By D. Koch
Theurges wield the awesome power of the Immortal Lords. They can heal wounds, imbue heroic prowess on the battlefield, or call upon the Lords of Terror to force a dragon to flee–and for this, “civilized” folk fear or revile them. The settlements brand them as outsiders, and the temples shun them in the hope of avoiding the fury of the Immortals.
Theurges have a connection to the Immortal Lords and the ancient spirits of the land unlike any other. The theurge has a special gift for speaking to the Immortals and sometimes even hearing their replies. During an invocation, the theurge becomes a physical channel to access the might of the Immortals and unleash divine gifts or fury directly from an Immortal Patron.
Theurges may perform any theurge invocation regardless of level or what relics they hold, and they know the secrets of beseeching the Immortal Lords. For this supernatural capability, the theurge’s family casts them out for being possessed of possibly malicious spirits, and the temples barely tolerate them as dangerous pariahs with untamable power. Sometimes, the temples even view theurges as forces of Chaos that upend the forces of Order and Law with unknown or sinister sources of influence. Regardless of the settlements’ tolerance, it is against the law for theurges to perform invocations in town—not even in a temple or shrine.
Theurges are not recognized as a theological authority and do not act in accordance within the religious hierarchy. In steadings and villages, the head of the clan presides over offerings and sacrifices to the Immortals, while in larger towns, the tribe’s wisest and most respected elders perform the rituals and oversee festivals.
An adventurer has no clan and therefore no accountability or responsibility to a community. Furthermore, a theurge that can summon spirits and wreak havoc upon the steadings cannot be trusted by most folks. However, as theurges increase in renown, they can become a member–or perhaps even the leader–of a cult. These hero cults praise a Young Lord and gather around a shared creed. In this environment, theurges may acquire status outside the confines of civilization.
Theurges begin with two relics in their inventory that hold Immortal power. Theurges channel this divine power through the relic, which acts as a conduit to the Immortal and a buffer to help channel that power. A theurge may find or craft new relics when discovering items of divine connection, such as a fragment of a weapon once used by a Lord of Battle or some remnant left behind by the Immortal.
In the Middarmark, Urðr is the personification of Fate and one of the Disir that spin the threads of destiny. The Disir go by many names and are often worshipped as the Lords of Plenty and Want or the Lords of Fate. To those that dabble with the power of the Immortals, Urðr’s touch can kill or maim those that are ill-prepared. Some view the burden of Urðr as a punishment or a consequence for overreaching, but as a theurge grows in a relationship with Urðr, the theurge may take on more of that burden and proceed with more powerful invocations. When the weight of the burden becomes too great, the theurge must perform a ritual to correct the imbalance and right the relationship with Urðr. Should the theurge fail, Urðr steps aside as the theurge’s Immortal Patron marks the theurge with a stigmata.