Adonai (3.5e Deity)
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|Symbol:||A tau, arcadian, or mantaéri cross, a book, or a flaming sword (often referred to as the Sword of the Spirit)|
|Home Plane:||The Kingdom of Heaven (Celestia), The Outlands|
|Portfolio:||Creation, Life, Death|
|Clergy Alignments:||Lawful Evil|
|Domains:||Healing, Destruction, Creation, Protection, Law, Evil|
|Favored Weapon:||Sword (any)|
|“||I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.||”|
|—Revelation of Saint John|
|“||In the beginning there was Adonai, and the power was with Adonai, and the power was Adonai. It was with Adonai in the beginning; as it is with him now.||”|
|—On the Genesis of the Multiverse|
Adonai is revered as the creator of the Primes and, indeed, of the entire cosmology. He is believed to be the original Lord of Evil and the leader of the gods. He is known to high scholars of divinity and his large church in the Primes. He is known by many names across the lands inhabited by his followers, with the most common being derivations of 'Father', 'Lord', and 'King'.
|“||You must always be careful to keep the decrees and ordinances, the laws and commands he wrote for you.||”|
|—Tome of Kings II|
As is typical of evil deities, Adonai calls everyone to respect his authority and power. He is a very lawful deity who tolerates no deviation from his law, the Decalogue and the Numbers. The Decalogue consists of the 10 most important laws (prohibiting things such as murder and theft) and The Numbers is a labyrinthine tome containing a myriad of laws proscribing guidelines for everything from hygiene to warfare.
In the face of this wall of laws, his clerics will usually give but two: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind; and love your neighbor as yourself. A common way for the peasantry to sum up these rules is called the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you, though this rule is the diametric opposite of the laws of the Numbers.
|“||The Lord is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, forgiving iniquity and transgression, but he will by no means clear the guilty...||”|
|—Tome of Numbers|
Adonai is a lawful deity who calls his servants to obey him. He demands from his followers that they denounce the power of other deities, and revere only him. He himself once said to the head of his church in Illeria, "I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me." If a people will not be converted or kneel to him, Adonai calls for their outright destruction - in some cases doing it himself.
He knows his decrees are hard to follow and is always willing to forgive a penitent soul. Adonai can be appeased with sacrifices. All sacrifices are laid out by the clergy, in accordance with the crime.
One of Adonai's main goals is the spreading of his faith to the non-believers and the destruction of other faiths and other gods. Adonai greatly discourages any act of chaos or outright works against order.
|“||I will send my terror before you and will throw into confusion all the people against whom you shall come, and I will make all your enemies turn their backs to you.||”|
|—The Book of Exodus|
His dogma includes law. Law, at least his law, is what Adonai encourages. His law is best described by the natural order of his universe sometimes referred to as 'Torah'. He also encourages the outright destruction of those whom he deems unacceptable. He demands from his followers that they denounce the power of other deities, and revere only him. There are exceptions, as some peoples integrate Adonai into their pantheon, not because it is their god, but simply for the reason that they fear him and are looking for protection. Adonai greatly discourages any act of chaos or outright works against order.
|“||In everything that he undertook in the service of God's temple and in obedience to the law and the commands, he sought his God and worked wholeheartedly. And so he prospered.||”|
|—The Book of Chronicles II|
The followers of Adonai come from all walks of life. On the Prime, most of his followers are humans from the more lawful areas. His followers can be good or evil, lawful or chaotic; the outlooks of his main followers is generally unimportant, as long as, to some degree, they follow his laws.
More advanced races, who know something of creation, also revere him. More tribal areas, as well as isolated ones, are not likely to know anything of Adonai. Elves, Dwarves and other races are likely to follow Hero Gods or others of their own invention (i.e. Correlon Larithian - Elves)
|“||I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.||”|
|—Book of Saint Matthew|
The clergy of Adonai live in seclusion from the general populace in monasteries or in private quarters in city temples. They live their lives in study and penitent reflection and often undertake geas, quests, and do service in the name of Adonai. People living near a temple or monastery can expect to receive help when needed.
|“||I will draw my sword and my hand will destroy them.||”|
|—The Book of Exodus|
All followers of Adonai are called to be ready to defend the faith and the faithful when need be. Temples and Monasteries keep a well-stocked armory and clerics and priests of Adonai train with weapons daily. In times of trouble, the bells in the bell towers are rung and the local people flock to take sanctuary behind the walls. If outlying villages are threatened, able bodied clerics and faithful warriors go to protect the villagers. During times of crusade, all able bodied clerics must go. Also, local villagers skilled in fighting or other useful skills are called to go.
Clerics of Adonai wear plain, simple garments. Whenever they are not in their quarters, they wear white tabards with red crosses and longswords belted on their waists. All clerics train with weapons daily and help to maintain the temple armory and their own weapons and armor. Each cleric is to try to always have the best weapons (swords) and armor (full plate) they can; although these are only worn during times of war.
Most clerics and priests train in various professions and skills when not leading worship or doing service in the surrounding community. Clerics will often specialize in several kinds of knowledge or in smithing or in some cases, something relevant to the surrounding locale (i.e. In a seaside community, several clerics might be sailors as well).
When not serving the community, leading services or studying, a cleric will have several jobs around the temple/monastery complex. One might have to help maintain the armory or the food store or the gardens. One might have to do lookout duty in the bell tower. One might clean. The list goes on and on. No work is ever done on the seventh day of each week (the Sabbath) or on holy days.
For their duties, clerics receive a stipend of gold every Sabbath. Most will use this to improve their kit (weapons and armor) or to improve their personal sphere of the temple/monastery. Each Cleric oversees a portion of the temple, with higher ranking clerics overseeing several areas. A cleric of Adonai is called to eschew any personal position that doesn't help him to serve and spread the word of Adonai.
Adonai's clergy are required to be lawful, but evil or neutral does not matter. His temples are usually built with the architecture of the region, although there are recurring builds in all his temples. There is usually a 'social hall' or gathering place, the chapel for services, housing and personal offices for the clerics, a library on site with religious books, a forge, a granary, and some sort of keep for times of trouble. Aside from these many temple complexes grow to be almost small towns when parts of the local community move closer to find work or protection.
When the chapel part of the temple is built, it follows a very standard format regardless of the architecture or building materiel. The structure is rectangular with the gathering area in front of one of the shorter sides. Directly inside is a place for worship with an altar and an ark that contains the holy texts. Behind the altar/ark is a curtain that separates the temple proper from the Holy of Holies. The Holy of Holies is a sacred room where Adonai himself is said to be able to manifest. Incense is constantly burned there and sacrifices are brought to Adonai. Only the high priests can enter the Holy of Holies.
Quarters for the priests and clerics are in nicely appointed but spartan rooms adjacent to the temple. Most temples have a ring or square wall around the compound and a bell tower attached or on top of the temple. A temple compound will most often include eating areas with kitchens, a library and laboratory, storehouses, armories, stables and somewhere to keep up the items necessary to keep the place running (a smith). The Temple's coffers are stocked with offerings and donations from the temple's congregation. The Temple's storehouses are filled with magically preserved food and supplies. All of these are kept up in case of a disaster or in case the locals have to take refuge in the compound.
|“||On hearing this, the citizens in the tower of Shechem went into the stronghold of the temple of El-Berith.||”|
|—Book of the Judges|
Temples are often places of refuge in times of trouble. When invading armies or marauding hordes come through, many people will seek shelter behind a temples walls. Everyone knows there is food and protection to be had there. Temples in cities will distribute food and shelter, help displaced people, or care for the wounded when the city is in trouble.
|“||Any army that marches with the cross before it cannot be beaten!||”|
|—Bohemmund of Teranto, Leader of the Spire Crusade|
Great crosses are artifacts that can only be made by clerics of Adonai. They are 10-20 foot tall tau, latin, or equal-armed cross. They are mounted on carts that can be pushed or horse-drawn. Every temple and monastery maintains one in case they have to mobilize for war or crusade. Great crosses provide clerics of Adonai and loyal soldiers with divine and morale bonuses to AC and attack bonus. More powerful crosses radiate healing auras and have the power to bring those laid near them back to life. The most powerful crosses shoot beams of pure divine death and smite down enemies.
Every part of a great cross has to be blessed by a high priest and soaked in holy water before it is constructed. Once put together, priests can pray over it and meditate near it to increase its power. So, temples or monasteries with more clerics can have more powerful crosses. Also, it is usually true that a more ornate or bigger cross will be more powerful or have more potential that a lesser one. Gemstones set into the cross can be used to store spells and divine power. Adonai sees anything used in the cross' production (gold, silver, wood, gems) as a sacrifice. Because of all this, a temple's cross will be the most sacred thing in the temple and it will also be the most ornate.