Order of Saint Venarik

The Order of Saint Venarik is a mostly-dwarvish sect worshipping Torag (god of the forge, protection, and strategy). They are based in the Granite Tower.

Venarik and her brother Dourik were two of the Dragonslayers; after destroying Arakothrax Dourik gave his share of the hoard to his sister, and she recruited like-minded dwarves to build the Tower, which is the de facto capital of the principality of Venstra.

The Order emphasises eternal vigilance and fortification; their penchant for heavy armour and sturdy walls has seen them nicknamed the “Turtles”. Some Venstrans, particularly the humans, complain that the Order are too reluctant to venture outside their formidable defences, making outlying farms vulnerable to attack. (The Order’s response is that these farms should build defences of their own; the Turtles are always willing to help, for a suitable consulting fee.)

The head of the order is Master Abbott Lewarik Wyrmbane, grandson of St. Venarik. He’s outgoing by dwarvish standards (granted, that’s not saying much) and has shown more interest than his father in the principality beyond the Tower.

The Order proper numbers several hundred priests and fighting knights (mostly clerics, fighters, and paladins) and several thousand ancillaries. They hold their own tourneys, but these tend to be less showy than those of neighbouring principalities; the emphasis is on endurance over offense, and it’s not unusual for fights to go on until somebody drops from exhaustion.

One notable faction within the Order is the Walkers of the Deep, a monastic group who live in an outpost within Venarik’s Deep, beyond the Tower main defences. It’s said that in her old age, once the Tower was built, Venarik herself ventured into the Deep seeking seclusion and contemplation, founding the Walkers with a small group of followers. The more devout members of the Order sometimes travel to join the Walkers, temporarily or permanently. The Walkers assist the rest of the Order by keeping watch on developments in the Deep, protecting the mining communities from various threats, and facilitating trade with the surface. The Walkers were led by Abbott Ulmas until recently, when things went dramatically pear-shaped.

Order of Saint Venarik

Perfectly Legitimate Adventuring Party GeoffreyBrent