Tammuz

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  • Titles: Lord of the Dead, Guardian of the Dead, Lord of the House, Weigher of Souls, The Final Judge, The Balance.
  • Aspects: Death, mummification, tombs, justice, balance.
  • Symbol: A set of balanced scales, one side light, the other dark.
  • Priesthood: Judges (priests); Executioners (paladins).
  • Herald : A vulture-headed human armed with a scimitar in one hand and a set of scales in the other.
  • Holy Days: Yaus al-Maat.
  • Duties: Protect the dead, destroy undead, to maintain the cosmic balance, to ensure the dead receive proper burial rites.
  • Sins: (Minor) refusing to destroy an Extra undead, engaging in conversation with an undead (except to Intimidate or Taunt it), acting in a biased manner, not blessing a corpse, falsifying evidence; (Major) breaking the law, refusing to destroy a Wild Card undead; (Mortal) knowingly aiding an undead, convicted of a crime (innocent or otherwise).
  • Signature Power: Weaken undead.
  • Powers: Arcane resistance, armor, banish, bladebreaker, bless/panic (bless only), bodyguard, bolt, boost/lower trait, champion of the faith, deflection, dispel, energy immunity (necromantic only), ethereal/corporeal (no ethereal), glyph, gravespeak, heat mask, immunity (necromantic only), invisibility, light, prolonged blast, quickness, sanctuary, smite, sphere of might, summon herald, warding (undead only), warrior’s gift, weapon immunity.
  • Trappings: Clergy may use any trapping except necromantic ones.

Tammuz is the god of death. The ancient Hekatics once worshipped him as their chief god. However, the Hekatics fell from his grace when their leaders sought to prolong their lives beyond their allotted span. Once the mages began creating undead, stealing souls from the Bottomless Pit, the withered survivors of the empire became Tammuz’s sworn foes.

The god’s three main focuses on the mortal realm are justice, which maintains the cosmic balance between right and wrong, ensuring the ancient funerary customs are properly maintained, and slaying undead, who are an anathema to Tammuz (and a source of celestial embarrassment). As such, his worshippers include judges and advocates, mortuary attendants, and holy warriors. Even headsmen follow this god, often finding employment as both executioners and slayers of undead.

Tammuz is shown as a mummy. In his left hand he carries a set of scales. In his right hand, he holds a key. The latter represents the key to the heavenly doors of the afterlife. His temples are common in towns and cities, where they serve two functions. The upper levels, those above ground, are the courts of law, where criminals are brought for judgment by earthly authorities. Below ground are the city mortuaries, where the dead are brought to be prepared for their final journey. Shrines are found only in graveyards and tombs, where they allow the god to watch over the earthly remains of the dead.

Priests are expected to be judges as well as slayers, and should be well-versed in the law of the land. In order to maintain the cosmic balance, they are expected to show true neutrality in any matter. Paladins serve as executioners when called upon, but most serve their god by warring against the abominations which lurch out of Hekata.

Ceremonies are solemn affairs and usually only held at funerals. Mournful prayers and wails accompany the litany of the dead, ancient rites which ensure a soul can reach the afterlife unhindered. In some cases, the execution of legally condemned prisoners constitutes a sacrifice to Tammuz.

Festivals in Honor of Tammuz

Training

Regardless of which branch of the clergy he later chooses, a novitiate must be versed in matters of local law and funeral rites. The first year is spent in scholastic pursuits. Codices of laws and chanting prayers for the dead are read and repeated until they are memorized. Practical training begins the second year. Novitiates attend mock trials, acting as defense and prosecution. The trials are not merely tests of knowledge, but all of the understanding of balance and the difference between justice and revenge. The third year is spent in the mortuary. For the first half he acts as an assistant in the mummification of animals (rich citizens often mummify beloved pets), moving onto to performing the ritual in the second half of the year. He is also expected to lead funeral rites for animals.

If judged suitable, he must then decide whether to become a priest or a paladin. Priests serve for a year as a court clerk, a year as a fully fledged advocate, and a year as an assistant judge. Paladins receive three years of combat training, interposed with studies of common undead. Final tests involve being sole judge in a complex legal case for priests and slaying a number of undead for paladins.

Prayers

As preservers of cosmic balance, clerics use this symbolism a lot. Prayers begin with phrases like, “I stand between light and shadow,” “I stand between life and death,” and “I have weighed my options.”

Adventures

Priests may be called upon to judge legal cases, track down criminals, investigate crimes, or provide legal counsel. Paladins are more likely to be involved in cases concerning grave robbers, and in adventures concerning the slaying of undead and Khem-Hekau mages. As guardians of tombs, they must avoid despoiling and ransacking burial places, a common pastime for adventurers.

Character Guidelines

As judges, priests need a decent Smarts and Persuasion. Knowledge (Law) is not essential, as Common Knowledge covers one’s homeland. However, an adventuring cleric might be called upon to judge a trial in any Faithful community, so a few dice will be beneficial.

Paladins need to invest in Combat Edges and martial Traits, as well as Spirit for resisting Fear. Favored Foe (Undead) is essential when you get the chance, since the walking dead are his sworn enemies. All clergy may be called upon to investigate crimes. Investigation and Notice are very useful for this, as is the Investigator Edge.

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Tammuz

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