The dying, families of the dying, grave diggers, hunters of the undead, morticians, mourners
LE, LG, LN
Death, Fate, Law, Protection, Travel
“Fatal Touch” (bastard sword)
Lord of the Dead, Judge of the Damned
Wallkane is the latest in a long line of Larsil deities to command the forces of death and oversee the fate of the dead. Death has been the greatest constant throughout human history, but the way humans viewed this unavoidable force has changed considerably as different deities arose to oversee it. Wallkane, who assume the mantle recently has taken a decidedly different approach to most.
The mortal warrior known as Wallkane likely would have died on some battlefield, alone and unmourned. He was the victim of a bewildering ancestral curse that forced him to assume the form of a violent magical panther whenever he performed a rare act of kindness. However, he fell in with a band of adventurers that included Tanor. By the end of the Scourge of Fire, both had become deities, through cunning plots and betrayal or purest happen-stance.
As deities, the two former companions still retain what might be called a relationship. Tanor despises Wallkane, blaming him for his frequent setbacks. Tanor plots endlessly to regain dominion over death, a portfolio he held briefly, and instructs his mortal followers to oppose those of Wallkane by disturbing the rest of the dead, mutilating corpses to prevent identification, and supporting all kinds of necromantic activity. Erlena aids Wallkane from time to time, but the demands of her station prevent frequent contact. Wallakne hates Lordan for his support of necromancy and Velyemor for her poisons and diseases, which send many souls to the Fugue Plane prematurely. Wallkane spends a great deal of time in the company of Kalas, with whom he lives in the Crystal Spire of Hades and from whom he learns the responsibilities and requirements of his station. The Forgotten One’s stark pragmatism and almost chilling lack of pity disturb Wallkane, however, and though he respects Kalas, it is a stretch to say that hey trusts the elder deity.
Recognize that death is part of life. It is not an ending but a beginning, nor a punishment by a necessity. Death is an orderly process without deceit, concealment, and randomness. Help others die with dignity at their appointed time and no sooner. Speak against those that would artificially prolong their life beyond natural limits, such as the undead. Do honour to the dead, for their strivings in life brought Larsil to where it is now. Forgetting them is to forget where we are now, and why. Let no human in all Larsil die a natural death without one of Wallkane’s clerics at her side.
Clergy and Temples
Wallkane urges his clerics to act as stewards of the afterlife and to teach the people of Larsil that death is a natural part of life. There is nothing to be feared in the transition, for only the truly wicked, the Faithless, or the False must fear the world beyond Hades. Wallkane views all undead as abominations, ordering his servants to destroy them at every turn. Wallkane is a taciturn deity, and until recently was not completely sure of himself or his role. He has placed such uncertainties behind him, however, and approaches his duty as judge of the afterlife earnestly, tempering his strong sense of justice with kindness and forthrightness. He is not, however, particularly clever, and prefers to solve problems with direct action that sometimes leads to unintended results.
Wallkane’s clerics make every attempt to minister to the common people, to demystify the process of death and help the bereaved cope in times of loss. Most folk welcome the appearance of clerics of Wallkane, thankful for their light touch and calming demeanours—a welcome change from the days when unsettling clerics of the old gods demanded funerary fees that seemed all too close to extortion. Children (particularly those growing up near evil kingdoms) hold militant clerics and paladins of Wallkane in awe as undead hunters, and communities beset by the attentions of necromancers or tomb robbers often come to his clergy for aid.
Clerics of Wallkane pray for spells at sundown. Most holy ceremonies involve blessing a soul for the transition into the afterlife. If present at the moment of death, a cleric of Wallkane performs the Passing, a simple ritual alerting Wallkane to the arrival of this new wanderer on the Final Road. When an entire battlefield or plague-ravaged community requires last rites, Wallkanite devotees perform the Lament for the Fallen. This ceremony, similar to the Passing, features low, droning chants and rhythmic beating of ash staffs upon the open ground. At a private ceremony known as the Daeum, clerics of Wallkane celebrate their deity’s soothing doctrine and fund church activities with the goods of those who have died without heirs. Clerics of Wallkane never rebuke or command undead.
Clerics of Wallkane perform funerals, settle the affairs of the dead, and often are called upon by local lords or magistrates to oversee the execution of last wills and testaments. They preach to the masses the doctrine of a peaceful afterlife journey, and ensure that the bodies of the dead are buried safely and according to religious tradition. They mark sites ravaged by disease with plague warnings, and attempt to cure disease wherever they encounter it. Clerics of Wallkane consider all undead abominations, and do whatever they can to put them to eternal rest. They contend that those who create undead are fit only for swift and utter destruction (an important difference between Wallkanite clergy and that of Kalas, who hold that certain undead have their use). Wallkanite clergy sometimes declare crusades against the undead or against creatures deemed to have caused too much untimely death. Occasionally, this leads them to employ adventurers to solve problems with which they cannot contend alone.
Members of the clergy tend to be taciturn, even morose at times. Many came to the church after losing loved ones to undead incursions, or even after dying themselves and being so profoundly touched by the experience that they enrolled in the clergy shortly after returning to life. Many of the older members of the clergy once worshiped the old gods and some have difficulty coming to grips with the doctrinal differences between the two faiths.
Many of Wallkane’s temples used to be temples of the old gods, and hence have less inviting or soothing architectural than their high clerics might prefer. Bone-and-skull motifs predominate, and some of the larger temples even feature now-sealed chambers once used for revivification or darker rites.