Rise of the Runelords
Don’t let rules get in the way of enjoying what is truly good in life. -Placard of Wisdom
THE DRUNKEN HERO
God of bravery, ale, freedom, and wine
Alignment: Chaotic Good
Domains: Chaos, Charm, Good, Strength, Travel
Favored Weapon: Rapier
Centers of Worship: Absalom, Andoran, Galt, River Kingdoms, The Shackles, Taldor, Varisia
Obedience: Sing a song in praise of freedom, bravery, and your god’s glory (and good looks). The song must be audible to those nearby-friend or foe. Between stanzas, you must pause to drink from a full mug of ale, wine, or other spirits.When the song is done, drink the remaining alcohol while mentally composing the song you will sing on the morrow. If a creature is attracted by your song, do your best to engage it in conversation about the merits of Cayden Cailean. If hostilities become inevitable, leap boldly into the fight without hesitation.
Gain a +4 sacred bonus on saving throws against poison effects.
Cayden Cailean is one of the Ascended, a mortal man who became a god after passing the grueling tests of the magical Starstone. Three days after entering the Cathedral of the Starstone on a drunken dare, the good-natured sellsword emerged a living god, baffled and amused. His behavior changed little after his ascension: he continued to fight for just causes, sample various drinks, and avoid things he didn’t want to do. Thus, Cayden Cailean became the patron of brave souls, alcoholic spirits, and the freedom to choose your own path in life. He expects his followers to be brave in the face of danger, though there is no shame in necessary retreat-he’s the god of bravery, not reckless stupidity. Although many assume his faithful will accept any dare, the god’s focus on freedom keeps his heroes from being manipulated so easily, and even the dullest hero of Cayden Cailean has the sense not to accept an impossible or suicidal challenge-though it is not uncommon to accept a risky one after a swig or two of"liquid courage."
Cayden Cailean is outgoing, friendly, boisterous, unashamed, and flirtatious, even more so when he indulges in fermented delights. He loves good-spirited toasts, friendly bar brawls, bawdy songs, and standing up for the underdog. He loathes slavery, meanspiritedness, bullying, teetotalers, and restrictive laws and customs. He believes that everyone would get along better if they could all just sit down and have a drink, preferably in the company of attractive companions. A former mercenary, he believes in fair pay for a job well done, whether in coin, drink, or a tumble in the hay with an enthusiastic paramour.
Cayden Cailean’s direct intervention in the mortal world isn’t frequent, but he has been known to prevent a keg from emptying (often to help good folk survive a siege or convince them to congregate a little longer in a place of safety) or to push someone especially meek to show courage at a key moment. Having had his share of hard times as a mortal, he’s not above helping someone for free now and then, or leaving an extra-generous tip for someone in need. This simple and welcoming philosophy makes him popular with adventurers, philanthropists, revelers, and those who fight for good, and it is traditional
among his adherents to toast his name with the first drink of the evening.
As the god of wine, Cayden’s interest is in the merriment and socialization alcohol can facilitate rather than attempting to drown or forget sorrows, and he despises mean drunks or those who allow their drunkenness to hurt innocents. He has been known to inspire tipsy revelers to confess secrets better aired than left to fester, and he encourages his worshipers to push each other to greatness via friendly dares. A “Cayden’s dare” is any foolish-seeming thing that turns out to have beneficial consequences, and at Caydenite weddings, it’s common to tell jokes and stories explaining how the bride or groom is only present because of a drunken dare (especially if they’re true).
Although his other divine concerns are flexible in interpretation, Cayden is as hard as nails when it comes to a person’s right to freedom. Coupled with his love of drink, his refusal in his mortal days to go against his own beliefs for the sake of mere coin gave him a somewhat unreliable reputation. He believes there is no justice in a law that oppresses one person to benefit another, and over the centuries he has worked to counter slavery and the plots of deities who see human misery as a fair price to pay in pursuit of their goals. In places where the peasantry suffers from harsh taxes or demoralizing practices, he helps them topple their oppressors or at least aids them in escaping to more friendly lands. Though often seen as a god of righteous rebellion, he doesn’t believe in vengeance or coups for their own sake, and is not a god of destructive chaos or madcap frivolity-his followers must take responsibility for the consequences of their actions.
Those who go against Cayden’s simple tenets may find themselves ill the next time they drink, intoxicated when clarity is needed, or frightened by common animals or shadows. When he is happy, drinks are more delicious, the night air feels brisker and smells sweeter, and courage burns white-hot. An unexpected windfall of alcohol is a common sign of favor, yet can just as easily turn to vinegar or sewage in the mouths of the unworthy.
When Cayden Cailean appears to his followers, he usually looks much as he did in life: an average looking bronze-skinned human with a tankard in one hand, often wearing chainmail. In grander art, he is sometimes shown fending off a swarm of devils with his well-worn rapier, all while holding his tankard high.
Some artists portray the Drunken Hero with broken shackles hanging loosely from his wrists or fallen at his feet, representing breaking free of mortal concerns though in areas where his faith has brought freedom from oppression or slavery, the shackles have a more literal interpretation.
Cayden Cailean is the only major god who uses a surname. In his early years as a god, he insisted that his last name be included in all forms of address, an unusual habit for someone normally so relaxed about formalities. The prevalent opinions on the matter are that he wished to distance himself from another mortal named Cayden (perhaps someone of evil intent) or to honor his parents, said to have died when he was young. This second theory is corroborated by his interest in sponsoring orphanages, perhaps as a thank-you to the long-gone orphanage that raised him. He ignores questions about the matter, insisting that it was decided long ago and there are more important things to talk about.
Cayden’s holy symbol is a tankard of ale, with or without a rich head of foam on it. He is called the Drunken Hero, the Lucky Drunk, and many other affectionate nicknames. He’s amused rather than offended by those who use his name as part of colorful oaths, and thus many of his clergy can be creative and prolific in their swearing. Most of his true “clergy” are clerics, but he is also honored by hordes of good-natured rogues, barbarians, and fighters who-despite not receiving any direct boons from the god-seek to spread his faith and emulate his relaxed attitude toward a mercenary or adventuring life. His priesthood also includes some inquisitors, mainly those questing to free slaves and overturn tyrants, as well as a handful of druids who attend to sacred vineyards and the other agricultural aspects of brewing.
Most Caydenites are common folk who seek simple contentment in their daily lives, like to have a drink with their friends, and find the courage to stand up to evil when it rears its ugly head, no matter what shape it takes. They are happy people, preferring to look on the bright side of things and accepting any downturn as a challenge to make right. Brewers, vintners, barkeeps, and innkeepers pray to the Drunken Hero for tasty beverages and the good business that comes from them. Happy drunks and revelers of all sorts toast his name. Wealthy folk do good deeds in honor of him, such as sharing a private store of wine in lean times.
Cayden Cailean is a popular deity among good adventurers, who share his casual goals of questing and celebrating one’s victories. Those not keen on adventuring often work as guides or explorers, enjoying the freedom of living and going wherever they please. While most worshipers are human, a significant number are half-elves, finding comfort and acceptance in a faith interested in good works and good times rather than formal hierarchies, ancient traditions, and old grudges. Although dwarves appreciate his interest in ale, few worship him, though some clans will lift a mug to him while telling stories about Torag, in which he typically takes the role of a humorous sidekick.
There are many mortals alive today with the surname Cailean, and they may be distantly related to the god, but children raised in church-funded orphanages also often take the god’s surname as their own when they leave. Thus, the handsome farmhand might be a direct descendant of Cayden Cailean’s brother, or merely a survivor of a goblin attack that wiped out entire families.
The faith is not inclined to formality, and official church holidays resemble festivals more than worship services. Services to Cayden Cailean always include a toast or a song, which typically involves shouting choruses, stomping feet, and the clanking of drinkware, and a simple toast at a wedding might become a game of “dueling dares” between the groomsmen. Services may be indoors or outdoors, above ground or below, day or night-whatever is appropriate to the occasion.
Cayden’s church essentially has no hierarchy, and the god himself sometimes has to send visions or dreams to his priests to encourage them to meet on an issue and decide how to deal with it. None of his priests really like other people telling them what to do, despite any good intentions, and while his faithful combat evil and injustice where they find it, they’re rarely out to change the world in a systematic and orderly way. Elderly priests and those renowned as local heroes often garner special respect within the church, but few attempt to lead by warrant of their age or reputations.
Most priests believe that the people who discovered a problem are the best people to deal with it, and don’t bother trying to follow a chain of command unless an issue turns out to be too big to handle alone. The majority of the god’s clergy are amiable with each other, and while there can be personal rivalries, they can generally be solved with a shared drink or friendly bar fight.
TEMPLES AND SHRINES
Most of the Drunken Hero’s sacred buildings are alehouses run by clergy members or small inns bearing a shrine to him above the bar. Large breweries often contain a small room set aside for the church, and members of the owner’s family may enter the priesthood to secure prosperity for the brewery. In cities, the occasional feast hall might bear the symbol of Cayden Cailean on its sign or over its doors. These larger “temples” donate much of their earnings to promote the public good, ease the burden of the poor, buy slaves’ freedom, or fund pious adventurers.
The casual nature of the faith-plus its popularity among non-spellcasting classes-means that a typical temple or shrine might only have a very low-level cleric on hand. If someone comes knocking covered in blood, however, any able cleric will usually patch her up, perform a healing incantation, and give her a stiff drink to numb any remaining pain.
A PRIEST’S ROLE
Cayden Cailean’s easygoing nature and lack of a central church mean that his priests are able to use their discretion when it comes to deciding how to advance his cause in the world. Some are solo crusaders for good, while others found adventuring companies or support border towns in need of faith and comfort. Some brew ale or beer, some make wine, some plant crops for these beverages, and some involve themselves in the transport or sale of spirits. City-based clerics might be heavily involved with the local brewers’ or vintners’ guilds, and may even oversee the quality of spirits for the city government (provided any bureaucracy is kept to a minimum). In smaller communities, a cleric might work as a mediator, teach farmers how to brew their own drinks in small quantities, and encourage townsfolk to share with their neighbors to create bonds of friendship. Explorer clerics and adventurers in distant lands often seek to assuage or combat the scars of slavery; look for new stories, rumors, and recipes to share; or act as healers and spiritual support for principled mercenary companies.
The god’s close association with alcoholic beverages leads most clerics to have a high alcohol tolerance. Most individuals who are easily sickened from drinking or dislike the taste of alcohol usually do not enter the clergy, but the faith would never turn away a worthy potential who has no taste for booze. The church is also aware that some folk drink to the extent that it becomes a crutch or a poison to the will. Cayden Cailean and his priests believe this is a corruption and abuse of his favorite things, and sometimes a priest takes it upon himself to counsel these poor souls, often using minor magic to bolster a patient’s resolve and steering the person toward work or activities that improve the patient’s life and negate the need to drown his or her sorrows.
The clergy has a tradition of drinking contests and “dueling dares” or boasting contests, all in good fun and never with the intent to harm or humiliate. In contests that become heated, a competitor who feels the contest has gone too far may suggest that the other person take the Test of the Starstone, at which point the opponent usually says, “I’m great, but not so great as Cayden Cailean,” refusing the dare and ending the contest honorably, usually buying the darer a drink in the hopes of becoming comrades. By custom, many brigands who consider themselves civilized will allow a priest of Cayden Cailean to pass safely in exchange for a drink and a blessing, though this courtesy rarely extends to the priest’s companions.
A typical priest of Cayden Cailean has at least one rank in a useful Craft or Profession skill. Most study Diplomacy, Knowledge (geography), or Knowledge (nature) to better influence people or enhance their craft. Priests tip well and have relatively relaxed attitudes toward marriage. Many also develop close platonic friendships with people of all genders. Given Cayden Cailean’s own status as an orphan, priests and temple-taverns often foster orphans and children born of other traveling priests. These are raised by the church community, though if the parents’ identities are known, they are still held responsible for their children’s welfare.
A typical day for a priest involves waking, a prayer-toast, breakfast, and a period of work. Meals are always begun with a toast, and in some places late afternoon is marked with a swig of hearty, thick ale. Evening is for friends, family, telling stories, and personal interests. Spell preparation takes place after breakfast. The church uses no formal titles, though those who have a title from a guild or profession normally use it within the church as well.
While many bards claim Cayden Cailean as their patron, only a small number are so devout that they consider themselves part of the clergy. Bards are proud to point out that it was their forebears who first spread the news ofCayden Cailean’s ascension, and bards believe that they (as a profession) have a dear place in the god’s heart because of this. Their skills and magic make them excellent rabble-rousers in unhappy lands, and many like to keep an ear to the ground for such opportunities.
The Drunken Hero attracts more than his fair share of adventurers and glory-seekers. A follower of Cayden Cailean is generally a happy and companionable traveler, looking to right wrongs and explore the world at her own discretion. Caydenites leave it to others to bear the burden of grim and tortured personas; for a follower of the Drunken Hero, the world is too big and life is too short and sweet to waste any time whining about it. This is not to say that Caydenite adventurers don’t have a keen sense of justice. If one is stout enough to be an adventurer and serious about one’s faith, one don’t turn your back on the poor and oppressed-Cayden’s faithful just do the job, show them how to take care of themselves, and then get back to the serious business of enjoying life.
Formal raiment of a Caydenite priest is a simple brown tunic or robe with a wine-red stole bearing the god’s ale-mug symbol, though most clergy and lay worshipers content themselves with a simple stein or other drinking vessel. Ceremonial objects are primarily functional rather than decorative, and a high priest of Cayden Cailean would think nothing of performing a blessing with water or wine from a common bar mug rather than a bejeweled font. His church’s holy water may be blessed water, wine, ale, or other spirits, though the stuff intended for use against evil monsters is usually of inferior quality. After all, why waste good wine by throwing it at something?
Cayden rarely spent enough time m one place to read a book, let alone write one, and he prefers to keep his message simple.
Placard of Wisdom: This simple document condenses Cayden’s divine philosophy into a few short phrases suitable for hanging on the wall. Though the specific wording may vary from city to city or even tavern to tavern, the general message is “do good, enjoy life, have a drink now and then, and stand up for what you believe in” – easy words of common sense that appeal to all. In areas more focused on abolitionism, worshipers may add lines to that effect, and it’s not uncommon for philosopher-priests to add a few comments of their own, as Cayden himself doesn’t seem to mind.
The church believes that every day is a good reason to celebrate-life, good friends, good wine, and so on and thus only acknowledge a few holidays that merit extra festivities.
Ascension Day: The actual date of Cayden’s transformation from mortal to god is irrelevant even to him, but the church celebrates this event on 11 Kuthona with a toast of thanks to him for his gifts. Typically this is a hot alcoholic beverage with a sweet bread pastry of some kind.
First Brewing: After the first harvest, a small amount is set aside to create ale, wine, or stronger drink. When this is ready for tasting, the community comes together to sample the first brewing of the year and toast Cayden’s name. Because oflocal variables in the date of the harvest and different brewing times, this holiday has no set date but is normally about 1 month after harvest-time.
Merrymead: Started in Druma, this holiday on 2 Calistril is about sharing the last of the previous year’s mead with the community, and is celebrated through either sharing stories and drinks around a fire or especially for the less pious-extensive pub crawls.
Caydenites are an expressive lot, and followers from different regions all have their own local sayings and oaths. As many worshipers of Cayden Cailean are quick to swear, they often do so by their god’s name. While many such oaths are ribald and improvised on the spot-both things Cayden appreciates-a few sayings are common.
In Cayden’s Name: Flowery speeches are for bards, yet common warriors sometimes still need a poignant turn of phrase, either to exclaim in the heat of battle or offer in honor of the dead. Before combat it is said as a toast, followed by a healthy swallow of Cayden’s brew. It is also used to seal oaths between comrades in arms, generally also followed by a healthy swallow of Cayden’s brew.
Sweet Barleybrew!: Usually uttered in surprise or amazement – whether at the sight of an approaching army, a taste of the brewmaster’s best, or a peek at a barmaid’s treasures – this exclamation can also call out unpleasant things, such as the taste of beer gone bad, the face of an ore, or the imminent arrival of the barmaid’s father.
By the Light of the Starstone: Used both as an oath (on the rare times his followers swear serious oaths) and a declaration of something so profound that saying " Sweet barleybrew! " proves insufficient, this phrase is used even though most people have no idea what the Starstone looks like or if it actually gives off light.
RELATIONS WITH OTHER RELIGIONS
Cayden doesn’t go out of his way to provoke fights with other godly beings, but isn’t afraid to take a few swings if challenged. He avoids evil deities unless they directly cause trouble, at which point he is all battle cries and heroic charges and inspiring speeches followed by lightning quick cuts of his blade. The exception to this is Asmodeus, who is the antithesis of Cayden, and the Drunken Hero rarely passes up a chance to tweak the devil’s nose.
He is on good terms with Desna, Sarenrae, and especially Shelyn (whom he delights in serenading).
He enjoys swapping brews with Torag. Erastil is a little too somber and dutiful for Cayden’s tastes, Irori too stuffy, and Abadar tolerable but too forgiving of oppression in the name of progress.
Iomedae has little patience for what she sees as Cayden’s poor discipline and shirking of responsibility. He occasionally trysts with Calistria but remains wary of her; on more than one bitter occasion, the beautiful goddess of lust has gotten the best of him, and those who imply that Cayden only took the Test of the Starstone in an attempt to impress Calistria quickly find themselves on his bad side.
While many other faiths recognize Cayden Cailean’s worshipers as a force for good, many of the lawful gods are leery of his faith’s destabilizing influence, as it encourages people to shirk responsibilities. Still, most folks are happy to share a drink with a Caydenite, and even happier to have one on their side in a fight.
Situated on the plane of Elysium, Cayden Cailean’s deific domain is split into two portions, both reflecting the Drunken Hero’s persona as a carefree mortal adventurer and divine patron of the same.
At the heart of his domain is an inner, urban cityscape of mixed architectural styles, filled with a multitude of bars, breweries, and feast halls where his petitioners and servitors share tales and boast of their deeds over all manner of drinks, some of which cannot be tasted in mortal realms. Fights are common and even expected, • but they’re always started with the full knowledge that whatever the outcome, a hangover is the worst that can befall anyone so long as they fight with passion rather than anger.
The revelry at the domain’s heart is surrounded by the so-called Fields of Battle. Here warriors come not to tell their tales but to create new ones, testing themselves and their courage against one another or against any unknown but suitable opponent or situation provided. While Cayden Cailean’s divine servants often select the challenges, many times the native azatas offer their own contests and dares to residents and visitors alike, offering rewards commensurate to the risk, especially when mortals are involved.
Of all Elysium’s gods, Cayden Cailean is the one who’s most in tune with the mind- set of many of the plane’s native creatures, and his halls and fields are full of such creatures, alongside mortal souls, planar travelers, and anyone else of good heart who feels like enjoying a drink and a joke.
A number of rowdy azatas that attend the revels in Cayden Cailean’s realm can often be convinced to aid his followers, and in addition to Cayden Cailean’s servitor race, the ataxians (see page 281), the following beings also serve the god of freedom and only answer planar ally and similar calling spells from his faithful.
Little Thunder (unique celestial cayhound): This Large celestial cayhound is a favored son of Cayden Cailean’s pet mastiff, Thunder. He speaks in a great booming voice, is quick to laugh, has a bawdy sense of humor, and is fond of strong beer. Once per day, he can growl at his maximum volume, equivalent to a shout spell.
Like his father, he welcomes battle, but if innocents are in danger, he strives to move them to safety first. He prefers kegs of ale or wine or even potions as payment for his services, as he has difficulty using other items.
Luthier, the Knight of the Vineyard (unique halfcelestial human): This man looks more like a fat minstrel than a knight, dressed in colorful leathers and carrying a mandolin and rapier. He also appears to be quite drunk, swaying with every step, mumbling half of his words, and frequently dropping his sword or instrument. Despite his appearance, he is a fearsome enemy of evil and cruelty, snapping to attention when the scent of blood is in the air, then dancing across the battlefield with acrobatic grace. His leather armor is as hard as steel, his mandolin produces notes as clear as church bells, and his hands are as fast and dexterous as those of any pickpocket. Luthier loves fine wine and fine food, and those wishing to bargain for his services should have both on hand for the discussion.
Thais: This five-winged angelic woman serves as Cayden Cailean’s herald. She is usually sent to aid or protect Cayden Cailean’s faithful, but might appear any place where slaves struggle against oppression, valiant rebels fight for freedom, the desperate and afraid need hope and courage, or a hero needs just a little luck to further some great cause. When not at Cayden Cailean’s side, Thais spends time on the Material Plane, often in the guise of her former human form. She frequently takes mortal lovers ofboth sexes, and is even rumored to have had relationships over the years with Aroden, Calistria, and Nethys, as well as scores of lesser deities. She is a sworn enemy of Asmodeus, however, as his portfolios of tyranny and slavery are in direct opposition to her embodied philosophy, and once even faced the Prince of Darkness himself She suffered a humiliating defeat at his hands, narrowly escaping only by sacrificing one of her wings. That wing, representing freedom from oppression, remains within Asmodeus’s hellish trophy room, leaving Thais with only five wings. For more information, see page 282.
Valon, the Spirit of Spirits (unique ghost): This ghostlike creature is the friendly soul of a priest whose body was utterly destroyed long ago in a battle with evil. Knowledgeable in esoteric histories and obscure lore, he often held that beer was the greatest of any race’s inventions. While he can manifest as an incorporeal creature, he prefers to possess the body of a willing humanoid (typically the cleric who calls him) as he misses the sensations of life, and he has been known to drink and carouse if the opportunity presents itself If the cause is right, he is willing to serve in exchange for “a night on the town” in a borrowed body.