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Sardior(sar- dee-or) is the Dragon deity of Neutral Dragons, Night, Psionics, and Secrets. His symbol is a ruby with an inner glow.
Many have heard the tales of legendary dragons such as Bahamut and Tiamat, but few have heard of Sardior. Also known as Master of the Gem Dragons, Sardior is a unique ruby dragon. In his natural form, Sardior is a long sinewy dragon covered with deep ruby red scales. At a distance, he might be mistaken for an ancient red wyrm, but the playful expression seen in his eyes makes him very much unlike the reds. He is also known to be a great conversationalist, and the unguarded had best be prepared for his sharp wit.
Sardior's realm is a huge floating castle, which orbits the world in the Prime Material Plane and stays forever in the shadows from the sun. On the nights it can be seen, viewers mistake Sardior's lair for a small red moon.
Sardior is served by five thanes, each representing a breed of gem dragon. They are Aleithilithos (male amethyst dragon), Hrodel (female crystal dragon), Smargad (male emerald dragon), Charisma (female sapphire dragon), and Tithonnas (male topaz dragon). Sardior once had a sixth thane: Seradess, a female advanced obsidian dragon, but Sardior destroyed her and banished the obsidian dragons from his court. The exact reason is unclear, even his own clergy argue the reason behind this decision.
Sardior has the ability (Create Thane) to transform a gem dragon into one of his six thanes. The transformed dragon takes on the attributes of the chosen thane, including all memories and personalities. Once changed, the new thane cannot be changed back, only slain. The thanes represent other sides of Sardior's personality. Each is a location for the purpose of Sardior's remote sensing ability, and each has constant mental contact with him unless he chooses to block it.
Sardior is known in a few small circles. Even though he is the Master of the Gem Dragons, in reality he does not require much from his followers, and he does not try to guide their decisions. The gem dragons, in return, look upon him as the ideal and strive to be more like him.
In the teachings of Sardior it is written:
|“||"Sardior always seeks knowledge, for the more you know, the better off you will be."||”|
This motto is one which the chosen of Sardior live by. In return, Sardior grants them the ability to discover and experience wondrous new psionic powers. These powers are a closely guarded secret of the church and only the chosen are granted access to the libraries that contain the secrets of these powers.
Sardior just wants to learn more. The more you know, the better off you will be, but just learning for learning's sake is not what Sardior stresses. No, gaining knowledge should not just be reading from books. The trick for Sardior is to get someone else to read the book, then tell him all about it. He also has a fondness for gems of all kinds, especially rubies.
Sardior is worshiped by neutral dragons, psions, and psychic warriors. Most gem dragons keep a ruby on a pedestal as a shrine to Sardior.
Sardior's clergy are few. Sardior is more than happy to oblige them by granting spells and special abilities to his followers. Sardior's clergy tend to be welcomed everywhere much as bards are, however they know not everyone is as friendly as they seem. A small group of his clergy, known as the ruby disciples, train to be a martial arm of the church, serving not only as a defense but also as a show of force.
His clergy generally dress in the appropriate fashion for the area in which they reside. They then embellish the look with an abundance of jewelry in their everyday wear.
Many seek out the clergy as sources of knowledge, and most of the clergy could be considered sages on various subjects. The temple gains its wealth from the charges from these services.
The prominent members of a temple are also on the list for an invitation to social functions. They are personable, knowledgeable, and great storytellers. They also appear to have little interest in politics, which makes those around them less concerned with the information they reveal to the clergy.
Temples to Sardior are rarer than even his clerics. Having ascended to the status of a lesser deity, temples to Sardior have begun showing up in cities across the land. The Ruby Dragon's temples dedicated to him tend to be located in high areas which allow clear views of the night sky and close to a community of some sort. Most gem dragons keep a ruby on a small pedestal in their lairs as a shrine to him.
The church of Sardior is a growing force among the humanoid population. Two factors have caused this phenomenon: the increasing number of psionic beings in existence and the desire of Sardior to have more followers. While this growth could spark the ire of other gods, so far it has not due to the uncertain feelings the gods have toward psionics. The gods of magic are wary of psionics, but the two fields of study seem to counter each other, so none of the gods have decided to act yet.
Almost all of the established churches of Sardior have been dedicated directly to him, but the newer ones have begun to choose one of his thanes as a focus. These temples still worship and receive their power from Sardior, but the particular thane acts as the messenger or conduit and is revered as well. About half the new churches have been created as centers of worship to Sardior, with the other half being evenly divided into temples of Aleithilithos, Charisma, Hrodel, Smargad, and Tithonnas. The thane temples are usually smaller in size, tend to attract psions of the appropriate discipline, and are usually found in smaller locales that would normally be overlooked as a source of new knowledge. Notable exceptions to this are the Aleithian temples of Aleithilithos and the churches of Sardior in major metropolitan centers. It is not uncommon to have one or two thane shrines in addition to the Sardiorian churches in these cities.
All of these various chapters of the Sardiorian religion tend to coexist peacefully, though disagreements and squabbles do exist. It tends to be difficult to maintain a constructive line of discourse when a group of Smargadians and Tithonnians begin to have different opinions on the subject. Fistfights do break out, and certain groups do try to make other groups look bad in the eyes of their peers. The upper clergy knows these things happen, and as long as it keeps to just a little embarrassment or a bloody nose, generally no disciplinary action is taken. In the end, these groups all come together quickly when a serious problem or threat arises.
This quick communication is one of the chief assets of the church. The church has created a network of open communication between all temples located on the same plane due to the creation of the Sardiorian crystals. Sardior developed the process to allow the founding cleric or psion of the church to create a special psionic communication stone. The crystals themselves are hemispherical chunks of gemstone about 3 feet across and weighing roughly 100 pounds. While these appear to be very valuable monetarily, none have ever been truly stolen due to the fact they crumble to nothing when removed from the church proper. Sardior can use any or all of these crystals to contact his followers, while the Thanes can use any of the crystals dedicated to them.
The Sect of SeradessEdit
One chapter of Sardior does not follow his benign teachings: the Sect of Seradess. This group was founded the same time as the other separate chapters of Sardior, but with the destruction of Seradess and expulsion of the Obsidian dragons, this group has gone rogue. At first, the group consisted of clerics and psions, but it has been reduced to psions and psychic warriors due to the loss of empowerment to the clerics. Its original intent was to learn new processes of item creation and the manipulation of ectoplasm, but since the "Leaving," their goal has changed. They seek the information and the power to steal the essence of Seradess away from Sardior and establish her as a new god.
The church of Sardior knows of their existence and refers to them as the Cult of Seradess. They also haven't put much effort into eradicating this group, since they don't consider the group a threat. They wonder what a handful of rebellious psions can do against the might of a god.
Up until recently, this opinion held true. While the sect maintained its beliefs and gathered information, they lacked the needed power to have any real effect. However, this changed recently when a member of the order was visiting a bazaar on the Astral Plane and a powerful psionic being contacted her: the three-headed dragon known as Blithenpaxantadravos, or Blithen. He holds the knowledge and power the group needs to achieve their goal, but he has other unknown plans. He does wish to bring back Seradess, but only after he uses the cult to steal the power of Sardior for himself.
While many psions and psychic warriors revere Sardior and his thanes, some are still angry over the destruction of Seradess. They believe the act was a mistake by Sardior and that it needs to be corrected. These individuals are eventually sought out and found by the sect and are invited to join after a series of trials to determine their true beliefs. Once accepted as a member, the psion's life becomes one of secrecy and intrigue as he tries to further the knowledge of the sect while avoiding the detection of the church of Sardior.
- ↑ Wolfgang Baur (November 1993). Secrets of the Lamp. Genie Lore. (TSR, Inc.), p. 21. ISBN 978-1560766476.
- Baur, Wolfgang. Secrets of the Lamp. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1993.
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- Collins, Arthur W. "That's Not In the Monster Manual!" Dragon #37. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1980.
- McComb, Colin, Wolfgang Baur, and Dori Jean Hein. Planes of Law. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1995.