The Mad God, The Unyielding Lord, The Unbreakable One
"He who limps is still walking..."
- From the Tome of the Undying
|Domain||Endurance, Adventure, Willpower|
Strength through adversity.
|Typical Worshipers||Adventurers, explorers, far wanderers, smugglers, pirates, brigands, sailors, warriors, thieves.|
|Head of the Church||None.|
|Demographics||45% Human, 18% Dwarven, 14% Orc, 12% Ogre, 8% Grum, 3% Other|
|Geographic Regions||Worshiped across much of Ithria and the world beyond, but there are no concentrations of the faith in any particular geographic region.|
|Holy Symbol||A flaming torch.|
Magrizath is often called the Mad God. He is the god of quests, ambition, perseverance and survival. He is the eye of the maelstrom, the madness in obsession, the randomness of fate and the gleam in the eye of the man who has nothing left to lose. Magrizath is often associated with adventures, quests, adversity and outrageous daring. He calls upon his followers to eschew creature comforts, to conquer fear, to exceed their limits, to face impossible odds, to smash through barriers and endure whatever fate may bring. He is worshiped by an odd miscellany of daredevils, risk takers, travelers, explorers, adventurers, warriors and thieves. It is often said that this faith is not for the faint of heart.
Although not evil, Magrizath is not one to be trifle with and he is merciless to his enemies. If killing one enemy will solve a problem he will wipe out that enemy's village. If a single thrust to the heart will kill an enemy, he will hack the victim to pieces and then burn the pieces. He is nothing if not absolutely thorough.
Magrizath is depicted as a wild man with dirty, weathered skin, long black dreadlocks and a body covered in scars. Both his beard and his dreadlocks are decorated with golden rings and jewels and bones. His boots are shredded and bloody. His hands are clenched into fists. He wears a perpetual scowl, but his eyes are wide with madness.
Myths and Legends
The priests of Magrizath tell a tale of old and swear that it is true. According to their story, Magrizath was once a very wealthy man unfamiliar with hardship and discomfort. He was a man of virtue and civility. Although short of stature and frail by nature, his treasure hoard was the envy of all. The heart of his treasure vault was a fabulous jewel called the Shard of Souls.
All was content in his life until one day his beloved wife, Lynmara, was kidnapped by the powerful necromancer named Kray “the Ill Met”. Kray demanded the Shard of Souls as ransom. Instead of delivering the jewel, Magrizath sold his home and belongings and pooled together all of his vast fortune. With this money, he was able to locate the wizard’s stronghold and hire an army of mercenaries and wilderness scouts to join him in a quest to recapture his loved one. The journey was exceptionally long, leading from the city of Abothis (which ancient maps put on the south coast near present day Drakkel) to the distant mountains of the northlands. The journey was harsh and one by one, his horde dwindled. Injury, sickness and battle whittled their numbers down until only fifty remained. Through the adventure, they battled a torgat and won (losing seven), became lost in a vast and bottomless swamp (losing four) and fought against a witch (losing another nine). Time and time again, it was Magrizath who delivered the fatal blow, who rallied the weary troops and who kept their spirits high. With a mere thirty members left, they ventured into the mountains. There they scaled a sheer ice cliff with ice picks only to battle an angry firedrake.
Finally, they infiltrated the wizard’s mountainous hide away. After a fierce battle, Kray was slain and Lynmara was rescued. Kray’s tower was looted and the remaining eleven mercenaries split the gold equally among them, Magrizath taking none for himself. The quest was a success, but it had forever changed Magrizath. Through adversity and hardship a new man had been born. He had thrived off of the challenge. He had endured and been made stronger. Magrizath had no home, only a burning desire to see the rest of the world. He had no money, but he no longer cared for wealth. Upon hearing the tale, his wife asked what wealth was left. Magrizath produced the Shard of Souls… the only piece of wealth he had kept. Lynmara took the Shard and left him never looking back. She wanted nothing to do with her husband now that he had given up his fortune. Shocked and disgusted by her betrayal, he let her go and left her to her fate.
Magrizath vowed to never let love or wealth blind him again. The eleven remaining mercenaries had been awed by Magrizath’s sheer tenacity during the long trek. There, in the burned out shell of the tower, they pledged their undying loyalty to him and swore to serve him forever. Thus began what is called the Undying Trek. Magrizath led his faithful followers in a trek across the lands.
The priests say that Magrizath still roams with a great many followers. It is said the group numbers in the millions and no force can stand against them. They explore all worlds and all dimensions. Those who worship Magrizath faithfully join the Undying Trek when they pass from this life. One day, Magrizath and those who follow him will return to this world and take over and the faithful shall be rewarded.
Overview of the Church
The faith of Magrizath is little more than a brotherhood of wandering warrior priests and a collection of loosely associated traditions, rituals and fables. The priests do not hold formal mass or gatherings of fellowship in great churches. When a priest preaches, it is usually an impromptu affair before a small group of explorers in some wilderness or to sailors on the deck of a sinking ship or to peasants working in the field. This is a faith shared on the road, during a hunt or over a campfire. It is a faith of quests and legends.
The religion of Magrizath accepts only men. Women are forbidden in this faith. It was a woman who betrayed their lord and stole the Shard of Souls. It was because of a woman that so many brave men died. In this faith, women are seen as either weak, at best, or cruel harridans, at worst. A priest of Magrizath will be civil to a woman and even polite when necessary, but he will not befriend her and will never trust her.
Magrizath is worshiped in many places throughout Ithria, but he is particularly popular with dwarves as well. Dwarven stubbornness works well with the ideas of tenacity and endurance that are central to this faith. Orcs and ogres also do well in this faith as they love adventure and often do well without creature comforts. A few grum, particularly those who love adventure and travel, pray to the mad god.
Apathy and laziness are the most grave sins in this religion. The lazy, the apathetic, the weak and the idle do not deserve their lives. Death will find them soon enough.
This religion has no central geographic placement. Due to the very nature of the faith, those who worship often wander and travel a great deal. Shrines and followers can be found in many areas of the world, often in desolate and uninhabited places in dangerous lands and at the edges of civilization. This is not an urban religion. Quite the contrary, a civilized city is the one place you won’t find Magrizath.
History and Origins
Little is known of the true origins of this faith. Despite the wild claims of his priests, there are no credible historical records of anyone named Magrizath nor of an army’s pilgrimage to the northern peaks. Scholars are able to trace the worship of Magrizath back at least a thousand years though. There are fragments of evidence indicating that, prior to this faith, there existed a minor cult based on a being called Magrastrath. The cult of Magrastrath included endurance rituals and a yearly quest to a mountain top. Prior to this cult, there is only myth and legend which is murky at best.
The modern faith of Magrizath seems to have no central goals. Individual priests may claim specific goals, but these rarely coincide. On occasion, a number of Magrizath priests will form a group for a specific goal. Such associations may last for months, but rarely more than that. This faith does not lend itself to long term organization.
Temples, Churches and Holy Sites
The faith of Magrizath is known for shrines in desolate, lonely places. There are dozens scattered across Ithria and beyond. No one tends these shrines. They are built by a priest (or priests) to commemorate the site of a great deed or event. Typically this is the site of a great battle, a priest’s death or the conclusion of a quest (and sometimes all three).
Each shrine consists of a single great curved wall of stone with a central fire pit. Often these shrines will contain various tools and weapons. Ice picks, shovels, torches, oil and lanterns are commonly found here. It is tradition that tools and weapons may be taken and used, but if something is taken, then something else must be left in its place for the next traveler. The faithful carve their names into the stone wall when they visit. Because a shrine may go weeks or months without anyone visiting, the fire pit is usually dark and cold. Shrines do not have underground chambers or roofs or anything else that would provide shelter from the elements. The faithful are expected to sleep under the sky and endure what comes. The fire is the only comfort and defense that the faithful need.
There are those individuals who worship Magrizath regularly and emulate his teachings, but are not themselves priests. These tend to be individuals who live at the edges of civilized society… adventurers, explorers, far wanderers, smugglers, pirates, brigands, sailors and warriors. It is often men who face danger regularly. They pray to Magrizath often and, on occasion, are blessed with some small gift (a prophetic dream is typical). It is these individuals who pray with priests of Magrizath whenever they meet them and whom may join a priest as an apprentice.
Few common folk pray to Magrizath unless the need is great. Warriors striding into battle will sometimes offer up a prayer for hardiness. Anyone facing a difficult situation or a dangerous task may pray to Magrizath for strength.
No one, however, asks Magrizath for luck. This religion does not belief in luck and to ask such from Magrizath is surely to invite his wrath. This faith teaches that preparation, hard work, dedication and sheer determination can overcome anything. With enough determination you don’t need luck. Only the weak and the unworthy count on luck.
Allied and Opposed Faiths
The priests of Magrizath claim that he has no allies and no enemies. “Magrizath stands alone” is a common saying among them.
This is a harsh religion that believes that the soul must be tempered and honed through challenges and obstacles. Those who follow Magrizath are expected to endure and overcome. Even comfort is eschewed.
Every sensation is a part of life – the cold of stone, the roughness of wood, the coarseness of wool, the bite of steel, the sting of flame, the beauty of the sunrise, the joy of victory, the power of the storm, the fury of the sea. These are what life is made of. Embrace each sensation, both good and bad, in its rawest form. Each of these can make you stronger and make your journey through life worthwhile. Do not cower behind comfort and ease, for then you miss out on the beauty of life! Embrace life! Embrace every moment, every sensation, every pain and every joy, for they are the flavors of life and give life its meaning.
The Laws of Magrizath
Each worshiper is required to find purpose in their life. It doesn’t matter what that purposes is, so long as one lives with purpose. Purpose gives meaning and direction. A life without purpose is a life wasted. Find your purpose, set your course and ride forth to glory.
The holy book of this faith is called “The Tome of the Undying”. Its name refers to the fact that one lives on through the tales of their life. The Tome contains all of the stories of Magrizath and his adventures. However, each copy of the Tome is unique because each priest creates his own, copying the sacred stories from his master’s tome. The central stories of Magrizath are copied from tome to tome, but each priest also records his own adventures and his own revelations from Magrizath. These, in turn, may be copied by another into his own copy. The result is that every priest’s tome is as unique as the priest and constantly changing. The only common parts of these books are the core stories of Magrizath, stories that the priests know by heart. A priest’s tome is more than just stories and revelations. It also contains instructions for spells, maps to the locations of shrines and so forth. A tome is a priest’s most valuable possession. Armor, weapons and tools can be replaced, but a tome is unique, essential and irreplacable. If it is ever lost or stolen, a priest of Magrizath will stop at nothing to retrieve it.
The symbol of Magrizath is a torch. It is both a tool and a weapon and a symbolic representation of exploration and uncovering that which is unknown. Every priest will carry several torches with them. Much of their magic emanates from the torch and fire is a common aspect of their magic.
Fire is an important part of this faith. Not only the fire of the torches that they keep with them, but also the great fire pits of the shrine. Priests of Magrizath have the ability to stare into a large fire and enter a trance. In this trance state, Magrizath gifts them with visions. These are sometimes visions of the future, the past or distant places. The priests say that Magrizath “speaks” to them through the flames. The larger the fire, the better the results and it is most effective if done at a shrine fire pit.
The priests of Magrizath celebrate two holy days. Magereign 25 is the Day of Questing. It is the day that Magrizath set forth on his quest with his army to retrieve Lynmara. Spellebb 12 is the Day of the Undying. It commemorates the day that Magrizath was victorious over the evil necromancer Kray and this is also the day that the Undying Trek began.
The Shard of Souls, which features prominently in the story of Magrizath, is a real jewel. Or at least so claim the priests. It is said to be as large as a man’s fist, with an elongated shape and pointed ends. It is blue or purple or both, depending on the light. Within the heart of the jewel is a flickering white fire which is the fire and passion of Magrizath’s heart. It has not been seen since Lynmara took it off the mountain.
There are countless stories and tales of it being seen in a treasure vault here or a dragon’s lair there, but the truth is the jewel was lost ages ago. The priests search always for this mythical jewel. They claim that it is the key that will "open the door to Magrizath".
Overview of the Clergy
The priests of Magrizath are wild eyed individuals, infused with energy and daring few can match. They can, at times, be frenzied in thought and deed with a flair for the dramatic. At other times, they can be gifted with terrible focus and iron willed purpose. In battle they move with uncanny speed and hit with the strength of a giant. They are not above trickery and deception… whatever it takes to win the fight. Beyond all this, they are gifted with spells by the mad god.
Each priest of Magrizath takes an apprentice who is their pupil and servant. In exchange for faithful and obedient service, the elder priest passes on all his knowledge and teachings to the younger apprentice. The two journey together as brothers. Only when an apprentice has passed certain tests has he mastered enough to become a full priest and venture out into the world to find his own path.
Each priest is always on the lookout for his next apprentice. They believe that Magrizath arranges for masters and apprentices to find each other and that every day they are guided to each other. The priests have no doubt that this will occur and when they find a young believer who wishes to learn the mysteries of Magrizath, they simple will say that they were “fated” to meet. A new apprentice will leave his whole life behind – family, friends, possessions, everything – and depart with his new mentor.
Magrizath priests are often called obsessed or deranged. Some are even considered dangerous. “Obession,” say the priests, “is a word lazy people use for commitment”.
Priests of Magrizath care nothing for wealth or love. They are interested only in the day to day struggle to survive. The more conflict, adversity and discomfort they encounter, the better they like it. They prefer to wear coarse wool clothing, sleep on bare floors and eat plain meals. They believe in function over form, durability over decoration. They will always take the long way around, the harder route and the most difficult path. In combat they typically seek out the most dangerous looking foe. They are known for outrageous stunts in battle. Priests of Magrizath will leap off of walls to attack an enemy below. They have been known to launch themselves from catapults and charge dragons. They are brave to the point of foolhardiness. Such deeds make for a short life, but a grand tale in the Tome.
Priest of Magrizath often seek to spread their beliefs and help others to escape the evil of luxuries and softness.
Magrizath priests use a variety of weapons or armor. Indeed, they may utilize any tool that a situation calls for. They are just as likely to fight with an ice pick or shovel as with a sword or hammer.
Their magic consists mostly of spells useful during adventures. They have various healing spells, offensive and defensive spells, spells of divination and spells for creating and controlling fire.
In combat, Magrizathian priests fight dirty and take advantage of every opportunity. They are remarkably resilient. They are very difficult to kill because they simply never, ever give up. Because of their battle skill and tenacity, they are sometimes welcomed into mercenary groups and militias. While the dull and routine life of a militia man would not interest a Magrizath priest, they might very well join up with a small mercenary group if the group was on a noble quest or grand adventure.
There are no ranks or divisions among the priests of Magrizath. They may vary in experience and skill, but all are considered of equal rank… brothers of the mad god.
This website was last updated March 31, 2021. Copyright 1990-2021 David M. Roomes.