What Your Father Told You: An Air Cleric to his initiate.
What is the world like?
Ah the world… What is it like? A good question. To see the world sometimes leads to its understanding. It is good that you ask this question. Feel free to ask more questions if anything is troubling you.
Euh, but what is the world like?
I have not answered? Hmm… the world is big desert, with cities placed here and there, and small villages dispersed all around. The sun beats down upon everything, and people struggle to survive. Resources are scarce, water is hard to find. The soil is often devoid of life, for the defilers have leached it all to power their spells.
What kinds of people are there?
There are two kinds of people, Initiate: slaves and the free. You must have seen slaves! They are others’ property! How utterly despicable! To think that a person could be called another’s property! Beings that are able to think on their own are property! This is what is wrong with this world. Slavery is an aberration. Do you see animals using others to hunt for them? No. We call ourselves better than animals, yet we enslave our own.
There is also the Free, people who are not owned by anyone. Nobles, merchants, the people of villages are often free. But are they truly free? No. They live at the mercy of the Sorcerer-Kings. They are at the mercy of the templars. But are the templars free? Again, they are pawns of the Sorcerer-Kings. Unless you choose to serve the Air, you are not truly free.
There are different people: elves, half-elves, dwarves, muls, half-giants, halflings and other races. Elves do know the taste of freedom; they run in the wind for most of the day. Dwarves are too focused, sometimes too stubborn to change… why, why did he not listen? No, I have decided to be a good slave, he said. Good slaves do not run away. You would rather be a slave? Follow me, I told him. But he would not listen, and now he is dead, worked to death by his “owner”…
Okay…, but what freedom does Air give us?
Air is freedom, Initiate. Do you not feel the breeze on your cheek? Look around you as we sit here on this ledge, atop the mountains. Hear the wind flowing through the peaks. Can you feel the power of the Air? Chaos. Freedom. You must value this freedom above all else, and see in the winds of Athas the inspiration to learn and spread this freedom. It is chaotic, it does what it chooses, and going anywhere it wants, free of the restrictions of the other elements. Earth is bound to its location, fire can only spread if it touches something combustible, water can only hold the shape of what holds it, doomed eventually to evaporate. But Air, Initiate, Air is free. It symbolizes freedom. It is the only true element of Athas, unbound, unrestricted by anything. Learn to serve it, to caress it, and it will serve you also. It will teach you freedom, and teach you that by spreading this freedom you are doing it and yourself a great gift.
The chaos of Air is a blessing. You will be able to peer into the future, get a glimpse of things to come. Use that to your advantage. What else must I do?
There are other things you must do. You must try to preserve Athas as it is, as it was and how it should be. Help the servants of other elements, the Earth, Fire and Water. They will provide help for you also. But above all else, value freedom! Teach the people to see that no one should be another’s property. Try to free all the slaves you can and unjustly imprisoned people.
Beware the Sun. It leaves the Air dry and motionless. The servants of the para-elements, those who worship the Silt, Sun and Magma are your enemies. They would turn the world into a desolate waste of one element! An unnatural combination!
Who are the Sorcerer-Kings?
They are the rulers of the cities. They permit slavery! Can you believe this? Minds of such power that cannot see this concept. They are powerful beings. Masters of the Way and magic. Long-lived, they are. They have ruled the cities for millennia. (for pre-PP campaigns remove the following lines) But some are dead now. Change, Initiate. Change is in the air. Chaos. Tyr has abolished slavery! Go there to see the now free slaves. Talk to them and learn from their plight. -
The Sorcerer-Kings have templars to do their bidding. Templars! Despicable people. They have the power to jail people simply on a whim! Scheming and untrustworthy people. Sometimes, rarely, you will find one who will help you free a slave or two. But they are as rare as the air beast that roams the plains.
What is the Way?
The Way is the power of those who use their minds. The mindbenders they are. Many people have some small power, but some are able to master and develop their power. They can bond weapons to their flesh, read your mind and some are even able to transport themselves from one place to another! Oh the freedom of that! Go where you want. From one place to another when you want. But sometimes these powerful beings are captured for their power. Free them