Skelos?

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Vortigern
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Skelos?

Postby Vortigern » Fri Oct 05, 2007 6:38 pm

From referencing 'Scrolls of Skelos' I understand that there is a sorcerous religioun centered around Skelos himself as a sort of 'dark god of sorcery'. Unfortunately there isn't much more information in that text on the subject that I could find.

Is there more on this cult in 'Faith & Fervour'?

I'd appreciatte any further elaboration that could be laid on this topic.
V/R,
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Postby sidkfjjteidlkkf » Sun Oct 07, 2007 9:27 pm

Forgive the no so perfect answer, but the information you are searching for to my knowledge, is NOT in Faith and Fervor.

I believe Skelos refers either a great mage of some early time in the Hyborian world or more than a study of magic.

I may be wrong, but I see no one else has answered this question.
John

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Hey! What part of Initiative do you not understand!!!! WAITE YOUR TURN...
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Postby Vortigern » Sun Oct 07, 2007 10:30 pm

The brief writeup on the cult in SoS states that many believe Skelos to simply be an ancient Acheronian mage... while there are also those who revere him as a 'dark god of sorcery' etc etc.

But that is pretty much all it describes about their beliefs or motivations... which... is a bit lacking.
V/R,
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Postby sidkfjjteidlkkf » Sun Oct 07, 2007 11:18 pm

OK, well I was right in some of it :lol:

There comes a time when we have to realize, even if just in an RPG, things are not always in black and white. If this is really urking you, perhaps doing a write up yourself and sharing it with us may be a good idea. Or maybe the cult is so damned small, it is not worth mentioning.

The person to talk to (PM) is the ever knowledgable Mr. Vincent Delarge.

I bet he can get the answers you seek...
John

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Hey! What part of Initiative do you not understand!!!! WAITE YOUR TURN...
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Postby Baduin » Mon Oct 08, 2007 9:40 am

Robert E. Howard

INTO the west, unknown of man,
Ships have sailed since the world began.
Read, if you dare, what Skelos wrote,
With dead hands fumbling his silken coat;
And follow the ships through the wind-blown wrack--
Follow the ships that come not back.
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Re: Skelos?

Postby VincentDarlage » Mon Oct 08, 2007 3:42 pm

Vortigern wrote: I'd appreciatte any further elaboration that could be laid on this topic.
The Cult of Skelos
Though Skelos is often said to have been no more than a powerful, mortal sorcerer, he is also worshipped as a god of magic by many sorcerers, particularly those who are not quite so evil as to revere Set but who still seek after dark and forbidden knowledge. His followers whisper grisly secrets to one another in secret cult meetings held in forest glades at midnight. These meetings have more the character of a coven meeting than a religious act of worship, and Skelos’s priests are wizards first and foremost. Individual cults are ran by High Priests, and an Archpriest unites all the separate covens. Members of the Cult of Skelos are not allowed to intentionally kill or maim a member of the cult who has achieved the Second Mystery or higher without the express permission of the Archpriest.

Requirements of Worship: Pay a tithe worth 1 sp/level/month to the local priests of Skelos, attend at least one cult meeting/month, offer Allegiance to the Cult of Skelos.
Benefits of Worship: Spells (any).
Requirements for Ordained Priesthood: Standard, plus as follows: must know at least three sorcery styles and three advanced spells; Knowledge (arcana) 8 ranks; must give up at least three magical links to oneself to the cult’s archpriest.
Benefits of Ordained Priesthood: Standard, plus sorcery teaching is available (all spells)
Typical Punishments for Disloyal Priests: Killed by magical means.

Inner Mysteries: Learning the Mysteries of Skelos is cause for Corruption saves at DC 20+ the rank of the mystery. They are learned by taking ranks in Knowledge (Mystery: Skelos). Every three ranks makes one eligible for the next mystery. Learning the mystery requires reading the Books of Skelos, which were written by Skelos with his dead hands.

The First Mystery: The first mystery of Skelos reveals the secrets of the curious language and style Skelos wrote in. Initiation into this first mystery gives a character a +2 competence bonus on Decipher Script checks when reading the Book of Skelos (see The Scrolls of Skelos for information on this book and how it is used). At this point, the character is considered a votary of Skelos. The character is given access to read the Book of Skelos for two weeks each year by a High Priest. He may not take the book from the premises, however. The character lodges with the high priest for the two weeks. The High Priest handles the scheduling, and if the character is not available, then he loses his opportunity. Of course most high priests take bribes for preferred scheduling. The character must give up a magical link to oneself to the High Priest to be considered for initiation to this level.

The Second Mystery: Once initiated into the second mystery, the character may have an additional two-week session with the Book of Skelos. The initiation is a frightening, soul-blasting experience involving the sacrifice of something vitally important to the sorcerer. It is said that some sorcerers have sacrificed their own children, devoted wives, loyal best friends or, in one case, a beloved king to achieve this level. The character gains an additional +2 competence bonus on Decipher Script when reading the Book of Skelos (this stacks with the previous bonus). The power of the initiation also gives the character a +1 bonus to Power Points. He may also add two to his scholar level to determine the maximum HD he can affect by summoning or binding. The character must give up a second magical link to oneself to the High Priest to be considered for initiation to this level.

The Third Mystery: Like the second mystery, the third mystery initiation is horrible beyond description. The character must give up a third magical link to oneself to the High Priest and three magical links to the Archpriest to be considered for initiation to this level. This initiation is the ordination process for priests. After achieving this mystery, the character may call himself an assistant priest of Skelos. The character may have an additional two-week session with the Book of Skelos and begins to learn more about magic. However, the priest must also dedicate three weeks each year to teach new votaries under the supervision of a priest; failure to do this results in being named disloyal. From here on out, whenever the character has a chance to learn a new spell, he may instead opt to learn a new sorcery style.

The Fourth Mystery: Once initiated into the fourth mystery, the assistant priest is made a priest of Skelos, and now has the right to make a copy of the Book of Skelos (but he is not allowed to share his copy with those of lesser status). He is also given more duties in the cult and may be sent on adventures and tasks for the Archpriest or High Priest. He will be given job duties, essentially. Some of this ranks are Enforcers of Skelos, who are charged with punishing disloyal priests, and others are Seekers of Skelos, who are charged with hunting down extant copies of the Book of Skelos that have left the hands of the priesthood. Others are simply instructors. Other titles and duties can be left to the imagination of the Games Master. The priest of Skelos will be working for the Cult for at least six months of the year. He may also be assigned an assistant priest if necessary on certain tasks. This mystery teaches the character additional insights into how magic works and how to make spells more powerful. The character gains +2 Power Points from the initiation process and can use Power Points to reduce the saving throws of his victims on a one per one basis (note that multiple victims require multiple power points). The priest is allowed one meeting per year with the Archpriest by his own request (of course, the Archpriest can command anyone to appear before him as often as he wants).

The Fifth Mystery: The initiate of the Fifth Mystery is given the title of High Priest and is allowed to start his own cult. He still serves the Archpriest, but is allowed to schedule access to his Book of Skelos to others and to teach them up to the Fourth Mystery. This mystery teaches about the thirsting of the soul and relishing the satiation of that thirst. The character become Obsessed with finding a new spell and must obtain that Obsession during the initiation period. Once obtained, the character gains double the bonus for absorbing the Obsession. The spell, one not found in the Book of Skelos, must be presented to the Archpriest. The character must learn the power of achieving goals. The High Priest is allowed three meetings with the Archpriest per year by his own request (of course, the Archpriest can command anyone to appear before him as often as he wants). The High Priest also learns that Skelos is still 'alive.' The spell found during the Initiation thereafter appears in all copies of the Book of Skelos, but the Initiate rarely learns how.

The Sixth Mystery: The initiate of the Sixth Mystery is brought to the West and allowed to sit at the feet of Skelos himself. He is allowed to learn two additional advanced spells or a single sorcery style from Skelos (this is in addition to the spell or style he normally would have achieved this level). He is hereafter allowed regular meetings with the Archpriest.

The Seventh Mystery: There can be only one Initiate of the Seventh Mystery at a time. The initiation is conducted by Skelos himself, and the successful Initiate is made the Archpriest. The Archpriest's main duty is to serve Skelos directly as his lieutenant. The Archpriest also brings all newly discovered spells to Skelos for inclusion in the Book of Skelos. The Archpriest also brings petitions to Skelos from lesser priests (often requests for personal favours). He is allowed to learn two additional advanced spells or another single sorcery style from Skelos (this is in addition to the spell or style he normally would have achieved this level).
Last edited by VincentDarlage on Sun Oct 14, 2007 3:02 am, edited 5 times in total.
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Postby Prof.Dogg » Mon Oct 08, 2007 6:24 pm

Vincent, you're awesome. Just thought I'd come right out and say it.
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Postby Trodax » Mon Oct 08, 2007 7:09 pm

Vincent, did you just pull that out of your ass? Because if you did, you have a sweet, sweet ass. :)
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Postby VincentDarlage » Mon Oct 08, 2007 7:21 pm

Trodax wrote:Vincent, did you just pull that out of your ass? Because if you did, you have a sweet, sweet ass. :)
I don't know if I would put it that way, but I read Vortigern's post this morning when taking a break from doing some research on Wallachia, and I decided to help him out. It took about ten minutes to think about, then about twenty to type it out and tweak it.

In hindsight, I am not sure why I never wrote it up for Hyboria's Finest or for Faith & Fervour. It should have been an obvious candidate for expansion, but it never occured to me.

So, it is a message board original! Gareth (or whomever is writing the revised Skelos book) may have different ideas, but that should do until an official version comes out (if one comes out). Of course, Mongoose is welcome to this version if they want to use it.
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Postby slaughterj » Mon Oct 08, 2007 8:11 pm

Good stuff, may be good to particularly point it out to the Skelos writer / Mongoose for inclusion!
Trodax wrote:Vincent, did you just pull that out of your ass? Because if you did, you have a sweet, sweet ass. :)
LOL!
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Postby Vortigern » Mon Oct 08, 2007 11:05 pm

Thank you very much! :shock:
V/R,
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Postby MGBM » Tue Oct 09, 2007 12:06 am

VincentDarlage wrote:I don't know if I would put it that way, but I read Vortigern's post this morning when taking a break from doing some research on Wallachia, and I decided to help him out. It took about ten minutes to think about, then about twenty to type it out and tweak it.
And this is why Mongoose should keep hiring Vincent to write more sourcebooks for Conan. :D
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Postby Evil_Trevor » Fri Oct 12, 2007 12:55 pm

I guess that being a member of such a cult would prevent a member from having a Demonic pact!
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Postby Bjorn the Barbarian » Tue Oct 16, 2007 1:23 pm

Just wanted to say thanks Vincent for the info on Skelos. I was just discussing this very topic with one of my players and PRESTO, you come up with the very information he needed.

It amazes me that you can keep cranking this wondeful stuff out like you do. :D

Thanks again.
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Postby Vortigern » Thu Oct 25, 2007 11:36 pm

As I continue to ponder this subject it occured to me that this group sounds like it would have a 'progression chart' of taught sorcery like the other magical groups.

What do folks think said chart would look like for this group? I personally favor a divination heavy path early on, since they seem both analytical and to be seekers after secrets/wisdom etc. Thoughts?
V/R,
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Postby VincentDarlage » Fri Oct 26, 2007 3:41 am

That is a neat idea. I was originally thinking more along the lines of individual study, but I could see a progression chart now that you mention it.

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