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Contributed by Shawn (Unlicensed)
Father Fathom, Brother Brine, The Terrible Tempest, The Grasping Gale, Lord Lightning, The Fiery Fulmination, Storm Lord
Holy Symbol: A cresting wave with a jagged lightning bolt splitting it through the middle.
Portfolio: Oceans, Storms, Lightning
Alignment: Lawful Evil
Cleric's Alignment: Any
Domains (Subdomains): Air (Cloud, Wind), Destruction (Catastrophe), Evil, Law, Water (Flowing, Oceans), Weather (Storms).
Blessings: +2 divine bonus to Swim skill; Read Weather as a spell-like ability 1/day at 3rd level; +2 divine bonus to Knowledge (Nature) skill at 5th level; +2 divine bonus to Survival skill at 7th level; Water Breathing as a spell-like ability 1/day at 9th level; all skill bonuses increase to +3 at 12th level.
Favored Weapon: Quarterstaff
The bass rumbling of thunder. The resounding crash of waves. The crisp smell of ozone right before the staccato crackle of lightning. All of these things are examples of Khirr’s power. He is the angry and primarily evil god of oceans, storms and lightning. Most often depicted as a glowering male morphic or a terrifying yet majestic blue dragon, Khirr revels in the destructive fury of his portfolio. Many is the mortal caught up in a terrible storm, whether at land or especially upon the ocean, that has claimed to have glimpsed Khirr’s draconic form sailing amongst the dark clouds and lightning bursts. There are even those that have claimed to have spotted him floating serenely amidst the calm eye of a hurricane on occasion. Though that would seem to be against his violent nature, it is theorized that on those occasions, he is merely gathering his strength to drive that particular storm even more furiously, whipping it up into a destructive frenzy to terrify any mortal in its path.
One might think the mighty Khirr with no pity whatsoever. While this often seems to be the case, some worshippers have reported destructive storms and tidal waves seemingly miraculously diverted from their intended target at the last moment. These miracles are attributed to Khirr responding to supplications for mercy from his mighty elemental assaults. If anything other than Khirr’s near non-existent mercy is responsible, no cogent alternatives have been presented. Thus it could very well be that there is a shred of pity for mortals in his otherwise violent and destructive nature.
One might think that the god of storms and oceans would be a more chaotic creature, given the nature of his purview. That would be true were the god in question one that merely represented those primal forces instead of seeking to master them. However, this is not so in Khirr’s case. This is because Lord Lightning has mastered the very nature of the oceans and storms he has dominion over. One may hear so-called “scientists” claim that storms are the result of one mass of air meeting with another and interacting, or that the tides and currents of the oceans are dependent on magnetic tidal forces. This may be true on some level, but it is through these processes that Khirr controls the oceans and storms. He has made a long and detailed study of the secret forces behind oceanic currents and weather patterns and he can manipulate these forces like a conductor leading a symphony, or a master painter transforming a blank canvas into a work of art. It is Khirr’s very lawfulness that allows him to master and control these forces. A less disciplined mind wouldn’t be able to accomplish a feat of such magnitude once, let alone on a regular basis such as Khirr does.
Khirr manifests as a Blue Dragon.
Centers of Worship
Khirr's temples are found primarily in one of two places: in ports and other cities located close to the ocean, or high up in mountainous regions with frequent storms. This isn't to say that one can't find smaller temples or shrines to him in other locations (for instance, inland but low-lying areas prone to flooding during sudden storms), but his true centers of worship, and thus power, are located close to the oceans of Merisyl or near its highest peaks so as to be closer to the oceans or storms that he revels in. It can also be said that one of the primary centers of Khirr's worship are on (or in) the very oceans themselves. In addition to the number of sentient creatures that dwell beneath the waves that follow the ways of Father Fathom, virtually every mortal that sets foot on an ocean-going vessel pays at least some lip service to Khirr. Many is the coin or other token tossed over the side of a boat in offering for safe passage as the vessel makes its way from the docks out onto the surface of Brother Brine's domain.
Despite the focus on often seemingly chaotic concepts like oceans and storms, Khirr’s church is actually very structured. In the larger temples daily services follow the same doctrinal formulae from temple to temple with only minor regional variations. Khirr (or his agents speaking for him) has laid down a very structured means of paying homage to the power of oceans and storms (and lightning along with the storms that generate it). Within these rigid doctrinal teachings are the means to weather the fiercest of storms and most unruly of oceanic conditions if one is of a mind to pay attention to Khirr’s prescribed methodology for doing so. Smaller temples and shrines with attending clergy may have daily services, but more often relegate this to a weekly affair with emergency services as needed to propitiate Khirr to avoid foul weather.
It may seem odd to the casual or outside observer that Khirr, who revels in the power and fury of the ocean and storms, would be one to teach how best to deal with them. However, to his ordered mind it makes perfect sense to do so. After all, deities gain power through the faith and dedication of their worshippers. Yes, Khirr could gain power and influence through only having mortals seeking to placate him to avoid foul weather or unruly ocean conditions, but that comes to him naturally any time a farmer sees a sudden storm brewing, or a sailor embarks on a new voyage. He seeks to gain even more by having worshippers that pay homage on a constant basis, not just when weather conditions dictate.
Khirr does not have any paladins or anti-paladins dedicated to him.
Temples and Shrines
Khirr’s temples are usually sturdy, well-built affairs. They certainly fit more into the “function over form” mold of building. Not that they aren’t often built out of expensive materials and pleasing on an architecturally esthetic level, but they are constructed in such a manner as to endure even the fiercest storms. This is achieved not only through inspired engineering, but heavy application of magic during the construction. It is even said that there are some temples dedicated to Khirr in port cities that are right on the water and built to withstand tidal waves.
The temples in the port cities are usually more elaborate affairs than those located inland. They are generally built (with the help of magic) in a partially submerged manner right up on the water line. This is so that the central chambers can be walled with thick, magically reinforced glass that looks out into the waters of the particular city’s harbor. The temples built in this manner are usually located as far as possible from the city’s docks so as to not be looking at the flotsam and jetsam that of necessity can dirty Khirr’s waters when ships are nearby. The priests of some of these temples sometimes charm various sea creatures and keep them nearby for the lay worshippers to be able to see through the glass during temple services.
Further inland, temples to Khirr are generally built in the same functional manner as those on the coast, but they are generally smaller structures. They all usually have an interior area that is open to the sky and services are often held in that area during all but the most violent of storms.
Shrines to Khirr are simple but sturdy affairs. Their only ostentation usually being a mosaic depicting him in his draconic form either flying amongst storm clouds or skimming low over the ocean.
There are generally two things that all temples (big and small) and shrines have in common. First is the presence of a weather vein. Secondly, they are built to contain a lightning rod that is magically grounded in such a way so as to convert any lightning thus attracted into illumination for the edifice. This can range from a gentle glow that illuminates the mosaic of a simple country shrine, to the large “moving picture” illusionary displays that play across the walls of the more grand temples.
A Priest's Role
Khirr’s clergy serve the Storm Lord in a number of ways.
Perhaps the most recognizable of Khirr’s clergy, The Stormwatchers are the day-to-day clergy that serve in his temples or tend to his shrines. Their primary duties consist of ministering to the daily needs of Khirr’s faithful as well as teaching them how to deal with inclement weather or about the many ways the ocean can provide for them. These priests are generally of the cleric class, though there are also a fair number of druids and oracles, plus the occasional shaman as well.
Waveriders are members of his priesthood that serve aboard oceangoing vessels. Many work for merchant companies both big and small, helping commerce cross over Khirr’s domain. Others help fishing vessels harvest from Khirr’s bounty. The more warlike or action-oriented types amongst them serve with national navies, privateers or even pirate ships. Many Waveriders spend years, sometimes even decades, without stepping foot on dry land. Woe to the thief that might think an otherwise seemingly unattended ship at dock is easy pickings, only to find a Waverider aboard. Most Waveriders are clerics or warpriests, though there are a goodly number of oracles and druids, not to mention a few shamans as well.
Knights of the Deep are almost exclusively inquisitors and warpriests. They are charged with tracking down and eliminating those that would pollute or otherwise harm Khirr’s oceanic domain. Khirr is generous with the bounty of the ocean, but for those that would overfish a particular area, or pollute an area’s waters (such as with alchemical runoff), Khirr shows no mercy, and the Knights are his executioners.
Khirr finds his greatest following amongst adventurers with those who do their adventuring on or near the high seas. Treasure hunters specializing in sunken wrecks and pirates/privateers are his most numerous followers amongst adventuring types. He also attracts a fair number of wizards that specialize in elemental water magic or sorcerers with a bloodline tied to the ocean.
Khirr’s clergy generally wear clothing in various shades of blue or dark green to reflect their lord’s oceanic ties. Darker shades of grey are also present as this represents the rolling clouds of storms. They often wear silver jewelry (including Khirr’s holy symbol) or trim their clothing in silver thread to represent lightning. Rain capes or cloaks with a lightning bolt slashing down through the middle are very prominent amongst members of the clergy.
Bounty of the Depths, Wrath of the Skies is Khirr’s primary holy text. In addition to apocryphal tales of Khirr’s actions in ancient times, it also includes parables that teach the ins and outs of harvesting the bounty of the oceans as well as how to best weather Khirr’s wrath when storm winds blow. It also includes the many preferred ways to propitiate Khirr’s wrath when his anger is at a boil.
Ride the Lightning! A call to arms/battle cry often used by Waveriders or Knights of the Deep entering battle. Often used in conjunction with magical effects to amplify their voices or create a magical thundering accompaniment.
To the Depths Be Thee Commended. Funerary saying for those buried at sea.
Fair weather and may you avoid seeing a shark’s smile. Used to wish someone a safe ocean voyage.
My Lord Khirr is scowling. A bad storm is approaching on the horizon.
Relations With Other Religions
Khirr, though of violent temperament and what would often be described as an evil disposition, basically keeps to himself. He sees himself as being above the other gods, for his is the harnessed energy of both the ocean and the skies. Ator's fire, while impressive, is paltry when compared to the power and fury that Khirr can unleash. Caltolav? His commerce he holds so dear wouldn’t be possible did Khirr not allow vessels to sail upon his oceans. Premyzic? The same. His precious farming and agriculture would suffer were Khirr to stir himself to such extent as to wipe it out. Szalavalar does have her uses. Engineering does help preserve Khirr’s chosen followers when he decides to unleash his wrath. Likewise, he holds some respect for Nuvria seeing as he too enjoys his solitude.
Though he does often visit the Draconic Plane, Khirr doesn’t have any known domain or dwelling there. Though they can’t prove it for certain, Khirr’s clergy postulate that The Terrible Tempest spends most of his time split between riding the storm clouds that drift across Merisyl or deep down in the darkest depths of the world’s oceans.
Xol’da’dar: An advanced, highly intelligent kraken capable of telepathic communication. A member of the Knights of the Deep. Khirr usually reserves him for his most retributive and destructive missions. Has been known to wipe out entire seaside communities.
Deldarathus: An ancient air elemental with levels in sorcerer. She helps Khirr speed storms across Merisyl’s surface and often works to direct them at certain locations when Khirr is of a mind to visit his wrath on a particular area.
Vemimandros: An aquatic ghoul (lacedon) with levels in rogue and inquisitor. On the rare occasions that Khirr wants to subtly make a blasphemer disappear from a vessel he wishes to leave otherwise unharmed, Vemimandros will pay the target a visit in the night, the only sound the splash of a corpse going over the side.