Rise of the Mordri
Back to Deities and ReligionsTHE INHERITOR
- Goddess of valor, rulership, justice, and honor
- Alignment: LG
- Domains: Glory, Good, Law, Sun, War
- Favored Weapon: Longsword
- Centers of Worship: Andoran, Cheliax, Galt, Lastwall, Mendev, Molthune, Nirmathas, Sargava
- Nationality: Chelaxian
As a mortal, Iomedae rose to prominence in the era of the Shining Crusade, where she led the Knights of Ozem in a series of victories over the Whispering Tyrant. Success in the Test of the Starstone a short time later granted the valiant swordswoman a spark of divinity and the attention of Aroden, who took her on as his herald. Today, Iomedae’s church has absorbed most of Aroden’s remaining followers and devotes a great deal of its focus to the Mendevian Crusades against the horror of the Worldwound. Followers of Iomedae have a strong sense of justice and fairness and an even stronger dedication to swordcraft, statesmanship, and bringing civilization to “savage” people. Her priests have a reputation for trustworthiness that serves them well in political affairs. Iomedae appears as a fierce Chelish mistress of the sword, complete with full battle armor, heraldic markings, and resplendent shield.
Iomedae is a righteous knight, spreading the good word and crushing evil with the force of her presence and mighty sword. Though skilled in war, she is not a wardeity. She would rather convince evildoers to surrender their arms in honorable surrender than cut them down in the midst of battle, but she is fearless and willing to fight for what she believes in. As Aroden’s followers turned to her for comfort when he died, she informally enforces his teachings as well, although she is more forward-looking in her goals and doesn’t let herself be constrained by the events of the past. She loathes incorrigible evil, demonspawn, traitors, and those who abuse good in the name of greater good.
Iomedae intervenes in the form of mundane objects reshaping into sword-like forms, mysterious white or golden lights on a person or object, or a compass-like pull on a longsword or other long metal weapon. She shows her displeasure by f lickering lights, damaging weapons against inferior materials, and by gold or silver items becoming dull and heavy.
A typical follower of Iomedae is a right-minded, hardworking person, helpful toward others and accepting help when it is needed. As they believe in justice and honor, Iomedae’s worshipers gravitate toward kind and charismatic leaders, whether it be a benevolent noble landowner, an order-minded sheriff, or a good-natured mayor.
Iomedae’s avatar is a majestic woman in white and gold, fully armored, and carrying a shield and longsword; the light from her shield blinds all evil, and the force of her aura causes the corrupt to weaken and collapse. Her herald is the Hand of the Inheritor, a golden-skinned angel with a halo of blades like a blade barrier that he can also use as a lethal shield. The church is known for its many saints, all of them dead mortals granted power and sometimes a new form in the afterlife. Notable divine servants are Jingh (a wheel of white metal that burns with golden fire), Saint Lymirin (a winged human priestess who can take an eagle-headed form), and Peace Through Vigilance (an exuberant, celestial, young gold dragon).
Iomedae is on good terms with Abadar, Cayden Cailean, Erastil, Sarenrae, Shelyn, and Torag, seeing in them supplementary or parallel interests. She does not deal with evil deities or fiends of any status (including Asmodeus, as she was not present for the creation of the world or the binding of Rovagug), though she enlists the aid of the Empyreal Lords when appropriate. To all others she is indifferent, hoping to inspire them to great deeds but not setting her plans aside to do so.
Priests, Temples, and the Church
All of Iomedae’s priests are clerics or paladins, though she has many ranger followers serving the church. Priests must act honorably, show courage in battle, uphold righteous laws, and bring evildoers to justice. They must set a good example for common folk, especially children, both in appearance and attitude, and even the most battleweary priest stands proud and tall in the presence of impressionable youths. Some refuse to enter a city if they are dirty, stopping by an outlying inn or home for washwater. They take their responsibilities very seriously and most conduct themselves like great knights. Some priests vow to never use a weapon other than a longsword, though this oath is not required by the church. In their pursuit of fairness and justice, most have several ranks in Sense Motive to better help them weed out liars.
Of all the good churches on Golarion, Iomedae’s is the most aggressive in seeking out and fighting evil. Her priests prefer to be out questing rather than doing mundane tasks in a city. Layfolk and talented acolytes staff most in-city positions, though veteran priests recovering from injuries or illness prefer to work in the temples rather than rest and convalesce. Older and infirm priests who cannot handle the rigors of battle work in courtrooms and as advisors to nobles and city leaders. News of witchburnings and pillaging by soldiers and mercenaries in Iomedae’s name has troubled church elders, and they are considering authorizing a small branch of the church to investigate these stories and rein in activities that exceed the goddess’s teachings; unfortunately, such a job would be unpopular, and the elders would have a difficult time finding enough priests willing to conduct an inquiry of their own brethren.
Her temples are whitewashed buildings that double as courts and living space for holy knights. Arched entrances, pillared courtyards, statues of knights, and fountains are common decorations. Her followers also use old churches of Aroden, slowly replacing the dead god’s ornamentation with that of Iomedae’s so as to not disturb the sensibilities of the dwindling number of Aroden’s priests.
The church is organized into circles, each consisting of 10 to 50 priests or knights of similar ability, attitude, and rank. The leader of a circle is called a Sword Knight, and each Sword Knight is part of a higher-ranked circle reporting to a superior Sword Knight. The high priest or priestess of the church is called the First Sword Knight of Iomedae; her circle is the First Circle, comprised of 14 Second Sword Knights, each of whom leads a Second Circle, and so on. There is much competition to join a circle led by a famously valorous Sword Knight, and it is a mark of honor to be selected for such a knight’s circle. The Sword Knight ranks correspond to military ranks in standard armies (general, colonel, major, and so on). Formal raiment is a white cassock with gold or yellow trim and matching mitre.
While priests and knights set aside an hour per day for prayer, the church usually only holds public worship once a week for 1 to 2 hours, depending on local interest. They celebrate the Inheritor’s Ascendance on the first day of Arodus each year, marking the anniversary of Iomedae becoming a goddess. Her holy text is The Acts of Iomedae (usually just called “The Acts”), a recounting of 11 personal miracles performed in ancient times by Iomedae throughout Avistan and Garund as demonstrations of the power of Aroden.
Clerics may prepare holy sword as an 8th-level spell. Clerics may prepare good hope and mark of justice as 4th-level spells, paladins as 3rd-level spells.