Temple of the White Rat

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The Rat's priests fixed things that could be fixed, and when things were broken past all mending, they helped people pick up the pieces.

—Paladin's Grace, chapter 2

The White Rat is a deity worshipped in the south of the World of the White Rat. The Temple of the White Rat is described as "that rarest of religious orders, one that simply found problems and solved them and tried to make life better for everyone involved."[1] The Rat is served by priests, healers, lawyers, and diplomats, but does not call His own paladins.[2]

History

The cult of the White Rat first emerged in the west, some eight hundred years before the Clocktaur War, when a plague was decimating the cities of the old western empire. Because rats carried the plague, a cult sprang up to attempt to appease the rat spirit. The faith evolved and reformed over the course of the centuries.[3]

Theology

Rats are smart and they travel with humans, but they are neither our servants nor our prey. They eat the food that we eat, they live within our homes. Who better to understand us?... We know that the Rat exists. We know He is kindly inclined toward humankind. If we forget His name, He will creep back into the walls of the world, but He will not cease to exist. A day will come when humans remember His name again. So it is, and so it has been, and so it will be.

Zale, Swordheart, chapter 26

Activities

The Temple of the White Rat provides services to the poor, including food, housing, and legal services, and it engages in diplomacy and other general problem solving. The services it is able to provide depend on the area. In Archenhold, for example, which is relatively well governed, the Temple provides legal representation for people accused of crimes, it makes healers available to those who need them, it supervises a system of law clerks who document arrests,[4] and it is clandestinely involved in occasional targeted assassinations.[5] In Morstone, a less well-run city, the Temple's resources are stretched thin, and the city looks on its activities with suspicion. To avoid being expelled from the city entirely, it is only able to provide limited food, housing, and healing.[5]

Architecture

Temples of the White Rat are similar to each other in design, although adapted to the architecture of the area they are in. They include soup kitchens, healer's quarters, and buildings to house lawyers and administrative staff. The Anuket City temple uses mechanical devices to help organize its activity, while the temple in Charlock includes a "maze of colorful tents... moved in various positions depending on the weather and favorable astrology."[5] The Archon's Glory temple is built of pale sandstone, with sharply slanted roofs and arched doorways surrounding a main courtyard.[6]

Notes

  1. Paladin's Strength, chapter 2
  2. Paladin's Grace, chapter 2
  3. Swordheart, chapter 26
  4. Paladin's Hope, chapter 2
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Paladin's Strength, chapter 28
  6. Swordheart, chapter 21