“Let not us that are squires of the night’s body be called thieves of the day’s beauty.
Let us be Her harvesters, gentlefolk of the shade, minions of the moon.”
— Brother Gustave Ersetzen, from his clandestine tavern speeches
Welcome to the other domain of light, that of reflection and obfuscation — of moon and shadow.
This domain completes the quadrumvirate introduced in the Midgard setting book, each of which represent an important concept in Midgard that sets it apart from standard fantasy. Clockwork and Beer domains both point to the early stirrings of industry, from the entry points of engineering and practical alchemy. The Hunger domain adds a darkness and horror borne of the monstrous desire for prolonged survival. The domain of Moon/Shadow exhibits the Grimm folkloric aspects of Midgard, both whimsical and deadly.}
Swear Not By the Moon
When it comes to clerics, the sun steals the spotlight from the moon and the shadows. But the lunar cleric in the shadows know that the reflected light of celestial bodies can reveal a new world, a truer world.
In Midgard, the domain of Moon/Shadow is the realm of the Baba Yaga, the shadow fey, and ley lines. In the 13th Age setting, it is the domain of folkloric magic, of lycanthropy, white dragons, lunacy, and the cold light that affects us but cannot sustain us. It is the realm of the hidden truths, the hidden faces/phases, and the hidden intentions. A cleric of the sun might see light as a cleansing beacon, but a cleric of the moon sees light as revelatory wink. (And beware a cleric of both sun and moon, as they likely wear a different face depending on the celestial body overhead.)
The passive ability of the domain of Moon/Shadow marks you as someone to be wary of. It makes you a poisonous target — whether you use it to stand aside from the scrum, or to wade in and inflict penalties on your enemies depends on your style of cleric. When invoked, it boosts magic to the next level (literally) and gives melee a cold edge; with the champion-tier feat, it makes attacks more damaging as battle wears on:
Under a Pale Light
While many clerics take inspiration from the sun and holy light, you walk the ley lines that reveal themselves in cold moonlight. The moon and shadows hold powerful influence over magic, over secrets, and over sanity. You surprise those who oppose your gods’ will, tap into powerful magic, and leave enemies befuddled.
Domain: Moon OR Shadow
After an enemy makes an attack against you, if their natural attack roll was less than your Intelligence, their next attack suffers a –2 penalty.
Invocation of Moon & Shadow: Spells you and your allies cast this battle are cast two levels higher than they’ve been prepared (for example, a 1st level spell would be cast as a 3rd level spell). Non-magical attacks made by allies this battle deal cold and holy damage.
Adventurer Feat: When making skill checks related to concealment, stealth, perception, or finding secrets or secreted items, the DC for you is reduced by 5.
Champion Feat: When you invoke this domain, your allies’ melee attacks gain a bonus to damage equal to double the escalation die (epic: quadruple the escalation die).
Epic Feat: Whenever you inflict a penalty (or a condition that inflicts a penalty) upon an enemy, make a normal save. On a success, that enemy is confused instead (easy save ends).
The one thing I still am debating is whether the day-to-day ability is enough of a poison pill. Is a –2 penalty enough, or should I go full-on dazed? Initial reactions were that a turn being dazed might be too powerful, but I worry the small penalty is not enough. Or is the smaller penalty plus the ability to affect every attacker (not just one per round) enough of a benefit? More testing will tell.
Tangentially, in the time since I started doing these additional cleric domains, I’ve begun to sketch out rough ideas for an oracle class. My idea uses the concept of “transformation classes” from the upcoming 13th Age in Glorantha book. A transformation class is simply a base class that has been transformed into something similar-but-different. For the oracle I’m using the cleric as a base; the PC would choose one cleric Domain and two oracle Mysteries. The domain of Moon/Shadow has been the one I’ve been using to test this idea, since the moon and lunar cycle have such a strong place in divination, prophecy, and folkloric magic. It’s still a long way off, but this domain provides a lot of story opportunities.
Up next for the cleric project, though, is a new spell. It’s a 9th-level power, which I find to be so much fun in the published 13th Age material. If you’ve perused the core books or SRD, you know that the authors like to create high-level spells that may not be massive attack spells, but have powerful effects that impact encounters and narrative. The spell in question invokes a classic narrative trope that references gods in machines, which is perfect for both the Midgard setting and the Archmage Engine’s icon relationship mechanics. Until then, the only thing left to do is add the required words:
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