||Lesser Deity (Divine Rank 9)|
Symbol: hooded figure
Alignment: True Neutral (Uncaring)
Portfolio: death, scavengers
Worshippers: kobolds, survivors, morticians, coroners
Cleric Alignments: TN, NG, NE, LN, CN
Domains: death, healing, luck, protection, destruction
Favored Weapon: light flail
Animal Totems: vipers, buzzards, jackals, coyotes
Followers of Curiss believe that death comes to all,
eventually. They feel that the undead are anathema, for the souls of all
peoples and all things must go to their Relics, when their time is done.
For those that do not follow a faith or follow a god, followers of Curiss have
nothing but pity. The followers and the church are survivors, and plan
accordingly. The church's responsibility is to perform death watches for
everything from people to civilizations, destroy the undead (or send them on to
their Relics), and prepare for the eventual rebirth of all. (Lesser undead
-- those without spirits -- do not bother the followers of Curiss.)
Be it passages or paintings, Curiss is always depicted as a hooded and cloaked figure, with hints of something not of Gaeleth beneath the gloves and mask that are seen. Short and thin, the exact race of Curiss is lost to the dark folds of his cloak, and there are even some that question whether Curiss is, indeed, a he and not a she.
During the Age of Survival, Curiss arose like a dark specter
from deep within the bowels of the world. His first Chosen was a kobold of considerable intelligence and wisdom, and Curiss led his Chosen to find weapons, armor, food, and clothing that would make the kobold tribes safe from the ravages of nature. Other races heard the call of Curiss, and Disciples converged upon the kobolds -- wiping them out in the process, thinking them beneath the favor of a god. Curiss' wrath was great for the death of his Chosen at the hands of his Disciples, and he permanently blinded those that survived the battle. Other, more tolerant Disciples learned of the God of Survival, and sought him out, hoping to learn from him. The spectral god slowly began to wind his tendrils of worship throughout the lands, with his priests aiding those on the brink, and helping them to survive the tortuous times. The Shaping Wars destroyed many of Curiss' temples, as the demons of Argunas and the minions of The One sought to remove the threat posed by the Church of Curiss. During the Age of Peace, Curiss continued to grow, though more slowly. Few considered themselves devout worshippers, though many added Curiss to their personal pantheons.
Always remaining in the background, Curiss and his followers were content to carry on -- until the
Storm Wars. As the magical storms ravaged the lands, and Nathel's forces destroyed everything in his path, the God of the Dead was driven near to insanity.
Bequeathing his portfolio of Death upon Curiss, and escaping into the deserts, The God of Survival paradoxically became the God of Death. Scavenging amongst the ruins of various cities, his priests took over the old temples of
Galanus, the former God of the Dead, and slowly took account of their new calling. As the
Inquisition grew in the aftermath of the Storm Wars, few other churches credited the Church of Curiss with its instrumental deflections of the undead, or its shrewd tactics in the face of certain destruction. The Inquisition left Curiss' minions alone, fearing the church it did not understand, with its alien philosophies and basal theories.
Within the belly of some monster high in the Heavensbanes lies the Relic of Curiss. The monster uses the Relic in its gizzard, helping it to digest dragons and white puddings -- and it has survived for millennia thus. No one can say what the monster might be, and some speculate that it is even an avatar of Curiss himself.
Curiss' priests have evolved in the last five centuries to support his role as the God of the Lost, even though they still maintain their ties to survival and scavenging. Taking over Galanus' older temples, the church's headquarters reside in the ruins of the Temple of Death in Karmen. Never restored after an acid bath during the Storm Wars, the dark and sinister-looking temple keeps the curious and the faint of heart well away. The
Chosen of Curiss maintains contact with his far-flung
Disciples via prayers and communions, as each member of the church seeks to aid the dying -- either on their way to death, or back to the living. The priests of the church are the final arbitrators on whether a man is truly dead or alive, even though his body might not be found. Lesser followers plead to Curiss to aid them merely in surviving long enough accept death, and others follow Curiss in anticipation of death. Confusion greets many priests of Curiss, and his followers, for few outside the church can reconcile its purpose, though all agree that the church performs a valuable (if distasteful) service. Upon the death of a mortal, his soul goes to the lands of Curiss; it is there that Curiss and his archons herd each soul into the appropriate afterlife. Only the most devoted of souls follow Curiss, for they will work even in death, aiding the god to aid the souls of the lost. For those souls that cannot make it to the lands of Curiss, there are the priests to aid them in their journey -- whether they like it or not. For this reason, the Church of Curiss has always stood in the path of the undead; even powerful
liches have been known to stay well away from acolytes of Curiss. Yet other sects of the church feel that Curiss' power over death gives them all the reason they need, to use the undead -- either towards their own ends, or in the service of the church.
Clerics of Curiss are unique. Because of their god's association with death, True Neutral clerics of Curiss can choose when and how to rebuke, turn, destroy, or control undead on a whim -- whatever is necessary to soul suck (see spell entry) sentient undead, or use necromantic constructs (such as skeletons) for their missions. Good-aligned clerics of Curiss can only turn and destroy undead, and evil-aligned clerics can only rebuke or control undead.