Saints of Midgard: St. Castillius of the Iron Rod

Saints of Midgard: St. Castillius of the Iron Rod

The Midgard Worldbook already details a score of saints dedicated to the war god Mavros, but the other deities have their share of saints as well. Saints of Midgard uncovers some of these holy personages, including information on their origins, followers, blessings and miracles, and the relics attributed to them.

Saint Castillius of the Iron Rod

Origins. A defining trait of many saints is an act of sacrifice or martyrdom in the name of their beliefs. One saint who exemplifies this trait is St. Castillius, a humble man of great fortitude and faith in the goddess Lada. Castillius was a low-ranking cleric of Lada’s clergy, but none could question his devotion to the goddess or his kindness toward even the worst of his fellows, healing the wounds of friends and enemies alike. Content for most of his life to be a humble cleric of Lada’s temple in Peltzenheim, everything changed when Castillius came to undertake the pilgrimage to Laksor in far-off Nuria Natal.

At some point during his trip, Castillius chanced upon a group of drunken clerics of Perun. Riled up by Castillius’s polite words and humble nature, the clerics began beating him with the iron rods they carried. Castillius took every blow from the rods without flinching or faltering, which drove his attackers on to even greater fury. It was only when he was close to death that Castillius tried to defend himself, but by then, it was too late, and he crumpled beneath their blows. As he fell, he called out to Lada once last time, and she answered his call by casting down a bolt of pure sunlight from the empty sky. At that moment, Castillius vanished from the face of Midgard, and his attackers were struck blind.

Cast out by Perun for their blindness, the shamed clerics became devout servants of Lada to make up for their crimes, and until their last breath, they spread the name of Castillius to every temple of Lada in Midgard. As for Castillius himself, none can truly say, though the clergy of Lada believe he ascended to become one of her celestial servants, such as a lamassu (see Creature Codex) or even a planetar.

Followers. While Saint Castillius is invoked by followers of Lada whenever they must endure a tremendous physical ordeal or torture, the saint is properly venerated by only a handful of priests and lay worshippers. His lack of popularity is mainly due to the extreme nature that this veneration takes, since Castillius’s followers strive to be as humble, patient, and forgiving as the man they follow, which often leads to their deaths in a harsh and unforgiving world. This is not seen as foolish by Lada’s followers but as a path that only a few truly noble individuals can take.

An order of knights known as the Eyes of Dawn have recently sprung up in the eastern reaches of the Magdar Kingdom and claim to venerate St. Castillius. These knights are far more militant than Castillius’s other followers. Some believe that they are using the saint’s name as an excuse to strike out against followers of Perun and the daughters of Perunalia.

Blessings and Miracles. Blessings associated with St. Castillius include the appearance of a beam of sunlight illuminating an otherwise dark location, a temporary immunity to pain during some form of physical torment, or an enemy’s weapon inexplicably failing to hit its mark.

Since his death, several miracles have been attributed to Castillius, including lay worshippers of Lada who claimed to have been healed by the priest simply by being in his presence. It is even said that Castillius once won a staring competition with a powerful devil to protect the soul of a wounded soldier rather than resorting to violence.

Holy Relic

The relics of the saints are items of renown and power, vitally important to those of the same faith and zealously sought after and guarded.

ROD OF SAINT CASTILLIUS

Wondrous item, legendary (requires attunement by a cleric of Lada)

This plain 2-foot-long iron rod has a calming effect on those who see it and is warm to the touch in even the coldest locations. Said to have been the rod to strike the final blow against Castillius, it was bathed in the same bolt of sunlight that smote the cleric’s attackers blind. After passing through the hands of multiple adventurers, the rod eventually found its way to the Temple of Loving Mercy in Nuria-Natal where it remains under heavy lock and key to this day.

While holding this rod, you have resistance to bludgeoning, slashing, and piercing damage from attacks as long as you do not take any offensive action against your attackers (including casting spells). In addition, any creatures other than constructs, fiends, and undead, that strike you in melee must succeed on a DC 17 Wisdom saving throw or find their anger toward you subside. This causes most creatures to break off combat with you and automatically ends a barbarian’s rage.

Once per day, you can invoke a potent magical field covering a 20-foot radius that lasts for 1 minute. Creatures within this field are protected by a sanctuary spell (DC 17 Wisdom save negates) and are bathed in bright light equivalent to natural sunlight. This ability recharges at dawn.

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