Urian

God of the Air and Sky God of the Air and Sky
The Eyries of Urian The Eyries of Urian
Urian (YUR-ee-uhn) (Radiant, Thunderous, the Wind Lord, Sky King, Sky Father, Urian (YUR-ee-uhn) (Radiant, Thunderous, the Wind Lord, Sky King, Sky Father,
Great Sky, the Moon and Stars, Windwright) Great Sky, the Moon and Stars, Windwright)
Myths
Dragging Sun and Moon
For long and long, the sun and moon simply hung in the heavens as a part of
the Great Sky. There was no need for them to move, and it was eternally day in
one part of the world and night in the other. Into this world the div were born,
and before long those in the dark pleaded with Radiant Urian for light; those in
the eternal light cried out for the restfulness of night. But how can this be? For a
man can no more move his eye from his head to his toe than the Sky Father could
move the Sun to the dark parts, and the Moon to the bright.
Yet Thunderous Urian was moved by their pleas, and so he set to earth in
his common guise and wandered among the div finding the two mightiest
of the race – Ali Mustafis bin Omar and Farouk al Ban. These two div
were the greatest heroes of the time, and had come to be renowned among
the Shaitan and Marid for their rivalry. They had wrestled 12 times
before, and never had one of them won.
When Urian came upon them, it was before their 13th match. Every
hundred years the div from around the world (who did not wither with
age) would gather for great athletic contests between the strongest and
swiftest among them. All eyes were upon the great champions, each of
whom swore that he would be victorious this time. The Sky King came to
them and made each this offer – should he win, Urian would place him in
the heavens for eternity. Both readily accepted.
The two strove for three days, their longest match yet, and at the end,
neither was victorious. When the Windwright came to them afterward
and sighed sadly that he only had room for one in the sky, each demanded
the place. Each swore fervently that he would serve gladly and diligently in
the heavens just to keep his rival from the honor. At the end of their oaths,
Urian smiled, for he indeed had room and need for both.
And so, Ali Mustafis bin Omar was renamed Alimus and set in garments
of pure gold. Urian placed in his hands a great fl axen cord that was lashed
about the sun, and every day Alimus drags the golden orb across the sky.
For his part, Farouk was renamed Faro, and he was set in raiment of
shining silver. Into his hand was committed a perfect thread of mithril
that girded the moon. His commission was to drag the moon across the
heavens in the evening.
To this day, the two uphold their duties, though sometimes Faro shows up his
rival by racing onto the field of the sky early, and so the moon can be seen in the
heavens during the day. And sometimes, though rarely, the two ancient rivals
come to wrestle once more and the sun and moon are eclipsed as they strive; to
look at the sky at such times is folly, for the wrestlers have such might and glory in
them that to gaze at them with the naked mortal eye is to be blinded.
The Chaining of the Winds
When Darmon and Korak taught the mortal races to build great water
vessels and Wily Darmon taught them to sail those tall ships across
Shalimyr’s back, there were many obstacles to the learning. The mortal
races needed to overcome their fear of fl oating on the water, which was
as unnatural to them as fl ying through the air; they needed to learn to
navigate when out in the great and chartless sea; but most important, they
needed to learn to harness the wind for their travels.
While Urian the Wind Lord tried to keep his winds in check for the
benefit of these mortals, still they were wild and untamed. Just as a man’s
mind can wander and contemplate that which horrifies him, just as a
woman can find her hands striking her child whom she loves more dearly
than her own life, so were the Sky King’s winds raging against his will.
For while the winds were a part of him, they had possessed a spirit of their
own from the beginning. Two of them hated those that walked the earth
and sailed the seas, and they sought to destroy them all.
The bitter North wind called out, “I shall bite at all I see, tear their fl esh
and turn them to ice!”
The terrible East wind responded, “I shall shake them and break them, rip
them and strip them! I hate them all, I do, and the East wind will destroy!”
But the South wind and the West wind tried to stop the East and North
from destroying the mortals, and often the winds would clash in the skies,
causing terrible gales that tore up everything in sight.
Perhaps the winds that are part of Urian the Moon and Stars are only a small
mirror put to the spirit of the Great Sky Himself. For surely, Radiant Urian
has shown through the ages that he both loves and abhors others – sometimes he
is placid and lovely, and at other times he is dark and terrible; so too were the
winds that were a part of him, but not a part of him.
At last, the raging of the winds became too much. The mortals had learned to
sail their tall ships and to build beautiful homes at the water’s edge, but whenever
they set out on the great journeys that would some day connect the mortal races in
trade, the winds would rise up – South against North, East against West – and
the ships would be dashed against rocks or lost at sea. One day, Darmon Silver
Tongue came to Urian to entreat him to calm his winds:
“Sky Father! Will you not still your raging winds? For do we not all love
these clever mortals and wish to see them travel across the land and sea? Yet
they cannot travel, for your winds destroy their ships; you rage where even
your mad brother Shalimyr does not.”
And the Sky King thought on this and determined that little Darmon was
right. He did wish to see these mortals travel across the seas and someday,
perhaps, high in the air. So he spoke to his winds and demanded they be
still. But they would not!
“Nay, Lord! We will rage and blow and destroy, for our hearts hate!” the
North and East said.
“Nay, Lord! We must rise to oppose our brothers, or they will destroy the
world!” the South and West said.
And at this Urian started, for surely the winds were a part of him as were
the stars, as was the Sun and Moon, and yet they resisted his will. And so
he reached into himself and plucked the winds from him, as a man might
rip out an offending eye, or cut off his own hand were it to spite his desires.
Urian Windwright then sent Darmon forth to summon the twins, Korak and
Anwyn. For the Sky King, Master Korak built four mighty halls in the clouds
and mountain peaks to house the winds, and chains to hold them. From these
halls, Blessed Anwyn made homes, with furs and fires and splendid feasts.
Urian now resides in these four halls, moving from one to the next,
unchaining his winds for a while when he sees fit, knowing that the
North and East seek to scour the earth, and the South and West seek to
give succor. It is said that two of the halls are in caves atop the tallest
mountains in the North and South of the world, and should any be foolish
or brave enough to climb these peaks, he might find Urian Windwright or,
at the least, one of the winds bound in mighty adamant chains forged by
Master Korak. And in the highest clouds of the East and West, one might
find two more halls, and in them imprisoned those winds. But in all four
halls one thing is assured – winds that were once a part of the Sky King are
shackled, yearning to be free.
Let us never forget, therefore, that Radiant Urian, who cherishes freedom,
so loved the mortal races that he pulled from himself the most vital part
and enslaved it to be our servant; we must forever honor this sacrifice.
Associations
Urian is the god of the sky, the sun, the moon, the stars, the winds,
freedom, and salvation. His voice is heard in thunder, and his
countenance is seen in lightning. To most, he is the father of storms,
though all agree that rains come from Shalimyr, the waters.
In the animal kingdom he is associated with no animal more than the eagle,
though all of the beasts of the feather are referred to as his children and
wards of his domain. Among more magical creatures, he is associated with
the griffin, which is part eagle and was born of his servant.
Urian is ardently worshipped by primitive people everywhere, and has
among them more names than can be counted. The odds are very
good that barbarians and nomad societies worship Urian, or some
aspect of Urian (like the sun, stars, or lightning), under some name of
their own devising. Among those who understand Urian’s place in the
pantheon, he is most often worshipped by the elves, who love his stars
and the moon, and by humans and halflings, who love his sun and sky.
Subterranean races care little for Urian.
Alignment
Urian is neutral good.
Representations
In icons, Urian is shown as a mighty old man, with a great white beard
made from the winds and wild hair that shines with lightning. In his eyes
are stars and the moon, and when his mouth is open it shines with the light
of the sun. He is sometimes shown with four beasts behind him on leashes
of chain – the four winds, two of which are shown to be snarling, fierce
beasts, and two of which are shown to be placid and kindly.
When represented symbolically, Urian’s faith is summoned visually with an
orb, half gold, half silver; the gold half casts off the golden rays of the sun.
This symbol is worn by the Urianath, particularly those of his church. In
times of haste when such symbols are not possible, this symbol is made as
just a simple orb fl anked by four lines – the winds.
This is a hasty symbol and will not be used if the more formal symbol is
possible. It is most often seen in small stamps on weapon hilts, etc.
Purpose
Urian is the sky and the heavens. His purpose is to continue to shine
on the earth with his sunlight and to make the landscape glow with
the silver light of the stars. Bound up in this, though, is the central
mystery of the worship of Urian, Shalimyr, and Rontra; all three gods
arethe elemental parts of the world, but they are also the guardians of
those elemental parts, wandering among them and looking after them.
There is a legend of Darmon stealing stars from Urian, and Urian
finding the fakes with which the Wily Darmon replaced them. How
is this possible if Urian isthe stars? It is a mystery that anyone who
worships him must ponder.
Outside of stewardship of the heavens; unleashing the winds,
lightning, and thunder when they are needed; overseeing Alimus
and Faro; and presiding over his four great halls, Urian wishes to
reach the ignored nooks and crannies. There are places in the world
that none care for – perhaps they are ugly or horrible or devastated
by evil; Urian reaches them still with his sunlight and starlight, his
moon and his winds. He seeks to bring the beauty of the heavens
to all peoples and all places, and for this he is dearly loved by those
imprisoned and enslaved in such places, for he represents their hope
and their freedom. The most common visual theme among these
faithful is a prisoner reaching through the bars of his cell for the
stars.
Urian is profoundly uninterested in the various petty conflicts of the
gods, and he straddles both sides of the disputes between chaos and
law. Sometimes he sides with one, sometimes the other; sometimes he
takes no side at all. This is because Urian, more than any other of the
gods, has a dual understanding of the world, and a dual interaction
with it. Sometimes he is radiant and lovely and sometimes he is dark
and cold. He sees both as legitimate, and he contemplates what is the
proper time for each – when must he unleash the warm and gentle
winds, and when must he let fly the bitter and cruel?
Servants
Urian has seven principal servants. There are the four winds, which
are discussed above, and can go alternatively by the names Rigyl or
North, Ragyl or East, Wyndyl or South, and Wandyl or West. All of
the winds are chained in the four halls of the Sky Father, unleashed
only when they are needed and carefully controlled to avoid the
destruction of all in their path.
There are also Alimus and Faro, who are forever bound to the sun and
moon. Some cultures worship these two as gods in their own right,
and some believe them to be brothers, having forgotten the true story
of their origin. Indeed, they are quite powerful, for they have borne
the most lovely of the heavenly orbs aloft for thousands of years, and
it has affected them to the core. It is unclear whether worshippers of
the two are actually receiving power from the intended target of their
worship or from Urian. Alimus and Faro are so powerful after these
many years that it is quite possible that they are actually supplying
power to their followers.
Closest companion to Urian, though, is Grifynne, his magnificent
golden eagle. Grifynne is mother to the griffins (which are named
after her) and the lamassus, both races of which were begot on her by
Terak’s golden lion, Metteron. Grifynne has a wingspan as long as a
mighty river and her cry can be heard across the heavens. Her origins
are mysterious, though most assume that Urian created her before the
gods of the tree were even born.
The Church The Church
Church Description
The barbaric worship of Urian is not covered here, though it should be
quite easy to create a sun-, lightning-, or moon-cult that reveres Urian
by some other name. Instead, we will focus on the more universal
church of Urian, which in the “civilized” world has grown weak. As
people move into cities and have ready shelter and warmth, the need
to fear the winds and revere the sun is sublimated to reverence for
more earthly forces like commerce, craft, war, and medicine.
Because of this, the eyries of Urian (as his Churches are called) and the
Urianath (YUR-ee-uhn-ath) who worship there are now exceedingly
rare in city settings. The eyries are not secularly strong, and one of
their holy orders has vanished from the world. Indeed, the greatest
of eyries are found high in the mountains, ancient and magnificent
structures that offer a commanding view out across hundreds of miles
of valley. These eyries are remote and hard to reach, and it is rare that
the skylarks (the clerics of Urian) journey down from them. This does
not make for a popular religion.
And yet, for those who seek freedom from enslavement – of the body,
the mind, or the spirit – there are few greater places than the eyries.
Homes of contemplation, beauty, and austere wisdom, the eyries are a
boon to many in the deepest need.
The eyries are aroused to action when they are asked to aid the
enslaved and the downtrodden. Just as Urian’s wind reaches every
corner of the world, the Urianath believe that Urian’s care should
be available to all people and therefore abhor slavery. However, the
Urianath are now so marginalized that, should they seek to topple a
major power, they would have to seek aid from another church in the
task.
The stance against slavery is a universal position of the faith. There
are points on which the Urianath vary. There are some among them
who are devoted most to the sun and light of the Sky King. These
Urianath strive against the undead and other forces of unlife. Others
among the Urianath revere the Sky Father’s cold light of moon and
stars above all, and these seek individual strength and glory, as the stars
are individual points of beauty and light.
Church Structure
The eyries have four holy orders, two of which are nearly extinct, and
one of which was last active so long ago that it is now but a dusty and
dim memory. Each order is named after a beast of the feather: the
skylarks (the clergy) are the dominant order and have two levels of
status, the wings and songs; the eagles (the holy warriors) have three
levels, the talons, eagle riders, and eyrie lords; the hawks have no levels
of status; and the griffins are now an extinct order.
There is no central authority to the Urianath faith, only ancient
traditions. The highest authority in any eyrie is either the oldest
skylark’s song or the eyrie lord if one is present (though the skylark’s
song will be the authority on all matters spiritual).
The average eyrie may have five or six wings and two songs. There
may be one or two talons and one eyrie lord, though some eyries have
no members of the order of the eagles whatsoever. These eyries are
instead protected by the hawks, still a lively order, and the average
eyrie will have at least four hawks in residence.
Doctrine
“The sky is light and dark. The wind is hot and cold. The sun gives life
and death. But the sky is dark when the world needs dark, and death
comes of necessity. Can we question and rail against the cold while we
praise and hallow the warmth? Can we hate the sun in the desert when
we love it in the winter? All of these are part of the Sky Father, and all
of these have a purpose in his plan; we must be grateful, even for darkness
and death.” – Skylark’s Song Abu Goldfeather’s ‘I Have Tasted the Stars’
The Urianath practice a good faith. This is important to remember
because sometimes they praise and glorify things that others find evil
(like bitter cold, the blood moon, or darkest midnight) – and it is
precisely because others find them evil that they praise them. The
core premise of the Urianath faith is that Urian loves the world and its
peoples. After all, he guarded the tree, he opposed Kador bitterly, and
he pulled the winds from his own body and enslaved them – he who
loves freedom most! He gave light to the dark parts of the world, and
gave evening to the light parts. It is therefore unquestionable that he
loves the world and the mortals who inhabit it.
So why, then, does he sometimes let the wind rage and destroy ships?
Why does his cold winter wind come down and kill
unprotected children? Why does his sun burn the
skin and suck the water from a man’s body, leaving
him to the vultures in the desert? Why does
the night serve as a haven to thieves and evil
beasts?
The contemplation of these questions, and
their reflection in every mortal spirit, is
the heart of Urianath practice. For these
great and difficult questions are reflected
in the hearts of men: Why does a good
and happy woman consider hurling
herself to the rocks below whenever she
stands at the edge of a cliff? Why does
a loving father consider casting his own
child in an open fire? Why do good people
do terrible things? The contemplation of these
questions is of central importance to the Urianath,
and their understanding is that it is the freedom to do
evil that makes people good. Just as the Great Sky must
sometimes let awful things happen so that the mortal races fully
appreciate the good of the world, so too must all people contemplate the
darkness in their own souls to fully appreciate the good.
One can see, therefore, why the Urianath so oppose tyranny and
slavery. A slave is not free to walk the good path, to explore the depths
of her spirit. Tyrants seek to control the thoughts, the hearts of their
subjects – though thoughts and hearts must be free to soar or sink.
But just as the Urianath oppose the extremes of law, they oppose the
extremes of chaos. They believe that discipline and rule are necessary
for a person to fully appreciate his goodness. The path of the Urianath
is between law and chaos – a path of contemplation and balance on
the road to good.
The eyries are most often visited by those wrestling with the darkness
of their own spirits, just as the sun and moon wrestle, just as the
North and East winds wrestle with the South and West. Those who
strive to conquer what they see as their worse nature, those who feel
imprisoned by past deeds or wicked desires, fi nd succor in the faraway
and hidden eyries, high in the mountains. Whenever they are apart
from their eyries, the Urianath seek to bring spiritual guidance and
support to people across the land. They seek to bring freedom of the
mind, the heart, and the body to all they encounter so that all people
may explore the dual sides of their nature – the light and the dark
– and understand that both are necessary for goodness.
Common Prayers
The Urianath have many sayings they repeat over and over again as
they contemplate the world and their own spirits. One of the most
common is a meditation on light:
“Father Sky, the Sun and Moon,
Giver of the golden boon,
Silver twilight, radiant dawn,
The cycle ceaseless carries on.
“Hallowed heavens, pitch and star,
Thou kindle even near and far.
Thy light shines out when all is dim,
Thy darkness forms the nightly hymn.”
Holy Days
The Urianath view each
dawn and dusk as a holy
event, and most are
sure to be outside
to observe these
events daily.
Whenever there
is a complete solar or lunar eclipse,
the Urianath celebrate indoors, as they
consider it a taboo to be under the sky
at such times. Some cultures also have
special celebrations of the sun at harvest
or planting time. These are usually
festivals to Urian, and the local skylarks
will aid in the celebration – but they are not
universal celebrations across all cultures.
The eyries do not have regular times for services, as
they are places of constant meditation.
Saints
The Urianath recall the names of saints as those who have aided in the
freedom of all people. Should someone deter an empire from conquering
the world or stop an infernal plan to subjugate the mortal races, she would
find herself revered as a saint by the Urianath (regardless of her faith).
Usually for the Urianath, sainthood requires martyrdom, as it is highly
unlikely that one will achieve such ends without the loss of one’s own life.
The most notable of the saints revered by the Urianath is Griffin Saint
Mathilde, who was the last of the Griffins. Her entire order was wiped
out by a demonic cult planning on bringing one of the most powerful
demon princes to the earth. The cult did not realize Mathilde
had survived, however, and in the last moments of its black rite to
summon the demon prince, she sacrificed herself to close the gate; the
power of the closing wiped out the cultists and barred the prince from
the earth for one hundred years and a day. Since that time there have
been no Griffins, for there is no one to train them; their sacrifice is
remembered, though, for they saved the world from certain doom
Urian’s View of the Church
Urian has a peculiar view of the world: He either focuses on the highly
specific details of peoples’ lives or pays attention to trends across
hundreds of years. This is best understood as the sun and the stars.
The sun rises every single day; its cycle is one of daily repetition. Stars
hang in the heavens, unchanging, for thousands of years, their fire
never dimming. Their cycle is either so slow as to be immeasurable, or
they are not on a cycle at all.
Urian sees the world through these eyes:
the day-to-day and the very, very long
term. Nowhere is this clearer than
in his attitude toward the Urianath
faith. He can become
intensely involved with the
mission of one skylark in a
very specific predicament
while ignoring everyone else
in her eyrie, or he can go for
hundreds of years without
sending guidance or aid to any
of the Urianath – even the most
powerful. Most of them accept this as
the reason that the Griffins have been
gone from the world for so long; they
imagine the Sky Father hasn’t even
noticed yet.
Urian certainly has no reason
to mistrust or dislike his
church, but he also has
the very practical details
of being the heavens to
attend to. And if he is
capricious and uninvolved
in his dealings with the Urianath
eyries, he is even more so with the
various nomads and barbarians who worship
him on the fringes of the world.
Preferred Weapon
Urian’s preferred weapon is lightning, which cracks from his clouds
when the gods argue and he thunders. Lightning is best represented
with the javelin and the whip – one flies like lightning, and one cracks
with the thunder that follows.
Holy Orders Holy Orders
Clerics: Skylarks of Urian
The Order
The skylarks are a contemplative order. Most of them live high up in
the mountains, dedicating their entire lives to pondering the two faces
of Urian and the mortal races. They are quiet and kind, and revere the
sunshine and moonlight.
Sometimes a wing will leave the eyrie to go on a quest. This is not because
he is told to, but because his contemplations tell him to. The skylark
simply picks up, tells the songs of the eyrie that he is to depart, and then
off he goes. Sometimes this is based on a vision, other times on a hunch;
sometimes they are even certain they have heard the command in the
wind. Many of these wings never return, killed on their quests. Others
come back soon, their minor quests fulfilled. A rare few live lives of
spectacular and heroic adventure and return to the eyrie, old and ready to
impart the wisdom they gained on their journeys.
The skylarks value contemplation, kindness and gentle guidance far
more than harsh action. There are other orders of the
Urianath dedicated to fighting brutal wars and saving
the downtrodden – the skylarks are the spiritual and
mystic order, and they are often difficult to talk to.
They speak of mysteries and constantly analyze
the lessons learned from events. However, for
those with heavy hearts burdened by sins
past (or perhaps future), the skylarks are
marvelously helpful. They have ready ears,
are not judgmental, and are eager to offer
guidance.
Titles
The skylarks have only two titles, and
they are not based on power or prestige,
but on age. A young or middle-aged
skylark is a wing. The wings are charged
with carrying the faith, learning,
growing, and performing any physical
labors necessary. A wing is addressed as
“skylark’s wing.” All Urianath addresses
follow this form, and all are introduced
using just this address – the order name
is not repeated. So, Idrin would be
addressed as “skylark’s wing Idrin,” and
introduced as “the skylark’s wing Idrin of
the eyries of Urian.”
Once a wing is old (based on the age at
which a person of his race is considered “old”
according to the PH) he becomes a song,
addressed as “skylark’s song.” It is his duty to
teach others the ways of the skylarks, to oversee
the students and visitors of the eyrie, and to generally live out the
remainder of his life in wisdom and grace. The songs contemplate the
faith and defer to eyrie lords on secular matters.
Table 4-1: Table 4-1:
Skylarks of Urian Titles Skylarks of Urian Titles
Title Requirement
Skylark’s Wing Skylark is a Wing until the birthday
when he becomes “old” (e.g.
53rd birthday for a human)
Skylark’s Song Skylark is a Song through old age
and venerability until death
Domains
Skylarks of Urian may choose two of the following domains: Air,
Good, Sun, and Night
Spell Preparation Time
A skylark must prepare his spells under the open sky at the time of a
major heavenly event – sunrise, sunset, a shooting star, moonrise, etc.
Alignments
There are three dominant alignments among the skylarks, though the
most common is neutral good. The neutral good skylarks hew most
closely to the doctrine of the faith, spending days in contemplation of
the dual nature of heaven and man. They are filled with the certainty
that goodness can be found in the dark and the light, the cold and the
warm, the individual light of a star and the radiant glow of the sun
that blankets everything. They are a serene and kindly group.
The lawful good skylarks of Urian certainly follow the doctrine of
the Urianath, but they focus on the goodness of light and warmth:
There must be darkness for the light to be perceived in all its glory.
There must be cold for the warmth to be felt in all its splendor.
These skylarks focus on what they call “Urian’s Order,” meaning that
all things and people have a place under the sun, and all bad things
happen to us so we may learn our place in that order. The lawful good
skylarks can truly be said to revere Urian’s sun-face more than any
other, and are quite close to sun-worshippers. They feel that when he
shines, he is the center of life and holiness, and they hope to bring that
light and warmth to the world. Such skylarks are profound enemies of
demons and undead.
The chaotic good skylarks of Urian are almost the reverse image of
the lawful good. While they too hold that Urian is the center from
which goodness flows, they believe that the sunlight and daytime are
Urian’s way of aiding the mortal races to overcome their weakness
– for nighttime is the pure time. They see the stars as the best
guidance to holiness; they are thousands of brilliant lights, standing
out individually, making the most beautiful work of the heavens.
Urian wishes the mortal races to be like the stars, standing out as
brilliant individuals doing wonderful things, and only in the dark
when we have no light to guide us are we truly alone and able to stand
as such individuals. Urian gives mortals the sunlight because they are
too weak to embrace their individual destinies; they are frightened by
loneliness, so he brings them back together with the light.
Holy Warriors:
Eagles of Urian
The Order
The eagles are a noble and beautiful order. They wear tall, golden
helms and carry greatswords of silver decked with gems like the stars.
They speak with the song-like voices of birds and are magnificent to
behold. Sadly, they are rare, and it is uncommon to see one of the
glorious eagle-riders sweeping down on an evil foe from his winged
steed.
The eagles stand for the freedom of all people to achieve their
potential. They wish to break the locks and gates of the world that
obstruct the winds of freedom. They stand in opposition to any force,
mortal or outsider, that would enslave or imprison the mortal spirit.
This often takes them into opposition with infernal forces, particularly
devils, but it also leads them to oppose rulers who dominate by fear
or other evil methods. This ends up being a wide assortment of
foes, as they will oppose lawful evil, chaotic evil, neutral evil, even
lawful neutral and chaotic neutral regimes. Any that seek to outlaw
the freedom of thought, and certainly any that allow slavery, will be
opposed by the eagles. With so many enemies, is it a wonder they are
rare?
Titles
The eagles have three distinct stages of their careers. The first is
learning by doing. Just as the winged eagle learns to feed by swooping
down and attacking the prey of the field, the eagles of Urian must
learn to oppose evil by fi ghting evil. They wander the world taking up
any mission they can that will improve the lives of others. They make
friends with those who are good, bitterly fight those who are evil, and
happily soak up knowledge and skill, waiting for the day that they will
bond with an eagle. At this stage in their careers, the eagles of Urian
are called talons and addressed as “eagle’s talon.” Becoming a talon is
as simple as climbing to an eyrie and asking. The eyrie lord examines
the prospective eagle and determines, through some strange second
sight all eyrie lords have, whether this young person has truly heard
the call to take up arms in Urian’s name. The student is then taught
the language of the heavens (Auran), given training in weapons, and
sent abroad to learn what she might find under the heavens.
When the talon is ready – and she will simply know when she is
ready – she goes up into the mountains or a secluded wood, alone,
unclothed, and empty handed, for three days. While this would kill
most, the eagles of Urian are able to live under the open sky during
this time because they are protected by Urian. At the end of the
three days, the talon calls down a giant celestial eagle that will serve
as her mount. This eagle mount becomes a powerful companion in
the eagle’s quest for goodness; she is now called an eagle rider and
addressed as “eagle’s master.”
After a long life of riding her eagle mount into battle and winning
glory against evil forces, the eagle rider returns with her eagle to the
eyrie and retires there as its protector. She lives to train and examine
new talons that come to the eyrie, oversee the eyrie’s secular affairs,
and ride forth in times of greatest need. She is now called an eyrie
lord (regardless of gender) and is addressed as “eagle’s lord.”
Table 4-2: Eagles of Urian Titles Table 4-2: Eagles of Urian Titles
Minimum Holy
Warrior Level Title Requirement
1 Talon Speak Auran, Year of
Training
8 Eagle Rider Call Giant Celestial Eagle Mount
18 Eyrie Lord None
Additional Class Skills
The eagle’s additional class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are
Balance (Dex) and Spot (Wis). See Chapter 4: Skills in the PHfor skill
descriptions.
Domains
Eagles of Urian may choose two of the following holy warrior
domains: Champion, Air, and Freedom
Gift of Urian
Beginning at 3rd level, the eagle can blow out a gust of wind, as per the
spell, once per week, with a caster level equal to her class level. She
can use this ability more often as she advances in level (twice per week
at 6th level, three times per week at 9th level). Gust of windis a spelllike ability for eagles.
Beginning at 12th level, her Gift of Urian allows her to ease her mount’s
flight by controlling winds, as per the spell control winds,
once per week, with a caster level equal to
her class level. She can use this ability
more often as she advances in
levels (twice per week at 15th
level, three times per week
at 18th level). Control
winds is a spell-like
ability for eagles.
Spells
1st Level – bless, bless
water, bless weapon,
create water, cure
light wounds,
detect poison, detect
undead, divine
favor, endure
elements, magic
weapon, protection
from evil, read
magic, resistance,
virtue
2nd Level – remove
paralysis, resist
elements, shield
other, whispering
wind, wind wall
3rd Level – cure moderate wounds, fl y,
dispel magic, greater magic weapon,
heal mount, magic circle against evil,
prayer, remove blindness/deafness
4th Level – cure serious wounds, death ward, dispel evil, freedom of movement, holy sword, air walk
Mount/Animal Companion
At 8th level, an eagle may summon a giant celestial eagle. These
eagles are golden, speak Common and Auran, and are already quite
intelligent. When they bond with an eagle of Urian, they gain all the
bonuses of any special mount. See the MMfor stats on giant eagles
and the celestial template.
Until they call their celestial mount, the eagles of Urian may have no
other special mount, meaning they must wait quite a bit longer than
other holy warriors to receive a special mount.
Conduct
Eagles of the wing soar above looking for the dark, scurrying things
of the world. So too do the eagles of Urian. They sally forth into
the world looking for evil deeds to set right. In doing this they must
never knowingly commit an act of evil. They must never knowingly
allow one of the mortal races to be enslaved (imprisonment for crimes
does not count). They must never contribute to any plan that forces
one viewpoint or way of thinking on a people. This is a fine line – a
society that worships dark gods and believes that all people should
have their hands cut off may or may not see itself overthrown by the
eagles of Urian; if the people all actually believe this is the best way, it
would be wrong to force them to stray from their beliefs. Of course,
the odds of a whole society willingly cutting off its hands
are pretty slim, and the eagles would be quite
skeptical of any assertion to the contrary.
Should an eagle violate this code,
she loses her abilities until she
properly atones.
Associates
Eagles of Urian will associate
with any who are good of
heart, though they will not
stay long with those who
are so convinced of their
righteousness that they
seek to impose their order
on other mortals, or those
who are so opposed to order
that they will tear apart
functioning systems and
societies in the false name
of freedom. Those who are
openly evil will not find an
eagle long in their company.
Eagle riders usually travel
alone; they fly and few others do.
However, particularly exceptional
companions will be welcomed into
an eagle rider’s heart, and she will go out
of her way to travel with them.
Alignment
Eagles of Urian must be neutral good.
Prestige Classes
and Other Orders
The other two holy orders of the Urianath are the hawks and the
griffins.
The hawks are a “less noble” order than the others, essentially guerilla
warriors against the forces of evil. While the eagles soar above things,
hawks are not afraid to fly low and tear into their enemies. A hawk is
addressed as “hawk.”
Unlike the hawks, the griffins were magnificent warriors who took on
the spirit of the griffin. They gained the strength of the lion and the
courage and nobility of the eagle. These powers furthered their tireless
war with infernal forces. Sadly, there are no longer any griffins in the
world.
Prestige Class:
Hawks of Urian
The hawks of Urian are trained killers, just as the bird for which
they are named can be trained to hunt and maul. Hawks are master
bowmen, skilled at sneaking near their foes and devastating them from
a range, but when drawn into melee, theirs is a terrible bite. Their
fighting style is fierce; they are unafraid, and they do not hesitate to
get their hands dirty. As the faith of Urian says, there is good in the
light and the dark; the hawks believe that the only way to effectively
fight those who would do evil to the mortal races is to engage them
in the mud, to mete out brutality and destroy them utterly. To
this end, the hawks are wild, passionate warriors, and when they
come upon the forces of evil they abandon any sense of “honor” or
“mercy” and instead seek to ravage their foes completely. This style
absolutely horrifies most who are good, but others understand it as a
philosophical stance toward the wicked: The only language that evil
understands is violence.
Barbarians, with their innate sense of such tactics, are excellent hawks;
often when barbaric peoples who have long worshipped Urian under
different names come into contact with the eyries, they readily take
on the hawk mantle. It is the holy order of the eyries that makes
most sense to them. Rangers, fighters, and rogues also make excellent
hawks. The more lawful and bookish classes are highly unlikely to
become hawks.
NPC hawks are sometimes found with armies moving against evil
forces. They are marked by the symbols of Urian on their breasts or,
more often, tattooed on the back of their hands; they dress in colors
to blend with their surroundings. They are often in the vanguard or
scouting parties. NPC hawks happily work in groups, but their tactics
are not often embraced by other good people, as they are more than a
bit unsavory. Groups of hawks are rare but profoundly dangerous.
Abbreviation: Haw
Hit Die:d10
Requirements
To qualify to become a hawk of Urian, a character must fulfill all the
following criteria.
Alignment:Non-lawful and non-evil
Base Attack Bonus:6
Feats:Quick Draw, Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot
Urianath:Hawks of Urian are a holy order of the eyries and must
worship Urian.
Vengeful Heart:A hawk of Urian must have something in his background that fills him with such a profound desire to oppose evil
that he is willing to stoop to utter burtality to oppose it.
Class Skills
The Hawk’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are
Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Disguise (Cha), Handle Animal
(Cha), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Intuit Direction (Wis), Jump
(Str), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Knowledge (nature) (Int), Move
Silently (Dex), Ride (Dex), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str), Wilderness
Lore (Wis). See Chapter 4: Skills in the Player’s Handbookfor skill
descriptions.
Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier.
Class Features
All of the following are class features of the hawk prestige class.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency
Hawks are proficient with the use of all simple and martial weapons
and all armor (heavy, medium, and light) and shields.
Swift Coup de Grace (Ex)
Using an advanced form of his Quick Draw ability, the hawk is able to slay
downed foes much more easily than most. As a move-equivalent action,
he may step on his enemy’s throat, jab his blade in the downed foe’s eye,
or make any number of swift and lethal acts that do not draw an attack of
opportunity. This move-equivelant action counts as the Coup de Grace
that most must take a full round to perform, and does the same damage.
Bloody Murder (Ex)
Should the hawk take a full action performing a Coup de Grace (instead
of the Swift Coup de Grace), he does a minimum of 50 points of damage.
Bloody Murder draws attacks of opportunity from adjacent foes.
When he is done, if his foe is killed, the hawk is able to take a free action
and use the remains of the foe (a head, a kidney) and a quick verbal
outburst to horrify all foes able to see. This might involve hurling the
head of his downed foe into a crowd, or swinging the foe’s entrails into
a tree while yelling “I’ll hang you all from his guts!” All opponents who
can see the action must make a Willpower save against fear (CR 10 + the
hawk’s character level + the hawk’s Charisma modifier). Those who fail
are shaken for a number of rounds equal to the hawk’s class level. All
lawfully aligned allies of the hawk who see the display suffer a -1 morale
penalty to any rolls pertaining to the hawk (Heal checks, for instance).
This penalty remains in place for 24 hours.
Rather than make a public display, the hawk may lop off one of his
killed foe’s limbs and use it as a weapon against his remaining enemies.
Lopped-off limbs do little damage, but every foe hit with a severed
limb must make a Willpower save as above, but with a –4 circumstance
penalty due to the horror of being beaten with bloody flesh.
Lawful allies and foes who witness this bloody
bludgeoning are affected normally without
the circumstance penalty.
A limb will only last for
1d6
1 rounds of combat
before it becomes more
jelly than weapon. Damage
for limbs is as follows:
Tiny creature limbs:
Size (T) Damage:1
point
Small creature limbs: Size
(S)Damage: 1d2
Medium creature limbs:
Size (M) Damage: 1d3
Large creature limbs:
Size (L) Damage:
1d4.
Inflict Horrible
Wound
If the hawk chooses,
when grappling with
an opponent he may
take a special action
called “Inflict Horrible
Wound.” This works exactly like
the “Damage Your Opponent”
grappling action, except that it
requires an additional grapple check
at -4 (i.e. one check to win the grapple, a second check to successfully
Inflict Horrible Wound). If successful, a Horrible Wound permanently
damages one of the foe’s sensory organs. The hawk may bite off the
opponent’s nose (or one of his ears), gouge out an eye, or rip off a finger
(with teeth, or with brute strength if the hawk is one or more sizes
larger than the foe and his strength is at least 20). The Horrible Wound
does 2d6 points of damage and inflicts permanent bodily injury on
the foe. The foe is automatically shaken for the rest of the combat and
any foes who witness the infliction of the Horrible Wound must make
a willpower save against fear (CR 10 + the hawk’s character level + the
hawk’s Charisma modifier). Those who fail are shaken for a number of
rounds equal to the hawk’s level. All lawfully aligned allies of the hawk
who see the Horrible Wound infliction suffer a -2 morale penalty to any
rolls pertaining to the hawk (Heal checks, for instance).
After the attack, the opponent receives a 10 to his grapple check to
escape or wriggle free from the grapple, as it is very difficult for the
hawk to maintain control of the foe after such an act (if the foe wishes
to take any grapple action other than escape or wriggle free, he receives
no bonus). In the following round, if the hawk bit off one of his
foe’s body parts, he may spit it into the face of the foe (or
another adjacent foe) as an attack action, making a
touch attack to successfully hit the foe’s face.
The foe who has had a body part spit in his
face must make a willpower save against
fear (CR 10 + the hawk’s character level
+ the hawk’s Charisma modifier). If
he fails he is rendered frightened for a
number of rounds equal to the hawk’s
class level. Fear effects stack, so if
the opponent hit with the spit-up
body part is already shaken, and
he fails his saving throw, he is
now considered panicked.
All lawfully aligned allies of
the hawk who see the raw
brutality of spitting a person’s
body part back into his face
suffer a -5 morale penalty
to any rolls pertaining to
the hawk (Heal checks,
for instance). This penalty
remains in place for 24
hours.
Murderous
Precision (Ex)
At 5th level, the hawk gains the
ability to strike surprised and
exposed foes with Murderous
Precision. Whenever the hawk
makes a sneak attack using a ranged weapon, he is considered to have
the Improved Critical feat with the weapon he is using for the sneak
attack. Since Improved Critical does not stack, this ability has no effect
if the hawk has already taken the feat with the weapon in question. At
10th level, the hawk is so skilled at waylaying his foes that anytime
he makes a sneak attack, no matter what the weapon, he receives the
Improved Critical feat and any critical threats automatially succeed.
Sneak Attack
When wearing no armor, light armor, or medium armor (and not
carrying a heavy load), a hawk catching an opponent when she is
unable to defend herself effectively from his attack can strike a vital
spot for extra damage. Basically, any time the hawk’s target would
be denied her Dexterity bonus to AC (whether she actually has a
Dexterity bonus or not), the hawk’s attack deals +1d6 points of
damage. This extra damage increases by +1d6 points every three levels
(
2d6 at 6th level, +3d6 at 9th level). Should the hawk score a critical
hit with a sneak attack, this extra damage is not multiplied.
It takes precision and penetration to hit a vital spot, so ranged attacks
can only count as sneak attacks if the target is 30 feet away or less.
With a sap or an unarmed strike, the hawk can make a sneak attack
that deals subdual damage instead of normal damage. He cannot use a
weapon that deals normal damage to deal subdual damage in a sneak
attack, not even with the usual –4 penalty, because he must make
optimal use of his weapon in order to execute the sneak attack.
A hawk can only sneak attack living creatures with discernible
anatomies—undead, constructs, oozes, plants, and incorporeal
creatures lack vital areas to attack. Any creature immune to critical hits
is similarly immune to sneak attacks. Also, the hawk must be able to
see the target well enough to pick out a vital spot, and must be able
to reach a vital spot. The hawk cannot sneak attack while striking at a
creature with concealment or by striking the limbs of a creature whose
vitals are beyond reach.
If a hawk gets a sneak attack bonus from another source (such as rogue
levels), the bonuses to damage stack.
Spells
Beginning at 1st level, a hawk gains the ability to cast a small number
of divine spells. To cast a spell, the hawk must have a Wisdom score of
at least 10 + the spell’s level, so a hawk with a Wisdom of 10 or lower
cannot cast these spells. Hawk bonus spells are based on Wisdom,
and saving throws against these spells have a DC of 10 + spell level +
the hawk’s Wisdom modifier (if any). When the hawk gets 0 spells of
a given level, such as 0 1st-level spells at 1st level, the hawk gets only
bonus spells. A hawk without a bonus spell for that level cannot yet
cast a spell of that level. The hawk’s spell list appears below. A hawk
prepares and casts spells just as a skylark of Urian does.
Hawks choose their spells from the following list:
1st level— bane, cause fear, deathwatch, detect evil, doom, magic
weapon, true strike
2nd level—darkness, darkvision, endurance, cat’s grace, silence
3rd level— blindness/deafness, cure light wounds, haste, invisibility, keen edge
4th level— bestow curse, divine power, fear, gaseous form, greater magic weapon

Urian

World of Tersa ThomasJones