Monk's Habit of Humility
D&D 3e (3.0/3.5) Rules
Entry in the Holy Artifacts Challenge.
The Monk's Habit of Humility is just what the words suggest: a common, threadbare habit made of wool, like the ones favoured by monks dedicated to Majere that were residing at the Kharolis mountain range the decades before the Cataclysm. It bears no holy symbols of the gods, no arcane glyphs or sigils of power, and is overall quite unspectacular. One could discard it as a useless piece of cloth if it weren't for the power one feels when being near it. Though its rough material is not pleasing to the touch, one feels such warmth, safety and comfort when wearing it, that it makes the habit seem preferable to a royal attire of finest silk and softest fur. It does not protect from cold winds, pouring rain or physical harm for it is made to shelter and guide the soul and is imbued with Paladine's love, understanding and forgiveness, as well as its former owner's humility and purity.
Though few would believe it by just setting eyes upon such a poorly made piece of cloth lacking entirely in decoration or aesthetic design, the habit used to belong to Beldinas Pilofiro, last Kingpriest of doomed Istar. The highest authority on Ansalon before the Cataclysm and voice of Paladine on Krynn was not born from a line of noble lords or powerful high priests. He was raised an orphan, tutored in the faith of the deities of good and spent several years as a simple monk in a monastery somewhere at the Kharolis mountains. It was then that he wore this habit, which along with his strong faith seemed enough for him to live and some day die contently. When the high priestess of Paladine Ilista came to Brother Beldyn seeking the Lightbringer of prophecies, the humble monk's fate changed forever. After accepting the Mirceram and becoming the head of Istar's powerful church, Beldinas Pilofiro abandoned his humble habit for the Kingpriest's adorned vestments. According to legend, during the final year of the Kingpriest's reign and mere days before the thirteen signs were sent by the gods to warn the people about the impending Cataclysm, an old, tired-looking cleric, whose eyes shone like the stars, came to visit the Kingpriest in the middle of the night. He presented Beldinas with the very habit he used to wear as a young man and bade him to abandon the throne of the Holy Empire and embrace the humble life he once found so dear to his heart. It is said that the Kingpriest was this close to accepting this precious gift when the Silvanesti Emissary Quarath entered the throne room followed by a temple guard, dragging along a child that was obviously trembling with fear. When Beldinas looked around for the old priest he realized that he had mysteriously vanished, though the threadbare habit was still in his hands. Quarath explained with a grave voice to the Kingpriest that this criminal (the boy) had been arresting defacing one of his Holiness' statues and should be harshly punished as an example to other vandals and evil-doers in the Lordcity. Despite the child's claims that it had only been a foolish game of dare and that he meant no disrespect to the chosen one of the great god Paladine, Beldinas urged by Quarath remained unmoved. If evil had poisoned even the hearts of children and turned them into heretics and followers of darkness, then things were much worse than he had ever imagined. He could not afford to step down at this time –not when the fate of the world was at stake. Ordering the boy imprisoned for defying the Holy Empire, Beldinas Pilofiro became even more certain of his decision to demand from the gods the power to eradicate evil once and for all. Convincing himself that the old priest was a trick from the ever scheming Takhisis in an attempt to distract him from his chosen course, he had the habit locked to the Hall of Sacrilege and at the same time sealed the fate of Krynn. Paladine's last attempt to redeem his once faithful servant had failed and the coming of the Cataclysm was only a matter of days.
The power of the Habit of Humility is unlike that of most artifacts wielded by the champions of the gods for it does not bestow magical power, prowess in battle or material wealth. Symbolizing Paladine's willingness to forgive and Brother Beldyn's initial purity of heart, it is able to redeem the worse of criminals and forgive the greatest of sins. Even though the Kingpriest refused to embrace its power before his death, the Habit of Humility might still be able to save his soul from eternal damnation in the Abyss.
The habit does not offer magical salvation by altering a person's alignment. The sinner must feel true remorse and be willing to change his ways. The artifact does however protect its wielder's soul from being paralyzed from guilt and urges her towards improving things by performing selfless deeds and aiding those that have been wronged. The owner feels the comforting presence of the father of good by her side and gains the courage to do what she knows is right. The clarity and wisdom gained from introspection allows the wearer to see things as they truly are and remain unaffected from powers that influence the mind or seemingly alter reality. Furthermore the owner of the habit seems to others so in tune with her inner self and so spiritually tranquil that physically harming her requires a particular effort from the attacker, for even creatures inherently evil or wild beasts are awed by those that walk the spiritual path. In game terms the Habit of Humility offers the benefits of the following spells: atonement, owl's wisdom, mind blank, true seeing and heightened sanctuary.
Strong Abjuration, Divination and Transmutation [good]; CL 20th.
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