The Sikilian Church; a Study in Blasphemy

The link between the Diosian Lodge liches and the ancient Holy Imperium Church is not as tenuous as one might imagine. Although it was the decree from the last Pontiff, Callidus Magna, that provided the Diosian Lodge with it’s mandate of origin, it is often difficult for people to reconcile the existence of undead sorcerers with any reasonably powerful religious organization. Upon further examination, though, it becomes clear that not only is there a link to the Holy Imperium Church that continues to exist today, but the Church is actually still a force to be reckoned with in support of the liches.

One of the states that comprises the Sikilian Confederation, Sercsikilia, is ruled by a priestly lich that goes by the moniker “the Patriarch of Fate.” He presents himself as a minor pontiff of sorts, but still declares his allegiance to Callidus Magna, the Supreme Pontiff of the Holy Imperium Church. In the role of a subservient clerical prince the Patriarch of Fate claims dominion over all churches throughout the Sikilian Confederation. Again this seems to make little sense as the liches are undead and wouldn’t need nor welcome a theological presence in their midst. However, the liches rule over a multitude of living people that are subject to the whims of both king and church just as everyone else in Partum. They attend church services on a regular basis and might choose to become priests in servitude to their convictions. Such endeavors are not as lucrative as they might be in other countries, though. The relative strength of the liches themselves limits the power that the priests and clerics can claim.

Another factor in the limitations of Sikilian priests is the inherent weakness of the Holy Imperium Church at this time. Even the most powerful of the clergy are unable to cast spells above the fifth level, and these individuals are exceptionally rare. Like all priests and clerics of the modern Holy Imperium Church these individuals are unable to turn undead (although they often have a good chance to control undead they encounter), are not as adept at healing as normal clerics (they roll 1d6 instead of 1d8 for all healing spells), and are unable to bring back the dead or cure disease (but they might be able to cause serious afflictions that can spread through the populace). However they are allowed to use small bladed weapons (instead of being restricted to just bludgeoning weapons) and these knives and daggers are frequently poisoned. It goes without saying that clerics and priests of the Holy Imperium Church in Sikilia are never good aligned.

The primary purposes of the Sikilian Church are to prop up the mortal believers that live and work their miserable, dreary lives away in service to their undead masters and to provide the Patriarch of Fate with inside information about what his peers are up to within the Diosian Lodge. None of the other liches is as obsessed with information gathering as is the Patriarch of Fate. None of them are as adept at using divination spells either, so with all of this power at his disposal the Patriarch of Fate is able to see clearly how events will impact him and his peers. There is little to suggest that he shares this information with any of the other liches, or that he in fact would ever do anything to help them, but he no doubt has the knowledge to prevent some things from occurring if he so desired.