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The Heretic of D'kharin

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(I was considering putting this in the plot section, but I just thought of this on the spot and dont have any details, so please post your thoughts.)

The sect of D'kharin, Zealots of the god D'kharin, have always enforced to the local populace the beliefs and laws their deity have bestowed them. Using the magical powers given by their god to a select few, they forcefully ensure the peasants follow their strict laws, pay tithes and dutifully worship D'kharin. The lucky few commoners who show the mark of D'kharin at birth - Raven-black eyes. Not just the pupils, the whole eyes - are taken from their parents at the age of two (whether willingly or not), and trained throughout their lives to embrace their gift. The sect maintains that only those born on the blessed land of D'kharin have a chance of obtaining this gift of power.

The town that the sect resides in resides in the far reaches of the country, and thus gets perhaps as little as one or two outsiders a year. Therefore the town was always in commotion when someone arrived, so they could learn news of the outside lands - nobody in this town EVER travelled far from their homeland, so information was priceless to them.
This particular year, the town is once again in commotion as a new traveller arrives, but instead of loud welcomes and exclaimations, the local townsfolk speak in hushed whispers, and stare at this newcomer in shock, horror. The man is ragged in appearance, dressed in little more than rags and carrying a simple wooden, knotted walking staff. His hair is unkept and face unshaven. But nodoby was looking at that. They only saw his eyes. His completely black, pupilless eyes...

Of course, the peasants asked many questions, and with a sample of his power, and many argumentive words, the locals began to question the word of the sect of D'kharin. The stranger explained that, though the gift is rare, it has nothing to do with 'divine right'. It is merely chance on whether you are born with it or not. To the shock of many, he states also that there is no such god as 'D'kharin'.
Before long the zealots, having magic at their disposal, learn of this 'heretic', and drive him out of the town. But the seed of doubt had already been planted, and the commoners began slacking off, questioning their former religion. The elders of the once-powerful sect realise that their hold over the land is slipping, and therefore come to the conclusion that they must search for this heretic and bring him back to confess that all he said was a lie. They soon send members of their sect, and also adventurers - whether lured by the prize of gold, the interest, or drawn into it unwillingly - to hunt this man and bring him back alive.

((Thats all I can think of for the moment. Please add suggestions or whatever, and also some good names!!!! I am SHOCKING with making up names :'(  If I get enough ideas and stuff for it, I might add it to the plots section. Thank you.))

I sense a small logic problem but not sure where to put my finger.

((I like it a lot by the way!! And if I go a way you don't want to go no problem. Tell me. I tend to go off on my own ideas when I read stuff. I often go off on tangents as Moonhunter well attest :) A new perspective never hurts though.))

But my thoughts flow like zeese:

Small town on the outskirts of outskirts. Isolated and ran by a cult of black eyed dudes. They have power at their disposal. Cults need, as you proved, isolation to rally their supporters. I think that pretty much every person left in the town would be a die hard supporter....until.

These zealots would probably patrol their borders rather well since any intruders may threaten their grip. Normally tinkerers or traders would find there way most everywhere but they know from experience and stories that they are not wanted there. Only the lost or the fool finds their way to the zealots domain and fewer are probably allowed entrance. Their news is probably screened and/or the mages hire somebody to bring news. I can't see much real news ever getting through to them. (I am on the cult conspiracy kick if you haven't noticed. If it is a country and not just a small town/region then I am full of holes....but let me run with this)

I see the mages giving the job of border patrol to their highest worshippers...but they screw up too and so our man got through....and did probably knowingly sneak in with some ulterior motive. What is the motive could be a plot hook of some type.

Being born with something or given it by divine right are sort of hard to argue as different. Being born with it is sort of a divine right by definition I think. The major point would probably be that you don't need to worship D'kharin (yeah, wild names that sound good) to make use of the gift. The point that no matter where you are and you are born this way gives you the power, not the cult...although there are probably more black eyes here through some kind of hereditary breeding pool, but that is besides the point.

The seed of doubt can definately be sown though.

I really like the idea of the PCs being sent to find him and during their search, and when the find them, they can learn many truths. Would be a little hard to roleplay because it requires the suspension of normalty and *really* getting into the part of a brainwashed follower.

I would more use this as PCs visiting from the outside and to do that these places always need *something* to draw the adventurers into it. Whether it be a rich merchant that is sick of the rumors and legends about the place and are sending the PCs to investigate the prospects of trade or the mages have created a weapon the PCs need or have developed something evil that is doing stuff to the surrounding countryside. Something that creates a need to investigate.

 As it is, I would avoid that place if I didn't have to go there for something.

Make one of the characters have black eyes and give him personal motivation perhaps. There is also, very often, that one player who says he is albino or some other oddity to make themselves unique. Just change the black eye to match the PCs characteristic and use that to get them there.

I like it and am interested in what else comes of it.

Cool, cool. Thank you for ideas :) And dont worry about expressing your points, even if you think it might not be what I want. Thats why I put it in here, to see what other, more experienced people's thoughts are on it - Im new to this kinda thing =\

Anyway. The idea that its patrolled and watched over is an interesting one. Maybe there could be an item of worth or power that the black-eyed guys have in their possession, which would give SOME adventurers motivation, such as greed or lust for power. I d'no. Keep ideas rolling, please


Ria Hawk:
Also possible hooks to get the PCs involved:

A friend and/or relative of one of the PCs, given to wandering far and long, hasn't been seen in months.  The last the PC heard, this person was heading up to this little isolated backwater for (insert reason).  PC is getting worried, goes to go look for person.  A minor detail that the PC either doesn't know, or think to mention, is that the person had completely black eyes.  A variation of the above would be if the person was friend or relative of a person of importance/influence, and the PCs are hired to go looking.

So the PCs investigate, which can be a whole adventure in itself.  They get to this town, etc.
The person they're trying to find might have been captured, neccestiting a rescue from the stronghold of the fanatics, or they might have gone on their way, but the PCs are still here.  And after the incident with the supposed heretic, you can bet that the people in charge will not be looking kindly at strangers, particularly if they're looking for the heretic.  The PCs will probably be considered heretics by extension, especially if they agree with the heretic and say this loudly.
Also, the PCs might see the whole iron-fisted rule thing as just a tad unjust, and want to do something about it.

Siren no Orakio:
One interesting thing that may apply: What if the cult is right, to a degree?

A mutation exists here that marks people with black eyes or green hair, or whatever, and also grants a minor ability, say, the ability to make green spots show on the wall, or the ability to use their nostrils as candlesnuffers without showing pain, or more useful, the ability to make plants wither and die or grow and prosper, on an area about the size of a small field. Because this is unique to people with black eyes, this cult in an isolated countryside builds based around using the eyes for identification, and the power to slowly gain a hold over their village. Because of their domineering acts, the cult attracts the attention of some foul creature, who feeds their power in return for sickening rituals.

PCs can be: Townsmen, where the seed of doubt has been sown... and they've decided they want their spouses/betrothed/children back -before- the next full-moon sacrifice, thank you very much.

Outside aventurers, out to avenge or reacquire heretic, as per Ria's suggestion. Outside adventurers, sent to quell foul creature. Outside adventurers seeking a cult-stolen relic... and aformentioned doubting townsmen with spouses etc are willing to help, while those afraid of change and those who benefit from the cult's rule are arrayed againt them.

Cultsmen: Out to repair the damage caused by the heretic. This could be the most intricate scenario of all, for few fanatics will have this kind of malevolent intelligence, and not only will they have to deal with the damage from the heretic, but also ham-fisted 'senior priests'. Whee!


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