- This article is about the reformed Third Age remnants of the Clergies of Gaea and Heath. For the followers of the mad god Dionysus, see Clergy of Dionysus.
|Title of leader||High Cleric|
|Member races||Humans, Elves, Dwarves|
|Patron deity||Gaea, Heath|
|Preceded by||Clergy of Gaea, Clergy of Heath|
The Mad Clergies were an alliance of remnants of the Clergy of Gaea and the Clergy of Heath which survived to the Third Age despite the deaths of their patron goddesses. The clerics devised a plan to bring back their deities to the Land of the Living by using a complex ritual and return them to godhood to bring balance to the world. However, their plan was jeopardized when one of their members betrayed them during the summoning ritual. The clerics and the mole perished in the end but not before the high cleric managed to entrust the resurrected body of Gaea to the care of Osmond Cordae Locke who was appointed as her guardian.
Forming the ClergyEdit
After the death of Gaea and the spilling of her High Cleric's lifeblood in the First Age, the Clergy of Gaea shattered. Some committed suicide, others converted to other gods, and others still became drifters, wandering the Land of the Living without purpose. There were a few, however, so driven by rage and sorrow, that they willingly became hypocrites, turned to necromancy where they once served the Goddess of Life. A portion of the remnants of the Clergy of Heath joined their numbers millennia later after the goddess Heath herself was slain.
Born after the sundering of Gaea's clergy, the new clergy was originally a group perhaps four hundred strong. They had to learn necromancy in order to realize their wish, and with their charismatic and fervent leader, they dove into the work.
They all realized that the ultimate goal of their project would take time, and in the case that they died before their goal was achieved, they constructed a gem to which their souls would be bound, shackling their powers to it in a manner similar to the Dragon Diamond which had been used to set the dragon Frazzn'korth into his deep slumber.
They quickly found the perfect ritual to use, however, it needed to have many ingredients, and a great deal of magical power was required. More than they all possessed, combined. Gaea was not just any deity, she was the Primal Goddess, the First Deity. Moreover, she would not be resurrected as a goddess, but as a mortal, or perhaps a revenant.
The Long WaitEdit
The ingredients were easy to find. However, the power the clergy needed would take time to gather. Some members of the group began to despair at the long wait, and more despaired when they realized something; the ritual would claim all their lives, so who could guide their goddess back to her place in the heavens?
Their morale fell and the threads that had been holding the Clergy together began to fray, and so the High Cleric pleaded to any power which would listen, excepting only Death. Heath reluctantly sent the High Cleric a vision of a shining man, garbed in armor, and holding a glowing blade in his hand, followed by a vision sent by Tiamat of two stone tables, a body on each, and the words "Beware Breivik."
The High Cleric misunderstood the last portion, thinking Breivik meant "Brevity," and saw her warning as saying "Be Cautious and Patient." He thought the shining man meant Marduk at first, but the Chaos God was already gone from the world after he had been sealed away at the end of the Chaos War, and the last of his Chaos Paladins was old and grey by that time as the Clergy of Mardük disappeared from the public.
He spoke to his brethren of the good news, and they began their wait.
Failure and DemiseEdit
The clergy remnant waited for millennia, recruiting and indoctrinating new members as they needed, interbreeding otherwise. They managed, somehow, never to lose their purpose, documenting all their knowledge in a small, hidden library beneath Trinity Gask.
With the fall of Heath came understanding that the two stone tables from Tiamat's vision were for both goddesses, and the addition of some of their numbers. Breivik, a once righteous cleric who had come into contact with the Totenkopfs and proved proficient in the art of necromancy in Alent, was with them. He served the Totenkopfs as their mole within the group. It was he who helped them hone the ritual to perfection, introducing the clerics to the darker arts needed to finish the ritual properly although all of this was done under false pretenses to steer the ritual to another direction while his fellow clerics would be unaware of his true goals.
The clergy's last hope of Mardük being their champion fell with the god himself during the Cataclysm when the Godslayer devoured him. Some of the clerics began to lose heart again, and it seemed the old cycle of despair would repeat itself.
Then, in the one thousand seventeenth year of the Third Age, a paladin named Osmond Cordae Locke stumbled into their dwellings. Having absorbed the power of the sword of Fotiacles, he came to them shining, his sword glowing with a golden power. The High Cleric, aging and having waited his entire life for this one moment, seized the opportunity. The ritual was begun.
However, it was as Tiamat had warned. Brother Breivik betrayed them at that moment, destroying one half of their millennia of work by infecting Heath's body with a deadly corruption. The clergy's newfound champion Osmond, however, destroyed Breivik before he could finish his work, and convinced the goddess Gaea to go along with her hypocritical sect of clerics.
The Mad Clergies' original goal was accomplished, and they destroyed themselves, as they foresaw. Their lair was destroyed in the aftermath of the ritual but their legacy would live on as the High Cleric had given Osmond an important task: to keep the revived Gaea safe and help guide her to godhood to bring balance to the world.
Or so they thought. It turned out that their ritual was a ruinous failure. They had been without Gaea's touch so long that they mistook that of Inari Okami as Gaea herself. Breivik's treachery had tainted their entire purpose, and they sacrificed themselves for nothing. Their last legacy lies in the library buried under the rubble they made of their hidden lair, and in the jewel Osmond carries in his belt pouch.