Divinities: Cronn, Father of the North Gods – Part 2


“hunting monster” Copyright © Kyoung Hwan Kim

The clergy of Cronn is an eclectic lot. There is little structure when it comes to how followers of the Northfather organize themselves. Structure is loose unless lives are on the line. In the Northlands, life is difficult and dangerous, so the clergy of Cronn is more likely to follow the orders of their teachers. Often it is a barbarian/cleric or a spirit shaman devoted to Cronn that controls all spiritual aspects of a tribe even if there are other deities worshiped by members of the tribe. However, Cronn is not a taskmaster, so his barbarian followers are rarely power hungry. In fact, if the tribe didn’t need them for survival, they would likely be loners enjoying the wonders of the cold north. Barbarian tribes devoted to Cronn are often lead by a powerful barbarian/cleric or a a ranger. Druids are, surprisingly, rare amongst the tribes of the Northlands. Spirit shamans fill this niche amongst tribes of Northerner humans.

In contrast to the worshipers of Cronn in the Northlands, the newly ordained clergy of the Northfather in the Kingdom of Ahamudia is highly structured. As a Transformation land, Ahamudia has fought to survive in the Lands of Harqual. Their war with the Empire of Swords is well documented, but few know much about how the kingdom has adapted to a new world. It helped greatly to gain to favor of Cronn and the god’s official title in Ahamudia is Lord of Our People. His faith has spread through the populace and a new clerical order sprung up soon after Cronn’s avatar appeared on the field of battle. Ahamudia’s new king, Loghan Halonnan [NG male Kiltannian human Clr10/Sen5 (Cronn)], converted to worship Cronn immediately after the battle, and he is considered the pontiff of the Church of the Northfather.

King Loghan’s official religious title is First Sentinel of Cronn. The clergy under him is organized in a similar way to the old Javeldian and Kiltannian churches. Since the church is new, it has few restrictions when it comes to who can call themselves clergy. For while the bulk of the priests in the church are non-spellcasters, there are a significant number of clerics, rangers, and holy warriors who are considered full members of the clergy. The holy warriors on the Church of the Northfather are mainly sentinels like King Loghan, although are a few avengers, as well. Druids dedicated to Cronn are unknown in the kingdom and there are very few adepts of Cronn in Ahamudia and they aren’t members of the church (by choice). It should be noted that worship of Cronn is considered a blasphemy in many of the lands of the Old Sword Imperium. Relations between those lands and Ahamudia remain tense.

Beyond the extreme northern lands, the worship of Cronn becomes more about the individual than the group. In the Eastern Shores, for example, there is structure to worship but it is rarely codified across the entire region. In contrast, the worship of Cronn is very loose and subjective in the Old Warlands in the west. (For those that might have read about the Lands of Harqual in the past, the region I’m referring to used to be called by several different names — Sword Gulf Region, Wild Plains Region, etc. The Old Warlands now refers to all the northern lands south of the Ragik Peninsula but north of the Cadra Forest and Lake Nest.) Cronn’s worship isn’t considered widespread in the west, but it has gained strength in the region since the true prophet named Taith-El [NG male human Bbn8/FvS8 (Cronn)] came to the Onan Territories in 749 N.C. Since his arrival, faith in the Northfather has been renewed amongst the Onan peoples living in the Territories and amongst the Onan nomads of the plains throughout the Old Warlands.

In the past, the bulk of what could be called clergy of Cronn in the Northern Heartlands were isolated druids and few cold-loving rangers along with numerous charlatans pretending to be prophets of the North Gods. Since the appearance of Cronn’s avatar during the Ahamudian-Imperium War, strong clerical traditions have been renewed in the Northern Heartlands. Druidic circles devoted specifically to Cronn have appeared and the number of rangers who worship the Father of the North Gods has tripled in the western half of the Northern Heartlands. While the worship of Cronn never left the Eastern Shores, it temples and clergy have gained new converts and followers since the avatar appeared. Clerics are the most common clergy in the Eastern Shores with a few rangers and a scattering of adepts. Druids devoted to Cronn are more likely to live isolated lives in the Great Harqualian Forest. The main exception is in the Barony of Wolffire (also known as the Barbarian Lands of the Fiery Wolf) where Cronn is the patron deity of the country.

In the Southern Heartlands, the worship of Cronn is highly irregular. Traditions vary greatly and individual followers usually choose their own sacred tenets. Cold-loving druids are quite rare in the borderlands between the north and the Great Expanse and even fewer of them are devoted to Cronn. The clergy of the Northfather, if you can call them that, in these lands are most often adepts only. True clerics of Cronn are rare in the southern half of Northern Harqual. More often than not, a powerful ranger will devote him- or herself to Cronn as a matter of personal choice or conviction. Often the person is trying to forge a stronger connection with Harqual barbaric past. The one land with a strong tradition in devotion to Cronn is the Monarchy of Avion. The queen of the kingdom, Lady Felicia Gerrard III [N female Avionalle human Ari5/Clr10 (Aegir)/Incarnate10 (Mirella)], has a strong spiritual connection with Taith-El and many of his followers migrated south to Avion City to rebuild the faith in the Monarchy. Thus, the kingdom is one of the few places in the Southern Heartlands with numerous clergy of Cronn — including adepts, clerics, rangers, and even avengers.

South of the Monarchy of Avion the lands become more hostile toward the followers of Cronn. The Storm Peninsula is dominated by the tabaxi who control the Storm Jungle with iron claws. Devoted worshipers of the Northfather in the region are usually avengers from Avion fighting against the tyranny of the tabaxi and their evil god, Tu. As well, the lands on the peninsula are very warm, which means that clerics devoted to a god of the cold feels uncomfortable. Followers of Cronn who live on the peninsula are usually adepts and live, dangerously, in the Reth Mountains. The mountains are home to the numerous Reth Tribes — evil humanoids, mainly gnolls, goblinoids and orcs. Beyond the Southern Heartlands, the Great Expanse dominates the landscape. One would think that once the desert took hold that worshipers of the Northfather would disappear. In fact, there are more worshipers in the region known as The Bulge than on the Storm Peninsula. The desert is known to get bitterly cold at night, which means that those who understand such temperatures are welcome here. However, the clergy of Cronn in this region is still limited mainly to adepts. However, it is here that a new type of worshiper is found, the witch. The female witches of the Great Expanse see Cronn as the Great Grandfather and believe they are descended directly from his Divine Children.

In the lands of the Far South, beyond the Great Expanse, the number of worshipers devoted to the Father of the North Gods is reduced significantly. The Northfather doesn’t have any sort of organized faith in the southern lands of Harqual. The deity hasn’t been forgotten here; it’s just that there are so few humans here who pay him any sort of respect. Cronn is honored more by the rakasta than by humans in the Far South. The rakasta honor Cronn’s connection to their god, Rel, but only a handful of rakasta truly worship him, and they are considered odd (but not outcasts). The few humans who do preach the words of Cronn are primarily adepts (called hedge priests) or evangelists (who are unscrupulous charlatans). Human or half-elf rangers who live and hunt in the mountains of the Far South might say a prayer to Cronn before venturing into the wilderness to ward off the cold.

  • Clergy: Standard Classes – Adept, Avenger, Cleric, Ranger, and Spirit Shaman. Nonstandard Classes – Dragon Shaman, Druid, Favored Soul, Healer, Sentinel, Witch of the Great Expanse (see below). Allowed Multiclass: Barbarian, Fighter, Savage Bard (variant from Unearthed Arcana), Scout, and Swashbuckler. Forbidden Multiclass: Bard, Beguiler, Duskblade, Hexblade, Knight (n/a), Ninja (n/a), Paladin, Rogue, Samurai (n/a), Shugenja (n/a), Sorcerer, Spellthief, Warlock, Warmage, Wizard, and Wu Jen (n/a).
    • Witches of the Great Expanse: Witch characters devoted to Cronn use the alternate spell list on p. 175 the DMG v.3.5, but they cast spells as a favored soul not as a sorcerer and they use Table 3–6: The Cleric on p. 31 of the PHB v.3.5 for BAB and saves, as well as the following modified clerical abilities: bonus languages as cleric, cannot cast evil or lawful spells, one clerical domain, and turn undead at 1/2 the character’s witch level.)
  • Clerical Domains: Chaos, Cold, Community, Family, North *, Protection, Rage *, Strength. *North and Rage are homebrewed domains for the World of Kulan.
  • Recommended Prestige Classes: Standard – Animal Lord, Bear Warrior, Beastmaster, Bloodhound, Frenzied Berserker, Frostrager, Highland Stalker, Holy Liberator, Horizon Walker, Hunter of the Dead, Nature’s Warrior, Outcast Champion, Tempest, Wild Plains Outrider, Wildrunner, Stormcaster, Stormlord, Stormsinger, and War Chanter. Nonstandard – Cloud Anchorite, Darkwood Stalker, Dervish, Dread Pirate, Divine Crusader, Evangelist, Frost Mage, Halfling Outrider, Leviathan Hunter, Master Thrower, Order of the Bow Initiate, Primeval, Ruathar, Scarlet Corsair, Sea Witch, Stonelord, Virtuoso, Warpriest, Warshaper, and Wayfarer Guide.
  • Racial Diversity: While Cronn is a human deity, he has numerous worshipers amongst a variety of races, especially those peoples who live in the Northlands. If a race isn’t listed below as a standard or a nonstandard race for the Northfather’s clergy, it doesn’t mean members of that race cannot choose Cronn as their patron deity. It means that is is unusual. Treat any race not listed in any of the lists below as being restricted.
    • Standard Races – Centaurs, Dwarves (Gletscher and High), Elves (Forest and ‘Silver Wild’), Giants (Tel’Meth Frost), Half-Elves, Halflings (Northchild), Humans (Blaiddtân, Dalenmann, Javeldian, Northlander, Onan Wildman, and Vindi), and Rakastas.
    • Nonstandard Races – Dwarves (Bitran and Hill), Elves (Aphranæn and Silver), the Gema, Gnomes (Bitran or Rockwood), Half-Orcs, Halflings (Hairfoot or Nihil), Humans (Avionalle, Arkhanglese, Denilan, Firbolgs, Lochfolk, Onan, and Rethanthi), Neanderthals, Shatjans, and the Vonakyndra.
    • Restricted Races – Dragonborn, Dwarves (Torin), Elves (Gray and Rmoahali), the Feytouched, Gnomes (Whisper), Halflings (Lightfoot), Half-Ogres, Hobgoblins, Humans (Callan, Freiian, Kieli, Kiltannian, Ruelian, and Toraane), the Kha, Kobolds, and Lizardfolk (all).
    • Forbidden Races – Dwarves (Janderhoff and Kazadrach), Elves (Blood), Goblins (Dekanter and Snow), Halflings (Jerren), Half-Vampires, Humans (Kunnian, Meai, Sprache, Tahrannuti, Xuarite, and any Transformation human ethnicity that isn’t noted above [subject to change]), Morlocks, the Tabaxi, Tri-clops, Varags, and Zebranaurs.
  • Recommended Skills and Feats: Skills – Climb, Handle Animal, Heal, Intimidate, Jump, Knowledge (nature), Listen, Ride, Spot, and Survival. Feats – Alertness, Animal Affinity, Athletic, Blind-Fight, Brew Potion, Combat Reflexes, Endurance, Enlarge Spell, Exotic Weapon Proficiency (net), Great Fortitude, Leadership, Mounted Combat [Mounted Archery, Ride-By Attack, Trample], Natural Spell, Point Blank Shot [Far Shot, Shot on the Run], Power Attack [Cleave, Great Cleave], Run, Self-Sufficient, Silent Spell, Skill Focus (Survival), Still Spell, Toughness, Track, Weapon Focus (any axe or spear).
  • Tenets: Barbarian way of life, community and family, survival of the tribe, protecting all of Harqual from evil-doers, do not fear the cold but respect it.
  • Vesture and Weaponry: The clergy of Cronn wear whatever will keep them warm. Player characters should invest in a cold weather outfit at the very least. Hide and studded leather armor is a common choice amongst the clergy. Metal armor is rarely worn. When it comes to weapons, the clergy prefer axes, especially the greataxe since it is the favored weapon of Cronn. Bows and spears are also good choices. Very few of Cronn’s clergy would ever use a sword, although there are a few converts in the Kingdom of the Ahamudia who refused to give up their blades. The most exotic weapon a member of the clergy will use is a net. Netting fish during the summer months is a longstanding tradition, which led to its use as a weapon.
  • Allies of the Faith: The faithful who worship any of the North Gods. Any good-aligned clerics of Apollo. The forest and silver elves of the Great Forest. The frost giants of Tel’Meth. Druids and dragons that protect the Balance. All good-hearted fey creatures, especially those .that worship Damh.
  • Enemies of the Faith: Evil humanoids especially gnolls, mountain orcs, and the tabaxi. The followers of the Sword Gods. Evil peoples who worship other dark gods. Blood elves and their demonic allies. Dragons that have turned away from the Balance. The ogre scions and their followers.

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