Post by Nekrostench on Feb 28, 2019 4:01:19 GMT -5
I skimmed through lore of the lands a few times, but did not see the question I wanted to ask, but if it has already asked, feel free to lock or move or link, whatever the mods decide.
My question is!
When you play a cleric of an evil deity, specifically ones who are lawful evil, or even neutral evil, and commonly have very structured/organized, authoritarian churches. Is it possible to be a "lone wolf" sort to speak? They act in the interest of whatever evil deity has the highly organized and authoritarian church, but are not a member of their clergy per-say? Such as a cleric of bane that obviously acts in the interest of this god, makes offerings, prays, etc. But does not congregate as often (as he should maybe?) with the bona-fide, title holding clergy? Or visits the temples or nobles basement or wherever the rituals are official held. But, another question is, where do clerics with no official affiliation with said church, learn the art of being unholy priest? Or is it required to learn from a bona-fide high ranking clergy member?
Again, forgive me for being ignorant, it has to be almost 12 years since I have not only touched neverwinter nights, but also my once beloved setting, forgotten realms.. I look forward to the answer from some way more knowledgeable people!
The short answer is "Yes". Lawful Evil "errand" clerics, who aren't daily part of the church's activities, would have to regularly come back / report to their superior for close examination and scrutiny of their character and activities.
Neutral Evil priests would be given more leeway in pursuing their own goals.
There's some information to be gained about this from 3.0e book "Defenders of the Faith" in chapter 2 "Churches and Organizations.
Here are some useful quick quotes:
Clerics of Lawful Evil religions:
"Though they do not support any legitimate authority except their own, lawful evil clerics are often part of a ruler's privy council, valued for the balance they provide in debates. Adventuring clerics face stringent questioning between quests, to ensure they have not weakened in their devotion and dedication. Clerics spend much of their time among their congregation, scrutinizing their lives and scourging out any sign of mercy or compassion."
Clerics of Neutral Evil religions:
"Neutral evil clerics worship deities that teach them to be self-centered, but at the same time they must claim an interest in others. False compassion helps them lead their flocks and influence those who might one day convert to the faith. Although not worth much as healers, neutral evil clerics are sometimes welcome in adventuring parties for their ability to magically inflict damage on opponents and glean secret knowledge from their temples. Neutral evil clerics generally hide their beliefs to avoid persecution, and doing that allows them to give advice to their neighbors and acquaintances without those people knowing their true motivation. Of course, the advice invariably advocates cruelty and dispassionate elevation of selfish needs."
Clerics of Chaotic Evil religions:
"Chaotic evil clerics generally take their rightful place as leaders of small cults even at low levels. A chaotic evil cleric may have a mentor, a higher-level cleric of the same faith, or he may form his own cult by causing a schism with an existing cult (and then immediately dedicate his life to the elimination of the parent cult). More likely, though, a chaotic evil cleric is a mystic with a personal vision of what his deity requires of him, touched with a divine blessing and acting independently to put his faith into practice. There are no controls of such a cleric's behavior - except the deity's own intervention.
Of course, as chaotic evil clerics advance in levels and gain the spiritual power of higher-level spells, they typically also gain the temporal power of larger and more influential cults. Cultists are usually criminals and psychotics who are attracted both to the cleric's vision of his deity and to his personal magnetism, and they tend to be fanatical in their devotion to both cleric and deity as well."