Marduk Entry and Church
On the field of this battle, it was decided today whether the Draconic claw shall forever pin to the ground the sword arm; No! the whole body of Humanity. And the conclusion, which I announce to all earthly and heavenly, all mortal and immortal, dragon and man, is this: the clawed yolk of the dragon is again cast off! Even as our ancestors the great titans threw off the yolk of an ancient draconic tyranny by war among the gods themselves, today I give to all mortals this liberation: be free now to live and die of your own merits and your own means! Never again shall ye be but treasure makers for the forges of Dragonkind. Never again shall your children be consumed by the hungry scaled mouths of wyrms! Never again shall your blood be spilled that another might hold dominion, as when your ancient draconic masters pit whole populations against one another for sport! Never again any of it, for this is the birthright of mortals, to be free!
Marduk’s Battlefield Oration – The Book of Marduk
Marduk – NG – Deliverer of Humanity and Slayer of Tiamat is a human deity said to have ascended at the conclusion of a momentous mortal life. The most famous aspect of this life was the slaying of the Dragon-Queen Tiamat at the conclusion of the Ten Miracles. Marduk’s holy symbol is a sword adorned with cascading dragon scales and illuminated from behind. Particularly ornate representations of the symbol tend to depict a dragon’s head as the hilt of the sword, while the blade contains nine hidden gems to represent the other nine Miracles.
Areas of concern: Bravery, Honor, Justice, and Humanity.
Domains: Good, Liberation, Nobility, Scalykind.
Favored Weapon: Longsword.
Sacred Colors: Gold and Red.
While Marduk is often said to still walk the world, he is also said to have an Astral Domain in Heaven. There, the Deliverer of Humanity marshals angels to deliver the oppressed across the whole of the cosmos. He is said to have sights on other Dragon deities whose mere continued presence in the universe he finds a blasphemy to mortal life. Chief among these is Dahak, Tiamat’s eldest godson. The Endless Destruction, himself an Elder God of as much strength as his might mother, is said to welcome the challenge.
Marduk is said to get along with most neutral and good deities. Some Dragon deities, led by Apsu, first Dragon God, despite being of similar alignment, make no effort to repair the icy relationship brought about by the slaying of Tiamat. Many of Marduk’s most powerful followers are the few Dragons who have rejected these Dragon Gods. Said to have grown fed up with the eons-long evil of Tiamat unchecked by Apsu and others, these Draconic servants of Marduk very rarely appear to his human followers, but the occasions are always both memorable and eschatologically significant.
In any settlement in the world with a large population of humans, the Temple of Marduk, Hero-God of all Humans and Freer of the Human race from the unending tyranny of the evil dragons, is a central fixture among the population. Serving numerous functions both civil and religious, these large buildings are often the first focus of building projects among a human populations who have sufficient clout to construct one:
First, consecrated temples are hotbeds for divine magical healing and are said to be the only places in the world where even Gods such as Marduk listen to the cries of mortals. While Mardukite priests are temporal laborers as well as miracle workers, Marduk’s creed allows the temporary shirking of many clerical duties in exchange for benevolent actions toward the needy.
Second, the temples are frequently gathering points for adventuring parties in need of direction or support. While the clerics and paladins of Marduk do occasionally have holy quests to enlist the aid of other adventurers, more likely these parties are hoping that the same healing abilities that the needy citizen has are not so great today as to preclude the sale of potions, scrolls and wands in exchange for tithes. These tithes, tending toward one part in twelve of the total haul from the quests, often serve as a temple’s greatest source of income.
Third, humans celebrate Mardukite festivals, including the Feast of Delivery (commemorating the Slaying of Tiamat), the great hunt (in which Mardukite priests and paladins lead adventurers to scour the land for evil dragons), and the ten feasts of color, which cycle and commemorate the Ten Miracles of Marduk prior to ascension.
Finally, the amphitheaters of Mardukite temples are grievance-airing grounds for humans who are not listened to by broader society. After such grievance airing, priests usually have moral guidance, as well as material support for other endeavors. But the protests arising out of such activities must not replicate the tyranny of the Dragon.