[An aside to the serendipity of winging it. Long ago I placed DeForest Piper's One Page Dungeon Smuggler's Chantry near my campaign's center of action. Thinking vaguely of using smugglers to tie in a pirate town to the south. By the time players got around to finding it I had been reading the aforementioned inspirations and was jonesin for some mutatedness. Um, er, yeah you stand before the, the... Church of the Holy Glow (at this time was still thinking it was front for smugglers). Then party brought badly injured dude to church. (Remembering Sick Rock from ASE). Uh, yeah, we can heal him bring him closer to the light, brother. (Scrambling through Mutant Future). You're healed and are covered in thick porcupine quills.
One day at work the titles and name Brother Radicals came to me. Other bits congealed until I finally wrote it all down last night. Now that it has substance the players will probably never visit again! That's ok an Attendant can always visit them ;)]
The Brother RadicalsPriests of the Church of the Holy Glow are called Brother Radicals, seekers of the Radiant Truth. They worship Hallowed Atum, god of truth and builder of the universe.
Brother Radicals are aware of and occasionally converse with The Metal Gods. They remain undecided as to whether these voices are Saints, true (if minor) gods, or even lessor manifestations of Atum.
All Brother Radicals are able to (mostly) successfully use ancient technology. They have no clue how it works or often what it is for. All churches will have at least one functioning Geiger counter which is required to identify and measure the holiness of Radiant Truth. They frequently have other relics; "Accouterments of Heroes" [cloths, knick-knacks, other sundry ancient junk], "Words of Atum" [portable music players], "Implements of Unification" [stunners, vibro-blades, sonic-disruptors, plasma torches, etc.], "Most Sublime Chariots of the Saints" [various ground/grav/air vehicles, Brother Omega cruises in a pimp purple, shag upholstered, low-rider Impala (bouncing suspension crushes unbelievers for 2d6 damage)].
Brother Radicals advance as clerics. Receiving same number and type of spells as clerics of equivalent level. Bestowed by Atum or one of the Metal Gods. They are unable to turn undead or other creatures. They may start Neutral but all are Chaotic by 4th level.
Level Title Notes ========= ========= ========= 1-3 Alpha 1 mutation, pass as normal 4-5 Beta 2 mutations, might pass as normal 6 Theta 3 mutations, these guys and up freak the f'ck right out of normals and generally wear thick, hooded robes "in public" 7 Gamma 4 mutations, "and up" possess light sword, laser pistol, or the like 8 Zeta 5 mutations, ballistic long johns reduce physical damage by half 9 Omega 6 mutations, glows with Truth of Atum [all within 10' suffer rad sickness], wears Saint's Shroud [personal forcefield] There is only one Omega Brother Radical. At least only one per schism of the church
The Radiant Truth
"Its rays bring us further into his grace, brother."Known as Sick Rock to most. For most grow sick and die within a few days of being exposed to its thin green glow. Brother Radicals know that it is, in fact, the material manifestation of Hallowed Atum.
The supplicant will then commune with Atum [fall into coma] for d4 days. During which time they will be healed and if pious enough [50% chance] be blessed with devolution.
"We are all made of Atum and thus brothers, brother."The Truth of Atum is not secreted away by Brother Radicals. It is available to all, praised be Hallowed Atum! Initiation into the church is similar to its healing; different sacrament, same emollient, same coma, 100% chance of devolution.
Brother Radicals undergo ever more cryptic initiations upon reaching each new title. The most devout are Unified. Others must live on and seek greater Truth.
"Glory and praise to Atum, I can shoot lasers from my eyes!"Through devolution one becomes closer to perfection and Unification with Atum. Although Unification is the professed goal of all Brother Radicals, many secretly really just want kick-ass mutations.
[Devolution == roll on your favorite mutation chart. I use ones from Mutant Future]
The Most Holy (and Secret) Emollients of Atum
"Fallout threatening your weekend plans? Forgettabout it with new, improvedThe church hierarchy's secret anti-radiation serum cut with anti-virals and regenerative stembots. When properly administered it prevents the wasting sickness normally contracted from exposure to Sick Rock. And its radiation powers the stembots which heal/cure pretty darn much anything.
RadAway. Now with Omega Block 3000(tm)!"
Only Zeta and Omega Brothers know how to distill it. Only Omegas know what it really is / does. Occasionally a shipment from the Most High and August Central Church is delayed and local Brother Radicals are unable to heal or perform initiations.
"Come brother, still thy tentacles and let us help you to Unification."Some who are healed or undergo initiation lack sufficient purity of heart. These tainted souls are unable to receive Atum's Benediction and must be helped towards Unification. Unfortunately, a few are so misguided they resist and leave the care of the Church before successful Unification.
These poor creatures now roam the wild, causing trouble for the faithful. We'd be ever so grateful if you could bring to them the final Truth of Unification.
[A few mutations are so extreme, dehumanizing, and/or horribly negative the Brother Radicals (try to) kill the victims and cover up that they ever existed. Sometimes they fail.]
The Twelve Attendants of Atum
"Come all ye unfaithful, hear the deafening Truth and be Unified!"The "Paladins" of the church. Originally twelve in number, the exact count has varied over the ages. Always limited though, as there are only so many Exalted Receptacles of Atum to go around. Once properly ordained paladins receive divine sanction and become one with their Exalted Receptacle. Thenceforth they are able to invoke the Absolution of Atum and bestow Unification to even the staunchest heretics.
[Exalted Receptacles == ancient/alien power armor. i.e. Boom Gun armed Glitter Boys or Humpty Dumptys Anyone can be "ordained" as one of the Twelve Attendants. This involves getting "power armor training" brain dumped from an alien device, chip implant, or the like. Most Attendants survive that. Those that do eventually succumb to mental psychosis and/or physical attrophication. Before that happens Paladins are rewarded with Unification. But, occasionally one flips out early.]
Holy SitesMolybidium Mines
Resting place of much Radiant Truth and other holy minerals. Suitably for such a venerable site, its sanctity is preserved by many of Atum's Children [mutant monstrosities]. Divine creatures Brother Radicals are proscribed from harming. Thus, frequently, requiring an escort when prospecting for Truth.
Where Saint Norad secured the holy firelances. Safe from misuse by heretics. The Scriptures of WOPR detailing the rituals [launch codes] required to wield the lances have been lost. When particularly put upon the church goes looking for the WOPR Scriptures. Often hiring adventures for the task, rather than mucking about dangerous places themselves.
Shinning Garden of Shiyane
The holiest of holies. Where Atum's light shone into the darkest depths and common earth, stone, even rain were transformed into The Radiant Truth. Billions witnessed Atum's glory and were Unified.