Tempus

Lord of Battles, Foehammer

Symbol: A blazing silver sword on a blood-red shield
Home Plane: Warrior’s Rest
Alignment: Chaotic neutral
Portfolio: War, battle, warriors
Worshipers: Warriors, fighters, barbarians, ranger, half-orcs
Cleric Alignments: CE, CG, CN
Domains: War
Favored Weapon: “Battle Prowess” (battleaxe)

Allies: The Red Knight, Valkur the Mighty, Nobanion, Gond, Uthgar
Enemies: Garagos

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Tempus (TEM-pus) is random in his favors, yet his chaotic nature favors all sides equally. Lord Tempus may be on an army’s side on one day, and against them the next; such is the nature of a war. Tempus is prayed to most of all on the nights before battles and regularly venerated by all warriors, regardless of their alignment. As a result, he is a strong, exuberant, robust god—a warrior’s god. Tempus sometimes appears at huge battles and important combats—and on rare occasions to individuals who are in a position to cause great strife by their decisions.

Although mighty and profoundly honorable in battle, Tempus answers to his own warrior’s code. He is quiet and solitary in relationship to other Faerunian deities, pursuing no long-lasting alliances or brief flirtations. He is known to love food, drink, and the hunt, though he loves battle best. In recent years, he has sponsored the Red Knight into godhood. His relationship with her is one of a fond and protective father to a brilliant daughter who works hard and successfully at the family business—war.

His diametric opposite in portfolio, Eldath, he considers naive and weak. However, out of respect for her convictions, he punishes those of his faithful who abuse her priests, shrines, or temples. Perhaps he feels that war has little meaning without peace to define and highlight it. Sune, who considers him a foe, he regards as irrelevant and flighty, and therefore unworthy of being his foe.

Dogma

Tempus does not win battles—Tempus helps the deserving warrior win battles. War is fair in that it oppresses all sides equally and that in any given battle, a mortal may be slain or become a great leader among his or her companions. War should not be feared, but seen as a natural force, a human force, the storm that civilization brings by its very existence.

The faithful of Tempus are charged to arm all for whom battle is needful, even foes. They should retreat from hopeless fights, but never avoid battle, and slay one foe decisively and bring battle to a halt rather than hacking down many over time and dragging on hostilities. They are to defend what they believe in, lest it be swept away, and remember the dead who fell fighting before them. Above all, they should disparage no foe and respect all, for valor blazes in all, regardless of age, gender, or race.

Tempus looks favorably upon those who acquit themselves honorably and tirelessly in battle, smiting mightily when facing a foe, but avoiding such craven tricks as destroying homes, family, or livestock when a foe is away or attacking from the rear (except when such an attack is launched by a small band against foes of vastly superior numbers). Tempus believes that warriors should responsibly consider the consequences of the violence they do beforehand and try to not hot-headedly rush off to wage war recklessly.

On the other hand, Tempus teaches that people with smooth tongues or fleet feet who avoid all strife and never defend their beliefs wreak more harm than the most energetic tyrant raider or horde leader.

The Church

Tempus is worshiped by those of every alignment and lineage who wage war for all causes. The Tempuran clergy may be found on both sides of a conflict, as none can ever truly know whom the war god will favor. Priests of Tempus tend to be human, male, and of a temperament that enjoys battle, though the clergy is open to all beings who have prayed privately to Tempus and received the blessing of a spell, a manifestation, or direct aid of some sort. In some societies, such as that of the Northmen of the Moonshae Islands and the barbarians of Icewind Dale, Tempus is served by shamans. Temples of Tempus are usually what are more commonly known as walled military compounds than what most picture as temples.

Military ranks within the faith are common. Ranks typical of many temples of Tempus are Warpriest, Swung Sword, Terrible Sword, Lance of the Lord, Shield of the God, Battlelady/Battlelord, Swordmaster/Swordmistress, and Lady/Lord of the Field—but these are often superseded by titles that go with a position, such as Battle Chaplain of a shrine or Trusted Sword (seneschal) of a temple. Ranks are assigned by those in authority in the church in light of service, needs, and situation, and brevet (temporary) commands are common in desperate situations. Special leaders of a temple or crusade are entitled to wear the heavy battle gauntlet of rank.

Requirements

You are a dedicated soldier serving under the god of war. Your vestments are robes with blood-red trimming and a steel.

Resources

You may request sanctuary at any temple or shrine of Tempus. If injured, you may request that a priest of Tempus heal your wounds, though any priest of Tempus is under no compulsion to do so more than once per battle.

Piety (Renown)

A follower of Tempus earns piety (or renown) by being known to engage in glorious battle. Private battles, far from the eyes of the church, generally cannot be verified, and since followers often brag of their battlefield prowess, don’t often result in an increase of piety. Witnessed battles must be challenging for the follower of Tempus, a battle where the follower is barely scratched means that the foe wasn’t worthy to begin with.

Leading armies and militias in victorious battle is also a source of piety, moreso if an avatar of Tempus appears on the battlefield.

A follower may lose piety by fleeing from combat unless the opposition is clearly overwhelming. Being in charge of a lost battle also results in a loss of piety.

The Forged (1 Piety)

The Forged, or Newly Forged are novices in the worship of Tempus. They drill in the field, and in the temples, perfecting their craft. Forged have access to the resources of the Church of Tempus.

The Whetted (3 Piety)

Once a blade is Whetted, it must be sharpened. The Whetted are trained in History, focusing particularly on wars and strategy. The character adds the History skill to their list of trained skills. If the character is already trained in History, they gain Expertise on History checks made when the subject is related to wars, battlefields, or strategy.

In addition, the Whetted can determine the workmanship, and magical ability of any weapon or armor they are proficient in by handling the arms or armor for a minute. This ability recharges after a short rest.

Battleguard (10 Piety)

A Battleguard may enter a Battlerage similar to a barbarian’s rage once per day. While raging, the Battleguard gain the following benefits:

  • You have advantage on Strength checks and Strength saving throws.
  • When you make a melee weapon attack using Strength, you gain a +2 to damage bonus.
  • You have resistance to bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage.

If you are able to cast spells, you can’t cast them or concentrate on them while raging.

Your rage lasts for 1 minute. It ends early if you are knocked unconscious or if your turn ends and you haven’t attacked a hostile creature since your last turn or taken damage since then. You can also end your rage on your turn as a bonus action. If your rage ends early for any reason, you gain one level of exhaustion.

Battlelord (25 Piety)

A Battlelord may incite Battlerage in themselves and others similar to a Battleguard. When a Battlelord rages, he may include a number of allies equal to his Charisma bonus to enter the Battlerage with him. Allies may either willing enter the Battlerage, or make a Wisdom saving throw (DC 8 + CHA Bonus + Proficiency Bonus). If the Battlelord ends his own Battlerage, his allies Battlerage also ends. A Battlelord may incite Battlerage 3 times per day.

In addition, the Battlelord may perform a week-long ritual which designates a specific weapon as their signature weapon. That weapon is considered magical when wielded by the Battlelord, and the Battlelord gains an additional +1 to hit and damage when wielding that weapon. If that weapon is lost or destroyed, the Battlelord may consecrate a new weapon using the same ritual.

Lord of the Field (50+ Piety)

The Lord of the Field is considered to be one of the leaders of the church of Tempus. They wield the executive powers of the church. Lords of the Field have the ability to rally men and armies to their cause. There are stories telling of Lords of the Field calling together great crusades, but every story ends in the Lord of the Field’s death. It could be that Tempus grants that ability only as a “Last Request”

Day-to-Day Activities

Priests of the war god are charged to keep warfare a thing of rules, respected reputation, and professional behavior, minimizing uncontrolled bloodshed and working to eradicate feuding that extends beyond a single dispute or set of foes. At the same time, training and readiness for battle must be promoted if civilized human holdings are to survive in Faerun in the face of monster raids and ore hordes—and the power of

Tempus to aid those he favors in battle must also be promoted. Warriors— especially mercenaries—who employ poison or taint wells, sow fields with salt, kill noncombatants, indulge in torture or the wanton slaughter of innocent folk when they are not at war, or commit similar sins against fair battle are to be denied the favor of the god, their crimes are to be publicized far and wide, and they are to be made to atone for their deeds or perish.

War priests must preserve the names of the honored battle-fallen, both on gravestones and other such memorials, in their prayers to Tempus, and in an annual chant at the March of the Dead, wherein priests of the war god go through the streets to call all folk, worshipers and nonbelievers alike, to the local Feast of the Moon hosted by their temple. Priests are also charged to collect and venerate the weapons and armor of famous and respected warriors, even if these are broken or have deteriorated, for they retain something of the battlelust and energy associated with the deeds they participated in.

Holy Days/Important Ceremonies

The ritual performed by most of the faithful is a prayer for valiant performance and survival in the fray ahead, made to the war god over the weapon the praying being most often fights with. If a new weapon comes into the believer’s possession before a battle— particularly in the form of hard-won booty—it is taken as a sign of Tempus’s favor, and this weapon is the one used in worship.

The eves and anniversaries of great battles are the holy days of the church of Tempus, and as such vary from place to place. The Feast of the Moon, honoring the dead, is the most important fixed date in the religious calendar. It is also expected that at least once a tenday worshipers of Tempus spill a few drops of blood (preferably their own or a worthy foe’s) and sing the Song of the Sword in Tempus’s honor. Regardless of battle anniversaries, clergy perform at least two ceremonies each day: the Feast of Heroes at highsun and the Song for the Fallen at sunset. In most temples, a senior priest also conducts a Song of the Sword ceremony after dark for all lay worshipers desiring to attend.

Major Centers of Worship

The most prominent Tempuran temple is the High House of Swords and Banners (“the Bloodhall”) in Ormpetarr, which began centuries ago as a meeting house for the many mercenary companies active in the Vilhon and the lands east and became the first shrine of the Lord of Battles. Its original altar, a gigantic bowl over which an enchanted flaming two-handed sword levitates and slowly rotates, still stands in the heart of the vast central hall. The High House now trains warriors for fees (simultaneously instructing them in the worship of Tempus), and also sells warriors mounts, armor, and equipment of superior quality. Several raids on its fortified armories in the past have failed, but such attacks have ceased since the warrior-priests of the High House wiped out an ore horde 20 times their number in the Year of the Sword (1365 DR).

Since the Time of Troubles, a site of great holiness in the church of Tempus has been the Abbey of the Sword in Battledale, which marks the spot where Tempus descended to Faerun during the Time of Troubles. The site was located after a priest of the war god followed Tempus’s backtrail away from his appearance at the battlefield of Swords Creek in Mistledale. The abbey is built on the former site of the hold of the warrior Belarus, a devout worshiper of the war god in times past.

Affiliated Orders

The Tempuran church has many affiliated orders. Two of note are the Order of the Broken Blade and the Order of the Steel Fang. The Order of the Broken Blade honors those warriors and clergy who are injured in Tempus’s service and can no longer fight in the front lines. Broken Blades often serve in support functions at temples and shrines and take a personal oath upon joining the order to defend the holy site where they reside to the death as a final line of defense. The Order of the Steel Fang is an elite fighting order within the church whose members are often assigned to the most hazardous duties. Steel Fang units are led by battle-hardened members of the clergy. Many mercenary companies and knightly fighting orders of crusaders also avail themselves of a connection to the church. One badge of the god seen among his affiliated mercenaries is a rusty brown dagger, shown diagonally with its point to the upper right, dripping four drops of blood. No knightly orders of paladins serve Tempus, however.

Priestly Vestments

When not in battered armor, clergy of the war god wear helms or steel skullcaps, though they are careful never to cover their faces, for such close emulation of Tempus is thought to be an affront to the Lord of Battles. Some of the fanatical wandering priests never remove all of their armor at any time, but in the temples of the big cities clergy are rarely seen in armor except at ceremonies held before whelmed armies leave or a siege begins.

The robes of a priest of Tempus always sport trim the crimson hue of fresh blood, but vary in overall color from place to place and rank to rank. Darker-colored robes are worn by those of lower ranks. Most war priests wear ceremonial garments of brown or purple. Red or amber is worn by senior clergy, and yellow or white by those of the most exalted rank.

Specialty priests of Tempus, particularly those of high rank, wear a spiked gauntlet as a symbol of office. The gauntlet costs 10 gp, though more elaborate and expensive ones may be found in more important churches. The gauntlet usually is worn only by specialty priests with some sort of authority—those in charge of temples or leading crusades.

Adventuring Garb: Adventuring garb is the same for both clerics and specialty priests of Tempus. Most wear the best armor they can obtain, though it is battle-worn and battered as it is for use, not show. They prefer full plate armor or plate mail. A full helm is usual, but it is worn with either an open face plate or no face plate.

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Tempus

Tales of the Bloodstone Lands Autumnfyr