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    Postfest V: The Secret Shard of the Holy Cudgel
    Posted on Tue, July 12, 2005 by Dongul
    Scoti_Garbidis writes "In the central Lortmil Mountains, near the Kron Hills exists a hidden order of St. Cuthbert followers. The order protects the secret magics of elemental power gem shards discovered after the destruction of the Temple of Elemental Evil.

    The Secret Shard of the Holy Cudgel
    By: Matthew McPike aka, Scoti_Garbidis
    Used with Permission. Do not repost without obtaining prior permission from the author.

    Overview

    The order known as The Secret Shard of the Holy Cudgel is comprised of six members. All of the members are devout priests and priestesses of St. Cuthbert. They reside in a hidden valley in the central Lortmil Mountains, near the Kron Hills. A simple temple consisting of six living quarters, an eating area, a sanctuary and an underground artifact cache was erected via stone shape spells. A natural spring provides fresh water for the order and food is provided via create food and water spells. The priests and priestesses are all veterans to the faith of St. Cuthbert and maintain their current post with the utmost diligence. Of the six members, two are from each division of the church of St. Cuthbert.

    Order Members

    Herix Ganzeckel: Human, NG Male, Cleric Lvl 9 of St. Cuthbert (Stars Division)
    Wahrain Bethone: Human, Female, LG Cleric Lvl 8 of St. Cuthbert (Chapeaux Division)
    Mutt Lupol: Half-Elf, Male, NG Cleric Lvl 8 of St. Cuthbert (Billet Division)
    Refnold Vin: Human, Male, LG Cleric Lvl 6 of St. Cuthbert (Billet Division)
    Partridge Floon: Human, Female, NG Cleric Lvl 6 of St. Cuthbert (Stars Division)
    Meyer Askern: Human, Male, LG Cleric Lvl 5 of St. Cuthbert (Chapeaux Division)

    HIstory

    The history of The Secret Shard of the Holy Cudgel begins in late 510 CY during the final weeks of the Hateful Wars. Many forces had gathered to drive the humanoid tribes from the Lortmil Mountains during this time and one group was comprised of priests and warriors from Veluna who worshipped St. Cuthbert. During one foray into the mountains this group accidentally came upon a secret valley in the mountains where a group of humanoid refugees were hiding. The humanoids were quickly vanquished and the followers of St. Cuthbert returned to their camp. The secret valley’s location was added to a list of prospective hideaways the church of St. Cuthbert was gathering for future uses not yet determined. The valley remained a secret and lay undisturbed for many decades.

    The valley would not again gain prominence in the church of St. Cuthbert until a discovery was made in the spring of 580 CY. Two Cuthbertine priestesses from the village of Hommlet were doing reconnaissance work around the ruins of the Temple of Elemental Evil. The temple and its minions had reportedly been destroyed the year before by adventurers. The Church of St. Cuthbert demanded confirmation of these claims and the two local priestesses were sent to find evidence that the evil was defeated. The priestesses sent were Canoness Y’dey and her assistant Murfles. After weeks of exploring the collapsed ruins the pair came across a collapsed room containing what resembled a silver throne decorated with hundreds of precious gems placed to form demonic faces. Y’dey cast detect magic and found that the throne still pulsed with residual magic but that there were also bits of stronger magic speckled throughout the room. She picked up one of the magic specks and found it to be a shard of what was once a much larger gem. Y’dey continued to gather shards from the floor and quickly realized that these were the shards of the Elemental Power Gems that were reported destroyed by the adventurers. All in all she located and gathered thirty-one gem shards and took them back to Hommlet as evidence of the decimation of the evil that once lurked in the temple.

    Once back in Hommlet, Y’dey reported to her senior clergymen in the city of Verbobonc that the evil had been defeated and that she possessed evidence to back the adventurers’ tale of how the evil was defeated. Y’dey received a request to report to Verbobonc City with the evidence and make an official statement before the arch-clerics of the region. After a brief report Y’dey was thanked for her successful service to the church of St. Cuthbert and she returned to Hommlet shortly there after.

    The council of arch-clerics used numerous divinations and identify spells to study the shards. They came to the conclusion that the gem fragments still held powerful magical abilities normally not obtainable unless an entire elemental gem was placed inside the lost Yellowskull. After careful examination the clerics found that the magical abilities these gems still possess are as follows; the shard functions like an ioun stone and circle the bearer’s head, the bearer gains the ability to safely exist on the corresponding elemental plane taking no environmental damage and the bearer gains the use of a corresponding spell once per week as a spell-like ability. The spell ability given by the shards are as follows; Aquamarine = wall of ice, Smokey Quartz = wind walk, Carnellan = earthquake and Garnet = flame strike. Ten of the shards were from an aquamarine gem, five were smokey quartz shards, seven were carnellan shards and the last nine shards were from a garnet.

    The council realized that these magic powers would be very valuable but also very desirable to evil and good alike. The arch-clerics did not wish to draw attention to the newly discovered shards and so decided to secret the shards away until their use was deemed necessary for the faith of St. Cuthbert. A few of the arch-clerics knew of the hidden valley in the Lortmils and believed it to still remain empty after all these years. After careful deliberation the council selected six devout followers of St. Cuthbert to travel to the valley and build a temple to St. Cuthbert. Once the temple was completed they were to stay and protect the secret of the shards at all costs. This secret order, identified as The Secret Shard of the Holy Cudgel, is known only to its members and the council of the Church of St. Cuthbert

    The order spends most of its time venerating their god St. Cuthbert through reading of his holy word, meditation and training in the ways of the cudgel. The arch-clerics council communicates with the secret order once per year via a Sending spell requesting a report on the condition of the temple and the shards.

    Conflicts and Intrigues

    Less than a month ago the arch-cleric council sent the annual Sending spell and no members of the secret order could be located. The current status of the order members and the shards still remains unknown.

    "
     
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    Re: The Secret Shard of the Holy Cudgel (Score: 1)
    by Duicarthan on Sat, July 16, 2005
    (User Info | Send a Message | Journal) http://www.greyhawkonline.com/duicarthan
    I really like the way you've developed an offsite area while building the group organization. More of a site-based approach to the overall design. I also like how you've weaved the canon articles into the article while remaining somewhat editionless! Wonderful interpreation and presentation, the only thing I would have added is a little..bit more structure and explanation of the particualr divisions for the less enlightened reader. Overall A+ effort



    Re: The Secret Shard of the Holy Cudgel (Score: 1)
    by Argon on Mon, July 18, 2005
    (User Info | Send a Message)
    I did like your site approach to this group, and the way you tied everything together in coming up with their name. A little bit more information as to the actually responsibilities or differences between the church divisions would of put this over the edge,great article.




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