Cayden Caliean

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  • God of freedom, ale, wine, and bravery
  • Alignment: CG
  • Domains: Chaos, Charm, Good, Strength, Travel
  • Favored Weapon: Rapier
  • Centers of Worship: Absalom, Andoran, Galt, River Kingdoms, Shackles, Taldor
  • Nationality: Taldan

The legends say that Cayden Cailean never meant to become a god. As a hired sword working out of Absalom, Cayden was renowned for taking on any job so long as the cause was just and the coin was plentiful. One night in an intoxicated stupor, a fellow drunk dared him to take on the Test of the Starstone. He accepted, and 3 days later he emerged from the Starstone’s sacred cathedral as a living god. Amazed that he passed the tests and unable to remember how he did it, he continued in his godly life much as he did when a mortal—fighting for just causes, enjoying various alcohols, and not doingmanything he didn’t want to do. In art, Cayden Cailean appears as he did in life, a bronze-skinned beardless man, carrying a tankard of ale in one hand. Some depictions of the Drunken Hero display broken shackles about his wrists, representing Cayden’s escape from the concerns of mortal life. In more heroic art, he is shown defeating swarming evils, all the while grinning happily and hoisting his tankard high.

Cayden is outgoing, friendly, boisterous, unashamed, and flirtatious. He loves good-spirited toasts, friendly bar brawls, bawdy songs, and standing up for the underdog. He loathes slavery, mean-spiritedness, bullying, teetotalers, and restrictive laws and customs. He believes that people would get along better if they could sit down and have a drink, preferably in the company of lovely ladies. A former mercenary, he believes in fair recompense for a job well done, whether paid in gold, drink, or a tumble in the hay with a willing wench. 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.

Though his other divine concerns are flexible in interpretation, he is as hard as a nail when it comes to a person’s right to freedom. Before the Test, he had been known to leave in the middle of mercenary jobs when he found out his employer was a tyrant or using him to bring harm to decent folk. This gave him a somewhat unreliable reputation, but he refused to go against his own beliefs for the sake of mere coin. Cayden believes that there is no justice in a law that oppresses one man to benefit another.

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 convince good folk to congregate a little longer in a place of safety) or push someone especially meek to gain a backbone of hardened steel at a key time. Those who go against his simple tenets may find themselves ill the next time they drunk, intoxicated when clarity is needed, or frightened by common animals or shadows. When he is happy, drinks are more savory, the night air feels brisk and smells sweeter, and courage burns white-hot.

Cayden’s image is much as he looked in life—an average-looking, bronze-skinned human, carrying a tankard in one hand, often wearing chainmail. Cayden’s Herald is Thais, a beautiful woman with five wings and scandalously revealing clothing that consists of little more than blue ribbons. Cayden’s best-known divine servant is Luthier, Knight of the Vinyard, a half-celestial bard and warrior who always seems very drunk.

Cayden doesn’t go out of his way to confront other deities but answers if challenged, and he avoids evil gods unless they are directly causing trouble. He is on very good terms with Desna, Sarenrae, and most especially Shelyn (whom he courts and serenades at every opportunity). He has been known to travel with Erastil and share drinks with Torag. He is coolly friendly with Gozreh, thinks considers Irori too stuffy, and Abadar bearable but too tolerant of oppression in the name of progress.

Priests, Temples, and the Church

Cayden’s priests are usually clerics, with a small number of bards, adepts, and druids. His easygoing nature and lack of a central church agency mean that his priests are able to use their discretion when it comes to 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. Priests are expected to drink ale, wine, or other spirits on a regular basis, and some take no other liquid in their diet.

Most priests have a skill related to ale or wine. They might brew ale or beer, make wine, plant crops for these beverages, or transport or sell spirits. In smaller communities, a cleric might teach farmers to set aside a small parcel of land for barley or grapevines, show them how to brew their own drinks in small quantities, and encourage them to share with their neighbors to create bonds of friendship. Alchemy or potion-making are common pastimes for Cayden Cailean’s priests. Some temples include a bakery and even sell “potion breads” identical in effect to liquid potions but in bread form. Traveling clerics always carry a small keg of strong ale or wine, and it is customary for a cleric to toast a blessing at any gathering of strangers.

A typical day for a cleric involves waking, a prayertoast, breakfast, preparing spells, and a period of work. Evening is for friends, family, telling stories, and personal interests. The church uses no formal titles, though those who bear one from a guild or profession normally use that within the church as well. The church has an informal knightly order that promotes good, seeks out evil, and changes its name often.

Cayden was a courageous mortal, although often his courage was bolstered by a wineskin or flank. He expects his followers to be brave in the face of danger, though there is no shame in retreat—he is the god of bravery, not reckless stupidity contrary to common sense.

His festive temples resemble common ale halls, and attract members of all social classes. He has few buildings that function only as temples; most are actual alehouses bearing a shrine to him above the bar, and a few are orphanages sponsored by the church. Religious items are usually functional rather than decorative.

Cayden’s church essentially has no hierarchy, as none of his priests really like other people telling them what to do. The god himself sometimes has to send visions or dreams to his priests to encourage them to meet on an issue and decide a plan of action, otherwise the priests assume the best person to deal with a problem is the one to discover it. Most priests are friendly with each other, and though there can be personal rivalries, they are rarely anything that can’t be solved with a bar fight. Formal raiment is a simple brown tunic or robe with a wine-red stole bearing his ale-mug symbol (adventurer-priests of the faith sometimes carry a magical stole that doubles as a rope and can extend beyond its normal length).

Services to Cayden always include a toast or a song. An official church holiday often resembles a festival more than a time of worship. While every day is reason for a celebration, two days merit extra attention; one is First Brewing, where a small amount of the first harvest of the year is set aside to ferment, and the other is the Ascension, held on the first day of the year inhonor of Cayden becoming a god. His simple holy text is the Placard of Wisdom, condensing his divine philosophy into a few short phrases suitable for hanging on the wall.

His clerics may prepare neutralize poison as a 3rd-level spell. They may spontaneously cast knock as a 1st-level spell but only to open welds, shackles, or chains used to imprison or hobble someone. Their create water spell can create ale or wine (1 cup per level), and their create food and water spell can be used to make ale or wine rather than water (which spoils at the same rate the food does). His bards may learn knock as if it were a 2nd-level spell on the bard spell list.

Cayden Caliean

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