Each month I take questions from my Patrons. This month, someone asks…
Could you provide any details on specific relics, saints, or stories of the Sovereign Host?
I’m afraid I don’t have a secret stash of Sovereign relics I’ve been saving for a special occasion. I could make up some examples off the top of my head, but in the words of Jurian the Wise, “Give a DM a relic and they have fuel for one adventure; give them a table and they have fuel for a campaign.” Far be it from me to ignore the wisdom of one beloved by Aureon—and so, here’s a table for you to work with!
But first, it’s important to define what we mean by saint. It’s commonly understood that some people form an especially close bond to the Sovereigns, and are capable of performing miracles or sharing the blessings of the Sovereigns with others. However, the Pyrinean faith doesn’t believe that these people continue to affect the world after death. The Sovereigns are always with us; you don’t need Saint Isti to bless your blade, because Dol Dorn and Dol Arrah are with you right now. However, there were saints, and they left their mark on the world. There are still stories of Saint Isti the Beacon, how she defeated hordes of undead with her shining blade. There’s a battlefield named after her, and her sword is one of the great treasures of the Sovereign Temple of Passage. You won’t call on Saint Isti to intervene on your behalf, but you might invoke her as an inspiring example, or seek out her undead-smiting blade, or stumble into a cemetery dedicated to her memory. It’s also the case that this table could be used to generate living Sovereign saints. Perhaps the small village you’re passing through turns out to be home to Davan the Old, a devotee of Arawai who is said to have brought an end to a terrible plague!
So with all that said, let’s see some saints and relics!
|d20||Name||Trait||Tied To||Relic||Associated With A…|
|1||Asta||The Old||Arawai||Favored Weapon||… Plague|
|2||Davan||The Strong||Arawai||Tool||… Rebellion|
|3||Isti||The Quick||Aureon||Instrument||… Temple|
|4||Moras||The Beacon||Aureon||Ring||… Beloved Song|
|5||Tara||The Unloved||Balinor||Cloak or Robe||… War or Battlefield|
|6||Drago||The Kind||Balinor||Belt||… Prison|
|7||Besre||The Forgotten||Boldrei||Hair||… Village or Town|
|8||Jurian||The Wise||Boldrei||Book||… Fountain or Pond|
|9||Ket||The True||Dol Arrah||Boots or Shoes||… Tree or Forest|
|10||Urik||The Young||Dol Arrah||Armor or Shield||… Cave or Peak|
|11||Theda||The Gentle||Dol Dorn||Amulet||… Ruin|
|12||Laris||The Small||Dol Dorn||Mirror||… Cemetery or Vault|
|13||Beleth||The Clever||Kol Korran||Scroll||… University or Library|
|14||Kaine||The Bold||Kol Korran||Gloves||… Marketplace|
|15||Hariel||The Grim||Olladra||Lantern||… Dragonmarked House|
|16||Cord||The Frail||Olladra||Fingerbone||… Noble Family|
|17||Sede||The Arcane||Onatar||Eye||… Manifest Zone|
|18||Vedim||The Warrior||Onatar||Tooth||… Undead or Aberrations|
|19||Chantalyn||The Unseen||The Host||Skull||… Fiend|
|20||Lukar||The Beautiful||The Dark Six||Martyring Weapon||… Dragon|
Using the Table
A few things to keep in mind…
- Names. I’ve given you twenty names to work with, but you can always make up a new name. You can certainly have Bob the Bold. Or take the name of a player character and roll to see which legendary saint they were named after! “Fasil, did you know you’re named after Fasil the Frail, a saint of Onatar who founded this town?”
- Traits. Think about how the chosen trait matches up to the Sovereign associated with the character. Sede the Arcane makes perfect sense as a saint of Aureon, but Kaine the Frail may feel like a weird choice to be a saint of Dol Dorn. I say embrace and explore that. We know that the virtues of Dol Dorn are strength and courage. It could be that Kaine the Frail had fragile bones from a curse, but when his town was attacked by brigands he displayed impossible strength in fighting them; or it could be that while he was physically weak, he had indomitable courage that others knew was a gift of Dol Dorn. The trait is something that stands out about the saint, but it could be an aspect that’s in addition to the blessings they received from the Sovereigns.
- Associated Sovereign. Vassals revere all the Sovereigns. However, saints are often associated with a particular Sovereign, and this suggests their background or skill set. Most likely, a saint associated with Dol Dorn will be celebrated for courage or skill at arms, whether they were a career soldier or a folk hero; a saint tied to Aureon might have been a scholar, a wizard, or a judge. combine this with their Trait and see what story suggests itself. A saint associated with the Dark Six could be tied to one of the Three Faces cults—they were blessed by the Mockery in the role of Dol Azur—or it could be that what they’re best known for is opposing one of the Dark Six.
- Relic. What has the saint left behind? Have these relics been found, or have people been searching for the Gloves of Laris the Quick for generations? As with traits, think about the associated sovereign when establishing the details of the relics. Gloves associated with Dol Dorn are likely gauntlets that provide excellent protection, while gloves tied to Olladra are probably gloves of thievery. “Tool” and “Instrument” are intentionally vague because of this. A saint of Onatar will have smith’s tools, while a tool of Olladra could be dice or a deck of cards. A key question is was the relic a tool used by the saint in life, or is it simply all they’ve left behind? The point of having a skull on the table isn’t that the saint carried a skull in life; it’s that the saint’s actual skull has been preserved and is thought to be blessed.
- Association. This suggests one of the best known legends of the saint, and the mark they’ve left on the world. The question is what they had to do with the thing in question. If they’re tied to a village, did they found the village? Protect it from disaster? Die there? If they’re associated with a plague, did they stop the plague or fight the demon that unleashed it? If they’re tied to a Dragonmarked House, was the saint a scion of the house or did they take a stand against it? If they’re associated with a prison, is it because they imprisoned a fiend (as Tira imprisoned Bel Shalor)? Because they died in a prison, which is now a cursed ruin? Or because they founded a prison, perhaps associated with their Sovereign—a debtor’s prison that’s also a temple to Kol Korran, or a prison associated with Dol Arrah that seeks to lead criminals back to the light?
You don’t need to use all these rows at once. You CAN create a saint with ties to a relic and a village… but you could also use this table when someone finds a magic item to add flavor to it. It’s a +1 sword, but guess what, it’s the sword of Hariel the Grim, who we all know from that beloved song! You might assume that because it’s a sword, it’s tied to Dol Dorn… but you could instead roll for a Sovereign and change the sword accordingly. If it’s the sword of a saint of Aureon, were they an eldritch warrior who inscribed their favorite spell into the steel of the blade? Or is the sword itself a key to a hidden vault of knowledge?
An example that came up on the Eberron discord was Jurian the Unseen, Saint of Boldrei, associated with a Ring and a Plague. On the surface, this might seem like a jumble of entirely unrelated things. My suggestion is that Saint Jurian had a ring of invisibility and traveled unseen through villages that had been sealed up due to fear of the plague, whispering messages of hope or bringing tiny gifts that lifted the spirits of those left to die, giving them the strength to fight the plague. It’s believed he eventually succumbed to the plague, but no one knows; if he died, he was still wearing his ring, and his body was never found. The main point is that if you’ve just found a ring of invisibility and it turns out it’s actually the Ring of St. Jurian, wow, are you just going to use it to pick some pockets? Or are you going to try to live up to its history? This is also an interesting way to explore sentient magic items; perhaps a fragment of Jurian lingers with the ring, and if you use it wisely and well, he will offer you guidance and unlock the additional powers of the ring.
I’ve shared Aureon’s knowledge with you—what you do with it is up to you! Thanks as always to my Patreon supporters for making these articles possible; check out the Patreon if you want to ask your own questions or see the exclusive articles!
As Dol Dorn will surely point out, a fight always gets more interesting when an opponent busts out the table.
Oh this is going to be endless fun right here.
“Did you know my thieves tools are relics blessed by Sede the Forgotten?”
Pious rogue, best rogue
Fuel for a campaign you say?j Let’s test it out…
“Of course we’re dealing with Aundarian insurrectionists! They stole the double-reeded musette from Thalingard’s music hall on the very feast day of that relic’s saint, Drago the Grim. Clearly they’re trying to discredit Thranish authority in Thaliost!”
Heck yeah that’s a great chart! Thanks & well done!
When I GM, I love tables like this because they allow me to be surprised by more than the spontaneity of my players, and forced to come up with justifications for what it gives me. I see them like the metrical rules of a style of poetry: you’re forced to be creative through limitation, and this kind of thing can really spark some off-the-wall ideas, along the same vein as your invocation of Kaine the Frail, paragon of Dol Dorn, above.