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Tales Of Moonsea - The Herald of Chaos
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Kossuth
Clerical Alignments: CN, LE, LG, LN, N, NE, NG

Kossuth: The Lord of Flames, the Firelord (Greater Deity)

Symbol: A twining red flame
Home Plane: Elemental Plane of Fire
Alignment: Neutral Portfolio: Elemental fire, purification through fire
Worshipers: Druids, elemental archons, fire creatures, Thayns
Clerical Alignments: CN, LE, LG, LN, N, NE, NG
Domains: Destruction, Fire, Renewal, Suffering

Favored Weapon: Tendril of flame (spiked chain)

atron to creatures of elemental fire and those entranced by the intricate dance and destructive powers of flame, Kossuth (koh-sooth) holds little affection for his followers on Toril. He does, however, reward them frequently, and his cult continue to spread at what some might term and alarming rate. A distant and alien entity, Kossuth seems to have some sort of plan for his mortal followers and rapidly growing church, but none except perhaps the highest clerics have any insight into what that plan may be. To devotees, Kossuth is the cleansing flame, the spark of innovation, the tempering force of reason, and the heart of all passion. They rank fire as the most important of the elements, and sometimes go to dangerous and damaging lengths to prove its supremacy. Kossuth is usually depicted as a huge pillar of flame boiling skyward.

Throughout Faerun, temples of the Firelord actively recruit from the ranks of the poor and the disaffected, offering a regimented program of progression through self-denial. New recruits adopt a repressive, ascetic lifestyle in hopes that, through recruiting other followers, they will advance to a higher level ("terrace") of the organization. Each new terrace offers more benefits than the one before, enticing members of the lower ranks to greater and greater acts of religious devotion to advance to the next rank. As the stakes become richer, the associated risks become greater, and the faithful often immolate themselves in a display of fire's awesome power. Such a death holds little fear for the dedicated follower, however, who believes that those who die by flame in Kossuth's service will serve him as honored warriors in the hereafter. Skeptical outsiders view Kossuth's church as mysterious, highly complex, organization that shuns critics but welcomes newcomers with a little too much enthusiasm. They cynically note the high death rate of young aspirants, suggesting that those in the upper echelons purposely send their inferiors on suicide missions to increase their own share of the spoils. The poor and desperate, who fill most of the lower ranks, angrily deny such accusations: For them, the Kossuthan church offers advancement through hardship that can lead to vast wealth and prestige.

Clerics of Kossuth choose sunrise to highsun as their prayer time. Their clergy holds that the sacred flame originates in the south, so they conduct all prayers and holy services facing that direction. The congregation and clerics of each temple consider the birth date of their high cleric a special holiday, lighting tremendous bonfires and making great sacrifices on such occasions. When a cleric gains a level or is promoted within the church hierarchy, he or she must endure the Oath of Firewalking, a secret ceremony in which the cleric walks upon a bed of burning coals. Clerics often multiclass as monk of the order appropriate to their alignment. Some clerics multiclass as wizards or sorcerers, focusing on fire magic. A rare few become elemental archons.

HISTORY/RELATIONSHIPS: A supremely powerful elemental being known as Kossuth has lorded over fire since the earliest moments of the multiverse, though whether or not the contemporary Kossuth is the same primordial being or on in a long line of similarly named successors is a matter of much conjecture. The Lord of Flames rarely intervenes in affairs of the mortal world. spending most of his time embroiled in the intrigues of the Inner Planes. In -150 DR, powerful Raumatharan wizards managed to summon Kossuth from his elemental home and instructed him to destroy a besieging army from hated Narfell. This he did, but he soon turned against the wizards, incinerating their city for their arrogance. The resulting conflagration consumed much of the northern coast of the Alamber Sea and the fires of Kossuth's anger burned strong for more than a decade after his withdrawal from Toril.

He appears to have paid little attention to the world since, though his faithful in Thay credit him with intervening in the disastrous Salamander War of 1357 DR and preventing that from becoming an even greater debacle. Kossuth's name is not among the deities spotted in Faerun during the Time of Troubles, which suggests either that he somehow escaped Ao's wrath or simply kept quiet as the world fell apart around him. Kossuth's doctrine of elemental supremacy virtually ensures conflict with the other elemental lords, and the Lord of Flames harbors especial hatred for Istishia, whom he views as pathetic and weak. In response, the King of the Water Elementals instructs his followers to work against the plans of Kossuth at every turn. Open warfare between the two clergies is rampant. The Firelord interacts very little with the other deities of Faerun. Moradin and Flandal Steelskin honor him for the heat of the forge, but he rarely responds. The return of Bane pleases Kossuth, however; the two deities seem to agree on the importance of a strong religious hierarchy and have a common intolerance for the ephemeral and unpredictable nature of chaos

DOGMA: Those fit to succeed will do so. Kossuth's faith is innately superior to all other faiths, particularly that of Istishia. Fire and purity are the same. Smoke is produced by air in its jealousy. The reward of successful ambition is power. Reaching a higher state is inevitably accomplished by difficulty and personal pain of some sort. Kossuth sends his pure fire to cleanse us all and temper our souls so that we can achieve a pure state. Expect to be tested, and rise to the challenge, no matter what difficulty and pain it brings. Those above you have proven their worth and deserve your service. Guide others to Kossuth's pure light so that he may reforge all life into its essential form.