Priestly Personalities

Here’s some fodder for thought- my take on the role of priests of the various gods. I have used some anachronistic examples for a few to make them a bit easier to understand/clearer:

Paladine- I see them as being very prim and proper, into protocol and diplomacy.

Kiri-Jolith- Think gunslingers, righters of wrongs, itinerant judges, juries and executioners, Jedi knights who blow into town and take on the bad guys because its the right thing to do.

Majere- Cryptic and plain, speaking softly and only when they have something of great importance to say. Kane from Kung-Fu is a good example of a Majerean. They wander the land, teaching people about peace and contemplation, but also righting wrongs- they are natural companions to Kiri-Jolithians, acting as the tempering conscience when the bison-gods follower might act hastily.

Mishakal- Albert Schweitzer, Florence Nightengale, they are the doctors without borders folks, traveling far and wide, healing any that need it, regardless of who it is. They are also big into crop fertility, and often work with priests of Chislev and Habbakuk to rebuild ravaged areas of the land.

Habbakuk- Greenpeace activists and Buddhists- they live a spartan, simple life, but get fired up when the sea is threatened or used irresponsibly. They are of a similar mindset to Zeboim’s followers, but not as violent or unforgiving- they prefer to educate rather than punish.

Zeboim- Eco-terrorists- they sink fishing boats, destroy villages that are dumping garbage etc. in the waters.

Reorx- Very guildlike, or unionlike in actions and organization. They typically control shipping etc.

Gilean- Academics, absent-minded professors, with at times obsessive mindsets when they get onto a topic. They are always seeking information, sometimes at the worst possible time.

Sirrion- Very artistic and moody, unpredictable in actions, though fire becalms them. They are very tactile, rubbing surfaces with their fingers, to learn what they are made of. A small group may even be more chemists than artists, studying fire and its processes in great depth, muttering about combustion points etc.

Chislev- They are usually solitary, horse whisperers or other people of the wild who are few of words, passionate in their love of nature and willing to defend it at almost any cost. Tom Berenger’s character in Shoot to kill is a good example, as is Redford in "The Horse Whisperer."

Chemosh and Morgion- These are hard to characterize, as they usually operate in cults behind the scenes. In mindset they could be very dispassionately academic- seeing disease and death as a part of the natural world. Some might even be innocent about their worship, believing they perform a valuable essential service in the renewal of mature and life, while others are obsessed with decay of all things mortal- dark elves often worship them, since they can see the cyclic nature of existence, and the need for death/disease. They are usually cold and distant, viewing everything through the paradigm that all life is fleeting, and nothing is worth getting attached to for all is ultimately doomed. They are weirdly mystical in that mindset- in some ways not so much evil as alien.

Sargonnas- Similar to Kiri-Jolith, but a bit closer to Judge Dredd- harsh and unbending, sentences pronounced and carried out immediately. They do right wrongs they encounter, but often times, the cure is worse than the disease- think of Clint Eastwood in high plains drifter.

Branchala- They see the world in musical tones, and are typically very moody, up one minute, down the next. They are always talking of inspiration and jotting things down, be it lyrics or song notes. They are true lovers of music, believing in its power so fervently that they wish to share it with everyone and have everyone develop their talents. This can be troublesome at times, such as when they convince a budding talent to give up a stable life for a musical life.

Shinare- These priests often run charities and markets etc. They are looking for ways to get the most wealth to the most people. To them life is full of opportunities for gain, and they are not at the expense of others.

Hiddukel- Obsessed with wealth, they are often found in moneylending operations, gambling houses etc. The world is full of opportunity to them they are usually quite joyous- to them, there really is a sucker born every minute, and they want to be the midwife. They are also interested in influence, in tempting and collecting souls for their god, through dark bargains and promises of power. Al Pacino’s character John Milton in ‘devils advocate’ is a good example of a Hiddukel follower.

Editor’s Note: Originally posted October 7, 2003 on the Dragonlance-L mailing list. John Grubber notes that there are a few gaps, but, they do not appear to have been filled in later.

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