|intermediate power, "The Blinding Light"|
|Pantheon: Oerthian Pantheon|
|AoC: Light, Resolve, Law, Order, Inflexibility, the Sun, the Moons|
|Worshippers: paladins, law-makers, inquisitors, barristers|
|AL: LN(G)||WAL: LG,LN|
|Symbol: a full moon partially eclipsed by a smaller crescent moon|
|Home p/r: Mechanus/The Path of Law|
|Allies: Fraternity of Order, Harmonium|
|Enemies: Atroa, Sotillion, St. Cuthbert, Telchur, Wenta|
|Favored Weapon: Quarterstaff|
|Domains: Good, Knowledge, Law, Strength, Sun|
|Subdomains: Archon, Judgment, Light, Modron, Resolve, Thought|
|Known Proxies: None|
One of Oerth's most significant powers, Pholtus has seen little general attention on the planes, in large part due to his faith's profession that there is no divinity but Pholtus; similar to the Athar, they preach that the only true power is Pholtus and all others are pretenders to the claim. Such a statement draws a great deal of ire from the various peoples of the planes, especially the followers of the innumerous other deities across the multiverse.
Despite this, however, there are those who find appealing either his beliefs or his followers' singular devotion to the Law. Though fairly insignificant cosmically, Pholtus and his followers tend to have a level of passion matched by few others. The Fraternity of Order finds much in common with those Pholtans who put studying the law over enforcing it, and sharing a plane with the Fortress of Disciplined Enlightenment brings much opportunity for the two to cooperate. Meanwhile, the Harmonium are often quite pleased to work alongside a Pholtan inquisitor in the field, especially the rare Sin Eater within their ranks. So well-suited to the Harmonium way of life are the Pholtans that his faith has actually found minor foothold upon Ortho itself.
The deity himself, as with most Oerthian powers, rarely manifests directly as an avatar, instead communicating with his followers through messages and symbolic manifestations, often taking the form of a sudden bolt of insight bringing the solution to a problem or an urging towards those in need of the guidance of Pholtus. When he does manifest, his most common form is that of a slender human male in gleaming white robes, hair equally white and eyes shining with a pure, bright light that seems to cleanse the soul; other aspects of his appearance vary widely from manifestation to manifestation, including age, specific features, and skin tone.
The church of Pholtus is led by the Theocrat, or Supreme Prelate of the Pale, the lifetime-appointed leader of one of Oerth's nations, while doctrine and policy, as well as the selection of the Theocrat, is determined by the Council of Nine, another political organization in that same nation. Despite their restriction to a single Prime world even while Pholtus's faith slowly spreads through the planes, they are still considered the heads of the church in whatever realm it may be found, with all branches of the faith expected to follow their direction.
The largest focus of the church itself is solidifying order and purging disorder; this can take the form of supporting government efforts, recording the laws and histories of the lands, tending to the sick or less fortunate, or driving inquisitions to unearth or destroy chaotic influences. Most of the local efforts are managed by the church's body of clerics and lay members. Such members of the church are divided into three orders reflecting their position in the body heirarchy: in order of rank, the Glimmering Order, marked by their pure-white robes; the Gleaming Order, marked by the addition of silver trim and accessories; and the Shining Order, marked by the addition of golden trim and accessories. The more active and inquisitory efforts are managed by the Templars of the Church Militant, as well as roaming High Legates authorized to act on behalf of the church and impress locals as needed for their purposes.
The One True Way is a strict path, but guarantees rightness. Show no tolerance for those who do not give all for the cause of Law, Fanaticism in the name of the Blinding Light is praiseworthy, and Law's champions shall be rewarded in the era when chaos has been vanquished.
|Images of Pholtus|
- Dragon #294 - Beings of Power: Four Gods of Greyhawk, pp.27-33
- From the Ashes - Campaign Book, pp.90-91
- Living Greyhawk Gazetteer, pgs.166,179
- On Hallowed Ground, pgs.47,180