Mórr, God of DeathEdit
Mórr is the god of death and the ruler of the underworld. He is normally depicted as a tall man of aristocratic bearing, with a detached, slightly brooding aspect. All dead souls belong to him and he makes sure that they are guided safely to his dark realm. He is also the god of dreams, since the land of dreams is close to the realm of death, and is capable of weaving great and terrible dreams and illusions.
The most popular symbols of Mórr are the raven and the portal. His clerics all wear plain black hooded robes, without any symbol or adornment.
Area Of WorshipEdit
Mórr is worshipped throughout the Old World and is most popular in the south. He is not an everyday god, but is worshipped mainly by the bereaved, who offer up prayers and sacrifices in the hope that their departed will reach his kingdom safely and prosper there. Few worship him in his aspect as the god of dreams, although those Illusionists who choose not to follow Ranald the Deceiver may take Mórr as their patron.
Temples to Mórr are always situated in or near places of burial and are normally only used for funeral services. There is very little contact between the temples, but every ten years a general convocation of the priesthood of Mórr is held at Luccini in Tilea, at which theological problems and matters of doctrine are debated and decided upon.
Temples and shrines to Mórr are normally solidly-built, brooding structures, distinguished by a broad doorway with a heavy lintel-stone - one of the symbols of the god. Despite the fact that they are not frequently used by the mass of the population, the doors of the temples of Mórr are always open, like the doors to his kingdom. The temples are bare inside; any furnishings and other accoutrements are provided by those using the temples.
Shrines to Mórr almost always take the form of a gateway, consisting of two plain pillars and a lintel; in some cases, one pillar is of marble and the other of basalt. Followers of Mórr do not usually maintain shrines to him in their homes, since his symbols are generally thought to invite back luck when displayed outside the context of burial.
Friends And EnemiesEdit
The cult of Mórr maintains friendly relations with the other major religions of the Old World, but has no particular friends. Principal enemies are Necromancers, who despoil Mórr's domain with their enchantments, and the forbidden cult of Mórr's brother, Kháine, god of murder. There is occasional bad feeling between those Illusionists who follow Mórr and those who follow Ranald.
The cult of Mórr has no special holy days; the god is only worshipped at funerals and on similar occasions.
The cult of Mórr has no specific entry requirements.
- The must oppose Necromancers and the followers of Kháine whenever and wherever they encounter them.
- They may never refuse to conduct a funeral service if requested to do so.
- They may never enter or disturb a place of burial which has been properly dedicated to the protection of Mórr.
- They may never bring Undead into existence unless specifically authorised to do so by Mórr (by the means of an omen, a divination, or a dream).
Priests of Mórr may use all Petty Magic spells and all Necromantic Magic spells; as noted above, they require the permission of the god to use spells which bring Undead creatures into existence and are forbidden from using the Hand spells, Stop Instability, Life In Death, Curse Of Undeath, and Wind Of Death. They may also use the following Battle Magic spells:
Level 1: Aura Of Resistance, Cure Light Injury, Enthuse, Immunity From Poison; Level 2: Aura Of Protection, Hold Flight, Mental Duel, Rally, Steal Magical Power, Zone Of Sanctuary, Zone Of Steadfastness; Level 3: Cause Instability, Cause Stupidity, Dispel Magic, Transfer Aura; Level 4: Aura Of Invulverability, Cure Severe Wound, Drain Magic (on Undead only), Enchant Weapon, Strength Of Mind, Zone Of Magical Immunity.
The Battle Magic healing spells listed here restore double the normal number of W when used against infected wounds, Tomb Rot, or other Undead-inflicted illnesses. Otherwise, healing spells restore half the indicated W points (rounded up).
There are also special spells and rituals which are only available to Clerics of Mórr, listed in the Spells section, under Clerical Magic. Rituals work the same way as spells, except they take longer to complete - their casting time is 10 minutes rather than the 10 seconds or so that is required for the casting of a Battle Magic spell. Rituals only take effect from the time they are completed.
There are no Clerics known to follow Mórr in his aspect as the god of dreams.
Initiates of Mórr receive Divining and Dream Interpretation in addition to the skills normally available to Initiates. Clerics of Mórr may choose one of the following skills at each level: Arcane Language - Magick (Necromantic), Augury, Astrology, Identify Undead, Night Vision, Scrying, and Scapulomancy. Instead of buying one of these skills, a Cleric of Mórr may spend 100 Experience Points to gain a +10% modifier to all Magic tests against Illusion Magic only; this bonus may only be purchased once. Clerics of Mórr have a 5% chance of gaining Oracle and a 10% chance of gaining Visionary every time they rise in level; these skills cost 100 experience points each.
Trials set by Mórr will generally involve punishing those who trespass in his domain and a character will frequently be ordered to foil the workings of a Necromancer or destroy a nest of Undead. The gamesmaster should bear the power of the opposition in mind when setting trials of this kind - a character progressing from level 3 to level 4 should be given more of a challenge than wiping out a few Ghouls, while a lowly Initiate cannot be expected to take on a Liche and survive.
Skills favoured by Mórr include Identify Undead, Magical Awareness, and Night Vision. Favoured tests include Fear, Terror, and all Poison, Disease, and other tests made to counter special attack forms of any Undead creature. As well as these blessings, Mórr may occasionally send a dream to a character, giving advice or information or may allow a dead friend or relative of a character to appear to them in a dream.
The Cult of Mórr in the Old WorldEdit
Throughout the Old World, the cult of Mórr is at the forefront of efforts to suppress Undead, Necromancers, and similar threats. The existence of Undead creatures offends the precepts of the cult for two main reasons: first, because a dead body and a place of burial have been defiled; and, second, because a soul has been prevented from making its journey to Mórr's realm and is not properly at rest.
Most Old Worlders know the cult of Mórr principally through the Mourners' Guild. The Mourners' Guild oversees funerals and has a monopoly on labour for all matters relating to funerals and the dead. Its membership includes anyone who has any connection with the city's graveyards and the business of bringing people into them, including gravediggers, groundskeepers, coffin-makers, and Initiate priests. The task of the Mourners' Guild is to ensure that funerals are conducted properly and that the dead are disposed of in such a way that undead may not arise from them to threaten the living, either accidentally or through the machinations of necromancers or agents of Chaos.
A less well-known branch of the cult is the Templar order known as the Raven Knights. Dedicated to seeking out and destroying Undead wherever they may be found, the Raven Knights are a martial organisation of templars, witch-hunters, and exorcists, celebrated in popular songs and romances, but less often seen by the bulk of Old Worlders, many of whom have never heard of the order.
The related sections present brief descriptions of both organisations, the career opportunities they offer, the laws they enforce, and the magical powers they wield as followers of Mórr.
A funeral is a ritual which marks the formal passage of an individual from the world of the living into the world of the dead. As such, it has two functions: firstly, to allow the living to bid a formal farewell to their dear departed, console each other, and think fondly of the deceased's will; and, secondly, to user the departed formally into Mórr's realm and make sure he stays there.
Whatever the religious leanings of the deceased, funerals in the Old World are the exclusive domain of the cult of Mórr, through the offices of the Mourners' Guild. It is a crime to dispose of a body without holding a proper funeral - as well as providing a pleasing and consoling ritual for the bereaved, the funeral rites involve a certain amount of magic aimed at rendering the bodily remains completely useless for necromantic purposes.
In death, as in life, the wealth and social status of an individual counts for a great deal. The rich and powerful often have elaborate funerals, with several priests in attendance and a great deal of unnecessary but impressive ritual. Poor funerals are more modest affairs, cut down to the bare necessities.
The Nameless FuneralEdit
There is one special case. From time to time, there will be occasions when a body simply turns up - murdered in a back-alley, washed up by the river, and so on. The Nameless Funeral is an emergency ritual, carried out in such circumstances by the cult of Mórr free of charge as part of their devotional duties and designed to lay the spirit to rest as quickly and effectively as possible.
According to the doctrine of the cult of Mórr, the spirits of murder victims can be used by his half-brother and arch-rival Kháine and those that escape this fate are likely to become troublesome ghosts. The ritual is designed to ensure that the spirit at risk finds its way safely to Mórr's realm and also renders the remains inert and useless for necromantic purposes.
The cult of Mórr is responsible for maintaining burial plots, cemetaries, and graveyards within The Empire. A temple or shrine to Mórr will be the principal feature of most graveyards and the most prestigious burial plots are those near to the temple. The temple itself does not contain any tombs. The Mourners' Guild will conduct funeral services and other rituals at the temple and also pray for Mórr's ongoing care of the deceased.
A burial plot costs 10-40 GCs, depending on the cemetery and the position of the plot - more expensive plots are less likely to be re-used in the near future. In addition to this, the cost of the ritual starts at 5 GCs - there is no upper limit to the cost. A grave-marker, such as a headstone or small vault, can cost between 15-300 GCs. Huge mausoleums, like those belonging to the city's powerful familites, can cost almost as much as a mansion.
A pauper's funeral, with an unmarked burial in a mass grave maintained by the cult of Mórr, is free. So is a Nameless Funeral, but those discovering a body are encouraged to make a donation towards the expense.
Mórr is a Human deity and the Old World's other races have their own burial customs. According to Imperial law, most of these must be approved by a member of the cult of Mórr and witnessed by one of its members, otherwise it will be declared unlawful. In practice, though, a series of compromises and sensible dealings has avoided any serious confrontations on this point.
Halflings are often buried in Human cemeteries and frequently take more of their possessions to the grave with them than is the case with Humans. These items are seldom valuables, though - more often, they are personal possessions, like a favourite pair of slippers, a small supply of food (such as a favourite type of pie), and so on. A Cleric of Esmeralda often conducts a Halfling funeral alongside a Cleric of Mórr, marking the deceased's departure from hearth, home, and family.
Dwarfish funerals are intensely private affairs and are normally attended only by close family. They normally take place in deep catacombs which the Dwarfs have constructed, so that the deceased can be laid to rest in the rock that gave them birth.
According to local tradition in Middenheim, the cult of Mórr once asked - very diplomatically - to be permitted to send a representative to observe a Dwarfish funeral in order to make sure that it provided the same protections against the risk of undead as a Mórrish funeral. The following day, so the story goes, a sworn statement arrived at the Temple of Mórr, signed by every Dwarf in the city and witnessed by thirty of Middenheim's most prominent lawyers. It stated absolutely that Dwarfs' funeral practices posed no threat to the city, necromantic or otherwise. A covering note signed by seventeen leaders of the Dwarf community offered to appoint a Priest of Gazul to visit the Temple of Mórr and discuss the matter in detail if the Humans wished. They regretted, however, that it was out of the question for a non-Dwarf to attend a Dwarfish funeral. Sensing that they could precipitate a major diplomatic storm if they showed any sign of doubting the Dwarfs' word, the chief priests of Mórr did not puruse the question further.
Wood Elven funerals take place deep in the forests, far from Human eyes and, reassuringly, far enough from Human settlements that only the most fanatical Raven Knights worry about whether or not they prevent the inadvertent creation of undead.
In the Old World, Sea Elf funerals take place in the city of Marienburg, where they are held inside the Sea Elf quarter of Sith Rionnasc'namishathir. Although the Human authorities - including the cult of Mórr - have no jurisdiction inside the Elven quarter, repeated assurances have been given that Elven funerals can bring no harm to the city.
Many rumours are spread about the doings of the Elves inside their citadel and some of the stories of Elven funerals are quite fantastic. Burials at sea are common practice and, in the case of a high-ranking noble or ship's master, the ship itself may be scuttled in deep water to serve as its dead owner's tomb.
There are other tales, too - told among Humans in smoky taverns when they are sure no Elf is listening. These tales tell of decadent rites, blood sacrifice, and the invocation of nameless gods. The Elves are a strange race, so the gossips say, and not all of the Dark Elves died at Feiss Mabdon.