Rovers

Nami's clergy and core followers are nicknamed "the Rovers on the Wind" or just "Rovers." It's not a requirement to rove, but most of Nami's core followers do not maintain a fixed address.  

Nami and Geo-Politics

  Nami worship is broad but not very deep. Not a single civilized land has Nami as their state patron, but most civilized people like to worship, at least on Nami’s holy days. Nami’s holidays are generally lots of fun and few people want to miss the parties. Most mortals do not give Nami a second thought outside her holidays.   Nami’s core followers are usually nomadic. That’s why they are nicknamed Rovers because they rove. A few barbarian tribes have Nami as their patron deity. Even if they don’t view Nami as their preeminent deity, most barbarian tribes respect Nami as a secondary or tertiary patroness of the tribe. In civilized lands, Nami worship is common among traveling performs, soldiers of fortune, traveling peddlers and other people that are on the move a lot.   Unlike most of the rest of the Nine, Nami has zero standardized holidays worldwide. Most nations have between one and three Nami festivals every year and most of this festivals are limited to one nation. One nation might have their primary Nami festival in the Winter while the nation bordering them on might have their primary Nami festival in the Spring. A lot of Nami’s priests and priesthoods are circuit preachers traveling from nation to nation making sure they arrive in time for the major Nami festivals. A few well-traveled Rovers could celebrate more than a dozen major Nami festivals every year. Most circuit priests manage five or six Nami festivals a year.   In civilized lands, outside the annual Nami festivals, Rovers are often viewed as a nuisance or a menace. Sometimes Rovers sew chaos and disorder just for fun. Rovers often swing between groups of Maylar’s Testers and groups of Zarthus Lanterns, both groups that are often hostile to the prince of the realm. When their ranks are swelled with the numbers and passion of the Rovers, the Testers and Lanterns become a lot more problematic to the defenders of the status quo.   Nami's followers hate being told what they can or cannot do. If an area gets a reputation for being oppressive against Rovers, this will usually only attract more belligerent Rovers to the area. Even King Drosst, probably the most ironfisted ruler in Scarterra, usually views it's easier to just ignore upstart Rovers until they get bored and move on. As long as the Rovers don't get too deep in bed with the Testers or Lanterns, Drosst is likely to give them a free pass.   The only nation that really tries to keep Nami on a short leash is the Elven Empire, and this is a questionable decision. Rather than have an annual Nami festival, traditionally the Elven Empire only officially condoned a Nami festival once every nine years. The Elven Empire used to control a third of Scarterra's land mass but has lost most of their colonies one by one. The Rovers never started any of these secession movements, but once started every secession movement has had Rovers aiding them.   The current Empress is the most reform minded elf to ever sit on the Imperial Throne. Among her other reforms, she tried to reinstate an annual Nami festival, but most of her vassals and governors opposed this, so she has made Nami festivals a once in three year festival. Much to the Empresses' credit, the Rovers have rolled back their rebellious activities within the Empire considerably as a thank you.    

The Clergy

    There are not hard and fast rules, only broad traditions and customs on recruitment. Most Rovers prefer to induct new members as young adults rather than as children. Most Rovers who begin their education as children are the sons and daughters of priests and priestesses of Nami. Apprentices of all ages nearly always learn on the job being dragged around wherever their mentor goes.   A great many new recruits to Nami are nonconformists of some sort. Many new recruits are fleeing an arranged marriage. Scarterra is a world where most commoners (and most nobles) pursue the same trade their parents, grandparents and great grandparents did, some people crave to do something different from their family business and joining the Rovers is one way to escape being a cobbler.   Some Rovers are nonconformists to their nation or race. The Rovers include orcs that want to be peaceful gardeners instead of warriors and the Rovers encompass sociopath gnomes who want to bathe in the blood of their enemies. The Rovers include many runaway slaves and ex-serfs in their ranks. More than a few criminals on the run try to find shelter within the Rovers.   In general, dwarves are not very fond of Nami, but the hidebound dwarf culture produces a lot of malcontents and these malcontents sometimes turn to Nami for succor. Nami has a disproportionately high number of dwarf priests and priestesses considering they have comparatively few dwarf worshipers. Same thing with the grey elves and dark elves. wood elves however tend to respect Nami highly celebrating two Nami holidays per year.   Not every fugitive or nonconformist is accepted though. The Rovers don’t adopt every runaway that comes to them. They test new recruits sincerity for Nami’s ideals and these tests can be pretty arbitrary. Almost every Rover had a single mentor and Rovers are allowed to take on whoever they want as an apprentice and the apprenticeship is done whenever the mentor thinks is appropriate. There are no hard and fast rules, but most Rovers frown on cheapening their priestly order with mass recruitment tactics.   In some cases, Nami’s Rovers wield enough social proof that they can shield their new recruits from the authority figures directly, but more often than not they live up to their name as Rovers moving their new recruits far away from their original homes.   Nami may or may not have the fewest Scarterran priests and priestesses of any of the Nine but she certainly has among the fewest priests. Nami has roughly as many priests as priestess, maybe a very slight female majority. About half of Nami’s priesthood has divine spell-casting powers, maybe slightly less than half. Nami has a fair number of divine spell-casters that are not priests. Approximately one third of Nami’s theurgists and three quarters of Nami’s favored souls are not ordained as priests or priestesses.   The Rovers do not have a lot of arcane casters in their ranks but they have more than most of the Nine except for Zarthus who has a lot of arcane bards and obviously Greymoria who is the goddess of arcane magic.   favored souls of Nami are sometimes called Stormlings. Nami's favored souls are fairly numerous, roughly on par in terms of raw numbers with Nami’s theurgists. Nami’s favored souls once in a while empowers favored souls in odd places just to see what happens but this is fairly rare. Most Stormlings are born into families of devout Nami worshipers, or they were conceived during Nami festivals. Some of Nami’s faithful believe that children conceived in the rain are more likely to be favored souls.   Nami’s favored souls are given very little direction. When they are on the cusp of adolescence, a Nami spirit usually explains what they are, but they are not told what to do. Some favored souls choose to stick with their communities and others earn the title Rover traveling far and wide having adventures. Nami’s priesthood makes it very easy for favored souls to join the priesthood, but most favored souls opt to be independent agents.   Zarthus may be the god of music, but Nami appreciates music and the Rovers maintain their own musical traditions and incorporate music into most Nami worship rituals. The Rovers train a lot of divine bards into their ranks. They have more divine bards than all other priesthoods apart from Zarthus.      

Material Needs

    Rovers receive modest donations from commoners and nobles alike during Nami festivals, but they get very few donations the rest of the time. Because of this, the Rovers are generally frugal. There are relatively few Nami temples compared to the rest of the Nine’s temples and these temples generally have fairly small staffs to feed.   Most Rovers rove, so most Nami temples are situated on transportation hubs built along major trade routes, rivers crossings, and busy seaports. Temples are a good place for Rovers to share news, relax with their fellow followers of Nami, organize circuit priests’ travel routes and otherwise handle the logistics of facilitating celebratory Nami festivals around the world.   Outside of the Elven Empire, there are very few secret Nami temples. The Rovers prefer to live loud and proud.   Most Rovers practice a trade outside being a priest or priestess. A lot of Rovers are skilled rangers, performers, or craftsmen. Many ships captains refuse to buy any maps not certified by a Rover cartographer. Many Rovers are very good at living off the land either as a survivalist or as a thief. Most Rover pickpockets and burglars only steal enough to let them eat…usually.   Many Nami temples double as a mundane business. Nami temples frequently have an attached inn or tavern. Nami is the goddess of alcoholic beverages, so when Nami temples are bequeathed land, they usually set up a brewery, distillery, or winery and these dispensaries of adult beverages are held in high regard as the Rovers have a well-deserved reputation for creating quality spirits.    

Factions, Schisms, and Heresies

  Nami worshippers are fiercely individualistic. A great many Rovers claim to disdain the very idea of faction claiming that Nami’s priesthood has thousands of factions each consisting of a single member. That said the Rovers are easier to classify than they’d like to admit.     Nami Circuit Priests   Circuit Priests are Rovers who specialize in helping facilitate the annual Nami festivals in many disparate lands.     Sedentary Rovers   Sedentary Rovers represent Rovers who do not rove much, primarily helping maintain Nami's temples and providing logistical support to other Rovers traveling through the area.     Tribal Rovers   Tribal Rovers is a nickname for Rovers who are permanently attached to nomadic barbarian tribes or figuratively tribes of traveling people in civilized lands     Bacchites   The Bacchites are an ultraviolent fringe group of Rovers that endorse doing, taking or burning whatever they often, often bringing negative attention on the Rovers as a whole and drawing a wedge between the Bacchites and other Rovers.    

True Inner Conflict

  The factions above are more lifestyles than true factions. The Rovers have some ideological splits which could represent true schisms. Relatively few Rovers are part of a declared ideological faction, but most Rovers are strongly opinionated and fall on the spectrum somewhere.   Every two or three generations, tensions between schismatic factions rise up to a boil among Nami’s core followers and the Rovers have a brief and bloody theological civil war. Afterwards an uneasy peace is declared and the Rovers try to play nice with other and embrace their diverse views only to have these tensions rise up again a generation or two later. The Rovers are about a due for a new civil war.     Should Rovers work with princes and other state leaders to try to spread Nami’s ideals within the system, or are all rulers ultimately oppressive agents of stagnation?   Should Rovers with divine magic be given more status than Rovers without divine magic? Should the study of arcane magic among Rovers be encouraged or discouraged?   Most divisive of all is arguments on the rights of the individuals.   A small but growing number of hardline Rovers believe that as followers of Nami, Rovers are justified in doing anything they want to whomever they want. This includes theft and arson among other serious crimes. If others cannot defend themselves, that’s their problem. These have been nicknamed by outsiders the Bachites (because I stole it from Roman mythology but I can claim there was a violent Rover in the past named Bachus) or the Brides of Maylar because they often work with Maylar worshippers (though they are roughly as likely to be male as female).   A small but growing number of hardline Rovers believe that the Nami’s ideals of freedom should be extended to all. “My right to swing my fist ends where your face begins.” These peaceful hardliners refuse to harm others other than in self-defense and encourage altruism even if it involves working with princes and potentates who do not always live up to Nami’s ideals of freedom. These Rovers have been nicknamed the Gentle Rain.   Traditionally, Nami temples are supposed to be neutral ground where ideological differences are supposed to be put aside but the Gentle Rain is making up an increasingly high percentage of Sedentary Rovers and they are often barring the temple doors to Bachites seeking shelter to avoid retribution from those they wronged. This is the opening salvo in the next Rover civil war.   Because the Rovers are not very numerous and they tend to be widely dispersed, most Nami civil wars pass largely unnoticed by those outside of Nami’s tent. This might change. While more moderate Rovers are more sympathetic towards the Gentle Rain than they are sympathetic towards the Bachites, the Gentle Rain is pulling in outside allies such as secular authorities, Mera’s Tenders, and KorusStewards of the Gift. It is generally considered taboo to involve outsiders in internal Rover disrupting and this is winning the Bachites more sympathizers than they would ordinarily receive. It is rumored that the Bachites are gathering allies under the table including Maylar’s Testers and Greymoria’s Children.     As fierce as the ideological divide between Bachites and the Gentle Rain is, neither of these groups are heretics. It is almost impossible for a Rover to be branded a heretic. The one taboo that Nami’s priesthood almost universally will not tolerate is to abuse the ability to summon rain.   Summoning rain (or other normal weather) requires someone to get ●●●● in the domain of Weather, a feat relatively few Rovers attain that is almost unheard of for non-Rovers to attain. The lower levels create small effects to aid in combat or escape, gusts of winds, ice slicks, banks of fog, etc, but a true Weather Witch can cause or negate a drought.   If a weather witch wants to change the weather to aid a battle, that’s fine. If a weather witch wants to change the weather to spread love or fear of Nami, that’s fine too. What is generally not tolerated is for a Rover to use the rain or lack thereof to extort the locals for money or use control of the weather to demand land or titles. That is heresy.   It is very rare but not unheard of for Rovers to practice advanced Necromancy and wield undead minions. Most Rover necromancers are Bachites or Bachite sympathizers. This is technically not heresy but this is viewed poorly by most Rovers. If the Gentle Rain rise to become the mainstream view of Nami’s priesthood, necromancy may become heretical.    

Priestly Ranks

  Neophyte: Trainee Member. Informally they are called “rain drops.” Drizzle: Informal term for trainee member that is fairly far along. Priest or Priestess: Full member. Honored One: Informal term of respect for a priest or priestess of high standing. Trainees normally call their mentors “Mentor” rather than “Honored One,” even after their training is complete.   Forecaster: Slang term for Oracle. Lightning Bolt: A Rover who is good at fighting. Anchor: Polite informal term for a Nami priest or priestess that maintains a permanent temple. Stationary Rover: Slightly derogatory informal term for a Nami priest or priestess that maintains a permanent temple. Weather Witch: Slang term for a Rover who has gained a four or five dots of Weather magic.   Being a bunch of freedom loving individualists, Nami priests and priestesses don’t put a lot of stock into ranks and titles. If a Rover wants to get other Rovers to follow her she cannot pull rank. To sway her fellows, she needs to either have a really good idea, lots of charisma, or a litany of impressive past accomplishments.
Type
Religious, Organised Religion
Official State Religion
Permeated Organizations
Deities
Divines
Location
Controlled Territories

Articles under Rovers



Cover image: by Me

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