Blood Of Vol

The theology of the Blood of Vol centers on the divinity within, a godly force which exists within each sentient creature. By worshiping their own divinity, Seekers follow a powerful path but a selfish one. They are supportive of other Seekers but outsiders to the faith often receive a cold reception at best.

Cult of Life

Despite its amiable name, the Cult of LIfe is a violent faith which shows an even darker side of the already morbid Blood of Vol.

The Faith

The Cult of Life takes the concept of Divinity Within to extremes which defy the benevolent-sounding name of the sect. They believe that a Seeker's personal divinity can be fueled by others' by stealing their lives. All Seeker rituals involve sanctified blood, but the theives of life are not content to wait for its owners to be done with it. The followers of this sect are some of the most dangerous members of an already dark religion who attack others to feed the insatiable hunger that comes with making the Divinity Within burn brighter. The undead abactors of the Blood of Vol are quiet and calculating, but the leaders of the Cult of Life are starved and grasping.
Lady Vol seeks to use the Blood of Vol to create a powerful cult that she can use to pursue her complex plans of revenge and power. To achieve this she uses the immortality of undeath as an incentive, but if the Cult of Life can find its own immortality then there's no way for her servants to control them.

The World

Safe houses exist across Khorvaire from which Cult of Life devotees can operate to fuel their need for soul energy. Abactors of the more mainstream Blood of Vol rarely are excited to learn of such safe houses because they are destabilizing and uncontrollable. While they share many of the same goals as traditional Seekers, the thieves of life are not content to sit and wait. They also do not want to wait for the traditional rewards from superiors in the Blood of Vol, which is the complete antithesis of the religion's true purpose. The Cult of Life is not active in large numbers anywhere in Eberron but they are the most concentrated in what remains of the Five Nations where they can blend in somewhat with the large populations. If they interact with other Seekers they keep their personal beliefs to themselves, but they rarely enjoy the company of people from other faiths who understand them even less that the typical Seeker.
Source: The Cult of Life is introduced on pages 84-87 of Faiths of Eberron.

The Believer

The Cult of Life matches well the concept of dhampyrs, found in Dragon 371 and reprinted in Dragon Annual 2009. Characters who take the Vampiric Heritage feat and the subsequent feats gain abilities that allow them to draw vitality from other characters in the same manner as the thief of life prestige class from Faiths of Eberron. Characters who follow the Cult of Life do not need to be actual half-vampires when taking these feats, they can gain the abilities from induction rituals into the sect that teach them how to steal divinity from others.
Dungeon Masters can use vampiric monsters for thieves of life as well, using similar changes in flavor. Importantly, thieves of life are not undead: they have found an alternative path to immortality. There are no illusions that they are still what they once were but they are still alive. Many would say, however, that the death of one's soul is worse than the death of the body.
Cult of Life Domains: Death, destruction, skills.

Hornblade Clan

In the western reaches of Khorvaire, the Blood has been changed into a tribal faith surrounding blood and strength.

The Faith

The Hornblade Clan of western Khorvaire is a distant and disconnected offshoot of the Blood of Vol. Seeker missionaries visited the Shadow Marches and the Demon Wastes, converting an extended network of related orc tribes and leaving behind a sustaining religion based on personal power and the promise of a Divinity Within. Generations later, the religion has developed into something unique and the Hornblade Clan has become the largest purely-Seeker community in Khorvaire.
While they follow the general precepts of the Blood of Vol, the Hornblade Clan also retains some of their ancestors' religion in their rituals. The power of blood is respected as it flows through an individual and creates the divinity within each tribe members. This power and not the magics of Vvaraak is what the Hornblades consider to be the force that defeated the daelkyr and that maintains the seals in place throughout their homeland. It is not geneology that creates this bond in the mind of the Honblades but a shared purpose and a tribal unity. Ritual sacrifice and the sharing of blood still play a role in the practice of the clan, but they have little interest in the divinity of those who do not share their bloodline. Hornblade power comes from Hornblade blood and powerful warriors often volunteer to be bled until near death to share their might with the rest of their village, creating a strong and resilient force that is connected in truly intimate ways.

The World

Most of the Hornblade Clan are found in the Shadow Marches and Demon Wastes where they began. The traditions of the clan may be brutal but they are propelling the orcs into a more powerful position within both areas. Unlike other orc traditions, the Hornblades are willing to accept Seekers of any race and their numbers have swelled during the Last War with other orcs as well as goblins, shifters, and tieflings who have been caught up in the clan's philosophy.

The Believer

DMs might want to allow the worship of the Blood of Vol to count as worshiping Gruumsh for the purposes of feats and paragon paths. While this deity does not entirely mesh with the tenets of the Blood of Vol, his focus on strength and the synchronicity in theme with orcs makes this a good proxy for the Hornblade "style" of the faith. If there are any players who want to play non-orc members of the tribe DMs might consider waiving any orc prerequisites as well, or they may chose to keep such prerequisites to demonstrate a natural connection that Hornblade orcs have with these traditions that other Hornblades can't truly achieve.
Hornblade Clan Domains: Undeath, strength, strife.

Hornblade Strength [Divinity]
Prerequisite: Channel Divinity class feature, Hornblade Clan Member
Benefit: You gain the Channel Divinity power Hornblade strength.

hornblade-strength.jpg

Hornblade Clan Member
Benefit: When you bloody an opponent, you gain a +2 bonus to damage rolls until the end of your next turn. This bonus increases by 1 for each ally within 10 squares of you who has this feat, to a maximum of +5.

Power of the Blood
Prerequisite: Hornblade Clan Member
Benefit: While bloodied you can increase any push, pull, or slide effect by 1 square.

Keepers of Blood

The Faith

The Keepers of the Blood combine the worship of both Vol and the Keeper, though this is only a crude way of understanding the cult. Worshippers of this faith, most popular in Karrnath and Lazhaar, believe in the personal divinity of the blood which sustains beyond death and into Dollurh. Like the Restful Watch, Bloodkeepers believe that the fading away that happens in the Keeper's realm is the first step of reincarnation. The mortal form may be a temporary thing, but the soul is dynamic and unchanging and will be reconstituted down to its essential part. They worship both the Keeper and the figure of Vol as representations of the Grey Monarch which lives both in Dollurh and in the mortal realm, shepherding souls back and forth as they live through their lives. Unlike the Seekers, however, Bloodkeepers are critical of the undead which they see as too stubborn to let themselves continue through the cycle. They point to the strong emotions like jealousy, hatred, or desperation exhibited by ghosts and specters as evidence of this reincarnation cycle. When souls get to Dollurh they lose the superficial details of their most recent lives until they are ready to be reborn. If they are ripped from the Realm of the Dead to become ghosts, they are left with a rough-hewn form of their past selves, unable to achieve the greatness that is due next.

The World

The Believer

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