- -----Original Message-----
From: Hjelme
To: birthright@MPGN.COM
Date: Monday, December 28, 1998 5:38 AM
>#1: If I should make the cult a religious one how would spell casting work.
>The religions in the book doesn't seem to fit my purpose at this moment,
>and I wondered if there where any other deities or powers that had the
>ability to grand spells?

Ruornil is specifically opposed to the Shadow. Avani doesn't take to kindly
to it either. So, the Shadow World is a good place to locate the source of
your Cult. I believe you said you were also into Ravenloft, if so, that is
probably a good way to approach the Shadow World. Keep in mind that is a
"parallel" Cerilia. The Complete Book of Necromancers would be very useful
in this regard. As would certain Ravenloft suppliments, such as Van
Richlen's Guide to the undead. Using Ravenloft as a starting place, spend a
few minutes building up your idea about the cults source back in the Shadow
World. Then spend some time building the cult in Medore. Use priests of
Belink and Kriesha as models for the cultic priests, but make them a little
different. Or, use the son of Belink which is in the Netbook: Denikin, Lord
of Death, King of the Shadow. His priesthood can be found at

However you procede, use foul priests commanding undead, necromantic
wizards, and assasins. The variety alone will keep your player guessing.
Introduce NPC's in a few introductory adventures (before you reveal the
existance of the cult) who later turn out to be cult members. Some will
attempt to pass as followers of Haelyn, Ruornil, or other good gods. Some
who are in darker lines of work (guild assasins, for instance) will attempt
to pass as followers of Eloéle. Attempt to keep the player from
understanding the truth about the Cult's source for an adventure or longer
to maintain the drama of the revelation when it is finally made.

The advantage, IMO, of locating the source of the cult in the Shadow World
(or IMC in the underdark) is that the heart of the cult cannot be attacked.
The cult in Cerilia can be attacked, but as long as the source of the cult
is far away in a different world, it will (or should) be a long time before
the players are powerful enough to venture into that foriegn enviroment to
bring peace to their homes.

A final note. Don't bunch all the cultic adventures together. Intersperse
intrigue with Diemed, raids from the Siderfell, and a war with Ghoere (or
however you want to arrange those). Throw in an ambassadorial mission to
Avanil, arbitration in a dispute between two regents, and a guild war. By
using a variety of plot lines you'll keep your players from focusing too
heavily on the Shadow, otherwise they will be equipt with silver weapons,
holy water, and holy symbols. This is OK if they are assaulting a corrupt
temple, not if they are stopping by the village pub. If they start arming
as though every encounter will be with undead, get them embroiled in a guild
war. Watch some Martain Scorsese films and design another couple of
adventures to re-orient their thinking.

Kenneth Gauck