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[CLASSES] Paladins

June 10, 2010

Enlil's Paladin

Paladins are instruments of war and justice, incarnations of the City Militant. They are wholly dedicated to their city: which means to its temple, the palace and estates of the god.  Their duty to the city is absolute: to its defence, the prosecution of its wars, the enactments of its justice and laws, the destruction of its enemies.  The paladin is the temple armed. They are utterly opposed to the inchoate Chaos of the wilderness. Only three gods raise up paladins: Enlil, Inanna and Nergal.  They do so rarely, if and when they chose to perceive that their shrine faces some grave danger.

Enlil’s paladins are most noted for their inflexible honour, martial brilliance and extremes of courage. These heroes Enlil appoints; great Enlil who decrees fates sends them out so they become like an image of Ninurta, like the shining warrior Ninurta: they are called Deluge. And if they are the incarnate Flood sent against enemies in the field of battle, also are they enjoined to uphold justice, be mindful of the weak.

Enlil’s commands are by far the loftiest, his commands are holy, his utterances are immutable! The fate he decides is everlasting, his glance makes the mountains anxious, his decrees reach into the interior of the mountains. All the gods of the earth bow down to Father Enlil, who sits comfortably on the holy dais, the lofty dais to Nunamnir, whose lordship and princeship are most perfect. The Anuna gods stand before him and obey his instructions faithfully.

[The Temple of Enlil] cuts short the life of those who speak too mightily. It permits no evil word to be spoken in judgment. Deception, inimical speech, hostility, impropriety, ill-treatment, wickedness, wrongdoing, looking askance, violence, slandering, arrogance, licentious speech, egotism and boasting are abominations not tolerated within the city.

The borders of the city form a great net, within which the urin eagle spreads wide its talons. The evil or wicked man does not escape its grasp. In this city endowed with steadfastness, for which righteousness and justice have been made a lasting possession, and which is clothed in pure clothing on the quay, the younger brother honours the older brother and treats him with human dignity; people pay attention to a father’s word and reap the benefits; the child behaves humbly and modestly towards his mother and attains a ripe old age.

— Enlil in the E-Kur, ETCSL translation t.05.01 (adapted)

"Make for me a monument of corpses!"

Inanna’s paladins may be her lovers; and as Gilgamesh observed in rejecting her advances, all her lovers have come to unfortunate and early ends (though never without glory). She delights in war – the ‘playground of Inanna’ – and in her anointed warriors, commanding them to a stern martial discipline. Her paladins are ever urged to victory, conquest, the furtherance of her whims, from obtaining precious lapis lazuli for the adornment of her cult statue to the destruction of those who have aroused her ire. Her personal warriors move towards their own ecstatic apotheosis in violence as Inanna laughs, as great Inanna dances in heaven.

The paladins of Nergal are particularly terrible.  Nergal, the Lord who imposes silence, consort of Ereshkigal, Queen of the Great City, she who lies prone and wails unceasing in the Underworld; he ushers enemies into his kingdom with great glee. He is plague and death and war.  His paladins live remorselessly for war and the utter annihilation of their enemies. A city vouchsafed a paladin of Nergal may lament his presence as a curse while rejoicing in the mounds of their slain opponents he raises.

Paladins are most often temple oblates, or the offspring of Sacred Marriages (the most famous of which the city ruler and high priestess of Inanna celebrate at akitu festivals) – particularly if the child so conceived could pose a dynastic threat to the ruling ensi. Paladins of Sacred Marriages may have the divine determinative applied to their name during their career and after death and be depicted wearing the horned cap of divinity. They normally reside in the temple complex, among if separated from the cloistered priests and nuns of the gipar, often provided with a lukur priestess, a substitute wife dedicate to Inanna.

The pious sword is indeed sharp; the pure mace, surpassing heavy.

Class Abilities

Paladins of Enlil and Inanna

Detect evil within 60’

Save at +2

Are immune to disease

Lay hands, healing 2hps/level, once/day

Cure disease once per week for every 5 levels of experience

Emanate a protection from evil effect

Turn undead and demons at 3rd level as a cleric two levels below current paladin level

At 4th level, may avail themselves of a fine chariot pulled by onagers, onager-equid hybrids or kunga-equids of superlative strength and intelligence

Cast clerical spells at 9th level

Paladins of Nergal (“Lawful Evil”) have the same abilities with the following amendments:

They detect enemies within 60’.

They have no ability to heal others; they are able to regenerate damage to themselves, at 2 hps/level per day.

Themselves immune to disease, they are able to cause disease once per week for every five level of experience attained.

They may banish (turn) but not control undead and unclean spirits; their protection from evil is efficacious against any demonic or protective spirits irrespective of their alignment.

At 9th level, the ability to cast clerical spells, though never any of healing.

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