Adventures of the Adamant Owlbears
A Pocket Companion to the Sculptor
This book, bound in thin, brown moleskin, fits easily into a medium sized pocket, like that of a robe. The spine reads, in a gold leafed font, “A Pocket Companion to the Sculptor, Azrael Edition,” and the cover displays an image of a broken staff. The forward immediately explains that a limited run of this book is released to coincide with the martyrdom of each saint – but that it has been available in its most basic form since the church named its first Hands. It is a perfect companion to those servants of the Sculptor who travel far and wide, finding little time for leisure or quiet contemplation. One can easily flip to a section on a subject and find out the Sculptor’s feelings on it. It has been updated often over the years to keep its readers well informed about current church policy, and any new scripture that has been introduced as canon.
Man was created in the Sculptor’s image, but woman was bestowed his greatest gift: the gift of creation.
- In the eyes of the Sculptor, women are the most holy of creatures, closest to the divine, and should always be treated with due kindness and reverence.
- The sculptor values strength, learning, and individuality in women, for they are not only the creators of new life but of many things: art, churches, contracts, and even empires.
- The sculptor also values all the qualities of good mothers, even in women who are not mothers. The abilities to teach and nurture are highly prized.
- A woman who abuses their gifts of creation for sinister purposes, such as the creation of demonic spawn, is considered a betrayer. It is important to refer to the sections on demons and exorcisms when making the choice of punishment.
- In the eyes of the Sculptor, men are the protectors of all his creation, and should be raised and respected as such.
- The sculptor values in men not only strength and bravery, but a firmness of conviction. A man can best defend that which he never doubts.
- Where women are creators, ever changing the world around them, men are the rocks upon which they may build: supporting creation and becoming part of it in their way, but crumbling beneath it when it defies the Sculptor.
- Men are the judges and the shepherds, keeping the world the way the Sculptor intended it.
In this you can see there is a designed balance between men and women. Nearly any situation is improved by the presence of both.
On Sex and Sexuality
Blessed are those who emulate him and create anew, for in this the Sculptor finds the greatest of all joys.
- In the eyes of the Sculptor, there is no sin in a union that can bring about a child. It matters not if the parents are unwed, though he does say of marriage:
…This union be the best for many things, not least of which the time dedicated to perfecting their craft.
- Celibacy is not frowned upon. It is often an oath taken temporarily by clergy in order to better understand the Eladrin.
- There is, however, nothing prohibiting members of the clergy from marrying and/or having children of their own – they are in fact encouraged to do so.
- The use of prophylactics is considered a crude denial of the Sculptor’s will – though it is a mild enough offense to be mostly ignored – especially considering how difficult it is to prove without the clergy putting themselves in a great number of embarrassing situations.
- Regardless, the church’s public opinion of the practice should be wholly discouraging. As the Sculptor puts it:
Do you so enjoy this wet clay? Never taking form, never becoming more than what it is? While there is joy in the process and the possibility, when your soul is old and thirsty you will wish you had fired a cup.
- Should a clergy member happen upon an incidence of prophylactic use, they should flog the involved individuals publicly and nakedly until they are satisfied the sin is repented.
- Sex without the possibility of reproduction is considered closer to the behavior of demons than that of the Sculptor. Known offenders may find themselves under scrutiny.
- Homosexuals in particular are officially presumed to be possessed. These people are to be pitied, and arranged for an exorcism as quickly as is possible.
If a child is born in the way of the pale night, its mother is known as betrayer by reason of the birth. Behold, it is a child, but it has limbs of a beast! All sins lie in those wings, those horns, those many fingered hands.
- Children are valued as a sort of proof of one’s righteousness. Having children proves that you are honoring the Sculptor’s will.
- The church cares little if a child is raised by one or both parents. Indeed, they care little if a child is raised by parents at all. The church gladly takes all unwanted children.
- These wards of the church are watched over by a division of the Society of Saint Amalah known as the Winged Arms – and while their lives are not extravagant the children are well fed and kept safe, and receive appropriate education for their age.
- The Society of Saint Amalah also offers care free of charge to new and expectant mothers.
- The Sculptor loves children and clergy are expected to treat all children and women with child with fairness and kindness, and to help and protect them in any way they need.
- Twins are to be considered an ill omen. (Since the Broken One’s children were twins.)
- The exception to all of these rules is, of course, demonic children.
- Demon children are considered to be an intensely corrupting force on the mother. The longer they are allowed to gestate – the worse the mother’s chances for redemption and survival.
- In rare recorded instances a demonic pregnancy has been caught early enough that an exorcism was able to free the mother from the child’s corrupting influence, though the child was killed by the process.
- Unfortunately many women are unwittingly impregnated by demons – and it is far too late by the time they learn the nature of their pregnancy and seek help. In these instances a woman of willing and otherwise holy nature should be executed in a manner of utmost mercy. Should the child come to term it too should be killed quickly and mercifully.
- Should a woman in this condition be unwilling to receive the Sculptor’s most merciful judgement, clergy are authorized to hunt and destroy her by any means in order to prevent the spread of demons.
You shall have what you wish and live eternal, in flame, and all shall know your bloodline from others.
Originally, the Sculptor created only two races: humans and eladrin, who were, in essence, the first elves. The eladrin were given the gift of magic and were to use their power to shepherd the young world, creating new races and creatures among other impressions on the land. The eladrin were given long lives, so that they might guide many generations before fading away. But that is exactly what they were meant to do: fade away, so as not to distort the Sculptor’s creation too farm from its original form. They were to only be born and reborn through his divine grace, but to always exist as leaders of his church and speakers of his truth.
The eladrin created all of the diminutive races: the dwarves, gnomes, and halflings. The Sculptor loves all of these races for their various virtues, just as he loves humans.
Orcs and half-orcs are actually considered to be prototypes of humans – something the Sculptor originally thought to never place in the world. Their race appeared from the ashes when the Broken One was at large, their fierce strength an asset in fighting his madness. While they are rare, they too are loved by the Sculptor. Similarly but more recently has been the appearance of aasimar: beautiful chosen children, sent to carry out the Sculptor’s will when the world needs it the most.
Dragonborn and tieflings are considered products of the Broken One’s creation – his children and the children of the first dragon he created: Serreleth – and are reviled by the Sculptor.
The elves, however, are an anomaly. They are technically descended from eladrin, and share many of their traits, but their forebear was the Broken One and so their line is cursed and less than it was. On the pale night, the Broken One’s children escaped from the abyss and returned to this world, defiling the eladrin and creating this race of elves. Knowing then that the Broken One would always seek to corrupt them, the eladrin faded from this world.
It is still the hope of the Sculptor’s church that the elves repent and redeem themselves in the Sculptor’s eyes, and return as his willing servants. The clergy should be open to this possibility. But for nearly as long as they have existed the elves have defied the Sculptor’s people, muddled their blood with demons, lay with beasts, and worshiped false idols. As such, they should be treated with caution.
The preponderance of elven slavery in the Holy Empire is, in fact, supported by the church, and the primary reason why the arrow-marked classification of slavery was invented. It is believed that the path to redemption for the elves begins by serving the Sculptor’s people, and then the Sculptor himself.
For those that exalt them, know that your house too shall sink down to the dead: for all their roads lead to shadow, and blind the soul to the paths of light.
Demons are the greatest enemy of the Sculptor’s church, formed of essences that spite his will. The church exists for two main purposes: to spread the Sculptor’s word, and to protect his faithful from the influence of demons. The battle rages ever on, and every clergy member must be vigilant and prepared to face this threat.
- Demons originate from the line of the Broken One – who was cursed to have twisted children when he dared defy the Sculptor.
- While the Sculptor intended for these children to live a life of shame in penance for their father’s sins, the people went against the Sculptor’s wishes and decided to burn these children along with their father.
- While Saint Florentia scattered the ashes and bone of the Broken One, she also took the time to deliver the ashes of each child to the dwarven fortresses of Ade’arna and Drukat Nur – in order to isolate and protect the remains from being used or awakened in any way. Meanwhile the Sculptor bound their souls to Hell.
- On the pale night, the spirits of the Broken One’s children – the twins Malith and Casris – broke free from Hell and planted their seed in the bellies of mortals – bringing the race of demons into the world.
- The church has two main methods for dealing with people influenced by demons: execution and exorcism.
- There are a seemingly limitless number of types of demons, each with different powers and predilections and requiring different preparations to defeat. It is important when dealing with a demon to spend time studying it so as to best understand how to destroy it.
- Many types of demons are known to infiltrate the sleeping minds and bodies of their victims: it is paramount that one does not rest in their presence without a hallowing of the area.
Exorcism techniques have developed considerably due to the writings of Saint Azrael. While the traditional techniques of warding and hallowing a space in which to draw out and destroy a demon are tried and true, performing them correctly takes roughly a month. In circumstances where the time cannot be taken, Saint Azrael suggests the following methods:
First, one must acquire the purest sample of diamond. As I know it, these can only be acquired in Brynvarn. Then, you must learn the name of the foe. It must be his true name, the one he was given when birthed into Hell. No other name shall work. Then, with the diamond as your focus, beg the aid of the Sculptor by reciting the damning chant. Upon completion of the chant, speak the name of the creature. In this way you shall summon him, while also breaking a rift in the veil between our world and hell. If you combine this method with the traditional techniques, you may bind and interrogate the creature for a time (or indeed, even summon demons already banished back to hell for questioning). Know that the rift will only stay open for a minute, you will have to refocus it if this is your intent, or if it takes you some time to slay the beast. When you are through, slay the creature and push its corpse through the gate into the abyss. If it be too powerful to defeat with the present forces, you might attempt to simply push it back into Hell.
It should be noted that this technique is significantly more risky, and requires much more powerful individuals to safely enact. Most should continue to use the old methods, with the assistance and supervision of the local clergy. In this method, a confined space is chosen for the ritual, and warded with holy water, incense, and ruby powder. (Preferably also from Brynvarn.) The ritual must be performed 30 times to ensure it cannot be dispelled. Fewer times result in a ward that can potentially be broken by the fiend’s strength, though for weaker demons it may suffice. While for an individual this would take 30 days, the process can be sped up considerably by involving additional allies from the church, allowing them to lend their power to the ritual. Finally, when the space is complete, the possessed individual should be anointed with herb and oils, and chanted over for a full day and night. Upon the conclusion of this hallowing of the flesh, the demon will be drawn out and forced to face you.
Both rituals benefit from the damning chant, which is as follows. It is most best spoken in celestial, for it strikes fear in the hearts of demons, but can be effective in other languages as well.:
I damn you, child of the Broken One, every denizen of Hell, every beastlike child, every sinner, every betrayer, in the name and by the power of the Sculptor. I say unto you, begone! Fly the shadowed road back to the abyss. I command you begone, from this world of the Sculptor’s creation, from this flesh of the Sculptor’s creation. Begone!
They were to use their magic to protect all – the men, the beasts, and the land…
To understand the church’s relationship with magic, one must first consider its source. The Sculptor granted magic to the eladrin to help shape and shepherd the world. When the eladrin were gone, he gave their magic to the rest of humanity, to the exclusion of none of his beloved race – though some showed more affinity to it than others.
- Magic from the Sculptor is a gift, naturally occurring in those who are born with or pray for it. There is no study required of it – it is innate and instinctual. As a person explores and reflects upon their gift, they will often discover new ways in which to shape it.
- The exception is rituals, which beg for the Sculptor’s intervention. These are studied due to their lengthy and complicated nature.
- Magical knowledge otherwise acquired through books or scrolls – or worse yet, pacts with demons – lead down dark and terrifying paths that pervert its uses.
- If a person is not gifted with magic but seeks to learn it, after a time they nearly always become incapable of controlling their growing powers. They become beacons for demonic influence, or fall prey to madness.
- The Sculptor has few exceptions to the application of magical energy – so long as it is used to protect and guide his creation. Healing, divination, conjuration, these are all acceptable practices in the correct context.
- What is strictly forbidden is the practice of necromancy. Any spell that disrespects or raises the dead is considered a defiance of the Sculptor’s will. Necromancers are perhaps the church’s greatest enemies after demons themselves.
- Overall, the church exalts and protects magic users blessed by the Sculptor, and hunts and destroys those who twist magic to evil ends.