The Pawns of Al Rodel
They say that everything is a trade, an exchange; that all things of worth have their price, and if the price is fair, both leave richer. Most beg favors of their God in humble supplication, but these self styled “Children of Velquiss” Have the audacity to haggle, and claim his favor by this? Divine he may be, I but I denounce this merchant-god as holy!
– Unknown, attributed to a priest of Avalicious
The Keeper of Contracts, sometimes called The Bargainer, is a young minor deity much like Sirenean, and is the patron of merchants, traders, teachers, and diplomats. Because of his relative youth he is rarely viewed as powerful among the pantheon, but frequently has a hand in mediating disputes among the mightier divine, and his true influence is frequently debated among theologians. Despite his questionable standing among the gods, his followers command significant wealth and influence, less because of his divine power, but rather through the trade, and political influence they broker on the material plane.
His Domains are : Law, Knowledge, and Luck. His sigil, and the holy symbol of his followers are that of a pair of clasped hands, bound together by chains.
Velquiss is usually described as taking the appearance of a human merchant or teacher. His left hand holds a long stave of ivory carved with a motif of inter-braided chains, the head of which is carved into the shape of two hands, joined at the wrist. One open palmed raised, as if offering, the other hovers poised to take. His right hand proffers a scroll with ever shifting runes of indeterminate nature. Velquiss wears robes or gowns with impossibly intricate embroidery, and a broad shouldered mantle clasped at the neck with two golden hands, shaking in accord. Accounts of his facial appearance vary in almost every aspect save for his eyes, which are a soft grey and his expression, which is a genial smile.
Velquiss favors the staff, and weapons that he considers progressive. He approves of crossbows, especially repeating models, and is rumored to greatly favor black powder weapons, although they have been slow to make inroads into the priesthood due to the expense of their manufacture, and the jealously guarded secrets of their construction.
Many merchants and traders pay homage to Velquiss, rightly thinking that he looks favorably over their enterprise. Given that his temples offer banking, accounting, and legal services, worship provides an opportunity to make contacts and conduct business at the same location. Those of a diplomatic bent often pay homage to him, or seek his blessing, when drafting or proposing treaties in the hope that his grace will strengthen them, and bind the agreeing parties to adhere to the terms honestly. Velquiss is also well known for his love of orphans, and his first disciple was said to be an abandoned child he took under his personal charge. Of course, the love of the god of trades is not unconditional, and all whom he cares for become in some way indebted to him, though always a debt that can be paid, if they choose. He is lenient in collecting his debts, at least as far as can be said of those mortals still walking the earth.
The priests of Velquiss are, for the most part, a lot more sedentary than many other faiths. Most temples are situated in large cities, busy ports, or other centers of commerce. The priests are bureaucratic in organisation and nature, run the banks, and are summoned often for consultation on treaties, contracts, and so forth.
The order also has no paladins, or any form of order martial, and its priests have scant little training beyond basic stave practice for exercise. Whilst this would appear to leave the order highly vulnerable, they do have one great military resource : The ranks of the Velquinn – temple children with unpaid debts, who may be called upon by a Cardinal or higher ranked priest to defend the church when it is imperiled. This is not a draft or contract, but a Divinely sanctioned Geas which commands obedience. It is also worth noting that this is almost never invoked, and a full call to arms has only been raised once in the temple’s history.
Velquiss is a lawful neutral deity, and his priests tend towards equal distributions of lawful good and neutral alignment. Evil priests are not unheard of, but are fairly uncommon. The priesthood is mainly drawn from orphans or unwanted children taken on by the temple to raise among the many orphanages the order maintains.
Ask what you will in time of need, if you offer it’s match in worth and deed. If you find the price is too great to bear, ask again but with greater care; true to your word, rewards will be great. Oathbreaker, you will rue your fate. – Velquiss
Velquiss is the god of trade and prosperity, and nothing pleases him more than equitable trade, and the prosperity and advancement gained by the exchange of goods and ideas. He enjoys stability, and those who forge treaties of peace or end conflict enjoy his favor, whether they seek it or not. Unlike Avalicious, he is a patron of trade, not wealth, and he has little love for those who build monopolies, as they stymie and bleed the flow of commerce. He hates oath-breakers above all else, and those rare few who turn from his priesthood are hunted without pause or mercy, and tales say that their sleep is shattered by terrifying nightmares, with most awaiting their demise at the hands of their pursuers, merely to avoid the terrible dreams.