Sunday, August 30, 2015

Cult of the Leviathan - Clerical Spell List

The Leviathan is a great spirit of the deep seas, and its worshipers are mostly drawn from those aboard the Apollyon who work in or with the seas.  Dedicants of the Leviathan are welcome amongst the crews of Sterntown’s fishing fleet, as their powers can control and compel sea life, brings home full nets and chasing off predators or other dangers. 

The Religion itself is less popular amongst crew in other walks of life, part of this is its alien history, as the religion is based on the superstitions of the most primitive of the Frogling bands who joined with Boss Wug to protect Sterntown, but greater distrust stems from the secrecy of the cult.  The Leviathan’s robed Dedicants, in gauzy purple, blood stained red and stiff rimed white, are the cults’ only public presence, as its worshipers conceal both their membership and rank within the circles of the cult from outsiders and even each other.  Once a season the cult shows its growing numbers, with a parade and free feast, featuring enormous quantities of sea food distributed to all from colorful floats by large gangs of masked and silent cultists amidst the banging of huge gongs and trumpeting horns.

The Cult of the Leviathan is a mystery religion, its worshipers paying, primarily in gold, for entry into deeper and more powerful mysteries of the submerged god and meeting in small anonymous covens, each served by a rotating group of Dedicants. Even Dedicants do not break the secrecy of the cult, and while worshipers of the Leviathan know their fellows by hidden signs, concealed tattoos and veiled references, it is unclear if these markers of membership are universal, or themselves limited by circle and the unknown designs of the cult’s hierophant.
Penetrating the Mysteries and Gaining Power

The Disciples of the Leviathan practice a form of Esoteric divine magic, superficially and mechanically identical to the houngans of the Ship Spirits, but where Ship Spirit clerics curry favor and trade promises with a wide variety of kindred local spirits, the Dedicants appeal to various avatars of the Leviathan’s singular presence.  

A newly enrobed Dedicant must select an aspect of the great slumbering god to follow, and join the ‘lodge’ of that aspect and until they have bought their way deeper into the mysteries of the cult show absolute loyalty to this avatar.  The avatars are despotic and can be cruel even to their most devoted followers, but will allow Dedicants to channel their powers directly into the terrestrial universe.  A Dedicant who has grown in power and connection to the Leviathan, may pass deep into the cult’s smaller circles of mystery, ultimately serving more than one avatar, but the process is expensive and requires catching the attention of the god itself.

When a dedicant or servitor of the Leviathan reaches 2nd level they must select a lodge and patron. The Purple, White and Red lodges are the only one’s disclosed, or known by the 2nd circle that inducts t a new servitor.   After having picked a patron, the Servitor is enrobed and anointed with sea water, blood or octopus ink, pays a small fee (100 GP usually) and becomes a dedicant of the second circle, allowed to learn a few more trivial mysteries and channel the power of the Leviathan.

After having succeeded at some quest or task on behalf of the Leviathan, and reaching at least 4th level, a Dedicant may perform the costly rituals and make large donations to the cult allowing her to enter the circle of the two souled.  This process will cost at least 5,000 GP, and may cost more depending on the Dedicant’s relationship with cult.  Becoming ‘two-souled’ allows the dedicant to have a relationship with   a second avatar, and later a third at 6th level (9,000 GP) and a final avatar at 10th level (15,000 GP).

Conduit for the Leviathan 

The dedicant of the Leviathan is a direct conduit for the aspect or avatar of the god that they represent, but the fragmentary instrumentalities of the sea are petty, distracted and often turn on their Dedicants, resulting in misapplied or reversed effects from their intervention.

At the start of a session, or any time after a day of rest, clerics of an ecstatic religion such as the Leviathan perform ritual obsequiences to their patron aspect of the deity and channel that specific entity’s power until another set of rituals are performed (assuming the Dedicant is devoted to multiple aspects of the Leviathan).  After contacting and donning the robes of their chosen avatar, the cleric can call its power at will, casting any of the spells the specific power offers.  The effort to channel this power is a difficult one however, often failing and occasionally back firing or misdirected by the malicious aspect of the avatar.  To invoke a specific spell the cleric must roll a D20 +WIS Bonus + Level and meet or surpass the invocation number listed with the spell.  A normal failure (less than 5 under the target number) means that the Dedicant has wasted his efforts but may try again in the next round or turn. A catastrophic failure (5 or more under the target, and anytime a natural ‘1’ is rolled) will have negative effects most likely to prevent additional casting, at least for a while.

The Brine Witch

This avatar of the Leviathan symbolizes the deity in its union with humanity.  Appearing as a brine soaked and salt crusted hag with flaking white skin, it is largely summoned by initiates eager to have more power over mortals.  Initiation into the mysteries of the Brine Witch require the preparation of a salt crusted mask of white metal or porcelain (of at least 100 GP value) that the initiate must wear at all times while invoking the spirit's power as well as white salt rimed robes decorated with the ropes of a sunken vessel.

Amaranthine Spiral

The Spiral is the most common of the Leviathan's manifestations, an avatar of the sea’s fecundity and mystery.  Also the aspect of the Leviathan that is least interested in humanity, the Spiral is viewed by some as the more peaceable of the Leviathan’s avatars, but this does not stop it from sometimes wielding its power in ways as destructively unpredictable as the sea.  Devotees of the Amaranthine Spiral must wear purple garments consecrated with squid ink and among the wealthy embroidered with fractals and spirals in precious metal threads.  The squid ink dye of these robes dyes the skin of the wearer a violet blue over time.

The Jaws Beneath

The Jaws Beneath are a representation of the Leviathan's violent, animalistic tendencies, and the powers associated with it are those of blood, violence and frenzy.  The robes of the Jaws’ dedicants are dyed a deep red and crusted with dried blood, while these frightful priests wear masks of hammered red gold or lacquer sculpted into the shapes of toothy sea monsters.

Despite the sanguinary nature of the Jaws Beneath, or perhaps because of it, the avatar also holds possesses many rejuvenative and healing abilities. It is of some note that the Jaws Beneath, when called upon often appears as a creature part octopus and part shark.  Some devotees see this as a positive sign, as both these beasts are terrestrial, rather then otherworldly and this implies that the Jaws are content to work within the confines of material reality.



  1. Fantastic work and supports your campaign world. I love themed lists with their associated rituals and trappings. One bonus my players became much more creative when their spell list was reduced. Do your PCs attempt the Level 6 powerful spells or spam the more easily cast spells?

    1. So far the fear of critical failure has kept casting this kind of cleric spell very rare.