Saint Duncan is dead, and lies in his tomb, but every year thousands will visit it to lay their hands on the cold stone, and whisper a prayer to the patron saint of exorcism.
Crozier of Saint Duncan - This relic, crozier six feet tall capped with a brass symbol of the heavens carries an echo of true faith, and is an indespensable tool for the working of exorcism. The Church of Saint Duncan very rarely loans it out, and then only in the protection of a cadre of holy monks.
Saint Duncan, Father Duncan when he was alive was an unassuming, and gentle man. He stood average height and was slightly overweight in his declining years. His hair was once brown, but slowly it turned grey. Now, his earthly remains are held in the nave in the cathedral he sponsored, which completed after his death and canonization, was named in his honor.
Saint Duncan was raised in a monastary, his parents abandoned him on a forest road and as a squaling infant he was rescued by one of the monks. Within the monastary he grew into a well behaved, and well educated young man. At the very young age of 21 he was made the Cellarer of the Monastary and was responcible for the material needs of the monks there.
At the age of 24, in a clerical upset, Duncan was raised to Prior of an aging cathedral following the untimely death of the old prior. Vigorous and filled with devotion to his deity, Duncan renovated the cathedral, and reinstated the purpose of the church in the area. He served as Prior for a number of years until the Bishop was found guilty of heresy, and simony as he was selling church positions to nobles and merchants in exchange for political favors and gold.
Duncan continued his vocation, traveling to and fro from where he was needed, as he had the power of his deity in his voice, and armed with only a brass crozier and the immacualte text of his deity he banished fell spirits, placated the angry ghosts of the dead, and exorcised evil spirits from human victims.
All of this he did with great humility, never accepting more than a normal monk would recieve for his services. Duncan always worked hard to keep the church free from the intercene politics and petty warfare that plagued many of the nobles and their holdings that were under the jurisdiction of the church.
After seventy three years of service, Duncan died in his sleep, peaceful in his bed. The public outpouring of grief stunned even the church. It was not known just how extensively he traveled, even into the infirmity of his venerable years. Tens of thousands traveled to the new cathedral he sponsored in tandem with the local king. The church recognized his many great deeds by making him a saint.
The canonization was formalized after several exorcists claimed success in banishing evil spirits by invoking his name, and his crozier was found to be a holy relic, sanctified by his piety and humility. Saint Duncan was listed among the saints in the immaculate texts, and the Cathedral was named the Cathedral of Saint Duncan.
One of the naves was remodeled, and a large stone sarcophagus was made, his mortal remains placed in a lead lined coffin and laid to rest within. Pilgrims continue to visit the tomb of Saint Duncan even to this day, praying to protect them, or for divine healing.
Possessed are on occassion brought to the cathedral, and invariably, the evil spirit is driven out sometimes by the efforts of the monks, sometimes by proximity to the tomb.
Seeing as Saint Duncan is dead, there are not many notes for playing him. He is meant to add background flavor to a campaign, change the ordinary temple stocked with clerics into something else. The Cathedral is adjoined to a monastary, and is supported and tended by the monks, as well as by the clergy. There is a steady stream of pilgrims to the tomb/shrine, and the hospitality of the Cathedral of St. Duncan is well known even in lands beyond the kingdom.
Cleric of the party is asked to exorcise a local demon/ghost in a villlage that has been haunting them. The cleric actually accomplishes it but the locals still "see" it around and see damage it continues to do. They are convinced that unless the cleric visits the church of Saint Duncan and uses his power and name that the cleric couldn't have possibly gotten rid of the spirit that plagues them.
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? Responses (10)
There are people religions grow with. This saint is one of them.
A great solid post. (That could be now linked to the write-up of this religion... is there one?)
I also like it a lot. It does a great job of blending the workings of the Catholic Church system with fantasy ideals and actions, to create a great feeling of authenticity and history. Would be a nice thing to read up on in a musty cathedral basement.
This is the sort of historical/ mythical post I like. It grants history. It grants background elements for the setting. It provides dramatic points for the campaign. In short really handy.
He is most useful when the setting has a psuedo christian/ monotheistic religion, like the Vicean church or The Messenger's church. It would take some work to adapt this to other things.
You really should put together a church setting (the society post) and possibly the religion (the systems post for the religion) for this post, so we can hang other things upon it.
I was reminded of this mythical NPC today, so a hearty BUMP, and an updated vote go to it!
Short and sweet.
This, as usual, is a great sub, Scras. Might even inspire a character in my writings in the future.
Great submission - I think someone read my favorite book, "Pillars of the Earth" ;)
I always like the subs that can be used as a plot point or simply to give the adventure more depth. If the locals see something they may attribute to a spirit they can invoke the name of Saint Duncan. Could leave it at that or if the PCs ask about it there is a few lines of history that they will get this info just broadened the scope of the game.
I like how humble Saint Duncan was - and the message, that honest well-meaning and the will to do good work can leave a legacy.
Great story - I agree with other posters - solid, has a history about it.
Another thought is that this would integrate into some kinds of Sci Fi quite well - I'm thinking of Dark Heresy in particular. There are religious traditions buried in that (the Ordo Hereticus and so on) where this would fit - fight Chaos and so on.
In a more mundane way, remove the supernatural and give him the role of a local priest or some other reason to be popular - e.g. resistance to the government? Clues there in the refusal-to-politic part of the story.
Anyway, great and very useable character.