On the Shoulders of Heroes
A cleric embodies the very power of the god he serves. Clerics that serve the gods of the pantheon tend to be paragons of good and justice, while evil clerics seem to embody the darkness which they spread. Most clerics are both skilled at magic and combat.
Clerics posses the power to heal the injured and cure disease, and are not incapable in combat. They seek out enemies of their god and unbelievers to convert, or to obtain wealth for their churches. Of course there are many clerics that go on adventures for more mundane reasons: to accompany their friends or for fame. As there are as many different clerics as there are religions, there are as many reasons for them set out to explore. They often take on the life of adventurers to teach of their deity and fight the enemies of their god.
Wisdom determines how strong the connection of a cleric to his or her god is. Both strength and constitution help clerics shine in combat. Charisma determines how effective a cleric turns undead.
A cleric’s alignment must lie within at least one step of his deity. As deities each represent their own values, the most good and evil individuals can be found among clerics.
Religion plays a vital role in the life of a cleric. There are only very few clerics that instead opt to follow certain ideals instead. Those that do may pick two domains as the pillars of their believes. Most clerics, however, represent and follow deities. Gods provide clerics with the ability to perform magic; the stronger a cleric’s connection to his deity, the more powerful his spell casting becomes. Some clerics follow religions that have no deity, these godless clerics draw power from a more general source.
The first clerics find their origin in the far past. They were favorites of the gods, people they felt connected to in some way. These shamans taught their children the ways of their deity and told their tribe stories around the fire. They blessed them with strength and wisdom. As the loyalty towards religion grew, people started crafting statues, shrines and monuments. These evolved into churches and larger temples. The stronger their followers believed, the greater the power of the gods became. Not all clerics felt comfortable around the wealth of their god, however, and many of them chose a more humble life on the road. These clerics believe that piety comes from bringing salvation to lost sheep instead of blessing those that come of their own accord.
Becoming a Cleric
The servants of the gods are everywhere and come from all layers of society. A large number of clerics take official schooling at the High Temples of their deity, a much smaller percentage of clerics takes on an apprenticeship with a local master or is self taught. By spreading the word of their deity and representing their interests clerics ensure their place in the afterlife.
Most people are glad to see good clerics as they are well known for their healing powers and generally care for the well being of the people. Evil clerics have been the bane of many heroes, as they have both the power to heal their allies and bolster evil. Evil clerics have the potential of becoming feared arch enemies as they lead the servants of evil that flock to them.
Although clerics can be found among all people, dwarves are especially drawn towards the path of the cleric. Their lawful nature makes them excellent at studying long religious manuscripts. Dwarves are a devoted people that are not afraid to fight for their believes.
A cleric makes a valuable addition to a party of adventurers because of his healing powers, combat skill and their skill at diplomacy. Especially more vulnerable characters can rest rest safely behind the shoulders of the cleric.