Divine Purpose, part 6

Divine Purpose, part 6

If you play a cleric, your character should have a well-defined relationship between your character and their god. Let’s explore this relationship by providing a foundation for cleric characters born with a divine purpose woven into their background.

If this is new to you, go to the archive to catch up!

After many self-discovery, revelations, and epiphany adventures, the cleric’s deity finally reveals their divine purpose. The player should already have a solid idea of what this is, but the final reveal solidifies everything.

A cleric doesn’t fully understand their divine purpose until they reach the end of the class level progression or the end of the campaign arc. Treat divine purpose as a life goal that the cleric attains at the end of their adventuring career.

Divine purpose assigns the cleric a role representing the deity’s purpose, meaning, and intent. When the cleric assumes the role, they embody their divine purpose.

Putting It in the Game

This series has deliberately avoided mechanical benefits for following or awakening a divine purpose and focused on roleplaying. However, clerics already have a class feature that mixes roleplay and mechanics, Divine Intervention.

A cleric of 15th level or higher can use their Divine Intervention feature to get a direct response from their god in a matter regarding their divine purpose. Direct responses include overcoming a threat or challenge that directly opposes your divine purpose.

Divine Purpose Embodiments

Below are a few examples of roles a cleric may assume to embody their divine purpose. 

Divine Champion. You assume the divine law of your faith. Those who stand or act against your deity’s moral and ethical teachings face your judgment and wrath. You uphold and protect the faithful and clear the path for those who choose to follow.

Divine Sage. You assume the eternal eye of the first knowledge, the words of creation and destruction that spin through the multiverse. As you journey, these stories awaken, and the puzzle of reality begins to unlock. Within these moments, you see the profound and know truth before the stories rewrite themselves. Those who seek truth must find it and those who obscure reality are your enemies.

Harbinger of Death. Death opens the passage to realms beyond the material world. As the harbinger of death, you hold the keys to that passage. When the door opens, you decide who walks through. You provide resolution and serve as the arbitrator of life and death. Those who stand before you understand that their time has come. They must pay all debts and speak any farewells.  

Harbinger of Destruction. You are the mortal embodiment of the tempest. Your voice beckons cracks of lightning, floods, and winds. Those blocking your path are rent asunder; those in your wake lie still and forgotten. At the end, your lessons teach mortals of humility and impermanence.

Harbinger of War. As the harbinger of war, you fill those standing before you with your ominous presence. You offer no parlay, no respite, and accept only blood as restitution. You do not make idle threats, only bring swift conclusions.

Herald of Mockery. You are the herald of mockery. You acknowledge no crown, no law, no aspect of mortal authority, and no absolute truth. When confronted by such things, you scoff, jest, and then lay low those who would claim otherwise.

Herald of Nature. You are the cycle that restores the world’s balance, grandeur, and simplicity before the coming of civilization. You hear the words of the true prophets—the fires and the rains, the sun and the snow, the dawn and the sunset. In your wake, everything lies as it was and as it should always be.

Illuminator. You act as the herald of truth and revelation. You provide enlightenment, lift spirits, and pave the road for promise and hope through your words and deeds. You call sunlight from the heavens and radiate its warmth, growth, and energy. Conversely, your gaze routs out lies, deception, and false truths.

Keeper of Secrets. You have learned more than what a mortal should know. You looked upon the language of the multiverse and deciphered the whispers in the void. For your efforts, you are tasked with keeping these secrets from the eyes, ears, and lips of those who would abuse them. You must ensure the ancient truths remain intact. 

Life Bringer. You guard the connection to the energy shared by all living things. You weave the strands of growth and restoration, birth, laughter, and spring through the fragile lives of mortals. Through your wisdom, they gain humility and peace. Through your insights, they reveal the beauty, wonder, and love that is the experience of being alive.

Master of the Wild Hunt. The apex predator manifests within your soul, and the pack you gather senses your presence as the alpha. You sort the prey from the herd; you sense the weak, the unworthy, and those who oppose nature’s divine will. When you hear the call, you take swift, instinctive actions. You run without regret or fear. When you catch your prey, you join a state of unity with nature, deliberate and emotionless.

Scourge of Shadows. Shadow creeps along the edge of light, always waiting for the opportunity to sweep it into obscurity. Vigilantly, the scourge of shadows watches, to drive darkness back. Those who hide in shadows cannot escape your sight. Your sight penetrates the hearts of all those who wear the mask of deception. You are the bane of thieves and assassins. You route out all who bear malic and ill-will toward others.

Scourge of Undeath. You walk the wall between the living and the dead. You thwart those who seek to disrupt or cheat the cosmos of its primordial patterns. You find and destroy beings trapped between worlds by accident or ambition. What is dead must stay dead, and those standing in your shadow know you make no exceptions.

Trickster. You embody the trickster god. Those who trust you know your strength and generosity, while those who do not place their entire reality at risk. The Trickster stops at nothing to alter the status quo, disrupt the balance, and topple stability. They ensure the outcome of action possesses an element of the absurd.

Discover more about your character—of any class—by gazing into the Tome of Heroes. Use this book of character options to make your character special, with new backgrounds, subclasses for every class, unusual races, tons of new equipment, and much more!

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