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Seize the Tin Crown Entry: Saint Vadim, the Hell-Tried

Seize the Tin Crown Entry: Saint Vadim, the Hell-Tried

Seize the Tin CrownOver the past several days, we’ve been posting the entries we received for the Seize the Tin Crown contest. These will each be only lightly proofread so that you, our voting public, have a chance to judge them based on your own criteria. After we post the last of the entries, we’ll be calling for you all to vote. The winner will seize the tin crown! Oh, the power!

This time around, we have an entry that focuses on a patron saint. Perhaps the ever-hopeful or the constantly despairing adventurer in your party can look to Saint Vadim for inspiration.

“Abandon all Hope ye who enter here.”
—Inscription on the Gates of Hell

Life is hard on the Rothenian Steppes, where only the wind is free. From the scrambling serf to the devoted monk to the solemn warrior—many seek intercession from the saint they call “The Deliverer.”

Saint Vadim is the patron saint of perseverance, redemption, and deliverance. He strengthens against adversity and succors the oppressed. He intercedes when all hope is lost. Once imprisoned in Hell itself, he suffered many trials and painful revelations—finally emerging victorious. He is the only mortal to ever escape alive from Hell’s dungeons. For this, and for his devotion to Volund, he ascended and is venerated.

During his nine-year ordeal in the infernal realm, Vadim learned that Hell’s most powerful tool is despair. The result of which is either to resign oneself to misery or enroll with the legions of Hell itself.

So, too, in Midgard. For those who have hope can endure even the most heinous trials, but those who have lost hope are already defeated.

Saint Vadim

Herald of Volund, The Deliverer, The Unshackled, The Hell-Tried, The Twice Blessed, The Hammer of Hope
Domains: Community, Good, Healing, Liberation, and Strength
Subdomains: Agathion, Archon, Azata, Family, Freedom, Resolve, Restoration
Alignment: Good
Favored Weapon: A haloed warhammer

Monks revere him for his inner strength. Rogues implore his intercession when picking locks and unbinding shackles. Paladins seek his wisdom to defeat devils. All look to him for perseverance through hopeless odds.

Symbols and Books
His holy symbols are a pair of broken shackles or a shining circle overhead. The Saga of Saint Vadim is an epic tale of his descent into Hell, his suffering and trials, and his redemption and deliverance.

Famous Shrines
Beacon of Hope Basilica: This immense church is the largest wooden building in Vidim. Though added to over the centuries, tradition says the saint himself designed and built the original chapel. Three sacred relics reside in the Basilica. The Skull and Bones of Saint Vadim and the Sacred Shackles are displayed in opposite wings in the church. Pilgrims come to see and to touch them in hope of receiving a miracle. The third and most wondrous relic is concealed in the Apse. When Saint Vadim’s bones were exhumed, a blood red stone was found where his heart had been. Resembling a human heart, the Blood Stone still drips with the saint’s blood. It is a precious relic for a single drop of blood is said to cure all manner of supernatural ills and even restore those suffering from lycanthropy. The stone is well guarded, for it is said that a vampire suckling on the saintly blood would acquire untold powers.

The Gate of Devils: Resembling fiendish gargoyles, these eleven statues adorn the West Gate of the Tsar’s castle and sneer down at passers by. According to legend, they ascended from Hell with Saint Vadim and now await a time of great peril.

Masks / Other Faiths
Vadim’s manifestations guide, convict, or reveal the truth. They can be shining auras of affirmation or rattling chains of warning. The faithful of Saint Vadim have no rivals and few enemies (except the lords of Hell). Priests and worshipers work cooperatively with other faiths that value fortitude, redemption, and deliverance.

What the God Demands
Saint Vadim’s devotees are most common on the Rothenian Steppes where hardship is easily found. His churches stress simplicity and fellowship, and are known for their heroes of the faith who overcame adversity. His clergy emphasize that suffering is not a curse but an opportunity to strengthen oneself, identify weaknesses, and discover new strengths. Some clerics and oracles that follow Saint Vadim even retain afflictions, remaining blind or crippled to hone personal discipline and identify with the saint. All seek to aid the downhearted, and many itinerant friars travel together by twos encouraging and healing the needy. Clerics devoted to Saint Vadim can cast good hope as one of their 3rd-level spells.

There are also monastic orders that devote themselves to the saint. Though typically cloistered, they have also been known to resist oppressors and even join peasant revolts. Local rulers keep them under observation but are wary of openly acting against them lest the people be stirred up.

Disciple Of Saint Vadim (faith trait)
Your devotion to Saint Vadim has taught you inner strength.
Double your Wisdom modifiers to DCs versus Intimidate. Receive +2 to saves versus charm and compulsion effects.

Devotionals to St. Vadim (Faith (St. Vadim), Regional (Steppes))
Your tiny keepsake relic from the Basilica of Hope inspires you to loose shackles and open ways.
You gain a +1 trait bonus to the Disable Device skill, and it is always a class skill for you.

(This post is Product Identity.)

6 thoughts on “Seize the Tin Crown Entry: Saint Vadim, the Hell-Tried”

  1. Wow! This is very well-realised, and immersive – so much so that I’m not sure I haven’t seen a medallion of this saint on Earth. Great on all the aspects of the writeup James! I like the traits too, though the first might be overpowered?!?

  2. Awww… SNAP! I see a dangerous meeting on the horizon. When Clerics of St. Vadim come across the Clerics of my St. Helba (look her up in the new, updated Zobeck Gazetteer). It’ll either be a glorious joining of faiths or a really nasty fight.

    Yes, that first trait should be a feat for its power level, or two traits.

  3. Charles Carrier

    Great article. I have liked St. Vadim ever since he was first written about in Open Design. A person steadfast enough to save even devils deserves respect!

  4. Really great take on a Saint established religion. The idea of the blood red heart stone being a great boon for vampires is just itching for an awesome quest for protection or theft. Nice work James!

  5. This is a really well-written piece, and I’m with Bull on the inclusion in my home campaign. Awesome detail. Salute!

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