MerricB writes "A look at the Church of Zilchus in the City of Greyhawk which may or may not correspond with accepted canon.
By: MerricB (email@example.com)
(Used with Permission. Do not repost without obtaining prior permission from the author.)
It should come as no surprise to anyone that the God of Wealth is extremely popular in the merchant-city of Greyhawk, and possesses not only a main temple in the Garden Quarter, but also several smaller shrines attended by lesser priests (Clr2-4) around the city.
Services on Godsday are well attended, though it is unsure of how devout most merchants are. The need to get any advantage they can over their competitors keeps them coming to the temple - and making donations.
As a result, the Church of Zilchus is the wealthiest and most influential in the city. The great masses held on each of the four festivals (Richfest, Brewfest, etc.) are extremely popular, and are invitation only - the invitations coming by the donation of a sizable amount of money to the coffers of the Church. These four services are the one time you can see all of the Oligarchs of the city together, as they all make it a point to attend. (It it possible, nay, even likely, that some send look-alikes rather than attending themselves, but all give the appearance of attending.) The Patriarch of Zilchus has often been a member of the Oligarchs himself; this is certainly the case at the moment with Stakaster Villaine (Clr10) (Note: In a 3E campaign, giving Stakaster a level of 14+ may be appropriate.)
The church provides a constant source of employment for men-at-arms and lower-level adventurers, as merchants often need a military escort through some of the more lawless areas surrounding the Free City. Adventurers most often deal with Father Eras (Clr6), who provides details of current commissions.
It might seem that the church would keep a permanent force of men-at-arms available and patrolling the immediate area to keep down bandits. However the Captain of the Guard (a follower of Heironeous) has kept such reponsibility firmly in the hands of the City. Whilst two or three of the merchant-princes on the Oligarchy might grumble, they do at least see the sense of such a move - keeping the powers of Church and State separated.
On occasion, the church sponsors an expedition into the ruins of Castle Greyhawk or one of the tombs in the Cairn Hills in search of treasure. The temple takes 50% of any treasure found, but provides healing and resurrection (if needed) to the adventurers free of charge.
Zilchus' congregation is made up primarily of those in positions of power and the merchants of the city; the common folk tend to worship Norebo, Pelor and St Cuthbert.