Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Lares

Patron demigods were brought to the Great North in their thousands by the Emperor’s servants during his reign, each being given purview over a tiny sliver of public or private life - a road, a house, a family, a field, even a single room. Many have faded into nothingness now that their cults have disappeared and the places which they inhabited have fallen into ruin. But there are those which remain, often in the most unlikely places: a forgotten cellar on an urban street; a small shrine hidden in a  barn; a toppled statue in a copse of oak in a hidden fold of land; a narrow lane running from nowhere in particular to nowhere special. Some of them are sorrowful, some are imbued with rage, while others have long gone mad; a few, though, retain the devotion to protective care which they were originally given, and exercise it still. 

Each lar has a type, a character, and an archetype. The type gives some core stats and abilities. The archetype adds others. The character provides hooks.


Dice

Type*

Character

Archetype

1

Lar praestitis

Lost - longs for its cult and has become mournful; it may be befriended if given new worshippers

Youthful hero

2

3

Lar vialis

Angry - rages against mankind for its abandonment; it may be being placated by locals with sacrifices

Beatific female

4

5

Lar militaris

Benevolent - continues to bestow blessings in return for offerings

Wolf

6

7

Lar ruralis

Insane - capricious and destructive, or bewildered and distant; it may have come under the sway of a grindylow, barghest or other similar force

Eagle

8

Lar domesticus

9

Lar compitalicus

Megalomaniac - determined to become a god in the truest sense; it schemes to amass power

Snake

10

Lar augustus

*Only roll in this column if the type has not yet been determined or is not obvious from the lar's location.


Types


Lar praestitis - a guardian or sentinel over a significant location or item, such as a temple, fortress, buried treasure, imperial artefact, etc.


HD 9+3, AC 2, ML 12, Save as C10, TT [?]

*Can cast holy word, animate object, conjure animals and flame strike 1/day

*Can cast sticks to snakes, continual light, glyph of warding, bestow curse, prayer, hold person, silence 15’ radius and cause fear 3/day

*Casts all spells as a 12th level cleric


Lar vialis - a protector of a single road, and those travelling on it. 


HD 7+1, AC 3, ML 12, Save as C8, TT [?]

*Can cast control weather, earthquake, wind walk, quest 1/day

*Can cast control winds, find the path, prayer, cause blindness 3/day

*Casts all spells as a 10th level cleric


Lar militaris - a patron of soldiers and those bearing arms.


HD 9+3, AC 0, ML 12, Save as F12, TT [?]

*Can cast blade barrier, flame strike, 

*Can cast spiritual hammer, call lightning, prayer, cure critical wounds, cure serious wounds, protection from evil, protection from evil 10’ radius 3/day

*Casts all spells as a 12th level cleric


Lar ruralis - a protector of a single field or group of fields.


HD 8+3, AC 2, ML 12, Save as C8, TT [?]

*Can cast control weather, conjure animals, animal summoning III, fire seeds, control winds, creeping doom, commune with nature 1/day

*Can cast insect plague, plant growth, summon insects, sticks to snakes, entangle, prayer, animal summoning I and animal summoning II 3/day

*Casts all spells as an 11th level cleric


Lar domesticus - a protector of a single building or room.


HD 7+1, AC 3, ML 12, Save as C8, TT [?]

*Can cast symbol, finger of death, feeblemind, dispel evil, flamestrike and quest 1/day

*Can cast protection from evil 10’ radius, continual light, prayer, remove/bestow curse, hold person, silence 15’ radius, spiritual hammer and darkness 15’ radius 3/day

*Casts all spells as a 10th level cleric


Lar compitalicus - the patron or warden of a village or neighbourhood.


HD 9+3, AC 2, ML 12, Save as C10, TT [?]

*Can cast regenerate, resurrection, cure critical wounds, heal, weather summoning, control weather, fire storm and control winds 1/day

*Can cast dispel evil, cure disease, prayer, remove/bestow curse, cure serious wounds, purify food & drink, and flame strike 3/day

*Casts all spells as a 12th level cleric


Lar augustus - a lar of the Emperor’s own cult. 


HD 12, AC -2, ML 12, Save as C14, TT [?]

*Can cast animate rock, fire storm, conjure animals, divination, dispel evil, holy word, quest and conjure fire elemental 1/day

*Can cast command, prayer, dispel magic, remove/bestow curse, protection from evil 10’ radius, animate dead and hold person 3/day

*Casts all spells as a 15th level cleric


Archetypes


Youthful hero - the lar appears as an adolescent boy of haughty demeanour, fierce-eyed but solemn, and often bearing a drinking horn. 

#ATT 3, DMG By weapon (sword, spear)+4, Move 150


Beatific female - the lar appears as a woman with an expression and bearing of endless patience and kindness. 

#ATT 2, DMG By weapon (staff, dagger)+2, Move 150

*Can cast charm person 3/day


Wolf

#ATT 3, DMG 1d8+2/1d8+2/1d8+2, Move 180

*Can cast animal summoning I 1/day in addition to other spells, only summoning wolves


Eagle 

#ATT 2, DMG 1d8+2/1d6, Move 60 (Fly 360)

*Can cast lightning bolt 3/day in addition to other spells


Snake

#ATT 1, DMG 1d8*

*Bite causes death within 1d3 minutes on a failed save vs poison, with a -4 penalty


10 comments:

  1. I like this concept a great deal. You could also add time as well as place, maybe so that some lares are now so weak they can only manifest at a certain time of day, or the day of a forgotten festival.

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  2. What was the reason these particular spells were chosen for the different Lares?

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  3. A version of small gods of more utility than my last attempt!
    Is the Wolf/Eagle/Snake trio of wider Imperial significance?

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    Replies
    1. The eagle was very common as a standard for the roman legions.

      Romulus and Remus (the founders of Rome) were raised by a she-wolf that lost its cubs

      Glycon was a snake god that had a very prominent cult in Roman society

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    2. I've been well aware of the Sons of the She-Wolf* and of the eagles since being introduced to Rosemary Sutcliff. Knowledge of Glycon came rather later, but thank you for the reminder all the same.

      However, given that the Imperial presence in The Meeting of the Waters is, well, 'not quite Rome', it is possible that these have a distinct symbolism from their inspiration.

      (*Julie Taymor's 1999 film adaptation of Titus Andronicus, also in a 'not quite Rome' makes prominent use of the wolf's head as an imperial emblem, outright supplanting the eagle. It's a visual choice that makes the 'not quite Rome' of that film rather more savage and violent - fittingly enough.)

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    3. Yes, it's almost like a distantly-remembered recollection of Roman motifs than Rome itself.

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