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    Canonfire :: View topic - Who did the mortal Saint Cuthbert worship before ascension?
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    Who did the mortal Saint Cuthbert worship before ascension?
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    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Sun Apr 10, 2005 3:39 am  
    Who did the mortal Saint Cuthbert worship before ascension?

    Just wondering who Cuthbert worshipped (he was a cleric, right?) before he ascended to godhood.

    Did his ascension to godhood come hand-in-hand with his "Saint" title?

    How did he ascend?

    How many years ago was Saint Cuthbert mortal?

    Thanks. Happy
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    Sun Apr 10, 2005 4:01 am  

    Hey, GVD!

    This sounds like a perfect research and author project for you, "The complete St. Cuthbert." Wee Jas was cool, but can you do it again?

    Please and Thank You,
    Skech
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    Sun Apr 10, 2005 7:21 am  

    I would say St. Cuthbert's ascention was post migrations, but not much later.
    Rao is one possible choice for Cuthbert's patron. Considering the good relationship his church has with Pelor, that's another good option. Depending on your view, the alignment issue might make the latter option unfeasable.
    I'm working with the original 1E version of Cuthbert. He was LG, with a neutral bent. In core 3E he has become LN. If you're basing Cuthbert on the LN verion, I can't really say.
    Scott
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    Sun Apr 10, 2005 7:49 am  

    Bad news, Dead.

    See Starbreaker's Saint Cuthbert post, but he was a honest-to-God Earthling.

    Since he died over 1300 years ago, he would've died about -700CY, about 200 years BEFORE the Baklunish-Sueloise War.

    And he was a member of the good-ol' Catholic Church, meaning (unless he was a complete heretic and fraud) he worshipped the Judeo-Christian God. With a capitol G.

    But that doesn't mean he doesn't work. A tweak here and there, and he's ready for Greyhawk!

    First, his god is no longer worhipped in the Flanaess, or never was. This makes him a prime candidate for being from another world on the Prime Material Plane. Let's call it Aerth. Smile

    Cuthbert arrives on Oerth, not Aerth, after some fun at the hands of a Demon Prince. See, the Prince took him from Aerth, had his fun for a few decades, then Cuthbert escaped. To Oerth.

    This impressed the Suel, or the Flan, or the Oeridians. Cuthbert had inside information on demons, and takes the fight to them, miraculously winning out time after time. This guy is obviously an avatar of Pholtus, even though he refuses to admit to it!

    Eventually, Cuthbert dies of old age or heart attack or something. That kills the avatar-of-Pholtus theory, and people wake up to the fact that this guy was something different and special. He already had worshippers, so his time in the holding area of souls was minimal. And poof! he's divine.

    Cuthbert knows that he's not God, but he IS divine, through the grace or will of whatever "super god" you like out of DDG.

    This explains his rivalry with Pholtus ("I AM NOT PHOLTUS!"). It also ties in nicely with being imprisoned by some nut-job Arch-Mage named Zagig. "Ooh, I'm trapped by a wizard. Listen son, I've been tortured by demons your warped little mind just can't comprehend. So when you're done here, run. Because you really don't scare me. And I'm going to teach you a lesson in vengeance."

    But those are just tweaks that I came up with to make him fit. I'm STILL trying to figure out Murlynd... Confused
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    Sun Apr 10, 2005 12:28 pm  

    Could the D&D St. Cuthbert Avatar be the form of the real St. Cuthbert?
    M-Theroy would allow a Parallel existances of this person into the Greyhawk fantasy setting.
    That could explain some of the differences between them. Idea
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Sun Apr 10, 2005 6:05 pm  

    Well Gygax and Aronson where known for just throwing in the flavor they wanted at the time then writing it in later a seat of your pants approach to dming which worked well for them. However I think you can safely say that depending on geograpical location St. Cuthbert would be seen as a follower of either Rao or Pelor.

    In Veluna it is most definitely as a follower of Rao, however places like Verbonoc bring up even more questions to this deities true beginings. Such is one of the allures of playing in Greyhawk!
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    Sun Apr 10, 2005 9:37 pm  

    heh, except in Gygax's campaign Veluna was a St. Cuthbert worshipping state... The Rao thing is a post Gygax revision.

    I don't have my older books handy, sadly... But the LGG description of St. Cuthbert says that "he may have once been mortal, as his followers claim, but if so it was long ago and amongst an unknown people." And I think that's in line with the original write ups as well.

    So its not for certain that he is an ascended mortal, but it is certain he's not a local guy. He's one of the gods with no racial association in the Gygax era lists.

    Edit: actually, Ihave my ToEE, which has a write up on him. No mention of his ancestry in that, though. It just mentions that his worship is strongest in the central Flanaess around Greyhawk, Verbobonc, and all those ex-Viceroyalty of Ferrond type places....
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    Mon Apr 11, 2005 3:37 am  

    If you would accept it as a source, the Dragon adventure "City Beyond the Gate" (1985) held some interesting development on St. Cuthbert via his missing Mace.

    Long story short St. Cuthbert may have hidden his own Mace on another plane, Earth, to keep it from being detroyed by evil. The only gate to this place is located on an island guarded by a garrison of Cuthbertians.

    On the other side of the gate is a plaque on the archway reading: "Sculpture donated by Hon. Edward Cuthbert- 1932". It goes onto say there is no records of this person anywhere and that the archway is in fact centuries old.

    The mace in the adventure is regarded as a 12th century weapon that has not shown any signs of corrosion.
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    Mon Apr 11, 2005 6:35 am  

    It was my understanding that the mortal Cuthbert was an Oeridian priest of Pholtus during the time of the Oeridian tribes' captivity in the lands of the Suel Empire. When the Oeridians refused to worship the mad Suel emperor Zinkman as a god, the epic level cleric Cuthbert battled the insane tyrant in armed combat. At the end of the battle, Zinkman was reduced to a blubbering idiot.

    I imagine at that time Cuthbert pronounced his famous "let my people go" doctrine at which time the Oeridian tribes began migrating east out of captivity into the Flanaess. Pholtus probably sainted Cuthbert at that time. After crossing into Flanaess, over difficult and mountainous terrain, which I imagine took many years, Cuthbert gazed upon the promised land and promptly ascended to godhood.

    The current day rivalry with Pholtus is just sour grapes I suspose. I mean, the Catholic Church still seems sort of bitter that one of its monks, Luther, took most of Northern Europe out of its aegis.

    This is all just a guess.
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    Mon Apr 11, 2005 6:57 am  

    Many times I was picturing St. Cuthbert as if being a Saint of Rao. This was convenient, to the ends of alleviating Canon Hazen's faith contradiction between Gygax and post-Gygax material. Also note that Living Greyhawk considers synergy between Cuthbertines and Raoans (see for example the Veluna Gezetteer for Living Greyhawk Veluna triad).

    It seems like we should also take into account Starbreaker's post. He's got to be a Catholic Saint.

    All development should contribute to alleviation of Hazen's faith contradiction, and in parallel take into account real world relations with St. Cuthbert.
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    Mon Apr 11, 2005 8:50 am  

    mortellan wrote:
    If you would accept it as a source, the Dragon adventure "City Beyond the Gate" (1985) held some interesting development on St. Cuthbert via his missing Mace.


    I agree entirely and believe this definitive.

    Cuthbert's "sainthood" was obtained through his devotion to one "Jesus H. Christ," a crucified carpenter elevated to godhood by the proto-(Roman)Catholic Church and maintained there by (Roman)Catholic Church and its later schismatic offshoot, the Anglican Church.

    Cuthbert was a follower of the Celtic rite of early Christianity and only late adopted the Roman rite after the Synod of Whitby. After his death in 687 and his proclaimation as a Saint, Cuthbert withdrew from Earth and manefested on Oerth, in large part because the Church he had known on Earth was changing beyond his ability to accept, or even understand. (At the time, Saint Cuthbert was unaware that he was "withdrawing" specifically to Oerth.)

    Already a saint, he required no patron for his elevation to godhood on Oerth. Rather, he gained the additional power sufficient to achieve godhood through various adventures on the face of Oerth, some of the last of which are documented in Oerth's recorded history (canon).

    St. Cuthbert's ascension to godhood brought about a change in his philosophy, as all trappings of Christianity and Celtic belief were purged in the process, in favor of a strict adherence to law. His acension also triggered a rare Parallax Effect. Essentially, two Cuthberts, one of Oerth and one of Earth, manefested, each distinct but related. (The strictly Earthly Cuthbert was, of course, dead and sainted and the Parallax Effect served only to attribute further "miracles" to the saint. Parallax Effects resonate both temporally (forward and backward) and dimensionally but they are incapable of raising/do not raise the dead. On Earth, the effects "echoed," such echoes being interpreted as "miracles.")

    St. Cuthbert's placement of his mace on Earth for safekeeping was calculated, but also a move of desperation. The placement was occassioned by St. Cuthbert's encounter with another, far older and more powerful Parallax Entity - Orcus. Effectively banished from Earth, Orcus sought St. Cuthbert's mace so that his famous Wand could absorp its essence and serve as a means or key for Orcus to remanifest on Earth. By placing his mace on Earth, St. Cuthbert placed it in the one place he believed Orcus could not reach. He was wrong. Orcus orchestrated events to necessitate the recovery of the Mace and its return to Oerth (See City Beyond the Gate). Orcus, however, did not anticipate being "killed" before he could act against St. Cuthbert. His "death" and subsequent "rebirth" have made Orcus's "life" tremendously difficult and he has yet to fully recover. When he does, he will come for the Mace of St. Cuthbert but that could be years or centuries, and St. Cuthbert makes preparations of his own.

    Skech wrote:
    Hey, GVD!

    This sounds like a perfect research and author project for you, "The complete St. Cuthbert." Wee Jas was cool, but can you do it again?

    Please and Thank You,
    Skech


    LOL! Happy Well, the above is an brief synopsis of the main points of Cuthbert's divinity. I have started a writing project on Oerth's planar mechanics. The first installment of which, "The Bucknard Manuscript," has been uploaded to CF as a topical submission. It introduces a bunch of concepts that I will build on in the second installment, unnamed but now in outline. The conflict between St. Cuthbert and Orcus could make for a nice third installment as an example of Parallax in actual practice.

    After WeeJas, I took to heart Tzelios' and Wolfsire's admonition to "do it in character" rather than simply rumble through the canon sources, as canon. The results have been fun, as The Bucknard Manuscript is one of the most fun things I've written in awhile (I like it anyway Wink ). If there is an evolution to this kind of writing for me, WeeJas Dissected is at one end of the spectrum, The Lords of Geometry - The Platonic Solids Revisited is in a middle area and The Bucknard Manuscript is at the other end of the spectrum. I'll be interested in people's reactions. Assuming all goes well, I think I will take your suggestion and do a write up of St. Cuthbert. Smile
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    Mon Apr 11, 2005 9:25 am  

    GVDammerung wrote:

    After WeeJas, I took to heart Tzelios' and Wolfsire's admonition to "do it in character" rather than simply rumble through the canon sources, as canon. The results have been fun, as The Bucknard Manuscript is one of the most fun things I've written in awhile (I like it anyway Wink ). If there is an evolution to this kind of writing for me, WeeJas Dissected is at one end of the spectrum, The Lords of Geometry - The Platonic Solids Revisited is in a middle area and The Bucknard Manuscript is at the other end of the spectrum. I'll be interested in people's reactions. Assuming all goes well, I think I will take your suggestion and do a write up of St. Cuthbert. Smile


    And what about the boy Starbreaker who threw the idea?

    Let me be your editor son, and you will not regret it. If you do not agree with my edits drop me later. Accept my supervision for now. You author, me editor, and I do not know if Starbreaker wants to join.

    Think about it; it is quite big task, a lot of references should be considered, and all of them should be considered.

    This will be your dissertation, good footage into this world.
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    Mon Apr 11, 2005 4:17 pm  

    GVDammerung wrote:
    Cuthbert was a follower of the Celtic rite of early Christianity and only late adopted the Roman rite after the Synod of Whitby


    That's all good and well but how do you explain the silly hat? Happy

    What's it called? A Chapeux or something. That sounds French.

    And what's with his fetish for cudgels, billets and other such wacking sticks? Confused
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    Tue Apr 12, 2005 5:09 am  

    dead wrote:
    GVDammerung wrote:
    Cuthbert was a follower of the Celtic rite of early Christianity and only late adopted the Roman rite after the Synod of Whitby


    That's all good and well but how do you explain the silly hat? Happy

    What's it called? A Chapeux or something. That sounds French.

    And what's with his fetish for cudgels, billets and other such wacking sticks? Confused


    The cudgel etc. is emblematic of St. Cuthbert's approach to law - "clout 'em on 'er 'eds" if they stray or don't agree.

    I think the cudgel etc. is also emblematic of St. Cuthbert as a "pilgrimage" deity. This can be literal pilgrimages, philosophic pilgrimages or missionary pilgrimages - all in service to law, of course. The cudgel etc. is then also emblematic of a walking stick or the German bergstock. The miniature crests, escutcheons, or emblems that adorn the bergstock would represent specifc pilgrimages or church missions undertaken.

    The Chapeaux is either the hat one wears when going out of doors (this reinforces the idea of the bergstock), a deific fashion statement or St. Cuthbert has male pattern baldness (aka the Scourge of the Gods). Wink
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    Tue Apr 12, 2005 6:17 am  

    Tzelios wrote:
    Many times I was picturing St. Cuthbert as if being a Saint of Rao.


    Pretty much how I feel as well.
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    Tue Apr 12, 2005 9:08 am  

    Quote:
    Since he died over 1300 years ago, he would've died about -700CY, about 200 years BEFORE the Baklunish-Sueloise War.


    You're assuming, of course, that Oerth and Earth are consistant in the speed of the passage of time...;-)

    Also, if you want to get technical (and who doesn't?), I believe Aerth was a strictly technological parallel, think sci-fi. I think Earth has just a slight touch of magic (unknown to schmucks like me), and a lower level of technology than Aerth.

    Yrth (Yerth?) is very very high magic. Sorta like the Realms. ;-P
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    Tue Apr 12, 2005 9:55 am  

    basiliv wrote:
    Also, if you want to get technical (and who doesn't?), I believe Aerth was a strictly technological parallel, think sci-fi. I think Earth has just a slight touch of magic (unknown to schmucks like me), and a lower level of technology than Aerth.

    Yrth (Yerth?) is very very high magic. Sorta like the Realms. ;-P


    Hi Basiliv,

    I'm wondering where you are drawing your information on Aerth?

    As published (GDW's Mythus/Dangerous Journeys), EGG's Aerth is maybe a bit more technological than Oerth but not by much.

    Lejendary Earth (Yarth?), as published, is much the same.

    Little help? Smile

    I don't believe EGG has ever seriously turned his hand to a sci-fi setting but it would be interesting to see it.
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    Tue Apr 12, 2005 10:29 am  

    *blush*

    Wow, I guess I've just always completely misunderstood. What I stated was gathered from prior Greytalk threads, but looking through the archives it's quite obvious that you're right and I was mistaken. Woops!

    Sorry about the misinformation.

    As you were.
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    Wed Apr 13, 2005 9:04 pm  

    GVDammerung wrote:
    dead wrote:

    And what's with his fetish for cudgels, billets and other such wacking sticks? Confused


    The cudgel etc. is emblematic of St. Cuthbert's approach to law - "clout 'em on 'er 'eds" if they stray or don't agree.

    I think the cudgel etc. is also emblematic of St. Cuthbert as a "pilgrimage" deity. This can be literal pilgrimages, philosophic pilgrimages or missionary pilgrimages - all in service to law, of course. The cudgel etc. is then also emblematic of a walking stick or the German bergstock. The miniature crests, escutcheons, or emblems that adorn the bergstock would represent specifc pilgrimages or church missions undertaken.


    I like your sketched out development of Cuthbert, GVD, but have to call you on this one. As dead says, a cudgel is a wacking stick, not a walking stick. A cudgel is short and heavy - nothing long enough to use as a walking stick would be called a cudgel.

    While one of his forms is that of "a brown and green robed wanderer", that is the only reference I know of to Cuthbert having any association with pilgrims or pilgrimages. In fact, his "common sense" approach to me implies a stay at home attitude - you worship in whatever shrine is nearby - you don't get brownie points for making a trek to a fancy cathedral some place. In fact, that Cuthbert was not from Oerth should mean that there are fewer specific sites sacred to him than other gods - even less of a reason for pilgrims.

    So what is the reason for the cudgel? In his philosophy, it is a simple weapon, as keeping with his emphasis on simplicity, common sense and common folk, a thing that distinguishes him from Hieroneous. Meta-game, it solidifies his connection to the Earth St. Cuthbert by suggesting a Celtic feel. When you see cudgel, you are supposed to think shillelagh spell, and from there make the connection to celtic christianity. Don't believe me? Cuthbert's Chapeaux (the converting order) gain one bonus shillelagh spell per day starting at 3rd level. Their hats are "brown and green tartan". Again, the tartan makes you think Celtic, tieing it back to Earth's Saint Cuthbert.
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    Wed Apr 13, 2005 9:37 pm  

    GVDammerung wrote:
    After his death in 687 and his proclaimation as a Saint, Cuthbert withdrew from Earth and manefested on Oerth, in large part because the Church he had known on Earth was changing beyond his ability to accept, or even understand. (At the time, Saint Cuthbert was unaware that he was "withdrawing" specifically to Oerth.)


    I like your idea. My first thought was that after his death on Earth, Cuthbert gets to meet a semitic tribal war god who is himself struggling to cope with the changes in his followers (but receiving assistance from an ascended mortal envisioned as his son).

    Y-H-V- explains to Cuthbert that, fortunately or not, his whole theological cosmology is wrong. On Earth, there is no such thing as evil and demons and such. So it is not the change in the church, but the shock of seeing the true nature of earth that is upsetting to Cuthbert. Y-H-V- offers Cuthbert a choice - he can operate in the realm of Earth and adjust to the reality, or he can travel to other realms where evil IS real and where demons DO need to be fought.

    Cuthbert jumps at the chance and is dispatched to Oerth, among other worlds. His avatar influences some world events (like the battle recounted above with Zinkman). Eventually people sensitive to such divine presence (priests and priestesses) begin to tune in to him. Most of these people are already trained as priests of Rao, so worship of Cuthbert starts as a cult within the ranks of Raoins, without opposition. Rao has projects on-going elsewhere, and decides to use Cuthbert to "mind the store" for him in Greyhawk. ("Long and long Rao has refrained from any meddling here, but he left us with a token of his power"). The Cult of Cuthbert is "opened to the public" and proves to be more popularly accepted than that of Rao, which has always been more for thinkers than humble folk. Over the centuries, the church of Rao becomes more or less the Church of Cuthbert for commoners and common priests, though still directed by a clergy that follows Rao. The highest level of clergy, who know the Sacred Mysteries, are aware of all this and are even informed about Cuthbert's otherworldly origins.

    Eventually, the actions of Cuthbert on Oerth and in other worlds lead to his ascension as a god.

    Ironically, while he is called "Saint Cuthbert" on Oerth, Oerth has no tradition of "Saints". Most followers of Cuthbert, who are unaware of his Earthly origin, assume that "Saint " is just part of his name and has no generic meaning. His is Saint Cuthbert the way another diety is Wee Jas.
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    Thu Apr 14, 2005 7:47 am  

    Kirt wrote:
    GVDammerung wrote:
    dead wrote:

    And what's with his fetish for cudgels, billets and other such wacking sticks? Confused


    The cudgel etc. is emblematic of St. Cuthbert's approach to law - "clout 'em on 'er 'eds" if they stray or don't agree.

    I think the cudgel etc. is also emblematic of St. Cuthbert as a "pilgrimage" deity. This can be literal pilgrimages, philosophic pilgrimages or missionary pilgrimages - all in service to law, of course. The cudgel etc. is then also emblematic of a walking stick or the German bergstock. The miniature crests, escutcheons, or emblems that adorn the bergstock would represent specifc pilgrimages or church missions undertaken.


    I like your sketched out development of Cuthbert, GVD, but have to call you on this one. As dead says, a cudgel is a wacking stick, not a walking stick. A cudgel is short and heavy - nothing long enough to use as a walking stick would be called a cudgel.

    While one of his forms is that of "a brown and green robed wanderer", that is the only reference I know of to Cuthbert having any association with pilgrims or pilgrimages. In fact, his "common sense" approach to me implies a stay at home attitude . . .


    Hi Kirt, Smile

    The dictionary definition of a cudgel will yield a “short club” but a more cultural and topically specific inquiry will yield something more.

    There are basically two type of cudgels - the short cudgel and the so-call long-cudgel. Long-cudgels are known in at least three cultures - German, Irish and Chinese.

    Dispensing with the Chinese first, a Chinese long-cudgel can be up to 71 inches in length and is distinguished from a quarterstaff in terms of its greater flexibility, rather than length. We can leave this here as St. Cuthbert is not oriental.

    The German long-cudgel takes the form of the “mountain stick” or bergstock. It is usually just over 3 feet in length and will always be fashioned to some degree, either completely fabricated (I have one which looks like a curved handled cane on steroids) or partially, retaining more of a “natural” shape but always straightened (no significant gnarly or bendy shafts) to a marked degree. While St. Cuthbert is not German, I choose the bergstock because of the, IMO, cool custom of affixing tiny shields/crests/escutcheons (“Stocken”) to the shaft of the bergstock to indicate where you have hiked or walked. I thought this would translate well to pilgrimages.

    Turning aside for a moment, I see St. Cuthbert as a “pilgrimage” deity in the main because, (1) he carries a long-cudgel or walking stick in the Dragon picture that I always think of when I think Cuthbert, (2) his religion is so wide spread that his adherents have got to be moving around a lot (“wandering”), and (3) there is a “missionary” bent to his faith, even if that amounts to telling people what they out to believe or opposing this group or that. I don’t see him as a stay at home type.

    The third and richest stick tradition is that of the Irish. Irish cudgels come in a nice continuum from short to long cudgels and on to quarterstaffs. In looking at St. Cuthbert, the references to his Celtic rite origin and the shillelagh are important guideposts, I think. Irish stick fighting, or bataireacht sail-eille, admits of the following gradations.

    Quarterstaff (Maide Ceathrun) - 6-9 Feet in Length
    Shillelagh/Blackthorn (Cleathadh or Sail-Eille) - 4-5 Feet in Length
    Alpeen/Backsword Cudgel (Bata Mor)- 3-4 Feet in Length
    Caman/Crann Bagair (Bata) - 2-3 Feet in Length
    “Butts” - 1-2 Feet in Length

    Depending on exactly when in history we look, the Irish fighting stick will vary. As a general statement, in more modern times, stick size has shortened until in the 19th Century a Shillelagh was more often a short cudgel than its original length. Further back toward the medieval period the Shillelagh was a shortened quarterstaff.

    Because St. Cuthbert takes from an Irish tradition and a medieval period, I have always seen him carrying more of a walking stick length cudgel or Shillelagh.

    I really, really like the decorated look of the German bergstock, however, and decided to go with that model because it seemed coolest. I have three sticks from my time in Germany/Europe; two are the classic German bergstock (one fabricated and one “natural”) and one is from Ireland. The German bergstock has influenced other European walking or hiking sticks in that you can now find the crests/escutcheons (“Stocken”) all over Europe. My Irish stick has just Irish, Scottish, Welsh and English crests on it. So allowing for St. Cuthbert’s followers to decorate their “Irish” cudgels with “German” escutcheons (“Stocken”) is not without a “real” parallel.

    Interestingly, while the German sticks are hiking or mountain climbing tools, Irish sticks have origins as weapons. Combining the metallic “Stocken” on the German sticks on the Irish fighting stick would give St. Cuthbert’s followers a nice weapon. 1d8+2?
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    Thu Apr 14, 2005 7:59 am  

    Kirt wrote:
    GVDammerung wrote:
    After his death in 687 and his proclaimation as a Saint, Cuthbert withdrew from Earth and manefested on Oerth, in large part because the Church he had known on Earth was changing beyond his ability to accept, or even understand. (At the time, Saint Cuthbert was unaware that he was "withdrawing" specifically to Oerth.)


    I like your idea. My first thought was that after his death on Earth, Cuthbert gets to meet a semitic tribal war god who is himself struggling to cope with the changes in his followers (but receiving assistance from an ascended mortal envisioned as his son).

    Y-H-V- explains to Cuthbert that, fortunately or not, his whole theological cosmology is wrong. On Earth, there is no such thing as evil and demons and such. So it is not the change in the church, but the shock of seeing the true nature of earth that is upsetting to Cuthbert. Y-H-V- offers Cuthbert a choice - he can operate in the realm of Earth and adjust to the reality, or he can travel to other realms where evil IS real and where demons DO need to be fought.

    Cuthbert jumps at the chance and is dispatched to Oerth, among other worlds. His avatar influences some world events (like the battle recounted above with Zinkman). Eventually people sensitive to such divine presence (priests and priestesses) begin to tune in to him. Most of these people are already trained as priests of Rao, so worship of Cuthbert starts as a cult within the ranks of Raoins, without opposition. Rao has projects on-going elsewhere, and decides to use Cuthbert to "mind the store" for him in Greyhawk. ("Long and long Rao has refrained from any meddling here, but he left us with a token of his power"). The Cult of Cuthbert is "opened to the public" and proves to be more popularly accepted than that of Rao, which has always been more for thinkers than humble folk. Over the centuries, the church of Rao becomes more or less the Church of Cuthbert for commoners and common priests, though still directed by a clergy that follows Rao. The highest level of clergy, who know the Sacred Mysteries, are aware of all this and are even informed about Cuthbert's otherworldly origins.

    Eventually, the actions of Cuthbert on Oerth and in other worlds lead to his ascension as a god.

    Ironically, while he is called "Saint Cuthbert" on Oerth, Oerth has no tradition of "Saints". Most followers of Cuthbert, who are unaware of his Earthly origin, assume that "Saint " is just part of his name and has no generic meaning. His is Saint Cuthbert the way another diety is Wee Jas.


    I like your thoughts. Smile Two quibbles.

    I think that Oerth has a "saintly" tradition, as saints are elsewhere mentioned in canon (St. Kargoth? St. Bane? I don't immediately recall).

    I'm also not sure about the Rao connection. I'm not seeing where that comes from. Contemplative, rational Rao and firebrand, hardline Cuthbert?

    Pelor? Maybe?

    And does St. Cuthbert need to be "sponsored" by an Oerthly deity at all?

    I'm not certain here but I tend to see St. Cuthbert operating without an Oerthly sponsor. My thought is that his "adventuring" would get him the means he needed to further ascend to full godhood. I'm also not easily seeing a "natural" sponsor for him.

    Thoughts, anyone?
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    Thu Apr 14, 2005 8:24 pm  

    "Turning aside for a moment, I see St. Cuthbert as a “pilgrimage” deity in the main because, (1) he carries a long-cudgel or walking stick in the Dragon picture that I always think of when I think Cuthbert, (2) his religion is so wide spread that his adherents have got to be moving around a lot (“wandering”), and (3) there is a “missionary” bent to his faith, even if that amounts to telling people what they out to believe or opposing this group or that. I don’t see him as a stay at home type."

    I agree with this statement and because of the Earthly tie with a real walk duely named St. Cuthbert Way. This 62.5 mile route runs from Scottich borders to the Northumberland coast.
    From Lindisfarnes to Melrose. Along the Way travelers may visit St.Cuthbert's cave. A resting place for the St. body when the priory was later attacked.
    Hey what's the deal with the artifact Mace of Cuthbert?
    Should it not be the Cudgel of Cuthbert?
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    Sun Apr 17, 2005 2:34 pm  

    Kirt wrote:
    Ironically, while he is called "Saint Cuthbert" on Oerth, Oerth has no tradition of "Saints". Most followers of Cuthbert, who are unaware of his Earthly origin, assume that "Saint " is just part of his name and has no generic meaning.


    GVDammerung wrote:
    I think that Oerth has a "saintly" tradition, as saints are elsewhere mentioned in canon (St. Kargoth? St. Bane? I don't immediately recall).

    I'm also not sure about the Rao connection. I'm not seeing where that comes from. Contemplative, rational Rao and firebrand, hardline Cuthbert?

    Pelor? Maybe?

    And does St. Cuthbert need to be "sponsored" by an Oerthly deity at all?



    Okay. Here we go. Pardon my failing memory. Confused

    Follower of Demogorgon - Saint Kargoth (See Dragon 291 at p. 90)
    Church of Pelor - Saint Jalnir (See Dragon 293 at p. 31)
    Church of Heironeous - Saint Handraleo (See Dragon 293 at p. 31)
    Church of Heironeous - St. Ferrante (See Bastion of Faith at p. 38)

    Here we have four saints beyond St. Cuthbert on Oerth. There are probably more in canon if we look. (I seem to recall St. Aidan, St. Cuthbert's Earthly mentor of sorts in actual history, I believe.)

    Rao has no saints that I can find as of yet.

    Rao, interestingly enough, is also not necessarily a good candidate to sponsor St. Cuthbert to judge by the story of Ormus, who converted from the worship of Rao to the worship of St. Cuthbert because Rao was too pacifistic and St. Cuthbert was a deity of action. (See Guide to Hell at pp. 17-19).

    If St. Cuthbert had a patron, I do not believe it was Rao. I am still not sure that St. Cuthbert even needs a patron.
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    Sun Apr 17, 2005 3:18 pm  

    GVDammerung wrote:
    There are probably more in canon if we look.


    Yup. There is St. Benedor, St. Bane (if you include St. Kargoth you got to include him), from Dragon #79 and if your using that article; Setting Saintly Standards, might as well throw in St. Eleador the Survivor* into the mix as well.

    But more to point, St. Cuthbert is a full blown deity and IMC was a follower of Pholtus from awhile back. That might explain something of the friction between the two dieties.

    Just some thoughts.

    *St. Eleador 18th level cleric/Saint of Pholtus, Patron of Surviving hopless odds and prophecy.
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    Tue Apr 19, 2005 3:27 am  

    I'd rather stick to primarily regard St. Cuthbert of Rao. Starbreaker's and GVD's problematic is interesting, but still should come second if not relevant at all inside world of Greyhawk.

    1) Rao and Cuthbert have similar portfolios.
    2) Canon Hazen was of Cuthbert per Gygax conception. Hazen was of Rao after the departure of Gygax. So in order to overcome the contradiction, it is quite natural and convincing to consider Hazen turns aspired to serve Rao as he grows older, a more pacifist, less wild faith.
    3) Living Greyhawk in Veluna incorporates perfect synergy between the two religions and only between these two religions, which further supports the above claims.
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    Tue Apr 19, 2005 5:51 am  

    Dethand wrote:
    But more to point, St. Cuthbert is a full blown deity and IMC was a follower of Pholtus from awhile back. That might explain something of the friction between the two dieties.

    Just some thoughts.


    Tzelios wrote:
    I'd rather stick to primarily regard St. Cuthbert of Rao. Starbreaker's and GVD's problematic is interesting, but still should come second if not relevant at all inside world of Greyhawk.

    1) Rao and Cuthbert have similar portfolios.
    2) Canon Hazen was of Cuthbert per Gygax conception. Hazen was of Rao after the departure of Gygax. So in order to overcome the contradiction, it is quite natural and convincing to consider Hazen turns aspired to serve Rao as he grows older, a more pacifist, less wild faith.
    3) Living Greyhawk in Veluna incorporates perfect synergy between the two religions and only between these two religions, which further supports the above claims.


    I respectfully disagree with both of my esteemed Canonfirees. Smile

    Pholtus as St. Cuthbert's "patron" IMO takes a nice conflict and makes it incestuous. Suddenly, it is not so much philosophic as it is also personal, even if the genesis was philosophic. That said, I prefer Pholtus to Rao as a patron of St. Cuthbert.

    With all due respect to Mr. Gygax, when he stopped (or was stopped from) producing Greyhawk material, his relevance to canon was greatly reduced. His intent that did not see print is not canon, and IMO does not inform a consideration of canon, unless by coincidence.

    Rao in published canon is contemplative. This does not well describe St. Cuthbert in published canon. Rao and St. Cuthbert are "the odd couple" if paired together. This contrasting (even quasi-adversarial) relationship is discussed at length in the Guide to Hell, which discusses the priest Ormus, who left the faith of Rao for that of Cuthbert, precisely because Rao was too contemplative and Cuthbert offered a plan of action.

    Personally, if St. Cuthbert is to have a patron, I favor Pelor. In canon, Pelor is said to be assertive. So is Cuthbert. That Pholtus may challenge Pelor by some measure and that Cuthbert opposes Pholtus would allow Pelor, as a patron of Cuthbert, to be playing the two off of each other. I like that in greater deity. Pelor also has an established tradition of Saints, whereas Rao does not.

    Of course, I think St. Cuthbert does not need a patron. I like him pulling himself up by his own adventurous bootstraps - the self-made god.

    Btw, St. Cuthbert does not have saints, or sub-saints, himself. He has "martyrs."
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    Tue Apr 19, 2005 8:48 am  

    GVDammerung wrote:
    With all due respect to Mr. Gygax, when he stopped (or was stopped from) producing Greyhawk material, his relevance to canon was greatly reduced. His intent that did not see print is not canon, and IMO does not inform a consideration of canon, unless by coincidence.


    Still I believe the present designers in charge do pay homage to him by trying to eliminate apparent contradictions created by careless continuators of him who all they did was a mess that is called canon, and together with that, production of low quality material. No one ever said that Gygax material was low quality, the converse that post-Gygax material is low quality has been heard many times, think about it. I mainly talk about this series of bullshit like Puppets, Child's Play, the first and second installment of Castle Greyhawk, material on Serten the mage and all that. Comparing with Gygax-administration material even Gargoyle and Falcon Trilogy seems low IMO.

    I believe the intent of Gygax was kind of common knowledge, hence the question of Stormberg to Gygax on Hazen's faith. Also, there is an old RPGA module on the Orb of St. Cuthbert, taken place in Veluna. It is strongly implied, if not stated explicitly, that Veluna is of St. Cuthbert.

    Have you ever figured why he could have been stopped?

    GVDammerung wrote:
    Rao in published canon is contemplative. This does not well describe St. Cuthbert in published canon. Rao and St. Cuthbert are "the odd couple" if paired together. This contrasting (even quasi-adversarial) relationship is discussed at length in the Guide to Hell, which discusses the priest Ormus, who left the faith of Rao for that of Cuthbert, precisely because Rao was too contemplative and Cuthbert offered a plan of action.


    Rao is also of reason and piece, while Cuthbert is of common sense and resolution, seem pretty similar to me.

    I do not have the Guide to Hell, it is among the few Greyhawk sources I am missing. I see no strange thing that Ormus converted from Rao to Cuthbert, the converse happened to Hazen. It is not really conversion. It is like I believe in Jesus Christ and I follow St. John.

    I'd rather follow Living Greyhawk Veluna, than the questionably canon source you present. I would have used the source as a guide to Hell, not a guide to Greyhawk. By the way who wrote this Guide? On the other hand, people in Regional Living Greyhawk Veluna did a great job, their Veluna Gazetteer being the most informative research on the history of Veluna I read so far, and at the same time, by far the best Gazetteer among all Living Greyhawk.
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    Tue Apr 19, 2005 10:58 am  

    Hi Tzelios, Smile

    The Guide to Hell (2E) was written by Chris Pramas, who later went on to found Green Ronin Publishing a leading 3rd party d20 publisher, which published Legions of Hell, the companion book to Armies of the Abyss, written by one E. Mona. Legions of Hell and Armies of the Abyss were later compiled, along with an unpublished manuscript on the middle lower planes, in the Book of Fiends, published by Green Ronin. The Guide to Hell was, however, not reprinted.

    Your far-darting eye correctly understands The Guide to Hell. It is controversial.

    The controversy arises from the inclusion of L'Ordre de la Croix-Rose Veritas. Ormus, who we have been discussing, was the founder, converting to the worship of St. Cuthbert, when Rao proved to pacifistic.

    The controversy surrounding L'Ordre de la Croix-Rose Veritas is two-fold.

    First, the name itself is roughly Latin for - The Order of the Rosey Cross of Truth - or the Rosecruitians. This somewhat hard to swallow both in general as a name and because there is a real world Rosecruitians.

    Second, and more importantly, the Guide to Hell postulates that only demons were banished from Oerth by the Crook of Rao; devils (keeping a low profile) were not banished. While there is some textual support for this position, it is controversial and not a certainty. L'Ordre de la Croix-Rose Veritas is a Cuthbertine order dedicated to unmasking the hiding devils and defeating them. Interestingly, the recent Lords of Madness book from Wotc sees the establishment of an aberrations fighting order of St Cuthbert, so the idea is soundly Cuthbert, even if the question of devils is more complicated.

    In considering the devil question more generally, please see the thread, Mordenkainen on the Bloodwar in the PLANES folder, which everyone should be daily perusing and posting in. Wink

    Anyway, while you correctly identify a controversy, that does not necessarily invalidate the Guide to Hell or the distinctions it seems to draw between the faiths of Rao and St. Cuthbert.

    I continue to see Rao as the least likely candidate to "sponsor" Cuthbert and far prefer no sponsor at all.
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    Tue Apr 19, 2005 9:41 pm  

    GVDammerung wrote:
    Rao in published canon is contemplative. This does not well describe St. Cuthbert in published canon. Rao and St. Cuthbert are "the odd couple" if paired together. This contrasting (even quasi-adversarial) relationship is discussed at length in the Guide to Hell, which discusses the priest Ormus, who left the faith of Rao for that of Cuthbert, precisely because Rao was too contemplative and Cuthbert offered a plan of action.

    Personally, if St. Cuthbert is to have a patron, I favor Pelor. In canon, Pelor is said to be assertive. So is Cuthbert. That Pholtus may challenge Pelor by some measure and that Cuthbert opposes Pholtus would allow Pelor, as a patron of Cuthbert, to be playing the two off of each other. I like that in greater deity. Pelor also has an established tradition of Saints, whereas Rao does not.

    Of course, I think St. Cuthbert does not need a patron. I like him pulling himself up by his own adventurous bootstraps - the self-made god.


    I don't think Cuthbert nescessarily needed a sponsor, at least not one on Oerth. But for me the question turns on from where did his Church come, given that he is "new" to Oerth. I doubt that it simply arrose from nothing, or from random conversions in dozens of different faiths. Instead, I think that largely it was a splintering or schism from an already established faith.

    And, for just the reasons you give above, I think it more reasonable that this schism happened in the church of Rao than that of Pelor. Rao and Cuthbert have similar goals, but differ in their methodology of implimintation. Cuthbert and Pelor have similar goals, and are both "activist". Thus, there is little reason for a follower of Pelor to convert to the worship of Cuthbert - he is already being well served. On the other hand, a cult of St, Cuthbert within the Raoin Church would attract all the activist elements of the Church, concentrating them while cleansing the rest of the Church.

    If Cuthbert arrose from within the Peloran church, he would still be there, as a Saint of the Peloran church. But if Cuthbert arrose from within the Raoin church, at some point his popularity would have necessitated a break or schism and the foundation of an independent church. This could have happened peacefully, with the wise Raoin church leaders allowing the creation of a semi-indpendent younger branch, a haven for all the Raoin faithful of more activist mind. Better that then having them convert to Pelor or (heaven forbid) Hieronaus.

    Likely any existing story of Cuthbert's sponsorship reflects what actually happened on the ground, among the faithful.


    Also, as further evidence for Gygax's Cuthbertian Veluna, one can look at ToEE where Cuthbert is the dominant church in Verbobonc, itself sworn to uphold Canon Hazan of Veluna.
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    Wed Apr 20, 2005 12:12 am  

    GVD, thanks for the info on Guide to Hell. Its author is a really credible one.

    Kirt, you support the view of St. Cuthbert faith being a schism of Rao. I tend to see no real schism (for the reasons I speculated above).

    The only problem I see now concerning the St. Cuthbert of Rao is that Rao is flan. Is Rao flan? If Cuthbert's ascension occured precataclysmically, then this is a (minor?) problem.

    May be we should leave Cuthbert as he is, a Saint of an unknown to Oerth God, just as GVD, Kirt, and others suggested..

    PS. I guess we are not done as of yet.
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    Wed Apr 20, 2005 6:11 am  

    My initial reservation is why the faith of Rao would accept Cuthbert in the first place. I still have trouble seeing this. It just seems like too odd a match. Were it not for the linger smoke of the Gygaxian fire, now banked low and guttering, I doubt anyone would propose such an at odds pairing.

    Leaving that to one side, I like the idea of the schism, as far as it goes, but not a schism “within the Church of Rao.” If St. Cuthbert is schismatic, “schis” already. I find the notion of a “peaceful” schism unsatisfying. If St. Cuthbert broke with Raoian faith, he broke. So break already and drop the Rao connection, except in the past.

    Your note about how St. Cuthbert’s church grew so rapidly is well taken but not hard to explain. His church grew much like early Christianity. He offered empowerment without precondition or cultural affiliation (being of “common” origin) save an adherence to law, which offered certainty, comfort and safety. His faith appealed to the disaffected more than the scrupulously faithful of other religions but as his cult gained momentum and proved itself worthy of worship, he would also garner converts, draining them from other faiths. I suggest that this drain was keenly felt by the followers of Pholtus and herein lies a source of their mutual animosity.

    Simply put, St. Cuthbert does not need a “patron” to “explain” his divinity. In fact, I find him a far more intriguing figure if he is a “bootstrap” or “self-made” faith. In his growing roster of affiliated “orders,” St. Cuthbert’s faith again draws parallels with Christianity, this time medieval - with the affiliated orders taking the place of Christian monastic movements.

    Let Cuthbert be Cuthbert.
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    Sun May 01, 2005 2:05 pm  

    With a little more digging, I find St. Cuthbert has an organization so unlike any other that it suggests he is is own god, unbeholden to anyone.

    There are, of course, the three orders of his priesthood. His faith also recognizes:

    (1) "Companions," who I would analogize to "saints" in any other faith, who are represented in Cuthbertine iconography as striving with the "Saint." Arguably, these "companions" could also be analogized to "apostels" but I don't know how far down that road it is wise to go.

    (2) "Martyrs," who seem to function as either patrons for the faithful or as the embodiment of certain ideals or acts of faith, "icons" of relgious observance and faith. Maybe all this.

    (3) "Orders" of which there are several. The Orders do not, however, seem to draw inspiration from either the Companions or Martyrs, and neither are their founders automatically Companions or Martyrs, but rather, independent persons who are not automatically elevated in any noticeable way just because they founded the Order.

    This kind of organization clearly distinguishes the worship of St. Cuthbert. So much so, that I find the idea that Pelor or Rao etc. "sponsored" St. Cuthbert to be an increasingly farfetched idea with nothing to support it in canon other than wishful thinking. The more I look at Cuthbert the more he seems a "new god" among the "old gods" of the Flanaess - much as Christianity introduced a "new god" among the "old gods" of Rome. Now, if Cuthbert goes monothesist, look out! Wink

    Of course, there is no "smoking gun" either way. Smile Yet. Wink
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    Sun May 01, 2005 3:12 pm  

    Quote:
    The more I look at Cuthbert the more he seems a "new god" among the "old gods" of the Flanaess - much as Christianity introduced a "new god" among the "old gods" of Rome.


    Well put. My thoughts as well. GMD.
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