St. Oblat was once a proud a vainglorious young man with a head of dark hair and a boyish charm that melted the hearts of maidens and gave even matrons pause as they remember their younger years. Many women would fixate upon his lips, or his eyes, while others would admire the fine shape of his hands or even his bottom, their faces red and giggling. Of course the saint to be did little to discourage this behavior.
Oblat served as a paladin under the Pontiff King Mancel the First and was a hero of the first and second Ogre Wars when the ogres rose up from their weedy dens in the Great Woses to make war against the cities of men. Yet his charmed life was not to last much longer, for he was involved in a skirmish with a band of Zehini exiles when his horse reared and fell upon Oblat.
Oblat was greviously wounded by the event, and by the time he was able to make the painful voyage back to the nearest Cathedral, his wounds had been too long set and could not be turned back by the powers available to the Bishop there. Mancel, and other great figures such as Acre, Hendrick, and Suszanna consoled Oblat. It was this that saved him from a rapid spiral down into depression, drinking and a slow death in the gutter.
Oblat felt the weight of the hand of the Trinity upon his heart and took upon himself a new mission. He became more aware of those men and few women who came away from war not with prizes but with maimed limbs, and broken spirits and bodies. He realized that they suffered often in despair and indignity. to this end, he was able to establish a precedent for wounded soldiers unable to sire or have children, or unable to work because of their wounds to have a place granted to them in one of the growing numbers of monastaries.
This served to bolster the numbers of the monks as many of these Oblate Monks were raised to full monk status. This reduced the presence of many beggars, and restored dignity to the Arms Militant.
A Load of Hogwash
Unfortunately, the entire story is a complete sham. St. Oblat did indeed perform the many deeds listed, up until his maiming in the skirmish. He later retired to a monastary to preserve his legacy as an unmarred and victorious paladin. The tale later grew from the gradual spread of the practice that was not officially sanctioned until the Daurus Conference in the 4th Century following the Nightmare War.
The Society of Arms Oblat
The society was formally recognized in the Daurus conference as a religious prelate, though one subjected to the rule of the diocese Bishops. Most of these are soldiers who have no family and no lands to call their own, but have grown infirm with old age and no other recourse but to join the quiet life of the monastary. Others include those greviously maimed in war who live on the alms of the monastary and are given new direction through learning.
The Arms Oblat often serve as instructors and trainers for the templar militias that are mildly encouraged within the general Arms Militant.
The Wise Master - The PCs seek a mentor to teach them the arts of war or a specific weapon, or perhaps knowledge from a certain battle, whatever. To do this they have to find person X who has since retired from the military due to infirmity of age and now resides at a monastary. Not all retired soldiers and heroes live in magical wealth and splendor. The PCs have a chance to see the middle road between smashing success and death.
For a Penny - The PCs encounter in their travels a former NPC or henchman who was wounded under or against the PCs. now this person has been made an oblat of the local monastary and must again face the PCs who unmanned them and made them unable to serve as soldiers, or husbands. A chance to show the consequences of treating hirelings poorly, or the mercy of not hacking the head off of evil minion X.
The Broken Saint - How the mighty have fallen, the PCs encounter a particularly vain paladin, or another high ranking military figure who has sense lost their position and status because of their disfiguration. This could be a humbling encounter for the PCs if they respected the formerly potent warrior.
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? Responses (6)
This is a well done post. It has everything I like: a bit of drama, some history, some plot hooks (in terms of his legacy that could be discovered), and well executed.
What Moon said! Broken Saint & Load of Hogwash-nice touches!
What a nice backstory... and what a letdown, when it is revealed as nonsense. :)
Nice one. Linked it to the 'Of Saints' codex where it belongs.
A good one, and the plot hooks are excellent.