Holy Standard of Saint Jeremiah

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Jeremiah.png

Appearance

An approximately 18 inch diameter by half inch thick disk of golden metal in the shape of an heraldic sun (a "sun in splendour", but without the silly face), with fittings on the back for attaching to a banner pole, although it can also be fitted over a suitably sized shield. It weighs about the same as a small round shield, and the metallic substance from which it is made cannot be easily damaged.

History

The Standard was made some time before the fall of Panjari and was carried into battle as the sacred standard of "Saint Jeremiah" (not actually made a saint until some time after Panjari), he is venerated by the Western Church as a sort of patron saint of zorching undead. The Standard was lost during the fall of Panjari (as was Jeremiah himself), recovered around 300 AP, and then lost again around 1100 AP during the northern invasions that ended with the founding of the Western Kingdom in 1200 AP.

The Standard was recovered again in the Spring of 799 WK (~1998 AP) by a Seagate Guild party who were off-plane at the time and were (apparently) forcibly sent back to an historical Alusia (circa 1100 AP) to recover the artifact, which their captor desired for use in some dark ritual. Relieving the villain of the artifact, (and incidentally destroying his pocket plane), the party returned the Standard to a grateful Western Church.

The next year, after miraculous visions, Silken was made "Lady Dark" by the Western Church and carried the Standard against the forces of the Dark Circle. After her return the Standard was placed on display in the Church of Uriel in Old Seagate (where her visions had first been revealed), and remained there for the next five years.

In Winter of 805 the Standard was borrowed from the Church by Mary-M, (one of the party who recovered it from off plane, and an Agent of Sammael), and used to considerable effect in the Battle of Carlson's Switch. The Standard was returned to the Church and, having shown its great value against the Dark Circle, is now under guard in an undisclosed location.

Known Powers

When revealed and displayed the Standard acts as a powerful Holy Symbol.

Undead and other unholy types find it difficult to look directly at the Standard, and may not willingly approach within 100 feet or so. Actually touching the Standard will cause an unholy being terrific pain (at the least) and most likely reduce them immediately to dust or ashes.

These effects are enhanced in the hands of an Agent of the Powers of Light, and in the presence of greater undead or powerful demon types, the Sun symbol will begin to glow brighter and brighter culminating in a big "flash of sunlight" type effect which will temporarily blind most people (Powers of Light people will not be blinded, and people not looking at the Standard will probably only be blinded for a few seconds), but undead and demons and other unholy types will be utterly *zorched* out to as much as several hundred feet. This flash seems to take time to recharge and the Standard has not be known to do this more than thrice in a day.

(Although the Standard can flash three times in a day this does not mean it can do this every day. Following its use, three flashes and subsequent draining of power at the Battle of Carlson's Switch, the Standard was returned to the Church who confidently expected it to be recharged the next day. This did not happen. At noon on the Sunday after the battle the Standard recovered a little power. It then took the following eight Sundays before the Standard appeared mostly recharged, and it wasn't until noon of Candlemansa before it appeared fully recovered).

The Standard will also eliminate special Dark Circle effects out to a hundred yards or so -- effectively suppressing Dark Circle bonuses in that area. For example, a Vampire in the Dark Circle approaching the Standard during daylight would begin to feel the sun's effects upon them at about one hundred yards and if they continued to close would be subject to the full effects of the sun. This effect also was unavailable while the Standard was drained.

Unsurprisingly the Standard acts as a pretty obvious beacon to unholy types; the more sensitive could detect its presence to as much as half a mile. This can be reduced (perhaps to as little as 50 feet) if the Standard is wrapped and muffled, but while wrapped up in this way none of its powers will operate (with the exception of unholy types actually touching it).

Saint Jeremiah

Not too much is known about the early history of Jeremiah, but some odd information that has come to light raises questions about his association with the Church. A second artifact, "the Chariot of Saint Jeremiah", which the Church claimed was used by the Saint (and from which his Standard was flown) has proved to have special powers when used by someone with an association with the Norden Gods: Wotan, Thor, etc. Was Jeremiah a devotee of that pantheon and later a convert to the Powers of Light, or unaware of the Chariot's powers, or is there some other explanation that may never be fully explained?