With regard to several questions on priestly spell-casting, I think these=
questions can be answered if we remember that not all priestly spells
are granted by gods. The old Dieties and Demigods Cyclopedia (I can only=
presume this material is still in _Legends and Lore_, which seems to be the=
same book re-titled.) states 1st and 2nd level spells are gained by knowle=
and faith. There is no reason these spells would be lost upon=20
transfer to another plane.

This brings us to another application of this principle.

The Priest supplement employs =93forces=94 and =93philosophies=94 in additi=
on to=20
gods. It is possible right off the bat that the priests of Azrai or the=20
Serpent have merely tapped into a previously unknown force or philosophy. =
Azrai=92s destruction may have eliminated himas a god, but not necessarily =
as a=20
force in the cosmos. =20

This interpretation comes to me because of the cosmology of the universe I=
have written for my BR campaign. (Those interested may contact me, if ther=
is enough interest I would post it to the list.) In my cosmology, the old=
gods were created by entities which have since passed in into the structure=
the universe (i.e. forces). These include, time, matter, and evil, among=
others. Evil is a force which allows only minor access to All, Animal, Cha=
Necromancy, and the reversed forms of Protection in my campaign. These are=
all granted by faith and knowledge.

Are the Serpent=92s priests philosophers of evil? Perhaps. As my campai=
gn is
based in Baruk-Azhik, I haven=92t worried about this. Though I imagine I w=
include it as part of my solution. Dealing with higher level spells (becau=
I limit forces and philosophies to minor access) requires my solution to=20
consider how other powers feel. I offer three solutions. =20

1) Some existing God, perhaps Kriesha, has figured a way of receiving power=
worshipers of the cult of the Serpent. Perhaps Kriesha assumed the guise o=
f a=20
divine serpent whom the serpent=92s priests took for their Awnshegh, she
instructed them to employ certain formulas and rituals which allow the Ice =
to tap the power of their worship. If the goddess also made the Serpent th=
he was the source of this divine power, the Awnshegh might assume it was he=
received the power of this worship and granted spells. It=92s a celestial =

2) Azrai might be a force powerful enough to exceed my normal 3rd level spe=
limit. If priests of Azrai or the Serpent were basically priests of the fo=
of Evil, a DM might decide that Azrai occasionally, and unreliably offered=
major access to Charm and the reverse forms of Healing. =20

3) These priests may be neither duped into worship other gods nor mere=20
philosophers of Evil receiving additional power from the Blood patron of th=
Gorgon and Serpent, Azrai, but rather knowingly worshiping an entity other=
than the Serpent, perhaps trying to convince a god to embrace the Awnshegh =
as a=20
principle servant, and telling outsiders the Serpent is the god to advance =
evil cause acceptable to the entity.

I=92ll admit I do a lot of work with priests and gods in my campaign. It t=
akes a
lot of work, but I think it pays off in richness and atmosphere. In additi=
to a range of forces/philosophies, I have extended the pantheon provided in=
the boxed set to include demigods, added the so-called children of Moradin=
from the Baruk-Azhik supplement to dwarven pantheon, as well as created=20
=93aspects=94 of the gods familiar to BR gamers. Sincthere has been so muc=
mention of Druids, it might be useful to use Erik as an example. In my=20
campaign Erik has four aspects: Patron of the Rjurik, Father of the Forests=
Protector of the Wilderness, and Benefactor of Agriculture. Now two distin=
sects have been provided, the Emerald Spire and the Oaken Grove. Priests o=
all four aspects appear in both sects, though in differing proportion. Her=
the interesting part- priests of different aspects get different spell=20
selections and granted powers. Priests devoted to Erik, Patron of the Rjur=
have spells designed to sustain and protect the Rjurik, while Priests of Er=
Father of the Forests, have spells designed to sustain and protect the=20
woodlands. =20

Those interested in my work-up of certain gods might drop me a note if
their interested in a divinity important in their campaign.

I hope this is of some use.

Kenneth Gauck