Kord is the Suel deity of physical feats, sport, wrestling, strength, bravery and excellence in combat in battle. It symbolizes not only physical fitness, but also freedom of mind and resistance to oppression and evil forces.
The sacred texts on Kord are littered with stories of how his inalienable sense of freedom and individuality often plunged him into trouble, and how he always got by thanks to his courage, determination and exceptional physical condition.
Kord is also famous for being a hedonist who accepts challenges just for fun and who is easily distracted by a pretty face. He prefers humans and elves, but he has also fooled around with other half-humans and even giants. Many mortals claim to be from the line of this vigorous god and, it is a fact, Flanaess is full of his sons and daughters. If a legitimate child of Kord has a natural score of 19 or more in two of his physical characteristics, then Kord presents himself to this child during his/her 17th birthday to gauge him (does he reject the law? is he a seasoned fighter?). Kord then assigns him a grand task to accomplish. If this test is successful, Kord then intercedes with Lendor so that his child can have demigod status and acquire special powers at the same time. Lendor of course only rarely accepts, anxious not to see Flanaess fall under the domination of the too numerous offspring of Kord.
Aside from athletes and barbarians, Kord worshipers are often fighters who mock the law but have a certain sense of honor. Berserker warriors who are not badly aligned almost all worship Kord, feeling that they have a close spiritual connection to him.
ClergyPriest, referred to as the Fists of Kord, are not known to be great thinkers, but they must be strong, well armed and trained, maintain their exceptional physical condition and be always ready to fight. It is a warlike clergy but without the objective of conquest or domination, and the chaotic actions of its members have hardly any strategic aims.
The Fists of Kord are known for their courage, kindness, compassion and generosity, but also for their ability to cause trouble. To doubt their physical form is a serious insult, and they do not hesitate to try and to prove their worth (although they know the difference between difficult and suicidal challenges).
The Fists of Kord are always searching for challenges, heroic quests to accomplish, and new adventures. If such tasks promote resistance to tyrannical and repressive regimes, it is even better. They will not accept missions that seem impossible to them but, if there is even a slight chance of success and a certain promise of glory, then they will undertake it without much hesitation.
The Fists of Kord are leaders at heart who must lead by example, leading the troops and showing unfailing courage in all battles. Some consider them reckless, stupid, or suicidal, but they are none of that. They can make whatever preparations they think necessary, and consider the magnitude of the problems or challenges before taking action. They sometimes become enraged when those they have sworn to defend are bruised, but it is usually a conscious decision on their part, when they feel it is the best course of action.
Any priest who shows cowardice (by conscious act and not under the influence of a magic fear or any charm) is immediately deprived of all his clerical abilities, with the exception of the spells of 1st and 2nd level he can always memorize, and must seek a higher level priest to atone for his fault. The disgraced priest will likely have to complete a heroic quest to prove his worth to Kord and his clergy.
One of the main motivations of the Fists of Kord is to resist any authoritarian rule, especially if it is imposed by evil beings. They disdain any questioning of free will and despise those who lead by force and fear. Any nation or region of Flanaess under the control of evil loyal forces is a natural target for their actions. They infiltrate such territories and try to cause as much disorder as possible by disrupting trade, drawing patrols into ambushes, and taunting officials. They help the locals who are mistreated, especially when they plan to overthrow the tyrant who makes their lives miserable.
Within the clergy of Kord, capturing an enemy rather than killing them is highly regarded. A priest who manages to defeat a powerful opponent by non-lethal combat techniques will be praised. This custom is also a source of income for priests, a reward that can be given for the capture of a criminal whom one wishes to bring to justice. Priests, however, accept such commissions only when the motive and the nature of the crime collide with their own principles.
Wherever the opportunity arises, the Firsts of Kord seize it to prove their strength and skill, especially if it takes the form of a sporting competition. It is sometimes a source of frustration for their companions, because such challenges can distract the priest from an urgent mission, and it is not without difficulty or whining that they can convince him not to participate. In addition, the priests of Kord often have the same romantic disposition as their god towards attractive members of the opposite sex encountered on the road, which can also be a source of trouble for their companions, especially when they are not not want to attract attention.
Evil dragons are the deadly enemies of the Firsts of Kord. Upon entering the clergy, they are taught to identify the five basic evil species of chromatic dragons (white, black, green, blue and red), although they have no special training in the strengths and weaknesses of these creatures (other than knowing the nature of each one's breath). If revealing signs of the presence of an evil dragon are discovered, they should seek to locate it and, as far as possible, make every effort to destroy it. If a priest ignores such a possibility, he will likely lose all of his clerical abilities for a week, unless he is clearly not powerful enough to defeat the monster, or has to complete a more urgent mission.
Priests never take offense that a stranger is better than them, it simply provides them with a new challenge. However, doubting the physical fitness of a priest of Kord is considered a grave insult to them, and they will go to great lengths to prove themselves.
Kord's clergy help train those under their charge to become stronger. They organize athletic competitions and eagerly participate in challenging athletic activities. They also participate willingly in the work of the community which requires strong arms. Their favored weapons are the greatsword and the bastard sword.
Would-be clerics of Kord come into the faith one of two ways. Most succeed on some feat of strength (often at a local carnival or sporting competition), drawing the admiration of a cleric of Kord. Less often, a youth attains notoriety for his sickly nature, but a cleric of Kord notices how passionately the child craves strength. Either way, becoming a cleric of Kord involves rigorous physical training, including calisthenics, running, and practice in any number of specific sports.
VestmentsThe Fists of Kord usually dress in red and white, possibly with some blue ornaments. However, if the weather permits, they are most often shirtless, even during religious ceremonies. They almost always wear a belt, preferably red. They may not wear dragon-hide armor unless they are literal descendants of Kord himself.
HierarchyThere is no hierarchy in the clergy. Priest believe "the strongest is the best". and it is the bravest and most athletic that command respect.
TemplesIn the territories where the cult of Kord is well established, the temples dedicated to it are generally arenas in which the priests train and organize sports tournaments. Sometimes it is only a simple enclosure around which are arranged some wooden bleachers. The most important temples include baths, a gymnasium, a running track and a large statue of Kord.
Almost everywhere, you can meet followers from Kord who travel through Flannesse in groups of two or three individuals. Their place of worship often consists of a simple tent provisionally pitched on the side of the road, always outside the big cities.
RitualsSacred rites, which have few prayers and no sermons, are usually performed at the end of a battle or after long physical exertion. Kord prefers dances of joy and rhythmic chants accompanied by clapping of hands, making as much noise as possible. Many of the syllables in these chants exist solely to maintain rhythm and rhyme, rather than to add meaning. Examples include "Ah re, ah ree, Kord the Mighty..."
The most important ceremonies consist rather of demonstrations of strength and dexterity, in which the whole audience takes part, followed by informal discussions, during which the points of doctrine are hardly discussed, and which essentially relate to tactics, combat techniques and the organization of future sports competitions. Songs of praise to Kord honor the deity by listing battles fought in his name.
Oaths and epithets related to Kord include "May fate see your blade shatter!" "By Kord's sword!" and "By the blue boots of Kord!"
No holidays are specifically linked to the cult of Kord. His priests, however, took part in the various festivities taking place in their region. It is an opportunity for them to organize sports competitions, to meet pretty girls and to provoke some fights.
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Kord loves physical challenges and contests, and he promotes nonlethal sports as a method for resolving disputes among his followers. His teachings say that the strong and fit should lead the weaker, and that bravery is the greatest quality anyone can have, ruler and citizen alike. Everyone should scorn cowardice, says Kord.
Kord is depicted as a hugely muscular man standing nine feet tall, with a red beard and long red hair. He wears a fighting girdle made from a red dragon's hide, gauntlets from a white dragon's hide, and boots from a blue dragon's hide. He fights with his intelligent dragon-slaying greatsword "Kelmar" and also carries an ordinary two-handed sword that he may wield in one hand while Kelmar is dancing. When wounded he often enters an intense blood rage.
Kord is the son of Phaulkon and Syrul, and the grandson of Lendor. He is a foe of dragonkind, especially evil dragons. Kord's favorite heralds are titans. His allies include eladrin and huge earth elementals. Kord and Llerg have a friendly rivalry. Kord sponsored the apotheosis of the hero-deity Nazarn.
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