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Kurgess

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Kurgess
Kurgess' holy symbol
(Deity)
Titles The Strong Man
Adjective Kurgessan[1]
Home Kurgess's Field, Nirvana
Alignment Neutral good
Areas of Concern Bravery
Competition
Sport
Worshipers Archers, athletes, entertainers, jousters, and sellswords
Cleric Alignments
Domains Community, Good, Luck, Strength, Travel
Subdomains Agathion, Competition, Family, Fate, Home, Resolve, Trade
Favored Weapon Javelin
Symbol Flexing arm with chain
Sacred Animal Horse
Sacred Colors Gold, white
Images of Kurgess

Source: Inner Sea Faiths, pg(s). 64-69

Kurgess (pronounced KUR-gess)[2] is a demigod associated with healthy competition, sport, and physical development. His symbol is a flexing muscular arm holding a golden chain.[3][1]

History

Born a mortal Taldan peasant of unbeatable physical prowess, Kurgess was discovered as a young man by a traveling merchant. The merchant had driven his carriage into a ditch, when the young man appeared and lifted his vehicle out single-handedly. Impressed by the farmer's incredible stamina, strength, and speed, the merchant brought him to the city of Cassomir, where he began sponsoring the boy in various competitions and races. Kurgess was able to best all of them and shared his winnings with his patron. After this, the two began traveling the countryside, taking part in any sports competition they could find.

Kurgess' fame spread far and wide, sadly bringing jealousy and bitterness with it. During the third annual Raptor Run in the Taldan city of Oppara, Kurgess's enemies laid a deadly trap for him. The young man became aware of this and was killed while successfully saving the other racers from the raptor's talons.[3][4][1]

In the decades that followed, the memory of Kurgess and what he had accomplished were not forgotten. Athletes and other competitors began calling on Kurgess for aid, and more than a few events were dedicated in his honor.[3] Soon thereafter, the gods Cayden Cailean and Desna elevated Kurgess to godhood, either because they were so impressed by his accomplishments and actions, or because he was secretly their half-mortal son.[5]

In the last 300 years there have been rumors that Kurgess has occasionally reappeared and taken part in sporting events, intent on protecting and encouraging those who take part in them. This has lead to a gradual expansion of his faith, especially throughout southern Avistan,[3] and particularly in the Andoren town of Falcon's Hollow.[6] The Strong Man is now also worshiped as far afield as Widowmaker Isle in the Shackles where a bloody gladiatorial competition known as the Carnival of Kurgess is held every other year.[7]

Dogma

Kurgess strongly believes that competition is healthy, as long as all the participants are playing by the same rules. He detests cheating, seeing it as a sign of moral defect. He encourages mortals to challenge themselves and push beyond their comfort zones, hoping to inspire greatness and the setting of even higher goals.[8] The Strong Man also teaches how not to be a sore loser, as well as how to be a graceful winner.[9]

Realm

The demigod makes his home on the plane of Nirvana in a realm known as Kurgess's Field. It lies adjacent to the Forest of Whispered Longing, and often hosts small gatherings of his faithful from across Golarion and the Great Beyond. There petitioners can challenge the demigod's servants in respectful tests of strength and speed, and his followers spread Kurgess's doctrine of physical competition, self-sacrifice, and fair play.[10]

Relationships

As has already been mentioned, Kurgess and his followers are on very good terms with the faiths of Desna and Cayden Cailean.[5] Less well known is that he finds common cause with the goddess Milani, who shares his rural origins and desire to protect those in need.[11]

Church of Kurgess

Followers of Kurgess are called Kurgessans.[1] Even though priests of the Strong Man are always welcome in the temples of Desna and Cayden Cailean,[5] Kurgess's clergy are generally itinerants who travel between sporting events, fairs, and tournaments. They carry with them small, brightly-colored portable shrines in the form of puppet theaters or wooden podiums, usually with a place for depositing donations. While at these competitions, priests treat sports injuries, and make sure that events are run as cleanly as possible. They also provide minor healing to adventurers for free, providing they regale them with stories of their brave and just accomplishments,[8] or beat them in a test of strength.[12] Most also learn a craft such as woodworking, creating small dolls and other toys to give to children at these events.[8]

Because the church of the Strong Man has only been active for a few hundred years, it does not put much emphasis on structure and rigidly defined dogma. This makes it popular among those who wish to do good without the restrictions of elaborate ritual or hierarchy. Kurgess is also popular among archers, athletes, entertainers, jousters, mercenaries,[8] scouts, and messengers.[12]

Temples and shrines

While most temples of Kurgess are migratory and temporary, a chapel to him does exist in the city of Vigil, the capital of the bulwark nation of Lastwall.[13]

Darechasers

Among his most fanatic worshipers are darechasers, elite athletes who are adept at channeling adrenaline to overcome physical trials and adversities. These Kurgessans often use their heady successes to dare themselves into performing ever-greater feats of prowess.[14]

References

Paizo published a major article about Kurgess in Inner Sea Faiths.

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Patrick Renie. (2016). Kurgess. Inner Sea Faiths, p. 66. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-825-0
  2. Erik Mona et al. (2008). Campaign Setting, p. 247. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-112-1
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Erik Mona et al. (2008). Campaign Setting, p. 171. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-112-1
  4. James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 229. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Sean K Reynolds. (2008). Gods and Magic, p. 46. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-139-8
  6. Judy Bauer, Logan Bonner, Nicolas Logue, and Matt Vancil. (2013). Towns of the Inner Sea, p. 20. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-576-1
  7. Mike Shel. (2012). Isles of the Shackles, p. 36. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-408-5
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Sean K Reynolds et al. (2014). Inner Sea Gods, p. 179. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-597-6
  9. Jessica Blomstrom, Adam Daigle, Shaun Hocking, Daniel Marthaler, Tork Shaw, and Christina Stiles. (2013). Champions of Purity, p. 20. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-511-2
  10. Todd Stewart. (2009). The Great Beyond: A Guide to the Multiverse, p. 47. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-167-1
  11. Sean K Reynolds. (2013). Milani. The Shackled Hut, p. 68-69. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-493-1
  12. 12.0 12.1 Colin McComb. (2011). Faiths of Purity, p. 18. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-314-9
  13. Jason Nelson. (2009). Vigil. Cities of Golarion, p. 47. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-200-5
  14. Alexander Augunas, John Compton, Jenny Jarzabski, et al. (2016). Paths of the Righteous, p. 10-11. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-910-3