In the 2e Dungeoneer’s Handbook, on p145, Ulrik has an Immortal Patron. While it makes sense for a Theurge to have such a Patron I can’t find any other reference. Is this a hangover from an earlier edition? Alternatively is there a something missing or did I miss something in character creation?
The Immortals (the patrons of a theurge’s invocations) exist in both editions.
Immortal patrons grant the effects of an invocation. Theurges start with relics under the presumption that they have some connection to those Immortals. So, Ulrik has listed the Immortals connected to those relics as his starting patron.
But a more nuanced view could be that any Immortal becomes “the patron” of an invocation when the ritual to that Immortal is performed. An Immortal is the patron force imbuing the power.
The Immortals are woven throughout the books:
Theurges are possessed by a shard of Immortal power. This possession allows them to invoke powers beyond the capabilities of other mortals, but such power carries with it terrible consequences.
Starting Relics (Theurge)
A theurge is a conduit for divine power. While they have access to the full might of the Immortals, tapping it an unbridled manner could kill them. Relics help them channel that power.
[Theurges] are blessed (or perhaps cursed) with the gift of being heard by the Immortals and the ancient spirits of the land…
… they make obeisance to the [Immortal] Lords, mortals who attained immortality through the greatness of their deeds and the worship of others.
Relics channel the divine gift to useful effect, and divert the force of the touch of an Immortal patron.
If a theurge should exceed their Urðr limit, they are given a sign of their divine plight by their Immortal patron: They suffer stigmata.
A twist indicates that you have earned the ire of your Immortal patron.
Sometimes the name of the Immortal becomes lost to time and/or generalized into a group. These names are really what the humans have ascribed to these higher powers. Ulrik has identified that he is attuned to the Immortals known collectively as the Lords of Law and Chaos (Lords of Creation).
Theurges and shamans may/can invoke all of the Immortal Lords in the cosmology (but at great cost without a relic). The beliefs of the humans in the Middarmark are based on ancestor worship, polytheistic powers, and chthonic spirits. I believe this is important because 2e got rid of alignment and all of the baggage that went with it. In 2e you are not tied to one or the other forces of Law or Chaos–instead the theurge cobbles together relics, creeds, and beliefs to give the appropriate Immortals their due–just as Ulrik has done.
Hope this helps.
Thanks for the pointers.
I found the inclusion of the Immortal Patron on Ulrik’s character sheet and phrases such as the ire of your Immortal patron. to imply a closer relationship between a Theurge and a specific Immortal than the rules actually require.
It is a good question. I hear ya. You are right in that perhaps there are some artifacts left over from all of the 2e revisions. The invocation system was refined a dozen times, so I wonder if Immortal Patrons were meant to be something more prescriptive at some earlier point. There was a new index entry added for 2e. Regardless, I think the essence of it is all still there at the core.
I do think there are mechanical implications for which Immortal is the patron of the invocation–especially where twists are concerned. In one campaign, I gave a twist to a player for a -1D Ritualist modifier when invoking that particular Immortal patron because they had a history and an established relationship. Once the stigmata was alleviated, then the penalty came off. But the Immortals don’t forget, and it is something that may come up again or develop in other unexpected ways.
I do think there are mechanical implications for which Immortal is the patron of the invocation–especially where twists are concerned. In one campaign, I gave a twist to a player for a -1D Ritualist modifier when invoking that particular Immortal patron because they had a history and an established relationship.
Great idea. Reminds me of Elric’s on/off relationship with Arioch
Its also worth noting that Immortals have temples in town, and you can join their cults for extra benefits. That is a form of adopting an Immortal patron, though I don’t know if there are competition clauses. Maybe that’s up the GM.