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Prophecies of Kalistrade

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Prophecies of Kalistrade
Prophecies of the Kalistrade.jpg
(Organization)
Type Religious / Philosophical
Leader High Prophet Kelldor
Alignment Lawful neutral
Headquarters Kerse, Druma
Goals Amassing personal wealth
Scope Regional (Inner Sea)
Members Merchants and tradesmen

Source: Campaign Setting, pg(s). 177
A prophet of Kalistrade
See also: Prophet of Kalistrade

The Prophecies of Kalistrade are a series of dream-records written by an eccentric mystic during the early days of the Age of Enthronement. They stress the benefits of a strict regimen of self-denial and promote the accumulation of wealth over all other pursuits. These teachings and predictions are followed as a pseudo-religion, most prominently in the nation of Druma.[1] A follower of this philosophy is known as a kalistocrat or prophet, although the latter is a slang term.[2]

Tenets and dogma

Believers adorn themselves exclusively in white robes and wear full-length gloves to prevent contact with those who do not also follow the philosophy. Additionally, they practice sexual and dietary prohibitions. Followers of the Prophesies believe that their sacrifices will bring them personal wealth and success later in life, and that those who do not achieve such greatness have broken one of the many teachings of the philosophy.[1]

Most followers are atheist,[3][4] and unlike followers of deistic faiths, practitioners of the Prophesies of Kalistrade seem to be unaffected by the death of Aroden, and see this as proof that their way of life is superior. To them, Aroden's death is evidence that gods can die, while traditions and ways of thinking can not be killed. And in a way, they might be correct, as the continual economic expansion of Druma speaks to the successes of their way of life.[1] Despite their non-religious beliefs, followers of the Prophecies find they have much in common with the church of the god of merchants and civilization, Abadar.[5]

Goals and prohibitions

Kalistocrats pursue wealth above all else, and do so by following several tenets:

  • Conserve resources: A Kalistocrat never exhausts their resources.[6] This is evident, for instance, in the lumber industry of Macridi, which selectively harvests only a few rare trees per day and preserves most of the Palakar Forest.[7]
  • Wear white: A Kalistocrat wears primarily white garments, though high-ranking members often show their wealth in jewelry and finery.[6][8]
  • Avoid charity: A Kalistocrat gives money only to those who have earned it.[6] They prefer indentured servants with 1-year terms over slaves, as they can ultimately profit from both the servant's labor and their repayment of the loan.[9]
  • Avoid material comforts: A Kalistocrat avoids many basic comforts, even when they can easily afford them.[6] This includes a strict diet that abstains from several kinds of meat.[10]
  • Avoid physical contact: A Kalistocrat avoids all physical contact with other people. Their outfits include full-length gloves (including a version that magically repels others)[11] and full-body robes to avoid unintentional contact. They avoid most sexual activity[10] and abstain from tattoos.[9]
  • Be lawful and neutral: A Kalistocrat lawfully follows the Prophecies and remains neutral in all dealings—not out of fairness, but rather because legal systems provide tools for accumulating and retaining wealth.[9] Using the law for profit without violating it is an honorable act among Kalistocrats.[12]
  • Exploit agreements: A Kalistocrat seeks to take advantage of loopholes in contracts and other legal agreements without technically violating any rules.[6]
  • Outwit superiors for profit: A Kalistocrat feels rewarded when able to exploit a more experienced or faithful prophet for profit.[6]

New members

New members are always welcomed into the fold, and no racial, gender, or financial barriers stand in the way of anyone beginning his or her walk down the straight and narrow path to enlightenment. If one can adhere to the philosophy’s strictures and thus amass personal wealth, they are welcome in the Kalistrade, and by extension, the nation of Druma.[1][13] Despite this inclusiveness, the upper echelons of the faith are only open the humans, although this has not stopped many other races, particularly dwarves[8] and tieflings,[14] from following its teachings. The philosophy has also become increasingly popular for refugees fleeing Cheliax and Isger.[5] Most new converts gain their first introduction to the Prophecies in the Drumish city of Twingate on Lake Encarthan, a tent city where thousands spend anywhere from a week to multiple years seeking greater enlightenment.[15]

Favored familiars

Following their philosophy of prominently displayed wealth and success, prophets who choose familiars prefer impressively rare or extravagant creatures. This often results in colorful birds and reptiles, such as parrots, peacocks, snakes, and lizards, decked in opulent accessories. Several also include carbuncles in their entourages.[16]

Rituals of death

Much as the accumulation of wealth is a Kalistocrat's goal in life, their wealth plays a large role in their death. Kalistocrats pay exorbitant sums to have their bones dipped in pools of molten gold and interred within the opulent walls of the Golden Ossuary in Kerse.[17]

Hour of Victory

Followers of the Prophecies believe in a time in the not too distant future, when they will use their amassed wealth to create enough leverage to "own" the world. This ownership will bestow a type of immortality upon all true believers. The fact that other prophecies have failed to occur in the Age of Lost Omens does not bother adherents of this philosophy. They claim that theirs is a secular prophecy unaffected by the magical disruptions brought on by the death of Aroden, and will simply occur once the faithful acquire enough capital.[8]

Leadership

The current leader of the Prophets of Kalistrade is the High Prophet Kelldor.[18]

Mercenary League

The Mercenary League is the private mercenary force Kalistocrats use to protect themselves and, more importantly, their possessions. Known for their ruthlessness, extensive training, and lavish equipment, these black-clad men-at-arms protect their charges with a fervor seldom found outside of golems. Their numbers draw heavily from followers of the Prophecies who, due to their circumstances of birth or talent, are unable to successfully climb the ladder of wealth accumulation. Some see them as unnecessarily violent or even sociopathic in their treatment of opponents, but the truth is that they are completely without morals when following orders; they simply choose tactics that produce the most efficient outcomes.[8]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Erik Mona et al. (2008). Campaign Setting, p. 177. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-112-1
  2. Hugh Matthews. (2012). Song of the Serpent, p. 315. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-388-0
  3. Savannah Broadway, Paris Crenshaw, Neall Raemonn Price, David Ross, Owen K.C. Stephens, and James L. Sutter. (2013). Faiths & Philosophies, p. 6. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-543-3
  4. Savannah Broadway, Paris Crenshaw, Neall Raemonn Price, David Ross, Owen K.C. Stephens, and James L. Sutter. (2013). Faiths & Philosophies, p. 8. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-543-3
  5. 5.0 5.1 James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 237. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 Savannah Broadway, Paris Crenshaw, Neall Raemonn Price, David Ross, Owen K.C. Stephens, and James L. Sutter. (2013). Faiths & Philosophies, p. 9. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-543-3
  7. James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 64. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 63. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Joshua J. Frost et al. (2010). Faction Guide, p. 38. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-221-0
  10. 10.0 10.1 Benjamin Bruck, Jason Bulmahn, Matt Goodall, and Jason Nelson. (2012). Paths of Prestige, p. 42. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-451-1
  11. Dennis Baker, Jesse Benner, John Compton, and Thurston Hillman. (2014). Inner Sea Combat, p. 61. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-598-3
  12. Benjamin Bruck, Jason Bulmahn, Matt Goodall, and Jason Nelson. (2012). Paths of Prestige, p. 43. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-451-1
  13. Benjamin Bruck, et al. (2015). Inner Sea Races, p. 156. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-722-2 See Karfus the Golden-Horned.
  14. Hal Maclean and Colin McComb. (2012). Blood of Fiends, p. 8. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-423-8
  15. James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 65. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
  16. Will McCardell et al. (2015). Familiar Folio, p. 5. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-731-4
  17. Scott Fernandez, Ron Lundeen, and Larry Wilhelm. (2015). Tombs of Golarion, p. 35. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-720-8
  18. Joshua J. Frost et al. (2010). Faction Guide, p. 38. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-221-0