Saint Cuthbert of the Cudgel is the combative deity of wisdom, dedication, and zeal. Originally specific to the World of Greyhawk campaign setting, he has been considered part of the generic core pantheon since the release of the game's third edition in 2000.
Rumored to have once been a mortal man, Saint Cuthbert is an intermediate deity. His alignment has been variously interpreted as lawful neutral (lawful good tendencies) and lawful good (lawful neutral tendencies). Saint Cuthbert hates evil, but is more concerned with law and order, with converting the uninformed, and preventing backsliding among the faithful.
As a Dungeons & Dragons character, Saint Cuthbert of the Cudgel first appeared in the short story "The Gnome Cache" by Gary Gygax (as "Saint Cuthburt") in the second issue of The Dragon. He was given formal game statistics in Dragon #67 (1982), which were reprinted in the World of Greyhawk Fantasy Game Setting in 1983. His alignment then was given as lawful good (lawful neutral tendencies).
A roleplaying scenario appeared in Dragon #100 involving the recovery of the Mace of Cuthbert from "real world" of Earth, in a museum in London. According to the scenario, Saint Cuthbert had secreted his favored weapon there in order to keep it safe in a world where magic doesn't exist, and therefore no one would have reason to believe the medieval armament was anything special.
The first significant change to the character was in the third edition Player's Handbook, where he was reinterpreted as a lawful neutral (though still intolerant of evil) deity with a focus on retribution and the punishment of sins. Retribution had formally been the primary area of influence of the deity Trithereon, who did not appear in this book.
In Dragon #358, a "Core Beliefs" article by Sean K. Reynolds has officially returned Saint Cuthbert to lawful good (with lawful neutral tendencies).
Saint Cuthbert is strongly allied with Rao.
Cuthbertines (that is, worshipers of Saint Cuthbert) are most prevalent in the central Flanaess. The saint has churches in Dyvers, Furyondy, the Gran March, the Free City of Greyhawk, Keoland, Perrenland, the Shield Lands, Tenh, the Principality of Ulek, the County of Urnst, the Duchy of Urnst, Veluna, and Verbobonc. These churches can be large cathedrals, but most commonly are wayside shrines and small, rude chapels.
On other planes, Saint Cuthbert is the most favored god of the Harmonium faction, who appreciate the god's uncompromising nature. The current leader of the faction, Faith, is a cleric of Saint Cuthbert.
When they shed their mortal coils, those who worshiped the saint in life go to Saint Cuthbert's divine realm, called the Basilica of Saint Cuthbert or the Bastion of Law. This realm is in Arcadia. Souls there act as silent observers while the saint gives out judgments from his Seat of Truth. Saint Cuthbert seldom leaves his plane unless some great duty calls him forth.
Saint Cuthbert's priesthood is divided into three major orders.
- The Chapeaux, whose symbol is a crumpled hat, seek to convert people into their faith. They are equally divided between lawful good and lawful neutral characters. Paladins of Saint Cuthbert, known as Votaries or Communicants, have an honorary position in the Order of the Chapeaux. Their role is not just to convert others, but to actually fight enemies of the faith.
- The Stars, whose symbol is a starburst, seek to enforce doctrinal purity among those already dedicated to the saint. Most are lawful neutral, and they do not shy from using mind-reading magic in order to ensure that even the private thoughts of their flock are pure.
- The Billets are the most numerous of Saint Cuthbert's clergy. Most are lawful good, and they seek to minister to and protect the faithful. These are well-beloved by the common folk. Their symbol is a wooden club. The Chapeaux often come into conflict with the Billets, because the former order wants to seek new converts while the latter wants to care for the worshipers they already have.
There are a few lesser-known orders of St. Cuthbert.
- L'Ordre de la Croix-Rose Veritas, or the Order of the Rosy Cross of Truth, was founded in 587 CY), after the Greyhawk Wars. It was founded by Ormus, a former priest of Rao only just converted to Saint Cuthbert's faith himself. When Ormus discovered an evil warlord had been corrupted by a devil in disguise, he founded the new order in order to track down other devils living among mortals in disguise. The order has three branches: La Croix-Vert, La Croix-Blanc, and La Croix-Bleu.
- The Society of the Sanctified Mind focuses on ridding the world of evil psionicists. It was founded circa 561 CY by a cleric of Saint Cuthbert named Sir Jeremy Costineux, after his home village was enslaved by illithids. This society is a knightly order rather than a strictly religious one, and people of a wide variety of character classes belong to it.
Artifacts and relics
- Baker, Richard, James Jacobs, and Steve Winter. Lords of Madness (Wizards of the Coast, 2005).
- Brown, Richard W., and Anne Brown. Falcon's Revenge (TSR 1990).
- Brown, Richard W., and Anne Brown. Falconmaster (TSR 1990).
- Brown, Richard W., and Anne Brown. Flames of the Falcon (TSR 1990).
- Gygax, Gary. World of Greyhawk Fantasy Game Setting (TSR, 1983).
- Gygax, Gary. "The Deities and Demigods of the World of Greyhawk." Dragon #67 (TSR, 1982).
- Holian, Gary. "Paladins of Greyhawk." Dragon #306. (Paizo Publishing, 2003)
- Holian, Gary, Erik Mona, Sean K. Reynolds, and Frederick Weining. Living Greyhawk Gazetteer (Wizards of the Coast, 2000).
- Colin McComb|McComb, Colin. On Hallowed Ground (TSR, 1996).
- Moore, Roger E. Greyhawk: The Adventure Begins (TSR, 1998).
- Niles, Douglas, and Carl Sargent. The City of Greyhawk (TSR, 1989).
- Noonan, David. Complete Divine (Wizards of the Coast, 2004).
- Pramas, Chris. Guide to Hell (Wizards of the Coast, 1999).
- Redman, Rich, Skip Williams, and James Wyatt. Deities and Demigods (Wizards of the Coast, 2002).
- Reynolds, Sean K. "Core Beliefs: Saint Cuthbert." Dragon #358. (Paizo Publishing, 2007)
- Sargent, Carl. From the Ashes (TSR, 1992).
- Schroeck, Robert. "The City Beyond the Gate." Dragon #100 (TSR, 1985).
- Ward, James M. Greyhawk Adventures (TSR, 1988).
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