared by most people, the taxmasters usually wear golden masks or mustard yellow veils to protect their identities while performing these duties.

Like clerics, inquisitors who serve Avasir usually belong to specific temples and have established territories in which they perform their legal functions. Old, infirm, or recuperating taxmasters do most of the research that finds evidence of financial cheating. A typical inquisitor has ranks in Intimidate, in Knowledge (local), Knowledge (nobility), and in Sense Motive.

The more politic ones have ranks in Diplomacy as well, not only for gathering information but also to assure citizens that innocent mistakes that result in failure to pay taxes will be corrected but not punished.

Paladins of Avasir are not their common, virtuous zeal doesn't mesh easily with the balanced approach to ethics that the Master of the First Vault practices, but the god understands that an active force for good is sometimes best dealing with threats to civilization. Their specialized interests and abilities sometimes lead them to work behind the scenes in lawful-evil nations where the leaders are exploiting the economy at the expense of their subjects. Paladins tend to be more fiscally aggressive than clerics, using their wealth to inspire others to join the cause, and willing to invest in promising enterprises, take a loss on a deal in order to motivate trade, and take greater risks with their money.

Holy Texts

The average cleric of Avasir is rarely without numerous documents related to the internal processes of the church, but their holiest texts have a more educational focus.

The Order of Numbers: The faith's core text reads more like a city charter or legal treatise than a religious text, and priests commission elaborately decorated copies to generate business in the community. More than two dozen carefully indexed chapters detail the beliefs and taboos of the church, and each copy has space for notes on local laws, all the ways such laws interact with church doctrine, names of key figures in the city, and so on. The inside cover bears the name of the book's owner, and possessing a copy that once belonging to a prestigious family or was passed down from a respected church official is a great honor.

The Manual of City-Building: Bound in heavy leather with bronze clasps and corners to protect it from being damaged by the heavy use it sees, this manual contains comprehensive advice on founding a town and building it into a city, including planning for roads, trade, defenses, utilities, expansion, and so on. The church updates the text every few years, and most older copies have a substantial appendix of revisions and footnotes. The oldest church in a city usually keeps its copy of this book on a special consecrated table, especially if the church was responsible for the city's founding.

Holidays

All of the Church of Avasir's observed holidays have to do with trade or civilization.

Market's Door: This holiday marks the first day the markets receive goods from the fall harvest. The actual date varies from year to year, but using historical trends and divination, the church determines the exact date and announces it a month in advance. Before the market opens, a priest blesses the market area and leads a group prayer for all present, thanking Avasir and asking him to look favorably upon the season's business. In cities where vendors must pay a fee in order to use the market, the church usually subsidizes a portion of the fee on this day.

Taxfest: The church views the annual collecting of taxes as a cause for celebration, seeing fair taxation as a necessary part of the building and maintenance of civilization. Whenever possible, the church sends a priest with each tax collector to ensure that the process is respectful and to make sure the taxpayer knows the collection is being monitored. Once all monies have been collected, the church opens up its doors and invites the townsfolk to participate in an enormous feast with their civic leaders, both to help the experience remain positive and to give the commoners a chance to express their opinions on how the newly collected funds ought to be spent.

Relations With other gods

Abadar understands that an advanced civilization has spiritual needs met by many different gods, and thus maintains an approachable coolness where other deities are concerned. Only those who directly oppose his beliefs are his declared enemies, and even then he might be open to negotiation,though these opponents rarely are. He despises Nemyth for sanctioning theft and corrupting potential Avasirian worshipers like honest politicians and alchemists with the promise of illegitimate power. He is friendly with Alaister (god of farming, necessary for transitioning people from a nomadic lifestyle), though the two often end up at loggerheads over Alaister's desire to keep communities small and pastoral as opposed to Avasir's sprawling urban utopia.

Other deities frequently in his good graces include Samaria (goddess of justice and rulership, necessary to preserve peace in a society), Irori (god of history and knowledge, critical for maintaining a stable civilization), Callie (goddess of art and music, excellent for bolstering civic spirit), and even Yarnos (although only for the archdevil's belief in upholding laws and contracts). Avasir knows that his pursuits frequently anger Deidre(god of nature), who would like to see the natural parts of the world remain unspoiled, but he believes the two of them can eventually reach a compromise. Few deities call the even-handed god a friend, but many-especially Samaria, who likes his attention to detail and planning, and Kamus, who appreciates his devotion to law and commerce-consider him a valuable and pragmatic ally.

Like Avasir himself, his followers try to maintain positive but reserved relations with followers of other gods. They understand that it takes many different cultures to keep society advancing, and so are extraordinarily tolerant of other viewpoints-or at least, they strive to be so. Still, their dealings with the followers of the Green Faith and Deidre are difficult, for those faiths do not recognize the obvious virtues of civilization. Avasir's faithful remain confident that they can turn them to the church's view at some point though. while the children of the chaotic good gods be obnoxious and immoderate, at least they mean well, and tend not to damage society as grievously. Hirai's followers can be dangerous, for they worship only battle and rarely care for the results of their wars, yet Avasir also understands that war is simply an extension of politics, which is in turn an extension of commerce, and thus is sometimes necessary for the advancement of civilization.

Despite the church's strong opposition to corruption, many of those who proclaim the merits of Avasir's worship most enthusiastically are prominent citizens in positions of power and wealth and thus vulnerable to this failing. The church prefers to handle its own problems quietly, though the leadership must balance the church's desire for discretion against the need to demonstrate to members of faiths that their condemnation of corruption is sincere.

Paladins of Avasir

Of all the neutral gods, only avasir supports and promotes the holy order of paladins. As the god of civilization and order, Avasir recognizes the value of holy warriors in advancing society's aims. His paladins follow the standard paladin code of protecting the innocent, acting with honor and honesty and respecting lawful authority. In addition a Avasian upholds the following creed.

  • I am a protector of the roadways and keep travelers from harm. No matter their destinations or goals, if they are peaceable and legitimate travelers who harm no others on the road i will ensure that they pass safely.
  • Bandits are a plague. Under my will they come to justice. If they will not come willingly before the law, where they can protest for justice in the courts, they will come under the power of my sword.
  • Corruption of the courts is the greatest corruption of all civilization. Without confidence in justice, citizens cannot believe in their countries, and civilization begins to dissapear. I will root out corruption wherever i find it, and if a system is fundamentally flawed, i will work to aid citizens by reforming it or replacing it.
  • I am an aid to the markets. I ensure equitable trade between merchants and citizens. Theft and deceit on either side are intolerable.
  • I make opportunities, and teach others to recognize them. When i aid others, i open the way for them but will not carry them they must take responsibility

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