The Merchant King, Master of Coins, The Forging Lord
|Domain||Crafts, Trade, Barter, Wealth and Power|
Money is the lifeblood of civilization and wealth goes to those that earn it. Hoard your wealth. Expand your influence. Buy your friends. Let ambition be your weapon.
|Typical Worshipers||Guilds men, craftsmen, journeymen, apprentices, nobles, business owners, landed lords and proprietors. There are even thieves and bandits who pay homage to Drenmoragin.|
|Head of the Church||His Masterful Worthiness, Haloryn Drayna|
|Demographics||44% Human, 28% Dwarven, 16% Grum, 7% Elves, 4% Other|
|Geographic Regions||Worshiped widely across most of Ithria, but most especially in the Drakkellian Alliance.|
|Allied Faiths||Most of the Elder Lords and Celestials.|
|Opposed Faiths||The Dark Lords, Imarus and Daramis.|
|Holy Symbol||Three gold coins arranged symmetrically in a triangle around a central firestone|
Drenmoragin is a god of many aspects of civilization. Crafts, trade, barter, money, wealth, power and influence are all a part of this faith. He is the god of all things that are made by hand, from the most humble wooden spoon to the mightiest citadel. He is also master of many intangible concepts of economics ... groups, guilds, laws, taxes and debt all fall within Drenmoragin's domain.
Drenmoragin is a master craftsmen, an expert businessman and the quintessential merchant. His wealth is beyond measure and the envy of kings. Drenmoragin is a skilled, intelligent and immensely gifted lord known for a quick mind, sharp wit and charming demeanor. However, he is also an ego driven perfectionist and narcissist more interested in hoarding wealth than love.
He has two sides to him that often blur together. On the one hand, he’s a craftsman and an artist. In this form, he is depicted in a soot stained apron at the forge, or tinkering with some marvel of engineering or hunched over a workbench working magnificent detail into some fabulous jeweled treasure.
In his other common form, he is described as a cunning master and charming socialite who adorns himself in only the finest garments... silk shirts, crushed velvet doublets, fur trimmed cloaks and gold tipped boots. His jewelry is equally gaudy and excessive.
In either form, Drenmoragin is described as a short and ugly man with white hair and a pointed beard. In place of a left eye, a fabulous faceted firestone jewel shines out from his face. Whether he is a tall dwarf, a short human or a big grum depends on who you ask. Most priests will simply say that he is all three races... and none of them.
According to the stories, Drenmoragin lives in a magnificent metal citadel that sits on a floating island of rock high in the sky which circles the world. Within the many floors of this towering stronghold are countless smithies, forges, workshops, mine shafts and storage rooms. Here he dwells with the spirits of the faithful who have died. Together they craft fabulous objects, enchanted weapons, magnificent suits of armor and many other wondrous items. The citadel is also served by mechanical clockwork men created by Drenmoragin. The citadel itself is said to be a wonder to behold. Walls are covered in hammered sheets of gold, windows made of crystals color the light to rainbows. Fountains pour forth streams of sparkling jewels and huge mechanical beasts roam the gardens. The faithful believe that this is the place where they will spend eternity when they die, living and working with Drenmoragin, and learning all the crafts and lore there is to know.
Myths and Legends
Drenmoragin's history is well known to his followers and it is a tale his priests recount often. The details vary, but the overall story remains the same. Drenmoragin's church maintains that he began as an unwanted infant, a bastard child between a dwarven father and a human mother. A small, pitiful and deformed child, he was rejected by both societies and orphaned at a very early age. His earliest years were a squalid existence where every day was a fight for survival. Against unbelievable odds and starting out with nothing, Drenmoragin used quick thinking and hard work to ruthlessly exploit every opportunity and to make opportunity where he did not find it. Eventually, Drenmoragin amassed a fortune. He was a master improviser and businessman. Before middle age, he controlled vast resources and an army of employees served him. By the time he was an old man, he controlled whole guilds and was wealthier than kings. His followers and henchmen numbered in the thousands. He had come a long way from that wretched and miserable orphan boy.
The priests say that, on his deathbed, Drenmoragin struck a deal with Death and purchased immortality. "Even Death has a price" say the priests... With this bargain, he ascended to godhood and began to build his great citadel.
Overview of the Church
Drenmoragin is one of the more powerful deities of the Celestials and his is one of the more common religions. There are many followers and worshipers of Drenmoragin and they come from all walks of life, from destitute street urchins to wealthy guild masters. For all desire wealth and many follow in the footsteps of Drenmoragin in hopes of gold and glory. The worship of Drenmoragin is scattered across the continent of Ithria, from Rukemia to Uthran, but it is particularly popular in the Drakkellian Alliance. Temples to Drenmoragin can be found in many major cities. A rare few worshipers study to become priests of Drenmoragin. These men and women are career- minded opportunists and masters of tactics. They often sacrifice precious items to the lord and master. In return, Drenmoragin favors them with divine knowledge of the future and powerful spells.
The church operates as a guild in many ways. The priests and servants of the church work together to build magnificent objects of every kind. They train each other passing down information from generation to generation.
A church or temple of Drenmoragin is often intricately interwoven into the economic tapestry of the town or city in which it resides. It purchases raw materials from the wood cutters, the miners and so on. It is often involved with other guilds... exchanging personnel, training, materials, tools and finished items. The church sells much of what it creates to any who can afford such items and jealously hoards its wealth. Finally, the church of Drenmoragin will serve as a central bank for those who need it. Wealthy nobles and business men will often store their money at the Church who protects it, for a steep fee. While the Church does nothing for free, it has a reputation for accounting for every last copper coin. While greed is seen as good, blatant corruption and dishonesty is bad for business. So when it comes to its dealings with others, the Church is above reproach. Many a noble sleeps soundly knowing that his gold is protected by the Church of Drenmoragin.
The worship of Drenmoragin is quite wide spread. Major temples to Drenmoragin can be in the following cities: Arcanum, Aridorn, Stovikar, Freeport, Tyrrenkor, Drakkel, Vogue, Ithell, Forge, Grimstone and Penketh. He is worshiped widely by the dwarves of the northern mountains in both Ulkran and Urmordia and many of the smaller dwarven enclaves. His worship is concentrated in the Drakkellian Alliance where he is considered their patron god. Smaller churches and shrines can be found in many towns across the lands.
History and Origins
Historians and scholars do not have a clear path for the origins of the church of Drenmoragin. There are several theories. The most accepted theory is that it is a re-emergence of a minor cult from the Age of Dreams based on a figure named Drenak. There was also a network of merchant's guilds called the Gamorak Syndicate which operated in both the Traxx Legion and the Thullian Empire. One theory suggests that these two organizations (one economic and one religious) may have merged during the Great War, taking advantage of the economic disparaties and political instabilities of the time where others failed to thrive. One thing that is certain is that an early version of this faith, based on a god called Dreng’morakin, was operating as early as the 7th century (some three centuries after the end of the Great War) and was beginning to spread. By the 17th century, the name had changed to Drenmoragin and it had solidified into the faith we know today. For the last thousand years, it has slowly spread and become one of the more dominant of the Celestial faiths.
One central goal of this church is to obtain as much wealth as possible. The church authorities wish to become the most powerful economic force throughout the kingdoms. The belief is that armies can be bought and sold. With enough money, you don't need to have been born with royal blood. And this attitude is central to the tenets of the faith.
Temples, Churches and Holy Sites
The faith of Drenmoragin is very hierarchical and this is evident in the structure of their holy buildings. Churches and temples to Drenmoragin vary in size and wealth depending on their location and status.
Small shrines in villages are operated by a single apprentice priest and perhaps one or two initiates. Such structures are small, simple buildings of wood and stone, but they are still usually well maintained by the priest, who has likely mastered both woodwork and stonework. A village shrine is commanded by, and answers to, the nearest church in the nearest town.
Town churches are large stone buildings with several chambers that are home to at least one journeymen, three or four apprentices and typically a dozen initiates. Larger churches may be commanded by several journeyman of different ranks. A town church is commanded by the nearest great temple.
The “great temples” are the largest and most powerful of the churches. There are exactly eleven great temples to Drenmoragin and they are found in the major cities mentioned above, one per city. Each great temple is a huge stone building with flying buttresses and stained glass windows. A great temple is usually three stories tall, has several dozen chambers and is home to a master craftsmen, several journeymen, a dozen apprentices and several dozen initiates. The great temples of Drenmoragin are magnificent structures. They are built by the priests and the faithful, almost all of whom are skilled craftsmen and artisans. This level of skill and exacting detail is evident in the temples of Drenmoragin. The finest materials are used: shimmering mithril, fine gold foil, polished marble, lapis lazuli, hammered bronze and copper, silken threads, intricately carved stone statues and masterfully forged metalwork make up the great temples. At the heart of every temple is an altar to Drenmoragin which is nothing less than a work of art. So intricate in detail and perfect in measurement, the altar is a feast for the eyes.
The greatest of the eleven temples is in the city of Drakkell. This temple is formally known as the Aggregarium, but it is also often referred to as the “Halls of Hoarding” in more casual conversation. The Aggregarium is a behemoth of a church which dwarfs the other temples. Within its hundreds of rooms are libraries, conference rooms, dozens of work shops and forges, barracks, armories, feasting halls and shrines. It is the home of the Architect and the heart of the church. The Architect is served by four master craftsmen who carry out most duties for him. They are, in turn, served by dozens of journeymen, scores of apprentices and hundreds of initiates.
Every church and temple in this faith has a great central forge behind the altar which burns eternally. This fire is symbolic of the faith and also utilized in many ceremonies and rituals. If this central forge fire is ever extinguished, all priests who serve that particular church or temple (or one of its subordinate churches) will lose all powers and spells until the forge fire is relit. The forge fire can only be relit from the fires of the forge of its master temple. So, for a small village shrine, which is often tended to by a single priest, it would mean that that priest would have to make a journey to the nearest town. A town’s church might send a small group of priests to the nearest great temple. And the great temple forges can only be relit from the fires of the central forge at the Aggregarium.
The central forge of the Aggregarium is a remarkable structure. The fires within burn in a swirling rainbow of color, from glowing red and orange coals to green and blue flames at the very center. It is said that the forge in the Aggregarium’s altar can not ever be extinguished. There is a legend that states if it ever were to be extinguished, all Drenmoragin priests everywhere would lose their powers permanently, the church would fall and Drenmoragin would turn his back on the world. The priests, of course, work hard to ensure that this fire is never extinguished. The fire is kept ablaze by the most powerful spells and a continual supply of fuel. The temple is guarded by an army of faithful guards and dozens of mechanized clockwork golems that are able to move and fight all by themselves.
Each temple of Drenmoragin is more than just a gathering place for the faithful to join in worship and adoration. The congregation of faithful are a society unto themselves. The craftsmen and artisans who make up a church of Drenmoragin function very much like a guild or brotherhood. Raw materials are brought, purified, stored and shared. Training is a constant thing and takes place in informal discussion and formal workshops. The faithful come together in fellowship, but also work together on communal projects and craft many items. Some are used, others are traded or sold, which further fills the coffers of the church.
The first and more faithful of Drenmoragin are the craftsmen. Blacksmiths, stone masons, sculptors, architects, artists and craftsmen of every type form the bulk of the worshipers who pay homage to Drenmoragin. He is also praised by business men and shop owners who pray to him for fortune and wealth. He tends to attract the worship of those who believe in the value of hard work and the importance of skill. He is also worshiped by corrupt nobles, common thieves and others ruled by their avarice. Even simple peasants and farm folk who dream of more occasionally pray to Drenmoragin to deliver them from their toil.
Allied and Opposed Faiths
The church of Drenmoragin is on good terms with most of the Elder Gods and Celestials and it is generally opposed to the Dark Lords. However, there are some exceptions.
One of the central beliefs of the Drenmoragin faith is that anyone, with enough determination, hard work and patience, can acquire wealth. This central belief subtely underlies many aspects of the Church. It is also this belief that keeps Drenmoragin and Imarus at odds because Imarus teaches that everyone has a part to play in the grand scheme of things, that that part is important and everyone should accept their fate. This is diametrically opposed to the teachings of Drenmoragin who encourages its followers to not be satisfied with what they have and to strive for more. An uneasy tension exists between the two churches, but rarely does this escalate to more than that.
The church of Daramis teaches that wealth should be spent freely and life spent in pursuit of frivolous pleasures of the moment. Both of these conflict with the teachings of Drenmoragin that preaches hard work and hoarding wealth.
Ambition is respected. Greed is rewarded. Through hard work, meticulous detail, covetous greed and boundless ambition, all things are within your reach. Drenmoragin emphasizes the value and importance of hard work, honesty and unshakeable dependability. Clerics and faithful of this branch never break a promise and do not make vows or utter oaths lightly. They never take shortcuts (either literal or metaphorical) and always put their best effort into any craft or job.
Through labor and patience all things can be built, all things can be mastered. Fate itself can be shaped. The Chaos of the Universe can be remade into Order. Never stop building. Never stop working. Build a weapon, build a house, build a business, build a career, build a fortune... it matters not. It is all the same. Build with honor, strength, integrity and skill. Through creation, one achieves divinity. Any mindless brute can destroy, but the act of creation is for the wise and the skilled alone. When you create, you prove your greatness. Laziness is the greatest sin of all. And through your labors you will amass your fortune and find your fate.
The holy book of this faith is called the Argenius, a collection of tales, tenets and holy church law. It also contains much lore of crafts mixed with philosophy. The Argenium is divided into six separate books. Every temple, church and shrine holds a copy of this book.
Three gold coins arranged symmetrically around a firestone. The firestone represents the jewel in the eye of Drenmoragin and the pursuit of beauty in all crafts. The three coins represent labor, skill and wealth.
There are many ceremonies associated with the worship of Drenmoragin. Once each month, the faithful gather to sing praise, tell stories, teach each other new skills, show completed work, share wealth and tithe to the church. The promotion of a priest to the next rank is a time of celebration and often several initiates will be honored together at the monthly gatherings.
The only holy day celebrated in this faith is Spellfade 17... the anniversary of the day Drenmoragin died and supposedly made a pact with Death to ascend to godhood.
This church has no central artifact tied into its legends. However, the mechanical clockwork men that protect the temples are strongly associated with this religion. These are powerful enchanted automatons that are marvels of magic and engineering. These heavily armored mechanical men are very durable and deadly in a fight. They are widely known to the masses and these creations have garnered the church of Drenmoragin a great deal of respect and awe. The church jealously guards the secrets for creating and commanding these clockwork golems. Certain powerful wizards are known to create golems and there are even a few rare wizards in the world who have created mechanical clockwork golems similar to these. However, the church's golems are unique in design and easily recognizeable. While each is an incredibly valuable item, no one has ever successfully stolen one, for many reasons, not the least of which is that the golem would fight back if someone tried to steal it. Only temples have these clockwork golems. Common churches and shrines do not.
Overview of the Clergy
Many people pray to Drenmoragin for fortune and wealth, for knowledge and skill. But only a few go on and choose to serve Drenmoragin as a priest or priestess. Those that do begin a long journey. Priests of Drenmoragin command a vast arsenal of skills and spells to serve the church and its interests. With their magic, a priest can bless objects, purify raw materials, enhance the strength of raw materials, repair objects, break objects, find lost tools, sharpen blades, probe for weaknesses in constructed objects, ascertain the workings of a mechanism or machine, summon raw materials from thin air, alter one substance into another, reshape physical objects and cast charms that fool the mind, heart and eye. Priests of Drenmoragin are eloquent speakers, confident leaders and quite skilled at appraising an object's worth and versed in many crafts. As they gain experience and rank within the church, their skills and magic grow.
Division and Ranks
Priests of Drenmoragin manufacture their own armor, weapons, jewelry and robes. As they progress in rank, so too does their equipment and possessions improve in quality. Regardless of what armor they might wear, priests wear robes of a specific color, which denotes their rank. These colors come from the color of the heart of a forge.
|Initiate||The Initiates are the lowest and most humble rank. The Initaties are those young men and women who humbly come to the church of Drenmoragin to serve, often with dreams of wealth and power in their future. Some are turned away, but most are welcomed. When a newcomer becomes an Initiate, he or she is given a set of black robes to signify their rank. Initiates are assigned the most humble tasks such as cooking, cleaning, polishing, running errands and performing routine guard duty. Initiates focus on learning the basics of a craft. They have no magic whatsoever.|
|Apprentice||Those Initiates that show promise after at least five years of service are promoted and become an "Apprentice". They then don red robes. They are given more responsibility and begin more advanced training. The Apprentices greet guests, serve the high ranks directly, carry important messages, oversee the initiates, act as guards protecting important doors and chambers and serve as the eyes and ears of the church out in society. The Apprentices continue their studies into a craft and are granted very minor magic... typically a few spells only. Apprentices sometimes are granted the responsibility to oversee a minor village shrine of Drenmoragin.|
|Journeymen||After no less than five years as an Apprentice, a truly gifted and hard working apprentice may be promoted to become a Journeymen. Journeymen don orange robes. The Journeymen are the true priests of the religion. They conduct services at the monthly gatherings, lead classes, organize events, represent the church in minor matters out in society, oversee important projects and conduct the day to day business of the church. Journeymen run the churches of this faith. These priests are granted much more magic. They also are granted divine knowledge in brief glimpses of the future, in order that they may take advantage of opportunities. Journeymen priests have typically mastered a single craft and have begun study in a second or third craft. The Journeymen rank covers a broad range of experience and skills. Some Journeymen are much more powerful than others. This has given rise to four subdivisons within the Journeyman rank... Lesser Journeyman, Journeyman, Greater Journeyman and Grand Journeyman. The progression through these four ranks many take many years.|
|Master Craftsmen||On rare occassions, a Grand Journeyman will be promoted. The next rank is the Master Craftsmen of which there are currently only fifteen. Each Master Craftsmen rules a temple while four serve at the Aggregarium. Only the greatest and most prolific Grand Journeymen are given the chance to prove themselves worthy to be promoted to this rank. This usually involves a quest for the Church to further the glory of Drenmoragin and/or the crafting of a fabulous item. The quest is unique and different for each applicant. Upon completion of the task, the Master Craftsmen will vote. If accepted, the Journeyman dons the gold robes and becomes a member of the Master Craftsmen. These highest ranking priests conduct temple ceremonies, represent the church in important matters and oversee the day to day affairs of the church. The Master Craftsmen have a wide arsenal of potent spells and have are granted more powerful divination of the future. It is also the Master Craftsmen who are given the secrets of building the mechanical clockwork men who serve the Church.|
|Architect||The entire church is ruled over by one known as the Architect. He commands all other priests of the church and rules the Aggregarium. The architect wears white robes. The Architect is chosen from the ranks of the Master Craftsmen and only upon the death of the old Architect. The Architect is the figurehead for the church. He has a very specific role within very specific temple ceremonies. When not performing one of these rare duties, the Architect is rarely seen and spends most of his time working alone or in "communion" with Drenmoragin. According to the belief of this faith, the Architect is able to commune directly with Drenmoragin and is even able to visit Drenmoragin's floating citadel. He brings the word of Drenmoragin to the mortal world and only he may add to their holy book, the Argenius. He has the most powerful magic and, it is said, he can "see the future clearly". The current Architect is His Masterful Worthiness, Haloryn Drayna, a stout, white haired, elderly human male who came up through the ranks as a blacksmith, metalworker and jeweler.|
This website was last updated November 19, 2022. Copyright 1990-2022 David M. Roomes.