Organization: The Church of the Threefold Moon

The Church of the Threefold Moon
The God of Shadow – also known as the Lord of Shades, the Threefold Moon and Imoc-te Midian (Strength of Change in the ancient tongue) – goes by the name Adruzan Kayda or simply Kayda to all but his most powerful servants. He has existed since Saints Landing, though he was never part of the Greater Pantheon and in fact opposes them in secret.

The public face of his church, the Church of the Threefold Moon, teaches that strength and perfection can only be gained by welcoming and facing conflict. The typical Kaydan worshiper takes this simply as a maxim about enduring hardship, but the most devout take this as a demand to seek out conflict where it can be found and create it where it cannot.

This is, in fact, the god’s aim; the sewing of violence and discord into the world nurtured by the Greater Pantheon. Through his machinations and those of his subordinates, this philosophy has been impressed upon demi-humanity even outside his Church. Whether it is true or not, the inner circles of the Greater Pantheon believe that Kayda is responsible for every great atrocity on Ere, from Draconic Control to The Ashing of the Green and the Western Wars.

Kayda’s goal is the ultimate destruction of the Greater Pantheon and its creations, though only his mightiest servants are aware that achieving his ambitions means the destruction of all that most of his subordinates have turned to him to attain.

At the highest ranks of the Church, far out of view of the day to day worshippers are the priests, clerics of Kayda who have submitted to their god’s touch to transform them into something more than demi-human. Many display inborn powers or what would normally be traits passed down by blood (templates). They are effectively immortal, not needing to eat or sleep or even breathe, though they can still be slain. It is the priests that oversee the transformations of other priests as well as the ascension of Kayda’s military arm in the world; the Kaydan demon.

Kaydan Demons

Sidebar Creating Kaydan Demons
The DM is encouraged to get very creative when developing new Kaydan demons. Applying multiple templates to uncommon monsters, giving them multiple class or prestige class levels, and creating new and unique special qualities and attacks are the tools by which Kaydan demons are made. Kaydan demons can ignore most restrictions on type, race or roleplaying requirements on templates and prestige classes as their powers come from Kayda, not the normal process or organization that grants those abilities.

The very existence of the powerful monsters known as Kaydan demons is largely secret even among the clerics of the god. For his part, Kayda keeps them a secret both to avoid interference from outside sources and to avoid frightening away the worshipers he depends on for power.

The highest ranking agents of the Greater Pantheon are also aware of these beasts, but know that revealing their existence would throw the world into paranoid chaos that they cannot afford. Thus, they seek to destroy demons in secret as they appear.

The average person attributes any monsters or scenes of brutality to divinity sparks as a matter of course and thus rarely has much reason to look beneath the surface of such things.

Kaydan demons are both born and created through rituals in which Kaydan priests mystically bond the genetic essence of one creature to the essences of others as well as powerful divine magics. The results are impossible crosses of beings that could not normally occur in nature, replete with unique, supernatural abilities that occur apparently at random.

All Kaydan demons are instilled with a knack for ambition and betrayal by the processes that create them, though they are usually automatically placed in the thrall of a more powerful Kaydan demon or even a particularly powerful priest.

Six demons stand above all others, the so called First Six who have been given the ability to command any other demon for their own purposes and have been given dominion over a specific aspect of what Kayda feels is the demi-human soul; Azura the Jewel, who embodies Pride; Crystallus, who embodies Ambition; Mind-Witness Amamnazon who represents Curiosity; Ramidus who represents Fear; Shade-sorceress Hexta who symbolizes Adaptation; and Damodon Strake who symbolizes Spite.

These demons rarely collaborate and all six, by their nature never work together. Each serves their purpose of preying on the aspect of demi-humanity they were created to exploit, in theory working toward Kayda’s ultimate goal. Most of the time, the Six are only ever encountered via whatever demons they are currently using as their agents.

Luckily for the world, Azura the Jewel and Crystallus were sealed away into prisons of metal and ice respectively by unknown forces some time during or shortly after Draconic Control.

Plot Hooks
The directly malevolent nature of Kayda and his upper echelons makes the Church of the Threefold Moon a clear choice for a primary antagonist in an Ere campaign. However, one should take care to remember three things;

One, not every worshipper of Kayda is evil. In fact, most are good, honest people who simply feel that the message that conflict strengthens them appeals to them. They aren’t even aware of the darker dealings of the Church. Members of the church may respect and even help heroes on their journey.

Two, most people, even adventurers are not aware of the Church’s true nature. They know that the Greater Pantheon isn’t friendly with the Church, but they also aren’t friendly to the benign dragon cults. Only the very powerful in the Greater Pantheon’s temples know the truth and as a rule, they prefer the rest of the world not know.

Three, the Church is almost impossible to destroy. Most ancient evils in the genre can be banished with a lot of good luck and a few lucky strikes, but the Threefold Moon is monolithic and to the normal world, benign. Few people who know the truth want it unmasked and will attempt to stop any attempts at such. Even if a party is able to destroy all of the Six, Kayda will still be able to touch the world and begin anew if even a single demon or priest survives.

In short, going up against the Lord of Shades is usually the culmination of an epic adventure, not to be taken lightly. Small scale skirmishes with Kayda and his demons will almost always be secret wars with little reward or thanks save for knowing that demi-humanity won a victory over the one, clear evil that remains in the world.

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©Landon Porter