Rodorsceaft: Pillar of Heaven
The Hierophant is the head of the Draiocht. As such, he is afforded certain special powers by Mam Coeden.
The Hierophant is the highest-ranking druid in the world, and leads the Draiocht. He is the first among the Archdruids, and holds his position until death or until he vacates it. Unlike the Archdruids, the position cannot be won through combat.
The Hierophant is chosen through a ceremonial process. When a new Hierophant is to be chosen, the three Third-Orders have the option of presenting themselves as candidates. They make their challenge at the Great Moot, where their fitness to lead is decided by a committee of their peers and Mam Coeden herself.
Once a candidate’s worthiness is determined, he is sent into seclusion to fast and meditate. The following day, he is sent into the Cave of Trials, naked except for a loincloth and armed only with a bone dagger. What happens within the Cave of Trials is never spoken of after the fact, but the candidate who emerges, inevitably emerges as the new Hierophant.
The Hierophant is partially infused with the power and might of Mam Coeden, and is able to call upon this strength at his discretion. He becomes preternaturally tough and strong, and becomes blessed with long life.
The specific powers of the Hierophant are not widely-known, even amongst the Draiocht. Only current and former hierophants know for sure, and none has seen fit to provide full disclosure. Thus, what is known is largely a matter of observation and conjecture.
From a game perspective, “Hierophant” is a template applied to the base creature, who must be a 16th-level Druid. Specific details will be provided to the player by the DM should the need arise.
The Hierophant gains all of the following benefits:
- Attributes: +6 STR, +4 CON, which applies in all forms
- Natural Armor: +5 bonus, which stacks with all magical enhancements
- 75% immunity to critical hits
- Fast Healing 5 in sunlight
- DR 10/slashing
- Immunity to lightning, sonic, and petrification
- Fire resist equal to character level
- The Hierophant no longer needs to eat or drink
- Epic Spellcasting as a bonus feat, even if the prerequisites are not met
- Spell-like abilities:
- At will:
- transport via plant (self-only)
- charm animal
- poison vines
- animate plants
- nature’s avatar
- unyielding roots
- Communion: Once or more per week, the Hierophant may commune with Mother Tree for up to ten minutes. This communion provides him with a portion of the Mother’s knowledge and guidance. The practical effect of this communion is the duplication of one of the following divination spells: greater scrying, commune, discern location, or hindsight. Communing with the tree is dangerous, and has the potential to overwhelm a mortal’s mind if it is done too often. Because of this, if the Hierophant wants to attempt this communion more than once per week, he must make a DC 25 Will save or be afflicted by a feeblemind effect. For each additional communion attempt past the second, this DC is increased by 5. Each attempt resets the one-week counter.
- The Hierophant ages at one-tenth the normal rate
- The Hierophant may not gain any further druid levels. He may multiclass normally.
Hierophants keep their position, and all template benefits, until they die or until they step down. A Hierophant who steps down loses all benefit of the template, but is able to continue to advancing as a druid.