Tooth & Claw: A Pathfinder Campaign of Fire & Fury
To transcend your flaws, you must know your inner self.
MASTER OF MASTERS
God of history, knowledge, and self-perfection
Domains Healing, Knowledge, Law, Rune,
Favored Weapon Unarmed strike
The followers of Irori claim that he was once a mortal who achieved absolute physical and mental perfection and thus attained divinity. While many Avistani of the Inner Sea are wary of his strict practices, the disciplined regimen of the Master of Masters is gaining popularity among those who seek order in these troubled times. Irori is very rarely depicted in art because his faithful believe that any icon of him cannot hope to live up to his perfect image. Instead, they describe him as a f lawless Vudrani man, with no hair save a long braid, simple robes, and wooden sandals.
Irori teaches that body, mind, and spirit are inexorably linked, and mastering all three is key to achieving perfection. As most creatures have difficulty bending their spirit, focusing on the mind and body helps a novice indirectly steer their spiritual growth. Irori believes that self-awareness leads to discipline, which leads to mastery, while ignorance forces a spirit to repeat its mistakes in the next life. He opposes radical action and extreme changes in habits and behavior, preferring subtle shifts over time to allow a person to adjust and find a new internal balance.
Irori eases the path for those who please him, soothing pain, granting mental clarity, and giving insight about the next step in their enlightenment. Especially devout followers might see a brief image of the god, or his serene eyes, or a mysterious imprint of a sandal where no person has trod.
He punishes transgressions with cramps, fatigue, dizziness, and obvious setbacks in the path to self-perfection. Many of Irori’s followers are monks, men and women who have dedicated their lifestyles to simplicity and purity in order to perfect their bodies. Others focus instead upon the secrets of the mind, turning their attention inward to perfect their very thoughts. Because Irori teaches that there are many paths to perfection and each individual’s path may be slightly
different, his followers are a strangely varied lot for a group focused on an identical goal, coming from all walks of life.
Followers who rise to the rank of master are said to go to Irori’s side to serve him forever when they die, while those who fail are reincarnated to begin the journey anew. Irori has achieved perfection and sees no need to cloak himself in mystery or augment himself with divine power, so, when he appears, his avatar is a physically fit man, looking exactly as his followers describe him, often sitting or kneeling patiently. His herald is “the Old Man,” a bald, elderly human of uncertain ethnicity who moves with an alien grace that belies his apparent age and has strength far exceeding a mortal of his build. Notable masters who serve Irori are Cheu Chem (an intelligent, celestial white tiger), Fasting (a gray-skinned, lanky, humanoid monk), and Sixth Rebirth (a dour stone giant).
Irori respects that other deities are different spiritual beings and that what is correct for him may not be so for them. As such, he tries to avoid interfering with other divine beings unless they threaten his work or his people. He dislikes those who wish to tear down or corrupt the accomplishments of others, and has an ongoing feud with Asmodeus because the Prince likes to taunt the Master’s followers with shortcuts to perfection that are fraught with pitfalls. There is a minor rivalry between his faith and those of Cayden Cailean, Iomedae, and Norgorber, for, unlike them, he became a god without the help of a magical artifact—in effect, he considers their achievements cheating, but is polite enough to not confront them about it unless he feels they have grown too arrogant.
Priests, Temples, and the Church
Irori’s priesthood consists of clerics and monks in almost equal numbers, with only a few druids involved in the church. Priests are responsible for mentoring others as they try to attain self-perfection, either by guiding followers in the priest’s chosen path of enlightenment or through rigorous questioning and encouragement to provoke a student’s revelations of a personal path. Even though clerics and druids can wear armor, many choose not to, although there is no stigma for wearing armor. While path specifics may vary, all of them require good health and a clear mind, so all priests avoid excessive drinking, eating, and the use of intoxicants or other things that dull the senses. The rare druid-priests typically believe civilized folk have become too separated from its natural instincts and that emulating various animals is the most natural way to achieve self-perfection.
A particular temple or monastery is self-sufficient; it is only loner or extroverted priests who find reason to barter or sell their services. Masters of a specialized diet might sell rare herbs used for medicinal or cultural purposes, practitioners of exotic martial arts might work at a fighting academy, while others might teach at a university or lecture members of other faiths on various arcane topics.
A typical day for a priest begins with exercise, a meal, and meditation, repeating throughout the day. Depending on their path choice, they may emphasize one of these activities more than others, or avoid certain activities entirely. Some priests spend days at a time meditating, only pausing a few minutes each day for bread and water, while others eat raw meat every hour and spend the rest of their time lifting heavy stones to build strength.
Temples are usually sprawling complexes featuring rooms for prayer, sleep, and exercise, where Irori’s faithful study and train night and day in an endless quest to achieve perfection and purify their ki, or lifeforce. The temples are not generally open to the public, and visitors must wait outside lest their presence disturb the energy of those inside.
A temple’s leader is the resident who is the closest to selfperfection, normally determined through collective meditation but sometimes through combat. In most cases, the leader is a guide rather than a tyrant, though some temples tend to be more aggressive and evil in their outlook. Irori’s priests have no formal garb other than a long rope of braided hair tied in a loop and worn like a necklace. There is no specific requirement for the hair’s origin; some use their own hair, while others use the hair of a mentor or an exotic creature.
Rituals in the temples usually involve a period of meditation or prayer, sometimes with a ritualized consumption of particular foods. Each path may require a different set of holidays; one espousing the invigorating power of sunlight might hold the summer solstice as a holiday, while one promoting the health aspects of raw grains might celebrate harvest day. His holy text is Unbinding the Fetters, a lengthy tome describing meditation, physical exercises, diet, and other methods to transcend the limitations of the mortal form.
Clerics may prepare astral projection and moment of prescience as 8th-level spells, and transformation as a 6th-level spell. Monks may use quivering palm to render a target comatose (lasting until the target receives a heal, restoration, or greater restoration spell) rather than kill, chosen at the time the ability is activated. Monks may use their wholeness of body ability on a willing creature as a standard action; the monk must touch the target, and the target becomes fatigued from this aid.