Saturday, April 21, 2018

Saintly Saturday: St. Maximian Patriarch of Constantinople

Today is the Feast of St. Maximian, Patriarch of Constantinople. He was born in Rome of wealthy parents and used his inheritance to provide tombs for those who led holy lives. He preferred a simple, unadorned life, which actually caught the attention of Sisinius, who was Patriarch of Constantinople from A.D. 426-427. Maximian was ordained as a priest. After the heretic Nestorius was deposed as Patriarch of Constantinople in A.D. 431, St. Maximian replaced him. He then died peacefully in A.D. 434.


In a round about way, the life of St. Maximian reminds of one of the more influential books in my own personal Appendix N: The Seven Altars of Dûsarra by Lawrence Watt-Evans. In this particular tale, the protagonist is sent off to steal whatever is on the seven altars from the title of the book. Each altar was from a different temple dedicated to one of the “Lords of Dûs” — gods of darkness.


In a reverse of this structure, a campaign inspired by St. Maximian might center around the idea of seven lost temples. In the high days of Civilization, during the reign of a Maximian-like ruler or religious leader, great temples dedicated to the saints (literally “holy ones”) were built all across the Empire. When the Empire collapsed, seven of the greatest of these temples were “lost” — they now lie in lands claimed by the forces of Chaos.

The locations of some are well known (i.e. the ones corresponding to lower level adventures) while the locations of others are lost to the mists of time (and/or might have been moved by some great feat of magic which may very well have been the catalyst for the collapse of the Empire).

The campaign, then, would center around the recovery of seven relics, each associated with one of the seven temples. Fill in your favorite trope here as to why these relics need to be recovered. One that I might be tempted to use is that should all seven be joined together something extremely powerful can be made and various factions have recently come upon the blueprints to make it all possible. Thus, everyone is in a race to secure all seven relics.